NFL Week 17 – Predictions
Sadly, this is the last weekend of the NFL regular season – I’ve enjoyed the ride and I hope you did too. Weekly coverage will resume next football season but we still have one more week left.
BUF over NYJ – Whatever is going on with the Jets better get worked out during the off season. They are a mess. Now Sanchez is starting again since McElroy has a concussion. Sanchez was shaky before being benched and that cannot have helped. Buffalo is not a strong team but should be strong enough to knock off the Jets.
NOS over CAR – I’m no jumping off the Brees bandwagon until I’m pushed. When this offense is on, they are just too prolific for most others to catch up. Carolina has a nice pass rush and can score some points of their own but New Orleans wins this last home game against Super Cam and the Panthers.
DET over CHI – ***upset*** History does not support my pick – Cutler is 6 and 1 vs the Lions but this is just too perfect an opportunity for the Lions to knock the Bears out of the playoffs. I pick the Lions to step up and knock out their division rival and take a little pressure off Minnesota when they take on Green Ba.
NYG over PHI – Vick is back for perhaps one more game as an Eagle. He’s been so injury prone lately I don’t see him lasting the whole game which will mean we get to take a look at Trent Edwards. New York will be keeping their playoff hopes alive by beating the Eagles.
TEN over JAX – This has been a disappointing season for both teams – at a combined 7 and 23, this is nowhere near a marquee match-up. One of Jacksonville’s 2 wins is against the Titans but I’m not sure that helps all that much. Tennessee is favored by 4 and I think they’ll cover.
CIN over BAL – Here we go – this one is a little more exciting. Division rivals both trying to prove they have what it takes to win big in the playoffs. Cincy is the up and comer while Baltimore seems to have lost a step even though they beat the Giants last week. I think Cincinnati roughs up Flacco and is able to move the ball against the once might Raven D.
HOU over IND – This one is another great matchup. I’ll admit to being one who doubted what Luck could accomplish in his rookie year. I saw more leadership in RGIII but something has clicked with this Indianapolis team and they are having a very special season. Houston is a bit more mature as a whole and I think they knock off the upstart Colts.
MIN over GBP – Minnesota is on a 3 game winning streak and their running back is going for the NFL single season rushing record the year after ACL repair. They are 9 and 6 and not necessarily scaring anyone but this is a good football team that just took down one of the better AFC teams. They lost to GB a few weeks back but seem to be on a roll right now. If Ponder can keep the ball in APete’s hands and not throw it to the Packers, they have a good chance. If you’re keeping track, Peterson needs 208 yards for the record.
DEN over KC – John Fox should get his 100th win this weekend when KC comes to town. The AFC is pretty well settled but even a halfhearted effort from the Broncos should propel them to a victory over the Chiefs.
SF over ARI – Sorry Seahawk fans, the 49ers don’t seem to lose back to back games anymore. They held Arizona to 3 points earlier this year and that was at Arizona. No, the 49ers will take this one down and win the NFC West.
SEA over STL – The games (SF/ARI, SEA/STL) are at the same time, so we’re sure to see a lot of clock watching at the end – however, at the start, all these teams will be playing their best. Seattle’s best is better than the Cardinals’ and that will be enough for the W.
NEP over MIA – This is similar to the DEN vs. KC game. Patriots should beat Miami even if playing half speed. Unfortunately for the ‘phin fans, they don’t play half speed so it’s really not looking good for Miami.
WAS over DAL – The East is on the line and the pressure is on both teams. Who will handle it best? The Rookie and his crew or Romo and his team? Romo stepped up last week and the team still lost, so this week I won’t take the easy route and blame this week on him choking. I will however pick the Redskins for other reasons. One, they beat Dallas once already and two, they should be able to run the ball while Dallas will have a tougher time (WAS is #5 against the run). Shanahan will have the better game plan and his team will score the win.
ATL over TB – Tampa Bay could very well win this one if Atlanta relaxes. I have to think they will NOT relax though since everyone will be looking to see how they respond this week. With their recent history of early playoff exits, they need to make sure this machine is firing on all cylinders at all times. No let up, no relaxing. Enter the playoffs on a roll and keep winning. Tampa won’t be able to do much to stop a charged up Atlanta team despite the issues Atlanta has in running the ball.
PIT over CLE – Last home game for the disappointed Steelers. They had several chances to clinch a playoff spot and just could not close the deal. This week they will take out the frustration on a weaker Browns team and then head quietly in to the off season.
SD over OAK – Neither of these teams has been impressive this year but with Palmer on the bench and the fact that it’s at San Diego, I give them the edge. The fans should show Norv some love as he coaches what is probably his last game with the Chargers.