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Playoff hopes and division crowns on line for Week 17

We’ve finally arrived at Week 17 of the 2016 NFL season, which means its ample time to start discussing the playoffs, mainly who’s still alive in the NFC. This season has seen its share of surprise teams punch their ticket into the postseason (i.e. Miami, Oakland), while others have considerably fallen from grace (Carolina, Denver, Arizona). Regardless of the conference, there are still key playoff implications heading into the final week of the regular season, such as who will be the number 3 and 6 seed in the NFC, and who’ll have home-field overall in the AFC. Let’s get into it.

AFC

1. New England (13-2)
2. Oakland (12-3)
3. Pittsburgh (10-5)
4. Houston (9-6)
5. Kansas City (11-4)
6. Miami (10-5)

All six AFC teams have clinched their playoff spots, but it’s still up in the air as to who will have home-field advantage between the Oakland Raiders and the New England Patriots. Also, the Raiders haven’t yet clinched the AFC West, as the Chiefs have a legitimate shot at over taking their current position. Here’s a brief breakdown of who could clinch home-field throughout the playoffs (and or win the West):

– New England will clinch if they win or tie at Miami or if Oakland loses or ties at Denver
– Oakland can clinch home-field only if they win and New England loses. If Oakland wins they secure the division
– Kansas City can clinch the division only if they win at San Diego and Oakland loses

Prediction: New England def. Miami to clinch home-field; Oakland loses a close one and Kansas City defeats San Diego, clinching the AFC West.

NFC

1. Dallas (13-2)
2. Atlanta (10-5)
3. Seattle (9-5-1)
4. Green Bay (9-6)
5. NY Giants (10-5)
6. Detroit (9-6)

Still Alive: 7. Washington (8-6-1), 8. Tampa Bay (8-7)

The NFC is a bit more complicated as there are multiple scenarios in in regards to Atlanta, Seattle, and the Giants, but their playoff spots aren’t in jeopardy. The key game this Sunday is the prime time game between the Packers and the Lions, which will decide the NFC North champion. Washington still has a shot, but will need a little bit of help, and the Tampa Bay will need a few miracles of their own to lock the number six seed:

– Green Bay wins the division if they win or tie at Detroit. They can clinch a playoff spot if Washington loses to the Giants or if the Redskins tie and Tampa Bay defeats Carolina
– Detroit wins the division if they defeat Green Bay. They can clinch a playoff berth if Washington loses or ties
– Washington can get in if they win and the Packers vs Lions doesn’t end in a tie or the Redskins tie and the Packers lose as well as a Tampa Bay loss or tie
– Tampa Bay can clinch a berth if they win, Green Bay loses, and Washington ties

Prediction: Green Bay wins at Detroit, but the Lions get the last spot as Washington falls to the Giants

It’s a lot to take in (which if why we won’t get into the seeding of the Falcons, Seahawks, and Giants), but unfortunately the Bucs and Redskins get left out in the cold. But nothing is set in stone, so my predictions could be off the mark. But this final week will make for some interesting games with a lot at stake. Enjoy the games, Scrumsters, and Happy New Year!

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