NFL Week 17 predictions: Packers to beat Lions in battle for NFC North

Detroit have been impressive at home this season but Aaron Rodgers is a man who does not know when he is beaten

The final weekend of the NFLs regular season is upon us. And so too, therefore, is the final week of our Pick Six contest. Well be following up with Pick The Playoffs, of course, from next week, but this is your final chance to call a full slate of six games correctly – just like aalipour, carloscontrole, denothemeno, Fraser Hartley, Gruagain, Robert Rudolph, Switchskier, TheBandit79 and xartec did last time out. Do join me in giving them each a virtual pat on the back.

Ill have the overall standings up in the comments section shortly, but can confirm that castigers remains our overall leader going into the final round of games. And here are those games:

Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans (Sunday 1pm ET/6pm GMT)

This could have been a division title decider. Instead, the Titans season came crashing down around them when Marcus Mariota broke his leg during a heavy defeat in Jacksonville. And yet, Tennessee might still be the more motivated team in this matchup. One more win would seal their first winning season since 2011, whilst Mariotas replacement, Matt Cassel, is out to prove he still belongs in this league as he approaches the end of a one-year deal. By contrast, the Texans are locked into the AFCs fourth seed, and may think twice about gambling on the health of ailing starters. It would be a surprise to see Lamar Miller get on the field after the tailback missed last weeks game against Cincinnati, and other high profile names on the injury report this week include quarterback Tom Savage, linebacker John Simon and Pro Bowl defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Titans to win

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday 1pm ET/6pm GMT)

Eliminated from playoff contention following a fourth-quarter collapse in Pittsburgh, the Ravens might find some small consolation in the opportunity to take their frustrations out on a different division rival. They have struggled against Cincinnati in recent years – losing five straight against these opponents prior to a 19-14 triumph in week 12. Joe Flacco has thrown just a single touchdown, and five interceptions, in his last three visits to Paul Brown Stadium. But the Bengals are at a low ebb, missing half an offense through injury and potentially the competitive rage of Vontaze Burfict on defense, too, as he works his way through the concussion protocol. If nothing else, you know that Steve Smith Sr will do everything in his power to make what will probably be his final game in the NFL a special one. Ravens to win

Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday 1pm ET/6pm GMT)

Which version of the Dallas Cowboys do we see this weekend? Jason Garrett kept his starters on the field throughout Mondays 42-21 win over Detroit, despite having already secured top seeding in the NFC. He is playing his cards close to his chest for this weekend, but the expectation is that he will at least begin this game with a similar mindset. With a first-round bye yet to come, there may be a danger in taking this game too easily and allowing rust to set in. The Eagles showed they still have some fight left in them with an upset win over the Giants in week 16, but New York is still the only team to beat the Cowboys all season. Cowboys to win

Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos (Sunday 4.25pm ET/9.25pm GMT)

Did Oaklands season end with the breaking of Derek Carrs right fibula on Christmas Eve? Despite having already won 12 games, the Raiders do not even have the luxury of a meaningless game this weekend. Defeat in Denver would put them at risk of losing their division title, and first-round bye, to Kansas City. Carrs replacement, Matt McGloin, is something of an unknown quantity. He has not started a game since 2013, his rookie year, and even head coach Jack Del Rio seemed uncertain as to whether he would be able to run the full offensive scheme seen throughout this season so far, telling reporters: Were getting ready to find out. Mile High Stadium is hardly a welcoming spot for a quarterback trying to find his feet, but the Broncos were awful against Kansas City in week 16 and it was the Raiders running game, rather than Carr, that undid them in Oakland earlier this year. Raiders to win

New York Giants @ Washington (Sunday 4.25pm ET/9.25pm GMT)

Ben McAdoo has been clear in stating that the Giants will use their regular starters this Sunday. Although they are guaranteed to finish as the NFCs fifth seed, the coach might frame this matchup to his players as a test of character following last weekends loss to Philadelphia. Washingtons motivation is more obvious, since a win would almost certainly send them into the postseason (only a tie between Green Bay and Detroit could eliminate them at that stage) but they have mustered only two of those in their last five games. I dont believe for one moment that the Giants will make their life easy. But I do think that New York might struggle to contain that vertical attack with both cornerback Janoris Jenkins and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul sidelined by injury. Washington to win

Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions (Sunday 8.25pm ET/Monday 1.25am GMT)

Two years after making R-E-L-A-X the slogan of an MVP season, Aaron Rodgers is once again making a mockery of the critics who chided him for a slow start. At 4-6, Green Bay looked to be in danger of missing out on the playoffs but Rodgers remained adamant that his team could run the table and get in. Five wins, 12 touchdowns (one of those a rushing score) and zero interceptions later, he stands just a single game away from making good on that prediction; whoever triumphs here will be crowned as NFC North champions. Winning at Ford Field is no small task the Lions are 6-1 at home, and have rallied from fourth-quarter deficits in every one of those victories. But Detroits Matthew Stafford has struggled since dislocating the tip of his middle finger during a win over Chicago, and his team has had two fewer days to prepare for this game. Plus, as he demonstrated with that famous Hail Mary play on his last visit here, Rodgers himself is not a man to know when hes beaten. Packers to win

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2016/dec/30/nfl-week-17-predictions-green-bay-packers-detroit-lions-playoffs