NFL Week 17 Quick Picks
We have reached the end. The end of the NFL regular season that is. A season that will well be worth not remembering for all the impact Covid-19 has had on it. But to the league’s credit, they made it through the entire campaign without one game being canceled. They will also get the playoffs done and a Super Bowl champion crowned without a hitch unless something tragically goes wrong.
So with a final full slate of games that sees every team in action, I now make my final regular-season predictions in this final column of “Quick Picks.”
Miami at Buffalo: If the Bills are concerned about keeping the #2 seed in the AFC, they will need to win this game unless the Browns lost to the Steelers. If Buffalo wants to win this game they will. I think they want the victory. Prediction: Bills 24 Dolphins 20.
Baltimore at Cincinnati: A playoff spot is on the line for the Ravens a team some other already playoff-bound teams may not want to see in January. But Baltimore only gets in with a win and a Browns loss. Prediction: Ravens 38 Bengals 6.
Pittsburgh at Cleveland: the question for Mike a Tomlin here is “does he give some starters a much-needed rest?” Or, does he go for the win and hope Miami also wins putting Pittsburgh in the #2 sees in the AFC. All the Browns need to do to get to the post-season for the first time in 18 years is win. Easier said than done against a team and quarterback that has essentially owned them. That is if Big Ben plays. Prediction: Steelers 27 Browns 24.
Minnesota at Detroit: No playoff implications here just a pride game. Prediction: Lions 31 Vikings 27.
New York Jets at New England: Wouldn’t that be something if the Jets who could not buy a game three weeks ago went out and closed the season with three straight wins the last one to close it out against a team that has owned the division for years? The Patriots are just another team now bringing smiles to many Patriot haters worldwide. Prediction: Jets 30 Patriots 20.
Dallas at New York Giants: This is a playoff game in itself and the NFC East is complicated, to say the least. With a Giants win and a Washington loss, the ‘Giants take the division title with a final record of 6-10. Yikes. But if the Cowboys win and Washington loses, it’s the Cowboys who become division champs finishing also at 6-10. All The Washington Football Team needs to do is win and all the aforementioned scenarios are for not. But Washington is In Philadelphia for a Sunday night nationally televised game the Eagles would love to win to throw a wrench in the Prediction: Cowboys 28 Giants 17. Prediction: Cowboys 28 Giants 17.
Atlanta at Tampa Bay: The Bucs and Tom Brady own a wildcard spot and their seeding won’t change rendering this game meaningless. For Matty Ryan, he may be playing for his Falcons future. Because Tampa’s starters will rest, advantage Atlanta. Prediction: Falcons 27 Bucs 17.
New Orleans at Carolina: The Saints might still be able to grab the top seed in the NFC if they win and the Packers lose and this season that top spot means a lot because it is the only first-round bye. The Packers will be in Chicago so there will be plenty of scoreboard watching. Prediction: Saints 33 Panthers 13.
Green Bay at Chicago: A win and they are in. That is for the Bears. They can also get in with an Arizona loss. Given the Cards are in Los Angeles to play the Rams, it appears Chicago has their destiny in their own hands. For the Packers, a first-round bye means everything. A win or Seattle loss to the 49ers gives them that luxury. Prediction: Packers 24 Bears 17.
Las Vegas at Denver: Another game just to get the season over. Prediction: Broncos 25 Raiders 21.
Tennessee at Houston: The Texans can be big-time spoilers here given the Colts are hosting Jacksonville losers of 15 straight games. You can rest assured that the Colts will win so here we have the Titans will complete control of their destiny as division winner of the AFC South. Win and they take the crown. Lose and it goes to the Colts. Prediction: Texans 28 Titans 27.
Jacksonville at Indianapolis: The New York Jets, the joke of the NFL most of the season have been replaced by the league’s biggest laughing stock now, the Jaguars. Opening day victory and now 14 straight losses later, they have zero chance to win this game with a division title on the line for the Colts. Prediction: Colts 45 Jaguars 6.
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City: With nothing to play for in this game, the Chiefs will rest starters so they can have a nice two-week layoff. Chargers will play hard just because. Prediction: Chargers 24 Chiefs 20.
Arizona at Los Angeles Rams: another game that is essentially a playoff game for both teams. The Rams win and they are in. Even if they lose, they are still in if the Bears lose. For the Cardinals, they have to win or tie this game and then hope if they tie, the Bears lose. So much riding on so many games on this final day. Prediction: Rams 34 Cardinals 21.
Seattle at San Francisco: Seattle has an outside shot at the #1 seed but what has to happen is they must win, the Packers lose, and the Saints lose or tie. That ain’t happening. So the Seahawks have something to gain while the 49ers have nothing to lose. That’s called dangerous. I think the ‘Hawks realize their first-round bye scenario is improbable so they will probably protect starters. Prediction: 49ers 23 Seahawks 17.
Washington at Philadelphia: The season concludes on Sunday night ironically enough with a game to decide the NFC East division winner the worst group of four teams in the league this season. If the Giants win earlier in the day, a Washington victory gives them the title. Lose and the New York Giants are crowned if they win, and the Cowboys also lose. Confused? The Eagles would like nothing more than to see Jalen Hurts finish the season strong setting himself up for a big 2021 season. That and playing a part in who wins their division. Prediction: Eagles 27 The Washington Football Team 21.