Week seventeen is usually an unofficial start to the playoffs. Certain teams will be playing in elimination games they must win in order to play next week. The others will be split down the middle between playoff positioning and draft positioning. The last week of the season should provide some of the hardest fought contests all year and it should be fun.
- New Orleans Saints 13-2 (Last week #2)
The Saints are the only team that can plan on testing players this weekend. They have clinched the top spot in the NFC and nothing can change it.
- Chicago Bears 11-4 (Last week #4)
The Bears are currently the third seed in the NFC playoffs and could clinch a first round bye if the Rams lose.
- Los Angeles Rams 12-3 (Last week #6)
The Rams need to defeat the 49ers in order to clinch the number two seed and a first round bye. A loss could knock them down to three.
- Kansas City Chiefs 11-4 (Last week #5)
If Kansas City beats Oakland, they clinch the AFC West and and a first round bye. A loss could drop them to as low as the fifth seed.
- Los Angeles Chargers 11-4 (Last week #1)
If the Chiefs have clinched a playoff spot, the Chargers would be a road favorite in round one. If they get some help they could have the number one seed in the AFC and a first round bye.
- New England Patriots 10-5 (Last week #7)
The Patriots have already won the division for the one millionth time. They can clinch a first round bye with a win over the Jets.
- Houston Texans 10-5 (Last week #3)
The Texans can clinch the AFC South and at least the number three seed with a win over Jacksonville. If they lose they will drop all the way down to the sixth seed and have to play all their playoff games on the road.
- Baltimore Raven 9-6 (Last week #9)
Right now Baltimore would be the fourth seed in the AFC. With a win over Cleveland they would clinch a playoff spot and the AFC North division. With a couple of losses to other teams they can grab a first round bye.
- Dallas Cowboys 9-6 (Last week #10)
Dallas is locked into the number four seed in the NFC and will host it’s first round playoff matchup.
- Seattle Seahawks 9-6 (Last week #13)
Seattle has already clinched a playoff spot. A win over the Cardinals will lock up the number five seed.
- Indianapolis Colts 9-6 (Last week #11)
If the Colts defeat the Titans they are in the playoffs for the first time since the 2014 season. They can still win the AFC South if a few things break their way.
- Tennessee Titans 9-6 (Last week #12)
The Titans can clinch a playoff spot with a win over the Colts. There’s even a scenario where they could win the AFC South and clinch a first round bye but that would involve a lot of help.
- Minnesota Vikings 8-6-1 (Last week #14)
If the Vikings defeat the Bears on Sunday they are the number six seed in the NFC playoffs. They can also get in with a tie or an Eagles loss.
- Philadelphia Eagles 8-7 (Last week #15)
The Eagles need a win over the Redskins and the Vikings to lose in order to make the playoffs. That would be a scary thought for the rest of the NFC.
- Pittsburgh Steelers 8-6-1 (Last week #8)
The Steelers turbulent season leaves their playoff hopes in limbo. They need to defeat Cincinnati and they need the rival Cleveland Browns to knock off the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
- Cleveland Browns 7-7-1 (Last week #18)
If Cleveland can knock off the Ravens on Sunday they will complete their first winning season since the 2007 campaign. It would send a small ripple effect throughout the AFC playoff picture.
- Miami Dolphins 7-8 (Last week #16)
Since the turn of the century the Dolphins have finished at or a game away from a .500 win percentage seven times. They will make it eight this year win or lose.
- Washington Redskins 7-8 (Last week #17)
Washington will have to attempt a full rebuild at some point. They need an upgrade in talent at multiple positions.
- Denver Broncos 6-9 (Last week #19)
Denver paid Case Keenum to be their starter for a few seasons. The Broncos will probably be paying someone else next season.
- Green Bay Packers 6-8-1 (Last week #23)
The Packers have two first round picks in the upcoming draft. Maybe they can get some defenders and some offensive line help.
- Atlanta Falcons 6-9 (Last week #24)
The Falcons could be considered the Jaguars of the NFC. A would be Superbowl contender who can only look forward to a high draft pick.
- Carolina Panthers 6-9 (Last week #20)
Carolina will have to figure out some things especially on offense. When your second year running back leads your team in receiving, there Ned’s to be something done on offense.
- Buffalo Bills 5-10 (Last week #21)
Buffalo won’t make the playoffs for consecutive seasons but have put themselves in great position fir the future. A top ten pick will help move that plan along.
- Cincinnati Bengals 6-9 (Last week #22)
The Bengals have been a team treading water for years now. In some seasons they look like they can make some noise but they have multiple seasons that look similar to this season.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5-10 (Last week #25)
The Buccaneers thought they drafted a franchise quarterback in Jameis Winston but now that doesn’t seem to be the case. They need more than a quarterback though, maybe even a head coach.
- Jacksonville Jaguars 5-10 (Last week #29)
The Jaguars went from Superbowl contender to top ten draft pick in one short season. Can they sell any draft pick that’s not a quarterback to their fans?
- New York Giants 5- 10 (Last week #26)
The Giants season was disappointing for the most part. Their off season should provide a ton of drama surrounding their draft and their quarterback situation.
- Detroit Lions 5-10 (Last week #27)
The defensive minded Matt Patricia needs to get some playmakers on that side of the ball. The Lions should be in the top seven draft picks to do so.
- San Francisco 49ers 4-11 (Last week #28)
Without Jimmy Garoppolo the Niners finished with less wins all season than they had in the few games he started last season. Will the 49ers bolster their offense around him with their top five draft pick?
- New York Jets 4-11 (Last week #30)
The Jets would pick in the top five for the second straight year. Will they bolster the offensive line or go after the defensive side?
- Oakland Raiders 4-11 (Last week #32)
Oakland will finish with the first or second pick in the draft and two picks in the twenties. They need every one of those guys with top talent at a cheaper price tag then their veteran counterparts.
- Arizona Cardinals 3-12 (Last week #31)
As of right now Arizona would have the first pick in the draft. Will they take Ohio State’s defensive stud Nick Bosa? They’re going to have to add a few more players to that wish list