Here are my NFL Week 17 Picks
(11-5 last week, 156-84 for the season)
Bye teams: none
NO @ Atl – With both teams eliminated from the playoffs, and without much to play for, the edge goes to the home team. The Falcons were able to knock off the Panthers last week, but it wasn’t enough to get them to January. Maybe next year.
NYJ @ Buf – I don’t like the Bills to play spoiler enough to pick them here, as much as I’m sure Rex Ryan would like to keep his former team out of the playoffs. The Jets are the better team and are playing for the postseason, so they should win this week.
Det @ Chi – Another matchup without meaning, at least as far as this season. Jobs are on the line though, so both teams could be playing for footage rather than for record. Ironically, the Bears are even worse at home than the Lions are on the road, but I’ll pick ’em anyway.
Bal @ Cin – The Ravens might have been able to rain on one of their division opponent’s parades last week, but I don’t think they’ll do it again. The Bengals lost a tough road game, but they’ll return to form at home, unless some backup QB is throw to the wolves.
Pit @ Cle – After losing a disastrous game last week, the Steelers need to win desperately, but they also need other AFC teams to lose. I don’t think the Brownies will stand in the way of such purposeful play, but I also don’t think that Pittsburgh will make the playoffs.
Was @ Dal – With the Redskins possibly sitting their starters, this is a game that Dallas can win, though it doesn’t matter to either team. Washington already clinched the division, the Cowboys had a lost season, and both teams are ready for January, if for different reasons.
Jax @ Hou – All the Texans have to do is win and they take the AFC South. That sounds simple, but it’s been a wild year, with surprising ups & downs. That said, the Jaguars are 1-6 on the road and probably don’t stand a chance against a team that wants it much more.
Ten @ Ind – The only chance for the Colts is to win here and have the Texans lose to Jacksonville. But with a 4th string quarterback, that’s easier said than done. Still, the Titans are the worst team in the league and would probably rather have the 1st pick in the Draft than a win here.
NE @ Mia – New England keeps the #1 overall seed in the AFC with a win this week, and a road game in Miami shouldn’t be enough to stop them. The Dolphins are irrelevant, and although they might be playing for jobs next year, might just roll over.
Phi @ NYG – Chip Kelly’s days in Philly are over, and the teasers that he might be headed to Tennessee to reunite with Marcus Mariota have already begun. I think he’ll probably head back to college where he can be successful playing lesser competition with a hand-recruited mega-roster.
Sea @ Ari – The NFC playoffs are decided, and both these teams are in. Now it’s just about seeding, with the Cardinals hoping to nab #1 if the Panthers lose again this week. Arizona is a great team no matter where they play, and they’ll look to keep their 9-game win streak alive.
TB @ Car – I would pat myself on the back for picking the Panthers & Patriots to lose last week, but it was actually pretty predictable, what with matchups, momentum, and timing. This week, I think Carolina gets back on track and holds the #1 overall seed, hosting every playoff game going forward.
SD @ Den – The Broncos won in impressive fashion on Monday Night, Brock Osweiler leading his team on drive after drive, even after a poor start and a ton of miscues by his teammates. Denver wants the division though, and should take it at home vs the Chargers.
Oak @ KC – Man the Chiefs just won’t lose, but they might come up just short, as far as the AFC West goes anyway. They’ll be playing hard in this one, hoping that the Broncos falter, but either way they enter the playoffs as a team no one wants to face.
STL @ SF – Gurley trumps most other players, and has a way of helping his team with the tough games, even when he doesn’t play his best. Last week the Rams beat the Seahawks, this week they should be able to beat the Niners, a team that couldn’t be more lost.
Min @ GB – This is the most important game of the week, which is why they flexed it to Sunday Night, and will decide the winner of the NFC North. The loser with play in the first round of the playoffs, the winner gets a bye, so it’s a big game, and I don’t see Rodgers losing it at Lambeau.