With many teams around the league comfortable with where they stood regarding the postseason, several of the league's best took on lesser roles in the final week of the regular season. That opened the door for some younger players to shine.
Here are Week 17's Players of the Week:
Josh Allen saved his best for last. The Bills' rookie quarterback completed 17 of 26 passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns with an INT, while also running for two touchdowns and 95 yards. The three passing TDs and five overall scores were both career highs. It was only the second time this season Allen completed more than 50 percent of his throws. It all added up to a 42-17 Buffalo win versus the Miami Dolphins and earned Allen AFC Offensive Player of the Week.
So, Colts linebacker Darius Leonard didn't break the rookie tackles record set by Patrick Willis in 2007 (174). But he did league the NFL in tackles with 163, after closing out the regular season with another impactful performance. Leonard had eight tackles and a late interception to ice Indy's victory against the Tennessee Titans, which clinched a playoff berth. Later this month we'll find out whether Leonard is the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year. For now, he is the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
The Ravens have leaned on Justin Tucker more over the final two months of the season. It's safe to say he has rewarded that usage. The Pro Bowl snub banged home all four of his field goal attempts (and a pair of PATs) to help the Ravens beat the Cleveland Browns, 26-24, and claim the AFC North. The seventh-year veteran made 22 field goals in his last eight games, with Baltimore winning four games during that stretch by 10 points or less. Tucker is the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Blake Jarwin had himself a day this past Sunday. The tight end caught seven passes for 119 yards and three touchdowns -- all in the first half -- as Dallas held on for a 36-35 win against the New York Giants. The yards were a career-high and the TDs were the first for the Cowboys rookie, who's emerged as a weapon down the stretch for Dak Prescott. Jarwin enters his first postseason as the reigning NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox punctuated another Pro Bowl campaign with his biggest game this season. The Eagles interior lineman tallied four tackles for loss, three sacks and a forced fumble in Philly's 24-0 blanking of the Washington Redskins. The effort gave Cox a career-high 10.5 sacks for the year and helped put the defending Super Bowl champs back in the playoffs. It also made Cox the NFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Turns out Matt Prater can throw, too. The owner of the longest field goal in league history has now thrown a touchdown pass. The Lions kicker caught Green Bay's defense completely off guard when he tossed an 8-yard touchdown to tight end Levine Toilolo. (Prater made the PAT for good measure.) It was only the second pass attempt of Prater's storied career and is why he is the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. Prater added a field goal and four XPs in the Lions' 31-0 rout of the Packers.