Site Editor Matt Loedes NFL Picks for Week 17

Another 8-7 week for week 16 puts me at 114-104 as we head into the final week of the regular season. Some huge games across the board, and no better time than now to get to them, so here we go:

Oakland at Tampa Bay (-13)

Bucs need the win to keep their playoff hopes alive, and despite their recent issues – they will.  The Raiders won last week at home vs the Texans, and even though they have shown signs of playing better during some of their latter games this year, this won’t be one.  Look for the game to be a bit closer than the line, but in the end, I like the Bucs to pull it out.  Tampa Bay 23 Oakland 17

Detroit at Green Bay (-11)

Rod Marinelli will be in the history books after this one, and that’s not a good thing.  The Lions have not beaten the Packers in Green Bay since 1991, and that streak won’t be broken here.  The Pack have lost 7 games by a total of 21 points, and despite the first year without Brett being a setback, this team is going out on a winning note.  Green Bay 31 Detroit 7

Dallas at Philadelphia (-1)

The Eagles lost in Washington last week, putting their playoff hopes in doubt.  The Cowboys as well lost at home to the Ravens, and they are going to play desperate as well.  I think the Eagles have a slight edge here playing at home, and even though the Cowboys say that Wade Phillips will be back in 09, they are going to miss the playoffs in 08.  Philadelphia 17 Dallas 14

New York Giants at Minnesota (-7)

Look for a steady dose of Giants backups, starting with QB David Carr.  The Giants have clinched all they can, and don’t need to get anyone hurt here against a Vikings team that needs the win.  Expect it to be a tough game on both sides, but the Vikings realize a loss could mean their season is over, and they won’t that happen at home.  Minnesota 24 New York Giants 17

Chicago at Houston (-3)

The Bears need a win and a Vikings loss to get in the postseason, and I don’t think either happens.  The Texans win streak was halted in Oakland a week ago, and they should be able to take advantage of a Bears team that is banged up and had to fight hard to pull out an OT win over the Packers.  I like Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson to pull this one out.  Houston 27 Chicago 17

Carolina (-2.5) at New Orleans

The NFC South has seen every home team win this year against their fellow division opponents, but I think that the streak ends here.  The Panthers could see themselves drop from a 2 seed to a 5 seed, but I think they will have enough offense to overcome Drew Brees and the Saints, who seem more worried about getting Brees the yardage record than anything else.  Panthers take the South.  Carolina 34 New Orleans 30

St.Louis at Atlanta (-14)

Who would have ever thought that this game would have playoff meaning?  More so for the Faclons of course, who are in the postseason on a magical ride, and they need a win here and a Panthers loss to clinch the South and the two-seed.  Won’t happen, but the Falcons will dominate one of the worst teams in the league in the Rams.  Atlanta 37 St.Louis 13

Kansas City at Cincinnati (-2.5)

The Bengals can end the year on a three-game win streak with a win over the Chiefs, and I think they get it.  KC is a team that competes, but can’t pull out games in the end.  Look for the Bengals to be able to use what has become a tight D in the last two weeks, while the Chiefs will end the season with two wins.  Cincinnati 20 Kansas City 13

Jacksonville at Baltimore (-12.5)

A game that the Ravens should dominate from start to finish.  They need a win to get in the postseason, and they will be able to do what they have to do to stop the Jaguars offesne and put up enough points to get in the postseason.  The Jaguars have had a tough season, and this game won’t be one to include in their 08 highlight film.  Baltimore 28 Jacksonville 10

Tennessee (-3) at Indianapolis

Both teams will sit plenty of players, as neither can go up or down in their AFC playoff seedings here.  The Colts have been on a role, and I think they will win simply becuase they are at home and should keep that momentum going.  Look for a rematch of these two in the divisional round of the playoffs in two weeks.  Indianapolis 17 Tennessee 13

Cleveland at Pittsburgh (-11)

The Steelers say some starters will play, but at the same time they have nothing to play for, so I don’t think we’ll see them very long.  Bruce Gradkowski will start for Cleveland, their fourth starting QB in 2008.  It will be the last game for Romeo Crennel and the Browns coaching staff, and it won’t be one they will want to remember.  Pittsburgh 27 Cleveland 0

Miami at New York Jets (-2.5)

Brett Favre should have stayed retired.  He clearly is exhausted on both the physical and mental side, and I don’t think that the Hall of Fame QB will be back in 09 after the Jets miss the playoffs here.  The Dolphins have had quite the turnaround this year, joining the Falcons as the two comeback stories in 2008.  Look for them to clinch the East with a win here, and for the Jets to have an offseason of turmoil.  Miami 21 New York Jets 17

New England at Buffalo (-6)

The postseason will seem strange without the Pats going through teams, but that is what we’re in for.  New England is a team that played as well as they could without their leader, Tom Brady, and they will be back with a vengeance in 2009.  As for the Bills, a fast start has gone downhill, and it will be interesting to see if Dick Jauron is back in 09.  I bet he won’t.  New England 29 Buffalo 24

Seattle at Arizona (-7)

The Cards have had a division title hangover, as they have played awful since winning the division, including last weeks joke in New England.  Ken Whisenhunt says that he’ll play the starters just to get some confidence back, but at the end of the day I think the Cards are one and done in the post season.  Look for them to beat a Hawks team here that has nothing to play for.  Arizona 23 Seattle 13

Washington at San Francisco (-3)

Mike Singletary has cemented the job as the new head coach of the Niners, while the Redskins have shown some fight after beating the Eagles last week.  I think on the road the Skins will have a tough time with a Niners D that has shown a lot of fight as of late, and look for San Fran to get out of 08 with another hard fought win.  San Francisco 20 Washington 13

Denver at San Diego (-8)

The official collapse of the Denver Broncos will commence Sunday night as the Chargers get revenge for getting robbed in week two at Invesco Field.  San Diego won’t take this game lightly, and look for them to come out swinging early and often, and for them to build a lead and be able to come back from the dead to grab the AFC West and a rematch with the Colts next weekend.  San Diego 27 Denver 14


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