There are nine games underway early on Sunday as the NFL wraps up the regular season. Four of the nine games could have an impact on the postseason as several teams jockey for seeding -- or in the case of the Giants, hope for a Week 17 miracle.
The Giants have dropped three straight games, yielding their once-commanding position atop the NFC East. They are now the longest of long shots to get into the playoffs, and they'll need several things to happen on Sunday. First, New York must take care of Philadelphia at home. The Giants are firmly in control at the Meadowlands, leading, 35-7, late in the first half. But the Giants will also need the Cowboys, Vikings, and Bears to all lose in Week 17 in order to sneak in.
The Bears are still alive for the No. 6 spot in the NFC, but need to get a win in Detroit and hope the Packers beat the Vikings later on Sunday. Chicago has taken a double-digit lead over the lowly Lions, leading, 20-10, as the first half winds down.
Over in the AFC, all six spots for the postseason are settled. But the final seeding is still in flux, including the No. 1 overall seed. Just a month ago, the Houston Texans were considered a heavy favorite to earn homefield advtange throughout the playoffs. Now, they're in jeopardy of losing a bye on the first weekend. Houston could fall to No. 3 if they lose to the Colts, and both the Broncos and Patriots win later. The Texans trail,14-6, in Indianapolis.
Cincinnati and Baltimore will both play next week, but the Ravens have an outside shot to move up from the No. 4 seed to No. 3. Baltimore needs to beat the Bengals and the Patriots need to lose to the Dolphins in order for the shuffle to occur. With many starters on both sides resting, the game is knotted at 7-7 after the first 30 minutes.
There are several games that have no impact on the postseason as teams play out the final week of the season with nothing on the line. In the NFC, the Falcons, who will be off for good a reason next week, trail the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 13-3. Elsewhere in the NFC South, the Saints are leading the Panthers, 17-13
The Jets' season is mercifully coming to an end, but not without a Mark Sanchez pick-six first. Sanchez handed the Bills six points early in Buffalo, and the Jets trail, 14-9, at the half. The Steelers are hoping to a avoid a season sweep by the Browns for the first time since 1988 and they are up on a Thaddeus Lewis-led Cleveland team, 10-3. Tennessee leads the Jaguars, 21-14, in a battle between the bottom of the AFC South. A Jaguars win would give the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 Draft to the Chiefs.
Early Week 17 Scores
Bears lead Lions, 20-10
Giants lead Eagles, 35-7
Saints lead Panthers, 17-13
Buccaneers leads Falcons, 13-3
Colts lead Texans, 14-6
Ravens tied with Bengals, 7-7
Bills lead Jets, 14-9
Steelers tied with Browns, 10-10
Titans lead Jaguars, 21-14