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For Some NFL Teams, Dark Days

Mill Woods

Posted on December 22, 2021 18:47

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It was unprecedented parity that kept 27 of the 32 teams in the swim of things through early December — and fans around the country were euphoric. But by New Year’s Day, there will be some mud in Joyville. As the days grow shorter, darker and colder, about half these teams will sink, despite the NFL's newly-expanded playoff fleet.

This Thursday, we may witness a football metaphor of 'ships passing in the night' as the listing Titans face the smooth-sailing 49ers. The Titans — once the likely #1 seed in the AFC — are done talking about the top seed and are now trying desperately just to hold off the Colts in their division.
 
The Browns, who were a favorite to win the AFC North — but have been hitting the rocks lately — must visit the Packers, who have the wind at their backs as they eagerly hold on to the #1 seed in the NFC.
 
The Cardinals, once proudly hoisting their flag as the best in the league, are now being swamped in the NFC West by the Rams. Arizona’s most recent shoot-down, at the hands of the lowly Lions, could be a very bad omen: they may not have the cannons to sink the Colts this weekend. Meanwhile, the Rams are at full sail and now eyeing a win over the Vikings to lock down their division lead. The hearty Vikings, For their part, badly need a big victory at sea just to keep up with the many ships tacking for the NFC’s three wild cards.
 
In that other super-swift division, the AFC West, the Broncos and Raiders both need to shore up their chances against the Chargers and Chiefs. The Chargers should easily top the turpid Texans, and the Chiefs (#1 in the AFC) have to feel good about their race with the Steelers — who are at least treading water lately.  
 
Two strong wild card candidates — the Dolphins and Saints — close out the weekend with an inter-conference shootout down in bayou country.
 
Last week, I hoisted my own flag — a very good 12-4 outing. Here are all the Week 16 races and my picks.
 
NFL 2021 Week 16                                     My Picks
 
1.     49ers at Titans                         49ers
2.     Browns at Packers                   Packers
3.     Colts at Cardinals                     Colts
4.     Lions at Falcons                       Falcons
5.     Rams at Vikings                        Rams
6.     Jaguars at Jets                         Jets
7.     Giants at Eagles                       Eagles
8.     Bills at Patriots                         Bills
9.     Ravens at Bengals                    Bengals
10.  Chargers at Texans                   Chargers
11.  Buccaneers at Panthers             Buccaneers
12.  Bears at Seahawks                   Seahawks
13.  Broncos at Raiders                    Raiders
14.  Steelers at Chiefs                     Chiefs
15.  Washington at Cowboys            Cowboys
16.  Dolphins at Saints                     Saints
 
As we weather the darkest days of the year, let’s stay healthy, watch some football, and hope the skies brighten up from here.

Mill Woods

Posted on December 22, 2021 18:47

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