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NFL Week 17 schedule and game-by-game predictions

NFL Week 17, Kyler Murray Cardinals
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Week 17 schedule is always a bit wonky. That’s even more true this season with only one team in each conference having a first-round playoff bye. It means a lot of teams will end up resting their starters. From a betting perspective, that complicates things.

As for the games themselves, there’s some tremendous matchups. The Rams and Cardinals could be doing battle for a final playoff spot in the NFC. Speaking of that conference, there’s a three-way race for the NFC East that will conclude with the Washington Football Team looking to win the division against the Philadelphia Eagles on “Sunday Night Football.”

It’s in this that we give you the NFL Week 17 schedule with game-by-game predictions.

Updated: Jan. 3. 9:30 AM EST

Related: Predicting NFL playoff bracket and Super Bowl winner

NFL Week 17 Sunday games

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts

NFL Week 17: Jaguars-Colts, Philip Rivers
Dec 13, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Jaguars-Colts Week 17 point spread: Colts -14.0 (over/under 48.5)

Two narrow wins over the Texans over the past three weeks had Indianapolis at a shocking 10-4 on the season and tied with the Tennessee Titans for first place in the AFC South heading into Week 16. The team was slated to take on a reeling Pittsburgh Steelers squad. Unfortunately for Philip Rivers and Co., they could not hold a 24-7 lead. Rather, Pittsburgh scored three consecutive touchdowns to conclude the game. This has the Colts at 10-5 and battling with four other teams for the final playoff spot in the AFC. It is also still in the AFC South mix. However, Indy loses the tiebreaker with all the other 10-5 teams battling for those final spots.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Colts, check out #ForTheShoe rumors, rankings, and news here.

After playing pretty competitive football over the past few weeks, the Jaguars were destroyed by Baltimore back in Week 15 by the score of 40-14 before falling to Chicago 41-17 this past Sunday. The team’s struggling defense has now given up 30-plus points nine times this season. There’s no way a Jaguars team that has now lost 14 consecutive will come to play Week 17. It’s that simple.

NFL Week 17 predictions: Colts 35, Jaguars 13

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans

NFL Week 17: Titans-Texans, Deshaun Watson
Dec 15, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) and Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) after a Texans win at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Titans-Texans Week 17 point spread: Titans -7.0 (over/under 55.0)

Update: Texans LT Laremy Tunsil out for Week 17

It’s something else. For the second time in three weeks, Deshaun Watson and his Texans went tit-for-tat with the Colts, only to lose in heartbreaking fashion back in Week 15. This, despite the fact that Watson himself tallied nearly 400 total yards without an interception. Houston then followed that up with an uninspiring 37-31 loss to the hapless Bengals in Week 16.

The same thing can’t be said for Ryan Tannehill and Co. Still battling it out in the AFC South with the above-mentioned Colts, the 10-win Titans blew out Detroit 46-25 in Week 15. It’s a game that saw Tennessee put up nearly 500 total yards of offense, including 147 on the ground from Derrick Henry. Unfortunately, Tennessee was blown out by the Packers in Week 16 by the score of 40-14. They remain in first place in the AFC South by virtue of posting a better divisional record than Indianapolis. However, the Titans can also drop out of the playoffs altogether with a loss to Houston. Don’t expect that to happen.

NFL Week 17 predictions: Titans 31, Texans 24

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Week 17: Falcons-Buccaneers, Tom Brady
Sep 13, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) after a touchdown pass against the New Orleans Saints against the New Orleans Saints during the fourth quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, Fox 

Falcons-Buccaneers Week 17 point spread: Buccaneers -7.0 (over/under 50.5)

It was just back in Week 15 that Tom Brady and the Buccaneers overcame a 17-0 halftime deficit against the Falcons to win by the score of 31-27. It’s a game that saw Brady throw for 390 yards, including a long touchdown strike to Pro Bowl receiver Antonio Brown. Last week saw the Buccaneers open up a 34-0 halftime lead against Detroit before Brady was pulled. All said, the six-time Super Bowl champion has thrown eight touchdowns compared to zero interceptions over the past three games. He has the Buccaneers heading to the playoffs with a 10-5 record and potentially set to rest their starters with very little to play for in Week 17.

As for the Falcons, they have now lost nine games by one score after a brutal late-game loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 16. In five of those games, Atlanta held a two-score lead. Julio Jones is banged up. Raheem Morris is playing out the string as the team’s interim head coach. The Falcons have absolutely nothing to play for here outside of draft positioning. Expect that to play a role as they close out another lost season, regardless of who suits up for Tampa Bay.

Related: Top candidates to become Falcons new head coach

NFL Week 17 predictions: Buccaneers 31, Falcons 20

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

NFL Week 17: Cowboys-Giants, Daniel Jones
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) throws against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first half of an NFL game at MetLife Stadium on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in East Rutherford. Nyg Vs Tb

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, Fox

Cowboys-Giants Week 17 point spread: Cowboys -1.5 (over/under 44.5)

If you told us back in Week 1 that the 5-10 Giants would be playing for a chance to win the NFC East, we’d have laughed at you on a never-ending loop. If you had told us Week 1 that the Cowboys would be 6-9 and in contention with Andy Dalton under center, we’d have laughed even harder.

But here we are. If Washington were to lose to Philadelphia, the winner of this game will take the NFC East. Dallas is coming off a brilliant 37-17 victory over Philadelphia and has won three consecutive games for the first time since the start of the 2019 season. As for the Giants, they have lost three straight since a pretty awesome mid-season stretch. I am going to go with recent play and pick the Cowboys to come out on top, winning the NFC East at 7-9 in the process (more on this below).

Related: If you’re a fan of the Cowboys, check out #DallasCowboys rumors, rankings, and news here.

NFL Week 17 predictions: Cowboys 30, Giants 23

New York Jets at New England Patriots

NFL Week 17: Patriots-Jets, Adam Gase
Nov 29, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase looks on during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Wexler-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Jets-Patriots Week 17 point spread: Patriots -3.0 (over/under 40.0)

Consider this for a second. Jets and Patriots quarterbacks have combined to throw 20 touchdowns against 26 interceptions on the season. It really is like both teams are playing in the 1970’s era NFL. That’s not hyperbole, especially when it comes to a Patriots quarterback in Cam Newton who has thrown five touchdown passes in 14 starts this season and was benched during a blowout 38-9 Week 16 loss to the Bills.

Related: How the Jets can build around Justin Fields, attack 2021 offseason

What to make of a meaningless game between two bottom feeders? Well, the Patriots are -3.5 makes no sense at all. Outside of a mirage 45-0 win over the Chargers back in Week 13, this team has not proven that it can gain separation. That will likely be true against the disastrous two-win Jets, too, after New York earned its second consecutive victory in Week 16, defeating another playoff contender in that of the Cleveland Browns.

Related: Patriots top QB options for 2021

NFL Week 17 predictions: Patriots 24, Jets 16

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs

NFL Week 17: Chargers-Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes
Dec 6, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws a pass during the second half against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, Fox

Chargers-Chiefs Week 17 point spread: Chargers -5.5 (over/under 43.0)

Update: Patrick Mahomes won’t play, Chad Henne to start

It’s an interesting scenario to look at. Will the Chiefs rest Patrick Mahomes and their stars now that the top seed in the AFC is wrapped up following a narrow Week 16 win over Atlanta. That’s a major thing when it comes to the betting community.

That will also play a role in whether Los Angeles remains competitive as it closes up a lost season under embattled head coach Anthony Lynn. At the very least, the NFL fan in us wants to see Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert duel with Mahomes after the two met in his NFL debut earlier this season.

Related: Top 100 players in the NFL

NFL Week 17 predictions: Chargers 24, Chiefs 20

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions

NFL Week 17: Vikings-Lions, Kirk Cousins
Dec 8, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates after the game against Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, Fox

Vikings-Lions Week 17 point spread: Vikings -4.0 (over/under 54.0)

Update: Matthew Stafford expected to start in Week 17

Now eliminated from playoff contention following their brutal Christmas Day loss to the Saints, these Vikings are merely playing out the string. It’s been a disappointing season for head coach Mike Zimmer and embattled quarterback Kirk Cousins. However, it should end on a high note against a Lions squad that is coming off an embarrassing 47-7 loss against Tampa Bay.

The Lions are giving up an average of 40 points over the past five games. They are a complete disaster on that side of the ball. This might also be Matthew Stafford’s final game in Detroit as a home player (should he suit up). It all adds up to a lack of competitiveness for the downtrodden organization.

Related: Top candidates to become Lions new head coach

NFL Week 17 predictions: Vikings 31, Lions 17

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns

NFL Week 17: Steelers-Browns, Baker Mayfield
Oct 18, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) and Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) meet at mid-field after a game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Steelers-Browns Week 17 point spread: Browns -9.5 (over/under 43.5)

Update: Jarvis Landry, other top Browns WR’s, to be activated off COVID-19 list

Update: Ben Roethlisberger, other Steelers starters to rest

Losers of three consecutive games, the Steelers headed into Week 16 in need of a get-right performance against the streaking Indianapolis Colts. Down by 17 in the third quarter, it was looking dire. That’s until Ben Roethlisberger and Co. ran off three unanswered touchdowns to win going away, capturing the AFC North title in the process.

On the other hand, a previously 10-4 Browns squad headed into Week 16 without its top-four receivers due to COVID-19 protocols. No one expected that to matter against the one-win Jets. Unfortunately, Baker Mayfield and Co. could not get anything going in a brutal 23-16 loss. With Cleveland battling for its playoff lives and the Steelers already content with the AFC North title, I expect the former to come out on top in this one.

NFL Week 17 predictions: Browns 27, Steelers 17

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals

NFL Week 17: Bengals-Ravens, Lamar Jackson
Dec 8, 2019; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs with the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Ravens-Bengals Week 17 point spread: Ravens -14.0 (over/under 44.0)

Cincinnati’s shocking Week 15 win over Pittsburgh notwithstanding, it’s hard to imagine Brandon Allen and Co. having much of a shot against the Ravens to end another lost season. Even after the Bengals’ victory over Houston this past Sunday, there’s just too much working against this team. That’s primarily due to the Ravens battling for their playoff lives in Week 17.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Bengals, check out #SeizeTheDEY rumors, rankings, and news here.

Lamar Jackson and Co. are 7-1 against teams that currently find themselves under .500 and just 3-4 against winning teams. Taking care of business against inferior competition has been the name of the game. That will not change with everything riding on NFL Week 17.

NFL Week 17 predictions: Ravens 38, Bengals 10

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

NFL Week 17: Bears-Packers, Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) talks to Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10) after the Bears beat the Packers at Soldier Field on Sunday, December 16, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wis Gpg Packersbears 121618 Abw1689

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, Fox

Packers-Bears Week 17 point spread: Packers -4.5 (over/under 49.5)

This game might actually be interesting from a betting perspective. By virtue of their win over the Titans in Week 16, the Packers have guaranteed themselves home-field advantage in the NFC Playoffs and a first-round bye. Does this mean Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay’s starters will rest during NFL Week 17? Given that Green Bay will have a week off, I’d expect the starter to at least play some.

Related: Top NFL free agents of 2023 – Lamar Jackson, and Deebo Samuel lead the charge

As for the Bears, they find themselves in the driver’s seat when it comes to a playoff appearance after seeing San Francisco defeat Arizona and taking care of business against Jacksonville in Week 16. A win here over Green Bay will clinch a shocking playoff appearance for embattled head coach Matt Nagy and Co. Given Green Bay has very little to play for and the Bears’ recent shocking run, I am inclined to go with Chicago here. Of course, that changes if the Pack play their starters for the duration. Check in during the week for more updates.

NFL Week 17 predictions: Bears 23, Packers 20

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

NFL Week 17: Panthers-Saints, Drew Brees
Mandatory Credit: Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, Fox

Saints-Panthers Week 17 point spread: Saints -6.0 (over/under 47.5)

Injury update: Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey, Saints RBs Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray (COVID-19) out

Matt Rhule and the Panthers have lost eight of nine since a surprising start to the season. It’s been primarily due to struggles on the defensive side of the ball. This unit has given up 32.6 points in its past five games. In no way does that bode well for being competitive against New Orleans.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Panthers, check out #KeepPounding rumors, rankings, and news here.

After some initial struggles in his return from injury back in Week 15 against the Chiefs, Drew Brees responded by throwing three touchdowns. It kept that game close. In Week 16, it was Alvin Kamara’s six touchdown runs that gifted New Orleans a win over the Minnesota Vikings. Now at 11-4, these Saints have something to play for. That should spell doom for Carolina in Week 17.

NFL Week 17 predictions: Saints 31, Panthers 16

Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills

NFL Week 17: Dolphins-Bills, Josh Allen
Dec 13, 2020; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) runs with the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Dolphins-Bills Week 17 point spread: Bills -1.5 (over/under 42.0)

Update: Bills undecided on resting starters

Two teams likely heading to the playoffs. A Bills squad that just earned its first AFC title since 1995. Division rivals that would be slated to play during the wild card round if the postseason were to start today. This is a major backdrop heading into NFL Week 17.

The Bills are highly unlikely to be playing for something here after wrapping up the division and seeing Kansas City take the only first-round by in the AFC. Meanwhile, the 10-5 Dolphins will likely need a win in this one to clinch a playoff spot. That could be the difference in Week 17. Stay tuned for more information on Buffalo’s inactive list before drawing a final conclusion from a betting perspective.

NFL Week 17 predictions: Dolphins 24, Bills 20

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers

NFL Week 17: Seahawks-49ers, Russell Wilson
Caption: Sep 13, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) runs with the ball against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 4:25 PM EST, Fox

Seahawks-49ers Week 17 point spread: Seahawks -7.0 (over/under 46.0)

Update: Trent Williams, Brandon Aiyuk out for 49ers

As we saw last season, the NFL was right to schedule this game for Week 17. Unfortunately, issues with injuries and other outside factors has the defending NFC champion 49ers completely out of the playoff picture heading into their “home” finale in Arizona. The good news? These 49ers are still playing inspired football, as evidenced by their shocking upset win over Arizona in Week 16.

Related: Top QB options for 49ers in 2021

The situation could not be any more different for the division-rival Seahawks. They wrapped up the NFC West with a win over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 16 and could still potentially be vying for a first-round bye in the playoffs. If not, I expect Russell Wilson and Co. to rest. That would give the 49ers a fighting chance. Hence, the narrow Seahawks win in my most-recent NFL Week 17 predictions.

NFL Week 17 predictions: Seahawks 31, 49ers 27

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams

NFL Week 17: Cardinals-Rams, Jared Goff
Dec 1, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay with quarterback Jared Goff (16) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 4:25 PM EST, Fox

Cardinals-Rams Week 17 point spread: Cardinals -3.0 (over/under 41.0)

Injury update: Rams QB Jared Goff (thumb), Cooper Kupp (COVID) will not play

Injury update: Cardinals hopeful Kyler Murray (leg) will play Week 17

Neither of these NFC West teams have yet to clinch a playoff spot. Both will likely be playing for a playoff spot heading into Week 17. At issue here for the Rams is a recent humiliating loss to the New York Jets and the real possibility that Jared Goff’s squad is nothing more than a pretender. That came out in droves during another ugly outing in a Week 16 loss to the seahawks.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Rams, check out #RamsHouse rumors, rankings, and news here.

As for the Cardinals, they are coming off an uninspired loss to an injury-plagued San Francisco 49ers team at home in Week 16. At 8-7 on the season, Arizona needs to win this game and hope Chicago loses to Green Bay on Sunday. That’s not what head coach Kliff Kingsbury and Co. had in mind. We also must pay attention to the injury Kyler Murray suffered late in Week 16. For now, pick the Rams to send Arizona packing for the winter.

NFL Week 17 predictions: Rams 27, Cardinals 24

Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos

NFL Week 17: Raiders-Broncos, Derek Carr
Dec 13, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden looks at quarterback Derek Carr against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Time/station: 4:25 PM EST

Raiders-Broncos Week 17 point spread: Raiders -2.5 (over/under 50.5)

A meaningless Week 17 game between the Raiders and Broncos. Raise your hand if you’ve heard this before. The NFL had high expectations for this game heading in. Unfortunately, recent disaster on the part of the Jon Gruden’s Raiders has this team eliminated from the playoffs despite starting the season with a 6-3 record.

In and of itself, this doesn’t speak well to the Raiders’ chances. They are sorely disappointed with yet another late-season meltdown. Major changes are coming on both sides of the ball. And while the Broncos have had their own issues, they are at least playing somewhat inspired football.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Raiders, check out #RaiderNation rumors, rankings, and news here.

NFL Week 17 predictions: Broncos 27, Raiders 24

NFL Week 17 Sunday Night Football

Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles

NFL Week 17: Washington-Eagles, Jalen Hurts
The Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Hurts carries the ball against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Philadelphia. Jl Eagles 121320 02

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, Fox

Washington-Eagles Week 17 point spread: Washington -4.0 (over/under 44.0)

Update: Washington releases Dwayne Haskins, Alex Smith likely to play

Ouch. That hurts big time. Despite boasting a 4-9-1 record heading into Week 16, Doug Pederson and his Eagles had a chance to remain alive in the NFC East race. Instead, his defense gave up north of 500 yards and 37 points to the Cowboys en route to being eliminated from playoff contention. This will (and should) end Pederson’s tenure with the Eagles.

Related: Carson Wentz trade scenarios

As for Washington, the team sits at 6-9 following a brutal loss to Carolina that saw embattled quarterback Dwayne Haskins benched in favor of Taylor Heinicke with Alex Smith still sidelined to injury. Washington is 10-5 since the start of the 2018 season with Smith under center and 6-26 with another quarterback under center. In need of a win to capture the NFC East, Washington’s chances rest on the status of Smith heading into Week 17. For now, he’s iffy. It’s in this that we pick Philadelphia to end the season on a high note, giving Dallas the NFC East in the process. Game on!

NFL Week 17 predictions: Eagles 24, Washington 21

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