NFL Week 17 Match-Up Breakdown

Despite having no games outside of the division, week 17 has some intriguing match-ups.  Below I’ve broken down the toughest grudge matches, including Jets-Bills, Cowboys-Redskins, Eagles-Giants, Packers-Vikings and Seahawks-Cardinals.

The New York Jets try to get into the playoffs for the first time since 2009.  Will the Bills trip them up, or will the Jets stand strong?

Playoff Scenarios

Jets

The Jets clinch a playoff berth with a win, or a Steelers loss to the Browns.  It’s easier to just win because the Steelers prettymuch have a lock over Cleveland.  It would be a huge 10 point upset for the Browns to win.    Thjey want to lose, they’re in the race for the #1 overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Bills

None, they are mathematically eliminated.

 

Keys To Victory

The Jets need to keep up their consistent offense.  Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker have had great years due to a better QB.  So in order for this offense to use it’s other weapons well, they need a good quarterback.  Ryan Fitzpatrick has had a strong season, and has turned back into the one from the Bills who was decent.  He needs to keep doing what he’s been doing to stay strong.

The Bills have plenty of potential.  Between young players like Tyrod Taylor, Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins, and older players like Percy Harvin, LeSean McCoy and Charles Clay, it looked like a playoff team going in to the season.  But their roster was only that good on paper.  The offense needs to live up to its playoff potential and you know, score for once.

 

What To The Stats Say?

If the Jets make the playoffs, Todd Bowles will be the fourth straight Jets head coach to make the playoffs in their first season, joining Rex Ryan, Eric Mangini and Herm Edwards.  The Jets are riding their first five game win streak since 2010, and haven’t had a 6 game winning streak since 1998.  They are the only team to have 2 plus offensive TDs every game this season.  Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall broke Cris Carter and Randy Moss’ record of games where they both have a TD in a season, they had seven, the Jets WRs had eight.  Marshall also has 1,376 reception yards.  The Bills only key stat is that they haven’t lived up to their expectations.  The stats highly favor the Jets in this game.

Bold Prediction of The Game: The Bills offense finally shines as they edge the Jets at the last minute.  Meanwhile, Ryan Fitzpatrick struggles, but rookie Bryce Petty comes in and shines.  However the Bills still edge the Jets.

My Pick: Buffalo_Bills.jpg

The Cowboys have nothing to play for, but can they take down the 4th seed bound Redskins, who can’t get any better or worse?  That’s what makes this match-up so intriguing.

Playoff Scenarios

Neither team has any playoff scenarios.  The Redskins are so bad they have no higher seeding to play for, but so good that they clinched the division.  The Cowboys are so bad, that they are mathematically out already.

Keys To Victory

The Cowboys defense needs to live up to its name and stop Kirk Cousins and his receivers.  The Redskins have been a pass heavy team all year, so the secondary has to be ready to go, and the pass rush needs to go heavy on the blitz and go for the big guns, (Kirk Cousins).

The Redskins need to run the ball more as no running back, between Alfred Morris, Matt Jones, Pierre Thomas and Chris Thompson has rushed for 100 yards since Week 2 (Jones).  Jones only did pit once this season and is the only one on the team to do it this year.

 

What Do The Stats Say?

Jordan Reed has had a dominant season (83 recpetions for 11 TDs, 93 yards shy of an 1,000 yard season).  Reed has the most reception yards by sany TE on the Redskins in a season.  The Cowboys meanwhile, are already experiencing their first under .500 season since 2010, when Tony Romo broke his clavicle.  Their 4-12 record with a loss will be the worst since 1989, when they went 1-15 in Jerry Jones’ first season.  Darren McFadden however has 3 TDs and is just 3 yards shy of an 1,000 yard season.

Bold Prediction of The Game: Jason Witten has 2 TDs, 100 yard game.

My Pick: Dallas Cowboys Logo.gif

The Eagles take on the Giants in a now meaningless game, with the Redskins having clinched the division with the W over the Eagles.  Will the Eagles win in a shocker with a new coach and mindset, or will OBJ bounce back as the Giants prevail?

Playoff Scenarios

None, the Redskins clinched the division last week, mathematically eliminating the Eagles and the Giants from playoff contention.

 

Keys To Victory

The Eagles need to use their powerful running game to their advantage.  Guys like DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews are in Philly for a reason, to upgrade the run.  The whole offense needs a booster.  The defense too!  This team is a mess.

The Giants have a horrible defense, so the offense needs to step up.  They need to run more, to Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen, and use OBJ to their advantage along with Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle.

 

What Do The Stats Say?

The Eagles have given up 35+ points in 4 of the last 6 games, and they have allowed 400 yards of total offense in all six of those same games, tied for the second longest streak by any team since 1950, (2012 Saints, 10 straight, lead them).  The Giants started the season 5-4 but have lost 5 of their last 6, giving up the division.  Tom Coughlin may be fired after going 102-89 for two super bowl rings with the Giants.  In each of the last four seasons the Giants have missed the playoffs, gong 28-35 in that span.  OBJ just needs 26 yards to pass Randy Moss for most yards in first two seasons. (2,726)  Beckham has 2,700.  The stats don’t clearly favor anyone, but the Giants have a slight edge.

My Pick: philadelphia-eagles-logo.jpg

https://i1.wp.com/static.nfl.com/static/content/public/video/2015/12/29/0ap3000000612045_video_cp.jpg

The Seahawks will try to prevent the Cardinals from sangging the home field advantage, with the help of the Panthers to keep Arizona from even having a chance, win or lose.  The Cradinals need a win and Panthers loss to get the home field advantage?  Will the Seahawks regain relevance ater an ugly loss or will Carson Palmer prevail?

Playoff Scenarios

Cardinals

The Cardinals clinch the home field advantage with a win plus a Buccaneers win.

Seahawks

The Seahawks get the #5 seed with a win and a Green Bay win.  They will be held to the #6 seed if eitehr the Cardinals beat the Seahawks or the Vikings beat the Packers.

 

Keys To Victory

The Seahawks defense needs to live up to its name and stop the dominant Carson Palmer and his Arizona offense.  The Seahawks also need to run the ball well, especially with injuries to Doug Baldwin, Jimmy Graham and Luke Willson.  Marshawn Lynch and Thomas Rawls could be back soon, but for now, the team has to ride on Fred Jackson, Bryce Brown, Christine Michael and Will Tukuafu.

The Cardinals offense needs to keep it up, and their magical secondary needs to get some picks.

So, both teams have offensive and defensive keys to winning.

What Do The Stats Say?

Russell Wilson has thrown 11 TDs to Doug Baldwin in the last five games tied with Brett Favre and Sterling Sharpe for most TDs by a QB-WR combo in a 5 game span.  Baldwin has 1,023 yards thsi season meanwhile, and is the first Seahawks receiver with an 1,000 yard season since 1998 (Joey Galloway with 1,047 and 10 TDs), and Baldwin is set to do better than Galloway, needing just 25 yards.  Wilson needs 2 TDs and 140 yards to break those single season QB records on the team.  He is chasing Dave Krieg (32 TDs in 1984) and Matt Hasselbeck (3,966 yards in 2007).  The Cardinals are 4-0 against teams that made the playoffs in the 2014-15 season.   They are also 4-0 vs. super bowl winning QBs.  None of those QBs had more TDs than INTs against Arizona, Drew Brees (Week 1), Joe Flacco (Week 7), Russell Wilson (Week 10) and Aaron Rodgers (Week 16).  This is the first time in history the Cardinals have won 13 plus games in a season, they have existed since 1920!   Larry Fitzgerald has 1,160 yards for 8 TDs, ninth in NFL reception yards.

Bold Prediction of The Game: JERMAINE GRESHAM goes for 2 TDs, 75 yards

My Pick: az-cards.jpg

 

 

https://i1.wp.com/www.thesportsbank.net/core/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Packers-vs.-Vikings.jpg

 

Packers.   Vikings.   Winner wins the divsion.  Adrian Peterson vs. Aaron Rodgers.  Best Week 17 match-up ever?  We shall see.  Will Aaron Rodgers stay strong as him and his receivers bounce back, or will AP and the Vikes upset for the division?

Keys To Victory

The Packers need to be able to catch the darn ball.  Their receivers have struggled of late.

Meanwhile, the Vikings need to be able to throw the ball in the first place.  What would they do if AP got hurt or suspended again?  It’s called: they would suck.

 

What Do The Stats Say?

Teddy Bridgewater has thrown 6 TDs in the last 3 games.   Rodgers has 4 TDs plus two picks.  Adrian Peterson leads the league in rushing yards this season (1,418), 64 ahead of Doug Martin, 2nd place.  Stefon Diggs has 712 yards and 2 TDs.  Eddie Lacy ahs just 724 yards.  Since Week 4, only James Jones has an 100 yard game.  Julius Peppers has 9.5 sacks, and Clay Matthews has 5.5.   The stats actually favor the Vikings.

Bold Prediction: The Vikings WRs lead Minnesota to an upset win.

My Pick: Minnesota_Vikings_Logo.png

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