NFL Week 17 Predictions

The final week of the NFL season is upon us, and with it are tons of games that have all kinds of importance when it comes to the playoffs. With that, picks are going to be very tough this week, just like last when I went 6-8, the first time I think all season I was under .500. For the season, I am at 148-93. I’ll take it, but I would really like to end the year on an upward trend, so here we go with Week 17 picks.

New York Giants at Washington – Can the floundering 7-8 Giants get one win to try and make the playoffs? That is the big question here – does this team, that has lost 6 of their last 7 games have anything left? Tom Coughlin will for sure be shown the door with a loss here, and even with a win there is a chance this team misses the playoffs with there collapse. The Skins are 5-10, and with Joe Gibbs saying he is coming back this team can already look at younger players and know the structure they are going to have coming in next season. They will play this game as the ultimate spoiler, and based on the way Eli and the Giants are going, the Skins are actually playing better football right now. Washington 23 New York Giants 20

Seattle at Tampa Bay – Seattle has the division and the number four seed in the NFC clinched, and while they have lost three straight, they are breathing a sigh of relief that this game to them means nothing. The Hawks have lost four of six on the road, and their defense has allowed close to 28 points in those games. They are a shadow of the team that steamrolled its way to the Super Bowl last season, and are going to have trouble winning even the wild card game against the Cowboys, Eagles, Giants or Packers. Tampa Bay won its first road game in Cleveland last week, and the defense looked like its old self again. I think with Jon Gruden’s job still in question, his team steps up at home in a game that doesn’t matter to the Hawks. Tampa Bay 16 Seattle 10

Oakland at New York Jets – The Jets are going to the playoffs. I repeat – the JETS are going to the playoffs. They deserve it, going 7-3 over their last 10 games, and playing smart, physical football that will garner them a game at likely the Colts next weekend. Their defense has been the key over the last 10 weeks, allowing just 14 points per game. The offense isn’t anything to get too excited about, but they have scored enough to help the defense and more importantly, don’t get to careless with the ball at critical points of the game. The Raiders are awful, and will have the bus waiting as the Jets simply roll over them in this final game for them in 06. Nice one season for Art Shell, who will be the scapegoat for a 2-14 season. New York Jets 27 Oakland 10

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati – A game that was thought to have major playoff implications when the schedule came out is now just another game between two AFC North rivals playing for pride. The Bengals can scoreboard watch all they want but a Jets win vs Oakland will end their season no matter what happens here. Interesting side note will be just how motivated the Steelers play in what will be Bill Cowher’s last game as Steelers coach. Many players have said all week that they don’t know what he is going to do at seasons end, but sources say that the coach is as good as gone possibly as early as Tuesday. The Steelers want to take out some frustration against a Bengals team for a season gone bad, and for two teams not going anywhere, this should be a rather chippy game. Cincinnati 31 Pittsburgh 27

New England at Tennessee – The Titans are possibly the second best feel good story of the year after the Saints rise to fame, as they have won six straight, and can end the year 9-7 with a win over the Pats. New England looks like they are headed for a wild card game at home next weekend with the Broncos, and last week they showed they are still dangerous with a gutsy road win at the Jaguars, all but ending their playoff hopes. Vince Young and the Titans pulled out another fourth quarter win on the road last week at Buffalo, and with the Pats playing for nothing here, the Titans will conclude their season with their 7th straight win. Tennessee 20 New England 13

Jacksonville at Kansas City – Two teams with faint playoff hopes collide at Arrowhead as the Jags take on the Chiefs. Both teams seemed playoff bound about 5 weeks ago, but bad losses on both sides have all but ended both teams seasons. The Jags had a great shot three weeks ago after pounding the Colts, but since have dropped games at Tennessee and at home to New England. The Chiefs home loss to the Ravens on December 10th was the death blow to their season. This will be a game of what-ifs between two of the better backs in the league – Larry Johnson of the Chiefs and Maurice Drew-Jones of the Jags. The Chiefs are still a league best 20-2 in December at home since 1995. Kansas City 24 Jacksonville 20

Detroit at Dallas – While the nation saw about 100 shots of Carrie Underwood in a luxury box on Christmas Day at Texas Stadium cheering on Tony Romo, the Cowboys forgot to do one important thing. Beat the Eagles. A somewhat shocking 23-7 home loss has the Cowboys going from a possible two seed with some help to now a five seed and a game at Seattle next week. While everyone from Terrell Owens to Bill Parcells to Jerry Jones spouted off this week about the Christmas day outing, this week they have the pleasure of hosting the 2-13 Lions, a team that will have the bus running waiting for the game to end. Detroit did put up a good effort at home last week vs the Bears, but I don’t think much of the same will happen here with the Cowboys none to happy about last week. Dallas 34 Detroit 17

Cleveland at Houston – The Texans played their Super Bowl last week, and beat the overrated Colts on a last play field goal 27-24. This week they have a shot to end the year on a two-game winning streak and go 6-10 if they can beat the awful Browns who will go with third string QB Ken Dorsey. Look for a lot of Ron Dayne, who in the last four games is rushing for close to 5 yards a carry, and has 429 total yards on the ground in those outings. The Browns can’t stop anyone on the ground, allowing 145 yards per game rushing. Things got so bad for the Browns last week they lost to the Bucs at home. Romeo Crennell could be coaching his last game, and if that’s the case, he’ll go out with another loss. Houston 20 Cleveland 14

Carolina at New Orleans – The Saints have nothing to really play for here, as they have clinched a first-round bye and will host a game in two weeks. That means that the Panthers, with a returning Jake Delhomme at QB, actually have a shot here and need a lot of help but can still sneak into the playoffs. They are one of just a few teams that beat the Saints this season, and will match up well in this one with a lot of Saints players playing a little or not at all. Saints coach Sean Payton stated earlier this week that the game will be played like the fourth preseason game, meaning that they could care less about the outcome. Carolina 23 New Orleans 21

St.Louis at Minnesota – Slim playoff chances still exist for the Rams, who at 7-8 need a win at the Metrodome and a lot of help to make it to the postseason. The Vikings lost for the 5th time in 6 games last week 9-7 to the Packers, but still will play hard in this season finale, and will force the Rams to air it out to try and beat them. Minnesota still allows just 54 yards per game on the ground, and that will mean that Steven Jackson will look more to catch the ball out of the backfield than get a ton of rushes. The Rams #6 offense vs the Vikings #8 defense makes this a tough one to call, but with the Rams still in the playoff hunt, they should pull this one out with Marc Bulger throwing quite a bit. St.Louis 17 Minnesota 14

Miami at Indianapolis – Last weeks stunning loss to the Texans has put the Colts in a state of shock that could end their Super Bowl run in two weeks when they have to travel in the divisional round of the playoffs. They need a win over the Dolphins and a Bills upset in Baltimore to climb back to the two seed in the AFC, but that’s asking a lot. Indy could actually fall to #4 in the conference with a Pats win and a loss to Miami, but that as well seems unlikely. When the Colts season ends in the playoffs, they will reflect and see that you cannot possibly win the ring with a run defense that allows 174 yards per game. The Dolphins at 6-9 will actually make this close with running the ball and trying to keep Manning and co. off the field. It will be another long offseason for the Colts. Indianapolis 26 Miami 23

San Francisco at Denver – The Broncos can clinch a playoff spot with a win, and should do so here over the 49’ers, whose playoffs dreams were ended last week with a loss to the Cardinals. Denver is 13-1 in their last 14 home games in December, and while the 49’ers are much improved, this game should be over early with the Broncos running the football and making sure to hold Frank Gore in check. Add that the weather in Denver could be ugly with tons of snow, and this one has all the makings of a Denver whiteout. Look for the Broncos to play it like a playoff game to make sure they get in, and for San Fran to simply want to get home for New Years Day. Denver 34 San Francisco 17

Buffalo at Baltimore – Baltimore got a Christmas present last week from the Texans with their 27-24 upset over the Colts in Houston. That moves them to the #2 seed, and as long as they can handle the 7-8 Bills, they will clinch that two seed and a very important bye next week. Steve McNair has been huge for this team, and last week was on fire in a big win over the Steelers. Jamal Lewis and the rest of the offense have been solid as well, as Brian Billick saved this teams season with taking over the play calling. The Bills slim playoff hopes were dashed last week with a home loss to the Titans, and their offense simply overmatched here for the fired up Ravens. Baltimore 23 Buffalo 10

Arizona at San Diego – The Chargers at 13-2 can clinch home field with a win over the Cardinals, and with L.T. the #1 seed should be settled by halftime. LaDainian Tomlinson should find some gaping holes in the Cards defense, and Denny Green’s last game as Cardinals coach will be a loser. Arizona did pull off a good win last week over the 49’ers, but with a 5-10 mark, they are no match for the 13-2 Chargers, who will rest for a week and get ready for a divisional game in round two vs likely the Colts or Pats. Look for the Chargers offense to fly high, and for the defense to pound Kurt Warner to end the year 14-2. San Diego 27 Arizona 13

Atlanta at Philadelphia – Amazing to sit back and think a few weeks ago that the Eagles are playing this game for the NFC East title. That’s what happens when you get a red hot veteran QB in Jeff Garcia and a team that is playing with tons of confidence. The big factor here is the early part of the game, where the Eagles will have to impose their will and not give the Falcons any hopes of an upset. With Michael Vick and the Falcons, you never know what team will show up, and if you give them any hopes of a win, this one will be too close for comfort. I think Philly should be able to keep the momentum going, and will win this and the NFC East here. Philadelphia 20 Atlanta 10

Green Bay at Chicago – Why this game is on New Year’s Eve as the big game of the week is way beyond me to understand. Of course the hype machine will be behind this being the last possible game for Brett Favre, but haven’t we been saying that for about the last two years? The Bears have nothing to play for, and you won’t see much of their starters. At 13-2 they have plenty of time to get set for their Super Bowl run with a divisional playoff game at Soldier Field in two weeks against who knows who, while the Pack still have a shot at the playoffs with a win here and some other things that have to happen. Favre is 21-8 lifetime vs the Bears, and should have enough to make it 22-8 vs their second stringers. Green Bay 21 Chicago 14




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2 Responses to “NFL Week 17 Predictions”

  1. Rockwell says:

    Nothing like being four games back and seeing we have picked five of these differently. Hard to say what coaches will do this week. Take Jon Gruden… he says one thing (I’m starting the rookie for the rest of the year) and does another: starts Tim Rattay. It has been one crazy year. So the playoffs look crazy too.

    I’m guessing the Bears will play Grossman to give him more work: he needs it… and then Griese will come in for the win.

  2. Blake says:

    Larry Johnson really did make the maximum contribution to the Kansas City Chiefs team. It is surprising that the Chiefs did so well with a backup quarterback. Right now the Kansas City Chiefs are selected to win the Super Bowl Poll.

    See for yourself: