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Week 17. The Grand Finale

Posted by Radatz on December 29, 2017 at 12:45 AM

And it all comes down to this. Where will I get my faux racial moralizing now? Games are divided into 3 categories depending on level of significance (or one model of it).

Means Something to Both Teams

CAR@ATL: The Panthers are playing for a shot at the division. The Falcons are playing for their butts. Carolina continues to luck out wins while whiffing on style points. Atlanta gets highlights as usual and loses. The law of averages seems to favor Atlanta, if nothing else.

Means Something to One Team

SF@LAR: Suppose the Saints lose and the Panthers win. Then the Rams will, should they also win, face Carolina for the 3rd seed. And I have no idea who gets the tiebreaker, the first 2 being a wash. But a loss probably assures them of seed 4. Notwithstanding, McVay is hinting it's a virtual bye week. There's the rub. So Jimmy does it again.

CHI@MIN: Far as I can tell, the Vikes need to win (or Carolina to finish second) to clinch a bye. So that's something. Should be enough to put away the Bears in a trap game.

NYJ@NE: In yet another trap game scenario, the Patriots likely need this game to get top seed. Fortunately they tend to take division rivals seriously. Oops. Forgot about Miami.

CLE@PIT: Pittsburgh needs the win to get a shot (with help) for top seed. Ultimate trap game. So ultimate it's probably impossible. For them to lose, that is.

CIN@BAL: Not really a trap game. Cinci's just not bad enough. But the Ravens may be playing for their postseason. A win ensures a spot.

BUF@MIA: Buffalo needs the win to get in, plus help. Fortunately, the other contenders have the same start time. What happens after halftime if the big board says bad things is anybody's guess. That's why this is nearly a tossup. But Miami didn't exactly parlay their win in NE into a hot finish, so go with Buffalo.

JAX@TEN: Anything but a trap game for the Titans, who need a win. But the Jagwags are stuck in 3rd seed. Do they try to rectify last week's miserable effort? Yes. Why? For starters, the franchise is hardly in position to be throwing away games... any games. Second, they had a meltdown last week and some unity must be restored. Third, going into the playoffs on a 2-game losing streak isn't the best idea anyway. Which makes this something of a tossup. The Titans dang near beat the Rams last week despite (one hopes) not playing their best. What to think? Since Jacksonville's level of effort has 'if' factor, take the Titans. Ugh. If money is involved, your favorite card game is probably War.

OAK@LAC: The Bolts have a sliver to cling to if they win. It's not a trap game. Will Carr even play? Since Oakland has 'if' factor even when he does, take the middling but E-for-effort Chargers.

NO@TB: The Saints are playing for the division. The Bucs are playing with themselves. Great trapper. Take NO anyway.

ARI@SEA: The Homehawks are playing for a chance to get helped into the playoffs. The Cards are playing for grins. Bad as they've looked, err on the side of the home team.

Tryout Time (disclaimer: no predictions here; vague hints maybe)

GB@DET: You'd think the Lions could do it. You'd think the Lions could do a lot of things. But they do play their best when there's no pressure, give 'em that.

HOU@IND: Poor Houston. They really think Watson will ride in on his white horse next year, and they have a free pass in the meantime. It's certainly how they've played. Now that's a chronic loser. Irony is the Colts could actually win the division if Luck's Eurocure works. Oh, this game? Um...

WAS@NYG: Will both QBs be auditioning for a job at home or elsewhere? It's about the only thing you can count on to produce a fun game.

DAL@PHI: Philly's clinched top seed, but they do seem to need a tuneup. Then again they don't need more injuries. Dallas is on Elavil. Depressing, isn't it?

KC@DEN: The Chiefs are locked into the 4 seed. The sub QB will start. The Broncos are locked into Hawaii. They may at least think their jobs are at stake. Or not.

Categories: NFL Blogs

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Reply the immortal scurds
3:39 PM on December 28, 2017 
not much to add radd. except, watch out for the bucs. just a hunch.
Reply vapor5
9:06 AM on December 29, 2017 
Saints will play to win.
Even my neighbor ravens' fans remain stunned by the turnaround
Reply Ark_Razor
4:46 AM on December 30, 2017 
There is a great online article from the NY Times on playoff scenarios. Decision tree style and clear. Carolines could get a 1st round with the following-
1. Caroline win
2. Dollar Corn beats the Aints
3. 9-holes beat the Bleats
4. Cubs beat the Minnies
Reply Radatz
12:19 PM on December 30, 2017 
Good to see CAR will be around for WC weekend :)

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