3 Games to Watch - Week 17

Once more unto the breach, dear friends. Garda is back with some appetizers to whet your whistle before the main course Sunday night.

As you already know, the biggest game of the day is Sunday night as we actually have a division in play. The Packers and Vikings are the main event, but you need something to fill the day up until Sunday Night Football.

Here are three other games with big-time playoff implications. After all, what good is the main course without a few small appetizers?

Seahawks at Cardinals

One of the bigger games on the slate, this is also one which isn’t looking like a lopsided match. It’s hard to imagine this being a blowout, though the injuries to the Seattle offensive line have mounted.

Arizona has too many weapons to beat Seattle, despite the Seahawks secondary. You run out of people when you line up against Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald and JJ Nelson and John Brown and Jaron Brown.

Oh and some rookie of the year candidate in the backfield by the name of David Johnson.

The other reason this game should be competitive is that both Seattle and Arizona will have something to play for. Seattle can still sit at either the five or six seed while Arizona can still grab home field advantage throughout the playoffs if Carolina loses. Maybe it’s a long shot that Tampa Bay will beat the Panthers, but they play at the same time as the Cardinals and Seahawks, so Arizona can’t take anything for granted.

Steelers at Browns

This may not be very competitive, but we thought the Steelers would wipe the floor with the Ravens and they looked as flat as we have ever seen them. We don’t think that will happen again, but….

Austin Davis gets the start for the Browns, who might already be ready to pull the trigger on firing both their coach and general manager. That’s three coaches in five years. Come to think of it, it’s also the third GM they’ll have ejected.

If you really want to know the issue in Cleveland, maybe the owner is what we need to be looking at.

The Steelers are desperate for a win, but every Cleveland player could be fighting for a job next year and potentially the job of their coach. Maybe that should have been the case the previous 16 weeks, but adding in the idea that they can nail the coffin shut on the Steelers’ season should be enough to have them at least playing at a manageable clip.

If the Steelers can win, our next game will loom huge for them. If they collapse again, they’re done and you have to wonder what will become of Mike Tomlin and how much of the collapses against bad teams should fall on his shoulders?

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills

The Jets have to win. If they win, they’re in the playoffs.

They should be able to beat a bad Bills team, right?

Well, not if you consider the….Rex Factor.

Yeah we went there.

Rex Ryan hasn’t had much success in Buffalo so far, but one thing he knows how to do is push buttons for “big games.” Or what passes for those in Ryan’s world.

He’s going to have his team fired up to beat the Jets. Whether or not they’re up to the task is a whole other thing. The Jets defense is legit and the Bills have precious few weapons that can overcome it. On the other side of things, the Bills defense is underwhelming and the New York offense is on fire over the last month.

If the Jets lose, there is a strong chance they miss the playoffs, given that as we just said, it’s hard to believe the Steelers will choke against a lesser team again. Knocking the Jets out of the playoffs would be a pyrrhic victory for the Bills, but who loves hanging onto a pyrrhic victory more than Rex Ryan?

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Comments (5)

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Handsback's picture

January 03, 2016 at 05:06 pm

Seattle is playing strong and hard. They are very hard to beat when they get on this kind of roll.

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sonomaca's picture

January 03, 2016 at 05:12 pm

Minnesota has every incentive to lose this game. If they win, they'll get the Seahawks in Minnesota. Not good. If they lose, they'll be back in Green Bay, probably a much more attractive option.

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sonomaca's picture

January 03, 2016 at 05:16 pm

If the Packers win tonight, and then beat the Vikings again a week later, they'll be traveling to Arizona. If the Packers lose, and win at Washington the following week, then they'll travel to Arizona if Seattle beats Minnesota (which is almost a lock, in my view).

The Packers road almost certainly goes through Arizona.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

January 03, 2016 at 06:06 pm

Seahawks are beating the sh#t out of the Cards. I want the Seahawks ASAP.

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TommyG's picture

January 04, 2016 at 12:18 am

Damn. That Arizona team looked god awful with a lot on the table to play for. Don't worry though, cards vs Hawks is most likely the NFCCG this year.

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