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NFL Week 17 Preview: The NFC East, a Wild Card, Lots of Byes Are Still Up for Grabs

There are only two open playoff spots left, but plenty of seeding shuffling can still happen on Sunday. Plus: all the injuries, story lines, and info you need to know for every game.

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There are only two open playoff spots left. In the AFC, the Ravens, Patriots, Chiefs, Texans, and Bills are in while the Titans, Steelers, and the Raiders (yes, the Raiders) are competing for the final spot. In the NFC, the 49ers, Packers, Seahawks, Saints, and Vikings are in, with the Eagles and Cowboys still alive for the NFC East title. Here is how those playoff spots can be earned:

Win and They’re In

  • Philadelphia wins the NFC East with a win over the Giants
  • Tennessee gets the second AFC wild card with a win over Houston

Needs Help

  • Dallas wins the NFC East with a win over Washington and an Eagles loss
  • Pittsburgh gets an AFC wild card with a win over Baltimore and a Titans loss

Needs an Act of God

  • The Raiders make the playoffs with a win in Denver, and Steelers, Titans, and Jaguars losses

Aside from the final two teams, three of the four first-round byes are still up for grabs. Baltimore has secured the no. 1 seed in the AFC, but New England and Kansas City are competing for the no. 2 seed. In the NFC, the 49ers, Packers, Saints, and Seahawks are all in contention for a first-round bye. Home-field advantage in the NFC won’t be decided until …

The Final Game of the Regular Season

San Francisco 49ers (12-3) @ Seattle Seahawks (11-4)

Kickoff time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Channel: NBC
Announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (sideline reporter)
Opening line: Seattle -1 (now San Francisco -3)
Over/under: 47

Key 49ers injuries and absences: Receiver Deebo Samuel (shoulder), guard Mike Person (neck), center Weston Richburg (kneecap), defensive end Dee Ford (hamstring), defensive tackle D.J. Jones (ankle), defensive end Damontre Moore (forearm), defensive end Ronald Blair (ACL), inside linebacker Kwon Alexander (pectoral), safety Jaquiski Tartt (ribs)

Key Seahawks injuries and absences: Running back Chris Carson (hip), running back Rashaad Penny (ACL), running back C.J. Prosise (arm), tight end Will Dissly (Achilles), tight end Ed Dickson (knee), left tackle Duane Brown (knee/biceps), center Justin Britt (ACL), center Joey Hunt (fibula), guard Mike Iupati (neck), offensive lineman Germain Ifedi (knee), interior lineman Ethan Pocic (core), offensive tackle Jamarco Jones (shoulder), defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (core), linebacker Mychal Kendricks (hamstring), cornerback Shaquill Griffin (hamstring), defensive back Quandre Diggs (ankle), safety Tedric Thompson (labrum)

What to watch: Seattle’s blocking

The last time these teams met, 7-2 Seattle beat 8-0 San Francisco in overtime in one of the most riveting games of the season. These teams meet again on Sunday Night Football as the 256th and final game of the regular season. The winner wins the NFC West and possibly a first-round bye. The loser will get a wild-card spot and will fly as far as three time zones and 3,000 miles to play on the road in the first round of the playoffs. No pressure.

Neither team looks as strong as they did in their first meeting. In December, each team is 2-2 and has been outscored by its opponents. Seattle’s offense has been discombobulated even when healthy, and it are no longer healthy. The Seahawks are without their top three running backs, which led them to bring back retired running back Marshawn Lynch this week. Yet Seattle may have trouble creating any holes. The team also lost left tackle Duane Brown for this game and have five other offensive linemen on their injury report. That could be an issue against San Francisco’s defensive line, which is also banged up, but not nearly to the same extent. If the 49ers can stop the Seahawks running game on early downs and force Russell Wilson into third-and-longs, the 49ers will be in strong shape to win this game. That begins with their star-studded defensive line controlling the line of scrimmage versus Seattle’s banged-up group.

Win and They’re In

Philadelphia Eagles (8-7) @ New York Giants (4-11)

Kickoff time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Channel: Fox
Announcers: Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman, Shannon Spake (sideline reporter)
Opening line: Philadelphia -5.5
Over/under: 45

Key Eagles injuries and absences: Running back Jordan Howard (shoulder), receiver Alshon Jeffery (foot), receiver DeSean Jackson (abdomen), receiver Nelson Agholor (knee), right tackle Lane Johnson (ankle), guard Brandon Brooks (calf), defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (triceps), defensive end Derek Barnett (ankle), cornerback Ronald Darby (hip flexor)

Key Giants injuries and absences: Receiver Darius Slayton (knee), tight end Evan Engram (foot), tight end Rhett Ellison (concussion), tackle Mike Remmers (concussion), linebacker Lorenzo Carter (knee), cornerback Janoris Jenkins (released), linebacker Chris Peace (knee), safety Jabrill Peppers (back), long snapper Zak DeOssie (knee)

What to watch: Daniel Jones throwing outside the hash marks

If the Eagles win this game, they win the NFC East. Sounds easy, but Eagles fans know nothing about this season—or the last three years—has been as easy as it sounds. Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones tossed five touchdowns last week against Washington to all but ruin New York’s chance at the no. 2 pick and Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young. This week he could ruin Philly’s playoff hopes. Just a few weeks ago Eli Manning burned the Eagles for two touchdowns in the first half, and Jones is playing better than Manning. Sterling Shepard called Jones “savage” after the game, and Jones’s flip-cup skills confirm. The Eagles are among the most injured teams in football, and their secondary is among the league’s weakest, especially guarding receivers on the outside. If the Giants attack the Eagles along the sidelines, which Dallas didn’t do in Week 16 until late, they could make this a game.

Tennessee Titans (8-7) @ Houston Texans (10-5)

Kickoff time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Channel: CBS
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (sideline reporter)
Opening line: Pick ’em (now Titans -3.5)
Over/under: 45

Key Titans injuries and absences: Receiver Corey Davis (concussion), receiver Adam Humphries (ankle), tight end Delanie Walker (ankle), pass rusher Cameron Wake (hamstring), cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (foot), cornerback Malcolm Butler (wrist), cornerback Chris Milton (ankle), kicker Ryan Succop (knee)

Key Texans injuries and absences: Quarterback Deshaun Watson (back), receiver DeAndre Hopkins (illness), receiver Will Fuller V (groin), receiver Kenny Stills (knee), tackle Tytus Howard (meniscus), defensive end J.J. Watt (pectoral), linebacker Benardrick McKinney (concussion), linebacker Jacob Martin (knee)

What to watch: Ryan Tannethrill

If the Titans win this game, they get the last playoff spot in the AFC. This game could be easier than when the Titans lost to Houston at home two weeks ago. Texans head coach Bill O’Brien says Houston is playing to win, but he may mean his backups will be playing to win. The Kansas City Chiefs kick off against the Chargers at 1 p.m. ET. If the Chiefs win that game, the Texans are locked into the no. 4 seed. Considering how many key Houston players are dealing with injuries, it would make sense to pull them at halftime or bench them altogether if their playoff situation is out of their control.

Needs Some Help

Washington (3-12) @ Dallas Cowboys (7-8)

Kickoff time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Channel: Fox
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (sideline reporter)
Opening line: Dallas -7 (now Dallas -11)
Over/under: 44

Key Washington injuries and absences: Running back Derrius Guice (MCL), receiver Terry McLaurin (concussion), receiver Paul Richardson Jr. (hamstring), receiver Trey Quinn (concussion), tight end Jordan Reed (concussion), tight end Vernon Davis (concussion), right guard Brandon Scherff (elbow), tackle Morgan Moses (knee), offensive lineman Donald Penn (knee), outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (calf), cornerback Quinton Dunbar (hamstring), cornerback Jimmy Moreland (foot), cornerback Fabian Moreau (hamstring), defensive back Deshazor Everett (shoulder), safety Landon Collins (shoulder)

Key Cowboys injuries and absences: Quarterback Dak Prescott (shoulder), left tackle Tyron Smith (back), guard Connor Williams (ACL), defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (shoulder), defensive end Michael Bennett (foot), defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford (hip), linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (neck), linebacker Luke Gifford (arm), cornerback Anthony Brown (triceps), safety Jeff Heath (shoulder), defensive back C.J. Goodwin (thumb), punter Chris Jones (abdomen)

What to watch: The end of the Jason Garrett era?

If Dallas wins this game and the Giants beat the Eagles, the Cowboys will win the division. If one of those things don’t happen, Dallas will miss the playoffs and head coach Jason Garrett will likely call an Uber into the sunset. Garrett’s contract will expire after this game, and with a loss, he will almost certainly not be retained after overseeing perhaps the most disappointing decade of Cowboys football since the franchise was founded in 1960. Since Troy Aikman is announcing this game, be prepared to hear about it.

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7) @ Baltimore Ravens (13-2)

Kickoff time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Channel: CBS
Announcers: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn (sideline reporter)
Opening line: Baltimore -3.5 (now Steelers -2)
Over/under: 41 (now 37.5)

Key Steelers injuries and absences: Quarterback Mason Rudolph (shoulder), running back James Conner (quadriceps), tight end Vance McDonald (concussion), center Maurkice Pouncey (knee), defensive end Stephon Tuitt (pectoral), outside linebacker Bud Dupree (shoulder)

Key Ravens injuries and absences: Quarterback Lamar Jackson (rest), running back Mark Ingram (calf), tight end Mark Andrews (ankle), left guard Marshal Yanda (rest), center Matt Skura (knee), defensive end Brandon Williams (rest), cornerback Marcus Peters (chest), safety Earl Thomas (knee/hand)

What to watch: #TBRGIII

Pittsburgh gets the last AFC playoff spot with a win and a Titans loss. The Ravens locked up the no. 1 seed in the conference and will be resting quarterback Lamar Jackson, guard Marshal Yanda, and some other key players. But that doesn’t mean this game will be an easy win for Pittsburgh. Baltimore’s backup is Robert Griffin III, and this is by far the best-designed offense Griffin has played in since his spectacular rookie season in 2012. Pittsburgh is averaging 14.7 points per game in its last seven games, so Griffin may not have to lead too many scoring drives to eliminate the Steelers.

Needs an Act of God

Oakland Raiders (7-8) @ Denver Broncos (6-9)

Kickoff time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Channel: CBS
Announcers: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton
Opening line: Denver -5
Over/under: 41.5

Key Raiders injuries and absences: Running back Josh Jacobs (shoulder/illness), tackle Trent Brown (pectoral), guard Richie Incognito (ankle), defensive end Arden Key (foot), cornerback Trayvon Mullen (neck/concussion), safety Lamarcus Joyner (calf/quad), safety Karl Joseph (foot), safety Johnathan Abram (labrum)

Key Broncos injuries and absences: Guard Ron Leary (concussion), right tackle Ja’Wuan James (knee), fullback Andy Janovich (elbow), outside linebacker Bradley Chubb (ACL), defensive end Derek Wolfe (elbow), defensive end Adam Gotsis (knee), defensive end Dre’Mont Jones (ankle), linebacker Joe Jones (back), safety Kareem Jackson (suspended)

What to watch: A miracle

The Raiders will make the playoffs if all of the following things happen:

  • Oakland wins in Denver
  • Pittsburgh loses in Baltimore
  • Tennessee loses in Houston
  • Indianapolis wins in Jacksonville

Individually, all of these are plausible. Together they are unlikely. A parlay of all four of those outcomes happening gives roughly 20-to-1 odds, depending on the source. All four of these games will kick off during the late window, so if the Raiders do pull off the miracle, all of it will happen simultaneously (for the most devout members of the Oakland faithful, maybe check out that parlay).

First-Round Bye Problems (AFC Edition)

Miami Dolphins (4-11) @ New England Patriots (12-3)

Kickoff time: 1 p.m. ET
Channel: CBS
Announcers: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Melanie Collins (sideline reporter)
Opening line: New England -14
Over/under: 43.5

Key Dolphins injuries and absences: Running back Kalen Ballage (Achilles), running back Myles Gaskin (ankle), receiver Preston Williams (ACL), receiver Gary Jennings (shoulder), receiver Allen Hurns (ankle), defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (ankle), defensive tackle Gerald Willis (hip), defensive end Taco Charlton (ankle), defensive end Zach Sieler (ankle), outside linebacker Vince Biegel (elbow), outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel (shoulder), inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan (hamstring), cornerback Xavien Howard (knee), cornerback Aqib Talib (ribs), cornerback Ryan Lewis (hamstring), defensive back Ken Webster (ankle), cornerback Cordrea Tankersley (ACL), cornerback Jomal Wiltz (shoulder), safety Reshad Jones (chest), safety Bobby McCain (shoulder)

Key Patriots injuries and absences: Receiver Julian Edelman (knee/shoulder), fullback James Develin (neck), center David Andrews (illness), tackle Marcus Cannon (ankle), outside linebacker Jamie Collins (shoulder), cornerback Jason McCourty (groin), cornerback Jonathan Jones (groin), kicker Stephen Gostkowski (hip)

What to watch: New England’s offensive revival

The Patriots get a first-round bye with a win or a Chiefs loss. Expect the Pats to get a win, but also to do so with their most impressive offensive performance in months. Tom Brady played his best game of the second half of the season against Buffalo’s top-notch defense last week; he could shred Miami’s bottom-notch defense. There’s been plenty of focus on New England’s lack of receiving options, but that problem has been exacerbated by how little time Brady has had to throw the ball. That wasn’t an issue last week. New England’s offensive line protected Brady well against a stout Buffalo defense, and that unit will have far less trouble against a Miami defense that is a walking ghost ship. Last week, the Dolphins broke the record for players used in an NFL season with 80. There are more holes in this defense than in Kyle Kuzma’s Christmas Day T-shirt.

Los Angeles Chargers (5-10) @ Kansas City Chiefs (11-4)

Kickoff time: 1 p.m. ET
Channel: CBS
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, John Schriffen (sideline reporter)
Opening line: Kansas City -7.5
Over/under: 48

Key Chargers injuries and absences: Quarterback Philip Rivers (thumb), left tackle Russell Okung (groin), center Mike Pouncey (neck), guard Forrest Lamp (leg), linebacker Denzel Perryman (ankle), defensive back Nasir Adderley (hamstring)

Key Chiefs injuries and absences: Running back Spencer Ware (shoulder), running back Darrel Williams (hamstring), guard Martinas Rankin (knee), guard Andrew Wylie (ankle), defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (pectoral), defensive end Alex Okafor (pectoral), cornerback Morris Claiborne (shoulder)

What to watch: The last game of Philip Rivers’s Chargers career?

The Chiefs get a first-round bye with a win and a Patriots loss. Both games kick off at the same time, and head coach Andy Reid says Kansas City will play to win. On offense, the Chiefs can romp. On defense, they may be the last squad to face quarterback Philip Rivers, whose contract expires after this season. Rivers has the lowest touchdown percentage (3.9) and the second-lowest QBR (49.1) of his career this season.

“It’s not solely going to be my decision,” Rivers told reporters earlier this month about returning to the Chargers. “That’s where I think that uncertainty lies. We will just kind of have to see. … I think with that uncertainty it does add some emotion.”

First-Round Bye Problems (NFC Edition)

Green Bay Packers (12-3) @ Detroit Lions (3-11-1)

Kickoff time: 1 p.m. ET
Channel: Fox
Announcers: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Pam Oliver (sideline reporter)
Opening line: Green Bay -10.5
Over/under: 41.5

Key Packers injuries and absences: Running back Jamaal Williams (shoulder), right tackle Bryan Bulaga (groin), center Corey Linsley (back), guard Cole Madison (ACL), nose tackle Kenny Clark (ankle), defensive end Dean Lowry (ankle), linebacker Rashan Gary (shoulder)

Key Lions injuries and absences: Quarterback Matt Stafford (hip/back), receiver Marvin Jones Jr. (ankle), right tackle Rick Wagner (knee), defensive end Da’Shawn Hand (ankle), defensive tackle Mike Daniels (arm), defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson (shoulder), outside linebacker Devon Kennard (shoulder), safety Tavon Wilson (hamstring)

What to watch: Whether the Packers can put away a bad team

The NFC North champions will earn a first-round bye with a win or a Saints loss. In theory the toothless Lions won’t be difficult for the Packers, but Green Bay has made a habit of letting inferior teams hang around all year, including a 23-22 win over Detroit in Week 6. Aaron Rodgers did not look sharp against the Vikings last week, and Packers fans would rejoice if he regains his accuracy in this tune-up.

New Orleans Saints (12-3) @ Carolina Panthers (5-10)

Kickoff time: 1 p.m. ET
Channel: Fox
Announcers: Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber, Lindsay Czarniak (sideline reporter)
Opening line: New Orleans -11.5
Over/under: 48

Key Saints injuries and absences: Quarterback Drew Brees (knee), receiver Michael Thomas (hand), left guard Andrus Peat (forearm), right guard Larry Warford (knee), defensive end Marcus Davenport (foot), defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins (ankle), outside linebacker Kiko Alonso (quad), safety Marcus Williams (groin), safety Vonn Bell (knee), defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (concussion), defensive back Johnson Bademosi (foot), defensive back Saquan Hampton (undisclosed)

Key Panthers injuries and absences: Quarterback Cam Newton (foot), quarterback Kyle Allen (benched), tight end Greg Olsen (knee), tackle Greg Little (ankle), guard Greg Van Roten (toe), defensive tackle Kawann Short (shoulder), defensive tackle Dontari Poe (quadriceps), defensive end Marquis Haynes (knee), outside linebacker Shaq Thompson (foot), safety Tre Boston (shoulder)

What to watch: Whether the Saints can stay healthy

The 12-3 Saints are on the outside looking in for a first-round bye. To skip wild-card weekend, they need one of the following scenarios:

  • A win plus a Packers loss
  • A win plus a 49ers loss
  • A Packers loss and a 49ers loss

The last time the Saints had an outside chance to get the no. 1 seed in Week 17 was in the 2010 season. Head coach Sean Payton played the team’s starters, and they lost four core players to injury. The Saints didn’t get a first-round bye and then New Orleans lost to the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks in the first round of the playoffs (in the Marshawn Lynch Beastquake game). The following March, Sean Payton told reporters told reporters he regretted not resting his starters in that finale.

Those fears do not concern Payton this time around even though the Saints are banged up.

“No, no, no, no, no, no,” Payton said when asked whether he would rest his starters this week. “Absolutely no.”

When reporters asked Payton about Week 17 of 2010, Payton said it wasn’t comparable because they have a much better chance of getting home-field advantage this time around.

”I don’t think this is a long shot that we need this week,” Payton said.

At least Carolina has been kind enough to share its game plan. Christian McCaffrey is just 67 receiving yards from becoming the third player in NFL history with 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season, along with Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk. Panthers offensive coordinator Scott Turner said he will get McCaffrey the ball “any way he can” on Sunday. If anyone appreciates shamelessly chasing a record, it’s the Saints, who ruthlessly pursued Brees’s all-time touchdown mark two weeks ago and Michael Thomas’s catch record last week.

Locked Into Their Playoff Spots

Chicago Bears (7-8) @ Minnesota Vikings (10-5)

Kickoff time: 1 p.m. ET
Channel: Fox
Announcers: Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth, Jennifer Hale (sideline reporter)
Opening line: Minnesota -7.5 (now -3)
Over/under: 36

Key Bears injuries and absences: Receiver Taylor Gabriel (concussion), tight end Trey Burton (calf), tight end Adam Shaheen (foot), tight end Ben Braunecker (concussion), tackle Bobby Massie (ankle), guard Kyle Long (hip), guard Rashaad Coward (knee), defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (elbow), defensive tackle Roy Robertson-Harris (foot), nose tackle Eddie Goldman (concussion), linebacker Roquan Smith (pectoral), inside linebacker Danny Trevathan (elbow), cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring)

Key Vikings injuries and absences: Running back Dalvin Cook (shoulder), running back Alexander Mattison (ankle), center Brett Jones (MCL), inside linebacker Eric Kendricks (quadriceps), outside linebacker Ben Gedeon (concussion), cornerback Xavier Rhodes (ankle)

What to watch: Backup Battle Royal

Minnesota is locked into the no. 6 seed, and head coach Mike Zimmer has not ruled out resting his starters.

“I haven’t really decided yet,” Zimmer told reporters on Tuesday. “I don’t know the answer to that yet.”

This is one of those times when indecision is a decision. Notice how when Sean Payton was asked about resting his starters he used the word “no” a half-dozen times. Expect the Vikings starters to come out midway through the game even if they play. The same may go for Chicago. Bears coach Matt Nagy seemed to relish the opportunity to test his younger players against Minnesota’s younger players in this game.

New York Jets (6-9) @ Buffalo Bills (10-5)

Kickoff time: 1 p.m. ET
Channel: CBS
Announcers: Tom McCarthy, Jay Feely
Opening line: Buffalo -4
Over/under: 37.5

Key Jets injuries and absences: Receiver Robby Anderson (calf), receiver Demaryius Thomas (hamstring/knee), tight end Ryan Griffin (ankle), tackle Chuma Edoga (MCL), tackle Kelvin Beachum (back/ankles), defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (neck), linebacker C.J. Mosley (groin), safety Jamal Adams (ankle), cornerback Brian Poole (ankle)

Key Bills injuries and absences: Tackle Ty Nsekhe (ankle), defensive tackle Corey Liuget (knee), defensive end Shaq Lawson (hamstring), linebacker Maurice Alexander (knee)

What to watch: Adam Gase’s bank account

The Bills are locked into the 5-seed in the AFC, but Bills coach Sean McDermott is playing most of Buffalo’s starters—for the beginning of the game, at least.

“We’re planning to play a majority of our guys this Sunday, including Josh Allen,” McDermott told reporters. “We’ll be smart with that, but it’s important we get work in fundamentally in terms of execution so we stay as sharp as we can be. It’s a delicate balance to remaining sharp and keeping our edge and also working to continue to get better.”

Sounds like while Allen and Co. will start the game, they may not finish it. It also sounds like Sean McDermott has a better grip on his team than Adam Gase.

Purely Playing for Pride

Arizona Cardinals (5-9-1) @ Los Angeles Rams (8-7)

Kickoff time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Channel: Fox
Announcers: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin (sideline reporter)
Opening line: Rams -7.5
Over/under: 49

Key Cardinals injuries and absences: Quarterback Kyler Murray (hamstring), guard Justin Pugh (back), tackle Jordan Mills (knee), defensive end Zach Allen (neck), defensive end Jonathan Bullard (hamstring), defensive tackle Rodney Gunter (toe), defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (neck), linebacker Brooks Reed (hamstring), linebacker Tanner Vallejo (ribs), safety Budda Baker (quadriceps)

Key Rams injuries and absences: Left tackle Andrew Whitworth (quadriceps), center Brian Allen (MCL), defensive end Michael Brockers (knee), cornerback Jalen Ramsey (knee), cornerback Troy Hill (thumb), safety John Johnson III (shoulder), safety Eric Weddle (groin)

What to watch: The Rams defense

Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips told reporters this week he’s not paying attention to rumors that he won’t return to the team in 2020. His last game as Rams defensive coordinator may come against Brett Hundley if Cardinals rookie quarterback Kyler Murray misses the game with a hamstring injury.

Atlanta Falcons (6-9) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-8)

Kickoff time: 1 p.m. ET
Channel: Fox
Announcers: Tim Brando, Matt Millen, Sarah Walsh (sideline reporter)
Opening line: Tampa Bay -2.5
Over/under: 50.5

Key Falcons injuries and absences: Receiver Julio Jones (knee/shoulder), receiver Calvin Ridley (abdomen), guard James Carpenter (concussion), guard Jamon Brown (illness), defensive end Takkarist McKinley (shoulder), defensive end Adrian Clayborn (knee), cornerback Desmond Trufant (forearm), defensive back Johnathan Cyprien (foot), safety Keanu Neal (Achilles), safety Ricardo Allen (shoulder/knee)

Key Buccaneers injuries and absences: Quarterback Jameis Winston (thumb/knee), receiver Mike Evans (hamstring), receiver Chris Godwin (hamstring), receiver Scott Miller (hamstring), tackle Donovan Smith (ankle/knee), safety Jordan Whitehead (hamstring), safety Justin Evans (foot)

What to watch: Jameis Winston’s 30-30 chase

What if I told you Jameis Winston giveth, Jameis Winston taketh away. No quarterback has ever thrown 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in the same season. Winston has 31 touchdowns and 28 interceptions this season. He leads the league in pass attempts, passing yards, and picks. He had four games this season in which he’s thrown an interception on his first pass. The quarterback should explore uncharted waters in this game.

On the Falcons’ side, this game was expected by many to be coach Dan Quinn’s last with the franchise. It apparently will not be.

Adieu, Adieu, to You and You and You

Jacksonville’s Doug Marrone and Cleveland’s Freddie Kitchens could be fired as soon as this Monday.

Indianapolis Colts (7-8) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10)

Kickoff time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Channel: CBS
Announcers: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta
Opening line: Jacksonville -1
Over/under: 43

Key Colts injuries and absences: Guard Quenton Nelson (concussion), receiver Parris Campbell (foot), receiver Devin Funchess (collarbone), receiver Chester Rogers (knee), tight end Eric Ebron (ankles), defensive end Kemoko Turay (ankle), defensive tackle Denico Autry (concussion), cornerback Kenny Moore (ankle), cornerback Quincy Wilson (shoulder), kicker Adam Vinatieri (knee)

Key Jaguars injuries and absences: Quarterback Gardner Minshew II (shoulder), running back Leonard Fournette (neck), receiver DJ Chark (ankle), tight end Josh Oliver (back), tight end Geoff Swaim (concussion), tight end James O’Shaughnessy (ACL), tackle Cam Robinson (knee), guard Brandon Thomas (knee), center Brandon Linder (knee), defensive end Calais Campbell (back), defensive end Josh Allen (shoulder), defensive tackle Taven Bryan (elbow), inside linebacker Myles Jack (knee), linebacker Jake Ryan (hamstring), linebacker Najee Goode (knee), linebacker D.J. Alexander (foot), cornerback A.J. Bouye (wrist)

What to watch: School’s out in Jacksonville

Big bad principal Tom Coughlin is gone, and the Jaguars are thisclose to summer vacation. Head coach Doug Marrone can try to stage a win at home to convince owner Shad Khan he deserves a chance without Coughlin, but we’ll see whether his players will still be listening to him.

Cleveland Browns (6-9) @ Cincinnati Bengals (1-14)

Kickoff time: 1 p.m. ET
Channel: Fox
Announcers: Brandon Gaudin, Robert Smith, Megan Olivi (sideline reporter)
Opening line: Cleveland -2.5
Over/under: 44.5

Key Browns injuries and absences: Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (sports hernia), receiver Jarvis Landry (hip), tackle Kendall Lamm (knee), tackle Chris Hubbard (knee), center J.C. Tretter (knee), defensive end Myles Garrett (suspended), defensive end Olivier Vernon (knee), defensive back Robert Jackson (ankle), defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (back), safety Morgan Burnett (Achilles)

Key Bengals injuries and absences: Receiver A.J. Green (ankle), receiver Auden Tate (knee), receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. (concussion), guard Alex Redmond (biceps), defensive tackle Renell Wren (hip), defensive end Kerry Wynn (concussion), cornerback William Jackson (shoulder), cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (knee)

What to watch: The last uninteresting Bengals-Browns game for the foreseeable future

The Browns have been the worst team of the 21st century. Since 2000, they have the lowest winning percentage (31.2) and worst point differential (negative-1,816) and are the only team to not have 100 wins (they are 99-219). Everyone knows the Browns are awful, but people forget that before this Browns franchise became toxic, the Bengals were the worst team in football. From 1990 to 1999, Cincinnati had the league’s worst winning percentage (32.5) and point differential (negative-949). Along with a cameo from Detroit every now and then, one of the orange teams from Ohio has consistently been the league’s worst for 30 years.

That could soon come to an end. While Baker Mayfield didn’t live up to his Progressive commercials promise to Protect This House in 2019, Cleveland is undoubtedly on the way up from rock bottom. And with Cincinnati in line to draft LSU’s Joe Burrow, the Bengals could soon be joining them. After three decades of mediocrity, both of these franchises may have drastically changed course in a three-year span. This game will not be worth watching, but that may be the last time that’s true of a Bengals-Browns game for a long time.