The Infallible NFL Week 17 Straight Picks

With a less than stellar output last week, there were a few games that were hit or miss and unfortunately they all missed. Week 17 is typically rather frustrating because you have some teams fighting for the playoffs, some for respect, and others just trying to keep their stars healthy. Teams you have a better understanding of become a completely different entity for one week and there is no set expectation of playing time. Thus we have a few interesting games and then a couple that might mean nothing in the end but are surprising overall (faux upsets). With that I give you this week’s straight picks.

Week 16. 8-8.

Overall. 151-86.

New Orleans at Atlanta. Two teams with unpredictable results through and through could have been contenders had one had a defense and the other protected the ball a bit better. Instead, both are out of it and thinking about next year. Still, this should be a fun game to watch if only because both teams are playing well on offense and there will be points scored. Falcons 38, Saints 34

NYJ at Buffalo. In an odd twist to this game, Rex Ryan faces his former team for the second time hoping to duplicate their previous victory from Week 10. To do that, the Bills will need a better effort on both sides of the ball. And better protection for Tyrod Taylor up front. Meanwhile, the Jets come off a suspenseful win over New England and look to keep the momentum going all the way to a playoff berth. While Brandon Marshall might get a lot of attention, Eric Decker has really been consistent as a #2 and should have a solid day. Jets 27, Bills 24

Detroit at Chicago. So many teams stuck in the middle. Neither was great to start the year and neither is great now. But they both are decent and have some talent to carry them through. With that said, the Bears need the higher draft pick. Lions 23, Bears 14

Will Ryan Mallet lead Baltimore to another improbable win?
Will Ryan Mallet lead Baltimore to another improbable win?

Baltimore at Cincinnati. Before last week’s win over the Steelers there was no way I would’ve expected a win. But coming into this week there’s a slight uptick of confidence in the abilities’ of this group. The big difference between Pittsburgh and Cincy? The Bengals have a good defense. That defense hasn’t been as good the latter half of the season, but they are still a strong unit. If Ryan Mallet doesn’t miss the plane then Kamar Aiken and the rest of the Ravens might do okay. Bengals 30, Ravens 24

Pittsburgh at Cleveland. Even if the Steelers don’t make the playoffs which sounds ridiculous saying even now, this game could likely be a blowout. Even if Johnny Manziel plays, the Browns defense won’t stop Pittsburgh. There’s just too much firepower/aggression from last week’s loss to go down again. Didn’t you think the Steelers were looking to a potential favorite heading into the postseason? Now they might not even make it. Yikes! Steelers 41, Browns 24

Washington at Dallas. If this game meant anything to the Washington Redskins I might be singing a different tune prior to Sunday. But the Skins have wrapped up the division and will likely rest their starters in some capacity. Besides, this Cowboy defense is VERY GOOD. Imagine if they still had Tony Romo and a couple other competent pieces on offense? We’d never heard Skip Bayless shut up. Cowboys 17, Redskins 13

Tennessee at Indianapolis. Trying to get to the playoffs with a 40-year old starter is difficult, but having that starter not at 100% really makes it tough. And it’s not like the other options (Ryan Lindley and Josh Freeman) are particularly good options with Andrew Luck done for the season. But with Marcus Mariota gone and Zach Mettenberger pathetically leading this team it’s tough to see the Titans putting up a fight. Oh yeah, and Frank Gore decided too many people were disrespecting him. Big game, buddy. Big game. Colts 31, Titans 23

New England at Miami. Who will be back for this game? Does it matter? Could the Dolphins beat a team of Under Armour All-Americans with this coaching? Well, Brent Grimes’ wife doesn’t seem to think so. What trash that lady is. Anywho, even if Lamar Miller is actually used and Ryan Tannehill can hit the side of a barn they still can’t stop Tom Brady. Steven Jackson just walked off the set of The League to play last week (not really but where else has he been?) and might have a nice little game against a pathetic excuse for a run defense. Patriots 34, Dolphins 24

Philadelphia at NYG. Two pissed of fanbases and new directions on the horizons for both. Don’t know what to make of Philadelphia at the moment. Maybe Darren Sproles with catch a few screen passes and Zach Ertz will drop a few over the middle. Other than that, this team isn’t much to watch. Meanwhile, if Odell Beckham isn’t playing in a game then Eli Manning would be best suited to sit as well. How terrible was that performance last week? The running game was actually pretty good and Eli still couldn’t find any open receivers with the same jersey on. Giants 35, Eagles 20

Jacksonville at Houston. Too many times I’ve held out hope that the Texans would just overpower an opponent and somehow they end up taking their lumps against the bad teams. Well that won’t happen next year if they win their division and get this game out of the way. The Jaguars are really coming together and with a few more key position upgrades they very well could win the AFC South next year (and are early front-runners). But the stakes are too high for the Texans to let Indy back in. Texans 30, Jaguars 28

San Diego at Denver. With a top seed on the line, there’s still something to play for. After a big comeback win last week it’s difficult to expect a close one here with the top-ranked defense going against the Chargers who have a rag-tag group playing inspired ball (even though they aren’t any good). Broncos 28, Chargers 17

Oakland at Kansas City. Even after a little scare from the Browns last week, the Chiefs are in a good spot heading into the playoffs. Getting a win this week would be nice, but keeping the continuity of a thriving offense is what will really be important for KC. The Raiders are tough team and look to be so for a good time going forward. Chiefs 24, Raiders 20

St. Louis at San Francisco. The Rams always do this. The do absolutely nothing on offense one game and then completely blow the expectations out of the water in the next. Todd Gurley is the offense and yet he had a terrible game until the end. With the defense that St. Louis has, they can stay in games even with a medicore offense. But when playing against a mediocre offense they can produce turnovers and create turnovers and points. I expect one touchdown return by Tavon Austin. Rams 26, 49ers 18

David Johnson needs to keep the Seahawks' defense honest.
David Johnson needs to keep the Seahawks’ defense honest.

Seattle at Arizona. Bruce Arians has no intention to sit his starters. He doesn’t like doing that regardless of playoff implications. It just so happens this time around is a big one. If Carolina doesn’t take care of business and Arizona wins, then the Cardinals are the top seed. Playing a division rival whom they’ve lost two straight at home to also will be motivation. Seattle may want to turn their fortunes around after a disappointing loss last week, but this might be a tough place to make that happen. Third times the charm? Cardinals 33, Seahawks 27

Tampa Bay at Carolina. No one expected the Panthers to go undefeated. But no one expected then to lose to Atlanta either. The Bucs have been surprising us in both wins and losses throughout the season. While they have a ways to go as a franchise, this week looks like a solid chance to pull an upset and create some positive momentum for a down franchise. Buccaneers 21, Panthers 20

Minnesota at Green Bay. In a game to decide the NFC North division champion, two teams with differing levels of confidence get ready for the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Vikings, they just can’t seem to pull off a win against Green Bay. Also unfortunate for Minnesota, they are playing in Green Bay and it won’t be ideal weather. Adrian Peterson needs to play better than the first meeting (45 yards rushing) and Teddy Bridgewater needs to make something happen with his arm to open up this offense. Minnesota has the better defense, but the Packers always seem to turn it on as the playoffs near. Packers 30, Vikings 27

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