Just the way the NFL drew it up; the majority of the Week 17 NFL games mean something this weekend with the last one, the Sunday night matchup of the Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants deciding the NFC East.
Even a game between two of the worst teams the Indianapolis Colts at the Jacksonville Jaguars has layers of intrigue. The Colts, who have won two in a row, are in danger of falling behind the St. Louis Rams in positioning for Andrew Luck sweepstakes. The two teams enter the final week tied with records of 2-13, but Indianapolis has the strength-of-schedule tiebreaker and would get the No. 1 pick if the teams finish with the same record. The Rams close the season against a 12-3 San Francisco team while the Colts play the 4-11 Jaguars.
Think Indy will get the pick? The coaches and players are going to try to win. Here’s why.
In the AFC
The New England Patriots have clinched the AFC East and a first-round bye. They can clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win against Buffalo or losses by both Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
The Baltimore Ravens have clinched a playoff berth. They clinch the AFC North and a first-round bye with a win against Cincinnatior a Pittsburgh loss. They clinch home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with a win and a New England loss.
The Houston Texans are locked into the No. 3 seed and will host one of the following teams in the playoffs: Titans, Raiders, Bengals or Jets depending on how thing shake out. They can eliminate the possibility of playing Tennessee two weeks in a row by beating them.
The Denver Broncos clinches AFC West with a win against Kansas City or an Oakland loss. Orton’s Revenge!
The Pittsburgh Steelers have clinched a playoff berth. Pittsburgh clinches the AFC North and a first-round bye with a win against Cleveland + a Baltimore loss. Pittsburgh clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with a win + Baltimore loss + New England loss.
The Cincinnati Bengals clinch a wild-card spot with a win against Baltimore or either of the following scenarios: 1) NY Jets loss + Oakland loss; 2) NY Jets loss + Denver loss.
The Oakland Raiders clinch the AFC West with a win against San Diego + Denver loss. Oakland clinches a wild-card spot with either of the following scenarios: 1) Oakland win + Cincinnati loss + Tennessee loss; 2) Oakland win + Cincinnati loss + NY Jets win.
The Tennessee Titans clinches a wild-card spot with a win against Houston+ a Cincinnati loss + any of the following scenarios: 1) NY Jets win + Oakland loss; 2) NY Jets win + Denver loss; 3) NY Jets loss + Oakland win + Denver win.
The New York Jets clinch a wild-card spot with a win against Miami and either of the following scenarios: 1) Cincinnati loss + Tennessee loss + Oakland loss; 2) Cincinnati loss + Tennessee loss + Denver loss.
In the NFC
The Green Bay Packers have clinched the NFC North, a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Will they play their stars such as Aaron Rodgers and Charles Woodson against a cheap-shot Detroit Lions team?
The San Francisco 49ers clinched the NFC West. San Francisco clinches a first-round bye with a win against St. Louis or a New Orleans loss. The Rams may have a shot at winning the Andrew Luck sweepstakes if they lose.
The New Orleans Saints can clinch a first-round bye with a win against Carolina and a 49ers loss in Week 17. Cam Netwon and the Panthers aren’t a pushover though and can score on anyone, especially at home. The Saints aren’t the same team outside the dome and they are going to have to score points to win this one.
The New York Giants win the NFC East by beating Dallas.
The Detroit Lions clinched a wild-card berth. They can lock up the fifth seed with a win against Green Bay or an Atlanta loss.
The Atlanta Falcons have clinched a wild-card spot. They can move into the fifth seed with a win against Tampa and a Detroit loss.
The Dallas Cowboys win the NFC East by beating the NY Giants.
Got it? There will be a test on Friday… Almost every game means something on the final weekend, just the way the NFL drew it up…
The founder and former owner of MC3 Sports Media, Mike Cardano is the Sr. Business Administrator for RotoExperts and the Executive Director here at TheXLog.com. You may email Mike @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @MikeCardano. Listen to Mike on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew Tuesday mornings at 10am ET.