NFL picks Week 17: Packers-Lions and every other game

Sep 25, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers celebrates a first half touchdown pass against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: William Glasheen/The Post-Crescent via USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers celebrates a first half touchdown pass against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: William Glasheen/The Post-Crescent via USA TODAY Sports /

Will the Green Bay Packers make good on Aaron Rodgers‘ “run the table” comments?

To do so, they must get past the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Detroit has lost its past two–at the Giants and Cowboys–but returns home for the season finale. The Packers have won five straight after Rodgers expressed belief his team could win out.

I went an unimpressive 7-9 in my NFL Week 16 picks. Here’s hoping for some better predictions as the regular season comes to a close.

Will there be any final twists and turns in the playoff race?

Green Bay (9-6) at Detroit (9-6)

Detroit certainly has the offense capable of giving Green Bay its fair share of problems, but its defensively the Lions should be concerned. Potentially without their top two cornerbacks, Aaron Rodgers will get to work, and he’s in MVP form.

The Packers have been essentially playing playoff football for the past five weeks. They know how to win when the season is on the line.

Given the way they’re playing, it’s very difficult to pick against the Pack.

Pick: Green Bay

Jacksonville (3-12) at Indianapolis (7-8)

A disappointing season for both teams. Both missed out on the playoffs, but the Colts have offered more than the lowly Jags.

Pick: Indianapolis

ANALYSIS: Packers stock up, stock down report entering Week 17

Carolina (6-9) at Tampa Bay (8-7)

Tampa Bay needs a miracle to reach the playoffs. Washington must tie for it to happen. I say they do their bit and send the defending NFC champions to defeat No. 10, a disappointing return for last year’s Super Bowl runners-up.

Pick: Tampa Bay

Chicago (3-12) at Minnesota (7-8)

Plummeting back down to earth are the Minnesota Vikings, losers in eight of their past 10 games. Chicago is better than the 3-12 record suggests, and I expect them to sweep Minnesota.

Pick: Chicago

Cleveland (1-13) at Pittsburgh (10-5)

Cleveland got its win, but they won’t back it up. The Steelers take some momentum into the playoffs.

Pick: Pittsburgh

MORE: Aaron Rodgers making charge for MVP

Buffalo (7-8) at NY Jets (4-11)

Todd Bowles needs this season to end, but will he return with a job next year? There will be no Rex Ryan or the sidelines against his former team, but the Bills have more talent and should win.

Pick: Buffalo

Dallas (13-2) at Philadelphia (6-9)

The only way Dallas loses this game is if they send out the reserves. Don’t be surprised to see Tony Romo get some snaps under his belt. Who knows if he’ll be called upon in the playoffs? Unfortunately for the Eagles, it’s still Tony Romo. The Cowboys complete an excellent season.

Pick: Dallas

Houston (9-6) at Tennessee (8-7)

Houston can’t afford to rest players despite having the division title wrapped up. They need to establish some rhythm and build momentum to avoid another one-and-done playoff season. No Marcus Mariota for Tennessee is a problem. The health of their quarterback is No. 1 after what’s been an encouraging year.

Pick: Houston

Baltimore (8-7) at Cincinnati (5-9-1)

Antonio Brown ended Baltimore’s playoff dreams on Christmas Day, but they finish the year with victory on the road at underachieving Cincinnati.

Pick: Baltimore

Kansas City (11-4) at San Diego (5-10)

Oakland faces an uphill battle to secure a first-round bye, allowing Kansas City to sweep in and steal a home game in the divisional round.

Pick: Kansas City

Oakland (12-3) at Denver (8-7)

You have to feel awful for Raiders fans. An excellent season is effectively over with Derek Carr on the shelf the rest of the way. A first-round bye could quickly become a wild-card berth, and we all know how that ends.

Pick: Denver

Seattle (9-5-1) at San Francisco (2-13)

Seattle needs a win to have any hope of securing a first-round bye. Fortunately, they get the Niners.

Pick: Seattle

Arizona (6-8-1) at Los Angeles (4-11)

Disappointing season in the books, the Cardinals see off the Rams in what has been an awful return to Los Angeles. Jeff Fishers‘ preseason prediction of not going 7-9 has come true. It’s a shame here’s not in the building to see his promise through to the end.

Pick: Arizona

New Orleans (7-8) at Atlanta (10-5)

Written off in preseason, the Falcons are marching towards a first-round playoff bye. They will be dangerous in January. Atlanta says farewell to the Georgia Dome with a victory over their dearest rivals. #Sweep

Pick: Atlanta

NY Giants (10-5) at Washington (8-6-1)

New York could rest starters as they are locked into the fifth seed. A Washington tie would seal a playoff berth ahead of either Green Bay or Detroit. If they tie, the Redskins would miss out.

If OBJ and his friends don’t suit, it’s Washington’s to win.

Pick: Washington

Next: Packer Perspective: Green Bay ready for postseason

Last week: 7-9

Season: 139-90 (.607)