Archives for category: Jared Goff

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.

Thanksgiving has come and gone.

Black Friday? Made its guest appearance and head out.

It’s getting colder and somewhat windier.

Malls are getting crowded and Santa can now make his appearance.

It’s the Sunday/Monday part of week 13 in the National Football League and there have already been three games on the docket. 13 more remain.

For some teams, it’s a chance to hold on to those precious playoff spots. For those that are struggling, it’s their chance to right their ships and hope for either a Wild Card spot or a better spot in the upcoming draft. Time is running out for those that want to make their way into the Lombardi Party and they better get cracking if they want that invite. Only 12 can get in, which mean the other 20 are fighting for a spot.

2019 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 13

AFC

CLINCHED: None

New England (10-1) at Houston (7-4), Sunday at 8:20 p.m. on NBC

New England clinches playoff berth with:

New England win + Oakland loss or tie OR
New England win + Pittsburgh loss or tie OR
New England tie + Oakland loss + Pittsburgh loss OR
New England tie + Oakland loss + Indianapolis loss OR
New England tie + Pittsburgh loss + Indianapolis loss

NFC

CLINCHED: None

San Francisco (10-1) at Baltimore (9-2), 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

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK 12: New England defeated Dallas 13-9, in Week 12 and improved to 10-1 on the season. The Patriots have won at least 10 games in 17 consecutive seasons dating back to 2003 and surpassed San Francisco S (16 seasons from 1983-98) for the most consecutive seasons with at least 10 victories in NFL history. Wide receiver Matthew Slater blocked a punt for the Patriots in the first quarter. New England has blocked three punts in 2019, tied for the second-most in a team’s first 11 games of a season since 1990. Only the 1990 Kansas City Chiefs (five) had more.

Buffalo running back Frank Gore registered 65 rushing yards in the Bills’ 20-3 win over Denver. Gore, who has 15,289 career rushing yards, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders (15,269 rushing yards) for the third-most rushing yards in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith (18,355) and Walter Payton (16,726) have more. Gore, who has 611 scrimmage yards in 2019, has recorded at least 500 scrimmage yards in 15 consecutive seasons, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Owens (15 seasons from 1996-2010) for the third-longest such streak in NFL history. Only Larry Fitzgerald (16 seasons from 2004-19) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez (16 from 1998-2013) have a longer streak of seasons in league annals.

Tampa Bay wide receiver Chris Godwin recorded seven receptions for 184 yards and two touchdowns in the Buccaneers’ 35-22 win at Atlanta. It marked Godwin’s third game of the season in which he had at least 150 receiving yards. Godwin and Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans have each recorded at least 150 receiving yards in three games this season, becoming the first pair of teammates to each record three such performances in a single season in NFL history.

Godwin, who has 1,071 receiving yards this season, and Evans, who has 1,043 receiving yards in 2019, are the fourth pair of teammates each with at least 1,000 receiving yards in their team’s first 11 games, joining Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas (2014 Denver Broncos), Torry Holt and Isasc Bruce (2000 St. Louis Rams), and Pro Football Hall of Famer Don Maynard and George Sauer (1968 New York Jets). Evans, who registered 50 receiving yards on Sunday, joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (1998-2003) as the only players with at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first six seasons in NFL history.

New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas recorded 10 receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown in the Saints’ 34-31 win over Carolina. Thomas is the fourth player with at least eight receptions and 100 receiving yards in five consecutive games in a single season in NFL history. Thomas has 104 receptions for 1,242 yards and six touchdowns in 2019 and became the fifth player with at least 100 receptions and 1,200 receiving yards in three consecutive seasons in NFL history.

Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey recorded 133 scrimmage yards (69 receiving, 64 rushing) and both a rushing and receiving touchdown on Sunday against New Orleans. McCaffrey has eight career games with both a rushing and receiving touchdown, tied with Chuck Foreman (eight games from 1973-75) for the most such games in a player’s first three seasons in NFL history. McCaffrey has 13 career games with at least 50 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards, surpassing Herschel Walker (12 games from 1986-88) for the most such games in a player’s first three seasons in league annals.

McCaffrey, who has 21 rushing touchdowns and 15 receiving touchdowns since entering the NFL in 2017, joined Chuck Foreman (1973-75) as the only players with at least 20 rushing touchdowns and 15 receiving touchdowns through their first three seasons in NFL history.

Tennessee running back Derrick Henry registered 159 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in the Titans’ 42-20 win against Jacksonville. In the third quarter, Henry recorded rushing touchdowns of 74 and seven yards in a 16-second span and became the first player since Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson (two touchdowns in 15 seconds in Week 10, 2006) to score two touchdowns within a 20-second span in a single game.

With his 74-yard touchdown run, Henry joined Napoleon Kaufman (1997-99) and Robert Smith (1997-2000) as the only players in NFL history to record a rushing touchdown of at least 70 yards in three consecutive seasons.

Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz recorded 12 receptions, including the 500th of his career, for 91 yards and a touchdown in the Eagles’ Week 12 loss against Seattle. Ertz, appearing in his 102nd career game, became the second-fastest tight end in NFL history to reach 500 career receptions, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow Sr. (101 games).

Ertz has 11 career games with at least 10 receptions, tied with Jason Witten (11 games) for the second-most such games by a tight end in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez (15) had more.

Cleveland linebacker Joe Schobert registered four passes defensed and two interceptions in the Browns’ 41-24 win against Miami. Schobert, who also had two interceptions in Week 11, is the fourth linebacker to record multiple interceptions in consecutive games in the Super Bowl era, joining Al Beuchamp (Weeks 11-12 in 1971), Cato June (Weeks 5-6 in 2005) and Stan White (Weeks 7-8 in 1977).

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 San Francsico-Baltimore matchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest pairs the teams from one of the best Super Bowls in recent memory, Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The Ravens and head coach John Harbaugh built a 28-6 lead on his younger brother, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, when Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones returned the second-half-opening kickoff 108 yards, the longest play in Super Bowl annals. Soon after Jones’ return, the stadium lost power, causing a 34-minute delay. San Francisco responded with Michael Crabtree’s touchdown catch, and TD runs by Frank Gore and Colin Kaepernick to pull within 31-29 with just less than 10 minutes remaining. After a Justin Tucker field goal gave Baltimore a 34-29 advantage, the Ravens’ last-minute goal-line stand preserved their second Super Bowl victory. After using a safety to run out the clock, Baltimore won, 34-31.

HAVE ANOTHER SERVING OF HOPE: As the playoff races come into focus, Cleveland in the AFC and Carolina, Chicagao and Philadelphia in the NFC are 5-6. In 13 of the past 15 seasons (2004-18), a team with a sub-.500 record through 11 games has made the playoff field. And since 1990, when the current 12-team playoff format was instituted, 21 such clubs in 29 seasons have steered their way to the postseason. Four of those clubs – the 1995 San Diego Chargers, the 1996 Jacksonville Jaguars, the 2008 San Diego Chargers and the 2014 Carolina Panthers – earned playoff berths after starting with four-or-fewer wins through 11 games. The Jaguars advanced to the AFC Championship that season and both the Chargers (2008) and Panthers (2014) advanced to their respective Divisional rounds.

Teams with a sub-.500 record through 11 games to qualify for the playoffs since 1990:

TEAM – SEASON (W-L-T, PCT)
Philadelphia – 2018 (5-6-0, .455)
Washington – 2005 (5-6-0,. 455)
Green Bay – 2016 (5-6-0, .455)
St. Louis Rams – 2004 (5-6-0, .455)
Washington – 2015 (5-6-0, .455)
Detroit – 1997 (5-6-0, .455)
Carolina – 2014 (3-7-1, .318)
Jacksonville – 1996 (4-7-0, .364)
San Diego – 2013 (5-6-0, .455)
Detroit – 1995 (5-6-0, .455)
Washington – 2012 (5-6-0, .455)
San Diego – 1995 (4-7-0, .364)
Seattle – 2010 (5-6-0, .455)
Detroit – 1994 (5-6-0, .455)
New York Jets – 2009 (5-6-0, .455)
New England – 1994 (5-6-0, .455)
San Diego – 2008 (4-7-0, 364)
Minnesota – 1993 (5-6-0, .455)
Washington – 2007 (5-6-0, .455)
New Orleans – 1990 (5-6-0, .455)
Philadelphia – 2006 (5-6-0, .455)

AN NFC RARITY: The Minnesota-Seattle contest on Monday Night Football features one of three NFC clubs (Seattle, San Francisco and New Orleans) with nine-or-more wins. This season marks the first time in 18 years that three NFC clubs are 9-2 or better through 11 games. Since the conference was formed during the league merger in 1970, it’s happened only four other times (1986, 1990, 1991 and 2001).

Last year, Seattle’s Russell Wilson became the first quarterback in NFL history to win at least nine games in each of his first seven seasons. Wilson, now in his eighth NFL season, led the Seahawks to their ninth win last week at Philadelphia.

DECEMBERS TO REMEMBER: San Francsico and Baltimore, who meet on Sunday, are two of the NFL’s best teams in December since 2017, when the 49ers acquired quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from New England. Garoppolo is 5-0 in December since coming to San Francisco.

The NFL teams with highest winning percentages in December since 2017:

TEAM (W-L-T, PCT.)
Los Angeles Chargers (8-2-0, .800)
Dallas (6-2-0, .750)
Baltimore (7-3-0, .700)
Kansas City (7-3-0, .700)
New England (7-3-0, .700)
Philadelphia (7-3-0, .700)
San Francisco (7-3-0, .700)
New Orleans (6-3-0, .667)

PLETHORA OF EIGHT-WIN TEAMS: Green Bay, who heads east to play the New York Giants on Sunday, are one of eight NFL teams with eight-or-more wins in 2019, tying a single-season record through 11 games. This marks the first time in 16 years – and only the fifth time in history – that eight clubs have reached eight wins through 11 games. It also happened in 1968, 1975, 1997 and 2003.

PLETHORA OF NINE-WIN TEAMS: The Sunday Night Football contest pairs New England (10-1) on the road against Houston (7-4). The Patriots are one of five NFL teams with at least nine wins through 11 games, also tying a single-season league record. This marks just the second time in the past 28 seasons that five teams have nine-or-more wins through 11 games. It also happened in 1968, 1975, 1976, 1986, 1990, 1991 and 2015.

Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson ranks third in the NFL among quarterbacks with five rushing touchdowns. Only Buffalo’s Josh Allen (seven) and Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson (six) have more. Overall this season, NFL quarterbacks have rushed for 58 touchdowns. That’s on pace for 84, which would be 11 more than the most in a single season since the 1970 merger, 73, in 2002.

ROOKIES NOT ONLY PLAYING, THEY’RE WINNING: Cleveland makes the two-hour bus ride to play in Pittsburgh on Sunday in a game that features Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield, the number 1 overall selection in the 2018 draft, against an undrafted rookie, Delvin Hodges. The 2018 and 2019 seasons are two of only four in NFL history that have had five-or-more quarterbacks win at least one start (Hodges won his first career start earlier this year). The league-record is seven, in 1987. Five rookie quarterbacks also started and won at least one game in 2012.

MAHOMES, JACKSON HAVE HISTORY IN THEIR SIGHTS: Oakland meets Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (age 24) enters the week ranked fifth in the NFL with a 110 passer rating. Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson (age 22) enters the week ranked third with a 111.4 mark. Prior to 2019, only twice in 99 NFL seasons has a player under the age of 25 finished a season with a passer rating of 110 or higher: Mahomes in 2018 (113.8) and Nick Foles in 2013 (119.2).

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 13

BATTLE IN BALTIMORE: Baltimore enters Week 13 with the NFL’s top scoring offense (35.1 points per game), while San Francisco has allowed 14.8 points per game, the fewest in the NFC this season.

Sunday’s matchup in Baltimore will mark the third time that a team averaging more than 35 points per game and a team averaging fewer than 15 points allowed per game will meet in Week 13 or later since 1970. In each of the previous two matchups, one of the competing teams advanced to the Super Bowl that season.

The matchups featuring a team averaging at least 35 points per game and a team averaging fewer than 15 points per game in Week 13 or later since 1970:

SEASON/WEEK – TEAM (POINTS/GAME) vs. TEAM (POINTS ALLOWED/GAME)(RESULT)
2012/15 – New England (36.3) vs. San Francisco (14.2)(San Francisco 41, New England 34)#
2007/14 – New England (39.1) vs. Pittsburgh (12.9)(New England 34, Pittsburgh 13)#
2019/13 – Baltimore (35.1)* vs. San Francisco (14.8)*(??)
*Entering Sunday
#New England and San Francisco Advanced to Super Bowl

Baltimore enters December having scored at least 40 points in each of its past three games – 49 points in Week 10, 41 in Week 11 and 45 in Week 12. With at least 40 points against San Francisco on Sunday, the Ravens can become the fourth team to score at least 40 points in four consecutive games in NFL history.

The teams with the most consecutive games scoring at least 40 points in NFL history:

TEAM (SEASON – CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 40+ POINTS)
Indianapolis (2004 – 4)
St. Louis Rams (2000 – 4)
Los Angeles Chargers (1960 – 4)
Baltimore (2019 – 3)*
*Active streak

In his past three games, Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson has 12 touchdown passes and zero interceptions for a 147.8 passer rating and has had a passer rating of 130-or-higher in each of those contests.

With a passer rating of 130-or-higher on Sunday against San Francisco, Jackson can become the third quarterback with four consecutive games with a passer rating of 130 or higher in NFL history.

The players with the most consecutive games with a passer rating of 130-or-higher in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 130+ RATING)

John Hadl, Los Angeles Rams (1973, 4)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2015, 4)
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (2019, 3)*
*Active streak

SLINGING IT DOWN SOUTH: Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston ranks second in the NFL in passing yards (3,391) and third in passing touchdowns (22) and is one of four quarterbacks to average at least 300 passing yards per game (308.3) this season. Winston has passed for at least 300 yards and a touchdown in each of his past six games.

By passing for at least 300 yards and one touchdown on Sunday against Jacksonville, Winston would tie Peyton Manning (seven from 2012-13) for the fourth-most consecutive games with at least 300 passing yards and a passing touchdown in NFL history. Winston would also join Andrew Luck (eight consecutive games in 2014) as the only players to do so in at least seven consecutive games in a single season.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least 300 passing yards and a passing touchdown in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, CONSECUTIVE GAMES)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2011-12, 9)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2012-13, 8)
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis (2014, 8)
Peyton Manning, Denver (2012-13, 7)
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay (2019, 6)*
*Active streak

CMC REWRITING HISTORY: Entering Week 13, Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey leads the NFL in rushing yards (1,123), rushing touchdowns (12) and scrimmage yards (1,709). McCaffrey also leads all running backs with 68 receptions in 2019.

With seven receptions on Sunday against Washington, McCaffrey would become the fifth running back with at least 75 receptions in three seasons in NFL history.

The running backs with the most seasons with at least 75 receptions in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (SEASONS WITH 75+ CATCHES)
Larry Centers – Arizona, Washington and Buffalo (5)
Marshall Faulk – Indianapolis and St. Louis Rams (5) HOF
Le’Veon Bell – Pittsburgh (3)
Roger Craig – San Francisco (3)
Christian McCaffrey – Carolina (2)*
*Has 68 receptions in 2019

Last week, McCaffrey recorded, his fourth game with both a rushing and receiving touchdown in 2019.

With both a rushing and receiving touchdown on Sunday, McCaffrey would join Chuck Foreman (1975) as the only players with at least five games with both a rushing and receiving touchdown in a single season in NFL history.

NOT DRAFTED? NOT A PROBLEM: In 2018, Denver running back Phillip Lindsay became the third undrafted rookie with at least 1,000 rushing yards since 1970. Lindsay has followed up his rookie year with 887 scrimmage yards in 11 games this season.

With 113 scrimmage yards on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers, Lindsay would become the third undrafted player with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards in each of his first two seasons in the common-draft era.

The undrafted players with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards in each of his first two seasons in the common-draft era:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)
Clark Gaines, New York Jets (1976-77)
Ryan Grant, Green Bay (2007-08)
Phillip Lindsay, Denver (2018-19)*
*Has 887 scrimmage yards in 2019

NEW ERA OF TIGHT ENDS: Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz leads all tight ends with 67 receptions this season, while Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce ranks second with 63.

If Ertz has at least three receptions against Miami or Kelce against Oakland has at least seven receptions on Sunday, they would tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe (five seasons) for the fourth-most seasons with at least 70 catches by a tight end in NFL history.

The tight ends with the most seasons with at least 70 receptions in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (SEASONS WITH 70+ CATCHES)
Tony Gonzalez – Kansas City and Atlanta (14) HOF
Jason Witten – Dallas (9)
Antonio Gates – San Diego (6)
Shannon Sharpe – Denver and Baltimore (5) HOF
Zach Ertz – Philadelphia (4)*
Travis Kelce – Kansas City (4)#
*Ertz has 67 receptions in 2019
#Kelce has 63 receptions in 2019

Additionally, Kelce – who leads all tight ends with 833 receiving yards in 2019 – needs at least 167 receiving yards on Sunday to become the first tight end with 1,000 receiving yards in four consecutive seasons in NFL history.

Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans, Buffalo and Dallas all played Thanksgiving Day to open play in week 13, so they have Sunday and Monday off. The Saints became the first team to win their divison this year after their win in Atlanta last Thursday night. There are no more byes on the 2019 schedule, as Arizona, Minnesota, Kansas City and the Los Angeles Chargers return from their week of vacay. Last week was pretty good pick-wise, going 8-6 for the week, 80-61 for the season. With that on the docket, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 13.

San Francisco (10-1) at Baltimore (9-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. High powered offenses meet in Charm City as San Francisco (first place in the NFC West) faces off against Baltimore (first place in the AFC North) in what some could consider a Super Bowl preview. Both clubs were huge winners last week.

The 49ers held Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay to 8 third-quarter points in the second half at Levis’ Stadium and took a 37-8 win on the West Coast last Sunday night. San Francisco took a 23-0 lead with them to the intermission in the prime time affair unchallenged before the Packers and Rodgers would break the bid for a shutout late in the third when he and WR Davante Adams hooked up on a 2-yard TD pass. The combination would hook up again on the two-point try to make the contest a 15-point affair. San Francisco, leaders in the NFC West, would restore order in the contest, as TE George Kittle (61-yard TD pass from Jimmy Garoppolo in the third) and Raheem Mostert (15-yard TD run late in the fourth) would basically seal Green Bay’s fate.

Even though Green Bay barely outrushed San Francsico 117-112, Garoppolo threw for 253 yards and a pair of TDs (including the one to Kittle), while Rodgers threw for 104 yards and the third-quarter TD (Rodgers was sacked five times, Garoppolo was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). San Francisco went 3 of 9 on third down tries and kept the ball for 24:44, while the Packers ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 35:16, going a dismal 1 of 15 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

Baltimore held the Los Angeles Rams to a pair of Greg Zuerlein field goals in the first half and sheared the Rams 45-6 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Monday night. Baltimore led 28-6 at the intermission in the Monday night contest, then floored the gas in the second half, scoring 17 second half points unchallenged. Ravens RB Mark Ingram II was in Heisman form, leading all rushers with 111 yards and a TD as the Ravens held the Rams to 22 yards on the ground (Todd Gurley accounted for all of the Rams’ ground yardage), while Baltimore rushed for 285 yards. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (a Heisman winner himself) threw for 169 yards with five TDs and no interceptions, despite being sacked twice (Jackson rushed for 95 yards), while Jared Goff struggled, throwing for 212 yards with a pair of sacks and a pair of interceptions. The Ravens were 9 of 15 on third down but struck gold on fourth down, going 3 of 3 and held the ball for 39:56, while the Rams, who kept the ball for 20:04, went 2 of 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Baltimore leads the series 3-2 and the Ravens have outscored San Francisco 109-82. San Francisco won the last meeting in the series, coming away with the 25-20 win in 2015 in Santa Clara, while Baltimore’s last win came in Charm City in 2011 by a 16-6 final. Baltimore’s favored by 4 in Charm City and the over/under’s 46. There’s a chance that these two could meet in Miami in February. If this is a preview, the two teams should make the most of it. Baltimore takes care of business in Charm City and takes the win at home, nevermore.

Washington (2-9) at Carolina (5-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of struggling East Coast teams meet in Charlotte as the Carolina Panthers host Washington at Bank of America Stadium.

The Saints ended Carolina’s hopes of leaving the Big Easy with a win as New Orleans’ Wil Lutz booted a 33-yard field goal as the clock struck :00 to survive 34-31, dropping the Panthers to below the .500 mark. New Orleans led their NFC South rivals 17-15 at the intermission as Carolina’s Kyle Allen and RB Christian McCaffrey would connect on a 1-yard pass as time expired in the half. Carolina then went for two in hopes of going to the locker room tied but the try failed.

Washington picked up its first home win since week eight last year, breaking the hearts of Lions fans by eraseing a 16-13 deficit, using a pair of Dustin Hopkins field goals to come away 19-16 winnners at Fed Ex Field in Landover. Trailing 13-6 at the break, Detroit manged to tie things up in the third quarter on a 12-yard TD toss to WR Lance Thomas from Jeff Driskel. Detroit then took a 16-13 lead early in the final quarter of play on a 21-yard field goal by Matt Prater before Washington would storm their way back, as Hopkins kicked the first of his two field goals in the quarter from 42 yards, then connecting on a 39-yarder after the Redskins picked off Driskell, the second coming with 16 seconds left in the contest. Detroit would get the ball back with the time that was left on the clock and got themselves no further than their 24-yard line, where Driskel was picked off by Fabian Moreau, ending the threat and the drive.

Detroit somehow managed to outrush Washington 175-86 and Driskel threw for 207 yards and the TD to Thomas but sacked six times and threw three interceptions, including the one that ended the Lions’ hopes of tying or taking the lead, while Washington’s Dwayne Haskins threw for 156 yards with an interception and three sacks. Detroit went 6 of 15 on third down conversions and actually ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 33:30, while the Redskins kept the ball for 26:30 and went 4 for 14 on third down tries.

Carolina, trailing by as much as 14 in the contest, would even things up at 31-31 with 9:23 left in regulation when Allen and WR D.J. Moore connected on a 2-yard TD toss. The two clubs exchanged punts and Carolina had a chance to take the lead with 1:56 left in the contest but fell short as Joey Slye’s 28-yard field goal sailed wide right. That gave New Orleans the ball and the Saints used all of the 1:56 left on the clock, making their way down the field to Carolina’s 15-yard line to set up Lutz’ game-winner. Carolina used a time out with three seconds left in an attempt to ice Lutz. The plan failed as Lutz’ try sailed through the uprights to send Saints fans home happy.

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

While the Redskins lead the series 8-6, Carolina has outscored them 313-285. They last met last year in Landover and the Redskins prevailed 23-17 (Carolina’s last win in the series also came in Landover in 2016 by a final of 26-15).

The 2018 contest took place in week six and the Redskins led 17-6 at the intermission. Washington would later hold off a late
Carolina rally in the final 30 minutes of the contest to take the win at Fed Ex Field. Washington outrushed Carolina 132-81, with Peterson leading all rushers in the contest with 97 yards and Alex Smith threw for 163 yards with three sacks and no interceptions, while Newton threw for 275 yards with a sack and an interception (both men threw a pair of TDs). Washington was 7 of 16 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:24, while Carolina held on to the ball for 24:36, while going 3 of 9 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Washington was favored by 1 1/2 in the week six contest at Landover and they covered, winning by 6 but both teams missed the 44 1/2 over/under by 4 points (the two clubs combined for 40). Carolina’s favored by 10 and the over/under’s 40. For the Redskins, last week it was “Hail to the Redskins.” This week? “Hell, it’s the Redskins!” Carolina may not cover the 10 but the Panthers win in the Tar Heel State.

New York Jets (4-7) at Cincinnati (0-11), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of struggling teams meet along the shores of the Ohio River as the New York Jets make their way to Paul Brown Stadim to face off against the winless Cincinnati Bengals.

GangGreen floored the gas against Oakland last Sunday in the Meadowlands, coming away 34-3 winners at Met Life Stadium. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! erased a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter, scoring their last 31 points of the contest unchallenged, taking a 13-3 lead with them to the intermission.

Neither club breached the 100-yard rushing barrier but the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! did outrush Oakland 88-68 with Jets RB LeVeon Bell leading the way with 49 yards in upstate New Jersey. Jets QB Sam Darnold threw for 315 yards with a pair of passing TDs and had a rushing TD of his own (Darnold was sacked once but did not throw an interception), while Derek Carr threw for 127 yards with a sack and an interception. GangGreen went 5 of 12 on third down tries and had time on their side, keeping the ball for 31:30, while the Raiders, who hung on to the pigskin for 28:30, was 5 of 15 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Bengals fans got their hearts broken (AGAIN!) as Cincinnati dropped their 11th contest in a row, falling to AFC North rival Pittsburgh at Paul Brown Stadium 16-10. The Bengals led 7-3 at the intermission after WR Tyler Boyd caught a 15-yard TD toss from backup QB Ryan Finley (they played a scoreless first quarter; Pittsburgh took the lead with 3:21 left in the half on a 26-yard field goal by Chris Boswell), then watched as the Steelers took a 10-7 lead early in the third when Devlin Hodges (Who took over for Mason Rudolph) and WR James Washington connected on a 79-yard TD toss. Bengals K Randy Bulloch would connect on a 27-yard field goal to re-tie the contest before Boswell would connect on the first of two fourth quarter TDs to take the lead back for good.

Pittsburgh outrushed Cincinnati 160-86, with Steelers RB Benny Snell Jr. leading all rushers with 98 yards, while the Bengals were led by Joe Mixon with 79 yards. Rudolph threw for 85 yards with an interception before Hodges took over, throwing for 118 yards and the TD, while Finley threw for 192 yards (Finley was sacked four times, Rudolph was sacked once with a sack and an interception, while Hodges was sacked twice) for the Bengals. The Bengals were 2 of 12 on third down and held the ball for 25:20, while the Steelers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:40 and went 5 for 16 on third down.

GangGreen leads the series 15-9 (including games that were played at Shea Stadium and Riverfront Stadium/Cynergy Field) and GangGreen has outscored the Bengals 591-530. Cincinnati has won the last two meetings in the series, including a 23-22 win in the Meadowlands in 2016, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 26-10 winners in 2010 at Giants Stadium.

GangGreen’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 41 in this post-Thanksgiving contest. We won’t blame you if you took a pass on this one (unless you’re a fan of one of these teams) and watched that Bugs Bunny Christmas Marathon (granted, the idea of Wile Coyote falling off that cliff is still funny!) GangGreen covers the 3 1/2 and wins, sending the Bengals to their 12th loss in a row.

Tennessee (6-5) at Indianapolis (6-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of AFC South rivals square off in the Hoosier State as Tennessee and Indianapolis, tied for second in the division, meet at Lucas Oil Stadium. Tennesse enters the contest with a huge home win under their belts, while the Colts look to restore order after a road loss in the Lone Star State.

Tennessee manhandled Jacksonville 42-20 last Sunday afternoon at Nissan Stadium in the Music City. After a scoreless first quarter, Tennessee led 7-3 at the half, then the Titans would score four third quarter TDs (two of them from Derrek Henry) unchallenged to lead 35-3 before the Jaguars would respond as Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette scored the first of his two TDs (both one yard runs) and a two-point try by Nick Foles to WR D.J Chark to narrow the gap. The Titans would then ice the contest away with Ryan Tannehill scoring his second rushing TD of the day from a yard out to seal Jacksonville’s fate.

Tennessee outrushed Jacksonville 219-117 and Henry led all rushers with 159 yards and his two rushing TDs, while Fournette led Jacksonville with 97 yards (also with two TDs) in the AFC South contest. Tannehill would throw for 259 yards with a pair of passing TDs to go with his two rushing scores, while Foles threw for 272 yards (neither threw an interception, Tannehill was sacked once, while Foles was sacked three times). Tennessee was 4 for 8 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 23:04, while the Jaguars ruled time, keeping the ball for 36:56, while going 7 of 18 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Houston and DeShaun Watson took over first place in the AFC South as the Texans erased a 17-13 deficit early in the final quarter of play against Indianapolis last Thursday in Houston to take a 20-17 win over the Colts. Tied at 10-10 after a scoreless first quarter, the Colts would lead 17-10 with 5:36 left in the third on a 13-yard TD run by Jonathan Williams. Houston would make the contest a 4-point affair on a 36-yard field goal by Kai Fairbairn late in the third before taking the lead for keeps early in the fourth on a 30-yard TD toss from Watkins to DeAndre Hopkins. Williams would lead all rushers with 104 yards and the TD as the Colts did manage to outrush Houston 175-99 but Winston threw for 298 yards and a pair of TDs to Hopkins (including the game winner), while Jacoby Brissett threw for 129 yards (both were sacked once and Watson threw the contest’s only interception). Houston went 6 of 12 on third down (they were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 26:43, while the Colts actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:17, while going of 15 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Their last meeting was in Nashville in week two and the Colts left Nissan Stadium 19-17 winners. Leading 13-7 at the half, the Colts watched Tennessee score 10 points in the third quarted unfettered before Brissett and T.Y. Hilton would reclaim the lead for keeps with 4:38 left in the contest. Tennessee would threaten late in the contest, getting the ball back with 67 seconds left in hopes of winning but those hopes were dashed when Marcus Mariota’s fourth-down passed sailed incomplete.

Indianapolis outrushed Tennessee 167-123, with Colts RB Jordan Wilkins leading the way with 82, while Derek Henry for Tennessee tallied 81. Brissett threw for 146 yards with three TDs, three sacks and an interception, while Mariota threw for 154 yards with four sacks to go with a TD toss. The Colts were 7 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 31:54, while the Titans went 1 of 10 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 28:06.

Tennessee was favored by 3 in the week two contest in the Music City and while the Colts left the Volunteer State with the win, they would do so only by two and the 44 1/2 over/under was safe, as the two clubs merged for 36 points. This time, the oddsmakers like the Colts as 3 point favorites in the Hoosier State and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Both numbers make a lot of sense. The Titans want revenge from their earlier loss, while the Colts want to show Tennessee that the first meeting was not a fluke. Colts cover the 3 and win back home again in Indiana.

Tampa Bay (4-7) at Jacksonville (4-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. They’re separated by 201 miles and a 3 1/2 hour drive down the Sunshine State. Jacksonville and Tampa Bay meet in north Florida for only the seventh time in the history of the series. While the visiting Bucs are coming off a win on the road, the Jaguars limp back to TIAA Stadium with a road loss under their belts.

Tampa Bay ended Atlanta’s brief 2-game win streak in the Big Peach as the Buccaneers stopped Matt Ryan and the Falcons 35-22. Atlanta saw a 10-7 lead at the end of the first quarter get away from them at Mercedes-Benz Stadium as Tampa Bay would take control of things in the final 45 minutes of action, outscoring their NFC South rivals 28-12 in that frame. Atlanta would find themselves held to 57 yards on the ground (the Bucs rushed for 133 yards) and Tampa Bay, who pushed themselves back into third place in the NFC South all by themselves, would sack Ryan (271 yards) six times with an interception, while Jameis Winston threw for 313 yards with a three TDs and a pair of interceptions (one TD toss went to DL Vita Vea on a tackle-eligible play late in the first half. Vea would later live out a lineman’s dream as he would sack Ryan, forcing a fumble, which teammate Ndamukong Suh picked up and ran in for a TD. Atlanta was 4 of 16 on third down but had succcess on fourth down (2 of 3) and actually ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 31:38, while Tampa Bay, keeping the pigskin for 28:22, were 6 of 13 on third down tries.

Jacksonville found themselves being taken to task by Tennessee 42-20 last Sunday afternoon at Nissan Stadium in the Music City. After a scoreless first quarter, Tennessee led 7-3 at the half, then went on to score four third quarter TDs (two of them from Derrek Henry) unchallenged to lead 35-3 before the Jaguars would respond as Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette scored the first of his two TDs (both one yard runs) and a two-point try by Nick Foles to WR D.J Chark to narrow the gap. The Titans would then ice the contest away with Ryan Tannehill scoring his second rushing TD of the day from a yard out to seal Jacksonville’s fate.

Tennessee outrushed Jacksonville 219-117 and Henry led all rushers with 159 yards and his two rushing TDs, while Fournette led Jacksonville with 97 yards (also with two TDs) in the AFC South contest. Tannehill would throw for 259 yards with a pair of passing TDs to go with his two rushing scores, while Foles threw for 272 yards (neither threw an interception, Tannehill was sacked once, while Foles was sacked three times). Tennessee was 4 for 8 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 23:04, while the Jaguars ruled time, keeping the ball for 36:56, while going 7 of 18 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The Jaguars lead the series 4-2 and have outscored Tampa Bay 158-126. Tampa Bay won the last contest in the series, taking a 38-31 win in Tampa Bay in 2015, while Jacksonville’s last win in the series came in north Florida by a final of 41-14 in 2011. Jacksonville’s favored by 1 and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Both clubs are trying to keep pace in their respective divisons. While this one’s not “DRILL WORTHY,” it’ll be interesting to watch. The Bucs stop here. Jacksonville covers in north Florida and takes the win at home.

Cleveland (5-6) at Pittsburgh (6-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. Don’t expect these two to play nice and given all the bad blood between them in the last couple of weeks, expect things to be watched CLOSELY. It’s a rematch of the week 11 love/hate fest in Cleveland as the blood feud moves over to the Steel City at Heinz Field. Both teams took wins in last week’s contests.

Cleveland cruised their way to a 41-24 win over Miami at First Energy Stadium last Sunday. The Browns scored 28 first half points unchallenged, taking a 28-3 lead with them to the intermission. Miami would then score 14 third quarter points unchallenged, using an 11-yard TD pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to TE Mike Gesicki and an 8-yard run by Fitzpatrick to trail by 11 going into the final quarter of play.

Cleveland would then get a pair of Austin Siebert field goals and a 5-yard run by Nick Chubb to seal the game away for Cleveland. Chubb rushed for 106 yards with the fourth-quarter TD to lead all rushers, as the Browns outrushed Miami 147-92 (Fitzpatrick led Miami with 45 yards and the rushing TD). Baker Mayfield threw for 327 yards and three TDs (two of them to WR Josh Landry, who had 148 yards on 10 catches), while Fitzpatrick threw for 214 yards with a pair of TDs (Fitzpatrick was sacked four times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Mayfield was sacked once with an interception). Cleveland went 4 of 8 on third down and played keep-away with the ball from the Dolphins, holding on to it for 36:06, while Miami kept the ball for 23:54, while going 6 of 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Cincinnati dropped their 11th contest in a row, falling to AFC North rival Pittsburgh at Paul Brown Stadium 16-10. The Bengals led 7-3 at the intermission after WR Tyler Boyd caught a 15-yard TD toss from backup QB Ryan Finley (they played a scoreless first quarter; Pittsburgh took the lead with 3:21 left in the half on a 26-yard field goal by Chris Boswell), then watched as the Steelers took a 10-7 lead early in the third when Devlin Hodges (Who took over for Mason Rudolph) and WR James Washington connected on a 79-yard TD toss. Bengals K Randy Bulloch would connect on a 27-yard field goal to re-tie the contest before Boswell would connect on the first of two fourth quarter TDs to take the lead back for good.

Pittsburgh outrushed Cincinnati 160-86, with Steelers RB Benny Snell Jr. leading all rushers with 98 yards, while the Bengals were led by Joe Mixon with 79 yards. Rudolph threw for 85 yards with an interception before Hodges took over, throwing for 118 yards and the TD, while Finley threw for 192 yards (Finley was sacked four times, Rudolph was sacked once with a sack and an interception, while Hodges was sacked twice) for the Bengals. The Bengals were 2 of 12 on third down and held the ball for 25:20, while the Steelers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:40 and went 5 for 16 on third down.

They met two weeks ago along the shores of Lake Erie and things were somewhat chippy but the Browns managed to prevail over AFC North rival Pittsburgh 21-7 at First Energy Stadium Thursday night. The Browns took a 14-0 lead at the intermission as Baker Mayfield ran for a TD to open the scoring and Josh Landry catching a 1-yard toss from Mayfield, closing out the scoring in the half. Pittsburgh would break the shutout bid up as Mason Rudolph and WR RB Jaylen Samuels connected on a 3-yard TD pass in the third before the Browns restored order in the fourth, with Mayfield and rookie TE Stephen Carlson connected on an 8-yard TD toss to close out the scoring.

Later in the contest, with Cleveland having victory secured, Pittsburgh had the ball at their 11-yard with 1:40 left in the contest. The Steelers would get themselves as close as their 36-yard before Rudolph was sacked twice before completing an 11-yard pass to Trey Edmonnds. While that play was going on, Rudolph and Myles Garrett were involved in a scuffle, with Garrett pushing Rudolph to the ground. Rudolph then tried to take off Garrett’s helmet at which that time, things really got heated as Garrett took Rudolph’s helmet and swung it at him, hitting him in the head. Rudolph’s teammates then came to his aid and there would be more pushing and shoving. When the dust finally settled, Garrett was ejected from the contest, along with Larry Ogunjobi and Pittsburgh’s Maurkice Pouncey.

Garrett would be suspended without pay indefinitely by the league – at a minimum for the remainder of the regular season and postseason – and must meet with the commissioner’s office prior to a decision on his reinstatement. He was also fined an additional amount. As for Pouncey and Ogunjobi? Pouncey has been suspended without pay for three games and fined an additional amount for fighting, including punching and kicking an opponent. Ogunjobi has been suspended without pay for one game and fined an additional amount for unnecessary roughness, specifically for shoving an opposing player to the ground during an altercation and the two clubs were both fined $250,000. (Cleveland’s Damarious Randall was already disqualified from the contest for a hit on Dioante Johnson in the third quarter)

Cleveland outrushed the Steelers 104-58, with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading the way with 92 yards on the ground. Mayfield threw for 193 yards and a pair of TDs to go with his rushing TD (Mayfield was sacked once), while Rudolph threw for 221 yards and a TD but was sacked four times and picked off four times. Cleveland, flagged eight times for 121 yards, went 6 of 16 on third down conversions, keeping the ball for 33:56, while the Steelers were 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 3 on fourth down and held the ball for 26:04.

Cleveland was favored by 3 in their week 11 meeting along the shores of Lake Erie and the Browns covered winning by 14 but the 40 1/2 over/under was intact as both clubs combined to score 28 points. Cleveland’s favored again, this time by 2 1/2 in the Steel City and the over/under’s 39 1/2. The Steelers want revenge. The Browns want to prove that the first meeting was not a fluke. Revenge wins out. The bigger question…. will cooler heads prevail? Time will tell. Pittsburgh gets the revenge and covers the 2 1/2, winning at Heinz Field.

Philadelphia (5-6) at Miami (2-9), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of struggling teams meet in the Sunshine State Sunday afternoon as Miami hosts the Philadelphia Eagles at Hard Rock Stadium. Both teams are coming off losses in last week’s action.

Philadelphia lost their second home game in a row, falling to Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks 17-9 at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles trailed 10-3 at the intermission and could never really get themselves on track, eventually scoring on a 2-yard pass from Carson Wentz to TE Zack Ertz with 20 seconds left in the contest. Philadelphia took a 3-0 lead with 7:29 left in the first on a 28-yard field goal by Josh Elliott, only to see that lead get away from them as Wilson and Malik Turner connected on a 33-yard TD toss. The Seahawks would add a Jason Myers field goal from 24 yards late in the second quarter to lead by 7 at the intermission. Seattle’s Rashaad Penny would then add to his team’s lead, running 53 yards untouched to give the Seahawks a 17-3 lead early into the fourth quarter before Wentz and Ertz would hook up on Philadelphia’s TD late in the game (the Eagles would try for two but failed).

Penny rushed for 129 yards, leading all rushers in the contest as the Seahawks outrushed Philadelphia 174-106; Wentz threw for 256 yards with the Ertz TD (he was sacked three times and picked off twice), while Wilson threw for 200 yards with the Turner TD (Wilson threw an interception and was sacked six times) for Seattle. Philadelphia went 4 of 12 on third down tries (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:53, while the Seahawks, who clung to the ball for 28:07, went 5 for 14 on third down tries.

Miami found themselves being taken to task by Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns last Sunday, falling to the Browns as Cleveland cruised their way to a 41-24 win over Miami at First Energy Stadium last Sunday. Cleveland scored 28 first half points unchallenged, taking a 28-3 lead with them to the intermission. Miami would then score 14 third quarter points unchallenged, using an 11-yard TD pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to TE Mike Gesicki and an 8-yard run by Fitzpatrick to trail by 11 going into the final quarter of play.

Cleveland would then get a pair of Austin Siebert field goals and a 5-yard run by Nick Chubb to seal the game away for Cleveland. Chubb rushed for 106 yards with the fourth-quarter TD to lead all rushers, as the Browns outrushed Miami 147-92 (Fitzpatrick led Miami with 45 yards and the rushing TD). Baker Mayfield threw for 327 yards and three TDs (two of them to WR Josh Landry, who had 148 yards on 10 catches), while Fitzpatrick threw for 214 yards with a pair of TDs (Fitzpatrick was sacked four times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Mayfield was sacked once with an interception). Cleveland went 4 of 8 on third down and played keep-away with the ball from the Dolphins, holding on to it for 36:06, while Miami kept the ball for 23:54, while going 6 of 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

While Miami leads the series 8-6, the Eagles have outscored Miami 278-259. Miami sent Eagles fans home sad in their last meeting, which took place at Lincoln Financial Field in 2015, leaving the City of Brotherly Love 20-19 winners, while the Eagles’ last win came in Miami in 2011 by a final of 26-10. Philadelphia’s favored by 9 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 46. The loser of this one? All but done for the year. The winner? Their hopes stay alive for another week. Eagles may not cover the 7 1/2 but they’ll take the win in the Sunshine State.

Green Bay (8-3) at New York Giants (2-9), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Green Bay, tied for first in the NFC North, makes their way to upstate New Jersey to face off against the New York Giants at Met Life Stadium. Both teams were handed road losses in last week’s action.

Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay were held to 8 third-quarter points in the second half by San Francisco at Levis’ Stadium, allowing the 49es to take a 37-8 win on the West Coast last Sunday night. San Francisco took a 23-0 lead with them to the intermission in the prime time affair unchallenged before the Packers and Rodgers would break the bid for a shutout late in the third when he and WR Davante Adams hooked up on a 2-yard TD pass. The combination would hook up again on the two-point try to make the contest a 15-point affair. San Francisco, leaders in the NFC West, would restore order in the contest, as TE George Kittle (61-yard TD pass from Jimmy Garoppolo in the third) and Raheem Mostert (15-yard TD run late in the fourth) would basically seal Green Bay’s fate.

Even though Green Bay barely outrushed San Francsico 117-112, Garoppolo threw for 253 yards and a pair of TDs (including the one to Kittle), while Rodgers threw for 104 yards and the third-quarter TD (Rodgers was sacked five times, Garoppolo was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). San Francisco went 3 of 9 on third down tries and kept the ball for 24:44, while the Packers ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 35:16, going a dismal 1 of 15 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

A late New York Giants rally in the fourth quarter in Chicago fell short as the Monsters of the Midway took a 19-14 win at Soldier Field Sunday afternoon. Big Blue led 7-3 at the half in the Windy City, then watched as Chicago proceeded to score 16 third-quarter points unchallenged to take a 19-7 lead at the end of the period. Giants QB Daniel Jones and WR Golden Tate pulled themselves to within 5 with 4:10 left on a 23-yard TD toss but Chicago prevailed, holding off the Giants to take the win.

The Giants outrushed Chicago 109-65 but Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky threw for 278 yards with a TD toss to Allen Robinson and had a rushing TD of his own (Trubisky was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions), while Jones threw for 150 yards with a pair of TDs (Jones was sacked once). Da Bears were 4 for 15 on third down conversions in the Windy City and kept the ball in hibernation for 33:11, while the Giants kept the pigskin for 26:49, going 1 of 12 on third down and 2 for 4 on fourth down.

Including games played at Milwaukee County Stadium, Yankee Stadium, the Yale Bowl and Giants Stadium, the Packers lead the series 28-23-2 and the Packers have outscored Big Blue 946-940. Green Bay’s last win in the series came at Lambeau Field, where they came away 23-16 winners in 2016, while the Giants’ last win in the series came in the Meadowlands in 2013 by a final of 27-13. Green Bay’s favored by 6 1/2 in upstate New Jersey and the over/under’s 46. In all honesty, the Giants have been playing some decent but not great football of late. As for the Packers, they’re looking to restore some order in the NFC North. Giants will make things interesting in the Meadowlands but Green Bay restores order and takes the win in upstate New Jersey.

Los Angeles Rams (6-5) at Arizona (3-7-1), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of NFC West teams meet in the desert as the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals, both trying to catch San Francisco in the division. Both teams are coming off losses, with Arizona coming off a bye.

The Rams were held to a pair of Greg Zuerlein field goals in the first half as Baltimore took them apart 45-6 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Monday night. Los Angeles trailed 28-6 at the intermission in the Monday night contest, then watched as the Ravens floored the gas in the second half, scoring 17 second half points unchallenged. Ravens RB Mark Ingram II was in Heisman form, leading all rushers with 111 yards and a TD as the Ravens held the Rams to 22 yards on the ground (Todd Gurley accounted for all of the Rams’ ground yardage), while Baltimore rushed for 285 yards. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (a Heisman winner himself) threw for 169 yards with five TDs and no interceptions, despite being sacked twice (Jackson rushed for 95 yards), while Jared Goff struggled, throwing for 212 yards with a pair of sacks and a pair of interceptions. The Ravens were 9 of 15 on third down but struck gold on fourth down, going 3 of 3 and held the ball for 39:56, while the Rams, who kept the ball for 20:04, went 2 of 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

San Francisco rallied in the second half against Arizona two Sundays ago to come away 36-26 winners at Levis’ Stadium. The Desert Angry Birds led 16-10 at the intermission before San Francisco got themselves off the deck in the second half, outscoring Arizona 26-10 in the final 30 minutes of action. San Francisco got a pair of TDs late in the fourth quarter, first Jimmy Garappolo connecting with RB Jeff Wilson on a 25-yard TD with 31 seconds left in the contest and DB D.J. Reed Jr. closing out the contest on a 4-yard scoop and score as time expired. While Arizona outrushed the 49ers 135-34, Garappolo burned Arizona for 424 yards and four TDs, including the game-winner (Garappolo was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions), while Arizona QB Kyler Murray threw for 150 yards with a pair of TD tosses and had a rushing TD of his own (Murray was sacked four times). San Francisco was 6 of 13 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 28:37, while the Desert Angry Birds actually ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:23, going 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games in Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles and St. Louis (both teams called St. Louis home), the Series finds itself tied 40-38-2 and the Rams have not only outscored the Desert Angry Birds 1,587-1,529, they’ve swept the last two series between the two teams (Arizona’s last win over the Rams came in Los Angeles in 2016 by a final of 44-6).

Their first meeting… Los Angeles in week two. After a scoreless first quarter at the Coliseum, the Rams went on to score the next 34 points of the contest unchecked, shutting out the Desert Angry Birds 34-0 (the Rams led 19-0 at the half). Gurley ran for three TDs in the contest as Los Angeles outrushed Arizona 90-54 and Goff threw for 354 yards and a TD to TE Tyler Higbee, while Sam Bradford threw for 90 yards with a sack (Goff was sacked twice, both men threw an interception). The Rams were 8 of 15 on third down (they were 1 for 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:08, while Arizona held the ball for 25:52, going 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Los Angeles made it a sweep of the series in the desert in week 16, leaving Glendale 31-9 winners. The Rams led 21-9 at the intermission and shutout Arizona in the second half. Rams RB Charles Anderson led all rushers with 167 yards and a TD as Los Angeles outrushed Arizona 269-104 and Goff threw for 216 yards and a TD toss to WR Robert Woods, while Josh Rosen threw for 87 yards and was sacked four times. Los Angeles was 6 of 9 on third down tries in the desert and kept the ball 37:04, while the Desert Angry Birds kept the ball for 22:56, going a dismal 2 of 11 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down).

In the week two contest on the West Coast, the Rams’ 34-point win allowed them to easily covered the 12 1/2-point spread but both clubs tallied 34 points, missing the 46 over/under. In the week 16 meeting in the desert, Los Angeles was favored by 14 and again they would cover, winning by 21. As was the case in the first meeting, both clubs failed to cover the over/under of 47 1/2 with 40 points. In the meeting in the desert, the Rams are favored by 4 and the over/under’s 46 1/2. The winner stays in the race for a chance to either catch San Francisco or take a Wild Card spot, while the loser will have a lot of work to do and perhaps find themselves out of the race. Rams cover the 4 in the desert and takes the win in Glendale.

Los Angeles Chargers (4-7) at Denver (3-8), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. Forget the records. Despite fighting to see who stays in the AFC West cellar, A pair of AFC West/AFL rivals meet in a rematch in the Mile High City as Denver hosts the Los Angeles Chargers. Both teams enter the late afternoon contest with losses under their belts.

A late Los Angeles Chargers rally two weeks ago against Kansas City in Mexico City fell short, as the first-place Chiefs left Estadio Asteca (Azteca Stadium) 24-17 winners. The Chiefs and Mahomes trailed Philip Rivers and the Chargers 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, then took a 10-9 lead with them to the intermission south of the border. Kansas City would lead by 15 with 1:44 left in the third when Rivers and WR Keenan Allen connected on a 7-yard TD toss. The Bolts then went for two to make the contest a 7-point affair and the try for two was successful, as Rivers and Hunter Henry connected on the conversion. After a Chiefs punt later in the final quarter, Los Angeles would get the ball back with 1:53 left in the contest and they would make their way down the field, getting as close as Kansas City’s 14-yard line when Rivers was picked off by Daniel Sorensen in the end zone to end the threat and the Chiefs would kneel down to seal the win.

Kansas City outrushed the Chargers 130-93, with Mahomes leading Chiefs rushers with 59 yards, while Chargers RB Melvin Gordon led all rushers with 69 yards in the Monday night contest. Mahohmes threw for 182 yards and a TD toss to TE Travis Kelce (Mahomes was sacked once and threw an interception), while Rivers threw for 353 yards with the TD to Allen but was sacked twice and threw four interceptions. The Chiefs, leaders in the AFC West, were 6 of 13 on third down tries and held the ball for 28:58, while the Chargers were actual rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 31:02, going 5 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Buffalo held Denver to a Brad McManus field goal in the third quarter in upstate New York as the Bills circled their wagons last Sunday to take a 20-3 win over the Broncos last Sunday. The Bills used a pair of Stephen Hauschka field goals in the first half to lead 6-0 at the intermission. Josh Allen and WR Cole Beasley gave Buffalo a 13-0 lead early in the third quarter before McManus ended Buffalo’s shutout bid with a 45-yard field goal halfway in the third. Allen would connect with WR John Brown early in the final quarter to close out the scoring in the contest.

Buffalo’s Devin Singletary led all rushers with 106 yards as the Bills outrushed Denver 244-75 and Josh Allen (Buffalo) threw for 185 yards with a sack to go with the two TD passes, while Brad Allen (Denver) threw for 82 yards with four sacks (both threw an interception in the contest). Buffalo went 8 of 16 on third down conversions in upstate New York and ruled the clock as they would keep the ball for 35:04, while the Broncos kept the pigskin for 24:56, going 2 of 11 on third down.

They met in week five in Los Angeles and Denver scored 17 first half points without being challenged by the Chargers, then rallied to take a 20-13 win at Dignity Health Sports Park. Chargers CB Desmond King ended Denver’s bid for a shutout with 31 seconds left in the third on a 61-yard punt return, then K Chris McLaughlin would score the first of his two field goals (45 yards) to make it a 7-point game with 6:47 left in regulation. McLaughlin would add a second field goal with 10 seconds left in the contest after McManus booted a 46-yarder with 1:55 in the period.

Denver’s Patrick Lindsay led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD in the first quarter to open the scoring in the contest, as the Broncos outrushed their AFL/AFC West rivals 191-35 and Joe Flacco threw for 182 yards and a TD (Flacco was sacked three times and picked off once), while Rivers threw for 211 yards with a pair of interceptions. The Chargers were 4 of 13 on third down (0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:24, while Denver, in keeping the ball for 29:36, went 3 for 11 on third down.

In the week five contest on the West Coast, Denver’s 7-point win allowed them to cover the 6 1/2-point spread but the 33 combined points did not come anywhere near the 44 1/2 over/under. This time around, the Chargers are favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 38 1/2. If nothing else, this one could be “very interesting” as Arte Johnson once said. Bolts get revenge in the Rocky Mountains and cover the 2 1/2 with the road win.

Oakland (6-5) at Kansas City (7-4), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. It’s round two. Chiefs vs. Raiders. Hatfields vs. McCoys. Capulets vs. Montagues. Dogs vs. cats. The two AFL/AFC West rivals meet again, this time in the Show-Me State.

Oakland struggled in East Rutherford against the New York Jets as GangGreen floored the gas last Sunday in the Meadowlands, coming away 34-3 winners at Met Life Stadium. Oakland watched the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! erase a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter, scoring their last 31 points of the contest unchallenged, taking a 13-3 lead with them to the intermission.

Neither club breached the 100-yard rushing barrier but the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! did outrush Oakland 88-68 with Jets RB LeVeon Bell leading the way with 49 yards in upstate New Jersey. Jets QB Sam Darnold threw for 315 yards with a pair of passing TDs and had a rushing TD of his own (Darnold was sacked once but did not throw an interception), while Derek Carr threw for 127 yards with a sack and an interception. GangGreen went 5 of 12 on third down tries and had time on their side, keeping the ball for 31:30, while the Raiders, who hung on to the pigskin for 28:30, was 5 of 15 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Kansas City held off a late Los Angeles Chargers rally two weeks ago in Mexico City, as the first-place Chiefs left Estadio Asteca (Azteca Stadium) 24-17 winners. The Chiefs and Mahomes trailed Philip Rivers and the Chargers 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, then took a 10-9 lead with them to the intermission south of the border. Kansas City would lead by 15 with 1:44 left in the third when Rivers and WR Keenan Allen connected on a 7-yard TD toss. The Chargers then went for two to make the contest a 7-point affair and the try for two was successful, as Rivers and Hunter Henry connected on the conversion. After a Chiefs punt later in the final quarter, Los Angeles would get the ball back with 1:53 left in the contest and they would make their way down the field, getting as close as Kansas City’s 14-yard line when Rivers was picked off by Daniel Sorensen in the end zone to end the threat and the Chiefs would kneel down to seal the win.

Kansas City outrushed the Chargers 130-93, with Mahomes leading Chiefs rushers with 59 yards, while Chargers RB Melvin Gordon led all rushers with 69 yards in the Monday night contest. Mahohmes threw for 182 yards and a TD toss to TE Travis Kelce (Mahomes was sacked once and threw an interception), while Rivers threw for 353 yards with the TD to Allen but was sacked twice and threw four interceptions. The Chiefs, leaders in the AFC West, were 6 of 13 on third down tries and held the ball for 28:58, while the Chargers were actual rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 31:02, going 5 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The two AFC/AFL rivals met in Oakland in week two and the Chiefs were 28-10 winners at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Chiefs erased a 10-0 deficit at the end of the first quarter and scored their 28 points in the second quarter unchallenged to take the win (the two clubs played a scoreless second half). Mahomes threw four TDs in the quarter, two of them to WR Demarcus Robinson, one to TE Travis Kelce and one to rookie WR Mecole Hardman to seal Okland’s fate.

Oakland did outrush Kansas City 129-31 but Mahomes burned the Raiders for 443 yards and despite being sacked twice, did not throw an interception, while Carr threw for 198 yards with a TD, was picked off twice and sacked three times. Kansas City was 8 of 14 on third down conversions and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:35, while the Raiders, who held the ball for 27:25 and went 6 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week two contest on the West Coast, the Chiefs were favored by 7 1/2 and they coverved, winning by 18. As for the 53 1/2 over/under? It was safe and sound, as both teams merged for only 38 points. The Chiefs are favored again by Vegas, this time by 10 with the over/under at 51. The 51 is nice, the 10 is a bit on the naughty side. Oakland’s not that bad a team under Jon Gruden’s leadership and they’ll actually make this one interesting. Chiefs complete the sweep of the series in the Show-Me State but expect the Raiders to make things closer than the 10.

New England (10-1) at Houston (7-4), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of potential playoff teams meet in the Lone Star State as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots take on DeShaun Watson and the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Both teams took wins at home in last week’s action.

The defending Super Bowl champs held Dallas to three field goals from Brett Maher as New England took Prescott and the Cowboys 13-9 at Gillette Stadium in rainy Foxboro Sunday afternoon. After the defending Super Bowl champs blocked a Dallas punt, New England went to work, using only two plays and 12 yards for the contest’s only TD as Brady and rookie N’Keal Harry connected on a 10-yard TD toss. After that, it would be all field goals as New England’s Nick Folk and Maher would kick field goals to round out the scoring.

Dallas did outrush New England 109-101 with Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 86 yards, while Sony Michel would lead New England with 85. Brady threw for 190 yards with the first quarter TD toss (he was sacked twice but threw no interceptions), while Prescott threw for 212 yards with a pick but was not sacked. Dallas, going 2 of 13 on third down, actually ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 30:22, while New England, keeping the ball for 29:38, went 3 for 14 on third down (both clubs were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

Watson and Houston took over first place in the AFC South as the Texans erased a 17-13 deficit early in the final quarter of play against Indianapolis last Thursday in Houston to take a 20-17 win over the Colts. The Texans and Colts went into the intermission tied at 10-10 after a scoreless first quarter, then the Colts would lead 17-10 with 5:36 left in the third on a 13-yard TD run by Jonathan Williams. Houston would make the contest a 4-point affair on a 36-yard field goal by Kai Fairbairn late in the third before taking the lead for keeps early in the fourth on a 30-yard TD toss from Watkins to DeAndre Hopkins. Williams would lead all rushers with 104 yards and the TD as the Colts did manage to outrush Houston 175-99 but Winston threw for 298 yards and a pair of TDs to Hopkins (including the game winner), while Jacoby Brissett threw for 129 yards (both were sacked once and Watson threw the contest’s only interception). Houston went 6 of 12 on third down (they were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 26:43, while the Colts actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:17, while going of 15 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

New England leads the series 8-1 and the defending Super Bowl champions have outscored Houston 283-165. New England took wins in their last two meetings, both in Foxboro with the Patriots taking a 27-20 win last year, while Houston’s lone win in the series came in 2009 in the Lone Star State by a final of 34-27.

New England and Houston wasted very little time meeting on the 2018 schedule, meeting in Foxboro in the season opener. New England led 21-6 at the intermission, then held off a late Texans rally as Houston would pull to within 7 with 2:08 left when Watson and WR Bruce Ellington connected on a 5-yard TD. Houston outrushed New England 167-122 but Brady torched Houston for 277 yards and three TDs (connecting with TE Rob Gronkowski on one of the tosses), while Watson threw for 176 yards and the fourth-quarter TD (Watson was sacked three times, Brady was sacked twice and both threw an interception). New England was 4 of 14 on third down tries at Gillette Stadium but struck pay dirt in their only fourth down try and the Pats kept the ball for 31:10, while Houston held the pigskin for 28:50, while going 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week one showdown in Foxboro, New England BARELY covered the 6 1/2-point spread, winning by 7 but both teams missed the 51 over/under, tallying only 47 points. New England’s favored again, this time by 3 in the Lone Star State and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Both numbers make a ton of sense and since both are in first place in their respective divisions, it’s only fair 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?”)

There’s a strong chance these two could meet in the post-season party and they want to keep things that way. Meanwhile, the Patriots are kings of the NFL mountain and look to stay there. Houston makes it closer than the 3 1/2 but New England prevails, taking the win on the road in the Lone Star State.

Minnesota (8-3) at Seattle (9-2), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 13 closes out in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks as a pair of teams chasing their respective division leaders meet in the Pacific Northwest. Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson square off in prime time at Century Link Field, with both teams winning in their last contests.

Minneosta, tied for first in the NFC North, held off a late Denver rally two Sundays ago against Denver as the Vikings prevailed in the Land of 10,000 Lakes Sunday afternoon 27-23 at US Bank Stadium. Denver led 20-0 at the intermission, scoring those points unchecked before the Vikings went to work in the second half and scored 20 fourth quarter points of their own unchallenged, taking the lead for keeps with 6:01 left in the contest when WR Kyle Rudolph caught a 32-yard TD pass from Cousins to lead 27-23. After the teams exchanged the ball, Denver got it back with 5:55 left in the contest and from their 40-yard line, drove themselves all the way to Minnesota’s 4-yard line where three Brock Allen passes fell incomplete, including the final try that came with 2 seconds left to play that would have given Denver the win.

Denver did outrush Minnesota 124-37 with Patrick Lindsay leading the way with 67 yards, while Allen threw for 240 yards and TD with a pair of sacks and an interception. As for Minnesota? Cousins, despite being sacked five times, threw for 319 yards with three TDs, including the game-winner to Rudolph with no interceptions). Denver went 5 for 18 on third down and kept the ball for 36:43 (including the final 5:55 of the contest), while the Vikings held on to the ball for 23:17, going 5 of 121 on third down (the Broncos were 4 of 4 on fourth down, while Minnesota was 2 of 2).

The Seahawks went East and gave Philadelphia their second loss in a row and their second home loss as Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks took down the Eagles 17-9 at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles trailed 10-3 at the intermission and could never really get themselves on track, eventually scoring on a 2-yard pass from Carson Wentz to TE Zack Ertz with 20 seconds left in the contest. Philadelphia took a 3-0 lead with 7:29 left in the first on a 28-yard field goal by Josh Elliott, only to see that lead get away from them as Wilson and Malik Turner connected on a 33-yard TD toss. The Seahawks would add a Jason Myers field goal from 24 yards late in the second quarter to lead by 7 at the intermission. Seattle’s Rashaad Penny would then add to his team’s lead, running 53 yards untouched to give the Seahawks a 17-3 lead early into the fourth quarter before Wentz and Ertz would hook up on Philadelphia’s TD late in the game (the Eagles would try for two but failed).

Penny rushed for 129 yards, leading all rushers in the contest as the Seahawks outrushed Philadelphia 174-106; Wentz threw for 256 yards with the Ertz TD (he was sacked three times and picked off twice), while Wilson threw for 200 yards with the Turner TD (Wilson threw an interception and was sacked six times) for Seattle. Philadelphia went 4 of 12 on third down tries (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:53, while the Seahawks, who clung to the ball for 28:07, went 5 for 14 on third down tries.

Seattle leads the series 10-5 and the Seahawks have outscored Minnesota 395-331. Seattle has won the last four regular season meetings, including a 21-7 win last year in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks (Minnesota’s last win in the series came in 2009 in the Twin Cities by a final of 35-9.

They met in the Pacific Northwest in week 14 at CenturyLink Field and after a scoreless first quarter, Seahawks K Sebastian Janikowski gave Seattle their first points with a 37-yard field goal early in the second quarter. That would be all the scoring in the first half, as the Seahawks took that 3-0 lead with them to the intermission. After a scoreless third quarter, Seattle would tally their next 18 points of the contest unchallenged, using a second Janikowski field goal (from 35 yards), adding a Chris Carson 2-yard run (the Seahawks went for two and had success as Wilson and WR Tyler Lockett connected on the try) and a 29-yard fumble recovery by CB Justin Coleman all but sealed Minnesota’s fate before the Vikings would score with 70 seconds left in the contest when RB Dalvin Cook and Cousins connected on a 6-yard TD toss.

Seattle outrushed Minnesota 214-77, with Carson accounting for 90 of Seattle’s yards (Cook led Minnesota with 50) and Cousins threw for 208 yards, while Wilson had 72 yards in the air (Wilson was picked off once and both men were sacked twice). Seattle was 3 of 11 on third down but was successful in their only fourth down try in the contest, keeping the ball for 31:49, while the Vikings held the pigskin for 28:11 and 2 of 10 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week 14 Monday night contest, the Seahawks were favored by 3 1/2 and covered, winning by 14. As for the 45 over/under? It was untouched, as the two teams merged for only 28 points.

Minnesota on Monday night? 29-32. The Vikings played once in prime time last year in the Pacific Northwest and lost. Seattle on Monday night? 24-10. Seattle played two MNF contests and split the two contests. Seattle’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 49. Both numbers are reasonable and make a ton of sense. Both teams could very well make the post-season, either as division winners or Wild Card team and this one could very well decide their futures. You might want to tape “All Rise” and “Bull” this Monday night. Minnesota will make this one closer than than the 3 but Seattle prevails in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. NFL

11 weeks down.

6 weeks to go.

Nothing’s been decided as far as division winners or Wild Card spots.

There’s still a lot of football left on the docket and these games don’t play themselves. It’s still the time of year where you lose, your next game’s next week, unlike the post-season, where you lose, your next game’s next year.

17 of the 32 teams (53 percent) are at .500 or better and there are a few teams that are near that mark as well. As for the Bengals? They’re still winless and have a slim chance of making the post-season. When the dust does settle at the end of week 17, 12 teams will have their magic tickets punched and get to go to the playoff party. For the other 20 teams, they’ll get lovely parting gifts, as they say on those game shows.

For those on top, it’s another chance to stay on top; for those that are contending, it’s a chance to put themselves one step closer to their intended goal.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK 11: The Baltimore Ravens rushed for 263 yards in their 41-7 win over Houston in Week 11. Baltimore, with 2,038 rushing yards through its first 10 games of the season, is the seventh team since 1970 and first since the 1978 New England Patriots (2,029 rushing yards) with at least 2,000 rushing yards in its first 10 games of a season. The Ravens’ 2,038 rushing yards are the fifth-most through a team’s first 10 games of a season since 1970. Quarterback Lamar Jackson, who had 86 rushing yards, has recorded at least 60 rushing yards in seven consecutive games, surpassing Michael Vick (six games in 2004) for the longest such streak by a quarterback in league annals. Jackson has 1,483 career rushing yards, surpassing Cam Newton (1,447) for the most by a quarterback in his first two seasons in NFL history.

Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had seven receptions, including the 600th of his career, in Week 11. At 27 years and 164 days old, Hopkins is the second-youngest player in league annals to reach 600 career receptions, trailing only Larry Fitzgerald (27 years and 110 days old).

Minnesota overcame a 20-0 halftime deficit to defeat Denver, 27-23, in Week 11. The Vikings are the first team in the regular season since the San Diego Chargers (vs. San Francisco on December 20, 2014), who trailed 35-7 at halftime and won 38-35 in overtime, to overcome a halftime deficit of at least 20 points and win.

Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott passed for 444 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 116.6 rating in the Cowboys’ 35-27 win at Detroit. Prescott has four games with at least 375 passing yards and two touchdown passes in 2019, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Montana (four games in 1990) for the most such games through their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history. Only Peyton Manning, who had six games with at least 375 passing yards and two touchdown passes in 2013, had more in a full season.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan passed for 311 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions for a 111.1 rating in the Falcons’ 29-3 win at Carolina. Ryan, currently in his 12th season, has 60 career games with at least 300 passing yards and joins Drew Brees (67 games) as the only quarterbacks with at least 60 such games in their first 12 seasons in NFL history. Ryan has 49,383 career passing yards and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon (49,325 passing yards) for the 10th-most passing yards in NFL history.

Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey recorded 191 scrimmage yards (121 receiving, 70 rushing) along with 11 receptions in Week 11. McCaffrey has seven career games with at least 10 catches, surpassing Larry Centers (six) and Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson (six) for the most by a running back in NFL history. Since entering the NFL in 2017, McCaffrey has 12 career games with at least 50 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards, tied with Herschel Walker (12 games) for the most such games by a player in his first three seasons in NFL history. McCaffrey, who has 1,576 scrimmage yards and 14 scrimmage touchdowns in 2019, is the fifth player in NFL history with at least 1,500 scrimmage yards and 14 scrimmage touchdowns in his team’s first 10 games of a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Eric Dickerson (1983), O.J. Simpson (1975) and Emmitt Smith (1995) as well as Ahman Green (2003).

Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen passed for 256 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 117.7 rating and added 56 rushing yards with a touchdown in the Bills’ 37-20 win over Miami.

Allen, who has 13 passing touchdowns and seven rushing touchdowns in 2019, joined Cam Newton (2011-12) as the only players with at least 10 passing touchdowns and seven rushing touchdowns in consecutive seasons in NFL history.

Allen recorded his 15th career rushing touchdown in his 22nd career game, the second-fewest games to reach 15 career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in NFL history. Only Cam Newton (18 games) reached 15 career rushing touchdowns in fewer games among quarterbacks.

Miami kick returner Jakee Grant, in his fourth NFL season, had a 101-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in Week 11, his second career kick-return touchdown of at least 100 yards. Grant, who also has two career punt-return touchdowns of at least 70 yards, is the fourth player in NFL history with at least two kick-return touchdowns of 100 yards and two punt-return touchdowns of 70 yards in his first four seasons, joining Ted Ginn (2007-10), Trindon Holliday (2011-14) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Ollie Matson (1952, 1954-56).

New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas had eight receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown in the Saints’ 34-17 win at Tampa Bay. Thomas has 94 receptions in 2019 and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (89 receptions in 2002) and Julio Jones (89 in 2015) for the most by a player in his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history. Thomas, who has the most receptions (415) by a player in his first four seasons in league annals, is the first player in NFL history with at least 90 receptions in each of his first four seasons.

New York Jets safety Jamal Adams had three sacks in the team’s 34-17 win at Washington. Adams, who had two sacks in Week 10, is the third defensive back to record at least two sacks in consecutive weeks since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, joining Aaron Beasley (Weeks 5-6 in 2000) and Carnell Lake (Weeks 14-15 in 1997). Adams’ five sacks over a two-week span are tied with Carnell Lake (five sacks in Weeks 14-15 in 1997) for the most by a defensive back over a two-game span since 1982.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a match-up of original teams and/or a game in which history was made . The NFL has designated Sunday’s Oakland-New York Jets match-up as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest is a nod to an earlier meeting that forever changed the way football is consumed. On November 17, 1968, Heidi unexpectedly became part of sports vernacular when East Coast viewers suddenly lost the NBC broadcast of Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Namath’s Jets trying to hold off a Raiders fourth-quarter comeback. While a large portion of the national audience saw the opening scenes of a made-for-TV movie featuring an orphan girl living with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps, Raiders quarterback Daryle Lamonica was throwing a 43-yard, go-ahead touchdown to Charlie Smith with 42 seconds left. On the ensuing kickoff, with the Jets down 36-32 and Heidi’s melodious tones airing in most American living rooms, Oakland’s Bill Budness forced a fumble and teammate Preston Ridelhuber returned it for a touchdown to seal the game. While NBC made a valiant last-second effort to avoid cutting away from the AFL game, several affiliates aired the musical during the Raiders’ comeback. Six weeks later, the Jets got revenge, turning away Oakland at New York’s Shea Stadium in the AFL Championship Game, giving Namath an opportunity to guarantee victory at Super Bowl III.

FLURRY OF TIEBREAKER GAMES ON WEEK 12 SLATE: Week 12 will go down as pivotal in determining the 12 teams that comprise the NFL’s 2019 playoff field in five weeks. That’s because 12 games this week match up teams from the same conference, carrying head-to-head, division- or conference-tiebreaker implications.

PACKERS CLASH WITH NINERS ON SNF: Another intriguing intra-conference game is on Sunday Night Football in San Francisco, where the 49ers (9-1) puts the NFC’s best record on the line against Green Bay (8-2), who leads the NFC North. Over the last 13 seasons, on only five occasions have teams with two-or-fewer losses met this late in a season. The winners of the last two games have won the Super Bowl.

The NFL games featuring teams with two-or-fewer losses in Week 12 or later since 2007:

DATE – VISITOR (RECORD) at HOME (RECORD); RESULT
11/29/2015 – New England (10-0) at Denver (8-2); Denver 30-24 (OT)*
12/2/2013 – New Orleans (9-2) at Seattle (10-1); Seattle 34-7*
12/1/2013 – Denver (9-2) at Kansas City (9-2); Denver 35-28*
12/6/2010 – New York Jets (9-2) at New England (9-2); New England 45-3
11/29/2007 – Green Bay (10-1) at Dallas (10-1); Dallas 37-27
*Played in Super Bowl

Other games with playoff implications are Denver at Buffalo, where the Bills look to improve their record in AFC games, a key Wild Card tiebreaker, to 6-2; Carolina at New Orleans, where the Saints can gain important ground in both the NFC South and the race for the NFC’s top seed by improving their conference record to 7-2; and Seattle and Philadelphia, where the Seahawks can improve their conference record to 6-1 and the Eagles can remain well in contention.

ANOTHER YOUNG QUARTERBACK IN PRIMETIME: Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson leads the Ravens into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to close Week 12 on Monday Night Football. The Ravens rushed for 263 yards in their 41-7 win over Houston in Week 11. Baltimore, with 2,038 rushing yards through its first 10 games of the season, is the seventh team since 1970 and first since the 1978 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (2,029 rushing yards) with at least 2,000 rushing yards in its first 10 games of a season. The Ravens’ 2,038 rushing yards are the fifth-most through a team’s first 10 games of a season since 1970.

Jackson, who had 86 rushing yards last week, has recorded at least 60 rushing yards in seven consecutive games, surpassing Michael Vick (six games in 2004) for the longest such streak by a quarterback in league annals. Jackson has 1,483 career rushing yards and surpassed Cam Newton (1,447) for the most by a quarterback in his first two seasons in NFL history.

WINNING FRANCHISES MEET IN FOXBORO: With a win last week, New England secured a 19th consecutive winning season. In NFL history, the only team to string together at least 19 winning seasons was Dallas, who assembled a streak of 20 winning campaigns from 1966-85. Those teams meet on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

Additionally, the Patriots (9-1) have the opportunity to win a 10th game and reach 17 consecutive seasons with 10-or-more victories. New England would break a tie with San Francisco, which won 10 games in 16 straight years (1983-98). The Patriots have won at least 10 games every year since going 9-7 in 2002.

Sunday’s battle also features the NFL’s top offense, Dallas, vs. the league’s top defense, New England. The Cowboys are averaging an NFL-leading 444.6 yards per game while New England is holding the NFL to a league-low 249.9 yards per contest.

CROSBY, RAIDERS RETURN EAST TO MEET JETS: 6-4 Oakland meets the New York Jets Sunday in a contest that features a pair of unique sack artists.

Raiders rookie defensive end Maxx Crosby had four sacks in Oakland’s 17-10 win over Cincinnati in Week 11. Since the sack became an official individual statistic in 1982, Crosby became the fourth rookie with at least four sacks in a game, joining Leslie O’Neal (five on November 16, 1986), Cornelius Bennett (four on December 27, 1987) and Brian Orakpo (four on December 13, 2009).

Jets safety Jamal Adams had three sacks in the team’s 34-17 win at Washington last week. Adams, who had two sacks in Week 10, is the third defensive back to record at least two sacks in consecutive weeks since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, joining Aaron Beasley (Weeks 5-6 in 2000) and Carnell Lake (Weeks 14-15 in 1997). Adams’ five sacks over a two-week span are tied with Lake (five sacks in Weeks 14-15 in 1997) for the most by a defensive back over a two-game span since 1982. Adams, who leads the Jets with a career-high six sacks, could become the first NFL defensive back to lead his team in sacks since Roman Harper led the Saints with 7.5 in 2011.

JACKSONVILLE’S ALLEN SEES KEARSE RECORD ON HORIZON: Another rookie pass-rusher, Jacksonville DE/LB Josh Allen, has eight sacks through 10 games and is on pace for 13 sacks. Allen and the Jaguars this week travel to play Tennessee, who 20 years ago saw Jevon Kearse establish the NFL’s rookie record with 14.5 sacks in 1999. Allen, San Francisco defensive lineman Nick Bosa (seven) and Oakland defensive end Maxx Crosby (6.5) lead NFL rookies in sacks this season. The 76 sacks by NFL rookies this year are tied with 2018 for the second-most through 11 weeks in NFL history, trailing only the 1987 season.

The seasons with the most sacks by rookies through the first 11 weeks in NFL history:

SEASON – SACKS BY ROOKIES THROUGH 11 WEEKS
1987 – 84
2019 – 76
2018 – 76

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 12

HISTORY IN FOXBORO: New England enters Week 12 with the best record in the AFC at 9-1. Since 2003, the Patriots have had at least 10 wins in 16 consecutive seasons – tied with San Francisco (1983-98) for the most consecutive 10-win seasons in NFL history. With a win over NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, New England would surpass San Francisco (16 seasons) for the most consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins in NFL history.

The teams with the most consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins in NFL history:

TEAM, YEARS (CONSECUTIVE 10+ WIN SEASONS)
New England, 2003-18 (16)*
San Francisco, 1983-98 (16)
*Active streak

New England quarterback Tom Brady enters Week 12 with 2,752 passing yards, the third-most in the AFC in 2019. With 248 passing yards on Sunday, Brady would surpass Drew Brees (16 seasons) and Peyton Manning (16) for the second-most seasons with at least 3,000 passing yards in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre (18) has more.

The players with the most seasons with at least 3,000 passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER (TEAMS – SEASONS WITH 3,000 PASSING YARDS)
Brett Favre (Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota – 18)
Tom Brady (New England – 16)*
Drew Brees (San Diego and New Orleans – 16)*
Peyton Manning (Indianapolis and Denver – 16)

*Active

NFC SHOWDOWN BY THE BAY: In every season since the NFL expanded to 32 teams and realigned into eight divisions in 2002, at least one team has won its division the season after missing the playoffs. After both missed the playoffs in 2018, San Francisco (9-1) and Green Bay (8-2) currently stand as the top two seeds in the NFC, lead their respective divisions through 10 games and are positioned to continue that trend.

With a win over Green Bay on Sunday Night Football, San Francisco – who finished 4-12 last season – would join the 2016 Dallas Cowboys as the only teams to win 10 of their first 11 games in a season after winning four or fewer games the previous year in NFL history.

DEFENSIVE NIGHTMARE: Through 10 games this season, Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson has 2,258 passing yards and 781 rushing yards – the most rushing yards by a quarterback through 10 games of a season in NFL history. Since entering the NFL in 2018, Jackson has 3,459 passing yards and 1,476 rushing yards in 26 career games.

With 24 rushing yards on Monday Night Football against the Los Angeles Rams, Jackson would become the first player with at least 3,000 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards over his first two seasons in NFL history.

CATCH HIM IF YOU CAN: Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey leads the NFL with 1,576 scrimmage yards this season and became the first player with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history.

McCaffrey, who has 20 rushing touchdowns and 14 receiving touchdowns since entering the NFL in 2017, needs one receiving touchdown against New Orleans (1:00 PM ET, CBS) to join Chuck Foreman (1973-75) as the only players with at least 20 rushing touchdowns and 15 receiving touchdowns through their first three seasons in NFL history.

BALLING IN BIG EASY: New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas leads the NFL with 94 receptions – the most receptions by a player in his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history – and 1,141 receiving yards in 2019. Last week, Thomas had eight receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown, his fourth-consecutive game with at least eight receptions and 100 receiving yards.

With at least eight receptions and 100 receiving yards on Sunday against Carolina, Thomas would become the fourth player with at least eight receptions and 100 receiving yards in five consecutive games in a single season in NFL history.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – CONSECUTIVE GAMES)

Isaac Bruce, St. Louis Rams (1995 – 6)
Anquan Boldin, Arizona (2005 – 5)
Calvin Johnson, Detroit (2012 – 5)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (2019 – 4)*
*Active streak

Additionally, with six receptions and 59 receiving yards, Thomas would become the fifth player to have at least 100 receptions and 1,200 receiving yards in three consecutive seasons in NFL history.

The players with the most consecutive seasons with at least 100 receptions and 1,200 receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (YEARS; CONSECUTIVE SEASONS)

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2013-18; 6)
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (1999-2002; 4) HOF
Herman Moore, Detroit (1995-97; 3)
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (1994-96; 3) HOF
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (2017-18; 2)*
*Active streak
HOF – Hall of Fame

ERTZ GOES FOR 500: Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz has 492 receptions for 5,448 yards and 31 touchdowns in 101 career games. With eight receptions against Seattle on Sunday, Ertz would become the second-fastest tight end to reach 500 career receptions in NFL history.

The tight ends to reach 500 career receptions in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER (TEAMS, GAMES TO 500 RECEPTIONS)

Kellen Winslow, Sr. (San Diego, 101) HOF
Jimmy Graham (New Orleans and Seattle, 106)
Jason Witten (Dallas, 107)
Rob Gronkowski (New England, 108)
Zach Ertz (Philadelphia, 102)*
*On Sunday
HOF – Hall of Fame

Week 12 got underway as Houston edged Indianapolis in the Lone Star State and concludes on Monday night in Hollywood as the Rams and Ravens meet at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The final byes for the 2019 season go to Arizona, Kansas City, the Los Angeles Chargers and Minnesota. Green Bay, the New York Giants, Seattle and Tennessee come back to action from their week long vacation. As for last week? 8-6 was pretty good and for the season, 72-65. There’s a lot of football left. With that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 12.

Tampa Bay (3-7) at ATLANTA (3-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of NFC South rivals, separated by 450 miles and 7 hours of driving, meet in Atlanta as Matt Ryan and the Falcons host Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay struggled against New Orleans last Sunday in the Sunshine State as the Saints bounced back from their loss to Atlanta at home and left Tampa Bay with a 34-17 win in hand. The Saints led 20-7 at the intermission, then watched the Buccaneers pull themselves to within 10 with 82 seconds left in the third before restoring order in the fourth when Marcus Williams picked off Winston for a 55-yard interception return for a TD. New Orleans outrushed Tampa Bay 109-36 and Brees threw for 228 yards and a TD, while Winston threw for 313 yards and a pair of TDs (Winston was sacked four times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Brees was not sacked and did not throw an interception). New Orleans was 7 of 13 on third down at Raymond James Stadium (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 37 minutes, while Tampa Bay, keeping the pigskin for 23 minutes, went 5 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Atlanta scored the first 26 points of their contest at Carolina unchallenged, holding the Panthers to a fourth-quarter field to leave Charlotte with a 29-3 win. After Youngho Koo opened the scoring for the Falcons with a 38-yard field goal, the Falcons’ special teams went to work as KR Kenjon Barner returned a punt 78 yards for a TD with 59 seconds left in the first. From there, Atlanta, picking up their second win in a row and second win in the NFC South, floored the gas in the contest, leading 20-0 at the half and took a 26-0 lead into the third quarter before Carolina broke Atlanta’s chance for a shutout on a 31-yard field goal by Jeff Slye early in the quarter. Carolina did manage to outrush Atlanta 77-54 with Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey leading everyone with 70 of those yards. Ryan threw for 311 yards and a TD toss to Calvin Ridley with no interceptions (he was sacked three times), while Kyle Allen threw for 325 yards with five sacks and four interceptions. Atlanta was 6 of 14 on third down at Bank of America Stadium but had success in their only fourth down try in the contest and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:26, while Carolina held on to the pigskin for 28:34 and went 2 of 14 on third down, 3 of 5 on fourth down.

While the Falcons lead the series 27-24, Tampa Bay has outscored Atlanta 1,113-1,095. The Falcons have won the last five meetings, including sweeping the last two series and swept last year’s contests (Tampa Bay’s last win in the series came in 2016 in the Big Peach by a final of 31-24.

The first meeting? Week six in the Big Peach. The Falcons would take a 21-13 lead over the Buccaneers and never looked back, coming away 34-29 winners at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Ryan (354 yards, three TDs) and Winston (395 yards, four TDs, two interceptions) combined for seven TD passes in the NFC South contest as Tampa Bay outrushed Atlanta 123-70 (Winston was sacked twice, Ryan once). Both clubs did quite well on third down tries; the Falcons were 8 of 13, while the Buccaneers were 5 of 8 and the Falcons ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:39 to Tampa Bay’s 28:21.

The two clubs closed out the 2018 season at Raymond James Stadium and for Atlanta, second verse, same as the first. The Falcons completed the sweep, rallying from behind in the closing seconds of the contest to take a 34-32 win in the Sunshine State. Atlanta trailed 17-7 at the intermission, then rallied to take the lead for the first time with 10:51 left in regulation when Ryan and Ridley connected on a 7-yard TD pass to lead 31-20. Winston then responded with a pair of TD passes in the final quarter, one to Mike Evans, the other to Chris Godwin to lead by one with 5:10 left in the contest (Tampa Bay missed on a pair of two-point conversions in the fourth). The Falcons would use all of the 5:10 that was left in the contest, using a 13-play, 56-yard drive, eating all of the clock and ending as Matt Bryant kicked a 37-yard field goals as the clock struck :00. This time, Atlanta outrushed Tampa Bay 109-92 and Ryan threw for 378 yards and a pair of TDs (including one to Julio Jones), while Winston threw for 345 yards with four TDs (two to Goodwin, two to Evans; each was sacked once and threw an interception). Atlanta was 6 for 13 on third down tries and ruled the clock, as they held on to the ball for 34:46 (including the final 5:10 of the contest), while Tampa Bay in keeping the ball for 25:14, went 4 for 10 on third down tries.

In the week six contest in Atlanta, the Falcons covered the 3-point spread, winning by 5 and both clubs covered the 58 over/under with 63 points. Tampa Bay was the favorite by 2 points in the season finale in the Sunshine State and Atlanta covered, winning the contest by 3 and both teams easily covered the 51 1/2 over/under with 66 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like Atlanta as 4 1/2-point favorites with a 52 over/under. History does have a way of repeating itself and that will favor Atlanta. Falcons prevail at home and cover the 4 1/2.

Denver (3-7) at Buffalo (7-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. Old AFL foes Denver and Buffalo meet in upstate New York as the Bills, in the playoff hunt, host the struggling Denver Broncos.

The Broncos’ last second rally against Minnesota fell short as the Vikings prevailed in the Land of 10,000 Lakes last Sunday afternoon 27-23 at US Bank Stadium. Denver led 20-0 at the intermission, scoring those points unchecked before the Vikings went to work in the second half and scored 20 fourth quarter points of their own unchallenged, taking the lead for keeps with 6:01 left in the contest when WR Kyle Rudolph caught a 32-yard TD pass from Kirk Cousins to lead 27-23. After the teams exchanged the ball, Denver got it back with 5:55 left in the contest and from their 40-yard line, drove themselves all the way to Minnesota’s 4-yard line where three Brock Allen passes fell incomplete, including the final try that came with 2 seconds left to play that would have given Denver the win.

Denver did outrush Minnesota 124-37 with Patrick Lindsay leading the way with 67 yards, while Allen threw for 240 yards and TD with a pair of sacks and an interception (Cousins, despite being sacked five times, threw for 319 yards with three TDs, including the game-winner to Rudolph with no interceptions). Denver went 5 for 18 on third down and kept the ball for 36:43 (including the final 5:55 of the contest), while the Vikings held on to the ball for 23:17, going 5 of 121 on third down (the Broncos were 4 of 4 on fourth down, while Minnesota was 2 of 2).

Buffalo completed the sweep of AFC East rival Miami, taking the Dolphins to task 37-20 at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday. Buffalo led 23-14 at the half, despite a 101-yard kickoff return by Jakee Grant. Josh Allen would give the Bills a 16-point lead at 30-14 as he would score on an 8-yard run with 6:55 left in the third before Miami’s Jakeem Grant scored on a 7-yard run early in the fourth before the Bills iced the game away with 10:38 left in the contest on a 9-yard TD pass from Allen to WR John Brown.

Buffalo rushed for 168 yards in the contest, holding Miami to a dismal season-low 23 yards, sacking Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (323 yards, no interceptions), while Allen threw for 256 yards with no sacks or interceptions. Buffalo went 5 of 14 on third down conversions (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:09, while the Dolphins were 4 of 14 on third down, 1 of 4 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 29:51.

Including contests that were played at War Memorial Stadium and Mile High Stadium, the Bills lead the series 20-16-1 and Buffalo has outscored Denver 881-811. They last met in upstate New York in 2017 and the Bills came away 26-16 victors, while Denver’s last win came in the Mile High City by a final of 24-17 in 2014. Buffalo’s favored by 4 in upstate New York and the over/under’s 37. Denver’s been struggling of late, while Buffalo has played some decent football. Bills circle the wagons in Orchard Park by taking the win and covering the 4.

New York Giants (2-8) at Chicago (4-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Struggling teams meet in the Windy City as the New York Giants make their way to Soldier Field for a contest with the Chicago Bears.

Da Bears could never get themselves on track in Los Angeles as the Monsters of the Midway fell to Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams 17-7 last SUnday night on the West Coast. After a scoreless first quarter on the West Coast, Greg Zuerlen (38-yard field goal) and Todd Gurley (1-yard TD run) would send the Rams to a 10-0 lead at the break. Chicago would pull themselves to within 3 with 7:10 left in the third when RB Tank Cohen and Trubisky connected on a 14-yard toss. Los Angeles would then restore order in the fourth quarter, with RB Malcom Brown scoring from 5 yards out to push the lead back to 10, then stopped a late Bears rally to seal the win at home.

The Rams outrushed Chicago 110-74, with Gurley leading all rushers with 97 yards and Jared Goff threw for 173 yards, while Trubisky (who left the game with an injury) threw for 190 yards and a sack (both threw interceptions). The defending NFC champs were 3 for 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 27:16, while Chicago ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:44 and went 6 of 17 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

Da Bears lead the series 28-21-2 (which includes games that took place at Yankee Stadium, Giants Stadium and Wrigley Field and have outscored the Giants 896-722. The Giants have come out on top in their last two contests, including last year’s meeting in the Meadowlands, where the Giants needed overtime to take a 30-27 win (Chicago’s last win in the series came in 2013 in the Windy City by a final of 27-21.

They met in week 13 at Met Life Stadium and Da Bears took a 14-10 lead with them into the half before the Giants rallied in the third quarter, scoring 14 points in the period unchallenged, using a TD pass from Odell Beckham Jr. to Sterling Shepherd, then Beckham and Eli Manning connecting on a 1-yard toss to lead 24-14 at the end of the third quarter. Chicago would eventually tie the contest as time expired in regulation when RB Tank Cohen and Anthony Miller connected on a 1-yard TD toss, evening things at 27-27.

The Giants got the ball to start the overtime and Manning engineered an 8-play, 49-yard drive that used 4:03 of clock and took the lead back on a 44-yard field goal by Aldrick Rosas with 5:57 left in the extra period. Chicago got the ball back after a kickoff and made their way downfield, getting themselves in position to either tie the contest up with a field goal or win with a TD but Chase Daniel, who took over for Trubisky, was sacked for a 6-yard loss. Chicago then burned a time out and had one last chance to either extend the contest or end it. Chicago got neither, as Daniel’s pass to Taylor Gabriel was incomplete.

New York outrushed Da Bears 141-118, with Saquan Barkley leading all rushers with 125 (Jaquan Howard led Chicago with 76) and Manning threw for 170 yards with the TD toss to Beckham (Manning was sacked three times and threw an interception), while Daniel threw for 285 yards with five sacks and two interceptions. The Giants were 6 of 17 on third down (they perfect in their two fourth down tries) and including the overtime, kept the ball for 33:13, while Chicago held on to the ball for 33:58, going 2 of 15 on third down, 4 of 5 on fourth down.

Chicago was favored by 4 in the week 13 contest in the Meadowlands and while New York came away with the win, they did not cover, winning by only 3. The two clubs did take care of the 44 1/2 over/under, as they combined for 57 points. Chicago’s favored by 6 in the Windy City and the over/under’s 40 1/2. If you’re a fan of one of these teams, watch; otherwise, may we suggest the “Bar Rescue” marathon on Paramount Network. The Giants will actually keep this one close but Da Bears win at Soldier Field Sunday afternoon.

Pittsburgh (5-5) at Cincinnati (0-10), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. They meet again. A pair of AFC North rivals face off against each other, this time meeting along the shores of the Ohio River as Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, both taking losses on the road, meet in a week four rematch at Paul Brown Stadium.

Cleveland managed to prevail over AFC North rival Pittsburgh 21-7 at First Energy Stadium Thursday night in a contest that was marred by a bench-clearing brawl late in the contest. The Browns took a 14-0 lead at the intermission as Baker Mayfield ran for a TD to open the scoring and Josh Landry catching a 1-yard toss from Mayfield, closing out the scoring in the half. Pittsburgh would break the shutout bid up as Mason Rudolph and WR RB Jaylen Samuels connected on a 3-yard TD pass in the third before the Browns restored order in the fourth, with Mayfield and rookie TE Stephen Carlson connected on an 8-yard TD toss to close out the scoring.

Later in the contest, with Cleveland having victory secured, Pittsburgh had the ball at their 11-yard with 1:40 left in the contest. The Steelers would get themselves as close as their 36-yard before Rudolph was sacked twice before completing an 11-yard pass to Trey Edmonnds. While that play was going on, Rudolph and Myles Garrett were involved in a scuffle, with Garrett pushing Rudolph to the ground. Rudolph then tried to take off Garrett’s helmet at which that time, things really got heated as Garrett took Rudolph’s helmet and swung it at him, hitting him in the head. Rudolph’s teammates then came to his aid and there would be more pushing and shoving. When the dust finally settled, Garrett was ejected from the contest, along with Larry Ogunjobi and Pittsburgh’s Maurkice Pouncey.

Garrett would be suspended without pay indefinitely by the league – at a minimum for the remainder of the regular season and postseason – and must meet with the commissioner’s office prior to a decision on his reinstatement. He was also fined an additional amount. As for Pouncey and Ogunjobi? Pouncey has been suspended without pay for three games and fined an additional amount for fighting, including punching and kicking an opponent. Ogunjobi has been suspended without pay for one game and fined an additional amount for unnecessary roughness, specifically for shoving an opposing player to the ground during an altercation and the two clubs were both fined $250,000. (Cleveland’s Damarious Randall was already disqualified from the contest for a hit on Dioante Johnson in the third quarter)

Cleveland outrushed the Steelers 104-58, with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading the way with 92 yards on the ground. Mayfield threw for 193 yards and a pair of TDs to go with his rushing TD (Mayfield was sacked once), while Rudolph threw for 221 yards and a TD but was sacked four times and picked off four times. Cleveland, flagged eight times for 121 yards, went 6 of 16 on third down conversions, keeping the ball for 33:56, while the Steelers were 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 3 on fourth down and held the ball for 26:04.

Oakland handed Cincinnati their 10th loss in a row, erasing a 7-0 first quarter deficit and coming away 17-10 winners at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum last Sunday. Cincinnati scored first on a 3-yard run by RB Joe Mixon late in the first quarter before the Raiders responded in the second, as QB Derek Carr and TE Foster Moreau connected on a 2-yard run to even things up at 7-7. Carr then took matters into his own feet, scoring on a 3-yard romp with 97 seconds left before intermission to take the lead for good. Bengals K Randy Bulloch would put the Bengals to within 4 with a 40-yard field goal before Raiders K Daniel Carlson responded with a 20-yard field to push the lead back to seven. After a Raider punt with 1:54 left in the contest, Cincinnati had the ball for only two plays and their hopes of tying the contest ended when backup QB Ryan Finley was picked off by Trayvon Mullen.

Cincinnati outrushed Oakland 173-113 (Mixon led the Bengals with 86 yards, while Raiders RB Josh Jacobs led all rushers with 112 yards) and Carr threw for 292 yards and the TD to Moreau to go with his rushing TD (Carr was sacked three times and picked off once), while Finley threw for 115 with five sacks and the interception that ended the Bengals’ hopes. Oakland was 7 for 15 on third down tries (the Silver and Black was 1 for 1 on fourth down) and they would hold on to the ball for 35:22, while the winless Bengals kept the pigskin for 24:38, going 3 of 13 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

They met in the Steel City in week four at Heinz Field and Cincinnati led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Bengals then watched as Pittsburgh scored the next 27 points of the contest unchallenged, taking a 27-3 win at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh led 10-3 at the intermission, then floored the gas in the second, taking control of the contest from that point onward. While Cincinnati did outrush the Steelers 73-33, Rudolph threw for 229 yards with a pair of TDs without a sack or interception, while Dalton threw for 171 yards and was sacked eight times and threw an interception. Pittsburgh was 3 of 9 on third down (the Steelers were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:46, while the Bengals actually ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 30:14, going 4 of 14 on third down, 1 of 3 on third down.

In the week four Monday night contest in the Steel City, the Steelers were favored by 4 and covered, winning by 24 at Heinz Field. The 44 over/under stayed safe, as the two teams merged for only 30 points. Pittsburgh’s favored by 7 in the rematch and the over/under’s 39. The Bengals are free-falling, as the Tom Petty song says and it’s not going to get any better. Pittsburgh wins on the road and covers the 7.

Miami (2-8) at Cleveland (4-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. A pair of struggling AFC teams meet along the shores of Lake Erie as Miami makes its way to Cleveland to square off against the Browns.

The struggling Dolphins watched Buffalo complete the sweep of AFC East rival Miami, taking the Dolphins to task 37-20 at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday. While they trailed 23-14 at the half, Miami’s one bright spot came on a 101-yard kickoff return by Jakee Grant. Buffalo’s Josh Allen would give the Bills a 16-point lead at 30-14 as he would score on an 8-yard run with 6:55 left in the third before Miami’s Jakeem Grant scored on a 7-yard run early in the fourth before the Bills iced the game away with 10:38 left in the contest on a 9-yard TD pass from Allen to WR John Brown.

Buffalo rushed for 168 yards in the contest, holding Miami to a dismal season-low 23 yards, sacking Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (323 yards, no interceptions), while Allen threw for 256 yards with no sacks or interceptions. Buffalo went 5 of 14 on third down conversions (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:09, while the Dolphins were 4 of 14 on third down, 1 of 4 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 29:51.

In a contest marred by three Cleveland ejections, the Browns managed to prevail over AFC North rival Pittsburgh 21-7 at First Energy Stadium Thursday night. The Browns took a 14-0 lead at the intermission as Baker Mayfield ran for a TD to open the scoring and Josh Landry catching a 1-yard toss from Mayfield, closing out the scoring in the half. Pittsburgh would break the shutout bid up as Mason Rudolph and WR RB Jaylen Samuels connected on a 3-yard TD pass in the third before the Browns restored order in the fourth, with Mayfield and rookie TE Stephen Carlson connected on an 8-yard TD toss to close out the scoring.

Later in the contest, with Cleveland having victory secured, Pittsburgh had the ball at their 11-yard with 1:40 left in the contest. The Steelers would get themselves as close as their 36-yard before Rudolph was sacked twice before completing an 11-yard pass to Trey Edmonnds. While that play was going on, Rudolph and Myles Garrett were involved in a scuffle, with Garrett pushing Rudolph to the ground. Rudolph then tried to take off Garrett’s helmet at which that time, things really got heated as Garrett took Rudolph’s helmet and swung it at him, hitting him in the head. Rudolph’s teammates then came to his aid and there would be more pushing and shoving. When the dust finally settled, Garrett was ejected from the contest, along with Larry Ogunjobi and Pittsburgh’s Maurkice Pouncey.

Garrett would be suspended without pay indefinitely by the league – at a minimum for the remainder of the regular season and postseason – and must meet with the commissioner’s office prior to a decision on his reinstatement. He was also fined an additional amount. As for Pouncey and Ogunjobi? Pouncey has been suspended without pay for three games and fined an additional amount for fighting, including punching and kicking an opponent. Ogunjobi has been suspended without pay for one game and fined an additional amount for unnecessary roughness, specifically for shoving an opposing player to the ground during an altercation and the two clubs were both fined $250,000. (Cleveland’s Damarious Randall was already disqualified from the contest for a hit on Dioante Johnson in the third quarter)

Cleveland outrushed the Steelers 104-58, with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading the way with 92 yards on the ground. Mayfield threw for 193 yards and a pair of TDs to go with his rushing TD (Mayfield was sacked once), while Rudolph threw for 221 yards and a TD but was sacked four times and picked off four times. Cleveland, flagged eight times for 121 yards, went 6 of 16 on third down conversions, keeping the ball for 33:56, while the Steelers were 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 3 on fourth down and held the ball for 26:04.

While Miami leads the series 9-8, the Browns have actually outscored the Dolphins 335-322. Miami has won the last two meetings with Cleveland, with the last win coming in 2016 in the Sunshine State as the Dolphins needed overtime to come away with the 30-24 win, while Cleveland’s last win in the series came along the shores of Lake Erie in 2011 by a final of 17-16. Cleveland’s favored by 10 and the over/under’s 44. Take a pass on this one and shop for that Christmas tree. Miami will make it closer than 10 but Cleveland prevails along the shores of Lake Erie.

Carolina (5-5) at New Orleans (8-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. BBQ meets Gumbo. A pair of NFC South rivals square off in the Big Easy as the struggling Carolina Panthers make their way to New Orleans to face off against the Saints and Drew Brees.

The Panthers had trouble with NFC South rival Atlanta last Sunday in the Tar Heel State, as they were held to a fourth-quarter field to leave Charlotte with a 29-3 loss. After Atlanta’s Youngho Koo opened the scoring for the Falcons with a 38-yard field goal, the Falcons’ special teams went to work as KR Kenjon Barner returned a punt 78 yards for a TD with 59 seconds left in the first. In the process of picking up their second win in a row and second win in the NFC South, floored the gas in the contest, leading 20-0 at the half and took a 26-0 lead into the third quarter before Carolina broke Atlanta’s chance for a shutout on a 31-yard field goal by Jeff Slye early in the quarter.

Carolina did manage to outrush Atlanta 77-54 with Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey leading everyone with 70 of those yards. Matt Ryan threw for 311 yards and a TD toss to Calvin Ridley with no interceptions (he was sacked three times), while Kyle Allen threw for 325 yards with five sacks and four interceptions. Atlanta was 6 of 14 on third down at Bank of America Stadium but had success in their only fourth down try in the contest and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:26, while Carolina held on to the pigskin for 28:34 and went 2 of 14 on third down, 3 of 5 on fourth down.

New Orleans bounced back from their loss to Atlanta at home and left Tampa Bay with a 34-17 win in hand. The Saints led 20-7 at the intermission, then watched the Buccaneers pull themselves to within 10 with 82 seconds left in the third before restoring order in the fourth when Marcus Williams picked off Jameis Winston for a 55-yard interception return for a TD. New Orleans outrushed Tampa Bay 109-36 and Brees threw for 228 yards and a TD, while Winston threw for 313 yards and a pair of TDs (Winston was sacked four times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Brees was not sacked and did not throw an interception). New Orleans was 7 of 13 on third down at Raymond James Stadium (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 37 minutes, while Tampa Bay, keeping the pigskin for 23 minutes, went 5 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Carolina holds a slim 25-23 lead in the series and the Panthers have outscored New Orleans 1,056-1,039. The two NFC North rivals met last year and split the two contests, each winning in the other team’s facility.

Meeting number one… week 15 in the Tar Heel State on a Monday night and the Saints came away 12-9 winners. Carolina led 7-6 at the intermission and took that lead with them to the fourth quarter before Brees and the Saints would take the lead for good with 12:12 left in the contest on a 16-yard run by Kamara. The Saints then went for two but the try for two failed as Carolina’s Dante Jackson returned the ball for 2 points for the Panthers. Caroline and New Orleans would trade punts after that and the Panthers would get the ball back with 1:44 left in hopes of taking the prime-time win but the drive stalled at their 39-yard line, where Newton’s 4th-down try went incomplete. New Orleans would then get the ball back and seal the win on the road.

New Orleans outrushed Carolina in the Monday night match-up 155-98 and Kamara led all rushers with 67 yards, while teammate Mark Ingram tallied 63 yards (Carolina was led by McCaffery with 53 yards) and Brees threw for 203 yards, while Newton threw for 131 yards (Brees was sacked twice, while Newton was sacked four times, with each throwing an interception). New Orleans went 4 of 13 on third down conversions (the Saints were perfect in their only fourth down try) and held on to the ball for 35:09, while the Panthers went 7 of 15 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 24:51.

The Panthers got their revenge in the Big Easy in the season finale, as the Saints rested most of their starters and Carolina would leave the Mercedes-Benz Superdome 33-14 winners. Carolina scored the first 23 points of the contest unchallenged and took a 23-0 lead with them to the half. Carolina took a 30-0 with them at the end of three quarters before the Saints broke Carolina’s bid for a shutout in the fourth quarter on a 9-yard TD toss from Teddy Bridgewater to WR Tre’Quan Smith with 13:28 left in the contest. Carolina’s Chris Catanzaro would then add a 51-yard field goal to pretty much sealed New Orleans’ fate.

New Orleans outrushed Carolina 184-111, with Saints RB Dwayne Washington leading the way with 108 yards in the contest. Bridgwater, taking over for Brees, threw for 118 yards and the TD toss (Bridgewater was sacked twice and threw an interception), while Allen, taking over for Newton, threw for 228 yards with a pair of TDs without a sack or interception. Carolina was 6 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 33:26 (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down), while the Saints kept the ball for 26:34, going 4 of 10 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

In the week 15 match-up in the Tar Heel State on a Monday night, while the Saints were favored by 6 1/2, they would wind up winning by only 3 and the over/under of 52 was intact, as the two teams combined for only 21 points. New Orleans was favored in the match-up in the Big Easy two weeks later as a 9-point favorite and Carolina would win by 19, easily covering the spread and the 47 combined points by the two teams covered the 45 over/under. The Saints are favored by 9 1/2 in the Big Easy and the over/under’s 46 1/2. Both teams are smarting from losses to Atlanta in consecutive weeks and both would love to get themselves back on track in the NFC South. Carolina may not cover the 9 1/2 but they take the win in the Big Easy.

Seattle (8-2) at Philadelphia (5-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Grunge and Salmon meets cheesesteak as Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks travel to the City of Brotherly Love for a meeting with Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

Seattle knocked San Francisco out of the ranks of the undefeated, coming away 27-24 winners in overtime against their NFC West rivals. The 49ers led Seattle 10-7 at the half before the Seahawks took control of things in the third quarter, scoring 14 points in that frame unchallenged when Javeon Clowney recovered a fumble, returning it 10 yards for a TD and added a 1-yard run by Chris Carson for a 21-10 lead. San Francisco would storm back in the final 15 minutes of action in regulation and tied things up with one second left on a Chris McLaughlin field goal from 47 yards.

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

The Seahawks got the ball back and San Francisco held them in check, forcing a Seattle punt. San Francisco could not do anything after three Jimmy Garapollo passes went incomplete. The 49ers punted the ball back to Seattle with 85 seconds left in the extra period and Seattle made sure the 49ers would never see the pigskin again, using a 7-play, 40-yard drive that took 85 seconds of clock and ended when Jason Myers connected on a 42-yard field goal to end the 49ers’ bid for a perfect season. Seattle outrushed San Francisco 147-87, with Carson leading all rushers with 89 yards and the TD. Wilson threw for 232 yards in the overtime contest, while Garapollo threw for 248 yards (both threw a TD, both were sacked five times and both threw an interception) in the Monday night affair. San Francisco went 6 for 15 on third down tries in Santa Clara (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:41, while Seattle kept the ball for 35:19, while going 7 for 15 on third down tries.

Philadelphia watched the defending Super Bowl champions erase a 10-9 lead at the half and came out of Lincoln Financial Field 17-10 winners last Sunday in Philadelphia. This time, it was not Tom Brady that threw a TD pass for the Patriots in the contest; instead, it was Julian Edelman throwing a 15-yard TD toss to WR Philip Dorsett with 10:49 left in the third quarter. The Pats then went for two and were successful, as RB James White carried the ball in for the two. That would be the only score in the second half and the Patriots would hold off a late Philadelphia rally in the closing seconds of the contest, as the Eagles got as close as their 42-yard line before Wentz’ last ditch pass fell incomplete.

The Eagles outrushed New England 81-74 and Brady threw for 216 yards with a sack, while Wentz threw for 214 yards and a TD to TD Dallas Goedert early in the second quarter (neither threw an interception). New England was 5 for 16 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:25, while Philadelphia went 3 of 13 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:35.

Seattle leads the series 9-7, the Seahawks have outscored the Eagles 347-296 and have won the last four contests, including a 24-10 win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks in 2017, while Philadelphia’s last win in the series also came in the Pacific Northwest, with the Eagles coming away 26-7 winners. Philly’s favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 49. While this one’s not “DRILL WORTHY,” this one is going to be entertaining. Eagles cover the 2 1/2 in the City of Brotherly Love and takes the win.

Oakland (6-4) at New York Jets (3-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of AFC/AFL teams meet in upstate New Jersey as the Oakland Raiders make their way east to face off against the New York Jets at Met Life Stadium. Both clubs were winners in their Sunday games last week.

Oakland handed Cincinnati their 10th loss in a row, erasing a 7-0 first quarter deficit and coming away 17-10 winners at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum last Sunday. Cincinnati scored first on a 3-yard run by RB Joe Mixon late in the first quarter before the Raiders responded in the second, as QB Derek Carr and TE Foster Moreau connected on a 2-yard run to even things up at 7-7. Carr then took matters into his own feet, scoring on a 3-yard romp with 97 seconds left before intermission to take the lead for good. Bengals K Randy Bulloch would put the Bengals to within 4 with a 40-yard field goal before Raiders K Daniel Carlson responded with a 20-yard field to push the lead back to seven. After a Raider punt with 1:54 left in the contest, Cincinnati had the ball for only two plays and their hopes of tying the contest ended when backup QB Ryan Finley was picked off by Trayvon Mullen.

Suprisingly, Cincinnati outrushed Oakland 173-113 (Mixon led the Bengals with 86 yards, while Raiders RB Josh Jacobs led all rushers with 112 yards) and Carr threw for 292 yards and the TD to Moreau to go with his rushing TD (Carr was sacked three times and picked off once), while Finley threw for 115 with five sacks and the interception that ended the Bengals’ hopes.
Oakland was 7 for 15 on third down tries (the Silver and Black was 1 for 1 on fourth down) and they would hold on to the ball for 35:22, while the winless Bengals kept the pigskin for 24:38, going 3 of 13 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

GangGreen made life somewhat miserable for Washington last Sunday in Landover, taking the Redskins 34-17 at Fed Ex Field. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! led 20-3 at the intermission and never looked back, taking their second win in a two-week span. Jets QB Sam Darnold threw four TD passes in the first half as GangGreen led from start to finish. GangGreen outrushed Washington 115-54 and Darnold threw for 293 yards with the four TDs (Darnold was sacked twice and threw an interception), while Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins threw for 214 yards with a pair of TDs (one to TE Jeremy Sprinkle) but was sacked six times and threw a pick. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 5 of 12 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:19, while the struggling Redskins were 6 of 16 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 27:41.

Including games that were played when the Jets were known as the Titans, games played at Shea Stadium, Giants Stadium and in Los Angeles, the Silver and Black lead the series 23-17-2, have outscored GangGreen 1,005-918 and have won the last two contests, including a 45-20 win on the West Coast in 2017, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!’ last win over the Raiders came in 2014 in the Meadowlands by a final of 19-14.

Sunday’s Raiders/Jets contest marks the 51st anniversary of “The Heidi Game or Heidi Bowl.” Played on November 17th, 1969, the game was notable for its exciting finish, in which Oakland scored two touchdowns in the final minute to win the game 43–32 but got its name for a decision by the game’s television broadcaster, NBC, to break away from its coverage of the game on the East Coast to broadcast the television film Heidi, causing many viewers to miss the Raiders’ comeback.

A high-scoring contest, together with a number of injuries and penalties for the two bitter AFL rivals, caused the game to run long. NBC executives had originally ordered that Heidi begin at 7 p.m. Eastern but then decided to allow the game to air to its conclusion. However, communicating this revised plan to the technicians running NBC’s master control proved impossible — as 7 p.m. approached, NBC’s switchboards were jammed by viewers phoning to inquire about the night’s schedule, preventing the planned change from being communicated. Heidi began as scheduled, preempting the final moments of the game and the two Oakland touchdowns in the eastern half of the country, to the outrage of viewers.

Response to the pre-emption by viewers and other critics was negative; the family members of several Jets players were unaware of the game’s actual conclusion, while NBC received further criticism for its poor timing in displaying the final score of the game during the Heidi movie. NBC’s president Julian Goodman formally apologized for the incident. The Jets and Raiders met again in the AFL Championship Game, with the Jets winning 27–23. They later defeated the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.

In the aftermath of the incident, NBC installed special “Heidi phones”, with a connection to a different telephone exchange from other network phones, to ensure that network personnel could communicate under similar circumstances. The game also had an influence on sports broadcasting practices; the future National Football League would contractually stipulate that all game telecasts be shown to their conclusion in the markets of the visiting team, while other major leagues and events adopted similar mandates. In 1997, the Heidi Game was voted the most memorable regular season game in pro football history. The Raiders would go on to win that contest 43-32 at Shea Stadium that afternoon.

In the modern-day “Heidi,” game, the Raiders are favored by 3 and the over/under’s 46. For GangGreen, it’s been a somewhat dismal season and they would love nothing more than taking care of the Raiders in their building. They’ll get that chance this Sunday. GangGreen covers the 3 and wins in upstate New Jersey.

Detroit (3-6-1) at Washington (1-9), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. It’s a pair of NFC teams struggling to get out of the cellars of their respective divisions as Detroit makes its way to Landover to face off against the struggling Washington Redskins at Fed Ex Field. Both teams took losses at home in last week’s action.

Washington last Sunday in Landover against the New York Jets last Sunday, as the Jets would wind up taking the Redskins 34-17 at Fed Ex Field. Washington trailed 20-3 at the intermission and could never get themselves on track in the contest. Jets QB Sam Darnold threw four TD passes in the first half as GangGreen led from start to finish. GangGreen outrushed Washington 115-54 and Darnold threw for 293 yards with the four TDs (Darnold was sacked twice and threw an interception), while Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins threw for 214 yards with a pair of TDs (one to TE Jeremy Sprinkle) but was sacked six times and threw a pick. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 5 of 12 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:19, while the struggling Redskins were 6 of 16 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 27:41.

A late Detroit Dallasrally at Ford Field last fell short last Sunday against Dallas, as it would be the Cowboys taming the Lions 35-27 last Sunday. Detroit led 7-3 at the end of the first quarter before Dallas would wind up taking control and a 24-14 lead with them to the intermission. Detroit would make it a three-point game with 9:15 left in the third when Lions backup QB Josh Driskel (who took over for Matthew Stafford) and WR Marvin Jones connected on an 11-yard TD toss. A Brett Maher field late in the third and a Prescott TD toss to RB Ezekiel Elliott in the fourth all but sealed Detroit’s fate. Jones and Driskell would connect again with 5:49 left in the contest to make it an 8-point contest (the Lions went for a 2-point conversion and failed).

Detroit outrushed Dallas 121-75 and Prescott threw for 444 yards with three TDs with one sack, while Driskel threw for 209 yards with a pair of TDs and three sacks (neither threw an interception). Dallas went 8 for 14 on third down and held on to the ball for 30:54, while the Lions kept the pigskin for 29:06, going 6 of 13 on third down.

The Redskins lead the series 27-14 (which includes contests that were played when the Lions were in Portsmouth and known as the Spartans) and have outscored Detroit 871-675. However…. the Lions have come away with wins in their last four meetings, including a 20-17 win in 2016 in the Motor City, while the Redskins’ last win also came in Detroit by a final of 25-17 in 2008. Detroit’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 42. Washington fans have been singing “Hell, it’s the Redskins” a lot this year. They’ll be singing it again this week. If for some reason you choose to take a pass on this one, we’ll understand. Detroit wins in Landover, although Washington could make this one closer than the 3 1/2.

Jacksonville (4-6) at Tennessee (5-5), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. They’re both trying to catch Houston in the AFC South. Jacksonville and Tennessee meet in Nashville in a late-afternoon week three rematch. The Jaguars are looking to right their ship after a loss last week, while the Titans are coming back from their bye week.

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.

Tennessee stopped a Kansas City rally in Nashville two weeks ago to come away 35-32 winners over the Chiefs. The Chiefs had a chance to send their contest with Tennessee into overtime last Sunday in Nashville but Harrison Butker’s 52-yard attempt as time expired was blocked by Titans DB Joshua Kalu to end the threat. Tennessee and Kansas City went into the intermission tied at 13-13 before the Chiefs took a 32-27 lead when Butker connected on a 39-yard field goal with 3:14 left in the contest. Tennessee did not waste a lot of time on their drive to reclaim the lead, getting the ball back with 81 seconds after a Chiefs’ field goal try failed, using 4 plays, 61 yards and 58 seconds to reclaim the lead when WR Adam Humphries and Ryan Tannehill connected on a 23-yard TD toss. Tannehill then took matters into his own feet when he scored on the two-point conversion.

The Chiefs were not going away and got the ball back with 23 seconds left in the contest and made their way down the field, getting as close as Tennessee’s 34-yard and stayed there after Mahomes threw an incomplete pass, setting the Chiefs up for what they hoped would be the score that would have sent the contest into overtime. Chiefs fans would get their hearts broken as Kalu broke through the line, blocked the kick and ended the Chiefs threat.

Tennessee’s Derrek Henry led all rushers with 188 yards and a pair of TDs as the Titans outrushed Kansas City 225-97 and Mahomes threw for 446 and three TDs (connecting with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce on two of the passes), while Tannehill threw for 181 yards and a pair of TDs (including the game-winner) to go with his two-point try (neither threw an interception; Mahomes was sacked twice, while Tannehill was sacked four times). Kansas City was 7 of 14 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:51, including the final 23 seconds of the game, while the Titans, keeping the ball for 22:09, went 2 of 8 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

They met in the Sunshine State in week three and Jacksonville took care of business at TIAA Stadium, coming away 20-7 winners. Jacksonville took a 14-0 lead with them to the intermission and led 17-0 at the end of three quarters before Tennessee dented the scoreboard in the fourth on a 1-yard run by Henry early in the fourth. Tennessee did outrush Jacksonville 91-88 (Fournette led all rushers with 66 yards) and Gardner Mihshew threw for 204 yards with a pair of TDs, while Marcus Mariota threw for 304 yards without a TD or interception but was sacked nine times. Jacksonville was 2 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 24:44, while the Titans actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 35:16, while going 8 of 17 on third down (both teams were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

Tennessee was favored by 1 1/2 in the week three contest in the Sunshine State on a Thursday night and the Jaguars handled things, covering the spread with their 13-point win. The 39 over/under stayed safe, as both clubs merged for only 27 points. Tennessee’s favored again, this time by 3 with a 41 1/2 over/under. The Titans are looking to even the series and get some revenge, while the Jaguars are looking for the sweep and let Tennessee know that the first meeting was not a fluke. Jacksonville completes the sweep, taking the win on the road and covering the 3.

Dallas (6-4) at New England (9-1), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. A pair of first place teams meet in a late afternoon contest in Foxboro as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots host Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys at Gillette Stadium. Both teams were winners on the road in last week’s action.

Dallas held off a late Detroit rally at Ford Field last Sunday, taming the Lions 35-27 last Sunday. The Cowboys trailed 7-3 at the end of the first quarter before taking a 24-14 lead with them to the intermission. Detroit would make it a three-point game with 9:15 left in the third when Lions backup QB Josh Driskel (who took over for Matthew Stafford) and WR Marvin Jones connected on an 11-yard TD toss. A Brett Maher field late in the third and a Prescott TD toss to RB Ezekiel Elliott in the fourth all but sealed Detroit’s fate. Jones and Driskell would connect again with 5:49 left in the contest to make it an 8-point contest (the Lions went for a 2-point conversion and failed).

Detroit outrushed Dallas 121-75 and Prescott threw for 444 yards with three TDs with one sack, while Driskel threw for 209 yards with a pair of TDs and three sacks (neither threw an interception). Dallas went 8 for 14 on third down and held on to the ball for 30:54, while the Lions kept the pigskin for 29:06, going 6 of 13 on third down.

The defending Super Bowl champions erased a 10-9 lead at the half and came out of Lincoln Financial Field 17-10 winners last Sunday in Philadelphia. This time, it was not Brady that threw a TD pass for the Patriots in the contest; instead, it was Julian Edelman throwing a 15-yard TD toss to WR Philip Dorsett with 10:49 left in the third quarter. The Pats then went for two and were successful, as RB James White carried the ball in for the two. That would be the only score in the second half and the Patriots would hold off a late Philadelphia rally in the closing seconds of the contest, as the Eagles got as close as their 42-yard line before Wentz’ last ditch pass fell incomplete.

The Eagles outrushed New England 81-74 and Brady threw for 216 yards with a sack, while Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz threw for 214 yards and a TD to TD Dallas Goedert early in the second quarter (neither threw an interception). New England was 5 for 16 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:25, while Philadelphia went 3 of 13 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:35.

While Dallas holds a 7-5 lead in the series, the Patriots have outscored Dallas 246-240 and have won the last five meetings, including leaving the Lone Star State 30-6 winners in 2015, while Dallas’ last win in the series came all the way back in 1996 in Irving by a final of 12-6. New England’s favored by 6 1/2 in Foxboro and the over/under’s 45. New England prevails in this one, even though you can expect Dallas to make it closer than the 6 1/2.

Green Bay (8-2) at San Francisco (9-1), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. First place teams with Super Bowl trophies to their credit. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers travel to wine country for a prime-time show down with San Francsico at Levis Stadium. Green Bay is coming off a bye from their last contest at home, while the 49ers rallied to sweep NFC West rival Arizona last Sunday.

Green Bay held off a late rally at snowy Lambeau Field fell short by Carolina as Rodgers and Green Bay held off Carolina 24-16 two Sundays ago. Green Bay used a pair of Aaron Jones TDs in the first 30 minutes of play to take a 14-10 lead, then the Panthers stopped a late Green Bay rally in the closing seconds of the first half, as Greg McCoy stopped Packers RB Jaamal Williams short of the goal line to close things out.

The Packers would score 10 more points in the third quarter unchallenged on Jones’ third TD of the day and a Mason Crosby field goal before the Panthers would pull themselves to within eight with 11:58 left in the contest when Christan McCaffrey scored on a 3-yard run. Carolina then went for two in hopes of making their defict six but Kyle Allen’s try was incomplete. Green Bay would later punt the ball back to Carolina, who took the ball at their 11-yard line. They would make their way down the field and using a pair of Green Bay penalties, had four tries inside the 5-yard line.

Three incomplete passes later, the Panthers decided that the best course of action would be to use McCaffery, who got as close as the goal line but did not break the plane. The play was reviewed by replay and the ruling on the field became the law of the land. Green Bay outrushed Carolina 163-120 and McCaffrey led all rushers with 108 yards (Jones led Green Bay with 93 yards) and Allen threw for 307 yards and three sacks and an interception to go with the TD toss, while Rodgers threw for 233 yards and a pair of sacks but no interceptions. Carolina was 4 of 10 on third down (they were 1 of 1) and kept the ball for 28:38, including the final 2:25 of the contest, while the Packers ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:22, going 4 of 9 on third down conversions.

After their loss to Seattle on Monday night that knocked them out of the ranks of the unbeatens, the 49ers rallied in the second half against Arizona last Sunday to come away 36-26 winners at Levis’ Stadium. The Desert Angry Birds led 16-10 at the intermission before San Francisco got themselves off the deck in the second half, outscoring Arizona 26-10 in the final 30 minutes of action. San Francisco got a pair of TDs late in the fourth quarter, first Jimmy Garappolo connecting with RB Jeff Wilson on a 25-yard TD with 31 seconds left in the contest and DB D.J. Reed Jr. closing out the contest on a 4-yard scoop and score as time expired. While Arizona outrushed the 49ers 135-34, Garappolo burned Arizona for 424 yards and four TDs, including the game-winner (Garappolo was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions), while Arizona QB Kyler Murray threw for 150 yards with a pair of TD tosses and had a rushing TD of his own (Murray was sacked four times). San Francisco was 6 of 13 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 28:37, while the Desert Angry Birds actually ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:23, going 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Green Bay leads the series 32-27-1 (including games played in Milwaukee, Keezar Stadium and Candlestick Park), have outscored the 49ers 1,243-1,233 and have won the last two contests, including taking a 33-30 win last year at Lambeau Field (San Francisco’s last win in the series came in 2013 at Candlestick by a final of 34-28).

They met at Lambeau Field on a Monday night in week six and Green Bay trailed 24-20 at the intermission before taking control of things, tying the contest up at 30-30 with 1:55 left in regulation when Rodgers and WR Davante Adams connected on a 16-yard TD toss. San Francisco would get the ball back but C.J. Beathard’s pass late in the quarter was picked off by Kevin King with 65 seconds left. The Packers would use all 65 seconds left in the contest, using 10 plays and 81 yards, ending the drive and game on a 27-yard field goal by Mason Crosby to give the Packers the come-from-behind win. San Francisco outrushed Green Bay 174-116 and Rodgers threw for 425 yards and a pair of TDs to Adams (including the one that tied the contest) with three sacks and no interceptions, while Beathard threw for 245 yards wtih a pair of TDs to Marquise Goodwin with a pair of sacks and an interception. Green Bay went 4 of 13 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 31:08 (including the final 65 seconds of the game), while the 49ers held the ball for 28:52, going 2 of 9 on third down.

In the week six Monday night contest in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst, Green Bay was favored by 8 1/2 but won by only 3 but both clubs managed to cover the 46 1/2 over/under, tallying 63 points. This time, the 49ers are favored by 3 and the over/under’s 46. Because both teams are in first and both could very well meet in the post-season, this one’s going to be “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?”)

There’s a really good chance these clubs could make the post-season and meet. The winner has a clear shot of being the number one seed in the post-season; as for the loser, they’re not out of the post-season picture but will have to work a little harder to get that one seed. Green Bay pulls the upset in Santa Clara and could cover the 3.

Baltimore (8-2) at Los Angeles Rams (6-4), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 12 concludes in Los Angeles as Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens make their way westward to face off against Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams. Both teams were winners at home in last Sunday’s contests.

The Ravens and Jackson took control of Houston Sunday afternoon in Charm City, manhandling the Texans 41-7. After a scoreless first quarter at M&T Bank Stadium, the Ravens took a 14-0 lead with them to the break and scored 13 more points in the third quarter unchallenged as they would lead 27-0 after three quarters of play. Houston ended Baltimore’s bid for a shutout when RB Carlos Hyde scored from a yard away early in the fourth quarter. Baltimore outrushed the Texans 263-122 and Hyde led the Texans with 65 yards while Baltimore’s Gus Edwards led all rushers with 112 yards and a TD. Jackson burned Houston for 222 yards with four TDs and a sack and no interceptions, while DeShaun Watson threw for 169 yards with an interception and six sacks. Houston went 2 of 10 on third down tries (they were 1 of 4 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:41, while the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 36:19, going 5 for 9 on thrid down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The Rams shined in prime time Sunday night in Los Angeles, taking Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears to task 17-7 at the Coliseum. After a scoreless first quarter on the West Coast, Greg Zuerlen (38-yard field goal) and Todd Gurley (1-yard TD run) would send the Rams to a 10-0 lead at the break. Chicago would pull themselves to within 3 with 7:10 left in the third when RB Tank Cohen and Trubisky connected on a 14-yard toss. Los Angeles would then restore order in the fourth quarter, with RB Malcom Brown scoring from 5 yards out to push the lead back to 10, then stopped a late Bears rally to seal the win at home.

The Rams outrushed Chicago 110-74, with Gurley leading all rushers with 97 yards and Jared Goff threw for 173 yards, while Trubisky (who left the game with an injury) threw for 190 yards and a sack (both threw interceptions). The defending NFC champs were 3 for 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 27:16, while Chicago ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:44 and went 6 of 17 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

The Ravens lead the series 4-2, have outscored the Rams 144-114 and have won the last three contests, including coming away 16-13 winners in Charm City in 2015, while the Rams’ last win came in 2003 in St. Louis by a final of 33-22.

The Ravens on Monday night? 14-12 and they won their lone meeting last year. The Rams? 10-14, with Los Angeles playing twice on Monday night last year and taking losses in both contests. Baltimore’s favored by 3 on the West Coast and the over/under’s 46 1/2. You might want to tape “All Rise,” “Dancing With The Stars” and “Bull” this week. Los Angeles closes out week 12 with the win on the West Coast and covers the 3.

And then there were none.

If you were hearing champange corks from south Florida Monday night, it’s because the last undefeated team lost Monday night in Santa Clara. There are no more unbeaten teams in the National Football League, so that means that the 1973 Miami Dolphins are safe for another year. Seattle took care of their NFC West rivals in overtime Monday night in Santa Clara, edging the 49ers 24-21. Yes, the Seahawks were Jimmy Stewart and the 49ers? They were Liberty Valance.

As for the rest of the season? To quote Sonny and Cher, “the beat goes on.” Week 10 is in the books. The weather’s turning a little colder, the leaves are turning color a little faster and football continues. Nothing’s been decided and everyone still has a chance to make the post-season, even the Bengals. 18 of the 32 NFL teams are at .500 or better going into play and at the end of the season, 12 of 32 will be fighting to either get another Lombardi Trophy or get one of their own. Winning puts you one step closer, while losing doesn’t knock you out but makes your task a little harder.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK 10: Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson completed 15 of 17 pass attempts (88.2 percent) for three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 158.3 rating, the highest attainable mark and added a career-long 47-yard touchdown run in the Ravens’ 49-13 win over Cincinnati.

Jackson, who also had a 158.3 rating in Week 1, became the second quarterback to record a passer rating of 158.3 (minimum 10 attempts) in multiple games within a single season in NFL history, joining Ben Roethlisberger (two games in 2007).

Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters had an 89-yard interception return for a touchdown in the win. Along with Peters’ 67-yard interception return for a touchdown in Week 7 and Marlon Humphrey’s 70-yard fumble recovery touchdown in Week 9, Baltimore is the first team since 1970 to record a defensive touchdown of at least 65 yards in three consecutive games.

Peters has returned six interceptions for touchdowns in his five-year career, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Lem Barney (six) for the second-most by a player in his first five seasons in league annals. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Ken Houston (nine) had more.

New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones had 308 yards and four touchdowns while Arizona rookie quarterback KYLER MURRAY passed for 324 yards and three touchdowns with one interception in Week 10.

With Jones and Murray, Week 10 of the 2019 season is the first week in which two rookie quarterbacks each recorded at least 300 passing yards and three touchdown passes in NFL history.

Jones, who also had four touchdown passes in Week 8, is the fifth rookie quarterback with at least two games of four touchdown passes in NFL history, joining Robert Griffin III (two games in 2012), Marcus Mariota (two in 2015), Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton (three in 1961) and DeShaun Watson (three in 2017).

Making his 10th career start, Arizona rookie quarterback Kyler Murray threw three touchdown passes to wide receiver Christian Kirk in the Cardinals’ Week 10 loss.

From Week 4 to Week 10, Murray attempted 211 consecutive passes without an interception, surpassing Derek Carr (176 attempts in 2014) and Dak Prescott (176 in 2016) for the longest streak of consecutive pass attempts without an interception by a rookie quarterback in NFL history.

Murray, who has 2,553 passing yards and 351 rushing yards in his first 10 starts, joined Daunte Culpepper (2000), Cam Newton (2011) and DeShaun Watson (2017-18) as the only quarterbacks to record at least 2,500 passing yards and 250 rushing yards in their first 10 career starts in NFL history.

With Murray (22 years and 95 days old) and Kirk (22 years and 357 days old) connecting on three touchdowns, it marked the first time since November 11, 1962 (Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton and Charley Ferguson) that two players under the age of 23 connected on three touchdowns in a single game.

Making his 25th career start, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 446 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 119.2 rating in the Chiefs’ Week 10 loss. Mahomes has 8,007 career passing yards, the most by a quarterback in his first 25 starts in NFL history.

Mahomes, who has 68 career touchdown passes, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (65 touchdown passes) for the most touchdown passes by a player in his first 25 career starts in NFL history.

With his 16th career game of at least 300 passing yards, Mahomes tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (16 games) for the most games with at least 300 passing yards in a quarterback’s first 25 career starts in league annals.

Tennessee running back Derrick Henry recorded 188 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in the Titans’ 35-32 win against Kansas City.

Henry has three career games with at least 170 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in his four-year NFL career, tied for the fifth-most such games in a player’s first four seasons in league annals. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown (six), Eric Dickerson (six) and Earl Campbell (five), as well as Jamal Lewis (four) had more.

New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas had 13 receptions for 152 yards in the Saints’ Week 10 loss against Atlanta.

Thomas has 407 receptions in 56 career games and surpassed Odell Beckham Jr. (61 games) as the fastest player to reach 400 career receptions in NFL history. Currently in his fourth season, Thomas surpassed Jarvis Landry (400 receptions) for the most receptions by a player in his first four seasons in league annals.

Thomas, who has 1,027 receiving yards this season, joins Mike Evans (2014-17), A.J. Green (2011-14) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (1998-2001) as the only players to have at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first four seasons in NFL history.

New York Jets safety Jamal Adams recorded two sacks, two forced fumbles and a 25-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in the Jets’ 34-27 win over the New York Giants.

Since 2000, Adams is the sixth player to record two sacks, two forced fumbles and a touchdown in a single game, joining Cliff Avril (Week 8, 2011), Jason Gildon (Week 13, 2000), Orlando Scandrick (Week 5, 2019), Jyles Tucker (Week 17, 2007) and Mike Vrabel (Week 8, 2007).

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a match-up of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated Sunday’s New England-Philadelphia match-up as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest pairs the teams from two previous Super Bowls. In Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota, the Eagles and quarterback Nick Foles orchestrated a critical touchdown drive that drained 7:01 off the fourth-quarter clock. On that 14-play, 75-yard march, Foles completed 8 of 10 passes, including an 11-yard scoring strike to Zach Ertz as Philadelphia retook a lead it would not relinquish in a 41-33 triumph over New England, the Eagles’ first NFL title since 1960 and first-ever Super Bowl championship. Just before half, Foles caught a 1-yard TD pass from Trey Burton, branding the phrase “Philly Special” into Super Bowl lore. The Patriots (613) and Eagles (538) combined for a Super Bowl record 1,151 net yards. Thirteen years earlier, on February 6, 2005, at Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, the Patriots captured their third Lombardi Trophy over a four-year stretch, a 24-21 win over the Eagles. New England linebacker and current Titans head coach Mike Vrabel caught a 2-yard touchdown from Tom Brady to break a 7-7 tie in the third quarter. Game MVP Deion Branch, who had 11 receptions for 133 yards, set up that touchdown with three key grabs. Tedy Bruschi and Rodney Harrison had fourth-quarter interceptions in the first Super Bowl ever to enter the final stanza in a tie game.

WATSON-JACKSON SHOWDOWN MARQUEES WEEK 11: Two of the NFL’s most exciting young quarterbacks square off Sunday when Houston meets Baltimore. Last week, Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson recorded his second 2019 game with a 158.3 passer rating, the highest attainable mark, and became the second player in NFL history (Ben Roethlisberger, 2007) to post two 158.3 passer ratings in the same season. He also added a career-long 47-yard touchdown run in Baltimore’s win at Cincinnati. The Texans’ DeShaun Watson earlier this season posted his own 158.3 rating, in Week 5, and became the first player ever to pass for at least 400 yards and five touchdowns with five-or-fewer incompletions in a single game.

Watson enters Week 11 ranked fourth in the NFL with a 107.1 passer rating, while Jackson is ninth with a 101.7 mark. Sunday’s matchup is the second time in NFL history that two starting quarterbacks under the age of 25 with a passer rating of 100-or-better will square off in Week 11 or later. The first was a year ago this week, November 19, 2018, when Jared Goff (113.0 rating, 24 years, 36 days old) and the Rams defeated Patrick Mahomes (117.4 rating, 23 years, 63 days old) and the Chiefs 54-51.

AFC WEST CLUBS CLASH SOUTH OF BORDER: The NFL returns to Mexico when the Los Angeles Chargers host Kansas City on Monday Night Football. Estadio Azteca, which is 7,201 feet above sea level, will host a regular-season NFL game for the fourth time (also 2005, 2016 and 2017).

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who makes his 26th career start this week, has 8,007 career passing yards, the most by a quarterback in his first 25 starts in NFL history. Mahomes, who has 68 career touchdown passes, also surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (65 touchdown passes) for the most touchdown passes by a player in his first 25 career starts in NFL history.

DEFENSES TURNING OFFENSIVE: Since the beginning of 2018, Chicago and the Los Angeles Rams are tied for second in the NFL with seven defensive touchdowns. Those clubs clash in Los Angeles on Sunday Night Football on the West Coast. Baltimore leads the NFL with eight defensive touchdowns since the beginning of 2018, while the New York Jets also have seven, tied with the Bears and Rams.

Overall in Week 10, despite only 13 games on the schedule, NFL teams combined to score nine defensive touchdowns, the most since Week 6 of 2017 (10 defensive touchdowns).

DOLPHINS ON WINNING STREAK: There’s always hope in the NFL. Miami hosts Buffalo on Sunday with an opportunity to win a third consecutive game. San Francisco was the most recent team to open a season with seven-or-more consecutive losses and then win three-or-more games in the same season. The 49ers in 2017 began 0-7 but won their final five games. Now, just two years later, San Francisco owns a share of the NFL’s best record at 8-1.

PATRIOTS BID FOR 19 STRAIGHT: With a win on Sunday at Philadelphia New England can move to 9-1 and clinch a 19th consecutive winning season. In NFL history, the only team to string together at least 19 winning seasons was Dallas, who assembled a streak of 20 winning campaigns from 1966-85.

Among the other three major professional league sports, a franchise has authored 19-or-more consecutive winning seasons on only seven occasions: New York Yankees (39, 1926-64), Montreal Canadiens (32, 1951-52 to 1982-83), Boston Bruins (29, 1967-68 to 1995-96), New York Yankees (27, 1993-2019), Detroit Red Wings (24, 1991-92 to 2015-16), San Antonio Spurs (22, 1997-98 to 2018-19) and Utah Jazz (19, 1985-86 to 2003-04).

MARGIN OF VICTORY IS SHRINKING: With a season-high six teams on their byes this past week, the NFL played just 13 games. Eleven of those 13 games were separated by one possession (eight points or fewer). In 36 games this season, a team has won or tied after trailing in the fourth quarter.

The most games decided by eight- and seven-or-fewer points through 10 weeks in NFL history:

MOST GAMES DECIDED BY EIGHT-OR-FEWER POINTS THROUGH WEEK 10
2016 – 87
2019 – 81
2015 – 81
1999 – 79
2010 – 79

MOST GAMES DECIDED BY SEVEN-OR-FEWER POINTS THROUGH WEEK 10
2016 – 81
2019 – 77
2015 – 76
1999 – 73
Many with 72

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 11

YOUNG STARS BATTLE IN BALTIMORE: A match-up between two young quarterbacks highlights Week 11 in the NFL as Houston travels to Baltimore on Sunday. Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson and Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson are the first two players with at least 15 passing touchdowns, five rushing touchdowns and a passer rating of 100 or higher through their team’s first nine games of a season in NFL history.

With two passing touchdowns on Sunday against Baltimore, Watson would become the fifth player in NFL history to have at least 20 passing touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns through his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history. Two of the past three players to accomplish the feat earned the Associated Press Most Valuable Player award that season.

The players with at least 20 passing touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns through their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, PASS TDS/RUSH TDS)
Cam Newton, Carolina (2015, 20/6)#
Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota (2000, 20/5)
Roman Gabriel, Los Angeles Rams (1969, 20/5)#
Don Meredith, Dallas (1966, 22/5)
Deshaun Watson, Houston (2019, 18/5)*
*Through nine games
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player

Baltimore leads the NFL with an average of 197.2 rushing yards per game in 2019. Jackson leads all quarterbacks with 702 rushing yards this season and surpassed Michael Vick (650 yards in 2006) for the most rushing yards by a quarterback through his team’s first nine games of a season in NFL history last week.

If Baltimore running back Mark Ingram, who has 619 rushing yards and ties for the AFC-lead with eight rushing touchdowns, rushes for 81 yards against Houston, Jackson and Ingram would become the fourth pair of teammates to each rush for at least 700 yards in their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history.

The teammates each with at least 700 rushing yards through their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history:

SEASON – TEAM (PLAYER, RUSH YARDS; PLAYER, RUSH YARDS)
2006 – ATLANTA (Warrick Dunn, 813; Michael Vick, 704)
1973 – Cincinnati (Essex Johnson, 755; Boobie Clark, 735)
1973 – Miami (Mercury Morris, 840; Larry Csonka, 748) HOF
2019 – Baltimore (Lamar Jackson, 702; Mark Ingram, 619)*
HOF – Hall of Fame

ZEKE GOES FOR 5,000 IN 50: Since entering the league in 2016, Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott leads the NFL with 4,836 rushing yards.

Appearing in his 50th career game on Sunday against Detroit, Elliott needs 164 rushing yards to become the fifth player with at least 5,000 rushing yards through their first 50 career games in NFL history. The other four players to accomplish the feat are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The players with the most rushing yards in their first 50 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RUSHING YARDS)
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (5,597) HOF
Earl Campbell, Houston Oilers (5,411) HOF
Jim Brown, Cleveland (5,248) HOF
Terrell Davis, Denver (5,062) HOF
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas (4,836)*
*Through 49 career games
HOF – Hall of Fame

RACKING UP YARDS: Last season, Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey had 107 receptions and surpassed Matt Forte (102 in 2014) for the most receptions by a running back in a single season in NFL history. Since entering the NFL in 2017, McCaffrey leads all running backs with 235 receptions.

With four catches on Sunday against Atlanta, McCaffrey would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson (238 receptions) for the most receptions by a running back in their first three seasons in NFL history.

The running backs with the most receptions in their first three seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RECEPTIONS)
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (238) HOF
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (235)*
*In third season

In nine games, McCaffrey, who leads the NFL with 153.9 scrimmage yards per game, ranks second with 989 rushing yards and ranks fourth among running backs with 396 receiving yards in 2019. Last week, he became the fifth player with at least 125 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in seven of his team’s first nine games of a season in NFL history.

On Sunday, McCaffrey needs 104 receiving yards and 11 rushing yards to become the first player with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history.

Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook leads the NFL with 1,415 scrimmage yards, while McCaffrey ranks second with 1,385 scrimmage yards. With at least 85 scrimmage yards from Cook against Denver and at least 115 scrimmage yards from McCaffrey on Sunday, 2019 would mark the first season in which two players have at least 1,500 scrimmage yards through Week 11 in the Super Bowl era.

MAKING IT LOOK BIG EASY: New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas leads the NFL with 86 receptions and 1,027 receiving yards this season. Last week, Thomas, who has 407 receptions since 2016, surpassed Jarvis Landry (400 receptions) for the most receptions through a player’s first four seasons in NFL history and reached 400 receptions in the fewest games (56) in league annals.

With four receptions on Sunday against Tampa Bay, Thomas would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (89 receptions in 2002) and Julio Jones (89 in 2015) for the most receptions by a player through his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions through their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RECEPTIONS)
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis 2002 (89) HOF
Julio Jones, ATLANTA (2015 – 89)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (2019 – 86)*
Adam Thielen, Minnesota (2018 – 85)

*Through nine games
HOF – Hall of Fame

Additionally, with four receptions, Thomas would become the first player in NFL history to have at least 90 receptions in each of his first four seasons.

TERRIFIC TANDEM IN TAMPA: Tampa Bay wide receivers Mike Evans (924 receiving yards) and Chris Godwin (840) rank second and fourth in receiving yards, respectively, in the NFL this season.

If Godwin has at least 60 receiving yards on Sunday against New Orleans, Evans and Godwin would become the fourth pair of teammates each with at least 900 receiving yards through their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history.

The teammates each with at least 900 receiving yards through their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history:

TEAM – SEASON (PLAYER – REC. YARDS; PLAYER – REC. YARDS)
Denver – 2014 (Demaryius Thomas – 1,105; Emmanuel Sanders – 954)
St. Louis Rams – 2000 (Isaac Bruce – 1,094; Torry Holt – 945)
Houston Oilers – 1961 (Charley Hennigan – 1,245; Bill Groman – 980)
Tampa Bay – 2019 (Mike Evans – 924; Chris Godwin – 840)*
*Through nine games

Additionally, if Evans has at least 76 receiving yards on Sunday, he would join Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS (1999-2003) as the only players to have at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first six seasons in NFL history.

Byes in week 11: Green Bay, New York Giants, Seattle and Tennessee. Washington, New England, Jacksonville, Houston, Denver and Philadelphia return to action from their break. Week 11 began in the AFC as Cleveland held off Pittsburgh in a brawl-filled contest Thursday night and heads south of the border on Monday night as AFC West/AFC foes Kansas City and the Los Angeles Chargers meet in Mexico City.

Last week was not as good… we wound up going 5-8 but we’re still ahead of the curve for the season at 64-59. With that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 11.

ATLANTA (2-7) at Carolina (5-4), 1 p.m on FOX and DirecTV 710. They’re separated by 245 miles and four hours of driving along I-85. They’re two of the major cities in the Southeast and the nation. While their rivalry isn’t anything like the Atlanta-New Orleans rivalry, it’s still important. Atlanta and Matt Ryan makes their way northward to face off against NFC South rival Carolina at Bank of America Stadium.

The Falcons broke their seven-game losing streak last Sunday in the Big Easy as they manhandled Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints last Sunday, holding the NFC South leaders to three Will Lutz field goals to take a 26-9 win out of the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Atlanta broke a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter, took a 13-6 lead with them to the break and floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of action. New Orleans pulled themselves to within four with 6:05 left in the third before the Falcons scored their final 13 points of the contest unchallenged.

Holding New Orleans to 52 yards on the ground, Atlanta took care of business against their NFC South foes, tallying 143 yards with Brian Hill leading all rushers with 61 yards. Ryan, returning from the ankle injury he suffered against Seattle two Sundays ago, showed no ill effects, throwing for 182 yards with a pair of TDs (one to Hill, the other to Austin Hooper), while the Falcons defense sacked Brees (287 yards) six times, while Ryan was sacked once and threw an interception. Atlanta went 6 of 15 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:46, while the Saints kept the ball for 26:14, going 3 of 12 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

A late rally at snowy Lambeau Field fell short for Carolina as they fell to Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay 24-16. Green Bay used a pair of Aaron Jones TDs in the first 30 minutes of play to take a 14-10 lead, then the Panthers stopped a late Green Bay rally in the closing seconds of the first half, as Greg McCoy stopped Packers RB Jaamal Williams short of the goal line to close things out.

The Packers would score 10 more points in the third quarter unchallenged on Jones’ third TD of the day and a Mason Crosby field goal before the Panthers would pull themselves to within eight with 11:58 left in the contest when Christan McCaffrey scored on a 3-yard run. Carolina then went for two in hopes of making their defict six but Kyle Allen’s try was incomplete. Green Bay would later punt the ball back to Carolina, who took the ball at their 11-yard line. They would make their way down the field and using a pair of Green Bay penalties, had four tries inside the 5-yard line.

Three incomplete passes later, the Panthers decided that the best course of action would be to use McCaffery, who got as close as the goal line but did not break the plane. The play was reviewed by replay and the ruling on the field became the law of the land. Green Bay out-rushed Carolina 163-120 and McCaffrey led all rushers with 108 yards (Jones led Green Bay with 93 yards) and Allen threw for 307 yards and three sacks and an interception to go with the TD toss, while Rodgers threw for 233 yards and a pair of sacks but no interceptions. Carolina was 4 of 10 on third down (they were 1 of 1) and kept the ball for 28:38, including the final 2:25 of the contest, while the Packers ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:22, going 4 of 9 on third down conversions.

The Falcons lead the series 30-18, they’ve outscored Carolina 1,028-943 and have won the last three meetings in the series, including sweeping last year’s contests (Carolina’s last win in the series came in 2017, when they came away from Bank of America Stadium 20-17 winners).

Meeting number one… week two in the Big Peach at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Atlanta came away 31-24 winners. Atlanta led 17-10 at the break and took a 24-10 lead with them to the end of the third quarter before the Panthers stormed back in the final 15 minutes to make the contest a seven-point affair. Atlanta out-rushed Carolina 170-121 and Falcons RB Tevin Coleman led all rushers with 107, with Newton leading Carolina with 42 yards on the ground. Newton threw for 335 yards and three TDs, while Ryan threw for 272 yards and a pair of TDs to Austin Hooper and Calvin Ridley (Newton was sacked twice in the contest, both Ryan and Newton threw an interception). Atlanta went 6 of 11 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 29:42, while Carolina ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 30:18, going 5 for 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Falcons completed the sweep of the series in the Tar Heel State in their week 16 affair at Bank of America Stadium, manhandling the Newton-less Panthers 24-10 on the Sunday before Christmas Eve. The Falcons broke a 10-10 tie at the half and became Scrooges in the third quarter, scoring 14 points in the period unchallenged. Atlanta out-rushed the Panthers 194-141 and Brian Hill led all rushers with 115 yards (Christian McCaffrey led Carolina with 101 yards) and Ryan threw for 239 yards and three TDs (Julio Jones, Mohammed Sanu and Ridley), while Todd Heinicke threw for 274 yards with a TD (Heinicke was sacked twice and threw three interceptions, while Ryan was sacked once). Atlanta went 4 of 10 on third down conversions and held the ball for 22:31, while the Panthers ruled the clock, holding the ball for 37:29, going 7 of 14 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

The Falcons were favored by 5 1/2 in the Big Peach and covered, winning by 7 and both teams took care of the 44 over/under, tallying 55 points. In the week 16 contest in the Tar Heel State, the Panthers were favored by 3 and the Falcons’ 14-point win allowed them to cover but neither team covered the 48 over/under, as the two teams merged for 34 points. The odds-makers like the Panthers at home and the boys and girls in Vegas favored them by 5 1/2 with a 51 over/under. Panthers may be finer in Carolina but Atlanta proves that the win in New Orleans was not a fluke and takes the win in the Tar Heel State and could very well cover the 5 1/2.

Dallas (5-4) at Detroit (3-5-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of teams in the playoff hunt meet in the Motor City as Dallas travels to Detroit to face off against the Lions at Ford Field. Both clubs took close losses in last week’s action.

Dallas’ rally in the fourth quarter against Minnesota fell short as the Cowboys fell 28-28 at AT&T Stadium Sunday night. Dallas trailed 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, tying the contest up with 1:54 when Randall Cobb caught a 22-yard TD pass from Dak Prescott before the Vikings took things into the intermission when Dan Bailey connected on a 26-yard field as the first half came to an end. Bailey would add a second field goal against his former club halfway through the third quarter before the Cowboys reclaimed the lead when WR Amari Cooper and Prescott connected on a 12-yard TD strike. Minnesota would reclaim the lead for keeps with 2 seconds left in the third when Delvin Cook ran in from 2 yards, then Vikings QB Kirk Cousins and TE Kyle Rudolph connected on the 2-point try. Dallas would make the contest a 4-point affair with 10 minutes left in the contest when Brett Maher connected on a 23-yard boot.

With no time outs and 17 seconds left in the contest, Dallas got the ball back after a Vikings punt and Prescott used two short passes to TE Blake Jarwin, getting them on the Vikings’ side of the 50-yard line but Cowboys fans would see their hopes dashed when Prescott was picked off by Javon Kearse in the end zone to end the contest. Minnesota out-rushed Dallas 153-50, with Cook leading all rushers with 97 yards and the third quarter TD, Prescott threw for 397 yards and three TDs with a sack and the interception, while Cousins threw for 220 yards with two TDs, both to Rudolph. Dallas was 9 of 16 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:33 (including the final 17 seconds of the contest), while the Vikings ruled the clock, holding the ball for 33:27, going 8 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Detroit watched a 6-0 lead against NFC North rival Chicago get away from them as the Bears stormed back to take a 20-13 win at Soldier Field last Sunday. The Lions took that 6-0 lead with a pair of Matt Prahter field goals before the Bears would erase that lead with 25 seconds left before the break when Mitch Trubisky and TE Ben Braunecker connected on a 18-yard toss. Trubisky would add 3rd quarter TD passes to Tarik Cohen and Taylor Gabriel to take the lead to 20-6 before Kenny Golladay and Jeff Driskell (taking over for Matthew Stafford – back) would put the Lions to within 7 with 5:53 left in the contest. After Detroit and Chicago exchanged punts, the Lions got the ball back with 1:41 and would get themselves as close as Chicago’s 25-yard line, where the drive and game ended.

Neither club breached the 100 yard barrier in the contest in the Windy City but Detroit did manage to outrush Chicago 98-81 and Driskell threw for 269 yards with the TD, while he was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Trubisky accounted for the three TDs with 173 yards of passing and five sacks. Detroit was 7 for 18 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and including the final 1:41 of the contest, kept the ball for 31:54, while the Bears kept the ball for 28:06, going 2 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including contests that took place at the Cotton Bowl, Tiger Stadium, the Silverdome and Cowboys Stadium, the Cowboys hold a 14-11 lead in the series, have outscored the Lions 676-482 and won the last two contests in the series, including 26-24 win in Jerry World last year (Detroit’s last win in the series came in 2013 in the Motor City by a final of 31-30 at Ford Field.)

Dallas led 13-10 at the intermission at AT&T Stadium in week four, then watched the Lions storm their way back to 24-23 lead with 2:17 left in the contest when Stafford and WR Golden Tate connected on a 38-yard TD toss. Dallas would use all of the 2:17 left in the contest and made their way down the field, using nine plays and 55 yards and sent Cowboys fans home happy as Brad Maher connected on a 38-yard field goal as time expired. Dallas outrushed the Lions 183-96, with Elliott leading everyone with 152 yards; Prescott threw for 255 yards, Stafford threw for 307 yards, both were sacked twice and neither threw an intercption. Dallas went 5 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 30:05 (including the final 2:17 of the contest), while the Lions were 6 of 11 on third down, keeping the ball for 29:55.

In the week four contest at AT&T, Dallas was favored by three but won by only 2 but both clubs covered the 43 1/2 over/under with 50 points. Dallas is favored by 3 1/2 in the Motor City and the over/under’s 51. Dallas has lost two contests to the NFC North already this year. They’re not going to lose again this time around. Dallas covers in the Motor City and wins this one.

New Orleans (2-7) at Tampa Bay (3-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Drew Brees vs. Jameis Winston. A pair of NFC South foes square off in the Sunshine State as the Saints make their way to Raymond James Stadium to face off against the Buccaneers.

Brees and the Saints were held to three Will Lutz field goals against NFC South rival Atlanta, as the division leaders were taken to task 26-9 at the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Atlanta broke a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter, then led for good as they took a 13-6 lead with them to the break and floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of action. New Orleans pulled themselves to within four with 6:05 left in the third before the Falcons scored their final 13 points of the contest unchallenged.

New Orleans was held to 52 yards on the ground, while Atlanta took care of business against their NFC South foes, tallying 143 yards with Brian Hill leading all rushers with 61 yards. Ryan, returning from the ankle injury he suffered against Seattle two Sundays ago, showed no ill effects, throwing for 182 yards with a pair of TDs (one to Hill, the other to Austin Hooper), while the Falcons defense sacked Brees (287 yards) six times, while Ryan was sacked once and threw an interception. Atlanta went 6 of 15 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:46, while the Saints kept the ball for 26:14, going 3 of 12 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

Tampa Bay rallied against Arizona last Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, taking a 30-27 win over the Desert Angry Birds last Sunday in the Sunshine State. The Buccaneers led 17-13 at the intermission in the battle of Heisman winners, then watched Arizona erase that deficit to take a 27-23 lead with 7:22 when WR Christian Kirk caught a 15-yard TD pass from Kyler Murray. Tampa Bay would reclaim the lead for good with 1:43 left in regulation, using a 6-play, 92-yard drive that used 1:57 of clock and ended with a 1-yard TD run by Peyton Barber. The Buccaneers would then stop a late Arizona rally in its tracks to take the win in the Sunshine State.

Tampa Bay outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 118-75 and Murray threw for 324 yards and a pair of TDs (he was sacked twice and threw an interception), while Winston threw for 358 yards with four sacks and a pair of interceptions to go with a TD toss. Tampa Bay went 7 of 15 on third down in the Sunshine State and kept the ball for 36:03, while the Desert Angry Birds went a somewhat dismal 1 of 10 on third down (they were 2 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:57, including the final 1:43 of the contest.

New Orleans leads the series 33-21 and have outscored Tampa Bay 1,216-1,027. The two NFC South foes split last year’s contests, each winning in the other team’s building.

Round one… the season opener in the Big Easy and the Buccaneers survived a slugfest, leaving the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with the 48-40 win. Tampa Bay led 31-24 at the half, then asserted its will on the Saints in the final 30 minutes of play, outscoring New Orleans 17-16 and held off a late Saints rally. Tampa Bay outrushed New Orleans 112-43 and Ryan Fitzpatrick (taking over for Winston) threw for 417 yards and four TDs, while Brees threw for 439 yards with three TDs (Brees was sacked once and neither man threw an interception). Tampa Bay was 8 of 13 on third down conversions in the Big Easy and kept the ball for 32:09, while New Orleans, holding the pigskin for 27:51, went 4 of 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

New Orleans got their revenge in week 14 at Raymond James Stadium, erasing a 14-3 deficit at the break and scored 25 second half points unchallenged to take a 28-14 win out of the Sunshine State. Zach Line (1-yard TD pass from Brees), Brees (1-yard TD run), Mark Ingram (17-yard TD run) and Lutz accounted for the scoring in the second half to take the lead for good. Tampa Bay out-rushed New Orleans 105-100 and Winston threw for 213 yards with a pair of TDs to Cameron Brate, while Brees threw for 201 yards and the Line TD toss. New Orleans went 6 of 12 on third down conversions (1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 31:53, while the Buccaneers kept the ball for 28:07, going 6 of 14 on third down.

In the season opener in the Big Easy, the Saints were favored by 9 1/2 and Tampa Bay would win by 8 but both teams easily covered the 49 1/2 over/under, tallying 88 points. In the week 14 contest in the Sunshine State, New Orleans covered the 8 1/2-point spread, winning by 14 but both teams missed the 57 1/2 over/under, combining to scored 42 points. New Orleans is favored by 5 1/2 and the over/under’s 51. The Saints are still stinging from the loss to Atlanta at home last Sunday, while the Buccaneers would love nothing more than to take a win in the NFC South and take down their rivals in the process. Saints may march into Raymond James on Sunday but Tampa Bay marches out with the win, although expect the Saints to make things closer than 5 1/2.

Houston (6-3) at Baltimore (7-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of contending teams meet in Charm City as the Baltimore Ravens welcome the Houston Texans to M&T Bank Stadium. Both teams were winners in their last contests, which took place away from their home fields.

Houston, returning from their bye, held Jacksonville to a Josh Lambo field goal in the second quarter and took care of the Jaguars 26-3 at Wembley Stadium in London two Sundays ago. The Texans led throughout the contest, taking a 9-3 at the intermission, then floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of play, scoring the last 17 points of the contest unchallenged. Houston held Jacksonville to 74 yards of rushing, while the Texans’ Curtis Hyde led all rushers with 160 yards (the Texans rushed for 216 yards on the other side of the Atlantic. Houston passing-wise was paced by DeShaun Watson, who threw for 201 yards and a pair of TDs, while Gardner Minshew led Jacksonville with 309 yards (Minshew was sacked three times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Watson was sacked once) Both clubs were 4 of 11 on third down on the other side of the pond (the Texans were 1 of 1 on fourth down, Jacksonville was 0 of 2) and Houston kept the ball for 32:33 to Jacksonville’s 27:27.

Baltimore completed their sweep of AFC North rival Cincinnati, taking the Bengals to task 49-13 at Paul Brown Stadium. The Ravens led from start to finish in the contest that gave the Bengals their eighth loss in a row and took a 28-10 lead with them to the intermission. Baltimore then proceeded to score 21 third quarter points unchallenged to seal the Bengals’ fate. While Cincinnati out-rushed Baltimore 157-136 with Bengals RB Joe Mixon leading the way with 114 yards, Lamar Jackson burned the Bengals for 223 yards and three TDs and had a rushing TD of his own, while backup QB Ryan Finley, who took over after Andy Dalton was benched, threw for 167 yards and a TD (Jackson was not sacked or threw an interception, Finley threw a pick and was sacked twice). Baltimore on third down tries went 4 of 6 (the Ravens were perfect in their only fourth down attempt) and kept the ball for 23:49, while the Bengals actually ruled the clock and held the ball for 36:11, going 7 of 15 on third down, 1 of 4 on fourth down.

Baltimore leads the series 7-2 and the Ravens have outscored Houston 222-182. Their last meeting took place in Charm City in 2017 and the Ravens came away 23-16 winners, while Houston’s last win came in the Lone Star State in 2014 by a final of 25-13. Baltimore’s favored by 4 and the over/under’s 49 1/2. There’s a chance that these two could meet in the post-season and both are playing decent football of late. Houston pulls the upset on the road in this one, taking the win on the road and could very well cover the 4.

Jacksonville (4-5) at Indianapolis (5-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of AFC South rivals meet in the Hoosier State as Indianapolis hosts Jacksonville at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Jaguars are coming off their bye week with a loss, while the Colts lost to another Florida team at home last week.

Jacksonville returns from their break after they fall to Houston 26-3 in London at Wembley Stadium. The Jaguars, held to 30-yard field goal by Josh Lambo with 1:48 to go before halftime, trailed 9-3 at the intermission before the Texans floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of play, scoring the last 17 points of the contest unchallenged. Houston held Jacksonville to 74 yards of rushing, while the Texans’ Curtis Hyde led all rushers with 160 yards (the Texans rushed for 216 yards on the other side of the Atlantic. Houston passing-wise was paced by DeShaun Watson, who threw for 201 yards and a pair of TDs, while Gardner Minshew led Jacksonville with 309 yards (Minshew was sacked three times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Watson was sacked once) Both clubs were 4 of 11 on third down on the other side of the pond (the Texans were 1 of 1 on fourth down, Jacksonville was 0 of 2) and Houston kept the ball for 32:33 to Jacksonville’s 27:27.

Miami held off Indianapolis 16-12 at Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday. The Dolphins, picking up their second win in a row, led 10-0 at the intermission, then held off a late Colts rally in the closing seconds by using a pair of Jason Sanders field goals to come away with the win and stopping a Colts drive that would have given the home team the win. Indianapolis, who actually led 12-10 with 11:30 left in the contest on a 1-yard pass from Blaine Hoyer to TE Jack Doyle, out-rushed Miami 109-70 with Hoyer throwing for 204 yards and three interceptions, while Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 169 yard with an interception (Fitzpatrick was sacked three times, Hoyer was sacked once). Miami went 6 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 31:28, while the Colts, holding the ball for 28:32, went 5 of 13 on third down and 0 of 2 on fourth down.

The Colts lead the series 23-13 and have outscored the Jaguars 836-728. The two AFC South foes split last year’s series, each taking wins in their home fields.

The first meeting? Week 10 in Indianapolis and the Colts led Jacksonville 29-16 at the intermission, then held off the Jaguars to win 29-26 at Lucas Oil. Jacksonville would score their final ten points of the contest in the second half unchallenged, making the contest a bit too close for Colts fans in the Hoosier State, with the Colts ending Jacksonville’s comeback bid on a lost fumble with 1:30 remaining in the fourth quarter. Jacksonville outrushed Indianapolis 91-81 and both Fournette (Jacksonville) and Jordan Wilkins (Indianapolis) each rushed for 53 yards in the contest (Fournette had a rushing TD), while Andrew Luck threw for 285 yards and three TDs and Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles threw for 320 yards and a pair of TDs (neither threw an interception, Luck was sacked once). Jacksonville was 9 of 17 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:10, while the Colts, holding the pigskin for 24:50, went 6 of 11 on third down.

Jacksonville was looking for revenge in their week 13 contest at TIAA Bank Field and they got it, using a pair of Josh Lambo field goals to take a 6-0 win in the Sunshine State. Lambo’s first field goal from 30 yards with 2:02 left before the half was the first scoring of the contest, with Jacksonville taking the 3-0 lead at the break. After a scoreless third quarter, Lambo would close out the scoring for the Jaguars, connecting on a 37-yarder early in the fourth. Neither club breached the 100-yard barrier in the Sunshine State but Jacksonville did manage to out-rush the Colts 79-41 and Luck threw for 248 yards and an interception, while Cody Keesler, taking over for Bortles, threw for 150 yards (both were sacked three times, neither had a TD toss, Luck had an interception). Both teams struggled on third down tries in the Sunshine State; the Colts were 5 of 18 on third down (they were 0 of 3 on fourth down), the Jaguars were 6 of 15 on third down and the Colts kept the ball for 30:27 to Jacksonville’s 29:33.

In the week 10 Hoosier State showdown, the Colts were favored by 3 and covered, winning by 3 and both teams covered the 46 1/2 over/under with 55 points. The Colts were favored in the week 13 rematch in Jacksonville by 4 and while the Jaguars covered, winning by 6, the 47 over/under stayed safe as Jacksonville’s two field goals were all of the scoring in the contest. Indianapolis is favored by 3 and the over/under’s 44. Both teams are chasing the Texans for first place in the AFC South and the winner is a bit closer, while the loser isn’t out but will have a little more work to do. Colts cover the 3 and win back home again in Indiana.

Denver (3-6) at Minnesota (7-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. One team returns from their bye week, the other came away with a close win on the road last Sunday night. Minnesota returns to the Land of 10,000 Lakes to take on the Denver Broncos at US Bank Stadium.

Denver returns to action after their bye week, shutting down Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns 24-19 at Empower Field at Mile High two Sundays ago. Denver led 17-12 at the break and took a 24-12 lead with them to the fourth quarter before the Browns made things a bit closer than Broncos fans would like when Josh Landry and Mayfield connected on a 9-yard TD toss with 10:47 left in regulation. Denver would then hold off a late Browns rally late in the contest as Cleveland would get the ball back with 7:21 left in the contest and would get as close as Denver’s 28 yard line before being stopped. The Broncos then restored some order and ran out the clock to take the win in the Rocky Mountains.

Denver out-rushed Cleveland 127-90 (Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay would lead all rushers with 92 yards and a TD) and Brock Allen threw for 193 yards and three TDs, while Mayfield led the Browns with 273 yards and the Landry TD (neither man threw an interception; Mayfield was sacked twice and Allen was sacked three times). Denver was 3 of 9 on third down and kept the ball for 24:30, while the Browns actually ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 35:30, going 6 of 15 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

The Vikings held off a late Dallas rally in the fourth quarter, edging the Cowboys 28-28 at AT&T Stadium Sunday night. Minnesota led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, before Dallas would wind up tying the contest up with 1:54 when Randall Cobb caught a 22-yard TD pass from Dak Prescott before the Vikings took things into the intermission when Dan Bailey connected on a 26-yard field as the first half came to an end. Bailey would add a second field goal against his former club halfway through the third quarter before the Cowboys reclaimed the lead when WR Amari Cooper and Prescott connected on a 12-yard TD strike. Minnesota would reclaim the lead for keeps with 2 seconds left in the third when Delvin Cook ran in from 2 yards, then Vikings QB Kirk Cousins and TE Kyle Rudolph connected on the 2-point try. Dallas would make the contest a 4-point affair with 10 minutes left in the contest when Brett Maher connected on a 23-yard boot.

Dallas got the ball back after a Vikings punt with 17 seconds in the contest and no time outs. Prescott used two short passes to TE Blake Jarwin, getting them on the Vikings’ side of the 50-yard line but Cowboys fans would see their hopes dashed when Prescott was picked off by Javon Kearse in the end zone to end the contest. Minnesota out-rushed Dallas 153-50, with Cook leading all rushers with 97 yards and the third quarter TD, Prescott threw for 397 yards and three TDs with a sack and the interception, while Cousins threw for 220 yards with two TDs, both to Rudolph. Dallas was 9 of 16 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:33 (including the final 17 seconds of the contest), while the Vikings ruled the clock, holding the ball for 33:27, going 8 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The series? All tied at 7-7. Denver has outscored the Vikings 316-305 and have won the last three meetings in the series, including a 23-20 win in the Mile High City in 2015; Minnesota’s last win in the series came in the Twin Cities in 2003 by a final of 28-20. Minnesota’s favored by 10 and the over/under’s 39. This one may not meet the criteria to be “Drill Worthy” but it could be somewhat entertaining. Minnesota wins in the Land of 10,000 Lakes but expect the Broncos to make things closer than 10 points.

New York Jets (2-7) at Washington (1-8), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. They have a combined record of 3-15 and sit in last place in their respective divisions. A pair of struggling teams meet in Landover as Washington hosts the New York Jets at Fed Ed Field.

GangGreen led their fellow Met Life Stadium tenant the New York Giants 14-13 at the half last Sunday, then floored the gas in the second half, taking a 34-27 win over Big Blue. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! would outscore the Giants 20-14 in the final 30 minutes of play, erasing a 27-24 deficit in the process. Jets RB LeVeon Bell would give GangGreen the lead back and for good early in the fourth quarter, scoring from a yard away to reclaim the lead. The contest was not much of a rushing affair and neither club breached the 100-yard barrier but GangGreen did out-rush Big Blue 76-23, with Jets QB Sam Darnold throwing for 230 yards with a TD, while the Giants’ Daniel Jones threw for 308 yards with four TDs (Jones would be sacked six times, Darnold was sacked twice; neither threw an interception). The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 4 of 13 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and played keep-away with the ball, holding the clock for 30:44, while Big Blue, keeping the ball for 29:16, went 8 of 18 on third down and 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Washington comes back from their bye after they were held to three Dustin Hopkins field goals in Buffalo, with the Bills coming away 24-9 winners in upstate New York. The Bills took a 13-6 lead with them to the locker room at the half, then took control of things in the final 30 minutes of play, holding Washington to a third quarter field goal. The lone bright spot for Washington was that they did out-rush Buffalo 127-122 with Redskins RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 108 yards and Denvin Singletary leading Buffalo with 95 yards and a TD. Dwayne Haskins, making his first NFL start, threw for 144 yards, while Josh Allen threw for 160 yards and a TD to Cole Beasley (Allen also had a rushing TD). Washington was 2 of 11 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:13

Washington leads the series 8-3 and have outscored the Jets 248-192. GangGreen has won the last two meetings, including a 34-20 win in the Meadowlands in 2015, while Washington’s last win in the series came in 2007 (also in the Meadowlands), as they would need overtime to take a 23-20 win. Washington’s favored by a point and the over/under’s 38. Take a pass on this one (unless you’re a fan of one of these teams). Washington fans have been saying “Hell, it’s the Redskins” of late. They won’t this Sunday. “Hail to the Redskins!” Washington covers at Landover and takes the win.

Buffalo (6-3) at Miami (2-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. They meet again and this time, it’s in Miami. AFC East foes Buffalo and Miami meet in the Sunshine State in a rematch from week seven in upstate New York.

A late Buffalo rally fell short as Cleveland edged the Bills 19-16 last Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium. Cleveland led 9-7 at the break, then trailed 16-12 with 1:44 left when WR Rashard Higgins and QB Baker Mayfield connected on a 7-yard TD toss. The Bills would get the ball back with the 1:44 left and made their way down the field to set up what they hoped would be the game-tying field goal that would send the contest into overtime but Stephen Hauschka’s 53-yard field goal try sailed wide left. Cleveland then got the ball back and ran out the clock to take the win.

Cleveland out-rushed Buffalo 147-84, with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading everyone with 116 yards; Mayfield threw for 238 yards and a pair of TDs (including the game winner), while Bills QB Josh Allen threw for 266 yards with a pair of rushing TDS (neither man threw an interception, Allen was sacked once, Mayfield was sacked twice). The Browns were 4 of 11 on third down (they went 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:46, while the Bills, keeping the ball for 28:14, went 5 of 13 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down.

Miami held off Indianapolis 16-12 at Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday. The Dolphins, picking up their second win in a row, led 10-0 at the intermission, then held off a late Colts rally in the closing seconds by using a pair of Jason Sanders field goals to come away with the win and stopping a Colts drive that would have given the home team the win. Indianapolis, who actually led 12-10 with 11:30 left in the contest on a 1-yard pass from Blaine Hoyer to TE Jack Doyle, out-rushed Miami 109-70 with Hoyer throwing for 204 yards and three interceptions, while Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 169 yard with an interception (Fitzpatrick was sacked three times, Hoyer was sacked once). Miami went 6 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 31:28, while the Colts, holding the ball for 28:32, went 5 of 13 on third down and 0 of 2 on fourth down.

They met in upstate New York in week seven and the Bills came away 31-21 winners at New Era Field. Miami led 14-9 at the half, then Buffalo took control of things in the fourth quarter (they played a scoreless third quarter) and outscored the ‘Fins 22-7 in the final 15 minutes of action. Josh Brown gave Buffalo the lead for keeps with 13:50 left in the contest when he and Allen connected on a 20-yard toss. Fitzpatrick would make it a 3-point contest with 1:45 left, then Dolphins fans would have their hopes and hearts shattered when S Micah Hyde returned the onside kick attempt 42 yards for Buffalo’s final TD. Buffalo out-rushed Miami 117-109 and Allen threw for 202 yards and a pair of TDs, while Fitzpatrick threw for 282 with a passing TD to go with his rushing score (Fitzpatrick threw an interception, while Allen was sacked twice). Miami was 7 of 13 on third down tries (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:31; as for Buffalo? They kept the pigskin for 26:29 and went 3 for 10 on third down tries.

The Bills were favored by 17 in upstate New York and Buffalo wound up winning by 10. As for the 52 combined points? It was more than enough to cover the 40 1/2 over/under. The Bills are favored again in the rematch in the Sunshine State, by 5 1/2 and the over/under’s 39 1/2. The Bills are looking to sweep the Dolphins for the first time since 2013, while the Dolphins are looking for revenge. Revenge wins out in the Sunshine State. Miami may not cover the 5 1/2 but they do take the win at home.

Arizona (3-6-1) at San Francisco (8-1), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. They meet again. A pair of NFC West rivals renew accquaintaces, this time in wine country as San Francisco hosts Arizona in Santa Clara at Levis’ Stadium. Both took losses in last week’s action.

A last-second rally by the Cardinals fell short as Tampa Bay held them off last Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, taking a 30-27 win over the Desert Angry Birds last Sunday in the Sunshine State. Arizona trailed 17-13 at the intermission in the battle of Heisman winners, then erased that deficit to take a 27-23 lead with 7:22 when WR Christian Kirk caught a 15-yard TD pass from Kyler Murray. Tampa Bay would reclaim the lead for good with 1:43 left in regulation, using a 6-play, 92-yard drive that used 1:57 of clock and ended with a 1-yard TD run by Peyton Barber. The Buccaneers would then stop a late Arizona rally in its tracks to take the win in the Sunshine State.

Tampa Bay out-rushed the Desert Angry Birds 118-75 and Murray threw for 324 yards and a pair of TDs (he was sacked twice and threw an interception), while Winston threw for 358 yards with four sacks and a pair of interceptions to go with a TD toss. Tampa Bay went 7 of 15 on third down in the Sunshine State and kept the ball for 36:03, while the Desert Angry Birds went a somewhat dismal 1 of 10 on third down (they were 2 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:57, including the final 1:43 of the contest.

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

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

The Seahawks got the ball back and San Francisco held them in check, forcing a Seattle punt. San Francisco could not do anything after three Jimmy Garapollo passes went incomplete. The 49ers punted the ball back to Seattle with 85 seconds left in the extra period and Seattle made sure the 49ers would never see the pigskin again, using a 7-play, 40-yard drive that took 85 seconds of clock and ended when Jason Myers connected on a 42-yard field goal to end the 49ers’ bid for a perfect season. Seattle out-rushed San Francisco 147-87, with Carson leading all rushers with 89 yards and the TD. Wilson threw for 232 yards in the overtime contest, while Garapollo threw for 248 yards (both threw a TD, both were sacked five times and both threw an interception) in the Monday night affair. San Francisco went 6 for 15 on third down tries in Santa Clara (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:41, while Seattle kept the ball for 35:19, while going 7 for 15 on third down tries.

They met in week nine in the desert and the 49ers hung on to take the 28-25 win at State Farm Stadium. San Francisco led 21-7at the intermission, then held off a late Arizona rally in the final quarter to take the Thursday night win. Arizona out-rushed San Francisco 153-101, with Cardinals RB Kenyon Drake leading the way with 110 yards and a rushing TD, while San Francisco was led by Matt Breida with 78. Garoppolo threw for 317 yards and four TDs (connecting with Emanuel Sanders and George Kittle on two of the tosses, he was sacked once), while Murray threw for 241 yards with a pair of TDs and three sacks (neither threw an interception). San Francisco was 11 of 17 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:31, while the Desert Angry Birds kept the ball for 25:29, going 2 of 8 on fourth down.

In the week nine contest in the desert, the 49ers were favored by 10 but won by only 3. The two teams did manage to cover the 43 over/under with 53 points. San Francisco’s favored by 11 in the rematch in wine country and the over/under’s 45. History has a strange way of repeating itself, the 49ers are not in a good mood after Monday and they’re looking to take it out on the Desert Angry Birds. The 49ers may not cover the 11 but they’ll complete the sweep of the series at home by taking the win over Arizona.

New England (8-1) at Philadelphia (5-4), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. They last met in Super Bowl 52 and the Eagles swooped away with the Lombardi. This time, both teams are coming off bye weeks and both are still in the hunt. The Eagles and Carson Wentz host Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in a late afternoon contest at Lincoln Financial Field.

Brady and the Patriots were taken to task by Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in Charm City 37-20 two Sundays ago. New England trailed 17-13 at the intermission, then watched the wheels come off as the Ravens would give the defending Super Bowl champs their first loss by outscoring New England 20-7 in the second half of action. Baltimore out-rushed New England 210-74 with Ravens RB Mark Ingram leading everyone with 115 yards and QB Lamar Jackson threw for 163 yards with a passing TD and had a rushing TD, while Brady threw for 285 yards and a TD toss to Mohammed Sanu (Brady was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Jackson was sacked once). New England was 5 of 13 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 22:59, while the Ravens ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 37:01, while going 5 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Wentz and Philadelphia took care of Chicago 22-14 at Lincoln Financial Field two Sundays ago in the City of Brotherly Love. A pair of Jake Elliott field goals and a Wentz TD pass to TE Zack Ertz gave the Eagles a 12-0 lead at the intermission. Eagles RB Jordan Howard would give the Eagles a 19-0 lead with 10:37 left in the third before Chicago’s David Montgomery would score a pair of TDs on 1-yard runs to pull them to within five before Elliot would push the lead back to eight and sealed the contest with 25 seconds left, booting a 38-yard field for the contest’s final points. Howard led all rushers with 82 yards as the Eagles out-rushed Chicago 146-62 and Wentz threw for 239 yards with the TD toss to Ertz, while Mitch Trubisky threw for 125 yards (neither Wentz or Trubisky threw an interception; Wentz was sacked four times, Trubisky was sacked three times). Philadelphia went 8 of 18 on third down (the Eagles were perfect in their only fourth down try) and the Eagles were stingy with the clock, as they kept the ball for 40:18, while Chicago kept the ball for 19:42, going 2 for 10 on third down.

The Eagles lead the series 7-5 and have outscored the Pats 283-269. Their last regular season meeting came in 2015 in Foxboro and the Eagles left Gillette Stadium 35-28 winners, while New England’s last win came in the City of Brotherly Love in 2011 by a final of 38-20.

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

The odds makers like the Patriots as 3 1/2-point favorites in the City of Brotherly Love and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Both numbers make this one well worth your time to watch Sunday afternoon. New England’s looking to avoid losing two in a row; as for the Eagles, they want to let the Patriots know that the Super Bowl win was not a fluke. Philadelphia probably won’t cover the 3 1/2 but they do take the win in the City of Brotherly Love.

Cincinnati (0-8) at Oakland (5-4), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders host the winless Cincinnati Bengals on the West Coast in a late afternoon AFC contest.

The Bengals were taken to task 49-13 by Baltimore at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati trailed from start to finish in the their eighth loss in a row and trailed 28-10 at the intermission. Baltimore then proceeded to score 21 third quarter points unchallenged to seal the Bengals’ fate. While Cincinnati out-rushed Baltimore 157-136 with Bengals RB Joe Mixon leading the way with 114 yards, Lamar Jackson burned the Bengals for 223 yards and three TDs and had a rushing TD of his own, while backup QB Ryan Finley, who took over after Andy Dalton was benched, threw for 167 yards and a TD (Jackson was not sacked or threw an interception, Finley threw a pick and was sacked twice). Baltimore on third down tries went 4 of 6 (the Ravens were perfect in their only fourth down attempt) and kept the ball for 23:49, while the Bengals actually ruled the clock and held the ball for 36:11, going 7 of 15 on third down, 1 of 4 on fourth down.

The Silver and Black held off a late Philip Rivers rally in Oakland and came away 26-24 winners at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum over the Los Angeles Chargers. Oakland held a 17-14 lead at the break before the Chargers took over after a 27-yard field goal by Michael Badgley with 25 seconds left in the third and a 6-yard TD toss from Rivers to RB Austin Ekeler to lead 24-20 with 4:02 left in the contest. Oakland reclaimed the lead for keeps, using a 3-minute drive that used 10 plays and 75 yards when RB Josh Jacobs scored on an 18-yard run. Los Angeles would get the ball back on the ensuing kickoff with 62 seconds left and made their way down the field and got themselves as close as Oakland’s 30-yard line, when Rivers was picked off by Karl Joseph to end the threat.

The Chargers out-rushed Oakland 146-78 in the Thursday night affair in northern California, with Chargers RB Melvin Gordon leading the way with 108 yards and a TD (Jacobs led Oakland 71). Carr threw for 218 yards with a TD, while Rivers threw for 207 yards and a pair of TDs (Rivers was sacked five times and threw three interceptions, including the one that ended Los Angeles’ hopes, while Carr was sacked three times without an interception). Oakland was 4 of 12 on third down tries (they had one fourth down try and had success) and kept the ball for 25:50, while the Chargers were the rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 34:10, going 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Including games played in Los Angeles and at old Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field, the Raiders lead the series 18-11 and have outscored the Bengals 659-577. However…. the Bengals have come away winners in the last three meetings, including taking down the Silver and Black 30-16 last year at Paul Brown Stadium (Oakland’s last win in the series came in 2009 in Oakland by a final of 20-17).

The week 15 contest along the shores of the Ohio River saw the Bengals take a 20-7 at the intermission, then hold off a late Oakland rally to take the win at home. Mixon led all rushers with 129 yards and a pair of TDs as the Bengals outrushed Oakland 171-68 and Jeff Driskell, taking over for Dalton, threw for 130 yards with a sack and an interception, while Carr threw for 263 yards with five sacks (each threw a TD pass, Driskell threw an interception). Although the Bengals were 8 of 19 on third down tries at Paul Brown Stadium, they were 2 of 2 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 33:19, while the Raiders, holding on to the pigskin for 26:41, went 3 of 14 on third down.

Cincinnati was favored by 3 1/2 in the week 15 contest and the Bengals covered, winning by 14 and both clubs BARELY covered the 45 1/2 over/under, tallying 46. Oakland’s favored by 10 1/2 on the West Coast and the over/under’s 48 1/2. The over/under is reasonable, the 10 1/2? It leaves one scratching their heads. Cincinnati’s bad but not 10 1/2 bad. Oakland takes this one at home but we can expect the Bengals to make things a lot closer than the 10 1/2.

Chicago (4-5) at Los Angeles Rams (5-4), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. The Windy City meets sunnny California as Chicago travels to Los Angeles for a Sunday night prime time contest with the Rams at the Coliseum.

A late Los Angeles rally in Pittsburgh fell short as the Steelers hung on to give the Rams a 17-12 loss at Heinz Field. Although the Steelers led 14-7 at the intermission in the Steel City, the Rams managed to outscore Pittsburgh 5-3 in the last 30 minutes of action and trailed by only 2 with 12:40 left in the contest when Steelers QB Mason Rudolph was sacked by Aaron Donald in the end zone for a safety before Chris Boswell connected on a 32-yard field goal with 2:46 left in regulation to give the home team a little more breathing room. After the teams exchanged the ball on punts, the Rams would get it back with 61 seconds left in an attempt to take a win on the road. Los Angeles would get as close as their 42-yard line, thanks to two penalties and their hopes of winning would come to an end when Mike Fitzpatrick intercepted Jarod Goff to seal the win.

Los Angeles did manage to out-rush the Steelers 88-42 with Rams RB Todd Gurley leading the way with 73 yards, while Rudolph threw for 242 yards and a TD; Goff threw for 243 yards with a pair of interceptions (Goff was sacked four times, Rudolph was sacked three times, including the sack for the Rams’ safety). The Steelers were 5 of 13 on third down conversions (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:40, while the Rams were a dismal 1 of 14 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 28:20.

Da Bears erased a 6-0 deficit against NFC North rival Detroit as they stormed back to take a 20-13 win at Soldier Field last Sunday. The Lions took that 6-0 lead with a pair of Matt Prahter field goals before the Monsters of the Midway would erase that lead with 25 seconds left before the break when Mitch Trubisky and TE Ben Braunecker connected on a 18-yard toss, taking the lead for keeps at that point. Trubisky would add 3rd quarter TD passes to Tarik Cohen and Taylor Gabriel to take the lead to 20-6 before Kenny Golladay and Jeff Driskell (taking over for Matthew Stafford – back) would put the Lions to within 7 with 5:53 left in the contest. After Detroit and Chicago exchanged punts, the Lions got the ball back with 1:41 and would get themselves as close as Chicago’s 25-yard line, where the drive and game ended.

Neither club breached the 100 yard barrier in the contest in the Windy City but Detroit did manage to outrush Chicago 98-81 and Driskell threw for 269 yards with the TD, while he was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Trubisky accounted for the three TDs with 173 yards of passing and five sacks. Detroit was 7 for 18 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and including the final 1:41 of the contest, kept the ball for 31:54, while the Bears kept the ball for 28:06, going 2 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including contests that were played in Cleveland, St. Louis, Anahiem, Champaign-Urbana and Wrigley Field, Da Bears lead the series 53-35-3, have outscored the Rams 2,116-1,829 and have won the last contests, including a 15-6 win last year in the Windy City (the Rams’ last win in the series came in 2013 in St. Louis by a final of 42-21).

They met at Soldier Field in week 14 on a Sunday night (game time temperature, for those that are interested? A balmy 29 degrees with a 25-degree wind chill) and the first half was a field goal contest as Chris Parkey and Greg Zuerlein each kicked a pair of field goals to send their teams into the locker room tied at 6-6. Chicago then went to work in the second half, getting a safety courtesy of nose tackle Eddie Goldman and a 2-yard TD toss from Trubisky to OL Bradley Sowell on a tackle-eligible play. Chicago outrushed the Rams 194-52 and RB Jordan Howard led all rushers with 101 yards; Trubisky, despite being picked off three times, threw for 110 yards with the third-quarter TD, while Goff threw for 180 yards with four picks (Trubisky was sacked once, Goof was sacked three times). Chicago was 7 of 16 on third down conversions and the Monsters of the Midway kept the pigskin for 36:49, while the Rams, who held on to the ball for 23:11, went 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

In the week 14 Sunday night affair, the Rams were favored by 3 and the Monsters of the Midway covered, winning by 9 but the 52 1/2 over/under stayed intact, as both teams merged for only 21 points. The odds makers in Vegas like the Rams and they are favored by 7 with a 41 1/2 over/under. Both numbers make a ton of sense and both clubs are in the playoff hunt, trying to catch Green Bay and San Francisco respectively. This will be closer than the 7 but the Rams prevail in Hollywood, taking the win.

Kansas City (6-4) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (4-6) at Stadio Azteca in Mexico City, 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Forget the records. A pair of AFC West/AFL rivals meet south of the border as Patrick Mahomes and first-place Kansas City takes on the Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers in Mexico City to close out play in week 11. Both teams are looking for wins after close losses on the road last week.

Kansas City had a chance to send their contest with Tennessee into overtime last Sunday in Nashville but Harrison Butker’s 52-yard attempt as time expired was blocked by Titans DB Joshua Kalu and came up on the short end of a 35-32 loss in Nashville. Tennessee and Kansas City went into the intermission tied at 13-13 before the Chiefs took a 32-27 lead when Butker connected on a 39-yard field goal with 3:14 left in the contest. Tennessee did not waste a lot of time on their drive to reclaim the lead, getting the ball back with 81 seconds after a Chiefs’ field goal try failed, using 4 plays, 61 yards and 58 seconds to reclaim the lead when WR Adam Humphries and Ryan Tannehill connected on a 23-yard TD toss. Tannehill then took matters into his own feet when he scored on the two-point conversion.

The Chiefs were not going away and got the ball back with 23 seconds left in the contest and made their way down the field, getting as close as Tennessee’s 34-yard and stayed there after Mahomes threw an incompletion, setting the Chiefs up for what they hoped would be the score that would have sent the contest into overtime. Chiefs fans would get their hearts broken as Kalu broke through the line, blocked the kick and ended the Chiefs threat.

Tennessee’s Derrek Henry led all rushers with 188 yards and a pair of TDs as the Titans outrushed Kansas City 225-97 and Mahomes threw for 446 and three TDs (connecting with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce on two of the passes), while Tannehill threw for 181 yards and a pair of TDs (including the game-winner) to go with his two-point try (neither threw an interception; Mahomes was sacked twice, while Tannehill was sacked four times). Kansas City was 7 of 14 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:51, including the final 23 seconds of the game, while the Titans, keeping the ball for 22:09, went 2 of 8 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

A late rally by Rivers and the Chargers fell short in Oakland two Thursdays ago as Oakland came away 26-24 winners at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Oakland held a 17-14 lead at the break before the Chargers took over after a 27-yard field goal by Michael Badgley with 25 seconds left in the third and a 6-yard TD toss from Rivers to RB Austin Ekeler to lead 24-20 with 4:02 left in the contest. Oakland reclaimed the lead for keeps, using a 3-minute drive that used 10 plays and 75 yards when RB Josh Jacobs scored on an 18-yard run. Los Angeles would get the ball back on the ensuing kickoff with 62 seconds left and made their way down the field and got themselves as close as Oakland’s 30-yard line, when Rivers was picked off by Karl Joseph to end the threat.

The Chargers outrushed Oakland 146-78 in the Thursday night affair in northern California, with Chargers RB Melvin Gordon leading the way with 108 yards and a TD (Jacobs led Oakland 71). Carr threw for 218 yards with a TD, while Rivers threw for 207 yards and a pair of TDs (Rivers was sacked five times and threw three interceptions, including the one that ended Los Angeles’ hopes, while Carr was sacked three times without an interception). Oakland was 4 of 12 on third down tries (they had one fourth down try and had success) and kept the ball for 25:50, while the Chargers were the rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 34:10, going 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Including games played in Dallas (when the Chiefs were known as the Texans), at Swope Field and Qualcomm Stadium, Kansas City leads the series 61-55-1 and have outscored the Bolts 2,586-2,363. Each team won contests in the other’s facility, spliting the series last year.

The two AFC West/AFL rivals didn’t wait long as they opened the 2018 campaign in Los Angeles in week one, with Kansas City coming away 38-28 winners. Tyreek Hill caught a pair of TD passes from Mahomes and opened the scoring in the contest with a 91-yard punt return. Mahomes threw for 256 yards and four TD tosses in the contest, even though the Chiefs were outrushed by the Chargers 123-106 and Rivers threw for 424 yards and three TDs (both Rivers and Mahomes were sacked once, with Rivers throwing an interception). Kansas City was 4 of 10 on third down and held on to the ball for 25:34, while the Chargers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:26, while going 3 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Chargers got their revenge in the rematch at Arrowhead in week 15, rallying late in the contest to come away 29-28 winners. Los Angeles trailed 14-7 at the intermission and found themselves trailing 21-14 at the end of three quarters before outscoring Kansas City 15-7 in the final quarter. Justin Jackson put the Chargers to within seven with 3:49 left when he scored from 3 yards out. After the Chargers got the ball back on a Chiefs’ punt, they would use an 8-play, 60-yard drive that took 2:33 of clock, capping it when WR Mike Williams and Rivers connected on a 1-yard TD toss with 4 seconds left in the contest.

Los Angeles outrushed Kansas City 119-60 and Rivers threw for 313 yards, while Mahomes threw for 243 yards (both threw a pair of TDs; Mahomes was sacked twice, Rivers was sacked five times and threw an interception) for the Chiefs. Both clubs were 6 of 10 on third down (the Chargers were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Chargers kept the ball for 33:16 to Kansas City’s 26:44.

In the season opener on the West Coast, the Chargers were favored by 3 1/2 and the Chiefs covered, winning by 10 and both teams took care of the 42 1/2 over/under by tallying 66 points. As for the week 15 contest on a Thursday night in Arrowhead? The Chiefs were favored by 3 1/2 but the Chargers won by 1 and both clubs tallied 57 points, covering the 53 over/under. The boys and girls in Vegas think highly of the Chiefs and they’re favored by 3 1/2 with a 52 1/2 over/under. Both come into the Monday night contest south of the border with losses under their belts from last week and both want to keep their place in the AFC West. You might want to tape “All Rise” and “Bull” this week. Chiefs recover from their loss in Nashville and wins in Mexico City, covering the 3 1/2.

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.

And then there were two.

New England and San Francisco remain the only teams in the 2019 NFL campaign with perfect records.

While the Patriots and 49ers, with 11 Lombardi Trophies between them (New England with six, San Francisco has five) bask in the glow of being unbeaten, four teams (the New York Jets, Miami, Washington and Cincinnati) look for their first win, like Ahab looking for Moby Dick.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: New England defeated Washington 33-7, in Week five, as quarterback Tom Brady threw for 348 yards and three touchdowns in the win. Brady now has 71,923 career passing yards, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (71,838) for the third-most career passing yards in NFL history.

New England has given up 34 total points through its first five games of the season, the fewest points allowed through a team’s first five games since the 2005 Indianapolis Colts (29 points) and the fifth-fewest since 1970.

Philadelphia defeated the New York Jets, 31-6, in Week five, becoming the first team in NFL history to record 10 sacks and score two defensive touchdowns in a single game.

Philadelphia cornerback Orlando Scandrick registered two sacks and scored a 44-yard fumble-return touchdown. Scandrick joins Ronde Barber (September 10, 2000), Captain Munnerlyn (December 15, 2013) and Antoine Winfield (December 28, 2010) as the only defensive backs with at least two sacks and a touchdown in a single game since 1982 when the individual sack became an official statistic.

Philadelphia running back Darren Sproles had 32 all-purpose yards in the win. Sproles, who now has 19,684 all-purpose yards throughout his 14-year career, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Tim Brown (19,682) for the fifth-most all-purpose yards in NFL history.

Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson completed 28 of 33 pass attempts for 426 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions for a 158.3 passer rating, the highest attainable mark, in the Texans’ 53-32 win over Atlanta. Watson became the first player to pass for at least 400 yards and five touchdowns with five-or-fewer incompletions in a single game in NFL history.

Additionally, Houston wide receiver Will Fuller recorded 14 catches for 217 yards and three touchdowns in the win. He became the fourth player in NFL history to register at least 14 catches, 200 yards and three receiving touchdowns in a single game, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (December 18, 1995) and Steve Largent (October 18, 1987), along with Jimmy Smith (September 10, 2000).

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. Ryan joined Pro Football Hall of Famers Kurt Warner (six games in 2000) and Steve Young (six games in 1998) and Peyton Manning (five games in 2009 and 2013) as the only players with at least 300 passing yards in each of their team’s first five games of a season in NFL history.

Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey had 237 scrimmage yards (176 rushing, 61 receiving) and three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in the Panthers’ 34-27 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, his third consecutive game with at least 175 scrimmage yards. McCaffrey, who has 587 rushing yards and 279 receiving yards this season, joins Pro Football Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas (1991) as the only players in NFL history to record at least 500 rushing yards and 250 receiving yards in their team’s first five games of a season.

Carolina quarterback Kyle Allen passed for 181 yards and a touchdown in the victory. Allen is the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to begin his career 4-0 without throwing an interception in his first four career starts.

Jacksonville rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew passed for 374 yards with two touchdowns and a 101.9 passer rating in the loss. Both Allen (108.3 passer rating through first four career starts) and Minshew (101.4) joined Jeff Kemp (104.0, 1984) as the only players in the Super Bowl era to have a passer rating of at least 100 with no interceptions through their first four career starts (minimum 20 attempts).

Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson passed for 161 yards and had 70 rushing yards in the Ravens’ 26-23 overtime victory at Pittsburgh. Jackson, who now has 1,003 rushing yards through 21 career games, tied Robert Griffin III (21 games) as the quarterbacks to reach 1,000 career rushing yards in the fewest games in NFL history.

Oakland defeated Chicago, 24-21, in the first-ever NFL game in London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Oakland rookie running back Josh Jacobs rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns in the win, the most rushing yards by a rookie running back in the 25 NFL games played in London since 2007. By the end of the 2019 season, the NFL will have played 28 regular-season games in London, with 31 of 32 teams having participated. Jacobs also joined Adrian Peterson (September 29, 2013 at Wembley Stadium) as the only players to rush for at least 100 yards and two touchdowns in the history of the NFL’s International Series.

COMPETITIVE CONTESTS: Through Week 5, the 2019 season has tied for the most games decided by seven points or fewer in league annals. Forty-two of 78 overall games (53.8 percent) have been decided by seven-or-fewer points, including nine of 15 games in Week 5. Expect more to come in Week 6.

The seasons with the most games decided by seven-or-fewer points in NFL history:

THROUGH FIVE WEEKS
2019 – 42
2016 – 42
1999 – 41
2015 – 40
2011 – 40
1988 – 40

THROUGH SIX WEEKS

1999 – 50
2016 – 50
2018 – 47
2015 – 47
2011 – 47
2019 – ??

BUSINESS TRIPS: This week, several teams are on the road with the opportunity to improve key tiebreakers, their interdivision and interconference records. Highlighting those contests on the Week 6 schedule, Houston will travel to play Kansas City at 1 p.m., Philadelphia goes to the Twin Cities to face the Minnesota Vikings at 1 p.m. and Detroit travels to Lambeau for a Monday night meeting with Green Bay at 8:15 p.m.

This season, road teams are a combined 43-34-1 (.558) through five weeks, the highest road winning percentage at this point in a season in 36 years. The last time NFL teams were more successful on the road through five weeks was 1983, when they were 40-30 (.571).

THE SIX-GAME YARDSTICK: If history is any indication, emerging at .500 or better through six games has positive playoff implications.

There’s always hope, proven by the 2004 Green Bay Packers, who started 1-4 and won nine of their last 11 to capture their division title. In fact, since that season, Miami in both 2008 and 2016, Denver in 2011 and three teams in 2015 – Houston, Seattle and Washington – made the playoffs after opening 2-4.

A closer look at six-game records and how they affect playoff chances:

Opening 6-0:

Since 1990, when the NFL adopted the 12-team playoff format, 35 of the 37 teams (94.6 percent) to start 6-0 have qualified for the postseason.

Since 1978, when NFL teams began playing 16-game schedules and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, 46 of 49 teams (93.9 percent) to start 6-0 advanced to the postseason.

Opening 5-1 or 5-0-1:

Since 1990, when the NFL adopted the 12-team playoff format, 81 of 98 teams (82.7 percent) to win five of their first six games have qualified for the postseason.

Since 1978, when NFL teams began playing 16-game schedules and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, 107 of 131 teams (81.7 percent) to win five of their first six advanced to the postseason.
Opening 4-2 or 4-1-1:

Since 1990, when the NFL adopted the 12-team playoff format, 134 of 213 teams (62.9 percent) to win four of their first six games have qualified for the postseason.

Since 1978, when NFL teams began playing 16-game schedules and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, 174 of 286 teams (60.8 percent) to win four of their first six advanced to the postseason.
Opening 3-3 or 3-2-1:

Since 1990, when the NFL adopted the 12-team playoff format, 78 of 216 teams (36.1 percent) to win three of their first six games have qualified for the postseason.

Since 1978, when NFL teams began playing 16-game schedules and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, 108 of 297 teams (36.4 percent) to win three of their first six advanced to the postseason.

NINERS STAND ALONE IN NFC: For the first time since 1984, San Francisco is the NFC’s lone undefeated team through Week 5. Behind quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who owns a 10-2 career record as the 49ers’ starting quarterback, the club is off to its best start since opening 10-0 in 1990.

NORTHERN LIGHTS: Entering Week 6 of the NFL’s 100th season, all four teams in the NFC North have winning records. That hasn’t happened in an NFL division since 2012, when the four NFC West clubs also were above .500 entering Week 6. That year, the 49ers opened 4-1, finished 11-4-1 and advanced to Super Bowl XLVII.

This year, Green Bay (4-1) sits atop the NFC North with Detroit (2-1-1), Minnesota (3-2) and Chicago (3-2) closely behind. That division has crowned three different teams as its winner over the past three seasons. No other NFL division has that distinction. And if the Lions and Vikings win this week, with the Bears on their bye, the NFC North could have four teams above .500 again next week.

METHODICAL MARCHES: Physically and mentally, a touchdown drive of 90-or-more yards can provide a substantial advantage. Last week, Oakland engineered not one but two such drives in a London win over the Bears. Minnesota orchestrated a 98-yard touchdown drive in a victory at the New York Giants. The Vikings and Raiders each have three touchdown drives of 90-plus yards in 2019, tied with Kansas City and the New York Giants for most in the league. Overall, NFL teams this season have combined for 24 such drives, most through five weeks of play since there were also 24 touchdown drives of 90-plus yards in 2014.

SACKS ARE PILING UP: NFL clubs have combined for 396 sacks in 2019. Through Week 5, that’s the second-highest total over the last two decades. In that span, only the 2013 season (416) had more entering Week 6.

WAKE UP TO FOOTBALL: The second of five international games appears on the Week 6 slate. Carolina meets Tampa Bay in an important NFC South clash. The contest kicks off at 9:30 a.m. and will appear exclusively on NFL Network. It’s also the second of two games at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. In Week 8, the NFL plays its first of two games at London’s Wembley Stadium, when Cincinnati meets the Los Angeles Rams. In Week 9, also at Wembley, Houston plays Jacksonville and the 2019 international games conclude with a Week 11 contest in Mexico City, where Kansas City plays the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football, November 18.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 6

THE FUTURE IS HERE: This Sunday, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson face each other for the first time in their careers, when the Chiefs welcome the Texans to Arrowhead Stadium. Entering Week 6, Mahomes leads the NFL in passing yards (1,831), while Watson ranks second in the league in passer rating (115.9). The pair are tied for second in the league in touchdown passes with 11.

Mahomes, who has 7,212 passing yards in 22 career games, and Watson, who has 7,228 passing yards in 28 career games, can each reach 7,500 career passing yards on Sunday. Should the pair each reach the milestone, they would become the fastest and tied for the third-fastest quarterbacks in NFL history to reach 7,500 career passing yards.

The players to reach 7,500 career passing yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES TO REACH 7,500 PASS YARDS)
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (27) HOF
Marc Bulger, St. Louis Rams (29)
Dan Marino, Miami (29) HOF
Matthew Stafford, Detroit (29)
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (22)*
Deshaun Watson, Houston (28)#
*Has 7,212 passing yards
#Has 7,228 passing yards

STAFFORD SLINGER: Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford enters Week 6 with 39,648 career passing yards in 145 games during his 11-year career with the Lions.

With 352 passing yards against the Packers Monday night at Lambeau, Stafford can become the first player in NFL history to reach 40,000 career passing yards in fewer than 150 games.

The players to reach 40,000 career passing yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM(S) (GAMES TO REACH 40,000 PASS YARDS)
Matt Ryan, ATLANTA (151)
Drew Brees, San Diego and New Orleans (152)
Dan Marino, Miami (153) HOF
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (154)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (154)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit (145)*

*Has 39,648 passing yards

FEELING 100: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 268 yards and four touchdowns with a 151.8 passer rating in the Seahawks’ Week 5 win. Wilson, who currently leads the NFL with a 126.3 passer rating in 2019, has a passer rating of 100 or higher in each of Seattle’s first five games of the season.

With a passer rating of 100 or higher on Sunday at Cleveland, Wilson would become the fourth player in NFL history with a passer rating of 100 or higher in each of his first six games of a season.

The players with a passer rating of 100 or higher in each of their team’s first six games of a season in NFL history:​

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES WITH 100+ PASSER RATING TO BEGIN SEASON)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (2011 – 12)#
Tom Brady, New England (2007 – 8)#
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati (2005 – 6)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2019 – 5)*
*Active Streak
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player

WINNING JIMMY: San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has 920 passing yards and seven touchdowns with a 99.4 passer rating in 2019 and has led the 49ers to their first 4-0 start since 1990. Garoppolo now owns a 12-2 record as a starting quarterback in the NFL.

With a win on Sunday at the Los Angeles Rams, Garoppolo can become the eighth quarterback in the Super Bowl era with at least 13 wins in his first 15 career starts.

The quarterbacks with the most wins through their first 15 career starts in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER, TEAM(S) (RECORD THROUGH 1st 15 STARTS)
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (15-0)
Roger Staubach, Dallas (14-1) HOF
Dan Marino, Miami (13-2) HOF
Dak Prescott, Dallas (13-2)
Philip Rivers, San Diego (13-2)
Mike Tomczak, Chicago (13-2)
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (13-2) HOF
Jimmy Garoppolo, New England and San Francisco (12-2)*
*Entering Week 6

CMC 1,000: Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey had a season-high 237 scrimmage yards (176 rushing, 61 receiving) and three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in Week 5 and leads the NFL in scrimmage yards through the first five weeks of the 2019 season (866).

With 134 scrimmage yards in London against Tampa Bay, McCaffrey would join Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown (1963) and Marshall Faulk (2000) as the only players in NFL history with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards through their team’s first six games of a season.

The players with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards through their team’s first six games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Jim Brown, Cleveland (1963 – 1,153) HOF
Marshall Faulk, St. Louis Rams (2007 – 1,083) HOF
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (2019 – 866)*
*Through five games

McCaffrey, who has at least 175 scrimmage yards in each of his past three games, needs 175 scrimmage against Tampa Bay to tie Edgerrin James (Weeks 7-10, 1999) for the longest streak of games with at least 175 scrimmage yards in NFL history.

GODWIN’S WORLD: Tampa Bay wide receiver Chris Godwin had 12 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns in Week 4 and seven catches for 125 yards and two scores in Week 5.

With at least 125 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns in London against Carolina, Godwin would become the fourth player in NFL history to have three consecutive games with at least 125 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

The players with three consecutive games with at least 125 receiving yards and two touchdowns in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON(S); WEEKS)
Andre Rison, ATLANTA (1990; Weeks 5-7)
Don Maynard, New York Jets (1967-68; Week 16, 1967-Week 2, 1968) HOF
Cloyce Box, Detroit (1952; Weeks 10-12)
Chris Godwin Tampa Bay (2019; Weeks 4-5)*
*Two consecutive games

Detroit and Miami return from their byes this week, while Chicago, Oakland, Indianapolis and Buffalo will get the weekend off. Last week was not the greatest week of the season (but not the worst), as we went 7-8 (for the season, 40-41). Lots of football left. Week six got underway in Foxboro as New England and Tom Brady took care of the New York Giants to remain unbeaten and concludes in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst as the Packers host the Detroit Lions at Lambeau in an NFC North matchup Monday night in prime time. Having said all of that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week six.

ATLANTA (1-4) at Arizona (1-3-1), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of 1-win teams meet in the desert as the Atlanta Falcons and Matt Ryan travel to Glendale for an early afternoon contest with Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals.

The Falcons dropped their third contest in a row Sunday afternoon against DeShaun Watson and the Houston Texans, dropping a 53-32 decision in the Lone Star State. Atlanta led 17-16 at the intermission at NRG Stadium, then watched the Texans take the lead for keeps in the third quarter, scoring 17 points in the quarter unchallenged. Atlanta pulled themselves to within eight twice (once on a 1-yard run by Ryan, the other on a 29-yard TD pass from Ryan to Calvin Ridley) before the Texans would blow the doors open in the final minutes of the contest. Houston outrushed Atlanta 166-57 and Ryan threw for 330 yards with three TDs (two to Mohammed Sanu and Devonta Freeman, in addition to the Ridley toss), a pair of sacks and an interception, while Watson threw for 426 yards and five TDs with no sacks or interceptions (connecting with Will Fuller on three of them). Suprisingly, Atlanta was 9 of 16 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29 minutes, while the Texans held on to the pigskin for 31 minutes, going 10 for 13 on third down.

The Desert Angry Birds picked up their first win of the season and gave Cincinnati their fifth loss in a row, leaving Paul Brown Stadium with a 26-23 last second win last Sunday. Arizona led 13-6 at the intermission along the shores of the Ohio River before the Bengals would rally with 2 minutes left in regulation when Tyler Boyd and Andy Dalton connected on a 42-yard TD toss. Arizona would then set off to break the hearts of Bengals fans as they would get the ball back with 2 minutes left and would use a 6-play, 62-yard drive with all of that time to make their way down the field, with K Zane Gonzalez booting the game-winner from 31 yards as time expired. Arizona outrushed the Bengals 266-108, with Murray leading the way with 93 yards and a rushing TD, while Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon led the Bengals with 93 yards on the ground. Dalton threw for 262 yards and a pair of TDs, while Murray threw for 253 yards (both Dalton and Murray were sacked once but did not throw an interception). Arizona was 6 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:03 (including the final 2 minutes of the contest), while the Bengals kept the ball for 28:57, going 5 of 12 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

The series is even at 15-15 and the Falcons have not only out-scored the Desert Angry Birds 702-635, they’ve won the last three meetings, including a 40-14 win in the Big Peach last year (Arizona’s last win in the series came in 2014 in the desert by a final of 27-13).

In their week 15 meeting in the Big Peach, Atlanta erased an early 7-0 deficit by Arizona in the first quarter after Cardinals RB David Johnson opened the scoring in the contest from a yard out and took a 26-7 lead into the intermisison, scoring all of their first half points unchallenged. Atlanta would go on to outscore the Desert Angry Birds 14-7 in the final 30 minutes of play at Mercedes Benz Stadium to seal the win. The Falcons out-rushed Arizona 215-60, with Tevin Coleman leading the way with 145 yards and a TD. Ryan threw for 231 yards and a pair of TDs (one to WR Julio Jones) and did not throw an interception, while Arizona’s Josh Rosen threw for 132 yards with six sacks and two interceptions (Ryan was sacked twice). Atlanta went 5 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 30:40, while Arizona held on to the ball for 29:20, going 3 of 13 on third down and 2 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week 15 contest, Atlanta was favored by 8 and covered, winning by 26 and the two teams covered the 44 over/under with 54 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Falcons as 2 1/2 point favorites in the desert and the over/under’s 51 1/2. Atlanta’s looking to end their three-game losing streak, the Cards are looking to make it two in a row. Atlanta’s streak comes to an end in the desert. Atlanta prevails in the desert and covers the 2 1/2.

Carolina (3-2) at Tampa Bay (2-3), 9:30 a.m. (2:30 p.m. in London) on NFL Network. The second game in London features a pair of NFC South rivals as the Carolina Panthers face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Carolina held off a late Jacksonville rally last Sunday afternoon as the Panthers came away 34-27 winners at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers, with Kyle Allen under center for Cam Newton (foot), took a 21-17 lead with them to the intermission and then proceeded to outscore Jacksonville 13-10 in the second half. Carolina survived the final second scare from the Jaguars, as they had a pair of defensive penalties in the final seconds (including one that occured as time expired, giving Jacksonville an untimed down). Panthers RB Chirstian McCaffrey led all rushers with 176 yards and a pair of TDs (he had six catches for 61 yards and a TD), while Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette rushed for 108 yards with a TD. Carolina outrushed Jacksonville 285-149 and Allen threw for 181 yards with the TD toss to McCaffrey, while Jacksonville signal caller Gardner Minshew threw for 374 yards and a pair of TDs to D.J. Chark (Minshew was sacked twice and Allen was sacked three times, neither threw an interception). Carolina was 4 of 13 on third down tries in the Tar Heel State (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:36, while Jacksonville ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:24 (including the final 1:45 of the contest) and went 6 of 13 on third down.

The Buccaneers enter the contest on the other side of the Atlantic coming away with a 31-24 loss to the New Orleans Saints last Sunday afternoon. Tampa Bay trailed 17-10 at the intermission in the Big Easy, then pulled themselves to within seven with 19 seconds left in the contest when Jameis Winston and WR Chris Goodwin connected on a 26-yard TD toss. Tampa Bay then went for the onside kick and failed, giving New Orleans and Teddy Bridgewater the ball, allowing them to run out the clock and take the win. New Orleans outrushed Tampa Bay 112-94 (Alvin Kamara led all rushers with 62 yards) and Winston threw for 204 yards with a pair of TDs (he was sacked six times), while Bridgewater threw for 314 yards with four TDs and an interception. Tampa Bay was 3 of 11 on third down (they struck gold on fourth down, going 1 of 1) and kept the ball for 26:33, while the Saints, who ruled the clock and kept the ball for 33:27, went 8 of 15 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Carolina leads the series 23-14 and have outscored Tampa Bay 823-646. The two NFC South rivals split last year’s meetings, each coming away winners at home.

Carolina came away 42-28 winners in the Tar Heel State in their first meeting, a week nine contest at Bank of America Stadium. Newton and the Panthers led 35-14 at the half, then held off the Buccaneers in the second half after Tampa Bay outscored them 14-7 in that span. Carolina out-rushed Tampa Bay 179-82, with McCaffrey leading all rushers with 79 yards and a pair of TDs, Newton threw for 247 yards, while Fitzpatrick threw for 243 yards (each threw a pair of TDs; Fitzpatrick was sacked three times with a pair of interceptions, Newton was sacked twice). Carolina was 4 of 10 on third down tries (the Panthers were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31 minutes, while Tampa Bay, who kept the ball for 29 minutes, went 5 for 12 on third down, 1 for 2 on fourth down.

Tampa Bay would get revenge in the Sunshine State in week 13, as Winston and Tampa Bay came away 24-17 winners at Raymond James Stadium. Even though Tampa Bay led 17-7 at the break, the Panthers outscored Tampa Bay 10-7 in the third quarter (the two clubs played a scoreless fourth quarter) to make things closer than Tampa Bay fans would have liked. Once again, McCaffery led all rushers with 106 yards and as was the case in the first meeting, Carolina outrushed Tampa Bay 168-95 and Newton threw for 300 yards, while Winston threw for 249 yards (both threw a pair of TDs and both were sacked four times, Newton was picked off four times). Tampa Bay wemt 6 of 13 on third down and held on to the ball for 29:54, while the Panthers ruled the clock, holding the pigskin for 30:06, going 3 of 8 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week nine contest in Charlotte, Carolina was favored by 6 1/2 and covered, winning by 14 and both teams took care of the over/under of 54 by tallying 70 points. Carolina was favored again in the week 13 contest in the Sunshine State, the boys and girls in Vegas making them 3 1/2 point favorites. Tampa Bay covered the spread, winning by 7 but the 55 1/2 over/under stayed in tact, as both teams tallied 41 points. While Tampa Bay is the designated home team, the Panthers are favored on the other side of the pond as a 2 1/2 point favorite with a 45 1/2 over/under. You may want to set the VCR for this one, since it starts at 9:30 in the morning, when most of America is either at church or heading to church. Carolina may be on the other side of the Atlantic but they’re finer in this one. Carolina covers the 2 1/2 on the other side of the big pond and takes the win.

Cincinnati (0-5) at Baltimore (3-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of AFC North rivals meet in Charm City as the winless Bengals take on the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

Cincinnati picked up their their fifth loss in a row, leaving Paul Brown Stadium with a 26-23 last second loss to Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday. Arizona led 13-6 at the intermission along the shores of the Ohio River before the Bengals would rally with 2 minutes left in regulation when Tyler Boyd and Andy Dalton connected on a 42-yard TD toss. Arizona would then set off to break the hearts of Bengals fans as they would get the ball back with 2 minutes left and would use a 6-play, 62-yard drive with all of that time to make their way down the field, with K Zane Gonzalez booting the game-winner from 31 yards as time expired. Arizona outrushed the Bengals 266-108, with Murray leading the way with 93 yards and a rushing TD, while Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon led the Bengals with 93 yards on the ground. Dalton threw for 262 yards and a pair of TDs, while Murray threw for 253 yards (both Dalton and Murray were sacked once but did not throw an interception). Arizona was 6 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:03 (including the final 2 minutes of the contest), while the Bengals kept the ball for 28:57, going 5 of 12 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

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

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

The series? Even at 23-23 and Baltimore has outscored Cincinnati 989-869. The two AFC North foes met twice and both teams wone their contests in their home parks.

Round one… Cincinnati, along the shores of the Ohio River in week two on a Thursday night and the Bengals took care of the Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium 34-23. Cincinnati led 28-14 at the break and was never really threatened after that. The Bengals outrushed Baltimore 108-66, with Cincinnati RB Joe Mixon leading all rushers with 84 yards, while Dalton threw for 265 yards and four TDs (three to WR A.J. Green) and Flacco throwing for 376 yards with a pair of TDs (Flacco was sacked four times and picked off twice). Cincinnati went 5 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 31:50, while the Ravens kept the ball for 28:10, going 7 of 16 on third down and 2 of 4 on fourth down.

The Ravens would get revenge in Charm City in week 11, coming away 24-21 winners at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore led 13-7 at the intermission, watched the Dalton-led Bengals tie the contest with 63 seconds left in the third when Greg Edwards scored on an 11-yard run before Ravens K Jeff Tucker broke the tie for keeps with 8:12 left in the contest. Ravens RB Gus Edwards and Jackson each rushed for 100 yards (Edwards had 115 yards with a TD, Jackson had 117) as Baltimore outrushed Cincinnati 265-48; Jackson threw for 150 yards with an interception, while Dalton threw for 211 yards with a pair of TDs and a sack. Cincinnati went 6 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 21:51, while the Ravens went 8 of 16 on third down, ruling the clock as they held the ball for 38:09 (both clubs were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

In the week two contest in Cincinnati, the Bengals were favored by 1 and covered as they won by 11 and b oth teams covered the 44 over/under with 57 points. In the week 11 contest in Charm City, the Ravens were favored by 4 but won by only 3. The two clubs did manage to take care of the 43 1/2 over/under, tallying 45 points. Baltimore’s favored by 11 in Charm City and the over/under’s 46. Granted, the Bengals are a bad team. They’re not 11 points bad and they have been playing competitive football of late. The sad thing? Baltimore’s going to win this one but expect the Bengals to make things hard for the Ravens.

Seattle (4-1) at Cleveland (2-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirectV 708. Russell Wilson vs. Baker Mayfield. One has a Heisman, the other has a Super Bowl ring. They meet along the shores of Lake Erie in an early afternoon contest in the Buckeye State.

Seattle survived a late rally against the Los Angeles Rams last Thursday night in the Pacific Northwest, as the Seahawks would prevail 30-29 over their NFC West rivals at Century Link Field. Seattle led 14-13 at the break, then trailed 26-21 at the end of the third quarter before getting themselves back on track, using a 12-play, 75-yard drive that used 6:51 of clock, taking the lead back for keeps with 2:28 left in regulation when RB Chris Carson caught a 5-yard TD toss from Russell Wilson to take the one-point lead. Seattle fans then watched and held their breath as the Rams made their way down the field to set up for what would have been the win on the road. Seahawk fans then heaved a sigh of relief when Greg Zuerlein’s 44-yard field goal try as time expired went wide right, giving the home team the win.

Carson led all rushers with 118 yards on the ground (Los Angeles was led by Todd Gurley III with 51 yards and a pair of TDs), while the Seahawks outrushed the Rams 167-82 and Wilson threw for 268 yards and four TDs (including the game-winner late in the contest), while Jared Gof threw for 395 yards and a TD toss to Cooper Kupp (Goff threw an interception but was not sacked, while Wilson was sacked once but did not turn the ball over). Seattle went 3 of 10 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 35:18, while the Rams kept the ball for 24:42, going 3 for 11 on third down conversions.

Cleveland was held to a 30-yard field goal by Austin Seibert in the second quarter as they were manhandled by Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers 31-3 Monday night at Levis’ Stadium. The Browns trailed 21-1 at the intermission and San Francisco shut them out in the final 30 minutes of play to take the win in prime time. San Francisco’s Matt Breida led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD, while Nick Chubb led Cleveland with 87 as the 49ers outrushed Cleveland 275-102. Mayfield threw for 100 yards but was sacked four times and picked off twice, while Garoppolo threw a pair of TDs (one to TE George Kittle, the other to Breida) and 181 yards in the win. Cleveland was a dismal 1 of 11 on third down tries in prime time and kept the ball for 22:17, while the 49ers ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 37:43, going 6 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Seahawks lead the series 12-6, Seattle has outscored Cleveland 396-290 and won their last meeting with the Browns, coming out on top 30-13 in the Pacific Northwest in 2015, while Cleveland’s last win in the series came in 2011 along the shores of Lake Erie in a field goal affair by a final of 6-3. Seattle’s favored by 1 and the over/under’s 47. Seattle covers and wins along the shores of Lake Erie.

New Orleans (4-1) at Jacksonville (2-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. They’re separated by 547 miles along I-10. They’ll meet in northern Florida for the seventh time. Jacksonville and New Orleans, both playing close contests last week, meet in the Sunshine State in an early afternoon contest along the banks of the St. John’s River.

New Orleans held off a late Tampa Bay rally in the Mercedes Benz Superdome, taking down their NFC South rivals 31-24 last Sunday afternoon. The Saints, who led 17-10 at the intermission in the Big Easy, watched as Tampa Bay pulled themselves to within seven with 19 seconds left in the contest when Jameis Winston and WR Chris Goodwin connected on a 26-yard TD toss. Tampa Bay then went for the onside kick and failed, giving New Orleans and Teddy Bridgewater the ball, allowing them to run out the clock and take the win. New Orleans outrushed Tampa Bay 112-94 (Alvin Kamara led all rushers with 62 yards) and Winston threw for 204 yards with a pair of TDs (he was sacked six times), while Bridgewater threw for 314 yards with four TDs and an interception. Tampa Bay was 3 of 11 on third down (they struck gold on fourth down, going 1 of 1) and kept the ball for 26:33, while the Saints, who ruled the clock and kept the ball for 33:27, went 8 of 15 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

A Jacksonville rally last Sunday afternoon against Carolina came up short as the Panthers came away 34-27 winners at Bank of America Stadium. Jacksonville trailed the Panthers 21-17 lead at the intermission and were outscored 13-10 in the second half. Jacksonville gave Carolina a scare in the final minutes, getting themselves in position to either tie the contest or take the lead outright as Carolin was flagged for a pair of defensive penalties in the final seconds (including one that occured as time expired, giving Jacksonville an untimed down). Panthers RB Chirstian McCaffrey led all rushers with 176 yards and a pair of TDs (he had six catches for 61 yards and a TD), while Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette rushed for 108 yards with a TD. Carolina outrushed Jacksonville 285-149 and Kyle Allen threw for 181 yards with the TD toss to McCaffrey, while Jacksonville signal caller Gardner Minshew threw for 374 yards and a pair of TDs to D.J. Chark (Minshew was sacked twice and Allen was sacked three times, neither threw an interception). Carolina was 4 of 13 on third down tries in the Tar Heel State (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:36, while Jacksonville ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:24 (including the final 1:45 of the contest) and went 6 of 13 on third down.

New Orleans holds a 4-2 lead in the series, have outscored Jacksonville 161-135 and have won the last three meetings, including coming away 38-27 winners in the Big Easy in 2015, while Jacksonville’s last win came in 2003 in the Sunshine State by a final of 20-19. Jacksonville’s favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Jaguars get back on track at home and takes the win in the Sunshine State and covers the 1 1/2.

Houston (3-2) at Kansas City (4-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. DeShaun Watson vs. Patrick Mahomes. A pair of first-round NFL QBs meet at Arrowhead as the Chiefs host the Houston Texans.

Watson and the Texans took a 53-32 decision in the Lone Star State over Atlanta, giving the Falcons their third loss in a row. The Texans trailed 17-16 at the intermission at NRG Stadium, then took the lead for keeps in the third quarter, scoring 17 points in the quarter unchallenged. Atlanta pulled themselves to within eight twice (once on a 1-yard run by Ryan, the other on a 29-yard TD pass from Ryan to Calvin Ridley) before the Texans would blow the doors open in the final minutes of the contest. Houston outrushed Atlanta 166-57 and Ryan threw for 330 yards with three TDs (two to Mohammed Sanu and Devonta Freeman, in addition to the Ridley toss), a pair of sacks and an interception, while Watson threw for 426 yards and five TDs with no sacks or interceptions (connecting with Will Fuller on three of them). Atlanta was 9 of 16 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29 minutes, while the Texans held on to the pigskin for 31 minutes, going 10 for 13 on third down.

Indianapolis ended Kansas City’s four-game win streak at Arrowhead as the Colts used four Adam Vinatieri field goals to come away 19-13 winners last Sunday night. The Chiefs trailed 13-10 at the break in the prime-time contest in the Show-Me State and eventually pulled themselves to within six with 76 seconds left in the contest when Harrison Butker connected on a 36- yard field goal. It would be as close as the Chiefs would get as they would try the onside kick, which the Colts recovered. Indinapolis, who outrushed Kansas City 180-36, would run out the clock and take the win. Colts RB Marlon Mack led all rushers with 132 yards and QB Jacoby Brissett threw for 151 yards, while Mahomes threw for 321 yards and a TD (Mahomes was sacked four times, Brissett threw an interception.) The Chiefs were 4 of 12 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 22:45, while the Colts ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 37:15 and went 5 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Kansas City leads the series 5-4 and have outscored the Texans 240-199. Both teams won their last games in the series in the Lone Star State; the Texans were 19-12 winners in 2016 and the Chiefs returned the favor the following year, coming out on top 42-34. The Chiefs at home are favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 56. Kansas City’s playing with a chip on their shoulder after losing at home last Sunday night and don’t want to lose two home games in a row. Houston will make it interesting and closer than the 4 1/2 but Kansas City prevails at home and takes the win.

Washington (0-5) at Miami (0-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. A pair of winless teams meet in the Sunshine State as Miami hosts Washington at Hard Rock Stadium. The Redskins come in with their fifth loss in tow and a new head coach, as the team fired Jay Gruden Monday morning, replacing him with Bill Callahan for the remainder of the season. As for the Dolphins, they look to win their first game after taking four losses in a row.

New England and Tom Brady manhandled Washington 33-7 last Sunday in Landover in what would be the last game that Jay Gruden would coach for Washington at Fed Ex Field. Steven Sims opened the scoring for Washington, scoring on a 65-yard TD run in the first quarter. After that. New England led 12-6 at the half and scored their remaining 21 points of the contest unchallenged. Washington did manage to outrush New England 145-130 but Brady burned Washington for 348 yards and three TDs, despite being sacked four times and picked off once, while Colt McCoy threw for 119 yards with six sacks and an interception. The Patriots were 5 of 15 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:52, while the Redskins kept the ball for 28:08, going 1 for 11 on third down tries at Fed Ex Field.

The Los Angeles Chargers took control of things in Miami, giving the Dolphins their fourth loss in a row, coming out of Hard Rock Stadium 30-10 winners in the Sunshine State two weeks ago. Taking a 17-10 lead with them to the locker room at halftime, the Chargers would take control of things in the second half, scoring their last 13 points of the contest unchallenged. Neither club breached the 100-yard rushing barrier but the Chargers did manage to outurush Miami 79-72 and Rivers threw for 310 yards with a pair of TDs, despite being sacked once, while Miami’s Josh Rosen threw for 180 yards with a TD but was sacked four times and picked off once. The Chargers were 8 of 13 on third down and held on to the ball for 37:36, while the Dolphins kept the ball for 22:24, going 5 of 10 on third down (both teams were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

Miami holds an 8-4 lead in the series, they’ve outscored the Redskins 225-199 and have won the last two contests with Washington, taking a 17-10 win in Landover in 2015, while Washington’s last win in the series came in 2007 (also in Landover) as the Redskins needed overtime to come away 16-13 winners. Washington’s favored by 3 1/2 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 41. Someone has to win this game. Redskins fans will either be singing “Hail to the Redskins” or “Hell, it’s the Redskins” this week. Dolphins fans can take heart, their four-game losing streak comes to an end at home. Miami wins this one in the Sunshine State and may cover the 3 1/2.

Philadelphia (3-2) at Minnesota (3-2), 1 p.m. and FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of 3-2 teams meet in the Land of 10,000 Lakes as Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles take on Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings at US Bank Stadium. Both teams enter the Sunday afternoon contest in the Twin Cities with wins under their belts.

The Eagles kept the Jets winless last Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field as Wentz and Philadelphia took care of business 31-6 in the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia led 21-0 at the intermission and were never threatened, holding GangGreen to a 19-yard TD run by Vic Smith early in the fourth quarter. Neither club dented the 100-yard barrier but the Eagles won the ground game, outrushing the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 84-67 and Wentz threw for 189 yards and a TD to Zach Ertz, while Luke Falk (taking over for Sam Darnold) threw for 120 yards (Falk was sacked nine times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Wentz was sacked once but did not throw a pick). The Eagles were 5 of 13 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:52, while the Jets held the ball for 29:08, going 3 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday took Daniel Jones and the New York Giants to task at Met Life Stadium last Sunday, taking a 28-10 win over the Giants in upstate New Jersey. Minnesota led 18-7 at the intermission and the Giants never threatened, as Minnesota held them to a Aldrick Rosas field in the third quarter. Delvin Cook ran for 132 yards as the Vikings outrushed the Giants 211-64 and Cousins threw for 306 yards and a pair of TDs to WR Adam Thielen, while Jones threw for 182 yards with a TD (Jones was sacked four times and picked off once, Cousins was sacked three times). The Giants were 8 of 16 on third down, 0 for 3 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 27:20, while the Vikings ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 32:40, going 5 of 11 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down.

Minnesota leads the series 14-10 and have outscored the Eagles 566-549. Minnesota won the last meeting, which took place in the City of Brotherly Love last year by a final of 23-21 at Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia’s last win in regular season play took place in Philly in 2016, with the Eagles coming out on top 21-10).

Minnesota led 17-3 at the half in their week five meeting at Lincoln Financial Field, then held off a late Eagles rally in the second half to take the road win (Philadelphia won the second half, outscoring the Vikings 18-6). The Eagles, who won the Super Bowl the year before, pulled themselves to within 2 with 69 seconds left when Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz connected on a 7-yard TD toss. Philadelphia then went for the onside kick, which the Vikings recovered and after they ran out the clock, Minnesota came away with the 2-point win. Philadelphia outrushed Minnesota 81-77 and Wentz threw for 311 yards with three sacks, while Kirk Cousins threw for 301 yards with a sack (Cousins threw a TD pass to Thielen, while Wentz threw for two scores). While Philadelphia went 2 of 9 on third down tries, they were quite succesful in fourth down conversions, going 1 of 1 and kept the ball for 27:13; Minnesota ruled the clock and kept the ball away from the Eagles for 32:47, going 4 for 11 on third down tries.

Philadelphia was favored by 3 in the week five contest in the City of Brotherly Love and while the Vikings came away with the win, they didn’t cover, winning by 2 and both teams barely missed the 44 1/2 over/under. The Vikings are favored by 3 in the Twin Cities and the over/under’s 44. This may be one of the better contests this year. Eagles get their revenge from last year’s loss in the City of Brotherly Love, covering the 3 on the road and taking the win in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

San Francisco (4-0) at Los Angeles Rams (3-2), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of West Coast/NFC West rivals meet in southern California as Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers make their way (346 miles) to Los Angeles to face off against the defending NFC champions at the Coliseum.

San Francisco held Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns to a 30-yard field goal by Austin Seibert in the second quarter as the 49ers and Garoppolo manhandled Cleveland 31-3 Monday night at Levis’ Stadium. San Francisco led 21-1 at the intermission and shut the Browns out in the final 30 minutes of play to take the win in prime time. San Francisco’s Matt Breida led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD, while Nick Chubb led Cleveland with 87 as the 49ers outrushed Cleveland 275-102. Mayfield threw for 100 yards but was sacked four times and picked off twice, while Garoppolo threw a pair of TDs (one to TE George Kittle, the other to Breida) and 181 yards in the win. Cleveland was a dismal 1 of 11 on third down tries in prime time and kept the ball for 22:17, while the 49ers ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 37:43, going 6 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

A Los Angeles Rams rally fell short as Seattle survived a against the Los Angeles Rams last Thursday night in the Pacific Northwest, with the Seahawks coming away 30-29 winners over their NFC West rivals at Century Link Field. The Rams trailed 14-13 at the break, then led 26-21 at the end of the third quarter before Seattle got themselves back on track, using a 12-play, 75-yard drive that used 6:51 of clock, taking the lead back for keeps with 2:28 left in regulation when RB Chris Carson caught a 5-yard TD toss from Russell Wilson to take the one-point lead. Seattle fans then watched and held their breath as the Rams made their way down the field to set up for what would have been the win on the road. Seahawk fans then heaved a sigh of relief when Greg Zuerlein’s 44-yard field goal try as time expired went wide right, giving the home team the win.

Carson led all rushers with 118 yards on the ground (Los Angeles was led by Todd Gurley III with 51 yards and a pair of TDs), while the Seahawks outrushed the Rams 167-82 and Wilson threw for 268 yards and four TDs (including the game-winner late in the contest), while Jared Goff threw for 395 yards and a TD toss to Cooper Kupp (Goff threw an interception but was not sacked, while Wilson was sacked once but did not turn the ball over). Seattle went 3 of 10 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 35:18, while the Rams kept the ball for 24:42, going 3 for 11 on third down conversions.

Including those contests that were played in Anaheim, Keezar Stadium, Candlestick Park and in St. Louis, the 49ers lead the series 68-67-3 and have outscored the Rams 3.088-2,978. However… the Rams have won three of the last four meetings, including sweeping the series last year (San Francisco’s last win came in 2017 in Los Angeles by a final of 34-13).

Meeting number one… week seven at Levis’ Stadium in Santa Clara. The Rams led 22-7 at the intermission and never looked back, coming out of Santa Clara with a 39-10 win in wine country. Gurley (63 yards) ran for a pair of TDs as the Rams outrushed San Francisco 146-107 and Goff threw for 202 yards and a pair of TDs, while C.J. Beathard threw for 170 yards with a TD (Beathard was sacked seven times and picked off twice, while Goff was sacked twice). The defending NFC champs were 5 of 12 on third down and ruled the clock, holding the ball hostage for 32:51, while the 49ers, who kept the pigskin for 27:09, went 3 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The two West Coast teams closed the 2018 season out in Los Angeles at the Coliseum in week 17 and Los Angeles held off a late 49ers rally in the second half to take a 48-32 win to complete the sweep. The Rams were 31-10 leaders at the half before the 49ers would outscore them in the second half 22-17. With Gurley rested, it was Charles Anderson’s turn to lead all rushers for the Rams, tallying 132 yards of rushing, while San Francisco’s Alfred Morris tallied 111 yards (both men had a rushing TD). Los Angeles, who kept the ball for 31:50, outrushed the 49ers 155-127 and went 10 of 16 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down). As for the 49ers? They were 3 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 28:10.

The Rams covered the 10 1/2-point spread (they were favored), winning by 29 but the two clubs combined for 49 points, meaning that the 54 over/under was untouched. Los Angeles was again favored, this time by 10 in the season finale in southern Californa (they covered, winning by 16) and this time, both teams covered the over/under of 50 with 80 combined points. The Rams are favored by 3 and the over/under’s 50 1/2. San Francisco would like nothing more than to go 5-0 in southern California, whil the Rams would love nothing more than to break their two-game losing streak. For the 49ers, the party comes to an end in Los Angeles. Rams cover the 3 and wins in the Coliseum.

Tennessee (2-3) at Denver (1-4), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. The first game of the late afternoon takes places in the Mile High City as Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans take on Joe Flacco and the Denver Broncos. While the Titans lost at home last week, Denver broke their four-game losing streak on the road.

Buffalo broke a 7-7 tie with Tennessee early in the fourth quarter when WR Derrick Williams caught a 7-yard TD toss from QB Josh Allen as the Bills left Nashville 14-7 winners at Nissan Stadium last Sunday. After a scoreless first quarter, Lance Smith caught an 8-yard toss from Allen to take a 7-0 lead with them to the intermission. Tennessee would tie the contest in the third quarter when Derrick Henry scored from a yard out. The Bills then used a 6-play, 77-yard drive that used 2:37 of clock to take the lead back and for keeps. Buffalo outrushed Tennessee 109-102 and Bills RB Frank Gore had 60 yards on the ground, while Henry led all rushers with 78 yards and the TD; Allen threw for 219 yards with the two TD tosses (Allen was sacked four times and picked off once), while Mariota threw for 183 yards with five sacks but no interceptions. Tennessee went 4 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 28:48, while the Bills ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:12, going 4 of 13 on third down tries, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Denver put an end to their four-game losing streak last Sunday, coming away from Dignity Health Sports Park with a 20-13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. The Broncos scpred 17 first half points unchallenged to lead at the half to take the win, as the Chargers would pull themselves to within seven with 10 seconds left when K Chris McLaughlin connected on a 32-yard field goal. The Chargers then went for the onside kick, which Denver recovered, allowing the Broncos to take the win on the West Coast. Denver’s Phillip Lindsay led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD, as the Broncos held the Chargers to 35 yards of rushing, while tallying 191 yards of their own. Flacco threw for 182 yards with a TD to Courtland Sutton (Flacco was sacked three times and picked off once), while Philip Rivers threw for 211 yards and two interceptions. Denver went 3 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 29:36, while the Chargers actually ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 30:24, going 4 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games that were played in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers and the Broncos played their home games at Mile High Stadium, Tennessee leads the series 22-15-1 and have outscored the Broncos 993-850. The two clubs last met in the Music City in 2016 and the Titans held off Denver 13-10, while Denver’s last win came in the Mile High City by a final of 51-28 in 2013. Denver’s favored by 2 and the over/under’s 39. If you took a pass on this one, we wouldn’t blame you. Denver finally gets their first win at home and covers the 2.

Dallas (3-2) at New York Jets (0-5), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. Dallas has lost two in a row. The Jets are looking for their first win. A pair of struggling teams meet in upstate New Jersey as the Cowboys and Jets meet at Met Life Stadium. Both teams took losses in last week’s action.

Dallas struggled against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers last Sunday at AT&T Stadium, taking a 34-24 loss in the Lone Star State. Green Bay led 17-0 at the half, scoring all of those points in the first 30 minutes unchallenged, before Dallas would eventually outscore the Packers 24-17 in the final 30 minutes of play. Dallas barely outrushed Green Bay 122-120 and RB Ezekiel Elliott led his club with 62 yards on the ground and a TD, while Packers RB Aaron Jones led all rushers with 107 yards and four TDs. The other Aaron (Rodgers) threw for 238 yards with a pair of sacks, while Prescott threw for 463 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup on both tosses (Prescott was sacked three times and picked off three times). Green Bay was 3 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 36:43, while Dallas kept the ball for 23:17, going 2 of 8 on third down.

The Jets stayed winless last Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field as Carson Wentz and Philadelphia took them to task 31-6 in the City of Brotherly Love. GangGreen trailed 21-0 at the intermission and could never get themselves on track, as they were held to a 19-yard TD run by Vic Smith early in the fourth quarter. Neither club dented the 100-yard barrier but the Eagles won the ground game, outrushing the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 84-67 and Wentz threw for 189 yards and a TD to Zach Ertz, while Luke Falk (taking over for Darnold) threw for 120 yards (Falk was sacked nine times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Wentz was sacked once but did not throw a pick). The Eagles were 5 of 13 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:52, while the Jets held the ball for 29:08, going 3 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

While Dallas leads the series 7-4 and have outscored GangGreen 300-170. the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! have won the last two meetings (which includes games that were played at Shea Stadium, the Cotton Bowl, Cowboys Stadium and Giants Stadium), including a 19-16 win in the Lone Star State in 2016, while Dallas’ last win came in front of the home crowd in 2007 by a final of 34-3. Dallas is favored by 7 and the over/under’s 43. A streak will come to an end and a streak will continue. Dallas’ two-game losing streak stops in upstate New Jersey. Cowboys may not cover the 7 but they win in the Meadowlands.

Pittsburgh (1-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (2-3), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. They meet again and this time, it’s on the West Coast. Pittsburgh and the Los Angeles Chargers meet again in a rematch of a classic from last season. Both clubs took losses at home in last week’s play.

Pittsburgh watched a 23-20 lead in regulation get away from them as Baltimore used a Jeff Tucker field to send the contest into overtime, then watched Tucker win the game in overtime as the Ravens left Heinz Field with a 26-23 win Sunday afternoon Baltimore 17-13 at the intermission before Pittsburgh stormed back in the second half to lead 23-20 with 2:37 left in regulation on a Chris Boswell field goal. Tucker then connected on a 48-yard field goal with 10 seconds left in regulation, then after a Pittsburgh turnover by WR JuJu Smith-Schuster in the overtime, Tucker would end the contest, as he connected on a 46-yarder with 5:26 left in the extra period to take the win.

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

The Chargers and Rivers watched Denver put an end to their four-game losing streak last Sunday, coming away from Dignity Health Sports Park with a 20-13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers trailed 17-0 at the half before they would pull themselves to within seven with 10 seconds left when K Chris McLaughlin connected on a 32-yard field goal. The Chargers then went for the onside kick, which Denver recovered, allowing the Broncos to take the win on the West Coast. Denver’s Phillip Lindsay led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD, as the Broncos held the Chargers to 35 yards of rushing, while tallying 191 yards of their own. Flacco threw for 182 yards with a TD to Courtland Sutton (Flacco was sacked three times and picked off once), while Philip Rivers threw for 211 yards and two interceptions. Denver went 3 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 29:36, while the Chargers actually ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 30:24, going 4 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Pittsburgh leads the series 22-8 (including contests that took place at Three Rivers Stadium and in San Diego) and the Steelers have outscored the Bolts 773-558. The Chargers came away with the 33-30 last second win in the Steel City last year, while Pittsburgh’s last win came at Qualcomm Stadium in 2015 by a final of 24-20.

They met in week 13 at Heinz Field in the Sunday night contest that featured three lead changes in the AFC affair and it was Big Ben (Roethlisberger) vs. Philip Rivers squaring off. Pittsburgh led 23-7 at the half, thanks to a pair of James Conner rushing TDs, then watched as the Chargers chipped away at that lead, tying things up at 23-23 with 12:52 left in the contest when Desmond King returned a punt 73 yards for a TD. Rivers and Keenan Allen would tie things up when they connected on the 2-point conversion and the Chargers would take the lead for the first time in the contest when Justin Jackson scored on an 18-yard run. Pittsburgh re-tied the contest at 30-30 with 4:10 left in regulation when Jaylen Samuels and Roethlisberger connected on a 10-yard strike.

The Chargers were not done and would get the ball back with 4:10 left in regulation. Los Angeles orchestrated an 11-play, 64-yard drive that used all of the 4:10 that was left on the clock. After burning their first time out of the half with three seconds left, Michael Badgley tried a 39-yard field goal to win the contest in regulation. Badgley’s kick sailed wide to the right but Steelers LB James Harden was penalized for a netural zone infraction. Because a game cannot end on a defensive penalty, the Bolts got the ball moved up five yards and they would get an untimed down. Badgley then tried it from 34 yards and the try was blocked. Going to overtime, right? WRONG! The Steelers were penalized for a second neutral zone infraction, which meant moving the ball up five yards and giving Los Angeles another untimed down.

For the Chargers, the third time was the charm. With Badgley moved up another five yards, he would connect on a 29-yard try and as was the case on the first two tries, the Steelers were… you guessed it… offside. The Chargers declined the penalty and took the road win. Los Angeles outrushed Pittsburgh 85-65 at Heinz Field and both Roethlisberger (281 yards, sack, interception) and Rivers (299 yards, two sacks) threw a pair of TDs in the prime time contest. The Bolts were 6 of 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 31:12 (including the final 4:10 of the contest), while the Steelers kept the pigskin for 28:48, going 3 of 10 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs. Pittsburgh was favored by 3 1/2 in the Steel City and while the Chargers came away with the win, they only did it by 3. Both teams did manage to cover the 51 1/2 over/under by tallying 63 points. The Bolts are favored by 7 and the over/under’s 41. Both teams want to erase what happened last week and the Steelers would like to get some revenge from last year’s loss at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh takes this one on the West Coast but expect the Chargers to make things closer than 7.

Detroit (2-1-1) at Green Bay (4-1), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week six concludes in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst as NFC North foes Detroit and Green Bay meet at Lambeau Field.

Kansas City broke a 13-13 tie in Detroit, then rallied to take a 34-30 win over the Lions at Ford Field two weeks ago. The Chiefs trailed Matthew Stafford and the Lions 30-27 with 20 seconds left in the contest when RB Darien Williams scored from a yard away to take the lead for the first time and for keeps. Kansas City would then go on to hold off a late Detroit rally that would have given them their first loss of the 2019 season. Detroit outrushed Kansas City 186-123 with Lions RB Kerryon Johnson leading the way with 125 yards. Stafford threw for 291 yards with three TDs (two of them to Kenny Golladay) and four sacks, while Patrick Mahomes threw for 315 yards with no TDs for the first time in his career and no sacks (neither Mahomes or Stafford threw an interception). Kansas City went 4 of 9 on third down (they were perfect in their only fourth down try) and kept the ball for 26:06, while the Lions actually ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 33:54, going 5 ofi 13 on third down.

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers held serve against Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday at AT&T Stadium, taking a 34-24 win in the Lone Star State. Green Bay led 17-0 at the half, scoring all of those points in the first 30 minutes unchallenged, before Dallas would eventually outscore the Packers 24-17 in the final 30 minutes of play. Dallas barely outrushed Green Bay 122-120 and RB Ezekiel Elliott led his club with 62 yards on the ground and a TD, while Packers RB Aaron Jones led all rushers with 107 yards and four TDs. The other Aaron (Rodgers) threw for 238 yards with a pair of sacks, while Prescott threw for 463 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup on both tosses (Prescott was sacked three times and picked off three times). Green Bay was 3 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 36:43, while Dallas kept the ball for 23:17, going 2 of 8 on third down.

Including contests played in Portsmouth (when the Lions were known as the Spartans) at Milwaukee County Stadium, Tiger Stadium and the Silverdome, the Packers lead the series 98-72-7 and have outscored the Lions 3,737-3,292. However… the Lions have won the last four meetings, sweeping the last two series (Green Bay’s last win came in 2016 in the Motor City by a final of 31-24).

Meeting number one… week five in the Motor City. Detroit held off a late Green Bay rally to come away 31-23 winners at Ford Field. The Lions scored 24 first half points unchallenged to shut out the Packers in the first half. Green Bay would take the second half, outscoring the Lions 23-7 in the final 30 minutes of play and made it an 8-point contest with 2 seconds left when Crosby connected on a 41-yard field goal. Green Bay did outrush Detroit 98-94 in the first meeting and Rodgers threw for 442 yards and three TDs, while Stafford threw for 183 yards and a pair of TDs (Rodgers was sacked four times, Stafford was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). Green Bay went 3 of 10 on third down tries (the Packers were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, as kept the ball for 33:20 to Detroit’s 26:40 (the Lions were 5 for 13 on third down).

They met again, this time at Lambeau Field (temperature at game time? A balmy 26 degrees with a 14 degree wind chill) in the season finale for both clubs. Detroit scored all 31 of their points unchallenged as they shut out the Packers 31-0. Detroit led 21-0 at the break on the frozen tundra and never looked back, flooring the gas in the second half to seal the win. Stafford threw for 266 yards and a pair of TDs without an interception, while Rodgers threw for 26 yards (one sack) before being replaced by DeShone Kizer (132 yards, two sacks, interception). Detroit outrushed Green Bay in the second meeting 130-46 and went 7 of 14 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Lions kept the ball for 36:54, while Green Bay held the ball for 23:06, going 5 of 16 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

Green Bay was favored by 1 1/2 in the week five contest at Ford Field and the Lions covered the spread, winning by 8 and both clubs covered the 51 over/under with 54 points in the Motor City. As for the contest in week 17? The Packers were favored by 7 1/2 and the Lions again covered, winning by 31 but Detroit’s 31 unanswered points in the contest did not cover the 45 over/under. Detroit on Monday night? 16-18-1. The Packers? 32-32-1.

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

Green Bay’s favored by 4 1/2 at Lambeau and the over/under’s 47. Detroit’s looking to win five in a row over the Packers, something they haven’t done since the 1950s; the Packers are looking to put an end to that foolishness. The Packers are looking for revenge and they’re getting it. Green Bay closes out week six with the win at Lambeau and covers the 4 1/2.

Three weeks down, 14 to go.

The leaves are turning color in most places in the United States and there is stil lots of football left in the 2019 NFL season. There’s still time for those teams looking for that first win to get it. Football is a fickle mistress that must be treated with great care. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

SEVEN FROM LAST SUNDAY

Three teams that missed the postseason in 2018 – Buffalo (3-0), Detroit (2-0-1) and San Francisco (3-0) – are undefeated through the first three weeks of the 2019 season.

2019 marks the fourth time that at least four teams have started the season undefeated through their first three games after missing the postseason the previous year since 1990 when the current playoff format was instituted, joining 2013, 2003 and 2002.

New England defeated the New York Jets, 30-14 in Week 3. New England is the first team to not allow a passing or rushing touchdown in each of their first three games of a season in the Super Bowl era. Additionally, the Patriots are the first team to hold opponents scoreless in the first half of five consecutive games, including the postseason, the longest such streak in the Super Bowl era.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who passed for 306 yards and two touchdowns in the victory, has 71 career games with at least 300 passing yards and two touchdowns, surpassing Peyton Manning (70) for the second-most such games in NFL history. Only Drew Brees (93) has more such performances in league annals. Appearing in his 20th career game, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 374 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 132.0 rating in the Chiefs’ 33-28 win over Baltimore. Through 20 career games, Mahomes has the highest marks by a quarterback in passing yards (6,576), passing touchdowns (60) and passer rating (115.3 – minimum 100 attempts) in NFL history.

Mahomes recorded his 13th career game with at least 300 pass yards, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer KURT WARNER (12 games) for the most by a player in his first 20 career games in NFL history. Mahomes – who passed for 378 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in Week 1 and 443 yards and four touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 2 – is the first player to record at least 350 passing yards, three touchdown passes and zero interceptions in three consecutive games in NFL history.

New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones passed for 336 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 112.7 rating and added two rushing touchdowns in the Giants’ 32-31 win at Tampa Bay. Jones is the first rookie with at least 300 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in a single game since 1970. Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett had four sacks in the loss. Barrett has eight sacks through the Buccaneers’ first three games, tied with Mark Gastineau (1984) for the most by a player in his team’s first three games of a season since 1982.

Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings’ 34-14 win over Oakland. Cook – who rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1 and 154 yards and a touchdown in Week 2 – is the fifth player in NFL history with at least 110 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in each of his team’s first three games of a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown (1958), Curtis Martin (2004), O.J. Simpson (1975) and Emmitt Smith (1995).

New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara had 161 scrimmage yards (92 receiving, 69 rushing) and two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) in the Saints’ 33-27 win at Seattle. Kamara, who has 23 rushing touchdowns and 10 receiving touchdowns in 34 career games, is the fifth player in league annals with at least 20 rushing touchdown and 10 receiving touchdowns in his first three seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen, Roger Craig, Chuck Foreman and Abner Haynes.

Carolina running back Christian McCaffery totaled 188 scrimmage yards (153 rushing, 35 receiving) and a rushing touchdown in the Panthers’ 38-20 victory at Arizona. McCaffrey, who had 209 scrimmage yards and two rushing touchdowns in Week 1, is the fourth player with at least 185 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in two of his team’s first three games of a season in NFL history, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown (1963), Adrian Peterson (2010) and Billy Sims (1980).

The NFL rolls into Week 4 with two significant early trends that separate this year from any of the previous 99 seasons: Quarterbacks are getting younger and the league-wide passer rating, the highest it’s ever been through three weeks, is on an upward slope. This week, the NFL concludes a September that has seen both the highest collective passer rating ever through three weeks and the most starting quarterbacks (20 in Week 3) age 26 or younger in league history. Meanwhile, each week continues to produce close games and stirring second-half comebacks and rookies continue to progress into household-name territory.

CLOSE GAMES INCREASINGLY COMMON: Through the first three weeks, 23 of 48 games (47.9 percent) have been decided by six points or less. Only one other time in league history (24 in 2013) has the final margin been six points or fewer in more games over three weeks of NFL play. Plus, 26 of 48 games (54.2 percent) have been decided by seven points or less, tied for third in league history after three weeks.

The most games decided by six-or-fewer points and seven-or-fewer points, through three weeks in NFL history:

Games decided by six points or fewer

2013 – 24
2019 – 23
2016 – 22
2000 – 21
Many – 20

Games decided by seven points or fewer

2016 – 28
2013 – 28
2019 – 26
1988 – 26
2011 – 25

REBOUNDS ALSO ON THE RISE: Four teams that missed the postseason in 2018 – Buffalo (3-0), Detroit (2-0-1), Green Bay (3-0) and San Francisco (3-0) – are undefeated through the first three weeks. Since the current playoff format began in 1990, this year marks just the fourth time that at least four teams have started the season undefeated through their first three games after missing the postseason the previous year. It also happened in 2002, 2003 and 2013.

If Buffalo, Detroit and Green Bay win this week, the league will have four undefeated teams through the first four weeks, among those that didn’t qualify for the postseason the prior year (including 3-0 San Francisco, on its bye in Week 4). It’s happened once previously, when Carolina, Denver, Kansas City and Minnesota opened 4-0 in 2003, after missing the playoffs in 2002. The Panthers advanced to Super Bowl XXXVIII that season.

HIGHEST PASSER RATING EVER THROUGH THREE WEEKS: It’s an arms race! NFL passers have compiled a 94.3 rating through three weeks, while the average age among starting quarterbacks has decreased each week.

The highest aggregate passer ratings through a season’s first three weeks in NFL history:

YEAR – PASSER RATING
2019 – 94.3
2018 – 93.2
2015 – 91.1
2014 – 90.6
2017 – 90.3

ROOKIES PREVALENT ON NFL LANDSCAPE: Youth is being served! Through three weeks, 11 of 32 NFL teams have rookies leading or tied for their team lead in passer rating, rushing yards, receiving yards, tackles or interceptions. That includes Pittsburgh, whose rookie linebacker Devin Bush not only leads the Steelers with 29 tackles; he also leads the league with three fumble recoveries.

Last week in his first NFL start, New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones passed for 336 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 112.7 passer rating. He also added two rushing touchdowns, including the game-winning 7-yard score with 76 seconds remaining, in his team’s 32-31 win at Tampa Bay. Since at least the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, Jones is the first rookie with at least 300 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in the same game.

A look at rookies who lead their teams or are tied for their team lead through three weeks:

PASSER RATING*

QB, TEAM (RATING)
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville (110.6)
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (109.7)
Kyler Murray, Arizona (79.0)

RUSHING YARDS

RUSHER, TEAM (YARDS)
Josh Jacobs, Oakland (228)
David Montgomery, Chicago (147)
Miles Sanders, Philadelphia (106)
*min. 40 attempts

RECEIVING YARDS

PLAYER, TEAM (YARDS)
Marquise Brown, Baltimore (282)
Terry McLaurin, Washington (257)
Preston Williams, Miami (115)

INTERCEPTIONS

PLAYER, TEAM (INTERCEPTIONS)
Ryan Connelly, New York Giants (1)
Darnell Savage, Green Bay (1)
Preston Williams, Miami (115)

ROOKIES GETTING TO QUARTERBACK: For the first time since 1982, when individual sacks became an official statistic, five rookies have at least 1.5 sacks entering Week 4. Carolina has two of those five: Brian Burns and Christian Miller each have 2 sacks. Jacksonville defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen (2), New England defensive lineman Chase Winovich (2) and New York Giants defensive end/linebacker Oshane Ximines (1.5) round out the group.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK: Two games on Sunday feature a battle of undefeated foes, both in the early afternoon window. New Era Field in Buffalo hosts a clash of the 3-0 teams atop the AFC East in upstate New York. New England, whose point-differential (89) is 36 points higher than number 2 Dallas (53), plays Buffalo, off to their best start since they began 3-0 in 2011. Buffalo seeks its first 4-0 start since 2008.

No NFL division has seen multiple teams start 3-0 since 2015, in the NFC South (Atlanta and Carolina). This season, both the AFC East and the NFC West (Rams and 49ers) have a pair of 3-0 teams.

At Ford Field in Detroit, Kansas City (3-0) meets Detroit (2-0-1), who with a win would be undefeated through four games for the first time since opening 5-0 in 2011.

CONSISTENT CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS: Both New England and the Los Angeles Rams have authored a 3-0 encore after meeting in Super Bowl LIII. The defending Super Bowl teams haven’t started that well in 21 years, when both Denver and Green Bay were 3-0 to start the 1998 season after clashing in Super Bowl XXXII. The last time both Super Bowl teams were 4-0? It was also the Broncos and Packers in 1998.

STRONG STARTS: On Sunday Night Football, Dallas makes a trip to their neighboring state to meet New Orleans in the Big Easy. The Cowboys with a win would be off to their best start in 12 years, since opening 5-0 in 2007. With a win last Sunday over the Steelers, San Francisco is off to its best start in 21 years. The 49ers are on a bye this week but can advance to their first 4-0 start in nearly three decades with a win at home over Cleveland in Santa Clara on Monday, October 7. Seven teams are 3-0 entering Week 4.

The Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs have each started 3-0 for a second consecutive season. The last time the same two NFL teams opened 3-0 in back-to-back years was 2015-16 (Denver and New England). The last time the same two teams opened 4-0 in consecutive seasons was 1968-69, when the Rams and Dallas did the feat.

The last time each of the other 3-0 teams improved to 4-0:

TEAM, LAST 4-0 START (SEASON RESULT)
San Francisco, 1990 (NFC Championship)
Dallas, 2007 (NFC Divisional)
Buffalo, 2008 (Missed playoffs)
Green Bay, 2015 (NFC Divisional)
New England, 2015 (AFC Championship)

CONTAGIOUS COMEBACKS: In 12 of 48 games (25 percent), a team has come back to tie or win after trailing in the fourth quarter.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated the Chargers-Dolphins contest as the NFL100 GAME OF THE WEEK because it honors one of the most thrilling games ever played, the Epic in Miami. On January 2, 1982, at the Orange Bowl, Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN FOUTS led his Chargers to an incredible 41-38 overtime win over the Dolphins. In a thrilling AFC Divisional playoff that Sports Illustrated called, “The Game No One Should Have Lost,” the Dolphins overcame a 24-0 first-quarter deficit. Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Don Shula inserted backup quarterback Don Strock to spark the Dolphins, who capitalized on four Miami takeaways to capture their first lead in the fourth quarter. But the Chargers cashed in their own takeaways, including a Pete Shaw fumble recovery that halted a potential game-icing Dolphins drive with less than 5 minutes left. On the Dolphins’ doorstep with under a minute on the clock and submerged by Miami’s pass rush, Fouts threw a blind, 9-yard pass in the direction of his intended receiver, Pro Football Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow. The overthrown pass, however, sailed into the arms of Charger James BrooksAMES BROOKS for a game-knotting touchdown. In a 38-38 game, Strock then quickly maneuvered the Dolphins into field-goal position, where the 6-foot-5 Winslow deflected Uwe Von Schamann’s kick to force overtime. In the extra frame, each team orchestrated long drives, only to see their kickers miss field goals, including another Chargers block, this time by Leroy Jones. Finally, Fouts engineered a 74-yard drive to set up Rolf Bernirschke’s game-ending 29-yard field goal and – 13 minutes, 52 seconds, into OT – San Diego advanced, 41-38. Fouts and Strock combined for 856 yards passing. Five players topped 100 yards receiving. Following the season, Miami advanced to two of the next three Super Bowls.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 4

100 IN 100: Through the first three weeks of the NFL’s 100th season, 11 quarterbacks have a passer rating of 100 or higher (minimum 20 attempts), the most through three weeks in NFL history. That list of quarterbacks includes two rookies, Daniel Jones (New York Giants) and Gardner Minshew (Jacksonville), along with two second-year quarterbacks, Kyle Allen (Carolina) and Lamar Jackson (Baltimore). In total, six quarterbacks under the age of 25 and eight under the age of 30 have a passer rating of 100 or higher (minimum 20 attempts) through the first three weeks.

The quarterbacks with a passer rating of 100 or higher this season (minimum 20 attempts):

PLAYER, TEAM (AGE, PASSER RATING)
Kyle Allen, Carolina (23, 144.4)
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (24, 134.9)
Dak Prescott, Dallas (26, 128.0)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (30, 119.6)
Tom Brady, New England (42, 116.5)
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (22, 113.9)
Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis (26, 112.0)
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville (23, 110.6)
Daniel Jones, New York Giants (22, 109.7)
Deshaun Watson, Houston (24, 108.6)
Case Keenum, Washington (31, 100.0)

Six other quarterbacks, including Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota (99.3) and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Philip Rivers (98.5), have a passer rating of 95 or higher this season and look to join this group after Week 3. Through a season’s first four weeks, only 2015 and 2007 have featured at least 11 quarterbacks with a passer rating of 100 or higher (minimum 20 attempts).

The seasons with the most quarterbacks with a passer rating of at least 100 through four weeks (min. 20 attempts):

SEASON – QUARTERBACKS WITH 100+ RATING THROUGH 4 WEEKS

2015 – 11
2007 – 11
2018 – 10
2017 – 9
2019 – 11*

*Through Week 3

MAHOMES STREAKING: Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 374 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in the Chiefs’ 33-28 win over Baltimore last week. Mahomes – who passed for 378 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 1 and 443 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 2 – is the first player to record at least 350 passing yards, three touchdown passes and no interceptions in three consecutive games in NFL history.

Dating back to Week 6 of the 2018 season, the reigning league MVP has thrown at least two touchdown passes in 14 consecutive games. With at least two touchdown passes on Sunday at Detroit, Mahomes can tie Peyton Mannig (15 consecutive games) for the most consecutive games with at least two touchdown passes in NFL history.

The most consecutive games with at least two touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON(S)(CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 2+ PASS TDs)
Peyton Manning – Denver (2013-14)(15)
Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City (2018-19)(14)*
Philip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers (2017-18)(13)
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay (2011)(13)
Tom Brady – New England (2010-11)(13)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis (2004)(13)
*Active streak

Mahomes can also become the fifth player in NFL history to throw at least three touchdowns in each of his first four games of a season.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least three touchdown passes to begin their season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, MOST CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 3+ PASS TDs TO BEGIN THEIR SEASON)

Tom Brady, New England (2017, 10)#
Steve Young, San Francisco (1998, 5) HOF
Dan Marinom Miami (1987, 4)HO
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (1999, 4) HOF#
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (2019, 3)*
*Active streak
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player

CAROLINA KYLE: In his first start of the season last week, Carolina quarterback Kyle Allen passed for 261 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 144.4 passer rating in the Panthers’ Week 3 win. Allen also threw for 228 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 111.3 rating in Carolina’s Week 17 victory in 2018, his first career start.

With at least two touchdown passes and no interceptions on Sunday at Houston, Allen would become the first player in the Super Bowl era to throw at least two touchdown passes without an interception in each of his first three career starts.

COOKING UP YARDS: Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings’ Week 3 win over Oakland and has recorded at least 100 rushing yards and a touchdown in each of his first three games of the season. His 375 rushing yards lead the league through three weeks.

With at least 100 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown on Sunday at Chicago (4:25 PM ET, CBS), Cook would become the fifth player in NFL history with at least 100 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown in each of his team’s first four games to begin a season.​

The players with at least 100 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in each of their team’s first four games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, MOST GAMES WITH 100+ RUSH YARDS & RUSH TD TO BEGIN SEASON)
Jim Brown, Cleveland (1958, 6) HOF
O.J. Simpson , Buffalo (1975, 5) HOF
DeMarco Murray, Dallas (2014, 4)
Emmitt Smith, Dallas (1995, 4) HOF
Dalvin Cook, Minnesota (2019, 3)*

15,000 FOR FRANK: Buffalo running back Frank Gore has rushed for 14,912 yards over his 15-year NFL career. With 88 rushing yards on Sunday against New England, Gore would become the fourth player in league history to reach 15,000 career rushing yards. The other three players are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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

PLAYER – TEAM(S) RUSHING YARDS)
Emmitt Smith – Dallas and Arizona (18,355) HOF
Walter Payton – Chicago (16,726) HOF
Barry Sanders – Detroit (15,26) HOF
Frank Gore – San Francisco, Indianapolis, Miami and Buffalo (14,912)*
*Active

WALLER BALLER: Oakland tight end Darren Waller had a career-high 13 catches for 134 yards last week. His 26 receptions rank second in the league and lead all tight ends through the first three weeks of the season.

With eight receptions on Sunday at Indianapolis, Waller would surpass Antonio Gates (33 receptions) for the most receptions by a tight end through his team’s first four games of a season in NFL history.

The tight ends with the most receptions through their team’s first four games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, RECEPTIONS)
Antonio Gates, San Diego (2007, 33)
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans (2014, 32)
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia (2018, 31)
Jordan Cameron, Cleveland (2013, 30)
Darren Waller, Oakland (2019, 26)*
*Through Week 3

SHAQ ATTACK: Tampa Bay linebacker Shaquil Barrett enters Week 4 with a league-leading eight sacks. Barrett registered three sacks in Week 2, followed by a career-high four-sack performance last week, tying a Tampa Bay single-game franchise record.

With at least 1.5 sacks on Sunday at the Los Angeles Rams, Barrett would surpass Mark Gastineau (nine sacks, 1984), Kabeer Gbaja-BiamilaLA (nine, 2001) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Kevin Greene (nine, 1998) for the most sacks by a player through his team’s first four games of a season since 1982 when the individual sack became an official statistic.

The players with the most sacks through their team’s first four games of a season since 1982:

PLAYER, SEASON (TEAM, SACKS)
Mark Gastineau, 1984 (New York Jets, 9)
Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, 2001 (Green Bay, 9)
Kevin Greene, 1998 (Carolina, 9) HOF
William Gay, 1983 (Detroit, 8.5)
Shaquil Barrett, 2019 (Tampa Bay, 8)*

*Through Week 3

Additionally, with at least three sacks in Week 4, Barrett can become the first player wi​​th at least three sacks in three consecutive games since 1982 when the individual sack became an official statistic.

Week four got underway at Lambeau as the Packers fell from the ranks of the unbeaten as Green Bay hosted Philadelphia and concludes in the Steel City as Pittsburgh hosts Cincinnati Monday night. Byes for this week? San Francisco and the New York Jets. As for last week? A lot better. 10-6… best.week.ever and for the season, we’re 25-23. There’s still football left to play. With that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 4.

Tennessee (1-2) at ATLANTA (1-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of 1-2 teams meet in the Big Peach as Tennessee makes the 243-mile trip south to face off against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. Both teams are searching for wins to even their records.

Held to a third-quarter TD by Derrick Henry, Tenneseee lost to AFC South rival Jacksonville 20-7. Tennessee trailed 14-0 (Jacksonville scored both early TDs in the first quarter) at TIAA Field last Thursday night and could never get themselves on track in the Sunshine State. Tennessee did out-rush Jacksonville 91-88 in the Thursday night contest and Marcus Mariota threw for 304 yards but was sacked nine times, while Jaguar QB Gardner Minshew threw for 204 yards with no sacks (neither threw an interception). Tennessee went 8 for 17 on third down and actually ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 35:16, while Jacksonville kept the pigskin for 24:44, going 2 of 11 on third down (both clubs were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

The Falcons were flagged 16 times for 128 yards in their 27-24 loss at Indianapolis last Sunday. Although they trailed 20-6 at the half, Atlanta would go on to outscore the Colts 21-7 in the final 30 minutes of play in the Hoosier State, pulling themselves to within 7 with 4:11 when Ryan and All-Pro WR Julio Jones connected on a 10-yard TD toss. The Colts would then get the ball back on the kickoff and run out the clock to take the win at Lucas Oil Stadium. Atlanta out-rushed the Colts 93-88 and Davonta Freeman led all rushers with 88 yards. Ryan threw for 304 yards and three TDs (two to TE Austih Hooper) with an interception but no sacks, while the Colts’ Jacoby Brissett threw for 310 yards and a pair of TDs with a sack (Marlon Mack led the Colts with 74 rushing yards and a TD). Atlanta was 8 of 10 on third down and the Falcons would keep the ball for 28:37, while the Colts ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 31:23, going 5 of 8 on third down.

Including games that were played in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers and the Falcons played their home games at Fulton County Stadium and the Georgoa Dome, the series is even at 7-7. Atlanta has outscored the Titans 331-313 and have won the last two meetings in the series, including a 10-7 win in 2015 in the Music City, while Tennessee’s last win over the Falcons came in 2007 in Nashville by a final of 20-13. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Falcons as 4 1/2 point favorites in the Big Peach and the over/under’s 46 1/2. Both numbers make sense. Both teams are looking to right their ships from last week. Falcons RISE UP in the Big Peach to take the win and covers the 4 1/2.

Cleveland (1-2) at Baltimore (2-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. Mayfield vs. Jackson. A pair of top NFL QB draft picks meet in Charm City as the Ravens, atop first place in the AFC North, take on the Cleveland Browns in Baltimore. Both teams enter the Sunday afternoon contest with close losses from last week under their belts.

A late Cleveland rally against Los Angeles fell short as the Rams came away 20-13 winners at First Energy Stadium last Sunday night. Cleveland led 6-3 at the intermission before Jared Goff connected on a pair of TD passes to Cooper Kupp, the second one giving Los Angeles the lead back for keeps with 12:48 left in the contest. Greg Zuerlein would then add a 37-yard field goal to push the lead to a 3-point margin and the Rams stopped Baker Mayfield inside their 10-yard line as four of Mayfield’s passes fell incomplete in the final seconds of the contest.

Cleveland out-rushed Los Angeles 95-90 with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading all rusher with 96 yards, while former Georgia teammate Todd Gurley leading Los Angeles with 48. Goff threw for 268 yards with the two Kupp TDs (he was sacked twice and picked off twice), while Mayfield threw for 195 yards with a TD, three sacks and an interception. The Rams in the Sunday night contest along the shores of Lake Erie went 6 of 14 on third down and held the ball for 28:23. As for the Browns? They were 6 of 16 on third down and 0 of 2 on fourth down but ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:37.

Batlimore trailed Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City lead 23-6 at the intermission at Arrowhead Stadium, then watched Lamar Jackson and Baltimore out-score them 22-10 in the seconds but fell short, as the Chiefs would be the ones escaping with a 33-28 win. Jackson would make it an 8-point contest with 2:01 left in the game but the Ravens would miss the two-point try. The Chiefs would then get the ball back after the kickoff and they would run out the clock and take the win. Mark Ingram rushed for 103 yards and three TDs as the Ravens ran for 203 yards (Kansas City rushed for 140) and Jackson threw for 267 yards with three sacks (neither Jackson or Mahomes threw an interception). Batlimore went 5 of 13 on third downs at Arrowhead (they were 3 for 4 on fourth down) and the Ravens actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:44, while the Chiefs held the pigskin for 27:16, going 5 of 9 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Baltimore leads the series, 30-10 and the Ravens have out-scored Cleveland 927-598. The two clubs split their two meetings, with each taking wins at home.

The first meeting? Cleveland in week 5 and the contest was an all-field goal affair as the Browns needed overtime to take a 12-9 win along the shores of Lake Erie. Cleveland scored the only TD in the contest when Mayfield and WR Rashard Higgins connected on a 19-yard toss with 40 seconds left before the intermission to take a 6-3 lead (they would miss the extra point). Baltimore took a 3-0 lead into the first quarter of play thanks to a Jeff Tucker field goal before the Browns would lead 6-3 at the half.

Greg Joseph would then give Cleveland a 9-3 lead that would not last long as Tucker would kick a pair of field goals, including one that would tie the contest at 9-9 with 52 seconds left in regulation. Each team got a chance to score in the overtime and it would be the Browns that would prevail, as they used a 7-play, 65-yard drive that used 2:55 of clock and it would be Joseph that would send Browns fans home happy as he connected on a 37-yard field goal with 2 seconds left in the extra period.

Baltimore out-rushed Cleveland 116-112 and Mayfield threw for 342 yards with five sacks to go with the TD toss, while Joe Flacco threw for 298 yards with a pair of sacks (each threw an interception). Cleveland was 6 of 19 on third down (the Browns were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:16, while the Ravens were 4 of 16 on third down (Baltimore was 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:42.

Baltimore would get revenge in Charm City in week 17 and took the AFC North title in the process, surviving a late Browns scare and taking a 26-24 win at M&T Bank Stadium. In the season finale, the Ravens led 20-7 at the half before Cleveland stormed back in the final 30 minutes of play, pulling themselves to within 2 with 3:24 left in the contest when WR Antonio Calloway and Mayfield connected on a 1-yard TD toss. The Browns would get the ball back with 1:49 left but four Mayfield passes went incomplete. That in turn gave Baltimore the ball back and the Ravens would run out the clock and take the win in Charm City.

Baltimore out-rushed Cleveland 296-50, with Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon paving the way with 117 yards. Jackson threw for 179 yards with a pair of sacks and no interceptions, while Mayfield threw for 376 yards with three TDs and three interceptions. While the Ravens were 3 of 13 on third down, they were succesful in their only fourth down try, keeping the ball for 38:30; the Browns kept the ball for 21:30 and went 4 of 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Baltimore was favored by 3 in the week 5 contest in the Buckeye State and Cleveland covered with the 3-point overtime win but the 47 over/under stayed in tact as both clubs combined for only 21 points. Baltimore was favored in the season finale in Charm City by 6. While the Ravens did win, they only won by 2 but both teams scored 50 points, which covered the 41 over/under. Baltimore’s favored by 6 1/2 in this first meeting and the over/under’s 45. Both numbers make a ton of sense and both are capable of making the post-season party. The Browns are looking to get back to the post-season, while the Ravens are the defending AFC North champs. Break out the crabcakes! Cleveland could make this closer than 6 1/2 but Ravens prevail in Charm City.

New England (3-0) at Buffalo (3-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. They bpth share the same divison and they’re both unbeaten. A pair of AFC East rivals meet in upstate New York as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots travel to Orchard Park for an early afternoon meeting with the Buffalo Bills.

The defending Super Bowl champions held the New York Jets to a pair of second-half TDs at Foxboro as the Pats would take GangGreen to the woodshed 30-14 at Gillette Stadium. Brady and the Patriots led 20-0 at the intermission and never looked back in their AFC East opener. New England grounded the Jets’ rushing game, holding them to to a season-low 36 yards, while the Pats would rush for 68 and Brady threw for 306 yards wtih a pair of TDs and no sacks or interceptions, while Luke Falk, the third QB of the season for the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! threw for 98 yards with five sacks and an interception. New England went 6 of 15 on third down conversions in Foxboro and kept the ball for 35:14, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 0 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Buffalo held off Cincinnati 21-17 at New Era Stadium last Sunday. The Bills led the Bengals 14-0 at the intermission in upstate New York, then watched the Bengals outscore Buffalo 17-7 in the final 30 minutes of play to make the contest closer than Bills fans would like. Buffalo ran for 175 yards, holding the Bengals to 67 yards (Bills RB Frank Gore led all rushers with 76 yards and a TD), while Josh Allen threw for 243 yards for the Bills with an interception (Andy Dalton threw for 249 yards and two interceptions and a pair of sacks; both Dalton and Allen threw a TD in the contest). The Bengals, who turned the ball over three times in upstate New York, went 3 for 11 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 23:06, while Buffalo ruled the clock and circled their wagons around the ball, keeping it for 36:54 and went 5 of 13 on third down tries.

New England leads the series 73-43-1 (which includes contests that were played at Fenway Park, Schafer Stadium in Boston and war Memorial Stadium in Buffalo), have out-scored the Bills 2,608-2,137 and have won the last five meetings, sweeping last year’s contests (Buffalo’s last win over the Patriots came in 2016 in Foxboro, where they shutout the Patriots 16-0).

Meeting number one… week eight in upstate New York (46 degree temperature at kickoff with a 39 degree wind chill) and the Patriots held Buffalo to a pair of Stephen Hauschka field goals to take a 25-6 win in Orchard Park. New England led 9-3 at the half, then proceeed to floor the gas in the second half, outscoring Buffalo 16-3 in the final 30 minutes of play.

New England rushed for only 76 yards but managed to hold the Bills to 46 yards, Brady threw for 324 yards, while Bills QB Derek Anderson threw for 290 yards (Brady was sacked twice but did not throw an interception, while Anderson threw three interceptions with being sacked three times). New England was 5 of 14 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 31:50, while the Bills kept the ball for 28:10, going 4 of 14 and 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

New England made the series a clean sweep in their week 16 contest in Foxboro, as they would take a 24-12 win at Gillette Stadium. Although they led 14-0 at the break, New England was outscored by Buffalo 12-10 in the second half, with the Bills pulling to within 12 with 68 seconds left in the contest as Allen and WR Zay Jones connected on a 31-yard toss. New England took care of things on the ground, tallying 273 rushing yards, holding Buffalo to 72, with Patriots RB Sony Michel leading the way with 116 yards and a TD. Brady threw for 126 yards with a TD to Josh Edelman, while Allen threw for 217 yards (both threw a pair of interceptions and Brady was sacked once). New England was 3 of 12 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 35:38; the Bills kept the ball for 24:22, going 2 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week eight contest in upstate New York, New England easily covered the 14-point spread, winning by 19. The 44 1/2 over/under? It was safe, as both teams combined for 31 points. In the week 16 contest in Foxboro, New England covered the 12 1/2-point spread, winning by 14. The 44 1/2 over/under? Untouched, as both teams merged for 36 points. New England’s favored by 7 and the over/under’s 42 1/2. Given the records, this one’s “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

These two for the time being are the kings of the AFC East mountain but there can be only one king. The Bills will make this one closer than the 7 but Brady and the Patriots prevail in upstate New York, taking the win.

Kansas City (3-0) at Detroit (2-0-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. An unbeaten Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs make their way to the Motor City to face off against Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Both enter the contest with close wins under their belts.

Mahomes (three TDs) and the Chiefs led 23-6 at the intermission at Arrowhead Stadium, then watched Lamar Jackson and Baltimore out-score them 22-10 in the seconds, escaping with a 33-28 win. Jackson would make it an 8-point contest with 2:01 left in the game but the Ravens would miss the two-point try. The Chiefs would then get the ball back after the kickoff and they would run out the clock and take the win. Mark Ingram rushed for 103 yards and three TDs as the Ravens ran for 203 yards (Kansas City rushed for 140) and Jackson threw for 267 yards with three sacks (neither Jackson or Mahomes threw an interception). Batlimore went 5 of 13 on third downs at Arrowhead (they were 3 for 4 on fourth down) and the Ravens actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:44, while the Chiefs held the pigskin for 27:16, going 5 of 9 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Detroit gave Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles their second loss in a row after they left the City of Brotherly Love 27-24 winners at Lincoln Financial Field. Detroit led 20-10 at the break but Philadelphia managed to keep the contest close, pulling themselves to within seven with 6:59 left when Wentz and WR Nelson Agholor connected on a 2-yard TD pass. Philadelphia would later get the ball back with 1:39 left to play in hopes of tying the contest up but the drive ended when the Eagles were flagged for offensive pass interference and Wentz’s fourth down pass attempt to WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside was broken up, ending the Eagles’ hopes of a win at home.

Detroit was out-rushed by Philadelphia 127-86, with Wentz throwing for 259 yards, three sacks and a pair of TDs (both to Agholor), while Stafford threw for 201 yards and a TD (neith threw an interception). Philadelphia was 7 of 13 on third down tries in the City of Brotherly Love (they were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:18, while the Lions kept the pigskin for 27:42 and went 6 for 14 on third down tries.

The Chiefs lead the series 8-5 (which includes contests that were played at Swope Field in Kansas City and the Silverdome in Pontiac) and have outscored the Lions 323-293. Their last meeting was in London in 2015 and the —Chiefs were 45-10 winners (Kansas City’s last win in the United States came in 2003 at Arrowhead by a final of 45-17), while Detroit’s last win came in the Motor City in 2011, coming away 48-3 winners. The Chiefs may be the road team but the odds makers like them as 6 1/2 point favorites and the over/under’s 53 1/2. One of these teams could make the post-season and it’s possible that both could be in as well. Right now, there’s only one winner. Detroit will make things closer than the 6 1/2 but the Chiefs stay unbeaten in the 2019 campaign.

Carolina (1-2) at Houston (2-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. The Carolina Panthers, who will be without Cam Newton (broken foot) travel to the Lone Star State for a showdown with the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Both teams won huge road games in last week’s action.

The Panthers erased a 7-0 first quarter deficit at Arizona, taking a 14-10 lead with them to the intermission and coming away 38-20 winners over the Cardinals last Sunday. Panthers backup QB Kyle Allen connected with TE Greg Olson on two TD passes in the desert as Carolina outscored the Desert Angry Birds 24-10 in the second half. Carolina out-rushed the Cardinals 173-121 with Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey leading the way with 153 yards and a TD, while Arizona QB Kyler Murray led his team with 69 yards of rushing. Allen threw for 261 yards and four TDs (including the two Olson catches), while Murray threw for 173 yards with two TDs (Allen was sacked twice but did not throw an interception, while Murray was sacked eight times with two picks). Arizona went 9 of 17 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 31:44, while the Panthers kept the pigskin for 28:16, going 4 of 10 on third down.

The Texans erased a 17-7 intermission deficit against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park, holding off Philip Rivers and the Chargers 27-20. Houston got a pair of TD passes from DeShaun Watson to TE Jordan Akins to take a 27-17 lead with 9:40 left in the contest. The Chargers’ Ty Long would put his club to within three with 7:14 left with a 43-yard field goal and that would be as close as the Chargers would get, as the Texans would hold them off in the final seconds to take the road win. While the Chargers did out-rush Houston 73-39, Watson threw for 351 yards and three TDs (including the two to Akins) and was sacked twice, while Rivers threw for 318 yards and a pair of TDs to Keenan Allen (Rivers was sacked five times, neither man threw an interception). Houston went 6 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:12, while the Chargers actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:48, going 5 of 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

They’ve met four times and each team has two wins to their credit. Carolina has outscored Houston 83-78 and came away 24-17 winners in their last meeting in Charlotte in 2015, while the Texans’ last win in the series came in 2007 in the Tar Heel State by a final of 34-21. The Texans are favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Carolina, you have a problem. Houston covers the 4 1/2 and wins in the Lone Star State.

Oakland (1-2) at Indianapolis (2-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. The Silver and Black plays their second game in the great indoors as they travel to the Hoosier State to face off against the Indianpolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Oakland found themselves being taken to task by Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday in the Twin Cites, coming out on the losing end by a final of 34-14 at US Bank Stadium. The Raiders, dropping their second contest in a row, trailed 21-7 at the half and could never really get on track, as Minnesota would proceed to outscore them 13-7 in the final 30 minutes of action. Delvin Cook rushed for 110 yards and a TD as the Vikings out-rushed Oakland 211-88 and Cousins threw for 174 yards with a TD to WR Adam Thielen, while Derek Carr threw for 242 yards with a pair of TDs, four sacks and an interception (Cousins was not sacked and did not throw an interception). Oakland was 3 of 11 on third down (the Raiders were 2 of 3 on fourth down) and the Silver and Black kept the ball for 28:28, while Minnesota ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:32, going 5 of 9 on third down.

The Colts held off a late Atlanta rally in the final quarter and came away 27-24 winners over the Falcons at Indianapolis last Sunday. The Colts took a 20-6 lead at the half, then watched Atlanta outscore the Colts 21-7 in the final 30 minutes of play in the Hoosier State, pulling themselves to within 7 with 4:11 when Ryan and All-Pro WR Julio Jones connected on a 10-yard TD toss. The Colts would then get the ball back on the kickoff and run out the clock to take the win at Lucas Oil Stadium. Atlanta out-rushed the Colts 93-88 and Davonta Freeman led all rushers with 88 yards. Ryan threw for 304 yards and three TDs (two to TE Austih Hooper) with an interception but no sacks, while the Colts’ Jacoby Brissett threw for 310 yards and a pair of TDs with a sack (Marlon Mack led the Colts with 74 rushing yards and a TD). Atlanta was 8 of 10 on third down and the Falcons would keep the ball for 28:37, while the Colts ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 31:23, going 5 of 8 on third down.

Including games in Baltimore and Los Angeles, the Raiders hold an 8-7 lead in the series and have outscored the Colts 363-356. The Colts and Raiders met last year on the West Coast and the Colts would come away 42-28 winners (Oakland’s last win in the series came in 2016 on the West Coast by a final of 33-25)

Their week eight meet at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Colts trailed 14-13 at the intermission, then proceeded to take control of things in the second half by outscoring Oakland 29-14 the rest of the way, using 21 of those points in the final quarter thanks to a pair of Marlon Mack rushing TDs, the second coming with 2:55 left in the contest to seal Oakland’s fate. Mack ran for 132 yards with the two scores, as the Colts rushed for 222 yards and Oakland tallied 103 in the loss. Andrew Luck threw for 239 yards, while Derek Carr tallied 244 yards in the air (each threw three TDs and no sacks or interceptions). The Colts were 9 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 36:30, while the Raiders were 4 for 8 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 23:30.

Indianapolis, favored by 3 in the week eight contest, covered as they would win by 14 and both clubs covered the 49 over/under by tallying 70 points. Indy’s favored by a touchdown in the Hoosier State and the over/under’s 44 1/2. This one doesn’t have a lot of “Wow” factor but it will be somewhat entertaining to watch. Oakland will make this closer than the 7 but the Colts ride off with the win in the Hoosier State.

Los Angeles Chargers (1-2) at Miami (0-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. A pair of AFC foes looking to right their ships meet in the Sunshine State at winless Miami hosts the Los Angeles Chargers in an early afternoon (morning on the West Coast) contest. Both teams took losses in their contests last week.

The Bolts, who got RB Melvin Gordon back on the team this week, watched Houston erase a 17-7 intermission deficit against the Los Angeles Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park last Sunday, holding off Philip Rivers and the Chargers 27-20. Houston got a pair of TD passes from DeShaun Watson to TE Jordan Akins to take a 27-17 lead with 9:40 left in the contest. The Chargers’ Ty Long would put his club to within three with 7:14 left with a 43-yard field goal and that would be as close as the Chargers would get, as the Texans would hold them off in the final seconds to take the road win. While the Chargers did out-rush Houston 73-39, Watson threw for 351 yards and three TDs (including the two to Akins) and was sacked twice, while Rivers threw for 318 yards and a pair of TDs to Keenan Allen (Rivers was sacked five times, neither man threw an interception). Houston went 6 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:12, while the Chargers actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:48, going 5 of 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Dallas held Miami to a pair of first-half field goals at AT&T Stadium last Sunday, as they took care of the Dolphins 31-6. Dallas led 10-6 at the half, then proceeded to take control of things in the final 30 minutes of play, shutting out Miami in the second half by scoring the last 21 points of the contest unchallenged. Ezekiel Elliott (125) and rookie RB Tony Pollard (103 yards, TD) led the Cowboys as Dallas out-rushed Miami 235-72 and Prescott threw for 246 yards and a pair of TDs to Amari Cooper (Prescott was sacked once and threw an interception), while Miami’s Josh Rosen threw for 200 yards but was sacked three times. Dallas was 5 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 30:56, while the Dolphins were 3 of 15 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:04.

Including games played in San Diego and the Orange Bowl, Miami leads the series 16-13, the ‘Fins have outscored the Chargers 646-645 and have won the last two meetings in the series, the last coming in Los Angeles in 2017 by a final of 19-17, while Los Angeles’ last win came in San Diego in 2015, with the Chargers 30-14 victors. The Chargers are favored by 15 1/2 and the over/under’s 44. Granted, Miami’s bad but not 15 1/2 bad. While the Chargers win this one in the Sunshine State, expect Miami to make it hard for the Chargers to cover.

Washington (0-3) at New York Giants (1-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. New QBs, same rivalry. A pair of NFC East rivals meet in upstate New Jersey as the Giants host the Washington Redskins at Met Life Stadium. The Giants picked up their first win last week on the road in the Sunshine State, while the Redskins are looking to secure their first win in the 2019 campaign.

Washington proved to be no match for Chicago at Fed Ex Field and Chicago took care of the Redskins 31-15 Monday night in Landover. Chicago led 28-3 at the break and was never challenged by Washington in the prime-time contest. Da Bears out-rushed Washington 90-69 and Bears safety Clinton Ha-Ha Dix burned his team with an interception return for a TD to open the scoring. Trubisky threw for 231 yards and three TD passes to WR Taylor Gabriel with three sacks and an interception, while Case Keenum threw for 332 yards and a pair of TDs, tallying four sacks and three interceptions in the contest. Chicago was 8 of 13 on third down tries in Landover and kept the ball for 31:36, while Washington, who held on to the ball for 28:24, went 3 of 9 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

The Giants, with rookie QB Daniel Jones under center after Eli Manning was benched, rallied his club from a 28-10 deficit at halftime to come away with the 32-31 win over Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Big Blue would out-score Tampa Bay 22-3 in the final 30 minutes of play and Jones scored the game-winning TD with 76 seconds left in regulation. Jones threw for 336 yards and a TD to WR Sterling Shepherd as well as the game-winning rushing score, while Winston threw for 380 yards and three TDs to Mike Evans (Evans had eight catches for 190 yards; Jones was sacked five times, Winston was sacked four and threw an interception) and the Bucs out-rushed Big Blue 144-72. The Giants were 6 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:48, while Tampa Bay ruled the clock and kept the ball for 33:12, going 4 of 14 on third down tries (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

Includings games played in Boston, when the Redskins were known as the Boston Braves and the Giants played their home games at Yankee Stadium and the Yale Bowl, the Giants lead the series 100-68-4 and Big Blue has outscored Washington 3,487-3,081. The two clubs split last year’s series, each winning on the other’s field.

The first meeting? Week eight in the Meadowlands and Washington left Met Life Stadium with a 20-13 win over Eli and the Giants. Washington led 7-3 at the intermission and controled things in the second half, outscoring the Giants 13-10 in the second half. New York would make the contest a 7-point affair with 17 seconds left when Manning and TE Evan Engram connected on a 2-yard TD toss. The Giants would then try an onside kick, which Washington recovered and the Redskins went on to run out the clock in the Meadowlands and take the win. Washington rushed for 182 yards, with RB Adrian Peterson leading everyone with 149 yards and a TD, holding the Giants to 37. Mamming threw for 316 yards and the Engram TD but was sacked seven times and picked off twice, while Redskins QB Alex Smith threw for 176 and a TD to Peterson (Smith was not sacked and did not throw an interception). Washington went 6 of 16 on third down and held the ball for 33:38; the Giants would keep the pigskin for 26:22 and went 2 of 14 and 3 of 4 on third and fourth downs.

The Giants would get revenge in Landover in week 14, taking a 40-16 win at Fed Ex Field. Eli and the Giants led 34-0 at the intermission, then led 40-0 at the end of three quarters before the Redskins would score all 16 of their points in the contest unchallenged. Manning (197 yards) threw three TDs in the contest with a pair of sacks but no interceptions, as the Giants out-rushed Washington 227-87, with Sequan Barkley leading all rushers with 170 yards and a TD. Washington’s Mark Sanchez threw for 38 yards with five sacks and a pair of interceptions before giving way to Josh Johnson, who threw for 195 yards and a TD. The Giants were 4 of 13 on third down tries in Landover and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 30:09, while the Redskins held on to the ball for 29:51, going 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week eight contest in upstate New Jersey, Washington was favored by 1 and covered the spread, winning by 7. Both teams missed the 42 over/under, tallying 33 points. The Giants not only won the week 14 rematch in Landover, they covered the 1 1/2-point spread, winning by 24 and this time, both clubs covered the over/under (42 1/2), tallying 56 points. The Giants are favored by 3 in the Meadowlands and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Redskins fans want to sing “Hail to the Redskins,” instead of “Hell, it’s the Redskins!” this week. The Giants are going to delay that a week. Giants cover the 3 and takes the win in upstate New Jersey.

Seattle (2-1) at Arizona (0-2-1), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of NFC West rivals meet in the desert as Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks face off against Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Both teams lost at home last week and are looking to catch the first-place Los Angeles Rams in the division.

Seattle fell behind the Drew Brees-less New Orleans Saints last Sunday in the Pacific Northwest and lost 33-27 at Century Link Field. The Seahawks trailed 20-7 at the break but managed to outscore New Orleans 20-13 in the second half. Seattle managed to out-rush the Saints 109-88, even though Saints RB Alvin Kamara led all rushers with 69 yards and a TD. Wilson threw for 406 yards and a pair of TDs, including a toss to TE Will Dissly as time expired, while Teddy Bridgewater, taking over for Brees, threw for 177 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Kamara). Seattle went 5 of 14 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 4 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:33, while the Saints kept the ball for 28:27, going 3 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Arizona watched Carolina erase a 7-0 first quarter deficit in Glendale, then trailed 14-10 at the intermission to lose to the Panthers 38-20 last Sunday. Panthers backup QB Kyle Allen connected with TE Greg Olson on two TD passes in the desert as Carolina outscored the Desert Angry Birds 24-10 in the second half. Carolina out-rushed the Cardinals 173-121 with Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey leading the way with 153 yards and a TD, while Arizona QB Kyler Murray led his team with 69 yards of rushing. Allen threw for 261 yards and four TDs (including the two Olson catches), while Murray threw for 173 yards with two TDs (Allen was sacked twice but did not throw an interception, while Murray was sacked eight times with two picks). Arizona went 9 of 17 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 31:44, while the Panthers kept the pigskin for 28:16, going 4 of 10 on third down.

While Arizona leads the series 20-19-1, the Seahawks have actually outscored the Desert Angry Birds 996-774 and have won three of their last four meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Arizona’s last win came in 2017, when the Desert Angry Birds came away with a 26-24 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks).

Their first meeting took place in week four in Glendale at State Farm Stadium. Seattle erased a 10-7 deficit at the break in the desert, then broke a 17-17 tie in the final seconds and came away 20-17 winners. The Seahawks took a 17-10 lead with them into the final 15 minutes of action before the Desert Angry Birds would tie the contest with 8:59 left in regulation when Josh Rosen and WR Chad Williams connected on a 22-yard TD pass. Arizona could have taken the lead for themselves with 1:55 left but Pat Dawson’s 45-yard field goal missed wide right, giving Seattle the ball with 1:50 left. The Seahawks would then use a 7-play, 31-yard drive that used all of the 1:50 and sent Cardinals fans home sad when Sebastian Janikowski split the uprights with a 52-yard field goal as time expired.

Seattle out-rushed Arizona 171-92 (Seattle’s Mike Davis led all rushers with 101 yards and a pair of TDs) and Wilson threw for 172 yards; while Wilson did not throw a TD, he was sacked twice and Rosen threw for 180 yards with one sack and the lone TD toss (neither threw an interception). Seattle struggled on third down tries in the desert (0 of 10) but found some success on fourth down, going 1 of 2 and kept the ball for 31:46, including the final 1:50 of the contest. As for Arizona? They were 5 of 12 on third down, keeping the ball for 28:14.

Seattle put Janikowski’s leg to good use in the rematach in week 17 and as was the case in the first meeting, the second contest went down to the wire at Century Link Field and once again it was Seattle that would prevail with the 27-24 win over the Cardinals. Seattle led 14-13 at the break in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and had a 21-13 lead with 11 seconds left in the third quarter when Arizona LB Dennis Gardeck blocked a punt and recovered the ball in the end zone to tie the contest up at 21-21 (Arizona would go for a two-conversion and was successful in the attempt). Janikowski and Zane Gonzalez would trade field goals in the fourth quarter before the Seahawks got the ball back with 1:49 left in regulation. Seattle would use all of that 1:49, taking an 8-play, 60-yard drive down the field, where Janikowski would connect on a 33-yard field goal as the clock struck :00.

As was the case in the first meeting, Seattle out-rushed Arizona, this time tallying 182 yards to the Cardinals’ 85 and Wilson threw for 152 yards with a TD to Tyler Lockett with a, interception, while Rosen accounted for 149 yards and no interceptions (each was sacked six times). Seattle again struggled on third down tries in the Pacific Northwest, going 4 of 14 and kept the ball for 29:09, including the final 1:49, while Arizona ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:51, going 4 of 17 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Seattle, the favorite on the road, covered the 3-point spread in the week four contest in Glendale but both clubs missed the 39 over/under by 2 points. The Seahawks were favored again in the week 17 contest at home, this time by 13 1/2. Once again, the Seahawks would win by three but this time, both teams covered the over/under of 38 1/2 by tallying 51 ponts. Seattle’s favored by 5 and the over/under’s 48. Both teams want to catch and pass the Rams to be on top of the NFC West mountain. Seahawks win in the desert and cover the 5.

Tampa Bay (1-2) at Los Angeles Rams (3-0), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. The Rams returns to the West Coast for a late afternoon (Eastern time) contest with Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Coliseum.

Winston and Tampa Bay let a 28-10 lead at the half against the New York Giants get away from them as Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones went under center and led his club to a 32-31 win over the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Big Blue would out-score Tampa Bay 22-3 in the final 30 minutes of play and Jones scored the game-winning TD with 76 seconds left in regulation. Jones threw for 336 yards and a TD to WR Sterling Shepherd as well as the game-winning rushing score, while Winston threw for 380 yards and three TDs to Mike Evans (Evans had eight catches for 190 yards; Jones was sacked five times, Winston was sacked four and threw an interception) and the Bucs out-rushed Big Blue 144-72. The Giants were 6 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:48, while Tampa Bay ruled the clock and kept the ball for 33:12, going 4 of 14 on third down tries (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

The defending NFC champs kept their unbeaten streak in tact last Sunday night along the shores of Lake Erie as they held off a late Cleveland rally and beat the Rams 20-13 at First Energy Stadium. Jared Goff and the Rams trailed 6-3 at the intermission before Goff connected on a pair of TD passes to Cooper Kupp, the second one giving Los Angeles the lead back for keeps with 12:48 left in the contest. Greg Zuerlein would then add a 37-yard field goal to push the lead to a 3-point margin and the Rams stopped Baker Mayfield inside their 10-yard line as four of Mayfield’s passes fell incomplete in the final seconds of the contest.

Cleveland out-rushed Los Angeles 95-90 with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading all rusher with 96 yards, while former Georgia teammate Todd Gurley leading Los Angeles with 48. Goff threw for 268 yards with the two Kupp TDs (he was sacked twice and picked off twice), while Mayfield threw for 195 yards with a TD, three sacks and an interception. The Rams in the Sunday night contest along the shores of Lake Erie went 6 of 14 on third down and held the ball for 28:23. As for the Browns? They were 6 of 16 on third down and 0 of 2 on fourth down but ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:37.

Including contests in St. Louis and Anaheim, the Rams lead the series 14-8, they have out-scored the Buccaneers 530-451 and have won the last five meetings, including a 37-32 win in the Sunshine State in 2016, while Tampa Bay’s last win came in Tampa Bay by a final of 18-17 in 2010. The Rams find themselves as 9 1/2 popint favorites on the West Coast and the over/under’s 49. Tampa Bay’s good… the Rams are a little better. The Buccaneers are going to make this one closer than 9 1/2 but the Rams remain among the unbeaten and takes the win at home.

Minnesota (2-1) at Chicago (2-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. They meet again and round one is in the Windy City. Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears host Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field in a late-afternoon match along the shores of Lake Michigan between NFC North rivals.

Cousins and Minnesota took care of Oakland last Sunday in the Twin Cites, taking a 34-14 win over the Silver and Black at US Bank Stadium. The Vikings led 21-7 at the half and could never really get on track, as Minnesota would proceed to outscore them 13-7 in the final 30 minutes of action. Delvin Cook rushed for 110 yards and a TD as the Vikings out-rushed Oakland 211-88 and Cousins threw for 174 yards with a TD to WR Adam Thielen, while Derek Carr threw for 242 yards with a pair of TDs, four sacks and an interception (Cousins was not sacked and did not throw an interception). Oakland was 3 of 11 on third down (the Raiders were 2 of 3 on fourth down) and the Silver and Black kept the ball for 28:28, while Minnesota ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:32, going 5 of 9 on third down.

Washington proved to be no match for Da Bears, as Chicago went into Fed Ex Field and took care of the Redskins 31-15 Monday night in Landover. Chicago led 28-3 at the break and was never challenged by Washington in the prime-time contest. Da Bears out-rushed Washington 90-69 and Clinton Ha-Ha Dix burned his team with an interception return for a TD to open the scoring. Trubisky threw for 231 yards and three TD passes to WR Taylor Gabriel with three sacks and an interception, while Case Keenum threw for 332 yards and a pair of TDs, tallying four sacks and three interceptions in the contest. Chicago was 8 of 13 on third down tries in Landover and kept the ball for 31:36, while Washington, who held on to the ball for 28:24, went 3 of 9 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Including contests that were played at Wrigley Field, Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington and the Metrodome, the Vikings lead the series 60-53-2 and have outscored Chicago 2,414-2,230. However… Da Bears have won the last two meetings, sweeping the series last year (Minnesota’s last win came in 2017 in the Twin Cities by a final of 23-10).

Chicago and Minnesota met in the Windy City in week 11 and Chicago took a 14-0 lead with them, then held off a late Minnesota rally at Soldier Field to come away 25-20 winners. Minnesota would out-score Da Bears 20-11 in the last 30 minutes of action, pulling themselves to within five with 48 seconds left when Cousins and WR Stefan Diggs connected on a 5-yard TD toss. Chicago, out-rushing Minnesota 148-22, recovered the onside kick and sealed the win for the home team. Trubisky threw for 165 yards and a TD with a sack, while Cousins threw for 262 yards with two TDs and two sacks (both Trubisky and Cousins threw two interceptions). Chicago went 6 of 12 on third down and held the ball for 34:29, while the Vikings kept the ball for 25:31, going 5 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

They met again in the Twin Cities in week 17 at U.S. Bank Stadium and for Chicago, second verse same as the first. Da Bears took a 13-3 lead with them to the break and left the Land of 10,000 Lakes 24-10 winners. Bears RB Juwan Howard accounted for Chicago’s first two TDs in the contest before the Vikings would pull themselves to within 7 with 1:51 left in the third when Cousins and Diggs connected on a 2-yard TD toss. Chicago would score 11 fourth quarter points unchallenged to seal the deal and the NFC North title. Howard rushed for 109 yards to go with the two TDs as Da Bears out-rushed Minnesota 169-63 and Trubisky threw for 163 yards with no interceptions or sacks, while Cousins threw for 132 yards with four sacks but no interceptions. Chicago went 8 of 14 on third down (Da Bears were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 37:08 to Minnesota’s 22:52 (the Vikings were a dismal 1 of 11 on third down, 1 of 4 on fourth down).

In the week 11 meeting along the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago was favored by 3 and won by 5, allowing them to cover the spread. The two clubs barely missed the over/under (they combined for 45 points) by 1/2 a point. Minnesota was favored by 5 in the week 17 contest in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and Chicago covered, winning by 14. The 41 over/under was safe, as both teams combined for 34 points. Vegas likes Da Bears as 2 1/2 point favorites in the Windy City and the over/under’s 38 1/2. Both teams would like nothing more than to knock Green Bay out of first place in the NFC North but to do that, they would have to knock each other off. Someone’s going come away a little bloody and someone’s going to come out of this on top. The Monsters of the Midway take care of business in the Windy City Sunday afternoon and covers the 2 1/2.

Jacksonville (1-2) at Denver (0-3), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 716. A pair of struggling AFC teams meet in the Mile High City as Denver hosts the Jacksonville Jaguars at Broncos Stadium at Mile High.

Jacksonville held Tennessee to a third quarter TD by RB Derrick Henry and came away against their AFC South rivals 20-7 last Thursday night. Jacksonville led 14-0 at the break, scoring both of those TDs in the first quarter, using TD passes from Gardner Minshew to TE James O’Shaughnessy to open the scoring in the contest and then a toss to WR J.J. Chark Jr. at TIAA Field. Tennessee did out-rush Jacksonville 91-88 in the Thursday night contest and Marcus Mariota threw for 304 yards but was sacked nine times, while Minshew threw for 204 yards with no sacks (neither threw an interception). Tennessee went 8 for 17 on third down and actually ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 35:16, while Jacksonville kept the pigskin for 24:44, going 2 of 11 on third down (both clubs were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

Denver watched Green Bay pick up their third win in a row, taking care of Joe Flacco and the Broncos 27-16 at Lambeau Field last Sunday afternoon. The Packers led 17-10 at the intermission, then proceeded to outpace Denver 10-6 in the last 30 minutes of play. While Denver out-rushed Green Bay 149-77 (Denver’s Phillip Lindsay led all rushers with 81 yards and a pair of TDs), Rodgers took care of Denver’s secondary, throwing for 235 yards with a TD and no sacks or interceptions, while Flacco threw for 213 yards with six sacks and an interception. Green Bay went 2 of 9 on third down and held on to the ball for 24:26, while Denver actually ruled the clock and held on to the pigskin for 35:34, going 8 of 15 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The series? Even at 5-5. Denver has outscored Jacksonville 221-188 and has won the last two meetings, including taking a 20-10 win in the Sunshine State in 2016 (Jacksonville’s last win over Denver came in 2010 at home by a final of 24-17). Denver’s favored by 3 in the Mile High City and the over/under’s 37 1/2. Denver breaks their 3-game losing streak at home, taking the win in the Mile High City and covering the 3.

Dallas (3-0) at New Orleans (2-1), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Sunday action in week four concludes in the Big Easy as Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys make their way to New Orleans to face off against the Saints in a meeting of two teams, sitting in first place in their respective divisions.

Prescott and the Cowboys held Miami to a pair of first-half field goals at AT&T Stadium last Sunday, as they took care of the Dolphins 31-6. Dallas led 10-6 at the half, then proceeded to take control of things in the final 30 minutes of play, shutting out Miami in the second half by scoring the last 21 points of the contest unchallenged. Ezekiel Elliott (125) and rookie RB Tony Pollard (103 yards, TD) led the Cowboys as Dallas out-rushed Miami 235-72 and Prescott threw for 246 yards and a pair of TDs to Amari Cooper (Prescott was sacked once and threw an interception), while Miami’s Josh Rosen threw for 200 yards but was sacked three times. Dallas was 5 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 30:56, while the Dolphins were 3 of 15 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:04.

The Drew Brees-less New Orleans Saints took care of business last Sunday in the Pacific Northwest against Seattle, coming away 33-27 victors at Century Link Field. New Orleans led through the contest and had a 20-7 lead at the break before the Seahawks managed to outscore New Orleans 20-13 in the second half. Seattle managed to out-rush the Saints 109-88, even though Saints RB Alvin Kamara led all rushers with 69 yards and a TD. Wilson threw for 406 yards and a pair of TDs, including a toss to TE Will Dissly as time expired, while Teddy Bridgewater, taking over for Brees, threw for 177 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Kamara). Seattle went 5 of 14 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 4 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:33, while the Saints kept the ball for 28:27, going 3 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Dallas leads the series 17-12, the Cowboys have out-scored the Saints 604-560 and they won last year’s contest in Arlington by a final of 13-10 (New Orleans’ last win came in 2015 in the Big Easy, as the Saints would need overtime to take a 26-20 win). They met in Arlington in week 13 and each team scored their points unchallenged. Dallas would take a 13-0 lead with them to the break before New Orleans would respond with their 10 points of the game unchallenged (the two clubs played a scoreless fourth quarter). Dallas outrushed the Saints 100-65 (Elliott led all rushers with 76 yards and a passing TD), while Prescott threw for 248 yards (Brees threw for 127 yards with a TD but was sacked twice and picked off once) in the win. Dallas went 7 of 14 on third down tries at AT&T Stadium and kept the ball for 36:53 in the 3-point home win, while the Saints kept the ball for 23:07, while going 3 of 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

In the week 13 contest in the Lone Star State on the Thursday night after Thanksgiving, New Orleans was favored by 7 1/2 and while Dallas did win, they only won by 3 and neither team touched the 52 1/2 over/under, tallying only 23 points. Dallas is favored in the Big Easy by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 47. Dallas would like nothing more than to go 4-0 to start the season, while New Orleans wants to end Dallas’ 3-game win streak. Sorry, Saints fans. Dallas covers the 2 1/2 and wins in the Big Easy.

Cincinnati (0-3) at Pittsburgh (0-3), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Forget the records. These AFC North rivals DON’T like each other. Don’t expect any Facebook friend requests and don’t except them to follow each other on Twitter. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh close out the action in week four as the AFC North rivals meet at Heinz Field. Both lost on the road last week and both are searching for their first win of the 2019 campaign.

A late Cincinnati rally fell short in Orchard Park as the Bengals fell to Buffalo 21-17 at New Era Stadium last Sunday. The Bills led 14-0 at the intermission in upstate New York, then watched the Bengals outscore Buffalo 17-7 in the final 30 minutes of play to make the contest closer than Bills fans would like. Buffalo ran for 175 yards, holding the Bengals to 67 yards (Bills RB Frank Gore led all rushers with 76 yards and a TD), while Josh Allen threw for 243 yards for the Bills with an interception (Andy Dalton threw for 249 yards and two interceptions and a pair of sacks; both Dalton and Allen threw a TD in the contest). The Bengals, who turned the ball over three times in upstate New York, went 3 for 11 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 23:06, while Buffalo ruled the clock and circled their wagons around the ball, keeping it for 36:54 and went 5 of 13 on third down tries.

Pittsburgh let a 6-3 lead at the intermission at San Francisco get away from them as the 49ers with WR Dante Pettis and QB Jimmy Garoppolo connected on a 5-yard TD toss with 75 seconds left in their contest at Levis’ Stadium, coming away 24-20 victors over the Steelers. Chris Boswell put the Steelers on the board with a pair of first quarter field goals before San Francisco’s Robbie Gould narrowed the gap to three in the second. The Steelers would lead 20-17 late in the contest before San Francisco went on a 7-play, 24-yard drive that used 4:14 of clock and ended with Pettis and Garoppolo connecting on the game-winning score.

San Francisco out-rushed Pittsburgh 168-79 and rookie QB Mason Rudolph, taking over for the injured Ben Roethlisberger, threw for 174 yards and a pair of TDs (one to WR JuJu Smith-Schuster) and was sacked twice with an interception, while Garoppolo threw for 277 yards and the game-winning TD, adding a sack and a pair of interceptions to his tally. Pittsburgh turned the ball over twice (they forced five San Francisco turnovers) and went 3 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 23:43, while the 49ers held on to the pig skin for 36:17, going 6 for 11 on third down tries.

The Steelers lead the series 62-35, Pittsburgh has outscored the Bengals 2,144-1,707 and the Steelers have won the last seven contests, including sweeping last year’s series (Cincinnati’s last win over Pittsburgh came in the Steel City in 2015 by a final of 16-10).

Their first meeting? Week six in Cincinnati and the Steelers rallied in the final seconds of their contest along the shores of the Ohio River and came out on top 28-21. Tied 14-14 at the half, the Steelers would take a late lead by 6 with 3:32 left in the game after Chris Boswell kicked his second field goal of the half. Cincinnati would taie the lead back with 78 seconds left when Joe Mixon scored on a 4-yard TD run. Pittsburgh, needing to rally, used a 7-play, 77-yard drive that took 68 seconds of clock and ended when Antonio Brown and Roethlisberger connected on a 31-yard TD toss with 10 seconds left. Pittssburgh then elected to go for two and made that plan a reality when Roethlisberger and WR JuJu Smith-Schuester connected on the two-point try. The Bengals then would get the ball back, getting as close as their own 38 yard, when Dalton’s desperation pass fell short.

Pittsburgh out-rushed the Bengals in the Queen City 112-62 (Steelers RB James Conner led all rushers with 111 yards and a pair of TDs) and Roethlisberger threw for 369 yards, while Dalton threw for 229 yards and a pair of TDs to Tyler Boyd with three sacks (neither threw an interception). Both teams did well on third down conversions in the first meeting; Pittsburgh was 8 of 14, Cincinnati was 6 of 12 and the Steelers ruled the clock and kept the ball for 34:56 to Cincinnati’s 25:04.

The Steelers made it a clean sweep of the series and as was the case in the first meeting, needed to rally from behind, coming away 16-13 winners at Heinz Field. With a potential playoff berth on the line, the Steelers trailed 10-3 at the half (they were scoreless after the first quarter), then took a 13-10 lead with 8:35 left in the contest when a 47-yard field goal by K Matt McCrane gave them the lead. That lead would not last very long as Bengals K Randy Bullock would even things back up with 6:17 left, booting a 32-yard field goal. Pittsburgh then used a 12-play, 58-yard drive that used 4:21 of clock and reclaimed the lead with McCrane kicking his second field goal of the half, this time from 35 yards out.

The Bengals would have one last chance to beat Pittsburgh and damage their playoff hopes as Jeff Driskell, who took over for Dalton, got his team as close as their 40-yard line, when his pass on fourth down fell incomplete, giving the Steelers the win. The win was too little too late for the Steelers, as the Ravens had beaten Cleveland in Baltimore as Steeler players and watched the game on the Heinz Field video screen. Mixon rushed for 105 yards as Cincinnati out-rushed Pittsburgh 125-65 and Roethlisberger threw for 287 yards with the TD, a sack and an interception, while Driskell threw for 95 yards with four sacks. Pittsburgh went 5 of 15 on third down (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:22, while the Bengals, who kept the ball for 25:38, went 3 of 12 on third down and 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week six contest, Cincinnati was favored by 2 1/2 and the Steelers covered, winning by 7. The two clubs tallied 49 points, missing the over/under by 4. In the season finale, the Steelers were favored by 14 1/2 but won by only 3 points and the 45 1/2 over/under was untouched, as both clubs combined for only 29 points.

Cincinnati on Monday night? 11-24 and the Bengals have lost their last four meetings in prime time (their last appearance was in 2017, their last win came in 2014). The Steelers have done a lot better, going 46-24 under the lights, winning their last six MNF contests (their last loss came in 2013). Pittsburgh’s favored by 4 and the over/under’s 44. You’re better off watching “Bob Hearts Abishola” this week. One losing streak will end, the other will continue. Steelers celebrate at Heinz and takes the win, covering the 4.