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2014 NFL Week 17 Predictions

Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rodgers will fire critical throws in a game that will decide the NFC North this Sunday.

Carolina Panthers 6-8-1
Atlanta Falcons 6-9-0

Jesse Lucas’ Pick

I’m giving Atlanta the advantage strictly because of the receiver – quarterback chemistry. They have it Carolina doesn’t.

Jason Bantle’s Pick

Atlanta wins the NFC South Championship game at home.

Chris Ransom’s Pick

Why the Carolina Panthers will win Carolina is ninth in pass defense. To make matters worse the Panthers have a 3-0 record in the month of December. They also have a healthy front 7 led by middle linebacker Luke Kuechly who leads the NFL with 145 total tackles. Another thing that works in their favor is the fact that strong safety William Moore and cornerback Robert Alford are both out for the Falcons.

Carolina can use their run blocking offensive line to run the football. Having Cam Newton throw against a pass defense that ranks 32nd works in his favor. Atlanta has the only team in the NFL that has allowed more than 400 total yards.

You might be thinking how can Carolina stop this passing attack with no pass rusher. The Panthers rank 9th in pass defense. They should be fine with the injuries on the pass defense.

Why the Atlanta Falcons will win Matt Ryan has 4,434 passing yards. Wide receiver Julio Jones has 1,535 receiving yards. Carolina ranks 19th in run defense while Atlanta ranks 18th in run defense. Atlanta may need to run the ball if they expect to win.

Prediction: The Falcons enter as a 4 point favorite. The average gambler is betting $195 dollars on Atlanta. I like the Falcons to win and the Panthers to cover the spread even though Atlanta is favored. Carolina could easily win this and it could go either way to be honest. I really feel like I am on the fence here. Carolina defeated Atlanta 21 to 20 in week 17 of the 2013 season. I like Atlanta 21 to 20 this time around.

Final Score Falcons 21 Panthers 20

Cleveland Browns 7-8-0
Baltimore Ravens 9-6-0

Jesse Lucas’ Pick

No Hoyer, No Manziel, No Chance. The Cleveland offense will be easy pickings (no pun intended) for the Baltimore defense.

Jason Bantle’s Pick

Ravens still have a shot at the playoffs. How do the Browns expect to go into Baltimore and win with a 3rd string quarterback?

Chris Ransom’s Pick

Why the Cleveland Browns will win We do not even know who will start at quarterback for the Browns.

Why the Baltimore Ravens will win Remember how I said the Ravens were a lock to beat the Texans even with Tyrod Taylor the Ravens backup starting at quarterback. This week I feel that confident about the Ravens.

Prediction: The Ravens enter as a 10 point favorite. The average gambler is betting $450 dollars on Baltimore. I like the Ravens by two touchdowns.

Final Score Ravens 31 Browns 17

Dallas Cowboys 11-4-0
Washington Redskins 4-11-0

Jesse Lucas’ Pick

Few teams have looked as good as Dallas has the last few weeks. Tony Romo has looked like a legit QB and Demarco Murray has looked good even when playing injured. Redskins don’t stand a chance.

Jason Bantle’s Pick

Cowboys over Redskins as Dallas' seeding hasn't been set in stone.

Chris Ransom’s Pick

Why the Dallas Cowboys will win Dallas is 7-0 on the road this season. DeMarco Murray has 1,745 rushing yards. Dallas is healthy on the offensive line again. I expect them to destroy the Redskins after losing to Washington on Monday Night Football.

Why the Washington Redskins will win Robert Griffin III needs a statement game and the defense has to show up. I think Dallas has this game in the bag now that they won the NFC East. Dallas wants to win so they can play for a higher seed.

Prediction: The Cowboys enter as a 5.5 point favorite. The average gambler is betting $240 dollars on Dallas. Take the Cowboys to win this Sunday.

Final Score Cowboys 24 Redskins 13

Indianapolis Colts 10-5-0
Tennessee Titans 2-13-0

Jesse Lucas’ Pick

The Colts were exposed big time last week against Dallas. I don’t know what was wrong with them but I don’t think Indy is really that bad. They’ll get the win this week.

Jason Bantle’s Pick

Colts have a chance at moving up in seeding and the Titans need to lose to hold onto the number one pick so Colts easy to rebound.

Chris Ransom’s Pick

Why the Indianapolis Colts will win I think Andrew Luck or his backup Matt Hasselbeck could outscore the Titans.

Why the Tennessee Titans will win Tennessee is the worst team in the AFC. They should go 2-14. The question is whether or not the Titans get the top pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Prediction: The Colts enter as a 7 point favorite. The average gambler is betting $290 dollars on Indianapolis. Colts redeem themselves this week.

Final Score Colts 31 Titans 10

Detroit Lions 11-4-0
Green Bay Packers 11-4-0

Jesse Lucas’ Pick

I originally picked Green Bay to win this game, but the more I think about it the more I feel better about Detroit. I think the Lions are going to go in and win this week locking up their place as the division champ.

Jason Bantle’s Pick

Packers to remain undefeated at home and win the NFC North over Detroit.

Chris Ransom’s Pick

Why the Detroit Lions will win Matthew Stafford has 2 receivers that hit over 1,000 receiving yards in Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. Ever since losing to the Patriots, the Lions have been one of the hottest teams in the NFL.

Why the Green Bay Packers will win Green Bay is undefeated at home like Jason said. Aaron Rodgers is having a monster season. Jody Nelson is fourth in receiving yards with 1,433 receiving yards on the season. I also like the Packers linebackers and secondary better than the Lions.

Detroit won back in week 3 because Eddie Lacy could not run the ball. Lacy has to play better at Lambeau Field this time around in order for the Packers to win.

Prediction: The Packers enter as a 7.5 point favorite. The average gambler is betting $320 dollars on Green Bay. I think Green Bay wins and that the Lions cover the spread. If Green Bay was favored by 7 this would be a push. Would not shock me if Vegas changed the line on this game to screw some gamblers over at the last minute.

Final Score Packers 31 Lions 24

Jacksonville Jaguars 3-12-0
Houston Texans 8-7-0

Jesse Lucas’ Pick

I’m giving Blake Bortles the edge here. He has been playing really good ball as of late and I think it will continue this week.

Jason Bantle’s Pick

The Texans are praying for a miracle to get into the playoffs so they'll win. The Jags might still get the top pick in 2015.

Chris Ransom’s Pick

Why the Jacksonville Jaguars will win All of the Jaguars 2014 NFL Draft picks are finally starting to gel. I think that might give the Jaguars an advantage to an extent with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Ryan Mallett both out.

Why the Houston Texans will win Jacksonville has yet to win a game on the road. Arian Foster has 1,223 rushing yards. The Jaguars run defense struggled at the beginning of the season, but has improved greatly since.

Cornerbacks Jonathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson can cover the Jaguars receivers. Defensive ends Jared Crick and J.J. Watt can give these offensive guards on the Jaguars hell.

Prediction: The Texans enter as a 9.5 point favorite. The average gambler is betting $450 dollars on Houston. This feels like a toss up. I will take Houston to win and Jacksonville to cover.

Final Score Texans 24 Jaguars 17

New York Jets 3-12-0
Miami Dolphins 8-7-0

Jesse Lucas’ Pick

Miami is out of the playoff chase but when it comes to playing the Jets it’s personal. Miami beats up the Jets.

Jason Bantle’s Pick

Finally, I'll take the Jets to win one for Rex Ryan in his final game with the Jets over Miami who was knocked out last week

Chris Ransom’s Pick

Why the New York Jets will win The Jets have a better offensive line than the Dolphins. The Jets are known for their run blocking. I expect both offensive lines to use the running game.

The Jets have a healthier and more effective offensive line. Rex Ryan is a defensive guru as well. The Jets held the Patriots to 17 points and tend to play a lot better on defense to end the year.

Why the Miami Dolphins will win Miami has Ryan Tannehill at quarterback. Having Brent Grimes and Cortland Finnegan at cornerback gives Miami a slight edge on defense.

Prediction: The Dolphins enter as a 5.5 point favorite. The average gambler is betting $230 dollars on Miami. I like the Jets in a defensive upset.

Final Score Jets 14 Dolphins 13

Chicago Bears 5-10-0
Minnesota Vikings 6-9-0

Jesse Lucas’ Pick

Chicago can’t buy a win at this point. I don’t think that trend is going to change this week.

Jason Bantle’s Pick

I think Cutler needs to selfishly play well to improve trade stock this week. So I think he finally plays well and edges out the Vikings.

Chris Ransom’s Pick

Why the Chicago Bears will win The Bears beat the Vikings in Chicago last time. Without Brandon Marshall I cannot see the Bears winning. It will be up to Alshon Jeffery who has 1,099 receiving yards and 10 receiving touchdowns.

Why the Minnesota Vikings will win Teddy Bridgewater tends to play better at home. Whoever wins this game avoids last place in the NFC North. There is less pressure on the Vikings so I expect them to deliver.

Prediction: The Vikings enter as a 6.5 point favorite. The average gambler is betting $240 dollars on Minnesota. I like the Vikings to win and the Bears to cover.

Final Score Vikings 23 Bears 20

Buffalo Bills 8-7-0
New England Patriots 12-3-0

Jesse Lucas’ Pick

The Patriots are on a roll and they are gonna have a nice little stint of home games leading to the Super Bowl. Pats get the win.

Jason Bantle’s Pick

Bills upset the Patriots who already have home field clinched.

Chris Ransom’s Pick

Why the Buffalo Bills will win Buffalo has a defensive line that is better than any other team in the league when it comes to rushing the quarterback. C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson are both back at full health now so Buffalo might bring their A game.

Why the New England Patriots will win New England already has home field locked up. Tom Brady and Jimmy Garappolo both throw two touchdowns in this statement win.

Prediction: The Patriots enter as a 4.5 point favorite. The average gambler is betting $210 dollars on New England. I like the Patriots in a big blowout win. This is a different team that plays much better at home in Gillette Stadium.

Final Score Patriots 49 Bills 14

Philadelphia Eagles 9-6-0
New York Giants 6-9-0

Jesse Lucas’ Pick

I don’t know what happened to Philly last week against Washington, but it won’t continue this week. The Eagles are too good to play that badly two weeks in a row.

Jason Bantle’s Pick

Giants over Eagles as I feel Sanchez has worn out his welcome and Beckham wants to cement his rookie of the year status. Both teams are eliminated.

Chris Ransom’s Pick

Why the Philadelphia Eagles will win The Eagles are supposed to be better than the Giants. As long as LeSean McCoy gets 100 rushing yards the Eagles will win. McCoy has 1,220 rushing yards.

Why the New York Giants will win The Eli Manning and Odell Beckham combo is simply dynamite. The Eagles are 0-3 in December and the Giants are 3-0 in December this season. Momentum favors the Giants.

Prediction: The Giants enter as a 3 point favorite. The average gambler is betting $140 dollars on New York. Take the New York Football Giants to beat the Eagles.

Final Score Giants 35 Eagles 21

New Orleans Saints 6-9-0
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-13-0

Jesse Lucas’ Pick

As bad as New Orleans has been this year Tampa Bay has been worse. New Orleans is going to get another win but too little too late.

Jason Bantle’s Pick

Saints over Tampa bc the bucs can't win at home to save their lives.

Chris Ransom’s Pick

Why the New Orleans Saints will win Drew Brees leads an explosive Saints offense. You have the NFL's best tight end in Jimmy Graham. Graham will pick apart this defense now that Mark Barron got dealt to the Rams. Colston could have a nice day at wide receiver while Mark Ingram can dominate on the ground with the right blocking.

Why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will win Tampa Bay is winless at home. As cool as it would be to see Winston on the Buccaneers, I think there is a good chance they get Marcus Mariota.

Prediction: The Saints enter as a 4 point favorite. The average gambler is betting $185 dollars on New Orleans. The Saints are a road lock to win this Sunday.

Final Score Saints 31 Buccaneers 14

San Diego Chargers 9-6-0
Kansas City Chiefs 8-7-0

Jesse Lucas’ Pick

San Diego will get the win to lockup the #6 seed in the AFC.

Jason Bantle’s Pick

Chargers over Chiefs for the final playoff spot in a minor upset.

Chris Ransom’s Pick

Why the San Diego Chargers will win Quarterback Philip Rivers has a back injury. That may affect his throwing. Good thing for him is that King Dunlap and D.J. Fluker are the only reliable offensive linemen he has at the offensive tackle position. Both offensive tackles can line up as left tackles.

Kansas City will have issues against this Charger defense. Kendall Reyes and Corey Liuget will get past the mediocre offensive guards on the Chiefs.

San Diego ranks sixth in pass defense for good reason. Cornerbacks Shareece Wright and Brandon Flowers are both in contract seasons. Strong safety Marcus Gilchrist and free safety Eric Weddle are also outstanding in coverage. Alex Smith will have problems firing the ball to other players on the secondary.

Why the Kansas City Chiefs will win Kansas City will be able to run the ball if Jamaal Charles plays. The other Chief listed as questionable is right outside linebacker Tamba Hali.

If both Chiefs are healthy, the Chiefs might win. Otherwise San Diego should get the win.

Prediction: The Chiefs enter as a 3 point favorite. The average gambler is betting $140 dollars on Kansas City. I like San Diego.

Final Score Chargers 31 Chiefs 27

Oakland Raiders 3-12-0
Denver Broncos 11-4-0

Jesse Lucas’ Pick

I went with the upset of Bengals over Broncos last week. Picking a Broncos upset again this week. Peyton Manning hasn’t looked like Peyton Manning in a while and I think that will end up hurting the Broncos this week again.

Jason Bantle’s Pick

Denver hasn't lost a home game this year and Oakland hasn't won a road game. The Broncos rebound big and get the 2 seed.

Chris Ransom’s Pick

Why the Oakland Raiders will win Oakland's only 3 wins came at home this season. I doubt they deliver a road upset in Denver.

Why the Denver Broncos will win Broncos are undefeated at home this season. The Broncos want and need a first round bye.

Prediction: The Broncos enter as a 14 point favorite. The average gambler is betting $1,400 on Denver. I think this game is a push and that way too many people are betting big on Denver.

Final Score Broncos 31 Raiders 17

Arizona Cardinals 11-4-0
San Francisco 49ers 7-8-0

Jesse Lucas’ Pick

Arizona is going to shock the 49ers at home. I don’t think anyone expects the Cardinals to win this game with their 3rd string quarterback but they will. They beat San Fran by two touchdowns.

Jason Bantle’s Pick

Cardinals over 49ers in an upset as the Niners have quit.

Chris Ransom’s Pick

Why the Arizona Cardinals will win On offense you got Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd at wide receiver ready to aid a third string quarterback. Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie thrive at cornerback.

Why the San Francisco 49ers will win This game will be an offensive shootout. The 49ers are banged up on defense, but the offense is completely healthy and will score at will as long as Kaepernick avoids turnovers.

Prediction: The 49ers enter as a 6 point favorite. The average gambler is betting $240 dollars on San Francisco. This feels like a toss up, but I will take the 49ers by a field goal.

Final Score 49ers 31 Cardinals 28

St. Louis Rams 6-9-0
Seattle Seahawks 11-4-0

Jesse Lucas’ Pick

I like the Rams, but Seattle is hot and they are almost unstoppable at home much like last year. Rams won’t pull it off this year.

Jason Bantle’s Pick

Seahawks need to beat the Rams to get homefield advantage so St louis should lose.

Chris Ransom’s Pick

Why the St. Louis Rams will win They will not sweep Seattle. Seahawks get revenge this time.

Why the Seattle Seahawks will win Seahawks need to win in order to get home field. Seattle defeats the Rams after losing on a fumble last time.

Prediction: The Seahawks enter as a 12.5 point favorite. The average gambler is betting $750 dollars on Seattle. Seahawks get home field and win. Rams find a way to cover.

Final Score Seahawks 24 Rams 17

Cincinnati Bengals 10-4-1
Pittsburgh Steelers 10-5-0

Jesse Lucas’ Pick

The Steelers finish the season with a win against a rival. Not much of a better way to go into the playoffs if you ask me.

Jason Bantle’s Pick

I like the bengals to win the AFC north title with revenge against Pittsburgh.

Chris Ransom’s Pick

Why the Cincinnati Bengals will win Cincinnati has an offensive line and run game that rivals the likes of Pittsburgh. Injuries on offense with Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, and Jermaine Gresham has created uncertainty about who might play at quarterback, wide receiver, and tight end. Right tackle Andre Smith is already on injured reserve. These injuries along with some injuries on the defensive side of the ball lead me to believe that the Bengals lose.

Why the Pittsburgh Steelers will win Ben Roethlisberger leads the AFC in passing yards. Le'veon Bell leads the AFC in rushing yards, and Antonio Brown leads the NFL in receiving yards. Lethal does not even begin to describe how potent this offense is. I like the Steelers with a healthy offensive line and a full supporting cast at Heinz Field.

Prediction: The Steelers enter as a 3.5 point favorite. The average gambler is betting $170 dollars on Pittsburgh. Steelers win by double digits.

Final Score Steelers 31 Bengals 21

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