WEEK 17 NFL PICKS and "Game of the Week"

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    WEEK 17 NFL PICKS and "Game of the Week"

         It's hard to believe that we're at the end of another NFL regular season. But, with the Patriots poised to claim home field advantage throughout the tournament, isn't this where we Pats' fans want to be? Isn't this what we've been waiting for, ever since that disappointing loss to the Green Goblins in last years' play-offs? Let's hope that the Patriots start 2012 off the right way, with a play-off roll to the Super Bowl!
         Here are my picks, with the "Game of the Week" being:

    1.) (8-7) Dallas Cowboys (+3.5) @ (8-7) N.Y. Giants: These teams have been up and down all season. The Cowboys gave away the last meeting between these teams in Dallas two weeks ago, when they squandered a 12 point, 4th quarter lead. This past Sunday against Philly, Dallas QB Tony Romo flipped his passing hand against the helmet of an on-charging Eagle lineman. Though he's expected to play, there's no telling what effect that will have on him. Though the Giants' are last in the league in rushing, the loss of DeMarco Murray has seriously impaired the Cowboys' rush attack. 
         This game will come down to turnovers. The team that commits the fewest will win. Eli Manning has had a great year. This is a golden opportunity for him to stake a claim to being one of the games' best QBs:
    PICK: Giants;

    2.) (5-10) Washington Redskins (+9) @ (7-8) Philadelphia Eagles:
    In a meaningless game like this, there's no telling which team will show up. Each team will be without their star RBs, Roy Helu and LeSean McCoy, respectively. But, the Eagles have won three in a row, and likely will strive to finish the season at .500:
    PICK: Eagles;

    3.) (4-11) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+14) @ (9-6) Atlanta Falcons: The Bucs appear to have quit on their coach. The Falcons are playoff bound. Atlanta will play to win...in hopes of avoiding the Saints in the first round of the NFC play-offs:
    PICK: Falcons;

    4.) (12-3) San Francisco 49ers (+10) @ (2-13) St. Louis Rams: Depending upon what happens between the Falcons and Rams tonight, a first round playoff bye could be at stake for the 49ers:
    PICK: 49ers;

    5.) (7-8) Chicago Bears @ (3-12) Minnesota Vikings (+1): The outcome of this game will be dependent on which team shows up:
    PICK: Vikings;

    6.) (10-5) Detroit Lions @ (14-1) Green Bay Packers (+1): My guess is that this game will mean more to the Lions than to the Packers:
    PICK: Lions;

    7.) (6-9) Carolina Panthers (+8) @ (12-3) New Orleans Saints: Sean Payton will likely let Drew Brees play through the first half. If the 49ers are well up on the Rams, he'll sit him im the second half, rest his regulars. Rest assured that Rookie of the Year Cam Newton will take this game seriously:
    PICK: Panthers;

    8.) (8-7) Tennessee Titans @ (10-5) Houston Texans (+3): 
    After suffering an embarrassing loss to the Colts on national T.V., I suspect that the Texans will come out snarling in this one:
    PICK: Texans;

    9.) (11-4) Baltimore Ravens @ (9-6) Cincinnati Bengals (+2.5): Huge game for both teams. The Bengals will earn a playoff spot with a win. But, the Ravens also need a win, in order to hold off the Pittsburgh Steelers. and win the AFC North:
    PICK: Ravens;

    10.) (11-4) Pittsburgh Steelers @ (4-11) Cleveland Browns (+7): The Browns hate the Steelers, and would like nothing better than to prevent them from winning the AFC North. Originally, I went with the Browns to at least cover. But, with news coming in that Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu will both play in this one, it changes everything: 
    PICK: Steelers;

    11.) (2-13) Indianapolis Colts (+4) @ (4-11) Jacksonville Jaguars: Though this game appears on the surface to be meaningless, it could have repressions in the NFL for years to come. Should the Colts win this game, they'll fall behind the St. Louis Rams for the worst record in the league, and will thereby lose their opportunity to draft franchise QB Andrew Luck in April. But, a loss would ensure them of Luck. Do the Colts' man up and play hard, or do they suck for Luck? 
    PICK: Jaguars;

    12.) (8-7) N.Y. Jets (+3) @ (5-10) Miami Dolphins: I used to think that Dolphin fans hated the Patriots with a passion. But, the truth of the matter is that 'Fin fans despise the N.Y. Jets more than any other team in the league. The Dolphins will play hard this weekend. Originally, I picked Miami to win this game. But, the news that Reggie Bush will miss this game due to a knee injury, and the fact that the spread is now three (3) points, makes a huge difference:
    PICK: Jets;

    13.) (6-9) Buffalo Bills (+12.5) @ (12-3) New England Patriots: With the #1 overall seed at stake in the AFC, and with revenge on their minds from that putrid 34-31 loss to the Bills early in the season, the Pats will take care of business this coming weekend:
    PICK: Patriots;

    14.) (7-8) San Diego Chargers (+3) @ (8-7) Oakland Raiders: No matter what happens in this one, the Chargers must bid adieu to Norv Turner. Six years of underachieving with some of the NFL's best talent can no longer be justified. The Raiders need this game to have a shot at winning the AFC West. A win by them, coupled with a loss by the Broncos to Kansas City, would give the Raiders their first divisional crown in many, many, moons:
    PICK: Chargers;

    15.) (6-9) Kansas City Chiefs (+3) @ (8-7) Denver Broncos: Tebow-mania is definitely on the ropes after back to back blow-out losses to the Patriots and Bills. Kyle Orton returns to Denver, where he began the season as the Broncos' starting QB. Look for Orton to light up his former team:
    PICK: Chiefs; 

    16.) (7-8) Seattle Seahawks (+3) @ (7-8) Arizona Cardinals: One of these teams reaches the elusive (for them) .500 mark:
    PICK: Seahawks.                      
             
         BEST BETS: Patriots, Giants, Ravens, Chiefs, 49ers.

         As always, your comments, predictions, and/or opinions are welcome.
       
     
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    Re: WEEK 17 NFL PICKS and "Game of the Week"

    Bengals snag wc at home Oakland wins west Cowboys edge jintz Pitt loses at cle Rest of games don't matter to me
     
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    Re: WEEK 17 NFL PICKS and "Game of the Week"

    My exclusive numeric power ratings for week 16:

    1   ne   14.4   (last wk. 1)  Yep, the numbers say they're that strong.

    2   gb   13.4   (last wk. 2)

    3   no   12.5   (last wk. 3) Monday Night game not included yet

    4   sf   11.9   (last wk. 4)

    5   pit   10.6   (last wk. 8)

    6   bal   10.5   (last wk. 10)

    7   atl   10.5   (last wk. 5) Monday Night game not included yet

    8   mia   10.2   (last wk. 9)

    9   phi   10.2   (last wk. 7)

    10   sd   9.9   (last wk. 11)

    11   hou   9.7   (last wk. 6)

    12   nyj   9.5   (last wk. 13)

    13   dal   9.4   (last wk. 12)

    14   sea   8.5   (last wk. 14)

    15   det   7.9   (last wk. 16)

    16   cin   7.8   (last wk. 15)

    17   chi   7.8   (last wk. 18)

    18   den   7.8   (last wk. 17)

    19   ten   7.5   (last wk. 21)

    20   nyg   7.4   (last wk. 19)

    21   was   6.9   (last wk. 20)

    22   car   6.9   (last wk. 22)

    23   az   6.7   (last wk. 23)

    24   kc   5.9   (last wk. 24)

    25   oak   5.0   (last wk. 25)

    26   min   5.0   (last wk. 27)

    27   jac   4.9   (last wk. 26)

    28   cle   4.7   (last wk. 28)

    29   buf   4.3   (last wk. 29)

    30   stl   2.9   (last wk. 30)

    31   tb   2.8   (last wk. 31)

    32   ind   2.6   (last wk. 32)

    Week 17 numeric predictions:

    This time of year, all sorts of numeric predictions are suspect.  I practically have to give non-numeric ratings on every game.

    atl  no      4.5  7  -2.5  A legit Monday night game, on as I write.  Best guess, Atlanta to cover.

    nyj  mia      4.2  1  3.2  This is interesting because Miami actually came out of their tailspin, and because the Jets are in a bad funk.

    det  gb      10.7  -1  11.7  Green Bay clearly throws this game.  Ignore the numbers.

    car  no      10.0  8  2.0  The Saints care, I think…

    ten  hou      7.8  -3  10.8  Houston clearly throws this game.  Ignore the numbers.

    chi  min      -0.8  -1  0.2

    was  phi      7.6  9  -1.4

    tb  atl      12.8  14  -1.2

    sf  stl      -9.4  -10  0.6

    buf  ne      17.2  12.5  4.7  I still don’t like huge point spread margins, especially with the Patriots usually giving up meaningless fourth quarter touchdowns, but my numbers point to a wallop and a half.  Homefield advantage adds up on average to about a 6.2 point shift for the home team in the second game, so this game is like putting something in the bank. 

    bal  cin      -0.6  -2.5  1.9  Hot game.  Slight lean for Cincy to cover.

    dal  nyg      0.3  3.5  -3.2  Hot game.  Dallas to cover.

    ind  jac      4.8  4  0.8

    pit  cle      -5.2  -7  1.8  Rival Cleveland might put up a good fight just for spite, and for their home crowd.  Certain home underdog games make me wonder whether the refs have been bought, so watch for those bogus 40 yard pass interference calls on the 1 yard line.

    sd  oak      -3.8  3  -6.8  My game of the week.

    kc  den      5.7  3  2.7  Tebow doesn’t fold just because he’s lost a couple, not at home, not with a playoff game to grab.  KC has Crennel but really they’re between coaches right at this moment.

    sea  az      0.6  3  -2.4  I haven’t favored Seattle for anything in 2 years, but I will now.

    Game of the week is Norv getting a last vengeful hand from the grave on rival Oakland, maybe with Oakland watching the scoreboard more than the game and despairing.  I’m going to miss Norv:  silly first name, horrid lifetime record, horrid trades to New England over his career, chosen as San Diego coach simply because his style of coaching was the same as the last coach’s style.  “Turner has coached the most games in NFL history among head coaches with an overall losing record.” – Wikipedia.
     
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         I've picked the Giants to beat the Cowboys, and win the NFC East, this coming Sunday. The Dallas Cowboys will never amount to anything prominent in the NFL again as long as Jerry Jones owns the team. Deep down, the egotistical Jones thinks that he's got a keen football mind, and is a motivator and a leader of men...just like Vince Lombardi and BB. Here are his own words regarding his involvement with running the Cowboys:
      
         “It has amazed me to be criticizedfor really walking down on the floor of the company,” Jones said on KTCK-AM 1310, via the Dallas Morning News. “The more involved your top management, the more involved ownership can be, I’ve always thought made the best way for it to work.”
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/12/26/jerry-jones-defends-his-decision-to-talk-to-garrett-during-the-game/

         "...walking down the floor of the company??" Ownership being "involved" (is) the best way for it to work???

         Unbelievable.
     
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     8.) (8-7) Tennessee Titans @ (10-5) Houston Texans (+3): After suffering an embarrassing loss to the Colts on national T.V., I suspect that the Texans will come out snarling in this one:
    PICK: Texans;

    I disagree - I think with the #3 seed locked up and this game meaning nothing, they could careless.  This team is finally in the playoffs and needs to focus on that.

    You should pick some over / unders too... 
     
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         Here's more on Jerry Jones...whose constant meddling with the team is keeping the Cowboys down. The 'Boys have lost their spot as "America's Team". My comments have been added, in bold blue:

    So does Jones ever sit back and ponder the idea of moving aside and hiring a GM?

    "No, I don't," Jones said during a local radio interview with The Ticket (KTCK-AM 1310). "When I bought the team I said that there's no way I could make the kind of commitment that I'm making to buy the team ... and not have the final say relative to the kinds of things that general managers decide. So, I don't see that at all. What I do see is a better straight line way of making decisions and that has born out over the years. Now we need to win a Super Bowl."

    Translation: It's my team, bought and paid for with my money. It's my toy to play with as I see fit. I'm as smart or smarter than everybody else...and I'm the boss.
     
    On if he ever considers backing out of his position with the club:

    "I would hope that nature would be the decision that prevails. That's hopefully good health. But I know that I should know more about what we're doing and what I'm doing then I did 22 years ago. I've had a lot of experiences. I've had a lot of things that I thought was going to work that didn't work. But we've got a lot of experiences and hopefully we can make better decisions than we did 10 years ago or five years ago."

    Translation:  I'll be here in charge til the day I die. I've been around now for 22 years, and I know as  much or more about evaluating talent and football than anybody else. Yeah, so far things haven't panned out...but I know what I'm doing.

    On if he can picture himself retiring:

    "Well, when you enjoy what you're doing as much as I do then what are you retiring from? I understand and I've done that. I've had that briefcase in my particular case and made calls 17 hours a day. I would probably stop that at some point to do something that I enjoyed more. But as far as running the Cowboys, being involved in the NFL, being involved in sports, I don't know what I would do relative to what you'd be doing that I enjoy more than what I'm doing. So I don't see retiring from that."

    Translation: I'll  be the GM in Dallas til the day I die. It's my toy, and  my team.


    On if he'll be inducted into the Hall of Fame some day:

    "Oh I don't know about that. What I do know is that I want to try to do everything, whether it be my decision on spending resources or whether it be my energy, I want to do everything to win. And that stadium is about winning. That's what it was about. I know that that stadium can generate revenue and can help us win. I know that stadium creates attention. That stadium was built for television, so that Al Michaels and people would really talk it up when we were playing at the stadium. That ultimately evolves around to more revenue. The healthier you are, no matter if it's a church or it's a city or it's individuals, the healthier you are in that area, the more you can cut and shoot, the more you can use your athletic ability, so to speak. I think that bodes well for the Dallas Cowboys and I think it bodes well for the Cowboys of the future."

    Translation: Hell yeah, I deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, in my mind. That's my goal. I want a statue built of me. I want to be recognized as a champion, along with Emmitt Smith, Roger Staubach, and Tom Landry. But, I know that my team needs to win another championship or two for that to ever happen. The Taj Mahal that I built in Dallas is to perpetuate my name with the team. It's part of my legacy. I want to be respected and admired the way Tom Landry was, so badly. 

    http://cowboysblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/12/jerry-jones-i-dont-see-myself.html

    Any sense of how poisonous it is for Jerry to be second-guessing the HC in the locker room or do all of the players just know the deal if you’re a Cowboy?

    Rick Gosselin: I've covered the NFL for 37 years and I have never seen a general manager conduct a weekly press conference in the lockerroom after the game. The Ron Wolfs, Bobby Beathards and Ozzie Newsome are invisble after games. They usually meet with the head coach in private afterward. Every time Jerry speaks after a game, he undercuts his coaching staff: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/dallas-cowboys/headlines/20111205-gosselin-jerry-jones-continues-to-undercut-his-coaching-staff-after-games.ece

     
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    If the Jets win against Miami, the Jets will make the playoffs if one of the following two scenarios play out:

    • Cincinnati loses, Tennessee loses or ties, and Oakland loses or ties
    • Cincinnati loses, Tennessee loses or ties, and Denver loses or ties

    The Jets will have every thing set to make the play-offs (Based on your Week 17 Picks) which means they will only have to beat Miami....

    What a great loss that will be if Miami can take them out..

     
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    Texas, thanks for keeping us up to speed each week, I have enjoyed it.
     
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    Paul-K:

    kc  den      5.7  3  2.7  Tebow doesn’t fold just because he’s lost a couple, not at home, not with a playoff game to grab.  KC has Crennel but really they’re between coaches right at this moment.

    I agree that Denver will take the ball back from Tebow and remember that he is a running QB who throws only when it makes sense verses a "for real" QB
    Denver wins on D and Running

     
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    In Response to Re: WEEK 17 NFL PICKS and "Game of the Week":
    [QUOTE]If the Jets win against Miami, the Jets will make the playoffs if one of the following two scenarios play out: Cincinnati loses, Tennessee loses or ties, and Oakland loses or ties Cincinnati loses, Tennessee loses or ties, and Denver loses or ties The Jets will have every thing set to make the play-offs (Based on your Week 17 Picks) which means they will only have to beat Miami.... What a great loss that will be if Miami can take them out..
    Posted by gmbill[/QUOTE]

         Frankly, I could care less what the Jets do. If they do make the play-offs, it will be as the 6th seed...and they'll play the Texans in Houston. If the Jets gets by them, they'll play the Pats.

         If the above mentioned scenario occurs, that's fine by me. I don't fear the Jets. If the Patriots can't beat them, they don't deserve to be in the play-offs.
     
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    7.) (6-9) Carolina Panthers (+8) @ (12-3) New Orleans Saints: Sean Payton will likely let Drew Brees play through the first half. If the 49ers are well up on the Rams, he'll sit him im the second half, rest his regulars. Rest assured that Rookie of the Year Cam Newton will take this game seriously:
    PICK: Panthers;

    Not sure about your pick here Tex, the Saints are playing for the number 2 seed so unless they are scoreboard watching the 9ers are up big they shouldn't be resting anyone.  Plus they will try to put up big passing yards to keep TB form breaking the single season passing record.
     
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    In Response to Re: WEEK 17 NFL PICKS and "Game of the Week":
    [QUOTE]7.) (6-9) Carolina Panthers (+8) @ (12-3) New Orleans Saints: Sean Payton will likely let Drew Brees play through the first half. If the 49ers are well up on the Rams, he'll sit him im the second half, rest his regulars. Rest assured that Rookie of the Year Cam Newton will take this game seriously: PICK: Panthers; Not sure about your pick here Tex, the Saints are playing for the number 2 seed so unless they are scoreboard watching the 9ers are up big they shouldn't be resting anyone.  Plus they will try to put up big passing yards to keep TB form breaking the single season passing record.
    Posted by Tomhab[/QUOTE]

         You could be right. But, I like the 8 point spread, under the circumstances as they are.
     
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    True, but as as many yards as Cam is throwing he's also throwing the ball away a lot too.  I have a feeling that Brees will be watching TBs yards more than SF's score over the mighty Rams...
     
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    In Response to Re: WEEK 17 NFL PICKS and "Game of the Week":
    [QUOTE]True, but as as many yards as Cam is throwing he's also throwing the ball away a lot too.  I have a feeling that Brees will be watching TBs yards more than SF's score over the mighty Rams...
    Posted by Tomhab[/QUOTE]

         Could be. But Saints' head coach Sean Payton obviously let Brees go for the record last night. I don't think he'll risk him too long next week. We'll see what happens. 
     
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    Re: WEEK 17 NFL PICKS and "Game of the Week"

     I also would like to thank you for your weekly picks throughout the year-really enjoyed reading your picks and comments-Go Pats.
     
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    In Response to Re: WEEK 17 NFL PICKS and "Game of the Week":
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: WEEK 17 NFL PICKS and "Game of the Week" :      Could be. But Saints' head coach Sean Payton obviously let Brees go for the record last night. I don't think he'll risk him too long next week. We'll see what happens. 
    Posted by TexasPat3[/QUOTE]

     Payton and Brees would look slightly ridiculous if they lost the yardage record this week because he pulled Brees at halftime after all the celebrating on Monday. I expect the Saints coaches will be paying more attention to Brady's passing yardage than the 49ers score when it comes to pulling Brees.
     
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    In Response to Re: WEEK 17 NFL PICKS and "Game of the Week":
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: WEEK 17 NFL PICKS and "Game of the Week" :  Payton and Brees would look slightly ridiculous if they lost the yardage record this week because he pulled Brees at halftime after all the celebrating on Monday. I expect the Saints coaches will be paying more attention to Brady's passing yardage than the 49ers score when it comes to pulling Brees.
    Posted by ccnsd[/QUOTE]

         Interesting point. It will also be interesting to see whether BB lets Tom Brady really take a wack at getting the record. The Pats must get off to a very fast start if Tom is to have a shot at eclipsing Brees.  

         I just want the Pats to get the win, and come out of the game with no further injuries. But, an impressive win would be nice. 
     
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    In Response to Re: WEEK 17 NFL PICKS and "Game of the Week":
    [QUOTE] I also would like to thank you for your weekly picks throughout the year-really enjoyed reading your picks and comments-Go Pats.
    Posted by jimmytantric[/QUOTE]

         Thanks Jimmy, and gmbill
     
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         The best thing that could happen for the future of the Dallas Cowboys is to lose, and lose badly, to the NY Giants this Sunday...and tank next season. 

         Cowboys fans must then complain, loudly and often, about Jerry Jones running their team into the ground. As long as he insists on being the owner, President, and GM of the 'Boys, they'll go no where. Jones, and his huge ego, must step aside, and let football specialists run the team:

    Gosselin: Jerry Jones won't stop what he's doing with East title within reach

    Rick Gosselin, sports columnist for The Dallas Morning News and SportsDayDFW.com, answered readers' questions about the Cowboys and the NFL on Monday. Some excerpts:


    Do you think Jerry Jones will hire Norv Turner to be the Cowboys offensive coordinator if he gets fired in San Diego?

    No. Jones has said time and again he trusts Garrett in that dual capacity. Personally, I think the positions should be separate. I think both are full time jobs. But I don't run the Cowboys. Jerry Jones does. Doing it his way, Garrett has the Cowboys playing for the division title on the final weekend of the season. Because of that, Jones will not feel the need to change in 2012. I would expect Garrett back as both the head coach and play-caller.


    Is there any reason to believe that this defense can actually step up and help win this game?

    This defense has blown fourth quarter leads of 17, 14 and 12 points this season in losing games. Does that instill much confidence in you? Me, neither.


    If this defense loses this game, all the blame is on Romo in December!

    Romo hasn't been at fault in this season-long struggle to win the division. He's had a Pro Bowl-caliber season. Since the bye week, he has probably played as well as any quarterback in the league with only four interceptions in 11 games.


    Where do you start on this team to stop Eagles speed? I see Philly arrow pointing up for next season.

    The Eagles will be the NFC East favorite next season. They remain the most talented team in the division and right now they are playing the best of any team in the division. I thought they'd start slow and lose some games early because of all the new and different pieces they were trying to incorporate -- nine new starts, a new defensive coordinator and two new line coaches. But my idea of a slow start was 3-3, not 4-8. The Eagles you're seeing in December are the same team you'll see next September after having had a full off-season program.

    It seems that no matter who has been coach of the Cowboys, Coach Jerry is always going to undermine his head coach & his efforts to lead the Boys. When will he step down?

    Not any time soon. Jones has paid for the right to own the Cowboys. He believes that gives him the right to proudly proclaim himself as owner, president and general manager. He serving in that triple capacity of a team playing for a division title on the final weekend of the season. He'll see that as progress from last season

        
     

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