Prisco's Picks: Week 17

 
 
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WEEK
17
PETE PRISCO
Senior NFL Columnist
Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and can be seen throughout the week on CBS Sports' NFL shows. When he's not watching game tape you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.
MATCHUP SCORE ANALYSIS
Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018
 
Miami
Dolphins
17
This is a game featuring two teams going nowhere. But the Bills are still playing hard and you have to wonder about the motivation of the Dolphins playing in the cold of Buffalo. The Bills will win it.
Result: Buffalo Bills 42, Miami Dolphins 17
Buffalo
Bills
23
 
 
Detroit
Lions
21
The Packers seemed to find their offense last week and I think that will carry over here. The Lions have defensive issues that Aaron Rodgers will exploit. Look for a big offensive showing here by the Packers.
Result: Green Bay Packers 0, Detroit Lions 31
Green Bay
Packers
31
 
 
Jacksonville
Jaguars
17
The Jaguars would love to ruin the Texans chances to win the division. The way the Jaguars defense played last week, they might be able to do so. Blake Bortles is back at quarterback, which was the right move. The Texans can lock up the division with a victory, so the motivation is on their side. They will win a tough one with Deshaun Watson making a big play late.
Result: Houston Texans 20, Jacksonville Jaguars 3
Houston
Texans
20
 
 
New York
Jets
16
The Patriots can lock up the second seed with a victory. The Jets are playing out the string, which is a big edge for the Pats. Sam Darnold has played well for the Jets lately, but I think he will run into problems here. The Patriots will win this game and earn the bye.
Result: New England Patriots 38, NY Jets 3
New England
Patriots
33
 
 
Carolina
Panthers
13
The Saints have locked up the top seed, so they will rest players at some point in this one. The Panthers are down to Kyle Allen at quarterback, and he's making his first NFL start here. Even the Saints backups should get the best of it.
Result: New Orleans Saints 14, Carolina Panthers 33
New Orleans
Saints
26
 
 
Dallas
Cowboys
20
The Cowboys are locked into the fourth seed, so they don't need this game. The Giants are playing out the string, but they've played well the past six weeks. I think that will show up here as they beat a Dallas team focused on next week.
Result: NY Giants 35, Dallas Cowboys 36
New York
Giants
27
 
 
Atlanta
Falcons
33
The Falcons are playing consecutive road games, which is tough with nothing to play for going forward. But the Bucs have had issues all season long on defense, which should mean a big day for Matt Ryan. Look for a lot of points, but Falcons take it.
Result: Atlanta Falcons 34, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32
Tampa Bay
Buccaneers
28
 
 
Cleveland
Browns
16
If the Ravens win, they are in the playoffs. But it won't be easy. The Browns are playing good football and the run defense is solid. That will make it a challenge for Lamar Jackson. But the Baltimore defense is special and will limit Baker Mayfield. Ravens take it in a close one.
Result: Baltimore Ravens 26, Cleveland Browns 24
Baltimore
Ravens
19
 
 
27
If the Chiefs win here, they lock up the top seed in the AFC. I think that will happen, even if the Raiders have played better lately as a team. The Chiefs offense will be too much for the Raiders, but Oakland will score here as well. It will be fun, but the Chiefs will take it.
Result: Kansas City Chiefs 35, Oakland Raiders 3
Kansas City
Chiefs
37
 
 
Chicago
Bears
16
The Bears can get the second seed if they win and the Rams lose. The Vikings win this and they are in the playoffs. The latter is much bigger in terms of motivation and I think that will show up. Kirk Cousins will play well in a big game.
Result: Minnesota Vikings 10, Chicago Bears 24
Minnesota
Vikings
23
 
 
Cincinnati
Bengals
19
The Steelers need to win this game and get help from the Browns to make the playoffs. I think they get their victory easy here. Their passing game will light up the Bengals and give them a shot to get into the postseason.
Result: Pittsburgh Steelers 16, Cincinnati Bengals 13
Pittsburgh
Steelers
34
 
 
Philadelphia
Eagles
27
The Eagles are making a late-season push to the playoffs behind Nick Foles. He has been really good. The Redskins are done, but still playing hard. Even so, look for the Eagles to win this one with the motivation of possibly winning and being in the playoffs.
Result: Philadelphia Eagles 24, Washington Redskins 0
Washington
Football Team
14
 
 
Los Angeles
Chargers
27
The Chargers are still in play for the top seed in the AFC, while the Broncos are getting ready for vacation. The motivation edge goes to the Chargers, and they are the better team. Look for Philip Rivers and the offense to get back on track.
Result: Los Angeles Chargers 23, Denver Broncos 9
Denver
Broncos
17
 
 
San Francisco
49ers
13
The Rams need this game to lock up the second seed in the NFC. That's not a good thing for the 49ers. The Rams will be focused here, and they are clearly the better team. This could get out of hand early. Look for Jared Goff to have a big day.
Result: Los Angeles Rams 48, San Francisco 49ers 32
Los Angeles
Rams
30
 
 
Arizona
Cardinals
10
The Seahawks are going to the playoffs, so they might rest some guys, who are a bit banged up. But Pete Carroll likes to play to win, so figuring it out is the hard part. Does it really matter against the worst team in the league? Seahawks will win big.
Result: Seattle Seahawks 27, Arizona Cardinals 24
Seattle
Seahawks
28
 
 
Indianapolis
Colts
23
The winner of this game might be the division champ, but will definitely be in the playoffs. The status of Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota bears watching. If Blaine Gabbert plays, it will be tough for the Titans. No matter who plays quarterback, they will play second fiddle to Colts passer Andrew Luck. The Colts are going to the playoffs.
Result: Indianapolis Colts 33, Tennessee Titans 17
Tennessee
Titans
19