Last Week’s Prediction Records:
Overall Prediction Records:
Kevin: 90-57 (Started Week 7)
Josh: 77-42 (Started Week 9)
Dan: 70-49 (Started Week 9)
Christan: 54-38 (Started Week 11)
Dennis: 25-7 (Started Week 15)
Jon: 12-4 (Started Week 16)
This is our last week of picks before the regular season comes to an end, although we’ll still be making our picks throughout the playoffs. With one week left to go, Cullen Jekel holds a four pick lead over our second place writer, Aman Huda. Can Aman overtake Cullen in the final week to be our 2018 picks winner? The rest of us will most likely be fighting for positioning outside of first place. Where will we all end up? Let’s see who we’ve all picked for Week 17’s games.
Dolphins vs Bills
Neither team has anything to play for. This game means nothing for the playoffs or division positioning. Here’s why I’m personally taking the Bills in this game. The Dolphins are 1-6 on the road this season. The Bills and their 3-4 home record isn’t great, but the Dolphins have been a different team on the road, not in a good way.
Falcons vs Buccaneers
Neither of these teams have anything to play for, other than ending the season on a high note and draft position. Even though both teams could earn a higher draft spot by losing, I think they both want to win. The Falcons are heavily favored. We’ll see if they can improve their road record, as they’re just 2-5 on the road this season. The Buccaneers are 4-3 at home. Which team wants to end their season on a high note more?
Cowboys vs Giants
The Dallas Cowboys will be playing their starters in this game, aside from maybe G Zack Martin and a couple other guys who have lingering injuries already. How long the starters play, I don’t know, but the Cowboys will be playing to win regardless of who’s in. They want to get to double digit wins.
For the Giants, they want to finish the season on a high note and prevent their division rivals from getting that 10th win. This is a home game for the Giants, but they’re only 2-5 at home this season. The Cowboys are 2-5 on the road. Factoring in that, the injuries to both teams and the Cowboys potentially not playing their starters the entire game, the outcome could go either way.
Panthers vs Saints
It’s likely the Saints will rest several starters after they locked up the number one seed in the NFC last week. If the starters do play, I don’t expect them to be in for long. This will give us a chance to see how good the Saints really are. Or maybe how bad the Panthers really are.
Last time around, the Panthers lost in a 12-9 game, but that was a home game for the Panthers. This time they’ll be in New Orleans, where the Saints are 6-1. New Orleans is a tough team anywhere they play, but at home they’re even tougher. Most of us have the Saints winning, even without their starters.
Jets vs Patriots
The Patriots are sitting as the two seed right now, but they have to win this game if they want to stay in that spot. Earning a first-round bye would be crucial for this New England team, as they’ve struggled at times this season.
The Jets won’t be in the playoffs, but I’m sure they’d love to hurt the Patriots’ chances of making the Super Bowl. Sam Darnold wasn’t able to get the Jets a win last week, but he had a great game. He completed 68.6% of his passes for 341 yards, three TDs and no INTs. He had a great game in their loss to the Texans the week before. If Darnold can have another great game against the Patriots, the Patriots could be in for a scare and at risk of losing their first-round bye.
Jaguars vs Texans
Houston still has a shot at being the two seed in the AFC. That means they have a shot at getting a first-round bye. That means they’ll be playing to win. In order to earn the two seed, the Texans will not only have to win, but will have to hope the Patriots lose to the Jets.
In addition to trying to earn the two seed, the Texans want to win this game to make sure they enter the playoffs on a high note. After losing to the Eagles last week, this team needs to make sure it rebounds before playing the best teams the AFC has to offer in win or go home situations.
In addition to entering the playoffs on a high note, the Texans need a win to secure themselves the AFC South. If they lose and the Colts win, the Colts will win the division. That would mean the Texans would have to play their first playoff game on the road rather than at home. This game is a big one for Houston!
Lions vs Packers
Neither team is playing for the playoffs in this game, but I think both teams are still wanting to win. I’ll take the better QB in this game, which is Aaron Rodgers. The Packers just want to end their season on a high note after the disappointing year they’ve had. The Lions could compete, but their offense hasn’t been great for sometime now.
Eagles vs Redskins
If the Vikings lose their game to the Bears, the Eagles can make the playoffs with a win over the Redskins. The defending Super Bowl champs have actually looked like the champs over the past couple of weeks. They would love to get a real chance to defend their title. Other than the Vikings, all that’s standing in their way is the Redskins. They have fourth string QB Josh Johnson starting. Can they knock the defending champs out of the playoffs?
Chargers vs Broncos
The Chargers still have a chance to earn the top spot in the AFC. They need to not only win this game, but hope the Chiefs lose to the Raiders. After an awful performance against the Ravens last week, the Chargers should just be focused on winning. They need to rebound as they head into the playoffs. Philip Rivers has put together an MVP campaign, so a rebound seems likely. The Broncos did beat the Chargers last time. Can they do it again and ruin the Chargers’ chances at a first-round bye?
Raiders vs Chiefs
If the Chiefs want to earn themselves the number one spot in the AFC playoffs, they have to win this game. The Chargers can still earn the top spot if the Chiefs lose. The Chiefs don’t want that to happen, so they have to win. The Raiders gave the Chiefs a hard time last time around, but the Chiefs still came out on top. Can they upset the potential MVP, potentially knocking them into the Wild Card round?
Bears vs Vikings
This game is interesting because of the playoff implications. If the Bears win and the Rams lose, the Bears would get a first-round bye. If the Vikings win, they’re in, but if they lose and the Eagles win, they’re out. With the Rams playing at the same time as the Bears, will the Bears play their starters and try to earn a first-round bye, or will they rest their starters and give the Vikings an easier time making the playoffs?
Browns vs Ravens
Which division rival does Baker Mayfield dislike more? Would he rather have the Ravens or Steelers in the playoffs? The Steelers are hoping it’s them, because they need Mayfield and the Browns to beat the Ravens for them to have a chance at the playoffs.
The Ravens don’t really care what Baker Mayfield thinks. They just care about winning. Win and they’re in. This defense is one of the best in the league. We saw them dominate a hot Chargers team last week. Can they do the same against the Browns and secure themselves a spot in the playoffs?
49ers vs Rams
The Rams are currently in the two spot in the NFC, meaning they’d have a first-round bye if the playoffs started today. However, they haven’t been locked into that spot yet. There’s still a chance for the Bears to take the two spot. For that to happen, the Rams would have to lose and the Bears would need to beat the Vikings. The Rams know this. They’ll be playing all out against the 49ers to make sure they get the first-round bye. The 49ers could potentially hang around for a little while, but I believe they’ll put the game away well before the end of regulation.
Bengals vs Steelers
For Pittsburgh to make the playoffs, they have to not only beat the Bengals, but need the Ravens to lose to the Browns. I believe the Steelers will take care of business and give themselves a chance. They want to be in the playoffs, which will elevate their game all around. However, the Bengals could step up their game because they know they can keep the Steelers out. I’m sure they would love to do that.
Cardinals vs Seahawks
Even though the Seahawks have already locked up a playoff spot, they’re not resting their starters. Having to play in the Wild Card round, the Seahawks want to make sure they’re sharp heading into that game. Playing against the Cardinals to end the season is the perfect way to make sure they do that. This game should be easily won by the Seahawks, which will give them a confidence boost in their game against their first playoff opponent, likely the Dallas Cowboys.
Colts vs Titans (Sunday Night)
The winner of this game makes the playoffs. We’re all picking the Colts to get in. Over the past two games, the Colts’ defense has held Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley in check. Both of those guys are top three in rushing yards this season. Now they face Derrick Henry, who has had his three best games of the season over the past three weeks.
The formula of Derrick Henry dominating has worked out nicely for the Titans, but can he have a good performance against the Colts? If he doesn’t, it will likely give Andrew Luck a lot more time with the ball. That means more points, which means the Colts winning.