NFL Week 17 in Review: Raiders Fire Jack Del Rio, Bills Make Playoffs?!

The 2017 NFL season comes to a wild, unpredictable end with the fates of two head football coaches already decided.

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Update 1/1/18: The Chicago Bears have fired head coach John Fox and the Detroit Lions have inexplicably fired Jim Caldwell despite a 9-7 record.

The Sports Courier’s Fred Richani recaps the final day of the wild 201 NFL regular season, featuring the Oakland Raiders firing head coach Jack Del Rio, the Buffalo Bills finally ending their 17 season playoff drought, the Seattle Seahawks being shockingly eliminated from the NFL Playoff picture, the Cleveland Browns going 0-16, and much more!


A look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 1:00 p.m. ET and 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 31, the final day of the 2017 regular season.

The NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, who defeated the New York Jets, 26-6, clinched the No. 1 seed and homefield advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

The PITTSBURGH STEELERS, who won the AFC North, are the No. 2 seed in the AFC and will have a first-round bye.

The JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS, who won the AFC South, are the No. 3 seed and will host Buffalo in the Wild Card round (Sunday, January 7 at 1:05 PM ET on CBS). The BUFFALO BILLS, who defeated Miami 22-16, clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 1999.

The KANSAS CITY CHIEFS, who won the AFC West, are the No. 4 seed and will host Tennessee in the Wild Card round (Saturday, January 6 at 4:35 PM ET on ESPN/ABC). The TENNESSEE TITANS clinched a playoff berth with a 15-10 win over Jacksonville today.

In the NFC, the PHILADELPHIA EAGLES will enter the postseason as the No. 1 seed and have home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

The MINNESOTA VIKINGS, who won the NFC North, clinched a first-round bye with a 23-10 win over Chicago.

The LOS ANGELES RAMS, who won the NFC West, are the No. 3 seed and will host Atlanta in the Wild Card round (Saturday, January 6 at 8:15 PM ET on NBC). The ATLANTA FALCONS clinched a playoff berth with today’s 22-10 win over Carolina.

The NEW ORLEANS SAINTS won the NFC South division title and are the No. 4 seed. The Saints will host the CAROLINA PANTHERS in the Wild Card round (Sunday, January 7 at 4:40 PM ET on FOX).

Kansas City rookie running back KAREEM HUNT had a 35-yard rushing touchdown on his only carry in the Chiefs’ win at Denver. Hunt finished the season with 1,327 rushing yards and is the second rookie not selected in the first round to lead his league in rushing yards in the common draft era (since 1967). Cincinnati’s PAUL ROBINSON led the AFL with 1,023 rushing yards in 1968.

New Orleans running backs ALVIN KAMARA (1,554) and MARK INGRAM (1,540) became the first running back teammates in NFL history to each record at least 1,500 scrimmage yards in the same season.

Kamara, who had 128 scrimmage yards with a rushing touchdown and returned four kickoffs for 155 yards, including a 106-yard touchdown in today’s game at Tampa Bay, finished the season with eight rushing touchdowns, five receiving touchdowns and one kickoff-return touchdown. He joins Pro Football Hall of Famer GALE SAYERS (1965) as the only rookies in NFL history to have at least five rushing touchdowns, five receiving touchdowns and a kickoff-return touchdown.

New England quarterback TOM BRADY passed for 190 yards and two touchdowns in the Patriots’ win over the New York Jets. Brady, who turned 40 years old earlier this year, finished the season with 4,577 passing yards and is the oldest player in NFL history to lead the league in passing yards. The previous record was held by Pro Football Hall of Famer FRAN TARKENTON (38 years old), who led the NFL with 3,468 passing yards in 1978.

Kansas City quarterback ALEX SMITH finished the season with 4,042 passing yards, five interceptions and a league-best 104.7 passer rating. Smith is the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 3,000 yards and throw fewer than 10 interceptions in five consecutive seasons.

New England’s TOM BRADY, who finished the season with an NFL-best 4,577 passing yards with eight interceptions, joined Smith as the only players to accomplish the feat in four consecutive seasons.

Atlanta quarterback MATT RYAN passed for 317 yards and a touchdown in the Falcons’ win over Carolina. Ryan has 41,796 career passing yards and passed PEYTON MANNING (41,626) for the most passing yards by a player in his first 10 seasons in NFL history.

Falcons wide receiver JULIO JONES had five catches for 80 yards in today’s victory. Jones, who has 9,054 career receiving yards, reached the 9,000-yard mark in his 95th game and is the fastest in NFL history to accomplish the feat. Pro Football Hall of Famer LANCE ALWORTH held the previous record (98 games).

Pittsburgh wide receiver ANTONIO BROWN finished the season with an NFL-best 1,533 receiving yards. Brown, who also led the league in receiving yards (1,698) in 2014, is the first player in franchise history to lead the NFL in receiving yards multiple times.

Brown has 582 receptions and 7,848 receiving yards over the past five seasons, the most in NFL history over any five-year span for both categories.

Pittsburgh rookie JU JU SMITH-SCHUSTER had nine catches for 143 yards with a touchdown and added 122 kickoff-return yards, including a 96-yard touchdown, in the Steelers’ 28-24 win over Cleveland. ​

​Smith-Schuster, who turned 21 in November, finished the season with 1,157 all-purpose yards (917 receiving, 240 kickoff-return) and is the youngest player in NFL history to record 1,000 all-purpose yards in a season. ​

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