The final week of the regular season is here and there are still some things to settle, most notably the final playoff spots and postseason seeding. In the AFC, the Ravens, Titans, Chargers and Bills are still alive for wild-card spots. In the NFC, the Falcons and Seahawks are vying for the final wild-card spot.
The Browns are 0-15 entering Sunday’s season finale against the Steelers and coach Hue Jackson opened his Wednesday’s press conference by asking reporters, “Who’s going to jump in the lake with me?”
The Packers would be eliminated from playoff contention on Monday night if the Falcons win at Tampa Bay. Rodgers said he hopes he’d still play against the Vikings (and Anthony Barr, who pile-drove him to break his collarbone earlier in the season), even if the postseason is not in the picture.
Their offense is a legitimate force, and their defense has enough talent — starting with Aaron Donald and Mark Barron — to continue improving under first-year coordinator Wade Phillips. They’ve scored the most points per game in the NFL as Sean McVay has unleashed Todd Gurley.
An up-and-coming team will be tested. They still have to play the Eagles, Seahawks, Saints, Vikings and Texans. If it comes down to it, the Seahawks hold the tiebreaker and get to play them at home.
McCarron will be a restricted free agent in 2018. Assuming McCarron is given the highest restricted free agent tender, which will be a minimum of $4.106 million, the Bengals would get a first-round pick if they didn’t match another team’s offer sheet for him.
The NFL is Humpty trending Dumpty, headed for a significant fall. Current team owners, having renewed Roger Goodell’s keys to their kingdoms, have renewed the message to its fans and customers:
Sunday’s Cowboys-Giants has been TV-flexed to a 1 p.m. start, the logical time to begin an outdoor game here in December, especially for ticket holders and/or PSL holders.
Except the change was predicated on diminished TV appeal — the 6-6 Cowboys are mediocre, the 2-10 Giants are 2-10 — not on righteous customer relations.
Had the teams been better, this game would have kicked off in darkness and fallen temperatures as originally scheduled — 4:30 on FOX.