NFL Picks: St. Louis Rams, Baltimore Ravens and the Winners of Week 17

Chris FaigCorrespondent IDecember 31, 2010

NFL Picks: St. Louis Rams, Baltimore Ravens and the Winners of Week 17

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    In the final week of the 2010 NFL season, there will be some teams fighting for the final playoff spots, such as the St. Louis Rams and the Seattle Seahawks, while teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers and Atlanta Falcons fight to secure home field advantage.

    Rookie Sam Bradford could lead the St. Louis Rams to their third post-season appearance in the last ten years this Sunday night against the Seattle Seahawks.  

    In what is guaranteed to be an exciting final week of the 2010 NFL season, the final questions will be answered:

    Will Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win against the Panthers?

    Can the Seattle Seahawks defeat the St. Louis Rams and clinch a post-season birth?

    Will the New York Giants defeat the Redskins and will the Packers lose to the Bears, resulting in the G-Men clinching a playoff birth?

    The following slides preview and predict the NFL games of Week 17.

    Take a look, and enjoy the games this weekend...

Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons

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    After a disappointing loss last week to the New Orleans Saints, Matt Ryan has the chance to lead the Falcons to clinching home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.  

    Once Atlanta takes a cushioned lead, Ryan will be sat immediately to prevent injury. In Ryan's last two outings, he has recorded a total of four touchdowns and one interception.

     

    Predicted Outcome: Carolina Panthers 17, Atlanta Falcons 34

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns

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    If the Steelers lose this game, they will have to play their wild-card game on the road. You can expect Big Ben to start and play a majority of the game.  

    Pittsburgh has already beaten Cleveland convincingly by a score of 28-10 and with the Browns losing their last three games, you can expect a similar outcome in Week 17. Roethlisberger had a magnificent performance last week against the Carolina Panthers, completing 22 of 32 passes for 320 yards and a touchdown, as well as one rushing touchdown.

    The Steelers win this one in a surprisingly close game, clinching a home game for the first round of the playoffs.

     

    Predicted Outcome: Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Cleveland Browns 16

Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions

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    The Lions have been extremely hot of late, winning their last three games against some rather competitive teams in the Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins.  

    Shaun Hill had an excellent game last week against the Miami Dolphins, completing 14 of his 26 attempted passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns, while recording a 108.2 QB rating. Hill will be getting the start against the Vikings and will come away with a close win that will be decided in the final minutes.

     

    Predicted Outcome: Minnesota Vikings 20, Detroit Lions 24

Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs

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    It is unknown if Cassel will get the start, but Kansas City should have no problem defeating the Oakland Raiders despite losing to them in overtime back in Week 9. If Cassel does indeed get the start, he is likely to be dominant following up four touchdowns and one interception thrown in his last two games.

    Plus, the Chiefs have the first overall rushing attack in the National Football League, headed by Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles, and are going up against the 29th ranked rushing defense of the Oakland Raiders, giving up an average of 134.9 yards per game.

     

    Predicted Outcome: Oakland Raiders 20, Kansas City Chiefs 27

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots

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    No matter how deep Brady plays into the game, I'll take New England in this one.

    The Patriots absolutely dominated the Miami Dolphins when they played earlier this season by a score of 41-14. The Dolphins haven't gotten much better since, dropping their last two games to the Bills and Lions, so you can expect a similar outcome in Week 17.

     

    Predicted Outcome: Miami Dolphins 17, New England Patriots 34

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints

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    Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have been terrific of late, winning seven of their last eight games. Back in Week 6, the Saints travelled to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers and handed them quite the beating, winning 31-6.  

    With their final game in New Orleans against the Buccaneers, you can expect the Saints to finish off the season with a W, going into the playoffs with some much needed momentum.

     

    Predicted Outcome: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23, New Orleans Saints 27

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets

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    After dropping three of their last four games, the Jets should come away with a home win in Week 17 against the Buffalo Bills. Earlier in the season, Gang Green took advantage of the Bills, winning 38-14, their largest win of the season.

    Against one of the worst teams in the National Football League, the Jets should finish off the season strong heading into their sixth playoff appearance in the last ten years.

     

    Predicted Outcome: Buffalo Bills 10, New York Jets 23

Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens

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    After winning five of their last six games, Joe Flacco and the Ravens now take on the Cincinnati Bengals. With a shot at the number two seed in the AFC, you expect Flacco to be at his very best.

    In the last four games, Flacco has thrown for a total of seven touchdowns and one interception, while earning an average QB rating of 99.3.

     

    Predicted Outcome: Cincinnati Bengals 17, Baltimore Ravens 30

San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos

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    Last week against the Houston Texans, Tim Tebow earned the first win as a starter of his professional career. With Broncos fans in full support of the Tebow-movement, Denver will be playing at their best.

    After losing to the Chargers in Week 11, the Broncos will finish the 2010 NFL season off strong with a win at home. In what will be a very close game, Tebow will propel Denver to victory in the final seconds.

     

    Predicted Outcome: San Diego Chargers 20, Denver Broncos 24


Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Cutler has told ChicagoBreakingSports.com that he still expects to play the entire game this Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.  

    The last time these two teams faced, Cutler and the Bears emerged victorious in a hard-fought, close game by a score of 20-17. A similar outing will take place in Week 17, with a Cutler touchdown late in the game to lead the Bears to a seven point victory.

     

    Predicted Outcome: Chicago Bears 27, Green Bay Packers 20

Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts

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    The Colts have won their last three games and you can expect them to finish the season strong with another victory in Week 17 against the Tennessee Titans.

    The number one overall ranked passing offense of the Indianapolis Colts should have a field day against the 28th ranked passing defense of the Tennessee Titans, who give up an average of 251.7 yards per game.  

    Peyton Manning will finish off the regular season with one of his best performances of the year, crushing the Titans in a lopsided game.

     

    Predicted Outcome: Tennessee Titans 16, Indianapolis Colts 33

Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    If Jason Garrett wants to continue coaching Dallas next year, the Cowboys must earn a win this week against their rival, the Philadelphia Eagles. This will not happen and news surrounding Dallas' head coaching job will begin to circulate.

    Kevin Kolb is expected to get the start in order to protect and rest Michael Vick for the playoffs. Kolb will lead this Eagles team to an impressive victory in an attempt to raise his value and prove that he can be a productive starter in the National Football League.

     

    Predicted Outcome: Dallas Cowboys 17, Philadelphia Eagles 23

Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The loser of this game will own the worst record in the miserable NFC West division.

    With head coach Mike Singletary being fired after officially being eliminated from the playoffs last week, I expect the 49ers to end their 2010 season on a positive note. The Cardinals have the 31st overall passing offense and 31st overall rushing offense in the entire NFL.  

    The 49ers have more weapons on offense and will prevail in Week 17, finishing their season with a bit of spunk.

     

    Predicted Outcome: Arizona Cardinals 17, San Francisco 49ers 26

New York Giants @ Washington Redskins

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    After losing their last two games to the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers, the Giants will need a bit of luck in Week 17 if they want to reach the playoffs this season.

    In order for the Giants to advance to the playoffs they must beat the Washington Redskins, and the Green Bay Packers must lose to the Chicago Bears.  

    With their backs against the wall in a must win game, the Giants will emerge victorious in hopes of a Green Bay loss.

     

    Predicted Outcome: New York Giants 30, Washington Redskins 20

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans

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    The Houston Texans started out the 2010 NFL season with a 4-2 record, and since have lost eight of their last nine games. One of those last eight losses was to the Jaguars in Week 10, falling by a score of 31-24.  

    In the final week of the season, the Matt Schaub-led Texans offense, which ranks as the fourth overall passing offense in the NFL, will be going up against the 26th overall ranked passing defense of the Jacksonville Jaguars.  

    Schaub and the Texans will finish off this disappointing season with a victory, with high hopes for next season.

     

    Predicted Outcome: Jacksonville Jaguars 23, Houston Texans 27

St. Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks

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    This game will definitely have a playoff atmosphere, with postseason implications that are on the line. The winner of this battle in Seattle will advance to the playoffs, the loser misses out by just one game.

    Rookie quarterback Sam Bradford will be leading the St. Louis Rams against Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks in his first season with the team. Bradford has had an outstanding first year in the National Football League and has a bright future ahead of him.  

    The rookie will lead the Rams to their first playoff appearance in the last six years.

     

    Predicted Outcome: St. Louis Rams 23, Seattle Seahawks 17