3 Potential NFL Upsets in Week 17

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

 

There has been at least one significant upset in every week of the 2014 NFL regular season, and there will undoubtedly be at least one upset in Week 17 as well. It’s the nature of the beast, and the scenario that gives professional football such staying power, even as the regular season winds down to a close and the playoff seedings solidify. Here is a look at three games with upset potential in Week 17.

All statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.

 

Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

 

1.  Buffalo Bills (8-7) over New England Patriots (12-3)

Point Spread: Patriots favored by 5.5 points

The Patriots have already clinched home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, which may make them inclined to rest some of their players for most of this meaningless game. The Bills have one of the best defenses in the league and have proven that they are capable of beating a team of New England’s caliber already this season. If Bill Belichick decides to rest some of his key players this week, don’t be surprised if the Bills are able to go into New England and upset the Patriots.

 

Bills Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 322 total yards per game (24th)
  • 230 passing yards per game (18th)
  • 92 rushing yards per game (25th)
  • 21.7 points per game (18th)

Bills Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 316 total yards allowed per game (4th)
  • 210 net passing yards allowed per game (3rd)
  • 106 rushing yards allowed per game (13th)
  • 18.7 points allowed per game (5th)

Patriots Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 373 total yards per game (10th)
  • 265 passing yards per game (8th)
  • 107 rushing yards per game (18th)
  • 30.6 points per game (1st)

Patriots Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 349 total yards allowed per game (13th)
  • 245 net passing yards allowed per game (21st)
  • 104 rushing yards allowed per game (12th)
  • 19.7 points allowed per game (8th)

 

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

 

2.  San Diego Chargers (9-6) over Kansas City Chiefs (8-7)

Point Spread: Chiefs favored by 2.5 points

The Chargers are playing for a playoff spot and the Chiefs have been eliminated from postseason contention and are limping to the finish line. Chase Daniel will be starting at quarterback for the Chiefs in place of Alex Smith this week. Despite his veteran status, nobody knows what to expect out of Daniel. When faced with a similar situation last week, the Chargers erased a 21-point deficit and defeated the San Francisco 49ers 38-35 in overtime to keep their playoff hopes alive. Given what each team is playing for, it’s fairly surprising to see the Chargers as underdogs in this game. Expect to see San Diego pull out all of the stops in this game and leave Kansas City with a playoff-clinching win.

 

Chargers Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 340 total yards per game (19th)
  • 257 passing yards per game (9th)
  • 84 rushing yards per game (29th)
  • 22.7 points per game (18th)

Chargers Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 344 total yards allowed per game (11th)
  • 219 net passing yards allowed per game (6th)
  • 125 rushing yards allowed per game (26th)
  • 21.9 points allowed per game (13th)

Chiefs Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 323 total yards per game (22nd)
  • 203 passing yards per game (28th)
  • 121 rushing yards per game (10th)
  • 22.3 points per game (17th)

Chiefs Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 329 total yards allowed per game (7th)
  • 200 net passing yards allowed per game (2nd)
  • 128 rushing yards allowed per game (28th)
  • 18.3 points allowed per game (3rd)

 

 

Rich Schultz

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

 

3.  Philadelphia Eagles (9-6) over New York Giants (6-9)

Point Spread: Giants favored by 3 points

The Giants have been red-hot as of late winning their last three games, but the fact is, they haven’t played against an offense that is anywhere close to being as good as the Eagles’. Neither team has a shot at making the postseason this year, but given the rivalry nature of this game, you can expect to see a top-notch effort out of both teams. At this point in time, the Eagles have a more talented and deep roster than the Giants, and that could be the difference in this game between heated NFC East rivals.

 

Eagles Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 395 total yards per game (5th)
  • 273 passing yards per game (6th)
  • 122 rushing yards per game (9th)
  • 29.3 points per game (3rd)

Eagles Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 367 total yards allowed per game (25th)
  • 254 net passing yards allowed per game (25th)
  • 113 rushing yards allowed per game (17th)
  • 24.9 points allowed per game (23rd)

Giants Key Offensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 358 total yards per game (12th)
  • 256 passing yards per game (10th)
  • 102 rushing yards per game (22nd)
  • 23.6 points per game (13th)

Giants Key Defensive Statistics (league rank):

  • 372 total yards allowed per game (28th)
  • 239 net passing yards allowed per game (17th)
  • 133 rushing yards allowed per game (30th)
  • 24.4 points allowed per game (21st)