NFL Week 17

Happy New Year, and welcome to the final regular-season thread!

As usual for week 17, all games are on Sunday. Matchups, lines, and network coverage are as follows:

1:00 PM ET:

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (-1), CBS
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-4.5), CBS
New England Patriots (-9.5) at Miami Dolphins, CBS
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-5.5), FOX
Buffalo Bills (-3.5) at New York Jets, CBS
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5), FOX
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6), CBS
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-5.5), FOX
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (-3), CBS

4:25 PM ET:

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (-7), FOX
Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos (-1), CBS
Arizona Cardinals (-6) at Los Angeles Rams, FOX
Kansas City Chiefs (-6) at San Diego Chargers, CBS
Seattle Seahawks (-9.5) at San Francisco 49ers, FOX
New York Giants at Washington Redskins (-7), FOX

8:30 PM ET:

Green Bay Packers (-3.5) at Detroit Lions, NBC

I’m caught in that shitty position again where I just want my team to bank the #1 overall pick. I hate actively rooting against them, but in 3 years (really, 3 weeks) no one will care or remember that we won 2 games in 2016 instead of 2017, but they’ll remember that we couldn’t draft Garrett after we watch his third pro bowl season, or missed the chance on some sort of big trade down package.

I remember 2009 when the team started 1-11 then ripped off 4 straight wins at the end of the year, how it was supposed to build momentum, how you were always supposed to root for your team no matter what, and then saw there was no momentum carried and the team came out flat and sucked the next year. Meh.

They got saved from their own win last week when SF won too - great, you got your token win, you avoid matching the '08 Lions… let’s not go through that again. SF isn’t going to win against this week. Just salvage something from this awful season and bank the top pick.

And yet they’re up two touchdowns on the Steelers.

Here’s the playoff scenarios. I think my favorite is Tampa Bay:

Tampa Bay clinches a playoff berth:

  1. TB win + WAS tie + GB loss + TB clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over GB
    (Note: TB clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over GB if all of the following teams win: TEN, IND, DAL and SF)

That’s about as eliminated you can be without being fully eliminated.

My favorite isn’t quite listed explicitly: if Detroit and Green Bay play to a tie, they’re both in and it doesn’t matter if Washington wins, they’re out.

With Romo or Cutler possibily available for trade this offseason, and not a lot of consensous on first round QB talent, the Browns might not find a great offer to trade up to grab a QB. But it may give them an opportunity to trade for Romo, get Garrett at #1, and draft a developmental QB like Watson or Webb.

Packers make the playoffs, regardless of whether or not they win tonight. If they win, they get the Giants at home next week. If they lose, they travel to Seattle, so it’s still kinda a big deal.

I’d much prefer the Giants, because their offense is pretty awful. But JPP and Vernon are a scary pair. And while Seattle’s defense is still pretty awesome, that offensive line is pretty dismal and can be exploited.

Should be an interesting couple weeks coming up.

Yay KC! Yay Denver! Anything to make a Raiders appearance past one game in the post-season less likely!

JPP isn’t scary right now.


Hmm…getting to face the Cincy, Steeler, and Raven defenses six times a year? Probably not a great prescription for his back. And he’s going to cost $. As injury-prone as he is, I’m sure a number of QB-needy teams will be bidding for his services.

Cincy is 19th, Steelers are 9th, Ravens are 31st in sacks this year. The days of the AFC North being known for dominating defenses is a bit past.

Why would Romo go to a team not ready to win? He has two more good seasons at best… you think he’s gonna spend em in Cleveland? More like… Houston… Denver…

I’ve never been a fan of Romo, largely because I’m a Giants fan, so of course I don’t like him.

But I’d be happy for him to take over Houston or Denver. Both would seem to be excellent fits, and I do feel bad for his situation this year.

Denver in particular seems good. They’d be an instant contender for a ring. I’m not sure they’re much interested, though, with Elway making noises about how the problem isn’t Siemian.

Sacks aren’t the only measure of a defense. The AFC North is still a bruising, defense-oriented division. And Cincy is about the dirtiest defense overall in the league.

I’m hearing a lot of people say what a great fit Denver would be for Romo. Have the Broncos given up on Paxton Lynch already? They just spent a 1st round draft pick on him. Or maybe you figure Romo only has another year or two in him and he can mentor Lynch?

You were talking about a QB getting injured, so I didn’t think that passing yards allowed or run defense was a good measure for that issue. Sacks, where the QB gets tackled and thus, possibly injured, seemed a much better mode of comparison.

None of the AFC North teams are top 5 in scoring defense. The Ravens are the only defense that is top 10 in yards allowed per game or yards per play. Meanwhile, the Steelers are #7 offense in yards per game, with the Bengals 13th and the Ravens 17th.

Cincinnati has had 88 accepted penalties this year, the second LOWEST in the league. They’ve had 2 roughing the passer penalties, ranking in the bottom 3rd. They have had 9 unnecessary roughness penalties this year, which ranks them in the top 10. But dirtiest? There’s not much evidence to support that.