The long and winding road of the regular season is coming to an end, as the seasons of 20 NFL teams will conclude by midnight. Being that the league wants an even playing field for teams heading into the playoffs, we’ve got a full slate of 16 games on Sunday — all of which are divisional matchups.
Seven 1 o’clock games start off the day, the most important being the Patriots against the Jets. With a win New England will secure a first-round bye, however a loss could open up the No. 2 seed for the Houston Texans should they defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Bills play the Dolphins in Buffalo, the Saints will be rolling out Teddy Bridgewater against the Panthers and the Lions and the Packers will duel it out in Lambeau. In what could be both their last games in Tampa Bay, Jameis Winston and Dirk Koetter will host the Atlanta Falcons, and Eli Manning will look to close out his season with a win against a Dallas team that plans on resting a majority of starters as they prepare for the playoffs.
Playoff spots are open for grabs in the late afternoon slate. With a win over the Bears, the Vikings will clinch the final wild card spot in the NFC. However, should Kirk Cousins and Co. falter, the Eagles will have their shot at sneaking back into the postseason with a win over the Washington Redskins. The Cleveland Browns can play spoiler to the Baltimore Ravens and their hopes at winning the NFC North, which would go to the Pittsburgh Steelers should they also beat the Cincinnati Bengals.
Elsewhere, the Chiefs will look to coast to the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a win over Oakland, the Seahawks will look to continue their momentum against the Arizona Cardinals, the Chargers will take on the Broncos to avenge their last-second loss to Denver back in November and the Rams will take on the 49ers in their second game without star running back Todd Gurley III.
Of course, the game of the week falls on Sunday Night Football as the Indianapolis Colts and the Tennessee Titans face a “win-and-your-in” scenario. Since starting 1-5, Indianapolis has taken eight out of their last nine, while the Titans have quality wins over the Patriots, Texans and Cowboys.
The final week of the regular season brings the final week of Stampede Blue’s staff picks. Andrew Aziz has taken a three-game lead over the rest of the pack, with four others within four games. Let’s see how the staff picks this week to pan out.
Andrew Aziz: 141-83 / Chris Shepherd: 138-86 / Brett Mock: 137-87 / Jared Malott: 137-87 /Stephen Reed: 137-87 / Elliot Denton: 134-90 / Zachary Hicks: 106-87 / Blake Pace: 92-55 / Ana Krasuski 53-39
Sunday 1:00 pm ET
Dolphins @ Bills (7) | Contrarians: Brett Mock, Stephen Reed, Ana Krasuski
Lions @ Packers (9) | Contrarian: Reed
Jets @ Patriots
Panthers @ Saints (8) | Contrarians: Chris Shepherd, Mock
Jaguars @ Texans (7) | Contrarians: Shepherd, Reed, Chris Blystone
Cowboys (8) @ Giants | Contrarians: Shepherd, Blystone
Falcons (8) @ Buccaneers | Contrarians: Shepherd, Blystone
Sunday 4:25 pm ET
Raiders @ Chiefs
Cardinals @ Seahawks
49ers @ Rams
Chargers @ Broncos
Bears (7) @ Vikings | Contrarians: Mock, Andrew Aziz, Jared Malott
Browns @ Ravens (6) | Contrarians: Shepherd, Reed, Aziz, Krasuski
Eagles @ Redskins
Bengals @ Steelers
Sunday 8:20 pm ET
Colts @ Titans