NFL 7 months ago

NFL: Headlines from Week 17

  • NFL: Headlines from Week 17

    (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The 2017 regular season reached a definitive end this past weekend as 12 deserving franchises qualified for the playoffs. Here are the main headlines coming out of Week 17:

Party like it's 1999

Tyler Boyd's 49-yard catch-and-run touchdown with 44 seconds left in the game not only helped Cincinnati claim a 31-27 win over rivals Baltimore, but also prevented them a place in the playoffs.

With the Buffalo Bills waiting in the wings and watching on after their successful 22-16 win over the Miami Dolphins, the Ravens' loss awarded the Bills qualification to the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

Sean McDermott's men had everything go their way in the end, usurping the 9-7 Ravens into the AFC's final Wildcard berth.

"It's been a long time coming," Bills coach McDermott said of the result.

Fans braved the two-degree cold to welcome their team back at Buffalo's Niagara International Airport, and, high on the excitement, will no doubt hope for another upset against the Jacksonville Jaguars this coming weekend.

Home field benefits

The New England Patriots secured home field advantage throughout the playoffs with a 26-6 win over the New York Jets.

While Todd Bowles' men brought a considerable amount of pressure on defence, the offence, led by third-year quarterback Bryce Petty, could not make their opportunities count.

Tom Brady (18/37, 190 YDS, 2 TD) was relatively solid under center, riding running back Dion Lewis both on the ground (26 CAR, 93 YDS, TD) and through the air (6 REC, 40 YDS, TD) as the Patriots held on to the AFC's number one seed ahead of the Steelers (13-3).

Bill Belichick's men will now have one week off for the eighth consecutive season, before returning to face the lowest-remaining seed from the forthcoming Wildcard round fixtures.

Though anything is possible in the playoffs, defeating New England in Foxborough is an almost unachievable feat.

The Eagles could be one-and-done

After terrorising opposing franchises for most of the regular season, it seems Philadelphia's dream season will end at their first playoff hurdle.

Injury to Carson Wentz has left an immense amount of pressure on backup Nick Foles' shoulders.

And while his four-touchdown performance on debut had fans hoping for the best, two sub-par performances, including a 6-0 defeat to the Cowboys, now has the Eagles faithful fearing the worst.

Foles played just four possessions against the Dallas defence, managing four-of-eleven attempts for 39 yards and a 48.2 passer rating as head coach Doug Peterson opted to rest a number of starters ahead of their Wildcard bye.

With the 13-3 Eagles set to return for the Divisional round, the team's next task is to find Foles some rhythm on offence and cater the playbook to suit him more so than his MVP-worthy teammate, Wentz.

Easier said than done.
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