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Friday, December 31, 2010
Updated: January 25, 10:25 AM ET
NFL Week 17: The curtain closes


Even though fantasy season may be over and many playoffs races already have been decided, Melissa Jacobs has five pretty important reasons to shake off the second day of your New Year's hangover and make this Sunday an NFL day.

Playoff picture: While the playoff picture, minus some seeding questions, is mostly set (hello Patriots, Steelers, Chiefs, Ravens, Jets, Falcons, Bears, Eagles and Saints), there still are three spots up for grabs. The Colts, who haven't missed the postseason since 2001, are aiming to hold off the Jaguars, who will be minus David Garrard and Maurice Jones-Drew. While in the NFC, the Packers are in the Wild Card driver's seat with the Giants and Buccaneers still in the hunt. And there's more.

How the NFC West was won: The most riveting (kinda like a car crash is riveting) race is the winner-take-all sweepstakes as the Rams battle the Seahawks in Seattle. The NFC West champ will be 8-8 at best and many, including this writer, are calling for reseeding the playoffs based on record in the future.

Coaches in crisis: Several NFL coaches are thought to be hanging onto their jobs by a thread. Will Week 17 wins by Jason Garrett in Dallas, Eric Studesville in Denver and Leslie Frazier in Minnesota take away their interim tags? Could an upset over Indy keep Jeff Fisher's Nashville house off the market? Also on the hot seat: Eric Mangini in Cleveland, Gary Kubiak in Houston and Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati.  Poor John Fox, on the other hand, knows the end is near after (mis)leading the Panthers to a 2-13 record.

Tebow Time part three: Love him or hate him, the NFL's favorite (ok, only) virgin is taking the league by storm. In two starts, Denver quarterback Tim Tebow has shown all the poise of a veteran, at least the kind with a 100-plus passer rating. Last week, as this must see video of Tebow mic'd up shows, the rookie took matters into his own hands as he led the Broncos' 24-23 comeback over Houston. Will Sunday's game vs. the Chargers solidify Tebow as the Broncos quarterback for years to come? The blogosphere can only hope.

A Favre Farewell: Of course we're all sick of Brett Favre at this point, but Sunday in Detroit really has the makings of his swan song. The only problem is that he is unlikely to participate. So far Favre has yet to pass the concussion test and is listed as doubtful. Wouldn't it be great if he could be brought in for one ceremonial play, accept his accolades and then ride off to go clean up the mess that awaits him at home?