@TSFSports Week 17 NFL predictions: Longshots, scenarios and a winner-take-all close out the regular season

(Alex Brandon/AP)

LeSean McCoy is one of the reasons Chip Kelly’s first season in the NFL was a success.

The 2013 NFL season has had its share of surprises. Who would’ve guessed the team from DC would fall apart at the seams on and off the field, possibly leading to the dismissal of head coach Mike Shanahan? The reason most have chosen not to mention them by their nickname has become a hot topic as well. The Pittsburgh Steelers came out of the gate 0-4 amid whispers head coach Mike Tomlin’s job was on the line. Pittsburgh can enter the postseason with a victory over the Cleveland Browns and some help.

Finally, Chip Kelly came to Philly with a gimmick offense and a dream. After a dynamic debut, the Eagles struggled, switched quarterbacks and proceeded to run off five consecutive victories to put themselves in a win or go home finale against the Dallas Cowboys.

Any given Sunday.

Sunday December 29, 2013. Games beginning at 1:00 pm:

Cleveland Browns (4-11) at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8) – The Steelers need the infinite mercy of the football gods to smile on them tomorrow. After defeating the Browns, Pittsburgh must count on several losses to win a five-way tie for the final playoff spot. I’ll do my part to get them in.

Steelers 27 – Browns 13

DC (3-12) at NY Giants (6-9) – Mike Shanahan’s bags are packed and owner Daniel Snyder will make sure it stays that way. Giants head coach Tom Coughlin two Super Bowls give him the leverage to write his own ticket out of town

Giants 23 – DC 16

Baltimore Ravens (8-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (10-5) – Andy Dalton is looking like he’s primed for a deep run in the postseason. The Ravens should be kicking themselves for being in this position. After dropping this one, they’ll have the rest of the off-season to stew in it.

Bengals 28 – Ravens 20

Houston Texans (2-13) at Tennessee Titans (6-9) – Will the Texans clean house completely just one season removed from winning the AFC South? Quarterback is a definite need, but should the team move on from Arian Foster? Chris Johnson may be playing his final game in a Titans uniform.

Titans 27 – Texans 13

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-11) at Indianapolis Colts (10-5) –  The Colts need Trent Richardson to show he can at least spell Donald Brown when needed. Reggie Wayne was worth two more wins this season. The Jaguars have a nice receiving duo in Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts. Teddy Bridgewater may be their man.

Colts 33 – Jaguars 22

NY Jets (7-8) at Miami Dolphins (8-7) – Two weeks ago, the Dolphins were in control of their entire playoff picture, now they’re looking for help while fighting off the Jets. Geno Smith will be the NFL’s most improved player in 2014.

Dolphins 26 – Jets 21

Detroit Lions (7-8) at Minnesota Vikings (4-10-1) – I like Jim Schwartz as a coach, but to have this talented team heading home after Sunday is inexcusable.

Lions 34 – Vikings 17

Carolina Panthers (11-4) at Atlanta Falcons (4-11) – Has SI’s Peter King finished eating his crow?

Panthers 24 – Falcons 16

Games beginning at 4:25 pm or later:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-11) at New Orleans Saints (10-5) – After losing three of their last four, the Saints have pretty much blown the division and will end up playing wild card weekend on the road. The Bucs are a move or two away from being back in the thick of things next season.

Saints 27 – Rams 13

Buffalo Bills (6-9) at New England Patriots (11-4) – Last week’s win over the playoff contending Dolphins was the highlight of an otherwise disappointing season. The Patriots are limping into the post season and are in need of all the momentum they can muster.

Patriots 30 – Bills 13

St. Louis Rams (7-8) at Seattle Seahawks (12-3) – The Rams have played some good ball without quarterback Sam Bradford and a slow evolving running game. A marquee name or two in free agency could send things in the right direction. The Seahawks need to finish the Rams off to seal up home field throughout the playoffs.

Seahawks 27 – Rams 23

Green Bay Packers (7-7-1) at Chicago Bears (8-7) – Aaron Rodgers comes back to save the Packers season and lead them into the playoffs. Bears fans are hoping Jay Cutler and the defense do just enough to survive.

Bears 31 – Packers 24

San Francisco 49ers (11-4) at Arizona Cardinals (10-5) – It’s very possible the Cardinals could win eleven games and still miss the playoffs. Bruce Arians has done a wonderful job and deserves some Coach of the Year pub. The Niners are winners of fiver straight and have caught fire at the right time.

Niners 30 – Cardinals 20

Denver Broncos (12-3) at Oakland Raiders (4-11) – The Broncos need to win to keep home field unless New England falls earlier in the day. Oakland has some nice pieces in place for next season, but who will be the man under center?

Broncos 32 – Raiders 21

Kansas City Chiefs (11-4) at San Diego Chargers (8-7) – Andy Reid has done a great job, but the defense has suffered with key injuries which could be their undoing. The Chargers were alive, then dead and are alive for the playoffs again, but they too are chasing the sixth and final seed.

Chargers 27 – Chiefs 24

Philadelphia Eagles (9-6) at Dallas Cowboys (8-7) – The worst kept secret of the week was confirmed when it was announced Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo would be out for the rest of the season. I believe the Eagles learned their lesson from the upset loss to the Minnesota Vikings two weeks ago. The Eagles secondary is a concern since Kyle Orton is going to stand in the pocket until the last possible second. This day belongs to LeSean McCoy and the Birds.

Eagles 33 – Cowboys 17

Last Week: 9-7

2013 Season: 127-89-1

One Response to “@TSFSports Week 17 NFL predictions: Longshots, scenarios and a winner-take-all close out the regular season”

  1. mapoui says:

    Chicago out! the revenge of Lovie Smith.