While some of the qualified teams will have the luxury of resting players in week 17, several others still have their play-off chances hanging in the balance. That makes for some unpredictable yet exciting match ups this week.
Here are my NFL 2020 Week seventeen predictions:
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts
Big game for the Colts as they find themselves in a play-off fight with 4 other teams. They need help from other teams but just have to get their own job done. On paper that is an easy task against arguably the worst team in NFL. The Jaguars have lost 14 straight and have little chance against a focused Colts team who lost narrowly to the Steelers last week but know another slip here would be fatal.
Jaguars 17 Colts 37
Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans
A win here for the Titans or a loss for the Colts will be enough to book a place in the play-offs. They will have to improve on last weeks 40-14 drubbing to the Packers though. The Texans are on a 4 game losing streak including a bad defeat to the Bengals last time out. I can’t see the Titans making a mess of this one.
Titans 26 Texans 20
Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers might, and probably should, rest some of their starters here. They might not go as far as leaving out Tom Brady but again it might be in their thoughts. Even without a few star players they could still get the win against a Falcons team who have lost 4 straight although they did push the Chiefs close last week.
Falcons 21 Buccaneers 30
Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants
It’s pretty remarkable that going into the final week of the regular season, these 2 teams still have a chance to make the play-offs. The Giants are 5-10 for the season and the Cowboys 6-9. One of them can even top NFC East if Washington lose. Dallas are on better form going into this having won 3 straight to turn their season around. The Giants are faltering though and are on a 3 game losing streak. This will be interesting.
Cowboys 23 Giants 16
New York Jets @ New England Patriots
Having gone 13 games without a win, the Jets have won their last 2 including putting a dent in the Browns play-off hopes last week. The Patriots meanwhile are in abysmal form and have to start looking at a major quarterback problem for next season. They are still a better team than the Jets and have to save some face this week.
Jets 12 Patriots 23
Los Angeles Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
With the Chiefs having wrapped up top seed already, it’s likely Patrick Mahomes and few other star players will sit this one out. The Chargers have nothing to play for either after a disastrous season for them. In saying that, they have won 3 straight and will fancy making that 4 against an under strength opponent.
Chargers 23 Chiefs 19
Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions
Both teams can only be disappointed with how things have panned out this season. Neither side looks to have much fight left in them either with 3 straight losses each. Out of the two the Lions look to be more deflated and lost 47-7 to the Buccaneers last week.
Vikings 27 Lions 12
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns
The Browns will be hoping to have their wide receivers back for this vital clash. Another bonus would be the Steelers leaving out a few top players including Ben Roethlisberger. Either way, the Browns know they have to win this game. Technically they can lose and make it but it’s unlikely the Colts will slip up against the Jaguars. With more to play for, the Browns could edge this.
Steelers 13 Browns 20
Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals
Lamar Jackson and this Ravens team are hitting form at just the right time, having won 4 straight. They go into this knowing a win will be enough to seal a play-off berth against a Bengals team who have lost 10. Mind you, they have won 2 straight in fairly impressive form but they wold have to step up a few levels to stop the Ravens.
Ravens 33 Bengals 16
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears
The Packers are in invincible form at the moment and look like finishing top seed in the NFC. That means an extra week rest for Aaron Rodgers and co so it’s not a give that they will be rested here. As for the Bears they know a win will take them into the play-offs or the Rams beating the Cardinals will be enough if they lose. This one could depend on how the Packers line up.
Packers 16 Bears 20
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers
A play-off bye still to fight for means the Saints are likely to go full strength for this one.It’s unlikely they will have many problems getting the better of a Panthers team who have lost 8 from 9.
Packers 37 Panthers 17
Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills
Two strong, on form teams go head to head in Buffalo. A win for Miami will be enough for them to join the Bills in the play-offs. A defeat shouldn’t be too costly either as at least one of their rivals will lose on Sunday, meaning the Dolphins will qualify. One thing is for sure, both teams will go for the win regardless as the Bills are unlikely to rest. If they do, it will be a Dolphins win.
Dolphins 20 Bills 16
Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers
This could have been one of the biggest week 17 games if not for the horrendous injury hit season suffered by the 49ers. A loss here would be San Francisco’s 10th. The Seahawks have already booked their play-off spot and may rest a couple of players – most likely Russell Wilson. That would have a big impact on the score.
Seahawks 26 49ers 30
Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams
Plenty to play for in this game as it could be a winner takes all. Both are coming off poor performances in week 16 and need to pick themselves up quickly. I think we might see an early end to the season for Kyler Murray and his team mates.
Cardinals 22 Rams 26
Las Vegas Raiders @ Denver Broncos
So much was expected of the Raiders even up to a month ago. 3 poor defeats has left them watching from the outside in what can only be described as a failed season. As for the Broncos, they just haven’t got going this year and have some major injury set backs to deal with along the way.
Raiders 23 Broncos 19
Washington Football Team @ Philadelphia Eagles
Any hope the Eagles had to scrape into the pay-offs were obliterated by the Cowboys last week in humiliating fashion. They finish the season in bad shape having won only 4 times going into this game. Washington meanwhile have been one of the stories of the year and can win the NFC East and a play-off spot with ta win here.
Washington 23 Eagles 16