The final week of the NFL season usually includes a bunch of games with no meaning, but not this year.
Of the 16 games being played Sunday, only four games don't have playoff implications, whether it be a team trying to get into the party or a team playing for a seed. That's it.
That's why this season has to be considered a success, aside from the fact the league will get in all 256 games in a pandemic, which is truly amazing. Some hate the parity, but it's a good thing for meaningful football late in the season.
The top seed in the AFC is set with the Kansas City Chiefs earning that spot, which still has them at No. 1 in my Power Rankings. But they haven't looked as dominant this season as they did in last year's playoffs, which has to be concerning. I still think they have the offense to turn it on when need be in the postseason.
The Green Bay Packers did look dominant in blowing out the Tennessee Titans Sunday night, but they still haven't locked up the top seed in the NFC. They need to beat the Chicago Bears this week to do so. Green Bay is still second in my rankings, and, in fact, might be the best team right now.
There is still a lot to be decided this Sunday, but if you had to pick two teams to be in the Super Bowl right now, I'd bet you'd take Green Bay and Kansas City.
That was my Super Bowl pick way back in August, one I am sticking with right now. But it wouldn't shock me to see Buffalo or Seattle or New Orleans or Baltimore or Pittsburgh make a playoff run.
That's why this week's games are so important. Seeding matters. Getting in matters more.
The postseason will be a blast, but let's enjoy Sunday's games to decide who gets the invites to the party.
It should be fun.
|They have locked up the top seed in the AFC, but they haven't looked dominant for much of the second half of the season. Can they pick it up come playoff time?||--||14-2-0|
|They are rolling into the playoffs. If they beat the Bears this week, they are the top seed in the NFC.||--||13-3-0|
|That offense will carry them a long way in the postseason. Josh Allen is playing a high level.||--||13-3-0|
|The defense is rounding into form, which is a good thing for the playoffs. That's their identity.||--||12-4-0|
|It's about time they gave Alvin Kamara more carries. He was special against Minnesota to lock up the division title.||--||12-4-0|
|That was an amazing comeback against the Colts. Ben Roethlisberger looked like his old self in that game.||--||12-4-0|
|The Bucs offense has really come alive in the past few games. Tom Brady is cooking, which they will need come playoff time.||1||11-5-0|
|They need one more victory to be in the playoffs. They will be dangerous come playoff time as they continue to improve.||1||11-5-0|
|That was an amazing victory against the Raiders. That's the sign of good coaching, but they now have a quarterback controversy of sorts.||3||10-6-0|
|They gagged away a game against the Steelers. With that type of lead, coupled with that defense, that shouldn't happen.||3||11-5-0|
|The COVID losses of their receiving group really impacted their offense against the Jets. Now they need a victory against the Steelers to assure that they are in the playoffs.||1||11-5-0|
|The defense isn't good enough right now, but they need to just beat the Texans to win the division. It won't be easy.||1||11-5-0|
|They can still be a playoff team if the Bears lose - no matter what happens against Arizona. But they will have to do it with John Wolford this week for the injured Jared Goff.||--||10-6-0|
|That was a major choke job against the 49ers. It's not a good look going into the playoffs. Kyler Murray is dinged up, but should play against the Rams.||--||8-8-0|
|They need to beat the Packers this week to get into the playoffs. That won't be easy, but they are playing well.||--||8-8-0|
|That loss to the Dolphins was excruciating. The strategy at the end of the game backfired, wasting an improved defensive showing.||--||8-8-0|
|Losing at home to the Panthers was not a good look. But if they beat the Eagles on the road, they win the NFC East. They need Alex Smith back to do it.||--||7-9-0|
|The offense is awful right now. They should start Jarrett Stidham in the finale and get on with the planning for next season.||--||7-9-0|
|They finally found a way to win a close game. Now the question is whether Anthony Lynn will be back.||1||7-9-0|
|The defense is putrid, which has to anger Mike Zimmer, who made his bones as a defensive coach. That showing at New Orleans was embarrassing.||1||7-9-0|
|They have to be excited about the future. Vic Fangio is coming back, and it's the right thing to do.||1||5-11-0|
|They have a chance to be the division winner, but they need help from the Eagles. The offense has really played well lately with Andy Dalton.||2||6-10-0|
|They showed some toughness to win a game against Washington on the road. Matt Rhule is showing well this season with an undermanned team.||5||5-11-0|
|They are still alive in the division race, which is amazing. They were bad in losing to the Ravens, but win and get help from the Eagles and they are NFC East champs.||1||6-10-0|
|They aren't going to the playoffs, but Kyle Shanahan should be proud of the coaching job he has done this year. It's been outstanding.||1||6-10-0|
|Losing to the Cowboys makes it official: They won't be making the playoffs. But Jalen Hurts has flashed in his three starts.||1||4-11-1|
|The defense is awful right now. They can't even slow down a backup quarterback in Brandon Allen. On to next season.||6||4-12-0|
|They played tough against the Chiefs, but they just can't find a way to win close games. It's been a tough season.||1||4-12-0|
|They did some good things against the Texans. They have young players improving, which is huge for next season when Joe Burrow is back.||1||4-11-1|
|They should fire everybody who is left right now. This team is a disaster. That showing against the Bucs was as bad as it gets.||1||5-11-0|
|They've won two straight games and have looked decent in doing so. They should just keep Sam Darnold.||--||2-14-0|
|It's official. They will be drafting Trevor Lawrence. Now the question is who will be coaching him.||--||1-15-0|