Week 17 of the NFL regular season and there are still three playoff spots up for grabs and nearly all of the seeds in the AFC and NFC have yet to be determined. The schedule for the final week of the regular season provides us with just one head-to-head elimination game but no lack of matchups to pay attention to.
In the AFC South, Houston is already in the playoffs but can win the division with a victory over Jacksonville and still has a shot at both a first-round bye and even home-field advantage throughout the postseason. Indianapolis and Tennessee will face off in Nashville on “Sunday Night Football” with the winner in as the second wild card with a chance to steal the division should the Jaguars upset the Texans.
Baltimore and Pittsburgh don’t play each other but both teams will be doing some scoreboard watching on Sunday afternoon. The Ravens will claim the AFC North with a win over Cleveland or a Steelers loss to the Bengals. Pittsburgh not only needs to beat Cincinnati but also for Baltimore to lose (or tie) because the only other way the Steelers are getting in the playoffs is if the Colts and Titans tie.
Elsewhere in the AFC, the Chiefs, Chargers and Patriots are already in but seeding, first-round byes and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs are still up for grabs. All three teams should have the advantage in their games, but Los Angeles is the only one on the road (at Denver).
In the NFC, New Orleans and Dallas are locked in as the No. 1 and 4 seeds, respectively, while the Los Angeles Rams, Chicago and Seattle know they are in the playoffs as well. The Rams and Bears are fighting for a first-round bye, but Chicago’s game carries even more importance.
The Bears will be in Minnesota and have a chance to keep their NFC North rivals out of the postseason. A Vikings win or tie and they are in with Philadelphia missing out on a chance to defend its Super Bowl title. But if Minnesota falls at home and the Eagles win in Washington, Philadelphia will sneak in as the second wild card.
In total, 12 teams enter Week 17 with at least one scenario involving clinching a playoff berth, winning a division title, earning a first-round bye or home-field advantage throughout the postseason. It makes for an exciting Sunday afternoon as seven games with playoff implications will kick off at 4:25 p.m. ET with the Colts-Titans wrapping up the regular season up Sunday night.
So which teams will come out on top in every NFL game in Week 17? Athlon's own Rob Doster (AthlonDoster) and Mark Ross (@AthlonMarkR), along with AthlonSports.com contributor Bryan Fischer (BryanDFischer), predict the winners for every game this week:
NFL Week 17 Predictions
Miami at Buffalo
Detroit at Green Bay
New York Jets at New England
Dallas at New York Giants
Atlanta at Tampa Bay
Jacksonville at Houston
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver
Oakland at Kansas City
San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams
Indianapolis at Tennessee (SNF)
*Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland in Week 1 and Minnesota vs. Green Bay in Week 2 both ended in ties.