Mac's NFL Picks - Week 17

In 2005, I was 11 games over the 128-win mark that's needed to finish .500. Last year, I fell 8 wins short of that goal. This week, I'd need to go 15-1 to finish .500.

Quite frankly (no pun intended), there's a better chance that Stephen A. Smith will gently whisper that he reads (and loves) my blog than there is of me going 15-1 with these picks this week. After all, if I were really an "expert" at this sort of thing, I'd be a Tom Vu-like character pitching my prognosticating skills while surrounded by a bevy of unattainable women on some ostentatious yacht on late-night cable. At the very least, I'd have a 1-800 number or an ad in the back of SportsWeekly.

But, as my 113-121-6 record heading into this week attests, I'm not an expert at this so I don't have a lot of those things.

Except for the bevy of unattainable women. What can I say? Chicks dig me.

Last week: 6-10

2007 Season: 113-121-6

New England (-13 ½) at NY Giants – With the way the NFL is celebrating what the Patriots are about to do, it's safe to assume that January is pretty much going to be a coronation, isn't it? Pick: Patriots -13 ½

San Francisco at Cleveland (-10 ½) – The good news for Cleveland Browns fans: Chris Weinke could get the start at quarterback for the 49ers. The bad news, obviously, is that you could win 100-0 and still not make the playoffs. Pick: Browns -10 ½

Detroit at Green Bay (-3 ½) – Because they won't be making the post-season, and this is the final "picks" column of the regular season, this is the last chance I'll have to mention that one incredibly smart and handsome individual sort of called the collapse of the Detroit Lions in the beginning of November. Pick: Lions +3 ½

New Orleans (-2 ½) at Chicago – Again, how costly was that botched end-around call at the end of the Buccaneers game a month ago? In terms of being in control of their own playoff destiny this week, it's the difference between the Saints being in the driver's seat versus being in the trunk. Pick: Saints -2 ½

Pittsburgh (-3 ½) at Baltimore – Good news for Baltimoreans who wish to see their city continually portrayed in a negative light after the NFL season ends: The final season of "The Wire" kicks off on January 6th at 9pm EST on HBO. Pick: Steelers -3 ½

Seattle at Atlanta (-2 ½) – This game will be blacked out locally, sparing the locals from seeing their team lose to what by the 4th quarter will be mostly the Seattle Seahawks' jayvee squad. Pick: Seahawks +2 ½

Jacksonville at Houston (-6 ½) – Still don't think the AFC South is the best division in football? The Houston Texans are 7-8 and will likely need the Jaguars to sit their key players this weekend to avoid going winless in divisional play. Pick: Texans -6 ½

Dallas at Washington (-8 ½) – No Romo and no Owens means there's no chance Dallas wins and Washington gets to go to Seattle next weekend.

Sad, but true story: The waiter in the very first restaurant I ever ate at in Seattle told me that he liked the Redskins when he was growing up because he thought they played in Washington state.

So uh, I'm sure he'll be thrilled that they're coming to town. Pick: Redskins -8 ½

Carolina (-2 ½) at Tampa Bay – Carolina plays well on the road and should be able to stay within 2 ½ points of a Buccaneers team that is sitting key players and running a vanilla offense and defense. Pick: Panthers +2 ½

Buffalo at Philadelphia (-7 ½) – Could this be the final game of the Donovan McNabb Era in the City of Brotherly Love? Pick: Eagles -7 ½

Cincinnati (-3) at Miami – Levi Jones and Joey Porter will be in the same building on Sunday, which may explain why CBS has added Larry Merchant and Howard Lederman to their broadcast team. Pick: Bengals -3

St. Louis at Arizona (-6 ½) – Don't tell Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner this game is meaningless. A good performance this week could net him $1.5 million dollars in bonus money. Pick: Cardinals -6 ½

San Diego (-7 ½) at Oakland – #1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell making his 1st NFL start against a playoff-bound San Diego Chargers is actually a smart move by Lane Kiffin. Russell is the future of the franchise, and it's good for him to get some experience against a defense as good as San Diego's in a game that actually means something to the AFC playoff picture. Pick: Chargers -7 ½

Minnesota (-3) at Denver – Sorry, but after last week, I just don't trust the Minnesota Vikings (ok, Tarvaris Jackson) to play well enough to win a road game. Pick: Broncos +3

Kansas City at NY Jets (-5 ½) – Aside from Herm Edwards' "homecoming", is there anything remotely interesting about this game? Pick: Jets -5 ½

Tennessee (-6) at Indianapolis – Sorry Cleveland. Pick: Titans -6


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