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Matt Loede’s NFL Picks for Week 17

Last Week: 10-6
Season: 143-94

Miami at New England – The question will be if the Pats will play anyone. New England can’t gain anything with a win or a loss, so likely Tom Brady and co. will play a bit, but that’s about it. The Fins would love to end the season with a win, ending a crazy season with 7 road wins but just one at home. Miami should be able to pull out a game against most of the Pats 2nd team. Miami 24 New England 20

Minnesota at Detroit – Two teams with similar records but very different outlooks on the season. The Lions are clearly on the way up, winning games with three different QB’s. They are playing a Vikings team that pulled out a big win on Tuesday night, but can’t be happy with the way the season has ended up. Joe Webb played well vs the Eagles, but here’s thinking that the Lions make the home crowd happy. Detroit 27 Minnesota 17

Carolina at Atlanta – The Falcons lost just their third game last Monday night, and they should be able to rebound here. The Panthers know it will be an offseason of change with John Fox not coming back, and they will be playing for whoever is their new coach in 2011. The Falcons have too much riding to slip up, and Matt Ryan and company will rebound. Atlanta 23 Carolina 10

Oakland at Kansas City – Who would have guessed that the Chiefs would be AFC West champs? Here we are entering week 17 and the Chiefs are able to look forward to a home game next weekend either vs the Ravens, Steelers or Jets. The Raiders took a big leap this year, and should have something to look forward to in 2011. The Chiefs, despite what they say, won’t have to play the starters much. Oakland 21 Kansas City 17

Buffalo at New York Jets – Same as above, the Jets have little to play for, while the Bills end the year playing much better than the start of the year when they were one of if not the worst teams in the NFL. Look for the Bills to play hard, and in the end against again the Jets 2nd string the Bills will find a way with a late field goal to win. Buffalo 17 NY Jets 14

Tampa Bay at New Orleans – Two good clubs going at it, while the Bucs need to win and help for the playoffs, the Saints are in as a wild card. The Saints played a tough game in the ATL on Monday night, getting a big win, and seem to be playing back to the form of last season. The Bucs have played well all year, but it won’t be easy to win in the Big Easy. New Orleans 31 Tampa Bay 24

Cincinnati at Baltimore – The Ravens are steaming after losing to the Bengals early in the year, and that will be the loss that costs them the #2 seed in the AFC and the division title. They will take it out on the Bengals at home Sunday, a team that played better with younger players last week, and will be looking to 2011 in this one. Baltimore 28 Cincinnati 17

Pittsburgh at Cleveland – The Browns may be another team with a new coach after Sunday, and the Steelers will make that decision a little easier. Looks like Peyton Hillis may not play, while Steelers MVP Troy Polamalu was back at practice Friday and may be on the field. Bottom line, the Steelers need the game, and won’t slip up in Cleveland like last December. Pittsburgh 31 Cleveland 13

Chicago at Green Bay – The Bears may not need to play based on the early game outcomes, and that means the Pack may have the advantage of going for a shot in the postseason. Green Bay gave up a shot early in the year to beat the Bears, but this time Aaron Rodgers and the Pack are playing well, as they took apart the Giants last week. They will have more than enough to beat Chicago here. Green Bay 27 Chicago 17

New York Giants at Washington – Last week in Green Bay the G-Men didn’t respond very well to their last play loss to the Eagles the week before. Now they take on the Redskins, who pulled off a tough win in Jacksonville in OT last week. The Skins seem to be heading for yet another offseason of change, while the Giants may have a new coach as well with Tom Coughlin on the hot seat. Coughlin’s boys pull out a win in what could be his last game. New York Giants 23 Washington 21

Jacksonville at Houston – It sounds like Gary Kubiak will be unemployed on Monday in Houston, but look for them to win this one as the Jags won’t be able to pull it out without David Garrard and Maurice Jones-Drew. The Texans won’t have Andre Johnson, but will have enough offense to get the job done and win their last home game for Kubiak. Houston 34 Jacksonville 31

Dallas at Philadelphia – After weeks of hearing how good they were, the Eagles laid an egg on Tuesday night, meaning they will sit their starters on Sunday vs the Cowboys. Dallas has been playing hard for Jason Garrett, and even though they will be starting rookie Stephen McGee, he played pretty well in Arizona. Here’s thinking it will be an ugly game with the Cowboys winning late. Dallas 20 Philadelphia 14

Tennessee at Indianapolis – A long season for the Titans is finally ending, and the Colts need to win just to confirm they will take home the AFC South. Kerry Collins and the Titans will make it a game for a half, but in the end, it will be too much Peyton as again the Colts will be in the postseason with a home game vs the Ravens next week. Indianapolis 27 Tennessee 17

San Diego at Denver – A game that doesn’t matter for either team, as the Chargers end a down season with losing last week to the Bengals. The Broncos are seeing the future with a big game last week from Tim Tebow, and he will once again be the feature player this week for Denver. With nothing to play for, look for Denver to pull it out with a field goal. Denver 27 San Diego 24

Arizona at San Francisco – Another meaningless game for two NFC West teams that are going nowhere. The 49ers have already canned Mike Singletary, and will go back to Alex Smith this week. The Cards pulled out a last play win over the Cowboys, but can’t seem to be consistent, which will be addressed big time this offseason. The Cards will have a high draft pick, and their current players will be looking to next year. San Francisco 20 Arizona 13

St.Louis at Seattle – The primetime game for the NFC West, as both teams have lots to play for here. Charlie Whitehurst could be the Hawks future at QB, and this will be a huge chance for him to prove that. The Rams have gone from a one-win team to a possible division champ, and they will rest their chances on Sam Bradford. It won’t be easy to win in Seattle, and the Hawks will have the advantage in a high charged atmosphere and will get a late score to win the west. Seattle 17 St.Louis 13

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