NFL 2014 Week 17 Picks

The Falcons celebrate being not quite as bad as the Saints in 2014
The Falcons celebrate being not quite as bad as the Saints in 2014

It is the final weekend of the regular season in the NFL, which means that after Sunday, there are only 11 more meaningful football games until next September.  With that in mind, here are the main things that are up for grabs heading into the final weekend of the campaign.

  • The NFC South title – the only one of the six playoff berths not decided in the NFC, either Carolina or Atlanta will end up hosting a postseason game, despite the fact that neither can finish with any more than 7 wins.
  • The five NFC teams who have already booked their place in the playoffs are all jockeying for position.  Seattle, Arizona and Green Bay can all still realistically end up with the first seed, with the Seahawks having the inside track to home field advantage throughout January.  The Packers will be at least the 2 seed if they beat the Lions, but if they lose they could drop to the 6 seed and face a visit to the Cowboys – who will almost certainly be the 3 seed – for Wild Card weekend.
  • Five AFC teams have also already claimed a spot in the postseason, with New England guaranteed the 1 seed and Denver able to claim a first week bye if they can beat the Raiders at home.  Should the Broncos slip up, the Bengals can grab the second seed in the Conference by winning in Pittsburgh, but a loss would put the Steelers as the 3 seed and force Cincinnati to play their opening game of the playoffs on the road.
  • The final available Wild Card spot can still be won by any one of four teams: the Chargers, Chiefs, Ravens and Texans.  For Kansas City to make it, they need to beat San Diego then hope Baltimore and Houston both lose their contests.  If the Chargers win they are in, the Ravens need help from the Chiefs and to beat the Browns, while the Texans need to beat the Jaguars, then root for Cleveland and Kansas City.
  • The top spot in the draft will also be decided this weekend, with the Buccaneers facing the tough prospect of needing to lose to the woeful Saints to clinch the worst record in the league.  There could be a lot of coaches finding themselves out of a work come Monday, a day notorious for firings in the NFL.
  • I also have the opportunity to finish with an above .500 record picking against the spread for the fourth season out of four I have been making predictions.  Current record is 126-114, so only a 2-14 week or worse would prevent me from finishing with a winning record.  That being said…


Last week, 9-7; Season, 126-114

Home teams in bold

Patriots -3.5 over Bills

Bears +6.5 over Vikings

Ravens -8.5 over Browns

Washington +6.5 over Cowboys

Colts -7.5 over Titans

Chargers +2.5 over Chiefs

Dolphins -5.5 over Jets

Saints -3.5 over Buccaneers

Giants -2.5 over Eagles

Texans -9.5 over Jaguars

Falcons -3.5 over Panthers

Broncos -14.5 over Raiders

Packers -7.5 over Lions

Seahawks -12.5 over Rams

49ers -5.5 over Cardinals

Steelers -2.5 over Bengals


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