NFL Picks Week 17: Locks to Finish the Season on a Positive Note

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistDecember 24, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 16: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos waves to fans during the closing moments of the Broncos 34-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 16, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

With the final week of the 2012 NFL regular season almost upon us, every team is looking to end the year on a positive note and catapult themselves into either a stellar offseason or into a long playoff run.

There is still so much on the line in terms of playoff spots, home-field advantage and bye weeks, so teams will be fighting tooth and nail for every inch of ground in their Week 17 matchups.

If you’re looking for picks in Week 17 that will be locks and bring home the big bucks, look no further than all of the following teams to make sure you finish your season on a positive note.


Atlanta Falcons

Tampa Bay at Atlanta

After dismantling the Detroit Lions in Week 16, the Atlanta Falcons will do the same against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to close out the season and enter the playoffs as hot as any team in the league.

Led by the once-again elite play of star quarterback Matt Ryan—he was terrible through the middle of the regular season—the potent Falcons passing offense is one of the best in the NFL (fifth in the NFL with 286.4 yards per game).

Add in how stellar the defensive unit has played—allowing 24 or less points in 12 of their 15 games this season—and Atlanta will blow out the Buccaneers in Week 16 and walk into the playoffs ready to prove everyone wrong.

Prediction: Atlanta 34, Tampa Bay 17


Pittsburgh Steelers

Cleveland at Pittsburgh

The Cleveland Browns have a lot of talent on their roster, but the Pittsburgh Steelers will destroy their AFC North foe in spectacular fashion in Week 17.

With Ben Roethlisberger getting back to full health and the Steelers’ offense playing well again, the combination of a porous Cleveland defense and a mediocre passing attack will have the Browns down and out for the entire game.

Despite being a divisional battle that usually stays close throughout the game, Pittsburgh and Cleveland are at the two opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of momentum, and the Browns will feel the Steelers' wrath.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 27, Cleveland 12


Denver Broncos

Kansas City at Denver

The Denver Broncos have been amazing in the 2012 regular season, but this lock to win has less to do with their team as it does with their opponents, the dreadful Kansas City Chiefs.

With a passing offense that has a hard time making anything happen and a defensive unit struggling to find a way to stop the run, the Chiefs don’t stand a chance against one of the best teams on both sides of the ball in the Broncos during Week 17.

Led by veteran QB Peyton Manning and one of the best defenses in the league—eighth against the pass, second against the run—Kansas City doesn’t stand a chance. Sorry, Chiefs faithful!

Prediction: Denver 37, Kansas City 9


Check back for more on the National Football League as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s NFL page to get your fill of all things football.