More than half of the NFL remains in playoff contention heading into the final week of the season. That includes teams like the Packers, who have clinched home-field advantage throughout the postseason, and it includes teams like the Raiders and Chargers, who play each other but can both get into the playoffs if they tie and the Colts lose — and that’s not even in the 256 most likely scenarios for AFC playoff seeding, which only go over win/loss possibilities.
In all of the poring over those things that can happen to get various teams into various spots this weekend, the non-playoff teams have their own say. The Ravens, for instance, need a win and plenty of help: the Chargers to lose to the Raiders, but also the Jaguars to beat the Colts and the Dolphins to go ahead and lose one more time (they’re playing the Patriots, who still have a shot at home field and the first-round bye).
Generally, the teams out of the playoffs are better off losing to improve their draft position, but with all these games being divisional matchups in Week 18, there also are rivalries to consider — and maybe that’s something that plays into what plays out to end the regular season.
Considering that, here are the eliminated teams going into the final week, ranked by how much it would mean to win that finale, draft position be damned (records and current draft position in parentheses.
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