Week 17 Late Day Game Predictions

I might be dead wrong, but I have a sneaky suspicion that the folks lining up this afternoon for the Cowboys–Eagles, Chargers-Broncos, or Dolphins-Jets, don't particularly like each other a whole lot. All are technically alive in the playoff hunt in what should be the most exciting Sunday of the 2008 season.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Baltimore Ravens – Win and they're in; lose and they still have an outside chance of advancing to the post season. The Ravens opponent in the season finale is coming off a tough loss to the Colts but appear to have found a new weapon in veteran returner and back-up receiver, Dennis Northcutt. The Ravens have far too much going for them in this one and are particularly tough in M&T Bank Stadium.

Ravens 28 – Jaguars 10

Dallas Cowboys vs Philadelphia Eagles – Last weeks ten to three loss to the Redskins did not end the Eagles playoff hopes for this season, but it sure made their task far more difficult and unlikely (beat the Cowboys and hope that the Raiders to defeat the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. The Cowboys in week two came from behind in the fourth quarter to defeat the Eagles, and the boys from the "City of Brotherly Love" would like nothing better than to stick it to their arch rivals and in particular, former Eagle Terrell Owens. The Eagles are a far different ball club at home and I believe that will be the big difference in this one.

Eagles 23 – Cowboys 21

Denver Broncos vs San Diego Chargers – In one of the biggest games of the Season, two mediocre football clubs do battle in a game to decide the division title (AFCW). The Broncos who started the season four and one, have dropped two straight and now find themselves in a do or die battle against a Chargers club who just three weeks ago were on life support with a four and eight record. Since that day, a sometimes maligned quarterback from NC State with a funky throwing delivery has literally put this football team on his back. It's going to be a shootout, but this Broncos club, does not run the football well and has been the case for the past two years, has had a very difficult time stopping anyone. It's hard for me to believe that either one of these club has much chance of advancing in the playoff round, but in this one I'm going with the hot quarterback and the home field advantage.

Chargers 35 – Broncos 26

Miami Dolphins vs New York Jets – Throughout their history, the Dolphins have really struggled in late season games played up in the Northeast. A team can simulate, rain wind and noise during the practice week, but it is virtually impossible to emulate the harsh, unpredictable weather one might encounter in December in New York, New England or Pennsylvania. That being said, the surprising have won eight of their last nine games, while the Jets on the other hand have really struggled over the last month of the season, losing three of the last four. Playing in windy Giants Stadium is never an easy task, but it's the Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington and not the Jets Brett Favre who has the experience edge in this stadium. I really don't like the Jets body language as of late and believe they are trying not to lose rather than to win a football game. I'm going to go against the odds makers and again go with the hot club in this one.

Dolphins 20 – Jets 16

Seattle Seahawks vs Arizona Cardinals – The 2008 champions of the absolute worst division in professional football (Cardinals) have lost four of their last five games and look like the "wildebeest" of the NFL's second season. The Seahawks on the other hand have won two straight, but have really struggled to score points against anyone in the league other than the 49ers (64 in two games). I'm certain they would love to end the season on a positive note, but with just two road wins on the season (Rams and 49ers), I don't see it happening.

Cardinals 27 – Seahawks 17

Washington Redskins vs San Francisco 49ers – After an impressive four and one start, the Redskins were upset at home by the Redskins and ever though they one the following two games against the Browns and Lions, the club essentially went into the tank. The 49ers have won four of their last six games and may have finally turned the corner as a football team. Playing at home against a Redskins club that can't put the ball into the end zone is seemingly a perfect way for the home town club to enter the off season.

49ers 26 – Redskins 17

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