The 2014-15 Playoff Roster is finalized. The following teams made the playoffs. Beside each one - I'll give a simple designation - contender or pretender - I'll run a prediction column later in the week.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS - As the 1 seed out of the AFC, they have a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl.
DENVER BRONCOS - Contender
PITTSBURGH STEELERS - Pretenders - The chances of them beating both New England and Denver in back to back games = almost none.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS - Pretenders - The Colts were slaughtered by the Patriots and if they win the wild card game - they will visit Gillette.
CINCINNATI BENGALS - Pretenders - I'd rate the chance of the Bengals representing the AFC at near ZERO
BALTIMORE RAVENS - Contenders - They've won it and can win it again.
SEATTLE SEAWHAWKS - Contenders - and my favorite to win it all.
GREEN BAY PACKERS - Contenders. Rodgers is playing the best QB in the league.
DALLAS COWBOYS - Contenders - However, they have the toughest road to the Super Bowl - Most likely will have to visit Green Bay AND Seattle. Tough sledding.
CAROLINA PANTHERS - The very definition of pretenders.
ARIZONA CARDINALS - Pretenders. They are playing a third string QB.
DETROIT LIONS - Suh is suspended for their one and done game in Dallas - Pretenders.
These questions come up every year for some team or other that has clinched a division and can't improve its post-season seeding - To rest starters or not rest starters. I saw a lot of ink spilled over whether the Patriots should play Tom Brady - my take is simple.
Tom Brady isn't the type of player that is likely to get hurt in a game like this. Not under usual conditions. However, it's a rainy day in New England and I think that might swing the balance of this question to him NOT playing very much today. We all know how competitive he is and he'll want to play most, if not the entire game - however, there truly isn't anything to play for and the Patriots need to get ready for the post-season.
In more pressing news, the Patriots should rest Gronk - that man doesn't know how to play in 'second gear' and should be rested for the playoffs!!!
It's the final week of the regular season. Let's get to the picks!
1) Ravens over the Browns - No reason other than the Browns are playing a third string QB. Pick Ravens.
2) Colts beat the Titans - No reason needed
3) Giants beat Eagles - The Eagles didn't pay attention to Time of Possession all season - and their December result show it. Pick Giants.
4) Chargers will beat KC - No Alex Smith, no chance. Pick San Diego
5) Green Bay over Detroit - Green Bay hasn't lost at home this year - that won't happen today.
Now, the two games that decide divisions.
6) Pittsburgh over the Bengals - I'm taking the home team
7) Panthers over Atlanta - In the meaningless, but winner going to the playoffs somehow pick of the week - the Panthers will be the least bad team in this game and win the division.