October 2, 2014

NFL Week 17 preview (Google Hangout)

The Rams and Chiefs have nothing to play for other than moral victories and since most fans are not interested in that, it’s time to turn our attention to the NFL playoff picture for the final week of the season. Here’s a preview from my collegue Bill Scott of Wisconsin Radio Network as well as a Google Hangout with Bill and I discussing the final weekend.

All 16 games are division contests and with one week to go, there are still 15 teams in contention for a trip to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.

In the AFC, all six postseason spots have been clinched. But teams are still battling for playoff position.

Houston and Denver are tied for the best record in the AFC at 12-3 with the Texans holding the edge based on the team’s head-to-head victory over the Broncos in Week 3. Houston will clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win at Indianapolis or losses by Denver against Kansas City and New England at home against Miami. The Broncos will secure the top seed with a win and a Texans loss. And the 11-4 Patriots will capture the top seed with a win and losses by Houston and Denver. Those three teams are also battling for a first-round bye with Houston and Denver in control.

In the NFC, the Atlanta Falcons have won the NFC South and clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Green Bay Packers are the NFC North division champions and are in control for the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. The Packers will lock up the No. 2 seed with a win or losses by San Francisco and Seattle.

The NFC West will come down to the San Francisco 49ers (10-4-1) and Seattle (10-5). Both teams have clinched at least a playoff berth. With a win or a Seattle loss, the 49ers will win the division. Seattle will clinch the NFC West with a win and a San Francisco loss. The NFC West winner will clinch a first round bye with a victory and a Green Bay loss.

The NFC East division title will be on the line in Week 17 when the Washington Redskins (9-6) host the Dallas Cowboys (8-7) on Sunday night. The winner claims the NFC East.

In the running for the final Wild Card spot are the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, New York Giants and the Redskins. The Vikings are in control and can qualify for the postseason with a victory.