Week 17 Matchup Predictions
Packers win 24-20.
Dolphins (7-8) @ Patriots (11-4): The Patriots currently have the third seed in the AFC, but could get as high as the top seed if the Texans and Broncos both lose. The Patriots are a veteran team that knows the importance of a first-round bye, so they'll be out there trying to get themselves that coveted week of rest. With the top ranked total offense and scoring offense, I don't expect the Dolphins - who score the 25th most points in the league - to be able to hang in there with Tom Brady in New England.
Patriots win 30-17.
Cardinals (5-10) @ 49ers (10-4-1): Justin Smith showed just how important he is to the 49ers' defense last week by watching the game from the sidelines while Marshawn Lynch went beast-mode all over the field on Sunday Night Football. Diagnosed with a torn triceps, Smith is unlikely to return this week, but the Niners won't need him against a Cardinals team that has an offensive line built like swiss cheese. The Cardinals have lost ten of their last eleven, can't put up points, and can't defend the run. The 49ers will play smashmouth football and easily top the Cardinals at home.
49ers win 27-13.
Rams (7-7-1) @ Seahawks (10-5): The Seahawks are 7-0 at home this season and are coming off three straight merciless victories, winning by an average of 50-10. I like what the Rams have done this season under Jeff Fisher (especially on defense), but how could I possibly pick against the Seahawks right now?
Seahawks win 28-14.
Cowboys (8-7) @ Redskins (9-6): This is what it all comes down to in the NFC. The NFL rightfully flexed this game to prime time on Sunday night, and it will have huge playoff implications. The Cowboys can knock the Redskins out, the Redskins can knock the Cowboys out, the Cowboys can knock the Giants out... the list seems infinite, and is all based on what happens during the day games on Sunday. I think this game will be tight. The Cowboys just lost a heartbreaker to the Saints, but had won five of their past six before that. The Redskins have won six straight and haven't turned the ball over more than once since October 21st. As for who I think will win, I'm thinking the same thing I was when these teams played on Thanksgiving - Robert Griffin III steps up on the big stage and tells anyone who for some reason doesn't think this kid is the real deal that this is his division. He'll make an "if you want to win the NFC East, you have to come through me" type statement with a huge game on national television. It won't be easy, though. Tony Romo has stepped up in some big moments this season and won't just roll over while RG3 lights up the scoreboard, but he won't quite be able to match the rookie's magical ability.
Redskins win 30-27.
Well, folks, it's been a fun regular season, but don't forget, there will still be plenty of games to pick in the playoffs, so I'm not going away just yet.