Lamar Jackson’s late MVP surge and Eagles faltering finish continues: Everything to know about Week 17’s Sunday NFL games

CNNWith one full week of regular season NFL action to come the playoff picture has become clearer.

Week 17 of the 2023 season – the penultimate round of games – provided plenty of intrigue and excitement.

Here’s everything you need to know from Sunday’s games in Week 17.

Jackson’s MVP campaign hots up

Unlike some seasons, there hasn’t been a clear favorite to win the NFL’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in the current campaign.

One of the San Francisco 49ers duo of Brock Purdy and Christian McCaffrey appeared to be the frontrunners, but a late surge from Lamar Jackson has put the Baltimore Ravens quarterback very much in the MVP discussion.

Fresh off the back of statement victory over the 49ers last week, Jackson masterminded another superb win for the Ravens on Sunday as Baltimore beat the Miami Dolphins 56-19.

The 26-year-old, who signed a huge contract extension with Baltimore in the offseason, threw for five touchdown passes and for 321 yards as the Ravens thoroughly outplayed Miami.

Jackson displayed his full repertoire of skills in the Ravens’ victory and cemented his status as seemingly the clear favorite to win the MVP award. Jackson won the MVP title at the end of the 2018 season.

Whether it was throwing deep from awkward angles or evading pressure masterfully to continue offensive drives, Jackson had answers to whatever the Dolphins defense threw at him.

Jackson finished Sunday’s game with a perfect passer rating – a metric used to evaluate an NFL quarterback’s performance – which was the third time he’s achieved that feat.

In doing so, Jackson tied with other quarterback luminaries such as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger for the most games with a perfect passer rating in NFL history.

“I don’t know if I’ve seen a more impressive performance in a game,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters afterwards. “I’m not sure I’ve seen a more impressive performance in a season to date. Obviously, we have a lot more to do.

“To step up and play the way they have and to put an exclamation point – a triple exclamation point on it – with a performance like this, pretty much a well-rounded, perfect performance like that after the opening bell.”

Jackson has timed his late-season MVP surge to perfection with the Ravens rounding into shape as the Super Bowl favorite.

Sunday’s victory clinched the AFC North division title for Baltimore as well as the No. 1 seed in the AFC and with it, a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

With the Ravens’ potency on offense and its multi-faceted defense – which was able to hold the usually explosive Miami offense to just 19 points – Baltimore has now put together a record of 13-3.


For the Dolphins, it was a damaging loss as it looks to seal the AFC East division title. Miami now resides at 11-5 with the Buffalo Bills just one game behind in the standings and riding a four-game winning streak.

The Dolphins and the Bills face off in the final week of the season in what is likely to be a key encounter when it comes to playoff seedings.

Miami head coach Mike McDaniel called Sunday’s defeat a “gut check” for his team.

“Typically, you get nervous about guys just throwing in the towel because it’s hard to invest. It’s hard to believe and then have things fall short,” McDaniel told reporters.

“Human nature is to care less, to maybe point a finger, or be in your little cocoon of security that it’s not your fault.

“I feel very blessed that we don’t have the people for that formula. Our guys are going to be individually very hard on themselves in a constructive manner.

“Throughout any NFL season that has been really successful that I’ve been a part of, there’s these types of moments. We’ve had a couple this season that had been pretty wrenching. This is probably the top of the list.”


Eagles continue to falter

Last season’s Super Bowl loser, the Philadelphia Eagles, hasn’t enjoyed a productive end to the regular season.

Despite having a star-studded cast of players, Philadelphia has been on the receiving end of a series of damaging defeats to fellow contenders while it has huffed and puffed when it has secured victories.

The latest worrying result came on Sunday as the Eagles were beaten by the lowly Arizona Cardinals 35-31 in an upset loss at Lincoln Financial Field.

Arizona produced 449 yards of offense despite struggling all season.

The Eagles raced into an early 14-3 second quarter lead but could do little to stop a stunning second-half performance from Arizona which was capped off with James Conner’s two-yard touchdown run with 32 seconds remaining to give the Cardinals a late lead.

Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray threw for 232 yards and three touchdowns to dismantle the Eagles defense to help claim the team’s fourth win of the season and further complicate Philadelphia’s underwhelming end to the season.

The Eagles offense, which was so dynamic last year, has not been quite the same while the defense appears to have fallen off a cliff, even prompting a late-season play-calling change which doesn’t appear to have had the desired effect.

For a team with designs on a deep playoff run, it was a damaging result, one that was must have hurt even more as Arizona’s first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon was Philadelphia’s defensive coordinator last season.

Philadelphia missed out on the No. 1 seed in the NFC with Sunday’s loss cementing the 49ers’ spot atop the standings, and – paired with the Dallas Cowboys’ dramatic victory against the Detroit Lions on Saturday – the NFC East top spot could be a tall order too.

The Eagles have now recorded just one win since Thanksgiving.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of people trying to point the finger at different things and everybody’s got to stick together,” said Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni.


“We win as a team. We lose as a team. And together is the most important thing that we can be right now.

“A lot of teams want to be in the playoffs. We are in the playoffs. We still can do some things here and our goals are still in front of us.

“I know you can’t get the 1-seed now, but can you still win the division? Yes. Stick together because we still have goals, and we still have things that we want to accomplish.”

Packers set up climactic final game of season

Following the departure of stalwart quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the offseason, it looked like a season on transition would be on the cards for the Green Bay Packers.

And that scenario has played out, with quarterback Jordan Love going through ups and downs in his first season as a starter, while a cast of young offensive weapons have been learning the ropes on the fly.

But following an emphatic 33-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, the Packers’ developing roster has a shot at reaching the playoffs heading into Week 18.

Love’s strong finish to his first season continued as he showed his full skillset in a hostile environment in Minnesota.

He contributed four total touchdowns – three passing and one rushing – as the Packers produced 470 yards of offense compared to Minnesota’s 211.

According to the NFL, Love became just the third Packers quarterback to have five-plus games with at least three passing touchdowns and zero interceptions in a single season, joining Rodgers and Hall of Famer Brett Favre.

His performance was made even more impressive due to the fact that he was missing two of his top wide receivers – Christian Watson and Dontayvion Wicks – through injury, while another key offensive player, Jayden Reed, was ruled out at halftime due to a chest injury.

It was no problem for Love though, who dissected the Vikings defense routinely, with Bo Melton finishing with 105 yards and a touchdown – a remarkable outing for a player who was only elevated from the practice squad days before the game.

“It’s just amazing. I don’t have any words for it,” Melton said. “I’m just happy to be in this position, happy to have a team that believed in me to go out here and play.”

Love was helped by Green Bay’s effective running game, with Aaron Jones finishing with 120 yards on the ground, his second straight game of 100-plus yards.

With the Packers now sitting at 8-8, Sunday’s victory means that a win in its regular season finale against the Chicago Bears at home will seal a playoff spot.

“I think anytime you go through a struggle and you can come out the other side, you’re usually better for it,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur told reporters.

“We’ve certainly faced our fair share of adversity in all phases, and our guys continue to fight, they continue to battle, they continue to show up on a daily basis with a great attitude and the willingness to work.

“I think when you do that, good things happen. Just super proud of the effort of the men in the locker room. Just really happy for them.

“Again, it means nothing if we don’t take care of business next Sunday.”


Full Week 17 Sunday scores

Away vs. home

Miami Dolphins 19-56 Baltimore Ravens

New England Patriots 21-27 Buffalo Bills

Atlanta Falcons 17-37 Chicago Bears

Tennessee Titans 3-26 Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders 20-23 Indianapolis Colts

Carolina Panthers 0-26 Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams 26-25 New York Giants

Arizona Cardinals 35-31 Philadelphia Eagles

New Orleans Saints 23-13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

San Francisco 49ers 27-10 Washington Commanders

Pittsburgh Steelers 30-23 Seattle Seahawks

Los Angeles Chargers 9-16 Denver Broncos

Cincinnati Bengals 17-25 Kansas City Chiefs