Week 17 NFL Previews and Predictions

Overall: 111-51

Last Week: 11-2

Against Spread: 8-4-1

Cleveland Browns (7-8) +10 at Baltimore Ravens (9-6):

Since Johnny Manziel is out and Brian Hoyer is doubtful for this week’s game, the Browns could be forced to start third string quarterback, Connor Shaw, this week. The Ravens are playing for their playoff lives and need a win if they have any hopes of playing serious January football.

Ravens win 21-10

Ravens

Dallas Cowboys (11-4) -6 at Washington Redskins (4-11):

The Cowboys have already clinched their first playoff position in four years thanks to their physical offense and their average defense, but still have a chance to win home field advantage or a first round bye with a little luck. The Redskins were able to win against the Eagles on the road, which gives hope to RG3 fans, but also hurt their draft stock.

Cowboys win 27-17

Cowboys

Indianapolis Colts (10-5) -7 at Tennessee Titans (2-13)

The Colts’ embarrassing loss Cowboys has many prognosticators questioning their ability to win a playoff game, since their defense cannot play at a playoff level. The Tennessee Titans are hoping to lose so that they can keep their number two pick in the NFL draft and possibly select Marcus Mariota.

Colts win 31-13

Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-12) +9.5 at Houston Texans (8-7):

The Jaguars currently possess the number three pick in the NFL draft and have no intentions of losing their great positioning in this May’s draft. The Texans have significantly improved due to their solid running game, pass rush, and the emergence of DeAndre Hopkins and still miraculously have a chance to make the playoffs.

Texans win 17-10

Jags with the points

San Diego Chargers (9-6) +3 at Kansas City Chiefs (8-7):

The Chargers maintain one win away from making the playoffs after pulling off an incredible comeback against the 49ers on the road. Although Rivers is playing through serious pain, he is a gamer and will not miss a chance to make the playoffs. The Chiefs have a chance to make the playoffs, but their inability to pass the ball down the field will ultimately stop them from winning.

Chargers win 24-17

Chargers with the points

Chicago Bears (5-10) +6 at Minnesota Vikings (6-9)

The Bears’ situation has turned incredibly sour and their are many questions about the future of the team at quarterback. The Vikings have significantly improved their play over the past few weeks due to the emergence of Teddy Bridgewater.

Vikings win 21-13

Vikings

Buffalo Bills (8-7) +5.5 at New England Patriots (12-3):

Although the Bills will not make the playoffs, this season has been a success because Kyle Orton has stabilized the offense and the defense is an absolute terror for opposing quarterbacks. The Patriots have already clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs so it would not be surprising if Belichek decides to rest some of his injured players this week.

Patriots win 24-21

Bills with the points

Philadelphia Eagles (9-6) +3 at New York Giants (6-9):

The Eagles have self destructed over the past three weeks, which destroyed their hopes of making the playoffs for the second straight season. On the other side of the field, the Giants are incredibly hot due to the emergence Odell Beckham Jr.

Giants win 21-17

Giants

New Orleans Saints (6-9) -4 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-13):

The Saints’ season has been an absolute disaster due to their inability to win at home, which had been an automatic win in previous seasons. The Bucs will likely be starting rookies and younger, inexperienced players in order to give them playing time and secure the number one spot in the draft.

Saints win 24-13

Saints

Carolina Panthers (6-8-1) +4 at Atlanta Falcons (6-9):

The Panthers have revitalized their season and now remain only one win away from their second straight NFC South division title. The Falcons, like the Panthers, are playing for the division title and must rely on Matt Ryan.

Panthers win 20-17

Panthers with the points

Detroit Lions (11-4) +7.5 at Green Bay Packers (11-4):

The winner of this matchup will claim at least a first round bye and possibly home field advantage if the Seahawks lose. The Lions will rely on their defense and hope that Matthew Stafford does not throw any interceptions in order to stop a 23 game losing streak in Wisconsin. The Packers have been great at home because their offense is nearly impossible to defend.

Packers win 27-21

Lions with the points

Oakland Raiders (3-12) +14 at Denver Broncos (11-4):

The Raiders have been playing better of late, which should make their fans excited for next season, especially if they can select a quality player. The Broncos’ loss to the Bengals cost them the chance to earn home field advantage, but they still must win to claim a first round bye.

Broncos win 27-17

Raiders with the points

Arizona Cardinals (11-4) +6 at San Francisco 49ers (7-8):

The Cardinals will likely start Logan Thomas at quarterback this week, but Bruce Arians has been amazing this season at inspiring his players. The 49ers have a lot of talent, but they lack confidence and have lost faith in their coach, although he has led them to three straight conference title games and one Super Bowl appearances.

Cardinals win 13-10

Cardinals with the points

St. Louis Rams (6-9) +12.5 at Seattle Seahawks (11-4):

The Rams have been playing better football over the past few weeks, excluding last week, because their pass rushers have been able to apply pressure on opposing quarterbacks and Tre Mason has evolved as a quality running option. This Seahawks’ team is looking like the team that won the Super Bowl last year as their defense is currently about 6 points per game over the last 5 contests.

Seahawks win 24-9

Seahawks

Cincinnati Bengals (10-4-1) +3.5 at Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5):

The Bengals were able to record a big win on prime time, which should provide them with confidence during the playoffs. The Steelers are many fans’ dark horse candidate because they have dynamic talent on offense and a Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Pittsburgh wins 27-24

Bengals with the points