Three-quarters of the NFL season is over. If you’re waiting for your favorite team to break out, well, it’s probably not going to happen. For several organizations, the season is all but over. That said, just about everyone else has something to play for, whether that’s trying to win a division, claiming a top seed, or simply trying to advance into the postseason by any means necessary.
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While many of the remaining contests will matter for one team or the other, with one-quarter of the season left to go, we can pinpoint games that will be most important for clarifying the playoff picture. I’ve gone through and highlighted the three games from each week with the most meaning over the four remaining weekends of the 2016 campaign — you can even consider this a viewer’s guide for the 12 most essential games of the 64 left on the calendar.
To work with dynamically generated playoff odds, I used the web simulator created by The Upshot, which generates playoff odds after identifying winners and losers for specified games by simulating the season thousands of times. When I mention games after Week 14 and how they impact playoff odds, keep in mind that unless stated otherwise, I’m only identifying a winner for that particular game and then using The Upshot to simulate the remaining games, which includes games that might have occurred before the one in question. If that seems confusing, or you enjoy nerd fun — well, then play around with the simulator yourself.
Authentic Youth Khalil Mack Jersey The only starter whose status is in question for Sunday is outside linebacker Mike Morgan, who did not participate in Wednesday’s practice because of a hip injury. Morgan came off of injured reserve last week after missing time with a sports hernia and played well. He starts in the Seahawks’ base defense, but comes off the field when they go to nickel. Other than safety Earl Thomas, who is out for the year with a fractured tibia, the Seahawks go into this week’s game with a healthy squad. — Sheil Kapadia