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Jan. 2, 2016

NFL Week 17 Projections

by Lauren Frost, Online Entertainment Editor, Robert Pfefferle, Online Sports Editor, Sandeep David, Online Opinions Editor and Charles Lott, Online Features Editor
Here we are, the last week of the season. In our expertsí standings, Lauren pulled ahead of Bobby last week to take the lead. Can Bobby come back to reclaim his championship, or will Lauren finish the comeback? Find out as Green Bay and Minnesota square off for the NFC North, and Seattle and Arizona will face off in an intriguing matchup.

Standings:
1. Lauren: 140-86
2. Bobby: 138-88
3. Sandeep: 133-94
4. Charlie: 131-96

Redskins at Cowboys
Bobby: Redskins
Sandeep: Redskins
Lauren: Redskins
Charlie: Redskins

Bobby says: Most of the Redskins starters wonít be playing in this one, but I still donít think Dallas is good enough to beat them.
Sandeep says: Captain Kirk and the Redskins have really turned their season around the past few weeks and should be able to beat the hapless Cowboys.
Lauren says: The Redskins have turned their season (somewhat) around, the Cowboys won't be able to overcome their now striving offense.
Charlie says: The Redskins are heating up at just the right time, and they wonít let the Cowboys sweep them this year.

Jets at Bills
Bobby: Jets
Sandeep: Jets
Lauren: Jets
Charlie: Jets

Bobby says: The Jets are going to make it sting for Rex Ryan. Brandon Marshall is going to be all over Buffaloís end-zone.
Sandeep says: This is a must-win for the Jets if they want to make the playoffs.
Lauren says: The Jets are going to come out strong and ready to win in order to try and make the playoffs.
Charlie says: The Jets arenít going to let Rex Ryan and the Bills beat them in a must-win game.

Patriots at Dolphins
Bobby: Patriots
Sandeep: Patriots
Lauren: Patriots
Charlie: Patriots

Bobby says: Brady only really has Gronk to throw to this week. Look for New England to go run-heavy and power through Miami. It will be a close game.
Sandeep says: Even though the Colts need the Patriots to lose to make the playoffs (among other things), I'm gonna have to go with the Pats here.
Lauren says: Brady to Gronk all day.
Charlie says: The Patriots need to beat Miami this week to secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs, so youíll see Brady at his finest.

Saints at Falcons
Bobby: Falcons
Sandeep: Falcons
Lauren: Falcons
Charlie: Falcons

Bobby says: The Falcons looked like that team that started 5-0 to start the season. Sure, they blew it big time. But after beating Carolina last week, they still have a chance to go out on a high note.
Sandeep says: The Falcons defense showed up for once last week. If it shows up again to shut down Brees, the Falcons should easily win.
Lauren says: If the Falcons defense can show up the way they did against the Panthers, then they should have no problem shutting down the Saints offense.
Charlie says: The Falcons are coming off of a win against Carolina, so the Saints at home should be no challenge.

Ravens at Bengals
Bobby: Bengals
Sandeep: Bengals
Lauren: Bengals
Charlie: Ravens

Bobby says: The Ravens defense doesnít stand a chance against this Bengals potent offense.
Sandeep says: The Bengals just have a better team overall.
Lauren says: Although the Ravens had a nice showing last week the Bengals just have a better team than the Ravens.
Charlie says: The Ravens beat the Steelers last week!

Steelers at Browns
Bobby: Steelers
Sandeep: Steelers
Lauren: Steelers
Charlie: Steelers

Bobby says: Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown are a great combo. The Steelers are vying for that playoff spot, and could get it with a win in Cleveland.
Sandeep says: Sorry Johnny Football, it's another L for you.
Lauren says: This should be an easy win for the Steelers, Roethlisberger should dominate against the Browns defense.
Charlie says: Antonio Brown and Big Ben always show up for the big games, and they need to win this one to make playoffs.

Jaguars at Texans
Bobby: Texans
Sandeep: Texans
Lauren: Texans
Charlie: Texans

Bobby says: Texans take this and the AFC South. What a division.
Sandeep says: I died a little inside choosing the Texans but they're the clear winner.
Lauren says: Texans are clearly the stronger team in this match up.
Charlie says: The Texans pass rush will force Bortles to throw multiple picks.

Titans at Colts
Bobby: Colts
Sandeep: Colts
Lauren: Colts
Charlie: Colts

Bobby says: Yet another week, and yet another quarterback for the Colts. No matter who it is, they should be able to get by Tennessee.
Sandeep says: Josh Freeman, here we go!
Lauren says: The Colts aren't playing well and are using yet another quarterback, despite all that they should be able to get by the Titans.
Charlie says: I canít endorse a Zach Mettenberger led offense.

Eagles at Giants
Bobby: Giants
Sandeep: Giants
Lauren: Giants
Charlie: Giants

Bobby says: See ya later Chip Kelly. The Eagles will be reminded with how badly this season went with a nice season-ending loss in New York. Odell Beckham should see quite a few passes coming his way.
Sandeep says: Odell is back so the Giants offense should have no trouble getting past the Eagles defense.
Lauren says: Both teams have terrible defenses so this game is going to be heavily offensive, that said, Manning and Odell are quite the combo and are going to be able to outscore the Eagles defense.
Charlie says: The Eagles are in shambles after firing Chip Kelly, and should go out on the low note they deserve.

Lions at Bears
Bobby: Bears
Sandeep: Lions
Lauren: Lions
Charlie: Lions

Bobby says: Itís hard to tell which teams will show up. Both the Lions and the Bears have been all over the place this season. Iíll take Chicago at home.
Sandeep says: The Lions offense hasn't been bad lately and should be able to take the Bears.
Lauren says: The Lions offense has been playing relatively well this season but both teams have been shaky so it could go either way.
Charlie says: The Lions have been better the second half of the season, and Alshon Jeffery is sitting out this game.

Buccaneers at Panthers
Bobby: Panthers
Sandeep: Panthers
Lauren: Panthers
Charlie: Panthers

Bobby says: I knew they wouldnít go undefeated. But now that they have that loss out of the way, Iíd expect them to grab the home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Sandeep says: Cam and co. get back on track this week.
Lauren says: Even though they aren't undefeated anymore Cam is still going to be MVP and the Panthers are still the team to beat, this should be an easy win for them to get them ready for the playoffs.
Charlie says: The Panthers arenít going to lose two in a row.

Raiders at Chiefs
Bobby: Chiefs
Sandeep: Chiefs
Lauren: Chiefs
Charlie: Chiefs

Bobby says: The Chiefs are on quite the hot streak to close out the season. Oakland has also had quite an impressive season, but they wonít end it on a high note.
Sandeep says: Alex Smith has been playing surprisingly well this season and the Chiefs look to close out the season strong.
Lauren says: Chiefs will end their season on a good note with a win over the Raiders.
Charlie says: At home, the Chiefs have been one of the best teams in the league this year. Not even Khalil Mack can stop the Alex Smith/Jeremy Maclin connection.

Chargers at Broncos
Bobby: Broncos
Sandeep: Broncos
Lauren: Broncos
Charlie: Broncos

Bobby says: Denver takes this and the division. Brock Osweiler has figured out how to run the Broncos offense.
Sandeep says: After pulling off the win against the Bengals Monday night, the Chargers should be a breeze.
Lauren says: The Broncos QB has found his place within the offense and is doing a good job of running it in the absence of Manning.
Charlie says: Itís really hard to play at Denver, especially for an injury depleted and just all around bad Chargers team.

Seahawks at Cardinals
Bobby: Cardinals
Sandeep: Cardinals
Lauren: Cardinals
Charlie: Seahawks

Bobby says: After seeing Arizona shut down Green Bay last week, I think theyíll cruise by Seattle. Russell Wilson and co are sure to make it an exciting game, however.
Sandeep says: Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has decided not to rest any starters in this matchup even though the Cardinals have clinched a first round bye. In that case, the Cardinals should take the Seahawks.
Lauren says: The Seahawks have been playing well lately, the Cardinals have just been playing better.
Charlie says: The Seahawks are the team to beat in the NFC.

Rams at 49ers
Bobby: Rams
Sandeep: Rams
Lauren: Rams
Charlie: Rams

Bobby says: The Rams have the momentum they need to get to .500 for the first time since 2006.
Sandeep says: This game really doesn't matter.
Lauren says: Rams should have an easy time against the 49ers.
Charlie says: The 49ers defense has been just awful against the run the last few weeks. Remember that Isaiah Crowell 150 yard game? Against the 49ers.

Vikings at Packers
Bobby: Vikings
Sandeep: Packers
Lauren: Packers
Charlie: Vikings

Bobby says: Iím all in for a Vikings upset and a win of the division. Adrian Peterson is going to be looked to for help as the Vikings try to expose the holes in Green Bayís defense.
Sandeep says: Aaron Rodgers will show up today in a must-win game for the Packers.
Lauren says: What Sandeep said.
Charlie says: If the Vikings win this game, the Packers will have been swept by their division at Lambeau. That would be pretty funny.



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