NFL WEEK 17 PREDICTIONS
New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills
The Jets might have ruined the Steelers playoff chances with a win last week. Buffalo has already clinched the fifth seed in the playoffs and cannot win the AFC East, so head coach Sean McDermott may rest some starters. It still won’t matter. Buffalo won the first game with the Jets 17-16. This one won’t be as close… Buffalo 32, NY Jets 19
Cleveland Browns @ Cincinnati Bangels
All that offseason hype and the Browns can end up 7-9 with a win over Cincinnati. The Bengals secured the first pick in next year’s draft with a loss to Miami last week. It would certainly be fitting if the Browns lost to the 1-14 Bengals to close the season, but Cleveland’s roster is just better… Cleveland 24, Cincinnati 17
Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions
The Packers have already clinched a playoff berth. The Lions have clinched another losing season. Believe it or not, the Lions have beaten the Packers the last two times the teams played in Detroit. If Green Bay rests some starters, it could happen again. But don’t count on it… Green Bay 28, Detroit 20
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Los Angeles Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
Of the last 11 games played between the Chargers and Chiefs, Kansas City has won all but one. The loss was in last year’s season finale. The game was for the AFC West title. This year, the Chargers are 5-10 and the Chiefs have clinched the division. Kansas City still has a chance to be the No. 2 seed meaning QB Patrick Mahomes and company will play. At home at Arrowhead Stadium in late December, the Chiefs have a huge advantage… Kansas City 34, LA Chargers 24
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers
The Saints can keep the No. 2 seed in the NFC with a win over the Panthers and some help. Carolina has lost seven games in a row, but RB Christian McCaffrey can become just the third player with 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season. McCaffrey needs just 67 receiving yards to do so. New Orleans won’t be resting anyone and Carolina just isn’t play well… New Orleans 30, Carolina 24
Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys did what they do best last week – lose in crucial situations. They can still win the NFC East though if they beat the Redskins and Philadelphia loses to the Giants. Washington isn’t very good as their 3-12 record attests. QB Dwayne Haskins was injured last week and Case Keenum might return as the starter. Either way, Dallas wins at home… Dallas 34, Washington 20
Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos
The Raiders can still make the playoffs. It’s a longshot, but the first order of business is to beat the Broncos. Denver is 3-1 in its last four games and rookie QB Drew Lock gets more confident each week. Oakland beat the Chargers on the road last week. The Raiders have won three of the last four in the series, but Denver has won the last three games at home… Denver 20, Oakland 17
Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams
The Cardinals upset the Seahawks last week and now face a Rams team that was eliminated from the postseason. A year after going to the Super Bowl, the Rams could finish 8-8. The beat the Cardinals 34-7 earlier this season, and despite their disappointing season should end this one with a win… LA Rams 29, Arizona 25
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants
In one of the season’s most interesting late-season developments, the Eagles can win the NFC East with a win over the Giants. Philadelphia has won the last six in a row over the Giants and 10 of the last 11. The only win in that stretch came in 2016 and it was at MetLife Stadium. The Eagles have won three straight, which includes a 23-17 victory over the Giants. With so much to play for, Philadelphia takes care of business on the road… Philadelphia 24, NY Giants 20
Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars
The Colts will go home for the postseason after a meeting with division rival Jacksonville. Indianapolis won the first game this season 33-13 at home. The Jags have won just once in their last seven games. Head coach Doug Marrone is likely on the way out. Jacksonville already fired Executive VP Tom Coughlin. A loss to Indy seals the deal. Jacksonville scores just 17.5 points per game (29th in the NFL)… Indianapolis 22, Jacksonville 17
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens have sealed the AFC North and the conference’s No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Baltimore will likely rest their starters which will give RB Mark Ingram time to heal for the postseason. The Steelers desperately need a win to keep their chances for the playoffs alive. Pittsburgh needs Tennessee to lose. Baltimore won the first game this season, 26-23, in overtime. The Steelers have won four of the last six, but have lost the last two at home. In what amounts to a preseason game… Pittsburgh 23, Baltimore 20
Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans
Houston has wrapped up the AFC South for the fourth time in five years. The Texans can move to the No. 3 seed with a win and a Chiefs loss. Houston beat Tennessee 24-21 just two weeks ago. The Texans have won eight of the last 11 meetings and have won seven straight at home against the Titans. Don’t expect Houston to let up off the gas… Houston 34, Tennessee 27
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
With a win over Seattle, the 49ers will likely claim the top seed in the NFC playoffs. With a loss, they will play on the road as a wild card team. Seattle can still claim the No. 1 seed as well but will need some help in addition to a win over San Francisco. The last two games have gone to overtime, including the first game this year. The Niners haven’t won in Seattle since 2011, a span of eight games. The Seahawks lost all of their running backs last week and need help… San Francisco 17, Seattle 13
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2020 NFL Football Season
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MIA @ BUF
This will be the 110th meeting between the two AFC East franchises. Both are coming off Week 16 losses. The Dolphins won the first game this season in Miami. Buffalo won last year in Buffalo. The Bills offense is awful averaging just 15.1 points per game. Miami’s isn’t much better and RB Frank Gore is out. The Dolphins defense, which gives up 405 yards a game, might be worse than Buffalo’s offense. Oh, and the Bills are at home… Buffalo 15, Miami 12.
DET @ GB
The Lions’ and Packers’ seasons surely didn’t go as planned. Detroit has lost four of its last five and hasn’t scored more than 17 points since beating Carolina back in November. The Packers won a thriller last week in overtime over the Jets. The Lions-Packers rivalry dates back to the beginnings of the NFL. Green Bay leads the series, but the Lions have won the last three games in a row. Don’t count on them winning a fourth… Green Bay 28, Detroit 14.
INDY @ TENN
The Titans took care of business last week with a win over Washington and can get into the playoffs with a win against Indianapolis. Indy is in the same boat; win and the Colts are in. The Colts destroyed Tennessee in the first game this season winning 38-10 on their home field. Titans QB Marcus Mariota didn’t play in that game and he may not in Week 17. He was knocked out of last week’s game and Blaine Gabbert finished. In the last 14 meetings between the two teams, the Colts have won 12. The Titans have home-field advantage… Tennessee 24, Indianapolis 23.
OAK @ KC
The Chiefs can clinch the AFC West Division for the third straight season with a win over their rival, Oakland. Kansas City won earlier this year (40-33) and has beaten the Raiders nine times in the last 11 meetings between the two teams. Oakland is positioning itself for a top five pick in next year’s draft. Playing at Arrowhead Stadium in December is not easy… Kansas City 34, Oakland 17.
CHI @ MIN
The Bears (11-4) have already clinched the NFC North and will be no worse than the No. 3 seed in the upcoming playoffs. A win over Minnesota and a Rams loss would move them to No. 2 and give them a first-round bye. The Vikings must win to capture the sixth and final seed in the NFC. Chicago won the first game this year (25-20), but Minnesota has won six of the last eight. The Vikings rise to the occasion… Minnesota 24, Chicago 20.
NYJ @ NE
The Patriots clinched yet another AFC East title with their win over Buffalo last week. They moved back into the No.2 spot in the AFC as well. They clinch that spot with a win over the Jets in Week 17. The Jets gave up 540 yards of offense to Green Bay last week. They give up almost 27 points per game and they haven’t beaten New England since 2015. In fact, the Jets have only beaten the Patriots twice since 2011… New England 28, NY Jets 17.
CAR @ NO
The Saints got lucky beating Pittsburgh at home last week to clinch the NFC’s top spot in the playoffs. The question now is whether stars like Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, and Michael Thomas will play on Sunday. Win or lose, New Orleans is the NFC’s No. 1 seed. The Panthers were once 6-2. They have lost seven straight. Even without starters, they might not be able to pull off the upset… New Orleans 30, Carolina 20.
DAL @ NYG
Dallas clinched the NFC East with a win last week. They are locked in as the No. 4 seed in the NFC and will play at home on wild-card weekend. The Cowboys have beaten the Giants in three straight, including the 20-13 win back in September. The Giants let another one get away last week when the Colts came from behind to win 28-27. Dallas will likely rest some players… NY Giants 14, Dallas 10.
CIN @ PIT
The Steelers led the AFC North almost all season. Now, they are on the verge of missing the playoffs. Pittsburgh must win on Sunday and then hope that the Browns somehow beat the Ravens. Pittsburgh has won the last seven in a row over Cincinnati. The Bengals have only beaten the Steelers five times since 2006. Pittsburgh is in a must-win situation and is playing at home… Pittsburgh 29, Cincinnati 13.
ATL @ TB
Neither the Falcons nor the Buccaneers played particularly well in 2018. The Bucs got marginally better on defense after firing their defensive coordinator. Atlanta has won the last four straight in the series including the first game this season. The Falcons won 34-29 behind 355 passing yards and three touchdowns from Matt Ryan. Expect a lot of points and Tampa Bay head coach Dirk Koetter to be fired by next Monday… Atlanta 35, Tampa Bay 34.
PHI @ WASH
A loss to Tennessee last week ended all hopes of a playoff berth for the Redskins. It was a long shot anyway ever since they lost their top two quarterbacks to injury. The Eagles (8-7) have pulled two giant upsets in a row – Rams and Texans – to stay alive in the NFC playoff race. Philadelphia must win on Sunday and hope that Chicago beats Minnesota. If that happens, the Eagles will have a shot at defending their Super Bowl from last year. Guess who is at quarterback or the Eagles? Nick Foles. That is why they win on Sunday… Philadelphia 27, Washington 20.
CLE @ BAL
The Cleveland Browns have won five of their last six games. Earlier this season, they beat Baltimore for the first time since 2015. The last time the Browns swept the Ravens in the season series was 2007. It will be difficult to do that again. The Ravens have arguably the best defense in the NFL. They allow just 17.5 points a game. Cleveland has been playing well, but it will take more than ‘well’ to beat a Baltimore team playing at home… Baltimore 27, Cleveland 10.
JAX @ HOU
The Texans (10-5) have clinched a playoff spot but need to beat Jacksonville on Sunday to capture the AFC South crown. Houston has won seven of the last nine against the Jags including the first meeting this year, a 20-7 victory in Jacksonville. The Texans won nine in a row before losing two of their last three games. Playing at home against a weak Jags team should be enough to win the division… Houston 24, Jacksonville 17.
LAC @ DEN
The Chargers loss last week to Baltimore makes it much harder for Los Angeles to win the AFC West and clinch the No. 1 seed in the postseason. Playing at Denver against a Broncos team that has already beaten the Chargers this season makes it even harder. Regardless, the Chargers have clinched a playoff spot and would need to beat Denver and hope for the Raiders to beat the Chiefs in order to win the division. Don’t think either is going to happen… Denver 28, LA Chargers 26.
SF @ LAR
The Rams (12-3) must win on Sunday to ensure a first-round playoff bye. They beat the 49ers earlier this season 39-10 in San Francisco. Last year, the Niners beat the Rams in the final week of the season as head coach Sean McVay rested many of his stars. McVay can’t afford to do that this year. And, the Rams are playing at home…LA Rams 32, San Francisco 18.
ARI @ SEA
The Seahawks (9-6) clinched a playoff berth with a huge win over Kansas City last week. They are currently locked into the No. 5 seed in the NFC. A win over Arizona guarantees the Seahawks stay there. A loss and a Minnesota win would move Seattle to No. 6. Either way, the Seahawks are playing a road playoff game on wild-card weekend. Oh, and the Cardinals (3-12) are terrible… Seattle 31, Arizona 14.