- The Titans and the Colts are playing for the final AFC wild-card spot, the Steelers are all but out of it, the Eagles need a lot of help and how the Chargers could possibly get the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
With a meaningless Christmas Eve showdown on tap between the Raiders and the Broncos tonight, the playoff field is locked for another six days. Here’s what we’re looking at right now:
AFC: 1. Kansas City 2. New England 3. Houston 4. Baltimore 5. Los Angeles Chargers, 6. Indianapolis
NFC: 1. New Orleans 2. Los Angeles Rams, 3. Chicago 4. Dallas 5. Seattle 6. Minnesota
Here’s what we’ll be talking about this week:
• There’s a win-and-in game on tap for Week 17 Sunday Night Football. The final AFC wild-card spot is coming down to the Titans and Colts after Indianapolis survived a nail-biter against the suddenly competent Giants, and Tennessee rode Derrick Henry to a win over Washington.
• It’s going to be a long offseason for the Steelers unless that critical Colts-Titans game ends in a tie and the Steelers beat the Bengals next week. That, or Pittsburgh beats Cincinnati and the surging Baltimore Ravens lose their season-finale to the … also surging Cleveland Browns. Imagine that, a room full of Stiller fans pouring out Iron City tallboys in an attempt to conjure up some inspired play from their long-time division rivals.
• Philadelphia needs to down Washington on the road this coming weekend, and they need the Bears to beat the Vikings in Minnesota (Seattle muscling the Chiefs in Sunday’s late game takes away another potential avenue) in order to snag the final spot in the NFC.
• Should the Bears take down the Vikings and the stumbling Rams lose to the 49ers, Chicago gets a first-round bye.
• Highly unlikely, but, if somehow the Raiders stun the Chiefs in what may be the club’s final game in their long-time home, they’ll set up a path for the Chargers to beat the Broncos and maneuver into the No. 1 seed in the AFC. As it stands for now, the NFL will get their wish, and the L.A. Chargers will not host in their tiny soccer-style stadium.
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NOW ON THE MMQB: Bad pass interference calls take center stage in the Sunday Freakout. ... It wasn’t long ago the Steelers were out-dueling the Patriots, and now they’re out of the playoffs altogether. … What happens to Carson Wentz and the Eagles if Nick Foles does it again?
WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED: A beautiful story on Chargers defensive back Desmond King and his brother, Devon, from Jenny Vrentas. Warning: Bring some tissues. … Cameron Jordan may not be wrong about Big Ben. … The Raiders are leaving Oakland, but no one really seems to care.
1. Some PFT heat here: The Jets are going to go all out for Jim Harbaugh.
2. LeSean McCoy got benched (kind of) for the start of Sunday’s game. He admits he got put in his place.
3. A deeper look at the win that handed New Orleans the No. 1 seed.
4. Mike Tomlin digs in on his fake punt call, as the sharks begin to circle.
5. Richard Sherman among a handful of players who got tossed in Sunday’s 49ers-Bears game.
For those who are beginning preparation for the descent of a large bearded man into your living room through the fireplace, please enjoy.
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