NFL Predictions Week 17: Indianapolis Colts and Others Jockeying For Playoffs

James EvensCorrespondent IDecember 30, 2010

NFL Predictions Week 17: Indianapolis Colts and Others Jockeying For Playoffs

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    INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 28:  Reggie Wayne #87 of the Indianapolis Colts sits on the field after dropping a pass during the NFL game against the San Diego Chargers at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 28, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The chargers won 36-14.
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The NFL is in its final regular season week of the year, and it's time to get down to business.  There are five games this week that have major playoff implications to determine who gets into the playoffs and who is staying at home this January.

    It should be a great weekend of football, as all of the games are being played on Sunday, barring a natural disaster or any roofs falling in.

    Here are predictions of the five games that really have meaning this Sunday.

    James Evens is a Purdue student and Basketball/Football Featured Columnist for the Boilermakers, along with being a Writing Intern at Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter or like him on Facebook.

New York Giants Vs. Washington Redskins

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    JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 26: Quarterback Rex Grossman #8 of the Washington Redskins is pressured by Jeremy Mincey #94 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the game at EverBank Field on December 26, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    This game has significant meaning to the Giants, who are looking for a wild-card berth clinch this weekend as they face off against the Redskins.

    New York needs a victory to remain in the wild-card hunt but don't control their destiny. If the Packers win, Green Bay is in regardless of what happens here.

    The Redskins have nothing to gain but pride here and would love nothing more than to prevent their division rival from making the playoffs this season.

Winner: New York Giants

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    GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 26:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants throws against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on December 26, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    The Giants should take care of the Redskins, especially with Rex Grossman starting for Washington.  This shouldn't be a close game, but crazier things have happened in the NFL.

Chicago Bears Vs. Green Bay Packers

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    CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 26: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears looks for a receiver against the New York Jets at Soldier Field on December 26, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Jets 38-34.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    This should be a great game in the NFC North.  The Bears have already clinched their spot in the playoffs but are intent on making sure that their division rival does not join them in the postseason. 

    The Packers need to win this game to secure the wild-card, while Chicago may have a shot at home field if the Falcons slip up against the Panthers.

    But really, the Bears are just looking to come out and get some momentum going into the postseason, as they will have next week off with a bye.

Winner: Green Bay Packers

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    GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 26:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is chased out of the pocket against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field on December 26, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    The Packers will be playing this game at home and look for them to come out with a fire that has not been seen in a long time.  

    Aaron Rodgers will surely be playing with a chip on his shoulder after being snubbed for the Pro Bowl, as putting up great numbers in a season marred by concussions wasn't good enough for voters. 

Jacksonville Jaguars Vs. Houston Texans

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    DENVER - DECEMBER 26:  Quarterback Matt Schaub #8 of the Houston Texas looks on against the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on December 26, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Texans 24-23.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Image
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The AFC South is still up for grabs this season as no one has clinched the division yet.  Right now, the Colts are in the driver's seat, needing a victory or a Jaguar loss to clinch the title. 

    The Jaguars look to go into Houston and put some pressure on the Colts by winning their game, forcing the Colts to win their game against Tennessee. 

    Houston is iffy either way, it doesn't really matter as they are not making the playoffs, making this game virtually meaningless to them.

Winner: Houston Texans

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    DENVER - DECEMBER 26:  Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans scores a touchdown against D.J. Williams #55 of the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at INVESCO Field at Mile High on December 26, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Gett
    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    I'm actually going to go with the Texans in this one.  After the Jaguars' horrible performance against the Redskins last week, I don't see this one going their way either.

    They have run out of steam at the wrong time, and the Texans are looking to roll into next season with some momentum on their side.

Indianapolis Colts Vs. Tennessee Titans

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 26:  Quarterback Kerry Collins #5 of the Tennessee Titans in action during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on December 26, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    This game between division rivals will be a good one.  There is definite bad blood between these two franchises, and the Colts are looking to make the playoffs, as the Titans look to dash those hopes by getting a victory.

    This should be a great game full of hostility and storylines.

    Can Peyton Manning win the big game to further solidify himself as one of the best to ever play the game of football?

Winner: Indianapolis Colts

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    OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 26:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates after a throwing a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December  26, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    This Colts team is flying under the radar this season.  They will win this game and quietly sneak into the playoffs.

    They really are a sleeper this year, don't count them out in the playoffs.

Seattle Seahawks Vs. St. Louis Rams

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    TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 26: Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst #6 of the Seattle Seahawks throws a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the game at Raymond James Stadium on December 26, 2010 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    This battle for the NFC West is going to come down to whoever wants it more.  Neither of these teams are very good, and it will be a battle of young vs old.  

    The Seahawks are looking to become the first team in NFL history to make the playoffs with a record of 7-9.

    The Rams are looking to make the playoffs with a rookie QB in Sam Bradford.  It should be an interesting matchup.

Winner: St. Louis Rams

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 26: Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams passes against the San Francisco 49ers at the Edward Jones Dome on December 26, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the 49ers 25-17. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    The Rams are looking to clinch the division that they rightfully deserve.  This division is slightly pitiful and a disgrace to the league.

    Hopefully the Rams will come out and beat down the Seahawks, so a .500 team actually makes the playoffs from this division.