Boys and girls, this is not a drill.
Week 17 taught us a variety of valuable lessons. The playoffs are set! We will be saying goodbye to 20 of the 32 teams.
Here is one major headline for all 32 teams after 17 weeks of action.
Many of the games in Week 17 were fairly pointless endeavors, so there will be a slight style shift for a handful of the games.
Bengals 33, Browns 23
Bengals: Baker woke up feeling dangerous.
Baker Mayfield: Do you want to fight, Bengal fans?
Bengal fans: Go home, scrub.
Jets 13, Bills 6
No one watched this game; let’s be real here.
Dolphins 27, Patriots 24
Ryan Fitzpatrick: Hey, New England.
Patriots: Hi, Ryan.
Fitzpatrick: It’s cool that you have the No. 2 seed.
Patriots: Thank you, Ryan.
Fitzpatrick: It would be a shame if someone did something to that.
Tom Brady: I am 15-1 against the Dolphins in Foxboro.
Devante Parker: Change that to 15-2, thanks.
Chiefs: THANK YOU, MIAMI!
Saints 42, Panthers 10
As was the trend of most of the games, very few people likely watched the game. Why would you want to subject yourself to Kyle Allen throwing a football?
Falcons 28, Buccaneers 22 (F/OT)
I don’t talk about the Buccaneers much, so I am going to use this time to discuss Jameis Winston. Winston became the first player in NFL history to toss 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in the same season. Poetically, his 30th interception was a game-ending pick-six to Deion Jones. I like Winston a lot, and I think he would be an effective quarterback who could take Tampa (or any team) into the playoffs, but it is virtually impossible to do that when you are gifting the other team the ball twice every week. If Winston threw 20 interceptions this season, the Buccaneers would likely be playing on Sunday. Can you live with that disappointment if you are the Buccaneers?
Bears 21, Vikings 19
The Bears have now swept the Vikings in back-to-back seasons. Minnesota has a tough road ahead of them as they will play the Saints on Sunday.
Chiefs 31, Chargers 21
Thanks to the Dolphins upsetting the Patriots, the Chiefs have secured a bye week for the second year in a row and the third time in four years.
Packers 23, Lions 20
The Packers had more wins over the Lions (two) than they had seconds with a lead over the Lions (zero). The Packers are fraudulent.
Ravens 28, Steelers 10
A close game that got ugly late, the Ravens were able to assert their domination on Pittsburgh even without five offensive starters. Congratulations to the Ravens for breaking the all-time rushing record.
Rams 31, Cardinals 24
Not only have the Rams won six straight against the Cardinals, but they have also won in blowouts in five of those six games. This game was the closest of the six. Sean McVay likely wishes that he could play against the Cardinals every week.
Eagles 34, Giants 17
It was close into the fourth quarter, but a 17-0 run for the Eagles propelled them into the playoffs and relegated Dallas to prolonged disappointment.
Jaguars 38, Colts 20
The Colts needed to win to keep the Raiders alive in the playoff race, but a halftime lead evaporated. Despite being up 20-13 with 44 seconds left in the half, the Colts allowed a field goal before halftime and were outscored 22-0 in the second half. Yikes.
Titans 35, Texans 14
After posting a single 100-yard game in nine games, Henry rattled off five in six games to steal the rushing title from Nick Chubb. In those games, Henry posted 149 yards per game and scored 10 touchdowns. Extrapolated over an entire season, Henry would have posted 2,389 yards and 27 rushing touchdowns. The Titans are 6-0 when Henry eclipses 100 rushing yards.
Broncos 16, Raiders 15
Five weeks ago, the Broncos and Raiders were in dramatically different positions. The Broncos were 3-8, and the Raiders were 6-5. After a two-point conversion failed to score, the Raiders and Broncos ended the season at the same spot in 7-9. Both teams should have wild card aspirations in 2020.
Cowboys 47, Redskins 16
Michael Gallup, Ezekiel Elliott, and Kai Forbath had magical days for the Cowboys. Gallup found the end zone three times in the second half. Elliott found the end zone twice in the first half. Forbath converted the extra point on the five previously mentioned touchdowns, and he nailed four field goals. One can only imagine the situation Dallas would be in if they had reliable kicking.
49ers 26, Seahawks 21
One of the most overused cliches in sports is “it is a game of inches.” On Sunday night, the cliche became reality as Jacob Hollister was kept mere inches from the goal line. The entire NFC playoff picture hinged on one play. If Hollister scores, fortunes change for every team (besides Green Bay, as they had a bye anyways). San Francisco would have dropped into the fifth seed, a situation that would have necessitated a trip to Philadelphia. New Orleans would have gotten a bye week. The Vikings would have had an easier matchup in Seattle rather than in New Orleans. Seattle and San Francisco have a decent chance at playing for a third time in the divisional round.