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PFT’s NFL Week 17 2022 picks

Mike Florio and Chris Simms rip through keys to Week 17, including Mike White squaring up against Geno Smith, if the Packers defense can manage Justin Jefferson, how Carson Wentz will look and more.

Stop the count.

I’m up 10 games with two weeks to go. It’s going to be very difficult for MDS to catch me.

Especially if we don’t disagree on at least 10 games.

Last week, we split two disagreements, 1-1. We were both 11-5. For the year, I’m 156-82-1. MDS is 146-92-1.

We disagree on five this week. So, if MDS sweeps, he’ll be halfway to forcing a tie.

Cowboys (-11) at Titans

MDS’s take: The Titans really have nothing to play for this week, knowing that win or lose, their Week 18 showdown with the Jaguars will determine the AFC South winner. This is a look-ahead game for the Titans and an important game for the Cowboys.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 23, Titans 7.

Florio’s take: The Titans don’t need this one. The Cowboys do. And that will make Amazon’s last game of the year forgettable.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 27, Titans 13.

Cardinals (+3.5) at Falcons

MDS’s take: Two teams that are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention and are set to play a dull game. The less said about this one, the better.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 24, Cardinals 17.

Florio’s take: The Falcons are alive, barely, in the NFC South. That’s better than the Cardinals, who are playing out the string with an overmatched roster.

Florio’s pick: Falcons 20, Cardinals 17.

Bears (+6) at Lions

MDS’s take: The Lions’ run defense looked awful on Sunday, which makes the Bears a dangerous opponent for them, but as they cling to their playoff hopes they’ll turn in a much better game.

MDS’s pick: Lions 28, Bears 17.

Florio’s take: Detroit remains in the running for an unexpected playoff berth. The Bears are good enough to cover the spread against most teams, however.

Florio’s pick: Lions 30, Bears 27.

Broncos (+12.5) at Chiefs

MDS’s take: Jerry Rosburg is not going to have a pleasant Sunday in his debut as the Broncos’ interim head coach.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 35, Broncos 14.

Florio’s take: The Chiefs will happily stomp the Broncos while they’re down.

Florio’s pick: Chiefs 40, Broncos 21.

Dolphins (+3) at Patriots

MDS’s take: If Tua Tagovailoa were 100 percent healthy, I’d pick the Dolphins. But Tua likely out, I see the Patriots winning this and keeping their playoff hopes alive.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 20, Dolphins 16.

Florio’s take: No Tua? Big problem for the Miami offense.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 23, Dolphins 17.

Colts (+6) at Giants

MDS’s take: The Giants win and clinch a playoff berth, which ought to lock up the coach of the year award for Brian Daboll. That’s an award I don’t think Jeff Saturday will ever win.

MDS’s pick: Giants 20, Colts 10.

Florio’s take: The Greatest Game Ever Played doesn’t have to worry about this reunion threatening its status.

Florio’s pick: Giants 24, Colts 7.

Saints (+6.5) at Eagles

MDS’s take: Whether Jalen Hurts or Gardner Minshew is the starting quarterback, the Eagles shouldn’t have any trouble with the Saints.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 30, Saints 20.

Florio’s take: The Eagles finally wrap up the No. 1 seed.

Florio’s pick: Eagles 20, Saints 17.

Panthers (+3) at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: The Buccaneers can clinch the NFC South with a win, and as bad as they’ve looked recently, I think they’re going to pull it off as Tom Brady punches yet another ticket to the playoffs.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 17, Panthers 16.

Florio’s take: Another game, another find-a-way win from Tom Brady.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 24, Panthers 23.

Browns (+2) at Commanders

MDS’s take: Deshaun Watson has been terrible in his four games since returning from suspension, and the Commanders, who control their playoff destiny, will shut Watson down.

MDS’s pick: Commanders 13, Browns 7.

Florio’s take: Carson Wentz -- yes, Carson Wentz -- will help propel the Commanders toward the postseason.

Florio’s pick: Commanders 20, Browns 10.

Jaguars (-4.5) at Texans

MDS’s take: This game doesn’t really matter to the Jaguars, who know that the AFC South will come down to their Week 18 meeting with the Titans. Then again, to the extent it matters at all to the Texans, they’ll actually want to lose and earn the first overall pick in the 2023 draft.

MDS’s pick: Jaguars 27, Texans 17.

Florio’s take: The Texans are just good enough to be competitive, and just dysfunctional enough to jeopardize their draft status for 2023.

Florio’s pick: Texans 20, Jaguars 17.

49ers (-10) at Raiders

MDS’s take: The 49ers are playing as well as any team in the NFL right now. They’ll hammer Jarrett Stidham and the Raiders.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 28, Raiders 14.

Florio’s take: Derek Carr may be happy to miss this one.

Florio’s pick: 49ers 31, Raiders 13.

Jets (-1.5) at Seahawks

MDS’s take: Both of these teams still have wild card hopes, but with Mike White back at quarterback it will be the Jets who turn in a playoff-quality effort on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Jets 27, Seahawks 20.

Florio’s take: The Seahawks have shown some flashes in recent weeks, and the Jets feel like they’re in a bit of disarray.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 24, Jets 21.

Vikings (+3.5) at Packers

MDS’s take: The Packers are playing excellent football right now and would be a very dangerous wild card team if they make it. They’ll take a step closer on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Packers 28, Vikings 20.

Florio’s take: Weather shouldn’t be much of an issue, and Minnesota surely realizes the value of knocking a division rival out of the playoff hunt. Yes, another close win for the Vikings.

Florio’s pick: Vikings 30, Packers 27.

Rams (+6.5) at Chargers

MDS’s take: The way the Rams played on Christmas Day makes clear they’re not giving up on the season, and they’ll play hard against the Chargers. But I think Justin Herbert will prove to have too much for the Rams’ defense.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 30, Rams 28.

Florio’s take: The Fight for L.A. is currently a TKO.

Florio’s pick: Chargers 28, Rams 21.

Steelers (+2.5) at Ravens

MDS’s take: The Ravens are still in contention in the AFC North race, and they’ll remain in contention with a big win over the Steelers.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 27, Steelers 13.

Florio’s take: I won’t give up on the Steelers until they’re mathematically eliminated. Even then, I’d still find a way to believe in them.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 20, Ravens 17.

Bills (-1) at Bengals

MDS’s take: What should be a highly entertaining Monday night game will end with the Bills maintaining their position atop the AFC.

MDS’s pick: Bills 31, Bengals 28.

Florio’s take: The road to the Super Bowl once again goes through Kansas City, thanks to the team that has beaten the Chiefs three times in the 2022 calendar year.

Florio’s pick: Bengals 30, Bills 27.