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- Week 17 Predictions: Chiefs Stand

Chris Pokorny December 31, 2005
Chris Pokorny
PFC Owner & Writer

Tell Chris your opinion.

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It's that time of the year, when unfortunately, some of your home town teams will have to call it a season until next year. It'll also feature a lot of games in which not many people really "care" about, especially if they have no impact on the playoffs at all. Even the contenders, like the Colts and the Seahawks, won't be very fun to watch when they play their backups.

However, there are still several games that are absolutely huge this week. Could you imagine what would happen if the Detroit Lions shock the world and upset the Steelers? And what if the final game of the season - St. Louis and Dallas - still had playoff implications? We can only hope.

Let's get to the Week 17 games of the week.

(Red = Prediction).

Both Still Need A Win
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Can you believe that this is the only game this week that features two teams that are still alive in the playoff race? Not only that, but both teams need to win, meaning that both teams will be fighting until the very end. The Chiefs will be scoreboard watching during the game though, because unless Pittsburgh loses, a win really doesn't help them. The Bengals are in danger of dropping to the fourth seed, meaning they may have to travel to New England some time during the playoffs.

The Chiefs have proven the past couple of weeks that they are dominating at home. They showed it when they came up big against the Chargers last week, and they will show it again by tearing apart a Bengals defense that has a lot of holes in it still. Palmer will keep his team in the game until the very last second, but you can only go so far with an offense, as he saw last week against the Bills.

Locked and Loaded
Detroit Lions vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
As much as I would like to see Dick Vermeil and the Chiefs get into the playoffs, there's no way it'll happen after the Steelers steamroll over the Lions. Some people are hoping the Steelers "lay down" since they believe they have this game won already. All you have to do is look at last week's Browns game to know that the Steelers won't be taking any game lightly. The Lions will try to stop Roethlisberger in the passing game early, forcing the Steelers to attempt to run the ball. Unfortunately for the Lions, Pittsburgh can run it all day.

Detroit's offense hasn't shown anything under Joey Harrington or Jeff Garcia. Not only that, but their top three receivers didn't show a whole lot this season either. It's been another one of those "what happened?" type of years for them, and nothing will change in this game.

Division Rivalry Still in Tact
Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons
This is the featured NFC game of the week. The Panthers have the toughest opponent of the four teams alive in the NFC this week, and it's against a division rival that's fuming. The Falcons are obviously upset that they won't be in the playoffs after a promising start and are looking to spoil the Panthers chances now. The Falcons have showed over the past few weeks that they really aren't underachieving, they're just not that "great".

Carolina really suffered after losing Steve Smith last week after being ejected. He'll be back this week though, and will be the primary focus of the Panthers offense. Jake Delhomme shook off his woes against Carolina earlier this year and is setting his sights on two in a row. Last year, the Panthers fell short against the Saints in Week 17. They don't want the same to happen this year. Panthers win in a thriller.

Reggie Bush Bowl
Houston Texans vs. San Francisco 49ers
It's fitting that these two teams meet in the final week of the season, with the loser getting the first pick in the 2006 NFL draft. Which team needs Reggie Bush more? While the Texans already have a decent running back in Dominick Davis, they have no offensive line. The 49ers already have a new QB, but could really use an "it" factor on offense to get things going. I don't ever believe the fact that teams "throw away" games to gain draft position, and that may make the Texans seem foolish after they pick up a victory here.

David Carr and Andre Johnson will have their second-best games of the season, providing enough defense to hold Alex Smith without a touchdown yet again. With the first pick in the NFL draft, the San Francisco 49ers will select running back Reggie Bush.

And now, the rest of the week...

Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers
Should the Chargers take a look at Phillip Rivers? I would say yes. Not only would you get a good look at your possible QB for next year, you can showcase him for another possible team. Plus, it'd make this game interesting at least, since Denver will rest a lot of their playoffs after already securing the second seed in the AFC. The Chargers' starters will always beat Denver's backups.

New York Giants vs. Oakland Raiders
The Giants are still fighting for their division title, and they should achieve it with ease against the Raiders. Oakland has no home-field advantage anymore, and have played very ugly offensively. If the Giants fail to clinch their division against Oakland, they'll be heavy underdogs heading into the playoffs.

New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers, like the Steelers, can basically walk into the playoffs after you see who they're facing. However, unlike Pittsburgh, the Buccaneers do have to worry about a possible upset. They were let down big time after a loss to the San Francisco 49ers earlier this year, and can't afford the same type of effort today. The Saints have nothing but wide receivers though on offense now, meaing the Buccaneers defense will gobble up Todd Bouman all day.

Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots
The Patriots will not lose this game solely so they can face Jacksonville instead of Pittsburgh in the first round of the playoffs. New England wants the third seed in case they meet the Bengals in the postseason, and will continue their dominant gameplay. Although the Dolphins have surged to an 8-7 record and a five-game winning streak, Tom Brady will make them look like amateurs.

Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets
Kelly Holcomb got the Bills offense on a roll last week while the Jets played the Patriots so-so on Monday Night. Everyone is picking the Jets to win so they can end the season on a positive note, but I don't see it happening. Bollinger will play too cautious in the passing game, and make a mistake when it takes his lone chance. Bills win significantly.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns
It's all about rebounding for the Browns this week. The Ravens have been on fire with Boller the past few weeks, but they have been a horrible road team this year. Disregarding last week's meltdown to the Steelers, the Browns have been very competitive recently. It'll come down to the very last second, and Charlie Frye will produce a late drive to give the team a glimpse of their future.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers
Set off the fireworks, Shaun Alexander will break the rushing touchdown record today. After the controversy last year with Alexander not getting the chance at one more yard rushing, Holmgreen will not make the same mistake this time around. After that though, the Seahawks will check in most of their backups, allowing Favre to end the season on a positive note with a win.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Indianapolis Colts
Peyton Manning may only see one series, but he'll be able to score a touchdown on it. Jim Sorgi managed the game fairly well last week in relief, and will have some success against the Cardinals porous defense. Josh McCown looked solid last week, but he's shown inconsistency in the past that will cause him to struggle against Indianapolis' defense.

Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
It'll be interesting to see whether Byron Leftwich gets to play, but Jacksonville can win this game even without their starters. The Titans will try and get a look at some of their youngsters as well, and the Jaguars want to finish with their heads held high in what could be their final home game of the season.

Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Bears will probably rest some of their starters as well, but they have some depth similar to their starters. Kyle Orton won most of the year, and Cedric Benson it going to get his feet wet again. Brad Johnson hasn't been able to get it done the past two weeks, and the Vikings can't be too motivated after not coming through the past two weeks.

Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Joe Gibbs is that close to making the playoffs. The health of Mark Brunell has to be a major concern for this game though. If Brunell is not performing early, you never know if Patrick Ramsey will get in sync with his receivers. However, Washington's defense can keep the Eagles lack of depth on offense out of the end zone to pick up the victory.

St. Louis Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys
Ah, the final regular season game of the season. Hopefully there will still be some drama left when the game starts, otherwise hardly anyone will even care about this game. Either way, the Cowboys will be prepared to play and prepared to win. The Rams season was lose after Marc Bulger went down, but the Cowboys have to be disappointed that they could be left out of the playoffs after a great start.

That's it for this weeks predictions. My survivor winning streak is now at six games after the Jaguars defeated the Texans last week. This week, I'm taking the Pittsburgh Steelers to defeat the Detroit Lions. The Lions won't be able to win even if they are on fire.

Predictions Record to Date: 153-87
Last Week: 9-7
Survivor Streak: Won 6(Sea over SF, SD over Was, Ind over Ten, Den over Bal, Car over NO, Jac over Hou.)

It may be the last week of the regular season, but a whole month of postseason play is still ahead of us heading into the new year.

-Chris Pokorny


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