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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Tuesday's Gone: Week 17 #NFL Game Reviews FINAL WEEK EDITION

2017 NFL SEASON

Tuesday's Gone: Week 17 #NFL Game Reviews


Week 17: #NFL Game Predictions (w/ spreads & analysis)
Week 17 results: 6-4 wins (season*: 146-76; .655); 3-7 v. spread (season*: 98-120-5; .439)

2017 regular season final wins record: 146-76 (.655): 66%
2017 regular season final spread record: 98-120-5 (.439): 44%

ProFootballMedia had their worst season calling games in three years.
 

Note: The following previews are for games with playoff implications only, some of which are merely seed positioning. Week 17 is an exciting week considering they’re all divisional match ups, many of which are lopsided, giving the underdog division rival a chance to play spoiler. 

Tuesday's Gone note: I apologize for forgetting to post the BALTIMORE RAVENS vs. CINCINNATI BENGALS game, which had playoff implications. Baltimore ultimately lost the game and missed the playoffs.



Chicago Bears 5-10 (+12) @ Minnesota Vikings 12-3 (39.5): Vikings 27-17 Vikings 23-10
Sunday, 1:00 PM, US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN (Weather: Frigid)

Reasons: The Vikings need a win over the hapless Bears at home to secure the #2 seed in the NFC or they need help from the Saints (win), the Rams (win) or the Panthers (loss).

Minnesota took care of business and will now likely take advantage of Philadelphia's late-season misfortune, as the Eagles have lost their MVP-candidate quarterback in Carson Wentz for the season and backup Nick Foles has not looked consistent.

New York Jets 5-10 (+15.5) @ New England Patriots 12-3 (43): Patriots 28-21 Patriots 26-6
Sunday, 1:00 PM, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA (Weather: Sunny; teens)

Reasons: The Patriots need to win to secure the #1 seed in the AFC; if they lose they’ll need the Pittsburgh Steelers to lose as well, otherwise they’ll be the #2 seed.

The Patriots secured the top AFC seed yet again and will get all the rest and home field advantage they need to make another Super Bowl run, which would be their 8th in 17 years. For perspective the Buffalo Bills made the playoffs this season for the first time in 17 years.

Cleveland Browns 0-15 (+7) @ Pittsburgh Steelers 12-3 (37): Steelers 27-20 Steelers 28-24
Sunday, 1:00 PM, Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA (Weather: Chance snow; teens)

Reasons: The Steelers need to win and the New England Patriots to lose for Pittsburgh to secure the #1 seed in the AFC, otherwise Pittsburgh secures the #2 seed in the AFC.

Pittsburgh benched Ben Roethlisberger while beating the Browns handily while the New England Patriots were locked in a close game with the New York Jets. Ultimately the Patriots won easily, while the Steelers struggled, which makes Mike Tomlin seem like he knows what he's doing, but Pittsburgh isn't in a great spot mentally heading into the playoffs.

Carolina Panthers 11-4 (+3.5) @ Atlanta Falcons 9-6 (45): Falcons 24-23 Falcons 22-10

Sunday, 4:25 PM, Mercedes-Benz Dome, Atlanta, GA (Weather: Indoors)

Reasons: If the Falcons win they’re in the playoffs, otherwise my preseason prediction was correct and I can feel like I know something. The Panthers are in no matter what happens, but Carolina has the largest variance of any playoff-bound team, as their seed could land anywhere from #2-#5 in the NFC. The #2 seed would require a win and a Minnesota Vikings loss; the #5 seed would be the result of a loss and a New Orleans Saints win.

The man who fancies himself as Superman couldn't even lead his team to a victory over the inconsistent Falcons, although the game was in Atlanta, where the Falcons are usually better. Guess who's also better at home? New Orleans. Exponentially. Let's see what Superman does now that they squandered the 4th seed and now have to travel to New Orleans. Whoops.

New Orleans Saints 11-4 (-7) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-11 (50.5): Saints 30-21 Buccaneers 31-24
Sunday, 4:25 PM, Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL (Weather: Sunny; high 60s)

Reasons: The Saints should enter the playoffs as the #4 seed in the NFC, but could climb as high as #3 with help from the Los Angeles Rams (loss).

The Saints lost an opportunity to climb higher in the seeding, but it doesn't really matter because they'll host the Carolina Panthers anyway (2-0 in the regular season), which might be a better match up for them than the Atlanta Falcons (1-1 in the regular season).

Arizona Cardinals 7-8 (+9.5) @ Seattle Seahawks 9-6 (38.5): Seahawks 27-20 Cardinals 26-24
Sunday, 4:25 PM, CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA (Weather: Sunny; low 40s)

Reasons: The Seahawks need to win and the Atlanta Falcons need to lose for the Seahawks to make the playoffs as the #6 seed in the NFC.

What a hugely disappointing season for the Seattle Seahawks, and for my prediction for them to reach the Super Bowl (my alternate was Green Bay - kill me), and my thinks things will only get worse from here considering the franchise favors Russell Wilsopn far too much and the initial coddling of defensive superstars has backfired in Herculean ways. We're about to see just how good a coach Pete Carroll really is. 

San Francisco 49ers 5-10 (-3.5) @ Los Angeles Rams 11-4 (43.5): 49ers 24-21 49ers 34-13
Sunday, 4:25 PM, Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA (Weather: Sunny; high 60s)

Reasons: The Rams secure the #3 seed with a win, but that might difficult against the hot hand of Jimmy Garoppolo, especially with the Rams planning to sit many of their key starters.

Everyone knew this would happen. 

Buffalo Bills 8-7(-2.5) @ Miami Dolphins 6-9 (42.5): Dolphins 23-21 Bills 22-16
Sunday, 4:25 PM, Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL (Weather: Sunny; high 60s)

Reasons: Buffalo needs to win and they need the Tennessee Titans to lose in order to start crunching the numbers to see if they actually make the playoffs. It’s a long shot for Buffalo, but Bills fans are just happy to be in the position to make the playoffs for the first time in 17 years. 

Everyone is shocked this happened. Not beating Miami, but making the playoffs.

Jacksonville Jaguars 10-5 (+3) @ Tennessee Titans 8-7 (42): Jaguars 24-20 Titans 15-10
Sunday, 4:25 PM, Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN (Weather: Sunny; low 20s)

Reasons: The Titans need to win to secure the #6 seed in the AFC and they just happen to be playing the team that owned their division and much of the NFL, defensively. The Jaguars already won the division and don’t have anything to play for so it’ll be interesting to see if they want the Titans season to end Sunday or next week.

For Jacksonville fan's sake I will go ahead and assume the Jaguars shared my philosophy heading into this game and figured the playoffs would be much better off with Marcus Mariota rather than Phillip Rivers and that Chargers defense.

Oakland Raiders 6-9 (+8) @ Los Angeles Chargers 8-7 (42): Chargers 24-17 Chargers 30-10
Sunday, 4:05 PM, Stub Hub Center, Carson, CA (Weather: Sunny; high 60s)

Reasons: The game many thought would have huge playoff implications for the AFC and the AFC West alike actually panned out to be a semblance of that. The Chargers need to win and have the Tennessee Titans lose to get into the playoffs as the #6 seed in the AFC, but something tells me the Jacksonville Jaguars would rather have the Titans in the playoffs than the Chargers, so we’ll see how that goes.

The Disappointment Bowl ended as expected, but the Chargers didn't get the help they needed for their miracle run to the playoffs after starting the season 0-4, which means I still think no team to ever start 0-4 has ever made the playoffs in the NFL history (check that for me and then apply as a research intern). The Chargers are left optimistic, but with the NFL underachiever award, which they barely beat out the Oakland Raiders to win it. 
 

2017 NFL Playoff Standings:

AFC:

1. NEW ENGLAND
2. PITTSBURGH
3. JACKSONVILLE
4. KANSAS CITY
5. TENNESSEE
6. BUFFALO

 Bill Belichick tells Tom Brady to get his corny trainer out of the Patriots locker room so they can prepare for yet another Super Bowl run that goes through New England.


NFC:

1. PHILADELPHIA
2. MINNESOTA
3. LA RAMS
4. NEW ORLEANS
5. CAROLINA
6. ATLANTA   

The Philadelphia Eagles are the NFC's top seed, but all is not good in Philadelphia as they lost MVP-candidate Carson Wentz for the season and backup Nick Foles has been mediocre.
 


Stay tuned for Week 18: #NFL Game Predictions (w/ spreads & analysis) WILD CARD ROUND EDITION coming Saturday morning.

*Minus two weeks due to technical difficulties

@ProFootballMed

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