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Week 17 NFL Forecasts!

HERE ARE MY NFL SELECTIONS: 8-5 LW 128-67 66% TY

WASHINGTON AT PHILADELPHIA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
WASHINGTON 90
133
13
2.6
#25
PHILADELPHIA 158
233
29
1.4
#28
PHI won the 1st meeting 20-13 with a 422-287 yd edge holding WAS to just 5 FD’s and 75 yds in the 1H. Grossman was benched after a brutal 3Q’s with 143 yds (39%) and 4 int’s as the OL was in shambles. Starting with that first PHI game WAS dropped 6 straight avg just 56 ypg rushing and 13 ppg. Since then WAS has beaten SEA and the NYG on the road and while they did lose all 3 home games to the NYJ, NE and MIN they outgained and outFD’d all 3. The Eagles are trying to reach the .500 mark finishing the season with a 4th straight win and they done so in dominating fashion while outgaining those foes by an avg of 348-202. With both teams playing their best ball down the stretch I’ll call for the Eagles to get the win with some positive momentum going into the offseason.

PHIL’S FORECAST: PHILADELPHIA 31 WASHINGTON 27

TAMPA BAY AT ATLANTA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
TAMPA BAY 71
170
9
3.1
#16
ATLANTA 163
201
34
0.5
#18
The Bucs beat the Falcons 16-13 back in Wk 3. TB wore ATL down on a hot (89 degrees) and humid (94%) day using their run game (36 att’s 3.2) to batter the Falcons defense and control the clock (+11:44). The Falcons are off the final MNF game of the year vs NO where they were destroyed in a playoff type atmosphere with Saints QB Brees setting the passing yardage mark. ATL is clearly the more talented team, playing off a loss at home wanting positive momentum into the playoffs. TB has dropped 9 straight. ATL will be playing next week and this is the type of game that a HC will be happy with a positive 1H and his players staying healthy. However, the Falcons have also only beaten 2 teams by over 14 points (IND and JAX) which will make this game closer than what many expect.

PHIL’S FORECAST: ATLANTA 27 TAMPA BAY 17

 

SAN FRANCISCO AT ST LOUIS

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
SAN FRANCISCO 164
158
24
0.5
#1
ST LOUIS 97
190
5
1.4
#30
SF slammed STL 26-0 just 4 wks ago. The 49ers owned a 389-157 yd edge and controlled the game with a 144-31 edge on the ground. It could have been much worse as they settled for 4 FG’s on 3 drives inside the STL red zone and only 1 of STL 12 drives lasted longer than 5 plays. SF know’s that their potential SB run will have to go through Lambeau and Harbaugh will demand a positive road performance after losing to BAL and ARZ and beating SEA by only 2 pts in their L/3 away from home. STL’s offensive woes have gone to a new level having gotten shutout for a 2nd time in 4 games while avg only 10 ppg the L/8. SF is the NFL’s #1 rush D allowing 3.4 ypc and will be hungry after allowing their first 100 yd rusher this season. By stopping Jackson and the run game Clemens will have another tough week after going 9-24-91 and throwing for 91 yds (38%) against a similar defense in PIT LW.

PHIL’S FORECAST: SAN FRANCISCO 26 ST LOUIS 9

CHICAGO AT MINNESOTA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
CHICAGO 116
158
23
1.9
#3
MINNESOTA 138
210
26
2.1
#19
The Bears have won 4 straight by a 36-17 avg score including a 39-10 win earlier TY. Both are limping to the finish with CHI having dropped 5 straight and an offense that has avg’d just 216 ypg the L/3 prior to GB. With the Hanie experiment a complete failure they turned to McCown who was teaching a few weeks ago and he was impressive vs GB’s #31D making his first start since 2007 (21pts, 19-28-242). MIN lost RB Peterson (ACL) and QB Ponder (concussion) on B2B plays LW against the Redskins but behind Webb the Vikings scored 3 straight TD drives (75/3, 73/6 and 72/6pl). With these teams playing for pride, the Vikings with either QB have the edge as Webb made the final 2 starts LY and was an impressive 37-58 (64%) incl getting a win against a playoff bound Eagles squad. Players can surprise when there’s not recent film on them but now the Vikings will be prepared for this “new” QB.

PHIL’S FORECAST: MINNESOTA 20 CHICAGO 17

DETROIT AT GREEN BAY

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
DETROIT 100
365
26
1.7
#27
GREEN BAY 114
315
34
1.3
#12
“There’s going to come a time when we don’t celebrate going to the playoffs or getting into the playoffs, but that’s not going to be tonight,” said DET HC Jim Schwartz. The Lions dominating performance put them in the playoffs for the first time since 1999. That may sound similar to what the 49ers (cliched playoffs 1st time S/’02) said several weeks ago and then they went into Arizona losing getting outgained 325-233. GB however has the #1 seed wrapped up and the early indication is that starting skill players will rest. The difference is GB has a bye and no momentum would be gained while the Lions will want to stay in playoff mode. Check out the surprising year to date rankings as GB is #5 and #31 (off and def) while DET is #7 and #20. The Lions held GB to their 2nd lowest yd output in their earlier meeting (349 yds) so they certainly wont be intimidated by this offense especially if Flynn is under center. Teams that have 13 or more wins in the season finale usually have everything wrapped up so I’ll take the Lions here.

PHIL’S FORECAST: DETROIT 27 GREEN BAY 21

CAROLINA AT NEW ORLEANS

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
CAROLINA 138
233
26
0.6
#32
NEW ORLEANS 147
390
38
1.3
#9
NO earlier TY needing a 89/13pl drive with a 6yd TD pass with :50 left for the win. LW they knocked off ATL on MNF and they are still alive for a 1st round bye and can finish off a perfect 8-0 season at home. Saints HC Payton has always allowed Brees to play for records and LW it was quite a scene to see Brees set the mark. On the flipside you have to admire the Panthers led by Newton who has gotten stronger down the stretch leading his team to 4 wins the L/5 gms throwing for 60% comp and an 8-2 ratio. CAR has the #6 and #15 units (+6 TO’s) the L4W. That has been vs TB twice with a beat up Freeman with a young and worn out defense, were beaten by ATL and upset HOU without DC Phillips who just earned their 1st playoff berth in franchise history. NO has the #1 and #23 units (+2 TO’s) prior to MNF outgaining their foes by 129 ypg which is tops in the NFL. NO’s short week is countered by the fact they don’t have to travel and CAR is off a misleading final (+4 TO’s). I’ll call for the Saints by 10.

PHIL’S FORECAST: NEW ORLEANS 30 CAROLINA 20

TENNESSEE AT HOUSTON

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
TENNESSEE 68
220
14
1.8
#4
HOUSTON 175
213
19
1.0
#13
The Texans are off a 19-16 loss to IND on Thursday and they’ll certainly benefit from the extra time as Kubiak gave them 3 days off afterwards. HOU also dropped B2B games earlier TY and also faced this same Titans squad mauling them 41-7 with a 518-148 yd edge. Now HOU has to refocus with a positive performance going into their first ever playoff appearance and will have a healthier #1 rec TE Daniels (1 rec LW). The Texans may also get WR Johnson back and they are 4-1 when he starts with the only loss to NO which they outgained 473-454. TEN’s offense “exploded” LW topping 400 yds for only the 2nd time this season as they faced a JAX secondary without 2 starters getting 207 yds (51%) on 6 passes with many broken coverages. HOU also should have DC Phillips here to give a defense that hasn’t looked that good the L2W a sorely needed confidence boost. Both teams stats over the L4W cancel each other out (TEN #9 and #18 -2 TO’s vs HOU #16 and #9 -4 TO’s) and while the Texans are locked into the #3 seed they aren’t going to want to go into the postseason with a 3 game losing streak in the mirror.

PHIL’S FORECAST: HOUSTON 23 TENNESSEE 20

BALTIMORE AT CINCINNATI

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
BALTIMORE 111
203
20
2.0
#17
CINCINNATI 109
203
21
1.9
#14
The Ravens have 2 won straight including 31-24 earlier TY. In that earlier meeting, BAL allowed a season-high 490 yds and held CIN on a 4th and goal from their 7 after blowing a 31-14 lead. LW these two had almost identical games with BAL leading CLE 17-0 at HT while CIN led ARZ 20-0. Both also allowed their opp’s within a score as the Ravens were outscored 14-3 and the Bengals 16-3 in the 2H. BAL needs a win to secure a 1st RD bye while CIN needs a win to get into the postseason. BAL is only +14 ypg (-6 TO’s) on the road vs +85 ypg (+4 TO’s) at home. Flacco has been rather avg on the road TY avg 237 ypg (56%) with a 9-6 ratio with 3 of those TD’s being vs STL back in Wk 3. CIN’s #6 rush defense is only allowing 97 ypg (3.7) and they get a break with WR Boldin (MCL sprain) sitting out as BAL’s WR/TE’s are avg at best (4 rec’s 13.0 LW vs CLE) and not known for their speed. I’ll call for CIN in an upset in a lower scoring game as BAL’s inconsistency catches up to them.

PHIL’S FORECAST: CINCINNATI 17 BALTIMORE 14

 

PITTSBURGH AT CLEVELAND

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
PITTSBURGH 149
205
16
0.6
#15
CLEVELAND 113
147
10
3.0
#26
Roethlisberger will play about 25-30 snaps here while CLE is expected to close the season with Wallace (187 ypg 58% 2-1 L2W) here and they are expected to also feature a lot of younger players here to get film on them for the offseason. PIT dominated the 2H with a 255-104 yd edge as CLE couldn’t stop a QB with 1 bad leg. PIT held a similarly talented Rams team to just 8 FD and 107 yds in the 2H as they pitched a shutout. They have a 390-247 yd edge TY vs foes with a losing record with 21-9 avg score. The difference here is that the defense is stinging from their effort in the 1st matchup as well as the susp LB Harrison. CLE has been held to under 300 yds in 9 games TY (262 ypg). They also have the #28 and #23 units (+1 TO’s) the L4W vs PIT’s #10 and #2 units (-4 TO’s). There will likely be a very strong contingent of Steelers fans here to cheer on their team and I’ll call for the defense to head up a 2 TD victory here.

PHIL’S FORECAST: PITTSBURGH 24 CLEVELAND 10

INDIANAPOLIS AT JACKSONVILLE

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
INDIANAPOLIS 109
185
22
2.1
#31
JACKSONVILLE 133
195
21
2.8
#29
Jags won 17-3 in the 1st meeting TY. IND was heading into its bye while JAX was coming off theirs. Both offenses looked like they were on byes as 17 of the 24 combined drives ended with a punt, TO or were SOD. Jones-Drew had 24.6% of the total yards by both teams combined and Gabbert could only muster 118 yds passing (67%) with a 1-1 ratio. IND has won their L2 games behind Orlovsky. In his 4 starts the Colts have been outgained by 46 ypg (+1 TO) with a 21-20 ppg deficit. Prior to him, IND was outgained by 109 ypg (-11 TO’s) while being outscored 30-14. The Jaguars have an NFL high 29 players on IR having been badly mauled in the secondary, at WR and on the DL. Since the 1st IND game the Jags have given up 233 ypg (66%) with a 9-6 ratio but 3 int came vs Freeman (bruised shoulder) who shouldn’t have been playing. Gabbert has only passed for 685 more yards than what Jones-Drew has rushed for so far and his 5.4 ypa is horrid esp since Jones-Drew has a 4.5 ypc. A victory here is a big blow for the Colts future but their 2 wins have been at home and I’ll call for the Jags by a FG thanks to Jones-Drew.

PHIL’S FORECAST: JACKSONVILLE 20 INDIANAPOLIS 17

NY JETS AT MIAMI

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
NY JETS 88
170
17
1.3
#5
MIAMI 135
140
25
1.7
#2
The Jets won the first meeting 24-6 on MNF. MIA had their chances as they forced the Jets to go 3 and out on their 1st 4 drives (14 yds total). The Dolphins were inside the Jets15 3 times in their 1st 5 drives but settled for 2 FG’s and Revis returned an int 100 yds for a TD. The Jets had a 282-115 yd edge over their final 8 drives with 17 unanswered pts. The Jets are off a hugely embarrassing loss as Sanchez had 3 TO’s (2 int, 1 fmbl) though OC Schottenheimer didn’t do him any favors by having him air it out a whopping 59 times. Sanchez has struggled to process his reads and the lack of a power run game (#22 3.8 ypc) has helped kill a pretty impressive effort by the #7 defense which has a 14-17 ratio TY (3 TD in 2nd NE and 2nd BUF each). Injury was added to insult for MIA as they were dismantled in the 2H LW being outFD’d 21-8 and outgained 293-126 also losing All-Pro LT Long (torn biceps) for a good chunk of the offseason. MIA has dealt with poor management by the front office TY now have to deal with an angry Jets defense wondering what happened to their season.

PHIL’S FORECAST: NY JETS 27 MIAMI 20

BUFFALO AT NEW ENGLAND

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
BUFFALO 103
268
23
2.2
#21
NEW ENGLAND 146
300
39
1.2
#11
The Bills snapped a 15 game losing streak to NE with a 34-31 win earlier TY. BUF scored 17 pts in the 4Q with drives of 95, 71 and 70 yds as NE blew a 21-0 lead in the 2Q. Brady has avg’d 244 ypg (66%) vs BUF with a 42-14 ratio but his 4 int here gave BUF 27 pts. He’s now facing the #15 pass defense that had allowed a 17-1 ratio over the 7 games before Tebow’s 4 int. BUF is also in 30th sacks (24) and 9 of those sacks came vs WAS after their bye week. Injuries have compounded the fact that teams figured out the Bills intermediate passing game and since Nov, Fitzpatrick has avg’d 223 ypg (57%) with a 8-12 ratio with a 6.1 ypa. NE has a top 10 special teams unit (BUF bottom 10) which sets up quality field position making opposing teams go the distance (accounts #32 defense) and forcing them into mistakes (+14 TO’s 3rd TY) and BUF simply doesn’t have the firepower anymore to compete.

PHIL’S FORECAST: NEW ENGLAND 31 BUFFALO 17

SAN DIEGO AT OAKLAND

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
SAN DIEGO 118
268
26
1.1
#24
OAKLAND 120
270
24
1.6
#7
The Raiders have fared well vs SD with 3 upsets (29-19 avg score) physically wearing down the Chargers with a 184 (4.5) to 62 (3.9) rushing edge. Rivers has been able to move the ball vs OAK in the L3 games (328 ypg 5 TD’s), but the Raiders physical style of play has given him problems as he’s only hit 57% while turning the ball over 5 times himself. Despite a tough season SD once again has a 4000 yd QB, 1000 yd rusher and 1000 yd receiver on hand and are 18-3 in Dec under Turner. Over the L4W they have the #5 and #12 units (+3 TO’s) vs the Raiders #12 and #29 units (-5 TO’s). OAK hoped Palmer and McFadden would lead them into the playoffs but the 2 haven’t started a game together TY. OAK beat SD, MIN and CHI with Bush (112 ypg 4.0) pounding the ball but then the WR’s/CB’s got beat up. While OAK is loaded with 1st RD DC’s on defense they have given up 409 ypg vs foes w/a winning record with 126 ypg rush (5.1) and a 15-5 ratio from the #25 pass defense. SD is eliminated from the playoffs and the only thing let for them is to put forth one last effort to keep Turner in 2012 but it wont be enough.

PHIL’S FORECAST: OAKLAND 27 SAN DIEGO 24

KANSAS CITY AT DENVER

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
KANSAS CITY 131
165
18
1.8
#22
DENVER 183
153
14
2.1
#8
The Chiefs get a nice edge with Orton who was with DEN for the 1st matchup TY and has intimate knowledge of the system leading the Chiefs into Mile High Stadium. The Broncos won the earlier meeting TY 17-10. DEN had a 313-258 yd edge despite Tebow completing just 2 passes (69 yds) with one being a 56 yd TD pass. DEN ran the ball 55 times (4.4) which allowed them to control the clock (+7:16) and wear down the Chiefs defense. Orton has a real shot at being the #1 for KC in 2012 after avg 300 ypg (66%) with a 1-2 ratio the L2W. He has helped beat GB and lost to OAK in OT with two 49 yd FG’s being blocked at the end of the halves. Orton has led 2 of KC’s 3 400 yd games (IND other) TY but he now faces a defense that knows how to defend him from practice. DEN has struggled the L2W due to Tebow turning the ball over by having to throw the ball and some bad special teams play. Tebow now returns home where the Broncos have rushed for 147 ypg (5.1) and now take on the #23 rush defense allowing 126 ypg (4.1). Look for a huge crowd edge to help out the DEN defense as they push for a playoff berth.

PHIL’S FORECAST: DENVER 20 KANSAS CITY 17

SEATTLE AT ARIZONA

Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
SEATTLE 112
168
25
1.1
#10
ARIZONA 110
228
20
2.6
#6
Carroll is 3-0 vs ARZ with a 24-13 avg score beating them 13-10 back in Wk 3. ARZ had a 324-261 yd edge as SEA had 8 punts and an Int on their 12 drives. ARZ went after QB Jackson holding him to 171 yds (58%) with 4 sacks and 12 hits. Kolb didn’t have much success either with 252 yds (64%) with a 1-2 ratio and 3 sacks as SEA held Fitzgerald to 64 yds (12.8). ARZ does have the health edge here as SEA is down 3 starting OL, both starting WR’s and their top 2 CB’s. Carroll has done a good job of coaching up its depth as rookie UFA Baldwin leads the team in rec’s and yds (48 15.6). SEA’s #10 defense has quietly been very solid TY as while they don’t get a lot of sacks (19th) they are only allowing 3.8 rushing and have a quality 17-21 ratio (Jets 14-17 ratio). SEA has played well on the road games with a 23-15 avg score L/5 gms and no RB has been better over the past 8 games than Lynch who has rushed for 107 ypg (4.5) and 9 TD’s. ARZ has a nice sked edge with this being their 4th HG in 5 Wks but have given up 134 ypg rush (4.4) in Skelton’s 7 starts TY. Both teams are fighting for an 8 win season which would be a huge confidence boost going into the offseason and I’ll call for the home team by a FG here.

PHIL’S FORECAST: ARIZONA 27 SEATTLE 24

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