Saturday, December 31, 2011

NFL Week 17 Game Predictions

In week 16 I went 11-5 on my picks, which brings me to 159-81 for the season.  One week of regular season action to go.  I'll continue to make picks throughout the playoffs, but this is the last major week for predictions, so hopefully I'll make it count and pull off another 11-5 record or more, would be nice.

This coming week of games are all played on Sunday, January 1st and in so doing marks the first games played in the new year.  This can be of psychological significance to some teams, after all, irregardless of being in two separate seasons, I would gather most teams would prefer ending this season on a high note while remaining undefeated in 2012 before the games start in the 2012 season.

The games look pretty rough this week.  I've tossed ideas around, tried to get the feel for what teams are or will be doing this weekend and it's tough and quite frankly a crapshoot when all's said and done, thus the Saturday posting.  There are so many teams that just simply won't be playing for anything, other than pride that is.  Then you'll see some teams who have nothing to play for because they are already in the playoffs and while the possibility of moving up a seed is nice and all, I believe most coaches will prefer to ensure their elite stars and most important starters are rested and healthy going into their playoff games.  Yet there are some things still to be played for as well, which I'll touch upon as I go through this weeks picks.

Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots

The Patriots can clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs and the #1 seed in the AFC with a win against the injury riddled Bills.  The Bills will come out trying to win this game, as many of the players are playing for next year already, in some shape or another.  But the Patriots will also be trying to fire on all cylinders.  Tom Brady, who was limited in practice all week is said to be ready to go for the game on Sunday.  How long it takes the Patriots to build up a big lead, to where they can insert reserves into the lineup is, well, how good or poorly the Bills defense plays.  New England 35 Buffalo 20

Dallas cowboys @ New York Giants

This is really the most important game of the week.  The winner is division champs, the loser misses the playoffs.  Lots of little side-stories here as well.  JPP vs Ware, who'll leave with the most sacks.  Felix Jones vs. Giants linebackers.  Romo, is the hand ready?  Eli, can he return to the way he was playing just a few weeks ago?  These questions and more will be answered on SNF tomorrow evening.  I think the home team comes out on top.  NYG 28  Dallas 27

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are fighting for their playoff lives in a win and in scenario. If they lose they may not make it into the playoffs, despite holding down the 6 seed for some time now.  The Ravens can clinch the division and the Bye week in the Playoffs.  So this should be a real game with starters a full go.  I think the Ravens are just a better ball club than the Bengals and should win the contest.  Ravens 24  Bengals 20

San Francisco 49ers @ St. Louis Rams

If SF wins they secure themselves the first round playoff bye, if they lose they'll have to scoreboard watch for the NO-Carolina score.  I don't think they'll have to watch any score, they should handle the lifeless rams rather easily.  SF 19  STL 6

Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints

The Saints can clinch the first round bye with a win and a 49ers loss, so you may see some injured players rest, but I do expect the Panthers to come out and play and make a game of it here, yet I still think Brees will be Brees for however long he's in there and the Saints should come out on top. NO 28 Carolina 21

New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins

The Jets need to win and they need help to make a bid for the chance to return to the AFC championship game again this year.  The odds are against them here, regardless of anything Rex Ryan says.  Miami is not playing for anything other than pride here, and I don't think that will be good enough.  NYJ 24  Miami 14

San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders

The Raiders need to win and get a Denver loss.  If it plays out like that, they'll then win the AFC West, if not they'll go home.  I think they'll win their game as I think the Chargers have already packed their bags and have begun their offseason a little early.  Raiders 28  Chargers 7

Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos

If Denver wins, they are in.  If they lose they can still win the division with an Oakland loss.  The Chiefs want to keep Romeo Crennel on as their HC for next season and will play hard for their interim coach.  Also, this game marks Kyle Orton's return to Denver since being cut a little over a month ago and being claimed off waivers by KC.  I think this will be a close game but at home I think the Broncos get this one done.  Denver 24 KC 17

Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans

The Texans can't really move, they are locked into that 3rd seed and most likely should rest their starters for this game.  That said I've heard that they want to go into the playoffs on a high note and will play their starters, Foster and Johnson included, until the win is apparent.  The Titans still have a chance at the final wild card if a number of scenarios pan out, but the one they can control is to win this game, something they have to do for any hope of a postseason berth.  I think they'll pull it out.  Titans 20 Texans 16

Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers

With the undefeated season ruined a couple weeks ago in KC, the packers will be playing their reserve players, saving the starters for the postseason.  Detroit can move into the sixth seed so they'll probably play their starters for about a half of football and see where things stand, as they do have guys that could use the rest before the playoffs start.  I think the Lions starters should be able to pull the win out over the Packers backups here, even if it's only for a half.  Detroit 17 GB 14

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns

The Steelers can win the AFC North and gain a first round bye with a win and a Ravens loss.  The Ravens match up is much more difficult than theirs against Cleveland and they could use that extra week to rest Big Ben, so they'll go for it and even with Charlie Batch under center they should be good enough to beat the Browns.  Pittsburgh 20 Cleveland 13

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons

Despite the possibility of sliding to 6th seed, Atlanta will probably rest their players here, many of them at least.  Tampa Bay has been terribly and Rodgers or Snelling should do fine against their porous defense and still pull out the win here.  Atlanta 30 Tampa Bay 21

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars

While this game isn't meaningful in respect to playoffs or playoff positioning, it does bear a heavy significance.  If Indianapolis loses to division rival Jacksonville they'll secure the first overall pick in next April's draft and the right to draft Stanford QB Andrew Luck.  That said, If I'm Jacksonville I'm punting this game to avoid having to go from Manning to Luck.  They'll never come out and say that, and perhaps they'll actually try.  The Colts want to end the season on a winning note, it will be 3 straight if they can do this one, but really, what a price to pay if they do.  If the Jags play hard they'll win the game, if they mail it in as I expect the Colts will.  Indianapolis 23 Jacksonville 9

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals

Neither team has anything to play for.  I'm assuming Pete Carroll would love getting his team to the .500 mark and to see Beast Mode roll some more, but the effort in the last game of the year is tough to predict.  I really hate to say who cares here, but I'm just getting that vibe.  I'll take Seattle as on paper, at least, they seem to be the better team this week.  Seattle 31 Arizona 27

Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles

It's no secret that the "Dream Team" in Philadelphia did not live up to the hype early on.  That said they've been playing great football, especially on defense, lately and I've heard they want to run LeSean McCoy all day long here, in hopes he wins the NFL rushing title, snatching it from first place MJD, to just give the franchise something to hang their hat on at the end of the year.  I don't see Washington laying down, but one has to wonder if this team cares at all in week 17, actually that's the big question to ponder for any of these non-playoff teams, as winning does and will hurt your draft status next April.  I see the Eagles pulling this out and McCoy taking the Rushing Title as well with a huge game tomorrow.  Eagles 31  Redskins 17

Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings

This should be a bad game and I see a lot of running here.  The game should be decided as to which backup running back fares better.  So, in essence, it's Chicago's Kahlil Bell vs. Minnesota's Toby Gerhart.  While I like Bell this week, I also like Minnesota at home, for Gerhart and for the extra things an athletic QB like Joe Webb can provide.  Vikings in a close one.  Minnesota 20 Chicago 17

Hope everyone enjoyed the NFL season and found a source of entertainment with my picks each week.  I'll be posting throughout the playoffs so keep tuning in.  Thanks and have a Happy New Year's.


  1. Hey cool blog following :) and good info

  2. Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoy the blog. Wish I did better this week but still had a pretty good season. Will continue throughout the playoffs and then will do draft coverage with a few mocks here and there leading up to April's draft. Hope you had a happy holidays