Well here we are at last! It’s been a long season but we have finally made it to the end! Week 17 is upon us. After this weekend, the playoff picture will finally be set. Sadly, we’ll be saying goodbye to 18 teams. However, atleast the good teams will continue their season! So, what is at stake for this weekend? In simple terms, a playoff spot. However, there are a few scenarios to keep an eye on this weekend!
What we already know
The Kansas City Chiefs are the one seed in the AFC. Yes, the road to the Super Bowl in the AFC is going through Kansas City, who are the defending champs. Buffalo and Pittsburgh won their divisions this year so they will host a playoff game. In the NFC, Green Bay, New Orleans and Seattle all won their divisions as well.
Halfway there. pic.twitter.com/vw9RrRg4Pd
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) December 27, 2020
AFC South up for grabs
The AFC South is still looking for it’s 2020-2021 champion. That will be decided this weekend. Here’s the situation, if Tennessee wins this weekend against Houston, the Titans win the division. If Tennessee loses and Indianapolis wins against Jacksonville, the Colts win the division.
Derrick Henry is the ONLY RB in the NFL since 2007 to have a season with
🔹1,750 Rush Yards
🔹15 Rush TD
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) December 28, 2020
Both of these games are winnable for Tennessee and Indianapolis. Derrick Henry, a potential MVP candidate, should have a monster game. Last week, Green Bay shut him down. Look for Henry to have a bounce back game and send Tennessee into the playoffs as division champs.
Phillip Rivers said it has crossed his mind that the Colts' game on Sunday could be the last of his career https://t.co/9i54PqBgI9
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 31, 2020
By the way there’s also this. If Indianpolis fails to make the playoffs, this most likely is the end of Philip Rivers’ career. A future hall of famer could last be seen in defeat or missing the playoffs. Yes, if all the wildcard teams win as well, Indianapolis will miss the playoffs. This isn’t the way fans of the Colts, and fans of the game of football want to see Rivers go out. Rivers will certainly give it his all in his final game of his excellent career.
AFC wildcard teams
The scenario regarding the wildcard teams is simple. Win and their win. Miami, Baltimore and Cleveland should all win this weekend. Miami is taking on Buffalo where it is expected that the Bills will be resting players. However, the Dolphins will not have Ryan Fitzpatrick as he tested positive for the coronavirus this week. Miami’s playoff hopes are in the hands of Tua.
Tua Tagovailoa from clean pocket
🎯 10 TDs
🎯 0 INTs
Only starting QB w/ zero INTs from a clean pocket this season pic.twitter.com/YkJblJq6z0
— PFF (@PFF) December 28, 2020
Baltimore is facing a Cincinnati team that has won two straight. Yes I know that seems like nothing, but this is the Bengals afterall. Plus, the Bengals did beat the Steelers during this win streak. Ravens fan’s, dont worry, Lamar will show up big. Lamar should return to MVP form for this game and carry Baltimore to victory… and the playoffs.
This is WILD 👀
Lamar Jackson has NEVER thrown an INT in the redzone.
A record 45 pass TD to 0 INT.
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) December 28, 2020
Then there’s Cleveland. The Browns just need to beat Pittsburgh. The Steelers are resting players, which is good news for the Browns. After not having receivers in last week’s loss to the Jets, the Browns are looking to bounce back. Baker Mayfield will have his receivers back and he will have Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in the backfield. Keep in mind, Big Ben is not in this game. Mason Rudolph is. This game also happens to be in Cleveland. Remember the last time the Steelers visited Cleveland with Mason Rudolph? Myles Garrett does. Emotions will be very high for this game,
Myles Garrett will finish the highest-graded season of any Browns defender ever on Sunday vs Mason Rudolph (89.5) pic.twitter.com/DOscKdEQYz
— PFF (@PFF) December 29, 2020
NFC playoff picture
The number one seed is still up for grabs. However, it looks like the one seed will belong to the Green Bay Packers. The Packers, who won the NFC North, just need to win against Chicago on Sunday and they get the number one seed. New Orleans is the only other team with a realistic shot at the one seed. If Green Bay loses, and New Orleans wins, and Seattle also wins, the Saints get the one seed. Most likely, the Packers will beat the Bears to claim the one seed.
Aaron Rodgers is looking to join elite company this season.
Fewest INT in NFL history for QB with 40+ Pass TD
Aaron Rodgers: 5 (2020)
Aaron Rodgers: 6 (2011)
Aaron Rodgers: 7 (2016) pic.twitter.com/FT7miK9c2J
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) December 28, 2020
As previously mentioned, the Saints are also in the playoffs. They most likely will be the two seed, and Seattle, will be the three seed after both teams won their divisions. So with the first three seeds most likley in place, what about that fourth seed?
We finally get a NFC East champion
The NFC East is hot garbage. With the Eagles being eliminated from playoff contention, the division comes down to Washington, New York and Dallas. Washington has the best chances. Win and their in. Dallas and New York play each other on Sunday. The winner of that game will have to wait until Sunday night, because that is when Washington is playing Philadelphia. If Washington loses, the winner of Dallas and New York wins the division. Yes, the NFL is making us wait until Sunday night to see who gets the fourth seed in the NFC. As usual, the winner of this division will have a losing record.
NFC East is up for grabs in Week 17:
∙ Washington: Win and they're in the playoffs
∙ Cowboys/Giants: Winner of this game gets in if Washington loses to the Eagles pic.twitter.com/h3a4PR8vna
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 28, 2020
NFC wildcard teams
Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Bucs have clinched a playoff berth and will most likely be the fifth seed. That just leaves the sixth and seventh seeds. They are currently being held by the Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Bears. It’s simple for both teams. Win and their in. The Rams and Cardinals play each other. This game (other than Washington’s) will be the most important game this weekend. If the Bears lose, the Rams are officially in the playoffs before even taking the field since Chicago plays before the Rams and Cardinals. If that is the case heading into this NFC West showdown, Arizona needs to win in order to make the playoffs or tie. The Bears could be eliminated with an Arizona win if they lose. An entertaining finish is coming folks! Buckle up!
The #Rams have two paths:
WIN vs. AZ
CHI loss vs. GB
The #Cardinals have only one path:
WIN at LAR
If the #Bears win, AZ at LAR is winner in/loser goes home.
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) December 28, 2020
-Matt Burnett (@mattthew_jordan on Twitter)