Week 17 NFL Picks: Vikings’ Playoff Hopes Come to an End

Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer-USA TODAY Sports.

The picks have traversed the NFL season on a similar path as the Minnesota Vikings.

Right as there is some hope, a couple poor weeks begin to derail things again, and we are now on back-to-back weeks without a record above .500. We’re scratching and clawing our way back to that .500 mark on the year with two weeks to go and need a solid showing heading into the new year.

Before we get started with the Week 17 NFL picks, here is a look back at how we got to 7-9 last weekend:

  • Rams -4 (W)
  • Bengals -2 (L)
  • Bills -12 (L)
  • Cardinals +4.5 (L)
  • Colts +1 (L)
  • Titans +2.5 (L)
  • Vikings +3.5 (L)
  • Commanders +3 (W)
  • Packers -5 (W)
  • Browns -2.5 (W)
  • Jaguars +1 (L)
  • Dolphins -1.5 (W)
  • Broncos -6.5 (L)
  • Raiders +10 (W)
  • Eagles -12 (L)
  • Ravens +5.5 (W)

Season Record: 117-120-11

Cleveland Browns at New York Jets

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • Spread: Browns -7
  • O/U: 34.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Browns -7

It’s a Joe Flacco revenge game as the Browns head to New York and take on the Jets. Cleveland’s offense has been rolling, and their defense should be able to take down the Jets. Browns win big.

Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) looks to pass against the Tennessee Titans during the fourth quarter at Nissan Stadium Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn.

Nfl Dallas Cowboys At Tennessee Titans

  • Spread: Cowboys -6
  • O/U: 53.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Cowboys -6

The Detroit Lions have an opportunity here to earn a statement win on the road. However, while Dallas has looked a bit lackluster on the road, they have been dominant at home all season. The Cowboys are 7-0 in Jerry’s World, and they get back on track this Saturday.

Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
  • Spread: Falcons -3
  • O/U: 37.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Bears +3

The Chicago Bears have been playing some very strong football since their bye week. While Atlanta’s offense looked much better with Taylor Heinicke at QB last week, this Bears defense can stand up to the challenge at home. Chicago steals their seventh win.

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
  • Spread: Bills -12
  • O/U: 40.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Patriots +12

The Patriots stole a win against the Denver Broncos behind another strong game from Bailey Zappe, and while the Bills should win this game outright, New England’s defense has proven that they are an elite unit. If they can come up with a couple plays, they can keep this game close.

Las Vegas Raiders at Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Sam Ehlinger (4) and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew II (10) sit on the sideline Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, during a game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. © Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK.
  • Spread: Colts -3.5
  • O/U: 43.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Colts -3.5

The Colts are back at home for this one while the Raiders are attempting to win their second road game in a row. This is never an easy task, and Indianapolis desperately needs this win in order to hang onto their playoff hopes. Colts take it.

Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.
  • Spread: Rams -4.5
  • O/U: 44.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Rams -4.5

The Rams are on an absolute roll right now, winning five of their last six games. Matthew Stafford and this offense cannot be stopped, so while the Giants have a solid defensive unit, they will be overwhelmed by LA’s playmakers.

Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles

Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports.
  • Spread: Eagles -10.5
  • O/U: 48.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Eagles -10.5

Jonathan Gannon will go up against his old team in this one, and it might be a bloodbath. Arizona’s defense had trouble slowing down Chicago last week, and they will have just as many issues trying to contain this Eagles offense. Philly wins big at home.

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
  • Spread: Buccaneers -3
  • O/U: 41.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Buccaneers -3

If the Buccaneers win this game, they have a great chance at sealing the NFC South title for a second year in a row. The Saints will come into this game well rested after their Thursday night loss, but this just isn’t a very good football team. Tampa Bay keeps it rolling with a fifth consecutive win.

San Francisco 49ers at Washington Commanders

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
  • Spread: 49ers -13
  • O/U: 49.5 points

Frey’s Pick: 49ers -13

The 49ers will come into this game angry after what happened on Monday night, and they have a great opportunity in front of them against a Commanders team that is now turning to Jacoby Brissett at the quarterback position. Washington isn’t great on either side of the ball, so San Francisco wins big.

Carolina Panthers at Jacksonville Jaguars

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.
  • Spread: Jaguars -6.5
  • O/U: 37.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Panthers +6.5

The Jaguars might be without Trevor Lawrence in this game, and if that is the case, Jacksonville could be in danger here. They haven’t played very good football for a month, and Carolina is beginning to figure a few things out offensively. The Panthers will keep this game close.

Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
  • Spread: Ravens -3.5
  • O/U: 47.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Ravens -3.5

Both Baltimore and Miami are coming off big wins against two of the top teams in the NFC, and now, this game is essentially a battle for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Baltimore’s defense absolutely shut down San Francisco on the road, and now that they are back home, the Ravens will get a win and seal playoff homefield advantage.

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans

Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
  • Spread: Texans -4.5
  • O/U: 43.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Titans +4.5

Both Will Levis and C.J. Stroud could be back quarterbacking these two teams this weekend, and considering what happened last time these AFC South rivals met, this should be a very close game. Houston ultimately gets the win at home, but Tennessee will keep up until the end.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Seattle Seahawks

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
  • Spread: Seahawks -3.5
  • O/U: 41.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Seahawks -3.5

Pittsburgh got a nice win against the Bengals last weekend with Mason Rudolph at quarterback, but this will be a different story on the road in Seattle. Devon Witherspoon could be back in Seattle’s secondary, giving them another defensive playmaker against Pittsburgh’s group of a pass-catchers. The Seahawks get another win to hold onto a playoff spot.

Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports.
  • Spread: Broncos -3
  • O/U: 37.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Broncos -3

Denver shocked the NFL world earlier this week with their decision to bench Russell Wilson for the final two weeks of the season. This means Jarrett Stidham is in at QB, and Sean Payton is looking for a spark in his offense. Considering LA’s struggles on defense for much of this season, he will get just that with his new QB. Broncos win and keep their playoff hopes alive.

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Jake Browning (6) prepares to take the snap in the first quarter of a Week 15 NFL football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Cincinnati Bengals, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati. © Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK.
  • Spread: Chiefs -7
  • O/U: 44.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Bengals +7

It doesn’t seem like the Chiefs should ever be favored by a full touchdown these days. They’ve lost three of their past four games and are coming off an ugly loss to the Las Vegas Raiders. Cincinnati’s defense is a talented group, and the offense should be better than it was in Week 16. The Bengals could pull off an upset here.

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

Week 17 NFL Picks
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.
  • Spread: Vikings -2
  • O/U: 46.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Packers +2

And finally, the game everyone has been waiting for. The Green Bay Packers travel to Minnesota and take on the Vikings in what is essentially a playoff elimination game for both squads. The Vikings are dealing with a quarterback controversy yet again while also working through a massive number of injuries. It simply hasn’t been Minnesota’s year, and they officially will be eliminated from playoff contention by the end of the weekend.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.