NFL Picks Week 17: Cincinnati Bengals and Teams Who'll Clinch Tonight

Kyle VassaloFeatured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2012

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 11:  Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals  throws a pass during the NFL game against Houston Texansat Paul Brown Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Though it is still unclear exactly how the first wave of games will shake out, the playoff picture is becoming more and more clear.

With playoff implications littering Week 17 games that have yet to be played, teams are going to start locking down games fast and furious.

Here are the teams that will clinch tonight.


Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are getting some help from the Jets, who are currently down 19-10 to the Miami Dolphins. A Jets loss takes away some of the scenarios that would have the Bengals outside of the playoff picture.

If the Jets lose, the Broncos would have to take the AFC West division crown with a win today, and the Raiders would have to beat the Chargers, with the Bengals losing to the Ravens.

Things are falling into place for the Bengals, and the AFC North will send three teams to the playoffs.


Denver Broncos

The Broncos have taken a step backwards, but they've got what it takes to take down Kyle Orton and the Chiefs, who just lost to the Raiders at home.

The Broncos ditched Orton for Tebow and know his limitations. Oakland has to win and the Broncos have to lose for the Broncos to get bounced out of their playoff spot. The Broncos control their own destiny, and they'll validate their decision to go with Tebow by knocking off Orton's Chiefs.


New York Giants

Eli Manning in a must-win game against Tony Romo and a bum hand? The Giants are at home, knocked off the Cowboys in Dallas a few weeks ago and they've got a quarterback who has proven that he can come up big when his team needs him most.

This is truly a play-in game for the NFC East crown. The ugly division race has come down to this battle between two teams who underachieved, but Manning's leadership will leave Romo looking more foolish than ever.