NFL Office Pool Picks Week 17
by Trevor Whenham - 12/24/2013
We have made it — the last weekend of the NFL season and the last weekend for office pools everywhere. I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of looking forward to the end. This has been a haywire season — harder than normal to get a sense of. Time for what should be a wide-open and exciting playoff run. Without further ado, the last straight up office pools picks of the year:
Carolina at Atlanta: The Panthers control their own destiny. Win and they clinch their division and the second seed. That will be incentive enough, but they will also be fired up to make up for a mostly flat performance last week. The Falcons, meanwhile, just want to put a bullet in the head of this miserable season. Take the Panthers.
Baltimore at Cincinnati: The Ravens are coming off a truly awful effort, and Joe Flacco’s knee injury is a big concern. They should be the more motivated team, though. They don’t need a win to get into the playoffs, but it sure makes things easier. Cincinnati, meanwhile, can only move up with a win and a New England loss, and the Pats are unlikely to lose at home to Buffalo. Despite the motivation, though, Cincinnati is strong at home and should come out on top. Take the Bengals.
Houston at Tennessee: There is very little on the line here. Houston could lose the top pick in the draft with a win and a Washington loss, but that’s it. Ugly, ugly game. Take the Titans, but don’t even think of watching this one unless you really hate yourself.
Jacksonville at Indianapolis: Indianapolis has a little motivation — if they win and Cincy and New England both lose they would get the first-round bye. Hard to believe that a team this underwhelming in the second half is in that position. They’ll do their part. Take the Colts.
New York Jets at Miami: The Dolphins shot themselves in the foot last week. Now they need a win and some help to get into the playoffs. The Jets are out, and there is Rex Ryan drama — what else is new? Take the Dolphins.
Detroit at Minnesota: Detroit threw their postseason hopes away over the last month, and now have nothing left to play for — and likely a new coach on the horizon. Minnesota has been out of playoff contention since about September, but they are playing reasonably tough lately — especially at home. Take the Vikings.
Washington at New York Giants: Terrible game. The Giants are bad. The Redskins are much, much worse. Both just want the pain to end. Take the Giants.
Cleveland at Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh has playoff hopes, but they are faint. They need to win, and have Miami, San Diego and Baltimore all lose. Whether that is motivation enough or not, they will be ready enough to beat — and beat up on — the Browns. Take the Steelers.
Green Bay at Chicago: The battle for the NFC North — and the right to get beaten badly in the opening round of the playoffs. The Bears were lousy last week, but they are at home, and the Packers have injury issues to deal with. Take the Bears.
Denver at Oakland: Peyton Manning is normally allergic to playing in Week 17. There is a lot on the line, though — the top seed in the AFC, and Manning’s single-season passing record. Both should be more than enough motivation. Take the Broncos.
Buffalo at New England: New England wraps up a bye with a win and could get the top seed if the Raiders pull off the shocker. They will be ready. Take the Patriots.
Tampa Bay at New Orleans: The Saints are lousy when they aren’t at home, but at home they are tough — especially when they outclass the opponent as they do here. They need a win badly, too. A few weeks ago it looked like they could be the top seed in the NFC. Now they could be out of the playoffs with a loss and an Arizona win. Take the Saints.
San Francisco at Arizona: Big game here for both teams. The Niners are in the playoffs, but they can win their division with a win here if the Seahawks lose at home. Arizona can make the playoffs with a win or tie here and a New Orleans loss. Both teams should come out firing, and it should be a good one. The Cardinals are red-hot and are at home, so as much as I like the 49ers. the Cardinals are the pick.
Kansas City at San Diego: The Chiefs are the only playoff team that has absolutely nothing left to play for. It seems odd this is the case. San Diego has plenty to play for. The hottest team in the AFC right now needs to win and get some help to make the playoffs. It’s a tough game to pick because San Diego will know if they have a chance by kickoff, but either way Kansas City shouldn’t be playing near full steam. Take the Chargers.
St. Louis at Seattle: After falling short against the Cardinals last week, the Seahawks again control their own destiny. Win this game and they win their division and are the top seed in the NFC. If they lose and the Niners win or tie, though, then the Seahawks fall to the fifth seed and have to play on the road where they are lousy. The Rams will play hard to be spoilers, but I just don’t see Seattle getting caught off guard twice in a row at home. Take the Seahawks.
Philadelphia at Dallas: Until Tony Romo’s rumored injury, this was a different game. Actually, not really — I like the Eagles just a little bit more than I did before, but they were the clear pick already. Philly was absolutely dominant last week, and the Eagles are playing very well right now. They are also very good on the road. Take the Eagles.
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