Friday, December 31, 2010

Playoff time: NFL Week 17 predictions

With playoff spots and playoff positioning still on the line, here are my picks for Week 17. At the end of the picks, I will break down what the playoff match-ups will look like if everything goes as I predict. Remember, picks this year are made against the spread and I'll be using the spread values that ESPN uses in their Pigskin Pick'em game.

Record Last Week: 10-6, .625
Overall Record: 125-115, .521

Sunday Day Games:

Panthers (2-13) @ Falcons (12-3, -14.5)
The Falcons still need this game to get the top seed in the NFC. The Panthers are just looking to end their season and have nothing to play for since their coach has basically already been canned. My pick: Falcons

Steelers (11-4) @ Browns (5-10, +6.5)
The Steelers need this one to get their first round bye. The Browns have been on a downward slide and I expect that to continue. My pick: Steelers

Vikings (6-9) @ Lions (5-10, -3.5)
Joe Webb looks like he might have a future in Minnesota; hopefully Brett Favre doesn't crash this game just so he can have one last start. My pick: Vikings

Raiders (7-8) @ Chiefs (10-5, -3.5)
The Chiefs are in either way but they want that 3rd seed so they should play to win. I like the game to be close but for the Chiefs to win. My pick: Raiders

Dolphins (7-8) @ Patriots (13-2, -3.5)
The Patriots don't really take games off so expect them to roll over the Dolphins. There really is no reason for the Pats to not play their starters for at least a half since they have a bye next week. My pick: Patriots

Bengals (4-11) @ Ravens (11-4, -9.5)
Since the Steelers play at the same time as the Ravens, Baltimore will have to play their hardest to win this game. My pick: Ravens

Bucs (9-6) @ Saints (11-4, -7.5)
Should the Packers and Giants both lose, the Bucs would get in. The Saints still have an outside shot at the top seed in the NFC so they will be playing to win. I like this one to be a close game. My pick: Bucs

Bills (4-11) @ Jets (10-5, -2.5)
The Jets are pretty much locked into the 6th seed in the AFC so I would expect them to take it easy this week. Still, the Jets backups should be able to beat the Bills. My pick: Jets

Bears (11-4) @ Packers (9-6, -10.5)
The line for this game is huge considering how even these teams are and the fact that both could have something to play for. The Bears could be locked into the 2nd seed before the game starts which would mean they would rest their starters early. My pick: Bears

Titans (6-9) @ Colts (9-6, -9.5)
The Colts could still be bounced from a playoff spot with a loss but they are almost a lock to roll over the Titans. My pick: Colts

Giants (9-6) @ Redskins (6-9, +3.5)
Expect the Giants to bounce back with a nice win to finish out their season. Too bad it will be too little, too late. My pick: Giants

Jaguars (8-7) @ Texans (5-10, -0.5)
The Jaguars still have a shot to make the playoffs if the Colts lose. With no MJD and no David Garrard, however, they have no shot. My pick: Texans

Cowboys (5-10) @ Eagles (10-5, -7.5)
With the Eagles resting their stars, the Cowboys should at least be able to make this a close game. Don't be surprised if Kevin Kolb has a huge game and that sets the Birds up for a good offseason trade. My pick: Cowboys

Cardinals (5-10) @ Niners (5-10, -6.5)
With Singletary out of the picture and nothing to play for, don't be surprised if the Niners have a great game. My pick: Niners

Chargers (8-7) @ Broncos (4-11, +3.5)
Look for the Chargers to finish the season strong and beat the Broncos by a wide margin. My pick: Chargers

Sunday Night Game:

Rams (7-8) @ Seahawks (6-9, +2.5)
For the sake of the NFL, the Rams had better win this game. Seattle has zero chance of beating the Saints next week while the Rams could at least keep it close. My pick: Rams

NFC Playoffs:
Byes: (1) Falcons, (2) Bears
First Round Match-ups: (6) Packers @ (3) Eagles, (5) Saints @ (4) Rams

AFC Playoffs:
Byes: (1) Patriots, (2) Steelers
First Round Match-ups: (6) Jets @ (3) Chiefs, (5) Ravens @ (4) Colts

Those are my picks for Week 17 of the NFL Season. Check back every Thursday during the postseason for my playoff predictions. Feel free to discuss, argue or make your own picks in the comment section!

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