Welcome to Week 17 and the final weekend of the NFL regular season. Despite the playoffs starting net week, there’s so much that need to be sorted out. In the AFC, the only division that has been settled is the NFC East with New England taking it. With the Ravens on a roll and the Steelers losing to the Saints, Baltimore control their own destiny in the AFC North. The Houston Texans can wrap up the AFC South with a win, but the Titans and Colts play for the final playoff spot and potential division. In the AFC West, the Chiefs and Chargers are tied with Kansas City holding the tiebreaker. Whoever wins the division will also clinch home field advantage and the other will grab the first Wild Card spot. New England can clinch a first round bye with a win and Texans loss.
As far as the NFC goes, we still have plenty to be sorted out. New Orleans have clinched home-field advantage in the playoffs already. The Los Angeles Rams can also have a first round bye with a win, but a loss for the Rams and win for the Bears, Chicago gets it. With a win over Minnesota, Chicago can knock them out of the playoffs if the Eagles were to beat Washington. The Dallas Cowboys clinched the NFC East last week along with the 4th seed in the playoffs. With a win over Kansas City, the Seahawks clinched a playoff berth last week. My record last week was 3-3, which lowered my record to 71-44. My overall winning percentage dipped from 62.3 to 61.7%. With so many games having playoff implications, I’ll be predicting a total of 10 games this weekend. All the NFL games take place on Sunday.
We start things off with a battle between two AFC East rivals. The New York Jets will travel to Foxboro to take on the New England Patriots. The New York Jets have had a very disappointing season as they’ll receive another high pick in the NFL Draft. Despite losing 8 of their last 9 games, the Jets have showed a lot of heart. New York would love to end their season with a win and especially on the road against these New England Patriots. Can the Jets finish the season with the upset? With the Texans loss to the Eagles last week, New England benefited greatly from it. The Patriots are currently the 2nd seed and with a win over the Jets, they’ll get a much needed first round bye. I’m riding with the Patriots to win and clinch the first round bye.
New England Win 30-20
The Jacksonville Jaguars head to Houston to face their division rival, Texans. After their great season a year ago, the Jaguars have been awful all season. Actually, Jacksonville started the season 2-0 and that included a win over New England. In the next 13 games, their record is 3-10 a year after almost making the Super Bowl. After such a dismal season, Jacksonville would love to play spoiler to the Texans. Can the Jaguars head to Houston and beat the Texans? Houston have a lot riding on this game but can end a lot of it by winning. If they win, they clinch the division and first round bye with a Patriots loss. If they were to lose, the winner of the Titans-Colts game will win it plus have the 3rd seed. I’m riding with the Texans to edge out the Jaguars despite losing Demaryius Thomas.
Houston Win 20-13
We head to the AFC West for this key matchup. The Los Angeles Chargers will travel to the Mile High City to battle the Denver Broncos. The Chargers could be in the driver’s seat right now, but the Ravens defense shut them down at home last week. Los Angeles still have a shot at winning the division and getting homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. The Chargers looked like they would be the toughest team in the playoffs, but they have a lot to work on. Can they go to Mile High and win? As far as the Denver Broncos goes, they would love to play the spoiler for the Chargers. Denver will be without Philip Lindsey as he went down with a wrist injury. Case Keenum could be playing for his job next season and I think he’ll do great, but the Chargers win.
Los Angeles Win 27-24
We stay in the AFC West as the Oakland Raiders will travel to Arrowhead Stadium to face the Kansas City Chiefs. Oakland is coming off an emotional game on Monday where they may have played their final game in Oakland. The Raiders have won two of their last three games, which include one over the Pittsburgh Steelers. With the amazing performance on Monday, can Oakland take that same energy to Kansas City? The Chiefs have lost two in a row and three of five games. Kansas City is definitely limping into the playoffs and you can tell they’re missing Kareem Hunt. All the Chiefs wins have come against playoff teams, so that should bode well for the Chiefs. I’m riding with the Chiefs to win this one and clinch the homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
Kansas City Win 38-20
We head to the west coast for this one in this NFC West battle. The San Francisco 49ers will head to Los Angeles to battle the Rams. The 49ers had their 2-game winning streak end last week in a tough game against the Bears. San Francisco is guaranteed another high draft this upcoming draft, but they would love to end the season on a high note. Can the 49ers pick up the huge upset over the Rams to end the season? Los Angeles finally rebounded last week against Arizona after losing two in a row. The Rams could see Todd Gurley return from knee injury in their finale. The Rams need this win to have a first round bye in the playoffs. Los Angeles should beat the 49ers to be the 2nd seed in the NFC playoffs.
Los Angeles Win 31-17
We have a matchup between two NFC North rivals. The Chicago Bears will travel to Minnesota to battle the Vikings. These two teams could meet for a third time next week if the Vikings win. Chicago have won three games in a row and 8 out of their last 9 games. With a Rams loss and Chicago win, the Bears can clinch the 2nd seed and first round bye. Earlier in the season, Chicago beat Minnesota by 5 points as the defense is one of the best in the league. As far as Minnesota goes, if they win and they’ll clinch the final spot for the playoffs. Ever since the change at Offensive Coordinator, Minnesota went to the run and it has been successful. With the playoffs on the line, I’m picking the Vikings to edge the Bears and win this one.
Minnesota Win 20-17
We head back to the AFC and the AFC north to be exact for this one. The Cincinnati Bengals will travel to Pittsburgh to battle the Steelers. After a strong start to the season, Cincinnati faltered to now losers of 7 of their last 8 games. The Bengals lost Andy Dalton and A.J. Green during the season and it hurt the team on both sides of the ball. Will they be able to finish the season with a win and eliminate the Steelers from playoff contention? Pittsburgh has to be the most disappointing team in the league. They have lost games they were supposed to easily win and after their loss to the Saints, they could miss the playoffs. The Steelers are hoping to get James Connor back for this one. Either way, Pittsburgh will blowout the Bengals.
Pittsburgh Win 35-17
We head back to the NFC for a matchup between NFC East rivals. The Philadelphia Eagles will travel to Washington to face the Redskins. The Eagles have won four out of their last five games and seems like their swag is back. With Nick Foles back under center, the entire team look like they’re gearing up for another run. In the last two games, they beat the Los Angeles Rams and Houston Texans, both playoff teams. Will Foles have more magic and lead the Eagles to another win? Washington was officially eliminated from the playoffs last week. The Redskins have so much turmoil going on as their All-Pro Safety D.J. Swearinger was released after criticizing the defensive calls. Can Adrian Peterson run his way to helping the Redskins upset the Eagles? I’m going with the Eagles to edge the Redskins.
Philadelphia Win 24-23
We head back to the AFC North for this clash with so much on the line. The Cleveland Browns will hit the road to battle the Baltimore Ravens. Cleveland have looked great ever since they fired Hugh Jackson as they’ve won five out of six games. Baker Mayfield is making a run at Rookie-Of-The-Year as the Browns have looked great. If the Browns had a couple things go differently, they would be fighting for a playoff spot also. Can they upset the tough Ravens? Baltimore have won five out of their last six games and they should’ve beat the Chiefs in that loss. The Ravens have the toughest defense in the league and the offense controls things with the run game. This should be a defensive struggle, but Baltimore should leave with the win.
Baltimore Win 19-17
The final game of the weekend is a game where the winner advances to the playoffs. The Indianapolis Colts will travel to Tennessee to face the Titans. It’s hard to believe that this Colts team started 1-5 and finished winning 8 of 9 games. Andrew Luck have enjoyed an amazing comeback season, but the defense has been great also. The Colts and Titans have a chance to win the division and host a playoff game with a Texans loss. Can Andrew Luck complete his comeback with a playoff appearance? The Titans have won four games in a row and the defense have stepped it up. Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey was placed on IR with a knee injury and that’ll hurt them. Derrick Henry will be key for the offense as Marcus Mariota could miss the game. In the end, I’m riding with the Colts to win and make the playoffs.
Indianapolis Win 23-20
Are you ready for another weekend of football? What’s the game you’re looking forward to the most? What do you think about my predictions? Check out the playoff seedings after my predictions below. Leave some feedback also.
Kansas City Chiefs
New England Patriots
Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts
Baltimore Ravens vs. Los Angeles Chargers
New Orleans Saints
Los Angeles Rams
Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings
Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks