Football Outsiders
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Week 17 Open Game Discussion

Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

It's the final week of the regular season, and though 10 of the 12 playoff teams have already been determined, there's still a lot at stake. Among the more important contests: Philadelphia (8-7) travels to New York to play the Giants (4-11) with a chance to clinch the NFC East; the Titans (8-7) meet Houston (10-5) with a chance to clinch the AFC's last wild-card berth; and in the Sunday night game, San Francisco (12-3) visits Seattle (11-4) with the NFC West at stake. Use this thread to discuss all the action. 


78 comments, Last at 30 Dec 2019, 5:18am

1 Pocks

Packers 23, lions 16
Jets 30, bills 20
Vikimgs 20, abears 12
Patriots 31, Dolphina 20
Chiefs 34, Charhers 23
Sainta 24, Panthers 16
Buccaneers 41, Falcons 34
Browns 24, Bengals 21
Eagles 24, Giants 21
Cowboys 30, Squirrels 13
Raiders 42, Broncos 6
Rams 38, Cardinals 11
Ravens 20, Steelers 13
Titans 31, Texans 24
Colts 19, Jaguarz 13
49ers 27, Seahawks 20

2 I find myself going into…

I find myself going into today not certain what would be better for the Seahawks. Winning and likely hosting the Vikings, or losing and going to Philly? As a fan, there is no question. No way do I want SF to waltz out with a win, a #1 seed and bragging rights into next year. As for a what would work out as the best/easiest path for success? That's a tougher question.

1}The possibility of a gimpy Dalvin Cook, no Adam Thielan and a defense we scored 37 against? Not to mention Sir Chokes-a lot at QB. (I think he's actually decent, but it's gotta be in his own head by now)

2)Philly is even more of a MASH unit than we are, but Wentz has been looking better.

I'm also considering the Divisional round in this.

1) Beat Vikings and need to go into Lambeau or the Superdome.

2) Beat NFC least, then go to Santa Clara where we won already for round 3 Mike Tyson's Punch out.

(Doubtful we get a bye either way, but it would almost certainly be a chance at Homefield throughout. SF would have a good chance to win a couple road games.)

5 Jameis Winston goes over…

Jameis Winston goes over 5000 passing yards on the season. Last year Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis combined for over 5000 yards so this is the second straight season the Bucs passing offense as a whole has reached that mark. Drew Brees and the Saints had three straight seasons over 5000 yards a few years ago, but I'm not sure any other passing offense has achieved this.

6 Disgusting effort by NEP at end of first half

They have the option to run the 2 minute drill with 2 timeouts and decide to run up the middle twice for nothing but injury risk.
It's irrelevant how terrible Brady has been; you have to be willing to try. What's the risk? Ryan Pickspatrick getting it back for a hail Mary?

8 Belichick is the best coach…

Belichick is the best coach of this era, but in game management doesn't seem to be a particular strength. Last week he chose to apply a penalty before a crucial two-point conversion to the kickoff rather than taking half the distance to the goal. It was a bizarre and inexplicable mistake.

10 He was great at in game…

He was great at in game management in the past, but he's been slipping the past few years.  That said, I can understand why he did that; the worst that could happen is Brady throws a pick six, which he already did this game.

7 I’m at the Packers game and…

I’m at the Packers game and you’d think they were resting their starters with a first round bye already locked up.

NOPE. They’re that bad today. See what the 2nd half says.

38 I’m surprised this is only…

I’m surprised this is only my 2nd Pack-Lions game considering it’s the closest NFL stadium to me after Buffalo. Sports radio was ripping apart the Fords after this game for bringing back Patricia and Quinn. 

9 Panthers, down 35-0, kick a…

Panthers, down 35-0, kick a 23 yard field goal. Wonder what the analytically minded owner makes of that?

11 The team with the better…

The team with the better record is winning in just one of the eight games being played right now (KC-LA, and even there the Chargers are only down by three with the ball). I know starters are being rested in a few of these games, but still.

14 There should be an end of…

There should be an end of season award for 'outstanding effort in futility'. Call it the Archie Manning award, or something. Ryan Fitzpatrick the runaway winner this season?

17 Watching the KC game, the…

Watching the KC game, the announcer is calling play by play of both the his game and the Pats game. It sounds like the same guy who gave the play by play of the cat in the Giants game earlier in the year.

20 I don't think this Patriots…

I don't think this Patriots defense is one of the best ever. 7 of the 27 points the Dolphins scored today came via Brady, but Miami still had 340 passing yards and no turnovers.

By the way, remember when Belichick used to dominate all his former assistants? Last year he had blowout losses against the Lions and Titans, which were probably the Patriots two worst games of the year. This year their two worst games were probably this game against Miami and the loss to Houston.

29 Brady is no longer a…

Brady is no longer a functional NFL quarterback.  Hard to win without one.

Wide open guys are being overthrown, no zip on the ball, every other completion is a jump ball or a diving catch.  If he hit five guys in stride all game I'd be shocked.  Been that way for most of the season.

21 Looks like the Packers will…

Looks like the Packers will squeeze this one out. I'm disappointed because this game has confirmed what DVOA was already indicating: the Saints are much more deserving of a first round bye than Green Bay.

25 It may make their almost…

It may make their almost inevitable match-up closer and more interesting, with the weaker team having homefield, but if the Packers survive to get destroyed the next week, it won't be entertaining at all.  That's why I'm happy the Pats lost, since they really are weaker than both KC and Baltimore (the defense and special teams are, but that offense is a drag right now).

31 Well, I don't think you'll…

Well, I don't think you'll find many non-Patriots fans who aren't happy they lost today....

I love the idea of the Saints (and Brees) going to Lambeau in the divisional round, lots of intrigue there. Much more interesting than the reverse match-up, which would likely be one-sided. But too many possibilities to speculate much beyond that. 

24 Tampa's season ends...on a…

Tampa's season ends...on a Jameis Winston int return TD in overtine. With that, Winston hits 30 ints for the season.

26 And in the very, very early…

And in the very, very early going almost everything is going the Raiders way. The Colts, Texans, and Ravens are all winning. But Oakland misses a kick so they aren't holding up their own end of the bargain yet.

28 Pats lost, Winston hit 30…

Pats lost, Winston hit 30 INTs, Lions preserved their draft slot. Pretty good early round so far.

30 On 10 dropbacks Dak Prescott…

On 10 dropbacks Dak Prescott has 6 passing yards and a lost fumble. This passing offense was great but everything has fallen apart the last few weeks.

32 Winston

The next subject of ESPN's 30 for 30, Jameis Winston's 2019 season.

34 So if you're the Seahawks,…

So if you're the Seahawks, do you want the championship go through Lambeau or Santa Clara?

45 Okay. Conspiracy theories…

Okay. Conspiracy theories aside, a 5 seed Seattle would *likely* go to 1.SF in the Divisional and a 3 seed Seattle would go to 2.NO 


but I guess I should let a Seahawks fan answer, despite trying to just have a conversation 

55 Demonstrably unfair…

Demonstrable tendencies aside, as a Seahawk I would rather take my chances against the 49ers in a divisional matchup on the road than against a much better Saints team on the road.

I would also take a road matchup against the Eagles over a home overmatch against the Vikings.

72 The Dolphins decided to go all…

The Dolphins decided to go all out in that win against the Eagles. More teams should do that when their season in basically over.

Wasn't the Lions win the game where Wentz scored on a two-point conversion, the refs signalled success (2 pts.), then later ruled no good, because they claimed that Wentz had 'given himself up'! The most ridiculous call I've ever seen! The announcers claimed it was a new rule. How can Wentz dive forward for two points as a runner, score, and be considered as having given himself up? Whichever game that was, those lost two points made them have to go for a TD (down by 4) instead of kicking a FG for a win.

46 Ok, I’m not trying to stick…

Ok, I’m not trying to stick a fork in the Patriots. But that has to be the most embarrassing loss of the Belichick era, right?

57 Last year's loss to Miami on…

Last year's loss to Miami on the multiple laterals was pretty ugly.

I don't think "Forty-two year old QB played like a forty-two year old QB in week 17" is particularly embarrassing.

48 49ers leading 10-0 early. So…

49ers leading 10-0 early. So looking ahead to next weekend.....

Seahawks @ Eagles - potentially close, entertaining game, but clearly neither of these teams is championship calibre (unless the Eagles magically get healthy)

Vikings @ Saints - Unfortunate draw for the Vikings who likely get steamrolled.

Bills @ Texans - Dull looking game, with whoever wins likely being trounced the following week.

Titans @ Patriots - Definitely the most intriguing game, if only to see how the Patriots react to this week.

76 Of course, assuming anything…

Of course, assuming anything in the NFL is silly. 

In my mind I have Houston and Buffalo rated roughly equal, which is borne out by the Vegas odds for next weeks game. In terms of which team would be more likely to cause the upset the following week? I don’t know. I guess if there is inclement weather involved that would help the Bills with their defense. But the Texans bring extra variance with a QB who could play out of his mind on a given day. 

54 Seahawks missing Brown and…

Seahawks missing Brown and Diggs transformed both the OL and secondary units, and not for the better, as both are near bottom of the league without them while they were looking pretty average with them. Getting them back would literally make it a different team than the past three weeks.

At least, that's the hope.

58 Titans @ Patriots will be a…

Titans @ Patriots will be a snooze fest comprised of Julian Edelman running uncovered through the middle and Brady throwing it five feet over his head, then watching the Titans offense sputter.

61 49ers have a 12 point lead…

49ers have a 12 point lead with less than 6 min left...can the seahawks come back?

65 4th and 1

I know they were on their own 30 yd line, but I think I like the 49ers odds of converting that 4th and one more than I like their odds of stopping Russell Wilson.

68 What a crazy end of game…

What a crazy end of game sequence. I guess he's short but with that movement of the ball toward the endzone it was by inches.

70 What a game and what a…

What a game and what a finish. That delay of game was brutal. Marshawn could have scored there. Now seahawks go on the road.

75 Pete Carroll said that due…

Pete Carroll said that due to a miscommunication, the running backs did not get on to the field in time.