For Matt Schaub and the Houston Texans the time to prove themselves starts now, in Indianapolis.
Here are the Picks for NFL Week 17
The theme for this weeks games is: Subtraction by “Divisions”.
Jets vs. Bills - Bills- Or should it be “Jets vs. Jets vs. Bills”? The Jets seem like a team in disarray. The latest controversy surrounding whether or not Tim Tebow told Rex Ryan he didn’t want to run the wildcat if he wasn’t the starter has become a major distraction for the team, and will probably affect their performance some. Greg McElroy suffered an injury last week and will not be able to go. So regardless of whether Tebow plays or Mark Sanchez starts, I don’t think the Jets will win this game. If Buffalo limits their turnovers, they should take this one. 21-17 – Bills
Panthers vs. Saints- Saints - Cam Newton has rebounded nicely from his sophomore slump and has the Panthers ending the season strong on a three game winning streak. The Saints are in a similar situation, as they have been an up and down team all season, but have an opportunity to finish at .500, and get a head start on making a push for the playoffs next season without the bountygate issue to deal with. The Saints are coming off of a big win over the Cowboys last week and their offense has been on fire lately with Drew Brees playing well. Cam Newton should continue his good play as well, but with the Saints offense clicking and them having the home field advantage, I think the Saints will win. 27-24 – Saints
Buccaneers vs. Falcons - Falcons - The Bucs are in a rut and the Falcons are flying high. Even though the Falcons have wrapped up home field advantage throughout the playoffs, I still think they have the motivation to finish the season strong. The Buccaneers seemed like they might challenge for a playoff spot at mid-season, but have since gone on a five game losing streak, and this game should be number six. Falcons win. 28-17 - Falcons
Eagles vs. Giants - Giants - The Eagles will start Michael Vick at QB in this game, and Vick will be motivated to show the rest of the NFL that he is still capable of being a starter. And while Vick should be able to move the ball for the Eagles, he will more than likely be a little rusty because it’s been a while since he’s played. The Giants still have an outside shot at earning a playoff berth, so I expect them to play a very determined game. The Eagles secondary should provide Eli Manning with an opportunity to get things back on track as he has been in a slump recently. But regardless of whether the Giants make the playoffs or not, I think they will find a way to win this game. 24-17 – Giants
Jaguars vs. Titans- Titans - The Titans are at home and have the better QB between Chad Henne and Jake Locker. So these factors point to the Titans getting a close win. 20-19 - Titans
Texans vs. Colts - Texans - The Texans need to win this game to have any confidence entering the playoffs. They have a great record, but appear to be a team of uncertainty. The Colts have been the team standing in the way of the Texans for a long time, and now in order to move forward this is one more obstacle the Texans need to overcome, winning in Indianapolis. The Colts have been rejuvenated over last season. They have a new coach a new QB, and renewed hope as a franchise. QB Andrew Luck has brought a competence to position that was lacking last season, and Chuck Pagano has inspired the team through his fight with Leukemia.
I have stated that I feel Pagano’s illness gave the Colts a unifying cause to rally behind that they would not have had if he were healthy. And this cause gave the Colts a fighting spirit that kept them alive late in games. But now that Pagano is back, how will the Colts react to him? I think the dynamic of the team will change, but not necessarily for the better. Are the Colts trying to win for Pagano, or for a shot at the Super Bowl? It may take this game for the Colts to get used to Pagano being back in charge, and while the Colts will be inspired from emotion, the Texans should come into the game a little under the radar, and if they handle their business, I think they should come out with the win. 28-21 - Texans
Browns vs. Steelers - Steelers – It’s unusual to see the Pittsburgh Steelers not in the playoffs, and yet this unfamiliar situation is one they find themselves in. And although they will not be playing for a shot a championship, the Steelers are still a very proud team. And coach Mike Tomlin will have them ready to play this game. If the Steelers win they can at least salvage a .500 record, and their fans are still some of the best in the NFL, and will no doubt provide a hostile environment for the Browns to contend with. The Browns may or may not have the services of starting QB Brandon Weeden due to injury, and this just hurts their chances more. So I look for the Steelers to close out the season with a win. 23-14 – Steelers
Ravens vs. Bengals - Ravens - With the Ravens win over the New York Giants last week, it seems they are rounding back into playoff form. QB Joe Flacco had one of his best performances of the season, as it appears the termination of Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator may have helped him some. Bengals QB Andy Dalton has improved this year over a very good rookie season, yet he seems to be struggling a little now. However, the Bengals have still reached the playoffs for the second straight season, and they are trending up. The Ravens have already clinched the AFC North, but could use this win to keep some space between them and the Bengals, and could use a strong performance to build some positive mojo for the playoffs. And I think they will win this game. 24-20 – Ravens
Cardinals vs. 49ers - 49ers – With the 49ers coming off of a blow out loss to the Seahawks and looking to regain the momentum they lost from their win over the Patriots, I don’t think it’s going out on too much of a limb to say that there is little to no chance that the Cardinals will win this game. 31-14 – 49ers
Raiders vs. Chargers - Chargers - The Chargers will almost surely have a new coach next season, but they are still playing to win. And I think they will win this game over their division rival the Raiders. Philip Rivers is ending his season on an up swing and he should have a good game in this one. The Raiders have lost seven of their last eight games, and this one should end in a loss too. 24-17 – Chargers
Chiefs vs. Broncos - Broncos - The Broncos have won ten games in a row, and I expect this one to be number eleven. The hottest team in the NFL will go in to the playoff on a hot streak. The Chiefs will have a new coach next season but RB Jamaal Charles should finish the season strong, but the Broncos will wi this game. 35-13 – Broncos
Packers vs. Vikings - Packers - The Vikings need to win this game to ensure a playoff berth. Lose and they will need a lot help, but they probably won’t make it. The Packers need to win to secure a first round bye. So both teams have something to play for. And even with Adrian Peterson trying to set a new rushing record, I don’t think the Vikings have enough offense to hang with the Packers. So I think the Vikings will come up short in their playoff bid. 21-17 – Packers
Dolphins vs. Patriots - Patriots - The Dolphins want to finish at .500 for the season, and the only way to do it is to beat the Patriots. The Patriots have hit a bit of a lull since they dominated the Houston Texans at home. They lost the following week to the San Francisco 49ers and struggled last week at Jacksonville. So this week they will want to finish the regular season on high note going into the playoffs. And I think they will. The Patriots simply have too much offense for the Dolphins. I think the Dolphins will play them hard, but the Pats will win. 27-19 - Patriots
Rams vs. Seahawks - Seahawks - The Rams will have some confidence coming into this game because they have already beaten the Seahawks this season. But that may as well have been a lifetime ago, as now the Seahawks have emerged as one of the dominant teams in the league. And they are 7-0 at home, and will look run the table to go unbeaten at home for the season. And I think they will. The Seahawks have a tremendous home field advantage, and they are clicking in all phases of the game. The Rams actually aren’t playing too badly themselves, but the Seahawks are on a roll, and the Rams might not roll over and die, but the Seahawks will win this one. 28-21 - Seahawks
Last Week’s Review – I went 13-3, on picks for the week which is 81% correct. I am now 155-85 and 65% overall on the season. I expected the Texans to beat the Vikings at home, as well as the Cowboys to beat the Saints at home. And the Giants lost to the Ravens on the road.
- Playing with Fire – NFL – Week 16 – 2012 (fanonfiresportswire.com)
- NFL Inferno: the Top 32 NFL Teams – Week 17 (fanonfiresportwire.com)
- NFL Inferno: The Top 32 NFL QB Power Rankings – Week 17 (fanonfiresportswire.com)