Previewing NFL Week 17

The regular season comes to a close with all games on Sunday.

There wasn’t a Thursday night (New Year’s Eve) game and won’t be a Monday night game. The only primetime game is the Washington-Philadelphia game on Sunday night, which isn’t much an attraction.

Philadelphia has nothing to play for while Washington can clinch the NFC East with a losing record at 7-9. If the Washington team loses, the winner of the Dallas-Giants game will win the division with a losing record.

Dallas is 6-9 and the Giants are 5-10 and can host a playoff game and win the division at 6-10 with a victory over the Cowboys.

–In the AFC, three teams, the Chiefs, Steelers and Bills are in the playoffs and five teams are fighting for the other four spots, the Ravens, Browns, Dolphins, Colts and Titans. Tennessee, which plays Houston, Baltimore, which plays Cincinnati, Miami, which plays at Buffalo, and Cleveland, which plays Pittsburgh, are all in if they win. The Colts need a win over the Jaguars and help. A win gets them in if Baltimore, Cleveland or Miami lose.

–With the Titans playing Houston and Baltimore playing Cincinnati, those two teams are close to locks and that leaves Miami, Cleveland and the Colts fighting for the last two spots. The Miami-Buffalo and Pittsburgh-Cleveland games are the hardest to handicap because Buffalo and Pittsburgh have clinched playoff spots.

–In the NFC, Green Bay, New Orleans, Seattle and Tampa are in. The fifth spot goes to the NFC East winner with Washington, Dallas and the Giants fighting for that spot. That leaves two spots open. The Rams-Arizona winner gets one of them and Chicago gets the other one with a victory over Green Bay, which clinches the first-round bye with a win. If the Bears lose, they get in if Arizona loses. And the Rams get in if they lose to Arizona if the Bears lose.

–With seven teams in the playoffs in each division, there was speculation a wild card winner could get in with a losing record. As it turns out, the NFC East winner will be the only losing team in the playoffs.  

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