It’s the final push for NFL teams as the regular season ends on the last day of 2017, Sunday, December 31. All 16 games are division contests. And with one week to go, there are still 15 teams in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LII.
Nine of the 12 playoff teams have been determined. Seven of the eight divisions have been clinched. And there’s still plenty to play for in Week 17.
In the AFC, four teams have already punched their ticket to the postseason by winning their division: New England (12-3, AFC East), Pittsburgh (12-3, AFC North), Jacksonville (10-5, AFC South) and Kansas City (9-6, AFC West). The Patriots have clinched a first-round bye and can secure home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win or a Pittsburgh loss. The Steelers, who have locked up a first-round bye, can earn the AFC’s No. 1 seed with a win combined with a New England loss.
Four teams are battling for the AFC’s two Wild Card spots: Baltimore (9-6), Tennessee (8-7), Los Angeles Chargers (8-7) and Buffalo (8-7). The Ravens and Titans are in control for their postseason berths and can each clinch with a win.
In the NFC, five teams have locked up playoff spots, including three division winners: Philadelphia (13-2, NFC East), Minnesota (12-3, NFC North), Los Angeles Rams (11-4, NFC West), New Orleans (11-4) and Carolina (11-4). The Eagles have secured home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. The Vikings can earn the conference’s other first-round bye with a win or a Carolina loss or a win by either New Orleans or the Rams. The Saints are in control in the NFC South and can lock up the division title with a win or a Carolina loss. The Panthers can win the NFC South with a win combined with a New Orleans loss. Carolina can also secure a first-round bye with a win combined with losses by New Orleans, Minnesota and the Rams.
Two teams remain alive for the NFC’s final playoff berth: Atlanta (9-6) and Seattle (9-6). The Falcons, who defeated the Seahawks 34-31 in Week 11, can clinch a playoff spot with a win or Seattle loss. The Seahawks can qualify for the postseason with a win combined with an Atlanta loss.
The Eagles and Jaguars have both completed “worst-to-first” turnarounds and at least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons. If the Panthers win the NFC South, 2017 would tie the 2005 and 2006 seasons for the most such “worst-to-first” clubs in NFL history.
Some of the key games in Week 17 with playoff implications:

CHICAGO BEARS (5-10) at MINNESOTA VIKINGS (12-3) (Sunday, FOX, 1:00 PM ET)

  • The Vikings, who have won the NFC North, can earn a first-round bye with a win or a Carolina loss or a win by either New Orleans or the Los Angeles Rams. 

NEW YORK JETS (5-10) at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-3) (Sunday, CBS, 1:00 PM ET)

  • The Patriots, who have won the AFC East and earned a first-round bye, can secure home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win or a Pittsburgh loss.

DALLAS COWBOYS (8-7) at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (13-2) (Sunday, FOX, 1:00 PM ET)

  • The Eagles have won the NFC East and secured home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. 

CLEVELAND BROWNS (0-15) at PITTSBURGH STEELERS (12-3) (Sunday, CBS, 1:00 PM ET)

  • The Steelers, who have won the AFC North and earned a first-round bye, can secure home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win combined with a New England loss.

CAROLINA PANTHERS (11-4) at ATLANTA FALCONS (9-6) (Sunday, FOX, 4:25 PM ET)

  • The Panthers, who have clinched a playoff berth, can claim the NFC South with a win combined with a New Orleans loss. Carolina can secure a first-round bye with a win combined with losses by New Orleans, Minnesota and the Los Angeles Rams.
  • The Falcons can clinch a playoff berth with a win or a Seattle loss.

CINCINNATI BENGALS (6-9) at BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-6) (Sunday, CBS, 4:25 PM ET)

  • The Ravens can clinch a postseason berth with a win or a loss by either Buffalo or Tennessee.  

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (9-6) at DENVER BRONCOS (5-10) (Sunday, CBS, 4:25 PM ET)

  • The Chiefs have won the AFC West and are locked in as the No. 4 seed in the AFC playoffs. 
     

OAKLAND RAIDERS (6-9) at LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (8-7) (Sunday, CBS, 4:25 PM ET)

  • The Chargers can clinch a playoff berth with a win combined with losses by both Tennessee and Buffalo or a win combined with a Tennessee loss and a Baltimore win.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (5-10) at LOS ANGELES RAMS (11-4) (Sunday, FOX, 4:25 PM ET)

  • The Rams have won the NFC West and will enter the postseason as either the No. 3 or 4 seed in the NFC playoffs. 

BUFFALO BILLS (8-7) at MIAMI DOLPHINS (6-9) (Sunday, CBS, 4:25 PM ET)

  • The Bills can clinch a playoff berth with a win combined with either a Baltimore loss or losses by both Tennessee and the Los Angeles Chargers.

ARIZONA CARDINALS (7-8) at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (9-6) (Sunday, FOX, 4:25 PM ET)

  • The Seahawks can clinch a playoff berth with a win combined with an Atlanta loss.  

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (11-4) at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-11) (Sunday, FOX, 4:25 PM ET)

  • The Saints, who have locked up a playoff berth, can secure the NFC South with a win or a Carolina loss.   

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (10-5) at TENNESSEE TITANS (8-7) (Sunday, CBS, 4:25 PM ET)

  • The Jaguars have won the AFC South and are locked in as the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs.
  • The Titans can clinch a playoff berth with a win or losses by both Buffalo and the Los Angeles Chargers. 

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