PFT’s Week 17 picks

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It’s the final week of the PFT regular-season picks showdown, and the mystery is over.  With a four-game lead over MDS, we disagree on only one game, which means I’ll win by five games or by three games.

Last week, neither of us felt much like winners.  I went 8-8, and MDS got nine of 16 right.

For the season, I’m at 158-82 (65.8%).  MDS is 154-86 (64.1%).

Panthers at Falcons

MDS’s take: It all comes down to this for the championship of the worst division in NFL history. I like Matt Ryan to have a big game throwing to Roddy White and Julio Jones and the Falcons to win it, earning the right to host a playoff game next week.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 31, Panthers 24.

Florio’s take:  The last playoff spot is up for grabs in the NFC, and with the Cardinals suddenly unable to score points, maybe the sub-.500 division winner will hold serve in the wild-card round.  Before getting obliterated in Seattle.  Give the edge to the home team coached by the guy who could get fired if he loses.

Florio’s pick:  Falcons 30, Panthers 23.

Browns at Ravens

MDS’s take: The Ravens gagged away a golden opportunity against Texans fourth-string quarterback Case Keenum on Sunday. Now the Ravens may get to face Browns third-string quarterback Connor Shaw this week. Will the Ravens choke again? I don’t think so. Baltimore will come out looking much better this week.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 20, Browns 10.

Florio’s take:  With Johnny Manziel out and Brian Hoyer likely to miss the game and the Ravens still alive, this should be a romp for the Ravens.

Florio’s pick:  Ravens 24, Browns 13.

Cowboys at Washington

MDS’s take: The Cowboys seem to be peaking at the right time. Tony Romo should put up huge numbers against a suspect Washington defense, and Dallas will roll into the playoffs.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 30, Washington 13.

Florio’s take:  Washington would love to finish the season on a high note with a sweep of the Cowboys.  The Cowboys don’t really have much to play for, with improved playoff positioning unlikely.  Which could give the underdog the edge in this kinda-sorta bowl game for Jay Gruden and company.  But then I remembered that the Cowboys obliterated the Colts last weekend.

Florio’s pick:  Cowboys 30, Washington 20.

Colts at Titans

MDS’s take: The Colts are reeling, but playing the Titans is just what the doctor ordered. Indianapolis will finish the regular season with an easy win.

MDS’s pick: Colts 27, Titans 9.

Florio’s take:  The Colts need to restore some confidence after getting blown out in Dallas last Sunday.  The Titans currently have none.  It’s a good match.

Florio’s pick:  Colts 34, Titans 20.

Jaguars at Texans

MDS’s take: The Texans may not get all the help they need to reach the playoffs, but you have to admire how hard they’re playing down the stretch. They’ll make short work of Jacksonville.

MDS’s pick: Texans 20, Jaguars 3.

Florio’s take:  The Texans have a chance, albeit slim, to get to the postseason.  To have a chance at having a chance, they need to take care of business against the Jaguars.  Since it’s the Jaguars, that’s the easy part.

Florio’s pick:  Texans 30, Jaguars 14.

Chargers at Chiefs

MDS’s take: Both teams are still fighting for a wild-card berth, which makes this one of Sunday’s better games. I like how the Chargers gutted out a tough win in San Francisco last week, and I think they’ll do it again in Kansas City.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 28, Chiefs 20.

Florio’s take:  It will be difficult for the Chiefs to make it to the playoffs.  It will be much easier to knock out the Chargers.  At Kansas City, that’s precisely what will happen, especially if a guy like Justin Houston can bang around an already-battered Philip Rivers.

Florio’s pick:  Chiefs 27, Chargers 23.

Jets at Dolphins

MDS’s take: Joe Philbin got his vote of confidence last week. Rex Ryan will get his pink slip after this game. Ryan will go out with a loss and bring his tenure as the Jets’ head coach to a close.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 21, Jets 14.

Florio’s take:  Last year, a Week 17 win at Miami may have saved Rex Ryan’s job.  This year, it won’t matter.  And it won’t happen.

Florio’s pick:  Dolphins 31, Jets 13.

Bears at Vikings

MDS’s take: Neither team has anything to play for, but the Vikings look to me like they’re playing a lot harder than the Bears are right now. Mike Zimmer’s players will give him a win to end his season, while Marc Trestman may be coaching his players for the last time, in defeat.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 21, Bears 17.

Florio’s take:  The Vikings undoubtedly wish Jimmy Clausen were playing.  Even with Jay Cutler back, however, the Vikings should be able to close out a better-than-expected season with a home win.

Florio’s pick:  Vikings 23, Bears 17.

Bills at Patriots

MDS’s take: The Bills’ excellent defense will keep this one close, but the Patriots will prevail and head to the playoffs on a high note.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 17, Bills 13.

Florio’s take:  It’s a meaningless game.  But a win could have a meaningful impact on coach Doug Marrone’s potentially tenuous future in Buffalo.  Unfortunately for Marrone and the Bills, the Patriots aren’t treating it like a meaningless game.

Florio’s pick:  Patriots 27, Bills 10.

Eagles at Giants

MDS’s take: The Giants are on a bit of a roll late in the season, and the Eagles are going in the wrong direction. I like Odell Beckham to torch Philly’s secondary and end his sensational rookie season in style.

MDS’s pick: Giants 27, Eagles 20.

Florio’s take:  The Giants have improved in recent weeks, and it’s their last chance to save Tom Coughlin’s job.  The Eagles with a loss will have a shorter distance to go to get in position to draft Marcus Mariota.  But since no one ever tanks games to improve draft position, that’s irrelevant and entirely coincidental.

Florio’s pick:  Giants 24, Eagles 14.

Saints at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: The Saints have nothing to play for. The Buccaneers have the first overall pick in the draft to play for. They’ll get it.

MDS’s pick: Saints 24, Buccaneers 20.

Florio’s take:  The Saints haven’t looked much like a team that could beat anyone lately, but they’ve won three in a row on the road and they’re hoping to finish on a positive note.  The Bucs are one loss away from the first pick in the draft.  But since no one ever tanks games to improve draft position, that’s irrelevant and entirely coincidental.

Florio’s pick:  Saints 23, Buccaneers 17.

Lions at Packers

MDS’s take: The Lions beat the Packers handily when they met at Ford Field this season, but things will be different at Lambeau, and Green Bay will win the NFC North.

MDS’s pick: Packers 24, Lions 14.

Florio’s take:  The calf injury to quarterback Aaron Rodgers creates some concern, but the Lions haven’t won at Lambeau Field since 1991 for a reason.  Sure, someday the Lions will end the streak.  But not this year.

Florio’s pick:  Packers 28, Lions 20.

Raiders at Broncos

MDS’s take: The Raiders have played some competitive football late this season, and they’ll give Denver a tough time on Sunday. But the Broncos will come out on top at the end of four hard-fought quarters.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 24, Raiders 17.

Florio’s take:  A bye week remains only one win away, even after Monday night’s debacle in Cincinnati.  The Broncos desperately need a bye week.  They’ll get one.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 31, Raiders 16.

Cardinals at 49ers

MDS’s take: If the Cardinals had Carson Palmer I’d definitely pick them to win. If they had Drew Stanton I’d probably pick them to win. But when you’re down to Logan Thomas and Ryan Lindley, you don’t have a quarterback anymore. The 49ers will win, and the Cardinals will limp into the playoffs.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 20, Cardinals 6.

Florio’s take:  An era inevitably is ending in San Francisco.  Coach Jim Harbaugh won’t allow it to happen on a negative note.  It helps that Logan Thomas is playing quarterback for the opposition.  And that the opposition has been demoralized — and pulverized — by the Seahawks.

Florio’s pick:  49ers 27, Cardinals 24.

Rams at Seahawks

MDS’s take: I wouldn’t pick anyone to win at Seattle right now. Which means I’ll be picking Seattle to get to the Super Bowl, because this win over the Rams will give the Seahawks home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 30, Rams 13.

Florio’s take:  A home win to end the season guarantees the Seahawks home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.  While the Rams have already beaten the Seahawks once this year, the Seahawks are simply too much for anyone to handle right now.

Florio’s pick:  Seahawks 23, Rams 10.

Bengals at Steelers

MDS’s take: With the AFC North on the line, Le’Veon Bell will have a good game against a bad Bengals run defense and the Steelers will win the division.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 27, Bengals 16.

Florio’s take:  A pair of consistently inconsistent playoff teams get together, with plenty on the line.  The Bengals have more to gain, but the Steelers are the better team.  If the better version of the Steelers shows up.

Florio’s pick:  Steelers 27, Bengals 20.

70 responses to “PFT’s Week 17 picks

  1. Seattle vs Tom Brady in the super bowl. I say Tom Brady because he IS the patriots team. The same way Peyton manning WAS the Broncos team. We all saw what happened there. Its not a lock, the defense needs to focus now, but we have a solid shot at another championship.

  2. Looks like a repeat for the Seahawks. If they make the Super Bowl they beat whoever comes from the AFC. The AFC can’t hang with legitimate defenses. And the Seahawks are more than legitimate. They’re historic. The story that’s being written about the hawks is going to be legendary. The steelers of the 70’s, they cowboys of the 90’s, the patriots of the 2000’s and the Seahawks of the present. It’s happening haters and it’s going to be fun to watch. If they repeat this year there’s a chance that they could threepeat in Santa Clara next year on the niners home field. That would be epic.

  3. Que up the questions from Dallas fans…

    “Yeah but if we win, GB and Detroit tie, Santa lands at halftime of the Az game…. then we get home field, right?”

    Like a five year old at Christmas; five years like the last time they made the playoffs.

  4. Seattle will be in the SB unless they have to play the Cowboys. Does anybody remember how Dallas abused the Seahawks on both sides of the line? In Seattle! It’s a horrible matchup for Seattle, hopefully they don’t have to play them again.

  5. Counting the chickens before the eggs hatch with the premature crowning of Seattle. I have seen many great teams power into the playoffs, look unbeatable, then get beat. There is no guarantee that Seattle plays more than one game in the post season. If they lose the first game they play, they are done until next year. On the bright side, a Seattle one and done in the playoffs means we would only have to watch Pete Carroll gnaw on gum and whine to the refs for one game.

  6. The way I see it this is a 4 team race. NE, Sea, GB and the Steelers.

    I’ve got to hope for a GB/Steelers Superbowl.

    NE fans are insufferable but at least the Pats have a track record.

    Shawk fans are just insufferable newbies.

  7. So was that giant, rusty dent Pittsburgh kicked in your a$$ somehow funny to you, natijim? It was to the rest of us.

  8. “…Le’Veon Bell will have a good game against a bad Bengals run defense…”

    You mean the run defense that held the Browns to 53 yds and the Broncos to 85 yds the last two weeks?

  9. If Rexcancoach his record I would bet doesn’t show it. His players (on D) do support him big time but N.Y. is tough town to coach in …Jets are a tough match for the Fins but Fins take this one 27 – 13.

  10. Its a riot how seahawks fans have watched their team beat up on a parade of teams playing their 2nd and third string quarterbacks and think that actually means anything. LMAO!

  11. Bengals get no respect, despite what they did to the Broncos (and to the media darlings, the Ravens, TWICE.). So they’ll just need to earn some more on Sunday night in the ‘Burgh. Feeling confident in the boys. Who Dey!

  12. If it is a Pats vs. Seattle Super Bowl, give me the Patriots all day. Belichick vs. Carroll is a joke of a mismatch. Considering how tough the NFC road is going to be (even at home), I can see Seattle getting knocked out by a team like Green Bay.

  13. Why do you guys go through the hassle of picking the scores?
    You don’t measure against them and you only track your win-loss record for the week.

    Why not just say X team by 10?
    Or make your picks taking the spread into account?

  14. number1hawkfan,
    Ahhh, you forgot the greatest dynasty of them all in your little rant, the Niners of the 80’s, won 10 plus games in 18 of 21 years, 5 Super Bowl Titles, and 11 NFC Championship Game appearances. Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, the 3 greatest players ever at their position.

  15. Way too early to predict who will play in the SB, much less win it. A few things I see…

    Seachickens won’t win in GreenBay so they need to get the #1 seed.

    I can see Dallas going on a tear and getting to the SB, they won’t win if Den/NE is there. I can also see them bowing out in their first playoff game.

    Of the big four (Den/Sea/GB/NE), I would pick Denver as the favorite getting upset in their first game.

    Nothing against the Cardinals, they just simply ran out of QBs.

  16. dirtyferret—-as a neutral fan I have to say I disagree with your statement that “Seachickens won’t win in GB so they need to get the #1 seed”. You’ll have to elaborate a bit more to convince me. As I see it Seattle has the offense (alongside Dallas) least likely to be affected by weather in the NFC. In fact, cold temps would affect Green Bay’s offense a lot more than Seattle’s. And the other thing that always travels—a good defense. I think Seattle is very well equipped to win at Lambeau. Not that it matters; it would be shocking to see them lose to the Rams with home field up for grabs.

  17. @holtzclawbrian
    By your logic, you’d have also said that the Browns were better than the Bengals based on their first game. And then the Bengals dismantled them 30-0.

    As they say with stocks, past performance is not always indicative of future results. In case you were in a coma.

  18. Talking about christmas miracles, the cowpies have managed to get above 8-8 for first time in more than 20 years. But they will be one-and-done in the playoffs.

  19. dansardo says:
    Dec 24, 2014 9:06 AM
    Its a riot how seahawks fans have watched their team beat up on a parade of teams playing their 2nd and third string quarterbacks and think that actually means anything. LMAO!

    kind of like green bay all year

  20. dansardo says:
    Dec 24, 2014 9:06 AM
    Its a riot how seahawks fans have watched their team beat up on a parade of teams playing their 2nd and third string quarterbacks and think that actually means anything. LMAO!


    What the heck are you talking about a parade of teams??? The only team that Seattle has faced with a 2nd and 3rd string QB is Arizona. All the rest of them have been 1st stringers! And yes, every game means something!

  21. Amazing how quick Seattle fans are to discount their losses and throw around their injuries but when it’s them beating a banged up team or 3rd string QB they think it makes them the best team in the league. Realitycheckbaby if you’re scared say you’re scared you seem to have an awful lot to say about the cowboys right now even though the packers are just as good if not better than dallas is. Obviously it’s because y’all beat Green Bay and GOT BEAT by dallas. You’re terrified of the thought of dallas coming to Seattle again or of Seattle having to go to Dallas. You should fear Green Bay too as I don’t see Seattle beating Green Bay if they have to play them again. Green Bay was too scared to throw on Sherman the first time but by now should know he’s overrated.

  22. thegenoatkinsdiet, comparing the 2nd meeting between the Manziel Browns and Bengals to the second meeting between a healthy Steelers team and the Bengals holds no weight. Since the Browns destroyed the Bengals they were in quick decline(actually since the second game against the Steelers). They tossed Manziel into the frying pan hoping to ignite a fire and failed. The Steelers are in a 3 game win streak, won 4 of the last 5 and 7 of the last 10 games. The Steelers are hot and the Browns were not. Bengals won a prime time game at home against a hurting Broncos team, next up is a prime time game against a healthy team in Pittsburgh, and we all know the Bengals track record of 3-9 in those types games.

    Past performances in the NFL are nothing like those in the market. Sure there are games that go against past trends but those past trends tend to be right the vast majority of the time.

  23. No way will GB go to the Super Bowl unless they buy tickets!

    The only decent teams they beat this year were the Eagles and the Patriots. Other teams such as the Saints have exposed GB’s defense and torched them in big wins.

    Watch for GB to be one and done no matter where they are seeded and for Capers to get his pink slip soon after!

    GO LIONS!!

  24. As a Seahawks fan & realist, the game this Sunday will be closer than most people think. The Rams matchup well against us and always play us tough. Also, Fisher outcoaches Carroll since they started coaching in the NFCW. The Seahawks will have to earn home field and bye the hard way. I hope for a blowout, but it is unlikely.

  25. I think this is the year the Bengals will finally end their playoff losing streak with a much deserved win against the Steelers in back to back weeks.

  26. thegenoatkinsdiet says:
    “…Le’Veon Bell will have a good game against a bad Bengals run defense…”
    You mean the run defense that held the Browns to 53 yds and the Broncos to 85 yds the last two weeks?
    No, I think he means the run defense that surrendered 185 yds and 2 TDs to Bell the week prior.

  27. The Bills defense will keep it close? Did you miss the Patriots put a whooping on them in Buffalo earlier this season in the same game Mayo and Ridley were lost for the season? Only way this is close is if Bill pulls the starters early.

  28. steelerswillbefine says: Dec 24, 2014 10:06 AM

    Bell had over 200 combined yards and a TD, Ben threw for 350 and 3 TDs, Brown and Bryant over 200 yards and a TD…incase Bengal fans already forgot.

    holtzclawbrian says: Dec 24, 2014 10:08 AM

    Really? Were you in a coma when the Steelers killed the Bengals 42-21? In the Bengals house no less. So yes, the Steelers are the better team.


    lol – classic Steeler fans who love to live in the past. Remember to comfort yourself with these words Sunday night.

  29. Bengals have beat the Steelers 5 of the last 10 at Heinz Field, so we don’t care where we play them. The AFC North is the BEST division in the NFL, and any of the teams can beat any other any given day. By the way, the Squealers got trounced by the Ravens, Saints, and Bucs….all of whom we had no problem with (4-0). You also lost to the Browns (and should have lost to them twice probably). Either way, I think the a Bengals turned a corner Monday night in responding to adversity time after time. I was there, and it was a different Bengals team than I have seen since 1989 (I was also at that AFC Championship game win over Buffalo). Either team could win Sunday night, and I think either team is also dangerous in the playoffs (I wouldn’t have said that about the Bengals before MNF). Oh, and we did not have Leon Hall and AJ was basically non-existent after he got injured. We seem to have finally jumped on the Steelers ‘next man up’ mentality wagon, and it’s about time. Lots if respect for Mike Tomlin and Marvin Lewis. As a lifelong (since 1970 at age 8) Bengals fan, I remember the lean years from 1991-2005, and I appreciate what Coach Lewis has accomplished. Who Dey!

  30. waynesborokennyg, 3 weeks ago is hardly irrelevant. Both teams will pretty much have the same starting lineups, both teams are hot, Steelers 5-1 against winning teams and Bengals 4-3 against winning records. With the Steelers at home in prime time I see them getting the win, not by 21 but by 6-10.

  31. The Seahawks have a very legitimate shot to make it back to the SB, but I’m enough of a realist to know it’s not a given. We’ve seen 3 Wild Card road warrior teams in the past decade shock the world (’05 Steelers*, ’07 Giants, ’10 Packers).
    If the ‘Hawks do indeed make it, while I think the Pats would be a great game and it’d be sweet to knock off this century’s greatest team, I can’t help but salivate at the thought of getting redemption against the Steelers. As much as many Cardinal fans probably hate Seattle, I’d think they’d love to see us whoop up on the Steelers on their field. I was definitely pulling for them in SBXLIII.
    Gonna be fun to see how this all shakes out.

  32. PREDICTION: NFC championship will be Green Bay @ Seattle. A very close game this time around. As a Packers fan I have high hopes, being that we have the best quarterback in the game and an improved defense. But the Seahawks are the Seahawks. And that defense is just as scary as ever.

  33. kelswhit77, The Steelers trounced the Bengals, Colts, Ravens, Panthers. Handled the Bucs with ease? It was a 1 point win. Should’ve lost to the Browns twice? A win is a win, look at your Buc game.

    This is the same Steeler team that put up 543 yards against a he Bengals 3 weeks ago. The Bengals are still dealing with an injured Green(only effective offense player last game), a sick Dalton(who the Bengals won in spite of on Monday), and a very thin ILB core.

    I don’t expect another 21 point win, but I do see a 6-10 point win.

  34. I hope Dallas doesn’t get bounced as is their MO.

    I’d love Seattle to play them without 6 2nd string and 5 third including a rookie at ML, a third string at one CB and a guy who had been out of football the week before playing nickle.

    I can hear all the whining now.


  35. “Seattle will be in the SB unless they have to play the Cowboys. Does anybody remember how Dallas abused the Seahawks on both sides of the line? In Seattle! It’s a horrible matchup for Seattle, hopefully they don’t have to play them again.”

    Do not forget Seattle was missing 12 starters against Dallas, they are getting more and more healthy.

  36. I see Seahawk fans stick together when throwing out excuses. 12 starters? Offense and defense are made up of 22 together and lets see Wilson, Lynch, Harvin, Baldwin, Bennett, Thomas, Sherman, Wagner (started the game got hurt and returned to finish the game), Maxwell (also started and got hurt trying to cover Dez. Returned to finish the game), I don’t know the fullbacks name but if he was 1 of the supposed injuries that’s a lame excuse so count 1 FB also and same with the TE don’t know his name but if he’s one of em who was “hurt” lame excuse. That’s 11 guys who either played or an injury to them is irrelevant. I don’t know Seattles lineman names but like I said that was 11 healthy or irrelevant guys so why are y’all claiming 12 injured starters unless they were on the offensive line which as bad as Dallas has been at getting pressure on QBs that doesn’t matter as Dallas didn’t generate much pressure on Wilson and any of y’all that wanna throw out Wagner and Maxwell since they got hurt in the game fair enough but they don’t play on offense so what’s the excuse for failure to generate offense against Dallas’ ” historically terrible” D since all their big name offensive weapons were still in the game unless you wanna count Harvin ( and I’m sure you will) not wanting to return in the 4th quarter. Like he did anything the first 3.

  37. I’m aware Chancellor didn’t play but again he doesn’t play offense so get over yourselves Seattle got beat with the majority of their relevant players in the game. Injuries are part of the game and with the exception of an injury to your starting QB and injury to 1 player shouldn’t change much on a great team. But then again who besides Seattle fans and fans of teams Seattle actually beat said they were great.

  38. Steelers over the Bungles in a typical butt kicking. Who Dey going to stop the Killer B’s? Not sure if they can be stopped, but it won’t be the Bungles!
    Here we go!

  39. Ok, let’s not even have anymore games. According to so many the Seahawks are just too much for any team to handle. Just give them the trophy already. What a bunch of baloney ( I wanted to use a different word but PFT censors so many thoughts let alone a swear word). Russell and his canned answers will be all over the airwaves…….AGAIN!!

  40. Bengals will win. The squealers will go to indy to stomp the colts, and then go to the patriots and crush them. The squealers will play the 3rd game against The Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship game, because The AFC North ruled all divisions as a whole this season. Either The Bengals or the squealers will go to The Super Bowl and win it. ….against the cowboyz!

  41. @waynesborokennyg

    The irony of your “Typical Steelers fans talking about the past…” comment is that a Bengals fan comments right below you…..talking about…..wait for it…..the past! Typical.

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