Ramblin’ Fan’s NFL Picks and Predictions: Week 17

NFL Picks

Dec 22, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams running back Zac Stacy (30) leaps into the end zone for a one yard touchdown during the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL regular season is winding down as it is time to make our NFL picks and predictions for the final week of the regular season.  Are slightly more clear than they were at this time last week, however while all 4 divisions in the AFC have been locked up zero have been locked up in the wild NFC.  The Rams may not be playing for a playoff spot but they still have a chance to secure their first 8-8 season since 2006, which would be an impressive feat considering Sam Bradford went down during week 7. The Rams also have a chance to play spoiler for a division rival as a victory in Seattle combined with a 49ers victory at Arizona would knock the Seahawks from the 1st to the 5th seed in the NFC.   The Rams also have a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Robert Quinn, who has been dominant this season as he leads the NFL in sacks, forced fumbles, and tackles for loss.  Last week our NFL picks and predictions were very sub par finishing the week at 9-8.  We are hoping to finish this season strong but end of the season parody might make that difficult.  NFC West games have been marked in bold lettering in the table below. Thank you for reading and as always Go Rams!!!

Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons. The Panthers are still in the hunt for a first round bye and division title, and will be looking to close out a forgettable season for the Atlanta Falcons.  The Falcons have improved quite a bit since Roddy White returned to full health, but it likely wont be enough to take down the Panthers in the season finale. Panthers win 28 – 14.

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals. The Ravens are still fighting for their playoff lives, looking for a wild card berth.  The Bengals are cruising after clinching the division, but may be motivated to knock their division rivals out of the playoff hunt.  It would probably be good news for the rest of the AFC if the Bengals do keep the Ravens out, as they have certainly come on strong down the stretch. Bengals win 23 – 13.

Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans.  The Texans have not won a game since their week 2 overtime victory over the Titans.  Rams fans everywhere will be rooting for a Texans victory coupled with a Redskins loss.  If Schaub and company can take down the Titans there is still hope for the Rams to own the first overall choice of the 2014 draft. Texans win 20 – 17.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts. The Colts should be looking to build some momentum into the playoffs, while the Jaguars will be hoping to continue their strong finish following a rough start to the season.  This AFC South battle wont mean a whole lot across the NFL but both teams have something to play for.  Colts win 27 – 14.

New York Jets  @ Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins blew a golden opportunity last weekend against the Bills, the question is can they rebound and sneak into the playoffs anyway?  If they win this game they should be in based on tie breakers over the other teams vying for the final wild card spot.  The Dolphins should take care of business, but they need to work harder at keeping their young signal caller upright.  Dolphins win 21 – 17.

Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings. These teams will be home watching the playoffs like the rest of us, but a fierce NFC North rivalry should keep this game interesting.  These two teams have been inconsistent this season and it could continue to close out the season.  There may be plenty of big plays and mind-boggling mistakes in this game, which would be a microcosm of each teams season.   Lions win 21 – 20.

Washington Redskins @ New York Giants. Of all the games being played this weekend that don’t include the Rams, this is probably the one that will be most closely followed by Rams fans.  The Redskins first round choice in the 2014 draft could fall at #1 overall, which would be a huge win for the Rams in their ongoing rebuild effort.  The Giants somehow snuck out a win against the Lions last weekend, knocking them from the playoffs.  Can Eli and Company come through again?   Giants win 28 – 24.

Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers. These two teams are long time rivals, with the Steelers having had the upper hand for most of their recent history.  I don’t expect much to change here, but the Browns are definitely improving.   Steelers win 20 – 14.

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears.  It was announced earlier today that Aaron Rodgers will be playing in this game. This is great news for the Packers fans everywhere, as the Chicago Bears porous defense could be absolutely shredded by the Packers signal caller.  Rodgers could have a little bit of rust to shake off early in this game, which may allow the Bears to hang around.  However, the Bears defense is one of the worst in the NFL and hasn’t shown much ability to stop anyway.  With a healthy Rodgers and Eddie Lacy the Packers will be a dangerous team in the playoffs.   Packers win 38 – 31.

Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders. Peyton Manning already owns the NFL single season record for touchdowns thrown, but he will probably be hoping to put a little bit of padding on that number to increase its longevity.  The Raiders surrendered 7 touchdown passes to Nick Foles in roughly 3 quarters of play earlier this season.  I would expect manning to get 3+ touchdowns in the first half and sit most of the 2nd half as the Broncos clinch the #1 seed in the AFC.  Broncos win 45 – 27.

Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots. The Patriots could still earn the #1 seed in the AFC playoffs, and they will be hoping that the Raiders can do them a big favor to close out the season.  The Bills demolished the Dolphins last week, but will find it much more difficult against Tom Brady in Foxborough.    Patriots win 23 – 16.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints. The Saints are technically still alive for the NFC South title and will be playing at home, a venue they have been nearly invincible since Sean Payton took over.  The Bucs have played valiantly down the stretch following their 0-8 start but they will be outmatched by the Saints offense.  Saints win 35 – 20.

San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals.  The Cardinals are fighting for their playoff lives, and hoping for a little bit of help as well.  The 49ers are still alive for the #1 overall seed with a little help from the Rams.  These are two of the hottest teams in the NFL over the second half of the season.  The Cardinals fight has been impressive this season, but the 49ers are finally getting healthy and appear to be hitting their stride.   49ers win 24 – 21.

St Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks. Rams fans know that their team hasn’t fared well in the Pacific Northwest in recent seasons.  The Seahawks have been nearly invincible at home since Russell Wilson took over at QB, although they were taken down by the Cardinals last weekend.  The last time these two teams met the Rams dominated the Seahawks at the line of scrimmage and completely controlled the game, and yet still lost.  Kellen Clemens has looked miles better than he did in that game (his first start since 2011), and the Rams ground game has continued to surge behind Zac Stacy. In their last meeting the Rams defense got to Wilson 7 times with 3 each from Chris “White Thunder “Long and Robert “Black Lightning” Quinn.  If the Rams are going to have a chance in this game they will need another dominant performance by the defensive line. Rams win 24 – 20.

Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers. The Chiefs have the 5th seed in the AFC all wrapped up, and may even think about resting some of their starters in this one.  The Chargers on the other hand need a victory and a whole lot of help to make the playoffs as the final wild card in the AFC.  The Chargers have looked fairly impressive in recent weeks, with big performance after big performance from Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate Keenan Allen. Chargers win 31 – 27.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys (SNF). This game is for the NFC East title and could be the last chance for Jason Garrett to save his job in Dallas.  The Cowboys have one of the worst defenses I have ever watched, and it may get even worse as Sean Lee is likely out for this game with a neck injury.  The Cowboys really haven’t slowed anyone down this season, with or without Lee, so I would expect some big numbers from LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles.   Eagles win 28 – 23.

NFL Week 17 Matchups

Pick

Panthers @ Falcons

Panthers

Ravens @ Bengals

Bengals

Texans @ Titans

Texans

Jaguars @ Colts

Colts

Jets @ Dolphins

Dolphins

Lions @ Vikings

Lions

Redskins @ Giants

Giants

Browns @ Steelers

Steelers

Packers @ Bears

 Packers

Broncos @ Raiders

Broncos

Bills @ Patriots

Patriots

Bucs @ Saints

Saints

49ers @ Cardinals

49ers

Rams @ Seahawks

Rams

Chiefs @ Chargers

Chargers

Eagles @ Cowboys (SNF)

Eagles

Last Week

9-7

Overall Record

138-101

Topics: NFL Picks, St. Louis Rams

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