This one was over a few weeks back, with MDS building an insurmountable lead. Last week, we disagreed on only one game. He was right, I was wrong. MDS went 13-3, I went 12-4.
To his credit, MDS isn’t resting his starters for a meaningless week of action.
We disagree on three games. For the full slate of predictions, you know what to do.
Washington at Giants
MDS’s take: It’s a meaningless game, although Kirk Cousins and Eli Manning will both be motivated to have a good performance heading into a big offseason for both of them. I see Cousins’ team having the better day.
MDS’s pick: Washington 27, Giants 20.
Florio’s take: A disappointing season ends for a pair of teams that had postseason aspirations. Now, one team will be hiring a new coach — and the other one could be doing the same.
Florio’s pick: Washington 24, Giants 20.
Jets at Patriots
MDS’s take: The Patriots aren’t losing to the Bryce Petty-led Jets with home-field advantage on the line.
MDS’s pick: Patriots 33, Jets 17.
Florio’s take: The Patriots know the perils of stumbling in a late-season game against a division rival. It cost them the No. 1 seed two years ago. It won’t happen again.
Florio’s pick: Patriots 27, Jets 10.
Bears at Vikings
MDS’s take: Minnesota clinches a first-round bye in what is likely John Fox’s last game as the Bears’ coach.
MDS’s pick: Vikings 20, Bears 10.
Florio’s take: Win or lose, the Vikings seem to be locked in to the No. 2 seed. Which means that if the Eagles lose in the divisional round, the Vikings could be hosting the NFC title game.
Florio’s pick: Vikings 30, Bears 10.
Packers at Lions
MDS’s take: Both teams are out of playoff contention, but the Lions should shut down Brett Hundley and complete the season sweep of the Packers.
MDS’s pick: Lions 21, Packers 9.
Florio’s take: A lost season for both teams; one coach likely will lose his job. There’s an outside chance that both will.
Florio’s pick: Lions 20, Packers 13.
Texans at Colts
MDS’s take: The Texans would probably be in the playoffs if Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt had stayed healthy. Instead they’re going to end up with a Top 5 pick — which they traded to the Browns.
MDS’s pick: Colts 20, Texans 17.
Florio’s take: Two teams that were supposed to square off for the division title are battling for the basement.
Florio’s pick: Colts 16, Texans 13.
Browns at Steelers
MDS’s take: The Browns want to avoid 0-16, but unless the Steelers decide to rest their starters on the theory that they won’t catch the Patriots for home-field advantage, Cleveland is going winless.
MDS’s pick: Steelers 27, Browns 17.
Florio’s take: The season started with the Steelers handing Cleveland their first loss. It ends with the perfect bookend. And by “perfect,” I mean “nightmarish.”
Florio’s pick: Steelers 24, Browns 9.
Cowboys at Eagles
MDS’s take: Neither team has anything to play for, as the Eagles have clinched home-field advantage while the Cowboys are out of contention. I think the Eagles will rest starters while the Cowboys play to win.
MDS’s pick: Cowboys 23, Eagles 20.
Florio’s take: Has a game between these two rivals ever been less meaningful?
Florio’s pick: Cowboys 20, Eagles 17.
49ers at Rams
MDS’s take: The Rams don’t have much to play for, as they’re locked into either the No. 3 or No. 4 team in the NFC. The 49ers have nothing to play for, but that hasn’t stopped them from looking like one of the best teams in the league since Jimmy Garoppolo became the starter. I would have picked the 49ers even if the Rams were trying to win, but with Sean McVay confirming he’ll bench his best players, I think the 49ers should easily finish on a five-game winning streak.
MDS’s pick: 49ers 28, Rams 20.
Florio’s take: The Rams will be resting some starters, and the 49ers are trying to finish with a flourish.
Florio’s pick: 49ers 27, Rams 17.
Raiders at Chargers
MDS’s take: After their 0-4 start, not many people thought the Chargers would still be in contention in Week 17. They need help to make the playoffs, but they’ll do their part against the Raiders.
MDS’s pick: Chargers 24, Raiders 14.
Florio’s take: The Raiders are limping to their new home away from home; how many Oakland fans will show up at Black Hole South? And will it matter?
Florio’s pick: Chargers 27, Raiders 21.
Chiefs at Broncos
MDS’s take: The Chiefs are locked into the AFC No. 4 seed and will have nothing to play for, but if Paxton Lynch is the Broncos’ starter I just don’t see them winning even against a team taht isn’t trying.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 20, Broncos 13.
Florio’s take: Why should anyone in Denver show up for a meaningless game? To get a glimpse of what could be the meaningful future of the quarterback position in Kansas City, via the debut of Patrick Mahomes.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 27, Broncos 14.
Jaguars at Titans
MDS’s take: The Titans are fighting for their playoff lives, so they’ll come in hungry and beat a Jaguars team that they may face in a playoff rematch.
MDS’s pick: Titans 28, Jaguars 24.
Florio’s take: Think the Jaguars are playing for nothing? Think again. They don’t want the Titans rolling into Jacksonville next weekend, and the best way to prevent that is to knock them out, now.
Florio’s pick: Jaguars 24, Titans 17.
Saints at Buccaneers
MDS’s take: New Orleans should put up a big game to clinch the NFC South. This one won’t be close.
MDS’s pick: Saints 31, Buccaneers 10.
Florio’s take: The Bucs are falling apart, and the Saints are putting it all together.
Florio’s pick: Saints 30, Buccaneers 13.
Bills at Dolphins
MDS’s take: The Bills still have a shot at the playoffs, and they should be able to pull out a win against a Dolphins team with nothing to play for.
MDS’s pick: Bills 24, Dolphins 16.
Florio’s take: The Dolphins get a chance to close out the season by spoiling Buffalo’s shot at ending an 18-year playoff drought.
Florio’s pick: Dolphins 27, Bills 20.
Cardinals at Seahawks
MDS’s take: It’s been a disappointing season in Seattle, but they’ll finish strong against an overmatched Cardinals team.
MDS’s pick: Seahawks 30, Cardinals 20.
Florio’s take: Don’t look now, but the Seahawks may be heading for the postseason — and possibly for a rubber match against the Rams.
Florio’s pick: Seahawks 24, Cardinals 17.
Panthers at Falcons
MDS’s take: The Falcons will sneak back in the playoffs with a close win at home.
MDS’s pick: Falcons 28, Panthers 27.
Florio’s take: The Falcons won’t have to worry about blowing a fourth-quarter lead in the playoffs after they blow a fourth-quarter lead to the Panthers on Sunday.
Florio’s pick: Panthers 30, Falcons 27.
Bengals at Ravens
MDS’s take: Baltimore gets the win and returns to the playoffs in Marvin Lewis’s swan song.
MDS’s pick: Ravens 24, Bengals 13.
Florio’s take: The Ravens could make things very interesting in the AFC playoff field.
Florio’s pick: Ravens 27, Bengals 10.