2021 NFL picks, score predictions for Week 17

Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images
Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images /
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NFL Picks and predictions
NFL Picks and predictions – Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images /

Denver Broncos (7-8) at Los Angeles Chargers (8-7)

Sunday, January 2, 4:05PM ET

I’m not sure what happened this past weekend, but I’m positive that wasn’t the real Los Angeles Chargers that showed up against the Texans. They didn’t play anything like they have all year, which is why I’m considering it a fluke and expecting them to get it together in Week 17.

At this point, they have to. Los Angeles isn’t even in the playoff picture after being pencilled in as the sixth seed only a week ago. It’s time they put the pieces together and played a cohesive game in which the offense runs like a well-oiled machine and the defense lives up to its potential. We’ve seen glimpses of it before, but now’s the time to flip the switch.

It’s even more impressive with the Denver Broncos coming to town. While their offense is stale at best, their defense is one of the best in the business. Slowing down Justin Herbert will be their top priority, so it’ll be up to the young quarterback to overcome and lift his team to a much-needed win.

My money is on him getting the job done, as he has for much of the 2021 campaign. Herbert throws for 300+ yards and three touchdowns, and the Chargers defense creates two turnovers that helps put another notch in the win column.

Prediction: Chargers win 29-17 | Spread:  Chargers (-5.5)