10 of this week’s 16 games have playoff implications

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The NFL will have an unprecedented 16 games on Sunday afternoon. So which ones should you keep track of, and which ones should you ignore? We have you covered right here.

The biggest game is Panthers-Falcons, the only one with playoff implications for both teams. Nine other games have playoff implications for one team. And six games are meaningless and can safely be ignored.

Here is the full breakdown:

Panthers at Falcons: Panthers clinch the NFC South with a win and a Saints loss, and clinch a first-round bye with a win, a Saints loss and a Rams loss. Falcons clinch a wild card with a win.

Bears at Vikings: Minnesota clinches a first-round bye with a win.

Jets at Patriots: New England clinches home-field advantage with a win.

Browns at Steelers: Pittsburgh clinches home-field advantage with a win and a Patriots loss.

Jaguars at Titans: Tennessee is a wild card with a win. Jacksonville is the AFC No. 3 seed regardless of Sunday’s results.

Bills at Dolphins: Buffalo is a wild card with a win and either a Baltimore loss or losses by the Chargers and Titans. Miami is eliminated.

Raiders at Chargers: L.A. is a wild card with a win, a Titans loss and either a Bills or Ravens loss. Oakland is eliminated.

Cardinals at Seahawks: Seattle is a wild card with a win and a Falcons loss. Arizona is eliminated.

Saints at Buccaneers: New Orleans clinches the NFC South with a win. Tampa Bay is eliminated.

Bengals at Ravens: Baltimore clinches a playoff berth with a win. Cincinnati is eliminated.

Cowboys at Eagles: Dallas is eliminated. Philadelphia has already clinched home-field advantage.

Packers at Lions: Both teams are eliminated.

Texans at Colts: Both teams are eliminated.

Washington at Giants: Both teams are eliminated.

Chiefs at Broncos: Denver is eliminated. Kansas City is the AFC No. 4 seed regardless of Sunday’s results.

49ers at Rams: L.A. could still be either the NFC No. 3 or No. 4 seed, but that’s essentially meaningless as the Rams will host a playoff game in the wild-card round either way. San Francisco is eliminated.

21 responses to “10 of this week’s 16 games have playoff implications

  1. The NFL should move the pointless games to early Sunday start. There are a number of games with no playoff implications starting later, which makes no sense – including some on the east coast. West coast teams and ATL-CAR later start only.

  2. Having a history of losing home field advantage in late divisional games I can only assume New England will come to play on Sunday

  3. Why unprecedented?…Are these just words for the hell of it??


    No Sunday night game and no Monday night game. All games played on Sunday afternoon. Can’t remember that happening previously since the league went to 32 teams.

  4. 49ers at Rams: L.A. could still be either the NFC No. 3 or No. 4 seed, but that’s essentially meaningless as the Rams will host a playoff game in the wild-card round either way. San Francisco is eliminated.

    At this point I’d rather be the 4 seed and get the eagles in the second round than the Vikings – from an eagles fan

  5. I see a lot of people saying Rams should lose so they potentially matchup with the Eagles instead of Vikings. You realize though if they stay #3 and are able to beat the Vikings, they will then host the NFC title game in LA as opposed to going on the road to Minnesota or New Orleans to play anyways. Also who would you rather play first round, Carolina or potentially Falcons or Seahawks? I’m not high on the Panthers but I think most agree they will be more a difficult opponent.

  6. LA winning the division is regarded as a changing of the guard. The 49ers winning 5 straight to end the season could mean there will be another change next season.

  7. well, looks like the vikings will finish at 13-3 and have a first round bye after they beat chicago at home. yep, packer fans were right ,back in the end of august. vikings going nowhere, gb having home field etc etc. yeah i know rodgers went down week 5. the vikings had a bit of a qb problem themselves, and lost their premier rookie back to injury. i guess the Vikings just have a more balanced and solid team all around that can allow them to do well, instead of losing 1 guy and the season going right down the toilet.

  8. How are the ratings nose dive not worthy of multiple articles? Fox game of the week lowest rating in a decade, MNF the lowest since 2012. REsponsible football reporters would be hammering this story to make sure the league starts addressing issues – “WhateveR” they may be.

  9. Does the writer have a clue at all? Everyone but him I guess knows a Vikings victory no matter what clinches the #2 seed. This is the third article I’ve read by this Michael David Smith in the last two days that he has either ignored facts or just doesn’t have a clue and has made an incorrect statement in his writing.

  10. Their are no guarantees in the NFL and every season is unpredictable. Next year Garappolo could struggle and the 9ERS could go back to 2-14.

    But as of right now the 9ERS are red hot and have a lot of confidence. Their is a lot of NFC teams that are lucky the 9ERS are already eliminated.

    They wouldn’t be super bowl bound by any means but they could definitely go on the road ruin a top seeds season if they had a chance. The way they are playing right now

  11. The difference between number 3 seed and number 4 meant something when the #3 Colts came back from 21-3 deficit to beat the #4 Patriots in the AFCCG in 2006 in Indianapolis. In the extremely competitive NFC Playoffs it’s very possible the Foles led Eagles and Vikings don’t advance.

  12. Falcons making the playoffs… if they do, nobody will have any clue at all what Falcons team will show up. Could be an absolute dog-poo embarrassment or could be Ryan and Julio on fire shredding all comers. As a life long Falcons fan, the former is clearly – always – far more likely than the latter but you just never know!

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