The Sunday most Sunday in the history of Sundays, it will happen this Sunday with several teams looking for the crown of their division, others the home field advantage in the postseason and a large group in the middle aspiring to one of the wild card places. Everything gets narrower in the playoff race, except our waistlines which grow and grow like economic inflation.
Only 32 season games remain in the 2022 calendar, of which 23 will be divisional matches. In total, 14 teams end their role of games with two consecutive division meetings, and several of those organizations control their own destinies.
As with dessert, the best game of Week 17 was saved for last.Monday Night Football lights up in Cincinnati, Ohio for the Bills’ visit to the Bengals.
The two hottest organizations (Buffalo 6 wins in a row, Cincinnati 7 wins in a row) of the AFC line up head-to-head for a game in which both teams maintain chances to clinch the AFC pole position and bye the first week of the postseason. It is the third time in MNF history that two teams with 11 or more wins have met.
The Bills are also the only team in the AL that can clinch the top seed in Week 17. They need to beat the Bengals and hope for a Chiefs loss against the Broncos (unlikely). The last time the Bills owned that place was in 1993.
Buffalo remains a 1 1/2-point favorite despite playing on the road, meaning if this game were in upstate New York the line would be 4-5. Cincinnati hasn’t appeared as an underdog since beating the Chiefs in Week 13.
The Bengals had a very difficult second half in Foxborough in their previous game, failing to score a single point and allowing a poor Patriots offense to get back into the game.
Santiago de la Peña