One. More. Week.
Welcome to the new fall and early winter. Because of the National Football League, and our obsession with picking winners, the months of September, October, November and December fly by.
The craziest, most unpredictable season in the three-plus decades I've been following this stuff is almost over.
Other than the Baltimore Ravens the last three months, there really wasn't a sure thing.
It was the year of the unknown quarterbacks, rookies we've never heard of before, beating decent veterans.
It was the year of flops -- see L.A. Rams, L.A. Chargers, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and Cleveland Browns -- with five of the top 13 teams (per Las Vegas oddsmakers) that didn't lose their quarterback yet they won't make the playoffs. That's a lot of flopping.
As for the Patriots chances of winning a Super Bowl, they are dwindling according to Las Vegas. The Patriots are tied with the Chiefs at the No. 2 spot in the AFC at 8-to-1
If everything goes according to plan the Patriot would have to beat the Chiefs, in Foxborough, and the Ravens, in Baltimore, just to get to Miami.
As for Week 17, it will be a tough week because of the variables: How many teams really want to win?
The Ravens will be resting several players, but playing at home I'd probably favor them over a weak Steelers team.
Are the Bengals, which host Cleveland, in win-mode knowing they have already locked up the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft?
There will be several games on Sunday with nothing on the line.
Winners and more winners
There is a steadfast rule in the "I Beat Burt" Contest. If you pick more winners than I do AND you get the first tie-breaker (Patriots point total exactly), you win.
And while the usual maximum of 10 T-shirts are awarded he each week, there were 16 entries that had more than my 10 winners and predicted the Patriots would score 24 points. So they win.
There was only one home underdog (Eagles) that actually won their game on Sunday. A typical week is three to four home underdogs winning.
All of the this week's 16 T-shirt winners had 11 or more correct picks.
Week 16 winners
Ed Nassif of Lawrence
Mike Groves of Hampton, N.H.
Bill Sirois of Salem, N.H.
John Cliffe of Andover
James Freeman of Salem, N.H.
Robert D Smith of Salisbury
Steve Seero of North Andover
Kevin McElhinney of Methuen
Armand Boucher of Methuen
Jean Enright of North Andover
Joe Trombly of North Andover
John Warden Jr. of North Andover
Mike Davis of North Andover
Garrett Engels Jr. of Seabrook, N.H.
Joseph DiPaolo of Methuen
David Gramling of Chelmsford