Archives for category: Bill Belichick

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 ChristianKirk 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 matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated Sunday’s New England-Philadelphia matchup 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 matchup between two young quarterbacks highlights Week 11 in the NFL as Houston travels to Baltimore on Sunday. Houston quarterback Deshaun Watsonand 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 Mercerdes 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 outrushed 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 outrushed 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 outrushed 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 oddsmakers 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 outrushed 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 divison leaders were taken to task 26-9 at the Mercerdes 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 outrushed 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 agao. 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 outrushed 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, outrushed 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 facilties.

The first meeting? Week 10 in Indianapolis and the Colts led Jacksonville 29-16 at the intermission, then held off the Jagaurs 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 outrush 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 outrushed 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 outrushed 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 outrush 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 outrush 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 outrushed 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, outrushed 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 outrushed 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 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.

San Francisco fell out of the ranks of the unbeatens 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 outrushed 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 outrushed 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 outrushed 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 outrushed 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 outrushed 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 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 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 sereis came in 2009v 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 outrush 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 matchup 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 BrooksAMES 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 Mannig (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 Marinom 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 (4:25 PM ET, CBS), 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 wi​​th 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). 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.

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.

It’s finally here.

No more two-a-days.

No more fighting sweat, bugs, the heat and your teammates.

No more having to sleep in college dorms.

The preseason is over. Done. Kaput.

Sunday and Monday NFL football gets to see the light of day.

Thursday night started the 2019 NFL regular season as Green Bay beat Chicago in the Windy City in the season opener Thursday night, the first of 256 games that will be played between now and the Sunday after Christmas. It’s a 16-game season that lasts 17 weeks. There will be games that will be played in London, starting in week five as well as a game that will take place South of the border in week 11.

16 games. 16 chances for a player to get a weekly paycheck.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, this is also the 100th anniversary of what we now call the National Football League. There will be celebrations throughout the season and most teams will be wearing their throwback uniforms. All 32 teams will be wearing a special 100th Anniversary patch on the yoke of their jerseys (both home and away).

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL100 Game of the Week. Each game will be 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 designated the Packers-Bears contest as the NFL100 GAME OF THE WEEK for Week 1. In arguably the league’s richest all-time rivalry, the Packers and Bears met for the 199th time, including the postseason, in a series that spans all 10 NFL decades. The franchises first met November 27, 1921, when the eventual NFL champion Chicago Staleys shut out the Packers, 20-0. Combined, the two organizations have accounted for 22 world championships,13 for Green Bay, nine for Chicago (numbers one and two respectively, all-time). The two teams have also combined to put 53 individuals in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, 28 from the Bears (No. 1 all-time) and 25 from the Packers (Number 2 all-time), with respect to those who spent the majority of their careers with a club.

Welcome to 2019. Expect new teams to earn playoff berths, a few consistent players and clubs to excel again, records to fall and young players to forge ahead as they introduce themselves to our collective excitement. It’s a familiar script, a story that has fueled the league’s popularity for 99 years. The blanks will be filled in come February. What is known this week is that every team holds fast to a dream: Super Bowl LIV in Miami and with history as an indication, every team has a legitimate shot. 31 teams want the Lombardi Trophy and New England has it. They are Golum and the Super Ring is their precious.

THE FIELD IS OPEN: In 2018, two teams – Houston (AFC South) and Chicago (NFC North) – won their divisions after finishing in last place the year before. In 15 of the past 16 seasons, at least one team finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place.

Since the NFL expanded to 32 teams in 2002, two clubs have gone “worst to first” en route to a Super Bowl victory – the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles and the 2009 New Orleans Saints.

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. Seven teams that missed the postseason in 2017 – Baltimore (10-6), Chicago (12-4), Dallas (10-6), Houston (11-5), Indianapolis (10-6), the Los Angeles Chargers (12-4) and Seattle (10-6) – earned a playoff berth in 2018.

MOST-EVER SUPER BOWL WINS: The New England Patriots won their sixth Lombardi Trophy last year and begin their quest to break a tie with their Kickoff Weekend opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers, for the most-ever Super Bowl victories. The AFC stalwarts clash to open Sunday Night Football at 8:20 p.m. on NBC. By winning another title this season, New England would also join Pittsburgh as the only teams to win consecutive Super Bowls on two occasions.

RECORDS WITHIN REACH: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees (520) needs 20 touchdown passes and New England quarterback Tom Brady (517) needs 23 to surpass Peyton Manning (539) for the most all-time. Brees (34) also needs two games of four-or-more touchdown passes to eclipse Manning (35) for the most four-touchdown games in NFL annals. Brees (9,783) needs 387 pass attempts to leap Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (10,169) for most on the all-time list. Brady will play his 20th season with the Patriots, tying two Pro Football Hall of Famers, Washington’s Darrell Green and the Rams’ Jackie Slater, for the second-most seasons with one franchise in NFL history. Detroit’s Jason Hanson (21) owns the league record. Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald can become the first player in league history to earn three consecutive AP Defensive Player of the Year honors. With a third overall, Donald would tie J.J. Watt (2012, 2014-15) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor (1981-82, 1986) for most all-time. Buffalo Bills running back Frank Gore (14,748) needs 522 rushing yards to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders (15,269) for third on the all-time list. Gore (18,544) also needs 611 yards from scrimmage to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk (19,154) for fourth on the all-time list. Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (1,303) needs 23 receptions to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez (1,325) for second on the NFL’s all-time list. Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (1,549) holds the career record. Fitzgerald (9) also needs 1,000 receiving yards to tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (10) for second on the NFL’s all-time list of most 1,000-yard seasons. Rice (14) holds the career record.

SUCCESS WITH FIRST-YEAR LEADERS: Seven teams enter this season with a new head coach, Kliff Kingsbury in Arizona, Zac Taylor in Cincinnati, Freddie Kitchens in Cleveland, Vic Fangio in Denver, Matt LaFleur in Green Bay, Brian Flores in Miami, Adam GASE with the New York Jets and Bruce Arians in Tampa Bay. Four rookie head coaches have led their teams to the playoffs over the last two seasons: Matt Nagy (Chicago) and Frank Reich (Indianapolis) in 2018 and Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams) and Sean McDermott (Buffalo) in 2017. Kingsbury, Kitchens, Fangio, LaFleur and Flores are all first-time head coaches in 2019.

FAMILIAR FACES IN NEW PLACES: Several notable players were on the move during the off-season and preseason, including quarterbacks Joe Flacco (Denver) and Nick Foles (Jacksonville); running backs Le’Veon Bell (New York Jets), Mark Ingram (Baltimore), Frank Gore (Buffalo) and LeSean McCoy (Kansas City); wide receivers Odell Beckham, Jr. (Cleveland), Antonio Brown (Oakland) and DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia) and Kenny Stills (Houston); tight end Jared Cook (New Orleans); tackles Trent Brown (Oakland) and Laremy Tunsil (Houston); guard Rodger Saffold (Tennessee); center Mitch Morse (Buffalo); defensive ends Ezekiel Ansah (Seattle), Frank Clark (Kansas City), Jadaveon Clowney (Seattle), Trey Flowers (Detroit) and Cameron Wake (Tennessee); defensive tackles Malik Jackson (Philadelphia) and Gerald McCoy (Carolina); linebackers Kiko Alonso (New Orleans), Dee Ford (San Francisco), Clay Matthews (Los Angeles Rams), C.J. Mosley (New York Jets) and Terrell Suggs (Arizona); cornerbacks Robert Alford (Arizona), Bradley Roby (Houston) and Steven Nelson (Pittsburgh) and safeties Landon Collins (Washington); Tyrann Mathieu (Kansas City), Earl Thomas (Baltimore) and Eric Weddle (Los Angeles Rams).

YOUNG STARS TAKE THE STAGE: Youth is being served. Last season, seven rookies – New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, Seattle punter Michael Dickson, Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James, Denver running back Phillip Lindsay, Indianapolis guard Quenton Nelson, Dallas linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and Cleveland cornerback Denzel Ward – earned Pro Bowl honors.

Last year, 39 players age 25 or younger as of December 31, 2018, were selected to the Pro Bowl. And 16 of those 39 were voted AP All-Pro, including New York Jets safety Jamal Adams, Chicago kick-returner Tarik Cohen, Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett, Minnesota defensive end Danielle Hunter, New York Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas and the reigning MVP, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Three quarterbacks – Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray (Number 1 overall, Arizona), Duke’s Daniel Jones (Number 6, New York Giants) and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins (Number 15, Washington) – were selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. At least one rookie quarterback has started a Kickoff Weekend contest in 11 consecutive seasons, the longest streak in the NFL since at least 1950.

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 championship is to win in Week 1.

The 53 Super Bowl winners have a 43-9-1 record in the Kickoff Weekend games of their title seasons. The Super Bowl LIII champion New England Patriots, who host Pittsburgh in their season-opener on Sunday Night Football at 8:20 p.m. on NBC, have won nine of their past 10 home openers played on Kickoff Weekend, the most in the NFL over that span.

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 602 teams that won openers…311 went to the playoffs (189 won division titles) and of the 601 teams that lost openers…147 went to the playoffs (85 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 2018, three of the four participants in the conference championships – Kansas City, the Los Angeles Rams and New England – were victorious on Kickoff Weekend, including both Super Bowl teams.

STARTING STREAKS: Some clubs have excelled in openers. Below is a sampling of notable active NFL Kickoff milestones and streaks:

Chicago hosted Green Bay Thursday Night Football to kick off the NFL’s 100th season. Green Bay’s 56 Kickoff Weekend wins are the most all-time and Chicago’s 54 wins rank second. The Packers have won their past four Kickoff Weekend games, the longest active streak in the NFC.

Denver, who will begin the season by visiting AFC West rival Oakland on Monday Night Football at 10:20 p.m. on ESPN, have posted a .672 winning percentage (39-19-1) on Kickoff Weekend, the top mark in the league. Denver has won its past seven Kickoff Weekend games, the longest active streak in the NFL.

The defending AFC West champion Kansas City Chiefs visit Jacksonville in Week 1 at 1 p.m. on CBS. The Chiefs have won their last four Kickoff Weekend games, tied for the league’s second-longest active streak.

The defending NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys host Eli Manning and the New York Giants in an NFC East showdown at 4:25 p.m. on FOX. Dallas and New York face each other on Kickoff Weekend for the fourth time in the last five years. With a winning percentage of .655 (38-20-1), the Cowboys own the best Kickoff Weekend winning percentage in the NFC.

The Seattle Seahawks, who returned to the playoffs in 2018, host the Cincinnati Bengals at 4:05 p.m. on CBS. Seattle has won 10 consecutive home openers, the longest active streak in the league.

The Washington Redskins make their way up I-95 to face the Philadelphia Eagles in the City of Brotherly Love to start the season at 1 p.m. on FOX. Washington has won its past three road openers, the longest active streak in the league.

*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 England quarterback Tom Brady has 34 touchdown passes in 16 career Week 1 games and needs one touchdown pass against Pittsburgh Sunday night to surpass Peyton Manning (34) for the second-most touchdown passes in season-opening games in NFL history. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees leads all players with 37 touchdown passes in 17 career Kickoff Weekend games, as New Orleans hosts Houston on Monday Night Football at 7:10 p.m. on ESPN.

Brees, who led all players with 439 passing yards on Kickoff Weekend in 2018, has three career 400-yard passing games in season-opening games, the most by any player in NFL history. Los Angeles Chargers quarterback PHILIP RIVERS, who passed for 424 yards in Week 1 last season, and Manning are the only other players with multiple 400-yard passing games on Kickoff Weekend.

Washington running back Adrian Peterson has 999 rushing yards in 12 career season-opening games and needs 1 rushing yard on Sunday against Philadelphia 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) and Jim Brown (1,043), as well as Edgerrin James (1,062).

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.

Philadelphia wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who had 147 receiving yards on Kickoff Weekend in 2018 with Tampa Bay, has five career games with at least 100 yards receiving in Week 1, tied for the second-most all-time. With at least 100 receiving yards against Washington on Sunday, Jackson would tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin (six) for the most 100-yard receiving games on Kickoff Weekend in NFL history.

START ’EM EARLY: Arizona rookie quarterback Kyler Murray, the number 1 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, is expected to make his first career start against Detroit on Sunday in the desert at 4:25 p.m. on FOX. With a start by Murray, at least one rookie quarterback will have started in Week 1 in 12 consecutive seasons, the longest streak in the NFL since at least 1950.

The rookie quarterbacks to start in Week 1 since 2008:

QUARTERBACK, TEAM (STARTING RECORD AS ROOKIE, SEASON)
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)
E.J. 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 (– 2019)*^

*No. 1 overall pick
^Expected to start Week 1

WONDERFUL WILSON: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has 196 career passing touchdowns and 25,624 career passing yards in 112 career games during his eight-year NFL career.

With four passing touchdowns on Sunday at home in the Pacific Northwest against Cincinnati, Wilson can surpass Tom Brady (116 games) to become the fifth-fastest player in league history to reach 200 career passing touchdowns.

The players to reach 200 career passing touchdowns in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (GAMES TO REACH 200 PASSING TOUCHDOWNS)
Dan Marino – Miami (89)(HOF)
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay (99)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis (106)
Brett Favre – Atlanta and Green Bay (107)(HOF)
Tom Brady – New England (116)
Russell Wilson – Seattle (112)*
*Has 196 career touchdown passes

With four touchdown passes, Wilson would also become the first player in league history with at least 200 passing touchdowns and 15 rushing touchdowns (16) in his first eight seasons.

MOVING ON UP: Washington running back Adrian Peterson enters 2019 with 106 career rushing touchdowns during his 12-year NFL career.

With a rushing touchdown on Sunday at Philadelphia, Peterson can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer JIM BROWN (106 rushing touchdowns) for the fifth-most rushing touchdowns in league annals.

The players with the most rushing touchdowns in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S)(RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS)
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)
Jim Brown – Cleveland (106)(HOF)
Adrian Peterson – Minnesota, Arizona and Washington (106)*
*Active

RINGING THE BELL: Running back Le’Veon Bell makes his New York Jets debut on Sunday against Buffalo.

Bell, who has 7,996 career scrimmage yards in 62 games, need four scrimmage yards to become the fastest player to reach 8,000 career scrimmage yards in league history.

The players to reach 8,000 career scrimmage yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (GAMES TO REACH 8,000 SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Eric Dickerson – Los Angeles Rams (64)(HOF)
Edgerrin James – Indianapolis (65)
LaDainian Tomlinson – San Diego (65)(HOF)
Jim Brown – Cleveland (67)(HOF)
Marcus Allen – Los Angeles Raiders (68)(HOF)
Le’Veon Bell – Pittsburgh and New York Jets (62)*
*Has 7,996 scrimmage yards

DUAL THREAT: New England running back James White enters his sixth NFL season with 19 career receiving touchdowns.

With a receiving touchdown against Pittsburgh Sunday night, White can join Chuck Foreman (23 receiving touchdowns) and Brian Westbrook (23) as the only running backs in league history with at least 20 touchdown receptions in their first six seasons.

The running backs with at least 20 receiving touchdowns in their first six seasons:

PLAYER – TEAM (RECEIVING TDs)
Chuck Foreman – Minnesota (23)
Brian Westbrook – Philadelphia (23)
James White – New England (19)*
*Entering sixth season

700 CLUB: Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones has 698 receptions for 10,731 yards and 51 touchdowns in 111 career games.

Jones needs two receptions on Sunday at Minnesota to become the second-fastest player to reach 700 receptions in NFL history.

The players to reach 700 career receptions in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (GAMES TO REACH 700 RECEPTIONS)
Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh (111)
Marvin Harrison – Indianapolis (114)(HOF)
Andre Johnson – Houston (120)
Brandon Marshall – Denver, Miami and Chicago (121)
Anquan Boldin – Arizona and Baltimore (123)
Julio Jones – ATLANTA (111)*
*Has 698 receptions

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN 2019: The Carolina Panthers (199-201-1) need one win for 200 as a franchise, including postseason.

The Denver Broncos (499-433-10, .535) need one win for 500 in franchise history, including postseason. Among the original eight AFL franchises that launched in 1960, only the Boston/New England Patriots have reached that milestone.

The Indianapolis Colts need six regular-season wins to reach 300 since moving to Indianapolis in 1984. Since changing their home address from Baltimore to the Hooiser State, the Colts are 294-265-0 (.526) in regular season contests. Since selecting Peyton Manning in the 1998 NFL Draft, they’re 206-130-0 (.613), with 15 playoff berths in 21 seasons.

The Minnesota Vikings need two wins to reach 500, including postseason. The Vikings enter 2019 with a 498-426-11 (.539) all-time record.

The New England Patriots need one Super Bowl victory to break a tie with Pittsburgh (six) for most ever.

The Patriots also need:

One Super Bowl victory to join Pittsburgh as the only NFL teams to win consecutive Super Bowls on two occasions. Pittsburgh did it following the 1974-75 and 1978-79 seasons and New England did it after the 2003-04 seasons.

One Super Bowl appearance to join Buffalo as one of only two clubs to ever play in four straight. The Bills reached the Super Bowl to punctuate each of the 1990-93 seasons.

One berth in a conference championship game to tie Pittsburgh’s NFL record, 16. New England enters 2019 tied with San Francisco for second all-time, with 15.

One postseason victory to extend their NFL record, 37. Pittsburgh enters 2019 with 36, second all-time.

One number one seed to match San Francisco and Denver (eight each) for most since playoff seeding began in 1975. New England enters 2019 third with seven such seasons.

Two home playoff wins to match their own 11-game streak from 1996-2008, the second longest in league annals. The Patriots enter 2019 having won nine consecutive postseason tilts in Foxboro. Green Bay (1939-2001) owns the league record, 13.

Three postseason games to become just the third team to reach 60. Entering 2019, only Dallas (63) and Pittsburgh (61) have reached the milestone. The Patriots have 57.

Ten wins to reach 17 consecutive seasons with 10 victories and break a tie with San Francisco (16 from 1983-98) for the longest streak in league history. The Patriots have won at least 10 games every year since going 9-7 in 2002.

Twelve wins to reach 13 overall seasons with 12 victories and match the number achieved by San Francisco, most in the NFL since the 1970 merger. The Patriots enter 2019 tied with Dallas (12) for second over that span.

Three wins to reach 116 since the start of 2010 and break the Indianapolis Colts’ NFL record for victories in a decade (115, 2000-09) and nine victories to reach 34 winning seasons. Since 1970, only Pittsburgh (36) and Dallas (33) have achieved as many winning seasons.

The Oakland Raiders (491-442-11, .526) need nine wins for 500 in franchise history, including postseason.

The Pittsburgh Steelers need two wins to give Mike Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger the third most by a head
coach/quarterback combination in history. The duo enters 2019 with 115 regular-season victories, one behind number 3 Don
Shula/Dan Marino (116), number 1 Bill Belichick/Tom Brady (207) and number 2 Sean Payton/Drew Brees (118) also enter 2019 looking to add to their totals.

Michael Badgley (Los Angeles Chargers) could establish the best field-goal percentage by a player over his first two NFL seasons, with a minimum 25 attempts. Badgley (.938) made 15 of 16 field-goal attempts as a 2018 rookie. Baltimore’s Justin Tucker (.919, 68-for-74 from 2012-13) holds the record.

Saquon Barkley (New York Giants) needs 1,972 scrimmage yards to become the third ever to record 4,000 in his first two seasons, joining Eric Dickerson (4,456, 1983-84) and Edgerrin James (4,442, 1999-2000). Barkley enters 2019 with 2,028.

Odell Beckham, Jr. (Cleveland) needs 1,000 receiving yards to tie for the second-most 1,000-yard seasons (five) over his first six years. Lance Alworth (1963-67), Marques Colston (2006-11), Mike Evans (2014-18), A.J. Green (2011-15), Torry Holt (2000-04), Chad Johnson (2002-06), Brandon Marshall (2007-11) and Jerry Rice (1986-90) also did it. Randy Moss (1998-2003) is the only player ever to record 1,000 yards in each of his first six seasons. Beckham had four-figure seasons in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018. Beckham also needs 100 receiving yards in his Browns debut to surpass Julio Jones for second-most receiving yards over his first 60 games. Jones compiled 5,575 from 2011-15. Beckham enters 2019 with 5,476 over his first 59 contests. Lance Alworth (5,907) holds the 60-game record.

Beckham needs three receptions in each of his first two games to surpass Cris Carter’s streak of games with three-plus catches. Carter, who owns the third-longest streak in NFL history, had three catches in 58 straight from December 12, 1993, to October 5, 1997 – all with Minnesota. Reggie Wayne (82, 2009-14) and Antonio Brown (76, 2013-17) are first and second, respectively, on the all-time list. Beckham enters 2019 with a 57-game streak, from October 19, 2014, to December 2, 2018.

Bill Belichick (New England) needs a Super Bowl win to join George Halas and Curly Lambeau as the only NFL coaches with six league championships. Belichick also needs One Super Bowl win to capture consecutive league titles for the second time (2003-04) and become just the third coach in history to accomplish that, joining Chuck Noll (1974-75, 1978-79) and Vince Lombardi (1961-62, 1965-67) and eight wins to reach 300 career (regular and postseason) and become just the third coach to achieve that mark, joining Don Shula (347) and George Halas (324). Belichick enters 2019 number 3 on the all-time list with 292.

Le’Veon Bell (New York Jets) needs 2,004 scrimmage yards to reach 10,000 career. He enters 2019 with 7,996 in 62 career games. Bell also needs 340 yards receiving to reach 3,000. He enters 2019 with 2,660 in 62 career games and eight touchdowns to reach 50. He enters 2019 with 42 in 62 career games.

Tom Brady (New England) will play his 20th season with the Patriots, tying Washington’s Darrell Green and the Rams’ Jackie Slater for the second-most seasons with one franchise in NFL history. Detroit’s Jason Hanson (21) owns the league record. Brady also needs: 23 touchdown passes to eclipse No. 1 Peyton Manning (539). Number 2 Drew Brees enters 2019 with 520. Brady enters 2019 number 3 on the all-time list with 517, 35 touchdown passes to reach five such seasons and surpass Peyton Manning (four) for most in NFL history. Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers also enter 2019 with four 35-TD seasons and to lead the NFL in touchdown passes to establish an NFL record. Brady enters 2019 having led the league in the category on four occasions, tied with Drew Brees, Len Dawson, Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Johnny Unitas and Steve Young for most in history, one Pro Bowl invitation to become a 15-time Pro Bowler and surpass four players – all Hall of Famers – for most in history: Tony Gonzalez (14), Peyton Manning (14), Bruce Matthews (14) and Merlin Olsen (14), 1,325 passing yards to surpass number 3 Brett Favre (71,838) and 1,427 to surpass number 2 Peyton Manning (71,940). Drew Brees (74,437) enters 2019 at number 1. Brady (70,514) enters 2019 at number 4.

Drew Brees (New Orleans) needs 20 touchdown passes to surpass number 1 Peyton Manning (539) on the all-time list. Brees enters 2019 with 520, second in NFL history. Brees also needs to throw four touchdowns in two games to eclipse Manning (35) for most four-TD games in NFL annals. Brees (34) enters 2019 number 2 all-time, needing 387 pass attempts to eclipse number 1 Brett Favre (10,169) on the all-time list. Brees enters 2019 number 2 all-time with 9,783, 414 completions to become the first in NFL history to reach 7,000. Brees enters 2019 number 1 with 6,586 and needs 563 passing yards to become the first in NFL history to reach 75,000. Brees enters 2019 number 1 with 74,437.

Antonio Brown (Oakland) needs 1,000 yards receiving to reach that figure in eight career seasons. Over their first 10 years in the league, only Jerry Rice (nine from 1985-94), Randy Moss (eight from 1998-2007), Torry Holt (eight from 2000-07) and Brandon Marshall (eight from 2007-15) have compiled eight 1,000-yard seasons. Brown enters 2019 with seven 1,000-yard campaigns over his first nine years. Brown also needs 104 receptions to surpass number 20 Art Monk (940) on the NFL’s all-time list. Brown enters 2019 with 837 career catches, 28th in league history.

Brown needs 100 receptions to capture sole possession of the NFL record with a seventh 100-catch season. Brown enters 2019 with six such seasons, tied with Brandon Marshall (2007-09, 2012-13 and 2015), 91 receptions to break Marvin Harrison’s NFL record (927, 1996-2005) for most receptions over a player’s first 10 seasons. Brown enters 2019 with 837.

Brown needs 1,200 yards receiving to reach that mark in a seventh consecutive season. Only Jerry Rice (nine from 1988-96), Randy Moss (six from 1998-2003), Torry Holt (six from 2000-05) and Brown (six from 2013-18) have authored streaks of at least six 1,200-yard seasons.

Brown needs 1,500 yards receiving to match Jerry Rice’s NFL record for 1,500-yard seasons, four. Brown enters 2019 with three 1,500-yard seasons and 793 receiving yards for 12,000. Brown would become just the fifth player in NFL history to break that barrier in his first 10 seasons.

Derek Carr (Oakland) needs 370 completions to surpass Peyton Manning (2,128) for most in his first six seasons. Carr enters 2019 with the most completions (1,759) ever over a player’s first five campaigns. Carr also needs 300 completions to join Peyton Manning as the only passers to reach that mark in each of their first six NFL seasons and 3,000 passing yards to join Andy Dalton, Peyton Manning, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson as the only players to reach that mark in their first six seasons. Carr also needs 20 touchdown passes to join Andrew Luck, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson as the only quarterbacks ever to reach that mark in five of their first six seasons.

Pete Carroll (Seattle) needs two wins to reach 100 and become just the fifth active head coach to achieve that mark with his current club. He would join Bill Belichick (255), Mike Tomlin (133), Sean Payton (126) and John Harbaugh (114). Carroll enters 2019 98-60-1 as Seattle’s head coach, including postseason. Overall as an NFL head coach, he’s 132-93-1.

John Denny (Miami) enters 2019 with a franchise-record 224 consecutive games played, the league’s longest active streak.

Aaron Donald (Los Angeles Rams) could become the first player in history to earn three consecutive AP Defensive Player of the Year honors. Donald enters 2019 having captured the last two awards (2017-18) and with a third overall would tie J.J. Watt (2012, 2014-15) and Lawrence Taylor (1981-82, 1986) for most alltime.

Julian Edelman (New England) needs one 100-yard receiving game in the postseason to break a tie with number 2 Michael Irvin (six). Jerry Rice (eight) owns the NFL record. Edelman enters 2019 with six.

Mike Evans (Tampa Bay) needs 1,000 receiving yards to join Randy Moss (1998-2003) as one of two players ever to reach 1,000 in each of their first six NFL seasons. Evans also needs 965 receiving yards to surpass No. 10 Larry Fitzgerald (7,067 from 2004-09) on the NFL’s list of most receiving yards over a player’s first six seasons since 1970. Evans enters 2019 with 6,103 yards in five seasons.

Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona) needs 23 receptions to surpass Tony Gonzalez (1,325) for second on the NFL’s all-time list. Jerry Rice (1,549) holds the career record. Fitzgerald enters 2019 number 3 with 1,303. Fitzgerald also needs 1,000 receiving yards to tie number 2 Randy Moss (10) on the NFL’s all-time list of most 1,000-yard seasons. Jerry Rice holds the career record with 14. Fitzgerald (nine) enters 2019 tied for number 3 with Tim Brown and Terrell Owens.

Melvin Gordon (Los Angeles Chargers) needs 1,300 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns to extend his streak of seasons with those numbers to four. That would tie Marshawn Lynch (2011-14) and Thurman Thomas (1989-92) for the third-longest streak in NFL history. Gordon also needs 1,200 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns to extend his league-leading streak of seasons with those numbers to four.

Frank Gore (Buffalo) needs 522 rushing yards to surpass number 3 Barry Sanders (15,269) on the all-time list. Gore enters 2019 at number 4 with 14,748.

Stephen Gostkowski (New England) New England, needs to lead the league in scoring to break a tie with Don Hutson (five) and Gino Cappelletti (five, AFL) for most seasons with that distinction. Gostkowski has paced the NFL five times: 2008, 2012-15.

DeAndre Hopkins (Houston) needs 100 catches, 1,500 receiving yards and 11 TD receptions to join Marvin Harrison (1999, 2001-02) as the only players ever to reach those benchmarks in three NFL seasons. Hopkins eclipsed those three standards in 2015 and 2018.

Desmond King (Los Angeles Chargers) needs to return one interception for a touchdown to become the ninth player in NFL history with a pick-six in each of his first three seasons and the first since Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie did so from 2008-10.

Jarvis Landry (Cleveland) needs 48 receptions to establish the NFL record for catches over a player’s first six seasons, breaking the mark held by DeAndre Hopkins (528, 2013-18). Landry enters 2019 with 481 receptions over his first five years,
2014-18.

Zack Martin (Dallas) needs a Pro Bowl selection to become one of five offensive linemen ever to secure a Pro Bowl invitation in his first six seasons, joining Lou Creekmur (eight from 1950-57 with Detroit), Jon Morris (seven from 1964-70 with Boston Patriots), Joe Thomas (10 from 2007-16 with Cleveland) and Richmond Webb (seven from 1990-96 with Miami). Martin enters 2019 on a five-year streak (2014-18).

Baker Mayfield (Cleveland) needs a touchdown pass in each of his first 11 starts to break Kurt Warner’s NFL-record string of career-opening starts with a TD pass. The Pro Football Hall of Famer established the mark over his first 23 NFL starts, from 1999-2000. Mayfield enters 2019 with a 13-start streak. Mayfield also needs 23 passing touchdowns to become the seventh ever to reach 50 in his first two seasons. He needs 26 to surpass number 2 David Carr (52, 2015-16) and 42 to surpass No. 1 Dan Marino (68, 1983-84) for most ever over a player’s initial two years. Mayfield threw for 27 as a 2018 rookie.

Christian McCaffery (Carolina) needs 52 receptions to surpass LaDainian Tomlinson (238 from 2001-03) for the most catches by a running back over his first three seasons. McCaffrey enters 2019 with 187 receptions over his first two campaigns.

LeSean McCoy (Buffalo) needs 1,090 rushing yards to surpass Jamal Lewis (10,607), Ricky Watters (10,643), Warrick Dunn (10,967), O.J. Simpson (11,236), Corey Dillon (11,241), John Riggins (11,352), Steven Jackson (11,438) and Fred Taylor (11,695) on the league’s all-time list and move from 25th to 17th. McCoy enters 2019 with 10,606.

Von Miller (Denver) needs two sacks for 100 career. Miller opens the season with 98, while Cameron Wake (98) and J.J. Watt (92) also are approaching 100. Terrell Suggs (132.5) leads all active players.

Cam Newton (Carolina) needs 121 rushing yards to surpass No. 2 Randall Cunningham (4,928) on the league’s career list of rushing yards by a quarterback. Newton enters 2019 with 4,808. Michael Vick (6,109) holds the NFL record.

Bill O’Brien (Houston) needs nine wins to join Andy Reid, Mike Tomlin and John Harbaugh as the only active head coaches with five winning seasons over their first six years at the reins of an NFL club. O’Brien has guided the Texans to three AFC South titles in his first five years.

Adrian Peterson (Washington) needs 345 yards rushing to surpass number 7 Jerome Bettis. He also needs 367 to surpass number 6 LaDainian Tomlinson (13,684) and 784 to surpass number Curtis Martin (14,101). Peterson enters 2019 with 13,318, eighth alltime. Peterson also needs one rushing touchdown to surpass number 5 Jim Brown (106) on the all-time list and five to surpass number 4 Walter Payton (110).

Peterson enters 2019 tied with Brown at 106, one game of 200 yards rushing to reach seven career and break O.J. Simpson’s NFL record (six). Peterson enters 2019 with six 200-yard games, tied with Simpson and needs four 100-yard rushing games to surpass number 7 Edgerrin James (57) on the NFL’s all-time list and five to surpass number 6 Jim Brown (58). Peterson enters 2019 at number 8 with 54 100-yard rushing games.

Dak Prescott (Dallas) needs eight victories to become only the sixth quarterback in NFL history to win 40 regular-season games in his first four seasons. Russell Wilson (46), Joe Flacco (44), Matt Ryan (43), Dan Marino (41) and Andy Dalton (40) are the others. Prescott enters 2019 with 32. Prescott also needs five rushing touchdowns to surpass Daunte Culpepper (22) for second-most ever by a quarterback. Cam Newton (33, 2011-14) holds the record. Prescott enters 2019 with 18 and also can eclipse the four-season marks set by Steve Grogan (21), Johnny Lujack (21) and Frankie Albert (20).

Damarious Randall (Cleveland) needs three interceptions to become the first NFL player in 22 years with three INTs in each of his first five seasons. Tom Carter compiled his five-season streak by picking off 21 passes from 1993-97 with Washington and Chicago. Randall enters 2019 having collected 14 interceptions with Green Bay and Cleveland since 2015.

Philip Rivers (Los Angeles Chargers) needs 251 pass attempts to surpass number 7 John Elway (7,250) on the all-time list. Rivers enters 2019 with 7,000 career attempts. Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger (7,168) enters 2019 number 8 on the list. Rivers also needs 344 passing yards to become the eighth in NFL history to reach 55,000. Rivers enters 2019 with 54,656 and needs 26 touchdown passes to become the sixth in NFL history with 400. Rivers enters 2019 with 374, 47 shy of surpassing number 5 Dan Marino (420) on the all-time list, two 300-yard passing games to surpass No. 4 Marino (63). Rivers enters 2019 with 62. Drew Brees (115), Peyton Manning (93) and Tom Brady (87) rank 1-3 on the list entering 2019 and to throw at least three touchdowns in four games to reach 60 three-TD contests. Only six players have thrown for three touchdowns in that many games. Rivers enters 2019 with 56 such efforts.

Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh) needs four wins to surpass number 6 Dan Marino (147) and five to surpass number 5 John Elway (148) on the all-time list of regular-season victories by a starting quarterback. number 1 Tom Brady (207), number 2 Brett Favre and Peyton Manning (186) and number 4 Drew Brees (155) lead the category entering the year. Roethlisberger begins 2019 with 144 wins as a starting quarterback.

Matt Ryan (Atlanta) needs 3,280 passing yards to become the 10th player ever to reach 50,000. Drew Brees reached 50,000 faster than any player, in his 183rd game. Peyton Manning (191) was second-fastest. Ryan enters 2019 with 46,720 in 174 games.

Matthew Slater (New England) needs one Pro Bowl invitation as a special-teams player to reach eight and break a tie with Steve Tasker (seven, 1987-1990-95) for most in NFL annals. Slater enters 2019 having earned seven Pro Bowl honors (2011-17).

Matthew Stafford (Detroit) needs 1,474 passing yards to reach 40,000. He needs to accomplish that feat within his first nine games to become fastest in NFL history to reach that mark. Matt Ryan holds the record (151 games). Stafford enters 2019 with 38,526 yards in 141 games. Stafford also needs to throw for 3,500 yards and 20 touchdowns to become just the seventh in NFL history to reach those numbers in nine consecutive seasons, joining Drew Brees (14, 2005-present), Peyton Manning (13, 1998-2010), Philip Rivers (11, 2008-present), Tom Brady (10, 2009-present), Brett Favre (nine, 1994-2002) and Matt Ryan (nine, 2010-present).

Aqib Talib (Los Angeles Rams) needs one interception-return touchdown to tie No. 2 Darren Sharper and Charles Woodson (11) and two to tie number 1 Rod Woodson (12) on the all-time list. Talib enters 2019 at number 4 with 10 career.

Michael Thomas (New Orleans) needs 90 receptions to become the only NFL player ever to reach 90 in each of his first four seasons. To date, Thomas (2016-18) and Odell Beckham Jr. (2014-16) are the only players ever to catch 90 passes in each of their first three NFL seasons. Thomas also needs 80 catches to break the NFL record held by Jarvis Landry (400) for most receptions by a player in his first four seasons. Thomas enters 2019 with 321 receptions.

Justin Tucker Baltimore) needs 30 field goals to reach seven seasons with 30 or more and extend his NFL record. He enters 2019 with six such seasons, ahead of David Akers, John Carney, Stephen Gostkowski and Robbie Gould (each with five).

Adam Vinatieri (Indianapolis) already the NFL’s all-time leader in field goals made (582), needs 18 more to become the first NFL player to reach 600 career. Vinatieri also needs: 20 field-goal attempts to surpass Morten Andersen (709) for most all-time. He enters 2019 No. 2 on the all-time list, with 690 career attempts. Vinatieri needs one game to surpass Gary Anderson (353) for the second-most games played in NFL history. He enters 2019 tied with Anderson at number 2, with 353. Morten Andersen (382) holds the NFL record.

Cameron Wake (Tennessee) needs two sacks for 100 career. Wake opens the season with 98, while Von Miller (98) and J.J. Watt (92) also are approaching 100. Terrell Suggs (132.5) leads all active players.

J.J. Watt (Houston) could earn a fourth AP Defensive Player of the Year Award. No other player has won more than three. He enters 2019 with three, tied with Lawrence Taylor (1981-82, 1986) for most all-time. Watt also needs eight sacks for 100 career. Entering 2019, only 32 players have reached the milestone. Watt opens the season with 92, while Von Miller and Cameron Wake (each with 98) also are approaching 100. Terrell Suggs (132.5) leads all active players, and needs 15 sacks to tie Reggie White’s NFL record of five 15-sack seasons. Watt hit that plateau in 2012 (20.5), 2014 (20.5), 2015 (17.5) and 2018 (16).

Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay), on the NFL’s list of most passing yards over a player’s first five seasons, needs 3,381 passing yards to eclipse No. 10 Andy Dalton (18,008). Winston enters 2019 with 14,628 passing yards. Winston also needs 22 passing touchdowns to surpass number 10 Matthew Stafford and Johnny Unitas (109) on the NFL’s list of most passing touchdowns over a player’s first five seasons. Winston enters 2019 with 88.

Many NFL owners will be celebrating notable milestones in 2019, including Chicago’s McCaskey Family, who has owned the team since its inception in 1920 and will be enjoying the Bears’ 100th season alongside the league. Dallas’ Jerry Jones will be celebrating his 30th anniversary as an NFL owner, while New England’s Robert Kraft and Philadelphia’s Jefferey Lurie – the recipients of the past two Lombardi Trophies – will each be celebrating their 25th.

PLAYING RULE CHANGES FOR THE 2019 SEASON:

• REVIEWABLE PLAYS EXPANDED: For one year only, reviewable plays in Instant Replay will be expanded to include pass interference, called or not called on the field. Also expands automatic replay reviews to include scoring plays and turnovers negated by a foul and any Try attempt (extra point or two-point conversion).

• KICKOFF FORMATION: Makes permanent the kickoff rule changes that were implemented in 2018, which modified rules for a free kick formation and for blocking on a free kick.

• DOUBLE FOULS: Changes the enforcement of double fouls when there is a change of possession.

• EXPANDED PROTECTION OF DEFENSELESS PLAYER: It is now a foul if a player initiates a block when his path is toward or parallel to his own end line and makes forcible contact to his opponent with his helmet, forearm or shoulder. This is also referred to as a blindside block.

• SCRIMMAGE KICK: Simplifies the scrimmage-kick rules. If there is a missed field-goal attempt and the ball has not been touched by the receivers beyond the line of scrimmage in the field of play or in the end zone before the ball has touched the ground in the end zone, the following shall apply:

(a) If the spot of the kick was inside the receivers’ 20-yard line, it is the receivers’ ball at the 20-yard line; or
(b) If the spot of the kick was from the receivers’ 20-yard line or beyond the receivers’ 20-yard line, it is the receivers’ ball at the spot of the kick.

• FOULS DURING A SCORE: Teams can now elect to enforce an opponent’s personal or unsportsmanlike conduct foul committed during a touchdown either on the succeeding Try (extra point or two-point conversion) or on the succeeding free kick.

• DISQUALIFICATIONS: Allows League personnel to disqualify for both flagrant football and non-football acts, when a flag is related to an act or action.

NEXT MAN UP: Quarterbacks missed a total of 60 games due to injury in 2018, a 46-percent decline from 2017 (111) and approximately 50 percent fewer than the average over the prior three seasons (118).

In 2018, 16 teams had the same quarterback start every game of the regular season, tied for the fourthmost in a single season since the 1970 merger. In five of the past seven seasons, at least half of the teams have had the same quarterback start all 16 games during the regular season, including an NFL-record 20 quarterbacks in 2012.

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has started 208 consecutive regular-season games, the longest active streak in the NFL. With a start in Week 1, Rivers would surpass Peyton Manning (208 consecutive starts, 1998-2011) for the third-most consecutive starts by a quarterback in league history.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan has started 147 consecutive games, the fifth-longest streak in league annals and in 2019, he can become the fifth quarterback in NFL history to start 150 consecutive regular season games.

PATCHWORK: The National Football League will celebrate its 100th season in 2019 with a year-long salute to the unparalleled passion of NFL fans, the many contributions of players, coaches and communities that have helped build the league over the past century. In 2019, teams will wear NFL 100 patches above their team logo on the front of the jersey and each ball will be branded with the NFL 100 logo. Also, each team was given a custom-designed logo to celebrate the league’s 100th season.

Additionally, the NFL will raise awareness for cancer though CRUCIAL CATCH with a decal in Weeks 5, 6 and 7. In Weeks 9, 10 and 11, all teams will wear a camouflage ribbon decal on their helmets to celebrate SALUTE TO SERVICE games.

Several NFL franchises will also be wearing special patches in 2019. Along with the league, the Chicago Bears will celebrate their 100th season, while the Oakland Raiders celebrate their franchise’s 60th season and the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars each celebrate their 25th seasons.

The Green Bay Packers will wear a number 15 decal this season to commemorate the life of Pro Football Hall of Famer and Packers legend, Bart Starr and the Houston Texans will also wear a jersey patch and a helmet decal to honor the franchise’s founder and late owner Bob McNair.

FIRE UP THE TV! NFL fans continue to tune in to the sport they love. Here’s a look at what’s in store on TV in 2019. The regular-season schedule – spanning 17 weeks and 256 games – kicked off Thursday night in the Windy City and
concludes on Sunday, December 29, with 16 division games.

And speaking of division games, one of the richest rivalries in sports history – Packers-Bears – launched the NFL’s 100th season as the annual prime-time kickoff game at Soldier Field Thursday night. New England begins defense of its Super Bowl LIII title in Foxboro on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, September 8, hosting Pittsburgh at 8:20 p.m.

The 50th season of Monday Night Football kicks off September 9 with an ESPN doubleheader, as Houston travels to New Orleans at 7:10 p.m., followed by Denver at Oakland in the nightcap at 10:20 p.m. ESPN will televise one game each Monday night in Weeks 2-16, including the two teams (Cleveland at the New York Jets, September 16 at 8:15 p.m.) that kicked off the longest running television series in American history, in 1970. There will be no Monday night game on the final regular-season weekend (Week 17) to provide more flexibility for the scheduling of the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs.

All 32 clubs are again scheduled for at least one nationally televised Thursday, Sunday or Monday game. Thursday Night Football will air exclusively on NFL Network in Weeks 2-3, while FOX kicks off its Thursday night slate in Week 4. FOX will broadcast 11 Thursday Night Football games between Weeks 4-15 (excluding Thanksgiving night). Those FOX games will be simulcast via NFL Network, distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes and streamed on Amazon Prime Video, beginning with Philadelphia at Green Bay, September 26. All told, NFL Network will exclusively televise seven games (two on Thursday night, two in London and all three in Week 16 on Saturday, December 21), with FOX producing the full slate of 18 games.

A select number of games will be “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences. Some of those contests were announced April 17 and other “cross-flexed” games will be decided during the season.

The regular season will conclude with Week 17 on Sunday, December 29. For the 11th consecutive year, all 16 games scheduled for Week 17 are division contests, enhancing the potential for more games with playoff ramifications.

Six 2019 games are rematches of 2018 playoff games. That group includes five match-ups that will be played at the home of the team that had to travel in January: Kansas City at New England (December 8 on, CBS), the Los Angeles Rams at Dallas (December 15 on FOX), Chicago at Philadelphia (November 3 on FOX) and Houston at Indianapolis (October 20 on CBS).

The NFL’s 2019 international slate features four games in London and one in Mexico City. The Oakland Raiders will host the Chicago Bears in Week 5 on Sunday, October 6 at 1 p.m. on FOX, in the inaugural NFL game at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. One week later on Sunday, October 13 at 9:30 a.m. on NFL Network, also at Tottenham, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host NFC South rival Carolina, who will be playing their first game in London. London action shifts to Wembley Stadium in Weeks 8 and 9 when the Los Angeles Rams host the Cincinnati Bengals on October 27 at 1 p.m. on CBS, followed by the Jacksonville Jaguars hosting AFC South rival Houston, another first-time visitor to London, on November 3 at 9:30 a.m. on NFL Network.

Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium will host a match-up between two AFC West rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers, in Week 11 on Monday Night Football, November 18 at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN. Both teams will be playing in Mexico for the first time.

Thanksgiving will feature a trio of match-ups in Week 13 on Thursday, November 28. The first game will send the Bears to Detroit to face the Lions at 12:30 p.m. on FOX. The late-afternoon game will feature Buffalo visiting Dallas at 4:30 p.m. on CBS. It will be the Bills’ first game on the holiday in 25 years, since a trip to the Pontiac Silverdome in 1994. The Thanksgiving Day festivities conclude with an NFC South showdown as the Falcons host New Orleans on NBC at 8:20 p.m. in the Big Peach.

The NFL’s 32 teams will each play 16 games over 17 weeks. Byes will begin in Week 4 and end in Week 12. The playoffs will include four division winners and two wild cards from each conference. The playoffs begin with Wild Card Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, January 4-5. The two division winners with the best records in each conference will earn first-round byes.

Wild Card Weekend winners join the top two division champions in each conference in the Divisional Playoffs on Saturday and Sunday, January 11-12. The AFC and NFC Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 19.

The winners meet two weeks later when Miami hosts Super Bowl LIV, on Sunday, February 2 on FOX. The NFL is the only sports league that presents all regular-season and postseason games on free, over-the-air television in local markets and all postseason games are televised nationally. Westwood One will broadcast on radio all NFL prime-time games, the three Thanksgiving Day games and the entire NFL playoffs.

BE FLEXY! In 2006, the NFL implemented a prime-time “flexible scheduling” element on Sundays in Weeks 10-15 and in Week 17. In 2014, that was extended so that games between Weeks 5 and 17 could be affected by flex scheduling. However, only two games may be flexed into Sunday Night between Week 5 and 10.

In Week 16, three of five possible match-ups currently listed as TBD will be scheduled for Saturday on NFL Network: Houston at Tampa Bay, Buffalo at New England, Detroit at Denver, Oakland at the Los Angeles Chargers and San Francisco at the Los Angeles Rams. Start times and Saturday games for Week 16 will be announced no later than following Week 8, with the non-Saturday games to be played on Sunday.

For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to December 29. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17 but an afternoon game with playoff implications could be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality match-ups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into prime-time.

ON THE RADIO: Are the kids hogging the TV? Is the wife watching those gosh-awful Lifetime Sunday Movies AGAIN? Stuck at the in-laws and you want to watch the Falcons? You can listen on the radio. NFL fans can listen to games on the radio in a number of ways – on Westwood One and SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Westwood One remains the official network radio partner of the NFL, its 33rd consecutive season with that distinction.

The Westwood One NFL schedule features 69 national games, including the Thursday night kickoff game, Monday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, Thursday Night Football, the London Games, the Thanksgiving Day triple-header and the entire postseason, culminating with Super Bowl LIV in Miami. Westwood One also produces weekly specialty programs, including The NFL Today, NFL Preview, NFL Insider, NFL Sunday and NFL Fantasy Football Forecast.

Kevn Harlin and Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner will be the lead broadcast crew, calling Monday Night Football and Super Bowl LIV for the network. Jim Gray anchors the pregame and halftime shows. Ian Eagle and Tony Boselli will once again be the broadcast crew for Thursday Night Football, while Kevin Kulger and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jason Taylor return as the main crew for Sunday Night Football. Scott Graham serves as the studio host for those broadcasts.

In addition to being heard on more than 500 radio stations across the United States, all of Westwood One’s prime-time NFL broadcasts can also be heard on SiriusXM Satellite Radio, via the TuneIn app and through NFL Game Pass, which is available on NFL.com and the NFL mobile app. For complete information regarding Westwood One’s NFL coverage, including schedules, announcers, highlights, features, interviews and more, log on to westwoodonesports.com.

This year will mark the NFL’s 16th season on SiriusXM. SiriusXM creates and offers commercial-free music, premier sports talk and live events, comedy, news, exclusive talk and entertainment programming.

SiriusXM provides live play-by-play of every NFL game from the preseason through Super Bowl LIV on SiriusXM radios, as well as on the SiriusXM app and online at SiriusXM.com for its subscribers.

SiriusXM NFL Radio (channel 88 on SiriusXM radios and on the SiriusXM app) offers in-depth radio coverage of the NFL 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. SiriusXM NFL Radio offers a daily lineup of exclusive talk programming hosted by former NFL stars and radio personalities. Subscribers can also get SiriusXM NFL Radio programming on demand, allowing them to listen to their favorite shows when they want them, and giving them more chances to hear exclusive programming like the recent Town Hall broadcast with Super Bowl LIII MVP Julian Edelman, training camp tour broadcasts and more. For more information visit siriusxm.com/nflonsxm.

2019 STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

TEAM (WIN PCT., W-L-T) GAMES VS. TEAMS .500 OR BETTER/GAMES VS. 2018 PLAYOFF TEAMS
Oakland (.539, 137-117-2) 9/7
Denver (.537, 136-117 3) 9/7
Jacksonville (.531, 136-120-0) 9/7
Houston .527 135 121 0 9 7
Chicago (.520, 131 121 4) 8 6
Kansas City (.520, 132-122-2) 9/7
ATLANTA (.518, 132-123-1) 9/7
Indianapolis (.518, 132-123-1) 8/5
Tennessee (.514, 131-124-1) 7/7
Minnesota (.512, 130-124-2) 7/7
San Francisco (.510, 129-124-3) 7/6
Arizona (.508, 129-125-2) 7/6
Tampa Bay (.508, 130-126-0) 7/6
Dallas (.504, 128-126-2) 7/6
Green Bay (.504, 128-126-2) 8/6
Carolina (.502, 128-127-1) 7/6
Los Angeles Chargers (.502, 127-126-3) 8/5
Miami (.500, 127-127-2) 8/7
Baltimore (.496, 125-127-4) 7/5
Detroit (.496, 125-127-4) 8/6
Pittsburgh (.496, 126-128-2) 7/7
New Orleans (.488, 125-131-0 7/6
Cleveland (.484, 123-131-2) 8/5
Buffalo (.480, 122-132-2) 7/5
Seattle (.479, 121-132-3) 7/5
Philadelphia (.477, 121-133-2) 6/5
Cincinnati (.473, 119-133-4) 7/5
Los Angeles Rams .473, 120-134-2) 7/6
New England (.473, 120-134-2) 6/5
New York Giants (.473, 120-134-2) 7/6
New York Jets (.473, 120-134-2) 6/5
Washington (.469, 119-135-2) 7/6

COLLECTING THOSE FREQUENT FLYER MILES: All together, teams will travel approximately 632,752 miles during the 2019 season.

The teams in the NFC West (120,670) combine to have the highest total miles traveled of all divisions. The remaining division totals are the AFC West (107,122), NFC South (84,358), AFC South (75,244), AFC North (73,568), NFC North (67,552), NFC East (53,712) and AFC East (50,526).

Seven teams – Oakland (40,188), the Los Angeles Rams 36,186), Seattle (33,216), the Los Angeles Chargers (32,892), San Francisco (30,210), Tampa Bay (27,670) and Jacksonville (25,336) – will “travel around the world” at least once. A trip around the globe is 25,000 miles.

The London Games 2019 schedule begins with the first two NFL games to be staged at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, followed by two at Wembley Stadium, bringing the total number of games played in London since 2007 to 28.

Oakland will host the Chicago Bears on Sunday, October 6 in the inaugural NFL game at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the first purpose-built NFL stadium outside of the United States. One week later, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be at home against the Carolina Panthers, playing their first game in London.

After a two-week break, the action moves to Wembley Stadium, where the Los Angeles Rams, the defending NFC champions, will host Cincinnati on October 27. The following week, Jacksonville will stage their seventh annual home game in London, taking on another first-time visitor as they take on AFC South Rival Houston.

Below is a list of the total estimated round-trip distance in miles for each team in 2019. Please return your trays to the upright position and thank you for flying NFL Airlines.

TEAM – MILES TO TRAVEL
Oakland – 40,188
Los Angeles Rams – 36,186
Seattle – 33,216
Los Angeles Chargers – 32,892
San Francisco – 30,210
Tampa Bay – 27,670
Jacksonville – 25,336
Carolina – 24,352
Houston – 23,512
Cincinnati – 22,470
Arizona – 21,058
Dallas – 20,922
Miami – 20,554
Chicago – 18,684
Baltimore – 18,072
Pittsburgh – 17,530
Detroit – 17,444
Kansas City – 17,044
Denver – 16,998
New Orleans – 16,712
Green Bay – 16,222
ATLANTA – 15,624
Cleveland – 15,496
Minnesota 15,202
Indianapolis 13,822
Tennessee 12,574
Philadelphia 12,374
New England 11,960
Washington 11,170
Buffalo – 10,158
New York Giants – 9,246
New York Jets – 7,854

OTHER KICKOFF WEEKEND NOTES: Kickoff Weekend began Thursday night in prime-time on NBC when two of the NFL’s oldest franchises renew one of the richest rivalries in sports, as the Chicago Bears hosted the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field to begin the league’s 100th season.

Below is a sampling of notable active NFL Kickoff streaks:

The Super Bowl LIII champion New England Patriots open their season at home against Pittsburgh on Sunday Night Football. The Patriots have won nine of their past 10 home openers on Kickoff Weekend.

• Denver, who begins the season by visiting Oakland on Monday Night Football, have posted a .672 winning percentage (39-19-1) on Kickoff Weekend, the top mark in the league. Denver has won its past seven Kickoff Weekend games, the longest active streak in the NFL.

• The defending AFC West champion Kansas City Chiefs, who travel to Jacksonville to face off against the Jaguars in Week 1, have won their last four Kickoff Weekend games, tied for the league’s second-longest active streak.

• Dak Prescott and the defending NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys host Eli Manning and the New York Giants in a division showdown on Kickoff Weekend. Dallas and New York face each other on Kickoff Weekend for the fourth time in the last five years. With a winning percentage of .655 (38-20-1), the Cowboys own the best Kickoff Weekend winning percentage in the NFC.

• Seattle, who returned to the playoffs in 2018, hosts Cincinnati on Kickoff Weekend. The Seahawks have won 10 consecutive home openers, the longest active streak in the league.

• Washington faces NFC East rival Philadelphia on the road in the City of Brotherly Love to start 2019. Washington has won its past three road openers, the longest active streak in the league.

HEAD COACHES: New England’s Bill Belichick is 16-8 (.667) on Kickoff Weekend and his 16 wins are the most among active head coaches…Belichick and Kansas City’s ANDY REID (12-8, .600) are the only active head coaches who have won at least 10 Kickoff Weekend games…Reid has won four consecutive games on Kickoff Weekend, the longest current streak among active head coaches. Dough Pederson (3-0) of the Eagles and Sean McVay (2-0) of the Rams are the only active head coaches with perfect records on Kickoff Weekend…Six head coaches – Denver’s Vic Fangio, Miami’s Brian Flores, Arizona’s Kliff Kingsbury, Cleveland’s Freddie Kitchens, Green Bay’s Matt LaFleur and Cincinnati’s Zac Taylor – make their Kickoff Weekend debuts in 2019.

HOPE DOES SPRING ETERNAL: 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 2018 season.

Again, Week 17 came right down to the wire as three playoff spots and three division titles – the AFC North, AFC South and AFC 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 2019 season with a trip to Miami and Super Bowl LIV in mind and below are a few reasons why.

• Two of the eight divisions in 2018 were won by a team that finished in last place in the division the previous season – Houston (AFC South) and Chicago (NFC North). In 15 of the past 16 seasons, at least one team finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. Since the NFL expanded to 32 teams in 2002, two teams have gone “worst to first” en route to a Super Bowl victory — the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles and the 2009 New Orleans Saints.

• 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. Seven teams that missed the postseason in 2017 – Baltimore (10-6), Chicago (12-4), Dallas (10-6), Houston (11-5), Indianapolis (10-6), the Los Angeles Chargers (12-4) and Seattle (10-6) – accomplished the feat in 2018.

THE TEAMS SINCE 1990 TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS A SEASON AFTER FAILING TO QUALIFY
SEASON – PLAYOFF TEAMS NOT IN PREVIOUS SEASON’S PLAYOFFS
1990 – 7 (Cincinnati, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles Raiders, Miami, New Orleans, Washington)
1991 – 5 (ATLANTA, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, New York Jets)
1992 – 6 (Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco)
1993 – 5 (Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Los Angeles Raiders, New York Giants)
1994 – 5 (Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, New England, San Diego)
1995 – 4 (ATLANTA, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Philadelphia)
1996 – 5 (Carolina, Denver, Jacksonville, Minnesota, New England)
1997 – 5 (Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, New York Giants, Tampa Bay)
1998 – 5 (Arizona, Atlanta, Buffalo, Dallas, New York Jets)
1999 – 7 (Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
2000 – 6 (Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, New York Giants, Oakland, Philadelphia)
2001 – 6 (Chicago, Green Bay, New England, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Francisco)
2002 – 5 (ATLANTA, Cleveland, Indianapolis, New York Giants, Tennessee)
2003 – 8 (Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, New England, St. Louis, Seattle)
2004 – 5 (ATLANTA, Minnesota, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Diego)
2005 – 7 (Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Tampa Bay, Washington)
2006 – 7 (Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York Jets, Philadelphia, San Diego)
2007 – 6 (Green Bay, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
2008 – 7 (Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia)
2009 – 6 (Cincinnati, Dallas, Green Bay, New England, New Orleans, New York Jets)
2010 – 5 (ATLANTA, Chicago, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Seattle)
2011 – 6 (Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Houston, New York Giants, San Francisco)
2012 – 4 (Indianapolis, Minnesota, Seattle, Washington)
2013 – 5 (Carolina, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Diego)
2014 – 5 (Arizona, Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Pittsburgh)
2015 – 4 (Houston, Kansas City, Minnesota, Washington)
2016 – 6 (AATLANTA, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, New York Giants, Oakland)
2017 – 8 (Buffalo, Carolina, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Tennessee)
2018 – 7 (Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle)

• The New England Patriots won their sixth Super Bowl title in 2018 and begin their quest to repeat as champions as the race to Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium for Super Bowl LIV kicks off. Only eight teams have repeated as champions since the first Super Bowl after the 1966 season, with the 2004 Patriots (Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX) being the last team to accomplish the feat.

• Eight teams enter the 2019 season with a new head coach – Kliff Kingsbury in Arizona, Zac Taylor in Cincinnati, Freddie Kitchens in Cleveland, Vic Fangio in Denver, Matt Lafleur in Green Bay, Brian Flores in Miami, Adam Gase with the New York Jets and Bruce Arians in Tampa Bay.

• Four rookie head coaches have led their teams to the playoffs over the last two seasons: Matt Nagy (Chicago) and Frank Reich (Indianapolis) in 2018 and Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams) and Sean McDermott (Buffalo) in 2017.

• Three quarterbacks – Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray (Number 1 overall, Arizona), Duke’s Daniel Jones (Number 6, New York Giants) and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins (Number 15, Washington) – were selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

At least one rookie quarterback has started in Week 1 in 11 consecutive seasons, the longest streak in the NFL since at least 1950.

• Several notable players were on the move during the off-season, including quarterbacks Joe Flacco (Denver) and Nick Foles (Jacksonville); running backs Le’Veon Bell (New York Jets), Mark Ingram (Baltimore) and Frank Gore (Buffalo); wide receivers Odell Beckham, Jr. (Cleveland), Antonio Brown (Oakland) and Golden Tate (New York Giants); tight end Jared Cook (New Orleans); tackle Trent Brown (Oakland); guard Rodger Saffold (Tennessee); center Mitch Morse (Buffalo); defensive ends Ezekiel Ansah (Seattle), Frank Clark (Kansas City), Trey Flowers (Detroit) and Cameron Wake (Tennessee); defensive tackles Malik Jackson (Philadelphia) and Gerald McCoy (Carolina); linebackers Dee Ford (San Francisco), Clay Matthews (Los Angeles Rams), C.J. Mosley (New York Jets) and Terrell Suggs (Arizona); cornerbacks Robert Alford (Arizona), Steven Nelson (Pittsburgh) and Bradley Roby (Houston) and safeties Landon Collins (Washington), Tyrann Mathieu (Kansas City), Earl Thomas (Baltimore) and Eric Weddle (Los Aneles Rams).

WORST TO FIRST: Competitive balance, one of the hallmarks of the NFL, gives fans hope entering each season. For the 15th time in the past 16 seasons, at least one team finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. In fact, of the 48 teams in league history to go from “worst to first,” 25 of them (52 percent) have done so in the past 16 years (2003-18), including an NFL-record three such teams in 2005 and 2006.

After finishing in last place in the division in 2017, the Chicago Bears (NFC North) and Houston Texans (AFC South) each turned it around to win their respective divisions last season. The Bears finished with a 12-4 record and an NFC North title after winning nine of their final 10 games and posting the franchise’s best home record (7-1) since the 2005 season. The AFC South champion Texans set a league record for the most consecutive wins following an 0-3 start, rattling off nine straight victories. Houston became the first team to begin a season 0-3 and win a division title since the 1992 San Diego Chargers.

TEAMS TO GO “WORST TO FIRST” SINCE 2003
SEASON – TEAM (RECORD, PRIOR SEASON RECORD)
2003 – Carolina (11-5, 7-9)
2003 – Kansas City (13-3 8-8)*
2004 – ATLANTA (11-5, 5-11)
2004 – San Diego (12-4 4-12)*
2005 – Chicago 11-5, 5-11)
2005 – New York Giants (11-5, 6-10)*
2005 – Tampa Bay (11-5, 5-11)
2006 – Baltimore (13-3, 6-10)*
2006 – New Orleans (10-6, 3-13)
2006 – Philadelphia (10-6, 6-10)
2007 – Tampa Bay (9-7 4-12)
2008 – Miami (11-5 1-15)
2009 – New Orleans (13-3, 8-8)**
2010 – Kansas City (10-6, 4-12)
2011 – Denver (8-8, 4-12)
2011 – Houston (10-6, 6-10)*
2012 – Washington (10-6, 5-11)
2013 – Carolina (12-4, 7-9)*
2015 – Washington (9-7, 4-12)
2016 – Dallas (4-12, 13-3)
2017 – Jacksonville (10-6, 3-13)
2017 – Philadelphia (13-3, 7-9)**
2018 – Chicago (13-3, 5-11)
2018 – Houston (11-5, 4-12)
* Tied for last place
** Won Super Bowl

KICKOFF WEEKEND RECORDS OF NFL TEAMS

TEAM: W-L-T, PCT.; W-L (CURRENT)
Denver: 39-19-1, .672; 7-4 (W-7)
Dallas: 38-20-1, .655; 17-5 (L-1)
Green Bay: 56-39-3, .589; 5-6 (W-4)
Minnesota: 33-24-1, .579; 5-3 (W-3)
Chicago: 54-40 5 .574; 9-6 (L-5)
New York Giants: 50-39-5, .562; 4-5 L-2
New England: 33-26-0, .559; 10-3 (W-1)
Miami: 29-23-1, .558; 11-5 (W-2)
Detroit: 48-39 2, .552; 10-4 (L-1)
Pittsburgh: 43-36-5, .544; 8-3 T-1)
Los Angeles Chargers: 32-27-0, .542; 6-6 (L-3)
Kansas City: 32-27-0, .542; 7-4 (W-4)
Jacksonville: 13-11-0, .542; 6-5 (W-2)
San Francisco: 37-31-1, .544; 6-3 (L-2)
Houston: 9-8-0, .529; 5-3 (L-2)
ATLANTA: 28-25-0, .528; 5-3 (L-1)
Baltimore: 12-11-0, .522; 5-4 (W-3)
Los Angeles Rams: 42-39-0, .519; 5-6 (W-2)
Tennessee: 30-29-0, .508; 4-3 (L-3)
Indianapolis: 33-33-0 .500; 8-8 (L-5)
Washington: 41-42-4, .494 6-5 (W-1)
New York Jets: 28-31 0, .475; 5-5 (W-1)
Cincinnati: 24-27-0, .471; 4-4 (W-1)
Oakland 27-32-0, .458; 5-6 (L-1)
Philadelphia: 38-46-1, .452; 5-9 (W-3)
Cleveland: 27-38-1, .417; 5-13 (T-1)
Tampa Bay: 18-25-0, .419; 3-5 (W-3)
Carolina: 10-14-0, .417; 3-5 (W-2)
Arizona: 40-56-2, .417; 6-7 (L-3)
Buffalo: 24-35-0, .407; 6-5 (L-1)
Seattle: 16-27-0, .372; 38 (L-2)
New Orleans: 17-35-0, .327; 36 (L-5)

OPENING-GAME RECORDS OF NFL HEAD COACHES
COACH, TEAM (W-L, PCT.)
Doug Pederson, Philadelphia (3-0, 1.000)
Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams (2-0, 1.000)
Mike Zimmer, Minnesota (4-1, .800)
Doug Marrone, Jacksonville (3-1, .750)
John Harbaugh Baltimore (8-3, .727)
Bill Belichick New England (16-8, .667)
Adam Gase, New York Jets (2-1, .667)
Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh (7-4-1, .625)
Andy Reid, Kansas City (12-8, .600)
Pete Carroll, Seattle (7-6, .538)
Jason Garrett, Dallas (4-4, .500)
Sean McDermott, Buffalo (1-1, .500)
Dan Quinn, Atlanta (2-2, .500)
Ron Rivera, Carolina (4-4, .500)
Sean Payton, New Orleans 5-7 .417)
Bruce Arians, Tampa Bay (2-3, .400)
Bill O’Brien, Houston (2-3, .400)
Jon Gruden, Oakland (4-8, .333)
Jay Gruden, Washington (1-4, .200)
Matt Nagy, Chicago (0-1, .000)
Matt Patricia, Detroit (0-1, .000)
Frank Reich, Indianapolis (0-1, .000)
Mike Vrabel, Tennessee (0-1, .000)
Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco (0-2, .000)
Anthony Lynn, Los Angeles Chargers (0-2, .000)
Pat Shurmur, New York Giants (0-3, .000)
Vic Fangio, Denver (0-0, .000)
Brian Flores, Miami (0-0, .000)
Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona (0-0, .000)
Freddie Kitchens, Cleveland (0-0, .000)
Matt LaFleur, Green Bay (0-0, .000)
Zac Taylor, Cincinnati (0-0, .000)

GET OFF TO A STRONG START: Getting off to a strong start is important. Over the past 10 years, seven teams – Denver, New England, Baltimore, Green Bay, Atlanta, Cincinnati and Dallas – have a winning percentage of at least .600 through the season’s first month. Those seven clubs have combined for 44 playoff berths and 10 Super Bowl appearances – including six Super Bowl championships – during that span.

TEAMS WITH THE BEST OPENING-MONTH RECORDS OVER PAST 10 YEARS (2009-18)
TEAM W-L-T, PCT. (PLAYOFF BERTHS-SUPER BOWL BERTHS-SUPER BOWL WINS)
Denver: 23-9-0, .719 (5-2-1)
New England: 24-10-0, .706 (10-5-3)
Baltimore: 23-11-0, .676 (6-1-1)
Green Bay: 22-11-1, .662 (8-1-1)
ATLANTA: 21-13-0, .618 (5-1-0)
Cincinnati: 21-13-0, .618 (6-0-0)
Dallas: 20-13-0, .606 (4-0-0)

In 2018, the four teams to appear on Championship Weekend — Kansas City, the Los Angeles Rams, New England and New Orleans — began with a combined 13-3 record during the first month of the season.

Since this is the opening weekend, 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 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?”)

Week one got underway in the Windy City as Green Bay held off the Monsters of the Midway, beating their hated NFC North rivals from the Land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst 10-3 Thursday night and will conclude on Monday night with two Monday night games. As far as last year’s numbers, we were 152-112. Not bad. That was last year, thought. This is a new season. Having said all that, here are Sunday and Monday week one picks!

ATLANTA (7-9) at Minnesota (8-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of teams that just missed the playoffs last year open Sunday’s action in the Land of 10,000 Lakes as Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons travel to the Twin Cities for an early afternoon date with the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota holds a 18-10 lead in the series and the Vikings have outscored Atlanta 657-461. They last met in the Big Peach in 2017 and the Vikings have won the last three meetings and came away with a 14-9 win over the Falcons at Mercedes Benz Stadium. Atlanta’s last win over the Purple Gang? 2011 in the Big Peach, as the Falcons were 24-14 winners in the old Georgia Dome. The Vikings are favored by 3 1/2 in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and the over/under is 47. Both numbers are reasonable but the Vikings best be on upset alert in the Twin Cities. Atlanta wins this one on the road and covers the 4.

Los Angeles Rams (13-3) at Carolina (7-9), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. The defending NFC champs travel to the Tar Heel State for a meeting with Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Carolina leads the series 12-8 and have outscored the Rams 405-402 (which includes games that were played when the Rams were in St. Louis from 1995-2015). Carolina has won the last two meetings, with the Panthers coming away 13-10 winners in Los Angeles in 2016, while Los Angeles’ last win over the Panthers came in 2010 in St. Louis by a final of 20-10. The Rams are a 1 1/2-point road favorite in the Tar Heel State and the over/under’s 49 1/2. Rams take the win in the Tar Heel State and covers the 1 1/2.

Tennessee (9-7) at Cleveland (7-8-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. Marcus Mariota and the Titans travel to the shores of Lake Erie to take a vastly-improved Cleveland Browns team in the Buckeye State. sIncluding games that were played when the Titans were in Houston and they were known as the Oilers, Cleveland leads the series 35-30 and the Browns have outscored Tennessee 1,287-1,266. The two clubs split their last four meetings, each taking wins in their home parks and on the road. The Titans needed overtime along the shores of Lake Erie to take a 12-9 win in 2017, while Cleveland’s last win also came in the Buckeye State by a final of 28-14 in 2015. The odds makers in Vegas like the Browns as a 5 1/2-point favorite and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Browns may not cover but they take the win at home.

Kansas City (12-4) at Jacksonville (5-11), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. Kansas City, the defending AFC West champs, travel to the Sunshine State for an early afternoon contest with the Jacksonville Jaguars in north Florida. The series is even with each team taking six wins and the Chiefs have outscored Jacksonville 270-237. The Chiefs have won the last four meetings in the series and came away with a 30-14 win at Arrowhead last year. Jacksonville’s last win in the series came in 2009 in north Florida by a final of 24-21.

The week five meeting in the Show-Me State did not go well for the Jaguars as Kansas City held a 20-0 lead at the half but the Jaguars managed to out score Kansas City 14-10 in the final 30 minutes of play. Kansas City out-rushed Jacksonville 126-101 with Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt leading the way with 87 yards and a rushing TD. Mahomes threw for 313 yards but was picked off twice and sacked once, while Bortles threw for 430 yards and a TD toss to T.J. Yeldon, while being sacked five times and throwing four interceptions. Jacksonville was 7 of 16 on third down (they were 3 of 5 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:17, while the Chiefs ruled the clock, holding the pigskin for 32:43, going 4 of 12 on third down tries.

Kansas City covered the 3-point spread, winning by 16 at Arrowhead but neither team reached the 48 1/2 over/under, tallying only 44 points. The Chiefs are favored again, this time by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 50 1/2. Jacksonville will make things interesting in the Sunshine State but the Chiefs prevail on the road with the win, although expect Jacksonville to make it closer than 3 1/2.

Baltimore (10-6) at Miami (7-9), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. The Ravens, coming off an appearnce in the AFC Wild Card game against the Los Angeles Chargers, make the 1,108-mile trip down I-95 to take on the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. The Ravens lead the series, 7-6 and Baltimore has outscored Miami 276-203. The Ravens won the last two contests, shutting out Miami 40-0 in Charm City in 2017, while Miami’s last win in the series came in the Sunshine State in 2015 by a final of 15-13. Baltimore’s favored by 6 1/2 on South Beach and the over/under’s 38 1/2. Dolphins may not cover the 6 1/2 but they take care of business in the Sunshine State with the win.

Buffalo (6-10) at New York Jets (4-12), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of AFC East rivals meet in upstate New Jersey as the Bills and Jets, looking to improve on dismal seasons meet at Met Life Stadium. Buffalo leads the Empire State series 61-55 and the Bills have outscored GangGreen 2,436-2,379, which includes contests that were played when the Jets known as Titans prior to 1963 and the teams played their home contests at old War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo and Shea Stadium in New York.

The Bills and Jets split the two meetings last year, each taking road AFC East wins. They met along the Jersey shores in week 10 and the Bills circled the wagons at Met Life Stadium in mid-November, leaving the Meadowlands with a 41-10 win. Buffalo led 31-3 at the half and never looked back, holding GangGreen to an Isaiah Crowell rushing TD in the second half. LeSean McCoy rushed for 113 yards and a pair of TDs for the Bills as Buffalo out-rushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 212-83 while Matt Barkley threw for 232 yards and a pair of TDs (Barkley was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Josh McCown threw for 135 yards for GangGreen with three sacks and a pair of interceptions in the home loss. Buffalo was 8 for 16 on third down (they were perfect in their only fourth down try) and kept the ball for 39:22, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were dismal on third down tries at Met Life Stadium, going 1 for 12 (they were 2 for 3 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 20:38.

GangGreen would get revenge along the shores of Lake Erie in week 14 (temperature in the week 10 contest? A balmy 46 degrees with a 41 wind chill; in the week 14 contest in upstate New York? 31 degrees with a 22 wind chill) and escaped with a 27-23 win at New Era Stadium. Buffalo led 20-13 at the end of the third quarter (the Bills led 17-13 at the half) before GangGreen would take the lead for keeps with 77 seconds left in the contest when Elijah McGuire scored on a one-yard run. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! would hold off a late Buffalo rally and leave upstate New York with the win. Buffalo again out-rushed GangGreen, tallying 176 yards in the contest (Bills QB Josh Allen led all rushers with 101 yards), while holding the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! to 78. Allen threw for 206 yards but was sacked three times and picked off twice, while Sam Darnold threw for 170 and a TD with an interception. New York was 6 for 13 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 26:13, while the Bills ruled the clock again, keeping the ball for 33:47, going 7 of 14 on third down tries.

In the week 10 contest along the Jersey shore, GangGreen was favored by 7 1/2 and the Bills easily covered the spread, winning by 31 and both clubs took care of the 37 over/under, scoring 51 points. As for the week 14 affair in upstate New York? While the Jets were winners by 3 points, they barely missed the 3 1/2-point spread but both teams covered the 38 1/2 over/under, tallying 50 points. GangGreen’s favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 40 1/2. While this one is not exactly the best game to watch this week, it will at least be entertaining. GangGreen covers the 3 in Jersey and takes the win at Met Life.

Washington (7-9) at Philadelphia (9-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of NFC East rivals meet in the City of Brotherly Love as the Redskins take the 129-mile trip up I-95 to take on Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles. Washington leads the series 85-77-5 (which includes games that were played in Boston when the Redskins were known as the Braves) and the Eagles have outscored Washington 3,518- 3,308. That’s the good news for Redskins fans. The bad news? The Eagles have won the last four contests that were played in the series, including sweeping last year’s series (Washington’s last win came in the City of Brotherly Love in 2016 by a final of 27-22).

Meeting number one… Philadelphia in week 13. The Eagles, fresh off their Super Bowl win, led Washington 14-13 at the break at Lincoln Financial Field, then floored the gas in the final quarter, scoring 14 points unchallenged to take a 28-13 win. Philadelphia out-rushed Washington 130-104 and Carson Wentz threw for 306 yards with a pair of TDs, while Mark Sanchez threw for 100 yards with a pair of sacks (each was picked off once). Philadelphia was 7 of 13 on third down and ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 39:19, while Washington kept the pigskin for 20:41 and went 2 for 10 on third down tries.

The Eagles made it a sweep in the season finale at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, putting a nail in Washington’s playoff hopes and scored all 24 of their points unchallenged to shut out the Redskins 24-0. Philadelphia led 10-0 at the intermission and never looked back, using a pair of Nick Foles TD tosses to take the win that would put them back into post-season play. The Eagles held Washington to 21 yards of rushing, while tallying 129 of their own and kept Washington in check on the road. Philadelphia was 8 of 14 on third down (they were successful in their only fourth down try) and kept the ball for 43:19 to Washington’s 16:41, with the Redskins going a dismal 0 for 9 on third down, 2 for 4 on fourth down.

In the week 13 Monday night contest, Philadelphia covered the 6 1/2-point spread, winning by 15 but both clubs missed the 44 over/under by a field goal. The Eagles also covered the spread in the season finale at Landover (6 1/2), winning by 24 but neither club covered the 42 over/under. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Eagles as a 10-point favorite and the over/under is 44. The 44 makes sense. The 10 is a bit steep. Washington fans will either be singing “Hail to the Redskins!” or “Hell, it’s the Redskins!” Eagles fans like the second better. Washington makes it closer than 10 but Eagles win in the City of Brotherly Love.

Indianapolis (10-6) at Los Angeles Chargers (12-4), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 712. Without Andrew Luck under center, the Indianapolis Colts travel to the West Coast to square off against Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers at Stub Hub Centre. Including contest that were played in Baltimore and San Diego, the Chargers lead the series 16-10 and the Bolts have outscored Indianapolis 616-449. Indy won the last meeting in the series, coming away 26-22 winners in the Hoosier State in 2016, while the Chargers’ last win came in San Diego in 2013 by a final of 19-9. The Bolts are a 6 1/2 point favorite on the Left Coast with a 44 1/2 over/under. Both teams went to post-season last year and both look to go back, either as division winners or wild card teams. Chargers cover the 6 1/2 and win at home at Stub Hub.

Cincinnati (6-10) at Seattle (10-6), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. It’s chili vs. Salmon as Andy Dalton and Cincinnati make their way to the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks for a late-afternoon contest in the Pacific Northwest for a meeting with Russell Wilson and Seattle. The Bengals hold a 10-9 lead in the series and they have outscored Seattle 415-374. Cincinnati has won the last two meetings in the series, with the Bengals taking a 27-24 overtime win along the banks of the Ohio River in 2015, while Seattle’s last victory was in 2007 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks by a final of 24-21.

Seattle’s favored by 9 1/2 with a 44 4/2 over/under. Cincinnati will keep the Seahawks in check but Seattle prevails in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks to take the win.

Detroit (6-10) at Arizona (3-13), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. A pair of struggling teams from the 2018 campaign meet in the desert as Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions pay a visit to Glendale to face off against number one draft pick Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals. Including games that were played in Chicago and St. Louis, when the Cardinals called those cities home and the Lions were in Portsmouth and known as the Spartans, Detroit leads the 33-28 and they have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 1,199-1,088. Detroit has won the last two meetings, including coming away 17-3 winners last year in the desert (Arizona’s last win came in the Motor City in 2015, as the Cardinals left Detroit with a 42-17 win).

After a scoreless first quarter in their week 14 affair at State Farm Stadium, Matt Prater gave the Lions a 3-0 lead that they would take with them to the intermission. After a Darius Slay interception for a TD, Detroit took a 10-0 lead with them to the fourth quarter before the Desert Angry Birds would dent the scoreboard on a Zane Gonzalez field goal, Zach Zenner closed out the scoring with a 1-yard TD run with 4:05 left in the contest.

The Lions out-rushed Arizona 122-61 and Stafford threw for 101 without an interception (he was sacked once), while Josh Rosen threw for 240 yards with three sacks and an interception. Detroit was 4 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 28:16, while the Desert Angry Birds ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 31:44, while going 6 of 16 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

In the week fourteen contest in the desert, Detroit easily covered the 2 1/2-point spread, winning by 14 but the 40 1/2 over/under was untouched as both teams combined for only 20 points. In this meeting in the desert, the Lions are favored by 3 with a 46 1/2 over/under. We wouldn’t blame you one bit if you took a pass on this one and watched that “Mythbusters” marathon on Discovery (there’s nothing more exciting than seeing Buster get blown up!). The Desert Angry Birds prevail in Glendale and cover the 3.

New York Giants (5-11) at Dallas (10-6), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. Eli vs. Dak. A pair of NFC East rivals meet in the Lone Star State as the Cowboys host the Giants at Jerry World (aka AT&T Stadium). Dallas will have another weapon in their quiver as RB Ezekiel Elliott finally came to terms with the team and came back to Dallas. The Cowboys lead the series 66-45-2 (which includes contests that were played at Yankee Stadium, the Cotton Bowl, the Yale Bowl, Cowboys Stadium and Giants Stadium) and the Cowboys have outscored the Giants 2,554-2,180. Dallas has won the last four meetings in the series with their NFC East rivals (New York’s last win came in the Meadowlands in 2016 by a final of 10-6).

They met in the Lone Star State in week two and the Cowboys came away 20-13 winners on a Sunday night. Dallas led 10-0 at the half but the Giants would make it closer than Cowboys fans wanted as Aldrick Rosas connected on a 38-yard field goal with 11 seconds left. The Giants then tried an onside kick in the hopes of getting the ball back to no avail as Dallas would recover the ball and run out the clock. Dallas out-rushed the Giants 138-35, with Elliot leading all rushers with 78 yards and a rushing TD, while Prescott threw for 160 yards (Manning threw for 279 yards with six sacks; both Manning and Prescott threw a TD pass without an interception). The Giants were 8 of 17 on third down tries (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:12, while the Cowboys were 3 for 10 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 27:48.

They would meet in the Meadowlands in week 17 and while the second contest was closer, the result was the same… Dallas coming out victors, this time rallying to come away 36-35 winners at Met Life Stadium. Dallas led 14-7 at the intermission in upstate New Jersey but saw that lead get away from them as the Giants would lead 35-28 with 2:35 left in regulation, thanks in part to a 38-yard field goal by Rosas. That lead would not last very long as Dallas used a 9-play, 70-yard drive that used 83 seconds of clock and sent Giants fans home sad as The Giants seemed to clinch the game when Dallas receiver Cole Beasley was ruled out of the back of the end zone on a Prescott (387 yards, four TDs) pass on fourth-and-15 with 72 seconds left. But a video review showed that Beasley got his knee down in-bounds and the play was changed from an incomplete pass to a 32-yard touchdown. Prescott then threw the go-ahead two-point conversion to rookie receiver Michael Gallup.

The Giants actually out-rushed Dallas 143-51, with Sequan Barkley leading everyone with 109 yards on the ground and a TD, while Manning threw for 301 yards and a pair of TDs (Manning was sacked once and picked off once, while Prescott was sacked four times but did not throw an interception). Dallas was 11 of 17 on third down tries (they were 2 for 2 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 30:52, while the Giants were 7 of 15 on third down (they went 2 for 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:08.

Dallas covered the 3-point spread in the Sunday night contest in Arlington, winning by 7 and the 33 combined points meant that the 42 over/under was untouched. In the season finale rematch in the Meadowlands, the Giants were favored by 6 1/2 but Dallas would win by only a single point. The two clubs did manage to take care of the 42 1/2 over/under, tallying 71 points in the contest. In this season opener in the Lone Star State, the Cowboys are favored by 7 and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Both numbers sound reasonable and the Giants have kept things close in the last two meetings with their NFC East rivals. Big Blue will do the same but Dallas prevails at home at Jerry World and takes the win at home.

San Francisco (4-12) at Tampa Bay (5-11), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. A pair of struggling NFC teams meet on Florida’s Gulf Coast in a late afternoon contest as Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the San Francisco 49ers.

The 49ers lead the series 17-6 and they have outscored Tampa Bay 520-356. They met last year in the Sunshine State (San Francisco’s last win over Tampa Bay came in the Sunshine State in 2013 by a final of 33-14) and the Bucs prevailed at home on Florida’s West Coast, coming away 27-9 winners. In the week 12 contest, Tampa Bay led 13-6 at the half before going on in the final 30 minutes of play to outscore the 49ers 14-3. The 49ers out-rushed Tampa Bay 148-108 with San Francisco RB Matt Breida leading the way with 106 yards on the ground. Nick Mullens threw for 221 yards for the 49ers with a TD pass to Dante Pettis but was sacked four times and picked off twice, while Jameis Winston threw for 312 yards and a pair of TDs (Winston was sacked once but did not throw an interception).

Third down tries? The 49ers were a somewhat dismal 1 of 8 and kept the ball for 25:51, while the Bucs ruled the clock for 34:09 and went 7 of 13 on third down conversions in the Sunshine State. In the week 12 contest, Tampa Bay covered the 3 1/2-point spread, winning by 18 but the 36 points the two teams scored came nowhere near the 55 over/under. The Bucs are favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 50 1/2. Well, if you’re a fan of either team, feel free to watch this one; otherwise, may we suggest the “Mythbusters” special on Discovery? Bucs prevail in the Sunshine State and covers the 1 1/2.

Pittsburgh (9-6-1) at New England (11-5), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. They have 12 Lombardi Trophies between them. Each team has six. The home team wants to make it seven. Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers make their way to Foxboro for a Sunday night contest with Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champs at Gillette Stadium. For the Steelers, it’s their chance to knock the Pats from their pedestal. As for the Patriots? They want to be king of the NFL mountain and they added another piece to the puzzle by signing WR Antonio Brown after the Raiders cut him loose. Brown will not play this week but will suit up when the Pats head to Miami next week.

Pittsburgh leads the series 15-12 and they have outscored New England 621-584. The two clubs have met the last four seasons and the Steelers avenged a controversial 27-24 loss at home in 2017 to take a 17-10 win at Heinz Field.

The week 15 late afternoon contest saw the Steelers take a 14-7 lead with them to the locker room at the half as both Braby and Roethlisberger threw TDs passes in the first quarter. Rothelisberger would then add a second TD toss in the second quarter as he and WR Antonio Brown connected on a toss that would give them the lead for good with 12:01 left before the break. Chris Boswell and Stephen Gostkowski each traded field goals in the final 30 minutes of play to close out the scoring at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh outrushed New England 158-96 and Steelers RB Jaylen Samuels led all rushers with 142 yards, while Roethlisberger threw for 235 yards with a pair of sacks and a pair of interceptions (Brady threw for 279 yards with a TD, sack and interception). Pittsburgh was 4 of 9 on third down tries and kept the ball for 30:49, while the Patriots were 3 of 10 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:11.

Pittsburgh covered the 2 1/2-point spread with the seven-point win at Heinz Field but the 52 over/under was intact, as both clubs merged for 27 points. This time, Brady and the Patriots are favored by 5 1/2 in Foxboro and the over/under’s 49. There is a chance these two could meet in the AFC championship game either at Heinz Field or Gillette Stadium come January. Brady and the Pats raise the championship banner Sunday night and takes the win in upstate Massachusetts, even though the Steelers will make this one closer than the 5 1/2.

Houston (11-5) at New Orleans (13-3), 7:10 p.m. Monday night on ESPN. Separated by 348 miles along I-10, J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans travel to the Big Easy for the first of two Monday night contest as the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees play host.

The series is tied at 2-2 and the Texans have outscored New Orleans 90-87. Houston won the last meeting, taking a 24-6 win in 2015 in the Lone Star State, while New Orleans’ last win in the series came in 2011 in the Big Easy by a final of 40-33. On Monday night, the Texans are 5-8 (they won their lone meeting last season in prime-time), while the Saints are 20-22 but won their two Monday night contests last year. New Orleans is favored by 7 in the Big Easy and the over/under’s 53. This could wind up be a somewhat entertaining Monday night contest. Houston pulls the upset in the Big Easy and leaves New Orleans with the win.

Denver (6-10) at Oakland (4-12), 10:20 p.m. Monday night on ESPN. Forget the records. These two AFC West teams don’t like each. Granted, the hate is not as bad as the Raiders and Chiefs but it exists, like Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Denver and Oakland close out week one’s action on the Eastern side of San Francisco Bay in the second Monday night contest of the evening. While things were somewhat calm in Denver, the same could not be said in Oakland as Raiders management first suspended newly-signed WR Antonio Brown, then reinstated him, fined him and eventually gave him his walking papers, allowing New England to grab him.

The Silver and Black lead the series 63-52-2 and the Raiders have outscored their AFC West rivals 2,489-2,394 (which includes contests that took place in Los Angeles from 1982-1994). They split last season’s contests, each taking wins in their home facility.

Denver trailed 12-0 at the break at Broncos Stadium at Mile High in their week two contest, then erased that deficit and came away with the 20-19 come-from-behind win in that first meeting. Trailing 19-17 with 1:58 left in regulation, the Broncos used a 10-play, 62-yard drive that consumed 1:52 of clock and sent Denver fans home happy campers as Brian McManus connected on a 36-yard field goal. McManus, who kicked a 39-yarder and QB Case Keenum (222 yards, TD, sack, interception), running for a score from a yard out, pulled Denver to within one to make the contest close and eventually give Denver the win. Denver outrushed Oakland 168-92 with Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay leading the way with 107 yards, becoming the first undrafted rookie in NFL history with at least 100 scrimmage yards in each of his first two career games. Derek Carr threw for 288 yards with a TD and a sack, while Marshawn Lynch led Oakland with 65 yards and a rushing TD. Oakland was 3 of 10 on third down (0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:56, while the Broncos kept the pigskin for 27:04, while going 8 of 16 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Oakland would get their revenge on the Eastern side of San Francisco Bay in week 16 on Christmas Eve, as they would put lumps of coal and switches in Denver’s stocking, taking a 27-14 Monday night win at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Although the Silver and Black led 17-0 at the half, Denver managed to make the contest close in the final 30 minutes of play, outscoring the Raiders 14-10 in that span. Dwayne Harris opened the scoring for the Raiders, returning a punt 99 yards to take the lead and the Raiders would never look back from that. Oakland outrushed Denver in the second contest 114-100, with Raiders RB Doug Martin leading the way with 107 yards and a TD. Carr threw for 167 yards but did not throw an interception, while Keenum threw for 202 yards with a pair of TDs and a pair of interceptions (both Keenum and Carr were sacked once). Oakland was 5 of 13 on third down and held on to the ball for 30:08, while the Broncos were 6 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:52.

In the week two contest, while Denver was favored by 6, they only came away winning by one and both teams missed the 45 over/under, tallying 39 points. In the Christmas Eve week 16 affair, Oakland was the 2 1/2-point underdog but covered the spread, winnning by 13 but once again, both teams barely missed the over/under of 44 with 41 points.

Denver is 32-40-1 on Monday night and the Broncos went 0 for 2 in their meetings last year under the lights, while the Raiders are 39-29-1, spliting their two meetings in 2018. Oakland’s favored by 2 1/2 in the Monday nightcap on the West Coast and the over/under’s 42 1/2. With all the distractions the Raiders have had during the pre-season with Antonio Brown, it may be hard for them to focus on football and that will be a good thing for Broncos fans. Denver pulls the upset and covers the 2 1/2.