Home Sports 2018 NFL Week 17 live – playoff scenarios, schedule, scores, wild-card races, draft order – ESPN

2018 NFL Week 17 live – playoff scenarios, schedule, scores, wild-card races, draft order – ESPN

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Week 17 has been an exciting finale to the regular season, setting the stage for January (and February) football — and April’s draft. And we still have plenty of football left today. Here’s a tick-tock of everything important as it happens on Sunday. Follow along live with us as we keep you up to date all day long.

Go to: Scoreboard | Standings


7:50 p.m. ET


7:43 p.m. ET

Here’s a look at the playoff picture following the 4:25 p.m. ET games:


7:38 p.m. ET

For the second consecutive year, the AFC playoff picture came down to the fourth quarter of a game involving the Baltimore Ravens.

This time, however, the Ravens avoided heartbreak.

In holding off the Cleveland Browns, the Ravens clinched the AFC North and will be the AFC’s No. 4 seed. Had they lost, the Pittsburgh Steelers would have leapfrogged them for the division title and the Ravens would have missed the playoffs.

Thank you to the Ravens for the heart-stopping drama once again. Pardon me while I catch my breath…


7:33 p.m. ET

And now the Steelers wait…


7:28 p.m. ET

The Arizona Cardinals tried as hard as they could to botch the No. 1 overall pick of the 2019 draft. But they clinched it nonetheless Sunday evening after the Seattle Seahawks beat them, 27-24, on a field goal on the game’s final play.

The Cardinals already have their quarterback of the future on the roster in Josh Rosen, so their position atop the draft will launch immediate trade speculation.

Ohio State’s Nick Bosa is the top-rated prospect from both Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay at present.


7:23 p.m. ET

And on the final day of the season, the defending Super Bowl champion has clinched a playoff spot.

A 24-0 romp over the Washington Redskins, combined with the Minnesota Vikings’ surprisingly flat 24-10 loss to the Chicago Bears, put the Philadelphia Eagles into the NFC’s No. 6 slot. Entering December, they had a 16 percent chance according to FPI.

They’ll play in a wild-card game next weekend against the Bears at Soldier Field.


7:20 p.m. ET

The Steelers’ Matt McCrane hit a go-ahead field goal with under two minutes left, but will it matter?

Also, for concerned Eagles fans:

And for those keeping tabs on coaching moves:


7:05 p.m. ET

The road to the Super Bowl in the AFC will go through Kansas City.

The Chiefs’ 35-3 victory over the Oakland Raiders clinched the No. 1 overall seed. The New England Patriots will be No. 2 seed, the Houston Texans will be No. 3 and the Baltimore Ravens — assuming they hold on to a 9-point lead against the Cleveland Browns — will be No. 4. That would all but eliminate the Pittsburgh Steelers and means the winner of the Indianapolis ColtsTennessee Titans game today will be the No. 6 seed. The Los Angeles Chargers, who locked up a playoff berth a few weeks ago, will be the fifth seed.


6:50 p.m. ET

As they enter the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium, it appears the Minnesota Vikings are going to have to come from behind and defeat the Chicago Bears in order to make the playoffs. The only other way they can get in is if the Philadelphia Eagles lose, and they … aren’t likely to do that. They have a 24-0 lead over the Washington Redskins in the fourth quarter.

One development worth noting, however: Eagles quarterback Nick Foles has left the game.


6:20 p.m. ET

Let’s stop for a moment and record for posterity the amazing accomplishment we just witnessed from Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles.

With his team in a do-or-die situation in Week 17, Foles tied an NFL record (Philip Rivers and Ryan Tannehill) by completing 25 consecutive passes against the Washington Redskins. In large part thanks to Foles, the Eagles have built a big lead and are in position to leapfrog the Minnesota Vikings and make the playoffs as the No. 6 seed in the NFC.

Let’s also remember that Foles also owns the record for most touchdown passes in a game. He threw seven against the Oakland Raiders in 2013.


6:05 p.m. ET

The NFL playoff picture is getting clearer as we hit halftime of the 4:25 p.m. ET games. Here is what the bracket would look like if current scores hold:

Of note:

In draft news, the race for the No. 1 pick is alive! The Arizona Cardinals currently trail the Seattle Seahawks by only one point.


5:40 p.m. ET

The Jacksonville Jaguars confirmed Sunday that general manager David Caldwell and coach Doug Marrone would return in 2019. But executive vice president Tom Coughlin sent an ominous message to his roster in a statement released after the game.

Of running backs Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon, Coughlin said: “They were disrespectful, selfish and their behavior was unbecoming that of a professional football player.” Fournette and Yeldon sat at the end of the bench during the Jaguars’ 20-3 loss to the Houston Texans.

Could Coughlin plan a player overhaul after the 5-11 season? He isn’t changing the front office or coaching leadership. The only thing left to shake up is the roster.

play

0:29

Doug Marrone addresses Jaguars VP Tom Coughlin’s criticism of benched RBs T.J. Yeldon and Leonard Fournette.


5:10 p.m. ET

The Pittsburgh Steelers are struggling early with the Cincinnati Bengals, but at the moment, the outcome of their game isn’t looking too relevant.

The Baltimore Ravens have taken a 17-7 lead over the Cleveland Browns. Lamar Jackson has two rushing touchdowns, including this 25-yard sprint as shown by NFL Next Gen Stats animation:

If the Ravens win, they’ll clinch the AFC North and all but eliminate the Steelers from the playoffs. If it plays out that way, the only way the Steelers can advance is if they beat the Bengals and Sunday night’s game between the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans ends in a tie.


4:50 p.m. ET

It will be interesting to see whether Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy responds to the early lead the Los Angeles Rams have over the San Francisco 49ers.

The Bears are guaranteed the No. 3 seed in the NFC unless the 49ers beat the Rams. If that happens, the Bears could move up to No. 2 if they in turn defeat the Minnesota Vikings.

But if the Rams maintain a big lead, would Nagy keep pushing to win in Minnesota? Or would he rest some starters and try to avoid showing the Vikings anything they might use in a potential wild-card weekend rematch?


4:40 p.m. ET

The projected draft order via the FPI following the early games:


4:25 p.m. ET

Here’s an updated look at the afternoon slate:

  • Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens can clinch the AFC North title with a win or a Steelers loss.

  • Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins: The Eagles need a victory and a Vikings loss to clinch a playoff spot.

  • Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs: A victory will give Kansas City the AFC West title and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Raiders are in the hunt for the top pick in the draft, and it would be the first of three selections for them in the first round in April.

  • Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings need a win or an Eagles loss (or tie) to clinch a playoff berth. With a win, they would be the No. 5 seed if the Seahawks lose and the No. 6 seed if the Seahawks win. The Bears, who have already clinched the NFC North, have incentive as well. They can clinch a first-round bye with a victory and a Rams loss.

  • Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers win the AFC North title with a victory and a Ravens loss. If the Ravens win, the only way the Steelers can make the playoffs is if they win and the Colts and Titans tie.

  • Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos: The Chargers can leap to the top of the AFC playoff race with a win and a Chiefs loss. That would give them the AFC West title and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Otherwise, they will be the No. 5 seed.

  • San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams: The Rams will clinch a first-round bye with a win or a Bears loss.

  • Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks have clinched a playoff berth. They’ll be the No. 5 seed if they win, and the No. 6 seed if they lose and the Vikings win. The Cardinals can clinch the No. 1 overall pick in the draft with a loss.

The updated playoff picture following the 1 p.m. ET games has not changed:


4:00 p.m. ET

So what can we take away from the early slate?

play

1:03

Deshaun Watson says the Texans never gave up hope to win the divisional title after they started the season 0-3.


3:25 p.m. ET

All eyes in New Orleans were trained on Teddy Bridgewater, who made his first start since the 2015 playoffs, but another quarterback has stolen the show at the Superdome.

Panthers backup Kyle Allen, starting for the injured Cam Newton and Taylor Heinicke, has run for one touchdown and thrown for two more as the Panthers have taken a 30-0 lead over the Saints.

NFL teams don’t make personnel decisions based on meaningless Week 17 games. Bridgewater will still get interest this offseason. But Allen, an undrafted rookie from Houston, certainly drew some positive attention with throws like this one:


3:15 p.m. ET

As we look ahead to the late afternoon games, there are a couple of important personnel decisions to be aware of.

The Pittsburgh Steelers won’t have receiver Antonio Brown (knee) as they begin an uphill battle to get back into the playoff picture. They will, however, have tailback James Connor (ankle).

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings will be without cornerback Xavier Rhodes (groin) as they try to defeat the Chicago Bears and clinch a playoff spot. The Bears have some injury deactivations as well, including receiver Allen Robinson (ribs), safety Eddie Jackson (ankle) and linebacker Aaron Lynch (elbow) — but they appear set to play the rest of their starters in this game.


3:05 p.m. ET

The NFL is a copycat league, and it appears that a few teams that stole the “Philly Special” from the Eagles don’t want to take their own versions into the offseason with them.

Here is the Falcons’ version, which ended in an 5-yard scoring pass from Mohamed Sanu to Matt Ryan:

And here is what the Dolphins put together, ending in a 3-yard touchdown from Kenny Stills to Ryan Tannehill:


2:35 p.m. ET

The Houston Texans have a comfortable 17-3 halftime lead over the Jacksonville Jaguars. If that holds, the Texans will win the AFC South title.

Unless the Patriots collapse and lose to the Jets, the Texans would have to wait until this evening to learn their playoff seeding.

Other than a Patriots loss, here is how the Texans could clinch a first-round bye: Texans win, losses by the Chiefs and Chargers and Texans clinch a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over the Chiefs. The Texans can’t clinch the No. 1 seed unless the Patriots lose.

Meanwhile, as the early games go to the half, there is some movement in the FPI’s projected draft order:


2:15 p.m. ET

A snooze-fest at Lambeau Field turned both serious and entertaining during the second quarter.

On the serious side: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers went to the locker room to be examined for a possible concussion. The decision to play Rodgers in a meaningless game behind a number of backup offensive linemen should be scrutinized.

On the entertaining side: Detroit Lions kicker Matt Prater threw a touchdown pass and kicked an extra point on consecutive plays as the Lions took a 14-0 lead. The Lions snuck tight end Levine Toilolo wide left, and the Packers never saw him as they prepared to defend a 26-yard field goal.

Instead, Prater threw this 8-yard touchdown pass:


1:45 p.m. ET

The New England Patriots have taken a 21-3 lead over the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium. A Patriots win would clinch at least the No. 2 seed in the AFC, which would give them a first-round playoff bye.

To get the No. 1 seed, and thus AFC home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, the Patriots need a win along with losses by both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers. Both teams will kick off later this afternoon; the Chiefs host the Oakland Raiders and the Chargers visit the Denver Broncos.


1:30 p.m. ET

Week 17 brings us playoff intensity in some stadiums and preseason lethargy in others. And in a few, we see the personification of worst nightmares and greatest dreams.

The good news for New York Giants fans is that rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta got on the field.

The bad news is that he was lined up at receiver.

Meanwhile, starting quarterback Eli Manning has thrown two horrendous interceptions, including the one below:


12:30 p.m. ET

This graphic won’t be complete until about 11 p.m. ET. But today’s chaos is all based on this structure. Let’s have some fun!

Entering today, the most likely Super Bowl scenario is Saints-Chiefs:

Entering today’s action, FPI believes there is a 25% chance the Saints and Chiefs will meet in the Super Bowl, by far the most likely Super Bowl matchup. Next-most likely is Saints-Patriots at 14%.

Seth Walder, ESPN Analytics8h ago


11:45 a.m. ET

Some teams will treat today like a playoff game. Others … will not. Check out some of the big names who are inactive today, in some cases because their teams are out of the playoffs and in others because they are already in.


11:35 a.m. ET


10:45 a.m. ET

While most of our attention today will be on the playoff ramifications of each game, it’s worth remembering that the NFL coaching carousel will begin in earnest as early as tonight and certainly by tomorrow. A handful of head coaches could be working their final games with their current franchises. A quick refresher on where it all stands:

  • Two teams have confirmed openings via in-season firings: the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers. Interim coaches Gregg Williams (Browns) and Joe Philbin (Packers) will get consideration as replacements, but both teams will conduct multiple outside interviews. The Packers already have spoken to former NFL head coaches Jim Caldwell and Chuck Pagano and are expected to request an interview with Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald.

  • The future of New York Jets coach Todd Bowles is very much in doubt, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. So is that of the Arizona Cardinals‘ Steve Wilks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ Dirk Koetter.

  • Other coaches to keep an eye on include: the Cincinnati Bengals‘ Marvin Lewis, the Denver Broncos‘ Vance Joseph, the Miami Dolphins‘ Adam Gase and the Washington Redskins‘ Jay Gruden.

  • According to Schefter, at least one team is planning to contact the Baltimore Ravens about coach John Harbaugh, to determine if Harbaugh could be available via trade. The Ravens said last week that they were entering negotiations with Harbaugh on a contract extension.

Where will the replacements come from? Here is an extensive list of possibilities ESPN compiled last month, headed by New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Yes, multiple NFL teams would jump at the chance to hire him even after he reneged on an agreement last winter to join the Indianapolis Colts.


10 a.m. ET

Rise and shine — it’s Week 17! We explained the full playoff scenarios in this post, but with three hours until the first games of the regular season’s final week kickoff, here’s a quick rundown of today’s important games. Make sure you settle in. Most of the games with playoff impact will be played late this afternoon or tonight.

Early window (1 p.m. ET):

  • Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants: The Cowboys have the NFC East locked up, but the Giants will jockey for draft position in a class light on QBs.

  • Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills: Both teams are looking ahead to the draft, and the Dolphins are perhaps taking one last look at Ryan Tannehill before evaluating their quarterback situation in the offseason.

  • Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers: The Bears are in and the Vikings have a chance to be, but these two NFC North teams will be on the outside looking in over the next month. The Packers have a pair of first-round picks to look forward to in April.

  • Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans: The Texans can clinch the AFC South with a win, or a tie between the Colts and Titans. They would secure a first-round bye with a win and a Patriots loss; or a win combined with losses by the Chiefs and Chargers and a tie in the strength-of-victory tiebreaker over the Chiefs. They also have an outside chance at AFC home-field advantage — they would need a win and losses by the Patriots, Chiefs and Chargers. On the other sideline, the Jags still have a chance to better their draft position as they look for the answer at quarterback.

  • New York Jets at New England Patriots: The Patriots still have a chance at the AFC’s No. 1 overall seed. They would need to win and for the Chiefs and Chargers to lose. Otherwise, they can clinch a first-round bye with a victory or losses by the Ravens, Texans and Titans.

  • Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints: The Saints will showcase Teddy Bridgewater, as they already have home-field advantage for the playoffs. The Panthers, meanwhile, are down to their third-string QB.

  • Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Neither team will see postseason action, but it will be an evaluation day for Jameis Winston. Will the Bucs commit to the FSU product long term?

Late window (4:25 p.m. ET):

  • Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens can clinch the AFC North title with a win or a Steelers loss. In that scenario, there is an outside chance they could clinch a first-round bye. To do it, they would need a win, losses by the Patriots and Texans, and then either one of two results: a Colts-Titans outcome that doesn’t end in a tie, or the Ravens clinching a tie in the strength-of-victory tiebreaker over the Texans.

  • Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins: The Eagles need a victory and a Vikings loss to clinch a playoff spot.

  • Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs: A victory will give Kansas City the AFC West title and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. If the Chiefs lose, they would need losses from the Chargers, Patriots and Texans to remain the No. 1 seed, and losses by the Chargers and either the Patriots or Texans would secure the No. 2 seed for the Chiefs. The Raiders are in the hunt for the top pick in the draft, and it would be the first of three selections for them in the first round in April.

  • Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings need a win or an Eagles loss (or tie) to clinch a playoff berth. With a win, they would be the No. 5 seed if the Seahawks lose and the No. 6 seed if the Seahawks win. The Bears, who have already clinched the NFC North, have incentive as well. They can clinch a first-round bye with a victory and a Rams loss.

  • Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers win the AFC North title with a victory and a Ravens loss. If the Ravens win, the only way the Steelers can make the playoffs is if they win and the Colts and Titans tie.

  • Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos: The Chargers can leap to the top of the AFC playoff race with a win and a Chiefs loss. That would give them the AFC West title and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Otherwise, they will be the No. 5 seed.

  • San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams: The Rams will clinch a first-round bye with a win or a Bears loss.

  • Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks have clinched a playoff berth. They’ll be the No. 5 seed if they win, and the No. 6 seed if they lose and the Vikings win. The Cardinals can clinch the No. 1 overall pick in the draft with a loss.

‘Sunday Night Football’ (8:20 p.m. ET):

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