This is an incredibly difficult week to predict given that so few teams need a win. The playoff teams will be resting their starters and the non-playoff teams will be missing many of their injured players. It's almost like a preseason week were you're never sure who will be on the field and for how long. Take the week off if you can.
New Orleans at Chicago
This is a rematch of last season's NFC Title game. Chicago was a disappointment this season, but I was wrong when I thought they had quit on their season. The Bears were competitive in their loss in Minnesota and had a huge effort last week against Green Bay.
New Orleans needs to win and hope for both Minnesota and Washington to lose later in the day to secure a Wild Card. Even so, the elements may work against the Saints in what should be very cold and perhaps blustery conditions. Chicago will be playing with no pressure and have the wind and weather conditions in their favor against a domed team heading outside for the first time in more than a month. The defense shined last week against the Packers and the Saints have been inconsistent all season, failing again to capitalize last week at home against Philadelphia. Give me the Bears in a home upset 21-17.
Cincinnati at Miami
Miami will seek to end the season on a positive. They catch the Bengals off of what was an emotionally satisfying yet draining win over arch rival Cleveland last week that took the Browns' playoff chances out of their control. It’s a great spot for a letdown as the Bengals have rarely been able to put together back to back games all season.
Miami will be playing hard to impress their new head honcho of football operations, Parcells who will have a major say in off season personnel matters. Clearly the Dolphins will be trying harder to win an otherwise meaningless game. Miami wins 24-17.
Detroit at Green Bay
The Lions have not won in Wisconsin since 1991. The Packers will be resting their starters and injured players. The Lions are playing to reach .500. I’ll go with the team with something to play for. Give me Detroit 24-21.
Carolina at Tampa Bay
The Buc’s rested their starters last week. Why play them now? Give me Carolina 20-13.