The reason why fantasy football season ends in week 16 is because week 17 becomes meaningless with the exception of a few games. Teams getting ready for the playoffs will rest their starters for a half or perhaps the whole game. So we usually don't see the best football of the season in it's final week of regulation. But the 2013 season is much different where a majority of the games have tremendous meaning. Not to see who will get the #1 pick in the draft (Houston Texans), but because there are still 10 teams fighting for post season presence. Few have clinched playoff berths and none of the NFC divisional crowns have been awarded yet, whereas the AFC have established all four. It's just a matter of seeding, first round byes, match ups that are yet to be determined and the field the games will be played on.
I can't remember a more exciting week 17 in a long time. It appears Tony Romo won't be available to keep the last game of the year losing streak alive. Kyle Orton it seems will take that responsibility but will attempt to do what Romo hasn't done against his division rivals the past 2 seasons and take the Cowboys back to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Dallas actually beat Philadelphia in the Wild Card round that season, and as irony would have it, they play the Eagles on Sunday in a win or go home for good scenario.
The same applies in the Bears vs Packers game where the winner takes home the division title and the loser watches them play in the first round of the post season. There are many other teams in the hunt here in week 17 that will have to play their best football, get a victory and pray for some help. A simple win will not secure most of the bubble teams a playoff berth. They'll need other teams to lose or tie in order for fortune to come their way. I've laid out all the scenarios for you below. Now it's time for you to decide. My predictions will be out this weekend and will reveal most of them on "The Sports Clinic" this Sunday for our weekly NFL Pre-Game Show at 10:00 am EST. Hope to hear from you guys as the show is Live and open to callers.
Here are the NFL week 17 playoff scenarios. Please comment as to who you think the remaining teams will be and what seed they will get in the tournament. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a very happy, healthy and safe New Year to you all!
* I'm omitting most situations that include a tie ball game because it's a waste of my time. A tie which can virtually be a win or lose, (White Men Can't Jump reference) if it were to happen this Sunday, could determine whether or not a team will be playing post season football. Just ask the Packers how thankful they are for their tie against the Vikings which at the time was thought to be the final nail in the Cheese-Head coffin. But Matt Flynn has resurrected the Packers offense and if Aaron Rodgers isn't cleared to play then they go with Flynn for the win.
Clinched Playoff Spot
1. Patriots - Need to win for a 1st round bye or a Bengals loss.
2. Broncos - Need to win for the top seed in the AFC.
3. Chiefs - Must win and Denver losses to get #1 seed.
4. Colts - Must win and have New England & Cincinnati lose to get a bye.
5. Bengals - Must win and New England lose to earn a 1st round bye.
On The Bubble:
1. Chargers - Need to win and the Dolphins & Ravens must lose.
2. Ravens - Need to win and have either the Dolphins or Chargers lose.
3. Dolphins - Need to win and either have the Ravens lose or the Chargers win.
4. Steelers - Need to win and the other 3 teams must lose.
Clinched Playoff Spot
1. Seahawks - Win and get #1 seed.
2. 49ers - Win and Seattle loss gives S.F. a bye in 1st round.
3. Panthers - Can earn top seed if they win and Seattle loses.
On The Bubble:
1. Saints - Just need to win or Cardinals loss. Also can win NFC South division if Panthers lose.
2. Packers - Need to beat the Bears to win NFC North.
3. Bears - Need to beat the Packers to win NFC North.
4. Eagles - Need to beat the Cowboys to win NFC East.
5. Cowboys - Need to beat the Eagles to win NFC East.
6. Cardinals - Need to win and the Saints either must lose or tie.