NFL Outlook for Week 17

Broncos Battle the Chargers in “Do or Die” Outing

Trevor Phipps

After their stunning and embarrassing loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 15, it definitely became “Do or Die” time for the Denver Broncos.  First the bad News: Gaining a playoff spot is still an uphill battle, since the AFC is very competitive this year But if the Broncos win their last two, who knows, maybe, they have an outside shot at a  Wild Card spot.


The Broncos, at one point,  looked like it had a chance of beating several remaining teams (on their schedule) with backup quarterbacks to end the season. And if this development somehow transpires, they would snag the seventh spot in the AFC which means they would play either the Baltimore Ravens or the Miami Dolphins. And even then, they probably wouldn’t advance very far.


But as Coach Sean Payton has been saying all year, the team is taking it one game at a time. And this week, the prospects look good for the Broncos since they will be once again taking on the battered Los Angeles Chargers team. The Chargers have plenty of woes with their starting QB out of action. The Broncos slaughtered the Chargers in LA several weeks ago.


The Chargers have not had a good season and lately it seems as if they have gotten worse. After their QB Justin Herbert went out, the team has struggled to the point where they lost any chance at the playoffs. They also canned their head coach mid-season.


The Broncos, on the other hand, will be revved up and ready to win. This is especially true, since it has been so long since the Broncos made it to the post-season level. They currently boast one of the longest non-playoff droughts in the NFL, as they haven’t gotten to the playoff stage since the Peyton Manning era.


Prediction: Broncos 28, Chargers 13


Other Games to Watch


Football action starts on Thursday, but watching the New York Jets get destroyed by the Cleveland Browns might not be that entertaining. But then on Saturday night, the Detroit Lions at the Dallas Cowboys match will be a good one to watch.


The Lions have had good momentum lately after their big win against the Broncos in a match that many thought would be a lot closer than it was. The Cowboys on the other hand have had their ups and downs including a big loss to Buffalo so I think they will lose this one.


On New Year’s Eve, the best game to watch in the morning will most definitely be the Miami Dolphins at the Baltimore Ravens match. Both of these teams have been neck and neck all year and they are now battling each week for the number one title in the AFC.


In fact, whoever wins this game could take home the AFC Title and secure home field advantage in the playoffs and a first round bye. Personally, I think the Ravens will sneak ahead and take this one just because they have looked invincible lately.


On Sunday night, the division rivalry match, the Green Bay Packers at the Minnesota Vikings should be worth watching while kicking off your New Year’s Eve partying. Both of these teams are right on the edge of the playoffs and the winner could decide who sits and who plays this winter.


The Packers this season have come out and beat some good teams, like the Kansas City Chiefs. But then they have dropped matches to poor teams, like the New York Giants. The Vikings have stayed somewhat consistent. Therefore, I think they have what it takes to keep winning and make it to the playoffs.


To honor National Hangover Day (New Year’s Day), the NFL won’t be playing any matches for Monday Night Football. This means that those who are hung over won’t have to worry about crawling off the couch to catch their favorite team play.


AFC West Predictions


On Sunday morning, the Las Vegas Raiders at the Indianapolis Colts match could be worth watching. Even though the Raiders currently have a backup quarter back in play, they still came out of the woodworks and stomped the Chargers 63-21 after an embarrassing 3-0 shutout loss to the Vikings.


To me, it feels like the Raiders’ success depends on which team shows up on any given day. The Colts, however, have stayed strong at the end of the season and they will be focused on keeping their playoff spot safe.


In the end, I think the Raiders’ hopes will fade away as they unsuccessfully try to win games with an interim coach and backup QB. Look for the Colts to stay strong into the postseason.


Prediction: Colts 34, Raiders 23


Those not watching the Broncos on Sunday afternoon may choose to tune into the Cincinnati Bengals at the Kansas City Chiefs match. The Chiefs have basically secured some type of a playoff spot, while the Bengals have been plowing hard to get to that goal.


The Bengals have looked good lately even with missing star QB Joe Burrows. At the end of Week 15, the team was on a three-game winning streak that didn’t look like it was going to end soon.


The Chiefs though, seemed to have been getting softer and softer as the season wears on. I think this match will be a close one, but in the end I think the Chiefs will win mainly due to home field advantage.


Prediction: Chiefs 37, Bengals 34