Week 17 NFL Picks + Playoff Picture

Tony Romo, Travis Frederick

Last Week’s Record: 8-8

I’m like the Cowboys now. Maybe I’ll be good at this in three years.

Browns @ Ravens:

It’s hard to pick the Ravens in this game after last week’s loss, but it’s even harder to pick the Browns. You can’t get much worse than Johnny Manziel’s performances this season, but I don’t expect Connor Shaw to come in and light up the Ravens’ defense. Browns will also be without Josh Gordon this week, after he was suspended by the team for violating team ruled.

Cowboys @ Redskins:

As a former player of Red Dead Redemption, I find the Cowboys team name to be offensive. Which is why they’ll win. And also because the Redskins look like the Deadskins. Especially when RG3 is at quarterback (okay, he didn’t have a bad game last week, but he still isn’t good). I’m more leaning towards the Cowboys because of their offense vs. the Deadskins’ defense. Last game was a fluke.

Colts @ Titans:

Even though the Cowboys brutally penetrated the Colts last week, this matchup will be a good one for the Colts to win and cruise into the playoffs fresh off a victory. Give me a comment if you thought Matt Hasslebeck was dead.

Saints @ Buccaneers:

The Saints let me down this year. I was with them the whole way, wrongfully assuming they’d be the poor man’s champion all year. Although they let me down, it’s still hard to see them losing the Bucs. You’d almost think the Bucs would want to lose this game just to get the first pick. I know who Marcus Mariota is picking. I’d love to live in South Florida.

Eagles @ Giants:

The Eagles’ season was infected with Acquired Immune Deficiency Sanchez this year. May it rest in peace. The Giants also upended the rolling Rams last week. Eli Manning actually hasn’t played bad all year, with the exception of the five interceptions he threw against the Vikings. Odell Beckham is already elite, and I expect to see them in the postseason next year.

Bills @ Patriots:

Buffalo’s playoff hopes ended last week with a loss to the almighty Raiders. The Patriots barely outlasted the almighty Jets, but anyone familiar with the rivalry know that those matchups say nothing about how either team performs against other teams. There’s no way the Patriots lose this game. Brady will clean house in the first half, and then we’ll see Jimmy for a whole half!

Jaguars @ Texans:

It has become very clear that this Houston team is a quarterback away from the postseason. As long as Case Keenum doesn’t hand this game to the Jaguars, the second year quarterback should be able to lean on the defense and Arian Foster to win this game, as he did last week against the Ravens.

Chargers @ Chiefs:

The Chargers are surging, and Chase Daniel isn’t exactly an electrician. Or a great quarterback. He started against the Chargers in week 17 of last season as well, and the Chargers won that matchup 23-20. This team is much better than they were last season, and the Chiefs aren’t the same as they were earlier in the season.

Jets @ Dolphins:

This game is essentially Rex Ryan’s farewell party. Woody Allen will inform the team after this game that Rex is going to pursue his dream of living with his fellow whales in the ocean. The Dolphins are another team I’m expecting to make the jump to the postseason next year. Ryan Tannehill is the long-term answer for this team. And Geno Smith isn’t the long-term (or short-term) answer for the Jets.

Bears @ Vikings:

This game is Jay Cutler’s farewell party. A lot of these this week. Marc Trestman has made it passively clear that Cutler is done in Chicago. And the Vikings have also shown promise this season. Their last two losses to the Lions and Dolphins were each by two points. I hoped to see this team reach 8-8 (like me), but I can settle for 7-9.

Raiders @ Broncos:

I’d be stupid not to pick the Broncos, right? This team clearly has struggled toward the end of this season: they barely escaped the Bills by 7, only put up 22 on the Chargers, narrowly outlasted the Dolphins, and had a demoralizing defeat against the Bengals on Monday night. But it’s still the Raiders.

Cardinals @ 49ers:

I’ve picked the Cardinals in the tough matchups all season, and they haven’t come through. Even at 7-8, the 49ers are still a good football team with a stout defense, and I don’t see Ryan Lindley being able to do much against them. Jim Harbaugh wins his last game as a head coach in the NFL until he leaves Michigan in a few years to become the head coach of the Jaguars.

Lions @ Packers:

Aaron Rodgers doesn’t lose these games. Besides the 2011 15-1 season, the Aaron Rodgers has won at least one game in week 17, sometimes another the week before, to either win the division or make the playoffs. Matthew Stafford hasn’t proven that he can win these type of games yet.

Rams @ Seahawks:

As big of a Rams guy I’ve been the past few weeks, you can’t pick against the Seahawks here. They’re absolutely tearing through the league right now, and there’s no reason to think that they can’t handle the Rams at home .

Panthers @ Falcons:

I’m a Patriots fan first and a Falcons fan second. It’s been difficult to stick with them the past two years, but, regardless of record, they’ve got a chance at the postseason here. Their defense has held Drew Brees back twice this year, and the Saints offense is far superior to that of the Panthers. All Matt Ryan has to do is hit his receivers, there shouldn’t be much offensive out-dueling to be had in this game.

Bengals @ Steelers:

The Bengals have proven they can beat teams like the Patriots and Broncos. We even have reason to believe that the Dalton Scale might be broken. But that doesn’t change the 42-21 Steelers victory in Cincinnati only a few weeks ago. Big Ben and his 2nd-ranked offense should roll right into the wild card round with win, and as my pick for the scariest team in the AFC.

Playoff Picture:

AFC:

1. Patriots 13-3

2. Broncos 12-4

3. Steelers 11-5

4. Colts 11-5

5. Bengals 10-5-1

6. Chargers 10-6

If the Steelers win, thank the football gods they’ll have the third seed and therefore wouldn’t play the Patriots until the AFC championship game. That’s not to say the Chargers don’t have the potential to win a matchup. Colts-Bengals is a toss-up.

NFC:

1. Seahawks 12-4

2. Packers 12-4

3. Cowboys 12-4

4. Falcons 7-9

5. Cardinals 11-5

6. Lions 11-5

My only point here is that the Falcons have a very fair chance at winning this game, much like the Seahawks did in 2010. My only question is why do the Cowboys not have the tiebreaker over the Seahawks? They beat them right? This is what the standing would be according to NFL.com’s playoff predictor, and I can’t find an explanation anywhere.