Week 17 is here, folks. That means the end of the 2020 regular season is nigh. The playoff picture, however, is far from finalized. A lot is at stake on Sunday, and then begins the craziest stretch of football all year -- the postseason. What better way to welcome the fun than with a couple of bold predictions for the final week of action before the race to the Super Bowl?
Here are five to whet your appetite:
1. Derrick Henry hits 2,000 rushing yards
The NFL's leading rusher enters Week 17 with 1,777 yards on the ground. That means he needs a whopping 223 against the Texans on Sunday to become just the eighth member of the 2,000-yard club. Sounds like a lot until you realize Henry's had four 200-yard games in the last three years, including two this season, and will be up against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. He's eclipsed 223 yards just once (against the Jaguars), but Tennessee needs to win and will have every reason to run him into the ground.
2. The Giants win the NFC East
This prediction is twofold: The G-Men beat the Cowboys, and then the Eagles beat Washington later in the day to secure New York's title. Honestly, it might be the safest one of the bunch. Everyone's drooling all over Dallas again after Andy Dalton put up 37 on a backup-laden Eagles secondary, but New York's defense will be feistier. Better yet, doesn't Jason Garrett somehow finding a way to best Mike McCarthy with the season on the line just feel like destiny? As for the Eagles' end of things, it might not be pretty, but Jalen Hurts is better than both Alex Smith and Taylor Heinickie, and Doug Pederson just might be coaching for his job. Done deal.
3. The Dolphins bench Tua Tagovailoa (for good)
Brian Flores wasted no time declaring Tua his starter despite Ryan Fitzpatrick's Week 16 heroics. He won't have as much of a choice in Week 17, if/when the Bills put them in a bind while trying to lock up the No. 2 seed. Tagovailoa might be the future in Miami, but his ceiling right now is at least a few levels beneath that of Fitz. The Dolphins are going to need every ounce of upside they can get from the QB spot, and that'll mean turning the keys back to the bearded wonder ahead of the postseason.
4. Myles Garrett owns Mason Rudolph as Browns win big
The Browns and Steelers can talk all they want about moving past the infamous brawl between Garrett, Rudolph and these AFC North rivals. But there's no way Pittsburgh can roll Rudolph out in relief of a resting Ben Roethlisberger and expect tempers to remain in check all game. Cleveland needs to win this, Garrett has been an elite pass rusher as usual, and Rudolph is, frankly, not that good. Couple that with Pittsburgh's other offensive struggles this year, and this is shaping up as a momentous way for the Browns to enter the playoffs.
5. The Jets win a third straight (saving Adam Gase?)
That last part we're not sure about, but honestly, would anyone be stunned if the Jets somehow allowed Gase to remain atop this staff? Joe Douglas, perhaps. In all seriousness, we do like them against the Patriots, who can't find even competent quarterback play amid a pitiful offensive setup. Sam Darnold has at least looked serviceable lately, New York no longer has the pressure of playing out of a top-two draft pick, and Bill Belichick probably wouldn't even mind the higher pick for his own team.