Archives for category: Hall of Fame

Los Angeles Rams (3-1) at Seattle (3-1), 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon. Week five gets underway in the Pacific Northwest as Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams travel to the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks for a Thursday night meeting with Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks at Century Link Field.

The Rams could never get themselves on track against Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday in Los Angeles as the visiting Buccaneers took care of the defending NFC champions 55-40. Tampa Bay led 28-17 at the half on the West Coast, then held serve in the second half, outscoring the Rams 27-23 in the final 30 minutes of play. Tampa Bay held Los Angeles to 28 yards on the ground, while Tampa Bay ran for 88 yards of their own. Winston threw for 385 yards and four TDs, while Goff threw for 517 yards with a pair of TDs and a pair of interceptions (both Winston and Goff were sacked twice). Tampa Bay went 8 of 13 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 32:36, while the Rams (who kept the ball for 27:24) went 4 for 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Seattle kept Arizona in check last Sunday afternoon in Glendale and the Seahawks prevailed at State Farm Stadium by a final of 27-10. Seattle led 20-3 at the break and the Seahawks were never really challenged by the Desert Angry Birds in the contest. Both teams rushed for 115 yards in the late afternoon contest with Seattle’s Chris Carson leading everyone with 104 yards of rushing. Wilson threw for 240 yards and a TD to TE Will Disly, while Arizona QB Kyler Murray threw for 241 yards and an interception (both Wilson and Murray were sacked four times). Seattle went 4 of 10 on third down tries in the desert and ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 33:24, while the Desert Angry Birds went 3 of 9 on third down, keeping the ball for 26:36.

Seattle leads the series 23-18 (including contests that took place in St. Louis) and have outscored the Rams 896-835. However… the Rams have won the last three meetings and swept the series last year in their two NFC West meetings (Seattle’s last win came in 2017 in Los Angeles by a final of 16-10).

Breaking a 17-17 tie at the intermission at Century Link Field in the week five contest, the defending NFC champs rallied to come away 33-31 win in the Pacific Northwest. Rams K Chris Santos would give the Rams the lead back for good with 6:05 left with a 3-yard field goal after Gurley pulled the Rams to within a point with a TD to open the scoring in the final period. Seattle out-rushed the Rams 190-155 with Seahawks RB Chris Carson leading the way with 116 yards, while Gurley ran for 77 yards and three TDs (the third coming in the fourth quarter). Wilson threw for 198 yards and three TDs with a pair of sacks and no interceptions, while Goff threw for 321 yards, a TD with a sack and two interceptions. Seattle was 7 of 12 on third down conversions and the Seahawks actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:30, while the Rams held on to the pigskin for 29:30, going 3 of 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Rams made the sweep of the series complete in Los Angeles in week 10, holding off their guests from the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks to take a 36-31 win at the Coliseum. The Rams led 17-14 at the half after trailing 14-7 at the end of the first quarter, then held off a late Seahawks rally when Wilson and WR Matt Davis connected on a 3-yard TD pass with 1:56 left in the contest. Seattle’s Rashaad Penny led all rushers with 108 yards, while Gurley led Los Angeles with 120 yards (both men had a rushing TD), as Seattle again out-rushed Los Angeles, this time by a 273-149 margin. Wilson threw for 176 yards with three TDs, while Goff threw for 318 yards and a pair of TDs (Goff was sacked twice, Wilson was sacked twice, neither threw an interception). Seattle was 2 of 9 on third down conversions in southern California (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:37. As for the Rams? They kept the pigskin for 29:23 and 5 for 10 on third down tries.

The Rams were favored by 7 but won by only 2. The good news? Both teams covered the 51 over/under with 64 points. In the week 10 meeting in Los Angeles, the Rams were favored by 10 but won by 5. As in the first meeting, both teams covered the over/under of 51 1/2, scoring 67 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like Seattle as a 1-point favorite in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and the over/under’s 49. Both numbers make sense. Both teams are pretty good and this one may be a pretty good one to watch, so you may want to tape “Grey’s Anatomy” this week. Seattle covers the 1 in the Pacific Northwest and wins at home.

Broadcast Information – 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (field reporter), Kristina Pink (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Mike Tirico, Terrell Davis; SIRIUS: 81 (Los Angeles Rams), 83 (Seattle); XM: 225 (Los Angeles Rams), 226 (Seattle)

Referee: Scott Novak

Injury Report

Los Angeles Rams
DOUBTFUL: S Taylor Rapp (Ankle)
OUT: LB Bryce Hager (Shoulder)

Seattle
QUESTIONABLE: T Duane Brown (Biceps), C Ethan Pocic (Back)

Weather: Overcast with a 60 percent chance of rain and 58 degrees

Broadcast information, officials and injury report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel.

Week two of the 2018 NFL season is in the books. Buffalo, Baltimore, Kansas City, New England, Dallas, Green Bay and the Los Angeles Rams remain with unblemished records after two games. For those teams that have evened their records or looking for that first win, there’s still time. After all, the NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: Nine teams – Baltimore, Buffalo, Dallas, Green Bay, Kansas City, the Los Angeles Rams, New England, San Francisco and Seattle – improved to 2-0 on Sunday, the first time since 2015 at least nine teams have begun the season 2-0.

Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson passed for 272 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a career-high 120 yards in the Ravens’ 23-17 win over Arizona. He is the first player with at least 250 passing yards and 120 rushing yards in a single game in NFL history.

Jackson, who had 119 rushing yards in Week 11 of the 2018 season, is the fourth quarterback since 1970 with two career games of at least 115 rushing yards, joining Michael Vick (six games), Randall Cunningham (two) and Bobby Douglas (two).

Arizona rookie quarterback Kyler Murray passed for 349 yards in the loss. Murray, who threw for 308 yards in his first career start in Week 1, joins Cam Newton (2011) as the only quarterbacks with at least 300 passing yards in each of their first two career games in NFL history

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 443 yards and four touchdowns with a 131.2 rating in the Chiefs’ 28-10 win at Oakland.

Through the first two weeks, Mahomes has four touchdown passes of at least 40 yards, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Otto Graham (four in 1952) and Joe Namath (four in 1972), as well as Ryan Fitzpatrick (four in 2018) as the only quarterbacks to record at least four touchdown passes of 40-or-more yards in their teams’ first two games of a season in NFL history.

Mahomes, who has played in 19 career games, recorded his sixth game with at least 300 passing yards and four touchdowns, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famers Dan Marino (five games) and Kurt Warner (five) for the most games with at least 300 yards and four passing touchdowns in a player’s first 40 career games in NFL history.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 300 yards and three touchdowns with a 131.0 passer rating in the Seahawks’ 28-26 win at Pittsburgh.

Wilson, who has 201 touchdown passes in 114 career games, surpassed Tom Brady (116 games) as the fifth-fastest player to reach 200 career passing touchdowns in NFL history.

Pittsburgh wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster had 84 receiving yards in the loss. At 22 years and 297 days old, Smith-Schuster, who has 2,505 career receiving yards, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (22 years, 310 days) as the youngest player to reach 2,500 career receiving yards in NFL history.

New England recorded a 43-0 victory at Miami in Week 2 after defeating Pittsburgh, 33-3, in Week 1.

The Patriots, who have a +73 point differential through their first two games, are the fourth team in the Super Bowl era with a +70 point differential through their first two games, joining the 1967 Oakland Raiders (+79), 1970 Detroit Lions (+75) and 1975 Washington Redskins (+74).

Additionally, New England became the fourth team in the Super Bowl era to allow three points or fewer through their first two games, joining the 1970 Detroit Lions, 1976 Houston Oilers and 1981 Buffalo Bills.

With a receiving touchdown on Sunday, Patriots running back James White recorded his 20th career touchdown catch and joined Chuck Foreman (23 receiving touchdowns) and Brian Westbrook (23) as the only running backs with at least 20 touchdown receptions in their first six seasons in NFL history.

Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen passed for 253 yards and one touchdown and rushed for a touchdown in the Bills’ 28-14 win at the New York Giants.

Allen, who has 10 rushing touchdowns in 14 career games, is the second-fastest quarterback to reach 10 career rushing touchdowns in NFL history, trailing only Cam Newton (11 games).

Buffalo, who defeated the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in Week 1, are the fifth team since 1950 to win consecutive road games at the same stadium, joining the 1987 Dallas Cowboys, 1999 Washington Redskins, 2003 Dallas Cowboys and 2006 Chicago Bears.

Dallas tight end Jason Witten registered his 70th career touchdown reception in the Cowboys’ 31-21 victory at Washington.

Witten is the fifth tight end in NFL history with at least 70 career touchdown receptions, joining Antonio Gates (116 touchdown catches), Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez (111), Rob Gronkowski (79) and Jimmy Graham (72).

Washington running back Adrian Peterson recorded his 107th career rushing touchdown in the loss, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown (106 rushing touchdowns) for the fifth-most rushing touchdowns in NFL history.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK THREE

COMEBACKS ARE EN VOGUE: The season’s first two weeks have proven that insurance points are important. Fans, coaches and players, if your team is down, help yourself to a slice of hope. In 32 games to date, 11 have featured a team coming from behind in the second half to win, including seven teams that trailed at halftime. Six of those games have seen a team win after erasing a fourth-quarter deficit. The Seattle Seahawks have overcome a second-half deficit in each of their two victories. And those numbers don’t include the exciting Week 1 comebacks by the Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals, who sent their respective games to overtime. Eight games have had teams come back to win or tie after trailing in the fourth quarter.

MILESTONE FRANCHISE WINS: Three clubs can reach milestone victories in their franchise histories this week. Both Denver and Minnesota can record their 500th wins, including postseason. Among the original eight franchises that launched the American Football League in 1960, Denver would become the second to reach 500 wins, as only the Boston/New England Patriots (539) have eclipsed that landmark. The Carolina Panthers, who began in 1995, bid for the 200th win in franchise history, including postseason.

PROLIFIC POINT DIFFERENTIAL: New England enters Week 3 having outscored opponents by 73 points, 76-3. With a point-differential of at least 24 points this week, their season-opening point-differential would reach comparisons to teams as old as the NFL itself. Defensively speaking, should the Patriots allow nine or fewer points, they’d also establish the fewest points allowed over a season’s initial three games in the Super Bowl era.

The highest point-differentials by a team through a season’s first three games in NFL history:

TEAM – SEASON (POINTS SCORED/POINTS ALLOWED, POINT DIFF)
Rock Island Independents – 1920 (119/0, +119)
Buffalo All-Americans – 1921 (110/0, +110
Dallas Cowboys – 1968 (132/33, +99)
Buffalo All-Americans – 1920 (111/13, +98)
Canton Bulldogs – 1920 (97/0, +97)

The fewest points allowed through a season’s first three games during the Super Bowl era (1966-present):

TEAM (SEASON – POINTS ALLOWED, SEASON RESULT)
Denver (2009 – 16, Missed playoffs
Indianapolis (2005 – 16, AFC Divisional playoffs)
Seattle (2004 – 13, NFC Wild Card playoffs)
Green Bay (2001 – 13, NFC Divisional playoffs)
Philadelphia (1980 – 16, Lost Super Bowl XV)

TOUCHDOWN MAKER: Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield needs a touchdown pass on Sunday Night Football against the Los Angeles Rams to reach historic company. He enters the week having thrown for a touchdown in each of his first 15 NFL starts, tied with Brad Johnson for the second-longest streak to begin a career (since at least 1950). Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner authored a longer career-opening streak, throwing for a touchdown in his first 23 NFL starts.

SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE: In the Super Bowl era, only two players over the first two games of a season have started with at least seven TD passes, no interceptions and a completion percentage of 70 or higher. Those two players, Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes, meet on Sunday. With three more TD passes and no interceptions against the Ravens, Mahomes can join even more elite company.

The players with at least three touchdown passes and no interceptions in each of their team’s first three games to begin a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (2018)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (2010)
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (2019)*
*Entering Week 3

PRESCOTT EYES HISTORIC FOURTH STRAIGHT START: Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott has picked up where he left off last season and has authored two impressive efforts to lead the Cowboys to a 2-0 start. This week at home vs. Miami in the NFL100 Game of the Week, Prescott can do something only two players have ever done: Record at least four consecutive games with three-plus touchdown passes and a 120-or-better passer rating.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least three touchdown passes and a passer rating of 120 or higher in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON(S) – GAMES WITH 3+ TD PASSES & 120+ RATING)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2015 – 5)
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis (2018 – 4)
Dak Prescott, Dallas (2018-19 – 3)*
*Active streak

RIVERS REMAINS: Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (55,282) last week became just the eighth player in NFL history to reach 55,000 career passing yards. This week, he can climb another prestigious list in NFL history. With 300 yards passing at home vs. Houston, Rivers (63) will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (63) for sole possession of fourth on the NFL’s all-time list of 300-yard passing games, trailing only Drew Brees (116), Peyton Manning (93) and TomBrady (88).

MILESTONE COACHING WINS: Kansas City head coach Andy Reid this week leads the Chiefs into their home-opener against 2-0 Baltimore Sunday. Reid (209-138-1) needs a victory to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Chuck Noll(209-156-1) for sole possession of sixth place on the NFL’s all-time wins list, including postseason.

The most wins by an NFL head coach, all-time, including postseason:

RK. COACH, TEAM(S) (W-L-T, PCT.)

1. Don Shula, Baltimore Colts and Miami (347-173-6, .666), HOF)
2. George Halas, Chicago Bears (324-151, 31, HOF)
3. Bill Belichick, Cleveland and New England Patriots (294-134-0, .687)#
4.Tom Landry, Dallas (270-178-6, .603) HOF
5. Earl (Curly) Lambeau, Green Bay, Chicago Cardinals and Washington Redskins (229-134-22, .631, HOF)
6. Chuck Noll, Pittsburgh (209-156-1, .572, HOF)
7. Andy Reid, Philadelphia and Kansas City (209-138-1, 602)#
8. Marty Schottenheimer, Cleveland, Kansas City, Washington and San Diego (205-139-1, .596)
9. Dan Reeves, Denver, New York Giants and ATLANTA (201-174-2, .536)
10. Chuck Knox, Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo and Seattle (193-158-1, .550)

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

Last week, Seattle’s Pete Carroll earned his 100th win with the Seahawks and became just the fifth active head coach to achieve that mark with his current club. He joined Bill Belichick (257 with New England), Mike Tomlin (133 with Pittsburgh), Sean Payton (127 with New Orleans) and John Harbaugh (116 with Baltimore).

Finally, Oakland’s Jon Gruden has an opportunity Sunday to improve his regular-season record against Minnesota to 5-0 and become just the second active head coach with an undefeated record against a single opponent (minimum five games). Over his career, Andy Reid has a 7-0 mark against Cleveland.

The best regular-season records among active head coaches against a single opponent, minimum five games:

COACH – TEAM(S); OPPONENT (W-L-T, PCT.)
Andy Reid – Philadelphia and Kansas City; Cleveland (7-0-0, 1.000)
Bill Belichick – Cleveland and New England; Houston Texas (8-1-0, .889)
Bill Belichick – Cleveland, New England; Oakland (7-1-0, .875)
John Harbaugh – Baltimore Ravens; Miami (7-1-0, 875)
John Harbaugh – Baltimore Ravens; Cleveland (19-3-0, .864)

RARIFIED AIR: Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald (1,316) needs 10 receptions on Sunday against Carolina to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez for second on the NFL’s all-time list of career receptions. Fitzgerald also owns the league’s longest active streak of games with a reception (229).

The players with the most career receptions in NFL history:

RK. PLAYER – TEAM(S)(SEASONS; RECEPTIONS)
1. Jerry Rice – San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle (1985-2004; 1,549, HOF)
2. Tony Gonzalez – Kansas City and ATLANTA (1997-2013; 1,325, HOF)
3. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (2004-10; 1,316)#
4. Jason Witten – Dallas (2003-19; 1,159)#
5. Marvin Harrison – Indianapolis (1996-2008; 1,102, HOF)
6. Cris Carter – Minnesota, Philadelphia and Miami (1987-2002; 1,101, HOF)
7. Tim Brown – Oakland and Tampa Bay (1988-2004; 1,094, HOF)
8 . Terrell Owens – San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Buffalo and Cincinnati (1996-2010; 1,078; HOF)
9. Anquan Boldin – Arizona, Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco and Detroit (2003-16; 1,076)
10. Reggie Wayne – Indianapolis (2001-14; 1,070)
#Active

DEFENSIVE STALWARTS & THE CENTURY MARK: Three players entered this season nearing their 100th career sacks. Tennessee’s Cameron Wake, who now owns 100.5 sacks, was the first to reach the mark in Week 1. Denver’s Von Miller (98) needs just two more and Houston’s J.J. Watt (92) stands eight away. Arizona’s Terrell Suggs (134.5) leads all active players, while Washington’s Ryan Kerrigan (85.5), the Los Angeles Rams’ Clay Matthews (85.5) and Jacksonville’s Calais Campbell (81.5) also are within striking distance of the 100 mark this season.

SAQUON WITHIN SIGHT OF 2,500: New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (18 games) stands just 198 scrimmage yards from the 2,500 plateau, and he could become among the fastest in NFL history to get there. Barkley enters the week with 2,302 scrimmage yards (1,534 rushing, 768 receiving). Barkley also needs at least 100 scrimmage yards in the Giants’ game at Tampa Bay to match the NFL’s most games of 100-plus scrimmage yards over a player’s first 20 games (Edgerrin James, 16 games) – and Barkley has played only 18 games entering this week.

The players to reach 2,500 scrimmage yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES)

Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (19, HOF)
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (19)
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas (20)
Ottis Anderson, St. Louis Cardinals (21)
Billy Sims, Detroit (21)
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (18)*
*Has 2,302 scrimmage yards

The players with the most games of at least 100 scrimmage yards in their first 20 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, GAMES WITH 100+ SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (1999-2000, 16)
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (2018-19, 15)*
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (1983-84, 15; HOF)
*In 18 career games

COMPLIMENTS TO THE COOK: Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is off to a resounding start this season. When Minnesota hosts Oakland on Sunday, Cook can continue his climb up a prestigious chart in NFL history.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least 110 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown to begin a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, GAMES WITH 110+ RUSH YARDS & RUSH TD)
Jim Brown, Cleveland (1958, 6; HOF)
O.J. Simpson Buffalo (1975, 5; HOF)
Emmitt Smith, Dallas (1995, 4; HOF)
Curtis Martin, New York Jets (2004, 3; HOF)
Dalvin Cook (Minnesota 2019, 2)*
*Entering Week 3

HARD TO KEEP UP WITH THIS JONES: Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones stands just 132 receiving yards from 11,000 during his career. Over his first 113 NFL games, he’s established a blistering pace and could shatter the record for fastest player to 11,000 receiving yards in NFL history when the Falcons travel to Indianapolis Sunday. And with triple-digit receiving yards Sunday, Jones would notch his 51st career 100-yard receiving game, which would tie Andre Johnson, Steve Smith and Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Owens for fourth in NFL annals.

The players to reach 11,000 career receiving yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES)
Calvin Johnson, Detroit (127)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (129)
Torry Holt, St. Louis (131)
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (133, HOF)
Andre Johnson, Houston (136)
Julio Jones, ATLANTA (113)*
*Has 10,868 receiving yards

The players with the most career games of at least 100 receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – GAMES WITH 100+ RECEIVING YARDS

Jerry Rice – 76 (HOF)
Randy Moss – 54 (HOF)
Marvin Harrison – 59 (HOF)
Andre Johnson – 51
Terrell Owens – 51 (HOF)
Steve Smith – 51
Julio Jones – 50

NO DOUBTING MICHAEL THOMAS: New Orleans wide receiver MICHAEL THOMAS is expected to play his 50th NFL game on Sunday when the Saints travel to Seattle. With 1 receiving yard in his 50th game, Thomas would join Odell Beckham Jr. and Anquan Boldin as the only players in NFL history with at least 300 catches and 4,000 receiving yards in their first 50 games.

The players with at least 300 receptions and 4,000 receiving yards in their first 50 games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RECEPTIONS/RECEIVING YARDS)
Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants (337/4,695)
Anquan Boldin, Arizona (314/4,150)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (341/3,999)*#

*In 49 career games

#Most receptions by a player in his first 50 career games

Last week was much better than week one. For the week, 8 and 8. For the season, 15 and 17. There’s still a lot of time left in the 2019 season. There’s a lot of football left between now and the Super Bowl. Week three began in Jacksonville on Thursday night as the Jaguars took care of Tennessee and ends in Landover when Washington hosts Da Bears on Monday night. Having said all of that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week three.

ATLANTA (1-1) at Indianapolis (1-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. Sunday action in week three opens in the Hoosier State as a pair of teams that evened their records meet at Lucas Oil Stadium when Jacoby Brissett and Indianapolis welcomes Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons.

Atlanta trailed Philadelphia late in their contest, rallied to reclaim the lead, then held off a late Eagles rally in the final minutes of their contest last Sunday night in the Big Peach and came away with the 24-20 win over the Eagles. Atlanta led 10-6 at the half and took a 17-6 lead with them to the third quarter before Carson Wentz and the Eagles would take their only lead of the game with 3:13 left, as he scored from a yard out to take a 20-17 lead. That lead would not last very long, as Ryan and WR Julio Jones connected on a 54-yard strike as part of a 6-play, 75-yard drive that used only 63 seconds of clock to reclaim the lead for good. Atlanta would then hold off the Eagles, run out the clock themselves and take the win at home.

Atlanta outrushed Philadelphia 57-49 and Ryan threw for 320 yards with three TDs (two to Jones, including the game-winner and one to Calvin Ridley) and three interceptions, while Wentz threw for 231 yards with a TD to Nelson Agholor with three sacks and a pair of interceptions. Atlanta was 3 of 10 on third down at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:06, while the Eagles ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 32:54 and went 9 of 18 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Tennessee trailed Indianapolis 13-7 at the half, then took their only lead of the contest when Henry and K Carlos Santos helped their team put 10 third-quarter points on the board to take a 17-13 lead with 4:35 left in the period. That lead would not last long as the Colts would reclaim it for themselves and for keeps with 4:38 left in the contest when Brissett and WR T.Y. Hilton connected on a 4-yard TD toss. The Titans would catch a huge break when Colts K Adam Vinatieri missed the extra point, giving them a chance to take the win at home. After the Colts punted the ball late in the fourth, Tennessee would make their way down the field and get as close as Indianapolis’ 45-yard line, where the drive stalled and the Colts would come away with the win.

The Colts out-rushed Tennessee 167-123 and Mariota threw for 154 yards and a TD (he was sacked four times but did not throw an interception), while Brissett threw for 146 yards with three TDs (including the game-winner) to go with four sacks and an interception. Tennessee was a somewhat dismal 1 of 10 on third down conversions (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and the Titans would hold on to the ball for 28:06, while the Colts were 7 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and ruled the clock as they would keep the ball for 31:54.

Indianapolis leads the series 14-2 (including contests that were played in Baltimore, at Fulton County Stadium and the Georgia Dome) and have outscored the Falcons 432-251. Indy won the last meeting in 2015, as the Colts were 24-21 winners in the Big Peach, while Atlanta’s last win came in the Hoosier State in 2011 by a final of 31-7. The Colts are favored by 2 and the over/under is 47. The Colts run out of luck with their horseshoe as Atlanta pulls off the upset in the Hoosier State by taking the win and covering the 2.

Cincinnati (0-2) at Buffalo (2-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of teams heading in opposite directions meet in upstate New York as the Bills welcome the Cincinnati Bengals in their 2019 home opener.

Cincinnati dropped their second contest of the 2019 campaign as the San Francisco 49ers came to Paul Brown Stadium and left the Queen City with a 41-17 win over the Bengals. Cincinnati trailed 24-10 at the half and could never get on track in the second half, as San Francisco would outscore them 17-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. San Francisco out-rushed Cincinnati 259-25, with 49ers RB Matt Breida ran for 121 yards in the contest to lead all rushers. Dalton threw for 311 yards and a pair of TDs but was sacked four times, while 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 297 yards and three TDs with no sacks (both men threw an interception). Both teams did quite well on third down conversions last Sunday (San Francisco was 5 of 9, Cincinnati was 9 of 18; the Bengals were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and the 49ers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:19 to Cincinnati’s 27:41.

The Bills made it 2 for 2 in the Meadowlands as they took Eli Manning and the New York Giants to task and came away 28-14 winners at Met Life Stadium last Sunday. Buffalo led 21-7 at the break and never looked back to win their second game in as many weeks in upstate New Jersey. Buffalo out-rushed New York 151-129, while Giants RB Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 107 yards and a TD (Buffalo was paced by Frank Gore, who ran for 68 yards and a TD). Manning threw for 250 yards and a pair of interceptions, while Josh Allen threw for 253 yards with three sacks (both men threw a TD pass, Manning was sacked once). Buffalo went 5 of 13 on third down and ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 32:38, while the Giants were 3 of 12 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:22.

Buffalo holds a 16-13 lead in the series and have outscored the Bengals 707-639. Cincinnati won the last meeting along the shores or the Ohio River in 2017 by a final of 20-16, while the Bills’ last win came in 2016 in Cincinnati by a 16-12 final. Buffalo’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 44. The Bills are looking to challenge Tom Brady and New England in the AFC East, while the Bengals are trying to keep their heads above water. Circle the wagons! Bills take the win in upstate New York but expect the contest to be closer than the 6.

Miami (0-2) at Dallas (2-0), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Miami Dolphins make their way to the Lone Star State to face off against Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys at JerryWorld (AT&T Stadium). While Dallas picked up their second win of the season and within the NFC East, the Dolphins are looking their first win period.

Miami was manhandled by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots last Sunday afternoon at home. Brady accounted for a pair of TDs tosses (including one to Antonio Brown) and ran for another as the Patriots took a 13-0 lead with them into the break before scoring their remaining 30 points of the contest unchallenged. New England held Miami to a season-low 42 yards rushing, while they tallied 126 (Sony Michel led all rushers with 85 yards) and made life less than pleasant for QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (89 yards, four sacks and three interceptions). Brady threw for 264 and while he was sacked twice, he did not throw an interception. New England was 6 of 11 on third down tries and held the ball for 36:30, while the Dolphins were 2 of 15 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 23:30.

After a scoreless first quarter at Washington, the Cowboys erased a 7-0 deficit in the second quarter and came away 31-21 winners at Fed Ex Field, thanks in part to TDs from Prescott to Devin Smith and Jason Witten to take the 14-7 lead with them to the break. Dallas would lead 21-7 with 4:30 left in the third period before Case Keenum (221 yards, TD, sack) and WR Paul Richardson Jr. connected on a 9-yard TD toss to pull themselves to within seven. Dallas would eventually restore order and come out of Landover with the win. Dallas out-rushed Washington 213-47, with Ezekiel Elliott rushing for 111 yards and a TD, while Prescott threw for 269 yards and three TDs (Prescott was sacked once and threw an interception). Dallas went 7 of 11 on third down tries at Landover and kept the ball for 33:22, while the Redskins kept the ball for 26:38, going 2 of 9 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

While Miami leads the series 7-6 (which includes contests that took place at old Texas Stadium and the Orange Bowl), Dallas has outscored Miami 265-248 and have won the last three meetings, including a 24-14 win in the Sunshine State in 2015, while Miami’s last win also came in the Lone Star State, as they would take a 40-21 win in 2003. The Cowboys are a 21 1/2-point favorite in the Lone Star State and the over/under’s 47. The 47 makes sense, the 21 1/2? HUH? Right now, the Dolphins are a bad football team. They’re not 21 1/2 points bad. Dallas wins this one at home but expect Miami to make this one closer than 21 1/2.

Denver (0-2) at Green Bay (2-0), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Denver makes their way to the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst as they face off against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

Denver let victory get away from them in the Mile High City last Sunday against Chicago as the Bears stormed back as the clock struck :00 to take a 16-14 loss. Trailing 6-3 at the break and 13-3 at the intermission, the Broncos proceeded to chip away at Chicago’s lead, using a 32-yard field goal by Brandon McManus to pull themselves to within 7 early in the fourth, then took their first and only lead of the contest when WR Emmanuel Sanders and QB Joe Flacco connected on a 7[yard TD pass and the two-point conversion. Chicago, with one time out left, got the ball back with 30 seconds left and got the ball back after the kickoff. Chicago would get help from two Denver penalties and after burning their final timeout, called on K Eddie Pineiro to try a 53-yard attempt. Pineiro made the field goal as the clock struck :00, sending Broncos fans home with their second loss of the season.

Chicago out-rushed Denver 153-90 and Flacco threw for 292 yards and the TD to Sanders with a sack and an interception, while Mitchell Trubisky threw for 120 yards without a TD, sack or interception. Denver was 3 of 14 on third down (the Broncos were perfect on fourth down, going 3 of 3) and actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:59, while Chicago kept the ball for 27:01 (including the final 30 seconds of the game) and went 3 of 11 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth down tries.

Green Bay won their second game of the 2019 season and their second in the NFC North, taking care of divisional foe Minnesota 21-16 at Lambeau. Rodgers and the Packers led 21-10 at the break, then held the Vikings to a third quarter TD from Kirk Cousins to WR Stefon Diggs (Minnesota missed the extra point) and the two clubs played a scoreless fourth quarter. Minnesota out-rushed Green Bay 198-144 and both clubs had 100-yard rushers (Minnesota was led by Dalvin Cook, who ran for 154 yards, while Green Bay was led by Aaron Jones with 116; both men had a TD), while Rodgers threw for 209 yards, with two TDs (he was sacked twice but did not throw an interception) and Cousins threw for 230 yards with the lone TD (he was sacked once and threw two interceptions). Green Bay was 5 of 15 on third down (the Packers were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:06, while Minnesota went 4 of 13 on third down, keeping the ball for 25:54.

The series between the Packers and Broncos is even at 6-6-1 and the Packers have outscored Denver 284-240. Denver won the last meeting with Green Bay in the Mile High City, taking a 29-10 win in 2015, while Green Bay’s last win in the series came in 2011 at Lambeau by final of 49-23. Green Bay’s favored by 7 1/2 and the over/under’s 48. Green Bay wants to go 3-0 under Matt LaFleur, while the Broncos want to right their ship. Packers leap at home at Lambeau and takes the win, although Denver will make it closer than 7 1/2.

Baltimore (2-0) at Kansas City (2-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. Unbeaten teams meet in the Show-Me State as Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes host the Baltimore Ravens at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Ravens held off a late Arizona rally in their contest in Charm City as Baltimore would take a 23-17 win over the Desert Angry Birds at M&T Bank Stadium. Leading 17-6 at the break, Arizona would proceed to out-score Baltimore 11-6 in the final 30 minutes of play, coming to within three with 12:52 left in the contest when Cardinals RB David Johnson scored from a yard out. Arizona then went for two and was successful as rookie QB Kyler Murray and WR KeeSean Johnson connected on the try. Baltimore then restored order as Jeff Tucker connected on a 51-yard field goal to seal the win. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson not only threw for 272 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions (he was sacked twice), he led all rushers with 120 yards. Baltimore out-rushed Arizona 182-20 and Murray threw for 349 yards with no sacks, TDs or interceptions. The Ravens were 7 of 14 on third downs (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and were ball hogs, keeping the pigskin for 37:38, while Arizona went 2 of 11 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 22:22.

The Chiefs come back to Arrowhead after their 28-10 win at Oakland last Sunday on the West Coast at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Mahomes and Kansas City erased a 10-0 first quarter deficit and scored all 28 of their points in the second quarter unchallenged. The two clubs would then play the final 30 minutes of the contest scoreless. Oakland out-rushed Kansas City 129-31 but Mahomes burned the Raiders for 443 yards with four TD passes (he was sacked twice but did not throw an interception), while Derek Carr threw for 198 yards with TD, three sacks and a pair of interceptions. The Chiefs were 8 of 14 on third down tries and ruled time as they kept the ball for 32:35. As for Oakland? They were 6 for 14 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 27:25.

Kansas City leads the series 5-3, the Chiefs have outscored Baltimore 180-147 and have won the last two meetings, including taking a 27-24 overtime win last year at Arrowhead. (Baltimore’s last win came in 2012, also at Arrowhead by a 9-6 final). Kansas City led the Ravens 17-10 at the half in the week 14 meeting at Arrowhead, only to watch Baltimore out-score them in the final 30 minutes of play, forcing the overtime. The Chiefs then got the ball to start the overtime and made their way down the field in the extra period, with the drive stalling at Baltimore’s 17-yard line. This allowed Chiefs K Harrison Butker to connect on a 35-yard field goal with 4:42 left in the extra period. Baltimore, needing a field goal to re-tie the contest or a TD to win it, got the ball back. The Ravens would get as close as their 41-yard when a pair of Robert Griffin III passes fell incomplete, giving Kansas City the win at Arrowhead. Baltimore did out-rush the Chiefs 198-94 but Mahomes burned Baltimore for 377 yards in the air and a pair of TDs (one to TE Travis Kelce), while Lamar Jackson threw for 147 yards and two TDs of his own (Mahomes was sacked three times and picked off once, while Jackson was three times but did not throw an interception).

Kansas City was favored by 7 in the week 14 contest at Arrowhead but won by only 3 and the two clubs barely missed the 53 1/2 over/under, tallying 50 points. Kansas City’s favored by 6 1/2 in the Show-Me State and the over/under’s 53 1/2. To not make this contest “DRILL WORTHY!” would be a crime… with that, here it is. (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

It’s possible that these two teams could meet in the post-season and it’s even plausible that this could go to overtime like last year. In the bigger picture, only one team will come away with the win. Although Baltimore will make things closer than the 6 1/2 but the Chiefs prevail in Arrowhead and takes the win.

Oakland (1-1) at Minnesota (1-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. The Silver and Black meets the Purple and Gold as the Oakland Raiders travel to the Land of 10,000 Lakes to face the Minnesota Vikings at US Bank Stadium. Both clubs come into the Sunday contest in the Twin Cities with losses under their belts.

Oakland watched AFC West foe Kansas City take a 28-10 win at Oakland last Sunday on the West Coast at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs trailed 10-0 after the first 15 minutes of play, then erased the deficit and scored all 28 of their points in the second quarter unchallenged. The two clubs would then play the final 30 minutes of the contest scoreless. Oakland out-rushed Kansas City 129-31 but Mahomes burned the Raiders for 443 yards with four TD passes (he was sacked twice but did not throw an interception), while Derek Carr threw for 198 yards with TD, three sacks and a pair of interceptions. The Chiefs were 8 of 14 on third down tries and ruled time as they kept the ball for 32:35. As for Oakland? They were 6 for 14 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 27:25.

Minnesota returns home to the Twin Cities, evening their record as Green Bay won their second game of the 2019 season and their second in the NFC North, taking care of the Vikings 21-16 at Lambeau. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers led 21-10 at the break, then held the Vikings to a third quarter TD from Kirk Cousins to WR Stefon Diggs (Minnesota missed the extra point) and the two clubs played a scoreless fourth quarter. Minnesota out-rushed Green Bay 198-144 and both clubs had 100-yard rushers (Minnesota was led by Dalvin Cook, who ran for 154 yards, while Green Bay was led by Aaron Jones with 116; both men had a TD), while Rodgers threw for 209 yards, with two TDs (he was sacked twice but did not throw an interception) and Cousins threw for 230 yards with the lone TD (he was sacked once and threw two interceptions). Green Bay was 5 of 15 on third down (the Packers were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:06, while Minnesota went 4 of 13 on third down, keeping the ball for 25:54.

Oakland leads the series 9-5 and the Silver and Black have outscored Minnesota 335-280. Minnesota won the last meeting, which took place in Oakland in 2015 by a final of 30-14, while the Raiders’ last win in the series came in the Twin Cities in 2011 by a final of 27-21. Minnesota’s favored by 8 1/2 in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Both numbers make sense. Both teams are looking to get off the deck from last week. Vikings take care of business in the Land of 10,000 Lakes as they take the win at home and covers the 8 1/2.

New York Jets (0-2) at New England (2-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of AFC East rivals meet in Foxboro as Tom Brady and the Pats host the New York Jets.

New York Jets, already without QB Sam Darnold (mononucleosis), lost backup QB Trevor Siemian to a season-ending ankle injury, were to a second-quarter field goal as they fell to Cleveland 23-3 last Monday night in the Meadowlands. The Browns led 16-3 at the break and held off a pair of Jets’ drives that would have made the contest closer. While the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! out-rushed Cleveland 93-70, Mayfield threw for 325 yards and a TD to WR Odell Beckham Jr and the Browns defense knocked Jets QB Trevor Siemian (3 yards) out of the contest with an ankle injury as he took over for Darnold. Cleveland went 4 of 13 on third down and kept the ball in the Monday night affair in the Meadowlands for 29:41, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 30:19 and went 2 of 14, 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

Brady and the Patriots last Sunday afternoon took Miami to the woodshed in the Sunshine State, leaving with a 43-0 road blowout win. Brady accounted for a pair of TDs tosses (including one to Antonio Brown, who was since released by the team) and ran for another as the Patriots took a 13-0 lead with them into the break before scoring their remaining 30 points of the contest unchallenged. New England held Miami to a season-low 42 yards rushing, while they tallied 126 (Sony Michel led all rushers with 85 yards) and made life less than pleasant for QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (89 yards, four sacks and three interceptions). Brady threw for 264 and while he was sacked twice, he did not throw an interception. New England was 6 of 11 on third down tries and held the ball for 36:30, while the Dolphins were 2 of 15 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 23:30.

New England leads the series 63-53-1 (which includes contests that were played at Shea Stadium, Fenway Park and Schafer Stadium and the Jets were known as the Titans), they have outscored GangGreen 2,694-2,409 and have won the last six meetings, including sweeping last year’s series (New York’s last win in the series came in 2015 in the Meadowlands, when they needed overtime to beat Brady and the Patriots 26-20).

Meeting one… the Meadowlands in week 12. The Pats and the Jets went into the intermission tied at 10-10 before moving on in the second half to outscore the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 17-3 to take a 27-13 win at Met Life Stadium. New England out-rushed GangGreen 215-74, with RB Sony Michel leading the way for 133 yards and a pair of TDs. Brady threw for 283 yards with a pair of TD passes to Edelman and Rob Gronkowski with no sacks or interceptions, while Josh McCown threw for 276 yards and a TD (McCown was sacked twice and picked off once). New England was 5 of 12 on third down conversions in upstate New Jersey (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Patriots kept the ball for 34:26, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 6 of 14 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs and would hold on to the ball for 25:34.

Brady and the Patriots made it a clean sweep in the series, taking down GangGreen in Foxboro by a 38-3 final. Holding the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! to a first quarter field goal, New England led 21-3 at the intermission, then shut out New York 17-0 in the final 30 minutes of play. GangGreen did a little better rushing-wise in the second meeting but New England still managed to out-rush New York 131-104 and Brady threw for 250 yards with four TDs and no interceptions (he was sacked once), while Sam Darnold threw for 167 yards with four sacks (Darnold did not throw a TD or interception). Neither club had success on fourth down (New England was 0 of 1, GangGreen was 0 of 2) and the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 4 fo 13 on third down, while the Pats were 5 of 11. Time was on the side of the Patriots, as New England kept the ball for 32:13 to New York’s 27:47.

New England easily covered the 9 1/2-point spread in the week 12 contest in upstate New Jersey but the 46 over/under was safe, as both clubs merged to score 40 points. In the week 17 meeting (the regular season finale for both teams), New England’s 35-point win in Foxboro allowed them to easily cover the 13 1/2-point spread but neither team covered the 45 1/2 over/under, as they tallied 41 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Patriots… a lot… as in a 22-point favorite (the largest spread this season) and the over/under is 43 1/2. We can live with the 43 1/2, it the 22 that has us scratching our heads. GangGreen is bad but they’re not 22 points bad. New England takes this one and might cover the 22.

Detroit (1-0-1) at Philadelphia (1-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions travel to the City of Brotherly Love to face off against the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Lions, coming off their tie in the desert against Arizona, erased a 10-6 deficit against Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers as they would rally to come away 13-10 winners at Ford Field. Los Angeles 10-6 at the break in the Motor City and after the two clubs played a scoreless third quarter, the Lions would go to work, taking the lead for good with 7:21 left in the contest as Stafford and WR Kenny Golladay connected on a 31-yard TD pass. Detroit would go on to hold off the Chargers in the final minutes of the contest to take their first win of the season.

Los Angeles out-rushed Detroit 137-94 and Stafford threw for 245 yards with a pair of TDs (including the game-winner) and a pair of interceptions, while Rivers threw for 293 yards with a sack and an interception. Detroit went 4 of 10 on third down tries in the Motor City (they went 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:41, while the Chargers were rulers of the clock, holding the ball for 31:19 and went 6 of 13 on third down tries.

The Eagles led Atlanta late 20-17 last Sunday night, then watched the Falcons reclaim the lead in the final minutes of their nest last Sunday night in the Big Peach as Atlanta came away with the 24-20 win over the Eagles. Atlanta led 10-6 at the half and took a 17-6 lead with them to the third quarter before Carson Wentz and the Eagles would take their only lead of the game with 3:13 left, as he scored from a yard out to take a 20-17 lead. That lead would not last very long, as Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones connected on a 54-yard strike as part of a 6-play, 75-yard drive that used only 63 seconds of clock to reclaim the lead for good. Atlanta would then hold off the Eagles, run out the clock themselves and take the win at home.

Philadelphia found themselves out-rushed by Atlanta 57-49 and Ryan threw for 320 yards with three TDs (two to Jones, including the game-winner and one to Calvin Ridley) and three interceptions, while Wentz threw for 231 yards with a TD to Nelson Agholor with three sacks and a pair of interceptions. Atlanta was 3 of 10 on third down at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:06, while the Eagles ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 32:54 and went 9 of 18 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

The series is tied 15-15-2 (which includes games that were played in Portsmouth and the Lions were known as the Spartans) and the Eagles have outscored Detroit 654-646. However… Detroit has come away with wins in the last two meetings, including a 24-23 win in the Motor City in 2016, while the Eagles’ last win came in the City of Brotherly Love in 2013 by a final of 34-20. The Eagles are favored by 6 with a 46 over/under. These are two pretty good teams and with any luck, could be in the post-season party. Eagles may not cover the 6 but they fly away in the city of Brotherly Love with the win.

Carolina (0-2) at Arizona (0-1-1), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A Carolina Panthers team without Cam Newton (foot) pay a visit to Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale. Both clubs are still looking for their first win of the 2019 season. With the injury to Newton, Kyle Allen will be under center for the Panthers.

Carolina fell to NFC South rival Tampa Bay 20-14 in Charlotte last Thursday night. Tampa Bay led 10-9 at the break, breaking a 3-3 tie after the first quarter came to an end. Carolina would pull themselves to within three when LB Luke Kuechly sacked Tampa Bay RB Peyton Barber in the end zone for a safety but the Bucs pushed the lead back to six with 2:26 left in the contest when rookie K Matt Gay connected on a 22-yard field. goal. In the battle of former Heisman winners, Newton threw for 324 yards, while Jameis Winston threw for 208 yards (neither threw an interception and both were sacked three times), with Winston accounting for the game’s only TD with 80 seconds left in the first half, connecting with WR Chris Godwin. Carolina was 3 of 14 on third down (they were 0 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:07, while Tampa Bay went 2 of 12 on third down, ruling the clock and holding the ball for 33:53.

A late Arizona rally against Baltimore in their contest in Charm City was rebuffed by the Ravens as Baltimore would take a 23-17 win over the Desert Angry Birds at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore led 17-6 at the break, then Arizona would proceed to out-score Baltimore 11-6 in the final 30 minutes of play and came to within three with 12:52 left in the contest when Cardinals RB David Johnson scored from a yard out. Arizona then went for two and was successful as Murray and WR KeeSean Johnson connected on the try. The Ravens proceeded to restore order as Jeff Tucker connected on a 51-yard field goal to seal the win. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson not only threw for 272 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions (he was sacked twice), he led all rushers with 120 yards. Baltimore out-rushed Arizona 182-20 and Murray threw for 349 yards with no sacks, TDs or interceptions. The Ravens were 7 of 14 on third downs (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and were ball hogs, keeping the pigskin for 37:38, while Arizona went 2 of 11 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 22:22.

The Panthers lead the series 9-4 and have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 288-236. Carolina’s last win in the series came in Charlotte in 2016 as Newton and the Panthers came away 30-20 winners at Bank of America Stadium, while Arizona’s last win came in the desert in 2013 by a final of 22-6. Carolina’s favored by 2 1/2 with the over/under at 46 1/2. We wouldn’t blame you one bit if you took a pass on this one and watched that Bugs Bunny marathon on Cartoon Network (Wile Coyote blowing himself up is STILL funny!). Carolina covers the 2 1/2 in the desert against the Desert Angry Birds and wins the battle of the Heisman winners.

New York Giants (0-2) at Tampa Bay (1-1), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. The 0-2 Giants, with rookie QB Daniel Jones under center Sunday after Eli Manning was benched, travels to the Sunshine State to face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a late afternoon Sunday match-up on Florida’s West Coast.

Eli and the New York Giants were taken to task as the Buffalo Bills made it 2 for 2 in the Meadowlands, coming away 28-14 winners at Met Life Stadium last Sunday. Big Blue could never get themselves on track as Buffalo led 21-7 at the break and never looked back to win their second game in as many weeks in upstate New Jersey. Buffalo out-rushed New York 151-129, while Giants RB Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 107 yards and a TD (Buffalo was paced by Frank Gore, who ran for 68 yards and a TD). Manning threw for 250 yards and a pair of interceptions, while Josh Allen threw for 253 yards with three sacks (both men threw a TD pass, Manning was sacked once). Buffalo went 5 of 13 on third down and ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 32:38, while the Giants were 3 of 12 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:22.

Tampa Bay came away 20-14 winners over NFC South rival Carolina in Charlotte last Thursday night. Tampa Bay led 10-9 at the break, breaking a 3-3 tie after the first quarter came to an end. Carolina would pull themselves to within three when LB Luke Kuechly sacked Tampa Bay RB Peyton Barber in the end zone for a safety but the Bucs pushed the lead back to six with 2:26 left in the contest when rookie K Matt Gay connected on a 22-yard field. goal. In the battle of former Heisman winners, Newton threw for 324 yards, while Jameis Winston threw for 208 yards (neither threw an interception and both were sacked three times), with Winston accounting for the game’s only TD with 80 seconds left in the first half, connecting with WR Chris Godwin. Carolina was 3 of 14 on third down (they were 0 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:07, while Tampa Bay went 2 of 12 on third down, ruling the clock and holding the ball for 33:53.

Big Blue leads the series 14-7 and they have outscored the Bucs 395-364. The Giants won the last meeting last year in the Meadowlands by a final of 38-35 (Tampa Bay’s last win in the series came in the Sunshine State in 2017 by a final of 25-23).

Winston and Manning met at Met Life Stadium in week 11 and it was a slug-fest from start to finish. New York led 14-7 as the half and took a 24-14 lead with them into the fourth quarter before Tampa Bay would score twice in the fourth quarter to make the contest a bit too close for Giants fans, as New York would lead 31-28 with 5:11 left to play. Barkley would then restore some order as he would score his third TD (second rushing TD) of the contest, giving the Giants a 10-point lead with 3:52. Tampa Bay was not going to go away any time soon and pulled themselves back to within three with 2:22 left when Mike Evans and Winston connected on a 41-yard TD pass.

It would be as close as the Giants would let Tampa Bay get to them, as they would hold off a last second drive in the final seconds of the contest to seal the win. Barkley ran for 142 yards for the Giants, while Tampa Bay’s Peyton Barber ran for 106 yards and a TD. NeW York out-rushed Tampa Bay 163-151 and Manning threw for 231 yards and a pair of TDs (connecting with Odell Beckham Jr. and Barkley), while Winston (who replaced Ryan Fitzpatrick, who threw for 167 yards but threw three interceptions) tallied 199 yards and a pair of TDs with an interception). The Giants were 4 of 9 on third down and kept the ball for 27:53, while Tampa Bay actually ruled the clock and kept the pigskin, keeping the ball for 32:07, going 6 of 9 on third down and 1 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week 11 contest in the Meadowlands, the Giants were favored by 1 point and they covered, winning by 3. Both teams took care of the 52 over/under by tallying 73 points in the chilly afternoon air in upstate New Jersey. Tampa Bay’s favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 45 1/2. The Giants would like to prove that last year’s win was not a fluke. Tampa Bay is looking for revenge. Revenge wins out here in the Sunshine State. Tampa Bay might not cover the 6 1/2 but they take the win at home.

Houston (2-0) at Los Angeles Chargers (1-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV. DeSean Watson and Philip Rivers. A pair of future Hall of Fame QBs meet in Los Angeles in a late-afternoon AFC contest.

Houston denied the Jacksonville Jaguars their first win of the 2019 campaign after they held off the Jaguars 13-12 last Sunday. Houston led 6-3 at the intermission before the Jaguars made it a 1-point contest with 30 seconds left in the contest when Minshew and Chark connected on a 4-yard TD toss. Jacksonville would then miss the two-point conversion at NRG Stadium and went for the on-side kick, which Houston recovered. The Texans would then go on to run out the clock and take the win. Houston outrushed Jacksonville 126-103 and Minshew threw for 213 yards with the late contest TD, while DeSean Watson threw for 159 yards without a TD (both men were sacked four times but neither threw an interception). While Jacksonville was 3 of 13 on third down and the Texans were 6 of 15, both teams had success on fourth down tries, with Jacksonville going 2 of 2 and Houston going 1 of 1. Jacksonville actually ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:01 to Houston’s 29:59.

Rivers and the Chargers watched Detroit and Matthew Stafford erase a 10-6 deficit, as the Bolts would come away with a 13-10 loss at Ford Field. Los Angeles led 10-6 at the break in the Motor City and after the two clubs played a scoreless third quarter, the Lions would go to work, taking the lead for good with 7:21 left in the contest as Stafford and WR Kenny Golladay connected on a 31-yard TD pass. Detroit would go on to hold off the Chargers in the final minutes of the contest to take their first win of the season.

Los Angeles out-rushed Detroit 137-94 and Stafford threw for 245 yards with a pair of TDs (including the game-winner) and a pair of interceptions, while Rivers threw for 293 yards with a sack and an interception. Detroit went 4 of 10 on third down tries in the Motor City (they went 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:41, while the Chargers were rulers of the clock, holding the ball for 31:19 and went 6 of 13 on third down tries.

Including games in San Diego, the Chargers lead the series 5-1 and have outscored the Texans 164-100. Los Angeles’s last meeting with Houston came in 2016 and the Chargers prevailed 21-13 in the Lone Star State, while the Texans’ last win came on the West Coast in San Diego in 2013, coming away 31-28 winners. Los Angeles finds themselves as 3-point favorites on the West Coast and the over/under’s 47 1/2. The Chargers are looking to right their ship, the Texans are looking to stay unbeaten. Chargers prevail at home, although the Texans will try to make things closer than 3.

New Orleans (1-1) at Seattle (1-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 716. It’s gumbo vs. Salmon, Grunge and Starbucks as New Orleans, without Drew Brees (thumb) continues their trip on the West Coast as they face off against Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks in the Pacific Northwest.

For the Saints, it was second verse, same as the first against the Rams. A blown call and a loss to Los Angeles, with Jarred Goff and the Rams coming away 27-9 winners at the Coliseum. First, they lose Brees early in the contest with the thumb injury (Teddy Bridgewater will be under center in the Pacific Northwest), then they had a pass by Goff that was ruled incomplete, then ruled a fumble after the Saints challenge the first ruling. Trey Hendrickson scooped up the ball and returned it for what was thought a TD to no avail. While the Saints did get the ball back, they lost the TD and things went downhill from that point. New Orleans trailed 6-3 at the intermission, then the Rams would floor the gas and outscore the Saints 21-6 in the second half. The Rams out-rushed New Orleans 115-57 and Brees threw for 38 yards with an interception before leaving the contest with the injury, while Goff threw for 283 yards and a TD (Bridgewater threw for 165 yards and had a pair of sacks) and Rams RB Todd Gurley III led all rushers with 63 yards and a TD. New Orleans was 4 of 13 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:39, while the Rams were 5 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 30:21.

Pittsburgh took a 10-7 lead with them to the break against Seattle, only to see the Seahawks take control of the final 30 minutes of play at Heinz Field as the Seahawks and Wilson left the Steel City with a 28-26 win. In evening their record to 1-1, the Seahawks outscored Pittsburgh 21-13 in the second half. Roethlisberger threw for 75 yards with a sack before leaving the contest with the injury. Rookie QB Mason Rudolph (who took over for Roethlisberger) threw for 112 yards with a pair of TDs to Vance McDonald in relief. Seattle out-rushed Pittsburgh 151-81 and Wilson threw for 300 yards and despite being sacked four times, managed to throw three TDs. Pittsburgh went 3 of 11 on third down tries at Heinz Field and kept the ball for 24:14, while the Seahawks took control of the clock and kept the pigskin for 35:46, while going 5 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

While New Orleans holds a slim 7-6 in the series, the Seahawks have outscored the Saints 310-266. New Orleans won the last meeting with Seattle, coming away with a 25-20 win in the Big Easy in 2016, while Seattle’s last win over the Saints came in 2013 by a final of 34-7 in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle’s favored by 4 and the over/under’s 45. While Bridgewater’s a good QB, he’s not Drew Brees and for Saints fans, that will show. Seahawks cover the 4 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks Sunday.

Pittsburgh (0-2) at San Francisco (2-0), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 717. Pittsburgh, without Ben Roethlisberger (arm), travels to the West Coast to take on the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara at Levis Stadium. The 49ers are looking to go 2-0, while the struggling Steelers are looking for win number one.

After a scoreless first quarter, Pittsburgh took a 10-7 lead with them to the break, only to see Seattle take control of the final 30 minutes of play at Heinz Field as the Seahawks and Wilson left the Steel City with a 28-26 win. In evening their record to 1-1, the Seahawks outscored Pittsburgh 21-13 in the second half. Roethlisberger threw for 75 yards with a sack before leaving the contest with the injury. Rookie QB Mason Rudolph (who took over for Roethlisberger and will be under center Sunday) threw for 112 yards with a pair of TDs to Vance McDonald in relief. Seattle out-rushed Pittsburgh 151-81 and Russell Wilson threw for 300 yards and despite being sacked four times, managed to throw three TDs. Pittsburgh went 3 of 11 on third down tries at Heinz Field and kept the ball for 24:14, while the Seahawks took control of the clock and kept the pigskin for 35:46, while going 5 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

San Francisco came to Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati and left the Queen City with a 41-17 win over the Bengals. Leading 24-10 at the half, San Francisco would outscore them 17-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. San Francisco out-rushed Cincinnati 259-25, with 49ers RB Matt Breida ran for 121 yards in the contest to lead all rushers. Dalton threw for 311 yards and a pair of TDs but was sacked four times, while 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 297 yards and three TDs with no sacks (both men threw an interception). Both teams did quite well on third down conversions last Sunday (San Francisco was 5 of 9, Cincinnati was 9 of 18; the Bengals were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and the 49ers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:19 to Cincinnati’s 27:41.

San Francisco leads the series 11-10 but the Steelers have outscored San Francisco 447-409. Pittsburgh won the last meeting with the 49ers, coming away 43-18 winners in the Steel City in 2015, while San Francisco’s last win came at Candlestick Park in 2011 by a final of 20-3. San Francisco’s favored by 6 1/2 in Santa Clara and the over/under’s 44. The 49ers look to stay unbeaten, while the Steelers look for win number one. Pittsburgh will have to wait another week. 49ers cover at home and send the Steelers to 0-3.

Los Angeles Rams (2-0) at Cleveland (1-1), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Jarred Goff vs. Baker Mayfield. A pair of young QBs meet along the shores of Lake Erie as the Browns play in their second prime time game of the season. Both teams come into the Sunday night contest with wins under their belts.

The Rams proved that their playoff win against New Orleans last year in the Big Easy was not a fluke as Goff and Los Angeles came away 27-9 winners over Drew Brees and the Saints. The Saints once again had to deal with the officials as well as the Rams as blown call took the wind out of their sails at the Coliseum last Sunday. First, New Orleans loses Drew Brees early in the contest with the thumb injury (Teddy Bridgewater will be under center in the Pacific Northwest), then they had a pass by Goff that was ruled incomplete, then ruled a fumble after the Saints challenge the first ruling. Trey Hendrickson scooped up the ball and returned it for what was thought a TD to no avail. While the Saints did get the ball back, they lost the TD and things went downhill from that point. New Orleans trailed 6-3 at the intermission, then the Rams would floor the gas and outscore the Saints 21-6 in the second half. The Rams out-rushed New Orleans 115-57 and Brees threw for 38 yards with an interception before leaving the contest with the injury, while Goff threw for 283 yards and a TD (Bridgewater threw for 165 yards and had a pair of sacks) and Rams RB Todd Gurley III led all rushers with 63 yards and a TD. New Orleans was 4 of 13 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:39, while the Rams were 5 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 30:21.

Cleveland held the New York Jets to a second-quarter field goal as they took care of the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 23-3 last Monday night in the Meadowlands. The Browns led 16-3 at the break and held off a pair of Jets’ drives that would have made the contest closer. While the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! out-rushed Cleveland 93-70, Mayfield threw for 325 yards and a TD to WR Odell Beckham Jr and the Browns defense knocked Jets QB Trevor Siemian (3 yards) out of the contest with an ankle injury as he took over for Sam Darnold (mononucleosis). Cleveland went 4 of 13 on third down and kept the ball in the Monday night affair in the Meadowlands for 29:41, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 30:19 and went 2 of 14, 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

The Rams lead the series 11-9 (which includes contests that were played in St. Louis) and have outscored the Browns 451-426. The Rams’ last win in the series came in St. Louis, where they came away 24-6 winners in 2016, while the Browns’ last win also came in the Gateway City, with Cleveland taking a 27-20 win in 2007. The Rams are 3-point favorites in the Buckeye State and the over/under’s 46. You might want to consider taping “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “Madame Secretary” this week. Rams cover the 2 in Cleveland and remains unbeaten.

Chicago (1-1) at Washington (0-2), 8:20 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Two of the NFL’s oldest franchises conclude week three action as Chicago and Washington meet in Landover at Fed Ex Field.

Da Bears took a last-second win in the Mile High City last Sunday against Denver, as they stormed back as the clock struck :00 to take a 16-14 win on the road. Chicago led 6-3 at the break and 13-3 at the intermission, then watched as the Broncos proceeded to chip away at Chicago’s lead, using a 32-yard field goal by Brandon McManus to pull themselves to within 7 early in the fourth, then took their first and only lead of the contest when WR Emmanuel Sanders and QB Joe Flacco connected on a 7[yard TD pass and the two-point conversion. Chicago, with one time out left, got the ball back with 30 seconds left and got the ball back after the kickoff. Chicago would get help from two Denver penalties and after burning their final timeout, called on K Eddie Pineiro to try a 53-yard attempt. Pineiro made the field goal as the clock struck :00, sending Broncos fans home with their second loss of the season.

Chicago out-rushed Denver 153-90 and Flacco threw for 292 yards and the TD to Sanders with a sack and an interception, while Mitchell Trubisky threw for 120 yards without a TD, sack or interception. Denver was 3 of 14 on third down (the Broncos were perfect on fourth down, going 3 of 3) and actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:59, while Chicago kept the ball for 27:01 (including the final 30 seconds of the game) and went 3 of 11 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth down tries.

After a scoreless first quarter at Washington, the Cowboys erased a 7-0 deficit in the second quarter and came away 31-21 winners at Fed Ex Field, thanks in part to TDs from Prescott to Devin Smith and Jason Witten to take the 14-7 lead with them to the break. Dallas would lead 21-7 with 4:30 left in the third period before Case Keenum (221 yards, TD, sack) and WR Paul Richardson Jr. connected on a 9-yard TD toss to pull themselves to within seven. Dallas would eventually restore order and come out of Landover with the win. Dallas out-rushed Washington 213-47, with Ezekiel Elliott rushing for 111 yards and a TD, while Prescott threw for 269 yards and three TDs (Prescott was sacked once and threw an interception). Dallas went 7 of 11 on third down tries at Landover and kept the ball for 33:22, while the Redskins kept the ball for 26:38, going 2 of 9 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

While Washington leads the series 22-20-1 (which includes contests that were played in Boston when the Redskins were known as the Braves and the Bears were the Chicago Staleys and played their home games at Wrigley Field), Chicago has outscored the Redskins 876-804. Washington has won the last seven meetings in the series, taking a 41-21 win in the Windy City in 2016, while Chicago’s last win came in 2003 at Soldier Field by a final of 27-24.

On Monday night, Da Bears are 18-23 but they did play three games under the lights last year, winning two of them. As for the Redskins? They’re 18-17-1 but have not played on MNF since 2017, when they won their lone contest. Chicago’s favored by 4 on the road in Landover and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Will it be “Hail to the Redskins” or “Hell, it’s the Redskins?” Washington fans will have their hearts broken again this week. Da Bears cover the 4 and wins at Landover.

The National Football League announced the 2019 pre-season schedule. Games in Canada and Hawaii, along with the annual NFL/Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, highlight the 2019 preseason schedule.

In a rematch of Super Bowl II, Oakland will play Green Bay at IG Field in Winnipeg, Canada, on August 22. The Raiders, who also play Chicago in London October 6 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, will become the first NFL team to play in three nations during the same season. The defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams will meet Dallas at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, August 17.

Two weeks earlier, on Thursday, August 1, Denver and Atlanta meet in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game, kicking off a weekend of celebrations that include the enshrinements of Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, former Denver cornerback Champ Bailey and former Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez.

Televised live at 8 p.m. on NBC, the NFL/Hall of Fame Game is the first of eight national preseason telecasts carried by NFL broadcast partners CBS, ESPN, FOX and NBC.NFL Network will also provide extensive coverage of the NFL preseason, including live or re-aired broadcasts of all 65 games.The 2019 preseason schedule was announced April 9 without dates and times, which now have been confirmed.

The complete 2019 NFL preseason schedule is listed below:

2019 NFL PRESEASON SCHEDULE (all times Eastern)

NFL/Hall of Fame Game – August 1

Thursday, August 1
ATLANTA vs. Denver, 8 p.m. (Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium; Canton, Ohio)(NBC)

Week 1 – August 8-10

Thursday, August 8
ATLANTA at Miami, 7:30 p.m.
Indianapolis at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
New York Jets at New York Giants, 7 p.m.
Jacksonville at Baltimore, 7:30 p.m.
Washington at Cleveland, 7:30 p,m.
New England at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Tennessee at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
Carolina at Chicago, 8 p.m.
Houston at Green Bay, 8 p.m.
Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona, 10 p.m.
Denver at Seattle, 10 p.m.

Friday, August 9
Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.
Minnesota at New Orleans, 8 p.m.

Saturday, August 10
Cincinnati at Kansas City, 8 p.m.
Los Angeles Rams at Oakland, 8:30 p.m.
Dallas at San Francisco, 9 p.m.

Week 2 – August 15-19

Thursday, August 15
New York Jets at ATLANTA, 7:30 p.m.
Philadelphia at Jacksonville, 7 p.m.
Green Bay at Baltimore, 7:30 p.m.
Cincinnati at Washington, 7:30 p.m.
Oakland at Arizona, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Friday, August 16
Buffalo at Carolina, 7 p.m.
Chicago at New York Giants, 7:30 p.m.
Miami at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 17
Cleveland at Indianapolis, 4 p.m.
New England at Tennessee, 7 p.m.
Kansas City at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.
Detroit at Houston, 8 p.m.
Dallas vs. Los Angeles Rams in Honolulu, 10 p.m.

Sunday, August 18
New Orleans at Los Angeles Chargers, 4 p.m. (CBS)
Seattle at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (FOX)

Monday, August 19
San Francisco at Denver, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

Week 3 – August 22-25

Thursday, August 22
Washington at ATLANTA, 7:30 p.m.
New York Giants at Cincinnati, 7 p.m.
Carolina at New England, 7:30 p.m.
Baltimore at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
Jacksonville at Miami, 8 p.m. (FOX)
Green Bay vs. Oakland, 8 p.m. (IG Field; Winnipeg, Manitoba)

Friday, August 23
Cleveland at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Buffalo at Detroit, 8 p.m.

Saturday, August 24
Arizona at Minnesota, 1 p.m.
Houston at Dallas, 7 p.m.
Chicago at Indianapolis, 7 p.m.

New Orleans at New York Jets, 7:30 p.m.
San Francisco at Kansas City, 8 p.m.
Denver at Los Angeles Rams, 9 p.m.
Seattle at Los Angeles Chargers, 10 p.m.

Sunday, August 25
Pittsburgh at Tennessee, 8 p.m. (NBC)

Week 4 – August 29

Thursday, August 29
ATLANTA at Jacksonville, 7 p.m.
Minnesota at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Carolina, 7 p.m.
Indianapolis at Cincinnati, 7 p.m.
Philadelphia at New York Jets, 7 p.m.
Detroit at Cleveland, 7:30 p.m.
New York Giants at New England, 7:30 p.m.
Baltimore at Washington, 7:30 p.m.
Tennessee at Chicago, 8 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Dallas, 8 p.m.
Kansas City at Green Bay, 8 p.m.
Los Angeles Rams at Houston, 8 p.m.
Miami at New Orleans, 8 p.m.
Arizona at Denver, 9 p.m.
Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco, 10 p.m.
Oakland at Seattle, 10 p.m.

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 dates are finally set.

Rookies fighting for NFL jobs, as well as free agents and veterans trying to stay with their teams will come to camp. There will be some chippiness and a few fights as well among teammates.

There’ll be heat, humidity, bugs, sleeping in dorms, learning playbooks that are bigger than most college text books, as you are trying to be one of 53 players that hopefully will be on an NFL roster when the season starts the Thursday after Labor Day.

If a rookie thought the Senior Bowl was easy or if a free agent thought he was going to make it, this is in of itself a job interview. It’s a chance to get a game check every week for 17 weeks (yes, NFL players get paid weekly).  It’s not about sitting around the campfire and eat s’mores. It’s learning a new playbook, new terminology and new names.

Training camp is not just a chance to see what all 32 teams have to either keep their hands on the Lombardi Trophy or have a chance to get their own. It’s also a chance for their respective fan base to make their own determinations and hope that they have a better season than they did in 2017. Players will work to impress their coaches and fan bases and hope they don’t hear the dreaded words that come from an assistant coach, ball boy or equipment guy, “coach wants to see you and bring your playbook.” Those words usually mean you’re getting cut or you’ve been cut. Most teams will play four pre-season games, while teams that play in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton will get five games. That’s a lot of film to look at and see who stays and who goes.

All 32 teams will have their camps close enough for their fan base to come out and see them. Only Houston and Dallas will not have camps in the state of Texas (Houston will go to West Virginia, while Dallas will travel to the West Coast and train in California), so that means you’ll have to make travel plans.

Hydrate, don’t forget the bug spray, get those photos and autographs and mind your manners. After all, these guys have work to do.

Below are the sites and dates for all 32 teams. Where there are two dates listed, the first date listed is the date for rookies to report, while the second date is for veteran players (most teams will have both rookies and veterans report on the same day). Check with your team as to practice times and if those practices are open to the public.

Arizona – University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (Rookies – 7/22, Veterans – 7/27)
Atlanta – Atlanta Falcons Training Facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia (Rookies – 7/23, Veterans – 7/26)
Baltimore – Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, Maryland (Rookies – 7/11, Veterans – 7/18)
Buffalo – St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York (Rookies and Veterans – 7/25)
Cincinnati – Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio (Rookies – 7/23, Veterans – 7/25)
Cleveland – Cleveland Browns Training Complex in Berea, Ohio (Rookies and Veterans – 7/25)
Carolina – Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina (Rookies and Veterans – 7/25)
Chicago – Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois – (Rookies – 7/16, Veterans – 7/19)
Dallas – Marriott Residence Inn in Oxnard, California (Rookies and Veterans – 7/25)
Denver – University of Colorado Health Training Center in Englewood, Colorado (Rookies – 7/24, Veterans – 7/27)
Detroit – Detroit Lions Training Facility in Allen Park, Michigan (Rookies – 7/19, Veterans – 7/26)
Green Bay – St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin (Rookies and Veterans – 7/25)
Houston – The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia (Rookies and Veterans – 7/25)
Indianapolis – Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana (Rookies – 7/22, Veterans – 7/25)
Jacksonville – TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida (Rookies – 7/18, Veterans – 7/25)
Kansas City – Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri (Rookies – 7/22, Veterans – 7/25)
Los Angeles Chargers – Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa, California (Rookies and Veterans – 7/27)
Los Angeles Rams – University of California, Irvine in Irvine, California (Rookies – 7/23, Veterans – 7/25)
Miami – Baptist Health Training Facility in Davie, Florida (Rookies – 7/18, Veterans – 7/25)
Minnesota – TCO Performance Center in Eagan, Minnesota (Rookies – 7/24, Veterans – 7/27)
New England – Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts (Rookies – 7/22, Veterans – 7/25)
New Orleans – New Orleans Saints Training Facility in Metairie, Louisiana (Rookies – 7/18, Veterans – 7/25)
New York Giants – Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey (Rookies – 7/22, Veterans – 7/25)
New York Jets – Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey (Rookies – 7/25, Veterans – 7/26)
Oakland – Napa Valley Marriott in Napa, California (Rookies – 7/23, Veterans – 7/26)
Philadelphia – NovaCare Complex in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Rookies and Veterans – 7/25)
Pittsburgh – Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania (Rookies – 7/24, Veterans – 7/25)
San Francisco – SAP Performance Facility in Santa Clara, California (Rookies and Veterans – 7/25)
Seattle – Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Washington (Rookies and Veterans – 7/25)
Tampa Bay – One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Florida (Rookies – 7/23, Veterans – 7/25)
Tennessee – Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, Tennessee (Rookies – 7/22, Veterans – 7/25)
Washington – Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Virginia (Rookies and Veterans 7/25)

It’s a chance for coaches to evaulate rookies and free agents.

It’s also a chance for fans to see their teams for the first time since last January.

While these don’t count, it’s also a chance to work on those tailgating skills.

Even though it’s preseason, are you ready for some football?

The NFL announced Wednesday that they have finalized its 65-game 2018 preseason schedule, which includes a slate of eight nationally-televised games. Start times will be announced later and the 2018 regular season schedule will come out after the draft.

The 2018 preseason will kick off on Thursday, August 2 on NBC at 8 p.m. in Canton, Ohio when Chicago faces off against  Baltimore in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game. NFL Network will also provide extensive coverage of the NFL preseason, including live or re-aired broadcasts of all 65 games.

The following is the complete 2018 NFL preseason national television, along with the week-by-week schedule:

2018 NFL PRESEASON NATIONAL TELEVISION SCHEDULE (Times listed are Eastern)

Thursday, August 2
NFL/Hall of Fame Game, Canton, Ohio: Chicago vs. Baltimore, 8 p.m. on NBC

Preseason Week 2 (August 16-20)

Thursday, August 16
New York Jets at Washington, 8 p.m. on ESPN

Monday, August 20
Baltimore at Indianapolis, 8 p.m. on ESPN

Preseason Week 3 (August 23-26)

Thursday, August 23
Philadelphia at Cleveland, 8 p.m. on FOX

Friday, August 24
Detroit at Tampa Bay, 8 p.m. on CBS

Saturday, August 25
New Orleans at Los Angeles Chargers, 8 p.m. on CBS

Sunday, August 26
Cincinnati at Buffalo, 4 p.m. on FOX
Arizona at Dallas, 8 p.m. on NBC

2018 NFL PRESEASON WEEK-BY-WEEK SCHEDULE

NFL/HALL OF FAME GAME – AUGUST 2
Chicago vs. Baltimore

WEEK 1 – AUGUST 9-13
ATLANTA at New York Jets
Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona
Los Angees Rams at Baltimore
Carolina at Buffalo
Chicago at Cincinnati
Minnesota at Denver
Tennessee at Green Bay
New Orleans at Jacksonville
Houston at Kansas City
Tampa Bay at Miami
Washington at New England
Cleveland at New York Giants
Detroit at Oakland
Pittsburgh at Philadelphia
Dallas at San Francisco
Indianapolis at Seattle

WEEK 2 – AUGUST 16-20
Kansas City at ATLANTA
Miami at Carolina
Buffalo at Cleveland
Cincinnati at Dallas
Chicago at Denver
New York Giants at Detroit
Pittsburgh at Green Bay
San Francisco at Houston
Baltimore at Indianapolis
Seattle at Los Angeles Chargers
Oakland at Los Angeles Rams
Jacksonville at Minnesota
Philadelphia at New England
Arizona at New Orleans
Tampa Bay at Tennessee
New York Jets at Washington

WEEK 3 – AUGUST 23-26
ATLANTA at Jacksonville
Cincinnati at Buffalo
New England at Carolina
Kansas City at Chicago
Philadelphia at Cleveland
Arizona at Dallas
San Francisco at Indianapolis
New Orleans at Los Angeles Chargers
Houston at Los Angeles Rams
Baltimore at Miami
Seattle at Minnesota
New York Giants at New York Jets
Green Bay at Oakland
Tennessee at Pittsburgh
Detroit at Tampa Bay
Denver at Washington

WEEK 4 – AUGUST 30-31
Miami at ATLANTA
Denver at Arizona
Washington at Baltimore
Buffalo at Chicago
Indianapolis at Cincinnati
Cleveland at Detroit
Dallas at Houston
Green Bay at Kansas City
Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans
New England at New York Giants
New York Jets at Philadelphia
Carolina at Pittsburgh
Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco
Oakland at Seattle
Jacksonville at Tampa Bay
Minnesota at Tennessee

12 weeks down, five to go.

The leaves have fallen or are falling, it’s getting colder and the Fat Man from the North Pole is making preparations for his big day.

With that much time left in the regular season, 14 teams have a .500 or better record and have a shot at the post-season. For San Francisco and Cleveland, their seasons are pretty much over (the 49ers are 1-10, while the Browns are 0-11). When the final game is done on January 1st, 12 teams will be given invitations to the post-season party, 6 from the AFC, 6 from the NFC.

SEVEN THINGS FROM SUNDAY: Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones had 12 catches for 253 yards and two touchdowns in the Falcons’ 34-20 win over Tampa Bay. Jones has three career games with at least 250 receiving yards and is the only player in NFL history to have multiple 250+ yard receiving games. Jones, who played in his 90th career game today, has 563 catches for 8,649 yards, the most by a player in his first 90 games in NFL history. He passed Anquan Boldin (558) for the most receptions and Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth (8,502) for the most receiving yards.

Jones caught a 51-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Mohamed Sanu in the second quarter of today’s game. Sanu, who also threw a 73-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green with Cincinnati in 2012 (September 23, 2012), is the first wide receiver since the 1970 merger to throw multiple career 50+ yard touchdown passes. He is also the first non-quarterback to throw two career 50+ yard touchdown passes since Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton (1979, 1983).

Philadelphia defeated Chicago 31-3 to improve to 10-1. It marks the fourth time in franchise history the Eagles have started a season 10-1 or better (1949, 1980 and 2004) and the team advanced to the NFL Championship/Super Bowl in each of the previous three instances. In the Super Bowl era, 38 teams have previously started 10-1 and all 38 made the playoffs, 17 reached the Super Bowl (44.7 percent) and eight won the Super Bowl (21.1 percent). Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz threw three touchdown passes in today’s win and leads the league with 28 touchdown passes. Wentz’s 28 touchdown passes are the most by an Eagles quarterback through the team’s first 11 games of a season, passing the mark set by Pro Football Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen (24) in 1961. Wentz has 28 touchdown passes and five interceptions and is the third quarterback in NFL history to have at least 25 touchdown passes and five or fewer interceptions through his team’s first 11 games, putting himself in some pretty good company, joining Tom Brady (2007, 2015, 2017) and Aaron Rodgers (2011, 2014).

New England defeated Miami 35-17 and improved to 9-2. The Patriots clinched their 17th consecutive season with a winning record, the longest streak since 1970, surpassing the previous record of 16 held by the 1970-1985 Dallas Cowboys and 1983-1998 San Francisco 49ers. New England quarterback Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes with one interception for a 114.1 passer rating in today’s win. Brady, who turned 40 years old in August, has 26 touchdown passes this season, the most by a quarterback in a single season at the age of 40 or older. Brady has 27 career games with at least four touchdown passes and one or fewer interceptions, surpassing Peyton Manning (26) for the second-most in NFL history. Only Drew Brees (28) has more such games.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw two touchdown passes and rushed for a touchdown in the Seahawks’ 24-13 win at San Francisco. Seattle improved to 7-4 on the season and bounced back from last week’s 34-31 loss against Atlanta. With the victory, Wilson improved to 23-4 (.852) in his career in games following an in-season loss, the best record by a starting quarterback since the 1970 merger (minimum 15 such starts).

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley had 128 scrimmage yards in the team’s 26-20 win over New Orleans. Gurley, who has 1,344 scrimmage yards and 11 touchdowns this season, is the fourth player in franchise history to have at least 1,300 scrimmage yards and 10 touchdowns in the team’s first 11 games of a season. He joins Pro Football Hall of Famers Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch (1951), Eric Dickerson (1983) and Marshall Faulk (2000) as the only Rams to accomplish the feat.

New Orleans running backs Alvin Kamara (188 scrimmage yards, two touchdowns) and Mark Ingram (36 scrimmage yards) combined for 224 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns in the Saints’ loss at the Los Angeles Rams. Kamara (1,094 scrimmage yards, nine touchdowns) and Ingram (1,055 scrimmage yards, eight touchdowns) are the first running back teammates to each have at least 1,000 scrimmage yards and eight touchdowns in a team’s first 11 games in the Super Bowl era.

Carolina defeated the New York Jets 35-27. Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly had a 34-yard fumble-return touchdown with 12:05 remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Panthers the lead and Kaelin Clay added a 60-yard punt-return touchdown with 9:54 left to extend Carolina’s lead. It marked the second time in franchise history – and first since the club’s inaugural 1995 season (October 8, 1995 against Chicago) – in which the Panthers scored two return touchdowns in the fourth quarter of a
game.

THE WEEK THAT WAS WEEK 12: ELECTRIC EAGLE: Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz threw three touchdown passes in the Eagles’ 31-3 win against Chicago last week.

Wentz, who leads the NFL with 28 touchdown passes, has the third-most touchdown passes by a first or second-year quarterback through his team’s first 11 games of a season in NFL history.

The first or second-year quarterbacks with the most touchdown passes through his team’s first 11 games of a season:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(PASSING TDS IN TEAM’S 1ST 11 GAMES)
Dan Marino, Miami (1984)(30)^
Kurt Warner, St. Louis (1999)(29)^
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia (2017)(28)
Derek Carr, Oakland (2015)(24)
Jeff Garcia, San Francisco (2000)(24)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Philadelphia owns the best record in the NFL at 10-1 and Wentz is the fourth first or second-year quarterback to start 10-1 or better through his team’s first 11 games of a season in the Super Bowl era.

The first or second-year quarterbacks to start 10-1 or better in his team’s first 11 games of a season in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(RECORD THROUGH TEAM’S FIRST 11 GAMES)
Dan Marino, Miami(1984)(11-0)^
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia (2017)(10-1)
Dak Prescott, Dallas (2016)(10-1)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2013)(10-1)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

FLYING FALCON: Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones had 12 receptions for 253 yards and two touchdowns in the Falcons’ 34-20 win over Tampa Bay in Week 12.

Jones has three career games with at least 250 receiving yards and is the only player in NFL history to have multiple 250+ yard receiving games.

Jones has 563 receptions in 90 career games and passed ANQUAN BOLDIN (558) for the most catches by a player in his first 90 games in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions in their first 90 games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RECEPTIONS IN 1ST 90 CAREER GAMES)
Julio Jones, Atlanta (563)
Anquan Boldin, Arizona (558)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (554)

Jones has 8,649 receiving yards and passed Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth (8,502) for the most receiving yards by a player in his first 90 games in NFL history.

The players with the most receiving yards in their first 90 games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RECEIVING YARDS IN 1ST 90 CAREER GAMES)
Julio Jones, Atlanta (8,649)
Lance Alworth, San Diego (8,502)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

TOM TERRIFIC: New England quarterback Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes and one interception for a 114.1 passer rating in the Patriots’ 35-17 win against Miami last week.

Brady has 27 career games with at least four touchdown passes and one or fewer interceptions, surpassing Peyton Manning (26) for the second-most in NFL history. Only Drew Brees (28) has more such games.

The players with the most games with at least four touchdown passes and one or fewer interceptions in NFL history:

PLAYER –  TEAM(S) (GAMES WITH AT LEAST 4 TD PASSES & 1 OR FEWER INTS)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (28)*
Tom Brady – New England (27)*
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (26)
*Active

DYNAMIC DUO: New Orleans running backs Alvin Kamara (188 scrimmage yards, two touchdowns) and Mark Ingram (36 scrimmage yards) combined for 224 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns in the Saints’ loss to the Los Angeles Rams last week.

Kamara (1,094 scrimmage yards, nine touchdowns) and Ingram (1,055 scrimmage yards, eight touchdowns) are the seventh pair of teammates – and first running back duo – to each have at least 1,000 scrimmage yards and eight touchdowns in a team’s first 11 games in the Super Bowl era.

The teammates with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards and eight touchdowns in their team’s first 11 games of a season:

TEAM – SEASON (PLAYER – SCRIMMAGE YDS/TDS)(PLAYER – SCRIMMAGE YDS/TDS)
New Orleans – 2017 (Alvin Kamara – 1,094/9)(Mark Ingram – 1,055/8)
Green Bay – 2014 (Jordy Nelson – 1,066/9)(Eddie Lacy – 1,007/9)
Indianapolis – 2000 (Edgerrin James – 1,586/14)(Marvin Harrison – 1,066/8)^
St. Louis – 2000 (Marshall Faulk – 1,447/15)(Isaac Bruce – 1,185/9)
Indianapolis – 1999 (Edgerrin James – 1,547/9)(Marvin Harrison – 1,118/12)^
Dallas – 1995 (Emmitt Smith – 1,643/20)Michael Irvin – 1,169/8)^
Dallas – 1966 (Dan Reeves – 1,088/14)(Bob Hayes – 1,002/10)

^Harrison, Faulk, Smith, Irvin and Hayes are Pro Football Hall of Famers

In the month of November, Kamara became the third rookie in NFL history to total at least 500 scrimmage yards, three rushing touchdowns and three receiving touchdowns in a calendar month, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Gale Sayers (October, 1965) and Charley Taylor (November, 1964).

The rookies with at least 500 scrimmage yards, three rushing touchdowns and three receiving touchdowns in a calendar month:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – MONTH; SCRIMMAGE YARDS/RUSHING TDS-RECIEVING TDS)
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans (2017 – November; 593/3-3)
Gale Sayers, Chicago (1965 – October; 520/3-5)^
Charley Taylor, Washington (1964 – November; 596/3-3)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

BIG GAME BROWN: Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown had 10 receptions for 169 yards and two touchdowns in the Steelers’ 31-28 win against Green Bay on Sunday Night Football last week.

Through 11 games this year, Brown has five games with at least 10 receptions and 100 yards, tied for the fourth-most such games in a single season in NFL history. Brown, who also had five such games in 2015, is the first player to accomplish the feat in multiple seasons.

The players with the most games with at least 10 receptions and 100 yards in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON; GAMES WITH 10 CATCHES & 100 REC. YARDS)
Andre Johnson, Houston (2008; 7)
Calvin Johnson, Detroit (2012; 6)
Wes Welker, New England (2009; 6)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2017; 5)*
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh, (2015; 5)
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (2002; 5)^
Jimmy Smith, Jacksonville (1999, 5)
*Through 11 games
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

WONDERFUL WILSON: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw two touchdown passes and rushed for a touchdown in the Seahawks’ 24-13 win at San Francisco last week.

With the victory, Wilson improved to 23-4 (.852) in his career in games following an in-season loss, the best record by a starting quarterback since the 1970 merger (minimum 15 such starts).

The quarterbacks with the best record following an in-season loss since 1970 (minimum 15 such starts):

PLAYER – TEAMS (WINS-LOSSES-TIES, PCT.)
Russell Wilson – Seattle (23-4-0, .852)
Andrew Luck – Indianapolis (23-5-0, 821)
Tom Brady – New England (42-10-0, .808)
Jeff Hostetler – New York Giants, Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders and Washington (24-8-0, .750)
Joe Montana, San Francisco and Kansas City (36-12-0, .750)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Wilson ties for third in the NFL with 3,029 passing yards and became the fourth quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 3,000 yards in each of his first six seasons.

The quarterbacks with at least 3,000 passing yards in each of their first six seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2012-17)
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati (2011-16)
Cam Newton, Carolina (2011-16)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (1998-2003)

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 13: FLYING HIGH IN PHILLY: Philadelphia the NFL’s best record at 10-1 and can clinch the NFC East division title in Week 13. The Eagles have won nine consecutive games, including each of its past four by at least 20 points.

The Eagles, who play at Seattle on Sunday Night Football, can become the sixth team in NFL history to win five consecutive games all by at least 20 points and the first since the 1999 St. Louis Rams.

The teams with five consecutive wins all by 20+ points in NFL history:

TEAM (SEASON – MOST CONSECUTIVE WINS BY 20+ POINTS)
St. Louis (1999 – 5)
Green Bay (1961 – 5)
Houston Oilers (1961 – 5)
Philadelphia (1953 – 5)
Philadelphia (1949 – 5)
Philadelphia (2017 – 4)*
*Active streak

BIG BEN ASCENDS: Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has 49,762 passing yards in his 14-year career with the Steelers.

Roethlisberger, who plays at Cincinnati on Monday Night Football, can become the eighth quarterback in NFL history to reach 50,000 career passing yards.

The quarterbacks with at least 50,000 career passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (CAREER PASSING YARDS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (71,940)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (71,838)^
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (69,140)*
Tom Brady – New England (64,956)*
Dan Marino – Miami (61,361)^
John Elway – Denver (51,475)^
Eli Manning – New York Giants (50,625)*
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh (49,762)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Roethlisberger will play in his 197th career game on Monday and can become the fifth quarterback in NFL history to reach 50,000 career passing yards in fewer than 200 games, joining Drew Brees (183), Peyton Manning (191), Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (193) and Tom Brady (198).

The quarterbacks to reach 50,000 passing yards in the fewest career games:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (GAMES TO 50,000 PASSING YARDS)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (183)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis (191)
Dan Marino – Miami (193)^
Tom Brady – New England (198)
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh (196)*
*Has 49,762 career passing yards
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

PRESCISION PASSERS: Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz leads the NFL with 28 touchdown passes and New England’s Tom Brady ranks second with 26 TD passes. Wentz (five interceptions) and Brady (three) are the only quarterbacks with at least 25 touchdown passes and five or fewer interceptions this season.

On Sunday, Wentz and Brady can join some elite company. Wentz, who plays at Seattle on Sunday night, can become the third different quarterback in NFL history with at least 30 touchdown passes and five or fewer interceptions through his team’s first 12 games of a season, joining Brady (2007) and Aaron Rodgers (2011, 2014).

Brady, who plays at Buffalo on Sunday, can join Rodgers as the only players to accomplish the feat twice. Brady had 41 touchdown passes with five interceptions through his team’s first 12 games of the 2007 season.

The players with at least 30 touchdown passes and five or fewer interceptions through their team’s first 12 games of a season:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON; TD PASSES – INTERCEPTIONS)
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay (2014; 32 – 3)^
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay (2011; 37 – 5)^
Tom Brady – New England (2007; 41 – 5)^
Carson Wentz – Philadelphia (2017; 28 – 5)*
Tom Brady – New England (2017; 26 – 3)*
*Through 11 games
^Won MVP

ALL-PURPOSE BACKS: Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley ranks second in the NFL with 1,344 scrimmage yards (865 rushing, 479 receiving) and leads the league with 11 total touchdowns.

Gurley, who plays at Arizona on Sunday, can become the fifth different player in NFL history with at least 1,000 rushing yards, 500 receiving yards and 10 total touchdowns through his team’s first 12 games of a season.

The players with at least 1,000 rushing yards, 500 receiving yards and 10 total touchdowns in their team’s first 12 games of a season:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON; RUSH YARDS – REC. YARDS, TOUCHDOWNS)
David Johnson – Arizona (2016; 1,005 – 704, 15)
Priest Holmes – Kansas City (2003; 1,177 – 559, 17)
Priest Holmes – Kansas City (2002; 1,322 – 634, 22)
Thurman Thomas – Buffalo (1991; 1,192 – 522, 12)^
Thurman Thomas – Buffalo (1989; 1,045 – 558, 11)^
Chuck Foreman – Minnesota (1976; 1,035 – 551, 12)
Todd Gurley – Los Angeles Rams (2017; 865 – 479, 11)*
*Through 11 games
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Saints rookie running back Alvin Kamara ranks second in the NFC with 1,094 scrimmage yards (548 receiving, 546 rushing) and ties for second in the NFL with nine total touchdowns.

Kamara, who plays against Carolina on Sunday, can become the third rookie with at least 600 rushing yards and 600 receiving yards in a season in NFL history, joining Billy Sims (1980) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Charley Taylor (1964). Both Sims and Taylor were named the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year in those seasons.

The rookies with at least 600 rushing yards and 600 receiving yards in a season in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON; RUSH YARDS – REC. YARDS)
Billy Sims – Detroit (1980; 1,303 – 621)
Charley Taylor – Washington (1964; 755 – 814)^
Alvin Kamara – New Orleans (2017; 546 – 548)*
*Through 11 games
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

RECORD-SETTING RECEIVER: Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown leads the NFL with 80 catches and 1,195 receiving yards this season.

Brown, who has 561 receptions since 2013, can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (563 from 1999-2003) for the most catches by a player over any five-year span in NFL history when the Steelers play at Cincinnati Monday night.

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

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASONS; RECEPTIONS)
Marvin Harrison – Indianapolis (1999-2003; 563)^
Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh (2013-17; 561)*
Wes Welker – New England (2008-12; 560)
Wes Welker – New England (2007-11; 554)
Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh (2012-16l 547)
*In fifth season of span
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Brown, who has 7,510 receiving yards since 2013, can also surpass Harrison (7,594 from 1999-2003) for the most receiving yards by a player over any five-year span in NFL history.

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

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASONS; RECEIVING YARDS)
Marvin Harrison – Indianapolis (1999-2003; 7,594)^
Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh (2013-17; 7,510)*
Calvin Johnson – Detroit (2011-15; 7,428)
Torry Holt – St. Louis (2000-04; 7,368)
Calvin Johnson – Detroit (2010-14; 7,334)
*In fifth season of span
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

LARRY LEGEND: Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald leads the NFC with 72 receptions and is closing in on his 10th career season with at least 75 catches.

With three catches against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Fitzgerald would become the fourth player in NFL history with at least 75 catches in 10 seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (13 seasons) and Tim Brown(10) and Tony Gonzalez (10).

The players with the most seasons with at least 75 catches in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (SEASONS WITH 75+ CATCHES)
Jerry Rice – San Francisco and Oakland (13)^
Tim Brown – Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders (10)^
Tony Gonzalez – Kansas City and Atlanta (10)
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (9)*
*Has 72 catches entering Week 13
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

AGELESS WONDER: Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers has 8.5 sacks this season and ranks fourth in NFL history with 152 career sacks.

Peppers, who turned 37 years old in January, can become the third player with at least 10 sacks in a single season at the age of 37 or older since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Bruce Smith (10 sacks in 2000) and Kevin Greene  (12 sacks in 1999). Peppers and the Panthers take on New Orleans Sunday afternoon on the road.

The players with at least 10 sacks in a single season at the age of 37 or older since 1982:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON; AGE/SACKS)
Bruce Smith – Washington (2000; 37/10)^
Kevin Greene – Carolina (1999; 37/12)^
Julius Peppers – Carolina (2017; 37/8.5)*
*Entering Week 13
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

As the calendar turns to December, the NFL playoff picture is starting to take shape. With five weeks remaining in the regular season, there are currently 25 teams either in or within two games of a playoff spot.

Over the past five seasons, the Seattle Seahawks (19-5, .792) own the best record in the final month, which also includes regular-season games played in January. The Pittsburgh Steelers (18-5, .783) have the best mark in the AFC.

TEAM (WINS-LOSSES, PCT)
Seattle (19-5, .792)
Green Bay (18-5, .783)
Pittsburgh (18-5, .783)
Carolina (18-6, .750)
New England (18-6, .750)

“The games in December are the most important regular-season games by far,” says NFL Network analyst and former NFL head coach Steve Mariucci. “It’s extremely important to win in December and to make a run at the playoffs.”

As the NFL season enters the final month, four teams are racing towards the finish line with winning streaks of at least six games – Philadelphia (nine), Minnesota (seven), New England (seven) and Pittsburgh (six).

The Eagles, who own the NFL’s best record, are 10-1 for the fourth time (1949, 1980 and 2004) in franchise history. In the Super Bowl era, 38 teams have previously started 10-1 and all 38 made the playoffs, 17 reached the Super Bowl (44.7 percent) and eight won the Super Bowl (21.1 percent). Philadelphia can clinch the NFC East division title this week with either a Dallas loss on Thursday night or an Eagles win on Sunday night against Seattle.

Week 13 began on Thursday night in the Lone Star State when Dallas broke their three-game losing streak, taking down Washington 38-14 in a key NFC East showdown as both teams are fighting to stay in the mix for a playoff berth. Week 13 Sunday action concludes as the Eagles travel to the Pacific Northwest for a primetime meeting with the Seattle Seahawks at 8:30 p.m. on NBC and the week ends in Cincinnati as the Bengals host Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers in an important AFC North matchup at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.

As for last week? 11-5 is nothing to sneeze at. For the season, we’re at 106-17. There’s a lot of football left on the docket as the season winds down. Here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 13.

Minnesota (9-2) at ATLANTA (7-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons host Minnesota in what could be a playoff preview in the Big Peach.

Minnesota escaped the Motor City last Thursday afternoon, taking a 30-23 win over the Lions at Ford Field. Leading 20-10 at the half, the Vikings would go on to see the Lions outscore them 13-10 in the last 30 minutes of action and would have seen the contest tied when Detroit CB Darius Slay blocked a 45 yard field goal try by Ken Horbath and CB Nevin Lawson returned it  77 yards for a TD. The score was erased when the Lions were called for being offside and Minnesota would run out the clock and take the win. Minnesota outrushed Detroit 136-53 and Case Keenum threw for 282 yards and a pair of TDs to WR Kyle Rudolph, while Detroit’s Matthew Stafford threw for 250 yards and a pair of TDs. Minnesota on third down went 6 of 13 and kept the ball for 34:57, while Detroit was 3 of 11 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 25:03.

The Falcons manhandled Tampa Bay 34-20 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium last Sunday in the Big Peach. Atlanta broke a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter as it was the Julio Jones Show in the second quarter, as the Falcons All-Pro WR caught a pair of TD passes in the period (pass number one came from WR Mohammed Sanu, pass number two came from Ryan). Atlanta led 20-6 at the and never looked back, even though both teams played even football in the final 30 minutes of action. Sanu is the first wide receiver since the 1970 merger to throw multiple career 50+ yard touchdown passes. He is also the first non-quarterback to throw two career 50+ yard touchdown passes since Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton (1979, 1983).

Ryan threw for 317 yards without a sack or interception, while the Falcons outrushed Tampa Bay 148-94 (Atlanta’s Tevin Coleman led all rushers with 97 yards and a pair of TDs). For Tampa Bay, Ryan Fitzpatrick, taking over for Jameis Winston (shoulder) threw for 283 yards with a sack in the loss. Atlanta on third down was 11 of 11 and kept the ball for 30:06, while Tampa Bay held the pigskin for 29:54, going  4 of 11 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Minnesota leads the series 17-10, the Vikings have outscored Atlanta 643-452 and have won the last two meetings, including a 20-10 win in the Big Peach in 2015, while Atlanta’s last win over the Vikings came in 2011 in Atlanta by a final of 24-14. The oddsmakers in Vegas like the Falcons as a 3-point favorite and the over/under is 47 1/2. Both numbers make a lot of sense and both teams have played some decent football of late. Atlanta covers the 3 and takes the win in the Peach State.

Detroit (6-5) at Baltimore (6-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of contending teams meet in Charm City as Baltimore hosts the Detroit Lions.

Detroit saw defeat snatched from the jaws of victory Thursday afternoon in the Motor City as they sent their fans home heartbroken after their 30-23 loss to Minnesota at Ford Field. Detroit trailed 20-10 at the half, then mounted a comeback in the second half as they outscored their NFC North foes 13-10 in the last 30 minutes of play, coming to within seven with 75 seconds left when Lions CB Daris Slay blocked a 45 yard field goal try by Ken Horbath and CB Nevin Lawson returned it  77 yards for a TD. The score was erased when the Lions were called for being offside and the Vikings would run out the clock and take the win. Detroit found themselves outrushed by the Vikings 136-53, while Stafford threw for 250 yards and a pair of TDs in the loss. The Vikings on third down went 6 of 13 and ruled the clock, holding the ball for 34:57, while Detroit was 3 of 11 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 25:03.

Baltimore erased a 7-0 first quarter deficit against Houston last Monday night and came away 23-16 winners in Charm City. The Ravens led 17-10 at the half, then held off a pair of late Texans rallies that would have tied the contest up at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore outrushed Houston 139-66 and Joe Flacco threw for 141 yards, while Houston’s Tom Savage threw for 252 yards with a pair of interceptions (the second pick came late in the fourth quarter as the Texans were driving to tie the contest up). The Ravens on third down were 3 of 14 (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:44. The Texans actually ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:16, while going 6 of 14 on third down tries.

Baltimore leads the series 3-1 and the Ravens have outscored Detroit 102-64. The Ravens picked up an 18-16 win in the Motor City in 2013 in their last meeting, while Detroit’s lone win in the series came in 2005 in the Motor City by a final of 35-17. Baltimore’s favored by 3 and the over/under is 42. Both clubs are chasing division leaders and would love nothing more than to catch them. For the winner, they’re one step closer in the chase; as for the loser, they’re not out but they’ve got a little more work to do. Ravens cover the 3 and wins in Charm City.

New England (9-2) at Buffalo (6-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. It’s a pair of AFC East rivals meeting in upstate New York as Tom Brady and the Pats travel to Orchard Park for a showdown at New Era Stadium.

New England led Miami 21-10 at the half in Foxboro and came away 35-17 winners at Gillette Stadium. Brady (227 yards, four TDs) and TE Rob Gronkowski connected on a pair of TDs in the contest and the Pats never looked back. New England sacked Matt Moore (215 yards, TD) seven times and picked him off twice, holding Miami to 67 yards rushing, while Deon Lewis accounted for 112 of New England’s 196 yards on the ground. New England went 5 of 12 on third down tries, 1 of 2 on fourth down and the Pats kept the ball for 32:41, while Miami went 2 of 11, 2 of 3 on third and fourth downs and held on to the ball for 27:19.

The Bills held off Kansas City, coming away 16-10 winners at Arrowhead last Sunday. Buffalo led 10-3 at halftime, then held off a late Chiefs rally in the second half for the win on the road. Buffalo outrushed Kansas City 104-55 and Tyrod Taylor threw for 183 yards, while the Chiefs’ Alex Smith threw for 199 yards with an interception (each man threw a TD pass). The Bills would wind up going 6 of 17 on third down conversions in the Show-Me State and ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 33:18, while the Chiefs, who held the ball for 26:42, went 2 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

New England leads the series 69-43-1 (which includes games that took place at old War Memorial Stadium, Schaffer Stadium and Fenway Park) and the Pats have outscored Buffalo 2,499-2,100. The two AFC East foes split last year’s contests, with each winning in the other team’s facility.

They met in Foxboro in week four and the Pats did not have the services of Brady, who sat out four games for his part in “Inflategate.” Buffalo shut out the Pats 16-0 in the first meeting, leading 13-0 at the intermission and never looked back. Buffalo outrushed New England 134-90 and Taylor threw for 246 yards and a TD, while Jacoby Brissett, taking over for Brady, threw for 205 yards but was sacked three times. The Bills on third down tries at Gillette Stadium went 7 of 15 and kept the ball for 36:11, while the Pats went 1 of 12 on third down (2 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:49.

Round 2… week eight in upstate New York (Orchard Park, to be specific). Brady would be back and the Pats would get revenge on their AFC East rivals, coming away 41-25 winners at New Era Stadium. New England led 24-10 at the half and outscored the Bills 17-15 in the final 30 minutes of play. Buffalo again outrushed New England 167-72 but Brady threw for 315 yards and four TDs, while Taylor threw for 183 before being relieved by E.J. Manuel. The Pats were 9 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 29:51, while the Bills ruled the clock and held on to the pigskin for 30:09, going 4 of 13 on third down and 2 of 4 on fourth down.

New England was favored by 7 in the week four contest in Foxboro and the Bills covered, winning by 16 but the 45 over/under was intact as the Bills did all the scoring in the contest. New England’s 16-point win in the week eight matchup in upstate New York allowed them to cover the 6 1/2 point spread easily and the 66 combined points was more than enough to take care of the 47 over/under. New England’s favored by 8 1/2 and the over/under’s 49. The 49 is reasonable. The 8 1/2 is a bit on the steep side. The Bills at times have been bad but they’re not 8 1/2 bad. Buffalo will make this one interesting but New England at the Pats prevail. Pats win but expect Buffalo to make it closer than 8 1/2.

San Francisco (1-10) at Chicago (3-8), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. Sourdough meets deep dish as a pair of struggling teams meet in the Windy City for the second year in a row as San Francisco takes on Da Bears at Soldier Field.

San Francisco found themselves all but out of the post-season race as they dropped a 24-13 decision to the Seahawks last Sunday at Levis Stadium in an NFC West matchup. Seattle led 7-3 at the break and 14-6 after three quarters of play before the Seahawks would eventually pull away from the 49ers, who were held to 84 yards rushing, while Seattle tallied 90 yards rushing of their own. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw for 228 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Jimmy Graham), while the 49ers’ C.J. Bethard threw for 201 yards with three sacks and an interception before being knocked out of the contest and replaced by Jimmy Graffalo (who will be under center Sunday for San Francisco), who threw their only TD of the contest as the clock struck :00, connecting with RB Lance Murhphy on a 10-yard toss. San Francisco was 5 of 16 on third down but had success on fourth down, going 1 of 1 and kept the ball for 30:29, while the Seahawks were 29:31 in time of possession, going 5 of 13 on third down.

Chicago was held to a third-quarter field goal by Chris Santos by Philadelphia as they were taken to task by the Eagles 31-3 last Sunday. Da Bears trailed 24-0 at the intermission before breaking Philly’s bid for a shutout when Santos connected on a 38-yard field goal with 8:40 left in the third. Chicago was held to a season-low 6 yards on the ground, while the Eagles ran for 176 in the win. Mitchell Trubisky threw for 147 yards for Chicago but was sacked twice and picked off twice, while Carson Wentz threw for 227 yards and three TDs. Chicago went 3 of 13 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 22:52, while the Eagles ruled time and kept the ball for 37:08, going 7 of 16 on third down, 3 of 4 on fourth down.

Da Bears lead the series 31-30-1 (including games that took place at Wrigley Field, Keezar Stadium and Candlestick Park) and the 49ers have outscored Chicago 1,371-1,275. Chicago won the last meeting with San Francisco, which took place last year in the Windy City by a final of 26-6, while San Francisco needed overtime at Soldier Field in 2015 to come away 26-20 winners.

They met at Soldier Field in chilly week 13 (game time temp? A balmy 33 degrees with a wind chill of 28) and Da Bears led 7-6 at the half before shutting out the 49ers 19-0 in the second half. Chicago got three TD runs from RB Jordan Howard in the win, as they barely outrushed San Francisco 142-141 (Howard led all rushers with 117 yards, while 49ers RB Carlos Hyde led his team with 92 yards). Matt Barkley threw for 192 yards for Chicago, while Colin Kaepernick was sacked five times, throwing for only four yards (Blaine Gabbert would take over for him but struggled as well, throwing for 35 yards). San Francisco went 4 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 28:42, while Da Bears ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 31:18, going 6 of 14 on third down.

In the week 13 contest in the Windy City, Da Bears covered the 2 1/2 point spread with their 20-point win at Soldier Field. As for the 43 1/2 over/under? It stayed warm, as both clubs combined for 32 points. Chicago’s favored by 3 1/2 in the Windy City and the over/under is 40. Unless you’re a fan of one of these teams, may we suggest that you beg the wife, girlfriend, significant other or gal pal to take you Christmas shopping. It’s almost safe to say that neither of these teams will be invited to the playoff party but we have to pick a winner. Deep dish wins over Sourdough. Da Bears cover the 3 1/2 and wins at home.

Tampa Bay (4-7) at Green Bay (5-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. It’s the battle of the Bays, as Tampa Bay makes its way to the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst to face off against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau.

Tampa Bay saw Atlanta break a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter and watched the Falcons take a 34-20 win at Mercedes-Benz Stadium last Sunday in the Big Peach. Tampa Bay was burned by Atlanta All-Pro WR Julio Jones for 253 yards and a pair of TDs in the second quarter (pass number one came from WR Mohammed Sanu, pass number two came from Ryan). Atlanta led 20-6 at the and never looked back, even though both teams played even football in the final 30 minutes of action. Sanu is the first wide receiver since the 1970 merger to throw multiple career 50+ yard touchdown passes. He is also the first non-quarterback to throw two career 50+ yard touchdown passes since Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton (1979, 1983).

Ryan threw for 317 yards without a sack or interception, while the Falcons outrushed Tampa Bay 148-94 (Atlanta’s Tevin Coleman led all rushers with 97 yards and a pair of TDs). For Tampa Bay, Ryan Fitzpatrick, taking over for Jameis Winston (shoulder) threw for 283 yards with a sack in the loss. Atlanta on third down was 11 of 11 and kept the ball for 30:06, while Tampa Bay held the pigskin for 29:54, going  4 of 11 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Green Bay rallied late in their Sunday night contest with Pittsburgh at Heinz Field, only to see the Steelers come away with a 31-28 last second win. The Pack and Steelers were tied at 14-14 at the half and led 21-14 with 12:06 left in the third when Packers QB Brett Hundley and WR Davante Adams connected on a 55-yard TD strike. Pittsburgh would eventually take the lead back as WR Antonio Brown caught a pair of Ben Roethlisberger TD passes and took that lead into the latter parts of the fourth, when the Packers used a 12-play, 77-yard drive that used 6:40 of clock to tie things back up when RB Jamaal Williams scored on a 4-yard run with 2:02 left in regulation.

Pittsburgh got the ball back with 17 seconds left in regulation and made the most of those 17 seconds, needing only 4 plays and 35 yards of real estate and took the contest when Chris Boswell connected on a 52-yard field goal. Pittsburgh outrushed Green Bay 121-80 and Hundley threw for 245 yards and three TDs, while Roethlisberger threw for 351 and four TDs, while throwing a pair of interceptions. Green Bay was 6 of 13 on third down tries and held the ball for 26:24, while the Steelers were 8 of 13 and held the ball for 33:36, including the final 17 seconds of the contest (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

The Packers lead the Battle of the Bays 31-21-1 (including contests that were played in Milwaukee and at old Tampa Stadium), Green Bay has outscored Tampa Bay 1,032-853 and the Packers have won the last two meetings in the series, including taking a 20-3 win in the Sunshine State in 2014. As for the Bucs? Their last win over the Packers came in 2009 in Tampa Bay by a final of 38-28. The Packers are favored by 2 and the over/under is 43. While this one’s not “DRILL WORTHY,” this one is interesting to watch. Packers recover from the loss in the Steel City and cover the 2 at Lambeau.

Indianapolis (3-8) at Jacksonville (7-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. It’s round two of an AFC South matchup as the Colts travel to the Sunshine State to square off against Jacksonville. Both teams enter the Sunday afternoon contest in north Florida with losses under their belts.

The Colts were beaten by Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans 20-16 at Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday. Indy let a 13-6 lead at the half get away from them as the Titans would respond by outscoring the Colts 14-10 in the final 30 minutes of play, with Tennessee taking the lead for good when Titans RB DeMarco Murray scored from one yard out with 5:59 left in the contest. Tennessee outrushed Indianapolis 92-89 and Mariota threw for 184 yards, while Jacoby Brissett threw for 196 yards but was sacked eight times. The Colts on third down tries went 6 of 14 and held the ball for 31:22, while the Titans went 3 of 8 on third down and held on to the ball for 28:38.

Jacksonville struggled to pull even with Arizona at University of Phoenix Stadium last Sunday, only to see the Cardinals pull a rabbit out of their hats to lose 27-24 in the desert. Arizona led 13-3 at the intermission before the Jaguars would eventually tie things up with 7:26 left in regulation when Blake Bortles would scamper in and score on a 17-yard run. After a Jacksonville punt, Arizona got the ball back with 16 seconds left to play and used only 3 plays and 22 yards to set up Phil Dawson to kick a 57-yard field goal with one second left to take the lead back. The Cardinals then kicked off to Jacksonville (with 1 second left), who used several lateral passes in a futile attempt to move the ball down field. Arizona outrushed Jacksonville 108-91, Bortles threw for 160 yards with an interception and three sacks, while Blaine Gabbard threw for 241 yards and a pair of TDs. Jacksonville on third down was 1 of 12 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Jaguars held the pigskin for 25:21, while the Cardinals were 7 of 17 on third down, keeping the ball for 34:39.

They met in the Hoosier State in week seven and Jacksonville shut out Indy 27-0 at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Jaguars led 20-0 at the intermission and held the Colts in check in the second half for the road win. Jacksonville outrushed the Colts 188-96 (the Jaguars’ T.J. Yeldon led all rushers with 122 yards and a TD), while Bortles threw for 330 yards and a TD, while the Jacksonville defense sacked Brissett (200 yards) 10 times in the shutout. Jacksonville went 8 of 14 on third down tries (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and the Jaguars held the ball for 32:47, while the Colts kept the pigskin for 27:13, going 5 of 15 and 0 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

Jacksonville easily covered the 3 1/2-point spread with their 27-point win but their 27 points meant they did not cover the 40 1/2 over/under. Jacksonville’s favored by 9 1/2 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 41. The Colts are not great but they’re not 9 1/2 points bad. However, the Jaguars are making a march toward the playoffs, while the Colts are trying to survive. Expect the Colts to make it a close contest but Jacksonville pulls off the sweep in the Sunshine State and takes the win.

Denver (3-8) at Miami (4-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of struggling AFC teams meet in the Sunshine State when Denver travels to South Beach for a showdown with the Miami Dolphins.

Denver dropped a 21-14 decision at Oakland last Sunday at the Coliseum. The rematch in northern California was anything but civil as Raiders WR Michael Crabtree and Denver CB Aqib Talib would find themselves involved in a brawl on field that made Tyson-Holyfield look calm. Punches were thrown, both players were ejected from the contest and both were suspended two games without pay (after meeting with the ppwers that be, that suspension wound up being reduced to one for both men). Oakland outrushed Denver 104-59 and Derek Carr threw for 253 yards, while Trevor Siemian, who took over for Paxton Lynch (injury) threw for 149 yards (both threw a pair of TDs). Denver on third down went 5 of 14 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Broncos held the ball for 24:06, while the Raiders were 5 of 13 on third down, holding the ball for 35:54.

Miami found themselves trailing New England 21-10 at the half in Foxboro and came away on the short end of a 35-17 loss to Tom Brady and the Pats last Sunday at Gillette Stadium. Brady (227 yards, four TDs) and TE Rob Gronkowski connected on a pair of TDs in the contest and the Pats never looked back. New England sacked Matt Moore (215 yards, TD) seven times and picked him off twice, holding Miami to 67 yards rushing, while Deon Lewis accounted for 112 of New England’s 196 yards on the ground. New England went 5 of 12 on third down tries, 1 of 2 on fourth down and the Pats kept the ball for 32:41, while Miami went 2 of 11, 2 of 3 on third and fourth downs and held on to the ball for 27:19.

Including games that were played at the old Orange Bowl and at Mile High Stadium, the Dolphins lead the series 11-5-1 and the ‘Fins have outscored the Broncos 403-317. Denver has taken wins in the last two contests, coming away 39-36 winners in 2014 in the Mile High City in the last meeting, while Miami’s last win over Denver came in 2008 (also in the Mile High City) by a final of 26-17. Denver’s favored by 1 and the over/under’s 39 1/2. We wouldn’t blame you if you chose not to watch this one and instead binge watch the sixth season of “Gilmore Girls.” (Luke and Loreli are really a cute couple and he’d make a hell of a stepdad for Rory!) Miami pulls the upset at home, taking the win and covering the 1.

Kansas City (6-5) at New York Jets (4-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. The Chiefs make their second trip to the Meadowlands as they face the other Met Life Stadium tenant in upstate New Jersey when they call on the New York Jets.

Kansas City dropped their fifth game in six tries, coming away on the short end of a 16-10 loss to Buffalo at Arrowhead last Sunday. Buffalo led 10-3 at halftime, then held off a late Chiefs rally in the second half for the win on the road. Buffalo outrushed Kansas City 104-55 and Tyrod Taylor threw for 183 yards, while the Chiefs’ Alex Smith threw for 199 yards with an interception (each man threw a TD pass). The Bills would wind up going 6 of 17 on third down conversions in the Show-Me State and ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 33:18, while the Chiefs, who held the ball for 26:42, went 2 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

GangGreen saw Carolina win their fourth in a row as the Panther defeated them 35-27 last week at Met Life Stadium. Carolina used TDs from linebacker Luke Kuechly (34-yard fumble return) and punt returner Kaelin Clay (60-yard punt return) scored touchdowns in the fourth quarter to seal the win, marking the second time in franchise history – and first since the club’s inaugural 1995 season (October 8, 1995 against Chicago) – in which the Panthers scored two return touchdowns in the fourth quarter of a game. The Jets led 20-18 early in the final quarter of play before Kuechly and Clay would score their touchdowns to seal New York’s fate. After Javon Kearse and Josh McCown connected on a 3-yard TD pass to pull to within 5 at 32-27, Graham Gano would push the lead to eight with a 45-yard field goal with 21 seconds left. Carolina outrushed the Jets 145-109 and Newton threw for 168 yards and had a rushing TD of his own, while McCown threw for 307 yards with three TDs (each man was sacked three times). Carolina on third down tries in the Meadowlands went 3 of 14 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 31:50, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 28:10 in time of possession, going 5 of 14 on third down.

Including games that were played at Shea Stadium and old Swope Field, the Chiefs lead the series 18-17-1, have outscored GangGreen 819-698 and Kansas City has won the last two meetings, including winning last year by a final of 24-3 at Arrowhead. (The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! last win over the Chiefs came in 2011 in the Meadowlands by a final of 37-10.

The week three contest at Arrowhead saw Kansas City lead 17-7 at the intermission and outpaced GangGreen in the second half, shutting out the Jets in the process. While GangGreen did outrush the Chiefs 117-72, Smtih burned New York for 237 yards and a TD strike to TE Travis Kelce, while the Chiefs defense picked off Ryan Fitzpatrick (188 yards) six times (the Chiefs forced eight turnovers in the contest). Kansas City was 7 of 15 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:05, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 7 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and held on to the pigskin for 27:55.

Winning by 27 allowed the Chiefs to cover the 3-point spread in the week three contest but both teams combined for 27 points, missing the 43 over/under. This time, the Chiefs are favored by 3 1/2 in the Meadowlands and the over/under’s 44. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! are not a bad team but at times they have played that way. The Chiefs are trying to regain their footing after dropping five of their last six. Chiefs cover the 3 1/2 and take the win in the Meadowlands.

Houston (4-7) at Tennessee (7-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. They meet again. This time, it’s in the Music City. Tennessee hosts Houston in an AFC South contest at Nissan Stadium.

Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans rallied to take a 20-16 against Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday. Indy let a 13-6 lead at the half get away from them as the Titans would respond by outscoring the Colts 14-10 in the final 30 minutes of play, with Tennessee taking the lead for good when Titans RB DeMarco Murray scored from one yard out with 5:59 left in the contest. Tennessee outrushed Indianapolis 92-89 and Mariota threw for 184 yards, while Jacoby Brissett threw for 196 yards but was sacked eight times. The Colts on third down tries went 6 of 14 and held the ball for 31:22, while the Titans went 3 of 8 on third down and held on to the ball for 28:38.

Houston saw Baltimore erase a 7-0 first quarter lead last Monday night and fell to the Ravens 23-16 in Charm City. Houston kept things close, trailing 17-10 at the half, then saw a pair of late rallies fall short that would have either tied things up or given them the lead. Baltimore outrushed Houston 139-66 and Joe Flacco threw for 141 yards, while Houston’s Tom Savage threw for 252 yards with a pair of interceptions (the second pick came late in the fourth quarter as the Texans were driving to tie the contest up). The Ravens on third down were 3 of 14 (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:44. The Texans actually ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:16, while going 6 of 14 on third down tries.

It’s a rematch from week four in the Lone Star State that saw Houston lead 30-14 at the half and walk away 57-14 winners. The Texans outrushed Tennessee 173-86 and picked off Mariota (96 yards) twice, while DeShaun Watson threw for 283 yards and four TDs in the lopsided affair at NRG Stadium. The Texans were 6 of 12 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 39:41, while the Titans kept the pigskin for 20:19, going 2 of 8 on third down.

In the week four contest in Houston, Tennessee was a 1 1/2-point favorite and the Texans covered, winning by 43 and the two clubs combined for 71 points, which covered the 44 over/under.  The boys and girls in Vegas thought they would make the Titans a favorite again and they did, this time by 6 1/2 and the over/under this time around is 43. Both teams are trying to keep pace in an AFC South that for the most part has become a two-team race. Tennessee’s trying to keep Jacksonville at bay, while the Texans are trying to catch both teams. Houston gets revenge and takes the win in the Music City, even though they won’t cover the 6 1/2.

Cleveland (0-11) at Los Angeles Chargers (5-6), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. The winless Cleveland Browns travel westward for a meeting at Stub Hub Center with Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Browns once again found themselves in the Pit of Misery, remaining winless as they completed the sweep with their instate rivals from Cincinnati, as the Bengals wound up taking a 30-16 win last Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals led 16-6 at the break, then held Cleveland in check in the second half for the win at home. Cleveland did manage to outrush the Bengals 169-152 but Cincinnati RB Joe Mixon led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD, while Andy Dalton threw for 214 yards and a pair of TDs. The Bengals were 4 of 10 on third down and held on to the ball for 30:32, while the winless Browns were 29:28 in time of possession and went 6 of 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Los Angeles took a 3-0 lead at the half at AT&T Stadium against Dallas last Thursday before the Chargers and Philip Rivers would outscore them 25-6 in the final 30 minutes of action, coming away 28-6 winners in the Lone Star State. The Chargers outrushed Dallas 81-79 and Rivers burned the Dallas secondary for 434 yards and three TDs, while Cowboys QB Dak Prescott threw for 179 yards but was sacked twice and picked off twice, one returned by Chargers rookie CB Desmond King 90 yards for a TD. Dallas on third down tries actually did well, going 6 of 11 and kept the ball for 23:55, while the Chargers kept the pigskin hostage, keeping it for 36:05, going 9 of 14 on third, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games that were played at Memorial Stadium and Qualcomm Stadium, the Chargers lead the series 15-9-1 and have outscored the Browns 593-488. They met last year in week 16 on Christmas Eve afternoon (game time temp? 38 degrees with a 30 wind chill) and the Browns survived a last second scare from the Chargers, taking a 20-17 win at First Energy Field (the Chargers’ last win over Cleveland came in 2015 when they were based in San Diego and the Bolts took a 30-27 win at Qualcomm).

In the week 16 contest, Cleveland led 17-10 at the half, then held off a late rally in the final quarter when Chargers’ K Josh Lambo’s 45-yard field goal try sailed wide right of the mark. Cleveland outrushed San Diego 124-34, while Rivers threw for 322 yards and a pair of TDs, while Cleveland’s Robert Griffin III threw for 164 yards but was sacked seven times. Each club had 15 third down conversion attempts and the Browns were successful on six of them, while the Chargers found success five times. On fourth down, both teams were perfect, as the Chargers were 2 of 2, while the Browns were 1 of 1. Time was on the side of the Browns, as Cleveland held the ball for 32:29, while San Diego kept it for 27:31.

While San Diego was favored by 6, the Browns would take the win but only by 3. As for the 44 over/under? It was all snug in its bed, as both teams combined for 37 points. The Chargers are favored by 14 and the over/under’s 43. The Browns are bad but not 14 points bad. They’ll at least put up a fight but the Chargers prevail at home.

Los Angeles Rams (8-3) at Arizona (5-6), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. A pair of NFC West rivals meet in the desert as the Rams travel to Glendale for a week seven rematch with the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Los Angeles, leading the AFC West and winners of five of their last six contest, broke New Orleans’ eight-game win streak, taking a 26-20 victory over the Saints at the Coliseum last Sunday. The Rams led 17-10 at the break before the Saints would eventually pull to within seven with 1:45 when rookie RB Alvin Kamara scored his second TD of the afternoon, catching a 15-yard pass from Drew Brees (Kamara had a 74-yard run earlier in the contest to end the Rams’ bid for a shutout). The Rams would then stop a bid by the Saints to get the ball back to either tie or take the lead when they recovered an onside kick. Los Angeles would then kneel down and run out the clock and take the win. New Orleans did manage to outrush the Rams 123-88 and Kamara led all rushers with 87 yards, while Todd Gurley led the Rams with 74 and the Rams’ Jared Goff threw for 354 yards and Brees threw for 246 yards. The Rams were 3 of 14 on third down tries and kept the ball for 35:26, while the Saints on third down tries were 3 of 13 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and New Orleans held on to the ball for 24:34.

Arizona broke a 24-24 tie against Jacksonville at University of Phoenix Stadium last Sunday, coming away 27-24 winners in the desert. The Desert Angry Birds led 13-3 at the intermission before the Jaguars would eventually tie things up with 7:26 left in regulation when Blake Bortles would scamper in and score on a 17-yard run. After a Jacksonville punt, Arizona got the ball back with 16 seconds left to play and used only 3 plays and 22 yards to set up Phil Dawson to kick a 57-yard field goal with one second left to take the lead back. (It marked the longest fourth-quarter game-winning field goal in NFL history by a 40-year old kicker (42 years old). The Cardinals then kicked off to Jacksonville (with 1 second left), who used several lateral passes in a futile attempt to move the ball down field. Arizona outrushed Jacksonville 108-91, Bortles threw for 160 yards with an interception and three sacks, while Blaine Gabbard threw for 241 yards and a pair of TDs. Jacksonville on third down was 1 of 12 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Jaguars held the pigskin for 25:21, while the Cardinals were 7 of 17 on third down, keeping the ball for 34:39.

They met in London in week seven and the Rams were 33-0 winners at Twickenham Stadium. Los Angeles led 23-0 at the half and never took their foot off the gas, scoring 10 more second half points unchallenged. Gurley ran for 106 yards and a TD, while the Rams outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 197-95 and Goff threw for 235 yards and a TD (Arizona’s Carson Palmer threw for 122 yards in the contest before being knocked out with a shoulder injury). Los Angeles on third down went 13 of 19 and kept the ball for 39:01, while Arizona went 3 of 12 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and held the pigskin for 20:59.

The Rams won by 33, which allowed them to cover the 3 1/2-point spread but their 33 points fell well short of the over/under of 47 1/2. Los Angeles is favored this time around by 7 and the over/under’s 45. Los Angeles wants to stay in first place in the NFC West, the Desert Angry Birds want revenge for their contest in London. Los Angeles may not cover the 7 but they complete the sweep with the win in the desert.

Carolina (8-3) at New Orleans (8-3), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. Newton vs. Brees. Round two in the Bayou. This time, it’s Carolina BBQ making their way to the Big Easy against Gumbo as the Panthers and Saints, tied for first in the NFC South, meet in the Big Easy.

The Panthers, who have won four in a row, defeated the New York Jets last week 35-27 as linebacker Luke Kuechly (34-yard fumble return) and punt returner Kaelin Clay (60-yard punt return) scored touchdowns in the fourth quarter. It marked the second time in franchise history – and first since the club’s inaugural 1995 season (October 8, 1995 against Chicago) – in which the Panthers scored two return touchdowns in the fourth quarter of a game. The Jets led 20-18 early in the final quarter of play before Kuechly and Clay would score their touchdowns to seal New York’s fate. After Javon Kearse and Josh McCown connected on a 3-yard TD pass to pull to within 5 at 32-27, Graham Gano would push the lead to eight with a 45-yard field goal with 21 seconds left. Carolina outrushed the Jets 145-109 and Newton threw for 168 yards and had a rushing TD of his own, while McCown threw for 307 yards with three TDs (each man was sacked three times). Carolina on third down tries in the Meadowlands went 3 of 14 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 31:50, while the Jets were 28:10 in time of possession, going 5 of 14 on third down.

New Orleans saw their eight-game win streak snapped by the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday on the West Coast. The Saints trailed 17-10 at the intermission but would pull to within seven with 1:45 left in regulation when rookie RB Alvin Kamara scored his second TD of the afternoon, catching a 15-yard pass from Drew Brees (Kamara had a 74-yard run earlier in the contest to end the Rams’ bid for a shutout). With the Saints out of time outs, K Wil Lutz tried an onside kick that Los Angeles recovered. No time outs meant that the Saints could not stop the Rams from kneeling down three times and took the loss. Kamara led all rushers with 87 yards and Todd Gurley paced the Rams with 74 (the Saints outrushed the Rams 123-88), while Jared Goff threw for 354 yards and Brees threw for 246 yards. The Rams were 3 of 14 on third down tries and kept the ball for 35:26, while the Saints on third down tries were 3 of 13 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and New Orleans held on to the ball for 24:34.

They faced off in Charlotte in week three at Bank of America Stadium and the Saints were 34-13 winners in that contest. New Orleans led 17-6 and got a pair of TD passes from Brees (220 yards) in the 21-point road win. New Orleans outrushed Carolina 149-132 and the Saints defense sacked Newton (167 yards) four times and picked him off three times. The Saints on third down tries? 6 of 12 and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:09, while the Panthers were 7 of 14 on third down, keeping the ball for 31:09.

In the week three contest in the Tar Heel State, the Panthers were favored by 6 and the Saints covered, winning by 21;  however… both clubs BARELY missed the 48 over/under by 1 point. The oddsmakers like the Saints as 4 1/2 point favorites and the over/under’s 48. Both numbers make a lot of sense and both teams can put up points.

Since they’re both tied for first in the NFC South and they’re both divisional rivals, it’s only fitting that this one’s “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 57 last June and dates a 42-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 winner? They have an almost clear shot to win the NFC South. The loser? While they may be out of the race for the divisional title, they’re not out of the playoff party. Carolina’s got a chip on its shoulder and they would love nothing more than to take the Saints to task. They’ll get that chance. Carolina’s finer and they cover the 4 1/2 on the road and take the win.

New York Giants (2-9) at Oakland (5-6), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 717. After over a decade of being under center for the Giants, someone other than Eli Manning will be calling signals for the Giants as they travel to Oakland to take on the Raiders in Northern California. Manning was benched this week in favor of fifth-year signal caller Geno Smith.

The Giants went into the half in their Thanksgiving evening contest with Washington tied at 3-3, only to come out on the short end of a 20-10 loss to their NFC East rivals. The Redskins would take a 10-3 lead with 6:32 left in the third when Kirk Cousins and WR Jamison Crowder connected on a 15-yard TD strike. Cousins would then be the victim of a turnover when Giants CB Janoris Jenkins picked him off and returned the ball 53 yards to tie the contest up with 2:52 left in the third. Washington then restored order in the fourth, as Cousins would connect with WR Josh Doctson on a 14-yard TD strike to take the lead back for good and K Nick Rose would seal the deal, connecting on a 33-yard field goal with 1:49 left in the contest. Washington outrushed the Giants 122-84, with Redskins RB Samaje Perine leading the way with 100 yards, while Cousins threw for 242 yards and the two TDs, despite being sacked six times, while Eli Manning, who will sit this game out in favor of Geno Smith, who will be under center Sunday, threw for 113 yards with four sacks and an interception. Washington went 4 of 15 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth) and kept the ball for 34:37, while the Giants kept the pigskin for 25:23, going 2 of 14 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth down tries.

The Raiders got revenge on Denver last Sunday in Oakland and came away 21-14 winners at the Coliseum. The rematch in northern California was anything but civil as Raiders WR Michael Crabtree and Denver CB Aqib Talib would find themselves involved in a brawl on field that made Tyson-Holyfield look calm. Punches were thrown, both players were ejected from the contest and both were suspended two games without pay (that suspension would be reduced to one for both men). Oakland outrushed Denver 104-59 and Derek Carr threw for 253 yards, while Trevor Siemian, who took over for Paxton Lynch (injury) threw for 149 yards (both threw a pair of TDs). Denver on third down went 5 of 14 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Broncos held the ball for 24:06, while the Raiders were 5 of 13 on third down, holding the ball for 35:54.

The Raiders lead the series 7-5, which includes games that were played in Los Angeles when the Silver and Black called Tinseltown home and Oakland has outscored Big Blue 254-225. New York has won the last three meetings in the series, with their last win coming in 2013 in the Meadowlands by a final of 24-20, while the Raiders’ last win over the Giants came in 2001 at old Giants Stadium by a 28-10 count. Oakland’s favored by 8 1/2 and the over/under’s 42. Both teams at times have played some decent football. The Giants are struggling to keep their heads above water, while the Raiders are at the very least trying to get a wild card spot in the AFC playoffs. Oakland may not cover the 8 1/2 at home but they win baby.

Philadelphia (10-1) at Seattle (7-4), 8:30 p.m. on NBC. Cheesesteak vs. Salmon. A pair of NFC contenders meet in the Pacific Northwest as the Eagles travel to Seattle for a prime-time meeting with the Seattle Seahawks.

Philadelphia held Chicago to a third-quarter field goal by Chris Santos as they were took the Bears 31-3 last Sunday in the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia led 24-0 at the intermission before Chicago put and end to Philly’s bid for a shutout when Santos connected on a 38-yard field goal with 8:40 left in the third. Chicago was held to a season-low 6 yards on the ground, while the Eagles ran for 176 in the win. Mitchell Trubisky threw for 147 yards for Chicago but was sacked twice and picked off twice, while Carson Wentz threw for 227 yards and three TDs. Chicago went 3 of 13 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 22:52, while the Eagles ruled time and kept the ball for 37:08, going 7 of 16 on third down, 3 of 4 on fourth down.

Seattle all but knocked San Francisco out of the post-season race as they handed the 49ers a 24-13 loss last Sunday at Levis Stadium in an NFC West matchup. Seattle led 7-3 at the break and 14-6 after three quarters of play before the Seahawks would eventually pull away from the 49ers, who were held to 84 yards rushing, while Seattle tallied 90 yards rushing of their own. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw for 228 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Jimmy Graham), while the 49ers’ C.J. Bethard threw for 201 yards with three sacks and an interception before being knocked out of the contest and replaced by Jimmy Graffalo (who will be under center Sunday for San Francisco), who threw their only TD of the contest as the clock struck :00, connecting with RB Lance Murhphy on a 10-yard toss. San Francisco was 5 of 16 on third down but had success on fourth down, going 1 of 1 and kept the ball for 30:29, while the Seahawks were 29:31 in time of possession, going 5 of 13 on third down.

The Seahawks lead the series 8-7, they’ve outscored the Eagles 323-286 and they’ve won the last three contests with the Eagles, taking a 26-15 win last year in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, while the Eagles’ last win over Seattle was on the road, coming away 26-7 winners in 2008. Philly’s favored by 5 and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Given that there are two pretty good QBs on the field Sunday night, it’s safe to say that this one is “DRILL WORTHY!” (what the heck? There’s nothing that says you can’t have two “DRILL WORTHY” games, so we’re going to make this one “DW…” For instructions on what to do, see the Carolina-New Orleans game)

This could very well be a playoff matchup and it’s East Coast vs. West Coast. Seattle will make this one exciting to watch but the Eagles prevail on the road and covers the 5.

Pittsburgh (9-2) at Cincinnati (5-6), 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN. A pair of AFC North rivals close out action in week 13 as the Steelers travel to Cincinnati for a Monday night primetime meeting along the shores of the Ohio River.

Pittsburgh saw Green Bay rally to tie in their Sunday night contest at Heinz Field, only to see the Steelers come away with a 31-28 last second win. Green Bay and Pittsburgh were tied at 14-14 at the half and the Packers led 21-14 with 12:06 left in the third when Packers QB Brett Hundley and WR Davante Adams connected on a 55-yard TD strike. Pittsburgh would eventually take the lead back as WR Antonio Brown caught a pair of Ben Roethlisberger TD passes and took that lead into the latter parts of the fourth, when the Packers used a 12-play, 77-yard drive that used 6:40 of clock to tie things back up when RB Jamaal Williams scored on a 4-yard run with 2:02 left in regulation.

Cincinnati kept Cleveland winless in the AFC North as they completed the sweep with their instate rivals, taking a 30-16 win over the Browns last Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals led 16-6 at the break, then held Cleveland in check in the second half for the win at home. Cleveland did manage to outrush the Bengals 169-152 but Cincinnati RB Joe Mixon led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD, while Andy Dalton threw for 214 yards and a pair of TDs. The Bengals were 4 of 10 on third down and held on to the ball for 30:32, while the winless Browns were 29:28 in time of possession and went 6 of 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Pittsburgh got the ball back with 17 seconds left in regulation and made the most of those 17 seconds, needing only 4 plays and 35 yards of real estate and took the contest when Chris Boswell connected on a 52-yard field goal. Pittsburgh outrushed Green Bay 121-80 and Hundley threw for 245 yards and three TDs, while Roethlisberger threw for 351 and four TDs, while throwing a pair of interceptions. Green Bay was 6 of 13 on third down tries and held the ball for 26:24, while the Steelers were 8 of 13 and held the ball for 33:36, including the final 17 seconds of the contest (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

They met in the Steel City in week seven at Heinz Field and Pittsburgh took the 29-14 win. The Steelers led 20-14 at the half and got three Chris Boswell field goals in the final 30 minutes of action to take the win. Pittsburgh outrushed the Bengals 152-71 and Bell ran for 134 of those yards, while Roethlisberger threw for 224 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with Brown and Ju Ju Smith-Schuester on those tosses. Dalton threw for 140 yards for the Bengals with a pair of TDs but was also picked off twice and sacked four times.  Pittsburgh on third down tries went 2 of 11 (they were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:15, while the Bengals were 3 of 11 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and held on the pigskin for 24:45.

In the week seven affair in the Steel City, Pittsburgh covered the 5 1/2-point spread, winning by 15 and the over/under of 41 was taken care of, as both teams combined for 43 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Steelers again as 5 1/2 point favorites but the over/under’s now 43 1/2.

The Bengals on Monday night are 11-23, while the Steelers are 44-24. This one could very well be worth your time to watch, so you might want to tape “Scorpion” again this week. The Steelers covered in the week seven contest at Heinz and they’ll do it again. Steelers make it a clean sweep in the series and wins on the road.