Week 17 is here and my first question is where has this season gone? It is already the last week of the regular season, there are still two wildcard spots to be decided, one in each conference, and four division titles to be decided, two in each conference. Some games have playoff implications on the line, some have draft pick spots on the line. For 20 teams in the NFL, this will be their last week of playing football this season. Week 17 is also known for showing us fans, the good, the bad, and the ugly and I shall explain.
The good is the fight for the playoff positions and spots. Who would have thought the Falcons could win the NFC South this year? They have to beat the Rams at home, and hope the Panthers lose in New Orleans. Atlanta has had an amazing turnaround this season behind Matt Ryan and Michael Turner, they will be a tough out whether they are seeded 5th or 2nd. Three ballgames really stick out this Sunday. The feud between Jay Cutler and Phillip Rivers hits primetime Sunday night with the AFC West title on the line for their respective teams. Chad Pennington leads his new team to East Rutherford to play his old team for the chance to win the AFC East title, the Dolphins as well have had an amazing turnaround. Then you have the potential classic match up between the Cowboys and Eagles, with not only playoff spots on the line, but more than likely jobs on the line no matter what Jerry Jones says.
The bad is there always seems to be a game or two featuring teams with 10+ loses on the season in the league's final week. This year we have the Chiefs at the Bengals and Lions at Packers. The Bengals have actually gotten their act together somewhat winning their last two of which one was shut out on the road, who would have ever thought that would happen before the season started? The Chiefs seem like they are going to pull one out every week, then they find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Then Lions and Packers, cannot get much worse than 0-16 unless you are the team in week 17 that prevents that from happening. But the Lions have not won in Green Bay since 1991, so the Packers should prevent the Lions from going 1-15.
Finally the ugly. The Titans at Colts game could easily get ugly. No not from fights on the field, or dirty plays. But from penalties and players that have barely seen the field since August. I am not a fan of benching every star week 17. However these two teams deserve the right being the Titans are the one seed and the Colts are locked in at the 5th and will play next weekend. But remember last year the last Sunday night game, Jim Sorgi was not exactly dynomite, and watching him play alone makes the Bengals Chiefs or Lions Packers a lot more appealing. But once playoff time comes, nothing should be ugly about the Titans or Colts as they are both showing indications that each has a Superbowl run in them. I am just glad that they are not the Sunday night game again this year to wrap up the season. Colts have pretty much said their key guys will get a couple to no reps at all. All teams need to remember however last year Giants and Patriots held nothing back week 17, they both went to the Superbowl, 2006 Colts won the Superbowl from the Wild Card spot, and the 2005 Steelers had to play everyone in week 17 to get the 6th seed in the AFC that year. Seems good things happen to those who play out the season as of late.
Hope you all have a Happy New Year, and hopefully the Fantasy Football withdrawal and Sunday Ticket withdrawal will not last too long. Those are the two major bummers to the season ending. Hopefully the playoffs will be exciting this year.