***NOTE*** Edited to reflect the Packers winning the NFC North title over the VIkings, thread was originally posted prior to Week 16's Monday Night Football game.
We are finally here. The last week of the NFL regular season. Which, sadly, means there are only 6 weekends of football left, until we go back into "The NFL has no offseason, just multiple months where they don't play any games", plus "OMG, is the XFL gonna succeed when the AAF was a colossal waste of time?" mode...
What's at stake?
The Packers have already won the NFC North. They are potentially playing for a bye week in the Playoffs, so won't be resting against a Lions team they should beat easily. Minnesota is the 6th seed in the NFC, no matter what happens in week 17.
Next, the NFC East. If the Eagles beat the Giants, they are NFC East champions. If the Eagles lose to the Giants, but Redskins beat the Cowboys, they are NFC East champions. Dallas needs to beat the Redskins AND have the Eagles lose to the Giants to win the NFC East.
In the NFC West, San Francisco and Seattle are playing in what is most likely the most important game of the week. A San Francisco win wraps up the NFC West and home field throughout the NFC playoffs, along with the bye week that comes with it. If the Seahawks win, not only are they the NFC West champions, but the 49ers drop all the way down to being a Wildcard team, playing on the road...Technically, Seattle can finish as the #1 seed, but it requires the Lions to beat the Packers, so it's not really worth getting in to.
In the NFC South, the Saints won the division weeks ago, so their goal is simple: earn the #1 seed in the NFC. It's a 4 team race right now, with San Fran, Green Bay, New Orleans and Seattle all still in play.
Over in the AFC, the Baltimore Ravens have already clinched both the AFC North and the #1 seed overall. No games in week 17 will have any impact on that, so don't expect to see Lamar Jackson playing very long, if at all. The Ravens should be in full "rest" mode, so look for RGIII to get significant playing time against the Steelers. However, the Steelers aren't going to roll over either, as they are still mathematically alive for a playoff spot. If they beat the Ravens, and the Texans beat the Titans, the Steelers are in.
The New England Patriots clinched the AFC East already, but are still competing with the Kansas City Chiefs for the #2 overall seed, and a bye week. If the Patriots win, it's theirs. If the Dolphins beat them, but the Chiefs end up losing to the Chargers, the Patriots will still be the #2.
In the AFC South, the Houston Texans are already the division champs, and are playing for playoff positioning.
Where it really gets interesting is the AFC West. Not only because depending on who beats who, the Chiefs can be the #2, #3 or #4 seed, but because, somehow, the Oakland Raiders, in their very last season in Oakland, are still in contention for a playoff spot. Entering Week 16, the Raiders needed 5 specific things to happen in Week 16 and 4 things in Week 17 to make the playoffs...and all 5 of the events they needed to have happen in Week 16 DID happen...So what do they still need?
1. Beat the Broncos.
2. Colts beat the Jags.
3. Texans beat the Titans.
4. Ravens beat Steelers.
None of those events would even be upsets. All the Raiders need to make the playoffs, is for the teams with the better record in each of those games to be better than their opponent.