NFL Week 17 Games to Watch

Welcome to Week 17, the final edition of the NFL’s regular season. A lot of the playoff teams and some of the seeding have already been decided, but there are still good games.

There is no Thursday, Monday or Sunday night games, so you’ll only be able to get your NFL fix between 1:00 p.m. and about 8:00 p.m. EST.

You should probably just ignore the early slate of games unless you are a fan of one of the teams playing. Otherwise, the games are either blowouts waiting to happen (Vikings-Bears, Patriots-Jets, Steelers-Browns) or games with next-to-no meaning (Eagles-Cowboys).


Carolina Panthers (11-4) at Atlanta Falcons (9-6) (4:25 p.m. FOX)

Key Matchup: Cam Newton vs. Falcons front seven

  • Last time these two teams met, Newton ran for 86 yards, and a touchdown on just nine carries in a 20-17 Panthers victory. Atlanta’s front seven will have to ensure nothing like that happens again. Not accounting for Newton’s ability to take off and run is a game-losing mistake.

What’s at stake?

  • This is the game with the most at stake this week. With a win, the Falcons would get into the playoffs. A loss would mean Seattle would have to lose to Arizona for Atlanta to still get in. That isn’t likely so the Falcons’ playoff hopes will come down to the game. The Panthers still have a chance to win the division and get the fourth seed. A win combined with a New Orleans loss to Tampa Bay would net Carolina the NFC South crown for the second time in three years.


Jacksonville Jaguars (10-5) at Tennessee Titans (8-7) (4:25 p.m. FOX)

Key Matchup: Titans’ O-line vs. Jaguars’ D-line

  • Jacksonville leads the NFL in total sacks and averages 3.4 per game. In a game where Titans’ QB Marcus Mariota has been sacked three or more times, Mariota has thrown eight interceptions to just four touchdowns.

What’s at stake?

  • The Jaguars are locked into the AFC’s third seed but will reportedly not rest their starters. This makes the Titans’ job of getting into the playoff much harder. A win puts the Titans in, but a loss means both the Chargers and Bills have to lose their games.

San Francisco 49ers (5-10) at Los Angeles Rams (11-4) (4:25 p.m. FOX)

Key Matchup: Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Rams’ defense

  • I originally had Todd Gurley involved in the key matchup, but he might not play. Even still, Garoppolo is worth watching. The man who has reignited hope for the franchise has yet to lose a game as a starting quarterback at the NFL level, including his time in New England.

What’s at stake?

  • Not a whole lot. The Rams have won their division and thus a playoff home game. A win would secure the third seed for them, but Sean McVay has said he isn’t concerned about whether he gets the third or fourth seed and may still rest key starters. That will put a damper on the game, but there is still weight to it.

New Orleans Saints (11-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-11)

Key Matchup: Spoiler mentality vs. Seeding mentality

  • Last week, the Bucs proved they know how to play spoiler despite their season record by taking the Panthers down to the wire. If the Saints aren’t careful, they might come up short on getting a home playoff game and winning the division.

What’s at stake?

  • The Saints clinch the NFC South and a home playoff game with a win Sunday. If New Orleans win then the Vikings would clinch a first-round bye.


That’ll do it for the NFL Week 16 Games to Watch. Which games are you looking forward to the most? Be sure to tell us all about it and more in the comment section below. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter: @PowerRank_More, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow us on our Instagram page for all of the latest information from Power Rankings and More.

Published on 12/30/17 at 8:38 PM EST.
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Jason Walker

Jason is an avid sports fan whose favorite sport varies depending on what time of the year it is. He has played nearly every sport there is to play and has loved every single one. He grew up in Kaysville, UT and is a die-hard fan of the Utah Jazz and the New England Patriots. He is currently studying journalism at Utah State University. Follow him on twitter @thejwalk67

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