Week 17 Matchups: What games matter?

There’s officially one day of regular season football left in the 2016 NFL season. Every team will wrap their regular season up on Sunday, but for most teams, their season is already over. Unfortunately, the playoff picture is mostly set, and only a couple of games have true meaning this Sunday. I want to break down the games that actually mean something.

AFC West Showdowns

Chiefs @ Chargers and Raiders @ Broncos: 4:25 p.m. games

  • These two games are important because the Chiefs still have a chance to win the AFC West and secure the #2 seed and a first-round bye. The Raiders would have to lose to the Broncos, which is likely with Derek Carr out, and then the Chiefs would have to beat the Chargers.
  • It’ll be interesting to see how the Raiders do without their MVP candidate; they can really use the first-round bye, but back-up QB Matt McGloin has a tough task in his first start of the season.
  • The Chiefs are outstanding at home, and would certainly love the luxury of a first-round bye and home-field advantage against everyone but the Patriots. The Chargers’ season has been a mess, and a win would only hurt their draft position.

Giants @ Redskins

  • This game had potential to be a lot better, but the Giants are pretty much locked into their playoff spot. The Redskins, however, need to win this game to make the playoffs.
  • A Redskins win would also make the Sunday night game more enticing; it would become an elimination game.
  • Here’s where it gets really interesting, though: If the Redskins win, the Lions and Packers can TIE and both make the playoffs at the Redskins’ expense…

Packers @ Lions

  • As I just mentioned, this game could very well be an elimination game with a Redskins’ win.
  • I think the Redskins will win, which will make this game very interesting, especially with the possibility of a TIE giving both teams a playoff spot.

Other Scenarios: 

  • If Lions beat Packers and Falcons lose to the Saints + Seahawks lose to SF, Detroit gets a bye.
  • The Falcons can clinch the bye with a win over the Saints.
  • The Seahawks need a win plus a Falcons loss to avoid playing Wild Card Weekend.
  • The Buccaneers have not been eliminated yet, but they have basically no shot. In addition to a Week 17 win, they need the Colts to beat the Jaguars, the Cowboys to beat the Eagles, the Lions to beat the Packers, the Titans to beat the Texans, the 49ers to beat the Seahawks and, finally, the Redskins and Giants to tie. Good luck.
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