NFL Office Pool Picks Week 17
And then there was one. This long, strange NFL season has come down to the final week of action. And there is a whole lot left to be decided. Of the 16 games to be played in Week 17 , 12 of them have playoff implications of some type. That makes this a very interesting slate of games to watch - and hopefully a fruitful one to pick straight up in our last week of NFL office pools action.
New York Jets at Buffalo: The Bills are the better team. But they have clinched the first wild card spot no matter what happens, so they should be resting starters in anticipation of a likely third game against their foes from New England. I still have to take them, but I don't feel good about it.
Cleveland at Cincinnati: We can call this the 'Why Do The Football Gods Hate Ohio?' Bowl. What a mess of a game. The Bengals have clinched the first overall pick, so they have nothing left to not play for. And the Browns are only playing for pride - and there is no evidence that they have any of that. The Browns should win. But football also shouldn't be this painful.
Green Bay at Detroit: The Packers clinched their division on Monday night by beating the Vikings. But they should still be motivated - they will be at least the second seed with a win in this one, and that means a bye. Detroit will have no motivation at all after this brutal season. Take the Packers.
L.A. Chargers at Kansas City: The Chiefs are still playing for the second seed and a bye. Technically. But they aren't going to be holding out much hope. They need a win here - which they will get. But they also need the Patriots to lose at home to Miami. That just isn't happening. The Chiefs won't be a full throttle, but they don't need to be here. Take the Chiefs.
Chicago at Minnesota: Losing on Monday night meant that the Vikings have locked down the final wild card spot, and they can't improve on that. They should not be particularly inspired here. But neither is Chicago at this point. I'll take the Vikings, but I'm not happy about it.
Miami at New England: The Patriots control their destiny - win and they get a bye. And they know that with this offense a bye is their friend. They will be ready for this one, and they don't lose to bad teams at home. Take the Patriots.
Atlanta at Tampa Bay: The Falcons have won three in a row. But they are still a nine-loss team. Their defense is vulnerable, and they are up against a mistake-prone but explosive offense. Atlanta isn't a very strong road team. Sure, Tampa Bay isn't great at home, either, but they still get the nod here. Take the Bucs.
New Orleans at Carolina: The Saints are still playing for a bye, and a win would be a huge help on that front. They are in strong form and will be ready. The Panthers have dropped seven straight and are limping to the finish line. They are cooked. Take the Saints.
Washington at Dallas: Dallas blew their chance to clinch the division. Now all they can do is win this one and then hope for the best. It's a long shot at this point, and we are counting on them having some pride left - hardly a certainty. But the Redskins are a mess right now, and just need this season to end. Take the Cowboys.
Oakland at Denver: Remarkably, Oakland still has a chance at a playoff spot. They need a whole lot of things to go their way. And if they made it, I can only assume that the world would stop spinning. But the fact that they have a chance should have them ready against a decent opponent - though one that is second best here. Take the Raiders.
Arizona at L.A. Rams: The Rams just got eliminated from the playoffs after a very frustrating season. I don't expect them to be highly motivated. Arizona has a little something going on right now, having won two in a row. Let's make it three - take the Cardinals.
Philadelphia at New York Giants: Win and they're in - that's where the Eagles sit. They really got up for a game this past week when they desperately needed a win, so it seems reasonable to assume that they will do so again. Daniel Jones is coming off a heck of a performance last week, but it was against a joke of a team in the Redskins, and the Giants still needed overtime to beat them. Take the Eagles.
Indianapolis at Jacksonville: A game can't mean much less than this one. Neither team lived up to expectations, and both are ready to regroup and get ready for a fresh start next year. Someone has to win, but no one cares who. In the end, I'll take the team that is higher in the standings. Take the Colts.
Pittsburgh at Baltimore: The Steelers are fighting for their playoff lives after a very costly loss last week. They desperately need a win. All Baltimore needs to do is avoid injuries and get some rest - they have the top seed wrapped up. The Ravens are dramatically better, but the Steelers get the nod based on the varying motivation levels.
Tennessee at Houston: Houston is likely resigned to finishing fourth in the AFC. Tennessee knows that they desperately need a win here after two straight losses to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Titans should be ready, and they should play a much tougher roster in this one. Take the Titans.
San Francisco at Seattle: The winner of this game wins the division - simple as that. And either team could also earn a bye - though San Francisco's path to that is much easier with a win than Seattle's is. These should be two fired up teams. I just think San Francisco is better, and so I have to pick them. No point in overthinking this one.
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