Week 17 of the 2018 NFL regular season is here. You might be entering the weekend with your own preferences regarding which games to focus on, and which to place on the backburner.
Most of you have your favorite teams and fantasy players to track. But in case you’re completely neutral or need help breaking ties regarding what to watch, we’ve ranked all 16 games on the schedule from most appealing to least enticing.
Games that matter (or likely matter)
1. Colts at Titans (Sunday night, NBC): We’ll obviously all be watching what is essentially a playoff game, mainly hoping for a tie that leaves both teams out of the postseason.
2. Bears at Vikings (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, FOX): Chicago likely has nothing to play for, but this is probably a do-or-die game for the Vikings. And it should be close because the still-alive-for-a-bye Bears won’t throw in the towel. A lot of playoff outcomes hinge on the result of this one.
3. Browns at Ravens (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, CBS): You know how much Cleveland probably wants to spoil it all for the Ravens, who of course used to be the Cleveland Browns. That’s entirely possible here, especially with Pittsburgh likely to beat the Bengals.
4. Raiders at Chiefs (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, CBS): Oakland can also spoil Kansas City’s once-promising season with a win (so long as the Chargers and/or Patriots also win), but that’s much less likely to happen.
5. Jaguars at Texans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS): The Jags could easily put up a fight here, which would jeopardize Houston’s chances of winning the AFC South.
Games that could but probably won’t matter
6. Eagles at Redskins (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, CBS): This doesn’t matter if Minnesota beats Chicago, but the Nick Foles magic is worth checking out until that’s a certainty. That is unless Philly runs away with it, which is entirely possible.
7. Jets at Patriots (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS): This might not be close, but if the Jets stick around it’ll be worth your focus. Probably a must-win game for New England if they hope to hang onto their bye. The emerging Sam Darnold makes this game a little more interesting regardless.
8. Bengals at Steelers (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, CBS): Pittsburgh should win easily, making this a boring game that might not matter if the Ravens take care of business.
9. 49ers at Rams (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, FOX): Los Angeles should win easily anyway, and it won’t matter if the Bears lose to the Vikings.
10. Chargers at Broncos (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, CBS): Unlikely to matter and the Broncos are mess right now anyway.
11. Cardinals at Seahawks (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, FOX): This is likely to be one-sided, and it only matters a little bit to the Seahawks. Only worth checking out if it’s close late and the Cards could blow their No. 1 overall pick.
Games that don’t matter
12. Dolphins at Bills (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS): It should at least be close and Josh Allen is fun to watch, so this isn’t bad for the early time slot.
13. Panthers at Saints (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX): Carolina is toast, but I’m kind of excited to see some Teddy Bridgewater at the Superdome.
14. Cowboys at Giants (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS): We still get Saquon Barkley and Cowboys starters in a meaningless game, but this would be better if the Giants let us see Kyle Lauletta.
15. Lions at Packers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX): No major draft implications, no playoff implications and no fun rookies like Josh Allen or Sam Darnold to watch. Forget it.
16. Falcons at Buccaneers (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX): Is there anything appealing at all about this game?