It’s the final Football Friday of the 2016-17 NFL regular season. Hard to believe it has come and gone so fast. We will of course preview the playoffs and there are quite a few games with little meaning this week, week 17, but let’s preview and predict them in anyway in “the stack” for today, Friday, December 30th:
Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals 1 PM ET CBS
There are quite a few hard games to pick and this is one of them. The Bengals won’t have wide receiver A.J. Green, but they are the home team. Meanwhile, this very well might be the last game of Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith’s career. For that reason, I will lean towards the Ravens, but I say that with zero confidence.
Prediction: Ravens 23 Bengals 17
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts 1 PM ET CBS
Blake Bortles and the Jaguars looked impressive last week. They will look less impressive this week. The Colts need to win to help head coach Chuck Pagano keep his job. No guarantees he will, but they will do their job and get the win.
Prediction: Colts 27 Jaguars 20
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins 1 PM ET CBS
Last year the Patriots ended the regular season in Miami and they lost. It ultimately cost them homefield advantage in the playoffs. This game really doesn’t mean much to either team since both teams are in the playoffs, but I think the Patriots get the win.
Prediction: Patriots 27 Dolphins 24
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings 1 PM ET FOX
A season that started off with such promise is finally going to come to a merciful end for the Vikings and their fans. It has been disappointing since October, but they’ll end the season with a win over an overmatched Bears team.
Prediction: Vikings 27 Bears 13
Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets 1 PM ET CBS
Both teams have disappointed this season. The Jets have had poor quarterback and secondary play. The Bills are now without a head coach with Rex Ryan fired on Tuesday. They are the better team and will pick up the win.
Prediction: Bills 20 Jets 10
Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles 1 PM ET FOX
The Cowboys say they won’t rest their starters. The Eagles proved last week in their win over the Giants that they are going to play hard for a full 60 minutes. I don’t think the Cowboys will play their starters the whole game, but I do think they will get the win…maybe.
Prediction: Cowboys 27 Eagles 23
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers 1 PM ET CBS
The Browns got their first win of the year last week. Do they really want to win this week and lose out on the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft? Possibly. No Big Ben, Le’Veon Bell or Antonio Brown for the Steelers in this game. They’ll still have enough to beat the Browns.
Prediction: Steelers 26 Browns 13
Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1 PM ET FOX
The Buccaneers’ playoff hopes are incredibly slim. They need Washington to tie for crying out loud. But they still have a chance and the Panthers don’t. That’s good enough for me to take Jameis Winston and company.
Prediction: Buccaneers 31 Panthers 20
Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans 1 PM ET CBS
The Texans are still going with Tom Savage as their starting quarterback huh? OK, I think that is making the best of an awful situation, because he didn’t do anything last week. They’ve won the AFC South so this game doesn’t mean much. The Titans will ground and pound their way to a victory.
Prediction: Titans 19 Texans 10
New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons 4:25 PM ET FOX
The Saints all but killed the Buccaneers’ playoff hopes last week. The Falcons have a chance to get the number two seed in the NFC. Their offense will be dialed in and they will not let the Saints trip them up.
Prediction: Falcons 37 Saints 27
Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos 4:25 PM ET CBS
No Derek Carr for the Raiders which is a major bummer. Now it is up to Matt McGloin. The Broncos have no hopes of making it to the playoffs so they will have both Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch play in this one. Don’t like their chances of getting the offense going.
Prediction: Raiders 16 Broncos 13
Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams 4:25 PM ET FOX
Hugely disappointing season for the Cardinals this year and a pretty big failure of a season for the Rams in their return to L.A. One team has David Johnson and is playing hard as the season comes to an end. The other team is the Rams. Guess who I’m taking?
Prediction: Cardinals 27 Rams 10
Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers 4:25 PM ET CBS
Last time the Chargers played a home game, the Raiders had the majority of the fans show up. In what likely will be the last ever game for the Chargers in San Diego, I don’t expect Chargers fans to show up in droves which is a shame. I hope they stay, but that isn’t going to help them win this one. Not when Kansas City has something on the line in the AFC West and a possible number two seed in the AFC.
Prediction: Chiefs 27 Chargers 13
Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers 4:25 PM ET FOX
The 49ers are 2-0 against the L.A. Rams this year and 0-13 against the rest of the NFL. They aren’t playing the Rams this week. That means they aren’t going to win.
Prediction: Seahawks 27 49ers 17
New York Giants @ Washington 4:25 PM ET FOX
The Giants have nothing to play for while Washington has everything to play for. Their playoff hopes are on the line. The Giants say they are playing to win, but can we really believe them? I hope Washington doesn’t win, because I would like to see the Lions in the playoffs, but I don’t see that happening. Washington will win this one.
Prediction: Washington 27 Giants 20
Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions 8:30 PM ET NBC
Aaron Rodgers said the Packers could run the table when the Packers were struggling. They have won every game since those comments. They played in the final game of the NFL regular season last year and lost to the Vikings at home. On the road for the NFC North title this year, the Packers won’t lose and the Lions will fail to make the playoffs after what seemed like such a promising season.
Prediction: Packers 34 Lions 20
Coming up Monday: Week 17 NFL reaction plus college bowl picks
Happy New Year everyone! Have a safe and happy holiday and we will talk to you next year! Thanks for reading!