It's time to make some game picks. It's time to do some postseason accounting. And it's time for Jimmy Football.
Jimmy Clausen makes his starting debut in Chicago in a game that carries much weight in the playoff race. OK, not for the home team. If the Bears receive the "spark" the Browns didn't get last week from Johnny Manziel and pull off an upset of Detroit, then it is possible the Lions could finish 10-6 -- and out of the playoffs. If Chicago loses, the Cowboys and Seahawks are on the hook to win their games, as Detroit would improve its sterling conference record (tiebreakers, people) to 9-2.
So, this begs the question ...
Alright, enough dilly-dally -- it's pickin' time! Take a look below and share your thoughts: @HarrisonNFL is the place.
Now, let's get to it!
The key matchup here is simple: Can the Chiefs stop the run, namely Le'Veon Bell? They're allowing 4.86 yards per rush, worst in the AFC. They've had trouble stopping Lamar Miller, C.J. Anderson, Kerwynn Williams ... Now, here comes Bell, the league's second-leading rusher. This is certainly not a good matchup for K.C. -- especially against a Steelers team that's one win away from a playoff spot. The only team that has beaten Pittsburgh that can't stop the run is New Orleans ... and that happened because the Saints were able to air it out. That is the Steelers' weakness: the secondary. What better elixir for a defensive backfield than the Chiefs' receiving corps? This is a game Alex Smith and the defense have to take over. Or else. #KCvsPIT
It's hard to consider the Jets rivals when they've beaten the Patriots once in their last seven tries and enter this game with a 3-11 record. Yet, if there is a game where you can throw out records, this is it. New York actually gave the Pats all they could handle last time around, with New England escaping thanks to a blocked field goal. The Jets ran all over Bill Belichick's defense on that October day. We'll see if they can match that 43-carry, 218-yard output. The guess here is no, but remember, Geno Smith played viably that day. The Pats need to load up the box and trust their corners. Easy to do with Darrelle Revis; not so easy if Brandon Browner starts getting flagged. He's been served the yellow hanky of death 13 times this year. By the way, that's kind of a ton. #NEvsNYJ