Week 17 offers many potential pitfalls. Here are fews scenarios owners should pay close attention to while making lineup decisions...
QB Russell Wilson, Seahawks at Cardinals
Russell Wilson is in the midst of a historic stretch. In his last six games, Wilson has thrown an astounding 21 touchdown passes and just one interception. The Seahawks have gone 5-1 during that span. In Week 17, Wilson will face one of the leagues’ best defenses in the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals’ defense is allowing just 232 passing yards per game, ranking them seventh in the NFL. They’ve also accumulated 35 sacks and hauled in 19 interceptions. There is hope, however. With the Cardinals locking up a first-round bye, Head Coach Bruce Arians may decide to rest his starters.
RB Karlos Williams, Jets at Bills
Even though the Bills’ season is lost, there’s nothing more Rex Ryan would love than to eliminate his former team from the playoffs. Here’s how the Jets can make the playoffs: (1) Win (2) Lose and the Browns beat the Steelers.
It seems like the Bills have found an offense weapon with their 2015 fifth-round pick Karlos Williams. Williams has carried the ball 87 times this season for 493 yards. This gives him an average of 5.7 yards per carry. What’s even more impressive is the fact that Williams has scored six touchdowns in 10 games. Williams may have a tough time in Week 17, however, against the New York Jets. The Jets are the NFL’s best rushing defense. They’re allowing the least amount of rushing yards per game, 81.5. They’ve also only allowed just two rushing touchdowns this season. This same Jets’ defense held Williams to 24 yards on seven carries just five games ago.
WR T.Y. Hilton, Titans at Colts
The Indianapolis Colts need a miracle in order to make the playoffs. Along with winning, they need about 10 different games to go their way. Good luck with that…
Colts’ T.Y. Hilton may have a tough time in Week 17 with a new quarterback and versus a sneaky good Titans’ secondary. This season, the Titans’ defense is allowing just 249.5 receiving yards per game, good for 10th in the NFL. Also, the Colts have yet to announce a starter for Week 17. Signs point to former Buccaneers quarterback, Josh Freeman. Freeman hasn’t played in the NFL since 2013… With the way the Colts season has gone, it’s hard to see Hilton gaining much success this week.
TE Heath Miller, Steelers at Browns
The Steelers’ can only make the playoffs if they win and the New York Jets lose. Their fate is in the hands of Rex Ryan’s bunch. In Week 17, the Steelers will travel to Cleveland to face the abysmal Browns. The Browns were terrible in 2015 and dealt with Johnny Manziel’s nonsense. The lone bright spot was the emergence of Gary Barnidge as one of the leagues’ best tight ends. One thing the Browns’ defense did well this year was contain opposing tight ends. They’ve allowed just nine touchdowns to opposing tight ends and surrendered only one 100+-yard receiving game. Heath Miller isn’t elite, but he is reliable. He’s caught 57 passes for 517 yards and one touchdown. The lack of touchdowns isn’t is fault, he’s surrounded by some of the best weapons in the NFL. Even so, this matchup is not favorable for the veteran tight end.