Nov 11, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders perform during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Predicting The Entire NFL Season: Week 17 (Eagles @ Giants)

When I began this exercise after the 2014 NFL Draft, I had no idea where it would end up. Seriously. I’m a Philadelphia Eagles fan and I do believe the Eagles will make the playoffs this season. I have a feeling the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals will be pretty good. And the Seattle Seahawks might be the best team in the NFL.

But as for how – and if – we got to those beliefs, well, I was going let this thing play out. Whatever happened from week to week would happen. I picked with my gut instinct. That’s about it. No scientific method. No in-depth analysis. This was meant to be a diversion from the fact that we had a long time between the draft and training camp, which begins Saturday. So, for me, it worked. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed the ride, as well.

As we enter the final week of the NFL regular season, here’s a look at how things stand:

AFC EASTWinsLosses
Buffalo Bills114
New England Patriots114
Miami Dolphins411
New York Jets411
Cincinnati Bengals123
Baltimore Ravens105
Pittsburgh Steelers69
Cleveland Browns411
Indianapolis Colts123
Houston Texans69
Jacksonville Jaguars411
Tennessee Titans312
AFC WESTWinsLosses
Denver Broncos123
Kansas City Chiefs78
San Diego Chargers510
Oakland Raiders411
NFC EASTWinsLosses
Philadelphia Eagles105
New York Giants105
Dallas Cowboys411
Washington Redskins411
Green Bay Packers96
Chicago Bears96
Detroit Lions78
Minnesota Vikings510
Carolina Panthers105
Atlanta Falcons96
New Orleans Saints87
Tampa Bay Buccaneers312
NFC WESTWinsLosses
Seattle Seahawks123
Arizona Cardinals105
San Francisco 49ers105
St. Louis Rams510

If the season really plays out this way, well, wow, we’re in for quite a finish. In the AFC, the top seed is up for grabs, plus you have Buffalo and New England playing for a division title.

In the NFC, we know Seattle is going to the playoffs and will be the No. 1 seed. That’s about it. No other division or wild card is settled, and much of that will be settled on the field, head-to-head.

I didn’t plan it this way. It just happened. Boy, would it be fun.

Without further delay, let’s get on with the picks and see how this thing shakes out.

Panthers @ Falcons: It’s the battle for the NFC South and it’s happening in Atlanta. It will be the first of many classic games on the day, as this one goes to the visitors. The Panthers are going to the playoffs. Carolina 30, Atlanta 27

Browns @ Ravens: This is a meaningless game for Baltimore. They’re locked in to a wild card spot. They’ll use this time to rest, and Cleveland takes advantage. Cleveland 33, Baltimore 17

Cowboys @ Redskins: Two NFC East rivals playing a meaningless game. Washington 16, Dallas 12

Lions @ Packers: Tricky pick here. Green Bay, at home, against a Lions team with little to play for. But Detroit, while they’ve stumbled, is too good to go quietly. Green Bay gets a little taste of its own medicine and, this time, loses out in Week 17. Detroit 24, Green Bay 17

Colts @ Titans: Indianapolis wins to stay in the hunt for a bye. Indianapolis 23, Tennessee 10

Jaguars @ Texans: Bill O’Brien wins in his rookie finale. Houston 40, Jacksonville 17

Chargers @ Chiefs: Andy Reid does what he does best, winning a few late, meaningless games to finish at 8-8 and leave a city hoping for better days around the corner. Kansas City 27, San Diego 23

Jets @ Dolphins: Hopefully it’s a good beach day in Miami, because there is no reason to go to or watch this game. Miami 7, New York Jets 6

Bears @ Vikings: Chicago completes its turnaround and clinches a division title. Chicago 32, Minnesota 10

Bills @ Patriots: There is a new top dog in the AFC East. “Circle the wagons.” Buffalo 28, New England 26

Bengals @ Steelers: The Bengals win another won to give the AFC two teams with 13 wins. Cincinnati 34, Pittsburgh 18

Saints @ Buccaneers: The Saints win, but it’s too late to save their season. New Orleans 20, Tampa Bay 14

Raiders @ Broncos: Denver makes it three AFC teams with 13 wins. Sorting out the bye is going to be tough. Denver 42, Oakland 14

Cardinals @ 49ers: San Francisco validates the mid-season decision to keep Jim Harbaugh and reaches the playoffs. Arizona, meanwhile, has to wait to see how things play out. San Francisco 25, Arizona 16

Rams @ Seahawks: Seattle takes a week off. St. Louis 21, Seattle 17

And, finally…

Eagles @ Giants: Another Eagles’ season comes down to a do-or-die Week 17 tilt. On the road. And they’ll get it done. Eli Manning throws three interceptions and this one won’t ever be close. Philadelphia 30, New York Giants 13

So, what does all of it mean?

In the AFC, Denver clinches the top seed by virtue of having beaten both the Colts and Bengals (not to mention they went 11-1 in the conference).

Both the Bengals and Colts went 10-2 in the conference, but Cincinnati won the head-to-head matchup, 28-21, giving them the No. 2 seed.

That puts the Colts at No. 3, Buffalo at No. 4, New England at No. 5 and Baltimore at No. 6. That also gives us a wild card rematch, as Buffalo and New England will play in back-to-back weeks. Cool.

In the NFC, Seattle is the No. 1 seed with their 12-4 record. Carolina, thanks to their win over the Eagles on Monday Night Football, earn the tiebreaker and take the No. 2 seed.

That gives the Eagles the No. 3 seed (and means if they win their playoff opener, they avoid Seattle for another week). Chicago, at 10-6, takes the final division title and the No. 4 seed.

San Francisco went 11-5 in the tough NFC West and earned a wild card spot, sending them to Soldier Field for the postseason opener.

The final spot comes down to either Arizona or the New York Giants. Who knew the playoffs would be decided in Week 2. That’s when the Giants hosted the Cardinals and won, 27-21, giving them the edge and the second wild card. They’ll visit the Philadelphia Eagles for the playoffs, meaning the Eagles will need to try to defeat New York for the third time this season.

Here’s a look at the completed NFL standings. See you Saturday for the playoffs.

AFC EASTWinsLosses
Buffalo Bills124
New England Patriots115
Miami Dolphins511
New York Jets412
Cincinnati Bengals133
Baltimore Ravens106
Pittsburgh Steelers610
Cleveland Browns511
Indianapolis Colts133
Houston Texans79
Jacksonville Jaguars412
Tennessee Titans313
AFC WESTWinsLosses
Denver Broncos133
Kansas City Chiefs88
San Diego Chargers511
Oakland Raiders412
NFC EASTWinsLosses
Philadelphia Eagles115
New York Giants106
Washington Redskins511
Dallas Cowboys412
Chicago Bears106
Green Bay Packers97
Detroit Lions88
Minnesota Vikings511
Carolina Panthers115
Atlanta Falcons97
New Orleans Saints97
Tampa Bay Buccaneers313
NFC WESTWinsLosses
Seattle Seahawks124
San Francisco 49ers115
Arizona Cardinals106
St. Louis Rams610

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