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2014 NFL Season: Pokorny's Week 17 Picks

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The final week of the 2014 NFL regular season is here! For those of you who have been following my picks each week, you'll know that I've been trying to average an 11-5 record so that I didn't go above 100 losses on the year. Last week, I was 10-6, so that means I need to be 12-4 in this final week in order to achieve my goal.

Also, here are the key playoff seedings to watch in the AFC:

Week 16 Games Explanation Pick
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Improving Draft Position: The Patriots are guaranteed to have the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to see some snaps today, which could give the Bills' defense the advantage. However, I think they'll be a bit crushed by being eliminated from playoff contention, and New England hasn't lost at home. Every Bills loss helps Cleveland's draft pick too, ever-so-slightly. Patriots 28, Bills 14

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Don't Care Bear: I love the "Don't Care Bear" comic series for Jay Curlter. It really does write itself. The Bears continue to be a mess due to their quarterback situation, while the Vikings have maintained a competitive edge. I'll live with that philosophy in the finale. Vikings 21, Bears 13

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No Need to Go All Out: The Cowboys are pretty much guaranteed the third seed. They could improve to the second seed (or even the first seed), but that would have to involve both Arizona and Seattle losing their Week 17 games. I'm not picking the Redskins here simply because they haven't been able to put together complete football games. Cowboys 31, Redskins 17

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Bad Memories: The Colts are guaranteed to be the No. 4 seed, no matter what they do this week. That brings back bad memories of the last time the Browns tried to make the playoffs and Indianapolis gave the Titans a free victory. The Titans are too bad for that to happen again, and Indianapolis has been playing so bad lately that they will want to establish a rhythm before the postseason. Colts 35, Titans 20

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Everything on the Line: In order for the Texans to make the playoffs, they need to win and have Kansas City and Cleveland defeat San Diego and Baltimore, respectively. It's not a ridiculous scenario, actually, and Houston's defense would have earned it. J.J. Watt and company will go all out this week to destroy the Jaguars. Texans 24, Jaguars 6

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Defensive Turnover: I have to imagine that Rob Ryan will be one of the first assistant coaches shown the door this offseason, and Sean Payton may escort him to the door himself. Perhaps the most startling stat of the season is that the Saints have won three straight road games, but lost five straight home games. Odd. This week, I think the Buccaneers take advantage of the season-long chaos surrounding the Saints in a semi-upset. Buccaneers 27, Saints 20

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Playing for Pride: The Dolphins came up with a big-time victory last week, but had to be heartbroken to learn they were still eliminated from playoff contention. The news that their coach will return should inspire them to finish the season strong, especially over a division rival. Dolphins 20, Jets 17

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Wish We Had a Swap: There have been reports that Ray Farmer really wanted to trade up to draft Odell Beckham Jr. after the team took Justin Gilbert, but he couldn't pull it off. Wouldn't having Beckham right now make it much easier to part ways with Josh Gordon? Beckham's presence has revived the Giants, while the Eagles will show a lack of motivation in being eliminated. Giants 31, Eagles 20

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Win and In: If the Chargers win on the road for the second straight week, they are in. It won't be easy, even though the Chiefs are without Alex Smith. Backup quarterback Chase Daniel is a guy who can put up big numbers after sitting behind Drew Brees for many years. The Chiefs also have slim playoff hopes if they win and the Browns and Jaguars both win. I'll go with Rivers to continue to will his team to the playoffs again. Chargers 28, Chiefs 24

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Losing Grip: The Cardinals have lost grip of the No. 1 seed in the NFC, but their is still a chance they'll secure it with a win and a Seahawks loss. Their quarterback situation won't get it done, but they'll win this game with defense as the whole 49ers team wonders what will happen with Jim Harbaugh. Cardinals 13, 49ers 9

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My Type of Game: Looking past the fact that both teams are below .500, I love games that are "win and in" in the final week of the season. I really don't know what to expect in this game since both teams have been inconsistent in 2014. The one consistent element is that the Falcons are 5-0 within the division, so I'll go with them to complete the sweep and make the postseason. Falcons 27, Panthers 24

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Defensive Battle to the End: Even though both of these teams are in, because the division and a first-round bye are on the line, this game will be treated just as intensely as the Panthers-Falcons game. The Lions have played tough defense all year, so I'm not expecting a shootout. Green Bay will put together an efficient drive late to come out on top. Packers 20, Lions 14

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Righting the Ship: The Raiders are on a roll of sorts, while the Broncos are fading a bit. There is a chance where Denver could fall to the No. 3 seed, so there is no way they take this game lightly. Peyton Manning will bring his A-game and pick apart the Raiders early. Broncos 31, Raiders 13

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Too Hot to Stop: The Seahawks are officially the best team in football again. Offensively and defensively, they are clicking on all cylinders at the right time, making them the favorites to win the Super Bowl again. They'll roll again this week to take the No. 1 seed. Seahawks 24, Rams 10

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Shootout of the Week: While it's bitter to see our division in the final game of the season, I expect it to be a classic back-and-forth shootout. Cincinnati is hot having won two games in a row, but the Steelers beat the Bengals three weeks ago and should have the upper hand at home. Steelers 34, Bengals 27

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Welcome to the NFL, Connor Shaw: Another Week 17, and another new starting quarterback for the Browns. Our full game preview and prediction for this week's game is here.

TBA



Pokorny's Week 16 NFL Picks Record: 10-6
Pokorny's Record w/ Browns Games: 6-9
Pokorny's 2014 NFL Picks Record: 143-96-1

Survivor Pick: I am on a nine-game winning streak after the Packers beat the Buccaneers last week. The teams I've used are NE, CIN, SEA, SD, IND, MIA, DET, NYG, and GB. This week, I'll go with the Texans to take out the Jaguars.