Can you believe it? We are already in week 17 of the NFL season and the new year is right around the corner. The smell of playoff football is in the air; who will be peaking at the right time to make it to the Super Bowl?
I will commend the NFL on doing the scheduling changes a few years ago, I love watching meaningful games in the last week of the season. Dallas v Washington for the division?! Two years in a row Cowboy fans. Is this year going to be different?
For fantasy reasons, I love watching players play meaningful games in week 15, 16 & 17 because it allows me to win my fantasy football league. Won 1 of 4 – not bad. Pay me Long Island Sound!
From the Cover 4 to our readers, thank you for following along this season; it has had its ups and downs and plenty of changes to meet the demands of our fans but we have enjoyed every minute of it.
THE COVER 4: PHI, CHI, GB, WAS
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New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills (-3)
Jesse – NYJ – Both teams are terrible, so I’ll take the points.
Long Island Sound – NYJ – Sanchez will provide a good performance versus a below average defense to prove his worth.
Plumb – NYJ – With McElroy out and Sanchez back, this may be Sanchez’s last time to prove he can play in the big leagues.
James – NYJ – Mark Sanchez is going to play the best game of his life…… maybe?
Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots (-10)
Jesse – MIA – I expect Miami to play New England tough and cover the 10 points.
Long Island Sound – NE – Hate big lines, but Miami going to NE never works out well for them.
Plumb – MIA – Well last time around New England overlooked Miami and division games are always tough to win, let alone cover. Dolphins make one last push to cap off a decent season.
James – NE – I like Coach Billy in this matchup; coach always wants to send a message.
Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals (-2½)
Jesse – BAL – Baltimore destroyed the Bengals back in their Week 1 meeting, and they should be playing for playoff momentum after their drudging of the Giants last week. Baltimore’s the better team & getting points.
Long Island Sound – CIN – Baltimore is a pretender that faced a Giants team that has been rolling over for the last 2 weeks.
Plumb – CIN – After coming off impressive wins and clinching playoff berths, Cincy is the only team in this matchup that has something to play for.
James – BAL – Maybe its my perception, and familiarity, with the AFC North but I know that when it matters Baltimore will beat the Bungals. I like AJ Green a lot but I think the Ravens cover in this one.
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers (No Line)
Jesse – PIT – Pittsburgh is out of the playoff hunt, but I don’t expect Tomlin’s team to quit. They should cover whatever number the casinos put up with Cleveland starting Thaddeus Lewis (who?) at QB & Montario Hardesty at RB.
Long Island Sound – PIT – Cleveland’s 3rd string QB versus a disgruntled Mike Tomlin.
Plumb – PIT – Tomlin will have the team ready for this week after last week disappointing loss. Expect Steelers blowout.
James – PIT – Steelers rarely lose to the Browns; it won’t happen twice in one year….
Houston Texans (-7) @ Indianapolis Colts
Jesse – HOU – Houston NEEDS this win to lock up #1 in the AFC while Indy is locked into the 5th-seed no matter what. On top of that, Houston was flat-out embarrassed by the Vikings at home last week. If they want to prove to the nation that they’re a true contender, it starts this Sunday.
Long Island Sound – IND – Andrew Luck at home.
Plumb – IND – Both are jocking for seeding but Indy is tough at home and getting points makes it even more enticing. The Colts have Luck on their side.
James – HOU – I like Indy but I think Houston takes care of business this week and gets things rolling into the playoffs. If Houston doesn’t cover, it will be because the Colts get a garbage td or two.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans (-4½)
Jesse – JAC – Jacksonville showed life last week vs. Patriots, while Tennessee wet the bed at Green Bay. I refuse to lay more than 4 points with this Tennessee squad after last week’s performance.
Long Island Sound – JAC – Henne has this team playing hard.
Plumb – JAC – Well the worst game on the schedule this week and someone’s gotta win. I’ll take the points just because Henne is showing he can still play and will be fighting for a job next season.
James – JAC – Toilet Bowl of Week 17.
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants (-7½)
Jesse – PHI – One of Philly’s 4 wins this season was against these NY Giants and came with Vick at the helm & McCoy in the backfield. Well, they’re back & there’s no reason they can’t keep this game close and cover the TD+ or even perhaps win.
Long Island Sound – PHI – Giants at home against a divisional opponent. Vick gives the Giants trouble.
Plumb – PHI – After Philly lost Nick Foles last week to injury, Vick is back which means two things: unpredictability and dog fighting (j/k PETA). Tough division matchup and the ½ is always a favorites kryptonite. This is a dog’s game (Corny Mike Vick humor). Eagles cover and Vick proves he is still a starter in the League.
James – PHI – This game scares me because the Giants are so unpredictable. I think Vick comes out and takes care of business in his last game in Phili.
Chicago Bears (-3) @ Detroit Lions
Jesse – CHI – Chicago needs this win +MINN loss to make the playoffs as the 6th-seed, so they’ll be ready for this contest. Pro-bowl CB Tim Jennings (shoulder) should be back & RB Forte (ankle) is optimistic about playing while Detroit is reeling having lost 7-straight.
Long Island Sound – CHI – Cutler and Marshall are in a groove that will not be stopped by the Lions D.
Plumb – CHI – Tough defense, must win game, and Brandon Marshall. Too many factors against the home team in this one.
James – CHI – MUST WIN. Time to put up or shut up Chicago.
Green Bay Packers (-3) @ Minnesota Vikings
Jesse – GB – Green Bay is ready for their playoff run & earning a 1st round bye would bode well for them. Since starting the season 2-3, Packers have only lost 1 game. They’ll get Minnesota’s best efforts, but they won’t be enough. Green Bay will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Long Island Sound – GB – Finally healthy and Rodgers is back to his unreal form.
Plumb – GB – A very important game for both teams in this matchup. Minnesota fighting for the last playoff berth alongside AP attempting to break the single season rushing record, and Green Bay attempting to clinch a first round bye with a W. Expect this to be a hard nose and close game. Deciding factor: Aaron Rodgers dominant play in domes.
James – GB – I really hope AP can break this record but my PRESEASON Super Bowl pick is looking pretty good right now. I think Rodgers gives the Viking defense his discount double check.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons (No Line)
Jesse – TB – There’s no line on this game because Atlanta might rest their starters. They’ve locked up home-field in the NFC and have no reason to play for anything. I’ll take Tampa, especially if they’re getting points.
Long Island Sound – ATL – Ryan and the Falcons at home. Don’t believe they will sit starts much based on previous playoff woes.
Plumb – ATL – Atlanta is tough at home as they are undefeated in the Georgia Dome.
James – ATL – I don’t care if Chris Chandler is going to be playing quarterback this week, I can’t take the shaky and free-falling Buccs. ATL will play its players for the majority of this one as they aren’t going to rest for two weeks.
Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints (-5)
Jesse – CAR (ML +205) – I personally think these two teams are relatively even. Carolina’s actually been playing better of late –winners of 3-straight — so I’m getting value with the Panthers, as the spread should be NO -3. Carolina will win this game outright saving Ron Rivera’s job.
Long Island Sound – NO – Should be a shoot-out, but Brees should cover here.
Plumb – CAR – Panthers defense > Saints defense. Plus Carolina has won 3 straight.
James – CAR – Carolina may not get the W but they cover in this one.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos (-16)
Jesse – KC – I cannot get myself to lay 16 points, even if it’s with the perceived “best team in the NFL.”
Long Island Sound – KC – Too big of a spread.
Plumb – KC – Wow this spread is high. I expect Peyton and Co. to play till halftime and call it a day. If this happens, expect KC to capitalize.
James – KC – I know the Chiefs are bad, and I mean bad. I realize the Broncos are really good. I just don’t wanna put 16 on this game. I’ll stay conservative and take KC.
Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers (No Line)
Jesse – SD – Oakland has quit. Before beating KC two weeks ago, Oakland was losers of 6-straight. They didn’t score a single TD in their 15-0 win over KC in that aforementioned meeting & failed to score a TD last week vs. Panthers. To add insult to injury, Terrelle Pryor will be starting for the injured Palmer (ribs).
Long Island Sound – SD – Just a bad game with a bad team and a very undisciplined team. I’ll take the potential versus the bad.
Plumb – SD – Are you putting your hard earned money on the Oakland Raiders? Yeah, neither am I because I can’t trust them.
James – SD – Norv Turner and AJ Smith get a W in their last game with the organization; Turner has already said he is okay with being an OC again after this year. Smell Yah.
Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers (-16½)
Jesse – SF – Ok, I lied; I will lay -16 in certain situations. Maybe this is me betting with my heart; maybe not. This season following a loss or tie, the 49ers have beaten their opponents by a combined score of 106-26.
Long Island Sound – ARI – Not taking that line in the NFL out of principle.
Plumb – ARI – This is probably the hardest game to pick this week. On one hand you have the Niners who must win to clinch the division as well as a potential second seed in the conference. My only question is how hard are they going to play the Cards without risking injury? Then you have the Cards who may or may not show up at home let alone score a point. The gut wants the Niners but the numbers say Cards.
James – ARI – 16+? What? Luckily its week 17 and this will be the first, and last, time I think the Cardinals will do something good.
St. Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks (-10½)
Jesse – SEA – If Seattle wins this game and 49ers somehow slip up and lose vs. Cardinals, then Seattle wins the NFC West and the #3 seed in the NFC. They have everything to play for, and are playing extremely well especially down in the trenches.
Long Island Sound – STL – This team finds ways to cover.
Plumb – SEA – I made this mistake last week and it burned me. SEAHAWKS AT HOME = WIN.
James – SEA – I don’t think I can go any other way with the way this team has been playing.
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins (-3)
Jesse – WAS – Stop me when you’ve heard this before: Dallas in a must-win? I’ll take the other side.
Long Island Sound – WAS – Washington looking to capture a division title will be ready to play.
Plumb – WAS – Dallas Cowboys! Big Games! Tony Romo fumbling meaningful snaps! Means one thing: Choke artists. Skins win and take the Division.
James – WAS – Maybe this is the year the Cowboys finally win a meaningful game at the end of the season? Naw, I’m going RGIII.
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Chief Sports Activist for The Cover 4