The penultimate weekend of the NFL’s 2021 regular season promises to be a significant one. Home-field advantage and the first-round bye remain up for grabs in both conferences as do eight playoff spots, six in the AFC.
Seven teams can sew up spots Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles potentially filling out the NFC dance card if they win (or tie) and get sufficient help. The Los Angeles Rams can lock down the NFC West title, and the NFC North champion Green Bay Packers have a shot at securing a No. 1 seed.
But perhaps no game has more significant ramifications in Week 17 than the Chiefs’ visit to Cincinnati. The Bengals can wrap up the AFC North with a victory. Kansas City can ensure all of its playoff games will be at Arrowhead Stadium with a win (or tie) coupled with a loss by the Tennessee Titans, who seek the AFC South crown.
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A Sunday slate chock full with 15 games could be momentous.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL picks Week 17: Playoff spots, byes there for Chiefs, Bengals, more