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NFL Picks & Pans: Week 17

Back on track after a pretty good week 16, but would have loved to have our Baltimore Ravens as one of my correct picks. However, the Pittsburgh Steelers, with lots of help from the Ravens, pulled out another close win over us. There are a lot of playoff implications abounding this week, both in specific playoff seedings, much less who still has a chance to sneak in to the final spots. Some teams should be favored to win, but may rest key starters, thereby upsetting the balance and possible outcomes of those games While those teams can do what they want, we fans pay big bucks to watch them and I, for one, think they should always put their best out on the field and go for the win, regardless of injury possibilities which are just part of the game. But that's a topic for another day, so let's get right to the picks and of course, I'll "pick & pan" the Ravens-Raiders game tomorrow morning.

Steelers over Dolphins: We've all seen what Miami can do with their playoff hopes on the line at home in their loss last week, so there's no reason why a rejuvenated and hopeful Pittsburgh team can't go down there to enjoy the weather plus a win and then sit back and root for other teams to lose so they can back into the post season.

Texans over Patriots: While I fully expect New England to be one of those teams to rest their starters, a Patriots loss might move them from the 3rd to 4th seed while a Houston win might just get them into a Wild Card slot.

Bills over Colts: This is one of those obvious games where if Indianapolis doesn't rest their starters it rolls for a victory, but now Buffalo looks to be the better team against the Colts' backups.

Buccaneers over Falcons: My so-called "Upset Special Pick" of the weekend, as both teams are going nowhere after today but I seem to like what Tampa is doing lately and there are a lot of injuries on Atlanta's side.

49ers over Rams: San Francisco is a decent team and if St. Louis is bad enough to start an unknown rookie over veteran Kyle Boller, then they must be a really bad team.

Vikings over Giants: Both teams are coming off embarrassing losses bu Minnesota needs to get their act together for the playoffs while New York just wants to get this nightmare of a season over with.

Bears over Lions: Where was Chicago's efforts all season compared to how good they looked last week in winning? In the meantime, Detroit is fighting for another top pick in the NFL Draft

Panthers over Saints: Combined with the fact that Carolina is playing pretty good and New Orleans is not, the Panthers always play the Saints tough and NO might rest their starters.

Browns over Jaguars: Another sort of "upset" as Cleveland has played better of late while Jacksonville seems to have mailed it in these last couple of weeks with the playoffs on the line.

Cowboys over Eagles: Interestingly,both teams are in the playoffs, but it appears that if Dallas wins over the Eagles, then they might return to play each other again in the first round of the playoffs but if Phiily wins, they might have to go to Philly for the same match up. This should be the weekend's best game to keep an eye on.

Broncos over Chiefs: Denver should win this game even without their star WR Brandon Marshall, who is out fo rthe game, although they pretty much ruined their playoff chances over the past month or so and KC would like nothing better than to put them out of their annual late season misery.

Seahawks over Titans: Tough to win in Seattle despite the poor play of the Seahawks, and while Tennessee made a great run fro a while, it is time for them to sit at home and ponder "what if?"

Chargers over Redskins: Even though I expect San Diego to rest a lot of their players, I still think their reserves are even better than many of the Washington players who will be fighting for future jobs.

Cardinals over Packers: These two teams may meet soon again in the post season, so I see no way that Arizona will lay down at home to Green Bay, who might be the hottest team in the NFC right now.

Jets over BengalsIf New York wins this game, they will travel to Cincinnati next week for a rematch and if the Bengals rest their starters this game, then that will only give more confidence that the Jets can win next week over a Cincy team that has looked less than impressive over the last month or so, which to me would be a very bad decision.

Last week: 10-6

Season record: 157-81