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3 Non-Vikings Games to Watch in Week 17

The stage is set for the final week of the 2019 season.

The Vikings will be playing in January, as Minnesota is locked into the No. 6 seed in the NFC Playoffs. But the Vikings opponent in the Wild Card round still needs to be sorted out, and likely won't be decided until the 49ers and Seahawks play on Sunday Night Football.

Entering Week 17, fix of six playoff spots have been claimed in each respective conference.

The NFC East winner will be crowned Sunday, and the final Wild Card spot in the AFC will also be resolved.

While there are three games listed below, the one that really matters is San Francisco at Seattle. The others feature teams with winning records who have plenty to play for against teams who have been out of playoff contention for a while.

If those games go in the direction of the favorite, then the Vikings fate in the playoff comes down to the winner of the 49ers and Seahawks.

Here's a breakdown of the 49ers-Seahawks, Packers-Lions and Eagles-Giants games:


San Francisco (12-3) at Seattle (11-4)

7:20 p.m. (CT) Sunday | CenturyLink Field | NBC

Outlook: Both of these teams are already in the playoffs, but they each have plenty to play for in prime time, as the winner will claim the NFC West. The 49ers are playing for the top seed, as a San Francisco win would give the 49ers home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. A Seattle win gives the Seahawks the division, and drops the 49ers to the fifth seed as a Wild Card team. If the Packers win earlier in the day, the Seahawks would be the third seed with a victory. That would mean a matchup with the Vikings in the Wild Card round. Seattle won the Week 10 matchup in the final seconds of overtime to avoid a tie. If Green Bay and New Orleans win their games, and the San Francisco-Seattle game ends in a tie, then the Vikings would play at the 49ers.

49ers Notes

The 49ers are looking for their first NFC West title since 2013 when they went 12-4 and advanced to the NFC title game.

San Francisco leads the NFC — and is third in the NFL — with a point differential of plus-164. Baltimore leads the league at plus-231, followed by New England at plus-198.

The 49ers defense ranks second with 277.4 yards allowed per game, while San Francisco's offense is sixth at 379.9 yards per game. The 49ers are one of three teams, along with the Ravens and Chargers, to be in the top 10 in offense and defense in the NFL.

Seahawks Notes

Seattle signed former running backs Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin earlier this week. Running backs Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny and C.J. Prosise are all on Injured Reserve.

Russell Wilson is 8-0 at home against the 49ers, including one playoff game. Seattle has a point differential of plus-136 in those eight games.

Linebacker Bobby Wagner made his sixth straight Pro Bowl in 2019. According to league stats, Wagner leads the NFL with 152 total tackles.


Green Bay (12-3) at Detroit (3-11-1)

Noon (CT) Sunday | Ford Field | FOX

Outlook: The Packers have already clinched the NFC North and are assured of a first-round bye with a win over the Lions. Green Bay is the division champion for the first time since 2016. Detroit has lost eight in a row, and 11 of its past 12 games.

Packers Notes

Green Bay last a had a first-round bye after the 2014 season when it went 12-4. The Packers lost in the NFC title game in January of 2015.

Aaron Jones leads the NFL with 16 rushing touchdowns.

Lions Notes

Detroit recently announced that General Manager Bob Quinn and Head Coach Matt Patricia will return in their same roles for the 2020 season.

Kenny Golladay leads the NFL with 11 receiving touchdowns and can become the first Lion since Calvin Johnson (2008) to finish a season atop the leaderboard.


Philadelphia (8-7) at New York Giants (4-11)

3:25 p.m. (CT) Sunday | MetLife Stadium | FOX

Outlook: The Eagles took control of the NFC East race with their win over Dallas in Week 16, and can claim the division with a victory Sunday. Philadelphia can also win the NFC East if Dallas loses to Washington. The Giants are in third place in the NFC East, and have not had a winning season since 2016.

Eagles Notes

Philadelphia is riding a season-high three-game win streak. If Philadelphia wins the division, it will mark the first repeat winner of the NFC East since the Eagles won in 2003 and 2004.

Zach Ertz has 525 receptions since entering the NFL in 2013, breaking a record set by Jason Witten (523) for the most by a tight end in his first seven NFL seasons.

Giants Notes

Quarterback Daniel Jones had the best game of his rookie season Sunday, completing 28 of 42 passes (66.7 percent) for 352 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. His passer rating was 132.1. Jones joined Fran Tarkenton (1961) and Deshaun Watson (2017) as the only rookie QBs in NFL history with at least four touchdowns in three or more games.

Darius Slayton leads all rookies with eight receiving touchdowns.