2009 NFL Football Week Seventeen Preview and Picks

 2009 NFL Football Week Seventeen Preview and Picks
2009 NFL Football Week Seventeen Preview and Picks

Who Will Win Each Game, and More Importantly, Who Will Cover the Spread

They saw me coming a little bit last week. Unfortunately, a couple of my upset picks (Washington) didn't come through and a couple underdogs I didn't have enough faith in to pick (Chicago) did.

To make matters worse, Indianapolis decided they already had enough wins this year and that the Jets deserved a late Christmas present.

Then something happened in New Orleans and the Saints gave me some serious doubts about my preseason prediction for them to win the Super Bowl for the first time by losing to the Buccaneers.

So, for the week I ended up 9-7 straight up and 5-11 (!) against the spread. Which makes my season record, 147-90 straight up and 118-118-3 against the spread.

I'm hoping for a big final week to make sure I end up with a positive record against the spread going into the playoffs.

The Last Time Philly and Dallas played in Week 17

It can get ugly between the Eagles and Cowboys
It can get ugly between the Eagles and Cowboys

NFC Matchups with Playoff Relevance

Which NFC team do you think is most likely to come up big at the right time?

See results without voting

NFC Playoff Scenarios

In the NFC, the only things left to be settled are the seedings, which will be decided by the outcome of three games.

The most simple of those scenarios involves what could possibly be the two best teams in the NFC going into the playoffs, the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. The winner is the NFC East champion, the loser ends up the No. 6 seed.

Additionally the Eagles will be the No. 2 seed if they win, while the Cowboys could end up anywhere from the No. 2 to No. 4 spot if they win, depending on whether the Vikings and Cardinals win their respective games. A Dallas win more than likely means a rematch in the first round of the playoffs


I could see either team winning, but having said that, I think the Eagles will get the victory here. When Dallas beat them earlier in the Eagles offense and they were still adjusting to being without Brian Westbrook and had one of their worst games.

Westbrook is back for this game, but more importantly they have had time to adjust to playing without him and his presence is more of a bonus than a requirement at this point. During their current six game win streak, Philadelphia is averaging 31 points a game.

There are a couple things that give me reason to worry about the Eagles right now, though.

The first is their defense's habit of going for the big play rather than making sure they make the tackle. It has resulted in a quite a few turnovers during the season, but it has also turned many routine plays into big plays for the other team's offense.

The other problem that might create trouble for the Eagles is the injury to starting center Jamaal Jackson, who is out for the season. Since the Cowboys had four sacks in the first game this could be a big loss.

The next crucial game in the NFC takes place between the Arizona Cardinals and the Green Bay Packers.

If the Cardinals win the game, they could end up as the No. 2 seed (if the Vikings and Eagles both lose) or the No. 3 seed (if the Eagles win and Vikings lose). For the Packers, winning could either set up a rematch between the Cards and Pack in the first round of the playoffs or even a third game against the Vikings, if the Eagles and Giants also win.

Obviously, another rematch against Brett Favre's new team would be huge, but in order for that to happen the New York Giants would have to upset the Minnesota Vikings. That's hardly out of the realm of possibility the way the Vikings have played the past month. In fact, if the Giants weren't such a mess right now, I would pick them to beat the Vikings.

While I wouldn't be at all surprised if New York did pull out the win, but you just never know which Giants team is going to show up anymore. Last week, they couldn't even compete against the Carolina Panthers when they had to win to keep their playoff hopes alive. I just don't have much reason to believe things are going to be any different against the Vikings.

The Colts decision to sit starters in the third quarter turned AFC playoff picture upside down.
The Colts decision to sit starters in the third quarter turned AFC playoff picture upside down.

AFC Playoff Contenders

Which of the AFC teams that are still in position to make the playffs do you think is most likely to get in?

See results without voting

AFC Playoff Scenarios

In the AFC, everything is pretty wide open except for Indianapolis and San Diego which have already clinched the first and second spots, respectively.

Similarly, the New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals are already slotted as the third and fourth seeds, although it hasn't quite been settled which team will get the higher seeding.

The Patriots can lock up that No. 3 seed with a victory against the Texans. Although there has been some speculation that New England won't play their starters. However, I think they will go all out to beat Houston, who will end up with yet another 8-8 season.

The final two spots are where things get complicated. There are seven different teams with a record of either 8-7 or 7-8. In reality though, the Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars (the 7-8 teams) don't have any thing other than a technical chance.

Out of the remaining five teams, the Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets can get into the playoffs just by winning their final games. While it isn't inconceivable that the Oakland Raiders could upset the Ravens I expect them to come through with a win and get the sixth seed.

As I mentioned early, I think the Patriots will eliminate the Texans. If so, that means that the Bengals will have no incentive to play hard by the time they square off against the Jets in the Sunday Night game.

Which would mean that the game will turn into a glorified exhibition game. Like last week against Indy, the Jets will get a gift wrapped victory and in the process the final wild card spot.

Should the Ravens and Jets not get in, the Broncos or Steelers will have a chance to sneak into the playoffs.

Most because they are lucky enough to be playing the Kansas City Chiefs, Denver has an advantage over Pittsburgh, who has to play Miami. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if one or both of them end up losing.

My Picks for the 2009 Week Seventeen NFL Games

Sun, Jan 3
10:00 AM (PST)
11:00 AM (MST)
12:00 PM (CST)
1:00 PM (EST)
Favorite
Underdog
Point Spread
Straight Up
Against the Spread
@Buffalo
Indianapolis
8.0
Buffalo
Indianapolis
@Cleveland
Jacksonville
1.5
Cleveland
Cleveland
Chicago
@Detroit
3.0
Chicago
Chicago
San Francisco
@St. Louis
7.0
San Francisco
St. Louis
Pittsburgh
@Miami
3.0
Miami
Miami
@Minnesota
New York Giants
9.0
New York Giants
New York Giants
Atlanta
@Tampa Bay
2.5
Atlanta
Atlanta
@Carolina
New Orleans
7.5
New Orleans
Carolina
@Houston
New England
8.0
New England
New England
Sun, Jan 3
1:00 PM (PST)
2:00 PM (MST)
3:00 PM (CST)
4:00 PM (EST)
@Dallas
Philadelphia
3.0
Philadelphia
Philadelphia
@Denver
Kansas City
13.0
Denver
Kansas City
Baltimore
Oakland
10.5
Baltimore
Baltimore
@Arizona
Green Bay
3.5
Arizona
Green Bay
@San Diego
Washington
4.0
San Diego
San Diego
Tennessee
@Seattle
4.0
Tennessee
Tennessee
Sun, Jan 3
5:20 PM (PST)
6:20 PM (MST)
7:20 PM (CST)
8:20 PM (EST)
@New York Jets
Cincinnati
10.0
New York Jets
Cincinnati

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4 comments

richbrown80 profile image

richbrown80 6 years ago

I VOTED FOR THE JETS, BUT I BET THEY WILL SCREW THAT UP


EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

I wouldn't be at all surprised if that happened. I don't have a ton of confidence in the Ravens either.


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY

Well I picked the Cowboys though I didnt think it would be a shutout! Kinda figured the Giants that have been showing up all season would be back today and unfortunately they didnt prove my feeling wrong ;( Lots and Lots of injuries . . and alot of surprising endings. . .who would have thought the Pats would go down with Brady at the helm . .but hey its the NFL and one thing is always for sure .. expect the unexpected!


EYEAM4ANARCHY profile image

EYEAM4ANARCHY 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV. Author

Welker getting injured cost the Pats, probably for the season. When they had the problems with their offense early in the year, it was mostly because he was out then. Moss makes all the fancy plays, but Welker drives that offense.

I was hoping the Giants would show a little pride just so the Vikings would lose, but I wasn't at all surprised by what happened. I expect Sheridan to be cleaning out his desk by Wednesday.

The Eagles had more than a few chances, which is about the only positive you can take out of that game. They played so badly that things could only go better next time.

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