Week 17 Elimination Scenarios for Saints, Other NFC Teams in the Playoff Hunt
The 2022 NFL season is coming to a close with only two games left before playoffs. With that being said, there are still a lot of teams that are in contention for the postseason. Seven teams looking to sneak their way into the playoffs and week 17's matchups could begin the elimination process. Three of those seven come from the NFC South with the Bucs, Panthers, and Saints all with a clear path to a division title. The other four teams include the Seahawks, Packers, Lions, and Commanders. Let's take a look at all the week 17 elimination scenarios and break them down.
Carolina's playoff path is pretty simple, win and they are in. The Panthers have won three out of their last four games and done so with some dominant wins over the Seahawks and Lions. They will take on the division-leading Bucs this Sunday with huge NFC South implications on the line. If the Panthers beat the Bucs and take care of the Saints next week then they are in, however one loss changes all of that. If the Panthers were to lose this week or the next, then they will officially be eliminated from the Playoffs.
The Saints have a win and in mindset as well, but they also need a little help from the Panthers and Falcons. The Saints need Tampa Bay to lose their last two remaining games as well as winning their remaining two games to win the Division. A loss to the Eagles this week would immediately eliminate them from contention altogether, but there are other scenarios as well. The Saints could win this week but still be eliminated if the Commanders and Bucs win as well. The third scenario that could eliminate the Saints is if the Bucs, Lions, and Packers all win this Sunday. The Saints might have a clear path, but they will need some help along the way.
The Commanders are still very much in the thick of things with a 7-7-1 record. They can avoid elimination this week with a win, but a loss makes things complicated. The Commanders will be eliminated if they lose and both the Lions and Packers win. As long as the Packers or Lions lose, the Commanders can afford a loss this week but that is certainly not ideal for them.
The scenario for the Lions is very similar to that of the Commanders. The Lions will still be in contention for the playoffs if they lose this week, but they would leave things up the chance then. If the Lions were to lose and the Commanders were to win, the Lions would be eliminated this Sunday.
The Packers have two possible scenarios that could eliminate them this week, both of these involve the Packers losing. If the Packers were to lose but the Lions win, then the Packers are out. If the Packers lose but the Commanders were to win, then the Packers are out. A win keeps their playoff hopes alive going into the final week of the regular season.
The Seahawks looked prime for a playoff spot mid-way through the season but they have stumbled recently. A win this week would keep their dreams alive for one more week, but a loss would complicate things. If the Seahawks lose and the Commanders win, the Seahawks are out. What if they both lose? That is where scenario two comes into play which says the Seahawks will be eliminated if they lose and both the Lions and Packers win. If you got a little lost in all of that, here is a shortened version of this run-down.
So as you can see, this Sunday is going to be a very important one with seven teams' playoff hopes on the line. Which of these seven teams do you think is likely to be eliminated on Sunday?