As we head into the last two weeks of the regular season the playoff situation is becoming clearer, but as much as the focus has been on the turnaround of the new teams that are going to make it like the Philadelphia Eagles, the LA Rams and the Jacksonville Jaguars there are a lot of familiar and experienced quarterbacks lurking or in pole position. No one would be surprised if Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady battle it out in the AFC championship game, but in the NFC whilst there are three inexperienced quarterbacks looking like they will win their divisions, the NFC South looks like it could send Drew Brees, Cam Newton, and Matt Ryan into the playoffs. That’s three quarterbacks who don’t just have playoff experience but have been to a Super Bowl and in Brees’ case, won one.
With Carson Wentz’s injury the Eagles are less dominant in the NFC and it certainly feels like any one of the six teams that would go through if the season ends today could get on a run. The AFC is a somewhat murkier, especially given the partially torn calf muscle of Steelers’ receiver Antonio Brown. It is a fool’s game to be predicting what will happen, but it does feel like the NFC teams are stronger this season, but as we witnessed in their game last week, you should count the Patriots out at your peril. Something Dan and I failed to take into account when picking against them, although we both had winning records last week.
Gee: Week 15 11-5 Overall 128-97
Dan: Week 15 9-7 Overall 117-108
Colts @ Ravens (-13.5)
The Indianapolis Colts were competitive for a half last week, but in the end they were thoroughly beaten by the Broncos and this week they travel to face the Ravens in Baltimore who have been playing well of late. The Ravens have also pitched three defensive shutouts this season and I suspect the Colts will struggle to move the ball on them. This is a big line, but the Ravens have won six games by fourteen points or more this season and so I’m going to nervously back them to do it again this week.
Gee’s Pick: Ravens
Dan’s Pick: Colts
Vikings @ Packers (+6.5)
The Minnesota Vikings just keep rolling and with the Green Bay Packers placing Aaron Rodgers back on IR after they were eliminated from the playoffs it is hard to see anything other than a Vikings win in this game. It is a divisional game so it could be more competitive than generally assumed, but Rodgers’ absence has demonstrated how important he is to this team, and I think the Vikings should cover this line.
Gee’s Pick: Vikings
Dan’s Pick: Vikings