3 weeks left. Not enough for MDS to catch me.
But he’s trying.
There were three disagreements at week 15, but MDS was correct in two of them. He got the game and cut his margin to 10.
1 year. I’m 145-77-1. MDS is 135-87-1.
Only two games are different this week. Scroll, scroll, scroll for every pick.
Jaguar at Jets (+1.5)
MDS view: This looked like a terrible Thursday night game when the schedule was released. I think the Jaguars won the matchup between the top two picks in last year’s draft, with Trevor Lawrence beating Zach Wilson.
MDS selection: Jaguar 24, Jets 17.
Florio’s view: The Jaguars haven’t won three in a row since December 2017. That season nearly ended with a Super Bowl berth for the first time in team history. This year, they may return to the playoffs for the first time since. Still, the Jets need a little more of this.
Florio’s Choice: Jet 20, Jaguar 17.
Bills (-9) Bears
MDS view: Justin Fields makes some big plays with his feet to keep the Bears competitive, while Josh Allen plays with both arms and feet to beat the Bills.
MDS selection: Bills 27, Bears 20.
Florio’s view: The weather can make Chicago interesting, but Josh Allen can sling in any situation. Still, given the conditions, nine points is too much to give. And given Justin Fields’ abilities, he can draw circles around anyone and everyone.
Florio’s Choice: Bills 30, Bears 24.
Browns Saints (+2.5)
MDS view: The Saints aren’t really out of the playoff picture in a terrible NFC South, but after a loss to the Browns.
MDS selection: Browns 24, Saints 20.
Florio’s view: The Browns are improving. It may be too late in 2022, but it could work well in 2023.
Florio’s Choice: Browns 20, Saints 17.
Texans at Titans (+3)
MDS view: The Titans are on a slouch for the AFC South title and will win an ugly game against the worst team in the league.
MDS selection: Titans 17, Texans 10.
Florio’s view: The Texans have been playing well lately, but the Titans must be desperate enough to find a way to get their long-awaited win against a team with only one win.
Florio’s Choice: Titans 20, Texans 16.
Seahawks at Chiefs (+10)
MDS view: The Seahawks and Gino Smith had a great story early in the season, but the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes will take a big hit on their waning playoff hopes.
MDS selection: Chiefs 34, Seahawks 21.
Florio’s view: This is yet another AFC West reunion and the teams that own the AFC West should remind Seattle why they should be happy when they leave.
Florio’s Choice: Chiefs 30, Seahawks 21.
Giants at Vikings (+4)
MDS view: This could be a playoff preview as these teams could meet again in the wildcard round. I think the Vikings won and maintain a sliver of hope for a first round bye.
MDS selection: Vikings 17, Giants 14.
Florio’s view: When the Vikings pulled off an exhausting and emotional victory at the end they fell apart the following week. It’s time to change to
Florio’s Choice: Vikings 27, Giants 24.
Bengals (-3) Patriots
MDS view: The Patriots are in control of their playoff destiny, they just need to win to get a wild card. But that will no longer be the case after Sunday’s loss to the Bengals.
MDS selection: Bengals 28 Patriots 27.
Florio’s view: Ding Dong, the witch is dead.
Florio’s Choice: Bengals 30 Patriots 23.
Lions at Panthers (-2.5)
MDS view: The Lions are moving up the standings after a 1-6 start. Win in Carolina and establish yourself as a real threat in the NFC playoffs.
MDS selection: Lions 20, Panthers 14.
Florio’s view: In a big cat fight, Lions roar past .500.
Florio’s Choice: Lions 23, Panthers 20.
Falcon (+7) at the Ravens
MDS view: The Ravens are off to a good start and are struggling, but I think they could be a dangerous team if they make it to the playoffs. They handle business from home against the Falcons.
MDS selection: Ravens 16, Falcon 10.
Florio’s view: Falcon is still alive, but not very long. The Ravens need to stay in the game against the Bengals to make Week 18 his AFC North Championship Game.
Florio’s Choice: Ravens 21, Falcons 10.
Commanders (+7) 49ers
MDS view: The 49ers may have been playing some of the best football in the NFL over the past two months. They should trample the struggling commanders.
MDS selection: 49ers 27, Commanders 13.
Florio’s view: The 49ers have the second seed. Commanders are on the verge of missing the playoffs.
Florio’s Choice: 49ers 24, Commanders 10.
Cowboys Eagles (+5)
MDS view: I was going to pick the Cowboys before the news of Jalen Hurts’ injury broke, so now I’m definitely picking the Cowboys.
MDS selection: Cowboys 28, Eagles 21.
Florio’s view: Gardner Minshew is good enough to promote the Eagles if he’s not playing for a team like the Cowboys.
Florio’s Choice: Cowboys 24, Eagles 20.
Steelers Raiders (+2.5)
MDS view: The NFL had hoped these two teams would be playoff contenders for the Christmas Eve Immaculate Reception Anniversary Game, but it settles for the Steelers to win a low-scoring playoff long-shot battle.
MDS selection: Steelers 17, Raiders 14.
Florio’s view: The Steelers dig deep to properly honor the memory of Franco Harris.
Florio’s Choice: Steelers 24, Raiders 17.
Dolphins Packer (+4)
MDS view: Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense have been going strong in recent weeks, but it’s too late.
MDS selection: Dolphins 31, Packers 28.
Florio’s view: The Packers have a two-game winning streak, but have never actually faced a team with playoff potential. They go to Miami on Sunday. And Green Bay’s chances of a playoff diminish.
Florio’s Choice: Dolphins 34, Packers 27.
Broncos at Rams (-2.5)
MDS view: The NFL expected this to be their Christmas marquee game. Instead, it’s probably the worst game of the week.
MDS selection: Broncos 12, Rams 9.
Florio’s view: A year after losing on Christmas, Baker Mayfield broke the December 25th record. It’s a match you can only see on TV.
Florio’s Choice: Rams 24, Broncos 20.
Cardinals Buccaneers (-7.5)
MDS view: Tom Brady and the Buccaneers aren’t playing well, but they’ll play enough to beat the Cardinals and keep moving forward to the playoffs in the abysmal NFC South.
MDS selection: Buccaneers 17, Cardinals 7.
Florio’s view: Get coal for mischief. If you are really naughty you must see this game.
Florio’s Choice: Buccaneers 20, Cardinals 10.
Colts Charger (-4.5)
MDS view: With the Chargers in the wild card race, there’s no excuse for losing to the Colts on Jeff Saturday. Charger handles business.
MDS selection: Chargers 30, Colts 20.
Florio’s view: Nick Foles got a chance to help Jeff Saturday secure a job.
Florio’s Choice: Chargers 28, Colts 21.