NFL Picks - Week 17

Sunday Morning

Baltimore @ Cincinnati
There are six games in Week 17 between non-playoff teams that some would say have "no meaning." No meaning huh? You try telling that to DeAndre Mitchell, a career practice squad player who I just made up that will be making his NFL debut for the Bengals this Sunday. This entirely fictitious young man finally has the opportunity to live his dream, so perhaps the next time you're about to callously refer to these Week 17 tilts as meaningless you'll think of DeAndre Mitchell (a man who, again, does not exist) and bite your tongue. 

Ravens 23-20

Houston @ Tennessee
As I explained last week, time traveling teen Trevor Finch and timecop Clem Zarkins 8 have mutually assured the failures of their respective retcon missions now that Tom Savage is the new starting quarterback for the Texans and has led them to an AFC South title. I don't know about you, but it's clear to me that Finch and CZ8 must work together to get their destiny-altering efforts back on track. Step one is forcing Tom Savage out of action and Brock Osweiler back onto the field. After that though it's anybody's guess. When push comes to shove which present day visitor will get their way? Only TIME will tell. 

Texans 16-13

Carolina @ Tampa Bay
After a loss last week the Buccaneers are hanging on to the slimmest of playoff hopes. Tampa needs to win and have ALL of the following results happen: GB loss, TEN win, IND win, DAL win, SF win, WAS tie. That's one hell of a convoluted scenario, but all the Bucs can do is get their W and let the chips fall where they may. Or they can broadcast Jameis Winston performing one of his famous pregame speeches to each team who they need to win. After hearing Winston's inspirational words surely they'll all prevail. The tricky one will be the tie they need from the Giants against the Redskins. How do you inspire someone to tie? Maybe Winston can dial up some yin and yang stuff about the duality of man and how balance is the most important thing in life, especially when it comes to football scores. While that may seem like a fairly thin, poorly thought out argument the complexities of it will befuddle Eli Manning into having one of his worst games as a pro, spoiling Tampa's parlay.

Buccaneers 26-21  

Jacksonville @ Indianapolis
On the surface this game seems very uninteresting and inconsequential. And that's exactly where this game is being played ... on the surface ... of the earth, just as every single NFL game in league history before it. At the core though this game seems like one that would be immediately incinerated. It's just too hot for humans down there. So now do you see why they play games on the surface? 

Colts 31-20

New England @ Miami
Both of these AFC East teams are heading to the playoffs, but only one of them has Matt Moore as their starting quarterback. And sorry New Englanders, it ain't ya boys. The Dolphins have put up 34 points in each of Moore's two starts, and have won three in a row overall, including a squeaker over in Arizona in which Moore engineered a game-winning drive in relief. So what am I getting at? It's simple, Matt Moore's personal 2016 winning percentage is 1.000, therefore the implication is clear: he's on pace to win the Super Bowl. Look, I'm just following the stats here folks. We can all agree Tom Brady has been magnificent since returning from his suspension in Week 5, but he has that lone blemish on his record. Matt Moore's record? Spotless yo. Obviously I'm not saying I think Matt Moore is better than Tom Brady. Not at all.  I'm saying that the facts unequivocally show that Matt Moore is better than Tom Brady.

Dolphins 24-23 

Chicago @ Minnesota
Here's another contest with two non-playoff squads that have little to play for. So why not spice it up a little bit with a wild stipulation? How about this: the MVP of the game gets to choose who he plays for next season; his pick of all 32 NFL teams. Maybe he likes where he is and will decide to stay Maverick style, or maybe he'll say F this S I'm going to New England! What's more, the game MVP will make his announcement immediately following the game in the middle of the field with the GMs from all 32 teams live on the Jumbotron behind him so that we can gauge their reaction. It should be a fascinating watch. Oh wait, it's not really going to happen. Well F this S, I'm watching New England! 

Vikings 20-16

Buffalo @ New York Jets
On Tuesday the Bills fired head coach Rex Ryan after only two seasons. In his own defense Ryan (and his also fired brother Rob) will tell you that if you want something done right you need more than two seasons; whether it be turkey, ham, prime rib, or coaching. Two seasons? That's amateur stuff. You give Rex Ryan two seasons and you're going to get a bland, tasteless product. Give him 11 herbs and spices? Now we're talking. I'm not sure anybody will be trying very hard in this game, unless the Bills players really want interim coach Anthony Lynn to become the head man next year. And the possibility that a team might try is enough for me to pick them over the Jets.

Bills 28-14

Dallas @ Philadelphia
The Cowboys have not played during the day on a Sunday since Week 11. This recent spate of night games was a real boon for the vampires on the team (of which there are three, can you guess who?) but now the Boys return to the daytime. The aforementioned vamps will no doubt be hoping for an overcast day to help shield them from the light, but unfortunately for them I have it on good authority that it's always sunny in Philadelphia. So while a handful of Cowboys players will be burned alive as a result it will nonetheless be nice to not have Dallas forced down our throats on yet another prime time game. Regardless of the scheduled start time though, the Cowboys have consistently forced themselves down opponents' throats, so the Eagles could be in trouble. Also, Dallas should really stop forcing themselves down people's throats. It's not ok guys. Rumor has it that Mark Sanchez will get the majority of snaps at QB for Dallas. Yes, that Mark Sanchez. Consequently I'll guess that Philly gets a win for the home crowd.

Eagles 24-17 

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh
Well the the Browns did it, they avoided a winless season by knocking off the Chargers last week. It was later revealed by coach Hue Jackson that he and left tackle Joe Thomas cried in the locker room following the win. It was then revealed that Joe Thomas had broken Hue Jackson's back for revealing that he and Joe Thomas had cried following the win. Look, I get it, it's been a rough season to say the least, and it was emotional for them to finally come out on top. That being said, I'm not sure that would translate as well to other professions. For instance, if after a flight you were walking off the plane and the pilot was weeping while you exited you'd be a bit disturbed and probably have more than a few questions. Unless that pilot was wearing a Browns hat, in which case you'd know now why he cries. You also might think it a tad unprofessional of him to not be wearing his captain's hat, but you'd understand. I'm guessing that Cleveland will still have that winning glow about them and come out on Sunday fired up enough to only lose by a few to the Pittsburgh back-ups.

Steelers 25-20

Sunday Afternoon

New Orleans @ Atlanta
Raise your hand if you think there will be some points in this one. I know I do, 0-0 ties are extremely rare in the NFL. Well actually it's happened 73 times in league history, but not once since 1943. So most of these players weren't even born the last time it occurred (Matt Bryant and, surprisingly, Tim Hightower being the two exceptions). The Falcons can clinch the NFC's #2 seed and a first round bye with a win, whereas the Saints have already clinched a 35 week bye regardless of this result. The added incentive should be motivation enough for the Atlanta to get the win. 

Falcons 41-30

New York Giants @ Washington
Pretty simple set up for this one, the 'Skins win and they're in, assuming that the GB/DET game doesn't end in a tie. The Giants are locked into the #5 seed regardless of the outcome here, so it's not entirely clear what their strategy will be, but I have an inkling of what might go down. New York will play the first half full tilt and pretty much dominate. At half time they'll realize that it would behoove them to allow a team they can easily defeat to get into the playoffs, even if the odds that they'll meet in the postseason are very slim. When the second half begins Ben McAdoo will allow Eli Manning to start calling his own plays; the rest will take care of itself.

Redskins 23-16

Arizona @ Los Angeles
Here's an interesting stat, the 49ers record against the Rams this season is 2-0. The 49ers record against all other NFL teams this season is 0-13. That basically sums up the 4-11 Rams' first season in LA. To make matters worse they can't even take solace in the idea that that loss helped them in the draft order, because their first round pick belongs to the Titans, and the reason for that absence of a top choice is currently under center for the Rams and quite abysmal. So to say that the LA fanbase has been unenthused by the product on the field would be an understatement. It's pretty cliche to say that "LA loves a winner." I think the more accurate assessment is that LA doesn't care about a loser.

Cardinals 27-12

Oakland @ Denver
The Raiders are one win away from a first round bye in the AFC playoffs. Unfortunately for Oakland their starting quarterback is now Matt McGloin, and worse yet there's no such thing as a second, third, or fourth round bye. Is there a chance Matt McGloin can pilot the Raiders to three straight playoff wins? I suppose no. Sorry, that was supposed to say "I suppose SO" but my hands just wouldn't type it. I tried on multiple occasions to correct it, but got the same result every time. When my body physically rejects a team's Super Bowl prospects it's never a good sign. The same thing happened a couple years ago when a young fan asked if I thought Andy Dalton could ever take the Bengals all the way and I reflexively vomited in her face. So maybe this isn't Oakland's year just yet, but it should be endless fun to watch their new starting QB make terrible (or even good) plays in the postseason and shout, "Ah! McGloin!"

Broncos 16-10

Kansas City @ San Diego
The Chargers lost to the Browns last week and I should've seen it coming. San Diego has been finding new ways to lose on a seemingly weekly basis this season, so it only makes sense that they would discover yet another untapped source of despair, something that no other team could possibly manage: a loss to Cleveland. Congratulations Chargers, you're the most predictably unpredictable team of 2016. Now, if they manage to win this death rattle of a game in San Diego it will be yet another surprise. But as we all know, the Bolts are nothing if not ... shocking.

Chiefs 29-17

Seattle @ San Francisco
Before the season began in my 2016 preview I predicted that the 49ers would finish 3-13. Well here they sit at 2-13 with one game remaining and I am now struck with a crisis of conscience. Do I root for San Francisco to win just to make myself look a football genius? After a quick self-assessment I've realized that I already look like a football genius. I mean if I'm not a genius how else would you explain the fact that I've correctly predicted the score of all 240 games so far this season? And no, I don't check the scores of the games once they've ended. I don't have to. I'm operating with that level of confidence. So with that in mind I will break from my preseason prognostication and foretell a fourteen loss season for the Frisco gents.

Seahawks 27-13

Sunday Night 

Green Bay @ Detroit
Who will win the NFC North? There's only one way to find out: take a nap from 5p-9p PT on Sunday, wake up, check your phone and go back to sleep. OR you could watch the Packers play the Lions and listen to this man dissect all the action. CriColl, take it away:
Always prepared, just like a boy scout. I'll agree with CC. With analysis like that how could I not?

Packers 27-20

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