By Danny Cox
The time has come my little friends for the “end of the world.” Well, maybe not, but it is close to the end of the 2012 NFL season. Only two weeks remain in this tumultuous season and there are still a number of spots up for grabs in the playoffs so don’t forget that every game counts.
Bye Weeks: All bye weeks are done
Saturday Night Football: Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions
Detroit has been one of the biggest underachievers of the season, and Atlanta is looking like one of the top NFC contenders for the Super Bowl. There should be not much mystery in this one, but stranger things have happened.
Dallas is hoping for a playoff spot, but oddly enough, so are the Saints. New Orleans came out last week and just decimated the Bucs, but Dallas is not Tampa Bay. Still, the Saints are looking to have at least a little momentum as the season comes to a close.
Funny. This could essentially be looked at as the “Sean Payton Bowl.”
Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers
Tennessee may have taken down the Jets, but then again…that’s the Jets, and everyone is well aware of their issues. Green Bay is on course for the playoffs and should be able to take this one quite easily at home.
The Colts are one of the surprises of the season, and Andrew Luck has made this team his own.
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins
Battle of the inconsistencies will take place in Miami this weekend, and the Florida fans should finish the day happy.
San Diego Chargers at New York Jets
Talk about the battle of the dysfunctional. The Chargers have a number of players returning from injury, but a whole bunch more landed on IR. New York, on the other hand, has a quarterback controversy that could see their top two signal-callers in different uniforms next season. This game should be a right mess.
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
Washington doesn’t know if RG3 will definitely be back for this game, but it may not matter against the Eagles. Philly just wants this season to be over with, and there is more than good reason for that.
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers
A loss here would almost fatally hurt the Steelers’ playoff chances and a victory for the Bengals would get them in. Ben Roethlisberger had some harsh words for his own team, but he retracted them, of course. Still, there are plenty of problems in Pittsburgh and the Bengals should take this one.
St. Louis Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Hmmm…Tampa Bay has looked better throughout the season, but last week’s loss to the Saints made them look like a pee-wee league team. St. Louis has had moments of greatness and even took down the 49ers.
Oakland Raiders at Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton has finally started to look like…well, Cam Newton. If he could play at this level at all times, the Panthers would be incredibly dangerous every season for a while. Oakland isn’t awful, but they still need so much work done and need more out of Carson Palmer.
New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars
Well, this is humorous.
While this is going to be a big late-season contest between an NFC and AFC power; the football world will be watching Adrian Peterson to see if he will break Eric Dickerson’s long-standing single-season rushing record.
Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos
Peyton Manning has single-handedly turned the Broncos around. That doesn’t mean he is the only reason that they are winning, but he does have a habit of making everyone around him better. Manning also has a knack for making sure that his teammates play at the highest level they can at all times. Denver will be difficult to contend with in the postseason.
Chicago Bears at Arizona Cardinals
Arizona upsetting the Bears could really leave the playoff doors open for a lot of NFC teams, but the chances of that happening are quite slim. Perhaps not as slim as they were a couple weeks ago though when the Cards had a nine-game losing streak because they demolished Detroit last week by 28 points. Still, the Bears should take this one.
New York Giants at Baltimore Ravens
Four weeks ago, this game would have been something to be excited about and a possible Super Bowl preview. Now, it’s being seen as the game of late-season collapses.
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
Seattle won’t score 50 points for the third week in a row, but they will be able to hold their own against San Francisco. Russell Wilson should easily be the Offensive Rookie of the Years, and the Niners need to watch him closely or he’ll get ahead of them. San Fran should be able to contain him enough and get the needed points on the board with Alex Smith, a good corps of wide receivers, and Frank Gore.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.