The final week of the NFL regular season has teams fighting for their playoff lives. Here are the five most interesting matchups of Week 17.
Week 17 gives NFL teams one last shot to secure their playoff destinies. That makes this weekend’s slate of action the most intriguing group of games of the entire regular season. It’s the perfect weekend to set up multiple screens and overdose on NFL action.
This week’s list of interesting matchups eschews individual battles for team vs. team action. There are intriguing subplots of personal battles in each of the following five games, but the sheer magnitude of playoff stakes in each game makes it foolish to boil them down to any one, individual matchup.
Read on to identify the five games that require the most attentive viewing this weekend. Each and every one is chocked full of playoff implications.
5. Packers vs. Bears
Green Bay’s trip to Chicago on Sunday afternoon will be crucial for both team’s postseason hopes. The Packers want to defeat their division rivals to lock up the No. 1 seed in the NFC and the bye that comes along with it. The Bears desperately need another victory to simply qualify for the postseason.
This matchup could boil down to a 60-minute referendum on Mitch Trubisky’s status as the Bears’ starting quarterback. Chicago’s defense might slow down Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay’s prolific offensive attack, but they won’t shut it down entirely. That means Trubisky must put up points in this game to keep his team locked into its playoff spot.
The great irony here is that the Bears could face a disastrous outcome in this game whether they win or lose. A loss would likely end their season without a playoff berth. A win might convince the franchise to stick with Trubisky for the long haul. Bears fans can spend all offseason arguing just how dangerous that might be for the long-term health of their favorite team.