By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The NFL Week 17 schedule could culminate with a division winner’s coronation. That would be the “champion” of the ugly NFC East, which will crown a winner with at best a 7-9 record.
It could also be a 6-10 team at the top of the NFC East, because the Washington Football Team and Dallas Cowboys both enter Week 17 at 6-9. Washington wins and they’re in, but the Giants can put pressure on them to get the W (more on that later). D.C. went 2-0 against the Cowboys in the regular season, so if they lose, they would still own the tiebreaker if the Cowboys lose.
Washington may get its chance to take the NFC East in primetime with a matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football. But arguably the more important matchup is between the Cowboys and Giants at 1 p.m., because believe it or not, the 5-10 Giants can also still win the division themselves. They have the tiebreaker over Washington, so if they beat the Cowboys and Washington loses to the Eagles, then all three teams are 6-10 – and the Giants would leapfrog both Dallas and Washington to take the NFC East.
Lot of drama for a bunch of bad teams. But that’s what happens when you stuff four trash barrels into one dingy dumpster of a division. The best part is one of them will get to host a team with a far better record – possibly the 10-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who beat the Giants 25-23 earlier this season.
As for the Patriots, they stayed right where they are at 1 p.m. against the hilarious New York Jets, whose players screwed the organization out of the No. 1 pick in the draft by having the audacity to win a couple of games. They’re playing out the string with two games left and a 6-8 record, as the team missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008 and will finish without a winning record for the first time since 2000.
Please note in the schedule below that the start times for the Titans-Texans and Colts-Jaguars games are TBD. Both games are undecided between the 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. windows.
NFL Week 17 Schedule
1 p.m. Games
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills, CBS
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals, CBS
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns, CBS
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions, FOX
New York Jets at New England Patriots, CBS
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants, FOX
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, FOX
1 p.m. or 4:25 p.m. Games
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans, CBS
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts, CBS
4:25 p.m. Games
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers, FOX
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears, FOX
Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos, CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, FOX
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams, CBS
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers, FOX
8:20 p.m. Game
Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles, NBC
Elsewhere in the AFC, the Bills hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Steelers. If they beat the Patriots on Monday Night Football, they’ll jump Pittsburgh for the No. 2 seed and can hold onto it if they finish with the same record. The Colts and Titans are also both 10-5 and vying for the AFC South title heading into Week 17.
Note: This article previously stated that the Washington Football Team needed a win and a Giants loss to clinch the NFC East. That was inaccurate. They just need to win and they clinch the division.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff or send him a nasty email at email@example.com.