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Necessary Roughness, Week 17: Eleven Games with Playoff Implications This Weekend!

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Hello MetalSuckers!! It’s been a long time since my last column and for that I apologize / you’re welcome. It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks for me as our most recent tour ended and I was immediately thrust into the chaos of the holidays. Boy, I’m glad that’s all over and done with. Also, as many of you are probably aware, I had to cope with the trauma of the Panthers losing their first game of the season. But I’m trying to stay positive, and I hope that loss will leave a sour enough taste in their mouths to make them NEVER LOSE A GAME EVER AGAIN. And I hope they start by beating Tampa Bay on Sunday to ensure that the NFC playoffs run through Charlotte, NC.

Well, Chip Kelly’s tenure as the Eagles’ coach has officially ended in sudden and fairly dramatic fashion. It’s not often that you see a guy get canned before the last game of the season, so I’m assuming that ol’ Chip really pissed off the brass pretty good. I expected more success out of Kelly, but his insistence upon having personnel control really bit him in the ass. He obviously made some boneheaded moves in that regard, and when you pay these players millions of dollars and they don’t perform well and/or you don’t give them the opportunity to perform well, you’ve essentially set your franchise back a couple of years. I’m sure Chip will go back to the college ranks and have success there again. But it appears his foray into the pro ranks has been a bust.

So here we are in the final week of the regular season, and its going to be a wild one. Out of the 16 games this week, 11 of them have playoff implications for at least one of the teams. Crazy. So let me just try to bullet point the scenarios in each division.

AFC:
– New England can secure home field advantage with a win, or a Broncos loss.
– the Broncos can secure home field with a win or Patriots loss. They can secure a first round bye with a win or losses by KC and Cincy.
– Cincy can clinch a first round bye with a win AND a Denver loss, or a loss by Denver and a win by Kansas City.
– Kansas City can clinch their division with a win and a Broncos’ loss.
– Houston can clinch the division with a win or an Indy loss.
– Indy can win the division with a win, a Houston loss, and they need to tie the strength of victory tiebreaker with the Texans and win the strength of schedule over the Texans.
– the Jets can earn a Wild Card spot with a win or a Pittsburgh loss.
– Pittsburgh can sneak into the postseason with a win AND a Jets loss.

NFC:
– Carolina secures home field with a win or an Arizona loss.
– Arizona secures home field with a win AND a Carolina loss.
– the North will be decide in the Green Bay/Minnesota game. The loser will get a Wild Card.

And there ya go. Plenty of games on Sunday to keep your eyebrows raised. I can’t wait for the playoffs! Go Panthers!!!!!

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