It’s probably over. OK, it’s over.
With five weeks to go, MDS has built a 10-game cushion. It’s going to be very hard for me to catch, especially if (as this week) we’re only going to disagree on one game.
I was 9-5 last week, and MDS went 11-3. For the year, he’s now 118-58. I’m at 108-68.
Bears at Lions
MDS’s take: The Bears are still clinging to remote playoff hopes, while the Lions’ season is spiraling downward. This will be an ugly game to watch before your turkey.
MDS’s pick: Bears 19, Lions 6.
Florio’s take: The Bears scratch and claw toward what would be one of the most unlikely playoff berths in years. They won’t get there, but it’s fun to watch.
Florio’s pick: Bears 20, Lions 10.
Bills at Cowboys
MDS’s take: Jason Garrett needs to bounce back from the loss that made his boss say he got out-coached. I think the Cowboys’ offense will prove too much for the Bills’ defense.
MDS’s pick: Cowboys 28, Bills 20.
Florio’s take: Cowboys coach Jason Garrett seems to be at his best when he is desperate. On Thursday, he is desperate.
Florio’s pick: Cowboys 23, Bills 16.
Saints at Falcons
MDS’s take: Can the Falcon upset the Saints on Thanksgiving night, just as they did in New Orleans a couple weeks ago? I don’t see it happening.
MDS’s pick: Saints 24, Falcons 13.
Florio’s take: The push for a bye, and possibly the top seed, continues with a shot at righting the wrong of an ugly home loss to the Falcons.
Florio’s pick: Saints 38, Falcons 31.
Browns at Steelers
MDS’s take: The winner of this game will be well positioned in the AFC wild card race, which is quite a turnaround given how bad both of these teams have looked at times this season. I think the Steelers made the right move going to Devlin Hodges, and they’ll pull out a win.
MDS’s pick: Steelers 20, Browns 17.
Florio’s take: The Steelers get a little revenge, without banging anyone over the head with their own helmet.
Florio’s pick: Steelers 17, Browns 13.
Packers at Giants
MDS’s take: The Packers looked terrible last week against the 49ers, but a visit to the Giants should be just what the doctor ordered.
MDS’s pick: Packers 30, Giants 17.
Florio’s take: Green Bay should go 4-1 down the stretch, which should be good enough to win the division but not good enough to secure a bye.
Florio’s pick: Packers 27, Giants 10.
Eagles at Dolphins
MDS’s take: The Eagles looked terrible last week against the Seahawks, but a visit to the Dolphins should be just what the doctor ordered.
MDS’s pick: Eagles 28, Dolphins 14.
Florio’s take: If the Eagles lose this one, they can forget about the playoffs.
Florio’s pick: Eagles 24, Dolphins 13.
Buccaneers at Jaguars
MDS’s take: Jameis Winston is always a sure thing to throw a couple great passes and a couple terrible passes, and the key to the game is what he does on all his other plays. I think he’ll do enough to outscore a struggling Jaguars offense.
MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 28, Jaguars 21.
Florio’s take: The Battle for Florida will definitely not result in any sort of trophy, but it could be an exciting game between teams currently moving in different directions.
Florio’s pick: Jaguars 34, Buccaneers 31.
Titans at Colts
MDS’s take: The AFC South is still a three-team race, but the loser of this game is in a world of hurt. I think this is the game when Ryan Tannehill comes back to earth and the Colts win a low-scoring affair.
MDS’s pick: Colts 14, Titans 13.
Florio’s take: The loser of this one will have a hard time making it to January, and the Colts are too good to be in that position on Thanksgiving weekend.
Florio’s pick: Colts 21, Titans 20.
Jets at Bengals
MDS’s take: With Andy Dalton back under center, the Bengals earning their first win of the season wouldn’t shock me, but instead I think they’re going to fall just short.
MDS’s pick: Jets 21, Bengals 20.
Florio’s take: It may be too late for the Jets, especially with the Ravens looming in two weeks. But it’s fun to watch.
Florio’s pick: Jets 30, Bengals 17.
Washington at Panthers
MDS’s take: No two-game winning streak is on order for Washington, which has an offense that can barely move the ball.
MDS’s pick: Panthers 20, Washington 9.
Florio’s take: Ron Rivera may not make if to Week 17 if he loses this one.
Florio’s pick: Panthers 27, Washington 13.
49ers at Ravens
MDS’s take: An outstanding game between the Ravens’ historic offense and the 49ers’ stout defense. I like Lamar Jackson to make enough plays with his feet to win a close one.
MDS’s pick: Ravens 24, 49ers 20.
Florio’s take: Game of the year? Game of the year.
Florio’s pick: Ravens 24, 49ers 21.
Rams at Cardinals
MDS’s take: The Rams are down to their last chance to turn this season around, and I think they’ll get the win they need in Arizona.
MDS’s pick: Rams 22, Cardinals 17.
Florio’s take: A get-right game for the Rams, even though things probably won’t stay that way.
Florio’s pick: Rams 31, Cardinals 27.
Chargers at Broncos
MDS’s take: Both of these teams are out of the AFC West race, but I think the Chargers will be a little more competitive down the stretch.
MDS’s pick: Chargers 17, Broncos 14.
Florio’s take: The Chargers have begun to emotionally detach from Philip Rivers, and it will affect them just enough to give the Broncos an opening to win.
Florio’s pick: Broncos 20, Chargers 17.
Raiders at Chiefs
MDS’s take: It’s not too late for the Raiders to make a push to win the AFC West, but it will be if they lose on Sunday, and that’s what I’m expecting them to do.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 30, Raiders 17.
Florio’s take: When Andy Reid has extra time to get ready, that’s very good for his team and bad for the other one.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 31, Raiders 21.
Patriots at Texans
MDS’s take: Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore is leading one of the best pass defenses we’ve ever seen in the NFL, and Deshaun Watson is going to struggle against them.
MDS’s pick: Patriots 24, Texans 13.
Florio’s take: The Patriots know they have no margin for error, not with the Ravens still hot on their heels. Meanwhile, Bill O’Brien has never beaten Bill Belichick.
Florio’s pick: Patriots 21, Texans 17.
Vikings at Seahawks
MDS’s take: This is a very important game to the NFC playoff race, and I think a hostile atmosphere in Seattle is going to be too much for the Vikings.
MDS’s pick: Seahawks 24, Vikings 17.
Florio’s take: That win over the Cowboys hardly means that the Vikings have exorcised their prime-time demons.
Florio’s pick: Seahawks 24, Vikings 20.