It’s time to make my 2011 NFL week 17 predictions and picks. It’s the final week of the regular season and playoff berths will be determined. With that in mind, here are my weekly picks starting with the Sunday games.
Carolina is at New Orleans for what could be an interesting contest. Cam Newton has been spectacular as a rookie down the stretch. Drew Brees is meanwhile having an incredible season. What gives? I look for the Saints to outscore the Panthers 38-34 in a very entertaining match up. Brees tosses 4 touchdown passes. Newton runs for 2 scores and adds another through the air.
Chicago visits Minnesota in another match up to end the season. This meaningless game doesn’t matter much. So it’s hard to read too much into it. The Vikings are without Adrian Peterson and the Bears are without Jay Cutler and Matt Forte. So does anyone even care? I’ll take the Vikings in a 23-16 ugly win scenario in this one.
The New York Jets travel to Miami for their regular season finale. The Dolphins looked good for a half against New England. My picks and predictions say Miami will win this one at home 27-16. Reggie Bush goes for 107 yards and 2 touchdowns in the win.
Buffalo tries to win back to back games when they travel to New England. Good luck with that. The Patriots roll to a 37-13 victory over the Bills. Tom Brady throws for 326 yards and 3 touchdowns.
San Francisco is in St. Louis to face the Rams. I can’t see an upset here at all. The 49’ers win 27-14. The San Francisco defense scores at least one defensive touchdown.
Detroit is in Green Bay to face the Packers. Will Aaron Rodgers play against the Lions? This one could be incredibly hard to predict if some starters aren’t in the mix. I still think the Packers win this one at Lambeau Field by the tune of 31-23.
Washington plays at Philadelphia in a meaningless game. The Eagles will roll 38-23. Michael Vick runs for 2 touchdowns and tosses another TD pass in the victory.
Indianapolis heads to Jacksonville for a game that doesn’t mean much except maybe who drafts where on draft day. The Colts could win three in a row but it isn’t going to happen here. The Jags win 25-17. Maurice Jones-Drew gathers 156 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Colts.
Tennessee visits Houston in another Sunday NFL game. The Titans could use a road win to finish the season. My gut says the Texans will be too much on the ground. Houston wins 26-16. Arian Foster compiles 134 yards and 2 TD’s.
Seattle at Arizona is another game on the regular season finale week. The Seahawks have been tough down the stretch but I think they might be in for tough sledding against the Cardinals. My picks and predictions say Arizona wins 26-21. Beanie Wells runs for 112 yards and two scores.
Kansas City heads to Denver to play the Broncos. Can the Chiefs play spoiler? Absolutely. I think Denver will find a way to rebound from a horrible loss in Buffalo for a 23-17 win. Tim Tebow runs for 2 touchdowns and the Broncos get 3 field goals in the win.
Tampa Bay visits Atlanta in another week 17 match up. The Falcons should roll in this one and by a lot. Atlanta romps 38-14. Matt Ryan tosses 3 touchdown passes in the win.
Baltimore travels to Cincy to play the Bengals. The Bengals need a huge win at home to make the playoffs but it will have to come against a stingy defense. I think Cincy gets the victory 26-23 in overtime.
Pittsburgh goes to Cleveland to play the Browns. With or without Big Ben, Pittsburgh wins because of the defense. The Steelers hold Cleveland to one touchdown or less in a 23-9 win.
San Diego visits Oakland to face the Raiders. The Chargers looked miserable last week against Detroit. Can the offense get back in gear this week? I’ll take the Raiders in a 32-20 win.
Dallas is at the New York Giants. The Cowboys are going to have tough going without Tony Romo. In fact, I’ll say the Giants win easily at home 28-13.
That’s it for my 2011 Week 17 predictions and picks. I’ll be back for some 2011 NFL playoff predictions next week. Until then, have a wonderful Holiday season as we head into the New Year!