Archives for category: J.J. Watt

Round two. The NFL playoffs march on as eight teams fight for the coveted Lombardi Trophy and now the teams that had byes will get to take the field. Baltimore, Kansas City, San Francisco and Green Bay were waiting to see who they play this weekend and now they know.

Playoff football is a lot different than a regular season game. It’s not lose and you play next week. It’s you lose and your next game is next year. Win and you advance. It’s not that hard to process. At the end of play Sunday, four teams will be left standing and the four losers will be clearing out their lockers and preparing for the 2020 NFL Draft.

The NFL’s 100th season has reached the Divisional playoffs and new teams abound. Seven of the remaining eight clubs in contention for the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl LIV in Miami were not in the Divisional playoffs last year. That’s the largest year-to-year turnover in the Divisional round since 1990, when the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format. In other words, 15 teams have been one game from advancing to the AFC or NFC Championship Game since the beginning of the 2018 playoffs.

All four clubs in the NFC – Green Bay, Minnesota, San Francisco and Seattle – are new to the NFL’s final eight. In the AFC, Baltimore, Houston and Tennessee join the group, while Kansas City represents the only club to make a second straight appearance in the Divisional playoffs.

The sixth-seeded Titans, whose 20-13 win at New England last week ensured that the NFL will have two new Super Bowl teams for the first time in four years, earned a trip to face the AFC’s top seed, Baltimore, Saturday in primetime.

Meanwhile, the NFC’s number 6 seed, Minnesota, earned a 26-20 overtime victory at New Orleans last week to advance to the Divisional round, where top-seeded San Francisco awaits in the first game on Saturday. The Number 6 seeds are now 4-0 over the past two seasons. For the first time in NFL history, all four number 6 seeds have advanced to the Divisional playoffs in consecutive years, including Indianapolis and Philadelphia in 2018.

YOUTH UNDER CENTER: The average age of the eight quarterbacks scheduled to start this weekend is 28 years, 271 days old, the youngest average age of starting quarterbacks in the Divisional playoffs since the 2010 season (28 years, 197 days).

CULTURE OF COMPETITION: Since Super Bowl LI, when New England topped Atlanta, 34-28, in the first overtime in Super Bowl history, postseason games have been fiercely competitive. Beginning with that Super Bowl, the last 27 postseason contests have been decided by just 8.1 points on average. Four of the NFL’s last seven postseason games have gone to overtime and road teams are a combined 8-6 over the last 14 NFL playoff games (excluding the neutral-field Super Bowl LIII).

GIVEAWAY-TAKEAWAY INDICATOR: Seven of the league’s eight remaining teams finished among the NFL’s top 10 in turnover margin this season. Green Bay (+12) and Seattle (+12), which tied for third in the NFL during the regular season and meet Sunday at Lambeau Field, have the best turnover margins among the remaining teams. Minnesota (+11, fifth), Baltimore (+10, sixth), Kansas City (+8, tied-seventh), Tennessee (+6, ninth) and San Francisco (+4, tied-10th) also ranked in the top 10 this season.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN DIVISIONAL WEEKEND

SURVIVE AND ADVANCE: Minnesota (11-6) and Tennessee (10-7) both earned victories on Wild Card Weekend as the number 6 seed in their respective conferences. Last season, both Indianapolis and Philadelphia advanced to the Divisional Round of the playoffs as number 6 seeds in their conferences. This marks the first time in which two number 6 seeds advanced past Wild Card Weekend in consecutive seasons since the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format in 1990.

Minnesota, who travels to San Francisco on Saturday and Tennessee, who travels to Baltimore on Saturday night, can become the first number 6 seeds to reach the Conference Championship since 2010.

The No. 6 seeds to reach the Conference Championship since the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format in 1990:

SEASON – TEAM (CONFERENCE), ADVANCED TO
2010 – Green Bay (NFC), Won Super Bowl XLV
2010 – New York Jets (AFC), AFC Championship
2008 – Baltimore (AFC), AFC Championship
2008 – Philadelphia (NFC), NFC Championship
2005 – Pittsburgh (AFC), Won Super Bowl XL
2019 – Minnesota (NFC), ??
2019 – Tennessee (AFC), ??

In the NFC, Seattle (12-5, number 5 seed), who faces Green Bay on Sunday night and the sixth-seeded Vikings are both still alive. With victories by both teams in the Divisional Playoffs, it would mark the first Conference Championship game featuring a number 5 and number 6 seed since the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format in 1990.

STACKING POSTSEASON VICTORIES: Green Bay (34 wins) and San Francisco (30 wins) both rank among the top five in postseason victories in league history and can add to their totals this weekend.

With a win over Seattle on Sunday, Green Bay would tie Dallas (35 wins) for the third-most postseason victories in NFL history.

The teams with the most postseason wins in NFL history:

TEAM – WINS/SUPER BOWL WINS
New England – 37/6
Pittsburgh – 36/6
Dallas – 35/5
Green Bay – 34/4
San Francisco – 30/5

GETTING IT STARTED: To kick off the Divisional Round of the NFL’s 100th season, the NFC’s top seed, San Francisco (13-3), host number 6 seed Minnesota (11-6) on Saturday. Minnesota advanced to the Divisional Round with a 26-20 overtime victory in New Orleans on Wild Card Weekend.

In his postseason debut last week, Minnesota running back DALVIN COOK finished with 130 scrimmage yards (94 rushing, 36 receiving) and two rushing touchdowns in the victory. If Cook records at least 125 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns on Saturday, he would become the first player with at least 125 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns in each of his first two career postseason games in NFL history.

RUNNING THROUGH THE POSTSEASON: The AFC’s number 1 seed, Baltimore (14-2), led the NFL with 3,296 rushing yards in the regular season, the most by a team in a single season in NFL history. Tennessee (10-7) ranked third in the league with 2,223 rushing yards in 2019, led by the NFL’s leading rusher Derrick Henry, who rushed for 1,540 yards this season.

This marks the fourth time the team with the top rushing offense met the team with the league’s leading rusher in the postseason in the Super Bowl era. In each of the matchups, the team with the league’s leading rusher has won.

Postseason matchups between the league’s top rushing offense and leading rusher in the Super Bowl era:

ROUND – TOP RUSHING OFFENSE (RUSHING YARDS); NFL LEADING RUSHER – TEAM (RUSHING YARDS)
2018 NFC Wild Card – Seattle (73); Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas (137)
Super Bowl XXVII – Buffalo (108); Emmitt Smith – Dallas (108)(HOF)
1978 AFC Divisional – New England (83); Earl Campbell – Houston Oilers (118)(HOF)
2019 AFC Divisional – Baltimore (??); Derrick Henry – Tennessee (??)

On Wild Card Weekend, Henry rushed for 182 yards and a touchdown in Tennessee’s 20-13 victory over New England. With at least 150 rushing yards on Saturday, Henry would join Pro Football Hall of Famers Marcus Allen (three games), Terrell Davis(two) and Franco Harris (two), as well as Le’Veon Bell (two) as the only players to rush for at least 150 yards in consecutive postseason games in NFL history.

Henry has rushed for 366 yards in his first three career postseason games. With at least 134 rushing yards on Saturday, Henry would become the third player to rush for at least 500 yards in their first four career postseason games in NFL history.

The players with the most rushing yards in their first four career postseason games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RUSHING YARDS)

Terrell Davis, Denver (515)(HOF)
Arian Foster, Houston (515)
Fred Taylor, Jacksonville (493)
John Riggins, Washington (474)(HOF)
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (470)(HOF)
Derrick Henry, Tennessee (366)*
*In 3 games

NEW ERA OF QBs: Sunday afternoon’s game featuring Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson (24 years, 120 days old) and Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes (24 years, 117 days old) marks the third matchup in the Divisional Round between two quarterbacks under the age of 25 in the Super Bowl era.

Divisional Round matchups between starting quarterbacks under the age of 25 in the Super Bowl era:

SEASON – HOME TEAM/QUARTERBACK; VISITOR/QUARTERBACK (RESULT)
1985 – Miami/Dan Marino; Cleveland/ Bernie Kozar (Miami 24, Cleveland 21)(HOF)
2000 – Minnesota/Daunte Culpepper; New Orleans/Aaron Brooks (Minnesota 34, New Orleans 16)
2019 – Kansas City/Patrick Mahomes; Houston/Deshaun Watson (??)

In a 22-19 overtime victory over Buffalo on Wild Card Weekend, Watson completed 20 of 25 pass attempts (80 percent) for 247 yards and a touchdown and added 55 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

If Watson, who rushed for 76 yards on Wild Card Weekend in 2018, rushes for at least 50 yards on Sunday against Kansas City, he would become the first quarterback with at least 50 rushing yards in three consecutive postseason games in NFL history.

NIGHT CAP: In the final game of the Divisional Round, Green Bay (13-3) hosts Seattle (12-5), who defeated Philadelphia, 17-9, on Wild Card Weekend.

Seahawks rookie wide receiver D.K. Metcalf led Seattle with 160 receiving yards and a touchdown in the win, the most receiving yards by a rookie in a single postseason game in the Super Bowl era.

With at least 83 receiving yards against Green Bay on Sunday (6:40 PM ET, FOX), Metcalf would surpass TORRY HOLT (242 yards in 1999) for the most postseason receiving yards by a rookie in NFL history.

The rookies with the most postseason receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON) – REC. YARDS
Torry Holt, St. Louis Rams (1999) – 242
Austin Collie, Indianapolis (2009) – 241
DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia (2008) – 207
Steve Junker, Detroit (1957) – 201
Ricky Nattiel, Denver (1987) – 171
D.K. Metcalf, Seattle (2019) – 160*
*Entering Sunday

Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch recorded his 10th career postseason rushing touchdown in the win on Wild Card Weekend.

With at least two rushing touchdowns on Sunday, Lynch would tie Pro Football Hall of Famers Terrell Davis (12) and John Riggins (12) for the fourth-most career postseason rushing touchdowns in NFL history.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS)
Emmitt Smith, Dallas (19)(HOF)
Franco Harris, Pittsburgh (16)(HOF)
Thurman Thomas, Buffalo (16)(HOF)
Terrell Davis, Denver (12)(HOF)
John Riggins, Washington (12)(HOF)
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle (10)*
*Entering Sunday

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers enters Sunday’s contest having thrown at least two touchdown passes in each of his past five postseason games.

With four touchdown passes against Seattle, Rodgers would tie Peyton Manning (40) for the fourth-most career postseason touchdown passes in NFL history.

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

PLAYER – TEAMS (TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Tom Brady – New England (73)
Joe Montana – San Francisco and Kansas City (45)(HOF)
Brett Favre – Green Bay and Minnesota (44)(HOF)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (40)
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay (36)*
*Entering Sunday
(HOF) – Hall of Fame

As was the case last week and will be throughout the playoffs, every game is “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 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 was not good to be a home team in the first round as Houston was the only home team to prevail in the first round. New England, New Orleans and Philadelphia were all bounced out of the first round by their guests. As for last week, we went 2-2 and for the season, 143-117.

Having said that… here are this weekend’s Divisional Picks.

Minnesota (10-6, 2nd Wild Card) at San Francisco (13-3, NFC West champion), 4:35 p.m. Saturday on NBC. Divisional Weekend gets underway in Wine Country as the top-seeded San Francisco 49ers host Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings at Levis’ Stadium.

Once again, Minnesota broke the hearts of New Orleans Saints fans Sunday afternoon in the Big Easy, leaving the Mercedes-Benz Superdome 26-20 overtime winners in the first NFC Wild Card game of the day. Minnesota erased a 10-3 deficit in the second quarter, using a 21-yard field goal by Dan Bailey and a 5-yard run by Delvin Cook with 23 seconds left before intermission to lead 13-10. Cook would add a second rushing TD, this one from a yard out to lead 20-10 with 3:23 left in the third before the Saints’ Tysom Hill connected on a 20-yard TD pass from Drew Brees to pull to within seven with 10:31. The teams then exchanged punts and turnovers and New Orleans would get the ball back with 1:55 left in the contest and got themselves inside Minnesota’s 30-yard line at the 26. The drive there would stall after New Orleans was flagged for a false start with 21 seconds left in the contest. The penalty also had a 10-second runoff, putting the game clock at 11 seconds. Brees’ pass to Alvin Kamara went incomplete and New Orleans would settle for the tie, with K Wil Lutz making up for an earlier miss, connecting on a 49-yard field goal with seven seconds left.

That would be the last time that the Saints would see the ball, as they kicked off to Minnesota, who knelt the ball down to send the contest into overtime. Minnesota, who picked up their first playoff road win since 2005, would then win the toss to start the overtime and the Vikings made sure that Brees and the Saints did not take the field, going on a 9-play, 75-yard drive that used 4:20 of time off the game clock, ending with Cousins and TE Kyle Rudolph connecting on a 4-yard TD toss to end the contest. Cook led all rushers with 96 yards and the two TDs (Hill led New Orleans with 50 yards) as the Vikings out-rushed the Saints 136-97 and Cousins threw for 242 yards and the game-winning TD without an interception (he was sacked twice), while Brees threw for 208 yards with the Hill TD (Brees was sacked three times, sacked once and had a fumble). Minnesota was 10 of 18 on third down in the Big Easy and the Vikings ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 36:56, including the 4:20 of overtime, while New Orleans, losing their second playoff game at home in a row, went 4 of 11 on third down (neither club had a fourth down try) and kept the ball for 27:24.

The number one-seeded 4ers held off a late Seattle rally in the final seconds in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, coming away 26-21 winners at Century Link Field two weeks ago, in a contest that gave the 49ers the NFC West title, a first-round bye and revenge for their week 10 overtime loss in Santa Clara.

Seattle trailed 13-0 at the break as the 49ers scored their first half points unchallenged before the home team would break San Francsico’s bid for a shutout when Wilson and WR Tyler Lockett connected on a 14-yard TD toss late in the third quarter. San Francisco made it a 19-7 contest when RB Raheem Mostert scored from 2 yards away but the 49ers would miss the two-point conversion with 3:25 left in the quarter. Newly re-accquired RB Marshawn Lynch then pulled his team to within five with 9:55 left in the contest when he scored on a 1-yard run. Mostert pushed the 49ers lead back up to 12 with 5:51 left when he scored on a 13-yard run before Seattle stormed back again, trailing by only 5 with 3:36 left when Wilson and WR DK Metcalf connected on a 14-yard scoring pass.

Seattle would get the ball back with 2:27 left after a 49ers punt and made their way downfield, getting as close as San Francsico’s 1-yard line when Wilson tried to spike the ball to stop the clock. The Seahawks, out of time outs, were then flaggled for a delay of game penalty and passes to Lockett and Josh Hollister fell incomplete. With 12 seconds left, Wilson and Hollister would connect on a 4-yard pass but Hollister did not cross the goal line, as 49ers LB Dre Greenlaw tackled Hollister at the one-foot line. Replay would confirm that Hollister did not break the plane, which meant that Seattle did not score. San Francisco would then run out the clock and take the win in the Pacific Northwest.

San Francisco out-rushed Seattle 128-125 and Mostert led all rushers with 57 yards and the two TDs, while Seattle was led by RB Travis Homer with 62 yards (Lynch had 34 yards on 12 carries with the TD). Wilson threw for 233 yards with a pair of TDs and a sack, while Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 285 yards with a pair of sacks (neither qb threw an interception). Seattle was 8 of 14 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 32:56, while the 49ers held on to the pigskin for 27:04, going 4 of 8 on third down.

The 49ers and Vikings have met five times in post-season play and San Francisco has won four of them, with San Francisco’s last win coming in the 1997 Divisonal Playoff at Candlestick Park by a final of 38-22, while Minnesota’s lone win came in 1987 (also at Candlestick and also in the Divisional Playoff) by a final of 36-24.

The oddsmakers like the 49ers as 6 1/2-point favorites in wine country and the over/under is 45 1/2. For the 49ers, a win Saturday night means that they’ll play one more game in wine country; for the Vikings, a win would mean they would either travel to Green Bay or Seattle. The wine is really good and so are the 49ers. San Francisco’s rested and they take this one in Santa Clara, covering the 6 1/2.

Tennessee (9-7, 2nd Wild Card) at Baltimore (14-2, AFC North champion), 8:15 p.m. Saturday on CBS. Number six seed Tenneesse travels to Charm City to face off against top-seed Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium. The Titans are coming off a huge road win against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. As for the Ravens, they had the week off to rest and prepare.

Five Heisman Trophy winners will be at M&T Bank Stadium for Saturday night’s game in Baltimore, the most ever for a game in the Super Bowl era.

Some will play a bigger part than others in the divisional-round game. The visiting Titans have Heisman winners in backup quarterback Marcus Mariota (Oregon, 2014) and star running back Derrick Henry (Alabama, 2015). The Ravens have soon-to-be-named league MVP Lamar Jackson (Louisville, 2016), running back Mark Ingram (Alabama, 2009) and backup quarterback Robert Griffin III (Baylor, 2011).

The Titans suprised the football world last Saturday night in Foxboro as they went into Gillette Stadium and came away 20-13 winners over Brady and the Patriots. Tennessee erased a 13-7 Patriot lead late in the first half on a 1-yard run by Derreck Henry with 35 seconds left in the half and would take that lead into the third quarter (the two teams were scoreless in that period) and sealed New England’s fate late in the contest when Logan Ryan picked off Brady with nine seconds left in the contest and ran the ball back nine yard for a TD.

Henry ran for 182 yards on 34 carries with the TD as the Titans out-rushed New England 201-98 (New England was led by Sony Michel with 61 yards) and Ryan Tannehill threw for 72 yards and a TD toss to TE Anthony Firkser, while Brady threw for 209 yards with the late-game interception (Tannehill was sacked once, Brady was not sacked). Tennessee was 6 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 31:09, while the Patriots, who led only once in the contest on a 5-yard run by WR Julian Edleman and a Nick Folk field goal in the second quarter, was 5 of 13 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:51.

The Ravens come off their bye week after they took care of Pittsburgh 28-10 at M&T Bank Stadium to close out the 2019 regular season. Baltimore, leading from start to finish in a contest that saw the Ravens leave some of their starters on the bench, led 16-7 at the intermission. Pittsburgh’s Chris Boswell would connect on a 26-yard field goal to make it a 6-point contest before the Ravens would score 12 fourth-quarter points to seal the Steelers’ fate.

Ravens RB Gus Edwards led all rushers with 130 yards as the Ravens out-rushed Pittsburgh 223-91 and Robert Griffin III threw for 96 yards and an interception, taking over for Lamar Jackson, while Steelers’ QB Delvin Hodges threw for 95 yards with no TDs or interceptions and a pair of sacks, including one for a safety late in the contest. Baltimore was 7 of 16 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 39:27, while the Steelers kept the pigskin for 20:33, while going 5 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In three post-season meetings, the Ravens lead the series 2-1 and have outscored Tennessee 54-40. Baltimore’s last playoff win came in 2008, when they left Nissan Stadium 13-10 winners in the AFC Divisional Playoff, while the Titans’ lone win came in 2003 in Charm City by a final of 20-17 in the AFC Wild Card Game. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Ravens as 9 1/2-point favorites in Charm City and the over/under’s 48. We think they got it right. For the Titans, it was fun while it lasted. For the Ravens, they’re moving on. It’ll be closer than the 9 1/2 but Baltimore prevails in Charm City.

Houston (10-6, AFC South champion) at Kansas City (12-4, AFC West champion), 3:05 p.m. Sunday on CBS. Sunday afternoon Divisonal action gets underway in the Show-Me State as Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs host DeShaun Watson and the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium in a late-afternoon affair. While the Chiefs enjoyed their bye week, Houston needed overtime at home to take the win to advance to the next round.

Houston rallied from being down 13-0, scoring 16 second-half points unchallenged before coming away 22-19 overtime winners over Buffalo at NRG Stadium last Saturday afternoon. The Bills got a 16-yard TD from WR John Brown to QB Josh Allen and three Stephen Hauschka field goals before Watson dented the scoreboard, scoring on a 20-yard TD run and a 2-point conversion with 93 seconds left in the third quarter. Kai Fairbairn would then pull the Texans to within five on a 41-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter and Houston would take the lead on a 5-yard TD pass from Watson to Carlos Hyde for a 3-point lead with 4:37 left in regulation.

Buffalo would not go away quietly as they would an 11-play, 41-yard drive, using 71 seconds of clock and proceeded to tie the contest with 5 seconds left in regulation as Hauschka connected on a 47-yard field to send the contest into overtime. Houston would get the ball to start the overtime but went three and out, punting the ball to Buffalo. The Bills got the ball at their 30-yard line and would eventually cross the 50-yard line before Bills OT Cody Ford was flagged for a blindside block. That moved the ball back to their 43-yard line, where Buffalo’s drive stalled and the Bills punted the ball back to the Texans.

Houston, knowing that a score on the next possession would win the game, took advantange and used a 9-play, 73-yard drive that took 5:42 of clock and ended as Fairbairn sent Texans fans home happy with a 28-yard field goal with 3:20 left in the extra period. Buffalo out-rushed Houston 172-141 and Allen led all rushers with 92 yards, while Watson led Houston with 55 yards and the rushing TD. Allen would throw for 264 yards and was sacked three times, while Watson threw for 247 yards with the TD to Hyde but was sacked seven times (neither QB threw an interception). Houston was 6 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 36:25, while the Bills, holding the ball for 35:15, went 11 of 21 on third down (both teams were 0 of 1 on fourth down).

The Chiefs secured the number two-seed at home as they took care of the Los Angeles Chargers 31-21 at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City led 10-7 at the break, then watched as the Chargers took the lead from them with 13:14 left in the third when RB Melvin Gordon scored on a 5-yard run. That lead would last all of 16 seconds as Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman ran the ensuing kickoff back 104 yards untouched for a TD to give Kansas City the lead back and for good. After Chargers TE Hunter Henry caught an 8-yard TD pass from Philip Rivers, Damien Williams would score the second of his two TDs in the second half (the first good for 84 yards), icing the game away with a 7-yard run to seal the win and the first-round bye.

Williams led all rushers with 124 yards as Kansas City out-rushed Los Angeles 162-108 and Mahomes threw for 174 yards and a TD to DeMarcus Robinson (Mahomes threw an interception but was not sacked), while Rivers threw for 281 with a pair of TDs and a pair of interceptions (Rivers was sacked three times). Both clubs did well on third down tries (the Chief were 7 of 10, Los Angeles was 8 of 13) and the Chargers actually were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 36:04 (they went 2 of 4 on fourth down), while the Chiefs held on to the pigskin for 23:56.

They met in week six in the regular season in week six at Arrowhead and the Texans would score 20 second-quarter points unchallenged, then held off a late Chiefs rally to come away 31-24 winners. The Chiefs trailed 23-17 at the intermission before they would rally to take the lead back with 6:30 left in the third when Mahomes and WR Tyreek Hill would connect on a 6-yard TD pass to lead 24-23. Kansas City carried that 1-point lead into the fourth when Watson would take matters into his own feet, scoring his second TD of the day on a 1-yard run and then connecting with Derick Hopkins for the two-point conversion. The Chiefs would get the ball back but would go three and out and after a Chiefs’ punt, the Texans would run out the clock and take the win in the Show-Me State.

Hyde led all rushers with 116 yards and a TD as the Texans out-rushed Kansas City 192-53 with Watson (two interceptions) throwing for 280 yards and a TD to Derek Johnson, while Mahomes (sack, interception) threw for 273 yards and three TDs (two to Hill). Houston was 5 of 12 on third down (the Texans were 2 of 3 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:48, while the Chiefs held on to the pigskin for 20:12, while going 4 of 8 on third down.

They’ve met once in post-season play and Kansas City would come away 30-0 winners at NRG Stadium in the AFC Playoff game. In that contest, the Chiefs would score all of their points unchallenged, taking a 13-0 lead with them to the intermission and never looking back. Kansas City’s Knile Davis would open the scoring on a 106-yard kickoff return and from there, the floodgates opened for Houston and they could never get themselves on track. Kansas City out-rushed Houston 141-114 (Houston’s Alfred Blue led all rushers with 99 yards) and Alex Smith threw for 190 yards and a TD, while Brian Hoyer threw for 136 yards (both Smith and Hoyer were sacked three times, Hoyer was picked off four times, while Smith was picked off once). The Chiefs were 4 of 11 on third down and Kansas City ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 34:25, while the Texans, keeping the ball for 25:35, went 6 of 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Kansas City in the week six contest was favored by 4 1/2 and the Texans covered, winning by 7 and both teams matched the 55 over/under. In the divisional round, the Chiefs are favored by 9 1/2 at Arrowhead and the over/under’s 50. The winner plays for the Hunt Trophy next week, while the loser will be second-guessing themselves for the entire offseason. While things will be closer than 9 1/2, Houston’s hopes of a Lombardi Trophy will have to wait at least another year. Everything’s up to date in Kansas City as the Chiefs prevail at Arrowhead but expect this one to be closer than 9 1/2.

Seattle (11-5, 1st Wild Card) at Green Bay (13-3, NFC North champion), 6:40 p.m. Sunday on FOX. A pair of Super Bowl QBs (Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers) meet in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst as Green Bay hosts Seattle at Lambeau Field in the final game of Divisional Weekend. The Packers enter the contest with a bye under their belts, while Seattle made a cross-country trip to take on the Eagles in the City of Brotherly Love last Sunday evening.

Seattle held Philadelphia to three Josh Elliott field goals, then held off two late Eagle scoring attempts and left Lincoln Financial Field 17-9 winners last Sunday afternoon. The Seahawks broke a 3-3 tie with 66 seconds left before intermission when RB Marshawn Lynch scored on a 5-yard run, taking the lead back for good. Seattle would add a 53-yard TD pass from Wilson to D.K. Metcalf with 8:46 left in the third to all but seal the game away, holding Philadelphia to an Elliott field goal with 2:49 left in the quarter. Seattle would hold off two late Eagles rallies in the fourth, the first ending on an incomplete pass from backup QB Josh McCown with 6:24 left to play and the second when McCown was sacked at Seattle’s 11-yard line with 2 minutes left to play.

Seattle was out-rushed by Philadelphia 120-64 with Eagles RB Miles Sanders leading all rushers with 69 yards on 14 carries (Wilson led Seattle with 45 yards) and Wilson threw for 325 yards with the TD to Metcalf (Wilson was sacked once), while McCown, who took over for Carson Wentz (head injury) threw for 174 yards with six sacks (neither Wilson, Wentz or McCown had an interception). Seattle went 8 of 15 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:45, while the Eagles actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:15, while going 3 of 11 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

The Packers, the number two-seed in the playoffs, erased a 17-3 haltimore deficit at Detroit and stormed their way back to a 23-20 last-second win against the Lions at Ford Field two weeks ago. Green Bay trailed their NFC North rivals at the intermisson, then proceeded to outscore the Lions 20-3 in the final 30 minutes play and sent Lions fans home with their seventh loss in a row when Packers K Mason Crosby booted a 33-yard field goal as time expired.

The Packers tied the contest up with 5:19 left in regulation when Rodgers and WR Allen Lazard hooked up on a 28-yard TD toss. Then after the teams exchanged the ball on punts, Green Bay would get the ball back with 80 seconds left in the contest and used all of that time left to go on an 8-play, 68-yard drive that would end with Crosby’s game-winning kick. While Detroit actually out-rushed Green Bay 171-120, Jones led all rushers with Aaron Jones leading all rushers with 100 yards on the ground. Rodgers threw for 323 yards with the TD to Lazard, while Detroit’s David Blough threw for 122 yards and caught a TD pass from WR Danny Amendola (both men were sacked once and threw an interception). Green Bay was 8 of 20 on third down in the Motor City (they were perfect on fourth down, going 2 of 2) and including the final 80 seconds of the contest, ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 34:56, while the Lions were 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Seattle and Green Bay have met three times in the post-season and the Packers lead the series 2-1. Green Bay has outscored the Seahawks 97-75 in the three meetings and Green Bay’s last win in the post-season came in 2007 at Lambeau in the Divsional playoff by a final of 42-20, while Seattle’s last win came in 2014 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, coming away 28-22 overtime winners. Green Bay’s favored by 4 at Lambeau and the over/under’s 46. For the Packers… a win means that they could be going to Santa Clara for a rematch should San Francisco win or a home game against the Vikings if somehow Minnesota were to prevail. For Seattle… a win would mean a rematch with either the 49ers or Vikings. It’ll be a rematch one way or the other but in the end, Green Bay prevails. Packers cover the 4 and win in Lambeau.

Black Monday has come and gone. Teams not in the post-season have made changes in the front office and coaching staffs and are preparing for the 2020 NFL Draft. 20 teams are at home, clearing out lockers, getting ready for next season, their dreams of holding the Lombardi Trophy shattered because of injuries, bad decisions on and sometime off the field damaging those hopes. 256 games in the regular season have been played. The regular season is over and in the books and the second season begins this Saturday.

For the 12 teams that are left standing, either as champions of their divisions or winners of that coveted Wild Card spot, it’s their second season. It’s a chance to hit the reset button and extend their season, even if it means by one game. There’s a SMALL plot twist in all of this.

You win this week, you’re playing next week.

You lose…. you’re clearing out your locker and your next game is September of 2020.

The NFL’s 100th season has reached the playoffs and the playoff field is as strong as it’s ever been. Six playoff teams – Baltimore (14-2), Kansas City (12-4) and New England (12-4) from the AFC and San Francisco (13-3), Green Bay (13-3) and New Orleans (13-3) from the NFC – won at least 12 regular-season games, tied for the most such teams in a single postseason in NFL history.

The seasons with the most playoff teams that won 12-or-more regular-season games:

SEASON – TEAMS
2019 – 6
2011 – 6
2003 – 6
Many – 5

The combined winning percentage (.708, 136-56) of this season’s field is the highest in 14 years, since it was .719 (138-54) in 2005.

The playoffs continue with the Divisional round on January 11-12, the Conference Championship Games on January 19 and Super Bowl LIV on February 2 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on FOX at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

It’s football’s version of the children’s game of “Musicial Chairs.” As long as there’s a chair and the music is playing, everyone has a chance. It’s when the music stops and everyone scrambles for a chair that there’s chaos. One by one you take a chair out and start over until there’s a winner. It’s finality but it makes the NFL worth watching, even if your team is not in the mix.

New teams making the playoffs, terrific turnarounds, consistent teams excelling again, records falling and young players making their mark. The 2019 season had it all.

Youth and success at the quarterback position highlighted the 2019 regular season as 208 games featured at least one starting quarterback under the age of 27, the most in a single season in NFL history. In total, quarterbacks under the age of 27 started 287 games and recorded 144 wins in those starts this season, both the highest single-season totals since 1970. Three quarterbacks under the age of 25 – Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson (2018 NFL Draft), Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes (2017 NFL Draft) and Houston’s DeShaun Watson (2017 NFL Draft) – have led their respective teams to division titles in each of the past two seasons.

Competitiveness was a constant theme throughout the regular season as 68 percent of games (174 of 256) were within one score (eight points) in the fourth quarter, tied for the fifth-most such games in a single season in NFL history, while 52.3 percent of games (134 of 256) were decided by eight-or-fewer points, also tied for the fifth-most such games in single season in league annals. Additionally, 57 games saw a team come back to win or tie after trailing in the fourth quarter.

Week 17 came down to the wire, as two playoff spots and two divisions titles – the NFC East and NFC West – were decided on the final day of the season. Sunday’s excitement was due in part to having 16 divisional games played on the season’s final day, a tradition instituted in 2010.

Five of the 12 playoff teams are new to the postseason in 2019: Buffalo, Green Bay, Minnesota, San Francisco and Tennessee and since 1990 – a streak of 30 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before. Both Green Bay (NFC North) and San Francisco (NFC West) won their division after missing the postseason in 2018 and at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 16 of the past 17 years.

Teams to win their division a season after missing the postseason since 2003:

SEASON – NEW DIVISION WINNERS AFTER MISSING POSTSEASON THE PREVIOUS SEASON
2019 – Green Bay, San Francisco
2018 – Baltimore, Chicago*, Dallas, Houston*
2017 – Jacksonville*, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans, Minnesota, Philadelphia*
2016 – ATLANTA, Dallas*
2015 – Houston, Minnesota, Washington*
2014 – Dallas, Pittsburgh
2013 – Carolina*, Philadelphia*
2012 – Washington*
2011 – Denver*, Houston*, New York Giants, San Francisco
2010 – ATLANTA, Chicago, Kansas City*, Pittsburgh, Seattle
2009 – Cincinnati, Dallas, New England, New Orleans*
2008 – Arizona, Carolina, Miami*, Minnesota
2007 – Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay*
2006 – Baltimore*, New Orleans*, Philadelphia*, San Diego
2005 – Chicago*, Cincinnati, New York Giants, Tampa Bay*
2004 – ATLANTA*, Pittsburgh, San Diego*
2003 – Baltimore, Carolina*, Kansas City*, New England, St. Louis Rams
*Worst to first

OFFENSIVE TRENDS: The 2019 season will go down as one of the most prolific offensive seasons in league history.

Teams combined to score 1,332 total touchdowns, the third-most in a single season in NFL history, while the 11,680 total points were tied for the third-most in league annals.

MOST TOUCHDOWNS, NFL HISTORY

SEASON – TOUCHDOWNS
2018 – 1,371
2013 – 1,338
2019 – 1,332
2015 – 1,318

MOST TOTAL POINTS, NFL HISTORY

SEASON – TOTAL POINTS
2013 – 11,985
2018 – 11,952
2019 – 11,680
2015 – 11,680

With five teams – Baltimore (33.2 points per game), San Francisco (29.9), New Orleans (28.6), Tampa Bay (28.6) and Kansas City (28.2) – averaging at least 28 points per game, the 2019 season joined 2014 (six teams) as the only seasons with at least five teams averaging at least 28 points per game since 1970.

The Ravens, who scored at least 40 points in five different games this season, led the NFL with 3,296 rushing yards and surpassed the 1978 New England Patriots (3,165) for the most rushing yards by a team in a single season in NFL history.

PROLIFIC PASSERS: In 2019, league-wide passing numbers continued to trend at a historic pace, as the marks for passer rating (90.4 – second), completion percentage (63.5 percent – second), total completions (11,331 – fourth) and touchdown passes (797 – fifth) were all ranked in the top five for highest in a single season in NFL history.

SEASON – RATING
2018 – 92.9
2019 – 90.4
2015 – 90.2
2016 – 89.3
2014 – 88.9

SEASON – COMPLETION PCT.
2018 – 64.9
2019 – 63.5
2016 – 63.0
2015 – 63.0
2014 – 62.6

SEASON – COMPLETIONS
2015 – 11,527
2016 – 11,526
2018 – 11,462
2019 – 11,331
2014 – 11,200

SEASON – TD PASSES
2018 – 847
2015 – 842
2014 – 807
2013 – 804
2019 – 797

Eleven quarterbacks passed for at least 4,000 yards in 2019, including four with at least 4,500 passing yards: Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston (5,109), Dallas’ Dak Prescott (4,902), the Los Angeles Rams’ Jared Goff (4,638) and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Philip Rivers (4,615).

Twelve quarterbacks threw at least 25 touchdown passes this season, including four with at least 30 touchdown passes: Baltimore’s LAMAR JACKSON (36), Winston (33), Seattle’s Russell Wilson (31) and Prescott (30).

Three rookie quarterbacks – New York Giants’ Daniel Jones, Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew and Arizona’s Kyler Murray – each passed for at least 20 touchdowns this season, marking the second season in league annals in which at least three rookie quarterbacks each passed for at least 20 touchdowns (2012 – Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson).

Nine quarterbacks had a passer rating of 100 or higher in 2019, including three with a passer rating of at least 110: Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill (117.5), New Orleans’ Drew Brees (116.3) and Jackson (113.3). The nine quarterbacks with a passer rating of 100 or higher were tied with the 2018 season for the most in a single season in NFL history.

The seasons with the most quarterbacks having a passer rating of 100 or higher in NFL history:

SEASON – QUARTERBACKS WITH 100+ PASSER RATING
2019 – 9
2018 – 9
2013 – 7

ALL-PURPOSE BACKS: Sixteen players rushed for at least 1,000 yards, including four players with at least 1,300 rushing yards, this season: Tennessee’s Derrick Henry (1,540), Cleveland’s Nick Chubb (1,494), Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey (1,387) and Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott (1,357).

Seven players recorded at least 10 rushing touchdowns in 2019: Henry (16), Green Bay’s Aaron Jones (16), McCaffrey (15), Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook (13), Elliott (12), the Los Angeles Rams’ Todd Gurley (12) and Baltimore’s Mark Ingram (10).

Twenty-six running backs totaled at least 1,000 scrimmage yards, including eight with at least 1,500 scrimmage yards, this season: McCaffrey (2,392), Elliott (1,777), Chubb (1,772), Henry (1,746), Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette (1,674), Cook (1,654), Jones (1,558) and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Austin Ekeler (1,550).

Three running backs – Jones (19 scrimmage touchdowns), McCaffrey (19) and Henry (18) – each recorded at least 18 scrimmage touchdowns this season.

2019 was the third season in NFL history with three players totaling at least 18 scrimmage touchdowns each, joining 2005 (Shaun Alexander, Larry Johnson and Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson) and 1962 (Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown and Jim Taylor and Abner Haynes).

RIDICULOUS RECEIVERS: Twenty-nine players had at least 1,000 receiving yards, including five with at least 1,200 receiving yards this season: New Orleans’ Michael Thomas (1,725), Atlanta’s Julio Jones (1,394), Tampa Bay’s Chris Godwin (1,333), Kansas City’s Travis Kelce (1,229) and Miami’s Devante Parker (1,202).

Five players had at least 100 receptions in 2019: Thomas (single-season NFL record 149), Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey (116), the Los Angeles Chargers’ Keenan Allen (104), Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins (104) and New England’s Julian Edleman (100).

Three players had at least 10 touchdown catches this season: Detroit’s Kenny Golladay (11), Baltimore’s Mark Andrews (10) and the Los Angeles Rams’ Cooper Kupp (10).

Five rookies recorded at least seven touchdown receptions in 2019: Tennessee’s A.J. Brown (eight), the New York Giants’ Darius Slayton (eight), Baltimore’s Marquise Brown (seven), Washington’s Terry McLaurin (seven) and Seattle’s D.K. Metcalf (seven). In total, rookies combined for 110 touchdown receptions in 2019 and surpassed 2014 (109 touchdown catches) for the most combined touchdown receptions by rookies in a single season since 1970.

DOMINANT DEFENDERS: Eighteen players recorded at least 10 sacks, including five with at least 14 sacks, in 2019: Tampa Bay’s Shaquil Barrett (19.5), Arizona’s Chandler Jones (19), New Orleans’ Cameron Jordan (15.5), Minnesota’s Danielle Hunter (14.5) and Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt (14.5).

Five players registered at least five forced fumbles this season: Jones (eight), Watt (eight), Barrett (six), Washington’s Ryan Anderson (five) and Chicago’s Khalil Mack (five). 2019 was the first season since 2002 (Dwight Freeeney and Leonard Little) that two players had at least eight forced fumbles in the same season.

Ten players recorded at least five interceptions, including three with six interceptions, this season: New England’s Stephon Gilmore (six), Minnesota’s Anthony Harris (six) and Buffalo’s Tre’Davious White (six).

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK 17: Five of the 12 teams to qualify for the playoffs are new to the postseason in 2019, having missed the playoffs a year ago: Buffalo, Green Bay, Minnesota, San Francisco and Tennessee.

Since 1990 – a streak of 30 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

Baltimore won the AFC North and finished as the AFC’s number 1 seed and the Ravens will have home-field advantage through the AFC playoffs. Kansas City won the AFC West, are the number 2 seed and the Chiefs clinched a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs. New England won the AFC East. The Patriots are the number 3 seed and will host number 6 seed Tennessee in the Wild Card round. The Titans clinched a playoff berth for the second time in the past three seasons. Houston won the AFC South, are the number 4 seed and the Texans will host number 5 seed Buffalo in the Wild Card round. The Bills clinched a playoff berth for the second time in the past three seasons.

San Francisco defeated Seattle and became the number 1 seed and have home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Green Bay won the NFC North and clinched the numbere 2 seed and a bye in the first round of the NFC playoffs. New Orleans won the NFC South and became the number 3 seed in the post-season tournament. They will face number 6 seed Minnesota in New Orleans. Philadelphia won the NFC East for the second time in the past three seasons, are the number 4 seed and the Eagles will host either Seattle in the NFC Wild Card round.

Three rookie quarterbacks – New York Giants’ Daniel Jones, Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew and Arizona’s Kyler Murray – each passed for at least 20 touchdowns this season, marking the second season in league annals in which at least three rookie quarterbacks each passed for at least 20 touchdowns (2012 – Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson).

Jones led all rookie quarterbacks with 24 touchdown passes in 2019, the fourth-most by a rookie quarterback in a single season in NFL history. Only Baker Mayfield (27 in 2018), Peyton Manning (26 in 1998) and Russell Wilson (26 in 2012) had more.

Murray passed for 3,722 yards and rushed for 544 yards this season and joined Cam Newton (2011) as the only rookies with at least 3,500 passing yards and 500 rushing yards in NFL history.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for 253 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 123.3 rating in the Saints’ 42-10 win at Carolina. Brees has 93 career games with at least three touchdown passes, tied with Peyton Manning (93) for the most in NFL history. Brees recorded his fourth consecutive game with at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions and joined Russell Wilson (five games in 2015), Tom Brady (four in 2007) and Aaron Rodgers (four in 2014) as the only players with at least four consecutive games of at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions in a single season in league annals.

In 2019, Brees recorded a 74.3 completion percentage (281 of 378), the second-highest single-season completion percentage in NFL history, trailing only the mark he set in 2018 (74.4 percent).

Carolina running back Christian McCAaffery recorded seven receptions and 98 scrimmage yards (72 receiving, 26 rushing) with a rushing touchdown on Sunday. McCaffrey led the NFL with 2,392 scrimmage yards this season, the third-most scrimmage yards in a single season in NFL history, trailing only Chris Johnson (2,509 in 2009) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk (2,429 in 1999).

McCaffrey totaled 1,387 rushing yards and 1,005 receiving yards in 2019 and joined Roger Craig (1985) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk (1999) as the only players with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in a single season in league annals. McCaffrey has 303 receptions since entering the NFL in 2017 and joined Michael Thomas (321 receptions) as the only players with at least 300 receptions in their first three seasons in NFL history.

Tennessee rookie wide receiver A.J. Brown had a 51-yard touchdown reception in the Titans’ Week 17 win. Brown has four touchdown catches of at least 50 yards in 2019 and joined Isaac Curtis (five in 1973), Willie Gault (four in 1983) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (five in 1998) as rookies with at least four touchdown receptions of 50-or-more yards since 1970.

Kansas City rookie wide receiver Mecole Hardman recorded a 104-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the Chiefs’ Week 17 win. Hardman, who also had an 83-yard touchdown reception in 2019, is the fourth player and first rookie in NFL history with a kick return touchdown of at least 100 yards and touchdown reception of at least 80 yards in the same season in NFL history.

Detroit rookie quarterback David Blough, New England linebacker Elandon Roberts and Atlanta tackle Ty Sambrailo each recorded touchdown receptions in Week 17. Blough, who caught a 19-yard touchdown pass against Green Bay, joined Marcus Mariota (December 13, 2015) as the only rookie quarterbacks to register a touchdown reception since 1970.

Roberts caught a 38-yard touchdown pass against Miami, the longest touchdown reception by a linebacker since 1970.

Sambrailo recorded a 35-yard touchdown reception against Tampa Bay, the longest touchdown reception by an offensive lineman since 1970.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

Batlimore led the NFL with 3,296 rushing yards in 2019 and surpassed the 1978 New England Patriots (3,165) for the most rushing yards by a team in a single season in NFL history.

New England quarterback Tom Brady passed for two touchdowns with one interception in Week 17 against Miami. Brady has 541 career touchdown passes and surpassed Peyton Manning (539) for the second-most touchdown passes in NFL history. Only Drew Brees (547) has more.

Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston led the NFL with 5,109 passing yards in 2019 and became the eighth different quarterback to throw for at least 5,000 yards in a single season in league annals.

Denver running back Phillip Lindsay had 1,011 rushing yards in 2019 and became the first undrafted player to rush for at least 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons since 1967.

Atlanta linebacker Deion Jones registered a game-winning 27-yard interception return for a touchdown on the first play of overtime in the Falcons’ 28-22 win at Tampa Bay. Jones is the seventh player with a game-winning interception return for a touchdown in overtime since 2002 and the first since Robert Alford (October 11, 2015).

Buccaneers rookie linebacker Devin White recorded a 91-yard fumble return for a touchdown in Week 17. White, who also had a 14-yard fumble return for a touchdown in Week 13, is the first rookie to return two opponent fumble recoveries for a touchdown in a single season since 1970.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WILD CARD WEEKEND

NEW YEAR, NEW TEAMS: This season, five teams qualified for the playoffs after missing the postseason in 2018 – Buffalo, Green Bay, Minnesota, San Francisco and Tennessee – three of which will be active on Wild Card Weekend (Buffalo at Houston, Saturday at 4:35 p.m. on ESPN/ABC; Tennessee at New England, Saturday at 8:15 p.m. on CBS and Minnesota at New Orleans, Sunday at 1:05 p.m. on FOX).

Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990 – a streak of 30 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

POSTSEASON DEBUTS: Three quarterbacks – Buffalo’s JOSH ALLEN, Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz and Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill – are expected to make their first-career postseason starts on Wild Card Weekend.

The players with the most passing yards in their first-career postseason start:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – ROUND, PASSING YARDS)
Kelly Holcomb, Cleveland (2002 – AFC Wild Card, 429)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (2009 – NFC Wild Card, 423)
Randall Cunningham, Philadelphia (1988 – NFC Divisional, 407)
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (1999 – NFC Divisional, 391) (HOF)
Neil Lomax, St. Louis Cardinals (1982 – NFC Wild Card – 385)

YOUNG QUARTERBACKS KICK OFF WILD CARD WEEKEND: Saturday afternoon’s game featuring Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen (23 years, 228 days old) and Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson (24 years, 112 days old) marks the sixth postseason matchup between two quarterbacks under the age of 25 in the Super Bowl era.

In four of the five such matchups in the Super Bowl era, the quarterback of the home team has won.

Postseason matchups between starting quarterbacks under the age of 25 in the Super Bowl era:

SEASON – ROUND (HOME TEAM, QUARTERBACK; VISITOR, QUARTERBACK)(RESULT)
1985 – AFC Divisional (Miami, Dan Marino; Cleveland, Bernie Kozar)(Miami 24, Cleveland 21)(HOF)
2000 – NFC Wild Card (Philadelphia, Donovan McNabb; Tampa Bay, Shaun King)(Philadelphia 21, Tampa Bay 3)
2000 – NFC Divisional (Minnesota, Daunte Culpepper; New Orleans, Aaron Brooks)(Minnesota 34, New Orleans 16)
2011 – AFC Wild Card (Houston, T.J. Yates; Cincinnati, Andy Dalton)(Houston 31, Cincinnati 10)
2012 – NFC Wild Card (Washington, Robert Griffin III; Seattle, Russell Wilson)(Seattle 24, Washington 14)

CLASH OF THE TITANS: Saturday night’s matchup between Tennessee (9-7) and AFC East Champion New England (12-4) pairs the league’s top-rated quarterback Ryan Tannehill (117.5 passer rating) and the league’s leading rusher Derrick Henry (1,540 rushing yards), against a Patriots defense that led the NFL in total defense (275.9 yards per game) and scoring defense (14.1 points against per game) in 2019.

Tennessee is the fourth team since 1970 to have the league’s top-rated quarterback and league-leading rusher in the same season.

New England is the first team to allow an average of 15 or fewer points per game since the 2013 Seattle Seahawks (14.4). Seattle would go on to win Super Bowl XLVIII. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who has led New England to 11 consecutive division titles and six overall Super Bowl championships, is the postseason’s all-time leader in games played (40), passing yards (11,179) and touchdown passes (73).

New England running back Sony Michel led the NFL with six rushing touchdowns in the 2018 postseason – tied for the second-most in a single postseason in league history. If Michel, who had at least one rushing touchdown in each of his first three career postseason games, has a rushing touchdown against Tennessee, he would join Pro Football Hall of Famers Terrell Davis and Curtis Martin, as well as Arian Foster, as the only players with a rushing touchdown in each of their first four career postseason games in NFL history.

New England wide receiver Julian Edelman has 115 receptions for 1,412 receiving yards in 18 career postseason games – both the second-most in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (151 receptions, 2,245 receiving yards) has more.
In Super Bowl LIII, Edelman had 10 receptions for 141 receiving yards and was named the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player, marking his sixth-career postseason game with at least 100 receiving yards.

With at least 100 receiving yards against Tennessee, Edelman would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin (six games) for the second-most career postseason games with at least 100 receiving yards in NFL history.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES)
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (8) (HOF)
Julian Edelman, New England (6)
Michael Irvin, Dallas (6) (HOF)

EASY BREESY: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees will make his 16th career postseason start on Sunday against Minnesota. Brees currently ranks in the top five in both postseason completion percentage and passer rating (minimum of 150 attempts) in league history.

The quarterbacks with the highest career postseason passer rating (min. 150 attempts):

QUARTERBACK (COMPLETIONS/ATTEMPTS – YARDS; TD/INTERCEPTIONS, RATING)
Bart Starr (130/213 – 1,753; 15/3, 104.8)(HOF)
Kurt Warner (307/462 – 3,952; 31/14, 102.8)(HOF)
Matt Ryan (237/351 – 2,672; 20/7, 100.8)
Drew Brees (408/615 – 4,759; 33/11, 100.0)*
Aaron Rodgers (378/595 – 4,457; 36/10, 99.4)*
*Active in 2019 playoffs

The quarterbacks with the highest career postseason completion percentage (min. 150 attempts):

QUARTERBACK (COMPLETIONS/ATTEMPTS, PCT.)
Nick Foles (143/210, 68.1)
Matt Ryan (237/351, 67.5)
Kurt Warner (307/462, 66.5)(HOF)
Drew Brees (408/615, 66.3)*
Ken Anderson (110/166, 66.3)

*Active in 2019 playoffs

Additionally, Brees has 4,759 career postseason passing yards. With at least 241 passing yards on Sunday, he would become the sixth player in NFL history with at least 5,000 career postseason passing yards, joining Tom Brady (11,179), Peyton Manning (7,339), Pro Football Hall of Famers Brett Farve (5,855) and Joe Montana (5,772), as well as Ben Roethlisberger (5,256).

BATTLE OF THE BIRDS: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 4,110 passing yards this season and joined Peyton Manning and Cam Newton as the only players with at least 3,000 passing yards in each of their first eight seasons in NFL history. Wilson also became the first quarterback in league history to finish with a winning record in each of his first eight seasons.

Wilson has 94 career wins (including postseason) since entering the NFL in 2012, the second-most in a player’s first eight seasons in NFL history.

The quarterbacks with the most career wins, including postseason, in their first eight seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS; WINS)
Tom Brady, New England (2000-07; 100)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2012-19; 94)*
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (2004-11; 90)
*In eighth season

Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch has recorded at least 100 rushing yards in six of his 11 career postseason appearances. With at least 100 rushing yards against Philadelphia, Lynch would tie Pro Football Hall of Famers Terrell Davis (seven games) and Emmitt Smith (seven games) for the most career postseason games with at least 100 rushing yards in NFL history.

The players with the most career postseason games with at least 100 rushing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – GAMES WITH 100+ RUSHING YARDS
Terrell Davis – 7 (HOF)
Emmitt Smith – 7 (HOF)
Marshawn Lynch – 6*
John Riggins – 6 (HOF)
Thurman Thomas – 6 (HOF)
(HOF)- Hall of Fame
*Entering postseason

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

As good as things were in week 16 (12-4), we kinda slipped in week 17, going 7-9 and for the season, 141-115. Wild Card weekend gets underway in the Lone Star State as Houston welcomes the return of DL J.J. Watt as they host the Buffalo Bills and concludes in the City of Brotherly Love as Philadelphia and Seattle meet in a week 12 rematch at Lincoln Financial Field. Here are the Saturday and Sunday picks for Wild Card Weekend.

Buffalo (10-6, 1st Wild Card) at Houston (10-6, AFC South champion), 4:35 p.m. Saturday on ESPN, with simulcast on ABC. The AFC gets center stage all to themselves as a pair of 10-6 teams meet in the Lone Star State Saturday afternoon. Houston, winners of the AFC South, host the Buffalo Bills, who circled their wagons and won the 1st AFC Wild Card spot, meet at NRG Stadium. Both clubs enter the contest with home losses under their belts last Sunday.

The Bills, seeking their first playoff win since 1995, watched Sam Darnold and the New York Jets erase a 3-3 tie at the end of the third quarter in Orchard Park, taking a 13-6 loss to their AFC East rival in upstate New York. Buffalo trailed 3-0 at the intermission as Jets K Steve Ficken opened the scoring in the contest with a 30-yard field goal (the two clubs played a scoreless first quarter). The Bills’ Stephen Hauschka would even things up in the third quarter, connecting on a 28-yard field goal with 89 seconds left in the third. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! would reclaim the lead for keeps early in the fourth quarter as Darnold and WR Jamison Crowder connected on a 1-yard TD toss. Ficken would boost GangGreen’s lead to 10 with 2:05 left before Hauscka connected on a 29-yard field goal with 47 seconds left in the contest. Buffalo then went for the onside kick, which the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! would recover and the vistors would run the clock out to take the win.

Neither club would breach the 100-yard barrier in upstate New York but the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! would out-rush Buffalo 86-73 with LeVeon Bell leading the way with 41 yards in the contest. Darnold threw for 199 yards with the TD in the third quarter (he was sacked twice and threw an interception), while Josh Allen threw for 5 yards before backup QB Matt Barkley took over, throwing for 232 yards with a sack and a pair of interceptions. Buffalo went 4 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 28:39, while GangGreen ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:21, while going 5 of 14 on third down.

Houston found themselves on the short end of a 35-14 loss against Tennessee in the Lone Star State. The Titans, needing to win to get into the post-season party, broke a 7-7 after the first quarter and proceeded take a 14-7 lead into the intermission on a 1-yard TD toss from Ryan Tannehill to TE MyCole Pruitt with 9:42 left in the half. Titans RB Derrick Henry would give Tennesee a 2-TD lead early in the third on the first of his three TDs in the contest before Texans backup QB A.J. McCarron (taking over over DeShaun Watson) scored from a yard out with 69 seconds left in the quarter to narrow the gap to seven. Henry was not finished, as he would score on a 1-yard run early in the final 15 minutes of play, then put a dagger in the hearts of Texans fans, as he would run 53 yards untouched for his final TD of the afternoon.

Henry led all rushers with 211 yards and the three TDs as Tennessee out-rushed Houston 245-109 with Tannehill throwing for 198 yards with a pair of TDs, no sacks or interceptions, while McCarron threw for 225 yards with four sacks and an interception. Tennessee went 5 of 10 on third down tries and they held the ball for 28:21, while the Texans actually were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 31:39, while going 3 of 12 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

This is the first playoff meeting between the two teams in the history of the franchises and for the Bills, it’s their second trip in the last three seasons, while the Texans will be making their fourth consecutive trip to the post-season party. Houston is favored by 3 with a 42 1/2 over/under. For the Bills, they would like to at least move on to the next round; for the Texans, they have the same goal. The winner advances… the loser is done. Texans cover the 3 at home in the Lone Star State and advance to the Divisional Round.

Tennessee (9-7, 2nd Wild Card) at New England (12-4, AFC East champion), 8:15 p.m. Saturday on CBS. Saturday Wild Card action concludes in Foxboro as Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champions host the Tenneseee Titans at Gillette Stadium. The Titans look to knock off the champs in their building, while the Patriots look to right their ship from last week against Miami.

Breaking a 7-7 tie at the end of the first quarter, Tennesse floored the gas in Houston and came away 35-14 winners in the Lone Star State. The Titans, needing to win to get into the post-season party, broke a 7-7 after the first quarter and proceeded take a 14-7 lead into the intermission on a 1-yard TD toss from Ryan Tannehill to TE MyCole Pruitt with 9:42 left in the half. Titans RB Derrick Henry would give Tennesee a 2-TD lead early in the third on the first of his three TDs in the contest before Texans backup QB A.J. McCarron (taking over over DeShaun Watson) scored from a yard out with 69 seconds left in the quarter to narrow the gap to seven. Henry was not finished, as he would score on a 1-yard run early in the final 15 minutes of play, then put a dagger in the hearts of Texans fans, as he would run 53 yards untouched for his final TD of the afternoon.

Henry led all rushers with 211 yards and the three TDs as Tennessee out-rushed Houston 245-109 with Tannehill throwing for 198 yards with a pair of TDs, no sacks or interceptions, while McCarron threw for 225 yards with four sacks and an interception. Tennessee went 5 of 10 on third down tries and they held the ball for 28:21, while the Texans actually were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 31:39, while going 3 of 12 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

New England lost their chance to have a first-round bye as AFC East rival left Foxboro and Gillette Stadium 27-24 winners in the season finale. The Patriots trailed 17-10 at the intermission before tying things up with 4:26 left in the third when Brady and LB Elandon Roberts connected on a 38-yard TD pass. Miami reclaimed the lead with 8:29 left in the contest on a 32-yard field goal by Jason Sanders to lead by 3 before New England took the lead back, as Brady and RB James White connected on a 13-yard TD pass with 3:53 left in regulation. Miami would respond and reclaim the lead on a 5-yard TD pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to WR Mike Gesicki with 24 seconds left. New England got the ball on their 25-yard line with the 24 seconds left and got as close as their 37-yard line with 2 seconds left when they tried several lateral passes in hope of either scoring a TD or getting a defensive penalty. Neither of those two things came to pass as Miami would hold off their efforts.

New England did manage to out-rush Miami 135-63 with Patriots RB Sony Michel leading the way with 74 yards and a TD; Brady threw for 221 yards and the two TDs (Brady was picked off once and sacked once), while Fitzpatrick threw for 320 yards with a rushing TD of his own in addition to the Gesicki TD (he was sacked twice but did not throw an interception). New England was 3 of 9 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:09, while Miami was 5 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:51.

The Titans/Patriots game is the sixth playoff meeting in the history of the NFL where an opposing coach has played for another coach (Titans coach Mike Vrabel played for Bellicheck from 2001 to 2008). They’ve met in the post-season three times and the Patriots lead the series 2-1 and including games that were played in Houston and at Fenway Park, the Patriots have outscored Tennessee 66-59. Their last post-season meeting took place in 2017 in Foxboro and the Patriots came away with the 35-14 win in the Divisonal round, while Tennessee’s lone win in post-season came in 1978, when the team was known as the Oilers and they left Foxboro 31-14 (also in the Divisional round) winners. New England’s favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Tennessee would like nothing more than to knock off New England in their back yard. The Patriots? They have other plans and look to right their ship from the loss in the season finale at home. New England may not cover the 4 1/2 but the Pats get their ducks in a row and move on to the next round.

Minnesota (10-6, 2nd Wild Card) at New Orleans (13-3, NFC South champion), 1:05 p.m. Sunday on FOX. It’s the NFC’s turn to have the stage as Minnesota and New Orleans meet in the NFC’s Wild Card round in the Big Easy. The Saints, the number 3 seed in the post-season, take on the 6th-seeded Vikings, with Minnesota coming off a loss at home to Chicago, while the Saints manhandled Carolina in the Tar Heel State in their regular-season finales.

The Vikings dropped a 21-1 decision to NFC North rival Chicago at US Bank Stadium last Sunday. Minnesota trailed 11-6 at the intermission, then took a 19-18 lead with 4:53 left in the contest on a 34-yard field goal by Dan Bailey before Chicago reclaimed the lead for good with 10 seconds left on a 22-yard field goal by Eddie Pinerio.

Minnesota out-rushed Da Bears 174-158 with Viking RB Mike Boone leading all rushers with 148 yards, while Chicago was led by David Montgomery with 113 yards (both men had a rushing TD in the contest). Sean Mannion, taking over for Kirk Cousins (rest) threw for 126 yards with a pair of interceptions, while Mitchell Trubisky threw for 207 yards and was sacked four times (neither threw a TD pass). Minnesota went 4 of 9 on third down tries in the Twin Cities and held on to the ball for 22:20, while Da Bears kept the pigskin in hibernation for 37:40, going 7 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The Saints gave Carolina their eighth loss in a row in Charlotte, coming out of the Tar Heel State 42-10 winners at Bank of America Stadium. Saints running back Alvin Kamara (39 rushing yards) opened the scoring with a pair of first-quarter TDs as the Saints would go on to lead 35-3 at the break. New Orleans out-rushed Carolina 115-41 as Drew Brees threw for 253 yards and three TDs without a sack or interception (he would be replaced by Teddy Bridgewater), while Kyle Allen threw for 295 yards with a sack and an interception. The Saints were 4 of 11 on third down and held on to the pigskin for 35:40, while the Panthers, keeping the pigskin for 24:20, went 5 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

In post-season play, the Vikings lead the series 3-1 and Minnesota has outscored the Saints 135-81. New Orleans’ lone win in the post-season series came in the Big Easy in 2009 as the Saints needed overtime to win 31-28 in the Superdome. It was their last meeting in the Twin Cities in 2017 that was a classic as the Vikings rallied to win 29-24 in the NFC Divisional playoff.

In that meeting, Minnesota and New Orleans played in a manner that not even Hollywood could have expected, with the plot line turning Minnesota’s way as the Vikings rallied to take the win over Drew Brees and the Saints at US Bank Stadium. The Vikings led 17-0 at the intermission against New Orleans before the Saints’ Michael Thomas ended Minnesota’s bid for a shutout when he and Drew Brees connected on a 14-yard TD pass with 1:18 left in the third quarter. Brees and Thomas would connect again with 13:09 left in the contest when they connected on a 3-yard toss.

After Kyle Horbath gave the Vikings a 20-14 lead with 10:12 left to play, New Orleans took the lead for the first time in the game when rookie RB Alvin Kamara caught a 14 yard TD pass from Brees with 3:01 left to. That lead would not last long, as once again it was Horbath putting the Vikings back on top with a 52-yard field goal with 89 seconds left.

New Orleans was not about to be outdone as they would use an 11-play, 50-yard drive that used 64 seconds of clock and took the lead back when K Wil Lutz connected on a 43-yard field goal with 25 seconds left. Minnesota, without time outs, engineered a drive that almost didn’t see the light of day as Case Keenum and Stefon Diggs opened with a 19-yard pass to their 39-yard line. After two Keenum passes were incomplete, the Vikings needed and got a miracle when Diggs caught Keenum’s desparation pass and took it into the end zone for a 61-yard TD pass as time expired for a walk-off TD to send Minnesota fans home happy and the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game.

Minnesota out-rushed New Orleans 95-80 and Keenum threw for 318 yards, while Brees threw for 294 (both men were sacked twice, Keenum threw an interception, while Brees threw two) and Diggs led all recievers with 137 yards on six catches, including the game-winner. Minnesota on third down was 10 of 17 and held the ball for 33:17, including the game-winning drive, while the Saints held the pigskin for 26:43, going 2 of 9 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Minnesota in the 2017 Divisional was favored by 3 1/2 and the Vikings covered with their 5-point last-second win and the 44 1/2 over/under was taken care of, as the two clubs combined for 53 points. The Saints are favored by 8 in the Big Easy and the over/under’s 48. The winner gets to go to Green Bay next week and the Saints would like to make travel plans for next week, while the Vikings could get another shot at their NFC North rival with a win. Minnesota pulls off the upset in the Big Easy and could cover the 8.

Seattle (11-5, 1st Wild Card) at Philadelphia (9-7, NFC East champion), 4:40 p.m. Sunday on NBC. They met in the regular season. They meet again. Starbucks vs. Cheesesteak. Carson Wentz and the Eagles host Russell Wilson and Seattle in the late afternoon Wild Card game in the City of Brotherly Love.

A Seattle rally in the final seconds in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks fell short as San Francisco held off the Seahawks 26-21 at Century Link Field last Sunday night, in a contest that gave the 49ers the NFC West title and revenge for their week 10 overtime loss in Santa Clara.

Seattle, 5-0 against Philadelphia since 2010 when Pete Carroll took over, trailed 13-0 at the break as the 49ers scored their first half points unchallenged before the home team would break San Francsico’s bid for a shutout when Wilson and WR Tyler Lockett connected on a 14-yard TD toss late in the third quarter.
San Francisco made it a 19-7 contest when RB Raheem Mostert scored from 2 yards away but the 49ers would miss the two-point conversion with 3:25 left in the quarter. Newly re-accquired RB Marshawn Lynch then pulled his team to within five with 9:55 left in the contest when he scored on a 1-yard run. Mostert pushed the 49ers lead back up to 12 with 5:51 left when he scored on a 13-yard run before Seattle stormed back again, trailing by only 5 with 3:36 left when Wilson and WR DK Metcalf connected on a 14-yard scoring pass.

Seattle would get the ball back with 2:27 left after a 49ers punt and made their way downfield, getting as close as San Francsico’s 1-yard line when Wilson tried to spike the ball to stop the clock. The Seahawks, out of time outs, were then flaggled for a delay of game penalty and passes to Lockett and Josh Hollister fell incomplete. With 12 seconds left, Wilson and Hollister would connect on a 4-yard pass but Hollister did not cross the goal line, as 49ers LB Dre Greenlaw tackled Hollister at the one-foot line. Replay would confirm that Hollister did not break the plane, which meant that Seattle did not score. San Francisco would then run out the clock and take the win in the Pacific Northwest.

San Francisco out-rushed Seattle 128-125 and Mostert led all rushers with 57 yards and the two TDs, while Seattle was led by RB Travis Homer with 62 yards (Lynch had 34 yards on 12 carries with the TD). Wilson threw for 233 yards with a pair of TDs and a sack, while Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 285 yards with a pair of sacks (neither qb threw an interception). Seattle was 8 of 14 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 32:56, while the 49ers held on to the pigskin for 27:04, going 4 of 8 on third down.

The Eagles, in a need-to-win situation in the Meadowlands last Sunday, erased a 17-17 tie at the end of the third quarter, scoring 14 fourth-quarter points unchallenged to win the East against the New York Giants by a final of 34-17 at Met Life Stadium. Philadelphia led 10-3 at the half after taking that lead when Wentz and TE Josh Perkins connected on a 24-yard TD toss with 1:52 left in the half. New York would tie the contest halfway through the third quarter when WR Golden Tate and QB Daniel Jones connected on a 20-yard TD toss. Philadelphia then took the lead back on a 7-yard run with 2:21 left in the quarter but the Giants re-tied the contest on a 68-yard run by RB Sequan Barkley with 2:05 left in the quarter. Perkins would then chip in with a 50-yard run and Scott would add a pair of 2-yard runs to seal New York’s fate and take the NFC East title.

Big Blue BARELY out-rushed the Eagles 122-121 with Barkley leading all rushers with 92 yards and Scott tallying 54 for the Eagles with the three TDs. Wentz threw for 289 yards and the Perkins TD (Wentz was sacked once but did not throw an interception), while Jones tallied 301 yards with the Tate TD pass (Jones was sacked four times and threw an interception). The Eagles were 4 of 15 on third down conversions at Met Life Stadium and ruled the clock, as they held the ball for 31:25, while the Giants kept the pigskin for 28:35 (both clubs were at the 50 percent mark on fourth down; Philadelphia was 1 of 2, the Giants were 2 of 4).

While this is their first meeting in post-season play, they did meet in the City of Brotherly Love in week 12 and the Seahawks would prevail, leaving Lincoln Financial Field 17-9 winners. Seattle erased a 3-0 lead with a Wilson TD pass to WR Malik Turner, then took a 10-3 at the half on a Justin Myers field goal late in the second quarter. Seattle RB Rashaad Penny then gave his team a 10-point lead with 11:56 left in the contest on a 58-yard run before the Eagles would rally, pulling themselves to within 8 with 20 seconds left when Wentz and TE Zach Ertz connected on a TD toss. The Eagles then went for two in hopes of knocking the deficit down to six but the try failed. Philadelphia then tried an onside kick, which Seattle promptly recovered. Seattle then ran out the clock and took the win on the East Coast in the late afternoon affair.

Penny led all rushers with 129 yards and the TD as Seattle out-rushed the Eagles 174-106 (Miles Sanders led the Eagles with 63 yards) and Wilson threw for 200 yards with the Turner TD toss (he was sacked six times and threw an interception), while Wentz was good for 256 yards with the Ertz TD toss (Wentz was sacked three times and threw a pair of interceptions). Seattle was 5 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 28:07, while the Eagles actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:53, while going 4 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 12 contest, Philadelphia was favored by 2 1/2 in the late afternoon contest in the Keystone State and Seattle would cover, winning by 8. The 49 over/under? It went untouched, as the two clubs combined for only 26 points. In the rematch, the Seahawks are a 1 1/2-point favorite in the City of Brotherly Love and the over/under’s 46. Both numbers make a lot of sense and both teams can score points if need to and this one could be a repeat of their last meeting. The only difference will be the result. The winner gets to play next weekend, while the loser gets to go home. Fly, Eagles, Fly! Like a cheesesteak with peppers, Philadelphia covers the 1 1/2 and wins in the City of Brotherly Love.

The end is near.

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

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

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

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

Win. Advance to the next round.

Lose. Your next game is in September of 2020.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AFC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles Chargers OR New England

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

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth with:

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

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

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

Tennessee clinches a playoff berth with:

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

NFC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seattle clinches NFC West division with:
Seattle win

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

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

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – COMPLETION PERCENTAGE)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winless no more!

The Cincinnati Bengals became the last team in the NFL to go without a win and they did it at home last Sunday against the New York Jets, coming away 22-6 winners at Paul Brown Stadium. Bengals fans, you can finally exhale.

It’s week 14, which means that there’s not a lot of time left for those teams that want that playoff spot to get it. When the 2019 season comes to an end the Sunday before New Year’s Day, there will be 12 teams that will fight for the Lombardi Trophy, while the other 20 will be either hiring new coaches and/or getting ready for the draft.

Speaking of the playoffs (PLAYOFFS? PLAYOFFS!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!… apologies to coach Jim Mora), there are more possible scenarios this weekend. That means that there’s going to be more confusion than a mouse in a burlesque show (sorry, Foghorn Leghorn!), so take notes. There will be a quiz afterward.

2019 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 14

AFC

CLINCHED: None

Baltimore (10-2) at Buffalo (9-3), Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS

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

Baltimore clinches playoff berth with:
Baltimore win OR
Baltimore tie + Houston loss or tie OR
Baltimore tie + Tennessee loss or tie OR
Houston loss + Indianapolis loss or tie + Oakland-Tennessee tie

Buffalo (9-3) vs. Baltimore (10-2), Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS

Buffalo clinches playoff berth with:
Buffalo win + OAK loss or tie + Houston loss + Indianapolis loss or tie

Kansas City (8-4) at New England (10-2), Sunday at 4:25 p.m. on CBS

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title with:
Kansas City win + Oakland loss

New England (10-2) vs. Kansas City (8-4), Sunday at 4:25 p.m. on CBS

New England clinches playoff berth with:
New England win OR
New England tie + Pittsburgh loss OR
New England tie + Houston loss or tie OR
New England tie + Tennessee loss or tie OR
Houston loss + Indianapolis loss or tie + Oakland-Tennessee tie

NFC

CLINCHED: New Orleans Saints – NFC South Division

San Francisco (10-2) at New Orleans (10-2), Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX

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

Seattle (10-2) at Los Angeles Rams (7-5), Sunday at 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Seattle clinches playoff berth with:
Seattle win or tie

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK 13: Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown in the Ravens’ 20-17 victory over San Francisco. Jackson has four games with at least 100 rushing yards in 2019, surpassing Michael Vick (three games in both 2004 and 2006) and Russell Wilson (three in 2014) for the most by a quarterback in a single season in NFL history. Baltimore has rushed for 2,494 yards this season, the third-most rushing yards by a team in its first 12 games of a season since 1970. Only the 1972 Miami Dolphins (2,586 rushing yards) and the 1975 Buffalo Bills (2,505) had more.

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers passed for four touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 125.4 passer rating in the Packers’ 31-13 win at the New York Giants. Rodgers has 23 career games with at least four touchdown passes, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (23 games) for the fourth-most such games in NFL history. Only Peyton Manning (35 games), Drew Brees (34) and Tom Brady (29, entering Sunday night) have more.

Giants running back Saquon Barkley, who appeared in his 25th career game, registered 115 scrimmage yards (83 rushing, 32 receiving) on Sunday. It marked his 17th career game with at least 100 scrimmage yards, tied with Billy Sims (17 games) for the fourth-most such games by a player in his first 25 career games. Only Edgerrin James (21 games), Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (19) and Ezekiel Elliott (18) had more.

Pittsburgh rookie quarterback Delvin Hodges, making his second career start, threw a touchdown pass and recorded a 95.7 passer rating in the Steelers’ 20-13 win against Cleveland. Hodges, who won his first career start in Week 6, joins Ed Rubbert (1987) as the only undrafted rookie quarterbacks to win each of their first two career starts since 1970.

Tennessee running back Derrick Henry rushed for 149 yards and a touchdown in the Titans’ 31-17 win at Indianapolis. Henry, who rushed for 188 yards and two touchdowns in Week 10 and had 159 rushing yards with two rushing touchdowns in Week 12, is the fifth player in NFL history to record at least 145 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in three consecutive games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown (1958), Eric Dickerson (1984) and O.J. Simpson (1976), as well as Adrian Peterson (2012).

Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey registered seven receptions and 102 scrimmage yards (58 receiving, 44 rushing) in the Panthers’ Week 13 loss against Washington. He has 75 receptions through 12 games in the 2019 season. McCaffrey has recorded at least 75 catches in each of his first three NFL seasons and is the fifth running back in NFL history with at least three career seasons of at least 75 receptions, joining Le’Veon Bell (three seasons), Larry Centers (five), Roger Craig (three) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk (five). McCaffrey has 2,162 career receiving yards and surpassed Roger Craig (2,118 receiving yards) for the most receiving yards by a running back in his first three seasons since 1966.

Three rookies – Los Angeles Rams safety Taylor Rapp (31-yard interception return), Kansas City safety Juan Thornhill (46-yard interception return) and Tampa Bay linebacker Devin White (14-yard fumble recovery) – each recorded a defensive touchdown on Sunday. With three defensive touchdowns, Week 13 marks the third week since 1990 in which three rookies each recorded a defensive touchdown, joining Week 17 of the 2004 season (Robert Geathers, DeAngelo Hall and Jonathan Vilma) and Week 6 of the 1999 season (Pro Football Hall of Famer Champ Bailey, Andy Katzenmoyer and Donald Mitchell).

Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders caught a one-yard touchdown pass from punter Matt Haack in the Dolphins’ 37-31 win over Philadelphia. Sanders, with his first career touchdown catch, is the first kicker with a receiving touchdown since Jim Turner (October 16, 1977).

Eagles tight end Zach Ertz registered three receptions on Sunday. He has 70 receptions in 2019, his fifth career season with at least 70 catches, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe (five) for the fourth-most such seasons by a tight end in NFL history.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff passed for 424 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 118.0 passer rating in the team’s 34-7 win at Arizona. Goff, in his fourth NFL season, has passed for at least 400 yards and two touchdowns in four career games, tied with Dak Prescott (four) for the second-most such games in a player’s first four seasons in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (seven) had more.

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw his 70th career touchdown pass in the Chiefs’ 40-9 win over Oakland. Mahomes reached 70 career touchdown passes in his 27th career game, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (29 games) as the fastest player to reach 70 career touchdown passes in NFL history.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made . The NFL has designated Sunday’s Cincinnati-Cleveland matchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest includes the teams closest to the birthplace of the NFL. In 1920, the NFL formed in Northeast Ohio, where Canton Bulldogs owner Ralph Hay organized the first meeting of fellow owners. Four years later, at nearby Massillon Washington High School, quarterback and future Pro Football Hall of Famer Paul Brown discovered the sport that would shape his life. By 1946, as the first coach of the Cleveland franchise when it launched as part of the All-American Football Conference, Brown was so synonymous with success that by popular demand he became the team’s namesake, despite his humble objections. After entering the NFL in 1950, Brown’s team won three league championships (1950, 1954-55). When the AFL placed an expansion franchise in Cincinnati during the mid-1960s, Brown joined the team as general manager and head coach, then named his new team the Bengals in time for the club’s inaugural 1968 season. One of Brown’s first Cincinnati assistant coaches was Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Walsh.

BRADY, BREES IN RACE FOR HALLOWED MARK: As NFL teams jockey for position in the 2019 playoff race, New England quarterback Tom Brady and New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees have one of the league’s most significant all-time records in their sights: Most career touchdown passes, currently held by Peyton Manning (539). Entering Week 14, Brady (535) and Brees (532) have Manning on their radar screens.

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

PLAYER: TEAMS (YEARS; TD PASSES)
Peyton Manning: Indianapolis and Denver (1998-2015; 539)
Tom Brady: New England (2000-present; 535)
Drew Brees: San Diego Chargers and New Orleans (2001-present; 532)
Brett Favre: ATLANTA, Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (1991-2010; 508)(HOF)
Dan Marino: Miami (1983-99; 420)(HOF)
Philip Rivers: San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (2004-present; 391)
Ben Roethlisberger: Pittsburgh (2004-present; 363)
Eli Manning: New York Giants (2004-present; 362)
Aaron Rodgers: Green Bay (2005-present; 360)
Fran Tarkenton, Minnesota and New York Giants (1961-1978; 342)(HOF)
(HOF) Hall of Fame

Brady, whose Patriots hosts Kansas City Sunday in Foxboro, is 47-12 (.797) during his career in starts following a regular-season loss.

EASTERN ILLINOIS CONNECTIONS IN THE BIG EASY: When San Francisco travels to the Big Easy to meet New Orleans Sunday in a matchup of 10-win teams, one former Eastern Illinois quarterback, the 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo, will square off against another former Eastern Illinois field general, Saints head coach Sean Payton. Also, the father of 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, former Raiders, Broncos and Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, also played at Eastern Illinois, where a serious injury ended his playing career but helped him discover his passion for coaching. The school also produced former Dallas quarterback Tony Romo.

If San Francisco this week clinches a playoff berth, the 49ers would become the first NFL club that didn’t qualify for the playoffs last season to earn a postseason invitation. In every season since the 12-team playoff format began in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs that were not in the postseason the year before.

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR’S NIGHTMARE: In one of Week 14’s premier games, Baltimore puts the league’s longest winning streak, eight games, on the line when they face Buffalo Sunday. The contest not only matches two of the AFC’s best teams, it also matches two of the NFL’s best dual-threat quarterbacks. Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson, whose 977 net rushing yards are more than five NFL teams this year, also ranks fourth in the NFL with a 109.6 passer rating. Buffalo’s Josh Allen, who ranks third among NFL quarterbacks with 430 rushing yards, has a fourth-quarter passer rating of 114.0.

Sunday’s game will have more combined rushing yards (1,407) by starting quarterbacks than any contest in NFL history.
Additionally, Jackson needs 23 rushing yards to become the second quarterback in NFL history with a 1,000-yard rushing season, and 63 to post the most rushing yards in a single season by an NFL quarterback, surpassing Michael Vick, who had 1,039 in 2006.

As a team, the Ravens are on pace for one of the most prolific rushing campaigns in the NFL’s 100 seasons. Since the league moved to a 16-game schedule in 1978, Baltimore’s 207.8 net rushing yards per game are on pace to finish 10 yards better than any other team in that span.

The teams with the most net rushing yards per game since 1978:

TEAM – SEASON (GM; ATT-YARDS; YDS/GM)
Baltimore – 2019 (12; 445-2,494; 207.8)
New England – 1978 (16; 671-3,165; 197.8)
Kansas City – 1978 (16; 663-2,986; 186.6)
Chicago – 1984 (16; 674-2,974; 185.9)
ATLANTA – 2006 (16; 537-2,939; 183.7)

THE FOURTH QUARTER: As the NFL makes its final turn toward the regular-season finish line, each club has just four games remaining, and 26 teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIV. Two of those teams, Tennessee and oakland battle in a key AFC contest Sunday on the West Coast.

The game features several of the NFL’s top rookies. Oakland’s Josh Jacobs leads all NFL rookies in rushing yards (1,061), rushing touchdowns (seven) and scrimmage yards (1,207). Tennessee wide receiver A.J. Brown leads AFC rookies with 626 receiving yards. On defense, Oakland’s Maxx Crosby (7.5) and Clelin Ferrell (3.5) are the NFL’s only pair of rookie teammates with three-or-more sacks each.

ROOKIE QUARTERBACKS CONTINUE TO WIN GAMES: Arizona’s Kyler Murray, the number 1 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, leads Arizona at home against Pittsburgh Sunday. Murray and the Steelers’ Delvin Hodges, an undrafted rookie, are two of the six rookie quarterbacks to win a game this season. Last week, Denver’s Drew Lock joined a group that includes Washington’s Dwayne Haskins, the Giants’ Daniel Jones and Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew. That group of six represents the second-highest number of rookie quarterbacks to win an NFL start in league history, trailing only the 1987 season (seven). Detroit’s David Blough, who plays at Minnesota Sunday, gives the 2019 rookies an opportunity to tie the single-season league record.

BATTLE OF OHIO: When Cincinnati makes the cross-state trip to play in Cleveland Sunday, the teams will meet for the 92nd time. Sunday marks the first Bengals-Browns game in 35 years in which each club has a first-year head coach. Cincinnati’s Zac Taylor and Cleveland’s Freddie Kitchens are the first rookie head-coaching pair in the series since December 2, 1984, when the Bengals’ Sam Wyche beat the Browns’ Marty Schottenheimer on an overtime field goal, 20-17.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 14

RUSHING INTO HISTORY: Baltimore enters Week 14 with the league’s top rushing attack, having rushed for the third-most yards (2,494) by a team in its first 12 games of a season since 1970. Only the 1972 Miami Dolphins (2,586 rushing yards) and the 1975 Buffalo Bills (2,505) had more.

Last week, Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown, surpassing Michael Vick (three games in both 2004 and 2006) and Russell Wilson (three in 2014) for the most games with at least 100 rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season in NFL history. Jackson has now rushed for 977 yards in 2019.

With 63 rushing yards on Sunday at Buffalo, Jackson would surpass Vick (1,039 rushing yards in 2006) for the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season in NFL history.

50,000 IN SIGHT: Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan ranks sixth in the NFL with 3,246 passing yards this season and has 49,966 passing yards in 185 games during his 12-year NFL career.

With 34 passing yards on Sunday against Carolina, Ryan would become the second-fastest player to reach 50,000 career passing yards in NFL history.

The players to reach 50,000 passing yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAMS (GAMES TO 50,000 PASS YARDS)
Drew Brees, San Diego and New Orleans (183)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (191)
Dan Marino, Miami (193) (HOF)
Philip Rivers, San Diego (196)
Matt Ryan, ATLANTA (186)*
*On Sunday

TAKING THE NEXT STEP IN TENNESSEE: Tennessee enters Week 14 on a three-game winning streak, averaging 36 points per game since Week 10 – the second-most in the NFL over that span.

Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill leads the NFL with a 113.9 passer rating entering Week 14, having completed more than 75 percent of his pass attempts with a passer rating of 130 or higher in each of his past two games.

On Sunday against Oakland, Tannehill can join Aaron Rodgers (three games in 2011) as the only players to complete at least 75 percent of their passes with a passer rating of 130 or higher (min. 10 attempts) in three consecutive games in a single season in NFL history.

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

Since Week 10, Tennessee running back Derrick Henry leads the NFL in rushing yards (496) and rushing touchdowns (five).
With at least 150 scrimmage yards and a rushing touchdown against Oakland on Sunday, Henry can become the fifth player with at least 150 scrimmage yards and a rushing touchdown in four consecutive games in NFL history.

The players with at least 150 scrimmage yards and a rushing touchdown in four consecutive games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – CONSECUTIVE GAMES)
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (2006 – 4) (HOF)
Larry Johnson, Kansas City (2005 – 4)
Priest Holmes, Kansas City (2002 – 4)
Terrell Davis, Denver (1998 – 4) (HOF)
Derrick Henry, Tennessee (2019 – 3)*
*Active streak

FIRST TO 2,000: Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey leads the NFL with 1,811 scrimmage yards through 12 games in 2019.

With at least 189 scrimmage yards on Sunday at Atlanta, McCaffrey would tie for the fewest games to reach 2,000 scrimmage yards in a season in NFL history.

The players to reach 2,000 scrimmage yards in a season in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES TO REACH 2,000)
Jim Brown, Cleveland (1963 – 13)(HOF)
Priest Holmes, Kansas City (2002 – 13)
Chris Johnson, Tennessee (2009 – 13)
Walter Payton, Chicago (1977 – 13) (HOF)
O.J. Simpson, Buffalo (1975 – 13) (HOF)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (2019 – 12)*
*Has 1,811 scrimmage yards entering Sunday

NFC SHOWDOWN IN BIG EASY: New Orleans (10-2), who clinched the NFC South last week, hosts San Francsico on Sunday in a matchup of two of the league’s most talented backfields.

Since entering the NFL in 2017, New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara ranks second among running backs with 1,979 receiving yards and ranks fourth across all players with 4,177 scrimmage yards.

Kamara – who has 587 rushing yards and 444 receiving yards this season – needs 56 receiving yards on Sunday against San Francisco, to become the third player with at least 500 rushing and 500 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons in NFL history.

The players with at least 500 rushing and 500 receiving yards in each of their first three seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)
Abner Haynes, Dallas Texans (1960-62)
Herschel Walker, Dallas Cowboys (1986-88)
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans (2017-18)*
*Has 587 rushing yards and 444 receiving yards in 2019

Meanwhile, San Francisco features one of the most balanced rushing attacks in the NFL this season. Led by running backs Matt Breida (542 rushing yards), Raheem Mostert (539) and Tevin Coleman (454), the 49ers boast the NFC’s top rushing offense (148 yards per game) in 2019.

With 46 rushing yards from Coleman, San Francisco would become the first team with three running backs to each have at least 500 rushing yards in a season since the 2004 Kansas City Chiefs, when Priest Holmes (892 rushing yards), Larry Johnson (581) and Derrick BlaylockK (539) accomplished the feat.

Additionally, if Coleman reaches 500 rushing yards for the season on Sunday, San Francisco would become the first team to have three running backs with at least 500 rushing yards each in its first 13 games of a season since the 1978 New England Patriots.

AMONG THE GREATS: Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce leads the AFC with 923 receiving yards this season. With at least 77 receiving yards on Sunday at New England, Kelce would become the fourth tight end with at least four seasons of at least 1,000 receiving yards in NFL history.

The tight ends with the most seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS WITH 1,000+ RECIEVING YARDS)
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City (4)(HOF)
Rob Gronkowski, New England (4)
Jason Witten, Dallas (4)
Travis Kelce, Kansas City (3)*
*Has 923 receiving yards in 2019

If Kelce reaches 1,000 receiving yards in 2019, he would become the first tight end with at least 1,000 receiving yards in four consecutive seasons in NFL history, surpassing Greg Olsen (three seasons from 2014-16).

MAN OF STEEL: The Pittsburgh Steeler defense leads the NFL with 30 takeaways and has an AFC-leading 43 sacks this season, led by linebacker T.J. Watt’s AFC-high 12.5 sacks.

If Watt – who has at least a half sack in nine consecutive games – records at least half a sack against Arizona on Sunday, he would become the fifth player to have at least half a sack in 10 consecutive games since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic.

The players with at least half a sack in 10 consecutive games in a single season since 1982:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – CONSECUTIVE GAMES)
Chris Jones, Kansas City (2018 – 11)
Michael Strahan, New York Giants (2002 – 10) (HOF)
Jevon Kearse, Tennessee (1999 – 10)
Simon Fletcher, Denver (1991 – 10)
T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh (2019 – 9)*

*Active streak

Week 14 got underway in the Windy City as Chicago held off Dallas at Soldier Field Thursday night and ends in the City of Brotherly Love as Philadelphia hosts the New York Giants in a game that Philadelphia needs for any chance in the post-season. As for last week? 8-8 for the week (while not great, isn’t bad because that keeps us at or above .500 for another week), 88-59 for the season. With all of that being said, here are the picks for Sunday and Monday in week 14.

Carolina (5-7) at ATLANTA (3-9), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of NFC South rivals who met a few weeks ago in Charlotte meet again, as it’s Carolina’s turn to make the 249-mile, 4-hour trip south to face off against Atlanta in the Big Peach. Both teams took losses at home in last week’s action and both look to gain a little ground on New Orleans in the division and Carolina will have new leadership on their sideline after the Panthers relieved Ron Rivera of his coaching duties, with secondary coach Perry Fewell in as the team’s interim coach.

Carolina let a 14-12 lead against Washington get away from them at Bank of America Stadium and saw their hopes of a last-second comeback fall short as the Panthers fell to the Redskins 29-21. Carolina took that 1-point into the intermission, thanks to a pair of Kyle Allen TDs in the first 30 minutes of action. Washington would use a pair of Daniel Hopkins field goals and a 1-yard TD run by Derek Guice to narrow the deficit, then went on to score 17 unchallenged points (Hopkins field goal and TDs from Guice and Adrian Peterson) in the second half before the Panthers would make the contest an 8-point affair with 1:51 when Allen scored on a 17-yard run. Carolina would get the ball back with 1:51 left in the contest and got themselves as close as Washington’s 3-yard line when Allen was sacked and fumbled the ball, with Washington recovering to end the threat.

Washington outrushed Carolina 248-65 with Guice leading the way with 129 yards and a pair of TDs, while Peterson tallied 99 yards on the ground. Allen threw for 278 yards with a pair of TDs but found himself being sacked seven times with an interception, while Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins threw for 147 yards and despite being sacked five times, did not have an interception. Carolina was 5 of 16 on third down (the Panthers were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:23, while the Redskins were rulers of the clock, keeping the pigskin for 30:37 and went 3 for 11 on third down.

Atlanta dropped their second NFC South game and their second home game, falling to divisional rival New Orleans 26-18 in the Big Peach Thanksgiving night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. New Orleans, who clinched the NFC South, would lead 17-9 at the intermission, then got three field goals from Will Lutz before Atlanta stormed back in the final period, using a 13-yard TD toss from Ryan to WR Russell Gage, then a successful onside kick and a 43-yard field goal by Youngho Koo with 1:56 left in the contest.

Atlanta would get the jump on New Orleans again with another successful onside kick after Koo’s field goal, getting the ball on their 47-yard line. The Falcons’ final rally fell short as Ryan would be sacked by Cameron Jordan to seal the win. New Orleans outrushed Atlanta 95-89 and Ryan threw for 312 yards with a pair of TDs, while Drew Brees threw for 184 yards (Ryan was sacked nine times and threw a pair of interceptions). Atlanta was 6 of 16 on third down tries in the Big Peach (they were 2 of 4 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 35:37, while the Saints kept the pigskin for 24:23, going 2 of 10 on third down tried.

They met in the Tar Heel State in week 11 and the Falcons manhandled Carolina 29-3. Atlanta scored the first 26 points of the contest uncontested (they led 20-0 at the intermission) at Bank of America Stadium and never looked back, holding the Panthers to a 31-yard field goal by Jeff Slye early in the final quarter to take the win.

Atlanta, getting three field goals from Youngho Koo, a 78-yard punt return from Kenjon Barner and a 6-yard TD pass from Ryan to Calvin Ridley, held the Panthers to 77 yards of rushing (McCaffery would lead Carolina with 70 of those yards), while tallying 54 yards of their own. Ryan threw for 311 yards with the TD toss to Ridley with three sacks but no interceptions, while Allen threw for 325 yards with five sacks and four interceptions. Atlanta on third down? 6 of 14 but they were perfect on fourth down, going 1 of 1 and ruled the clock, keeping the ball from the Panthers for 31:26, while Carolina, going 2 of 14 on third down (3 of 5 on fourth down) and held the ball for 28:34.

In the week 11 contest at Bank of America Stadium, Carolina was favored by 6 1/2 and Atlanta pulled the upset, winning by 26. The 49 1/2 over/under stayed safe, as both clubs combined for only 32 points. The odds makers like the Falcons at home, favoring them by 2 with a 48 over/under. The Panthers are looking for revenge from their week 11 loss in Charlotte, while the Falcons would love nothing more than to let Carolina know that the first time was not a fluke. Atlanta completes the sweep at home in the Big Peach and covers the 2.

Baltimore (10-2) at Buffalo (9-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of AFC contenders meet along the shore of Lake Erie as the Baltimore Ravens (first place in the AFC North) travel to Orchard Park to face off against the Buffalo Bills (second place in the AFC East). Both teams took huge wins in last week’s action.

Ravens K Jeff Tucker sent Baltimore fans home happy last Sunday in Charm City as Baltimore left M&T Bank Stadium 20-17 winners over San Francisco in a contest that some considered a possible Super Bowl matchup. The Ravens led the 49ers 17-14 at the break before the 49ers tied the contest with 3:37 left in the third on a 32-yard field goal. San Francisco and Baltimore exchanged the ball four times from the time the 49ers tied the contest until the 6:28 of the fourth quarter, when the Ravens went on a long drive that used 12 plays, 34 yards of field and all of the 6:28 left in the contest to give Tucker a chance to end the contest in regulation. Tucker did not disappoint Ravens fans that stayed in the rain and wind, booting a 49-yard field goal as the clock struck :00.

Baltimore outrushed the 49ers 178-174 with Ravens QB Lamar Jackson leading the way with 101 yards and a rushing TD (Jackson also threw for 105 yards and a TD toss to TE Mark Andrews; San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 165 yards and a TD. Garoppolo was sacked twice, Jackson was sacked once and neither threw an interception), while San Francisco was led by Robert Mostert with 146 yards on the ground. Baltimore was 3 of 10 on third down tries (the Ravens were 2 for 3 on fourth down) and including the final 6:28 of the contest, ruled the clock and kept the ball for 32:26, while the 49ers held on to the pigskin for 27:34, while going 4 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Buffalo erased a 7-0 deficit at the end of the first quarter against Dallas as the Bills came away with the 26-15 win last Thursday at AT&T Stadium. The Bills scored their 26 points from the second quarter to the midway point of the fourth quarter unchallenged to take the win in the Lone Star State. Although they trailed 13-7 at the intermission, Dallas could never really get themselves on track at home, as they would lose their second contest in three games.

Buffalo outrushed Dallas 124-103 with Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott leading all rushers with 71 yards, while Dak Prescott threw for 355 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Jason Witten) with Bills QB Josh Allen throwing for 231 yards and a TD pass to former Cowboys WR Cole Beasley (Beasley burned his former team for 110 yards on six catches). Allen, who had a rushing TD in the third quarter, did not have an interception, while Prescott threw a pick (both were sacked four times). Dallas was 7 of 13 on third down (the Cowboys were 1 for 3 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 26:42, while the Bills ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:18, while going 6 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Baltimore leads the series 5-3, the Ravens have outscored the Bills 180-112 and Baltimore has won the last two meetings in the series, including a 47-3 win in Charm City last year (Buffalo’s last win in the series came in 2013 in upstate New York by a final of 23-20).

Their 2018 meeting was in Charm City at M&T Bank Stadium and the Ravens scored 26 first-half points in the season opener unchallenged to lead 26-0. Buffalo’s only points in the contest came in the third quarter on a 35-yard field goal by Stepehn Hauschka late in the period. Baltimore would then go in the contest to slam the door shut on the Bills.

While rushing for 117 yards in the win at home, the Ravens held Buffalo to 83 yards and Ravens QB Joe Flacco threw for 236 yards with three TDs and a sack but did not throw an interception, while Bills signal caller Nathan Peterman threw for 24 yards with a pair of interceptions and three sacks before being replaced by Josh Allen (74 yards), who was sacked three times himself. Baltimore was 6 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 35:14, while the Bills kept the pigskin for 24:46, going 2 of 15 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Baltimore’s win by 44 points easily allowed the Ravens to cover the 7 1/2 point spread in Charm City and both clubs covered the 39 1/2 over/under with 50 points. The odds makers in Vegas like the Ravens as 5 1/2 point favorites along the shores of Lake Erie and the over/under’s 43. Both clubs are looking to be part of the playoff party and both teams could get their invite and both clubs have played some pretty good football of late. Ravens make this one closer than the 5 1/2 but Buffalo circles the wagons in upstate New York and takes the win.

Cincinnati (1-11) at Cleveland (5-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. They share the same state and the same divison. They’re separtated by 249 miles and a 3 1/2 drive up Interstate 71. A pair of AFC North rivals meet along the shores of Lake Erie as Cleveland and Baker Mayfield host the Cincinnati Bengals at First Energy Stadium.

Cincinati fans were in a very good mood last Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium as they held the New York Jets to a pair of first half field goals, breaking their 13-game losing streak (they lost the last two games of the 2018 campaign) to take a 22-6 win along the shores of the Ohio River. Cincinnati led 17-6 at the intermission, then floored the gas as they would score five third quarter points (safety, Randy Bulloch field goal) unchallenged to seal New York’s fate.

GangGreen did outrush Cincinnati 62-44 and Sam Darnold threw for 239 yards, while Bengals signal caller Andy Dalton returned to action and threw for 243 yards with a TD to TE Travis Boyd (Dalton was sacked once, Darnold was sacked four times and neither man threw an interception). The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 7 of 17 on third down tries, 0 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 28:19, while Cincinnati ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:41 and went 5 of 14 on third down.

Cleveland saw an early 10-0 lead at Pittsburgh get away from them last Sunday as the Steelers got a measure of revenge from their loss along the shores of Lake Erie two weeks ago to take a 20-17 win at Heinz Field. The Browns used a 31-yard field goal by Austin Siebert and a 15-yard TD toss from Mayfield to Kareem Hunt to score the first points of the contest unchallenged before the Steelers got themselves back on track, tying the contest with Chris Boswell’s 39-yard field goal and a 30-yard TD pass from Delvin Hodges to WR James Washigton with a minute left in the first half to send the teams into the intermission tied at 10-10.

Pittsburgh would then add a 1-yard run by Benny Snell, Jr. and a 29-yard field goal by Boswell to lead 20-10 early in the final period. Siebert then pulled the Browns to within seven with 7:30 left in regulation on a 34-yard field goal. The Browns and Steelers would each get the ball, only to punt to the other team after Siebert’s field goal and Cleveland would get the ball back with 1:45 left. After Pittsburgh’s Bud Dupree was flagged for roughing the passer, the Browns got the ball at their 35 and would get as close as their own 40, when the drive and Cleveland’s hopes ended when Mayfield was picked off by Joe Haden, ending the threat.

Pittsburgh outrushed Cleveland 124-106 with Snell leading the way with 63 yards (Cleveland was led by Nick Chubb, who ran for 58 yards on 16 carries). Hodges threw for 212 yards in the win, while Mayfield threw for 196 (both threw an interception as well as a TD; Mayfield was sacked five times, while Hodges was sacked once. Cleveland was 4 of 12 on third down (the Browns were 1 for 2 on fourth down) and they actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:06 to Pittsburgh’s 27:54; the Steelers were 4 for 10 on third down conversions.

The Bengals lead the series 50-41 and have outscored the Browns 1,986-1,806. Cleveland did sweep the series last year, taking both wins in the Buckeye State (Cincinnati’s last win in the series came in 2017, when the Bengals were 30-16 winners in Cincinnati).

The first meeting… week 12 along the banks of the Ohio River. Cleveland left Paul Brown Stadium in that first meeting 35-20. The Browns led 28-7 at the break and pretty much held their instate/AFC North rivals in check. While Cincinnati outrushed Cleveland 129-84 (Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon led all rushers with 89 yards, Nick Chubb led Cleveland with 88 yards), Mayfield threw for 258 yards with a pair of TDs (one to Chubb, who also had a rushing TD) without a sack or interception, while Jeff Driskel threw for 155 yards with a TD to Tyler Boyd before being replaced by Andy Dalton (100 yards, TD, interception). The Browns were 5 of 10 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:04, while the Bengals kept the pigskin for 27:56, going 4 of 12 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

Cleveland completed the sweep of the Buckeye State series in week 16 at First Energy Field, coming away 26-18 winners in the rematch. After a scoreless first quarter, the Browns took a 16-0 lead with them to the intermission, then led 23-0 at the end of 45 minutes of play before the Bengals would storm their way back to within eight with 2:56 left in the contest but got no closer. Chubb led all rushers with 112 yards as the Browns outrushed Cincinnati 146-102 (Mixon led the Bengals with 68 yards) and Mayfield threw for 284 yards and three TDs without a sack or interception, while Driskel (who took over for Dalton), threw for 133 yards with three TDs (Driskel was sacked three times but did not throw an interception). The Bengals were a somewhat dismal 1 of 8 on third down and held on to the ball for 24:29, while the Browns ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 35:31 and was 5 of 12 on third down tries (both teams were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

In the week 12 contest in Cincinnati, the Bengals were favored by 3 and the Browns covered, winning by 15 and both clubs combined for 55 points, allowing the 47 1/2 over/under to be covered. In the week 16 affair at First Energy Field, the Browns barely covered the 7-point spread, winning by 8 but both clubs barely missed the 45 over/under by a single point. Cleveland’s favored by 8 1/2 along the shores of Lake Erie and the over/under’s 42 1/2. The Browns look to keep their playoff hopes in tact, while the Bengals look to take their second win in a row. Cincinnati wins on the road but expect Cleveland to make the contest closer than the 8 1/2.

Washington (3-9) at Green Bay (9-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Green Bay returns to the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst to face off against the Washington Redskins at Lambeau Field. Both teams were winners on the road, chipping away at early deficits in the process.

Washington chipped away at a 14-12 deficit lead against Carolina at Bank of America Stadium, then held off a late Carolina rally to give the Redskins a 29-21 win in the Tar Heel State. Carolina took that 1-point into the intermission, thanks to a pair of Kyle Allen TDs in the first 30 minutes of action. Washington would use a pair of Daniel Hopkins field goals and a 1-yard TD run by Derek Guice to narrow the deficit, then went on to score 17 unchallenged points (Hopkins field goal and TDs from Guice and Adrian Peterson) in the second half before the Panthers would make the contest an 8-point affair with 1:51 when Allen scored on a 17-yard run. Carolina would get the ball back with 1:51 left in the contest and got themselves as close as Washington’s 3-yard line when Allen was sacked and fumbled the ball, with Washington recovering to end the threat.

Washington outrushed Carolina 248-65 with Guice leading the way with 129 yards and a pair of TDs, while Peterson tallied 99 yards on the ground. Allen threw for 278 yards with a pair of TDs but found himself being sacked seven times with an interception, while Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins threw for 147 yards and despite being sacked five times, did not have an interception. Carolina was 5 of 16 on third down (the Panthers were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:23, while the Redskins were rulers of the clock, keeping the pigskin for 30:37 and went 3 for 11 on third down. It would be head coach Ron Rivera’s final game with the Panthers, as they relieved him of his duties Tuesday afternoon.

Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers went into Met Life Stadium last Sunday and left the Meadowlands 31-13 winners. The Packers erased a 7-7 after Russell Shepherd and Doug Jones connected on an 18 yard TD toss with 3:16 left in the first when Rodgers and rookie WR Allan Lazard connected on a 37-yard TD pass to lead 14-7 at the end of the first quarter. Big Blue trailed 17-10 at the half and would rally to make it a 4-point contest at the end of the third quarter before Green Bay would get TD passes from Rodgers to Davante Adams and Marcedes Lewis to seal New York’s fate.

New York did manage to outrush the Packers 95-79 with Giants RB Sequan Barkley leading all rushers with 83 yards, while Rodgers threw for 243 yards with four TDs and no sacks or interceptions (Jones threw for 240 yards with the lone TD toss but was picked off three times). The Giants were 5 of 14 on third down tries in the snowy Meadowlands (they were 3 of 4 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 31:17, while the Packers, who held the pigskin for 28:43, went 7 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including contests played in Boston, when the Redskins were known as the Braves, contests played in Milwaukee at County Stadium and RFK Stadium, the Packers lead the series 18-15-1 and have outscored Washington 663-580. Washington has won the last two meetings in the series, both in Landover, with the last win coming in 2018 by a final of 31-17 (Green Bay’s last win in the series came in 2013 in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst, with the Packers leaving Lambeau Field 38-20 winners).

They met in week three in Landover and Washington led 28-10 at the break as Peterson rushed for a pair of TDs (both 2-yard runs) in the first half, while Alex Smith threw a pair of TD passes (his longest going to Paul Richardson in the first quarter) in the first 30 minutes of play. Washington outrushed Green Bay 166-100 with Peterson leading all rushers with 120 yards to go with the two TDs; Smith threw for 220 yards with an interception to go with his two TDs, while Rodgers threw for 265 yards with a pair of TDs and four sacks but no picks. Green Bay was 6 of 14 on third down (they were 0 for 2 on fourth down) and the Packers would keep the ball for 30:55, while Washington, who kept the ball for 29:05, went 5 of 11 on third down.

In the week three contest in Landover, Green Bay was favored by 3 and the Redskins would cover, winning by 14 and both clubs covered the 45 1/2 over/under, tallying 48 points. Green Bay’s favored by 13 1/2 at Lambeau and the over/under’s 43. The 43 is reasonable, it’s the 13 1/2 that comes into question. Washington’s not that bad a team and while Green Bay takes this one, expect the Redskins to make it closer than the 13 1/2.

Denver (4-8) at Houston (8-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. The first-place Houston Texans welcome the Denver Broncos to the Lone Star State in a early afternoon Sunday matchup at NRG Stadium. Both teams were home winners in last week’s contests.
Denver fought their way to the end against AFC West foe the Los Angeles Chargers last Sunday and it would be K Brian McManus sending Broncos fans home with smiles on their faces as they came away 23-20 last-second winners at Empower Field at Mile High. The Broncos led 17-10 at the break in the Mile High City and took that lead with them to start the final 15 minutes of football (the two clubs played a scoreless third quarter) before the Chargers would tie the contest up early in the fourth when Keenan Allen and QB Philip Rivers connected on a 36-yard TD pass.

McManus would give his team the lead back with 4:26 left in regulation, booting a 52-yard field goal through the uprights. That lead would not last long as the Chargers would tie the contest again with 14 seconds left on a 46-yard field goal by Michael Badgley. Denver would get the ball back with 14 seconds left after Los Angeles’ kickoff went into the endzone for a touchback. Broncos QB Drew Lock’s pass to Courtland Sutton was incomplete but Chargers CB Casey Heyward Jr. was flagged for interference at his team’s 35-yard line. The Chargers, hoping for overtime, then burned a timeout with three seconds left in an effort to ice McManus, who was going to try a 53-yard field goal for the win. McManus’ try went through the uprights as the clock stuck :00, giving Denver the win.

Houston led Tom Brady and the New England Patriots from start to finish, holding off a late rally by the defending Super Bowl champs to take a 28-22 win Sunday night at NRG Stadium. Houston led 14-3 at the intermission and New England found themselves playing catchup the entire contest. The Patriots did pull themselves to within six with 50 seconds left when Brady and WR Josh Edelman connected on a 20-yard TD toss. New England then went for the onside kick, which the Texans recovered and the home team would run out the clock and take the win.

New England outrushed Houston 145-52 and Brady threw for 326 yards with an interception, while Watson threw for 234 yards with a TD reception (both men threw three TDs and both were sacked three times). New England did reasonably well on third down conversions, going 9 for 17 (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:35, while the Texans held on to the pigskin for 25:25, going 6 for 11 on third down.

The Chargers outrushed Denver 115-84 (Los Angeles’ Melvin Gordon led all rushers with 99 yards, while Patrick Lindsay led Denver with 58) and Lock threw for 134 yards, while Rivers threw for 265 (Rivers was sacked three times, both men threw a pair of TDs and both threw an interception). The Chargers on third down went 5 of 15 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:09, while the Broncos kept the pigskin for 27:51 (including the final 14 seconds of regulation) and went 7 of 15 on third down.

Denver leads the series 4-3 and the Broncos have outscored Houston 174-139. Houston won the last meeting, which took place in Denver in 2018, by a final of 19-17, while the Broncos took a 27-9 win in Denver in 2016 for their last victory in the series. Houston’s favored by 9 1/2 and the over/under’s 41 1/2. The Chargers are looking to derail Houston’s playoff drive, while the Texans want no part of that plan. Houston may not cover the 9 1/2 but they do take the win at home.

Detroit (3-8-1) at Minnesota (8-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of NFC North rivals meet in the Twin Cities as the Lions and Vikings meet in a week seven rematch at US Bank Stadium. Both teams, chasing Green Bay for the division lead, lost last week’s contests.

Detroit would watch Chicago leave the Motor City 24-20 winners Thanksgiving afternoon, thanks to a 3-yard TD pass from Mitchell Trubisky to RB David Montgomery, rallying in the final minutes at Ford Field to take the win. Detroit led 17-10 at the intermission in the Motor City before Chicago tied the contest up at 17-17 when Trubisky and TE Jesper Horsted connected on an 18-yard TD toss late in the third quarter. Detroit’s Matt Prater would give the Lions the lead back with 10:47 in the contest, connecting on a 24-yard field goal to lead by three. The two clubs would exchange punts and Da Bears would get the ball back with 6:40 left in regulation, using a 9-play, 90-yard drive that took 4:23 of clock to reclaim the lead in the contest.

Detroit would get the ball back with 2:12 left in the contest and got themselves from their 17-yard line to Chicago’s 26, burning a timeout and the two-minute warning, only to see their hopes dashed when back QB David Blough (who took over for Matthew Stafford) was picked off by Eddie Jackson to seal Detroit’s fate. Detroit somehow managed to outrush Da Bears 105-88, with Lions RB Bobby Scarborough leading the way with 83 yards, while Montgomery led Chicago with 75. Trubisky threw for 338 yards and three TDs (including the game-winner), while Blough led Detroit with 280 yards and a pair of TDs, including his first NFL TD pass to Kenny Golladay early in the first quarter (Trubisky was sacked twice, Blough was sacked once and both men threw an interception; Golladay led all recievers with 158 yards on four catches, while Chicago’s Anthony Miller had 140 yards on nine catches). Chicago was 5 of 10 on third down tries Thanksgiving afternoon in the Motor City and kept the ball for 30:50, while Detroit held on to the pigskin for 29:10, going 8 of 16 on third down (both clubs were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

Minnesota let a 17-10 lead at Seattle get away from them in the Pacific Northwest Monday night as the Seahawks rallied to take a 37-30 win at Century Link Field. Safety Anthony Harris would give the Vikings a 14-7 lead when he picked off Seattle QB Russell Wilson, running the interception back 20 yards for a TD. Jason Myers would put Seattle to within four with a 29-yard field goal with 59 seconds left before Vikings K Dan Bailey responded with a 47-yard boot as time expired in the first half. Seattle would then take control of things in the second half, scoring 17 points in the third quarter unchallenged, using a 1-yard run by RB Rashaad Penny, a 29-yard field goal by Myers and a 60-yard pass from Wilson to David Moore in that quarter to lead 27-17. Penny would open the scoring in the final 15 minutes of play, catching a 13-yard toss from Wilson to lead by 17 before Minnesota responded with a pair of Cousins TD tosses (the first going to WR Laquon Treadwell and the second to TE Kyle Rudolph) to put themselves to within 4 with 7:14 left in the contest before Myers added his third field goal of the contest to all but ice the contest away.

Seattle outrushed Minnesota 218-78, with Seahawks RB Chris Carson leading all rushers with 102 yards and a TD (the Seahawks held Delvin Cook to 29 yards on 9 carries with a TD) and Cousins threw for 276 yards, while Wilson tallied 240 yards (both threw a pair of TDs, both threw interceptions and Wilson was sacked once). Minnesota was 5 of 10 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 20:15, while Seattle ruled time in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, keeping the pigskin for 39:45, while going 7 of 15 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

They met in the Motor City in week seven and the Vikings took Detroit to task at Ford Field, taking a 42-30 win. Minnesota and Detroit were tied 21-21 at the intermission before the Vikings would pull away in the second half, taking the lead for keeps with 9:02 left in the third when Chris Ham caught a 5-yard TD toss from Cousins. Detroit’s Marvin Jones would later catch a 2-yard pass from Matthew Stafford to pull themselves to within five before Delvin Cook’s 4-yard run (his second of the contest) with 1:55 left in the contest sealed Detroit’s fate.

Minnesota outrushed their NFC North rivals 166-81 with Cook leading the way with 142 yards; Cousins threw for 337 yards without a sack or interception, while Stafford threw for 364 yards with an interception and two sacks (both threw four TD passes in the contest). Minnesota was 6 of 10 on third down at Ford Field and kept the ball for 32:10, while the Lions held the ball for 27:50 and went 6 for 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Minnesota covered the 1-point spread in the week seven contest at Ford Field and both clubs covered the 45 1/2 over/under with 72 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Vikings again, this time favoring them by 14 and the over/under’s 42 1/2. We’re not sure about the 14; on the other hand, the 42 1/2 makes sense. Detroit’s not as bad as their record states but then again, we’re dealing with the Lions here. Detroit makes it closer than the 14 but the Vikings complete the sweep in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and takes the win in the Twin Cities.

San Francisco (10-2) at New Orleans (10-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of contending NFC teams that could very well meet in the post-season meet in the Big Easy as New Orleans and San Francsico square off at the Mercedes Benz Superdome.

The 49ers got their hearts broken in Baltimore as Ravens K Jeff Tucker sent Baltimore fans home happy last Sunday in Charm City as Baltimore left M&T Bank Stadium 20-17 winners over San Francisco in a contest that some considered a possible Super Bowl matchup. The Ravens led the 49ers 17-14 at the break before the 49ers tied the contest with 3:37 left in the third on a 32-yard field goal. San Francisco and Baltimore exchanged the ball four times from the time the 49ers tied the contest until the 6:28 of the fourth quarter, when the Ravens went on a long drive that used 12 plays, 34 yards of field and all of the 6:28 left in the contest to give Tucker a chance to end the contest in regulation. Tucker did not disappoint Ravens fans that stayed in the rain and wind, booting a 49-yard field goal as the clock struck :00.

It was a ground game fan’s dream as Baltimore outrushed the 49ers 178-174 with Ravens QB Lamar Jackson leading the way with 101 yards and a rushing TD (Jackson also threw for 105 yards and a TD toss to TE Mark Andrews; San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 165 yards and a TD. Garoppolo was sacked twice, Jackson was sacked once and neither threw an interception), while San Francisco was led by Robert Mostert with 146 yards on the ground. Baltimore was 3 of 10 on third down tries (the Ravens were 2 for 3 on fourth down) and including the final 6:28 of the contest, ruled the clock and kept the ball for 32:26, while the 49ers held on to the pigskin for 27:34, while going 4 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

New Orleans held off a late Atlanta rally as the Falcons dropped their second NFC South game and their second home game, coming away 26-18 winners in the Big Peach Thanksgiving night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. New Orleans, who clinched the NFC South, would lead 17-9 at the intermission, then got three field goals from Will Lutz before Atlanta stormed back in the final period, using a 13-yard TD toss from Ryan to WR Russell Gage, then a successful onside kick and a 43-yard field goal by Youngho Koo with 1:56 left in the contest.

Atlanta would get the jump on New Orleans again with another successful onside kick after Koo’s field goal, getting the ball on their 47-yard line. The Falcons’ final rally fell short as Ryan would be sacked by Cameron Jordan to seal the win. New Orleans outrushed Atlanta 95-89 and Ryan threw for 312 yards with a pair of TDs, while Drew Brees threw for 184 yards (Ryan was sacked nine times and threw a pair of interceptions). Atlanta was 6 of 16 on third down tries in the Big Peach (they were 2 of 4 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 35:37, while the Saints kept the pigskin for 24:23, going 2 of 10 on third down tried.

Including contests played at Keezar Stadium, old Tulane Stadium and Candlestick Park, San Francisco leads the series 47-26-2 and have outscored the Saints 1,814-1,395. The Saints came away 41-23 winners in San Francsico in 2016, while the 49ers’ last win came in the Big Easy by a final of 27-24 in 2014. New Orleans’ favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 45. Both numbers make a ton of sense. The Saints have already punched their playoff ticket, while the 49ers are looking to get their ducks back in a row in hopes of either winning the NFC West or being a Wild Card team. San Francisco rights its ship from last week in the Big Easy and covers the 3 1/2 with the win.

Miami (3-9) at New York Jets (4-8), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of struggling AFC East rivals meet in upstate New Jersey in a week nine rematch as the New York J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! host the Miami Dolphins at Met Life Stadium.

The Dolphins used trickery in their 37-31 win over Philadelphia Sunday afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami took a 14-13 lead with 4:40 left before the intermission when K Jason Sanders and punter Matt Haack connected on a 1-yard TD pass as the Dolphins lined up for what some thought would be a field goal try. Philadelphia then took the lead back with 6 seconds left before half time on a 15-yard TD toss from Carson Wentz to WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and added to their lead in the third quarter when Wentz and WR Alshon Jeffery connected on a 10-yard toss.

Miami then used a pair of TD passes from Ryan Fitzpatrick (connecting with DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki), a two-point conversion pass from Fitzpatrick to RB Patrick Patrick and a Sanders field goal in the second half, tallying 23 points unchallenged to lead 37-28 before Eagles K Josh Elliott connected on a 37-yard field goal with 1:51 left in the contest. Miami would get the ball back but could not make a first down that would have ended the contest and the Dolphins punted the ball back to Philadelphia, who had the pigskin for only two plays, when Wentz was picked off by S Chris Lammons, ending the threat.

Philadelphia outrushed Miami 92-52 and Fitzpatrick threw for 365 yards, while Wentz threw for 310 yards (both threw an interception with three TDs; Wentz was sacked twice, Fitzpatrick was sacked three times) in the Sunshine State. Miami went 5 of 12 on third down but had success on fourth down, going 3 of 3 and kept the ball for 31:18, while Philadelphia held on to the ball for 28:42, while going 7 for 14 on third down.

GangGreen found themselves being held by Cincinnati to a pair of first half field goals at Paul Brown Stadium as the Bengals broke their 13-game losing streak (they lost the last two games of the 2018 campaign) to take a 22-6 win along the shores of the Ohio River. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! trailed 17-6 at the intermission, then watched the Bengals score five third quarter points (safety, Randy Bulloch field goal) unchallenged to seal their fate.

GangGreen did outrush Cincinnati 62-44 and Sam Darnold threw for 239 yards, while Bengals signal caller Andy Dalton returned to action and threw for 243 yards with a TD to TE Travis Boyd (Dalton was sacked once, Darnold was sacked four times and neither man threw an interception). The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 7 of 17 on third down tries, 0 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 28:19, while Cincinnati ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:41 and went 5 of 14 on third down.

Miami picked up their first win in their week nine meeting in the Sunshine State at Hard Rock Stadium 26-18. The Dolphins led 21-12 at the break, then things went sideways for GangGreen as they would give up a Jason Sanders field goal with 60 seconds left in the third quarter, then Jets RB Jonathan Harrison fumbled the ball out of the end zone, giving Miami two more points in the fourth quarter.

Neither club touched the 100-yard barrier in the contest but while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! outrushed Miami 83-50, Miami’s Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 288 yards with four TDs with no interceptions, despite being sacked four times (Darnold threw for 260 yards with a TD, three sacks and an interception for GangGreen). Miami was 6 of 12 on third down and ruled the clock as they held the ball for 31:14, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! held the pigskin for 28:46, going 5 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week nine contest at Hard Rock Stadium, GangGreen was favored by 3 and the Dolphins would cover, winning by 8 and both clubs covered the 40 1/2 over/under with 44 points. This time, the Jets are favored in the Meadowlands by 6 with a 44 over/under. We don’t blame you if you decide not to watch this one and watch the “Grumpy Cat Christmas” movie (unless you’re a fan of one of these teams). Miami proves that the first time was not a fluke and wins in the Meadowlands, covering the 6.

Indianapolis (6-6) at Tampa Bay (5-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. Jacoby Brissett and Indianapolis make their way to the Sunshine State to face off against Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Colts’ playoff hopes took a hit Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil as Tennessee swept a 10-7 halftime deficit at Indianapolis away, outscoring the Colts 24-7 in the final 30 minutes of play to take a 31-17 win over their AFC South rivals at Lucas Oil Stadium. Colts RB Nyheim Hines would give Indianpolis a 17-7 lead with 10:23 left in the third before Tennessee would go on a tear, scoring their 24 second-half points unthreatened and got help from their special teams as S Tye Smith blocked a 46-yard field goal try by Adam Vinatieri, picked up the ball and ran 63 yards untouched. Tennesee outrushed Indianapolis 154-82, with Titans RB Derrick Henry leading the way with 149 yards and a TD, while Ryan Tannehill threw for 182 yards and a pair of TDs (Brissett threw for 319 yards with a TD but was sacked three times; Tannehill was sacked six times but had no interceptions to his credit). Tennessee was 5 of 13 on third down (the Titans were successful in their only fourth down try) and kept the ball for 27:29, while the Colts held on to the pigskin for 32:31, going 5 for 12 on third down.

Tampa Bay restored order in the Sunshine State last week in Jacksonville, as the Bucs manhandled the Jaguars 28-11 at TIAA Stadium. The Bucs led 25-0 at the intermission on the road, scoring all of their points in the first 30 minutes of play unchallenged to set the tone before Jacksonville would use a Josh Lambo field goal and a TD pass from Gardner Minshew II (who took over after Nick Foles was benched) to Dede Westbrook (the two combined for the two-point conversion).

Neither team breached the 100-yard barrier in the Sunshine State contest but Tampa Bay did manage to outrush Jacksonville 74-49 and Winston threw for 268 yards and while he did not throw a TD and was sacked four times, did not throw an interception, while Minshew threw for 147 yards with a pair of sacks and was picked off once (Foles threw for 93 yards with three sacks and an interception before he was taken out of the contest). Tampa Bay was 7 of 17 on third down tries (the Buccaneers went 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball hostage for 33:32, while the Jaguars kept the pigskin for 26:28, going 4 of 14 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

Including games that took place in Baltimore, the Colts lead the series 8-5 and have outscored Tampa Bay 336-277. Their last meeting took place in the Hoosier State in 2015 and the Colts came away 25-12 winners, while Tampa Bay’s last win in the series came in the Sunshine State in 2011 by a final of 24-17. Tampa Bay’s favored by 3 on Florida’s West Coast and the over/under’s 49. Tampa Bay would love nothing more than to dent or damage to Indianapolis’ playoff hopes, while the Colts are looking to bounce back from their loss at home. Colts pull off the upset on the road and cover the 3 in the Sunshine State.

Los Angeles Chargers (4-8) at Jacksonville (4-8), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. A pair of struggling AFC teams meet on the East Coast as Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers take on Gordon Minshew II and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Chargers fans had their hearts broken last Sunday in Denver as the Broncos fought their way to the end against their AFC West foe and it would be K Brian McManus sending Broncos fans home with smiles on their faces as they came away 23-20 last-second winners at Empower Field at Mile High. The Broncos led 17-10 at the break in the Mile High City and took that lead with them to start the final 15 minutes of football (the two clubs played a scoreless third quarter) before the Chargers would tie the contest up early in the fourth when Keenan Allen and QB Philip Rivers connected on a 36-yard TD pass.

McManus would give his team the lead back with 4:26 left in regulation, booting a 52-yard field goal through the uprights. That lead would not last long as the Chargers would tie the contest again with 14 seconds left on a 46-yard field goal by Michael Badgley. Denver would get the ball back with 14 seconds left after Los Angeles’ kickoff went into the endzone for a touchback. Broncos QB Drew Lock’s pass to Courtland Sutton was incomplete but Chargers CB Casey Heyward Jr. was flagged for interference at his team’s 35-yard line. The Chargers, hoping for overtime, then burned a timeout with three seconds left in an effort to ice McManus, who was going to try a 53-yard field goal for the win. McManus’ try went through the uprights as the clock stuck :00, giving Denver the win.

The Chargers outrushed Denver 115-84 (Los Angeles’ Melvin Gordon led all rushers with 99 yards, while Patrick Lindsay led Denver with 58) and Lock threw for 134 yards, while Rivers threw for 265 (Rivers was sacked three times, both men threw a pair of TDs and both threw an interception). The Chargers on third down went 5 of 15 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:09, while the Broncos kept the pigskin for 27:51 (including the final 14 seconds of regulation) and went 7 of 15 on third down.

Jacksonville could never get themselves on track against in-state rival Tampa Bay as the Buccaneers took the Jaguars to task 28-11 at TIAA Stadium. Jacksonville trailed from start to finish and found themselve behind 25-0 at the intermission as the Buccaneers would score those points in the first 30 minutes of play unchallenged to set the tone before Jacksonville would use a Josh Lambo field goal and a TD pass from Gardner Minshew II (who took over after Nick Foles was benched) to Dede Westbrook (the two combined for the two-point conversion).

Neither team breached the 100-yard barrier in the Sunshine State contest but Tampa Bay did manage to outrush Jacksonville 74-49 and Winston threw for 268 yards and while he did not throw a TD and was sacked four times, did not throw an interception, while Minshew threw for 147 yards with a pair of sacks and was picked off once (Foles threw for 93 yards with three sacks and an interception before he was taken out of the contest). Tampa Bay was 7 of 17 on third down tries (the Buccaneers went 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball hostage for 33:32, while the Jaguars kept the pigskin for 26:28, going 4 of 14 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

The Chargers hold a 7-3 lead in the series and have outscored the Jaguars 291-178. Jacksonville won the last meeting, which took place in the Sunshine State in 2017, needing overtime to take a 20-17 win, while the Chargers won on the West Coast the season before, coming away 38-14 winners in San Diego. The Chargers are favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under 42 1/2. The winner keeps their playoff hopes alive, while the loser is all but done for the 2019 season. Chargers take the win in the Sunshine State and covers the 2 1/2.

Pittsburgh (7-5) at Arizona (3-8-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. A pair of rookie QBs meet in the desert as Pittsburgh and Delvin Hodges makes their west westward to face off against Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium.
Pittsburgh erased an early 10-0 deficit against Cleveland last Sunday, getting a measure of revenge from their loss along the shores of Lake Erie two weeks ago to take a 20-17 win at Heinz Field. Cleveland used a 31-yard field goal by Austin Siebert and a 15-yard TD toss from Mayfield to Kareem Hunt to score the first points of the contest unchallenged before the Steelers got themselves back on track, tying the contest with Chris Boswell’s 39-yard field goal and a 30-yard TD pass from Hodges to WR James Washigton with a minute left in the first half to send the teams into the intermission tied at 10-10.

Pittsburgh would then add a 1-yard run by Benny Snell, Jr. and a 29-yard field goal by Boswell to lead 20-10 early in the final period. Siebert then pulled the Browns to within seven with 7:30 left in regulation on a 34-yard field goal. The Browns and Steelers would each get the ball, only to punt to the other team after Siebert’s field goal and Cleveland would get the ball back with 1:45 left. After Pittsburgh’s Bud Dupree was flagged for roughing the passer, the Browns got the ball at their 35 and would get as close as their own 40, when the drive and Cleveland’s hopes ended when Mayfield was picked off by Joe Haden, ending the threat.

Pittsburgh outrushed Cleveland 124-106 with Snell leading the way with 63 yards (Cleveland was led by Nick Chubb, who ran for 58 yards on 16 carries). Hodges threw for 212 yards in the win, while Mayfield threw for 196 (both threw an interception as well as a TD; Mayfield was sacked five times, while Hodges was sacked once. Cleveland was 4 of 12 on third down (the Browns were 1 for 2 on fourth down) and they actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:06 to Pittsburgh’s 27:54; the Steelers were 4 for 10 on third down conversions.

Arizona was held to a fourth-quarter TD by Murray as the Los Angeles Rams came into Glendale last Sunday and left 34-7 winners over the Desert Angry Birds. Arizona had trouble getting themselves on track as the Rams scored their 34 points in the contest unchallenged, leading 20-0 at the half. Arizona’s lone score of the contest came with 8:35 left in the game on Murray’s 15-yard run. Arizona would be held by the Rams to 74 yards rushing, while the defending NFC champs tallied 132 yards on the ground, with Rams RB Todd Gurley leading everyone with 95 yards and a TD. Rams QB Jarred Goff threw for 424 yards with a pair of TDs (one to Cooper Kupp, the other to Tyler Higbee; Higbee had seven catches for 107, while teammate Robert Woods led all recievers with 172 yards), while Murray threw for 163 yards with six sacks and an interception (Goff was sacked twice but did not throw an interception). The Rams were 8 of 15 on third down but 0 for 1 on fourth down and they would rule the clock and keep the ball for 34:37, while the Desert Angry Birds kept the pigskin for 25:23, going 2 of 13 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

Including games that were played when the Cardinals were in Chicago and St. Louis, the Steelers were known as the Pirates and games were played at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh leads the series 33-23-3, have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 1,163-1,092 and have won the last two meetings, including a 25-13 win in 2015 at Heinz Field, while Arizona’s last win came in the desert in 2007, coming out on top 25-13. Pittsburgh’s a 1 1/2-point favorite in the desert and the over/under’s 43. The Steelers are looking to make it to the post-season party, while the Desert Angry Birds would love nothing more than to be the spoilers. Pittsburgh covers the 1 1/2 in the desert and wins this one in Glendale over the Desert Angry Birds.

Kansas City (8-4) at New England (10-2), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 716. They meet again for the third time in two seasons. Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes. The Kansas City Chiefs head to Foxboro for an AFC Championship rematch with the NeW England Patriots.

Kansas City all but manhandled AFC West rival Oakland last Sunday at Arrowhead, coming away 40-9 winners. The Chiefs scored their first 31 points of the contest unchallenged, leading 21-0 at the half and took control of things from that point, holding the Silver and Black to a 4-yard TD toss from Derek Carr to TE Derek Carrier with 39 seconds left in the contest. Kansas City then proceeded to add insult to injury as CB Charvarius Ward picked off the two-point try and returned it for a defensive conversion.

Oakland did outrush Kansas City 122-96 with Raiders RB Josh Jacobs leading the way with 104 yards, while Mahomes threw for 175 yards with a rushing TD and a TD pass to RB Darrel Williams, with a sack but no interceptions (Carr threw for 222 yards with the TD but was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions). Kansas City was 7 of 11 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 28:19, while the Raiders clung to the pigskin for 31:41, going 3 of 9 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

New England came out on the short end of a 28-22 loss to DeShaun Watson and the Houston Texans Sunday night at NRG Stadium. The defending Super Bowl champions trailed 14-3 at the intermission and found themselves playing catchup the entire contest. New England did pull themselves to within six with 50 seconds left when Brady and WR Josh Edelman connected on a 20-yard TD toss. New England then went for the onside kick, which the Texans recovered and the home team would run out the clock and take the win.

New England outrushed Houston 145-52 and Brady threw for 326 yards with an interception, while Watson threw for 234 yards with a TD reception (both men threw three TDs and both were sacked three times). New England did reasonably well on third down conversions, going 9 for 17 (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:35, while the Texans held on to the pigskin for 25:25, going 6 for 11 on third down.

The Chiefs lead the series 18-14-3 (which includes contests that took place in Houston when the Chiefs were known as the Texans and the Patriots played their home games at Fenway Park) and have outscored New England 878-737. The two clubs met twice last year, once in the regular season (Foxboro) and once in post-season play (Kansas City) and New England won both contests (Kansas City’s last win in the series? Foxboro in 2017 by a final of 42-27.

The first meeting? Foxboro in week six on a Sunday night. Brady and New England survived a slugfest with Mahomes and the Chiefs, coming away 43-40 winners at Gillette Stadium. New England led the Chiefs 24-9 after 30 minutes of play before the Chiefs stormed back in the second half, outscoring the Pats 31-19. The Chiefs would eventually take a 33-30 lead with 8:38 left in regulation when Tyreek Hill and Mahomes connected on a 1-yard TD toss. Brady would then take matters into his own feet, scoring on a 4-yard run with 5:25 left in the contest. Pats K Stephen Gostkowski would later connect on a 50-yard field goal to make it a seven-point contest before Mahomes and Hill hooked up again to tie the contest with 3:03 left in regulation. New England would get the ball back with the 3:03 left and used a 7-play, 65-yard drive to send their fans home from Gillette happy as Gostkowski connected on a 28 yard field goal as time expired.

New England outrushed Kansas City 173-94 and Pats RB Sony Michel led all rushers with 106 yards and a pair of TDs, while Kareem Hunt led Kansas City with 80 yards. Brady threw for 340 yards and a TD to WR Josh Edleman to go with his rushing TD, while Mahomes threw for 352 yards (Brady was sacked twice, Mahomes threw a pair of interceptions) with four TDs, three of them going to Hill. New England was 7 of 13 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:09 (including the final 3:03 of the contest), while the Chiefs, keeping the ball for 23:51, went 4 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

That was round one.

Round two?

The AFC championship at Arrowhead and like the regular season meeting in Foxboro, this contest was a slugfest but the Patriots earned their trip to Atlanta, needing overtime to win 37-31. New England led 14-0 at halftime before the Chiefs would push their way back into the contest and took a 28-24 lead with 2:03 left in the contest. Rex Burkhead would give New England the lead back with 39 seconds left, scoring on a 4-yard run. That lead would not last very long at Arrowhead Stadium, as Chiefs K Harrison Butker connected on a 39-yard field goal with eight seconds left to tie things back up.

New England would win the toss in overtime and the Chiefs would never see the pigskin again, as the Patriots would go on a 13-play, 75-yard drive that used 4:52 of clock and ended as Burkhead would score his second TD of the contest to give the Pats the overtime win. New England held Kansas City to 41 yards rushing, while they accounted for 176 yards and Michel would lead all rushers with 113 yards and a pair of rushing TDs. Brady threw for 348 yards with a TD but threw a pair of interceptions, while Mahomes threw for 295 yards with three TDs (two of them to Darnell Williams) with four sacks but no interceptions. New England in the AFC Championship game went 13 of 19 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 43:59 (including the 4:52 in overtime), while the Chiefs held the ball for 20:53 and went 4 of 9 on third down.

In the week six contest in Foxboro, the Pats were favored by 3 1/2 but won by only 3. The two clubs did manage to cover the 60 over/under, tallying 83 points. In the AFC championship contest at Arrowhead, Kansas City was favored by 3 and the Patriots covered, winning by 6 and as was the case, both teams covered the over/under (this time, it was 56) with 68 points.

This one’s “DRILL WORTHY,” given the history between the two clubs (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?”)

Tennessee (7-5) at Oakland (6-6), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 717. Tennesee, chasing Houston for the top spot in the AFC South, makes their way to the West Coast to face the struggling Oakland Raiders at the Coliseum.

The Titans swept a 10-7 halftime deficit at Indianapolis away as Tennessee would outscore the Colts 24-7 in the final 30 minutes of play to take a 31-17 win over their AFC South rivals at Lucas Oil Stadium. Colts RB Nyheim Hines would give Indianpolis a 17-7 lead with 10:23 left in the third before Tennessee would go on a tear, scoring their 24 second-half points unthreatened and got help from their special teams as S Tye Smith blocked a 46-yard field goal try by Adam Vinatieri, picked up the ball and ran 63 yards untouched. Tennesee outrushed Indianapolis 154-82, with Titans RB Derrick Henry leading the way with 149 yards and a TD, while Ryan Tannehill threw for 182 yards and a pair of TDs (Colts QB Jacoby Brissett threw for 319 yards with a TD but was sacked three times; Tannehill was sacked six times but had no interceptions to his credit). Tennessee was 5 of 13 on third down (the Titans were successful in their only fourth down try) and kept the ball for 27:29, while the Colts held on to the pigskin for 32:31, going 5 for 12 on third down.

Oakland found themselves overmatched by Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs as their AFC West rivals all but manhandled the Silver and Black last Sunday at Arrowhead, coming away 40-9 winners. Raiders fans watched with horror as the Chiefs scored their first 31 points of the contest unchallenged, leading 21-0 at the half and took control of things from that point, holding the Silver and Black to a 4-yard TD toss from Derek Carr to TE Derek Carrier with 39 seconds left in the contest but Kansas City then proceeded to add insult to injury as CB Charvarius Ward picked off the two-point try and returned it for a defensive conversion.

Oakland did outrush Kansas City 122-96 with Raiders RB Josh Jacobs leading the way with 104 yards, while Mahomes threw for 175 yards with a rushing TD and a TD pass to RB Darrel Williams, with a sack but no interceptions (Carr threw for 222 yards with the TD but was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions). Kansas City was 7 of 11 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 28:19, while the Raiders clung to the pigskin for 31:41, going 3 of 9 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Including contests that were played in Houston when the Texans were known as the Oilers and the Raiders played their home contests in Los Angeles, Oakland leads the series 26-20 but the Titans have outscored the Silver and Black 1,066-1,036. Oakland has won the last three contests (all in Nashville) with the last win coming in the Music City by a final of 26-17 in 2017, while the Titans’ last win came on the West Coast in 2013 by a final of 23-19. Tennessee’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 46 1/2. Both teams are looking for a playoff spot and hope to catch the teams in their respective divisions (Tennessee chasing Houston in the AFC South, Oakland chasing Kansas City in the AFC West). Raiders cover the 3 and just win baby in Oakland.

Seattle (10-2) at Los Angeles Rams (7-5), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of contending NFC West rivals meet in Los Angeles as Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks make the 1,138-mile trip down I-5 to face off against Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams under the lights. Both teams took huge wins last week.

Seattle erased a 17-10 against Minnesota in the Pacific Northwest Monday night, rallying to take a 37-30 win at Century Link Field. Safety Anthony Harris would give the Vikings a 14-7 lead when he picked off Seattle QB Russell Wilson, running the interception back 20 yards for a TD. Jason Myers would put Seattle to within four with a 29-yard field goal with 59 seconds left before Vikings K Dan Bailey responded with a 47-yard boot as time expired in the first half. Seattle would then take control of things in the second half in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, scoring 17 points in the third quarter unchallenged, using a 1-yard run by RB Rashaad Penny, a 29-yard field goal by Myers and a 60-yard pass from Wilson to David Moore in that quarter to lead 27-17. Penny would open the scoring in the final 15 minutes of play, catching a 13-yard toss from Wilson to lead by 17 before Minnesota responded with a pair of Cousins TD tosses (the first going to WR Laquon Treadwell and the second to TE Kyle Rudolph) to put themselves to within 4 with 7:14 left in the contest before Myers added his third field goal of the contest to all but ice the contest away.

Seattle outrushed Minnesota 218-78, with Seahawks RB Chris Carson leading all rushers with 102 yards and a TD (the Seahawks held Delvin Cook to 29 yards on 9 carries with a TD) and Cousins threw for 276 yards, while Wilson tallied 240 yards (both threw a pair of TDs, both threw interceptions and Wilson was sacked once). Minnesota was 5 of 10 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 20:15, while Seattle ruled time in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, keeping the pigskin for 39:45, while going 7 of 15 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The defending NFC champs held Arizona to a fourth-quarter TD by Kyler Murray as they left 34-7 winners over the Desert Angry Birds. The Rams scored their 34 points in the contest unchallenged, leading 20-0 at the half, while Arizona’s lone score of the contest came with 8:35 left in the game on Murray’s 15-yard run. The Rams held Arizona to 74 yards rushing, while the defending NFC champs tallied 132 yards on the ground, with Rams RB Todd Gurley leading everyone with 95 yards and a TD. Rams QB Jarred Goff threw for 424 yards with a pair of TDs (one to Cooper Kupp, the other to Tyler Higbee; Higbee had seven catches for 107, while teammate Robert Woods led all recievers with 172 yards), while Murray threw for 163 yards with six sacks and an interception (Goff was sacked twice but did not throw an interception). The Rams were 8 of 15 on third down but 0 for 1 on fourth down and they would rule the clock and keep the ball for 34:37, while the Desert Angry Birds kept the pigskin for 25:23, going 2 of 13 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

The two NFC West rivals met in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks in week five and Seattle came away 30-29 winners at Century Link Field. Seattle led 14-13 at the break in the Thursday night contest before Los Angeles would storm their way back to lead 29-24 with 9:19 left as Rams K Greg Zeurlein would kick his third field goal of the evening. Seattle would reclaim the lead and take the win with 2:28 left when RB Chirs Carson and Wilson connnected on a 5-yard TD toss. The Seahawks would hold the Rams off in the closing minutes of the contest and take the win in front of the home folks.

The Rams were outrushed by Seattle 167-82 with Carson leading all rushers with 118 yards, while Todd Gurley II led the Rams with 52 yards and a pair of TDs. Wilson threw for 268 yards with four TDs (including the game-winner) and was sacked once, while Goff threw for 395 yards with a TD to Cooper Kupp and was picked off once. Seattle went 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 35:18, while the Rams, who held on to the pigskin for 24:42, went 3 for 11 on third down.

In the week five contest in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle was favored by 1 point and the Seahawks covered, winning by that margin and both teams took care of covering the 49 1/2 over/under by tallying 59 points. Seattle’s favored by 2 in Tinseltown and the over/under’s 47. Seattle’s sitting on top of the NFC West mountain, while the Rams look to restore some order. Seattle wins in Los Angeles and covers the 2.

New York Giants (2-10) at Philadelphia (5-7), 8:20 p,m. Monday on ESPN. Week 14 closes out in the City of Brotherly Love with an NFC East matchup as the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles, separated by 96 miles and a 90-minute drive down I-95 square off. Both teams took losses in last week’s action.

Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers went into Met Life Stadium last Sunday and left the Meadowlands 31-13 winners. The Packers erased a 7-7 after Russell Shepherd and Doug Jones connected on an 18 yard TD toss with 3:16 left in the first when Rodgers and rookie WR Allan Lazard connected on a 37-yard TD pass to lead 14-7 at the end of the first quarter. Big Blue trailed 17-10 at the half and would rally to make it a 4-point contest at the end of the third quarter before Green Bay would get TD passes from Rodgers to Davante Adams and Marcedes Lewis to seal New York’s fate.

New York did manage to outrush the Packers 95-79 with Giants RB Sequan Barkley leading all rushers with 83 yards, while Rodgers threw for 243 yards with four TDs and no sacks or interceptions (Jones threw for 240 yards with the lone TD toss but was picked off three times). The Giants were 5 of 14 on third down tries in the snowy Meadowlands (they were 3 of 4 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 31:17, while the Packers, who held the pigskin for 28:43, went 7 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Miami used trickery in their 37-31 win over Philadelphia Sunday afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami took a 14-13 lead with 4:40 left before the intermission (the Eagles led 10-7 at the end of the first quarter) when K Jason Sanders and punter Matt Haack connected on a 1-yard TD pass as the Dolphins lined up for what some thought would be a field goal try. Philadelphia then took the lead back with 6 seconds left before half time on a 15-yard TD toss from Carson Wentz to WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and added to their lead in the third quarter when Wentz and WR Alshon Jeffery connected on a 10-yard toss.

Miami then used a pair of TD passes from Ryan Fitzpatrick (connecting with DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki), a two-point conversion pass from Fitzpatrick to RB Patrick Patrick and a Sanders field goal in the second half, tallying 23 points unchallenged to lead 37-28 before Eagles K Josh Elliott connected on a 37-yard field goal with 1:51 left in the contest. Miami would get the ball back but could not make a first down that would have ended the contest and the Dolphins punted the ball back to Philadelphia, who had the pigskin for only two plays, when Wentz was picked off by S Chris Lammons, ending the threat.

Philadelphia outrushed Miami 92-52 and Fitzpatrick threw for 365 yards, while Wentz threw for 310 yards (both threw an interception with three TDs; Wentz was sacked twice, Fitzpatrick was sacked three times) in the Sunshine State. Miami went 5 of 12 on third down but had success on fourth down, going 3 of 3 and kept the ball for 31:18, while Philadelphia held on to the ball for 28:42, while going 7 for 14 on third down.

The series? Tied at 83-83-2 and the Giants have outscored Philadelphia 3,241-3,209. History has been kind to the Eagles, however, as they have won the last five meetings, sweeping the last two series (including last year’s contests; The Giants’ last win in the series came in 2016 in the Meadowlands by a final of 28-23 at Met Life Stadium).

The first meeting took place in week six in upstate New Jersey at Met Life Stadium and the Eagles held Big Blue to seven points in the second half to take the 34-13 win. Philadelphia led from start to finish, taking a 24-6 lead with them to the intermission, then took control of the second half to take the road win.

New York did outrush Philadelphia 147-108 (Giants RB Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 130 yards and a rushing TD, Barkley also had nine catches for 99 yards) and Eli Manning threw for 281 yards with an interception and four sacks, while Wentz threw for 278 yards and three TDs passes (two to Alshon Jeffery, the other to Ertz). The Giants went 4 of 14 on third down (Big Blue was 0 of 1 on fourth down) and they would keep the ball for 27:30, while the Eagles ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin to themselves for 32:30 and went 9 of 16 on third down conversions.

The Eagles made it a clean sweep, taking down Big Blue 25-22 in their week 12 rematach at Lincoln Financial Field. The Giants took a 19-11 lead with them to the intermission in the City of Brotherly Love, only to see that lead get away from them in the final 30 minutes of play. Philadelphia would take a 22-19 lead with 10:11 left in the contest on a 1-yard run by RB Josh Adams (Adams, who led Philadelphia with 84 rushing yards, also scored on the two-point conversion) before the Giants tied the contest with 5:49 left on an 29-yard field goal by Aldrick Rosas. Philadelphia would get the ball back on the kickoff and used a 10-play, 50-yard drive, using 5:27 of clock and ending with a 43-yard game-winning field goal by Jake Elliot with 22 seconds left, then stopping a last-second Giants rally to take the win.

This time, Philadelphia outrushed the Giants 127-126 and once again, Barkley led all rushers with 101 yards and a TD. Manning threw for 297 yards with an interception and a pair of sacks, while Wentz threw for 236 yards with three sacks (each threw a TD pass). The Eagles were 3 of 11 on third down in the rematch (they were perfect on fourth down, going 1 of 1) and kept the ball for 32:38, while the Giants kept the pigskin for 27:22, going 5 of 12 on third down.

The Giants on Monday night? 25-39-1 (they played two games in 2018 and split them). Philadelphia? 35-27; the Eagles played once on Monday night last year but found success in their only contest.

Philadelphia in the week six contest, played on a Thursday night, was favored by 3 and covered the spread, winning by 21. Both teams did take care of the 44 over/under, tallying 47 points. In the rematch in the City of Brotherly Love in week 12, the Eagles were favored by 6 but won by only three; they did take care of the 46 over/under, passing it by 1 point. Philadelphia’s favored by 8 with a 46 1/2 over/under. The Giants would love nothing more than to ruin Philadelphia’s playoff hopes, while the Eagles are looking to climb their way back into the post-season. Philadelphia may not cover the 8 but they take the Monday night win in the City of Brotherly Love.

The San Francisco 49ers and the cheese in the nursery rhyme “The Farmer In The Dell” have one thing in common.

They both stand alone.

The 49ers, atop the NFC West mountain at 8-0, stand alone as the only remaining unbeaten team in the NFL. San Francisco picked up that honor Sunday night after New England found themselves being taken to task by the Baltimore Ravens in Charm City.

On the other side of the NFL spectrum, the Cincinnati Bengals remain the lone winless team after Miami took care of AFC East foe Miami in the Sunshine State Sunday afternoon to pick up their first win.

The 2019 NFL season is at the halfway point and for teams that are contending, it’s their time to make more noise and distance themselves from everyone else; for those that are chasing, it’s time to step things up.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated Sunday’s Atlanta-New Orleans matchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest is a nod to the momentous 2006 Saints home-opener, when the team sparked the resurgence of a community devastated by Hurricane Katrina. In an electrifying moment at the Superdome on September 25, 2006, Steve Gleason blocked a first-quarter punt and Curtin DeLoatch recovered the ball in the end zone, an uplifting initial score in the city’s first regular-season game since December 26, 2004. Buoyed by the win, the 3-0 Saints advanced to the NFC Championship game and three years later won the Super Bowl. The game also marked the first home contest in the New Orleans career of the NFL’s all-time passing-yards leader, Drew Brees

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL: Through the first nine weeks of the 2019 season, four teams – Buffalo (6-2), Green Bay (7-2), Minnesota (6-3) and San Francisco (8-0) – are in playoff position after missing the postseason a year ago. From 1990-2018 – a streak of 29 consecutive years – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before. In 2018, seven of the 12 playoff teams missed the postseason the year before.

DIVISION-WINNING REBOUNDS: The NFL in 2002 expanded to 32 teams and realigned into eight divisions. Since that time, at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 15 of the past 16 years. Heading into Week 10, two teams – Green Bay in the NFC North and San Francisco in the NFC West – lead their respective divisions after missing the postseason in 2018.

Teams to win their divisions a season after missing the playoffs over the last 16 seasons:

SEASON – NEW DIVISION WINNERS AFTER MISSING POSTSEASON THE PRIOR SEASON
2018 – Baltimore, Chicago*, Dallas, Houston*
2017 – Jacksonville*, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans, Minnesota, Philadelphia*
2016 – ATLANTA, Dallas*
2015 – Houston, Minnesota, Washington*
2014 – Dallas, Pittsburgh
2013 – Carolina*, Philadelphia*
2012 – Washington*
2011 – Denver*, Houston*, New York Giants, San Francisco
2010 – ATLANTA, Chicago, Kansas City*, Pittsburgh, Seattle
2009 – Cincinnati, Dallas, New England, New Orleans*
2008 – Arizona, Carolina, Miami*, Minnesota
2007 – Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay*
2006 – Baltimore*, New Orleans*, Philadelphia*, San Diego Chargers
2005 – Chicago*, Cincinnati, New York Giants, Tampa Bay*
2004 – ATLANTA*, Pittsburgh, San Diego*
2003 – Baltimore, Carolina*, Kansas City*, New England, St. Louis Rams
*Worst to first

SEVEN-WIN SUPERLATIVES: Entering Week 10, five teams – Green Bay (7-2), New England (8-1), New Orleans (7-1), San Francisco (8-0) and Seattle (7-2) – have at least seven wins, the most through the first nine weeks since the 1990 season (five teams). In total, 10 teams have at least six victories, the most through the first nine weeks of a season since 1986 (11 teams).

NINERS REMAIN UNBLEMISHED, SEAHAWKS UP NEXT: For the first time in NFL history, San Francsico (8-0) is the league’s last remaining undefeated team at least eight games into a season. San Francisco, which finished last season 4-12 and selected DL Nick Bosa with the second-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, is off to its best start since opening 10-0 in 1990. This week, the 49ers host a divisional contest with key playoff implications against NFC West rival Seattle (7-2) Monday night in Santa Clara.

The Seahawks-49ers matchup is the first meeting between divisional opponents that have combined for two or fewer losses in Week 10 or later since November 17, 2013, when Denver (8-1) hosted Kansas City (9-0) in an AFC West showdown. San Francisco is the second team in NFL history to finish with a winning percentage of .250 or below and rebound to win its first eight games of the following season. In 2013, Kansas City opened 9-0 after going 2-14 (.125) in the 2012 season.

Last week in the Seahawks’ 40-34 overtime victory against Tampa Bay, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson notched his 90th win as a starter, including the postseason. On Monday night, he can surpass Ben Roethlisberger (90) for second-most quarterback wins over his first eight seasons in the Super Bowl era. Only Tom Brady (100) had more.

Including the 49ers’ berth in Super Bowl XLVII after the 2012 season, the NFC West has produced four of the last seven NFC Super Bowl representatives. Seattle and San Francisco accounted for three of those appearances, while the LOS ANGELES RAMS were the latest division entry in Super Bowl LIII last season. Since the beginning of that 2012 season, no other division has a better overall winning percentage.

The divisions with the best overall winning percentages since 2012:

DIVISION: W-L-T, PCT.
NFC West: 258-219-5, .540
NFC North: 247-230-5, .518
AFC West: 249-234-0, .516
AFC East: 247-234-0, .514

AFTER THE BYE: A season-high six NFL teams are on byes during Week 10 and every club will have taken its week off by the end of Week 12. On Sunday, two teams coming off their byes meet in an NFC South clash when Atlanta travels to play New Orleans. Since the beginning of the 2011 season, only Baltimore, fresh off a post-bye win over the Patriots in Week 9, have a better record after the bye.

The NFL teams with the best winning percentages in the game following the bye since 2011:

TEAM (W-L-T, PCT.)
Baltimore (7-2-0, .778)
ATLANTA (6-2-0, .750)
Denver (6-2-0, .750)
Houston (6-2-0, .750)
New Orleans (6-2-0, .750)
Buffalo (6-3-0, .667)
Detroit (6-3-0, .667)
Indianapolis (6-3-0, .667)
Pittsburgh (6-3-0, .667)

ANOTHER ROOKIE QUARTERBACK MAKES STARTING DEBUT: On Sunday when Baltimores meets Cincinnati, the Ravens (6-2) have an opportunity to match their best start in franchise history (7-2 in both 2006 and 2012). On the other sideline, quarterback Ryan Finley will make his first NFL start. Finley will become the sixth rookie to make his starting debut this season, joining Arizona’s Kyler Murray, Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew, Pittsburgh’s Delvin Hodges, the New York Giants’ Daniel Jones and Washington’s Dwyane Haskins.

Through the first nine weeks, 110 of 135 overall games (81.5 percent) have featured at least one quarterback under the age of 27, the most at this point in a season in league history. In total, quarterbacks under age 27 have started 146 games and recorded 76 wins (52.1 percent), both the most starts and wins by quarterbacks under the age of 27 through the first nine weeks of a season since at least 1970.

MOST GAMES STARTED BY QBS UNDER AGE 27, THROUGH WEEK 9

SEASON – GAMES
2019 – 146
1987 – 126
2013 – 126

MOST WINS BY STARTING QBS UNDER AGE 27, THROUGH WEEK 9

SEASON – WINS
2019 – 76
1984 – 64
2013 – 63

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK NINE: Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson completed 22 of 28 pass attempts (78.6 percent) for 201 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 120.4 rating in the Texans’ 26-3 win over the Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London. Watson is the third quarterback to throw at least two touchdowns and complete at least 75 percent of his passes in an international NFL game, joining Tom Brady (November 19, 2017) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (October 30, 2011).

Texans running back Carlos Hyde totaled 160 rushing yards in the win and joined Chris Ivory (166 rushing yards on October 4, 2015) as the only players with at least 150 rushing yards in an international NFL game.

Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen recorded a 110.4 passer rating and had both a passing and rushing touchdown in the Bills’ 24-9 victory over Washington. Allen, who is in his second NFL season, is the fourth quarterback to record at least 20 passing touchdowns and 12 rushing touchdowns in his first two seasons in league annals, joining Steve Grogan (29 passing, 15 rushing), Cam Newton (40 passing, 22 rushing) and Dak Prescott (45 passing, 12 rushing).

Carolina running back Christian McCaffery recorded 166 scrimmage yards (146 rushing, 20 receiving) and three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in the Panthers’ 30-20 win over Tennessee. McCaffrey, who has 1,244 scrimmage yards and 13 touchdowns this season, is the sixth player in NFL history and first since Priest Holmes (2002) with at least 1,200 scrimmage yards and 13 touchdowns in their team’s first eight games of a season.

Sunday marked McCaffrey’s sixth game of the season with at least 150 scrimmage yards and a touchdown, joining Jim Brown(1963) as the only players with six such performances in their team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history.
McCaffrey has seven games with both a rushing and receiving touchdown in his first three seasons, tied with Abner Haynes (1960-62) for the second-most such games in a player’s first three seasons in league annals. Only Chuck Foreman (eight games from 1974-75) had more.

Oakland rooking running back Josh Jacobs totaled 120 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the Raiders’ 31-24 win over Detroit. Jacobs is the first rookie since Cincinnati’s Ickey Woods (1988) to have at least two rushing touchdowns in three of his first eight career games. Rookie tight end Foster Moreau and rookie wide receiver Hunter Renfrow each recorded a touchdown reception on Sunday. Along with Jacobs’ two touchdowns, the Raiders are the first team since Seattle (November 22, 2015) to have rookies score all four touchdowns in a victory.

Pittsburgh wide receiver JuJU Smith-Schuster had three receptions, including his 200th career catch, in the Steelers’ 26-24 win over the Colts. At 22 years and 346 days old, Smith-Schuster is the first player to record 200 career receptions before his 23rd birthday in NFL history. The previous youngest player to reach 200 career receptions was Brandin Cooks (23 years and 77 days old).

Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill recorded six catches for 140 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown catch, in the Chiefs’ 26-23 win over Minnesota. Hill, who is in his fourth season, became the sixth player in NFL history to record at least 20 touchdowns of at least 40 yards in his first four seasons. The other five players are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Bob Hayes (24 touchdowns of at least 40 yards), Randy Moss (23), Jerry Rice (21), Lance Alworth (20) and Gale Sayers (20).

Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker made a game-tying 54-yard field goal with 2:30 remaining and converted a game-winning 44-yard attempt as time expired in the victory, becoming the first kicker since Martin Gramatica (October 27, 2002) to make a game-tying field goal of at least 50 yards and a field goal of at least 40 yards to put his team ahead for good with both coming in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter.

Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz, appearing in his 100th career game, had nine receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown in the Eagles’ 22-14 win over Chicago. Ertz has 483 career receptions, the third-most by a tight end through his first 100 games in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow, Sr. (497 receptions) and Jimmy Graham (485) had more.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 378 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 133.7 rating in the Seahawks’ 40-34 overtime victory against Tampa Bay. Wilson has 90 wins, including the postseason, since entering the NFL in 2012, tied with Ben Roethilsberger (90) for the second-most wins by a quarterback, including the postseason, in his first eight seasons in the Super Bowl era. Only Tom Brady (100) had more.

Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike EvansS had 12 receptions for 180 yards and a touchdown in Week 9. He joins A.J. Green (2016) and Wes Welker (2011) as the only players with at least eight receptions, 150 receiving yards and a touchdown in three of his team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history.

Denver quarterback Brandon Allen, making his first career start, threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end Noah Fant in the Broncos’ 24-19 win against Cleveland. Allen is the first quarterback with a touchdown pass of at least 75 yards in his first career start since Robert Griffin III (88-yard touchdown pass on September 9, 2012). Fant is the first rookie tight end with a touchdown reception of at least 75 yards since Tyji Armstrong on December 6, 1992 (81-yard touchdown catch).

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 10

RUNNING IT UP: Baltimore (6-2) enters Week 10 leading the NFL with an average of 204.9 rushing yards per game in 2019. Last week in their win over New England, quarterback Lamar Jackson, whose 637 rushing yards are the most by a quarterback through his team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history, rushed for 61 yards and two touchdowns, while running back Mark Ingram rushed for a season-high 115 yards. The team totaled 210 rushing yards in the victory – their seventh game with at least 150 rushing yards this season.

If Baltimore rushes for at least 150 yards on Sunday against Cincinnati, they would become the first team since the 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers to rush for at least 150 yards in eight of a team’s first nine games of a season since 1970.

The teams with the most games with at least 150 rushing yards in the first nine games of a season since 1970:

TEAM (SEASON, GAMES WITH 150+ RUSHING YARDS)
Pittsburgh (1976, 8)
New England (1974, 8)
Miami (1973, 8)#
Miami (1972, 8)#
Detroit (1971, 8)
Baltimore (2019, 7)*
*Through eight games
#Won Super Bowl

Overall, Baltimore has rushed for 1,639 yards – the most rushing yards through a team’s first eight games since the 2006 Atlanta Falcons (1,641) and the sixth-most through a team’s first eight games of a season since 1970.

In Week 6, Baltimore rushed for a season-high 269 yards against Cincinnati. If the Ravens rush for their season average (204.9) on Sunday in Cincinnati, they would move into the top five for most rushing yards in a team’s first nine games of a season since 1970.

The teams with the most rushing yards through their first nine games of a season since 1970:

TEAM (SEASON – RUSHING YARDS)
Buffalo (1975 – 1,958)
Pittsburgh (1976 – 1,886)
Miami (1972 – 1,868)#
Miami (1973 – 1,829)#
Chicago (1977 – 1,809)
Baltimore (2019 – 1,639)*
*Through eight games
#Won Super Bowl

TEN STARTS IN: Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray leads all NFC rookies in passing yards (2,229) and passer rating (89.2), while ranking second among all quarterbacks with 313 rushing yards in 2019. Earlier in the season, Murray – who was selected with the first-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft – became just the second quarterback to pass for at least 300 yards in each of his first two career games in NFL history.

On Sunday at Tampa Bay, Murray needs 271 passing yards to join Deshaun Watson (2017-18), Cam Newton (2011) and Daunte Culpepper (2000) as the only quarterbacks with at least 2,500 passing yards and 250 rushing yards in their first 10 career starts in NFL history.

The quarterbacks with at least 2,500 passing yards and 250 rushing yards in first 10 career starts in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, PASSING YARDS/RUSHING YARDS)
Deshaun Watson, Houston (2017-18; 2,843/414)
Cam Newton, Carolina (2011; 2,885/411)
Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota (2000; 2,562/358)
Kyler Murray, Arizona (2019; 2,229/313)*
*Through nine starts

SLING IT LIKE STAFFORD: Earlier this season, Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford became the first quarterback in NFL history to reach 40,000 career passing yards in fewer than 150 games. Over the past three weeks, Stafford leads the NFL in passing yards (1,112) and passing touchdowns (10) and has passed for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in each of his past three games.

Appearing in his 150th career game on Sunday at Chicago, Stafford needs at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns to tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warne (23 games) for the fourth-most games with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns in a player’s first 150 career games in NFL history.

The players with the most games with at least of 300 passing yards and three touchdowns in their first 150 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (GAMES WITH 300 YARDS & 3+ TD PASSES)
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay (31)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (27)
Dan Marino – Miami (26) HOF
Kurt Warner – St. Louis Rams and Arizona (23) HOF
Matthew Stafford – Detroit (22)*
*Through 149 games
HOF – Hall of Fame

UNSTOPPABLE FORCE: Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey leads the NFL with 1,244 scrimmage yards through eight games this season and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown (1963) as the only players to have at least 150 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in six of their team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history.

With 156 scrimmage yards on Sunday against Green Bay, McCaffrey would become the fourth player in NFL history with at least 1,400 scrimmage yards in their team’s first nine games of a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown (1,529 in 1963) and O.J. SIMPSON (1,518 in 1975), as well as Larry Brown (1,405 in 1972).

The players with the most scrimmage yards through their team’s first nine games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Jim Brown, Cleveland (1963 – 1,529) HOF
O.J. Simpson, Buffalo (1975 – 1,518) HOF
Larry Brown, Washington (1972 – 1,405)
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (1983 – 1,396) HOF
Tiki Barber, New York Giants (2004 – 1,391)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (2019 – 1,244)*
*Through eight games
HOF – Hall of Fame

CAN’T GUARD MIKE: Since entering the NFL in 2016, New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas leads the NFL with 394 receptions and ranks third with 4,662 receiving yards. This season, Thomas leads the league in receptions (73) and receiving yards (875) through the first nine weeks.

Appearing in his 56th career game on Sunday against Atlanta, Thomas needs six receptions to become the fastest player to reach 400 receptions in NFL history.

The players to reach 400 receptions in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES TO 400)
Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants (61)
Julio Jones, ATLANTA (64)
Jarvis Landry, Miami (64)
Keenan Allen, San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (66)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (55)*
*Has 394 career receptions

Thomas, who is currently in his fourth NFL season, needs seven receptions on Sunday to surpass JARVIS LANDRY (400) for the most receptions through a player’s first four seasons in NFL history.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (RECEPTIONS)
Jarvis Landry, Miami (400)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (394)*
Anquan Boldin, Arizona (342)
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona (330)
A.J. Green, Cincinnati (329)
*In fourth season

Additionally, if Thomas has 125 receiving yards on Sunday, he would join Mike Evans (2014-17), A.J. Green (2011-14) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (1998-2001) as the only players to have at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first four seasons in NFL history.

PARTY IN THE BACKFIELD: Green Bay’s defense features the only pair of teammates in the NFL to each record at least eight sacks this season – linebackers Za’Darius Smith (8.5 sacks) and Preston Smith (8). On Sunday against Carolina, they can become the sixth pair of teammates to each record at least 10 sacks in their team’s first 10 games of a season since 1990.

The teammates to each record at least 10 sacks through their team’s first 10 games of a season since 1990:

SEASON – TEAM (PLAYER – SACKS; PLAYER – SACKS)
2014 – Buffalo (Marcell Dareus – 10; Mario Williams – 10)
2000 – Miami (Trace Armstrong – 12.5; Jason Taylor – 10) ^
2000 – Tampa Bay (Warren Sapp – 11.5; Marcus Jones – 10) ^
1998 – San Francisco (Chris Doleman – 11.5; Roy Barker – 11)
1992 – Kansas City (Derrick Thomas – 10.5; Neil Smith – 10.5) ^
2019 – Green Bay (Za’Darius Smith – 8.5; Preston Smith – 8)*
*Through nine games
^ Taylor, Sapp and Thomas are members of the Hall of Fame)

It was another week above the .500 mark pick wise, going 10-4 in week 9. For the season… 69-55. Byes this week? Washington, Philadelphia, New England, Houston, Jacksonville and Denver. Atlanta, New Orleans, Cincinnati and the Los Angeles Rams return to action this week. Week 10 began in northern California as Oakland held off a late Los Angeles Chargers rally Thursday night and ends in northern California in Santa Clara as the undefeated 49ers host NFC West rival Seattle on Monday night in wine country. Here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 10.

ATLANTA (1-7) at New Orleans (7-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. Southern rivals. The two cities don’t like each other. Same can be said for the teams and their fan bases. Chicken and waffles meets gumbo Sunday afternoon as the Atlanta Falcons look to restore some order as they face off against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Both teams return from their bye week.

Seattle survived a late rally by Atlanta and left Mercedes Benz Stadium 27-20 winners. The Seahawks led 24-0 at the half, then were outscored by Atlanta 20-3 in the final 30 minutes of action. Seattle outrushed the Falcons 151-69 and Seahawks RB Chris Carson led all rushers with 90 yards and a rushing TD and Wilson threw for 182 yards and a pair of TD passes to DK Metcalf (six catches for 100 yards), while Matt Schaub, filling in for Matt Ryan (ankle) threw for 460 yards and a TD pass to TE Austin Hooper and Atlanta’s Julio Jones led all recievers with 152 yards on 10 catches (both Wilson and Schaub were sacked twice and Schaub had an interception). Both clubs were 3 of 9 on third down and Atlanta was 1 of 1 on fourth down, as the Falcons, who lost their seventh game in a row, ruled the clock and held the ball for 30:47, while Seattle held on to the pigskin for 29:13.

New Orleans welcomed the return of Brees, then held Arizona to three Zane Gonzalez field goals as they came away 31-9 winners in the Big Easy two weeks ago. New Orleans trailed 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, then took over, leading 10-6 at the intermission and would outscored Arizona 21-3 in the final 30 minutes of play at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Arizona found themselves held to 40 yards of rushing, while the Saints tallied 137 (Saints RB Latavius Murray led all rushers with 102 yards and a TD), Brees threw for 373 yards and three TDs without a sack (he was picked off once), while Kyler Murray threw for 220 yards with three sacks. New Orleans went 7 of 12 on third down and kept the ball to themselves, ruling the clock for 37:59, while the Desert Angry Birds were 2 of 12 on third down (they went 0 of 2 on fourth down) and held the ball for 22:01.

Atlanta leads the series 51-48 and the Falcons have outscored New Orleans 2,200-2,099. The Saints did sweep last year’s series (Atlanta’s last win came in 2017, when they won a Thursday night contest in the Big Peach by a final of 20-17; Atlanta’s last win in the Big Easy came in 2016, when they left the Superdome 45-32 winners).

Meeting number one… week three in the Big Peach. Calvin Ridley scored three TDs in their first meeting at Mercedes Benz Stadium but it was not enough as the Saints rallied in regulation and came away 43-37 overtime winners. New Orleans led 16- 14 at the half before Atlanta would take control of things in the final 30 minutes of regulation, leading 30-37 with 6:58 left when Ryan and Mohamed Sanu connected on a 5-yard TD toss.

That lead would evaporate as the Saints went on an 11-play, 81-yard drive that used 5:43 of clock and tied the contest when Brees scored from seven yards away. New Orleans would win the toss in overtime and the Falcons would never see the ball again, as the Saints went on another long drive, this time using a 15-play driver, using 80 yards of field and 7:05 of clock as Brees would score the game-winner with 2:55 left in the extra period. The Saints thought they has scored earlier when Brees threw a pass to Alvin Kamara and thought they had scored a TD. The original call that said Kamara broke the plane was reversed and Brees would take matters into his own hands and feet, scoring the game winner.

New Orleans outrushed Atlanta 143-48 and Brees threw for 396 yards and three TD tosses, while Ryan threw for 374 yards and five TDs (Ryan connected with Ridley on three of those tosses; Ryan was sacked three times, Brees was sacked once and neither threw an interception). Atlanta went 4 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 29:20, while the Saints were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 37:45 (including the overtime), going 7 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Meeting number two… the Big Easy on Thanksgiving night in week 12 and the Saints completed the sweep, leaving the Mercedes Benz Superdome 31-17 winners. New Orleans led 17-3 at the intermission and never looked back, even though both clubs played even football in the second half. Atlanta was held to 26 yards rushing, while the Saints ran for 150 yards with Alvin Kamara leading the way for all rushers with 89 yards. Ryan threw for 377 yards, throwing TDs to Tevin Coleman and Clarence Ridley (Ryan was sacked six times), while Brees threw for yards and four TDs with a sack (each threw an interception). Atlanta on third down was 5 of 15 but they were successful on fourth down, going 4 of 6 and actually hoarded time, as they kept the ball for 30:59, while the Saints kept the ball for 29:01, going 5 of 11 on third down.

Atlanta was favored by 3 in the week three contest in the Big Peach and the Saints covered the spread, winning by 6 and the 80 combined points was more than enough to cover the 53 over/under. In the week 12 Thanksgiving night contest in the Big Easy, the Saints covered the 13-point spread, winning by 14. As for the 59 1/2 over/under? Intact, as both clubs combinied for 48 total points. The Saints are favored by 12 1/2 in the Big Easy and the over/under’s 51. Sorry, Saints fans… your hearts are about to be broken. Atlanta may not cover the 12 1/2 but they march out of the Big Easy with the road win.

Detroit (3-4-1) at Chicago (3-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of NFC North rivals meet in the Windy City as Chicago and Detroit both meet at Solider Field with losses on the road under their belts.

Oakland held off a late Detroit rally last Sunday on the other side of San Francisco Bay, as the Lions fell short 31-24 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Lions watched Oakland take a 17-10 lead with them to the break on the West Coast, then chip away at that lead as the Lions would tie things up at 17-17 on a Matt Prater field goal from 23 yards out with 4:45 left in the third. Oakland then reclaimed the lead in the fourth quarter, as Carr and rookie TE Foster Moreau connected on a 3-yard TD toss to lead by 7, then clung to that lead until the Lions and Matthew Stafford and WR Josh McKissic connected on a 26-yard TD pass to re-tie the contest. Oakland would then get the final word in the contest, first with Carr and WR Hunter Renfrow connecting on a 9-yard TD pass with 2:04 left in the contest, then held off a late Detroit rally as the Lions would get to the Raiders’ 1-yard line before Stafford’s pass attempt to TE Logan Thomas fell short.

oakland outrushed Detroit 171-90 and rookie RB Josh Jacobs led all rushers with 120 yards and a pair of TDs in the win, Carr threw for 289 yards and a pair of TDS (including the game-winner), while Stafford threw for 406 yards and three TDs (Stafford was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Carr was sacked once). Oakland was 7 of 13 on third down tries and the Raiders held the ball for 32:50, while the Lions kept the ball for 27:10, going 5 of 11 on third down (both clubs were 1 of 2 on fourth down conversions).

Chicago comes back to the Windy City after their 22-14 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday afternoon. Eagles K Jake Elliot and TE Zach Ertz gave their team a 12-0 lead at the break and pushed that lead to 19-0 halfway through the third quarter before Da Bears broke Philadelphia’s shutout bid with a pair of rushing TDs by David Montgomery, the second score putting Chicago to within five before Elliot booted a 38-yard field goal with 25 seconds left to ice the contest. Philadelphia outrushed Chicago 146-62 and Carson Wentz threw for 239 yards, while Mitch Trubisky threw for 125 yards (Trubisky was sacked three times, Wentz was sacked four times and neither threw an interception). Chicago went 2 of 10 on third down conversions in the City of Brotherly Love and kept the ball for 19:42, while the Eagles took care of the ball for 40:18 and went 8 of 18 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games that were played when the Lions were in Portsmouth and known as the Spartans, games that were played at Wrigley Field, Tiger Stadium, the Pontiac Silverdome and in Champaign-Urbana, Da Bears Bears lead the series 99-74-5 and have outscored Detroit 3,466-3,190. They met last year and Da Bears swept the series, winning in the Windy and Motor Cities (Detroit’s last win in the series came in 2017, when they swept the series that season).

Meeting number one… week 10 in the Windy City (Gametime temperature? A balmy 37 degrees with a 29 degree wind chill) and the Monsters of the Midway scored 26 first half points unchallenged to come away from Soldier Field 34-22 winners. Da Bears led 26-7 at the half, even though Detroit outscored them in the second half, sealing the win nonetheless. Detroit did outrush Chicago 76-54 and Trubisky threw for 355 yards and three TDs, with Stafford throwing for 274 yards and a pair of TDs (Stafford threw a pair of interceptions and was sacked six times, while Trubisky was sacked once). Chicago went 4 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28 minutes, while the Lions, who kept the ball for 32 minutes, were 4 of 16 on third down, 4 of 5 on fourth down.

Chicago didn’t have to wait long to complete the sweep and Da Bears did the deed in the Motor City in week 12 on Thanksgving afternoon, coming away 23-16 winners at Ford Field. After a scoreless first quarter, Chicago erased a 7-0 deficit in the second after Lions RB LeGarrett Blount opened the scoring with a 4-yard TD, responding with a 40-yard field by Chris Parkey and a 10-yard TD pass from Trubisky to Tequan Mizell with 40 seconds left to lead 9-7 at the half. Blount would then give Detroit the lead back with 95 seconds left in the third before Chicago took it back early in the fourth quarter thanks to a 14-yard pass from Chase Daniel (who took over for Trubisky) to RB Tarik Cohen. Detroit then re-tied the contest with 7:44 left in the contest on a 20-yard field goal by Matt Prater. The Lions would get the ball back but DB Eddie Jackson would break Lions fans hearts as he would pick off Stafford and scamper down the field 41 yards unchallenged for the game-winning score.

Once again, it would be the Lions that would outrush Chicago, this time by a 111-38 margin (Blount led all rushers with 88 yards and the two TDS). Daniel threw for 230 yards and the two TD tosses, while Stafford threw for 236 yards with a pair of interceptions (Daniel was sacked four times, Stafford was sacked twice). Chicago went 3 of 10 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 27:14, while the Lions once again ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:46, went 5 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Chicago covered the 6 1/2-point spread with their 12-point win in the Windy City and both clubs covered the 45 over/under, tallying 56 points. In the Thanksgiving Day contest in the Motor City, Da Bears were favored by 4 and covered, as they would win by 6 but the two teams missed the 45 over/under, tallying 40 points. Vegas likes Da Bears as 2 1/2-point favorites in the Windy City and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Both teams would like nothing more than to catch up to Green Bay and overtake the Packers for the top spot in the NFC North. The Monsters of the Midway cover the 2 1/2 in the Windy City and takes the win along the shores of Lake Erie.

Baltimore (6-2) at Cincinnati (0-8), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. They meet again. A pair of AFC North rivals meet along the shores of the Ohio River as the winless Bengals host the first-place Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium.

Baltimore played the role of Jimmy Stewart and took down the NFL’s answer to Liberty Valance as they knocked Tom Brady and the New England Patriots out of the ranks of the unbeatens in Charm City Sunday night, taking down the defending Super Bowl champions 37-20 at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens led 17-13 at the intermission Sunday evening, then floored the gas and outpaced New England 20-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. Baltimore tallied 210 yards of rushing, outpacing the Patriots, who tallied 74 yards on the ground (Mark Ingram led all rushers with 115 yards and a TD), while Ravens QB Lamar Jackson threw for 163 yards with a passing TD and had two rushing TDs, while Brady threw for 285 yards and a TD pass to newly acquired WR Mohamed Sanu (Brady was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Jackson was sacked once). The Ravens were 5 of 10 on third down conversions (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:01, while the Patriots, who clung to the pigskin for 22:59, went 5 of 13 on third down.

The Bengals return home from their bye week with Ryan Finley under center in place of Andy Dalton after they were taken to task by Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams 24-10 at Wembley Stadium in London. Cincinnati kept things close on the other side of the Atlantic, trailing 17-10 at the half, then watched the wheels come off their bus as Rams RB Todd Gurley scored on a 3-yard run early in the third quarter to seal their fate. Cincinnati outrushed the defending NFC champions 104-98, with Bengals RB Joe Mixon leading everyone with 66 yards on the ground, while Dalton threw for 329 yards and a TD to Mixon but was sacked five times (Goff threw for 372 yards with a pair of TDs, one to WR Cooper Kupp and had no sacks or interceptions). Cincinnati was 6 of 18 on third down (they were 4 for 6 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 32:43, while the Rams were 27:17 in time of possession, going 7 for 13 on third down.

The Sunday afternoon contest along the shores of the Ohio River is a rematch from week six in Charm City in a contest that the Ravens were 23-17 winners over Dalton and the Bengals. In that meeting, Baltimore led 17-10 at the half at M&T Bank Stadium, then held off a late Bengals rally to come away with the win. Jackson threw for 236 yards and led all rushers with 152 yards and a rushung TD, as the Ravens outrushed Cincinnati 269-33. For the Bengals, Dalton threw for 235 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception (Jackson was sacked once). Cincinnati was 5 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 235, while the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:42, going 9 of 15 on third down tries.

In the week six contest in Charm City, Baltimore was an 11-point favorite but only came away winning by 6 and both clubs missed the 48 over/under, scoring 40 points. In the rematch this Sunday, the Ravens are favored by 10 and the over/under is 46 1/2. The Bengals aren’t that bad. They’re not 10 points bad and gave Baltimore problems in the first meeting. History repeats itself in Cincinnati, as Baltimore takes the win but expect the Bengals to make things closer than 10.

Buffalo (6-2) at Cleveland (2-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. Both cities sit on Lake Erie and both look to improve their playoff chances. The Bills, sitting in second in the AFC East, travel down I-90 to face off against Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns.

Buffalo held Washington to three Dustin Hopkins field goals as they manhandled the Redskins 24-9 at New Era Stadium. The Bills led 17-6 at the break and never looked back in the contest in upstate New York, ruining the start for Washington’s Dwayne Haskins Jr. (144 yards, four sacks) While Washington outrushed Bufffalo 127-122 with Redskins RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 108, Buffalo’s Josh Allen threw for 160 yards with a TD pass to WR Cole Beasley (Allen was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Buffalo was 6 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 31:47, while the Redskins, keeping the ball for 28:13, was 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Cleveland’s dismal season continued in Denver as the Broncos edged the Browns 24-19 at Empower Field at Mile High Sunday afternoon. The Browns trailed 17-12 at the break and managed to keep the contest close with 10:47 left in the contest when Mayfield and WR Josh Landry connected on a 9-yard TD strike. Cleveland would get the ball back after a Denver punt with 7:21 left to play and got themselves as close as Denver’s 28-yard before the drive stalled as Mayfield’s pass attempt to Landry fell incomplete. Denver outrushed Cleveland 127-90 with Broncos RB Patrick Lindsay leading the way with 92 of those yards and a TD, while Cleveland was paced by Nick Chubb, who tallied 65 yards. Denver QB Brandon Allen threw for 193 yards and a pair of TDs, while Mayfield threw for 273 yards with the Landry TD toss (Mayfield was sacked twice, Allen was sacked three times, neither threw an interception). Cleveland went 6 of 15 on third down (the Browns were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and the Browns kept the ball for 35:30, while the Broncos went 3 of 9 on third down, holding on to the ball for 24:30.

While Cleveland holds an 11-9 lead in the series, the Bills have outscored Cleveland 389-345. The Bills circled the wagons and won the last two meetings, including a 33-13 win in Orchard Park in 2016, while Cleveland’s last win in the series came in 2013 along the shores of Lake Erie by a final of 37-24. Cleveland in the Battle of Lake Erie is favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Buffalo circled the wagons last week at home against Washington and who’s to say they won’t do it again? Bills circle the wagons AGAIN in the Buckeye State and covers the 2 1/2.

New York Giants (2-7) at New York Jets (1-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. They share a stadium. They have 3 wins between them. GangGreen and Big Blue meet for the 14th time in the Meadowlands as the Giants and Jets square off at Met Life Stadium.

For the Giants, it was a cat-astrophe Monday night as Big Blue fell to Dallas 37-18 Monday night in the Meadowlands. New York kept things close and trailed 13-12 at the intermission before the Cowboys would outscore Big Blue 24-6 in the final 30 minutes of play. The Giants were outrushed 172-100 with Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 139 yards in the prime time affair. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott threw for 257 yards and three TDs, while Giants signal caller Daniel Jones threw for 210 yards with a TD (Jones was sacked five times, threw an interception and gave up a fumble late in the contest that led to Dallas’ final TD of the contest; Prescott threw an interception but was not sacked). Big Blue went 5 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:56, while the Cowboys only needed to keep the pigskin for 28:04 and went 4 for 11 on third down tries.

GangGreen watched Miami erase a 7-0 deficit against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday afternoon and picked up their first win of the 2019 campaign, grounding the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 26-18 in the Sunshine State. Miami took a 21-12 lead with them to the break, then took control of things in the second half, sealing GangGreen’s fate and breaking their 10-game losing streak (they lost their last three contests in 2018 and the first seven this season) in the process. GangGreen, who gave up a pair of safties in the contest, did outrush the ‘Fins 83-50 (Jets RB LeVeon Bell led all rushers with 66 yards) but Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 288 yards with four TDs and no interceptions, while Sam Darnold threw for 260 yards with a TD and an interception (Darnold was sacked three times, Fitzpatrick was sacked four times). Miami was 6 of 12 on third down and kept the ball away from GangGreen for 31:14, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 28:46, going 5 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

The Giants lead the series 8-5 and have outscored GangGreen 285-239. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! won the last meeting, coming away 23-20 overtime winners in 2015, while Big Blue’s last win in the series came in 2011 by a final of 29-14. The Giants are favored by 2 1/2 in the Meadowlands and the over/under’s 43 1/2. You stand a better chance of finding Jimmy Hoffa than you will a winner in this one. The Giants are the lesser evil here and they take the win at Met Life, covering the 2 1/2.

Arizona (3-4-1) at Tampa Bay (2-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of struggling teams square off in the Sunshine State as Heisman winners Kyler Murray and Jameis Winston meet at Raymond James Stadium when Tampa Bay hosts Arizona. Both clubs are coming off losses in last week’s contests.

The Desert Angry Birds took San Francisco to the edge two weeks ago in Glendale at State Farm Stadium but fell to the 49ers 28-25. Arizona trailed 21-7 at the half in the desert, then put on a rally in the second half to make things a bit too close for their NFC West rivals, making the contest a 3-point contest with 4:53 left in regulation when WR Andy Isabella and Murray connected on a 88-yard TD toss. San Francsico would get the ball back after the ensuing kickoff and the Cardinals would never see it again. Arizona outrushed San Francisco 153-101 with Cardinals RB Kyle Drake leading the way with 110 yards and a TD (San Francisco was led by Matt Breida 78 yards). Murray threw for 241 yards with a pair of TDs, while San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo burned Arizona for 317 yards and four TDs, connecting with Tevin Coleman, Emanuel Sanders, George Kittle and Dante Pettis (Murray was sacked three times and Garoppolo was sacked once, neither threw an interception). The Desert Angry Birds were 2 of 8 on third down tries and kept the ball for 25:29, while the 49ers were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 34:31, while going 11 of 17 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Tampa Bay watched Seattle erase a 21-13 deficit at Century Link Field last Sunday afternoon, then rally in the final 30 minutes of regulation and overtime to fall 40-34 win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Tampa Bay trailed 34-27 with 46 seconds left in regulation, then tied the contest up with a 1-yard run by rookie RB Dare Ogunbowale. It would be the last time that the Buccaneers would see the ball as Seattle won the toss in overtime. The Seahawks made sure that Tampa Bay would never see the ball again, as they used 10 plays, 75 yards of real estate and 3:38 of clock to send their fan base home happy when WR James Hollister and Russell Wilson connected on a 10-yard TD toss with 6:22 left in the extra period.

Seattle outrushed Tampa Bay 145-99, with Seahawks RB Chris Carson leading the way with 105 yards on the ground. Wilson threw for 378 yards and five TDs (including the game-winner), while Jameis Winston threw for 335 yards and a pair of TDs (one to RB Mike Evans; Wilson was sacked three times, Winston was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). Seattle was 2 for 8 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 28:13 (including the overtime), while Tampa Bay ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 35:25, going 6 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including contests played in St. Louis the Desert Angry Birds carry an 11-9 lead into the series, have outscored Tampa Bay 396-366 and have won the last three meetings, including coming away 38-23 winners in the desert in 2017, while Tampa Bay’s last win also came in the desert, as the Bucs would leave Glendale 38-35 winners in 2010. Tampa Bay’s favored by 4 1/2 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 51 1/2. We won’t blame you one bit if you took a pass on this one and started that early Thanksgiving shopping. Tampa Bay covers the 4 1/2 in the Sunshine State and takes the win.

Kansas City (6-3) at Tennessee (4-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of AFC/AFL rivals meet in the Volunteer State as the Kansas City Chiefs travel to Nashville to face off against the Tennessee Titans.

Kansas City escaped Arrowhead last Sunday 26-23 winners over Minnesota thanks to a 44-yard field by Harrison Butker as time expired. Minnesota and Kansas City entered intermission tied at 10-10, then trailed 16-10 with 11:51 left in the third quarter when RB Darrell Williams went 91 yards untouched to take the lead back. Butker then added a 45-yard field goal late in the third before Minnesota took the lead again in the fourth, with TE Kyle Rudolph scoring on a 3-yard TD toss from Kirk Cousins with 10:59 left in the contest. Butker would put his right foot to good use later in the period, tying the contest with 2:30 left to play on a 54-yarder. Kansas City would get the ball back after a Minnesota punt with 1:47 left and Matt Moore (taking over for Patrick Mahomes – knee) engineered a 5-play, 19-yard drive that used all of the 1:47 as Butker sent Chiefs fans home happy campers with the game-winning boot, breaking their three-game home losing streak in the process.

Kansas City outrushed Minnesota 147-96 with Williams leading the way with 125 yards, while Delvin Cook led the Vikings with 71 yards. Cousins threw for 220 yards with three TDs, while Moore threw for 275 yards and a TD toss to Tyreek Hill (Cousins was sacked once, Moore was sacked five times; neither threw an interception). The Chiefs went 4 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 31:48 (including the final 1:47 of the contest), while the Vikings held on to the pigskin for 28:12 and went 5 of 15 on third down (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

Tennessee watched Carolina score 17 second quarter points unchallenged last Sunday in Charlotte as the Panthers took a 30-20 victory at Bank of America Stadium. After a scoreless first quarter in the Tar Heel State, the Panthers went on their scoring spree in the second quarter, using a 35-yard field goal by Josh Slye and a pair of TDs from Kyle Allen (one to RB Christian McCaffrey, the other to WR Curtis Samuel) to take that 17-point lead at the break. After Tennessee’s Derrick Henry ended Carolina’s shutout bid in the third quarter, McCaffery went back to work on the ground, scoring a pair of TDs to all but seal Tennessee’s fate.

Carolina outrushed Tennessee 156-121 with McCaffery leading the way with 146 yards to go with the two TDs, while Henry led the Titans with 63 yards and a TD. Allen threw for 232 yards with the two TD tosses, while Ryan Tannehill threw for 331 yards with a TD pass to Henry and had a rushing TD of his own late in the contest. While Carolina went 5 of 14 on third down, they were successful on fourth down (2 of 2) and kept the ball for 33:17, while the Titans, keeping the pigskin for 26:43, went 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games played in Houston when the Titans were known as the Texans and in Dallas when the Chiefs were known as the Texans, Kansas City leads the series 27-22 and the Chiefs have outscored the Titans 1,049-884. Tennesssee has won the last two contests, both at Arrowhead, with their last win coming in 2016 by a final of 19-17, while the Chiefs’ last win in the series came in the Music City in 2013, as Kansas City would leave Nissan Stadium 26-17 winners. The Chiefs are favored by 3 1/2 in the Music City and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Kansas City covers the 3 on the road and takes the win in Nashville.

Miami (1-7) at Indianapolis (5-3), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 712. Erasing their long losing streak, the Miami Dolphins make their way to the Hoosier State to face off against the Indianapolis Colts in a late afternoon AFC contest.

Miami erased a 7-0 deficit against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday afternoon and picked up their first win of the 2019 campaign, grounding the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 26-18 in the Sunshine State. Miami took a 21-12 lead with them to the break, then took control of things in the second half, sealing GangGreen’s fate and breaking their 10-game losing streak (they lost their last three contests in 2018 and the first seven this season) in the process. GangGreen, who gave up a pair of safties in the contest, did outrush the ‘Fins 83-50 (Jets RB LeVeon Bell led all rushers with 66 yards) but Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 288 yards with four TDs and no interceptions, while Sam Darnold threw for 260 yards with a TD and an interception (Darnold was sacked three times, Fitzpatrick was sacked four times). Miami was 6 of 12 on third down and kept the ball away from GangGreen for 31:14, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 28:46, going 5 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Indianapolis watch Pittsburgh snatch victory from the jaws of defeat last Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field, taking a 26-24 win from the Colts. The Colts led 16-13 at the half, then watch the Steelers pull away from the Colts in the second half, taking the lead for keeps with 6:36 left in regulation on a 26-yard field goal by Chris Boswell, then outscored Indianapolis 13-9 in the final 30 minutes of play and dodged a bullet when Colts K Adam Vinatieri’s 43-yard field goal try sailed wide to the left. Indianapolis outrushed Pittsburgh 139-90 with Mason Rudolph throwing for 191 yards and a TD, while Blake Hoyer (who replaced Jacoby Brissett after he left the contest with a knee sprain) threw for 168 yards and three TDS (Hoyer threw an interception that Pittsburgh’s Michael Fitzpatrick ran back 96 yards for a TD; Rudolph also had an interception, while he was sacked once and Hoyer was sacked four times). Pittsburgh went 5 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 29:28, while the Colts, holding on to the pigskin for 30:32, went 4 for 12 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Miami leads the series 45-27 (which includes contests that were played in Baltimore and at the old Orange Bowl site) and the Dolphins have outscored the Colts 1,619-1,258. The Colts were victors in their last two contests, with their last win coming in the Hoosier State last season by a final of 27-24, while the Dolphins’ last win in the series came in 2013 in the Hoosier State, coming away 24-20 winners.

They met at Lucas Oil Stadium in week 12 and the Colts would rally in the closing seconds to take the win in front of the home folks thanks to a Vinatieri field goal from 32 yards out as the clock struck :00. Tied 14-14 at the half, Miami would take a 17-14 lead on a Jason Sanders field goal halfway through the third quarter, then pushed the lead to 10 with 13:36 left in regulation when Kenyan Drake scored on a 14-yard run. The Colts would then respond, scoring the last 13 points of the game unchallenged when Vinatieri connected on a 46-yard field goal with 8:26 left and tied the contest with 4:25 left when Andrew Luck and TE Eric Ebron connected on a 12-yard TD toss. Vinatieri would then be the hero as the Colts used a 7-play, 44-yard drive that took all of the 2:38 left in the contest, booting the game winner to send Colts fans home happy.

Indy outrushed Miami 118-113 and Luck threw for 343 yards and three TDs (two to Ebron, including the toss that evened the score), while Tannehill threw for 204 yards abd a pair of TDs (Luck and Tannehill were sacked once and Luck threw a pair of interceptions). Frank Gore led Miami with 67 yards, while Colts RB Marlon Mack led all rushers with 85 yards. Miami went 4 of 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:06, while the Colts ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 31:54 (including the final 2:38 of the contest), going 4 of 12 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

The Colts were favored by 9 1/2 in the week 12 contest in the Hoosier State but came away with only a three-point win but both clubs managed to cover the 50 1/2 over/under with 51 points. Indy’s favored by 10 and the over/under’s 44. The 44 makes sense. The 10? Sounds a bit on the high side. Miami’s a somewhat bad team but they’re not 10 points bad. They’ll make it closer than the 10 but the Colts prevail in the Hoosier State.

Carolina (5-3) at Green Bay (7-2), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. Carolina BBQ meets cheese, beer and Bratwurst as the Carolina Panthers travel to Lambeau to face off against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The two contending clubs come into Sunday contests with opposite results from last Sunday’s action.

Carolina scored 17 second quarter points unchallenged against Tennessee last Sunday in Charlotte and took the Titans to the woodshed 30-20 at Bank of America Stadium. After a scoreless first quarter in the Tar Heel State, the Panthers went on their scoring spree in the second quarter, using a 35-yard field goal by Josh Slye and a pair of TDs from Kyle Allen (one to RB Christian McCaffrey, the other to WR Curtis Samuel) to take that 17-point lead at the break. After Tennessee’s Derrick Henry ended Carolina’s shutout bid in the third quarter, McCaffery went back to work on the ground, scoring a pair of TDs to all but seal Tennessee’s fate.

Carolina outrushed Tennessee 156-121 with McCaffery leading the way with 146 yards to go with the two TDs, while Henry led the Titans with 63 yards and a TD. Allen threw for 232 yards with the two TD tosses, while Ryan Tannehill threw for 331 yards with a TD pass to Henry and had a rushing TD of his own late in the contest. While Carolina went 5 of 14 on third down, they were successful on fourth down (2 of 2) and kept the ball for 33:17, while the Titans, keeping the pigskin for 26:43, went 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Green Bay trailed the Los Angeles Chargers from start to finish last Sunday at Dignity Health Sports Park, as Rodgers and the Packers dropped a 26-11 decision to the Bolts in Carson. The Chargers scored the first nine points of the contest unchalleged thanks to three Michael Badgley field goals, taking a 9-0 lead with them to the intermission. Badgley would add another field goal at the halfway point of the third quarter and the Chargers would score the first TD of the game when Melvin Gordon II tallied his first of two TDs from a yard out.

Green Bay would then end any bid for a Charger shutout when K Mason Crosby connected on a 54-yard field goal with 46 seconds left in the third. Gordon would add a second TD early in the fourth quarter for the Chargers to all but ice the contest away from the Packers on the West Coast. Gordon led all rushers with 80 yards and the two TDs as the Chargers outrushed Green Bay 159-45 and Philip Rivers threw for 294 yards without a sack, while Rodgers threw for 161 yards and a TD to Jamaal Williams with three sacks (neither QB threw an interception).

The Bolts were 5 of 11 on third down on the West Coast (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and were stingy with the football, keeping it away from the Packers for 35:51, while Green Bay went 2 of 10 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down), holding on to the pigskin for 24:09.

Green Bay leads the series 8-6 and the Packers have outscored Carolina 394-331. The Panthers have won the last two meetings, both in the Tar Heel State, with the last win coming in 2017 by a final of 31-24, while Green Bay’s last win came at Lambeau in 2014, a 38-17 win in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst. Green Bay’s favored by 5 at Lambeau and the over/under’s 48. Carolina would love to knock Green Bay off in their building. The Packers aren’t seeing that way and after the loss on the West Coast, they’re not going to be in a good mood. Carolina will make it closer than the 5 but Green Bay prevails at Lambeau.

Los Angeles Rams (5-3) at Pittsburgh (4-4), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. A pair of contenders meet in the Steel City as Pittsburgh hosts the Los Angeles Rams at Heinz Field. While the Rams are coming off their bye week, the Steelers survived a scare from Indianapolis last Sunday afternoon.

The defending NFC champs return to action after they took Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals 24-10 at Wembley Stadium in London. Cincinnati kept things close on the other side of the Atlantic, trailing 17-10 at the half, then watched the wheels come off the bus as Rams RB Todd Gurley scored on a 3-yard run early in the third quarter to seal their fate. Cincinnati outrushed the defending NFC champions 104-98, with Bengals RB Joe Mixon leading everyone with 66 yards on the ground, while Dalton threw for 329 yards and a TD to Mixon but was sacked five times (Goff threw for 372 yards with a pair of TDs, one to WR Cooper Kupp and had no sacks or interceptions). Cincinnati was 6 of 18 on third down (they were 4 for 6 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 32:43, while the Rams were 27:17 in time of possession, going 7 for 13 on third down.

Pittsburgh survived a last-minute scare from Indianapolis last Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field, taking a 26-24 win from the Colts. Pittsburgh trailed 16-13 at the half, then pulled away from the Colts in the second half, taking the lead for keeps with 6:36 left in regulation on a 26-yard field goal by Chris Boswell, then outscored Indianapolis 13-9 in the final 30 minutes of play and dodged a bullet when Colts K Adam Vinatieri’s 43-yard field goal try sailed wide to the left. Indianapolis outrushed Pittsburgh 139-90 with Mason Rudolph throwing for 191 yards and a TD, while Blake Hoyer (who replaced Jacoby Brissett after he left the contest with a knee sprain) threw for 168 yards and three TDS (Hoyer threw an interception that Pittsburgh’s Michael Fitzpatrick ran back 96 yards for a TD; Rudolph also had an interception, while he was sacked once and Hoyer was sacked four times). Pittsburgh went 5 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 29:28, while the Colts, holding on to the pigskin for 30:32, went 4 for 12 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Including games played in Cleveland, Anaheim and St. Louis and contests when the Steelers were known as the Pirates prior to 1940, the Rams lead the series 15-8-2 and have outscored the Steelers 487-448. Pittsburgh won the last meeting, coming away 12-6 winners in St. Lous in 2015, while the Rams’ last win came in the Steel City in 2003 by a final of 33-21. The Rams are 3 1/2-point favorites in the Steel City and the over/under’s 45. Both numbers sound like they make a ton of sense. In the end, while this one’s not “DRILL WORTHY,” it’s worth your time. Rams may not cover the 3 1/2 but they take the win on the road in the Steel City.

Minnesota (6-3) at Dallas (5-3), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of contenders meet in the Lone Star State in a Sunday night prime time contest at Jerry World (AT&T Stadium). Minnesota, chasing Green Bay in the NFC North, makes their way to Arlington for a meeting with Dallas, leaders in the NFC East.

Minnesota watched Kansas City escape Arrowhead last Sunday 26-23 winners thanks to a 44-yard field by Harrison Butker as time expired. Tied at 10-10 at the intermission, Minnesota led 16-10 with 11:51 left in the third quarter when Chiefs RB Darrell Williams went 91 yards untouched to take the lead back. Butker then added a 45-yard field goal late in the third before Minnesota took the lead again in the fourth, with TE Kyle Rudolph scoring on a 3-yard TD toss from Kirk Cousins with 10:59 left in the contest. Butker would put his right foot to good use later in the period, tying the contest with 2:30 left to play on a 54-yarder. Kansas City would get the ball back after a Minnesota punt with 1:47 left and Matt Moore (taking over for Patrick Mahomes – knee) engineered a 5-play, 19-yard drive that used all of the 1:47 as Butker sent Chiefs fans home happy campers with the game-winning boot.

Dallas let the “cat” out of the bag Monday night against the New York Giants in the Meadowlands, as they completed the sweep of their NFC East rivals at Met Life Stadium. For the Giants, it was a cat-astrophe Monday night as Big Blue fell to Dallas 37-18 Monday night in the Meadowlands. New York kept things close and trailed 13-12 at the intermission before the Cowboys would outscore Big Blue 24-6 in the final 30 minutes of play. The Giants were outrushed 172-100 with Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 139 yards in the prime time affair. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott threw for 257 yards and three TDs, while Giants signal caller Daniel Jones threw for 210 yards with a TD (Jones was sacked five times, threw an interception and gave up a fumble late in the contest that led to Dallas’ final TD of the contest; Prescott threw an interception but was not sacked). Big Blue went 5 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:56, while the Cowboys only needed to keep the pigskin for 28:04 and went 4 for 11 on third down tries.

Kansas City outrushed Minnesota 147-96 with Williams leading the way with 125 yards, while Delvin Cook led the Vikings with 71 yards. Cousins threw for 220 yards with three TDs, while Moore threw for 275 yards and a TD toss to Tyreek Hill (Cousins was sacked once, Moore was sacked five times; neither threw an interception). The Chiefs went 4 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 31:48 (including the final 1:47 of the contest), while the Vikings held on to the pigskin for 28:12 and went 5 of 15 on third down (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

While Dallas leads the series by a slim 12-11 margin, the Vikings have outscored Dallas 549-532. The Cowboys came away winners in the last two meetings, inclduing a 17-15 win in the Twin Cities in 2016, while the Vikings’ last win came in the Land of 10,000 Lakes by a final of 24-21 in 2010. We’re going to go ahead and declare this one “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

The boys and girls in Vegas like the Cowboys and they’re favored by 3 and the over/under’s 47 1/2. There’s a chance that these two could meet in the post-season. Dallas controls its destiny in the NFC East and can advance their cause with a win. Minnesota makes this one close but Dallas prevails in the Lone Star State and could very well cover the 3.

Seattle (7-3) at San Francisco (8-0), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 10 began in northern California and ends in the same spot as a pair of NFC West rivals meet in Wine Country. Seattle makes the 839-mile trip down I-5 in hopes of knocking San Francisco out of the ranks of the unbeatens at Levis’ Stadium. Both teams took close wins in last week’s contests.

Seattle erased a 21-13 deficit against Tampa Bay at Century Link Field last Sunday afternoon, then rallied in the final 30 minutes of regulation and overtime to take a 40-34 win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Leading 34-27 with 46 seconds left in regulation, Tampa Bay tied the contest up with a 1-yard run by rookie RB Dare Ogunbowale. Seattle won the toss in overtime, making sure that the Buccaneers would never see the ball, as they used 10 plays, 75 yards of real estate and 3:38 of clock to send their fan base home happy when WR James Hollister and Russell Wilson connected on a 10-yard TD toss with 6:22 left in the extra period.

Seattle outrushed Tampa Bay 145-99, with Seahawks RB Chris Carson leading the way with 105 yards on the ground. Wilson threw for 378 yards and five TDs (including the game-winner), while Jameis Winston threw for 335 yards and a pair of TDs (one to RB Mike Evans; Wilson was sacked three times, Winston was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). Seattle was 2 for 8 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 28:13 (including the overtime), while Tampa Bay ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 35:25, going 6 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

San Francisco found themselves being taken to the edge by Arizona two weeks ago in Glendale at State Farm Stadium but managed to prevail 28-25. The 49ers led 21-7 at the half in the desert, then watched Arizona put on a rally in the second half to make things a bit too close for their NFC West rivals, making the contest a 3-point contest with 4:53 left in regulation when WR Andy Isabella and Murray connected on a 88-yard TD toss. San Francsico would get the ball back after the ensuing kickoff and the Cardinals would never see it again. Arizona outrushed San Francisco 153-101 with Cardinals RB Kyle Drake leading the way with 110 yards and a TD (San Francisco was led by Matt Breida 78 yards). Murray threw for 241 yards with a pair of TDs, while San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo burned Arizona for 317 yards and four TDs, connecting with Tevin Coleman, Emanuel Sanders, George Kittle and Dante Pettis (Murray was sacked three times and Garoppolo was sacked once, neither threw an interception). The Desert Angry Birds were 2 of 8 on third down tries and kept the ball for 25:29, while the 49ers were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 34:31, while going 11 of 17 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Seahawks lead the series 24-16 (which includes contests played at the Kingdome and Candlestick Park) and Seattle has outscored San Francisco 960-711. The two NFC West foes split last year’s contests, each taking wins in their home parks.

Round one… week 13 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Seattle took a 20-3 lead with them to the break at Centurky Link Field and the Seahawks would come out on top 43-16. Seattle got three first-half TD tosses from Wilson, while holding the 49ers to a Robbie Gould field goal in the first 30 minutes of play and would outscore the 49ers 23-13 in the second half to seal the win. Seattle outrushed San Francsico 168-66 and Wilson threw for 185 yards and four TDs (connecting with WR Jaron Brown on two) and Nick Mullen threw for 414 yards and a pair of TDs to Dante Pettis in the contest (both were sacked three times and Mullen threw an interception). Seattle went 4 of 9 on third down tries and kept the ball for 27:30, while the 49ers were 7 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and would be stingy with the ball, keeping it for 32:30.

The 49ers didn’t need to wait long for revenge and they would get that revenge at Santa Clara two weeks later in week 15, needing overtime to come away 26-23 winners at Levis’ Stadium. The 49ers led 17-13 at the half and took a 20-13 lead with them into the final 15 minutes of play in wine country before Seattle’s Chris Carson scored on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter. Gould would give the 49ers the lead back with a 45 yard field goal before the Seahawks’ Sebastian re-tied the contest with a 48-yard field goal, sending the contest into overtime. Seattle would get the ball to start the overtime and would never cross their own 20-yard line, punting the ball to San Francisco. The 49ers would then march their way down the field, using a 7-play, 44-yards drive, aided by a Seattle penalty and buring 4:19 of clock and sent their fans home happy as Gould connected on a 36-yard field to win the contest.

As was the case in the first meeting, Seattle outrushed San Francisco, this time by a 168-94 margin and Carson led all rushers with a 119-yard day. Wilson threw for 237 yards and a pair of TDs to Doug Baldwin, while Mullens threw for 275 yards and a TD (both were sacked three times and neither threw an interception). Seattle was 9 of 19 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:14, while the 49ers were 3 for 10 on third down, keeping the ball for 29:40.

In the week 13 contest in the Paciifc Northwest, Seattle covered the 9 1/2-point spread, winning by 27 and both teams took care of the 46 over/under with 59 points. In the week 15 contest in wine country, Seattle was favored by 6 1/2. While San Francisco prevailed in overtime at home, they only won by 3, missing the spread and while both clubs played overtime, they did manage to cover the 44 1/2 over/under with 49 points.

Both teams have done quite well on Monday night and the 49ers have played and won a contest with Cleveland at home in week five, while Seattle is 24-10 in prime time, going 1-1 in their two meetings last year. San Francisco’s favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 46 1/2. This one could very well be part one as to who wins the NFC West. You might want to tape “All Rise” and “Bull” this week. Seattle may make it closer than 6 1/2 but the 49ers continue their winning ways in Santa Clara, remaining unbeaten in the process.

They’re still standing. New England (8-0) and San Francisco (8-0) are the two remaining teams in the NFL without a loss to their credit. The Patriots, the defending Super Bowl champions and the leaders in the AFC East, along with the 49ers, leaders in the NFC West, could very well meet in Miami in Super Bowl LIV in February.

In an NFL season, anything can happen and we mean anything. On any given day, as the saying goes, any team can beat any team. So if you’re a team that’s on top, you might want to be aware; if you’re the pursuer, there’s still time and there’s hope. An NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati (0-8) and Miami (0-7) search for their first wins of the season. Week nine also features the final game from the other side of the pond as Houston and Jacksonville square off in London. For those teams that are struggling, this is their chance to pull themselves even and perhaps get themselves either a Wild Card spot or win their division. The Bengals have a bye this week after their trip to London last week.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK EIGHT: New England defeated Cleveland 27-13 in Week 8. New England advances to 8-0 for the third time in franchise history (2007 and 2015). Patriots head coach Bill Belichick became the third coach in NFL history to register 300 career wins, including the postseason, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Don Shula (347 wins) and George Halas (324). Ironically, Belichick’s first win was against…. New England.

Through their first eight games, the Patriots have a +189 point differential, tied with the 1942 Chicago Bears (+189) for the third-highest point different through a team’s first eight games in NFL history. New England also has a turnover differential of +17, tied with the 1983 Minnesota Vikings (+17) for the fifth-highest turnover margin by a team through its first eight games since 1970.

San Francisco rookie defensive lineman Nick Bosa had three sacks and an interception in the 49ers’ 51-13 win over Carolina. The 49ers advanced to 7-0 for the first time since 1990, when they began the season 10-0. Bosa is the third rookie since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, to record at least three sacks and an interception in a single game, joining Julius Peppers (October 13, 2002) and Kevin Williams (December 28, 2003). At 22 years and four days old, Bosa is the second-youngest player to record at least three sacks in a single game since 1982, trailing only Vernon Maxwell (21 years, 321 days old).

Bosa has seven sacks in his first seven games, tied for the second most by a player in his first seven games since 1982. Only Mark Anderson (7.5 sacks in 2006) had more. Along with his brother, Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa (two sacks), Week 8 marks the second time since 1982 that a pair of brothers each recorded at least two sacks in the same week, joining Jimmy Williams (two) and Toby Williams (two) in Week 2 of the 1985 season.

Jacksonville rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew passed for 279 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 119.6 rating in the Jaguars’ 29-15 win over the New York Jets. New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones passed for 322 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 124.2 rating in the Giants’ Week 8 loss at Detroit. With Minshew and Jones, Week 8 is the second week in NFL history in which two rookie quarterbacks each passed for at least three touchdowns and zero interceptions in the same week, joining Week 16 of the 2018 season (Jets quarterback Sam Darnold and Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield).

Jones, who passed for 336 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions in Week 3, joined Dak Prescott (two games in 2016) as the only rookie quarterbacks to have two games of at least 300 passing yards, two touchdown passes and zero interceptions in NFL history.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for 373 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for a 116.4 rating in the Saints’ 31-9 victory against Arizona. Brees has 159 career games with at least two touchdown passes, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (159) for the third-most such games in NFL history. Only Tom Brady (170) and Peyton Manning (165) have more.

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp had seven receptions for a career-high 220 yards and one touchdown in the Rams’ 24-10 victory over Cincinnati at Wembley Stadium in London. Kupp’s 220 receiving yards are the most receiving yards in a single international game in league annals, surpassing Brandon Lloyd, who had 169 receiving yards with Denver on October 31, 2010 at Wembley Stadium. Rams running back Todd Gurley had a rushing touchdown in the victory. Gurley has 63 total touchdowns in 65 career games, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famers Marcus Allen (63), Terrell Davis (63) and LaDainian Tomlinson (63) for the second-most total touchdowns by a player in his first 65 games since 1970. Only Chuck Foreman (64 touchdowns) had more in his first 65 career games.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 182 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 131.7 passer rating in the Seahawks’ 27-20 win at Atlanta. Wilson is the first player in NFL history to record at least one touchdown pass and zero interceptions in eight consecutive road games.Wilson, playing in his eighth season, has 213 career touchdown passes, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (213) for the third-most by a player in his first eight seasons in league annals. Only Peyton Manning (244) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (241) had more touchdown passes in their first eight seasons.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Schaub had 460 passing yards in Week 8. At 38 years and 124 days old, Schaub is the third quarterback age 38 or older to pass for at least 450 yards in a single game in NFL history, joining Peyton Manning (479 passing yards at 38 years, 195 days old) and Tom Brady (466 passing yards at 38 years, 48 days old). Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones recorded 10 receptions for 152 yards against Seattle. Jones is the sixth player in league annals to have 30 career games with at least 125 receiving yards, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (49 games), Randy Moss (35), Marvin Harrison (32), Lance Alworth (30) as well as Isaac Bruce (30).

Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri converted field goals of 55, 45 and 51 yards in the Colts’ 15-13 over Denver in Week 8. His 51-yard game-winning field goal came with 22 seconds remaining in regulation. At 46 years and 303 days old, Vinatieri is the oldest player to make a game-winning field goal of at least 50 yards in the final minute of regulation or overtime in NFL history. He is also the oldest player to convert at least two field goals of 50-or-more yards in a single game in league annals.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had 11 catches for 109 receiving yards in the Texans’ 27-24 win against Oakland.

At 27 years and 143 days old, Hopkins, who has 8,054 career receiving yards, surpassed Calvin Johnson (27 years, 358 days old) as the third-youngest player to reach 8,000 career receiving yards in NFL history.

Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans had 11 receptions for 198 yards and two touchdowns in the Buccaneers’ Week 8 loss at Tennessee. Evans has 433 career catches with Tampa Bay and surpassed James Wilder (430) for the most receptions in franchise history. Evans, who had eight catches for 190 yards and three touchdowns in Week 3, joined Charley Hennigan (1961) as the only players with two games of at least eight receptions, 190 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a single season in league annals.

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley had 143 scrimmage yards (79 receiving, 64 rushing) and a touchdown catch in the Giants’ Week 8 loss at Detroit. Barkley, who has 2,562 scrimmage yards in 21 career games, tied Otis Anderson (21 games) and Billy Sims (21) for the fourth-fewest games to reach 2,500 career scrimmage yards in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (19 games), Edgerrin James (19) and Ezekiel Elliott (20) reached the mark in fewer games.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK NINE

LEADING THE PACK: With the season reaching its midpoint, a pair of Jacksonville Jaguars lead the AFC in both rushing and receiving. Running back Leonard Fournette leads the AFC with 791 rushing yards, while Jaguars wide receiver D.J. CHARK leads the conference with 660 receiving yards.

On Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London against Houston, Fournette and Chark could become the first pair of teammates to lead either conference in both rushing and receiving through the first nine weeks of a season since Philadelphia Eagles teammates LeSean McCoyY (777 yards) and DeSean Jackson (823 yards) led the NFC in rushing and receiving through Week 9 in 2013.

DUAL-THREAT: In Weeks 6 and 7, Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson became the first quarterback to rush for at least 100 yards and a touchdown in back-to-back games in NFL history, and joined Michael Vick (2004, 2006) and Russell Wilson (2014) as the only quarterbacks to have three games with at least 100 rushing yards in a single season in NFL history.

With one rushing yard on Sunday Night Football against New England, Jackson, who leads the NFL in rushing average (6.94, min. 50 attempts) and leads all quarterbacks with 576 rushing yards, would surpass Vick (576 yards in 2006) for the most rushing yards by a quarterback through his team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history.

The quarterbacks with the most rushing yards through their team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RUSHING YARDS)
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (2019 – 576)*
Michael Vick, ATLANTA (2006 – 576)
Bobby Douglass, Chicago (1972 – 556)
*In seven games

AIR & GROUND ATTACK: Since entering the NFL in 2016, Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott has recorded 15 games with both a passing touchdown and rushing touchdown, the most in the league over that span.

With both a passing and rushing touchdown on Monday Night Football against the New York Giants in the Meadowlands, Prescott would tie Daunte Culpepper (16 games) for the second-most games with both a passing and rushing touchdown in a player’s first four seasons in NFL history.

The players with the most games with both a passing and rushing touchdown in their first four seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES WITH PASS & RUSH TD)
Cam Newton, Carolina (24)
Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota (16)
Dak Prescott, Dallas (15)*
*In fourth season

WILL GORE MOVE UP FROM FOUR?: Buffalo running back Frank Gore ranks fifth in NFL history in scrimmage yards (19,014) and fourth in rushing yards (15,170).

With 100 rushing yards on Sunday vs. Washington, Gore would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders (15,269) for the third-most rushing yards in NFL history.

The players with the most rushing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER (TEAMS; RUSHING YARDS)
Emmitt Smith (Dallas and Arizona; 18,355) HOF
Walter Payton (Chicago; 16,726) HOF
Barry Sanders (Detroit; 15,269) HOF
Frank Gore (San Francisco, Indianapolis, Miami and Buffalo; 15,170)
HOF – Hall of Fame

RACKING UP YARDS: Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey had 155 scrimmage yards (117 rushing, 38 receiving) against San Francisco in Week 8, his fifth game with at least 150 scrimmage yards in 2019.

With at least 150 scrimmage yards on Sunday against Tennessee, McCaffrey would become the third player to have at least 150 scrimmage yards in six of his team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history.

The players with the most games with at least 150 scrimmage yards in their teams’ first eight games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES WITH 150+ SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Jim Brown, Cleveland (1963 – 6) HOF
Matt Forte, Chicago (2011 – 6)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (2019 – 5)*
*Through seven games
HOF – Hall of Fame

Additionally, McCaffrey, who has 2,268 rushing yards and 1,861 receiving yards in 39 career games, needs 139 receiving yards to become the first player with at least 2,000 rushing yards and 2,000 receiving yards in his first 40 career games in NFL history.

HUNTING NUMBER 50: Minnesota defensive end Danielle Hunter has recorded at least one sack in four consecutive games and ties for fourth in the NFL with eight sacks in 2019.

Hunter, who will be 25 years and five days old on Sunday, needs two sacks against Kansas City to become the youngest player to reach 50 career sacks since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic.

The youngest players to reach 50 career sacks since 1982:

PLAYER, TEAM (AGE)
Robert Quinn, St. Louis Rams (25 years, 167 days)
J.J. Watt, Houston (25 years, 260 days)
Derrick Thomas, Kansas City (25 years, 291 days) HOF
Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis (25 years, 302 days)
Danielle Hunter, Minnesota (25 years, 5 days)*
*On Sunday
HOF – Hall of Fame

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated Sunday’s matchup between Minnesota and Kansas City as the NFL100 Game of the Week in a rematch of Super Bowl IV. On January 11, 1970, Kansas City defeated Minnesota 23-7 in front of 80,562 fans at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans for their first Super Bowl win. The Chiefs built a 16-0 halftime lead, as Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson completed 12 of 17 passes, including a 46-yard touchdown pass to Otis Taylor for the Chiefs final touchdown and was named the game’s most valuable player. Kansas City’s defense held Minnesota to 67 rushing yards and forced five turnovers (three interceptions, two fumble recoveries) in the victory.

The NFL’s 100th season enters the second half as the calendar turns to November. At the season’s midpoint, there are nine teams with a .700 or better winning percentage and four teams with a record of 7-1 or better, including undefeated New England (8-0) and San Francisco (7-0). Since 1990, when the current 12-team playoff format was adopted, 97 percent (64 of 66) of teams to start 7-1 or better advanced to the postseason.

Since 2000, 50 teams have advanced to the postseason with a .500 or below winning percentage through their first eight games. Last season, five such teams qualified for the playoffs: Baltimore (4-4), Dallas (3-5), Indianapolis (3-5), Philadelphia (4-4) and Seattle (4-4).

Young quarterbacks and close games have highlighted the first two months of the 2019 season. Through the first eight weeks, 99 of 121 games (81.8 percent) have featured at least one quarterback under the age of 27, the most at this point in a season in league history. In total, quarterbacks under the age of 27 have started 130 games and recorded 69 wins (53.1 percent), both the most starts and wins by quarterbacks under the age of 27 through the first eight weeks of a season since at least 1970.

MOST GAMES STARTED BY QBS UNDER AGE 27, THROUGH WEEK 8

SEASON – GAMES
2019 – 130
1987 – 114
2013 – 112

MOST WINS BY STARTING QBS UNDER AGE 27, THROUGH WEEK 8

SEASON – WINS
2019 – 69
1984 – 57
2013 – 55?

In the first eight weeks, 10 games have been decided by one point or fewer, tied for the third-most through the first eight weeks of season since 1970, while 61 games have been decided by seven points or fewer, the fourth-most through the first eight weeks of a season in NFL history. In total, 66.1 percent of games (80 of 121) have been within one score in the fourth quarter.

Below are highlights of the Week 9 schedule:

=Houston (5-3) meets Jacksonville (4-4) close out the London part of the 2019 schedule at Wembley Stadium in an AFC South showdown. The two teams, who are making the trip across the pond, met in Week 2, as Houston withstood a fourth quarter rally from Jaguars rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew in his first career start to earn a 13-12 victory. In 2019, Minshew leads all rookie quarterbacks with 13 passing touchdowns and a 98.8 passer rating. Since their Week 2 meeting, Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson ties for the NFL lead with 13 touchdown passes and ranks third in passing yards (1,804). In Week 11, AFC West rivals Kansas City and the Los Angeles Chargers meet on Monday Night Football in Mexico City in the final international game of 2019.

In the NFL100 Game of the Week, the AFC West-leading Chiefs (5-3) welcome Minnesota (6-2) to Arrowhead Stadium in an interconference battle. Kansas City enters Week 9 with the fourth ranked scoring offense (28.3 points per game), while Minnesota allows the third-fewest points per game (16.5) in the league. Vikings running back DALVIN COOK leads the NFL in scrimmage yards (1,116) and rushing touchdowns (nine), and has recorded at least 145 scrimmage yards in three of his four road games in 2019.

On Sunday Night Football, undefeated New England (8-0) heads to M&T Bank Stadium to face Baltimore (5-2), in a matchup of the two highest scoring offenses. The Patriots rank first in the NFL in points per game (31.3) while the Ravens rank second with 30.6 points per game. It marks the first time since Week 14 of the 2017 season that the top two scoring offenses in the NFL were both averaging at least 30 points per game and met in Week 8 or later. New England also allows the fewest points per game (7.6) this season and joined the 2006 CHICAGO BEARS as the only teams since 1990 to rank first in both points per game and points allowed per game through the first eight weeks of a season.

Under head coach John Harbaugh, Baltimore has a 6-2 record after the bye since 2011, tied for the best mark in the NFL over the past eight seasons. The Ravens lead the NFL with 204.1 rushing yards per game and joined the 2006 Atlanta Falcons as the only teams since 1990 to average at least 200 rushing yards per game through the first eight weeks of a season. Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson has three games with at least 100 rushing yards in 2019, tied with Michael Vick (2004 and 2006) and Russell Wilson (2014) for the most by a quarterback in a single season in NFL history.

To conclude Week 9, Dallas (4-3) visits the New York Giants (2-6) Monday night in the Meadowlands. Cowboys quarterback Dak Presscott passed for 405 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 158.3 passer rating, the highest attainable mark, in the Cowboys’ 35-17 win over the Giants in Week 1. Since entering the NFL in 2018, New York Giants running back
Saquan Barkley aleads the league with 16 games of at least 100 scrimmage yards, while Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott (15 games) ties for the second-most over that span.

Byes this week? Atlanta, Cincinnati, the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans, while Baltimore and Dallas return from their vacation. Week nine got underway in the desert as San Francsico kept themselves unbeaten by scraping by the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale Thursday night and comes to an end in upstate New Jersey as Dallas and the New York Giants meet in a week one rematch. As for last week? A lot better and going 11-4 helps a lot; for the season, 59-51. Here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week nine.

Houston (5-3) at Jacksonville (4-4), 9:30 a.m. Eastern (2:30 p.m. in London) on NFL Network. Set the VCR before you head to church! Sunday’s action in week nine gets underway on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean as a pair of AFC South rivals meet at Wembley Stadium when Jacksonville hosts Houston. Both teams were winners at home in last week’s action.

Houston rallied from a 14-10 deficit at the half at home against Oakland last Sunday at NRG Stadium and came away 27-24 winners over the Raiders in the Lone Star State. Watson and the Texans rallied late in the final quarter and took the lead for good with 6:26 left in regulation when he and TE Darren Fells connected on a 9-yard TD toss (it was the second time they connected in the contest). It was a somewhat costly win for the Texans, who lost the services of all-pro DE J.J. Watt to a torn pectoral muscle in the contest (Watt is lost to the Texans for the rest of the season). Houston outrushed Oakland 130-93 with Texans RB Carlos Hyde leading all rushers with 83 yards and Watson threw for 279 yards, while Derek Carr threw for 285 yards (Watson was sacked three times; both he and Carr threw three TD passes without an interception) for the Raiders. Houston went 6 of 14 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:53, while the Raiders, in keeping the pigskin for 24:07, went 5 of 12 on third down in the Lone Star State.

Jacksonville took care of Sam Darnold and the New York Jets last Sunday afternoon at TIAA Stadium, taking a 29-15 victory in the Sunshine State. Jacksonville took a 19-7 lead with them to the intermission as Garner Minshew threw a pair of TD passes in the half, then Jacksonville would go on to outscore the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 10-8 in the final half of the contest.

The Jaguars outrushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 111-46 and Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette led all rushers with 76 yards and Minshew threw for 279 yards with three TDS, while Darnold threw for 218 yards and a pair of TD tosses but was sacked eight times and threw three interceptions. Jacksonville was 8 of 17 on third down in the Sunshine State (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:21, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 26:39, going 2 of 9 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The meeting in London is a rematch from week two in the Lone Star State and the Texans survived a late Jacksonville scare, leaving NRG Stadium 13-12 winners. Houston used a pair of Kai Fairbairn field goals to take a 6-3 lead at the break (Jacksonville’s Josh Lambo would tie things up at 3-3 with 3:17 left in the half; Fairbairn’s field goal in the first half came as time expired) and the only TD of the contest came when Watson scored from two yards out with 11:35 left in the contest.

Houston’s Carlos Hyde led all rushers with 90 yards on the ground as the Texans outrushed Jacksonville 126-106 and Watson threw for 159 yards with the rushing TD, while Gardner Minshew II led Jacksonville with 213 yards and had 56 rushing yards (both men were sacked four times and neither threw an interception). Houston went 6 of 15 on third down conversions (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down tries) and the Texans kept the ball for 29:59, while Jacksonville ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 30:01, going 3 of 13 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week two contest at NRG Stadium, the Texans were favored by 7 but win by only one and the 43 over/under was safe and sound as both teams combined for only 25 points. Houston in the rematch is favored by 1 1/2 on the other side of the Atlantic and the over/under’s 47. Houston’s looking to sweep the series for the first time since they did it last year, while the Jaguars are looking for revenge from their week two loss in the Lone Star State. Revenge wins out here. Jacksonville wins on the other side of the Atlantic and covers the 1 1/2.

Washington (1-7) at Buffalo (5-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 708. The struggling Washington Redskins make their way to upstate New York to face off against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park. Both teams took losses in their contests last week.

Washington was held to three Dustin Hopkins field goals as they were manhandled by Minnesota 19-9 last Thursday night in the Twin Cities. Washington could never get themselves on track, trailing 13-6 at the half as Vikings RB Delvin Cook scored the game’s only TD with seven seconds left before the break. Washington was outrushed by the Vikings 161-83 and Redskins RB Adrian Peterson paced his team with 76 yards, while Cook led all rushers with 96 yards and the lone TD.

Keenum threw for 130 yards with a pair of sacks and no interceptions before being knocked out of the contest with a concussion (rookie QB Dwayne Haskins, Jr. took over for Keenum, throwing for 33 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception), while Kirk Cousins burned his former team for 285 yards without a TD or an interception. Washington went 2 of 7 on third down tries and held the ball for 23:24, while the Vikings were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 36:36, while going 8 of 15 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

The Bills were taken to task last Sunday in windy upstate New York as Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles left Orchard Park with a 31-13 win out of New Era Field. Buffalo trailed 11-7 at the half and could never get themselves on track at home, as the Eagles would go on in the second half to outscore them 20-6. Buffalo was held to 98 yards of rushing, while the Eagles ran for 218 yards with Philadelphia RB Jordan Howard leading the way with 96 yards and a TD. Bills signal caller Josh Allen threw for 169 yards and a pair of TDs but was sacked four times, while Wentz threw for 172 yards and TD with three sacks (neither threw an interception). The Eagles were 8 of 15 on third down and kept the ball for 35:57, while the Bills kept the pigskin for 24:03, while going 6 of 15 on third down in upstate New York (both teams were 0 of 2 on fourth down).

Buffalo holds an 8-5 lead in the series and the Bills have outscored Washington 265-236 in those 13 meetings. Their last meeting took place in Landover and Washington prevailed 35-25 in 2015, while Buffalo’s last win came not in Orchard Park but on the other side of the border in Toronto in 2011, as the Bills shutout Washington 23-0 at Rodgers Centre. Buffalo’s favored by 10 1/2 in upstate New York and the over/under’s 36 1/2. Granted, the Redskins are bad but not 10 1/2 bad. Washington will keep it close but the Bills circle the wagons in Orchard Park and take the win.

Tennessee (4-4) at Carolina (4-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. Tennessee makes their way eastward to the Tar Heel State as the Titans and the Carolina Panthers meet in a Sunday afternoon affair in Charlotte.

Tennessee held off a late Tampa Bay rally in Nashville last Sunday to come away 27-23 winners at Nissan Stadium. The Titans led 17-15 at the half, using a pair of Ryan Tannehill TD passes to take that lead. Tampa Bay briefly took a 23-17 with 11:11 left in the third when Winston and RB Mike Evans connected on a 2-yard TD toss, then went for and made the 2-point conversion when Winston and WR Chris Goodwin connected on the try. Tennessee chipped away at the lead with a 42-yard field goal by Chris Parkey with 37 seconds left in the third, then took the lead back for good when Tannehill and WR A.J. Brown connected on an 8-yard TD pass with 6:55 left in the contest. The Titans then ended a Tampa Bay threat late in the contest when CB Logan Ryan picked off Winston to end the threat.

Tampa Bay managed to outrush Tennessee 106-72 (Titans RB Derrick Henry led all rushers with 75 yards, Winston led Tampa Bay with 53) and Winston threw for 301 yards with the two TDs to Evans and two interceptions (including the pick that ended the Tampa Bay rally), while Tannehill threw for 193 yards with three TDs (both Winston and Tannehill were sacked three times). Tennessee went 5 of 13 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:27, while Tampa Bay, who ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 31:33, went 7 of 15 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Carolina watched the San Francisco 49ers take their seventh win in as many tries last Sunday afternoon at Levis Stadium, taking Carolina to task 51-13 in Wine Country. The Panthers trailed 27-3 at the half and could never get themselves on track for the rest of the contest. San Francisco’s Tevin Coleman ran for 105 yards and three TDS in the contest, as the 49ers outrushed Carolina 232-130 (Christian McCaffrey led Carolina with 117 yards and a TD). Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 175 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Coleman, the other to newly accquired WR Emanuel Sanders), despite being sacked three times (one for a safety) and throwing an interception, while Carolina’s Kyle Allen threw for 158 yards, was sacked seven times (three times by rookie LB Nick Bosa) and picked off three times (once by Bosa). San Francisco went 5 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 33:01, while the Panthers, holding the ball for 26:59, went 2 of 13 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down.

Tennessee leads the series 3-2 (which includes contestst that were played in Houston when the team were known as the Oilers) and the Titans have outscored Carolina 103-85. Carolina’s last win in the series came in 2015 in Nashville by a final of 27-10, while Tennessee’s last win came in Charlotte in 2011, with the Titans coming out out of Bank of America Stadium 30-3 winners. Carolina’s favored by 3 1/2 at Bank of America Stadium and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Both teams are pretty decent and while this one’s not quite “Drill Worthy,” it’s worth your time to watch. Carolina’s finer in Charlotte and the Panthers take the win and cover the 3 1/2.

Minnesota (6-2) at Kansas City (5-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. A pair of contending teams meet in the Show-Me State as Minnesota makes their way to Arrowhead for a Sunday showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Minnesota took care of business last Thursday night in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, coming away 19-9 winners over the Washington Redskins at US Bank Stadium in the Twin Cities. Minnesota led 13-6 at the intermission, then held Washington in check in the second half, holding the Redskins to three Dustin Hopkins field goals in the contest. Minnesota, who got four field goals from Dan Bailey, scored the only TD in the contest when Delvin Cook scored from four yards away with seven seconds left before the break.

Cook led all rushers with 96 yards and the lone TD as the Vikings outrushed Washington 161-85 (Adrian Peterson led Washington with 76 yards) and Cousins threw for 285 yards without an interception (he was sacked twice), while Case Keenum threw for 130 yards with a pair of sacks before leaving the contest with a concussion (Dwayne Haskins, Jr. took over for Keenum, throwing for 33 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception). Washington went 2 of 7 on third down tries and held the ball for 23:24, while the Vikings were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 36:36, while going 8 of 15 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

The Chiefs lost their third game in a row at home, falling to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers 31-24 at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City led 17-14 at the half before Green Bay tied the contest with 91 seconds left in the third on a 35-yard field goal by Mason Crosby and took the lead early in the final quarter when Rodgers and Jamal Williams connected on a 3-yard TD toss to lead 24-17. That lead would not last long as Chiefs RB Darrell Williams would re-tie the contest on a 3-yard run with 9:01 left in regulation. After Green Bay and Kansas City traded punts, the Packers would get the ball back and used a 2-play, 75-yard drive that took only 59 seconds to take the lead back when Rodgers and RB Aaron Jones connected on a 67-yard toss with 8:02 left. The Chiefs then got the ball back and got as far as their 40-yard line, when the Packers forced them to punt. Green Bay got the ball back, ran out the clock and took the win on the road at Arrowhead.

Green Bay outrushed the Chiefs 118-88 (Jones led all rushers with 67 yards) and Rodgers threw for 305 yards and three TDs (two of them to Jones), while Nate Moore, who took over for Patrick Mahomes (ankle) threw for 267 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Travis Kelce)(Rodgers was sacked five times, Moore was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). Both clubs did quite well on third down tries in the prime time affair in the Show-Me State; Green Bay was 8 of 13, Kansas City went 6 of 11 and the Packers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:13 to Kansas City’s 26:47.

Including games that were played at Metropolitan Stadium, Swope Field and the Metrodome, the Chiefs lead the series 6-5 but the Vikings have outscored the Chiefs 241-186. Minnesota won the last meeting, which took place in the Twin Cities in 2015, coming away 16-10 winners, while Kansas City’s last win in the series came at Arrowhead in 2011 by a final of 22-17. Minnesota’s favored by 2 and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Kansas City does not want to lose four games in a row at home and that will be the case Sunday at Arrowhead. Everything’s up to date in Kansas City and the Chiefs prevail in the Show Me State, covering the 2.

New York Jets (1-6) at Miami (0-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of AFC East cellar-dwellers meet in the Sunshine State at Miami, looking for their first win of the 2019 campaign, host the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium. Both teams took road losses in last week’s action.

Sam Darnold and the Jets were manhandled last Sunday afternoon at TIAA Stadium by Jacksonville, as they would lose their second contest in a row, allowing Jacksonville to take 29-15 victory in the Sunshine State. GangGreen trailed 19-7 at the intermission as Garner Minshew threw a pair of TD passes in the half, then Jacksonville would go on to outscore the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 10-8 in the final half of the contest.

The Jaguars outrushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 111-46 and Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette led all rushers with 76 yards and Minshew threw for 279 yards with three TDS, while Darnold threw for 218 yards and a pair of TD tosses but was sacked eight times and threw three interceptions. Jacksonville was 8 of 17 on third down in the Sunshine State (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:21, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 26:39, going 2 of 9 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Miami let another victory get away from them Monday night in Pittsburgh as they would score the first 14 points of the contest, then watched as the Steelers steamrolled them at Heinz Field Monday night, as Pittsburgh scored their 27 points unchallenged to fall 27-14 in the Keystone State. Miami led 14-10 at the break, then Dolphin fans watched with horror as the Steelers would score 17 half points without a challenge to lose their seventh contest in a row.

Miami, outrushed by Pittsburgh 158-60 (Steelers RB James Conner led all rushers with 145 yards and TD) was led by QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who threw for 190 yards and a pair of TDs but threw a pair of interceptions and was sacked four times, while Mason Rudolph threw for 251 yards with a pair of TDs (one to WR JuJu Smith-Schuster) with a pair of sacks and an interception. Miami was 3 of 8 on third down tries, 0 of 2 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 24:42, while the Steelers would rule the clock, keeping the ball for 35:18, while going 6 of 13 on third down at Heinz Field (they were 0 0f 1 on fourth down).

While GangGreen leads the series 54-51-1 (including contests that were played at the Orange Bowl and Shea Stadium), the Dolphins have outscored the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 2,307-2,265 and have won the last three meetings, including sweeping the series last year (New York’s last win over Miami came in 2017 in the Meadowlands by a final of 20-6).

Round 1… the Meadowlands in week two. Miami 20 first half points unchallenged and came away from Met Life Stadium 20-12 winners. The Dolphins used two Tannehill TDs in the half to score their points unchallenged, leading 20-0 at the break. New York responed in the second half, scoring all 12 of their points unchallenged in the final 30 minutes of play, using a 28-yard TD toss from Darnold to Bilal Powell (they would miss the extra point) and a pair of Josh Myers field goals to pull themselves to within eight with 5:56 left in regulation.

Miami outrushed GangGreen 135-42 and Tannehill threw for 168 yards, while Darnold threw for 334 yards (Tannehill, with a pair of TDs, was sacked four times, while Darnold was sacked three times with a pair of interceptions). Neither team had a fourth down conversion in the contest; Miami on third down was 6 of 13 and held the ball for 28:25, while GangGreen actually ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 31:35, going 3 of 10 on third down.

Round 2… week nine at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. The Dolphins completed the sweep of their AFC East/AFL rivals, taking a 13-6 win in the Sunshine State. Miami led 6-3 at the break after a scoreless first quarter and this time, relied on the defense to get the lone TD in the contest when LB Jerome Baker fulfilled a linebacker’s dream and picked off Darnold, returning the ball 25 yards for the TD with 10:48 left in regulation (the two teams played a scoreless third quarter). Myers again put GangGreen close, this time to within seven with 5:57 left in the contest, connecting on a 56-yard field goal.

The second contest was nothing to write home about rushing-wise as neither club breached the 100-yard barrier but the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! outrushed Miami 80-64 (Miami’s Frank Gore led all rushers with 53 yards) and Brock Osweiler (taking over for Tannehill) threw for 139 yards, while Darnold threw for 229 (both men were sacked four times and Darnold threw four interceptions). Miami was 3 of 16 on third down at Hard Rock but was succesful on fourth down, going 2 of 2 and held on to the ball for 28:26, while GangGreen ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:34 and went 2 of 13 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week two contest in the Meadowlands, GangGreen was favored by 3 and Miami covered, winning by 8. The bad news? The 44 over/under stayed safe as both teams combined for only 32 points. In the week nine contest in the Sunshine State, the Dolphins won by 7 (they were favored by 3) but the 19 combined points came nowhere near the 45 over/under. The Jets are favored by 4 1/2 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 41 1/2. If these two teams weren’t a combined 1-13, this might be worth your time. If you are a fan of either team, by all means watch; otherwise, may we suggest that “Law & Order/SVU” marathon on Ion TV (Just watching Benson deal with a criminal is downright sexy!). They say that every now and then, a blind pig finds an acorn. Miami is the blind pig and they’ll find that acorn this weekend. Miami wins in the Sunshine State and covers the 4 1/2.

Chicago (3-4) at Philadelphia (4-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Deep dish pizza squares off against cheesesteak in the City of Brotherly Love as the Chicago Bears travel to Philadephia to face off against Carson Wentz and the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

Da Bears lost their second contest in a row and their second in the Windy City after their 17-16 loss to Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers at Soldier Field. After a scoreless first quarter, Da Bears took a 9-7 lead with them to the locker room, then led 16-10 at the end of three quarters before Rivers and RB Austin Ekeler connected on an 11-yard TD toss with 8:04 left in the contest. Each team punted twice after the Chargers’ TD and Chicago would get the ball back with 93 seconds left in regulation, making their way from their 35 and got as close as the Los Angeles 22-yard line to set up what Bears fans would hope would be a game-winning field goal by Eddie Pineiro with four seconds left. After Chicago burned their final timeout of the half, Pineiro would attempt a 41 yard field goal and Chicago’s hopes were dashed as Pineiro’s try sailed wide to the left.

Chicago outrushed the Chargers 162-36 with Bears RB David Montgomery leading the way with 135 yards and a TD; Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky threw for 253 yards with four sacks and an interception, while Rivers threw for 201 yards with a sack an an interception to go with the game-winning TD toss in the contest. Chicago went 5 of 14 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 38 minutes, while the Chargers, keeping the pigskin for 22 minutes, went 2 for 10 on third down.

Wentz and the Eagles took Buffalo to task last Sunday in Orchard Park, leaving with a 31-13 win out of New Era Field. Philadelphia led 11-7 at the half and held the Bills in chack at home, as the Eagles would go on in the second half to outscore them 20-6. Buffalo was held to 98 yards of rushing, while the Eagles ran for 218 yards with Philadelphia RB Jordan Howard leading the way with 96 yards and a TD. Bills signal caller Josh Allen threw for 169 yards and a pair of TDs but was sacked four times, while Wentz threw for 172 yards and TD with three sacks (neither threw an interception). The Eagles were 8 of 15 on third down and kept the ball for 35:57, while the Bills kept the pigskin for 24:03, while going 6 of 15 on third down in upstate New York (both teams were 0 of 2 on fourth down).

Including games played on the corners of Waveland, Clark, Sheffield and Addison (Wrigley Field), Penn Stadium and Veterans’ Stadium, da Bears lead the series 28-12-1 and have outscored the Eagles 873-617. The Eagles have won the last three regular season meetings, coming away 31-3 winners in the City of Brotherly Love in 2017, while Chicago’s last win came in Philly in 2011 by a final of 30-24.

Their last meeting was in Chicago in the NFC Wild Card game at Solider Field in 2018. Chicago led the Eagles 6-3 at the half, only to see the Eagles come away with a 16-15 win to advance to the Divisional Round. Trubisky and WR Allen Robinson II gave Chicago a 15-10 lead with 9:04 left in the contest but missed the extra point. Philadelphia would storm back with 56 seconds left when Golden Tate and Foles connected on a 2-yard TD toss to take a 1-point lead. After a failed 2-point try by the Eagles, Da Bears would get the ball back and got themselves as close as Philadelphia’s 25-yard line. With both clubs out of time outs, Chicago set themselves up for what Bears fans hoped would be the game-winning field goal, sending Chris Parkey out for a 43-yard try with 10 seconds left. Parkey’s try was partially blocked, then hit the cross bars and was no good, giving the Eagles the ball back and the win.

Neither club breached the 100-yard rushing barrier in the contest but the Monsters of the Midway outrushed Philadelphia 65-42 and Trubisky threw for 303 yards and a TD, while Foles threw for 266 yards and two TDs, including the TD toss to Tate (Foles was sacked once and threw a pair of interceptions, while Trubisky was sacked twice). The Eagles were 6 of 13 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:48, while Da Bears held the pigskin for 29:12 and 5 for 16 on third down.

In the Wild Card game in the Windy City, Chicago was a 5 1/2-point favorite and while the Eagles did take the win, they only were 1-point winners and the 41 1/2 over/under was intact as both teams combined for 31 points. Philadelphia’s favored by 5 at home and the over/under’s 44. Philadelphia’s looking to keep pace with Dallas in the NFC East, while Da Bears are trying to keep pace with the Packers in the NFC North and end their two-game losing streak. Chicago pulls the upset in the City of Brotherly Love, coming away with with the win and covering the 5.

Indianapolis (5-2) at Pittsburgh (3-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of contending teams face off in the Keystone State as Indianapolis travels to Heinz Field for an early afternoon showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both teams were winners at home in last week’s contests.

The Colts held off a late Denver rally in the closing seconds, coing away 15-13 winners at Lucas Oil Stadium. Denver limps Denver led 6-3 at the break at Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday in the Hoosier State and had a 13-12 lead with 22 seconds left when Colts K Adam Vinatieri was the man of the moment, as he connected on a 51yard field goal to take the 2-point lead. Denver would get the ball back in the closing moments of the contest but could not get anything going to reclaim the lead and take the road win, as their final drive stalled.

Indianpolis outrushed Denver 127-113 with Colts RB Marlon Mack leading the way with 76 yards and a rushing TD, Jacoby Brissett would lead the Colts with 202 yards of passing while Joe Flacco (who will miss the Sunday afternoon contest with a neck injury) threw for 174 yards (Flacco was three times, Brissett was sacked four times and neither threw an interception). Denver was 2 of 12 on third down and actually ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 30:44 (including the final seconds of the contest), while the Colts kept the pigskin for 29:16, going 4 for 12 on third down.

Pittsburgh trailed Miami Miami 14-10 at the half last Monday night at Heinz Field, then took matters into their own hands as they scored 17 second half points unchallenged to come away with the 27-14 prime time win in the Keystone State. The win dropped Miami to their seventh loss in a row as Pittsburgh would score their 27 points in the contest unchallenged.

Pittsburgh outrushed Miami 158-60 with Steelers RB James Conner leading all rushers with 145 yards and TD, while Mason Rudolph threw for 251 yards with a pair of TD tosses (including one to WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, who had five catches for 103 yards), while Miami’s Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 190 yards and a pair of TDs but threw a pair of interceptions and was sacked four times (Rudolph was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions), Miami was 3 of 8 on third down tries, 0 of 2 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 24:42, while the Steelers would rule the clock, keeping the ball for 35:18, while going 6 of 13 on third down at Heinz Field (they were 0 0f 1 on fourth down).

Pittsburgh leads the series 18-6 (including contests that were played in Baltimore and at Three Rivers Stadium) and the Steelers have outscored the Colts 604-410. The Steelers have won the last five meetings in the series, including a 20-17 win in the Hoosier State in 2017, while the Colts picked up their last win in the series, coming away 24-20 winners at Heinz Field in 2008. The Colts are favored by 1 in the Steel City and the over/under’s 43. The winner of this game puts themselves a little closer in their respective divisons; as for the losers, their seasons are not done but they will have a lot of ground to cover. Pittsburgh pulls off the upset at home by taking the win and covering the 1.

Detroit (3-3-1) at Oakland (3-4), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of 3-win teams meet on the West Coast as Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders hots Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions at the Coliseum.

The Lions and Stafford took Daniel Jones and the New York Giants 31-26 at Ford Field last Sunday afternoon in the Motor City. Detroit led 17-13 at the half, then held off a late Giants rally in the contest when RB Sequan Barkley and Jones connected on a 4-yard TD toss with 79 seconds left. Barkley led all rushers with 64 yards as the Giants outrushed Detroit 80-59 but Stafford burned the Giants for 342 yards and three TDs (two of them to WR Kenny Golladay, who had six catches for 123 yards), while Jones threw for 322 yards and four TDs (Jones was sacked three times, Stafford was sacked four times and Stafford had an interception). Both teams did exceptionally well on third down tries at Ford Field (the Giants were 7 of 12, Detroit 8 of 14) and the Giants, who were 0 of 2 on fourth down, kept the ball for 30:47, while the Lions held on to the ball for 29:13.

Oakland let a 24-20 lead in Houston get away from them as the Texans would rally late in the contest to come away 27-24 winners in the Lone Star State last Sunday. The Silver and Black held a 14-10 lead at the intermission before the Texans would score when DeShaun Watson rallied his team late in the final quarter and took the lead for good with 6:26 left in regulation when he and TE Darren Fells connected on a 9-yard TD toss (it was the second time they connected in the contest).

Houston outrushed Oakland 130-93 wtih Texans RB Carlos Hyde leading all rushers with 83 yards and Watson threw for 279 yards, while Derek Carr threw for 285 yards (Watson was sacked three times; both he and Carr threw three TD passes without an interception) for the Raiders. Houston went 6 of 14 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:53, while the Raiders, in keeping the pigskin for 24:07, went 5 of 12 on third down in the Lone Star State.

Including contests played at Tiger Stadium, the Pontiac Silverdome and in Los Angeles, the Series is even 6-6 and the Silver and Black has outscored Detroit 278-241. The Lions have roared to victory in the last four meetings (all of them in the Motor City), with their last win coming in 2015 at Ford Field by a final of 18-13, while Oakland’s last win came on the West Coast in 1996, as the Raiders would prevail 37-21. Oakland’s favored by 2 and the over/under’s 51 1/2. Both clubs look to restore some sembilance of order in their respective divisons. Raiders don’t just win, baby. They take down Detroit on the coast and cover the 2.

Tampa Bay (2-5) at Seattle (6-3), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Jameis Winston vs. Russell Wilson. A pair of future Hall of Fame quarterbacks meet in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks as Seattle hosts Tampa Bay at Century Link Field.

A late Tampa Bay rally in Nashville last Sunday fell short as Tennessee survived a Buccaneer scare to come away 27-23 winners at Nissan Stadium. Tampa Bay trailed 17-15 at the half, using a pair of Ryan Tannehill TD passes to take that lead before they briefly took a 23-17 with 11:11 left in the third when Winston and RB Mike Evans connected on a 2-yard TD toss, then went for and made the 2-point conversion when Winston and WR Chris Goodwin connected on the try. Tennessee chipped away at the lead with a 42-yard field goal by Chris Parkey with 37 seconds left in the third, then took the lead back for good when Tannehill and WR A.J. Brown connected on an 8-yard TD pass with 6:55 left in the contest. The Titans then ended a Tampa Bay threat late in the contest when CB Logan Ryan picked off Winston to end the threat.

Tampa Bay managed to outrush Tennessee 106-72 (Titans RB Derrick Henry led all rushers with 75 yards, Winston led Tampa Bay with 53) and Winston threw for 301 yards with the two TDs to Evans and two interceptions (including the pick that ended the Tampa Bay rally), while Tannehill threw for 193 yards with three TDs (both Winston and Tannehill were sacked three times). Tennessee went 5 of 13 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:27, while Tampa Bay, who ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 31:33, went 7 of 15 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Seattle survived a late rally by Atlanta and left Mercedes Benz Stadium 27-20 winners. The Seahawks led 24-0 at the half, then were outscored by Atlanta 20-3 in the final 30 minutes of action. Seattle outrushed the Falcons 151-69 and Seahawks RB Chris Carson led all rushers with 90 yards and a rushing TD and Wilson threw for 182 yards and a pair of TD passes to DK Metcalf (six catches for 100 yards), while Matt Schaub, filling in for Matt Ryan (ankle) threw for 460 yards and a TD pass to TE Austin Hooper and Atlanta’s Julio Jones led all recievers with 152 yards on 10 catches (both Wilson and Schaub were sacked twice and Schaub had an interception). Both clubs were 3 of 9 on third down and Atlanta was 1 of 1 on fourth down, as the Falcons, who lost their seventh game in a row, ruled the clock and held the ball for 30:47, while Seattle held on to the pigskin for 29:13.

While Seattle leads the series 8-5, the Buccaneers have outscored Seattle 222-202. Tampa Bay won the last meeting in 2016 in the Sunshine State by a final of 14-5, while the Seahawks’ last win came in the Pacific Northwest in 2013 as Seattle needed overtime to take a 27-24 win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Seattle’s a 6 1/2 point favorite in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and the over/under’s 53. Both numbers make sense and both teams are capable of putting up points. Seattle takes this one in the Pacific Northwest but expect Tampa Bay to make things closer than 6 1/2.

Cleveland (2-4) at Denver (2-6), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. A pair of struggling AFC teams meet in the Rocky Mountains as Cleveland travels to Denver to face off against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Both teams took road losses in their games in last week’s action.

Cleveland watched Tom Brady and the Patriots score 17 first quarter points unchallenged against Baker Mayfield and the Browns at Gillette Stadium, with the defending Super Bowl champions taking a 27-13 win in conditions that would have made Noah happy. The Browns could never get themselves on track, trailing 17-7 at the half. The Browns outrushed New England 159-79 with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading the way with 131 yards (Sony Michele led the Patriots with 74), New England managed to force three Cleveland turnovers in the contest. Brady threw for 259 yards and a pair of TD tosses to WR Julian Edelman, while Mayfield threw for 194 yards and a TD (Mayfield was sacked five times and picked off once, while Brady was sacked twice). New England was 5 of 16 on third down tries in the contest that gave Bill Belichick his 300th win (they went 2 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 32:15, while the Browns, keeping the ball for 27:45, went 3 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Denver limps their way back home to the Mile High City coming off a 15-13 loss in Indianapolis. The Broncos led 6-3 at the break at Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday in the Hoosier State and had a 13-12 lead with 22 seconds left when Colts K Adam Vinatieri connected on a 51yard field goal to take the 2-point lead. Denver would get the ball back in the closing moments of the contest but could not get anything going to reclaim the lead and take the road win, as their final drive stalled.

Indianpolis outrushed Denver 127-113 with Colts RB Marlon Mack leading the way with 76 yards and a rushing TD, Jacoby Brissett would lead the Colts with 202 yards of passing while Joe Flacco (who will miss the Sunday afternoon contest with a neck injury) threw for 174 yards (Flacco was three times, Brissett was sacked four times and neither threw an interception). Denver was 2 of 12 on third down and actually ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 30:44 (including the final seconds of the contest), while the Colts kept the pigskin for 29:16, going 4 for 12 on third down.

The Broncos lead the series 20-6 (which includes contests that were played at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland and at Mile High Stadium in Denver) and have outscored the Browns 630-381. They met in the Mile High City last year and the Browns left Broncos Stadium at Mile High 17-16 winners (Denver’s last win came in Cleveland in 2015 and they would need overtime to take a 26-23 win).

They met in week 15 in the Rocky Mountains and in that contest, the two clubs went to the locker room tied at 10-10. Denver would take the lead with 1:41 left in the third when Brian McManus connected on a 42-yard field goal, leading 13-10 at that point, before Cleveland would take the lead for keeps early in the fourth quarter when Mayfield and WR Antonio Calloway connected on a 2-yard TD. McManus would connect on a 29-yard field goal to put the Broncos to within one with 4:35 left in the contest but would come no closer.

Cleveland outrushed Denver 134-32 and RB Nick Chubb led all rushers with 100 yards in the contest. Mayfield threw for 188 yards, while Denver QB Case Keenum threw for 257 yards (both Mayfield and Keenum were sacked twice; Keenum threw a pair of interceptions, while Mayfield threw two TDs with an interception). Denver went 5 of 14 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 32:39, while the Browns were 5 of 12 (both teams were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and Cleveland held on to the ball for 27:21.

In the week 15 contest Saturday night at chilly Broncos Stadium at Mile High, Denver was a 3-point favorite and Cleveland would win by only 1 and both teams accounted for 33 total points, meaning that the 45 1/2 over/under was untouched. In this meeting, the Broncos are favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 43. Cleveland has struggled of late, while the Broncos have been prone to losing at home. Denver rights its ship in the Mile High City and takes care of business at home, taking the win and covering the 1 1/2.

Green Bay (7-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (3-5), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. Aaron Rodgers vs. Philip Rivers. They meet in a late afternoon contest on the West Coast as the Packers travel to Los Angeles to face off against the Chargers.

The Packers won their second contest in a row against an AFC West team, as they would rally in Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium, erasing a 17-14 deficit at the half to come away 31-24 winners. Green Bay trailed by 3 at the break, then tied the contest with 91 seconds left in the third on a 35-yard field goal by Mason Crosby and took the lead early in the final quarter when Rodgers and Jamal Williams connected on a 3-yard TD toss to lead 24-17. That lead would not last long as Chiefs RB Darrell Williams would re-tie the contest on a 3-yard run with 9:01 left in regulation. After Green Bay and Kansas City traded punts, the Packers would get the ball back and used a 2-play, 75-yard drive that took only 59 seconds to take the lead back when Rodgers and RB Aaron Jones connected on a 67-yard toss with 8:02 left. The Chiefs then got the ball back and got as far as their 40-yard line, when the Packers forced them to punt. Green Bay got the ball back, ran out the clock and took the win on the road at Arrowhead.

Green Bay outrushed the Chiefs 118-88 (Jones led all rushers with 67 yards) and Rodgers threw for 305 yards and three TDs (two of them to Jones), while Nate Moore, who took over for Patrick Mahomes (ankle) threw for 267 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Travis Kelce)(Rodgers was sacked five times, Moore was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). Both clubs did quite well on third down tries in the prime time affair in the Show-Me State; Green Bay was 8 of 13, Kansas City went 6 of 11 and the Packers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:13 to Kansas City’s 26:47.

The Chargers survived a last-second scare at Chicago last Sunday, coming away from Soldier Field 17-16 winners in the Windy City. After a scoreless first quarter, Chicago took a 9-7 lead with them to the locker room, then led 16-10 at the end of three quarters before Rivers and RB Austin Ekeler connected on an 11-yard TD toss with 8:04 left in the contest. Each team punted twice after the Chargers’ TD and Chicago would get the ball back with 93 seconds left in regulation, making their way from their 35 and got as close as the Los Angeles 22-yard line to set up what Bears fans would hope would be a game-winning field goal by Eddie Pineiro with four seconds left. After Chicago burned their final timeout of the half, Pineiro would attempt a 41 yard field goal and Chicago’s hopes were dashed as Pineiro’s try sailed wide to the left.

Chicago outrushed the Chargers 162-36 with Bears RB David Montgomery leading the way with 135 yards and a TD; Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky threw for 253 yards with four sacks and an interception, while Rivers threw for 201 yards with a sack an an interception to go with the game-winning TD toss in the contest. Chicago went 5 of 14 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 38 minutes, while the Chargers, keeping the pigskin for 22 minutes, went 2 for 10 on third down.

Including games that were played in Milwaukee at County Stadium and at Qualcomm Stadium, Green Bay leads the series 10-1, the Packers have outscored the Bolts 342-186 and have won the last seven meetings, including a 27-20 win at Lambeau in 2015, while the Chargers’ lone win in the series also came at Lambeau, coming away 34-28 winners in 1984. Green Bay’s favored by 3 on the West Coast and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Both numbers make a ton of sense and both teams could very well make the post-season. The Chargers are looking to stop Green Bay in their tracks, while the Packers want to continue their reign over the AFC West and sweep the division in the process. Packers cover the 3 in Cali and takes the win.

New England (8-0) at Baltimore (5-2), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champs make their way to Charm City for a prime time showdown with Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.

Brady and the Patriots scored 17 first quarter points unchallenged against Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium and took care of business in Foxboro, taking a 27-13 win in conditions that would have made Noah happy. New England led 17-7 at the half, then went on to outscore the Bronws 10-6 in the second half. Despite being outrushed by the Browns 159-79 with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading the way with 131 yards (Sony Michele led the Patriots with 74), New England managed to force three Cleveland turnovers in the contest. Brady threw for 259 yards and a pair of TD tosses to WR Julian Edelman, while Mayfield threw for 194 yards and a TD (Mayfield was sacked five times and picked off once, while Brady was sacked twice). New England was 5 of 16 on third down tries in the contest that gave Bill Belichick his 300th win (they went 2 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 32:15, while the Browns, keeping the ball for 27:45, went 3 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The Ravens return from their bye week after they edged Seattle 30-16 two Sundays ago in the Pacific Northwest. Baltimore and Seattle entered the intermission tied 13-13 at Century Link Field, then the Ravens went on to score 17 unanswered points i the final 30 minutes of play to take the win. Baltimore outrushed Seattle 199-109 and Jackson threw for 143 yards and had a rushing TD in the contest, while Russell Wilson threw for 241 yards and a TD to Tyler Lockett (both men were sacked once and Wilson threw an interception). Baltimore was 5 of 13 on third down tries in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks (the Ravens were 1 of 1 on fourth down tries) and kept the ball for 29:54, while the Seahawks ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:06, going 10 of 17 on third down.

New England leads the series 8-1, have outscored the Ravens 268-170 and have won the last two regular season meetings, including a 30-23 win in Foxboro in 2016, while Baltimore’s lone win in their regular season meetings came in 2012 in Charm City by a final of 31-30. New England’s favored by 4 in Charm City and the over/under’s 45. Both numbers make a lot of sense and both look to make the post-season party. It’s only fitting that this one becomes “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

The defending Super Bowl champs want to keep their unbeaten streak going; as for the Ravens, they want to be football’s answer to Jimmy Stewart and knock off their version of Liberty Valance. Sorry, Ravens fans. Valance lives this week. Pats take the prime time win on the road and covers the 4.

Dallas (4-3) at New York Giants (2-6), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week nine closes out in the Meadowlands as a pair of NFC East foes meet at Met Life Stadium in a week one primetime rematch.

Dallas comes back from their bye week, taking care of Philadelphia 37-10 two Sundays ago at AT&T Stadium. Prescott and the Cowboys led 27-7 at the intermission and never looked back, holding the Eagles to a Jake Elliot field goal in the third quarter as they would score 10 fourth quarter points unchallenged. Ezekiel Elliot led all rushers with 111 yards and a TD as the Cowboys outrushed Philadelphia 189-115 and Prescott threw for 239 yards with a TD toss to TE Blake Jarvin and had a rushing TD of his own, while Carson Wentz threw for 191 yards and a TD (both men were sacked three times and both threw an interception).

Dallas on third down tries was efficient, going 8 of 14 (they were 1 of on fourth down conversions) and the Cowboys kept the ball for 32:22, while the Eagles, who held on to the pigskin for 27:38, went 3 of 9 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The Lions and Matthew Stafford took Daniel Jones and the New York Giants 31-26 at Ford Field last Sunday afternoon in the Motor City. Detroit led 17-13 at the half, then held off a late Giants rally in the contest when RB Sequan Barkley and Jones connected on a 4-yard TD toss with 79 seconds left. Barkley led all rushers with 64 yards as the Giants outrushed Detroit 80-59 but Stafford burned the Giants for 342 yards and three TDs (two of them to WR Kenny Golladay, who had six catches for 123 yards), while Jones threw for 322 yards and four TDs (Jones was sacked three times, Stafford was sacked four times and Stafford had an interception). Both teams did exceptionally well on third down tries at Ford Field (the Giants were 7 of 12, Detroit 8 of 14) and the Giants, who were 0 of 2 on fourth down, kept the ball for 30:47, while the Lions held on to the ball for 29:13.

They met in Jerry World in week one and Dallas came away 35-17 winners at AT&T Stadium. Dallas led 21-7 at the half and floored the gas in the second half, outpacing Eli Manning and the Giants 14-10 in the final 30 minutes of play. Barkley ran for 120 yards as the Giants outrushed Dallas 151-89 (Elliott led Dallas with 58 yards and a TD), while Manning threw for 306 yards and a TD toss. Dallas, led by Prescott (405 yards, four TDs, no sacks or interceptions), went 6 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 32:18, while the Giants held on to the ball for 27:42, going 2 of 11 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

In the first meeting in the Lone Star State, Dallas was favored by 7 in the Sunday night contest and covered, winning by 18 and both teams took care of the 45 1/2 over/under with 52 combined points. In the Monday night contest in upstate New Jersey, the Cowboys are favored by 7 1/2 and the over/under’s 48. The Giants on Monday Night Football? 22-30-1 (they played one MNF game last year in Atlanta and lost). Dallas? 34-32 and the Cowboys played three games in the 2018 season in prime time and won two of them. The Giants are looking to restore some order in the NFC East, while the Cowboys are trying to prove that the first win was not a fluke. You might want to tape “Bull” this week. Dallas may not cover the 7 1/2 but they win in the Meadowlands.

They’re still standing.

New England (6-0) and San Francisco (5-0) are still standing as the only two unbeaten teams in the National Football League.

While the Patriots and 49ers revel in the spotlight, Cincinnati (0-6) and Miami (0-6) remain winless and search for their first wins this week. Washington and the New York Jets picked up their first wins last week in close contests… but as they say, a win is a win. As for Bengals and Dolphins fans, hold your heads up and remember, an NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint.

MOST COMPETITIVE CONTESTS EVER: No other season through six weeks has produced more games decided by seven-or-fewer points than 2019. This year, 51 of 92 games (55.4 percent) have been decided by seven-or-fewer points, including nine of 14 games in Week 6. This season also is tied for the most one-point games through Week 6 since the 1970 merger.

The seasons with the most games decided by one- and seven-or-fewer points through six weeks:

GAMES DECIDED BY ONE-OR-FEWER POINTS, THROUGH WEEK 6, SINCE 1970

2019 – 9
2016 – 9
1997 – 9
1972 – 9
1999 – 8

GAMES DECIDED BY SEVEN-OR-FEWER POINTS, THROUGH WEEK 6, ALL-TIME

2019 – 51
2016 – 50
1999 – 50
2018 – 47
2015 – 47
2011 – 47

100TH OF THE 100TH: One of the early contests Sunday will mark the 100th game of the NFL’s 100th season. The league has completed 92 games entering this week. As the 100th kickoff approaches, several NFL players and teams are on pace to challenge some of the game’s most esteemed records.

On Sunday afternoon, Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens travel to the Pacific Northwest to meet Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. Wilson has a passer rating over 100 in each of Seattle’s first six games and is on pace to break two single-season NFL records held by Aaron Rodgers, his 122.5 passer rating in 2011 and his 0.34 interception percentage in 2018. Meanwhile, Jackson last week had 236 passing yards and a career-high 152 rushing yards with a touchdown in a 23-17 win over Cincinnati. His 152 rushing yards were the fourth-most by a quarterback in a single game in NFL history, including the postseason. Jackson, who registered his third career game with at least 115 rushing yards, is the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to register at least 115 rushing yards in at least three games in his first two seasons.

PLENTY OF HEARTBEATS REMAINING: Hope is in plentiful supply across the NFL. That’s because in 2018 after Week 7, five of the 12 teams that qualified for the playoffs were either .500 or below in the NFL standings. After this week concludes on Monday night at MetLife Stadium, it’s very likely that at least one team sitting at .500 or below will still make the playoffs. Since 2011, at least one team has qualified for the playoffs after beginning the year at-or-below .500 through Week 7.

The playoff teams that were at-or-below .500 through seven weeks, since 2011:

YEAR – PLAYOFF TEAMS AT OR BELOW .500 THROUGH SEVEN WEEKS
2018 – *Chicago, *Dallas, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Seattle*
2017 – ATLANTA
2016 – Miami
2015 – *Houston, Kansas City, Seattle, *Washington
2014 – *Carolina, *Seattle
2013 – *Carolina, *Philadelphia
2012 – Cincinnati, *Denver, Indianapolis, *Washington
2011 – *Denver
*won division

BARRETT & GARRETT, LLC: Tampa Bay linebacker Shaquil Barrett and Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett have earned their byes this week. Both players are off in Week 7 after beginning the season on a torrid pace. Barrett and Garrett are tied for the NFL lead with nine sacks. The last time multiple players had nine-or-more sacks through six weeks was in 2013 (Robert Mathis and Justin Houston each had 9.5).

RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS ON UPWARD SLOPE: NFL clubs have combined for 167 rushing touchdowns through six weeks of play. Only the 1979 and 1976 seasons had more in NFL history entering Week 7.

At the quarterback position alone, NFL signal-callers have rushed for 31 touchdowns during the 2019 season, surpassing 2002 (28) for the most rushing touchdowns by quarterbacks through the first six weeks of a season since the 1970 merger. In Week 6, quarterbacks totaled 10 rushing touchdowns, surpassing Week 13 of the 2015 season (nine) for the most in a single week since 1970.

The most overall rushing touchdowns by NFL players through six weeks in NFL history:

YEAR – RUSH TD
1979 – 187
1976 – 175
2019 – 167
1984 – 167
Many – 158

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: Minnesota wide receiver Stefon Diggs had seven receptions for 167 yards and three touchdowns in the Vikings’ 38-20 win over Philadelphia.

Carolina running back Christian McCaffery and wide receiver Curtis Samuel each had a rushing and receiving touchdown in the Panthers’ 37-26 win over Tampa Bay at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. The London series continues in Week 8 when the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams face off at Wembley Stadium. McCaffrey and Samuel are the third pair of teammates to each record a rushing and receiving touchdown in the same game since 1980 and first since November 10, 2013, when New Orleans Saints running backs Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas each had a rushing and receiving touchdown.

Carolina recorded seven sacks and five interceptions in the win, becoming the first team with at least seven sacks and five interceptions in a single game since Miami (eight sacks, six interceptions) on December 6, 1998.

Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson had 236 passing yards and a career-high 152 rushing yards with a touchdown in the Ravens’ 23-17 win over Cincinnati. His 152 rushing yards are the fourth-most by a quarterback in a single game in NFL history, including the postseason.

Jackson is the second quarterback to record at least 200 passing yards and 150 rushing yards in a single game in NFL history, including the postseason, joining Colin Kaepernick on January 12, 2013 (263 passing yards, 181 rushing yards in NFC Divisional playoffs). Jackson, who registered his third career game with at least 115 rushing yards, is the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to register at least 115 rushing yards in at least three games in his first two seasons.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 295 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 117.6 passer rating and added a rushing touchdown in the Seahawks’ 32-28 win at Cleveland. Wilson, who has recorded a passer rating of 100 or higher in each of Seattle’s first six games of the season, joined Aaron Rodgers (12 games in 2011), Tom Brady (eight in 2007) and Carson Palmer (six in 2005) as the only quarterbacks with a passer rating of 100 or higher in each of their team’s first six games of a season in NFL history.

Wilson, who is playing in his eighth NFL season, recorded his 67th career game with at least two touchdown passes and tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (67 games) for the third-most such games in a player’s first eight seasons in league annals. Only Peyton Manning (74 games) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (72) had more such games in their first eight seasons.

Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson passed for 280 yards and had three total touchdowns (two rushing, one passing) in the Texans’ 31-24 win at Kansas City.

Watson has 7,508 passing yards in 29 career games and tied Marc Bulger (29 games), Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (29) and Matthew Stafford (29) as quarterbacks to reach 7,500 career passing yards in the second-fewest games in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (27 games) reached 7,500 passing yards in fewer games.

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold passed for 338 yards and two touchdowns, including a 92-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Robby Anderson, in the Jets’ 24-22 win against Dallas. Darnold, at 22 years and 130 days old, is the youngest player in the Super Bowl era with a touchdown pass of at least 90 yards. As the first half expired, Dallas kicker Brett Maher converted a 62-yard field goal, his second career field goal of at least 60 yards, and joined Sebastian Janikowski (two) and Greg Zuerlein (two) as the only kickers with at least two career field goals of 60-or-more yards in NFL history.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo passed for 243 yards in the 49ers’ 20-7 win at the Los Angeles Rams. San Francisco advanced to 5-0 for the first time since 1990. Garoppolo, making his 15th career start, improved to 13-2 as a starting quarterback and became the eighth quarterback in the Super Bowl era to win 13 of his first 15 career starts.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan passed for 356 yards and four touchdowns in the Falcons’ Week 6 loss at Arizona. Ryan, who has recorded at least 300 passing yards in each of Atlanta’s first six games, joined Pro Football Hall of Famers Kurt Warner (six) and Steve Young (six) as quarterbacks with at least 300 passing yards in each of their team’s first six games of a season in NFL history.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK SEVEN

KNOCKING ON THE 150 CLUB: New England enters Week 7 as the lone undefeated team (6-0) in the AFC and lead the NFL in both points per game (31.7) and points allowed per game (8.0). Through six games, New England’s point differential (+142) is the third-highest at this point of a season in the Super Bowl era, trailing only the 1999 St. Louis Rams (+154) and the 1968 Dallas Cowboys (+149).

Against the New York Jets on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN), the Patriots can become the fifth team with a +150 point differential through a team’s first seven games in the Super Bowl era.

The teams with the highest point differential through their first seven games of a season in the Super Bowl era:

TEAM – SEASON (POINT DIFFERENTIAL, SEASON RESULT)
Dallas Cowboys – 1966 (+160, Advanced to NFL Championship)
New England – 2007 (+159, Advanced to Super Bowl XLII)
Chicago – 2006 (+152, Advanced to Super Bowl XLI)
St. Louis Rams – 1999 (+151, Won Super Bowl XXXIV)
Washington – 1991 (+149, Won Super Bowl XXVI)
New England – 2019 (+142, ???)*
*Through six games

DANGERUSS: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 295 yards and two touchdowns in the Seahawks’ Week 6 victory. Wilson has passed for at least two touchdowns in five of his first six games in 2019 and now has 67 games with at least two touchdown passes in his eight-year career.

With at least two touchdown passes on Sunday against Baltimore, Wilson would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (67) for the third-most games with at least two touchdown passes through a player’s first eight seasons in NFL history.

The players with the most games with at least two touchdown passes in their first eight seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES WITH 2+ TD PASSES)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (74)
Dan Marino, Miami (72) HOF
Brett Favre, Green Bay (67) HOF
Russell Wilson, Seattle (67)*
*In eighth season
HOF – Hall of Fame

Wilson has 14 touchdown passes and zero interceptions for a league-leading 124.7 passer rating this season. With two touchdown passes and no interceptions on Sunday, Wilson would tie Milt Plum (16 in 1960) for the fourth-most touchdown passes without an interception to begin a season in NFL history.

The players with the most touchdown passes without an interception to begin a season in NFL history:?

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, TD PASSES WITHOUT INT TO START SEASON)
Peyton Manning, Denver (2013, 20) #
Nick Foles, Philadelphia (2013, 19)
Alex Smith, Kansas City (2017, 18)
Milt Plum, Cleveland (1960, 16)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2019, 14)*
*Active Streak
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player

MATTY ICE’S HOT START: Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan leads the NFL with 15 touchdown passes this season and ranks second in the league with 2,011 passing yards entering Week 7.

Ryan, who has passed for at least 300 yards in each of his first six games, needs 300 passing yards on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams to become the first player with at least 300 passing yards in each of his team’s first seven games of a season in NFL history.

The players to pass for at least 300 yards in the most consecutive team games to begin a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES WITH 300+ PASSING YARDS TO BEGIN SEASON)

Matt Ryan, ATLANTA (2019 – 6)*
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (2000 – 6) HOF
Steve Young, San Francisco (1998 – 6) HOF
*Active streak
HOF – Hall of Fame

Additionally, Ryan has passed for at least three touchdowns on four occasions in 2019. By throwing for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday, Ryan would join Peyton Manning (2013) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young (1998) as the only players with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns in five of their team’s first seven games of a season in NFL history.

The players with the most performances of 300 passing yards and three touchdowns in their team’s first seven games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER

TEAM

SEASON

GAMES WITH 300+ YARDS & 3 TDs

Peyton Manning, Denver (2013 – 5)#
Steve Young, San Francisco (1998 – 5) HOF
Matt Ryan, ATLANTA (2019 – 4)*
*Through six games
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player
HOF – Hall of Fame

TOP 10 SHOWDOWN: Arizona rookie quarterback KYyler Murray, the number 1 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, and New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, the number 6 overall selection, will face off Sunday, for the first time in their careers.

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, the No. 2 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, has 15 games with at least 100 scrimmage yards, the most in the NFL since entering the league.

Appearing in his 20th career game on Sunday, Barkley needs at least 100 scrimmage yards to tie Edgerrin James (16) for the most games with at least 100 scrimmage yards through a player’s first 20 career games in NFL history.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES WITH 100+ SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (16)
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (15)*
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (15) HOF
*19 games
HOF – Hall of Fame

DYNAMIC DUO IN DALLAS: Over his last four games against NFC East opponents, Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott is 4-0 with 1,516 passing yards (379 yards per game) and 14 touchdowns for a 125.4 passer rating.

With three passing touchdowns against Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football, Prescott would become the fifth quarterback to pass for at least three touchdowns in five consecutive games against divisional opponents since 1970.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least three touchdown passes against divisional opponents since 1970:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, GAMES WITH 3+ PASS TDs)

Dan Marino, Miami (1986-87, 6) HOF
Brett Favre, Green Bay (1994-95, 5) HOF
Steve Beuerlein, Carolina (1999-2000, 5)
Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia (2003-04, 5)
Dak Prescott, Dallas (2018-19, 4)*
*Active streak

Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott leads the NFL with 5,877 scrimmage yards since entering the league in 2016.

Appearing in his 47th career game, Elliott needs 123 scrimmage yards against Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football to tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (47 games) and Le’Veon Bell (47) as the second-fastest player to reach 6,000 scrimmage yards in NFL history.

The players to reach 6,000 scrimmage yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES TO REACH 6,000 SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (44)
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (47) HOF
Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh (47)
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (48) HOF
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas (46)*
*Has 5,877 scrimmage yards
HOF – Hall of Fame

SCARY TERRY: Washington wide receiver Terry McLaurin leads all rookies in receptions (23), receiving yards (408) and receiving touchdowns (five) in 2019, and has recorded at least 50 receiving yards in each of his first five career games.

With at least 50 receiving yards on Sunday against San Francisco, McLaurin would join Earl McCullouch (seven games in 1968) as the only players to with 50 receiving yards in each of their first six career games in NFL history.

Byes in week seven? Carolina, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. Buffalo, Chicago, Indianapolis and Oakland return to action this week.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated Sunday’s Raiders-Packers matchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest involves teams that made indelible memories in three previous meetings. Most memorable was Super Bowl II, January 14, 1968, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, the final game of Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay coaching career. The Packers, fresh off their Ice Bowl win over the Cowboys, held off the AFL champion Raiders, 33-14. Nearly 25 years later, late in a frigid game against the Los Angeles Raiders on December 26, 1993, LeRoy Butler forced a Raiders fumble recovered by Pro Football Hall of Famer Reggie White.

After rumbling 10 yards, White lateraled to Butler, who covered the remaining 25 yards into the end zone and invented the Lambeau Leap as Green Bay clinched a playoff berth. Then, on December 22, 2003, in Oakland, Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve, only a day after his father’s death, threw for 399 yards and four touchdowns before a Monday Night Football television audience, leading Green Bay to a pivotal win that catapulted the Packers to the playoffs. Incidentally, following the Raiders’ loss to Lombardi’s Packers in Super Bowl II, the Raiders won the next five meetings with Green Bay and wouldn’t lose to the Packers again for 23 years, capturing three Super Bowls in that span.

As for last week, 7-7 for the week, 47-48 for the season. The leaves are falling, the weather’s getting a little chillier but there’s still lots of football left. Week seven got underway in Denver as Kansas City shutdown Denver in an AFC/AFL matchup and concludes in the Jersey Meadowlands as the defending Super Bowl champs travel to Met Life Stadium for a Monday night showdown with the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! Here are week seven’s Sunday and Monday picks.

Los Angeles Rams (3-3) at ATLANTA (1-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. A pair of teams with losing streaks under their belts meet in the Big Peach as Atlanta and Matt Ryan host the Los Angeles Rams at Mercedes Benz Stadium. Both teams found themselves on the losing side of the ledger in last week’s action.

The Rams opened the scoring against NFC West foe San Francisco last Sunday as WR Robert Wood scored on a 9-yard run in the first quarter, then watched the 49ers scored their 20 points of the contest unchallenged as they were 20-7 losers at the Coliseum. Los Angeles and San Francisco went into the break tied at 7-7 after Tevin Coleman answered the Rams’ TD with a TD of his own in the first quarter, then their last 13 points of the game to take the road win, using a 1-yard run by Jimmy Garoppolo and a pair of Robbie Gould field goals to close out the scoring. The Rams outrushed San Francisco 109-99 and Jared Goff threw for 78 yards but was sacked four times, while Garoppolo threw for 243 yards wtih a pair of sacks and an interception. The defending NFC champs were a dismal 0 of 9 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 21:08, while the 49ers, going 8 of 17 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down), ruled the clock and kept the ball for 38:52.

Atlanta dropped their fourth contest in a row, dropping a 34-33 heartbreaker at Arizona last Sunday. Atlanta led 7-3 at the end of the first quarter before the Cardinals scored 17 second-quarter points unchallenged, giving them a 20-10 lead at the half. Atlanta later trailed by 17 with 11:25 left in the third, then proceeded to chip away at the lead and would tie the contest up at 27-27, using a Matt Bryant field goal and two TD passes from Matt Ryan to RB Devonta Freeman and TE Austin Hooper to pull themselves even. Arizona reclaimed the lead with 5:12 left in the contest when RB David Johnson and rookie QB Kyler Murray connected on their second TD toss of the afternoon. The Falcons then used a 7-play, 75-yard drive take took 3:19 of clock and put themselves in a position to tie the contest or take the lead when Freeman and Ryan connected on their second TD pass (a 12-yard toss) with 1:53 left in regulation. Atlanta then chose to go for the tie and send Bryant out to kick the PAT. Bryant’s PAT try sailed wide right of the intended mark, giving the Cardinals the win as Arizona ran out the clock.

Atlanta outrushed Arizona 103-102 and Freeman led all rushers with 88 yards, while Ryan threw for 356 yards and four TDs (connecting with Calvin Ridley on one toss) and Murray threw for 340 yards and three TDs (Ryan was sacked four times, neither Ryan or Murray threw an interception). Atlanta was 6 of 11 on third down conversions in the desert and kept the ball for 32:47, while the Cardinals kept the ball for 27:13, going 7 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games that were played in Anaheim, Fulton County Stadium and St. Louis, the Rams lead the series 47-28-2 and have outscored the Falcons 1,810-1,321. However… the Falcons have won the last four meetings in the series, with their last win coming in Los Angeles in 2016 by a final of 42-14 in what would be Jeff Fisher’s last game as the Rams’ head coach. The Rams’ last win? 2007 in St. Louis, taking down the Falcons 28-16. The Rams are a 3-point road favorite in the Big Peach and the over/under’s 54 1/2. For one team, their losing streak ends; for the other, the streak continues. Falcons RISE UP to the occasion in the Big Peach, covering the 3 and winning at home.

Miami (0-6) at Buffalo (3-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of AFC rivals meet in upstate New York as Buffalo welcomes the winless Miami Dolphins to Orchard Park. Miami searches for their first win of the 2019 campaign, while the Bills come back to action from their bye week.

Miami dropped their sixth contest in a row as Washington held them off 17-16 last Sunday, giving interim head coach Bill Callahan at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday afternoon in the Sunshine State. After a scoreless first quarter, Washington took a 7-0 lead thanks to the first of two TD passes from Case Keenum to WR Terry McLaurin, took that lead with them to the break and then led 17-3 at the end of the third quarter before Miami would pull themselves to within one thanks to TDs by RB Kalen Ballage and WR DeVante Parker (Parker’s TD came with six seconds left in the contest; Miami would go for the onside kick, which Washington recovered and ran out the clock to take the win). Washington’s Adrian Peterson led all rushers 118 yards, as Washington outrushed the Dolphins 145-84 and Keenum threw for 166 yards and the two TD tosses to McLaurin, while Ryan Fitzpatrick (who took over for Josh Rosen) threw for 132 yards and the TD to Parker (Rosen threw for 85 yards with five sacks and a pair of interceptions). Washington was 2 of 11 on third down tries in the Sunshine State and kept the ball for 27:21, while Miami actually ruled the clock and kept the ball for 32:39, going 3 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

The Bills return from their bye week 14-7 winners at Tennessee two Sundays ago. After a scoreless first quarter in Nashville at Nissan Stadium, the Bills took a 7-0 lead with them to the intermission as WR Lane Smith and QB Josh Allen connected on an 8-yard TD toss. Tennessee would then proceed to tie the contest up with 7:02 left in the third when RB Derrick Henry scored from a yard out before the Bills reclaimed the lead for good in the fourth quarter when DUke Williams caught Allen’s second TD toss, this one from seven yards out with 9:46 left in the contest. The Bills then dodged a bullet with 6:35 left in the game when K Chris Santos’ 53-yard field goal try sailed wide left. After the teams traded punts, Buffalo got the ball back and after Tennessee burned all their time outs, the Bills ran out the clock and took the win on the road.

Bills RB Frank Gore led all rushers with 60 yards as Buffalo outrushed Tennessee 109-102 and Allen threw for 219 yards with the two TDs and an interception, while Marcus Mariota threw for 183 yards but was sacked five times in the contest (Mariota did not throw an interception). Buffalo went 4 of 13 on third down, 1 for 2 on fourth down conversions and ruled the clock as they held the ball for 31:12, while Tennessee, who kept the pigskin for 28:48, went 4 of 14 on third down tries in Music City.

Miami leads the series 60-45-1 (which includes contests that took place at the Orange Bowl and War Memorial Stadium) and the ‘Fins have outscored Buffalo 2,259-2,058. The two AFC East rivals split last season’s meetings and both were winners in front of their home fans.

Meeting number one… week 13 in Miami Gardens and Miami held off a late Buffalo rally in the second half to come away with the 21-17 win at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami led 14-6 at the break before the Bills outscored them in the second half to make the contest closer than Dolphin fans would like. Buffalo outrushed Miami 198-60 and Allen led all rushers with 135 yards in the contest. Allen threw for 231 yards and a pair of TDs, while Tannehill threw for 137 yards and three TDs (Tannehill was sacked three times and threw an interception, while Allen was sacked twice with two intereceptions). Miami went 2 of 9 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 27:03, while the Bills ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 32:57, going 5 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

They met again, this time in upstate New York and the weather was a bit chillier in that season final contest (Temperature in their first meeting? 86 degrees; the second meeting? A balmy 33 degrees with a 40 percent chance of snow showers and a wind chill of 25 degrees… to say it was cold is an understatement). Buffalo broke a 14-14 tie at the intermission at New Era Field in Orchard Park, sending their fan base home happy with a 42-17 win. Allen and WR Robert Foster connected on a 5-yard TD toss in the third to take the lead for keeps and the Bills would score 14 points in the fourth quarter unchallenged to seal Miami’s fate. As was the case in the meeting in the Sunshine State, Buffalo outrushed Miami, tallying 166 yards to Miami’s 95 and once again, Allen led all rushers with 95 yards and a pair of rushing TDs of his own, throwing for 224 yards and three TDs (Allen was sacked once and picked off once), while Tannehill threw for 147 yards with a pair of interceptions and four sacks. The Bills were 5 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and once again ruled the clock, holding the ball hostage for 30:18, while Miami kept it for 29:42, going 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 13 contest in the Sunshine State, Miami was favored by 4 1/2 but only won by 4. The two clubs tallied 38 points in that first meeting, missing the 40 over/under. Buffalo covered the 3 1/2 point spread in upstate New York in the season finale, winning by 25 and both teams shattered the 38 1/2 over/under with 59 points. The Bills are a 17-point favorite in upstate New York and the over/under’s 40 1/2. The 40 1/2 makes a ton of sense. The 17? That’s a bit on the steep side. Granted, the Dolphins are bad but not 17 points bad and they’ll make things hard for Buffalo but the Bills circle the wagons in upstate New York and comes away with the win.

Jacksonville (2-4) at Cincinnati (0-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirectV 706. A pair of struggling teams meet along the shores of the Ohio River as Jacksonville takes on Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

Jaguar fans left TIAA Bank Field heartbroken after Jacksonville lost to Teddy Bridgewater and the New Orleans Saints 13-6 in the Sunshine State. For three quarters of football, Jaguars K Josh Lambo and Saints K Will Lutz exchanged field goals, as the teams entered the intermission tied at 3-3 and were tied at 6-6 at the end of the third quarter. TE Jared Cook would score the only TD of the contest when he and Bridgewater (240 yards, three sacks) connected on a 4-yard TD toss with 11:49 left in the contest. New Orleans then held off a Jacksonville rally and took the win after the Jaguars punted the ball away on a second possession in the contest, running out the clock and taking the win. Jacksonville was outrushed by New Orleans 104-75 and Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette led all rushers with 72, while Gardner Minshew threw for 163 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception. Jacksonville was 4 of 14 on third down in the Sunshine State, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 26:51, while the Saints ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:09, while going 5 for 13 on third down.

The winless Bengals return home after their 23-17 loss at Baltimore last Sunday. Cincinnati trailed 17-10 at the half at M&T Stadium, pulling themselves to within three with two seconds left on a Jeff Tucker field goal. The Bengals would then make things closer than Ravens fans wanted when Dalton scored on a 2-yard run with 88 seconds left in the contest. Dalton threw for 235 yards with the rushing TD, with a pair of sacks and an interception, while Lamar Jackson threw for 236 yards (Jackson was sacked once but did not throw an interception) in the AFC North win in Charm City. Cincinnati was 5 of 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 20:18, while the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:42, while going 9 for 15 on third down.

Jacksonville holds a 12-9 lead in the series and the Jaguars have outscored Cincinnati 469-378. Jacksonville won the last meeting, taking a 23-7 win in 2017 in the Sunshine State, while the Bengals’ last win took place along the shores of the Ohio River by a final of 33-23 in 2014. Jacksonville’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 44. Both numbers make a lot of sense. We wouldn’t blame you one bit if you were to do your Halloween costume shopping and take a pass on this game. Jaguars cover the 3 1/2 on the road and keeps Cincinnati winless in the process.

Minnesota (4-2) at Detroit (2-2-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. They meet in the great indoors. A pair of NFC North rivals square off in the Motor City Sunday afternoon as Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions host the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field.

Minnesota held Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles in check last Sunday in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, coming away 38-20 winners at US Bank Field. The Vikings and Kirk Cousins took a 24-10 lead with them to the break, then floored the gas, outscoring the Eagles 14-10 in the second half. Cousins threw for 333 yards with four TDs (three to Stefan Diggs) and a sack as Minnesota outrushed the Eagles 122-108, while Wentz threw for 306 yards with a pair of TDs and two sacks (both threw an interception). Minnesota was 2 of 10 on third down (the Vikings were 1 of 1 on fourth down conversions in the Twin Cities) and held on to the ball for 32:04, while the Eagles kept the pigskin for 27:56, going 4 of 12 and 1 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

The Lions saw victory taken away from them last Monday night at Lambeau Field as Green Bay K Mason Crosby connected on a 23-yard field goal as time expired to give the Packers a 23-22 NFC North win. Detroit led 13-10 at the intermission before Crosby tied the contest up with 12:35 left when he booted a 48-yard field goal. Detroit reclaimed the lead witi three Matt Prather field goals and led 22-13 with 9:03 in the contest when Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and WR Alan Lazard connected on a 35-yard TD pass to make it a 2-point contest. Green Bay then got the ball back after the Lions punted with 6:06 left and used all of that time to use a 14-play, 77-yard drjve, assisted by Detroit burning all three of their time outs and an illegal use of hands penalty on DE Trey Flowers to set up the game-winner.

Green Bay outrushed Detroit 170-56 and Packers RB Jamal Williams led all rushers with 104 yards; Rodgers threw for 283 yards and a pair of TDs, while Stafford threw for 265 yards (Stafford was sacked three times but did not throw an interception, while Rodgers was picked off once). Detroit was 3 of 13 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:56, while the Packers ruled the clock, holding the ball for 33:04 (including the final 6:06 of the contest), going 4 of 12 on third down tries.

Including games that were played at Metropolitan Stadium, Tiger Stadium, the Silverdome and the Metrodome, the Vikings lead the series 74-39-2, the Viking have outscored Detroit 2,483-2,117. Minnesota has won the last three meetings and swept the series last year, while Detroit’s last win came in 2017 in the Twin Cities by a final of 14-7.

Meeting number one… US Bank Stadium in week nine. Minnesota held the Lions to three Matt Prater field goals, taking a 24-9 win in the Twin Cities. The Vikings led 17-6 at halftime and were never really threatened afterward. Minnesota outrushed Detroit 128-66 and Cook led all rushers with 89 yards on the ground. Cousins threw for 164 yards with a TD to Thielen (he was sacked once and threw an interception), while Stafford threw for 199 yards and was sacked 10 times but threw no interceptions. The Vikings were 3 of 8 on third down (they were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and 23:15, while the Lions ruled the clock and kept the ball for 36:45, going 4 of 15 on third down, 3 of 3 on fourth down.

Minnesota made it a clean sweep over their NFC North rival in week 16 as they once again held the Lions to three field goals in the first half and took a 27-9 win at Ford Field. The Vikings erased an early Lions lead (Detroit led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter), took a 14-9 lead with them to the locker room at the half, then scored their last 13 points of the contest unchallenged. Minnesota outrushed the Lions 100-86 (Cook led all rushers with 73 yards) and Cousins threw for 253 yards and three TD passes (two to Kyle Rudolph, the other to Stefon Diggs), while Stafford threw for 116 yards with a pair of sacks. Minnesota went 4 of 13, 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs at Ford Field and kept the ball for 28:32, while the Lions actually ruled the clock and held the ball for 31:28, going 4 of 16 on third down, 1 for 3 on fourth down.

The Vikings, favored by 5 1/2, covered the spread, winning by 15 but the 33 combined points came nowhere near the 50 1/2 over/under in the week nine contest in the Twin Cities. Minnesota was favored again in the week 16 contest in the Motor City, covering the 5 1/2 point spread, winning by 18. As for the 43 1/2 over/under? It was untouched, as both teams combined for 36 points. Minnesota’s favored by 1 in the Motor City and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Detroit’s played some decent if not great football of late, while the Vikings are trying to catch Green Bay in the NFC North. Minnesota covers the 1 and wins in the

Oakland (3-2) at Green Bay (5-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. The Silver and Black, coming off their bye week, makes their way to the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst as they face off against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

The Silver and Black return from their bye week after they left London 24-21 winners over Chicago at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium two weeks ago. After a scoreless first quarter, the Raiders took a 17-0 lead with them to the locker room at the half, then saw that lead get away from them as Chicago scored 21 third quarter points unchallenged before restoring order on the other side of the Atlantic when rookie RB Josh Jacobs scored on a 2-yard run with 1:57 left in the contest. Jacobs ran for 123 yards with two TDs (including the game-winner) as Oakland outrushed Chicago 169-42 and Derek Carr threw for 229 yards without a sack or interception, while Bears backup QB Chase Daniel (Who took over for Mitchell Trubisky) threw for 231 yards with a pair of TDs (Daniel was sacked four times and picked off twice). While the Raiders were 6 of 12 on third down tries on the other side of the pond, they struck gold on fourth down in their only try in that catagory and kept the ball for 34:43, while Chicago, keeping the ball for 25:17, went 4 of 11 on third down tries.

Packers K Mason Crosby was the man of the moment Monday night as he connected on a 23-yard field goal as time expired to give the Packers a 23-22 NFC North win. Detroit led 13-10 at the intermission in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst before Crosby tied the contest up with 12:35 left when he booted a 48-yard field goal. Detroit reclaimed the lead witi three Matt Prather field goals and led 22-13 with 9:03 in the contest when Rodgers and WR Alan Lazard connected on a 35-yard TD pass to make it a 2-point contest. Green Bay then got the ball back after the Lions punted with 6:06 left and used all of that time to use a 14-play, 77-yard drjve, assisted by Detroit burning all three of their time outs and an illegal use of hands penalty on DE Trey Flowers to set up the game-winner.

Green Bay outrushed Detroit 170-56 and Packers RB Jamal Williams led all rushers with 104 yards; Rodgers threw for 283 yards and a pair of TDs, while Stafford threw for 265 yards (Stafford was sacked three times but did not throw an interception, while Rodgers was picked off once). Detroit was 3 of 13 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:56, while the Packers ruled the clock, holding the ball for 33:04 (including the final 6:06 of the contest), going 4 of 12 on third down tries.

Green Bay leads the series 7-5 (including contests that were played in Los Angeles), the Packers have outrscored Oakland 278-204 and have won the last seven meetings in the series, inclduing a 30-20 win on the West Coast in 2015, while Oakland’s last win in the series came at Lambeau in 1987, as the Raiders shutout Green Bay 20-0. Green Bay’s favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 47. Green Bay takes this one in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst but expect the Silver and Black to make things closer than 4 1/2.

Houston (4-2) at Indianapolis (3-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. The top two teams in the AFC South meet in the Hoosier State Sunday afternoon as the Houston Texans (first place) meet the Indianapolis Colts (second place) in a key divisional showdown at Lucas Oil Stadium. Both teams beat Kansas City at Arrowhead in consecutive weeks, with the Colts coming off their bye week taking the win to send the Chiefs on their two-game losing streak.

Houston picked up their second win in a row, coming out of Arrowhead Stadium 31-24 last Sunday afternoon against the Kansas City Chiefs Houston erased a 17-3 Chiefs lead at the end of the first quarter get away from them as the Texans would score 20 second quarter points unchallenged, leading 23-17 at the intermission. Kansas City would reclaim the lead with 6:30 left in the third when Tyreek Hill and Patrick Mahomes connected on a 6-yard TD toss. That lead would be erased by the Texans in the final quarter of play when DeShaun Watson scored on a 1-yard run with 6:17 left in the contest. The Chiefs would get the ball back after the kick off but would get as their 22-yard line, where they punted the ball back to Houston, who ran the clock out, making sure that Kansas City would never see the football again.

Houston’s Carlos Hyde led all rushers with 116 yards on the ground, as the Texans outrushed Kansas City 192-53 and Watson threw for 280 yards with a passing TD to go with his rushing TD, while Mahomes threw for 273 yards with three TDs (two of them to Hill; Mahomes was sacked once and threw an interception, while Watson threw two interceptions). The Chiefs were 4 of 8 on third down tries at Arrowhead and kept the ball for 20:12, while the Texans ruled the clock and kept the ball for 39:48, going 5 of 12 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

The Colts were 19-13 winners at Arrowhead Stadium two Sundays ago. Indianapolis led Mahomes and the Chiefs 13-10 at the half and after a scoreless third quarter in the Sunday night contest, Adam Vinatieri would kick a pair of fourth-quarter field goals to lead by 9 with 2:27 left in the contest before Chiefs K Harrison Butker connected on a 36-yarder to pull themselves to within 6 with 76 seconds left in the contest. The Chiefs then tried an onside kick in hopes of keeping the ball but the Colts recovered and ran out the clock to take the win. The Chiefs outrushed Kansas City 180-36 and Jacoby Brissett threw for 151 yards with a rushing TD (Brissett threw an interception but was not sacked), while Mahomes threw for 321 yards and a TD with four sacks. The Colts went 5 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 37:15, while the Chiefs kept the ball for 22:45, going 4 for 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Indianapolis leads the series 26-8 and have outscored the Texans 897-677. They split last year’s contests, winning in the other team’s stadium.

They met in Indianapolis in week four and the Texans needed overtime to take a 37-34 win out of Lucas Oil Stadium. Houston led 21-10 at the break before the Colts and Andrew Luck stormed back to take a 34-31 lead with 6 minutes left in regulation. Houston would even things up at 34-34 with 1:50 left when Kai Fairburn connected on a 29-yard field. The two teams went into the overtime and Vinatieri and Fairburn exchanged field goals in the extra period. Indianapolis then got the ball back but could get only as close as their own 43 yard, where the Colts’ fourth down try failed. The Texans got the ball back with 24 seconds left and used all of that 24 seconds to set up Fairburn for a 37-yard try, which he connected as the clock struck :00.

Houston outrushed the Colts 119-41 and Watson threw for 375 yards and a pair of TDs, while Luck threw for 464 yards and four TDs (Watson was sacked seven times and threw an interception, Luck was sacked four times). While Houston was 8 of 16 on third down tries, they were perfect on fourth down in their only attempt and kept the ball for 40:04 (including the last 24 seconds of overtime), while the Colts kept the ball for 29:56 and went 10 of 17 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The Colts would get revenge in the Lone Star State in week 14, holding off the Texans and came away from NRG Stadium 24-21 winners. After Houston’s Alfred Blue opened the scoring with a 3-yard TD run late in the first quarter, Indianapolis would erase that lead, scoring 17 second quarter points unchallenged to lead 17-7 at the break as Vinatieri booted a 54-yard field goal to end the first half. Indy then led by as much as ten before the Texans would pull themselves to within seven late in the third quarter. The Texans made the contest closer with 2:37 left in the contest when Watson and WR DeAndre Hopkins connected on a 7-yard TD pass but got no closer.

Houston outrushed the Colts 89-50 and Watson threw for 267 yards with five sacks and no interceptions, while Luck threw for 399 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Eric Ebron) with a pair of sacks and an interception. Houston was 5 of 15 on third down (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:57, while the Colts held on to the ball for 28:03, going 4 of 12 on third down on the road.

Indianapolis was favored by 2 in the week four contest at Lucas Oil and the Texans covered, winning by 3. The two teams combined for 71 points, allowing them to cover the 47 1/2 over/under. In the week 14 contest in Houston, the Texans were favored by 4 1/2 but the Colts won by 3 and the 45 points they combined to score missed the 48 1/2 over/under by 3 1/2. The Colts are favored by 1 in the Hoosier State and the over/under’s 47 1/2. These two could decide who wins the AFC South and who may get the wild card spot.

Arizona (2-2-1) at New York Giants (2-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Rookie QB will be on display Sunday afternoon in the Meadowlands as the New York Giants and Daniel Jones host the Arizona Cardinals and Kyler Murray.

The Desert Angry Birds held off a late Atlanta rally at State Farm Stadium last Sunday, coming away 34-33 winners last Sunday. Trailing 7-3 at the end of the first quarter, the Cardinals scored 17 second-quarter points unchallenged, giving them a 20-10 lead at the half. Arizona would lead by as much as 17 with 11:25 left in the third, before the Falcons would chip away at the lead, tying the contest up at 27-27, using a Matt Bryant field goal and two TD passes from Matt Ryan to RB Devonta Freeman and TE Austin Hooper to pull themselves even. Arizona reclaimed the lead with 5:12 left in the contest when RB David Johnson and Murray connected on their second TD toss of the afternoon. The Falcons then used a 7-play, 75-yard drive take took 3:19 of clock and put themselves in a position to tie the contest or take the lead when Freeman and Ryan connected on their second TD pass (a 12-yard toss) with 1:53 left in regulation. Atlanta then chose to go for the tie and send Bryant out to kick the PAT. Bryant’s PAT try sailed wide right of the intended mark, giving the Cardinals the win as Arizona ran out the clock.

Atlanta outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 103-102 and Freeman led all rushers with 88 yards, while Ryan threw for 356 yards and four TDs (connecting with Calvin Ridley on one toss) and Murray threw for 340 yards and three TDs (Ryan was sacked four times, neither Ryan or Murray threw an interception). Atlanta was 6 of 11 on third down conversions in the desert and kept the ball for 32:47, while the Cardinals kept the ball for 27:13, going 7 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Big Blue trailed New England 21-14 at Gillette Stadium last Thursday night at the half, then watched the defending Super Bowl champs pull away to take a 35-14 win in Foxboro. New England got the scoring started in the Thursday night affair with a special teams TD when DL Chase Winovich blocked a Giants punt and ran it back six yards for a score. While Tom Brady did not throw a TD pass, he did contribute with his feet, scoring on a pair of rushing TDs in the win. New England outrushed the Giants 114-52 (Pats RB Sony Michel led all rushers with 86 yards) and Brady threw for 334 yards with an interception, while rookie QB Daniel Jones threw for 161 yards with a TD toss to Golden Tate (Jones threw three interceptions and had a sack). New England was 6 of 13 on third down tries (they were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:36, while the Giants, who held on to the pigskin for 20:24, went 2 of 10 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down conversions.

Including games played in Chicago, St. Louis, Tempe and contests that took place at Yankee Stadium, the Giants lead the series 80-44-2 and Big Blue has outscored the Desert Angry Birds 2,760-2,174. Arizona’s won the last two meetings, including coming away 23-0 winners in 2017, while the Giants’ last win also came in the desert, as New York prevailed 31-27 in 2011. The Giants are a 2-point favorite in the Meadowlands and the over/under’s 49. Both numbers are pretty reasonable and both have played decent football but not great football. Giants cover the 2 in the Meadowlands and takes the win at home.

San Francisco (5-0) at Washington (1-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Jimmy Garoppolo and the resurging (and undefeated) San Francisco 49ers, passing their win total from last year, makes their way to Landover to face off against the washington Redskins, who look for their second win of the campaign. Both clubs were winners on the road in last week’s contest.

Although the Los Angeles Rams opened the scoring against their NFC West foes as WR Robert Wood scored on a 9-yard run in the first quarter, the 49ers took control of things in southern California as they scored their 20 points of the contest unchallenged, coming away 20-7 winners at the Coliseum to pick up their fifth win in a row. The two teams went into the break tied at 7-7 after Tevin Coleman answered the Rams’ TD with a TD of his own in the first quarter, then their last 13 points of the game to take the road win, using a 1-yard run by Garoppolo and a pair of Robbie Gould field goals to close out the scoring. The Rams outrushed San Francisco 109-99 and Jared Goff threw for 78 yards but was sacked four times, while Garoppolo threw for 243 yards wtih a pair of sacks and an interception. The defending NFC champs were a dismal 0 of 9 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 21:08, while the 49ers, going 8 of 17 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down), ruled the clock and kept the ball for 38:52.

The Redskins return to Landover, giving interim head coach Bill Callahan his first win with the team and the team’s first win of the season, breaking a five-game losing streak, taking a 17-16 win over Miami at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday afternoon in the Sunshine State. After a scoreless first quarter, Washington took a 7-0 lead thanks to the first of two TD passes from Case Keenum to WR Terry McLaurin, took that lead with them to the break and then led 17-3 at the end of the third quarter before Miami would pull themselves to within one thanks to TDs by RB Kalen Ballage and WR DeVante Parker (Parker’s TD came with six seconds left in the contest; Miami would go for the onside kick, which Washington recovered and ran out the clock to take the win). Adrian Peterson was back to his old running form, rushing for 118 yards, as Washington outrushed the Dolphins 145-84 and Keenum threw for 166 yards and the two TD tosses to McLaurin, while Ryan Fitzpatrick (who took over for Josh Rosen) threw for 132 yards and the TD to Parker (Rosen threw for 85 yards with five sacks and a pair of interceptions). Washington was 2 of 11 on third down tries in the Sunshine State and kept the ball for 27:21, while Miami actually ruled the clock and kept the ball for 32:39, going 3 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Including contests played at Keezar Stadium, Candlestick Park and RFK Stadium, the 49ers lead the series 17-10-1 and they have outscored Washington 679-540. The Redskins won the last meeting, coming away 26-24 winners at FedEx Field in 2017, while the 49ers’ last win came on the West Coast with San Francisco prevailing 17-13 in 2014. San Francisco’s favored by 9 1/2 in Landover and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Last week, Washington fans were singing “Hail to the Redskins.” This week? “Hell, it’s the Redskins.” Washington makes this one close but San Francsico remains unbeaten.

Los Angeles Chargers (2-4) at Tennessee (2-4), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. A pair of 2-4 teams meet in the Music City as Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers travel to Nashville for a meeting with the Tennessee Titans. Both teams took losses in last week’s contests.

A Charger rally in the fourth quarter fell short against Pittsburgh at Dignity Health Sports Park fell short last Sunday night as the Steelers took care of the Bolts 24-17 on the West Coast. The Steelers scored all 24 of their points unchalleged, leading 17-0 at the intermission before the Chargers would score their points in the fourth quarter, using a pair of TD passes from Rivers to TE Hunter Henry to pull themselves to within 7 with 79 seconds left in the contest. Pittsburgh outrushed Los Angeles 124-32 and Rivers threw for 320 yards with the two Henry TDs (Rivers was sacked once and picked off twice), while rookie QB Devlin Hodges (taking over for Mason Rudolph – concussion) threw for 132 yards and a TD to James Conner. Both clubs did quite well on third down conversions in the Sunday night contest; Pittsburgh was 8 of 13, Los Angeles was 7 of 12 and the Steelers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:05 to the Chargers’ 25:55.

The Titans were shut out by Denver 16-0 at Empower Field at Mile High. Denver, holding Tennessee to 39 yards rushing, got three Brian McManus field goals in the contest, taking a 6-0 lead with them to the break, then flooring the gas in the second half, scoring the last 10 points of the game unchallenged, with Patrick Lindsey scoring the game’s only TD, scoring from 2 yards out with 4:56 left in the third quarter. Lindsay led all rushers with 70 yards, while Denver had 103 of their own yards on the ground. Joe Flacco threw for 177 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception, while Mariota threw for 63 yards with a pair of pair of interceptions and three sacks before being taken out of the contest in favor of Ryan Tannehill (144 yards, interception). Both clubs went 2 of 14 on third down (the Titans were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and the Titans actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:14 to Denver’s 29:46.

The Chargers lead the series 27-14-1 (which includes games that took place when the Titans were in Houston and known as the Oilers and the Chargers played their home games at Qualcomm Stadium) and the Bolts have outscored Tennessee 1,088-921. Their last meeting took place last year in London and the Chargers hung on to win 20-19 (Tennessee’s last win in the series came in 2013 in Music City by a final of 20-17).

The two clubs met in week seven on the other side of the Big Pond. Rivers and the Chargers led 10-6 at the intermission at Wembley Stadium and led 20-13 with 31 seconds left when Mariota and Lance Stocker connected on a 1-yard TD toss. The Titans then went for the two-point conversion to take the lead (that failed) and tried the onside kick, which also failed, giving the Chargers the ball and the win.

Tennessee actually outrushed the Chargers 164-47, with Titans RB Dion Lewis leading everyone with 91 yards and Mariota threw for 237 yards and the fourth-quarter TD (he threw an interception), while Rivers threw for 306 yards and a pair of TDs (both men were twice and Mariota threw an interception). The Chargers went 4 of 9 on third down and kept the ball for 24:37, while the Titans ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 35:23, going 9 of 15 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Although the Chargers were favored by 6 1/2 on the other side of the Atlantic in week seven, they would come away winning by 1. As for the 45 over/under? It was untouched, as both teams tallied 39 points. The Titans are favored by 2 1/2 in the Music City and the over/under’s 39 1/2. Could either one or both teams make the post-season? Right now, it’s plausible, as they say on “Mythbusters.” Chargers get themselves back on track and takes the win on the road, covering the 2 1/2.

New Orleans (5-1) at Chicago (3-2), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. It’s gumbo vs. deep dish pizza as the New Orleans Saints make their way to the Windy City for a late-afternoon contest with the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

Teddy Bridgewater and the New Orleans Saints held off Jacksonville 13-6 in the Sunshine State last Sunday. For three quarters of football, it was an all field goal affair as Jaguars K Josh Lambo and Saints K Will Lutz exchanged field goals and the teams entered the intermission tied at 3-3 and were tied at 6-6 at the end of the third quarter. TE Jared Cook would score the only TD of the contest when he and Bridgewater (240 yards, three sacks) connected on a 4-yard TD toss with 11:49 left in the contest. New Orleans then held off a Jacksonville rally and took the win after the Jaguars punted the ball away on a second possession in the contest, running out the clock and taking the win. Jacksonville was outrushed by New Orleans 104-75 and Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette led all rushers with 72, while Gardner Minshew threw for 163 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception. Jacksonville was 4 of 14 on third down in the Sunshine State, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 26:51, while the Saints ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:09, while going 5 for 13 on third down.

Da Bears return to the Windy City from their bye week after they left London on the short end of a 24-21 loss to Oakland at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium two weeks ago. After a scoreless first quarter, the Raiders took a 17-0 lead with them to the locker room at the half, then saw that lead get away from them as Chicago scored 21 third quarter points unchallenged before restoring order on the other side of the Atlantic when rookie RB Josh Jacobs scored on a 2-yard run with 1:57 left in the contest. Jacobs ran for 123 yards with two TDs (including the game-winner) as Oakland outrushed Chicago 169-42 and Derek Carr threw for 229 yards without a sack or interception, while Bears backup QB Chase Daniel (Who took over for Mitchell Trubisky) threw for 231 yards with a pair of TDs (Daniel was sacked four times and picked off twice). While the Raiders were 6 of 12 on third down tries on the other side of the pond, they struck gold on fourth down in their only try in that catagory and kept the ball for 34:43, while Da Bears, keeping the ball for 25:17, went 4 of 11 on third down tries.

While New Orleans holds a 15-13 lead in the series, Da Bears have outscored New Orleans 560-559. New Orleans has won the last four meetings, including a 20-12 victory in the Big Easy in 2017, while Chicago’s last win came in 2008 as Da Bears needed overtime to come away 27-24 winners at Soldier Field. Da Bears are favored by 3 1/2 with a 48 over/under. Deep dish wins this one. Da Bears win in the Windy City and covers the 3 1/2.

Baltimore (4-2) at Seattle (5-1), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens make their way to the Pacific Northwest for a late afternoon showdown with Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Both teams were winners in last week’s contests, Baltimore winning at home, while Seattle took a road win at Cleveland.

The Ravens held off a late Cincinnati rally in the final quarter, coming away with the 23-17 win in Charm City to give the Bengals their sixth loss in a row. Baltimore led 17-10 at the half at M&T Stadium, then saw the Bengals pull themselves to within three with two seconds left on a Jeff Tucker field goal (Tucker would kick two more field goals to round out Baltimore’s scoring). The Bengals would then make things closer than Ravens fans wanted when Dalton scored on a 2-yard run with 88 seconds left in the contest. Dalton threw for 235 yards with the rushing TD, with a pair of sacks and an interception, while Jackson threw for 236 yards (Jackson was sacked once but did not throw an interception) in the AFC North win in Charm City. Cincinnati was 5 of 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 20:18, while the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:42, while going 9 for 15 on third down.

Seattle returns home to Century Link Field after their 32-28 over Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Seahawks trailed 20-18 at the half along the shores of Lake Erie, then went to work in the second half, outscoring Cleveland 14-8 in the final 30 minutes of action, with RB Chris Carson scoring the game-winner with 3:30 left in the contest on a one-yard run. The Seahawks would go on to hold off a late Browns rally in the final minutes of the contest when K.J. Wright picked off Mayfield, giving them the ball and allowing them to run out the clock. Carson led all rushers with 124 yards and the game-winning TD, while Nick Chubb led Cleveland with 122 yards and a pair of touchdowns (WR Odell Beckham, Jr. led all recievers with 101 yards on six catches), while Wilson threw for 295 yards with a pair of TD passes and Mayfield throwing for 249 yards with a TD and three interceptions (Wilson was sacked three times and both Wilson and Mayfield had a rushing TD). Seattle went 6 of 13 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 33:41, while the Browns, who held on to the ball for 26:19, went 3 of 8 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

The Seahawks lead the series 3-2, Seattle’s outscored Baltimore 149-104 and they’ve won the last three meetings, including a 35-6 win in Charm City in 2015 (Baltimore’s last win over the Seahawks came in 2003 in Charm City by a final of 44-41 in overtime). Seattle’s favored by 3 1/2 in the Pacific Northwest and the over/under’s 49 1/2. This could be a somewhat entertaining contest. Seattle prevails but expect Baltimore to make it closer than 3 1/2.

Philadelphia (3-3) at Dallas (3-3), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Eagles. Cowboys. NFC East rivals meet in the Lone Star State Sunday night as the two clubs, tied for first in the division, square off at AT&T Stadium. Both teams took losses on the road in last week’s action.

Minnesota held Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles in check last Sunday in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, coming away 38-20 winners at US Bank Field. The Vikings and Kirk Cousins took a 24-10 lead with them to the break, then floored the gas, outscoring the Eagles 14-10 in the second half. Cousins threw for 333 yards with four TDs (three to Stefan Diggs) and a sack as Minnesota outrushed the Eagles 122-108, while Wentz threw for 306 yards with a pair of TDs and two sacks (both threw an interception). Minnesota was 2 of 10 on third down (the Vikings were 1 of 1 on fourth down conversions in the Twin Cities) and held on to the ball for 32:04, while the Eagles kept the pigskin for 27:56, going 4 of 12 and 1 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

A Cowboys rally in the fourth quarter fell short as the New York Jets ended their four-game losing streak last Sunday afternoon against Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys, holding them off 24-22 at Met Life Stadium. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! led 21-6 at the break, then held off a late Cowboys rally late in the contest, as Dallas came within two when Prescott scored on a 2-yard run with 43 seconds left. Dallas then went for two in hope of tying the contest but Prescott’s try to TE Jason Whiten went incomplete. Dallas outrushed GangGreen 129-56 and Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott led all rushers with 105 yards and a TD, while Jets RB LeVeon Bell led his club with 50 yards and a rushing TD. Prescott threw for 277 yards, while Sam Darnold threw for 338 yards with a pair of TDs (Darnold was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Prescott was sacked once but did not throw a pick).

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! went 2 of 10 on third down in the late afternoon contest in the Meadowlands and kept the ball for 27:57, while the Cowboys ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:03, going 10 for 17 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down

Dallas holds a 65-51 in the series (which includes contests that were played at the Cotton Bowl, Texas Stadium, JFK Stadium and Veterans Stadium), they’ve outscored the Eagles 2,499-2,317 and the Cowboys have won the last three meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Philadelphia’s last win came in 2017 in Dallas by a final of 37-9).

They met in the City of Brotherly Love on a Sunday night in week 10 and the Cowboys took a 13-3 lead with them to the break before the Eagles would storm back in the second half and tie things up with 7:27 left in the contest when Wentz and Ertz connected on a 1-yard TD pass. That tie would not last very long as the Cowboys would reclaim the lead for keeps, using an 8-play, 75-yard drive that took 4:08 and ended when Ezekiel Elliott scored from a yard away to lead 27-20. Philadelphia would get the ball back with 3:19 left in the contest and made their way down the field. They would get as close as the Cowboys’ 32-yard line with no time outs left, trying several lateral passes to get to the end zone but could not get any closer.

Elliott rushed for 151 yards and a TD in the contest to lead all rushers as Dallas outrushed the Eagles 171-71 at Lincoln Financial Field and Prescott threw for 270 yards and a TD to Elliott, while Wentz threw for 360 yards and a pair of TDs to Ertz (Prescott was sacked four times, Wentz was sacked twice and threw an interception). Dallas was 8 pf 16 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:22, while the Eagles, keeping the ball for 26:38, went 4 of 10 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down.

Dallas made it a clean sweep in week 14 at AT&T Stadium, taking a 29-23 win over the Eagles in the Lone Star State. Dallas used a pair of Bill Maher field goals to lead 6-0 going into the intermission and led 9-0 late in the third quarter before Wentz and Alshon Jeffery broke Dallas’ shutout bid with a 2-yard TD pass (they would miss the extra point). Eagles K Jake Elliott would tie the contest up at 9-9 with a 26-yard field goal early in the fourth and Dallas would take the lead again when Cooper and Prescott connected on a 28-yard TD toss with 7:46. The two teams would tie things up again and Philadelphia would create the third tie of the contest with 99 seconds left when Wentz connected with Darrell Sproles from 6 yards out, pulling the contest even at 23-23. The teams then went into overtime and Dallas won the toss in the overtime and took the ball. The Cowboys would waste very little time if any, using a 13-play, 75-yard drive, taking 8:05 of clock and ending with Prescott and Cooper connecting on a 15-yard TD toss to take the win.

Dallas outrushed Philadelphia 142-34 (Elliott led all rushers with 113 yards) and Prescott threw for 455 yards, while Wentz threw for 228 yards (Prescott was sacked three times, Wentz sacked twice; both men threw three TD passes, Prescott connecting with Cooper on all three, including the game-winner). The Eagles were a somewhat dismal 1 of 9 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 22:32, while the Cowboys kept the ball for 45:33 (including the overtime), going 10 of 19 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 10 contest, the Eagles were favored by 6 and Dallas covered by 7. The 43 1/2 over/under was covered, as both teams combined for 47 points. In the week 14 contest in Arlington, Dallas won by 6, allowing them to cover the 4-point spread and the teams covered the 43 over/under with 52 points.

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

Dallas is favored by 3 and the over/under’s 49. The winner of this one? They’ll have the inside track to the NFC East. The loser? They may make the playoffs but it’ll be hard for them to come back from the loss. Dallas wins this one in Arlington but expect Philadelphia to make the contest closer than 3.

New England (6-0) at New York Jets (1-4), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week seven closes out in the Meadowlands as the defending champions take on the New York Jets in a key AFC showdown. Both teams were winners at home in last week’s action.

New England led the New York Giants 21-14 at Gillette Stadium last Thursday night at the half, then pulled away from Big Blue to take a 35-14 win in Foxboro. New England got the scoring started in the Thursday night affair with a special teams TD when DL Chase Winovich blocked a Giants punt and ran it back six yards for a score. While Tom Brady did not throw a TD pass, he did contribute with his feet, scoring on a pair of rushing TDs in the win. New England outrushed the Giants 114-52 (Pats RB Sony Michel led all rushers with 86 yards) and Brady threw for 334 yards with an interception, while rookie QB Daniel Jones threw for 161 yards with a TD toss to Golden Tate (Jones threw three interceptions and had a sack). New England was 6 of 13 on third down tries (they were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:36, while the Giants, who held on to the pigskin for 20:24, went 2 of 10 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down conversions.

GangGreen ended their four-game losing streak last Sunday afternoon against Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys, holding them off 24-22 at Met Life Stadium. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! led 21-6 at the break, then held off a late Cowboys rally late in the contest, as the Cowboys came within two when Prescott scored on a 2-yard run with 43 seconds left. Dallas then went for two in hope of tying the contest but Prescott’s try to TE Jason Whiten went incomplete. Dallas outrushed GangGreen 129-56 and Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott led all rushers with 105 yards and a TD, while Jets RB LeVeon Bell led his club with 50 yards and a rushing TD. Prescott threw for 277 yards, while Sam Darnold threw for 338 yards with a pair of TDs (Darnold was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Prescott was sacked once but did not throw a pick).

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! went 2 of 10 on third down in the late afternoon contest in the Meadowlands and kept the ball for 27:57, while the Cowboys ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:03, going 10 for 17 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games played at Fenway Park, Schafer Stadium, Shea Stadium and Giants Stadium, the Patriots lead the series 63-53-1 (there was a contest between the teams that took place in Birmingham, Alabama in 1968; the Jets with Joe Namath under center won that contest 47-31 at Legion Field), they’ve outscored GangGreen 2,694-2,409 and have won the last games in the series (they swept the last three series, including last year), while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! last won in 2015 in the Meadowlands in overtime by a final of 26-20.

Week 12… Met Life Stadium in the Meadowlands and the Patriots took care of the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 27-13. Tied 10-10 at the intermission, the Patroits would lead 13-10 with 8:34 when Stephen Gostkowski booted a 32-yard field goal. Jets K Josh Myers would re-tie things with 4 minutes left in the third, booting 38-yard field goal to even things up. New England would use a TD pass from Brady to Josh Edelman and a TD run by Sony Michel to take the lead back for good.

Michel ran for 133 yards as New England outrushed GangGreen 215-74 and Brady threw for 283 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Edelman, the other to Rob Gronkowski) without a sack or interception, while Josh McCown threw for 276 yards and a TD to Javon Kearse (McCown was sacked twice and picked off once). New England was 5 of 12 on third down (they were perfect on fourth down in their only attempt) and kept the ball for 34:26, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 25:34, going 6 of 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Holding the Jets to a Myers field goal in the first quarter in their week 17 matchup in Foxboro, the Patriots would go on to score all 38 of their points unchallenged to win by 35 points. Taking the 38-3 win, the Pats led 21-3 at the break and floored the gas in the second half against their AFC East rivals at Gillette Stadium and never looked back. New England outrushed GangGreen 131-104 and Brady threw for 250 yards with four TDs and a sack but no interceptions, while Darnold (taking over for McCown) threw for 167 yards and four sacks (Darnold did not have an interception). New England was 5 of 11 on third down in Foxboro (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:13, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! went 4 of 13 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 27:47.

In the week 12 contest in the Meadowlands, New ENgland was favored by 9 1/2 and the Patriots covered, winning by 14. Both teams scored 40 points, which meant that the 46 over/under was intact. As for the week 17 contest in Foxboro? New England won by 41, allowing them to cover the 13 1/2-point spread (they were favored) but the two clubs combined for 41 points, missing the 45 over/under.

On Monday nights, the Jets are 22-31, while the Patriots are 25-25 (both teams played a MNF contest and both teams were winners). New England’s favored by 9 1/2 and the over/under’s 42 1/2. You might want to tape “All Rise” and “Bull” this week. While Brady and the Patriots take this one, expect GangGreen to make it closer than 9 1/2.

And then there were two.

New England and San Francisco remain the only teams in the 2019 NFL campaign with perfect records.

While the Patriots and 49ers, with 11 Lombardi Trophies between them (New England with six, San Francisco has five) bask in the glow of being unbeaten, four teams (the New York Jets, Miami, Washington and Cincinnati) look for their first win, like Ahab looking for Moby Dick.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: New England defeated Washington 33-7, in Week five, as quarterback Tom Brady threw for 348 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Brady now has 71,923 career passing yards, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (71,838) for the third-most career passing yards in NFL history.

New England has given up 34 total points through its first five games of the season, the fewest points allowed through a team’s first five games since the 2005 Indianapolis Colts (29 points) and the fifth-fewest since 1970.

Philadelphia defeated the New York Jets, 31-6, in Week five, becoming the first team in NFL history to record 10 sacks and score two defensive touchdowns in a single game.

Philadelphia cornerback Orlando Scandrick registered two sacks and scored a 44-yard fumble-return touchdown. Scandrick joins Ronde Barber (September 10, 2000), Captain Munnerlyn (December 15, 2013) and Antoine Winfield (December 28, 2010) as the only defensive backs with at least two sacks and a touchdown in a single game since 1982 when the individual sack became an official statistic.

Philadelphia running back Darren Sproles had 32 all-purpose yards in the win. Sproles, who now has 19,684 all-purpose yards throughout his 14-year career, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Tim Brown (19,682) for the fifth-most all-purpose yards in NFL history.

Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson completed 28 of 33 pass attempts for 426 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions for a 158.3 passer rating, the highest attainable mark, in the Texans’ 53-32 win over Atlanta. Watson became the first player to pass for at least 400 yards and five touchdowns with five-or-fewer incompletions in a single game in NFL history.

Additionally, Houston wide receiver Will Fuller recorded 14 catches for 217 yards and three touchdowns in the win. He became the fourth player in NFL history to register at least 14 catches, 200 yards and three receiving touchdowns in a single game, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (December 18, 1995) and Steve Largent (October 18, 1987), along with Jimmy Smith (September 10, 2000).

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. Ryan joined Pro Football Hall of Famers Kurt Warner (six games in 2000) and Steve Young (six games in 1998) and Peyton Manning (five games in 2009 and 2013) as the only players with at least 300 passing yards in each of their team’s first five games of a season in NFL history.

Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey had 237 scrimmage yards (176 rushing, 61 receiving) and three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in the Panthers’ 34-27 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, his third consecutive game with at least 175 scrimmage yards. McCaffrey, who has 587 rushing yards and 279 receiving yards this season, joins Pro Football Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas (1991) as the only players in NFL history to record at least 500 rushing yards and 250 receiving yards in their team’s first five games of a season.

Carolina quarterback Kyle Allen passed for 181 yards and a touchdown in the victory. Allen is the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to begin his career 4-0 without throwing an interception in his first four career starts.

Jacksonville rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew passed for 374 yards with two touchdowns and a 101.9 passer rating in the loss. Both Allen (108.3 passer rating through first four career starts) and Minshew (101.4) joined Jeff Kemp (104.0, 1984) as the only players in the Super Bowl era to have a passer rating of at least 100 with no interceptions through their first four career starts (minimum 20 attempts).

Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson passed for 161 yards and had 70 rushing yards in the Ravens’ 26-23 overtime victory at Pittsburgh. Jackson, who now has 1,003 rushing yards through 21 career games, tied Robert Griffin III (21 games) as the quarterbacks to reach 1,000 career rushing yards in the fewest games in NFL history.

Oakland defeated Chicago, 24-21, in the first-ever NFL game in London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Oakland rookie running back Josh Jacobs rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns in the win, the most rushing yards by a rookie running back in the 25 NFL games played in London since 2007. By the end of the 2019 season, the NFL will have played 28 regular-season games in London, with 31 of 32 teams having participated. Jacobs also joined Adrian Peterson (September 29, 2013 at Wembley Stadium) as the only players to rush for at least 100 yards and two touchdowns in the history of the NFL’s International Series.

COMPETITIVE CONTESTS: Through Week 5, the 2019 season has tied for the most games decided by seven points or fewer in league annals. Forty-two of 78 overall games (53.8 percent) have been decided by seven-or-fewer points, including nine of 15 games in Week 5. Expect more to come in Week 6.

The seasons with the most games decided by seven-or-fewer points in NFL history:

THROUGH FIVE WEEKS
2019 – 42
2016 – 42
1999 – 41
2015 – 40
2011 – 40
1988 – 40

THROUGH SIX WEEKS

1999 – 50
2016 – 50
2018 – 47
2015 – 47
2011 – 47
2019 – ??

BUSINESS TRIPS: This week, several teams are on the road with the opportunity to improve key tiebreakers, their interdivision and interconference records. Highlighting those contests on the Week 6 schedule, Houston will travel to play Kansas City at 1 p.m., Philadelphia goes to the Twin Cities to face the Minnesota Vikings at 1 p.m. and Detroit travels to Lambeau for a Monday night meeting with Green Bay at 8:15 p.m.

This season, road teams are a combined 43-34-1 (.558) through five weeks, the highest road winning percentage at this point in a season in 36 years. The last time NFL teams were more successful on the road through five weeks was 1983, when they were 40-30 (.571).

THE SIX-GAME YARDSTICK: If history is any indication, emerging at .500 or better through six games has positive playoff implications.

There’s always hope, proven by the 2004 Green Bay Packers, who started 1-4 and won nine of their last 11 to capture their division title. In fact, since that season, Miami in both 2008 and 2016, Denver in 2011 and three teams in 2015 – Houston, Seattle and Washington – made the playoffs after opening 2-4.

A closer look at six-game records and how they affect playoff chances:

Opening 6-0:

Since 1990, when the NFL adopted the 12-team playoff format, 35 of the 37 teams (94.6 percent) to start 6-0 have qualified for the postseason.

Since 1978, when NFL teams began playing 16-game schedules and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, 46 of 49 teams (93.9 percent) to start 6-0 advanced to the postseason.

Opening 5-1 or 5-0-1:

Since 1990, when the NFL adopted the 12-team playoff format, 81 of 98 teams (82.7 percent) to win five of their first six games have qualified for the postseason.

Since 1978, when NFL teams began playing 16-game schedules and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, 107 of 131 teams (81.7 percent) to win five of their first six advanced to the postseason.
Opening 4-2 or 4-1-1:

Since 1990, when the NFL adopted the 12-team playoff format, 134 of 213 teams (62.9 percent) to win four of their first six games have qualified for the postseason.

Since 1978, when NFL teams began playing 16-game schedules and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, 174 of 286 teams (60.8 percent) to win four of their first six advanced to the postseason.
Opening 3-3 or 3-2-1:

Since 1990, when the NFL adopted the 12-team playoff format, 78 of 216 teams (36.1 percent) to win three of their first six games have qualified for the postseason.

Since 1978, when NFL teams began playing 16-game schedules and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, 108 of 297 teams (36.4 percent) to win three of their first six advanced to the postseason.

NINERS STAND ALONE IN NFC: For the first time since 1984, San Francisco is the NFC’s lone undefeated team through Week 5. Behind quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who owns a 10-2 career record as the 49ers’ starting quarterback, the club is off to its best start since opening 10-0 in 1990.

NORTHERN LIGHTS: Entering Week 6 of the NFL’s 100th season, all four teams in the NFC North have winning records. That hasn’t happened in an NFL division since 2012, when the four NFC West clubs also were above .500 entering Week 6. That year, the 49ers opened 4-1, finished 11-4-1 and advanced to Super Bowl XLVII.

This year, Green Bay (4-1) sits atop the NFC North with Detroit (2-1-1), Minnesota (3-2) and Chicago (3-2) closely behind. That division has crowned three different teams as its winner over the past three seasons. No other NFL division has that distinction. And if the Lions and Vikings win this week, with the Bears on their bye, the NFC North could have four teams above .500 again next week.

METHODICAL MARCHES: Physically and mentally, a touchdown drive of 90-or-more yards can provide a substantial advantage. Last week, Oakland engineered not one but two such drives in a London win over the Bears. Minnesota orchestrated a 98-yard touchdown drive in a victory at the New York Giants. The Vikings and Raiders each have three touchdown drives of 90-plus yards in 2019, tied with Kansas City and the New York Giants for most in the league. Overall, NFL teams this season have combined for 24 such drives, most through five weeks of play since there were also 24 touchdown drives of 90-plus yards in 2014.

SACKS ARE PILING UP: NFL clubs have combined for 396 sacks in 2019. Through Week 5, that’s the second-highest total over the last two decades. In that span, only the 2013 season (416) had more entering Week 6.

WAKE UP TO FOOTBALL: The second of five international games appears on the Week 6 slate. Carolina meets Tampa Bay in an important NFC South clash. The contest kicks off at 9:30 a.m. and will appear exclusively on NFL Network. It’s also the second of two games at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. In Week 8, the NFL plays its first of two games at London’s Wembley Stadium, when Cincinnati meets the Los Angeles Rams. In Week 9, also at Wembley, Houston plays Jacksonville and the 2019 international games conclude with a Week 11 contest in Mexico City, where Kansas City plays the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football, November 18.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 6

THE FUTURE IS HERE: This Sunday, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson face each other for the first time in their careers, when the Chiefs welcome the Texans to Arrowhead Stadium. Entering Week 6, Mahomes leads the NFL in passing yards (1,831), while Watson ranks second in the league in passer rating (115.9). The pair are tied for second in the league in touchdown passes with 11.

Mahomes, who has 7,212 passing yards in 22 career games, and Watson, who has 7,228 passing yards in 28 career games, can each reach 7,500 career passing yards on Sunday. Should the pair each reach the milestone, they would become the fastest and tied for the third-fastest quarterbacks in NFL history to reach 7,500 career passing yards.

The players to reach 7,500 career passing yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES TO REACH 7,500 PASS YARDS)
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (27) HOF
Marc Bulger, St. Louis Rams (29)
Dan Marino, Miami (29) HOF
Matthew Stafford, Detroit (29)
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (22)*
Deshaun Watson, Houston (28)#
*Has 7,212 passing yards
#Has 7,228 passing yards

STAFFORD SLINGER: Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford enters Week 6 with 39,648 career passing yards in 145 games during his 11-year career with the Lions.

With 352 passing yards against the Packers Monday night at Lambeau, Stafford can become the first player in NFL history to reach 40,000 career passing yards in fewer than 150 games.

The players to reach 40,000 career passing yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM(S) (GAMES TO REACH 40,000 PASS YARDS)
Matt Ryan, ATLANTA (151)
Drew Brees, San Diego and New Orleans (152)
Dan Marino, Miami (153) HOF
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (154)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (154)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit (145)*

*Has 39,648 passing yards

FEELING 100: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 268 yards and four touchdowns with a 151.8 passer rating in the Seahawks’ Week 5 win. Wilson, who currently leads the NFL with a 126.3 passer rating in 2019, has a passer rating of 100 or higher in each of Seattle’s first five games of the season.

With a passer rating of 100 or higher on Sunday at Cleveland, Wilson would become the fourth player in NFL history with a passer rating of 100 or higher in each of his first six games of a season.

The players with a passer rating of 100 or higher in each of their team’s first six games of a season in NFL history:​

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES WITH 100+ PASSER RATING TO BEGIN SEASON)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (2011 – 12)#
Tom Brady, New England (2007 – 8)#
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati (2005 – 6)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2019 – 5)*
*Active Streak
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player

WINNING JIMMY: San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has 920 passing yards and seven touchdowns with a 99.4 passer rating in 2019 and has led the 49ers to their first 4-0 start since 1990. Garoppolo now owns a 12-2 record as a starting quarterback in the NFL.

With a win on Sunday at the Los Angeles Rams, Garoppolo can become the eighth quarterback in the Super Bowl era with at least 13 wins in his first 15 career starts.

The quarterbacks with the most wins through their first 15 career starts in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER, TEAM(S) (RECORD THROUGH 1st 15 STARTS)
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (15-0)
Roger Staubach, Dallas (14-1) HOF
Dan Marino, Miami (13-2) HOF
Dak Prescott, Dallas (13-2)
Philip Rivers, San Diego (13-2)
Mike Tomczak, Chicago (13-2)
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (13-2) HOF
Jimmy Garoppolo, New England and San Francisco (12-2)*
*Entering Week 6

CMC 1,000: Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey had a season-high 237 scrimmage yards (176 rushing, 61 receiving) and three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in Week 5 and leads the NFL in scrimmage yards through the first five weeks of the 2019 season (866).

With 134 scrimmage yards in London against Tampa Bay, McCaffrey would join Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown (1963) and Marshall Faulk (2000) as the only players in NFL history with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards through their team’s first six games of a season.

The players with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards through their team’s first six games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Jim Brown, Cleveland (1963 – 1,153) HOF
Marshall Faulk, St. Louis Rams (2007 – 1,083) HOF
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (2019 – 866)*
*Through five games

McCaffrey, who has at least 175 scrimmage yards in each of his past three games, needs 175 scrimmage against Tampa Bay to tie Edgerrin James (Weeks 7-10, 1999) for the longest streak of games with at least 175 scrimmage yards in NFL history.

GODWIN’S WORLD: Tampa Bay wide receiver Chris Godwin had 12 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns in Week 4 and seven catches for 125 yards and two scores in Week 5.

With at least 125 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns in London against Carolina, Godwin would become the fourth player in NFL history to have three consecutive games with at least 125 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

The players with three consecutive games with at least 125 receiving yards and two touchdowns in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON(S); WEEKS)
Andre Rison, ATLANTA (1990; Weeks 5-7)
Don Maynard, New York Jets (1967-68; Week 16, 1967-Week 2, 1968) HOF
Cloyce Box, Detroit (1952; Weeks 10-12)
Chris Godwin Tampa Bay (2019; Weeks 4-5)*
*Two consecutive games

Detroit and Miami return from their byes this week, while Chicago, Oakland, Indianapolis and Buffalo will get the weekend off. Last week was not the greatest week of the season (but not the worst), as we went 7-8 (for the season, 40-41). Lots of football left. Week six got underway in Foxboro as New England and Tom Brady took care of the New York Giants to remain unbeaten and concludes in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst as the Packers host the Detroit Lions at Lambeau in an NFC North matchup Monday night in prime time. Having said all of that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week six.

ATLANTA (1-4) at Arizona (1-3-1), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of 1-win teams meet in the desert as the Atlanta Falcons and Matt Ryan travel to Glendale for an early afternoon contest with Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals.

The Falcons dropped their third contest in a row Sunday afternoon against DeShaun Watson and the Houston Texans, dropping a 53-32 decision in the Lone Star State. Atlanta led 17-16 at the intermission at NRG Stadium, then watched the Texans take the lead for keeps in the third quarter, scoring 17 points in the quarter unchallenged. Atlanta pulled themselves to within eight twice (once on a 1-yard run by Ryan, the other on a 29-yard TD pass from Ryan to Calvin Ridley) before the Texans would blow the doors open in the final minutes of the contest. Houston outrushed Atlanta 166-57 and Ryan threw for 330 yards with three TDs (two to Mohammed Sanu and Devonta Freeman, in addition to the Ridley toss), a pair of sacks and an interception, while Watson threw for 426 yards and five TDs with no sacks or interceptions (connecting with Will Fuller on three of them). Suprisingly, Atlanta was 9 of 16 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29 minutes, while the Texans held on to the pigskin for 31 minutes, going 10 for 13 on third down.

The Desert Angry Birds picked up their first win of the season and gave Cincinnati their fifth loss in a row, leaving Paul Brown Stadium with a 26-23 last second win last Sunday. Arizona led 13-6 at the intermission along the shores of the Ohio River before the Bengals would rally with 2 minutes left in regulation when Tyler Boyd and Andy Dalton connected on a 42-yard TD toss. Arizona would then set off to break the hearts of Bengals fans as they would get the ball back with 2 minutes left and would use a 6-play, 62-yard drive with all of that time to make their way down the field, with K Zane Gonzalez booting the game-winner from 31 yards as time expired. Arizona outrushed the Bengals 266-108, with Murray leading the way with 93 yards and a rushing TD, while Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon led the Bengals with 93 yards on the ground. Dalton threw for 262 yards and a pair of TDs, while Murray threw for 253 yards (both Dalton and Murray were sacked once but did not throw an interception). Arizona was 6 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:03 (including the final 2 minutes of the contest), while the Bengals kept the ball for 28:57, going 5 of 12 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

The series is even at 15-15 and the Falcons have not only out-scored the Desert Angry Birds 702-635, they’ve won the last three meetings, including a 40-14 win in the Big Peach last year (Arizona’s last win in the series came in 2014 in the desert by a final of 27-13).

In their week 15 meeting in the Big Peach, Atlanta erased an early 7-0 deficit by Arizona in the first quarter after Cardinals RB David Johnson opened the scoring in the contest from a yard out and took a 26-7 lead into the intermisison, scoring all of their first half points unchallenged. Atlanta would go on to outscore the Desert Angry Birds 14-7 in the final 30 minutes of play at Mercedes Benz Stadium to seal the win. The Falcons out-rushed Arizona 215-60, with Tevin Coleman leading the way with 145 yards and a TD. Ryan threw for 231 yards and a pair of TDs (one to WR Julio Jones) and did not throw an interception, while Arizona’s Josh Rosen threw for 132 yards with six sacks and two interceptions (Ryan was sacked twice). Atlanta went 5 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 30:40, while Arizona held on to the ball for 29:20, going 3 of 13 on third down and 2 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week 15 contest, Atlanta was favored by 8 and covered, winning by 26 and the two teams covered the 44 over/under with 54 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Falcons as 2 1/2 point favorites in the desert and the over/under’s 51 1/2. Atlanta’s looking to end their three-game losing streak, the Cards are looking to make it two in a row. Atlanta’s streak comes to an end in the desert. Atlanta prevails in the desert and covers the 2 1/2.

Carolina (3-2) at Tampa Bay (2-3), 9:30 a.m. (2:30 p.m. in London) on NFL Network. The second game in London features a pair of NFC South rivals as the Carolina Panthers face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Carolina held off a late Jacksonville rally last Sunday afternoon as the Panthers came away 34-27 winners at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers, with Kyle Allen under center for Cam Newton (foot), took a 21-17 lead with them to the intermission and then proceeded to outscore Jacksonville 13-10 in the second half. Carolina survived the final second scare from the Jaguars, as they had a pair of defensive penalties in the final seconds (including one that occured as time expired, giving Jacksonville an untimed down). Panthers RB Chirstian McCaffrey led all rushers with 176 yards and a pair of TDs (he had six catches for 61 yards and a TD), while Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette rushed for 108 yards with a TD. Carolina outrushed Jacksonville 285-149 and Allen threw for 181 yards with the TD toss to McCaffrey, while Jacksonville signal caller Gardner Minshew threw for 374 yards and a pair of TDs to D.J. Chark (Minshew was sacked twice and Allen was sacked three times, neither threw an interception). Carolina was 4 of 13 on third down tries in the Tar Heel State (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:36, while Jacksonville ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:24 (including the final 1:45 of the contest) and went 6 of 13 on third down.

The Buccaneers enter the contest on the other side of the Atlantic coming away with a 31-24 loss to the New Orleans Saints last Sunday afternoon. Tampa Bay trailed 17-10 at the intermission in the Big Easy, then pulled themselves to within seven with 19 seconds left in the contest when Jameis Winston and WR Chris Goodwin connected on a 26-yard TD toss. Tampa Bay then went for the onside kick and failed, giving New Orleans and Teddy Bridgewater the ball, allowing them to run out the clock and take the win. New Orleans outrushed Tampa Bay 112-94 (Alvin Kamara led all rushers with 62 yards) and Winston threw for 204 yards with a pair of TDs (he was sacked six times), while Bridgewater threw for 314 yards with four TDs and an interception. Tampa Bay was 3 of 11 on third down (they struck gold on fourth down, going 1 of 1) and kept the ball for 26:33, while the Saints, who ruled the clock and kept the ball for 33:27, went 8 of 15 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Carolina leads the series 23-14 and have outscored Tampa Bay 823-646. The two NFC South rivals split last year’s meetings, each coming away winners at home.

Carolina came away 42-28 winners in the Tar Heel State in their first meeting, a week nine contest at Bank of America Stadium. Newton and the Panthers led 35-14 at the half, then held off the Buccaneers in the second half after Tampa Bay outscored them 14-7 in that span. Carolina out-rushed Tampa Bay 179-82, with McCaffrey leading all rushers with 79 yards and a pair of TDs, Newton threw for 247 yards, while Fitzpatrick threw for 243 yards (each threw a pair of TDs; Fitzpatrick was sacked three times with a pair of interceptions, Newton was sacked twice). Carolina was 4 of 10 on third down tries (the Panthers were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31 minutes, while Tampa Bay, who kept the ball for 29 minutes, went 5 for 12 on third down, 1 for 2 on fourth down.

Tampa Bay would get revenge in the Sunshine State in week 13, as Winston and Tampa Bay came away 24-17 winners at Raymond James Stadium. Even though Tampa Bay led 17-7 at the break, the Panthers outscored Tampa Bay 10-7 in the third quarter (the two clubs played a scoreless fourth quarter) to make things closer than Tampa Bay fans would have liked. Once again, McCaffery led all rushers with 106 yards and as was the case in the first meeting, Carolina outrushed Tampa Bay 168-95 and Newton threw for 300 yards, while Winston threw for 249 yards (both threw a pair of TDs and both were sacked four times, Newton was picked off four times). Tampa Bay wemt 6 of 13 on third down and held on to the ball for 29:54, while the Panthers ruled the clock, holding the pigskin for 30:06, going 3 of 8 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week nine contest in Charlotte, Carolina was favored by 6 1/2 and covered, winning by 14 and both teams took care of the over/under of 54 by tallying 70 points. Carolina was favored again in the week 13 contest in the Sunshine State, the boys and girls in Vegas making them 3 1/2 point favorites. Tampa Bay covered the spread, winning by 7 but the 55 1/2 over/under stayed in tact, as both teams tallied 41 points. While Tampa Bay is the designated home team, the Panthers are favored on the other side of the pond as a 2 1/2 point favorite with a 45 1/2 over/under. You may want to set the VCR for this one, since it starts at 9:30 in the morning, when most of America is either at church or heading to church. Carolina may be on the other side of the Atlantic but they’re finer in this one. Carolina covers the 2 1/2 on the other side of the big pond and takes the win.

Cincinnati (0-5) at Baltimore (3-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of AFC North rivals meet in Charm City as the winless Bengals take on the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

Cincinnati picked up their their fifth loss in a row, leaving Paul Brown Stadium with a 26-23 last second loss to Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday. Arizona led 13-6 at the intermission along the shores of the Ohio River before the Bengals would rally with 2 minutes left in regulation when Tyler Boyd and Andy Dalton connected on a 42-yard TD toss. Arizona would then set off to break the hearts of Bengals fans as they would get the ball back with 2 minutes left and would use a 6-play, 62-yard drive with all of that time to make their way down the field, with K Zane Gonzalez booting the game-winner from 31 yards as time expired. Arizona outrushed the Bengals 266-108, with Murray leading the way with 93 yards and a rushing TD, while Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon led the Bengals with 93 yards on the ground. Dalton threw for 262 yards and a pair of TDs, while Murray threw for 253 yards (both Dalton and Murray were sacked once but did not throw an interception). Arizona was 6 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:03 (including the final 2 minutes of the contest), while the Bengals kept the ball for 28:57, going 5 of 12 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

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

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

The series? Even at 23-23 and Baltimore has outscored Cincinnati 989-869. The two AFC North foes met twice and both teams wone their contests in their home parks.

Round one… Cincinnati, along the shores of the Ohio River in week two on a Thursday night and the Bengals took care of the Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium 34-23. Cincinnati led 28-14 at the break and was never really threatened after that. The Bengals outrushed Baltimore 108-66, with Cincinnati RB Joe Mixon leading all rushers with 84 yards, while Dalton threw for 265 yards and four TDs (three to WR A.J. Green) and Flacco throwing for 376 yards with a pair of TDs (Flacco was sacked four times and picked off twice). Cincinnati went 5 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 31:50, while the Ravens kept the ball for 28:10, going 7 of 16 on third down and 2 of 4 on fourth down.

The Ravens would get revenge in Charm City in week 11, coming away 24-21 winners at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore led 13-7 at the intermission, watched the Dalton-led Bengals tie the contest with 63 seconds left in the third when Greg Edwards scored on an 11-yard run before Ravens K Jeff Tucker broke the tie for keeps with 8:12 left in the contest. Ravens RB Gus Edwards and Jackson each rushed for 100 yards (Edwards had 115 yards with a TD, Jackson had 117) as Baltimore outrushed Cincinnati 265-48; Jackson threw for 150 yards with an interception, while Dalton threw for 211 yards with a pair of TDs and a sack. Cincinnati went 6 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 21:51, while the Ravens went 8 of 16 on third down, ruling the clock as they held the ball for 38:09 (both clubs were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

In the week two contest in Cincinnati, the Bengals were favored by 1 and covered as they won by 11 and b oth teams covered the 44 over/under with 57 points. In the week 11 contest in Charm City, the Ravens were favored by 4 but won by only 3. The two clubs did manage to take care of the 43 1/2 over/under, tallying 45 points. Baltimore’s favored by 11 in Charm City and the over/under’s 46. Granted, the Bengals are a bad team. They’re not 11 points bad and they have been playing competitive football of late. The sad thing? Baltimore’s going to win this one but expect the Bengals to make things hard for the Ravens.

Seattle (4-1) at Cleveland (2-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirectV 708. Russell Wilson vs. Baker Mayfield. One has a Heisman, the other has a Super Bowl ring. They meet along the shores of Lake Erie in an early afternoon contest in the Buckeye State.

Seattle survived a late rally against the Los Angeles Rams last Thursday night in the Pacific Northwest, as the Seahawks would prevail 30-29 over their NFC West rivals at Century Link Field. Seattle led 14-13 at the break, then trailed 26-21 at the end of the third quarter before getting themselves back on track, using a 12-play, 75-yard drive that used 6:51 of clock, taking the lead back for keeps with 2:28 left in regulation when RB Chris Carson caught a 5-yard TD toss from Russell Wilson to take the one-point lead. Seattle fans then watched and held their breath as the Rams made their way down the field to set up for what would have been the win on the road. Seahawk fans then heaved a sigh of relief when Greg Zuerlein’s 44-yard field goal try as time expired went wide right, giving the home team the win.

Carson led all rushers with 118 yards on the ground (Los Angeles was led by Todd Gurley III with 51 yards and a pair of TDs), while the Seahawks outrushed the Rams 167-82 and Wilson threw for 268 yards and four TDs (including the game-winner late in the contest), while Jared Gof threw for 395 yards and a TD toss to Cooper Kupp (Goff threw an interception but was not sacked, while Wilson was sacked once but did not turn the ball over). Seattle went 3 of 10 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 35:18, while the Rams kept the ball for 24:42, going 3 for 11 on third down conversions.

Cleveland was held to a 30-yard field goal by Austin Seibert in the second quarter as they were manhandled by Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers 31-3 Monday night at Levis’ Stadium. The Browns trailed 21-1 at the intermission and San Francisco shut them out in the final 30 minutes of play to take the win in prime time. San Francisco’s Matt Breida led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD, while Nick Chubb led Cleveland with 87 as the 49ers outrushed Cleveland 275-102. Mayfield threw for 100 yards but was sacked four times and picked off twice, while Garoppolo threw a pair of TDs (one to TE George Kittle, the other to Breida) and 181 yards in the win. Cleveland was a dismal 1 of 11 on third down tries in prime time and kept the ball for 22:17, while the 49ers ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 37:43, going 6 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Seahawks lead the series 12-6, Seattle has outscored Cleveland 396-290 and won their last meeting with the Browns, coming out on top 30-13 in the Pacific Northwest in 2015, while Cleveland’s last win in the series came in 2011 along the shores of Lake Erie in a field goal affair by a final of 6-3. Seattle’s favored by 1 and the over/under’s 47. Seattle covers and wins along the shores of Lake Erie.

New Orleans (4-1) at Jacksonville (2-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. They’re separated by 547 miles along I-10. They’ll meet in northern Florida for the seventh time. Jacksonville and New Orleans, both playing close contests last week, meet in the Sunshine State in an early afternoon contest along the banks of the St. John’s River.

New Orleans held off a late Tampa Bay rally in the Mercedes Benz Superdome, taking down their NFC South rivals 31-24 last Sunday afternoon. The Saints, who led 17-10 at the intermission in the Big Easy, watched as Tampa Bay pulled themselves to within seven with 19 seconds left in the contest when Jameis Winston and WR Chris Goodwin connected on a 26-yard TD toss. Tampa Bay then went for the onside kick and failed, giving New Orleans and Teddy Bridgewater the ball, allowing them to run out the clock and take the win. New Orleans outrushed Tampa Bay 112-94 (Alvin Kamara led all rushers with 62 yards) and Winston threw for 204 yards with a pair of TDs (he was sacked six times), while Bridgewater threw for 314 yards with four TDs and an interception. Tampa Bay was 3 of 11 on third down (they struck gold on fourth down, going 1 of 1) and kept the ball for 26:33, while the Saints, who ruled the clock and kept the ball for 33:27, went 8 of 15 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

A Jacksonville rally last Sunday afternoon against Carolina came up short as the Panthers came away 34-27 winners at Bank of America Stadium. Jacksonville trailed the Panthers 21-17 lead at the intermission and were outscored 13-10 in the second half. Jacksonville gave Carolina a scare in the final minutes, getting themselves in position to either tie the contest or take the lead outright as Carolin was flagged for a pair of defensive penalties in the final seconds (including one that occured as time expired, giving Jacksonville an untimed down). Panthers RB Chirstian McCaffrey led all rushers with 176 yards and a pair of TDs (he had six catches for 61 yards and a TD), while Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette rushed for 108 yards with a TD. Carolina outrushed Jacksonville 285-149 and Kyle Allen threw for 181 yards with the TD toss to McCaffrey, while Jacksonville signal caller Gardner Minshew threw for 374 yards and a pair of TDs to D.J. Chark (Minshew was sacked twice and Allen was sacked three times, neither threw an interception). Carolina was 4 of 13 on third down tries in the Tar Heel State (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:36, while Jacksonville ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:24 (including the final 1:45 of the contest) and went 6 of 13 on third down.

New Orleans holds a 4-2 lead in the series, have outscored Jacksonville 161-135 and have won the last three meetings, including coming away 38-27 winners in the Big Easy in 2015, while Jacksonville’s last win came in 2003 in the Sunshine State by a final of 20-19. Jacksonville’s favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Jaguars get back on track at home and takes the win in the Sunshine State and covers the 1 1/2.

Houston (3-2) at Kansas City (4-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. DeShaun Watson vs. Patrick Mahomes. A pair of first-round NFL QBs meet at Arrowhead as the Chiefs host the Houston Texans.

Watson and the Texans took a 53-32 decision in the Lone Star State over Atlanta, giving the Falcons their third loss in a row. The Texans trailed 17-16 at the intermission at NRG Stadium, then took the lead for keeps in the third quarter, scoring 17 points in the quarter unchallenged. Atlanta pulled themselves to within eight twice (once on a 1-yard run by Ryan, the other on a 29-yard TD pass from Ryan to Calvin Ridley) before the Texans would blow the doors open in the final minutes of the contest. Houston outrushed Atlanta 166-57 and Ryan threw for 330 yards with three TDs (two to Mohammed Sanu and Devonta Freeman, in addition to the Ridley toss), a pair of sacks and an interception, while Watson threw for 426 yards and five TDs with no sacks or interceptions (connecting with Will Fuller on three of them). Atlanta was 9 of 16 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29 minutes, while the Texans held on to the pigskin for 31 minutes, going 10 for 13 on third down.

Indianapolis ended Kansas City’s four-game win streak at Arrowhead as the Colts used four Adam Vinatieri field goals to come away 19-13 winners last Sunday night. The Chiefs trailed 13-10 at the break in the prime-time contest in the Show-Me State and eventually pulled themselves to within six with 76 seconds left in the contest when Harrison Butker connected on a 36- yard field goal. It would be as close as the Chiefs would get as they would try the onside kick, which the Colts recovered. Indinapolis, who outrushed Kansas City 180-36, would run out the clock and take the win. Colts RB Marlon Mack led all rushers with 132 yards and QB Jacoby Brissett threw for 151 yards, while Mahomes threw for 321 yards and a TD (Mahomes was sacked four times, Brissett threw an interception.) The Chiefs were 4 of 12 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 22:45, while the Colts ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 37:15 and went 5 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Kansas City leads the series 5-4 and have outscored the Texans 240-199. Both teams won their last games in the series in the Lone Star State; the Texans were 19-12 winners in 2016 and the Chiefs returned the favor the following year, coming out on top 42-34. The Chiefs at home are favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 56. Kansas City’s playing with a chip on their shoulder after losing at home last Sunday night and don’t want to lose two home games in a row. Houston will make it interesting and closer than the 4 1/2 but Kansas City prevails at home and takes the win.

Washington (0-5) at Miami (0-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. A pair of winless teams meet in the Sunshine State as Miami hosts Washington at Hard Rock Stadium. The Redskins come in with their fifth loss in tow and a new head coach, as the team fired Jay Gruden Monday morning, replacing him with Bill Callahan for the remainder of the season. As for the Dolphins, they look to win their first game after taking four losses in a row.

New England and Tom Brady manhandled Washington 33-7 last Sunday in Landover in what would be the last game that Jay Gruden would coach for Washington at Fed Ex Field. Steven Sims opened the scoring for Washington, scoring on a 65-yard TD run in the first quarter. After that. New England led 12-6 at the half and scored their remaining 21 points of the contest unchallenged. Washington did manage to outrush New England 145-130 but Brady burned Washington for 348 yards and three TDs, despite being sacked four times and picked off once, while Colt McCoy threw for 119 yards with six sacks and an interception. The Patriots were 5 of 15 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:52, while the Redskins kept the ball for 28:08, going 1 for 11 on third down tries at Fed Ex Field.

The Los Angeles Chargers took control of things in Miami, giving the Dolphins their fourth loss in a row, coming out of Hard Rock Stadium 30-10 winners in the Sunshine State two weeks ago. Taking a 17-10 lead with them to the locker room at halftime, the Chargers would take control of things in the second half, scoring their last 13 points of the contest unchallenged. Neither club breached the 100-yard rushing barrier but the Chargers did manage to outurush Miami 79-72 and Rivers threw for 310 yards with a pair of TDs, despite being sacked once, while Miami’s Josh Rosen threw for 180 yards with a TD but was sacked four times and picked off once. The Chargers were 8 of 13 on third down and held on to the ball for 37:36, while the Dolphins kept the ball for 22:24, going 5 of 10 on third down (both teams were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

Miami holds an 8-4 lead in the series, they’ve outscored the Redskins 225-199 and have won the last two contests with Washington, taking a 17-10 win in Landover in 2015, while Washington’s last win in the series came in 2007 (also in Landover) as the Redskins needed overtime to come away 16-13 winners. Washington’s favored by 3 1/2 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 41. Someone has to win this game. Redskins fans will either be singing “Hail to the Redskins” or “Hell, it’s the Redskins” this week. Dolphins fans can take heart, their four-game losing streak comes to an end at home. Miami wins this one in the Sunshine State and may cover the 3 1/2.

Philadelphia (3-2) at Minnesota (3-2), 1 p.m. and FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of 3-2 teams meet in the Land of 10,000 Lakes as Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles take on Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings at US Bank Stadium. Both teams enter the Sunday afternoon contest in the Twin Cities with wins under their belts.

The Eagles kept the Jets winless last Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field as Wentz and Philadelphia took care of business 31-6 in the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia led 21-0 at the intermission and were never threatened, holding GangGreen to a 19-yard TD run by Vic Smith early in the fourth quarter. Neither club dented the 100-yard barrier but the Eagles won the ground game, outrushing the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 84-67 and Wentz threw for 189 yards and a TD to Zach Ertz, while Luke Falk (taking over for Sam Darnold) threw for 120 yards (Falk was sacked nine times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Wentz was sacked once but did not throw a pick). The Eagles were 5 of 13 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:52, while the Jets held the ball for 29:08, going 3 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday took Daniel Jones and the New York Giants to task at Met Life Stadium last Sunday, taking a 28-10 win over the Giants in upstate New Jersey. Minnesota led 18-7 at the intermission and the Giants never threatened, as Minnesota held them to a Aldrick Rosas field in the third quarter. Delvin Cook ran for 132 yards as the Vikings outrushed the Giants 211-64 and Cousins threw for 306 yards and a pair of TDs to WR Adam Thielen, while Jones threw for 182 yards with a TD (Jones was sacked four times and picked off once, Cousins was sacked three times). The Giants were 8 of 16 on third down, 0 for 3 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 27:20, while the Vikings ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 32:40, going 5 of 11 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down.

Minnesota leads the series 14-10 and have outscored the Eagles 566-549. Minnesota won the last meeting, which took place in the City of Brotherly Love last year by a final of 23-21 at Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia’s last win in regular season play took place in Philly in 2016, with the Eagles coming out on top 21-10).

Minnesota led 17-3 at the half in their week five meeting at Lincoln Financial Field, then held off a late Eagles rally in the second half to take the road win (Philadelphia won the second half, outscoring the Vikings 18-6). The Eagles, who won the Super Bowl the year before, pulled themselves to within 2 with 69 seconds left when Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz connected on a 7-yard TD toss. Philadelphia then went for the onside kick, which the Vikings recovered and after they ran out the clock, Minnesota came away with the 2-point win. Philadelphia outrushed Minnesota 81-77 and Wentz threw for 311 yards with three sacks, while Kirk Cousins threw for 301 yards with a sack (Cousins threw a TD pass to Thielen, while Wentz threw for two scores). While Philadelphia went 2 of 9 on third down tries, they were quite succesful in fourth down conversions, going 1 of 1 and kept the ball for 27:13; Minnesota ruled the clock and kept the ball away from the Eagles for 32:47, going 4 for 11 on third down tries.

Philadelphia was favored by 3 in the week five contest in the City of Brotherly Love and while the Vikings came away with the win, they didn’t cover, winning by 2 and both teams barely missed the 44 1/2 over/under. The Vikings are favored by 3 in the Twin Cities and the over/under’s 44. This may be one of the better contests this year. Eagles get their revenge from last year’s loss in the City of Brotherly Love, covering the 3 on the road and taking the win in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

San Francisco (4-0) at Los Angeles Rams (3-2), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of West Coast/NFC West rivals meet in southern California as Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers make their way (346 miles) to Los Angeles to face off against the defending NFC champions at the Coliseum.

San Francisco held Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns to a 30-yard field goal by Austin Seibert in the second quarter as the 49ers and Garoppolo manhandled Cleveland 31-3 Monday night at Levis’ Stadium. San Francisco led 21-1 at the intermission and shut the Browns out in the final 30 minutes of play to take the win in prime time. San Francisco’s Matt Breida led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD, while Nick Chubb led Cleveland with 87 as the 49ers outrushed Cleveland 275-102. Mayfield threw for 100 yards but was sacked four times and picked off twice, while Garoppolo threw a pair of TDs (one to TE George Kittle, the other to Breida) and 181 yards in the win. Cleveland was a dismal 1 of 11 on third down tries in prime time and kept the ball for 22:17, while the 49ers ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 37:43, going 6 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

A Los Angeles Rams rally fell short as Seattle survived a against the Los Angeles Rams last Thursday night in the Pacific Northwest, with the Seahawks coming away 30-29 winners over their NFC West rivals at Century Link Field. The Rams trailed 14-13 at the break, then led 26-21 at the end of the third quarter before Seattle got themselves back on track, using a 12-play, 75-yard drive that used 6:51 of clock, taking the lead back for keeps with 2:28 left in regulation when RB Chris Carson caught a 5-yard TD toss from Russell Wilson to take the one-point lead. Seattle fans then watched and held their breath as the Rams made their way down the field to set up for what would have been the win on the road. Seahawk fans then heaved a sigh of relief when Greg Zuerlein’s 44-yard field goal try as time expired went wide right, giving the home team the win.

Carson led all rushers with 118 yards on the ground (Los Angeles was led by Todd Gurley III with 51 yards and a pair of TDs), while the Seahawks outrushed the Rams 167-82 and Wilson threw for 268 yards and four TDs (including the game-winner late in the contest), while Jared Goff threw for 395 yards and a TD toss to Cooper Kupp (Goff threw an interception but was not sacked, while Wilson was sacked once but did not turn the ball over). Seattle went 3 of 10 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 35:18, while the Rams kept the ball for 24:42, going 3 for 11 on third down conversions.

Including those contests that were played in Anaheim, Keezar Stadium, Candlestick Park and in St. Louis, the 49ers lead the series 68-67-3 and have outscored the Rams 3.088-2,978. However… the Rams have won three of the last four meetings, including sweeping the series last year (San Francisco’s last win came in 2017 in Los Angeles by a final of 34-13).

Meeting number one… week seven at Levis’ Stadium in Santa Clara. The Rams led 22-7 at the intermission and never looked back, coming out of Santa Clara with a 39-10 win in wine country. Gurley (63 yards) ran for a pair of TDs as the Rams outrushed San Francisco 146-107 and Goff threw for 202 yards and a pair of TDs, while C.J. Beathard threw for 170 yards with a TD (Beathard was sacked seven times and picked off twice, while Goff was sacked twice). The defending NFC champs were 5 of 12 on third down and ruled the clock, holding the ball hostage for 32:51, while the 49ers, who kept the pigskin for 27:09, went 3 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The two West Coast teams closed the 2018 season out in Los Angeles at the Coliseum in week 17 and Los Angeles held off a late 49ers rally in the second half to take a 48-32 win to complete the sweep. The Rams were 31-10 leaders at the half before the 49ers would outscore them in the second half 22-17. With Gurley rested, it was Charles Anderson’s turn to lead all rushers for the Rams, tallying 132 yards of rushing, while San Francisco’s Alfred Morris tallied 111 yards (both men had a rushing TD). Los Angeles, who kept the ball for 31:50, outrushed the 49ers 155-127 and went 10 of 16 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down). As for the 49ers? They were 3 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 28:10.

The Rams covered the 10 1/2-point spread (they were favored), winning by 29 but the two clubs combined for 49 points, meaning that the 54 over/under was untouched. Los Angeles was again favored, this time by 10 in the season finale in southern Californa (they covered, winning by 16) and this time, both teams covered the over/under of 50 with 80 combined points. The Rams are favored by 3 and the over/under’s 50 1/2. San Francisco would like nothing more than to go 5-0 in southern California, whil the Rams would love nothing more than to break their two-game losing streak. For the 49ers, the party comes to an end in Los Angeles. Rams cover the 3 and wins in the Coliseum.

Tennessee (2-3) at Denver (1-4), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. The first game of the late afternoon takes places in the Mile High City as Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans take on Joe Flacco and the Denver Broncos. While the Titans lost at home last week, Denver broke their four-game losing streak on the road.

Buffalo broke a 7-7 tie with Tennessee early in the fourth quarter when WR Derrick Williams caught a 7-yard TD toss from QB Josh Allen as the Bills left Nashville 14-7 winners at Nissan Stadium last Sunday. After a scoreless first quarter, Lance Smith caught an 8-yard toss from Allen to take a 7-0 lead with them to the intermission. Tennessee would tie the contest in the third quarter when Derrick Henry scored from a yard out. The Bills then used a 6-play, 77-yard drive that used 2:37 of clock to take the lead back and for keeps. Buffalo outrushed Tennessee 109-102 and Bills RB Frank Gore had 60 yards on the ground, while Henry led all rushers with 78 yards and the TD; Allen threw for 219 yards with the two TD tosses (Allen was sacked four times and picked off once), while Mariota threw for 183 yards with five sacks but no interceptions. Tennessee went 4 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 28:48, while the Bills ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:12, going 4 of 13 on third down tries, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Denver put an end to their four-game losing streak last Sunday, coming away from Dignity Health Sports Park with a 20-13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. The Broncos scpred 17 first half points unchallenged to lead at the half to take the win, as the Chargers would pull themselves to within seven with 10 seconds left when K Chris McLaughlin connected on a 32-yard field goal. The Chargers then went for the onside kick, which Denver recovered, allowing the Broncos to take the win on the West Coast. Denver’s Phillip Lindsay led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD, as the Broncos held the Chargers to 35 yards of rushing, while tallying 191 yards of their own. Flacco threw for 182 yards with a TD to Courtland Sutton (Flacco was sacked three times and picked off once), while Philip Rivers threw for 211 yards and two interceptions. Denver went 3 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 29:36, while the Chargers actually ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 30:24, going 4 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games that were played in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers and the Broncos played their home games at Mile High Stadium, Tennessee leads the series 22-15-1 and have outscored the Broncos 993-850. The two clubs last met in the Music City in 2016 and the Titans held off Denver 13-10, while Denver’s last win came in the Mile High City by a final of 51-28 in 2013. Denver’s favored by 2 and the over/under’s 39. If you took a pass on this one, we wouldn’t blame you. Denver finally gets their first win at home and covers the 2.

Dallas (3-2) at New York Jets (0-5), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. Dallas has lost two in a row. The Jets are looking for their first win. A pair of struggling teams meet in upstate New Jersey as the Cowboys and Jets meet at Met Life Stadium. Both teams took losses in last week’s action.

Dallas struggled against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers last Sunday at AT&T Stadium, taking a 34-24 loss in the Lone Star State. Green Bay led 17-0 at the half, scoring all of those points in the first 30 minutes unchallenged, before Dallas would eventually outscore the Packers 24-17 in the final 30 minutes of play. Dallas barely outrushed Green Bay 122-120 and RB Ezekiel Elliott led his club with 62 yards on the ground and a TD, while Packers RB Aaron Jones led all rushers with 107 yards and four TDs. The other Aaron (Rodgers) threw for 238 yards with a pair of sacks, while Prescott threw for 463 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup on both tosses (Prescott was sacked three times and picked off three times). Green Bay was 3 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 36:43, while Dallas kept the ball for 23:17, going 2 of 8 on third down.

The Jets stayed winless last Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field as Carson Wentz and Philadelphia took them to task 31-6 in the City of Brotherly Love. GangGreen trailed 21-0 at the intermission and could never get themselves on track, as they were held to a 19-yard TD run by Vic Smith early in the fourth quarter. Neither club dented the 100-yard barrier but the Eagles won the ground game, outrushing the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 84-67 and Wentz threw for 189 yards and a TD to Zach Ertz, while Luke Falk (taking over for Darnold) threw for 120 yards (Falk was sacked nine times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Wentz was sacked once but did not throw a pick). The Eagles were 5 of 13 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:52, while the Jets held the ball for 29:08, going 3 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

While Dallas leads the series 7-4 and have outscored GangGreen 300-170. the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! have won the last two meetings (which includes games that were played at Shea Stadium, the Cotton Bowl, Cowboys Stadium and Giants Stadium), including a 19-16 win in the Lone Star State in 2016, while Dallas’ last win came in front of the home crowd in 2007 by a final of 34-3. Dallas is favored by 7 and the over/under’s 43. A streak will come to an end and a streak will continue. Dallas’ two-game losing streak stops in upstate New Jersey. Cowboys may not cover the 7 but they win in the Meadowlands.

Pittsburgh (1-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (2-3), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. They meet again and this time, it’s on the West Coast. Pittsburgh and the Los Angeles Chargers meet again in a rematch of a classic from last season. Both clubs took losses at home in last week’s play.

Pittsburgh watched a 23-20 lead in regulation get away from them as Baltimore used a Jeff Tucker field to send the contest into overtime, then watched Tucker win the game in overtime as the Ravens left Heinz Field with a 26-23 win Sunday afternoon Baltimore 17-13 at the intermission before Pittsburgh stormed back in the second half to lead 23-20 with 2:37 left in regulation on a Chris Boswell field goal. Tucker then connected on a 48-yard field goal with 10 seconds left in regulation, then after a Pittsburgh turnover by WR JuJu Smith-Schuster in the overtime, Tucker would end the contest, as he connected on a 46-yarder with 5:26 left in the extra period to take the win.

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

The Chargers and Rivers watched Denver put an end to their four-game losing streak last Sunday, coming away from Dignity Health Sports Park with a 20-13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers trailed 17-0 at the half before they would pull themselves to within seven with 10 seconds left when K Chris McLaughlin connected on a 32-yard field goal. The Chargers then went for the onside kick, which Denver recovered, allowing the Broncos to take the win on the West Coast. Denver’s Phillip Lindsay led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD, as the Broncos held the Chargers to 35 yards of rushing, while tallying 191 yards of their own. Flacco threw for 182 yards with a TD to Courtland Sutton (Flacco was sacked three times and picked off once), while Philip Rivers threw for 211 yards and two interceptions. Denver went 3 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 29:36, while the Chargers actually ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 30:24, going 4 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Pittsburgh leads the series 22-8 (including contests that took place at Three Rivers Stadium and in San Diego) and the Steelers have outscored the Bolts 773-558. The Chargers came away with the 33-30 last second win in the Steel City last year, while Pittsburgh’s last win came at Qualcomm Stadium in 2015 by a final of 24-20.

They met in week 13 at Heinz Field in the Sunday night contest that featured three lead changes in the AFC affair and it was Big Ben (Roethlisberger) vs. Philip Rivers squaring off. Pittsburgh led 23-7 at the half, thanks to a pair of James Conner rushing TDs, then watched as the Chargers chipped away at that lead, tying things up at 23-23 with 12:52 left in the contest when Desmond King returned a punt 73 yards for a TD. Rivers and Keenan Allen would tie things up when they connected on the 2-point conversion and the Chargers would take the lead for the first time in the contest when Justin Jackson scored on an 18-yard run. Pittsburgh re-tied the contest at 30-30 with 4:10 left in regulation when Jaylen Samuels and Roethlisberger connected on a 10-yard strike.

The Chargers were not done and would get the ball back with 4:10 left in regulation. Los Angeles orchestrated an 11-play, 64-yard drive that used all of the 4:10 that was left on the clock. After burning their first time out of the half with three seconds left, Michael Badgley tried a 39-yard field goal to win the contest in regulation. Badgley’s kick sailed wide to the right but Steelers LB James Harden was penalized for a netural zone infraction. Because a game cannot end on a defensive penalty, the Bolts got the ball moved up five yards and they would get an untimed down. Badgley then tried it from 34 yards and the try was blocked. Going to overtime, right? WRONG! The Steelers were penalized for a second neutral zone infraction, which meant moving the ball up five yards and giving Los Angeles another untimed down.

For the Chargers, the third time was the charm. With Badgley moved up another five yards, he would connect on a 29-yard try and as was the case on the first two tries, the Steelers were… you guessed it… offside. The Chargers declined the penalty and took the road win. Los Angeles outrushed Pittsburgh 85-65 at Heinz Field and both Roethlisberger (281 yards, sack, interception) and Rivers (299 yards, two sacks) threw a pair of TDs in the prime time contest. The Bolts were 6 of 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 31:12 (including the final 4:10 of the contest), while the Steelers kept the pigskin for 28:48, going 3 of 10 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs. Pittsburgh was favored by 3 1/2 in the Steel City and while the Chargers came away with the win, they only did it by 3. Both teams did manage to cover the 51 1/2 over/under by tallying 63 points. The Bolts are favored by 7 and the over/under’s 41. Both teams want to erase what happened last week and the Steelers would like to get some revenge from last year’s loss at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh takes this one on the West Coast but expect the Chargers to make things closer than 7.

Detroit (2-1-1) at Green Bay (4-1), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week six concludes in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst as NFC North foes Detroit and Green Bay meet at Lambeau Field.

Kansas City broke a 13-13 tie in Detroit, then rallied to take a 34-30 win over the Lions at Ford Field two weeks ago. The Chiefs trailed Matthew Stafford and the Lions 30-27 with 20 seconds left in the contest when RB Darien Williams scored from a yard away to take the lead for the first time and for keeps. Kansas City would then go on to hold off a late Detroit rally that would have given them their first loss of the 2019 season. Detroit outrushed Kansas City 186-123 with Lions RB Kerryon Johnson leading the way with 125 yards. Stafford threw for 291 yards with three TDs (two of them to Kenny Golladay) and four sacks, while Patrick Mahomes threw for 315 yards with no TDs for the first time in his career and no sacks (neither Mahomes or Stafford threw an interception). Kansas City went 4 of 9 on third down (they were perfect in their only fourth down try) and kept the ball for 26:06, while the Lions actually ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 33:54, going 5 ofi 13 on third down.

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers held serve against Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday at AT&T Stadium, taking a 34-24 win in the Lone Star State. Green Bay led 17-0 at the half, scoring all of those points in the first 30 minutes unchallenged, before Dallas would eventually outscore the Packers 24-17 in the final 30 minutes of play. Dallas barely outrushed Green Bay 122-120 and RB Ezekiel Elliott led his club with 62 yards on the ground and a TD, while Packers RB Aaron Jones led all rushers with 107 yards and four TDs. The other Aaron (Rodgers) threw for 238 yards with a pair of sacks, while Prescott threw for 463 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup on both tosses (Prescott was sacked three times and picked off three times). Green Bay was 3 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 36:43, while Dallas kept the ball for 23:17, going 2 of 8 on third down.

Including contests played in Portsmouth (when the Lions were known as the Spartans) at Milwaukee County Stadium, Tiger Stadium and the Silverdome, the Packers lead the series 98-72-7 and have outscored the Lions 3,737-3,292. However… the Lions have won the last four meetings, sweeping the last two series (Green Bay’s last win came in 2016 in the Motor City by a final of 31-24).

Meeting number one… week five in the Motor City. Detroit held off a late Green Bay rally to come away 31-23 winners at Ford Field. The Lions scored 24 first half points unchallenged to shut out the Packers in the first half. Green Bay would take the second half, outscoring the Lions 23-7 in the final 30 minutes of play and made it an 8-point contest with 2 seconds left when Crosby connected on a 41-yard field goal. Green Bay did outrush Detroit 98-94 in the first meeting and Rodgers threw for 442 yards and three TDs, while Stafford threw for 183 yards and a pair of TDs (Rodgers was sacked four times, Stafford was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). Green Bay went 3 of 10 on third down tries (the Packers were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, as kept the ball for 33:20 to Detroit’s 26:40 (the Lions were 5 for 13 on third down).

They met again, this time at Lambeau Field (temperature at game time? A balmy 26 degrees with a 14 degree wind chill) in the season finale for both clubs. Detroit scored all 31 of their points unchallenged as they shut out the Packers 31-0. Detroit led 21-0 at the break on the frozen tundra and never looked back, flooring the gas in the second half to seal the win. Stafford threw for 266 yards and a pair of TDs without an interception, while Rodgers threw for 26 yards (one sack) before being replaced by DeShone Kizer (132 yards, two sacks, interception). Detroit outrushed Green Bay in the second meeting 130-46 and went 7 of 14 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Lions kept the ball for 36:54, while Green Bay held the ball for 23:06, going 5 of 16 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

Green Bay was favored by 1 1/2 in the week five contest at Ford Field and the Lions covered the spread, winning by 8 and both clubs covered the 51 over/under with 54 points in the Motor City. As for the contest in week 17? The Packers were favored by 7 1/2 and the Lions again covered, winning by 31 but Detroit’s 31 unanswered points in the contest did not cover the 45 over/under. Detroit on Monday night? 16-18-1. The Packers? 32-32-1.

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

Green Bay’s favored by 4 1/2 at Lambeau and the over/under’s 47. Detroit’s looking to win five in a row over the Packers, something they haven’t done since the 1950s; the Packers are looking to put an end to that foolishness. The Packers are looking for revenge and they’re getting it. Green Bay closes out week six with the win at Lambeau and covers the 4 1/2.

Three teams remain left in the ranks of the unbeatens, two of them (New England and Kansas City) won on the road and the third team (San Francisco) had a bye week. Green Bay, the Los Angeles Rams and Dallas were knocked out of the ranks of the unbeatens, while Miami, Denver and Washington look for their first wins. And it’s tea, crumpets and American football on the other side of the Atlantic as Da Bears and Oakland travel to London.

Welcome to week five of the 2019 NFL season. Four weeks down. 13 to go. There’s still time for those teams that are struggling to get their ducks in a row. After all, the season is a marathon, not a sprint.

QUARTERBACKS NOT ONLY GETTING YOUNGER, THEY’RE ALSO WINNING: Youth is being served! Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph earned his first NFL win as a starter on Monday. In fact, 11 of the 15 winning clubs this past week had a starting field general who has yet to see his 27th birthday. The Steelers’ victory marked the 39th win by a starting quarterback age 26-or-younger this season.

The most wins by quarterbacks under age 26-or-younger, through four weeks of play, in NFL history:

YEAR – WINS
2019 – 39
1987 – 31
1986 – 30
2013 – 28
2008 – 27

Rudolph joined Carolina’s Kyle Allen, New Orleans’ Teddy Bridgewater, the New York Giants’ Daniel Jones, Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota, Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield, Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew, Chicago’s Mitchell Trubisky, Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz and Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston as quarterbacks age 26-or-younger to win last week.

This week, at least four games match up youthful quarterbacks. Minshew’s Jaguars travel to Carolina to play Allen, Winston and the Buccaneers are at New Orleans to play Bridgewater and one of the New York Jets’ young starters, either Sam Darnold or Luke Falk, will be in Philadelphia to meet Carson Wentz and Rudolph’s Steelers host Baltimore and Lamar Jackson.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK FOUR: All 13 completed games in Week 4 featured at least one starting quarterback age 26 or younger.

With two games remaining, a total of 50 games have featured at least one starting quarterback age 26 or younger in 2019, surpassing the 1987 season (48) for the most such games through four weeks of a season in NFL history.

New England defeated Buffalo 16-10, in Week 4. New England joins the 2012 Chicago Bears as the only teams since 2000 with at least 15 sacks (18) and 10 interceptions (10) in their first four games of a season.

New England defensive back J.C. Jackson had two interceptions and a blocked punt in the victory. Jackson became the first player since the New York Jets’ Erik McMillan (Week 1, 1989) with at least two interceptions and a blocked punt in a single game. Additionally, Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty recorded an interception in the win and is the first player in Patriots franchise history and the first in the NFL since Minnesota’s Brian Russell in 2003 to record an interception in each of his team’s first four games of a season.

Buffalo running back Frank Gore rushed for 109 yards in the loss. Gore, who now has 15,021 career rushing yards, became the fourth player in league annals with at least 15,000 career rushing yards, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith (18,355), Walter Payton (16,726) and Barry Sanders (15,269).

Tampa Bay linebacker Shaquil Barrett had a sack, forced fumble and interception in the Buccaneers’ 55-40 win over the Los Angeles Rams. Barrett has nine sacks on the season and tied Mark Gastineau (1984), Kabeer Gbacia-Biamila (2001) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Kevin Greene (1998) for the most sacks through their team’s first four games of a season since 1982 when the individual sack became an official statistic.

Additionally, Tampa Bay wide receiver Chris Godwin had 12 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns and Los Angeles Rams wide receiver ROBERT WOODS had 13 catches for 164 yards.

Including Cleveland wide receiver Jarvis Landry’s Week 4 performance (8 catches for 167 yards), there have now been 13 150-yard receiving performances in the NFL this season, surpassing the 2013 season (12) for the most 150-yard receiving performances through four weeks of a season in NFL history.

Carolina quarterback Kyle Allen completed 24 of 34 passes for 232 yards and zero interceptions in the Panthers’ 16-10 win at Houston. Allen joins Carson Wentz (2016) as the only quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era to go 3-0 with zero interceptions in their first three career starts.

Carolina running back Christian McCaffreyY registered 179 scrimmage yards (93 rushing, 86 receiving) and a rushing touchdown n the win. McCaffrey, who had 209 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns in Week 1 and 188 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in Week 3, joins Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown (1963) as the only players in league annals with three games of at least 175 scrimmage yards and one touchdown in their team’s first four games of a season.

Additionally, McCaffrey caught 10 passes in the win, his sixth career game with at least 10 receptions, tying Larry Centers and Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDanian Tomlinson for the most career games with at least 10 receptions by a running back in NFL history.

Chargers running back Austin Ekeler registered 122 scrimmage yards (62 receiving, 60 rushing) and two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) in Los Angeles’ 30-10 win at Miami. Ekeler – who had 154 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns in Week 1 and 133 scrimmage yards and one touchdown in Week 2 – joins Priest Holmes (2002 and 2003) as the only undrafted running backs in the common draft era to have at least 100 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in three of his team’s first four games of a season.

Cleveland running back Nick Chubb rushed for 165 yards and three touchdowns, including an 88-yard touchdown run, in the Browns’ 40-25 win over Baltimore. Chubb – who had a 92-yard touchdown run in Week 10 of the 2018 season – joins Bob Hoernschmeyer (two touchdown runs from 1946-47) and Chris Johnson (three from 2008-09) as the only players in league annals with at least two touchdown runs of 85 yards or more in their first two seasons.

Oakland tight end Darren Waller had seven catches for 53 yards in the Raiders’ 31-24 win at Indianapolis. Waller, who has 33 receptions on the season, tied Antonio Gates (33 in 2007) for the most receptions by a tight end through his team’s first four games of a season in NFL history.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had 5 catches for 47 yards in the Cardinals’ Week 4 loss to Seattle.

Fitzgerald, who has 1,326 career receptions, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez (1,325 receptions) for the second-most receptions in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (1,549) has more.

Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones had four catches for 52 yards in his 115th career game in the Falcons’ Week 4 loss against Tennessee. Jones, who now has 11,048 career receiving yards, surpassed Calvin Johnson (127 games) to become the fastest player in NFL history to reach 11,000 career receiving yards.

BIG GAMES ON TAP: Two weeks can mean a night-and-day difference in the National Football League.

Exhibit A is the AFC North, where Cleveland and Pittsburgh two weeks ago were near the bottom looking up. This week, the Browns are in first place and the Steelers are just a game out with a prime opportunity to gain important ground at home against Baltimore.

Like the Browns and Steelers, San Francisco and Green Bay didn’t qualify for the 2018 playoffs. However, each of those NFC teams begin Week 5 in first place preparing for a division leader on the opposite sideline. Cleveland is one of 14 teams standing at either 2-2 or 2-1-1 entering Week 5

The 49ers (3-0), off to their best start in 21 years, return from an early bye to host the Browns (2-2) on Monday Night Football. San Francisco with a win can achieve its first 4-0 record since Pro Football Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Jerry Rice led their club to a 10-0 start in 1990.

Also looming large on the Week 5 docket is a clash between the Packers (3-1) and the leaders of the NFC East, Dallas (3-1), at AT&T Stadium.

The captain has turned on the fasten-seatbelt sign. The NFL enters October with a lot left to be determined in an already exciting 100th season. Please return your trays to the upright position.

ORIGINAL TEAMS MEET IN LONDON: The 2019 London series kicks off on Sunday, when an original NFL franchise, Chicago, faces an original AFL franchise, Oakland.

That contest marks the first NFL game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The new facility will become the 187th venue to host a regular-season or postseason game in the 100 years of the National Football League.

This week marks the Raiders’ third appearance as a regular-season home team in London. It’s the fourth straight season and the fifth time in six years that the Raiders have hosted a regular-season game internationally, having played at Wembley Stadium in 2014 and 2018 as well as games at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca in 2016 and 2017.

The Bears also have played in the United Kingdom twice before, both at Wembley Stadium (preseason in 1986 and regular season in 2011).

The NFL and Tottenham Hotspur have an agreement for a minimum of two games per year to be played through 2028. The state-of-the-art stadium features a retractable-grass field with an artificial surface underneath that will be used for NFL games. It also has customized NFL features, such as purpose-built locker rooms, medical and media facilities and a dedicated entrance.

By the end of the 2019 season, the NFL will have played 28 regular-season games in London, with 31 of 32 teams having participated. The Green Bay Packers are the only team that has yet to play there.

INTERNATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE: Since 2007, when the NFL played its first regular-season game in the United Kingdom, the league has been remarkably pleased with the passion and knowledge of the UK fans as well as the resulting growth in the NFL’s international popularity. For the teams, traveling to London is a unique road trip, allowing the coaches and players to spend more time together than they would for a domestic trip. And when those teams return from either London or Mexico City with a win, those wins have proven significant.

The last nine teams that have won an international game have earned playoff berths later that season:

TEAM – YEAR (RESULT at LOCATION; SEASON RESULT)
Philadelphia – 2018 (Defeated Jacksonville 24-18 at Wembley Stadium, United Kingdom; Advanced to NFC Divisional playoffs)
Los Angeles Chargers – 2018 (Defeated Tennessee 20-19 at Wembley Stadium, United Kingdom; Advanced to AFC Divisional playoffs
Seattle – 2018 (Defeated Oakland 27-3 at Wembley Stadium, United Kingdom; Advanced to NFC Wild Card playoffs)
New England – 2017 (Defeated Oakland 33-8 at Estadio Azteca, Mexico; Advanced to Super Bowl LII)
Minnesota – 2017 (Defeated Cleveland, 33-16 at Twickenham Stadium, United Kingdom; Advanced to NFC Championship)
Los Angeles Rams – 2017 (Defeated Arizona, 33-0 at Twickenham Stadium, United Kingdom; Advanced to NFC Wild Card playoffs)
New Orleans – 2017 (Defeated Miami 20-0 at Wembley Stadium, United Kingdom; Advanced to NFC Divisional playoffs)
Jacksonville – 2017 (Defeated Baltimore, 44-7 at Wembley Stadium, UK; Advanced to AFC Championship)
Oakland – 2016 (Defeated Houston, 27-20 at Estadio Azteca, Mexico; Advanced to AFC Wild Card playoffs)

NO SUCH THING AS A SAFE LEAD: Three teams, all of which were on the road, erased deficits of at least 10 points last week to register important wins. Both Philadelphia and Kansas City came back from 10 down to win gritty games at Green Bay and Detroit, respectively. Meanwhile, Jacksonville, behind rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew, climbed over a 17-3 obstacle at Denver to win a thriller, 26-24.

Through four weeks, five games have featured a team coming back to win or tie after trailing by 10-or-more points. Since the 1970 merger, only the 2011 (9), 1979 (8) and 2018 (7) seasons have had more such games through the first four weeks.

Also through four weeks this season, three games have featured a team coming back to win or tie after trailing by 17-or-more points. Since the 1970 merger, only the 2011 (6), 1999 (4) and 2014 (4) seasons have had more such games through the first four weeks.

TURNOVERS AT RECORD LOWS: Talk about ball security! Tennessee has committed one turnover, fewest in the NFL through four weeks. One of the more interesting aspects of the NFL’s current era that separates it from previous periods is that teams are turning over the ball less frequently. The amount of interceptions and fumbles lost has decreased dramatically in recent years. In each of the last three seasons (2017-19), the NFL through four weeks of play has reached some of its lowest marks in the turnover category since the 1970 AFL-NFL league merger.

The fewest turnovers through four weeks, 1970-present:

YEAR – TURNOVERS
2017 – 160
2014 – 176
2019 – 178
2018 – 178
2008 – 183
2016 – 185

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made . The NFL has designated the Bills-Titans game at 1 p.m. on CBS as the NFL100 Game of the Week to remember the Music City Miracle during the 1999 playoffs. On January 8, 2000, in Nashville, Rob Johnson and the Bills climbed out of a 12-0 hole in the second half, on the strength of two Antowain Smith rushing touchdowns. After Steve McNair led a go-ahead field-goal drive with 1 minute, 48 seconds, on the fourth-quarter clock, giving the Titans a 15-13 advantage, Johnson answered. Having lost his shoe with no time to put it back on his foot, Johnson completed a sideline pass to Peerless Price, who stopped the clock at the Titans’ 24-yard line. With 16 seconds left, Steve Christie’s 41-yard kick put Buffalo on top, 16-15. Then, it happened. … The brainchild of Titans special-teams coordinator Alan Lowry, “Home Run Throwback” was executed several times in practice after Lowry first saw it at a 1981 Southern Methodist-Texas Tech game. The key cog in the play, Frank Wycheck, had thrown a 61-yard touchdown three weeks earlier at Atlanta; offensive coordinator Les Steckel installed that play after watching Wycheck killing time at practice by throwing the ball with Pro Football Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews … Christie’s pooch kickoff went to Lorenzo Neal, who handed off to a trailing Wycheck, drawing most of the Bills’ kick coverage. Wycheck then lateraled across the field to Kevin Dyson, who returned the ball 70 yards for the game-winning touchdown as Tennessee prevailed, 22-16, en route to a berth in Super Bowl XXXIV.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 5

BRADY GOES FOR HISTORY: New England quarterback Tom Brady ranks fourth in NFL history with 71,575 passing yards during his 20-year NFL career.

With 366 passing yards on Sunday at Washington, Brady would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (71,838) and Peyton Manning (71,940) for the second-most career passing yards in NFL history.

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

PLAYER – TEAM(S)(PASSING YARDS)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (74,845)*
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (71,940)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (71,838) HOF
Tom Brady – New England (71,575)*
*Active

PAT & MATT’S FAST STARTS: Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES, who leads the league with 1,510 passing yards and Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan, who leads the NFC with 1,325 passing yards, have passed for at least 300 yards in each of their team’s first four games this season.

If Mahomes or Ryan pass for at least 300 yards on Sunday, they would join Pro Football Hall of Famers Kurt Warner (6 in 2000) and Steve Young (6 in 1998), as well as Peyton Manning (5 in 2009 and 2013) as the only players in NFL history to pass for at least 300 yards in each of their team’s first five games of a season.

The players with at least 300 passing yards in each of their team’s first five games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES WITH 300+ PASSING YARDS TO BEGIN SEASON)
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (2000 – 6) HOF
Steve Young, San Francisco (1998 – 6) HOF
Peyton Manning, Denver (2013 – 5)#
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (2009 – 5)#
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (2019 – 4)*
Matt Ryan, ATLANTA (2019 – 4)*
*Active streak
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player

RUDOLPH DASHES TOWARD HISTORY: Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph completed 24 of 28 pass attempts (85.7 percent) for 229 yards with two touchdowns and a 124.6 passer rating in Week 4 to earn his first career victory as a starter. It also marked Rudolph’s third consecutive game with two touchdown passes.

With at least two touchdown passes on Sunday vs. Baltimore, Rudolph would become the third player in NFL history to pass for at least two touchdowns in each of his first four career games.

The players with at least two passing touchdowns in each of their first four career games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES WITH 2+ TD PASSES TO BEGIN CAREER)
Jay Cutler, Denver (2006 – 4)
Mark Rypien, Washington (1988 – 4)
Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh (2019 – 3)*
*Active streak

NOT YOUR AVERAGE QB: Baltimore quarterback LAMAR JACKSON, who is tied for the league lead with 10 touchdown passes, also leads all quarterbacks with 238 rushing yards this season. Including his 695 rushing yards – the most among quarterbacks in 2018 – Jackson now has 933 career rushing yards in 20 career games.

With 67 rushing yards in his 21st career game on Sunday at Pittsburgh, Jackson would tie Robert Griffin III (21 games) as the fastest quarterback to reach 1,000 career rushing yards in NFL history.

The quarterbacks to reach 1,000 career rushing yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES TO REACH 1,000 RUSH YARDS)
Robert Griffin III, Washington (21)
Michael Vick, ATLANTA (22)
Cam Newton, Carolina (23)
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (20)*
*Has 933 rush yards entering Sunday

SACK BARRETT: Tampa Bay linebacker Shaquil Barrett leads the NFL with nine sacks through four weeks in 2019. Barrett, who notched one sack in Week 1, three sacks in Week 2 and four sacks in Week 3, added yet another sack to his total, as well as an interception and a forced fumble, in the Buccaneers’ Week 4 win at the Los Angeles Rams.

With one sack on Sunday at New Orleans, Barrett would join Pro Football Hall of Famer Kevin Greene (1998) as the only players to reach 10 sacks in their team’s first five games of a season since 1982 when the individual sack became an official statistic.

THE SCARLET KNIGHT RISES: New England defensive back Devin McCourty leads the NFL with four interceptions this season, having recorded one interception in each of the Patriots’ first four games of 2019.

With an interception on Sunday at Washington, McCourty would become the third player in the Super Bowl era to record at least one interception in his each of his team’s first five games of a season.

The players with an interception in each of their team’s first five games of a season in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, GAMES WITH INTERCEPTION TO BEGIN SEASON)
Brian Russell, Minnesota (2003 – 6)
Lemar Parrish, Washington (1979 – 5)
Devin McCourty, New England (2019 – 4)*
*Active streak

Week five got underway in the Pacific Northwest as Seattle held off a late rally against their NFC West rivals from Los Angeles in the Pacific Northwest 30-29 Thursday night and ends in Santa Clara as San Francsico hosts the Cleveland Browns in a matchup of two first-place teams. The New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers return from their week off and this time, it’s Detroit and Miami that have a bye. Week five is also the start of games in London as Chicago and Oakland meet on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. As for last week? Not as great as we hoped but 7-8 is a lot better than 0-15. For the year, 34-33. There’s a lot of football left before us. With that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 5.

ATLANTA (1-3) at Houston (2-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. The struggling Atlanta Falcons make their way to the Lone Star State as J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans play host Sunday afternoon at NRG Stadium. Both clubs took home losses in last week’s action.

Atlanta trailed Tennessee 24-7 at the half at Mercedes Benz Stadium and could never get on track as they fell to the Titans 24-10 in the Big Peach. Tennessee outrushed Atlanta 138-58 with Titans RB Derrick Henry leading the way with 100 yards on the ground. Ryan threw for 397 yards but found himself being sacked five times, while Marcus Mariota threw for 227 yards and no sacks (Ryan and Mariota did not throw a TD pass or an interception). Atlanta was 5 of 14 on third down tries, 1 of 4 on fourth down and the Falcons actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:41, while the Titans went 6 of 13 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:19.

Houston dropped to 2-2 after their 16-10 loss to Carolina and backup QB Kyle Allen at NRG Stadium. The Panthers led 10-3 at the intermission, then held off a late Houston rally in the second half to season the win as Carolina would use a pair of Jeff Slye field goals in the final 15 minutes of the contest. Houston did manage to out-rush Carolina 136-94 and Allen threw for 232 yards with three sacks, while Texans QB DeSean Watson threw for 160 yards with six sacks (neither threw a TD pass or interception). Carolina was 7 of 14 on third down tries in the Lone Star State and kept the ball for 30:38, while the Texans kept the ball for 29:22 and went 4 for 11 on third down tries.

They’ve met four times and both teams have two wins under their belts in the series. Atlanta has outscored 97-71 and the Falcons were 48-21 winners in 2015 in the Big Peach, while Houston’s last win in the series came in 2011 in Houston by a final of 17-10. Houston’s favored by 5 with the over/under at 48 1/2. Both teams look to restore some order in their respective divisions. Atlanta takes this one but expect Houston to make things closer than the 5.

Jacksonville (2-2) at Carolina (2-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of 2-2 teams meet in the Tar Heel State as Carolina hosts Jacksonville at Bank of America Stadium. Both teams took wins on the road in last week’s action.

Jacksonville sent Denver to their second last-second loss of the 2019 season, coming away with a 26-24 win over the Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Jacksonville trailed 17-6 at the half, then took a 20-17 lead with them into the final 15 minutes of action in the Rocky Mountains. Josh Lambo would give the Jaguars a 23-17 lead with 2:54 left in the contest before Denver went back to work and took the lead back with 92 seconds left when Joe Flacco and WR Courtland Sutton connected on an 8-yard TD toss. Denver fans, thinking that they had their first win of the year under their belts, then watched with horror as the Jaguars would get the ball back with the time remaining as Jacksonville would use an 8-play, 60-yard drive that ended when Lambo connected on a 33-yard field goal as time expired.

Jacksonville easily out-rushed Denver 269-68, with Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette rushing for 225 yards to lead all rushers. Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew threw for 213 yards and a pair of TDs, while Flacco threw for 303 yards and three TDs (two to Sutton; Minshew was sacked five times, Flacco threw an interception). Jacksonville went 4 of 14 on third down tries, 1 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 39:12 (including the final 92 seconds of regulation), while the Broncos, who would hold on to the pigskin for 20:48, went 4 of 11 on third down.

The Cam Newton-less Panthers improved to 2-2 after Carolina came away from Houston with a 16-10 win with backup QB Kyle Allen at NRG Stadium. Carolina took a 10-3 at the intermission, then used a pair of Jeff Slye field goals in the final 15 minutes to hold off a late Houston rally. Houston did manage to out-rush Carolina 136-94 and Allen threw for 232 yards with three sacks, while Texans QB DeSean Watson threw for 160 yards with six sacks (neither threw a TD pass or interception). Carolina was 7 of 14 on third down tries in the Lone Star State and kept the ball for 30:38, while the Texans kept the ball for 29:22 and went 4 for 11 on third down tries.

The kitty series is even at 3-3 and Jacksonville has outscored Carolina 125-100. Carolina won the last meeting in 2015 in Jacksonville, coming away with the 20-9 win, while Jacksonville’s last win came in the Sunshine State in 2007 by a final of 37-6. Carolina’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under is 41. Both numbers make a lot of sense and both teams have been playing some decent if not great football of late. When this one ends in Charlotte, one kitty will have an extra life. Carolina’s finer this week. Panthers cover the 3 1/2 and takes the win in the Tar Heel State.

Arizona (0-3-1) at Cincinnati (0-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of winless teams square off along the shores of the Ohio River as Arizona and Cincinnati look for their first win of the 2019 season.

Arizona, who plays Sunday’s contest with heavy hearts after the passing of owner Bill Bidwell Wednesday, was held in check last Sunday afternoon in Glendale by Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks, as Seattle revailed 27-10 at State Farm Stadium. 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.

The Bengals took an early 3-0 lead thanks to a Chris Bullock field goal in the first quarter against Pittsburgh, then watched the Steelers score 27 points from the second quarter to the end of the contest unchallenged, losing 27-3 at Heinz Field last Monday night. Cincinnati trailed 10-3 at the half and were shut out the rest of the way in their prime time contest in the Keystone State. Although Cincinnati out-rushed Pittsburgh 73-66, Pittsburgh’s Mason Rudolph threw for 229 yards with a pair of TDs (Rudolph was not sacked or had an interception), while Andy Dalton threw for 171 yards, throwing an interception with eight sacks. Cincinnati was 4 of 13 on third down tries (the Bengals were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:14, while the Steelers, who picked up their first win, went 3 of 9 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:46.

Cincinnati leads the series 6-5 and the Bengals have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 274-271. Arizona won the last meeting with the Bengals, coming away 34-31 winners in the desert in 2015, while Cincinnati’s last win in the series came in 2011, along the shores of the Ohio River by a final of 23-16. Cincinnati’s favored by 3 in the Queen City and the over/under’s 47 1/2. You might want to take a pass on this one and watch that “Pawn Stars” marathon on History (there’s nothing funnier than seeing Rick put Chumlee in his place!) Someone’s going to win this contest. Bengals get their first win of the season, even though the Desert Angry Birds will make things closer than the 3.

Tampa Bay (2-2) at New Orleans (3-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of NFC South foes meet in the Big Easy as Tampa Bay travels to take on the New Orleans Saints in the great indoors. Both teams were winners in their contests last week.

Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday held the Los Angeles Rams in check as the visiting Buccaneers took care of the defending NFC champions 55-40, giving them their first loss of the season. 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.

New Orleans used four Will Lutz field goals to knock Dallas out of the ranks of the unbeatens last Sunday in the Big Easy, coming away 12-10 winners at the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Taking a 3-0 lead thanks to a 28-yard field goal by Brett Maher late in the first quarter, the Saints took a 6-3 lead with them to the break, using a pair of Lutz field goals in the second quarter. Dallas would take the lead back with 7:47 left in the third when Ezekiel Elliott scored from a yard out. Lutz would give the Saints the lead back and for keeps with a 26-yard field goal early in the fourth. New Orleans would then hold off a late Dallas rally in the closing seconds of the contest to take the win.

New Orleans out-rushed Dallas 117-45, with Elliott leading the Cowboys with 35 yards on 18 carries, while Saints RB Alvin Kamara led all rushers with 69 yards. Prescott threw for 223 yards with a sack, while Teddy Bridgewater (taking over for the injured Drew Brees) threw for 193 yards and was sacked five times (both did not throw a TD pass and both threw an interception). Dallas was 4 of 11 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:56. As for the Saints? They ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 36:04, going 6 for 14 on third down tries in the Big Easy.

New Orleans holds a 33-21 lead in the series over their NFC South rivals and have out-scored Tampa Bay 1,216-1,027. They split last year’s meetings, each taking wins in the other team’s facility.

The two rivals wasted little time, meeting in the season opener for both clubs in the Big Easy and Tampa Bay held off a late New Orleans rally to come away 48-40 winners at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. With Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, Tampa Bay led 31-24 at the intermission, then kept Brees and the Saints at bay in the second half to take the win. Tampa Bay outrushed New Orleans 112-43 and Fitzpatrick threw for 417 yards with four TDs, while Brees threw for 439 yards and three TDs (Brees was sacked once and neither QB threw an interception). Tampa Bay went 8 for 13 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 32:09, while New Orleans, keeping the ball for 27:51, went 4 for 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

New Orleans would get their revenge in the Sunshine State in week 14 as Brees and the Saints left Raymond James Stadium 28-14 winners. After trailing 14-3 at the break on the Florida west coast, the Saints would shutout Tampa Bay in the second half, scoring their final 18 points of the contest unchallenged. Once again, Tampa Bay outrushed New Orleans 105-100, with Saints RB Mark Ingram leading the way with 52 yards and a TD, while teammate Alvin Kamara chipped in with 51. Winston threw for 213 yards and a pair of TDS, while Brees threw for 201 yards with a TD (Brees was sacked once, Brees was sacked four times, each had an interception). New Orleans was 6 of 12 on third down (they were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:53, while the Buccaneers kept the pigskin for 28:07 and went 6 of 14 on third down tries in the Sunshine State.

In the season opener, New Orleans was favored by 9 1/2 but Tampa Bay won by 8. The good news? Both teams covered the 49 1/2 over/under with 88 points. In the week 14 contest in Tampa, New Orleans was favpred by 8 1/2 and covered with the win by 14. This time, both clubs missed the 57 1/2 over/under, tallying only 42 points.) New Orleans is favored by 3 1/2 in the Big Easy and the over/under’s 47. The Saints are trying to repeat as NFC South champs. As for the Buccaneers? They would love nothing more than to see that doesn’t happen. Tampa Bay may not cover the 3 1/2 but they pull off the upset in the Big Easy and take the win.

Minnesota (2-2) at New York Giants (2-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of 2-2 teams meet in the Meadowlands Sunday as Minnesota takes on the New York Giants at Met Life Stadium.

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

The Giants held Washington to a 21-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins late in the first half and took care of the Redskins 24-3 at Met Life Stadium in the Meadowlands. Big Blue led from start to finish in upstate New Jersey, leading 17-3 at the intermission and would nail Washington’s coffin shut when Jabril Peppers returned an interception 32 yards for a TD with 79 seconds left in the third quarter. New York outrushed Washington 164-55 and Dwayne Haskins, Jr., taking over for Case Keenum, threw for 107 yards with three interceptions and a pair of sacks, while Daniel Jones made his first home start for the Giants, throwing for 225 yards with a TD and a pair of interceptions. Washington went 2 of 11 on third down and held the ball for 23:51, while the Giants controlled the clock and kept the pigskin for 36:09, while going 8 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Minnesota leads the series 15-10, have outscored Big Blue 602-459 and won the last two meetings, including a 24-10 win in the Twin Cities in 2016, while the Giants’ last win over the Vikings came in the Meadowlands in 2013 by a final of 23-7. Minnesota’s favored by 5 1/2 in upstate New Jersey and the over/under’s 44. Right now, both teams are on the outside looking in as far as their respective divisions are concerned. Giants may not cover the 5 1/2 but they take the upset in the Meadowlands.

Chicago (3-1) at Oakland (2-2), 1 p.m. (6 p.m. in London) on FOX and DirecTV 714. The first London game of the 2019 season takes place in week five as Chicago and Oakland meet on the other side of the Atlantic at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Both teams enter the United Kingdom with wins under their belts.

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

Oakland held off a late Indianapolis rally in the Hoosier State last Sunday, coming away 31-24 winners at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Silver and Black led 21-10 at the break, then held off the Colts in the second half to take the road win. Oakland outrushed the Colts 188-81 and Derek Carr threw for 189 yards and a pair of TDs, while Colts QB Jacoby Brissett threw for 265 yards and three TDs and an interception (Carr was sacked once with no interceptions). Oakland was 5 of 12 on third down and held on to the ball for 33:41, while the Colts kept it for 26:19 and went 6 of 16 on third down (both teams were successful on fourth down; Oakland went 1 of 1, while the Colts were 3 of 3).

Including games played in Los Angeles when the Raiders played their home games at the Coliseum, the series is even at 7-7 and Da Bears have out-scored the Silver and Black 256-249. Chicago won their last meeting, a 27-20 final in the Windy City in 2015, while Oakland’s last win came on the West Coast in 2011 by a final of 25-20. Chicago’s favored by 5 1/2 on the other side of the Atlantic and the over/under’s 40 1/2. Chicago may not cover the 5 1/2 but Da Bears win on the other side of the Atlantic.

New York Jets (0-3) at Philadelphia (2-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. Looking to pick up their first win of the season, the New York Jets make the 96-mile, 91-minute trip up I-95 to face off against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in the City of Brotherly Love.

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!, coming off their bye week, were held by Tom Brady to a pair of second-half TDs at Foxboro as the Pats would take GangGreen to the woodshed 30-14 at Gillette Stadium. Brady and the Patriots led 20-0 at the intermission and never looked back in their AFC East opener. New England grounded the Jets’ rushing game, holding them to to a season-low 36 yards, while the Pats would rush for 68 and Brady threw for 306 yards wtih a pair of TDs and no sacks or interceptions, while Luke Falk, the third QB of the season for the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! threw for 98 yards with five sacks and an interception. New England went 6 of 15 on third down conversions in Foxboro and kept the ball for 35:14, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 0 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Philadelphia ended Green Bay’s hopes of an unbeaten season last Thursday night at Lambeau Field, as the Eagles held off Rodgers and the Packers 34-27. Philadelphia led 21-20 at the half, then held off a late Green Bay rally in the final 30o minutes of action in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst. The Eagles out-rushed Green Bay 176-77 and Rodgers threw for 422 yards and a pair of TDs (he was sacked once and threw an interception), while Carson Wentz threw for 160 yards and three TDs with no sacks or interceptions. Green Bay went 6 of 11 on third down at Lambeau (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:21, while the Eagles kept the pigskin for 27:39, going 5 of 9 on third down conversions.

They’ve played ten times and the Eagles have won all 10 meetings in the series, outscoring the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! and coming away 24-17 winners in the Meadowlands in 2015. Philadelphia’s favored by 13 1/2 in the City of Brotherly Love and the over/under’s 44. Granted, right now the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! are bad but not 13 1/2 bad. They’ll make this one interesting but the Eagles fly away with the win at home.

Baltimore (2-2) at Pittsburgh (1-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. They meet again. A pair of AFC North rivals meet in the Steel City as Pittsburgh and Baltimore meet at Heinz Field.

Cleveland took care of Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium last Sunday, taking a 10-7 halftime lead, then flooring the gas in the second half as they took care of the Ravens 40-25 in Charm City. Cleveland’s Nick Chubb ran amok in last Sunday’s game, accounting for 165 yards and three TDs as the Browns outrushed Baltimore 193-173 (Baltimore was led by Mark Ingram, who tallied 165) and Lamar Jackson threw for 247 yards and three TDs, although he was sacked four times and picked off twice, while Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield threw for 342 yards with a TD, sack and an interception. Baltimore went 4 of 10 on third down conversions along the shores of Lake Erie (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:43, while Cleveland ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 30:17, going 6 of 13 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Cincinnati took a 3-0 lead thanks to a Chris Bullock field goal in the first quarter against Pittsburgh, then watched as the Steelers scored their 27 points of the contest from the second quarter to the end of the contest unchallenged, losing 27-3 at Heinz Field last Monday night. Pittsburgh led 10-3 at the half and shut out the Bengals the rest of the way in their prime time contest in the Keystone State. While Cincinnati out-rushed Pittsburgh 73-66, Pittsburgh’s Mason Rudolph threw for 229 yards with a pair of TDs (Rudolph was not sacked or had an interception), while Andy Dalton threw for 171 yards, throwing an interception with eight sacks. Cincinnati was 4 of 13 on third down tries (the Bengals were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:14, while the Steelers, who picked up their first win, went 3 of 9 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:46.

The Steelers lead the series 25-21 and have out-scored the Ravens 931-903. Baltimore and Pittsburgh met twice last season, spliting the two meetings and each team winning in the other team’s facilty. Round one… week four in the Steel City on a Sunday night. Baltimore would score the first 14 points of the contest in the first before Pittsubrgh would even things up with two second quarter TDs, sending the two clubs tied at 14-14. The Ravens would go on to score the last 12 points of the contest unchallenged with four Jeff Tucker field goals to come away from Heinz Field 26-14 winners. The Steelers used a pair of Chris Boswell field goals and a TD pass from Ben Roethlisberger to WR Antonio Brown to tie the contest up at the half before they were shutout in the final 30 minutes of play.

Neither club breached the 100-yard barrier as Pittsburgh was held to a somewhat dismal 19 yards of rushing, while the Ravens won the ground game, tallying 96. Roethlisberger threw for 274 yards with a sack and an interception to go with the TD, while Joe Flacco threw for 363 yards with a pair of TDs and a pair of sacks (Flacco did not have an interception). Baltimore was 8 of 17 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and played keep-away with the ball, holding on to the pigskin for 35:03 to Pittsburgh’s 24:57 (the Steelers were 2 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down).

The Steelers didn’t have to wait very long to get their revenge at M&T Bank Stadium in week nine and they erased an early 3-0 deficit to take a 23-16 win in Charm City. Pittsburgh led 14-6 at the intermission and never looked back, even though the Ravens would make the contest a 7-point affair with 5:23 left to play when Tucker connected on his second field goal of the contest. James Conner accounted for 107 yards to lead all rushers as the Steelers outrushed Baltimore 113-61 and Roethlisberger threw for 270 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Conner, the other to Brown), while Flacco threw for 209 yards (both men were sacked twice and neither threw an interception). Pittsburgh improved on third down tries in the second meeting, going 10 of 16 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 36:29 while the Ravens kept the ball for 23:31 and went 4 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week four contest in the Steel City, the Steelers were favored by 3 and the Ravens covered, winning by 12. However, both clubs tallied only 40 points, falling short of the 48 1/2 over/under. Baltimore was favored by 3 in Charm City in the week nine rematch and the Steelers covered, winning by 7. Both teams missed the 47 over/under, tallying only 39 points. Baltimore may be the road team but the boys and girls in Vegas have them as 3 1/2 point favorites with the over/under at 44 1/2. Both numbers make sense. The Ravens share first place with the Browns in the AFC North, while the Steelers look to win the division without Ben Roethlisberger. Steelers cover the 3 1/2 in the Steel City and takes the win at Heinz Field.

Buffalo (3-1) at Tennessee (2-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of AFC rivals that met in the “Music City Miracle” meet in Nashville as Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans host the Buffalo Bills.

Buffalo watched New England keep themselves in the unbeaten column after they left Orchard Park with a 16-10 win last Sunday. New England led 13-3 at the half at New Era Stadium, then held off the Bills in the second half to take the road win. Buffalo did out-rush New England 135-74 with Bills RB Frank Gore leading the way with 109 yards, while Sony Michel led New England with 63 yards. Brady threw for 150 yards with no TDs or interceptions, while Josh Allen threw for 153 yards with three interceptions and four sacks. the Bills were a somewhat dismal 2 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:40, while the defending Super Bowl champs kept the pigskin for 27:20, going 5 of 18 on third downs.

Tennessee led Atlanta 24-7 at the half at Mercedes Benz Stadium and held the Falcons to a Matt Bryant field goal in the third quarter as they left Atlanta 24-10 winners in the Big Peach. Tennessee outrushed Atlanta 138-58 with Titans RB Derrick Henry leading the way with 100 yards on the ground. Matt Ryan threw for 397 yards but found himself being sacked five times, while Marcus Mariota threw for 227 yards and no sacks (Ryan and Mariota did not throw a TD pass or an interception). Atlanta was 5 of 14 on third down tries, 1 of 4 on fourth down and the Falcons actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:41, while the Titans went 6 of 13 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:19.

Including the contests that took place in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers and the Bills played their home games at War Memorial Stadium, Tennessee leads the series 27-16 and have outscored the Bills 936-828. They met last year along the shores of Lake Erie and the Bills circled their wagons to take the 13-12 win (Tennessee’s last win in the series came in 2012 in Orchard Park by a final of 35-34). Tennessee’s favored by 3 in the Music City and the over/under’s 38 1/2. Tennessee covers the 3 in Nashville and takes the win at home.

New England (4-0) at Washington (0-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. Tom Brady and the Patriots travel to Landover to face off against a Washington team that is in search of their first win.

The Patriots kept themselves in the unbeaten column after they left Buffalo with a 16-10 win over the Bills in upstate New York. New England led 13-3 at the half at New Era Stadium, then held off the Bills in the second half to take the road win. Buffalo did out-rush New England 135-74 with Bills RB Frank Gore leading the way with 109 yards, while Sony Michel led New England with 63 yards. Brady threw for 150 yards with no TDs or interceptions, while Josh Allen threw for 153 yards with three interceptions and four sacks. the Bills were a somewhat dismal 2 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:40, while the defending Super Bowl champs kept the pigskin for 27:20, going 5 of 18 on third downs.

Washington was held to a 21-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins late in the first half as the New York Giants took care of the Redskins 24-3 at Met Life Stadium in the Meadowlands. Washington trailed 17-3 at the intermission and could never get back on track after that, as their NFC East rivals would nail their coffin shut when Jabril Peppers returned an interception 32 yards for a TD with 79 seconds left in the third quarter. New York outrushed Washington 164-55 and Dwayne Haskins, Jr., taking over for Case Keenum, threw for 107 yards with three interceptions and a pair of sacks, while Daniel Jones made his first home start for the Giants, throwing for 225 yards with a TD and a pair of interceptions. Washington went 2 of 11 on third down and held the ball for 23:51, while the Giants controlled the clock and kept the pigskin for 36:09, while going 8 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

While Washington leads the series 6-4, New England has outscored the Redskins (including games that were played at Schafer Stadium and RFK Stadium) 232-205 and the Patriots have won the last three meetings, including a 20-17 win in Foxboro in 2015, while Washington’s last win came in Landover in 2003 by a final of 20-17. New England’s favored by 15 1/2 (you read that right, 15 1/2) and the over/under is 43. The 43 makes a ton of sense. The 15 1/2 doesn’t. Granted, washington has played less than stellar football of late but they’re not 15 1/2 points bad. Still, Washington fans will be saying “Hell, it’s the Redskins” this week. New England wins this one but expect Washington to make it closer than 15 1/2.

Denver (0-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (2-2), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. Forget the records. These two clubs aren’t exactly crazy about each other. Granted, it’s not the same as Kansas City-Oakland but you get the picture. Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers host the Denver Broncos in a late afternoon contest on the West Coast.

Denver, searching for their first win of the season, dropped their second last-second contest at home, falling to Gardner Minshew and the Jacksonville Jaguars 26-24 at Empower Field at Mile High. Denver led 17-6 at the half before Jacksonville took a 20-17 lead with them into the final 15 minutes of action in the Rocky Mountains. Josh Lambo would give the Jaguars a 23-17 lead with 2:54 left in the contest before Denver went back to work and took the lead back with 92 seconds left when Joe Flacco and WR Courtland Sutton connected on an 8-yard TD toss. Denver fans, thinking that they had their first win of the year under their belts, then watched with horror as the Jaguars would get the ball back with the time remaining as Jacksonville would use an 8-play, 60-yard drive that ended when Lambo connected on a 33-yard field goal as time expired.

Jacksonville out-rushed Denver 269-68, with Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette rushing for 225 yards to lead all rushers. Minshew threw for 213 yards and a pair of TDs, while Flacco threw for 303 yards and three TDs (two to Sutton; Minshew was sacked five times, Flacco threw an interception). Jacksonville went 4 of 14 on third down tries, 1 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 39:12 (including the final 92 seconds of regulation), while the Broncos, who would hold on to the pigskin for 20:48, went 4 of 11 on third down.

The Chargers took control of things in Miami, giving the Dolphins their fourth loss in a row, coming out of Hard Rock Stadium 30-10 winners in the Sunshine State. Taking a 17-10 lead with them to the locker room at halftime, the Chargers would take control of things in the second half, scoring their last 13 points of the contest unchallenged. Neither club breached the 100-yard rushing barrier but the Chargers did manage to outurush Miami 79-72 and Rivers threw for 310 yards with a pair of TDs, despite being sacked once, while Miami’s Josh Rosen threw for 180 yards with a TD but was sacked four times and picked off once. The Chargers were 8 of 13 on third down and held on to the ball for 37:36, while the Dolphins kept the ball for 22:24, going 5 of 10 on third down (both teams were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

While Denver holds a 65-52-1 lead in the series (which includes contests that took place at old Mile High Stadium and in Los Angeles), the Chargers have out-scored Denver 2,540-2,503. The two clubs took wins on the other team’s field last year to split the series.

The two AFC/AFL foes met at StubHub Center in week 11 and the Chargers watched a 2-point lead late in the contest get away from them as Brian McManus booted a 34-yard field goal as time expired, allowing Denver to take a 23-22 win on the road. Los Angeles led 13-7 at the break and would lead by as much as five with 2:24 left in the third before the Broncos would take the lead for the first time when Philip Lindsey (79 yards, two TDs) scored from a yard out with 12:17 left in the contest. Michael Badgley gave the Bolts the lead back with a 30-yard field goal with 6:47 left in regulation. After the teams traded possessions, the Broncos would get the ball back with 1:51 left in the contest and Denver would use all of that time, using a 7-play, 76-yard drive and Denver would send Chargers fans home sad, connecting on the 34-yarder as the clock struck :00.
Denver out-rushed Los Angeles 108-95 and Case Keenum threw for 205 yards without a TD, sack or interception, while Rivers threw for 401 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Antonio Gates) with three sacks and a pair of interceptions. Denver went 3 of 10 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 22:11 (including the final 1:51 seconds), while the Chargers were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 37:49, going 9 for 15 on third down conversions.

Los Angeles would get their revenge in the Mile High City in the season finale, clinching a playoff spot and coming away 23-9 winners at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. The Bolts led 7-3 at the break after the teams played a scoreless first quarter and never looked back, even getting a defensive two point conversion when Casey Hayward broke up a Denver 2-point try with 10:10 left in the contest (Keenum connected on a 20-yard TD toss to Andy Janovich to pull the Broncos to within five). Los Angeles out-rushed Denver 116-82 and Keenum threw for 292 yards and the TD (he was sacked once and picked off once), while Rivers threw for 176 yards and a TD with an interception (Rivers was not sacked). Los Angeles went 4 of 11 on third down conversions in the Mile High City and kept the ball for 28:12, while the Broncos ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 31:48, going 4 of 12 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

In the week 11 contest, the Chargers were favored by 7 but the Broncos would wind up winning by only one and both teams barely missed the 47 over/under by 2 points. The Chargers covered the 6 1/2-point spread in the season finale, winning by 16 but as was the case in the first meeting, both clubs missed the over/under of 41 1/2, tallying only 30 points. The Chargers are favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 44 1/2. The Chargers look to keep close to first-place Kansas City in the AFC West, while the Broncos are looking for their first win. Denver will get that first win, just not in Los Angeles. Chargers cover the 6 1/2 and takes the win at home in Cali.

Green Bay (3-1) at Dallas (3-1), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. Bratwurst vs. Brisket. A pair of NFC rivals meet in the Lone Star State as Dallas and Dak Prescott host Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium in a late-afternoon contest in Arlington. Both clubs took their first loss of the season last week.

Philadelphia ended Green Bay’s hopes of an unbeaten season last Thursday night at Lambeau Field, as the Eagles held off Rodgers and the Packers 34-27. Philadelphia led 21-20 at the half, then held off a late Green Bay rally in the final 30o minutes of action in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst. The Eagles out-rushed Green Bay 176-77 and Rodgers threw for 422 yards and a pair of TDs (he was sacked once and threw an interception), while Carson Wentz threw for 160 yards and three TDs with no sacks or interceptions. Green Bay went 6 of 11 on third down at Lambeau (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:21, while the Eagles kept the pigskin for 27:39, going 5 of 9 on third down conversions.

New Orleans used four Will Lutz field goals to knock Dallas out of the ranks of the unbeatens last Sunday in the Big Easy, coming away 12-10 winners at the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Taking a 3-0 lead thanks to a 28-yard field goal by Brett Maher late in the first quarter, the Saints took a 6-3 lead with them to the break, using a pair of Lutz field goals in the second quarter. Dallas would take the lead back with 7:47 left in the third when Ezekiel Elliott scored from a yard out. Lutz would give the Saints the lead back and for keeps with a 26-yard field goal early in the fourth. New Orleans would then hold off a late Dallas rally in the closing seconds of the contest to take the win.

New Orleans out-rushed Dallas 117-45, with Elliott leading the Cowboys with 35 yards on 18 carries, while Saints RB Alvin Kamara led all rushers with 69 yards. Prescott threw for 223 yards with a sack, while Teddy Bridgewater (taking over for the injured Drew Brees) threw for 193 yards and was sacked five times (both did not throw a TD pass and both threw an interception). Dallas was 4 of 11 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:56. As for the Saints? They ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 36:04, going 6 for 14 on third down tries in the Big Easy.

Including games played in Milwaukee, at the Cotton Bowl and Texas Stadium, the Packers lead the series 15-13, have out-scored Dallas 655-606 and won their last meeting, a 35-31 win in 2017 in the Lone Star State, while Dallas’ last win came in 2016 in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst by a final of 30-16 at Lambeau. Dallas is favored by 3 1/2 in the late afternoon affair and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Since both teams are leading their respective divisions and both have a long history with each other, it’s safe to say 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 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?”)

Both teams are looking to right their respective ships and this one could be one of the better games Sunday afternoon. Green Bay takes care of business in the Lone Star State and takes the win, even though Dallas will look to make things closer than 3 1/2.

Indianapolis (2-2) at Kansas City (4-0), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Mahomes vs. Brissett. The future of NFL QBs presents itself as the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs host the Indianapolis Colts at Arrowhead.

A late Indianapolis rally in the Hoosier State against Oakland last Sunday fell short, as the Raiders wound up coming away 31-24 winners at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Silver and Black led 21-10 at the break, then held off the Colts in the second half to take the road win. Oakland outrushed the Colts 188-81 and Derek Carr threw for 189 yards and a pair of TDs, while Colts QB Jacoby Brissett threw for 265 yards and three TDs and an interception (Carr was sacked once with no interceptions). Oakland was 5 of 12 on third down and held on to the ball for 33:41, while the Colts kept it for 26:19 and went 6 of 16 on third down (both teams were successful on fourth down; Oakland went 1 of 1, while the Colts were 3 of 3).

Kansas City broke a 13-13 tie in Detroit, then rallied to take a 34-30 win over the Lions at Ford Field last Sunday afternoon. The Chiefs trailed Matthew Stafford and the Lions 30-27 with 20 seconds left in the contest when RB Darien Williams scored from a yard away to take the lead for the first time and for keeps. Kansas City would then go on to hold off a late Detroit rally that would have given them their first loss of the 2019 season. Detroit outrushed Kansas City 186-123 with Lions RB Kerryon Johnson leading the way with 125 yards. Stafford threw for 291 yards with three TDs (two of them to Kenny Golladay) and four sacks, while Patrick Mahomes threw for 315 yards with no TDs for the first time in his career and no sacks (neither Mahomes or Stafford threw an interception). Kansas City went 4 of 9 on third down (they were perfect in their only fourth down try) and kept the ball for 26:06, while the Lions actually ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 33:54, going 5 ofi 13 on third down.

Thew Colts lead the series 12-9 (including contests played in Baltimore) and have out-scored the Chiefs 434-433. Their last regular-season meeting was in 2016 in the Hoosier State and the Chiefs prevailed 30-14 (the Colts’ last win came at Arrowhead in 2013 by a final of 23-7). They did meet in last year’s post-season, in the AFC Divisional Playoffs at Arrowhead and the Chiefs advanced with a 31-13 win in the Show-Me State.

Kansas City led 24-7 at the break in the 32-degree air (wind chill? 22) and were never really threatened in the contest. The Chiefs rushed for 180 yards in the contest and held the Colts to 87 on the ground (Kansas City’s Damien Williams led all rushers with 129 yards and a TD), while Mahomes threw for 278 yards and had a rushing TD of his own (Mahomes was sacked four times but did not have an interception) and Andrew Luck, who would play his last professional football game, threw for 203 yards with a TD toss to T.Y. Hilton (Luck was sacked three times but did not throw an interception). The Colts were a dismal 0 of 9 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 20:11, while the Chiefs ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:49, going 4 of 14 on third down, 3 of 4 on fourth down.

Kansas City covered the 6-point spread in the AFC Divisional playoff but the 57 over/under stayed intact as both teams merged to score 44 points at Arrowhead. In the Sunday night contest in the Show-Me State, the Chiefs are favored by 10 1/2 and the over/under’s 56 1/2. Both teams can put up points, which means that the 10 1/2 is a little on the steep side. On the other hand, the 56 1/2 makes a lot of sense. Everything’s up to date in Kansas City and you might want to tape “God Friended Me” and “Madame Secretary” this week. Colts make it close but the Chiefs will remain unbeaten.

Cleveland (2-2) at San Francisco (3-0), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week five ends in Wine Country as a pair of teams that no one thought would be in first place in their divisions meet at Levis Stadium. San Francisco, in first place in the NFC West, host the Cleveland Browns, who are on top in the AFC North. Cleveland took a huge road win last week, while the 49ers are coming back to action from their bye week.

Cleveland took a 10-7 halftime lead against AFC North rival Baltimore last Sunday, then floored the gas in the second half as they took care of the Ravens 40-25 in Charm City. Cleveland’s Nick Chubb ran amok in last Sunday’s game, accounting for 165 yards and three TDs as the Browns outrushed Baltimore 193-173 (Baltimore was led by Mark Ingram, who tallied 165) and Lamar Jackson threw for 247 yards and three TDs, although he was sacked four times and picked off twice, while Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield threw for 342 yards with a TD, sack and an interception. Baltimore went 4 of 10 on third down conversions along the shores of Lake Erie (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:43, while Cleveland ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 30:17, going 6 of 13 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

San Francisco comes back from their bye week taking a 24-20 win over the Steelers two weeks ago on the West Coqst. Pittsburgh let a 6-3 lead at the intermission at San Francisco get away from them as the 49ers with WR Dante Pettis and QB Jimmy Garoppolo connected on a 5-yard TD toss with 75 seconds left in their contest at Levis’ Stadium. Chris Boswell put the Steelers on the board with a pair of first quarter field goals before San Francisco’s Robbie Gould narrowed the gap to three in the second. The Steelers would lead 20-17 late in the contest before San Francisco went on a 7-play, 24-yard drive that used 4:14 of clock and ended with Pettis and Garoppolo connecting on the game-winning score.

San Francisco out-rushed Pittsburgh 168-79 and rookie QB Mason Rudolph, taking over for the injured Ben Roethlisberger, threw for 174 yards and a pair of TDs (one to WR JuJu Smith-Schuster) and was sacked twice with an interception, while Garoppolo threw for 277 yards and the game-winning TD, adding a sack and a pair of interceptions to his tally. Pittsburgh turned the ball over twice (they forced five San Francisco turnovers) and went 3 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 23:43, while the 49ers held on to the pig skin for 36:17, going 6 for 11 on third down tries.

Including games played in Cleveland before the Browns left for Baltimore (and returned to Cleveland) and contests that were played at Keezar Stadium and Candlestick Park on the West Coast, the Browns lead the series 12-7, outscoring the 49ers 386-328. Cleveland won the last meeting with the 49ers, taking a 24-10 victory in 2015 along the shores of Lake Erie, while San Francisco’s last win came at Candlestick Park in 2011 by a final of 20-10.

The Browns are 1-9 in Monday night contests, with their last appearance coming in 2008 (loss) and their last win coming in 2003. San Francisco’s 14-15 on Monday night, their last appearance was last year (loss) and their last win came in 2013. The 49ers are favored by 3 1/2 in prime time and the over/under’s 46 1/2. Both numbers are reasonable and both teams are actually playing some really good football right now, so you might want to tape “Bull” this week. San Francisco prevails on Monday and takes the win, even though Cleveland will make things closer than the 3 1/2.

Three teams remain left in the ranks of the unbeatens, two of them (New England and Kansas City) won on the road and the third team (San Francisco) had a bye week. Green Bay, the Los Angeles Rams and Dallas were knocked out of the ranks of the unbeatens, while Miami, Denver and Washington look for their first wins. And it’s tea, crumpets and American football on the other side of the Atlantic as Da Bears and Oakland travel to London.

Welcome to week five of the 2019 NFL season. Four weeks down. 13 to go. There’s still time for those teams that are struggling to get their ducks in a row. After all, the season is a marathon, not a sprint.

QUARTERBACKS NOT ONLY GETTING YOUNGER, THEY’RE ALSO WINNING: Youth is being served! Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph earned his first NFL win as a starter on Monday. In fact, 11 of the 15 winning clubs this past week had a starting field general who has yet to see his 27th birthday. The Steelers’ victory marked the 39th win by a starting quarterback age 26-or-younger this season.

The most wins by quarterbacks under age 26-or-younger, through four weeks of play, in NFL history:

YEAR – WINS
2019 – 39
1987 – 31
1986 – 30
2013 – 28
2008 – 27

Rudolph joined Carolina’s Kyle Allen, New Orleans’ Teddy Bridgewater, the New York Giants’ Daniel Jones, Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota, Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield, Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew, Chicago’s Mitchell Trubisky, Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz and Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston as quarterbacks age 26-or-younger to win last week.

This week, at least four games match up youthful quarterbacks. Minshew’s Jaguars travel to Carolina to play Allen, Winston and the Buccaneers are at New Orleans to play Bridgewater and one of the New York Jets’ young starters, either Sam Darnold or Luke Falk, will be in Philadelphia to meet Carson Wentz and Rudolph’s Steelers host Baltimore and Lamar Jackson.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK FOUR: All 13 completed games in Week 4 featured at least one starting quarterback age 26 or younger.

With two games remaining, a total of 50 games have featured at least one starting quarterback age 26 or younger in 2019, surpassing the 1987 season (48) for the most such games through four weeks of a season in NFL history.

New England defeated Buffalo 16-10, in Week 4. New England joins the 2012 Chicago Bears as the only teams since 2000 with at least 15 sacks (18) and 10 interceptions (10) in their first four games of a season.

New England defensive back J.C. Jackson had two interceptions and a blocked punt in the victory. Jackson became the first player since the New York Jets’ Erik McMillan (Week 1, 1989) with at least two interceptions and a blocked punt in a single game. Additionally, Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty recorded an interception in the win and is the first player in Patriots franchise history and the first in the NFL since Minnesota’s Brian Russell in 2003 to record an interception in each of his team’s first four games of a season.

Buffalo running back Frank Gore rushed for 109 yards in the loss. Gore, who now has 15,021 career rushing yards, became the fourth player in league annals with at least 15,000 career rushing yards, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith (18,355), Walter Payton (16,726) and Barry Sanders (15,269).

Tampa Bay linebacker Shaquil Barrett had a sack, forced fumble and interception in the Buccaneers’ 55-40 win over the Los Angeles Rams. Barrett has nine sacks on the season and tied Mark Gastineau (1984), Kabeer Gbacia-Biamila (2001) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Kevin Greene (1998) for the most sacks through their team’s first four games of a season since 1982 when the individual sack became an official statistic.

Additionally, Tampa Bay wide receiver Chris Godwin had 12 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns and Los Angeles Rams wide receiver ROBERT WOODS had 13 catches for 164 yards.

Including Cleveland wide receiver Jarvis Landry’s Week 4 performance (8 catches for 167 yards), there have now been 13 150-yard receiving performances in the NFL this season, surpassing the 2013 season (12) for the most 150-yard receiving performances through four weeks of a season in NFL history.

Carolina quarterback Kyle Allen completed 24 of 34 passes for 232 yards and zero interceptions in the Panthers’ 16-10 win at Houston. Allen joins Carson Wentz (2016) as the only quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era to go 3-0 with zero interceptions in their first three career starts.

Carolina running back Christian McCaffreyY registered 179 scrimmage yards (93 rushing, 86 receiving) and a rushing touchdown n the win. McCaffrey, who had 209 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns in Week 1 and 188 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in Week 3, joins Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown (1963) as the only players in league annals with three games of at least 175 scrimmage yards and one touchdown in their team’s first four games of a season.

Additionally, McCaffrey caught 10 passes in the win, his sixth career game with at least 10 receptions, tying Larry Centers and Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDanian Tomlinson for the most career games with at least 10 receptions by a running back in NFL history.

Chargers running back Austin Ekeler registered 122 scrimmage yards (62 receiving, 60 rushing) and two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) in Los Angeles’ 30-10 win at Miami. Ekeler – who had 154 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns in Week 1 and 133 scrimmage yards and one touchdown in Week 2 – joins Priest Holmes (2002 and 2003) as the only undrafted running backs in the common draft era to have at least 100 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in three of his team’s first four games of a season.

Cleveland running back Nick Chubb rushed for 165 yards and three touchdowns, including an 88-yard touchdown run, in the Browns’ 40-25 win over Baltimore. Chubb – who had a 92-yard touchdown run in Week 10 of the 2018 season – joins Bob Hoernschmeyer (two touchdown runs from 1946-47) and Chris Johnson (three from 2008-09) as the only players in league annals with at least two touchdown runs of 85 yards or more in their first two seasons.

Oakland tight end Darren Waller had seven catches for 53 yards in the Raiders’ 31-24 win at Indianapolis. Waller, who has 33 receptions on the season, tied Antonio Gates (33 in 2007) for the most receptions by a tight end through his team’s first four games of a season in NFL history.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had 5 catches for 47 yards in the Cardinals’ Week 4 loss to Seattle.

Fitzgerald, who has 1,326 career receptions, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez (1,325 receptions) for the second-most receptions in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (1,549) has more.

Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones had four catches for 52 yards in his 115th career game in the Falcons’ Week 4 loss against Tennessee. Jones, who now has 11,048 career receiving yards, surpassed Calvin Johnson (127 games) to become the fastest player in NFL history to reach 11,000 career receiving yards.

BIG GAMES ON TAP: Two weeks can mean a night-and-day difference in the National Football League.

Exhibit A is the AFC North, where Cleveland and Pittsburgh two weeks ago were near the bottom looking up. This week, the Browns are in first place and the Steelers are just a game out with a prime opportunity to gain important ground at home against Baltimore.

Like the Browns and Steelers, San Francisco and Green Bay didn’t qualify for the 2018 playoffs. However, each of those NFC teams begin Week 5 in first place preparing for a division leader on the opposite sideline. Cleveland is one of 14 teams standing at either 2-2 or 2-1-1 entering Week 5

The 49ers (3-0), off to their best start in 21 years, return from an early bye to host the Browns (2-2) on Monday Night Football. San Francisco with a win can achieve its first 4-0 record since Pro Football Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Jerry Rice led their club to a 10-0 start in 1990.

Also looming large on the Week 5 docket is a clash between the Packers (3-1) and the leaders of the NFC East, Dallas (3-1), at AT&T Stadium.

The captain has turned on the fasten-seatbelt sign. The NFL enters October with a lot left to be determined in an already exciting 100th season. Please return your trays to the upright position.

ORIGINAL TEAMS MEET IN LONDON: The 2019 London series kicks off on Sunday, when an original NFL franchise, Chicago, faces an original AFL franchise, Oakland.

That contest marks the first NFL game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The new facility will become the 187th venue to host a regular-season or postseason game in the 100 years of the National Football League.

This week marks the Raiders’ third appearance as a regular-season home team in London. It’s the fourth straight season and the fifth time in six years that the Raiders have hosted a regular-season game internationally, having played at Wembley Stadium in 2014 and 2018 as well as games at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca in 2016 and 2017.

The Bears also have played in the United Kingdom twice before, both at Wembley Stadium (preseason in 1986 and regular season in 2011).

The NFL and Tottenham Hotspur have an agreement for a minimum of two games per year to be played through 2028. The state-of-the-art stadium features a retractable-grass field with an artificial surface underneath that will be used for NFL games. It also has customized NFL features, such as purpose-built locker rooms, medical and media facilities and a dedicated entrance.

By the end of the 2019 season, the NFL will have played 28 regular-season games in London, with 31 of 32 teams having participated. The Green Bay Packers are the only team that has yet to play there.

INTERNATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE: Since 2007, when the NFL played its first regular-season game in the United Kingdom, the league has been remarkably pleased with the passion and knowledge of the UK fans as well as the resulting growth in the NFL’s international popularity. For the teams, traveling to London is a unique road trip, allowing the coaches and players to spend more time together than they would for a domestic trip. And when those teams return from either London or Mexico City with a win, those wins have proven significant.

The last nine teams that have won an international game have earned playoff berths later that season:

TEAM – YEAR (RESULT at LOCATION; SEASON RESULT)
Philadelphia – 2018 (Defeated Jacksonville 24-18 at Wembley Stadium, United Kingdom; Advanced to NFC Divisional playoffs)
Los Angeles Chargers – 2018 (Defeated Tennessee 20-19 at Wembley Stadium, United Kingdom; Advanced to AFC Divisional playoffs
Seattle – 2018 (Defeated Oakland 27-3 at Wembley Stadium, United Kingdom; Advanced to NFC Wild Card playoffs)
New England – 2017 (Defeated Oakland 33-8 at Estadio Azteca, Mexico; Advanced to Super Bowl LII)
Minnesota – 2017 (Defeated Cleveland, 33-16 at Twickenham Stadium, United Kingdom; Advanced to NFC Championship)
Los Angeles Rams – 2017 (Defeated Arizona, 33-0 at Twickenham Stadium, United Kingdom; Advanced to NFC Wild Card playoffs)
New Orleans – 2017 (Defeated Miami 20-0 at Wembley Stadium, United Kingdom; Advanced to NFC Divisional playoffs)
Jacksonville – 2017 (Defeated Baltimore, 44-7 at Wembley Stadium, UK; Advanced to AFC Championship)
Oakland – 2016 (Defeated Houston, 27-20 at Estadio Azteca, Mexico; Advanced to AFC Wild Card playoffs)

NO SUCH THING AS A SAFE LEAD: Three teams, all of which were on the road, erased deficits of at least 10 points last week to register important wins. Both Philadelphia and Kansas City came back from 10 down to win gritty games at Green Bay and Detroit, respectively. Meanwhile, Jacksonville, behind rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew, climbed over a 17-3 obstacle at Denver to win a thriller, 26-24.

Through four weeks, five games have featured a team coming back to win or tie after trailing by 10-or-more points. Since the 1970 merger, only the 2011 (9), 1979 (8) and 2018 (7) seasons have had more such games through the first four weeks.

Also through four weeks this season, three games have featured a team coming back to win or tie after trailing by 17-or-more points. Since the 1970 merger, only the 2011 (6), 1999 (4) and 2014 (4) seasons have had more such games through the first four weeks.

TURNOVERS AT RECORD LOWS: Talk about ball security! Tennessee has committed one turnover, fewest in the NFL through four weeks. One of the more interesting aspects of the NFL’s current era that separates it from previous periods is that teams are turning over the ball less frequently. The amount of interceptions and fumbles lost has decreased dramatically in recent years. In each of the last three seasons (2017-19), the NFL through four weeks of play has reached some of its lowest marks in the turnover category since the 1970 AFL-NFL league merger.

The fewest turnovers through four weeks, 1970-present:

YEAR – TURNOVERS
2017 – 160
2014 – 176
2019 – 178
2018 – 178
2008 – 183
2016 – 185

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made . The NFL has designated the Bills-Titans game at 1 p.m. on CBS as the NFL100 Game of the Week to remember the Music City Miracle during the 1999 playoffs. On January 8, 2000, in Nashville, Rob Johnson and the Bills climbed out of a 12-0 hole in the second half, on the strength of two Antowain Smith rushing touchdowns. After Steve McNair led a go-ahead field-goal drive with 1 minute, 48 seconds, on the fourth-quarter clock, giving the Titans a 15-13 advantage, Johnson answered. Having lost his shoe with no time to put it back on his foot, Johnson completed a sideline pass to Peerless Price, who stopped the clock at the Titans’ 24-yard line. With 16 seconds left, Steve Christie’s 41-yard kick put Buffalo on top, 16-15. Then, it happened. … The brainchild of Titans special-teams coordinator Alan Lowry, “Home Run Throwback” was executed several times in practice after Lowry first saw it at a 1981 Southern Methodist-Texas Tech game. The key cog in the play, Frank Wycheck, had thrown a 61-yard touchdown three weeks earlier at Atlanta; offensive coordinator Les Steckel installed that play after watching Wycheck killing time at practice by throwing the ball with Pro Football Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews … Christie’s pooch kickoff went to Lorenzo Neal, who handed off to a trailing Wycheck, drawing most of the Bills’ kick coverage. Wycheck then lateraled across the field to Kevin Dyson, who returned the ball 70 yards for the game-winning touchdown as Tennessee prevailed, 22-16, en route to a berth in Super Bowl XXXIV.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 5

BRADY GOES FOR HISTORY: New England quarterback Tom Brady ranks fourth in NFL history with 71,575 passing yards during his 20-year NFL career.

With 366 passing yards on Sunday at Washington, Brady would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (71,838) and Peyton Manning (71,940) for the second-most career passing yards in NFL history.

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

PLAYER – TEAM(S)(PASSING YARDS)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (74,845)*
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (71,940)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (71,838) HOF
Tom Brady – New England (71,575)*
*Active

PAT & MATT’S FAST STARTS: Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES, who leads the league with 1,510 passing yards and Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan, who leads the NFC with 1,325 passing yards, have passed for at least 300 yards in each of their team’s first four games this season.

If Mahomes or Ryan pass for at least 300 yards on Sunday, they would join Pro Football Hall of Famers Kurt Warner (6 in 2000) and Steve Young (6 in 1998), as well as Peyton Manning (5 in 2009 and 2013) as the only players in NFL history to pass for at least 300 yards in each of their team’s first five games of a season.

The players with at least 300 passing yards in each of their team’s first five games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES WITH 300+ PASSING YARDS TO BEGIN SEASON)
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (2000 – 6) HOF
Steve Young, San Francisco (1998 – 6) HOF
Peyton Manning, Denver (2013 – 5)#
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (2009 – 5)#
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (2019 – 4)*
Matt Ryan, ATLANTA (2019 – 4)*
*Active streak
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player

RUDOLPH DASHES TOWARD HISTORY: Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph completed 24 of 28 pass attempts (85.7 percent) for 229 yards with two touchdowns and a 124.6 passer rating in Week 4 to earn his first career victory as a starter. It also marked Rudolph’s third consecutive game with two touchdown passes.

With at least two touchdown passes on Sunday vs. Baltimore, Rudolph would become the third player in NFL history to pass for at least two touchdowns in each of his first four career games.

The players with at least two passing touchdowns in each of their first four career games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES WITH 2+ TD PASSES TO BEGIN CAREER)
Jay Cutler, Denver (2006 – 4)
Mark Rypien, Washington (1988 – 4)
Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh (2019 – 3)*
*Active streak

NOT YOUR AVERAGE QB: Baltimore quarterback LAMAR JACKSON, who is tied for the league lead with 10 touchdown passes, also leads all quarterbacks with 238 rushing yards this season. Including his 695 rushing yards – the most among quarterbacks in 2018 – Jackson now has 933 career rushing yards in 20 career games.

With 67 rushing yards in his 21st career game on Sunday at Pittsburgh, Jackson would tie Robert Griffin III (21 games) as the fastest quarterback to reach 1,000 career rushing yards in NFL history.

The quarterbacks to reach 1,000 career rushing yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES TO REACH 1,000 RUSH YARDS)
Robert Griffin III, Washington (21)
Michael Vick, ATLANTA (22)
Cam Newton, Carolina (23)
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (20)*
*Has 933 rush yards entering Sunday

SACK BARRETT: Tampa Bay linebacker Shaquil Barrett leads the NFL with nine sacks through four weeks in 2019. Barrett, who notched one sack in Week 1, three sacks in Week 2 and four sacks in Week 3, added yet another sack to his total, as well as an interception and a forced fumble, in the Buccaneers’ Week 4 win at the Los Angeles Rams.

With one sack on Sunday at New Orleans, Barrett would join Pro Football Hall of Famer Kevin Greene (1998) as the only players to reach 10 sacks in their team’s first five games of a season since 1982 when the individual sack became an official statistic.

THE SCARLET KNIGHT RISES: New England defensive back Devin McCourty leads the NFL with four interceptions this season, having recorded one interception in each of the Patriots’ first four games of 2019.

With an interception on Sunday at Washington, McCourty would become the third player in the Super Bowl era to record at least one interception in his each of his team’s first five games of a season.

The players with an interception in each of their team’s first five games of a season in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, GAMES WITH INTERCEPTION TO BEGIN SEASON)
Brian Russell, Minnesota (2003 – 6)
Lemar Parrish, Washington (1979 – 5)
Devin McCourty, New England (2019 – 4)*
*Active streak

Week five got underway in the Pacific Northwest as Seattle held off a late rally against their NFC West rivals from Los Angeles in the Pacific Northwest 30-29 Thursday night and ends in Santa Clara as San Francsico hosts the Cleveland Browns in a matchup of two first-place teams. The New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers return from their week off and this time, it’s Detroit and Miami that have a bye. Week five is also the start of games in London as Chicago and Oakland meet on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. As for last week? Not as great as we hoped but 7-8 is a lot better than 0-15. For the year, 34-33. There’s a lot of football left before us. With that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 5.

ATLANTA (1-3) at Houston (2-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. The struggling Atlanta Falcons make their way to the Lone Star State as J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans play host Sunday afternoon at NRG Stadium. Both clubs took home losses in last week’s action.

Atlanta trailed Tennessee 24-7 at the half at Mercedes Benz Stadium and could never get on track as they fell to the Titans 24-10 in the Big Peach. Tennessee outrushed Atlanta 138-58 with Titans RB Derrick Henry leading the way with 100 yards on the ground. Ryan threw for 397 yards but found himself being sacked five times, while Marcus Mariota threw for 227 yards and no sacks (Ryan and Mariota did not throw a TD pass or an interception). Atlanta was 5 of 14 on third down tries, 1 of 4 on fourth down and the Falcons actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:41, while the Titans went 6 of 13 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:19.

Houston dropped to 2-2 after their 16-10 loss to Carolina and backup QB Kyle Allen at NRG Stadium. The Panthers led 10-3 at the intermission, then held off a late Houston rally in the second half to season the win as Carolina would use a pair of Jeff Slye field goals in the final 15 minutes of the contest. Houston did manage to out-rush Carolina 136-94 and Allen threw for 232 yards with three sacks, while Texans QB DeSean Watson threw for 160 yards with six sacks (neither threw a TD pass or interception). Carolina was 7 of 14 on third down tries in the Lone Star State and kept the ball for 30:38, while the Texans kept the ball for 29:22 and went 4 for 11 on third down tries.

They’ve met four times and both teams have two wins under their belts in the series. Atlanta has outscored 97-71 and the Falcons were 48-21 winners in 2015 in the Big Peach, while Houston’s last win in the series came in 2011 in Houston by a final of 17-10. Houston’s favored by 5 with the over/under at 48 1/2. Both teams look to restore some order in their respective divisions. Atlanta takes this one but expect Houston to make things closer than the 5.

Jacksonville (2-2) at Carolina (2-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of 2-2 teams meet in the Tar Heel State as Carolina hosts Jacksonville at Bank of America Stadium. Both teams took wins on the road in last week’s action.

Jacksonville sent Denver to their second last-second loss of the 2019 season, coming away with a 26-24 win over the Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Jacksonville trailed 17-6 at the half, then took a 20-17 lead with them into the final 15 minutes of action in the Rocky Mountains. Josh Lambo would give the Jaguars a 23-17 lead with 2:54 left in the contest before Denver went back to work and took the lead back with 92 seconds left when Joe Flacco and WR Courtland Sutton connected on an 8-yard TD toss. Denver fans, thinking that they had their first win of the year under their belts, then watched with horror as the Jaguars would get the ball back with the time remaining as Jacksonville would use an 8-play, 60-yard drive that ended when Lambo connected on a 33-yard field goal as time expired.

Jacksonville easily out-rushed Denver 269-68, with Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette rushing for 225 yards to lead all rushers. Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew threw for 213 yards and a pair of TDs, while Flacco threw for 303 yards and three TDs (two to Sutton; Minshew was sacked five times, Flacco threw an interception). Jacksonville went 4 of 14 on third down tries, 1 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 39:12 (including the final 92 seconds of regulation), while the Broncos, who would hold on to the pigskin for 20:48, went 4 of 11 on third down.

The Cam Newton-less Panthers improved to 2-2 after Carolina came away from Houston with a 16-10 win with backup QB Kyle Allen at NRG Stadium. Carolina took a 10-3 at the intermission, then used a pair of Jeff Slye field goals in the final 15 minutes to hold off a late Houston rally. Houston did manage to out-rush Carolina 136-94 and Allen threw for 232 yards with three sacks, while Texans QB DeSean Watson threw for 160 yards with six sacks (neither threw a TD pass or interception). Carolina was 7 of 14 on third down tries in the Lone Star State and kept the ball for 30:38, while the Texans kept the ball for 29:22 and went 4 for 11 on third down tries.

The kitty series is even at 3-3 and Jacksonville has outscored Carolina 125-100. Carolina won the last meeting in 2015 in Jacksonville, coming away with the 20-9 win, while Jacksonville’s last win came in the Sunshine State in 2007 by a final of 37-6. Carolina’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under is 41. Both numbers make a lot of sense and both teams have been playing some decent if not great football of late. When this one ends in Charlotte, one kitty will have an extra life. Carolina’s finer this week. Panthers cover the 3 1/2 and takes the win in the Tar Heel State.

Arizona (0-3-1) at Cincinnati (0-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of winless teams square off along the shores of the Ohio River as Arizona and Cincinnati look for their first win of the 2019 season.

Arizona, who plays Sunday’s contest with heavy hearts after the passing of owner Bill Bidwell Wednesday, was held in check last Sunday afternoon in Glendale by Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks, as Seattle revailed 27-10 at State Farm Stadium. 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.

The Bengals took an early 3-0 lead thanks to a Chris Bullock field goal in the first quarter against Pittsburgh, then watched the Steelers score 27 points from the second quarter to the end of the contest unchallenged, losing 27-3 at Heinz Field last Monday night. Cincinnati trailed 10-3 at the half and were shut out the rest of the way in their prime time contest in the Keystone State. Although Cincinnati out-rushed Pittsburgh 73-66, Pittsburgh’s Mason Rudolph threw for 229 yards with a pair of TDs (Rudolph was not sacked or had an interception), while Andy Dalton threw for 171 yards, throwing an interception with eight sacks. Cincinnati was 4 of 13 on third down tries (the Bengals were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:14, while the Steelers, who picked up their first win, went 3 of 9 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:46.

Cincinnati leads the series 6-5 and the Bengals have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 274-271. Arizona won the last meeting with the Bengals, coming away 34-31 winners in the desert in 2015, while Cincinnati’s last win in the series came in 2011, along the shores of the Ohio River by a final of 23-16. Cincinnati’s favored by 3 in the Queen City and the over/under’s 47 1/2. You might want to take a pass on this one and watch that “Pawn Stars” marathon on History (there’s nothing funnier than seeing Rick put Chumlee in his place!) Someone’s going to win this contest. Bengals get their first win of the season, even though the Desert Angry Birds will make things closer than the 3.

Tampa Bay (2-2) at New Orleans (3-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of NFC South foes meet in the Big Easy as Tampa Bay travels to take on the New Orleans Saints in the great indoors. Both teams were winners in their contests last week.

Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday held the Los Angeles Rams in check as the visiting Buccaneers took care of the defending NFC champions 55-40, giving them their first loss of the season. 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.

New Orleans used four Will Lutz field goals to knock Dallas out of the ranks of the unbeatens last Sunday in the Big Easy, coming away 12-10 winners at the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Taking a 3-0 lead thanks to a 28-yard field goal by Brett Maher late in the first quarter, the Saints took a 6-3 lead with them to the break, using a pair of Lutz field goals in the second quarter. Dallas would take the lead back with 7:47 left in the third when Ezekiel Elliott scored from a yard out. Lutz would give the Saints the lead back and for keeps with a 26-yard field goal early in the fourth. New Orleans would then hold off a late Dallas rally in the closing seconds of the contest to take the win.

New Orleans out-rushed Dallas 117-45, with Elliott leading the Cowboys with 35 yards on 18 carries, while Saints RB Alvin Kamara led all rushers with 69 yards. Prescott threw for 223 yards with a sack, while Teddy Bridgewater (taking over for the injured Drew Brees) threw for 193 yards and was sacked five times (both did not throw a TD pass and both threw an interception). Dallas was 4 of 11 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:56. As for the Saints? They ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 36:04, going 6 for 14 on third down tries in the Big Easy.

New Orleans holds a 33-21 lead in the series over their NFC South rivals and have out-scored Tampa Bay 1,216-1,027. They split last year’s meetings, each taking wins in the other team’s facility.

The two rivals wasted little time, meeting in the season opener for both clubs in the Big Easy and Tampa Bay held off a late New Orleans rally to come away 48-40 winners at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. With Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, Tampa Bay led 31-24 at the intermission, then kept Brees and the Saints at bay in the second half to take the win. Tampa Bay outrushed New Orleans 112-43 and Fitzpatrick threw for 417 yards with four TDs, while Brees threw for 439 yards and three TDs (Brees was sacked once and neither QB threw an interception). Tampa Bay went 8 for 13 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 32:09, while New Orleans, keeping the ball for 27:51, went 4 for 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

New Orleans would get their revenge in the Sunshine State in week 14 as Brees and the Saints left Raymond James Stadium 28-14 winners. After trailing 14-3 at the break on the Florida west coast, the Saints would shutout Tampa Bay in the second half, scoring their final 18 points of the contest unchallenged. Once again, Tampa Bay outrushed New Orleans 105-100, with Saints RB Mark Ingram leading the way with 52 yards and a TD, while teammate Alvin Kamara chipped in with 51. Winston threw for 213 yards and a pair of TDS, while Brees threw for 201 yards with a TD (Brees was sacked once, Brees was sacked four times, each had an interception). New Orleans was 6 of 12 on third down (they were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:53, while the Buccaneers kept the pigskin for 28:07 and went 6 of 14 on third down tries in the Sunshine State.

In the season opener, New Orleans was favored by 9 1/2 but Tampa Bay won by 8. The good news? Both teams covered the 49 1/2 over/under with 88 points. In the week 14 contest in Tampa, New Orleans was favpred by 8 1/2 and covered with the win by 14. This time, both clubs missed the 57 1/2 over/under, tallying only 42 points.) New Orleans is favored by 3 1/2 in the Big Easy and the over/under’s 47. The Saints are trying to repeat as NFC South champs. As for the Buccaneers? They would love nothing more than to see that doesn’t happen. Tampa Bay may not cover the 3 1/2 but they pull off the upset in the Big Easy and take the win.

Minnesota (2-2) at New York Giants (2-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of 2-2 teams meet in the Meadowlands Sunday as Minnesota takes on the New York Giants at Met Life Stadium.

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

The Giants held Washington to a 21-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins late in the first half and took care of the Redskins 24-3 at Met Life Stadium in the Meadowlands. Big Blue led from start to finish in upstate New Jersey, leading 17-3 at the intermission and would nail Washington’s coffin shut when Jabril Peppers returned an interception 32 yards for a TD with 79 seconds left in the third quarter. New York outrushed Washington 164-55 and Dwayne Haskins, Jr., taking over for Case Keenum, threw for 107 yards with three interceptions and a pair of sacks, while Daniel Jones made his first home start for the Giants, throwing for 225 yards with a TD and a pair of interceptions. Washington went 2 of 11 on third down and held the ball for 23:51, while the Giants controlled the clock and kept the pigskin for 36:09, while going 8 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Minnesota leads the series 15-10, have outscored Big Blue 602-459 and won the last two meetings, including a 24-10 win in the Twin Cities in 2016, while the Giants’ last win over the Vikings came in the Meadowlands in 2013 by a final of 23-7. Minnesota’s favored by 5 1/2 in upstate New Jersey and the over/under’s 44. Right now, both teams are on the outside looking in as far as their respective divisions are concerned. Giants may not cover the 5 1/2 but they take the upset in the Meadowlands.

Chicago (3-1) at Oakland (2-2), 1 p.m. (6 p.m. in London) on FOX and DirecTV 714. The first London game of the 2019 season takes place in week five as Chicago and Oakland meet on the other side of the Atlantic at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Both teams enter the United Kingdom with wins under their belts.

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

Oakland held off a late Indianapolis rally in the Hoosier State last Sunday, coming away 31-24 winners at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Silver and Black led 21-10 at the break, then held off the Colts in the second half to take the road win. Oakland outrushed the Colts 188-81 and Derek Carr threw for 189 yards and a pair of TDs, while Colts QB Jacoby Brissett threw for 265 yards and three TDs and an interception (Carr was sacked once with no interceptions). Oakland was 5 of 12 on third down and held on to the ball for 33:41, while the Colts kept it for 26:19 and went 6 of 16 on third down (both teams were successful on fourth down; Oakland went 1 of 1, while the Colts were 3 of 3).

Including games played in Los Angeles when the Raiders played their home games at the Coliseum, the series is even at 7-7 and Da Bears have out-scored the Silver and Black 256-249. Chicago won their last meeting, a 27-20 final in the Windy City in 2015, while Oakland’s last win came on the West Coast in 2011 by a final of 25-20. Chicago’s favored by 5 1/2 on the other side of the Atlantic and the over/under’s 40 1/2. Chicago may not cover the 5 1/2 but Da Bears win on the other side of the Atlantic.

New York Jets (0-3) at Philadelphia (2-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. Looking to pick up their first win of the season, the New York Jets make the 96-mile, 91-minute trip up I-95 to face off against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in the City of Brotherly Love.

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!, coming off their bye week, were held by Tom Brady to a pair of second-half TDs at Foxboro as the Pats would take GangGreen to the woodshed 30-14 at Gillette Stadium. Brady and the Patriots led 20-0 at the intermission and never looked back in their AFC East opener. New England grounded the Jets’ rushing game, holding them to to a season-low 36 yards, while the Pats would rush for 68 and Brady threw for 306 yards wtih a pair of TDs and no sacks or interceptions, while Luke Falk, the third QB of the season for the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! threw for 98 yards with five sacks and an interception. New England went 6 of 15 on third down conversions in Foxboro and kept the ball for 35:14, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 0 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Philadelphia ended Green Bay’s hopes of an unbeaten season last Thursday night at Lambeau Field, as the Eagles held off Rodgers and the Packers 34-27. Philadelphia led 21-20 at the half, then held off a late Green Bay rally in the final 30o minutes of action in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst. The Eagles out-rushed Green Bay 176-77 and Rodgers threw for 422 yards and a pair of TDs (he was sacked once and threw an interception), while Carson Wentz threw for 160 yards and three TDs with no sacks or interceptions. Green Bay went 6 of 11 on third down at Lambeau (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:21, while the Eagles kept the pigskin for 27:39, going 5 of 9 on third down conversions.

They’ve played ten times and the Eagles have won all 10 meetings in the series, outscoring the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! and coming away 24-17 winners in the Meadowlands in 2015. Philadelphia’s favored by 13 1/2 in the City of Brotherly Love and the over/under’s 44. Granted, right now the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! are bad but not 13 1/2 bad. They’ll make this one interesting but the Eagles fly away with the win at home.

Baltimore (2-2) at Pittsburgh (1-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. They meet again. A pair of AFC North rivals meet in the Steel City as Pittsburgh and Baltimore meet at Heinz Field.

Cleveland took care of Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium last Sunday, taking a 10-7 halftime lead, then flooring the gas in the second half as they took care of the Ravens 40-25 in Charm City. Cleveland’s Nick Chubb ran amok in last Sunday’s game, accounting for 165 yards and three TDs as the Browns outrushed Baltimore 193-173 (Baltimore was led by Mark Ingram, who tallied 165) and Lamar Jackson threw for 247 yards and three TDs, although he was sacked four times and picked off twice, while Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield threw for 342 yards with a TD, sack and an interception. Baltimore went 4 of 10 on third down conversions along the shores of Lake Erie (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:43, while Cleveland ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 30:17, going 6 of 13 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Cincinnati took a 3-0 lead thanks to a Chris Bullock field goal in the first quarter against Pittsburgh, then watched as the Steelers scored their 27 points of the contest from the second quarter to the end of the contest unchallenged, losing 27-3 at Heinz Field last Monday night. Pittsburgh led 10-3 at the half and shut out the Bengals the rest of the way in their prime time contest in the Keystone State. While Cincinnati out-rushed Pittsburgh 73-66, Pittsburgh’s Mason Rudolph threw for 229 yards with a pair of TDs (Rudolph was not sacked or had an interception), while Andy Dalton threw for 171 yards, throwing an interception with eight sacks. Cincinnati was 4 of 13 on third down tries (the Bengals were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:14, while the Steelers, who picked up their first win, went 3 of 9 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:46.

The Steelers lead the series 25-21 and have out-scored the Ravens 931-903. Baltimore and Pittsburgh met twice last season, spliting the two meetings and each team winning in the other team’s facilty. Round one… week four in the Steel City on a Sunday night. Baltimore would score the first 14 points of the contest in the first before Pittsubrgh would even things up with two second quarter TDs, sending the two clubs tied at 14-14. The Ravens would go on to score the last 12 points of the contest unchallenged with four Jeff Tucker field goals to come away from Heinz Field 26-14 winners. The Steelers used a pair of Chris Boswell field goals and a TD pass from Ben Roethlisberger to WR Antonio Brown to tie the contest up at the half before they were shutout in the final 30 minutes of play.

Neither club breached the 100-yard barrier as Pittsburgh was held to a somewhat dismal 19 yards of rushing, while the Ravens won the ground game, tallying 96. Roethlisberger threw for 274 yards with a sack and an interception to go with the TD, while Joe Flacco threw for 363 yards with a pair of TDs and a pair of sacks (Flacco did not have an interception). Baltimore was 8 of 17 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and played keep-away with the ball, holding on to the pigskin for 35:03 to Pittsburgh’s 24:57 (the Steelers were 2 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down).

The Steelers didn’t have to wait very long to get their revenge at M&T Bank Stadium in week nine and they erased an early 3-0 deficit to take a 23-16 win in Charm City. Pittsburgh led 14-6 at the intermission and never looked back, even though the Ravens would make the contest a 7-point affair with 5:23 left to play when Tucker connected on his second field goal of the contest. James Conner accounted for 107 yards to lead all rushers as the Steelers outrushed Baltimore 113-61 and Roethlisberger threw for 270 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Conner, the other to Brown), while Flacco threw for 209 yards (both men were sacked twice and neither threw an interception). Pittsburgh improved on third down tries in the second meeting, going 10 of 16 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 36:29 while the Ravens kept the ball for 23:31 and went 4 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week four contest in the Steel City, the Steelers were favored by 3 and the Ravens covered, winning by 12. However, both clubs tallied only 40 points, falling short of the 48 1/2 over/under. Baltimore was favored by 3 in Charm City in the week nine rematch and the Steelers covered, winning by 7. Both teams missed the 47 over/under, tallying only 39 points. Baltimore may be the road team but the boys and girls in Vegas have them as 3 1/2 point favorites with the over/under at 44 1/2. Both numbers make sense. The Ravens share first place with the Browns in the AFC North, while the Steelers look to win the division without Ben Roethlisberger. Steelers cover the 3 1/2 in the Steel City and takes the win at Heinz Field.

Buffalo (3-1) at Tennessee (2-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of AFC rivals that met in the “Music City Miracle” meet in Nashville as Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans host the Buffalo Bills.

Buffalo watched New England keep themselves in the unbeaten column after they left Orchard Park with a 16-10 win last Sunday. New England led 13-3 at the half at New Era Stadium, then held off the Bills in the second half to take the road win. Buffalo did out-rush New England 135-74 with Bills RB Frank Gore leading the way with 109 yards, while Sony Michel led New England with 63 yards. Brady threw for 150 yards with no TDs or interceptions, while Josh Allen threw for 153 yards with three interceptions and four sacks. the Bills were a somewhat dismal 2 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:40, while the defending Super Bowl champs kept the pigskin for 27:20, going 5 of 18 on third downs.

Tennessee led Atlanta 24-7 at the half at Mercedes Benz Stadium and held the Falcons to a Matt Bryant field goal in the third quarter as they left Atlanta 24-10 winners in the Big Peach. Tennessee outrushed Atlanta 138-58 with Titans RB Derrick Henry leading the way with 100 yards on the ground. Matt Ryan threw for 397 yards but found himself being sacked five times, while Marcus Mariota threw for 227 yards and no sacks (Ryan and Mariota did not throw a TD pass or an interception). Atlanta was 5 of 14 on third down tries, 1 of 4 on fourth down and the Falcons actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:41, while the Titans went 6 of 13 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:19.

Including the contests that took place in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers and the Bills played their home games at War Memorial Stadium, Tennessee leads the series 27-16 and have outscored the Bills 936-828. They met last year along the shores of Lake Erie and the Bills circled their wagons to take the 13-12 win (Tennessee’s last win in the series came in 2012 in Orchard Park by a final of 35-34). Tennessee’s favored by 3 in the Music City and the over/under’s 38 1/2. Tennessee covers the 3 in Nashville and takes the win at home.

New England (4-0) at Washington (0-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. Tom Brady and the Patriots travel to Landover to face off against a Washington team that is in search of their first win.

The Patriots kept themselves in the unbeaten column after they left Buffalo with a 16-10 win over the Bills in upstate New York. New England led 13-3 at the half at New Era Stadium, then held off the Bills in the second half to take the road win. Buffalo did out-rush New England 135-74 with Bills RB Frank Gore leading the way with 109 yards, while Sony Michel led New England with 63 yards. Brady threw for 150 yards with no TDs or interceptions, while Josh Allen threw for 153 yards with three interceptions and four sacks. the Bills were a somewhat dismal 2 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:40, while the defending Super Bowl champs kept the pigskin for 27:20, going 5 of 18 on third downs.

Washington was held to a 21-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins late in the first half as the New York Giants took care of the Redskins 24-3 at Met Life Stadium in the Meadowlands. Washington trailed 17-3 at the intermission and could never get back on track after that, as their NFC East rivals would nail their coffin shut when Jabril Peppers returned an interception 32 yards for a TD with 79 seconds left in the third quarter. New York outrushed Washington 164-55 and Dwayne Haskins, Jr., taking over for Case Keenum, threw for 107 yards with three interceptions and a pair of sacks, while Daniel Jones made his first home start for the Giants, throwing for 225 yards with a TD and a pair of interceptions. Washington went 2 of 11 on third down and held the ball for 23:51, while the Giants controlled the clock and kept the pigskin for 36:09, while going 8 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

While Washington leads the series 6-4, New England has outscored the Redskins (including games that were played at Schafer Stadium and RFK Stadium) 232-205 and the Patriots have won the last three meetings, including a 20-17 win in Foxboro in 2015, while Washington’s last win came in Landover in 2003 by a final of 20-17. New England’s favored by 15 1/2 (you read that right, 15 1/2) and the over/under is 43. The 43 makes a ton of sense. The 15 1/2 doesn’t. Granted, washington has played less than stellar football of late but they’re not 15 1/2 points bad. Still, Washington fans will be saying “Hell, it’s the Redskins” this week. New England wins this one but expect Washington to make it closer than 15 1/2.

Denver (0-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (2-2), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. Forget the records. These two clubs aren’t exactly crazy about each other. Granted, it’s not the same as Kansas City-Oakland but you get the picture. Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers host the Denver Broncos in a late afternoon contest on the West Coast.

Denver, searching for their first win of the season, dropped their second last-second contest at home, falling to Gardner Minshew and the Jacksonville Jaguars 26-24 at Empower Field at Mile High. Denver led 17-6 at the half before Jacksonville took a 20-17 lead with them into the final 15 minutes of action in the Rocky Mountains. Josh Lambo would give the Jaguars a 23-17 lead with 2:54 left in the contest before Denver went back to work and took the lead back with 92 seconds left when Joe Flacco and WR Courtland Sutton connected on an 8-yard TD toss. Denver fans, thinking that they had their first win of the year under their belts, then watched with horror as the Jaguars would get the ball back with the time remaining as Jacksonville would use an 8-play, 60-yard drive that ended when Lambo connected on a 33-yard field goal as time expired.

Jacksonville out-rushed Denver 269-68, with Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette rushing for 225 yards to lead all rushers. Minshew threw for 213 yards and a pair of TDs, while Flacco threw for 303 yards and three TDs (two to Sutton; Minshew was sacked five times, Flacco threw an interception). Jacksonville went 4 of 14 on third down tries, 1 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 39:12 (including the final 92 seconds of regulation), while the Broncos, who would hold on to the pigskin for 20:48, went 4 of 11 on third down.

The Chargers took control of things in Miami, giving the Dolphins their fourth loss in a row, coming out of Hard Rock Stadium 30-10 winners in the Sunshine State. Taking a 17-10 lead with them to the locker room at halftime, the Chargers would take control of things in the second half, scoring their last 13 points of the contest unchallenged. Neither club breached the 100-yard rushing barrier but the Chargers did manage to outurush Miami 79-72 and Rivers threw for 310 yards with a pair of TDs, despite being sacked once, while Miami’s Josh Rosen threw for 180 yards with a TD but was sacked four times and picked off once. The Chargers were 8 of 13 on third down and held on to the ball for 37:36, while the Dolphins kept the ball for 22:24, going 5 of 10 on third down (both teams were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

While Denver holds a 65-52-1 lead in the series (which includes contests that took place at old Mile High Stadium and in Los Angeles), the Chargers have out-scored Denver 2,540-2,503. The two clubs took wins on the other team’s field last year to split the series.

The two AFC/AFL foes met at StubHub Center in week 11 and the Chargers watched a 2-point lead late in the contest get away from them as Brian McManus booted a 34-yard field goal as time expired, allowing Denver to take a 23-22 win on the road. Los Angeles led 13-7 at the break and would lead by as much as five with 2:24 left in the third before the Broncos would take the lead for the first time when Philip Lindsey (79 yards, two TDs) scored from a yard out with 12:17 left in the contest. Michael Badgley gave the Bolts the lead back with a 30-yard field goal with 6:47 left in regulation. After the teams traded possessions, the Broncos would get the ball back with 1:51 left in the contest and Denver would use all of that time, using a 7-play, 76-yard drive and Denver would send Chargers fans home sad, connecting on the 34-yarder as the clock struck :00.
Denver out-rushed Los Angeles 108-95 and Case Keenum threw for 205 yards without a TD, sack or interception, while Rivers threw for 401 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Antonio Gates) with three sacks and a pair of interceptions. Denver went 3 of 10 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 22:11 (including the final 1:51 seconds), while the Chargers were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 37:49, going 9 for 15 on third down conversions.

Los Angeles would get their revenge in the Mile High City in the season finale, clinching a playoff spot and coming away 23-9 winners at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. The Bolts led 7-3 at the break after the teams played a scoreless first quarter and never looked back, even getting a defensive two point conversion when Casey Hayward broke up a Denver 2-point try with 10:10 left in the contest (Keenum connected on a 20-yard TD toss to Andy Janovich to pull the Broncos to within five). Los Angeles out-rushed Denver 116-82 and Keenum threw for 292 yards and the TD (he was sacked once and picked off once), while Rivers threw for 176 yards and a TD with an interception (Rivers was not sacked). Los Angeles went 4 of 11 on third down conversions in the Mile High City and kept the ball for 28:12, while the Broncos ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 31:48, going 4 of 12 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

In the week 11 contest, the Chargers were favored by 7 but the Broncos would wind up winning by only one and both teams barely missed the 47 over/under by 2 points. The Chargers covered the 6 1/2-point spread in the season finale, winning by 16 but as was the case in the first meeting, both clubs missed the over/under of 41 1/2, tallying only 30 points. The Chargers are favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 44 1/2. The Chargers look to keep close to first-place Kansas City in the AFC West, while the Broncos are looking for their first win. Denver will get that first win, just not in Los Angeles. Chargers cover the 6 1/2 and takes the win at home in Cali.

Green Bay (3-1) at Dallas (3-1), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. Bratwurst vs. Brisket. A pair of NFC rivals meet in the Lone Star State as Dallas and Dak Prescott host Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium in a late-afternoon contest in Arlington. Both clubs took their first loss of the season last week.

Philadelphia ended Green Bay’s hopes of an unbeaten season last Thursday night at Lambeau Field, as the Eagles held off Rodgers and the Packers 34-27. Philadelphia led 21-20 at the half, then held off a late Green Bay rally in the final 30o minutes of action in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst. The Eagles out-rushed Green Bay 176-77 and Rodgers threw for 422 yards and a pair of TDs (he was sacked once and threw an interception), while Carson Wentz threw for 160 yards and three TDs with no sacks or interceptions. Green Bay went 6 of 11 on third down at Lambeau (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:21, while the Eagles kept the pigskin for 27:39, going 5 of 9 on third down conversions.

New Orleans used four Will Lutz field goals to knock Dallas out of the ranks of the unbeatens last Sunday in the Big Easy, coming away 12-10 winners at the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Taking a 3-0 lead thanks to a 28-yard field goal by Brett Maher late in the first quarter, the Saints took a 6-3 lead with them to the break, using a pair of Lutz field goals in the second quarter. Dallas would take the lead back with 7:47 left in the third when Ezekiel Elliott scored from a yard out. Lutz would give the Saints the lead back and for keeps with a 26-yard field goal early in the fourth. New Orleans would then hold off a late Dallas rally in the closing seconds of the contest to take the win.

New Orleans out-rushed Dallas 117-45, with Elliott leading the Cowboys with 35 yards on 18 carries, while Saints RB Alvin Kamara led all rushers with 69 yards. Prescott threw for 223 yards with a sack, while Teddy Bridgewater (taking over for the injured Drew Brees) threw for 193 yards and was sacked five times (both did not throw a TD pass and both threw an interception). Dallas was 4 of 11 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:56. As for the Saints? They ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 36:04, going 6 for 14 on third down tries in the Big Easy.

Including games played in Milwaukee, at the Cotton Bowl and Texas Stadium, the Packers lead the series 15-13, have out-scored Dallas 655-606 and won their last meeting, a 35-31 win in 2017 in the Lone Star State, while Dallas’ last win came in 2016 in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst by a final of 30-16 at Lambeau. Dallas is favored by 3 1/2 in the late afternoon affair and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Since both teams are leading their respective divisions and both have a long history with each other, it’s safe to say 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 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?”)

Both teams are looking to right their respective ships and this one could be one of the better games Sunday afternoon. Green Bay takes care of business in the Lone Star State and takes the win, even though Dallas will look to make things closer than 3 1/2.

Indianapolis (2-2) at Kansas City (4-0), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Mahomes vs. Brissett. The future of NFL QBs presents itself as the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs host the Indianapolis Colts at Arrowhead.

A late Indianapolis rally in the Hoosier State against Oakland last Sunday fell short, as the Raiders wound up coming away 31-24 winners at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Silver and Black led 21-10 at the break, then held off the Colts in the second half to take the road win. Oakland outrushed the Colts 188-81 and Derek Carr threw for 189 yards and a pair of TDs, while Colts QB Jacoby Brissett threw for 265 yards and three TDs and an interception (Carr was sacked once with no interceptions). Oakland was 5 of 12 on third down and held on to the ball for 33:41, while the Colts kept it for 26:19 and went 6 of 16 on third down (both teams were successful on fourth down; Oakland went 1 of 1, while the Colts were 3 of 3).

Kansas City broke a 13-13 tie in Detroit, then rallied to take a 34-30 win over the Lions at Ford Field last Sunday afternoon. The Chiefs trailed Matthew Stafford and the Lions 30-27 with 20 seconds left in the contest when RB Darien Williams scored from a yard away to take the lead for the first time and for keeps. Kansas City would then go on to hold off a late Detroit rally that would have given them their first loss of the 2019 season. Detroit outrushed Kansas City 186-123 with Lions RB Kerryon Johnson leading the way with 125 yards. Stafford threw for 291 yards with three TDs (two of them to Kenny Golladay) and four sacks, while Patrick Mahomes threw for 315 yards with no TDs for the first time in his career and no sacks (neither Mahomes or Stafford threw an interception). Kansas City went 4 of 9 on third down (they were perfect in their only fourth down try) and kept the ball for 26:06, while the Lions actually ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 33:54, going 5 ofi 13 on third down.

Thew Colts lead the series 12-9 (including contests played in Baltimore) and have out-scored the Chiefs 434-433. Their last regular-season meeting was in 2016 in the Hoosier State and the Chiefs prevailed 30-14 (the Colts’ last win came at Arrowhead in 2013 by a final of 23-7). They did meet in last year’s post-season, in the AFC Divisional Playoffs at Arrowhead and the Chiefs advanced with a 31-13 win in the Show-Me State.

Kansas City led 24-7 at the break in the 32-degree air (wind chill? 22) and were never really threatened in the contest. The Chiefs rushed for 180 yards in the contest and held the Colts to 87 on the ground (Kansas City’s Damien Williams led all rushers with 129 yards and a TD), while Mahomes threw for 278 yards and had a rushing TD of his own (Mahomes was sacked four times but did not have an interception) and Andrew Luck, who would play his last professional football game, threw for 203 yards with a TD toss to T.Y. Hilton (Luck was sacked three times but did not throw an interception). The Colts were a dismal 0 of 9 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 20:11, while the Chiefs ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:49, going 4 of 14 on third down, 3 of 4 on fourth down.

Kansas City covered the 6-point spread in the AFC Divisional playoff but the 57 over/under stayed intact as both teams merged to score 44 points at Arrowhead. In the Sunday night contest in the Show-Me State, the Chiefs are favored by 10 1/2 and the over/under’s 56 1/2. Both teams can put up points, which means that the 10 1/2 is a little on the steep side. On the other hand, the 56 1/2 makes a lot of sense. Everything’s up to date in Kansas City and you might want to tape “God Friended Me” and “Madame Secretary” this week. Colts make it close but the Chiefs will remain unbeaten.

Cleveland (2-2) at San Francisco (3-0), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week five ends in Wine Country as a pair of teams that no one thought would be in first place in their divisions meet at Levis Stadium. San Francisco, in first place in the NFC West, host the Cleveland Browns, who are on top in the AFC North. Cleveland took a huge road win last week, while the 49ers are coming back to action from their bye week.

Cleveland took a 10-7 halftime lead against AFC North rival Baltimore last Sunday, then floored the gas in the second half as they took care of the Ravens 40-25 in Charm City. Cleveland’s Nick Chubb ran amok in last Sunday’s game, accounting for 165 yards and three TDs as the Browns outrushed Baltimore 193-173 (Baltimore was led by Mark Ingram, who tallied 165) and Lamar Jackson threw for 247 yards and three TDs, although he was sacked four times and picked off twice, while Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield threw for 342 yards with a TD, sack and an interception. Baltimore went 4 of 10 on third down conversions along the shores of Lake Erie (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:43, while Cleveland ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 30:17, going 6 of 13 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

San Francisco comes back from their bye week taking a 24-20 win over the Steelers two weeks ago on the West Coqst. Pittsburgh let a 6-3 lead at the intermission at San Francisco get away from them as the 49ers with WR Dante Pettis and QB Jimmy Garoppolo connected on a 5-yard TD toss with 75 seconds left in their contest at Levis’ Stadium. Chris Boswell put the Steelers on the board with a pair of first quarter field goals before San Francisco’s Robbie Gould narrowed the gap to three in the second. The Steelers would lead 20-17 late in the contest before San Francisco went on a 7-play, 24-yard drive that used 4:14 of clock and ended with Pettis and Garoppolo connecting on the game-winning score.

San Francisco out-rushed Pittsburgh 168-79 and rookie QB Mason Rudolph, taking over for the injured Ben Roethlisberger, threw for 174 yards and a pair of TDs (one to WR JuJu Smith-Schuster) and was sacked twice with an interception, while Garoppolo threw for 277 yards and the game-winning TD, adding a sack and a pair of interceptions to his tally. Pittsburgh turned the ball over twice (they forced five San Francisco turnovers) and went 3 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 23:43, while the 49ers held on to the pig skin for 36:17, going 6 for 11 on third down tries.

Including games played in Cleveland before the Browns left for Baltimore (and returned to Cleveland) and contests that were played at Keezar Stadium and Candlestick Park on the West Coast, the Browns lead the series 12-7, outscoring the 49ers 386-328. Cleveland won the last meeting with the 49ers, taking a 24-10 victory in 2015 along the shores of Lake Erie, while San Francisco’s last win came at Candlestick Park in 2011 by a final of 20-10.

The Browns are 1-9 in Monday night contests, with their last appearance coming in 2008 (loss) and their last win coming in 2003. San Francisco’s 14-15 on Monday night, their last appearance was last year (loss) and their last win came in 2013. The 49ers are favored by 3 1/2 in prime time and the over/under’s 46 1/2. Both numbers are reasonable and both teams are actually playing some really good football right now, so you might want to tape “Bull” this week. San Francisco prevails on Monday and takes the win, even though Cleveland will make things closer than the 3 1/2.

Three weeks down, 14 to go.

The leaves are turning color in most places in the United States and there is stil lots of football left in the 2019 NFL season. There’s still time for those teams looking for that first win to get it. Football is a fickle mistress that must be treated with great care. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

SEVEN FROM LAST SUNDAY

Three teams that missed the postseason in 2018 – Buffalo (3-0), Detroit (2-0-1) and San Francisco (3-0) – are undefeated through the first three weeks of the 2019 season.

2019 marks the fourth time that at least four teams have started the season undefeated through their first three games after missing the postseason the previous year since 1990 when the current playoff format was instituted, joining 2013, 2003 and 2002.

New England defeated the New York Jets, 30-14 in Week 3. New England is the first team to not allow a passing or rushing touchdown in each of their first three games of a season in the Super Bowl era. Additionally, the Patriots are the first team to hold opponents scoreless in the first half of five consecutive games, including the postseason, the longest such streak in the Super Bowl era.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who passed for 306 yards and two touchdowns in the victory, has 71 career games with at least 300 passing yards and two touchdowns, surpassing Peyton Manning (70) for the second-most such games in NFL history. Only Drew Brees (93) has more such performances in league annals. Appearing in his 20th career game, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 374 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 132.0 rating in the Chiefs’ 33-28 win over Baltimore. Through 20 career games, Mahomes has the highest marks by a quarterback in passing yards (6,576), passing touchdowns (60) and passer rating (115.3 – minimum 100 attempts) in NFL history.

Mahomes recorded his 13th career game with at least 300 pass yards, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer KURT WARNER (12 games) for the most by a player in his first 20 career games in NFL history. Mahomes – who passed for 378 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in Week 1 and 443 yards and four touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 2 – is the first player to record at least 350 passing yards, three touchdown passes and zero interceptions in three consecutive games in NFL history.

New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones passed for 336 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 112.7 rating and added two rushing touchdowns in the Giants’ 32-31 win at Tampa Bay. Jones is the first rookie with at least 300 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in a single game since 1970. Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett had four sacks in the loss. Barrett has eight sacks through the Buccaneers’ first three games, tied with Mark Gastineau (1984) for the most by a player in his team’s first three games of a season since 1982.

Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings’ 34-14 win over Oakland. Cook – who rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1 and 154 yards and a touchdown in Week 2 – is the fifth player in NFL history with at least 110 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in each of his team’s first three games of a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown (1958), Curtis Martin (2004), O.J. Simpson (1975) and Emmitt Smith (1995).

New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara had 161 scrimmage yards (92 receiving, 69 rushing) and two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) in the Saints’ 33-27 win at Seattle. Kamara, who has 23 rushing touchdowns and 10 receiving touchdowns in 34 career games, is the fifth player in league annals with at least 20 rushing touchdown and 10 receiving touchdowns in his first three seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen, Roger Craig, Chuck Foreman and Abner Haynes.

Carolina running back Christian McCaffery totaled 188 scrimmage yards (153 rushing, 35 receiving) and a rushing touchdown in the Panthers’ 38-20 victory at Arizona. McCaffrey, who had 209 scrimmage yards and two rushing touchdowns in Week 1, is the fourth player with at least 185 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in two of his team’s first three games of a season in NFL history, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown (1963), Adrian Peterson (2010) and Billy Sims (1980).

The NFL rolls into Week 4 with two significant early trends that separate this year from any of the previous 99 seasons: Quarterbacks are getting younger and the league-wide passer rating, the highest it’s ever been through three weeks, is on an upward slope. This week, the NFL concludes a September that has seen both the highest collective passer rating ever through three weeks and the most starting quarterbacks (20 in Week 3) age 26 or younger in league history. Meanwhile, each week continues to produce close games and stirring second-half comebacks and rookies continue to progress into household-name territory.

CLOSE GAMES INCREASINGLY COMMON: Through the first three weeks, 23 of 48 games (47.9 percent) have been decided by six points or less. Only one other time in league history (24 in 2013) has the final margin been six points or fewer in more games over three weeks of NFL play. Plus, 26 of 48 games (54.2 percent) have been decided by seven points or less, tied for third in league history after three weeks.

The most games decided by six-or-fewer points and seven-or-fewer points, through three weeks in NFL history:

Games decided by six points or fewer

2013 – 24
2019 – 23
2016 – 22
2000 – 21
Many – 20

Games decided by seven points or fewer

2016 – 28
2013 – 28
2019 – 26
1988 – 26
2011 – 25

REBOUNDS ALSO ON THE RISE: Four teams that missed the postseason in 2018 – Buffalo (3-0), Detroit (2-0-1), Green Bay (3-0) and San Francisco (3-0) – are undefeated through the first three weeks. Since the current playoff format began in 1990, this year marks just the fourth time that at least four teams have started the season undefeated through their first three games after missing the postseason the previous year. It also happened in 2002, 2003 and 2013.

If Buffalo, Detroit and Green Bay win this week, the league will have four undefeated teams through the first four weeks, among those that didn’t qualify for the postseason the prior year (including 3-0 San Francisco, on its bye in Week 4). It’s happened once previously, when Carolina, Denver, Kansas City and Minnesota opened 4-0 in 2003, after missing the playoffs in 2002. The Panthers advanced to Super Bowl XXXVIII that season.

HIGHEST PASSER RATING EVER THROUGH THREE WEEKS: It’s an arms race! NFL passers have compiled a 94.3 rating through three weeks, while the average age among starting quarterbacks has decreased each week.

The highest aggregate passer ratings through a season’s first three weeks in NFL history:

YEAR – PASSER RATING
2019 – 94.3
2018 – 93.2
2015 – 91.1
2014 – 90.6
2017 – 90.3

ROOKIES PREVALENT ON NFL LANDSCAPE: Youth is being served! Through three weeks, 11 of 32 NFL teams have rookies leading or tied for their team lead in passer rating, rushing yards, receiving yards, tackles or interceptions. That includes Pittsburgh, whose rookie linebacker Devin Bush not only leads the Steelers with 29 tackles; he also leads the league with three fumble recoveries.

Last week in his first NFL start, New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones passed for 336 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 112.7 passer rating. He also added two rushing touchdowns, including the game-winning 7-yard score with 76 seconds remaining, in his team’s 32-31 win at Tampa Bay. Since at least the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, Jones is the first rookie with at least 300 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in the same game.

A look at rookies who lead their teams or are tied for their team lead through three weeks:

PASSER RATING*

QB, TEAM (RATING)
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville (110.6)
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (109.7)
Kyler Murray, Arizona (79.0)

RUSHING YARDS

RUSHER, TEAM (YARDS)
Josh Jacobs, Oakland (228)
David Montgomery, Chicago (147)
Miles Sanders, Philadelphia (106)
*min. 40 attempts

RECEIVING YARDS

PLAYER, TEAM (YARDS)
Marquise Brown, Baltimore (282)
Terry McLaurin, Washington (257)
Preston Williams, Miami (115)

INTERCEPTIONS

PLAYER, TEAM (INTERCEPTIONS)
Ryan Connelly, New York Giants (1)
Darnell Savage, Green Bay (1)
Preston Williams, Miami (115)

ROOKIES GETTING TO QUARTERBACK: For the first time since 1982, when individual sacks became an official statistic, five rookies have at least 1.5 sacks entering Week 4. Carolina has two of those five: Brian Burns and Christian Miller each have 2 sacks. Jacksonville defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen (2), New England defensive lineman Chase Winovich (2) and New York Giants defensive end/linebacker Oshane Ximines (1.5) round out the group.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK: Two games on Sunday feature a battle of undefeated foes, both in the early afternoon window. New Era Field in Buffalo hosts a clash of the 3-0 teams atop the AFC East in upstate New York. New England, whose point-differential (89) is 36 points higher than number 2 Dallas (53), plays Buffalo, off to their best start since they began 3-0 in 2011. Buffalo seeks its first 4-0 start since 2008.

No NFL division has seen multiple teams start 3-0 since 2015, in the NFC South (Atlanta and Carolina). This season, both the AFC East and the NFC West (Rams and 49ers) have a pair of 3-0 teams.

At Ford Field in Detroit, Kansas City (3-0) meets Detroit (2-0-1), who with a win would be undefeated through four games for the first time since opening 5-0 in 2011.

CONSISTENT CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS: Both New England and the Los Angeles Rams have authored a 3-0 encore after meeting in Super Bowl LIII. The defending Super Bowl teams haven’t started that well in 21 years, when both Denver and Green Bay were 3-0 to start the 1998 season after clashing in Super Bowl XXXII. The last time both Super Bowl teams were 4-0? It was also the Broncos and Packers in 1998.

STRONG STARTS: On Sunday Night Football, Dallas makes a trip to their neighboring state to meet New Orleans in the Big Easy. The Cowboys with a win would be off to their best start in 12 years, since opening 5-0 in 2007. With a win last Sunday over the Steelers, San Francisco is off to its best start in 21 years. The 49ers are on a bye this week but can advance to their first 4-0 start in nearly three decades with a win at home over Cleveland in Santa Clara on Monday, October 7. Seven teams are 3-0 entering Week 4.

The Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs have each started 3-0 for a second consecutive season. The last time the same two NFL teams opened 3-0 in back-to-back years was 2015-16 (Denver and New England). The last time the same two teams opened 4-0 in consecutive seasons was 1968-69, when the Rams and Dallas did the feat.

The last time each of the other 3-0 teams improved to 4-0:

TEAM, LAST 4-0 START (SEASON RESULT)
San Francisco, 1990 (NFC Championship)
Dallas, 2007 (NFC Divisional)
Buffalo, 2008 (Missed playoffs)
Green Bay, 2015 (NFC Divisional)
New England, 2015 (AFC Championship)

CONTAGIOUS COMEBACKS: In 12 of 48 games (25 percent), a team has come back to tie or win after trailing in the fourth quarter.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated the Chargers-Dolphins contest as the NFL100 GAME OF THE WEEK because it honors one of the most thrilling games ever played, the Epic in Miami. On January 2, 1982, at the Orange Bowl, Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN FOUTS led his Chargers to an incredible 41-38 overtime win over the Dolphins. In a thrilling AFC Divisional playoff that Sports Illustrated called, “The Game No One Should Have Lost,” the Dolphins overcame a 24-0 first-quarter deficit. Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Don Shula inserted backup quarterback Don Strock to spark the Dolphins, who capitalized on four Miami takeaways to capture their first lead in the fourth quarter. But the Chargers cashed in their own takeaways, including a Pete Shaw fumble recovery that halted a potential game-icing Dolphins drive with less than 5 minutes left. On the Dolphins’ doorstep with under a minute on the clock and submerged by Miami’s pass rush, Fouts threw a blind, 9-yard pass in the direction of his intended receiver, Pro Football Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow. The overthrown pass, however, sailed into the arms of Charger James BrooksAMES BROOKS for a game-knotting touchdown. In a 38-38 game, Strock then quickly maneuvered the Dolphins into field-goal position, where the 6-foot-5 Winslow deflected Uwe Von Schamann’s kick to force overtime. In the extra frame, each team orchestrated long drives, only to see their kickers miss field goals, including another Chargers block, this time by Leroy Jones. Finally, Fouts engineered a 74-yard drive to set up Rolf Bernirschke’s game-ending 29-yard field goal and – 13 minutes, 52 seconds, into OT – San Diego advanced, 41-38. Fouts and Strock combined for 856 yards passing. Five players topped 100 yards receiving. Following the season, Miami advanced to two of the next three Super Bowls.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 4

100 IN 100: Through the first three weeks of the NFL’s 100th season, 11 quarterbacks have a passer rating of 100 or higher (minimum 20 attempts), the most through three weeks in NFL history. That list of quarterbacks includes two rookies, Daniel Jones (New York Giants) and Gardner Minshew (Jacksonville), along with two second-year quarterbacks, Kyle Allen (Carolina) and Lamar Jackson (Baltimore). In total, six quarterbacks under the age of 25 and eight under the age of 30 have a passer rating of 100 or higher (minimum 20 attempts) through the first three weeks.

The quarterbacks with a passer rating of 100 or higher this season (minimum 20 attempts):

PLAYER, TEAM (AGE, PASSER RATING)
Kyle Allen, Carolina (23, 144.4)
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (24, 134.9)
Dak Prescott, Dallas (26, 128.0)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (30, 119.6)
Tom Brady, New England (42, 116.5)
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (22, 113.9)
Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis (26, 112.0)
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville (23, 110.6)
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (22, 109.7)
Deshaun Watson, Houston (24, 108.6)
Case Keenum, Washington (31, 100.0)

Six other quarterbacks, including Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota (99.3) and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Philip Rivers (98.5), have a passer rating of 95 or higher this season and look to join this group after Week 3. Through a season’s first four weeks, only 2015 and 2007 have featured at least 11 quarterbacks with a passer rating of 100 or higher (minimum 20 attempts).

The seasons with the most quarterbacks with a passer rating of at least 100 through four weeks (min. 20 attempts):

SEASON – QUARTERBACKS WITH 100+ RATING THROUGH 4 WEEKS

2015 – 11
2007 – 11
2018 – 10
2017 – 9
2019 – 11*

*Through Week 3

MAHOMES STREAKING: Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 374 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in the Chiefs’ 33-28 win over Baltimore last week. Mahomes – who passed for 378 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 1 and 443 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 2 – is the first player to record at least 350 passing yards, three touchdown passes and no interceptions in three consecutive games in NFL history.

Dating back to Week 6 of the 2018 season, the reigning league MVP has thrown at least two touchdown passes in 14 consecutive games. With at least two touchdown passes on Sunday at Detroit, Mahomes can tie Peyton Mannig (15 consecutive games) for the most consecutive games with at least two touchdown passes in NFL history.

The most consecutive games with at least two touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON(S)(CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 2+ PASS TDs)
Peyton Manning – Denver (2013-14)(15)
Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City (2018-19)(14)*
Philip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers (2017-18)(13)
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay (2011)(13)
Tom Brady – New England (2010-11)(13)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis (2004)(13)
*Active streak

Mahomes can also become the fifth player in NFL history to throw at least three touchdowns in each of his first four games of a season.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least three touchdown passes to begin their season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, MOST CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 3+ PASS TDs TO BEGIN THEIR SEASON)

Tom Brady, New England (2017, 10)#
Steve Young, San Francisco (1998, 5) HOF
Dan Marinom Miami (1987, 4)HO
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (1999, 4) HOF#
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (2019, 3)*
*Active streak
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player

CAROLINA KYLE: In his first start of the season last week, Carolina quarterback Kyle Allen passed for 261 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 144.4 passer rating in the Panthers’ Week 3 win. Allen also threw for 228 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 111.3 rating in Carolina’s Week 17 victory in 2018, his first career start.

With at least two touchdown passes and no interceptions on Sunday at Houston, Allen would become the first player in the Super Bowl era to throw at least two touchdown passes without an interception in each of his first three career starts.

COOKING UP YARDS: Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings’ Week 3 win over Oakland and has recorded at least 100 rushing yards and a touchdown in each of his first three games of the season. His 375 rushing yards lead the league through three weeks.

With at least 100 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown on Sunday at Chicago (4:25 PM ET, CBS), Cook would become the fifth player in NFL history with at least 100 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown in each of his team’s first four games to begin a season.​

The players with at least 100 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in each of their team’s first four games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, MOST GAMES WITH 100+ RUSH YARDS & RUSH TD TO BEGIN SEASON)
Jim Brown, Cleveland (1958, 6) HOF
O.J. Simpson , Buffalo (1975, 5) HOF
DeMarco Murray, Dallas (2014, 4)
Emmitt Smith, Dallas (1995, 4) HOF
Dalvin Cook, Minnesota (2019, 3)*

15,000 FOR FRANK: Buffalo running back Frank Gore has rushed for 14,912 yards over his 15-year NFL career. With 88 rushing yards on Sunday against New England, Gore would become the fourth player in league history to reach 15,000 career rushing yards. The other three players are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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

PLAYER – TEAM(S) RUSHING YARDS)
Emmitt Smith – Dallas and Arizona (18,355) HOF
Walter Payton – Chicago (16,726) HOF
Barry Sanders – Detroit (15,26) HOF
Frank Gore – San Francisco, Indianapolis, Miami and Buffalo (14,912)*
*Active

WALLER BALLER: Oakland tight end Darren Waller had a career-high 13 catches for 134 yards last week. His 26 receptions rank second in the league and lead all tight ends through the first three weeks of the season.

With eight receptions on Sunday at Indianapolis, Waller would surpass Antonio Gates (33 receptions) for the most receptions by a tight end through his team’s first four games of a season in NFL history.

The tight ends with the most receptions through their team’s first four games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, RECEPTIONS)
Antonio Gates, San Diego (2007, 33)
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans (2014, 32)
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia (2018, 31)
Jordan Cameron, Cleveland (2013, 30)
Darren Waller, Oakland (2019, 26)*
*Through Week 3

SHAQ ATTACK: Tampa Bay linebacker Shaquil Barrett enters Week 4 with a league-leading eight sacks. Barrett registered three sacks in Week 2, followed by a career-high four-sack performance last week, tying a Tampa Bay single-game franchise record.

With at least 1.5 sacks on Sunday at the Los Angeles Rams, Barrett would surpass Mark Gastineau (nine sacks, 1984), Kabeer Gbaja-BiamilaLA (nine, 2001) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Kevin Greene (nine, 1998) for the most sacks by a player through his team’s first four games of a season since 1982 when the individual sack became an official statistic.

The players with the most sacks through their team’s first four games of a season since 1982:

PLAYER, SEASON (TEAM, SACKS)
Mark Gastineau, 1984 (New York Jets, 9)
Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, 2001 (Green Bay, 9)
Kevin Greene, 1998 (Carolina, 9) HOF
William Gay, 1983 (Detroit, 8.5)
Shaquil Barrett, 2019 (Tampa Bay, 8)*

*Through Week 3

Additionally, with at least three sacks in Week 4, Barrett can become the first player wi​​th at least three sacks in three consecutive games since 1982 when the individual sack became an official statistic.

Week four got underway at Lambeau as the Packers fell from the ranks of the unbeaten as Green Bay hosted Philadelphia and concludes in the Steel City as Pittsburgh hosts Cincinnati Monday night. Byes for this week? San Francisco and the New York Jets. As for last week? A lot better. 10-6… best.week.ever and for the season, we’re 25-23. There’s still football left to play. With that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 4.

Tennessee (1-2) at ATLANTA (1-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of 1-2 teams meet in the Big Peach as Tennessee makes the 243-mile trip south to face off against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. Both teams are searching for wins to even their records.

Held to a third-quarter TD by Derrick Henry, Tenneseee lost to AFC South rival Jacksonville 20-7. Tennessee trailed 14-0 (Jacksonville scored both early TDs in the first quarter) at TIAA Field last Thursday night and could never get themselves on track in the Sunshine State. Tennessee did out-rush Jacksonville 91-88 in the Thursday night contest and Marcus Mariota threw for 304 yards but was sacked nine times, while Jaguar QB Gardner Minshew threw for 204 yards with no sacks (neither threw an interception). Tennessee went 8 for 17 on third down and actually ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 35:16, while Jacksonville kept the pigskin for 24:44, going 2 of 11 on third down (both clubs were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

The Falcons were flagged 16 times for 128 yards in their 27-24 loss at Indianapolis last Sunday. Although they trailed 20-6 at the half, Atlanta would go on to outscore the Colts 21-7 in the final 30 minutes of play in the Hoosier State, pulling themselves to within 7 with 4:11 when Ryan and All-Pro WR Julio Jones connected on a 10-yard TD toss. The Colts would then get the ball back on the kickoff and run out the clock to take the win at Lucas Oil Stadium. Atlanta out-rushed the Colts 93-88 and Davonta Freeman led all rushers with 88 yards. Ryan threw for 304 yards and three TDs (two to TE Austih Hooper) with an interception but no sacks, while the Colts’ Jacoby Brissett threw for 310 yards and a pair of TDs with a sack (Marlon Mack led the Colts with 74 rushing yards and a TD). Atlanta was 8 of 10 on third down and the Falcons would keep the ball for 28:37, while the Colts ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 31:23, going 5 of 8 on third down.

Including games that were played in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers and the Falcons played their home games at Fulton County Stadium and the Georgoa Dome, the series is even at 7-7. Atlanta has outscored the Titans 331-313 and have won the last two meetings in the series, including a 10-7 win in 2015 in the Music City, while Tennessee’s last win over the Falcons came in 2007 in Nashville by a final of 20-13. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Falcons as 4 1/2 point favorites in the Big Peach and the over/under’s 46 1/2. Both numbers make sense. Both teams are looking to right their ships from last week. Falcons RISE UP in the Big Peach to take the win and covers the 4 1/2.

Cleveland (1-2) at Baltimore (2-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. Mayfield vs. Jackson. A pair of top NFL QB draft picks meet in Charm City as the Ravens, atop first place in the AFC North, take on the Cleveland Browns in Baltimore. Both teams enter the Sunday afternoon contest with close losses from last week under their belts.

A late Cleveland rally against Los Angeles fell short as the Rams came away 20-13 winners at First Energy Stadium last Sunday night. Cleveland led 6-3 at the intermission before Jared Goff connected on a pair of TD passes to Cooper Kupp, the second one giving Los Angeles the lead back for keeps with 12:48 left in the contest. Greg Zuerlein would then add a 37-yard field goal to push the lead to a 3-point margin and the Rams stopped Baker Mayfield inside their 10-yard line as four of Mayfield’s passes fell incomplete in the final seconds of the contest.

Cleveland out-rushed Los Angeles 95-90 with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading all rusher with 96 yards, while former Georgia teammate Todd Gurley leading Los Angeles with 48. Goff threw for 268 yards with the two Kupp TDs (he was sacked twice and picked off twice), while Mayfield threw for 195 yards with a TD, three sacks and an interception. The Rams in the Sunday night contest along the shores of Lake Erie went 6 of 14 on third down and held the ball for 28:23. As for the Browns? They were 6 of 16 on third down and 0 of 2 on fourth down but ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:37.

Batlimore trailed Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City lead 23-6 at the intermission at Arrowhead Stadium, then watched Lamar Jackson and Baltimore out-score them 22-10 in the seconds but fell short, as the Chiefs would be the ones escaping with a 33-28 win. Jackson would make it an 8-point contest with 2:01 left in the game but the Ravens would miss the two-point try. The Chiefs would then get the ball back after the kickoff and they would run out the clock and take the win. Mark Ingram rushed for 103 yards and three TDs as the Ravens ran for 203 yards (Kansas City rushed for 140) and Jackson threw for 267 yards with three sacks (neither Jackson or Mahomes threw an interception). Batlimore went 5 of 13 on third downs at Arrowhead (they were 3 for 4 on fourth down) and the Ravens actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:44, while the Chiefs held the pigskin for 27:16, going 5 of 9 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Baltimore leads the series, 30-10 and the Ravens have out-scored Cleveland 927-598. The two clubs split their two meetings, with each taking wins at home.

The first meeting? Cleveland in week 5 and the contest was an all-field goal affair as the Browns needed overtime to take a 12-9 win along the shores of Lake Erie. Cleveland scored the only TD in the contest when Mayfield and WR Rashard Higgins connected on a 19-yard toss with 40 seconds left before the intermission to take a 6-3 lead (they would miss the extra point). Baltimore took a 3-0 lead into the first quarter of play thanks to a Jeff Tucker field goal before the Browns would lead 6-3 at the half.

Greg Joseph would then give Cleveland a 9-3 lead that would not last long as Tucker would kick a pair of field goals, including one that would tie the contest at 9-9 with 52 seconds left in regulation. Each team got a chance to score in the overtime and it would be the Browns that would prevail, as they used a 7-play, 65-yard drive that used 2:55 of clock and it would be Joseph that would send Browns fans home happy as he connected on a 37-yard field goal with 2 seconds left in the extra period.

Baltimore out-rushed Cleveland 116-112 and Mayfield threw for 342 yards with five sacks to go with the TD toss, while Joe Flacco threw for 298 yards with a pair of sacks (each threw an interception). Cleveland was 6 of 19 on third down (the Browns were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:16, while the Ravens were 4 of 16 on third down (Baltimore was 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:42.

Baltimore would get revenge in Charm City in week 17 and took the AFC North title in the process, surviving a late Browns scare and taking a 26-24 win at M&T Bank Stadium. In the season finale, the Ravens led 20-7 at the half before Cleveland stormed back in the final 30 minutes of play, pulling themselves to within 2 with 3:24 left in the contest when WR Antonio Calloway and Mayfield connected on a 1-yard TD toss. The Browns would get the ball back with 1:49 left but four Mayfield passes went incomplete. That in turn gave Baltimore the ball back and the Ravens would run out the clock and take the win in Charm City.

Baltimore out-rushed Cleveland 296-50, with Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon paving the way with 117 yards. Jackson threw for 179 yards with a pair of sacks and no interceptions, while Mayfield threw for 376 yards with three TDs and three interceptions. While the Ravens were 3 of 13 on third down, they were succesful in their only fourth down try, keeping the ball for 38:30; the Browns kept the ball for 21:30 and went 4 of 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Baltimore was favored by 3 in the week 5 contest in the Buckeye State and Cleveland covered with the 3-point overtime win but the 47 over/under stayed in tact as both clubs combined for only 21 points. Baltimore was favored in the season finale in Charm City by 6. While the Ravens did win, they only won by 2 but both teams scored 50 points, which covered the 41 over/under. Baltimore’s favored by 6 1/2 in this first meeting and the over/under’s 45. Both numbers make a ton of sense and both are capable of making the post-season party. The Browns are looking to get back to the post-season, while the Ravens are the defending AFC North champs. Break out the crabcakes! Cleveland could make this closer than 6 1/2 but Ravens prevail in Charm City.

New England (3-0) at Buffalo (3-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. They bpth share the same divison and they’re both unbeaten. A pair of AFC East rivals meet in upstate New York as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots travel to Orchard Park for an early afternoon meeting with the Buffalo Bills.

The defending Super Bowl champions held the New York Jets to a pair of second-half TDs at Foxboro as the Pats would take GangGreen to the woodshed 30-14 at Gillette Stadium. Brady and the Patriots led 20-0 at the intermission and never looked back in their AFC East opener. New England grounded the Jets’ rushing game, holding them to to a season-low 36 yards, while the Pats would rush for 68 and Brady threw for 306 yards wtih a pair of TDs and no sacks or interceptions, while Luke Falk, the third QB of the season for the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! threw for 98 yards with five sacks and an interception. New England went 6 of 15 on third down conversions in Foxboro and kept the ball for 35:14, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 0 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Buffalo held off Cincinnati 21-17 at New Era Stadium last Sunday. The Bills led the Bengals 14-0 at the intermission in upstate New York, then watched the Bengals outscore Buffalo 17-7 in the final 30 minutes of play to make the contest closer than Bills fans would like. Buffalo ran for 175 yards, holding the Bengals to 67 yards (Bills RB Frank Gore led all rushers with 76 yards and a TD), while Josh Allen threw for 243 yards for the Bills with an interception (Andy Dalton threw for 249 yards and two interceptions and a pair of sacks; both Dalton and Allen threw a TD in the contest). The Bengals, who turned the ball over three times in upstate New York, went 3 for 11 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 23:06, while Buffalo ruled the clock and circled their wagons around the ball, keeping it for 36:54 and went 5 of 13 on third down tries.

New England leads the series 73-43-1 (which includes contests that were played at Fenway Park, Schafer Stadium in Boston and war Memorial Stadium in Buffalo), have out-scored the Bills 2,608-2,137 and have won the last five meetings, sweeping last year’s contests (Buffalo’s last win over the Patriots came in 2016 in Foxboro, where they shutout the Patriots 16-0).

Meeting number one… week eight in upstate New York (46 degree temperature at kickoff with a 39 degree wind chill) and the Patriots held Buffalo to a pair of Stephen Hauschka field goals to take a 25-6 win in Orchard Park. New England led 9-3 at the half, then proceeed to floor the gas in the second half, outscoring Buffalo 16-3 in the final 30 minutes of play.

New England rushed for only 76 yards but managed to hold the Bills to 46 yards, Brady threw for 324 yards, while Bills QB Derek Anderson threw for 290 yards (Brady was sacked twice but did not throw an interception, while Anderson threw three interceptions with being sacked three times). New England was 5 of 14 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 31:50, while the Bills kept the ball for 28:10, going 4 of 14 and 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

New England made the series a clean sweep in their week 16 contest in Foxboro, as they would take a 24-12 win at Gillette Stadium. Although they led 14-0 at the break, New England was outscored by Buffalo 12-10 in the second half, with the Bills pulling to within 12 with 68 seconds left in the contest as Allen and WR Zay Jones connected on a 31-yard toss. New England took care of things on the ground, tallying 273 rushing yards, holding Buffalo to 72, with Patriots RB Sony Michel leading the way with 116 yards and a TD. Brady threw for 126 yards with a TD to Josh Edelman, while Allen threw for 217 yards (both threw a pair of interceptions and Brady was sacked once). New England was 3 of 12 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 35:38; the Bills kept the ball for 24:22, going 2 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week eight contest in upstate New York, New England easily covered the 14-point spread, winning by 19. The 44 1/2 over/under? It was safe, as both teams combined for 31 points. In the week 16 contest in Foxboro, New England covered the 12 1/2-point spread, winning by 14. The 44 1/2 over/under? Untouched, as both teams merged for 36 points. New England’s favored by 7 and the over/under’s 42 1/2. Given the records, this one’s “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

These two for the time being are the kings of the AFC East mountain but there can be only one king. The Bills will make this one closer than the 7 but Brady and the Patriots prevail in upstate New York, taking the win.

Kansas City (3-0) at Detroit (2-0-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. An unbeaten Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs make their way to the Motor City to face off against Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Both enter the contest with close wins under their belts.

Mahomes (three TDs) and the Chiefs led 23-6 at the intermission at Arrowhead Stadium, then watched Lamar Jackson and Baltimore out-score them 22-10 in the seconds, escaping with a 33-28 win. Jackson would make it an 8-point contest with 2:01 left in the game but the Ravens would miss the two-point try. The Chiefs would then get the ball back after the kickoff and they would run out the clock and take the win. Mark Ingram rushed for 103 yards and three TDs as the Ravens ran for 203 yards (Kansas City rushed for 140) and Jackson threw for 267 yards with three sacks (neither Jackson or Mahomes threw an interception). Batlimore went 5 of 13 on third downs at Arrowhead (they were 3 for 4 on fourth down) and the Ravens actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:44, while the Chiefs held the pigskin for 27:16, going 5 of 9 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Detroit gave Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles their second loss in a row after they left the City of Brotherly Love 27-24 winners at Lincoln Financial Field. Detroit led 20-10 at the break but Philadelphia managed to keep the contest close, pulling themselves to within seven with 6:59 left when Wentz and WR Nelson Agholor connected on a 2-yard TD pass. Philadelphia would later get the ball back with 1:39 left to play in hopes of tying the contest up but the drive ended when the Eagles were flagged for offensive pass interference and Wentz’s fourth down pass attempt to WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside was broken up, ending the Eagles’ hopes of a win at home.

Detroit was out-rushed by Philadelphia 127-86, with Wentz throwing for 259 yards, three sacks and a pair of TDs (both to Agholor), while Stafford threw for 201 yards and a TD (neith threw an interception). Philadelphia was 7 of 13 on third down tries in the City of Brotherly Love (they were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:18, while the Lions kept the pigskin for 27:42 and went 6 for 14 on third down tries.

The Chiefs lead the series 8-5 (which includes contests that were played at Swope Field in Kansas City and the Silverdome in Pontiac) and have outscored the Lions 323-293. Their last meeting was in London in 2015 and the —Chiefs were 45-10 winners (Kansas City’s last win in the United States came in 2003 at Arrowhead by a final of 45-17), while Detroit’s last win came in the Motor City in 2011, coming away 48-3 winners. The Chiefs may be the road team but the odds makers like them as 6 1/2 point favorites and the over/under’s 53 1/2. One of these teams could make the post-season and it’s possible that both could be in as well. Right now, there’s only one winner. Detroit will make things closer than the 6 1/2 but the Chiefs stay unbeaten in the 2019 campaign.

Carolina (1-2) at Houston (2-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. The Carolina Panthers, who will be without Cam Newton (broken foot) travel to the Lone Star State for a showdown with the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Both teams won huge road games in last week’s action.

The Panthers erased a 7-0 first quarter deficit at Arizona, taking a 14-10 lead with them to the intermission and coming away 38-20 winners over the Cardinals last Sunday. Panthers backup QB Kyle Allen connected with TE Greg Olson on two TD passes in the desert as Carolina outscored the Desert Angry Birds 24-10 in the second half. Carolina out-rushed the Cardinals 173-121 with Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey leading the way with 153 yards and a TD, while Arizona QB Kyler Murray led his team with 69 yards of rushing. Allen threw for 261 yards and four TDs (including the two Olson catches), while Murray threw for 173 yards with two TDs (Allen was sacked twice but did not throw an interception, while Murray was sacked eight times with two picks). Arizona went 9 of 17 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 31:44, while the Panthers kept the pigskin for 28:16, going 4 of 10 on third down.

The Texans erased a 17-7 intermission deficit against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park, holding off Philip Rivers and the Chargers 27-20. Houston got a pair of TD passes from DeShaun Watson to TE Jordan Akins to take a 27-17 lead with 9:40 left in the contest. The Chargers’ Ty Long would put his club to within three with 7:14 left with a 43-yard field goal and that would be as close as the Chargers would get, as the Texans would hold them off in the final seconds to take the road win. While the Chargers did out-rush Houston 73-39, Watson threw for 351 yards and three TDs (including the two to Akins) and was sacked twice, while Rivers threw for 318 yards and a pair of TDs to Keenan Allen (Rivers was sacked five times, neither man threw an interception). Houston went 6 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:12, while the Chargers actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:48, going 5 of 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

They’ve met four times and each team has two wins to their credit. Carolina has outscored Houston 83-78 and came away 24-17 winners in their last meeting in Charlotte in 2015, while the Texans’ last win in the series came in 2007 in the Tar Heel State by a final of 34-21. The Texans are favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Carolina, you have a problem. Houston covers the 4 1/2 and wins in the Lone Star State.

Oakland (1-2) at Indianapolis (2-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. The Silver and Black plays their second game in the great indoors as they travel to the Hoosier State to face off against the Indianpolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Oakland found themselves being taken to task by Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday in the Twin Cites, coming out on the losing end by a final of 34-14 at US Bank Stadium. The Raiders, dropping their second contest in a row, trailed 21-7 at the half and could never really get on track, as Minnesota would proceed to outscore them 13-7 in the final 30 minutes of action. Delvin Cook rushed for 110 yards and a TD as the Vikings out-rushed Oakland 211-88 and Cousins threw for 174 yards with a TD to WR Adam Thielen, while Derek Carr threw for 242 yards with a pair of TDs, four sacks and an interception (Cousins was not sacked and did not throw an interception). Oakland was 3 of 11 on third down (the Raiders were 2 of 3 on fourth down) and the Silver and Black kept the ball for 28:28, while Minnesota ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:32, going 5 of 9 on third down.

The Colts held off a late Atlanta rally in the final quarter and came away 27-24 winners over the Falcons at Indianapolis last Sunday. The Colts took a 20-6 lead at the half, then watched Atlanta outscore the Colts 21-7 in the final 30 minutes of play in the Hoosier State, pulling themselves to within 7 with 4:11 when Ryan and All-Pro WR Julio Jones connected on a 10-yard TD toss. The Colts would then get the ball back on the kickoff and run out the clock to take the win at Lucas Oil Stadium. Atlanta out-rushed the Colts 93-88 and Davonta Freeman led all rushers with 88 yards. Ryan threw for 304 yards and three TDs (two to TE Austih Hooper) with an interception but no sacks, while the Colts’ Jacoby Brissett threw for 310 yards and a pair of TDs with a sack (Marlon Mack led the Colts with 74 rushing yards and a TD). Atlanta was 8 of 10 on third down and the Falcons would keep the ball for 28:37, while the Colts ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 31:23, going 5 of 8 on third down.

Including games in Baltimore and Los Angeles, the Raiders hold an 8-7 lead in the series and have outscored the Colts 363-356. The Colts and Raiders met last year on the West Coast and the Colts would come away 42-28 winners (Oakland’s last win in the series came in 2016 on the West Coast by a final of 33-25)

Their week eight meet at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Colts trailed 14-13 at the intermission, then proceeded to take control of things in the second half by outscoring Oakland 29-14 the rest of the way, using 21 of those points in the final quarter thanks to a pair of Marlon Mack rushing TDs, the second coming with 2:55 left in the contest to seal Oakland’s fate. Mack ran for 132 yards with the two scores, as the Colts rushed for 222 yards and Oakland tallied 103 in the loss. Andrew Luck threw for 239 yards, while Derek Carr tallied 244 yards in the air (each threw three TDs and no sacks or interceptions). The Colts were 9 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 36:30, while the Raiders were 4 for 8 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 23:30.

Indianapolis, favored by 3 in the week eight contest, covered as they would win by 14 and both clubs covered the 49 over/under by tallying 70 points. Indy’s favored by a touchdown in the Hoosier State and the over/under’s 44 1/2. This one doesn’t have a lot of “Wow” factor but it will be somewhat entertaining to watch. Oakland will make this closer than the 7 but the Colts ride off with the win in the Hoosier State.

Los Angeles Chargers (1-2) at Miami (0-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. A pair of AFC foes looking to right their ships meet in the Sunshine State at winless Miami hosts the Los Angeles Chargers in an early afternoon (morning on the West Coast) contest. Both teams took losses in their contests last week.

The Bolts, who got RB Melvin Gordon back on the team this week, watched Houston erase a 17-7 intermission deficit against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park last Sunday, holding off Philip Rivers and the Chargers 27-20. Houston got a pair of TD passes from DeShaun Watson to TE Jordan Akins to take a 27-17 lead with 9:40 left in the contest. The Chargers’ Ty Long would put his club to within three with 7:14 left with a 43-yard field goal and that would be as close as the Chargers would get, as the Texans would hold them off in the final seconds to take the road win. While the Chargers did out-rush Houston 73-39, Watson threw for 351 yards and three TDs (including the two to Akins) and was sacked twice, while Rivers threw for 318 yards and a pair of TDs to Keenan Allen (Rivers was sacked five times, neither man threw an interception). Houston went 6 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:12, while the Chargers actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:48, going 5 of 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Dallas held Miami to a pair of first-half field goals at AT&T Stadium last Sunday, as they took care of the Dolphins 31-6. Dallas led 10-6 at the half, then proceeded to take control of things in the final 30 minutes of play, shutting out Miami in the second half by scoring the last 21 points of the contest unchallenged. Ezekiel Elliott (125) and rookie RB Tony Pollard (103 yards, TD) led the Cowboys as Dallas out-rushed Miami 235-72 and Prescott threw for 246 yards and a pair of TDs to Amari Cooper (Prescott was sacked once and threw an interception), while Miami’s Josh Rosen threw for 200 yards but was sacked three times. Dallas was 5 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 30:56, while the Dolphins were 3 of 15 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:04.

Including games played in San Diego and the Orange Bowl, Miami leads the series 16-13, the ‘Fins have outscored the Chargers 646-645 and have won the last two meetings in the series, the last coming in Los Angeles in 2017 by a final of 19-17, while Los Angeles’ last win came in San Diego in 2015, with the Chargers 30-14 victors. The Chargers are favored by 15 1/2 and the over/under’s 44. Granted, Miami’s bad but not 15 1/2 bad. While the Chargers win this one in the Sunshine State, expect Miami to make it hard for the Chargers to cover.

Washington (0-3) at New York Giants (1-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. New QBs, same rivalry. A pair of NFC East rivals meet in upstate New Jersey as the Giants host the Washington Redskins at Met Life Stadium. The Giants picked up their first win last week on the road in the Sunshine State, while the Redskins are looking to secure their first win in the 2019 campaign.

Washington proved to be no match for Chicago at Fed Ex Field and Chicago took care of the Redskins 31-15 Monday night in Landover. Chicago led 28-3 at the break and was never challenged by Washington in the prime-time contest. Da Bears out-rushed Washington 90-69 and Bears safety Clinton Ha-Ha Dix burned his team with an interception return for a TD to open the scoring. Trubisky threw for 231 yards and three TD passes to WR Taylor Gabriel with three sacks and an interception, while Case Keenum threw for 332 yards and a pair of TDs, tallying four sacks and three interceptions in the contest. Chicago was 8 of 13 on third down tries in Landover and kept the ball for 31:36, while Washington, who held on to the ball for 28:24, went 3 of 9 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

The Giants, with rookie QB Daniel Jones under center after Eli Manning was benched, rallied his club from a 28-10 deficit at halftime to come away with the 32-31 win over Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Big Blue would out-score Tampa Bay 22-3 in the final 30 minutes of play and Jones scored the game-winning TD with 76 seconds left in regulation. Jones threw for 336 yards and a TD to WR Sterling Shepherd as well as the game-winning rushing score, while Winston threw for 380 yards and three TDs to Mike Evans (Evans had eight catches for 190 yards; Jones was sacked five times, Winston was sacked four and threw an interception) and the Bucs out-rushed Big Blue 144-72. The Giants were 6 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:48, while Tampa Bay ruled the clock and kept the ball for 33:12, going 4 of 14 on third down tries (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

Includings games played in Boston, when the Redskins were known as the Boston Braves and the Giants played their home games at Yankee Stadium and the Yale Bowl, the Giants lead the series 100-68-4 and Big Blue has outscored Washington 3,487-3,081. The two clubs split last year’s series, each winning on the other’s field.

The first meeting? Week eight in the Meadowlands and Washington left Met Life Stadium with a 20-13 win over Eli and the Giants. Washington led 7-3 at the intermission and controled things in the second half, outscoring the Giants 13-10 in the second half. New York would make the contest a 7-point affair with 17 seconds left when Manning and TE Evan Engram connected on a 2-yard TD toss. The Giants would then try an onside kick, which Washington recovered and the Redskins went on to run out the clock in the Meadowlands and take the win. Washington rushed for 182 yards, with RB Adrian Peterson leading everyone with 149 yards and a TD, holding the Giants to 37. Mamming threw for 316 yards and the Engram TD but was sacked seven times and picked off twice, while Redskins QB Alex Smith threw for 176 and a TD to Peterson (Smith was not sacked and did not throw an interception). Washington went 6 of 16 on third down and held the ball for 33:38; the Giants would keep the pigskin for 26:22 and went 2 of 14 and 3 of 4 on third and fourth downs.

The Giants would get revenge in Landover in week 14, taking a 40-16 win at Fed Ex Field. Eli and the Giants led 34-0 at the intermission, then led 40-0 at the end of three quarters before the Redskins would score all 16 of their points in the contest unchallenged. Manning (197 yards) threw three TDs in the contest with a pair of sacks but no interceptions, as the Giants out-rushed Washington 227-87, with Sequan Barkley leading all rushers with 170 yards and a TD. Washington’s Mark Sanchez threw for 38 yards with five sacks and a pair of interceptions before giving way to Josh Johnson, who threw for 195 yards and a TD. The Giants were 4 of 13 on third down tries in Landover and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 30:09, while the Redskins held on to the ball for 29:51, going 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week eight contest in upstate New Jersey, Washington was favored by 1 and covered the spread, winning by 7. Both teams missed the 42 over/under, tallying 33 points. The Giants not only won the week 14 rematch in Landover, they covered the 1 1/2-point spread, winning by 24 and this time, both clubs covered the over/under (42 1/2), tallying 56 points. The Giants are favored by 3 in the Meadowlands and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Redskins fans want to sing “Hail to the Redskins,” instead of “Hell, it’s the Redskins!” this week. The Giants are going to delay that a week. Giants cover the 3 and takes the win in upstate New Jersey.

Seattle (2-1) at Arizona (0-2-1), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of NFC West rivals meet in the desert as Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks face off against Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Both teams lost at home last week and are looking to catch the first-place Los Angeles Rams in the division.

Seattle fell behind the Drew Brees-less New Orleans Saints last Sunday in the Pacific Northwest and lost 33-27 at Century Link Field. The Seahawks trailed 20-7 at the break but managed to outscore New Orleans 20-13 in the second half. Seattle managed to out-rush the Saints 109-88, even though Saints RB Alvin Kamara led all rushers with 69 yards and a TD. Wilson threw for 406 yards and a pair of TDs, including a toss to TE Will Dissly as time expired, while Teddy Bridgewater, taking over for Brees, threw for 177 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Kamara). Seattle went 5 of 14 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 4 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:33, while the Saints kept the ball for 28:27, going 3 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Arizona watched Carolina erase a 7-0 first quarter deficit in Glendale, then trailed 14-10 at the intermission to lose to the Panthers 38-20 last Sunday. Panthers backup QB Kyle Allen connected with TE Greg Olson on two TD passes in the desert as Carolina outscored the Desert Angry Birds 24-10 in the second half. Carolina out-rushed the Cardinals 173-121 with Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey leading the way with 153 yards and a TD, while Arizona QB Kyler Murray led his team with 69 yards of rushing. Allen threw for 261 yards and four TDs (including the two Olson catches), while Murray threw for 173 yards with two TDs (Allen was sacked twice but did not throw an interception, while Murray was sacked eight times with two picks). Arizona went 9 of 17 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 31:44, while the Panthers kept the pigskin for 28:16, going 4 of 10 on third down.

While Arizona leads the series 20-19-1, the Seahawks have actually outscored the Desert Angry Birds 996-774 and have won three of their last four meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Arizona’s last win came in 2017, when the Desert Angry Birds came away with a 26-24 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks).

Their first meeting took place in week four in Glendale at State Farm Stadium. Seattle erased a 10-7 deficit at the break in the desert, then broke a 17-17 tie in the final seconds and came away 20-17 winners. The Seahawks took a 17-10 lead with them into the final 15 minutes of action before the Desert Angry Birds would tie the contest with 8:59 left in regulation when Josh Rosen and WR Chad Williams connected on a 22-yard TD pass. Arizona could have taken the lead for themselves with 1:55 left but Pat Dawson’s 45-yard field goal missed wide right, giving Seattle the ball with 1:50 left. The Seahawks would then use a 7-play, 31-yard drive that used all of the 1:50 and sent Cardinals fans home sad when Sebastian Janikowski split the uprights with a 52-yard field goal as time expired.

Seattle out-rushed Arizona 171-92 (Seattle’s Mike Davis led all rushers with 101 yards and a pair of TDs) and Wilson threw for 172 yards; while Wilson did not throw a TD, he was sacked twice and Rosen threw for 180 yards with one sack and the lone TD toss (neither threw an interception). Seattle struggled on third down tries in the desert (0 of 10) but found some success on fourth down, going 1 of 2 and kept the ball for 31:46, including the final 1:50 of the contest. As for Arizona? They were 5 of 12 on third down, keeping the ball for 28:14.

Seattle put Janikowski’s leg to good use in the rematach in week 17 and as was the case in the first meeting, the second contest went down to the wire at Century Link Field and once again it was Seattle that would prevail with the 27-24 win over the Cardinals. Seattle led 14-13 at the break in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and had a 21-13 lead with 11 seconds left in the third quarter when Arizona LB Dennis Gardeck blocked a punt and recovered the ball in the end zone to tie the contest up at 21-21 (Arizona would go for a two-conversion and was successful in the attempt). Janikowski and Zane Gonzalez would trade field goals in the fourth quarter before the Seahawks got the ball back with 1:49 left in regulation. Seattle would use all of that 1:49, taking an 8-play, 60-yard drive down the field, where Janikowski would connect on a 33-yard field goal as the clock struck :00.

As was the case in the first meeting, Seattle out-rushed Arizona, this time tallying 182 yards to the Cardinals’ 85 and Wilson threw for 152 yards with a TD to Tyler Lockett with a, interception, while Rosen accounted for 149 yards and no interceptions (each was sacked six times). Seattle again struggled on third down tries in the Pacific Northwest, going 4 of 14 and kept the ball for 29:09, including the final 1:49, while Arizona ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:51, going 4 of 17 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Seattle, the favorite on the road, covered the 3-point spread in the week four contest in Glendale but both clubs missed the 39 over/under by 2 points. The Seahawks were favored again in the week 17 contest at home, this time by 13 1/2. Once again, the Seahawks would win by three but this time, both teams covered the over/under of 38 1/2 by tallying 51 ponts. Seattle’s favored by 5 and the over/under’s 48. Both teams want to catch and pass the Rams to be on top of the NFC West mountain. Seahawks win in the desert and cover the 5.

Tampa Bay (1-2) at Los Angeles Rams (3-0), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. The Rams returns to the West Coast for a late afternoon (Eastern time) contest with Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Coliseum.

Winston and Tampa Bay let a 28-10 lead at the half against the New York Giants get away from them as Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones went under center and led his club to a 32-31 win over the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Big Blue would out-score Tampa Bay 22-3 in the final 30 minutes of play and Jones scored the game-winning TD with 76 seconds left in regulation. Jones threw for 336 yards and a TD to WR Sterling Shepherd as well as the game-winning rushing score, while Winston threw for 380 yards and three TDs to Mike Evans (Evans had eight catches for 190 yards; Jones was sacked five times, Winston was sacked four and threw an interception) and the Bucs out-rushed Big Blue 144-72. The Giants were 6 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:48, while Tampa Bay ruled the clock and kept the ball for 33:12, going 4 of 14 on third down tries (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

The defending NFC champs kept their unbeaten streak in tact last Sunday night along the shores of Lake Erie as they held off a late Cleveland rally and beat the Rams 20-13 at First Energy Stadium. Jared Goff and the Rams trailed 6-3 at the intermission before Goff connected on a pair of TD passes to Cooper Kupp, the second one giving Los Angeles the lead back for keeps with 12:48 left in the contest. Greg Zuerlein would then add a 37-yard field goal to push the lead to a 3-point margin and the Rams stopped Baker Mayfield inside their 10-yard line as four of Mayfield’s passes fell incomplete in the final seconds of the contest.

Cleveland out-rushed Los Angeles 95-90 with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading all rusher with 96 yards, while former Georgia teammate Todd Gurley leading Los Angeles with 48. Goff threw for 268 yards with the two Kupp TDs (he was sacked twice and picked off twice), while Mayfield threw for 195 yards with a TD, three sacks and an interception. The Rams in the Sunday night contest along the shores of Lake Erie went 6 of 14 on third down and held the ball for 28:23. As for the Browns? They were 6 of 16 on third down and 0 of 2 on fourth down but ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:37.

Including contests in St. Louis and Anaheim, the Rams lead the series 14-8, they have out-scored the Buccaneers 530-451 and have won the last five meetings, including a 37-32 win in the Sunshine State in 2016, while Tampa Bay’s last win came in Tampa Bay by a final of 18-17 in 2010. The Rams find themselves as 9 1/2 popint favorites on the West Coast and the over/under’s 49. Tampa Bay’s good… the Rams are a little better. The Buccaneers are going to make this one closer than 9 1/2 but the Rams remain among the unbeaten and takes the win at home.

Minnesota (2-1) at Chicago (2-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. They meet again and round one is in the Windy City. Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears host Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field in a late-afternoon match along the shores of Lake Michigan between NFC North rivals.

Cousins and Minnesota took care of Oakland last Sunday in the Twin Cites, taking a 34-14 win over the Silver and Black at US Bank Stadium. The Vikings led 21-7 at the half and could never really get on track, as Minnesota would proceed to outscore them 13-7 in the final 30 minutes of action. Delvin Cook rushed for 110 yards and a TD as the Vikings out-rushed Oakland 211-88 and Cousins threw for 174 yards with a TD to WR Adam Thielen, while Derek Carr threw for 242 yards with a pair of TDs, four sacks and an interception (Cousins was not sacked and did not throw an interception). Oakland was 3 of 11 on third down (the Raiders were 2 of 3 on fourth down) and the Silver and Black kept the ball for 28:28, while Minnesota ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:32, going 5 of 9 on third down.

Washington proved to be no match for Da Bears, as Chicago went into Fed Ex Field and took care of the Redskins 31-15 Monday night in Landover. Chicago led 28-3 at the break and was never challenged by Washington in the prime-time contest. Da Bears out-rushed Washington 90-69 and Clinton Ha-Ha Dix burned his team with an interception return for a TD to open the scoring. Trubisky threw for 231 yards and three TD passes to WR Taylor Gabriel with three sacks and an interception, while Case Keenum threw for 332 yards and a pair of TDs, tallying four sacks and three interceptions in the contest. Chicago was 8 of 13 on third down tries in Landover and kept the ball for 31:36, while Washington, who held on to the ball for 28:24, went 3 of 9 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Including contests that were played at Wrigley Field, Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington and the Metrodome, the Vikings lead the series 60-53-2 and have outscored Chicago 2,414-2,230. However… Da Bears have won the last two meetings, sweeping the series last year (Minnesota’s last win came in 2017 in the Twin Cities by a final of 23-10).

Chicago and Minnesota met in the Windy City in week 11 and Chicago took a 14-0 lead with them, then held off a late Minnesota rally at Soldier Field to come away 25-20 winners. Minnesota would out-score Da Bears 20-11 in the last 30 minutes of action, pulling themselves to within five with 48 seconds left when Cousins and WR Stefan Diggs connected on a 5-yard TD toss. Chicago, out-rushing Minnesota 148-22, recovered the onside kick and sealed the win for the home team. Trubisky threw for 165 yards and a TD with a sack, while Cousins threw for 262 yards with two TDs and two sacks (both Trubisky and Cousins threw two interceptions). Chicago went 6 of 12 on third down and held the ball for 34:29, while the Vikings kept the ball for 25:31, going 5 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

They met again in the Twin Cities in week 17 at U.S. Bank Stadium and for Chicago, second verse same as the first. Da Bears took a 13-3 lead with them to the break and left the Land of 10,000 Lakes 24-10 winners. Bears RB Juwan Howard accounted for Chicago’s first two TDs in the contest before the Vikings would pull themselves to within 7 with 1:51 left in the third when Cousins and Diggs connected on a 2-yard TD toss. Chicago would score 11 fourth quarter points unchallenged to seal the deal and the NFC North title. Howard rushed for 109 yards to go with the two TDs as Da Bears out-rushed Minnesota 169-63 and Trubisky threw for 163 yards with no interceptions or sacks, while Cousins threw for 132 yards with four sacks but no interceptions. Chicago went 8 of 14 on third down (Da Bears were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 37:08 to Minnesota’s 22:52 (the Vikings were a dismal 1 of 11 on third down, 1 of 4 on fourth down).

In the week 11 meeting along the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago was favored by 3 and won by 5, allowing them to cover the spread. The two clubs barely missed the over/under (they combined for 45 points) by 1/2 a point. Minnesota was favored by 5 in the week 17 contest in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and Chicago covered, winning by 14. The 41 over/under was safe, as both teams combined for 34 points. Vegas likes Da Bears as 2 1/2 point favorites in the Windy City and the over/under’s 38 1/2. Both teams would like nothing more than to knock Green Bay out of first place in the NFC North but to do that, they would have to knock each other off. Someone’s going come away a little bloody and someone’s going to come out of this on top. The Monsters of the Midway take care of business in the Windy City Sunday afternoon and covers the 2 1/2.

Jacksonville (1-2) at Denver (0-3), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 716. A pair of struggling AFC teams meet in the Mile High City as Denver hosts the Jacksonville Jaguars at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.

Jacksonville held Tennessee to a third quarter TD by RB Derrick Henry and came away against their AFC South rivals 20-7 last Thursday night. Jacksonville led 14-0 at the break, scoring both of those TDs in the first quarter, using TD passes from Gardner Minshew to TE James O’Shaughnessy to open the scoring in the contest and then a toss to WR J.J. Chark Jr. at TIAA Field. Tennessee did out-rush Jacksonville 91-88 in the Thursday night contest and Marcus Mariota threw for 304 yards but was sacked nine times, while Minshew threw for 204 yards with no sacks (neither threw an interception). Tennessee went 8 for 17 on third down and actually ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 35:16, while Jacksonville kept the pigskin for 24:44, going 2 of 11 on third down (both clubs were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

Denver watched Green Bay pick up their third win in a row, taking care of Joe Flacco and the Broncos 27-16 at Lambeau Field last Sunday afternoon. The Packers led 17-10 at the intermission, then proceeded to outpace Denver 10-6 in the last 30 minutes of play. While Denver out-rushed Green Bay 149-77 (Denver’s Phillip Lindsay led all rushers with 81 yards and a pair of TDs), Rodgers took care of Denver’s secondary, throwing for 235 yards with a TD and no sacks or interceptions, while Flacco threw for 213 yards with six sacks and an interception. Green Bay went 2 of 9 on third down and held on to the ball for 24:26, while Denver actually ruled the clock and held on to the pigskin for 35:34, going 8 of 15 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The series? Even at 5-5. Denver has outscored Jacksonville 221-188 and has won the last two meetings, including taking a 20-10 win in the Sunshine State in 2016 (Jacksonville’s last win over Denver came in 2010 at home by a final of 24-17). Denver’s favored by 3 in the Mile High City and the over/under’s 37 1/2. Denver breaks their 3-game losing streak at home, taking the win in the Mile High City and covering the 3.

Dallas (3-0) at New Orleans (2-1), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Sunday action in week four concludes in the Big Easy as Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys make their way to New Orleans to face off against the Saints in a meeting of two teams, sitting in first place in their respective divisions.

Prescott and the Cowboys held Miami to a pair of first-half field goals at AT&T Stadium last Sunday, as they took care of the Dolphins 31-6. Dallas led 10-6 at the half, then proceeded to take control of things in the final 30 minutes of play, shutting out Miami in the second half by scoring the last 21 points of the contest unchallenged. Ezekiel Elliott (125) and rookie RB Tony Pollard (103 yards, TD) led the Cowboys as Dallas out-rushed Miami 235-72 and Prescott threw for 246 yards and a pair of TDs to Amari Cooper (Prescott was sacked once and threw an interception), while Miami’s Josh Rosen threw for 200 yards but was sacked three times. Dallas was 5 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 30:56, while the Dolphins were 3 of 15 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:04.

The Drew Brees-less New Orleans Saints took care of business last Sunday in the Pacific Northwest against Seattle, coming away 33-27 victors at Century Link Field. New Orleans led through the contest and had a 20-7 lead at the break before the Seahawks managed to outscore New Orleans 20-13 in the second half. Seattle managed to out-rush the Saints 109-88, even though Saints RB Alvin Kamara led all rushers with 69 yards and a TD. Wilson threw for 406 yards and a pair of TDs, including a toss to TE Will Dissly as time expired, while Teddy Bridgewater, taking over for Brees, threw for 177 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Kamara). Seattle went 5 of 14 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 4 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:33, while the Saints kept the ball for 28:27, going 3 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Dallas leads the series 17-12, the Cowboys have out-scored the Saints 604-560 and they won last year’s contest in Arlington by a final of 13-10 (New Orleans’ last win came in 2015 in the Big Easy, as the Saints would need overtime to take a 26-20 win). They met in Arlington in week 13 and each team scored their points unchallenged. Dallas would take a 13-0 lead with them to the break before New Orleans would respond with their 10 points of the game unchallenged (the two clubs played a scoreless fourth quarter). Dallas outrushed the Saints 100-65 (Elliott led all rushers with 76 yards and a passing TD), while Prescott threw for 248 yards (Brees threw for 127 yards with a TD but was sacked twice and picked off once) in the win. Dallas went 7 of 14 on third down tries at AT&T Stadium and kept the ball for 36:53 in the 3-point home win, while the Saints kept the ball for 23:07, while going 3 of 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

In the week 13 contest in the Lone Star State on the Thursday night after Thanksgiving, New Orleans was favored by 7 1/2 and while Dallas did win, they only won by 3 and neither team touched the 52 1/2 over/under, tallying only 23 points. Dallas is favored in the Big Easy by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 47. Dallas would like nothing more than to go 4-0 to start the season, while New Orleans wants to end Dallas’ 3-game win streak. Sorry, Saints fans. Dallas covers the 2 1/2 and wins in the Big Easy.

Cincinnati (0-3) at Pittsburgh (0-3), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Forget the records. These AFC North rivals DON’T like each other. Don’t expect any Facebook friend requests and don’t except them to follow each other on Twitter. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh close out the action in week four as the AFC North rivals meet at Heinz Field. Both lost on the road last week and both are searching for their first win of the 2019 campaign.

A late Cincinnati rally fell short in Orchard Park as the Bengals fell to Buffalo 21-17 at New Era Stadium last Sunday. The Bills led 14-0 at the intermission in upstate New York, then watched the Bengals outscore Buffalo 17-7 in the final 30 minutes of play to make the contest closer than Bills fans would like. Buffalo ran for 175 yards, holding the Bengals to 67 yards (Bills RB Frank Gore led all rushers with 76 yards and a TD), while Josh Allen threw for 243 yards for the Bills with an interception (Andy Dalton threw for 249 yards and two interceptions and a pair of sacks; both Dalton and Allen threw a TD in the contest). The Bengals, who turned the ball over three times in upstate New York, went 3 for 11 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 23:06, while Buffalo ruled the clock and circled their wagons around the ball, keeping it for 36:54 and went 5 of 13 on third down tries.

Pittsburgh let a 6-3 lead at the intermission at San Francisco get away from them as the 49ers with WR Dante Pettis and QB Jimmy Garoppolo connected on a 5-yard TD toss with 75 seconds left in their contest at Levis’ Stadium, coming away 24-20 victors over the Steelers. Chris Boswell put the Steelers on the board with a pair of first quarter field goals before San Francisco’s Robbie Gould narrowed the gap to three in the second. The Steelers would lead 20-17 late in the contest before San Francisco went on a 7-play, 24-yard drive that used 4:14 of clock and ended with Pettis and Garoppolo connecting on the game-winning score.

San Francisco out-rushed Pittsburgh 168-79 and rookie QB Mason Rudolph, taking over for the injured Ben Roethlisberger, threw for 174 yards and a pair of TDs (one to WR JuJu Smith-Schuster) and was sacked twice with an interception, while Garoppolo threw for 277 yards and the game-winning TD, adding a sack and a pair of interceptions to his tally. Pittsburgh turned the ball over twice (they forced five San Francisco turnovers) and went 3 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 23:43, while the 49ers held on to the pig skin for 36:17, going 6 for 11 on third down tries.

The Steelers lead the series 62-35, Pittsburgh has outscored the Bengals 2,144-1,707 and the Steelers have won the last seven contests, including sweeping last year’s series (Cincinnati’s last win over Pittsburgh came in the Steel City in 2015 by a final of 16-10).

Their first meeting? Week six in Cincinnati and the Steelers rallied in the final seconds of their contest along the shores of the Ohio River and came out on top 28-21. Tied 14-14 at the half, the Steelers would take a late lead by 6 with 3:32 left in the game after Chris Boswell kicked his second field goal of the half. Cincinnati would taie the lead back with 78 seconds left when Joe Mixon scored on a 4-yard TD run. Pittsburgh, needing to rally, used a 7-play, 77-yard drive that took 68 seconds of clock and ended when Antonio Brown and Roethlisberger connected on a 31-yard TD toss with 10 seconds left. Pittssburgh then elected to go for two and made that plan a reality when Roethlisberger and WR JuJu Smith-Schuester connected on the two-point try. The Bengals then would get the ball back, getting as close as their own 38 yard, when Dalton’s desperation pass fell short.

Pittsburgh out-rushed the Bengals in the Queen City 112-62 (Steelers RB James Conner led all rushers with 111 yards and a pair of TDs) and Roethlisberger threw for 369 yards, while Dalton threw for 229 yards and a pair of TDs to Tyler Boyd with three sacks (neither threw an interception). Both teams did well on third down conversions in the first meeting; Pittsburgh was 8 of 14, Cincinnati was 6 of 12 and the Steelers ruled the clock and kept the ball for 34:56 to Cincinnati’s 25:04.

The Steelers made it a clean sweep of the series and as was the case in the first meeting, needed to rally from behind, coming away 16-13 winners at Heinz Field. With a potential playoff berth on the line, the Steelers trailed 10-3 at the half (they were scoreless after the first quarter), then took a 13-10 lead with 8:35 left in the contest when a 47-yard field goal by K Matt McCrane gave them the lead. That lead would not last very long as Bengals K Randy Bullock would even things back up with 6:17 left, booting a 32-yard field goal. Pittsburgh then used a 12-play, 58-yard drive that used 4:21 of clock and reclaimed the lead with McCrane kicking his second field goal of the half, this time from 35 yards out.

The Bengals would have one last chance to beat Pittsburgh and damage their playoff hopes as Jeff Driskell, who took over for Dalton, got his team as close as their 40-yard line, when his pass on fourth down fell incomplete, giving the Steelers the win. The win was too little too late for the Steelers, as the Ravens had beaten Cleveland in Baltimore as Steeler players and watched the game on the Heinz Field video screen. Mixon rushed for 105 yards as Cincinnati out-rushed Pittsburgh 125-65 and Roethlisberger threw for 287 yards with the TD, a sack and an interception, while Driskell threw for 95 yards with four sacks. Pittsburgh went 5 of 15 on third down (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:22, while the Bengals, who kept the ball for 25:38, went 3 of 12 on third down and 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week six contest, Cincinnati was favored by 2 1/2 and the Steelers covered, winning by 7. The two clubs tallied 49 points, missing the over/under by 4. In the season finale, the Steelers were favored by 14 1/2 but won by only 3 points and the 45 1/2 over/under was untouched, as both clubs combined for only 29 points.

Cincinnati on Monday night? 11-24 and the Bengals have lost their last four meetings in prime time (their last appearance was in 2017, their last win came in 2014). The Steelers have done a lot better, going 46-24 under the lights, winning their last six MNF contests (their last loss came in 2013). Pittsburgh’s favored by 4 and the over/under’s 44. You’re better off watching “Bob Hearts Abishola” this week. One losing streak will end, the other will continue. Steelers celebrate at Heinz and takes the win, covering the 4.