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NFL Pro Football 2015 Week 17 Picks

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Fearless Rick's NFL Week 17 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | January 3, 2016

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Sunday, January 3

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (-4, 52) 1:00 pm - Nothing much happening here. Both teams headed home - not to the playoffs - at the conclusion of what amounts to an exhibition game.

Whatever happened to the Falcons midseason seems to have been resolved. After starting 5-0, they lost seven of their last eight, but have rebounded with two straight wins, the biggest being the 20-13 win over Carolina.

Earlier in the season, they lost to the Saints, 31-21, so, it's only fitting that they end the season with some pride, a 9-7 record and a win over a division foe which just happens to have the worst scoring defense in the league (30.2 ppg.).

Prediction: Falcons 30 Saints 24

New York Jets (-2 1/2, 43) at Buffalo Bills 1:00 pm - A very meaningful game for the Jets, as a win puts them into the playoffs, regardless of what Pittsburgh does. A Jets loss and a Pittsburgh win puts the Steelers in the playoffs and the Jets go home.

Buffalo has a chance to finish the season 8-8, and they won the previous meeting in New York, 22-17, but the Jets have proven to be resolute on defense and are riding a five-game winning streak.

Jets should have their playoff spot wrapped up midway through the 4th quarter.

Prediction: Jets 27 Bills 17

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (even, 45) 1:00 pm - This is a battle to stay out of last place, as both teams sport 6-9 records and are coming off wins last week.

Winning the first game in Detroit, 37-34, guarantees the Lions will be hard-pressed on the road. Give this one to the Bears in a lost season for both squads.

Prediction: Bears 33 Lions 27

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (-9, 42 1/2) 1:00 pm - The Ravens got some degree of revenge in a poor season by beating Pittsburgh last week, 20-17, and could turn the tables on the Bengals who have already clinched the division but still have a shot at getting a bye for the first weekend of the playoffs.

Cinco is without their regular QB, Andy Dalton. AJ Mccarran has filled in well enough, but they're not the same team as earlier in the season.The Bengals may win this one, but they don't seem too far removed from the Ravens, who they beat, 28-24, back in September.

Prediction: Bengals 23 Ravens 20

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Pittsburgh Steelers (-11, 47 1/2) at Cleveland Browns 1:00 pm - Pittsburgh needs a win and a loss by the Jets to reach the playoffs. Since both teams are playing at the same time, the Steelers will have to try not to get into scoreboard watching and just play their game.

Pittsburgh pretty much owns the Browns. They beat them, 30-9, in week 10 and should pretty much do the same thing to them even on the road.

Prediction: Steelers 31 Browns 16

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (-3 1/2, 39 1/2) 1:00 pm - Surprised to see the Cowboys favored here, even though they're at home? Don't be.

For the Redskins, this game is meaningless, which translates into Washington has already captured the NFC East division title and cannot improve its position for a first-round bye (they won't get one). The only thing assured is that the 'Skins will host a wild card game next week.

Oddly enough, Washington's subs may actually be better than the Cowboy starters. soŠ

Prediction: Redskins 20 Cowboys 17

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Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-7, 45 1/2) 1:00 pm - Houston has won six of their last eight and whipped the Jags back in October, 31-20.

With the AFC South on the line (Houston wins, they're in), expect the Texans to whoop and holler early and late. Jacksonville has a credible offense, but little in the way of defense (ranked 31st, 37.9 ppg.).

Prediction: Texans 34 Jaguars 21

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-4 1/2, 39) 1:00 pm - The colts should win this with relative ease. It won't be good enough, though, because the Texans will also win and take the division.

Prediction: Colts 24 Titans 9

New England Patriots (-11 1/2, 47) at Miami Dolphins 1:00 pm - New England has already wrapped up a the AFC East and a first-round bye. All they can gain from this game is home field throughout the playoffs.

Discount last week's loss to the Jets, as New England has been depleted by injuries and the Jets played excellent defense. Miami lost to the Colts last week, 18-12, and are home again, but the Pats whipped them 36-7 last time these two met.

Brady and his teammates would love to have all their games at home and a win here ensures that.

Prediction: Patriots 30 Dolphins 13

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants (-3, 52) 1:00 pm - Well, Philadelphia coach, Chip Kelly, got the old heave-ho on Tuesday night, leaving the team in the hands of offensive coordinator, Pat Shurmur. It's probably a relief for the players and they could respond by playing a little better than they have been (they're 6-9).

The Giants are also 6-9, coming home after a 49-17 stomping by the Vikings in Minnesota last Sunday night. As bad as the Eagles are, the Giants are arguably worse, and it might not surprise many if Tom Coughlin is let go after this game, win or lose. The Eagles won the first meeting, in Philly, 27-7, and, while this one may be closer, the result will be the same.

Prediction: Eagles 34 Giants 26

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2015, 2016, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.



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