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NFL Pro Football 2014 Week 17 Picks

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Pro Football Week 17 Picks - late games

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Fearless Rick's NFL Week 17 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | December 28

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Sunday, December 28

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-3 1/2, 47 1/2) 1:00 pm - The winner captures the NFC South, the loser goes home.

Carolina has won three straight, though those victories have been against New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Cleveland, not exactly the cream of the league's crop. Prior to their mini-winning streak, the Panthers lost six in a row, so we know they're not a quality outfit.

Atlanta has gone 4-3 since a five-game losing streak heading into their bye week at the end of October, and has a win over the Panthers in the books already - 19-17 on November 16.

They appear to be more fit and ready for the playoffs, and, despite a 3-4 mark at home, the friendly confines of the Georgia Dome should matter.

Prediction: Falcons 24 Panthers 17


Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-8 1/2, 42 1/2) 1:00 pm - At 9-6, the Ravens are in position to make the playoffs. A win here at home virtually guarantees a playoff berth and possibly the AFC North division title.

They had a chance to make their post-season hopes much easier, but lost last week to Houston and need a win here. With the Browns in disarray, as usual, they'll probably fold right after half time and allow the Ravens the win.

Prediction: Ravens 27 Browns 6


Dallas Cowboys (-5, 49 1/2) at Washington Redskins 1:00 pm - Cowboys are already in the playoffs, having taken the NFC East, with a boost from these same Redskins, who topped second place Philly on Thursday night. Dallas is among five teams with 11-4 records in the NFC, so a win could snag a bye for wild card weekend and possibly beyond.

Look for Dallas to put forth enough effort to win and muster up a solid defensive effort against a pretty horrible Redskins team.

Prediction: Cowboys 27 Redskins 13


Indianapolis Colts (-7, 47) at Tennessee Titans 1:00 pm - After being blasted by Dallas, 42-7, the Colts should make sure that all of their players are getting in the proper mood for the playoffs and should probably go out thinking about winning this game, despite it having no bearing on positioning in the post-season.

With that in mind, Indianapolis hasn't exactly shown much willingness to comply with league wishes to play diligently and with passion, so the Titans stand a very good chance of capturing a win here and screwing up their chance at getting the #1 pick in the draft. Remember, the Titans lost to Jacksonville last Thursday, have had extra time to prepare or loaf, are 2-13 and aren't really a football team upon which one can readily rely.

Prediction: Titans 23 Colts 21


Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-10, 40 1/2) 1:00 pm - Houston needs help to make the playoffs, but they should be more than capable of taking down the lowly Jaguars, who have just three wins in the books.

This being a home game for the Texans, look for them to whoop it up, especially on defense. Jacksonville struggles to score and may not hit the end zone here.

Prediction: Texans 24 Jaguars 6


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San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (-2 1/2, 42) 1:00 pm - For the Chargers, it's win and you're in; the Chiefs would need help to make the playoffs.

On October 19, the Chiefs took down the Chargers, 23-20, in San Diego, but this outcome should be different. Chargers are a positive, 4-3, on the road this season and know the KC defense inside and out.

Prediction: Chargers 23 Chiefs 19


New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-4 1/2, 42) 1:00 pm - Miami could still make the playoffs, but the issue here is keeping players' eyes off the out-of-town scoreboard, as they need help from other teams in order to reach the post-season.

Jets have been hanging tough in their recent games, now that Geno Smith is back at QB. A final farewell for Rex Ryan?

Prediction: Jets 28 Dolphins 24


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Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-7, 44) 1:00 pm - Both teams out of the playoffs, but the Vikings - 2-3 over their last five, but the losses have been by a total of seven points - have been playing quality football, whereas the Bears have been stinking it up, losing their last four straight.

Prediction: Vikings 31 Bears 14


Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-10 1/2, 47 1/2) 1:00 pm - Now that the Bills have been eliminated from playoff contention, the Patriots have sewn up a wild card week bye and home field for the duration of their playoff run.

Buffalo really lost momentum with their 26-24 loss at Oakland on Sunday and may not be as motivated to play this game as they usually might, but the3 Pats also have nothing to gain, so take the points and hope the Bills beat up on the patriot subs.

Prediction: Patriots 23 Bills 21


Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants (-2, 52) 1:00 pm - Both teams have been eliminated from the playoffs, so this is a game that will be determined by players wishing to make an impact for next season or one or both teams allowing bench-warmers to get extensive playing time.

The big item here is, of course, how much PT Eli Manning and rookie Odell Beckham get, which should be much. The presence of those two players alone could be the determinant.

Prediction: Giants 31 Eagles 14


New Orleans Saints (-3 1/2, 46 1/2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 pm - It's a wonder that people still think the Saints are a good football team. They're not, and shouldn't be favored here. New Orleans has already been eliminated from playoff contention, and, while the Buccaneers were eliminated from the post-season around week 10, they're still a live team with home field advantage.

There's simply no good reason to even watch this game, but the Buccaneers should get the victory, even if by default.

Prediction: Buccaneers 20 Saints 17

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2014, 2015, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.

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