LOCK OF THE WEEK: JETS (10-5) AT BILLS (7-8), 1 p.m.
TV: Ch. 2; Radio: ESPN (98.7)
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Jets by 3; O/U: 42
If you have an extra Christmas gift laying around the house, find out who scheduled Jets-Bills for Week 17 and send it to them. You can’t ask for a more perfect finish to the regular season: Rex Ryan’s new team standing in the way of his old team advancing to the playoffs the first year after letting him go. You’ll hear a lot of, “The Bills will be ready for this game. They’ll want to win it for Rex.” Sorry, I’m not buying it. Yes, they did beat the Jets in Rex’s return to MetLife Stadium earlier this season. But after that win, the Bills lost four of five before barely beating the Cowboys last week. There’s been talk by the Bills players themselves that Rex’s defensive scheme is a bad fit. You know who’s been a good fit? Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Jets QB has clicked with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, and the entire team has bought into first-year coach Todd Bowles’ new approach: Do the talking on the field. The Jets are on a five-game win streak, and now control their own destiny after their Secret Santa, aka Bill Belichick, gave them a big gift last week. I can’t see them slipping up with a shot at the playoffs on the line. Fitzpatrick and Marshall have big games as they earn their first trip to the playoffs.
The pick: Jets
OTHER AFC GAMES WITH PLAYOFF IMPLICATIONS
PATRIOTS (13-2) AT DOLPHINS (5-9), 1 p.m.
Patriots by 10.5; O/U: 46.5
So Bill Belichick says he thought kicking off in overtime was the right call. Really? Let’s see him do it during the playoffs if the situation arises again. Here’s my idea for a new OT twist: Let the coaches go to midfield and make the call. That way there’s no confusion over what really happened. Speaking of coin-flip games, there’s usually a handful each week. This is not one of them. The Pats can clinch the No. 1 seed against the Dolphins, which last week lost at home to a Colts team led by Matt Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst. How do you think they’ll fare against Tom Brady? This one is over after one quarter.
The pick: Patriots
RAVENS (5-10) AT BENGALS (11-4), 1 p.m.
Bengals by 9; O/U: 41.5
Cincinnati would love to have an extra week off to get Andy Dalton healthy for the playoffs. With that being a possibility, expect a big win.
The pick: Bengals
RAIDERS (7-8) AT CHIEFS (10-5), 4:25 p.m.
Chiefs by 7; O/U: 43.5
I’ve made a lot of predictions this season. Some have hit, some have missed bad. The one I’m most proud of is when I said the Chiefs, at 4-5 entering their Week 11 matchup, would make the playoffs . . . and even challenge the Broncos for the AFC West. Here we are in Week 17, and that’s exactly the scenario. If the Chiefs win and the Broncos lose, Kansas City goes from 1-5 and out of it to 11-5 and division champs. About that, though: I think Oakland will be up for this game, and welcome a role as spoiler. The Chiefs have looked shaky in their last two home games, needing last-second stands to hold off the Chargers and Browns. Give me the Raiders to stop the Chiefs’ nine-game run.
The pick: Raiders
CHARGERS (4-11) AT BRONCOS (11-4), 4: 25 p.m.
Broncos by 9; O/U: 41.5
TV: Ch. 2
Denver will win, but San Diego played all-out last week, and I think they’ll keep this one close, too.
The pick: Chargers
STEELERS (9-6) AT BROWNS (3-12), 1 p.m.
Steelers by 11; O/U: 47
The Steelers, which controlled their own destiny a week ago, are now the ones needing help. They’re better than the Browns, but I think the Dawg Pound will be barking loud for a chance to officially end the Steelers’ season.
The pick: Browns
JAGUARS (5-10) AT TEXANS (8-7), 1 p.m.
Texans by 6.5; O/U: 45.5
It’s simple for Houston: Win & in. I expect Jacksonville to give everything it has, but I have to give the edge to the team that has something to play for other than pride. If J.J. Watt and the Texans were to somehow lose to the AFC South’s other JJ, I can see the back-page headline now: JJ WHAT?! Save it for next year, Houston papers.
The pick: Texans
TITANS (3-12) AT COLTS (7-8), 1 p.m.
Colts by Off; O/U: Off
I don’t care who the Colts start at quarterback, I’m not picking the Titans on the road.
The pick: Colts
NFC GAMES WITH PLAYOFF IMPLICATIONS
VIKINGS (10-5) AT PACKERS (10-5), 8:30 p..m.
TV: Ch. 4
Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)
Packers by 3.5; O/U: 45.5
While NBC swung and missed by flexing Vikings-Giants last week, , this time it hit a home run. The winner of this game takes the NFC North crown. The Packers have lost at home to the Lions and Bears, so don’t expect the Vikings to be scared. I like them to win outright.
The pick: Vikings
BUCS (6-9) AT PANTHERS (14-1), 4:25 p.m.
Panthers by 10.5; O/U: 46.5
A Panthers win locks up home field, and I expect them to roll vs. a Bucs team that has lost three in a row to the Rams, Saints and Bears.
The pick: Panthers
SEAHAWKS (9-6) AT CARDINALS (13-2), 4:25 p.m.
Cardinals by 6.5; O/U: 47
Arizona is on a nine-game win streak, and with the Panthers playing at the same time, will go all-out for the No. 1 seed.
The pick: Cardinals
EAGLES (6-9) AT GIANTS (6-9), 1 p.m.
TV: Ch. 5
Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)
Giants by 3.5; O/U: 51
“Does anybody here happen to know what the official motto of the state of New York is?” That quote by Jennifer Lawrence’s character from a memorable scene of “Silver Linings Playbook” always comes to mind when the Giants play the Eagles. The answer is “Excelsior.” It’s Latin for “Ever upward.” Those words don’t apply to these teams. Like Robert De Niro’s character in the movie, I’m superstitious, too, but the only thing you need to know about this game is that it could very well be Tom Coughlin’s farewell with the Giants. They have to win this one, right?
The pick: Giants
REDSKINS (8-7) AT COWBOYS (4-11), 1 p.m.
Cowboys by 4; O/U: 39
Washington is locked into the fourth seed. Dallas will want to end a frustrating season on a high note.
The pick: Cowboys
SAINTS (6-9) AT FALCONS (8-7), 1 p.m.
Falcons by 4; O/U: 52.5
If Atlanta played Weeks 8-14 the way it has the last two weeks, it would be playoff-bound. I think it will be motivated to finish 9-7.
The pick: Falcons
LIONS (6-9) AT BEARS (6-9), 1 p.m.
Bears by 1; O/U: 46
Chicago gets payback for an earlier 37-34 OT loss at Detroit.
The pick: Bears
RAMS (7-8) AT 49ERS (4-11), 4:25 p.m.
Rams by 3.5; O/U: 37.5
Two of the hardest teams to figure out. For one game, the 49ers are super at the site of Super Bowl 50.
The pick: 49ers