Picks delayed by Christmas shopping trip...

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OK, I missed deadline again. It’s not my fault. Honest. I went to the mall Wednesday night. I’m an idiot. What a horrible mistake. I had to buy my wife a last minute Christmas gift (because I guess you have to buy your spouse Christmas gifts??) and was captured by the Christmas onslaught.

I went to Target, too. I never really learn from my mistakes. It. Was. Terrible.

But don’t worry — I am safe and sound now. Elf is on. I’m wearing my dinosaur Christmas sweater (because dinosaurs love Christmas), and I’m here to talk about football.

Most of you know how depressed the Bears make me, and they’ve been the focus of my malcontent for quite a while now, but I figured I should maybe examine the playoff scenarios to make myself not think about the fact that the last Bear first round draft pick to earn an extension with the team before Kyle Long was Tommie Harris. He was drafted in 2004. My life is sad.

Anyway, the Packers “control their own destiny” as people like to say. If they win their next two games, they are in the playoffs.

However, the Lions also control their own destiny. If they beat Green Bay, they are in. Basically, the last game of the year on New Year’s Day will be pretty darn important.

But not to stomp on the hopes of Packer fans too much, but you needed a busted coverage late in the game to beat the Bears. The Bears stink, guys. Stink real bad. Like, I just had two kinds of chili for lunch and Taco Bell for dinner bad. That’s a bad stink.

The Cowboys and Giants are likely in, as well as the Seahawks. Atlanta and Tampa are fighting for a spot in the South and potentially a wild card. Little has been solved and it will likely come down to Week 17.

In the AFC, the Pats have clinched because the Empire always wins the battles. Let’s hope they lose the war, though. Oakland, my boys, clinched as well. Pittsburgh and Houston are clinging to spots while the Chiefs are in with one more win. There is plenty of drama left here, too, but my Raiders are already in so I’m not sweating it.

Anyway, Green Bay has a good shot, but even if they get in, this isn’t the best Packer team we’ve seen. Not by a long shot. Any Super Bowl run will require a string of almost perfect games I don’t believe they can put it together.

I was 12-4 last week. Who cares, though, right? I also would have picked the Giants Thursday night. I am sure they won. (Editor’s note: they didn’t).

• Washington at Chicago: There is zero way the Bears should win this game. Washington is still fighting for the playoffs. The Bears just lost a tight one to their biggest rival. I mean, receipe for a blowout, honestly. I like what I’ve seen from Jordan Howard and when Kyle Long gets back next year, the Bears offensive line should actually be a strength if they can find a tackle (either right or left...they both kind of stink). There are building blocks on offense and defense. We just need like 3 more good drafts. Maybe 4. WASHINGTON 27, BEARS 20.

• Green Bay at Minnesota: The Packers have to win -- it’s pretty simple. The Vikings have been on the downswing and even the return of AP can’t save them. While I think it’s a close game, I don’t think it’s the upset the Vikings need to stay alive in the playoffs. PACKERS 31, VIKINGS 28.

• Miami at Buffalo: Rex Ryan is likely gone and the Dolphins are pushing for the playoffs. That usually doesn’t go well for the underdog. The Bills need to figure out a lot this offseason — most importantly if they think Tyrod Taylor is their QB of the future. Join the club, Bills fans. Just don’t trade up and take Mitch Trubisky in front of the Bears or I’ll never forgive you. DOLPHINS 27, BILLS 20.

• San Diego at Cleveland: Bet this is a real barn burner. Heard they aren’t even going to bring cameras to this. Just have little kids draw pictures of Browns’ players with tears rolling down their cheeks. CHARGERS 28, BROWNS 13.

• New York Jets at New England: The Pats are in, but still fighting for the one seed. When you play in very cold weather and could bring a not cold weather team up to you, that matters. I don’t see the Jets being able to shut them down. PATRIOTS 30, JETS 20.

• Atlanta at Carolina: The NFL does a lot of stupid things, like Thursday Night Football, commercials right after kickoffs and not letting the Bears have the first pick in the draft every year. But the change it made a few years back where the last couple weeks being devoted to divisional games whenever it could be was very smart. Suddenly, divisional leaders are playing the team below them, not a terrible team from a difference conference. FALCONS 24, PANTHERS 23.

• Tennessee at Jacksonville: The Jaguars are bad. Wait, Blake Bortles is bad. Somebody should tell him the game is still on Sunday bad so they can have a different QB play. Might give them a chance. TITANS 27, JAGUARS 14.

• Indianapolis at Oakland: Come on...we know what I’m going with here. RAIDERS 73, COLTS 12.

• San Francisco at Los Angeles: Hey depressing, meet despair. You get to play each other this week! 49ERS 21, RAMS 17.

• Tampa Bay at New Orleans: The Bucs have raised the level of their play on defense the last few weeks, and it will be needed when the Saints are at home. I think the Bucs get this one, partly because Mike Evans scores 4 touchdowns. (My fantasy team needs Mike Evans to score 4 touchdowns). BUCCANEERS 31, SAINTS 24.

• Arizona at Seattle: The Cardinals are a dumpster fire. I predict another Cowboy transplant making a splash in Arizona next year when they trade for Romo. They need stability at QB or else it’s all for naught. SEAHAWKS 27, CARDINALS 21.

• Cincinnati at Houston: The Texans are starting Tom Savage at QB. They can’t cut Brock Osweiler unless they want to take a $25 million cap hit next year. That sounds...awesome. BENGALS 23, TEXANS 17.

• Baltimore at Pittsburgh: I can’t quit on the Steelers yet. I just can’t. I love Mike Tomlin and Antonio Brown far too much. STEELERS 27, RAVENS 23.

• Denver at Kansas City: The Broncos may be the other team looking for a Romo trade. They still have elite defense, but are severely lacking a playmaker at QB. Maybe Paxton Lynch will be ready, but if they aren’t playing him now, there is probably a reason. CHIEFS 27, BRONCOS 20.

• Detroit at Dallas: The Lions are going to be playing for it all in Week 17 because I don’t think they can beat the Cowboys on the road. It’ll make for a great week 17 matchup — GO LIONS! Cowboys 27, Lions 20.

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