William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson
nova_one

Sunday: A New Year's Day Football Extravaganza, or Week 17 of the NFL Regular Season

Here are two great charts to help get you prepared, both from Rich Eisen's blog. They show the playoff seedings that result from each permutation of the relevant games.

NFC Playoff Seeding Possibilites Chart

AFC Playoff Seeding Possibilites Chart

I suggest writing your channel numbers next to the games and times so that you can jump around the meaningful games with ease.

Now for some commentary. For sanity's sake, I'm restricting my comments to games that I'll be able to watch. Most digital cable subscribers in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island will be able to see the following games. As for the rest, you might be able to try a site like firstrowsports.tv to tune into some, er, "unofficial" streams. ;-)

2:00 PM

Buffalo at New England - CBS Boston, CTV Atlantic
Don't forget about Tom Brady - he's just 190 yards short of Brees for the single-season passing yards record. And with a win, New England clinches home-field advantage for the AFC playoffs.

Carolina at New Orleans - FOX Rochester
We'll get to see Cam Newton finish off his impressive rookie year. For New Orleans, a win and a 49ers loss (yes, to the Rams, but anything's possible), means they get the #2 seed. Even though the #2 seed is a remote possibility, they do have stats to play for: among other things, Brees will want to be the single-season leader in passing yards for more than one week. Could be a very high-scoring game.

New York (Jets) at Miami - TSN2
Jets need to win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. How slim? I think they need a win, a Cincinati loss, a Tenessee loss, a Rangers loss, and a Knicks loss. In another early game, Tenessee is at the Texans facing a similar situation.

5:15 PM

Kansas City at Denver - CBS Boston, Sportsnet East
Denver's in with a win, but Kansas City QB Kyle Orton was replaced by Tim Tebow in Denver last year and will probably be itching for a big game. Meanwhile, for good and ill, Tebow defies consensus.

Tampa Bay at Atlanta - FOX Rochester
Atlanta needs this game (and a Detroit loss in their early game) to get the 5th seed instead of the 6th. It's the difference between facing the Giants / Cowboys winner in the 4 vs. 5 game, or going to (probably) New Orleans for the 3 vs. 6 game. They'd rather be 5th. Also, in the highly improbable event of both wildcard teams making the conference final, the 5th would host the 6th, but AFAIK this has never happened.

San Diego at Oakland - Sportsnet Ontario, Sportsnet West, Sportsnet Pacific
This is a must-win game for Oakland. If they win, they'll get in line for the AFC West or the 2nd wildcard. They'll need a combination of things to happen in other games.

9:20 PM

Dallas at New York (Giants) - NBC, TSN
Win and you're in. Lose and stay home. The NFC wildcard spots are out of reach for either team. The good teams had their playoff spots locked up by early December. With these guys I'd vote "none of the above" and fill in ... well, that's up to you. All teams with winning records are at least "in the hunt" going into Week 17. No truly good team can really be said to be on the outside looking in, though that does happen from time to time: In 2008 the Patriots went 11-5 and still missed the playoffs.
Tags: nfl
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