NFL Week 17: Broncos Win AFC West, Bengals Playoff Bound

The Broncos are in, as are the Bengals. Only one spot remains up for grabs as the Giants and Cowboys battle for the NFC East. Live Week 17 analysis

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Rashard Mendenhall Injury: Steelers RB Unlikely To Play Vs. Broncos, Could Have Torn ACL

Rashard Mendenhall's right knee injury has gone from "will need an MRI" to "could be a torn ACL" in record time. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Steelers do not expect Mendenhall to play against the Denver Broncos in next week's AFC Wild Card round match-up, and Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin thinks Mendenhall's injury could be a torn ACL.

If Tomlin's fears are confirmed, that leaves the Steelers without the most important cog of their running game as they attempt to repeat as the AFC's Super Bowl representatives in the 2011 NFL playoffs. Mendenhall had 928 rushing yards in the regular season; every other Steelers runner combined had a total of 975 rushing yards.

Pittsburgh's offense is not a run-first one, nor one that is overly dependent on Mendenhall, thanks to Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Wallace, and Antonio Brown. But Mendenhall's loss might damage their chances in the playoffs substantially.

For more on the Steelers, head to Behind the Steel Curtain. For more on the NFL, head to SB Nation's NFL hub and our Week 17 StoryStream.


NFL Scores Week 17, Ravens Vs. Bengals: Baltimore Wins, 24-13, Both Teams In Playoffs

Baltimore got a win and the AFC North championship. But the Bengals got a Wild Card berth despite their loss.


NFL Playoff Picture: AFC Bracket Set With Ravens Winning North, Broncos Winning West

The entire AFC playoff bracket is set following the Sunday afternoon games, and two teams clinched their berths at the last moment. The Denver Broncos fell to the Kansas City Chiefs, but still managed to win the AFC West by virtue of the Oakland Raiders' loss. Thanks to a combination of factors, including Denver's loss, the Cincinnati Bengals clinched the second Wild Card spot, even after losing to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. Week 17 analysis and game breakdowns

The Baltimore Ravens clinched the No. 2 seed in the AFC, and a first-round bye, on Sunday with a 24-16 win over the Bengals. The Ravens captured the AFC North crown with the win, bumping the Pittsburgh Steelers down into the Wild Card. Pittsburgh will now have to go on the road this coming weekend, despite a 12-4 record.

Here's how the seeds break down. New England and Baltimore will have byes, while the rest of the teams will be in action during Wild Card weekend.

No. 1 New England Patriots
No. 2 Baltimore Ravens
No. 3 Houston Texans
No. 4 Denver Broncos
No. 5 Pittsburgh Steelers
No. 6 Cincinnati Bengals

For more on the NFL, head to SB Nation's NFL hub and our Week 17 StoryStream.


NFL Scores Week 17, Chiefs Vs. Broncos: Denver Falls Short, 7-3, Should Still Make Playoffs

Tim Tebow and his Broncos lost to the Chiefs in Week 17. But all is not lost for Denver.


NFL Scores Week 17, Redskins Vs. Eagles: Michael Vick Leads Philly To .500 Finish

Michael Vick and the Eagles blew out the Redskins late in their 2011 season finale.


NFL Playoff Picture: AFC Seeds Still Up For Grabs

The AFC playoff picture remains in flux as Week 17 winds down, with plenty of late games holding implications, both for seeding and teams in-or-out. As of now, we know the New England Patriots will be the No. 1 seed in the AFC, locking up home-field advantage and a first-round bye. After that, it gets a bit more dicey.

If the Denver Broncos win, they will be the AFC West champions, earning the No. 4 seed in the AFC as a result. If Denver loses, it could still win the AFC West, if Oakland falls to San Diego. The Raiders would take the division and No. 4 seed with a win and a Denver loss to Kansas City.

In the AFC North, if the Baltimore win their game against Cincinnati, they would take the division and No. 2 seed, clinching a first-round bye in the process. Pittsburgh would then take the No. 5 seed as the top AFC wildcard team. If Baltimore loses and Pittsburgh wins, the Steelers take the No. 2 seed and Baltimore takes the No. 5 seed.

If Cincinnati beats Baltimore, it would be in as the No. 6 seed, regardless of what else happens. The Bengals could still get in with a loss, but would need Denver or Oakland to lose (or both). If the Bengals lose and both the Broncos and Raiders win, Tennessee would take the No. 6 seed.

Get it? Got it? Good. We'll be back with more as it unfolds.


NFL Playoff Picture: NFC Byes Set After Early Week 17 Games

The first-round byes and Wild Card teams are set in the NFC, while there is still one division up for grabs and there could still be some movement in Wild Card positioning. After the Detroit Lions lost to the Green Bay Packers during the early games, the Lions' fate is now in the hands of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If the Atlanta Falcons defeat the Bucs', they will move up to the fifth seed and play the NFC East winner in the first round next week. If they fail to win, the Lions will take the fifth seed.

Whoever finishes in the sixth seed will travel to Louisiana next week and take on the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome. The Saints were locked into the third seed on Sunday. Even though they won against the Carolina Panthers, the San Fransisco 49ers held onto the second seed and a first-round bye with their win over the St. Louis Rams.

The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants play on Sunday Night Football, with the winner of that game taking the fourth seed. The Packers were locked into the first seed before Week 17.


NFL Scores Week 17, Titans Vs. Texans: Tennessee Stays In AFC Playoff Chase With 23-22 Win

The Tennessee Titans stayed alive in the 2011 NFL playoffs chase, despite the Houston Texans' best efforts.


NFL Scores Week 17: Colts Vs. Jaguars Final Score, 19-13 Loss Gives Indy First Pick In 2012 NFL Draft

The Indianapolis Colts lost 13-19 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The loss gives the Colts the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and both teams have major rebuilding questions to grapple with in the offseason.


NFL Scores Week 17, Bills Vs. Patriots: Tom Brady, New England Storm Back In 49-21 Romp

After facing a 21-0 deficit, New England blasted Buffalo 49-21 in Week 17. Thank Tom Brady for that.


Tom Brady Passes Dan Marino On Single-Season Passing Yards List

Tom Brady has been maybe the third-most impressive quarterback of the 2011 NFL season, behind Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, but Brady's time in New England's pass-happy offense is likely to be remembered very fondly by Patriots fans, especially ones with no love for the Miami Dolphins. Brady surpassed Dan Marino's old NFL record for passing yards in a single season in Week 17, throwing for 338 yards to finish with 5,235 yards on the season, better than Marino's 5,084 yards from 1984.

Brady only moved into second place on the all-time list with that performance, because Brees, who broke Marino's record in Week 16, put even more yardage on his ticker in Week 17 with an 389-yard performance in a rout of the Carolina Panthers. But Brady has had better years — in a couple of respects; Brady topped Marino's single-season touchdown record, previously smashed by Peyton Manning, with 50 scoring strikes in 2007 — than the best year one of the best quarterbacks ever.

That's certainly worth celebrating for Patriots fans.

For more on the Patriots, head to Pats Pulpit. For more on the NFL, head to SB Nation's NFL hub.


Packers Vs. Lions: Aaron Rodgers Inactive, Matt Flynn To Start For Green Bay

One of the NFL's best quarterbacks will be planted on the bench in Week 17: Packers signal caller Aaron Rodgers is inactive for Green Bay's regular season finale against the Detroit Lions, leaving Matt Flynn to start.

Rodgers has been sensational for the Packers in 2011, throwing for 4,643 yards and 45 touchdowns. But Green Bay has nothing to play for in Week 17, with the NFC North and the No. 1 seed in the conference sewn up, and so Rodgers is out and Flynn is in for the first time since the Packers' 31-27 loss to the New England Patriots in December 2010. Flynn threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns in that game, and nearly led the Packers to an upset victory on the road.

Rodgers isn't the only Packers star sitting: Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews, Bryan Bulaga, Greg Jennings, James Starks, and Randall Cobb are all inactive for Week 17, as Green Bay rests up for its run at a repeat.

For more on the Packers, head to Acme Packing Company. For more on the Lions, visit Pride of Detroit. For more on the NFL, head to SB Nation's NFL hub.


NFL Playoff Scenarios: What's At Stake In Week 17

The NFL moved to a scheduling format where all Week 17 games are played between teams in the same division. That's created a scenario this year where nearly every Week 17 game is meaningful.

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