NFL Week 17 Recap

This week, everything got upended, from playoff eliminations to battles for the last few spots. This week had it all. Let’s get into it.


Cowboys 27, Titans 13

Dallas has got to be one of the luckiest teams in the history of professional sports. To look awful and exposed, yet still stumble their way to a win in their millionth primetime game of the year is evidence of such. They lucked out by facing the Titans without King Henry or Ryan Tannehill and still struggled, only putting up points due to the refs throwing them life jackets at every turn in the form of a constant stream of flags against Tennessee. Speaking of whom, they’re still not out of the playoff hunt. Next week’s match in Jacksonville will decide the winner, regardless of what happens between the two teams. Great, we have to watch these guys in primetime yet again. Wonderful.


Saints 20, Eagles 10

Remember the magic of week 15 last year? When a battered, weary Saints team marched into Tampa Bay and utterly owned Tom Brady for 60 minutes? New Orleans remembered the formula from that game and chose to execute it to perfection against a Philly team without their starting quarterback. This formula involves general offensive ineptitude complemented by roughly five shades of defensive heroism by the Battalions of Bourbon Street. New Orleans can check those boxes off with pride. Philly had no answers for their defense, and Minshew looked like he was back with Jacksonville today. Unfortunately, while defeating arguably the best team in the NFL, the Saints reach an inevitable fate and are eliminated from playoff contention.

Eliminated: New Orleans Saints

Sure, the coaching and schematics are god-awful under Dennis Allen, but can you hoist much of the blame on him for this? Like last year, New Orleans had nearly every single playmaker get injured by week five and were a shell of themselves for the rest of the year. You’re done when you’re forced to start the Red Rifle for ten games in 2022. It won’t get any easier this offseason. Their first-round pick is the property of Philadelphia. Woof.


Bears 10, Lions 41

Okay, so last week was a fluke. The Lions’ offense is back to scoring at will, this time against a Bears D that has given teams like the Bills and Eagles fits so far this year. Their defense dominated all day long, admittedly after a shaky start, and managed to contain Justin Fields. Detroit gets some more momentum for their surprise playoff push and now gets a match at Lambeau for a chance at a playoff berth. A world in which Detroit is in the playoffs. I don’t think I could exist in such a timeline.


Jaguars 31, Texans 3

It’s a meaningless game on both sides; the Jags won’t gain or lose ground in the division regardless of the outcome, and the Texans have been eliminated for a month now and would only benefit from losing. To build momentum for next week, Jacksonville brought out their A-game to this matchup and quickly rolled over the Tank of Tanks on their way back to .500. Now they must run back home for a division showdown next Saturday night with the Titans for all of the 4th seeded marbles. It now becomes must-watch football. Buckle up.


Cardinals 19, Falcons 20

Two teams past their prime, riddled with injuries, are both out of the playoffs. There are only two words that could do such a game justice. That’s right, TANK BOWL!

This game lived up to many of the ideals that Tank Bowl represents. Both teams were in the giving spirit today, exchanging turnovers, defensive collapses, and general ineptitude and sloppiness. Unfortunately, one team had to win, and the Falcons embarrassed a team that was a Super Bowl contender a year ago. Arizona, however, knew the true prize in the tank brigades. With their glorious loss on that fine afternoon, they move up to the 4th overall pick with a chance to move up to 3rd should some hilarious hijinks occur involving the Chargers and Denver.


Colts 10, Giants 38

This game was more of a relief to Giants fans. They finally played up to their potential. For the first time in a long while, the G-Men obliterated an inferior opponent for 60 minutes. Daniel Jones had the best game of his career, and the defense ate all day. Yes, it was against the Colts. Yes, they are awful. Yes, hanging 38 on them is not the most impressive feat. However, the Giants achieve far more than a win here. They also clinched their first playoff berth since 2016. Well done, lads.

Playoff Bound: New York Giants

To say I’m impressed with what Daboll has done down in the Big Apple is an understatement. The guy has completely turned the team around and has them firing on all cylinders. Extensions are now in the works for Daniel Jones and Saquon. Maybe they’ll win a game, unlike the last time they were in the postseason. Pro tip: Avoid boat parties.


Browns 24, Commanders 10

In a curious move, Taylor Heinicke has been benched after the last three games, and Carson Wentz is back in the saddle against a top-tier defense in Cleveland. It’s an odd move in a must-win game for Washington. Unfortunately for them, the Browns’ defense removed the curtain from the imposter and revealed that Carson Wentz was, indeed, Carson Wentz. It was ugly for the Commies’ offense today. Three picks, ten total points, and getting stifled by a bottom-feeder. The few fans the Commies had left were booing on every 3rd down stop. The cost of this bungling of a winnable game is severe. The Commanders have been eliminated from the playoffs.

Eliminated: Washington Commanders

We need to talk about Ron Rivera. I get he’s getting up there, but how is he not aware that his team could be eliminated in a given week? It sounds like he didn’t plan around it at all. Guess what? The worst-case scenario happened. This and the announcement of their mediocre mascot, “Major,” make the Commies organization one of the laughingstocks of the week. It serves their owner right.


Broncos 24, Chiefs 27

Kansas City has looked highly mortal these past five weeks or so. They’ve won in an incredibly unconvincing fashion against opponents they should be crushing. Wouldn’t you guess it? The same thing played out this week against the Denver Broncos. I mean, I think you could say they won in the end. KC continues to dance through the raindrops regarding their past few games and keep pace for the #1 seed. Denver has more of a sour taste in their mouths.


Dolphins 21, Patriots 23

In what has become a broken record over the past few years, the Dolphins marched into Foxboro for a critical game and got utterly owned by Belichick and his band of merry men. Further misfortune for Miami came with roughly the 4th concussion of the year for Tua. Teddy Bridgewater was chucked into play before we realized that he is indeed made of glass. It quickly got ugly after that. Skylar Thompson does not inspire confidence. Once in contention for the #1 seed at 8-3, the team has lost five straight and fallen to the point where they no longer control their destiny. But who took their spot? Oh god… New England. Buffalo, you have one job next week. Get it done.


Panthers 24, Buccaneers 30

Behold! The tank division championship. Carolina is coming off an impressive win, marching into Tampa Bay to face a team that has been dancing through the raindrops these past few weeks. Unfortunately, they just ran out of gas in this game. It was all over as soon as Tampa took the lead in the 4th quarter. Carolina, you tried. You were our only hope to prevent Brady from an undeserved home playoff game. I’m proud of them, in a way.

Eliminated: Carolina Panthers

Not going to lie: I’m impressed with what Steve Wilks did in the interim position. He got dealt a horrible hand but still kept his team in playoff contention. They made Tampa sweat a little. That’s admirable.

Unfortunately, due to all the rest of the teams being eliminated, the Bucs are the last men standing by the process of elimination. Take your undeserved home playoff game and get out of my sight.

Playoff Bound: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Unfortunately, it’s a lose-lose situation as they probably face Dallas in the wild card. One of those teams’ insufferable fans must be dealt with afterward. I shudder to think what could happen if the Cowboys won.


Jets 6, Seahawks 23

Two longshot playoff hopefuls in front of the Twelves to prove their metal and stay alive for the playoffs. Unfortunately, one of these teams forgot to come out of the locker room. The Seahawks looked like they were in prime form. Mike White took another beating in the pocket as the sieves the Jets call linemen did him no favors. Seattle wasn’t that great on offense either, but they barely needed to maintain a pulse to win this game. They stay alive for the playoff hunt and can make it in with some help next week. The same can’t be said about their opponent.

Eliminated: New York Jets

This was one of the Jetsiest years I’ve seen from them. The season went from shocking promise to another buttfumble by losing 5 of 6. There is some upside, however. That defense is stacked. Unfortunately, they have to get their QB situation sorted out, or it will be another rough ride next year. Are you sure you’re not holding the team back, Zach? Go ahead, continue taking no accountability in press conferences. Ever wonder why the O-line gets worse when Wilson’s under center?


Rams 10, Chargers 31

The Chargers continue their incredibly weak closing schedule by facing a team that all but gave up three weeks ago. Oh, so the Chargers struggled for three quarters but won. Who cares? The grass is green. This happens to them every week. They have many questions going into the playoffs and will likely face the Jacksonville team that steamrolled them in week 3. For Spanos’s sake, I hope they lose.


Vikings 17, Packers 41

This is what happens when the Vikings have to face a team with things called “offensive firepower,” “drive,” and “momentum.” Complete and utter slaughter. If you saw the score of this game, you’d think the clock got turned back to last year. Minnesota overconfidently marched into Lambeau and got wrecked. The Packers toyed with them all game long. It was that much of a beatdown. And after a 3-8 start, Green Bay has won 5 straight and controls their destiny for the postseason next week. God help us all. The insufferable nature of Cheeseheads will doom us all.


49ers 37, Raiders 34 (OT)

Derek Carr will not be starting these last two games in what could be considered a surprise move for the Raiders. He has been benched by Josh McDaniels for… Jarrett Stidham. Carr has withdrawn from the team in a noble move to avoid distraction. His time as a Raider is likely over. It’s a shame. He didn’t deserve this.

Let’s see whom Stidham faces in his first career start, the 49ers. Surprisingly, he balled out in his first start against one of the best defenses in the league. Of course, San Fran came back to win in the end, but at least it’s a slight bow to wrap over toxic sludge. Speaking of which, the Raiders are out of the playoffs.

Eliminated: Las Vegas Raiders

The only surprising part of this is that it took this long for this team to be eliminated. They’ve learned nothing from the Gruden hire and will be spinning the tires for a few more years, at least. The worst part for them is that if Carr leaves, they will be employing a disgruntled superstar in Davante Adams. Remember, the only reason why he signed here was because of his connection to Carr back at Fresno State. They’re a package deal. If Carr leaves, Adams will want to follow.


Steelers 16, Ravens 13

This is AFC North Football at its finest. Two teams doing battle on a Sunday Night. Offensive ineptitude. Points are a rare commodity. Luckily, Pittsburgh was able to pull out, in the end, thanks to a solid final drive and stay alive for both Tomlin’s winning season and a potential playoff berth. That’s three straight wins for them now. I’m impressed.


Bills @ Bengals

At this point, all I care about is Damar Hamlin’s health. The score of this game doesn’t matter. I don’t even care that this somehow benefits Kansas City. Hamlin should be the only concern on anyone’s mind following this game. He’s still in critical condition as I write this.


Remember, I said there were multiple laughingstocks of the week. WE HAVE A TIE! The second winner is Skip Bayless for making an ignorant, insensitive tweet about Hamlin and then getting flamed for it all week. It’s deserved.


Playoff picture

Clinched AFC Clinched NFC
Eliminated from playoff contention

Next week will leave everything in the balance. There are a lot of seeds up for grabs, and a couple of playoff spots for the mediocrity in each conference to fight over.

The #1 seed in the AFC will not be resolved this week. That Cincy game was necessary for this, but that’s an afterthought. This afterthought also includes the AFC North title, as Cincy controlled it by a game going into that fateful match.

What isn’t an afterthought is the AFC South title. It’s pretty simple. Tennessee and Jacksonville play each other for all the marbles. Win and in, lose and go home. Surprisingly, this game is on a Saturday night, aside from the usual primetime slot on Sunday Night.

Another thing up for grabs is the 7th seed in the AFC. New England has the most straightforward path with Win and In but will face a tall task whenever they have to play Buffalo. Miami needs a win over the Jets and a Buffalo win. The Steelers need to win, and for the Dolphins and Patriots to lose.

In the NFC, the #1 seed is very much up for grabs. Philly has the easiest path; win and in. If Philly loses and San Fran wins, the Niners get it. Minnesota is out of the picture, but you know who isn’t? Dallas. If Philly and San Fran both lose and the Cowboys win, Dallas gets the #1 seed. If Philly loses and Dallas wins, regardless of the Niners’ game against Arizona, Dallas would win the division. Otherwise, the Cowboys are the five-seed and have to face Tom Brady.

For wild cards, the Cowboys and Giants control the first two slots. However, the 7th seed is wide open. Green Bay vs. Detroit is an important game for this and has been flexed into primetime. Green Bay’s path is easiest; win and in, or rather, win and get blown out by San Fran. Seattle has the next-easiest path. A win and a Green Bay loss. Meanwhile, Detroit can bring joy to us all with a win and a Seattle loss. If the Packers and Lions somehow tie, Seattle makes it in with a win or tie.

It’s going to be a fun season finale. Buckle up.


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