Archives for category: Bill Belichick

To call week four crazy is an understatement.

Stephen King could not have written a better screenplay.

3 teams (Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Denver) picked up their first wins.

4 teams remain unbeaten (Seattle, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Buffalo)

4 teams are still looking for that first win (New York Jets, New York Giants, Houston and Atlanta)

And then there were two games that were interupted by the COVID 19 virus. New England-Kansas City and Pittsubrgh-Tennessee were slated to play Sunday but had those plans altered by the virus. The Patriots-Chiefs game moved to Monday night, while the Steelers-Titans will play on October 25th. As for this week, Denver and New England, who would have played Monday night in Foxboro, had their plans changed thanks to the virus and that game was postponed and will be made up at a later date and time, according to league sources. Buffalo and Tennessee would find themselves moved to Tuesday night in prime time in Nashville and even that contest is in question.

To say the 2020 NFL regular season has been strange has been an understatement. At least the murder hornets haven’t suited up yet.

Welcome to week five.

Hope thrives in the NFL.

Just ask any of the teams that have erased leads of at least 16 points and won a game in 2020: Dallas, Tampa Bay, Washington or Chicago, who’ve actually done it twice. This year is the first in which at least one team has overcome a deficit of 16-or-more points and won in each of the first four weeks of the season in NFL history.

And while comebacks in games are frequent of late, comebacks in seasons the year after missing the playoffs are common as well.

Six teams that missed the 2019 playoffs have started this season with three wins: Chicago (3-1), Cleveland (3-1),Indianapolis (3-1), Los Angeles Rams (3-1), Pittsburgh (3-0) and Tampa Bay (3-1). Since 1990, at least four teams each season have qualified for the playoffs after missing the postseason the year before.

Only five rookie head coaches since 2009 have guided their teams to a season-opening record of 4-1 or better. Browns head coach KEVIN STEFANSKI can join that group with a win this week.

The last five rookie head coaches to open their careers 4-1 or better:

COACH, TEAM (YEAR, RECORD)
Matt LaFleur, Green Bay (2019, 13-3)*
Dan Quinn, ATLANTA (2015, 8-8)
Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco (2011, 13-3)*
Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis (2009, 14-2)+
Josh McDaniels, Denver (2009, 8-8)

+Won division and advanced to Super Bowl
*Won division and advanced to conference championship

Green Bay (4-0), who has already this year had opened 3-0 in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1965-66, are off to their best start in five years. Head coach Matt LaFleur has started his career 17-3 (.850), tied for the second-most wins in NFL annals over a coach’s first 20 regular-season games.

The head coaches with the most wins over their first 20 regular-season games in NFL history:

COACH, TEAM (YEARS, WINS)
George Seifert, San Francisco (1989-90, 18)
Matt LaFleur, Green Bay (2019-20, 17)
Paul Brown, Cleveland Browns (1950-51, 17) HOF
Dick Rauch, Pottsville Maroons (1925-26, 17)
Guy Chamberlin, Canton Bulldogs (1922-23, 17) HOF

The Packers and Browns, who with a win over the Colts would have their best season-opening stretch since beginning the 1994 season 6-1, are two of several clubs off to notable starts in 2020.

Kansas City (4-0) is the first team in NFL history to start 4-0 in four consecutive seasons (2017-20). Seattle (4-0) has been 4-0 only twice in franchise history, this year and their Super Bowl XLVIII championship season of 2013. The Seahawks can improve to 5-0 for the first time ever when they host Minnesota Sunday night.

Buffalo (4-0) with a win against Tennessee at Nissan Stadium Sunday, can mark their best start in 29 years, since opening the 1991 season 5-0 en route to a Super Bowl XXVI appearance.

Pittsburgh (3-0), who hosts Philadelphia on Sunday at Heinz Field, has an opportunity for just their third 4-0 start in franchise history and first since 1979, when they won Super Bowl XIV.

The 10 teams this month bidding for their best starts in at least five years:

TEAM, RECORD (BIDS FOR BEST START SINCE…)
Baltimore, 3-1 (Team opened 4-1 in 2012)
Buffalo, 4-0 (Team opened 5-0 in 1991; also 5-0 in 1980; best franchise start was 9-0 in 1964)
Chicago, 3-1 (Team opened 4-1 in 2012; Bears won 7 of first 8 that year)
Cleveland, 3-1 (Team opened 4-1 in 1994; Browns won 6 of first 7 that year)
Green Bay, 4-0 (Team opened 6-0 in 2015; team has bye in Week 5)
Indianapolis, 3-1 (Team opened 4-1 in 2013)
Pittsburgh, 3-0 (Team opened 4-0 in 1979 ;also 4-0 in 1973; best franchise start was 7-0 in 1978)
Seattle, 4-0 (franchise has never been 5-0; team has opened 4-0 twice, 2013 and 2020)
Tampa Bay, 3-1 (Team opened 4-1 in 2005)
Tennessee, 3-0 (Team opened 4-0 in 2008; franchise has opened 4-0 once, in 2008 and never been 5-0)

BILLS, TITANS RENEW MUSIC CITY RIVALRY: Tennessee (3-0) hosts Buffalo (4-0) on Tuesday in an AFC battle of first-place teams. The Titans, who are 10-3 over their last 13 games including postseason, have a plus-five turnover ratio, tied for second in the NFL. Titans running back DERRICK HENRY enters the week ranked fourth in the NFL with 319 rushing yards. Buffalo quarterback JOSH ALLEN ranks second in the NFL in passing yards (1,326) and third in passer rating (122.7) and touchdown passes (12). The Titans also are in a 34-day stretch between road games.

BREES MEETS FORMER CLUB: New Orleans and the Los Angeles Chargers, who square off at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Monday night, have a unique history. Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who currently holds the league’s all-time marks in passing yards (78,422) and touchdown passes (555), started his career with the Chargers. In five years with the Chargers (2001-05), Brees threw for 12,348 yards and 80 touchdowns.

On Monday Night Football, Brees ranks third all-time in both career passing yards (7,868) and passing touchdowns (57). Pro Football Hall of Famers Dan Marino (9,654 passing yards, 74 touchdowns) and Brett Farve (9,068 passing yards, 69 touchdowns) rank first and second, respectively, in both categories.

The 32nd-overall selection in the 2001 NFL Draft, Brees was actually a second-round choice one year before the expansion Houston Texans first took the field as the league’s 32nd franchise.

The first player the Chargers selected that day, RB LaDanian Tomlinson, is already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Tomlinson so far is one of two Hall of Famers from that 2001 draft, in addition to Steve Hutchinson, selected by the Seahawks at number 17 overall.

Former Chargers general manager John Butler that year acquired the selections used to draft Tomlinson and Brees by trading away the number 1 overall choice to Atlanta. The Falcons then drafted Michael Vick.

PENNSYLVANIA PROMINENCE: Philadelphia crosses the Keystone Sttate to meet Pittsburgh on Sunday in a battle of the top pass-rushing defenses so far in 2020. Philadelphia leads the NFL with 17 sacks while the Steelers rank second with 15.

It’s the 79th installment in a venerable series between franchises that once merged to form one team. In 1943, with the nation in the middle of World War II and many players and coaches serving their country, the “Steagles” went 5-4-1 in the NFL’s Eastern Division.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has 36 enshrined individuals who are Pennsylvania natives. Additionally, 35 Pro Football Hall of Famers attended high school in the state, including quarterbacks George Blanda, Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Joe Namath and Johnny Unitas.

This season, Kickoff Weekend rosters included 60 players that graduated from Pennsylvania high schools, including running backs from both teams in Sunday’s game, Pittsburgh’s James Conner and Philadelphia’s Miles Sanders.

QUARTERBACK COMPARISON: Two of those Pennsylvania quarterbacks, Pro Football Hall of Famers Dan Marino and Joe Montana, once met as young stars in Super Bowl XIX, when the 49ers defeated the Dolphins, 38-16. Miami and San Francisco meet again Sunday at Levi’s Stadium). And as they were when Marino and Montana were dominating the NFL, young quarterbacks across the league have been outstanding in 2020.

This season, of the 13 quarterbacks with a passer rating of 100 or better, six are 25 years old or younger: the Bills’ Josh Allen, the Rams’ Jarred Goff, the Chargers’ Justin Herbert, the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahones and the Jaguars’ Gardner Minshew.

Through four weeks, quarterbacks age 25 or younger have a combined 56 starts. And in those 56 starts, those young quarterbacks have won 24 times.

Cincinnati rookie quarterback Joe Burrow passed for 300 yards with one touchdown and one interception for a 92.4 rating in the Bengals’ 33-25 win over Jacksonville in Week 4, his first career victory. Burrow, who passed for 316 yards in Week 2 and 312 yards in Week 3, is the first rookie quarterback to pass for at least 300 yards in three consecutive games in NFL history.

Los Angeles Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert passed for 290 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for a 137.9 rating in Week 4 against Tampa Bay. Herbert, who threw touchdown passes of 72 and 53 yards, is the first rookie quarterback with two touchdown passes of at least 50 yards since DeShaun Watson (Week 8, 2017). Herbert has 931 passing yards this season, the second-most passing yards by a rookie quarterback in his first three career starts in NFL history. Only Cam Newton (1,012 in 2011) had more.

DEFENSES ON THE DEFENSIVE: NFL teams have combined to score 371 total touchdowns, 359 offensive touchdowns (passing and rushing combined) and 3,233 total points, all the most in NFL history through Week 4.

Despite those figures, five teams – Indianapolis (14.0), Kansas City (17.5), San Francisco (17.8), Baltimore (18.3) and Pittsburgh (19.3) – remarkably are holding opponents under 20 points per game.

There has been an average of 51.3 points per game scored (both teams combined), the highest total through Week 4 since 1970.

MOST TOUCHDOWNS IN FIRST FOUR WEEKS, NFL HISTORY
2020 – 371
2018 – 344
2015 – 332
2012 – 327
2019 and 2013 – 324

MOST OFFENSIVE TOUCHDOWNS IN FIRST FOUR WEEKS, NFL HISTORY

SEASON – OFFENSIVE TDs
2020 – 359
2018 – 325
2019 – 304
2015 – 301
2016 – 298

MOST TOTAL POINTS IN FIRST FOUR WEEKS, NFL HISTORY

SEASON – TOTAL POINTS
2020 – 3,233
2018 – 3,030
2012 – 2,986
2011 – 2,916
2015 – 2,914

MOST POINTS SCORED PER GAME (BOTH TEAMS) IN FIRST FOUR WEEKS, SINCE 1970

SEASON – TOTAL POINTS
2020 – 51.3
2018 – 48.1
2012 – 47.4
2015 – 46.3
2014 – 46.2

Green Bay (152 points) leads the NFL in total points scored through the first four weeks, followed by Seattle (142), Dallas (126), Cleveland (124), Buffalo (123) and New Orleans (123). Through the first four weeks, eight teams are averaging at least 30 points per game, the most teams in a single season through Week 4.

THE TEAMS AVERAGING 30+ POINTS PER GAME IN 2020
Green Bay – 38.0
Seattle – 35.5
Dallas – 31.5
Cleveland – 31.0
Buffalo – 30.8
New Orleans – 30.8
Baltimore – 30.5
Tampa Bay – 30.0

SEASONS WITH THE MOST TEAMS AVERAGING 30+ POINTS THROUGH WEEK 4, NFL HISTORY

TEAMS – POINTS PER GAME
SEASON – TEAMS
2020 – 8
2002 – 6
1968 – 6
Many tied – 5

SEVEN FROM LAST SUNDAY: Here is a look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, October 4, the fourth week of the 2020 season.

Tampa BAY overcame a 17-point deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 4. 2020 is the first season in which at least one team has overcome a deficit of 16-or-more points and won in each of the first four weeks of the season in NFL history. Additionally, New Orleans overcame a 14-point deficit to win at Detroit on Sunday.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 360 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for a 112.4 rating in the Seahawks’ 31-23 win at Miami in Week 4. Seattle advanced to 4-0 for the first time since 2013, when they went on to win Super Bowl XLVIII. Wilson has 16 touchdown passes through the first four games of the 2020 season, tied with PEYTON MANNING (16 touchdown passes in 2013) for the most by a player in his team’s first four games of a season in NFL history.

Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott passed for a career-high 502 yards with four touchdowns and one interception for a 112.9 rating in Week 4 against Cleveland. Prescott, who passed for 450 yards in Week 2 and 472 yards in Week 3, is the first player with at least 450 passing yards in three consecutive games in NFL history.

Prescott has 1,690 passing yards in 2020 and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (1,557 passing yards in 2000) for the most passing yards by a player in his team’s first four games of a season in NFL history.

Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady passed for 369 yards with five touchdowns and one interception for a 117.0 rating in the Buccaneers’ 38-31 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 4. Brady became the third quarterback in NFL history with 30 career games of at least four touchdown passes, joining Drew Brees (36) and Peyton Manning (35).

Week 4 marked Brady’s seventh career game with at least five touchdown passes, the third-most such games in league annals, trailing only Drew Brees (11) and Peyton Manning (nine). Brady now has 93 career games with at least 300 passing yards, tied with Peyton Manning (93) for the second-most in NFL history. Only Drew Brees (121) has more.

Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen passed for 288 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 115.8 rating and added a rushing touchdown in the Bills’ 30-23 win at Las Vegas. The Bills advanced to 4-0 for the first time since 2008.

Allen, who had two touchdown passes with one rushing touchdown in Week 1 and four touchdown passes with one rushing touchdown in Week 3, joins Steve Grogan (1976) as the only quarterbacks with at least two touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown in three of his team’s first four games of a season in NFL history. Allen recorded his 20th career rushing touchdown in his 32nd game on Sunday, becoming the second-fastest quarterback to reach 20 career rushing touchdowns in NFL history. Only Cam Newton (27 games) reached the mark faster.

Cincinnati rookie quarterback Joe Burrow passed for 300 yards with one touchdown and one interception for a 92.4 rating in the Bengals’ 33-25 win over Jacksonville in Week 4, his first career victory. Burrow, who passed for 316 yards in Week 2 and 312 yards in Week 3, is the first rookie quarterback to pass for at least 300 yards in three consecutive games in NFL history.

Los Angeles Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert passed for 290 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for a 137.9 rating in Week 4 against Tampa Bay. Herbert, who threw touchdown passes of 72 and 53 yards, is the first rookie quarterback with two touchdown passes of at least 50 yards since Deshaun Watson (Week 8, 2017).

Herbert has 931 passing yards this season, the second-most passing yards by a rookie quarterback in his first three career starts in NFL history. Only Cam Newton (1,012 in 2011) had more.

Cleveland wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. recorded 154 scrimmage yards (81 receiving, 73 rushing) and three touchdowns (two receiving, one rushing) in the Browns’ 49-38 win at Dallas in Week 4. Beckham is the fourth wide receiver with two receiving touchdowns and one rushing touchdown in a single game since 2000, joining David Patten (Week 6, 2001), Javon Walker (Week 9, 2006) and Mike Williams (Week 15, 2018).

Browns running back Kareem Hunt rushed for two touchdowns in the Week 4 victory. Hunt (five touchdowns) and Cleveland running back Nick Chubb (four touchdowns) are the third set of running-back teammates each with at least four scrimmage touchdowns through their team’s first four games of a season in the Super Bowl era, joining Cincinnati’s James Brooks and Larry Kinnebrew (1985) and Buffalo’s Jim Braxton and Pro Football Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson (1975).

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK FIVE

RECORD-SETTING SCORING, CLOSE GAMES & COMEBACKS: Through Week 4, league-wide scoring continues to trend at a historic rate, as the totals for touchdowns (371) and points scored (3,233) are both the most in NFL history through the first four weeks of a season.

Eight teams are averaging at least 30 points per game, the most ever in a single season through Week 4, and the 51.3 total points per game scored (both teams combined) is the highest total through the first four weeks of a season since 1970.

SEASON – TOUCHDOWNS
2020 – 371
2018 – 344

SEASON – POINTS SCORED
2020 – 3,233
2018 – 3,030

SEASON – TOTAL POINTS PER GAME
2020 – 51.3
2018 – 48.1

While scoring has been up across the league, the games have remained as competitive as ever and are proving that teams are truly never out of a game.

This season, 45 games have been within one score (eight points or fewer) in the fourth quarter, tied for the third-most in league history through Week 4.

There have been 21 games in which teams have come back to win or tie after trailing in the fourth quarter, tied for the second-most through Week 4 in NFL history.

This is the first season in which at least one team has overcome a deficit of 16-or-more points and won in each of the first four weeks of the season in NFL history.

GREEN MACHINES: Green Bay and Seattle are each 4-0 and have scored at least 30 points in each of their first four games of the 2020 season. Seattle hosts Minnesota Sunday night in Week 5, while Green Bay has a bye.

With at least 30 points against the Vikings, the Seahawks would become the sixth team to score at least 30 points in each of their first five games to start a season in NFL history. Four of the previous five teams to accomplish the feat advanced to the Super Bowl.​

The teams with the most consecutive games of at least 30 points to start a season in NFL history:

TEAM – SEASON (CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 30+ POINTS TO START SEASON)
Denver – 2013 (8)#
New England – 2007 (8)#
St. Louis Rams – 2000 (8)
Los Angeles Rams – 2018 (5)#
New England – 2011 (5)#
Green Bay – 2020 (4)^*
Seattle – 2020 (4)*
*Active streak
^Bye in Week 5

Advanced to Super Bowl

DAK DROPPING DIMES: Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott leads the league with 1,690 pass yards this season, the most passing yards by a player in his team’s first four games of a season in NFL history. Prescott – who passed for 450 yards in Week 3, 472 yards in Week 4 and a career-high 502 yards in Week 4 – is the first player in NFL history with at least 450 passing yards in three consecutive games.

With another performance of at least 400 passing yards this season, Prescott – who faces the New York Giants in Week 5 – can become the fourth quarterback with four games of at least 400 passing yards in a single season in NFL history.

The players with the most games with at least 400 passing yards in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES)
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay (2018 – 4)
Peyton Manning, Denver (2013 – 4)
Dan Marino, Miami (1984 -4) HOF
Dak Prescott, Dallas (2020 – 3)

Prescott, who has seven career games with at least 400 passing yards, can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (seven games) for the most games with at least 400 passing yards in a player’s first five seasons in league annals.

MAHOMES MAGIC: In 35 career starts, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes has averaged 301.3 passing yards per game, including 19 career games with at least 300 passing yards. Mahomes has reached 300 passing yards twice this season (302 yards in Week 2 and 385 yards in Week 3).

With at least 300 passing yards on Sunday against Las Vegas, Mahomes can become the fourth quarterback with 20 games of at least 300 passing yards in his first four seasons in league annals.

The players with the most games with at least 300 passing yards in their first four seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM – GAMES
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams – 26 (HOF)
Dan Marino, Miami – 22 (HOF)
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis – 21
Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams – 19
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City – 19*
*in fourth season

MVP VS. NO. 1: Last season, at 22 years, 358 days old, Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson became the youngest quarterback to win league MVP. In 2020, Jackson has eight touchdowns (seven passing, one rushing), a 111.3 passer rating and ranks second among quarterbacks with 235 rushing yards.

Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow, the number 1 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, ranks second in the NFL with 116 completions this season and became the first rookie quarterback to pass for at least 300 yards in three consecutive games in league annals.

The two AFC North quarterbacks will meet for the first time when the Ravens host the Bengals on Sunday. It will mark the fifth instance in NFL history in which the reigning league MVP and the most recent number 1 overall pick meet as starting quarterbacks. The reigning MVP has won three of the previous four meetings.

The games featuring the reigning league MVP and most recent number 1 overall pick as starting quarterbacks in NFL history:

MVP (TEAM) vs. NO. 1 OVERALL PICK (TEAM) – DATE OF GAME (RESULT)
Lamar Jackson (Baltimore) vs. Joe Burrow (Cincinnati) – October 11, 2020 (???)
Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay) vs. Andrew Luck (Indianapolis) – October 7, 2012 (INDIANAPOLIS 30, GREEN BAY 27)
Peyton Manning (Indianapolis) vs. Alex Smith (San Francisco) – October 9, 2005 (INDIANAPOLIS 28, SAN FRANCSICO 3)
Ken Stabler (Oakland) vs. Steve Bartkowski (ATLANTA) – November 30, 1975 (OAKLAND 37, ATLANTA 34)+
John Brodie (San Francisco) vs. Jim Plunkett (New England) – October 31, 1971 (SAN FRANCISCO 27, NEW ENGLAND 10)

  • Stabler is in the Hall of Fame

80 FOR ODELL: In 79 career games, Cleveland wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has recorded 480 receptions for 6,747 yards and 51 touchdowns.

With at least 38 receiving yards against Indianapolis, Beckham would surpass Torry Holt (6,784 receiving yards) for the third-most receiving yards by a player in his first 80 career games in NFL history.

The players with the most receiving yards in their first 80 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (RECEIVING YARDS)
Lance AlworthH – San Diego Chargers (7,854) OF
Julio Jones – ATLANTA (7,676)
Torry Holt – St. Louis Rams (6,784)
Odell Beckham Jr. – New York Giants and Cleveland (6,747)*
*in 79 career games

With three receptions on Sunday, Beckham would surpass Keenan Allen (482 receptions) for the third-most receptions yards by a player in his first 80 career games in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions in their first 80 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (RECEPTIONS)
Anquan Boldin – Arizona (502)
Julio Jones – ATLANTA (501)
Keenan Allen – San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (482)
Jarvis Landry – Miami and Cleveland (481)
Odell Beckham Jr. – New York Giants and Cleveland (480)*
*in 79 career games

RIDICULOUS ROOKIE RECEIVERS: Minnesota wide receiver Justin Jefferson leads all rookies with 348 receiving yards this season, including at least 100 receiving yards in each of the past two weeks.

With at least 100 receiving yards against Seattle Sunday night, Jefferson can become the second player with at least 100 receiving yards in three of his first five career games in the Super Bowl era, joining Byron Williams (1983).

Dallas wide receiver Ceedee Lamb leads all rookie with 21 receptions this season and has had at least five receptions in each of his first four games.

With at least five receptions on Sunday against the New York Giants, Lamb can become the second player with at least five receptions in each of his first five career games in NFL history, joining Terry Glenn (1996).

ALVIN & THE TOUCHDOWNS: In 49 career games, New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara has recorded 5,033 scrimmage yards and 44 scrimmage touchdowns, including 16 career games with at least two touchdowns.

With at least two touchdowns against the Los Angeles Chargers Monday night, Kamara can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famers Marcus Allen (16 games) and Steve Van Buren (16), as well as Chuck Foreman (16) for the second-most games with at least two touchdowns in their first 50 career games in NFL history. Only Larry Johnson (18 games) had more.

The players with the most games with at least two touchdowns in their first 50 career games in NFL history:​

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES)
Larry Johnson, Kansas City (18)
Marcus Allen, Los Angeles Raiders (16)HOF
Chuck Foreman, Minnesota (16)
Steve Van Buren, Philadelphia (16)HOF
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans (16)*
*in 49 career games

HERE’S TO YOU, MR. ROBINSON: Jacksonville running back James Robinson leads all rookies with 446 scrimmage yards this season, while recording at least 100 scrimmage yards in each of the last three games.

With at least 90 scrimmage yards on Sunday at Houston, Robinson will become the sixth player with at least 90 scrimmage yards in each of his first five career games in NFL history. He would become the first undrafted player to accomplish the feat.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least 90 scrimmage yards to begin a career in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES)
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (2018 – 13)
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (1983 – 11)HOF
Kareem Hunt, Kansas City (2017 – 7)
Glenn Davis, Los Angeles Rams (1950 – 5)
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota (2007 – 5)
James Robinson, Jacksonville (2020 – 4)*
*Active streak

GARRETT GAME-CHANGER: Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett ties for the NFL lead in sacks (five) and forced fumbles (three) this season. In each of his last three games, Garrett has recorded both a sack and forced fumble.

With a sack and forced fumble on Sunday against Indianapolis, Garrett will become the fourth player to record a sack and forced fumble in four consecutive games since 2000. Each of the previous three players to accomplish the feat have gone on to lead their respective team in sacks on the way to the postseason.

The players with the most consecutive games with at a sack and forced fumble since 2000:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES)
Khalil Mack, Chicago (2018 – 4)
Robert Mathis, Indianapolis (2005 – 4)
Simeon Rice, Tampa Bay (2002 – 4)
Myles Garrett, Cleveland (2020 – 3)*
*Active streak

Week five got underway in the Windy City as Nick Foles and Da Bears held off a late Tom Brady rally at Soldier Field in a Super Bowl QB rematch Thursday night and ends tenatively Tuesday night in Nashville as Buffalo takes on Tennessee at Nissan Stadium. Pittsburgh and Tennessee return from their unplanned bye week, while Detroit and Green Bay have their scheduled week off, with Denver and New England taking byes as well after the postponment of their Monday night contest in Foxboro. As for last week, it was a decent week, as we went 9-6 and for the season, that puts us at 40-23. Because we have more chaos schedule-wise, we’re going to make every game this weekend “DRILL WORTHY!”

(For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 61 last June and dates a 45-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

With that, there’s stil a lot of football left to play. Here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week five.

Carolina (2-2) at ATLANTA (0-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. They’re separated by 245 miles along I-85 and they meet in the Big Peach as NFC South rivals Carolina and Atlanta meet. Teddy Bridgewater and Carolina, sitting in second in the NFC South, travels to Atlanta face off against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons, who are still in search of their first win.

Bridgewater and the Panthers took care of Arizona 31-21 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte last Sunday. After scoring the first 14 points of the contest in the first quarter unchallenged, Carolina led 21-7 at the intermission, even though they were outscored by the Desert Angry Birds 14-10 in the final 30 minutes of play. Carolina outrushed Arizona 168-129 with Panthers RB Mike Davis as the leading rusher with 84 yards and a TD, while Kyler Murray led Arizona with 78 yards. Bridgewater threw for 276 yards and a pair of TD passes along with a rushing TD, while Murray threw for 133 yards and three TDs (Bridgewater threw an interception but was not sacked, while Murray was sacked once without being picked off). Carolina went 7 of 11 on third down tries in the Tar Heel State (the Panthers were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:08, while Arizona, keeping the pigskin for 22:52, went 3 for 9 on third down.

The Falcons dropped their fourth contest in as many tries in the 2020 campaign, as Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers 30-16 at Lambeau Field last Monday night. Green Bay led from start to finish in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst, taking a 20-3 lead with them to the break. Atlanta was out-rushed by Green Bay 88-78 with Packers RB Aaron Jones leading the way with 71 yards, while Todd Gurley led Atlanta with 57 yards and a pair of TDs. Ryan threw for 285 yards but found himself being sacked four times, while Rodgers threw for 327 yards and four TDs (connecting with TE Robert Tonyan on three of the passes) without an interception (Rodgers was sacked once). Atlanta went 3 of 12 on third down tries at Lambeau (the Falcons were 2 of 4 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:22, while the Packers, who held on to the pigskin for 29:38, went 6 of 11 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Atlanta leads the series 32-18, the Falcons have outscored Carolna 1,097-966 and have won the last five meetings, including sweeping last year’s series (Carolina’s last win over Atlanta came in 2017 in Charlotte by a final of 20-17).

Meeting number one… week 11 at Bank of America Stadium in the Tar Heel State and the Falcons held Carolina to a Joey Slye field goal late in the game to leave Charlotte 29-3 winners. Atlanta scored the first 26 points of the game unchallenged, taking a 20-0 lead with them to the break.

Carolina did manage to out-rush Atlanta 77-54 and Kyle Allen threw for 325 yards but was sacked five times and threw four interceptions, while Ryan threw for 311 yards and a TD to Calvin Ridley, while he was sacked four times but did not turn the ball over (Ridley had eight cathches for 143 yards, with Falcons teammate Julio Jones chipping in with 91 yards, while Carolina was paced by Colin McCaffery with 121 yards on 11 catches). Atlanta went 6 of 14 on third down (the Falcons were successful in their only fourth down try of the afternoon) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:26, while the Panthers, holding on to the pigskin for 28:34, went 2 of 14 on third down, 3 for 5 on fourth down.

The two clubs met in the Big Peach in week 14 and the Falcons made the sweep of the series a reality, taking a 40-20 win at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The home fans watched Atlanta take a 13-10 lead with them to the intermission, then floored the gas in the second half, outscoring Carolina 27-10 in the final 30 minutes of action. This time, it would be Atlanta’s turn to out-rush Carolina, tallying 159 yards on the ground, while the Panthers had 100 yards of rushing. Ryan threw for 313 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Ridley, the other to Olamide Zaccheaus) with one sack but no interceptions, while Allen threw for 293 yards and TD but was sacked five times and picked off twice. Neither club had a fourth down try in the contest and the Panthers were 3 of 10 on third down, while the Falcons were 5 of 12. Atlanta once again ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 31:45, while the Panthers kept it for 28:15.

In the week 11 contest in Charlotte, the Panthers were favored by 5 1/2 but Atlanta’s win by 26 allowed them to cover the spread. Both teams missed the 49 1/2 over/under, as they only could muster 35 points. In the week 14 affair in the Big Peach, the boys and girls in Vegas liked the Falcons and favored them by only 2 points. Atlanta not only prevailed in that contest, they covered as they would win by 20 and the two teams merged for 60 points, easily covering the 48 over/under. Atlanta’s favored by 2 in the Big Peach and the over/under’s 54. Carolina’s looking to end their losing streak against Atlanta, while the Falcons and Ryan look to end their losing streak. Falcons RISE UP in the Big Peach and picks up their first win of the season, covering the 2.

Cincinnati (1-2-1) at Baltimore (3-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of AFC North rivals meet in Charm City as Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens host Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams took wins in last week’s play.

Cincinnati picked up their first win of the 2020 season at Paul Brown Stadium last Sunday, holding off Garner Minshew and the Jacksonville Jaguars 33-25. The Bengals trailed 13-10 at the intermission, then proceeded to outscore the Jaguars 23-12 in the last 30 minutes of play, scoring 17 points in the third quarter unchallenged. Bengals RB Joe Mixon led the way for all rushers with 151 yards and a pair of TDs as Cincinnati out-rushed Jacksonville 205-89 and Burrow threw for 300 yards and a TD to Mixon, while Minshew threw for 351 yards and a pair of TDs to WR D.J. Chark, Jr. (both Burrow and Minshew threw an interception; Burrow was sacked once, while Minshew was sackced three times). Both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down tries; on third down conversions, Jacksonville was 2 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:49, while the Bengals, keeping the ball for 33:11, went 4 of 11 on third down.

Baltimore returns to Charm City with a 31-17 win over Washington under their belts at FedEX Field. The Ravens led 21-10 at the break and never looked back in the win over their next-door neighbors. Baltimore out-rushed Washington 144-69 at Landover and Jackson (193 yards, sack, interception) led the Ravens with 53 yards rushing and had a rushing TD of his own, while throwing a pair of TD passes to TE Mack Andrews. Washington’s Dwayne Haskins threw for 314 yards without a TD or sack but did not throw an interception. Baltimore went 5 of 11 on third down (the Ravens were perfect on fourth down, going 2 of 2) and kept the ball for 29:22, while Washington actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:38, went 4 of 13 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

The Ravens hold a 25-23 lead in the series, have outscored Cinicinnati 1,061-899 and have won the last three meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Cincinnati’s last win over the Ravens came in 2018 when they were 34-23 winners along the shores of the Ohio River).

Round one… week six in Charm City at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore, leading 17-10 at the half, held on to take the 23-17 win. The Bengals came to within seven with 1:28 left in the contest when Andy Dalton scored on a 2-yard run but did not recover the onside kick, allowing the Ravens to run out the clock and take the win. Jackson led all rushers with 152 yards and a TD as the Ravens, rushing for 269 yards (Mark Ingram chipped in with 52 yards and a TD), would hold the Bengals to 33 yards rushing and pick off Dalton (235 yards, two sacks) once, with Jackson throwing for 236 yards with a sack but no interceptions. The Bengals were 5 of 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 20:18, while the Ravens were rulers of the clock, keeping toe pigskin for 39:42, going 9 of 15 on third down (neither team had a fourth down try).

Baltimore made it a sweep along the shores of the Ohio River in week 10 at Paul Brown Stadium as the Ravens manhandled the Bengals 49-13. Baltimore took a 28-10 lead with them to the break before flooring the gas in the second half, outscoring Cincinnati 21-3 in the last 30 minutes of play. The Bengals did manage to outrush Baltimore 157-136 with Cincinnati RB Joe Mixon leading the way with 114 yards, while Jackson, throwing for 223 yards and three TDs (two to Mark Andrews), ran for 65 yards for Baltimore. Ryan Finley, who took over for Dalton, threw for 167 yards and a TD but was sacked twice and threw an interception (Jackson was not sacked and did not throw an interception). Baltimore was 4 of 6 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 23:49, while the Bengals ruled the clock and played keep-away with the pigskin for 36:11, while going 7 of 14 and 1 of 4 on third and fourth downs.

The odds-makers in Vegas liked the Ravens as 11-point favorites in the week six contest in Charm City and the Ravens came away covering with the 14-point win. However, both teams missed the 48 over/under, tallying only 40 points. Baltimore in the week 10 rematch along the shores of the Ohio River was favored by 9 1/2 and covered that, winning by 36 points. This time, the two teams covered the 45 1/2 over/under with 62 points. The Ravens find themselves being favored as 12-point favorites with a 51 over/under. We can live with the over/under, it’s the 12 that keeps us up at night. Cincinnati’s not 12 points bad and they’ll make it closer than the 12 but the Ravens prevail in Charm City with the win.

Jacksonville (1-3) at Houston (0-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of AFC South rivals, trying to stay out of the cellar in the division, meet in the Lone Star State as DeShaun Watson, J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans host Garner Minshew and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Both look to right their ships after losses last week.

Jacksonville watched Joe Burrow and Cincinnati pick up their first win of the 2020 season at Paul Brown Stadium last Sunday, holding off Garner Minshew and the Jacksonville Jaguars 33-25. Jacksonville led 13-10 at the intermission, then watched that lead get away from them as the Bengals proceeded to outscore the Jaguars 23-12 in the last 30 minutes of play, scoring 17 points in the third quarter unchallenged.

Bengals RB Joe Mixon led the way for all rushers with 151 yards and a pair of TDs as Cincinnati out-rushed Jacksonville 205-89 and Burrow threw for 300 yards and a TD to Mixon, while Minshew threw for 351 yards and a pair of TDs to WR D.J. Chark, Jr. (both Burrow and Minshew threw an interception; Burrow was sacked once, while Minshew was sackced three times). Both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down tries; on third down conversions, Jacksonville was 2 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:49, while the Bengals, keeping the ball for 33:11, went 4 of 11 on third down.

Houston enters the contest with a new coach on the sideline as head coach/general manager Bill O’Brien was relieved of his duties Monday after their loss to Minnesota last Sunday and replaced with Romeo Crennel on an interim basis. The Texans also look to pick up their first win of the 2020 season after they were taken to task by Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings 31-23 last Sunday at NRG Stadium. Houston trailed 17-7 at the break but managed to keep the contest close, outscoring the Vikings 17-14 in the final 30 minutes of play.

Minnesota’s Delvin Cook led all rushers with 130 yards and a pair of TDs as his team out-rushed Houston 162-96 and Cousins threw for 260 yards and a TD toss to Adam Thielen, while Watson threw for 300 yards and a pair of TDs (both Cousins and Watson were sacked three times but did not throw an interception). Minnesota was 5 of 12 on third down (the Vikings were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 36:31 to Houston’s 23:29 (the Texans were 3 of 12 on third down and 1 of 2 on fourth down).

The Texans lead the series 23-13, have outscored Jacksonville 786-693 and have won the last four meetings in the series, inclding sweeping last year’s contests (Jacksonville’s last win in the series came in 2017, when the Jaguars swept the series that season).

Houston held off a late Jacksonville rally to come away 13-12 winners at NRG Stadium in their first meeting, a week two contest in the Lone Star State. The Texans led 6-3 at the intermission, then held off the Jaguars with 30 seconds left in regulation when D.J. Chark and Minshew connected on a 4-yard TD toss. Jacksonville missed the two-point try that would have given them the lead and went for the onside kick, which the Texans recovered, allowing them to run out the clock.

Houston out-rushed Jacksonville 126-103, with Texans RB Carlos Hyde leading all rushers with 90 yards, while Minshew led Jacksonville with 56. Watson threw for 159 yards and had a rushing TD, while Minshew threw for 213 yards and a TD (both men were sacked four times but did not throw an interception). Houston was 6 of 15 on third down (the Texans were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:59, while the Jaguars were rulers of the clock, holding the ball for 30:01, while going 3 of 13 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Houston made the sweep a reality in week nine but not in north Florida… instead, things shifted East, as in the other side of the Atlantic Ocean at Wembley Stadium and the Texans held Jacksonville to a second quarter field goal by Josh Lambo to take the 26-3 win. Houston led 9-3 at the break, then proceeded to score their next 17 points of the second half unchallenged. Hyde accounted for 160 yards to lead all rushers as the Texans out-rushed Jacksonville 216-74. Watson threw for 201 yards and a pair of TDs with a sack (Watson did not have an interception), while Minshew struggled, throwing for 309 yards with a three sacks and a pair of interceptions. Both teams wer 4 of 11 on third down and Houston kept the ball to themselves for 32:33 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down), while the Jaguars held the pigskin for 27:27 and went 0 of 2 on fourth down.

While Houston was favored by 7 in their week two meeting in Houston, the Texans would come way winning by only 1 and the 43 over/under stayed safe, as both teams mustered only 25 points. In the week nine contest on the other side of the Big Pond, the Texans were favored by 1 in the London contest and covered, winning by 23 but the teams missed the 46 1/2 over/under, tallying a mere 29 points. Houston’s favored by 6 in the Lone Star State and the over/under’s 54 1/2. Both numbers are somewhat reasonable. To paraphrase Jessica Rabbit, “they’re not bad teams, they just play that way.” Texans give Crenrel his first win at NRG Stadium but expect Jacksonville to make things closer than the 6.

Las Vegas (1-3) at Kansas City (4-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. They meet again. They STILL don’t like each other. Even though they’ve changed cities over the years, the hate is still there.

Cats vs. Dogs. Capulets vs. Montagues. North vs. South.

Football’s answer to the Hatfields vs. McCoy takes another turn as Pat Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl champs host the Las Vegas Raiders at Arrowhead.

Buffalo entered Allegiant Stadium in Vegas last Sunday and came away 30-23 winners in the desert. The Silver and Black trailed 17-13 at the break and made the contest a bit closer than the Bills would have like with 89 second left in regulation when Derek Carr and WR Nelson Agholor connected on a 7-yard strike. The Raiders actually out-rushed Buffalo 86-62 and Carr threw for 311 yards, while Bills signal caller Josh Allen threw for 288 yards (both threw a pair of TDs without an interception; Carr was sacked twice, while Allen was sacked once). The Raiders, who fumbled twice in the contest, went 8 of 14 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth down and ruled time, keeping the ball for 31:42, while the Bills held the pigskin for 28:18 , going 7 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Chiefs became the first time in the history of the National Football League to win games on consecutive Monday nights as they took care of the Cam Newton-less New England Patriots, taking the 26-10 win at Arrowhead Stadium. The defending Super Bowl champs led 6-3 at the intermission, then proceeded to out-pace New England 20-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. Even though New England out-rushed Kansas City 185-94 (Patriots RB Damian Harris led all rushers with 100 yards), Mahomes burned the Pats for 236 yards and a pair of TDs (connecting with WR Tyreek Hill on one of the tosses), while Blaine Hoyer, taking over for Newton, threw for 130 yards (Hoyer was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Mahomes was sacked once without an interception) in the Monday night affair. Kansas City was 4 of 11 on third down tries at Arrowhead and kept the ball for 28:26, while the Patriots actually ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 31:34 and went 6 of 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

The Chiefs lead the series 65-52-2 (including contests that were played in Dallas when the Chiefs were known as the Texans and the Raiders were in Oakland and Los Angeles), have outscored the Silver and Black 2,564-2,272 and have taken wins in the last five meetings, inclding sweeping the series last year (the Raiders’ last win in the series came in 2017 in Oakland by a final of 31-30).

Mahomes and the Chiefs erased a 10-0 deficit at the end of the first quarter, scoring 28 second quarter points unchallenged to win 28-10 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in their week two meeting. Using four TD passes (two to Demarcus Robinson, one to Travis Kelce and Mecole Hardman), the Chiefs took the lead into the break (the two teams then went scoreless in the final 30 minutes of play) and never looked back.

Although the Chiefs were held to 31 yards rushing (the Raiders ran for 129 yards, with Oakland RB Josh Jacobs leading all rushers with 99 yards), Mahomes threw for 443 yards with the four TDs tosses with no interceptions, while Carr threw for 198 yards and the Raiders’ only TD in the contest (Mahomes was sacked twice, Carr was sacked three times and threw a pair of interceptions). Kansas City went 8 of 14 on third down tries and kept the ball for 32:35; the Raiders, keeping the ball for 27:25, went 6 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Chiefs would sweep the series, with the teams meeting at Arrowhead Stadium in week 13 and took a 40-9 win over the Raiders. Kansas City scored their first 30 points unchallenged, leading 21-0 at the half and 31-0 at the end of the third quarter before the Raiders would score their only points of the contest, first with Daniel Carlson connecting on a 34-yard field goal and TE Derek Carrier connecting with Carr on a 4-yard TD toss, only to see Chiefs CB Charvarius Ward score on a 2-point defensive conversion.

Oakland out-rushed the Chiefs 122-96 with Josh Jacobs leading the way with 104 yards and Carr threw for 222 yards and the TD, while Mahomes threw for 175 yards and a TD (Mahomes was sacked once without a pick, while Carr was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions). The Chiefs were 7 of 11 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 28:19, while the Silver and Black were rulers of the clock, keeping the pigskin for 31:41, going 3 of 9 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The oddsmakers liked Kansas City as 6 1/2-point favorites in the week two contest and the Chiefs covered, winning by 18. The two clubs only tallied 38 points, missing the 53 over/under. Int he week 13 contest in the Show-Me State, the Chiefs covered the 10-point spread, winning by 31 points but the two clubs barely missed the 51 over/under with 49 ponts. Vegas likes the Chiefs as 12-point favorites in the Show-Me State and the over/under’s 55. The Raiders would love nothing more than to put an end to their misery regarding the Chiefs. As for the Chiefs? They want to stay unbeaten. Kansas City’s going to get their wish and take the win at Arrowhead but expect the Raiders to make the contest closer than the 12.

Arizona (2-2) at New York Jets (0-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV710. Arizona makes their way to upstate New Jersey for an early afternoon contest with the New York Jets at Met Life Stadium. Both teams took losses in their contests last week.

Arizona watched Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers come away 31-21 winners at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte last Sunday. After the Panthers would score the first 14 points of the contest in the first quarter unchallenged, Arizona trailed 21-7 at the intermission, even though the Desert Angry Birds would outscore Carolina 14-10 in the final 30 minutes of play. Carolina outrushed Arizona 168-129 with Panthers RB Mike Davis as the leading rusher with 84 yards and a TD, while Kyler Murray led Arizona with 78 yards. Bridgewater threw for 276 yards and a pair of TD passes along with a rushing TD, while Murray threw for 133 yards and three TDs (Bridgewater threw an interception but was not sacked, while Murray was sacked once without being picked off). Carolina went 7 of 11 on third down tries in the Tar Heel State (the Panthers were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:08, while Arizona, keeping the pigskin for 22:52, went 3 for 9 on third down.

GangGreen is still searching for that elusive first win and found themselves on the short end of a 37-28 loss to Denver last Sunday at Met Life Stadium. The Broncos erased a 7-3 deficit at the end of the first quarter, taking a 17-13 lead with them to the break and proceeded to floor the gas the rest of the way, outscoring the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 20-15 in the final 30 minutes of play.

While the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! out-rushed Denver 129-117, Denver’s Melvin Gordon led all rushers with 107 yards and a pair of TDs, while Darnold, throwing for 230 yards, led GangGreen with 84 yards and had a rushing TD (Darnold was sacked six times but did not throw an interception; Denver’s Brett Rypien threw for 242 yards with a pair of TDs, while he was picked off three times).

GangGreen leads the series 6-3 (which includes games played in St. Louis, Phoenix, Shea Stadium and Giants Stadium) and the Desert Angry Birds have outscored the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 164-161. Their last meeting was 2016 in Glendale andh the Cardinals were 28-3 winners at State Farm Stadium, while GangGreen’s last win came in 2012 at Giants Stadium by a final of 7-6. Arizona’s favored by 7 1/2 in the Meadowlands and the over/under’s 47. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! aren’t a bad football team, although they play like one at times. While Arizona will take this one on the East Coast, don’t expect the Desert Angry Birds to cover the 7 1/2.

Philadelphia (1-2-1) at Pittsburgh (3-0), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. They’re separated by 304 miles along I-76 and share the same state. Ben Roethlisberger and the undefeated Steelers host the Eagles at Heinz Field in an early afternoon Keystone State contest.

Philadelphia held off a late San Francisco rally on the West Coast last Sunday night as the Eagles left Levis’ Stadium 25-20. The Eagles led 8-7 at the intermission before San Francisco passed them, taking a 14-11 lead with them to the end of the third quarter. A 42-yard pass from Carson Wentz to WR Terry Fulgham and an interception return for a TD by LB Alex Singleton would give the Eagles a 25-14 before the 49ers narrowed the gap with 2:02 when RB Jerick McKinnon scored on a 1-yard run. San Francisco then went for two and failed to convert on the try. San Francisco then forced the Eagles to go three and out and got the ball back with 1:40 left and got as close as Philadelphia’s 33-yard line before time expired.

San Francisco out-rushed the Eagles 116-93 and Wentz threw for 193 yards and the Fulgham TD pass, while Nick Mullins, who took over for Jimmy Garoppolo, threw for 200 yards and a TD to TE George Kittle (Mullins was four times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Wentz threw an interception and was sacked three times). Philadelphia went 4 of 13 on third down tries (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and would keep the ball for 29:29, while the 49ers ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 30:31 (including the final 1:40 of the contest) and went 5 of 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Pittsburgh had an unscheduled bye last week as their contest with the Tennessee Titans was pushed back to October 25th because of the COVID 19 virus outbreak that hit the Titans. Their last contest was two Sundays ago at Heinz Field against the Houston Texans and the Steelers rallied to come away 28-21 winners. Trailing the Texans and DeShaun Watson 21-17 at the break, Pittsburgh would score their last 11 points of the contest in the second half unchallenged, taking the lead for keeps with 6:24 when RB James Conner scored on a 12-yard run and Roethlisberger and WR JuJu Smith-Schuester connected on a 2-point conversion. Pittsburgh out-rushed Houston 169-29 with Conner leading all rushers with 109 yards and the game-winning TD. Roethlisberger threw for 237 and a pair of TDs (connecting with Smith-Schuester on one of the tosses) and was sacked twice without an interception, while Watson threw for 264 yards and a pair of TDs but was sacked five times and picked off once.

Philadelphia leads the series 47-28-3 (including games that were played in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Buffalo, New York, Charleston, West Virginia as well as games played when the two teams merged and were known as the Steegals and the Steelers were known as the Pirates and games played at Forbes Field, JFK Stadium, Three Rivers and Veterans Stadium) and the Eagles have outrscored the Steelers 1,477-1,116. Philadelphia won the last meeting, which took place in the City of Brotherly Love in 2016 by a final of 34-3, while Pittsburgh’s last win came in the Steel City in 2012 by a final of 16-14.

The boys and girls in Vegas like the Steelers at 7 1/2-point favorites in western Pennsylvania and the over/under’s 40 1/2. Expect the Eagles to make this one close but the Steelers keep the unbeaten streak going, winning at home.

Los Angeles Rams (3-1) at Washington (1-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams make their way to Landover for an early afternoon showdown (early morning Los Angeles time) with Washington at FedEx Field. Washington looks to pick up their first home win since week one, while the Rams took to keep themselves in the NFC West hunt.

The Rams bounced back from their loss at Buffalo as they took the New York Giants to task 19-7 at SoFi Stadium last Sunday afternoon. Los Angeles took a 10-6 lead with them to the break and never looked back to take the win on the West Coast. While the Giants did out-rush the Rams 136-58, Goff burned Big Blue for 200 yards with a TD toss to Cooper Kupp; for the Giants, Daniel Jones threw for 190 yards with five sacks and an interception (Goff was sacked twice but did not throw an interception). The Rams were 5 of 13 on third down tries in southern California (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:43, while Big Blue actually ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 33:17, going 4 of 13 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Washington returns to Landover with a 31-17 loss to Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens at FedEX Field last Sunday. Baltimore led 21-10 at the break and never looked back in the win over their next-door neighbors. The Ravens out-rushed Washington 144-69 at Landover and Jackson (193 yards, sack, interception) led the Ravens with 53 yards rushing and had a rushing TD of his own, while throwing a pair of TD passes to TE Mack Andrews. Washington’s Dwayne Haskins threw for 314 yards without a TD or sack but did not throw an interception. Baltimore went 5 of 11 on third down (the Ravens were perfect on fourth down, going 2 of 2) and kept the ball for 29:22, while Washington actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:38, went 4 of 13 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Washington leads the series 24-11-1 (which includes contests that were played in Boston when the Washington team were known as the Braves, as well as games played in Anaheim and St. Louis) and have outscored the Rams 837-691. Washington has won the last two contests in the series, inclding a 27-20 win in Los Angeles in 2017, while the Rams’s last win over Washington came in 2014 in Landover as they would pitch a 24-0 shutout at FedEx Field. The Rams are favored by 7 in Landover with the over/under at 46 1/2. Los Angeles takes care of business in Landover, taking the win and covering the 7.

Miami (1-3)at San Francisco (2-2), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of struggling teams meet in wine country as Miami travels to Santa Clara for a meeting at Levis’ Stadium with the San Francisco 49ers. Both teams took home losses in last week’s contests.

Miami watched Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks remained unblemished after their 31-23 win oin the Sunshine State last week. While Miami did manage to out-rush Seattle 103-98 but Wilson took the Miami secondary to school, burning them for 360 yards and a pair of TDs, despite being sacked twice and picked off once, while Ryan Tannehill threw for 315 yards with a sack and a pair of interceptions. Seattle was 4 of 10 on third down (the Seahawks were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and they would keep the ball for 26:51, while the Dolphins were ball hawks, holding on to the pigskin for 33:09, going 7 of 13 on third down tries.

A late San Francisco rally on the West Coast last Sunday night fell short as the 49ers dropped a 25-20 decision at Levis Stadium against Philadelphia. The Eagles led 8-7 at the intermission before San Francisco passed them, taking a 14-11 lead with them to the end of the third quarter. A 42-yard pass from Carson Wentz to WR Terry Fulgham and an interception return for a TD by LB Alex Singleton would give the Eagles a 25-14 before the 49ers narrowed the gap with 2:02 when RB Jerick McKinnon scored on a 1-yard run. San Francisco then went for two and failed to convert on the try. San Francisco then forced the Eagles to go three and out and got the ball back with 1:40 left and got as close as Philadelphia’s 33-yard line before time expired.

San Francisco out-rushed the Eagles 116-93 and Wentz threw for 193 yards and the Fulgham TD pass, while Nick Mullins, who took over for Jimmy Garoppolo, threw for 200 yards and a TD to TE George Kittle (Mullins was four times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Wentz threw an interception and was sacked three times). Philadelphia went 4 of 13 on third down tries (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and would keep the ball for 29:29, while the 49ers ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 30:31 (including the final 1:40 of the contest) and went 5 of 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Including games played at the Orange Bowl, Keezar Park and Candlestick Park, Miami leads the series 7-5 but the 49ers have outscored the ‘Fins 258-198. They last met in 2016 in the Sunshine State and the Dolphins prevailed 31-24, while San Francisco’s last win came on the West Coast in 2012 by a final of 27-13. San Francisco’s favored by 9 1/2 and the over/under’s 56 1/2. If nothing else, take a pass on this one (unless you’re a fan of either team) and watch that “NCIS” marathon on USA (the idea of Ziva head-slapping Tony? CLASSIC!) San Francisco wins this one but expect the Dolphins to make this one closer than the 9 1/2.

Indianapolis (3-1) at Cleveland (3-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. Philip Rivers and the Indianpolis Colts travel to the shores of Lake Erie for a late afternoon contest with Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns. Both teams found themselves in the winners’ circle in last week’s action.

Rivers and the Colts gave Chicago their first loss of the 2020 season, as Indianapolis came away from Soldier Field 19-11 winners last Sunday afternoon. The Colts led 13-3 at the break but managed to hold off Da Bears, who would outscore the Colts 8-6 in the final 30 minutes of play to keep the contest close. Indinapolis held Chicago to a season-low 28 yards along the shores of Lake Michigan as the Colts ran for 103 yards. Rivers threw for 190 yards with a TD toss to Mo Alie-Cox, while Foles threw for 249 yards and a TD to Allen Robinson II (Robinson had seven catches for 101 yards; both Foles and Rivers were sacked once and Foles threw the game’s only interception). Chicago went 4 of 14 on third down tries in the Windy City and kept the ball for 27:32, while the Colts ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:28 and went 8 of 19 on third down, 1 for 2 on fourth down.

The Browns shocked the football world last Sunday as Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr. and Cleveland went into AT&T Stadium last Sunday and beat Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys 49-38. Dallas led 14-7 at the end of the first quarter before Cleveland took off in the second and third quarters, scoring 34 points unchallenged (the Browns led 31-14 at the intermission) in those two periods. Cleveland out-rushed Dallas 307-85 and Mayfield threw for 165 yards and a pair of TDs to Beckham (who had a rushing TD as well), while Prescott threw for a season-high 502 yards and four TDs (connecting with rookie WR CeeDee Lamb on two of the tosses; Mayfield was sacked twice, Prescott was sacked three times and threw the game’s only interception). Cleveland on third down tries? 5 for 11 and the Browns were miserly with the clock, keeping the ball for 33:27, while the Cowboys, keeping the pigskin for 26:33, went 6 of 11 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Including games played in Baltimore, the Colts lead the series 15-14 but the Browns have outscored the Colts 600-558. The Colts have come away with wins in the last three meetings, including a 31-28 win in the Hoosier State in 2017, while Cleveland’s last win in the series came in 2011 in Indy by a final of 27-19. Cleveland’s favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 47 1/2. The winner moves themselves a bit closer to the post-season. Cleveland takes the win along the shores of Lake Erie, covering the 1 1/2.

New York Giants (0-4) at Dallas (1-3), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. Forget tre records. A pair of NFC East rivals, trying to stay out of the cellar in their division, meet at AT&T Stadium. Each team took losses in last week’s play.

The Giants dropped their fourth contest in a row as Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams took Big Blue to task 19-7 at SoFi Stadium last Sunday afternoon. Los Angeles took a 10-6 lead with them to the break and never looked back to take the win on the West Coast. Although the Giants did out-rush the Rams 136-58, Goff burned Big Blue for 200 yards with a TD toss to Cooper Kupp; for the Giants, Daniel Jones threw for 190 yards with five sacks and an interception (Goff was sacked twice but did not throw an interception). The Rams were 5 of 13 on third down tries in southern California (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:43, while Big Blue actually ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 33:17, going 4 of 13 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Dallas let a 7-0 lead get away from them against Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns at Jerry World (AT&T Stadium) as Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr. and the Browns took Dak Prescott and the Cowboys to task 49-38. The Cowboy let a 14-7 at the end of the first quarter get away from them as Cleveland took off in the second and third quarters, scoring 34 points unchallenged (the Browns led 31-14 at the intermission) in those two periods. Cleveland out-rushed Dallas 307-85 and Mayfield threw for 165 yards and a pair of TDs to Beckham (who had a rushing TD as well), while Prescott threw for a season-high 502 yards and four TDs (connecting with rookie WR CeeDee Lamb on two of the tosses; Mayfield was sacked twice, Prescott was sacked three times and threw the game’s only interception). Cleveland on third down tries? 5 for 11 and the Browns were miserly with the clock, keeping the ball for 33:27, while the Cowboys, keeping the pigskin for 26:33, went 6 of 11 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Including contests played at Yankee Stadium, the Cotton Bowl, the Yale Bowl, Cowboys Stadium and Giants Stadium, the Cowboys lead the series 68-45-2, have outscored Big Blue 2,626-2,215 and have won the last six contests, including sweeping last year’s series (the Giants’ last win in the series came in 2016 when they were 10-6 winners in the Meadowlands).

Their first meeting? Week one in Jerry World (AT&T Stadium) and the Cowboys scored 14 second quarter points unchallenged to take a 35-17 win. Dallas led 21-7 at the intermission, taking the lead for good when Prescott and TE Jason Whitten connected on a 4-yard TD toss. A second Prescott pass to Amari Cooper with 73 seconds left before the intermission would seal the deal for Dallas.

While Big Blue out-rushed Dallas 151-89 with Giants RB Sequan Barkley leading all rushers with 120 yards (Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliot had 53 yards with a rushing TD), Prescott burned the Giants for 405 yards in the air with four TDs, no sacks or interceptions, while Eli Manning threw for 306 yards with a TD (Manning was sacked once; Dallas’ Michael Gallup led all recievers with 158 yards, Cooper had 106 yards, while New York was paced by Evan Engram, who had 116 yards and a TD). Dallas went 6 of 10 on third down tries and played keep-away the ball for 32:18, while the Giants kept the pigskin for 27:42 and went 2 of 11 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

Dallas made the series a clean sweep as they travel to Met Life Stadium in upstate New Jersey, breaking a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter and coming out on top 13-12 at the break, winning 37-18 in the week nine rematch. Dallas ruled the seocnd half of the contest, outscoring Big Blue 24-6 in the final 30 minutes of play. Elliott ran for 139 yards as Dallas would out-rush Big Blue 172-100 and Prescott threw for 257 yards and three TDs, while Daniel Jones, taking over for Manning, threw for 210 yards and a TD (Prescott and Jones each threw an interception, with Jones being sacked five times). Dallas went 4 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 28:04, while the Giants were ballhogs, holding on to the pigskin for 31:56, going 5 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week one contest at Jerry World, the Cowboys covered the 7-point spread with their 18 point win and the 52 combined points allowed both teams to take care of the 45 1/2 over/under. Dallas in the week nine Monday night affair was favored by 7 and the Cowboys covered the spread, winning by 19 and the two combined for 55 points, covering the 48 over/under. Dallas is favored by 8 1/2 in the Lone Star State and the over/under’s 54. Both teams are looking for something resembling stabilty; the Giants look for their first win, the Cowboys looking to get back on track. Dallas wins this one at home and could cover the 8 1/2.

Minnesota (1-3) at Seattle (4-0), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. They’re still standing. Russell Wilson and the 4-0 Seattle Seahawks welcome Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings to the Pacific Northwest for a Sunday evening primetime contest.

Minnesota picked up their first win of the 2020 season, as Cousins and the Vikings took the Houstn Texans to task 31-23 last Sunday at NRG Stadium. Minnesota took a 17-7 lead at the break but Houston managed to keep the contest close, outscoring the Vikings 17-14 in the final 30 minutes of play.

Minnesota’s Delvin Cook led all rushers with 130 yards and a pair of TDs as his team out-rushed Houston 162-96 and Cousins threw for 260 yards and a TD toss to Adam Thielen, while Watson threw for 300 yards and a pair of TDs (both Cousins and Watson were sacked three times but did not throw an interception). Minnesota was 5 of 12 on third down (the Vikings were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 36:31 to Houston’s 23:29 (the Texans were 3 of 12 on third down and 1 of 2 on fourth down).

Seattle remained unblemished after their 31-23 win over Miami in the Sunshine State last week. The Seahawks led 17-9 and stayed one step ahead of Miami throughout the contest. Miami did manage to out-rush Seattle 103-98 but Wilson took the Miami secondary to school, burning them for 360 yards and a pair of TDs, despite being sacked twice and picked off once, while Ryan Tannehill threw for 315 yards with a sack and a pair of interceptions. Seattle was 4 of 10 on third down (the Seahawks were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and they would keep the ball for 26:51, while the Dolphins were ball hawks, holding on to the pigskin for 33:09, going 7 of 13 on third down tries.

The Seahawks lead the series 11-5, have outscored the Purple Gang 432-361 and have won the last five regular season meetings, including a 37-30 win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks on a Monday night (Minnesota’s last win came in 2009 in the Twin Cities by a final of 35-9).

Minnesota led 17-10 at the intermission in the week 13 contest at Century Link Field before Seattle stromed back in the second half, outscoring the vikings 27-13 in the last 30 minutes of action, taking the lead for good with 5:46 left in the third on a 29-yard field goal by Josh Myers. Minnesota would get a couple of TD passes from Cousins (one to Laquon Treadwell, the other to Kyle Rudolph) to pull themselves to within four before Myers would connect on a 38-yard field goal to seal the win for Seattle.

Seattle out-rushed Minnesota 218-78 with Seahawks RB Chris Carson leading the way with 102 yards and a TD, with teammate Rashaad Penny chipping with 74 yards and a TD. Wilson threw for 240 yards, while Cousins threw for 276 for the Vikings (both men threw a pair of TDs and an interception, Wilson was sacked twice). Seattle went 7 of 15 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and had time on their side (apologies to Mick Jagger!), as they kept the ball for 39:45, while the Vikings, keeping the pigskin for 20:15, went 5 of 10 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

In the week 13 prime time contest in the Pacific Northwest, the Seahawks were favored by 3 and covered, winning by 7 and both clubs took care of the 49 over/under with 67 points. Seattle’s favored by 7 with a 56 1/2 over/under. The Seahawks would love nothing more than to stay unbeaten, while the Vikings look to knock Seattle out of the ranks of the unbeaten. Seattle doesn’t see that happening. Seattle wins in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks.

Los Angeles Chargers (1-3) at New Orleans (2-2), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. The Los Angeles Chargers continue their Southern swing through the NFC South as they travel to take on Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in the Big Easy.

The Chargers watched Tom Brady and the Buccaneers erase a 24-14 deficit at Raymond James Stadium, allowing Tampa Bay to come away 38-31 winners in the Sunshine State last Sunday. Trailing by 10 at the intermission, Tampa Bay proceeded to outscore the Chargers 24-7 in the final 30 minutes of action, taking the lead for good as they would use a 9-yard TD toss from Brady to RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn and a Ryan Succop field goal to take the win. Tampa Bay’s Ronald Jones led all rushers with 111 yards as the Bucs out-rushed the Bolts 115-46. Brady threw for 369 yards and five TDs without a sack, while Los Angeles’ Justin Hebert threw for 290 yards with three TDs and was sacked twice (both men threw an interception; Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans led all recievers with 122 yards and a TD). Tampa Bay went 5 of 11 on third down conversions and ruled the clock as they held on the ball for 34:55, while the Chargers, keeping the pigskin for 25:05, was 4 of 10 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down.

New Orleans erased a 14-7 first quarter deficit and scored 21 second quarter points unchallenged and came away 35-29 winners at Detroit last Sunday. Brees and the Saints held off a late Lions rally at Ford Field as Detroit made it a 6-point contest with 3:40 when Adrian Peterson scored on a 5-yard run and TE T.J. Hockerson connected with QB Matthew Stafford on a 2-point try. New Orleans would get the ball back and ran out the clock for the road win in the Motor City.

New Orleans easily out-rushed the Lions 164-90 with Saints RB Alvin Kamara leading the way with 83 yards and a TD (Peterson led Detroit with 36 yards) and Brees threw for 246 yards and a pair of TDs to Tre’Quan Smith, while Stafford threw for 206 yards and a pair of TDs (including one to Hockerson; both were picked off once, Stafford was sacked three times, Brees was sacked twice). New Orleans went 10 of 14 on third down (the Saints were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and clung to the ball for 36:46, while the Lions, holding the ball for 23:14, went 7 of 14 on third down, 3 of 3 on fourth down.

Including games played in San Diego, London and Tulane Stadium, the Chargers lead the series 7-5 and have outscored the Saints 323-234. New Orleans has taken wins in the last three meetings, including a 35-34 win in San Diego in 2016, while the Chargers’ last win in the series came in 2004 on the West Coast by a final of 43-17.

The Chagers on Monday night are 22-24 and took a loss in their only meeting last year, with their last win coming in 2013, while the Saints are 22-22 but won their only meeting in prime time last year. New Orleans is favored by 7 1/2 in the Big Easy and the over/under’s 51. If nothing else, this one might be somewhat entertaing to watch. The Chargers have actually played better than the 1-3 record and could make things closer than the 7 1/2 but New Orleans prevails in the Big Easy.

The hunter becomes the hunted. When the 2019 National Football League season got underway, the Kansas City Chiefs were hurting from their loss to Tom Brady in the AFC championship game at Arrowhead. When the 2019 season ended in Miami at the Super Bowl, the Chiefs were holding their first Lombardi Trophy in almost five decades. Since that time, the NFL has had to deal with race and social issues and the Covid 19 virus, among other things.

The draft wasn’t normal as we know it. Instead of being on the Vegas strip as many hoped, it was held in the basement of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. There were very few if any OTAs and there were no pre-season games this year.

Still, there’s going to be football. Granted, there will be some stadiums that will not have fans at all this season or only taking 25 percent of their capacity. There won’t be any games in London or Mexico this year, which marks the first time in nearly two decades that the NFL has not crossed over the Big Pond (Atlantic Ocean) or headed south of the border. The season kicked off in the Show-Me State Thursday night as the Chiefs came away winners against Houston and was the first of 256 contests that will be played in the regular season.

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL: New teams making the playoffs and winning divisions, consistent teams excelling once again, records falling and young players making their mark all combined to help shape the story of the 2019 season. Again, Week 17 came right down to the wire as two playoff spots and two division titles – the NFC East and NFC West – were decided on the last day of the season. The excitement of Week 17 was due in part to having 16 divisional games played on the season’s final day, a tradition instituted in 2010.

Every team enters the 2020 season with a trip to Tampa Bay and Super Bowl LV in mind and below are a few reasons why.
Since the NFL adopted the 12-team playoff format in 1990, at least four teams every season have qualified for the playoffs
after failing to make the postseason the year before. Five teams that missed the postseason in 2018 – Buffalo (10-6),
Green Bay (13-3), Minnesota (10-6), San Francisco (13-3) and Tennessee (9-7) – accomplished the feat in 2019.

Speaking of the playoffs…. (playoffs? playoffs? are you kidding me?) NFL clubs voted to expand the postseason by two teams beginning with the 2020 season. Expanding the NFL postseason was addressed in the new NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. Players and clubs both recognized that nothing energizes fans like the chance to see their team qualify for
the playoffs and compete for the Super Bowl.

The vote during a league meeting in March held remotely follows the recommendation of the Competition Committee, Management Council Executive Committee and Media Committee on increasing the number of playoff teams from 12 to 14.

Two additional Wild Card teams – one each in the American and National Football Conferences – will qualify for the playoffs. The No. 1 seed in each conference will receive a bye in the Wild Card round. The remaining division champions in each conference with the best records will be seeded 2, 3, and 4, followed by the next three teams per conference with the best records seeded 5, 6 and 7.

AFC and NFC Wild Card games will feature the 2 seed hosting the 7 seed, the 3 seed hosting the 6 seed and the 4 seed hosting the 5 seed.

Wild Card Weekend for the 2020 season will consist of three games on Saturday, January 9 and three games on Sunday, January 10, 2021.

CBS will broadcast one additional Wild Card game on January 10 with kickoff at approximately 4:40 p.m. Eastern. The game will also be available via a livestream on CBS All Access. Additionally, as part of CBS’ coverage, a separately produced telecast of the game will air on Nickelodeon, tailored for a younger audience.

NBC, its new streaming service Peacock, as well as Telemundo will all broadcast an additional Wild Card game on January 10 with kickoff at approximately 8:15 p.m. Eastern.

The NFL last expanded the playoffs for the 1990 season, increasing from 10 to 12 the number of teams to qualify for the postseason. Since 1990, at least four new teams have qualified for the playoffs that missed the postseason the year before – a streak of 30 consecutive seasons.

COME FLY WTIH ME: This is your captain speaking. We’re going to be flying around a lot this season, so you might want to buckle that seat belt, turn off the electronic devices and follow the instructions of the flight attendant.

  1. Seattle 28,878
  2. San Francisco 25,485
  3. Los Angeles Chargers 25,387
  4. New England 24,560
  5. Miami 24,528
  6. Las Vegas 24,100
  7. Arizona 22,598
  8. Los Angeles Rams 22,062
  9. New York Jets 21,122
  10. Buffalo 20,026
    11, Dallas 19,295
  11. Denver 18,525
  12. Tampa Bay 15,834
  13. Washington 15,778
  14. Kansas City 15,636
  15. Jacksonville 15,425
  16. Philadelphia 14,826
  17. Houston 14,597
  18. New Orleans 14,013
  19. Carolina 12,634
  20. Minnesota 12,618
  21. Green Bay 12,285
  22. Atlanta 12,143
  23. New York Giants 11,610
  24. Detroit 10,328
  25. Tennessee 9,096
  26. Indianapolis 8,811
  27. Chicago 8,693
  28. Cincinnati 7,496
  29. Cleveland 7,426
  30. Pittsburgh 6,639
  31. Baltimore 6,292

All together, teams will travel approximately 508,846 miles during the 2020 season. The teams of the NFC West (99,023) have the highest combined mileage total of all divisions. For the first time in nearly two decades, all 256 games in the NFL will be on American soil, as the games in London and Mexico City were postponed because of the Covid 19 virus. Each team will travel an average of 15,901 miles this season (Seattle will fly the most, Baltimore will fly the fewest). Oh… and please return your tray to the upright position.

The remaining division totals ranking from highest to lowest are the AFC East (90,236), AFC West (83,648), NFC East (61,509), NFC South (54,624), AFC South (47,929), NFC North (44,024) and AFC North (27,853).

Three teams – Seattle (28,878), San Francisco (25,485) and Los Angeles Chargers (25,387) – will “travel around the world” at least once. A trip around the globe is 25,000 miles. That’s a lot of frequent flyer miles.

SPECIAL PATCHES AND LOGOS: The National Football League will celebrate the start of a new century in 2020 with the kickoff of its 101st season. At least five NFL teams will be dawning special patches in 2020. Dallas and Minnesota will be celebrating their 60th seasons with jersey patches and/or helmet decals, while Baltimore will be celebrating their 25th anniversary with a jersey patch.

Miami will wear a jersey patch commemorating the life of Pro Football Hall of Famer and legendary Dolphins head coach Don Shula, with his name and the number “347”, to signify his all-time career wins, the most in NFL history and the New York Jets will also wear a patch in memory of Betty Wold Johnson, mother of Jets CEO Christopher Johnson.

WHAT HAPPENED IN KICKOFF WEEKEND 2019 (ICYMI): A look back at statistical highlights from games played on Sunday, September 8, the first week of the 2019 season.

There were a total of 13 offensive touchdowns of 40-or-more yards, the second-most on Kickoff Weekend in NFL history. Only Kickoff Weekend of the 1991 season (14) had more such offensive scores of at least 40 yards. 13 quarterbacks had a passer rating of 115 or higher (minimum 10 attempts) in Week 1, surpassing Week 3 of the 2017 season (12) for the most in any week since 1970.

Four rookies – Tennessee wide receiver A.J. Brown (100 receiving yards), Baltimore wide receiver Marquise Brown (147), Detroit tight end T.J. Hockenson(131) and Washington wide receiver Terry McLaurin (125) – each recorded at least 100 receiving yards in their NFL debuts on Kickoff Weekend. It marked the first week in which three-or-more rookies have each recorded at least 100 receiving yards in their debuts in NFL history. With 131 receiving yards, Hockenson surpassed Monty Stickles (123 receiving yards on September 25, 1960) for the most receiving yards by a tight end in his NFL debut in league history.

Baltimore defeated Miami 59-10 on Kickoff Weekend. The Ravens scored 42 points in the first half, the most by any team in the first half of a season-opening game in NFL history. The Ravens, who scored 47 points on Kickoff Weekend in 2018, are the fifth team in league annals and first since the 1967-68 Oakland Raiders to score at least 40 points in consecutive season-opening games.

Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson completed 17 of 20 attempts for 324 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 158.3 passer rating in the victory. Jackson is the seventh quarterback in NFL history and first since Ben Roethlisberger (November 11, 2018) with at least 300 passing yards, five touchdowns and a 158.3 passer rating, the highest attainable mark, in a single game in NFL history.

Baltimore rookie wide receiver Marquise Brown recorded touchdowns of 47 and 83 yards on his first two catches in his NFL debut. Brown became the first player in NFL history with two touchdown receptions of at least 40 yards in his NFL debut and his 83-yard touchdown reception is the second-longest by a player in his NFL debut in the Super Bowl era, trailing only Rick Upchurch (90-yard touchdown reception on September 21, 1975).

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 378 yards and three touchdowns for a 143.2 passer rating in the Chiefs’ 40-26 win at Jacksonville. Mahomes, who has 5,759 passing yards in 18 career games, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (5,613 passing yards) for the most passing yards by a player in his first 20 career games in NFL history. Mahomes’ 53 touchdown passes are also the most by any player in his first 20 career games.

Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins had nine receptions for 198 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Watkins is the fourth player in NFL history to record at least 195 receiving yards and three touchdown receptions in a season-opening game, joining Frank Clarke (September 16, 1962), Irving Fryar (September 4, 1994) and Hugh Taylor (September 28, 1947).

Jaguars rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew completed 88 percent of his pass attempts (22 of 25), the highest completion percentage (minimum 15 attempts) by a quarterback in his NFL debut in league annals. Minshew completed his first 13 pass attempts, the longest streak to start a career among players who made their NFL debut over the past 40 seasons.

Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott completed 25 of 32 attempts for 405 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 158.3 rating in the Cowboys’ 35-17 victory against the New York Giants. Prescott is the fourth quarterback to register a 158.3 passer rating, the highest attainable mark, on 30-or-more pass attempts in NFL history, joining Jared Goff (33 attempts on September 27, 2018), Ken O”Brien (32 attempts on November 2, 1986) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (30 attempts on October 1, 2000).

The Los Angeles Chargers defeated Indianapolis 30-24 in overtime while Arizona and Detroit played to a 27-27 tie at State Farm Stadium on Kickoff Weekend. At least one game on Kickoff Weekend has gone to overtime in five of the past six seasons.

The contest between the Cardinals and Lions marked the second consecutive season in which a game ended in a tie in Week 1 and the third tie overall on Kickoff Weekend. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns tied on September 9, 2018, while the Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos played to a 10-10 tie on September 19, 1971.

Chargers running back Austin Ekeler totaled 154 scrimmage yards (96 receiving, 58 rushing) and three touchdowns (two receiving, one rushing) in the victory. Ekeler is the first undrafted player to record at least 150 scrimmage yards, two receiving touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in a single game since Dan Reeves (156 scrimmage yards, two receiving touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns) on November 5, 1967.

Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald recorded eight catches for 113 yards and one touchdown, the 117th touchdown catch of his NFL career. He surpassed Antonio Gates (116 touchdown receptions) for the sixth-most in NFL history.

Other notable performances from Kickoff Weekend 2019 include:

Carolina running back Christian McCaffery had 129 rushing yards and two touchdowns, along with 10 receptions for 81 yards, in the Panthers’ Week 1 loss. McCaffrey, who also had 125 rushing yards and 11 receptions in Week 12 of the 2018 season, is the first player in the Super Bowl era to record at least 120 rushing yards and 10 receptions in multiple games.

New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell totaled 92 scrimmage yards (60 rushing, 32 receiving) and a touchdown reception in the Jets’ Week 1 loss. Bell, who has 8,088 scrimmage yards in 63 career games, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (64 games) to become the fastest player to reach 8,000 scrimmage yards in NFL history.

NEW FACES, NEW PLACES: Three key players have changed uniforms and teams. Tom Brady, who for years called Foxboro and the New England Patriots home, headed to the Gulf Coast of Florida where he will be wearing the colors of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC South, Philips Rivers traded in his powder blue and lighting bolt of the Los Angeles Chargers for the Hoosier State and the Indianapolis Colts, Cam Newton heads to Foxboro after years with the Carolina Panthers and Jameis Winston stays in the NFC South but heads to New Orleans after a stint with the Bucs. Also moving… Andy Dalton, who returns to the Lone Star State as a back up to Dak Prescott as he suits up for the Dallas Cowboys after a long stint with Cincinnati.

There are five new coaches that will be roaming the sidelines when things get underway. Joe Judge (New York Giants), Mike McCarthy (Dallas), Matt Ruhle (Carolina), Ron Rivera (Washington) and Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland) will be on the sidelines this season. There will also be new places as well. The Chargers and Rams will call SoFi Stadium in downtown Los Angeles home after the Rams spent time in the Coliseum and the Chargers were residents at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson and the Raiders leave the Black Hole of the Oakland Coliseum for the desert for the great indoors of Allegiant Stadium. Not to be left out of the change party, the Washington team will no longer be called the Redskins and for the season, they’ll be refered to as the Washington football team. They’ll keep the colors they’ve had since they moved to our nation’s capital from Boston in the 1920s.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR (PLAYERS)

Josh Allen, Buffalo: needs three rushing touchdowns to become the second quarterback with at least 20 rushing touchdowns in his first three seasons in NFL history joining Cam Newton (28). Allen also needs eight rushing touchdowns to become the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for at least eight touchdowns in three consecutive seasons.

Saquon Barkley, New York Giants: needs 57 receptions to become the seventh running back in NFL history with at least 200 receptions through his first three seasons. Barkley also needs 10 games with at least 100 scrimmage yards to become the third player in NFL history with 30 such games through their first three seasons, joining Eric Dickerson (34) and Edgerrin James (32).

Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland: needs 1,000 receiving yards to become the 10th player with at least 1,000 receiving yards in six of his first seven seasons in NFL history.

Le’Veon Bell, New York Jets: needs 60 receptions to become the sixth running back in NFL history with five seasons of at least 60 receptions. Bell also needs 72 receptions to become the fourth running back with at least 450 receptions in his first seven seasons in NFL history. Bell enters 2020 with 378 career receptions in 77 career games.

Tom Brady, Tampa Bay: needs 16 starts to surpass Brett Favre (298 games) for the most games started by a quarterback in NFL history. Brady also needs two games with at least 300 passing yards to surpass Peyton Manning (93 games) for the second-most such games in NFL history, trailing only Drew Brees (120). With eight games with at least three touchdown passes, Brady would surpass Drew Brees and Peyton Manning (93 games) for the most such games in NFL history. Brady needs one more Pro Bowl berth to surpass Tony Gonzalez (14), Peyton Manning (14), Bruce Matthews (14) and Merlin Olsen (14) for the most Pro Bowl berths in NFL history.

Drew Brees, New Orleans: needs 10 starts to become the third quarterback in NFL history to start 300 games, including the postseason, joining Tom Brady (324) and Brett Favre (322). Brees also needs 25 touchdown passes to join Peyton Manning (16 seasons) as the only players in NFL history to have at least 15 seasons with at least 25 touchdown passes. Brees needs one game with at least two touchdown passes to surpass Peyton Manning (165 games) for the second-most such games in NFL history, trailing only Tom Brady (173). With one game with at least three touchdown passes, Brees would surpass Peyton Manning (93 games) for the most such games in NFL history. Brees needs one game with a passer rating of 125 or higher to surpass Peyton Manning (50 games) for the most such games in NFL history.

A.J. Brown, Tennessee: needs at least 1,000 receiving yards, 50 receptions and five receiving touchdowns to become the ninth player in NFL history to accomplish the feat in each of his first two seasons. Brown also needs five games with at least 100 receiving yards to become the ninth player in NFL history with 10 such games through his first two seasons.

Kevin Byard, Tennessee: needs three interceptions and two sacks to become the sixth player in NFL history with at least 20 interceptions and five sacks through his first five seasons in NFL history.

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota: needs 893 passing yards in his first three games of the 2020 season to become the third-fastest player (96 career games) to reach 25,000 career passing yards in NFL history, behind Matthew Stafford (90 games) and Dan Marino (92 games).

Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams: needs eight sacks to become the fourth player since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, to record at least eight sacks in each of his first seven seasons. Donald also needs 13 sacks to become the fourth player since 1982 to record at least 85 sacks in his first seven seasons, joining Reggie White (110), DeMarcus Ware (99.5) and Derrick Thomas (85). Donald has 72 sacks in 94 career games.

Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers: needs 953 scrimmage yards to become the third undrafted player in the common draft era (since 1967) with at least 4,000 scrimmage yards in his first four seasons, joining Arian Foster (6,052) and Willie Parker (4,818). Ekeler has 3,047 scrimmage yards in his first three seasons.

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas: needs at least 1,300 rushing yards to the eighth player with at least 1,300 rushing yards in four of their first five seasons in NFL history. Elliott also needs 1,523 yards from scrimmage to surpass Chris Johnson (8,546) for the fifth-most yards from scrimmage through a player’s first five seasons in league history.

Zach Ertz, Philadelphia: needs 93 receptions to surpass Jason Witten (617) for the most receptions by a tight end in his first eight seasons in NFL history.

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay: needs 1,000 receiving yards to become the first player in NFL history to begin his career with seven consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona: needs 22 receptions for 1,400 career receptions, trailing only Jerry Rice (1,549) for most in NFL history. Fitzgerald has 1,378 receptions in 250 career games. Fitzgerald also needs nine touchdown receptions to surpass Marvin Harrison (128) for the fifth-most touchdown receptions in NFL history. Fitzgerald has 120 receiving touchdowns in 16 career seasons. Fitzgerald needs 1,000 receiving yards to become the third player in NFL history with 10 career 1,000-yard seasons, joining Jerry Rice (14) and Randy Moss (10).

Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay: needs 139 receiving yards to reach 8,000 career receiving yards, joining Jason Witten (8,948 receiving yards), Tony Gonzalez (8,710) and Antonio Gates (8,321) as the only tight ends with at least 8,000 receiving yards in their first 10 seasons. Gronkowski also needs 1,000 receiving yards to become the first tight end in NFL history with five career 1,000-yard seasons. Gronkowski needs 976 receiving yards to become the fifth tight end in NFL history with 10,000 career receiving yards, including postseason. With nine receiving touchdowns, he would become the third tight end in NFL history with 100 career receiving touchdowns, including the postseason. Gronkowski needs four games with at least 100 receiving yards to surpass Tony Gonzalez (31 games) for the most such games by a tight end in NFL history.

Todd Gurley, Atlanta: needs 12 total touchdowns to surpass Jim Brown (81) for the fifth-most total touchdowns through a player’s first six seasons in NFL history. Gurley also needs 10 rushing touchdowns to become the seventh player with at least 10 rushing touchdowns in five of their first six seasons in NFL history.

Derrick Henry, Tennessee: needs 1,500 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns to become the fourth player in NFL history to accomplish the feat in consecutive seasons. Henry also needs two games with at least 200 rushing yards to become the third player in NFL history with four such games in his first five seasons.

DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona: needs 68 receptions to become the fifth player in NFL history with 700 receptions in his first eight seasons. Hopkins has 632 receptions in 110 career games. Hopkins also needs at least 1,300 receiving yards and 10 touchdown receptions to become the fifth player in NFL history with four such seasons. Hopkins reached those marks during the 2015, 2017 and 2018 seasons. Hopkins needs 800 receiving yards to become the third player in NFL history with at least 800 receiving yards in each of his first eight seasons, joining Gary Clark and Jerry Rice.

Danielle Hunter, Minnesota: could join Reggie White (1986-88, 1990-92) and Jared Allen (2007-09) as the only players with at least 14 sacks in three consecutive seasons since 1982, when the individual sack became an official NFL statistic. Hunter recorded 14.5 sacks in both the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore: needs 132 rushing yards to surpass Cam Newton (2,032 yards) for the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a player’s first three seasons in NFL history. Jackson also needs four games with at least 100 rushing yards to tie Michael Vick (10 games) for the most such games by a quarterback in NFL history. With 672 passing yards and 599 rushing yards, Jackson would become the first player with at least 5,000 passing yards and 2,500 rushing yards through his first three seasons in NFL history.

Chandler Jones, Arizona: needs 21.5 sacks to surpass Jared Allen (117) and DeMarcus Ware (117) for the second-most sacks by a player in his first nine seasons since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic. Reggie White had 137 sacks in his first nine NFL seasons. Jones also needs 17 sacks to become the third player since 1982 with three career seasons of at least 17 sacks. Jones had 17 sacks in 2017 and 19 sacks in 2019.

JULIO JONES, Atlanta: needs 1,151 receiving yards to surpass Jerry Rice (13,275 yards) for the most receiving yards through a player’s first 10 seasons in NFL history. Jones also could become the first player with at least 1,250 receiving yards in seven consecutive seasons in NFL history. Jones needs at least 100 receptions and 1,500 receiving yards to become the first player to reach those marks in four different seasons in NFL history.

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans: needs at least 500 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards to become the first player in NFL history to have at least 500 rushing and receiving yards in each of his first four seasons. Kamara also needs 92 rushing yards and 432 receiving yards to join Roger Craig and Christian McCaffrey as the only players with at least 2,500 rushing and 2,500 receiving yards in their first four seasons in NFL history. If Kamara reaches 3,000 rushing yards, he would join Craig as the only players with at least 3,000 rushing yards and 2,500 receiving yards in their first four seasons. Kamara enters 2020 with 2,408 rushing yards and 2,068 receiving yards.

Travis Kelce, Kansas City: needs 93 receptions to become the second tight end with at least 600 receptions in his first eight seasons, joining Jason Witten (617). Kelce also needs 535 receiving yards to become the third tight end in NFL history with at least 7,000 receiving yards in his first eight seasons, joining Rob Gronkowski (7,179) and Antonio Gates (7,005). Kelce has 6,465 receiving yards in 96 career games. Kelce needs 1,000 receiving yards to become the first tight end in NFL history with five career seasons of at least 1,000 receiving yards. Kelce had at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of the past four seasons. Kelce needs 90 receptions to become the first tight end in NFL history to record at least 90 receptions in three consecutive seasons. Kelce had 103 receptions in 2018 and 97 receptions in 2019.

Ryan Kerrigan, Washington: needs five sacks to become the ninth player to record at least five sacks in each of his first 10 seasons since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic. Kerrigan also needs at least five sacks and one forced fumble to join Derrick Thomas as the only players since 1982 to do so in each of their first 10 seasons.

George Kittle, San Francisco: needs 919 receiving yards to surpass Jimmy Graham (3,863) for the most receiving yards by a tight end in his first four seasons in NFL history. Kittle has 2,945 receiving yards in 45 career games. Kittle also needs 84 receptions to join Jimmy Graham (301) as the only tight ends in NFL history with at least 300 receptions in their first four seasons. Kittle has 216 receptions in his first three seasons.

Jarvis Landry, Cleveland: needs at least 80 receptions to become the first player in NFL history to record at least 80 receptions in each of his first seven seasons. Landry also needs 102 receptions to surpass Marvin Harrison (665) for the most receptions through a player’s first seven seasons in NFL history.

Darius Leonard, Indianapolis: needs three interceptions to become the third linebacker in NFL history with at least 10 interceptions through his first three seasons.

Phillip Lindsay, Denver: needs 1,000 rushing yards to become the first undrafted player since 1967 to record at least 1,000 rushing yards in each of his first three seasons. Lindsay had 1,037 rushing yards in 2018 and 1,011 rushing yards in 2019. Lindsay also needs 1,200 scrimmage yards to become the fifth undrafted running back since 1967 to record at least three career seasons of 1,200 scrimmage yards. Lindsay had 1,278 scrimmage yards in 2018 and 1,207 scrimmage yards in 2019.

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland: needs at least 3,500 passing yards to join Andrew Luck (2012-14), Peyton Manning (1998-2000) and Jameis Winston (2015-17) as the only players with at least 3,500 passing yards in each of their first three seasons in NFL history. With at least 3,500 passing yards and 20 touchdown passes, Mayfield would join Luck and Manning as the only players to do so in each of their first three seasons in league history.

Christian McCaffery, Carolina: needs at least 1,000 receiving and 1,000 rushing yards to become the first player in NFL history to accomplish the feat in multiple seasons. McCaffrey also needs 97 receptions to become the third player in NFL history with 400 receptions through his first four seasons, joining Michael Thomas (470) and Jarvis Landry (400). McCaffrey needs at least 2,000 scrimmage yards to become the 11th player in NFL history to record 2,000 scrimmage yards in consecutive seasons. With 1,557 scrimmage yards, he would become the seventh player in NFL history with at least 7,000 scrimmage yards through his first four seasons. McCaffrey need 80 rushing yards and 477 receiving yards to become the first player in NFL history with 3,000 rushing and 3,000 receiving yards in his first four seasons. With six rushing touchdowns and five receiving touchdowns, he would become the first player in NFL history with 30 rushing touchdowns and 20 receiving touchdowns in his first four seasons.

Kyler Murray, Arizona: can become the fifth quarterback in NFL history with at least 3,500 passing yards and 20 touchdown passes in each of his first two seasons. Murray also needs 500 rushing yards to become the fourth quarterback since 1970 to rush for at least 500 rushing yards in each of his first two seasons.

Adrian Peterson, Detroit: needs 1,054 rushing yards to surpass Barry Sanders (15,269) for fourth place on the all-time rushing list. Peterson also needs 13 rushing touchdowns to surpass Marcus Allen (123) for third place on the all-time rushing touchdown list. Peterson needs 750 rushing yards to become the third player in NFL history to accomplish the feat in at least 11 different seasons, joining Emmitt Smith (14 seasons) and Frank Gore (12). With five rushing touchdowns, he would become the fourth player in NFL history to do so in at least 11 different seasons, joining Marcus Allen (13), Emmitt Smith (12) and Walter Payton (11).

Dak Prescott, Dallas: could join Peyton Manning (1998-2002) and Russell Wilson (2012-16) as the only players with at least 3,000 passing yards and 20 touchdown passes in each of their first five seasons in NFL history. Prescott also needs four rushing touchdowns and three touchdown passes to join Cam Newton (2011-15) as the only players with at least 100 touchdown passes and 25 rushing touchdowns through their first five seasons in NFL history.

Philip Rivers, Indianapolis: needs 2,091 passing yards to surpass Dan Marino (61,361) for fifth place on the all-time passing yards list. Rivers also needs 24 touchdown passes to surpass Dan Marino (420) for fifth place on the all-time passing touchdowns list. With 60 completed passes, Rivers would surpass Dan Marino (4,967) for fifth place on the all-time completions list. Rivers needs 4,000 passing yards for his eighth consecutive season with at least 4,000 passing yards, tied with Peyton Manning for the third-longest such streak in NFL history.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay: needs 3,054 passing yards to become the 11th quarterback to reach 50,000 career passing yards in NFL history. Rodgers also needs three touchdown passes to surpass Eli Manning (366) for the seventh-most career touchdown passes in NFL history.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh: needs one game with at least 300 passing yards to tie Brett Favre (62 games) for the seventh-most such career games in NFL history. Roethlisberger also needs two games with at least 300 passing yards to tie Dan Marino (63 games) for the sixth-most such games in league history. Roethlisberger needs one game with at least three touchdown passes to become the eighth quarterback to have at least 50 games with at least three touchdown passes in NFL history.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta: needs at least 4,000 passing yards to join Drew Brees (12 seasons from 2006-17) as the only players with at least 4,000 passing yards in 10 consecutive seasons in NFL history. Ryan also needs 3,643 passing yards to surpass Peyton Manning (54,828 yards) for the most passing yards through a player’s first 13 seasons in NFL history.

Matthew Stafford, Detroit: needs 4,149 passing yards to surpass Dan Marino (45,173) for the fourth-most passing yards through a player’s first 12 seasons in NFL history.

Michael Thomas, New Orleans: needs 1,000 receiving yards to become the fourth player in NFL history to have at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first five seasons, joining Mike Evans, A.J. Green and Randy Moss. Thomas also needs 100 receptions to become the third player in NFL history to have at least 100 receptions in four consecutive seasons, joining Antonio Brown (six seasons) and Marvin Harrison (four). Thomas needs 90 receptions to become the first player in NFL history with at least 90 receptions in each of his first five seasons. With 1,273 receiving yards he would surpass Torry Holt (6,784 receiving yards) for the most receiving yards in a player’s first five seasons in NFL history. Thomas needs 12 receptions to surpass Jarvis Landry (481 receptions) for the most receptions in a player’s first five seasons in NFL history.

T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh: needs at least 13 sacks to join Reggie White (four seasons) and Derrick Thomas (three) as the only players to record at least 13 sacks in three of their first four seasons since 1982, when the individual sack became an official NFL statistic. Watt recorded 13 sacks in 2018 and 14.5 sacks in 2019.

Russell Wilson, Seattle: needs seven wins to surpass Peyton Manning (92) for the most wins by a quarterback in his first nine seasons in NFL history. Wilson has won 86 games in his first eight seasons. Wilson also needs seven wins to surpass Tom Brady (101) for the most wins, including the postseason, by a quarterback in his first nine seasons in NFL history.

Jason Witten, Las Vegas: needs 60 receptions for his 16th career season with at least 60 receptions, the second-most in NFL history, trailing only Jerry Rice (17). Witten needs 85 receptions to become the second tight end and fourth player in NFL history with at least 1,300 career receptions. With 23 receiving yards, he would become the second tight end in NFL history with 13,000 receiving yards, joining Tony Gonzalez (15,127).

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 1

SUPER STARTERS: History indicates that the best way for a team to start its drive toward a Super Bowl cham​pionship is to win in Week 1.

The 54 Super Bowl winners have a 44-9-1 record in the Kickoff Weekend games of their title seasons. The Super Bowl LIV champion Kansas City Chiefs, who hosted Houston in the NFL’s annual primetime kickoff game on Thursday, have won their past five Kickoff Weekend games, the longest active streak in the AFC and tied for the longest active streak in the NFL (Green Bay).

Since 1978 when the NFL went to the 16-game schedule, and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, teams that are victorious in their season-openers are more than twice as likely to reach the playoffs than losers of an opening game:

Of the 617 teams that won openers…322 went to the playoffs (196 won division titles).
Of the 616 teams that lost openers…148 went to the playoffs (86 won division titles).

​Note: There are a different number of winning and losing teams in season-opening games due to the fact the NFL had 31 teams in each season from 1999-2001, which creates an odd number for the total number of results.

In 2019, the 12 playoff teams compiled an 11-1 record on Kickoff Weekend and all four participants in the conference championships – Green Bay, Kansas City, San Francisco and Tennessee – were victorious in Week 1.

STARTING STREAKS: The Chiefs aren’t the only team to have excelled in openers. Below is a sampling of other notable active NFL Kickoff milestones and streaks:

The defending AFC North champion Baltimore Ravers, who hosts Cleveland on Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS, have won their last four Kickoff Weekend games, the AFC’s second-longest active streak.

Green Bay opens their season on the road against Minnesota in the Land of 10,000 Lakes on Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOx. The Packers have won 57 games on Kickoff Weekend, the most in the NFL. Green Bay has won its past five Kickoff Weekend games while the Vikings enter the 2020 season having won their past four openers.

Dallas and Dak Prescott visit the Los Angeles Rams in prime time on Sunday Night Football in Week 1 at 8:20 p.m. on NBC. With a winning percentage of .661 (39-20-1), the Cowboys own the best Kickoff Weekend winning percentage in the NFC.

In the first of two Monday Night Football games on Kickoff Weekend, the New York Giants host Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers at 7:10 p.m. on ESPN. The Giants have 50 wins on Kickoff Weekend, third-most among all teams, while Pittsburgh’s 43 wins are the most among AFC teams.

Denver begins the season by hosting Tennessee in the second Monday Night Football contest at 10:20 p.m. on ESPN. The Broncos have also posted a .661 winning percentage (39-20-1) on Kickoff Weekend, the top mark in the AFC. Denver has won seven of its past eight Kickoff Weekend games.

*From 1920-71, tie games were not included in winning percentage

START ME UP: Some players have excelled in openers. Below is a sampling of notable individual performances on NFL Kickoff Weekend:

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees has 39 touchdown passes in 18 career Week 1 games, while Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady has 37 touchdown passes in 17 career Kickoff Weekend games. The two rank first and second in NFL history, respectively, in career touchdown passes on Kickoff Weekend and face off this Sunday at 4:25 p.m. on FOX.

Brees also leads all players with 5,406 career passing yards on Kickoff Weekend, while Brady ranks third with 4,693. With at least 44 passing yards on Sunday, Brady will surpass Peyton Manning (4,736) for second place on the all-time list.

Detroit running back Adrian Peterson has 999 rushing yards in 12 career season-opening games and needs one rushing yard on Sunday against Chicago at Ford Field at 1 p.m. on FOX to become the fifth player with at least 1,000 rushing yards in season-opening games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith (1,247), Walter Payton (1,067), Edgerrin James (1,062) and Jim Brown (1,043).

Peterson also enters the season with nine career rushing touchdowns on Kickoff Weekend and needs one more to join Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen (12), Chuck Muncie (11) and Priest Holmes (10) as the only players in NFL history with at least 10 rushing touchdowns in season-opening games.

Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who recorded eight catches for 113 yards and a touchdown on Kickoff Weekend in 2019, has 92 receptions in 16 career Kickoff Weekend games, tied for the most all-time. With at least one reception on Sunday at San Francisco at 4:25 p.m. on FOX, Fitzgerald will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (92 receptions) for the most career receptions in season-opening games in NFL history.

Fitzgerald has 1,181 receiving yards in Week 1 games and with at least 45 receiving yards on Sunday can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famers Randy Moss (1,194) and Andre Reed (1,225) for the second-most in NFL history. Rice has the most receiving yards on Kickoff Weekend with 1,385.

Philadelphia wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who had 154 receiving yards on Kickoff Weekend in 2019, has six career games with at least 100 yards receiving in Week 1, tied for the most all-time. With at least 100 receiving yards against Washington on Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX, Jackson would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin (six) for the most 100-yard receiving games on Kickoff Weekend in NFL history.

START ’EM EARLY: Cincinnati rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, the number 1 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, is expected to make his first career start on the West Coast against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. on CBS. With a start by Burrow, at least one rookie quarterback will have started in Week 1 in 13 consecutive seasons, the longest streak in the NFL since at least 1950.

The rookie quarterbacks to start in Week 1 since 2008:

SEASON – QUARTERBACK (TEAM, STARTING RECORD AS ROOKIE)
2008 – Joe Flacco (Baltimore, 11-5)
2008 – Matt Ryan (ATLANTA, 11-5)
2009 – Mark Sanchez (New York Jets, 8-7)
2009 – Matthew Stafford (Detroit, 2-8)*
2010 – Sam Bradford (St, Louis Rams, 7-9)*
2011 – Andy Dalton (Cincinnati, 9-7)
2011 – Cam Newton (Carolina, 6-10)*
2012 – Robert Griffin III (Washington, 9-6)
2012 – Andrew Luck (Indianapolis, 11-5)*
2012 – Ryan Tannehill (Miami, 7-9)
2012 – Brandon Weeden (Cleveland, 5-10)
2012 – Russell Wilson (Seattle, 11-5)
2013 – EJ Manuel (Buffalo, 4-6)
2013 – Geno Smith (New York Jets, 8-8)
2014 – Derek Carr (Oakland, 3-13)
2015 – Marcus Mariota (Tennessee, 3-13)
2015 – Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay, 6-10)*
2016 – Dak Prescott (Dallas, 13-3)
2016 – Carson Wentz (Philadelphia, 7-9)
2017 – DeShone Kizer (Cleveland, 0-15)
2018 – Sam Darnold (New York Jets, 4-9)
2019 – Kyler Murray (Arizona, 5-10-1)*
2020 – Joe Burrow (Cincinnati) *^
*No. 1 overall pick
^Expected to start Week 1

BRADY & BREES: Quarterbacks Tom Brady and Drew Brees will face off as division rivals for the first time, as Tampa Bay travels to New Orleans on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. on FOX. Brady (age 43) and Brees (41) are the two oldest active players in the NFL, and Sunday’s meeting will be the first in league history between two starting quarterbacks both age 40 or older.

The pair enter the 2020 season as the league’s top-two all-time leaders in passing yards and touchdown passes. Their Week 1 meeting marks the first game since at least 1950 between the league’s top-two all-time leaders in touchdown passes.

The players with the most career passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (PASSING YARDS)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (77,416)
Tom Brady – New England (74,517)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (71,940)
The players with the most career touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (547)
Tom Brady – New England (541)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (539)

With at least two touchdown passes on Sunday, Brees (165 games) will surpass Peyton Manning for the second-most such games in NFL history, trailing only Brady (173). With at least three touchdown passes, Brees (93 games) will surpass Manning for the most such games in league annals. Brady enters the season third on the all-time list with 86 games with at least three touchdown passes.

The players with the most career games with at least two touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (GAMES)
Tom Brady – New England (173)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (165)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (165)

The players with the most career games with at least three touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (GAMES)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (93)
Peyton Manning – Denver and Indianapolis (93)
Tom Brady – New England (86)

If Brees records a passer rating of 125 or higher, he would also surpass Manning (50 games) for the most such games in NFL history.

Other career passing milestones that can be reached in Week 1:

With at least three touchdown passes on Sunday at Jacksonville at 1 p.m. on CBS, Indianapolis quarterback Philip Rivers (397 career touchdown passes) can become the sixth player with 400 career touchdown passes in NFL history.

With at least 290 passing yards on Sunday against Seattle at 1 p.m. on FOX, Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan (51,186 career passing yards) can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway (51,475) for ninth place on the league’s all-time list.

With at least 58 passing yards on Sunday at Minnesota at 1 p.m. on FOX, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers (46,946 career passing yards) can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton (47,003) for 12th place on the all-time list.

With at least 266 passing yards on Sunday at Atlanta, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson can reach 30,000 career passing yards, becoming the 11th player to do so in his first nine seasons in league history.

RUSHING INTO THE RECORD BOOKS: Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson became the youngest quarterback to win league MVP in NFL history last season after leading the league with 36 touchdown passes and rushing for 1,206 yards, the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season in NFL history.

Jackson had five games with at least 100 rushing yards last season, the most by a quarterback in a single season in NFL history, and enters 2020 with 1,901 career rushing yards through his first two seasons.

With at least 132 rushing yards on Sunday against Cleveland, Jackson can surpass Cam Newton (2,032 rushing yards) for the most rushing yards by a quarterback in his first three seasons in NFL history.

The quarterbacks with the most rushing yards in their first three seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RUSHING YARDS)
Cam Newton, Carolina (2,032)
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (1,901)*
Russell Wilson, Seattle (1,877)
*Entering third season

RECEPTIONS LEADER: New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas led the NFL with 149 receptions for 1,725 receiving yards last season, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (143 receptions in 2002) for the most receptions in a single season in NFL history. He also registered nine games with at least 10 receptions, the most in a single season in league annals.

Thomas enters his fifth NFL season with 470 career receptions and needs at least 12 receptions on Sunday against Tampa Bay to surpass Jarvis Landry (481 receptions) for the most receptions by a player in his first five seasons in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions in their first five seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (RECEPTIONS)
Jarvis Landry – Miami and Cleveland (481)
Michael Thomas – New Orleans (470)*
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (426)
*Entering fifth season

CLOSING IN ON 800: Atlanta wide receiver JULIO JONES has 797 receptions for 12,125 yards and 57 touchdowns in 126 career games. Jones needs three receptions on Sunday against Seattle to become the second-fastest player to reach 800 receptions in NFL history.

The players to reach 800 career receptions in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES TO REACH 800 RECEPTIONS)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (126)
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (131) HOF
Andre Johnson, Houston (137)
Julio Jones, ATLANTA (126)*
*Has 797 receptions entering Sunday

ROOKIES NO MORE: The 2019 Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year, Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray and the 2019 Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year, San Francisco defensive lineman Nick Bosa, will meet each other in Week 1, when the 49ers host the Cardinals on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. on FOX.

It will mark the third time in NFL history that the two reigning Rookies of the Year will meet on Kickoff Weekend. New England running back John Stephens and New York Jets defensive back Erik McMillan met in Week 1 of the 1989 season, while San Diego Chargers running back Don Woods and Pittsburgh Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Lambert met in the season opening game in 1975.

The Kickoff Weekend matchups featuring the reigning Associated Press Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year in NFL history:

SEASON: REIGNING OROY (TEAM); REIGNING DROY (TEAM) – WEEK 1 RESULT
2020: QB Kyler Murray (Arizona); DL Nick Bosa (San Francisco) – ???
1989: RB John Stephens (New England); DB Erik McMillan (New York Jets) – New England 27, New York Jets 24
1975: RB Don Woods (San Diego); LB Jack Lambert (Pittsburgh)(HOF) – Pittsburgh 37, San Diego 0

Thanksgiving will feature a tripleheader on Thursday, November 26. The first game will send the Texans to Detroit to face the Lions at 12:30 p.m. Eastern on CBS. The late afternoon game will feature Washington visiting Dallas at 4:30 p.m. Eastern on FOX. The Thanksgiving Day festivities conclude with an AFC North showdown as the Ravens travel to Pittsburgh and Heinz Field to face the Steelers on NBC at 8:20 p.m. Eastern

The regular season will conclude with Week 17 on Sunday, January 3. For the 11th consecutive year, all 16 games scheduled for Week 17 are division contests, enhancing the potential for more games with playoff ramifications. The NFL’s 32 teams will each play 16 games over 17 weeks. Byes will begin in Week 5 and end in Week 13. “Flexible scheduling” will be used in Weeks 11-17. Additionally, in Weeks 5-10, flexible scheduling may be used in no more than two weeks. In Weeks 5-16, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time.

For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to January 3. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17 but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into primetime.

Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday or Monday nights. In each of Weeks 15 and 16, up to three of five designated matchups will be played on Saturday with the remainder to be played on Sunday. Specific dates and start times for such designated Week 15 and Week 16 matchups will be determined and announced no later than four weeks prior to game day.

Week one got underway at Arrowhead as the Chiefs raised their championship bannder and got their rings as World Champions Thursday night and concludes in the Mile High City as Denver hosts Tennessee. As our tradition, we’re going to make all the games for week 1 and 17 “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 61 last June and dates a 45-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”), Last year was a pretty good year pick-wise, as we went 149-119 for the season. Having said all of that, it’s time for the picks for Sunday and Monday in week 1.

Seattle (11-5) at ATLANTA (7-9), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Salmon meets chicken and waffles as Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks travel to the Big Peach for a showdown with Matt Ryan, newly accquired RB Todd Gurley and the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Seattle leads the series 11-8 and the Seahawks have outscored Atlanta 465-411. Seattle has also won three of the last four regular season meetings, including a 27-20 win in the Big Peach last year (Atlanta’s last win in the series came in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, as the Falcons held off Seattle 34-31 in 2017).

They met in week eight at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the Seahawks scored 24 first-half points unchecked at the intermission. Atlanta, with Matt Schaub under center (Ryan was injured the week before), proceeded to outscore Seattle 20-3 in the final 30 minutes of action. Seattle outrushed Atlanta 151-69 and Seahawks RB Chris Carson led all rushers with 90 yards and a TD, while DeVonta Freeman led Atlant with 39. Wilson threw for 182 yards and a pair of TDs (both to WR D.K. Metcalf), while Schaub threw for 460 yards and a TD to TE Austin Hooper (Schaub was picked off once, Wilson did not throw an interception; both men were sacked twice). Atlanta, who turned the ball over three times (two fumbles, Schaub interception), went 1 of 1 on fourth down (both teams were 3 for 9 on third down) and actually ruled the clock, holding on to the pigskin for 30:47, while Seattle kept the ball for 29:13.

Seattle was favored by 3 1/2 in the week eight contest in the Big Peach and their 7-point road win but both clubs missed the 53 1/2 over/under, as they tallied 47 points. In the first Sunday meeting of the 2020 campaign, Seattle’s favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 49. Seattle would like to prove that last year’s win was not a fluke. Atlanta would love nothing more than revenge. Revenge wins out here. Atlanta covers the 1 1/2 in the Big Peach and takes the win in the Deep South.

Cleveland (6-10) at Baltimore (14-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of former top draft QBs meet along Baltimore Harbor in Charm City as Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens take on Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns square off in the first of two AFC North meetings.

The Ravens lead the series 31-11 and have outscore the Browns 983-653. The two clubs split their two meetings in the 2019 campaign, each taking wins in their home facilty. Their first meeting was in week four in Charm City and the Browns would prevail 40-25 at M&T Bank Stadium. Cleveland led 10-7 at the intermission, then proceeded to hit the gas in the second half, outscoring the Ravens 30-18 in the final 30 minutes of play. Cleveland outrushed Baltimore 193-173 with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading the way with 165 yards and three TDs, while Mark Ingram led Baltimore with 71 yards. Mayfield threw for 342 yards in the contest with a TD and an interception, while Jackson threw for 247 yards and three TDs (Mayfield was sacked once; Jackson was sacked four times and threw a pair of interceptions.). The Ravens (who turned the ball over three times) went 4 of 10 on third down tries, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:43, while the Browns ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:17, going 6 for 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Ravens got revenge in week 16 along the shores of Lake Erie as Baltimore 31-15 at Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium. After a scoreless first quarter in the chill of northern Ohio, Baltimore took a 14-6 lead with them to the break and never looked back, outpacing Cleveland 17-9 in the final 30 minutes of play. This time, Jackson would not only lead with his arm, he led with his feet, leading all rushers with 103 yards, as Baltimore outrushed Cleveland 243-49 (the Ravens held Chubb to 45 yards rushing). Jackson threw for 238 yards and three TDs without a sack or interception, while Mayfield threw for 192 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Beckham) with an interception. Baltimore went 7 of 11 on third down tries (the Ravens were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:19, while the Browns, keeping the pigskin for 25:41, went 3 of 12 on third down tries.

In the week four contest in Charm City, the Ravens were favored by 6 1/2 and the Browns covered, winning by 15. Both teams covered the 45 over/under with 65 points. The Ravens were favored again in their week 16 showdown along the shores of Lake Erie, by 9 1/2 and the Ravens covered, winning by 16 but both clubs missed the 49 1/2 over/under, tallying 46 points. Baltimore’s favored by 8 and the over/under’s 48 1/2. The 48 1/2 makes sense, it’s the 8 that has us scratching our heads. Cleveland’s better than their 6-10 record and while they could make things closer than 8, the Ravens prevail in Charm City and takes the win.

New York Jets (7-9) at Buffalo (10-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of Empire State teams meet in upstate New York as the Buffalo Bills welcome their AFC East rivals from the Jersey Shore to Orchard Park.

The Bills lead the series 62-56 (which includes contests played at Shea Stadium, War Memorial Stadium and when the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were known as the Titans) and have outscored GangGreen 2,459-2,408. They met twice in the 2019 campaign, splitting the two contests to start and end the season and taking wins in the other team’s facility.

Meeting number one… week one in the Meadowlands and the Bills erased a 16-10 deficit in the fourth quarter to take a 17-16 win at Met Life Stadium. GangGreen led 6-0 at the break and took a 16-3 lead with them to the fourth quarter before Buffalo circled their wagons and scored 14 fourth quarter points unchallenged, including the game winner when Josh Brown and Josh Allen connected on a 38-yard TD toss with three mintues left in regulation. The Bills then held off a late J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! rally to take the win in upstate New Jersey.

Buffalo outrushed GangGreen 128-68 and Allen threw for 254 yards and the TD to Brown (he also had a rushing TD in the fourth quarter), while Sam Darnold threw for 175 yards and a TD to LeVeon Bell (Allan was sacked once and threw a pair of interceptions, while Darnold was sacked four times). Buffalo was 5 of 10 on third down tries (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:59, while GangGreen actually ruled the clcok, keeping the pigskin hostage for 32:01, while going 7 of 17 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The two teams closed out the season in upstate New York and this time, GangGreen prevails 13-6 at New Era Stadium. Darnold and WR Jamison Crowder connected for the contest’s only TD early in the final quarter of play (GangGreen led 3-0 at the half) to take the win, holding off a late Bills’ rally as K Stephen Hauschka connected on a 49-yard field goal with 47 seconds left, then recovering the onside kick to seal the win. Neither club breached the 100-yard mark in the rematch and it would be GangGreen outrushing Buffalo 86-73. Arnold threw for 199 yards and the fourth quarter TD, while backup QB Matt Barkley threw for 199 yards (Barkley was sacked once and threw a pair of interceptions, while Darnonld threw a pick and was sacked twice). The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 5 of 14 on third down and held on to the ball for 31:21, while the Bills kept the pigskin for 28:39, going 4 of 14 on third down conversions.

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were favored by 2 1/2 in the week one contest in the Meadowlands and while the Bills came away victors, they did not cover, winning by 1 point and both missed the 40 1/2 over/under, tallying only 33 points. Buffalo in the week 16 rematch found themselves favored by 1 1/2 and GangGreen did cover, winning by 7 in upstate New York. As for the 36 over/under? It was as safe as can be, as they merged for only 19 ponits. The Bills are favored by 6 1/2 in upstate New York and the over/under’s 39. These two teams are trying to knock New England off the AFC East mountain and the winner has the edge to completing that task. Bills circle the wagons in Orchard Park and takes the win in upstate New York, covering the 6 1/2.

Las Vegas (7-9) at Carolina (5-11), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of teams that were struggling last year meet in the Tar Heel State as Carolina begins life without Cam Newton or Ron Rivera as they host Jon Gruden and the Las Vegas Raiders. You are reading that correctly. After years of playing in Oakland, the Silver and Black have moved to the desert.

The two teams find themselves tied 3-3 and the Silver and Black has outscored Carolina 140-137. The Raiders were 35-32 winners on the Eastern side of San Francisco Bay in Oakland in 2016, while Carolina’s last win in the series came in the Tar Heel State in 2012 by a final of 17-6. The Raiders are favored by 3 in the Tar Heel State and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Raiders ‘Just Win, Baby” in the Tar Heel State and covers the 3 in Charlotte.

Chicago (8-8) at Detroit (3-12-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of NFC North rivals meet in the Motor City as Chicago and Detroit, both looking to unseat Green Bay on the divisional throne, meet at Ford Field in the season opener for both.

Including games played in Portsmouth, when the Lions were known as the Spartans, games played at Tiger Stadium, Wrigley Field, the Pontiac Silverdome and Champaign-Urbana, Da Bears lead da series 101-74-5, have outscored Detroit 3,510-3,223 and have won the last four meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Detroit’s last win over Chicago came in 2017 in the Motor City by a final of 20-10).

Their first meeting took place in the Windy City in week 10 and Chicago held off a late Detroit rally at Solider Field to come away with the 20-13 win. Trubisky (173 yards) threw three TD passes in the contest as Chicago led 7-6 at the intermisson. The one bright spot for the Lions in the contest was that they did outrush Da Bears 98-83 and Jeff Driskell, taking over for the injured Matthew Stafford, threw for 269 yards and a TD to Kenny Golloday (Driskell was sacked twice and threw and interception, while Trubisky was sacked five times without a pick). Detroit went 7 of 18 on third down tries at Soldier Field (the Lions were 0-2 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 31:54, while Da Bears were 2 of 12 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the pigskin for 28:06.

Round two… the Motor City in week 13 on Thansgiving Day and the Lions let a 20-17 lead with 2:17 left in regulation get away from them as Da Bears’ David Montgomery caught a 3-yard TD toss from Trubisky to reclaim the lead, taking a 24-20 win at Ford Field. The Lions, leading 17-10 at the intermission, broke a 17-17 tie thanks to a 24-yard field goal by Matt Prather, before Chicago went on a 9-play, 90-yard drive that took 4:23 of clock to reclaim the lead. Chicago then went on to hold off a late Detroit rally to complete the sweep and take the win. Detroit once again outrushed Chicago, this time tallying 105 yards (Detroit’s Bo Scarbrough led all rushers with 83 yards, Montgomery led Chicago with 75 yards), while Chicago ran for 88 yards. Trubisky threw for 338 yards and three TDs (including the game winner), while David Blough, making his first start in the NFL as he took over for Stafford, threw for 280 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Golladay), while Trubisky threw for 338 yards and three TDs (including the game winner; Trubisky was sacked once, Blough was sacked twice and both threw an interception). Both teams were 50 percent on third down tries in the Thanksgiving Day affair in the Motor City (Chicago was 5 of 10, Detroit was 8-16) and both teams went 0 for 1 on fourth down tries. Chicago ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:50, while Detroit kept the pigskin for 29:10.

Chicago covered the 2 1/2-point spread in the week 10 contest, winning by 6 but the 41 1/2 over/under was safe, as the two teams merged for 33 points. Da Bears were favored in the Thanksgiving Day contest in the Motor City as 2 1/2-point favorites and they would cover, winning by four. This time, both teams covered the 39 over/under, tallying 44 points. Detroit’s favored by 3 in the Motor City and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Lion fans, get readsy to get your hearts broken… again. Da Bears win in the Motor City and covers the 3.

Indianapolis (7-9) at Jacksonville (6-10), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of AFC South rivals open their 2020 seasons in north Florida as Jacksonville hosts the Indianapolis Colts in the Sunshine State.

The Colts lead the series 24-14 and have outrscored Jacksonville 889-779. The two AFC South foes split their meetings last year, each winning at home.

Indy took control of things in the first meeting, a week 11 contest at Lucas Oil Stadium, coming away 33-13 winners in the Hoosier State. The Colts led 10-3 at the intermission, then floored the gas in the third quarter, scoring a pair of TDs in the quarter unchallenged to all but seal the game away. Jacksonville was held to 29 yards of rushing as Colts RBs Jordan Williams (116 yards) and Marlon Mack (109 yards, TD) ran roughshod over the Jaguars. Jacoby Brissette threw for 148 yards with a TD pass to WR Marcus Johnson and had a rushing TD of his own, while Nick Foles threw for 296 yards and a pair of TDs to D.J. Chark for the Jaguars (both Brissett and Foles threw an interception; Brissett was sacked twice, Foles sacked once). The Colts were 4 0f 11 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 33:52, while Jacksonville, keeping the pigskin for 26:08, went 6 of 14 on third down and 0 for 2 on fourth down.

Jacksonville would get their revenge in week 17 in the Sunshine State, coming away 38-20 winnners at TIAA Bank Field to close the season. Jacksonville scored 22 second half points unchallenged, erasing a 20-16 deficit at the intermission. The Colts once again outrushed Jacksonville by a 132-67 margin but this time around, Gardner Minshew II, taking over for Foles, threw for 295 yards and three TDs, while Brissett threw for 162 yards (both men were sacked three times, with Minshew throwing the game’s only interception). The victorious Jaguars were 9 of 14 on third down tries in north Florida and kept the ball for 33:53, while the Colts, keeping the pigskin for 26:07, went 4 for 12 on third down and 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The Colts covered the 3-point spread in the week 11 contest in the Hoosier State, winning by 20 and both clubs took care of the 43 1/2 over/under with 46 points. In the week 17 rematch in the Sunshine State, while the Colts were favored by 4, Jacksonville covered the spread as they would win by 13 and both clubs took care of the 43 over/under with 53 points. Indy’s favored by 8 1/2 and the over/under’s 45. Both numbers make a ton of sense. Jacksonville will give the Colts a scare and make it closer than 8 1/2 but Indy prevails in the Sunshine State.

Green Bay (13-3) at Minnesota (10-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of old-fashined NFC North rivals meet in the Land of 10,000 Lakes as Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers travel to the Twin Cities to meet up against Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings,

Including games played at County Stadium, Metropolitain Stadium and the Metrodome, the Packers lead the series 61-53-3 and have outscored the Purple Gang 2,549-2,268. Green Bay swept the series in 2019, taking wins at Lambeau and in the Twin Cities (Minnesota’s last win in the series came in 2018, when the Vikings took a 24-17 win at US Bank Stadium.).

They met in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst in week two at Lambeau and the Packers held off Minnesota 21-16. Green Bay led 21-10 at the intermission before Minnesota would pull themselves to within five with 9:12 left in the third when WR Stefan Diggs connected with Cousins on a 45-yard TD toss. Minnesota out-rushed Green Bay 198-144 with Vikings RB Delvin Cook leading all rushers with 154 yards, while Aaron Jones led the Packers with 116 yards (both men had a rushing TD in the contest). Rodgers threw for 209 yards and a pair of TD (Rodgers did not have an interception), while Cousins threw for 230 yards with a TD and a pair of interceptions (Rodgers was sacked twice, Cousins was sacked once). Green Bay was 5 of 15 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and the Packers would rule the clock and keep the ball for 34:06, while the Vikings, who kept the pigskin for 25:54, went 4 of 13 on third down at Lambeau.

Green Bay completed the sweep in the series in 2019, meeting in week 16 on a Monday night at U.S. Bank Stadium and for the Packers, it was a win they needed to clinch the NFC North title, taking a 23-10 win in the Twin Cities. Green Bay trailed 10-9 at the half, then proceeded to score 14 second-half points unchallenged to take the win on the road. This time around, it would be Green Bay that would outrush Minnesota, as the Packers tallied 184 yards to Minnesota’s 57. Once again, Jones accounted for all of Green Bay’s yardage, tallying a pair of TDs in the second half to go with his 154 yards on the ground. Rodgers, despite being sacked three times and throwing an interception, managed to account for 216 yards with a TD to Diggs (Cousins was sacked five times and threw an interception). In the second meeting, Green Bay was 5 of 15 on third down tries and once again, ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 37:32, while the Vikings, holding on to the ball for 22:28, went 4 for 15 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

Green Bay’s 5-point win in the week two contest at Lambeau allowed them to cover the 3-point spread but neither team touched the 43 1/2 over/under, as the two clubs tallied 37 points. In the primetime contest in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the Vikings were favored by 4 1/2 and once again, the Packers covered, winning by 13. As was the case in the first meeting, the over/under was untouched (46) as both clubs merged to score 33 points. The Vikings are favored by 3 and the over/under’s 46. Green Bay wants to be king of the NFC North mountain for a while, while Minnesota would love nothing more than to dethrone the Packers. Long live the kings. Green Bay wins in the Twin Cities and covers the 3.

Miami (5-11) at New England (12-4), 1 p.n. on CBS and DirecTV 709. Cam Newton makes his Foxboro debut as Tom Brady’s replacement as the Patriots host AFC East rival Miami at Gillette Stadium.

While the Dolphins lead the series 55-51, the Patriots have outscored the ‘Fins 2,335-2,266. They split last year’s contests, each taking wins on the road in the series.

Their first meeting? week two in the Sunshine State and the Patriots and Brady scored 43 points unchallenged to take a 43-0 win over Miami at Hard Rock Stadium. Leading 13-0 at the intermission, the Patriots would go on to tally 30 more points in the second half to pitch the shutout. New England outrushed Miami 126-42 with Sony Michel leading the way with 85 yards and a TD. Brady threw for 264 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Antonio Brown, he also had a rushing TD in the contest), while the New England defense sacked Ryan Fitzpatrick four times (three interceptions) and Josh Rosen three times (Rosen threw an interception). New England was 6 for 11 on third down in the Sunshine State and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 36:30 to Miami’s 23:30 (the Dolphins were 2 of 15 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down).

Miami would get revenge and knock the Patriots out of the one seed in the AFC playoff race, coming away 27-24 winners in Foxboro to close out the 2019 campaign. Breaking a 10-10 tie at the intermission, the ‘Fins outscored Brady and the Pats 17-10 in the final 30 minutes of action and then held off a late New England rally that would have either evened things up and sent the contest into overtime or given the Pats the win. New England outrushed Miami again, this time by a 135-63 margin and once again, it was Michel that led all rushers with 74 yards and a TD. Brady threw for 221 yards and a pair of TDs but was sacked once and threw an interception, while Fitzpatrick (two sacks) threw for 320 yards and a TD without an interception. New England went 3 of 9 on third down tries and held the ball for 26:09, including the final 24 seconds of the game, while the ‘Fins were 5 of 12 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:51.

New England in the week two contest in the Sunshine State easily covered the 19-point spread with the 43-point win but barely missed the 47 1/2 over/under. In the rematch in Foxboro to close out the 2019 season, the Pats were favored by 15 but Miami prevailed by only 3. The two teams did manage to cover the 44 1/2 over/under with 51 points. New England’s favored by 6 in Foxboro and the over/under’s 43. Miami could make this one interesting but the Patriots take the win in Foxboro and could very well cover the 3.

Philadelphia (9-7) at Washington (3-13), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. One is the defending NFC East champ. The other changed their team name after nearly 80 years. Philadelphia and Washington meet in Landover to open action Sunday.

While Washington leads the series 85-79-5, which includes contests played in Boston, at RFK Stadium and JFK and Veterans’ Stadiums, the Eagles have outscored Washington 3,587-3,362 and have won the last six meetings, including a sweep of last year’s series (Washington’s last win over the Eagles came in 2016, when they left the City of Brotherly Love 27-22 winners).

They met right off the bat in the City of Brotherly Love in week one and the Eagles left Lincoln Financial Field 32-27 winners. Erasing a 20-7 deficit at the intermission, the Eagles would go on to outscore Washington 25-7 in the final 30 minutes of play, with Carson Wentz throwing a pair of TDs in the half to take the lead for keeps. The Eagles outrushed Washington 123-28 and Wentz threw for 313 yards, while Case Keenum threw for 380 yards (each man threw three TDs without an interception and was sacked once). Philadelphia was 11 of 17 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 34:27, while Washington, keeping the ball for 25:33, went 5 of 13 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Philadelphia completed the sweep in the series in Landover in week 15, taking a 37-27 win out of FedEx Field in Landover. Trailing 14-10 at the intermission, the Eagles went to work, outscoring Washington 27-13 in the final 30 minutes of action to seal the win. Philadelphia outrushed Washington 157-101 with Miles Sanders leading all rushers with 122 yards and a TD. Wentz threw for 266 yards and three TDs without an interception (despite being sacked twice), while Washington’s Dwayne Haskins threw for 261 yards and a pair of TDs. Philadelphia was 11 of 16 on third down and played keep away with the ball, holding the pigskin for 36:57 to Washington’s 23:03 (Washington was 4 for 10 on third down).

In the week one contest in the City of Brotherly Love, the Eagles won by five, which meant they didn’t cover the 10-point spread. The two teams did manage to take care of the 44 over/under, tallying 59 points. The Eagles not only took care of business in the week 15 contest in Landover, they cover the 6-point spread winning by 10 and both teams took care of the 40 1/2 over/under with 64 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Eagles as 6-point favorites in Landover with a 43 over/under. Fly, Eagles, Fly! Philly covers the 6 in Landover and takes the win on the road.

Los Angeles Chargers (5-11) at Cincinnati (2-14), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. They’re both looking to right their ships. Los Angeles and Cincinnati meet along the shores of the Ohio River in a late-afternoon contest at Paul Brown Stadium.

Including contests that were played at Qualcomm, Riverfront and Nippert Stadiums, the Chargers lead series 20-14 and have outscored the Bengals 814-743. Their last meeting was in 2018 on the West Coast and the Chargers would prevail 26-21 (Cincinnati’s last win in the series came in 2015 along the shores of the Ohio River by a final of 24-19). The Chargers are favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 44. Both clubs want nothing more than to be out of the cellars in their respective divisions. Chargers prevail in Cincy and covers the 3 1/2.

Tampa Bay (7-9) at New Orleans (13-3), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees. Seven Super Bowl rings between them and they meet in the Big Easy as two NFC South clubs square off in the Superdome. New Orleans leads the Saints lead series 35-21, the Saints have outscored Tampa Bay 1,281-1,068 and have won the last three meetings, including sweeping last year’s series (Tampa Bay’s last win came in 2018 when they left the Big Easy 48-40 winners).

First meeting? Week five in the Big Easy and the Saints held off a late Tampa Bay rally in the fourth quarter to come out on top 31-24. The Saints led 17-10 at the intermission and the two clubs played even football in the final 30 minutes of play, as Tampa Bay would pull themselves to within seven with 13 seconds left when Jameis Winston and WR Chris Godwin connected on a 26-yard TD toss. Tampa Bay would attempt an onside kick, which New Orleans recovered and the Saints would then run the clock out to take the win. Alvin Kamara led all rushers with 62 yards as the Saints out-rushed Tampa Bay 112-94. Winston threw for 204 yards and a pair of TDs (Winston was sacked 6 times), while Teddy Bridgewater, taking over for Brees, threw for 314 yards and four TDs with an interception. The Saints went 8 of 15 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:27, while Tampa Bay held the pigskin for 26:33 and went 3 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Brees would return from his thumb injury in week 11 as the Saints would complete the sweep in the Sunshine State at Raymond James Stadium. New Orleans led from start to finish, as they left Tampa with the 34-17 win under their belts. New Orleans led 20-7 at the intermission and then floored the gas in the second half, outscoring Tampa Bay 14-10 in the final 30 minutes of play. Brees threw for 228 yards and three TDs with no sacks or interceptions as the Saints outrushed Tampa Bay 109-36 (Kamara led all rushers with 75 yards) and picked Winston (313 yards, two TDs, two sacks) off four times. New Orleans went 7 of 13 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37 minutes, while Tampa Bay, keeping the pigskin for 23 minutes, was 5 of 13 on third down and 0 for 1 on fourth down.

In the week five contest, New Orleans covered the 3 1/2-point spread, winning by 5 and both teams took care of the 47 over/under, tallying 51 points. New Orleans covered the 5 1/2-point spread in the week 11 contest in the Sunshine State and both clubs took care of the 49 1/2 by combining for 51 points. The Saints are favored by 3 1/2 in the Big Easy and the over/under’s 49 1/2. It’s the first of two meetings and the winner (for now) will have first place in the NFC South all to themselves. Tampa Bay pulls off the upset and leaves the Big Easy with the win but expect New Orleans to keep things closer than 3 1/2.

Arizona (5-10-1) at San Francisco (13-3), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. Jimmy Garoppolo and the defending NFC champions open their regular season against NFC West foe Arizona in wine country. For the 49ers, it’s a chance to go back to the Super Bowl, while for the Desert Angry Birds from Glendale, they look to get themselves out of the NFC West cellar.

Including games that were played in St. Louis at Busch Stadium and at Candlestick Park, the 49ers lead the series 31-26 and have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 1,301-1,174. San Francisco swept the series last year, taking wins in Santa Clara and in Glendale (Arizona’s last win in the series came in 2018, when they 18-15 winners in the desert; the Desert Angry Birds would win the series that year).

Their first meeting was in the desert in week nine and San Francisco held off a late Cardinals’ rally to come away 28-25 winner at State Farm Stadium. Although San Francisco led 21-7 at the intermission, Arizona managed to outscore the 49ers 18-7 in the final 30 minutes of play, coming to within 3 with 4:53 left in regulation when Kyler Murray and WR Andy Isabella connected on an 88-yard TD pass.

It would be as close as Arizona would get as the 49ers and Garapollo would run out the clock to seal the win. Arizona out-rushed San Francisco 153-101 with Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake leading all rushers with 110 yards and a TD; Garoppolo threw for 317 yards and four TDs (connecting with Emmanuel Sanders and George Kittle on two of the tosses; Sanders had 112 yards on nine catches), while Murray threw for 241 yards and a pair of TDs (neither threw an interception; Garapollo was sacked once, Muaray was sacked three times). The 49ers were 11 of 17 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and San Francisco ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:31, while the Cardinals, who kept the pigskin for 25:29, went 2 of 8 on third down.

They didn’t have very long to wait and they met two weeks later in week 11 at Levis’ Stadium and San Francisco erased a 16-10 first half deficit to come away with the 36-26 win to sweep the series. The 49ers took the win by outscoring Arizona 26-10 in the final 30 minutes of play. As was the case in the week nine contest, Arizona out-rushed San Francisco, tallying 135 yards to San Francisco’s 34 (Drake would lead all rushers again, running for 67 yards; Murray also had 67 rushing yards in the contest). Garapollo tool Arizona’s secondary to task, throwing for 424 yards and four TDs, while Murray threw for 150 yards and a pair of TDs (Garapollo threw a pair of interceptions and was sacked twice, while Murray was sacked four times).

Neither team breached the 50 percent barrier on third down tries (Arizona was 3 of 10, San Francisco was 6 of 13; the Cardinals were 1 of 1 on fourth down, while the 49ers went 0 of 2) and this time, it was the Cardinals ruling the clock, keeping the ball for 31:23 to San Francisco’s 28:37.

In the week nine contest in the desert (a Thursday night affair), the 49ers were favored by 10 but only came away 3-point winners. As for the 43 over/under? The two clubs took care of it with 53 points in the contest. The odds makers liked the 49ers in the week 11 meeting in Santa Clara but San Francisco would win by only 10 but the two clubs did cover the 45 over/under, tallying 62 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like the 49ers as 7-point favorites and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Both numbers are somewhat reasonable. Arizona’s better than their record indicates but the 49ers are the defending NFC champs. 49ers prevail in Santa Clara and cover the 7.

Dallas (8-8) at Los Angeles Rams (9-7), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of .500 teams that missed the playoffs meet in an new facility as Mike McCarthy, Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys travel to the West Coast for a Sunday night primetime contest with Sean McVay, Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams, as the Rams open the doors to SoFi Stadium.

Dallas holds a slim 14-12 lead in the series (which includes contests that were played in Los Angeles, St. Louis, the Cotton Bowl and Texas Stadium) and have outscored the Rams 622-585. They met last year at AT&T Stadium and the Cowboys prevailed in that contest by final of 44-21 (the Rams’ last win in the series came in 2017 by a final of 35-30 in Dallas).

Their 2019 meeting took place in Arlington in week 15 and the Cowboys erased a 7-7 tie by scoring 30 points unchallenged to seal the win, leading 28-7 at the break. The Rams found themselves held to a season-low 22 yards rushing, while Dallas ran for 263 yards (Tony Pollard – 131 yards, TD and Ezekiel Elliot – 117 yards and a pair of TDs led all rushers). Prescott threw for 212 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Jason Witten) without being sacked or picked off, while Goff threw for 284 yards with a pair of TDs (one to Cooper Kupp), while he was sacked twice and threw an interception. Dallas on third down went 7 of 13 but found success in their only try on fourth down and held on to the ball for 36:06, while the Rams kept the pigskin for 23:54, while going 4 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

In their week 15 contest in the Lone Star State, the Cowboys covered the 3-point spread, winning by 23 and both clubs covered the 47 over/under with 65 points. In the primetime game on the Peacock Network, the Cowboys are favored by 3 and the over/under’s 52. This one’s is well worth your time, even if there will not be any fans in the seats at SoFi Sunday night and it could be closer than the 3 but in the end, the Rams get their revenge at home and takes the win, even though Dallas could make it closer than 3.

Pittsburgh (8-8) at New York Giants (4-12), 7:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. The first of 16 Monday night games in the 2020 season takes place in upstate New Jersey as the New York Giants host Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Met Life Stadium. The Monday night contest is the debut of new Giants head coach Joe Judge, who looks to unseat the Eagles in the NFC East.

Including games played at Forbes Field, Yankee Stadium, the Yale Bowl, Giants Stadium and Three Rivers Stadium, the Giants lead the series 44-30-3 and have outscored Pittsburgh 1,514-1,294. The Steelers, who were known as the Pirates until 1940, have won the last two meetings in the series, including a 24-14 win at Heinz Field in 2016, while New York’s last win in the series came in 2008 in the Steel City by a final of 21-14.

The Steelers on Monday nigh have had some success, going 48-24 all time and winning both of their contests under the lights last year. As for the Giants? 25-41-1 and Big Blue is 0-2 in their two 2019 contests. Pittsburgh’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 48. This may not be one of the better ones to watch but it could be somewhat entertaining. Pittsburgh covers the 6 and wins along the Jersey shore.

Tennessee (9-7) at Denver (7-9), 10:10 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week one closes out in the Mile High City as Denver hosts Tennessee at Empower Field at Mile High. The Titans look to bounce back after being bounced out of the 2019 post-season party by Kansas City, while the Broncos are looking to make some noise and perhaps unseat the Chiefs in the AFC West. Including games that were played when the Titans were known as the Houston Oilers, the Titans lead the series 22-16-1 and have outscored Denver 993-866. They met last year in the Mile High City and the Broncos pitched a 16-0 shutout in that affair (Tennessee’s last win over Denver came in 2016 in the Music City by a final of 13-10).

They met in week six in the Mile High City and Denver used three Brad McManus field goals and a 2-yard TD run by Phillip Lindsay to take the win, scoring all the points without challenge and taking a 6-0 lead with them into the intermission. Lindsay led all rushers with 70 yards as Denver out-rushed Tennessee 103-39 and Joe Flacco threw for 177 yards with one interception and one sack, while Marcus Mariotta (63 yards) and Ryan Tannehill (144 yards) were sacked seven times (Mariotta threw a pair of interceptions, while Tannehill threw a pick). Both clubs went 2 of 14 on third down (the Titans were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and the Titans would actually rule the clock, keeping the pigskin for 30:14 to Denver’s 29:46.

Denver’s 16 points allowed the Broncos to easily cover the 2-point spread but the 39 over/under was untouched as the Broncos could muster only 16 points. Tennessee on Monday night? 23-18 but the Titans have not played under the lights since 2018, where they played two contests and split them. Denver? 32-41-1 on Monday night and lost their only meeting last year. The Broncos are favored by 1 1/2 in the Mile High City and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Denver covers the 1 1/2 and wins in the Mile High City.

The end is near.

The season began in Foxboro with the New England Patriots raising another banner and getting their rings and ends in Seattle as the Seahawks and 49ers decide who will be NFC West champs.

When the final game of the 2019 NFL regular season comes to an end in the Pacific Northwest, there will be 12 teams that will continue their season and make their way to the post-season.

As for the other 20 teams? They’ll be making changes in their rosters and coaching staffs. Monday will NOT be a good day to be a head coach in the NFL if your team doesn’t make the playoffs. For teams that won’t be playing in the post-season, lockers will be cleaned out and those teams will be second-guessed and picked over like the bones of a Christmas Turkey.

For those 12 that are still standing, it’s their second season with one twist.

Win. Advance to the next round.

Lose. Your next game is in September of 2020.

when the Super Bowl comes to an end in Miami in February, one team will be holding a Lombardi Trophy.

There’s still football left for this Sunday, though. All the games this week are rematches, which makes some of them for all the marbles. It’s a chance for the teams that won the first time to prove that the first time was not a fluke, while the losers are looking for revenge and a chance to knock a team out of the post-season party. Think of it as football’s answer to Dirty Santa without the spiked egg nog.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: Baltimore defeated Cleveland, 31-15, to clinch a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. The Ravens are the number one seed in the AFC for first time in franchise history.

With their 23-20 win at Tampa Bay on Saturday, Houston clinched their second-consecutive AFC South division title.

Minnesota clinched a playoff berth for the second time in the past three seasons with the Los Angeles Rams’ loss at San Francisco on Saturday night. Green Bay can clinch the NFC North division title with a victory on Monday.

On Saturday, New England defeated Buffalo 24-17, to clinch their 11th-consecutive AFC East division title, the most consecutive division titles won by one team in NFL history.

Buffalo, Green Bay, Minnesota and San Francisco have each qualified for the postseason after missing the playoffs last season. From 1990-2019 – a streak of 30 consecutive years – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas had 12 receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown in the Saints’ 38-28 victory at Tennessee.

Thomas has 145 receptions in 2019 and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (143 in 2002) for the most receptions in a single season in NFL history. Thomas, who leads the NFL with 1,688 receiving yards this season, has 5,475 receiving yards in his first four seasons and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (5,396) for the most receiving yards in a player’s first four seasons in league annals.

Baltimore rushed for 243 yards in their Week 16 win at Cleveland. The Ravens are the seventh team since 1970 and first since the 1978 Kansas City Chiefs (eight) and 1978 New England Patriots (11) with at least eight games of 200-or-more rushing yards in a single season. Baltimore has 3,073 rushing yards in 2019 and joined the 1978 New England Patriots (3,165 rushing yards) and 1973 Buffalo Bills (3,088) as the only teams with at least 3,000 rushing yards in a single season in league annals.

With quarterback Lamar Jackson (1,206 rushing yards) and running back Mark Ingram (1,018), the Ravens are the seventh team in NFL history and first since the 2009 Carolina Panthers (Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams) to have two players with at least 1,000 rushing yards in a single season.

Indianapolis running back Nyheim Hines recorded punt return touchdowns of 84 and 71 yards in the Colts’ 38-6 win against Carolina. Hines is the fifth player with at least two punt return touchdowns of 70-or-more yards in a single game in NFL history, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Jack Christiansen (November 22, 1951) as well as Darrien Gordon (November 9, 1997), Leroy Irvin (October 11, 1981) and Eric Metcalf (October 24, 1993).

Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey had 15 receptions and 173 scrimmage yards (119 receiving, 54 rushing) on Sunday.

McCaffrey has 109 receptions in 2019, surpassing his total in 2018 (107) for the most catches in a single season by a running back in NFL history and became the first running back in league annals with multiple career seasons of at least 100 receptions. McCaffrey has nine games with at least 150 scrimmage yards this season and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk (1999 and 2001) and Chris Johnson (2009) as the only players with at least nine such games in a single season in NFL history.

New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones passed for 352 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 132.1 rating in the teams’ 41-35 overtime victory at Washington. Jones is the first rookie with at least 300 passing yards, five touchdown passes and zero interceptions in a single game in NFL history. Jones, who also had four touchdowns passes in both Week 8 and Week 10, is the third rookie quarterback with at least three games of four-or-more touchdown passes in league annals, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton (1961) and DeShaun Watson (2017).

Giants running back Saquon Barkley totaled a career-high 279 scrimmage yards (189 rushing, 90 receiving) and two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) in the Week 16 victory. Barkley is the fifth player with at least 275 scrimmage yards and both a rushing and receiving touchdown in a single game since 1970, joining Priest Holmes (Week 13, 2001 and Week 12, 2002), Chris Johnson (Week 2, 2009), Herschel Walker(Week 15, 1986) and Delvin Williams (Week 9, 1976).

Barkley also joined Billy Cannon (December 10, 1961), Delvin Williams (November 7, 1976) and Priest Holmes (November 24, 2002) as the only players in NFL history with at least 175 rushing yards, 90 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a single game.

Washington running back Adrian Peterson rushed for a touchdown on Sunday. Peterson has 111 career rushing touchdowns and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Walter Payton (110) for the fourth-most rushing touchdowns in NFL history.

Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones had 10 receptions for 166 yards in the Falcons’ 24-12 win over Jacksonville. Jones, appearing in his 125th career game, has 12,047 receiving yards and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (142 games) as the fastest player to reach 12,000 career receiving yards in NFL history. Jones registered his 15th career game with at least 150 receiving yards and joined Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (30 games), Lance Alworth (17), Terrell Owens (17) and Don Maynard (15), as well as Calvin Johnson (15) as the only players with at least 15 such games in league annals.

Arizona linebacker Chandler Jones recorded four sacks and two forced fumbles in the Cardinals’ 27-13 win at Seattle. Jones, who had 17 sacks in 2017, has a career-high 19 sacks this season and joined J.J. Watt (2012, 2014-15), Elvis Dumervil (2009 and 2014), Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan (2001 and 2003) and DeMarcus Ware (2008 and 2010) as the only players with at least 17 sacks in multiple seasons since 2000.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz had four receptions in the Eagles’ 17-9 win against Dallas and has 525 receptions during his seven-year NFL career, surpassing Jason Witten (523) for the most catches by a tight end in his first seven seasons in league annals.

Miami rookie defensive tackle Christian Wilkins had his first-career touchdown reception in the Dolphins’ 38-35 overtime win against Cincinnati. Wilkins joins William “The Refrigerator” Perry (November 3, 1985) as the only rookie defensive linemen to record a receiving touchdown in the Super Bowl era.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week has featured an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a match-up of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated the San Francisco-Seattle game as the NFL 100 Game of the Week because the division rivals engaged in an epic NFC Championship Game on January 19, 2014. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 23-17, to advance to Super Bowl XLVIII after overcoming an early 10-0 deficit. In the third quarter, Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch scored on a 40-yard run to knot the game at 10-10. After Anquan Boldin caught a 26-yard touchdown from Colin Kaepernick to vault San Francisco back on top, 17-10, Doug Baldwin returned the ensuing kickoff 69 yards to set up a Stephen Hauschka field goal. In the fourth quarter, QB Russell Wilson and WR Jermaine Kearse connected on 4th-and-7 for a 35-yard touchdown pass to give Seattle its first lead at 20-17. The Seahawks used three fourth-quarter takeaways – a Michael Bennett fumble recovery (forced by a Cliff Avril sack) and interceptions by Kam Chancellor and Malcom Smith, with an athletic assist from Richard Sherman – to seal the victory.

Five teams remain in contention for two remaining playoff berths. Six clubs will fight for three remaining first-round byes. Home-field advantage and two division titles are up for grabs in the NFC. All 16 games are division contests and, with one week to go, there are still 15 teams in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIV.

Including 2019 with the Buffalo, Green Bay, Minnesota and San Francisco, since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990 – a streak of 30 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

It’s all on the line in Week 17. Ten of the 12 playoff teams have been determined. Six of the eight divisions have been clinched and there’s still plenty to play for in Week 17.

In the AFC, five teams have already punched their tickets to the postseason: Baltimore (13-2, AFC North and home-field advantage), Buffalo (10-5, playoff berth), Houston (10-5, AFC South), Kansas City (11-4, AFC West) and New England (12-3, AFC East). The Bills are locked in as the number five seed in the post-season.

Oakland (7-8), Pittsburgh (8-7) and Tennessee (8-7) are vying for the final AFC Wild Card berth, while the Chiefs and Patriots are fighting for the AFC’s lone remaining first-round bye.

In the NFC, five teams have locked up playoff spots: Green Bay (12-3, NFC North), Minnesota (10-5, playoff berth), New Orleans (12-3, NFC South), San Francisco (12-3, playoff berth) and Seattle (11-4, playoff berth). Minnesota is locked in as the six seed in the post-season.

San Francisco and Seattle play on Sunday Night Football. The winner captures the NFC West and possibly home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, while the loser enters the playoffs with an NFC Wild Card berth.

In the NFC, the road to Super Bowl LIV in Miami will go through one of four cities, as Green Bay, New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle all have an opportunity to earn the conference’s top seed on Sunday.

Philadelphia needs a win at the New York Giants to lock up the NFC East. A Giants win opens the door for Dallas, which would then get into the postseason with a home win over the Redskins.

2019 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 17: Playoff scenarios abound in the final week of the regular season. While all four AFC divisional spots are taken, there is one more wild card spot left. As for the NFC? Two division titles (East and West) are up for grabs. Pay close attention… this is going to cause more confusion than a mouse in a Burlesque show (apologies to Foghorn Leghorn!)

AFC

CLINCHED:
Baltimore – AFC North and home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs
Houston – AFC South
Kansas City – AFC West
New England – AFC East
Buffalo – playoff berth

Kansas City (11-4) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (5-10), 1 p.m. on CBS

Kansas City clinches a first-round bye with:
Kansas City win + New England loss

New England (12-3) vs. Miami (4-11), 1 p.m. on CBS

New England clinches a first-round bye with:
New England win or tie OR
Kansas City loss or tie

Oakland (7-8) at Denver (6-9), 4:25 p.m. on CBS

Oakland clinches a playoff berth with:
Oakland win + Pittsburgh loss + TEN loss + IND win + OAK clinches strength-of-victory tiebreaker over Pittsburgh*
*Oakland clinches strength-of-victory tiebreaker over Pittsburgh if ONE of the following teams win or tie:

Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles Chargers OR New England

Pittsburgh (8-7) at Baltimore (13-2), 4:25 p.m. on CBS

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth with:

Pittsburgh win + Tennessee loss or tie OR
Pittsburgh tie + Tennessee loss OR
Tennessee loss + Indianapolis win + Oakland loss or tie OR
Tennessee loss + Indianapolis win + Pittsburgh ties Oakland in strength-of-victory tiebreaker*

*Pittsburgh ties Oakland in strength-of-victory tiebreaker if ALL of the following teams win:
Minnesota, Green Bay, Kansas City and Miami

Tennessee (8-7) at Houston (10-5), 4:25 p.m. on CBS

Tennessee clinches a playoff berth with:

Tennessee win OR
Tennessee tie + Pittsburgh loss or tie OR
Pittsburgh loss + IND loss or tie

NFC

CLINCHED:
Green Bay – NFC North
New Orleans – NFC South
Minnesota – playoff berth
San Francisco – playoff berth
Seattle – playoff berth

Dallas (7-8) vs. Washington (3-12), 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Dallas clinches NFC East division with:
Dallas win + Philadelphia loss

Green Bay (12-3) (at Detroit (3-11-1), 1 p.m. on FOX

Green Bay clinches a first-round bye with:
Green Bay win OR
New Orleans loss OR
Green Bay tie + SF loss OR
Green Bay tie + New Orleans tie

Green Bay clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
Green Bay win + San Francisco loss or tie OR
Green Bay tie + San Francisco loss + New Orleans loss or tie

New Orleans (12-3) at Carolina (5-10), 1 p.m. on FOX

New Orleans clinches a first-round bye with:
New Orleans win + Green Bay loss or tie OR
New Orleans win + San Francisco loss or tie OR
New Orleans tie + Green Bay loss OR
New Orleans tie + San Francisco loss OR
San Francisco loss + Green Bay win or tie

New Orleans clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
New Orleans win + Green Bay loss or tie + San Francisco loss or tie OR
New Orleans tie + Green Bay loss + San Francisco loss

Philadelphia (8-7) at New York Giants (4-11), 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Philadelphia clinches NFC East division with:
PHI win or tie OR
Dallas loss or tie

San Francisco (12-3) at Seattle (11-4), 8:20 p.m. on NBC

San Francisco clinches NFC West division title with:
San Francisco win or tie

San Francisco clinches a first-round bye with:
San Francisco win OR
San Francisco tie + Green Bay loss or tie OR
San Francisco tie + New Orleans loss or tie

San Francisco clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
San Francisco win OR
San Francisco tie + Green Bay loss or tie + New Orleans loss or tie

Seattle (11-4) vs. San Francisco (12-3), 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Seattle clinches NFC West division with:
Seattle win

Seattle clinches a first-round bye with:
Seattle win + Green Bay loss

Seattle clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
Seattle win + Green Bay loss + New Orleans loss

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 17

PLAYOFF PUSH: All 16 games are division contests in Week 17 and there are still 15 teams in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIV.

In 15 of the past 16 years, at least two teams have won their division the season after missing the playoffs. With a win over Minnesota on Monday Night Football in Week 16, Green Bay (12-3) clinched the NFC North.

If San Francisco (12-3) defeats Seattle (11-4) on Sunday Night Football, the 49ers would clinch the NFC West, marking the 16th time in the last 17 seasons at least two teams have won their division the season after missing the playoffs.

In the AFC, five teams have already punched their tickets to the postseason, including all four division winners: Baltimore (13-2, AFC North and home-field advantage), Houston (10-5, AFC South), Kansas City (11-4, AFC West), New England (12-3, AFC East) and Buffalo (10-5, playoff berth).

Five teams have also locked up playoff berths in the NFC: Green Bay (12-3, NFC North), New Orleans (12-3, NFC South), Minnesota (10-5, playoff berth), San Francisco (12-3, playoff berth) and Seattle (11-4, playoff berth).

WILSON WINNER: Seattle’s Russell Wilson has led the Seahawks to the postseason for the seventh time in eight seasons as the team’s starting quarterback and is the first quarterback to lead his team to a winning record in each of his first eight seasons in NFL history.

With a win over San Francisco on Sunday Night Football, Seattle will capture the NFC West division title and Wilson will earn his 87th regular-season win, surpassing Tom Brady (86 wins) for the most regular-season wins by a quarterback through his first eight seasons in NFL history.

SAINTS GO MARCHING INTO RECORD BOOKS: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for 279 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions in a Week 16 victory, as the Saints earned at least 12 wins in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history.

With another performance of at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions on Sunday at Carolina (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Brees will become the fourth player with at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions in at least four consecutive games in a single season in NFL history.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2015 – 5)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (2014 – 4)
Tom Brady, New England (2007 – 4)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2019 – 3)*
*Active streak

​​Brees also leads the league with a 75.3 completion percentage in 2019 (among qualified passers) and is on pace to break his own single-season completion percentage record for the second-consecutive season. The 19-year veteran entered 2019 with four of the top five single-season completion percentages in league annals. Oakland quarterback Derek Carr (71.1 percent) and Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill (70.7) also each own completion percentages over of at least 70 percent entering Week 17.

The players with the highest single-season completion percentages in NFL history among qualified passers:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – COMPLETION PERCENTAGE)

Drew Brees, New Orleans (2019 – 75.3)*
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2018 – 74.4)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2017 – 72.0)
Sam Bradford, Minnesota (2016 – 71.6)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2011 – 71.2)
Derek Carr, Oakland (2019 – 71.1)*
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee (2019 – 70.7)*
*Entering Week 17

New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas leads the NFL with 145 receptions in 2019 and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (143 in 2002) for the most receptions in a single season in NFL history. Both Thomas and Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins have recorded at least five receptions in all 15 games this season.

If Thomas has at least five receptions at Carolina and Hopkins has at least five receptions on Sunday against Tennessee, they would become the fifth and sixth different receivers with at least five receptions in all 16 games of a regular season since 1978, when the 16-game schedule was implemented.

The players with at least five receptions in all 16 games of a regular season since 1978:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)
Jarvis Landry, Miami (2017)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2014)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2013)
Pierre Garcon, Washington (2013)
Jimmy Smith, Jacksonville (2001)
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston (2019)*
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (2019)*
*In 15 games

Additionally, with at least 12 receptions on Sunday, Thomas would become the first player with at least 12 receptions in three consecutive games in NFL history.

DUAL-THREAT BACKS: Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey registered 173 scrimmage yards (119 receiving, 54 rushing) last week, his ninth game with at least 150 scrimmage yards this season.

With at least 150 scrimmage yards on Sunday against New Orleans, McCaffrey, who leads the league with 2,294 scrimmage yards in 2019, would tie Chris Johnson (10 games in 2009) for the most games with at least 150 scrimmage yards in a single season in NFL history.

The players with the most games with at least 150 scrimmage yards in a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES)
Chris Johnson, Tennessee (2009 – 10)
Marshall Faulk, St. Louis Rams (2001 – 9)(HOF)
Marshall Faulk, St. Louis Rams (1999 – 9)(HOF)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (2019 – 9)*
*Through 15 games
(HOF) – Hall of Fame

With at least 216 scrimmage yards on Sunday, McCaffrey would surpass Johnson (2,509 scrimmage yards in 2009) for the most scrimmage yards in a single season in league annals.

Additionally, McCaffrey ranks second among all running backs this season with 933 receiving yards, trailing only the Los Angeles Chargers’ Austin Ekeler (950). If McCaffrey has at least 67 receiving yards against New Orleans and Ekeler has at least 50 receiving yards at Kansas City, they would become the fourth and fifth running backs with at least 1,000 receiving yards in a single season since 1970.

The running backs with at least 1,000 receiving yards in a season since 1970:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RECEIVING YARDS)
Marshall Faulk, St. Louis Rams (1999 – 1,048)(HOF)
Lionel James, San Diego (1985 – 1,027)
Roger Craig, San Francisco (1985 – 1,016)
Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers (2019 – 950)*
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (2019 – 933)*
*Through 15 games

McCaffrey, who ranks second in the NFL with a career-high 1,361 rushing yards this season, can join Roger Craig (1985) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk (1999) as the only players with at least 1,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards in a single season in NFL history.

HISTORY DOWN SOUTH: In his 125th career game, Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones, who has 12,047 career receiving yards, had 10 catches for 166 yards in the Falcons’ Week 16 victory and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (142 games) as the fastest player to reach 12,000 career receiving yards in NFL history.

Jones, who ranks third in the league with 1,316 receiving yards in 2019, needs at least 84 receiving yards on Sunday at Tampa Bay, to tie Rice (six seasons) for the most seasons with at least 1,400 receiving yards in NFL history.

Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston leads the league with a career-high 4,908 passing yards entering the season’s final week and has thrown for at least 375 yards in five different games in 2019.

With at least 375 passing yards on Sunday against Atlanta, Winston would tie Peyton Manning (six games in 2013) for the most games with at least 375 passing yards in a single season in NFL history.

The players with the most games with at least 375 passing yards in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES WITH 375+ PASSING YARDS)
Peyton Manning, Denver (2013 – 6)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2013 – 5)
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay (2019 – 5)*
*Through 15 games

REMARKABLE ROOKIE RECEIVERS: Tennessee’s A.J. Brown (927 receiving yards) and Washington’s Terry McLaurin (919) lead all rookies in receiving yards this season and each have a chance to reach 1,000 receiving yards in their first NFL seasons.

If Brown has at least 73 receiving yards at Houston and McLaurin has at least 81 receiving yards at Dallas, the 2019 season would join 2014 and 1986 as the only seasons featuring multiple rookies with at least 1,000 receiving yards in NFL history.

The seasons featuring multiple rookies with at least 1,000 receiving yards in NFL history:

SEASON: ROOKIES (TEAM – RECEIVING YARDS)
2014: Odell Beckham Jr. (New York Giants – 1,305), Mike Evans (Tampa Bay – 1,051), Kelvin Benjamin (Carolina – 1,008)
1986: Bill Brooks (Indianapolis – 1,131), Ernest Givins (Houston Oilers – 1,062)
2019: A.J. Brown (Tennessee – 927), Terry McLaurin (Washington – 919)*
*Entering Week 17

Because it’s the final weekend of the regular season and it’s the Christmas season, we’re going to do what we did to start the season and make every Sunday contest “DRILL WORTHY!” (even the bad games!) (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

Last week? Best. Week. EVER. 12-4 for the week, 134-106 for the season. That being said, here are the Sunday picks for week 17.

ATLANTA (6-9) at Tampa Bay (7-8), 1 p.m. on FOX and 712. They meet again. Matt Ryan vs. Jameis Winston. Atlanta and Tampa Bay meet in the Sunshine State at Raymond James Stadium in an NFC South rematch. The Falcons closed out their home season with a huge win against Jacksonville, while the Buccaneers saw their playoff hopes come to an end at the hands of the Houston Texans last Saturday afternoon.

Atlanta picked up a win against the AFC South as they took down Jacksonville 24-12 in the Big Peach Sunday afternoon. The Falcons led from start to finish in the home finale, using a pair of first-quarter TDs from DeVonta Freeman (one rushing, one passing), taking a 17-3 lead with them to the break.

Atlanta out-rushed Jacksonville 135-115 with Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette leading all rushers with 71 yards (Brian Hill led Atlanta with 66 yards), while Ryan threw for 384 yards and a TD to Freeman (Ryan’s favorite target, Julio Jones, led all recievers with 10 catches, good for 166 yards) with Gardner Minshew II throwing for 181 yards and a TD to Chris Conley (Ryan was sacked once and threw a pair of interceptions, while Minshew was sacked three times). Atlanta was 7 of 13 on third down in the Big Peach and was somewhat “Grinch-like” with the ball, keeping it for 33:07, while the Jaguars kept the pigskin for 26:53, going 3 of 14 on third down, 3 of 4 on fourth down.

Tampa Bay watched Houston erase a 17-17 tie at the intermission last Saturday afternoon, then had a final-minute drive stall as the Texans left Tampa Bay with the AFC South title and a 23-20 win. Houston opened the first half scoring when Winston was picked off by CB Bradley Roby, who returned the ball 27 yards for a TD before the fans were settled in their seats. Winston would eventually atone for that error, as Tampa Bay would tie things up with 13 second left when he and WR Justin Watson scored on an 8-yard TD toss. Kai Fairbairn and Matt Gay would trade field goals in the third quarter, tying the contest at 20-20 before Fairbairn gave Houston the lead for good with 7:11 left in the contest on a 37-yard field goal.

Tampa Bay would get the ball back with 21 seconds left in the contest after the teams traded punts after the Fairburn field goal and the hopes of a win for the Buccaneers came to an end when Winston was picked off by Issac Hyman to end the threat. Tampa Bay out-rushed Houston 106-68 with Ronald Jones leading the way for all rushers with 77 yards and a TD (Houston was led by DeShaun Watson with 37 yards, Carlos Hyde had Houston’s lone rushing TD). Winston threw for 335 yards and the Justin Watson TD but was sacked three times with four interceptions (including the one that ended the contest), while DeShaun Watson threw for 184 with five interceptions and a sack. Tampa Bay went 9 of 17 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and including the final 21 seconds of the contest, kept the ball for 30:28, while the Texans kept the pigskin for 29:32, going 4 of 14 on third down but had success in their only fourth down try.

They met in the Big Peach in week 12 and Tampa Bay came away with the 35-22 win over their NFC South rivals. Atlanta led 10-7 at the end of the first quarter, then watched the Buccaneers score 12 second-quarter points unchallenged to lead 19-10 at the intermission. Tampa Bay, who would get TDs from DL Veta Vea and DT Ndamukong Suh, outscored Atlanta 16-12 in the final 30 minutes of action to seal Atlanta’s fate. Tampa Bay out-rushed Atlanta 133-57 and Winston threw for 313 yards with a pair of TDs (Winston was picked off twice), while Ryan threw for 271 yards, was sacked six times and picked off once before being replaced by Matt Schaub (55 yards, TD to Calvin Ridley). Tampa Bay went 6 of 13 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 28:22, while the Falcons actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for for 31:38, while going 4 of 16 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

In the week 12 contest in the Big Peach, Atlanta was favored by 4 1/2 and Tampa Bay covered, winning by 13 and both teams covered the 52 over/under, tallying 57 points. This time, the odds-makers in Vegas like Tampa Bay as 1 1/2-point favorites and the over/under comes in at 47 1/2. A Tampa Bay win gives the Bucs second place to themselves behind New Orleans in the NFC South, while the Falcons are looking for revenge from their loss in the Big Peach from their week 12 contest and a win for them would tie them with Tampa Bay. The tie binds here. Atlanta covers the 1 1/2 in the Sunshine State and wins in Tampa Bay for the second straight year.

New York Jets (6-9) at Buffalo (10-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. They met in the Meadowlands to start the season and now they meet in upstate New York to close things out. Buffalo hosts the New York Jets in Orchard Park to close out the 20199 regular season.

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! damaged Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes last Sunday at Met Life Stadium, holding off the Steelers 16-10 in upstate New Jersey. The Steelers and Jets went into the locker room tied at 10-10 after Robbie Anderson and Steven Ficken opened New York’s scoring (Anderson scoring on a 23-yard pass from Sam Darnold and a 54-yard field goal by Ficken for the Jets) before Chris Boswell (49-yard field goal) and WR Dioante Johnson (29-yard TD pass from Mason Rudolph) evened things up. Ficken would give the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! the lead back for keeps with a pair of field goals to make it a 16-10 contest, then held off a late Pittsburgh rally to seal the win in the Meadowlands.

Neither club breached the 100-yard barrier in the contest but the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! did manage to out-rush Pittsburgh 85-75 and Darnonld threw for 183 yards and a TD without an interception (he was sacked twice), while Rudolph (taking over for Delvin Hodges) threw for 129 yards and a TD with a sack. GangGreen went 4 of 15 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 28:28, while the Steelers actually ruled the clock, holding on to the pigskin for 31:32, going 3 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The Bills watched Tom Brady and the New England Patriots take the AFC East title in Foxboro last Saturday, falling to the Patriots 24-17 at Gillette Stadium. The two AFC East rivals went to the intermission tied at 10-10 before the Bills would take the lead with 7:25 left in the third when Josh Allen and John Brown connected on a 53-yard TD toss. New England then proceeded to chip away at the lead with 10:45 left in regulation when Nick Folk connected on a 20-yard field goal, then took the lead for keeps with 5:06 left in the contest when Patriots RB Rex Burkhead scored from a yard out. New England then went for two and Brady and WR Josh Edleman connected on the try. Buffalo would get the ball back and made their way down the field, getting as close as the Patroits’ 15-yard line before the drive stalled as Allen’s pass to Cole Beasley sailed in complete.

New England out-rushed Buffalo 143-92 with Patriots RB Sony Michel leading the way with 96 yards; Allen threw for 208 yards with a pair of TDs, while Brady threw for 271 yards and a TD to Matt LaCosse (Allen was sacked four times and neither man threw an interception). The Bills were a dismal 2 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 21:08, while New England ruled the clock, holding on to the pigskin for 38:52, while going 7 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

They got things started right away, meeting in week one in the Meadowlands and the Bills circled their wagons, coming away 17-16 winners at Met Life Stadium. GangGreen led 6-0 at the break and took a 16-3 lead with them to the start of the fourth quarter before the Bills responded with 14 fourth-quarter points unchallenged, using a 3-yard run by Allen and a 38-yard pass from Allen to WR John Brown to take the lead for keeps. The Bills would then go on to stop a GangGreen rally that could have given the home team the win in the closing seconds of the contest.

Buffalo out-rushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 128-68 with Bills RB Devin Singletary leading the way with 70 yards, while LeVeon Bell led New York with 60. Allen threw for 254 yards with the TD pass to Brown (in addition to his rushing TD) and was sacked once and threw a pair of interceptions, while Darnold threw for 175 yards with a TD to Bell and was sacked four times. Buffalo was 5 of 10 on third down tries in the Meadowlands (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:59, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were rulers of time, keeping the ball for 32:01, going 7 of 17 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

GangGreen was favored by 3 in the week one opener in the Meadowlands and while Buffalo won, they did not cover the spread, winning by 1 and the 40 1/2 over/under? It would stay intact, as both teams combined for 33 points. This time, the Bills are favored in upstate New York by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 36. In GangGreen’s defense, they have been playing some decent football of late but they’re not going to the post-season. Bills prove that the first meeting was not a fluke, circles the wagons and covers the 1 1/2 in upstate New York.

Cleveland (6-9) at Cincinnati (1-14), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of struggling Buckeye State teams meet along the shores of the Ohio River as Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals host Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium. Both teams took losses in last week’s contests.

The Browns struggled against Baltimore and Lamar Jackson as the Ravens left First Energy Field 31-15 winners. After a scoreless first quarter, Cleveland took the lead with 11:53 left before the half when Mayfield and TE Demetrius Harris connected on a 1-yard TD pass. Baltimore would later respond with a pair of TD passes from Jackson to TE Mark Andrews to lead by seven at the break. Cleveland would eventually pull themselves to within nine with 8:01 left in the contest when Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. connected on a 3-yard TD toss (Cleveland would miss the two-point try). It would be as close as the Browns would get, as the Ravens’ Justice Hill put the nail in Cleveland’s coffin, scoring on an 18-yard run.

Jackson led all rushers with 103 yards, while throwing three TD passes (he threw for 238 yards and was not sacked or intercepted) as the Ravens out-rushed Cleveland 243-49, with Mayfield throwing for 192 yards with the pair of TD passes and an interception. The Ravens were 7 of 11 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:19 to Cleveland’s 25:41 (the Brown were 3 of 12 on third down tries).

A Cincinnati rally that sent their contest with Miami into overtime went for nothing as the Dolphins stormed back in overtime and came away 38-35 winners at Hard Rock Stadium. The Dolphins led 21-6 at the intermission and took a 28-12 lead into the final quarter of regulation before the Bengals went on their tear in that period, scoring their last 22 points in that frame unchallenged, tying the contest up as time expired in regulation when TE Tyler Eifert and Andy Dalton connected on a 25-yard TD toss to put them to within 2. Dalton then took matters into his own feet, scoring on the two-point try to send the contest into the extra period. Each team would get the ball twice and each punted to the other team. With 3:19 left in the extra period, Miami would get the ball back and make the most of it, using all of the 3:19 left on the clock on a 10-play, 51-yard drive, sending Dolphins fans home happy with Jason Sanders booting a 37-yard field goal as time expired.

Neither the Bengals or Dolphins breached the 100-yard barrier but Miami did come close and out-rushed Cincinnati 96-59. Fitzpatrick, who has now thrown four TD passes in a game for five different teams, threw for 419 yards, was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Dalton threw for 396 yards with four TDs (two to Tyler Boyd) and was sacked four times. The Bengals were 4 of 18 on third down but perfect in their three fourth down tries, holding on to the ball for 33:36, while the Dolphins ruled the clock and including the final 3:19 of overtime, kept the ball for 36:24, while going 6 of 16 on third down.

They met in week 14 along the shores of Lake Erie and the Browns came away 27-19 winners at First Energy Field. Cleveland led their in-state rivals 14-13 at the intermission, then proceeded to outscore the Bengals 13-6 in the second half, using a pair of Austin Siebert field goals to ice the contest away. Cincinnati out-rushed Cleveland 179-146 with Bengals RB Joe Mixon leading all rushers with 146 yards and a rushing TD, while the Browns were led by Nick Chubb, who tallied 106 yards on 15 carries. Mayfield threw for 192 yards and had a rushing TD, while Dalton threw for 262 yards (Mayfield was sacked once and picked off twice, while Dalton was picked off once and sacked twice). The Browns went 7 of 12 on third down tries and held the ball for 25:29, while the Bengals ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 34:31 and 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Cleveland was favored by 8 1/2 in the week 14 contest along the shores of Lake Erie and barely missed the spread, winning by 8. The two clubs did manage to cover the 42 1/2 over/under, tallying 46 points in the contest. Cleveland’s favored again, this time by 3 and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Neither team is going anywhere this year and the Browns are looking to finish strong, while the Bengals are preparing to pick first in the 2020 NFL Draft. Cleveland covers the 3 and closes out the season with the win on the road in the Buckeye State.

Miami (4-11) at New England (12-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of AFC East rivals close out the 2019 campaign in Foxboro as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots host the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Both teams were winners at home in their contests last week.

Miami overcame a Cincinnati rally that sent their contest with the Bengals into overtime and came away 38-35 winners at Hard Rock Stadium. The Dolphins led 21-6 at the intermission and took a 28-12 lead into the final quarter of regulation before the Bengals went on their tear in that period, scoring their last 22 points in that frame unchallenged, tying the contest up as time expired in regulation when TE Tyler Eifert and Andy Dalton connected on a 25-yard TD toss to put them to within 2. Dalton then took matters into his own feet, scoring on the two-point try to send the contest into the extra period. Each team would get the ball twice and each punted to the other team. With 3:19 left in the extra period, Miami would get the ball back and make the most of it, using all of the 3:19 left on the clock on a 10-play, 51-yard drive, sending Dolphins fans home happy with Jason Sanders booting a 37-yard field goal as time expired.

Neither the Bengals or Dolphins breached the 100-yard barrier but Miami did come close and out-rushed Cincinnati 96-59. Fitzpatrick, who has now thrown four TD passes in a game for five different teams, threw for 419 yards, was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Dalton threw for 396 yards with four TDs (two to Tyler Boyd) and was sacked four times. The Bengals were 4 of 18 on third down but perfect in their three fourth down tries, holding on to the ball for 33:36, while the Dolphins ruled the clock and including the final 3:19 of overtime, kept the ball for 36:24, while going 6 of 16 on third down.

Brady and the New England Patriots took the AFC East title in Foxboro last Saturday, beating AFC East rival Buffalo 24-17 at Gillette Stadium. The two AFC East rivals went to the intermission tied at 10-10 before the Bills would take the lead with 7:25 left in the third when Josh Allen and John Brown connected on a 53-yard TD toss. New England then proceeded to chip away at the lead with 10:45 left in regulation when Nick Folk connected on a 20-yard field goal, then took the lead for keeps with 5:06 left in the contest when Patriots RB Rex Burkhead scored from a yard out. New England then went for two and Brady and WR Josh Edleman connected on the try. Buffalo would get the ball back and made their way down the field, getting as close as the Patroits’ 15-yard line before the drive stalled as Allen’s pass to Cole Beasley sailed in complete.

New England out-rushed Buffalo 143-92 with Patriots RB Sony Michel leading the way with 96 yards; Allen threw for 208 yards with a pair of TDs, while Brady threw for 271 yards and a TD to Matt LaCosse (Allen was sacked four times and neither man threw an interception). The Bills were a dismal 2 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 21:08, while New England ruled the clock, holding on to the pigskin for 38:52, while going 7 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

New England’s win gives them their 11th consecutive division title, extends record for most consecutive division titles since 1970 (Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams 7). The Patriots 16th consecutive win over Buffalo ties them for the 3rd longest NFL win streak vs. single opponent and New England’s 13th 12-win season since merger, ties them for the most all-time (San Francisco). As for Brady, his 32nd career win vs. Bills extends the NFL record for wins vs. single opponent.

They met in week two in the Sunshine State and Brady and the Pats pitched a 43-0 shutout at Hard Rock Stadium. New England led 13-0 at the intermission, then proceeded to floor the gas in the second half, scoring their last 30 points of the contest unchallenged. New England out-rushed Miami 126-42 with Michel leading all rushers with 85 yards and a TD, while Brady threw for 264 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions (he was sacked twice) and Fitzpatrick throwing for 89 yards with three interceptions before being benched in favor of Josh Rosen (who threw an interception with 97 yards in the air). New England went 6 of 11 on third down and were misers with the ball, holding on it for 36:30, while the Dolphins, who kept the pigskin for 23:30, while going 2 of 15 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

In the week two contest in Miami, the Patriots easily covered the 19-point spread, winning by 43 but missed the 47 over/under by 4 points. New England’s favored again, this time by 15 and the over/under’s 44 1/2. The Dolphins have actually gotten better over the last few weeks but their dream comes to an end in Foxboro. While Miami makes it closer than 15, Brady and the Pats win in Foxboro.

New Orleans (12-3) at Carolina (5-10), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. New Orleans and Carolina meet in the Tar Heel State to close out the 2019 season at Bank of America Stadium. while the Saints rallied on the road to win in Nashville, the Panthers took another loss, this time losing in the Hoosier State.

New Orleans trailed Tennessee 14-10 at the half, then went on a 28-14 run in the second half to come away 38-28 winners at Nissan Stadium. Saints RB Alvin Kamara’s 40-yard run early in the third quarter gave the Saints the lead for good at 17-14. Kamara would then score again in the quarter, scoring from a yard out to give New Orleans a 24-14 lead late in the quarter before Titans WR Tajaé Sharpe would score the first of his two TDs, connecting with Ryan Tannehill from 36 yards to pull them to within 3. New Orleans then pushed the lead back to 10 with 73 seconds left in the third when Drew Brees and TE Jared Cook connected on a 16-yard TD pass. Tennessee would not go away quietly as Sharpe and Tannehill connected on a second TD pass, this one from seven yards with 7:27 left in regulation.

The Titans would get the ball back with 4:25 left but turned the ball over when WR Kalif Raymond fumbled at the Saints’ 38-yard line and New Orleans’ Chauncey Gardner-Johnson would recover in decent field position. The Saints, with a short field, would then go on a 6-play, 25-yard drive that used 1:56 of clock to put a nail in Tennessee’s coffin as WR Michael Thomas, who surpassed Marvin Harrison for the all-time passes caught record, caught a 2-yard TD toss from Brees with 2:10 left. New Orleans then held off a late Tennessee rally, ran out the clock and took the win in the Music City.

Tennessee actually out-rushed New Orleans 149-102 but Kamara led all rushers with 80 yards and the two rushing TDs, while Brees threw for 279 yards and three TDs (two of them to Cook, one to Thomas; Thomas had 12 catches for 136 yards), while Tannehill threw for 272 yards with three TDs (Brees was sacked three times, Tannehill was sacked five times and neither man threw an interception). Both teams were 0 for 1 on fourth down; the Saints were 4 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 31:04, while the Titans held the pigskin for 28:56, going 5 of 13 on third down.

Carolina watched Indianapolis use a pair of punt returns from running back Nyheim Hines (84 and 71 yards) in their 38-6 win last Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Carolina was held to a pair of Jeff Slye field goals, trailed 21-3 at the half, then watched the Colts floor the gas in the final 30 minutes of play in the Hoosier State, outpacing the Panthers 17-3.

The Colts out-rushed Carolina 218-87 and Colts RB Marlon Mack led all rushers with 95 yards and a TD, while Collin McCaffrey led Carolina (who lost their seventh contest in a row, with interm head coach Perry Fewell looking for his first win) with 54 yards. Brissett threw for 119 yards and while he did not have a passing TD or interception, he did have a rushing TD in the win, while Will Grier (taking over for Kyle Allen) threw for 224 yards (Grier was sacked five times and threw three interceptions, while Brissett was sacked three times). The Panthers were 4 of 14 on third down (they went 2 of 4 on fourth down) and would actually rule the clock, keeping the ball for 32:21, while the Colts, holding the pigskin for 27:39, went 4 of 11 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The contest in week 12 in the Big Easy was a nail-biter to the end and the Saints’ Wil Lutz kicked a 33-yard field goal as time expired in regulation to take the 34-31 win. New Orleans led 17-15 at the intermission before Carolina chipped away at the lead, first pulling to within seven with 88 seconds left in the third when Christian McCaffrey scored on a 4-yard run, then tying things up with 9:23 when WR D.J. Moore and Allen connected on a 2-yard TD pass. Carolina had a chance to take the lead in regulation with two minutes left but Jeff Slye’s 28-yard field goal try sailed wide right. That miss gave the Saints the ball with 1:56 left in regulation and they would use all of that 1:56 on an 11-play, 65-yard drive with Lutz’s try sailing through the uprights.

Carolina actually out-rushed New Orleans 121-118 and both McCaffery and Saints RB Latavius Murray rushed for 64 yards with a TD; Brees threw for 311 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception, while Allen threw for 256 yards with four sacks (each threw three TDs in the contest). New Orleans was 4 of 10 on third down tries (the Saints were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and including the final 1:56 of the contest, kept the ball for 28:27, while the Panthers actually ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:33, while going 5 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 12 contest in the Big Easy, the Saints were favored by 9 1/2 but won by only three but New Orleans and Carolina cleared the 46 1/2 over/under with 65 combined points. The Saints are favored this time by 13 and the over/under’s 44 1/2. The 44 1/2 is reasonable…. the 13 sounds a bit steep. Carolina took them to the edge in their last meeting in the Big Easy and under Fewell, the Panthers have actually played some decent football. New Orleans wants to be home for the playoffs, while the Panthers look for revenge in the Tar Heel State. Carolina’s finer in Charlotte as the Panthers give Perry Fewell his first win as interim head coach, pulling off the upset at Bank of America Stadium.

Green Bay (12-3) at Detroit (3-11-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. The top team in the NFC North (or Norris, as ESPN’s Chris Berman calls it) meets the bottom team in the divison as Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers travel to the Motor City to face off against the Detroit Lions.

Green Bay won the NFC North title in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, overcoming three turnovers (Rodgers interception, two fumbles) to take a 23-10 win over Kirk Cousins and Minnesota Monday night. The Packers trailed 10-9 at the intermission at US Bank Stadium, then proceeded to score their final 14 points of the contest in the second half unchallenged, with Green Bay’s Aaron Jones scoring a pair of TDs in the half, including a 56-yard run that sealed the fate of the Vikings.

Jones led all rushers with 154 yards as the Packers out-rushed Minnesota 184-57, with Rodgers throwing for 216 yards and three sacks, while Cousins threw for 122 yards and a TD to WR Stefon Diggs with five sacks (both QBs threw an interception). Green Bay went 5 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 37:32, while the Vikings kept the pigskin for 22:28, going 4 of 15 on third down and 0 for 2 on fourth down.

Detroit lost their eighth contest in a row as Denver erased a 10-10 tie at the intermission and came away with the 27-17 win Sunday afternoon at Empower Field at Mile High. Broncos kicker Brian McManus gave the home team the lead for good, connecting on a 26-yard field goal early in the third quarter. Detroit’s Kenny Golladay would then catch a 3-yard TD pass from Daniel Blough to pull them to within four with 3:51 in the third before Denver scored 14 fourth-quarter points unchallenged, using TDs from WR DaeSean Hamilton and RB Phillip Lindsay to seal the win.

Lindsay led all rushers with 109 yards with the TD as the Broncos out-rushed Detroit 150-96 and Drew Lock threw for 192 yards with the Hamilton TD with no sacks or interceptions, while Blough threw for 117 yards with the Golladay TD with 4 sacks but no interceptions. Detroit went 4 of 11 on third down (the Lions were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:52, while the Broncos kept the pigskin for 36:08, going 5 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Green Bay and Detroit met at Lambeau in week six on a Monday night and the Packers prevailed 23-22 in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst. The Lions led 13-10 at the intermission before the Packers went to work to erase the lead, tying things at 13-13 with 12:35 left in the third on Mason Crosby’s 48-yard field goal. Detroit’s Matt Prather would give Detroit the lead back with three field goals, with the last score coming with 12:17 left in regulation from 54 yards out. That would be the last that the Lions would see the lead as Green Bay would pull themselves to within two with 9:03 left in the contest when Rodgers and WR Allen Lazard connected on a 35-yard TD pass. After a Detroit punt, Green Bay got the ball back with 6:46 left in the contest and they would use all of that 6:46 to go on a 14-play, 77-yard drive, sending Packers fans home happy campers as Crosby would connect on a 23-yard field goal as the clock struck :00.

Green Bay out-rushed the Lions 170-56 with Packers RB Jamaal Williams leading all rushers with 104 yards; Rodgers threw for 283 yards with the two TDs, a sack and an interception, while Matthew Stafford threw for 265 yards with three sacks and no TDs but no interceptions. Green Bay was 4 of 12 on third down and including the final 6:46 of the contest, kept the ball for 33:04, while the Lions held the pigskin for 26:56, going 3 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In their Monday night week six contest at Lambeau, the Packers were favored by 4 1/2 but won by 1 and the two teams tallied for 45 points, missing the over/under by 2. Green Bay’s favored by 12 1/2 in the Motor City and the over/under’s 43. Granted, the Lions are bad but they’re not 12 1/2 bad and they would love nothing more than to spoil Green Bay’s playoff plans. Sorry, kitties… not gonna happen. Detroit may make it closer than the 12 1/2 but Rodgers and the Packers prevail in the Motor City with the win.

Chicago (7-8) at Minnesota (10-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Chicago and Minnesota, NFC North rivals, meet in the season finale in the 2019 campaign in the Twin Cities. Both teams look to rebound after losing at home last week.

The Monsters of the Midway were held to a 46-yard field goal by Eddie Pinerio as time expired in the third quarter as Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes would take a 26-3 win over Da Bears at Soldier Field. Kansas City led 17-0 at the intermission as Mahomes used a rushing TD in the first and a TD pass to TE Travis Kelce as part of that scoring binge, tallying all of those first half points unchallenged. Kansas City out-rushed Chicago 106-101 with Chiefs RB Damien Williams leading all rushers with 65 and Mahomes threw for 251 yards with a pair of TDs to go with his rushing TD, while Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky threw for 157 yards (neither threw an interception, Trubisky was sacked three times, Mahomes was sacked once). Kansas City was 6 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 33:24, while Chicago, keeping the ball for 26:36, went 5 of 12 on third down, 0 of 3 on fourth down.

Vikings fans watched Green Bay win the NFC North title in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, as the Packers overcame three turnovers (Rodgers interception, two fumbles) to take a 23-10 win over Kirk Cousins and Minnesota Monday night. The Packers trailed 10-9 at the intermission at US Bank Stadium, then proceeded to score their final 14 points of the contest in the second half unchallenged, with Green Bay’s Aaron Jones scoring a pair of TDs in the half, including a 56-yard run that sealed the fate of the Vikings.

Jones led all rushers with 154 yards as the Packers out-rushed Minnesota 184-57, with Rodgers throwing for 216 yards and three sacks, while Cousins threw for 122 yards and a TD to WR Stefon Diggs with five sacks (both QBs threw an interception). Green Bay went 5 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 37:32, while the Vikings kept the pigskin for 22:28, going 4 of 15 on third down and 0 for 2 on fourth down.

They met in week four in the Windy City and Minnesota left Chicago on the short end of a 16-6 loss to Da Bears. The Vikings trailed 10-0 at the half at Soldier Field and trailed 16-0 at the end of three quarters before they would put a dent in the scoreboard with 2:58 left in the contest when Devin Cook scored from a yard out. The Vikings missed the extra point, which forced them to try the onside kick. Chicago recovered the kick and ran the clock out to take the win. Chicago, who opened the scoring with a Tank Cohen TD pass from backup QB Chase Daniel late in the first quarter, used three Eddie Pineiro field goals to give Da Bears their points. Chicago out-rushed Minnesota 72-40 and Daniel, who took over for Mitchell Trubisky, threw for 195 yards and the TD, while Kirk Cousins threw for 233 yards (Cousins was sacked six times, Daniel was sacked once and neither threw an interception). Minnesota went 5 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 24:33, while Chicago ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 35:27, going 5 of 16 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Da Bears covered the 2-point spread in the Windy City, winning by 10 at Soldier Field but the 22 total points that the Monsters of the Midway and Minnesota tallied came nowhere near the 38 over/under that was given. Minnesota’s favored by 1 in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and the over/under’s 36 1/2. Both numbers make a ton of sense. For Da Bears, it’s a chance to make their way to the .500 mark, while for the Vikings (locked in as the 5th seed), they’re preparing for a Wild Card game next week. Minnesota covers the 1 in the Twin Cities and win in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Los Angeles Chargers (5-10) at Kansas City (11-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. They met South of the Border in their first meeting. This time, a pair of AFC West/AFC rivals meet in the Show-Me State as Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs host Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers at Arrowhead.

The Chargers closed out their home half of the 2019 campaign falling short against Oakland last Sunday in Carson at Dignity Health Sports Park, falling to the Raiders 24-17 last Sunday. The Bolts trailed 14-7 at the intermission, then pulled themselves to within seven with 89 seconds left in the contest on a 27-yard field goal by Mark Badgley. Los Angeles then tried an onside kick, which Oakland recovered. The Raiders then proceeded to run out the clock and take the win in their final contest in the state of California.

Neither club breached the 100-yard barrier but Oakland out-rushed the Chargers 99-19 with Raiders RB DeAndre Washington leading the way with 85 yards and a TD. Rivers threw for 279 yards and was sacked once, while Derek Carr threw for 291 yards and a TD toss to WR Hunter Renfrow (Renfrow had seven catches for 107 yards; Carr was sacked three times, Rivers was sacked once and neither threw an interception). Oakland was 7 of 14 on third down and kept the ball to themselves for 33:24, while the Chargers kept the pigskin for 26:36, while going 3 of 11 on third down (both teams were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

The Chiefs, winners of the AFC West, held Chicago to a 46-yard field goal by Eddie Pinerio as time expired in the third quarter to take a 26-3 win over Da Bears at Soldier Field. Kansas City led 17-0 at the intermission as Mahomes used a rushing TD in the first and a TD pass to TE Travis Kelce as part of that scoring binge, tallying all of those first half points unchallenged. Kansas City out-rushed Chicago 106-101 with Chiefs RB Damien Williams leading all rushers with 65 and Mahomes threw for 251 yards with a pair of TDs to go with his rushing TD, while Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky threw for 157 yards (neither threw an interception, Trubisky was sacked three times, Mahomes was sacked once). Kansas City was 6 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 33:24, while Chicago, keeping the ball for 26:36, went 5 of 12 on third down, 0 of 3 on fourth down.

Their week 11 meeting was south of the border in Mexico City and the Chiefs would hold off the Chargers 24-17 at Azteca Stadium. Kansas City led 10-9 at the intermission in the Monday night contest and pushed their lead to 15 with 4:56 left in the third when the Mahomes-Kelce combo connected on a 23-yard TD toss before the Chargers made the contest a 7-point affair with 1:44 left in regulation when Rivers and WR Keenan Allen connected on a 7-yard TD toss. Kansas City then stopped a Chargers’ rally in the final second of the contest when Rivers was picked off by Daniel Sorensen in the end zone to end the threat.

Kansas City out-rushed the Chargers 130-93 with Chargers RB Melvin Gordon leading all rushers with 69 yards, while Mahomes, who threw for 182 yards (TD to Kelce, sack, interception), had a rushing TD. Rivers threw for 353 yards with the Allen TD and was sacked twice, throwing four interceptions, including the one that ended Los Angeles’ hopes of tying the contest in regulation (Chargers RB Austin Ekeler led all receivers with 108 yards on eight catches, Kelce had 92 yards on seven catches). The Chiefs were 6 of 13 on third downs and held on to the ball for 28:58, while the Chargers kept the ball for 31:02, going 5 of 15 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 11 contest in Mexico City, the Chiefs covered the 3-point spread, winning by 7 but the two teams missed the 52 1/2 over/under, tallying 41 points. The Chiefs are the darlings of the boys and girls in Vegas and the powers in the desert have made them 9-point favorites in the Show-Me State and the over/under’s 44 1/2. The Chargers are playing with house money, while the Chiefs would love nothing more than to win and have a bye next week. Everything’s up to date in Kansas City, including the Chiefs. KC covers the 9 and wins at Arrowhead.

Philadelphia (8-7) at New York Giants (4-11), 4:25 p.m. on FOX on FOX and DirecTV 718. The first-place Philadelphia Eagles make the 90-minute, 95-mile trip down I-95 to face off against the New York Giants in a rematch of NFL East rivals. Both teams were huge winners in last week’s action.

The Eagles kept their playoff hopes alive in the City of Brotherly Love as they held off Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys 17-9 at Century Link Field. The Eagles, in first place in the East, held the Cowboys to three Kai Forbath field goals in the late-afternoon contest, took a 10-6 lead with them to the break, while leading from start to finish, holding off a last-ditch Dallas rally in the closing minutes of the contest. Philadelphia held Dallas to 54 yards, while rushing for 118 yards, with Eagles RB Miles Sanders leading the way with 79 yards, including a 38-yard run that sealed the win for the home team. Carson Wentz threw for 319 yards and a TD to TE Dallas Goedert, while Dallas’ Dak Precott threw for 265 yards (Prescott was sacked twice, Wentz was sacked once and neither threw an interception). Philadelphia was 6 of 14 on third down (the Eagles were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball to themselves for 36:12, while Dallas held the pigskin for 23:48, going 3 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Daniel Jones and the New York Giants need overtime against Washington last Sunday before Big Blue prevailed in Landover, coming away 41-35 winners at Fed Ex Field. New York led 28-14 at the intermission before Washington rallied in the second half of the contest, tying things up with 29 seconds left in regulation when Case Keenum (who took over for DeWayne Haskins) scored on a 1-yard run. It would be the last time that Washington would see the football as the Giants won the toss in overtime and Redskins fans watched with horror as the Giants used an 11-play, 66-yard drive that used 5:45 of the extra period and ending with Jones and Kenny Smith scoring on a 3-yard TD toss with 4:15 left to take the win.

Big Blue out-rushed Washington 206-80 with Sequan Barkley leading the way with 189 yards and a TD; Keenum threw for 158 yards and a passing TD to WR Cam Sims after taking over for Haskins (133 yards, 2 TD, 2 sacks, no interceptions), while Jones threw for 352 yards and five TDs (including the game-winner in overtime) with a sack but no interceptions. Both clubs were 8 of 14 on third down (neither had a fourth down attempt at Fed Ex Field) and Washington actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:48, while the Giants held the pigskin for 31:57.

They met in week 14 in the City of Brotherly Love on a Monday night and the Giants welcomed the return of Eli Manning under center, only to watch Philadelphia and Carson Wentz rally late in that contest, falling to the Eagles 23-17 in overtime at Lincoln Financial Field. After a scoreless first quarter in the City of Brotherly Love, the Giants took a 17-3 lead with them to the break in the Monday night contest, using a pair of Manning TD passes to WR Darius Slayton, only to see the Eagles chip away at the lead as they would rally to pull themselves to within seven with 1:28 left in the third when RB Boston Scott scored on a 2-yard run, then tie things up with 1:53 left in regulation when Wentz and TE Zach Ertz would connect on the first of their two TD passes, the first coming from 2 yards out. Philadelphia would win the toss in overtime and kept Manning (who took over for Daniel Jones, who had an ankle injury) on the bench, as the Eagles marched their way down the field, using an 8-play, 75-yard drive that used 4:50 of clock, ending with Wentz and Ertz connecting on their second TD pass of the night.

Philadelphia out-rushed their NFC East rivals 118-73 (Giants RB Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 66 yards) and Manning threw for 203 yards, while Wentz threw for 325 yards in the overtime affair (Manning was sacked twice, Wentz was sacked three times but neither threw an interception). The Giants on third down were a somewhat dismal 2 of 12 and kept the ball for 21:59, while the Eagles ruled the clock and including the overtime would keep the ball for 42:51, going 9 of 21 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week 14 contest, the Eagles were favored by 8 in the Monday night contest at Lincoln Financial Field but wound up winning by only 6 and both teams missed the 46 1/2 over/under, tallying 40 points. In the rematch in the Meadowlands, the Eagles are again favored, this time by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 45. For the Giants, they want nothing more than to slow down the Eagles’ march to the post-season, if not stop it all together. As for the Eagles? Win and you’re in. Eagles cover the 4 1/2 in upstate New Jersey and win in the Meadowlands.

Tennessee (8-7) at Houston (10-5), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of AFC South rivals meet in the Lone Star State as Tennessee, hoping for a playoff spot, travels to Houston to take on division champion Houston at NRG Stadium.

Tennessee let a 14-10 lead at the half against New Orleans get away from them, then watched as the Saints went on a 28-14 run in the second half to come away 38-28 winners at Nissan Stadium. Saints RB Alvin Kamara’s 40-yard run early in the third quarter gave the Saints the lead for good at 17-14. Kamara would then score again in the quarter, scoring from a yard out to give New Orleans a 24-14 lead late in the quarter before Titans WR Tajaé Sharpe would score the first of his two TDs, connecting with Ryan Tannehill from 36 yards to pull them to within 3. New Orleans then pushed the lead back to 10 with 73 seconds left in the third when Drew Brees and TE Jared Cook connected on a 16-yard TD pass. Tennessee would not go away quietly as Sharpe and Tannehill connected on a second TD pass, this one from seven yards with 7:27 left in regulation.

The Titans would get the ball back with 4:25 left but turned the ball over when WR Kalif Raymond fumbled at the Saints’ 38-yard line and New Orleans’ Chauncey Gardner-Johnson would recover in decent field position. The Saints, with a short field, would then go on a 6-play, 25-yard drive that used 1:56 of clock to put a nail in Tennessee’s coffin as WR Michael Thomas, who surpassed Marvin Harrison for the all-time passes caught record, caught a 2-yard TD toss from Brees with 2:10 left. New Orleans then held off a late Tennessee rally, ran out the clock and took the win in the Music City.

Tennessee actually out-rushed New Orleans 149-102 but Kamara led all rushers with 80 yards and the two rushing TDs, while Brees threw for 279 yards and three TDs (two of them to Cook, one to Thomas; Thomas had 12 catches for 136 yards), while Tannehill threw for 272 yards with three TDs (Brees was sacked three times, Tannehill was sacked five times and neither man threw an interception). Both teams were 0 for 1 on fourth down; the Saints were 4 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 31:04, while the Titans held the pigskin for 28:56, going 5 of 13 on third down.

Houston erased a 17-17 tie against Jameis Winston and Tampa Bay at the intermission last Saturday afternoon, then shut down a final-minute drive as the Texans left Tampa Bay with the AFC South title and a 23-20 win. Houston opened the first half scoring when Winston was picked off by CB Bradley Roby, who returned the ball 27 yards for a TD before the fans were settled in their seats. Winston would eventually atone for that error, as Tampa Bay would tie things up with 13 second left when he and WR Justin Watson scored on an 8-yard TD toss. Kai Fairbairn and Matt Gay would trade field goals in the third quarter, tying the contest at 20-20 before Fairbairn gave Houston the lead for good with 7:11 left in the contest on a 37-yard field goal.

Tampa Bay would get the ball back with 21 seconds left in the contest after the teams traded punts after the Fairburn field goal and the hopes of a win for the Buccaneers came to an end when Winston was picked off by Issac Hyman to end the threat. Tampa Bay out-rushed Houston 106-68 with Ronald Jones leading the way for all rushers with 77 yards and a TD (Houston was led by Watson with 37 yards, Carlos Hyde had Houston’s lone rushing TD). Winston threw for 335 yards and the Justin Watson TD but was sacked three times with four interceptions (including the one that ended the contest), while DeShaun Watson threw for 184 with five interceptions and a sack. Tampa Bay went 9 of 17 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and including the final 21 seconds of the contest, kept the ball for 30:28, while the Texans kept the pigskin for 29:32, going 4 of 14 on third down but had success in their only fourth down try.

They met in week 15 in the Music City and Tennessee wound up on the short end of a 24-21 loss to AFC South rival Houston in Nashville. After a scoreless first quarter at Nissan Stadium, Houston scored a pair of second-quarter TD passes from Watson to Kevin Stills to lead 14-0 at the break. Tennessee would even things up in the second half as Titans QB Ryan Tannehill would score on a 3-yard run in the third and a Tannehill TD pass to A.J. Brown early in the fourth quarter before the Texans would take the lead back for good when RB Carlos Hyde scored on a 10-yard run and added to that lead with a 29-yard field goal by Kai Forbath with 3:26 left in regulation. Tennessee would not go away quietly, narrowing the lead to 3 with 2:04 left when Tannehill and RB Dion Lewis connected on an 11-yard pass. Houston later sealed the win in the final seconds of the contest when they sacked Tannehill for an eight-yard loss at their 4-yard line. With no time outs, Tannehill spiked the ball in an effort to stop the clock. There was one problem… there was one second left in the contest and when he spiked the ball, that ended the contest.

Tennessee out-rushed Houston 163-140 and Hyde led all rushers with 104 yards along with the TD, while Derrek Henry led Tennessee with 86; Watson threw for 243 yards and the two first-half TDs to Stills, while Tannehill threw for 279 yards and a pair of TDs (Watson was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions, Tannehill was sacked twice and threw an interception). Houston was 5 of 10 on third down conversions and held the ball for 31:20, while the Titans kept the pigskin for 28:40 (including the final 2:04 of the contest) and were 4 of 10 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week 15 contest in the Music City, Tennessee was favored by 3 and the Texans covered, winning by 3 but both teams missed the 48 over/under, tallying 45 points. Houston’s favored this time, as the boys and girls in Vegas like them as 3 1/2-point favorites in the Lone Star State with a 45 1/2 over/under. For the Titans, it’s win and wait, while the Texans have their hay in the barn. Houston covers the 3 1/2 in the Lone Star State and takes the win at home.

Pittsburgh (8-7) at Baltimore (13-2), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. They again, this time they will meet in Charm City. One’s already in the post-season party, the other’s hoping to get an invite. Pittsburgh, with slim playoff hopes, travels to Baltimore to face off against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes took a hit last Sunday at Met Life Stadium against the New York Jets, as they would hold off the Steelers 16-10 in upstate New Jersey. The Steelers and Jets went into the locker room tied at 10-10 after Robbie Anderson and Steven Ficken opened New York’s scoring (Anderson scoring on a 23-yard pass from Sam Darnold and a 54-yard field goal by Ficken for the Jets) before Chris Boswell (49-yard field goal) and WR Dioante Johnson (29-yard TD pass from Mason Rudolph) evened things up. Ficken would give the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! the lead back for keeps with a pair of field goals to make it a 16-10 contest, then held off a late Pittsburgh rally to seal the win in the Meadowlands.

Neither club breached the 100-yard barrier in the contest but the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! did manage to out-rush Pittsburgh 85-75 and Darnonld threw for 183 yards and a TD without an interception (he was sacked twice), while Rudolph (taking over for Delvin Hodges) threw for 129 yards and a TD with a sack. GangGreen went 4 of 15 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 28:28, while the Steelers actually ruled the clock, holding on to the pigskin for 31:32, going 3 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Baltimore and Lamar Jackson took home field advantage for the 2019 AFC playoffs as the Ravens left First Energy Field 31-15 winners last Sunday. After a scoreless first quarter, Cleveland took the lead with 11:53 left before the half when Mayfield and TE Demetrius Harris connected on a 1-yard TD pass. Baltimore would later respond with a pair of TD passes from Jackson to TE Mark Andrews to lead by seven at the break. Cleveland would eventually pull themselves to within nine with 8:01 left in the contest when Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. connected on a 3-yard TD toss (Cleveland would miss the two-point try). It would be as close as the Browns would get, as the Ravens’ Justice Hill put the nail in Cleveland’s coffin, scoring on an 18-yard run.

Jackson led all rushers with 103 yards, while throwing three TD passes (he threw for 238 yards and was not sacked or intercepted) as the Ravens out-rushed Cleveland 243-49, with Mayfield throwing for 192 yards with the pair of TD passes and an interception. The Ravens were 7 of 11 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:19 to Cleveland’s 25:41 (the Brown were 3 of 12 on third down tries).

They met in the Steel City in week 5 and Baltimore needed overtime at Heinz Field to leave the Steel City 26-23 winners. The Ravens led 17-13 at the intermission before Pittsburgh stormed back in the second half to lead 23-20 with 2:37 left in regulation on a Chris Boswell field goal. Jeff Tucker then connected on a 48-yard field goal with 10 seconds left in regulation, then after a Pittsburgh turnover by WR JuJu Smith-Schuster in the overtime, Tucker connected on a 46-yarder with 5:26 left in the extra period to take the win.

Baltimore out-rushed Pittsburgh 138-77 and Lamar Jackson threw for 161 yards with a TD and three interceptions, while Mason Rudolph threw for 131 yards and a TD to Smith-Schuster before being knocked out of the contest with a concussion (Rudolph was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Baltimore was 6 of 15 on third down (the Ravens were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 39 minutes (including the overtime), while the Steelers were 3 of 9 on third down, keeping the ball for 25:34.

Batlimore was favored by 3 1/2 in the Steel City in the week 5 meeting and won the overtime contest by 3 points. The two clubs did cover the 44 1/2 over/under with 49 points. Pittsburgh’s favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 37 1/2. The Steelers’ playoff hopes are on the line, while the Ravens hold on to the top spot in the AFC playoff party. For the Steelers, it was fun while it lasted. Ravens cover the 1 1/2 and win in Charm City.

Indianapolis (7-8) at Jacksonville (5-10), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. A pair of AFC South rivals close things out in the Sunshine State as Jacoby Brissett and the Indianapolis Colts travel to TIAA Stadium for a late afternoon contest with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Colts used a pair of punt returns from running back Nyheim Hines (84 and 71 yards) in their 38-6 win over struggling Carolina last Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis, holding Carolina to a pair of Jeff Slye field goals, led 21-3 at the half, then floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of play in the Hoosier State, outpacing the Panthers 17-3.

The Colts out-rushed Carolina 218-87 and Colts RB Marlon Mack led all rushers with 95 yards and a TD, while Collin McCaffrey led Carolina (who lost their seventh contest in a row, with interim head coach Perry Fewell looking for his first win) with 54 yards. Brissett threw for 119 yards and while he did not have a passing TD or interception, he did have a rushing TD in the win, while Will Grier (taking over for Kyle Allen) threw for 224 yards (Grier was sacked five times and threw three interceptions, while Brissett was sacked three times). The Panthers were 4 of 14 on third down (they went 2 of 4 on fourth down) and would actually rule the clock, keeping the ball for 32:21, while the Colts, holding the pigskin for 27:39, went 4 of 11 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Jacksonville continued their struggle of a 2019 season, taking a 24-12 loss in Atlanta Sunday afternoon. Jacksonville trailed from start to finish, as the Falcons used a pair of first-quarter TDs from DeVonta Freeman (one rushing, one passing), taking a 17-3 lead with them to the break.

Atlanta out-rushed Jacksonville 135-115 with Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette leading all rushers with 71 yards (Brian Hill led Atlanta with 66 yards), while Ryan threw for 384 yards and a TD to Freeman (Ryan’s favorite target, Julio Jones, led all receievers with 10 catches, good for 166 yards) with Gardner Minshew II throwing for 181 yards and a TD to Chris Conley (Ryan was sacked once and threw a pair of interceptions, while Minshew was sacked three times). Atlanta was 7 of 13 on third down in the Big Peach and was somewhat “Grinch-like” with the ball, keeping it for 33:07, while the Jaguars kept the pigskin for 26:53, going 3 of 14 on third down, 3 of 4 on fourth down.

They met in week 11 in the Hoosier State and Jacksonville could never get themselves on track in Indianapolis as they fell to Jacoby Brissett and the Colts 33-13 at Lucas Oil Stadium. After Jacksonville’s D.J. Chark gave them a 7-0 lead in the first, the Colts evened things up with 35 seconds left in the quarter on a 13-yard run by RB Marlon Mack. Indianapolis then broke the tie on a 34-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri to take a 10-3 lead with them to the intermission, then scored 14 third quarter points unchallenged and added a 7-yard TD run by Nyheim Hines to widen the deficit. Jacksonville would score again late in the contest when Chark scored on a 20-yard TD toss from Nick Foles but the Colts then proceeded to add insult to injury when rookie LB Bobby Okereke scored on a defensive 2-point conversion to close things out.

The Colts rushed for 264 yards in the win, with Jonathan Williams (116 yards) and Mack (109 yards) leading the way, while Indianapolis held Jacksonville to a dismal season-low 29 yards. Brissett returned to the lineup, throwing for 148 yards with a TD toss to Marcus Johnson and had a rushing TD of his own, while Foles threw for 296 yards and the two TDs to Chark but was sacked twice and Brissett was sacked three times (both men threw an interception). The Colts went 4 of 11 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 33:52, while Jacksonville, keeping the ball for 26:08, went 6 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The Colts were favored by 5 in the week 11 contest in the Hoosier State and easily covered, winning by 20 and both teams combined for 46 points, covering the 43 1/2 over/under. In round two in the Sunshine State, the Colts are favored by 4 and the over/under’s 43. Neither team will be going to the post-season and both teams will make their draft preparations on Monday. Colts cover the 4 in the Sunshine State and takes the win in north Florida.

Oakland (7-8) at Denver (6-9), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. A pair of AFC West/AFL foes meet in the Mile High City as Oakland travels to Denver to face off against the Broncos.

The Silver and Black played their final game in the state of California and came away with a 24-17 last Sunday over AFC West/AFL rival Los Angeles Chargers. Oakland led 14-7 at the intermission, then watch the Chargers pull themselves to within seven with 89 seconds left in the contest on a 27-yard field goal by Mark Badgley. Los Angeles then tried an onside kick, which Oakland recovered. The Raiders then proceeded to run out the clock and take the win in their final contest in the state of California.

Neither club breached the 100-yard barrier but Oakland out-rushed the Chargers 99-19 with Raiders RB DeAndre Washington leading the way with 85 yards and a TD. Rivers threw for 279 yards and was sacked once, while Derek Carr threw for 291 yards and a TD toss to WR Hunter Renfrow (Renfrow had seven catches for 107 yards; Carr was sacked three times, Rivers was sacked once and neither threw an interception). Oakland was 7 of 14 on third down and kept the ball to themselves for 33:24, while the Chargers kept the pigskin for 26:36, while going 3 of 11 on third down (both teams were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

Denver gave Detroit their eighth contest in a row as the Broncos erased a 10-10 tie at the intermission and came away with 27-17 winners Sunday afternoon at Empower Field at Mile High. Broncos kicker Brian McManus gave the home team the lead for good, connecting on a 26-yard field goal early in the third quarter. Detroit’s Kenny Golladay would then catch a 3-yard TD pass from Daniel Blough to pull them to within four with 3:51 in the third before Denver scored 14 fourth-quarter points unchallenged, using TDs from WR DaeSean Hamilton and RB Phillip Lindsay to seal the win.

Lindsay led all rushers with 109 yards with the TD as the Broncos out-rushed Detroit 150-96 and Drew Lock threw for 192 yards with the Hamilton TD with no sacks or interceptions, while Blough threw for 117 yards with the Golladay TD with 4 sacks but no interceptions. Detroit went 4 of 11 on third down (the Lions were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:52, while the Broncos kept the pigskin for 36:08, going 5 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

They met in the season opener in Oakland and the Raiders held off a late Denver rally last Monday night at home to take a 24-16 decision. The Silver and Black led 14-0 at the half before Denver made their first dent on the scoreboard in the third when K Brian McManus kicked a pair of 26-yard field goals in the frame. Denver would pull themselves to within eight with 2:15 when Broncos QB Joe Flacco (269 yards, three sacks) and WR Emmanuel Sanders connected on a 1-yard toss. The Broncos then tried and failed on the onside kick attempt, giving Oakland the ball back and allowing them to run out the clock. Oakland outrushed Denver 98-95 and Flacco threw for 268 yards with three sacks, while Derek Carr threw for 259 yards with a TD and no sacks (both Flacco and Carr did not throw an interception). Denver on third down tries went 6 of 13 and the Broncos kept the ball for 27:15, while the Silver and Black held on to the pigskin for 32:45, going 10 of 14 on third down tries. (neither club had a fourth down attempt)

Oakland was favored by 7 in the season opener in northern California and they covered, winning by 8 but the two teams missed the 42 over/under, tallying 40 points. Denver’s favored by 3 1/2 in the Mile High City and the over/under’s 41. Oakland’s playoff hopes are pretty much on life support and the Raiders need a lot of things to happen if they want to be the six seed in the AFC Championship round. As for the Broncos, they would love nothing more than to put Oakland out of their misery. Denver covers the 3 1/2 in the Mile High City and knocks the Raiders out of the post-season.

Washington (3-12) at Dallas (7-8), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. The records? Forget them. They STILL don’t like each other and don’t expect the exchange of Christmas greetings this week. Dallas and Dak Prescott, fighting for its playoff lives, host Washington in a MUST win game for the Cowboys in Jerry World. Both teams took losses on the East Coast last week.

The Redskins, with nothing really to play for, took Daniel Jones and the New York Giants to overtime before Big Blue prevailed in Landover, falling to the Giants 41-35 at Fed Ex Field. Washington trailed 28-14 at the intermission before they rallied in the second half of the contest, tying things up with 29 seconds left in regulation when Case Keenum (who took over for DeWayne Haskins) scored on a 1-yard run. It would be the last time that Washington would see the football as the Giants won the toss in overtime and Redskins fans watched with horror as the Giants used an 11-play, 66-yard drive that used 5:45 of the extra period and ending with Jones and Kenny Smith scoring on a 3-yard TD toss with 4:15 left to take the win.

Washington was out-rushed by Big Blue 206-80 with Sequan Barkley leading the way with 189 yards and a TD; Keenum threw for 158 yards and a passing TD to WR Cam Sims after taking over for Haskins (133 yards, 2 TD, 2 sacks, no interceptions), while Jones threw for 352 yards and five TDs (including the game-winner in overtime) with a sack but no interceptions. Both clubs were 8 of 14 on third down (neither had a fourth down attempt at Fed Ex Field) and Washington actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:48, while the Giants held the pigskin for 31:57.

Dallas watched the Philadelphia Eagles keep their playoff hopes alive in the City of Brotherly Love, holding off Dak Prescott and the Cowboys 17-9 at Century Link Field. Dallas found themselves being held by the Eagles (in first place in the East), to three Kai Forbath field goals in the late-afternoon contest, trailing 10-6 at the break, as the Eagles, who led from start to finish, held off a last-ditch Dallas rally in the closing minutes of the contest. Philadelphia held Dallas to 54 yards, while rushing for 118 yards, with Eagles RB Miles Sanders leading the way with 79 yards, including a 38-yard run that sealed the win for the home team. Carson Wentz threw for 319 yards and a TD to TE Dallas Goedert, while Dallas’ Dak Precott threw for 265 yards (Prescott was sacked twice, Wentz was sacked once and neither threw an interception). Philadelphia was 6 of 14 on third down (the Eagles were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball to themselves for 36:12, while Dallas held the pigskin for 23:48, going 3 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

They met in week two in Landover and after a scoreless first quarter at Washington, the Cowboys erased a 7-0 deficit in the second quarter and came away 31-21 winners at Fed Ex Field, thanks in part to TDs from Prescott to Devin Smith and Jason Witten to take the 14-7 lead with them to the break. Dallas would lead 21-7 with 4:30 left in the third period before Case Keenum (221 yards, TD, sack) and WR Paul Richardson Jr. connected on a 9-yard TD toss to pull themselves to within seven. Dallas would eventually restore order and come out of Landover with the win.

Dallas out-rushed Washington 213-47, with Ezekiel Elliott rushing for 111 yards and a TD, while Prescott threw for 269 yards and three TDs (Prescott was sacked once and threw an interception). Dallas went 7 of 11 on third down tries at Landover and kept the ball for 33:22, while the Redskins kept the ball for 26:38, going 2 of 9 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

In the week two contest in Landover, the Cowboys were favored and their 10-point win allowed them to cover the 5-point spread and the 52 combined points was more than enough to cover the 46 1/2 over/under. Dallas at home? Favored by 11. The over/under? 44 1/2. There will be scoreboard watching in East Rutherford and Arlington to see what the other team is doing and for the Cowboys, it has been a somewhat strange season where they’ve had chance after chance after chance to win the East. For the Redskins, it was a season that fell well short of expectations and cost Jay Gruden his job midway through the season. Fans in Landover have been singing “Hell, it’s the Redskins” a lot this season. Not this time. “Hail” is the word of the day. Washington shocks the world and takes the win in Arlington, knocking Dallas out of the post-season party.

Arizona (5-9-1) at Los Angeles Rams (8-7), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 719. The Rams play their final home game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as they host Arizona in an NFC West contest on the West Coast. Both teams were on the road last week, with Arizona taking a win out of Seattle, while the Rams let a lead against San Francisco get away from in Santa Clara.

The Desert Angry Birds damaged Seattle’s hopes of winning the NFC West Sunday afternoon in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks last Sunday, leaving Century Link Field 27-13 winners. Arizona broke a 7-7 first quarter tie, scoring 10 second-quarter points unchallenged, holding the Seahawks to a pair of Josh Myers field goals in the fourth to take the win. Arizona out-rushed Seattle 253-91 with Cardinals RB Kyle Drake leading all rushers with 166 yards and a pair of TDs, with Kyler Murray throwing for 118 yards and a TD (he was sacked once but did not throw an interception) before leaving the contest with an ankle injury, while Russell Wilson threw for 169 yards and TD (Wilson was sacked five times). Arizona went 5 of 15 on third down (the Desert Angry Birds were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and Arizona ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:53, while the Seahawks were a dismal 1 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 25:07.

The Rams let a 28-24 lead at the end of three quarters get away from them as San Francisco K Robbie Gould sent 49ers fans home happy with the 34-31 win at Levis’ Stadium in Santa Clara last Saturday evening. The Rams trailed 24-21 at the break, then took the lead with 5:06 left in the third when Jared Goff and WR Cooper Kupp connnected on a 21-yard TD toss. The 49ers would proceed to reclaim the lead with 6:06 left in the contest when QB Jimmy Garoppolo and TE George Kittle connected on a 7-yard TD toss. Los Angeles then re-tied the contest on a 52-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein with 2:30 left in regulation. That would be all the time that the 49ers need, as they would use that entire 2:30, using 9 plays and 60 yards and ending with Gould booting a 33-yard field goal as time expired.

San Francisco out-rushed the Rams (who led 7-3 at the end of the first quarter) 119-72, with 49ers RB Raheem Mostert leading the way with 53 yards and a TD, while Todd Gurley led the Rams with 48 yards and a pair of TDs. Goff threw for 323 yards with a pair of TDs (including the toss to Kupp) and an interception (Rams TE Tyler Higbee led all recievers with 104 yards on nine catches, while teammate Robert Woods had eight catches for 117 yards), while Garoppolo threw for 248 yards with a TD and a pair of interceptions (Garoppolo was sacked six times, while his favorite target, TE George Kittle, had five catches for 79 yards). The Rams were 5 of 13 on third down tries and actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:21, while the 49ers kept the pigskin for 27:39 (including the final 2:30 of the contest), going 4 for 10 on third down tries.

They would meet in week 13 in the desert and the Desert Angry Birds were held to a fourth-quarter TD by Murray as the Los Angeles Rams came into Glendale last Sunday and left 34-7 winners over the Desert Angry Birds. Arizona had trouble getting themselves on track as the Rams scored their 34 points in the contest unchallenged, leading 20-0 at the half. Arizona’s lone score of the contest came with 8:35 left in the game on Murray’s 15-yard run.

Arizona would be held by the Rams to 74 yards rushing, while the defending NFC champs tallied 132 yards on the ground, with Rams RB Todd Gurley leading everyone with 95 yards and a TD. Rams QB Jarred Goff threw for 424 yards with a pair of TDs (one to Cooper Kupp, the other to Tyler Higbee; Higbee had seven catches for 107, while teammate Robert Woods led all recievers with 172 yards), while Murray threw for 163 yards with six sacks and an interception (Goff was sacked twice but did not throw an interception). The Rams were 8 of 15 on third down but 0 for 1 on fourth down and they would rule the clock and keep the ball for 34:37, while the Desert Angry Birds kept the pigskin for 25:23, going 2 of 13 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

In the week 13 contest, the Rams were favored by 4 in Glendale and they would cover, winning by 27 but both teams missed the 46 1/2 over/under, as they would tally 41 points. The Rams are favored again, this time by 7 with the over/under 45. The Rams are trying to end their season above the .500 mark and move into their new stadium with a winning record, while the Desert Angry Birds are looking for revenge from their week 13 drubbing in Glendale. Arizona will have to keep looking. Rams cover the 7 and win on the Left Coast.

San Francisco (11-3) at Seattle (11-4), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. First place on the line in the NFC West as San Francisco makes their way up I-5 to face off against the Seattle Seahawks in prime time in the Pacific Northwest.

San Francisco K Robbie Gould sent 49ers fans home happy with the 34-31 win at Levis’ Stadium in Santa Clara last Saturday evening. The Rams trailed 24-21 at the break, then took a 28-24 lead with 5:06 left in the third when Jared Goff and WR Cooper Kupp would connect on a 21-yard TD toss. The 49ers reclaimed the lead with 6:06 left in the contest when QB Jimmy Garoppolo and TE George Kittle connected on a 7-yard TD toss. Los Angeles then re-tied the contest on a 52-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein with 2:30 left in regulation. That would be all the time that the 49ers need, as they would use that entire 2:30, using 9 plays and 60 yards and ending with Gould booting a 33-yard field goal as time expired.

San Francisco out-rushed the Rams (who led 7-3 at the end of the first quarter) 119-72, with 49ers RB Raheem Mostert leading the way with 53 yards and a TD, while Todd Gurley led the Rams with 48 yards and a pair of TDs. Goff threw for 323 yards with a pair of TDs (including the toss to Kupp) and an interception (Rams TE Tyler Higbee led all recievers with 104 yards on nine catches, while teammate Robert Woods had eight catches for 117 yards), while Garoppolo threw for 248 yards with a TD and a pair of interceptions (Garoppolo was sacked six times, while his favorite target, TE George Kittle, had five catches for 79 yards). The Rams were 5 of 13 on third down tries and actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:21, while the 49ers kept the pigskin for 27:39 (including the final 2:30 of the contest), going 4 for 10 on third down tries.

Seattle’s hopes of winning the NFC West Sunday afternoon in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks last Sunday were damaged by Arizona, with the Desert Angry Birds leaving Century Link Field 27-13 winners. Arizona broke a 7-7 first quarter tie, scoring 10 second-quarter points unchallenged, holding the Seahawks to a pair of Josh Myers field goals in the fourth to take the win.

Arizona out-rushed Seattle 253-91 with Cardinals RB Kyle Drake leading all rushers with 166 yards and a pair of TDs, with Kyler Murray throwing for 118 yards and a TD (he was sacked once but did not throw an interception) before leaving the contest with an ankle injury, while Russell Wilson threw for 169 yards and TD (Wilson was sacked five times). Arizona went 5 of 15 on third down (the Desert Angry Birds were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and Arizona ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:53, while the Seahawks were a dismal 1 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 25:07.

They met on a Monday night week 10 in Santa Clara and San Francisco fell out of the ranks of the undefeated against Seattle, blowing a chance to win over their NFC West foes in overtime at Levis’ Stadium and fell to the Seahawks 27-24. The 49ers led Seattle 10-7 at the half before the Seahawks took control of things in the third quarter, scoring 14 points in that frame unchallenged when Javeon Clowney recovered a fumble, returning it 10 yards for a TD and added a 1-yard run by Chris Carson for a 21-10 lead. San Francisco would storm back in the final 15 minutes of action in regulation and tied things up with one second left on a Chris McLaughlin field goal from 47 yards.

Seattle would get the ball in the overtime and made their way down the field in hopes of ending the contest with a TD but Russell Wilson was picked off by LB Dre Greenlaw, who ran the ball back to Seattle’s 49-yard line, ending the drive. The 49ers then had a chance to send their fans home happy but the football gods were not going the 49ers way, as the drive stalled and McLaughlin missed a 47-yard try that would have ended the contest.

The Seahawks got the ball back and San Francisco held them in check, forcing a Seattle punt. San Francisco could not do anything after three Jimmy Garapollo passes went incomplete. The 49ers punted the ball back to Seattle with 85 seconds left in the extra period and Seattle made sure the 49ers would never see the pigskin again, using a 7-play, 40-yard drive that took 85 seconds of clock and ended when Jason Myers connected on a 42-yard field goal to end the 49ers’ bid for a perfect season.

Seattle out-rushed San Francisco 147-87, with Carson leading all rushers with 89 yards and the TD. Wilson threw for 232 yards in the overtime contest, while Garapollo threw for 248 yards (both threw a TD, both were sacked five times and both threw an interception) in the Monday night affair. San Francisco went 6 for 15 on third down tries in Santa Clara (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:41, while Seattle kept the ball for 35:19, while going 7 for 15 on third down tries.

In the week 10 contest in Santa Clara, the 49ers were favored by 6 1/2 but Seattle would wind up winning by 3. The two teams did manage to cover the 46 1/2 over/under, tallying 51 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like the 49ers again, this time making them 3-point favorites with a 47 over/under. A lot is at stake here. The winner? They are NFC West champs; the loser? they get to be the Wild Card team and play next Saturday or Sunday. The 49ers want revenge from their loss in Santa Clara in week 10, while the Seahawks, who reached into their history bag and resigned RB Marshawn Lynch, wants to win the West and perhaps have that first-round bye and possibly host. It’ll be closer than the 3 but Seattle prevails in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, crowning themselves kings of the West.

Three spots in the post-season have been filled. Baltimore, Kansas City and the New Orleans Saints have all punched their dance cards for the post-season party. The Ravens, Chiefs and Saints have all won their respective divisions. Nine spots remain and some, if not all could be filled soon.

For those that are not going to be in the post-season, it’s a chance to evaluate talent for next season and perhaps upset the playoff plans of other teams. In the bigger picture, 12 teams will have a second season, with one small twist.

You win, you advance.

You lose, your next game’s next year. It’s not rocket science. At the end of the day when week 17 concludes, there will be 12 more teams extending their season. 12 teams fighting to either get another Lombardi Trophy or get a Lombardi of their own.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK 14: With a 23-16 victory at New England, combined with Oakland’s Week 14 loss against Tennessee, Kansas City clinched the AFC West for the fourth-consecutive season.

With a 24-17 win at Buffalo, Baltimore clinched a playoff berth for the second-consecutive year.

Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson threw three touchdowns and one interception for a 102.5 passer rating and added 40 rushing yards in the Ravens’ Week 14 win at Buffalo. Jackson has 1,017 rushing yards this season and joins Michael Vick (1,039 rushing yards in 2006) as the only quarterbacks with at least 1,000 rushing yards in a single season in NFL history.

Denver rookie quarterback Drew Lock, making his first-career road start, passed for 309 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for a 136.0 passer rating in the Broncos’ 38-24 win at Houston. Lock is the first rookie in the Super Bowl era to pass for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in his first-career road start.

Denver running back Philip Lindsay had 55 scrimmage yards (51 rushing, four receiving) and a rushing touchdown on Sunday. Lindsay, who had 1,278 scrimmage yards as a rookie in 2018, has 1,004 scrimmage yards this season and is the third undrafted player with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards in each of his first two seasons in the common draft era.

San Francisco wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders had seven receptions for 157 yards and a touchdown and threw a 35-yard touchdown pass, in the 49ers’ 48-46 win at New Orleans. Sanders, who recorded both a passing and receiving touchdown with Denver in Week 7 of the 2018 season, joins Pro Football Hall of Famers Walter Payton and LaDainian Tomlinson, along with Odell Beckham, Jr. as the only non-quarterbacks to record both a passing and receiving touchdown in multiple games since 1970.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees threw five touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown on Sunday. Brees has 11 career games with at least five touchdown passes, the most such games in NFL history. Brees became the fourth player in the Super Bowl era with five passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in a single game, joining Mark Malone (Week 1, 1985), Aaron Rodgers (Week 7, 2019) and Mark Rypien (Week 11, 1991).

Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed 21 of 27 passes (77.8 percent) for 391 yards and three touchdowns with one interception for a 140.4 passer rating in the Titans’ 42-21 win at Oakland. Tannehill joined Aaron Rodgers (three games in 2011) as the only players to complete at least 75 percent of their passes with a passer rating of 130 or higher (minimum 10 attempts) in three consecutive games in a single season in NFL history.

Tannehill also joined Russell Wilson (five games in 2015) as the only players with four consecutive games with at least two passing touchdowns and a passer rating of 125 or higher in NFL history.

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler registered 101 rushing yards and 112 receiving yards, including an 84-yard touchdown reception, in the Chargers’ 45-10 win over Jacksonville. Ekeler joins Arian Foster (Week 7, 2011), Priest Holmes (Week 13, 2001 and Week 12, 2002) and Pierre Thomas (Week 17, 2007) as the only undrafted running back to have at least 100 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards in a single game in the common draft era.

Ekeler has eight touchdown receptions in 2019, the most by an undrafted running back in a single season in the common draft era.

Tennessee rookie wide receiver A.J. Brown registered a 91-yard touchdown reception against Oakland while Atlanta rookie wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus recorded a 93-yard touchdown reception against Carolina, marking the first time that two rookies each recorded a touchdown reception of at least 90 yards in the same week in the common draft era. Zaccheaus’ 93-yard touchdown was his first career catch, marking the longest first-career reception in NFL history.

Additionally, Pittsburgh rookie wide receiver Diontate Johnson had an 85-yard punt return for a touchdown on Sunday against Arizona. Week 14 marks the first time since Week 11 of the 2010 season (David Gettis, Marc Mariani and Bryan McCann) that three rookies each recorded a touchdown of at least 85 yards.

Other notable performances from Sunday include: Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan passed for 313 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 109.1 passer rating in the Falcons’ 40-20 win over Carolina. Ryan, who has 50,279 career passing yards, reached 50,000 passing yards in his 186th career game and became the second-fastest quarterback to reach 50,000 career passing yards in NFL history, trailing only Drew Brees (183 games).

Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston passed for 456 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions for a 107.3 passer rating, and added a rushing touchdown, in the Buccaneers’ 38-35 victory over Indianapolis.

Winston is the third quarterback in NFL history to record at least 450 passing yards, four passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in a single game, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Norm Van Brocklin (Week 1, 1951) and Billy Volek (Week 15, 2004). In his fifth NFL season, Winston has a career-high 4,115 passing yards in 2019 and has three career seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards. Winston joins Peyton Manning (four seasons), Andrew Luck (three), Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (three) and Matthew Stafford (three) as the only quarterbacks with at least 4,000 passing yards in three of their first five NFL seasons in league annals.

Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey had 135 scrimmage yards (82 receiving, 53 rushing) on Sunday. McCaffrey, who had 1,965 scrimmage yards in 2018, leads the NFL with 1,946 scrimmage yards this season and joins Pro Football Hall of Famers Eric Dickerson and LaDainian Tomlinson along with Ezekiel Elliott and Edgerrin James as the only players in league annals with at least 1,900 scrimmage yards in two of their first three career seasons.

Washington running back Adrain Peterson rushed for 76 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against Green Bay. He has 14,036 rushing yards and 109 rushing touchdowns in his 13-year NFL career. Peterson became the sixth player in NFL history with at least 14,000 rushing yards and joined Pro Football Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton as the only players in NFL history with at least 14,000 rushing yards and 100 rushing touchdowns.

Minnesota defensive end Danielle Hunter registered three sacks, including his 50th career sack, in the Vikings’ 20-7 win over Detroit. Hunter, who is 25 years and 40 days old, has 52.5 career sacks and is the youngest player to reach 50 career sacks since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic.

Indianapolis linebacker Darius Leonard, appearing in his 25th career game, recorded two interceptions, including an 80-yard interception return for a touchdown, on Sunday against Tampa Bay. Leonard, who has 12 sacks and six interceptions since entering the NFL in 2018, is the first player to register at least 10 sacks and five interceptions in his first 25 career games since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a match-up of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated the Indianapolis-New Orleans matchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest features the teams from Super Bowl XLIV. On February 7, 2010, in Miami Gardens, Florida, the Saints dedicated their 31-17 victory to the New Orleans community, ravaged four years earlier by Hurricane Katrina. Trailing 10-6, Saints head coach Sean Payton surprised everyone by calling for an onside kick to open the second half and the Saints recovered to set up a go-ahead, 16-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees to Pierre Thomas. Indianapolis went back on top 17-13 with a 4-yard touchdown run by Joseph Addai but the Saints shut out Indy’s high-powered offense over the game’s final 21 minutes. Brees guided New Orleans on a nine-play touchdown drive to take a fourth-quarter lead, hitting Jeremy Shockey from 2 yards out and Tracy Porter returned an interception 74 yards for a touchdown, the final points in the Saints’ first world championship.

AFC SOUTH FIGURES TO GO DOWN TO WIRE: Tennessee (8-5), climbing into the heart of the AFC playoff race with four straight wins, hosts Houston (8-5) on Sunday. The two organizations that sit knotted atop the AFC South not only share roots in the city of Houston, they also meet twice in the season’s final three weeks, including a Week 17 rematch at NRG Stadium. And don’t count out Indianapolis (6-7), who are still in the hunt thanks to a 3-2 division record.

Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill last week completed 21 of 27 passes (77.8 percent) for 391 yards and three touchdowns with one interception for a 140.4 passer rating in the Titans’ 42-21 win at Oakland. Tannehill joined Aaron Rodgers (three games in 2011) as the only players to complete at least 75 percent of their passes with a passer rating of 130 or higher (minimum 10 attempts) in three consecutive games in a single season in NFL history. Tannehill also joined Russell Wilson (five games in 2015) as the only players with four consecutive games with at least two passing touchdowns and a passer rating of 125 or higher in NFL history.

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL: Through the first 14 weeks of the 2019 season, five teams – Buffalo (9-4), Green Bay (10-3), Minnesota (9-4), Pittsburgh (8-5) and San Francisco (11-2) – are in playoff position after missing the postseason a year ago. From 1990-2018 – a streak of 29 consecutive years – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before. In 2018, seven of the 12 playoff teams missed the postseason the year before.

DIVISION-WINNING REBOUNDS: The NFL in 2002 expanded to 32 teams and realigned into eight divisions. Since that time, in 15 of the past 16 years, at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs. Heading into Week 15, two teams – Green Bay (NFC North) and San Francisco (NFC West) – lead their respective divisions after missing the postseason in 2018.

BREES, BRADY IN RACE FOR MANNING’S RECORD: In Week 15, New England quarterback Tom Brady (536) will get the first shot at the NFL’s career passing touchdowns record, held by Peyton Manning (539), when the Patriots travel to Cincinnati Sunday. Saints quarterback Drew Brees (537) will follow on Monday Night Football when New Orleans hosts Indianapolis. Since 1950, eight players have held the career mark, one of the game’s most hallowed records.

The players that have held the NFL’s career passing touchdowns record, since 1950:

PLAYER (TOUCHDOWN PASSES; SEASONS HELD)
Sammy Baugh: 187; 1950-61 (HOF)
Bobby Layne: 196; 1962-63 (HOF)
Y.A. Tittle: 212; 1963-66 (HOF)
Johnny Unitas: 290; 1966-75 (HOF)
Fran Tarkenton: 342; 1975-95 (HOF)
Dan Marino: 420; 1995-2007 (HOF)
Brett Favre: 508; 2007-14 (HOF)
Peyton Manning: 539; 2014-

NOTE – With 187 touchdown passes, Baugh and Layne were tied at the end of the 1961 season

Brees last week threw five touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown against San Francisco. Brees has 11 career games with at least five touchdown passes, the most such games in NFL history. He also became the fourth player in the Super Bowl era with five passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in a single game, joining Mark Malone (Week 1, 1985), Aaron Rodgers (Week 7, 2019) and Mark Rypien (Week 11, 1991).

FOOTBALL IS FAMILY: Buffalo (9-4) and Pittsburgh (8-5) meet on Sunday Night Football in a game with significant AFC playoff implications. The game is also significant to the Edmunds family and in NFL history. Pittsburgh running back Trey Edmunds, 24 and safety Terrell Edmunds, 22, will square off against their brother, Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, 21.

Sunday’s contest is expected to be the first known NFL game in 92 years with three brothers on the same field. The last time it is believed to have occurred was the end of the 1927 season when Joe, Cobb and Bill Rooney played for the Duluth Eskimos.

In the 2018 NFL Draft, Tremaine (Number 16, Buffalo) and Terrell (Number 28, Pittsburgh) became the first pair of brothers to be selected in the first round of the same draft. The Edmunds’ father, Ferrell Edmunds, was a two-time Pro Bowl selection at tight end during his seven-year NFL career with the Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks.

BEARS-PACKERS REACHES 200: Chicago and Green Bay renew one of the richest rivalries in sports history on Sunday at Lambeau Field. Sunday’s contest is the 200th meeting in the series, including postseason.

Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has thrown three touchdown passes in each of his past two games, wins over the Lions and Cowboys, respectively. Meanwhile, in his past eight games at Lambeau Field against Chicago, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers has 23 passing touchdowns and two interceptions for a passer rating of 116.0.

LAST-SECOND WIN IN STARTING DEBUT: Denver and rookie quarterback Drew Lock, who has won his first two starts, head to Kansas City to meet Kansas City Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. On December 1, Lock led the Broncos to a dramatic walk-off win over the Chargers, 23-20, in his first NFL start. The last quarterback to do that prior to Lock was his opponent Sunday, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who made his first NFL start at the end of his 2017 rookie season on the same field in Denver. Mahomes and the Chiefs beat the Broncos, 27-24, as time expired on December 31, 2017,

Lock, making his first-career road start last week, passed for 309 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for a 136.0 passer rating in the Broncos’ 38-24 win at Houston. He became the first rookie in the Super Bowl era to pass for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in his first career road start.

Denver running back Phillip Lindsay had 55 scrimmage yards (51 rushing, 4 receiving) and a rushing touchdown on Sunday. Lindsay, who had 1,278 scrimmage yards as a rookie in 2018, has 1,004 scrimmage yards this season and is the third undrafted player with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards in each of his first two seasons in the common-draft era.

Playoff scenarios abound in week 15 (PLAYOFFS? PLAYOFFS!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?) and while three teams (Baltimore, Kansas City and New Orleans) have accepted their RSVP’s to the post-season party, there are still nine spots left and three of those spots could be filled this weekend. Here are the scenarios for week 15 (you may want to take notes, there’ll be a quiz afterward…. this may cause more confusion than a mouse in a burlesque show).

Playoff Scenarios for week 15

AFC

CLINCHED:

Baltimore – AFC North
Kansas City – AFC West

Baltimore clinches a first-round bye with:

Baltimore win + New England loss OR
Baltimore win + Kansas City loss or tie OR
Baltimore tie + Kansas City loss

Baltimore clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

1) Baltimore win + NE loss + Kansas City loss or tie

Buffalo (9-4) at Pittsburgh (8-5), Sunday at 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Buffalo clinches playoff berth with:
Buffalo win

New England (10-3) at Cincinnati (1-12), Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS

New England clinches playoff berth with:
New England win or tie

NFC

CLINCHED:

New Orleans – NFC South Division

Green Bay (10-3) vs. Chicago (7-6), Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX

Green Bay clinches playoff berth with:
Green Bay win + Los Angeles Rams loss or tie OR
Green Bay tie + Los Angeles Rams loss

San Francisco (11-2) vs. ATLANTA (4-9), Sunday at 4:25 p.m. on FOX

San Francisco clinches playoff berth with:
San Francisco win or tie OR
Los Angeles Rams loss or tie OR
Minnesota loss + Green Bay loss

Seattle (10-3) at Carolina (5-8), Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX

Seattle clinches playoff berth with:
Seattle win + Los Angeles Rams loss or tie OR
Seattle win + Minnesota loss OR
Seattle win + Green Bay loss + Minnesota tie OR
Seattle tie + Los Angeles Rams loss

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 15

PASSING HISTORIC MILESTONES: Both New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and New England quarterback Tom Brady – who rank first and second in career passing yards in NFL history, respectively – can reach another historic milestone in Week 15.

If Brady has four touchdown passes on Sunday against Cincinnati or Brees has three touchdown passes against Indianapolis on Monday Night Football, they would surpass Peyton Manning (539 touchdowns) for the most career touchdown passes in NFL history.

The players with the most career touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (539)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (537)
Tom Brady – New England (536)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (508) (HOF)
Dan Marino – Miami (420) (HOF)

Additionally, if Brady – who has 19 touchdown passes in 2019 – has at least one touchdown pass on Sunday, he would surpass Manning (16 seasons) for the most seasons with at least 20 touchdown passes in NFL history. With three touchdown passes on Monday, Brees will also reach 20 for the season, tying Manning with 16 such seasons in his career.

The players with the most seasons with at least 20 touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (SEASONS WITH 20+ TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Tom Brady – New England (16)*
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (16)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (15)#
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (15) (HOF)
*Has 19 touchdown passes in 2019
#Has 17 touchdown passes in 2019

PETERSON CONTINUES TO CLIMB: Last week, Washington running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 76 yards and a touchdown, becoming the sixth player in NFL history with at least 14,000 career rushing yards (14,036) and joined Pro Football Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton as the only players with at least 14,000 rushing yards and 100 rushing touchdowns (109) in NFL history.

If Peterson has at least 66 rushing yards on Sunday against Philadelphia, he would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Curtis Martin (14,101) for the fifth-most career rushing yards in NFL history.

The players with the most career rushing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (RUSHING YARDS)
Emmitt Smith – Dallas and Arizona (18,355) (HOF)
Walter Payton – Chicago (16,726) (HOF)
Frank Gore – San Francisco, Indianapolis, Miami and Buffalo (15,306)*
Barry Sanders – Detroit (15,269) (HOF)
Curtis Martin – New England and New York Jets (14,101) (HOF)
Adrian Peterson – Minnesota, New Orleans, Arizona and Washington (14,036)*
*Active

Additionally, Peterson needs one rushing touchdown on Sunday to tie Payton (110) for the fourth-most rushing touchdowns in NFL history.

The players with the most career rushing touchdowns in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (RUSHING TDS)
Emmitt Smith – Dallas and Arizona (164) (HOF)
LaDainian Tomlinson – San Diego and New York Jets (145) (HOF)
Marcus Allen – Los Angeles Raiders and Kansas City (123) (HOF)
Walter Payton – Chicago (110) (HOF)
Adrian Peterson – Minnesota, New Orleans, Arizona and Washington (109)*
*Entering Sunday

STACKING WINS IN SEATTLE: Since entering the NFL in 2012, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has led the Seahawks to at least nine wins in each of his eight seasons under center, becoming the first quarterback to accomplish the feat in NFL history.

With a win at Carolina on Sunday, Wilson would tie Tom Brady (86 wins) for the most regular-season wins through a quarterback’s first eight seasons in NFL history.

The quarterbacks with the most regular-season wins through their first eight seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (WINS)
Tom Brady, New England (86)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (85)*
*In eighth season

GOLDEN GAROPPOLO: San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completed 26 of 35 attempts (74.3 percent) for 349 passing yards and four touchdowns with one interception for a 131.7 passer rating in a 48-46 win over New Orleans in Week 14. That marked Garoppolo’s fourth consecutive game completing at least 70 percent of his pass attempts with a passer rating of 110 or higher.

By completing at least 70 percent of his pass attempts and having a passer rating of 110 or higher on Sunday against Atlanta, Garoppolo would tie for the longest such streak of games in a single season in NFL history (minimum 10 attempts).

The quarterbacks with the most consecutive games completing at least 70 percent of their passes and a passer rating of 110 or higher in a single season in NFL history (minimum 10 attempts):

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – CONSECUTIVE GAMES)
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (2018 – 5)#
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2015 – 5)
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco (2019 – 4)*
*Active streak
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player

DUCK HUNTING FOR WINS: In Week 14, Pittsburgh rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges led the Steelers to a 23-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals, marking his third-career win in his third-career start.

With a win against Buffalo on Sunday Night Football, Hodges would tie Virgil Carter (four wins in 1968) and Phil Simms (four in 1979) for the third-longest streak of wins by a rookie quarterback to begin a career in the Super Bowl era (1966-present).

The rookie quarterbacks with the most consecutive wins to begin their careers in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – CONSECUTIVE WINS)
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (2004 – 13)
Mike Kruczek, Pittsburgh (1976 – 6)
Virgil Carter, Chicago (1968 – 4)
Phil Simms, New York Giants (1979 – 4)
Devlin Hodges, Pittsburgh (2019 – 3)*
*Active streak

Additionally, with a win, Hodges would become the first undrafted rookie quarterback to win each of his first four starts in the common draft era (1967-present).

TEN AGAIN: New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas – who leads the NFL with 121 receptions and 1,424 receiving yards this season – had 11 receptions for 134 yards and a touchdown in Week 14, marking his seventh game with at least 10 receptions in 2019.

With at least 10 receptions against Indianapolis on Monday Night Football, Thomas would surpass Andre Johnson (seven games in 2008) and Wes Welker (seven in 2009) for the most games with at least 10 receptions in a season in NFL history.

The players with the most games with at least 10 receptions in a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES)
Andre Johnson, Houston (2008 – 7)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (2019 – 7)*
Wes Welker, New England (2009 – 7)
*Entering Sunday

GURLEY AMONG GREATS: Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley has 10 total touchdowns this season (nine rushing, one receiving), having rushed for a touchdown in each of his past two games. Gurley, who is in his fifth NFL season, leads the NFL with 66 touchdowns since entering the league in 2015.

With a touchdown on Sunday at Dallas, Gurley would tie Adrian Peterson (67 touchdowns) for the fifth-most touchdowns through a player’s first five seasons in NFL history.

The players with the most total touchdowns in their first five seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASONS; TOUCHDOWNS)
LaDainian Tomlinson – San Diego (2001-05; 80) (HOF)
Emmitt Smith – Dallas (1990-94; 75) (HOF)
Shaun Alexander – Seattle (2000-04; 72)
Jerry Rice – San Francisco (1985-98; 70) (HOF)
Adrian Peterson – Minnesota (2007-11; 67)
Todd Gurley – St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams (2015-19; 66)*
*In fifth season

Week 15 got underway in Baltimore as the Ravens clinched the AFC North in the season’s final Thursday night contest in Charm City and concludes in the Big Easy as New Orleans hosts the Indianapolis Colts. As for week 14, going 8-8 was a lot better than we hoped and for the season. we’re 111-5. With that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 15.

ATLANTA (4-9) at San Francisco (11-2), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 717. Atlanta makes its final trip outside of the Eastern Time Zone as they travel to Santa Clara to face off against the San Francisco 49ers. Both teams took wins in last week’s play.

Atlanta ruined the debut of Carolina interim head coach Perry Fewell as the Falcons broke their two-game losing streak, taking the Panthers to task, coming away 40-20 winners in the Big Peach last Sunday. Atlanta led 13-10 at the intermission thanks to a 35-yard field goal by K Youngho Koo as time expired, then proceeded to score 20 points (a pair of Koo field goals, a 13-yard run by Davonte Freeman and a 93-yard pass from Ryan to Olamide Zaccheaus) in the third and fourth quarters unchallenged.

Freeman led all rushers with 84 yards and the TD as the Falcons outrushed their NFC South rivals 159-100 in the win to complete the sweep. Ryan threw for 313 yards and two TDs, (one to Calvin Ridley, the other to Zaccheaus, the longest of his career), while Kyle Allen threw for 293 with a passing TD as well as a rushing TD (Allen was sacked five times and picked off twice, while Ryan was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Atlanta was 5 of 12 on third down and was the ruler of the clock, keeping the ball for 31:45, while the Panthers went 3 of 10 on third down, keeping the pigskin for 28:15.

The 49ers had a tougher time than the Falcons did in getting their win in New Orleans but Robbie Gould sent San Francisco fans that were in attendance in the Big Easy home happy as they took a 48-46 win as the clock struck :00. The 49ers, in first place in the NFC West, took a 28-27 lead with them to the locker room before New Orleans K Will Lutz gave the Saints the lead back with a 55-yard field goal early in the third quarter. San Francisco took the lead back with 9:40 left in the quarter when TE George Kittle and QB Jimmy Garoppolo connected on a 5-yard TD toss. New Orleans would eventually take a 1-point lead at 46-45 with 53 seconds left when Drew Brees and WR Tre’Quan Smith would connect on an 18-yard TD pass. San Francisco would get the ball back with the 53 seconds left on the clock and used the available time to have a 7-play, 63-yard drive aided by a 28-yard pass from Garoppolo to Kittle (which was aided by a facemask penalty by the Saints) and got themselves in position to help Gould kick the field goal. After a 49ers time out, Gould connected on the try that sailed through the uprights as time expired.

In the contest that had seven lead changes and 10 TD passes, San Francisco outrushed New Orleans 162-116 and both Brees and Garoppolo threw for 349 yards (Garoppolo threw four TDs, Brees, threw 5, WR Emmanuel Sanders threw a TD and caught a TD pass; Garoppolo was sacked three times and threw an interception) in the Big Easy. San Francsico was 6 of 12 on third down and went 1 of 1 on fourth down and would keep the ball (including the final 53 seconds of the contest) for 28:37, while the Saints actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:23, while going 5 of 11 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

San Francisco leads the series 46-30-1 and the 49ers have outscored Atlanta 1,834-1,358. Their last meeting took place in the Big Peach in 2016 at the old Georgia Dome and the Falcons came away 41-13 winners, while San Francisco’s last win came at Candlestick Park in 2015 by a final of 17-16.

San Francisco’s favored by 11 on the West Coast and the over/under’s 46 1/2. The 46 1/2 is nice… the 11-point spread is a bit on the naughty side. The 49ers are looking to take back control in the NFC West, while the Falcons want to ruin San Francsico’s party. While Atlanta won’t cover the 11 on the West Coast, they will take care of business in Santa Clara and take the win.

Seattle (10-3) at Carolina (5-8), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. Hoping for a playoff spot, the Seattle Seahawks make their way to the Tar Heel State for an early afternoon (early morning kickoff in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks) to face off against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte. Both teams would wind up taking road losses in last week’s play.

Seattle fell back to second in the NFC West as Russell Wilson and the Seahawks were taken to task by the Los Angeles Rams 28-12 at the Coliseum last Sunday night. The Seahawks watched the defending NFC champions erase a 3-0 lead, scoring 21 points in the first half unchallenged to lead by 18 at the intermission, using a rushing TD from RB Malcom Brown and passes from Goff to WRs Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. After Seahawks LB Quintin Diggs picked off Kupp and returned the ball 55 yards for a TD in the third, RB Todd Gurley II restored order for the home team, scoring on a 7-yard romp to keep Seattle in check.

Los Angeles outrushed Seattle 162-106 and Gurley led all rushers with 79 yards, while Chris Carson led Seattle with 76 and the Rams defense sacked Wilson (245 yards) five times and picked him off once, while Goff threw for 293 yards with a pair of inteceptions to go with the two TD tosses. The Rams were 7 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 31:04, while Seattle, who held on to the pigskin for 28:56, went 5 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Carolina’s woes continued in the Big Peach last Sunday as the Falcons ruined the debut of interim head coach Perry Fewell as the Panthers dropped their fifth in a row, falling 40-20 last Sunday. Atlanta led 13-10 at the intermission thanks to a 35-yard field goal by K Youngho Koo as time expired, then proceeded to score 20 points (a pair of Koo field goals, a 13-yard run by Davonte Freeman and a 93-yard pass from Ryan to Olamide Zaccheaus) in the third and fourth quarters unchallenged.

Freeman led all rushers with 84 yards and the TD as the Falcons outrushed their NFC South rivals 159-100 in the win to complete the sweep. Ryan threw for 313 yards and two TDs, (one to Calvin Ridley, the other to Zaccheaus, the longest of his career), while Kyle Allen threw for 293 with a passing TD as well as a rushing TD (Allen was sacked five times and picked off twice, while Ryan was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Atlanta was 5 of 12 on third down and was the ruler of the clock, keeping the ball for 31:45, while the Panthers went 3 of 10 on third down, keeping the pigskin for 28:15.

The Seahawks lead the series 7-3 and have outscored Carolina 201-159. Their last meeting? Last year in the Tar Heel State and the Seahawks walked out of Bank of America Stadium 30-27 winners (Carolina’s last win came in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks in 2015 by a final of 27-23).

Their week 12 contest at Bank of America Stadium was a slugfest to the end as Carolina led 13-10 at the break, only to see Seattle chip away at the lead and the Seahawks would tie the contest up with 3:26 left to play on a 35-yard TD pass from Wilson to WR David Moore. After Carolina and Seattle exchanged punts, Seattle would get the ball back with 1:40 left in regulation. The Seahawks would use all of that 1:40, using a 7-play, 45-yard drive, ending the contest with a 31-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski as time expired.

Carolina outrushed Seattle 220-75 with Panthers RB Christian McCaffery leading all rushers with 125 yards and a rushing TD, along with a TD pass from Newton (McCaffery also had 11 catches for 112 yards). Newton threw for 256 yards with no sacks but was picked off once, while Wilson threw for 339 yards with a pair of sacks (each threw a pair of TD passes). Seattle was 6 of 14 on third down (2 of 2 on fourth down) and including the final 1:40 of the contest, ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 30:26, while Carolina kept the pigskin for 29:34, going 3 of 8 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 12 contest in the Tar Heel State, Carolina was favored by 3 1/2 but the Seahawks would win only by 3. The two clubs did manage to cover the 47 1/2 over/under, merging for 57 points. Seattle’s favored by 6 in the Tar Heel State and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Seattle’s looking to make their way into the post-season, while the Panthers are looking to give interim head coach Fewell his first win with Carolina. That win will have to wait a week. Seattle may not cover the 6 but they take the win in the Tar Heel State.

New England (10-3) at Cincinnati (1-12), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. Tom Brady vs. Andy Dalton. Two of the best QBs in the NFL meet along the shores of the Ohio River as New England takes on the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Both teams look to right their ships after coming off losses in last week’s action.

New England’s 21-game win streak at Gillette Stadium came to an end Sunday against Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City as the Chiefs would survive a last-second scare from Brady and the defending champs and leaving Foxboro 23-16 winners. New England took an early 7-0 lead in the AFC Championship rematch when Brady and Julian Edleman connected on a 37-yard TD pass. Kansas City, who clinched the AFC West, would proceed to score all 23 of their points in the contest unchallenged, leading 20-7 at the break. New England’s Brandon Bolden would make the contest a 10-point affair with 4:23 left in the third (New England went for 2 and failed) and Nick Folk’s 29-yard field goal halfway through the fourth would make it a six-point contest. Kansas City would then hold off a last-ditch effort by Brady and the Pats, shutting them down in Kansas City’s territory as Brady’s pass to Edleman was incomplete.

Kansas City and New England failed to breach the 100-yard barrier in the contest but New England outrushed Kansas City 94-75 and Mahomes threw for 283 yards, while Brady tallied 169 yards (Brady was sacked three times; both Brady and Mahomes threw a TD pass and both were picked off once; Eldeman had eight catches for 95 yards) in the air. New England on third down? 2 of 12 (they were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 25:39, while the Chiefs ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:21, going 5 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

After taking their first win of the season two weeks ago against the New York Jets, Cincinnati found themselves being brought back to to Earth by Cleveland as the Browns would wind up taking down their AFC North/Buckeye State rivals 27-19 at First Energy Field. The Browns took a 14-13 lead at the break, then floored the gas in the second half, outscoring the Bengals 13-6 in the final 30 minutes of action along the shores of Lake Erie. The Bengals outrushed Cleveland 179-146 and fantasy players got their wishes granted as Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon (146 yards, TD) and Cleveland’s Nick Chubb (106 yards) each led their teams on the ground, while Mayfield threw for 192 yards and a pair of interceptions, while Andy Dalton, in his second contest since being benched, threw for 262 yards with an interception (Dalton was sacked twice, Mayfield sacked once).

Cleveland was 7 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 25:29, while the Bengals actually ruled the clock and held the ball hostage for 34:31, while going 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The Patriots lead the series 16-9, have outscored the Bengals 524-518 and have won the last two contests (both in Foxboro), with New England’s last win coming in 2016 by a final of 35-17, while Cincinnati’s last win came in the Queen City in 2013, with the Bengals leaving Paul Brown Stadium 13-6 winners. New England’s favored by 10 and the over/under’s 40 1/2. While the Bengals are bad, they’re not 10 points bad. New England may not cover the 10 but they right their ship on the way to the playoffs, taking the win on the road.

Tampa Bay (6-7) at Detroit (3-9-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of struggling teams meet in the Motor City as Tampa Bay makes its way to Detroit to face the Lions at Ford Field.

Tampa Bay held off a late Indianapolis rally in the Sunshine State and came away 38-35 winners at Raymond James Stadium. The Buccaneers trailed 27-21 at the intermission along Florida’s West Coast and trailed 35-21 late in the third before they would go to work, scoring their final points unchallenged, taking the lead for good when Winston and WR Breshad Perriman would connect on a 12-yard TD toss late in the final quarter. Indianapolis would get as close as midfield with 1:56 left in regulation but got no further as Jacoby Brissett’s pass attempt on fourth down sailed incomplete.

The two clubs did not breach the 100-yard rushing barrier but Tampa Bay did outrushed the Colts 75-66 and Winston threw for 456 yards with four TDs (including the game-winner; Winston was picked off three times and sacked once), while Brissett threw for 252 yards with a pair of TD passes (Brissett was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Tampa Bay was 8 of 15 on third down but struck gold on fourth down, hitting pay dirt in their only attempt and kept the ball for 34:15, while the Colts were 6 of 16 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 25:45.

The woes for Lions fans continued in the Twin Cities as Minnesota gave Detroit their sixth loss in a row, coming away on the short end of a 20-7 loss at US Bank Stadium. Detroit trailed 17-0 at the intermission and could never get themselves on rack, scoring their lone TD with 2:09 when WR Kenny Golladay caught a 10-yard TD pass from Derrick Blough. Minnesota outrushed the Lions 120-70 and Blough threw for 205 yards but was sacked five times and picked off twice to go with the lone TD toss, while Kirk Cousins threw for 242 yards and a TD (Cousins was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Detroit was 7 of 16 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:18, while the Vikings ruled the clock and held on to the pigskin for 33:42, going 5 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games played at Tiger Stadium, the Silverdome and old Tampa Stadium, Detroit leads the series 31-26 and have outscored the Buccaneers 1,223-998. Each team’s last wins came in the other team’s facilty; Detroit’s last win was in Tampa Bay in 2017, with the Lions leaving the Sunshine State 24-21 winners, while Tampa Bay’s last win was in the Motor City in 2013 by a final of 24-21. Tampa Bay’s favored by 4 in the Motor City and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Sorry, Lions fans. Your losing streak will move to seven. Tampa Bay covers the 4 and wins in the Motor City.

Chicago (7-6) at Green Bay (10-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. They meet again, this time in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst. Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers hosts Mitchell Trubisky and Chicago in an NFC North rematch from opening night. Both teams took wins at home last week.

Chicago held off Dallas 31-24 at Soldier Field last Thursday night. Dallas used a 17-play, 75 yard drive that used 8:57 of clock to take an early 7-0 lead when RB Ezekiel Elliott scored from a yard out. Da Bears would erase that deficit in the second quarter as Trubisky and WR Allan Robinson would connect on the first of their two TDs, scoring on a 5-yard toss early in the second quarter to tie things up. K Eddie Pineiro would give Chicago the lead for keeps, connecting on a 36-yard field goal to take a 10-7 lead. Robinson and Trubisky would hook up again with 10 seconds to go before the intermission on a 8-yard toss to lead 17-7 at the break. Elliott would pick up his second TD of the contest, scoring from 2 yards out in the thrid before Trubisky would take matters into his own feet, scoring on a 23-yard run to give Chicago a 17-point lead with 13:22 left in the contest. Dallas would add a 19-yard TD pass from Dak Prescott to Amari Cooper and a 31-yard field goal by Brett Maher with eight seconds left to narrow the gap.

Chicago outrushed Dallas 151-82 with Bears RB David Montgomery leading the way with 86 yards (Elliott had 81 for Dallas with the two TDs) and Trubisky threw for 244 yards and three TDs (two of them to Robinson), while Prescott threw for 334 yards and the Cooper TD (both were sacked twice and Trubisky threw an interception). Da Bears were 7 of 12 on third down in the Windy City and the Monsters of the Midway kept the pigskin for 32:18, while Dallas, keeping the ball for 27:42, went 6 of 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Green Bay held off Washington 20-15 at Lambeau Field last Sunday. The Packers, kings of the NFC North mountain, led 14-6 at the half and held off the Redskins, breaking their brief 2-game win streak to seal the win. Green Bay outrushed Washington 174-121 with Packers RB Aaron Jones leading everyone with 134 yards and a TD, while Adrian Peterson led Washington with 76 and a TD of his own. Rodgers threw for 195 yards and a TD pass to TE Robert Tonyan, while Dwayne Haskins threw for 170 yards with a TD (both men were sacked four times and Haskins threw an interception). Green Bay was 5 of 13 on third down at Lambeau and the Packers were Mick Jagger-like and had time on their side, keeping the ball for 30:24, while Washington kept the ball for 29:36, going 4 for 11 on third down conversions.

They met in the season opener on a Thursday night in week one in the Windy City and the Packers held off Da Bears 10-3 at Soldier Field. Green Bay erased a 3-0 first quarter deficit, took a 7-3 lead into the intermission, then stopped Chicago in the closing seconds to take the win. Neither club breached the 100-yard barrier and Green Bay outrushed Chicago 48-47, with Rodgers throwing for 203 yards with a TD pass to Jimmy Graham, while Trubisky threw for 228 yards and an interception (both men were sacked five times and Rodgers did not throw an interception. Green Bay went 2 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 31:03, while Da Bears kept the pigskin for 28:57, going 3 of 15 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

In the season opener in the Windy City, Chicago was favored by 3 and the Packers covered, winning by 3. The 46 1/2 over/under stayed untouched, as both teams combined for only 13 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Packers this time around, making them 5-point favorites in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst and the over/under’s 41. Chicago’s looking for revenge from the season opening loss at Soldier Field, while the Packers would love to sweep the series and put Da Bears in their rear-view mirror. Green Bay covers the 5 at Lambeau, sweeps the series for the first time since the 2012 season and takes the win in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst.

Denver (5-8) at Kansas City (9-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. Fresh off their upset win in Foxboro and taking the AFC West title, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs return to Arrowhead Stadium to face off against the Denver Broncos in a matchup that had both teams winning on the road in last week’s play.

Denver broke Houston’s 2-game win streak in the Lone Star State as Drew Lock and the Broncos took the Texans 38-24 at NRG Stadium. The Broncos took a 31-3 lead at the intermission, then held off the Texans in the second half as Houston outscored Denver 21-7 in the final 30 minutes of play, making the contest closer than the score indicated. Houston outrushed Denver 134-90, with Texans RB Carlos Hyde leading all rushers with 73 yards (Broncos RB Patrick Lindsay led Denver with 51 yards and a TD) and Lock throwing for 309 yards and three TDs, while DeShaun Watson threw for 292 yards and a TD to DeAndre Hopkins (Lock was sacked once and threw an interception, while Watson was sacked three times and threw a pair of picks). Denver was 5 of 8 on third down tries and kept the ball hostage for 31:25, while the Texans, who kept the pigskin for 28:35, went 6 of 13 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

Kansas City ended New England’s 21-game win streak at Gillette Stadium, surviving a last-second scare from Tom Brady and the defending champs and leaving Foxboro 23-16 winners. New England took an early 7-0 lead in the AFC Championship rematch when Brady and Julian Edleman connected on a 37-yard TD pass. Kansas City, who clinched the AFC West, would proceed to score all 23 of their points in the contest unchallenged, leading 20-7 at the break. New England’s Brandon Bolden would make the contest a 10-point affair with 4:23 left in the third (New England went for 2 and failed) and Nick Folk’s 29-yard field goal halfway through the fourth would make it a six-point contest. Kansas City would then hold off a last-ditch effort by Brady and the Pats, shutting them down in Kansas City’s territory as Brady’s pass to Edleman was incomplete.

Kansas City and New England failed to breach the 100-yard barrier in the contest but New England outrushed Kansas City 94-75 and Mahomes threw for 283 yards, while Brady tallied 169 yards (Brady was sacked three times; both Brady and Mahomes threw a TD pass and both were picked off once; Eldeman had eight catches for 95 yards) in the air. New England on third down? 2 of 12 (they were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 25:39, while the Chiefs ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:21, going 5 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Sunday contest in the Show-Me State is a rematch of their week seven Thursday night contest in the Mile High City and the Chiefs held Denver to a 1-yard TD run by Royce Freeman (the Broncos missed the extra point) in the early stages of the first quarter, then proceeded to score all 30 of their points (they led 20-6 at the half) unchallenged to come away 30-7 winners. Neither club came close to the 100-yard rushing barrier at Empower Field at Mile High as the Chiefs outrushed Denver 80-71 (Chiefs RB LeSean McCoy led all rushers with 64 yards). Mahomes threw for 76 yards in the win before he left the contest with a knee injury (Mahomes threw a TD pass to Tyreek Hill and did not have an interception), with Matt Moore taking over, throwing a TD pass and 117 yards, while Joe Flacco threw for 213 yards and was sacked eight times. Kansas City went 5 of 15 on third down (the Chiefs were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:13, while the Broncos were 1 of 13 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down and held the ball for 27:47.

In the week seven contest in the Mile High City, the Chiefs were favored by 2 and covered, winning by 23 but the 37 combined points did not come close to the 48 1/2 over/under. In the rematch at Arrowhead, the Chiefs are favored by 11 and the over/under’s 47. The 47? Makes a ton of sense. The 11? Not too sure about that. Denver’s a lot better than most of us think and while they’ll give the Chiefs problems at Arrowhead, Kansas City pulls off the sweep, taking their ninth win in 10 tries in the series.

Miami (3-9) at New York Giants (2-11), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of struggling teams meet in upstate New Jersey as the Miami Dolphins make their second trip to Met Life Stadium in a week for a meeting with the New York Giants. Both clubs took road losses in last week’s play.

Miami watched a 2-point lead late in their contest with the New York Jets get away from them as GangGreen would rally from behind, taking a 22-21 last second win at Met Life Stadium. GangGreen led 16-9 at the break before Miami stormed their way back in the second half to lead 21-19 with 93 seconds left. That would be all the time the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! would need, as they engineered a 7-play, 49-yard drive that used all of the available time left on the clock as K Steven Ficken connected on a 44-yard field goal as time expired.

Miami outrushed GangGreen 122-112 with Jets RB Bilal Powell leading all rushers with 74 yards, while Miami QB Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Dolphins with 65 yards rushing. Fitzpatrick would throw for 245 yards with a pair of sacks, while Jets signal called Sam Darnold threw for 270 yards with a pair of TDs (one to WR Robby Anderson) and was sacked once (both threw an interception in the contest). GangGreen was 5 of 13 on third down (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball (including the final 93 seconds of the contest) for 29:54, while the Dolphins ruled the clock, holding the ball for 30:06 and went 4 of 13 on third down.

The Giants welcomed the return of Eli Manning under center, only to watch Philadelphia and Carson Wentz rally late in their Monday night contest, falling to the Eagles 23-17 in overtime at Lincoln Financial Field. After a scoreless first quarter in the City of Brotherly Love, the Giants took a 17-3 lead with them to the break in the Monday night contest, using a pair of Manning TD passes to WR Darius Slayton, only to see the Eagles chip away at the lead as they would rally to pull themselves to within seven with 1:28 left in the third when RB Boston Scott scored on a 2-yard run, then tie things up with 1:53 left in regulation when Wentz and TE Zach Ertz would connect on the first of their two TD passes, the first coming from 2 yards out. Philadelphia would win the toss in overtime and kept Manning (who took over for Daniel Jones, who had an ankle injury) on the bench, as the Eagles marched their way down the field, using an 8-play, 75-yard drive that used 4:50 of ending with Wentz and Ertz connecting on their second TD pass of the night.

Philadrlphia outrushed their NFC East rivals 118-73 (Giants RB Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 66 yards) and Manning threw for 203 yards, while Wentz threw for 325 yards in the overtime affair (Manning was sacked twice, Wentz was sacked three times but neither threw an interception). The Giants on third down were a somewhat dismal 2 of 12 and kept the ball for 21:59, while the Eagles ruled the clock and including the overtime would keep the ball for 42:51, going 9 of 21 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The Giants lead the series 6-2, have outscored the Dolphins 143-121 and have come away winners in the last three meetings, including a 31-24 win in Miami in 2015, while Miami’s last win came in the Meadowlands in 2003 by a final of 23-10. The Giants are favored by 3 1/2 in upstate New Jersey and the over/under’s 48. Both teams are bad and we wouldn’t blame you one bit if you were to skip this one, get that milk and cookies ready for Santa and watch the “Grumpy Cat Chirstmas” movie this week. Miami would love nothing more than to leave the Meadowlands with a win and they’ll do it, covering the 3 1/2.

Houston (8-5) at Tennessee (8-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. Two AFC South teams connected to the same city by history and tied for the top spot in the divsion meet in the Music City as Tennessee hosts the Houston Texans. The Titans were formerly the Houston Oilers, while the Texans became their replacement after the Oilers left for Nashville.

Denver broke Houston’s 2-game win streak in the Lone Star State as Drew Lock and the Broncos took the Texans 38-24 at NRG Stadium. The Broncos took a 31-3 lead at the intermission, then held off the Texans in the second half as Houston outscored Denver 21-7 in the final 30 minutes of play, making the contest closer than the score indicated. Houston outrushed Denver 134-90, with Texans RB Carlos Hyde leading all rushers with 73 yards (Broncos RB Patrick Lindsay led Denver with 51 yards and a TD) and Lock throwing for 309 yards and three TDs, while DeShaun Watson threw for 292 yards and a TD to DeAndre Hopkins (Lock was sacked once and threw an interception, while Watson was sacked three times and threw a pair of picks). Denver was 5 of 8 on third down tries and kept the ball hostage for 31:25, while the Texans, who kept the pigskin for 28:35, went 6 of 13 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

Tennessee broke a 21-21 halftime tie with Oakland, scoring 21 second half points unchallenged to come out on top on the West Coast 42-21 last Sunday. The Titans used touchdowns from RB Derek Henry (10-yard run), TE Jonnu Smith (17 yard TD pass from Ryan Tannehill) and LB Jayon Brown (46-yard fumble return) to take the win on the road against Oakland in the second half. Tennessee outrushed Oakland 161-97 and Henry accounted for 103 of those yards with a pair of TDs, with Tannehill throwing for 391 yards and three TDs (two to Brown), while Oakland’s Derek Carr threw for 263 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Foster Moreau; Carr was sacked twice and Tannehill threw an interception). Tennessee went 8 of 11 on third down and held the ball for 29:12, while the Raiders ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:48, while going 4 of 10 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Tennessee leads the series by a slim 17-16 margin and the Texans have outscored Tennessee 805-680. Tennessee and Houston split the two meetings in the series last year, each winning in their home facilties.

Their first meeting was in the Music City in week two and the Titans pulled off a 20-17 win at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee led 14-7 at the intermission, took a 14-10 lead with them at the end of the third quarter before Houston would take their only lead of the contest with 13:25 left in regulation when Watson and RB Will Fuller connected on a 39-yard TD pass. Houston’s lead would be short-lived as Titans K Ryan Succop tied the contest with a 42-yard field goal halfway through the quarter. Succop would give Tennessee the lead back with 60 seconds left in the contest, nailing a 31-yarder through the uprights. Tennessee then went on to hold off a late Houston rally, stopping the Texans’ hopes of either tying the contest or winning it outright.

Houston outrushed Tennessee 148-100 with Texans RB Lamar Miller leading all rushers with 68 yards, while Henry led Tennessee with 56. Watson threw for 310 yards with a pair of TDs but threw an interception and was sacked four times, while Blaine Gabbert threw for 117 yards with a TD to Taywan Taylor with a sack. Tennessee was 5 of 15 on third down (the Titans were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:22, while the Texans held on to the ball for 29:38 and went 5 for 11 on third down.

They would meet in the Lone Star State in week 12 and the Texans would get their revenge at home, erasing a 10-7 first quarter deficit and taking a 34-17 win at NRG Stadium. Houston scored 17 points in the second quarter unchallenged, taking a 24-10 lead with them to the intermission. Houston again outrushed the Titans, tallying 281 to Tennessee’s 105 and Miller led all rushers with 162 yards and a TD. Watson threw for 210 yards and a pair of TDs to Derek Thomas (Watson also had a rushing TD), while Marcus Mariota threw for 303 yards with a pair of TDs (Mariota was sacked six times, neither man threw an interception). Houston was 4 of 11 on third down conversions (the Texans were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and they would keep the ball for 29:58, while the Titans ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:02, while going 4 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Houston was favored by 1 1/2 in the week two contest in the Music City and Tennessee’s 3-point win allowed them to cover the spread but the two clubs missed the 44 over/under by seven in that meeting. In the week 12 contest in the Lone Star State on a Monday night, Houston was favored again, this time by 6 1/2 and the Texans covered, winning by 17 and both covered the 41 1/2 over/under with 51 points. Tennessee’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 48. The winner of this game? They will have first place in the AFC South to themselves. The loser? They’re not out of the playoff picture but will have to work to stay in it. Houston pulls the upset in the Music City and takes the win but expect Tennessee to make things closer than 3.

Philadelphia (6-7) at Washington (3-10), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of NFC East rivals meet in Landover as Philadelphia and Carson Wentz makes the 131-mile, 2-hour trip down I-95 to face the Washington Redskins at Fed Ex Field.

The Eagles ruined the return of Eli Manning to the lineup as Wentz and Philadelphia would rally late in their Monday night contest, edging the New York Giants 23-17 in overtime at Lincoln Financial Field. After a scoreless first quarter in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia found themselves trailing 17-3 at the half, as the Giants used a pair of Manning TD passes to WR Darius Slayton, only to see the Eagles chip away at the lead as they would rally to pull themselves to within seven with 1:28 left in the third when RB Boston Scott scored on a 2-yard run, then tie things up with 1:53 left in regulation when Wentz and TE Zach Ertz would connect on the first of their two TD passes, the first coming from 2 yards out. Philadelphia would win the toss in overtime and kept Manning (who took over for Daniel Jones, who had an ankle injury) on the bench, as the Eagles marched their way down the field, using an 8-play, 75-yard drive that used 4:50 of ending with Wentz and Ertz connecting on their second TD pass of the night.

Philadelphia outrushed their NFC East rivals 118-73 (Giants RB Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 66 yards) and Manning threw for 203 yards, while Wentz threw for 325 yards in the overtime affair (Manning was sacked twice, Wentz was sacked three times but neither threw an interception). The Giants on third down were a somewhat dismal 2 of 12 and kept the ball for 21:59, while the Eagles ruled the clock and including the overtime would keep the ball for 42:51, going 9 of 21 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Washington saw their brief win streak come to a end in Green Bay, as the Packers held off Washington 20-15 at Lambeau Field last Sunday. Green Bay led 14-6 at the half and held off the Redskins, breaking their brief 2-game win streak to seal the win. Green Bay outrushed Washington 174-121 with Packers RB Aaron Jones leading everyone with 134 yards and a TD, while Adrian Peterson led Washington with 76 and a TD of his own. Rodgers threw for 195 yards and a TD pass to TE Robert Tonyan, while Dwayne Haskins threw for 170 yards with a TD (both men were sacked four times and Haskins threw an interception). Green Bay was 5 of 13 on third down at Lambeau and the Packers were Mick Jagger-like and had time on their side, keeping the ball for 30:24, while Washington kept the ball for 29:36, going 4 for 11 on third down conversions.

They met in the City of Brotherly Love in week one in the season opener and the Eagles held off Washington 32-27 at Century Like Field. Philadelphia erased a 20-7 deficit at the intermission in the City of Brotherly Love and outscored Washington 25-7 to take the win. Wentz and DeSean Jackson hooked up on a 53-yard TD pass with 5:07 left in the third to take the lead for good. Alshon Jeffery (2-yard TD run in the third) and Jake Elliott (22-yard field goal in the fourth), sealed Washington’s fate (the Redkins would score in the closing seconds on a 4-yard TD pass from Case Keenum to Trey Quinn with six seconds left).

Philadelphia outrushed Washington 123-28 and Wentz threw for 313 yards and three TDs (two of them to Jackson, the other to Jeffery), while Keenum threw for 313 yards with three TDs (each was sacked once but neither threw an interception). Philadelphia went 11 of 17 on third down (the Eagles were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and they would rule the clock, keeping the ball for 34:27, while the Redskins, who kept the ball for 25:33, went 5 of 13 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

In the season opener in the City of Brotherly Love, while the Eagles were favored by 10, they would win by only five at Lincoln Financial Field but both clubs easily covered the 44 over/under, tallying 59 points. Philadelphia’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 40 1/2. The Eagles are fighting for their playoff lives, while the Redskins would like nothing more than to derail Philadelphia’s chances. Redskins fans will be singing “Hell, it’s the Redskins” this week instead of “Hail to the Redskins.” Philadelphia covers the 6 and wins in Landover.

Cleveland (6-7) at Arizona (3-9-1), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. A pair of former Heisman Trophy QBs meet in the desert as Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns travel to Glendale to face off against the Arizona Cardinals and Kyler Murray at State Farm Stadium. The Browns are looking to get themselves to the .500 mark, while the Desert Angry Birds look to stop the Browns in their tracks.

Cleveland brought Cincinnati back to Earth after the Bengals won their first game two weeks ago, taking down their AFC North/Buckeye State rivals 27-19 at First Energy Field. The Browns took a 14-13 lead at the break, then floored the gas in the second half, outscoring the Bengals 13-6 in the final 30 minutes of action along the shores of Lake Erie. The Bengals outrushed Cleveland 179-146 and fantasy players got their wishes granted as Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon (146 yards, TD) and Cleveland’s Nick Chubb (106 yards) each led their teams on the ground, while Mayfield threw for 192 yards and a pair of interceptions, while Andy Dalton, in his second contest since being benched, threw for 262 yards with an interception (Dalton was sacked twice, Mayfield sacked once).

Cleveland was 7 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 25:29, while the Bengals actually ruled the clock and held the ball hostage for 34:31, while going 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

A last-second rally by the Desert Angry Birds fell short in Glendale as the Steelers came away 23-17 winners last Sunday. Arizona trailed 13-10 at the intermission, then rallied in the final 30 minutes of their contest at State Farm Stadium to make it a 3-point contest with 6:44 when Murray and RB David Johnson connected on a 24-yard TD pass before Steelers K Chris Boswell connected on a 25-yard field goal with 1:42 left in the contest.

Pittsburgh outrushed Arizona 140-71 and Murray threw for 194 yards with a pair of TDs, while Pittburgh’s Delvin Hodges threw for 152 yards and a TD to WR Diontae Johnson (Murray was sacked five times, Hodges was sacked three times; Murray threw three interceptions, while Hodges threw an interception). Both teams were 4 of 11 on third down (on fourth down, the Steelers were 0 of 1, while the Desert Angry Birds were 1 of 3) and the Steelers ruled the clock, holding the ball for 31:54 to Arizona’s 28:06.

Including games that took place in Chicago and St. Louis, Cleveland leads the series 33-14-3 and they have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 1,264-913. The Cardinals have won the last three meetings in the series, coming away 34-20 winners in Cleveland in 2015, while Cleveland’s last win in the series came in 2003 in Cleveland by a final of 44-6. Cleveland’s favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 47. Cleveland would like to be at the .500 mark and perhaps make the post-season; as for the Cardinals? They want to put an end to that dream. Browns cover the 2 1/2 in the desert and wins in Glendale.

Jacksonville (4-9) at Oakland (5-8), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. A pair of struggling teams meet on the West Coast as Oakland hosts Jacksonville in the Raiders’ final home game at the Coliseum. Both teams took losses at home in last week’s play.

Jacksonville saw a 3-0 lead thanks to a Josh Lambo field goal late in the first slip away from them as the Los Angeles Chargers scored 24 first half points unchallenged to fall to Philip Rivers and the Chargers 45-10 at TIAA Stadium. Trailing 31-3 at the half, the Jaguars could not get themselves on track in the Sunshine State, dropping their fifth contest in a row. Jacksonville was outrushed by the Chargers 195-88 (Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette led his team with 50, while Chargers RB Austin Elker led all rushers with 101 yards), with Gordon Minshew II throwing for 162 yards and a TD to Nick O’Leary, while Rivers threw for 314 yards and three TDs, one of them to Elker (Rivers was sacked once, Minshew was sacked twice). Jacksonville was 4 of 15 on third down conversions (they went 2 of 4 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:37, while the Chargers only needed to keep the pigskin for 29:23, going 6 of 8 on third down tries.

Raiders fans watched as Tennessee broke a 21-21 halftime tie with Oakland, scoring 21 second half points unchallenged to come out on top on the West Coast 42-21 last Sunday at the Oakland Coliseum. Tennessee, tied for first in the AFC South, used touchdowns from RB Derek Henry (10-yard run), TE Jonnu Smith (17 yard TD pass from Ryan Tannehill) and LB Jayon Brown (46-yard fumble return) to take the win on the road against Oakland in the second half. Tennessee outrushed Oakland 161-97 and Henry accounted for 103 of those yards with a pair of TDs, with Tannehill throwing for 391 yards and three TDs (two to Brown), while Oakland’s Derek Carr threw for 263 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Foster Moreau; Carr was sacked twice and Tannehill threw an interception). Tennessee went 8 of 11 on third down and held the ball for 29:12, while the Raiders ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:48, while going 4 of 10 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The series? Even at 4-4 and the Jaguars have outscored the Silver and Black 171-152. Oakland has won the last three meetings, including a 33-16 win in Jacksonville in 2016, while the Jaguars’ last win in the series came in the Sunshine State in 2010 by a final of 38-31. Oakland’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Given the problems that both clubs have had this season, those numbers make a great deal of sense. Raiders close out their years in Oakland and takes the win at the Coliseum, covering the 6.

Los Angeles Rams (8-5) at Dallas (6-7), 4:25 p.m. on on FOX and DirecTV 716. A pair of teams fighting for a playoff spot meet in Arlington as Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams make their way to the Lone Star State for an afternoon showdown with Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys.

The Rams knocked Seattle back to second in the NFC West as they took Russell Wilson and the Seahawks to task 28-12 at the Coliseum last Sunday night. The defending NFC champions erased a 3-0 lead, scoring 21 points in the first half unchallenged to lead by 18 at the intermission, using a rushing TD from RB Malcom Brown and passes from Goff to WRs Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. After Seahawks LB Quintin Diggs picked off Kupp and returned the ball 55 yards for a TD in the third, RB Todd Gurley II restored order for the home team, scoring on a 7-yard romp to keep Seattle in check.

Los Angeles outrushed Seattle 162-106 and Gurley led all rushers with 79 yards, while Chris Carson led Seattle with 76 and the Rams defense sacked Wilson (245 yards) five times and picked him off once, while Goff threw for 293 yards with a pair of interceptions to go with the two TD tosses. The Rams were 7 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 31:04, while Seattle, who held on to the pigskin for 28:56, went 5 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

A late Dallas rally at Chicago fell short as Da Bears came away 31-24 winners at Soldier Field last Thursday night. Dallas used a 17-play, 75 yard drive that used 8:57 of clock to take an early 7-0 lead when RB Ezekiel Elliott scored from a yard out. Da Bears would erase that deficit in the second quarter as Trubisky and WR Allan Robinson would connect on the first of their two TDs, scoring on a 5-yard toss early in the second quarter to tie things up. K Eddie Pineiro would give Chicago the lead for keeps, connecting on a 36-yard field goal to take a 10-7 lead. Robinson and Trubisky would hook up again with 10 seconds to go before the intermission on a 8-yard toss to lead 17-7 at the break. Elliott would pick up his second TD of the contest, scoring from 2 yards out in the thrid before Trubisky would take matters into his own feet, scoring on a 23-yard run to give Chicago a 17-point lead with 13:22 left in the contest. Dallas would add a 19-yard TD pass from Dak Prescott to Amari Cooper and a 31-yard field goal by Brett Maher with eight seconds left to narrow the gap.

Chicago outrushed Dallas 151-82 with Bears RB David Montgomery leading the way with 86 yards (Elliott had 81 for Dallas with the two TDs) and Trubisky threw for 244 yards and three TDs (two of them to Robinson), while Prescott threw for 334 yards and the Cooper TD (both were sacked twice and Trubisky threw an interception). Da Bears were 7 of 12 on third down in the Windy City and the Monsters of the Midway kept the pigskin for 32:18, while Dallas, keeping the ball for 27:42, went 6 of 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Including games played in Anaheim, St. Louis, the Cotton Bowl and Texas Stadium, the Cowboys lead the series 13-12 and have outscored the Rams 578-564. Their last regular season meeting was in 2017 in Arlington and the Rams would leave Jerry World (aka AT&T Stadium) 35-30 winners, while Dallas’ last win came in St. Louis by a final of 34-31 in 2014. Dallas is favored by 3 in the Lone Star State and the over/under’s 47. Given that there’s a lot at stake for both clubs, it’ll be worth your time to watch, which makes this one “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

For one team, they’ll put themselves a little closer to the playoff party; for the other, their jobs will be a little harder. The Rams shock the world and pull off the upset with the win in Jerry World, even though Dallas will make it closer than 3.

Minnesota (9-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (5-8), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers host Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings in a late-afternoon (Eastern) contest.

Minnesota extended Detroit’s losing streak to six in a row, coming away 20-7 winners at US Bank Stadium. The Vikings led 17-0 at the intermission, scoring those point in the first half unchallenged and held the Lions to a fourth quarter TD with 2:09 left when WR Kenny Golladay caught a 10-yard TD pass from Derrick Blough. Minnesota outrushed the Lions 120-70 and Blough threw for 205 yards but was sacked five times and picked off twice to go with the lone TD toss, while Cousins threw for 242 yards and a TD (Cousins was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Detroit was 7 of 16 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:18, while the Vikings ruled the clock and held on to the pigskin for 33:42, going 5 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The Bolts erased a 3-0 deficit at Jacksonville, as the Jaguars would take that lead thanks to a Josh Lambo field goal late in the first slip by scoring 24 first half points unchallenged to take a 45-10 win at TIAA Stadium. The Chargers led 31-3 at the half, while the Jaguars could not get themselves on track in the Sunshine State, dropping their fifth contest in a row. Jacksonville was outrushed by the Chargers 195-88 (Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette led his team with 50, while Chargers RB Austin Elker led all rushers with 101 yards), with Gordon Minshew II throwing for 162 yards and a TD to Nick O’Leary, while Rivers threw for 314 yards and three TDs, one of them to Elker (Rivers was sacked once, Minshew was sacked twice). Jacksonville was 4 of 15 on third down conversions (they went 2 of 4 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:37, while the Chargers only needed to keep the pigskin for 29:23, going 6 of 8 on third down tries.

The series is even at 6-6 and the Chargers have outscored the Purple Gang 300-279 (which includes contests that were played in Bloomington and San Diego). Their last meeting was in the Twin Cities in 2015 and the Vikings prevailed 31-14, while the Chargers’ last win in the series came in San Diego in 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium by a final of 24-17. Minnesota’s favored by 3 on the West Coast and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Minnesota’s trying to keep pace with the Packers in the NFC North, while the Chargers want to ruin the Vikings’ party. That’s not going to happen. Minnesota covers the 3 and takes the win.

Buffalo (9-4) at Pittsburgh (8-5), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A couple of AFC teams, looking for a post-season invite, meet in the Steel City as Buffalo and Pittsburgh meet at Heinz Field Sunday night.

The Bills watched Baltimore pick up their ninth win in a row, holding off a late Buffalo rally to come away 24-17 winners at New Era Field in Orchard Park, clinching a spot in the playoffs in the process. Baltimore led 10-6 at the intermission in upstate New York and led 24-9 with 9:49 left in the contest before the Bills rallied to make it a 7-point contest with 7 minutes left when Cole Beasley and Jeff Allen connected on a 3-yard TD toss and a two-point conversion. The Ravens then put an end to a Bills rally that would have tied the contest up when Allen’s pass to WR John Brown sailed incomplete.

Baltimore outrushed Buffalo 118-104 with Bills RB Devin Singletary leading all rushers with 89 yards on the ground. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson threw for 145 yards with three TDs, a sack and an interception, while Allen threw for 146 yards with the TD toss to Beasley (Allen was sacked six times but did not throw an interception). Baltimore went 3 of 11 on third down tries in upstate New York and ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 32:49, while the Bills, who kept the pigskin for 27:11, went 4 of 17 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Pittsburgh held off a late Arizona rally in the desert last Sunday, as the Steelers stopped the Desert Angry Birds 23-17 winners last Sunday in Glendale. Pittsburgh led 13-10 at the intermission before Arizona rallied in the final 30 minutes of their contest at State Farm Stadium to make it a 3-point contest with 6:44 when Murray and RB David Johnson connected on a 24-yard TD pass before Steelers K Chris Boswell connected on a 25-yard field goal with 1:42 left in the contest.

Pittsburgh outrushed Arizona 140-71 and Murray threw for 194 yards with a pair of TDs, while Pittburgh’s Delvin Hodges threw for 152 yards and a TD to WR Diontae Johnson (Murray was sacked five times, Hodges was sacked three times; Murray threw three interceptions, while Hodges threw an interception). Both teams were 4 of 11 on third down (on fourth down, the Steelers were 0 of 1, while the Desert Angry Birds were 1 of 3) and the Steelers ruled the clock, holding the ball for 31:54 to Arizona’s 28:06.

The Steelers lead the series Steelers 14-8, they’ve outscored Buffalo 510-391 and have won the last six meetings, including a 27-20 win in upstate New York in 2016, while Buffalo’s last win came in 1999 in Orchard Park by a final of 24-21. The Steelers are favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 37. For the winner, their hopes for the post-season are safe; for the loser, their hopes are cracked but not completely shattered. Pittsburgh keeps hope alive at Heinz Field and covers the 1 1/2 with the win.

Indianapolis (6-7) at New Orleans (10-3), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 15 closes in the Big Easy as New Orleans and Indianapolis meet at the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Both teams are looking to recover from close losses in last week’s play.

A late rally by the Colts fell short as Tampa Bay held off Indianapolis and came away 38-35 winners at Raymond James Stadium. Indianapolis led 27-21 at the intermission along Florida’s West Coast and took a 35-21 lead late in the third before Tampa Bay would go to work, scoring their final points of the contest unchallenged, taking the lead for good when Winston and WR Breshad Perriman would connect on a 12-yard TD toss late in the final quarter. Indianapolis would get as close as midfield with 1:56 left in regulation but got no further as Jacoby Brissett’s pass attempt on fourth down sailed incomplete.

The two clubs did not breach the 100-yard rushing barrier but Tampa Bay did outrushed the Colts 75-66 and Winston threw for 456 yards with four TDs (including the game-winner; Winston was picked off three times and sacked once), while Brissett threw for 252 yards with a pair of TD passes (Brissett was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Tampa Bay was 8 of 15 on third down but struck gold on fourth down, hitting pay dirt in their only attempt and kept the ball for 34:15, while the Colts were 6 of 16 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 25:45.

Saints fans had their hearts broken in the Big Easy last Sunday as San Francisco left town 48-46 winners thanks to a 30-yard field goal by Robbie Gould as the clock struck :00. San Francisco took a 28-27 lead with them to the locker room before New Orleans K Will Lutz gave the Saints the lead back with a 55-yard field goal early in the third quarter. San Francisco took the lead back with 9:40 left in the quarter when TE George Kittle and QB Jimmy Garoppolo connected on a 5-yard TD toss. New Orleans would eventually take a 1-point lead at 46-45 with 53 seconds left when Drew Brees and WR Tre’Quan Smith would connect on an 18-yard TD pass. San Francisco would get the ball back with the 53 seconds left on the clock and used the available time to have a 7-play, 63-yard drive aided by a 28-yard pass from Garoppolo to Kittle (which was aided by a facemask penalty by the Saints) and got themselves in position to help Gould kick the field goal. After a 49ers time out, Gould connected on the try that sailed through the uprights as time expired.

In the contest, a potential NFC playoff game that had seven lead changes and 10 TD passes, San Francisco outrushed New Orleans 162-116 and both Brees and Garoppolo threw for 349 yards (Garoppolo threw four TDs, Brees, threw 5, WR Emmanuel Sanders threw a TD and caught a TD pass; Garoppolo was sacked three times and threw an interception) in the Big Easy. San Francsico was 6 of 12 on third down and went 1 of 1 on fourth down and would keep the ball (including the final 53 seconds of the contest) for 28:37, while the Saints actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:23, while going 5 of 11 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

New Orleans leads the series 7-5 (including contests played at old Tulane Stadium and in Baltimore) and the Saints have outscored the Colts 278-265. New Orleans’ last win in the series came in the Hoosier State, where they left 27-21 winners, while the Colts’ last win in the series came in Indianapolis in 2007 by a final of 41-10.

The Colts are 23-17 on Monday night but have not played an MNF game since 2017, where they went 0-1. New Orleans is 20-22 but won both their contests last year. New Orleans finds themselves being favored by 8 points in the Big Easy with a 45 over/under. Both numbers make a lot of sense and both teams have the capacity to put up points. The Saints have already claimed the NFC South and want to be home for the playoffs, while the Colts find themselves in the conversation to be in the AFC playoff race. You might want to consider taping “All Rise” and “Bull” this week. Colts pull off the upset in the Big Easy and take the win on the road, although New Orleans could make things closer than the 8.

And then there were none.

If you were hearing champange corks from south Florida Monday night, it’s because the last undefeated team lost Monday night in Santa Clara. There are no more unbeaten teams in the National Football League, so that means that the 1973 Miami Dolphins are safe for another year. Seattle took care of their NFC West rivals in overtime Monday night in Santa Clara, edging the 49ers 24-21. Yes, the Seahawks were Jimmy Stewart and the 49ers? They were Liberty Valance.

As for the rest of the season? To quote Sonny and Cher, “the beat goes on.” Week 10 is in the books. The weather’s turning a little colder, the leaves are turning color a little faster and football continues. Nothing’s been decided and everyone still has a chance to make the post-season, even the Bengals. 18 of the 32 NFL teams are at .500 or better going into play and at the end of the season, 12 of 32 will be fighting to either get another Lombardi Trophy or get one of their own. Winning puts you one step closer, while losing doesn’t knock you out but makes your task a little harder.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK 10: Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson completed 15 of 17 pass attempts (88.2 percent) for three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 158.3 rating, the highest attainable mark and added a career-long 47-yard touchdown run in the Ravens’ 49-13 win over Cincinnati.

Jackson, who also had a 158.3 rating in Week 1, became the second quarterback to record a passer rating of 158.3 (minimum 10 attempts) in multiple games within a single season in NFL history, joining Ben Roethlisberger (two games in 2007).

Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters had an 89-yard interception return for a touchdown in the win. Along with Peters’ 67-yard interception return for a touchdown in Week 7 and Marlon Humphrey’s 70-yard fumble recovery touchdown in Week 9, Baltimore is the first team since 1970 to record a defensive touchdown of at least 65 yards in three consecutive games.

Peters has returned six interceptions for touchdowns in his five-year career, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Lem Barney (six) for the second-most by a player in his first five seasons in league annals. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Ken Houston (nine) had more.

New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones had 308 yards and four touchdowns while Arizona rookie quarterback KYLER MURRAY passed for 324 yards and three touchdowns with one interception in Week 10.

With Jones and Murray, Week 10 of the 2019 season is the first week in which two rookie quarterbacks each recorded at least 300 passing yards and three touchdown passes in NFL history.

Jones, who also had four touchdown passes in Week 8, is the fifth rookie quarterback with at least two games of four touchdown passes in NFL history, joining Robert Griffin III (two games in 2012), Marcus Mariota (two in 2015), Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton (three in 1961) and DeShaun Watson (three in 2017).

Making his 10th career start, Arizona rookie quarterback Kyler Murray threw three touchdown passes to wide receiver Christian Kirk in the Cardinals’ Week 10 loss.

From Week 4 to Week 10, Murray attempted 211 consecutive passes without an interception, surpassing Derek Carr (176 attempts in 2014) and Dak Prescott (176 in 2016) for the longest streak of consecutive pass attempts without an interception by a rookie quarterback in NFL history.

Murray, who has 2,553 passing yards and 351 rushing yards in his first 10 starts, joined Daunte Culpepper (2000), Cam Newton (2011) and DeShaun Watson (2017-18) as the only quarterbacks to record at least 2,500 passing yards and 250 rushing yards in their first 10 career starts in NFL history.

With Murray (22 years and 95 days old) and Kirk (22 years and 357 days old) connecting on three touchdowns, it marked the first time since November 11, 1962 (Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton and Charley Ferguson) that two players under the age of 23 connected on three touchdowns in a single game.

Making his 25th career start, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 446 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 119.2 rating in the Chiefs’ Week 10 loss. Mahomes has 8,007 career passing yards, the most by a quarterback in his first 25 starts in NFL history.

Mahomes, who has 68 career touchdown passes, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (65 touchdown passes) for the most touchdown passes by a player in his first 25 career starts in NFL history.

With his 16th career game of at least 300 passing yards, Mahomes tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (16 games) for the most games with at least 300 passing yards in a quarterback’s first 25 career starts in league annals.

Tennessee running back Derrick Henry recorded 188 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in the Titans’ 35-32 win against Kansas City.

Henry has three career games with at least 170 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in his four-year NFL career, tied for the fifth-most such games in a player’s first four seasons in league annals. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown (six), Eric Dickerson (six) and Earl Campbell (five), as well as Jamal Lewis (four) had more.

New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas had 13 receptions for 152 yards in the Saints’ Week 10 loss against Atlanta.

Thomas has 407 receptions in 56 career games and surpassed Odell Beckham Jr. (61 games) as the fastest player to reach 400 career receptions in NFL history. Currently in his fourth season, Thomas surpassed Jarvis Landry (400 receptions) for the most receptions by a player in his first four seasons in league annals.

Thomas, who has 1,027 receiving yards this season, joins Mike Evans (2014-17), A.J. Green (2011-14) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (1998-2001) as the only players to have at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first four seasons in NFL history.

New York Jets safety Jamal Adams recorded two sacks, two forced fumbles and a 25-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in the Jets’ 34-27 win over the New York Giants.

Since 2000, Adams is the sixth player to record two sacks, two forced fumbles and a touchdown in a single game, joining Cliff Avril (Week 8, 2011), Jason Gildon (Week 13, 2000), Orlando Scandrick (Week 5, 2019), Jyles Tucker (Week 17, 2007) and Mike Vrabel (Week 8, 2007).

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a match-up of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated Sunday’s New England-Philadelphia match-up as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest pairs the teams from two previous Super Bowls. In Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota, the Eagles and quarterback Nick Foles orchestrated a critical touchdown drive that drained 7:01 off the fourth-quarter clock. On that 14-play, 75-yard march, Foles completed 8 of 10 passes, including an 11-yard scoring strike to Zach Ertz as Philadelphia retook a lead it would not relinquish in a 41-33 triumph over New England, the Eagles’ first NFL title since 1960 and first-ever Super Bowl championship. Just before half, Foles caught a 1-yard TD pass from Trey Burton, branding the phrase “Philly Special” into Super Bowl lore. The Patriots (613) and Eagles (538) combined for a Super Bowl record 1,151 net yards. Thirteen years earlier, on February 6, 2005, at Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, the Patriots captured their third Lombardi Trophy over a four-year stretch, a 24-21 win over the Eagles. New England linebacker and current Titans head coach Mike Vrabel caught a 2-yard touchdown from Tom Brady to break a 7-7 tie in the third quarter. Game MVP Deion Branch, who had 11 receptions for 133 yards, set up that touchdown with three key grabs. Tedy Bruschi and Rodney Harrison had fourth-quarter interceptions in the first Super Bowl ever to enter the final stanza in a tie game.

WATSON-JACKSON SHOWDOWN MARQUEES WEEK 11: Two of the NFL’s most exciting young quarterbacks square off Sunday when Houston meets Baltimore. Last week, Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson recorded his second 2019 game with a 158.3 passer rating, the highest attainable mark, and became the second player in NFL history (Ben Roethlisberger, 2007) to post two 158.3 passer ratings in the same season. He also added a career-long 47-yard touchdown run in Baltimore’s win at Cincinnati. The Texans’ DeShaun Watson earlier this season posted his own 158.3 rating, in Week 5, and became the first player ever to pass for at least 400 yards and five touchdowns with five-or-fewer incompletions in a single game.

Watson enters Week 11 ranked fourth in the NFL with a 107.1 passer rating, while Jackson is ninth with a 101.7 mark. Sunday’s matchup is the second time in NFL history that two starting quarterbacks under the age of 25 with a passer rating of 100-or-better will square off in Week 11 or later. The first was a year ago this week, November 19, 2018, when Jared Goff (113.0 rating, 24 years, 36 days old) and the Rams defeated Patrick Mahomes (117.4 rating, 23 years, 63 days old) and the Chiefs 54-51.

AFC WEST CLUBS CLASH SOUTH OF BORDER: The NFL returns to Mexico when the Los Angeles Chargers host Kansas City on Monday Night Football. Estadio Azteca, which is 7,201 feet above sea level, will host a regular-season NFL game for the fourth time (also 2005, 2016 and 2017).

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who makes his 26th career start this week, has 8,007 career passing yards, the most by a quarterback in his first 25 starts in NFL history. Mahomes, who has 68 career touchdown passes, also surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (65 touchdown passes) for the most touchdown passes by a player in his first 25 career starts in NFL history.

DEFENSES TURNING OFFENSIVE: Since the beginning of 2018, Chicago and the Los Angeles Rams are tied for second in the NFL with seven defensive touchdowns. Those clubs clash in Los Angeles on Sunday Night Football on the West Coast. Baltimore leads the NFL with eight defensive touchdowns since the beginning of 2018, while the New York Jets also have seven, tied with the Bears and Rams.

Overall in Week 10, despite only 13 games on the schedule, NFL teams combined to score nine defensive touchdowns, the most since Week 6 of 2017 (10 defensive touchdowns).

DOLPHINS ON WINNING STREAK: There’s always hope in the NFL. Miami hosts Buffalo on Sunday with an opportunity to win a third consecutive game. San Francisco was the most recent team to open a season with seven-or-more consecutive losses and then win three-or-more games in the same season. The 49ers in 2017 began 0-7 but won their final five games. Now, just two years later, San Francisco owns a share of the NFL’s best record at 8-1.

PATRIOTS BID FOR 19 STRAIGHT: With a win on Sunday at Philadelphia New England can move to 9-1 and clinch a 19th consecutive winning season. In NFL history, the only team to string together at least 19 winning seasons was Dallas, who assembled a streak of 20 winning campaigns from 1966-85.

Among the other three major professional league sports, a franchise has authored 19-or-more consecutive winning seasons on only seven occasions: New York Yankees (39, 1926-64), Montreal Canadiens (32, 1951-52 to 1982-83), Boston Bruins (29, 1967-68 to 1995-96), New York Yankees (27, 1993-2019), Detroit Red Wings (24, 1991-92 to 2015-16), San Antonio Spurs (22, 1997-98 to 2018-19) and Utah Jazz (19, 1985-86 to 2003-04).

MARGIN OF VICTORY IS SHRINKING: With a season-high six teams on their byes this past week, the NFL played just 13 games. Eleven of those 13 games were separated by one possession (eight points or fewer). In 36 games this season, a team has won or tied after trailing in the fourth quarter.

The most games decided by eight- and seven-or-fewer points through 10 weeks in NFL history:

MOST GAMES DECIDED BY EIGHT-OR-FEWER POINTS THROUGH WEEK 10
2016 – 87
2019 – 81
2015 – 81
1999 – 79
2010 – 79

MOST GAMES DECIDED BY SEVEN-OR-FEWER POINTS THROUGH WEEK 10
2016 – 81
2019 – 77
2015 – 76
1999 – 73
Many with 72

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 11

YOUNG STARS BATTLE IN BALTIMORE: A match-up between two young quarterbacks highlights Week 11 in the NFL as Houston travels to Baltimore on Sunday. Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson and Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson are the first two players with at least 15 passing touchdowns, five rushing touchdowns and a passer rating of 100 or higher through their team’s first nine games of a season in NFL history.

With two passing touchdowns on Sunday against Baltimore, Watson would become the fifth player in NFL history to have at least 20 passing touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns through his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history. Two of the past three players to accomplish the feat earned the Associated Press Most Valuable Player award that season.

The players with at least 20 passing touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns through their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, PASS TDS/RUSH TDS)
Cam Newton, Carolina (2015, 20/6)#
Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota (2000, 20/5)
Roman Gabriel, Los Angeles Rams (1969, 20/5)#
Don Meredith, Dallas (1966, 22/5)
Deshaun Watson, Houston (2019, 18/5)*
*Through nine games
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player

Baltimore leads the NFL with an average of 197.2 rushing yards per game in 2019. Jackson leads all quarterbacks with 702 rushing yards this season and surpassed Michael Vick (650 yards in 2006) for the most rushing yards by a quarterback through his team’s first nine games of a season in NFL history last week.

If Baltimore running back Mark Ingram, who has 619 rushing yards and ties for the AFC-lead with eight rushing touchdowns, rushes for 81 yards against Houston, Jackson and Ingram would become the fourth pair of teammates to each rush for at least 700 yards in their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history.

The teammates each with at least 700 rushing yards through their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history:

SEASON – TEAM (PLAYER, RUSH YARDS; PLAYER, RUSH YARDS)
2006 – ATLANTA (Warrick Dunn, 813; Michael Vick, 704)
1973 – Cincinnati (Essex Johnson, 755; Boobie Clark, 735)
1973 – Miami (Mercury Morris, 840; Larry Csonka, 748) HOF
2019 – Baltimore (Lamar Jackson, 702; Mark Ingram, 619)*
HOF – Hall of Fame

ZEKE GOES FOR 5,000 IN 50: Since entering the league in 2016, Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott leads the NFL with 4,836 rushing yards.

Appearing in his 50th career game on Sunday against Detroit, Elliott needs 164 rushing yards to become the fifth player with at least 5,000 rushing yards through their first 50 career games in NFL history. The other four players to accomplish the feat are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The players with the most rushing yards in their first 50 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RUSHING YARDS)
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (5,597) HOF
Earl Campbell, Houston Oilers (5,411) HOF
Jim Brown, Cleveland (5,248) HOF
Terrell Davis, Denver (5,062) HOF
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas (4,836)*
*Through 49 career games
HOF – Hall of Fame

RACKING UP YARDS: Last season, Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey had 107 receptions and surpassed Matt Forte (102 in 2014) for the most receptions by a running back in a single season in NFL history. Since entering the NFL in 2017, McCaffrey leads all running backs with 235 receptions.

With four catches on Sunday against Atlanta, McCaffrey would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson (238 receptions) for the most receptions by a running back in their first three seasons in NFL history.

The running backs with the most receptions in their first three seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RECEPTIONS)
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (238) HOF
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (235)*
*In third season

In nine games, McCaffrey, who leads the NFL with 153.9 scrimmage yards per game, ranks second with 989 rushing yards and ranks fourth among running backs with 396 receiving yards in 2019. Last week, he became the fifth player with at least 125 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in seven of his team’s first nine games of a season in NFL history.

On Sunday, McCaffrey needs 104 receiving yards and 11 rushing yards to become the first player with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history.

Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook leads the NFL with 1,415 scrimmage yards, while McCaffrey ranks second with 1,385 scrimmage yards. With at least 85 scrimmage yards from Cook against Denver and at least 115 scrimmage yards from McCaffrey on Sunday, 2019 would mark the first season in which two players have at least 1,500 scrimmage yards through Week 11 in the Super Bowl era.

MAKING IT LOOK BIG EASY: New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas leads the NFL with 86 receptions and 1,027 receiving yards this season. Last week, Thomas, who has 407 receptions since 2016, surpassed Jarvis Landry (400 receptions) for the most receptions through a player’s first four seasons in NFL history and reached 400 receptions in the fewest games (56) in league annals.

With four receptions on Sunday against Tampa Bay, Thomas would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (89 receptions in 2002) and Julio Jones (89 in 2015) for the most receptions by a player through his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions through their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RECEPTIONS)
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis 2002 (89) HOF
Julio Jones, ATLANTA (2015 – 89)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (2019 – 86)*
Adam Thielen, Minnesota (2018 – 85)

*Through nine games
HOF – Hall of Fame

Additionally, with four receptions, Thomas would become the first player in NFL history to have at least 90 receptions in each of his first four seasons.

TERRIFIC TANDEM IN TAMPA: Tampa Bay wide receivers Mike Evans (924 receiving yards) and Chris Godwin (840) rank second and fourth in receiving yards, respectively, in the NFL this season.

If Godwin has at least 60 receiving yards on Sunday against New Orleans, Evans and Godwin would become the fourth pair of teammates each with at least 900 receiving yards through their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history.

The teammates each with at least 900 receiving yards through their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history:

TEAM – SEASON (PLAYER – REC. YARDS; PLAYER – REC. YARDS)
Denver – 2014 (Demaryius Thomas – 1,105; Emmanuel Sanders – 954)
St. Louis Rams – 2000 (Isaac Bruce – 1,094; Torry Holt – 945)
Houston Oilers – 1961 (Charley Hennigan – 1,245; Bill Groman – 980)
Tampa Bay – 2019 (Mike Evans – 924; Chris Godwin – 840)*
*Through nine games

Additionally, if Evans has at least 76 receiving yards on Sunday, he would join Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS (1999-2003) as the only players to have at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first six seasons in NFL history.

Byes in week 11: Green Bay, New York Giants, Seattle and Tennessee. Washington, New England, Jacksonville, Houston, Denver and Philadelphia return to action from their break. Week 11 began in the AFC as Cleveland held off Pittsburgh in a brawl-filled contest Thursday night and heads south of the border on Monday night as AFC West/AFC foes Kansas City and the Los Angeles Chargers meet in Mexico City.

Last week was not as good… we wound up going 5-8 but we’re still ahead of the curve for the season at 64-59. With that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 11.

ATLANTA (2-7) at Carolina (5-4), 1 p.m on FOX and DirecTV 710. They’re separated by 245 miles and four hours of driving along I-85. They’re two of the major cities in the Southeast and the nation. While their rivalry isn’t anything like the Atlanta-New Orleans rivalry, it’s still important. Atlanta and Matt Ryan makes their way northward to face off against NFC South rival Carolina at Bank of America Stadium.

The Falcons broke their seven-game losing streak last Sunday in the Big Easy as they manhandled Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints last Sunday, holding the NFC South leaders to three Will Lutz field goals to take a 26-9 win out of the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Atlanta broke a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter, took a 13-6 lead with them to the break and floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of action. New Orleans pulled themselves to within four with 6:05 left in the third before the Falcons scored their final 13 points of the contest unchallenged.

Holding New Orleans to 52 yards on the ground, Atlanta took care of business against their NFC South foes, tallying 143 yards with Brian Hill leading all rushers with 61 yards. Ryan, returning from the ankle injury he suffered against Seattle two Sundays ago, showed no ill effects, throwing for 182 yards with a pair of TDs (one to Hill, the other to Austin Hooper), while the Falcons defense sacked Brees (287 yards) six times, while Ryan was sacked once and threw an interception. Atlanta went 6 of 15 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:46, while the Saints kept the ball for 26:14, going 3 of 12 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

A late rally at snowy Lambeau Field fell short for Carolina as they fell to Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay 24-16. Green Bay used a pair of Aaron Jones TDs in the first 30 minutes of play to take a 14-10 lead, then the Panthers stopped a late Green Bay rally in the closing seconds of the first half, as Greg McCoy stopped Packers RB Jaamal Williams short of the goal line to close things out.

The Packers would score 10 more points in the third quarter unchallenged on Jones’ third TD of the day and a Mason Crosby field goal before the Panthers would pull themselves to within eight with 11:58 left in the contest when Christan McCaffrey scored on a 3-yard run. Carolina then went for two in hopes of making their defict six but Kyle Allen’s try was incomplete. Green Bay would later punt the ball back to Carolina, who took the ball at their 11-yard line. They would make their way down the field and using a pair of Green Bay penalties, had four tries inside the 5-yard line.

Three incomplete passes later, the Panthers decided that the best course of action would be to use McCaffery, who got as close as the goal line but did not break the plane. The play was reviewed by replay and the ruling on the field became the law of the land. Green Bay out-rushed Carolina 163-120 and McCaffrey led all rushers with 108 yards (Jones led Green Bay with 93 yards) and Allen threw for 307 yards and three sacks and an interception to go with the TD toss, while Rodgers threw for 233 yards and a pair of sacks but no interceptions. Carolina was 4 of 10 on third down (they were 1 of 1) and kept the ball for 28:38, including the final 2:25 of the contest, while the Packers ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:22, going 4 of 9 on third down conversions.

The Falcons lead the series 30-18, they’ve outscored Carolina 1,028-943 and have won the last three meetings in the series, including sweeping last year’s contests (Carolina’s last win in the series came in 2017, when they came away from Bank of America Stadium 20-17 winners).

Meeting number one… week two in the Big Peach at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Atlanta came away 31-24 winners. Atlanta led 17-10 at the break and took a 24-10 lead with them to the end of the third quarter before the Panthers stormed back in the final 15 minutes to make the contest a seven-point affair. Atlanta out-rushed Carolina 170-121 and Falcons RB Tevin Coleman led all rushers with 107, with Newton leading Carolina with 42 yards on the ground. Newton threw for 335 yards and three TDs, while Ryan threw for 272 yards and a pair of TDs to Austin Hooper and Calvin Ridley (Newton was sacked twice in the contest, both Ryan and Newton threw an interception). Atlanta went 6 of 11 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 29:42, while Carolina ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 30:18, going 5 for 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Falcons completed the sweep of the series in the Tar Heel State in their week 16 affair at Bank of America Stadium, manhandling the Newton-less Panthers 24-10 on the Sunday before Christmas Eve. The Falcons broke a 10-10 tie at the half and became Scrooges in the third quarter, scoring 14 points in the period unchallenged. Atlanta out-rushed the Panthers 194-141 and Brian Hill led all rushers with 115 yards (Christian McCaffrey led Carolina with 101 yards) and Ryan threw for 239 yards and three TDs (Julio Jones, Mohammed Sanu and Ridley), while Todd Heinicke threw for 274 yards with a TD (Heinicke was sacked twice and threw three interceptions, while Ryan was sacked once). Atlanta went 4 of 10 on third down conversions and held the ball for 22:31, while the Panthers ruled the clock, holding the ball for 37:29, going 7 of 14 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

The Falcons were favored by 5 1/2 in the Big Peach and covered, winning by 7 and both teams took care of the 44 over/under, tallying 55 points. In the week 16 contest in the Tar Heel State, the Panthers were favored by 3 and the Falcons’ 14-point win allowed them to cover but neither team covered the 48 over/under, as the two teams merged for 34 points. The odds-makers like the Panthers at home and the boys and girls in Vegas favored them by 5 1/2 with a 51 over/under. Panthers may be finer in Carolina but Atlanta proves that the win in New Orleans was not a fluke and takes the win in the Tar Heel State and could very well cover the 5 1/2.

Dallas (5-4) at Detroit (3-5-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of teams in the playoff hunt meet in the Motor City as Dallas travels to Detroit to face off against the Lions at Ford Field. Both clubs took close losses in last week’s action.

Dallas’ rally in the fourth quarter against Minnesota fell short as the Cowboys fell 28-28 at AT&T Stadium Sunday night. Dallas trailed 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, tying the contest up with 1:54 when Randall Cobb caught a 22-yard TD pass from Dak Prescott before the Vikings took things into the intermission when Dan Bailey connected on a 26-yard field as the first half came to an end. Bailey would add a second field goal against his former club halfway through the third quarter before the Cowboys reclaimed the lead when WR Amari Cooper and Prescott connected on a 12-yard TD strike. Minnesota would reclaim the lead for keeps with 2 seconds left in the third when Delvin Cook ran in from 2 yards, then Vikings QB Kirk Cousins and TE Kyle Rudolph connected on the 2-point try. Dallas would make the contest a 4-point affair with 10 minutes left in the contest when Brett Maher connected on a 23-yard boot.

With no time outs and 17 seconds left in the contest, Dallas got the ball back after a Vikings punt and Prescott used two short passes to TE Blake Jarwin, getting them on the Vikings’ side of the 50-yard line but Cowboys fans would see their hopes dashed when Prescott was picked off by Javon Kearse in the end zone to end the contest. Minnesota out-rushed Dallas 153-50, with Cook leading all rushers with 97 yards and the third quarter TD, Prescott threw for 397 yards and three TDs with a sack and the interception, while Cousins threw for 220 yards with two TDs, both to Rudolph. Dallas was 9 of 16 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:33 (including the final 17 seconds of the contest), while the Vikings ruled the clock, holding the ball for 33:27, going 8 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Detroit watched a 6-0 lead against NFC North rival Chicago get away from them as the Bears stormed back to take a 20-13 win at Soldier Field last Sunday. The Lions took that 6-0 lead with a pair of Matt Prahter field goals before the Bears would erase that lead with 25 seconds left before the break when Mitch Trubisky and TE Ben Braunecker connected on a 18-yard toss. Trubisky would add 3rd quarter TD passes to Tarik Cohen and Taylor Gabriel to take the lead to 20-6 before Kenny Golladay and Jeff Driskell (taking over for Matthew Stafford – back) would put the Lions to within 7 with 5:53 left in the contest. After Detroit and Chicago exchanged punts, the Lions got the ball back with 1:41 and would get themselves as close as Chicago’s 25-yard line, where the drive and game ended.

Neither club breached the 100 yard barrier in the contest in the Windy City but Detroit did manage to outrush Chicago 98-81 and Driskell threw for 269 yards with the TD, while he was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Trubisky accounted for the three TDs with 173 yards of passing and five sacks. Detroit was 7 for 18 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and including the final 1:41 of the contest, kept the ball for 31:54, while the Bears kept the ball for 28:06, going 2 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including contests that took place at the Cotton Bowl, Tiger Stadium, the Silverdome and Cowboys Stadium, the Cowboys hold a 14-11 lead in the series, have outscored the Lions 676-482 and won the last two contests in the series, including 26-24 win in Jerry World last year (Detroit’s last win in the series came in 2013 in the Motor City by a final of 31-30 at Ford Field.)

Dallas led 13-10 at the intermission at AT&T Stadium in week four, then watched the Lions storm their way back to 24-23 lead with 2:17 left in the contest when Stafford and WR Golden Tate connected on a 38-yard TD toss. Dallas would use all of the 2:17 left in the contest and made their way down the field, using nine plays and 55 yards and sent Cowboys fans home happy as Brad Maher connected on a 38-yard field goal as time expired. Dallas outrushed the Lions 183-96, with Elliott leading everyone with 152 yards; Prescott threw for 255 yards, Stafford threw for 307 yards, both were sacked twice and neither threw an intercption. Dallas went 5 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 30:05 (including the final 2:17 of the contest), while the Lions were 6 of 11 on third down, keeping the ball for 29:55.

In the week four contest at AT&T, Dallas was favored by three but won by only 2 but both clubs covered the 43 1/2 over/under with 50 points. Dallas is favored by 3 1/2 in the Motor City and the over/under’s 51. Dallas has lost two contests to the NFC North already this year. They’re not going to lose again this time around. Dallas covers in the Motor City and wins this one.

New Orleans (2-7) at Tampa Bay (3-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Drew Brees vs. Jameis Winston. A pair of NFC South foes square off in the Sunshine State as the Saints make their way to Raymond James Stadium to face off against the Buccaneers.

Brees and the Saints were held to three Will Lutz field goals against NFC South rival Atlanta, as the division leaders were taken to task 26-9 at the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Atlanta broke a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter, then led for good as they took a 13-6 lead with them to the break and floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of action. New Orleans pulled themselves to within four with 6:05 left in the third before the Falcons scored their final 13 points of the contest unchallenged.

New Orleans was held to 52 yards on the ground, while Atlanta took care of business against their NFC South foes, tallying 143 yards with Brian Hill leading all rushers with 61 yards. Ryan, returning from the ankle injury he suffered against Seattle two Sundays ago, showed no ill effects, throwing for 182 yards with a pair of TDs (one to Hill, the other to Austin Hooper), while the Falcons defense sacked Brees (287 yards) six times, while Ryan was sacked once and threw an interception. Atlanta went 6 of 15 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:46, while the Saints kept the ball for 26:14, going 3 of 12 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

Tampa Bay rallied against Arizona last Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, taking a 30-27 win over the Desert Angry Birds last Sunday in the Sunshine State. The Buccaneers led 17-13 at the intermission in the battle of Heisman winners, then watched Arizona erase that deficit to take a 27-23 lead with 7:22 when WR Christian Kirk caught a 15-yard TD pass from Kyler Murray. Tampa Bay would reclaim the lead for good with 1:43 left in regulation, using a 6-play, 92-yard drive that used 1:57 of clock and ended with a 1-yard TD run by Peyton Barber. The Buccaneers would then stop a late Arizona rally in its tracks to take the win in the Sunshine State.

Tampa Bay outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 118-75 and Murray threw for 324 yards and a pair of TDs (he was sacked twice and threw an interception), while Winston threw for 358 yards with four sacks and a pair of interceptions to go with a TD toss. Tampa Bay went 7 of 15 on third down in the Sunshine State and kept the ball for 36:03, while the Desert Angry Birds went a somewhat dismal 1 of 10 on third down (they were 2 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:57, including the final 1:43 of the contest.

New Orleans leads the series 33-21 and have outscored Tampa Bay 1,216-1,027. The two NFC South foes split last year’s contests, each winning in the other team’s building.

Round one… the season opener in the Big Easy and the Buccaneers survived a slugfest, leaving the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with the 48-40 win. Tampa Bay led 31-24 at the half, then asserted its will on the Saints in the final 30 minutes of play, outscoring New Orleans 17-16 and held off a late Saints rally. Tampa Bay outrushed New Orleans 112-43 and Ryan Fitzpatrick (taking over for Winston) threw for 417 yards and four TDs, while Brees threw for 439 yards with three TDs (Brees was sacked once and neither man threw an interception). Tampa Bay was 8 of 13 on third down conversions in the Big Easy and kept the ball for 32:09, while New Orleans, holding the pigskin for 27:51, went 4 of 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

New Orleans got their revenge in week 14 at Raymond James Stadium, erasing a 14-3 deficit at the break and scored 25 second half points unchallenged to take a 28-14 win out of the Sunshine State. Zach Line (1-yard TD pass from Brees), Brees (1-yard TD run), Mark Ingram (17-yard TD run) and Lutz accounted for the scoring in the second half to take the lead for good. Tampa Bay out-rushed New Orleans 105-100 and Winston threw for 213 yards with a pair of TDs to Cameron Brate, while Brees threw for 201 yards and the Line TD toss. New Orleans went 6 of 12 on third down conversions (1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 31:53, while the Buccaneers kept the ball for 28:07, going 6 of 14 on third down.

In the season opener in the Big Easy, the Saints were favored by 9 1/2 and Tampa Bay would win by 8 but both teams easily covered the 49 1/2 over/under, tallying 88 points. In the week 14 contest in the Sunshine State, New Orleans covered the 8 1/2-point spread, winning by 14 but both teams missed the 57 1/2 over/under, combining to scored 42 points. New Orleans is favored by 5 1/2 and the over/under’s 51. The Saints are still stinging from the loss to Atlanta at home last Sunday, while the Buccaneers would love nothing more than to take a win in the NFC South and take down their rivals in the process. Saints may march into Raymond James on Sunday but Tampa Bay marches out with the win, although expect the Saints to make things closer than 5 1/2.

Houston (6-3) at Baltimore (7-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of contending teams meet in Charm City as the Baltimore Ravens welcome the Houston Texans to M&T Bank Stadium. Both teams were winners in their last contests, which took place away from their home fields.

Houston, returning from their bye, held Jacksonville to a Josh Lambo field goal in the second quarter and took care of the Jaguars 26-3 at Wembley Stadium in London two Sundays ago. The Texans led throughout the contest, taking a 9-3 at the intermission, then floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of play, scoring the last 17 points of the contest unchallenged. Houston held Jacksonville to 74 yards of rushing, while the Texans’ Curtis Hyde led all rushers with 160 yards (the Texans rushed for 216 yards on the other side of the Atlantic. Houston passing-wise was paced by DeShaun Watson, who threw for 201 yards and a pair of TDs, while Gardner Minshew led Jacksonville with 309 yards (Minshew was sacked three times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Watson was sacked once) Both clubs were 4 of 11 on third down on the other side of the pond (the Texans were 1 of 1 on fourth down, Jacksonville was 0 of 2) and Houston kept the ball for 32:33 to Jacksonville’s 27:27.

Baltimore completed their sweep of AFC North rival Cincinnati, taking the Bengals to task 49-13 at Paul Brown Stadium. The Ravens led from start to finish in the contest that gave the Bengals their eighth loss in a row and took a 28-10 lead with them to the intermission. Baltimore then proceeded to score 21 third quarter points unchallenged to seal the Bengals’ fate. While Cincinnati out-rushed Baltimore 157-136 with Bengals RB Joe Mixon leading the way with 114 yards, Lamar Jackson burned the Bengals for 223 yards and three TDs and had a rushing TD of his own, while backup QB Ryan Finley, who took over after Andy Dalton was benched, threw for 167 yards and a TD (Jackson was not sacked or threw an interception, Finley threw a pick and was sacked twice). Baltimore on third down tries went 4 of 6 (the Ravens were perfect in their only fourth down attempt) and kept the ball for 23:49, while the Bengals actually ruled the clock and held the ball for 36:11, going 7 of 15 on third down, 1 of 4 on fourth down.

Baltimore leads the series 7-2 and the Ravens have outscored Houston 222-182. Their last meeting took place in Charm City in 2017 and the Ravens came away 23-16 winners, while Houston’s last win came in the Lone Star State in 2014 by a final of 25-13. Baltimore’s favored by 4 and the over/under’s 49 1/2. There’s a chance that these two could meet in the post-season and both are playing decent football of late. Houston pulls the upset on the road in this one, taking the win on the road and could very well cover the 4.

Jacksonville (4-5) at Indianapolis (5-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of AFC South rivals meet in the Hoosier State as Indianapolis hosts Jacksonville at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Jaguars are coming off their bye week with a loss, while the Colts lost to another Florida team at home last week.

Jacksonville returns from their break after they fall to Houston 26-3 in London at Wembley Stadium. The Jaguars, held to 30-yard field goal by Josh Lambo with 1:48 to go before halftime, trailed 9-3 at the intermission before the Texans floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of play, scoring the last 17 points of the contest unchallenged. Houston held Jacksonville to 74 yards of rushing, while the Texans’ Curtis Hyde led all rushers with 160 yards (the Texans rushed for 216 yards on the other side of the Atlantic. Houston passing-wise was paced by DeShaun Watson, who threw for 201 yards and a pair of TDs, while Gardner Minshew led Jacksonville with 309 yards (Minshew was sacked three times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Watson was sacked once) Both clubs were 4 of 11 on third down on the other side of the pond (the Texans were 1 of 1 on fourth down, Jacksonville was 0 of 2) and Houston kept the ball for 32:33 to Jacksonville’s 27:27.

Miami held off Indianapolis 16-12 at Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday. The Dolphins, picking up their second win in a row, led 10-0 at the intermission, then held off a late Colts rally in the closing seconds by using a pair of Jason Sanders field goals to come away with the win and stopping a Colts drive that would have given the home team the win. Indianapolis, who actually led 12-10 with 11:30 left in the contest on a 1-yard pass from Blaine Hoyer to TE Jack Doyle, out-rushed Miami 109-70 with Hoyer throwing for 204 yards and three interceptions, while Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 169 yard with an interception (Fitzpatrick was sacked three times, Hoyer was sacked once). Miami went 6 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 31:28, while the Colts, holding the ball for 28:32, went 5 of 13 on third down and 0 of 2 on fourth down.

The Colts lead the series 23-13 and have outscored the Jaguars 836-728. The two AFC South foes split last year’s series, each taking wins in their home fields.

The first meeting? Week 10 in Indianapolis and the Colts led Jacksonville 29-16 at the intermission, then held off the Jaguars to win 29-26 at Lucas Oil. Jacksonville would score their final ten points of the contest in the second half unchallenged, making the contest a bit too close for Colts fans in the Hoosier State, with the Colts ending Jacksonville’s comeback bid on a lost fumble with 1:30 remaining in the fourth quarter. Jacksonville outrushed Indianapolis 91-81 and both Fournette (Jacksonville) and Jordan Wilkins (Indianapolis) each rushed for 53 yards in the contest (Fournette had a rushing TD), while Andrew Luck threw for 285 yards and three TDs and Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles threw for 320 yards and a pair of TDs (neither threw an interception, Luck was sacked once). Jacksonville was 9 of 17 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:10, while the Colts, holding the pigskin for 24:50, went 6 of 11 on third down.

Jacksonville was looking for revenge in their week 13 contest at TIAA Bank Field and they got it, using a pair of Josh Lambo field goals to take a 6-0 win in the Sunshine State. Lambo’s first field goal from 30 yards with 2:02 left before the half was the first scoring of the contest, with Jacksonville taking the 3-0 lead at the break. After a scoreless third quarter, Lambo would close out the scoring for the Jaguars, connecting on a 37-yarder early in the fourth. Neither club breached the 100-yard barrier in the Sunshine State but Jacksonville did manage to out-rush the Colts 79-41 and Luck threw for 248 yards and an interception, while Cody Keesler, taking over for Bortles, threw for 150 yards (both were sacked three times, neither had a TD toss, Luck had an interception). Both teams struggled on third down tries in the Sunshine State; the Colts were 5 of 18 on third down (they were 0 of 3 on fourth down), the Jaguars were 6 of 15 on third down and the Colts kept the ball for 30:27 to Jacksonville’s 29:33.

In the week 10 Hoosier State showdown, the Colts were favored by 3 and covered, winning by 3 and both teams covered the 46 1/2 over/under with 55 points. The Colts were favored in the week 13 rematch in Jacksonville by 4 and while the Jaguars covered, winning by 6, the 47 over/under stayed safe as Jacksonville’s two field goals were all of the scoring in the contest. Indianapolis is favored by 3 and the over/under’s 44. Both teams are chasing the Texans for first place in the AFC South and the winner is a bit closer, while the loser isn’t out but will have a little more work to do. Colts cover the 3 and win back home again in Indiana.

Denver (3-6) at Minnesota (7-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. One team returns from their bye week, the other came away with a close win on the road last Sunday night. Minnesota returns to the Land of 10,000 Lakes to take on the Denver Broncos at US Bank Stadium.

Denver returns to action after their bye week, shutting down Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns 24-19 at Empower Field at Mile High two Sundays ago. Denver led 17-12 at the break and took a 24-12 lead with them to the fourth quarter before the Browns made things a bit closer than Broncos fans would like when Josh Landry and Mayfield connected on a 9-yard TD toss with 10:47 left in regulation. Denver would then hold off a late Browns rally late in the contest as Cleveland would get the ball back with 7:21 left in the contest and would get as close as Denver’s 28 yard line before being stopped. The Broncos then restored some order and ran out the clock to take the win in the Rocky Mountains.

Denver out-rushed Cleveland 127-90 (Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay would lead all rushers with 92 yards and a TD) and Brock Allen threw for 193 yards and three TDs, while Mayfield led the Browns with 273 yards and the Landry TD (neither man threw an interception; Mayfield was sacked twice and Allen was sacked three times). Denver was 3 of 9 on third down and kept the ball for 24:30, while the Browns actually ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 35:30, going 6 of 15 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

The Vikings held off a late Dallas rally in the fourth quarter, edging the Cowboys 28-28 at AT&T Stadium Sunday night. Minnesota led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, before Dallas would wind up tying the contest up with 1:54 when Randall Cobb caught a 22-yard TD pass from Dak Prescott before the Vikings took things into the intermission when Dan Bailey connected on a 26-yard field as the first half came to an end. Bailey would add a second field goal against his former club halfway through the third quarter before the Cowboys reclaimed the lead when WR Amari Cooper and Prescott connected on a 12-yard TD strike. Minnesota would reclaim the lead for keeps with 2 seconds left in the third when Delvin Cook ran in from 2 yards, then Vikings QB Kirk Cousins and TE Kyle Rudolph connected on the 2-point try. Dallas would make the contest a 4-point affair with 10 minutes left in the contest when Brett Maher connected on a 23-yard boot.

Dallas got the ball back after a Vikings punt with 17 seconds in the contest and no time outs. Prescott used two short passes to TE Blake Jarwin, getting them on the Vikings’ side of the 50-yard line but Cowboys fans would see their hopes dashed when Prescott was picked off by Javon Kearse in the end zone to end the contest. Minnesota out-rushed Dallas 153-50, with Cook leading all rushers with 97 yards and the third quarter TD, Prescott threw for 397 yards and three TDs with a sack and the interception, while Cousins threw for 220 yards with two TDs, both to Rudolph. Dallas was 9 of 16 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:33 (including the final 17 seconds of the contest), while the Vikings ruled the clock, holding the ball for 33:27, going 8 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The series? All tied at 7-7. Denver has outscored the Vikings 316-305 and have won the last three meetings in the series, including a 23-20 win in the Mile High City in 2015; Minnesota’s last win in the series came in the Twin Cities in 2003 by a final of 28-20. Minnesota’s favored by 10 and the over/under’s 39. This one may not meet the criteria to be “Drill Worthy” but it could be somewhat entertaining. Minnesota wins in the Land of 10,000 Lakes but expect the Broncos to make things closer than 10 points.

New York Jets (2-7) at Washington (1-8), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. They have a combined record of 3-15 and sit in last place in their respective divisions. A pair of struggling teams meet in Landover as Washington hosts the New York Jets at Fed Ed Field.

GangGreen led their fellow Met Life Stadium tenant the New York Giants 14-13 at the half last Sunday, then floored the gas in the second half, taking a 34-27 win over Big Blue. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! would outscore the Giants 20-14 in the final 30 minutes of play, erasing a 27-24 deficit in the process. Jets RB LeVeon Bell would give GangGreen the lead back and for good early in the fourth quarter, scoring from a yard away to reclaim the lead. The contest was not much of a rushing affair and neither club breached the 100-yard barrier but GangGreen did out-rush Big Blue 76-23, with Jets QB Sam Darnold throwing for 230 yards with a TD, while the Giants’ Daniel Jones threw for 308 yards with four TDs (Jones would be sacked six times, Darnold was sacked twice; neither threw an interception). The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 4 of 13 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and played keep-away with the ball, holding the clock for 30:44, while Big Blue, keeping the ball for 29:16, went 8 of 18 on third down and 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Washington comes back from their bye after they were held to three Dustin Hopkins field goals in Buffalo, with the Bills coming away 24-9 winners in upstate New York. The Bills took a 13-6 lead with them to the locker room at the half, then took control of things in the final 30 minutes of play, holding Washington to a third quarter field goal. The lone bright spot for Washington was that they did out-rush Buffalo 127-122 with Redskins RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 108 yards and Denvin Singletary leading Buffalo with 95 yards and a TD. Dwayne Haskins, making his first NFL start, threw for 144 yards, while Josh Allen threw for 160 yards and a TD to Cole Beasley (Allen also had a rushing TD). Washington was 2 of 11 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:13

Washington leads the series 8-3 and have outscored the Jets 248-192. GangGreen has won the last two meetings, including a 34-20 win in the Meadowlands in 2015, while Washington’s last win in the series came in 2007 (also in the Meadowlands), as they would need overtime to take a 23-20 win. Washington’s favored by a point and the over/under’s 38. Take a pass on this one (unless you’re a fan of one of these teams). Washington fans have been saying “Hell, it’s the Redskins” of late. They won’t this Sunday. “Hail to the Redskins!” Washington covers at Landover and takes the win.

Buffalo (6-3) at Miami (2-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. They meet again and this time, it’s in Miami. AFC East foes Buffalo and Miami meet in the Sunshine State in a rematch from week seven in upstate New York.

A late Buffalo rally fell short as Cleveland edged the Bills 19-16 last Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium. Cleveland led 9-7 at the break, then trailed 16-12 with 1:44 left when WR Rashard Higgins and QB Baker Mayfield connected on a 7-yard TD toss. The Bills would get the ball back with the 1:44 left and made their way down the field to set up what they hoped would be the game-tying field goal that would send the contest into overtime but Stephen Hauschka’s 53-yard field goal try sailed wide left. Cleveland then got the ball back and ran out the clock to take the win.

Cleveland out-rushed Buffalo 147-84, with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading everyone with 116 yards; Mayfield threw for 238 yards and a pair of TDs (including the game winner), while Bills QB Josh Allen threw for 266 yards with a pair of rushing TDS (neither man threw an interception, Allen was sacked once, Mayfield was sacked twice). The Browns were 4 of 11 on third down (they went 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:46, while the Bills, keeping the ball for 28:14, went 5 of 13 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down.

Miami held off Indianapolis 16-12 at Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday. The Dolphins, picking up their second win in a row, led 10-0 at the intermission, then held off a late Colts rally in the closing seconds by using a pair of Jason Sanders field goals to come away with the win and stopping a Colts drive that would have given the home team the win. Indianapolis, who actually led 12-10 with 11:30 left in the contest on a 1-yard pass from Blaine Hoyer to TE Jack Doyle, out-rushed Miami 109-70 with Hoyer throwing for 204 yards and three interceptions, while Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 169 yard with an interception (Fitzpatrick was sacked three times, Hoyer was sacked once). Miami went 6 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 31:28, while the Colts, holding the ball for 28:32, went 5 of 13 on third down and 0 of 2 on fourth down.

They met in upstate New York in week seven and the Bills came away 31-21 winners at New Era Field. Miami led 14-9 at the half, then Buffalo took control of things in the fourth quarter (they played a scoreless third quarter) and outscored the ‘Fins 22-7 in the final 15 minutes of action. Josh Brown gave Buffalo the lead for keeps with 13:50 left in the contest when he and Allen connected on a 20-yard toss. Fitzpatrick would make it a 3-point contest with 1:45 left, then Dolphins fans would have their hopes and hearts shattered when S Micah Hyde returned the onside kick attempt 42 yards for Buffalo’s final TD. Buffalo out-rushed Miami 117-109 and Allen threw for 202 yards and a pair of TDs, while Fitzpatrick threw for 282 with a passing TD to go with his rushing score (Fitzpatrick threw an interception, while Allen was sacked twice). Miami was 7 of 13 on third down tries (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:31; as for Buffalo? They kept the pigskin for 26:29 and went 3 for 10 on third down tries.

The Bills were favored by 17 in upstate New York and Buffalo wound up winning by 10. As for the 52 combined points? It was more than enough to cover the 40 1/2 over/under. The Bills are favored again in the rematch in the Sunshine State, by 5 1/2 and the over/under’s 39 1/2. The Bills are looking to sweep the Dolphins for the first time since 2013, while the Dolphins are looking for revenge. Revenge wins out in the Sunshine State. Miami may not cover the 5 1/2 but they do take the win at home.

Arizona (3-6-1) at San Francisco (8-1), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. They meet again. A pair of NFC West rivals renew accquaintaces, this time in wine country as San Francisco hosts Arizona in Santa Clara at Levis’ Stadium. Both took losses in last week’s action.

A last-second rally by the Cardinals fell short as Tampa Bay held them off last Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, taking a 30-27 win over the Desert Angry Birds last Sunday in the Sunshine State. Arizona trailed 17-13 at the intermission in the battle of Heisman winners, then erased that deficit to take a 27-23 lead with 7:22 when WR Christian Kirk caught a 15-yard TD pass from Kyler Murray. Tampa Bay would reclaim the lead for good with 1:43 left in regulation, using a 6-play, 92-yard drive that used 1:57 of clock and ended with a 1-yard TD run by Peyton Barber. The Buccaneers would then stop a late Arizona rally in its tracks to take the win in the Sunshine State.

Tampa Bay out-rushed the Desert Angry Birds 118-75 and Murray threw for 324 yards and a pair of TDs (he was sacked twice and threw an interception), while Winston threw for 358 yards with four sacks and a pair of interceptions to go with a TD toss. Tampa Bay went 7 of 15 on third down in the Sunshine State and kept the ball for 36:03, while the Desert Angry Birds went a somewhat dismal 1 of 10 on third down (they were 2 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:57, including the final 1:43 of the contest.

San Francisco fell out of the ranks of the unbeaten last Monday night against Seattle, blowing a chance to win over their NFC West foes in overtime at Levis’ Stadium and fell to the Seahawks 27-24. The 49ers led Seattle 10-7 at the half before the Seahawks took control of things in the third quarter, scoring 14 points in that frame unchallenged when Javeon Clowney recovered a fumble, returning it 10 yards for a TD and added a 1-yard run by Chris Carson for a 21-10 lead. San Francisco would storm back in the final 15 minutes of action in regulation and tied things up with one second left on a Chris McLaughlin field goal from 47 yards.

Seattle would get the ball in the overtime and made their way down the field in hopes of ending the contest with a TD but Russell Wilson was picked off by LB Dre Greenlaw, who ran the ball back to Seattle’s 49-yard line, ending the drive. The 49ers then had a chance to send their fans home happy but the football gods were not going the 49ers way, as the drive stalled and McLaughlin missed a 47-yard try that would have ended the contest.

The Seahawks got the ball back and San Francisco held them in check, forcing a Seattle punt. San Francisco could not do anything after three Jimmy Garapollo passes went incomplete. The 49ers punted the ball back to Seattle with 85 seconds left in the extra period and Seattle made sure the 49ers would never see the pigskin again, using a 7-play, 40-yard drive that took 85 seconds of clock and ended when Jason Myers connected on a 42-yard field goal to end the 49ers’ bid for a perfect season. Seattle out-rushed San Francisco 147-87, with Carson leading all rushers with 89 yards and the TD. Wilson threw for 232 yards in the overtime contest, while Garapollo threw for 248 yards (both threw a TD, both were sacked five times and both threw an interception) in the Monday night affair. San Francisco went 6 for 15 on third down tries in Santa Clara (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:41, while Seattle kept the ball for 35:19, while going 7 for 15 on third down tries.

They met in week nine in the desert and the 49ers hung on to take the 28-25 win at State Farm Stadium. San Francisco led 21-7at the intermission, then held off a late Arizona rally in the final quarter to take the Thursday night win. Arizona out-rushed San Francisco 153-101, with Cardinals RB Kenyon Drake leading the way with 110 yards and a rushing TD, while San Francisco was led by Matt Breida with 78. Garoppolo threw for 317 yards and four TDs (connecting with Emanuel Sanders and George Kittle on two of the tosses, he was sacked once), while Murray threw for 241 yards with a pair of TDs and three sacks (neither threw an interception). San Francisco was 11 of 17 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:31, while the Desert Angry Birds kept the ball for 25:29, going 2 of 8 on fourth down.

In the week nine contest in the desert, the 49ers were favored by 10 but won by only 3. The two teams did manage to cover the 43 over/under with 53 points. San Francisco’s favored by 11 in the rematch in wine country and the over/under’s 45. History has a strange way of repeating itself, the 49ers are not in a good mood after Monday and they’re looking to take it out on the Desert Angry Birds. The 49ers may not cover the 11 but they’ll complete the sweep of the series at home by taking the win over Arizona.

New England (8-1) at Philadelphia (5-4), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. They last met in Super Bowl 52 and the Eagles swooped away with the Lombardi. This time, both teams are coming off bye weeks and both are still in the hunt. The Eagles and Carson Wentz host Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in a late afternoon contest at Lincoln Financial Field.

Brady and the Patriots were taken to task by Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in Charm City 37-20 two Sundays ago. New England trailed 17-13 at the intermission, then watched the wheels come off as the Ravens would give the defending Super Bowl champs their first loss by outscoring New England 20-7 in the second half of action. Baltimore out-rushed New England 210-74 with Ravens RB Mark Ingram leading everyone with 115 yards and QB Lamar Jackson threw for 163 yards with a passing TD and had a rushing TD, while Brady threw for 285 yards and a TD toss to Mohammed Sanu (Brady was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Jackson was sacked once). New England was 5 of 13 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 22:59, while the Ravens ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 37:01, while going 5 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Wentz and Philadelphia took care of Chicago 22-14 at Lincoln Financial Field two Sundays ago in the City of Brotherly Love. A pair of Jake Elliott field goals and a Wentz TD pass to TE Zack Ertz gave the Eagles a 12-0 lead at the intermission. Eagles RB Jordan Howard would give the Eagles a 19-0 lead with 10:37 left in the third before Chicago’s David Montgomery would score a pair of TDs on 1-yard runs to pull them to within five before Elliot would push the lead back to eight and sealed the contest with 25 seconds left, booting a 38-yard field for the contest’s final points. Howard led all rushers with 82 yards as the Eagles out-rushed Chicago 146-62 and Wentz threw for 239 yards with the TD toss to Ertz, while Mitch Trubisky threw for 125 yards (neither Wentz or Trubisky threw an interception; Wentz was sacked four times, Trubisky was sacked three times). Philadelphia went 8 of 18 on third down (the Eagles were perfect in their only fourth down try) and the Eagles were stingy with the clock, as they kept the ball for 40:18, while Chicago kept the ball for 19:42, going 2 for 10 on third down.

The Eagles lead the series 7-5 and have outscored the Pats 283-269. Their last regular season meeting came in 2015 in Foxboro and the Eagles left Gillette Stadium 35-28 winners, while New England’s last win came in the City of Brotherly Love in 2011 by a final of 38-20.

Given that there’s a history between these two clubs, it’s only fair that this one becomes “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

The odds makers like the Patriots as 3 1/2-point favorites in the City of Brotherly Love and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Both numbers make this one well worth your time to watch Sunday afternoon. New England’s looking to avoid losing two in a row; as for the Eagles, they want to let the Patriots know that the Super Bowl win was not a fluke. Philadelphia probably won’t cover the 3 1/2 but they do take the win in the City of Brotherly Love.

Cincinnati (0-8) at Oakland (5-4), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders host the winless Cincinnati Bengals on the West Coast in a late afternoon AFC contest.

The Bengals were taken to task 49-13 by Baltimore at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati trailed from start to finish in the their eighth loss in a row and trailed 28-10 at the intermission. Baltimore then proceeded to score 21 third quarter points unchallenged to seal the Bengals’ fate. While Cincinnati out-rushed Baltimore 157-136 with Bengals RB Joe Mixon leading the way with 114 yards, Lamar Jackson burned the Bengals for 223 yards and three TDs and had a rushing TD of his own, while backup QB Ryan Finley, who took over after Andy Dalton was benched, threw for 167 yards and a TD (Jackson was not sacked or threw an interception, Finley threw a pick and was sacked twice). Baltimore on third down tries went 4 of 6 (the Ravens were perfect in their only fourth down attempt) and kept the ball for 23:49, while the Bengals actually ruled the clock and held the ball for 36:11, going 7 of 15 on third down, 1 of 4 on fourth down.

The Silver and Black held off a late Philip Rivers rally in Oakland and came away 26-24 winners at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum over the Los Angeles Chargers. Oakland held a 17-14 lead at the break before the Chargers took over after a 27-yard field goal by Michael Badgley with 25 seconds left in the third and a 6-yard TD toss from Rivers to RB Austin Ekeler to lead 24-20 with 4:02 left in the contest. Oakland reclaimed the lead for keeps, using a 3-minute drive that used 10 plays and 75 yards when RB Josh Jacobs scored on an 18-yard run. Los Angeles would get the ball back on the ensuing kickoff with 62 seconds left and made their way down the field and got themselves as close as Oakland’s 30-yard line, when Rivers was picked off by Karl Joseph to end the threat.

The Chargers out-rushed Oakland 146-78 in the Thursday night affair in northern California, with Chargers RB Melvin Gordon leading the way with 108 yards and a TD (Jacobs led Oakland 71). Carr threw for 218 yards with a TD, while Rivers threw for 207 yards and a pair of TDs (Rivers was sacked five times and threw three interceptions, including the one that ended Los Angeles’ hopes, while Carr was sacked three times without an interception). Oakland was 4 of 12 on third down tries (they had one fourth down try and had success) and kept the ball for 25:50, while the Chargers were the rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 34:10, going 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Including games played in Los Angeles and at old Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field, the Raiders lead the series 18-11 and have outscored the Bengals 659-577. However…. the Bengals have come away winners in the last three meetings, including taking down the Silver and Black 30-16 last year at Paul Brown Stadium (Oakland’s last win in the series came in 2009 in Oakland by a final of 20-17).

The week 15 contest along the shores of the Ohio River saw the Bengals take a 20-7 at the intermission, then hold off a late Oakland rally to take the win at home. Mixon led all rushers with 129 yards and a pair of TDs as the Bengals outrushed Oakland 171-68 and Jeff Driskell, taking over for Dalton, threw for 130 yards with a sack and an interception, while Carr threw for 263 yards with five sacks (each threw a TD pass, Driskell threw an interception). Although the Bengals were 8 of 19 on third down tries at Paul Brown Stadium, they were 2 of 2 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 33:19, while the Raiders, holding on to the pigskin for 26:41, went 3 of 14 on third down.

Cincinnati was favored by 3 1/2 in the week 15 contest and the Bengals covered, winning by 14 and both clubs BARELY covered the 45 1/2 over/under, tallying 46. Oakland’s favored by 10 1/2 on the West Coast and the over/under’s 48 1/2. The over/under is reasonable, the 10 1/2? It leaves one scratching their heads. Cincinnati’s bad but not 10 1/2 bad. Oakland takes this one at home but we can expect the Bengals to make things a lot closer than the 10 1/2.

Chicago (4-5) at Los Angeles Rams (5-4), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. The Windy City meets sunnny California as Chicago travels to Los Angeles for a Sunday night prime time contest with the Rams at the Coliseum.

A late Los Angeles rally in Pittsburgh fell short as the Steelers hung on to give the Rams a 17-12 loss at Heinz Field. Although the Steelers led 14-7 at the intermission in the Steel City, the Rams managed to outscore Pittsburgh 5-3 in the last 30 minutes of action and trailed by only 2 with 12:40 left in the contest when Steelers QB Mason Rudolph was sacked by Aaron Donald in the end zone for a safety before Chris Boswell connected on a 32-yard field goal with 2:46 left in regulation to give the home team a little more breathing room. After the teams exchanged the ball on punts, the Rams would get it back with 61 seconds left in an attempt to take a win on the road. Los Angeles would get as close as their 42-yard line, thanks to two penalties and their hopes of winning would come to an end when Mike Fitzpatrick intercepted Jarod Goff to seal the win.

Los Angeles did manage to out-rush the Steelers 88-42 with Rams RB Todd Gurley leading the way with 73 yards, while Rudolph threw for 242 yards and a TD; Goff threw for 243 yards with a pair of interceptions (Goff was sacked four times, Rudolph was sacked three times, including the sack for the Rams’ safety). The Steelers were 5 of 13 on third down conversions (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:40, while the Rams were a dismal 1 of 14 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 28:20.

Da Bears erased a 6-0 deficit against NFC North rival Detroit as they stormed back to take a 20-13 win at Soldier Field last Sunday. The Lions took that 6-0 lead with a pair of Matt Prahter field goals before the Monsters of the Midway would erase that lead with 25 seconds left before the break when Mitch Trubisky and TE Ben Braunecker connected on a 18-yard toss, taking the lead for keeps at that point. Trubisky would add 3rd quarter TD passes to Tarik Cohen and Taylor Gabriel to take the lead to 20-6 before Kenny Golladay and Jeff Driskell (taking over for Matthew Stafford – back) would put the Lions to within 7 with 5:53 left in the contest. After Detroit and Chicago exchanged punts, the Lions got the ball back with 1:41 and would get themselves as close as Chicago’s 25-yard line, where the drive and game ended.

Neither club breached the 100 yard barrier in the contest in the Windy City but Detroit did manage to outrush Chicago 98-81 and Driskell threw for 269 yards with the TD, while he was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Trubisky accounted for the three TDs with 173 yards of passing and five sacks. Detroit was 7 for 18 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and including the final 1:41 of the contest, kept the ball for 31:54, while the Bears kept the ball for 28:06, going 2 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including contests that were played in Cleveland, St. Louis, Anahiem, Champaign-Urbana and Wrigley Field, Da Bears lead the series 53-35-3, have outscored the Rams 2,116-1,829 and have won the last contests, including a 15-6 win last year in the Windy City (the Rams’ last win in the series came in 2013 in St. Louis by a final of 42-21).

They met at Soldier Field in week 14 on a Sunday night (game time temperature, for those that are interested? A balmy 29 degrees with a 25-degree wind chill) and the first half was a field goal contest as Chris Parkey and Greg Zuerlein each kicked a pair of field goals to send their teams into the locker room tied at 6-6. Chicago then went to work in the second half, getting a safety courtesy of nose tackle Eddie Goldman and a 2-yard TD toss from Trubisky to OL Bradley Sowell on a tackle-eligible play. Chicago outrushed the Rams 194-52 and RB Jordan Howard led all rushers with 101 yards; Trubisky, despite being picked off three times, threw for 110 yards with the third-quarter TD, while Goff threw for 180 yards with four picks (Trubisky was sacked once, Goof was sacked three times). Chicago was 7 of 16 on third down conversions and the Monsters of the Midway kept the pigskin for 36:49, while the Rams, who held on to the ball for 23:11, went 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

In the week 14 Sunday night affair, the Rams were favored by 3 and the Monsters of the Midway covered, winning by 9 but the 52 1/2 over/under stayed intact, as both teams merged for only 21 points. The odds makers in Vegas like the Rams and they are favored by 7 with a 41 1/2 over/under. Both numbers make a ton of sense and both clubs are in the playoff hunt, trying to catch Green Bay and San Francisco respectively. This will be closer than the 7 but the Rams prevail in Hollywood, taking the win.

Kansas City (6-4) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (4-6) at Stadio Azteca in Mexico City, 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Forget the records. A pair of AFC West/AFL rivals meet south of the border as Patrick Mahomes and first-place Kansas City takes on the Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers in Mexico City to close out play in week 11. Both teams are looking for wins after close losses on the road last week.

Kansas City had a chance to send their contest with Tennessee into overtime last Sunday in Nashville but Harrison Butker’s 52-yard attempt as time expired was blocked by Titans DB Joshua Kalu and came up on the short end of a 35-32 loss in Nashville. Tennessee and Kansas City went into the intermission tied at 13-13 before the Chiefs took a 32-27 lead when Butker connected on a 39-yard field goal with 3:14 left in the contest. Tennessee did not waste a lot of time on their drive to reclaim the lead, getting the ball back with 81 seconds after a Chiefs’ field goal try failed, using 4 plays, 61 yards and 58 seconds to reclaim the lead when WR Adam Humphries and Ryan Tannehill connected on a 23-yard TD toss. Tannehill then took matters into his own feet when he scored on the two-point conversion.

The Chiefs were not going away and got the ball back with 23 seconds left in the contest and made their way down the field, getting as close as Tennessee’s 34-yard and stayed there after Mahomes threw an incompletion, setting the Chiefs up for what they hoped would be the score that would have sent the contest into overtime. Chiefs fans would get their hearts broken as Kalu broke through the line, blocked the kick and ended the Chiefs threat.

Tennessee’s Derrek Henry led all rushers with 188 yards and a pair of TDs as the Titans outrushed Kansas City 225-97 and Mahomes threw for 446 and three TDs (connecting with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce on two of the passes), while Tannehill threw for 181 yards and a pair of TDs (including the game-winner) to go with his two-point try (neither threw an interception; Mahomes was sacked twice, while Tannehill was sacked four times). Kansas City was 7 of 14 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:51, including the final 23 seconds of the game, while the Titans, keeping the ball for 22:09, went 2 of 8 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

A late rally by Rivers and the Chargers fell short in Oakland two Thursdays ago as Oakland came away 26-24 winners at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Oakland held a 17-14 lead at the break before the Chargers took over after a 27-yard field goal by Michael Badgley with 25 seconds left in the third and a 6-yard TD toss from Rivers to RB Austin Ekeler to lead 24-20 with 4:02 left in the contest. Oakland reclaimed the lead for keeps, using a 3-minute drive that used 10 plays and 75 yards when RB Josh Jacobs scored on an 18-yard run. Los Angeles would get the ball back on the ensuing kickoff with 62 seconds left and made their way down the field and got themselves as close as Oakland’s 30-yard line, when Rivers was picked off by Karl Joseph to end the threat.

The Chargers outrushed Oakland 146-78 in the Thursday night affair in northern California, with Chargers RB Melvin Gordon leading the way with 108 yards and a TD (Jacobs led Oakland 71). Carr threw for 218 yards with a TD, while Rivers threw for 207 yards and a pair of TDs (Rivers was sacked five times and threw three interceptions, including the one that ended Los Angeles’ hopes, while Carr was sacked three times without an interception). Oakland was 4 of 12 on third down tries (they had one fourth down try and had success) and kept the ball for 25:50, while the Chargers were the rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 34:10, going 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Including games played in Dallas (when the Chiefs were known as the Texans), at Swope Field and Qualcomm Stadium, Kansas City leads the series 61-55-1 and have outscored the Bolts 2,586-2,363. Each team won contests in the other’s facility, spliting the series last year.

The two AFC West/AFL rivals didn’t wait long as they opened the 2018 campaign in Los Angeles in week one, with Kansas City coming away 38-28 winners. Tyreek Hill caught a pair of TD passes from Mahomes and opened the scoring in the contest with a 91-yard punt return. Mahomes threw for 256 yards and four TD tosses in the contest, even though the Chiefs were outrushed by the Chargers 123-106 and Rivers threw for 424 yards and three TDs (both Rivers and Mahomes were sacked once, with Rivers throwing an interception). Kansas City was 4 of 10 on third down and held on to the ball for 25:34, while the Chargers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:26, while going 3 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Chargers got their revenge in the rematch at Arrowhead in week 15, rallying late in the contest to come away 29-28 winners. Los Angeles trailed 14-7 at the intermission and found themselves trailing 21-14 at the end of three quarters before outscoring Kansas City 15-7 in the final quarter. Justin Jackson put the Chargers to within seven with 3:49 left when he scored from 3 yards out. After the Chargers got the ball back on a Chiefs’ punt, they would use an 8-play, 60-yard drive that took 2:33 of clock, capping it when WR Mike Williams and Rivers connected on a 1-yard TD toss with 4 seconds left in the contest.

Los Angeles outrushed Kansas City 119-60 and Rivers threw for 313 yards, while Mahomes threw for 243 yards (both threw a pair of TDs; Mahomes was sacked twice, Rivers was sacked five times and threw an interception) for the Chiefs. Both clubs were 6 of 10 on third down (the Chargers were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Chargers kept the ball for 33:16 to Kansas City’s 26:44.

In the season opener on the West Coast, the Chargers were favored by 3 1/2 and the Chiefs covered, winning by 10 and both teams took care of the 42 1/2 over/under by tallying 66 points. As for the week 15 contest on a Thursday night in Arrowhead? The Chiefs were favored by 3 1/2 but the Chargers won by 1 and both clubs tallied 57 points, covering the 53 over/under. The boys and girls in Vegas think highly of the Chiefs and they’re favored by 3 1/2 with a 52 1/2 over/under. Both come into the Monday night contest south of the border with losses under their belts from last week and both want to keep their place in the AFC West. You might want to tape “All Rise” and “Bull” this week. Chiefs recover from their loss in Nashville and wins in Mexico City, covering the 3 1/2.

The San Francisco 49ers and the cheese in the nursery rhyme “The Farmer In The Dell” have one thing in common.

They both stand alone.

The 49ers, atop the NFC West mountain at 8-0, stand alone as the only remaining unbeaten team in the NFL. San Francisco picked up that honor Sunday night after New England found themselves being taken to task by the Baltimore Ravens in Charm City.

On the other side of the NFL spectrum, the Cincinnati Bengals remain the lone winless team after Miami took care of AFC East foe Miami in the Sunshine State Sunday afternoon to pick up their first win.

The 2019 NFL season is at the halfway point and for teams that are contending, it’s their time to make more noise and distance themselves from everyone else; for those that are chasing, it’s time to step things up.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated Sunday’s Atlanta-New Orleans matchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest is a nod to the momentous 2006 Saints home-opener, when the team sparked the resurgence of a community devastated by Hurricane Katrina. In an electrifying moment at the Superdome on September 25, 2006, Steve Gleason blocked a first-quarter punt and Curtin DeLoatch recovered the ball in the end zone, an uplifting initial score in the city’s first regular-season game since December 26, 2004. Buoyed by the win, the 3-0 Saints advanced to the NFC Championship game and three years later won the Super Bowl. The game also marked the first home contest in the New Orleans career of the NFL’s all-time passing-yards leader, Drew Brees

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL: Through the first nine weeks of the 2019 season, four teams – Buffalo (6-2), Green Bay (7-2), Minnesota (6-3) and San Francisco (8-0) – are in playoff position after missing the postseason a year ago. From 1990-2018 – a streak of 29 consecutive years – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before. In 2018, seven of the 12 playoff teams missed the postseason the year before.

DIVISION-WINNING REBOUNDS: The NFL in 2002 expanded to 32 teams and realigned into eight divisions. Since that time, at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 15 of the past 16 years. Heading into Week 10, two teams – Green Bay in the NFC North and San Francisco in the NFC West – lead their respective divisions after missing the postseason in 2018.

Teams to win their divisions a season after missing the playoffs over the last 16 seasons:

SEASON – NEW DIVISION WINNERS AFTER MISSING POSTSEASON THE PRIOR SEASON
2018 – Baltimore, Chicago*, Dallas, Houston*
2017 – Jacksonville*, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans, Minnesota, Philadelphia*
2016 – ATLANTA, Dallas*
2015 – Houston, Minnesota, Washington*
2014 – Dallas, Pittsburgh
2013 – Carolina*, Philadelphia*
2012 – Washington*
2011 – Denver*, Houston*, New York Giants, San Francisco
2010 – ATLANTA, Chicago, Kansas City*, Pittsburgh, Seattle
2009 – Cincinnati, Dallas, New England, New Orleans*
2008 – Arizona, Carolina, Miami*, Minnesota
2007 – Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay*
2006 – Baltimore*, New Orleans*, Philadelphia*, San Diego Chargers
2005 – Chicago*, Cincinnati, New York Giants, Tampa Bay*
2004 – ATLANTA*, Pittsburgh, San Diego*
2003 – Baltimore, Carolina*, Kansas City*, New England, St. Louis Rams
*Worst to first

SEVEN-WIN SUPERLATIVES: Entering Week 10, five teams – Green Bay (7-2), New England (8-1), New Orleans (7-1), San Francisco (8-0) and Seattle (7-2) – have at least seven wins, the most through the first nine weeks since the 1990 season (five teams). In total, 10 teams have at least six victories, the most through the first nine weeks of a season since 1986 (11 teams).

NINERS REMAIN UNBLEMISHED, SEAHAWKS UP NEXT: For the first time in NFL history, San Francsico (8-0) is the league’s last remaining undefeated team at least eight games into a season. San Francisco, which finished last season 4-12 and selected DL Nick Bosa with the second-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, is off to its best start since opening 10-0 in 1990. This week, the 49ers host a divisional contest with key playoff implications against NFC West rival Seattle (7-2) Monday night in Santa Clara.

The Seahawks-49ers matchup is the first meeting between divisional opponents that have combined for two or fewer losses in Week 10 or later since November 17, 2013, when Denver (8-1) hosted Kansas City (9-0) in an AFC West showdown. San Francisco is the second team in NFL history to finish with a winning percentage of .250 or below and rebound to win its first eight games of the following season. In 2013, Kansas City opened 9-0 after going 2-14 (.125) in the 2012 season.

Last week in the Seahawks’ 40-34 overtime victory against Tampa Bay, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson notched his 90th win as a starter, including the postseason. On Monday night, he can surpass Ben Roethlisberger (90) for second-most quarterback wins over his first eight seasons in the Super Bowl era. Only Tom Brady (100) had more.

Including the 49ers’ berth in Super Bowl XLVII after the 2012 season, the NFC West has produced four of the last seven NFC Super Bowl representatives. Seattle and San Francisco accounted for three of those appearances, while the LOS ANGELES RAMS were the latest division entry in Super Bowl LIII last season. Since the beginning of that 2012 season, no other division has a better overall winning percentage.

The divisions with the best overall winning percentages since 2012:

DIVISION: W-L-T, PCT.
NFC West: 258-219-5, .540
NFC North: 247-230-5, .518
AFC West: 249-234-0, .516
AFC East: 247-234-0, .514

AFTER THE BYE: A season-high six NFL teams are on byes during Week 10 and every club will have taken its week off by the end of Week 12. On Sunday, two teams coming off their byes meet in an NFC South clash when Atlanta travels to play New Orleans. Since the beginning of the 2011 season, only Baltimore, fresh off a post-bye win over the Patriots in Week 9, have a better record after the bye.

The NFL teams with the best winning percentages in the game following the bye since 2011:

TEAM (W-L-T, PCT.)
Baltimore (7-2-0, .778)
ATLANTA (6-2-0, .750)
Denver (6-2-0, .750)
Houston (6-2-0, .750)
New Orleans (6-2-0, .750)
Buffalo (6-3-0, .667)
Detroit (6-3-0, .667)
Indianapolis (6-3-0, .667)
Pittsburgh (6-3-0, .667)

ANOTHER ROOKIE QUARTERBACK MAKES STARTING DEBUT: On Sunday when Baltimores meets Cincinnati, the Ravens (6-2) have an opportunity to match their best start in franchise history (7-2 in both 2006 and 2012). On the other sideline, quarterback Ryan Finley will make his first NFL start. Finley will become the sixth rookie to make his starting debut this season, joining Arizona’s Kyler Murray, Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew, Pittsburgh’s Delvin Hodges, the New York Giants’ Daniel Jones and Washington’s Dwyane Haskins.

Through the first nine weeks, 110 of 135 overall games (81.5 percent) have featured at least one quarterback under the age of 27, the most at this point in a season in league history. In total, quarterbacks under age 27 have started 146 games and recorded 76 wins (52.1 percent), both the most starts and wins by quarterbacks under the age of 27 through the first nine weeks of a season since at least 1970.

MOST GAMES STARTED BY QBS UNDER AGE 27, THROUGH WEEK 9

SEASON – GAMES
2019 – 146
1987 – 126
2013 – 126

MOST WINS BY STARTING QBS UNDER AGE 27, THROUGH WEEK 9

SEASON – WINS
2019 – 76
1984 – 64
2013 – 63

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK NINE: Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson completed 22 of 28 pass attempts (78.6 percent) for 201 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 120.4 rating in the Texans’ 26-3 win over the Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London. Watson is the third quarterback to throw at least two touchdowns and complete at least 75 percent of his passes in an international NFL game, joining Tom Brady (November 19, 2017) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (October 30, 2011).

Texans running back Carlos Hyde totaled 160 rushing yards in the win and joined Chris Ivory (166 rushing yards on October 4, 2015) as the only players with at least 150 rushing yards in an international NFL game.

Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen recorded a 110.4 passer rating and had both a passing and rushing touchdown in the Bills’ 24-9 victory over Washington. Allen, who is in his second NFL season, is the fourth quarterback to record at least 20 passing touchdowns and 12 rushing touchdowns in his first two seasons in league annals, joining Steve Grogan (29 passing, 15 rushing), Cam Newton (40 passing, 22 rushing) and Dak Prescott (45 passing, 12 rushing).

Carolina running back Christian McCaffery recorded 166 scrimmage yards (146 rushing, 20 receiving) and three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in the Panthers’ 30-20 win over Tennessee. McCaffrey, who has 1,244 scrimmage yards and 13 touchdowns this season, is the sixth player in NFL history and first since Priest Holmes (2002) with at least 1,200 scrimmage yards and 13 touchdowns in their team’s first eight games of a season.

Sunday marked McCaffrey’s sixth game of the season with at least 150 scrimmage yards and a touchdown, joining Jim Brown(1963) as the only players with six such performances in their team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history.
McCaffrey has seven games with both a rushing and receiving touchdown in his first three seasons, tied with Abner Haynes (1960-62) for the second-most such games in a player’s first three seasons in league annals. Only Chuck Foreman (eight games from 1974-75) had more.

Oakland rooking running back Josh Jacobs totaled 120 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the Raiders’ 31-24 win over Detroit. Jacobs is the first rookie since Cincinnati’s Ickey Woods (1988) to have at least two rushing touchdowns in three of his first eight career games. Rookie tight end Foster Moreau and rookie wide receiver Hunter Renfrow each recorded a touchdown reception on Sunday. Along with Jacobs’ two touchdowns, the Raiders are the first team since Seattle (November 22, 2015) to have rookies score all four touchdowns in a victory.

Pittsburgh wide receiver JuJU Smith-Schuster had three receptions, including his 200th career catch, in the Steelers’ 26-24 win over the Colts. At 22 years and 346 days old, Smith-Schuster is the first player to record 200 career receptions before his 23rd birthday in NFL history. The previous youngest player to reach 200 career receptions was Brandin Cooks (23 years and 77 days old).

Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill recorded six catches for 140 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown catch, in the Chiefs’ 26-23 win over Minnesota. Hill, who is in his fourth season, became the sixth player in NFL history to record at least 20 touchdowns of at least 40 yards in his first four seasons. The other five players are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Bob Hayes (24 touchdowns of at least 40 yards), Randy Moss (23), Jerry Rice (21), Lance Alworth (20) and Gale Sayers (20).

Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker made a game-tying 54-yard field goal with 2:30 remaining and converted a game-winning 44-yard attempt as time expired in the victory, becoming the first kicker since Martin Gramatica (October 27, 2002) to make a game-tying field goal of at least 50 yards and a field goal of at least 40 yards to put his team ahead for good with both coming in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter.

Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz, appearing in his 100th career game, had nine receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown in the Eagles’ 22-14 win over Chicago. Ertz has 483 career receptions, the third-most by a tight end through his first 100 games in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow, Sr. (497 receptions) and Jimmy Graham (485) had more.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 378 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 133.7 rating in the Seahawks’ 40-34 overtime victory against Tampa Bay. Wilson has 90 wins, including the postseason, since entering the NFL in 2012, tied with Ben Roethilsberger (90) for the second-most wins by a quarterback, including the postseason, in his first eight seasons in the Super Bowl era. Only Tom Brady (100) had more.

Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike EvansS had 12 receptions for 180 yards and a touchdown in Week 9. He joins A.J. Green (2016) and Wes Welker (2011) as the only players with at least eight receptions, 150 receiving yards and a touchdown in three of his team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history.

Denver quarterback Brandon Allen, making his first career start, threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end Noah Fant in the Broncos’ 24-19 win against Cleveland. Allen is the first quarterback with a touchdown pass of at least 75 yards in his first career start since Robert Griffin III (88-yard touchdown pass on September 9, 2012). Fant is the first rookie tight end with a touchdown reception of at least 75 yards since Tyji Armstrong on December 6, 1992 (81-yard touchdown catch).

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 10

RUNNING IT UP: Baltimore (6-2) enters Week 10 leading the NFL with an average of 204.9 rushing yards per game in 2019. Last week in their win over New England, quarterback Lamar Jackson, whose 637 rushing yards are the most by a quarterback through his team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history, rushed for 61 yards and two touchdowns, while running back Mark Ingram rushed for a season-high 115 yards. The team totaled 210 rushing yards in the victory – their seventh game with at least 150 rushing yards this season.

If Baltimore rushes for at least 150 yards on Sunday against Cincinnati, they would become the first team since the 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers to rush for at least 150 yards in eight of a team’s first nine games of a season since 1970.

The teams with the most games with at least 150 rushing yards in the first nine games of a season since 1970:

TEAM (SEASON, GAMES WITH 150+ RUSHING YARDS)
Pittsburgh (1976, 8)
New England (1974, 8)
Miami (1973, 8)#
Miami (1972, 8)#
Detroit (1971, 8)
Baltimore (2019, 7)*
*Through eight games
#Won Super Bowl

Overall, Baltimore has rushed for 1,639 yards – the most rushing yards through a team’s first eight games since the 2006 Atlanta Falcons (1,641) and the sixth-most through a team’s first eight games of a season since 1970.

In Week 6, Baltimore rushed for a season-high 269 yards against Cincinnati. If the Ravens rush for their season average (204.9) on Sunday in Cincinnati, they would move into the top five for most rushing yards in a team’s first nine games of a season since 1970.

The teams with the most rushing yards through their first nine games of a season since 1970:

TEAM (SEASON – RUSHING YARDS)
Buffalo (1975 – 1,958)
Pittsburgh (1976 – 1,886)
Miami (1972 – 1,868)#
Miami (1973 – 1,829)#
Chicago (1977 – 1,809)
Baltimore (2019 – 1,639)*
*Through eight games
#Won Super Bowl

TEN STARTS IN: Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray leads all NFC rookies in passing yards (2,229) and passer rating (89.2), while ranking second among all quarterbacks with 313 rushing yards in 2019. Earlier in the season, Murray – who was selected with the first-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft – became just the second quarterback to pass for at least 300 yards in each of his first two career games in NFL history.

On Sunday at Tampa Bay, Murray needs 271 passing yards to join Deshaun Watson (2017-18), Cam Newton (2011) and Daunte Culpepper (2000) as the only quarterbacks with at least 2,500 passing yards and 250 rushing yards in their first 10 career starts in NFL history.

The quarterbacks with at least 2,500 passing yards and 250 rushing yards in first 10 career starts in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, PASSING YARDS/RUSHING YARDS)
Deshaun Watson, Houston (2017-18; 2,843/414)
Cam Newton, Carolina (2011; 2,885/411)
Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota (2000; 2,562/358)
Kyler Murray, Arizona (2019; 2,229/313)*
*Through nine starts

SLING IT LIKE STAFFORD: Earlier this season, Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford became the first quarterback in NFL history to reach 40,000 career passing yards in fewer than 150 games. Over the past three weeks, Stafford leads the NFL in passing yards (1,112) and passing touchdowns (10) and has passed for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in each of his past three games.

Appearing in his 150th career game on Sunday at Chicago, Stafford needs at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns to tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warne (23 games) for the fourth-most games with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns in a player’s first 150 career games in NFL history.

The players with the most games with at least of 300 passing yards and three touchdowns in their first 150 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (GAMES WITH 300 YARDS & 3+ TD PASSES)
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay (31)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (27)
Dan Marino – Miami (26) HOF
Kurt Warner – St. Louis Rams and Arizona (23) HOF
Matthew Stafford – Detroit (22)*
*Through 149 games
HOF – Hall of Fame

UNSTOPPABLE FORCE: Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey leads the NFL with 1,244 scrimmage yards through eight games this season and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown (1963) as the only players to have at least 150 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in six of their team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history.

With 156 scrimmage yards on Sunday against Green Bay, McCaffrey would become the fourth player in NFL history with at least 1,400 scrimmage yards in their team’s first nine games of a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown (1,529 in 1963) and O.J. SIMPSON (1,518 in 1975), as well as Larry Brown (1,405 in 1972).

The players with the most scrimmage yards through their team’s first nine games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Jim Brown, Cleveland (1963 – 1,529) HOF
O.J. Simpson, Buffalo (1975 – 1,518) HOF
Larry Brown, Washington (1972 – 1,405)
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (1983 – 1,396) HOF
Tiki Barber, New York Giants (2004 – 1,391)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (2019 – 1,244)*
*Through eight games
HOF – Hall of Fame

CAN’T GUARD MIKE: Since entering the NFL in 2016, New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas leads the NFL with 394 receptions and ranks third with 4,662 receiving yards. This season, Thomas leads the league in receptions (73) and receiving yards (875) through the first nine weeks.

Appearing in his 56th career game on Sunday against Atlanta, Thomas needs six receptions to become the fastest player to reach 400 receptions in NFL history.

The players to reach 400 receptions in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES TO 400)
Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants (61)
Julio Jones, ATLANTA (64)
Jarvis Landry, Miami (64)
Keenan Allen, San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (66)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (55)*
*Has 394 career receptions

Thomas, who is currently in his fourth NFL season, needs seven receptions on Sunday to surpass JARVIS LANDRY (400) for the most receptions through a player’s first four seasons in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions in their first four seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RECEPTIONS)
Jarvis Landry, Miami (400)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (394)*
Anquan Boldin, Arizona (342)
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona (330)
A.J. Green, Cincinnati (329)
*In fourth season

Additionally, if Thomas has 125 receiving yards on Sunday, he would join Mike Evans (2014-17), A.J. Green (2011-14) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (1998-2001) as the only players to have at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first four seasons in NFL history.

PARTY IN THE BACKFIELD: Green Bay’s defense features the only pair of teammates in the NFL to each record at least eight sacks this season – linebackers Za’Darius Smith (8.5 sacks) and Preston Smith (8). On Sunday against Carolina, they can become the sixth pair of teammates to each record at least 10 sacks in their team’s first 10 games of a season since 1990.

The teammates to each record at least 10 sacks through their team’s first 10 games of a season since 1990:

SEASON – TEAM (PLAYER – SACKS; PLAYER – SACKS)
2014 – Buffalo (Marcell Dareus – 10; Mario Williams – 10)
2000 – Miami (Trace Armstrong – 12.5; Jason Taylor – 10) ^
2000 – Tampa Bay (Warren Sapp – 11.5; Marcus Jones – 10) ^
1998 – San Francisco (Chris Doleman – 11.5; Roy Barker – 11)
1992 – Kansas City (Derrick Thomas – 10.5; Neil Smith – 10.5) ^
2019 – Green Bay (Za’Darius Smith – 8.5; Preston Smith – 8)*
*Through nine games
^ Taylor, Sapp and Thomas are members of the Hall of Fame)

It was another week above the .500 mark pick wise, going 10-4 in week 9. For the season… 69-55. Byes this week? Washington, Philadelphia, New England, Houston, Jacksonville and Denver. Atlanta, New Orleans, Cincinnati and the Los Angeles Rams return to action this week. Week 10 began in northern California as Oakland held off a late Los Angeles Chargers rally Thursday night and ends in northern California in Santa Clara as the undefeated 49ers host NFC West rival Seattle on Monday night in wine country. Here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 10.

ATLANTA (1-7) at New Orleans (7-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. Southern rivals. The two cities don’t like each other. Same can be said for the teams and their fan bases. Chicken and waffles meets gumbo Sunday afternoon as the Atlanta Falcons look to restore some order as they face off against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Both teams return from their bye week.

Seattle survived a late rally by Atlanta and left Mercedes Benz Stadium 27-20 winners. The Seahawks led 24-0 at the half, then were outscored by Atlanta 20-3 in the final 30 minutes of action. Seattle outrushed the Falcons 151-69 and Seahawks RB Chris Carson led all rushers with 90 yards and a rushing TD and Wilson threw for 182 yards and a pair of TD passes to DK Metcalf (six catches for 100 yards), while Matt Schaub, filling in for Matt Ryan (ankle) threw for 460 yards and a TD pass to TE Austin Hooper and Atlanta’s Julio Jones led all recievers with 152 yards on 10 catches (both Wilson and Schaub were sacked twice and Schaub had an interception). Both clubs were 3 of 9 on third down and Atlanta was 1 of 1 on fourth down, as the Falcons, who lost their seventh game in a row, ruled the clock and held the ball for 30:47, while Seattle held on to the pigskin for 29:13.

New Orleans welcomed the return of Brees, then held Arizona to three Zane Gonzalez field goals as they came away 31-9 winners in the Big Easy two weeks ago. New Orleans trailed 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, then took over, leading 10-6 at the intermission and would outscored Arizona 21-3 in the final 30 minutes of play at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Arizona found themselves held to 40 yards of rushing, while the Saints tallied 137 (Saints RB Latavius Murray led all rushers with 102 yards and a TD), Brees threw for 373 yards and three TDs without a sack (he was picked off once), while Kyler Murray threw for 220 yards with three sacks. New Orleans went 7 of 12 on third down and kept the ball to themselves, ruling the clock for 37:59, while the Desert Angry Birds were 2 of 12 on third down (they went 0 of 2 on fourth down) and held the ball for 22:01.

Atlanta leads the series 51-48 and the Falcons have outscored New Orleans 2,200-2,099. The Saints did sweep last year’s series (Atlanta’s last win came in 2017, when they won a Thursday night contest in the Big Peach by a final of 20-17; Atlanta’s last win in the Big Easy came in 2016, when they left the Superdome 45-32 winners).

Meeting number one… week three in the Big Peach. Calvin Ridley scored three TDs in their first meeting at Mercedes Benz Stadium but it was not enough as the Saints rallied in regulation and came away 43-37 overtime winners. New Orleans led 16- 14 at the half before Atlanta would take control of things in the final 30 minutes of regulation, leading 30-37 with 6:58 left when Ryan and Mohamed Sanu connected on a 5-yard TD toss.

That lead would evaporate as the Saints went on an 11-play, 81-yard drive that used 5:43 of clock and tied the contest when Brees scored from seven yards away. New Orleans would win the toss in overtime and the Falcons would never see the ball again, as the Saints went on another long drive, this time using a 15-play driver, using 80 yards of field and 7:05 of clock as Brees would score the game-winner with 2:55 left in the extra period. The Saints thought they has scored earlier when Brees threw a pass to Alvin Kamara and thought they had scored a TD. The original call that said Kamara broke the plane was reversed and Brees would take matters into his own hands and feet, scoring the game winner.

New Orleans outrushed Atlanta 143-48 and Brees threw for 396 yards and three TD tosses, while Ryan threw for 374 yards and five TDs (Ryan connected with Ridley on three of those tosses; Ryan was sacked three times, Brees was sacked once and neither threw an interception). Atlanta went 4 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 29:20, while the Saints were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 37:45 (including the overtime), going 7 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Meeting number two… the Big Easy on Thanksgiving night in week 12 and the Saints completed the sweep, leaving the Mercedes Benz Superdome 31-17 winners. New Orleans led 17-3 at the intermission and never looked back, even though both clubs played even football in the second half. Atlanta was held to 26 yards rushing, while the Saints ran for 150 yards with Alvin Kamara leading the way for all rushers with 89 yards. Ryan threw for 377 yards, throwing TDs to Tevin Coleman and Clarence Ridley (Ryan was sacked six times), while Brees threw for yards and four TDs with a sack (each threw an interception). Atlanta on third down was 5 of 15 but they were successful on fourth down, going 4 of 6 and actually hoarded time, as they kept the ball for 30:59, while the Saints kept the ball for 29:01, going 5 of 11 on third down.

Atlanta was favored by 3 in the week three contest in the Big Peach and the Saints covered the spread, winning by 6 and the 80 combined points was more than enough to cover the 53 over/under. In the week 12 Thanksgiving night contest in the Big Easy, the Saints covered the 13-point spread, winning by 14. As for the 59 1/2 over/under? Intact, as both clubs combinied for 48 total points. The Saints are favored by 12 1/2 in the Big Easy and the over/under’s 51. Sorry, Saints fans… your hearts are about to be broken. Atlanta may not cover the 12 1/2 but they march out of the Big Easy with the road win.

Detroit (3-4-1) at Chicago (3-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of NFC North rivals meet in the Windy City as Chicago and Detroit both meet at Solider Field with losses on the road under their belts.

Oakland held off a late Detroit rally last Sunday on the other side of San Francisco Bay, as the Lions fell short 31-24 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Lions watched Oakland take a 17-10 lead with them to the break on the West Coast, then chip away at that lead as the Lions would tie things up at 17-17 on a Matt Prater field goal from 23 yards out with 4:45 left in the third. Oakland then reclaimed the lead in the fourth quarter, as Carr and rookie TE Foster Moreau connected on a 3-yard TD toss to lead by 7, then clung to that lead until the Lions and Matthew Stafford and WR Josh McKissic connected on a 26-yard TD pass to re-tie the contest. Oakland would then get the final word in the contest, first with Carr and WR Hunter Renfrow connecting on a 9-yard TD pass with 2:04 left in the contest, then held off a late Detroit rally as the Lions would get to the Raiders’ 1-yard line before Stafford’s pass attempt to TE Logan Thomas fell short.

oakland outrushed Detroit 171-90 and rookie RB Josh Jacobs led all rushers with 120 yards and a pair of TDs in the win, Carr threw for 289 yards and a pair of TDS (including the game-winner), while Stafford threw for 406 yards and three TDs (Stafford was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Carr was sacked once). Oakland was 7 of 13 on third down tries and the Raiders held the ball for 32:50, while the Lions kept the ball for 27:10, going 5 of 11 on third down (both clubs were 1 of 2 on fourth down conversions).

Chicago comes back to the Windy City after their 22-14 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday afternoon. Eagles K Jake Elliot and TE Zach Ertz gave their team a 12-0 lead at the break and pushed that lead to 19-0 halfway through the third quarter before Da Bears broke Philadelphia’s shutout bid with a pair of rushing TDs by David Montgomery, the second score putting Chicago to within five before Elliot booted a 38-yard field goal with 25 seconds left to ice the contest. Philadelphia outrushed Chicago 146-62 and Carson Wentz threw for 239 yards, while Mitch Trubisky threw for 125 yards (Trubisky was sacked three times, Wentz was sacked four times and neither threw an interception). Chicago went 2 of 10 on third down conversions in the City of Brotherly Love and kept the ball for 19:42, while the Eagles took care of the ball for 40:18 and went 8 of 18 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games that were played when the Lions were in Portsmouth and known as the Spartans, games that were played at Wrigley Field, Tiger Stadium, the Pontiac Silverdome and in Champaign-Urbana, Da Bears Bears lead the series 99-74-5 and have outscored Detroit 3,466-3,190. They met last year and Da Bears swept the series, winning in the Windy and Motor Cities (Detroit’s last win in the series came in 2017, when they swept the series that season).

Meeting number one… week 10 in the Windy City (Gametime temperature? A balmy 37 degrees with a 29 degree wind chill) and the Monsters of the Midway scored 26 first half points unchallenged to come away from Soldier Field 34-22 winners. Da Bears led 26-7 at the half, even though Detroit outscored them in the second half, sealing the win nonetheless. Detroit did outrush Chicago 76-54 and Trubisky threw for 355 yards and three TDs, with Stafford throwing for 274 yards and a pair of TDs (Stafford threw a pair of interceptions and was sacked six times, while Trubisky was sacked once). Chicago went 4 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28 minutes, while the Lions, who kept the ball for 32 minutes, were 4 of 16 on third down, 4 of 5 on fourth down.

Chicago didn’t have to wait long to complete the sweep and Da Bears did the deed in the Motor City in week 12 on Thanksgving afternoon, coming away 23-16 winners at Ford Field. After a scoreless first quarter, Chicago erased a 7-0 deficit in the second after Lions RB LeGarrett Blount opened the scoring with a 4-yard TD, responding with a 40-yard field by Chris Parkey and a 10-yard TD pass from Trubisky to Tequan Mizell with 40 seconds left to lead 9-7 at the half. Blount would then give Detroit the lead back with 95 seconds left in the third before Chicago took it back early in the fourth quarter thanks to a 14-yard pass from Chase Daniel (who took over for Trubisky) to RB Tarik Cohen. Detroit then re-tied the contest with 7:44 left in the contest on a 20-yard field goal by Matt Prater. The Lions would get the ball back but DB Eddie Jackson would break Lions fans hearts as he would pick off Stafford and scamper down the field 41 yards unchallenged for the game-winning score.

Once again, it would be the Lions that would outrush Chicago, this time by a 111-38 margin (Blount led all rushers with 88 yards and the two TDS). Daniel threw for 230 yards and the two TD tosses, while Stafford threw for 236 yards with a pair of interceptions (Daniel was sacked four times, Stafford was sacked twice). Chicago went 3 of 10 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 27:14, while the Lions once again ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:46, went 5 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Chicago covered the 6 1/2-point spread with their 12-point win in the Windy City and both clubs covered the 45 over/under, tallying 56 points. In the Thanksgiving Day contest in the Motor City, Da Bears were favored by 4 and covered, as they would win by 6 but the two teams missed the 45 over/under, tallying 40 points. Vegas likes Da Bears as 2 1/2-point favorites in the Windy City and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Both teams would like nothing more than to catch up to Green Bay and overtake the Packers for the top spot in the NFC North. The Monsters of the Midway cover the 2 1/2 in the Windy City and takes the win along the shores of Lake Erie.

Baltimore (6-2) at Cincinnati (0-8), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. They meet again. A pair of AFC North rivals meet along the shores of the Ohio River as the winless Bengals host the first-place Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium.

Baltimore played the role of Jimmy Stewart and took down the NFL’s answer to Liberty Valance as they knocked Tom Brady and the New England Patriots out of the ranks of the unbeatens in Charm City Sunday night, taking down the defending Super Bowl champions 37-20 at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens led 17-13 at the intermission Sunday evening, then floored the gas and outpaced New England 20-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. Baltimore tallied 210 yards of rushing, outpacing the Patriots, who tallied 74 yards on the ground (Mark Ingram led all rushers with 115 yards and a TD), while Ravens QB Lamar Jackson threw for 163 yards with a passing TD and had two rushing TDs, while Brady threw for 285 yards and a TD pass to newly acquired WR Mohamed Sanu (Brady was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Jackson was sacked once). The Ravens were 5 of 10 on third down conversions (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:01, while the Patriots, who clung to the pigskin for 22:59, went 5 of 13 on third down.

The Bengals return home from their bye week with Ryan Finley under center in place of Andy Dalton after they were taken to task by Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams 24-10 at Wembley Stadium in London. Cincinnati kept things close on the other side of the Atlantic, trailing 17-10 at the half, then watched the wheels come off their bus as Rams RB Todd Gurley scored on a 3-yard run early in the third quarter to seal their fate. Cincinnati outrushed the defending NFC champions 104-98, with Bengals RB Joe Mixon leading everyone with 66 yards on the ground, while Dalton threw for 329 yards and a TD to Mixon but was sacked five times (Goff threw for 372 yards with a pair of TDs, one to WR Cooper Kupp and had no sacks or interceptions). Cincinnati was 6 of 18 on third down (they were 4 for 6 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 32:43, while the Rams were 27:17 in time of possession, going 7 for 13 on third down.

The Sunday afternoon contest along the shores of the Ohio River is a rematch from week six in Charm City in a contest that the Ravens were 23-17 winners over Dalton and the Bengals. In that meeting, Baltimore led 17-10 at the half at M&T Bank Stadium, then held off a late Bengals rally to come away with the win. Jackson threw for 236 yards and led all rushers with 152 yards and a rushung TD, as the Ravens outrushed Cincinnati 269-33. For the Bengals, Dalton threw for 235 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception (Jackson was sacked once). Cincinnati was 5 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 235, while the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:42, going 9 of 15 on third down tries.

In the week six contest in Charm City, Baltimore was an 11-point favorite but only came away winning by 6 and both clubs missed the 48 over/under, scoring 40 points. In the rematch this Sunday, the Ravens are favored by 10 and the over/under is 46 1/2. The Bengals aren’t that bad. They’re not 10 points bad and gave Baltimore problems in the first meeting. History repeats itself in Cincinnati, as Baltimore takes the win but expect the Bengals to make things closer than 10.

Buffalo (6-2) at Cleveland (2-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. Both cities sit on Lake Erie and both look to improve their playoff chances. The Bills, sitting in second in the AFC East, travel down I-90 to face off against Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns.

Buffalo held Washington to three Dustin Hopkins field goals as they manhandled the Redskins 24-9 at New Era Stadium. The Bills led 17-6 at the break and never looked back in the contest in upstate New York, ruining the start for Washington’s Dwayne Haskins Jr. (144 yards, four sacks) While Washington outrushed Bufffalo 127-122 with Redskins RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 108, Buffalo’s Josh Allen threw for 160 yards with a TD pass to WR Cole Beasley (Allen was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Buffalo was 6 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 31:47, while the Redskins, keeping the ball for 28:13, was 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Cleveland’s dismal season continued in Denver as the Broncos edged the Browns 24-19 at Empower Field at Mile High Sunday afternoon. The Browns trailed 17-12 at the break and managed to keep the contest close with 10:47 left in the contest when Mayfield and WR Josh Landry connected on a 9-yard TD strike. Cleveland would get the ball back after a Denver punt with 7:21 left to play and got themselves as close as Denver’s 28-yard before the drive stalled as Mayfield’s pass attempt to Landry fell incomplete. Denver outrushed Cleveland 127-90 with Broncos RB Patrick Lindsay leading the way with 92 of those yards and a TD, while Cleveland was paced by Nick Chubb, who tallied 65 yards. Denver QB Brandon Allen threw for 193 yards and a pair of TDs, while Mayfield threw for 273 yards with the Landry TD toss (Mayfield was sacked twice, Allen was sacked three times, neither threw an interception). Cleveland went 6 of 15 on third down (the Browns were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and the Browns kept the ball for 35:30, while the Broncos went 3 of 9 on third down, holding on to the ball for 24:30.

While Cleveland holds an 11-9 lead in the series, the Bills have outscored Cleveland 389-345. The Bills circled the wagons and won the last two meetings, including a 33-13 win in Orchard Park in 2016, while Cleveland’s last win in the series came in 2013 along the shores of Lake Erie by a final of 37-24. Cleveland in the Battle of Lake Erie is favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Buffalo circled the wagons last week at home against Washington and who’s to say they won’t do it again? Bills circle the wagons AGAIN in the Buckeye State and covers the 2 1/2.

New York Giants (2-7) at New York Jets (1-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. They share a stadium. They have 3 wins between them. GangGreen and Big Blue meet for the 14th time in the Meadowlands as the Giants and Jets square off at Met Life Stadium.

For the Giants, it was a cat-astrophe Monday night as Big Blue fell to Dallas 37-18 Monday night in the Meadowlands. New York kept things close and trailed 13-12 at the intermission before the Cowboys would outscore Big Blue 24-6 in the final 30 minutes of play. The Giants were outrushed 172-100 with Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 139 yards in the prime time affair. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott threw for 257 yards and three TDs, while Giants signal caller Daniel Jones threw for 210 yards with a TD (Jones was sacked five times, threw an interception and gave up a fumble late in the contest that led to Dallas’ final TD of the contest; Prescott threw an interception but was not sacked). Big Blue went 5 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:56, while the Cowboys only needed to keep the pigskin for 28:04 and went 4 for 11 on third down tries.

GangGreen watched Miami erase a 7-0 deficit against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday afternoon and picked up their first win of the 2019 campaign, grounding the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 26-18 in the Sunshine State. Miami took a 21-12 lead with them to the break, then took control of things in the second half, sealing GangGreen’s fate and breaking their 10-game losing streak (they lost their last three contests in 2018 and the first seven this season) in the process. GangGreen, who gave up a pair of safties in the contest, did outrush the ‘Fins 83-50 (Jets RB LeVeon Bell led all rushers with 66 yards) but Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 288 yards with four TDs and no interceptions, while Sam Darnold threw for 260 yards with a TD and an interception (Darnold was sacked three times, Fitzpatrick was sacked four times). Miami was 6 of 12 on third down and kept the ball away from GangGreen for 31:14, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 28:46, going 5 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

The Giants lead the series 8-5 and have outscored GangGreen 285-239. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! won the last meeting, coming away 23-20 overtime winners in 2015, while Big Blue’s last win in the series came in 2011 by a final of 29-14. The Giants are favored by 2 1/2 in the Meadowlands and the over/under’s 43 1/2. You stand a better chance of finding Jimmy Hoffa than you will a winner in this one. The Giants are the lesser evil here and they take the win at Met Life, covering the 2 1/2.

Arizona (3-4-1) at Tampa Bay (2-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of struggling teams square off in the Sunshine State as Heisman winners Kyler Murray and Jameis Winston meet at Raymond James Stadium when Tampa Bay hosts Arizona. Both clubs are coming off losses in last week’s contests.

The Desert Angry Birds took San Francisco to the edge two weeks ago in Glendale at State Farm Stadium but fell to the 49ers 28-25. Arizona trailed 21-7 at the half in the desert, then put on a rally in the second half to make things a bit too close for their NFC West rivals, making the contest a 3-point contest with 4:53 left in regulation when WR Andy Isabella and Murray connected on a 88-yard TD toss. San Francsico would get the ball back after the ensuing kickoff and the Cardinals would never see it again. Arizona outrushed San Francisco 153-101 with Cardinals RB Kyle Drake leading the way with 110 yards and a TD (San Francisco was led by Matt Breida 78 yards). Murray threw for 241 yards with a pair of TDs, while San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo burned Arizona for 317 yards and four TDs, connecting with Tevin Coleman, Emanuel Sanders, George Kittle and Dante Pettis (Murray was sacked three times and Garoppolo was sacked once, neither threw an interception). The Desert Angry Birds were 2 of 8 on third down tries and kept the ball for 25:29, while the 49ers were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 34:31, while going 11 of 17 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Tampa Bay watched Seattle erase a 21-13 deficit at Century Link Field last Sunday afternoon, then rally in the final 30 minutes of regulation and overtime to fall 40-34 win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Tampa Bay trailed 34-27 with 46 seconds left in regulation, then tied the contest up with a 1-yard run by rookie RB Dare Ogunbowale. It would be the last time that the Buccaneers would see the ball as Seattle won the toss in overtime. The Seahawks made sure that Tampa Bay would never see the ball again, as they used 10 plays, 75 yards of real estate and 3:38 of clock to send their fan base home happy when WR James Hollister and Russell Wilson connected on a 10-yard TD toss with 6:22 left in the extra period.

Seattle outrushed Tampa Bay 145-99, with Seahawks RB Chris Carson leading the way with 105 yards on the ground. Wilson threw for 378 yards and five TDs (including the game-winner), while Jameis Winston threw for 335 yards and a pair of TDs (one to RB Mike Evans; Wilson was sacked three times, Winston was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). Seattle was 2 for 8 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 28:13 (including the overtime), while Tampa Bay ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 35:25, going 6 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including contests played in St. Louis the Desert Angry Birds carry an 11-9 lead into the series, have outscored Tampa Bay 396-366 and have won the last three meetings, including coming away 38-23 winners in the desert in 2017, while Tampa Bay’s last win also came in the desert, as the Bucs would leave Glendale 38-35 winners in 2010. Tampa Bay’s favored by 4 1/2 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 51 1/2. We won’t blame you one bit if you took a pass on this one and started that early Thanksgiving shopping. Tampa Bay covers the 4 1/2 in the Sunshine State and takes the win.

Kansas City (6-3) at Tennessee (4-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of AFC/AFL rivals meet in the Volunteer State as the Kansas City Chiefs travel to Nashville to face off against the Tennessee Titans.

Kansas City escaped Arrowhead last Sunday 26-23 winners over Minnesota thanks to a 44-yard field by Harrison Butker as time expired. Minnesota and Kansas City entered intermission tied at 10-10, then trailed 16-10 with 11:51 left in the third quarter when RB Darrell Williams went 91 yards untouched to take the lead back. Butker then added a 45-yard field goal late in the third before Minnesota took the lead again in the fourth, with TE Kyle Rudolph scoring on a 3-yard TD toss from Kirk Cousins with 10:59 left in the contest. Butker would put his right foot to good use later in the period, tying the contest with 2:30 left to play on a 54-yarder. Kansas City would get the ball back after a Minnesota punt with 1:47 left and Matt Moore (taking over for Patrick Mahomes – knee) engineered a 5-play, 19-yard drive that used all of the 1:47 as Butker sent Chiefs fans home happy campers with the game-winning boot, breaking their three-game home losing streak in the process.

Kansas City outrushed Minnesota 147-96 with Williams leading the way with 125 yards, while Delvin Cook led the Vikings with 71 yards. Cousins threw for 220 yards with three TDs, while Moore threw for 275 yards and a TD toss to Tyreek Hill (Cousins was sacked once, Moore was sacked five times; neither threw an interception). The Chiefs went 4 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 31:48 (including the final 1:47 of the contest), while the Vikings held on to the pigskin for 28:12 and went 5 of 15 on third down (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

Tennessee watched Carolina score 17 second quarter points unchallenged last Sunday in Charlotte as the Panthers took a 30-20 victory at Bank of America Stadium. After a scoreless first quarter in the Tar Heel State, the Panthers went on their scoring spree in the second quarter, using a 35-yard field goal by Josh Slye and a pair of TDs from Kyle Allen (one to RB Christian McCaffrey, the other to WR Curtis Samuel) to take that 17-point lead at the break. After Tennessee’s Derrick Henry ended Carolina’s shutout bid in the third quarter, McCaffery went back to work on the ground, scoring a pair of TDs to all but seal Tennessee’s fate.

Carolina outrushed Tennessee 156-121 with McCaffery leading the way with 146 yards to go with the two TDs, while Henry led the Titans with 63 yards and a TD. Allen threw for 232 yards with the two TD tosses, while Ryan Tannehill threw for 331 yards with a TD pass to Henry and had a rushing TD of his own late in the contest. While Carolina went 5 of 14 on third down, they were successful on fourth down (2 of 2) and kept the ball for 33:17, while the Titans, keeping the pigskin for 26:43, went 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games played in Houston when the Titans were known as the Texans and in Dallas when the Chiefs were known as the Texans, Kansas City leads the series 27-22 and the Chiefs have outscored the Titans 1,049-884. Tennesssee has won the last two contests, both at Arrowhead, with their last win coming in 2016 by a final of 19-17, while the Chiefs’ last win in the series came in the Music City in 2013, as Kansas City would leave Nissan Stadium 26-17 winners. The Chiefs are favored by 3 1/2 in the Music City and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Kansas City covers the 3 on the road and takes the win in Nashville.

Miami (1-7) at Indianapolis (5-3), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 712. Erasing their long losing streak, the Miami Dolphins make their way to the Hoosier State to face off against the Indianapolis Colts in a late afternoon AFC contest.

Miami erased a 7-0 deficit against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday afternoon and picked up their first win of the 2019 campaign, grounding the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 26-18 in the Sunshine State. Miami took a 21-12 lead with them to the break, then took control of things in the second half, sealing GangGreen’s fate and breaking their 10-game losing streak (they lost their last three contests in 2018 and the first seven this season) in the process. GangGreen, who gave up a pair of safties in the contest, did outrush the ‘Fins 83-50 (Jets RB LeVeon Bell led all rushers with 66 yards) but Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 288 yards with four TDs and no interceptions, while Sam Darnold threw for 260 yards with a TD and an interception (Darnold was sacked three times, Fitzpatrick was sacked four times). Miami was 6 of 12 on third down and kept the ball away from GangGreen for 31:14, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 28:46, going 5 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Indianapolis watch Pittsburgh snatch victory from the jaws of defeat last Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field, taking a 26-24 win from the Colts. The Colts led 16-13 at the half, then watch the Steelers pull away from the Colts in the second half, taking the lead for keeps with 6:36 left in regulation on a 26-yard field goal by Chris Boswell, then outscored Indianapolis 13-9 in the final 30 minutes of play and dodged a bullet when Colts K Adam Vinatieri’s 43-yard field goal try sailed wide to the left. Indianapolis outrushed Pittsburgh 139-90 with Mason Rudolph throwing for 191 yards and a TD, while Blake Hoyer (who replaced Jacoby Brissett after he left the contest with a knee sprain) threw for 168 yards and three TDS (Hoyer threw an interception that Pittsburgh’s Michael Fitzpatrick ran back 96 yards for a TD; Rudolph also had an interception, while he was sacked once and Hoyer was sacked four times). Pittsburgh went 5 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 29:28, while the Colts, holding on to the pigskin for 30:32, went 4 for 12 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Miami leads the series 45-27 (which includes contests that were played in Baltimore and at the old Orange Bowl site) and the Dolphins have outscored the Colts 1,619-1,258. The Colts were victors in their last two contests, with their last win coming in the Hoosier State last season by a final of 27-24, while the Dolphins’ last win in the series came in 2013 in the Hoosier State, coming away 24-20 winners.

They met at Lucas Oil Stadium in week 12 and the Colts would rally in the closing seconds to take the win in front of the home folks thanks to a Vinatieri field goal from 32 yards out as the clock struck :00. Tied 14-14 at the half, Miami would take a 17-14 lead on a Jason Sanders field goal halfway through the third quarter, then pushed the lead to 10 with 13:36 left in regulation when Kenyan Drake scored on a 14-yard run. The Colts would then respond, scoring the last 13 points of the game unchallenged when Vinatieri connected on a 46-yard field goal with 8:26 left and tied the contest with 4:25 left when Andrew Luck and TE Eric Ebron connected on a 12-yard TD toss. Vinatieri would then be the hero as the Colts used a 7-play, 44-yard drive that took all of the 2:38 left in the contest, booting the game winner to send Colts fans home happy.

Indy outrushed Miami 118-113 and Luck threw for 343 yards and three TDs (two to Ebron, including the toss that evened the score), while Tannehill threw for 204 yards abd a pair of TDs (Luck and Tannehill were sacked once and Luck threw a pair of interceptions). Frank Gore led Miami with 67 yards, while Colts RB Marlon Mack led all rushers with 85 yards. Miami went 4 of 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:06, while the Colts ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 31:54 (including the final 2:38 of the contest), going 4 of 12 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

The Colts were favored by 9 1/2 in the week 12 contest in the Hoosier State but came away with only a three-point win but both clubs managed to cover the 50 1/2 over/under with 51 points. Indy’s favored by 10 and the over/under’s 44. The 44 makes sense. The 10? Sounds a bit on the high side. Miami’s a somewhat bad team but they’re not 10 points bad. They’ll make it closer than the 10 but the Colts prevail in the Hoosier State.

Carolina (5-3) at Green Bay (7-2), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. Carolina BBQ meets cheese, beer and Bratwurst as the Carolina Panthers travel to Lambeau to face off against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The two contending clubs come into Sunday contests with opposite results from last Sunday’s action.

Carolina scored 17 second quarter points unchallenged against Tennessee last Sunday in Charlotte and took the Titans to the woodshed 30-20 at Bank of America Stadium. After a scoreless first quarter in the Tar Heel State, the Panthers went on their scoring spree in the second quarter, using a 35-yard field goal by Josh Slye and a pair of TDs from Kyle Allen (one to RB Christian McCaffrey, the other to WR Curtis Samuel) to take that 17-point lead at the break. After Tennessee’s Derrick Henry ended Carolina’s shutout bid in the third quarter, McCaffery went back to work on the ground, scoring a pair of TDs to all but seal Tennessee’s fate.

Carolina outrushed Tennessee 156-121 with McCaffery leading the way with 146 yards to go with the two TDs, while Henry led the Titans with 63 yards and a TD. Allen threw for 232 yards with the two TD tosses, while Ryan Tannehill threw for 331 yards with a TD pass to Henry and had a rushing TD of his own late in the contest. While Carolina went 5 of 14 on third down, they were successful on fourth down (2 of 2) and kept the ball for 33:17, while the Titans, keeping the pigskin for 26:43, went 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Green Bay trailed the Los Angeles Chargers from start to finish last Sunday at Dignity Health Sports Park, as Rodgers and the Packers dropped a 26-11 decision to the Bolts in Carson. The Chargers scored the first nine points of the contest unchalleged thanks to three Michael Badgley field goals, taking a 9-0 lead with them to the intermission. Badgley would add another field goal at the halfway point of the third quarter and the Chargers would score the first TD of the game when Melvin Gordon II tallied his first of two TDs from a yard out.

Green Bay would then end any bid for a Charger shutout when K Mason Crosby connected on a 54-yard field goal with 46 seconds left in the third. Gordon would add a second TD early in the fourth quarter for the Chargers to all but ice the contest away from the Packers on the West Coast. Gordon led all rushers with 80 yards and the two TDs as the Chargers outrushed Green Bay 159-45 and Philip Rivers threw for 294 yards without a sack, while Rodgers threw for 161 yards and a TD to Jamaal Williams with three sacks (neither QB threw an interception).

The Bolts were 5 of 11 on third down on the West Coast (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and were stingy with the football, keeping it away from the Packers for 35:51, while Green Bay went 2 of 10 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down), holding on to the pigskin for 24:09.

Green Bay leads the series 8-6 and the Packers have outscored Carolina 394-331. The Panthers have won the last two meetings, both in the Tar Heel State, with the last win coming in 2017 by a final of 31-24, while Green Bay’s last win came at Lambeau in 2014, a 38-17 win in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst. Green Bay’s favored by 5 at Lambeau and the over/under’s 48. Carolina would love to knock Green Bay off in their building. The Packers aren’t seeing that way and after the loss on the West Coast, they’re not going to be in a good mood. Carolina will make it closer than the 5 but Green Bay prevails at Lambeau.

Los Angeles Rams (5-3) at Pittsburgh (4-4), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. A pair of contenders meet in the Steel City as Pittsburgh hosts the Los Angeles Rams at Heinz Field. While the Rams are coming off their bye week, the Steelers survived a scare from Indianapolis last Sunday afternoon.

The defending NFC champs return to action after they took Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals 24-10 at Wembley Stadium in London. Cincinnati kept things close on the other side of the Atlantic, trailing 17-10 at the half, then watched the wheels come off the bus as Rams RB Todd Gurley scored on a 3-yard run early in the third quarter to seal their fate. Cincinnati outrushed the defending NFC champions 104-98, with Bengals RB Joe Mixon leading everyone with 66 yards on the ground, while Dalton threw for 329 yards and a TD to Mixon but was sacked five times (Goff threw for 372 yards with a pair of TDs, one to WR Cooper Kupp and had no sacks or interceptions). Cincinnati was 6 of 18 on third down (they were 4 for 6 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 32:43, while the Rams were 27:17 in time of possession, going 7 for 13 on third down.

Pittsburgh survived a last-minute scare from Indianapolis last Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field, taking a 26-24 win from the Colts. Pittsburgh trailed 16-13 at the half, then pulled away from the Colts in the second half, taking the lead for keeps with 6:36 left in regulation on a 26-yard field goal by Chris Boswell, then outscored Indianapolis 13-9 in the final 30 minutes of play and dodged a bullet when Colts K Adam Vinatieri’s 43-yard field goal try sailed wide to the left. Indianapolis outrushed Pittsburgh 139-90 with Mason Rudolph throwing for 191 yards and a TD, while Blake Hoyer (who replaced Jacoby Brissett after he left the contest with a knee sprain) threw for 168 yards and three TDS (Hoyer threw an interception that Pittsburgh’s Michael Fitzpatrick ran back 96 yards for a TD; Rudolph also had an interception, while he was sacked once and Hoyer was sacked four times). Pittsburgh went 5 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 29:28, while the Colts, holding on to the pigskin for 30:32, went 4 for 12 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Including games played in Cleveland, Anaheim and St. Louis and contests when the Steelers were known as the Pirates prior to 1940, the Rams lead the series 15-8-2 and have outscored the Steelers 487-448. Pittsburgh won the last meeting, coming away 12-6 winners in St. Lous in 2015, while the Rams’ last win came in the Steel City in 2003 by a final of 33-21. The Rams are 3 1/2-point favorites in the Steel City and the over/under’s 45. Both numbers sound like they make a ton of sense. In the end, while this one’s not “DRILL WORTHY,” it’s worth your time. Rams may not cover the 3 1/2 but they take the win on the road in the Steel City.

Minnesota (6-3) at Dallas (5-3), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of contenders meet in the Lone Star State in a Sunday night prime time contest at Jerry World (AT&T Stadium). Minnesota, chasing Green Bay in the NFC North, makes their way to Arlington for a meeting with Dallas, leaders in the NFC East.

Minnesota watched Kansas City escape Arrowhead last Sunday 26-23 winners thanks to a 44-yard field by Harrison Butker as time expired. Tied at 10-10 at the intermission, Minnesota led 16-10 with 11:51 left in the third quarter when Chiefs RB Darrell Williams went 91 yards untouched to take the lead back. Butker then added a 45-yard field goal late in the third before Minnesota took the lead again in the fourth, with TE Kyle Rudolph scoring on a 3-yard TD toss from Kirk Cousins with 10:59 left in the contest. Butker would put his right foot to good use later in the period, tying the contest with 2:30 left to play on a 54-yarder. Kansas City would get the ball back after a Minnesota punt with 1:47 left and Matt Moore (taking over for Patrick Mahomes – knee) engineered a 5-play, 19-yard drive that used all of the 1:47 as Butker sent Chiefs fans home happy campers with the game-winning boot.

Dallas let the “cat” out of the bag Monday night against the New York Giants in the Meadowlands, as they completed the sweep of their NFC East rivals at Met Life Stadium. For the Giants, it was a cat-astrophe Monday night as Big Blue fell to Dallas 37-18 Monday night in the Meadowlands. New York kept things close and trailed 13-12 at the intermission before the Cowboys would outscore Big Blue 24-6 in the final 30 minutes of play. The Giants were outrushed 172-100 with Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 139 yards in the prime time affair. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott threw for 257 yards and three TDs, while Giants signal caller Daniel Jones threw for 210 yards with a TD (Jones was sacked five times, threw an interception and gave up a fumble late in the contest that led to Dallas’ final TD of the contest; Prescott threw an interception but was not sacked). Big Blue went 5 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:56, while the Cowboys only needed to keep the pigskin for 28:04 and went 4 for 11 on third down tries.

Kansas City outrushed Minnesota 147-96 with Williams leading the way with 125 yards, while Delvin Cook led the Vikings with 71 yards. Cousins threw for 220 yards with three TDs, while Moore threw for 275 yards and a TD toss to Tyreek Hill (Cousins was sacked once, Moore was sacked five times; neither threw an interception). The Chiefs went 4 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 31:48 (including the final 1:47 of the contest), while the Vikings held on to the pigskin for 28:12 and went 5 of 15 on third down (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

While Dallas leads the series by a slim 12-11 margin, the Vikings have outscored Dallas 549-532. The Cowboys came away winners in the last two meetings, inclduing a 17-15 win in the Twin Cities in 2016, while the Vikings’ last win came in the Land of 10,000 Lakes by a final of 24-21 in 2010. We’re going to go ahead and declare this one “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

The boys and girls in Vegas like the Cowboys and they’re favored by 3 and the over/under’s 47 1/2. There’s a chance that these two could meet in the post-season. Dallas controls its destiny in the NFC East and can advance their cause with a win. Minnesota makes this one close but Dallas prevails in the Lone Star State and could very well cover the 3.

Seattle (7-3) at San Francisco (8-0), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 10 began in northern California and ends in the same spot as a pair of NFC West rivals meet in Wine Country. Seattle makes the 839-mile trip down I-5 in hopes of knocking San Francisco out of the ranks of the unbeatens at Levis’ Stadium. Both teams took close wins in last week’s contests.

Seattle erased a 21-13 deficit against Tampa Bay at Century Link Field last Sunday afternoon, then rallied in the final 30 minutes of regulation and overtime to take a 40-34 win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Leading 34-27 with 46 seconds left in regulation, Tampa Bay tied the contest up with a 1-yard run by rookie RB Dare Ogunbowale. Seattle won the toss in overtime, making sure that the Buccaneers would never see the ball, as they used 10 plays, 75 yards of real estate and 3:38 of clock to send their fan base home happy when WR James Hollister and Russell Wilson connected on a 10-yard TD toss with 6:22 left in the extra period.

Seattle outrushed Tampa Bay 145-99, with Seahawks RB Chris Carson leading the way with 105 yards on the ground. Wilson threw for 378 yards and five TDs (including the game-winner), while Jameis Winston threw for 335 yards and a pair of TDs (one to RB Mike Evans; Wilson was sacked three times, Winston was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). Seattle was 2 for 8 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 28:13 (including the overtime), while Tampa Bay ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 35:25, going 6 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

San Francisco found themselves being taken to the edge by Arizona two weeks ago in Glendale at State Farm Stadium but managed to prevail 28-25. The 49ers led 21-7 at the half in the desert, then watched Arizona put on a rally in the second half to make things a bit too close for their NFC West rivals, making the contest a 3-point contest with 4:53 left in regulation when WR Andy Isabella and Murray connected on a 88-yard TD toss. San Francsico would get the ball back after the ensuing kickoff and the Cardinals would never see it again. Arizona outrushed San Francisco 153-101 with Cardinals RB Kyle Drake leading the way with 110 yards and a TD (San Francisco was led by Matt Breida 78 yards). Murray threw for 241 yards with a pair of TDs, while San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo burned Arizona for 317 yards and four TDs, connecting with Tevin Coleman, Emanuel Sanders, George Kittle and Dante Pettis (Murray was sacked three times and Garoppolo was sacked once, neither threw an interception). The Desert Angry Birds were 2 of 8 on third down tries and kept the ball for 25:29, while the 49ers were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 34:31, while going 11 of 17 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Seahawks lead the series 24-16 (which includes contests played at the Kingdome and Candlestick Park) and Seattle has outscored San Francisco 960-711. The two NFC West foes split last year’s contests, each taking wins in their home parks.

Round one… week 13 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Seattle took a 20-3 lead with them to the break at Centurky Link Field and the Seahawks would come out on top 43-16. Seattle got three first-half TD tosses from Wilson, while holding the 49ers to a Robbie Gould field goal in the first 30 minutes of play and would outscore the 49ers 23-13 in the second half to seal the win. Seattle outrushed San Francsico 168-66 and Wilson threw for 185 yards and four TDs (connecting with WR Jaron Brown on two) and Nick Mullen threw for 414 yards and a pair of TDs to Dante Pettis in the contest (both were sacked three times and Mullen threw an interception). Seattle went 4 of 9 on third down tries and kept the ball for 27:30, while the 49ers were 7 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and would be stingy with the ball, keeping it for 32:30.

The 49ers didn’t need to wait long for revenge and they would get that revenge at Santa Clara two weeks later in week 15, needing overtime to come away 26-23 winners at Levis’ Stadium. The 49ers led 17-13 at the half and took a 20-13 lead with them into the final 15 minutes of play in wine country before Seattle’s Chris Carson scored on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter. Gould would give the 49ers the lead back with a 45 yard field goal before the Seahawks’ Sebastian re-tied the contest with a 48-yard field goal, sending the contest into overtime. Seattle would get the ball to start the overtime and would never cross their own 20-yard line, punting the ball to San Francisco. The 49ers would then march their way down the field, using a 7-play, 44-yards drive, aided by a Seattle penalty and buring 4:19 of clock and sent their fans home happy as Gould connected on a 36-yard field to win the contest.

As was the case in the first meeting, Seattle outrushed San Francisco, this time by a 168-94 margin and Carson led all rushers with a 119-yard day. Wilson threw for 237 yards and a pair of TDs to Doug Baldwin, while Mullens threw for 275 yards and a TD (both were sacked three times and neither threw an interception). Seattle was 9 of 19 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:14, while the 49ers were 3 for 10 on third down, keeping the ball for 29:40.

In the week 13 contest in the Paciifc Northwest, Seattle covered the 9 1/2-point spread, winning by 27 and both teams took care of the 46 over/under with 59 points. In the week 15 contest in wine country, Seattle was favored by 6 1/2. While San Francisco prevailed in overtime at home, they only won by 3, missing the spread and while both clubs played overtime, they did manage to cover the 44 1/2 over/under with 49 points.

Both teams have done quite well on Monday night and the 49ers have played and won a contest with Cleveland at home in week five, while Seattle is 24-10 in prime time, going 1-1 in their two meetings last year. San Francisco’s favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 46 1/2. This one could very well be part one as to who wins the NFC West. You might want to tape “All Rise” and “Bull” this week. Seattle may make it closer than 6 1/2 but the 49ers continue their winning ways in Santa Clara, remaining unbeaten in the process.

They’re still standing.

New England (6-0) and San Francisco (5-0) are still standing as the only two unbeaten teams in the National Football League.

While the Patriots and 49ers revel in the spotlight, Cincinnati (0-6) and Miami (0-6) remain winless and search for their first wins this week. Washington and the New York Jets picked up their first wins last week in close contests… but as they say, a win is a win. As for Bengals and Dolphins fans, hold your heads up and remember, an NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint.

MOST COMPETITIVE CONTESTS EVER: No other season through six weeks has produced more games decided by seven-or-fewer points than 2019. This year, 51 of 92 games (55.4 percent) have been decided by seven-or-fewer points, including nine of 14 games in Week 6. This season also is tied for the most one-point games through Week 6 since the 1970 merger.

The seasons with the most games decided by one- and seven-or-fewer points through six weeks:

GAMES DECIDED BY ONE-OR-FEWER POINTS, THROUGH WEEK 6, SINCE 1970

2019 – 9
2016 – 9
1997 – 9
1972 – 9
1999 – 8

GAMES DECIDED BY SEVEN-OR-FEWER POINTS, THROUGH WEEK 6, ALL-TIME

2019 – 51
2016 – 50
1999 – 50
2018 – 47
2015 – 47
2011 – 47

100TH OF THE 100TH: One of the early contests Sunday will mark the 100th game of the NFL’s 100th season. The league has completed 92 games entering this week. As the 100th kickoff approaches, several NFL players and teams are on pace to challenge some of the game’s most esteemed records.

On Sunday afternoon, Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens travel to the Pacific Northwest to meet Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. Wilson has a passer rating over 100 in each of Seattle’s first six games and is on pace to break two single-season NFL records held by Aaron Rodgers, his 122.5 passer rating in 2011 and his 0.34 interception percentage in 2018. Meanwhile, Jackson last week had 236 passing yards and a career-high 152 rushing yards with a touchdown in a 23-17 win over Cincinnati. His 152 rushing yards were the fourth-most by a quarterback in a single game in NFL history, including the postseason. Jackson, who registered his third career game with at least 115 rushing yards, is the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to register at least 115 rushing yards in at least three games in his first two seasons.

PLENTY OF HEARTBEATS REMAINING: Hope is in plentiful supply across the NFL. That’s because in 2018 after Week 7, five of the 12 teams that qualified for the playoffs were either .500 or below in the NFL standings. After this week concludes on Monday night at MetLife Stadium, it’s very likely that at least one team sitting at .500 or below will still make the playoffs. Since 2011, at least one team has qualified for the playoffs after beginning the year at-or-below .500 through Week 7.

The playoff teams that were at-or-below .500 through seven weeks, since 2011:

YEAR – PLAYOFF TEAMS AT OR BELOW .500 THROUGH SEVEN WEEKS
2018 – *Chicago, *Dallas, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Seattle*
2017 – ATLANTA
2016 – Miami
2015 – *Houston, Kansas City, Seattle, *Washington
2014 – *Carolina, *Seattle
2013 – *Carolina, *Philadelphia
2012 – Cincinnati, *Denver, Indianapolis, *Washington
2011 – *Denver
*won division

BARRETT & GARRETT, LLC: Tampa Bay linebacker Shaquil Barrett and Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett have earned their byes this week. Both players are off in Week 7 after beginning the season on a torrid pace. Barrett and Garrett are tied for the NFL lead with nine sacks. The last time multiple players had nine-or-more sacks through six weeks was in 2013 (Robert Mathis and Justin Houston each had 9.5).

RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS ON UPWARD SLOPE: NFL clubs have combined for 167 rushing touchdowns through six weeks of play. Only the 1979 and 1976 seasons had more in NFL history entering Week 7.

At the quarterback position alone, NFL signal-callers have rushed for 31 touchdowns during the 2019 season, surpassing 2002 (28) for the most rushing touchdowns by quarterbacks through the first six weeks of a season since the 1970 merger. In Week 6, quarterbacks totaled 10 rushing touchdowns, surpassing Week 13 of the 2015 season (nine) for the most in a single week since 1970.

The most overall rushing touchdowns by NFL players through six weeks in NFL history:

YEAR – RUSH TD
1979 – 187
1976 – 175
2019 – 167
1984 – 167
Many – 158

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: Minnesota wide receiver Stefon Diggs had seven receptions for 167 yards and three touchdowns in the Vikings’ 38-20 win over Philadelphia.

Carolina running back Christian McCaffery and wide receiver Curtis Samuel each had a rushing and receiving touchdown in the Panthers’ 37-26 win over Tampa Bay at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. The London series continues in Week 8 when the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams face off at Wembley Stadium. McCaffrey and Samuel are the third pair of teammates to each record a rushing and receiving touchdown in the same game since 1980 and first since November 10, 2013, when New Orleans Saints running backs Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas each had a rushing and receiving touchdown.

Carolina recorded seven sacks and five interceptions in the win, becoming the first team with at least seven sacks and five interceptions in a single game since Miami (eight sacks, six interceptions) on December 6, 1998.

Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson had 236 passing yards and a career-high 152 rushing yards with a touchdown in the Ravens’ 23-17 win over Cincinnati. His 152 rushing yards are the fourth-most by a quarterback in a single game in NFL history, including the postseason.

Jackson is the second quarterback to record at least 200 passing yards and 150 rushing yards in a single game in NFL history, including the postseason, joining Colin Kaepernick on January 12, 2013 (263 passing yards, 181 rushing yards in NFC Divisional playoffs). Jackson, who registered his third career game with at least 115 rushing yards, is the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to register at least 115 rushing yards in at least three games in his first two seasons.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 295 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 117.6 passer rating and added a rushing touchdown in the Seahawks’ 32-28 win at Cleveland. Wilson, who has recorded a passer rating of 100 or higher in each of Seattle’s first six games of the season, joined Aaron Rodgers (12 games in 2011), Tom Brady (eight in 2007) and Carson Palmer (six in 2005) as the only quarterbacks with a passer rating of 100 or higher in each of their team’s first six games of a season in NFL history.

Wilson, who is playing in his eighth NFL season, recorded his 67th career game with at least two touchdown passes and tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (67 games) for the third-most such games in a player’s first eight seasons in league annals. Only Peyton Manning (74 games) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (72) had more such games in their first eight seasons.

Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson passed for 280 yards and had three total touchdowns (two rushing, one passing) in the Texans’ 31-24 win at Kansas City.

Watson has 7,508 passing yards in 29 career games and tied Marc Bulger (29 games), Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (29) and Matthew Stafford (29) as quarterbacks to reach 7,500 career passing yards in the second-fewest games in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (27 games) reached 7,500 passing yards in fewer games.

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold passed for 338 yards and two touchdowns, including a 92-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Robby Anderson, in the Jets’ 24-22 win against Dallas. Darnold, at 22 years and 130 days old, is the youngest player in the Super Bowl era with a touchdown pass of at least 90 yards. As the first half expired, Dallas kicker Brett Maher converted a 62-yard field goal, his second career field goal of at least 60 yards, and joined Sebastian Janikowski (two) and Greg Zuerlein (two) as the only kickers with at least two career field goals of 60-or-more yards in NFL history.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo passed for 243 yards in the 49ers’ 20-7 win at the Los Angeles Rams. San Francisco advanced to 5-0 for the first time since 1990. Garoppolo, making his 15th career start, improved to 13-2 as a starting quarterback and became the eighth quarterback in the Super Bowl era to win 13 of his first 15 career starts.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan passed for 356 yards and four touchdowns in the Falcons’ Week 6 loss at Arizona. Ryan, who has recorded at least 300 passing yards in each of Atlanta’s first six games, joined Pro Football Hall of Famers Kurt Warner (six) and Steve Young (six) as quarterbacks with at least 300 passing yards in each of their team’s first six games of a season in NFL history.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK SEVEN

KNOCKING ON THE 150 CLUB: New England enters Week 7 as the lone undefeated team (6-0) in the AFC and lead the NFL in both points per game (31.7) and points allowed per game (8.0). Through six games, New England’s point differential (+142) is the third-highest at this point of a season in the Super Bowl era, trailing only the 1999 St. Louis Rams (+154) and the 1968 Dallas Cowboys (+149).

Against the New York Jets on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN), the Patriots can become the fifth team with a +150 point differential through a team’s first seven games in the Super Bowl era.

The teams with the highest point differential through their first seven games of a season in the Super Bowl era:

TEAM – SEASON (POINT DIFFERENTIAL, SEASON RESULT)
Dallas Cowboys – 1966 (+160, Advanced to NFL Championship)
New England – 2007 (+159, Advanced to Super Bowl XLII)
Chicago – 2006 (+152, Advanced to Super Bowl XLI)
St. Louis Rams – 1999 (+151, Won Super Bowl XXXIV)
Washington – 1991 (+149, Won Super Bowl XXVI)
New England – 2019 (+142, ???)*
*Through six games

DANGERUSS: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 295 yards and two touchdowns in the Seahawks’ Week 6 victory. Wilson has passed for at least two touchdowns in five of his first six games in 2019 and now has 67 games with at least two touchdown passes in his eight-year career.

With at least two touchdown passes on Sunday against Baltimore, Wilson would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (67) for the third-most games with at least two touchdown passes through a player’s first eight seasons in NFL history.

The players with the most games with at least two touchdown passes in their first eight seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES WITH 2+ TD PASSES)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (74)
Dan Marino, Miami (72) HOF
Brett Favre, Green Bay (67) HOF
Russell Wilson, Seattle (67)*
*In eighth season
HOF – Hall of Fame

Wilson has 14 touchdown passes and zero interceptions for a league-leading 124.7 passer rating this season. With two touchdown passes and no interceptions on Sunday, Wilson would tie Milt Plum (16 in 1960) for the fourth-most touchdown passes without an interception to begin a season in NFL history.

The players with the most touchdown passes without an interception to begin a season in NFL history:?

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, TD PASSES WITHOUT INT TO START SEASON)
Peyton Manning, Denver (2013, 20) #
Nick Foles, Philadelphia (2013, 19)
Alex Smith, Kansas City (2017, 18)
Milt Plum, Cleveland (1960, 16)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2019, 14)*
*Active Streak
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player

MATTY ICE’S HOT START: Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan leads the NFL with 15 touchdown passes this season and ranks second in the league with 2,011 passing yards entering Week 7.

Ryan, who has passed for at least 300 yards in each of his first six games, needs 300 passing yards on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams to become the first player with at least 300 passing yards in each of his team’s first seven games of a season in NFL history.

The players to pass for at least 300 yards in the most consecutive team games to begin a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES WITH 300+ PASSING YARDS TO BEGIN SEASON)

Matt Ryan, ATLANTA (2019 – 6)*
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (2000 – 6) HOF
Steve Young, San Francisco (1998 – 6) HOF
*Active streak
HOF – Hall of Fame

Additionally, Ryan has passed for at least three touchdowns on four occasions in 2019. By throwing for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday, Ryan would join Peyton Manning (2013) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young (1998) as the only players with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns in five of their team’s first seven games of a season in NFL history.

The players with the most performances of 300 passing yards and three touchdowns in their team’s first seven games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER

TEAM

SEASON

GAMES WITH 300+ YARDS & 3 TDs

Peyton Manning, Denver (2013 – 5)#
Steve Young, San Francisco (1998 – 5) HOF
Matt Ryan, ATLANTA (2019 – 4)*
*Through six games
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player
HOF – Hall of Fame

TOP 10 SHOWDOWN: Arizona rookie quarterback KYyler Murray, the number 1 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, and New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, the number 6 overall selection, will face off Sunday, for the first time in their careers.

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, the No. 2 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, has 15 games with at least 100 scrimmage yards, the most in the NFL since entering the league.

Appearing in his 20th career game on Sunday, Barkley needs at least 100 scrimmage yards to tie Edgerrin James (16) for the most games with at least 100 scrimmage yards through a player’s first 20 career games in NFL history.

The players with the most games of at least 100 scrimmage yards in their first 20 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES WITH 100+ SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (16)
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (15)*
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (15) HOF
*19 games
HOF – Hall of Fame

DYNAMIC DUO IN DALLAS: Over his last four games against NFC East opponents, Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott is 4-0 with 1,516 passing yards (379 yards per game) and 14 touchdowns for a 125.4 passer rating.

With three passing touchdowns against Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football, Prescott would become the fifth quarterback to pass for at least three touchdowns in five consecutive games against divisional opponents since 1970.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least three touchdown passes against divisional opponents since 1970:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, GAMES WITH 3+ PASS TDs)

Dan Marino, Miami (1986-87, 6) HOF
Brett Favre, Green Bay (1994-95, 5) HOF
Steve Beuerlein, Carolina (1999-2000, 5)
Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia (2003-04, 5)
Dak Prescott, Dallas (2018-19, 4)*
*Active streak

Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott leads the NFL with 5,877 scrimmage yards since entering the league in 2016.

Appearing in his 47th career game, Elliott needs 123 scrimmage yards against Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football to tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (47 games) and Le’Veon Bell (47) as the second-fastest player to reach 6,000 scrimmage yards in NFL history.

The players to reach 6,000 scrimmage yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES TO REACH 6,000 SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (44)
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (47) HOF
Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh (47)
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (48) HOF
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas (46)*
*Has 5,877 scrimmage yards
HOF – Hall of Fame

SCARY TERRY: Washington wide receiver Terry McLaurin leads all rookies in receptions (23), receiving yards (408) and receiving touchdowns (five) in 2019, and has recorded at least 50 receiving yards in each of his first five career games.

With at least 50 receiving yards on Sunday against San Francisco, McLaurin would join Earl McCullouch (seven games in 1968) as the only players to with 50 receiving yards in each of their first six career games in NFL history.

Byes in week seven? Carolina, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. Buffalo, Chicago, Indianapolis and Oakland return to action this week.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated Sunday’s Raiders-Packers matchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest involves teams that made indelible memories in three previous meetings. Most memorable was Super Bowl II, January 14, 1968, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, the final game of Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay coaching career. The Packers, fresh off their Ice Bowl win over the Cowboys, held off the AFL champion Raiders, 33-14. Nearly 25 years later, late in a frigid game against the Los Angeles Raiders on December 26, 1993, LeRoy Butler forced a Raiders fumble recovered by Pro Football Hall of Famer Reggie White.

After rumbling 10 yards, White lateraled to Butler, who covered the remaining 25 yards into the end zone and invented the Lambeau Leap as Green Bay clinched a playoff berth. Then, on December 22, 2003, in Oakland, Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve, only a day after his father’s death, threw for 399 yards and four touchdowns before a Monday Night Football television audience, leading Green Bay to a pivotal win that catapulted the Packers to the playoffs. Incidentally, following the Raiders’ loss to Lombardi’s Packers in Super Bowl II, the Raiders won the next five meetings with Green Bay and wouldn’t lose to the Packers again for 23 years, capturing three Super Bowls in that span.

As for last week, 7-7 for the week, 47-48 for the season. The leaves are falling, the weather’s getting a little chillier but there’s still lots of football left. Week seven got underway in Denver as Kansas City shutdown Denver in an AFC/AFL matchup and concludes in the Jersey Meadowlands as the defending Super Bowl champs travel to Met Life Stadium for a Monday night showdown with the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! Here are week seven’s Sunday and Monday picks.

Los Angeles Rams (3-3) at ATLANTA (1-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. A pair of teams with losing streaks under their belts meet in the Big Peach as Atlanta and Matt Ryan host the Los Angeles Rams at Mercedes Benz Stadium. Both teams found themselves on the losing side of the ledger in last week’s action.

The Rams opened the scoring against NFC West foe San Francisco last Sunday as WR Robert Wood scored on a 9-yard run in the first quarter, then watched the 49ers scored their 20 points of the contest unchallenged as they were 20-7 losers at the Coliseum. Los Angeles and San Francisco went into the break tied at 7-7 after Tevin Coleman answered the Rams’ TD with a TD of his own in the first quarter, then their last 13 points of the game to take the road win, using a 1-yard run by Jimmy Garoppolo and a pair of Robbie Gould field goals to close out the scoring. The Rams outrushed San Francisco 109-99 and Jared Goff threw for 78 yards but was sacked four times, while Garoppolo threw for 243 yards wtih a pair of sacks and an interception. The defending NFC champs were a dismal 0 of 9 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 21:08, while the 49ers, going 8 of 17 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down), ruled the clock and kept the ball for 38:52.

Atlanta dropped their fourth contest in a row, dropping a 34-33 heartbreaker at Arizona last Sunday. Atlanta led 7-3 at the end of the first quarter before the Cardinals scored 17 second-quarter points unchallenged, giving them a 20-10 lead at the half. Atlanta later trailed by 17 with 11:25 left in the third, then proceeded to chip away at the lead and would tie the contest up at 27-27, using a Matt Bryant field goal and two TD passes from Matt Ryan to RB Devonta Freeman and TE Austin Hooper to pull themselves even. Arizona reclaimed the lead with 5:12 left in the contest when RB David Johnson and rookie QB Kyler Murray connected on their second TD toss of the afternoon. The Falcons then used a 7-play, 75-yard drive take took 3:19 of clock and put themselves in a position to tie the contest or take the lead when Freeman and Ryan connected on their second TD pass (a 12-yard toss) with 1:53 left in regulation. Atlanta then chose to go for the tie and send Bryant out to kick the PAT. Bryant’s PAT try sailed wide right of the intended mark, giving the Cardinals the win as Arizona ran out the clock.

Atlanta outrushed Arizona 103-102 and Freeman led all rushers with 88 yards, while Ryan threw for 356 yards and four TDs (connecting with Calvin Ridley on one toss) and Murray threw for 340 yards and three TDs (Ryan was sacked four times, neither Ryan or Murray threw an interception). Atlanta was 6 of 11 on third down conversions in the desert and kept the ball for 32:47, while the Cardinals kept the ball for 27:13, going 7 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games that were played in Anaheim, Fulton County Stadium and St. Louis, the Rams lead the series 47-28-2 and have outscored the Falcons 1,810-1,321. However… the Falcons have won the last four meetings in the series, with their last win coming in Los Angeles in 2016 by a final of 42-14 in what would be Jeff Fisher’s last game as the Rams’ head coach. The Rams’ last win? 2007 in St. Louis, taking down the Falcons 28-16. The Rams are a 3-point road favorite in the Big Peach and the over/under’s 54 1/2. For one team, their losing streak ends; for the other, the streak continues. Falcons RISE UP to the occasion in the Big Peach, covering the 3 and winning at home.

Miami (0-6) at Buffalo (3-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of AFC rivals meet in upstate New York as Buffalo welcomes the winless Miami Dolphins to Orchard Park. Miami searches for their first win of the 2019 campaign, while the Bills come back to action from their bye week.

Miami dropped their sixth contest in a row as Washington held them off 17-16 last Sunday, giving interim head coach Bill Callahan at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday afternoon in the Sunshine State. After a scoreless first quarter, Washington took a 7-0 lead thanks to the first of two TD passes from Case Keenum to WR Terry McLaurin, took that lead with them to the break and then led 17-3 at the end of the third quarter before Miami would pull themselves to within one thanks to TDs by RB Kalen Ballage and WR DeVante Parker (Parker’s TD came with six seconds left in the contest; Miami would go for the onside kick, which Washington recovered and ran out the clock to take the win). Washington’s Adrian Peterson led all rushers 118 yards, as Washington outrushed the Dolphins 145-84 and Keenum threw for 166 yards and the two TD tosses to McLaurin, while Ryan Fitzpatrick (who took over for Josh Rosen) threw for 132 yards and the TD to Parker (Rosen threw for 85 yards with five sacks and a pair of interceptions). Washington was 2 of 11 on third down tries in the Sunshine State and kept the ball for 27:21, while Miami actually ruled the clock and kept the ball for 32:39, going 3 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

The Bills return from their bye week 14-7 winners at Tennessee two Sundays ago. After a scoreless first quarter in Nashville at Nissan Stadium, the Bills took a 7-0 lead with them to the intermission as WR Lane Smith and QB Josh Allen connected on an 8-yard TD toss. Tennessee would then proceed to tie the contest up with 7:02 left in the third when RB Derrick Henry scored from a yard out before the Bills reclaimed the lead for good in the fourth quarter when DUke Williams caught Allen’s second TD toss, this one from seven yards out with 9:46 left in the contest. The Bills then dodged a bullet with 6:35 left in the game when K Chris Santos’ 53-yard field goal try sailed wide left. After the teams traded punts, Buffalo got the ball back and after Tennessee burned all their time outs, the Bills ran out the clock and took the win on the road.

Bills RB Frank Gore led all rushers with 60 yards as Buffalo outrushed Tennessee 109-102 and Allen threw for 219 yards with the two TDs and an interception, while Marcus Mariota threw for 183 yards but was sacked five times in the contest (Mariota did not throw an interception). Buffalo went 4 of 13 on third down, 1 for 2 on fourth down conversions and ruled the clock as they held the ball for 31:12, while Tennessee, who kept the pigskin for 28:48, went 4 of 14 on third down tries in Music City.

Miami leads the series 60-45-1 (which includes contests that took place at the Orange Bowl and War Memorial Stadium) and the ‘Fins have outscored Buffalo 2,259-2,058. The two AFC East rivals split last season’s meetings and both were winners in front of their home fans.

Meeting number one… week 13 in Miami Gardens and Miami held off a late Buffalo rally in the second half to come away with the 21-17 win at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami led 14-6 at the break before the Bills outscored them in the second half to make the contest closer than Dolphin fans would like. Buffalo outrushed Miami 198-60 and Allen led all rushers with 135 yards in the contest. Allen threw for 231 yards and a pair of TDs, while Tannehill threw for 137 yards and three TDs (Tannehill was sacked three times and threw an interception, while Allen was sacked twice with two intereceptions). Miami went 2 of 9 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 27:03, while the Bills ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 32:57, going 5 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

They met again, this time in upstate New York and the weather was a bit chillier in that season final contest (Temperature in their first meeting? 86 degrees; the second meeting? A balmy 33 degrees with a 40 percent chance of snow showers and a wind chill of 25 degrees… to say it was cold is an understatement). Buffalo broke a 14-14 tie at the intermission at New Era Field in Orchard Park, sending their fan base home happy with a 42-17 win. Allen and WR Robert Foster connected on a 5-yard TD toss in the third to take the lead for keeps and the Bills would score 14 points in the fourth quarter unchallenged to seal Miami’s fate. As was the case in the meeting in the Sunshine State, Buffalo outrushed Miami, tallying 166 yards to Miami’s 95 and once again, Allen led all rushers with 95 yards and a pair of rushing TDs of his own, throwing for 224 yards and three TDs (Allen was sacked once and picked off once), while Tannehill threw for 147 yards with a pair of interceptions and four sacks. The Bills were 5 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and once again ruled the clock, holding the ball hostage for 30:18, while Miami kept it for 29:42, going 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 13 contest in the Sunshine State, Miami was favored by 4 1/2 but only won by 4. The two clubs tallied 38 points in that first meeting, missing the 40 over/under. Buffalo covered the 3 1/2 point spread in upstate New York in the season finale, winning by 25 and both teams shattered the 38 1/2 over/under with 59 points. The Bills are a 17-point favorite in upstate New York and the over/under’s 40 1/2. The 40 1/2 makes a ton of sense. The 17? That’s a bit on the steep side. Granted, the Dolphins are bad but not 17 points bad and they’ll make things hard for Buffalo but the Bills circle the wagons in upstate New York and comes away with the win.

Jacksonville (2-4) at Cincinnati (0-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirectV 706. A pair of struggling teams meet along the shores of the Ohio River as Jacksonville takes on Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

Jaguar fans left TIAA Bank Field heartbroken after Jacksonville lost to Teddy Bridgewater and the New Orleans Saints 13-6 in the Sunshine State. For three quarters of football, Jaguars K Josh Lambo and Saints K Will Lutz exchanged field goals, as the teams entered the intermission tied at 3-3 and were tied at 6-6 at the end of the third quarter. TE Jared Cook would score the only TD of the contest when he and Bridgewater (240 yards, three sacks) connected on a 4-yard TD toss with 11:49 left in the contest. New Orleans then held off a Jacksonville rally and took the win after the Jaguars punted the ball away on a second possession in the contest, running out the clock and taking the win. Jacksonville was outrushed by New Orleans 104-75 and Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette led all rushers with 72, while Gardner Minshew threw for 163 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception. Jacksonville was 4 of 14 on third down in the Sunshine State, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 26:51, while the Saints ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:09, while going 5 for 13 on third down.

The winless Bengals return home after their 23-17 loss at Baltimore last Sunday. Cincinnati trailed 17-10 at the half at M&T Stadium, pulling themselves to within three with two seconds left on a Jeff Tucker field goal. The Bengals would then make things closer than Ravens fans wanted when Dalton scored on a 2-yard run with 88 seconds left in the contest. Dalton threw for 235 yards with the rushing TD, with a pair of sacks and an interception, while Lamar Jackson threw for 236 yards (Jackson was sacked once but did not throw an interception) in the AFC North win in Charm City. Cincinnati was 5 of 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 20:18, while the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:42, while going 9 for 15 on third down.

Jacksonville holds a 12-9 lead in the series and the Jaguars have outscored Cincinnati 469-378. Jacksonville won the last meeting, taking a 23-7 win in 2017 in the Sunshine State, while the Bengals’ last win took place along the shores of the Ohio River by a final of 33-23 in 2014. Jacksonville’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 44. Both numbers make a lot of sense. We wouldn’t blame you one bit if you were to do your Halloween costume shopping and take a pass on this game. Jaguars cover the 3 1/2 on the road and keeps Cincinnati winless in the process.

Minnesota (4-2) at Detroit (2-2-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. They meet in the great indoors. A pair of NFC North rivals square off in the Motor City Sunday afternoon as Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions host the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field.

Minnesota held Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles in check last Sunday in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, coming away 38-20 winners at US Bank Field. The Vikings and Kirk Cousins took a 24-10 lead with them to the break, then floored the gas, outscoring the Eagles 14-10 in the second half. Cousins threw for 333 yards with four TDs (three to Stefan Diggs) and a sack as Minnesota outrushed the Eagles 122-108, while Wentz threw for 306 yards with a pair of TDs and two sacks (both threw an interception). Minnesota was 2 of 10 on third down (the Vikings were 1 of 1 on fourth down conversions in the Twin Cities) and held on to the ball for 32:04, while the Eagles kept the pigskin for 27:56, going 4 of 12 and 1 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

The Lions saw victory taken away from them last Monday night at Lambeau Field as Green Bay K Mason Crosby connected on a 23-yard field goal as time expired to give the Packers a 23-22 NFC North win. Detroit led 13-10 at the intermission before Crosby tied the contest up with 12:35 left when he booted a 48-yard field goal. Detroit reclaimed the lead witi three Matt Prather field goals and led 22-13 with 9:03 in the contest when Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and WR Alan Lazard connected on a 35-yard TD pass to make it a 2-point contest. Green Bay then got the ball back after the Lions punted with 6:06 left and used all of that time to use a 14-play, 77-yard drjve, assisted by Detroit burning all three of their time outs and an illegal use of hands penalty on DE Trey Flowers to set up the game-winner.

Green Bay outrushed Detroit 170-56 and Packers RB Jamal Williams led all rushers with 104 yards; Rodgers threw for 283 yards and a pair of TDs, while Stafford threw for 265 yards (Stafford was sacked three times but did not throw an interception, while Rodgers was picked off once). Detroit was 3 of 13 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:56, while the Packers ruled the clock, holding the ball for 33:04 (including the final 6:06 of the contest), going 4 of 12 on third down tries.

Including games that were played at Metropolitan Stadium, Tiger Stadium, the Silverdome and the Metrodome, the Vikings lead the series 74-39-2, the Viking have outscored Detroit 2,483-2,117. Minnesota has won the last three meetings and swept the series last year, while Detroit’s last win came in 2017 in the Twin Cities by a final of 14-7.

Meeting number one… US Bank Stadium in week nine. Minnesota held the Lions to three Matt Prater field goals, taking a 24-9 win in the Twin Cities. The Vikings led 17-6 at halftime and were never really threatened afterward. Minnesota outrushed Detroit 128-66 and Cook led all rushers with 89 yards on the ground. Cousins threw for 164 yards with a TD to Thielen (he was sacked once and threw an interception), while Stafford threw for 199 yards and was sacked 10 times but threw no interceptions. The Vikings were 3 of 8 on third down (they were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and 23:15, while the Lions ruled the clock and kept the ball for 36:45, going 4 of 15 on third down, 3 of 3 on fourth down.

Minnesota made it a clean sweep over their NFC North rival in week 16 as they once again held the Lions to three field goals in the first half and took a 27-9 win at Ford Field. The Vikings erased an early Lions lead (Detroit led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter), took a 14-9 lead with them to the locker room at the half, then scored their last 13 points of the contest unchallenged. Minnesota outrushed the Lions 100-86 (Cook led all rushers with 73 yards) and Cousins threw for 253 yards and three TD passes (two to Kyle Rudolph, the other to Stefon Diggs), while Stafford threw for 116 yards with a pair of sacks. Minnesota went 4 of 13, 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs at Ford Field and kept the ball for 28:32, while the Lions actually ruled the clock and held the ball for 31:28, going 4 of 16 on third down, 1 for 3 on fourth down.

The Vikings, favored by 5 1/2, covered the spread, winning by 15 but the 33 combined points came nowhere near the 50 1/2 over/under in the week nine contest in the Twin Cities. Minnesota was favored again in the week 16 contest in the Motor City, covering the 5 1/2 point spread, winning by 18. As for the 43 1/2 over/under? It was untouched, as both teams combined for 36 points. Minnesota’s favored by 1 in the Motor City and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Detroit’s played some decent if not great football of late, while the Vikings are trying to catch Green Bay in the NFC North. Minnesota covers the 1 and wins in the

Oakland (3-2) at Green Bay (5-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. The Silver and Black, coming off their bye week, makes their way to the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst as they face off against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

The Silver and Black return from their bye week after they left London 24-21 winners over Chicago at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium two weeks ago. After a scoreless first quarter, the Raiders took a 17-0 lead with them to the locker room at the half, then saw that lead get away from them as Chicago scored 21 third quarter points unchallenged before restoring order on the other side of the Atlantic when rookie RB Josh Jacobs scored on a 2-yard run with 1:57 left in the contest. Jacobs ran for 123 yards with two TDs (including the game-winner) as Oakland outrushed Chicago 169-42 and Derek Carr threw for 229 yards without a sack or interception, while Bears backup QB Chase Daniel (Who took over for Mitchell Trubisky) threw for 231 yards with a pair of TDs (Daniel was sacked four times and picked off twice). While the Raiders were 6 of 12 on third down tries on the other side of the pond, they struck gold on fourth down in their only try in that catagory and kept the ball for 34:43, while Chicago, keeping the ball for 25:17, went 4 of 11 on third down tries.

Packers K Mason Crosby was the man of the moment Monday night as he connected on a 23-yard field goal as time expired to give the Packers a 23-22 NFC North win. Detroit led 13-10 at the intermission in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst before Crosby tied the contest up with 12:35 left when he booted a 48-yard field goal. Detroit reclaimed the lead witi three Matt Prather field goals and led 22-13 with 9:03 in the contest when Rodgers and WR Alan Lazard connected on a 35-yard TD pass to make it a 2-point contest. Green Bay then got the ball back after the Lions punted with 6:06 left and used all of that time to use a 14-play, 77-yard drjve, assisted by Detroit burning all three of their time outs and an illegal use of hands penalty on DE Trey Flowers to set up the game-winner.

Green Bay outrushed Detroit 170-56 and Packers RB Jamal Williams led all rushers with 104 yards; Rodgers threw for 283 yards and a pair of TDs, while Stafford threw for 265 yards (Stafford was sacked three times but did not throw an interception, while Rodgers was picked off once). Detroit was 3 of 13 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:56, while the Packers ruled the clock, holding the ball for 33:04 (including the final 6:06 of the contest), going 4 of 12 on third down tries.

Green Bay leads the series 7-5 (including contests that were played in Los Angeles), the Packers have outrscored Oakland 278-204 and have won the last seven meetings in the series, inclduing a 30-20 win on the West Coast in 2015, while Oakland’s last win in the series came at Lambeau in 1987, as the Raiders shutout Green Bay 20-0. Green Bay’s favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 47. Green Bay takes this one in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst but expect the Silver and Black to make things closer than 4 1/2.

Houston (4-2) at Indianapolis (3-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. The top two teams in the AFC South meet in the Hoosier State Sunday afternoon as the Houston Texans (first place) meet the Indianapolis Colts (second place) in a key divisional showdown at Lucas Oil Stadium. Both teams beat Kansas City at Arrowhead in consecutive weeks, with the Colts coming off their bye week taking the win to send the Chiefs on their two-game losing streak.

Houston picked up their second win in a row, coming out of Arrowhead Stadium 31-24 last Sunday afternoon against the Kansas City Chiefs Houston erased a 17-3 Chiefs lead at the end of the first quarter get away from them as the Texans would score 20 second quarter points unchallenged, leading 23-17 at the intermission. Kansas City would reclaim the lead with 6:30 left in the third when Tyreek Hill and Patrick Mahomes connected on a 6-yard TD toss. That lead would be erased by the Texans in the final quarter of play when DeShaun Watson scored on a 1-yard run with 6:17 left in the contest. The Chiefs would get the ball back after the kick off but would get as their 22-yard line, where they punted the ball back to Houston, who ran the clock out, making sure that Kansas City would never see the football again.

Houston’s Carlos Hyde led all rushers with 116 yards on the ground, as the Texans outrushed Kansas City 192-53 and Watson threw for 280 yards with a passing TD to go with his rushing TD, while Mahomes threw for 273 yards with three TDs (two of them to Hill; Mahomes was sacked once and threw an interception, while Watson threw two interceptions). The Chiefs were 4 of 8 on third down tries at Arrowhead and kept the ball for 20:12, while the Texans ruled the clock and kept the ball for 39:48, going 5 of 12 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

The Colts were 19-13 winners at Arrowhead Stadium two Sundays ago. Indianapolis led Mahomes and the Chiefs 13-10 at the half and after a scoreless third quarter in the Sunday night contest, Adam Vinatieri would kick a pair of fourth-quarter field goals to lead by 9 with 2:27 left in the contest before Chiefs K Harrison Butker connected on a 36-yarder to pull themselves to within 6 with 76 seconds left in the contest. The Chiefs then tried an onside kick in hopes of keeping the ball but the Colts recovered and ran out the clock to take the win. The Chiefs outrushed Kansas City 180-36 and Jacoby Brissett threw for 151 yards with a rushing TD (Brissett threw an interception but was not sacked), while Mahomes threw for 321 yards and a TD with four sacks. The Colts went 5 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 37:15, while the Chiefs kept the ball for 22:45, going 4 for 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Indianapolis leads the series 26-8 and have outscored the Texans 897-677. They split last year’s contests, winning in the other team’s stadium.

They met in Indianapolis in week four and the Texans needed overtime to take a 37-34 win out of Lucas Oil Stadium. Houston led 21-10 at the break before the Colts and Andrew Luck stormed back to take a 34-31 lead with 6 minutes left in regulation. Houston would even things up at 34-34 with 1:50 left when Kai Fairburn connected on a 29-yard field. The two teams went into the overtime and Vinatieri and Fairburn exchanged field goals in the extra period. Indianapolis then got the ball back but could get only as close as their own 43 yard, where the Colts’ fourth down try failed. The Texans got the ball back with 24 seconds left and used all of that 24 seconds to set up Fairburn for a 37-yard try, which he connected as the clock struck :00.

Houston outrushed the Colts 119-41 and Watson threw for 375 yards and a pair of TDs, while Luck threw for 464 yards and four TDs (Watson was sacked seven times and threw an interception, Luck was sacked four times). While Houston was 8 of 16 on third down tries, they were perfect on fourth down in their only attempt and kept the ball for 40:04 (including the last 24 seconds of overtime), while the Colts kept the ball for 29:56 and went 10 of 17 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The Colts would get revenge in the Lone Star State in week 14, holding off the Texans and came away from NRG Stadium 24-21 winners. After Houston’s Alfred Blue opened the scoring with a 3-yard TD run late in the first quarter, Indianapolis would erase that lead, scoring 17 second quarter points unchallenged to lead 17-7 at the break as Vinatieri booted a 54-yard field goal to end the first half. Indy then led by as much as ten before the Texans would pull themselves to within seven late in the third quarter. The Texans made the contest closer with 2:37 left in the contest when Watson and WR DeAndre Hopkins connected on a 7-yard TD pass but got no closer.

Houston outrushed the Colts 89-50 and Watson threw for 267 yards with five sacks and no interceptions, while Luck threw for 399 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Eric Ebron) with a pair of sacks and an interception. Houston was 5 of 15 on third down (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:57, while the Colts held on to the ball for 28:03, going 4 of 12 on third down on the road.

Indianapolis was favored by 2 in the week four contest at Lucas Oil and the Texans covered, winning by 3. The two teams combined for 71 points, allowing them to cover the 47 1/2 over/under. In the week 14 contest in Houston, the Texans were favored by 4 1/2 but the Colts won by 3 and the 45 points they combined to score missed the 48 1/2 over/under by 3 1/2. The Colts are favored by 1 in the Hoosier State and the over/under’s 47 1/2. These two could decide who wins the AFC South and who may get the wild card spot.

Arizona (2-2-1) at New York Giants (2-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Rookie QB will be on display Sunday afternoon in the Meadowlands as the New York Giants and Daniel Jones host the Arizona Cardinals and Kyler Murray.

The Desert Angry Birds held off a late Atlanta rally at State Farm Stadium last Sunday, coming away 34-33 winners last Sunday. Trailing 7-3 at the end of the first quarter, the Cardinals scored 17 second-quarter points unchallenged, giving them a 20-10 lead at the half. Arizona would lead by as much as 17 with 11:25 left in the third, before the Falcons would chip away at the lead, tying the contest up at 27-27, using a Matt Bryant field goal and two TD passes from Matt Ryan to RB Devonta Freeman and TE Austin Hooper to pull themselves even. Arizona reclaimed the lead with 5:12 left in the contest when RB David Johnson and Murray connected on their second TD toss of the afternoon. The Falcons then used a 7-play, 75-yard drive take took 3:19 of clock and put themselves in a position to tie the contest or take the lead when Freeman and Ryan connected on their second TD pass (a 12-yard toss) with 1:53 left in regulation. Atlanta then chose to go for the tie and send Bryant out to kick the PAT. Bryant’s PAT try sailed wide right of the intended mark, giving the Cardinals the win as Arizona ran out the clock.

Atlanta outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 103-102 and Freeman led all rushers with 88 yards, while Ryan threw for 356 yards and four TDs (connecting with Calvin Ridley on one toss) and Murray threw for 340 yards and three TDs (Ryan was sacked four times, neither Ryan or Murray threw an interception). Atlanta was 6 of 11 on third down conversions in the desert and kept the ball for 32:47, while the Cardinals kept the ball for 27:13, going 7 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Big Blue trailed New England 21-14 at Gillette Stadium last Thursday night at the half, then watched the defending Super Bowl champs pull away to take a 35-14 win in Foxboro. New England got the scoring started in the Thursday night affair with a special teams TD when DL Chase Winovich blocked a Giants punt and ran it back six yards for a score. While Tom Brady did not throw a TD pass, he did contribute with his feet, scoring on a pair of rushing TDs in the win. New England outrushed the Giants 114-52 (Pats RB Sony Michel led all rushers with 86 yards) and Brady threw for 334 yards with an interception, while rookie QB Daniel Jones threw for 161 yards with a TD toss to Golden Tate (Jones threw three interceptions and had a sack). New England was 6 of 13 on third down tries (they were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:36, while the Giants, who held on to the pigskin for 20:24, went 2 of 10 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down conversions.

Including games played in Chicago, St. Louis, Tempe and contests that took place at Yankee Stadium, the Giants lead the series 80-44-2 and Big Blue has outscored the Desert Angry Birds 2,760-2,174. Arizona’s won the last two meetings, including coming away 23-0 winners in 2017, while the Giants’ last win also came in the desert, as New York prevailed 31-27 in 2011. The Giants are a 2-point favorite in the Meadowlands and the over/under’s 49. Both numbers are pretty reasonable and both have played decent football but not great football. Giants cover the 2 in the Meadowlands and takes the win at home.

San Francisco (5-0) at Washington (1-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Jimmy Garoppolo and the resurging (and undefeated) San Francisco 49ers, passing their win total from last year, makes their way to Landover to face off against the washington Redskins, who look for their second win of the campaign. Both clubs were winners on the road in last week’s contest.

Although the Los Angeles Rams opened the scoring against their NFC West foes as WR Robert Wood scored on a 9-yard run in the first quarter, the 49ers took control of things in southern California as they scored their 20 points of the contest unchallenged, coming away 20-7 winners at the Coliseum to pick up their fifth win in a row. The two teams went into the break tied at 7-7 after Tevin Coleman answered the Rams’ TD with a TD of his own in the first quarter, then their last 13 points of the game to take the road win, using a 1-yard run by Garoppolo and a pair of Robbie Gould field goals to close out the scoring. The Rams outrushed San Francisco 109-99 and Jared Goff threw for 78 yards but was sacked four times, while Garoppolo threw for 243 yards wtih a pair of sacks and an interception. The defending NFC champs were a dismal 0 of 9 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 21:08, while the 49ers, going 8 of 17 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down), ruled the clock and kept the ball for 38:52.

The Redskins return to Landover, giving interim head coach Bill Callahan his first win with the team and the team’s first win of the season, breaking a five-game losing streak, taking a 17-16 win over Miami at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday afternoon in the Sunshine State. After a scoreless first quarter, Washington took a 7-0 lead thanks to the first of two TD passes from Case Keenum to WR Terry McLaurin, took that lead with them to the break and then led 17-3 at the end of the third quarter before Miami would pull themselves to within one thanks to TDs by RB Kalen Ballage and WR DeVante Parker (Parker’s TD came with six seconds left in the contest; Miami would go for the onside kick, which Washington recovered and ran out the clock to take the win). Adrian Peterson was back to his old running form, rushing for 118 yards, as Washington outrushed the Dolphins 145-84 and Keenum threw for 166 yards and the two TD tosses to McLaurin, while Ryan Fitzpatrick (who took over for Josh Rosen) threw for 132 yards and the TD to Parker (Rosen threw for 85 yards with five sacks and a pair of interceptions). Washington was 2 of 11 on third down tries in the Sunshine State and kept the ball for 27:21, while Miami actually ruled the clock and kept the ball for 32:39, going 3 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Including contests played at Keezar Stadium, Candlestick Park and RFK Stadium, the 49ers lead the series 17-10-1 and they have outscored Washington 679-540. The Redskins won the last meeting, coming away 26-24 winners at FedEx Field in 2017, while the 49ers’ last win came on the West Coast with San Francisco prevailing 17-13 in 2014. San Francisco’s favored by 9 1/2 in Landover and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Last week, Washington fans were singing “Hail to the Redskins.” This week? “Hell, it’s the Redskins.” Washington makes this one close but San Francsico remains unbeaten.

Los Angeles Chargers (2-4) at Tennessee (2-4), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. A pair of 2-4 teams meet in the Music City as Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers travel to Nashville for a meeting with the Tennessee Titans. Both teams took losses in last week’s contests.

A Charger rally in the fourth quarter fell short against Pittsburgh at Dignity Health Sports Park fell short last Sunday night as the Steelers took care of the Bolts 24-17 on the West Coast. The Steelers scored all 24 of their points unchalleged, leading 17-0 at the intermission before the Chargers would score their points in the fourth quarter, using a pair of TD passes from Rivers to TE Hunter Henry to pull themselves to within 7 with 79 seconds left in the contest. Pittsburgh outrushed Los Angeles 124-32 and Rivers threw for 320 yards with the two Henry TDs (Rivers was sacked once and picked off twice), while rookie QB Devlin Hodges (taking over for Mason Rudolph – concussion) threw for 132 yards and a TD to James Conner. Both clubs did quite well on third down conversions in the Sunday night contest; Pittsburgh was 8 of 13, Los Angeles was 7 of 12 and the Steelers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:05 to the Chargers’ 25:55.

The Titans were shut out by Denver 16-0 at Empower Field at Mile High. Denver, holding Tennessee to 39 yards rushing, got three Brian McManus field goals in the contest, taking a 6-0 lead with them to the break, then flooring the gas in the second half, scoring the last 10 points of the game unchallenged, with Patrick Lindsey scoring the game’s only TD, scoring from 2 yards out with 4:56 left in the third quarter. Lindsay led all rushers with 70 yards, while Denver had 103 of their own yards on the ground. Joe Flacco threw for 177 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception, while Mariota threw for 63 yards with a pair of pair of interceptions and three sacks before being taken out of the contest in favor of Ryan Tannehill (144 yards, interception). Both clubs went 2 of 14 on third down (the Titans were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and the Titans actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:14 to Denver’s 29:46.

The Chargers lead the series 27-14-1 (which includes games that took place when the Titans were in Houston and known as the Oilers and the Chargers played their home games at Qualcomm Stadium) and the Bolts have outscored Tennessee 1,088-921. Their last meeting took place last year in London and the Chargers hung on to win 20-19 (Tennessee’s last win in the series came in 2013 in Music City by a final of 20-17).

The two clubs met in week seven on the other side of the Big Pond. Rivers and the Chargers led 10-6 at the intermission at Wembley Stadium and led 20-13 with 31 seconds left when Mariota and Lance Stocker connected on a 1-yard TD toss. The Titans then went for the two-point conversion to take the lead (that failed) and tried the onside kick, which also failed, giving the Chargers the ball and the win.

Tennessee actually outrushed the Chargers 164-47, with Titans RB Dion Lewis leading everyone with 91 yards and Mariota threw for 237 yards and the fourth-quarter TD (he threw an interception), while Rivers threw for 306 yards and a pair of TDs (both men were twice and Mariota threw an interception). The Chargers went 4 of 9 on third down and kept the ball for 24:37, while the Titans ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 35:23, going 9 of 15 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Although the Chargers were favored by 6 1/2 on the other side of the Atlantic in week seven, they would come away winning by 1. As for the 45 over/under? It was untouched, as both teams tallied 39 points. The Titans are favored by 2 1/2 in the Music City and the over/under’s 39 1/2. Could either one or both teams make the post-season? Right now, it’s plausible, as they say on “Mythbusters.” Chargers get themselves back on track and takes the win on the road, covering the 2 1/2.

New Orleans (5-1) at Chicago (3-2), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. It’s gumbo vs. deep dish pizza as the New Orleans Saints make their way to the Windy City for a late-afternoon contest with the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

Teddy Bridgewater and the New Orleans Saints held off Jacksonville 13-6 in the Sunshine State last Sunday. For three quarters of football, it was an all field goal affair as Jaguars K Josh Lambo and Saints K Will Lutz exchanged field goals and the teams entered the intermission tied at 3-3 and were tied at 6-6 at the end of the third quarter. TE Jared Cook would score the only TD of the contest when he and Bridgewater (240 yards, three sacks) connected on a 4-yard TD toss with 11:49 left in the contest. New Orleans then held off a Jacksonville rally and took the win after the Jaguars punted the ball away on a second possession in the contest, running out the clock and taking the win. Jacksonville was outrushed by New Orleans 104-75 and Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette led all rushers with 72, while Gardner Minshew threw for 163 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception. Jacksonville was 4 of 14 on third down in the Sunshine State, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 26:51, while the Saints ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:09, while going 5 for 13 on third down.

Da Bears return to the Windy City from their bye week after they left London on the short end of a 24-21 loss to Oakland at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium two weeks ago. After a scoreless first quarter, the Raiders took a 17-0 lead with them to the locker room at the half, then saw that lead get away from them as Chicago scored 21 third quarter points unchallenged before restoring order on the other side of the Atlantic when rookie RB Josh Jacobs scored on a 2-yard run with 1:57 left in the contest. Jacobs ran for 123 yards with two TDs (including the game-winner) as Oakland outrushed Chicago 169-42 and Derek Carr threw for 229 yards without a sack or interception, while Bears backup QB Chase Daniel (Who took over for Mitchell Trubisky) threw for 231 yards with a pair of TDs (Daniel was sacked four times and picked off twice). While the Raiders were 6 of 12 on third down tries on the other side of the pond, they struck gold on fourth down in their only try in that catagory and kept the ball for 34:43, while Da Bears, keeping the ball for 25:17, went 4 of 11 on third down tries.

While New Orleans holds a 15-13 lead in the series, Da Bears have outscored New Orleans 560-559. New Orleans has won the last four meetings, including a 20-12 victory in the Big Easy in 2017, while Chicago’s last win came in 2008 as Da Bears needed overtime to come away 27-24 winners at Soldier Field. Da Bears are favored by 3 1/2 with a 48 over/under. Deep dish wins this one. Da Bears win in the Windy City and covers the 3 1/2.

Baltimore (4-2) at Seattle (5-1), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens make their way to the Pacific Northwest for a late afternoon showdown with Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Both teams were winners in last week’s contests, Baltimore winning at home, while Seattle took a road win at Cleveland.

The Ravens held off a late Cincinnati rally in the final quarter, coming away with the 23-17 win in Charm City to give the Bengals their sixth loss in a row. Baltimore led 17-10 at the half at M&T Stadium, then saw the Bengals pull themselves to within three with two seconds left on a Jeff Tucker field goal (Tucker would kick two more field goals to round out Baltimore’s scoring). The Bengals would then make things closer than Ravens fans wanted when Dalton scored on a 2-yard run with 88 seconds left in the contest. Dalton threw for 235 yards with the rushing TD, with a pair of sacks and an interception, while Jackson threw for 236 yards (Jackson was sacked once but did not throw an interception) in the AFC North win in Charm City. Cincinnati was 5 of 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 20:18, while the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:42, while going 9 for 15 on third down.

Seattle returns home to Century Link Field after their 32-28 over Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Seahawks trailed 20-18 at the half along the shores of Lake Erie, then went to work in the second half, outscoring Cleveland 14-8 in the final 30 minutes of action, with RB Chris Carson scoring the game-winner with 3:30 left in the contest on a one-yard run. The Seahawks would go on to hold off a late Browns rally in the final minutes of the contest when K.J. Wright picked off Mayfield, giving them the ball and allowing them to run out the clock. Carson led all rushers with 124 yards and the game-winning TD, while Nick Chubb led Cleveland with 122 yards and a pair of touchdowns (WR Odell Beckham, Jr. led all recievers with 101 yards on six catches), while Wilson threw for 295 yards with a pair of TD passes and Mayfield throwing for 249 yards with a TD and three interceptions (Wilson was sacked three times and both Wilson and Mayfield had a rushing TD). Seattle went 6 of 13 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 33:41, while the Browns, who held on to the ball for 26:19, went 3 of 8 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

The Seahawks lead the series 3-2, Seattle’s outscored Baltimore 149-104 and they’ve won the last three meetings, including a 35-6 win in Charm City in 2015 (Baltimore’s last win over the Seahawks came in 2003 in Charm City by a final of 44-41 in overtime). Seattle’s favored by 3 1/2 in the Pacific Northwest and the over/under’s 49 1/2. This could be a somewhat entertaining contest. Seattle prevails but expect Baltimore to make it closer than 3 1/2.

Philadelphia (3-3) at Dallas (3-3), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Eagles. Cowboys. NFC East rivals meet in the Lone Star State Sunday night as the two clubs, tied for first in the division, square off at AT&T Stadium. Both teams took losses on the road in last week’s action.

Minnesota held Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles in check last Sunday in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, coming away 38-20 winners at US Bank Field. The Vikings and Kirk Cousins took a 24-10 lead with them to the break, then floored the gas, outscoring the Eagles 14-10 in the second half. Cousins threw for 333 yards with four TDs (three to Stefan Diggs) and a sack as Minnesota outrushed the Eagles 122-108, while Wentz threw for 306 yards with a pair of TDs and two sacks (both threw an interception). Minnesota was 2 of 10 on third down (the Vikings were 1 of 1 on fourth down conversions in the Twin Cities) and held on to the ball for 32:04, while the Eagles kept the pigskin for 27:56, going 4 of 12 and 1 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

A Cowboys rally in the fourth quarter fell short as the New York Jets ended their four-game losing streak last Sunday afternoon against Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys, holding them off 24-22 at Met Life Stadium. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! led 21-6 at the break, then held off a late Cowboys rally late in the contest, as Dallas came within two when Prescott scored on a 2-yard run with 43 seconds left. Dallas then went for two in hope of tying the contest but Prescott’s try to TE Jason Whiten went incomplete. Dallas outrushed GangGreen 129-56 and Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott led all rushers with 105 yards and a TD, while Jets RB LeVeon Bell led his club with 50 yards and a rushing TD. Prescott threw for 277 yards, while Sam Darnold threw for 338 yards with a pair of TDs (Darnold was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Prescott was sacked once but did not throw a pick).

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! went 2 of 10 on third down in the late afternoon contest in the Meadowlands and kept the ball for 27:57, while the Cowboys ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:03, going 10 for 17 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down

Dallas holds a 65-51 in the series (which includes contests that were played at the Cotton Bowl, Texas Stadium, JFK Stadium and Veterans Stadium), they’ve outscored the Eagles 2,499-2,317 and the Cowboys have won the last three meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Philadelphia’s last win came in 2017 in Dallas by a final of 37-9).

They met in the City of Brotherly Love on a Sunday night in week 10 and the Cowboys took a 13-3 lead with them to the break before the Eagles would storm back in the second half and tie things up with 7:27 left in the contest when Wentz and Ertz connected on a 1-yard TD pass. That tie would not last very long as the Cowboys would reclaim the lead for keeps, using an 8-play, 75-yard drive that took 4:08 and ended when Ezekiel Elliott scored from a yard away to lead 27-20. Philadelphia would get the ball back with 3:19 left in the contest and made their way down the field. They would get as close as the Cowboys’ 32-yard line with no time outs left, trying several lateral passes to get to the end zone but could not get any closer.

Elliott rushed for 151 yards and a TD in the contest to lead all rushers as Dallas outrushed the Eagles 171-71 at Lincoln Financial Field and Prescott threw for 270 yards and a TD to Elliott, while Wentz threw for 360 yards and a pair of TDs to Ertz (Prescott was sacked four times, Wentz was sacked twice and threw an interception). Dallas was 8 pf 16 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:22, while the Eagles, keeping the ball for 26:38, went 4 of 10 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down.

Dallas made it a clean sweep in week 14 at AT&T Stadium, taking a 29-23 win over the Eagles in the Lone Star State. Dallas used a pair of Bill Maher field goals to lead 6-0 going into the intermission and led 9-0 late in the third quarter before Wentz and Alshon Jeffery broke Dallas’ shutout bid with a 2-yard TD pass (they would miss the extra point). Eagles K Jake Elliott would tie the contest up at 9-9 with a 26-yard field goal early in the fourth and Dallas would take the lead again when Cooper and Prescott connected on a 28-yard TD toss with 7:46. The two teams would tie things up again and Philadelphia would create the third tie of the contest with 99 seconds left when Wentz connected with Darrell Sproles from 6 yards out, pulling the contest even at 23-23. The teams then went into overtime and Dallas won the toss in the overtime and took the ball. The Cowboys would waste very little time if any, using a 13-play, 75-yard drive, taking 8:05 of clock and ending with Prescott and Cooper connecting on a 15-yard TD toss to take the win.

Dallas outrushed Philadelphia 142-34 (Elliott led all rushers with 113 yards) and Prescott threw for 455 yards, while Wentz threw for 228 yards (Prescott was sacked three times, Wentz sacked twice; both men threw three TD passes, Prescott connecting with Cooper on all three, including the game-winner). The Eagles were a somewhat dismal 1 of 9 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 22:32, while the Cowboys kept the ball for 45:33 (including the overtime), going 10 of 19 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 10 contest, the Eagles were favored by 6 and Dallas covered by 7. The 43 1/2 over/under was covered, as both teams combined for 47 points. In the week 14 contest in Arlington, Dallas won by 6, allowing them to cover the 4-point spread and the teams covered the 43 over/under with 52 points.

Since these two teams are in the hunt for the NFC East (and since Temple and Southern Methodist played in Dallas Saturday), we figured that making this one “DRILL WORTHY!” would be the right thing to do (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

Dallas is favored by 3 and the over/under’s 49. The winner of this one? They’ll have the inside track to the NFC East. The loser? They may make the playoffs but it’ll be hard for them to come back from the loss. Dallas wins this one in Arlington but expect Philadelphia to make the contest closer than 3.

New England (6-0) at New York Jets (1-4), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week seven closes out in the Meadowlands as the defending champions take on the New York Jets in a key AFC showdown. Both teams were winners at home in last week’s action.

New England led the New York Giants 21-14 at Gillette Stadium last Thursday night at the half, then pulled away from Big Blue to take a 35-14 win in Foxboro. New England got the scoring started in the Thursday night affair with a special teams TD when DL Chase Winovich blocked a Giants punt and ran it back six yards for a score. While Tom Brady did not throw a TD pass, he did contribute with his feet, scoring on a pair of rushing TDs in the win. New England outrushed the Giants 114-52 (Pats RB Sony Michel led all rushers with 86 yards) and Brady threw for 334 yards with an interception, while rookie QB Daniel Jones threw for 161 yards with a TD toss to Golden Tate (Jones threw three interceptions and had a sack). New England was 6 of 13 on third down tries (they were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:36, while the Giants, who held on to the pigskin for 20:24, went 2 of 10 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down conversions.

GangGreen ended their four-game losing streak last Sunday afternoon against Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys, holding them off 24-22 at Met Life Stadium. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! led 21-6 at the break, then held off a late Cowboys rally late in the contest, as the Cowboys came within two when Prescott scored on a 2-yard run with 43 seconds left. Dallas then went for two in hope of tying the contest but Prescott’s try to TE Jason Whiten went incomplete. Dallas outrushed GangGreen 129-56 and Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott led all rushers with 105 yards and a TD, while Jets RB LeVeon Bell led his club with 50 yards and a rushing TD. Prescott threw for 277 yards, while Sam Darnold threw for 338 yards with a pair of TDs (Darnold was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Prescott was sacked once but did not throw a pick).

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! went 2 of 10 on third down in the late afternoon contest in the Meadowlands and kept the ball for 27:57, while the Cowboys ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:03, going 10 for 17 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games played at Fenway Park, Schafer Stadium, Shea Stadium and Giants Stadium, the Patriots lead the series 63-53-1 (there was a contest between the teams that took place in Birmingham, Alabama in 1968; the Jets with Joe Namath under center won that contest 47-31 at Legion Field), they’ve outscored GangGreen 2,694-2,409 and have won the last games in the series (they swept the last three series, including last year), while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! last won in 2015 in the Meadowlands in overtime by a final of 26-20.

Week 12… Met Life Stadium in the Meadowlands and the Patriots took care of the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 27-13. Tied 10-10 at the intermission, the Patroits would lead 13-10 with 8:34 when Stephen Gostkowski booted a 32-yard field goal. Jets K Josh Myers would re-tie things with 4 minutes left in the third, booting 38-yard field goal to even things up. New England would use a TD pass from Brady to Josh Edelman and a TD run by Sony Michel to take the lead back for good.

Michel ran for 133 yards as New England outrushed GangGreen 215-74 and Brady threw for 283 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Edelman, the other to Rob Gronkowski) without a sack or interception, while Josh McCown threw for 276 yards and a TD to Javon Kearse (McCown was sacked twice and picked off once). New England was 5 of 12 on third down (they were perfect on fourth down in their only attempt) and kept the ball for 34:26, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 25:34, going 6 of 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Holding the Jets to a Myers field goal in the first quarter in their week 17 matchup in Foxboro, the Patriots would go on to score all 38 of their points unchallenged to win by 35 points. Taking the 38-3 win, the Pats led 21-3 at the break and floored the gas in the second half against their AFC East rivals at Gillette Stadium and never looked back. New England outrushed GangGreen 131-104 and Brady threw for 250 yards with four TDs and a sack but no interceptions, while Darnold (taking over for McCown) threw for 167 yards and four sacks (Darnold did not have an interception). New England was 5 of 11 on third down in Foxboro (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:13, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! went 4 of 13 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 27:47.

In the week 12 contest in the Meadowlands, New ENgland was favored by 9 1/2 and the Patriots covered, winning by 14. Both teams scored 40 points, which meant that the 46 over/under was intact. As for the week 17 contest in Foxboro? New England won by 41, allowing them to cover the 13 1/2-point spread (they were favored) but the two clubs combined for 41 points, missing the 45 over/under.

On Monday nights, the Jets are 22-31, while the Patriots are 25-25 (both teams played a MNF contest and both teams were winners). New England’s favored by 9 1/2 and the over/under’s 42 1/2. You might want to tape “All Rise” and “Bull” this week. While Brady and the Patriots take this one, expect GangGreen to make it closer than 9 1/2.

And then there were two.

New England and San Francisco remain the only teams in the 2019 NFL campaign with perfect records.

While the Patriots and 49ers, with 11 Lombardi Trophies between them (New England with six, San Francisco has five) bask in the glow of being unbeaten, four teams (the New York Jets, Miami, Washington and Cincinnati) look for their first win, like Ahab looking for Moby Dick.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: New England defeated Washington 33-7, in Week five, as quarterback Tom Brady threw for 348 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Brady now has 71,923 career passing yards, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (71,838) for the third-most career passing yards in NFL history.

New England has given up 34 total points through its first five games of the season, the fewest points allowed through a team’s first five games since the 2005 Indianapolis Colts (29 points) and the fifth-fewest since 1970.

Philadelphia defeated the New York Jets, 31-6, in Week five, becoming the first team in NFL history to record 10 sacks and score two defensive touchdowns in a single game.

Philadelphia cornerback Orlando Scandrick registered two sacks and scored a 44-yard fumble-return touchdown. Scandrick joins Ronde Barber (September 10, 2000), Captain Munnerlyn (December 15, 2013) and Antoine Winfield (December 28, 2010) as the only defensive backs with at least two sacks and a touchdown in a single game since 1982 when the individual sack became an official statistic.

Philadelphia running back Darren Sproles had 32 all-purpose yards in the win. Sproles, who now has 19,684 all-purpose yards throughout his 14-year career, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Tim Brown (19,682) for the fifth-most all-purpose yards in NFL history.

Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson completed 28 of 33 pass attempts for 426 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions for a 158.3 passer rating, the highest attainable mark, in the Texans’ 53-32 win over Atlanta. Watson became the first player to pass for at least 400 yards and five touchdowns with five-or-fewer incompletions in a single game in NFL history.

Additionally, Houston wide receiver Will Fuller recorded 14 catches for 217 yards and three touchdowns in the win. He became the fourth player in NFL history to register at least 14 catches, 200 yards and three receiving touchdowns in a single game, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (December 18, 1995) and Steve Largent (October 18, 1987), along with Jimmy Smith (September 10, 2000).

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. Ryan joined Pro Football Hall of Famers Kurt Warner (six games in 2000) and Steve Young (six games in 1998) and Peyton Manning (five games in 2009 and 2013) as the only players with at least 300 passing yards in each of their team’s first five games of a season in NFL history.

Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey had 237 scrimmage yards (176 rushing, 61 receiving) and three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in the Panthers’ 34-27 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, his third consecutive game with at least 175 scrimmage yards. McCaffrey, who has 587 rushing yards and 279 receiving yards this season, joins Pro Football Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas (1991) as the only players in NFL history to record at least 500 rushing yards and 250 receiving yards in their team’s first five games of a season.

Carolina quarterback Kyle Allen passed for 181 yards and a touchdown in the victory. Allen is the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to begin his career 4-0 without throwing an interception in his first four career starts.

Jacksonville rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew passed for 374 yards with two touchdowns and a 101.9 passer rating in the loss. Both Allen (108.3 passer rating through first four career starts) and Minshew (101.4) joined Jeff Kemp (104.0, 1984) as the only players in the Super Bowl era to have a passer rating of at least 100 with no interceptions through their first four career starts (minimum 20 attempts).

Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson passed for 161 yards and had 70 rushing yards in the Ravens’ 26-23 overtime victory at Pittsburgh. Jackson, who now has 1,003 rushing yards through 21 career games, tied Robert Griffin III (21 games) as the quarterbacks to reach 1,000 career rushing yards in the fewest games in NFL history.

Oakland defeated Chicago, 24-21, in the first-ever NFL game in London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Oakland rookie running back Josh Jacobs rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns in the win, the most rushing yards by a rookie running back in the 25 NFL games played in London since 2007. By the end of the 2019 season, the NFL will have played 28 regular-season games in London, with 31 of 32 teams having participated. Jacobs also joined Adrian Peterson (September 29, 2013 at Wembley Stadium) as the only players to rush for at least 100 yards and two touchdowns in the history of the NFL’s International Series.

COMPETITIVE CONTESTS: Through Week 5, the 2019 season has tied for the most games decided by seven points or fewer in league annals. Forty-two of 78 overall games (53.8 percent) have been decided by seven-or-fewer points, including nine of 15 games in Week 5. Expect more to come in Week 6.

The seasons with the most games decided by seven-or-fewer points in NFL history:

THROUGH FIVE WEEKS
2019 – 42
2016 – 42
1999 – 41
2015 – 40
2011 – 40
1988 – 40

THROUGH SIX WEEKS

1999 – 50
2016 – 50
2018 – 47
2015 – 47
2011 – 47
2019 – ??

BUSINESS TRIPS: This week, several teams are on the road with the opportunity to improve key tiebreakers, their interdivision and interconference records. Highlighting those contests on the Week 6 schedule, Houston will travel to play Kansas City at 1 p.m., Philadelphia goes to the Twin Cities to face the Minnesota Vikings at 1 p.m. and Detroit travels to Lambeau for a Monday night meeting with Green Bay at 8:15 p.m.

This season, road teams are a combined 43-34-1 (.558) through five weeks, the highest road winning percentage at this point in a season in 36 years. The last time NFL teams were more successful on the road through five weeks was 1983, when they were 40-30 (.571).

THE SIX-GAME YARDSTICK: If history is any indication, emerging at .500 or better through six games has positive playoff implications.

There’s always hope, proven by the 2004 Green Bay Packers, who started 1-4 and won nine of their last 11 to capture their division title. In fact, since that season, Miami in both 2008 and 2016, Denver in 2011 and three teams in 2015 – Houston, Seattle and Washington – made the playoffs after opening 2-4.

A closer look at six-game records and how they affect playoff chances:

Opening 6-0:

Since 1990, when the NFL adopted the 12-team playoff format, 35 of the 37 teams (94.6 percent) to start 6-0 have qualified for the postseason.

Since 1978, when NFL teams began playing 16-game schedules and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, 46 of 49 teams (93.9 percent) to start 6-0 advanced to the postseason.

Opening 5-1 or 5-0-1:

Since 1990, when the NFL adopted the 12-team playoff format, 81 of 98 teams (82.7 percent) to win five of their first six games have qualified for the postseason.

Since 1978, when NFL teams began playing 16-game schedules and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, 107 of 131 teams (81.7 percent) to win five of their first six advanced to the postseason.
Opening 4-2 or 4-1-1:

Since 1990, when the NFL adopted the 12-team playoff format, 134 of 213 teams (62.9 percent) to win four of their first six games have qualified for the postseason.

Since 1978, when NFL teams began playing 16-game schedules and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, 174 of 286 teams (60.8 percent) to win four of their first six advanced to the postseason.
Opening 3-3 or 3-2-1:

Since 1990, when the NFL adopted the 12-team playoff format, 78 of 216 teams (36.1 percent) to win three of their first six games have qualified for the postseason.

Since 1978, when NFL teams began playing 16-game schedules and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, 108 of 297 teams (36.4 percent) to win three of their first six advanced to the postseason.

NINERS STAND ALONE IN NFC: For the first time since 1984, San Francisco is the NFC’s lone undefeated team through Week 5. Behind quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who owns a 10-2 career record as the 49ers’ starting quarterback, the club is off to its best start since opening 10-0 in 1990.

NORTHERN LIGHTS: Entering Week 6 of the NFL’s 100th season, all four teams in the NFC North have winning records. That hasn’t happened in an NFL division since 2012, when the four NFC West clubs also were above .500 entering Week 6. That year, the 49ers opened 4-1, finished 11-4-1 and advanced to Super Bowl XLVII.

This year, Green Bay (4-1) sits atop the NFC North with Detroit (2-1-1), Minnesota (3-2) and Chicago (3-2) closely behind. That division has crowned three different teams as its winner over the past three seasons. No other NFL division has that distinction. And if the Lions and Vikings win this week, with the Bears on their bye, the NFC North could have four teams above .500 again next week.

METHODICAL MARCHES: Physically and mentally, a touchdown drive of 90-or-more yards can provide a substantial advantage. Last week, Oakland engineered not one but two such drives in a London win over the Bears. Minnesota orchestrated a 98-yard touchdown drive in a victory at the New York Giants. The Vikings and Raiders each have three touchdown drives of 90-plus yards in 2019, tied with Kansas City and the New York Giants for most in the league. Overall, NFL teams this season have combined for 24 such drives, most through five weeks of play since there were also 24 touchdown drives of 90-plus yards in 2014.

SACKS ARE PILING UP: NFL clubs have combined for 396 sacks in 2019. Through Week 5, that’s the second-highest total over the last two decades. In that span, only the 2013 season (416) had more entering Week 6.

WAKE UP TO FOOTBALL: The second of five international games appears on the Week 6 slate. Carolina meets Tampa Bay in an important NFC South clash. The contest kicks off at 9:30 a.m. and will appear exclusively on NFL Network. It’s also the second of two games at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. In Week 8, the NFL plays its first of two games at London’s Wembley Stadium, when Cincinnati meets the Los Angeles Rams. In Week 9, also at Wembley, Houston plays Jacksonville and the 2019 international games conclude with a Week 11 contest in Mexico City, where Kansas City plays the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football, November 18.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 6

THE FUTURE IS HERE: This Sunday, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson face each other for the first time in their careers, when the Chiefs welcome the Texans to Arrowhead Stadium. Entering Week 6, Mahomes leads the NFL in passing yards (1,831), while Watson ranks second in the league in passer rating (115.9). The pair are tied for second in the league in touchdown passes with 11.

Mahomes, who has 7,212 passing yards in 22 career games, and Watson, who has 7,228 passing yards in 28 career games, can each reach 7,500 career passing yards on Sunday. Should the pair each reach the milestone, they would become the fastest and tied for the third-fastest quarterbacks in NFL history to reach 7,500 career passing yards.

The players to reach 7,500 career passing yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES TO REACH 7,500 PASS YARDS)
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (27) HOF
Marc Bulger, St. Louis Rams (29)
Dan Marino, Miami (29) HOF
Matthew Stafford, Detroit (29)
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (22)*
Deshaun Watson, Houston (28)#
*Has 7,212 passing yards
#Has 7,228 passing yards

STAFFORD SLINGER: Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford enters Week 6 with 39,648 career passing yards in 145 games during his 11-year career with the Lions.

With 352 passing yards against the Packers Monday night at Lambeau, Stafford can become the first player in NFL history to reach 40,000 career passing yards in fewer than 150 games.

The players to reach 40,000 career passing yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM(S) (GAMES TO REACH 40,000 PASS YARDS)
Matt Ryan, ATLANTA (151)
Drew Brees, San Diego and New Orleans (152)
Dan Marino, Miami (153) HOF
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (154)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (154)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit (145)*

*Has 39,648 passing yards

FEELING 100: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 268 yards and four touchdowns with a 151.8 passer rating in the Seahawks’ Week 5 win. Wilson, who currently leads the NFL with a 126.3 passer rating in 2019, has a passer rating of 100 or higher in each of Seattle’s first five games of the season.

With a passer rating of 100 or higher on Sunday at Cleveland, Wilson would become the fourth player in NFL history with a passer rating of 100 or higher in each of his first six games of a season.

The players with a passer rating of 100 or higher in each of their team’s first six games of a season in NFL history:​

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES WITH 100+ PASSER RATING TO BEGIN SEASON)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (2011 – 12)#
Tom Brady, New England (2007 – 8)#
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati (2005 – 6)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2019 – 5)*
*Active Streak
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player

WINNING JIMMY: San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has 920 passing yards and seven touchdowns with a 99.4 passer rating in 2019 and has led the 49ers to their first 4-0 start since 1990. Garoppolo now owns a 12-2 record as a starting quarterback in the NFL.

With a win on Sunday at the Los Angeles Rams, Garoppolo can become the eighth quarterback in the Super Bowl era with at least 13 wins in his first 15 career starts.

The quarterbacks with the most wins through their first 15 career starts in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER, TEAM(S) (RECORD THROUGH 1st 15 STARTS)
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (15-0)
Roger Staubach, Dallas (14-1) HOF
Dan Marino, Miami (13-2) HOF
Dak Prescott, Dallas (13-2)
Philip Rivers, San Diego (13-2)
Mike Tomczak, Chicago (13-2)
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (13-2) HOF
Jimmy Garoppolo, New England and San Francisco (12-2)*
*Entering Week 6

CMC 1,000: Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey had a season-high 237 scrimmage yards (176 rushing, 61 receiving) and three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in Week 5 and leads the NFL in scrimmage yards through the first five weeks of the 2019 season (866).

With 134 scrimmage yards in London against Tampa Bay, McCaffrey would join Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown (1963) and Marshall Faulk (2000) as the only players in NFL history with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards through their team’s first six games of a season.

The players with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards through their team’s first six games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Jim Brown, Cleveland (1963 – 1,153) HOF
Marshall Faulk, St. Louis Rams (2007 – 1,083) HOF
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (2019 – 866)*
*Through five games

McCaffrey, who has at least 175 scrimmage yards in each of his past three games, needs 175 scrimmage against Tampa Bay to tie Edgerrin James (Weeks 7-10, 1999) for the longest streak of games with at least 175 scrimmage yards in NFL history.

GODWIN’S WORLD: Tampa Bay wide receiver Chris Godwin had 12 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns in Week 4 and seven catches for 125 yards and two scores in Week 5.

With at least 125 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns in London against Carolina, Godwin would become the fourth player in NFL history to have three consecutive games with at least 125 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

The players with three consecutive games with at least 125 receiving yards and two touchdowns in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON(S); WEEKS)
Andre Rison, ATLANTA (1990; Weeks 5-7)
Don Maynard, New York Jets (1967-68; Week 16, 1967-Week 2, 1968) HOF
Cloyce Box, Detroit (1952; Weeks 10-12)
Chris Godwin Tampa Bay (2019; Weeks 4-5)*
*Two consecutive games

Detroit and Miami return from their byes this week, while Chicago, Oakland, Indianapolis and Buffalo will get the weekend off. Last week was not the greatest week of the season (but not the worst), as we went 7-8 (for the season, 40-41). Lots of football left. Week six got underway in Foxboro as New England and Tom Brady took care of the New York Giants to remain unbeaten and concludes in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst as the Packers host the Detroit Lions at Lambeau in an NFC North matchup Monday night in prime time. Having said all of that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week six.

ATLANTA (1-4) at Arizona (1-3-1), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of 1-win teams meet in the desert as the Atlanta Falcons and Matt Ryan travel to Glendale for an early afternoon contest with Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals.

The Falcons dropped their third contest in a row Sunday afternoon against DeShaun Watson and the Houston Texans, dropping a 53-32 decision in the Lone Star State. Atlanta led 17-16 at the intermission at NRG Stadium, then watched the Texans take the lead for keeps in the third quarter, scoring 17 points in the quarter unchallenged. Atlanta pulled themselves to within eight twice (once on a 1-yard run by Ryan, the other on a 29-yard TD pass from Ryan to Calvin Ridley) before the Texans would blow the doors open in the final minutes of the contest. Houston outrushed Atlanta 166-57 and Ryan threw for 330 yards with three TDs (two to Mohammed Sanu and Devonta Freeman, in addition to the Ridley toss), a pair of sacks and an interception, while Watson threw for 426 yards and five TDs with no sacks or interceptions (connecting with Will Fuller on three of them). Suprisingly, Atlanta was 9 of 16 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29 minutes, while the Texans held on to the pigskin for 31 minutes, going 10 for 13 on third down.

The Desert Angry Birds picked up their first win of the season and gave Cincinnati their fifth loss in a row, leaving Paul Brown Stadium with a 26-23 last second win last Sunday. Arizona led 13-6 at the intermission along the shores of the Ohio River before the Bengals would rally with 2 minutes left in regulation when Tyler Boyd and Andy Dalton connected on a 42-yard TD toss. Arizona would then set off to break the hearts of Bengals fans as they would get the ball back with 2 minutes left and would use a 6-play, 62-yard drive with all of that time to make their way down the field, with K Zane Gonzalez booting the game-winner from 31 yards as time expired. Arizona outrushed the Bengals 266-108, with Murray leading the way with 93 yards and a rushing TD, while Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon led the Bengals with 93 yards on the ground. Dalton threw for 262 yards and a pair of TDs, while Murray threw for 253 yards (both Dalton and Murray were sacked once but did not throw an interception). Arizona was 6 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:03 (including the final 2 minutes of the contest), while the Bengals kept the ball for 28:57, going 5 of 12 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

The series is even at 15-15 and the Falcons have not only out-scored the Desert Angry Birds 702-635, they’ve won the last three meetings, including a 40-14 win in the Big Peach last year (Arizona’s last win in the series came in 2014 in the desert by a final of 27-13).

In their week 15 meeting in the Big Peach, Atlanta erased an early 7-0 deficit by Arizona in the first quarter after Cardinals RB David Johnson opened the scoring in the contest from a yard out and took a 26-7 lead into the intermisison, scoring all of their first half points unchallenged. Atlanta would go on to outscore the Desert Angry Birds 14-7 in the final 30 minutes of play at Mercedes Benz Stadium to seal the win. The Falcons out-rushed Arizona 215-60, with Tevin Coleman leading the way with 145 yards and a TD. Ryan threw for 231 yards and a pair of TDs (one to WR Julio Jones) and did not throw an interception, while Arizona’s Josh Rosen threw for 132 yards with six sacks and two interceptions (Ryan was sacked twice). Atlanta went 5 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 30:40, while Arizona held on to the ball for 29:20, going 3 of 13 on third down and 2 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week 15 contest, Atlanta was favored by 8 and covered, winning by 26 and the two teams covered the 44 over/under with 54 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Falcons as 2 1/2 point favorites in the desert and the over/under’s 51 1/2. Atlanta’s looking to end their three-game losing streak, the Cards are looking to make it two in a row. Atlanta’s streak comes to an end in the desert. Atlanta prevails in the desert and covers the 2 1/2.

Carolina (3-2) at Tampa Bay (2-3), 9:30 a.m. (2:30 p.m. in London) on NFL Network. The second game in London features a pair of NFC South rivals as the Carolina Panthers face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Carolina held off a late Jacksonville rally last Sunday afternoon as the Panthers came away 34-27 winners at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers, with Kyle Allen under center for Cam Newton (foot), took a 21-17 lead with them to the intermission and then proceeded to outscore Jacksonville 13-10 in the second half. Carolina survived the final second scare from the Jaguars, as they had a pair of defensive penalties in the final seconds (including one that occured as time expired, giving Jacksonville an untimed down). Panthers RB Chirstian McCaffrey led all rushers with 176 yards and a pair of TDs (he had six catches for 61 yards and a TD), while Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette rushed for 108 yards with a TD. Carolina outrushed Jacksonville 285-149 and Allen threw for 181 yards with the TD toss to McCaffrey, while Jacksonville signal caller Gardner Minshew threw for 374 yards and a pair of TDs to D.J. Chark (Minshew was sacked twice and Allen was sacked three times, neither threw an interception). Carolina was 4 of 13 on third down tries in the Tar Heel State (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:36, while Jacksonville ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:24 (including the final 1:45 of the contest) and went 6 of 13 on third down.

The Buccaneers enter the contest on the other side of the Atlantic coming away with a 31-24 loss to the New Orleans Saints last Sunday afternoon. Tampa Bay trailed 17-10 at the intermission in the Big Easy, then pulled themselves to within seven with 19 seconds left in the contest when Jameis Winston and WR Chris Goodwin connected on a 26-yard TD toss. Tampa Bay then went for the onside kick and failed, giving New Orleans and Teddy Bridgewater the ball, allowing them to run out the clock and take the win. New Orleans outrushed Tampa Bay 112-94 (Alvin Kamara led all rushers with 62 yards) and Winston threw for 204 yards with a pair of TDs (he was sacked six times), while Bridgewater threw for 314 yards with four TDs and an interception. Tampa Bay was 3 of 11 on third down (they struck gold on fourth down, going 1 of 1) and kept the ball for 26:33, while the Saints, who ruled the clock and kept the ball for 33:27, went 8 of 15 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Carolina leads the series 23-14 and have outscored Tampa Bay 823-646. The two NFC South rivals split last year’s meetings, each coming away winners at home.

Carolina came away 42-28 winners in the Tar Heel State in their first meeting, a week nine contest at Bank of America Stadium. Newton and the Panthers led 35-14 at the half, then held off the Buccaneers in the second half after Tampa Bay outscored them 14-7 in that span. Carolina out-rushed Tampa Bay 179-82, with McCaffrey leading all rushers with 79 yards and a pair of TDs, Newton threw for 247 yards, while Fitzpatrick threw for 243 yards (each threw a pair of TDs; Fitzpatrick was sacked three times with a pair of interceptions, Newton was sacked twice). Carolina was 4 of 10 on third down tries (the Panthers were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31 minutes, while Tampa Bay, who kept the ball for 29 minutes, went 5 for 12 on third down, 1 for 2 on fourth down.

Tampa Bay would get revenge in the Sunshine State in week 13, as Winston and Tampa Bay came away 24-17 winners at Raymond James Stadium. Even though Tampa Bay led 17-7 at the break, the Panthers outscored Tampa Bay 10-7 in the third quarter (the two clubs played a scoreless fourth quarter) to make things closer than Tampa Bay fans would have liked. Once again, McCaffery led all rushers with 106 yards and as was the case in the first meeting, Carolina outrushed Tampa Bay 168-95 and Newton threw for 300 yards, while Winston threw for 249 yards (both threw a pair of TDs and both were sacked four times, Newton was picked off four times). Tampa Bay wemt 6 of 13 on third down and held on to the ball for 29:54, while the Panthers ruled the clock, holding the pigskin for 30:06, going 3 of 8 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week nine contest in Charlotte, Carolina was favored by 6 1/2 and covered, winning by 14 and both teams took care of the over/under of 54 by tallying 70 points. Carolina was favored again in the week 13 contest in the Sunshine State, the boys and girls in Vegas making them 3 1/2 point favorites. Tampa Bay covered the spread, winning by 7 but the 55 1/2 over/under stayed in tact, as both teams tallied 41 points. While Tampa Bay is the designated home team, the Panthers are favored on the other side of the pond as a 2 1/2 point favorite with a 45 1/2 over/under. You may want to set the VCR for this one, since it starts at 9:30 in the morning, when most of America is either at church or heading to church. Carolina may be on the other side of the Atlantic but they’re finer in this one. Carolina covers the 2 1/2 on the other side of the big pond and takes the win.

Cincinnati (0-5) at Baltimore (3-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of AFC North rivals meet in Charm City as the winless Bengals take on the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

Cincinnati picked up their their fifth loss in a row, leaving Paul Brown Stadium with a 26-23 last second loss to Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday. Arizona led 13-6 at the intermission along the shores of the Ohio River before the Bengals would rally with 2 minutes left in regulation when Tyler Boyd and Andy Dalton connected on a 42-yard TD toss. Arizona would then set off to break the hearts of Bengals fans as they would get the ball back with 2 minutes left and would use a 6-play, 62-yard drive with all of that time to make their way down the field, with K Zane Gonzalez booting the game-winner from 31 yards as time expired. Arizona outrushed the Bengals 266-108, with Murray leading the way with 93 yards and a rushing TD, while Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon led the Bengals with 93 yards on the ground. Dalton threw for 262 yards and a pair of TDs, while Murray threw for 253 yards (both Dalton and Murray were sacked once but did not throw an interception). Arizona was 6 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:03 (including the final 2 minutes of the contest), while the Bengals kept the ball for 28:57, going 5 of 12 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Baltimore needed overtime at Heinz Field last Sunday afternoon as they left the Steel City 26-23 winners. The Ravens led 17-13 at the intermission before Pittsburgh stormed back in the second half to lead 23-20 with 2:37 left in regulation on a Chris Boswell field goal. Jeff Tucker then connected on a 48-yard field goal with 10 seconds left in regulation, then after a Pittsburgh turnover by WR JuJu Smith-Schuster in the overtime, Tucker connected on a 46-yarder with 5:26 left in the extra period to take the win.

Baltimore outrushed Pittsburgh 138-77 and Lamar Jackson threw for 161 yards with a TD and three interceptions, while Mason Rudolph threw for 131 yards and a TD to Smith-Schuster before being knocked out of the contest with a concussion (Rudolph was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Baltimore was 6 of 15 on third down (the Ravens were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 39 minutes (including the overtime), while the Steelers were 3 of 9 on third down, keeping the ball for 25:34.

The series? Even at 23-23 and Baltimore has outscored Cincinnati 989-869. The two AFC North foes met twice and both teams wone their contests in their home parks.

Round one… Cincinnati, along the shores of the Ohio River in week two on a Thursday night and the Bengals took care of the Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium 34-23. Cincinnati led 28-14 at the break and was never really threatened after that. The Bengals outrushed Baltimore 108-66, with Cincinnati RB Joe Mixon leading all rushers with 84 yards, while Dalton threw for 265 yards and four TDs (three to WR A.J. Green) and Flacco throwing for 376 yards with a pair of TDs (Flacco was sacked four times and picked off twice). Cincinnati went 5 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 31:50, while the Ravens kept the ball for 28:10, going 7 of 16 on third down and 2 of 4 on fourth down.

The Ravens would get revenge in Charm City in week 11, coming away 24-21 winners at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore led 13-7 at the intermission, watched the Dalton-led Bengals tie the contest with 63 seconds left in the third when Greg Edwards scored on an 11-yard run before Ravens K Jeff Tucker broke the tie for keeps with 8:12 left in the contest. Ravens RB Gus Edwards and Jackson each rushed for 100 yards (Edwards had 115 yards with a TD, Jackson had 117) as Baltimore outrushed Cincinnati 265-48; Jackson threw for 150 yards with an interception, while Dalton threw for 211 yards with a pair of TDs and a sack. Cincinnati went 6 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 21:51, while the Ravens went 8 of 16 on third down, ruling the clock as they held the ball for 38:09 (both clubs were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

In the week two contest in Cincinnati, the Bengals were favored by 1 and covered as they won by 11 and b oth teams covered the 44 over/under with 57 points. In the week 11 contest in Charm City, the Ravens were favored by 4 but won by only 3. The two clubs did manage to take care of the 43 1/2 over/under, tallying 45 points. Baltimore’s favored by 11 in Charm City and the over/under’s 46. Granted, the Bengals are a bad team. They’re not 11 points bad and they have been playing competitive football of late. The sad thing? Baltimore’s going to win this one but expect the Bengals to make things hard for the Ravens.

Seattle (4-1) at Cleveland (2-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirectV 708. Russell Wilson vs. Baker Mayfield. One has a Heisman, the other has a Super Bowl ring. They meet along the shores of Lake Erie in an early afternoon contest in the Buckeye State.

Seattle survived a late rally against the Los Angeles Rams last Thursday night in the Pacific Northwest, as the Seahawks would prevail 30-29 over their NFC West rivals at Century Link Field. Seattle led 14-13 at the break, then trailed 26-21 at the end of the third quarter before getting themselves back on track, using a 12-play, 75-yard drive that used 6:51 of clock, taking the lead back for keeps with 2:28 left in regulation when RB Chris Carson caught a 5-yard TD toss from Russell Wilson to take the one-point lead. Seattle fans then watched and held their breath as the Rams made their way down the field to set up for what would have been the win on the road. Seahawk fans then heaved a sigh of relief when Greg Zuerlein’s 44-yard field goal try as time expired went wide right, giving the home team the win.

Carson led all rushers with 118 yards on the ground (Los Angeles was led by Todd Gurley III with 51 yards and a pair of TDs), while the Seahawks outrushed the Rams 167-82 and Wilson threw for 268 yards and four TDs (including the game-winner late in the contest), while Jared Gof threw for 395 yards and a TD toss to Cooper Kupp (Goff threw an interception but was not sacked, while Wilson was sacked once but did not turn the ball over). Seattle went 3 of 10 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 35:18, while the Rams kept the ball for 24:42, going 3 for 11 on third down conversions.

Cleveland was held to a 30-yard field goal by Austin Seibert in the second quarter as they were manhandled by Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers 31-3 Monday night at Levis’ Stadium. The Browns trailed 21-1 at the intermission and San Francisco shut them out in the final 30 minutes of play to take the win in prime time. San Francisco’s Matt Breida led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD, while Nick Chubb led Cleveland with 87 as the 49ers outrushed Cleveland 275-102. Mayfield threw for 100 yards but was sacked four times and picked off twice, while Garoppolo threw a pair of TDs (one to TE George Kittle, the other to Breida) and 181 yards in the win. Cleveland was a dismal 1 of 11 on third down tries in prime time and kept the ball for 22:17, while the 49ers ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 37:43, going 6 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Seahawks lead the series 12-6, Seattle has outscored Cleveland 396-290 and won their last meeting with the Browns, coming out on top 30-13 in the Pacific Northwest in 2015, while Cleveland’s last win in the series came in 2011 along the shores of Lake Erie in a field goal affair by a final of 6-3. Seattle’s favored by 1 and the over/under’s 47. Seattle covers and wins along the shores of Lake Erie.

New Orleans (4-1) at Jacksonville (2-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. They’re separated by 547 miles along I-10. They’ll meet in northern Florida for the seventh time. Jacksonville and New Orleans, both playing close contests last week, meet in the Sunshine State in an early afternoon contest along the banks of the St. John’s River.

New Orleans held off a late Tampa Bay rally in the Mercedes Benz Superdome, taking down their NFC South rivals 31-24 last Sunday afternoon. The Saints, who led 17-10 at the intermission in the Big Easy, watched as Tampa Bay pulled themselves to within seven with 19 seconds left in the contest when Jameis Winston and WR Chris Goodwin connected on a 26-yard TD toss. Tampa Bay then went for the onside kick and failed, giving New Orleans and Teddy Bridgewater the ball, allowing them to run out the clock and take the win. New Orleans outrushed Tampa Bay 112-94 (Alvin Kamara led all rushers with 62 yards) and Winston threw for 204 yards with a pair of TDs (he was sacked six times), while Bridgewater threw for 314 yards with four TDs and an interception. Tampa Bay was 3 of 11 on third down (they struck gold on fourth down, going 1 of 1) and kept the ball for 26:33, while the Saints, who ruled the clock and kept the ball for 33:27, went 8 of 15 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

A Jacksonville rally last Sunday afternoon against Carolina came up short as the Panthers came away 34-27 winners at Bank of America Stadium. Jacksonville trailed the Panthers 21-17 lead at the intermission and were outscored 13-10 in the second half. Jacksonville gave Carolina a scare in the final minutes, getting themselves in position to either tie the contest or take the lead outright as Carolin was flagged for a pair of defensive penalties in the final seconds (including one that occured as time expired, giving Jacksonville an untimed down). Panthers RB Chirstian McCaffrey led all rushers with 176 yards and a pair of TDs (he had six catches for 61 yards and a TD), while Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette rushed for 108 yards with a TD. Carolina outrushed Jacksonville 285-149 and Kyle Allen threw for 181 yards with the TD toss to McCaffrey, while Jacksonville signal caller Gardner Minshew threw for 374 yards and a pair of TDs to D.J. Chark (Minshew was sacked twice and Allen was sacked three times, neither threw an interception). Carolina was 4 of 13 on third down tries in the Tar Heel State (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:36, while Jacksonville ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:24 (including the final 1:45 of the contest) and went 6 of 13 on third down.

New Orleans holds a 4-2 lead in the series, have outscored Jacksonville 161-135 and have won the last three meetings, including coming away 38-27 winners in the Big Easy in 2015, while Jacksonville’s last win came in 2003 in the Sunshine State by a final of 20-19. Jacksonville’s favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Jaguars get back on track at home and takes the win in the Sunshine State and covers the 1 1/2.

Houston (3-2) at Kansas City (4-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. DeShaun Watson vs. Patrick Mahomes. A pair of first-round NFL QBs meet at Arrowhead as the Chiefs host the Houston Texans.

Watson and the Texans took a 53-32 decision in the Lone Star State over Atlanta, giving the Falcons their third loss in a row. The Texans trailed 17-16 at the intermission at NRG Stadium, then took the lead for keeps in the third quarter, scoring 17 points in the quarter unchallenged. Atlanta pulled themselves to within eight twice (once on a 1-yard run by Ryan, the other on a 29-yard TD pass from Ryan to Calvin Ridley) before the Texans would blow the doors open in the final minutes of the contest. Houston outrushed Atlanta 166-57 and Ryan threw for 330 yards with three TDs (two to Mohammed Sanu and Devonta Freeman, in addition to the Ridley toss), a pair of sacks and an interception, while Watson threw for 426 yards and five TDs with no sacks or interceptions (connecting with Will Fuller on three of them). Atlanta was 9 of 16 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29 minutes, while the Texans held on to the pigskin for 31 minutes, going 10 for 13 on third down.

Indianapolis ended Kansas City’s four-game win streak at Arrowhead as the Colts used four Adam Vinatieri field goals to come away 19-13 winners last Sunday night. The Chiefs trailed 13-10 at the break in the prime-time contest in the Show-Me State and eventually pulled themselves to within six with 76 seconds left in the contest when Harrison Butker connected on a 36- yard field goal. It would be as close as the Chiefs would get as they would try the onside kick, which the Colts recovered. Indinapolis, who outrushed Kansas City 180-36, would run out the clock and take the win. Colts RB Marlon Mack led all rushers with 132 yards and QB Jacoby Brissett threw for 151 yards, while Mahomes threw for 321 yards and a TD (Mahomes was sacked four times, Brissett threw an interception.) The Chiefs were 4 of 12 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 22:45, while the Colts ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 37:15 and went 5 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Kansas City leads the series 5-4 and have outscored the Texans 240-199. Both teams won their last games in the series in the Lone Star State; the Texans were 19-12 winners in 2016 and the Chiefs returned the favor the following year, coming out on top 42-34. The Chiefs at home are favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 56. Kansas City’s playing with a chip on their shoulder after losing at home last Sunday night and don’t want to lose two home games in a row. Houston will make it interesting and closer than the 4 1/2 but Kansas City prevails at home and takes the win.

Washington (0-5) at Miami (0-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. A pair of winless teams meet in the Sunshine State as Miami hosts Washington at Hard Rock Stadium. The Redskins come in with their fifth loss in tow and a new head coach, as the team fired Jay Gruden Monday morning, replacing him with Bill Callahan for the remainder of the season. As for the Dolphins, they look to win their first game after taking four losses in a row.

New England and Tom Brady manhandled Washington 33-7 last Sunday in Landover in what would be the last game that Jay Gruden would coach for Washington at Fed Ex Field. Steven Sims opened the scoring for Washington, scoring on a 65-yard TD run in the first quarter. After that. New England led 12-6 at the half and scored their remaining 21 points of the contest unchallenged. Washington did manage to outrush New England 145-130 but Brady burned Washington for 348 yards and three TDs, despite being sacked four times and picked off once, while Colt McCoy threw for 119 yards with six sacks and an interception. The Patriots were 5 of 15 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:52, while the Redskins kept the ball for 28:08, going 1 for 11 on third down tries at Fed Ex Field.

The Los Angeles Chargers took control of things in Miami, giving the Dolphins their fourth loss in a row, coming out of Hard Rock Stadium 30-10 winners in the Sunshine State two weeks ago. Taking a 17-10 lead with them to the locker room at halftime, the Chargers would take control of things in the second half, scoring their last 13 points of the contest unchallenged. Neither club breached the 100-yard rushing barrier but the Chargers did manage to outurush Miami 79-72 and Rivers threw for 310 yards with a pair of TDs, despite being sacked once, while Miami’s Josh Rosen threw for 180 yards with a TD but was sacked four times and picked off once. The Chargers were 8 of 13 on third down and held on to the ball for 37:36, while the Dolphins kept the ball for 22:24, going 5 of 10 on third down (both teams were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

Miami holds an 8-4 lead in the series, they’ve outscored the Redskins 225-199 and have won the last two contests with Washington, taking a 17-10 win in Landover in 2015, while Washington’s last win in the series came in 2007 (also in Landover) as the Redskins needed overtime to come away 16-13 winners. Washington’s favored by 3 1/2 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 41. Someone has to win this game. Redskins fans will either be singing “Hail to the Redskins” or “Hell, it’s the Redskins” this week. Dolphins fans can take heart, their four-game losing streak comes to an end at home. Miami wins this one in the Sunshine State and may cover the 3 1/2.

Philadelphia (3-2) at Minnesota (3-2), 1 p.m. and FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of 3-2 teams meet in the Land of 10,000 Lakes as Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles take on Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings at US Bank Stadium. Both teams enter the Sunday afternoon contest in the Twin Cities with wins under their belts.

The Eagles kept the Jets winless last Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field as Wentz and Philadelphia took care of business 31-6 in the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia led 21-0 at the intermission and were never threatened, holding GangGreen to a 19-yard TD run by Vic Smith early in the fourth quarter. Neither club dented the 100-yard barrier but the Eagles won the ground game, outrushing the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 84-67 and Wentz threw for 189 yards and a TD to Zach Ertz, while Luke Falk (taking over for Sam Darnold) threw for 120 yards (Falk was sacked nine times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Wentz was sacked once but did not throw a pick). The Eagles were 5 of 13 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:52, while the Jets held the ball for 29:08, going 3 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday took Daniel Jones and the New York Giants to task at Met Life Stadium last Sunday, taking a 28-10 win over the Giants in upstate New Jersey. Minnesota led 18-7 at the intermission and the Giants never threatened, as Minnesota held them to a Aldrick Rosas field in the third quarter. Delvin Cook ran for 132 yards as the Vikings outrushed the Giants 211-64 and Cousins threw for 306 yards and a pair of TDs to WR Adam Thielen, while Jones threw for 182 yards with a TD (Jones was sacked four times and picked off once, Cousins was sacked three times). The Giants were 8 of 16 on third down, 0 for 3 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 27:20, while the Vikings ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 32:40, going 5 of 11 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down.

Minnesota leads the series 14-10 and have outscored the Eagles 566-549. Minnesota won the last meeting, which took place in the City of Brotherly Love last year by a final of 23-21 at Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia’s last win in regular season play took place in Philly in 2016, with the Eagles coming out on top 21-10).

Minnesota led 17-3 at the half in their week five meeting at Lincoln Financial Field, then held off a late Eagles rally in the second half to take the road win (Philadelphia won the second half, outscoring the Vikings 18-6). The Eagles, who won the Super Bowl the year before, pulled themselves to within 2 with 69 seconds left when Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz connected on a 7-yard TD toss. Philadelphia then went for the onside kick, which the Vikings recovered and after they ran out the clock, Minnesota came away with the 2-point win. Philadelphia outrushed Minnesota 81-77 and Wentz threw for 311 yards with three sacks, while Kirk Cousins threw for 301 yards with a sack (Cousins threw a TD pass to Thielen, while Wentz threw for two scores). While Philadelphia went 2 of 9 on third down tries, they were quite succesful in fourth down conversions, going 1 of 1 and kept the ball for 27:13; Minnesota ruled the clock and kept the ball away from the Eagles for 32:47, going 4 for 11 on third down tries.

Philadelphia was favored by 3 in the week five contest in the City of Brotherly Love and while the Vikings came away with the win, they didn’t cover, winning by 2 and both teams barely missed the 44 1/2 over/under. The Vikings are favored by 3 in the Twin Cities and the over/under’s 44. This may be one of the better contests this year. Eagles get their revenge from last year’s loss in the City of Brotherly Love, covering the 3 on the road and taking the win in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

San Francisco (4-0) at Los Angeles Rams (3-2), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of West Coast/NFC West rivals meet in southern California as Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers make their way (346 miles) to Los Angeles to face off against the defending NFC champions at the Coliseum.

San Francisco held Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns to a 30-yard field goal by Austin Seibert in the second quarter as the 49ers and Garoppolo manhandled Cleveland 31-3 Monday night at Levis’ Stadium. San Francisco led 21-1 at the intermission and shut the Browns out in the final 30 minutes of play to take the win in prime time. San Francisco’s Matt Breida led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD, while Nick Chubb led Cleveland with 87 as the 49ers outrushed Cleveland 275-102. Mayfield threw for 100 yards but was sacked four times and picked off twice, while Garoppolo threw a pair of TDs (one to TE George Kittle, the other to Breida) and 181 yards in the win. Cleveland was a dismal 1 of 11 on third down tries in prime time and kept the ball for 22:17, while the 49ers ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 37:43, going 6 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

A Los Angeles Rams rally fell short as Seattle survived a against the Los Angeles Rams last Thursday night in the Pacific Northwest, with the Seahawks coming away 30-29 winners over their NFC West rivals at Century Link Field. The Rams trailed 14-13 at the break, then led 26-21 at the end of the third quarter before Seattle got themselves back on track, using a 12-play, 75-yard drive that used 6:51 of clock, taking the lead back for keeps with 2:28 left in regulation when RB Chris Carson caught a 5-yard TD toss from Russell Wilson to take the one-point lead. Seattle fans then watched and held their breath as the Rams made their way down the field to set up for what would have been the win on the road. Seahawk fans then heaved a sigh of relief when Greg Zuerlein’s 44-yard field goal try as time expired went wide right, giving the home team the win.

Carson led all rushers with 118 yards on the ground (Los Angeles was led by Todd Gurley III with 51 yards and a pair of TDs), while the Seahawks outrushed the Rams 167-82 and Wilson threw for 268 yards and four TDs (including the game-winner late in the contest), while Jared Goff threw for 395 yards and a TD toss to Cooper Kupp (Goff threw an interception but was not sacked, while Wilson was sacked once but did not turn the ball over). Seattle went 3 of 10 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 35:18, while the Rams kept the ball for 24:42, going 3 for 11 on third down conversions.

Including those contests that were played in Anaheim, Keezar Stadium, Candlestick Park and in St. Louis, the 49ers lead the series 68-67-3 and have outscored the Rams 3.088-2,978. However… the Rams have won three of the last four meetings, including sweeping the series last year (San Francisco’s last win came in 2017 in Los Angeles by a final of 34-13).

Meeting number one… week seven at Levis’ Stadium in Santa Clara. The Rams led 22-7 at the intermission and never looked back, coming out of Santa Clara with a 39-10 win in wine country. Gurley (63 yards) ran for a pair of TDs as the Rams outrushed San Francisco 146-107 and Goff threw for 202 yards and a pair of TDs, while C.J. Beathard threw for 170 yards with a TD (Beathard was sacked seven times and picked off twice, while Goff was sacked twice). The defending NFC champs were 5 of 12 on third down and ruled the clock, holding the ball hostage for 32:51, while the 49ers, who kept the pigskin for 27:09, went 3 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The two West Coast teams closed the 2018 season out in Los Angeles at the Coliseum in week 17 and Los Angeles held off a late 49ers rally in the second half to take a 48-32 win to complete the sweep. The Rams were 31-10 leaders at the half before the 49ers would outscore them in the second half 22-17. With Gurley rested, it was Charles Anderson’s turn to lead all rushers for the Rams, tallying 132 yards of rushing, while San Francisco’s Alfred Morris tallied 111 yards (both men had a rushing TD). Los Angeles, who kept the ball for 31:50, outrushed the 49ers 155-127 and went 10 of 16 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down). As for the 49ers? They were 3 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 28:10.

The Rams covered the 10 1/2-point spread (they were favored), winning by 29 but the two clubs combined for 49 points, meaning that the 54 over/under was untouched. Los Angeles was again favored, this time by 10 in the season finale in southern Californa (they covered, winning by 16) and this time, both teams covered the over/under of 50 with 80 combined points. The Rams are favored by 3 and the over/under’s 50 1/2. San Francisco would like nothing more than to go 5-0 in southern California, whil the Rams would love nothing more than to break their two-game losing streak. For the 49ers, the party comes to an end in Los Angeles. Rams cover the 3 and wins in the Coliseum.

Tennessee (2-3) at Denver (1-4), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. The first game of the late afternoon takes places in the Mile High City as Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans take on Joe Flacco and the Denver Broncos. While the Titans lost at home last week, Denver broke their four-game losing streak on the road.

Buffalo broke a 7-7 tie with Tennessee early in the fourth quarter when WR Derrick Williams caught a 7-yard TD toss from QB Josh Allen as the Bills left Nashville 14-7 winners at Nissan Stadium last Sunday. After a scoreless first quarter, Lance Smith caught an 8-yard toss from Allen to take a 7-0 lead with them to the intermission. Tennessee would tie the contest in the third quarter when Derrick Henry scored from a yard out. The Bills then used a 6-play, 77-yard drive that used 2:37 of clock to take the lead back and for keeps. Buffalo outrushed Tennessee 109-102 and Bills RB Frank Gore had 60 yards on the ground, while Henry led all rushers with 78 yards and the TD; Allen threw for 219 yards with the two TD tosses (Allen was sacked four times and picked off once), while Mariota threw for 183 yards with five sacks but no interceptions. Tennessee went 4 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 28:48, while the Bills ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:12, going 4 of 13 on third down tries, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Denver put an end to their four-game losing streak last Sunday, coming away from Dignity Health Sports Park with a 20-13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. The Broncos scpred 17 first half points unchallenged to lead at the half to take the win, as the Chargers would pull themselves to within seven with 10 seconds left when K Chris McLaughlin connected on a 32-yard field goal. The Chargers then went for the onside kick, which Denver recovered, allowing the Broncos to take the win on the West Coast. Denver’s Phillip Lindsay led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD, as the Broncos held the Chargers to 35 yards of rushing, while tallying 191 yards of their own. Flacco threw for 182 yards with a TD to Courtland Sutton (Flacco was sacked three times and picked off once), while Philip Rivers threw for 211 yards and two interceptions. Denver went 3 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 29:36, while the Chargers actually ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 30:24, going 4 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games that were played in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers and the Broncos played their home games at Mile High Stadium, Tennessee leads the series 22-15-1 and have outscored the Broncos 993-850. The two clubs last met in the Music City in 2016 and the Titans held off Denver 13-10, while Denver’s last win came in the Mile High City by a final of 51-28 in 2013. Denver’s favored by 2 and the over/under’s 39. If you took a pass on this one, we wouldn’t blame you. Denver finally gets their first win at home and covers the 2.

Dallas (3-2) at New York Jets (0-5), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. Dallas has lost two in a row. The Jets are looking for their first win. A pair of struggling teams meet in upstate New Jersey as the Cowboys and Jets meet at Met Life Stadium. Both teams took losses in last week’s action.

Dallas struggled against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers last Sunday at AT&T Stadium, taking a 34-24 loss in the Lone Star State. Green Bay led 17-0 at the half, scoring all of those points in the first 30 minutes unchallenged, before Dallas would eventually outscore the Packers 24-17 in the final 30 minutes of play. Dallas barely outrushed Green Bay 122-120 and RB Ezekiel Elliott led his club with 62 yards on the ground and a TD, while Packers RB Aaron Jones led all rushers with 107 yards and four TDs. The other Aaron (Rodgers) threw for 238 yards with a pair of sacks, while Prescott threw for 463 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup on both tosses (Prescott was sacked three times and picked off three times). Green Bay was 3 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 36:43, while Dallas kept the ball for 23:17, going 2 of 8 on third down.

The Jets stayed winless last Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field as Carson Wentz and Philadelphia took them to task 31-6 in the City of Brotherly Love. GangGreen trailed 21-0 at the intermission and could never get themselves on track, as they were held to a 19-yard TD run by Vic Smith early in the fourth quarter. Neither club dented the 100-yard barrier but the Eagles won the ground game, outrushing the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 84-67 and Wentz threw for 189 yards and a TD to Zach Ertz, while Luke Falk (taking over for Darnold) threw for 120 yards (Falk was sacked nine times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Wentz was sacked once but did not throw a pick). The Eagles were 5 of 13 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:52, while the Jets held the ball for 29:08, going 3 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

While Dallas leads the series 7-4 and have outscored GangGreen 300-170. the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! have won the last two meetings (which includes games that were played at Shea Stadium, the Cotton Bowl, Cowboys Stadium and Giants Stadium), including a 19-16 win in the Lone Star State in 2016, while Dallas’ last win came in front of the home crowd in 2007 by a final of 34-3. Dallas is favored by 7 and the over/under’s 43. A streak will come to an end and a streak will continue. Dallas’ two-game losing streak stops in upstate New Jersey. Cowboys may not cover the 7 but they win in the Meadowlands.

Pittsburgh (1-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (2-3), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. They meet again and this time, it’s on the West Coast. Pittsburgh and the Los Angeles Chargers meet again in a rematch of a classic from last season. Both clubs took losses at home in last week’s play.

Pittsburgh watched a 23-20 lead in regulation get away from them as Baltimore used a Jeff Tucker field to send the contest into overtime, then watched Tucker win the game in overtime as the Ravens left Heinz Field with a 26-23 win Sunday afternoon Baltimore 17-13 at the intermission before Pittsburgh stormed back in the second half to lead 23-20 with 2:37 left in regulation on a Chris Boswell field goal. Tucker then connected on a 48-yard field goal with 10 seconds left in regulation, then after a Pittsburgh turnover by WR JuJu Smith-Schuster in the overtime, Tucker would end the contest, as he connected on a 46-yarder with 5:26 left in the extra period to take the win.

Baltimore outrushed Pittsburgh 138-77 and Lamar Jackson threw for 161 yards with a TD and three interceptions, while Mason Rudolph threw for 131 yards and a TD to Smith-Schuster before being knocked out of the contest with a concussion (Rudolph was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Baltimore was 6 of 15 on third down (the Ravens were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 39 minutes (including the overtime), while the Steelers were 3 of 9 on third down, keeping the ball for 25:34.

The Chargers and Rivers watched Denver put an end to their four-game losing streak last Sunday, coming away from Dignity Health Sports Park with a 20-13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers trailed 17-0 at the half before they would pull themselves to within seven with 10 seconds left when K Chris McLaughlin connected on a 32-yard field goal. The Chargers then went for the onside kick, which Denver recovered, allowing the Broncos to take the win on the West Coast. Denver’s Phillip Lindsay led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD, as the Broncos held the Chargers to 35 yards of rushing, while tallying 191 yards of their own. Flacco threw for 182 yards with a TD to Courtland Sutton (Flacco was sacked three times and picked off once), while Philip Rivers threw for 211 yards and two interceptions. Denver went 3 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 29:36, while the Chargers actually ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 30:24, going 4 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Pittsburgh leads the series 22-8 (including contests that took place at Three Rivers Stadium and in San Diego) and the Steelers have outscored the Bolts 773-558. The Chargers came away with the 33-30 last second win in the Steel City last year, while Pittsburgh’s last win came at Qualcomm Stadium in 2015 by a final of 24-20.

They met in week 13 at Heinz Field in the Sunday night contest that featured three lead changes in the AFC affair and it was Big Ben (Roethlisberger) vs. Philip Rivers squaring off. Pittsburgh led 23-7 at the half, thanks to a pair of James Conner rushing TDs, then watched as the Chargers chipped away at that lead, tying things up at 23-23 with 12:52 left in the contest when Desmond King returned a punt 73 yards for a TD. Rivers and Keenan Allen would tie things up when they connected on the 2-point conversion and the Chargers would take the lead for the first time in the contest when Justin Jackson scored on an 18-yard run. Pittsburgh re-tied the contest at 30-30 with 4:10 left in regulation when Jaylen Samuels and Roethlisberger connected on a 10-yard strike.

The Chargers were not done and would get the ball back with 4:10 left in regulation. Los Angeles orchestrated an 11-play, 64-yard drive that used all of the 4:10 that was left on the clock. After burning their first time out of the half with three seconds left, Michael Badgley tried a 39-yard field goal to win the contest in regulation. Badgley’s kick sailed wide to the right but Steelers LB James Harden was penalized for a netural zone infraction. Because a game cannot end on a defensive penalty, the Bolts got the ball moved up five yards and they would get an untimed down. Badgley then tried it from 34 yards and the try was blocked. Going to overtime, right? WRONG! The Steelers were penalized for a second neutral zone infraction, which meant moving the ball up five yards and giving Los Angeles another untimed down.

For the Chargers, the third time was the charm. With Badgley moved up another five yards, he would connect on a 29-yard try and as was the case on the first two tries, the Steelers were… you guessed it… offside. The Chargers declined the penalty and took the road win. Los Angeles outrushed Pittsburgh 85-65 at Heinz Field and both Roethlisberger (281 yards, sack, interception) and Rivers (299 yards, two sacks) threw a pair of TDs in the prime time contest. The Bolts were 6 of 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 31:12 (including the final 4:10 of the contest), while the Steelers kept the pigskin for 28:48, going 3 of 10 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs. Pittsburgh was favored by 3 1/2 in the Steel City and while the Chargers came away with the win, they only did it by 3. Both teams did manage to cover the 51 1/2 over/under by tallying 63 points. The Bolts are favored by 7 and the over/under’s 41. Both teams want to erase what happened last week and the Steelers would like to get some revenge from last year’s loss at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh takes this one on the West Coast but expect the Chargers to make things closer than 7.

Detroit (2-1-1) at Green Bay (4-1), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week six concludes in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst as NFC North foes Detroit and Green Bay meet at Lambeau Field.

Kansas City broke a 13-13 tie in Detroit, then rallied to take a 34-30 win over the Lions at Ford Field two weeks ago. The Chiefs trailed Matthew Stafford and the Lions 30-27 with 20 seconds left in the contest when RB Darien Williams scored from a yard away to take the lead for the first time and for keeps. Kansas City would then go on to hold off a late Detroit rally that would have given them their first loss of the 2019 season. Detroit outrushed Kansas City 186-123 with Lions RB Kerryon Johnson leading the way with 125 yards. Stafford threw for 291 yards with three TDs (two of them to Kenny Golladay) and four sacks, while Patrick Mahomes threw for 315 yards with no TDs for the first time in his career and no sacks (neither Mahomes or Stafford threw an interception). Kansas City went 4 of 9 on third down (they were perfect in their only fourth down try) and kept the ball for 26:06, while the Lions actually ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 33:54, going 5 ofi 13 on third down.

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers held serve against Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday at AT&T Stadium, taking a 34-24 win in the Lone Star State. Green Bay led 17-0 at the half, scoring all of those points in the first 30 minutes unchallenged, before Dallas would eventually outscore the Packers 24-17 in the final 30 minutes of play. Dallas barely outrushed Green Bay 122-120 and RB Ezekiel Elliott led his club with 62 yards on the ground and a TD, while Packers RB Aaron Jones led all rushers with 107 yards and four TDs. The other Aaron (Rodgers) threw for 238 yards with a pair of sacks, while Prescott threw for 463 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup on both tosses (Prescott was sacked three times and picked off three times). Green Bay was 3 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 36:43, while Dallas kept the ball for 23:17, going 2 of 8 on third down.

Including contests played in Portsmouth (when the Lions were known as the Spartans) at Milwaukee County Stadium, Tiger Stadium and the Silverdome, the Packers lead the series 98-72-7 and have outscored the Lions 3,737-3,292. However… the Lions have won the last four meetings, sweeping the last two series (Green Bay’s last win came in 2016 in the Motor City by a final of 31-24).

Meeting number one… week five in the Motor City. Detroit held off a late Green Bay rally to come away 31-23 winners at Ford Field. The Lions scored 24 first half points unchallenged to shut out the Packers in the first half. Green Bay would take the second half, outscoring the Lions 23-7 in the final 30 minutes of play and made it an 8-point contest with 2 seconds left when Crosby connected on a 41-yard field goal. Green Bay did outrush Detroit 98-94 in the first meeting and Rodgers threw for 442 yards and three TDs, while Stafford threw for 183 yards and a pair of TDs (Rodgers was sacked four times, Stafford was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). Green Bay went 3 of 10 on third down tries (the Packers were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, as kept the ball for 33:20 to Detroit’s 26:40 (the Lions were 5 for 13 on third down).

They met again, this time at Lambeau Field (temperature at game time? A balmy 26 degrees with a 14 degree wind chill) in the season finale for both clubs. Detroit scored all 31 of their points unchallenged as they shut out the Packers 31-0. Detroit led 21-0 at the break on the frozen tundra and never looked back, flooring the gas in the second half to seal the win. Stafford threw for 266 yards and a pair of TDs without an interception, while Rodgers threw for 26 yards (one sack) before being replaced by DeShone Kizer (132 yards, two sacks, interception). Detroit outrushed Green Bay in the second meeting 130-46 and went 7 of 14 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Lions kept the ball for 36:54, while Green Bay held the ball for 23:06, going 5 of 16 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

Green Bay was favored by 1 1/2 in the week five contest at Ford Field and the Lions covered the spread, winning by 8 and both clubs covered the 51 over/under with 54 points in the Motor City. As for the contest in week 17? The Packers were favored by 7 1/2 and the Lions again covered, winning by 31 but Detroit’s 31 unanswered points in the contest did not cover the 45 over/under. Detroit on Monday night? 16-18-1. The Packers? 32-32-1.

Both teams played one Monday night contest last year and Detroit lost their only meeting, while the Packers took a win. We normally don’t make Monday night games “DRILL WORTHY” but in this case, we’re making an exception. With that… (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

Green Bay’s favored by 4 1/2 at Lambeau and the over/under’s 47. Detroit’s looking to win five in a row over the Packers, something they haven’t done since the 1950s; the Packers are looking to put an end to that foolishness. The Packers are looking for revenge and they’re getting it. Green Bay closes out week six with the win at Lambeau and covers the 4 1/2.

Three weeks down, 14 to go.

The leaves are turning color in most places in the United States and there is stil lots of football left in the 2019 NFL season. There’s still time for those teams looking for that first win to get it. Football is a fickle mistress that must be treated with great care. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

SEVEN FROM LAST SUNDAY

Three teams that missed the postseason in 2018 – Buffalo (3-0), Detroit (2-0-1) and San Francisco (3-0) – are undefeated through the first three weeks of the 2019 season.

2019 marks the fourth time that at least four teams have started the season undefeated through their first three games after missing the postseason the previous year since 1990 when the current playoff format was instituted, joining 2013, 2003 and 2002.

New England defeated the New York Jets, 30-14 in Week 3. New England is the first team to not allow a passing or rushing touchdown in each of their first three games of a season in the Super Bowl era. Additionally, the Patriots are the first team to hold opponents scoreless in the first half of five consecutive games, including the postseason, the longest such streak in the Super Bowl era.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who passed for 306 yards and two touchdowns in the victory, has 71 career games with at least 300 passing yards and two touchdowns, surpassing Peyton Manning (70) for the second-most such games in NFL history. Only Drew Brees (93) has more such performances in league annals. Appearing in his 20th career game, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 374 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 132.0 rating in the Chiefs’ 33-28 win over Baltimore. Through 20 career games, Mahomes has the highest marks by a quarterback in passing yards (6,576), passing touchdowns (60) and passer rating (115.3 – minimum 100 attempts) in NFL history.

Mahomes recorded his 13th career game with at least 300 pass yards, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (12 games) for the most by a player in his first 20 career games in NFL history. Mahomes – who passed for 378 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in Week 1 and 443 yards and four touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 2 – is the first player to record at least 350 passing yards, three touchdown passes and zero interceptions in three consecutive games in NFL history.

New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones passed for 336 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 112.7 rating and added two rushing touchdowns in the Giants’ 32-31 win at Tampa Bay. Jones is the first rookie with at least 300 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in a single game since 1970. Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett had four sacks in the loss. Barrett has eight sacks through the Buccaneers’ first three games, tied with Mark Gastineau (1984) for the most by a player in his team’s first three games of a season since 1982.

Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings’ 34-14 win over Oakland. Cook – who rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1 and 154 yards and a touchdown in Week 2 – is the fifth player in NFL history with at least 110 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in each of his team’s first three games of a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown (1958), Curtis Martin (2004), O.J. Simpson (1975) and Emmitt Smith (1995).

New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara had 161 scrimmage yards (92 receiving, 69 rushing) and two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) in the Saints’ 33-27 win at Seattle. Kamara, who has 23 rushing touchdowns and 10 receiving touchdowns in 34 career games, is the fifth player in league annals with at least 20 rushing touchdown and 10 receiving touchdowns in his first three seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen, Roger Craig, Chuck Foreman and Abner Haynes.

Carolina running back Christian McCaffery totaled 188 scrimmage yards (153 rushing, 35 receiving) and a rushing touchdown in the Panthers’ 38-20 victory at Arizona. McCaffrey, who had 209 scrimmage yards and two rushing touchdowns in Week 1, is the fourth player with at least 185 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in two of his team’s first three games of a season in NFL history, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown (1963), Adrian Peterson (2010) and Billy Sims (1980).

The NFL rolls into Week 4 with two significant early trends that separate this year from any of the previous 99 seasons: Quarterbacks are getting younger and the league-wide passer rating, the highest it’s ever been through three weeks, is on an upward slope. This week, the NFL concludes a September that has seen both the highest collective passer rating ever through three weeks and the most starting quarterbacks (20 in Week 3) age 26 or younger in league history. Meanwhile, each week continues to produce close games and stirring second-half comebacks and rookies continue to progress into household-name territory.

CLOSE GAMES INCREASINGLY COMMON: Through the first three weeks, 23 of 48 games (47.9 percent) have been decided by six points or less. Only one other time in league history (24 in 2013) has the final margin been six points or fewer in more games over three weeks of NFL play. Plus, 26 of 48 games (54.2 percent) have been decided by seven points or less, tied for third in league history after three weeks.

The most games decided by six-or-fewer points and seven-or-fewer points, through three weeks in NFL history:

Games decided by six points or fewer

2013 – 24
2019 – 23
2016 – 22
2000 – 21
Many – 20

Games decided by seven points or fewer

2016 – 28
2013 – 28
2019 – 26
1988 – 26
2011 – 25

REBOUNDS ALSO ON THE RISE: Four teams that missed the postseason in 2018 – Buffalo (3-0), Detroit (2-0-1), Green Bay (3-0) and San Francisco (3-0) – are undefeated through the first three weeks. Since the current playoff format began in 1990, this year marks just the fourth time that at least four teams have started the season undefeated through their first three games after missing the postseason the previous year. It also happened in 2002, 2003 and 2013.

If Buffalo, Detroit and Green Bay win this week, the league will have four undefeated teams through the first four weeks, among those that didn’t qualify for the postseason the prior year (including 3-0 San Francisco, on its bye in Week 4). It’s happened once previously, when Carolina, Denver, Kansas City and Minnesota opened 4-0 in 2003, after missing the playoffs in 2002. The Panthers advanced to Super Bowl XXXVIII that season.

HIGHEST PASSER RATING EVER THROUGH THREE WEEKS: It’s an arms race! NFL passers have compiled a 94.3 rating through three weeks, while the average age among starting quarterbacks has decreased each week.

The highest aggregate passer ratings through a season’s first three weeks in NFL history:

YEAR – PASSER RATING
2019 – 94.3
2018 – 93.2
2015 – 91.1
2014 – 90.6
2017 – 90.3

ROOKIES PREVALENT ON NFL LANDSCAPE: Youth is being served! Through three weeks, 11 of 32 NFL teams have rookies leading or tied for their team lead in passer rating, rushing yards, receiving yards, tackles or interceptions. That includes Pittsburgh, whose rookie linebacker Devin Bush not only leads the Steelers with 29 tackles; he also leads the league with three fumble recoveries.

Last week in his first NFL start, New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones passed for 336 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 112.7 passer rating. He also added two rushing touchdowns, including the game-winning 7-yard score with 76 seconds remaining, in his team’s 32-31 win at Tampa Bay. Since at least the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, Jones is the first rookie with at least 300 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in the same game.

A look at rookies who lead their teams or are tied for their team lead through three weeks:

PASSER RATING*

QB, TEAM (RATING)
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville (110.6)
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (109.7)
Kyler Murray, Arizona (79.0)

RUSHING YARDS

RUSHER, TEAM (YARDS)
Josh Jacobs, Oakland (228)
David Montgomery, Chicago (147)
Miles Sanders, Philadelphia (106)
*min. 40 attempts

RECEIVING YARDS

PLAYER, TEAM (YARDS)
Marquise Brown, Baltimore (282)
Terry McLaurin, Washington (257)
Preston Williams, Miami (115)

INTERCEPTIONS

PLAYER, TEAM (INTERCEPTIONS)
Ryan Connelly, New York Giants (1)
Darnell Savage, Green Bay (1)
Preston Williams, Miami (115)

ROOKIES GETTING TO QUARTERBACK: For the first time since 1982, when individual sacks became an official statistic, five rookies have at least 1.5 sacks entering Week 4. Carolina has two of those five: Brian Burns and Christian Miller each have 2 sacks. Jacksonville defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen (2), New England defensive lineman Chase Winovich (2) and New York Giants defensive end/linebacker Oshane Ximines (1.5) round out the group.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK: Two games on Sunday feature a battle of undefeated foes, both in the early afternoon window. New Era Field in Buffalo hosts a clash of the 3-0 teams atop the AFC East in upstate New York. New England, whose point-differential (89) is 36 points higher than number 2 Dallas (53), plays Buffalo, off to their best start since they began 3-0 in 2011. Buffalo seeks its first 4-0 start since 2008.

No NFL division has seen multiple teams start 3-0 since 2015, in the NFC South (Atlanta and Carolina). This season, both the AFC East and the NFC West (Rams and 49ers) have a pair of 3-0 teams.

At Ford Field in Detroit, Kansas City (3-0) meets Detroit (2-0-1), who with a win would be undefeated through four games for the first time since opening 5-0 in 2011.

CONSISTENT CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS: Both New England and the Los Angeles Rams have authored a 3-0 encore after meeting in Super Bowl LIII. The defending Super Bowl teams haven’t started that well in 21 years, when both Denver and Green Bay were 3-0 to start the 1998 season after clashing in Super Bowl XXXII. The last time both Super Bowl teams were 4-0? It was also the Broncos and Packers in 1998.

STRONG STARTS: On Sunday Night Football, Dallas makes a trip to their neighboring state to meet New Orleans in the Big Easy. The Cowboys with a win would be off to their best start in 12 years, since opening 5-0 in 2007. With a win last Sunday over the Steelers, San Francisco is off to its best start in 21 years. The 49ers are on a bye this week but can advance to their first 4-0 start in nearly three decades with a win at home over Cleveland in Santa Clara on Monday, October 7. Seven teams are 3-0 entering Week 4.

The Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs have each started 3-0 for a second consecutive season. The last time the same two NFL teams opened 3-0 in back-to-back years was 2015-16 (Denver and New England). The last time the same two teams opened 4-0 in consecutive seasons was 1968-69, when the Rams and Dallas did the feat.

The last time each of the other 3-0 teams improved to 4-0:

TEAM, LAST 4-0 START (SEASON RESULT)
San Francisco, 1990 (NFC Championship)
Dallas, 2007 (NFC Divisional)
Buffalo, 2008 (Missed playoffs)
Green Bay, 2015 (NFC Divisional)
New England, 2015 (AFC Championship)

CONTAGIOUS COMEBACKS: In 12 of 48 games (25 percent), a team has come back to tie or win after trailing in the fourth quarter.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a match-up of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated the Chargers-Dolphins contest as the NFL100 GAME OF THE WEEK because it honors one of the most thrilling games ever played, the Epic in Miami. On January 2, 1982, at the Orange Bowl, Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN FOUTS led his Chargers to an incredible 41-38 overtime win over the Dolphins. In a thrilling AFC Divisional playoff that Sports Illustrated called, “The Game No One Should Have Lost,” the Dolphins overcame a 24-0 first-quarter deficit. Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Don Shula inserted backup quarterback Don Strock to spark the Dolphins, who capitalized on four Miami takeaways to capture their first lead in the fourth quarter. But the Chargers cashed in their own takeaways, including a Pete Shaw fumble recovery that halted a potential game-icing Dolphins drive with less than 5 minutes left. On the Dolphins’ doorstep with under a minute on the clock and submerged by Miami’s pass rush, Fouts threw a blind, 9-yard pass in the direction of his intended receiver, Pro Football Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow. The overthrown pass, however, sailed into the arms of Charger James Brooks for a game-knotting touchdown. In a 38-38 game, Strock then quickly maneuvered the Dolphins into field-goal position, where the 6-foot-5 Winslow deflected Uwe Von Schamann’s kick to force overtime. In the extra frame, each team orchestrated long drives, only to see their kickers miss field goals, including another Chargers block, this time by Leroy Jones. Finally, Fouts engineered a 74-yard drive to set up Rolf Bernirschke’s game-ending 29-yard field goal and – 13 minutes, 52 seconds, into OT – San Diego advanced, 41-38. Fouts and Strock combined for 856 yards passing. Five players topped 100 yards receiving. Following the season, Miami advanced to two of the next three Super Bowls.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 4

100 IN 100: Through the first three weeks of the NFL’s 100th season, 11 quarterbacks have a passer rating of 100 or higher (minimum 20 attempts), the most through three weeks in NFL history. That list of quarterbacks includes two rookies, Daniel Jones (New York Giants) and Gardner Minshew (Jacksonville), along with two second-year quarterbacks, Kyle Allen (Carolina) and Lamar Jackson (Baltimore). In total, six quarterbacks under the age of 25 and eight under the age of 30 have a passer rating of 100 or higher (minimum 20 attempts) through the first three weeks.

The quarterbacks with a passer rating of 100 or higher this season (minimum 20 attempts):

PLAYER, TEAM (AGE, PASSER RATING)
Kyle Allen, Carolina (23, 144.4)
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (24, 134.9)
Dak Prescott, Dallas (26, 128.0)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (30, 119.6)
Tom Brady, New England (42, 116.5)
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (22, 113.9)
Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis (26, 112.0)
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville (23, 110.6)
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (22, 109.7)
Deshaun Watson, Houston (24, 108.6)
Case Keenum, Washington (31, 100.0)

Six other quarterbacks, including Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota (99.3) and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Philip Rivers (98.5), have a passer rating of 95 or higher this season and look to join this group after Week 3. Through a season’s first four weeks, only 2015 and 2007 have featured at least 11 quarterbacks with a passer rating of 100 or higher (minimum 20 attempts).

The seasons with the most quarterbacks with a passer rating of at least 100 through four weeks (min. 20 attempts):

SEASON – QUARTERBACKS WITH 100+ RATING THROUGH 4 WEEKS

2015 – 11
2007 – 11
2018 – 10
2017 – 9
2019 – 11*

*Through Week 3

MAHOMES STREAKING: Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 374 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in the Chiefs’ 33-28 win over Baltimore last week. Mahomes – who passed for 378 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 1 and 443 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 2 – is the first player to record at least 350 passing yards, three touchdown passes and no interceptions in three consecutive games in NFL history.

Dating back to Week 6 of the 2018 season, the reigning league MVP has thrown at least two touchdown passes in 14 consecutive games. With at least two touchdown passes on Sunday at Detroit, Mahomes can tie Peyton Manning (15 consecutive games) for the most consecutive games with at least two touchdown passes in NFL history.

The most consecutive games with at least two touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON(S)(CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 2+ PASS TDs)
Peyton Manning – Denver (2013-14)(15)
Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City (2018-19)(14)*
Philip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers (2017-18)(13)
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay (2011)(13)
Tom Brady – New England (2010-11)(13)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis (2004)(13)
*Active streak

Mahomes can also become the fifth player in NFL history to throw at least three touchdowns in each of his first four games of a season.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least three touchdown passes to begin their season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, MOST CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 3+ PASS TDs TO BEGIN THEIR SEASON)

Tom Brady, New England (2017, 10)#
Steve Young, San Francisco (1998, 5) HOF
Dan Marino Miami (1987, 4)HO
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (1999, 4) HOF#
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (2019, 3)*
*Active streak
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player

CAROLINA KYLE: In his first start of the season last week, Carolina quarterback Kyle Allen passed for 261 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 144.4 passer rating in the Panthers’ Week 3 win. Allen also threw for 228 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 111.3 rating in Carolina’s Week 17 victory in 2018, his first career start.

With at least two touchdown passes and no interceptions on Sunday at Houston, Allen would become the first player in the Super Bowl era to throw at least two touchdown passes without an interception in each of his first three career starts.

COOKING UP YARDS: Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings’ Week 3 win over Oakland and has recorded at least 100 rushing yards and a touchdown in each of his first three games of the season. His 375 rushing yards lead the league through three weeks.

With at least 100 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown on Sunday at Chicago, Cook would become the fifth player in NFL history with at least 100 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown in each of his team’s first four games to begin a season.​

The players with at least 100 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in each of their team’s first four games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, MOST GAMES WITH 100+ RUSH YARDS & RUSH TD TO BEGIN SEASON)
Jim Brown, Cleveland (1958, 6) HOF
O.J. Simpson , Buffalo (1975, 5) HOF
DeMarco Murray, Dallas (2014, 4)
Emmitt Smith, Dallas (1995, 4) HOF
Dalvin Cook, Minnesota (2019, 3)*

15,000 FOR FRANK: Buffalo running back Frank Gore has rushed for 14,912 yards over his 15-year NFL career. With 88 rushing yards on Sunday against New England, Gore would become the fourth player in league history to reach 15,000 career rushing yards. The other three players are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The players with the most career rushing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) RUSHING YARDS)
Emmitt Smith – Dallas and Arizona (18,355) HOF
Walter Payton – Chicago (16,726) HOF
Barry Sanders – Detroit (15,26) HOF
Frank Gore – San Francisco, Indianapolis, Miami and Buffalo (14,912)*
*Active

WALLER BALLER: Oakland tight end Darren Waller had a career-high 13 catches for 134 yards last week. His 26 receptions rank second in the league and lead all tight ends through the first three weeks of the season.

With eight receptions on Sunday at Indianapolis, Waller would surpass Antonio Gates (33 receptions) for the most receptions by a tight end through his team’s first four games of a season in NFL history.

The tight ends with the most receptions through their team’s first four games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, RECEPTIONS)
Antonio Gates, San Diego (2007, 33)
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans (2014, 32)
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia (2018, 31)
Jordan Cameron, Cleveland (2013, 30)
Darren Waller, Oakland (2019, 26)*
*Through Week 3

SHAQ ATTACK: Tampa Bay linebacker Shaquil Barrett enters Week 4 with a league-leading eight sacks. Barrett registered three sacks in Week 2, followed by a career-high four-sack performance last week, tying a Tampa Bay single-game franchise record.

With at least 1.5 sacks on Sunday at the Los Angeles Rams, Barrett would surpass Mark Gastineau (nine sacks, 1984), Kabeer Gbaja-BiamilaLA (nine, 2001) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Kevin Greene (nine, 1998) for the most sacks by a player through his team’s first four games of a season since 1982 when the individual sack became an official statistic.

The players with the most sacks through their team’s first four games of a season since 1982:

PLAYER, SEASON (TEAM, SACKS)
Mark Gastineau, 1984 (New York Jets, 9)
Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, 2001 (Green Bay, 9)
Kevin Greene, 1998 (Carolina, 9) HOF
William Gay, 1983 (Detroit, 8.5)
Shaquil Barrett, 2019 (Tampa Bay, 8)*

*Through Week 3

Additionally, with at least three sacks in Week 4, Barrett can become the first player with at least three sacks in three consecutive games since 1982 when the individual sack became an official statistic.

Week four got underway at Lambeau as the Packers fell from the ranks of the unbeaten as Green Bay hosted Philadelphia and concludes in the Steel City as Pittsburgh hosts Cincinnati Monday night. Byes for this week? San Francisco and the New York Jets. As for last week? A lot better. 10-6… best.week.ever and for the season, we’re 25-23. There’s still football left to play. With that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 4.

Tennessee (1-2) at ATLANTA (1-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of 1-2 teams meet in the Big Peach as Tennessee makes the 243-mile trip south to face off against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. Both teams are searching for wins to even their records.

Held to a third-quarter TD by Derrick Henry, Tenneseee lost to AFC South rival Jacksonville 20-7. Tennessee trailed 14-0 (Jacksonville scored both early TDs in the first quarter) at TIAA Field last Thursday night and could never get themselves on track in the Sunshine State. Tennessee did out-rush Jacksonville 91-88 in the Thursday night contest and Marcus Mariota threw for 304 yards but was sacked nine times, while Jaguar QB Gardner Minshew threw for 204 yards with no sacks (neither threw an interception). Tennessee went 8 for 17 on third down and actually ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 35:16, while Jacksonville kept the pigskin for 24:44, going 2 of 11 on third down (both clubs were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

The Falcons were flagged 16 times for 128 yards in their 27-24 loss at Indianapolis last Sunday. Although they trailed 20-6 at the half, Atlanta would go on to outscore the Colts 21-7 in the final 30 minutes of play in the Hoosier State, pulling themselves to within 7 with 4:11 when Ryan and All-Pro WR Julio Jones connected on a 10-yard TD toss. The Colts would then get the ball back on the kickoff and run out the clock to take the win at Lucas Oil Stadium. Atlanta out-rushed the Colts 93-88 and Davonta Freeman led all rushers with 88 yards. Ryan threw for 304 yards and three TDs (two to TE Austih Hooper) with an interception but no sacks, while the Colts’ Jacoby Brissett threw for 310 yards and a pair of TDs with a sack (Marlon Mack led the Colts with 74 rushing yards and a TD). Atlanta was 8 of 10 on third down and the Falcons would keep the ball for 28:37, while the Colts ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 31:23, going 5 of 8 on third down.

Including games that were played in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers and the Falcons played their home games at Fulton County Stadium and the Georgoa Dome, the series is even at 7-7. Atlanta has outscored the Titans 331-313 and have won the last two meetings in the series, including a 10-7 win in 2015 in the Music City, while Tennessee’s last win over the Falcons came in 2007 in Nashville by a final of 20-13. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Falcons as 4 1/2 point favorites in the Big Peach and the over/under’s 46 1/2. Both numbers make sense. Both teams are looking to right their ships from last week. Falcons RISE UP in the Big Peach to take the win and covers the 4 1/2.

Cleveland (1-2) at Baltimore (2-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. Mayfield vs. Jackson. A pair of top NFL QB draft picks meet in Charm City as the Ravens, atop first place in the AFC North, take on the Cleveland Browns in Baltimore. Both teams enter the Sunday afternoon contest with close losses from last week under their belts.

A late Cleveland rally against Los Angeles fell short as the Rams came away 20-13 winners at First Energy Stadium last Sunday night. Cleveland led 6-3 at the intermission before Jared Goff connected on a pair of TD passes to Cooper Kupp, the second one giving Los Angeles the lead back for keeps with 12:48 left in the contest. Greg Zuerlein would then add a 37-yard field goal to push the lead to a 3-point margin and the Rams stopped Baker Mayfield inside their 10-yard line as four of Mayfield’s passes fell incomplete in the final seconds of the contest.

Cleveland out-rushed Los Angeles 95-90 with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading all rusher with 96 yards, while former Georgia teammate Todd Gurley leading Los Angeles with 48. Goff threw for 268 yards with the two Kupp TDs (he was sacked twice and picked off twice), while Mayfield threw for 195 yards with a TD, three sacks and an interception. The Rams in the Sunday night contest along the shores of Lake Erie went 6 of 14 on third down and held the ball for 28:23. As for the Browns? They were 6 of 16 on third down and 0 of 2 on fourth down but ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:37.

Batlimore trailed Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City lead 23-6 at the intermission at Arrowhead Stadium, then watched Lamar Jackson and Baltimore out-score them 22-10 in the seconds but fell short, as the Chiefs would be the ones escaping with a 33-28 win. Jackson would make it an 8-point contest with 2:01 left in the game but the Ravens would miss the two-point try. The Chiefs would then get the ball back after the kickoff and they would run out the clock and take the win. Mark Ingram rushed for 103 yards and three TDs as the Ravens ran for 203 yards (Kansas City rushed for 140) and Jackson threw for 267 yards with three sacks (neither Jackson or Mahomes threw an interception). Baltimore went 5 of 13 on third downs at Arrowhead (they were 3 for 4 on fourth down) and the Ravens actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:44, while the Chiefs held the pigskin for 27:16, going 5 of 9 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Baltimore leads the series, 30-10 and the Ravens have out-scored Cleveland 927-598. The two clubs split their two meetings, with each taking wins at home.

The first meeting? Cleveland in week 5 and the contest was an all-field goal affair as the Browns needed overtime to take a 12-9 win along the shores of Lake Erie. Cleveland scored the only TD in the contest when Mayfield and WR Rashard Higgins connected on a 19-yard toss with 40 seconds left before the intermission to take a 6-3 lead (they would miss the extra point). Baltimore took a 3-0 lead into the first quarter of play thanks to a Jeff Tucker field goal before the Browns would lead 6-3 at the half.

Greg Joseph would then give Cleveland a 9-3 lead that would not last long as Tucker would kick a pair of field goals, including one that would tie the contest at 9-9 with 52 seconds left in regulation. Each team got a chance to score in the overtime and it would be the Browns that would prevail, as they used a 7-play, 65-yard drive that used 2:55 of clock and it would be Joseph that would send Browns fans home happy as he connected on a 37-yard field goal with 2 seconds left in the extra period.

Baltimore out-rushed Cleveland 116-112 and Mayfield threw for 342 yards with five sacks to go with the TD toss, while Joe Flacco threw for 298 yards with a pair of sacks (each threw an interception). Cleveland was 6 of 19 on third down (the Browns were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:16, while the Ravens were 4 of 16 on third down (Baltimore was 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:42.

Baltimore would get revenge in Charm City in week 17 and took the AFC North title in the process, surviving a late Browns scare and taking a 26-24 win at M&T Bank Stadium. In the season finale, the Ravens led 20-7 at the half before Cleveland stormed back in the final 30 minutes of play, pulling themselves to within 2 with 3:24 left in the contest when WR Antonio Calloway and Mayfield connected on a 1-yard TD toss. The Browns would get the ball back with 1:49 left but four Mayfield passes went incomplete. That in turn gave Baltimore the ball back and the Ravens would run out the clock and take the win in Charm City.

Baltimore out-rushed Cleveland 296-50, with Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon paving the way with 117 yards. Jackson threw for 179 yards with a pair of sacks and no interceptions, while Mayfield threw for 376 yards with three TDs and three interceptions. While the Ravens were 3 of 13 on third down, they were succesful in their only fourth down try, keeping the ball for 38:30; the Browns kept the ball for 21:30 and went 4 of 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Baltimore was favored by 3 in the week 5 contest in the Buckeye State and Cleveland covered with the 3-point overtime win but the 47 over/under stayed in tact as both clubs combined for only 21 points. Baltimore was favored in the season finale in Charm City by 6. While the Ravens did win, they only won by 2 but both teams scored 50 points, which covered the 41 over/under. Baltimore’s favored by 6 1/2 in this first meeting and the over/under’s 45. Both numbers make a ton of sense and both are capable of making the post-season party. The Browns are looking to get back to the post-season, while the Ravens are the defending AFC North champs. Break out the crabcakes! Cleveland could make this closer than 6 1/2 but Ravens prevail in Charm City.

New England (3-0) at Buffalo (3-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. They bpth share the same divison and they’re both unbeaten. A pair of AFC East rivals meet in upstate New York as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots travel to Orchard Park for an early afternoon meeting with the Buffalo Bills.

The defending Super Bowl champions held the New York Jets to a pair of second-half TDs at Foxboro as the Pats would take GangGreen to the woodshed 30-14 at Gillette Stadium. Brady and the Patriots led 20-0 at the intermission and never looked back in their AFC East opener. New England grounded the Jets’ rushing game, holding them to to a season-low 36 yards, while the Pats would rush for 68 and Brady threw for 306 yards wtih a pair of TDs and no sacks or interceptions, while Luke Falk, the third QB of the season for the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! threw for 98 yards with five sacks and an interception. New England went 6 of 15 on third down conversions in Foxboro and kept the ball for 35:14, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 0 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Buffalo held off Cincinnati 21-17 at New Era Stadium last Sunday. The Bills led the Bengals 14-0 at the intermission in upstate New York, then watched the Bengals outscore Buffalo 17-7 in the final 30 minutes of play to make the contest closer than Bills fans would like. Buffalo ran for 175 yards, holding the Bengals to 67 yards (Bills RB Frank Gore led all rushers with 76 yards and a TD), while Josh Allen threw for 243 yards for the Bills with an interception (Andy Dalton threw for 249 yards and two interceptions and a pair of sacks; both Dalton and Allen threw a TD in the contest). The Bengals, who turned the ball over three times in upstate New York, went 3 for 11 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 23:06, while Buffalo ruled the clock and circled their wagons around the ball, keeping it for 36:54 and went 5 of 13 on third down tries.

New England leads the series 73-43-1 (which includes contests that were played at Fenway Park, Schafer Stadium in Boston and war Memorial Stadium in Buffalo), have out-scored the Bills 2,608-2,137 and have won the last five meetings, sweeping last year’s contests (Buffalo’s last win over the Patriots came in 2016 in Foxboro, where they shutout the Patriots 16-0).

Meeting number one… week eight in upstate New York (46 degree temperature at kickoff with a 39 degree wind chill) and the Patriots held Buffalo to a pair of Stephen Hauschka field goals to take a 25-6 win in Orchard Park. New England led 9-3 at the half, then proceeed to floor the gas in the second half, outscoring Buffalo 16-3 in the final 30 minutes of play.

New England rushed for only 76 yards but managed to hold the Bills to 46 yards, Brady threw for 324 yards, while Bills QB Derek Anderson threw for 290 yards (Brady was sacked twice but did not throw an interception, while Anderson threw three interceptions with being sacked three times). New England was 5 of 14 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 31:50, while the Bills kept the ball for 28:10, going 4 of 14 and 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

New England made the series a clean sweep in their week 16 contest in Foxboro, as they would take a 24-12 win at Gillette Stadium. Although they led 14-0 at the break, New England was outscored by Buffalo 12-10 in the second half, with the Bills pulling to within 12 with 68 seconds left in the contest as Allen and WR Zay Jones connected on a 31-yard toss. New England took care of things on the ground, tallying 273 rushing yards, holding Buffalo to 72, with Patriots RB Sony Michel leading the way with 116 yards and a TD. Brady threw for 126 yards with a TD to Josh Edelman, while Allen threw for 217 yards (both threw a pair of interceptions and Brady was sacked once). New England was 3 of 12 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 35:38; the Bills kept the ball for 24:22, going 2 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week eight contest in upstate New York, New England easily covered the 14-point spread, winning by 19. The 44 1/2 over/under? It was safe, as both teams combined for 31 points. In the week 16 contest in Foxboro, New England covered the 12 1/2-point spread, winning by 14. The 44 1/2 over/under? Untouched, as both teams merged for 36 points. New England’s favored by 7 and the over/under’s 42 1/2. Given the records, this one’s “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

These two for the time being are the kings of the AFC East mountain but there can be only one king. The Bills will make this one closer than the 7 but Brady and the Patriots prevail in upstate New York, taking the win.

Kansas City (3-0) at Detroit (2-0-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. An unbeaten Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs make their way to the Motor City to face off against Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Both enter the contest with close wins under their belts.

Mahomes (three TDs) and the Chiefs led 23-6 at the intermission at Arrowhead Stadium, then watched Lamar Jackson and Baltimore out-score them 22-10 in the seconds, escaping with a 33-28 win. Jackson would make it an 8-point contest with 2:01 left in the game but the Ravens would miss the two-point try. The Chiefs would then get the ball back after the kickoff and they would run out the clock and take the win. Mark Ingram rushed for 103 yards and three TDs as the Ravens ran for 203 yards (Kansas City rushed for 140) and Jackson threw for 267 yards with three sacks (neither Jackson or Mahomes threw an interception). Batlimore went 5 of 13 on third downs at Arrowhead (they were 3 for 4 on fourth down) and the Ravens actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:44, while the Chiefs held the pigskin for 27:16, going 5 of 9 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Detroit gave Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles their second loss in a row after they left the City of Brotherly Love 27-24 winners at Lincoln Financial Field. Detroit led 20-10 at the break but Philadelphia managed to keep the contest close, pulling themselves to within seven with 6:59 left when Wentz and WR Nelson Agholor connected on a 2-yard TD pass. Philadelphia would later get the ball back with 1:39 left to play in hopes of tying the contest up but the drive ended when the Eagles were flagged for offensive pass interference and Wentz’s fourth down pass attempt to WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside was broken up, ending the Eagles’ hopes of a win at home.

Detroit was out-rushed by Philadelphia 127-86, with Wentz throwing for 259 yards, three sacks and a pair of TDs (both to Agholor), while Stafford threw for 201 yards and a TD (neith threw an interception). Philadelphia was 7 of 13 on third down tries in the City of Brotherly Love (they were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:18, while the Lions kept the pigskin for 27:42 and went 6 for 14 on third down tries.

The Chiefs lead the series 8-5 (which includes contests that were played at Swope Field in Kansas City and the Silverdome in Pontiac) and have outscored the Lions 323-293. Their last meeting was in London in 2015 and the —Chiefs were 45-10 winners (Kansas City’s last win in the United States came in 2003 at Arrowhead by a final of 45-17), while Detroit’s last win came in the Motor City in 2011, coming away 48-3 winners. The Chiefs may be the road team but the odds makers like them as 6 1/2 point favorites and the over/under’s 53 1/2. One of these teams could make the post-season and it’s possible that both could be in as well. Right now, there’s only one winner. Detroit will make things closer than the 6 1/2 but the Chiefs stay unbeaten in the 2019 campaign.

Carolina (1-2) at Houston (2-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. The Carolina Panthers, who will be without Cam Newton (broken foot) travel to the Lone Star State for a showdown with the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Both teams won huge road games in last week’s action.

The Panthers erased a 7-0 first quarter deficit at Arizona, taking a 14-10 lead with them to the intermission and coming away 38-20 winners over the Cardinals last Sunday. Panthers backup QB Kyle Allen connected with TE Greg Olson on two TD passes in the desert as Carolina outscored the Desert Angry Birds 24-10 in the second half. Carolina out-rushed the Cardinals 173-121 with Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey leading the way with 153 yards and a TD, while Arizona QB Kyler Murray led his team with 69 yards of rushing. Allen threw for 261 yards and four TDs (including the two Olson catches), while Murray threw for 173 yards with two TDs (Allen was sacked twice but did not throw an interception, while Murray was sacked eight times with two picks). Arizona went 9 of 17 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 31:44, while the Panthers kept the pigskin for 28:16, going 4 of 10 on third down.

The Texans erased a 17-7 intermission deficit against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park, holding off Philip Rivers and the Chargers 27-20. Houston got a pair of TD passes from DeShaun Watson to TE Jordan Akins to take a 27-17 lead with 9:40 left in the contest. The Chargers’ Ty Long would put his club to within three with 7:14 left with a 43-yard field goal and that would be as close as the Chargers would get, as the Texans would hold them off in the final seconds to take the road win. While the Chargers did out-rush Houston 73-39, Watson threw for 351 yards and three TDs (including the two to Akins) and was sacked twice, while Rivers threw for 318 yards and a pair of TDs to Keenan Allen (Rivers was sacked five times, neither man threw an interception). Houston went 6 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:12, while the Chargers actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:48, going 5 of 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

They’ve met four times and each team has two wins to their credit. Carolina has outscored Houston 83-78 and came away 24-17 winners in their last meeting in Charlotte in 2015, while the Texans’ last win in the series came in 2007 in the Tar Heel State by a final of 34-21. The Texans are favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Carolina, you have a problem. Houston covers the 4 1/2 and wins in the Lone Star State.

Oakland (1-2) at Indianapolis (2-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. The Silver and Black plays their second game in the great indoors as they travel to the Hoosier State to face off against the Indianpolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Oakland found themselves being taken to task by Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday in the Twin Cites, coming out on the losing end by a final of 34-14 at US Bank Stadium. The Raiders, dropping their second contest in a row, trailed 21-7 at the half and could never really get on track, as Minnesota would proceed to outscore them 13-7 in the final 30 minutes of action. Delvin Cook rushed for 110 yards and a TD as the Vikings out-rushed Oakland 211-88 and Cousins threw for 174 yards with a TD to WR Adam Thielen, while Derek Carr threw for 242 yards with a pair of TDs, four sacks and an interception (Cousins was not sacked and did not throw an interception). Oakland was 3 of 11 on third down (the Raiders were 2 of 3 on fourth down) and the Silver and Black kept the ball for 28:28, while Minnesota ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:32, going 5 of 9 on third down.

The Colts held off a late Atlanta rally in the final quarter and came away 27-24 winners over the Falcons at Indianapolis last Sunday. The Colts took a 20-6 lead at the half, then watched Atlanta outscore the Colts 21-7 in the final 30 minutes of play in the Hoosier State, pulling themselves to within 7 with 4:11 when Ryan and All-Pro WR Julio Jones connected on a 10-yard TD toss. The Colts would then get the ball back on the kickoff and run out the clock to take the win at Lucas Oil Stadium. Atlanta out-rushed the Colts 93-88 and Davonta Freeman led all rushers with 88 yards. Ryan threw for 304 yards and three TDs (two to TE Austih Hooper) with an interception but no sacks, while the Colts’ Jacoby Brissett threw for 310 yards and a pair of TDs with a sack (Marlon Mack led the Colts with 74 rushing yards and a TD). Atlanta was 8 of 10 on third down and the Falcons would keep the ball for 28:37, while the Colts ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 31:23, going 5 of 8 on third down.

Including games in Baltimore and Los Angeles, the Raiders hold an 8-7 lead in the series and have outscored the Colts 363-356. The Colts and Raiders met last year on the West Coast and the Colts would come away 42-28 winners (Oakland’s last win in the series came in 2016 on the West Coast by a final of 33-25)

Their week eight meet at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Colts trailed 14-13 at the intermission, then proceeded to take control of things in the second half by outscoring Oakland 29-14 the rest of the way, using 21 of those points in the final quarter thanks to a pair of Marlon Mack rushing TDs, the second coming with 2:55 left in the contest to seal Oakland’s fate. Mack ran for 132 yards with the two scores, as the Colts rushed for 222 yards and Oakland tallied 103 in the loss. Andrew Luck threw for 239 yards, while Derek Carr tallied 244 yards in the air (each threw three TDs and no sacks or interceptions). The Colts were 9 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 36:30, while the Raiders were 4 for 8 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 23:30.

Indianapolis, favored by 3 in the week eight contest, covered as they would win by 14 and both clubs covered the 49 over/under by tallying 70 points. Indy’s favored by a touchdown in the Hoosier State and the over/under’s 44 1/2. This one doesn’t have a lot of “Wow” factor but it will be somewhat entertaining to watch. Oakland will make this closer than the 7 but the Colts ride off with the win in the Hoosier State.

Los Angeles Chargers (1-2) at Miami (0-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. A pair of AFC foes looking to right their ships meet in the Sunshine State at winless Miami hosts the Los Angeles Chargers in an early afternoon (morning on the West Coast) contest. Both teams took losses in their contests last week.

The Bolts, who got RB Melvin Gordon back on the team this week, watched Houston erase a 17-7 intermission deficit against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park last Sunday, holding off Philip Rivers and the Chargers 27-20. Houston got a pair of TD passes from DeShaun Watson to TE Jordan Akins to take a 27-17 lead with 9:40 left in the contest. The Chargers’ Ty Long would put his club to within three with 7:14 left with a 43-yard field goal and that would be as close as the Chargers would get, as the Texans would hold them off in the final seconds to take the road win. While the Chargers did out-rush Houston 73-39, Watson threw for 351 yards and three TDs (including the two to Akins) and was sacked twice, while Rivers threw for 318 yards and a pair of TDs to Keenan Allen (Rivers was sacked five times, neither man threw an interception). Houston went 6 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:12, while the Chargers actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:48, going 5 of 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Dallas held Miami to a pair of first-half field goals at AT&T Stadium last Sunday, as they took care of the Dolphins 31-6. Dallas led 10-6 at the half, then proceeded to take control of things in the final 30 minutes of play, shutting out Miami in the second half by scoring the last 21 points of the contest unchallenged. Ezekiel Elliott (125) and rookie RB Tony Pollard (103 yards, TD) led the Cowboys as Dallas out-rushed Miami 235-72 and Prescott threw for 246 yards and a pair of TDs to Amari Cooper (Prescott was sacked once and threw an interception), while Miami’s Josh Rosen threw for 200 yards but was sacked three times. Dallas was 5 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 30:56, while the Dolphins were 3 of 15 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:04.

Including games played in San Diego and the Orange Bowl, Miami leads the series 16-13, the ‘Fins have outscored the Chargers 646-645 and have won the last two meetings in the series, the last coming in Los Angeles in 2017 by a final of 19-17, while Los Angeles’ last win came in San Diego in 2015, with the Chargers 30-14 victors. The Chargers are favored by 15 1/2 and the over/under’s 44. Granted, Miami’s bad but not 15 1/2 bad. While the Chargers win this one in the Sunshine State, expect Miami to make it hard for the Chargers to cover.

Washington (0-3) at New York Giants (1-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. New QBs, same rivalry. A pair of NFC East rivals meet in upstate New Jersey as the Giants host the Washington Redskins at Met Life Stadium. The Giants picked up their first win last week on the road in the Sunshine State, while the Redskins are looking to secure their first win in the 2019 campaign.

Washington proved to be no match for Chicago at Fed Ex Field and Chicago took care of the Redskins 31-15 Monday night in Landover. Chicago led 28-3 at the break and was never challenged by Washington in the prime-time contest. Da Bears out-rushed Washington 90-69 and Bears safety Clinton Ha-Ha Dix burned his team with an interception return for a TD to open the scoring. Trubisky threw for 231 yards and three TD passes to WR Taylor Gabriel with three sacks and an interception, while Case Keenum threw for 332 yards and a pair of TDs, tallying four sacks and three interceptions in the contest. Chicago was 8 of 13 on third down tries in Landover and kept the ball for 31:36, while Washington, who held on to the ball for 28:24, went 3 of 9 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

The Giants, with rookie QB Daniel Jones under center after Eli Manning was benched, rallied his club from a 28-10 deficit at halftime to come away with the 32-31 win over Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Big Blue would out-score Tampa Bay 22-3 in the final 30 minutes of play and Jones scored the game-winning TD with 76 seconds left in regulation. Jones threw for 336 yards and a TD to WR Sterling Shepherd as well as the game-winning rushing score, while Winston threw for 380 yards and three TDs to Mike Evans (Evans had eight catches for 190 yards; Jones was sacked five times, Winston was sacked four and threw an interception) and the Bucs out-rushed Big Blue 144-72. The Giants were 6 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:48, while Tampa Bay ruled the clock and kept the ball for 33:12, going 4 of 14 on third down tries (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

Includings games played in Boston, when the Redskins were known as the Boston Braves and the Giants played their home games at Yankee Stadium and the Yale Bowl, the Giants lead the series 100-68-4 and Big Blue has outscored Washington 3,487-3,081. The two clubs split last year’s series, each winning on the other’s field.

The first meeting? Week eight in the Meadowlands and Washington left Met Life Stadium with a 20-13 win over Eli and the Giants. Washington led 7-3 at the intermission and controled things in the second half, outscoring the Giants 13-10 in the second half. New York would make the contest a 7-point affair with 17 seconds left when Manning and TE Evan Engram connected on a 2-yard TD toss. The Giants would then try an onside kick, which Washington recovered and the Redskins went on to run out the clock in the Meadowlands and take the win. Washington rushed for 182 yards, with RB Adrian Peterson leading everyone with 149 yards and a TD, holding the Giants to 37. Mamming threw for 316 yards and the Engram TD but was sacked seven times and picked off twice, while Redskins QB Alex Smith threw for 176 and a TD to Peterson (Smith was not sacked and did not throw an interception). Washington went 6 of 16 on third down and held the ball for 33:38; the Giants would keep the pigskin for 26:22 and went 2 of 14 and 3 of 4 on third and fourth downs.

The Giants would get revenge in Landover in week 14, taking a 40-16 win at Fed Ex Field. Eli and the Giants led 34-0 at the intermission, then led 40-0 at the end of three quarters before the Redskins would score all 16 of their points in the contest unchallenged. Manning (197 yards) threw three TDs in the contest with a pair of sacks but no interceptions, as the Giants out-rushed Washington 227-87, with Sequan Barkley leading all rushers with 170 yards and a TD. Washington’s Mark Sanchez threw for 38 yards with five sacks and a pair of interceptions before giving way to Josh Johnson, who threw for 195 yards and a TD. The Giants were 4 of 13 on third down tries in Landover and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 30:09, while the Redskins held on to the ball for 29:51, going 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week eight contest in upstate New Jersey, Washington was favored by 1 and covered the spread, winning by 7. Both teams missed the 42 over/under, tallying 33 points. The Giants not only won the week 14 rematch in Landover, they covered the 1 1/2-point spread, winning by 24 and this time, both clubs covered the over/under (42 1/2), tallying 56 points. The Giants are favored by 3 in the Meadowlands and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Redskins fans want to sing “Hail to the Redskins,” instead of “Hell, it’s the Redskins!” this week. The Giants are going to delay that a week. Giants cover the 3 and takes the win in upstate New Jersey.

Seattle (2-1) at Arizona (0-2-1), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of NFC West rivals meet in the desert as Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks face off against Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Both teams lost at home last week and are looking to catch the first-place Los Angeles Rams in the division.

Seattle fell behind the Drew Brees-less New Orleans Saints last Sunday in the Pacific Northwest and lost 33-27 at Century Link Field. The Seahawks trailed 20-7 at the break but managed to outscore New Orleans 20-13 in the second half. Seattle managed to out-rush the Saints 109-88, even though Saints RB Alvin Kamara led all rushers with 69 yards and a TD. Wilson threw for 406 yards and a pair of TDs, including a toss to TE Will Dissly as time expired, while Teddy Bridgewater, taking over for Brees, threw for 177 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Kamara). Seattle went 5 of 14 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 4 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:33, while the Saints kept the ball for 28:27, going 3 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Arizona watched Carolina erase a 7-0 first quarter deficit in Glendale, then trailed 14-10 at the intermission to lose to the Panthers 38-20 last Sunday. Panthers backup QB Kyle Allen connected with TE Greg Olson on two TD passes in the desert as Carolina outscored the Desert Angry Birds 24-10 in the second half. Carolina out-rushed the Cardinals 173-121 with Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey leading the way with 153 yards and a TD, while Arizona QB Kyler Murray led his team with 69 yards of rushing. Allen threw for 261 yards and four TDs (including the two Olson catches), while Murray threw for 173 yards with two TDs (Allen was sacked twice but did not throw an interception, while Murray was sacked eight times with two picks). Arizona went 9 of 17 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 31:44, while the Panthers kept the pigskin for 28:16, going 4 of 10 on third down.

While Arizona leads the series 20-19-1, the Seahawks have actually outscored the Desert Angry Birds 996-774 and have won three of their last four meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Arizona’s last win came in 2017, when the Desert Angry Birds came away with a 26-24 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks).

Their first meeting took place in week four in Glendale at State Farm Stadium. Seattle erased a 10-7 deficit at the break in the desert, then broke a 17-17 tie in the final seconds and came away 20-17 winners. The Seahawks took a 17-10 lead with them into the final 15 minutes of action before the Desert Angry Birds would tie the contest with 8:59 left in regulation when Josh Rosen and WR Chad Williams connected on a 22-yard TD pass. Arizona could have taken the lead for themselves with 1:55 left but Pat Dawson’s 45-yard field goal missed wide right, giving Seattle the ball with 1:50 left. The Seahawks would then use a 7-play, 31-yard drive that used all of the 1:50 and sent Cardinals fans home sad when Sebastian Janikowski split the uprights with a 52-yard field goal as time expired.

Seattle out-rushed Arizona 171-92 (Seattle’s Mike Davis led all rushers with 101 yards and a pair of TDs) and Wilson threw for 172 yards; while Wilson did not throw a TD, he was sacked twice and Rosen threw for 180 yards with one sack and the lone TD toss (neither threw an interception). Seattle struggled on third down tries in the desert (0 of 10) but found some success on fourth down, going 1 of 2 and kept the ball for 31:46, including the final 1:50 of the contest. As for Arizona? They were 5 of 12 on third down, keeping the ball for 28:14.

Seattle put Janikowski’s leg to good use in the rematach in week 17 and as was the case in the first meeting, the second contest went down to the wire at Century Link Field and once again it was Seattle that would prevail with the 27-24 win over the Cardinals. Seattle led 14-13 at the break in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and had a 21-13 lead with 11 seconds left in the third quarter when Arizona LB Dennis Gardeck blocked a punt and recovered the ball in the end zone to tie the contest up at 21-21 (Arizona would go for a two-conversion and was successful in the attempt). Janikowski and Zane Gonzalez would trade field goals in the fourth quarter before the Seahawks got the ball back with 1:49 left in regulation. Seattle would use all of that 1:49, taking an 8-play, 60-yard drive down the field, where Janikowski would connect on a 33-yard field goal as the clock struck :00.

As was the case in the first meeting, Seattle out-rushed Arizona, this time tallying 182 yards to the Cardinals’ 85 and Wilson threw for 152 yards with a TD to Tyler Lockett with a, interception, while Rosen accounted for 149 yards and no interceptions (each was sacked six times). Seattle again struggled on third down tries in the Pacific Northwest, going 4 of 14 and kept the ball for 29:09, including the final 1:49, while Arizona ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:51, going 4 of 17 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Seattle, the favorite on the road, covered the 3-point spread in the week four contest in Glendale but both clubs missed the 39 over/under by 2 points. The Seahawks were favored again in the week 17 contest at home, this time by 13 1/2. Once again, the Seahawks would win by three but this time, both teams covered the over/under of 38 1/2 by tallying 51 ponts. Seattle’s favored by 5 and the over/under’s 48. Both teams want to catch and pass the Rams to be on top of the NFC West mountain. Seahawks win in the desert and cover the 5.

Tampa Bay (1-2) at Los Angeles Rams (3-0), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. The Rams returns to the West Coast for a late afternoon (Eastern time) contest with Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Coliseum.

Winston and Tampa Bay let a 28-10 lead at the half against the New York Giants get away from them as Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones went under center and led his club to a 32-31 win over the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Big Blue would out-score Tampa Bay 22-3 in the final 30 minutes of play and Jones scored the game-winning TD with 76 seconds left in regulation. Jones threw for 336 yards and a TD to WR Sterling Shepherd as well as the game-winning rushing score, while Winston threw for 380 yards and three TDs to Mike Evans (Evans had eight catches for 190 yards; Jones was sacked five times, Winston was sacked four and threw an interception) and the Bucs out-rushed Big Blue 144-72. The Giants were 6 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:48, while Tampa Bay ruled the clock and kept the ball for 33:12, going 4 of 14 on third down tries (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

The defending NFC champs kept their unbeaten streak in tact last Sunday night along the shores of Lake Erie as they held off a late Cleveland rally and beat the Rams 20-13 at First Energy Stadium. Jared Goff and the Rams trailed 6-3 at the intermission before Goff connected on a pair of TD passes to Cooper Kupp, the second one giving Los Angeles the lead back for keeps with 12:48 left in the contest. Greg Zuerlein would then add a 37-yard field goal to push the lead to a 3-point margin and the Rams stopped Baker Mayfield inside their 10-yard line as four of Mayfield’s passes fell incomplete in the final seconds of the contest.

Cleveland out-rushed Los Angeles 95-90 with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading all rusher with 96 yards, while former Georgia teammate Todd Gurley leading Los Angeles with 48. Goff threw for 268 yards with the two Kupp TDs (he was sacked twice and picked off twice), while Mayfield threw for 195 yards with a TD, three sacks and an interception. The Rams in the Sunday night contest along the shores of Lake Erie went 6 of 14 on third down and held the ball for 28:23. As for the Browns? They were 6 of 16 on third down and 0 of 2 on fourth down but ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:37.

Including contests in St. Louis and Anaheim, the Rams lead the series 14-8, they have out-scored the Buccaneers 530-451 and have won the last five meetings, including a 37-32 win in the Sunshine State in 2016, while Tampa Bay’s last win came in Tampa Bay by a final of 18-17 in 2010. The Rams find themselves as 9 1/2 popint favorites on the West Coast and the over/under’s 49. Tampa Bay’s good… the Rams are a little better. The Buccaneers are going to make this one closer than 9 1/2 but the Rams remain among the unbeaten and takes the win at home.

Minnesota (2-1) at Chicago (2-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. They meet again and round one is in the Windy City. Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears host Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field in a late-afternoon match along the shores of Lake Michigan between NFC North rivals.

Cousins and Minnesota took care of Oakland last Sunday in the Twin Cites, taking a 34-14 win over the Silver and Black at US Bank Stadium. The Vikings led 21-7 at the half and could never really get on track, as Minnesota would proceed to outscore them 13-7 in the final 30 minutes of action. Delvin Cook rushed for 110 yards and a TD as the Vikings out-rushed Oakland 211-88 and Cousins threw for 174 yards with a TD to WR Adam Thielen, while Derek Carr threw for 242 yards with a pair of TDs, four sacks and an interception (Cousins was not sacked and did not throw an interception). Oakland was 3 of 11 on third down (the Raiders were 2 of 3 on fourth down) and the Silver and Black kept the ball for 28:28, while Minnesota ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:32, going 5 of 9 on third down.

Washington proved to be no match for Da Bears, as Chicago went into Fed Ex Field and took care of the Redskins 31-15 Monday night in Landover. Chicago led 28-3 at the break and was never challenged by Washington in the prime-time contest. Da Bears out-rushed Washington 90-69 and Clinton Ha-Ha Dix burned his team with an interception return for a TD to open the scoring. Trubisky threw for 231 yards and three TD passes to WR Taylor Gabriel with three sacks and an interception, while Case Keenum threw for 332 yards and a pair of TDs, tallying four sacks and three interceptions in the contest. Chicago was 8 of 13 on third down tries in Landover and kept the ball for 31:36, while Washington, who held on to the ball for 28:24, went 3 of 9 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Including contests that were played at Wrigley Field, Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington and the Metrodome, the Vikings lead the series 60-53-2 and have outscored Chicago 2,414-2,230. However… Da Bears have won the last two meetings, sweeping the series last year (Minnesota’s last win came in 2017 in the Twin Cities by a final of 23-10).

Chicago and Minnesota met in the Windy City in week 11 and Chicago took a 14-0 lead with them, then held off a late Minnesota rally at Soldier Field to come away 25-20 winners. Minnesota would out-score Da Bears 20-11 in the last 30 minutes of action, pulling themselves to within five with 48 seconds left when Cousins and WR Stefan Diggs connected on a 5-yard TD toss. Chicago, out-rushing Minnesota 148-22, recovered the onside kick and sealed the win for the home team. Trubisky threw for 165 yards and a TD with a sack, while Cousins threw for 262 yards with two TDs and two sacks (both Trubisky and Cousins threw two interceptions). Chicago went 6 of 12 on third down and held the ball for 34:29, while the Vikings kept the ball for 25:31, going 5 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

They met again in the Twin Cities in week 17 at U.S. Bank Stadium and for Chicago, second verse same as the first. Da Bears took a 13-3 lead with them to the break and left the Land of 10,000 Lakes 24-10 winners. Bears RB Juwan Howard accounted for Chicago’s first two TDs in the contest before the Vikings would pull themselves to within 7 with 1:51 left in the third when Cousins and Diggs connected on a 2-yard TD toss. Chicago would score 11 fourth quarter points unchallenged to seal the deal and the NFC North title. Howard rushed for 109 yards to go with the two TDs as Da Bears out-rushed Minnesota 169-63 and Trubisky threw for 163 yards with no interceptions or sacks, while Cousins threw for 132 yards with four sacks but no interceptions. Chicago went 8 of 14 on third down (Da Bears were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 37:08 to Minnesota’s 22:52 (the Vikings were a dismal 1 of 11 on third down, 1 of 4 on fourth down).

In the week 11 meeting along the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago was favored by 3 and won by 5, allowing them to cover the spread. The two clubs barely missed the over/under (they combined for 45 points) by 1/2 a point. Minnesota was favored by 5 in the week 17 contest in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and Chicago covered, winning by 14. The 41 over/under was safe, as both teams combined for 34 points. Vegas likes Da Bears as 2 1/2 point favorites in the Windy City and the over/under’s 38 1/2. Both teams would like nothing more than to knock Green Bay out of first place in the NFC North but to do that, they would have to knock each other off. Someone’s going come away a little bloody and someone’s going to come out of this on top. The Monsters of the Midway take care of business in the Windy City Sunday afternoon and covers the 2 1/2.

Jacksonville (1-2) at Denver (0-3), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 716. A pair of struggling AFC teams meet in the Mile High City as Denver hosts the Jacksonville Jaguars at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.

Jacksonville held Tennessee to a third quarter TD by RB Derrick Henry and came away against their AFC South rivals 20-7 last Thursday night. Jacksonville led 14-0 at the break, scoring both of those TDs in the first quarter, using TD passes from Gardner Minshew to TE James O’Shaughnessy to open the scoring in the contest and then a toss to WR J.J. Chark Jr. at TIAA Field. Tennessee did out-rush Jacksonville 91-88 in the Thursday night contest and Marcus Mariota threw for 304 yards but was sacked nine times, while Minshew threw for 204 yards with no sacks (neither threw an interception). Tennessee went 8 for 17 on third down and actually ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 35:16, while Jacksonville kept the pigskin for 24:44, going 2 of 11 on third down (both clubs were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

Denver watched Green Bay pick up their third win in a row, taking care of Joe Flacco and the Broncos 27-16 at Lambeau Field last Sunday afternoon. The Packers led 17-10 at the intermission, then proceeded to outpace Denver 10-6 in the last 30 minutes of play. While Denver out-rushed Green Bay 149-77 (Denver’s Phillip Lindsay led all rushers with 81 yards and a pair of TDs), Rodgers took care of Denver’s secondary, throwing for 235 yards with a TD and no sacks or interceptions, while Flacco threw for 213 yards with six sacks and an interception. Green Bay went 2 of 9 on third down and held on to the ball for 24:26, while Denver actually ruled the clock and held on to the pigskin for 35:34, going 8 of 15 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The series? Even at 5-5. Denver has outscored Jacksonville 221-188 and has won the last two meetings, including taking a 20-10 win in the Sunshine State in 2016 (Jacksonville’s last win over Denver came in 2010 at home by a final of 24-17). Denver’s favored by 3 in the Mile High City and the over/under’s 37 1/2. Denver breaks their 3-game losing streak at home, taking the win in the Mile High City and covering the 3.

Dallas (3-0) at New Orleans (2-1), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Sunday action in week four concludes in the Big Easy as Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys make their way to New Orleans to face off against the Saints in a meeting of two teams, sitting in first place in their respective divisions.

Prescott and the Cowboys held Miami to a pair of first-half field goals at AT&T Stadium last Sunday, as they took care of the Dolphins 31-6. Dallas led 10-6 at the half, then proceeded to take control of things in the final 30 minutes of play, shutting out Miami in the second half by scoring the last 21 points of the contest unchallenged. Ezekiel Elliott (125) and rookie RB Tony Pollard (103 yards, TD) led the Cowboys as Dallas out-rushed Miami 235-72 and Prescott threw for 246 yards and a pair of TDs to Amari Cooper (Prescott was sacked once and threw an interception), while Miami’s Josh Rosen threw for 200 yards but was sacked three times. Dallas was 5 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 30:56, while the Dolphins were 3 of 15 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:04.

The Drew Brees-less New Orleans Saints took care of business last Sunday in the Pacific Northwest against Seattle, coming away 33-27 victors at Century Link Field. New Orleans led through the contest and had a 20-7 lead at the break before the Seahawks managed to outscore New Orleans 20-13 in the second half. Seattle managed to out-rush the Saints 109-88, even though Saints RB Alvin Kamara led all rushers with 69 yards and a TD. Wilson threw for 406 yards and a pair of TDs, including a toss to TE Will Dissly as time expired, while Teddy Bridgewater, taking over for Brees, threw for 177 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Kamara). Seattle went 5 of 14 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 4 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:33, while the Saints kept the ball for 28:27, going 3 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Dallas leads the series 17-12, the Cowboys have out-scored the Saints 604-560 and they won last year’s contest in Arlington by a final of 13-10 (New Orleans’ last win came in 2015 in the Big Easy, as the Saints would need overtime to take a 26-20 win). They met in Arlington in week 13 and each team scored their points unchallenged. Dallas would take a 13-0 lead with them to the break before New Orleans would respond with their 10 points of the game unchallenged (the two clubs played a scoreless fourth quarter). Dallas outrushed the Saints 100-65 (Elliott led all rushers with 76 yards and a passing TD), while Prescott threw for 248 yards (Brees threw for 127 yards with a TD but was sacked twice and picked off once) in the win. Dallas went 7 of 14 on third down tries at AT&T Stadium and kept the ball for 36:53 in the 3-point home win, while the Saints kept the ball for 23:07, while going 3 of 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

In the week 13 contest in the Lone Star State on the Thursday night after Thanksgiving, New Orleans was favored by 7 1/2 and while Dallas did win, they only won by 3 and neither team touched the 52 1/2 over/under, tallying only 23 points. Dallas is favored in the Big Easy by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 47. Dallas would like nothing more than to go 4-0 to start the season, while New Orleans wants to end Dallas’ 3-game win streak. Sorry, Saints fans. Dallas covers the 2 1/2 and wins in the Big Easy.

Cincinnati (0-3) at Pittsburgh (0-3), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Forget the records. These AFC North rivals DON’T like each other. Don’t expect any Facebook friend requests and don’t except them to follow each other on Twitter. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh close out the action in week four as the AFC North rivals meet at Heinz Field. Both lost on the road last week and both are searching for their first win of the 2019 campaign.

A late Cincinnati rally fell short in Orchard Park as the Bengals fell to Buffalo 21-17 at New Era Stadium last Sunday. The Bills led 14-0 at the intermission in upstate New York, then watched the Bengals outscore Buffalo 17-7 in the final 30 minutes of play to make the contest closer than Bills fans would like. Buffalo ran for 175 yards, holding the Bengals to 67 yards (Bills RB Frank Gore led all rushers with 76 yards and a TD), while Josh Allen threw for 243 yards for the Bills with an interception (Andy Dalton threw for 249 yards and two interceptions and a pair of sacks; both Dalton and Allen threw a TD in the contest). The Bengals, who turned the ball over three times in upstate New York, went 3 for 11 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 23:06, while Buffalo ruled the clock and circled their wagons around the ball, keeping it for 36:54 and went 5 of 13 on third down tries.

Pittsburgh let a 6-3 lead at the intermission at San Francisco get away from them as the 49ers with WR Dante Pettis and QB Jimmy Garoppolo connected on a 5-yard TD toss with 75 seconds left in their contest at Levis’ Stadium, coming away 24-20 victors over the Steelers. Chris Boswell put the Steelers on the board with a pair of first quarter field goals before San Francisco’s Robbie Gould narrowed the gap to three in the second. The Steelers would lead 20-17 late in the contest before San Francisco went on a 7-play, 24-yard drive that used 4:14 of clock and ended with Pettis and Garoppolo connecting on the game-winning score.

San Francisco out-rushed Pittsburgh 168-79 and rookie QB Mason Rudolph, taking over for the injured Ben Roethlisberger, threw for 174 yards and a pair of TDs (one to WR JuJu Smith-Schuster) and was sacked twice with an interception, while Garoppolo threw for 277 yards and the game-winning TD, adding a sack and a pair of interceptions to his tally. Pittsburgh turned the ball over twice (they forced five San Francisco turnovers) and went 3 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 23:43, while the 49ers held on to the pig skin for 36:17, going 6 for 11 on third down tries.

The Steelers lead the series 62-35, Pittsburgh has outscored the Bengals 2,144-1,707 and the Steelers have won the last seven contests, including sweeping last year’s series (Cincinnati’s last win over Pittsburgh came in the Steel City in 2015 by a final of 16-10).

Their first meeting? Week six in Cincinnati and the Steelers rallied in the final seconds of their contest along the shores of the Ohio River and came out on top 28-21. Tied 14-14 at the half, the Steelers would take a late lead by 6 with 3:32 left in the game after Chris Boswell kicked his second field goal of the half. Cincinnati would taie the lead back with 78 seconds left when Joe Mixon scored on a 4-yard TD run. Pittsburgh, needing to rally, used a 7-play, 77-yard drive that took 68 seconds of clock and ended when Antonio Brown and Roethlisberger connected on a 31-yard TD toss with 10 seconds left. Pittssburgh then elected to go for two and made that plan a reality when Roethlisberger and WR JuJu Smith-Schuester connected on the two-point try. The Bengals then would get the ball back, getting as close as their own 38 yard, when Dalton’s desperation pass fell short.

Pittsburgh out-rushed the Bengals in the Queen City 112-62 (Steelers RB James Conner led all rushers with 111 yards and a pair of TDs) and Roethlisberger threw for 369 yards, while Dalton threw for 229 yards and a pair of TDs to Tyler Boyd with three sacks (neither threw an interception). Both teams did well on third down conversions in the first meeting; Pittsburgh was 8 of 14, Cincinnati was 6 of 12 and the Steelers ruled the clock and kept the ball for 34:56 to Cincinnati’s 25:04.

The Steelers made it a clean sweep of the series and as was the case in the first meeting, needed to rally from behind, coming away 16-13 winners at Heinz Field. With a potential playoff berth on the line, the Steelers trailed 10-3 at the half (they were scoreless after the first quarter), then took a 13-10 lead with 8:35 left in the contest when a 47-yard field goal by K Matt McCrane gave them the lead. That lead would not last very long as Bengals K Randy Bullock would even things back up with 6:17 left, booting a 32-yard field goal. Pittsburgh then used a 12-play, 58-yard drive that used 4:21 of clock and reclaimed the lead with McCrane kicking his second field goal of the half, this time from 35 yards out.

The Bengals would have one last chance to beat Pittsburgh and damage their playoff hopes as Jeff Driskell, who took over for Dalton, got his team as close as their 40-yard line, when his pass on fourth down fell incomplete, giving the Steelers the win. The win was too little too late for the Steelers, as the Ravens had beaten Cleveland in Baltimore as Steeler players and watched the game on the Heinz Field video screen. Mixon rushed for 105 yards as Cincinnati out-rushed Pittsburgh 125-65 and Roethlisberger threw for 287 yards with the TD, a sack and an interception, while Driskell threw for 95 yards with four sacks. Pittsburgh went 5 of 15 on third down (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:22, while the Bengals, who kept the ball for 25:38, went 3 of 12 on third down and 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week six contest, Cincinnati was favored by 2 1/2 and the Steelers covered, winning by 7. The two clubs tallied 49 points, missing the over/under by 4. In the season finale, the Steelers were favored by 14 1/2 but won by only 3 points and the 45 1/2 over/under was untouched, as both clubs combined for only 29 points.

Cincinnati on Monday night? 11-24 and the Bengals have lost their last four meetings in prime time (their last appearance was in 2017, their last win came in 2014). The Steelers have done a lot better, going 46-24 under the lights, winning their last six MNF contests (their last loss came in 2013). Pittsburgh’s favored by 4 and the over/under’s 44. You’re better off watching “Bob Hearts Abishola” this week. One losing streak will end, the other will continue. Steelers celebrate at Heinz and takes the win, covering the 4.

Week two of the 2018 NFL season is in the books. Buffalo, Baltimore, Kansas City, New England, Dallas, Green Bay and the Los Angeles Rams remain with unblemished records after two games. For those teams that have evened their records or looking for that first win, there’s still time. After all, the NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: Nine teams – Baltimore, Buffalo, Dallas, Green Bay, Kansas City, the Los Angeles Rams, New England, San Francisco and Seattle – improved to 2-0 on Sunday, the first time since 2015 at least nine teams have begun the season 2-0.

Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson passed for 272 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a career-high 120 yards in the Ravens’ 23-17 win over Arizona. He is the first player with at least 250 passing yards and 120 rushing yards in a single game in NFL history.

Jackson, who had 119 rushing yards in Week 11 of the 2018 season, is the fourth quarterback since 1970 with two career games of at least 115 rushing yards, joining Michael Vick (six games), Randall Cunningham (two) and Bobby Douglas (two).

Arizona rookie quarterback Kyler Murray passed for 349 yards in the loss. Murray, who threw for 308 yards in his first career start in Week 1, joins Cam Newton (2011) as the only quarterbacks with at least 300 passing yards in each of their first two career games in NFL history

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 443 yards and four touchdowns with a 131.2 rating in the Chiefs’ 28-10 win at Oakland.

Through the first two weeks, Mahomes has four touchdown passes of at least 40 yards, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Otto Graham (four in 1952) and Joe Namath (four in 1972), as well as Ryan Fitzpatrick (four in 2018) as the only quarterbacks to record at least four touchdown passes of 40-or-more yards in their teams’ first two games of a season in NFL history.

Mahomes, who has played in 19 career games, recorded his sixth game with at least 300 passing yards and four touchdowns, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famers Dan Marino (five games) and Kurt Warner (five) for the most games with at least 300 yards and four passing touchdowns in a player’s first 40 career games in NFL history.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 300 yards and three touchdowns with a 131.0 passer rating in the Seahawks’ 28-26 win at Pittsburgh.

Wilson, who has 201 touchdown passes in 114 career games, surpassed Tom Brady (116 games) as the fifth-fastest player to reach 200 career passing touchdowns in NFL history.

Pittsburgh wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster had 84 receiving yards in the loss. At 22 years and 297 days old, Smith-Schuster, who has 2,505 career receiving yards, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (22 years, 310 days) as the youngest player to reach 2,500 career receiving yards in NFL history.

New England recorded a 43-0 victory at Miami in Week 2 after defeating Pittsburgh, 33-3, in Week 1.

The Patriots, who have a +73 point differential through their first two games, are the fourth team in the Super Bowl era with a +70 point differential through their first two games, joining the 1967 Oakland Raiders (+79), 1970 Detroit Lions (+75) and 1975 Washington Redskins (+74).

Additionally, New England became the fourth team in the Super Bowl era to allow three points or fewer through their first two games, joining the 1970 Detroit Lions, 1976 Houston Oilers and 1981 Buffalo Bills.

With a receiving touchdown on Sunday, Patriots running back James White recorded his 20th career touchdown catch and joined Chuck Foreman (23 receiving touchdowns) and Brian Westbrook (23) as the only running backs with at least 20 touchdown receptions in their first six seasons in NFL history.

Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen passed for 253 yards and one touchdown and rushed for a touchdown in the Bills’ 28-14 win at the New York Giants.

Allen, who has 10 rushing touchdowns in 14 career games, is the second-fastest quarterback to reach 10 career rushing touchdowns in NFL history, trailing only Cam Newton (11 games).

Buffalo, who defeated the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in Week 1, are the fifth team since 1950 to win consecutive road games at the same stadium, joining the 1987 Dallas Cowboys, 1999 Washington Redskins, 2003 Dallas Cowboys and 2006 Chicago Bears.

Dallas tight end Jason Witten registered his 70th career touchdown reception in the Cowboys’ 31-21 victory at Washington.

Witten is the fifth tight end in NFL history with at least 70 career touchdown receptions, joining Antonio Gates (116 touchdown catches), Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez (111), Rob Gronkowski (79) and Jimmy Graham (72).

Washington running back Adrian Peterson recorded his 107th career rushing touchdown in the loss, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown (106 rushing touchdowns) for the fifth-most rushing touchdowns in NFL history.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK THREE

COMEBACKS ARE EN VOGUE: The season’s first two weeks have proven that insurance points are important. Fans, coaches and players, if your team is down, help yourself to a slice of hope. In 32 games to date, 11 have featured a team coming from behind in the second half to win, including seven teams that trailed at halftime. Six of those games have seen a team win after erasing a fourth-quarter deficit. The Seattle Seahawks have overcome a second-half deficit in each of their two victories. And those numbers don’t include the exciting Week 1 comebacks by the Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals, who sent their respective games to overtime. Eight games have had teams come back to win or tie after trailing in the fourth quarter.

MILESTONE FRANCHISE WINS: Three clubs can reach milestone victories in their franchise histories this week. Both Denver and Minnesota can record their 500th wins, including postseason. Among the original eight franchises that launched the American Football League in 1960, Denver would become the second to reach 500 wins, as only the Boston/New England Patriots (539) have eclipsed that landmark. The Carolina Panthers, who began in 1995, bid for the 200th win in franchise history, including postseason.

PROLIFIC POINT DIFFERENTIAL: New England enters Week 3 having outscored opponents by 73 points, 76-3. With a point-differential of at least 24 points this week, their season-opening point-differential would reach comparisons to teams as old as the NFL itself. Defensively speaking, should the Patriots allow nine or fewer points, they’d also establish the fewest points allowed over a season’s initial three games in the Super Bowl era.

The highest point-differentials by a team through a season’s first three games in NFL history:

TEAM – SEASON (POINTS SCORED/POINTS ALLOWED, POINT DIFF)
Rock Island Independents – 1920 (119/0, +119)
Buffalo All-Americans – 1921 (110/0, +110
Dallas Cowboys – 1968 (132/33, +99)
Buffalo All-Americans – 1920 (111/13, +98)
Canton Bulldogs – 1920 (97/0, +97)

The fewest points allowed through a season’s first three games during the Super Bowl era (1966-present):

TEAM (SEASON – POINTS ALLOWED, SEASON RESULT)
Denver (2009 – 16, Missed playoffs
Indianapolis (2005 – 16, AFC Divisional playoffs)
Seattle (2004 – 13, NFC Wild Card playoffs)
Green Bay (2001 – 13, NFC Divisional playoffs)
Philadelphia (1980 – 16, Lost Super Bowl XV)

TOUCHDOWN MAKER: Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield needs a touchdown pass on Sunday Night Football against the Los Angeles Rams to reach historic company. He enters the week having thrown for a touchdown in each of his first 15 NFL starts, tied with Brad Johnson for the second-longest streak to begin a career (since at least 1950). Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner authored a longer career-opening streak, throwing for a touchdown in his first 23 NFL starts.

SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE: In the Super Bowl era, only two players over the first two games of a season have started with at least seven TD passes, no interceptions and a completion percentage of 70 or higher. Those two players, Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes, meet on Sunday. With three more TD passes and no interceptions against the Ravens, Mahomes can join even more elite company.

The players with at least three touchdown passes and no interceptions in each of their team’s first three games to begin a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (2018)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (2010)
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (2019)*
*Entering Week 3

PRESCOTT EYES HISTORIC FOURTH STRAIGHT START: Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott has picked up where he left off last season and has authored two impressive efforts to lead the Cowboys to a 2-0 start. This week at home vs. Miami in the NFL100 Game of the Week, Prescott can do something only two players have ever done: Record at least four consecutive games with three-plus touchdown passes and a 120-or-better passer rating.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least three touchdown passes and a passer rating of 120 or higher in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON(S) – GAMES WITH 3+ TD PASSES & 120+ RATING)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2015 – 5)
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis (2018 – 4)
Dak Prescott, Dallas (2018-19 – 3)*
*Active streak

RIVERS REMAINS: Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (55,282) last week became just the eighth player in NFL history to reach 55,000 career passing yards. This week, he can climb another prestigious list in NFL history. With 300 yards passing at home vs. Houston, Rivers (63) will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (63) for sole possession of fourth on the NFL’s all-time list of 300-yard passing games, trailing only Drew Brees (116), Peyton Manning (93) and TomBrady (88).

MILESTONE COACHING WINS: Kansas City head coach Andy Reid this week leads the Chiefs into their home-opener against 2-0 Baltimore Sunday. Reid (209-138-1) needs a victory to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Chuck Noll(209-156-1) for sole possession of sixth place on the NFL’s all-time wins list, including postseason.

The most wins by an NFL head coach, all-time, including postseason:

RK. COACH, TEAM(S) (W-L-T, PCT.)

1. Don Shula, Baltimore Colts and Miami (347-173-6, .666), HOF)
2. George Halas, Chicago Bears (324-151, 31, HOF)
3. Bill Belichick, Cleveland and New England Patriots (294-134-0, .687)#
4.Tom Landry, Dallas (270-178-6, .603) HOF
5. Earl (Curly) Lambeau, Green Bay, Chicago Cardinals and Washington Redskins (229-134-22, .631, HOF)
6. Chuck Noll, Pittsburgh (209-156-1, .572, HOF)
7. Andy Reid, Philadelphia and Kansas City (209-138-1, 602)#
8. Marty Schottenheimer, Cleveland, Kansas City, Washington and San Diego (205-139-1, .596)
9. Dan Reeves, Denver, New York Giants and ATLANTA (201-174-2, .536)
10. Chuck Knox, Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo and Seattle (193-158-1, .550)

#Active
*From 1920-71, tie games were not included in winning percentage.

Last week, Seattle’s Pete Carroll earned his 100th win with the Seahawks and became just the fifth active head coach to achieve that mark with his current club. He joined Bill Belichick (257 with New England), Mike Tomlin (133 with Pittsburgh), Sean Payton (127 with New Orleans) and John Harbaugh (116 with Baltimore).

Finally, Oakland’s Jon Gruden has an opportunity Sunday to improve his regular-season record against Minnesota to 5-0 and become just the second active head coach with an undefeated record against a single opponent (minimum five games). Over his career, Andy Reid has a 7-0 mark against Cleveland.

The best regular-season records among active head coaches against a single opponent, minimum five games:

COACH – TEAM(S); OPPONENT (W-L-T, PCT.)
Andy Reid – Philadelphia and Kansas City; Cleveland (7-0-0, 1.000)
Bill Belichick – Cleveland and New England; Houston Texas (8-1-0, .889)
Bill Belichick – Cleveland, New England; Oakland (7-1-0, .875)
John Harbaugh – Baltimore Ravens; Miami (7-1-0, 875)
John Harbaugh – Baltimore Ravens; Cleveland (19-3-0, .864)

RARIFIED AIR: Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald (1,316) needs 10 receptions on Sunday against Carolina to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez for second on the NFL’s all-time list of career receptions. Fitzgerald also owns the league’s longest active streak of games with a reception (229).

The players with the most career receptions in NFL history:

RK. PLAYER – TEAM(S)(SEASONS; RECEPTIONS)
1. Jerry Rice – San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle (1985-2004; 1,549, HOF)
2. Tony Gonzalez – Kansas City and ATLANTA (1997-2013; 1,325, HOF)
3. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (2004-10; 1,316)#
4. Jason Witten – Dallas (2003-19; 1,159)#
5. Marvin Harrison – Indianapolis (1996-2008; 1,102, HOF)
6. Cris Carter – Minnesota, Philadelphia and Miami (1987-2002; 1,101, HOF)
7. Tim Brown – Oakland and Tampa Bay (1988-2004; 1,094, HOF)
8 . Terrell Owens – San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Buffalo and Cincinnati (1996-2010; 1,078; HOF)
9. Anquan Boldin – Arizona, Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco and Detroit (2003-16; 1,076)
10. Reggie Wayne – Indianapolis (2001-14; 1,070)
#Active

DEFENSIVE STALWARTS & THE CENTURY MARK: Three players entered this season nearing their 100th career sacks. Tennessee’s Cameron Wake, who now owns 100.5 sacks, was the first to reach the mark in Week 1. Denver’s Von Miller (98) needs just two more and Houston’s J.J. Watt (92) stands eight away. Arizona’s Terrell Suggs (134.5) leads all active players, while Washington’s Ryan Kerrigan (85.5), the Los Angeles Rams’ Clay Matthews (85.5) and Jacksonville’s Calais Campbell (81.5) also are within striking distance of the 100 mark this season.

SAQUON WITHIN SIGHT OF 2,500: New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (18 games) stands just 198 scrimmage yards from the 2,500 plateau, and he could become among the fastest in NFL history to get there. Barkley enters the week with 2,302 scrimmage yards (1,534 rushing, 768 receiving). Barkley also needs at least 100 scrimmage yards in the Giants’ game at Tampa Bay to match the NFL’s most games of 100-plus scrimmage yards over a player’s first 20 games (Edgerrin James, 16 games) – and Barkley has played only 18 games entering this week.

The players to reach 2,500 scrimmage yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES)

Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (19, HOF)
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (19)
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas (20)
Ottis Anderson, St. Louis Cardinals (21)
Billy Sims, Detroit (21)
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (18)*
*Has 2,302 scrimmage yards

The players with the most games of at least 100 scrimmage yards in their first 20 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, GAMES WITH 100+ SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (1999-2000, 16)
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (2018-19, 15)*
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (1983-84, 15; HOF)
*In 18 career games

COMPLIMENTS TO THE COOK: Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is off to a resounding start this season. When Minnesota hosts Oakland on Sunday, Cook can continue his climb up a prestigious chart in NFL history.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least 110 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown to begin a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, GAMES WITH 110+ RUSH YARDS & RUSH TD)
Jim Brown, Cleveland (1958, 6; HOF)
O.J. Simpson Buffalo (1975, 5; HOF)
Emmitt Smith, Dallas (1995, 4; HOF)
Curtis Martin, New York Jets (2004, 3; HOF)
Dalvin Cook (Minnesota 2019, 2)*
*Entering Week 3

HARD TO KEEP UP WITH THIS JONES: Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones stands just 132 receiving yards from 11,000 during his career. Over his first 113 NFL games, he’s established a blistering pace and could shatter the record for fastest player to 11,000 receiving yards in NFL history when the Falcons travel to Indianapolis Sunday. And with triple-digit receiving yards Sunday, Jones would notch his 51st career 100-yard receiving game, which would tie Andre Johnson, Steve Smith and Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Owens for fourth in NFL annals.

The players to reach 11,000 career receiving yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES)
Calvin Johnson, Detroit (127)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (129)
Torry Holt, St. Louis (131)
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (133, HOF)
Andre Johnson, Houston (136)
Julio Jones, ATLANTA (113)*
*Has 10,868 receiving yards

The players with the most career games of at least 100 receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – GAMES WITH 100+ RECEIVING YARDS

Jerry Rice – 76 (HOF)
Randy Moss – 54 (HOF)
Marvin Harrison – 59 (HOF)
Andre Johnson – 51
Terrell Owens – 51 (HOF)
Steve Smith – 51
Julio Jones – 50

NO DOUBTING MICHAEL THOMAS: New Orleans wide receiver MICHAEL THOMAS is expected to play his 50th NFL game on Sunday when the Saints travel to Seattle. With 1 receiving yard in his 50th game, Thomas would join Odell Beckham Jr. and Anquan Boldin as the only players in NFL history with at least 300 catches and 4,000 receiving yards in their first 50 games.

The players with at least 300 receptions and 4,000 receiving yards in their first 50 games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RECEPTIONS/RECEIVING YARDS)
Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants (337/4,695)
Anquan Boldin, Arizona (314/4,150)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (341/3,999)*#

*In 49 career games

#Most receptions by a player in his first 50 career games

Last week was much better than week one. For the week, 8 and 8. For the season, 15 and 17. There’s still a lot of time left in the 2019 season. There’s a lot of football left between now and the Super Bowl. Week three began in Jacksonville on Thursday night as the Jaguars took care of Tennessee and ends in Landover when Washington hosts Da Bears on Monday night. Having said all of that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week three.

ATLANTA (1-1) at Indianapolis (1-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. Sunday action in week three opens in the Hoosier State as a pair of teams that evened their records meet at Lucas Oil Stadium when Jacoby Brissett and Indianapolis welcomes Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.

Atlanta trailed Philadelphia late in their contest, rallied to reclaim the lead, then held off a late Eagles rally in the final minutes of their contest last Sunday night in the Big Peach and came away with the 24-20 win over the Eagles. Atlanta led 10-6 at the half and took a 17-6 lead with them to the third quarter before Carson Wentz and the Eagles would take their only lead of the game with 3:13 left, as he scored from a yard out to take a 20-17 lead. That lead would not last very long, as Ryan and WR Julio Jones connected on a 54-yard strike as part of a 6-play, 75-yard drive that used only 63 seconds of clock to reclaim the lead for good. Atlanta would then hold off the Eagles, run out the clock themselves and take the win at home.

Atlanta outrushed Philadelphia 57-49 and Ryan threw for 320 yards with three TDs (two to Jones, including the game-winner and one to Calvin Ridley) and three interceptions, while Wentz threw for 231 yards with a TD to Nelson Agholor with three sacks and a pair of interceptions. Atlanta was 3 of 10 on third down at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:06, while the Eagles ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 32:54 and went 9 of 18 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Tennessee trailed Indianapolis 13-7 at the half, then took their only lead of the contest when Henry and K Carlos Santos helped their team put 10 third-quarter points on the board to take a 17-13 lead with 4:35 left in the period. That lead would not last long as the Colts would reclaim it for themselves and for keeps with 4:38 left in the contest when Brissett and WR T.Y. Hilton connected on a 4-yard TD toss. The Titans would catch a huge break when Colts K Adam Vinatieri missed the extra point, giving them a chance to take the win at home. After the Colts punted the ball late in the fourth, Tennessee would make their way down the field and get as close as Indianapolis’ 45-yard line, where the drive stalled and the Colts would come away with the win.

The Colts out-rushed Tennessee 167-123 and Mariota threw for 154 yards and a TD (he was sacked four times but did not throw an interception), while Brissett threw for 146 yards with three TDs (including the game-winner) to go with four sacks and an interception. Tennessee was a somewhat dismal 1 of 10 on third down conversions (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and the Titans would hold on to the ball for 28:06, while the Colts were 7 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and ruled the clock as they would keep the ball for 31:54.

Indianapolis leads the series 14-2 (including contests that were played in Baltimore, at Fulton County Stadium and the Georgia Dome) and have outscored the Falcons 432-251. Indy won the last meeting in 2015, as the Colts were 24-21 winners in the Big Peach, while Atlanta’s last win came in the Hoosier State in 2011 by a final of 31-7. The Colts are favored by 2 and the over/under is 47. The Colts run out of luck with their horseshoe as Atlanta pulls off the upset in the Hoosier State by taking the win and covering the 2.

Cincinnati (0-2) at Buffalo (2-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of teams heading in opposite directions meet in upstate New York as the Bills welcome the Cincinnati Bengals in their 2019 home opener.

Cincinnati dropped their second contest of the 2019 campaign as the San Francisco 49ers came to Paul Brown Stadium and left the Queen City with a 41-17 win over the Bengals. Cincinnati trailed 24-10 at the half and could never get on track in the second half, as San Francisco would outscore them 17-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. San Francisco out-rushed Cincinnati 259-25, with 49ers RB Matt Breida ran for 121 yards in the contest to lead all rushers. Dalton threw for 311 yards and a pair of TDs but was sacked four times, while 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 297 yards and three TDs with no sacks (both men threw an interception). Both teams did quite well on third down conversions last Sunday (San Francisco was 5 of 9, Cincinnati was 9 of 18; the Bengals were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and the 49ers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:19 to Cincinnati’s 27:41.

The Bills made it 2 for 2 in the Meadowlands as they took Eli Manning and the New York Giants to task and came away 28-14 winners at Met Life Stadium last Sunday. Buffalo led 21-7 at the break and never looked back to win their second game in as many weeks in upstate New Jersey. Buffalo out-rushed New York 151-129, while Giants RB Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 107 yards and a TD (Buffalo was paced by Frank Gore, who ran for 68 yards and a TD). Manning threw for 250 yards and a pair of interceptions, while Josh Allen threw for 253 yards with three sacks (both men threw a TD pass, Manning was sacked once). Buffalo went 5 of 13 on third down and ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 32:38, while the Giants were 3 of 12 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:22.

Buffalo holds a 16-13 lead in the series and have outscored the Bengals 707-639. Cincinnati won the last meeting along the shores or the Ohio River in 2017 by a final of 20-16, while the Bills’ last win came in 2016 in Cincinnati by a 16-12 final. Buffalo’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 44. The Bills are looking to challenge Tom Brady and New England in the AFC East, while the Bengals are trying to keep their heads above water. Circle the wagons! Bills take the win in upstate New York but expect the contest to be closer than the 6.

Miami (0-2) at Dallas (2-0), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Miami Dolphins make their way to the Lone Star State to face off against Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys at JerryWorld (AT&T Stadium). While Dallas picked up their second win of the season and within the NFC East, the Dolphins are looking their first win period.

Miami was manhandled by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots last Sunday afternoon at home. Brady accounted for a pair of TDs tosses (including one to Antonio Brown) and ran for another as the Patriots took a 13-0 lead with them into the break before scoring their remaining 30 points of the contest unchallenged. New England held Miami to a season-low 42 yards rushing, while they tallied 126 (Sony Michel led all rushers with 85 yards) and made life less than pleasant for QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (89 yards, four sacks and three interceptions). Brady threw for 264 and while he was sacked twice, he did not throw an interception. New England was 6 of 11 on third down tries and held the ball for 36:30, while the Dolphins were 2 of 15 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 23:30.

After a scoreless first quarter at Washington, the Cowboys erased a 7-0 deficit in the second quarter and came away 31-21 winners at Fed Ex Field, thanks in part to TDs from Prescott to Devin Smith and Jason Witten to take the 14-7 lead with them to the break. Dallas would lead 21-7 with 4:30 left in the third period before Case Keenum (221 yards, TD, sack) and WR Paul Richardson Jr. connected on a 9-yard TD toss to pull themselves to within seven. Dallas would eventually restore order and come out of Landover with the win. Dallas out-rushed Washington 213-47, with Ezekiel Elliott rushing for 111 yards and a TD, while Prescott threw for 269 yards and three TDs (Prescott was sacked once and threw an interception). Dallas went 7 of 11 on third down tries at Landover and kept the ball for 33:22, while the Redskins kept the ball for 26:38, going 2 of 9 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

While Miami leads the series 7-6 (which includes contests that took place at old Texas Stadium and the Orange Bowl), Dallas has outscored Miami 265-248 and have won the last three meetings, including a 24-14 win in the Sunshine State in 2015, while Miami’s last win also came in the Lone Star State, as they would take a 40-21 win in 2003. The Cowboys are a 21 1/2-point favorite in the Lone Star State and the over/under’s 47. The 47 makes sense, the 21 1/2? HUH? Right now, the Dolphins are a bad football team. They’re not 21 1/2 points bad. Dallas wins this one at home but expect Miami to make this one closer than 21 1/2.

Denver (0-2) at Green Bay (2-0), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Denver makes their way to the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst as they face off against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

Denver let victory get away from them in the Mile High City last Sunday against Chicago as the Bears stormed back as the clock struck :00 to take a 16-14 loss. Trailing 6-3 at the break and 13-3 at the intermission, the Broncos proceeded to chip away at Chicago’s lead, using a 32-yard field goal by Brandon McManus to pull themselves to within 7 early in the fourth, then took their first and only lead of the contest when WR Emmanuel Sanders and QB Joe Flacco connected on a 7[yard TD pass and the two-point conversion. Chicago, with one time out left, got the ball back with 30 seconds left and got the ball back after the kickoff. Chicago would get help from two Denver penalties and after burning their final timeout, called on K Eddie Pineiro to try a 53-yard attempt. Pineiro made the field goal as the clock struck :00, sending Broncos fans home with their second loss of the season.

Chicago out-rushed Denver 153-90 and Flacco threw for 292 yards and the TD to Sanders with a sack and an interception, while Mitchell Trubisky threw for 120 yards without a TD, sack or interception. Denver was 3 of 14 on third down (the Broncos were perfect on fourth down, going 3 of 3) and actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:59, while Chicago kept the ball for 27:01 (including the final 30 seconds of the game) and went 3 of 11 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth down tries.

Green Bay won their second game of the 2019 season and their second in the NFC North, taking care of divisional foe Minnesota 21-16 at Lambeau. Rodgers and the Packers led 21-10 at the break, then held the Vikings to a third quarter TD from Kirk Cousins to WR Stefon Diggs (Minnesota missed the extra point) and the two clubs played a scoreless fourth quarter. Minnesota out-rushed Green Bay 198-144 and both clubs had 100-yard rushers (Minnesota was led by Dalvin Cook, who ran for 154 yards, while Green Bay was led by Aaron Jones with 116; both men had a TD), while Rodgers threw for 209 yards, with two TDs (he was sacked twice but did not throw an interception) and Cousins threw for 230 yards with the lone TD (he was sacked once and threw two interceptions). Green Bay was 5 of 15 on third down (the Packers were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:06, while Minnesota went 4 of 13 on third down, keeping the ball for 25:54.

The series between the Packers and Broncos is even at 6-6-1 and the Packers have outscored Denver 284-240. Denver won the last meeting with Green Bay in the Mile High City, taking a 29-10 win in 2015, while Green Bay’s last win in the series came in 2011 at Lambeau by final of 49-23. Green Bay’s favored by 7 1/2 and the over/under’s 48. Green Bay wants to go 3-0 under Matt LaFleur, while the Broncos want to right their ship. Packers leap at home at Lambeau and takes the win, although Denver will make it closer than 7 1/2.

Baltimore (2-0) at Kansas City (2-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. Unbeaten teams meet in the Show-Me State as Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes host the Baltimore Ravens at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Ravens held off a late Arizona rally in their contest in Charm City as Baltimore would take a 23-17 win over the Desert Angry Birds at M&T Bank Stadium. Leading 17-6 at the break, Arizona would proceed to out-score Baltimore 11-6 in the final 30 minutes of play, coming to within three with 12:52 left in the contest when Cardinals RB David Johnson scored from a yard out. Arizona then went for two and was successful as rookie QB Kyler Murray and WR KeeSean Johnson connected on the try. Baltimore then restored order as Jeff Tucker connected on a 51-yard field goal to seal the win. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson not only threw for 272 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions (he was sacked twice), he led all rushers with 120 yards. Baltimore out-rushed Arizona 182-20 and Murray threw for 349 yards with no sacks, TDs or interceptions. The Ravens were 7 of 14 on third downs (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and were ball hogs, keeping the pigskin for 37:38, while Arizona went 2 of 11 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 22:22.

The Chiefs come back to Arrowhead after their 28-10 win at Oakland last Sunday on the West Coast at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Mahomes and Kansas City erased a 10-0 first quarter deficit and scored all 28 of their points in the second quarter unchallenged. The two clubs would then play the final 30 minutes of the contest scoreless. Oakland out-rushed Kansas City 129-31 but Mahomes burned the Raiders for 443 yards with four TD passes (he was sacked twice but did not throw an interception), while Derek Carr threw for 198 yards with TD, three sacks and a pair of interceptions. The Chiefs were 8 of 14 on third down tries and ruled time as they kept the ball for 32:35. As for Oakland? They were 6 for 14 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 27:25.

Kansas City leads the series 5-3, the Chiefs have outscored Baltimore 180-147 and have won the last two meetings, including taking a 27-24 overtime win last year at Arrowhead. (Baltimore’s last win came in 2012, also at Arrowhead by a 9-6 final). Kansas City led the Ravens 17-10 at the half in the week 14 meeting at Arrowhead, only to watch Baltimore out-score them in the final 30 minutes of play, forcing the overtime. The Chiefs then got the ball to start the overtime and made their way down the field in the extra period, with the drive stalling at Baltimore’s 17-yard line. This allowed Chiefs K Harrison Butker to connect on a 35-yard field goal with 4:42 left in the extra period. Baltimore, needing a field goal to re-tie the contest or a TD to win it, got the ball back. The Ravens would get as close as their 41-yard when a pair of Robert Griffin III passes fell incomplete, giving Kansas City the win at Arrowhead. Baltimore did out-rush the Chiefs 198-94 but Mahomes burned Baltimore for 377 yards in the air and a pair of TDs (one to TE Travis Kelce), while Lamar Jackson threw for 147 yards and two TDs of his own (Mahomes was sacked three times and picked off once, while Jackson was three times but did not throw an interception).

Kansas City was favored by 7 in the week 14 contest at Arrowhead but won by only 3 and the two clubs barely missed the 53 1/2 over/under, tallying 50 points. Kansas City’s favored by 6 1/2 in the Show-Me State and the over/under’s 53 1/2. To not make this contest “DRILL WORTHY!” would be a crime… with that, here it is. (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

It’s possible that these two teams could meet in the post-season and it’s even plausible that this could go to overtime like last year. In the bigger picture, only one team will come away with the win. Although Baltimore will make things closer than the 6 1/2 but the Chiefs prevail in Arrowhead and takes the win.

Oakland (1-1) at Minnesota (1-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. The Silver and Black meets the Purple and Gold as the Oakland Raiders travel to the Land of 10,000 Lakes to face the Minnesota Vikings at US Bank Stadium. Both clubs come into the Sunday contest in the Twin Cities with losses under their belts.

Oakland watched AFC West foe Kansas City take a 28-10 win at Oakland last Sunday on the West Coast at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs trailed 10-0 after the first 15 minutes of play, then erased the deficit and scored all 28 of their points in the second quarter unchallenged. The two clubs would then play the final 30 minutes of the contest scoreless. Oakland out-rushed Kansas City 129-31 but Mahomes burned the Raiders for 443 yards with four TD passes (he was sacked twice but did not throw an interception), while Derek Carr threw for 198 yards with TD, three sacks and a pair of interceptions. The Chiefs were 8 of 14 on third down tries and ruled time as they kept the ball for 32:35. As for Oakland? They were 6 for 14 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 27:25.

Minnesota returns home to the Twin Cities, evening their record as Green Bay won their second game of the 2019 season and their second in the NFC North, taking care of the Vikings 21-16 at Lambeau. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers led 21-10 at the break, then held the Vikings to a third quarter TD from Kirk Cousins to WR Stefon Diggs (Minnesota missed the extra point) and the two clubs played a scoreless fourth quarter. Minnesota out-rushed Green Bay 198-144 and both clubs had 100-yard rushers (Minnesota was led by Dalvin Cook, who ran for 154 yards, while Green Bay was led by Aaron Jones with 116; both men had a TD), while Rodgers threw for 209 yards, with two TDs (he was sacked twice but did not throw an interception) and Cousins threw for 230 yards with the lone TD (he was sacked once and threw two interceptions). Green Bay was 5 of 15 on third down (the Packers were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:06, while Minnesota went 4 of 13 on third down, keeping the ball for 25:54.

Oakland leads the series 9-5 and the Silver and Black have outscored Minnesota 335-280. Minnesota won the last meeting, which took place in Oakland in 2015 by a final of 30-14, while the Raiders’ last win in the series came in the Twin Cities in 2011 by a final of 27-21. Minnesota’s favored by 8 1/2 in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Both numbers make sense. Both teams are looking to get off the deck from last week. Vikings take care of business in the Land of 10,000 Lakes as they take the win at home and covers the 8 1/2.

New York Jets (0-2) at New England (2-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of AFC East rivals meet in Foxboro as Tom Brady and the Pats host the New York Jets.

New York Jets, already without QB Sam Darnold (mononucleosis), lost backup QB Trevor Siemian to a season-ending ankle injury, were to a second-quarter field goal as they fell to Cleveland 23-3 last Monday night in the Meadowlands. The Browns led 16-3 at the break and held off a pair of Jets’ drives that would have made the contest closer. While the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! out-rushed Cleveland 93-70, Mayfield threw for 325 yards and a TD to WR Odell Beckham Jr and the Browns defense knocked Jets QB Trevor Siemian (3 yards) out of the contest with an ankle injury as he took over for Darnold. Cleveland went 4 of 13 on third down and kept the ball in the Monday night affair in the Meadowlands for 29:41, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 30:19 and went 2 of 14, 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

Brady and the Patriots last Sunday afternoon took Miami to the woodshed in the Sunshine State, leaving with a 43-0 road blowout win. Brady accounted for a pair of TDs tosses (including one to Antonio Brown, who was since released by the team) and ran for another as the Patriots took a 13-0 lead with them into the break before scoring their remaining 30 points of the contest unchallenged. New England held Miami to a season-low 42 yards rushing, while they tallied 126 (Sony Michel led all rushers with 85 yards) and made life less than pleasant for QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (89 yards, four sacks and three interceptions). Brady threw for 264 and while he was sacked twice, he did not throw an interception. New England was 6 of 11 on third down tries and held the ball for 36:30, while the Dolphins were 2 of 15 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 23:30.

New England leads the series 63-53-1 (which includes contests that were played at Shea Stadium, Fenway Park and Schafer Stadium and the Jets were known as the Titans), they have outscored GangGreen 2,694-2,409 and have won the last six meetings, including sweeping last year’s series (New York’s last win in the series came in 2015 in the Meadowlands, when they needed overtime to beat Brady and the Patriots 26-20).

Meeting one… the Meadowlands in week 12. The Pats and the Jets went into the intermission tied at 10-10 before moving on in the second half to outscore the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 17-3 to take a 27-13 win at Met Life Stadium. New England out-rushed GangGreen 215-74, with RB Sony Michel leading the way for 133 yards and a pair of TDs. Brady threw for 283 yards with a pair of TD passes to Edelman and Rob Gronkowski with no sacks or interceptions, while Josh McCown threw for 276 yards and a TD (McCown was sacked twice and picked off once). New England was 5 of 12 on third down conversions in upstate New Jersey (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Patriots kept the ball for 34:26, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 6 of 14 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs and would hold on to the ball for 25:34.

Brady and the Patriots made it a clean sweep in the series, taking down GangGreen in Foxboro by a 38-3 final. Holding the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! to a first quarter field goal, New England led 21-3 at the intermission, then shut out New York 17-0 in the final 30 minutes of play. GangGreen did a little better rushing-wise in the second meeting but New England still managed to out-rush New York 131-104 and Brady threw for 250 yards with four TDs and no interceptions (he was sacked once), while Sam Darnold threw for 167 yards with four sacks (Darnold did not throw a TD or interception). Neither club had success on fourth down (New England was 0 of 1, GangGreen was 0 of 2) and the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 4 fo 13 on third down, while the Pats were 5 of 11. Time was on the side of the Patriots, as New England kept the ball for 32:13 to New York’s 27:47.

New England easily covered the 9 1/2-point spread in the week 12 contest in upstate New Jersey but the 46 over/under was safe, as both clubs merged to score 40 points. In the week 17 meeting (the regular season finale for both teams), New England’s 35-point win in Foxboro allowed them to easily cover the 13 1/2-point spread but neither team covered the 45 1/2 over/under, as they tallied 41 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Patriots… a lot… as in a 22-point favorite (the largest spread this season) and the over/under is 43 1/2. We can live with the 43 1/2, it the 22 that has us scratching our heads. GangGreen is bad but they’re not 22 points bad. New England takes this one and might cover the 22.

Detroit (1-0-1) at Philadelphia (1-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions travel to the City of Brotherly Love to face off against the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Lions, coming off their tie in the desert against Arizona, erased a 10-6 deficit against Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers as they would rally to come away 13-10 winners at Ford Field. Los Angeles 10-6 at the break in the Motor City and after the two clubs played a scoreless third quarter, the Lions would go to work, taking the lead for good with 7:21 left in the contest as Stafford and WR Kenny Golladay connected on a 31-yard TD pass. Detroit would go on to hold off the Chargers in the final minutes of the contest to take their first win of the season.

Los Angeles out-rushed Detroit 137-94 and Stafford threw for 245 yards with a pair of TDs (including the game-winner) and a pair of interceptions, while Rivers threw for 293 yards with a sack and an interception. Detroit went 4 of 10 on third down tries in the Motor City (they went 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:41, while the Chargers were rulers of the clock, holding the ball for 31:19 and went 6 of 13 on third down tries.

The Eagles led Atlanta late 20-17 last Sunday night, then watched the Falcons reclaim the lead in the final minutes of their nest last Sunday night in the Big Peach as Atlanta came away with the 24-20 win over the Eagles. Atlanta led 10-6 at the half and took a 17-6 lead with them to the third quarter before Carson Wentz and the Eagles would take their only lead of the game with 3:13 left, as he scored from a yard out to take a 20-17 lead. That lead would not last very long, as Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones connected on a 54-yard strike as part of a 6-play, 75-yard drive that used only 63 seconds of clock to reclaim the lead for good. Atlanta would then hold off the Eagles, run out the clock themselves and take the win at home.

Philadelphia found themselves out-rushed by Atlanta 57-49 and Ryan threw for 320 yards with three TDs (two to Jones, including the game-winner and one to Calvin Ridley) and three interceptions, while Wentz threw for 231 yards with a TD to Nelson Agholor with three sacks and a pair of interceptions. Atlanta was 3 of 10 on third down at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:06, while the Eagles ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 32:54 and went 9 of 18 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

The series is tied 15-15-2 (which includes games that were played in Portsmouth and the Lions were known as the Spartans) and the Eagles have outscored Detroit 654-646. However… Detroit has come away with wins in the last two meetings, including a 24-23 win in the Motor City in 2016, while the Eagles’ last win came in the City of Brotherly Love in 2013 by a final of 34-20. The Eagles are favored by 6 with a 46 over/under. These are two pretty good teams and with any luck, could be in the post-season party. Eagles may not cover the 6 but they fly away in the city of Brotherly Love with the win.

Carolina (0-2) at Arizona (0-1-1), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A Carolina Panthers team without Cam Newton (foot) pay a visit to Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale. Both clubs are still looking for their first win of the 2019 season. With the injury to Newton, Kyle Allen will be under center for the Panthers.

Carolina fell to NFC South rival Tampa Bay 20-14 in Charlotte last Thursday night. Tampa Bay led 10-9 at the break, breaking a 3-3 tie after the first quarter came to an end. Carolina would pull themselves to within three when LB Luke Kuechly sacked Tampa Bay RB Peyton Barber in the end zone for a safety but the Bucs pushed the lead back to six with 2:26 left in the contest when rookie K Matt Gay connected on a 22-yard field. goal. In the battle of former Heisman winners, Newton threw for 324 yards, while Jameis Winston threw for 208 yards (neither threw an interception and both were sacked three times), with Winston accounting for the game’s only TD with 80 seconds left in the first half, connecting with WR Chris Godwin. Carolina was 3 of 14 on third down (they were 0 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:07, while Tampa Bay went 2 of 12 on third down, ruling the clock and holding the ball for 33:53.

A late Arizona rally against Baltimore in their contest in Charm City was rebuffed by the Ravens as Baltimore would take a 23-17 win over the Desert Angry Birds at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore led 17-6 at the break, then Arizona would proceed to out-score Baltimore 11-6 in the final 30 minutes of play and came to within three with 12:52 left in the contest when Cardinals RB David Johnson scored from a yard out. Arizona then went for two and was successful as Murray and WR KeeSean Johnson connected on the try. The Ravens proceeded to restore order as Jeff Tucker connected on a 51-yard field goal to seal the win. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson not only threw for 272 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions (he was sacked twice), he led all rushers with 120 yards. Baltimore out-rushed Arizona 182-20 and Murray threw for 349 yards with no sacks, TDs or interceptions. The Ravens were 7 of 14 on third downs (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and were ball hogs, keeping the pigskin for 37:38, while Arizona went 2 of 11 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 22:22.

The Panthers lead the series 9-4 and have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 288-236. Carolina’s last win in the series came in Charlotte in 2016 as Newton and the Panthers came away 30-20 winners at Bank of America Stadium, while Arizona’s last win came in the desert in 2013 by a final of 22-6. Carolina’s favored by 2 1/2 with the over/under at 46 1/2. We wouldn’t blame you one bit if you took a pass on this one and watched that Bugs Bunny marathon on Cartoon Network (Wile Coyote blowing himself up is STILL funny!). Carolina covers the 2 1/2 in the desert against the Desert Angry Birds and wins the battle of the Heisman winners.

New York Giants (0-2) at Tampa Bay (1-1), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. The 0-2 Giants, with rookie QB Daniel Jones under center Sunday after Eli Manning was benched, travels to the Sunshine State to face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a late afternoon Sunday match-up on Florida’s West Coast.

Eli and the New York Giants were taken to task as the Buffalo Bills made it 2 for 2 in the Meadowlands, coming away 28-14 winners at Met Life Stadium last Sunday. Big Blue could never get themselves on track as Buffalo led 21-7 at the break and never looked back to win their second game in as many weeks in upstate New Jersey. Buffalo out-rushed New York 151-129, while Giants RB Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 107 yards and a TD (Buffalo was paced by Frank Gore, who ran for 68 yards and a TD). Manning threw for 250 yards and a pair of interceptions, while Josh Allen threw for 253 yards with three sacks (both men threw a TD pass, Manning was sacked once). Buffalo went 5 of 13 on third down and ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 32:38, while the Giants were 3 of 12 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:22.

Tampa Bay came away 20-14 winners over NFC South rival Carolina in Charlotte last Thursday night. Tampa Bay led 10-9 at the break, breaking a 3-3 tie after the first quarter came to an end. Carolina would pull themselves to within three when LB Luke Kuechly sacked Tampa Bay RB Peyton Barber in the end zone for a safety but the Bucs pushed the lead back to six with 2:26 left in the contest when rookie K Matt Gay connected on a 22-yard field. goal. In the battle of former Heisman winners, Newton threw for 324 yards, while Jameis Winston threw for 208 yards (neither threw an interception and both were sacked three times), with Winston accounting for the game’s only TD with 80 seconds left in the first half, connecting with WR Chris Godwin. Carolina was 3 of 14 on third down (they were 0 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:07, while Tampa Bay went 2 of 12 on third down, ruling the clock and holding the ball for 33:53.

Big Blue leads the series 14-7 and they have outscored the Bucs 395-364. The Giants won the last meeting last year in the Meadowlands by a final of 38-35 (Tampa Bay’s last win in the series came in the Sunshine State in 2017 by a final of 25-23).

Winston and Manning met at Met Life Stadium in week 11 and it was a slug-fest from start to finish. New York led 14-7 as the half and took a 24-14 lead with them into the fourth quarter before Tampa Bay would score twice in the fourth quarter to make the contest a bit too close for Giants fans, as New York would lead 31-28 with 5:11 left to play. Barkley would then restore some order as he would score his third TD (second rushing TD) of the contest, giving the Giants a 10-point lead with 3:52. Tampa Bay was not going to go away any time soon and pulled themselves back to within three with 2:22 left when Mike Evans and Winston connected on a 41-yard TD pass.

It would be as close as the Giants would let Tampa Bay get to them, as they would hold off a last second drive in the final seconds of the contest to seal the win. Barkley ran for 142 yards for the Giants, while Tampa Bay’s Peyton Barber ran for 106 yards and a TD. NeW York out-rushed Tampa Bay 163-151 and Manning threw for 231 yards and a pair of TDs (connecting with Odell Beckham Jr. and Barkley), while Winston (who replaced Ryan Fitzpatrick, who threw for 167 yards but threw three interceptions) tallied 199 yards and a pair of TDs with an interception). The Giants were 4 of 9 on third down and kept the ball for 27:53, while Tampa Bay actually ruled the clock and kept the pigskin, keeping the ball for 32:07, going 6 of 9 on third down and 1 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week 11 contest in the Meadowlands, the Giants were favored by 1 point and they covered, winning by 3. Both teams took care of the 52 over/under by tallying 73 points in the chilly afternoon air in upstate New Jersey. Tampa Bay’s favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 45 1/2. The Giants would like to prove that last year’s win was not a fluke. Tampa Bay is looking for revenge. Revenge wins out here in the Sunshine State. Tampa Bay might not cover the 6 1/2 but they take the win at home.

Houston (2-0) at Los Angeles Chargers (1-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV. DeSean Watson and Philip Rivers. A pair of future Hall of Fame QBs meet in Los Angeles in a late-afternoon AFC contest.

Houston denied the Jacksonville Jaguars their first win of the 2019 campaign after they held off the Jaguars 13-12 last Sunday. Houston led 6-3 at the intermission before the Jaguars made it a 1-point contest with 30 seconds left in the contest when Minshew and Chark connected on a 4-yard TD toss. Jacksonville would then miss the two-point conversion at NRG Stadium and went for the on-side kick, which Houston recovered. The Texans would then go on to run out the clock and take the win. Houston outrushed Jacksonville 126-103 and Minshew threw for 213 yards with the late contest TD, while DeSean Watson threw for 159 yards without a TD (both men were sacked four times but neither threw an interception). While Jacksonville was 3 of 13 on third down and the Texans were 6 of 15, both teams had success on fourth down tries, with Jacksonville going 2 of 2 and Houston going 1 of 1. Jacksonville actually ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:01 to Houston’s 29:59.

Rivers and the Chargers watched Detroit and Matthew Stafford erase a 10-6 deficit, as the Bolts would come away with a 13-10 loss at Ford Field. Los Angeles led 10-6 at the break in the Motor City and after the two clubs played a scoreless third quarter, the Lions would go to work, taking the lead for good with 7:21 left in the contest as Stafford and WR Kenny Golladay connected on a 31-yard TD pass. Detroit would go on to hold off the Chargers in the final minutes of the contest to take their first win of the season.

Los Angeles out-rushed Detroit 137-94 and Stafford threw for 245 yards with a pair of TDs (including the game-winner) and a pair of interceptions, while Rivers threw for 293 yards with a sack and an interception. Detroit went 4 of 10 on third down tries in the Motor City (they went 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:41, while the Chargers were rulers of the clock, holding the ball for 31:19 and went 6 of 13 on third down tries.

Including games in San Diego, the Chargers lead the series 5-1 and have outscored the Texans 164-100. Los Angeles’s last meeting with Houston came in 2016 and the Chargers prevailed 21-13 in the Lone Star State, while the Texans’ last win came on the West Coast in San Diego in 2013, coming away 31-28 winners. Los Angeles finds themselves as 3-point favorites on the West Coast and the over/under’s 47 1/2. The Chargers are looking to right their ship, the Texans are looking to stay unbeaten. Chargers prevail at home, although the Texans will try to make things closer than 3.

New Orleans (1-1) at Seattle (1-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 716. It’s gumbo vs. Salmon, Grunge and Starbucks as New Orleans, without Drew Brees (thumb) continues their trip on the West Coast as they face off against Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks in the Pacific Northwest.

For the Saints, it was second verse, same as the first against the Rams. A blown call and a loss to Los Angeles, with Jarred Goff and the Rams coming away 27-9 winners at the Coliseum. First, they lose Brees early in the contest with the thumb injury (Teddy Bridgewater will be under center in the Pacific Northwest), then they had a pass by Goff that was ruled incomplete, then ruled a fumble after the Saints challenge the first ruling. Trey Hendrickson scooped up the ball and returned it for what was thought a TD to no avail. While the Saints did get the ball back, they lost the TD and things went downhill from that point. New Orleans trailed 6-3 at the intermission, then the Rams would floor the gas and outscore the Saints 21-6 in the second half. The Rams out-rushed New Orleans 115-57 and Brees threw for 38 yards with an interception before leaving the contest with the injury, while Goff threw for 283 yards and a TD (Bridgewater threw for 165 yards and had a pair of sacks) and Rams RB Todd Gurley III led all rushers with 63 yards and a TD. New Orleans was 4 of 13 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:39, while the Rams were 5 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 30:21.

Pittsburgh took a 10-7 lead with them to the break against Seattle, only to see the Seahawks take control of the final 30 minutes of play at Heinz Field as the Seahawks and Wilson left the Steel City with a 28-26 win. In evening their record to 1-1, the Seahawks outscored Pittsburgh 21-13 in the second half. Roethlisberger threw for 75 yards with a sack before leaving the contest with the injury. Rookie QB Mason Rudolph (who took over for Roethlisberger) threw for 112 yards with a pair of TDs to Vance McDonald in relief. Seattle out-rushed Pittsburgh 151-81 and Wilson threw for 300 yards and despite being sacked four times, managed to throw three TDs. Pittsburgh went 3 of 11 on third down tries at Heinz Field and kept the ball for 24:14, while the Seahawks took control of the clock and kept the pigskin for 35:46, while going 5 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

While New Orleans holds a slim 7-6 in the series, the Seahawks have outscored the Saints 310-266. New Orleans won the last meeting with Seattle, coming away with a 25-20 win in the Big Easy in 2016, while Seattle’s last win over the Saints came in 2013 by a final of 34-7 in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle’s favored by 4 and the over/under’s 45. While Bridgewater’s a good QB, he’s not Drew Brees and for Saints fans, that will show. Seahawks cover the 4 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks Sunday.

Pittsburgh (0-2) at San Francisco (2-0), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 717. Pittsburgh, without Ben Roethlisberger (arm), travels to the West Coast to take on the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara at Levis Stadium. The 49ers are looking to go 2-0, while the struggling Steelers are looking for win number one.

After a scoreless first quarter, Pittsburgh took a 10-7 lead with them to the break, only to see Seattle take control of the final 30 minutes of play at Heinz Field as the Seahawks and Wilson left the Steel City with a 28-26 win. In evening their record to 1-1, the Seahawks outscored Pittsburgh 21-13 in the second half. Roethlisberger threw for 75 yards with a sack before leaving the contest with the injury. Rookie QB Mason Rudolph (who took over for Roethlisberger and will be under center Sunday) threw for 112 yards with a pair of TDs to Vance McDonald in relief. Seattle out-rushed Pittsburgh 151-81 and Russell Wilson threw for 300 yards and despite being sacked four times, managed to throw three TDs. Pittsburgh went 3 of 11 on third down tries at Heinz Field and kept the ball for 24:14, while the Seahawks took control of the clock and kept the pigskin for 35:46, while going 5 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

San Francisco came to Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati and left the Queen City with a 41-17 win over the Bengals. Leading 24-10 at the half, San Francisco would outscore them 17-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. San Francisco out-rushed Cincinnati 259-25, with 49ers RB Matt Breida ran for 121 yards in the contest to lead all rushers. Dalton threw for 311 yards and a pair of TDs but was sacked four times, while 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 297 yards and three TDs with no sacks (both men threw an interception). Both teams did quite well on third down conversions last Sunday (San Francisco was 5 of 9, Cincinnati was 9 of 18; the Bengals were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and the 49ers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:19 to Cincinnati’s 27:41.

San Francisco leads the series 11-10 but the Steelers have outscored San Francisco 447-409. Pittsburgh won the last meeting with the 49ers, coming away 43-18 winners in the Steel City in 2015, while San Francisco’s last win came at Candlestick Park in 2011 by a final of 20-3. San Francisco’s favored by 6 1/2 in Santa Clara and the over/under’s 44. The 49ers look to stay unbeaten, while the Steelers look for win number one. Pittsburgh will have to wait another week. 49ers cover at home and send the Steelers to 0-3.

Los Angeles Rams (2-0) at Cleveland (1-1), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Jarred Goff vs. Baker Mayfield. A pair of young QBs meet along the shores of Lake Erie as the Browns play in their second prime time game of the season. Both teams come into the Sunday night contest with wins under their belts.

The Rams proved that their playoff win against New Orleans last year in the Big Easy was not a fluke as Goff and Los Angeles came away 27-9 winners over Drew Brees and the Saints. The Saints once again had to deal with the officials as well as the Rams as blown call took the wind out of their sails at the Coliseum last Sunday. First, New Orleans loses Drew Brees early in the contest with the thumb injury (Teddy Bridgewater will be under center in the Pacific Northwest), then they had a pass by Goff that was ruled incomplete, then ruled a fumble after the Saints challenge the first ruling. Trey Hendrickson scooped up the ball and returned it for what was thought a TD to no avail. While the Saints did get the ball back, they lost the TD and things went downhill from that point. New Orleans trailed 6-3 at the intermission, then the Rams would floor the gas and outscore the Saints 21-6 in the second half. The Rams out-rushed New Orleans 115-57 and Brees threw for 38 yards with an interception before leaving the contest with the injury, while Goff threw for 283 yards and a TD (Bridgewater threw for 165 yards and had a pair of sacks) and Rams RB Todd Gurley III led all rushers with 63 yards and a TD. New Orleans was 4 of 13 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:39, while the Rams were 5 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 30:21.

Cleveland held the New York Jets to a second-quarter field goal as they took care of the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 23-3 last Monday night in the Meadowlands. The Browns led 16-3 at the break and held off a pair of Jets’ drives that would have made the contest closer. While the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! out-rushed Cleveland 93-70, Mayfield threw for 325 yards and a TD to WR Odell Beckham Jr and the Browns defense knocked Jets QB Trevor Siemian (3 yards) out of the contest with an ankle injury as he took over for Sam Darnold (mononucleosis). Cleveland went 4 of 13 on third down and kept the ball in the Monday night affair in the Meadowlands for 29:41, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 30:19 and went 2 of 14, 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

The Rams lead the series 11-9 (which includes contests that were played in St. Louis) and have outscored the Browns 451-426. The Rams’ last win in the series came in St. Louis, where they came away 24-6 winners in 2016, while the Browns’ last win also came in the Gateway City, with Cleveland taking a 27-20 win in 2007. The Rams are 3-point favorites in the Buckeye State and the over/under’s 46. You might want to consider taping “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “Madame Secretary” this week. Rams cover the 2 in Cleveland and remains unbeaten.

Chicago (1-1) at Washington (0-2), 8:20 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Two of the NFL’s oldest franchises conclude week three action as Chicago and Washington meet in Landover at Fed Ex Field.

Da Bears took a last-second win in the Mile High City last Sunday against Denver, as they stormed back as the clock struck :00 to take a 16-14 win on the road. Chicago led 6-3 at the break and 13-3 at the intermission, then watched as the Broncos proceeded to chip away at Chicago’s lead, using a 32-yard field goal by Brandon McManus to pull themselves to within 7 early in the fourth, then took their first and only lead of the contest when WR Emmanuel Sanders and QB Joe Flacco connected on a 7[yard TD pass and the two-point conversion. Chicago, with one time out left, got the ball back with 30 seconds left and got the ball back after the kickoff. Chicago would get help from two Denver penalties and after burning their final timeout, called on K Eddie Pineiro to try a 53-yard attempt. Pineiro made the field goal as the clock struck :00, sending Broncos fans home with their second loss of the season.

Chicago out-rushed Denver 153-90 and Flacco threw for 292 yards and the TD to Sanders with a sack and an interception, while Mitchell Trubisky threw for 120 yards without a TD, sack or interception. Denver was 3 of 14 on third down (the Broncos were perfect on fourth down, going 3 of 3) and actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:59, while Chicago kept the ball for 27:01 (including the final 30 seconds of the game) and went 3 of 11 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth down tries.

After a scoreless first quarter at Washington, the Cowboys erased a 7-0 deficit in the second quarter and came away 31-21 winners at Fed Ex Field, thanks in part to TDs from Prescott to Devin Smith and Jason Witten to take the 14-7 lead with them to the break. Dallas would lead 21-7 with 4:30 left in the third period before Case Keenum (221 yards, TD, sack) and WR Paul Richardson Jr. connected on a 9-yard TD toss to pull themselves to within seven. Dallas would eventually restore order and come out of Landover with the win. Dallas out-rushed Washington 213-47, with Ezekiel Elliott rushing for 111 yards and a TD, while Prescott threw for 269 yards and three TDs (Prescott was sacked once and threw an interception). Dallas went 7 of 11 on third down tries at Landover and kept the ball for 33:22, while the Redskins kept the ball for 26:38, going 2 of 9 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

While Washington leads the series 22-20-1 (which includes contests that were played in Boston when the Redskins were known as the Braves and the Bears were the Chicago Staleys and played their home games at Wrigley Field), Chicago has outscored the Redskins 876-804. Washington has won the last seven meetings in the series, taking a 41-21 win in the Windy City in 2016, while Chicago’s last win came in 2003 at Soldier Field by a final of 27-24.

On Monday night, Da Bears are 18-23 but they did play three games under the lights last year, winning two of them. As for the Redskins? They’re 18-17-1 but have not played on MNF since 2017, when they won their lone contest. Chicago’s favored by 4 on the road in Landover and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Will it be “Hail to the Redskins” or “Hell, it’s the Redskins?” Washington fans will have their hearts broken again this week. Da Bears cover the 4 and wins at Landover.