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Friday, December 21, 2012

The Broncos are quietly putting together an amazing season. Week 16 Preview.

The Broncos are playing great football but are they getting the recognition they deserve?  The Patriots and Texans seem to get more press but the Broncos may be the best team of the group.

The season is coming to a close and I'm sitting at 142-82.  That's over .600 but I can do better.  

Here's a look at week 16

Atlanta at Detroit - The Falcons destroyed the Giants last week and silenced a few critics that say they can't win the big game.  I still want to see what they can do in the playoffs.  They are playing well on both sides of the ball right now but they are still not the best team in the NFC.  The Falcons have to win at least one playoff game to prove they are for real.

The Lions are terrible.  As a fan, I've watched almost every Lions game the last 10 years.  I thought the Lions were building toward a bright future but they took a big step backward this season.  They did not address their biggest need last offseason, their defensive backfield.  Add to that the fact that all of their receivers were injured expect CJ and you've got a 4 win season.  This offseason the Lions have to take steps to strengthen their DB's, add some WR depth and they could use some OLine Depth.  Schwartz is entering his last season next year if the Lions miss the playoffs again.

I'd like to say the Lions win at home but that's not going to happen, Falcons win.

New Orleans at Dallas - The Saints are an up and down team this season.  Last week they put up 41 points and shutout the Bucs last week.  There's no question the Saints can put up points on offense but their defense struggles.  This season is lost and they need to make sure Payton comes back next season or they are in big trouble.

The Cowboys have managed to put together some wins over the last few weeks.  I've been watching the Cowboys games (Romo and Austin are on my fantasy team) and I can't figure out how they are winning.  They put together a few plays on offense and make a few stops but when you watch them they do not seem like a playoff team.  Even if they make the playoffs, they're not going anywhere.

Saints win.  

Tennessee at Green Bay - The Titans played an almost unwatchable Monday Night Football game last week.  The biggest highlight was Johnson's long run.  As a CJ2K fantasy owner, it's too little too late. 

The Packers won an important division game last week and have a playoff spot locked up.  Their defense needs to improve for the playoff run so they'll take this game seriously.

Packers win.

Indianapolis at Kansas City - The Colts lost a big test last week against the Texans.  They are still playing way above their head and they've already exceeded everyones expectations.  Andrew Luck is leading them into the playoffs and has a bright future.  The Colts can clinch a playoff spot with a win.

The Chiefs continue to be a mess on offense and they can't wait for the season to end and start looking for a new QB.  Will they land Smith, Sanchez or Tebow?  Or, will they go for Barkley or Smith coming out of the draft.  Whatever they do, the QB for next season is not on the roster.

Colts win and clinch.

Buffalo at Miami - This is a tough game to watch.  The Bills are underachieving and should start looking for a new QB next season and maybe even a new coach.  The Dolphins are building for the future and think they have the QB of the future in Tannehill.  I'm not a Tannehill fan but we'll see what he can do.

I'll go with Miami at home.

Washington at Philadelphia - When the schedule came out most people, including me, looked at this week as one where the Eagles were probably wrapping up a playoff spot against a team building with a rookie QB.  Well, I was wrong.  The Eagles are a mess and Andy Reid is on his way out of town with Michael Vick close behind.  The Eagles have to find a new coach and QB for next season.  This franchise is making changes it hasn't had to deal with in a decade.

The Redskins are a surprise team this year.  RG3 will be back on the field and ready to show that he's 100%.  I think he want's to show the coaches that they made a mistake last week and he's going to put up some big numbers.  I just hole he doesn't try too hard and get injured.  The Redskins can clinch a spot this week but need a ton of help.  

Redskins win.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh - When the NFL moved all these division match-ups to the end of the season, this is exactly the type of game they wanted to see.  Both the Bengals and Steelers are in the playoff hunt and both teams have to win this game.  

The Bengals are quietly putting together a solid season after a slow start.  The Steelers struggled with injuries and lost a tough game last week with an OT turnover.

This game will come down to the Steelers running game and stopping the Bengals passing threat.

I'll go Steelers at home.

St. Louis at Tampa Bay - At this point in the season when there are two teams that have no chance of making the playoffs you have to start looking at next season. 

The Rams have their coach in Jeff Fisher.  Is Bradford the right QB?  Does he have anyone to throw to at WR?  Will Jackson stick around?  Can they build a solid defense?  These are questions that have to be answered.

The Bucs also have their coach in place and a good young group.  They were able to win some games this season and looked like they were headed in the right direction.  They have some holes to fill but I like where they are going.

Tampa Wins.

Oakland at Carolina - These two teams have had a terrible season.  The Raiders season was not a surprise but I expected a lot more out of the Panthers.  The Raiders have issues from Ownership through the entire organization.

The Panthers will have a new coach next year and their priority is to put together an offense that will help Cam Newton succeed.  Their second priority is to rebuild the defense into a group that can put together some stops.  Do they go with an offensive leaning coach and hire an excellent defensive coordination? 

Panthers win.

New England at Jacksonville - This is a match-up of the have and have nots.  The Patriots have an elite QB, great coach and huge fan base.  The Jaguars don't have any of that. 

The Patriots lost a tough game last week but proved how explosive they are on offensive by coming back from a huge deficit.  The weakness of this team is the defense and everyone has know that all season.  If they can run the ball and play defense, they could win the Superbowl this year.

The Jaguars have a lot of work to do this offseason.  We'll learn a lot about their new owner this year.  They need a new coach, new QB and they need to create some excitement for the team.  Do they bring in Tebow and go all in for his system?  Do they bring in Chip Kelly to facilitate a Tebow plan?  

Patriots win by whatever score they choose.  

NY Giants at Baltimore - The Giants were embarrassed last week.  Even with the blowout the Giants get a pass.  They get a pass because Eli has two Super Bowl rings and because they've had these types of games in the seasons when they won the Super Bowl.  I don't expect them to win this year but nothing would surprise me.

The Giants have had injuries on offense and underachieved on defense.  If they can get healthy and get into the tournament their defense could get hot and carry them to the Super Bowl again.

The Ravens changed offensive coordinators and score 17 points last week.  That's not enough to get it done.  They can change coordinators and make changes but as long as Flacco is their QB they will not win a Super Bowl.  The defense in Baltimore is injured and old and they need the offense to carry them.  That offense is letting them down.

The Giants win a big game on the road.

Minnesota at Houston - The Vikings have to win out if they want to make the playoffs.  They have a huge obstacle this week with Houston.  AP is having one of the greatest seasons in the history of the NFL.  Not just because he's approaching the rushing record but when you factor in the injury last season what he's doing now if amazing.  The Vikings need to lean on him again this week.

The Texans can clinch home field throughout the playoffs with a win this week.  Last week they took out the up and coming Colts team but this week they need to step up and lock-up home field.  I picked the Texans to play in the Super Bowl before the season started and I'm staying with that prediction.

Texans win.

Cleveland at Denver - Last week I finally gave the Browns credit for what they've done this season and even picked them to win.  How did they repay me, they lost to a back-up rookie QB.  Come on Browns, you are making it hard for me not to be critical.  I'm going to stick with what I said last week, this team has a few pieces in place, but they still have a long way to go.

The Broncos are headed into the playoffs on a hot streak and look like a solid option to represent the AFC.  Can Manning put up enough points to beat the Patriots?  Will the Texans defense slow them down enough to win?

Denver wins.

San Francisco at Seattle - This may be the best match-up of the week.  These are two teams with similar game plans.  They want to play great defense, run the ball and let their athletic QB's make plays when needed.  Both teams are basically using rookie QB's and both are making plays to win games.  I picked the 49ers to play in the Super Bowl this year and I'm going to stick with that prediction.  I trust the 49ers defense more and I like their offensive weapons better.  

Chicago at Arizona - The Bears need to win this game to secure their playoff spot.  The Bears have looked good at times and looked terrible at times.  The bottom line is that they cannot protect Cutler and even if they make the playoffs they are not going anywhere.  

The Cardinals are a mess and they need to figure out what direction they want to go at QB this offseason.  I think Alex Smith is a perfect fit here.  He will come in and not make mistakes and let their offensive weapons make the big plays.

Bears win.

San Diego at NY Jets - This game is ridiculous.  The Chargers have fallen apart and Norv Turner is finally going to out of town.  The Chargers need a lot of help on offense to give Rivers a chance to succeed.

The Jets continue to make headlines and lose games.  They finally bench Sanchez and decided not to go with Tebow.  How can they bring Tebow in and not give him a chance to play.  They have nothing to play for, why not let him start.  If he doesn't play well then the Tebow talk goes away and they can start Greg next week.  This decision doesn't make any sense but nothing they've done this year makes sense.  We'll see what happens this week.

Chargers win.

We're closing in on the playoffs and teams are locking up spots.  Some of us wont have our favorite teams to watch anymore and we'll have to start planning for the draft.  


Scott King

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