NFL Week 17 Prophecy

December 25, 2008


1. Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (Game of the Week)

Playoff Implications: A loss eliminates either team. If the Cowboys win, they clinch the #6 playoff seed unless Atlanta loses, in which case they move up to #5. If the Eagles win, they can make the playoffs if (1) Tampa Bay loses to Oakland and (2) either Minnesota loses to NY Giants or Chicago loses at Houston.

Prediction: Despite the disappointment of last week, the Eagles will be motivated to play the spoiler against the Cowboys this week even though they have very slim playoff hopes themselves. The Cowboys have hardly been consistent all year and it wouldn't surprise many to see them blow this last chance to make the playoffs. However, they are still the better team. The weather should dictate a relatively low scoring affair, but the Cowboy offense is due for a better game. The Eagles play solid defense, but the Cowboys have just come off games against the superior defenses of the Steelers, Giants, and Ravens.

Cowboys take the lead in the 2nd Quarter and never look back. Demarcus Ware should get the 2 sacks he needs to tie the NFL record and Romo throws to TO for a pair of scores. Cowboys 24 Eagles 13

2. Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints

Playoff Implications: If the Panthers win, they clinch NFC South title and are the #2 Seed. If they lose and Atlanta defeats St. Louis, then they fall to the #5 seed.

Prediction: The Saints will put up a fight for the first half with nothing but pride to play for. However, the Panthers should pull away. Panthers 31 Saints 21

3. Minnesota Vikings at New York Giants

Playoff Implications: If the Vikings win, they clinch NFC North and #3 Seed. If the Vikings lose and Chicago wins at Houston, then the Vikings are out entirely.

Prediction: After last week, the Vikings have no one to blame but themselves. Perhaps they will benefit from the fact the Giants have already clinched homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. This is a tough game to predict precisely because it is unclear how motivated the Giants will play. My guess is that they will be professional and end their season strong. Giants 27 Vikings 20

4. Chicago Bears at Houston Texans

Playoff Implications: If the Bears win, they can win the NFC North if the Vikins lose at New York. Otherwise, the Bears must win and hope for Dallas and Tampa Bay to lose in order to get the #6 seed.

Prediction: The Bears have everything to play for against the Texans this week, but I have a feeling they won't play like it. Although they pulled a close win at home against the Packers, I think the Bears will have the division in the palm of their hand...and then let it slip away. The Texans will be motivated to finish 8-8 and make up for last week's loss to the Raiders. Texans 20 Bears 17

5. St. Louis Rams at Atlanta Falcons

Playoff Implications: Falcons are in already. If the Falcons win, they are the #5 seed. If they lose and Dallas wins at Philadelphia, then they fall to the #6 seed.

Prediction: The Falcons have surpassed all expectations and there is no reason to suspect any let down this week. This game should be a total blowout. Falcons 37 Rams 10

6. Oakland Raiders at Tampa Bay Bucs

Playoff Implications: If the Bucs win and Dallas loses they will get the #6 seed.

Prediction: Raiders won last week and are probably satisfied and busy thinking about their vacations. The Bucs will get ahead early and finish strong. Bucs 31 Raiders 6


1. Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers

Playoff Implications: Winner clinches the pathetic AFC West and the #4 seed. Loser is eliminated.

Prediction: The Broncos have miraculously let the Chargers back into the hunt. The Chargers looked solid at Tampa last week and finally may be getting their act together. These are two teams headed in opposite directions. Chargers 38 Broncos 24

2. Miami Dolphins at New York Jets

Playoff Implications: Loser is eliminated. If Dolphins win, they clinch AFC East and #3 seed. If the Jets win and New England loses at Buffalo, then Jets win AFC East. Otherwise, Jets can be #6 seed if Baltimore loses to Jacksonville.

Prediction: The Jets have struggled down the stretch and now might miss the playoffs. The Dolphins have been finishing strong and exceeding expectations. Nonetheless, I expect the Dolphins to struggle in the cold weather and for Bret Favre to make enough plays to pull this one out. Jets 20 Dolphins 14

3. New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills

Playoff Implications: If Patriots win and Miami loses at New York, then they clinch AFC East and #3 seed. Otherwise, they can make #6 seed with win and Baltimore loss to Jacksonville.

Prediction: The Patriots looked incredible last week against the Cardinals and I expect that to continue. The Bills are at home and will want to close strong, but the Pats are too mentally tough to slip up with so much at stake. Patriots 34 Bills 17

4. Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens

Playoff Implications: If Ravens win, they are the #6 seed. If they lose, they can still get the #6 seed if New England loses at Buffalo.

Prediction: After an impressive win in Dallas last week, the Ravens seem in top form. No way this game is allowed to be competetive. Ravens 30 Jaguars 13


NFC #1 New York Giants; AFC #1 Tennessee Titans
NFC #2 Carolina Panthers; AFC #2 Pittsburgh Steelers
NFC #3 Minnesota Vikings; AFC #3 New England Patriots
NFC #4 Arizona Cardinals; AFC #4 San Diego Chargers
NFC #5 Atlanta Falcons; AFC #5 Indianapolis Colts
NFC #6 Dallas Cowboys; AFC #6 Baltimore Ravens

Manish Pandya
Staff Editor for

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