NFL Week 17 Picks: Predicting the Winner and Final Scores for All Season Finales

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistDecember 24, 2019

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) passes against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

The 2019 NFL season is down to its last leg.

All that separates clubs now from the playoffs or an early start to the offseason is a Week 17 slate loaded with intrigue. There are playoff seeds to lock down, postseason spots to claim and a can't-miss matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks sending the winner to an NFC West title and the loser on the road in Wild Card Weekend.

This also marks our last opportunity to showcase our always accurate football forecasts. So, we'll provide our winners and final scores for every season finale, then take a closer look at the three contests that must be on your radar.


NFL Week 17 Picks

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals | Browns 20-19

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots | Patriots 29-13

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings | Vikings 23-10

L.A. Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs | Chiefs 28-17

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills | Bills 20-16

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions | Packers 28-10

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers | Saints 31-13

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Buccaneers 38-33

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants | Giants 23-20

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans | Texans 28-24

Washington at Dallas Cowboys | Cowboys 31-16

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens | Ravens 20-17

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars | Colts 24-17

Oaland Raiders at Denver Broncos | Broncos 23-18

Arizona Cardinals at L.A. Rams | Cardinals 27-24

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks | 49ers 30-20


Games To Watch

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

Normally, even fans of the teams might have trouble buying into a Week 17 tilt between an 8-7 club and one with a 4-11 record. But this collision is quietly packed with potential, so much so that the NFL flexed it to a 4:25 p.m. ET start time.

It's a win-and-you're-in contest for Philly, but it's not as simple as it sounds. Half of the Giants' four victories have come in the last two weeks, and this offense is suddenly humming with Daniel Jones back under center (352 passing yards, five touchdowns, no turnovers in Week 16) and Saquon Barkley finally finding his footing (422 scrimmage yards, four scores the past two games).

"I think that's kind of what they envisioned when they drafted DJ and they drafted me," Barkley told reporters Sunday. "I think we both [have] the potential and the talent to play well together, and open stuff up for each other, and I think we showed that [Sunday]."

The Eagles are getting Jordan Howard back, but their injury-riddled pass-catching core took another blow Sunday when Zach Ertz suffered a fractured rib, per ESPN's Tim McManus.

Philly has the talent to win this game and all the motivation in the world to do so. But New York has some explosive skill players of its own, plus the chance to dash the playoff dreams of a divisional rival. This should be a fun one.


Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans

With this game getting flexed to the 4:25 p.m. ET slot, the Texans might be locked into their playoff seed before the opening kick.

But even if that happens, Houston head coach Bill O'Brien says he plans to have his best players inside the lines.

"Look, I think that any time we take the field, based on what we're all about, our program and what we're trying to do here and what we've tried to build here for six years is we're about trying to win," O'Brien said. "It's all about the game, trying to win games. We realize all those things that you just said are very important factors to take into relative to where we're at, but we need to play to win the game."

If the Chiefs fall to the Chargers, the Texans could climb to the third seed with a win. If KC prevails, Tennessee won't budge from the fourth.

All of this matters immensely to Tennessee, which needs either a win or losses by Pittsburgh and Indianapolis to clinch the sixth seed.

The playoff ramifications are reason enough to tune in, but the talent—assuming it's all on the field—is an even bigger draw. With Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins on one side, and Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown on the other, the potential for offensive fireworks is real, and it's spectacular.


San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

Anyone remember what happened the last time these division rivals met? It was Week 10 and quite possibly the game of the year at that point.

The then-undefeated Niners jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. By the third frame, the Seahawks had roared all the way back to take a 21-10 lead. A defensive score by San Francisco (plus the two-point conversion) and two Niners' field goals sandwiched around a Seahawks field goal later, the game was headed to overtime.

There, it wouldn't be decided until Seattle kicker Jason Myers split the uprights on a 42-yarder as time expired.

It always felt like it would come back to this—a winner-take-all Week 17 collision under the lights. A victory could land either the No. 1 seed (the Niners with a win, the Seahawks with a win and help). The loser, on the other hand, will not only miss out on a first-round bye, but actually travel to its wild-card contest.

Oh, and Seattle is scrambling to replace injured running back Chris Carson, and among the potential solutions is a reunion with Marshawn Lynch. So, if you needed more reasons to watch, there's that angle, too.