The final week of the regular season is upon us! With 4 AFC teams battling for 2 playoff sports and the Falcons and Seahawks going for the last spot in the NFC, and other teams playing for seeding and home field advantage, this week 17, a sometimes boring week of starters resting and pointless games, should be a fun one.
Last Week’s Record: 13-3
Season Record: 158-82
New York Jets @ New England Patriots
A win locks up home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs for New England, so don’t expect Bill Belichick to take it easy on the Jets until the game is well out of hand.
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons
Carolina is already in the playoffs, while the Falcons need a win to get in. In a tough divisional matchup, I’m going to take the reigning NFC champs, who have more to play for.
Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions
A division rivalry game only for pride at this point, the Lions, who for lack of a better term, blew it against Cincinnati last week, gets a Green Bay team that has nothing left, especially after getting shut out at home by Minnesota.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
Jacksonville has nothing to lose or gain with a win or loss, having already clinched the AFC South and the number 3 seed in the AFC. Tennessee meanwhile is fighting for it’s playoff life, as it needs a win to earn a playoff berth. The Titans offense has struggled mightily the last few weeks, and even if the Jaguars rest some starters, they still have a top defense that will give Marcus Mariota fits.
Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts
The may be terrible, but they do have a promising young quarterback in Jacoby Brissett and some weapons around him in the passing game, which will have a chance to have a field day against a decimated Texans defense.
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins
Buffalo needs a win to make the playoffs, oh, and a ton of help. Always pick the team with something to play for.
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings will be looking to clinch a 1st round bye, so they won’t likely take it easy on the Bears.
Washington Redskins @ New York Giants
There are some serious issues in The Big Apple (yes, that was an Eli Apple reference). New York has shown that it can’t be competitive no matter who they play.
Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs, so this is a perfect week to rest their starters, but with Nick Foles only recently being thrust into the starting quarterback role, the Eagles would be wise to give him plenty of reps with the 1st unit in a live game setting, so don’t expect the Eagles to take this game lightly.
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers
For the final time this season, it’s the Browns, enough said.
New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New Orleans has already locked up a playoff spot, but will be looking to secure a home game for their 1st playoff game by clinching the NFC South with a win. Jameis Winston and the Bucs on the other hand are literally fighting each other on the sidelines. Easy choice.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens
With a playoff berth on the line, the Ravens will pull out all the stops against a Bengals team that is ready to undergo some major offseason changes.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos
The Chiefs have locked up the 4th playoff spot, so they will start their quarterback of the future, Patrick Mahomes, for the last game if the season to get a look at the future of the franchise. This kid is big, mobile, and has an absolute cannon. He’ll face a tough first test against Denver’s cornerbacks, but with a likely opened playbook and a big play threat in Tyreek Hill, KC should be able to put the Broncos away.
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks
Will this be Bruce Arians last game? That is still up for debate, but what isn’t up for debate is the Seahawks level of desperation, needing a win and a Falcons loss to get into the playoffs.
San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams
The game doesn’t really matter to the Rams, aside for being seeded 3rd or 4th in the NFC and playing either the Panthers, or the Falcons or Seahawks, whichever makes the playoffs. The offense, mainly Todd Gurley, has been unstoppable lately, and they shouldn’t be slowed down by the 49ers.
Oakland Raiders @ Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angles needs a win, and losses by a certain combination of the Bills, Titans, and Ravens in order to go from 0-4 to a playoff team. By the time the game starts, Los Angeles may or may not already know its fate, but for this piece, I will assume they will be playing for the desperation win.
3 Spreads I Love
Don’t be an idiot and bet on week 17. Just don’t do it.