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NFL picks Week 17: Predicting the Chiefs-Chargers and all other games

The Chiefs close out the regular season with a game on the coast against a desperate Chargers team.

Jamie Squire

The end of the regular season is finally on the horizon.

After knowing the Kansas City Chiefs were going to be a playoff team since they started 9-0, they are now locked into the No. 5 seed and will take on either the Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals or the New England Patriots.

Many others teams have much more at stake, including the Chiefs' opponent, the San Diego Chargers. So how will everything play out? Let's get to it.

Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers (-10.5)

Matt Verderame: Chargers 31, Chiefs 16

San Diego might be playing for everything and Kansas City is going to be resting everybody by the second quarter. The coaching staff has likely been self-scouting and getting ready for the playoffs, treating this as nothing more than a preseason game.

How can the Chiefs be reasonably expected to win this game? Kansas City is going to be playing through the motions, thinking the whole time about getting back on the plane and gearing up for the playoffs.

Joel Thorman: Chargers 28, Chiefs 10

With many of the Chiefs backups playing, I don't see how they can score enough points to win.

Matt Conner: Chiefs 10, Chargers 7

Wishful thinking. Holiday cheer. 12-4 is a better gift than 11-5. I just want it.

Now, back to Matt Verderame for the rest of the picks, with the lines courtesy of

Carolina Panthers (-5.5) at Atlanta Falcons

Carolina (11-4) can wrap up the No. 2 seed with a win over Atlanta (4-11) in its last game, and it'll happen. The larger story here is the final game of Tony Gonzalez. It will be a shame to see him go, finishing out his days on another losing season. Thanks for the memories Tony.

Pick: Carolina 30, Atlanta 13

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (-7)

This might be the toughest game all year to pick. Baltimore (8-7) is desperate while Cincinnati (10-5) is only playing for the pipe dream of a bye. That said, the Bengals hate the Ravens and would love nothing more than to knock them out and keep its perfect home record.

Pick: Cincinnati 17, Baltimore 16

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-12)

Jacksonville (4-11) is playing much tougher football, but Indianapolis (10-5) is trying to finish strong and close the regular season with three straight wins. Tough to see Chad Henne and the boys winning this game on the road.

Pick: Indianapolis 31, Jacksonville 20

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-5.5)

Miami (8-7) should already be in the playoffs, but had a brutal, confidence-shattering loss to the Bills last week. It's games like those that make me wonder if the Dolphins cave and blow this game to New York (7-8). The Jets are pretty bad though, and Geno Smith is even worse.

Pick: Miami 20, New York 14

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-2.5)

Detroit (8-7) is the more talented team, but the Lions are a disgrace. It's hard to remember a team that flat quits like this one does. Jim Schwartz is a clown and will get what he deserves at the end of the season. Meanwhile, Minnesota (4-10-1) has continued to fight despite a bad record.

Pick: Minnesota 31, Detroit 10

Washington Redskins at New York Giants (-3)

Both these teams are probably wishing there was a forfeit option. Washington (3-12) is a complete disaster and New York (6-9) has been a mess since Week 1. It will be fun watching this again, always good for a few laughs.

Pick: New York 27, Washington 23

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7.5)

Pittsburgh (7-8) only has a faint hope of making the playoffs, but the Steelers are a prideful group. It would be shocking if Cleveland (4-11) doesn't get caught in a bad spot and get crushed by a superior team trying to avoid a losing record.

Pick: Pittsburgh 34, Cleveland 9

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (-7.5)

Tennessee (6-9) has had a tough season, starting out 3-1 only to lose Jake Locker and watch things go downhill with Ryan Fitzpatrick. Houston (2-13) has no motivation whatsoever to win, locked into the first overall pick with a loss.

Pick: Tennessee 23, Houston 16

Green Bay Packers (-2.5) at Chicago Bears

With Aaron Rodgers back in the mix, Green Bay (8-7-1) is going to win this game. Chicago (8-7) used to be known as the Monsters of the Midway, now they get run over like they are standing on a freeway. Jay Cutler is always good for two or three dumb decisions, which will be fitting in his last game as a Bear.

Pick: Green Bay 34, Chicago 24

Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-10)

New England (11-4) is looking to lock up a first-round playoff bye and has Buffalo (6-9) at home with Thad Lewis starting. This is going to be over by halftime, giving Ryan Mallett some much needed playing time while Tom Brady works on his sideline banter.

Pick: New England 41, Buffalo 17

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (-13)

New Orleans (10-5) is atrocious on the road and insanely dominant at home. Needing a win in the Superdome against Tampa Bay (4-11) to clinch a playoff spot, the Saints are going to get an easy win. The real question is does Greg Schiano get another chance?

Pick: New Orleans 38, Tampa Bay 21

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (EVEN)

It's easy to feel for Arizona (10-5), who might win 11 games and not make the playoffs. The Cardinals are one of the 10 best teams in the league, but likely will be watching the postseason from home. San Francisco (11-4) is going to fight for this win though, still alive for the NFC West crown.

Pick: San Francisco 20, Arizona 17

Denver Broncos (-13) at Oakland Raiders

Denver (12-3) only needs to beat a crappy Oakland (5-9) team to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Peyton Manning is trying to put this one away early so he can relax and enjoy some sun, and that is exactly what is going to happen.

Pick: Denver 36, Oakland 20

St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-13)

Seattle (12-3) just lost at home for the first time, keeping the NFC West race alive. The Seahawks are going to be fired up to beat St. Louis (7-8) and re-establish their dominance. However, the Rams would love nothing more than to finish .500 and ruin Seattle's plans. Expect a dogfight.

Pick: Seattle 23, St. Louis 17

Philadelphia Eagles (-7) at Dallas Cowboys

Without Tony Romo, Dallas (8-7) is relying on Kyle Orton to make its playoff dreams come true. Orton is capable, but likely not good enough to overcome the worst defense ever witnessed. Philadelphia (9-6) is a better team, and now with the better quarterback. Fly Eagles Fly.

Pick: Philadelphia 34, Dallas 23 *PICK OF THE WEEK*

Last Week: 10-6 (8-7-1 ATS)

Season: 143-95

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