PFF Week: Out West, Week 17
It’s your last chance to get caught up on the happenings at PFF before the next slate of games is upon us and our new ‘PFF Week’ posts provide quick access to the week that was. The ‘Out West’ edition covers all things pertaining to the AFC and NFC West divisions for a one-stop Saturday shop built to keep you in the loop and on top of your football-watching game.
Playoff scenarios abound for all West teams except St. Louis and Oakland, who have been eliminated, and for Kansas City who will be slotted fifth in the AFC no matter the outcome of this week’s games. It’s been a very successful season for the West divisions as each of them could potentially have three playoff teams. As is the case in each season’s Week 17 now, the entire slate of games consists of divisional matchups. These teams all know each other well and would love to end the regular season with wins over their divisional counterparts. Let’s dive into that and more now.
Week 16 Wrap
Week 16 was an incredibly important week for many West teams as it relates to making the playoffs or playoff positioning. The Cardinals handed the Seahawks a very rare home loss in a game kept Arizona’s slim postseason chances alive and prevented Seattle from clinching the top seed in the NFC. That Cardinals’ win added more pressure to the 49ers to take care of business against the Falcons in the final game at Candlestick Park. Obviously San Francisco did win though it was a closer game than fans might have thought going in to it. Going into the final week, San Diego remains in play for the No. 6 seed in the AFC with their win in Oakland. They will, however, need some help to qualify for the playoffs. The first half was a struggle for the Broncos though they began to roll in the second half over Houston as Peyton Manning was throwing for the record book. The Chiefs are locked in to the No. 5 spot with a real chance at playing the Colts again in the playoffs though this one would be in Indianapolis. Our ReFocused articles go into greater detail on everything that happened in Week 16.
The No. 1, 2, and 3 spots in Week 17’s PFF Power Rankings all belong to West teams, demonstrating just how good these divisions have been. This week’s 32 Observations is chock-full of great nuggets regarding each team’s receiving numbers. Secret Superstars features a pair of AFC West defensive tackles who have really played well recently. The Race for Rookie of the Year is nearing its conclusion and though Keenan Allen has had a great year, it may not be enough to surpass the top two players on the list. The PFF Team of Week 16 features a heavy West slant on the defensive side. Our ‘Had a Bad Day’ Team of Week 16 has only three West players on it; all three play defense for the Oakland Raiders.
Looking Ahead to Week 17
The Cardinals need a win over the 49ers coupled with a fair amount of help to make the playoffs. This is unfortunate because they will end up with 10 or 11 wins and likely are at least as good as, if not better, than the No. 6 seed in the AFC and both the NFC East and NFC North champions. Seattle simply needs a home win over the Rams, who have been no pushover in the second half of the season, to guarantee themselves the top spot in the NFC playoffs. Denver is in a very similar scenario as a road win over the struggling Raiders would lock up home field advantage throughout in the AFC playoffs. Finally, the Chargers need a win over a Chiefs’ team that already knows they are the No. 5 seed and may be resting some key players like Jamaal Charles. A win and losses from their fellow No. 6 seed competitors would see San Diego back into the postseason for the first time in a while. As always, key matchups are examined in detail in our Three to Focus On pieces.
In Pete Damilatis’ Injury Report: Next Man Up for Week 17, he details how the Broncos will attempt to replace Von Miller and how the Rams will cope without Jake Long. PFF Pick’em has our experts agreeing in full on two West games and disagreeing on the other two.
It’s been unveiled. The PFF Pro Bowl Team (you know, the one that actually gets it right) was released on Christmas Eve. Though you’re probably not surprised to learn that an AFC West quarterback made the team, you might be surprised that two AFC West quarterbacks made it.