NFL Picks Week 17: Playoff Teams That Will Dominate in Regular-Season Finale

Austin GreenCorrespondent IDecember 28, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 04: Golden Tate #81, of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates a touchdown with teammate Russell Wilson #3 during a game against the Minnesota Vikings at CenturyLink Field on November 4, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Ten NFL teams have clinched playoff berths heading into Week 17, but that doesn't mean they'll be taking their foot off the gas pedal for their regular-season finales.

In the NFL, playing your best football at this time of year is considered a huge advantage, if not a necessity. Everyone wants to enter the postseason on a positive note, so you will see plenty of playoff-bound teams going all-out on Sunday.

Look for the following playoff teams to dominate in Week 17.


San Francisco 49ers

One week ago, the 49ers were widely accepted as the best team in the NFL. A 42-13 beatdown at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks changed that perception in a hurry.

While San Francisco is certainly still one of the league's top teams, they will want to put that ugly performance behind them. That's bad news for the Arizona Cardinals, who will feel the 49ers' wrath on Sunday.

After starting out 4-0, the Cardinals have lost 10 of their last 11 games. During that span they've topped 20 points just once and they've been held to six or fewer points four times.

One of those times was in late October, when San Francisco beat them 24-3. I'm expecting a similar outcome this Sunday.


Seattle Seahawks

As I mentioned above, Seattle spanked the 49ers last week. They have now won four straight games, outscoring their opponents 173-47 during that stretch.

Don't expect them to slow down now, because Pete Carroll and Co. are clearly loving this rampage lifestyle. Not only are they blowing teams out, but they're laughing as they do it.

Next up on their hit-list are the St. Louis Rams. The Rams beat Seattle 19-13 in September, but that was long before Russell Wilson the Seahawks hit their stride. During Seattle's four-game winning streak, the rookie Wilson has racked up 1,021 total yards and 11 total touchdowns, while throwing just two interceptions.

St. Louis is a quality team and they've had a decent year, but they will be Seahawks' next victim.


New England Patriots

Speaking of teams that love running up the score, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots are always down to embarrass somebody. This week, that somebody will be the Miami Dolphins.

New England leads the NFL with 35.3 points per game, and they've already dropped 40-plus five times this season. They've topped the 50-point mark twice, scoring 52 on the Buffalo Bills and 59 on the Indianapolis Colts. 

They should also be motivated for this game, as they've been underwhelming each of the past two weeks. After losing to the 49ers, the Patriots trailed woeful Jacksonville 10-0 early before making a comeback.

The Patriots will want to enter the postseason playing well, so look for them to drop at least 40 points on Miami.