Can you believe we're here? Week 17?
So here it is, the final week of the regular season, and your picks are below. Tricky bidness picking Week 17 games, given that we don't know if certain players will play, or for how long, for teams that have pretty much locked in their playoff position. That said, one team has been playing like a Super Bowl lock as of late ...
I knew that. I just forgot for the 50th consecutive time.
Either way, the Seahawks are flying high, coming off a blowout of the Arizona Cardinals and playing this weekend for home-field advantage throughout the postseason. It's also why they are atop the Power Rankings. As for the rest of the teams, take a gander below. And feel free to share your take ... @HarrisonNFL is the place.
Now, let's get to it!
Elliot Harrison went 10-6 on his predictions for Week 16, giving him a record of 162-77-1 so far this season. How will he fare in Week 17? His picks are below. And listen to the latest edition of the "Dave Dameshek Football Program" for additional analysis on this week's forecast.
K.C.'s secondary did an outstanding job when these two clubs faced off in October, as Philip Rivers managed just 205 yards passing. But after seeing Rivers heroically perform when the chips were down last week -- trailing by 21 ... with a bulging disk in his back ... throwing to some dude fresh out of the CFL ... -- I'm going with the San Diego Super Chargers. #SDvsKC
On the other hand, Minnesota has shown steady improvement this year, especially on defense. The Vikings rank eighth in the NFL in passing defense and are tied for seventh in sacks. Outside of a few hiccups here and there, this has looked like an entirely different defense than last year's unit. So maybe Cutler won't go off after all. Oh well -- his reaction will stay the same. #CHIvsMIN
Don't get me wrong, Arizona has much to play for, and this is not an indictment of Bruce Arians' team. But like the Jets, the Niners are going to come out and compete for their lame-duck head coach. (Wait, can a guy really be deemed a "lame duck" if he is being offered enough money to outbid you on eBay until infinity for a vintage Michigan bobblehead?) Arians said Monday he planned to start rookie Logan Thomas, with the hope that Drew Stanton will be ready for the playoffs. So much for that plan, as Ryan Lindley is now expected to start in Week 17. Amazing that Stanton offers this franchise hope for January, given how most of his professional career has played out. #AZvsSF
Green Bay wins the NFC North in a matchup that lives up to its huge billing. Yes, both teams are playoff-bound, but the winner of this contest gets a first-round bye. In fact, if Green Bay wins this one and Seattle loses to St. Louis, the Packers are looking at home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Lions could also claim home-field with a win, but they'd need Seattle and Arizona to lose. Confused? Don't be. Let's just go back to my initial point: This game will be sweet.
Green Bay's best shot of winning is to run Eddie Lacy right at Detroit, giving that front four some pause, not allowing the pass rushers to simply get after Aaron Rodgers all game long. That means continuing to pound Lacy, even if it's not working. For the Lions, the outcome depends on Matthew Stafford, who must embrace consistency and avoid turnovers. In fact, Stafford's play could be the key to the entire NFC playoffs. #DETvsGB