Predictions for every Week 17 game around the NFL, including the Green Bay Packers’ meeting with the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field.
With Christmas over for another year, the attention turns to 2019. That’s already the case for the Green Bay Packers, who complete their season on Sunday against the Detroit Lions in one final game before a long, important offseason begins.
Both the Packers and Lions are already eliminated from playoff contention and are set in third and fourth place in the NFC North respectively.
Like last week, this game will give a number of young players an opportunity to show what they can do.
Will the Packers close out the season with a win?
Detroit (5-10) at Green Bay (6-8-1)
Yes they will. The Packers will finally win consecutive games for the first time all year. Quite hard to believe.
This game is at Lambeau Field, which already gives the Packers the edge.
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine also shouldn’t be too worried about a matchup with a Lions offense that is ranked 24th in the NFL, averaging just 19.5 points per game. They haven’t scored 20 points in a game since Week 11.
For all of Green Bay’s struggles this season, it has been strong at home (loss to Arizona not included). The Packers are 5-1-1 at home, the Lions 2-5 away from Ford Field.
Seven of the Lions’ past nine games have been played indoors. They now have to travel to a frozen Lambeau Field with nothing to play for.
The Packers will want to finish the season strong, and I think they will.
Pick: Green Bay
Miami (7-8) at Buffalo (5-10)
With both teams eliminated from playoff contention, I’m picking the Bills to win a close divisional game at home.
Atlanta (6-9) at Tampa Bay (5-10)
It’s been a disappointing season for both teams, particularly the Falcons, who entered the year expected to be serious challengers in the NFC. That hasn’t been the case, but they’ll finish the season with a win.
Dallas (9-6) at NY Giants (5-10)
The Cowboys enter Week 17 in a good position. They already have the fourth seed secured and can’t move up in the NFC standings. It’s possible they rest starters in this game, leading to an upset win for the Giants at home.
Pick: NY Giants
Carolina (6-9) at New Orleans (13-2)
Seven weeks ago many believed this Week 17 showdown could be for the NFC South title. The Panthers haven’t won a game since then. New Orleans enters a week off with another win.
Pick: New Orleans
NY Jets (4-11) at New England (10-5)
The Patriots are currently the AFC’s second seed, but they need a win to ensure that remains the case. I expect a comfortable home victory for New England.
Pick: New England
Jacksonville (5-10) at Houston (10-5)
The Texans need some help from the Jets to get a first-round bye in the playoffs, but they’ll do their part with a victory.
Philadelphia (8-7) at Washington (7-8)
For the Eagles to have a chance to retain their Super Bowl title, they’ll need to win at Washington and hope Chicago defeats Minnesota. In a must-win game, the defending champions get the victory.
LA Chargers (11-4) at Denver (6-9)
A win for the Chargers could secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, but a loss will only be good enough for a wild-card berth. Despite the importance of a win, this feels like a slip-up game. If the Chiefs build an early lead against the Raiders, the Chargers will know and that could impact how this game goes.
Oakland (4-11) at Kansas City (11-4)
And that’s exactly what I expect will happen. The Chiefs make a fast start, build a big lead and earn a week off and home-field advantage.
Pick: Kansas City
Chicago (11-4) at Minnesota (8-6-1)
The Bears still have the chance to secure a first-round playoff bye, so they’ll be keeping a close eye on the Rams game. But if the Rams have the game won by halftime, will Matt Nagy pull a few starters from the game and focus on next week?
Cleveland (7-7-1) at Baltimore (9-6)
It’s simple for the Ravens; win and they’re in. The Browns are much-improved, but they have nothing to play for and are on the road. Baltimore’s victory also all but guarantees Pittsburgh can’t make the playoffs.
San Francisco (4-11) at LA Rams (12-3)
The Rams have to win to avoid missing out on a first-round bye. Even if Todd Gurley doesn’t play, they should get the job done at home.
Pick: LA Rams
Cincinnati (6-9) at Pittsburgh (8-6-1)
The Steelers need some help from the Browns to make the playoffs. But first they must do their part.
Arizona (3-12) at Seattle (9-6)
The Seahawks already have a playoff position secured but they’ll get win number 10 this week, setting up a trip to Dallas in the wild-card round.
Indianapolis (9-6) at Tennessee (9-6)
The playoffs have arrived a week early for these two teams. The winner goes to the playoffs, the loser goes home. Interestingly, a tie could cost both of them playoffs. The Colts and Titans would move to 9-6-1. If the Ravens and Steelers both win, Pittsburgh would take the sixth seed at 9-6-1 ahead of both Indianapolis and Tennessee.
But I don’t think it’ll come to that as the Colts will win on the road.
Last week: 11-5