NFL

NFL Picks Week 17: Teams That Desperately Need a Win to End 2011 Season

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 18:  San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner talks with quarterback Philip Rivers #17 against the Baltimore Ravens at Qualcomm Stadium on December 18, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Kyle VassaloFeatured ColumnistDecember 31, 2011

Forget about the draft and the playoffs for a moment. While it seems that they are the only two things that matter, there are jobs on the line and a few teams who desperately need a win to close out the season.

Suggesting that a team would be better off by tanking their last game or that those who are mathematically eliminated have nothing to gain by performing well makes sense from the outside looking in.

Even so, there are players and coaches who only get one more shot to prove that they are the best men for their respective jobs and they aren't going to squander it to better their chances of landing a top prospect in April.

Here are three teams who desperately need a victory in Week 17.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins

The Eagles have a chance to salvage some sort of respectability by going 8-8. Injecting talent into their already star-laden roster threw off the dynamics of their locker room and they are by far the biggest disappointment of the season.

People had the "Dream Team" not only winning the division, coasting to a Super Bowl and snagging a Lombardi Trophy, but there were murmurs of this being the start of a dynasty.

Their sense of entitlement has to irk Eagles fans. DeSean Jackson has to find a new home and serious changes are needed. The Eagles need to get hungry again and saving themselves from chocking up a losing season is step one towards establishing respect once again.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons

Finishing the season with 10 losses would almost certainly cost Raheem Morris his job. Tampa Bay is in a state of indifference. They don't want to win and they make that glaringly obvious week in and week out.

The Bucs will likely be shopping for a new head coach anyway, but going out on a high note and taking down a playoff team and division rival on the road would at least allow management to feel like there is a glimmer of hope for the future, should they stick with Morris.

With eight double-digit losses to their name this season, a young, but talented Tampa Bay team should be ashamed of the effort they've put forth. We'll see this weekend how hard they are willing to fight for their coach.

San Diego Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders

Chargers fans aren't concerned with their draft pick heading into this game. They are out of the playoff hunt, but they've got a chance to play spoiler to the Raiders' playoff dreams, avoid sustaining a losing record and obtain bragging rights over a division rival they flat-out hate.

There is no love lost between these two teams.

Even though Norv Turner has worn out his welcome and the Chargers grossly underachieved this season, losing to the Raiders and keeping the Silver and Black's playoff hopes alive to end a losing season has to sound like a nightmare to Chargers fans.

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