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  • Contributors

    Cris Collinsworth

    Former Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals and Emmy-winning analyst from Sunday Night Football and Inside the NFL.
    Dave Lapham
    Has called game for the Bengals radio network for 25 years. Analyst for Big 12 games on Fox Sports Net. Played 10 years in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals.
    Turk Schonert
    NFL quarterback for 10 years with the Bengals and Falcons. Has served as quarterback coach for the Buccaneers, Bills, Panthers, Giants and Saints and Offensive Coordinator for the Bills.
    Phil McConkey
    Played 6 years in the NFL as a WR, punt returner and kick returner for the Giants, Packers, Cardinals and Chargers. Played college football at the Naval Academy and served in the U.S. Navy before joining the NFL. Best remembered for his oustanding game in Super Bowl XXI.
    Josina Anderson
    Josina "JoJo" Anderson is contributing reporter on Showtime's Inside the NFL and is a weekend co-anchor/reporter/producer for FOX 31 Sports in Denver, Colorado. Josina produces the nightly sportscasts and covers the Denver Broncos, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, and the Colorado Rockies.
    Jerry Jones
    NFL Draft Expert, has published the acclaimed Drugstore List since 1978.
    Russell S Baxter
    Researcher, writer and editor covering the NFL for over 30 years.
    Andy Freeland
    Statistician and researcher for NBC's Sunday Night Football.
  • Council of the Learned 2012: Week Seventeen NFL Picks

    17th Week

    The gifts are opened and half of the stuff has gone unused. By the end of Sunday, 20 of the 32 NFL teams will be able to use those new drivers early on the golf course. Tony Romo can start his next attempt at the U.S. Open if they do not beat Washington. Still, though, it is bowl season, so each NFL game this week will be given its’ own moniker.

    Sunday, Dec. 30

    Tampa Bay at Atlanta, 1 p.m- The Who Will Rollover Bowl. Really, every game could get this designation. How many of the players will be rested for Atlanta? Did the Greg Schiano hire really work if they only finish a couple games better than last year after the notable free agent signings? PICK: (ATL 7-2)

    N.Y. Jets at Buffalo, 1 p.m- The Big Disappointment Bowl. The Bills had a decent schedule this year. They had the talent to go 10-6 while the Jets may not have had the talent to be successful. Reports now say that even Tim Tebow is not all about “team.” This a good chance for C.J. Spiller to cement his place in the record books for yards per carry in a season with more than 200 attempts if Gailey will let him have the ball 17 times. PICK: (BUF 8-1)

    Baltimore at Cincinnati, 1 p.m- The This Could Have Meant A Lot More Bowl. This worst decisions of the last week both happened in the same game in subsequent possessions in Pittsburgh. How did Tomlin not know the rule about never trying a field goal 50+ at Heinz Field? Roethlisberger’s attempt at a perfect pass that would not have put the Steelers in field goal range with less than 20 seconds left is not getting enough publicity. PICK: (CIN 5-4)

    Chicago at Detroit, 1 p.m- If the Bears do their part, the final of the Green Bay-Minnesota game will decide the final NFL playoff spot. The Bears have gained over 300 yards of offense in just 3 of their last ten games. PICK: (CHI 8-1)

    Houston at Indianapolis, 1 p.m- The How is it That Indy Looks More Ready for the Playoffs than Houston Bowl. Chuck Pagano’s story is one of inspiration, but it also one that will end with Indy’s playoff opponent taking a lead that will be held because the Colts cannot stop the run. Don’t worry, though, Colts fans, rejoice that Chuck Pagano is back and your team will be back in the playoffs next year, too. PICK: (HOU 7-2)

    Green Bay at Minnesota, 1 p.m- The How Savvy is Mike McCarthy Bowl. The Packers have too much pride to give up the record to AD, but can they be sneaky enough to keep this game close until a late score gives the Vikings the win so that the six seed Vikes have to go to Lambeau with Christian Ponder? I mean, no team really wants an extra game and it could be said that they fear AD much more than Cutler, but still, Christian “Housedad” Ponder in the playoffs? PICK: (GB 6-3)

    Miami at New England, 1 p.m- The Tom Brady Starts a New Streak Bowl. Belichick doesn’t like to lose divisional games and cannot be a fan of the Dolphins, so I think this could be another Eff You affair for the Pats. Plus, Darth Hoodie could try for the 600 point plateau. He only needs 71. PICK: (NE 8-1)

    Carolina at New Orleans, 1 p.m- The Who Bothers Bowl. The Saints have shown up this season and had a few nice moments, but the turmoil off the field was too much. If Sean Payton is dressed in an actual gold suit (Nike would sponsor this in a second, wouldn't they?) next year and is taken onto the field via throne, don’t be surprised. Last week proved that even the Panthers can beat the Raiders. Cam Newton must be made of steel and Teflon because he can bump refs now without getting kicked out of a game. PICK: (NO 7-2)

    Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants, 1 p.m- The Mike Vick Gets His Job Back or So He Thinks Bowl. In revenge for 2007, the Eagles will win this 44-6 while Vick accounts for six touchdowns and a safety. Right after, Jeffrey Laurie will shake his hand and give him his walking papers, which will be taped to the game ball. PICK: (NYG 6-3)

    Cleveland at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m- The I Told You So Bowl. Everyone said I was crazy when I said the Steelers would miss the playoffs. Don’t mess with weird trends. Now, quick prediction time. The Steelers will make the playoffs in 2013 and 2014. PICK: (PIT 8-1)

    Jacksonville at Tennessee, 1 p.m- The Most Likely to Finish 0-0 Game of the Week, uh, Bowl. This game doesn't deserve a detailed description. Anyone who actually shows up to this game deserves their own keg. Though, I am intrigued by how bad the Tebow/Locker match-ups will get next year. PICK: (TEN 6-3)

    Dallas at Washington, 1 p.m- The Imagine Us With More Money Bowl. No matter what happens, I am kind of impressed with Tony Romo this year and wonder what RGIII would be like if he had Cam Newton’s body. I said the Lions should have made Kevid Bith a couple years ago to solve their running back issues. Of course, Cobert Grifton The 1.5 would just be an unfair whirling dervish and his football mastery that would boggle the mere mortal mind. PICK: (WAS 8-1)

    Kansas City at Denver, 4:25 p.m- The Our Season Has Sucked Bowl. Obviously, this is just Chiefs themed. Things are so bad that seeing Manning come to town probably will just make them think about what could have happened with Montana if he had had twenty extra years of medical research to help him when he was with the Chiefs. PICK: (DEN 9-0)

    Oakland at San Diego, 4:25 p.m- The Deserted Stadium Bowl. PICK: (SD 8-1)

    Arizona at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m- The Holy Crap, That is Brian Hoyer Bowl. I am just curious if the Cardinals attempt to acquire Alex Smith before the kickoff or if they will wait until halftime. How many times has John Skelton been declared the starter this season? Perhaps the Cardinals need to redefine their thoughts on what a quarterback is supposed to be able to do. PICK: (SF 9-0)

    St. Louis at Seattle, 4:25 p.m- The Has Anyone Noticed That the Rams Can Finish Above .500 Bowl. In case no has noticed, the Seahawks have done something even more impressive during the last three weeks. They are averaging 50 points a game and outscoring their opponents by 40 points per game. Still, Pete Carroll is acting like he is trying to get votes to play Notre Dame next week. Someone should tell him that the NFL playoffs have a bit more stature. PICK: (SEA 9-0)

    LAST WEEK: 11-5
    SEASON: 151-88-1 (63.13%)

    Comments 5 Comments
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      It's interesting that even without a point spread, the Council would barely be making money in Vegas.

      I know that Houston will be fired up Sunday. But still, they've been so rotten lately that I thought Indianapolis would get more votes. BTW, do people in Indianapolis hate their city being called Indy, the way San Franciscans hate the name 'Frisco?

      I think Atlanta will play its healthy starters, at least for a while. Presumably bully-boy Schiano will have his berateds playing hard, but who knows? This game is the biggest unknown of the weekend, for me.

      The What Did We Do To Deserve This Bowl is, once again, in Nashville. As if Jets-Titans wasn't bad enough -- and trust me, it was -- now we have equally awful Jax in town. This is God at work. He's trying to level the balance after giving us the hotness that is Taylor Swift.

      Kevid Bith? Cobert Grifton? Is it legal to drop acid before you write this column? Lost in the surreal, I am...
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      First of all, sir, that's Cobert Grifton The 1.5.

      And, meth, always meth. Glad you enjoyed it.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      I'm ATD on Minnesota, Philly, and Jacksonville, although this week is going to be a crapshoot. I can't believe 8 of us selected Washington. That should be a 5-4 spread, and is a 50/50 game. Also, it looks like Atlanta will only play their starters for a half, and Denver could very well already have their fate determined prior to their game at 4:15.

      Many have spent a ton of time criticizing Goodell and his decisions on this site, but let me take the opportunity to commend him for something. Filling week 17 with divisional games has been a great move. Even with 10 of the 12 playoff teams already determined, this week still has 9 games being played that will ultimately sort out the entire playoff picture. And due to the divisional nature of these games, even teams like Philly and Detroit, who have nothing else to play for, get the extra motivation of trying to put the final nail in the coffin of their divisional rivals.
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      Atlanta, Jets, Bengals, Bears, Colts, Packers, Patriots, Saints, Eagles, Browns, Jags, Cowboys, Broncos, Chargers, Nners, Rams
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      & A Happy New Year:

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