The Official 2023 NFL Season Thread

All the early games and how they impact the playoffs.​

Buccaneers at Panthers, 1 p.m. (ET), Fox​

Does this game matter? Yes (for the Buccaneers)

The Buccaneers need to win this game in order to clinch the NFC South. This is essentially a "win-and-in" for the Buccaneers, who miss the playoffs entirely with a loss. A Tampa Bay loss means the New Orleans and Atlanta winner wins the NFC South.

Browns at Bengals, 1 p.m. (ET), CBS, Paramount+

Does this game matter? No.

The Browns are locked into the No. 5 seed in the AFC and will be resting starters. The Bengals are eliminated from the playoffs

Vikings at Lions, 1 p.m. (ET), Fox​

Does this game matter? Yes

The Vikings are still alive in the race for the final playoff spot, but barely. Minnesota needs a win over Detroit in Week 18 and plenty of help to get into the playoffs. The Vikings get in with a win, Seahawks loss, Packersloss and a loss by either the Saints or Buccaneers. If the Packers, Buccaneers, Saints, or Seahawks win -- the Vikings are eliminated.

The No. 2 seed is still in play for the Lions, who are currently the No. 3 seed. The Lions can be the No. 2 seed with a win, Cowboys loss, and Eagles loss. They are the No. 3 seed with a loss or if the Cowboys or Eagles win.

Jets at Patriots, 1 p.m (ET), Fox​

Does this game matter? No.

Both the Jets and the Patriots are eliminated from the playoffs. The Patriots could get the No. 2 pick with a loss and Commanders win.

Falcons at Saints, 1 p.m. (ET), CBS, Paramount+

Does this game matter? Yes

The NFC South is at stake for both teams with the Buccaneers playing simultaneously. If the Buccaneers lose, the winner of the Saints and Falcons game will clinch the NFC South. The Falcons are eliminated from the playoffs with a Buccaneers win.

The Saints can clinch a playoff spot with a win, Buccaneers win, Packers loss, and Seahawks loss. They are eliminated from the playoffs with a loss or a Buccaneers win and Packers win or a Buccaneers win and Seahawks win.

Jaguars at Titans, 1 p.m. (ET), CBS, Paramount+

Does this game matter? Yes (for the Jaguars)

The Jaguars win the AFC South with the victory, no matter who wins the Colts and Texans game on Saturday. The Jaguars miss the playoffs with a loss.

The Steelers also need the Jaguars to lose in order to make the playoffs (or the Bills)
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The spoiler Titans prospered in the 1st half vs a just ok Jaguars team because they lead 21-13 at halftime.
I’m hopeful the Titans don’t choke in what is a must win game for the Jaguars.

It’s offensively challenged in New England that the Jets lead the Stankass Patriots 6-3.
It’s a slim chance that the Eagles win the NFC East which I don’t think happens because while they could realistically defeat the Giants , however I don’t see a terrible Commanders team upsetting the Cowboys.

It wouldn’t be surprising if the Eagles with a struggling defense lost to an improved Giants team because this is the Giants last chance to get a great win in what has been a disappointing season.
Here's the full breakdown for the final NFC wild-card spot (assuming no ties):

  • Packers: Win vs. Bears
  • Seahawks: Win vs. Cardinals + Packers loss
  • Saints: Packers loss + Seahawks loss

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