We’ve made it! The NFL’s 2019 regular season officially comes to a close on Sunday and the playoff picture will be settled. Two playoff teams are still to be determined, and much of the playoff seeding is unsettled. It leaves plenty of teams with a lot to play for in the final Sunday of 2019.
The final weekend is entirely a Sunday slate, and we get the most balanced schedule of the year thanks to playoff flexing. The league does what it can to make sure teams with something equal to play for are playing at the same time. Houston is the only team that will know before they play if they’ve lost any chance at improving. If the Chiefs lose in the 1:00 p.m. slot and the Texans win in the 4:25 p.m. slot, the Texans would get the No. 3 seed. If Kansas City wins in the early slot, Houston would be locked into the No. 4 seed.
The AM slate will decide the No. 2 seed as well. The Chiefs host the Chargers and the Patriots host the Dolphins with the second first round bye. The Patriots clinch with a win or Chiefs loss, while the Chiefs need a win and a Patriots loss. Baltimore has clinched the No. 1 seed already.
The AM slot will also set things up for the 49ers-Seahawks finale on Sunday Night Football. The Packers travel to Detroit and the Saints travel to Carolina. If the Packers win, the Saints are locked in as the No. 3 seed and the Packers can clinch either of the top two seeds. If the Packers lose and the Saints win, New Orleans is at least the No. 2 and could move into the No. 1.
The 4:25 slot will decide plenty more. The Eagles can clinch the NFC East and the No. 4 seed, but if they lose and Dallas wins, the Cowboys clinch it. The second AFC wild card spot will also be determined among the Titans, Steelers, and Raiders depending on a host of outcomes.
The day wraps up with the Seahawks hosting the 49ers on Sunday Night Football. If the 49ers win they claim the No. 1 seed, and if they lose they will be the No. 5 seed. If the Seahawks win, they will be anywhere from the No. 1 to No. 3 seed depending on the Packers and Saints results, and if they lose they will be the No. 5 seed.
I’m back once again with my weekly NFL picks. We have no short week games, so I will have my picks against the spread early Sunday morning. Injury reports and who will be resting are key pieces of information, so we’ll see what the end of the week brings.
If you’re in a pick ‘em contest, I’ve put together my complete list of Week 17 straight up picks. You can check out SB Nation’s full list of experts picking here, where I’m 142-98 heading into this week.
Jets vs. Bills: Bills
Browns vs. Bengals: Browns
Washington vs. Cowboys: Cowboys
Packers vs. Lions
Chargers vs. Chiefs: Chiefs
Bears vs. Vikings: Vikings
Dolphins vs. Patriots: Patriots
Eagles vs. Giants: Giants
Falcons vs. Buccaneers: Falcons
Saints vs. Panthers: Saints
Colts vs. Jaguars: Jaguars
Steelers vs. Ravens: Ravens
Titans vs. Texans: Texans
Raiders vs. Broncos: Raiders
Cardinals vs. Rams: Rams
49ers vs. Seahawks: 49ers