Fantasy Football News

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Down the Stretch: Bold Predictions for the Final 3 Weeks of Play

Three weeks left to play, 8 playoff seeds still available.

You do the math.

As teams prepare for Week 15 action tomorrow afternoon, there's only one thing that we're sure of: the final three weeks of the regular season will be chaos.

Here are some bold predictions from the All-Out Blitz involving the final three weeks of the regular season. You can count on us:

*The loser of the Steelers/Cowboys showdown misses playoffs
This may be one of the biggest must-win games of the weekend, and it applies to both squads. Dallas (7-6) are tied for second in the NFC East while Pittsburgh (7-6) is sitting in third, and could be tied for second with a win. The winner doesn't necessarily make the postseason, but it certainly does boost its chances. The loser, however, may find itself out of the running due to the stiff competition.

*Adrian Peterson becomes 7th player to rush for 2,000 yards in a season
With three games to play, Peterson is 400 yards shy of 2,000 for the season and the Vikings are 7-6. In the middle of the playoff hunt, the Vikings aren't going to be getting away from running the ball down the stretch since that's what has gotten them this far. It'll be tough, considering after a Week 15 match-up with St. Louis the Vikings have to play Houston and Green Bay, but it's definitely attainable. All he has to do is average 133 yards per game down the stretch. Piece of cake for a guy who has run for 100 yards in 7 consecutive games.

He may even come close, or break, Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record of 2,105 if he can run for another 200-yard game tomorrow. He's only 506 yards away from surpassing Dickerson's record, set in 1984.
*Seattle makes postseason while Russell Wilson becomes OROY dark horse
With guys such as Andrew Luck, RGIII, Doug Martin, Alfred Morris etc. dazzling in their respective rookie seasons, it's easy to overlook Seattle's 3rd round pick Russell Wilson. But it's also easy to see that he's become the leader and franchise quarterback that the 'Hawks have been searching for since seasoned veteran Matt Hasselbeck left for Tennessee. Wilson's nearly 2,500 yards and 20 TD passes and running back Marshawn Lynch has the Seahawks at 8-5 and just a game back in the NFC West. Seattle wont beat out San Fran for the division, but a wild card seed is in clear sight.

*Giants lose 2 out of final 3 games, miss postseason...
This one really is a bold, ballsy prediction here. You can never count Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning's Giants out of it. New York has proven time after time that they can win games when it matters most, and they even currently own a one-game lead in the NFC East. However, there are just too many signs pointing towards a changing of the guard this season in the East. New York has blowout victories over teams such as San Francisco (26-3), Green Bay (38-10) and New Orleans (52-27) this season, but inconsistencies have ridden the G-Men of pulling away with the division and they have a tough remaining schedule.

Matt Ryan has never beaten the Giants, and they are the only NFC team Matty Ice has yet to beat. But Ryan is 32-4 at home during his career and is poised for revenge against New York following an early playoff exit at the hands of the Giants last season. With Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs likely making returns for the Ravens next week, Eli could be in for a long day for a second consecutive week. Given two of three losses in the final three weeks, and an easy remaining schedule for Washington and the Giants miss the postseason with a 9-7 record. Count on it.
*Bill Belichick does not rest starters, Patriots end regular season on 10 game winning streak
Let's face it, the Patriots are not going to rest Tom Brady & Co. That's just not Belichick's style. People need to stop complaining about the Patriots "running up the score." This is the National Football League, and Bill and Tom don't want to play "pity football" by running the clock out, they don't have to. The Patriots proved last week that they are the No. 1 team in the league by blowing out the Houston Texans defense.

With the top defense in San Francisco visiting Gillette Stadium on Sunday night, I don't expect anything different from New England. It could end up being another embarrassing one-sided match-up if the Pats defense can contain Colin Kaepernick.

*Chargers win out, finish 8-8 for second consecutive season
Philip Rivers plays his best football in December, we're all well aware of that. And after a 34-24 victory over the Steelers last week in Ben Roethlisberger's return, it's looking a lot like another mediocre 8-8 season thanks to a strong finish. But after four straight mediocre seasons with no postseason appearances, we're thinking that the Norv Turner era could be seeing its final three games in San Diego.

*Wild Card spots are Colts' and Bengals' to lose
At this point, there's really only three legitimate contenders for the two AFC wild card seeds, meaning only one team will be utterly disappointed at the end of the month. After watching a porous effort out of Pittsburgh's offense on Sunday, they are just one more loss away from being eliminated (currently 7-6, but can't afford another loss). The Colts (9-4) and Bengals (8-6; defeated Eagles 34-13 on Thursday night) currently hold the two seeds. The Colts just need one more win to solidify a playoff spot, while the Bengals can control their own destiny with a victory over Pittsburgh next weekend.

The other contenders include the 6-7 Jets, who will need to finish the season 3-0 to even have a shot, and a bunch of 5-8 teams (Bills, Dolphins, Browns and Chargers) who can't all win out. So the bold prediction here? Well, I guess this isn't all that bold, per se, but the Colts and Bengals will capture wild card seeds and your AFC playoff teams will be as follows: Patriots, Texans, Broncos, Ravens, Colts, Bengals).
*Calvin Johnson breaks Jerry Rice's single-season receiving yards record
Detroit's Madden cover boy Calvin Johnson Jr. has avoided the so-called "Madden Curse" this season by producing 1,546 yards for the Lions. Though Megatron experienced somewhat of a slow start compared to his 2011 campaign, he now finds himself just 303 yards shy of breaking Jerry Rice's 17 year old record of 1,848 receiving yards in a single-season. All Johnson has to do is average 101.0 yards per game for the final three games to break the record that was set in 1995.

Considering he came up just short of the record last season (just 167 yards shy), Johnson must realize that the record is within reach yet again. The one surprise that we've seen with Johnson in 2012 compared to last season is that he's caught just 5 TD passes this season, despite his 96 receptions and 1,500+ yards. Oh well, the record is his if he wants it.

Have any bold predictions of your own? Feel free to share them with The All-Out Blitz in the comments section...or on our Facebook or Twitter page: @AllOutBlitz1

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