Archives for category: Da Bears

The end has come.

It’s week 17 in a season that has brought a lot of excitement and hope for teams that have not been to the post-season in a while. For Cleveland, it was a season that saw them pick up their first win in two seasons. It was a season that saw two teams (Cleveland and Green Bay) change coaches in mid-season. It was also a season that was competitive and somewhat entertaining.

When the Indianapolis-Tennessee game comes to an end in Nashville Sunday, 12 teams will be in the post-season party. As for the other 20 teams? They will be clearing out lockers, going home and getting ready for the Senior Bowl and the 2019 draft. The opponents for all 32 teams will be announced this week and the schedule will be annonced in April. In case you’re wondering, the 2019 NFL regular season starts on September 5th, so mark those calendars now.

It’s the final push for NFL teams as the regular season ends on Sunday. All 16 games are division contests and with one week to go, there are still 15 teams in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIII.

Nine of the 12 playoff teams have been determined. Five of the eight divisions have been clinched. And there’s still plenty to play for in Week 17.

In the AFC, four teams have already punched their ticket to the postseason: New England (10-5, AFC East), Houston (10-5, playoff berth), Kansas City (11-4, playoff berth) and the Los Angeles Chargers (11-4, playoff berth).

Baltimore (9-6) and Pittsburgh (8-6-1) are vying for the AFC North title. Indianapolis (9-6) and Tennessee (9-6) face off on NBC’s Sunday Night Football at 8:20 p.m. in a win-and-you’re-in battle. Houston can clinch the AFC South title with a win this week, but the winner of the Indianapolis-Tennessee game would take the division crown with a Houston loss.

In the NFC, five teams have locked up playoff spots, including all four division winners: Dallas (9-6, NFC East), Chicago (11-4, NFC North), New Orleans (13-2, NFC South), the Los Angeles Rams (12-3, NFC West) and Seattle (9-6, playoff berth).

Minnesota (8-6-1) and Philadelphia (8-7) are in contention for the final Wild Card spot in the NFC. The Vikings are in position to clinch a playoff berth with a win, while the Eagles need a win and a Minnesota loss to secure their postseason entry.

The Bears, who have clinched the NFC North division title for the first time since 2010, have completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround and at least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 15 of the past 16 seasons. If Houston clinches the AFC South on Sunday, it would mark the second consecutive season that two teams go from worst to first (Jacksonville and Philadelphia in 2017) – something that has never happened before in any other major US sport.

Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990 – a streak of 29 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

With one week remaining, five teams have already qualified for the playoffs after missing the postseason in 2017 – the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Chargers and Seattle Seahawks. That number could swell to as many as seven if both the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts qualify for the postseason on Sunday.

A look at some of the key games in Week 17:

Carolina (6-9) at New Orleans (13-2) 1 p.m. on FOX
•The Saints have clinched the NFC South, a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

Dallas (9-6) at New York Giants (5-10), 1 p.m. on FOX
•The Cowboys have clinched the NFC East and will enter the NFC playoffs as the No. 4 seed.

Jacksonville (5-10) at Houston (10-5), 1 p.m. on CBS
•The Texans, who have clinched a playoff berth, can claim the AFC South with a win. Houston can also clinch a first-round bye with a win and a New England loss and can clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win combined with losses by New England, Kansas City and the Los Angeles Chargers.

New York Jets (4-11) at New England (10-5), 1 p.m. on CBS
•The Patriots, who have won the AFC East, can earn a first-round bye with a win or if Baltimore, Houston and Tennessee all lose.

Arizona (3-12) at Seattle (9-6), 4:25 p.m. on FOX
•The Seahawks have clinched a playoff berth and will enter the NFC playoffs as the No. 5 or 6 seed.

Chicago (11-4) at Minnesota (8-6-1), 4:25 p.m. on FOX
•The Bears, who have clinched the NFC North, can secure a first-round bye with a win and a Los Angeles Rams loss.
•The Vikings can clinch a playoff berth with a win or a Philadelphia loss.

Cincinnati (6-9) at Pittsburgh (8-6-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS
•The Steelers can claim the AFC North with a win and a Baltimore loss.

Cleveland (7-7-1) at Baltimore (9-6), 4:25 p.m. on CBS
•The Ravens can win the AFC North with a win or a Pittsburgh loss.

Los Angeles Chargers (11-4) at Denver (7-8), 4:25 p.m. on CBS
•The Chargers, who have clinched a playoff berth, can claim the AFC West division title, a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win combined with a Kansas City loss.

Oakland (4-11) at Kansas City (11-4), 4:25 p.m. on CBS
•The Chiefs, who have clinched a playoff berth, can claim the AFC West division title, a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win. A Los Angeles Chargers loss would also give the Chiefs the AFC West crown.

Philadelphia (8-7) at Washington (7-8), 4:25 p.m. on FOX
•​The Eagles can secure a playoff berth with a win combined with a Minnesota loss.

San Francisco (4-11) at Los Angeles Rams (12-3), 4:25 p.m. on FOX
•The Rams have won the NFC West and can clinch a first-round bye with a win or a Chicago loss.

Indianapolis (9-6) at Tennessee (9-6), 8:20 p.m. on NBC
•​The winner of this game locks up a playoff spot.
•The Colts can clinch the AFC South division title with a win combined with a Houston loss.
•The Titans can clinch the AFC South division title with a win combined with a Houston loss. With a win and losses by Houston, New England and Baltimore, the Titans would secure a first-round bye. ​

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY:

New Orleans defeated Pittsburgh 31-28 to clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. With the Steelers’ loss, Houston clinched a playoff berth.

New England defeated Buffalo 24-12 and clinched the AFC East division title for the 10th consecutive season.

The Patriots have advanced to the postseason in 10 consecutive seasons (2009-18), surpassing Dallas (nine from 1975-1983) and Indianapolis (nine from 2002-2010) for the most consecutive seasons in NFL history with a playoff berth.

With their 10th win of the season, New England (16 seasons from 2003-2018) tied San Francisco (16 from 1983-98) for the most consecutive seasons with at least 10 victories in NFL history.

New England quarterback Tom Brady, who has 4,105 passing yards this season, joins Peyton Manning (14 seasons), Drew Brees  (12) and Philip Rivers (10) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with 10 seasons of at least 4,000 passing yards.

Dallas defeated Tampa Bay 27-20, allowing them to clinch the NFC East division title for the second time in the past three seasons. Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott had 109 scrimmage yards (85 rushing, 24 receiving) in the Cowboys’ Week 16 victory.

Elliott, who has 4,048 rushing yards and 1,199 receiving yards in his three-year NFL career, is the fifth player in NFL history with at least 4,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in his first three NFL seasons, joining Ottis Anderson, Chris Johnson and Pro Football Hall of Famers Barry Sanders and LaDainian Tomlinson.

Elliott, who had 1,994 scrimmage yards in 2016, leads the NFL with 2,001 scrimmage yards this season and joins Pro Football Hall of Famers Eric Dickerson and LaDainian Tomlinson and Edgerrin James as the only players in league annals with at least 1,900 scrimmage yards in two of their first three career seasons.

· Cleveland rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield completed 27 of 37 pass attempts (73.0 percent) for 284 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 121.9 passer rating in the Browns’ 26-18 win against Cincinnati. Mayfield, who has 24 touchdown passes in 2018, surpassed Andrew Luck (23 touchdown passes in 2012) for the second-most touchdown passes by a rookie quarterback selected number 1 overall in the common draft era. Only Peyton Manning (26 in 1998) had more passing touchdowns as a rookie quarterback selected number 1 overall in the common draft era.

· Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 37 of 55 pass attempts (67.3 percent) for 442 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 103.8 passer rating and had two rushing touchdowns in the Packers’ 44-38 overtime win at the New York Jets. Rodgers is the only player in NFL history with at least 400 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns. He also previously accomplished the feat on October 2, 2011 against Denver (408 passing yards, four touchdown passes and two rushing touchdowns).

· Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles passed for 471 yards and four touchdowns while tight end Zach Ertz had 12 receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns in the Eagles’ 32-30 victory against Houston. Foles is the first quarterback in franchise history with multiple career games of at least 400 passing yards and four touchdown passes (406 passing yards and seven touchdown passes on November 3, 2013 at Oakland). His 471 passing yards are the most in a single game in franchise history, surpassing Donovan McNabb, who passed for 464 yards against Green Bay on December 5, 2004.

Ertz, who has a franchise-record 113 catches in 2018, surpassed Jason Witten (110 receptions in 2012) for the most receptions by a tight end in a single season in NFL history.

· Minnesota wide receiver Adam Thielen had five receptions for 80 yards in the Vikings’ 27-9 victory at Detroit.

Thielen, who signed as an undrafted free agent with Minnesota in 2013, has 110 catches and 1,335 receiving yards in 2018 and joins Rod Smith (2000 and 2001) and Wes Welker (2009, 2011 and 2012) as the only undrafted players in the common draft era with at least 100 receptions and 1,300 receiving yards in a single season.

· Carolina running back Christian McCaffery had 178 scrimmage yards (101 rushing, 77 receiving) and 12 receptions in the Panthers’ Week 16 loss against Atlanta. McCaffrey, who leads all running backs with 106 receptions this season, surpassed Matt Forte (102 receptions in 2014) for the most receptions by a running back in a single season in NFL history.

McCaffrey, who has 1,080 rushing yards in 2018, joins Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson (2003) and Matt Forte (2014) as the only players in NFL history with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 100 receptions in a single season.

· Pittsburgh wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster had 11 receptions for 115 yards in the Steelers’ Week 16 loss against New Orleans. Smith-Schuster, who is 22 years and 31 days old, has 106 catches this season and surpassed Larry Fitzgerald (22 years, 123 days) as the youngest player to reach 100 receptions in a single season in NFL history.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 17

PLAYOFFS ON THE LINE: All 16 games are division contests in Week 17 and there are still 15 teams in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIII.

In the AFC, four teams have already punched their ticket to the postseason: New England (10-5, AFC East), Houston (10-5, playoff berth), Kansas City (11-4, playoff berth) and the Los Angeles Chargers (11-4, playoff berth).

In the NFC, five teams have locked up playoff spots, including all four division winners: Dallas (9-6, NFC East), Chicago (11-4, NFC North), New Orleans (13-2, NFC South), the Los Angeles Rams (12-3, NFC West) and Seattle (9-6, playoff berth).

HISTORY IN THE MAKING: Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the NFL with 48 touchdown passes this season.

With two touchdown passes on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium against Oakland at 4:25 p.m. on CBS, Mahomes can join Peyton Manning (55 touchdown passes in 2013) and Tom Brady (50 in 2007) as the only quarterbacks with at least 50 touchdown passes in a single season in NFL history.

The players with the most touchdown passes in a single season in NFL history:​

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON – TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Peyton Manning – Denver (2013 – 55)#
Tom Brady – New England (2007 – 50)#
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis (2004 – 49)#
Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City (2018 – 48)*
Dan Marino – Miami (1984 – 48)^#
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
#Named Associate​d Press Most Valuable Player
*Entering Week 17

RIDICULOUS ROOKIE: New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley ranks third in the NFL with 1,886 scrimmage yards this season.

With 114 scrimmage yards against Dallas at 1 p.m. on FOX, Barkley would join Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (2,212 scrimmage yards in 1983) and Edgerrin James (2,139 in 1999) as the only rookies with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards in NFL history.

The rookies with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards in NFL history:
PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON – SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Eric Dickerson – Los Angeles Rams (1983 – 2,212)^#
Edgerrin James – Indianapolis (1999 – 2,139)#
Saquon Barkley – New York Giants (2018 – 1,886)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
#Named Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year
*Entering Week 17

Barkley has 87 receptions this season and needs two catches against the Cowboys to surpass Reggie Bush (88 receptions in 2006) for the most catches by a rookie running back in league annals.

RUN & CATCH CMC: Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey ranks second in the league with 1,925 scrimmage yards (1,080 rushing, 845 receiving) this season. McCaffrey has 106 catches in 2018 and surpassed Matt Forte (102 receptions in 2014) for the most receptions by a running back in a single season in league annals.

With 55 receiving yards at New Orleans at 1 p.m. on FOX, McCaffrey would join Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk (1998 and 1999) and Roger Craig (1985) as the only players in NFL history with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 900 receiving yards in a single season.

The players with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 900 receiving yards in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON – RUSHING YARDS/RECEIVING YARDS)
Marshall Faulk – St. Louis (1999 – 1,381/1,048)^
Marshall Faulk – Indianapolis (1998 – 1,319/908)^
Roger Craig – San Francisco (1985 – 1,050/1,016)
Christian McCaffrey – Carolina (2018 – 1,080/845)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Entering Week 17

HISTORY FOR AB: Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown has 104 receptions for 1,297 yards and leads the league with a franchise-record 15 touchdown catches this season.

With three receiving yards against Cincinnati at Heinz Field at 4:25 p.m. on CBS, Brown would become the first player in league annals with five seasons of at least 100 receptions and 1,300 receiving yards.

The players with the most seasons of at least 100 receptions and 1,300 receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASONS WITH 100+ CATCHES AND 1,300+ RECIEVING YARDS)
Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh (4)
Marvin Harrison – Indianapolis (4)^
Andre Johnson – Houston (4)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Has 104 receptions & 1,297 receiving yards in 2018

Brown and teammate JuJu Smith-Schuester, who has 106 receptions and became the youngest player in league history with at least 100 receptions in a single season, can become the first pair of teammates in league annals to each record at least 110 receptions in the same season.

DOMINANT DONALD: Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald leads the NFL with a career-high 19.5 sacks this season.

With three sacks against San Francisco at 4:25 p.m. on FOX, Donald would tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan (22.5 sacks in 2001) for the most sacks in a single season since 1982 when the individual sack became an official statistic.

The players with the most sacks in a single season since 1982:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON – SACKS)
Michael Strahan – New York Giants (2001 – 22.5)^
Jared Allen – Minnesota (2011 – 22)
Mark Gastineau – New York Jets (1984 – 22)
Justin Houston – Kansas City (2014 – 22)
Aaron Donald – Los Angeles Rams (2018 – 19.5)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Entering Week 17

Donald, who has recorded at least two sacks in seven games this season, can become the second player since 1982 to record at least eight games with two-or-more sacks in a single season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Reggie White (eight games in 1987).​

The players with the most games with two-or-more sacks in a single season since 1982:​​

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON – GAMES WITH 2+ SACKS)
Reggie White – Philadelphia (1987 – 8)^#
Chris Doleman – Minnesota (1989 – 7)^
Aaron Donald – Los Angeles Rams (2018 – 7)*
Bruce Smith- Buffalo (1990 – 7)^#
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
#Named Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year
*Entering Week 17

There are plenty of scenarios that involve either a divisonal title or a wild card spot, so you might want to pay attention (this is gonna cause more confusion than a mouse in a burlesque show… apologies to Foghorn Leghorn!)

2018 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 17

NFC

CLINCHED: New Orleans – NFC South division title and home-field advantage, Los Angeles Rams – NFC West division title, Chicago – NFC North division title, Dallas – NFC East division title, Seattle – playoff berth

Los Angeles Rams (12-3) (vs. San Francisco (4-11), 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Los Angeles clinches a first-round bye with:
1.Los Angeles Rams win or tie OR
2.Chicago loss or tie

Chicago (11-4) (at Minnesota (8-6-1), 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Chicago clinches a first-round bye with:
1.Chicago win + Los Angeles Rams loss

Minnesota (8-6-1) vs. Chicago (11-4), 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Minnesota clinches a playoff berth with:
1.Minnesota win or tie OR
2.Philadelphia loss or tie

Philadelphia (8-7) at Washington (7-8), 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Philadelphia clinches a playoff berth with:
1.Philadelphia win + Minnesota loss

AFC
CLINCHED: Kansas City – Playoff berth, Los Angeles Chargers – Playoff berth, New England – AFC East division title, Houston – Playoff berth​

Kansas City (11-4) vs. Oakland (4-11), 4:25 p.m. on CBS

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title and home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:
1.Kansas City win OR
2.Kansas City tie + Los Angeles Chargers loss or tie OR
3.Los Angeles Chargers loss + New England loss or tie + Houston loss or tie OR
4.Los Angeles Chargers loss + New England loss or tie + Kansas City clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over Houston

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title and a first-round bye with:
1.Los Angeles Chargers loss + New England loss or tie OR
2.Los Angeles Chargers loss + Houston loss or tie
3.Los Angeles Chargers loss + Kansas City clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over Houston

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title with:
1.Los Angeles Chargers loss OR
2.Kansas City tie + Los Angeles Chargers tie

New England (10-5) vs. New York Jets (4-11), 1 p.m. on CBS

New England clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:
1.New England win + Kansas City loss + Los Angeles Chargers loss

New England clinches a first-round bye with:
1.New England win OR
2.New England tie + Houston loss or tie OR
3.Baltimore loss or tie + Houston loss + Tennessee loss or tie

Houston (10-5) vs. Jacksonville (5-10), 1 p.m. on CBS

Houston clinches AFC South division title and home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:
1.Houston win + New England loss or tie + Kansas City loss + Los Angeles Chargers loss + Houston clinches a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over Kansas City

Houston clinches AFC South division title and a first-round bye with:
1.Houston win + New England loss or tie OR
2.Houston win + Kansas City loss + Los Angeles Chargers loss + Houston clinches a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over Kansas City OR
3.Houston tie + New England loss OR
4.Indianapolis-Tennessee tie + New England loss + BAL win + Houston clinches a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over Baltimore

Houston clinches AFC South division title with:
1.Houston win or tie OR
2.Indianapolis-Tennessee tie

Baltimore (9-6) vs. Cleveland (7-7-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS

Baltimore clinches AFC North division title and a first-round bye with:
1.Baltimore win + New England loss + Houston loss + Indianapolis-Tennessee does not end in a tie OR
2.Baltimore win + New England loss + Houston loss + Baltimore clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over Houston

Baltimore clinches AFC North division title with:
1.Baltimore win OR
2.Pittsburgh loss OR
3.Baltimore tie + Pittsburgh tie

Baltimore clinches a playoff berth with:
1.Baltimore tie + Baltimore-Tennessee tie

Los Angeles Chargers (11-4) at Denver (6-9), 4:25 p.m. on CBS

Los Angeles clinches AFC West division title and home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:
1.Los Angeles Chargers win + Kansas City loss or tie OR
2.Los Angeles Chargers tie + Kansas City loss

Indianapolis (9-6) at Tennessee (9-6), 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Indianapolis clinches AFC South division title with:
1.Indianapolis win + Houston loss

Indianapolis clinches a playoff berth with:
1.Indianapolis win OR
2.Indianapolis tie + Pittsburgh loss or tie OR
3.Indianapolis tie + Baltimore loss

Tennessee clinches AFC South division title and first-round bye with:
1.Tenessee win + Houston loss + New England loss + Baltimore loss or tie

Tennessee clinches AFC South division title with:
1.Tennessee win + Houston loss

Tennessee clinches a playoff berth with:
1.Tennessee win

Pittsburgh (8-6-1) vs. Cincinnati (6-9), 4:25 p.m. on CBS

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North division title with:
1.Pittsburgh win + Baltimore loss or tie OR
2.Pittsburgh tie + Baltimore loss

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth with:
1.Pittsburgh win + Indianapolis-Tennessee tie

Got all that? There’s going to be a quiz afterward.

Every game in week 17 is a rematch and there are some contests that have playoff implications, while others are just trying to regroup and get ready for the 2019 campaign. Because this is the final week of the regular season, we are going to make every game on the schedule “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 58 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

Last week was another 8-8 week, which means for the year, we’re still well above the .500 mark at 132-104. Week 17 begins in Tampa as the Buccaneers host the Atlanta Falcons and concludes in Nashville as Tennesee and Indianapolis meet for the last playoff spot in the AFC. When things settle down, there will be 12 teams making their way toward the Lombardi Trophy and Atlanta, while the other 20 teams will figure out what went wrong in 2018 and what they can do to not make those mistakes in 2019. With that, here are the Sunday picks for week 17.

ATLANTA (6-9) at Tampa Bay (5-10), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 708. Atlanta and Tampa Bay, a pair of NFC South rivals, close out the 2018 campaign on Florida’s West Coast as both teams, out of playoff contention, conclude their seasons.

Atlanta broke a 10-10 tie at the intermission at Bank of America Stadium last Sunday in Charlotte as they scored 14 third quarter points unchallenged, coming away 24-10 winners over Carolina, who played without Cam Newton (shoulder) and put backup QB Taylor Heinicke under center. Heinicke threw for 274 yards in the contest with a TD but Atlanta sacked him twice and picked him off three times, while Matt Ryan threw for 239 yards with three TDs, connecting with Calvin Ridley, Mohamed Sanu and Julio Jones on those tosses without an interception. Atlanta outrushed Carolina 194-141 with RB Brandon Hill leading all rushers with 115, while Carolina was led by RB Christian McCaffrey with 101 yards in the series sweep. Atlanta was 4 of 10 on third down tries and only needed to hold on to the ball for 22:31, while the Panthers kept the pigskin for 37:29, while going 7 of 14 on third down and 0 for 2 on fourth down.

Tampa Bay watched Dallas celebrate winning the NFC East in Arlington as the Buccaneers fell to the Cowboys 27-20 at AT&T Stadium. Tampa Bay trailed 17-13 at the intermission in the Lone Star State, then rallied to make the contest a 7-point affair with 2:05 left in regulation when WR Mike Evans and QB Jameis Winston connected on a 7-yard TD toss. Tampa Bay would then attempt an onside kick, which Dallas recovered. The Cowboys would then run the clock out and take the win and the NFC East crown. Dallas outrushed Tampa Bay 80-63, with Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 85 yards and Dak Prescott threw for 161 yards, while Winstron threw for 336 yards (each had a TD pass without an interception, Prescott had a rushing TD and a sack, while Winston was sacked three times). Dallas was 3 of 9 on third down and held the ball for 24:41, while Tampa Bay ruled the clock, holding the ball for 35:19, going 4 of 13 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth down.

The Falcons held off a late Tampa Bay rally at home in their week six contest, as they prevailed 34-29 over their NFC South rivals in the Big Peach. Atlanta led 24-13 at the half before Tampa Bay hung on and managed to outscore the Falcons 16-10 in the final 30 minutes of play, pulling to within two with 3:47 left when Jameis Winston (395 yards, four TDs, two sacks, two interceptions) and RB Peyton Barber connected on a 5-yard TD toss before the Falcons’ Matt Bryant connected on a 57-yard field goal with 70 seconds left in the contest. Tampa Bay would then make their way downfield afte the kickoff and got as close as Atlanta’s 21-yard line when they tried several lateral passes with seven seconds left but came up short. Tampa Bay outrushed Atlanta 123-70, while Ryan threw for 354 yards with three TDs (TE Austin Hooper, WR Mohamed Sanu and RB Tevin Coleman caught the TD passes, WR Julio Jones led all recievers with 143 yards) and no interceptions. Both clubs did well on third down tries (Atlanta was 8 of 13, Tampa Bay was 5 of 8) and the Falcons ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:39 to Tampa Bay’s 28:21.

Atlanta covered the 3 1/2-point spread in the first meeting in the Big Peach, winning by 5 and both clubs covered the 58 over/under as they tallied 64 points. The oddsmakers like Tampa Bay as a 1-point favorite with a 51 1/2 over/under. Both clubs would love nothing more than to salvage their seasons. Tampa Bay’s been struggling of late, while the Falcons have played some decent, if not great, football of late. History has a way of repeating itself and history’s on the side of the Falcons. Atlanta prevails in the Sunshine State, covering the 1.

Miami (7-8) at Buffalo (5-10), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of AFC East rivals face off in upstate New York as Miami travels to Orchard Park to take on the Buffalo Bills at New Era Stadium. Both enter the season finale with losses under their respective belts.

Miami was taken to task by instate rival Jacksonville 17-7 at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday afternoon in south Florida. The Dolphins and Jaguars were tied at 7-7 at the intermission, then took that tie into the final quarter of play before the Jaguars would go on to score their final 10 points of the day unchallenged, using a Kai Forbath field goal from 26 yards with 10:56 left to play to take the lead, then getting a 33-yard interception return fro Telvin Smith to seal Miami’s fate. Jacksonville outrushed Miami 126-62, as Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (three sacks) threw for 146 yards with a TD and an interception, while Cody Kessel threw for 106 yards with no TDs or interceptions but was sacked five times. The Dolphins were a somewhat sluggish 2 of 9 on third down tries and kept the ball for 25:15, while the Jaguars were 34:45 in time of possession, going 6 for 13 on third down tries.

Buffalo found themselves losing to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots 26-12 in Foxboro last Sunday. The Pats, who won the AFC East, shutout the Bills in the first half as they trailed 14-0 at the intermission and actually outscored New England 12-10 in the final 30 minutes of action. New England outrushed Buffalo 273-72, with Patriots RB Sony Michele running for 116 yards and a TD. Bills QB Josh Allen threw for 217 yards, while Brady threw for 126 yards with a sack (each threw a TD and had a pair of interceptions) for New England. Buffalo went 2 for 12 on third down (the Bills were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 24:22, while the Pats kept the ball for 35:38 and went 3 for 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

They met in week 13 in the Sunshine State and Miami came away with the 21-17 win at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami led 14-6 at the half before Buffalo would chip away at the lead, then take it, leading 17-14 with 12 minutes left in the contest when WR Zay Jones and Allen connected on a 25-yard TD toss. Miami would regain control of things, taking the lead back for good with 8:42 left when WR Kenny Stills and Tannehill connected on a 13-yard TD pass. Buffalo outrushed Miami 198-60 with Allen doing most of the damage, rushing for 135 yards and throwing for 231 yards and a pair of TDs to Jones, while Tannehill threw for 137 yards and three TDs (Allen threw a pair of interceptions, while Tannehill threw a pick in the contest). Miami was 2 for 9 on third down tries and kept the ball for 27:03, while the Bills actually ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 32:57,l while 5 for 13 on third down and 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 13 contest in the Sunshine State, Miami was favored by 4 1/2 and while Miami did win, they did not cover, winning by 4. The 40 over/under was untouched as both teams merged for 38 points. The odds makers like the Bills as 3 1/2 point favorites along the shores of Lake Erie and the over/under’s 38 1/2. Both of those numbers are reasonable. Miami would like to finish .500 to close things out. As for the Bills? They’re looking to make sure that doesn’t see the light of day. Buffalo may circle the wagons but Miami prevails in upstate New York and covers the 3 1/2 with the road win.

Jacksonville (5-10) at Houston (10-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of AFC South rivals meet in the Lone Star State as Houston returns home to NRG Stadium as the Texans hope to take the division, while Jacksonville has plans to stop them.

Jacksonville ended Miami’s playoff hopes last Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium as they made their trip to south Florida worth their time, coming away 17-7 winners. The Dolphins and Jaguars were tied at 7-7 at the intermission, then took that tie into the final quarter of play before the Jaguars would go on to score their final 10 points of the day unchallenged, using a Kai Forbath field goal from 26 yards with 10:56 left to play to take the lead, then getting a 33-yard interception return fro Telvin Smith to seal Miami’s fate. Jacksonville outrushed Miami 126-62, as Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (three sacks) threw for 146 yards with a TD and an interception, while Cody Kessel threw for 106 yards with no TDs or interceptions but was sacked five times. The Dolphins were a somewhat sluggish 2 of 9 on third down tries and kept the ball for 25:15, while the Jaguars were 34:45 in time of possession, going 6 for 13 on third down tries.

Houston saw a 30-29 late lead at Philadelphia get away from them as the defending Super Bowl champs would rally in the final two minutes of their contest with the Texans to take a 32-30 last-second win at Lincoln Financial Field last Sunday afternoon. Houston led 16-13 at the break in the City of Brotherly Love, then watched Philadelphia take a 23-16 lead into the final quarter of play before storming back to reclaim the lead with 2:04 left when rookie WR Vyncint Smith caught a 35-yard TD pass from DeSean Watson to take a 30-29 lead. Philadelphia would then proceed to march down the field, using 11 plays, 72 yards and all of the 2:04 left on the clock when K Jake Elliott connected on a 35-yard field goal as time expired, denying the Texans a chance to win the AFC South. Houston outrushed Philadephia 62-57 with Watson leading all rushers with 49 yards and a pair of rushing TDs and threw for 339 yards and a pair of passing TDs (Watson was sacked four times but did not throw an interception), while Eagles back up QB Nick Foles threw for 471 yards and four TDs, connecting with TE Zach Ertz on two of those passes. Houston was 3 for 10 on third down (the Texans were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:15, while the defending Super Bowl champs kept their playoff hopes alive, going 9 for 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 33:45 (including the final 2:04 of the contest).

Houston gave Jacksonville their second loss in a row at TIAA Stadium, taking a 20-7 win in north Florida in their week seven affair. The Texans and DeSean Watson took a 13-0 lead at the half, then led 20-0 late in the third before they would give up Jacksonville’s only score of the day when T.J. Yeldon and backup QB Cody Keesler connected on a 6-yard TD toss with 2:18 left in the third. Houston’s Lamar Miller ran for 100 yards with a TD to lead all rushers, as the Texans outrushed Jacksonville 141-70. Watson threw for 139 yards with a TD, while Blake Bortles threw for 61 yards before being replaced by Keesler (Keesler threw for 156 yards with the TD, four sacks and an interception). Houston was 8 of 16 on third down tries and they only needed to keep the ball for 29:35, while Jacksonville ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 30:25, going 9 of 19 on third down tries, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Jacksonville was favored by 4 1/2 in the week seven contest in north Florida and the Texans covered the spread, winning by 13. The 42 1/2 over/under stayed in tact as both teams merged for 27 total points. Houston’s favored by 7 and the over/under’s 40 1/2. For the Texans, a win means that they win the AFC North. They’re already in the post-season but would like to add that to their resume. For the Jaguars? It’s a chance to spoil Houston’s party. Houston pulls off the sweep in the series and takes the win and AFC South title, although expect Jacksonville to make things closer than 7.

New York Jets (4-11) at New England (10-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 710. A pair of AFL/AFC East rivals meet in Foxboro as the New York J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! and New England Patriots meet at Gillette Stadium.

Green Bay stormed back from a 15-point deficit in the Meadowlands against the New York Jets last Sunday, taking a 44-38 overtime win at Met Life Stadium. Green Bay trailed 21-17 at the break, then proceeded to chip away at the lead that the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! had established in the contest, outscoring GangGreen 27-17 in the final 30 minutes of play in regulation and overtime. Josh Myers would tie the contest up in regulation with 17 left when he connected on a 33 yard field goal and Aaron Rodgers would give the Packers the win in overtime as he and WR Davante Adams connected on a 16-yard TD toss with 6:23 left in the extra period. Green Bay, who won the toss and kept the ball in the entire overtime, outrushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 127-47 and Rodgers threw for 442 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions (he was sacked four times), while Sam Darnold threw for 341 yards and three TDs (Darnold had no interceptions and was sacked twice). Green Bay was 5 of 12 on third down try and the Packers kept the ball for 34:19 (including the overtime), while GangGreen was 3 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 29:18 (both clubs went 2 of 2 on fourth down).

Brady and the New England Patriots took the AFC East title in Foxboro, coming away 26-12 winners at Gillette Stadium over AFC East rival Buffalo last Sunday. The Pats shutout the Bills in the first half as they took a 14-0 lead with them at the intermission and watched the Bills actually outscore New England 12-10 in the final 30 minutes of action. New England outrushed Buffalo 273-72, with Patriots RB Sony Michele running for 116 yards and a TD. Bills QB Josh Allen threw for 217 yards, while Brady threw for 126 yards with a sack (each threw a TD and had a pair of interceptions) for New England. Buffalo went 2 for 12 on third down (the Bills were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 24:22, while the Pats kept the ball for 35:38 and went 3 for 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

New England went to the Meadowlands in their week 12 contest against the New York Jets and Brady and the Pats would leave Met Life Stadium with a 27-13 win. Tied 10-10 at the break, Brady and the Pats pulled away from the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! in the second half last Sunday afternoon, outscoring them 17-3 in that frame of time. New England outrushed GangGreen 215-74 and Patriots rookie RB Sony Michel looked like his former self when played at Georgia, rushing for 133 yards and a TD, while Brady was Brady, throwing for 283 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with favorite targets Josh Edelman and Rob Gronkowski on both tosses. New York’s Josh McCown threw for 276 yards with a TD toss to Jevon Kearse but was sacked twice and picked off once. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 6 for 14 on third down tries (GangGreen was 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 25:34, while New England ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 34:26, while going 5 for 12 on third down and 1 for 1 on fourth down.

New England was favored by 9 1/2 in the Meadowlands in the week 12 contest on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and the Patroits covered, winning by 14. However, both teams missed the 46 over/under, tallying 40 points. New England’s favored by 13 1/2 in Foxboro and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Could history repeat itself? GangGreen has played some decent football of late and they’ve given New England problems over the years. While the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! make things close, New England comes away with the win at Gillette.

Detroit (5-10) at Green Bay (6-8-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of NFC North rivals meet at Lambeau Field as Green Bay hosts Detroit in the season finale for both teams.

Minnesota scored 13 second half points unchallenged as they took care of NFC North rival Detroit 27-9 at Ford Field last Sunday. The Vikings trailed 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, led 14-9 at the break and then floored the gas in the second half to keep their playoff hopes alive. Minnesota outrushed the Lions 100-86 and Kirk Cousins threw for 253 yards and three TDs (two to Kyle Rudolph; Rudolph had 122 yards on nine catches), while Detroit’s Matthew Stafford threw for 116 yards (both men were sacked twice and neither threw an interception) before he was replaced by Matt Cassel. Minnesota went 4 of 13 on third down tries (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 28:32, while the struggling Lions ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:28, going 4 of 16, 1 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

Green Bay stormed back from a 15-point deficit in the Meadowlands against the New York Jets last Sunday, taking a 44-38 overtime win at Met Life Stadium. Green Bay trailed 21-17 at the break, then proceeded to chip away at the lead that the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! had established in the contest, outscoring GangGreen 27-17 in the final 30 minutes of play in regulation and overtime. Josh Myers would tie the contest up in regulation with 17 left when he connected on a 33 yard field goal and Aaron Rodgers would give the Packers the win in overtime as he and WR Davante Adams connected on a 16-yard TD toss with 6:23 left in the extra period. Green Bay outrushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 127-47 and Rodgers threw for 442 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions (he was sacked four times), while Sam Darnold threw for 341 yards and three TDs (Darnold had no interceptions and was sacked twice). Green Bay was 5 of 12 on third down try and the Packers kept the ball for 34:19 (including the overtime), while GangGreen was 3 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 29:18 (both clubs went 2 of 2 on fourth down).

Green Bay dropped a 31-23 decision at Detroit in ther week five meeting in the Motor City. The Packers trailed 24-0 at the intermission but would outscore the Lions 23-7 in the second half. Green Bay outrushed Detroit 98-94 and Aaron Rodgers threw for 442 yards and three TDs, while Lions signal caller Matthew Stafford threw for 183 yards and three TDs (neither threw an interception, Rodgers was sacked four times, Stafford was sacked three times). Green Bay, who fumbled the ball three times at Ford Field, went 3 of 10 on third down (2 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 33:20, while the Lions were 5 of 13 on third down conversions, holding the ball for 26:40.

In the week five contest in the Motor City, while Green Bay was favored by a point, the Lions covered the spread with their 8-point win and both Green Bay and Detroit covered the 51 over/under, tallying 54 points. The Packers are once again favored, this time by 7 1/2 with a 45 over/under. Both clubs have had less than perfect seasons and both want to put their fan bases out of their misery. Green Bay covers the 7 1/2 and wins in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst.

Chicago (11-4) at Minnesota (8-6-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 717. A pair of NFC North rivals meet in the Twin Cities as Chicago, winners of the NFC North, travel to the Land of 10,000 Lakes to take on the Minnesota Vikings, who have playoff hopes of their own. Both teams were road winners in their contests last week.

Minnesota scored 13 second half points unchallenged as they took care of NFC North rival Detroit 27-9 at Ford Field last Sunday. The Vikings trailed 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, led 14-9 at the break and then floored the gas in the second half to keep their playoff hopes alive. Minnesota outrushed the Lions 100-86 and Kirk Cousins threw for 253 yards and three TDs (two to Kyle Rudolph; Rudolph had 122 yards on nine catches), while Detroit’s Matthew Stafford threw for 116 yards (both men were sacked twice and neither threw an interception) before he was replaced by Matt Cassel. Minnesota went 4 of 13 on third down tries (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 28:32, while the struggling Lions ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:28, going 4 of 16, 1 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

Chicago erased a 9-7 defict at the half at San Francsico as Da Bears came away 14-9 winners at Levis Stadium last Sunday. Chicago, the NFC North champs, took the lead for keeps with 4:14 left in the third quarter when RB Jordan Howard scored on a 2-yard run to lead by 5. The two clubs would then play a scoreless fourth quarter, with Chicago holding off San Francisco to take the road win. Chicago outrushed the 49ers 90-47 and Mitchell Trubisky threw for 246 yards with a TD and no interceptions (Trubisky was sacked three time), while Nate Mullens threw for 241 yards with a sack and an interception in the home finale for San Francisco. Da Bears were 5 for 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:30, while the 49ers kept the pigskin for 24:30, going 7 of 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Mitch Trubisky and Da Bears survived a scare from Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field, coming away 25-20 winners in the Windy City in their week 12 Sunday night contest. Chicago led 14-3 at the intermission in the NFC North contest before the Vikings would go on in the final 30 minutes to outscore Da Bears 20-11. Trubisky threw for 165 yards with a TD and a pair of interceptions, while Cousins threw for 262 yards with a pair of TDs (Cousins threw a pair of interceptions and was sacked twice, Trubisky was sacked once) in the contest. Chicago outrushed Minnesota 148-22 and went 6 for 12 on third down and kept the ball for 34:29, while the Purple Gang went 5 for 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 25:31.

Da Bears were favored by 3 in the Windy City and Chicago covered, winning by 5 but both teams BARELY missed the 45 1/2 over/under with 45 points. This time, the Vikings are favored by 5 and the over/under’s 41. Da Bears have already punched their ticket to the post-season, while the Vikings are hoping that the Eagles slip up in Washington. Chicago covers the 5 in the Twin Cities and takes the road win.

Carolina (6-9) at New Orleans (13-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. Losing seven in a row, the Carolina Panthers limp their way into the Big Easy as they square off with Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in an NFC South rematch.

The Cam Newton-less Panthers (shoulder) watched Atlanta break a 10-10 tie at the intermission at Bank of America Stadium last Sunday in Charlotte as the Falcons scored 14 third quarter points unchallenged, coming away 24-10 winners over Carolina, who put backup QB Taylor Heinicke under center. Heinicke threw for 274 yards in the contest with a TD but Atlanta sacked him twice and picked him off three times, while Matt Ryan threw for 239 yards with three TDs, connecting with Calvin Ridley, Mohamed Sanu and Julio Jones on those tosses without an interception. Atlanta outrushed Carolina 194-141 with RB Brandon Hill leading all rushers with 115, while Carolina was led by RB Christian McCaffrey with 101 yards in the series sweep. Atlanta was 4 of 10 on third down tries and only needed to hold on to the ball for 22:31, while the Panthers kept the pigskin for 37:29, while going 7 of 14 on third down and 0 for 2 on fourth down.

The Saints clinched home field throughout the playoffs as they held off a late Pittsburgh rally to come away 31-28 winners in the Big Easy last Sunday. New Orleans led 17-14 at the half before the Steelers roared back in the third quarter to take a 28-24 lead at the end of three quarters, thanks to Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown connecting on their second TD toss of the afternoon. New Orleans would reclaim the lead with 85 seconds left in the contest when Brees and WR Michael Thomas connected on a 2-yard TD toss. Pittsburgh would then get the ball back with no time outs and got as close as the Saints’ 42-yard line before fumbling the ball, which New Orleans recovered. The Saints then proceeded to run out the clock and take the win. Pittsburgh outrushed New Orleans 65-57, with Roethlisberger throwing for 364 yards with three TDS and three sacks, while Brees threw for 313 yards with a TD and a pair of sacks. The Steelers were 6 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down, while the Saints were 6 of 12) and the clock was on the side of Pittsburgh, who held the ball for 31:20, while the Saints kept the pigskin for 28:40.

The two NFC South foes met two weeks ago in Charlotte on a Monday night and New Orleans survived a 12-9 scare from the Panthers in Charlotte. The Panthers led 7-6 at the intermission at Bank of America Stadium before the Saints would take the lead away from the Panthers when Alvin Kamara scored on a 16-yard run with 12:12 left in the contest. New Orleans then attempted a 2-point conversion to make the contest a five-point affair but Drew Brees’ 2-point attempt to Thomas was picked off by Dante Jackson, who ran the ball back for a defensive two point conversion to keep the Panthers close. Carolina would later get the ball back after New Orleans fumbled it out of the endzone, creating a touchback and giving the Panthers the ball on their 20-yard line. Newton and the Panthers would eventually get as close as their 39-yard line but could not get any closer as Newton’s fourth-down pass attempt was incomplete, which gave the Saints the ball back and New Orleans would run the clock out and take the win. New Orleans outrushed Carolina 155-98 and Newton threw for 131 yards with four sacks, while Brees threw for 203 yards (both men threw an interception, Newton was sacked four times, Brees twice). Carolina was 7 of 15 on third down (the Panther were 1 for 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 24:51, while the Saints ruled the clock, holding the ball for 35:09, going 4 of 13 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

In the Monday night week 15 contest in the Tar Heel State, New Orleans, favored by 6 1/2, did not cover the soread, winning by 3. The two clubs came nowhere near the 52 over/under, tallying only 21 points. New Orleans is favored again, this time by 9 with a 45 over/under. The Saints know they are the one seed and would like a win going into their bye week. Carolina would like nothing more than revenge for their loss in week 15 in Charlotte. Panthers get their wish, making it closer than 9 and coming away with the win from the Big Easy.

Dallas (9-6) at New York Giants (5-10), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. Dallas and the New York Giants meet in the Meadowlands in a season-finale for the home team, while the Cowboys advance their way into the post-season.

Dallas celebrate winning the NFC East in Arlington as the Cowboys held off Tampa Bay 27-20 at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys led 17-13 at the intermission in the Lone Star State, then watched Tampa Bay rally to make the contest a 7-point affair with 2:05 left in regulation when WR Mike Evans and QB Jameis Winston connected on a 7-yard TD toss. Tampa Bay would then attempt an onside kick, which Dallas recovered, allowing them to run the clock out and take the win and the NFC East crown. Dallas outrushed Tampa Bay 80-63, with Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 85 yards and Dak Prescott threw for 161 yards, while Winstron threw for 336 yards (each had a TD pass without an interception, Prescott had a rushing TD and a sack, while Winston was sacked three times). Dallas was 3 of 9 on third down and held the ball for 24:41, while Tampa Bay ruled the clock, holding the ball for 35:19, going 4 of 13 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth down.

Manning and the Giants watched their playoff hopes die and saw Indianapolis and Andrew Luck keep their playoff chances alive after they rallied to take a 29-28 win over Eli Manning and the New York Giants at Lucas Oil Stadium. Big Blue led 17-7 at the half, then the Colts would go on to chip away at the lead and trailed 27- 21 with 55 seconds left when Chester Rogers caught a 1-yard TD pass from Luck to take the lead for the first time and for keeps. The Colts then held off a late Giants rally as Malik Hooker picked Manning off to end the threat and take the win. While the Giants did outrush the Colts 83-49, Luck outpaced Manning, throwing for 357 yards and a pair of TDs (including the game-winner) with a sack, while Manning threw for 309 yards and a TD (both men threw an interception) in the loss. The Colts were 7 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 28:19, while the Giants, who went 7 of 12 on third down, actually ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 31:41.

They met in Arlington in week two and the Giants would rally and pull themselves to within three but came up on the short end of a 20-13 loss at Dallas. Big Blue trailed 10-0 at the intermission, then rallied to make the NFC East contest a 3-point affair when K Aldrick Rosas connected on a 38-yard field goal with 11 seconds left. While rushing for 138 yards, Dallas held the Giants to 35 yards on the ground and sacked Manning six times (Mannning threw for 279 yards), while Dak Prescott threw for 160 yards (both Prescott and Manning threw a TD pass) in the win. Dallas was 3 of 10 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:48, while the Giants ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:12, going 8 of 17 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week two contest at Jerry World, Dallas was favored by 3 in the Sunday night contest and they covered, winning by 7. The 42 over/under was left untouched as the two teams would combine for 33 points. In the rematch in the Meadowlands, the Cowboys are favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 42 1/2. The Giants have actually caused problems for Dallas of late and that will be the case this time around. For the Cowboys, it’s second verse, same as the first. Dallas covers the 6 1/2 and wins in the Meadowlands.

Oakland (4-11) at Kansas City (11-4), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. Round two of this old AFL/AFC West rivalry moves to the midwestern section of the United States as Kansas City hosts the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead.

The Raiders enter the Sunday afternoon contest in the Show-Me State with a 27-14 win over Denver Christmas Eve. The Raiders in their final home game of the 2018 campaign and perhaps their last game in Oakland took a 17-0 lead at the intermission and despite being outscored 14-10 in the last 30 minutes of play, took control of the contest to take the win. Denver was outrushed by the Silver and Black 114-100 with Raiders RB Doug Martin leading the way with 107 yards and a TD in the contest. Derek Carr threw for 167 yards with no TDs and was sacked once but did not throw an interception, while Denver’s Case Keenum threw for 202 yards with a pair of TDs, a pair of interceptions and a sack. The Silver and Black went 5 of 13 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 30:08, while the Broncos, who kept the ball for 29:52, went 6 of 14 on third down, 1 for 2 on fourth down.

Kansas City looks to restore order and take home field advantage after their 38-31 loss at Seattle last Sunday night. The Chiefs trailed 14-10 at the intermission in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, then rallied to make it a 7-point contest with 80 seconds left when Harrison Butker connected on a 32-yard field goal. Kansas City then tried an unsuccessful onside kick, which allowed Seattle to recover the ball, run out the clock and take the win. Seattle outrushed the Chiefs 210-154 and Damien Williams led the Chiefs with 103 yards of rushing, while Seattle’s Chris Carson led all rushers with 116 yards and a pair of TDs. Patrick Mahomes threw for 273 yards for Kansas City, while Russell Wilson threw for 271 yards for Seattle (both men threw three TDs without an interception; Wilson was sacked three times, Mahomes sacked once). Kansas City went 5 of 12 on third down (the Chiefs were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 24:58, while the Seahawks ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 35:02, while going 7 for 14 on third down tries.

They met in week 13 in Oakland and the Chiefs put an end to Oakland’s dwindling playoff hopes in that contest on the West Coast, taking a 40-33 win at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Kansas City led 19-7, then pulled away after the Silver and Black made it a 9-point contest early in the third quarter. Kansas City outrushed their AFC West rival 174-171 and Mahomes threw for 295 yards with four TDs (connecting with TE Travis Kelce on two of them) and no sacks or interceptions, while Oakland’s Derek Carr threw for 285 yards with three TDs and three sacks. Kansas City was 6 of 13 on third down (Andy Reid’s Chiefs were successful on fourth down, going 1 of 1) and kept the ball for 29:14, while the Raiders ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:46, going 9 for 12 on third down conversions.

Kansas City was a 15-point favorite in the week 13 contest but managed to win by only 7 on the West Coast. The two AFL/AFC West rivals did manage to cover the 55 1/2 over/under, as the two clubs merged for 73 points. This time, the Chiefs are favored again by 13 1/2 with a 54 over/under. The 54? Reasonable. The 13 1/2? That’s a bit generous. Given the history between these two teams, the Raiders are playing with house money and the Chargers are hoping that they pull off the upset in the Show-Me State. Oakland makes this one interesting but the Chiefs prevail at Arrowhead, becoming the one seed in the process.

Los Angeles Chargers (11-4) at Denver (6-9), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. The Los Angeles Chargers, fighting to be the one seed in the AFC and having a first-round bye, travels to the Rocky Mountains for a late Sunday afternoon AFL/AFC West meeting with the Denver Broncos.

The Chargers watched Baltimore keep their playoff hopes alive on the West Coast last Saturday evening as the Ravens held off the Chargers 22-10 at Stub Hub Centre. The Ravens led 6-3 at the half against Rivers and the Chargers, then floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of play, reclaiming the lead after the Chargers’ Melvin Gordon scored on a 1-yard run with 13:18 left in the third.

Baltimore would then go on to score their final 16 points of the game unchallenged, with the final tally coming when CB Tavon Young scored on a 62-yard fumble return with 2:40 left as the Chargers were driving to tie the contest up. Baltimore outrushed Los Angeles 159-51, with Jackson throwing for 204 yards and a TD, while Los Angeles’ Philip Rivers threw for 181 yards (Rivers was sacked four times and picked off twice, Jackson was sacked three times but did not throw an interception).
Baltimore went 4 of 14 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and the Ravens held on to the ball for 31:25, while the Chargers held on to the ball for 28:35, going 4 for 13 on thir down tries in the Saturday night contest on the West Coast.

Denver comes back the Mile High City with a 27-14 loss at Oakland on Christmas Eve under their belts. The Broncos could never get themselves on track in the Monday night contest, trailing 17-0 at the intermission, even though they did outscore Oakland 14-10 in the last 30 minutes of play. Denver was outrushed by the Silver and Black 114-100 with Raiders RB Doug Martin leading the way with 107 yards and a TD in the contest. Derek Carr threw for 167 yards with no TDs and was sacked once but did not throw an interception, while Denver’s Case Keenum threw for 202 yards with a pair of TDs, a pair of interceptions and a sack. The Silver and Black went 5 of 13 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 30:08, while the Broncos, who kept the ball for 29:52, went 6 of 14 on third down, 1 for 2 on fourth down.

They met in Los Angeles in week 11 and Denver got a last-second field goal from Brandon McManus to come away 23-22 winners. Los Angeles led 13-7 at the intermission, then led by 2 with 1:51 left when Denver used all of the 1:51 left on the clock, using a 7-play, 76-yard drive that got them into field goal range, with McManus nailing the game-winner from 34 yards away. Denver outrushed the Bolts 108-95 and Keenum threw for 205 yards, while Rivers threw for 401 yards with a pair of TDs (Rivers was sacked three times and threw a pair of interceptions) in the loss at home. The Chargers went 9 for 15 on third down tries at Stub Hub Centre and they would keep the ball for 37:49, while Denver kept the ball for 22:11 (including the final 1:51 of the contest), while going 3 for 10 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The Chargers were favored by 7 in the week 11 contest at Stub Hub Centre and while Denver took the win, they failed to cover the spread, winning by 1 and neither club touched the 47 over/under, as they merged for 45 points. The odds makers love the Chargers again, this time as 6 1/2 point favorites in the Rocky Mountains and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Denver would love nothing more than to play spoiler and ruin the Chargers’ playoff hopes. As for the Bolts? They know they’re in the post-season party, it’s the top seed they want. They may not get the top seed if Kansas City has anything to say about it but the Chargers leave Denver with the win, covering the 6 1/2.

Cincinnati (6-9) at Pittsburgh (8-6-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 712. It’s a win or else situaton for Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers as they return to Heinz Field for a rematch with their AFC North rivals from Cincinnati.

Baker Mayfield and Cleveland made it a sweep against Cincinnati as the Browns ended Cincinnati’s playoff hopes as they beat their instate and AFC North rivals 28-16 along the shores of Lake Erie last Sunday afternoon. After a scoreless first quarter, the Browns took a 16-0 lead with them to the break and would increase that lead to 23-0 as the third quarter came to an end before the Bengals would outscore them in the fourth quarter by a 18-3 margin. Cleveland outrushed Cincinnati 146-102 with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading all rushers with 112 yards, while Mayfield threw for 284 yards with three TDs and no interceptions or sacks (the Bengals’ Josh Driskel threw for 133 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions but was sacked three times). Cleveland went 5 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 35:31, while the Bengals kept the pigskin for 24:29 and went 1 for 8 on third down tries (both clubs were 1 for 1 on fourth down)

Pittsburgh watched the New Orleans Saints clinched home field throughout the playoffs as they held off a late Steeler rally to come away 31-28 winners in the Big Easy last Sunday. New Orleans led 17-14 at the half before the Steelers roared back in the third quarter to take a 28-24 lead at the end of three quarters, thanks to Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown connecting on their second TD toss of the afternoon. New Orleans would reclaim the lead with 85 seconds left in the contest when Brees and WR Michael Thomas connected on a 2-yard TD toss. Pittsburgh would then get the ball back with no time outs and got as close as the Saints’ 42-yard line before fumbling the ball, which New Orleans recovered. The Saints then proceeded to run out the clock and take the win. Pittsburgh outrushed New Orleans 65-57, with Roethlisberger throwing for 364 yards with three TDS and three sacks, while Brees threw for 313 yards with a TD and a pair of sacks. The Steelers were 6 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down, while the Saints were 6 of 12) and the clock was on the side of Pittsburgh, who held the ball for 31:20, while the Saints kept the pigskin for 28:40.

They met along the shores of the Ohio River in Cincinnati saw a 21-20 lead late in their contest with AFC North rival Pittsburgh evaporate as Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and WR Antonio Brown hooked up on a 31-yard TD pass to take a 28-21 win out of the Queen City in their week six meeting. Tied 14-14 at the intermission, then trailing 17-14 after three quarters of football. the Bengals and Andy Dalton (229 yards, two TDs, no interceptions) would take a 21-20 lead with 78 seconds left when HB Joe Mixon (64 yards) scored from a yard away. That lead and hopes of a win over their hated AFC North rivals would not last long as the Steelers used a 7-play, 77-yard drive that took 68 seconds of clock to reclaim the lead with the Brown catch and run (Roethlisberger and WR JuJu Smith-Schuester would connect on the two point conversion). Cincinnati would have one last chance to reclaim the lead and restore order but Dalton’s pass attempt with five seconds left fell short of its intended mark. Pittsburgh outrushed the Bengals 112-62 and Roethlisberger threw for 369 yards with no sacks or interceptions, while Steelers RB James Conner led the way with 111 yards and a pair of TDs. Cincinnati went 6 of 12 on third down and held on to the ball for 25:04, while the Steelers were 8 of 14 on third down, holding the ball for 34:56.

Cincinnati was favored by 2 1/2 points in their week six contest and the Steelers covered, winning by 7. Both teams missed the 53 over/under as the two clubs combined for 49 points. This time, the Steelers are a 14-point favorite in western Pennsylvania and the over/under’s 45 1/2. The 45 1/2 makes sense. The 14 points? That’s a little steep, considering that this is the regular season finale for both clubs. The Bengals would like to repeat what they did in Baltimore last year and put another team out of the post-season but the Steelers are not going to have any of it at Heinz Field. Steelers win the AFC North, although expect the Bengals to make it closer than 14.

Philadelphia (8-7) at Washington (7-8), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 718. It’s round two as a pair of NFC East rivals meet in Landover, with the Eagles hoping to come away with a playoff spot, while the Redskins look to damage the Eagles’ chances to repeate as Super Bowl champs.

The defending Super Bowl champs needed to rally in the final two minutes of their contest with the Houston Texans to take a 32-30 last-second win at Lincoln Financial Field last Sunday afternoon to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, while putting a dent in Houston’s post-season hopes. Houston led 16-13 at the break in the City of Brotherly Love, then watched Philadelphia take a 23-16 lead into the final quarter of play before storming back to reclaim the lead with 2:04 left when rookie WR Vyncint Smith caught a 35-yard TD pass from DeSean Watson to take a 30-29 lead. Philadelphia would then proceed to march down the field, using 11 plays, 72 yards and all of the 2:04 left on the clock when K Jake Elliott connected on a 35-yard field goal as time expired, denying the Texans a chance to win the AFC South. Houston outrushed Philadephia 62-57 with Watson leading all rushers with 49 yards and a pair of rushing TDs and threw for 339 yards and a pair of passing TDs (Watson was sacked four times but did not throw an interception), while Eagles back up QB Nick Foles threw for 471 yards and four TDs, connecting with TE Zach Ertz on two of those passes. Houston was 3 for 10 on third down (the Texans were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:15, while the defending Super Bowl champs kept their playoff hopes alive, going 9 for 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 33:45 (including the final 2:04 of the contest).

Washington’s playoff hopes were damaged in the Music City last Saturday afternoon as Tennessee came away 25-18 winners at Nissan Stadium. Washington led 10-9 at the half and would later held on to a 16-12 lead halfway through the final quarter of play before Tennessee rallied in the fourth when Matt Pruitt caught a 7-yard TD toss from backup QB Blaine Gabbert (who took over for Marcus Mariota, who left the contest with an arm injury) with 4:30 left, then put the contest away as time expired when CB Malcom Butler scored on a 56-yard interception return as Washington was threatening. Washington outrushed Tennessee 161-99, with Redskins RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 119 yards. Gabbert threw for 101 yards and the winnning score (Mariota threw for 110 yards with a pair of sacks and no interceptions, Gabbert was sacked once), while Washington QB Jeff Johnson threw for 153 yards in the loss with a pair of sacks and a pair of interceptions. Washington went 8 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 33:03, while Tennesse, who held on to the pigskin for 26:57, going 5 for 11 on third down tries.

Philadelphia and Washington met in the City of Brotherly Love in week 13 on a Monday night and the defending Super Bowl champs came away 28-13 winners at Lincoln Financial Field. Philadelphia took a 14-13 lead with them to the break, then scored 14 fourth-quarter points without a challenge (the two teams went scoreless in the third) to take control of things, using a 4-yard TD pass from Carson Wentz to Josh Matthews, a Wentz to Golden Tate two-point conversion and a pair of Elliot field goals to take the win. Philadelphia outrushed Washington 130-104 and Wentz threw for 306 yards and a pair of TDs, while the Eagles’ defense knocked Colt McCoy (50 yards, sack) out of the contest, forcing Washington to replace him with Mark Sanchez, who threw for 100 yards. Philadelphia went 7 of 13 on third down (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 39:19, while the Redskins held on to the pigskin for 20:41, going 2 of 10 on third down.

In the week 13 Monday night contest, Philadelphia covered the 6 1/2 point spread, winning by 16 but both clubs barely missed the 44 over/under by 3 points. The odds makers like the defending Super Bowl champs as 6 1/2 point favorites in Landover with a 42 over/under. The Eagles want a chance to defend their title, Washington wants to crash their party. Fly, Eagles Fly! The defending Super Bowl champs make their way to the playoffs with the road win and covers the 6 1/2.

Cleveland (7-7-1) at Baltimore (9-6), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. The Baltimore Ravens return home to Charm City with their playoff hopes in tact as they take on Baker Mayfield and the resurging Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium in a late Sunday afternoon contest. Both teams were winners in last week’s action.

Mayfield made it a sweep against Cincinnati as they beat their instate and AFC North rivals 28-16 along the shores of Lake Erie last Sunday afternoon. After a scoreless first quarter, the Browns took a 16-0 lead with them to the break and would increase that lead to 23-0 as the third quarter came to an end before the Bengals would outscore them in the fourth quarter by a 18-3 margin. Cleveland outrushed Cincinnati 146-102 with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading all rushers with 112 yards, while Mayfield threw for 284 yards with three TDs and no interceptions or sacks (the Bengals’ Josh Driskel threw for 133 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions but was sacked three times). Cleveland went 5 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 35:31, while the Bengals kept the pigskin for 24:29 and went 1 for 8 on third down tries (both clubs were 1 for 1 on fourth down)

Baltimore kept their playoff hopes alive on the West Coast last Saturday evening as they held off the Los Angeles Chargers 22-10 at Stub Hub Centre. The Ravens led 6-3 at the half against Rivers and the Chargers, then floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of play, reclaiming the lead after the Chargers’ Melvin Gordon scored on a 1-yard run with 13:18 left in the third.

Baltimore would then go on to score their final 16 points of the game unchallenged, with the final tally coming when CB Tavon Young scored on a 62-yard fumble return with 2:40 left as the Chargers were driving to tie the contest up. Baltimore outrushed Los Angeles 159-51, with Jackson throwing for 204 yards and a TD, while Los Angeles’ Philip Rivers threw for 181 yards (Rivers was sacked four times and picked off twice, Jackson was sacked three times but did not throw an interception).
Baltimore went 4 of 14 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and the Ravens held on to the ball for 31:25, while the Chargers held on to the ball for 28:35, going 4 for 13 on thir down tries in the Saturday night contest on the West Coast.

Baltimore and Cleveland met in week 5 along the shores of Lake Erie and the Browns went into an overtime contest at home but this time, Cleveland prevailed as they escaped with a 12-9 win over Baltimore along the shores of Lake Erie in week five. Cleveland led 6-3 at the break before the Ravens would rally in the third and fourth quarters to even things up, thanks to a pair of Jeff Tucker field goals in the second half. Cleveland’s Rashard Higgins would score the game’s only TD when he and rookie QB Baker Mayfield connected on a 19-yard TD pass with 40 seconds left before the intermission. Greg Joseph would miss the extra point but would kick two more field goals, including the game-winner with two seconds left in overtime to take the win. While Baltimore outrushed Cleveland 116-112, Mayfield threw for 342 yards, with Baltimore’s Joe Flacco throwing for 298 yards (Flacco was sacked twice, Mayfield was sacked five times and each man threw an interception) in the overtime contest. The Ravens were 4 of 16 on third down (Baltimore was 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:42, while the Browns, who picked up their first win on a Sunday since December of 2015, kept the ball for 36:16 (including the overtime) and went 6 of 19 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down conversions. Cleveland’s three overtime games in 2018 ties them for most by team in 1st 5 games of season since regular season overtime rule was adopted in 1974.

In the week five contest along the shores of Lake Erie, the Ravens were favored by 3 and the Browns covered, winning by that margin. The 19 combined points, including the overtime, did not touch the 47 over/under. In this meeting that could either give the Browns their first winning season since 2007 or the Ravens the AFC North title, Baltimore’s favored by 6 in Charm City and the over/under’s 41. The Ravens remember the last time they were in this situation and the Buffalo Bills were thankful to Cincinnati as they knocked Baltimore out of the 2017 post-season party. Pittsburgh fans will be pulling for Cleveland to win this one and they’re going to be rewarded. Baltimore will make this one close but Cleveland makes history and Steeler fans happy as they take the win in Charm City.

San Francisco (4-11) at Los Angeles Rams (12-3), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 719. They met in northern California in week seven. This time, it’s San Francisco’s turn to make the 346-mile trip down I-5 to face off against the Los Angeles Rams in a late afternoon West Coast contest.

San Francisco watched a 9-7 lead at the half against Chicago vanish as Da Bears came away 14-9 winners at Levis Stadium last Sunday. The defending NFC North champs took the lead for keeps with 4:14 left in the third quarter when RB Jordan Howard scored on a 2-yard run to lead by 5. The two clubs would then play a scoreless fourth quarter, with Chicago holding off San Francisco to take the road win. Chicago outrushed the 49ers 90-47 and Mitchell Trubisky threw for 246 yards with a TD and no interceptions (Trubisky was sacked three time), while Nate Mullens threw for 241 yards with a sack and an interception in the home finale for San Francisco. Da Bears were 5 for 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:30, while the 49ers kept the pigskin for 24:30, going 7 of 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

The Rams took care of business last Sunday in Glendale, with the defending NFC West Champs taking a 31-9 win at State Farm Stadium over the Arizona Cardinals. Los Angeles led 21-9 at the break, then shut out the Desert Angry Birds, as Los Angeles scored their last 10 points of the contest without a challenge. The Rams easily outrushed Arizona 269-104, with Los Angeles RB Chris Anderson leading the way with 167 yards and a TD. Rams QB Jared Goff threw for 216 yards with a TD and no interceptions, while Josh Rosen threw for 87 yards and was sacked four times (Goff was sacked once). The Rams were 6 for 9 on third down tries and ruled the clock, as they held on to the ball for 37:04, while the Desert Angry Birds kept the ball for 22:56, while going 2 of 11 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

The Rams kept themselves in the ranks of the unbeatens after they took care of San Francisco 39-10 in Santa Clara in their week seven contest in Santa Clara. The defending NFC West champions led 22-7 at the intermission and held San Francisco to a 51-yard field goal by Robbie Gould late in the third quarter. Rams RB Todd Gurley ran for a pair of TDs and caught a TD pass from Jared Goff as Los Angeles outrushed San Francisco 146-107 (Gurley ran for 63 yards, while Goff threw for 202 yards with a pair of TDs and a pair of sacks), while San Francisco’s C.J. Beatherd threw for 170 yards with a pair of TDs and seven sacks. The Rams were 5 for 12 on third down tries and held the ball for 32:51. San Francisco kept the ball for 27:09 in the loss at Santa Clara and went 3 of 11, 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

The Rams easily covered the 10 1/2-oint spread in wine country, winning by 21 but both teams missed the 54 over/under as they merged for 49 points. The powers that be in Vegas like the Rams again, this time as 10-point favorites, with the over/under at 50. While the 49ers have struggled this year, they’ll make this one a bit tougher for the Rams. However… the Rams close out the 2018 season with the win at home and could cover the 10.

Arizona (3-12) at Seattle (9-6), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. They go from the desert to the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Seattle and Arizona meet at Century Link Field in the season finale for both clubs.

The Desert Angry Birds got their feathers ruffled by the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday in Glendale, with the defending NFC West Champs taking a 31-9 win at State Farm Stadium. Arizona trailed 21-9 at the break, then watched the Rams shut them out, as Los Angeles scored their last 10 points of the contest without a challenge. The Rams easily outrushed Arizona 269-104, with Los Angeles RB Chris Anderson leading the way with 167 yards and a TD. Rams QB Jared Goff threw for 216 yards with a TD and no interceptions, while Josh Rosen threw for 87 yards and was sacked four times (Goff was sacked once). The Rams were 6 for 9 on third down tries and ruled the clock, as they held on to the ball for 37:04, while the Desert Angry Birds kept the ball for 22:56, while going 2 of 11 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

Seattle restored order last Sunday night against Pat Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, coming away 38-31 winners at Seattle last Sunday night. Seattle led 14-10 at the intermission in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, then watched the Chiefs rally to make it a 7-point contest with 80 seconds left when Harrison Butker connected on a 32-yard field goal. Kansas City then tried an unsuccessful onside kick, which allowed Seattle to recover the ball, run out the clock and take the win. Seattle outrushed the Chiefs 210-154 and Damien Williams led the Chiefs with 103 yards of rushing, while Seattle’s Chris Carson led all rushers with 116 yards and a pair of TDs. Patrick Mahomes threw for 273 yards for Kansas City, while Russell Wilson threw for 271 yards for Seattle (both men threw three TDs without an interception; Wilson was sacked three times, Mahomes sacked once). Kansas City went 5 of 12 on third down (the Chiefs were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 24:58, while the Seahawks ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 35:02, while going 7 for 14 on third down tries.

Seattle went down to the wire in Glendale against the Desert Angry Birds before leaving the desert 20-17 winners, thanks to a 52-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski as time expired in their week four meeting. Arizona led 10-7 at the break before Seattle would rally to take a 17-10 lead with 60 seconds left in the third quarter. That lead would not last long as Arizona would tie things back up with 8:59 left in regulation when WR Chad Williams and QB Josh Rosen connected on a 22-yard TD strike. That would keep things even until Seattle got the ball back with 1:50 left to play and used all of that 1:50 to go on a 7-play, 31-yard drive which allowed the veteran Janikowski to boot the game winner as time expired. Seattle outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 171-92, with Seahawks RB Mike Davis leading the way with 101 yards and a pair of TDs in the win. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw for 172 yards and no interceptions (two sacks), while Rosen threw for 180 yards and the lone TD. The Seahawks on third down were 0 for 10 on third down but were 1 of 2 on fourth down tries and held the ball for 31:46 (which included the final 1:50 of the game), while the Cardinals were 5 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 28:14.

Seattle covered the 3-point spread in the desert with their 3-point win in Glendale but both teams failed to cover the 39 over/under, missing by 2 points. Seattle’s a huge favorite in this one. How huge, you ask? 13 1/2 points with a 38 1/2 over/under. The 38 1/2 makes sense. The 13 1/2? Even though the Cardinals are bad, they’re not 13 1/2 bad. They’ll give Seattle some problems but the Seahawks win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks.

Indianapolis (9-6) at Tennessee (9-6), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. It’s ‘Winner Take All” in the final Sunday night game of the 2018 season as Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts make their way to Nashville to face off against Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans. Both teams were close winners at home in their contests last Sunday.

The Colts kept their playoff chances alive after they rallied to take a 29-28 win over Eli Manning and the New York Giants at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis trailed 17-7 at the half, then the Colts would go on to chip away at the lead and trailed 27- 21 with 55 seconds left when Chester Rogers caught a 1-yard TD pass from Luck to take the lead for the first time and for keeps. The Colts then held off a late Giants rally as Malik Hooker picked Manning off to end the threat and take the win. While the Giants did outrush the Colts 83-49, Luck outpaced Manning, throwing for 357 yards and a pair of TDs (including the game-winner) with a sack, while Manning threw for 309 yards and a TD (both men threw an interception) in the loss. The Colts were 7 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 28:19, while the Giants, who went 7 of 12 on third down, actually ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 31:41.

Tennessee damaged Washington’s playoff hopes in the Music City last Saturday afternoon as the Titans came away 25-18 winners at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee trailed 10-9 at the half and would later found themselves trailing 16-12 halfway through the final quarter of play before rallied in the fourth when Matt Pruitt caught a 7-yard TD toss from backup QB Blaine Gabbert (who took over for Mariota, who left the contest with an arm injury) with 4:30 left, then put the contest away as time expired when CB Malcom Butler scored on a 56-yard interception return as Washington was threatening. Washington outrushed Tennessee 161-99, with Redskins RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 119 yards. Gabbert threw for 101 yards and the winnning score (Mariota threw for 110 yards with a pair of sacks and no interceptions, Gabbert was sacked once), while Washington QB Jeff Johnson threw for 153 yards in the loss with a pair of sacks and a pair of interceptions. Washington went 8 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 33:03, while Tennesse, who held on to the pigskin for 26:57, going 5 for 11 on third down tries.

They met in the Hoosier State in week 12 and Tennessee watched Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts win their fourth in a row, as the Colts went on to take down Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans 38-10 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Tennessee trailed 24-3 at the break and were never ble to get themselves on track, as the Titans were outscored by the Colts 14-7 in the final 30 minutes of action. Indy outrushed Tennessee 102-87 and Luck threw for 297 yards with three TDs and no sacks or interceptions, while Mariota threw for 85 yards with four sacks and a pick before being replaced by Blaine Gabbert, who threw for 118 yards and a TD (Gabbert threw an interception and was sacked once). The Colts went 5 of 10 on third down conversions at Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday and kept the ball for 31:16, while Tennessee kept the pigskin for 28:44, going 6 for 14 on third down (neither had a fourth down try).

The Colts’ 28-point win in the Hoosier State allowed them to cover the 2 1/2 point spread and both teams covered the 48 over/under in that week 12 contest. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Colts again, this time as 3 point favorites and the over/under’s 43 1/2. The winner? They get to be the six seed in the AFC playoffs. The loser? They get to clean out their lockers, as their next game is in 2019. For the Colts, six is a great number, Indy covers the 3 on the road and wins in the Music City.

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The National Football League today announced that the Indianapolis Colts will face the Tennessee Titans on Sunday Night Football on NBC at 8:20 p.m. The winner of that contest will advance to the NFL playoffs.

The league also announced that the Oakland-Kansas City game will be played at 4:25 p.m. on CBS.

A look at the Week 17 schedule (all times Eastern):

Sunday, December 30, 2018
ATLANTA at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
Carolina at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX
Dallas at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on FOX
Detroit at Green Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
Jacksonville at Houston, 1 p.m. on CBS
Miami at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS
New York Jets at New England, 1 p.m. on CBS
Arizona at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Chicago at Minnesota, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Oakland at Kansas City, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Cleveland at Baltimore, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Philadelphia at Washington, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Indianapolis at Tennessee, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Two weeks left. Five playoff spots have been claimed. Seven more spots are open and come the end of play on Christmas Eve night, those spots could very well be filled. Football’s answer to the kid’s party game Musicial Chairs continues and for those that are still in contention, as long as the music plays and there are chairs, you have a chance. It’s when the music stops and there’s scrambling for a chair that presents a problem. The winner gets to stay, the loser gets the somewhat unfair task of sitting out and watching the others have fun.

When the 2018 NFL regular season comes to an end December 30, 12 teams will be on the NFL nice list, which means that they’ll be in the post-season party. For the other 20 teams that didn’t make the post-season? They’re on the naughty list.

SEVEN FROM LAST SUNDAY: Chicago defeated Green Bay, 24-17 to clinch the NFC North division title for the first time since 2010.

The Bears, who finished in fourth place in the NFC North last season, completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround in 2018. In 15 of the past 16 seasons, at least one team has finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place.

The Los Angeles Chargers, who defeated Kansas City 29-28 on Thursday night, clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2013.

•Tennessee running back Derrick Henry rushed for 170 yards and two touchdowns in the Titans’ 17-0 victory over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Henry rushed for 238 yards and four touchdowns in Week 14, became the fifth player since 2002 to record at least 170 rushing yards and two touchdown runs in consecutive games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer La Dainian Tomlinson (2006), Deuce Mc Allister (2003), Clinton Portis (2003) and Ricky Williams (2002).

Henry’s 408 rushing yards since Week 14 are the most by a player over a two-game span in franchise history, surpassing the previous high of 405 yards set by Pro Football Hall of Famer Earl Campbell in Weeks 7-8 for the 1980 Houston Oilers. His six rushing touchdowns are the most by a player in team history over any two-game span.

•Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky completed 20 of 28 passes (71.4 percent) for 235 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 120.4 passer rating in the Bears’ 24-17 victory over Green Bay.

Trubisky has recorded a passer rating of at least 120 (minimum 15 attempts) in four games this season, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Sid Luckman (three games in 1943), Rudy Bukich (three in 1965) and Erik Kramer (three in 1995) for the most such games by a quarterback in a single season in franchise history.

•Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones had 82 receiving yards and a touchdown in the Falcons’ 40-14 victory over Arizona.

Jones, who leads the NFL with 1,511 receiving yards, is the fifth player in NFL history with at least three career seasons with 1,500+ receiving yards, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (four seasons) and Marvin Harrison (three), Antonio Brown (three) and Andre Johnson (three). Jones also has 100 receptions this season, joining Harrison (three), Brown (three) and Johnson (three) as the only players in NFL history with at least 100 catches and 1,500 receiving yards in three career seasons.

•Baltimore, led by rookie running back Gus Edwards (104 rushing yards) and rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson (95 rushing yards), recorded 242 rushing yards in the Ravens’ 20-12 victory over Tampa Bay. Baltimore has rushed for at least 190 yards in five consecutive games and is the first team to accomplish the feat since the 1976 Pittsburgh Steeler, who had five consecutive games from October 17 to November 14.

•Indianapolis running back Marlon Mack rushed for 139 yards and two touchdowns in the Colts’ 23-0 victory over Dallas.

Mack, who also rushed for 132 yards and two scores in the Colts’ Week 8 victory over Oakland, is the third player in franchise history to record multiple games with at least 125 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in a single season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (two games in 1987) and Edgerrin James (two games in both 1999 and 2005).

•Minnesota recorded nine sacks, including two sacks each from defensive end Dannielle Hunter and linebacker Anthony Barr, in the team’s 41-17 victory over Miami. The Vikings, who recorded 10 sacks in the team’s Week 9 victory over Detroit, are the second team since 1990 to register at least nine sacks in multiple games in a single season, joining the 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars (two games). The Vikings are the seventh team since the 1970 merger to record multiple such games in a single season.

As the NFL enters Week 16, five postseason berths have been clinched and seven remain up for grabs. Nineteen of the league’s 32 teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIII and 14 of the 16 games on this week’s schedule feature at least one team still alive in the race to Atlanta.

Two teams – Chicago (NFC North) and the Los Angeles Chargers (playoff berth) – clinched a berth in the 2018 NFL postseason last week. Da Bears, who finished in fourth place in the NFC North last season, completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround in 2018. In 15 of the past 16 seasons, at least one team has finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. Since the 12-team playoff format began in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

In the AFC, Houston (10-4) can clinch the AFC South division title with a victory, while New England (9-5) can secure their 10th consecutive AFC East division title with a win. The Patriots have advanced to the postseason in nine consecutive seasons (2009-2017), tied with Dallas (nine from 1975-1983) and Indianapolis (nine from 2002-2010) for the most consecutive seasons in NFL history with a playoff berth.

Kansas City (11-3) and the Los Angeles Chargers (11-3) are tied atop with the AFC West and continue to battle for position in the AFC playoff picture. Pittsburgh (8-5-1) can secure the AFC North title with a victory coupled with a Baltimore loss. Additionally, Baltimore (8-6), Cleveland (6-7-1), Indianapolis (8-6), Miami (7-7) and Tennessee (8-6) all look to remain in the hunt.

In the NFC, three divisions have been clinched – the NFC North (Chicago), NFC South (New Orleans) and NFC West (Los Angeles Rams). The battle for the NFC East continues, as Dallas (8-6) can secure the division title with a victory this week but  Philadelphia (7-7) and Washington (7-7) remain in the thick of the race.

With a win in Week 16, New Orleans (12-2) would clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. The race for the two Wild Card positions in the NFC remains competitive, with Carolina (6-8), Minnesota (7-6-1) and Seattle (8-6) fighting for a position in the playoff picture. The scenarios for week 16 can either so clear even a five-year old could understand or cause more confusion than a mouse in a burlesque show (apologies to Foghorn Leghorn!). Below are the scenarios for week 16. Pay attention and take notes… there will be a quiz afterward.

2018 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 16

NFC

CLINCHED: Los Angeles Rams – NFC West division title, New Orleans – NFC South division title, Chicago – NFC North division title

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (12-2) vs. Pittsburgh (8-5-1), Sunday at 4:25 p.m. on CBS

New Orleans clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
New Orleans win OR
New Orleans tie + Los Angeles Rams loss or tie OR
CHI loss or tie + Los Angeles Rams loss

New Orleans clinches a first-round bye with:
New Orleans tie OR
Chicago loss or tie OR
Los Angeles Rams loss

Los Angeles Rams (11-3) at Arizona (3-11), Sunday at 4:05 p.m. on FOX

Los Angeles clinches a first-round bye with:
Los Angeles Rams win + Chicago loss or tie OR
Los Angeles Rams tie + Chicago loss

Dallas (8-6) vs. Tampa Bay (5-9), Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX

Dallas clinches NFC East division title with:
Dallas win OR
Dallas tie + Philadelphia loss or tie + Washington loss or tie OR
Philadelphia loss + Washington loss

Dallas clinches a playoff berth with:
Dallas tie + Minnesota loss

Seattle (8-6) vs. Kansas City (11-3), Sunday night at 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Seattle clinches a playoff berth with:
Seattle win + Washington loss or tie OR
Seattle win or tie + Minnesota loss OR
Seattle win + Seattle clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over Washington OR
Seattle win + Minnesota tie + Seattle clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over Minnesota OR
Seattle tie + Washington loss + Philadelphia loss or tie

Minnesota (7-6-1) at Detroit (5-9), Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX

Minnesota clinches a playoff berth with:
Minnesota win+ Philadelphia loss or tie + Washington loss

AFC

CLINCHED: Kansas City Chiefs – Playoff berth, Los Angeles Chargers – Playoff berth

Kansas City (11-3) at Seattle (8-6), Sunday night at 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title and a first-round bye with:
Kansas City win + Los Angeles Chargers loss

Kansas City clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:
Kansas City win + Los Angeles Chargers loss + Houston loss or tie OR
Kansas City win + Los Angeles Chargers loss + Kansas City clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over Houston

Houston (10-4) at Philadelphia (7-7), Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS

Houston clinches AFC South division title with:
Houston win or tie OR
Indianapolis  loss or tie + TEN loss or tie

Houston clinches a first-round bye with:
Houston win + New England loss or tie OR
Houston tie + New England loss

Houston clinches a playoff berth with:
Baltimore loss or tie OR
Pittsburgh loss OR
Tennessee loss or tie + Houston clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over Baltimore

New England (9-5) vs. Buffalo (5-9), Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS

New England clinches AFC East division title with:
New England win or tie OR
Miami loss or tie

Pittsburgh (8-5-1) at New Orleans (12-2), Sunday at 4:25 p.m. on CBS

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North division title with:
Pittsburgh win + Baltimore loss or tie OR
Pittsburgh tie + Baltimore loss

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth with:
Pittsburgh win + Indianapolis loss + Tennessee loss

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 16:

WORST TO FIRST: As the NFL enters Week 16, five postseason berths have been clinched and seven remain up for grabs. Nineteen of the league’s 32 teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIII and 14 of the 16 games on this week’s schedule feature at least one team still alive in the race to Atlanta.

Two teams – Chicago Bears (NFC North) and the Los Angeles Chargers (playoff berth) – clinched a berth in the 2018 NFL postseason last week. The Bears, who finished in fourth place in the NFC North last season, completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround in 2018. The Houston Texans (10-4), who finished in last in the AFC South in 2017, can clinch the division title at Philadelphia at 1 p.m. on CBS with a win or tie or if both Indianapolis and Tennessee lose or tie.

In 15 of the past 16 seasons, at least one team has finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. Since the 12-team playoff format began in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

HISTORY IN THE MAKING: Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the NFL with 45 touchdown passes this season.

On Sunday night at Seattle at 8:20 p.m. on NBC, Mahomes can continue his climb up the NFL’s single season touchdown pass leaderboard.

The players with the most touchdown passes in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Peyton Manning, Denver (2013 – 55)#
Tom Brady, New England (2007 – 50)#
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (2004 – 49)#
Dan Marino, Miami (1984 – 48)^#
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2011 – 46)
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (2018 – 45)*
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (2011 – 45)#
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player
*Entering Week 16

SHAKE & BAKER: Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield, selected first overall by the Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft, leads all rookies with 21 touchdown passes this season.

With three touchdown passes on Sunday at home against Cincinnati at 1 p.m. on CBS, Mayfield would surpass Andrew Luck (23 touchdown passes in 2012) for the second-most touchdown passes by a rookie quarterback selected No. 1 overall in the common draft era.

The most touchdown passes by a rookie selected No. 1 overall in the common draft era:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – PASSING TOUCHDOWNS)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (1998 – 26)
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis (2012 – 23)
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay (2015 – 22)
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland (2018 – 21)*
Cam Newton, Carolina (2011 – 21)#
#Named Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year
*Entering Week 16

RUN & CATCH: Carolina running back Chrstian McCaffrey leads all running backs with 94 receptions in 2018.

With nine receptions on Sunday at home against Atlanta at 1 p.m. on FOX, McCaffrey would surpass Matt Forté (102 receptions in 2014) for the most receptions by a running back in a single season in NFL history.

The running backs with the most receptions in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RECEPTIONS)
Matt Forté, Chicago (2014 – 102)
Larry Centers, Arizona (1995 – 101)
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (2003 – 100)^
Larry Centers, Arizona (1996 – 99)
Chrstian McCaffrey, Carolina (2018 – 94)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Entering Week 16

New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley leads all rookies with 82 receptions and needs seven catches at Indianapolis at 1 p.m. on CBS to surpass Reggie Bush (88 in 2006) for the most receptions by a rookie running back in league annals.

The rookie running backs with the most receptions in league annals:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RECEPTIONS)
Reggie Bush, New Orleans (2006 – 88)
Earl Cooper, San Francisco (1980 – 83)
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (2018 – 82)*
*Entering Week 16

RECORD-SETTING TIGHT ENDS: Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce leads all tight ends with a career-high 1,220 receiving yards in 2018.

With 108 receiving yards against Seattle on Sunday night at 8:20 p.m. on NBC, Kelce would surpass Rob Gronkowski (1,327 receiving yards in 2011) for the most receiving yards by a tight end in a single season in NFL history.

The tight ends with the most receiving yards in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RECIEVING YARDS)
Rob Gronkowski, New England (2011 – 1,327)
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans (2011 – 1,310)
Kellen Winslow, San Diego (1980 – 1,290)^
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City (2004 – 1,258)
Todd Christensen, Los Angeles Raiders (1983 – 1,247)
Travis Kelce, Kansas City (2018 – 1,220)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Entering Week 16

Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz, who ranks third in the NFL with 101 receptions, needs 10 catches against Houston on Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS to surpass Jason Witten (110 receptions in 2012) for the most receptions by a tight end in a single season in league annals.

The tight ends with the most receptions in a single season in league annals:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RECEPTIONS)
Jason Witten, Dallas (2012 – 110)
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City (2004 – 102)
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia (2018 – 101)*
*Entering Week 16

KEEP IT 100: Five players – New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas (109 receptions), Minnesota wide receiver Adam Thielen (105), Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz (101), Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones (100) and Green Bay wide receiver Davante Adams (100) – have recorded at least 100 receptions this season.

Entering Week 16, six additional players – Pittsburgh wide receivers Juju Smith-Schuster (95 receptions) and Antonio Brown (90), Houston wide receiver De Andre Hopkins (94), Carolina running back Chrstian McCaffrey (94), Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce (93) and Minnesota wide receiver Stefon Diggs (92) – currently have at least 90 receptions.

With 10 players recording at least 100 catches this season, the 2018 season would surpass the 1995 season (nine) for the most players with at least 100 catches in a single season.

The seasons with the most players with at least 100 receptions in NFL history:

SEASON – PLAYERS WITH 100+ RECEPTIONS

1995 – 9
2015 – 7
Many tied with 6
2018 – 5*
*Entering Week 16

Week 16 got underway with a Saturday doubleheader starting in Nashville as Tennessee held off Washington 26-15 in Nashville in the first contest of the day and Baltimore edged the Los Angeles Chargers 22-10 at Stub Hub Centre in the second Saturday contest. Week 16 concludes in Oakland on Christmas Eve as the Raiders and Broncos meet in an AFC West/AFC contest.

As for last week… a lot better than we had hoped, going 8-8 for the week, 124-96 for the year. We hear that Santa likes Monday night football, so be sure to leave some football-shaped cookies for him and hay for the reindeer Monday night. Having said that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 16.

ATLANTA (5-9) at Carolina (6-8), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons make the 245-mile trip up I-85 for a rematch with NFC South rival Carolina in Charlotte. The Panthers will be without QB Cam Newton because of a lingering shoulder injury, which means that Taylor Heinicke will be under center for the remainder of the season.

The Falcons trailed Arizona 7-0 early in the first quarter, then proceeded to score 40 points unchallenged in their home finale, breaking their five-game losing streak and came away with the 40-14 win in the Big Peach. Atlanta led 26-7 at the intermission, then floored the gas in the second half, using a 43-yard run from RB Tevin Coleman and a 5-yard TD toss from Ryan to WR Justin Hardy to all but seal Arizona’s fate. Atlanta outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 215-60 with Coleman leadng the way on the ground with 145 yards on 11 carries, Ryan threw for 231 yards with a pair of TDs (one to WR Julio Jones) and had a rushing TD of his own, while Arizona’s Josh Rosen threw for 132 yards in the lopsided loss, throwing a pair of interceptions to go with six sacks. Atlanta went 5 of 13 on third down tries in the home finale and ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 30:40, while the Cardinals were 3 for 13 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 29:20.

Carolina dropped their sixth contest in a row, losing in Charlotte to New Orleans 12-9 last Monday night. The Panthers led 7-6 at the intermission at Bank of America Stadium before the Saints would take the lead away from the Panthers when Alvin Kamara scored on a 16-yard run with 12:12 left in the contest. New Orleans then attempted a 2-point conversion to make the contest a five-point affair but Drew Brees’ 2-point attempt to WR Michael Thomas was picked off by Dante Jackson, who ran the ball back for a defensive two point conversion to keep the Panthers close. Carolina would later get the ball back after New Orleans fumbled it out of the endzone, creating a touchback and giving the Panthers the ball on their 20-yard line. Newton and the Panthers would eventually get as close as their 39-yard line but could not get any closer as Newton’s fourth-down pass attempt was incomplete, which gave the Saints the ball back and New Orleans would run the clock out and take the win. New Orleans outrushed Carolina 155-98 and Newton threw for 131 yards with four sacks, while Brees threw for 203 yards (both men threw an interception, Newton was sacked four times, Brees twice). Carolina was 7 of 15 on third down (the Panther were 1 for 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 24:51, while the Saints ruled the clock, holding the ball for 35:09, going 4 of 13 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

They met in the Big Peach in week 2 and the Falcons came away with the 31-24 win. Atlanta took a 17-10 halftime lead against Cam Newton and the Panthers in the Big Peach to take the win, as Ryan threw a pair of TD passes (the first to rookie WR Calvin Ridley, the second to TE Austin Hooper) but Ryan also contributed with a pair of rushing TDs inside the red zone. Atlanta outrushed Carolina 170-121, with Falcons RB Tevin Coleman leading all rushers with 107 yards in the contest. Newton threw for 335 yards and three TDs, while Ryan threw for 272 yards (both Ryan and Newton were picked off once). Atlanta would go on to hold off a late Carolina rally that would have tied things up in the final seconds of the fourth quarter when Newton’s final pass attempt fell short of its mark and went incomplete. Carolina was 5 of 11 on third down (the Panthers were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 30:18, while Atlanta was 6 of 11 on third down tries, keeping the ball for 29:42.

The Falcons covered the 5 1/2-point spread with their 7-point win in the Big Peach in the week two contest and both teams took care of and covered the 44 over/under, combining for 55 points. The rematch in the Tar Heel State has Carolina as a 3-point favorite with a 48 over/under. Carolina’s trying to get themselves into the post-season party. Atlanta would love nothing more than to crash Carolina’s hopes.

Cincinnati (6-8) at Cleveland (6-7-1), 1 p.m. on CBS  and DirecTV 706. It’s round two of the Buckeye State War as the Bengals make the 248-mile trip up I–77 to face off against the Cleveland Browns in an AFC North rematch along the shores of Lake Erie. Both teams were winners in last week’s action.

The Bengals broke a five-game losing streak as they came away with a 30-16 win over Oakland 33:19at Paul Brown Stadium last Sunday. Cincinnati led 20-7 at the intermission, even though they would be outscored 13-10 in the final 30 minutes of play. Bengals HB Joe Mixon led all rushers with 129 yards and a pair of TDs as the Bengals outrushed the Silver and Black 171-68 and the Cincinnati defense sacked Derek Carr (263 yards, TD) five times, while Josh Driskell threw for 130 yards with a TD to TE Travis Boyd, a sack and an interception. The Bengals were 8 for 19 on third down conversions (they were 2 for 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:19, while the Raiders went 3 for 14 on third down, keeping the ball for 26:41.

The suddenly resurging Browns erased a 13-10 deficit at the end of the third quarter at Denver last Saturday night and came away 17-16 winners at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Cleveland and Denver entered halftime tied at 10-10 before the Broncos took the 13-10 lead with 1:41 left in the third on a Brandon McManus field goal to go into the fourth quarter on top. That would not be the case as the Browns would take the lead with 11:44 left in regulation when rookie QB Baker Mayfield and rookie WR Antonio Callaway connected on a 2-yard TD strike to take a four-point lead. McMannus would pull the Broncos to within one with 4:35 left thanks to a 29-yard field goal and Denver would eventually get the ball back after Cleveland punted with 1:49. The Broncos would get as close as midfield as Denver QB Case Keenum would throw three interceptions and was sacked by CB Jabril Peppers to end any hopes of Denver winning the contest. Cleveland outrushed Denver 134-32, with rookie RB Nick Chubb leading the way with 100 yards on the ground, Mayfield threw for 188 yards and a pair of TDs for the Broncos, while Keenum threw for 257 yards with a rushing TD, while throwing a pair of interceptions (both Mayfield and Keenum were sacked twice). Cleveland was 5 of 12 on third down, Denver was 5 of 14 and the Broncos actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:39, while the Browns kept it for 27:21 (both clubs went 1 of 2 on fourth down).

The two Ohio/AFC North rivals met along the shores of the Ohio River in week 12 and it would be the Browns that would prevail that afternoon, taking a 35-20 out of Cincinnati that afternoon. Cincinnati trailed 28-7 at the intermission and could never get things on track at home. While Cincinnati outrushed Cleveland 129-84, Andy Dalton threw for only 100 yards with a TD and an interception before he left the contest with a thumb injury that will have him sidelined for the rest of the season, while Browns rookie QB Baker Mayfield burned their instate rivals for 258 yards and four TDs, including a TD toss to Nick Chubb. The Bengals were 4 for 12 on third down (they were 2 for 4 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:56, while the Browns kept the pigskin for 32:04, going 5 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Cincinnati was favored by 3 and the Browns covered the 3, winning by 15. Both teams took care of the 47 1/2 over/under, merging for 55 points. This time, it’s Cleveland’s turn to be favored and the boys and girls in Vegas like them as 7-point favorites with a 45 over/under. For the Browns, they want to get one step closer to the post-season; for the Bengals, it’s about revenge and bursting Cleveland’s bubble. Browns fans, it was fun while it lasted but the carriage is about to turn back into a football. Bengals get their revenge on their instate rivals and covers the 7.

Tampa Bay (5-9) at Dallas (8-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of future Hall of Fame QBs meet in the Lone Star State as Jameis Winston and Tampa Bay travels to Arlington for a Sunday afternoon contest with Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys. Both teams took road losses in last week’s action.

Winston faced another Heisman winner in as many weeks as Baltimore and Lamar Jackson kept their playoff hopes alive in Charm City after they came away 20-12 winners over Tampa Bay last Sunday. After a scoreless first quarter, the Ravens took a 10-9 lead with them to the intermission thanks to a 24-yard field goal by Jeff Tucker with nine seconds left before the break, then got 10 more points in the second half, courtesy of a 10-yard TD run by RB Gino Edwards and a second Tucker field goal to close out the Baltimore scoring plays. Edwards led all rushers with 104 yards as Baltimore outrushed Tampa Bay 242-85 and Jackson threw for 131 yards and a TD, while Jameis Winston threw for 157 yards with an interception and a sack (Jackson was sacked twice but was interception-free). Baltimore went 9 of 16 on third down (the Ravens were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:10, while the Buccaneers kept the ball for 22:50, going 3 of 10 on third down and 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Dallas’ bid to win the NFC East were put on hold in the Hoosier State as Indianapolis would shut out the Cowboys 23-0 at Lucas Oil Stadium. It was the Adam Vinatieri and Marlon Mack show for the Colts, as Mack would score on touchdown runs of one and six yards, while Vinatieri chipped in with three field goals, the longest coming from 44 yards out as time expired in the first 30 minutes of play. The Colts, scoring all of their points unchallenged, outrushed Dallas 178-112, with Mack leading the way with 139 yards on the ground, while Ezekiel Elliott led Dallas with 87. Luck threw for 192 yards with no sacks or interceptions, while Prescott threw for 206 yards with three sacks and an interception. The Colts were 8 for 12 on third down and ruled the clock, holding the ball for 31:48, while the Cowboys were 28:12 in time of possession, going a somewhat dismal 4 for 12 on third down and 1 of 5 on fourth down.

Dallas leads the series 12-4 and the Cowboys have outscored the Buccaneers 300-228. Dallas’ last win in the series came in 2016 in Arlington as they would come out on top by a final of 26-20, while Tampa Bay’s last win came in the Sunshine State by a final of 10-9 in 2015. Dallas is favored by 7 in Arlington and the over/under’s 46 1/2. Dallas would love nothing more than to get back on track and win the NFC East in front of the home crowd at AT&T Stadium but Tampa Bay’s in their way and in their crosshairs. Dallas is not having any of that. Cowboys will act like Scrooge at home and take the win and the NFC East, covering the 7 in Arlington.

Minnesota (7-6-1) at Detroit (5-9), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of NFC North (NFC Norris, as ESPN’s Chris Berman calls it) meet in the Motor City as Minnesota and Detroit meet at Ford Field. Minnesota looks to claim the sixth and final spot in the NFC playoffs, while the Lions look to derail Minnesota’s hopes.

The Purple Gang manhandled Miami, taking the Dolphins to task 41-17. Minnesota took a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, then watched the Dolphis score 10 second quarter points without a challenge to lead 21-10 at the break. Minnesota then took control of things in the final 30 minutes of play, outscoring Miami 20-7 to seal the win. Minnesota outrushed Miami 220-156 and both clubs had 100-yard rushers (Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook led all rushers with 136 yards and a pair of TDs, while Miami’s Kalen Ballage tallied 123 yards with a TD), Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins threw for 215 yards with a pair of TDs (Cousins was sacked once and threw an interception), while Miami’s Ryan Tannehill threw for 108 yards with a season-high nine sacks.
Minnesota was 5 of 13 on third down tries in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, keeping the ball for 33:16, while the Dolphins, keeping the ball for 26:44, went 2 for 12 on third down and 0 of 2 on fourth down.

Detroit saw Buffalo take a win away from them in Orchard Park as the Bills erased a 13-7 deficit at the half to come away 14-13 winners in upstate New York. The Bills took the lead for keeps with 10:26 left in the contest when WR Robert Foster caught a 42-yard TD pass from Josh Allen to erase the deficit and take the win, holding off the Lions in the final period of play. Detroit was outrushed by Buffalo 117-105, with Matthew Stafford throwing for 208 yards and Allen throwing for 204 yards (each threw a TD pass without an interception and Allen was sacked once) for the Bills. Buffalo was 3 for 12 on third down but had some success on fourth down tries, going 1 for 2 and kept the ball for 31:06, while Detroit kept the ball for 28:54 and went 5 for 13 on third down.

They met in the Twin Cities in week nine and the Lions were held in check that Sunday in Minneapolis, falling to Minnesota 24-9 at US Bank Stadium. The Lions trailed 17-6 at the break and could never get on track in the NFC North contest in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Minnesota outrushed the Lions 128-66 and Matthew Stafford was sacked 10 times by the Purple Gang, despite throwing for 199 yards, while Kirk Cousins threw for 164 yards with a TD to WR Adam Thielen. Minnesota would put the nail in Detroit’s coffin in the fourth quarter when Vikings DE Danielle Hunter fulfilled a defensive lineman’s dream and took a fumble and returned it 32 yards untouched for a TD. Detroit was 4 for 15 on third down tries, 3 of 3 on fourth down and held on to the pigskin for 36:45, while the Vikings needed only 23:15 of clock to keep the ball, while going 3 for 8 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week nine contest in the Twin Cities, the Vikings easily covered the 5 1/2-point spread with the 15-point win in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The 50 1/2 over/under? It went untouched, as the two NFC North teams combined for 33 points. The Vikings are favored by 5 1/2 again in the rematch in the Motor City but the over/under this time’s 43 1/2. For the Vikings, it’s a chance to get themselves into position for a possible post-season spot. For the Lions, it’s another season of hope that has been dashed like a child’s toy at Christmas. Vikings win in the Motor City and covers the 5 1/2.

New York Giants (5-9) at Indianapolis (8-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. Eli Manning vs. Andrew Luck. They will meet in the Hoosier State as the Colts look to improve their playoff hopes, while the Giants look to restore some sembilance of order in the NFC East.

Eli and the Giants were taken to task by Tennessee in the Meadowlands last Sunday, as they were shut out by the Titans and Marcus Mariota 17-0 at Met Life Stadium. The Giants trailed 7-0 at to the intermission, then watched Tennesee score their last 10 points of the contest unchallenged, with Titans RB Derek Henry and Ryan Succop accounting for all of their scoring (Henry with a pair of 1-yard runs, Succop booting a 22-yard field goal in the fourth), The Titans outrushed the Giants 215-47, Mariota threw for 88 yards in the contest, while Manning threw for 229 yards with three sacks and an interception (Mariota was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Tennessee went 5 for 14 on third down (the Titans were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:21, while the Giants, who were eliminated from the post-season with the loss, went 3 of 16 and 2 of 3 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 24:39.

Luck and the Colts stopped Dallas’ bid to win the NFC East as Indianapolis would shut out the Cowboys 23-0 at Lucas Oil Stadium. It was the Adam Vinatieri and Marlon Mack show for the Colts, as Mack would score on touchdown runs of one and six yards, while Vinatieri chipped in with three field goals, the longest coming from 44 yards out as time expired in the first 30 minutes of play. The Colts, scoring all of their points unchallenged, outrushed Dallas 178-112, with Mack leading the way with 139 yards on the ground, while Ezekiel Elliott led Dallas, who was shutout for the first time since 2003, with 87. Luck threw for 192 yards with no sacks or interceptions, while Prescott threw for 206 yards with three sacks and an interception. The Colts were 8 for 12 on third down and ruled the clock, holding the ball for 31:48, while the Cowboys were 28:12 in time of possession, going a somewhat dismal 4 for 12 on third down and 1 of 5 on fourth down.

Including games that were played in Baltimore, as well as the Yale Bowl and Yankee Stadium, the Colts lead  the series 9-6 and they’ve outscored Big Blue 356-272. The Colts have won the last three meetings in the series, with their last win coming in 2014 in the Meadowlands by a final of 40-24, while the Giants’ last win in the series came in the Hoosier State in 2002, as they would come away 44-27 winners. Indy’s favored by 9 1/2 in the Hoosier State and the over/under’s 46 1/2. For the Giants, it’s been a season that their fan base would love to forget like Scrooge forgetting about the three ghosts. For the Colts, a win would mean they keep themselves in the AFC playoff hunt. Colts win in the Hoosier State and covers the 9 1/2.

Jacksonville (4-10) at Miami (7-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of Sunshine State AFC rivals meet in south Florida as Jacksonville makes the 331-mile trip down the coast on I-95 to face off against the Miami Gardens at Hard Rock Stadium. Both teams took losses in last week’s action.

Jacksonville watched Washington use a late-contest rally in the Sunshine State last Sunday afternoon and watched their playoff hopes come to an end as they fell to the Redskins 16-13 at TIAA Stadium. Jacksonville led the Redskins 10-3 at the break and took a 10-6 lead at the end of the third quarter before Washington they stormed back in the final 15 minutes of play at TIAA Stadium. After a Kai Forbath field goal that gave Jacksonville a 13-6 lead with 7:32 left in the third, Washington would storm back in the fourth quarter, tying the contest with 5:47 left in regulation when backup QB Josh Johnson and TE Jeremy Sprinkle connected on a 6-yard TD toss. Washington would later get the ball back when CB Fabian Moreau picked off Jacksonville QB Cody Keesler, giving Washington excelent field position.

The Redskins would then proceed to use all of the 2:31 left in the contest, using an 8-play, 36-yard drive to set up Dustin Hopkins, who gave the Redskins the win with a 36-yard field goal as time expired. Jacksonville outrushed Washington 172-109 and Johnson threw for 151 yards with the lone TD toss (Johnson was sacked three times without throwing an interception), while Keesler threw for 57 yards with six sacks and an interception (Keesler led all rushers with 68 yards). Washington was 7 of 15 on third down tries and kept the ball for 33:06 (including the final 2:31 of the contest), while the Jaguars kept the ball for 26:54 and went 5 for 13 on third down conversions.

Miami saw their AFC playoff hopes somewhat damaged as Minnesota took them to task 41-17 in the Twin Cities. After Minnesota took a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Dolphis would score 10 second quarter points without a challenge to trail 21-10 at the break. Miamm then watched Minnesota control things in the final 30 minutes of play, outscoring them 20-7 to seal the win. Minnesota outrushed Miami 220-156 and both clubs had 100-yard rushers (Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook led all rushers with 136 yards and a pair of TDs, while Miami’s Kalen Ballage tallied 123 yards with a TD), Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins threw for 215 yards with a pair of TDs (Cousins was sacked once and threw an interception), while Miami’s Ryan Tannehill threw for 108 yards with a season-high nine sacks. Minnesota was 5 of 13 on third down tries in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, keeping the ball for 33:16, while the Dolphins, keeping the ball for 26:44, went 2 for 12 on third down and 0 of 2 on fourth down.

Miami leads the Sunshine State series 4-3 and the ‘Fins have outscored Jacksonville 140-111. Jacksonville won the last meeting, which took place in north Florida by a final of 23-20 in 2015, while the Dolphins’ last win also came along the shores of the St. John’s River by a final of 27-13 in 2014. Miami’s favored by 4 and the over/under’s 93. For the Jaguars, it’s about restoring some order in an otherwise dismal season; for Miami, it’s a chance to keep their hopes for a playoff spot alive for another week. Miami keeps hope alive for another Sunday and takes the win at Hard Rock, covering the 4.

Buffalo (5-9) at New England (9-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. New England returns home from a two-game road trip to face off against AFC East rival Buffalo in Foxboro. The Pats limp back to western Massachusetts with losses in Miami and Pittsburgh under their belts, while the Bills look to damage New England’s playoff hopes at Gillette Stadium in the Sunday afternoon rematch.

The Bills erased a 13-7 deficit at the half against Detroit in Orchard Park and would come away 14-13 winners in upstate New York. The Bills took the lead for keeps with 10:26 left in the contest when WR Robert Foster caught a 42-yard TD pass from Josh Allen to erase the deficit and take the win, holding off the Lions in the final period of play. Detroit was outrushed by Buffalo 117-105, with Matthew Stafford throwing for 208 yards and Allen throwing for 204 yards (each threw a TD pass without an interception and Allen was sacked once) for the Bills. Buffalo was 3 for 12 on third down but had some success on fourth down tries, going 1 for 2 and kept the ball for 31:06, while Detroit kept the ball for 28:54 and went 5 for 13 on third down.

New England saw their hopes of a winning rally fall short in Pittsburgh as the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger held off Tom Brady and the Patriots 17-10 at Heinz Field. New England trailed 14-7 at the half, then narrowed the gap to four with 17 seconds left in the third when Stephen Gostkowski connected on a 33-yard field goal before Pittsburgh’s Chris Boswell restored order in the fourth quarter with a 48-yard field goal with 2:30 left in regulation. New England had one last chance to tie the contest up in regulation late and that chance would die when Brady’s pass attempt to Josh Edleman sailed incomplete, giving the Steelers the win in western Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh outrushed New England 158-96, with Steelers RB Jaylen Samuels leading the way with 142 yards on the ground. Brady threw for 279 yards with a TD, an interception and a sack, while Roethlisberger threw for 235 yards with a pair of TDs (one to Antonio Brown), while throwing a pair of interceptions and was sacked twice. New England was 3 for 10 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 29:11, while the Steelers ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 30:49, while going 4 for 9 on third down tries.

Buffalo and New England would meet in upstate New York in week eight and for the first 30 minutes of play against New England, the Bills held Tom Brady and the Patriots in sight, trailing 9-3 at the half in Orchard Park Monday night. Buffalo then saw the wheels fall off their bus and the Pats came away 25-6 winners at New Era Field. The contest was an all-field goal affair in the first half as the two Stephens (Gostkowski for New England, Hauschka for Buffalo) gave their teams their first half points. New England then outscored Buffalo 16-3 in the final 30 minutes of action, using a 1-yard TD run from RB James White and an 84-yard interception return by CB Devin McCourty in the fourth quarter to seal Buffalo’s fate. The Bills thought they had a TD that would have made the contest closer than the final score when Buffalo QB Derek Anderson (290 yards, interception, three sacks) and TE Jason Croom connected on a 25-yard TD pass with 6:14 left in regulation. Buffalo fans then saw their hopes shattered when the play was review and the call on the field was reversed. Buffalo was outrushed by the Pats 76-46 and Brady threw for 324 yards with no interceptions or sacks, as New England went 5 of 14 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 31:50, while the Bills were 4 of 14 and 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 28:10.

In the week eight contest in upstate New York, New England covered the 14-point spread, coming away 19-point winners but the 44 1/2 over/under was untouched, as both teams merged for 31 points. In the rematch in Foxboro, the Pats are favored by 12 1/2 and the over/under’s 44 1/2. That’s a bit steep for a spread… the 44 1/2 makes sense. The Bills are bad but not 12 1/2 bad. They’ll give New England problems but the Pats and Brady prevail in Foxboro with the win.

Green Bay (5-8-1) at New York Jets (4-10), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of teams that will not be in the post-season meet in the Meadowlands as Green Bay travels to Met Life Stadium for an early afternoon contest with the New York Jets.

Chicago knocked Green Bay out of the playoff party and took the NFC North title at Soldier Field, holding off Aaron Rodgers and the Packers 24-17 in the Windy City last Sunday. Da Bears led 14-3 at the intermission before the Packers would rally in the final 30 minutes of play, outscoring the Monsters of the Midway 14-10 and the Packers would pull to within 3 with 11 seconds left when Packers K Mason Crosby connected on a 45-yard field goal. Green Bay would try the onside kick, which Chicago recovered and Da Bears would run the clock out, taking the win at home. Da Bears outrushed Green Bay 97-88 and the Monsters of the Midway sacked Aaron Rodgers five times and picked him off once, while Mitchell Trubisky threw for 235 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions. Chicago was 3 of 10 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 30:23, while the struggling Packers were 5 for 14 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:37.

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were officialy eliminated from the post-season as Houston held off GangGreen 29-22 at Met Life Stadium last Saturday afternoon. Houston broke a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter, took a 16-3 lead with them to the intermission and held off the Jets in the second half after they took a 22-19 lead with five minutes left in the contest as Jets RB Elijah McGuire scored on a 2-yard run. Houston then took the lead back and for good with 2:15 left when WR DeAndre Hopkins scored from 14 yards out, catching a TD pass from QB DeSean Watson. After a 40-yard field goal by Kai Fairbairn with 54 seconds left in regulation, Houston then held off a late Jets rally that would have given New York the win in the Meadowlands. Although they were outrushed by the Jets 90-47, Watson would lead all passers with 294 yards, while Sam Darnold led New York with 253 yards (both men threw a pair of TDs; Watson was sacked six times and Darnold sacked twice and neither threw an interception). The Texans were a dismal 1 of 9 on third down and held on to the ball for 24:56, while the Jets kept the ball for 35:04 and went 9 of 17 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

While GangGreen leads the series 8-4 and the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! have outscored the Packers 254-180, Green Bay has won the last two meetings, including taking a 31-24 win at Lambeau in 2014, while New York’s last win also came in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst, leaving upstate Wisconsin 38-10 winners in 2006. Green Bay’s favored by 2 1/2 with the over/under at 46. Take a pass on this one and watch that “Mythbusters” marathon on Science Chanel. Trust us, you’ll be a lot better and a lot smarter. Packers recover in the Meadowlands and cover the 2 1/2 in upstate New Jersey.

Houston (10-4) at Philadelphia (7-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. It’s brisket vs. Cheesesteak as the Houston Texans travel to the City of Brotherly Love to face off against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Both teams were winners on the road in last week’s contests and both were close contests.

Houston pulled themselves closer to winning the AFC South title after their 29-22 win over the New York Jets at Met Life Stadium last Saturday afternoon. Houston broke a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter, took a 16-3 lead with them to the intermission and held off the Jets in the second half after they took a 22-19 lead with five minutes left in the contest as Jets RB Elijah McGuire scored on a 2-yard run. Houston then took the lead back and for good with 2:15 left when WR DeAndre Hopkins scored from 14 yards out, catching a TD pass from QB DeSean Watson. After a 40-yard field goal by Kai Fairbairn with 54 seconds left in regulation, Houston then held off a late Jets rally that would have given New York the win in the Meadowlands. Although they were outrushed by the Jets 90-47, Watson would lead all passers with 294 yards, while Sam Darnold led New York with 253 yards (both men threw a pair of TDs; Watson was sacked six times and Darnold sacked twice and neither threw an interception). The Texans were a dismal 1 of 9 on third down and held on to the ball for 24:56, while the Jets kept the ball for 35:04 and went 9 of 17 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

The defending Super Bowl champs held off a late Los Angeles Rams rally as the Eagles would break a 13-13 tie at the intermission, outscoring the Rams 17-10 in the last 30 minutes of play to come away 30-23 winners at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum last Sunday night. Eagles fans heaved a sigh of relief as Los Angeles had a final chance in the closing seconds of the prime time contest but Jared Goff’s pass attempt to Josh Reynolds went incomplete. The Eagles, who scored 17 third quarter points unchallenged, outrushed Los Angeles 111-82 (Los Angeles’ Todd Gurley and Philadelphia’s Wendell Smallwood each had 48 yards of rushing with a pair of TDs) and Goff threw for 339 yards with a sack and a pair of interceptions, while Nick Foles (who took over for Carson Wentz) threw for 270 yards (Goff and Foles did not throw a TD pass and Foles threw an interception but was not sacked). The Rams were 4 for 12 on third down and held the ball for 28:24, while the Eagles kept the ball for 31:36, going 4 of 13 on third down conversions (both teams were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

Houston and Philadelphia have met four times and the Eagles have won all four meetings, outscoring the Texans 124-72. Philadelphia’s last win in the series came in 2014 in the Lone Star State by a final of 31-21 at NRG Stadium. The Eagles are favored by 1 and the over/under’s 45 1/2. There’s a lot at stake for both teams; the Eagles are trying to get into the playoffs and possibly repeat as Super Bowl champs, while the Texans want to clinch the AFC South. Houston pulls the upset on the road and covers the 1 in the City of Brotherly Love.

Los Angeles Rams (11-3) at Arizona (3-11), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. A pair of NFC West teams meet in the desert as the struggling Rams travel to Glendale for a late-afternoon contest with the Arizona Cardinals, with both teams coming away with losses in their last contests.

The Rams watched the defending Super Bowl champs break a 13-13 tie at the intermission as the Eagles would outscore Los Angeles 17-10 in the last 30 minutes of play to fall 30-23 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum last Sunday night. Los Angeles had a final chance in the closing seconds of the prime time contest but Jared Goff’s pass attempt to Josh Reynolds went incomplete. The Eagles, who scored 17 third quarter points unchallenged, outrushed Los Angeles 111-82 (Los Angeles’ Todd Gurley and Philadelphia’s Wendell Smallwood each had 48 yards of rushing with a pair of TDs) and Goff threw for 339 yards with a sack and a pair of interceptions, while Nick Foles (who took over for Carson Wentz) threw for 270 yards (Goff and Foles did not throw a TD pass and Foles threw an interception but was not sacked). The Rams were 4 for 12 on third down and held the ball for 28:24, while the Eagles kept the ball for 31:36, going 4 of 13 on third down conversions (both teams were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

Arizona watched an 7-0 lead early in the first quarter against Atlanta, then watched the Falcons proceed to score 40 points unchallenged in heir home finale, breaking their five-game losing streak and came away with the 40-14 win in the Big Peach. Atlanta led 26-7 at the intermission, then floored the gas in the second half, using a 43-yard run from RB Tevin Coleman and a 5-yard TD toss from Ryan to WR Justin Hardy to all but seal Arizona’s fate. Atlanta outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 215-60 with Coleman leadng the way on the ground with 145 yards on 11 carries, Ryan threw for 231 yards with a pair of TDs (one to WR Julio Jones) and had a rushing TD of his own, while Arizona’s Josh Rosen threw for 132 yards in the lopsided loss, throwing a pair of interceptions to go with six sacks. Atlanta went 5 of 13 on third down tries in the home finale and ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 30:40, while the Cardinals were 3 for 13 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 29:20.

The two NFC West clubs met in week two and Arizona was taken to the woodshed by the Rams, watching the defending NFC West champs score 34 points in their contest with the Desert Angry Birds unchalleged and shutting them out 34-0. Todd Gurley was good for three TDs in the contest as the Rams led 19-0 at the break, then floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of play, keeping Arizona in check. The Rams outrushed Arizona 90-54 and held Sam Bradford to 90 yards passing, while Jeff Goff threw for 354 yards and a TD for Los Angeles. The Rams on third down 8 of 15 on third down (they were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:08, while Arizona kept the pigskin for 25:52, going 3 of 12 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs. Los Angeles covered the 12 1/2-point spread, winning easily by 34 points but the 46 over/under stayed intact. This time in the desert, the Rams are 14-point favorites and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Granted, the Desert Angry Birds have struggled of late and while they’re bad, they’re not 14 points bad. Los Angeles will prevail in this one to complete the series sweep but expect Arizona to make things closer than 14 points.

Chicago (10-4) at San Francisco (4-10), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. A pair of teams going in opposite directions face off in northern California as Chicago makes its way to Santa Clara for a late-after contest with the San Francisco 49ers. Both teams took wins at home in their last contests.

Chicago knocked Green Bay out of the playoff party and took the NFC North title at Soldier Field, holding off Aaron Rodgers and the Packers 24-17 in the Windy City last Sunday. Da Bears led 14-3 at the intermission before the Packers would rally in the final 30 minutes of play, outscoring the Monsters of the Midway 14-10 and the Packers would pull to within 3 with 11 seconds left when Packers K Mason Crosby connected on a 45-yard field goal. Green Bay would try the onside kick, which Chicago recovered and Da Bears would run the clock out, taking the win at home. Da Bears outrushed Green Bay 97-88 and the Monsters of the Midway sacked Aaron Rodgers five times and picked him off once, while Mitchell Trubisky threw for 235 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions. Chicago was 3 of 10 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 30:23, while the struggling Packers were 5 for 14 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:37.

San Francsico put a dent in the playoff plans for Seattle as the 49ers needed overtime to come away 26-23 winners at Levis’ Stadium last Sunday afternoon, breaking a 10-game losing streak to the Seahawks in the process. San Francisco led 17-13 at the half, then took a 20-13 lead into the fourth quarter before Seattle rallied in the final 15 minutes of regulation, tying things up when RB Chris Carson scored on a 1-yard TD run with 13:51 left. Robbie Gould would give San Francisco the lead back with 9:51 on a 45-yard field goal but that lead would not last long as Seahawks K Sebastian Janikowski booted a 48-yard field to tie things back up at 23-23 with 5:21 left in regulation. The two clubs would go into the overtime and Seattle would win the toss and get the ball first in the extra period. The Seahawks’ attempt to score first failed as they would only get to their 18-yard line. After a Seattle punt, it would be San Francisco’s turn, knowing if they scored, they would win. The 49ers would go on a 7-play, 44-yard drive that stopped at Seattle’s 18-yard line, where Gould sent 49ers fans home happy with a 36-yard game-winning field goal. Seattle outrushed San Francisco 168-94 and Carson led the way with 119 yards on the ground. Russell Wilson threw for 237 yards for the Seahawks and Nate Mullins threw for 275 for the 49ers (Wilson threw a pair of TD passes to Doug Baldwin, while Mullens threw a TD pass to TE Garrett Celek; both men were sacked three times but neither threw an interception). San Francisco went 3 for 10 on third down and kept the ball for 29:40 (including the overtime), while Seattle, plauged by 14 penalties for 148 yards, went 9 of 19 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Seahawks actually ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 37:14.

Including games played at Wrigley Field, Keezar Stadium, the University of Illinois-Champaign and Soldier Field, the series is tied 31-31-1 and the 49ers have outscored Da Bears 1,386-1,289. Their last meeting was last year in the Windy City and the 49ers would prevail 15-14 (Chicago’s last win came in 2016 in the Windy City by a final of 26-6).

They met at Soldier Field in week 13 and the 49ers erased a 14-9 deficit at the break, scoring the final six points of the contest unchalleged, as Robbie Gould kicked a pair of second-half field goals, with the game-winner coming from 24 yards away with four seconds left. San Francisco outrushed Chicago 110-62 and Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 293 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception, while Trubisky threw for 102 yards and a TD pass with a pair of sacks but no interceptions. San Franciso was 10 of 18 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 38:47, while Da Bears kept the ball for 21:13, going 5 for 10 on third down conversions.

In the week 13 contest at Soldier Field, Chicago was a 3 1/2-point favorite but San Francisco came away winning by 1. The 40 over/under was untouched as both teams scored only 29 points. Chicago’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 42 1/2. Da  Bears have nothing to prove, having won the NFC North title; as for the 49ers, they’re playing with house money and would like to add another feather in their caps if they beat Chicago. 49ers fans are going to be heart-broken. Da Bears win on the road and cover the 3 1/2.

Pittsburgh (8-5-1) at New Orleans (12-2), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 716. A pair of playoff contenders that could meet in Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII meet in the Big Easy as Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees square off. Both teams were close winners in last week’s contests.

Pittsburgh stopped a last second New England rally at Heinz Field as the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger held off Tom Brady and the Patriots 17-10. New England trailed 14-7 at the half, then narrowed the gap to four with 17 seconds left in the third when Stephen Gostkowski connected on a 33-yard field goal before Pittsburgh’s Chris Boswell restored order in the fourth quarter with a 48-yard field goal with 2:30 left in regulation. New England had one last chance to tie the contest up in regulation late and that chance would die when Brady’s pass attempt to Josh Edleman sailed incomplete, giving the Steelers the win in western Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh outrushed New England 158-96, with Steelers RB Jaylen Samuels leading the way with 142 yards on the ground. Brady threw for 279 yards with a TD, an interception and a sack, while Roethlisberger threw for 235 yards with a pair of TDs (one to Antonio Brown), while throwing a pair of interceptions and was sacked twice. New England was 3 for 10 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 29:11, while the Steelers ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 30:49, while going 4 for 9 on third down tries.

New Orleans survived a 12-9 scare from NFC South foe Carolina last Monday night in Charlotte. The Panthers led 7-6 at the intermission at Bank of America Stadium before the Saints would take the lead away from the Panthers when Alvin Kamara scored on a 16-yard run with 12:12 left in the contest. New Orleans then attempted a 2-point conversion to make the contest a five-point affair but Drew Brees’ 2-point attempt to WR Michael Thomas was picked off by Dante Jackson, who ran the ball back for a defensive two point conversion to keep the Panthers close. Carolina would later get the ball back after New Orleans fumbled it out of the endzone, creating a touchback and giving the Panthers the ball on their 20-yard line. Newton and the Panthers would eventually get as close as their 39-yard line but could not get any closer as Newton’s fourth-down pass attempt was incomplete, which gave the Saints the ball back and New Orleans would run the clock out and take the win. New Orleans outrushed Carolina 155-98 and Newton threw for 131 yards with four sacks, while Brees threw for 203 yards (both men threw an interception, Newton was sacked four times, Brees twice). Carolina was 7 of 15 on third down (the Panther were 1 for 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 24:51, while the Saints ruled the clock, holding the ball for 35:09, going 4 of 13 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

The Saints lead the series 8-7, while the Steelers have outscored New Orleans 327-289. New Orleans won the last two contests, taking a 35-32 win in the Steel City, while Pittsburgh’s last win in the series came in 2006 at Heinz Field by a final of 38-31. New Orleans is favored by 5 1/2 in the Big Easy and the over/under’s 54. Because there are two future Hall of Fame QBs involved in this one, we think that this one is “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 58 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach 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?”)

New Orleans is already in the post-season party, taking the NFC South for the second straight year. The Steelers are looking to restore some order in the AFC North. The winner will make lives for themselves a little easier, while the loser will get a lump of coal and switches in their stocking. Steelers take the upset in the Big Easy and covers the 5 1/2.

Kansas City (11-3) at Seattle (8-6), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Patrick Mahomes vs. Russell Wilson. A pair of up and coming QBs meet in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks as Kansas City and Seattle meet in prime time in the Pacific Northwest. Both clubs took heart-breaking losses in last week’s contests.

The Chiefs watched the Los Angeles Chargers erase a 14-7 deficit at the break at Arrowhead last Thursday night as the Chargers took a 29-28 come-from-behind AFC West win, clinching a playoff spot in the process. Los Angeles proceeded to chip away at that deficit, outscoring the Chiefs (who got a pair of rushing TDs from RB Damien Williams) 22-14 in the final 30 minutes of action. Chargers WR Mike Williams had a pair of TDs in the second half, one rushing from 19 yards out with 4:57 left in the third and the second a 1-yard toss from Phililp Rivers that would pull the Chargers to within one with four seconds left. Williams and Rivers would then connect on the two-point try to take the road win and pull themselves even with the Chiefs at 11-3.

Seattle’s plans for a playoff spot took a hit in Santa Clara as the 49ers needed overtime to come away 26-23 winners at Levis’ Stadium last Sunday afternoon. San Francisco led 17-13 at the half, then took a 20-13 lead into the fourth quarter before Seattle rallied in the final 15 minutes of regulation, tying things up when RB Chris Carson scored on a 1-yard TD run with 13:51 left. Robbie Gould would give San Francisco the lead back with 9:51 on a 45-yard field goal but that lead would not last long as Seahawks K Sebastian Janikowski booted a 48-yard field to tie things back up at 23-23 with 5:21 left in regulation. The two clubs would go into the overtime and Seattle would win the toss and get the ball first in the extra period. The Seahawks’ attempt to score first failed as they would only get to their 18-yard line. After a Seattle punt, it would be San Francisco’s turn, knowing if they scored, they would win. The 49ers would go on a 7-play, 44-yard drive that stopped at Seattle’s 18-yard line, where Gould sent 49ers fans home happy with a 36-yard game-winning field goal. Seattle outrushed San Francisco 168-94 and Carson led the way with 119 yards on the ground. Russell Wilson threw for 237 yards for the Seahawks and Nate Mullins threw for 275 for the 49ers (Wilson threw a pair of TD passes to Doug Baldwin, while Mullens threw a TD pass to TE Garrett Celek; both men were sacked three times but neither threw an interception). San Francisco went 3 for 10 on third down and kept the ball for 29:40 (including the overtime), while Seattle, plauged by 14 penalties for 148 yards, went 9 of 19 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Seahawks actually ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 37:14.

Los Angeles outrushed the Chiefs 119-60 and Rivers threw for 313 yards and a pair of TDs, including the game-winner, while Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes threw for 243 with a pair TDs as well (Rivers was sacked five times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Mahomes was sacked twice but did not throw a pick). Both teams went 6 for 10 on third down, the Chargers were 1 of 1 on fourth down and they held the ball for 33:16, while the Chiefs kept the pigskin for 26:44. Kansas City’s favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 53 1/2. The Chiefs look to take the AFC West, while the Seahawks look to right their ship and get themselves into the post-season. Seattle may have to wait a week. Chiefs rebound from their heart-breaking loss at home to the Chargers and cover the 2 1/2, taking the win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks.

Denver (6-8) at Oakland (3-11), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. The final Monday night game of the 2018 season takes place on the East side of San Francsico Bay as a pair of AFC West/AFL foes meet in Oakland. While most of America will be getting ready for Midnight Mass, the Raiders host the Denver Broncos in a contest that really has no bearing on the AFC playoffs.

Denver watched the Cleveland Browns erase a 13-10 deficit at the end of the third quarter at Denver last Saturday night and came away 17-16 winners at Broncos Stadium at Mile High, ending Denver’s slim hopes for a playoff bid. Cleveland and Denver entered halftime tied at 10-10 before the Broncos took the 13-10 lead with 1:41 left in the third on a Brandon McManus field goal to go into the fourth quarter on top. That would not be the case as the Browns would take the lead with 11:44 left in regulation when rookie QB Baker Mayfield and rookie WR Antonio Callaway connected on a 2-yard TD strike to take a four-point lead. McMannus would pull the Broncos to within one with 4:35 left thanks to a 29-yard field goal and Denver would eventually get the ball back after Cleveland punted with 1:49. The Broncos would get as close as midfield as Denver QB Case Keenum would throw three interceptions and was sacked by CB Jabril Peppers to end any hopes of Denver winning the contest. Cleveland outrushed Denver 134-32, with rookie RB Nick Chubb leading the way with 100 yards on the ground, Mayfield threw for 188 yards and a pair of TDs for the Broncos, while Keenum threw for 257 yards with a rushing TD, while throwing a pair of interceptions (both Mayfield and Keenum were sacked twice). Cleveland was 5 of 12 on third down, Denver was 5 of 14 and the Broncos actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:39, while the Browns kept it for 27:21 (both clubs went 1 of 2 on fourth down).

The Silver and Black watched Cincinnati break a five-game losing streak as they fell to the Bengals 30-16 at Paul Brown Stadium last Sunday. Although they would outscore the Bengals 13-10 in the second half, Oakland would find themselves trailing 20-7 at the intermission. Bengals HB Joe Mixon led all rushers with 129 yards and a pair of TDs as the Bengals outrushed the Silver and Black 171-68 and the Cincinnati defense sacked Derek Carr (263 yards, TD) five times, while Josh Driskell threw for 130 yards with a TD to TE Travis Boyd, a sack and an interception. The Bengals were 8 for 19 on third down conversions (they were 2 for 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:19, while the Raiders went 3 for 14 on third down, keeping the ball for 26:41.

Oakland saw AFC West rival Denver go on a scoring binge in the final 15 minutes of play and watched the Broncons come away 20-19 winners at Broncos Stadium at Mile High in their week two matchup. The Silver and Black, dropping their second in a row, led 12-0 at the break and took a 19-7 lead late into the third quarter before Denver took control of things in the final few minutes of the game. Denver’s winning points came with 6 seconds left when K Brian McMannus connected on a 36-yard field goal to give the home team the lead for the first time and for good. Denver outrushed Oakland 168-92 (Denver’s Patrick Lindsey led all rushers with 107 yards, while Oakland was led by Marshawn Lynch wtih 65 yards and a TD) and Case Keenum threw for 222 yards in the contest, while Derek Carr threw for 288 yards and a TD (each was sacked once). Denver was 8 of 16 on third down (the Broncos were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:04, while the Raiders, who had a final rally come to an end in the closing seconds, went 3 of 10 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 32:56.

Both teams have done reasonably well on Monday night; Denver’s record is 32-38-1 (they went 1 of 1 in their two 2017 contests), while the Raiders are 38-28-1 and lost their only MNF contest last year. Denver was a 6-point favorite in the week two contest in the Rocky Mountains and while Denver did win the contest, they did not cover, as they would win by only a point and the 45 over/under was untouched as both teams combined to score 39 points in that first meeting. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Broncos again, this time making them 2 1/2-point favorites with a 44 over/under. Skip this one and go to Midnight Mass (be sure to slip an extra $20 in the collection plate!). Broncos put Oakland fans out of their misery and covers the 2 1/2 with the win.

 

Sunday and Monday Broadcast Information (All times listed are Eastern)

ATLANTA at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710: Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth, Jennifer Hale (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 98 (Atlanta), 94 (Carolina); XM: 380 (Atlanta), 230 (Carolina)

Cincinnati at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta; SIRIUS: 125 (Cincinnati), 119 (Cleveland) | XM: 383 (Cincinnati), 229 (Cleveland)

Tampa Bay at Dallas, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 103 (Tampa Bay), 83 (Dallas); XM: 388 (Tampa Bay), 225 (Dallas)

Minnesota at Detroit, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 106 (Minnesota), 113 (Detroit); XM: 385 (Minnesota), 231 (Detroit)

New York Giants at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, Steve Tasker (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 99 (New York Giants), 146 (Indianapolis); XM: 381 (New York Giants), 233 (Indianapolis)

Jacksonville at Miami, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 127 (Jacksonville), 108 (Miami); XM: 384 (Jacksonville), 228 (Miami)

Buffalo at New England, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green. Bruce Arians, Melanie Collins (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 134 (Buffalo), 81 (New England); XM: 382 (Buffalo), 226 (New England)

Green Bay at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713: Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber, Kristina Pink (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 133 (Green Bay), 105 (New York Jets); XM: 386 (Green Bay), 232 (New York Jets)

Houston at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 111 (Houston), 82 (Philadelphia); XM: 387 (Houston), 227 (Philadelphia)

Los Angeles Rams at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Pam Oliver (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 99 (Los Angeles Rams), 81 (Arizona); XM: 389 (Los Angeles Rams), 226 (Arizona)

Chicago at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715: Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman, Shannon Spake (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 126 (Chicago), 83 (San Francisco); XM: 390 (Chicago), 225 (San Francisco)

Pittsburgh at New Orleans, 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 716: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 98 (Pittsburgh), 82 (New Orleans); XM: 391 (Pittsburgh), 227 (New Orleans)

Kansas City at Seattle, 8:20 p.m. on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, Mike Holmgren; SIRIUS: 81 (Kansas City), 83 (Seattle);| XM: 226 (Kansas City), 225 (Seattle)

Denver at Oakland, 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN: Joe Tessitore, Jason Witten, Booger McFarland, Lisa Salters (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, James Lofton, Scott Kaplan; SIRIUS: 81 (Denver), 83 (Oakland); XM: 226 (Denver), 225 (Oakland)

Sunday and Monday Officials
ATLANTA at Carolina, 1 p.m.: Pete Morelli
Cincinnati at Cleveland, 1 p.m.: Tony Corrente
Tampa Bay at Dallas, 1 p.m.: Shawn Hochuli
Minnesota at Detroit, 1 p.m.: Walt Anderson
New York Giants at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.: Brad Allen
Jacksonville at Miami, 1 p.m.: Clay Martin
Buffalo at New England, 1 p.m.: Shawn Smith
Green Bay at New York Jets, 1 p.m.: Ron Torbert
Houston at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.: John Parry
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona, 4:05 p.m.: Walt Coleman
Chicago at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.: Alex Kemp
Pittsburgh at New Orleans, 4:25 p.m.: Craig Wrolstad
Kansas City at Seattle, 8:20 p.m.: Bill Vinovich
Denver at Oakland, 8:15 p.m. Monday: Carl Cheffers

Sunday and Monday Odds (Home Teams in CAPS)

Sunday’s Games
Favorite             Spread    Underdog         O/U
CAROLINA             –  3      Atlanta          48
DALLAS               –  7      Tampa Bay        46 1/2
NEW ENGLAND          – 12      Buffalo          44 1/2
MIAMI                –  4      Jacksonville     39
INDIANAPOLIS         –  9 1/2  New York Giants  46 1/2
PHILADELPHIA         –  1      Houston          45 1/2
Minnesota            –  5 1/2  DETROIT          43 1/2
Green Bay            –  2 1/2  NEW YORK JETS    46
CLEVELAND            –  7      Cincinnati       45
Los Angeles Rams     – 14      ARIZONA          47 1/2
Chicago              –  3 1/2  SAN FRANCISCO    42 1/2
NEW ORLEANS          –  5 1/2  Pittsburgh       54
Kansas City          –  2 1/2  SEATTLE          53 1/2

Monday’s Game
Favorite             Spread    Underdog         O/U
Denver               –  2 1/2  OAKLAND          44

Sunday and Monday Injury Report

ATLANTA at Carolina, 1 p.m.

Atlanta
QUESTIONABLE: WR Julio Jones (Hip)

Carolina
OUT: QB Cam Newton (Right Shoulder), LB Sha’Quille Thompson (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Kawann Short (Not Injury Related)

New York Giants at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.

New York Giants
OUT: WR Odell Beckham (Quadricep), LB Alec Ogletree (Concussion), C Spencer Pulley (Calf), WR Russell Shepard (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Kerry Wynn (Thumb)

Indianapolis
OUT: S Clayton Geathers (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Eugene Hilton (Ankle), S George Odom (Knee), LB Anthony Walker (Shoulder), G Mark Glowinski (Ankle), S Michael Mitchell (Calf)

Jacksonville at Miami, 1 p.m.

Jacksonville
OUT: WR Darrell Chark (Quadricep), S Ronnie Harrison (Knee), K Josh Lambo (Right Groin), T Jeremy Parnell (Knee)

Miami
DOUBTFUL: S Tim McDonald (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Kendrick Norton (Ankle), LB Kristian Alonso (Knee), DE Evander Hood (Hamstring), CB Xavien Howard (Knee)

Cincinnati at Cleveland, 1 p.m.

Cincinnati
OUT: WR Tyler Boyd (Knee), LB Jordan Evans (Ankle), CB Tony McRae (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Vontaze Burfict (Concussion)

Cleveland
QUESTIONABLE: S Jabrill Peppers (Neck), C Joseph Tretter (Ankle), CB Phillip Gaines (Knee), T Austin Corbett (Foot), DT Olumide Ogunjobi (Biceps)

Tampa Bay at Dallas, 1 p.m.

Tampa Bay
QUESTIONABLE: WR DeSean Jackson (Thumb)

Dallas
OUT: DE David Irving (Ankle), TE Geoffrey Swaim (Wrist)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Tavon Austin (Groin), CB Anthony Brown (Hand), LB Sean Lee (Hamstring), G Zachary Martin (Knee)

Minnesota at Detroit, 1 p.m.

Minnesota
OUT: LB Eric-Nathan Kendricks (Hamstring)

Detroit
OUT: S Charles Washington (Hamstring), WR Bruce Ellington (Hamstring), DT Damon Harrison (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Jamal Agnew (Knee), RB LeGarrette Blount (Calf), WR Kenny Golladay (Chest), LB Devon Kennard (Hip), QB Matthew Stafford (Back)

Buffalo at New England, 1 p.m.

Buffalo
OUT: CB Ryan Lewis (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Christopher Ivory (Shoulder)

New England
QUESTIONABLE: LB Brandon King (Knee)

Green Bay at New York Jets, 1 p.m.

Green Bay
DOUBTFUL: WR Randall Cobb (Concussion), T Jason Spriggs (Concussion)
OUT: DT Kenneth Clark (Elbow), CB Will Redmond (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Jake Kumerow (Hand)

New York Jets
DOUBTFUL: LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (Shoulder)
OUT: WR Onochie Enunwa (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Jordan Jenkins (Ankle), CB Darryl Roberts (Toe)

Houston at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.

Houston
OUT: CB Michael Tyson (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Key’vantanie Coutee (Hamstring), DT Brandon Dunn (Ankle), WR DeAndre Hopkins (Ankle), CB Johnathan Joseph (Hip), G Senio Kelemete (Elbow), RB Lamar Miller (Ankle)

Philadelphia
OUT: CB Sidney Jones (Hamstring), G Isaac Seumalo (Pectoral), QB Carson Wentz (Back)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Donell Alexander (Hamstring), DE Michael Bennett (Foot), DT Timothy Jernigan (Back), CB Cre’von LeBlanc (Hamstring)

Los Angeles Rams at Arizona, 4:05 p.m.

Los Angeles Rams
QUESTIONABLE: RB Justin Davis (Shoulder), RB Todd Gurley (Knee)

Arizona
QUESTIONABLE: DE Markus Golden (Ankle), WR Jamarcus Nelson (Illness), TE Roderick Seals-Jones (Illness), S Johnathan Ford (Ribs), CB Patrick Peterson (Illness), DT Rodney Gunter (Foot)

Chicago at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.

Chicago
DOUBTFUL: S Eddie Jackson (Ankle), LB Aaron Lynch (Elbow)

San Francisco
OUT: S Jaquiski Tartt (Shoulder)

Pittsburgh at New Orleans, 4:25 p.m.

Pittsburgh
OUT: RB James Conner (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: WR John Smith-Schuster (Groin)

New Orleans
OUT: G Jermon Bushrod (Hamstring)

Kansas City at Seattle, 8:20 p.m.

Kansas City
DOUBTFUL: RB Spencer Ware (Hamstring)
OUT: WR Sammy Watkins (Heel)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Kendall Fuller (Thumb)

Seattle
OUT: S Tedric Thompson (Chest)
QUESTIONABLE: G Danny Fluker (Hamstring), S Bradley McDougald (Knee), RB Rashaad Penny (Knee), DT Jarran Reed (Groin), CB Shaquill Griffin (Hip)

Denver at Oakland, 8:15 p.m. Monday

Denver
OUT: CB Brendan Langley (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Shane Ray (Illness), TE Matt LaCosse (Ankle)

Oakland
QUESTIONABLE: DT Maurice Hurst (Ankle), CB Daryl Worley (Shoulder), CB Gareon Conley (Concussion)

Sunday and Monday Weather
ATLANTA at Carolina, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 51 degrees
Cincinnati at Cleveland, 1 p.m.: Overcast and 39 degrees
Tampa Bay at Dallas, 1 p.m.: Game indoors
Minnesota at Detroit, 1 p.m.: Game indoors
New York Giants at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.: Game indoors
Jacksonville at Miami, 1 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 71 degrees
Buffalo at New England, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 41 degrees
Green Bay at New York Jets, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 42 degrees
Houston at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 43 degrees
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona, 4:05 p.m.: Game indoors
Chicago at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.: Mostly cloudy and 58 degrees
Pittsburgh at New Orleans, 4:25 p.m.: Game indoors
Kansas City at Seattle, 8:20 p.m.: Overcast with a 40 percent chance of showers and 45 degrees
Denver at Oakland, 8:15 p.m. Monday: Overcast with a 50 percent chance of rain and 55 degrees

Broadcast Information and Injury Report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel. (Note: Weather information is based on kickoff local time)

With three weeks remaining in the regular season, the suspense continues to build as teams make their final playoff push. Entering Week 15, 26 teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIII, tied for the fourth-most such teams with three weeks remaining in a season since the league expanded to a 16-game schedule in 1978.

Two teams have clinched division titles – the NFC West champion Los Angeles Rams and the NFC South champion New Orleans Saints – and five additional teams can clinch their respective divisions this week: Chicago (9-4), Dallas (8-5), Houston (9-4), Kansas City (11-2) and New England (9-4).

As the league enters Week 15, there are 20 teams either in or within one game of a playoff spot, including 11 teams that did not advance to the postseason in 2017. Since the 12-team playoff format began in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before (In other words, even Cleveland has hope).

Two teams that finished in or tied for last place in their division in 2017 – Chicago (NFC North) and Houston (AFC South) – are currently in first place in their respective divisions this season. In 14 of the past 15 seasons, at least one team finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. Of the 46 teams in league history to go from “worst-to-first,” 23 of them have done so in the past 15 years (2003-17), including an NFL-record three such teams in 2005 and 2006.

One thing is certain – the closing weeks of the 2018 NFL season will feature competitive contests across the board. Fifty-nine games have been decided by three points or fewer this season, the most in league annals through Week 14. Sixty-eight percent of all games (142 of 208) have been within one score (eight points or fewer) in the fourth quarter this year and 112 games have been decided by eight or fewer points, tied for the fourth-most through the first 14 weeks of a season in league history.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY:

•New Orleans defeated Tampa Bay, 28-14, and clinched the NFC South division title for the second-consecutive season. New Orleans has won back-to-back division titles for the first time in franchise history.

Kansas City clinched a playoff berth with a 27-24 overtime victory over Baltimore. The Chiefs advance to the postseason for the fourth-consecutive season.

•Miami defeated New England, 34-33, on the final play from scrimmage, as running back Kenyan Drake took a lateral from wide receiver De Vante Parker 52 yards for a touchdown as time expired.

The Dolphins’ game-winning 69-yard touchdown was the longest play from scrimmage to win a game with no time remaining in the fourth quarter since the 1970 merger.

Dolphins running back Frank Gore recorded 116 scrimmage yards (92 rushing, 24 receiving) in the team’s victory. Gore, who has 18,530 career scrimmage yards, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer La Dainian Tomlinson (18,456) for the fifth-most scrimmage yards in NFL history. The four players with more scrimmage yards than Gore are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Jerry Rice (23,540), Emmitt Smith (21,579), Walter Payton (21,264) and Marshall Faulk (19,154).

•Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 35 of 53 passes (66.0 percent) for 377 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for a 91.5 passer rating in the Chiefs’ 27-24 overtime victory over Baltimore.

Mahomes, who was selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, leads the NFL with 4,300 passing yards and 43 touchdown passes this season. Mahomes joined Pro Football Hall of Famers Dan Marino (1984) and Kurt Warner (1999) as the only first-or-second year quarterbacks in league annals with at least 4,000 passing yards and 40 touchdown passes in a single season.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce had seven catches for 77 yards and one touchdown in the victory. Kelce has 86 catches and 1,159 receiving yards this season and is the first tight end in league annals with at least 80 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards in three consecutive seasons.

Kansas City defensive lineman Chris Jones recorded a sack in the win and has at least one sack in each of the Chiefs’ past nine games. Jones is the first player to record a sack in at least nine consecutive games in a single season since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982. He is the sixth player since 1982 to record at least one sack in nine consecutive games at any point in time.

•Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 21 of 32 passes (65.6 percent) for 196 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 103.1 passer rating in the Packers’ 34-20 victory over Atlanta. Rodgers, who has not thrown an interception in 368 pass attempts dating back to Week 4, surpassed Tom Brady (358 consecutive attempts from 2010-11) for the most consecutive pass attempts without an interception in NFL history.

•New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning passed for 197 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 132.0 passer rating and rookie running back Saquon Barkley rushed for 170 yards with one touchdown in the team’s 40-16 victory at Washington. Manning has 55,142 career passing yards and became the seventh quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 55,000 passing yards.

Barkley, who scored on a 78-yard touchdown run, has five scrimmage touchdowns of at least 50 yards this season, the most by a rookie in a single season since Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (five touchdowns in 1998). Only Billy Howton of the 1952 Green Bay Packers had more such touchdowns as a rookie in a single season (six).

Barkley has 12 games with at least 100 scrimmage yards in 2018, tying Edgerrin James (12 games in 1999) for the second-most games with 100+ scrimmage yards by a rookie in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (13 games in 1983) has more such games.

•New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas had 11 receptions for 98 yards in the Saints’ 28-14 victory at Tampa Bay.

Thomas, who has 298 receptions since entering the league in 2016, surpassed Odell Beckham, Jr. (288 catches from 2014-16) and Jarvin Landry (288 catches from 2014-16) for the most catches by a player in his first three seasons in NFL history.

•Other notable performances from last Sunday include:

New England quarterback Tom Brady passed for 358 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 112.4 passer rating in the Patriots’ Week 14 loss at Miami.

Brady has 582 career touchdown passes (including the postseason) and surpassed Peyton Manning (579) for the most touchdown passes in NFL history. Brady has 47 career games with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdown passes and surpassed Manning (46 games) for the second-most such games in league annals. Only Drew Brees (63) has more such games in NFL history.

San Francisco tight end George Kittle had seven catches for 210 yards, including an 85-yard touchdown catch, in the 49ers’ 20-14 victory over Denver. Kittle’s 210 receiving yards are the third-most by a tight end in a single game in NFL history, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famers Shannon Sharpe (214 receiving yards on October 20, 2002) and Jackie Smith (212 on October 13, 1963).

Cleveland rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield completed 18 of 22 passes (81.8 percent) for 238 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions for a 126.9 passer rating in the Browns’ 26-20 victory over Carolina.

Mayfield has thrown at least one touchdown pass in each of his first 10 career starts and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (1999) and Brad Johnson (1996-97) as the only quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era with a touchdown pass in each of his first 10 career starts.

Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones had eight catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns in the Falcons’ loss at Green Bay.

Jones leads the NFL with 1,429 receiving yards this season and has recorded at least 1,400 receiving yards in each of the past five seasons, the longest streak in NFL history.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 15:

WORST TO FIRST: Entering Week 15, two teams have clinched division titles – the NFC West champion Los Angeles Rams and NFC South champion New Orleans – and five additional teams can clinch their respective divisions this week: Chicago (9-4), Dallas (8-5), Houston (9-4), Kansas City (11-2) and New England (9-4).

As the league enters Week 15, there are 20 teams either in or within one game of a playoff spot, including 11 teams that did not advance to the postseason in 2017. Since the 12-team playoff format began in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

Two teams that finished in or tied for last place in their division in 2017 – Chicago (NFC North) and Houston (AFC South) – are currently in first place in their respective divisions this season. In 14 of the past 15 seasons, at least one team finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. Of the 46 teams in league history to go from “worst-to-first,” 23 of them have done so in the past 15 years (2003-17), including an NFL-record three such teams in 2005 and 2006.​

HEY, ROOKIE: Denver rookie linebacker Bradley Chubb leads all rookies and is tied for sixth in the NFL with 12 sacks this season.

With a sack against Cleveland on Saturday night at 8:20 p.m. on NFL Network, Chubb would tie Dwight Freeney (13 sacks in 2002) for the third-most sacks by a rookie in a single season since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic.​

The rookies with the most sacks in a single season since 1982:​​

PLAYER – TEAM (YEAR, SACKS)
Jevon Kearse – Tennessee (1999, 14.5)#
Aldon Smith – San Francisco (2011, 14)
Dwight Freeney – Indianapolis (2002, 13)
Bradley Chubb – Denver (2018, 12)*
#Named Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year
*Entering Week 15

JULIO ON THE RISE: Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones leads the NFL with 1,429 receiving yards this season. In Week 13, Jones became the first player in NFL history to record at least 1,400 receiving yards in five consecutive seasons.

Jones, who had 1,593 receiving yards in 2014 and 1,871 receiving yards in 2015, needs 71 receiving yards on Sunday against Arizona at 1 p.m. on FOX, to become the fifth player in NFL history with three career seasons with at least 1,500 receiving yards.

The players with the most career seasons with at least 1,500 receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS WITH 1,500+ RECEIVING YARDS)
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (4)^
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (3)
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (3)^
Andre Johnson, Houston (3)
Julio Jones, ATLANTA (2)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Has 1,429 receiving yards this season

STARS FROM SCRIMMAGE: Dallas running back EZEKIEL ELLIOTT leads the NFL with 1,262 rushing yards this season.

Elliott, who has 3,876 rushing yards and 1,134 receiving yards since entering the league in 2016, needs 124 rushing yards on Sunday at Indianapolis at 1 p.m. on FOX to become the fifth player in NFL history with at least 4,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in his first three seasons. ​

The players with at least 4,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in their first three seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)(RUSHING YARDS)(RECIEVING YARDS)
Chris Johnson, Tennessee (Tennessee)(2008-2010)(4,598)(1,008)
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (2001-2003)(4,564)(1,581)^
Ottis Anderson, St. Louis Cardinals (1979-1981)(4,333)(1,003)
Barry Sanders, Detroit (1989-1991)(4,322)(1,069)
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas (Dallas)(2016-2018)(3,876)(1,134)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*In third season

BRILLIANT BARKLEY: New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley leads all rookies with 1,753 scrimmage yards and has 13 touchdowns (nine rushing, four receiving) this season.

With 147 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns on Sunday against Tennessee at 1 p.m. on CBS, Barkley, can become the fifth rookie with at least 1,900 scrimmage yards and 15 touchdowns in a single season in NFL history. ​

The rookies with at least 1,900 scrimmage yards and 15 touchdowns in a single season in NFL history:​​

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(SCRIMMAGE YARDS-TOUCHDOWNS)
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (1983)(2,212-20)^#
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (1999)(2,139-17)#
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas (2016)(1,994-16)
Billy Sims, Detroit (1980)(1,924-16)*#
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (2018)(1,753-13)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
#Named Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year
*Entering Week 15

LIGHTS, KAMARA, ACTION: New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara ranks sixth in the NFL with 1,384 scrimmage yards this season.

Kamara, who had 1,554 scrimmage yards as a rookie in 2017, needs 83 receiving yards at Carolina on Monday Night Football at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN, to join Herschel Walker (1986-87) as the only players in NFL history with at least 1,500 rushing and 1,500 receiving yards in their first two seasons in league history. ​

The players with at least 1,500 rushing and 1,500 receiving yards in their first two seasons in league history:​
PLAYER, TEAM: SEASONS (RUSHING YARDS; RECEIVING YARDS)
Herschel Walker, Dallas: 1986-87 (1,628; 1,552)
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans; 2017-18 (1,521; 1,417)*
*In second season

SUPERCAM: Carolina quarterback Cam Newton ranks third among NFL quarterbacks with 473 rushing yards this season. Newton has rushed for at least 500 rushing yards in six of his first seven seasons in the league.

With 27 rushing yards against New Orleans on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN), Newton can become the first quarterback in NFL history with at least 500 rushing yards in seven seasons.​

The quarterbacks with the most seasons with at least 500 rushing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (SEASONS WITH 500+ RUSHING YARDS)
Randall Cunningham – Philadelphia (6)
Cam Newton – Carolina (6)*
Michael Vick – Atlanta and Philadelphia (6)
*Has 473 rushing yards this season

Highlights of the Week 15 schedule for Sunday and Monday:

Green Bay and Chicago meet at Soldier Field on Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX for the 198th time in series history, including the postseason. In their Kickoff Weekend meeting, Bears linebacker Khalil Mack recorded a sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery and interception-return touchdown but Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw three fourth-quarter touchdown passes to lead Green Bay to a 24-23 victory at Lambeau Field. Packers wide receiver Davante Adams ties for the league lead with 12 touchdown catches this season and aims for his fourth consecutive game with a score. Chicago’s defense recorded four interceptions and three sacks in holding the Rams to 214 total net yards in the team’s 15-6 victory over Los Angeles in Week 14.

Dallas, winners of five consecutive games, take on Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium at 1 p.m. on FOX. Dallas leads the NFC East and can clinch the division title with a win. Cowboys quarterback DAK PRESCOTT has 993 passing yards (331 per game) with six touchdowns and two interceptions for a 113.6 passer rating in his past three games and wide receiver Amari Cooper has 642 receiving yards and six touchdown catches in six games since being acquired by Dallas this season. Colts rookie linebacker Darius Leonard leads the NFL with 135 tackles this season and is one of only three players since 2000 with at least 130 tackles and seven sacks (seven) in a single season, joining Tampa Bay’s LAVONTE DAVID (2013) and Arizona’s Daryl Washington (2012).

A battle of division leaders in the AFC takes center stage on Sunday afternoon at 4:25 p.m. on CBS as New England faces  Pittsburgh at Heinz Field. Last week, New England quarterback Tom Brady (582 career touchdown passes) surpassed Peyton Manning (579) for the most touchdown passes in league history, including the postseason. Pittsburgh’s Ju Ju Smith-Schuster (91 catches) and Antonio Brown (86) are the only pair of AFC teammates with at least 85 receptions each this season.

2018 NFL SUNDAY PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 15

NFC

CLINCHED: Los Angeles Rams – NFC West; New Orleans – NFC South division title; Kansas City – Playoff Spot; Los Angeles Chagers – Playoff Spot

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (11-2) at Carolina (6-7), 8:15 Monday on ESPN

New Orleans clinches a first-round bye with:

1) New Orleans win + Chicago loss or tie OR

2) New Orleans tie + Chicago loss

Los Angeles Rams (11-2) vs. Philadelphia (6-7), 8:20 Sunday night on NBC

Los Angeles clinches a first-round bye with:

1) Los Angeles Rams win + Chicago loss or tie OR

2) Los Angeles Rams tie + Chicago loss

Chicago (9-4) vs. Green Bay (5-7-1), 1 p.m. Sunday on FOX

Chicago clinches NFC North division title with:

1) Chicago win OR

2) Minnesota loss OR

3) Chicago tie + MIN tie

Chicago clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Chicago tie OR

2) Washington loss or tie

Dallas (8-5) at Indianapolis (7-6), 1 p.m. Sunday on FOX

Dallas clinches NFC East division title with:

1) Dallas win OR

2) Dallas tie + Philadelphia loss or tie + Washington loss or tie OR

3) Philadelphia loss + Washington loss

Seattle (8-5) at San Francisco (3-10), 4:05 p.m. Sunday on FOX

Seattle clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Seattle win OR

2) Seattle tie + Minnesota loss + Carolina loss or tie OR

3) Seattle tie + Minnesota loss + Philadelphia loss or tie + Washington loss or tie OR

4) Seattle tie + Carolina loss or tie + Philadelphia loss or tie + Washington loss or tie

AFC

New England (9-4) at Pittsburgh (7-5-1), 4:25 p.m. Sunday on CBS

New England clinches AFC East division title with:

1) New England win + Miami loss or tie OR

2) New England tie + Miami loss

New England clinches a playoff berth with:

1) New England win + Tennessee loss or tie OR

2) New England tie + Baltimore loss + Tennessee loss + Indianapolis loss or tie

Week 15 began in Kansas City with the Chargers storming back to take a last-second 29-28 win over the Chiefs and closes with a clash of NFC South rivals as New Orleans and Drew Brees visit Cam Newton and  the Carolina Panthers on ESPN’s Monday Night Football at 8:15 p.m. Last week, New Orleans clinched the NFC South for the second-consecutive season, marking the first back-to-back division titles in franchise history. Brees leads the NFL with a 75.7 completion percentage and 120.8 passer rating this season and is the only quarterback with at least 30 touchdown passes (31) and fewer than five interceptions (four) in 2018. Since Week 9, Panthers running back Christian McCaffery leads the NFL with 10 touchdowns and is one of two players (Ezekiel Elliott, 161.7) averaging at least 150 scrimmage yards per game (150.7). The NFL also had Saturday action as Houston held off the New York Jets 29-22 in the Meadowlands and the Cleveland Browns held on to defeat Denver 17-16 in the Mile High City.

We went backwards last week, going 5-11 for the week (at least it’s better than going 0-16) and for the season, we’re 116-38. There are two weeks of football left in the regular season and then it’s time for the post-season. We won’t keep you any longer. Here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 15.

Arizona (3-10) at ATLANTA (4-9), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. Week 15 Sunday action gets underway in the Big Peach as apair of struggling teams meet when the Atlanta Falcons host the Arizona Cardinals at Mercerdes-Benz Stadium. While the Cardinals are all but out of the post-season, the Falcons look to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Both clubs took losses in last week’s action.

The Desert Angry Birds were held to a fourth quarter field goal by Zander Gonzalez by Detroit as the Lions walked their way out of State Farm Stadium with the 17-3 win last Sunday in Glendale. After a scoreless first quarter, the Lions scored their first 3 points of the contest unchallenged and took that 3-0 lead with them to the break. Detroit would make it 10-0 in the third quarter when CB Darius Slay picked off QB Josh Rosen and returned it 67 yards for a TD with 3:03 left in the third. Arizona would end Detroit’s shutout bid with a 22-yard field goal from Gonzalez (who had missed from 54 yards earlier) but Detroit responded when RB Zach Zenner scored from a yard out to close out the scoring in the desert. Detroit outrushed Arizona 122-61 and Rosen threw for 240 yards with an interception and three sacks, while Matthew Stafford threw for 101 yards with a sack but did not throw an interception. The Cardinals were 6 of 16 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 31:44, while the Lions needed to keep the ball for only 28:16, going 4 for 12 on third down tries.

Atlanta looks to end their five-game losing streak after they fell to Green Bay 34-20 at Lambeau Field, giving Packers interim coach Joe Philbin his first win after the Packers fired Mike McCarthy. After taking an early 7-0 lead thanks to a 16- yard toss from Matt Ryan to WR Julio Jones, the Packers would go on to score their 34 points in the contest unchallenged. Atlanta, who trailed 20-7 at the intermission, managed to rule the fourth quarter, scoring on TD passes from Ryan to Jones and Justin Hardy to make the contest closer. Green Bay outrushed Atlanta 138-107, Ryan threw for 262 yards with three TDs and an interception that was returned for a TD, while Aaron Rodgers threw for 196 yards and a pair of TDs (Rodgers was sacked four times, Ryan sacked twice) and Jones led all recievers with 106 yards on eight catches with the two TDs. Atlanta was 3 of 12 on third down conversions in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst (they were 3 for 3 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, as they held on to the ball for 30:49, while the Packers kept the ball for 29:11, going 7 for 13 on third down tries.

While the Desert Angry Birds lead the series 15-14, Atlanta has outscored Arizona 662-621 and has won four of the last five meetings. Atlanta’s last win came in 2016 in the Big Peach by a final of 38-19, while Arizona’s last win came in the desert in 2013 with the Cardinals coming away 27-13 winners. Atlanta’s favored by 8 1/2 in the Big Peach and the over/under’s 44. Granted, the Cardinals are bad but tney’re not 8 1/2 points bad. The Desert Angry Birds will make it hard for the Falcons in their nest in the Big Peach but Atlanta takes the win at home.

Tampa Bay (5-8) at Baltimore (7-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Jameis Winston will face another Heisman Trophy winner as he and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers make their way to Charm City to face off against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Both teams took losses in their contests last week and both teams wathced their opponents clinch playoff spots.

Tampa Bay let a 14-3 lead against NFC South foe New Orleans get away from them as Drew Brees and the Saints would score 25 second half points unchallenged to come away 28-14 winners at Raymond James Stadium last Sunday. The Bucs took that 2-touchdown lead thanks to a pair of Winston TD passes to Chris Brate in the first 30 minutes of play before New Orleans would chip away at the lead and overtake the Bucs in the final 30 minutes of action. The Saints would get a pair of Will Lutz field goals, a TD pass from Brees to Zach Line and TD runs from Brees and RB Mark Ingram to seal Tampa Bay’s fate. Tampa Bay outrushed New Orleans 105-100 and Winston threw for 213 yards and the two TDs with four sacks and an interception, while Brees threw for 201 yards with the TD and a sack (both Brees and Winston threw an interception). The Saints were 6 for 12 on third down but they were 1 of 1 on fourth down in the Sunshine State and kept the ball for 31:53, while Tampa Bay kept the ball for 28:07, going 6 of 14 on third down tries.

The Ravens watched the Kansas City Chiefs clinch a playoff spot in the AFC last Sunday as they fell in overtime 23-20 at Arrowhead. Kansas City led 17-10 at the break before the Ravens would storm back in the second half and took a 24-17 lead with 4:04 left to play when Lamar Jackson (who took over for Joe Flacco) and WR Darnell Brown connected on a 9-yard TD toss. Kansas City would bring things back to even when Mahomes and RB Darrien Williams connected on a 5-yard TD toss with 58 seconds left. The Chiefs then prevented Baltimore from driving in the final seconds of regulation and the two clubs went into overtime. Kansas City won the toss, got the ball first and made the most of their first possession as K Harrison Butker, who missed earlier from 43 yards, connected on a 35-yarder with 4:42 left in the extra period. Baltimore then got the ball back and threatened to either re-tie the contest or take the win, as they would get as close as Kansas City’s 47-yard line before the two-minute warning came. After the two-minute warning, Jackson scrambled to the Chiefs’ 44-yard line but the Ravens were penalized for holding and were pusshed back. Jackson scrambled again for four yards but the Ravens were again flagged for holding again and Jackson was injured on the play. The Ravens then used a timeout and Robert Griffin III came into to replace Jackson and his first attempt to WR John Brown was incomplete. After the Chiefs burned a timeout and the Ravens had one last chance but the Chiefs would seal the win when Griffin’s pass to Willie Snead IV sailed incomplete.

Baltimore outrushed the Chiefs 198-94 but Mahomes threw for 377 yards and a pair of TDs (including one to TE Travis Kelce) with an interception, while Jackson threw for 147 yards and a pair of TDs of his own, with three sacks and no interceptions (Mahomes sacked three times and picked off once). The Chiefs were 6 of 16 on third down but was successful on fourth down tries at Arrownhead, going 3 for 3 and kept the ball for 37 minutes, while the Ravens kept the ball for 31:27 and were 5 for 12 on third down, 1 for 3 on fourth down.

Baltimore leads the series 3-2, have outscored the Buccaneers 102-74 and have taken wins in the last three contests, including taking a 48-17 win in the Sunshine State in 2014, while Tampa Bay’s last win came in Charm City in 2002, pitching a 25-0 shutout. Baltimore’s favored by 8 in Charm City and the over/under’s 46 1/2. The loser of this one? They’re done for the season. The winner? They get to hang around a little longer. Baltimore may not cover the 8 but they do take the win in Charm City.

Detroit (5-8) at Buffalo (4-9), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Detroit travels to Orchard Park for a Sunday afternoon contest with the Buffalo Bills at New Era Stadium.

Detroit held Arizona to a fourth quarter field goal by Zander Gonzalez by Detroit as the Lions walked their way out of State Farm Stadium with the 17-3 win last Sunday in Glendale. After a scoreless first quarter, the Lions scored their first 3 points of the contest unchallenged and took that 3-0 lead with them to the break. Detroit would make it 10-0 in the third quarter when CB Darius Slay picked off QB Josh Rosen and returned it 67 yards for a TD with 3:03 left in the third. Arizona would end Detroit’s shutout bid with a 22-yard field goal from Gonzalez (who had missed from 54 yards earlier) but Detroit responded when RB Zach Zenner scored from a yard out to close out the scoring in the desert. Detroit outrushed Arizona 122-61 and Rosen threw for 240 yards with an interception and three sacks, while Matthew Stafford threw for 101 yards with a sack but did not throw an interception. The Cardinals were 6 of 16 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 31:44, while the Lions needed to keep the ball for only 28:16, going 4 for 12 on third down tries.

Buffalo watched GangGreen get their revenge on the Bills from their week 10 loss in the Meadowlands and took a 27-23 win out of Orchard Park last Sudnay. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! trailed 14-3 at the end of the first quarter before they went to work on their AFC East rivals, trailing 17-13 at the half, then procceded to chip away at Buffalo and took the lead for keeps with 1:17 when RB Elijah McGuire scored on a 1-yard run. New York then held off a late Bills rally, as CB Trumaine Johnson picked off Josh Allen, giving the Jets the ball back and after a couple of kneeldowns, they would take the win. Buffalo outrushed GangGreen 176-78, with Allen, who threw for 206 yards with a pair of interceptions, leading the way with 101 yards and a rushing TD, while Sam Darnold threw for 170 yards and a TD for the Jets (Darnold was unsacked with an interception, while Allen was sacked three times). The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 6 for 13 on third down (they were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:13, while the Bills ruled the clock and kept the ball for 33:47 and went 7 for 14 on third down tries in upstate New York.

The Bills lead the series 5-4-1 and the Lions have outscored the Bills 193-184. Buffalo has won the last two meetings, with the Bills coming away 17-14 winners in the Motor City in 2014, while Detroit’s last win came at home a final of 20-17 in 2008. Buffalo’s favored by 2 1/2 on the shores of Lake Erie and the over/under’s 38 1/2. Both numbers make sense and both teams are not going to the post-season party this year, so feel free to watch that “Mythbusters” marathon this Sunday. We can confirm that both teams will not make the playoffs. It’s plausible the Bills will win this one at home and covers the 2 1/2.

Green Bay (5-7-0) at Chicago (9-4), 1 p.m. on FOX. They meet again, this time in the Windy City. A pair of NFC North rivals meet in the Windy City as the first-place Chicago Bears host Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field.

Green Bay gave interim head coach Joe Philbin his first win, taking down Atlanta 34-20 at Lambeau Field last Sunday. After taking over for Mike McCarthy, the Packers erased an early 7-0 deficit after Atlanta QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones connected on a 16-yard toss to open the scoring in the contest. Green Bay would go on to score their 34 points in the contest unchallenged and take a 20-7 at the intermission. Atlanta did manage to rule the fourth quarter, scoring on TD passes from Ryan to Jones and Justin Hardy to make the contest closer. Green Bay outrushed Atlanta 138-107, with Ryan throwing for 262 yards with three TDs and an interception that was returned for a TD, while Rodgers threw for 196 yards and a pair of TDs (Rodgers was sacked four times, Ryan sacked twice) and Jones led all recievers with 106 yards on eight catches with the two TDs. Atlanta was 3 of 12 on third down conversions in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst (they were 3 for 3 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, as they held on to the ball for 30:49, while the Packers kept the ball for 29:11, going 7 for 13 on third down tries.

Da Bears went into halftime tied at 9-9 with the Los Angeles Rams before Chicago pulled away in the second half with 9 third quarter points unchallenged to take a 15-6 win at Soldier Field last Sunday night. The wheels came off the Rams’ bus in the final 30 minutes of play when DL Eddie Goldman sacked Jared Goff for a safety to open the second half scoring and Da Bears would add a 2-yard TD pass from Mitchell Trubisky to OL Bradley Sowell to all but put the game away. Chicago outrushed the Rams 194-52, with Bears RB Jordan Howard leading the way with 101 yards. Goff would wind up throwing for 180 yards in the loss, while Trubisky threw for 110 yards (Goff was sacked three times and picked off four times, while Trubisky was sacked once with three interceptions). Chicago went 7 of 16 on third down in the Windy City (game time temperature, you ask? A balmy 27 degrees with a 25 degree wind chill) and held on to the ball for 36:49, while the Rams were 3 for 12 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down and kept the pigskin for 23:11.

Chicago and Green Bay met at Lambeau in week one and Packers fans held their breath as Rodgers was knocked out of their Sunday night contest against Chicago at Lambeau, only to see the Packers rally to take a 24-23 NFC North win over Da Bears. Trailing 17-0 at the intermission, Packer fans saw Rodgers come out of the contest with what some thought was a knee injury, only to give Green Bay fans hope, as they outscored Chicago 24-6 in the final 30 minutes of action. While Chicago outrushed Green Bay 139-69, Rodgers burned Da Bears for 286 yards with three TDs, with the game-winner going to Randall Cobb to send Green Bay’s fan base home happy. Chicago’s Mitch Trubisky threw for 171 yards and had a rushing TD in the contest but the Green Bay defense made things less than pleasant for him, sacking him four times on the evening. Green Bay was 5 of 13 on third down tries (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 26:38, while Chicago kept the pigskin for 33:22, going 7 of 17 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

Green Bay in the season opener was favored by 7 and the Packers won by 1 and both teams BARELY missed the 47 1/2 over/under by 1/2. Chicago’s favored by 5 1/2 in the Windy City and the over/under’s 45. Chicago would love to win the NFC North in their building, while the Packers want to stop their party, even if it’s for a week. Da Bears get their revenge and cover the 5 1/2 in the Windy City, taking the win at Soldier Field.

Oakland (3-10) at Cincinnati (5-8), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of struggling teams meet along the shore of the Ohio River as the Oakland Raiders square off against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

Oakland held off a late Pittsburgh rally at the Alameda County Coliseum, coming away 24-21 winners over the Steelers last Sunday. Oakland led 7-0 after the first quarter came to an end, then the Silver and Black watched Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers take a 14-10 lead with them to the intermission. After the two clubs went scoreless in the third quarter, Oakland proceeded to outscore Pittsburgh 14-7 in the final period of play, then blocked a 40-yard field goal try by Chris Boswell that would have tied things up to end the contest. Oakland outrushed Pittsburgh 55-40 and Derek Carr threw for 322 yards, while Roethlisberger threw for 282 yards (both men threw a pair of TD passes, Roethlisberger connected with WR Ju Ju Smith-Schuster on both of his tosses; neither man threw an interception, Roethlisberger was sacked once and Carr was sacked four times). The Raiders were 4 for 12 on third down but were succesful on fourth down, going 2 for 2 and kept the ball for 32:36, while Pittsburgh kept the ball for 27:24, going 6 for 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Los Angeles survived a scare from the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday at Stub Hub Centre, as the Bengals fell to the Chargers 26-21 on the West Coast. The Chargers led 17-12 at the intermission, then held off a late Cincinnati rally in the second half to take the win. Cincinnnati did outrush Los Angeles 144-85, with Bengals running back Joe Mixon leading all rushers with 111 yards and a TD but Rivers threw for 220 yards with no interceptions, as he outpaced Bengals backup QB Jeff Driskel (who took over for Andy Dalton), who threw for 170 yards and no interceptions (both men threw a TD pass, Driskel was sacked three times, Rivers was sacked twice). Both teams were 5 of 13 on third down conversions in the late afternoon contest on the West Coast and the Chargers were 1 of 1 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 27:22, while Cincinnati ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 32:38 but went 0 for 1 on fourth down tries.

The Silver and Black lead the series 18-10 and have outscored the Bengals 643-547 (including games that were played at Riverfront Stadium and in Los Angeles). The Bengals won their last meeting with Oakland, as the Bengals were 33-13 winners along the shores of the Ohio River in 2015, while Oakland’s last win in the series came in Oakland by a final of 20-17 in 2009. Cincinnati’s favored by 3 along the shores of the Ohio River and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Both numbers are reasonable. This contest may wind up being somewhat entertaining and while it’s nowhere near being “DRILL WORTHY!” it’s football. Bengals cover the 3 and takes the win at home.

Dallas (8-5) at Indianapolis (7-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of contending teams meet in the Hoosier State as Dak Prescott and Dallas makes their way to Indianapolis for a Sunday afternoon meeting with Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.

Dallas led Philadelphia 6-0 at the intermission thanks to a pair of Brett Maher field goals (including a 62-yarder as time expired), then saw the defending Super Bowl champs storm back in the second half to tie things up at 23-23 and needed overtime to come away 29-23 winners at AT&T Stadium last Sunday afternoon. Dallas would lead 9-0 going into the final 30 minutes of play before the Eagles would storm back in the fourth quarter, tying things up with 99 seconds left in regulation when Darrell Sporles and Carson Wentz connected on a 6-yard toss. Dallas would get the ball to start the overtime and made the most of it, using a 13-play, 75-yard drive that took 8:05 of the overtime, taking the win when Prescott and WR Amari Cooper connected on a 15-yard TD toss to end the contest. Dallas outrushed the defending Super Bowl champs 142-34 with Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 113 yards for Dallas. Prescott threw for 455 yards with a pair of interceptions, while Wentz threw for 228 yards (both QBs threw three TDs in the overtime contest). Third down tries… the Cowboys were 10 of 19, while the Eagles were 1 of 9 and both clubs went 1 of 1 on fourth down tries. Dallas ruled the clock in the contest, keeping the ball for 45:33 (including the entire overtime), while the Eagles kept the ball for 22:32.

The Colts broke Houston’s 9-game win streak as Luck and the Colts came away from the Lone Start State 24-21 winners Sunday afternoon at NRG Stadium. The Texans took a 7-0 lead after the first quarter and saw that lead vanish as the Colts scored 17 second quarter points unchallenged to take a 17-7 lead with them to the intermission. Houston would eventually make it a 3-point game with 2:37 left in regulation when WR DeAnrde Hopkins and Texans QB DeShaun Watson connected on a 7-yard TD toss to bring them closer. The Colts then proceeded to run out the clock and take the win over their AFC South rivals. While Houston outrushed Indianapolis 89-50, Luck threw for 399 yards with a pair of TDs, while Watson threw for 267 yards with a TD and no interceptions (Watson was sacked five times, Luck was sacked twice and threw an interception). The Texans were 5 of 15 on third down conversions (they were perfect on fourth down, going 2 of 2) and they would keep the ball for 31:57, while the Colts would keep the pigskin for 28:03, going 4 of 12 on third down tries.

Including contests played at the Cotton Bowl and in Baltimore, Dallas leads the series 10-5 and the Cowboys have outscored the Colts 378-259. The Cowboys won the their last meeting, taking a 42-7 win in Arlington in 2014, while the Colts’ last win in the series came in 2002 in the Hoosier State by a final of 20-3. Indy’s favored by 3 in the Hoosier State and the over/under’s 47. Both teams want playoff spots and should Dallas win, they win the NFC East; if the Colts win, they put themselves a little closer to Houston. Colts win in the Hoosier State and covers the 3.

Washington (6-7) at Jacksonville (4-9), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. Washington makes the 711-mile drive down I-95 to face off against the struggling Jacksonville Jaguars in north Florida. Jacksonvile looks to knock the Redskins out of the playoff picture, while Washington looks to bounce back from their four-game losing streak.

The Redskins watched Eli Manning and the New York Giants score 40 points unchallenged (Washington trailed 34-0 at the half) through three quarters of play at FedEx Field before scoring twice in the fourth to fall to the Giants 40-16 in Landover last Sunday. The Giants easily outrushhed Washington 227-84 with New York RB Sequan Barkley leading the way with 170 yards and a TD, while Manning threw for 197 yards and three TDs. Washington was paced by backup QB Josh Johnson (who took over for Mark Sanchez), who threw for 195 yards and a TD with an interception (Manning was sacked twice but did not throw an interception). The Giants went 4 of 13 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 30:09, while Washington kept the ball for 29:51, going 2 for 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Jacksonville found themselves being held in check by Tennessee in Nashville two Thursdays ago, as the Titans completed the sweep of their series, falling 30-9 in Nashville. The Jaguars trailed 16-2 at the break and could never really get themselves on track at Nissan Stadium, as the Titans would outscore them 14-7 in the second half. Jacksonville’s points in the contest came when rookie LB Leon Jacobs sacked Titans rookie KR Cameron Batson in the end zone for a safety in the first quarter and WR Dede Westbrook catching a 7-yard TD pass from Case Kessler late in the third. Jacksonville was easily outrushed by Tennessee 264-60, with Titans RB Derrick Henry leading the way with 238 yards and four TDs. Keesler threw for 240 yards and was sacked four times, while Marcus Mariota threw for 162 yards with a sack and an interception for the Titans. Jacksonville was 2 of 15 on third down, 2 of 5 on fourth down and actually ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 30:40, while the Titans were 29:20 in time of possesion, going 7 for 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Washington leads the series 5-1, have outscored Jacksonville 163-111 and has won the last three meetings, including coming away with the 41-10 win in Landover in 2014, while Jacksonville’s lone win over the Redskins came in 2002 in the Sunshine State by a final of 26-7. The odds makers like the Jaguars as 7 point favorites in north Florida and the over/under’s 36. Both teams are on back up QBs and both would love nothing more than to have some sanity restored. “Hail To The Redskins?” Not this week. Washington fan will be singing “Hell, it’s the Redskins!” this week. Washington will make this one close but Jacksonville prevails in north Florida, taking the win in the Sunshine State.

Miami (7-6) at Minnesota (6-6-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of contenders meet in the Land of 10,000 Lakes as Miami travels to the Twin Cities to face off against the Minnesota Vikings at US Bank Stadium.

Miami snatched victory from the jaws of defeat last Sunday in the Sunshine State, as they took a 34-33 win from Tom Brady and the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium. After leading their AFC East rivals 7-6 at the end of the first quarter, Brady and the Patriots would lead 27-21 at the break, thanks to Brady throwing TD passes to Julian Edelman and TE Rob Gronkowski for the six-point lead. Miami reclaimed the lead in the third quarter but lost it in the fourth when K Stephen Gostkowski added a pair of field goals in the fourth, the second one coming with 16 seconds left in regulation to give New England the 33-28. Miami would make the most of the five-point deficit they faced and used all of the 16 second that were left when RB Kenyan Drake caught a 69-yard pass from QB Ryan Tannehill as part of a couple of laterals and took the ball into the end zone as time expired. Miami outrushed New England 189-87 with Dolphins RB Frank Gore leading the way with 92 yards; Tannehill threw for 265 yards, while Brady threw for 358 yards, 107 of those yards going to Gronkowski (both men threw three TDs, neither threw an interception, Tannehill was sacked four times and Brady twice) in the contest. Miami went 1 of 7 on third down conversions and held the ball for 24:46 (including the final 16 seconds), while New England kept the ball for 35:14 and went 9 for 16 on third down tries.

Seattle held Minnesota to a late TD in the fourth quarter in the Pacific Northwest as the Seahawks were 21-7 winners at Century Link Field last Monday night. Sebastian Janikowski gave Seattle a 3-0 lead in the early part of the second quarter after the two teams were scoreless at the end of the first and would take that lead with them to the intermission. Minnesota and Seattle shut each other out in the thrid quarter but the Seahawks would score 18 fourth quarter points unchallenged to seal the win, using a second Janikowski field goal, a 2-yard run by Chris Carson and a 29-yard fumble return by Justin Coleman before Minnesota would end Seattle’s bid for a shutout with 70 seconds left when RB Delvin Cook caught a 6-yard TD pass from Kirk Cousins. Minnesota was outrushed by Seattle 214-77 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and Russell Wilson threw for only 72 yards in the contest with a pair of sacks and an interception that stopped a Seahawks’ drive, while Cousins threw for 208 yards with a pair of sacks and no interceptions. Seattle was 3 for 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 31:49, while the Vikings held on to the ball for 28:11, while the Purple Gang was 2 of 10 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down.

Miami holds a 7-4 lead in the series (including games played at the Orange Bowl, Metropolitan Stadium and the Metrodome), the Dolphins have outscored the Vikings 230-212 and the ‘Fins have won the last three contests, including taking a 37-35 win in the Sunshine State in 2014, while Minnesota’s last win came in the Twin Cities in 2002 by a final of 20-17. Minnesota’s favored by 7 in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Both teams are looking for a playoff spot and the winner gets a little bit closer to their goal. Miami pulls the upstate in the Twin Cities and covers the 7.

Tennessee (7-6) at New York Giants (5-8), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of future Hall of Fame QBs meet in the Meadowlands as Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans square off against Eli Manning and the New York Giants at Met Life Stadium. Both clubs took care of business last week, taking big wins in last week’s action.

Tennessee and Mariota held Jacksonville in check in Nashville two Thursdays ago, as the Titans completed the sweep of their series, falling 30-9 in Nashville. Tennessee led 16-2 at the break and never really allowed Jacksonville to get themselves on track at Nissan Stadium, as the Titans would outscore them 14-7 in the second half. Jacksonville’s points in the contest came when rookie LB Leon Jacobs sacked Titans rookie KR Cameron Batson in the end zone for a safety in the first quarter and WR Dede Westbrook catching a 7-yard TD pass from Case Kessler late in the third. Jacksonville was easily outrushed by Tennessee 264-60, with Titans RB Derrick Henry leading the way with 238 yards and four TDs. Keesler threw for 240 yards and was sacked four times, while Marcus Mariota threw for 162 yards with a sack and an interception for the Titans. Jacksonville was 2 of 15 on third down, 2 of 5 on fourth down and actually ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 30:40, while the Titans were 29:20 in time of possesion, going 7 for 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Manning and the Giants scored 40 points unchallenged (they led 34-0 at the half) through three quarters of play at FedEx Field before scoring twice in the fourth to take down Washington 40-16 in Landover last Sunday. The Giants easily outrushhed Washington 227-84 with New York RB Sequan Barkley leading the way with 170 yards and a TD, while Manning threw for 197 yards and three TDs. Washington was paced by backup QB Josh Johnson (who took over for Mark Sanchez), who threw for 195 yards and a TD with an interception (Manning was sacked twice but did not throw an interception). The Giants went 4 of 13 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 30:09, while Washington kept the ball for 29:51, going 2 for 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Including contests that took place when the Titans were known as the Houston Oilers, the Giants lead the series 6-5 and Big Blue has outscored the Titans 239-202. The Giants are favored by 2 1/2 in upstate New Jersey and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Tennesse’s looking to have a part in the playoff party, while the Giants look to finish the season at the .500 mark. Big Blue puts themsevles one step closer to that goal, taking the win and covering the 2 1/2.

Seattle (8-5) at San Francisco (3-10), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. It’s an NFC West rematch in Santa Clara as Seattle makes the 839-mile trip down I-5 to face off against the San Francisco 49ers. Both teams took home wins in last week’s action.

Seattle held Minnesota to a late TD in the fourth quarter as the Seahawks were 21-7 winners at Century Link Field last Monday night. Sebastian Janikowski gave Seattle a 3-0 lead in the early part of the second quarter after the two teams were scoreless at the end of the first and would take that lead with them to the intermission. Minnesota and Seattle shut each other out in the thrid quarter but the Seahawks would score 18 fourth quarter points unchallenged to seal the win, using a second Janikowski field goal, a 2-yard run by Chris Carson and a 29-yard fumble return by Justin Coleman before Minnesota would end Seattle’s bid for a shutout with 70 seconds left when RB Delvin Cook caught a 6-yard TD pass from Kirk Cousins. Minnesota was outrushed by Seattle 214-77 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and Russell Wilson threw for only 72 yards in the contest with a pair of sacks and an interception that stopped a Seahawks’ drive, while Cousins threw for 208 yards with a pair of sacks and no interceptions. Seattle was 3 for 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 31:49, while the Vikings held on to the ball for 28:11, while the Purple Gang was 2 of 10 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down.

The 49ers held off a late Denver rally at Levis Stadium, taking a 20-14 win Sunday afternoon at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. San Francisco got a pair of Robbie Gould field goals and a pair of TD passes from Nick Mullens in the first half to allow the 49ers to score their 20 points in the first half unchallenged before the Broncos would get back on track, scoring their 14 points unthreatened. Broncos rookie WR DaeSean Hamilton’s 1-yard TD pass from Case Keenum with 3:53 left would pull the Broncos to within seven but the 49ers would not allow them to come any closer, breaking the Broncos’ three-game win streak in the process. Denver did outrush San Francsico 103-94 but Mullens burned Denver for 332 yards and a pair of TDs, including one to TE George Kittle (Kittle had seven catches for 210 yards), while Keenum threw for 186 yards in the loss (Keenum was sacked twice, while Mullens was sacked three times with an interception). While the Broncos were 2 of 15 on third down conversions in Santa Clara last Sunday, they were 5 for 7 on fourth down tries and held on to the ball for 29:19. As for San Francisco? They ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:41 and were 4 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

They met two weeks ago in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and San Francisco saw their slim playoff hopes die in Seattle as the Seahawks took down the 49ers 43-16 at Century Link Field in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle led 20-6 at the intermission, then proceeded to outscore the 49ers 23-13 in the last 30 minutes of action in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and never looked back. Seattle outrushed San Francisco 168-66 and Nate Mullins threw for 414 yards and a pair of TDs to WR Dante Pettis but was sacked three times and picked off twice, while Russell Wilson threw for 185 yards with four TDs and no interception (Wilson was sacked three times). San Francisco went 7 of 16 on third down (they were 1 for 2 on fourth down) and the 49ers actually ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 32:30, while the Seahawks were 4 for 9 on third down, keeping the ball for 27:30.

In the week 13 meeting in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle was favored by 9 1/2 and the Seahawks covered, winning by 17. Both teams covered the 46 over/under by tallying 59 points. In the rematch, Seattle’s the darling of the boys and girls in Vegas as a 6 1/2 point favorite with a 44 1/2 over/under. San Francisco wants to be the Grinch to Seattle and steal their thunder, while the Seahawks work for a Wild Card spot. The 49ers’ heart is three sizes too small. Seattle covers the 6 1/2 and wins in wine country.

New England (9-4) at Pittsburgh (7-5-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. Tom vs. Ben. Brady vs. Roethlisberger. They meet again. A pair of future Hall of Fame QBs meet in the Steel City in a late-afternoon AFC contest at Heinz Field. Both teams were road losers in last week’s action.

Miami snatched victory from the jaws of defeat last Sunday in the Sunshine State, as they took a 34-33 win from Tom Brady and the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium. After leading their AFC East rivals 7-6 at the end of the first quarter, Brady and the Patriots would lead 27-21 at the break, thanks to Brady throwing TD passes to Julian Edelman and TE Rob Gronkowski for the six-point lead. Miami reclaimed the lead in the third quarter but lost it in the fourth when K Stephen Gostkowski added a pair of field goals in the fourth, the second one coming with 16 seconds left in regulation to give New England the 33-28. Miami would make the most of the five-point deficit they faced and used all of the 16 second that were left when RB Kenyan Drake caught a 69-yard pass from QB Ryan Tannehill as part of a couple of laterals and took the ball into the end zone as time expired. Miami outrushed New England 189-87 with Dolphins RB Frank Gore leading the way with 92 yards; Tannehill threw for 265 yards, while Brady threw for 358 yards, 107 of those yards going to Gronkowski (both men threw three TDs, neither threw an interception, Tannehill was sacked four times and Brady twice) in the contest. Miami went 1 of 7 on third down conversions and held the ball for 24:46 (including the final 16 seconds), while New England kept the ball for 35:14 and went 9 for 16 on third down tries.

Oakland held off a late Pittsburgh rally at the Alameda County Coliseum, as the Steelers fell to the Silver and Black 24-21 last Sunday. Oakland led 7-0 after the first quarter came to an end, then the Silver and Black watched Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers take a 14-10 lead with them to the intermission. After the two clubs went scoreless in the third quarter, Oakland proceeded to outscore Pittsburgh 14-7 in the final period of play, then blocked a 40-yard field goal try by Chris Boswell that would have tied things up to end the contest. Oakland outrushed Pittsburgh 55-40 and Derek Carr threw for 322 yards, while Roethlisberger threw for 282 yards (both men threw a pair of TD passes, Roethlisberger connected with WR Ju Ju Smith-Schuster on both of his tosses; neither man threw an interception, Roethlisberger was sacked once and Carr was sacked four times). The Raiders were 4 for 12 on third down but were succesful on fourth down, going 2 for 2 and kept the ball for 32:36, while Pittsburgh kept the ball for 27:24, going 6 for 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Pittsburgh leads the series 14-12 and the Steelers have outscored New England 604-574. Pittsburgh’s last win over the Pats came in 2011 in the Steel City by a final of 25-17, while New England’s last win came last year at Heinz Field by a final of 27-24.

They met in the Steel City in week 15 and in that late afternoon meeting, Brady and the Pats erased a 17-10 deficit against Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers and left Heinz Field with a 27-24 win to clinch the AFC East title. The Steelers led 24-19 with 56 seconds left in regulation when New England’s Deion Lewis scored on an 8-yard run and took the lead when Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski, coming off his one-game suspension, hooked up on the two-point try to take the 3-point lead. Steelers fans had their hopes dashed twice in the contest. Pittsburgh got the ball back and marched downfield, getting as close as New England’s 10-yard line when Ben Roethlisberger and TE Jesse James connected on what they thought would be the game-winning score. The play was reviewed and the call was changed from catch to no catch. After that, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey caught a short pass to New England’s 7-yard line and the Steelers scrambled to the line without any times and Roethlisberger threw a pass into the endzone that was deflected and picked off by Duron Harmon. New England ran out the clock and took the win.

Pittsburgh outrushed New England 143-77, with LeVeon Bell leading all rushers with 117 yards, while Roethlisbeger threw for 281 yards and a TD. Pittsburgh also lost the services of All-Pro WR Antonio Brown, who had 24 yards on two catches before leaving the contest with a torn calf muscle (Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster had 114 yards on six catches for the Steelers), while Brady threw for 298 yards and a TD (both were sacked twice and both threw an interception). Pittsburgh on third down went 10 of 16 and kept the ball for 35:07, while the Pats were 24:53 in time of possession, going 3 of 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down at Heinz Field.

It’s not just Brady vs. Roethilsberger. There’s a revenge plot in this one, which makes it “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 58 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach 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?”)

In the week 15 contest that had drama and controversy, the Pats were favored by 2 1/2 and New England covered, winning by 3. The two clubs missed the 53 1/2 over/under, as both combined for 51 points. New England’s favored by 2 1/2 in western Pennsylvania but this time, the over/under’s 52. Both teams have all but assured themselves of a spot in the post-season party. New England wants to prove that last year’s meeting was not a fluke, while the Steelers want revenge. Revenge wins out this time. Pittsburgh pulls off the upset at Heinz Field and takes the win, covering the 2.

Philadelphia (6-7) at Los Angeles Rams (11-2), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. The defending Super Bowl champs limp their way to the West Coast for a Sunday night contest with the Los Angeles Rams, winners of the NFC West in a rematch from last season. Both teams come into the Sunday night affair taking losses on the road from last Sunday’s action.

Philadelphia, who will have Nick Foles under center Sunday night, trailed Dallas 6-0 at the intermission thanks to a pair of Brett Maher field goals (including a 62-yarder as time expired), then rallied in the second half to tie things up at 23-23, only to come up short, losing to their NFC East rivals 29-23 in overtime AT&T Stadium last Sunday afternoon. Dallas would lead 9-0 going into the final 30 minutes of play before the Eagles would storm back in the fourth quarter, tying things up with 99 seconds left in regulation when Darrell Sporles and Carson Wentz connected on a 6-yard toss. Dallas would get the ball to start the overtime and made the most of it, using a 13-play, 75-yard drive that took 8:05 of the overtime, taking the win when Prescott and WR Amari Cooper connected on a 15-yard TD toss to end the contest. Dallas outrushed the defending Super Bowl champs 142-34 with Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 113 yards for Dallas. Prescott threw for 455 yards with a pair of interceptions, while Wentz threw for 228 yards (both QBs threw three TDs in the overtime contest). Third down tries… the Cowboys were 10 of 19, while the Eagles were 1 of 9 and both clubs went 1 of 1 on fourth down tries. Dallas ruled the clock in the contest, keeping the ball for 45:33 (including the entire overtime), while the Eagles kept the ball for 22:32.

In somewhat chilly Chicago, the Rams and Da Bears went into halftime tied a 9-9 before Chicago pulled away in the second half with 9 third quarter points unchallenged to lose 15-6 at Soldier Field last Sunday night. The wheels came off the Rams’ bus in the final 30 minutes of play when DL Eddie Goldman sacked Jared Goff for a safety to open the second half scoring and Da Bears would add a 2-yard TD pass from Mitchell Trubisky to OL Bradley Sowell to all but put the game away. Chicago outrushed the Rams 194-52, with Bears RB Jordan Howard leading the way with 101 yards. Goff would wind up throwing for 180 yards in the loss, while Trubisky threw for 110 yards (Goff was sacked three times and picked off four times, while Trubisky was sacked once with three interceptions). Chicago went 7 of 16 on third down in the Windy City (game time temperature, you ask? A balmy 27 degrees with a 25 degree wind chill) and held on to the ball for 36:49, while the Rams were 3 for 12 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down and kept the pigskin for 23:11.

Philadelphia leads the series 20-17-1 (which includes games played in Cleveland, Colorado Springs, JFK Stadium, Veterans Stadium and St. Louis), while the Rams have outscored Philadelphia 769-768. The defending Super Bowl champs have won the last five contests in the series, including taking a 43-35 win last year on the West Coast (the Rams’ last win over the Eagles came in St. Louis in 2004 by a final of 20-7.

They met in week 14 at the Coliseum and the Eagles led 24-14 at the intermisison before the Rams would storm their way back to take a 28-24 lead with 10:07 left in the third when DB Blake Countess retuned a blocked punt 16 yards for a TD to give the home team the four-point lead. That lead would not last very long as the Eagles would reclaim it when Alshon Jeffery and Wentz connected on a 2-yard TD toss with 2:20 left in the third. Back came the Rams, who would take the lead back early in the final quarter when RB Todd Gurley scored from a yard away to lead 35-31. Philadelphia stormed back again, using a pair of Josh Elliot field goals and a Brandon Graham TD run at the end of the contest to seasl Los Angeles’ fate. Philadelphia outrushed the Rams 139-109 and Wentz, who left the contest with a knee injury earlier in the game, threw for 291 yards and four TDs (Wentz was sacked once and picked off once) and his replacement Nick Foles threw for 42 yards, while Goff threw for 199 yards with a pair of TDs with a pair of sacks and no interceptions. Philadelphia was 8 for 20 on third down tries on the West Coast (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 39:12, while the Rams kept the ball for 20:48, going 2 for 7 on third down tries.

In the week 14 contest in Los Angeles, the Rams were favored by 2 and the Eagles covered, winning by 8. The two teams covered the 50 1/2 over/under, as they would tally 78 points in the contest.

The Eagles are now 23-20 on Sunday night, losing to Dallas earlier in the season, while the Rams are 10-12, with their last prime time appearance on Sunday coming in 2010 when they were in St. Louis (that contest resulted in a loss). The Rams are favored by 9 1/2 and the over/under’s 54. The Eagles are in survival mode, while the Rams would love nothing more than to be the number one seed when the NFC playoffs get underway. Philadelphia will make this one closer than 9 1/2 but the Rams bounce back and prevails on the West Coast.

New Orleans (11-2) at Carolina (6-7), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 15 closes out in the Tar Heel State as a pair of NFC South foes meet in Charlotte, with New Orleans and Carolina meeting at Bank of America Stadium for a Monday night contest.

New Orleans erased a 14-3 deficit against NFC South foe Tampa Bay and Jameis Winston as Drew Brees and the Saints would score 25 second half points unchallenged to come away 28-14 winners at Raymond James Stadium last Sunday. The Bucs took that 2-touchdown lead thanks to a pair of Winston TD passes to Chris Brate in the first 30 minutes of play before New Orleans would chip away at the lead and overtake the Bucs in the final 30 minutes of action. The Saints, who clinched the NFC South title Sunday afternoon in the Sunshine State, would get a pair of Will Lutz field goals, a TD pass from Brees to Zach Line and TD runs from Brees and RB Mark Ingram to seal Tampa Bay’s fate. Tampa Bay outrushed New Orleans 105-100 and Winston threw for 213 yards and the two TDs with four sacks and an interception, while Brees threw for 201 yards with the TD and a sack (both Brees and Winston threw an interception). The Saints were 6 for 12 on third down but they were 1 of 1 on fourth down in the Sunshine State and kept the ball for 31:53, while Tampa Bay kept the ball for 28:07, going 6 of 14 on third down tries.

For the second week in a row, Newton faced another former Heisman Trophy winner in Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield and Cleveland edged out Carolina 26-20 last Sunday along the shores of Lake Erie at FirstEnergy Stadium. Tied 17-17 at the intermission, the Panthers would take a 3-point lead on a 34-yard field goal by Chris Cantazaro with 7:11 left in the third quarter. It would be the last time that the Panthers would see the lead as Browns rookie RB Nick Chubb would give the home team the lead for keeps, scoring from 4 yards out with 13:05 left, then K Greg Joseph all but sealed Carolina’s fate with a 41-yard field goal to close out the scoring and ended a Carolina threat that would have given the Panthers the lead late in the contest. Cleveland outrushed Carolina 116-96, with Chubb leading all rushers with 66 yards while Collin McCaffery leading Carolina with 63 yards and a pair of TDs for the Panthers. Newton threw for 265 yards with an interception and a sack for Carolina, while Mayfield threw for 238 yards and TD pass to WR Jarvis Landry for Cleveland (Mayfield was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Cleveland was 4 for 9 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:10, while Carolina ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 33:50, going 5 of 14 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down tries.

Carolina leads the series 24-22 and the Panthers have outscored New Orleans 1,014-1,013. They met three times and New Orleans won all three meetings,  winning 34-13 at Carolina in Week 3 (September 24) and 31-21 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Week 13 (December 3) and taking a 31-26 win in the NFC Wild Card game in the Big Easy (Carolina’s last win over the Saints came in 2016, when they would take a 23-20 win in Charlotte).

In the contest in Charlotte in week three, the Saints took a 17-6 lead with them to the intermission at Bank of America Stadium and never looked back, as Brees threw three TDs in the game in the Tar Heel State. New Orleans outrushed Carolina 149-132, Brees threw for 220 yards with no interceptions, while Newton struggled, throwing for 167 yards with four sacks and three interceptions. Both teams were 50 percent on third down tries (New Orleans was 6 of 12, Carolina was 7 of 14) and New Orleans ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:09 to Carolina’s 28:51.

Meeting number two… New Orleans pulled the sweep in front of the home folkes in the Big Easy in week 13, taking the 10-point NFC South win over their rivals. This time, it was the Kamara/Ingram show as the two scored three rushing TDs (Kamara with two) and Brees threw for 269 yards, while Newton had a little better outing, throwing for 183 yards and a pair of TDs (each QB was sacked twice and did not throw an interception), connecting with Christian McCafferty and Darren Funchess on both tosses. The Saints again outrushed Carolina, this time tallying 148 yards (Ingram led all rushers with 85 yards), while Carolina tallied 112, with Newton accounting for 51 of those yards. As well as both teams did on third down in the first meetings, such was not the case in the second contest, as Carolina was 3 of 10 on third down tries (the Panthers were 0 of 2 on fourth down), while the Saints were 6 of 15 but found success on fourth down, going 1 of 1. Time was once again the BFF of the Saints, as they kept the ball for 33:21, while the Panthers held the pigskin for 26:39.

Round three… the NFC Wild Card game in the Big Easy and the Saints survived a last-second scare from Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers at home last Sunday in an NFC South rematch, taking a 31-26 win in the Big Easy. New Orleans took a 21-9 lead with them to the break before the Panthers roared back in the final 30 minutes of action, making it a 6-point contest with 4:09 left in regulation when Newton and TE Collin MCCaffery connected on a 58-yard TD pass. The Saints then got the ball back and got as far as Carolina’s 47 yard line before Drew Brees (349 yards, TD) was picked off by S Matt Adams, who brought the ball back to their 31 yard line. Carolina then proceeded to move the ball and got as close as the Saints’ 21 yard line, when Newton (349 yards, four sacks) was called for intentional ground, much to the anger and chagrin of Panther fans. Newton then threw an interception that was intended for WR Darren Funches and then ended Carolina’s hopes of avenging the two earlier losses when Newton was sacked by Vonn Bell. New Orleans ran out the clock and took the win at home.

In the week three contest in the Tar Heel State, the Panthers were favored by 6 and the Saints covered the spread, winning by 21. The two clubs combined for 47 points, barely missing the 48 over/under. As for the second meeting, which took place in week 13, the oddsmakers in Vegas liked the Saints as 4 1/2-point favorites and they did kept the boys and girls in Vegas happy, winning by 10 in the Big Easy and both teams covered the 48 over/under with 52 points. The Saints were favored again, this time by 6 1/2 (New Orleans won by 5) and the over/under was 48 1/2 (both teams took care of that, scoring 57 points).

On Monday nights, the Panthers have done quite well, going 10-6 (they played one MNF game last season and took the win in that contest), while the Saints are 18-22 (they also played on a Monday night last year and took a loss). New Orleans is favored by 6 1/2 in the Tar Hee State and the over/under’s 52. Both numbers are reasonable and make a lot of sense. The Saints have already clinched the NFC South, while the Panthers are looking to claw their way into the post-season party. This would be a good time to tape “Bull” this week. Carolina’s finer in Charlotte on Monday night, taking the win, even though they may not cover the 6 1/2.

The NFL announced the following schedule change for Week 15 (December 16):

The Washington Redskins at Jacksonville Jaguars game originally scheduled for 1 p.m. on FOX will move to 1 p.m. on CBS.

The following is the final Week 15 NFL schedule (all times Eastern):

Thursday, December 13
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City, 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon

Saturday, December 15
Houston at New York Jets, 4:30 p.m. on NFL Network
Cleveland at Denver, 8:20 p.m. on NFL Network

Sunday, December 16
Arizona at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tampa Bay at Baltimore, 1 p.m. on FOX
Detroit at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on FOX
Green Bay at Chicago, 1 p.m. on FOX
Oakland at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on CBS
Dallas at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on FOX
Washington at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on CBS
Miami at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on CBS
Tennessee at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on CBS
Seattle at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
New England at Pittsburgh, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Philadelphia at Los Angeles Rams, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, December 17
New Orleans at Carolina, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

The NFL also announced the following schedule change for Week 16 (December 23):

The New York Giants at Indianapolis Colts game originally scheduled for 1 p.m. on on FOX will move to 1 p.m. on CBS.

The following is the final Week 16 NFL schedule (all times Eastern):

Saturday, December 22
Washington at Tennessee, 4:30 p.m. on NFL Network
Baltimore at Los Angeles Chargers, 8:20 p.m. on NFL Network

Sunday, December 23
ATLANTA at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cincinnati at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on CBS

Tampa Bay at Dallas, 1 p.m. on FOX
Minnesota at Detroit, 1 p.m. on FOX
New York Giants at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on CBS
Jacksonville at Miami, 1 p.m. on CBS
Buffalo at New England, 1 p.m. on CBS
Green Bay at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on FOX
Houston at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Chicago at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Pittsburgh at New Orleans, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Kansas City at Seattle, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, December 24
Denver at Oakland, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

With four weeks left in regular season play, only one playoff spot out of 12 has been filled and that was courtesy of the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams clinched the NFC West for the second straight season and will make another trip to the post-season party. One spot down. 11 to go.

There are only four weeks remaining in the regular season to decide who advances to the playoffs for a chance at a trip to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.

As the league enters the final quarter of the regular season, there are 19 teams either in or within one game of a playoff spot, including 10 teams that did not advance to the postseason in 2017. Since the 12-team playoff format began in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

Entering Week 14, one team – the NFC West champion Los Angeles Rams (11-1) – has clinched a playoff berth as the battle for the remaining spots forges ahead. Three additional teams – Houston (9-3), New England (9-3) and New Orleans (10-2) – can clinch a division title this week.

Two teams that finished in or tied for last place in their division in 2017 – Chicago (NFC North) and Houston (AFC South) – are currently in first place in their respective divisions this season. In 14 of the past 15 seasons, at least one team finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. Of the 46 teams in league history to go from “worst-to-first,” 23 of them have done so in the past 15 years (2003-17), including an NFL-record three such teams in 2005 and 2006.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: The Los Angeles Rams improved to 11-1 and clinched the NFC West division with a 30-16 victory over Detroit at Ford Field. The Rams have won consecutive division titles for the first time since the 1978-79 seasons.

Rams running back Todd Gurley rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns in the Rams’ victory. Gurley has 1,649 scrimmage yards and 19 touchdowns in his team’s first 12 games this season and is the eighth different player in league history to record at least 1,600 scrimmage yards and 18 touchdowns in his team’s first 12 games of a season. Gurley puts himself in some pretty good company, as six of the previous seven players to accomplish the feat are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Those names, you ask? Jim Brown (1958 and 1965), Terrell Davis (1998), Eric Dickerson (1983), O.J. Simpson (1975), Emmitt Smith (1995) and La Dainian Tomlinson (2006)

Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks had four catches for 62 yards in the win and has 1,026 receiving yards this season, his fourth consecutive season with at least 1,000 receiving yards. Cooks, who had 1,173 receiving yards with the Saints in 2016 and 1,082 yards with the Patriots in 2017, is the first player in NFL history to record 1,000+ receiving yards with three different teams in three consecutive seasons. Cooks is the sixth player in league annals to record at least 1,000 receiving yards in a single season for three or more teams at any point in his career.

•New England quarterback Tom Brady completed 24 of 32 passes (75 percent) for 311 yards with one touchdown and one interception for a 102.5 passer rating in the Patriots’ 24-10 victory over Minnesota. With his third-quarter touchdown pass, Brady tied Peyton Manning (579 touchdown passes) for the most touchdown passes in NFL history, including the postseason. Brady also tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (508) for the third-most regular-season touchdown passes in league annals.

•Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahones passed for 295 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 120 passer rating and tight end Travos Kelce recorded 12 catches for 168 yards and two touchdowns in the Chiefs’ 40-33 win at Oakland.

Mahomes leads the NFL with 41 touchdown passes this season and joined Peyton Manning (44 touchdown passes in 2004 and 41 in 2013) and Tom Brady (41 in 2007) as the only quarterbacks in league history with at least 40 touchdown passes in their team’s first 12 games of a season. Manning and Brady each were named Associated Press Most Valuable Players in those campaigns.
Mahomes has seven games with at least four touchdown passes this season, the second-most in a single season in league annals, trailing only Manning (nine games in 2013).

Kelce, who has 1,082 receiving yards this season and has 1,000+ receiving yards in each of the past two seasons, joined Carolina’s Greg Olsen (three consecutive seasons from 2014-16) as the only tight ends in NFL history with at least 1,000 receiving yards in three consecutive seasons.

•New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley rushed for 125 yards and wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. threw a 49-yard touchdown pass and had a touchdown catch in the team’s 30-27 overtime victory over Chicago in the Meadowlands.

Beckham, who also threw a 57-yard touchdown pass and had a 33-yard touchdown catch against Carolina in Week 5, is the first player since 1924 to record multiple games with a touchdown pass and a receiving touchdown in a single season. Eddie Kaw and Benny Boynton of the 1924 Buffalo Bisons are the only players to previously accomplish the feat. Beckham, who leads the Giants with 1,052 receiving yards in 2018, is the only player in league history with at least 1,000 receiving yards and multiple touchdown passes in a single season.

Barkley has 954 rushing yards this season and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Tuffy Leemans (830 rushing yards in 1936) for the most rushing yards by a rookie in franchise history.

•Houston defeated Cleveland, 29-13, and have won nine consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NFL. The Texans are the first team in league history to win nine consecutive games immediately following an 0-3 start to the season.

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson passed for 224 yards and one touchdown in the victory. Watson, who appeared in his 19th career game today, threw a first-quarter touchdown pass to rookie tight end Jordan Thomas, marking the 40th touchdown pass of his career. Watson is the fourth-fastest player in NFL history to reach 40 career touchdown passes, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famers Kurt Warner (17 games) and Dan Marino (18) and the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahones, who threw his 40th career touchdown pass in his 13th career game last Sunday.

•Denver rookie running back Phillip Lindsay rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns, including a 65-yard touchdown run, in the Broncos’ 24-10 victory at Cincinnati.

Lindsay, who has 1,126 scrimmage yards (937 rushing, 189 receiving) this season, is the fourth undrafted rookie since 1970 to record at least 1,000 scrimmage yards in a single season, joining Dominic Rhodes (1,328 scrimmage yards in 2001), Clark Gaines (1,124 in 1976) and Le Garrette Blount (1,021 in 2010).

•Other notable performances from Week 13 Sunday included:

Tampa Bay safety Andrew Adams tied a franchise record with three interceptions in the Buccaneers’ 24-17 victory over NFC South rival Carolina at Raymond James Stadium.

Adams joined Ronde Barber, who had three interceptions on both December 23, 2001 and December 4, 2005 against New Orleans, and Aqib Talib (three interceptions on October 4, 2009 against Washington) as the only players in franchise history with three interceptions in a single game. Adams is the fifth NFL player since 2010 to record at least three interceptions in a single game and the first since Tennessee’s Kevin Byard on October 22, 2017 against Cleveland.

Chicago defensive tackle Akiem Hicks recorded one sack and rushed for a one-yard score in the Bears’ overtime loss at the New York Giants. Hicks is the second Bears defensive lineman to rush for a touchdown in the regular season, joining William “The Refrigerator” Perry who accomplished the feat twice in 1985 (October 21 vs. Green Bay and November 24 vs. Atlanta).

Buffalo rookie quarterback Josh Allen threw for 231 yards with two touchdowns and rushed for 135 yards in the Bills’ loss at Miami. Allen is the fourth player in league history with at least two touchdown passes and 125+ rushing yards in a single game, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer WALTER PAYTON (September 18, 1983 at New Orleans), Tobin Rote (November 22, 1951 at Detroit) and Michael Vick (December 19, 2010 at the New York Giants).

Carolina running back Christian McCaffery rushed for 106 yards on 10 carries (10.6 average) and had nine catches for 55 yards with a touchdown in the Panthers’ loss at Tampa Bay. McCaffrey, who would later leave the contest with a foot injury, is the first player in NFL history to recor​d at least 50 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards in five consecutive games.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 14

WORST TO FIRST: Entering Week 14, one team – the Los Angeles Rams (11-1) – clinched a playoff berth as the battle for the remaining spots forges ahead. Three ​​additional teams – Houston (9-3), New England (9-3) and New Orleans (10-2) – can clinch a division title this week.

Two teams that finished in or tied for last place in their division in 2017 – Chicago (NFC North) and Houston Texans (AFC South) – are currently in first place in their respective divisions this season. In 14 of the past 15 seasons, at least one team finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. Of the 46 teams in league history to go from “worst-to-first,” 23 of them have done so in the past 15 years (2003-17), including an NFL-record three such teams in 2005 and 2006.

STAT PATTING: Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the NFL with 41 touchdown passes and ranks second in passing yards (3,923).

With 77 passing yards on Sunday against Baltimore at 1 p.m. on CBS, Mahomes would join Pro Football Hall of Famers Dan Marino (1984) and Kurt Warner (1999) as the only first-or-second year quarterbacks in NFL history to pass for at least 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in a single season. Both Marino and Warner were named Associated Press MVP in those seasons.

The first-or-second year quarterbacks to pass for at least 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(PASSING YARDS/TOUCHDOWNS)
Dan Marino, Miami (1984)(5,084/48)^#
Kurt Warner, St. Louis (1999)(4,353.41)^#
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (2018)(3,923/41)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
#Named Associated Press MVP
*Entering Week 14

RAISING ARIZONA: Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has 1,281 receptions for 16,053 yards and 115 touchdowns during his 15-year NFL career, all with the Cardinals.

With one reception on Sunday against Detroit at 4:25 p.m. on FOX, Fitzgerald would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (1,281 receptions with San Francisco) for the most receptions by a player with one team in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions for one team in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RECEPTIONS)
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona (1,281)
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (1,281)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

FIFTH FOR FRANK: Miami running back Frank Gore has 18,414 scrimmage yards in his 14-year NFL career.

With 43 scrimmage yards on Sunday against New England at 1 p.m. on CBS, Gore would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson (18,456 scrimmage yards) for the fifth-most scrimmage yards in league annals.

The players with the most scrimmage yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Jerry Rice – San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle (23,540)^
Emmitt Smith – Dallas and Arizona (21,579)^
Walter Payton – Chicago (21,264)^
Marshall Faulk – Indianapolis and St. Louis (19,154)^
LaDainian Tomlinson – San Diego and New York Jets (18,456)^
Frank Gore – San Francisco, Indianapolis, Miami (18,414)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

TOUCHDOWN STREAK: Cleveland rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield has thrown at least one touchdown pass in each of his first nine NFL starts.

With a touchdown pass against Carolina (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Mayfield would become the third quarterback in the Super Bowl era to record at least one touchdown pass in each of his first 10 career starts.

The players with a touchdown pass in each of their first 10 career starts since 1966:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)
Kurt Warner, St. Louis (1999)^
Brad Johnson, Minnesota (1996-97)
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland (2018)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Has TD pass in each of first nine starts

SAQUON FROM SCRIMMAGE: New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley had 146 scrimmage yards (125 rushing, 21 receiving) in the Giants’ Week 13 overtime victory against Chicago. Barkley leads the NFL with 11 games of at least 100 scrimmage yards in 2018.

With 100 scrimmage yards on Sunday at Washington at 1 p.m. on FOX, Barkley would tie Edgerrin James (12 games in 1999) for the second-most games with at least 100 scrimmage yards by a rookie in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer ERIC DICKERSON (13 games in 1983) has more such games.

The rookies with the most games with at least 100 scrimmage yards in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, GAMES WITH 100+ SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (1983, 13)^#
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (1999, 12)#
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (2018, 11)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
#Named Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year
*Entering Week 14

RECORD-SETTING RECEIVER: Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown has 81 receptions for 1,028 yards and leads the NFL with 12 touchdown receptions this season.

With 10 receptions on Sunday at Oakland at 4:25 p.m. on FOX, Brown, who has 663 receptions since 2013, can surpass Wes Welker (672 from 2007-12) for the most catches by a player over any six-year span in NFL history.

The most receptions by a player over any six-year span in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, RECEPTIONS)
Wes Welker, New England (2007-12, 672)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2013-18, 663)*
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (1999-2004, 649)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*In sixth year of span

Brown, who had 154 receiving yards in Week 13, has 8,876 receiving yards since 2013 and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (8,759 from 1990-1995) for the most receiving yards by a player over any six-year span in NFL history.

The most receiving yards by a player over any six-year span in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, RECIEVEING YARDS)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2013-18, 8,876)*
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (1990-95, 8,759)^
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (1999-2004, 8,707)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*In sixth year of span

ZACH ATTACK: Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz ranks second in the NFL with 93 receptions and second among tight ends with 978 receiving yards this season.

With seven receptions and 22 receiving yards on Sunday at Dallas at 4:25 p.m. on FOX, Ertz can become the fourth tight end in NFL history to record at least 100 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards in a single season.

The tight ends with at least 100 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(RECEPTIONS-RECEIVING YARDS)

Jason Witten, Dallas (2012)(110-1,039)#
Dallas Clark, Indianapolis (2009)(100-1,106)
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City (2004)(102-1,252)
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia (2018)(93-978)*
*Entering Week 14
#Single-season record by a tight end

DOMINANT DONALD: Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald leads the NFL with 16.5 sacks this season and has recorded at least two sacks in each of his past three games.

With two sacks on Sunday Night Football at Chicago at 8:20 p.m. on NBC, Donald can become the fourth player since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, to record at least two sacks in four consecutive games in a single season, joining Simeon Rice (five games in 2002) and Pro Football Hall of Famers Kevin Greene (four games in 1998) and Reggie White (four games in 1987).

The players with the most consecutive games with at least two sacks in a single season since 1982:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 2+ SACKS)
Simeon Rice, Tampa Bay (2002-5)
Kevin Greene, Carolina (1998-4)^
Reggie White, Philadelphia (1987-4)^
Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams (2018-3)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Active streak

Donald, who has recorded at least two sacks in six games this season, can become the fourth player since 1982 to record at least seven games with two-or-more sacks in a single season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Reggie White (eight games in 1987), Chris Doleman (seven games in 1989) and Bruce Smith (seven games in 1990).

The players with the most games with two-or-more sacks in a single season since 1982:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON-GAMES WITH 2+ SACKS)
Reggie White, Philadelphia (1987-8)^#
Chris Doleman, Minnesota (1989-7)^
Bruce Smith, Buffalo (1990-7)^#
Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams (2018-6)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
#Named Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year
*Entering Week 14

JONES-ING FOR MORE: Kansas City defensive lineman Chris Jones ties for fifth in the AFC with 10 sacks this season and has recorded at least one sack in eight consecutive games.

With a sack on Sunday against Baltimore at 1 p.m. on CBS, Jones would become the sixth player since 1982 to record at least one sack in nine consecutive games and the first player since 1982 to record nine consecutive games with at least one sack within a single season.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least one sack since 1982:

PLAYER – TEAM(S)(SEASONS)(CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH A SACK)

DeMarcus Ware – Dallas (2007-08)(10)
Simon Fletcher – Denver (1992-93)(10)
Dwight Freeney – Indianapolis (2008-09)(9)
Kevin Greene – San Francisco and Carolina (1997-98)(9)^
Bruce Smith – Buffalo (1986-87)(9)^
Chris Jones – Kansas City (2018)(8)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Active streak

With four weeks remaining on the schedule, much is still to be decided. Thirty of the league’s 32 teams remain in contention as the NFL enters Week 14.

Seven divisional matchups highlight an exciting slate of games in Week 14:

On Sunday afternoon, the Houston Texans welcomes Indianapolis to NRG Stadium at 1 p.m. on CBS in an AFC South battle. The Texans (9-3) lead the Colts (6-6) and the Titans (6-6) by three games in the division and look to extend their league-leading nine game winning streak. Since entering the league in 2017, Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson is one of two NFL quarterbacks (Russell Wilson) with a 100+ passer rating (101.8) and at least 500 rushing yards (644). Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has thrown at least three touchdown passes in eight of his past nine games and ranks second in the league with 32 touchdown passes this season.

New England and Miami square off on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. on CBS at Hard Rock Stadium. The Patriots look to clinch their 10th consecutive AFC East title and extend the longest streak of consecutive division titles in NFL history. New England quarterback Tom Brady (579 touchdown passes, including the postseason) needs one touchdown pass to surpass Peyton Manning for the most in NFL history. Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard had two interceptions in Week 13 and has three games with multiple interceptions in 2018, the most in the NFL.

Baltimore rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson leads the Ravens into Arrowhead Stadium to take on Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs at 1 p.m. on CBS. Winners of three consecutive games, the Ravens (7-5) look to maintain their place in the thick of the AFC postseason race, while the Chiefs (10-2) aim to stay atop the AFC West. Jackson, who has won each of his first three starts, is the first rookie quarterback in league history to rush for at least 70 yards in three consecutive games. Mahomes, who leads the NFL with 41 touchdown passes and ranks second with 3,923 passing yards, can become the third first-or-second year quarterback in league annals to throw for at least 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in a single season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Dan Marino (1984) and Kurt Warner (1999). Both Marino and Warner were named Associated Press Most Valuable Player in those seasons.

A battle of first-place teams in the NFC takes center stage as the Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Bears square off at Soldier Field on NBC’s Sunday Night Football at 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald leads the NFL with 16.5 sacks this season and has recorded at least two sacks in each of his past three games. Rams running back Todd Gurley leads the NFL with 19 touchdowns this season and quarterback Jared Goff ranks second in the NFL with 3,754 passing yards. The duo can make the Rams just the sixth team in league history to have a quarterback with at least 4,000 passing yards and a player with 20+ scrimmage touchdowns in a single season. Bears safety Eddie Jackson has an interception-return touchdown in two of his past three games and leads the NFL with three defensive touchdowns this season.

2018 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 14

NFC

CLINCHED: Los Angeles Rams – NFC West division title

Los Angeles Rams (11-1) at Chicago (8-4), Sunday night at 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Los Angeles clinches a first round bye with:

1) Los Angeles Rams win

New Orlens (10-2) at Tampa Bay (5-7), Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX

New Orleans clinches NFC South division title with:

1) New Orlens win or tie OR

2) Carolina loss or tie

New Orleans clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Minnesota loss + Philadelphia loss or tie + Washington loss or tie

AFC

Kansas City (10-2) vs. Baltimore (7-5), Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS

Kansas City clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Kansas City win or tie OR

2) Miami loss or tie + Indianapolis loss or tie

New England (9-3) at Miami (6-6), Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS

New England clinches AFC East division title with:

1) New England win or tie

Houston (9-3) vs. Indianapolis (6-6), Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS

Houston clinches AFC South division title with:

1) Houston win + OR

2) Houston tie

Los Angeles Chargers (9-3) vs. Cincinnati (5-7), Sunday at 4:05 p.m. on CBS

Los Angeles clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Los Angeles Chargers win + Miami loss or tie + Denver loss or tie + Indianapolis loss or tie OR

2) Los Angeles Chargers tie + Miami loss + DEN loss + Indianapolis loss or tie as long as Indianapolis doesn’t tie

Week 14 opened in Nashville with Tennessee downing Jacksonville 30-9 in the Music City and closes on Monday night as the Minnesota Vikings travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks in a key NFC matchup at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN. Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins second in the league with a 71.3 completion percentage (minimum 200 attempts) and is one of three quarterbacks (Drew Brees and Matt Ryan) with a 70+ completion percentage and at least 3,000 passing yards (3,490) this season. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson ranks third in the league with a 5.8 touchdown-to-interception ratio (29 touchdowns and five interceptions) and is one of four NFL quarterbacks with a passer rating of at least 115 this season (115.5).

As for last week? Much better, going 9-7 for the week, which puts us at 111-77 for the season. There’s still a lot of football left before we come to the end. With that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 14.

ATLANTA (4-8) at Green Bay (4-7-1), 1 p.m. on FOX. A pair of struggling NFC team meet in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst as Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons make their way to Lambeau Field for an early afternoon meeting with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Both clubs look to end losing streaks with hopes of making a run into the post-season party.

Atlanta, who will play their second interim coach this season (they faced Gregg Williams, who took over in Cleveland when the Browns let Hue Jackson go; Atlanta would lose that contest in Cleveland), watched Baltimore break a 10-10 tie at the intermission and dropped a 26-16 decision to the Ravens last Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Atlanta had led 10-7 with 11:33 thanks to a 74-yard fumble return by LB Vic Beasley before Ravens K Jeff Tucker would kick the first of his four field goals with six seconds left before intermission to tie things up at 10-10. Tucker would later go on to add three more field goals, with one coming as part of a 14-play, 60-yard drive that used 8:08 of game clock (19 minutes of actual time; the Ravens had three drives of 10 plays or more in the contest). Baltimore would then seal the Falcons’ fate when Tavon Young picked up a Matt Ryan fumble and returned it 12 yards fpr the score. Atlanta would make it a 10-point game with 4:18 left when TE Austin Hooper and Ryan connected on a one-yard TD toss. Baltimore outrushed Atlanta 207-34 and Jackson threw for 125 yards and had a rushing TD, while Ryan threw for 131 yards and the fourth quarter toss to Hooper (Ryan was sacked three times, Jackson was sacked twice, neither threw an interception). Atlanta, dropping their fourth contest in a row, was 2 for 9 on third down (the Falcons were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 20:21, while the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 39:39, going 7 of 15 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Green Bay is also looking to break a losing streak, dropping their third in a row, losing at home to Arizona 20-17 at Lambeau Field in a contest that cost Mike McCarthy his job as head coach (he was replaced by offensive co-ordinator Joe Philbin in the interim). Green Bay led 10-7 at the intermission before Arizona stormed back in the second half and took the lead with 1:41 left in regulation when Zavier Gonzalez booted a 44-yard field goal to take the 20-17 lead. Green Bay made its way downfield after they got the ball back on the ensuing kickoff and would get as far as Arizona’s 31-yard line with three seconds left in hopes of tying the contest and sending it to overtime but Mason Crosby’s 49-yard try sailed wide to the right, sending Packer fans home unhappy. The Desert Angry Birds outrushed the Packers 182-98 and Rodgers threw for 233 yards and a TD pass to Davante Adams, while Josh Rosen threw for 149 yards for Arizona (Rosen was sacked twice, Rodgers was sacked once and neither man had an interception). Green Bay was a somewhat dismal 3 of 14 on third down but was perfect on fourth down, going 2 of 2 and kept the ball for 32:26, while Arizona held on to the pigskin for 27:34, while going 5 of 13 on third down.

While Green Bay leads the series 15-14 and the Packers have outscored Atlanta 715-620, Atlanta has won the last two regular season meeting and both of those wins came in the Big Peach, including a 34-23 win last year (Green Bay’s last win over Atlanta came in 2014 at Lambeau by a final of 43-37).

The teams met in week two and Atlanta broke a 7-7 tie at the end of the first quarter and took a 24-7 lead with them to the intermission, despite being outscored by Green Bay in the second half 16-10. Atlanta outrushed Green Bay 141-59, while Rodgers threw for 343 yards and a pair of TDs, with Ryan having a TD toss and no interceptions, tallying 252 (Rodgers and Ryan were each sacked three times with Rodgers throwing an interception). Atlanta was 5 for 11 on third down in the Big Peach, keeping the ball for 28:37, while the Packers, who ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 31:23, went 5 for 12 on third down, 3 of 3 on fourth down.

Atlanta covered the 2 1/2-point spread with their 11-point win and both teams covered the 54 over/under with 57 points. This time, Green Bay’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 49. For one team, their losing streak comes to an end; for the other, their streak continues and their playoff hopes are damaged beyond repair. Packer fans are going to have their hearts broken this week. Atlanta my not cover the 6 on the road but they walk out of Lambeau with the win.

New York Jets (3-9) at Buffalo (4-8), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. They meet again. A pair of AFC East/AFL rivals meet for the second time, this time in upstate New York with slim playoff chances as Buffalo and the New York Jets meet along the shores of Lake Erie.

GangGreen let a 16-6 halftime lead against Marcus Mariota and the Titans get away from them, as Tennessee rallied in the final 30 minutes of action to take a 26-22 win at Nissan Stadium, with the Titans outscoring GangGreen 20-6 and chipping away at the New York lead with a pair of Ryan Succop field goals, then taking the lead for keeps with 36 seconds left when WR Corey Davis caught an 11-yard TD pass from Mariota for their first lead of the day. Tennessee then held off a late J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! rall to take the win in the late afternoon contest. GangGreen outrushed the Titans 156-130 with Jets RB Isaiah Crowell leading the way with 98 yards. Mariota threw for 282 yards and a pair of TDs (including the game-winner), while Josh McCown threw for 128 yards (McCown was sacked twice, Mariota sacked three times; both men threw an interception) for New York. The Titans were a somewhat dismal 1 for 11 on third down and kept the ball for 26:38, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:22, going 3 for 14 on third down conversions.

Buffalo’s rally at Miami fell short as the Dolphins held off the Bills 21-17 at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami took a 14-6 lead with them to the intermission in the Sunshine State last Sunday afternoon before the Bills would rally in the second half, outscoring the Dolphins 11-7 in the final 30 minutes of the contest. The Bills would take a 17-14 lead with 12 minutes left in regulation when WR Zay Jones and QB Josh Allen connected on a 25-yard TD pass and the two-point conversion. Miami would restore order later in the period when WR Kenny Stills and QB Ryan Tannehill connected on a 13-yard TD pass to reclaim the lead. Buffalo would later get the ball back with 2:33 left to play and get as close as the Miami 30-yard line with hopes of taking the lead back but Allen’s pass to TE Charles Clay was incomplete. Buffalo outrushed Miami 198-60 and Allen led all rushers with 135 yards, while throwing for 231 yards and a pair of TDs (Allen was sacked twice and picked off twice), while Tannehill led Miami with 137 yards and three TD, while being picked off once and sacked three times. Buffalo was 5 for 13 on third down conversions (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:57, while the Dolphins kept the ball for 27:03, while going 2 for 9 on third down.

Buffalo led the New York Jets 31-3 at Met Life Stadium in the week 10 contest at the intermission and took their AFC East rivals from upstate New York to the woodshed, coming out on top 41-10 to break their four-game losing streak. Bills backup QB Matt Barkley burned GangGreen for 232 yards and a pair of TDs, while Buffalo RB LeSean McCoy ran for 113 yards and a pair of rushing TDs in the lopsided contest. Buffalo outrushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 212-83, while Josh McCown threw for 135 yards with three sacks and a pair of interceptions (Barkley was sacked once but did not throw an interception). GangGreen was 1 for 12 on third down tries (they were 2 for 3 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 20:38, while the Bills ruled the clock and kept the ball for 39:22, while they went 8 of 16 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 10 contest in the Meadowlands, the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were favored by 7 1/2 and Buffalo covered, winning by 31. Both teams easily took care of the 37 over/under, aSEs the two clubs merged to score 51 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like Buffalo again, this time as 3 1/2-point favorites with a 38 1/2 over/under. The winner? They get to keep their slim playoff hopes alive for at least one more week. As for the loser? Their magic number is next year. Bills complete the sweep in upstate New York and take the win, covering the 3 1/2.

Carolina (6-6) at Cleveland (4-7-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. A pair of former Heisman winners meet along the shores of Lake Erie as Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers travel to Cleveland for a Sunday afternoon meeting with Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns. Both clubs took road losses in last week’s action.

Carolina was taken to task by Tampa Bay 24-17 last Sunday in Tampa in a battle of two former Heisman winners. The Panthers trailed Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers 17-7 at the break, then rallied to pull themselves to within seven with 2:24 left in the third quarter when Newton and WR Darren Funchess connected on a 10-yard TD pass to trail 24-17. The two clubs then played a scoreless fourth quarter and the Panthers then had one last rally as they got the ball at their 26-yard line, getting as close as their 44-yard line when Tampa Bay was penalized for an enproachment penalty with :00 left on the clock. Because a half or game can’t end on a defensive penalty, Carolina was given an untimed down and the Panther hopes were dashed when backup QB Taylor Heinicke’s last-ditch pass to D.J. Moore fell incomplete. Carolina outrushed Tampa Bay 168-95 with RB Christian McCaffery rushing for 106 yards before leaving the contest with a foot injury, while Newton threw for 300 for Carolina and Winston throwing for 249 yards (both men threw a pair of TD passes, both were sacked four times and Newton threw four interceptions). Carolina was 3 of 8 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 30:06. As for Tampa Bay? They kept the pigskin for 29:54 and went 6 for 13 on third down tries at Raymond James Stadium.

Cleveland found themselves taken to the woodshed by Houston last Sunday, falling 29-13 at NRG Stadium to the Texans. The Texans led 23-0 at the half and watched the Browns outscore Houston 13-6 in the second half to make the contest closer. Houston outrushed Cleveland 187-31 (Nick Chubb was Cleveland’s only rusher), with Houston’s Lamar Miller leading the way with 103 in the 16-point defeat. Mayfield threw for 397 yards with a TD to Rashard Higgins but threw three interceptions, while Deshaun Watson threw for 224 yards with a TD, despite being sacked four times. Houston was 8 for 16 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 37:35, while the Browns kept the ball for 22:25 while going 2 for 8 on third down and 0 of 2 on fourth down.

Carolina holds a 4-1 lead in the series and the Panthers have outscored Cleveland 104-72. Their last meeting took place in 2014 in Charlotte with the Panthers taking a 17-13 win, while Cleveland’s lone win in the series came in 2010 along the shores of Lake Erie by a final of 24-23. Carolina’s favored by a point with the over/under 47. The Browns are actually better than their record and have given the NFC South problems this year. Carolina will put an end to that problem as Newton and the Panthers take the win on the shore of Lake Erie and cover the 1.

Indianapolis (6-6) at Houston (9-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of AFC South teams meet in the Lone Star State as Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts come to NRG Stadium to face off against first-place Houston.

The Colts found themselves on the wrong end of a 6-0 shutout at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday in the Sunshine State. Jacksonville, without RB Leonard Fournette, who sat out his one-game suspension for a fight in Buffalo, got a pair of Josh Lambo field goals to pitch the shutout and take the win. After a scoreless first quarter, Lambo’s 30-yard field goal would give the Jaguars a 3-0 lead with 2:03 left before the half to open the scoring in the contest. Jacksonville would then take that lead with them to the break and the contest stayed that way through the third quarter. Lambo would then connect again, this time from 37 yards out for the 6-0 lead. Jacksonville then proceeded to end a Colts threat that would have given Luck the lead late in the contest, as the Jaguars would wind up breaking their seven-game losing streak in the process.

Neither club broke the 100-yard rushing barrier but Jacksonville did win that battle, outrushing the Colts 79-41. Luck did manage to throw for 248 yards but threw an interception, while Cody Kessler threw for 150 yards and no interceptions (both Keesler and Luck were sacked three times).

Houston won their ninth in a row, taking Cleveland and Baker Mayfield to task 29-13 at NRG Stadium to the Texans. The Texans led 23-0 at the half and watched the Browns outscore Houston 13-6 in the second half to make the contest closer. Houston outrushed Cleveland 187-31 (Nick Chubb was Cleveland’s only rusher), with Houston’s Lamar Miller leading the way with 103 in the 16-point defeat. Mayfield threw for 397 yards with a TD to Rashard Higgins but threw three interceptions, while Deshaun Watson threw for 224 yards with a TD, despite being sacked four times. Houston was 8 for 16 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 37:35, while the Browns kept the ball for 22:25 while going 2 for 8 on third down and 0 of 2 on fourth down.

The Colts lead the series 25-7 and have outscored the Texans 833-619. Indy swept last year’s series, taking wins in the Hoosier State and the Lone Star State, while Houston’s last win came in 2016, when they swept the series that year.

Their first meeting took place in Houston in week nine and the Colts would come away 20-14 winners at NRG Stadium. Indy led 10-7 at the half and then held a late Houston rally to seal the win. While Houston did outrush the Colts 94-92, Jacoby Brissett (taking over for Andrew Luck) threw for 308 yards and a pair of TDs to T.Y. Hilton, with Tom Savage (who took over for DeSean Watson) threw for 219 yards and a TD (neither man threw an interception, Brissett was sacked three times, Savage was sacked twice). Both teams were 4 for 14 on third down tries (the Texans were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and the Colts kept the ball for 30:59 to Houston’s 29:01.

The Colts made the sweep of the series official in week 17, taking a 22-13 win to close out the regular season finale for both clubs, since neither was going to be in the post-season. Indy erased a 13-7 deficit at the break and proceeded to shutout Houston the rest of the way, scoring their last 15 points of the game unchallenged. Indianapolis’ RB Frank Gore rand for 100 yards in the contest to lead all rushers, as the Colts outrushed Houston 146-85 and Brissett threw for 114 yards and a TD, while T.J. Yeats threw for 137 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception (Brissett was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Houston went 5 for 11 on third down conversions at Lucas Oil Stadium and kept the ball for 28:47, while the Colts ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:13, going 6 of 13 on third down tries.

In the week nine contest in the Lone Star State, the Texans were favored by 7 and the Colts won by 6. As for the 45 1/2 over/under? It was safe and sound, as both teams merged for 34 points. In the week 17 contest, the Colts covered the 3 1/2-point spread, winning by 9 but as was the case in the earlier meeting, neither team covered the over/under (which was 41), with the two teams combining for 35 points. The Texans in this meeting are favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Both numbers are reasonable and make sense. The Texans are trying to make it 10 in a row and keep hold of first place in the AFC South, while the Colts would love nothing more than to end the streak. Streak on, Texans! Houston covers the 4 1/2 and wins in the Lone Star State.

Baltimore (7-5) at Kansas City (10-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of up and coming QBs meet in the Show-Me State as Baltimore comes to Arrowhead for a meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs. Both clubs were road winners in their last contests.

Baltimore used three drives of 10 plays or more to break a 10-10 tie at the intermission and take a 26-16 in Atlanta last Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Ravens trailed led 10-7 with 11:33 thanks to a 74-yard fumble return by LB Vic Beasley before Ravens K Jeff Tucker would kick the first of his four field goals with six seconds left before intermission to tie things up at 10-10. Tucker then added three more field goals, with one coming as part of a 14-play, 60-yard drive that used 8:08 of game clock (19 minutes of actual time; the Ravens had three drives of 10 plays or more in the contest). Baltimore then sealed Atlantas’ fate in the Big Peach when Tavon Young picked up a Matt Ryan fumble and returned it 12 yards fpr the score. Atlanta would make it a 10-point game with 4:18 left when TE Austin Hooper and Ryan connected on a one-yard TD toss. Baltimore outrushed Atlanta 207-34 and Jackson threw for 125 yards and had a rushing TD, while Ryan threw for 131 yards and the fourth quarter toss to Hooper (Ryan was sacked three times, Jackson was sacked twice, neither threw an interception). Atlanta, dropping their fourth contest in a row, was 2 for 9 on third down (the Falcons were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 20:21, while the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 39:39, going 7 of 15 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

The Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes bounced back from their 4-point loss against the Los Angeles Rams and put an end to Oakland’s dwindling playoff hopes last Sunday as they took the Raiders 40-33 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Kansas City led 19-7, then pulled away after the Silver and Black made it a 9-point contest early in the third quarter. Kansas City outrushed their AFC West rival 174-171 and Mahomes threw for 295 yards with four TDs (connecting with TE Travis Kelce on two of them) and no sacks or interceptions, while Oakland’s Derek Carr threw for 285 yards with three TDs and three sacks. Kansas City was 6 of 13 on third down (Andy Reid’s Chiefs were successful on fourth down, going 1 of 1) and kept the ball for 29:14, while the Raiders ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:46, going 9 for 12 on third down conversions.

Kansas City leads the series 4-3 and the Chiefs have outscored Baltimore 153-123. Each team took their last win in the other team’s facility; Kansas City’s last win came in Charm City by a final of 34-14 in 2015, while Baltimore’s last win came in the Show-Me State in 2012 by a 9-6 final. Kansas City’s favored by 7 at Arrowhead and the over/under’s 53 1/2. For the Chiefs, a win means that they’re one step closer to the AFC West title and a possible number one seed in the post-season; for the Ravens, it’s a chance to pull themselves a little closer to Pittsburgh. We think the Steelers are going to be Chiefs fans today. Everything’s up to date in Kansas City as the Chiefs cover the 7 and win at Arrowhead.

New England (9-3) at Miami (6-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots travel to the Sunshine State for an AFC East matchup with the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium, with both clubs winning last week’s contest in their home ballparks.

Brady and the Pats took care of business in Foxboro last Sunday against Minnesota, coming away 24-10 winners at Gillette Stadium. New England led 10-7 at the half, then held the Vikings to a third quarter field goal from Dan Bailey to take the home win. New England outrushed Minnesota 160-95 (Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook led all rushers with 84 yards), with James Delvin having a pair of rushing TDs, while Brady threw for 311 yards and a TD with an interception, while Kirk Cousins threw for 201 yards with a TD to WR Adam Thielen (Cousins was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions). Brady and New England was 7 of 14 on third down conversions in Foxboro (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 33:21, while the Vikings held on to the ball for 26:39, going 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Miami held off a late Buffalo Bills rally last Sunday, coming away 21-17 winners at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami took a 14-6 lead with them to the intermission in the Sunshine State last Sunday afternoon before Buffalo rallied in the second half, outscoring the Dolphins 11-7 in the final 30 minutes of the contest. The Bills would then take a 17-14 lead with 12 minutes left in regulation when WR Zay Jones and QB Josh Allen connected on a 25-yard TD pass and the two-point conversion. Miami would restore order later in the period when WR Kenny Stills and QB Ryan Tannehill connected on a 13-yard TD pass to reclaim the lead. Buffalo would later get the ball back with 2:33 left to play and get as close as the Miami 30-yard line with hopes of taking the lead back but Allen’s pass to TE Charles Clay was incomplete. Buffalo outrushed Miami 198-60 and Allen led all rushers with 135 yards, while throwing for 231 yards and a pair of TDs (Allen was sacked twice and picked off twice), while Tannehill led Miami with 137 yards and three TD, while being picked off once and sacked three times. Buffalo was 5 for 13 on third down conversions (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:57, while the Dolphins kept the ball for 27:03, while going 2 for 9 on third down.

The Pats knocked Miami out of the ranks of the Miami fell unbeatens after Brady and New England beat their AFC East rival 38-7 at Foxboro in their week four meeting. The Patroits scored the first 38 points of the contest unchallenged and the Dolphins trailed 24-0 at thee intermission before finally tallying their lone score in the contest when Frank Gore and Brock Osweiler connected on a 6-yard TD toss with 2:42 left to play. Miami found themselves held to 56 yards rushing, while the Patroits would tally 175 of their own (with Sony Michel leading all rushers with 112 yards and a TD) and Brady throwing for 274 yards and a pair of TD passes. New England was 10 of 16 on third down and held on the ball for 36:22, while the Dolphins were 23:38 in time of possession, going 3 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

New England’s 31-point win in Foxboro allowed them to cover the 7-point spread in the week four contest but both clubs barely missed the 47 1/2 over/under, as the two teams combined for 45 points. While the Patriots are the road team, they’re also favored by 8 1/2 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 47 1/2. For New England, a win for them means another AFC East title; for the Dolphins, a win for them means that the Pats will have to wait another week. Fins will make Brady and the boys wait another week. New England will make things tough and closer than 8 1/2 for Miami but the Dolphins prevail at home in the Sunshine State.

New Orleans (10-2) at Tampa Bay (5-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. New Orleans and Tampa Bay meet in the Sunshine State in a week one rematch at Raymond James Stadium. While the Saints come in off a road loss two Thursday nights ago, the Buccaneers held off NFC South rival Carolina at home in the Sunshine State.

The Saints were shut out by Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys in the first half, trailing 13-0 at the break before scoring 10 third quarter points of their own unchallenged and still came up short, falling 13-10 to the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. The Saints would make it a 3-point contest when WR Keith Kirkwood and Drew Brees connected on a 38-yard TD toss with 68 seconds left in the third, then saw a fourth quarter rally that would have either tie things up or given New Orleans the lead when Brees was picked off by CB Jourdan Lewis to end the threat. Dallas, who got a pair of field goals from Brett Maher and a rushing TD by Ezekiel Elliot, outrushed New Orleans 100-65 and Brees threw for 127 yards with a TD and a pair of sacks, while Prescott threw for 248 yards with the TD toss to Elliot and was sacked seven times but had no interceptions. Dallas was 7 for 14 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 36:53, while the Saints held on to the ball for 23:07, going 3 for 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

In a meeting of former Heisman winners, Tampa Bay held off NFC South foe Carolina 24-17 last Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers led Cam Newton and the Panthers 17-7 at the break, then watch the Panthers rally to pull themselves to within seven with 2:24 left in the third quarter when Newton and WR Darren Funchess connected on a 10-yard TD pass to trail 24-17. The two clubs then played a scoreless fourth quarter and the Panthers then had one last rally as they got the ball at their 26-yard line, getting as close as their 44-yard line when Tampa Bay was penalized for an enproachment penalty with :00 left on the clock. Because a half or game can’t end on a defensive penalty, Carolina was given an untimed down and the Panther hopes were dashed when backup QB Taylor Heinicke’s last-ditch pass to D.J. Moore fell incomplete. Carolina outrushed Tampa Bay 168-95 with RB Christian McCaffery rushing for 106 yards before leaving the contest with a foot injury, while Newton threw for 300 for Carolina and Winston throwing for 249 yards (both men threw a pair of TD passes, both were sacked four times and Newton threw four interceptions). Carolina was 3 of 8 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 30:06. As for Tampa Bay? They kept the pigskin for 29:54 and went 6 for 13 on third down tries at Raymond James Stadium.

New Orleans hosted Winston and the Bucs in their week one meetings and the Saints came out on the short end of a 48-40 loss to Tampa Bay in the season opener in the Big Easy. Although they trailed 31-24 at the half, the Buccaneers managed to take control of things in the second half, outscoring the Saints 17-16 in the final 30 minutes of action. Tampa Bay outrushed New Orleans 112-43, while Drew Brees threw for 439 yards with three passing TDs and Alvin Kamara chipping in with a pair of rushing TDs. For Tampa Bay, Ryan Fitzpatrick, taking over for the suspended Jameis Winston, threw for 417 yards and four TDs in the win at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Tampa Bay went 8 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 32:09, while the Saints went 4 of 9 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 27:51.

New Orleans was favored by 9 1/2 in the week one meeting in the Big Easy and Tampa Bay came away with the victory but both clubs did cover the 49 1/2 over/under with 88 total points. The odds makers like the Saints as 8 1/2 point favorites in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 57 1/2. New Orleans could very well win the NFC South if they beat Tampa Bay, while the Bucs want to prove that the first win in the Big Easy was not a fluke. While Tampa Bay won’t cover the 8 1/2, they somehow sweep the Saints and take the win at home at Raymond James Stadium.

New York Giants (4-8) at Washington (6-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. It’s an NFC East rematch as Eli Manning and the New York Giants travel to Landover to face off against the Washington Redskins and Mark Sanchez at Fed Ex Field.

The Giants needed overtime in the Meadowlands to take a 30-27 win over the Chicago Bears at Met Life Stadium last Sunday. The Giants trailed 14-10 at the half before rallying in the third quarter to take a 24-14 lead with them to the end of the third quarter. Chicago would storm back in the final 15 minutes of action on the road in upstate New Jersey after the Giants took a 10-point lead late in the fourth when Bears K Chris Parkey kicked a 21-yard field with 73 seconds left. Chicago then got the onside kick and then marched their way downfield, tying the contest as time expired when rookie WR Anthony Miller caught a 1-yard TD pass from RB Tark Cohen to even things at 27-27. New York would win the toss in the overtime and got the ball first, using an 8-play, 49-yard drive that ended when Giants K Aldrick Rosas booted on a 44-yard field goal with 5:57 left in the extra period. Since the Giants kicked a field goal, that did not end the game and allowed Chicago to get the ball back and they did, starting their drive at their 25-yard line and getting as close as their 40-yard before Chris Daniel’s pass attempt to WR Taylor Gabriel was incomplete, ending the game and giving Big Blue the win. The Giants outrushed Da Bears 141-118 and Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 125 yards, while Manning threw for 170 yards and a TD to Odell Beckham Jr., who also threw a TD pass to WR Sterling Shepherd. Daniel threw for 285 yards and a TD in the overtime loss for Da Bears (Daniel was sacked five times and picked off twice, while Manning threw an interception with three sacks). The Giants were 6 of 17 on third down (they were 2 for 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:13, while Da Bears kept the pigskin for 33:58, going 2 for 15 on third down and 4 of 5 on fourth down.

Washington trailed the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles 14-13 at the half at Lincoln Financial Field, then watched the Eagles score 14 fourth-quarter points unchallenged to fall 28-12 in their NFC East meeting last Monday night in the City of Brotherly Love. Washington took a 10-7 lead with 9:23 left before the half when RB Adrian Peterson scored from 90 yards out before the Eagles took the lead back for good when RB Darren Sproles scored from 14 yards away with 1:46 left before the intermission. Washington would make it a one-point contest with 15 seconds left when K Dustin Hopkins booted a 47-yard field goal before the break. That would be the last that the Redskins would see of the scoreboard in the second half as the Eagles would score their 14 second half points, using a 4-yard TD pass from Carson Wentz to Josh Matthews and a pair of Jake Elliot field goals to seal the fate of the Redskins. Philadelphia outrushed their NFC East rivals 130-104, with Peterson leading the way with 98 yards, while Sanchez threw for 100 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception after taking over for Colt McCoy, who broke his leg early in the contest. Wentz threw for 306 yards and two TDs (including one to newly accquired RB Golden Tate) and threw an interception without being sacked. Washington was 2 for 10 on third down conversions and held on to tha ball for 20:41, while the Eagles were 7 of 13 on third down (0 for 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:19.

The Redskins and Giants met in week 8 and Washington held off the New York Giants 20-13 at Met Life Stadium. Washington led 7-3 at the half in upstate New Jersey, then floored the gas as RB Adrian Peterson scored his second TD of the day, scoring from 64 yards away to take a 20-6 lead with 3:06 left in the contest. The Giants would pull themselves to within 7 with 17 seconds left when Manning and TE Evan Engram connected on a 2-yard TD toss. Washington would recover the onside kick and run the clock out to take the win, giving Big Blue their fifth loss in a row. Peterson led all rushers with 149 yards in the NFC East contest as Washington outrushed the Giants 182-37, sacking Manning (316 yards, two interceptions) seven times, while Alex Smtih threw for 178 yards with the TD toss to Peterson without a sack or interception. Washington was 6 of 15 on third down and held the ball for 33:38, while the Giants held the ball for 26:22, going 2 of 14 on third down, 3 of 4 on fourth down tries.

In the week 8 meeting in the Meadowlands, Washington was favored by 1 and they covered, winning by 7 but neither team reached the 42 over/under, scoring 33 points. Vegas likes Washington again, this time as 1 1/2 point favorites in Landover and the over/under this time around is 42 1/2. Both clubs are trying to keep pace with Dallas in the NFC East and for the loser, their season and playoffs are pretty much over. For the winner, they’re alive for at least another week. HAIL TO THE REDSKINS! Washington pulls the sweep in Landover and covers the 1 1/2.

Cincinnati (5-7) at Los Angeles Chargers (9-3), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. A pair of AFC rivals meet in Los Angeles as Cincinnati, looking to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, travel to Stub Hub Centre to face off against Philip Rivers and the Chargers.

Cincinnati watched Denver take a 7-3 lead with them to the intermission and saw the Broncos came away with the 24-10 road win last Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. Denver went on to outscore the struggling Bengals 17-7 in the last 30 minutes of action, outrushing Cincinnati 218-111 in the road win and Denver rookie RB Phillip Lindsay led all rushers with 157 yards and a pair of TDs, while the Bengals were paced by Joe Mixon’s 82 yards on the ground and Denver’s Case Keenum threw for 151 yards and a TD, while Cincinati backup QB Jeff Driskel, who took over for Andy Dalton (thumb) threw for 236 yards with a TD, an interception and four sacks (Keenum was sacked twice but did not throw an interception). Both clubs went 5 for 13 on third down and Cincinnati actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:20 to Denver’s 28:40.

Los Angeles erased a 23-7 halftime defict at Pittsburgh as the Chargers and Philip Rivers would rally in the final seconds to leave Heinz Field with the 33-30 win Sunday night on a 29-yard field goal by K Michael Badgley as time expired. The Steelers let that lead get away from them as the Chargers would chip away at it in the second, when Rivers and WR Keenan Allen connected on a 10-yard TD toss with 1:43 in the third. Rivers and TE Antonio Gates would then connect on the two-point try to narrow the Steeler lead to 23-15. Pittsburgh’s special teams would fail them as CB Desmond King returned a punt 73 yards to open the scoring in the final quarter and the Chargers would even things up when Rivers and Allen connected on a second two-point conversion.

The Bolts then took the lead with 8:09 left in the contest when rookie RB Justin Jackson scored from 18 yards out. Pittsburgh would re-tie the contest, using an 12-play, 78-yard drive that took 3:59 when Ben Roethlisberger and rookie WR Jaylen Samuels hooked up on a 10-yard TD pass with 4:10 left in the contest. Los Angeles got the ball back on the kickoff and would use all of the 4:10 that was left, engineering an 11-play, 64-yard drive, burning all of the clock, aided by a pair of offside penalties on Pittsburgh with Badgley booting the game winner as the clock struck :00. Pittsburgh was outrushed by the Chargers 85-65 with Jackson leading all rushers with 63 yards, while James Conner tallied 60 for the Steelers. Roethlisberger threw for 281 yards for the Steelers, while Rivers tallied 299 yards, with both men throwing a pair of TDs (Rivers was sacked twice, Roethlisberger sacked once and threw an interception). Pittsburgh in the Sunday night affair in the Steel City went 3 of 10 on third down (they were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:48, while the Chargers were 6 for 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 31:12, including the final 4:10 of the contest.

While the Chargers lead the series 19-14 and the Bolts have outscored Cincinnati 788-722 (which includes contests that were played at Riverfront Stadium and Qualcomm Stadium), Cincinnati has won the last four meetings, including a 24-19 win along the shores of the Ohio River in 2015; the Chargers’ last win in the series came in 2009 at Qualcomm by a final of 27-24. The Chargers are favored by 14 and the over/under’s 47 1/2. If nothing else, this one will be somewhat entertaining to watch. The Bengals are hanging on for dear life in the playoff hunt, while the Chargers are knocking at the door. Los Angeles will bang, bang, bang on the door, sugar (apologies to the B52s!) and take this one at Stub Hub but expect the Bengals to make this one closer than 14.

Denver (6-6) at San Francisco (2-10), 4:05 p.m. on CBS. Denver makes their way to northern California for an early afternoon (Pacific time) contest with the struggling San Francisco 49ers at Levis’ Stadium.

Afte a scoreless first quarter in Cincinnati, the Broncos took a 7-3 lead against the Bengals with them to the intermission and came away with the 24-10 road win last Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. The Broncos went on to outscore the struggling Bengals 17-7 in the last 30 minutes of action, outrushing Cincinnati 218-111 in the road win. Denver rookie RB Phillip Lindsay led all rushers with 157 yards and a pair of TDs, while the Bengals were paced by Joe Mixon’s 82 yards on the ground and Denver’s Case Keenum threw for 151 yards and a TD, while Cincinati backup QB Jeff Driskel, who took over for Andy Dalton (thumb) threw for 236 yards with a TD, an interception and four sacks (Keenum was sacked twice but did not throw an interception). Both clubs went 5 for 13 on third down and Cincinnati actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:20 to Denver’s 28:40.

San Francisco saw their slim playoff hopes die in Seattle as the Seahawks took the 49ers 43-16 at Century Link Field in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle led 20-6 at the intermission, then proceeded to outscore the 49ers 23-13 in the last 30 minutes of action in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and never looked back. Seattle outrushed San Francisco 168-66 and Nate Mullins threw for 414 yards and a pair of TDs to WR Dante Pettis but was sacked three times and picked off twice, while Russell Wilson threw for 185 yards with four TDs and no interception (Wilson was sacked three times). San Francisco went 7 of 16 on third down (they were 1 for 2 on fourth down) and the 49ers actually ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 32:30, while the Seahawks were 4 for 9 on third down, keeping the ball for 27:30.

The Broncos hold a slim lead in the series 7-6 and have outscored the 49ers 322-299. Their last meeting took place in 2014 in the Mile High City and the Broncos were 42-17 victors, while San Francisco’s last win came in London by a final of 24-16 in 2010. Denver’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Denver’s looking to keep their playoff hopes alive, while the 49ers look to somehow derail the Broncos’ train. That train’s staying on the tracks. Broncos cover the 6 in Napa Valley and takes the win on the road.

Detroit (4-8) at Arizona (3-9), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. A pair of struggling teams meet in the desert as Arizona hosts the Detroit Lions at State Farm Stadium in Glendale.

Detroit watched the Los Angeles Rams clinch their second NFC West title last Sunday in the Motor City, beating the Lions 30-16 at Ford Field. The Lions trailed throughout the contest, trailing 13-3 at to the intermission, then watched the Rams run away from them in the second half, outcoring them 17-13 in the last 30 minutes of action. Detroit was outrushed by Los Angeles 149-102 and Rams RB Todd Gurley ran for 132 yards and a pair of TDs to seal the win. Jared Goff threw for 207 yards for Los Angeles, while Matthew Stafford threw for 245 for Detroit (Stafford was sacked four times, Goff was sacked once and each threw a TD pass and an interception). The Rams were 5 for 11 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 28:16, while the Lions kept the ball for 31:44, going 2 for 17 on third down tries.

Arizona escaped Green Bay with a 20-17 win at Lambeau Field in a contest that cost Mike McCarthy his job as head coach (he was replaced by offensive co-ordinator Joe Philbin in the interim). The Desert Angry Birds trailed in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst led 10-7 at the intermission before Arizona stormed back in the second half and took the lead with 1:41 left in regulation when Zavier Gonzalez booted a 44-yard field goal to take the 20-17 lead. Green Bay made its way downfield after they got the ball back on the ensuing kickoff and would get as far as Arizona’s 31-yard line with three seconds left in hopes of tying the contest and sending it to overtime but Mason Crosby’s 49-yard try sailed wide to the right, sending Packer fans home unhappy. The Desert Angry Birds outrushed the Packers 182-98 and Rodgers threw for 233 yards and a TD pass to Davante Adams, while Josh Rosen threw for 149 yards for Arizona (Rosen was sacked twice, Rodgers was sacked once and neither man had an interception). Green Bay was a somewhat dismal 3 of 14 on third down but was perfect on fourth down, going 2 of 2 and kept the ball for 32:26, while Arizona held on to the pigskin for 27:34, while going 5 of 13 on third down.

Including those contests that were played in Chicago and St. Louis, when the Desert Angry Birds called those cities home and the Lions were in Portsmouth as the Spartans and played contests in Tiger Stadium and the Silverdome, the Lions lead the series 32-28-5 and have outscored the Cardinals 1,182-1,085. Their last meeting? Last year in the Motor City, coming away 35-23 to break a 7-game losing streak against Arizona, while Arizona’s last win in the series came in 2015 in the Motor City by a final of 42-17.

The two clubs opened the 2017 campaign at Ford Field and the Lions trailed 10-9 at the half before they would roar back in the final 30 minutes of play, outscoring the Desert Angry Birds 26-13, holding off a late Arizona rally in the process. Stafford (292 yards) threw three TD passes in the second half, connecting with WR Kenny Golladay on two of those tosses, winding up with four on the afternoon, while Carson Palmer threw for 269 yards with three interceptions (Stafford threw an interception, Palmer and Stafford were sacked once). Detroit, who outrushed Arizona 82-45, went 8 for 16 on third down (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:20. As for Arizona? They kept the ball for 26:40 and went 6 for 15 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down.

In the season opener, the Lions’ 12-point win allowed them to cover the 2-point spread and the 58 points total allowed both clubs to cover the 48 over/under. Detroit’s favored by 2 1/2 in the desert and the over/under’s 40 1/2. Feel free to take a pass on this one and get that Christmas shopping done or watch that “Grumpy Cat Movie.” Granted, that kitty’s grumpy but he’s really funny! Arizona covers the 2 1/2 and the Desert Angry Birds take the win in Glendale.

Philadelphia (6-6) at Dallas (7-5), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. They meet again. Eagles vs. Cowboys, Round 2. The defending Super Bowl champs travel to the Lone Star State to take on Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington in an NFC East rematch at AT&T Stadium.

The defending Super Bowl champions led Washington 14-13 at the half at Lincoln Financial Field, then scored 14 fourth-quarter points unchallenged to take down the Redskins 28-12 in their NFC East meeting last Monday night in the City of Brotherly Love. Washington took a 10-7 lead with 9:23 left before the half when RB Adrian Peterson scored from 90 yards out before the Eagles took the lead back for good when RB Darren Sproles scored from 14 yards away with 1:46 left before the intermission. Washington would make it a one-point contest with 15 seconds left when K Dustin Hopkins booted a 47-yard field goal before the break. That would be the last that the Redskins would see of the scoreboard in the second half as the Eagles would score their 14 second half points, using a 4-yard TD pass from Carson Wentz to Josh Matthews and a pair of Jake Elliot field goals to seal the fate of the Redskins. Philadelphia outrushed their NFC East rivals 130-104, with Peterson leading the way with 98 yards, while Sanchez threw for 100 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception after taking over for Colt McCoy, who broke his leg early in the contest. Wentz threw for 306 yards and two TDs (including one to newly accquired RB Golden Tate) and threw an interception without being sacked. Washington was 2 for 10 on third down conversions and held on to tha ball for 20:41, while the Eagles were 7 of 13 on third down (0 for 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:19.

Prescott and the Cowboys took a 13-0 lead at the half against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, then held off New Orleans in the second half to come away 13-10 winners at AT&T Stadium. Dallas took the lead thanks to a pair of field goals from Brett Maher and a passing TD by Ezekiel Elliot, then held off the Saints after New Orleands broke the Cowboys’ bid for a shutout as Will Lutz connected on a 33-yard field Goal with 10 minutes left in the third, then got to within 7 with 68 seconds left in the third when WR Keith Kirkwood and Brees connected on a 38-yard TD toss. Dallas would then hold off a Saints’ rally in the final minutes of the fourth quarter that would have given New Orleans the lead when Brees was picked off by CB Jourdan Lewis to end the threat. Dallas outrushed New Orleans 100-65 and Brees threw for 127 yards with a TD and a pair of sacks, while Prescott threw for 248 yards with the TD toss to Elliot and was sacked seven times but had no interceptions. Dallas was 7 for 14 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 36:53, while the Saints held on to the ball for 23:07, going 3 for 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

The Cowboys led the defending Super Bowl champions 13-3 at the half in Philadelphia in the week 10 meeting, then watched the Eagles tie the contest with 7:27 left in regulation when Zach Ertz caught a 2-yard TD pass from Carson Wentz, rallied to reclaim the thanks to a 1-yard run by RB Ezekiel Elliott with 3:19 left, then held off a late Philly rally to come away from Lincoln Financial Field 27-20 winners Sunday night. The Eagles managed to tie the contest at 13-13 late in the third quarter when Ertz and Wentz connected on a 15-yard toss before Dallas took the lead back when Elliott and Dak Prescott connected on a 7-yard TD toss early in the final quarter of play. After the two teams exchanged TDs later in the period and Dallas re-claimed the lead for a second time, Philadelphia marched their way down the field and got as close as Dallas’ 32-yard line when Philadelphia used several laterals to get the ball into the end zone to no avail.

Elliott led all rushers with 151 yards on the ground with the rushing TD as the Cowboys outrushed Philadelphia 171-71 and  Prescott threw for 270 yards and a TD with four sacks, while Wentz threw for 360 yards and the two Ertz catches for scores (Wentz was sacked twice and threw an interception). Dallas was 8 for 16 on third down (they were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 33:22, while the Eagles kept the pigskin for 26:38, going 4 for 10 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down.

In the week 10 contest in the City of Brotherly Love, the Eagles were favored by 6 and Dallas covered, coming away with the 7-point win. Both clubs covered the 43 1/2 over/under, tallying 47 in the Sunday night contest at Lincoln Financial Field. In the rematch in the Lone Star State, the Cowboys are favored by 4 and the over/under’s 43. Dallas is looking to prove that the first win was not a fluke, while the Eagles want revenge and keep their playoff hopes alive. Hope stays alive this SUnday. Eagles get revenge and the win, covering the 4 on the road.

Pittsburgh (7-4-1) at Oakland (2-10), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 717. Pittsburgh, in first place in the AFC North, travels to Oakland to face off against the struggling Raiders in the Black Hole (aka the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum) in a late Sunday afternoon contest on the West Coast. Both teams took losses at home in last week’s action.

The Steelers let a 23-7 lead at the half against the Los Angeles Chargers get away from them as Philip Rivers and the Chargers would rally in the final seconds to leave Heinz Field with the 33-30 win Sunday night on a 29-yard field goal by K Michael Badgley as time expired. The Steelers let that lead get away from them as the Chargers would chip away at it in the second, when Rivers and WR Keenan Allen connected on a 10-yard TD toss with 1:43 in the third. Rivers and TE Antonio Gates would then connect on the two-point try to narrow the Steeler lead to 23-15. Pittsburgh’s special teams would fail them as CB Desmond King returned a punt 73 yards to open the scoring in the final quarter and the Chargers would even things up when Rivers and Allen connected on a second two-point conversion.

Los Angeles then took the lead with 8:09 left in the contest when rookie RB Justin Jackson scored from 18 yards out. Pittsburgh would re-tie the contest, using an 12-play, 78-yard drive that took 3:59 when Ben Roethlisberger and rookie WR Jaylen Samuels hooked up on a 10-yard TD pass with 4:10 left in the contest. Los Angeles would use all of the 4:10 that was left, engineering an 11-play, 64-yard drive, burning all of the clock, aided by a pair of offside penalties on Pittsburgh with Badgley booting the game winner as the clock struck :00. Pittsburgh was outrushed by the Chargers 85-65 with Jackson leading all rushers with 63 yards, while James Conner tallied 60 for the Steelers. Roethlisberger threw for 281 yards for the Steelers, while Rivers tallied 299 yards, with both men throwing a pair of TDs (Rivers was sacked twice, Roethlisberger sacked once and threw an interception). Pittsburgh in the Sunday night affair in the Steel City went 3 of 10 on third down (they were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:48, while the Chargers were 6 for 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 31:12, including the final 4:10 of the contest.

Oakland saw the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes bounce back from their 4-point loss against the Los Angeles Rams as their AFC West/AFL rivals put an end to Oakland’s dwindling playoff hopes last Sunday, taking down the Raiders 40-33 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Kansas City led 19-7, then pulled away after the Silver and Black made it a 9-point contest early in the third quarter. Kansas City outrushed their AFC West rival 174-171 and Mahomes threw for 295 yards with four TDs (connecting with TE Travis Kelce on two of them) and no sacks or interceptions, while Oakland’s Derek Carr threw for 285 yards with three TDs and three sacks. Kansas City was 6 of 13 on third down (Andy Reid’s Chiefs were successful on fourth down, going 1 of 1) and kept the ball for 29:14, while the Raiders ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:46, going 9 for 12 on third down conversions.

Including games played in Los Angeles and at Three Rivers Stadium, the Raiders lead the series 12-10 and the Silver and Black have been outscored by the Steelers 475-465. Pittsburgh won the last meeting in the series in 2015, coming away with the 38-35 win at Heinz Field, while Oakland’s last win in the series came on the West Coast in 2013 by a final of 21-18. Pittsburgh’s favored by 11 and the over/under’s 51 1/2. Granted, the Raiders are bad… they’re not 11 points bad. Oakland may be out of the post-season but they would like nothing more than to ruin Pittsburgh’s chances to play some extra football come January. Pittsburgh may not cover the 11 but they take the win in Oakland.

Los Angeles Rams (11-1) at Chicago (8-4). 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of first-place teams meet in the Windy City as the Los Angeles Rams travel to Soldier Field for a Sunday night contest with the Chicago Bears.

The Rams clinched their second NFC West title last Sunday in the Motor City, taming the Detroit Lions 30-16 at Ford Field. Los Angeles led from start to finish, taking a 13-3 lead with them to the intermission, then running away from the Lions in the second half, outcoring them 17-13 in the last 30 minutes of action. The Rams outrushed Detroit 149-102 and Todd Gurley ran for 132 yards and a pair of TDs to seal the win. Jared Goff threw for 207 yards for Los Angeles, while Matthew Stafford threw for 245 for Detroit (Stafford was sacked four times, Goff was sacked once and each threw a TD pass and an interception). The Rams were 5 for 11 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 28:16, while the Lions kept the ball for 31:44, going 2 for 17 on third down tries.

Da Bears rallied late in the final quarter against Eli Manning and the Giants, only to come away with a 30-27 overtime loss at Met Life Stadium last Sunday. Chicago would storm back in the final 15 minutes of action on the road in upstate New Jersey after the Giants took a 10-point lead late in the fourth when Bears K Chris Parkey kicked a 21-yard field with 73 seconds left. Da Bears then got the onside kick and then marched their way downfield, tying the contest as time expired when rookie WR Anthony Miller caught a 1-yard TD pass from RB Tark Cohen to even things at 27-27. New York would win the toss in the overtime and got the ball first, using an 8-play, 49-yard drive that ended when Giants K Aldrick Rosas booted on a 44-yard field goal with 5:57 left in the extra period. Since the Giants kicked a field goal, that did not end the game and allowed Chicago to get the ball back and they did, starting their drive at their 25-yard line and getting as close as their 40-yard before Chris Daniel’s pass attempt to WR Taylor Gabriel was incomplete, ending the game and giving Big Blue the win. The Giants outrushed Da Bears 141-118 and Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 125 yards, while Manning threw for 170 yards and a TD to Odell Beckham Jr., who also threw a TD pass to WR Sterling Shepherd. Daniel threw for 285 yards and a TD in the overtime loss for Da Bears (Daniel was sacked five times and picked off twice, while Manning threw an interception with three sacks). The Giants were 6 of 17 on third down (they were 2 for 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:13, while Da Bears kept the pigskin for 33:58, going 2 for 15 on third down and 4 of 5 on fourth down.

Da Bears lead da series 52-35-3 (which includes games that took place in Cleveland, St. Louis, Anaheim and Wrigley Field) and have outscored Los Angeles 2,101-1,823. Both teams took their last wins in the series in St. Louis; Chicago came away with the 37-13 win in 2015, while the Rams were 42-21 winners in 2013.

Sunday night has not been kind to either club; Da Bears are 16-22, while the Rams are 10-12. However, there’s a lot on the line as far as playoffs and seedings go, so this one’s “DRILL WORHTY!” (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 58 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach 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 Rams are favored by 3 in the Windy City and the over/under’s 52 1/2. There’s a good chance these two teams could very well meet again in the post-season. Da Bears pull off the upset and takes the win in the Windy City, covering the 3.

Minnesota (6-5-1) at Seattle (7-5), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 14 concludes in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks as a pair of playoff contenders square off at Century Link Field. Minnesota makes their way to the Pacific Northwest to face off against Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks.

Minnesota came to Foxboro to face off against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots and it was the Pats coming away 24-10 winners at Gillette Stadium. The Purple Gang trailed 10-7 at the half, then were held to a third quarter field goal from Dan Bailey as the home team took the win. New England outrushed Minnesota 160-95 (Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook led all rushers with 84 yards), with James Delvin having a pair of rushing TDs, while Brady threw for 311 yards and a TD with an interception, while Kirk Cousins threw for 201 yards with a TD to WR Adam Thielen (Cousins was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions). Brady and New England was 7 of 14 on third down conversions in Foxboro (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 33:21, while the Vikings held on to the ball for 26:39, going 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Seattle put an end to San Francisco’s playoff hopes die in Seattle as the Seahawks took the 49ers 43-16 at Century Link Field in the Pacific Northwest. The Seahawks led their NFC West foes 20-6 at the intermission, then proceeded to outscore the 49ers 23-13 in the last 30 minutes of action in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and never looked back. Seattle outrushed San Francisco 168-66 and Nate Mullins threw for 414 yards and a pair of TDs to WR Dante Pettis but was sacked three times and picked off twice, while Wilson threw for 185 yards with four TDs and no interception (Wilson was sacked three times). San Francisco went 7 of 16 on third down (they were 1 for 2 on fourth down) and the 49ers actually ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 32:30, while the Seahawks were 4 for 9 on third down, keeping the ball for 27:30.

Seattle lead the series 9-5 (which includes games that were played in Bloomington, the Metrodome and the Kingdome), the Seahawks have outscored Minnesota 374-324 and they have won the last three regular season contests, including taking a 38-7 win in the Twin Cities in 2015, while the Vikings’ last win came in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks in 2009 by a final of 35-9.

Both teams have done reasonably well on Monday night; the Vikings are 29-31 (the Purple Gang won their two contests in last year’s play), while the Seahawks are 23-9, losing to Atlanta in their only MNF contest last year. Seattle’s favored by 3 1/2 in the Pacific Northwest and the over/under’s 45. Both of those numbers make a ton of sense and both teams are playoff contenders. Minnesota wants to put their day in New England behind them, while the Seahawks would love nothing more than to keep things going. You might want to tape “Bull” this week. Seattle covers the 3 1/2 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and takes the win at home.