NFL Week Seventeen predictions

Dec. 31, 2005, midnight | By Abe Schwadron, Josh Zipin, Pratik Bhandari | 16 years ago

All good things must come to an end...

Happy New Year!

Photo: From left to right: Josh, Abe, Phil and Pratik.

Pratik 153-89-0
Abe 155-87-0
Phil 140-102-0
Josh 159-83-0

Last Week

Pratik 11-5-0
Abe 11-5-0
Phil 9-7-0
Josh 12-4-0

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Denver (12-3) at San Diego (9-6) - 4:30 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
San Diego San Diego Denver San Diego

Pratik says: The Chargers may be the best non-playoff team in the history of the NFL, but they don't hand out any trophies for that...

Abe says: Denver is a solid team, but the Chargers are angry, at home and ready to play spoiler. Denver beat San Diego in week two by just three points, so look for another tight one with the lightning bolts coming out on top.

Phil says: Neither team has much to play for but the allure of having two 1000 yard rushers is too great for running guru Mike Shanahan. He will run Tatum bell 50 times if he has too, but with a system that has already rushed for over 2100 yards this season it shouldn't be too hard.

Josh says: Denver has already clinched a first round bye in the playoffs, and has little to play for. Away from home and against a Chargers team clawing for a playoff birth, the Broncos falter.

New York Giants (10-5) at Oakland (4-11) - 8:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
New York Oakland New York New York

Pratik says: The Giants can win the NFC East and earn a crucial home game in the playoffs with a win at the Black Hole on Saturday night. Expect them to come out strong as they try and shake off that drubbing at the hands of the Redskins last week.

Abe says: The Giants are not playing good football heading into the playoffs. Mr. Manning doesn't look comfortable at times and teams have started focusing their attention on Tiki Barber's rushing attack. Despite their poor record, the Raiders can air it out and they have a solid defensive line, which could slow down Tiki. Plus, after the Raiders win, the Redskins are one step closer to a division title.

Phil says: Oakland falls again, putting the nail in Norv Turner's coffin.

Josh says: A win clinches the division for the bad men in blue, and against one of the worst teams in the AFC, they do just that.

Sunday, January 1, 2005

Arizona (5-10) at Indianapolis (13-2) - 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Indianapolis Arizona Indianapolis Indianapolis

Pratik says: With Coach Dungy back on the sideline, I think the Colts are going to win this one, and they're going to win in such a way as to make sure that there's no doubt about who the best team in the NFL is.

Abe says: Arizona will air it out against Indy's backups as the Colts look to get some rest heading into the postseason. Despite the possibility of three straight losses to end the year, the Colts will be ready for the playoffs, and Tony Dungy's return is a big factor.

Phil says: Indianapolis won't really try to win but Arizona will try to lose.

Josh says: The Colts' second team is better than Arizona's first team.

Baltimore (6-9) at Cleveland (5-10) - 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Baltimore Cleveland Baltimore Baltimore

Pratik says: Apparently, the key to turning Kyle Boller into a good quarterback is to just make him think that he has to play well or his job will be forfeit, every single week.

Abe says: This is the classic week seventeen matchup of "Ew vs. Yuck." Generally, the home team wins it.

Phil says: Deion Sanders finishes in style. The Ravens defense stifles the Browns.

Josh says: Kyle Boller continues his turnaround and development as a quarterback and the Ravens' defense has no trouble dealing with one of the worst offenses in the whole league.

Buffalo (5-10) at New York Jets (3-12) - 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
New York Buffalo Buffalo New York

Pratik says: I keep forgetting that Buffalo is in New York too. I guess that the whole league has also forgotten that Buffalo has a team as well...

Abe says: By losing their finale at home, the Jets stay alive in the Reggie Bush Sweepstakes. But then again, Buffalo will have a hard time scoring, even if the Jets try to hand them the game.

Phil says: This is a coin flip as neither team is going to throw it for a better draft picks, but at the same time they have nothing to gain

Josh says: "You play to win the game." -- Jets coach Herman Edwards. One of the few teams his team is capable of beating, is the Bills.

Carolina (10-5) at Atlanta (8-7) - 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Carolina Carolina Carolina Carolina

Pratik says: Carolina has to win to get into the playoffs. It's as simple as that.

Abe says: If Steve Smith can stay level-headed and keep his hands off the referees, the Panthers will roll into Atlanta and pummel the Falcons again, as they did in week 13, by a score of 24 to 6.

Phil says:The Carolina Panthers did just about everything possible to ruin their playoff chances last week, but they get a chance for redemption and a postseason berth in their season finale against the Atlanta Falcons. Lets just say they're not losing this one.

Josh says: With their backs against the wall and a playoff spot on the line, the Panthers get a much needed win.

Cincinnati (11-4) at Kansas City (9-6) - 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Kansas City Kansas City Kansas City Kansas City

Pratik says: Kansas City hasn't lost in December at home since forever.

Abe says: I say it every week, and I'll say it again. I don't care who they're playing, the Chiefs just do not lose on their home field in the months of December and January. Plus, the Bengals have wrapped up a playoff spot and will likely throw their backups into the mix.

Phil says: After winning last week they kept their chances alive, but just barely. The Chiefs need victories by Denver at San Diego and Detroit at Pittsburgh, and also must beat the Bengals to clinch the last playoff berth. They need some luck, but hey, it could happen.

Josh says: Cincinnati has nothing to play for and the Chiefs have everything to play for - and they're at home.

Detroit (5-10) at Pittsburgh (10-5) - 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Detroit Pittsburgh

Pratik says: Pittsburgh could win this game even if Ben Roethlisberger was blindfolded, had to play on his knees and was forced to play left handed. So basically, even if Big Ben played like Joey Harrington, Pittsburgh would win.

Abe says: If Detroit were to win this game, the Steelers might as well turn in their jerseys and never return to Heinz field.

Phil says: The upset of the year keeps the Steelers out of the playoffs. I can't tell you how, but it'll happen.

Josh says: The Steelers don't even know how to lose to the Lions. Does anyone know how to lose to the Lions?

Miami (8-7) at New England (10-5) - 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Miami New England New England New England

Pratik says: Upset Special: Yeah, you read that right, I'm picking Miami. Nick Saban has the 'Fins playing like winners and more importantly, Ricky Williams is playing like he was in his pre-Weed years. I guess all that yoga helped after all, huh?

Abe says: Defending Super Bowl Champions versus Gus Frerotte. The End.

Phil says: The Patriots head into the playoffs with a victory.

Josh says: New England doesn't lose games they're supposed to win. Bill Belichick doesn't like losing, so he may keep Tom Brady in the game.

New Orleans (3-12) at Tampa Bay (10-5) - 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Tampa Bay

Pratik says: At this point, I wouldn't put it past Blair to beat New Orleans in a football game.

Abe says: The Saints have no reason to win this game. By losing, they, too stay alive in the Reggie Bush Sweepstakes.

Phil says: Tampa Bay clinches the NFC south against a lowly Saints team. The Saints aren't even sure where they will play next year. What do they have to play for?
Josh says: The Bucs can clinch their division with a win, and against the Saints, if they don't win they don't deserve to be division champs.

Seattle (13-2) at Green Bay (3-12) - 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Seattle Seattle Green Bay Green Bay

Pratik says: Green Bay should trade Favre to some team that is a step away from the Super Bowl and just let him finish his last years in peace. That or just let him retire. And in this game, they should start Rodgers and see what he can do. There is nothing to be gained by putting Favre out in the line of fire again this week. And congratulations to Shaun Alexander who will break the single season touchdown record in this game and also for that immense contract he's sure to get in the offseason.

Abe says: Seattle is hot, and it looks like there's no stopping Shaun Alexander and company. Brett Favre may be playing his last game in the NFL. If so, thanks for the memories, Brett. If not, thanks for the weird and horrible season, Brett.

Phil says: Favre couldn't will his team into the playoffs or even to a winning record, but facing his last game he plays his best game of the year and pushes the Packers past the Seahawks.

Josh says: Brett Favre can't stand losing, and this game means nothing to the Seahawks. Favre shows signs of his vintage self and leads the Pack to a victory.

Houston (2-13) at San Francisco (3-12) - 4:05 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
San Francisco Houston San Francisco San Francisco

Pratik says: The Bush Bowl it is. Seriously though, can Houston screw this up by winning? If they win, they will plummet from #1 all the way to #5 in the draft.

Abe says: The Reggie Bush Bowl, at last! I'm picking Houston to win only because I think they are the only franchise dumb enough to lose Reggie Bush. Look for a high-scoring affair, as no defense will be played in any way, shape or form. Plus, David Carr is on my fantasy team...

Phil says: Houston wins the Bush Bowl. By win I mean lose and secure their shot at drafting Reggie Bush. Houston both needs and wants him more and will throw the game, yes teams throw games, to get this rare talent.

Josh says: "Here you score."
"No, it's really alright, you can score."
This is the first game I can remember where two teams matchup, and what's best for them is to lose. I picked San Francisco because someone has to win this game and lose the Reggie Bush Sweepstakes, and I think the 49ers are so desperate to taste winning, they'll take a win any way they can get it.

Tennessee (4-11) at Jacksonville (11-4) - 4:05 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Jacksonville Jacksonville - Jacksonville

Pratik says: The only way Jacksonville could lose is if they decide to play their second string.

Abe says: No matter who starts at quarterback for the Jaguars, the Titans should be afraid. No matter who starts at quarterback for the Titans, the Jaguars should laugh. Hard.

Phil says: With Byron Leftwitch back, the Jags get into the swing of things with a victory.

Josh says: Whether it's David Garrard or Byron Leftwich playing quarterback for the Jaguars, they should beat the Titans.

Chicago (11-4) at Minnesota (8-7) - 4:15 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago

Pratik says: Minnesota can't keep up with Chicago. There's no way at all. Besides with Rex "The Messiah" Grossman leading the way, the Bears believe they van win it all, and that makes them even more dangerous than they were to begin with.

Abe says: Chicago is the NFC's second best squad after the Seahawks, and with a stifling D and finally a QB who can throw downfield, the Bears will steamroll through Minnesota and head back home to rest up for the playoffs.

Phil says: Chicago still has something to play for and the Vikings aren't doing anything against this defense.

Josh says: Finally quarterbacked by Rex Grossman and heading into the postseason, the most surprising team of the year rolls over the once trendy-to-pick Vikings.

Washington (9-6) at Philadelphia (6-9) - 4:15 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Washington Washington Washington Washington

Pratik says: Washington needs to win to get into the playoffs. It's as simple as that.

Abe says: The Redskins are a scary team right now. A monster defense and an offense that's clicking, combined with good coaching and superb special teams. Philly, on the other hand, is a team out of playoff contention and ailing from a ton of injuries on both sides of the ball. Let's just hope the 'Skins don't do anything stupid on New Year's Eve. I have faith in either Mark Brunell or Patrick Ramsey, though when the playoffs roll around, Brunell better be back. That being said, close your eyes, take a deep breath and enjoy the fact that six weeks ago everyone counted Washington out of the playoffs, and now look at the Redksins - a scary squad that no one in the NFC wants to face in the playoffs. All aboard the Redskins bandwagon, all aboard!

Phil says: All we have to do is beat the Eagles and we're in the playoffs for the first time in half a decade. Please 'Skins, don't ruin this.

Josh says: They've come so far, how can they lose now? I will cry in public if the Redskins lose this game.

St. Louis (5-10) at Dallas (9-6) - 8:30 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Dallas Dallas Dallas Dallas

Pratik says: It's funny because Dallas isn't going to the playoffs, so I might as well give them a throwaway win. How 'bout them Cowboys?

Abe says: By the time this game begins, Dallas will realize that they have been knocked out of the playoff race. Therefore, I decided to give them the win in this game just to mock every Cowboy fan I know.

Phil says: Dallas wins, but it won't be enough to get them in. Maybe next year.

Josh says: In their last chance for a playoff birth, the Cowboys have to win. Lucky for them St. Louis is horrible.

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Abe Schwadron. Abe is a huge basketball, baseball, and football fan that likes to read up on sports in SLAM, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN magazines. Hobbies include streetball, poker and film-making. A sneaker addict, Abe likes to keep his kicks fresh. Abe likes reggae and hip-hop music, … More »

Josh Zipin. Josh Zipin has trouble paying attention for more than three seconds at a time... More »

Pratik Bhandari. Pratik Bhandari is (now) a 5'6" SENIOR who (still) weighs about 125 pounds. He came from India, which could explain his diminutive stature and lived there for three years before moving to Albany, the capital of New York believe it or not, and finally to … More »

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