Week 17 NFL Picks: Cowboys and Redskins Are Ultimate Season Capper
I’m feeling pretty good about myself. I’m 41-23 in my NFL picks versus Michael Cellars over the past several weeks. I went 11-5 last week. That’s a 64 percent overall winning percentage. Not bad.
However…..Michael’s week 16 was 14-2; he’s 45-19, good for 70 percent, and a full FOUR game lead.
It’s Week 17 – a difficult week no doubt. I need the wins (though they will continue to pick through the playoffs) and I’m rolling the dice a bit this week.
We hope your team is already in, or gets in, or earns a bye. If your team is out, we hope you go out on a high note – or a low note for a better draft pick.
It’s a new year after this week – on the calendar, for the playoff teams, and for those who fell short. So Happy New Year to all. Enjoy the games.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons
MICHAEL: The Falcons have nothing to play for since they’ve already wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the playoffs. Nevertheless, they’re playing to keep momentum so they don’t get bounced out of the playoffs after one game for what could be a third-straight year. FALCONS 31-16
TOM: Week 17 is the hardest week (other than maybe week 1); we know how good or bad these teams are, but we don’t know who is going to play, who is going to care, and who will perform when it’s go time. I have no feel for this game. But I really like the Falcons to tune-up and send a message. FALCONS 24-12
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
MICHAEL: I’m sick of picking the Jets just to watch them let me down (now I know how Jets fans must feel). BILLS 17-9
TOM: I AM a Jet fan and I have no feel for the team. This will be the end of the Tim Tebow era; will it be the end of the Rex Ryan era (I say no), the end of the Mark Sanchez era (I say yes, somehow, despite the clunky contract status). Get a good look at Gang Green because they’ll be a lot different next year. BILLS 30-10
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals
MICHAEL: After finally beating the Steelers for the first time, Andy Dalton, A.J. Green & Co. finally have the confidence to beat the Ravens. BENGALS 20-17
TOM: The Bengals are downright dangerous right now, have something huge to play for, and are home. BENGALS 17-10
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
MICHAEL: In a game featuring two offenses that have superstar receivers, it comes down to defense, which only the Bears have. Plus they’re playing for a playoff spot while the Lions are playing for, well, nothing. BEARS 34-21
TOM: The Bears need a win and then need to root for the Packers in the next set of games; I think they find a way to get it done. But they’re not very good, especially if their defense doesn’t score. BEARS 28-19
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
MICHAEL: Something magical is in the works for the Colts at home in the first game with head coach Chuck Pagano back. As much as I would love that story, I think the Texans are too talented to let the No. 1 seed slip from their grasp. TEXANS 31-19
TOM: I loved the Texans early in the year; I thought they were the best team in the NFL. But the Colts are writing an improbable story and are on a collision course to meet Peyton Manning in the playoffs. COLTS 26-20
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints
MICHAEL: The fact that the Saints are one win away from finishing with a .500 record speaks volumes to how they have rallied from an 0-4 start and a three-game skid a few weeks ago, all in the wake of BountyGate. This Sunday, they get that win. SAINTS 38-27
TOM: I think the Saints will win, but I need some wins, so I gotta take some chances. Cam Newton has been ridiculous in the 2nd half. Bring it home, Cam. PANTHERS 28-20
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
MICHAEL: The defending champions find themselves in a bind, needing help from three teams to make the playoffs if they win. At least they handle business on their end. GIANTS 26-17
TOM: Giants are done. Mike Vick is auditioning. EAGLES 24-19
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers
MICHAEL: After doing some research, the last time the Browns beat the Steelers twice in one season was 1988. I don’t think the Steelers will let that happen. STEELERS 24-10
TOM: Michael’s right. STEELERS 24-10
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans
MICHAEL: The Jaguars have (some) confidence after only losing by seven points to the Patriots last week. Meanwhile, the Titans only scored seven in a 48-point loss to the Packers. JAGUARS 17-12
TOM: Throwing a dart at this game. TITANS 14-10.
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos
MICHAEL: The Broncos are playing for a first-round bye and Peyton Manning is their quarterback. That’s all you need to know. BRONCOS 35-10
TOM: Peyton Manning doesn’t play the 4th quarter of this game; maybe even the 3rd quarter. BRONCOS 45-10
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
MICHAEL: The Packers are playing for a first-round bye and Aaron Rodgers is their quarterback. That’s all you need to know. PACKERS 31-21
TOM: The bye is a powerful motivator. It’s probably been exhausting for the Pack to rebound from that slow start. One more game and they can rest for a bit. AP will run all over them, and the Pack will let him while the clock runs, and runs, and run. PACKERS 35-24
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots
MICHAEL: The Patriots are playing for a first-round bye (though they’ll need help to get it) and Tom Brady is their quarterback. That’s all you need to know. PATRIOTS 42-21
TOM: Gee, the Pats get a warm weather team at home in December. I’m shocked, utterly shocked. PATRIOTS 38-10
Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers
MICHAEL: Uh…eeny, meeny, miny, mo…CHARGERS 13-12
TOM: This game actually gets me excited to watch the Jets-Bill contest. CHARGERS 14-7
St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks
MICHAEL: The Seahawks are arguably the hottest team in football right now. And though this has an underlying upset in the making, Seattle, at home mind you, is not going to take their foot off the gas. SEAHAWKS 38-16
TOM: I like watching the Seahawks play; I love watching them play at home. SEAHAWKS 28-10
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers
MICHAEL: What better team for the 49ers to rebound and win the division against than the Cardinals. 49ERS 27-10
TOM: I don’t think the ‘Niners can rebound and I need an extra win from somewhere. CARDINALS 17-14
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
MICHAEL: The game of the week. Playoff implications in primetime. This is what that 16th regular season game comes down to. All that being said, I think Robert Griffin III and the Redskins are too hot for the Cowboys to cool down. REDSKINS 27-23
TOM: Tony Romo (again) has had a very good season (as long as you didn’t watch each game), despite a couple of bad games. With no consistent running game this year, he’s taken the load on his shoulders. A win here would help to start reversing his legacy. I don’t think he gets it, but I gotta pick it: COWBOYS 19-18.