I’m still 10 games back, with four weeks left. It’s over.
But it’s not done. We’ll continue to pick the games, and at times we’ll continue to disagree. This week, we disagree on three of the 16 games.
We both went 9-7 last week, which isn’t good. For the year, MDS is now 127-65. I’m at 117-75.
For this week’s picks, keep on scrolling.
Cowboys at Bears
MDS’s take: The Cowboys are a better team than their 6-6 record suggests, and Dak Prescott having a big game in prime time against a good Bears defense may change some perceptions around the league.
MDS’s pick: Cowboys 28, Bears 17.
Florio’s take: The Cowboys are better than 6-6 would suggest, and the Bears are worse than 6-6 would suggest. Which of course means the Bears are going to win, but I still have fairytale faith in the underachievers from Dallas.
Florio’s pick: Cowboys 24, Bears 16.
Colts at Buccaneers
MDS’s take: The Buccaneers are coming on strong, probably too late to make a run to the playoffs, but not too late to create some excitement that Bruce Arians is building something in Tampa.
MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 30, Colts 17.
Florio’s take: The Bucs are rising, the Colts are reeling.
Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 27, Colts 20.
Dolphins at Jets
MDS’s take: With last place in the AFC East on the line, the Jets will show they’re not the worst team in the division.
MDS’s pick: Jets 20, Dolphins 17.
Florio’s take: Adam Gase gets another shot at revenge. It would help to have Jamal Adams.
Florio’s pick: Dolphins 20, Jets 17.
49ers at Saints
MDS’s take: This is a huge game in the NFC playoff race, particularly for the 49ers, who could go either way between earning home-field advantage, or having to play three road games to get to the Super Bowl. I see a painful loss for San Francisco.
MDS’s pick: Saints 21, 49ers 20.
Florio’s take: The 49ers wisely stayed in Florida for the week, and their decision to give up a week at home will increase their chances of staying home for the playoffs.
Florio’s pick: 49ers 27, Saints 23.
Lions at Vikings
MDS’s take: The Vikings will rebound from Monday night’s loss with an easy win over a lousy Lions team.
MDS’s pick: Vikings 30, Lions 14.
Florio’s take: A get-right game for the Vikings against a Lions team that is playing out the string in potential a haze of business decisions.
Florio’s pick: Vikings 31, Lions 13.
Broncos at Texans
MDS’s take: Drew Lock vs. Deshaun Watson. Advantage, Houston.
MDS’s pick: Texans 31, Broncos 13.
Florio’s take: Drew Lock is 1-0 as a starter. He won’t be 1-0 as a starter after Sunday.
Florio’s pick: Texans 27, Broncos 13.
Washington at Packers
MDS’s take: Washington is somehow on a two-game winning streak, but I can’t see any way it goes to three in Green Bay.
MDS’s pick: Packers 28, Washington 12.
Florio’s take: Aaron Rodgers wants Packers fans to drink plenty before kickoff, in order to be loud. Washington fans are used to drinking after kickoff, for entirely different reasons.
Florio’s pick: Packers 35, Washington 17.
Bengals at Browns
MDS’s take: The Browns have had a disappointing season, but they still get to play the Bengals twice more, so a couple more wins are all but certain, starting Sunday in Cleveland.
MDS’s pick: Browns 24, Bengals 7.
Florio’s take: Cleveland officially has entered desperation territory. Even if they run the table, however, it likely won’t be good enough.
Florio’s pick: Browns 31, Bengals 21.
Ravens at Bills
MDS’s take: The Bills could make a huge statement in the AFC playoff race with a win over the Ravens, but I don’t see it happening. Lamar Jackson is just too good for the Bills’ defense to stop.
MDS’s pick: Ravens 27, Bills 13.
Florio’s take: The Ravens currently are operating on a level higher than every other team. And they’ll continue to do unless and until Lamar Jackson suffers an injury.
Florio’s pick: Ravens 23, Bills 17.
Panthers at Falcons
MDS’s take: Neither of these teams is going anywhere, but the Panthers are more likely to go into a full-on collapse after the firing of Ron Rivera.
MDS’s pick: Falcons 21, Panthers 20.
Florio’s take: The Falcons got extra time to get ready, and the Panthers got thrown into disarray five days before kickoff.
Florio’s pick: Falcons 30, Panthers 24.
Chargers at Jaguars
MDS’s take: Going back to Gardner Minshew was the right call for the Jaguars, who should go back to their winning ways after losing every game started by Nick Foles.
MDS’s pick: Jaguars 24, Chargers 21.
Florio’s take: Minshew Mania > Rivers Regret.
Florio’s pick: Jaguars 27, Chargers 21.
Titans at Raiders
MDS’s take: Ryan Tannehill has the Titans heading toward the playoffs, and he’ll help them to another big win in Oakland.
MDS’s pick: Titans 27, Raiders 17.
Florio’s take: The Raiders are down to two games left at the Coliseum, and Derek Carr could be down to four games left with the Raiders.
Florio’s pick: Raiders 23, Titans 20.
Chiefs at Patriots
MDS’s take: The AFC Championship Game rematch will be a lower-scoring game than it was when these teams met in January, but he result will be the same, the Patriots winning a close one.
MDS’s pick: Patriots 20, Chiefs 17.
Florio’s take: Go ahead and write off the Patriots.
Florio’s pick: Patriots 24, Chiefs 20.
Steelers at Cardinals
MDS’s take: The Steelers were once 0-3 and now they’re in playoff contention with an undrafted rookie at quarterback. If Mike Tomlin keeps winning he’s the coach of the year.
MDS’s pick: Steelers 24, Cardinals 21.
Florio’s take: The Steelers keep finding ways to win, which makes them a very dangerous team in January — if they get there.
Florio’s pick: Steelers 21, Cardinals 17.
Seahawks at Rams
MDS’s take: The Rams aren’t going down without a fight, but I just think the Seahawks are too good for them right now, and a loss on Sunday night pretty much ends the Rams’ playoff hopes.
MDS’s pick: Seahawks 24, Rams 17.
Florio’s take: The Seahawks keep finding ways to win prime-time games. The fact that this will be Pete Carroll’s last game at the Coliseum makes it an even bigger deal.
Florio’s pick: Seahawks 27, Rams 24.
Giants at Eagles
MDS’s take: The Eagles laid an egg last week against the Dolphins, and I just can’t see them playing that badly against bad teams two weeks in a row.
MDS’s pick: Eagles 21, Giants 17.
Florio’s take: If the Eagles can’t beat the Giants, the Eagles have no business being in the playoffs. (Then again, if the Eagles can beat the Giants, the Eagles likely have no business being in the playoffs.)
Florio’s pick: Eagles 27, Giants 13.