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NFL Picks. Week 17, 2013.

Updated on December 24, 2013

Cleveland at Pittsburgh- Pittsburgh.

The Browns were a much better team than I thought they would be this year.
I'm very excited to see what the future holds for them, especially with a good, young defense, and two first round picks. If Hoyer hadn't gotten hurt, we could be looking a game where the Browns are looking to lock up the AFC North. Trust me, that sentence isn't any easier to write than it was to read.

But, they've got nothing to play for and nothing to lose. I believe that Ch... Hold on, let me google how to spell this...

Rob Chudzinski, Wow.

I believe that Chudzinski deserves at least another season in Cleveland. He made a bad team very competitive at points.

But the Steelers need this win to throw their name into the playoff lottery, and unless the Browns get fired up to play spoilers, I don't see them marching into Pittsburgh and winning.
It will be interesting to see if they target Gordon heavily to let him finish the season as the league's leading recieiver.

Washington at New York (Giants)- New York.

Well. A depressing and underwhelming season for two NFC icons is finally coming to an end.
Eli turned the ball over far too often, and the Redskins never really got their footing.
I think both teams are ready to go home and think about next year.
I could see both of these teams being competitive. The Giants are still a talented team, but there are clearly some issues behind closed doors that need to be resolved, and the Redskins need to figure out who they want to be on both sides of the ball.

I'm not sure that either team will really even show up.
There's the whole "divisional rivalry" thing, but I think if either team had the pride or emotion for that, we would've seen it months ago.

I'm picking the Giants because they've got a bit of momentum going, and Kirk Cousins is still a very young QB, playing against a talented pass rush. As long as Eli throws to Giants instead of Redskins, they should be able to sneak out with a win.

Baltimore at Cincinnati- Cincinnati.

Finally. A game we can sink our teeth into, a game with meaning!
The Bengals could hypothetically rise to the second seed and grab a first round bye if they won and somehow, the Bills managed to beat the Patriots.
I know, I know.
I don't see that happening either, but the Bengals might, and they don't want to fall to the fourth seed and be forced to play the Chiefs instead of Miami/San Diego/Baltimore (again).

The reality is that I really struggled with this pick. On paper, the Bengals are significantly more talented than the Ravens.
The only category in which the Ravens are superior is the QB... And even then, that Joe Flacco didn't show up at all last week versus the Patriots.

I would be tempted to pick the Ravens if they even kindof showed up last week. If they had any semblance of consistency on offense... But I can't put any stock into them. I'm sorry Ravens fans, tell the repeat that it's time to go to sleep.


Houston at Tennessee- Houston.

Who cares? God.
This game is pointless.
The Texans will pick first overall regardless.
The Texans defense will be too much for the Titans offense, but it won't matter, because the Texans offense is dead in the water. They don't have a running game or a Quarterback.
How are they supposed to move the ball?
Tennessee finishes another restlessly unfulfilling season and the Texans become one of the bigger disappointments in NFL history.

Jacksonville at Indianapolis- Indianapolis.

The Colts need to win this game to keep their name in the conversation for the third seed. They'd need the Ravens to win, but it won't matter if they don't have 11 wins.
The Jags are a team without talent, but with tons of heart. I believe the coaching staff deserves another chance, because they've been fighting so hard to win games that didn't matter.

I just think the Colts steamroll the Jaguars. They're coming off hot after a huge blowout win over the Chiefs, and they'll carry it into the playoffs.

New York (Jets) at Miami- Miami.

The Dolphins don't deserve to be in playoff contention. They really don't. Not after that hideous blowout loss to the lowly Buffalo Bills.
But alas. They are.
In fact, if they win and the Ravens lose, they get to go play the Bengals/Colts next week. Yay for them!

There are a handful of bad teams that I would pick to stomp Miami out in this game, but the Jets just aren't one of them. They don't have the talent, they're not playing for anything, and their QB is awful.

Somehow, they bounce back, and Ryan Tannehill leads the Dolphins to one last win in 2013.

Detroit at Minnesota- Detroit. .

A tale of two teams.
One, the Lions, a team stuffed full of talent like a thanksgiving turkey who can't seem to win versus the Vikings, a team with very little talent trying their hardest to win for the hell of it.
I wish this story ended in a fun way.
With Matt Cassell throwing bombs to Flash Patterson and handing off to Adrian Peterson as they stomp out the Lions and end the Jim Schwartz era once and for all.
But. Matt Cassell sucks. So...

I do think that Jim Schwartz gets fired. He deserves to be. The culture he's set up in Detroit has been awful, and he's abused so much talent.
How do you have offensive struggles with a decent runningback, and the best receiver in NFL history?
How do you struggle on defense when opposing offensive lines insist on focusing on one defensive lineman?

He should be fired on Black Monday. Without a doubt. Get rid of his whole coaching staff.
There will be dozens of coaching candidates foaming at the mouth to get a shot at working with Megatron.

Anyway, i think they avoid turnovers and stagnancy long enough for them to win by double digits.

Carolina at Atlanta- Carolina.

Matt Ryan knew there were playoff implications in that game versus the 49ers.
Of course he was going to choke.
They only call him Matty Ice because he melts in the playoffs.

They're not playing for anything, and whenever that's the case, you know the coach has lost his locker room.
Now, I'm sure that Mike Smith will keep his job, seeing as they are a consistent playoff contender, and all that, but seriously. It should be looked into.

Anyway. The Falcons are seriously beat up on offense, and the Panthers are looking to lock up that first round bye.

#TeamKuechly.

Tampa Bay at New Orleans- New Orleans.

Good news, Saints fans.
You're at home! Yes! Your QB will actually perform and nobody will notice how bad your team really is!
Just teasing.
Kindof.
But honestly, that's pretty much it.
The Saints are playing at home, so that means we'll get to see the precision offense that the media and fantasy owners are so obsessed with, and the poor Bucs offense won't be able to keep up.

Buffalo at New England- New England.

Gee.
If the Patriots win this game, they have a shot at the first seed and lock up the second seed.
I wonder if they'll be committed to winning.
I wonder.
And the Bills are such a worthy opponent.
These match-ups make my life extremely difficult.
Because they are so pointless.
Does anybody actually think the Bills are going to beat the Patriots in New England in December?
When was the last time that happened?
Only an overtime battle in 1999.
Yup. Doug Flutie managed to pull of a win versus John Friez.
By the way, I have no clue who John Friez is.
At all.

St. Louis at Seattle- Seattle.

Who knew that this would be such a big game.
If the Seahawks don't win, and the 49ers beat the Cardinals, they'll become the wildcard team, and lose that home field advantage that they hold so near and dear.
Thankfully, they'll be playing a Rams team that doesn't have talent on offense.
I mean, they're starting their back-up QB with an offensive line without their best lineman.
Youch.
But, that's not where the Seahawks have struggled.
Last week, they were unable to beat the Cardinals despite four Carson Palmer interceptions because the offense was held in check. Arizona took the run game away and the depleted Seattle passing offense was unable to adjust.
The last time that these two teams played, it came right down to the wire as the Rams pass rushers spent all night chasing Russell Wilson.
However, I think the Hawks will use this as a tune-up game.
The last time these two teams met, Seattle was without 3 of 5 starting lineman. That might've hurt the pass protection a little bit. I think the Hawks can get the running game back on track and really lay into the defense with the play action that they love so much.

Green Bay at Chicago- Green Bay.

Even though it might be my nemesis, Matt Flynn starting for the Pack... I just can't choose Chicago. Their defense is so banged up, and even when they're healthy, they're not what they used to be, and offensively? This team turns the ball over far too often.
I'm not calling the Packers the best team in the NFL by any means, but I do think they have a strange commitment to finishing this season strong and seeing what can happen in the playoffs.
If Aaron Rodgers plays? I don't doubt that they win in the slightest.
If he doesn't? I still have to lean GB.
Though I don't see either of these teams winning a single game in the playoffs.

San Francisco at Arizona- Arizona.

I've had my doubts about the 49ers all year, and if any team in the NFC is going to prove that the 9ers are "have-nots", it'll have to be Arizona.
Arizona is very good at taking away the run game and forcing teams to pass.
That isn't always effective. Sometimes you do that, and the other team lights up your secondary.
Fortunately, the 49ers don't really have a whole lot of talent out wide.
Anquan Boldin?
C'mon son. It's not 2007.
And Michael Crabtree?
Yeaaaaaaaaaaaa-No.
I could see the Cards taking away the Kaepernick/Gore option offense.
As for the Arizona offense?
They beat the best team in the NFL despite 4 turnovers.
I think they'll be okay.

Denver at Oakland- Denver.

Sighhhh.
I was hoping that the Broncos would be resting their starters and that maybe, I don't know.
My Raiders would win again this season.
Buuuuut thanks to those persistent Patriots, the Broncos need to win to lock up homefield advantage.
What makes it worse?
Peyton gets to add to the newest version of the touchdown record versus my poor, poor secondary.
What makes it even worse?
Terrelle Pryor is starting at QB.
(http://ryandanielsmith.hubpages.com/hub/My-Problem-with-the-Raider-Nation <- My feelings on Mr. Pryor)

Yup. Well kids. At least we'll get to pick at number three next year.
Yet another draft bust to add to the list.
Meet Misters.... McFadden, Heyward-Bey, Russell, and McClain.

However, I think that Dennis Allen and the coordinators deserve another chance. They've been so strapped by the cap and limited by talent on their team, I'd love to see what he could do with good players on his team.

Kansas City at San Diego- San Diego.

I think the Chiefs are a better team and would win in a rematch of a great match, but they have nothing to lose or gain in this game, so they'll try to get that dynamic defense healthy, rest the legs of Jamaal Charles and get ready for Indy/Cincy/SomehowNewEngland.
And the Chargers fighting for their lives versus the Chiefs second stringers?
Okay.

Philadelphia at Dallas- Philadelphia.

The NFC East Championship.
It's this simple.
A. It's an elimination game, so expect Romo to choke.
B. The Cowboys defense.
C. The Eagles are fun to watch with Nick Foles at the helm. He's played very well this season and has earned the right to start for Philly next season.

I feel like the Cowboys are toast. Too many egos on that team and a coach who can't handle them.
He's the Norv Turner of the NFC.

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