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Jan. 1, 2005

NFL: Week Seventeen predictions

by Pratik Bhandari, Page Editor
This is the week where the good teams rest their starters, the bad teams play as usual and the middle of the pack teams scramble for those remaining playoff spots. This is also the week where fans gather round and discuss all the crazy things that have to happen to get their 7-8 team into the playoffs (see Saints/Panthers/Vikings fans) or where fans of teams that are out of the playoffs sit on the couch and sigh (see Redskins fans). Anyway, this is also the week of no Monday Night Football, but cheer up…the playoffs will be here in less than a week!

Nick 136-71-0
Izzy 134-73-0
Pratik 157-82-0
Mike 97-63-0

Sunday January 2, 2004
Cincinnati at Philadelphia – 1:00 p.m. (Cincinnati -3)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Cincinnati - -


Pratik says: The only reason that the Bengals will win this game is that the Eagles will be resting most of their starters so that theywill be fresh when they play the winners of the NFC Wild Card game.

Cleveland at Houston – 1:00 p.m. (Houston -10)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Houston - -


Pratik says: If Houston can beat a Jacksonville team that really wanted to win to get into the playoffs by three touchdowns, what do you think they're going to do againstthe hapless Cleveland Browns?

Detroit at Tennessee – 1:00 p.m. (Detroit -3)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Detroit - -


Pratik says: It pains me to see the Tennessee team that I used to root for in the playoffs year after year fall to such low depths, but the fact is that they just don't have enough healthy people left on that team. Their hallmark had always been defense and they don't have any right now. Detroit is…well…Detroit, so you can't expect too much out of them anyway. Expect an ugly game to end in a meaningless Detroit victory.


Green Bay at Chicago – 1:00 p.m. (Chicago–3)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Chicago - -


Pratik says: Brett Favre wants to play against Chicago, but I don't think that Mike Sherman will keep him in there for more than a quarter maximum because Green Bay really has nothing to play for at the moment. This maybe a "rivalry" game, but no one of the Packers really take the Bears seriously anymore, at least not until they get Rex Grossman back at quarterback. But as the Bears will be playing against, essentially, the Packers second string, expect them to eke out a victory.

Miami at Baltimore – 1:00 p.m. (Baltimore -11)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Baltimore - -


Pratik says: Baltimore needs this victory, and a lot of help from the other AFC teams vying for a wild card spot, to make the playoffs, so don't be surprised at the intensity that they show. To Baltimore, their playoffs start now. They must win to get in and they won't mind slaughtering the Dolphins to do so.

Minnesota at Washington – 1:00 p.m. (Minnesota -4)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Minnesota - -


Pratik says: Minnesota really made things hard for themselves when they lost to Green Bay last week because now they must win against the Redskins to get in. On that note, what the [insert expletive here] Washington was doing at the end of the Dallas game. All they had to do was to keep the Cowboys, who were being led by a 41-year-old statue, out of the endzone for maybe two minutes. I like Sean Taylor, I really do, but he keeps getting caught out of position and he keeps trying to anticipate where the ball is going instead of letting the ball come to him. He jumped Keyshawn Johnson's route and left Patrick Crayton open for a 39-yard touchdown that just shouldn't have happened. The Redskins have the second-ranked defense in the league, and they couldn't stop the Cowboys? It makes you want to rip out your hair in frustration. Aaaarrgh! Anyway, simply because this game means something to the Vikings, I think that they can will themselves to a victory on the arm of Daunte Culpepper and the receiving abilities of Randy Moss.

New Orleans at Carolina– 1:00 p.m. (Carolina –7.5)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Carolina - -


Pratik says: Do not be surprised if you see some of the hardest hitting of the whole season right here. This game will be like a playoff game in terms of intensity as both teams need to win. At this pointing the season, no one wants to play Carolina. They were at 1-7 after a multitude of injuries and really, we shouldn't even be talking about them being in the playoff chase at the moment, but they did not give up and now, at 7-8 they are one of the most feared teams in the NFL and probably a close runner up to the T.O.-less Eagles to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. The Saints should not have left it up to the last week to get a playoff berth and they will pay for it dearly.

New York Jets at St. Louis – 1:00 p.m. (New York Jets –3.5)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- New York Jets - -


Pratik says: Bulger's back with the Rams, but it remains to be seen whether he can effectively pick apart a defense like the Jets have. Chad Pennington didn't look that good against the Patriots, but then again, who does? He'll have a chance to prove himself by beating the Rams and getting his team into the playoffs.

Pittsburgh at Buffalo – 1:00 p.m. (Buffalo -9)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Buffalo - -


Pratik says: Buffalo. By a lot. Because Pittsburgh will be resting their starters and because Buffalo needs to win to get in.

San Francisco at New England – 1:00 p.m. (New England –13.5)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- New England - -


Pratik says: Yeah…uh…look at the latest line. San Francisco will challenge New England maybe in five years, if everything goes perfect for the 49ers in terms of the draft and offseason acquisitions. But for now, you could take the Blair football team and…no.

Atlanta at Seattle – 4:05 p.m. (Seattle –5.5 )

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Seattle - -


Pratik says: Seattle needs to win, Atlanta does not. It is as simple as that.

Tampa Bay at Arizona - 4:05 p.m. (Arizona -3)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Arizona - -


Pratik says: Does this game really matter? No. But if you must know who I'm picking, it's the Cardinals. Because they're at home and they, surprisingly, have a better team than the Buccaneers do.

Indianapolis at Denver - 4:15 p.m. (Denver –8.5)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Denver - -


Pratik says: Denver needs to win, whereas Peyton Manning and Co. are probably going to be sitting in the hot tub and watching the game on T.V.

Jacksonville at Oakland - 4:15 p.m. (Jacksonville -1)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Jacksonville - -


Pratik says: The Jaguars need to win and the Raiders are playing for nothing.

Kansas City at San Diego - 4:15 p.m. (Kansas City -3)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Kansas City - -


Pratik says: San Diego has nothing to play for and neither do the Chiefs, but the Chiefs might want to win so that they can say that they got to 8-8.

Dallas at New York Giants – 8:30 p.m. (New York Giants –2.5)

Izzy's Pick Pratik's Pick Mike's Pick Nick's Pick
- Dallas - -


Pratik says: The biggest story of this game is whether the Giants can avoid losing, what, nine straight now?



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  • steel fan on January 3, 2005 at 8:02 AM
    buffalo didn't stand a chance against the best team in the NFL!!!!!! starters or backups pittsburgh can't be beat.
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