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The Chicago Bears lead the Lions by double digits late in the fourth quarter, pushing the Giants' longshot playoff hopes to the brink of elimination.
While the 2013 NFL playoff field won't be finalized until late Sunday night, there are two teams fighting to stay in the picture that can hope for help as the final day of the regular season progresses.
The Chicago Bears can officially eliminate the New York Giants with a win in the Detroit. The Bears are also fighting for the No. 6 seed in the NFC, and they'll need to beat the Lions and hope the Packers knock off the Vikings later in the day. The Bears are holding onto a 26-17 lead in the fourth, as the Lions momentarily cut the deficit to one possession in the third quarter.
The Giants will easily get their win in the Meadowlands, leading the Eagles, 42-7, in what will reportedly be Andy Reid's final game with Philadelphia. But the Giants will need the Lions to come back, and also hope the Vikings and Cowboys lose later.
In the AFC, the Texans are in danger of losing their grip on a first-round bye if they fall in Indianapolis. Houston finally got their first lead of the day on an Arian Foster touchdown in the third quarter, but it lasted only seconds as Deji Karim returned the ensuing kickoff to put Indy back in front. The Colts lead, 28-16, in the fourth quarter. If Houston loses, and both the Patriots and Broncos win later, they will drop to the No. 3 seed. A win would secure home-field advantage throughout.
The Ravens and Bengals are playing the only other game with any playoff implications. A win by Baltimore and a loss by New England would push the Ravens into the No. 3 seed in the AFC. With both teams resting their starters, the Bengals lead, 13-7, in the fourth quarter. Here's the complete Week 17 scoreboard as the early games wind down:
Early Week 17 Scores
Bears lead Lions, 26-17
Giants lead Eagles, 42-7
Colts lead Texans, 28-16
Bengals lead Ravens, 13-7