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Which NFL teams need to win this week?

Cleveland Browns are in a must win situation in Week 17
Cleveland Browns are in a must win situation in Week 17
Walter Sharp
Modified 31 Dec 2020, 02:55 IST

Week 17 of the 2020 NFL Season will have huge games for teams that are fighting for a playoff spot. The final week of the 2020 NFL Season will have 10 teams that are in a must win situation. These teams are fighting for their playoff lives and a loss would eliminate them.

The AFC is a lot more confusing when it comes to clinching an NFL playoff spot coming into Week 17. AFC teams will be glued to the televisions all day while majority of the NFC teams will know if they are in or out by mid Sunday Afternoon.

Here are the 10 teams who are in a must win situation heading into the last week of the NFL season.

AFC teams that are in must win situations in Week 17

1) Tennessee Titans (10-5)

Week 17: @ Houston Texans (4-11)

Tennessee Titans are not 100% in the clear when it comes to the 2020 NFL Playoffs. Tennessee could potentially miss the NFL Playoffs if they lose their Week 17 meeting with the Texans. If the Titans lose and the Colts, Dolphins and Ravens all win, they will be eliminated.

Tennessee just has to win to enter into the 2020 NFL Playoffs. A win in Week 17 also locks up the AFC South division title.


2) Indianapolis Colts (10-5)

Week 17: home vs Jacksonville Jaguars (1-14)

Unfortunately the Indianapolis Colts have one of the toughest roads to the 2020 NFL Playoffs. The easy part is a Week 17 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. With a win against the Jaguars, the Colts will need a loss or tie from either Miami, Baltimore or Cleveland.

Indianapolis Colts would also get into the 2020 NFL Playoffs with a tie and a loss from either Miami, Baltimore or Cleveland. Indianapolis needs a lot of help and could potentially be out with a 11-5 record.

3) Baltimore Ravens (10-5)

Week 17: away vs Cincinnati Bengals (4-10-1)

Baltimore Ravens need to beat the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17 to make the 2020 NFL Playoffs. If they were to fall at Cincinnati, they would need help from the Browns and Colts. Baltimore could still make the playoffs if they lose and the Browns were to lose to Pittsburgh. If the Colts lose to Jacksonville it would also punch the Ravens tickets to the playoffs.

Ravens just have to take care of business against Cincinnati to ensure their spot in the playoffs. They definitely do not want to rely on the Browns and Colts losing especially sice the Steelers are resting starters.

4) Cleveland Browns (10-5)

Week 17: home vs Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3)


Cleveland Browns are heading into a Week 17 meeting with a Pittsburgh Steelers team who will be starting a back up quarterback. They are coming off a huge loss to the New York Jets in Week 16. If the Browns win at home against the Steelers they are in the NFL playoffs for the first time since 2002.

If Cleveland were to lose to the Steelers on Sunday they will most likely be out of the NFL Playoffs again. A loss to Pittsburgh would mean that the Browns would need Indianapolis to lose and Tennessee to lose in order to make the playoffs.

5) Miami Dolphins (10-5)

Week 17: away vs Buffalo Bills (12-3)

Miami Dolphins may have the toughest road to the 2020 NFL Playoffs. They will need a win against the Buffalo Bills who will most likely not rest their starters. If the Dolphins lose to Buffalo they will need a lot of help.

Miami would need a loss from either the Ravens, Browns or Colts to make the playoffs if they lose on Sunday. It will be a miracle if the Ravens and Colts lose, but Miami has a shot at the Browns losing at home to Pittsburgh in Week 17.

NFC teams that are in must win situations in Week 17

1) Arizona Cardinals (8-7)

Week 17: away vs Los Angeles Rams (9-6)


Arizona Cardinals can make it into the NFL playoffs with a road win against a Rams team that has been struck with the injury bug. Arizona is in a must win situation because if they lose to the Rams they could be left out. Arizona has had a great 2020 NFL Season and it would be a huge let down if they are eliminated in Week 17.

Even with the Rams being without key offensive pieces the Cardinals are in trouble. The Rams defense dominated the Cardinals offense in their last meeting. Arizona Cardinals must dig deep and pull out a win to make the playoffs.

2) Chicago Bears (8-7)

Week 17: home vs Green Bay Packers (12-3)

Chicago Bears are in a must win situation. They have been in a must win situation for almost five weeks now. Green Bay Packers have yet to clinch the number one seed in the NFC Playoff race. This means that the Bears will be getting everything the Packers have on Sunday.

Chicago needs a win against Green Bay or they need the Cardinals to fall to the Los Angeles Rams to make the playoffs.

3) Washington Football Team (6-9)

Week 17: away vs Philadelphia Eagles (4-10-1)


We have finally reached the NFC East. Washington is entering Week 17 in a must win situation. The Football Team had their shot at wrapping everything up in Week 16 but failed. Now they have to win on the road against the Eagles to lock up the NFC East division title.

If Washington Football Team loses to the Eagles they will be eliminated from the playoffs. The NFC East has been a mess all season. Philadelphia Eagles have a chance at making it even more messy in Week 17.

4) Dallas Cowboys (6-9)

Week 17: away vs New York Giants (5-10)

Dallas Cowboys have been without their starting quarterback since Week 5 of the NFL Season. Back up quarterback Andy Dalton has been playing great football in the past few weeks. This does not take away from the fact that the Cowboys are in a must win situation.

Dallas needs a win on the road against the New York Giants to just have a chance at winning the NFC East. A win in New York would make the NFC East even more stressful. The Cowboys would then need the Washington Football Team to lose in Philadelphia.

5) New York Giants (5-10)

Week 17: home vs Dallas Cowboys (6-9)

New York Giants are entering their must win game against the Cowboys with the upper hand. The Giants own the tie breaker over Washington based off of head-to-head wins.

New York would also need a loss by Washington to make the NFL Playoffs. A win against Dallas and a Washington loss would give the 5-10 New York Giants the NFC East division title. The Giants would also have the worst record to ever make the NFL Playoffs and host a home game.

Other notable teams to watch in the NFC


Los Angeles Rams would need a miracle to miss the 2020 NFL Playoffs but it is possible. The Rams would have to lose to the Cardinals and the Bears would have to win for the Rams to miss the playoffs. This is unlikely but could definitely happen in this crazy 2020 NFL Season.

Packers, Saints and Seahawks are all battling it out for the number one seed in the NFC Playoff race. Chances are the Packers will take care of business against the Bears and lock up the number one seed. This would leave the Saints and Seahawks battling for the number two and three seeds.

Published 31 Dec 2020, 02:55 IST
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