Around the NFL: Wild Week 17, Burrow’s Ballin’, Super Gremlin, the NFC Runs Through Green Bay, More

Week 17 in the NFL was bonkers! We had fights, meltdowns, comebacks, collapses, records were broken, playoff hopes realized (and dashed), and more around the league in one of the most entertaining weeks in some time. Let’s take a spin around the league and touch on some of the best moments from Week 17.

Burrow’s Ballin’

Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals are heading to the playoffs after clinching the AFC North with an upset win over the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday afternoon. Burrow threw for 446 yards, four touchdowns, and zero interceptions in the victory and celebrated the Bengals’ first division title since 2015, all just one year after finishing in the division’s cellar at 4-11-1.

Burrow’s Week 17 performance came on the heels of his Week 16 performance, in which he threw for 525 yards, four touchdowns, and zero interceptions. So, Burrow’s last two weeks have been pretty incredible, but his last five weeks as a whole have been near-perfect.

Justin Fields has thrown for 1,870 yards, seven touchdowns, ten interceptions, and a 58.9 percent completion percentage. Joe Burrow pretty much bested Justin Fields’ rookie season in the last five weeks alone. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Burrow has his old LSU pal Ja’Marr Chase catching balls for him in Cincy. Chase caught 11 passes for a team-record 266 yards and three touchdowns.

The rookie wideout now has 79 catches, 1,429 yards, and 13 touchdowns with a week still to play this season. Chase broke the rookie single-game and the single-season receiving yard record for a rookie, topping fellow LSU alumn and Vikings second-year wideout Justin Jefferson this week. One can’t help but enjoy watching the Bengals’ ride right now.

AFC East

The New England Patriots put up a 50-burger on the Jacksonville Jaguars to clinch a postseason spot on Sunday.

The Buffalo Bills also clinched a playoff spot with a 29-15 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in a snowy-Sunday contest in Orchard Park.

Wins by both New England and Buffalo in Week 17 moves both teams to 10-6, with the AFC East title up for grabs heading into the final week of the season. The Patriots visit the Miami Dolphins next Sunday, and the Bills host the New York Jets. Here’s how the two teams can win the AFC East on the final day of the season:

Bills Clinch AFC East:

•   Bills win over NY Jets
•   Patriots lose to Miami

Patriots Clinch AFC East:

•   Patriots win over Miami
•   Buffalo Bills lose to NY Jets

Patriots Clinch AFC East and AFC’s No. 1 Seed:

•   Patriots win over Miami
•   Tennessee Titans lose to Houston Texans
•   Buffalo Bills lose to NY Jets
•.  Kansas City Chiefs lose to Denver Broncos

The NFC Runs Through Green Bay

It might have been eight degrees in Green Bay on Sunday night, but that didn’t stop the Packers from rolling over the Vikings en route to clinching the NFC’s top seed and their third-straight 13-win season.

Aaron Rodgers threw for 288 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon ran for 139 yards and a couple of scores on 22 carries. Davante Adams caught 11 passes to give him 117 on the season, breaking his franchise record set last season when he caught 115 passes. In the previous two seasons, Adams has 232 catches, 2,872 yards, and 29 touchdowns in 29 games.

The road to the Super Bowl in the NFC now runs through Green Bay, and as a Bears fan, I’m not excited for that at all. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, probably their most formidable opponent in the NFC playoff picture, have now lost Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown in consecutive weeks, and while I never bet against Tom Brady, beating Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau Field in the playoffs in back-to-back seasons seems rather unlikely.

Super Gremlin

By now, you’ve seen the video of Antonio Brown’s departure from Met Life Stadium during the third quarter of Sunday’s Bucs game with the Jets. If you haven’t, Brett did an excellent job of putting all the events and reactions from yesterday together here. But, in typical Tom Brady fashion, the Buccaneers overcame a two-touchdown deficit to top the New York Jets, even after the Brown incident.

Brady is just ridiculous, and he’s put together one heck of a case for the MVP award despite many already crowing Aaron Rodgers.

After the game, Antonio Brown made a short series of posts on Instagram and Twitter, essentially thanking(?) the Buccaneers for his time in Tampa Bay and making sure to drop a link to his new music, because why not take advantage of the entire football world rushing to your social media profiles.

The Extra Point(s)

•   Kyler Murray didn’t hold back when he was asked about whether or not the Texas native was a Cowboys fan growing up and beat them on Sunday to snap Arizona’s losing streak.

•   Unfortunately, the Cowboys lost more than the game on Sunday when Michael Gallup went down with a knee injury that has since been confirmed to be an ACL tear that will cost Gallup the rest of the season. Gallup will be a free agent after this season and a wide receiver that seemed like an excellent fit for a team like, oh, I don’t know, the Chicago Bears.

•   Speaking of receivers, Cooper Kupp has had one of the greatest receiving seasons in NFL history for the Rams this season. I mean, look at the company he’s with this year:

•   Mark Andrews now owns the Baltimore Ravens’ single-season record for receiving yards. The fourth-year tight end now has 1,276 yards on 99 catches and nine touchdowns this season and is on his way to his first 100-reception season for the Ravens.

•   Uh, what? 😂

•   Jalen Hurts just missed a potentially dangerous situation on his way back to the locker room after the Eagles’ victory over the Washington Football Team in D.C. on Sunday.

•   Thankfully, it appeared that the fans involved were all okay after the fall, and Hurts was a great sport about the whole thing.

•   Everyone was so consumed with the Antonio Brown sideline circus on Sunday that it nearly went under the radar that Jalen Ramsey started a scuffle in the Rams huddle on defense during their game in Baltimore.

•   Justin Herbert connects with Mike Williams with this dime for his 35th touchdown of the season, breaking the franchise record for touchdown passes in a season previously held by Phillip Rivers.

•   Trey Lance completed 16-0f-23 for 249 yards and two touchdowns as the 49ers topped the Houston Texans 23-7 on Sunday. The win for San Francisco keeps their playoff hopes alive at 9-7, heading into their Week 18 matchup with the Rams.

The top-1o plays from a WILD Week 17 in the NFL!

written by

Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

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