Kiss your loved ones goodbye and clear your calendar for next Sunday. It's going to be a hell of an afternoon of football.
In an expected move, NBC has claimed the Dallas-Philadelphia win-or-go-home season finale for its Sunday Night Football regular-season finale. The Cowboys and the Eagles will face off in Dallas with the NFC East title on the line. And since neither team is good enough to snag a wild card spot, this game will decide who gets a playoff berth, and who gets an early start on the offseason. In their meeting earlier this season, Dallas won 17-3.
But that's not all. Every single division in the NFC remains up for grabs. And the only playoff seed locked in for the AFC is the Chiefs at No. 5. In all, 17 of the top 18 teams in the league, excluding only Kansas City, still have something to play for in the season's final week. Only 12 of those teams will
The rest of the schedule is similarly ripe with drama. Here is the at-the-moment scheduling for Week 17 on Dec. 29:
1pm Eastern (Network)
Green Bay at Chicago (Fox)
Carolina at Atlanta (Fox)
Detroit at Minnesota (Fox)
Washington at New York Giants (Fox)
Baltimore at Cincinnati (CBS)
Cleveland at Pittsburgh (CBS)
New York Jets at Miami (CBS)
Houston at Tennessee (CBS)
Jacksonville at Indianapolis (CBS)
4:25 Eastern (Network)
Tampa Bay at New Orleans (Fox)
San Francisco at Arizona (Fox)
St. Louis at Seattle (Fox)
Buffalo at New England (CBS)
Kansas City at San Diego (CBS)
Denver at Oakland (CBS)
Some pointers to note:
• Both Denver and New England could claim the No. 1 seed in the AFC; both Indianapolis and Cincinnati could claim the No. 2 seed.
• In the AFC, Baltimore, San Diego, Miami and Pittsburgh are all alive for the final wild card spot.
• In the NFC, every division is in play. If the Eagles win Sunday night, the Green Bay-Chicago game will be flexed to 4:25. The Cardinals remain in the hunt for a wild card, and could in theory bounce the Saints.
So, yes, it's setting up for one exceptional week of football. Make your appropriate plans now.