Previewing NFL Week 17

The playoff picture will become a bit clearer this week, but at least one division title will still up be for grabs in the final weekend of the season in two weeks..

Regardless of how the Titans, who have lost five in a row, and the Jaguars do against the Cowboys and Texans this week, their game in the final weekend of the season will decide the AFC South.

Tampa Bay can clinch the NFC South by beating Carolina although the 6-9 Panthers could still win it with an 8-9 record by beating the Bucs and Saints in their final two games. A Tampa Bay victory would put Tom Brady back in the playoffs after his team struggled much of the year.

Buffalo, Kansas City have clinched division titles in the AFC while Cincinnati is a game ahead of Baltimore in the AFC North but both teams have clinched playoffs spots. Philadelphia, Minnesota and San Francisco have clinched NFC division titles. 

The 8-6-1 Giants can clinch a wild card spot by beating the hapless Colts. Coach Jeff Saturday fell to 1-5 when he started Nick Foles, who was rusty after seeing little action the last two years and threw three picks in a loss to the Chargers. The 7-7-1 Commanders can keep the lead in the battle for the final wild card spot by beating the Browns, who are eliminated at 6-9. The Commanders need to win their last two against the Browns and Cowboys to clinch a playoff berth.

The key game of the weekend is the Monday night game with the 12-3 Bills at the 11-4 Bengals. The Bills need a victory over the Bengals to keep its tie break lead over 12-3 Kansas City in the battle for the top seed. The Bengals need a victory to keep a game ahead of the Ravens, who play the Steelers, in the fight for the AFC North Division title. A Bengals victory would also put them in play to get the top seed.The 7-8 Steelers are still alive in the playoff race but are a longshot because of theri 3-7 conference record. 

One of the more interesting games pits the sagging 8-7 Dolphins against the 7-8 Patriots. The Dolphins can clinch a playoff berth with a victory but the Dolphins will probably be going with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback because Tua Tagovailoa is in the concussion program. The Patriots make the playoffs if they beat Miami and Buffalo in their last two regular season games.

The Chiefs should have an easy game against the Broncos, who fired Coach Nathaniel Hackett after they were routed by the Rams.

The Jets meet the Seahawks with both teams at 7-8fighting for a wild card spot in their respective conferences.

The surging 11-4 49ers figure to eliminate the 6-9 Raiders.

Philadelphia can clinch the top seed in the NFC by beating the Saints.

The Vikings have wrapped up the division title with a 12-3 mark but they have 11 one score victories and the skeptics wonder if they are for real. They are actually underdogs against the 7-8 Packers, who are still alive in the wild card race.

The 7-8 Lions stumbled against Carolina last week but hope to stay alive by beating the Bears.

Only one game — Cardinals at the Falcons – will pit two teams that are already eliminated.

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