It’s the most fun week of the NFL regular season — and in some ways the saddest. Having multiple games on at once, the last hour of that early window where half of the leads seem to change hands — those precious, sweaty moments won’t be there to enjoy every Sunday anymore. The playoffs are awesome, even more so with the extra wild-card games in the first round, but having one game on at a time is just not the same as the madness of Sundays September through December.
The final week should be a wild one. The playoff scenarios, especially in the AFC, are enough to make your head hurt. There was a moment Sunday when it seemed likely that the Colts were going to capture the AFC’s No. 2 seed. They led comfortably against the Steelers with a gimme against the Jaguars set for Week 17. Moments later, they needed a Jets stop in the red zone just to keep their playoff hopes alive, and they still need a win plus help to even make the playoffs. With the No. 2 seed no longer getting a bye and the Chiefs having clinched the top seed, more teams are likely to rest players in Week 17 than in past years, making this perhaps a more challenging week to handicap. Let’s get a head start on the madness.