The Indianapolis Colts are making the final weeks of the season extremely interesting with two straight wins after defeating the playoff-bound Houston Texans 19-16 on Thursday night. If the Colts win next week and the Rams lose against Pittsburgh Saturday and the 49ers a week from Sunday, the Rams and Minnesota Vikings would be in the hunt for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Strength of schedule will determine the winner.
With the new slotted structure within the current CBA, the big-dollar payday is over, making Sam Bradford the last $50 million rookie. Where teams were reluctant to move up the draft board to avoid paying the big contract including a giant singing bonus, look for teams to trade up for one of the following positions: quarterback, cornerback or offensive linemen.
Of course, there is a lot of time remaining to see who will be at the top of the 32 draft boards. Juniors will make it interesting and they have until Jan. 15 to declare for the draft. The East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl will give all NFL teams more time to add evaluations to the seniors’ body of work.
Here are my picks for Week 16
Oakland @ Kansas City = Raiders
Denver @ Buffalo = Broncos
Jacksonville @ Tennessee = Titans
Arizona @ Cincinnati = Bengals
Miami @ New England = Patriots
Cleveland @Baltimore = Ravens
New York Giant @ New York Jets = Jets
Minnesota @ Washington = Vikings
Tampa Bay @ Carolina = Panthers
St. Louis @ Pittsburgh = Steelers
San Diego @ Detroit = Lions
San Francisco @ Seattle = Seahawks
Philadelphia @ Dallas = Eagles
Chicago @ Green Bay = Packers
Monday Night Football
Atlanta @ New Orleans = Saints