NFL Playoff Scenarios Week 17

"Hey man, how's about you just let us win and let's screw the Giants?"(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

There are still a precious few playoff spots up for grabs in the NFL as we head into the late games of week 17. The AFC is more or less being decided in the early games while the NFC gets sorted out at 4pm. For the Eagles, there are no scenarios. They are locked into the #3 seed and subsequently have decided to treat this game like a quasi bye week. The Atlanta Falcons need only a win over the league's worst team, the Carolina Panthers, to secure a first round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

That means the Bears could still possibly get the #1 overall seed in the NFC with a Falcons loss and a win over the Green Bay Packers. Of course, there's almost no conceivable way the Falcons will lose at home to the Panthers, so Bears are virtually locked into that #2 seed. They say they'll play their starters, but I wouldn't be shocked to see them sit some guys at halftime if it's apparent that the Falcons are running away with the Panthers game. That would be bad news for our friends in the New York/North Jersey area...

The Packers need a win over Chicago or a Giants loss to secure the final wildcard spot. The Giants need to beat the Redskins and a Packers loss at home to the Bears. So if the Bears start resting players, that hot Packers teams playing at home is not going to lose which would mean the Giants are done. Of course, the way the Giants have played recently a win over the Redskins is not even guarnateed at this point.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to beat the Saints in New Orleans and for both the Giants and Packers to lose. Whoever gets this wildcard spot faces the Eagles next weekend in Philadelphia.

The Saints can still win the NFC South and get a first round bye if they beat the Bucs and the Falcons lose to the Panthers.

The NFC West is a winner take all scenario tonight in Seattle. Whoever wins that game (the Rams or the Seahawks) wins the NFC West and faces the runner up in the NFC South next week.

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