The 2019 NFL season is ready to wrap up, and while many teams have already clinched a playoff berth, there is still plenty to sort out in Week 17.
Only the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills and NFC East winner have their playoff seeds set in stone while division titles, first-round byes and one wild-card spot remain up for grabs.
Here are some predictions on how things will shake out:
The rest of the AFC should fall in line with how things currently stand. The Patriots have the Dolphins on tap in Week 17 and should easily win, thus clinching a bye and the No. 2 seed. The Chiefs host an anemic Chargers team at home and should take care of business, while the Texans may have their hands full with a Titans team that needs to win and get in, especially if the Steelers are playing the Ravens’ B-team.
This presents some juicy wild-card round matchups. The Bills, who went 6-2 on the road this season, would head to Houston to play a Texans team that has been very inconsistent. The Chiefs, meanwhile, would get a Week 10 rematch with the Titans, who topped Kansas City in Patrick Mahomes’ first game back from a knee injury. However, Tennessee would have to duplicate that success in Arrowhead in January — an unenviable position for any team, no matter how well they match up with them.
There are many different ways the NFC can break heading into Week 17. The 49ers and Seahawks play each other for NFC West supremacy in Seattle — which is never pleasant. Yet, the Niners have won tough games on the road before, including a shootout in the Superdome earlier this month. The Packers currently hold the tiebreaker over the Saints and should be able to take care of business against the lowly Lions to secure the No. 2 seed and first-round bye, regardless of what the Saints do against the Panthers. The NFC East is still up for grabs, and the Eagles hit the road to take on the Giants in a game that does not feel as easy as it should. Yet, the Eagles have been down this road before over the last couple of years, and they should be able to close out the division.
The Eagles may not get much farther than that, though. They would host the Seahawks in the wild-card round, although they would get the home game because they are division winners. The other NFC game would be between the Saints and Vikings at the Superdome — a rematch of the "Minneapolis Miracle" from 2017 — but this matchup could hinge on whether or not Dalvin Cook is healthy enough to return for the Vikings.