NFL Picks Week 17: Playoff Scenarios Will Be Settled, Predictions For Each Game
NFL Week 17 includes Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins, New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns, just to name a few.
Divisional matchups with playoff implications are everywhere in the AFC and NFC this weekend, and all of the playoff scenarios will be settled by Monday night (barring another Tuesday Night Football game).
So with the 2010 NFL regular season ready to finally come to an end, here are my last set of NFL picks for the year.
Chiefs (-3.5) Over Raiders
The Chiefs broke down late against the Raiders in their first meeting, but this game is at home. Kansas City is undefeated in Arrowhead Stadium this season.
Look for Jamaal Charles to go off in a Chiefs victory.
Chiefs 30, Raiders 13
Patriots (-4) Over Dolphins
The Patriots will get a week off before the start of their first game, so Bill Belichick won't want his starters to sit this one out; they'll be too rusty for the playoffs.
And if the starters are playing, the Dolphins don't stand much of a chance.
Patriots 42, Dolphins 23
Colts (-9.5) Over Titans
This is a must-win game for the Colts, and a meaningless one for the Titans.
And disregard the score in their last meeting, the game wasn't close despite the 30-28 result.
Manning and Co. should have little trouble in this one.
Colts 34, Titans 20
Jaguars (+3) Over Texans
The Texans, with all of their talent, just can't win games. And their pitiful defense doesn't help.
Jacksonville, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have a whole lot of talent, but they've managed an 8-7 record. And it's a must-win for them if they want to have any shot at the playoffs.
The Jags are the smart bet here.
Jaguars 28, Texans 27
Steelers (-5.5) Over Browns
The Steelers have the NFL's best run defense, and should completely shut down Peyton Hillis.
And when the Browns are one-dimensional (and that dimension isn't Hillis), they are pretty easy to stifle.
Steelers 31, Browns 10
Bengals (+9.5) Over Ravens
The Bengals are quitely playing some solid football lately, with two straight wins, including last week's impressive triumph over the desperate Chargers.
But the Ravens should win the game.
Ravens 28, Bengals 21
Lions (-3) Over Vikings
The Lions are the NFL's most underrated team this season. If not for a couple of bad breaks, they could be just outside of a playoff berth.
They'll have trouble stopping Adrian Peterson, but should be able to contain Brett Favre (or Joe Webb) with their impressive pass-rush.
Lions 24, Vikings 20
Giants (-4) Over Redskins
This is an absolute must-win for the Giants.
If they can't beat the Redskins, Tom Coughlin needs to be fired immediately.
Giants 38, Redskins 13
Packers (-10) Over Bears
It seems a little extreme that the Packers are favored by 10, but I think it's justified. Aaron Rodgers is playing as well as anyone not named Brady (yes, even Vick), and their defense has been great.
The Bears are good, but despite their lesser record, the Packers are better.
Packers 31, Bears 20
Eagles (-7) Over Cowboys
The Eagles were contained by the Vikings last week and (for three and a half quarters) by the Giants two weeks ago, but that's because of their pass-rushes.
And even though Vick likely won't play, the Cowboys don't have what it takes to pressure Kevin Kolb and disrupt the Eagles' explosive offense.
Eagles 30, Cowboys 21
Jets (-1.5) Over Bills
No Mark Sanchez doesn't mean the Jets can't run the ball. Or that the Bills can score on them.
All it means is a favorable line for gamblers.
Jets 20, Bills 17
Falcons (-14.5) Over Panthers
The only minor weakness in the Falcons' armor is their less-than-stellar pass defense.
But Jimmy Clausen can't exploit that weakness.
Falcons 36, Panthers 20
Saints (-7.5) Over Bucs
The Bucs are the king of mediocre teams. They can beat anyone worse than them (the Lions game excluded), but can't beat anyone better than them.
And the Saints are looking like a solid bet to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
Saints 31, Bucs 21
Rams (-3) Over Seahawks
Sam Bradford vs. Charlie Whitehurst.
Need I say more?
Rams 26, Seahawks 13
49ers (-6) Over Cardinals
The "game after coach gets canned" rule in its truest form.
Releasing the Niners from Mike Singletary's reign of terror will lift them to victory.
49ers 31, Cardinals 17
Chargers (-3.5) Over Broncos
Two of the most embarrassing teams in the NFL.
Still, I'll take Philip Rivers (-3.5) over Tim Tebow any time over the next 10 years. Especially in Tebow's third start.
Chargers 28, Broncos 24
Last Week: 7-8
Matt Rudnitsky is a student at the University of Michigan and a Featured Columnist/writing intern at Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Mattrud.