With 32 games left, MDS has clinched the No. 1 seed and I’ve clinched the No. 2 seed. In a two-team league.
Last week, I went 10-6 in our picks; MDS went 12-4. For the year, MDS is now 149-75. I’m at 136-88.
This week, we disagree on three games. For all picks, scroll away.
Texans at Buccaneers
MDS’s take: The Buccaneers have nothing to play for, as they’re mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. The Texans have everything to play for, as they clinch the AFC South with a win. And yet I think the Bucs are playing better football right now and will pull the upset.
MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 24, Texans 17.
Florio’s take: Texans are ridiculously inconsistent this season, but with the playoffs in sight they can’t afford to stumble against a team they should beat, especially with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin out.
Florio’s pick: Texans 31, Buccaneers 24.
Bills at Patriots
MDS’s take: The Patriots are slouching toward the postseason, but they’ll shut down the Bills’ offense and win this one.
MDS’s pick: Patriots 13, Bills 10.
Florio’s take: At some point, the Bills will unleash Josh Allen as a runner. It likely won’t be this week, and that means the Patriots will be able to complete the sweep.
Florio’s pick: Patriots 17, Bills 10.
Rams at 49ers
MDS’s take: Although the Rams are technically still alive in the playoff race, they’re all but out of it. The 49ers are still real Super Bowl contenders, and they’ll show it.
MDS’s pick: 49ers 30, Rams 20.
Florio’s take: The Rams can beat anyone when firing on all cylinders. The 49ers desperately need to avoid a potential 1-4 finish after starting 10-1. Kyle Shanahan should be able to get his guys pointed in the right direction, even though it could go either way.
Florio’s pick: 49ers 24, Rams 17.
Giants at Washington
MDS’s take: Does anyone really care about this one? Both teams’ fan bases are fed up with the way this season is going. I’ll say Washington pulls out a win.
MDS’s pick: Washington 10, Giants 7.
Florio’s take: Eli Manning’s farewell win is likely Pat Shurmur’s farewell win, too.
Florio’s pick: Washington 23, Giants 20.
Saints at Titans
MDS’s take: I’m awfully tempted to pick the Titans here, but the Saints just looked too good on Monday night. The Titans will miss a late field goal to lose a high-scoring, exciting game.
MDS’s pick: Saints 35, Titans 34.
Florio’s take: The Titans have their backs against the wall, and that magical night against the Colts may not translate to an open-air game in Nashville against a team that will be, based on Mike Vrabel’s press conferences this week, extra salty.
Florio’s pick: Titans 24, Saints 21.
Steelers at Jets
MDS’s take: Even if they fall short of the playoffs, the Steelers deserve an enormous amount of credit for making it this far into the season, given the terrible spate of injuries they’ve had. They’ll beat a Jets team with nothing to play for.
MDS’s pick: Steelers 20, Jets 17.
Florio’s take: Le’Veon Bell finally gets a crack at his old team, but it may not be enough to keep a playoff contender from keeping its run on track.
Florio’s pick: Steelers 23, Jets 17.
Bengals at Dolphins
MDS’s take: In a big one for draft watchers, the Dolphins will show they care more than the Bengals do.
MDS’s pick: Dolphins 24, Bengals 10.
Florio’s take: Ryan Fitzpatrick faces another one of his former teams. Which pretty much happens every week at this stage of Fitzpatrick’s career.
Florio’s pick: Dolphins 21, Bengals 17.
Panthers at Colts
MDS’s take: Will Grier is likely to have a tough time in his first NFL start.
MDS’s pick: Colts 20, Panthers 10.
Florio’s take: Will Grier gets an introduction into the difference between NFL and Big 12 defenses.
Florio’s pick: Colts 27, Panthers 17.
Ravens at Browns
MDS’s take: It’s hard to believe the Browns blew out the Ravens in Baltimore. That was a long time ago, and it won’t happen again.
MDS’s pick: Ravens 28, Browns 14.
Florio’s take: Somehow, the Browns beat the Ravens in Week Four. The Ravens won’t let history repeat itself.
Florio’s pick: Ravens 34, Browns 20.
Jaguars at Falcons
MDS’s take: Both of these teams had come-from-behind wins in the Bay Area last weekend, showing they’re both still playing hard despite being out of contention. I think the Falcons will play harder in this one.
MDS’s pick: Falcons 27, Jaguars 17.
Florio’s take: Dan Quinn continues to make a good case for keeping his job.
Florio’s pick: Falcons 27, Jaguars 24.
Raiders at Chargers
MDS’s take: It’s actually a little hard to believe now that only a few weeks ago the Raiders were still in playoff contention. They sure don’t look like contenders now. The Chargers aren’t contenders either, but they’re a better team than their record suggests.
MDS’s pick: Chargers 30, Raiders 14.
Florio’s take: It’s Philip Rivers’ last home game with the Chargers and the last game in a 27,000-seat soccer stadium. While plenty of Raiders fans will make it into the mini-Black Hole, the Chargers go out on a high note.
Florio’s pick: Chargers 30, Raiders 20.
Lions at Broncos
MDS’s take: Neither team is going anywhere, both are down to their third quarterbacks of the season, but the Broncos are playing harder.
MDS’s pick: Broncos 28, Lions 17.
Florio’s take: The Broncos are doing whatever they can to get things on track for 2020, with a quarterback around whom they can finally build.
Florio’s pick: Broncos 27, Lions 13.
Cardinals at Seahawks
MDS’s take: The Seahawks are heading for a Week 17 showdown with the 49ers, and they won’t let the Cardinals get in their way.
MDS’s pick: Seahawks 34, Cardinals 20.
Florio’s take: The table is set for the Seahawks to nail down the No. 1 or No. 2 seed; they simply need to win their last two games, both at home.
Florio’s pick: Seahawks 31, Cardinals 17.
Cowboys at Eagles
MDS’s take: The Cowboys are the best team in the NFC East, not that that’s saying much. They’ll win in Philadelphia, rest their starters in Week 17, and get ready to host a playoff game.
MDS’s pick: Cowboys 28, Eagles 20.
Florio’s take: Head says Cowboys, heart says Eagles — especially after the way the Eagles performed down the stretch in 2017 and 2018 when seemingly overmatched.
Florio’s pick: Eagles 24, Cowboys 20.
Chiefs at Bears
MDS’s take: The Chiefs have already wrapped up the AFC West but are still playing to earn a first-round playoff bye. The Bears are out of the playoffs.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 27, Bears 17.
Florio’s take: Andy Reid knows how to coach against his former assistants, and Matt Nagy is the latest branch of the Reid coaching tree who is about to get spanked.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 28, Bears 13.
Packers at Vikings
MDS’s take: This game actually isn’t quite as big as some are making it out to be, as the Packers will remain the NFC North favorites even with a loss: Green Bay only needs to beat the Lions in Week 17 to win the division. Nonetheless, both teams will be playing like it matters, and I think the Vikings are the better team, even if the Packers have the better record.
MDS’s pick: Vikings 24, Packers 20.
Florio’s take: Can Kirk Cousins finally get his second career Monday night win? If he can’t, he can’t forget about getting a playoff win. He possibly can forget about even getting to the playoffs.
Florio’s pick: Vikings 27, Packers 20.