2012 NFL Picks, Every Game: Week 17

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RG3 and the Redskins are attempting to dive into the playoffs with a win over the rival Cowboys.

<p> 2012 NFL Picks, Every Game: Week 17, including the Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins, Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts, Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals, Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets at Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots.</p>

NFL Week 17 previews and predictions for every game on the schedule, broken down into tiers in regards to what they’re playing for (in order of likelihood) on the last Sunday of the regular season:


First-round Bye:

Texans (12-3) at Colts (10-5)
Houston can wrap up a first-round bye with a win or a tie; or a New England loss or tie; or a Denver loss. The Texans will earn home-field advantage with a win; or a tie and a Broncos loss or tie; or a Patriots loss or tie as well as a loss by the Broncos. Houston has lost two of its last three games. But the Texans’ lone win during that stretch was a 29–17 victory over the Colts. Indianapolis has already clinched a playoff berth, becoming just the second team in history to win 10 games after losing 14 or more in the previous season.
Texans by 3


Chiefs (2-13) at Broncos (12-3)
Denver will clinch a first-round bye with a win or tie; or a New England loss or tie. The Broncos can claim home-field advantage with a win coupled with a Texans loss or tie; or a tie along with a loss by Houston. The Broncos are 6–1 at Mile High this season, giving Peyton Manning and Co. plenty of motivation to hand the Chiefs their 12th loss in 13 weeks. Denver beat Kansas City 17–9 in Week 12.
Broncos by 15


Packers (11-4) at Vikings (9-6)
There is plenty on the line for both Green Bay and Minnesota in this black-and-blue NFC North division rivalry game. The Packers earn a first-round bye with a win; or a tie and a loss or tie by the 49ers; or a San Francisco loss and a Seattle loss or tie. The Vikings punch their ticket to the playoffs with a win; or a tie and a loss or tie by the Bears; or the trifecta of a Cowboys loss or tie, Giants loss or tie and Bears loss. Green Bay beat Minnesota, 23–14, in Week 13.
Packers by 1


Dolphins (7-8) at Patriots (11-4)
New England clinches a first-round bye with a win coupled with a loss by either Denver or Houston. The Patriots can claim home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win, and a loss by both the Broncos and Texans. The Pats have made the Super Bowl in five of the six playoffs that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have entered as a No. 1 or 2 seed.
Patriots by 13


Cardinals (5-10) at 49ers (10-4-1)
San Francisco will be NFC West champions with a win or tie. The Niners can earn a first-round bye with a win or tie and a Packers loss or tie. San Fran beat Arizona, 24–3, in Week 8.
49ers by 14


Rams (7-7-1) at Seahawks (10-5)
Seattle will be NFC West champions with a win coupled with a loss by San Francisco. The Hawks can clinch home-field advantage — where they are an undefeated 7–0 — with a win and a loss by both the 49ers and Packers.
Seahawks by 9


Playoff Berth:

Cowboys (8-7) at Redskins (9-6)
The flex-schedule Sunday night prime time game features a classic rivalry as well as a do-or-die playoff play-in showdown between two teams that control their own destiny.
Redskins by 1


Bears (9-6) at Lions (4-11)
After losing five of its last seven contests, Chicago must win and hope for a Minnesota loss or tie in order to sneak into the playoffs.
Bears by 2


Eagles (4-11) at Giants (8-7)
The defending Super Bowl champs need the dominoes to fall — with a win and losses by the Cowboys, Bears and Vikings.
Giants by 5


Playoff Health:

Buccaneers (6-9) at Falcons (13-2)
Atlanta has wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the NFC Playoffs as well as the NFC South crown.
Falcons by 9


Ravens (10-5) at Bengals (9-6)
Baltimore is the AFC North champ, while the Bengals have already clinched a playoff berth.
Bengals by 3


Next Year:

Panthers (6-9) at Saints (7-8)
Believe New Orleans wants revenge for its 35–27 loss at Carolina in Week 2.
Saints by 6


Browns (5-10) at Steelers (7-8)
Big Ben hopes to do what Charlie Batch didn’t during a 20–14 loss at Cleveland in Week 12.
Steelers by 9


Jets (6-9) at Bills (5-10)
New York soared to a 48–28 win over Buffalo in Week 1. That sure seems like a long time ago.
Bills by 3


Raiders (4-11) at Chargers (6-9)
The supposed final game of the Norv Turner era is a rematch of a 22–14 Bolts win in Week 1.
Chargers by 8


Jaguars (2-13) at Titans (5-10)
Tennessee handed Jacksonville its only home win of the year with a 24–19 loss in Week 12.
Titans by 4


Last week: 10–6 // Season: 160–80
 

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