NFL Picks Week 17: Random Numbers Say Packers Over Bears

Random numbers say the Packers and Rams make the playoffs.

In the ninth week since SB Nation Chicago began using random numbers to pick football winners in Week Eight, we had a pretty good week, going 9-7. That makes the overall mark 64-72. That's pretty bad; we'll need to go 13-3 with it in the season's final week to wind up with a winning record. That's pretty unlikely, as there has been no week that good all year.

Among other things, the random numbers think that the Packers will beat the Bears and get into the playoffs, and in the Sunday Night Battle of the Losers, the Rams will beat the Seahawks to win the NFC West with an 8-8 record. That would, actually, be preferable to having a division winner with a losing record, which is what we get if Seattle wins.

As a reminder, here's how it works: I use random.org's list generator and its true random number generator to sort the teams playing in a random order, then generate random numbers to match with each team name in that random order as a score prediction. I have adjusted the number range to be 0-49. 49 is the highest number of points scored by anyone this year except for 59 now scored twice; by the Raiders against the Broncos and the Eagles against the Redskins. Putting the range up to 59 would probably result in too many 50+ scores, so I'm limiting it to 49, seven touchdowns.

This week's caveat: I throw out any random number generated that is an unusual or virtually impossible football score; this week, the generator continued to insist that "1" is a football score, coming up with it four times. There were a few more low scores chosen this week, but also some high scores. Last week, I said: "I don't really think the Bengals are going to beat the Chargers. But you never know." Right. You never know. The Bengals did beat the Chargers, and not only that, the random number generator didn't miss the score by much. These three games from last week came close to reality:

Prediction: Bears 47, Jets 42 Actual: Bears 38, Jets 34 Prediction: Bengals 35, Chargers 9 Actual: Bengals 34, Chargers 20 Prediction: Packers 38, Giants 12 Actual: Packers 45, Giants 17

Here's what the random numbers call for Week 17:

Dolphins 48
Patriots 38

Vikings 27
Lions 13

Panthers 12
Falcons 24

Raiders 17
Chiefs 47

Browns 47
Steelers 30

Bills 22
Jets 18

Buccaneers 7
Saints 17

Bengals 35
Ravens 42

Bears 20
Packers 38

Giants 17
Redskins 35

Jaguars 45
Texans 49

Cowboys 22
Eagles 23

Titans 7
Colts 34

Chargers 9
Broncos 20

Cardinals 32
49ers 3

Rams 29
Seahawks 25

Note that the random numbers are not responsible for picking whether Brett Favre will actually play for the Vikings (please, Brett: Just. Go. Away.) As always, this is just for fun; SB Nation Chicago is not responsible for any real money you might lose from any legal wagers on these games.

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