Gordy’s Game Guesses: Week 17 Review
Image courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY SportsThe correct picks:
Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts
Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons
New York Giants @ Washington Redskins
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings
Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams
Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers
Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers
The Minnesota Vikings gave fans one last hurrah for the 2016 season. Better yet, they are undefeated in 2017. Sam Bradford competed 25 of 33 passes over the course of the team’s 38-10 win against the Chicago Bears, setting a new NFL record single-season completion rating of 71.6 percent. Bradford threw three touchdowns, including one to running back Jerick McKinnon. McKinnon scored through the air on the Vikings’ first touchdown, and scored the final offensive touchdown on the ground early in the fourth quarter. More importantly, the Vikings’ defense returned to scoring form when Everson Griffen returned a fumble 20 yards for the Vikings’ final score of the day.
I started the week 7-3 after the early games and felt as sense of relief. Early in the day, those games were tracking in a much more negative direction. Entering the 4 p.m. games, I began to get optimistic I’d have a winning week. Much to my surprise, I went 5-0 in the late afternoon games. The most exciting of them, for me at least, was Seattle’s 25-23 win against San Francisco. The 49ers took a 14-3 lead on the first play of the second quarter, and later blocked an extra point attempt on the Seahawks’ go-ahead drive. The second half proved to be a low scoring affair, and the biggest surprise had to be Seattle’s self-inflicted safety on a punt attempt. Long snapper Nolan Frese snapped the ball far over the head of punter Jon Ryan, who had no hope of catching the ball before it sailed out of the end zone.
The incorrect picks:
Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans
Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets
Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles
Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions
Entering Sunday Night Football, I was sad to have been right about the New York Giants beating the Washington Redskins, because it meant Green Bay was assured a playoff berth. It also meant this game’s only value was for which team would host New York and which would travel to Seattle next week. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers scored first, but Detroit responded with a rushing touchdown from Zach Zenner and a passing score from Matthew Stafford to Golden Tate, taking the lead on the way to a 14-10 halftime score. I wrote last week that picking Detroit was a matter of wishful thinking, and my gut feeling was Green Bay would pull away in the second half. Rodgers threw three touchdown passes in the second half while Detroit was limited to 10 points, including a 35-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin with 13 seconds left in the game. Green Bay recovered the ensuing onside kick, and it was over.
Over the course of the 17-week season I amassed 16 winning weeks and one split (8-8) week. I went 15-1 in my picks regarding the Cleveland Browns, which I’m pretty sure is my best record picking a team over the season. Next best would probably be New England, which I picked to win every week. I went 7-9 in my picks of the Vikings, getting two wins and seven losses wrong.
It’s been a fun run here on Vikings Journal, but all good things unfortunately must come to an end. Since Vikings Journal is set to shut down, Gordy’s Game Guesses will have to find a new home for next season. Please give me a follow on Twitter to stay in touch and see where my writing takes me.