Content Motionmakers 12/30/2012
Man in Dailymotion: NFL Week 17 Must-Watch Games
Last week, I went 2-2 with my predictions. I never thought the Giants would lay down back-to-back turds like they did and Houston appears to be hobbling down the stretch. But of all the outcomes from Week 16, I’d say the big story was the Seattle Seahawks. It doen’s look like they’ll win the West (unless Arizona shocks the world vs. SF), which means they’ll play the first round on the road – where they’re not quite as potent. I still wouldn’t want to face them.
The only certainty in the NFC playoff hunt is that Atlanta will be the #1 seed. The rest of the slots are still up in the air. The Skins-Cowboys victor will win the NFC East. If Washington loses, they still have a chance to seal the #6. If Dallas loses, they’re out and either Chicago, Minnesota, or New York could clinch the sixth spot. Of those three, the Giants have the least likely shot, needing a win and the other two to lose (following the Dallas loss).
Meanwhile in the AFC, the playoff picture is a lot clearer. The spots are for the most part sewn up. If the Texans win over the Colts, they get homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. If they lose – which is not that much of a stretch – Denver could be in prime position to snatch homefield. They play the Chiefs – who despite being 2-13 sent more players to the Pro Bowl than the 13-2 Falcons. If both Houston and Denver lose, the Pats could steal away the #1 seed.
So, with all that out of the way I’m breaking down the most important games this week with some ‘visual aid’ of each host city’s tailgate scene thanks to Tailgate 32 (a docu series following 2 brothers as they tour the country in a 42-foot RV on a 25,000-mile nonstop trek). I excluded SF vs. AZ and Seattle vs. St. Louis because there’s not a shot in hell the Niners lose to the Cards, which makes the Seattle game irrelevant. Likewise, I’m not including the Broncos-Chiefs contest – sue me.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 30TH, 2012
1pm ET – Chicago Bears (9-6) at Detroit Lions (4-11) on FOX
CHICAGO - What a tailspin for da Bears. They started off 7-1 and proceeded to go 2-5 with losses to the Texans, Niners, Seahawks, Vikings, and Packers. That’s not exactly a cake walk. Injuries also hampered Chicago’s chances with Cutler and Forte out for big chunks of time. They need a win (which would eliminate the Giants) and a Vikings loss to get in. With Forte still banged up (he practiced Thursday and is likely to suit up), their offense will probably revolve around Brandon Marshall. If Detroit’s suspect secondary can limit his touches, they might have a shot at the upset.
DETROIT – By any measurement, Detroit’s 2012 campaign has been a major disappointment; a definitive step back from last year’s playoff appearance. Calvin Johnson broke Jerry Rice’s record, but other than that it seems their D can’t keep them in games. The Lions can throw the skin off the ball – ranking #2 in the league – but can’t run worth a Van Damme. Luckily, they’ll be in the pass-happy dome as opposed to the brutal elements of Soldier Field.
PREDICTION: DET – 37, CHI – 34
1pm ET – Houston Texans (12-3) at Indianapolis Colts (10-5) on CBS
HOUSTON - Up until a couple weeks ago, it looked like the Texans were a lock to have the AFC Championship come through Houston. Now, they have to beat the ChuckStrong Colts to seal the deal. Last week, newly vegan workhorse Arian Foster had to sit out most of the game against Minnesota due to an irregular heartbeat. One wonders if that will come back to bite him this week. Houston’s D should stonewall the Colts lackluster running attack, but they need to get off the field after third downs – Indy’s converting at around 41%.
INDY – A lot of people thought this would be the first year of a lengthy rebuilding period, but the upstart Colts have gutted out 10 wins with an interim head coach and the motivation and inspiration of Chuck Pagano’s battle with cancer. He beat it and will be back on the sidelines. Indy’s dome is not known for getting too loud, but the team and the fans should be sufficiently fired up to spoil Houston’s homefield bid. Bottle up Foster and double Andre Johnson and they could steal the W.
PREDICTION: IND – 27, HOU – 23
4:25pm ET – Green Bay Packers (11-4) at Minnesota Vikings (9-6) on FOX
GREEN BAY - On paper the Packers offense crushes Minnesota’s in every statistical category except the one that has single-handedly kept Minnesota alive in the playoff race – rushing yards per game. The defenses are pretty evenly matched, but if Green Bay stacks the box against AP, they should be able to pick apart Christian Ponder, who has one of the worst QB ratings in the league. Green Bay clinches the #2 spot (a crucial first round bye) if they win. Randall Cobb looks like he might be out, but they could get Jordy Nelson back. I’m sure they’d prefer this matchup to be on the frozen tundra, but Aaron Rodgers absolutely surfs on turf.
MINNESOTA – Well, no one really thought the Vikes would be in the hunt, but thanks to Adrian Peterson’s career year, they get in with a win (or Bears, Cowboys, and Giants losses). “All Day” is about 200 yards short of Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record, so I’m sure he’ll get his share of carries, but if I’m Minny’s O-Coordinator, I come out throwing play-action like a fiend.
PREDICTION: GB – 38, MIN – 24
8:20pm ET – Dallas Cowboys (8-7) at Washington Redskins (9-6) on NBC
DALLAS – This is the third time Tony Romo has played a playoff-deciding game in the final week of the season – once in 2008 against the Eagles and once last year against the Giants. He got murdered in both games getting outscored 75-20 and registering a QBR (ESPN’s rating system) of less than 20. Now take into consideration each of those games was on the road and this week’s contest will be at FedEx Field in Landover and you’ve got a recipe for Big D disaster. Can DeMarco Murray hold on to the ball? Can Dez Bryant continue to burn secondaries? Will Romo come through in the clutch?
WASHINGTON – Anyone remember head coach Mike Shanahan telling the media he’s looking forward to next year after the team got off to a 3-6 start. I didn’t believe him. I thought it was a ploy. In fact, I warned people to not give up on them. As we enter the final week, it looks as if the ‘Skins will take the NFC East crown with a win over Dallas, after rattling off a 6 straight victories. RG3 claims he’s back to 100% health-wise, Alfred Morris continues to impress, and they’ll have arguably the loudest stadium in the league drowning out Tony Romo’s cadence. If they can limit third down conversions, the odds should be in their favor.
PREDICTION: WASH – 26, DAL – 22
PLAYOFF SEED PREDICTIONS:
#1. Broncos (BYE)
#2. Patriots (BYE)
#3. Texans hosting #6. Bengals
#4. Ravens hosting #5. Colts
#1. Falcons (BYE)
#2. Packers (BYE)
#3. 49ers hosting #6. Giants
#4. Redskins hosting #5. Seahawks
WRITTEN BY – Neal, our Editor & Content Manager of Dailymotion’s Spots Channel.
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