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Packers-Lions winner could be No. 1 seed, loser will be No. 6 seed (Shutdown Corner) ( today ) Courtesy of
The NFL did a pretty good job scheduling this Week 17. The NFC picture is still jumbled, at least among the five teams that have made it in already. The sixth playoff team will be the winner of the Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons on Sunday; whoever wins will be the NFC South champion and fourth seed. Four of the five NFC teams that have clinched a playoff spot are alive for the No. 1 seed, and the fifth could still get a important bye. There's a wide range of possible outcomes for each of the NFC's five locked-in playoff teams. The matchup between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers sums up the madness. The winner will clinch a bye, and with some help could be the No. 1 seed and be two home wins from a Super Bowl. The loser will fall all the way to No. 6 and have to play at the Dallas Cowboys or Seattle Seahawks on wild-card weekend. So yeah, there's a little bit at stake when the Lions and Packers square off. Clearly home-field matters a ton in the NFC. Seattle is 23-2 at home since the start of the 2012 season, including playoffs. The Packers are 7-0 at home this season and have won their games at Lambeau Field by an average of 20.7 points. The Lions are 7-1 at home. The Cowboys are just 4-4 at home, but they probably would rather avoid playing at any of those stadiums as long as they can. Here's how the seeding race shakes out according to the NFL (we're not including all of the scenarios involving ties): No. 1 seed: Seattle, Arizona, Green Bay and Detroit are alive for it, which is pretty wild with just one week remaining. The Seahawks get the top seed with a win. Green Bay gets it with a win and a Seattle loss vs. St. Louis. Arizona gets it with a win over San Francisco, a Seahawks loss and a Packers loss. The Lions need to win and hope Seattle and Arizona both lose. No. 2 seed: Still important, because of the bye. Seattle can't get this exact spot: The Seahawks are either No. 1 or No. 3 if they win the NFC West. The Packers or Lions would clinch at least a bye with a win. The Cowboys can still get the No. 2 seed if the Seahawks and Cardinals both lose, because in that scenario the Seahawks would win the NFC West and would move down to the third spot. The Cardinals get this spot if they win, the Seahawks lose and the Packers beat the Lions.  No. 3 seed: Most likely it will be Dallas, but it would be the Seahawks if they lose and the Cardinals lose too. No. 4 seed: Winner of Carolina at Atlanta on Sunday. No. 5 seed: Whoever finishes in second place in the NFC West gets this spot, and the much more enticing assignment of playing a NFC South winner with a losing record.  No. 6 seed: The loser of the Packers-Lions game will be slotted here. Again, what a big swing for the teams involved in that NFC North championship game. The winner spends wild-card weekend relaxing and waiting for a home playoff game, and the loser gets to go play at the Cowboys or Seahawks. - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab Yahoo! Mon, Dec 22
 
Jay Gruden really thinks the only QB stat that matters is win-loss record (Shutdown Corner) ( today ) Courtesy of
The NFL is a team sport. In fact, that's one thing that makes football so great: A team can't function without all of the pieces working together. Even a tremendous "individual" play requires the efforts of everyone else on the field. Transcendent players like Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and quarterback Tom Brady and a handful of other All-Pros tip the field, sure, but they don't do it alone. That's why "quarterback record" is dumb. It's awful. It's like we've finally gotten even most of the oldest curmudgeons to realize that a baseball pitcher's record is a foolish way to judge his performance, and that foolishness has just transferred over to NFL quarterbacks.  [ Join FanDuel.com's $2.5M Week 17 fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 21,840 teams paid ] And it would be fine if it were just ill-informed fans talking about how his team's quarterback is or isn't a winner, but Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden believes this nonsense too. Seriously, one of 32 NFL head coaches believes that the only way to judge a quarterback is wins and losses.  "That is the No. 1 factor, and that is it," Gruden said, according to ESPN.com , in regards to Robert Griffin III's play in a win last week against Philadelphia. "Obviously you look at the production and all that stuff, and what he could've done maybe, but winning football games is the only thing that matters to me for a quarterback.  And it doesn't matter if they go 12-for-24 for 80 yards and we win, or if they go 28-for-35 for 400 [yards] and we lose, you'd rather have the 12-for-24. The ability to manage a game, stay away from the big turnovers and get the W is all that counts." I'd like to cite a passage before my head explodes: " And it doesn't matter if they go 12-for-24 for 80 yards and we win, or if they go 28-for-35 for 400 [yards] and we lose, you'd rather have the 12-for-24." That is quite literally one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. Yes, you'd rather win that lose, but there's no cause and effect there. If there's an addendum, like "28-for-35 for 400 yards but you turned the ball over five times," sure. But 400 yards are better than 80 yards. If you won with a quarterback playing so poorly, you'd absolutely win with a quarterback completing 80 percent of his passes for 400 yards too, and the win would be a lot easier. You can win when a quarterback plays really poorly, and you can lose when he plays exceptionally well. If you don't believe that last sentence is true, I don't know what else to say. A game's result is based on a lot of things, and it's definitely not just because some bad quarterback had the magical ability to sprinkle winner dust on his teammates who might play very well that day. A quarterback does not win or lose a game all by himself. If that were the case, teams would never spend a draft pick or sign a player at any other positions. If the other 52 guys on the roster didn't have anything to do with winning and losing, hire the first 52 guys you meet on the street at minimum wage because it wouldn't matter anyway. It would just be based on if your quarterback is A WINNER or not. That's why a quarterback's record is pretty dumb. We don't note a defensive tackle's record or a tight end's record, because football is a team sport . Maybe some day we'll really move past this notion that the only player on a football field that determines a win and a loss is the quarterback. But when one of 32 coaches is promoting such ignorance, I don't hold out a lot of hope. - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab Yahoo! Mon, Dec 22
 
Rodgers played with pulled calf in Packers win ( today ) Courtesy of
Aaron Rodgers was stunned that he pulled a calf muscle in his left leg early in Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He figured all the liquids he drank to combat the flu in the days before the game would've protected him from any muscle pulls. ESPN Mon, Dec 22
 
A dozen football fans injured in lightning strike (The Associated Press) ( today ) Courtesy of
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A dozen people are recovering after they were injured by an indirect lightning strike at Raymond James Stadium after a game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Green Bay Packers. Yahoo! Mon, Dec 22
 
Seahawks, Packers, Cowboys, Steelers in playoffs (The Associated Press) ( today ) Courtesy of
Now that they've qualified for the postseason, there's no relaxing for the Packers, Lions, and Steelers. Yahoo! Mon, Dec 22
 
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