Only three meaningless games in Week 17
Not too bad compared to most years. The three duds are Skins/Eagles, Bears/Vikings, and Seahawks/Cardinals. Every other game on Sunday has something on the line, and the majority of the games also affect other teams playing in other contests.
Bills at Patriots: New England gets #1 seed with a win. A loss and a win by Pittsburgh or Baltimore pushes them to #2.
Jets at Dolphins: Jets need a win to stay alive for the #6 seed.
Ravens at Bengals: Ravens clinch #2 seed with a win, #1 with a win and Pats loss. A loss could drop them to #5 with a Steelers win. Bengals clinch #6 seed with a win, potentially eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
Steelers at Browns: Steelers can clinch #2 with a win and a Ravens loss, #1 with a win and losses by Balt and New England.
Titans at Texans: Titans need a win to stay alive for #6 seed.
Jaguars at Colts: No playoff implications, but Colts can clinch the #1 pick in the draft with a loss. A Colts win plus a Rams loss gives St. Louis the top pick.
Chiefs at Broncos: Denver clinches AFC West with a win.
Chargers at Raiders: Raiders clinch AFC West with a win and a Denver loss. Raiders also have an outside shot at #6 seed with a win and some help.
Cowboys at Giants: Winner clinches NFC East. Loser stays home.
Lions at Packers: A Lions win clinches the #5 seed, which helps Detroit avoid a first round trip to New Orleans or San Fran (most would agree going to Dallas or New York is a better option)
Panthers at Saints: New Orleans can clinch #2 seed with a win and a 49ers loss.
Falcons at Buccaneers: Atlanta can clinch #5 seed with a win and a Detroit loss, trying to avoid a first round game in New Orleans.
49ers at Rams: San Fran clinches #2 seed with a win. Rams clinch top draft pick with a loss and a Colts win.
And that's it. Despite 9 out of 12 playoff spots already being clinched, I can't remember heading into a Week 17 where it felt like so much could change at a moment's notice, and that everyone has something to play for. I guess it's because usually the top seeds are settled by now, whereas this year homefield and the bye weeks can drastically change hands depending on what happens in a couple games.
I also think putting all divisional games this week is a big reason why everything feels more dramatic. Not a big fan of Goodell, but kudos to the commissioner for getting at least one thing right. This was a great idea.
Won't be too long now until we're all sitting around counting down the days until the draft, or training camp. So no matter what happens on Sunday, I'm going to savor all 9 hours of football, and enjoy every game.
Last edited by SteelFaninBMore; 12-29-2011 at 07:43 PM.