NFL Week 17: Picks and predictions
It’s the final week of the 2016 NFL regular season, and the playoff race is still hot. Matt Verderame makes his picks, giving us the final picture.
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (-4)
The Eagles (6-9) are going to be playing hard, and the Cowboys (13-2) will be resting everyone. Look for Philadelphia to finish the year right.
Pick: Philadelphia 23, Dallas 21
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5)
Even with resting their starters, the Steelers (10-5) should beat the Browns (1-14), who finally got a win last year.
Pick: Pittsburgh 20, Cleveland 16
Buffalo Bills (-3.5) at New York Jets
Both of these teams are so happy this is it. The Bills (7-8) will be playing hard for Anthony Lynn, while the Jets (4-11) packed it in months ago.
Pick: Buffalo 27, New York 13
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-4.5)
The Colts (7-8) will get to .500 for the second straight year, because the Jaguars (3-12) are ready for the golf course. Andrew Luck won’t lose again to Blake Bortles.
Pick: Indianapolis 30, Jacksonville 20
New England Patriots (-9.5) at Miami Dolphins
The Patriots (13-2) might rest some starters, but the same can be said for the Dolphins (10-5). Look for the better team to prevail.
Pick: New England 31, Miami 24
Dec 18, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford (8) passes against the Indianapolis Colts in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-5)
This is a depressing game. One has to wonder if the Vikings (7-8) are allowing their gameplan to be made up by the players again this week. Meanwhile, the Bears (3-12) are awful.
Pick: Minnesota 19, Chicago 16
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (-3)
Matt Cassel. Tom Savage. The AFC South. It’s the NFL… kind of… on CBS.
Pick: Houston 20, Tennessee 17
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5)
The Bengals (5-9-1) are missing the playoffs for the first time in the Andy Dalton era. The Ravens (8-7) are trying for a winning season, which might be the edge here.
Pick: Baltimore 24, Cincinnati 16
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-5.5)
The Buccaneers (8-7) squandered their chance to make the postseason, but they finish strong here against the Panthers (6-9). Carolina has to be the biggest disappointment in the league after going 15-1 last year.
Pick: Tampa Bay 28, Carolina 20
Dec 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks to pass the ball against the Chicago Bears during the second half at Soldier Field. The Washington Redskins won 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
New York Giants at Washington Redskins (-8)
The Redskins (8-6-1) are going to be desperate and the Giants (10-5) will rest all of their starters. This is going to be a waxing, if only because of circumstance.
Pick: Washington 34, New York 21
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (-6.5)
The Falcons (10-5) are going to get a first-round bye in the playoffs. The Saints (7-8) will play hard but they’ll be hard-pressed to win on Sunday.
Pick: Atlanta 38, New Orleans 20
Arizona Cardinals (-6) at Los Angeles Rams
Jared Goff is terrible, and the Rams (4-11) know it. The Cardinals (6-8-1) are going to beat them something fierce, finishing what has to be one of the most disappointing seasons in team history.
Pick: Arizona 24, Los Angeles 10
Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos (-1.5)
This is the “Who the hell knows” game. The Raiders (12-3) are trying for a division title and bye, while the Broncos (8-7) have a terrific defense going against Matt McGloin at home. Toss up.
Pick: Denver 13, Oakland 10
Seattle Seahawks (-9.5) at San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers (2-13) can’t do anything right. Even when they win, they lose. The Seahawks (9-5-1) are going to roll here.
Pick: Seattle 21, San Francisco 6
Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5) at San Diego Chargers
This is going to be a hammering. The Chiefs (11-4) are playing for a potential West title and a bye. The Chargers (5-10) just lost to Cleveland. Kansas City will roll in a half-empty Qualcomm Stadium.
Pick: Kansas City 30, San Diego 16
Green Bay Packers (-3.5) at Detroit Lions
The Packers (9-6) are going to show the Lions (9-6) what it means to be a winner. Detroit had its chance over the past two weeks to reach the playoffs, and it fell apart.
Pick: Green Bay 33, Detroit 23
Last Week: 8-8
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