December 28, 2013
The NFL never disappoints—all the league did this year was provide fans with playoff football two weeks early. Heading into Week 17, only the Kansas City Chiefs know they’re playoff position right now—they’ll be the No. 5 seed in the AFC. Everything else, including two divisions is up for grabs.
What more could we ask for? Every single game is a divisional battle this weekend. On a side note the NFL schedule makers deserve thumbs up for Week 17 packing such a punch. Think teams will “rest” players this week for the playoffs—think again. Too much is at stake, there’s a substantial amount seeding to be settled.
Main NFC Takeaways: The NFC East and North are for the taking. Every playoff position is subject to change.
Main AFC Takeaways: The No. 6 seed is up for grabs. The Miami Dolphins currently hold the position but the Baltimore Ravens, San Diego Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers all hope the ‘Phins lose. Every seeding is subject to change besides the aforementioned No. 5 spot.
With those tidbits of information, here are some bold predictions for Week 17.
The San Diego Chargers Make the Playoffs: In order to do so the Chargers need the Dolphins and Ravens to lose. The Ravens laid an egg in Week 16 against the New England Patriots and won’t recover in Week 17 on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are 7-0 at home this season and will remain perfect.
Bengals 31, Ravens 17
The Dolphins are currently in the driver’s seat for the spot but will fumble on the goal line at home against the New York Jets. The Jets are as hot-and-cold as they come and have only won once on the road this season. Don’t count them out though. Head coach Rex Ryan fears he’s on his way out which will inspire one helluva “win one for the gipper speech.”
This one won’t be pretty and the Dolphins will be scratching their heads after this game. The Jets will end the season at 8-8 and look respectable.
Jets 13, Dolphins 10
The Chargers will steal the moment and take care of business at home vs. the Chiefs. With both the Ravens and Dolphins playing at 1 p.m. the Chargers will know that the spot is theirs for the taking and feel inspired.
No one expected the Chargers to be much of anything this season but they’ve played well enough to contend for the playoffs. Quarterback Philip Rivers has had one of the best seasons of his career and he’ll come up big in Week 17.
Rivers will throw for four touchdowns and 405 passing yards against the Chiefs. With it all on the line, he plays like a franchise quarterback.
Chargers 38, Chiefs 27
Beside the Final Spot, the AFC is settled:
The New Orleans Saints, not the Carolina Panthers win the NFC South
All the Panthers have to do is win and the NFC South is theirs.
Don’t tell the Atlanta Falcons that—they’ve had a dismal season but will end it by spoiling the Panthers dreams.
The Falcons will give it everything they have and it will be just good enough. Matt Ryan and the boys will win; making the Saints the NFC South champs which gives them a bye week. Just when everyone thought the Saints were dead in the playoff water because they play so poorly on the road, they’ll capture a home game or two.
Falcons 20, Panthers 17
Aaron Rodgers Will Lift the Green Bay Packers to the Postseason
The NFC North is for the taking and the Green Bay Packers will seize the day, becoming the most unlikely playoff team. The Packers appeared to be preparing next season due to an injury to quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but somehow they have a puncher’s chance.
Rodgers will return after a seven-week hiatus and he’ll be all that they need to beat the Chicago Bears in Week 17.
Some franchises in sports just have “it.” The Packers have just that. It is impossible to explain, there’s a mystique engulfing “it” that makes “it”: so special.
The Bears are a good team that seems to be the favorite in this one, but they simply don’t have it. Rodgers comes back with a fury and puts his team in the playoffs. He’ll finish with 323 yards and three touchdowns.
Packers 35, Bears 31
Let’s Be Real Here, the Philadelphia Eagles Fly High in Dallas
Well, the NFC East certainly didn’t disappoint this year. Their annual winner-take-all play-in game is still intact.
Considering the pick isn’t so bold, the final score will be. Yes, the Cowboys will be without Tony Romo and their defense is full of holes. The Eagles have won 6-of-7 and look primed for the playoffs. The Chip Kelly experiment looked a little rough at time this season but it’s here to stay.
This score will look like he’s still coaching at Oregon and strike fear into their playoff opponent.
Fly Eagles Fly!
Eagles 63, Cowboys 17
Final NFC Standings: