Well, here we are. The final week of the 2017 NFL season is about to go down. For 20 teams around the league, this Sunday will be the last regular season game they play until next September.
Nine teams already know that they have at least one more matchup this year after Week 17. However, players on six different teams still do not know if they should be packing their suitcase for a vacation or a game next week.
For everything related to what will be happening around the NFL in Week 17, including the full game schedule, announcers for each contest, and their respective TV maps, scroll down a little farther and take a glance at the guide we have provided for your reading pleasure.
Sunday, December 31
Washington Redskins (7-8) at New York Giants (2-13) – 1:00pm ET, FOX
Announcers: Sam Rosen, Matt Millen – TV Map
Redskins notes – Sunday’s matchup with New York may be the last for Kirk Cousins in a Washington uniform. The quarterback is a free agent after this season and is expected to field some pretty lucrative offers from a number of teams around the NFL. In his last three years as the Redskins’ starter, Cousins has thrown for a total of 13,018 yards, 81 touchdowns, and just 33 interceptions.
Giants notes – Suspended for the team’s game on Sunday, New York corner Eli Apple may have already outstayed his welcome with the team just two years into his NFL career. According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson on Wednesday, Apple’s chance to be with the Giants in 2018 is highly unlikely.
New York Jets (5-10) at New England Patriots (12-3) – 1:00pm ET, CBS
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo – TV Map
Jets notes – Despite New York set to finish last in the AFC East for the second straight season, it sounds like Jets head coach Todd Bowles will be sticking around for at least one more year. Bowles’ record with New York since 2015 is 20-27 and he has still not been able to lead the team to the playoffs.
Patriots notes – With a win over the Jets or a Pittsburgh Steelers loss on Sunday, New England will clinch the top seed and home-field in the upcoming AFC playoffs. Of the Patriots’ last five appearances in the Super Bowl, all have come when they were the AFC’s number one seed.
Chicago Bears (5-10) at Minnesota Vikings (12-3) – 1:00pm ET, FOX
Announcers: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis – TV Map
Bears notes – Hidden behind Chicago’s underwhelming 2017 season has been the play of Bears running back Jordan Howard this year. Just as he did during his rookie season in 2016, Howard has quietly rushed for more than 1,100 yards this year. His 2,426 yards on the ground are the most ever by a Chicago running back in their first two seasons.
Vikings notes – With the Philadelphia Eagles winning in Week 16, the best Minnesota can finish this season is second in the NFC. But for that to happen, the Vikings just need a win over Chicago on Sunday, or a Carolina Panthers loss, or a New Orleans Saints win, or a Los Angeles Rams win. Chances seem pretty high that Minnesota will enter the postseason as the NFC’s number two seed.
Green Bay Packers (7-8) at Detroit Lions (8-7) – 1:00pm ET, FOX
Announcers: Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth – TV Map
Packers notes – Who has been throwing him the ball has likely had a bunch to do with his production in 2017, but Green Bay wide receiver Jordy Nelson is about to finish one of the worst seasons of his career on Sunday. In 15 games this year, Nelson has caught 53 passes for just 482 yards and six touchdowns. The receiver is due to make more than $9.2 million in 2018, but the Packers would only endure a cap hit of $2.3 million if they show him the door during the upcoming offseason.
Lions notes – Despite some people thinking Sunday will be his last time on the sideline with the team, no Detroit head coach since 1970 has actually had more wins in his first four years with the team than Jim Caldwell (35). Perhaps the Lions should embrace what they have for at least one more season and focus on actually helping quarterback Matthew Stafford out a little more.
Houston Texans (4-11) at Indianapolis Colts (3-12) – 1:00pm ET, CBS
Announcers: Tom McCarthy, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker – TV Map
Texans notes – After a bit of down year in 2016, Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has had himself a pretty impressive 2017 season. Through 15 games this year, Hopkins has caught 96 passes for 1,378 yards and a career-high 13 touchdowns. Since 2015, Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers is the only NFL receiver to have more touchdown catches (31) than Hopkins (28).
Colts notes – With another 139 rushing yards on Sunday against Houston, Indianapolis running back Frank Gore will capture his 10th-career season with at least 1,000 yards on the ground. It may be tough to come by this week though as Gore has had just one game with 100 rushing yards or more in five matchups with the Texans since becoming a member of the Colts in 2015.
Cleveland Browns (0-15) at Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3) – 1:00pm ET, CBS
Announcers: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta – TV Map
Browns notes – With another loss on Sunday against Pittsburgh, Cleveland will become just the second team in NFL history to lose 16 games in a season. To avoid this disastrous result, all the Browns have to do is beat the Steelers on the road for the first time since 2003.
Steelers notes – Pittsburgh has already clinched the AFC North division title and a first-round playoff bye this season, but getting home-field throughout the postseason is still a possibility for the Steelers on Sunday. If Pittsburgh is able to get a win over Cleveland and the New England Patriots fall to the New York Jets this week, then the Steelers will enter the playoffs as the top seed in the AFC.
Dallas Cowboys (8-7) at Philadelphia Eagles (13-2) – 1:00pm ET, FOX
Announcers: Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber – TV Map
Cowboys notes – Dallas owner Jerry Jones stated earlier this week that Jason Garrett’s job as the team’s head coach is safe heading into next season. But maybe Jones should take a second look at the Cowboys’ lack of success since Garrett became the full-time head coach 2011. After last week’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Dallas guaranteed themselves missing out on the playoffs for the fifth time in Garrett’s seven years as the team’s head coach.
Eagles notes – With home-field and a first-round bye already clinched, Philadelphia will likely rest a bunch of their players for their matchup with Dallas this week. It sounds like Eagles quarterback Nick Foles will at least get the start on Sunday, but him playing the entire game doesn’t seem likely.
San Francisco 49ers (5-10) at Los Angeles Rams (11-4) – 4:25pm ET, FOX
Announcers: Joe Davis, Brady Quinn – TV Map
49ers notes – This week, San Francisco will be attempting to win five games in a row for the first time since 2013. Before Jimmy Garoppolo became the team’s starting quarterback in Week 13, the 49ers had not even won two games in a row since 2014.
Rams notes – Los Angeles will be resting a number of their top players on Sunday, including quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley, in anticipation of their first-round playoff matchup next week. The Rams may also be hoping to enter the postseason as the NFC’s fourth seed and have a shot at a more favorable second-round matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles rather than possibly face a Minnesota Vikings team that held their offense to just seven points back in Week 11.
Oakland Raiders (6-9) at Los Angeles Chargers (8-7) – 4:25pm ET, CBS
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon – TV Map
Raiders notes – 2017 has been a disappointing year for Oakland and one reason for that has been the decline of their run game. Despite adding Marshawn Lynch to their backfield during the past offseason, the Raiders’ rushing attack currently ranks 25th in the NFL after finishing last year with the league’s sixth-best run offense.
Chargers notes – Since beginning the season 0-4, Los Angeles is 8-3 in their last 11 games and with a little help on Sunday, they will continue playing this year in the AFC playoffs. If the Chargers defeat Oakland this week, the Tennessee Titans lose, and either the Buffalo Bills or Baltimore Ravens lose, then Los Angeles will be heading to the postseason.
Kansas City Chiefs (9-6) at Denver Broncos (5-10) – 4:25pm ET, CBS
Announcers: Beth Mowins, Jay Feely – TV Map
Chiefs notes – With Kansas City unable to improve their positioning heading into the playoffs next week, the team will head out on the field this Sunday with rookie Patrick Mahomes as their starting quarterback. The Chiefs traded up in the 2017 draft to select Mahomes and this week the rookie will get a chance to show everyone why Kansas City had their eyes set on adding him to their roster.
Broncos notes – For the past few seasons, Denver has been known for having a very talented defense. But due in part to an unusual inability to force turnovers, this year has not exactly been one of the defense’s best. From 2013 to 2016, the Broncos averaged around 26 takeaways per season. This year, Denver has only been able to force their opponents to turn the ball over 15 times.
Jacksonville Jaguars (10-5) at Tennessee Titans (8-7) – 4:25pm ET, CBS
Announcers: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green – TV Map
Jaguars notes – Despite not being able to get any better or worse than the AFC’s third seed the week, Jacksonville will apparently play their starters and approach Sunday’s game as just another normal week. The Jaguars gave up a season-high 44 points in a loss last Sunday to the San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville likely wants to head into the playoffs on a much higher note.
Titans notes – Win and they are in the playoffs. It seems simple enough, but Tennessee has lost their last three games and defeating a talented Jacksonville team on Sunday is going to be a tough task. However, even if the Titans are unable to get a victory this week, they can still earn a postseason berth if both the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Chargers fall in their games as well.
New Orleans Saints (11-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-11) – 4:25pm ET, FOX
Announcers: Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman – TV Map
Saints notes – For the first time since 2011, New Orleans could end up as the champions of the NFC South after this week’s results. If they are able to beat Tampa Bay or the Carolina Panthers suffer a loss on Sunday, then the Saints will capture their fourth division title since Sean Payton became the team’s head coach in 2006.
Buccaneers notes – Despite his current numbers not blowing people out of the water, Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston has had one his best seasons of his NFL career in 2017. Based on his statistics from his 12 appearances this year, Winston likely would have set a new single-season career-high for passing yards if he ended up actually playing in all 16 games.
Buffalo Bills (8-7) at Miami Dolphins (6-9) – 4:25pm ET, CBS
Announcers: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton – TV Map
Bills notes – For Buffalo fans who are under the age of 18, there is a possibility that this could be the first year in their lives that their favorite team will make it into the AFC playoffs. For the Bills to clinch a postseason berth, they must defeat Miami on Sunday and hope that either the Baltimore Ravens lose or both the Los Angeles Chargers and Tennessee Titans fall in their matchups this week.
Dolphins notes – Could Sunday be the last time the NFL sees Jay Cutler play in a game? The Miami quarterback recently said that he would only play in 2018 if he were guaranteed to start. It may be hard for Cutler to convince a team that he should be their starting quarterback after having a 2017 season in which he has thrown 14 interceptions and averaged just 204.6 yards per game in 13 appearances.
Arizona Cardinals (7-8) at Seattle Seahawks (9-6) – 4:25pm ET, FOX
Announcers: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston – TV Map
Cardinals notes – Reports have been floating around over the past few days about Bruce Arians stepping down as Arizona’s head coach following their game on Sunday. The Cardinals’ 65-year-old head coach has denied any of these reports being true, but if they actually end up being valid, Arizona could also see star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald call it quits for good also.
Seahawks notes – Thanks to the NFC being a top-heavy conference this year, a Seattle win on Sunday does not automatically clinch the team a berth in this season’s playoffs. The Seahawks not only need to defeat Arizona this week to get into the postseason, but they also need the Atlanta Falcons to lose in their matchup against the Carolina Panthers.
Carolina Panthers (11-4) at Atlanta Falcons (9-6) – 4:25pm ET, FOX
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman – TV Map
Panthers notes – Due to their big win over the Minnesota Vikings in Week 14, Carolina could possibly earn a first-round playoff bye this weekend. If the Panthers get a win on Sunday and the Vikings, New Orleans Saints, and Los Angeles Rams all lose, then Carolina will enjoy a week off before their first matchup of the 2017 postseason.
Falcons notes – With a win or a Seattle Seahawks loss this week, Atlanta will be heading to the playoffs for the second straight season. The team should be confident heading into Sunday’s matchup as the team has never lost at home to Carolina since Dan Quinn became the Falcons’ head coach in 2015.
Cincinnati Bengals (6-9) at Baltimore Ravens (9-6) – 4:25pm ET, CBS
Announcers: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts – TV Map
Bengals notes – Of Cincinnati’s numerous big decisions they will have to make during the upcoming offseason, what to do with quarterback Andy Dalton will definitely be something the team will have to figure out. Dalton’s current average of 206.5 passing yards per game is the lowest of his NFL career and the quarterback is due to make at least $13.9 million next year. However, the Bengals do have the option to release the quarterback this offseason and only endure a $2.4 million cap hit.
Ravens notes – Through the first nine weeks of the 2017 season, Baltimore was sitting with a 4-5 record and a third-straight year without a playoff berth seemed likely. But since their bye in Week 10, the Ravens have won five of their last six and need need just one more victory on Sunday to clinch a spot in this year’s AFC postseason bracket.