It's a weird sensation, not being ready for the regular season to end. I mean it's a yearly occurrence, obviously, but unlike previous years (last year notwithstanding), the end of the regular season does not mean the end of Texans football for the 2012-13 season. So while I'm not looking forward to the sunset of the NFL season, I'm heartened by the fact that regardless of seeding, we will see, after week 17, one more game of Texans football.
And one more win to cap it all off.
I'll leave y'all to do the math on that one.
Let's see what the Oracle has in store for us this week, shall we?
Last Week's Record: 14-2
Record to Date: 143-99-1
On to the final week of picks!
1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills - Dear Western World, Rex Ryan CHOSE to go with Mark Sanchez over Tim Tebow. Even if that is a choice between ebola and H1N1, it should serve (but won't) as a scathing indictment of just how truly awful Tim Tebow is as a quarterback. I guess what I'm trying to say is: STOP TRYING TO MAKE HIM HAPPEN! Pick: Bills
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints - A game for pride and nothing else. Since Cam Newton is simply bursting (bursting!) with pride, I expect New Orleans to win this one. Pick: Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons - There's nothing to be gained from this game on either side. The Bucs are out, the Falcons have the top seed locked up. I fully expect the Falcons to rest their starters going into the playoffs. I also fully expect Greg Schiano to send their top pass rusher into the Falcons sidelines to obliterate Matt Ryan's knee. The Oracle says that Schiano's will say to Mike Smith at the end of the game, "From hell's heart, I stab at thee!" Pick: Buccaneers
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions - Speaking of blatant acts of violence, and not wanting to be left out, Ndamukong Suh will do the same thing against Jay Cutler, except instead of obliterating Cutler's knee, he'll just tear off the leg and beat Cutler to death with it. He will then claim he doesn't remember because he was "amped up for gameday." Screw the Lions. Pick: Bears
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants - The Giants still have a chance at the playoffs. All they need is to win, for Arlington to lose...and Chicago...and Minnesota. Now that I think of it, Eli Manning probably has a really nice television. He'll be watching the playoffs on it, but not because the Giants blow it. They'll play like it means something and beat the lowly Eagles. Pick: Giants
Jacksonville Jaguars at East Arkansas BESFs - This has all the makings of the worst bowl game ever. I mean literally, the worst bowl game. What's that? This is an NFL game? Not college? Huh, color me surprised. I guess that's why Traitors fans got upset with me for calling this the "Dumpster Fire Bowl." Sadly, the Oracle expects the BESFs to be the less awful team. Pick: Don't make me type it.
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (a.k.a. The Only Game That Matters) - For crying out loud, could someone tell Matt Schaub that he has other receivers on the field besides Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels? If the Texans are going to have any chance of doing some damage in the playoffs, he's going to have to realize that DeVier Posey is actually not a bad option from time to time. But then again, what do I know? I'm only a blogger who watches this team constantly. Pick: Texans
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers - Few things give me the joy that watching a Steelers team competing while knowing full well that it's out of the playoffs does. That warms the cockles of my icy heart, I tell you. Unfortunately for the Browns (I wonder how many statements start that way), the eight turnover game from a few weeks ago will be fresh in their minds. Pick: Steelers
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals - This might have been more interesting had the Ravens lost last week. But since Eli Manning decided his TV is more important than the hopes and dreams of his fanbase, that's just not going to happen. This is going to be a snooze fest and I suspect the Bengals are going to make the most of a still-absent Ray Lewis. Pick: Bengals
4:25 p.m. EST/1:25 p.m. PST
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers - I'd say stick a fork in the Cardinals, but they've been so awful that they've caught fire and there's nothing left of them but the ashes, and a faint memory, of a football team here. In other words, same ol' Cardinals. Niners win this one in a walk...maybe. Pick: Niners
Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers - All you need to know about this game is that Terrelle Pryor is starting. Yes, the same Terrelle Pryor who played at MDC's favorite school, Ohio State. After a while you have to wonder, how long will it take before the Raiders lower the flag saying "Commitment to Excellence" and replace it with "Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here?" Pick: Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos - This one isn't even going to be fair. The Broncos are fighting for a first round bye and the Chiefs are fighting for a higher draft position. I can only hope that the Broncos tire themselves out so badly from curb-stomping these guys that it makes them sitting ducks for the playoffs. It's unlikely, but I can dream, can't I? Pick: Broncos
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings - This game might actually be interesting. Unlike so many late games, both teams have something to fight for. The Vikings are clinging to the last playoff spot like grim death, while the Packers try to hang on to the second seed in the NFC playoffs. Which one will be triumphant? The Oracle sees that the Vikings will want it more, but the Packers shall be victorious. Pick: Packers
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots - I'd really like to see New England lose this one. I mean I REALLY want to see them lose, and of all the teams vying for a first round bye, this may be the best opportunity for the Texans, short of beating the Colts, to achieve the first round bye. Again, I just don't see the Dolphins as enough of a spoiler to make life that much easier for the Texans. Crap. Pick: Patriots
St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks - 150-30, 150-30, 150-30, 150-30, 150-30. That's the margin of victory for the Seahawks in the last three games. Not only that, the Hawks still have a slim chance of getting a first round by if the Niners and Packers both lose on Sunday (won't happen, the Oracle has seen this). While the Rams are playing good football in their own right, the Oracle chooses to ignore this fact and go with his gut. Pick: Seahawks
8:20 p.m. EST/5:20 p.m. PST
Arlington Cowfarts at Washington Redskins - This should be familiar to Cowfart fans. The NFC East was decided on the last Sunday night game last year as well, the only difference is that the Giants were on the other sideline instead of the Redskins. The outcome will not be any different, however. The Cowfarts lose and balance will be restored to the force. (Bonus chortle: Any hope of Jerrah snaking Sean Payton from New Orleans has gone up in smoke too now) Pick: Redskins