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

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 28: Jamaal Williams
GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 28: Jamaal Williams /

The Green Bay Packers will lose the final game of a disappointing season. Picks for every Week 17 game around the NFL.

For some teams, this is the final opportunity to grab a playoff berth. For others it’s an opportunity to improve seeding, or even take a week off.

For the Packers, it’s a game they don’t really want to play. The offseason can’t come quicker. How will their season end?

Here’s my picks for Week 17.

Green Bay (7-8) at Detroit (8-7)

This one could get ugly for the Packers. Mike McCarthy’s team, led by Brett Hundley, could be without Davante Adams, Jordy Nelson and Aaron Jones. We know Jason Spriggs is done for the year, and Jahri Evans is also on the injury report.

But look at the positives. That high draft pick is going to be a lot of fun. Let the speculation begin.

Pick: Detroit

Washington (7-8) at NY Giants (2-13)

Here’s two teams just wanting to the offseason to arrive. A year after making the wild-card round, this has been a major disappointment for the Giants. And now there’s even more behind-the-scenes problems with the Eli Apple suspension. I expect Kirk Cousins to pick apart a Giants defense ranked dead last, and No. 31 against the pass.

Pick: Washington

NY Jets (5-10) at New England (12-3)

One more win will seal the top seed for the Patriots. Expect little resistance from the Jets. The AFC will run through Gillette Stadium yet again.

Pick: New England

Chicago (5-10) at Minnesota (12-3)

Win here and Minnesota can look forward to a week off. The Bears’ defense has been solid this year, but I expect their offense (No. 31 through the air) to produce Brett Hundley-like results against this Vikings defense (No. 2 against both the pass and run).

Pick: Minnesota

Houston (4-11) at Indianapolis (3-12)

This game will feature little defense, some poor play on both sides and at least one DeAndre Hopkins incredible catch. I’m taking the Texans.

Pick: Houston

Cleveland (0-15) at Pittsburgh (12-3)

This is it for Cleveland. Here is its final opportunity to avoid a winless season. Here’s the trouble: Pittsburgh awaits. As much as I’d love to see the Browns grab a victory, it’s not happening against a Steelers team still fighting for the No. 1 seed.

Pick: Pittsburgh

Dallas (8-7) at Philadelphia (13-2)

The Eagles are in an awkward position here. One one hand they will want to rest their starters with a first-round bye secured. But Nick Foles needs as many reps as he can get with just a pair of starts to his name. Regardless of how many Eagles starters play, I’m picking the Cowboys to win on the road.

Pick: Dallas

San Francisco (5-10) at LA Rams (11-4)

There will be no Jared Goff or Todd Gurley in this one, but we will see Jimmy Garoppolo. Against a weaker Rams team, Garoppolo’s excellent run continues.

Pick: San Francisco 

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Oakland (6-9) at LA Chargers (8-7)

The Chargers need to win and get a little help around the league. Against an Oakland defense allowing 232 yards through the air per game (tied for No. 21 in the league), expect Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen to have big games and help their team do all they can to grab a wild-card berth.

Pick: LA Chargers

Kansas City (9-6) at Denver (5-10)

We’ll see Patrick Mahomes in for the first time this week. The Chiefs have a playoff spot secured no matter what happens in this game. Denver’s defense could present some issues for Mahomes in his first start, which is why I’m picking the Broncos to win.

Pick: Denver

Jacksonville (10-5) at Tennessee (8-7)

Tennessee will likely have to win to make the playoffs. A loss would open the door for Buffalo and the LA Chargers. The good news is that Jacksonville has a playoff spot already secured and might take its foot of the gas. The bad news is that it’s the Jacksonville Jaguars, whose defense will give Tennessee a number of problems.

Pick: Jacksonville

New Orleans (11-4) at Tampa Bay (4-11)

A Saints win will secure the NFC South title. I have absolutely no doubt they will ride Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram past a defense allowing the eighth-most rushing yards per game in the NFL.

Pick: New Orleans

Buffalo (8-7) at Miami (6-9)

Like the Chargers, the Bills will get the job done on Sunday to keep their playoff dreams alive. They will play with a greater sense of urgency than the Dolphins, and LeSean McCoy will have a big role to play.

Pick: Buffalo

Arizona (7-8) at Seattle (9-6)

Seattle needs Atlanta to lose, but it will take care of its own business at home to Arizona. Will it be enough?

Pick: Seattle

Carolina (11-4) at Atlanta (9-6)

The answer is no. I’m picking the Falcons to win the race to the final playoff spot with victory at home. This should be a fascinating game. The Panthers are still in the hunt for the division title, but will need some help from the Bucs. If Atlanta loses, its playoff dreams will depend on the Seattle-Arizona game.

As it’s in Atlanta, I’m giving the Falcons the edge.

Pick: Atlanta

Cincinnati (6-9) at Baltimore (9-6)

Cincinnati played spoiler for Detroit last week, ending the Lions’ playoff hopes. The same won’t be true this week. Baltimore’s defense will dominate and send the Ravens to the postseason.

Pick: Baltimore

Next: Top 30 moments in Green Bay Packers history

Last week: 13-3

Season: 158-82