|(Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)|
Andy Dalton and the Bengals look to join history as their journey to the playoffs continue. Dalton can join a class
of only two other quarterbacks who have led their team's to the playoffs as rookies.
Last Week's Record: 12-4
Overall Record: 171-69
Lions vs. Packers: 28-17 Lions
Since the Packers have already clinched the top seed in the playoffs, they won't play any starters, allowing the Lions to win the game. The Lions are coming off a very impressive win against the Chargers, and will be playoff contenders for the first time in over ten years.
Niners vs. Rams: 20-10 Niners
The Niners still need a win to lockup the second seed in the NFC. They should have no trouble locking up the second seed, since they play the worst team in the NFC, the Rams. The Rams are also competing for the first pick in the 2012 Draft, so a loss can actually help them out.
Jets vs. Dolphins: 24-20 Jets
The Jets will beat the Dolphins, but still won't make the playoffs because of games out of their reach. The Dolphins have had a solid turnaround in the second half of their season, but will finish their season off the way they started it, with a loss.
Bears vs. Vikings: 23-14 Vikings
Even though the Vikings will be without Adrian Peterson, they will still defeat the Bears, who have looked miserable ever since losing Jay Cutler and Matt Forte. Both teams have had disappointing seasons but the Vikings will finish their's off with a win.
Bills vs. Patriots: 30-20 Patriots
The Patriots are still fighting for the top seed in the AFC, and therefore will deliver a harsh blow to the Bills. The Bills, who started off the season red hot at 5-1, will finish their last nine games with a 1-8 record.
Panthers vs. Saints: 35-28 Saints*
The asterisk depends on whether or not the Saints play their starters for the majority of the game. Technically, this game still matters for the Saints, but if they assume the 49'ers will beat the Rams, then they really don't need to try. The Saints will win if they play their starters, but don't be surprised if Cam and Co. beat the Saints and finish the season off with five wins in their last six games.
Redskins vs. Eagles: 28-17 Eagles
This game means absolutely nothing, but the Eagles will win, finish at .500, and barely save Andy Reid's job. The Eagles underperformed this season to say the least, but the Redskins have underperformed for the last five years.
Colts vs. Jaguars: 20-17 Colts
With the MJD Theory in full effect, the Colts will defeat the Jaguars, as Indy's vets will rally behind Manning to avoid drafting Andrew Luck. You can really tell these past few weeks that players like Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney, and Robert Mathis are playing their hearts out for No. 18, who missed the whole season with neck problems.
Titans vs. Texans: 27-13 Titans
As crazy as it sounds, the Titans can still make the playoffs, and Chris Johnson is still capable of rushing for over 1,000 yards in a season. As for Houston, they clinched their first playoff berth in franchise history, but will get blown out since they don't have a starting quarterback. Titans will win, but still won't make the playoffs.
Bucs vs. Falcons: 35-14 Falcons
The Bucs have been awful this season, as this game will serve as a microcosm of their season. The Falcons are coming off a bad loss to the Saints, but have a chance to win 10+ games in consecutive years for the first time in team history. Look for Matty Ice and the Falcons to bounce back, and gain some confidence heading into the playoffs.
Ravens vs. Bengals: 27-20 Bengals
We all know the Ravens are the kings of choking in big games. With the AFC North title, and first round bye on the line, the Ravens will lose, and allow the Bengals to sneak into the playoffs. This means that the Bengals will be the third team in the AFC North to clinch a playoff berth. Andy Dalton will also make history, as he joins Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan as the third quarterback in NFL history to start all 16 games as a rookie and make the playoffs.
Steelers vs. Browns: 24-10 Steelers
The Steelers will beat the Browns, and lock up the AFC North with a win and a Ravens loss. It's as simple as this, the Steelers are one of the best teams in the NFL, while the Browns are one of the worst teams in the NFL.
Chiefs vs. Broncos: 27-20 Chiefs
When Kyle Orton gets revenge on the Broncos, it will be as awesome as Rex Ryan's face when he realizes the Jets won't be in the playoffs. Tebow showed he could win early in the season, but his time is up, as the Broncos will fail to make the playoffs.
Chargers vs. Raiders: 28-20 Raiders
Just win, baby! Maybe this is a stretch, or a tribute to the late Al Davis, but the Raiders will sneak into the playoffs, and make their first playoff appearance in nine years. The Chargers have nothing to play for, while the Raiders can take the next step in their franchise's history.
Seahawks vs. Cardinals: 27-20 Cardinals
Both teams are eliminated from the playoffs, but have had impressive turnarounds this season. Both teams had only two wins through the first nine week's but have rallied back and are both 7-8 going into the last game. It's a toss up but I'll take the Cardinals to win this one, simply because they are at home, and the Seahawks offense is one-dimensional.
Cowboys vs. Giants: 34-24 Giants
Is there a better way to end the regular season than with the Giants and Cowboys fighting for the last playoff spot in the NFC? No. Eli and the gang will win a decisive game at home, and snap their two year playoff hiatus. The Giants will bang up an already hurt Tony Romo, and be the only New York team to represent in the playoffs this year.