Natural and Unnatural Disasters Threaten Week 17 (Yes, That Includes Detroit)

Weather threatens in Buffalo and Houston (despite the dome), Detroit threatens to actually play, and Ed Hochuli threatens to be mentioned no less than 87 times tonight.

First: Your NFL Maps. Please note the distinct lack of a Monday night game; the NFL will bravely squeeze their entire schedule into one day. Stay strong, NFL; we're there for you.

According to the NFL Network (via Fanhaus), today's Patriots-Bills tilt in Buffalo may actually be delayed due to 50 mph winds that have... well, tilted the goal posts. That's certainly one way to cover for quarterback inadequacies.

Another would be to play your final game in a stadium with holes in the roof that force it to stay open during a downpour, such as in Houston. Kyle Orton may not even be able to complete any of those untimely interceptions and Matt Forte may be a classic mudder. Well-timed, Chicago; let's see if the Vikings counter with a frog infestation in the Baggiedome to cover for Tarvaris Jackson.

Late player news:
• Try to brace yourself: Mike Brown ends the season on IR.
• Tony Romo will play today despite having the dreaded "flu-like symptoms" this week. It's better than the funk, we guess.
• It's fair to say that any team listed below as "in" will play their starters for about six plays, especially in Indy. Exception: Arizona, for reasons that only make sense if your team has been to the playoffs about as often as Truman Capote attended Harper Lee book release parties. The National Football Post has the latest.

Here we go, yo; here we go, yo; so what-so what-so what's the playoffs scenario?

In the AFC, the 1, 2, and 5 seeds have been clinched by Tennessee, Pittsburgh, and Indianapolis. Sunday night's Hochuli Bowl winner takes the four seed.

For three and six, a mishmash of Ravens (win and in), Dolphins (win and in), Patriots (Ravens or Dolphins lose and win and in), and Jets (Patriots lose and win and in) will keep you on your toes through the afternoon games.

In the NFC, the Giants, Panthers, Cardinals (!), and Falcons (!!) are already in, though the Panthers and Falcons can play for seeding. Nearly everyone else still has some formula to get them in, though Jerry Jones is using Formula 409 to stay youthful. All-purpose, indeed. If you know how to build a pivot table to make this remotely approachable, let us know. The Vikings and Cowboys are your win'n'in candidates.

Finally, the Lions and their fans are winners today, no matter the result. Next year's ticket prices will drop by at least 8% and there's a party to celebrate the season after the game. Party to the disenfranchised people, haaaay. And Daunte Culpepper will be there personally to overthrow your drink orders!

Natural and Unnatural Disasters Threaten Week 17 (Yes, That Includes Detroit)


(P.S. A submitter asked us to consider the top picture for you today of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, noting he got it from SI.com's Extra Mustard. We suppose that's regifting, but we're not looking a gift hobby horse in the mouth.)