Archives for category: Mexico City

We’re into week 12. While six teams (Minnesota, Detroit, Dallas, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Giants and Washington) have gotten a head start on things Thanksgiving Day, there’s still football to be played.

While no playoff spots have been decided, one team has all but been eliminated from playoff contention as Cleveland lost their 10th game of the 2017 campaign. There are still teams in the hunt, so anything’s possible between now and the end of the regular season.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: New Orleans defeated Washington 34-31 in overtime to improve to 8-2. The Saints, who have won eight consecutive games after starting 0-2, are the first team in the Super Bowl era to win its next eight games immediately following an 0-2 start.

The Saints scored 15 points in the final 2:53 of the fourth quarter to force overtime and won the game on WIL LUTZ’s 28-yard field goal in overtime. New Orleans is the first team to win a game after trailing by at least 15 points in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter since 2011 (Denver vs. Miami, October 23, 2011).

•New England defeated Oakland 33-8 at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. With the victory, the Patriots improved to 8-2 and clinched a .500 or better record for the 17th consecutive season, tying the 1957-73 Cleveland Browns for the second-longest streak in NFL history (1965-85 Dallas Cowboys, 21 consecutive seasons).

New England quarterback Tom Brady completed 30 of 37 passes (81.1 percent) for 339 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 131.9 passer rating. Brady has 82 career games with at least 300 passing yards and is the only player in NFL history to record a 300-yard passing game in three different countries (United States, United Kingdom and Mexico). Brady is also the first player to have a game with at least three passing touchdowns in three different countries.

•Baltimore defeated Green Bay 23-0 at Lambeau Field and registered the team’s third shutout this season. The Ravens are the fifth team – and first since 2003 (New England) – in the past 30 years to record at least three shutouts in a single season. Three of the previous four teams to accomplish the feat during that span won the Super Bowl in that season – 1991 Washington, 2000 Baltimore and 2003 New England.

•The Los Angeles Chargers had five interceptions – all in the first half – in the team’s 54-24 win over Buffalo. The Chargers are the only team in at least the past 20 years to record five interceptions in the first half of a game.

In Sunday’s contest at StubHub Center, Casey Hayward had two interceptions, Korey Toomer had a 59-yard interception-return touchdown and Tre Boston and Trevor Williams each added an interception.

•Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had nine catches for 91 yards and a touchdown in the Cardinals’ loss at Houston. Fitzgerald has 15,157 career receiving yards and passed TONY GONZALEZ (15,127) for the fifth-most receiving yards in NFL history.

Fitzgerald, who has played his entire career with Arizona and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (19,247 with San Francisco) are the only players in NFL history to reach 15,000 career receiving yards with a single team.

•Minnesota wide receiver Adam Thielen had six catches for 123 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings’ 24-7 win over the Los Angeles Rams. Thielen, who has 62 catches for 916 yards this season, joins Randy Moss (2003) as the only players in franchise history to have at least 60 catches and 900 receiving yards in the team’s first 10 games of a season.

•Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins completed 22 of 32 passes (68.8 percent) for 322 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 132.6 passer rating in the Redskins’ overtime loss at New Orleans. Cousins has nine career games with at least three touchdown passes and no interceptions and tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen and Joe Theismann for the most such games in franchise history.

THE WEEK THAT WAS WEEK 11: DYNAMIC DUO: New Orleans running back Mark Ingram (155 scrimmage yards, rushing touchdown) and rookie Alvin Kamara (116, receiving touchdown) combined for 271 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns in the Saints’ 34-31 overtime win against Washington in Week 11.

Ingram, who has 1,019 scrimmage yards and eight touchdowns this season, and Kamara, who has 906 scrimmage yards and seven touchdowns, are the only running back duo in the Super Bowl era to each have at least 900 scrimmage yards and seven touchdowns through their team’s first 10 games of a season.

BIG GAME BROWN: Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown had 10 catches for 144 yards and three touchdowns in the Steelers’ 40-17 win against Tennessee last week.

Brown, who leads the league with 70 receptions and 1,026 receiving yards, has four games this season with at least 10 catches and 100 receiving yards, tying Andre Johnson (four, 2008) and Julio Jones (four, 2015) for the most such games in their team’s first 10 games of a season.

The players with the most games with at least 10 catches and 100 receiving yards through their team’s first 10 games of a season:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON; GAMES WITH 10+ CATCHES & 100+ YARDS IN TEAM’S 1ST 10 GAMES)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2017; 4)
Julio Jones, Atlanta (2015; 4)
Andre Johnson, Houston (2008; 4)

Brown has 702 receptions in 111 career games and reached 700 career receptions in the fewest games in NFL history.

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

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (FEWEST GAMES TO 700 CAREER RECEPTIONS)
Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh (111)
Marvin Harrison – Indianapolis (114)
Andre Johnson – Houston (120)
Brandon Marshall – Denver, Miami and Chicago (121)
Anquan Boldin – Arizona and Baltimore (123)

FIFTH-GERALD: Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had nine catches for 91 yards and a touchdown in the Cardinals’ loss to Houston in Week 11.

Fitzgerald has 15,157 career receiving yards and surpassed Tony Gonzalez (15,127) for the fifth-most receiving yards in NFL history.

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

PLAYER – TEAM(S)(CAREER RECEIVING YARDS)
Jerry Rice – San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle (22,895)^
Terrell Owens – San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Buffalo and Cincinnati (15,934)
Randy Moss – Minnesota, Oakland, New England, Tennessee and San Francisco (15,292)
Isaac Bruce – Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams and San Francisco (15,208)
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (15,157)*
Tony Gonzalez – Kansas City and Atlanta (15,127)
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

SUPER SAINT: New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas had six catches for 91 yards in the Saints’ 34-31 overtime victory over Washington last week.

Thomas has 157 receptions in 25 career games and passed Anquan Boldin (154) for the second-most catches by a player in his first 25 games in NFL history. Only Odell Beckham, Jr. (176) had more.

The players with the most receptions in their first 25 games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RECEPTIONS IN 1ST 25 CAREER GAMES)
Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants (176)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (157)
Anquan Boldin, Arizona (154)
Reggie Bush, New Orleans (143)
Jarvis Landry, Miami (143)

SOARING EAGLE: Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz threw two touchdown passes in the Eagles’ 37-9 win at Dallas last week.

Wentz, who leads the NFL with 25 touchdown passes, has the third-most touchdown passes by a first or second-year quarterback through their team’s first 10 games of a season.

The first or second-year quarterbacks with the most touchdown passes through their team’s first 10 games of a season:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – PASSING TDS IN TEAM’S 1ST 10 GAMES)
Dan Marino, Miami (1984 – 29)^
Kurt Warner, St. Louis (1999 – 27)^
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia (2017 – 25)
Jeff Garcia, San Francisco (2000 – 24)
Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts (1957 – 22)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

SPLITTING THE UPRIGHTS: Five players converted field goals of at least 50 yards in Week 11, including New England’s STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI, who made a franchise-record 62-yarder in the Patriots’ 33-8 win over Oakland in Mexico City.

There have been 73 made field goals of at least 50 yards this season, the most through the first 11 weeks of a season in NFL history.

The seasons with the most 50+ yard field goals made through the first 11 weeks:

SEASON – 50+ YARD FGS MADE THROUGH 1ST 11 WEEKS
2017 – 73
2015 – 70
2013 – 62
2014 – 61
2011 – 60

Buffalo kicker Stephen Hauschka made his only field-goal attempt, a 50-yarder, in the Bills’ Week 11 loss at the Los Angeles Chargers.

Hauschka, who has converted all six of his 50+ yard field-goal attempts this season, has made an NFL record 13 consecutive 50+ yard field-goal attempts.

The players with the most consecutive made field goals of at least 50 yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (SEASONS; MOST CONSECUTIVE FGS MADE OF 50+ YARDS)
Stephen Hauschka – Seattle and Buffalo (2015-17; 13)*
Matt Prater – Detroit (2015-17; 12)
Justin Tucker – Baltimore (2015-16; 12)
Blair Walsh – Minnesota (2012-13; 12)
Robbie Gould – Chicago (2010-13; 12)
*Active streak

Detroit kicker Matt Prater made two field goals, including the game-winning 52-yarder with 1:35 remaining in the Lions’ 27-24 victory over the Bears.

Prater has converted three career game-winning field goals of at least 50 yards with under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter or overtime, tied with five others for the most such field goals in NFL history.

Prater has made 42 career field goals of at least 50 yards, tied with John Kasay (42) for the third-most in NFL history. Only Sebastian Janikowski (55) and Jason Hanson (52) have more such field goals.

The players with the most career field goals of at least 50 yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (SEASONS; 50+ YARD FIELD GOALS MADE)
Sebastian Janikowski – Oakland (2000-present; 55)*
Jason Hanson – Detroit (1992-2012; 52)
Matt Prater – Denver and Detroit (2007-present; 42)*
John Kasay – Seattle, Carolina and New Orleans (1991-2011; 42)
*Active

WHAT TO WATCH FOR IN WEEK 12: THE CLIMB CONTINUES: Arizona wide receiver LARRY FITZGERALD has 1,194 receptions for 15,157 receiving yards and 108 touchdowns in his 14-year career.

With 52 receiving yards on Sunday against Jacksonville, Fitzgerald will surpass Isaac Bruce (15,208) for the fourth-most receiving yards in NFL history.

The players with the most receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S)(CAREER RECEIVING YARDS)
Jerry Rice – San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle (22,895)^
Terrell Owens – San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Buffalo and Cincinnati (15,934)
Randy Moss – Minnesota, Oakland, New England, Tennessee and San Francisco (15,292)
Isaac Bruce – Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams and San Francisco (15,208)
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (15,157)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

With six receptions this week, Fitzgerald will join Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE (1,549) and TONY GONZALEZ (1,325) as the only players in NFL history with at least 1,200 career receptions.

The players with the most receptions in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S)(CAREER RECEPTIONS)
Jerry Rice – San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle (1,549)^
Tony Gonzalez – Kansas City and Atlanta (1,325)
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (1,194)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Playing in his 213th career game, Fitzgerald would reach 1,200 career receptions in the fewest games in NFL history, surpassing Rice (221 games) and Gonzalez (247).

TOM TERRIFIC: New England quarterback Tom Brady leads the NFL with 3,146 passing yards and a 110.9 passer rating this season.

Brady has 64,728 career passing yards and needs 272 passing yards against Miami on Sunday to become the fourth player in NFL history with at least 65,000 passing yards.

The players with the most passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S)(CAREER PASSING YARDS)
Peyton Manning –  Indianapolis and Denver (71,940)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (71,838)^
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (68,894)*
Tom Brady – New England (64,728)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

MOVING UP THE RANKS: Indianapolis running back Frank Gore has 13,574 career rushing yards in his 13-year NFL career.

With 89 rushing yards on Sunday against Tennessee, Gore will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer JEROME BETTIS (13,662) for the sixth-most rushing yards in NFL history. All six players currently in front of Gore are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The players with the most rushing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S)(RUSHING YARDS)
Emmitt Smith – Dallas and Arizona (18,355)^
Walter Payton – Chicago (16,726)^
Barry Sanders – Detroit (15, 269)^
Curtis Martin – New England and New York Jets (14,101)^
LaDainian Tomlinson – San Diego and New York Jets (13,684)^
Jerome Bettis – Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams and Pittsburgh (13,662)^
Frank Gore – San Francisco and Indianapolis (13,574)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

FLYING FALCON: Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones has 551 receptions in 89 career games and needs eight catches on Sunday against Tampa Bay to surpass Anquan Boldin (558) for the most catches by a player in his first 90 games in NFL history.

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

PLAYER – TEAM (RECEPTIONS IN 1ST 90 CAREER GAMES)
Anquan Boldin – Arizona (558)
Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh (554)
Julio Jones – Atlanta (551)*
*Through 89 games

Jones has 8,396 receiving yards in 89 career games and needs 107 yards on Sunday to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth (8,502) for the most receiving yards by a player in his first 90 games in NFL history.

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

PLAYER – TEAM (RECEIVING YARDS IN 1ST 90 CAREER GAMES)
Lance Alworth – San Diego (8,502)^
Julio Jones – Atlanta (8,396)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Through 89 games

DYNAMIC DUO: New Orleans running backsMark Ingram (1,019 scrimmage yards and eight touchdowns) and rookie Alvin Kamara (906 scrimmage yards and seven touchdowns) have each gained at least 900 scrimmage yards and scored seven touchdowns through the team’s first 10 games this season.

Ingram and Kamara can become the seventh pair of teammates – and the only running back duo – in the Super Bowl era to each have at least 1,000 scrimmage yards and eight touchdowns through their team’s first 11 games of a season.

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

TEAM – SEASON (PLAYER – SCRIMMAGE YDS; TDS / PLAYER – SCRIMMAGE YDS; TDS)
Green Bay – 2014 (Jordy Nelson – 1,066; 9/ Eddie Lacy – 1,007; 9)
Indianapolis – 2000 (Edgerrin James – 1,586; 14 / Marvin Harrison – 1,066; 8)^
St. Louis – 2000 (Marshall Faulk – 1,447; 15 / Issac Bruce – 1,185; 9)^
Indianapolis – 1999 (Edgerrin James – 1,547; 9 / Marvin Harrison – 1,118; 12)^
Dallas – 1995 (Emmitt Smith – 1,643; 20 / Michael Irvin – 1,169; 8)^
Dallas – 1966 (Dan Reeves – 1,088; 14 / Bob Hayes – 1,002; 10)^
New Orleans – 2017 (Mark Ingram – 1,019; 8 / Alvin Kamara – 906; 7)*
*Through 10 games
^Bruce, Harrison, Irvin and Hayes are Pro Football Hall of Famers

DOMINANT DEFENSE: The Jacksonville Jaguars have allowed a league-low 14.1 points per game this season and have held opponents to fewer than 10 points in six of their first 10 games.

On Sunday at Arizona, the Jaguars can become the fifth team since 1940 to allow fewer than 10 points in seven of its first 11 games to start a season. The four previous teams to accomplish the feat all advanced to the NFL Championship/Super Bowl that season.

The teams with the most games allowing fewer than 10 points in their first 11 games to start a season since 1940:

TEAM – SEASON (GAMES ALLOWING FEWER THAN 10 POINTS, SEASON RESULT)
Chicago – 1942 (8, Advanced to NFL Championship)
Pittsburgh – 1975 (7, Won Super Bowl)
Chicago – 1963 (7, Won NFL Championship)
Green Bay – 1962 (7, Won NFL Championship)
Jacksonville – 2017 (6)*
*Through 10 games

SHINING STEELERS: Entering Week 12, Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell leads the NFL with 886 rushing yards and Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown leads the league with 1,026 receiving yards.

The Steelers are looking to join the 1999 Indianapolis Colts and the 1991 Dallas Cowboys as the only teams in the Super Bowl era to finish the year with the league’s leading rusher and receiver.

The teams to finish a season with the league’s leading rusher and receiver in the Super Bowl era:

TEAM – SEASO6N (LEADING RUSHER – RUSH YARDS / LEADING RECEIVER – RECEIVING YARDS)
Indianapolis – 1999 (Edgerrin James – 1,553 / Marvin Harrison – 1,663)^
Dallas – 1991 (Emmitt Smith – 1,563 / Michael Irvin – 1,523)
Pittsburgh – 2017 (Le’Veon Bell – 886 / Antonio Brown – 1,026)*
*Through Week 11
^Harrison, Smith and Irvin are Pro Football Hall of Famers

WONDERFUL WILSON: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson ranks second in the NFL with 2,801 passing yards this season.

With 199 passing yards on Sunday, Wilson will become the fourth quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 3,000 yards in each of his first six seasons.

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

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

As the NFL enters Week 12, there are five teams with at least eight wins, led by the 9-1 Philadelphia Eagles – Philadelphia (9-1), Minnesota (8-2), New England (8-2), New Orleans (8-2) and Pittsburgh (8-2).

The Eagles are the 51st team in the Super Bowl era to start a season 9-1. Prior to this season, all 50 of the previous 50 teams to start a season 9-1 made the playoffs, 23 advanced to the Super Bowl (46 percent) and 11 won the Super Bowl (22 percent).

There were 102 teams to start 8-2 in the Super Bowl era entering this season and 96 made the playoffs (94.1 percent), 30 advanced to the Super Bowl (29.4 percent) and 16 won the Super Bowl (15.7 percent).

Philadelphia and New Orleans currently have the longest active winning streaks in the NFL having each won eight consecutive games. Minnesota and New England each have active six-game winning streaks while Pittsburgh enters Week 12 having won its past five games.

As for last week, we didn’t do too bad, going 8-6 for week 11 and 95-66 for the year. There are no more byes on the docket for 2017, All the byes for the 2017 season have been used and Carolina, Indianapolis, New York Jets and San Francisco return from their week-long vacations. Week 12 began on Thursday with a Thanksgiving tripleheader for the 12th consecutive year. Traditional competitors Detroit and Dallas hosted games during the day (Detroit hosted and lost a 30-23 heartbreaker to Minnesota, Dallas hosted and fell 28-6 to the Los Angeles Chargers and Washington broke a 3-3 halftime tie against the New york Giants to take a 20-10 win over their NFC East rivals Thursday night). After Thanksgiving, the week continues with a full slate of games on Sunday and concludes with a pair of primetime contests. On Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. on NBC, the Green Bay Packers will visit the Pittsburgh Steelers and the week 12 curtain closes in Houston as the Texans host the Baltimore Ravens at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.

As an added treat, so you can use those Thanksgiving leftovers, we’re going to make every game “DRILL WORTHY.” (think of it as an early Christmas present) (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 57 last June and dates a 42-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”

Here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 12.

Tampa Bay (4-6) at ATLANTA (6-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. Separated by a 450-mile, 7 1/2-hour drive along I-75. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers make their way to the Big Peach for an NFC South contest against the defending NFC champions.

Tampa Bay comes into the contest after their 30-20 win at Miami in a contest that was slated to be the season opener for both teams but Hurricane Irma intervened and forced the game to be moved to last week. Tampa Bay led the Dolphins 20-7 at the intermission, then held off a late Miami second half rally as the Dolphins outscored Tampa Bay 13-10 in the second half. Miami did outrush their Sunshine State counterparts 83-53 and Miami’s Matt Moore outpaced Tampa Bay’s Ryan Fitzpatrick (subbing for Jameis Winston – shoulder) 282 to 275 (Fitzpatrick threw a pair of TDs in the 10-point win at Hard Rock Stadium). Tampa Bay was 3 of 13 on third down conversions and held the ball for 31:49, while the Dolphns held the pigskin for 28:11, going 6 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The defending NFC South and NFC champs led from start to finish in their meeting with Seattle in an NFC Divisonal rematch last Monday night and the Falcons surived in the land of Grunge, taking a 34-31 prime time win at Century Link Field. Atlanta led 24-17 and stopped a Seattle fake field goal late in the first half when Seahawks TE Justin Wilson was tackled by DT Grady Jarrett with second seconds left before the intermission. Atlanta would lead 34-31 late in the contest and breathed a huge sigh of relief when Blair Walsh’s 52-yard field goal try that would have sent the contest into overtime fell short of the goal posts with 2 seconds left. Seattle outrushed the Falcons 136-89 and Matt Ryan threw for 195 yards and a pair of TDs to WR Mohamed Sanu and TE Levine Toilolo, while Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, who scored on a two-point conversion that pulled his team to within three with three minutes left in regulation, threw for 258 yards and a pair of TDs to TE Jimmy Graham and WR Doug Baldwin. Atlanta was 9 of 14 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 30:21, while Seattle was 5 of 12 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and held the ball for 29:39.

Tampa Bay holds a slim 24-23 lead in the series and the Buccaneers have outscored Atlanta 1,011-969. They split the 2016 meetings, each winning in the other team’s facility.

They met in week one in the final season of the Georgia Dome and Tampa Bay led 17-13 at the half, then held off a late Atlanta rally to take a 31-24 win in the Big Peach. winston threw for 281 yards and four TD passes in the season opener for both teams, while Ryan threw for 334 yards and a pair of TDs of his own. Tampa Bay outrushed Atlanta 90-52 in the road win, going 3 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 27:37. Atlanta ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 32:23, going 3 of 13 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

That was round one.

Round two? The Sunshine State in week nine on a Thursday night and the Falcons would get revenge on Tampa Bay, taking a 43-28 win at Raymond James Stadium. Atlanta led 20-14 at the intermission, then floored the gas in the second half, outscoring Tampa Bay 23-14 in the final 30 minuts of play. Atlanta outrushed Tampa Bay 136-73 and Ryan threw for 344 yards and four TDs, while Winston threw for 261 yards and three TDs. Atlanta, in forcing a pair of Tampa Bay turnovers, went 6 of 10 on third down conversions and ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 33:28, while the Bucs were 26:32 in time of possession, going 8 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

In the season opener in the Big Peach, the Falcons were 3 point favorites and the Bucs covered, winning by 7 and both clubs covered the 47 1/2 over/under, tallying 55 points. In the week nine contest, Atlanta covered the 3-point spread, winning by 15 and as was the case in the first meeting, both teams took care of the over/under (which was 51 1/2) by scoring 61 points. In the Sunday contest at Mercedez Benz Stadium, the Falcons are favored by 8 1/2 and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Atlanta’s won three of their last four contests and have the upper hand as the sixth seed in the post-season party. Tampa Bay’s trying to knock the defending champ off their perch. Falcons fans feel they’re staying on the perch. Tampa Bay could make this one closer than 8 1/2 but Atlanta prevails at home.

Cleveland (0-10) at Cincinnati (4-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of AFC North rivals meet in southern Ohio as it’s Cleveland’s turn to make the 3 1/2-hour, 249-mile trip down I-71 to face off against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Cleveland lost its 10th straight contest of the 2017 campaign, losing 19-7 to Jacksonville at First Energy Stadium. Although the Browns trailed 10-7 at the break, after a scoreless third quarter, the Jaguars would score their final 9 points of the contest unchallenged. The Browns were outrushed 139-50, with rookie RB Leonard Fournette doing most of the work, tallying 111 yards of his own and Jaguars QB Blake Bortles threw for 154 yards and a TD for the winners. Browns QB DeShone Kizer did not have the day he hoped for, throwing for 179 yards while being sacked five times and picked off twice. The Browns on third down conversions went 3 of 13 (they were 0 of 1 on fourth) and kept the ball for 23:05, while the Jaguars were 6 of 20 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 36:55.

The Bengals held off a late Denver rally in the Mile High City and came away 20-17 winners over the Broncos last Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Cincinnati led 13-7 and had their largest lead of the contest at 10 points with 8:56 left in regulation when Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green connected on an 18-yard TD toss. Denver would make it a 7-point contest with 5:05 left to play when Brock Osweiler and WR Demaryius Thomas connected on a 17-yard TD pass. Denver would have one last rally late in the contest but turned the ball over on downs, allowing the Bengals to run out the clock. Denver did outrush Cincy 112-49, while Osweiler threw for 254 yards and the lone TD pass (he was sacked three times with an intercepion) and Dalton threw for 154 yards and three TDs. Denver went 12 of 21 on third down conversions (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and the Broncos ruled time and kept the ball for 35:11, while Cincinnati went 24:49 in time of possession, going 7 of 15 on third down conversions.

It’s a week four Buckeye State rematch, this time along the shores of the Ohio River and the Bengals came away 31-7 winners in Cleveland. After a scoreless first quarter at First Energy Stadium, the Bengals led 21-0 at the half and took a 30-0 lead at the end of three quarters of football before Cleveland’s Darius Johnson would end Cincinnati’s bid for a shutout, scoring from a yard out with 1:54 left in the contest. The Bengals outrushed Cleveland 86-45 and Dalton threw for 286 yards and four TDs, connecting with TE Tyler Kroft on two of those tosses. The Bengals in the somewhat lopsided win went 6 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 35:02, while the Browns held the ball for 24:58, going 5 of 16, 1 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

In the week four contest along the shores of Lake Erie, the Bengals were favored and easily covered the 3-point spread, winning by 24. The two clubs barely missed the 40 over/under, tallying 38 points. This time, the oddsmakers like the Bengals again, this time as 8 1/2 point favorites at home with a 38 over/under. Cincinnati’s making a playoff push. The Browns? They want their season to be over. Bengals put Cleveland one step closer out of their misery and win at home and could cover the 8 1/2.

Tennessee (6-3) at Indianapolis (3-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 706. It’s an AFC South rematch as the Colts host Tennessee at Lucas Oil Stadium in the Hoosier State.

The Titans were taken to the woodshed by Pittsburgh, as the Steelers were 40-17 winners last Thursday night at Heinz Field. Tennessee trailed 16-7 at the intermission and pulled to within 6 after three quarters of play before the Steelers scored 17 fourth quarter points unchallenged. Pittsburgh outrushed Tennessee 65-52 and Mariota struggled in the contest, throwing four interceptions and being sacked five times, while throwing for 306 yards. For Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisbeger threw for 299 yards and four TDs in the contest in Western Pennsylvania, connecting with WR Antoino Brown on threw of them. Tennessee was 5 of 13 on third down tries (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:20, while the Steelers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:40, while going 4 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The Colts return to action after their week 11 bye. Before that bye, they let a 10-3 lead against Pittsburgh get away from them as they lost to the Steelers 20-17 in the final seconds of the contest. Indy would lead 17-9 after three quarters of play before Pittsburgh roared back to tie the contest with 11:52 left in the contest when Steelers WR Vince McDonald and QB Ben Roethlisberger connected on a 7-yard TD strike and tied things up when Roethlisberger and WR Martavis Bryant found success on the two-point try. The contest would stay tied until the 3:28 mark, when the Colts punted the ball to Pittsburgh. The Steelers would then use a 10-play, 70 yards that used all of the 3:10 left on the clock when Chris Boswell connected on a 33-yard field goal as the clock struck :00. LeVeon Bell led all rushers, running for 80 of his team’s 88 yards, while the Colts tallied 71. Roethlisberger threw for 236 yards and a pair of TDs, including one to rookie WR Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster, while Jacoby Brissett threw for 222 yards and a pair of TDs, while being sacked three times and picked off once. Pittsburgh went 5 of 13 on third down tries at Lucas Oil and kept the ball for 29:58 (including the final drive of the game), while the Colts were 6 of 15, keeping the ball for 30:02.

They met in Nashville in week six and the Titans took at 36-22 Monday night win in the Music City. Tennessee erased a 13-9 deficit at Nissan Stadium in the first meeting, outscoring the Colts 27-9, capping the scoring in the contest when RB Derrick Henry scored from 72 yards out with 47 seconds left in the game. Henry ran for 131 yards as the Titans outrushed the Cotls 168-85 and Mariota threw for 306 yards and a TD, while Brissett threw for 212.  Tennessee on third down went 6 of 13 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:53, while the Colts were 2 of 9 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 24:07.

In the week six prime time contest, Tennessee covered the 8-point spread, winning by 14 and both teams covered the 48 over/under, tallying 58 points. Tennessee’s favored again in the rematch, coming in as 3 1/2 point favorites with a 44 over/under. The Colts at times are better than their record but they’ve also stumbled at times. The Titans are trying to take the AFC South lead back from Jacksonville. Titans complete the sweep of the series and cover the 3 1/2.

Buffalo (5-5) at Kansas City (6-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of old-school AFC foes meet in the Show-Me State as Kansas City, sitting atop the AFC East, takes on the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead.

Buffalo dropped a 54-24 decision over the Los Angeles Chargers last Sunday on the West Coast. win over Buffalo last week. Buffalo trailed the Bolts 37-7 at the break at Stub Hub Center and could never get on track at Stub Hub Center, even though the Bills outrushed Los Angeles 173-146 (Buffalo’s LeSean McCoy led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD) in a rout that saw the Bills turn the ball over six time (five Nate Peterman interceptions) and Chargers QB Philip Rivers throwing for 251 yards and a pair of TDs. The Chargers on third down were 7 of 14 and held on to the ball for 36:05, while the Bills were 6 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 23:55.

The Chiefs took the New York Giants to overtime in the Meadowlands last Sunday, only to fall to the Giants 12-9 at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford. Kansas City trailed 6-3 at the half, as Giants WR Orleans Darkwa scoring the game’s only TD in the first quarter. Kansas City’s Hal Butker would eventually send the contest into overtime before Aldrick would send the Giants to their second win of the season, booting a 29-yard field with 1:59 left in overtime. Kansas City outrushed the Giants 134-112, with Eli Manning throwing for 205 yards, while the Chiefs’ Alex Smtih threw for 230 yards. The Chiefs on third down went 3 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:16, while the Giants kept the ball for 30:50, going 3 of 13, 2 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

Including games that were played when the Chiefs were known as the Dallas Texans and contests played at War Memorial Stadium and Swope Field, Buffalo leads the series 23-20-1 and they have outscored the Chiefs 954-892. However… the Chiefs have come away winners in their last three contests, including a 30-22 victory at Arrowhead in 2015 (Buffalo’s last win over the Chiefs came in 2012 in upstate New York by a final of 35-17. The Chiefs are favored by 9 1/2 and the over/under’s 45. Both clubs are trying to get their ducks back in a row. Buffalo’s lost two games in a row in really bad fashion. Make it three. The Bills will keep it close but the Chiefs are up to date in Kansas City and takes the win at home.

Miami (4-6) at New England (8-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of AFC East rivals with seven Super Bowl between them meet in Foxboro as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots welcome the Miami Dolphins to Gillette Stadium.

Miami and Tampa Bay were supposed to meet in week one at Hard Rock Stadium. There was one problem. Irma. She got in the way of their plans and the two teams rescheduled for last week. It was the visiing Buccaneers from Tampa that came away with the 30-20 win at Miami. Miami trailed 20-7 at the intermission, then rallied in the second half and outscored Tampa Bay 13-10 in the second half. Miami did outrush their Sunshine State counterparts 83-53 and Miami’s Matt Moore outpaced Tampa Bay’s Ryan Fitzpatrick (subbing for Jameis Winston – shoulder) 282 to 275 (Fitzpatrick threw a pair of TDs in the 10-point win at Hard Rock Stadium). Tampa Bay was 3 of 13 on third down conversions and held the ball for 31:49, while the Dolphns held the pigskin for 28:11, going 6 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

New England all but manhandled Oakland in Mexico City, taking a 33-8 over the Raiders last Sunday at Estadio Azteca. Leading 17-0 at the half and 30-0 at the end of three quarters, the defending Super Bowl champs held Oakland to a fourth quarter TD when WR Amari Cooper and QB Derek Carr (237 yards) connected on a 9-yard TD toss with 11:43 left in the contest. Brady burned the Raiders for 339 yards and three TDs, while the Raiders managed to outrush New England 109-89. The Pats held the ball for 27:37, going 5 of 10 on third down tries South of the Border, while the Raiders went 7 of 15 on third down and ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 32:23.

The Dolphins hold a 52-48 lead in the series and have outscored the Pats 2,154-2,142, which includes contests that took place at Fenway Park, Schafer Stadium and the Orange Bowl. They met last year and New England took wins in the Sunshine State and in Foxboro (Miami’s last win in the series came in 2015 by a final of 20-10 in the Sunshine State).

Round 1… Foxboro, week two. New England led 24-3 at the break, then held Miami off to take a 31-24 win at Gillette Stadium. Jimmy Garoppolo, who took over for Brady (suspension), threw for 234 yards and three TDs, connecting with WR Danny Amendola on two of the tosses, while Ryan Tannehill threw for 389 yards and two TDs. New England’s LeGarrett Blount ran for 123 yards and a TD and New England outrushed Miami 161-70 in the first meeting. Both teams were 50 percent on third down tries (Miami was 5 of 10, New England 7 of 14) and the Dolphins, who went 0 of 1 on fourth down, kept the ball for 23:14, while the Pats held the pigskin for 36:46.

There was a rematch in this series (did you think there wouldn’t?).

Round 2… Miami Gardens in week 17. Both teams were in the post-season party and the Pats had already clinched the AFC East title, so there was really nothing to play for, aside from preparing for the playoffs. Brady was back under center and made the Dolphins pay, throwing for 276 yards and four TDs to take the 35-14 win in the Sunshine State. New England outrushed the Dolphins 120-75 and forced a pair of Miami turnovers in the win. Both clubs went 7 of 12 on third down tries and the Pats, who led 20-7 at the half, kept the ball for 31:22, while the Dolphins held the pigskin for 28:38.

New England barely covered the 6 1/2 point spread in the week two contest in Foxboro, coming away 7-point winners and the two teams did cover the 41 1/2 over/under with 55 points. In the week 17 matchup, New England coverd the 9 1/2 point spread in the Sunshine State, winning by 21 and the teams covered the 44 1/2 over/under with 49 points. New England’s favored by 16 points with a 47 1/2 over/under. The 47 1/2 makes sense. The 16’s a bit steep. Miami’s been a somewhat decent team but they haven’t been a great team and are trying to pass the Pats as kings of the AFC East mountain. Long live the king. Pats win but expect Miami to put up a fight in Foxboro and could make it closer than 16.

Carolina (7-3) at New York Jets (4-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Cam Newton and the Carolina Panther make their way up the East coast for an early afternoon meeting wit the New York Jets in the Meadowlands. Both clubs come off wins and both teams had byes last week.

Carolina and Newton made quick work of Miami two weeks ago in Charlotte, taking a 45-21 win over the Dolphins at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers led 17-3 at the half and held serve in the second half, outscoring Miami 28-14. Carolina outrushed Miami 294-100 (Carolina’s Jonathan Stewart led all rushers with 110 yards), while Newton threw for 254 yards and four TDs, outpacing Jay Cutler, who threw for 213 yards and a pair of TDs. The Panthers in the Monday night contest in the Tar Heel State went 11 of 14 on third down, keeping the ball for 35:39. Miami was not a slouch on third down either, going 7 of 12 (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and the Dolphins held the ball for 24:21.

The Jets also had a bye but their last game was not as succesfull as Carolina’s, as they fell to Tampa Bay 15-10 in Tampa. Tampa Bay broke a 3-3 tie at the half as the Buccaneers would outscore GangGreen 12-7 in the final 30 minutes of action. Outrushed 90-56, the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! saw Josh McCown sacked six times, throwing for 262 yards, while Ryan Fitzpatrick, who took over for Jameis Winston (shoulder) threw for 187 yards (both threw a TD pass and an interception in the game). The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 3 of 15 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and GangGreen held the ball for 28:06, while the Buccaneers ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:54, going 7 of 16 on third down.

The series is even at 3-3 and the Panthers have outscore GangGreen 125-116. Carolina won the last meeting, coming away 30-20 winners in Charlotte in 2013, while GangGreen’s last win came in the Meadowlands in 2009 by a final of 17-6. Carolina’s favored by 5 and the over/under’s 40. Both teams are coming off a break, both clubs are all but going in different directions. New York makes this one interesting but Carolina prevails in the Tar Heel State, taking the win and covering the 5.

Chicago (3-7) at Philadelphia (9-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Deep dish pizza meets cheesesteak as Philadelphia, atop the NFC East mountain, hosts Da Bears at Lincoln Financial Field.

Chicago dropped a 27-24 decision against Detroit in Chicago last week. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford passed for 299 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, while Lions K Matt Prater converted the game-winning 52-yard field goal with 1:35 remaining in the contest. Detroit trailed 21-17 at the intermission at Soldier Field before they rallied to take the win on the road in the Windy City. Chicago rushed for 222 yards, outrushing Detroit, who tallied 65 (Chicago’s Jordan Howard led all rushers with 125 yards and a TD) in the NFC North matchup. The Lions were 3 of 10 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 30:36, while Da Bears held on to the pigskin for 29:24, going 3 of 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Philadelphia maintained control of first place in the NFC East, as they rallied from a 9-7 deficit at the intermission in Dallas to take 37-9 win over the Cowboys (without Ezekiel Elliott) at AT&T Stadium last Sunday night. Philadelphia scored 30 second half points unchallenged to erase the deficit and take the lead in the Sunday night prime time affair. The Eagles rushed for 215 yards in the Sunday night affair, while Dallas tallied 112. Dak Prescott threw for 145 yards in the contest but the Eagles made life miserable for him, as he was sacked four times and picked off three times, while Carson Wentz threw for 168 yards and a pair of TDs with no interceptions or sacks. Philadelphia, who played turnover-free football against their NFC East foes, went 5 of 14 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:29, while the Cowboys ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 30:31, going 3 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Da Bears lead the series 28-11-1 (which includes games that were played at Wrigley Field) and Chicago has outscored Philadelphia 870-586. The Eagles were 29-14 winners last year in the Windy City in the last meeting between the clubs (Chicago’s last win over Philadelphia came in 2011 in the City of Brotherly Love by a final of 30-24). They met in week two at Soldier Field and the Eagles led 9-6 at the half before proceeding to outscore Chicago 20-7 in the second half. Philadelphia outrushed Chicago 100-64 and Wentz threw for 190 yards and a TD, outpacing Jay Cutler, who threw for 157 yards with three sack and an interception.

Philadelphia covered the 3-point spread in the week two contest that was played on a Monday night, coming away winners by 15 points. Both teams scored 43 points, barely covering the 42 1/2 over/under. Philly’s favored by 13 1/2 and the over/under’s 44. Granted, Chicago’s bad but not 13 1/2 bad. They’ll keep it close in the City of Brotherly Love but Philly prevails at home.

New Orleans (8-2) at Los Angeles Rams (8-2), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 712. A pair of first place teams meet on the West Coast as the Los Angeles Rams, in first in the NFC West, face off against the New Orleans Saints, in the top spot in the NFC South.

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins passed for 322 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions but it wasn’t enough as Washington fell to New Orleans 34-31 in overtime at the Superdome. The Redskins let a 15-point lead in the contest in the Big Easy get away from them as Drew Brees (385 yards) connected on a pair of TD passes late in the fourth quarter (one to TE Josh Hill, the other to rookie RB Alvin Kamara) to send the game into overtime, where K Will Lutz sent Saints fans home happy campers with the 3-point win. New Orleans outrushed Washington 160-156 and it was a battle of running backs, as Washington’s Samajie Perine (117 yards) and New Orleans’ Mark Ingram (134 yards) each led their teams with 100-yard days (each had a rushing TD in the overtime contest). Both clubs were 4 of 12 on third down tries (on fourth down, the Redskins were 2 of 2, while the Saints were 1 of 1) and the Redskins ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:11 to New Orleans’ 30:24.

The Rams dropped a 24-7 decison to Minnesota at US Bank Stadium last Sunday. The Vikings broke a 7-7 tie at the half as the Vikings scored their final 17 points in the fourth quarter and did it unchallenged. The Rams were outrushed by Minnesota 171-45, while Minnesota’s Case Keenum threw for 280 yards with a TD and no interceptions. For Los Angeles, Jared Goff threw for 225 yards but was sacked twice in the road loss. The Vikings on third down in the Land of 10,000 Lakes went 7 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 37:22, while the Rams were 3 of 11 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 22:38.

Including contests played at old Tulane Stadium and in St. Louis, the Rams lead the series 40-32 and they have outscored the Saints 1,624-1,487. New Orleans won the last meeting between the clubs and that meeting took place last year in the Big Easy, as the home team took a 49-21 win (the Rams’ last win over the Saints came when they were in St. Louis in 2013 by a 27-16 final).

New Orleans led 28-21 in the Big Easy in the Week 12 contest at the half before they would pull away and score their final 21 points of the game in the second half unchallenged. Brees threw for 310 yards and four TDs, while Goff threw for 214 yards and three TDs but was sacked three times. Ingram rushed for 146 yards and a TD, as the Saints outrushed Los Angeles 209-69 and the Saints went 6 of 13 on third down tries (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:56, while the Rams, who held the ball for 24:04, went 2 of 10 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

New Orleans’ 28-point win allowed them to cover the 7-point spread with ease and both teams covered the 45 1/2 over/under with 70 points. The Rams are favored by 2 1/2 in Tinsletown and the over/under’s 53 1/2. The Saints carry a 7-game win streak into the contest, while the Rams are looking to right their ship after their loss in the Twin Cities broke their 4-game win streak. Rams shock the world and cover the 2 1/2 on the West Coast.

Seattle (6-4) at San Francisco (1-9), 4:05 p.m. on FOx and DirecTV 713. An NFC West rematch takes place in wine country as Seattle makes the 839-mile trip down the Pacific Coast down I-5 for a divisional contest with the San Francisco 49ers at Levis’ Stadium.

Seattle took the defending NFC South and NFC champs Atlanta Falcons to the wire and dropped a 34-31 prime time decision at Century Link Field. Seattle trailed 24-17 at half and tried some trickeration before the intermission when Seahawks TE Justin Wilson was tackled by DT Grady Jarrett on a fake field goal with second seconds left before the intermission. Seattle would pull to within three points with three minutes left in regulation before Seahawks fans would have their hearts broken when Blair Walsh’s 52-yard field goal try that would have sent the contest into overtime fell short of the goal posts with 2 seconds left. Seattle outrushed the Falcons 136-89 and Matt Ryan threw for 195 yards and a pair of TDs to WR Mohamed Sanu and TE Levine Toilolo, while Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, who scored on a two-point conversion that pulled his team to within three with three minutes left in regulation, threw for 258 yards and a pair of TDs to TE Jimmy Graham and WR Doug Baldwin. Atlanta was 9 of 14 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 30:21, while Seattle was 5 of 12 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and held the ball for 29:39.

San Francisco comes back to action after their bye and coming away 31-21 winners at home against Eli Manning and the New York Giants to pick up their first win of the season. The 49ers led 17-13 at the intermission two Sundays ago and then proceeded to outscore the Giants in the final 30 minutes of action 14-8 (the two teams played a scoreless thrird quarter). San Franciso outrushed the Giants 186-114 (49ers RB Carlos Hyde led all rushers with 98 yards) and 49ers QB C.J. Beatherd threw for 288 yards and a pair of TDs, while chipping in with a rushing TD of his own, while Manning threw for 273 yards and a pair of TDS. The 49ers were 8 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth and kept the ball for 29 minutes. As for the Giants? They held the pigskin for 31 minutes, going 5 of 14, 3 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

They met in week two in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and the Seahawks came away 12-9 winners at Century Link Field. Tied 6-6 at the intermission and trailing 9-6 in the fourth, Seattle took the lead for keeps when Wilson and WR Paul Richardson connected on a 9-yard TD strike with 7:06 left in regulation, as Seattle used a 10-play, 82-yard drive that consumed 4:30 of clock to take the lead back. Hyde ran for 124 yards in the first meeting, as San Francisco outrushed Seattle 159-131, while Wilson threw for 198 yards and the one TD. Seattle on third down? 8 of 19 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:58, while the 49ers went 2 of 12 on third down, keeping the football for 23:02.

In the week two contest in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle was favored by 13 1/2 but won by only 3 points. As for the 48 1/2 over/under? It was safe and sound, as both San Francisco and Seattle merged for only 21 points. Seattle’s favored again, this time by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 42. Both humbers make sense. Seattle’s in the playoff hunt in the NFC West, while the 49ers would love nothing more than to ruin their plans. History has a way of repeating itself and this time, it favors the Seahawks. Seattle covers the 6 1/2 in wine country and takes the road win.

Jacksonville (7-3) at Arizona (4-6), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. The first-place Jacksonville Jaguars travel to the desert for a late afternoon contest with the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale.

Jacksonville gave Cleveland their 10th loss in a row in the 2017 season, coming away 19-7 winners at First Energy Stadium. Jacksonville led the Browns 10-7 at the break along the shores of Lake Erie and after a scoreless third quarter, the Jaguars would score their final 9 points of the contest unchallenged. The Jaguars, in the top spot in the AFC South, outrushed Cleveland 139-50, with rookie RB Leonard Fournette doing most of the work, tallying 111 yards of his own, while Jaguars QB Blake Bortles threw for 154 yards and a TD for the winners. The Jacksonville defense made life somewhat unbearable for Browns QB DeShone Kizer, who, threw for 179 yards while being sacked five times and picked off twice. The Browns on third down conversions went 3 of 13 (they were 0 of 1 on fourth) and kept the ball for 23:05, while the Jaguars were 6 of 20 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 36:55.

Arizona let a 14-10 lead at Houston get away from them at NRG Stadium as the Texans pulled away with the 30-20 win in the Lone Star State. Rookie RB D’Onta Foreman tallied a pair of fourth quarter TDs to give the Texans the lead for keeps to take the win. Houston outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 134-48 and Tom Savage threw for 230 yards for the Texans, while Blaine Gabbard, who took over for Carson Palmer, threw for 257 yards and three TDs but was picked off twice. Houston on third down tries went 8 of 15 and kept the ball for 33:46, while Arizona kept it for 26:14, going 3 of 10 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth.

The series tied at 2-2 and Jacksonville has outscored Arizona 99-85. Arizona has come away winners in the last two contests, with their last win coming in 2013 in the desert by a final of 27-14, while the Jaguars’ last win also came in the desert, with Jacksonville taking a 24-17 win in 2005. Jacksonville’s favored by 4 1/2 point and the over/under’s 38. Jacksonville’s looking to stay atop the AFC South mountain. Arizona’s trying to catch the Rams. Go with the cats. Jaguars prevail on the road and cvover the 4 1/2.

Denver (3-7) at Oakland (4-6), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. A pair of AFC West rivals, struggling to keep pace with Kansas City, meet in San Francisco bay as the Silver and Black host the Denver Broncos in a week four rematch.

A Denver rally in the Mile High City fell short as they fell to Cincinnati 20-17 last Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Bengals led 13-7 and had their largest lead of the contest at 10 points with 8:56 left in regulation when Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green connected on an 18-yard TD toss. Denver would make it a 7-point contest with 5:05 left to play when Brock Osweiler and WR Demaryius Thomas connected on a 17-yard TD pass. Denver would have one last rally late in the contest but turned the ball over on downs, allowing the Bengals to run out the clock. Denver did outrush Cincy 112-49, while Osweiler threw for 254 yards and the lone TD pass (he was sacked three times with an intercepion) and Dalton threw for 154 yards and three TDs. Denver did quite well on third down, as they went 12 of 21 (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and the Broncos ruled time and kept the ball for 35:11, while Cincinnati went 24:49 in time of possession, going 7 of 15 on third down conversions.

Oakland and New Engalnd met in Mexico City and it was the Raiders dropping a 33-8 decision to New England last Sunday at Estadio Azteca. The Silver and Black trailed 17-0 at the half and 30-0 after three quarters before scoring their only TD in the fourth quarter when wR Amari Cooper and QB Derek Carr (237 yards) connected on a 9-yard TD toss with 11:43 left in the contest. Brady burned the Raiders for 339 yards and three TDs, while the Raiders managed to outrush New England 109-89. The Pats held the ball for 27:37, going 5 of 10 on third down tries South of the Border, while the Raiders went 7 of 15 on third down and ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 32:23.

In the week four meeting at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, the Broncos led 10-7 at the break and then held off a late Oakland rally in the final minutes to take the 16-10 win. Denver outrushed Oakland 143-24 and Trevor Seimian threw for 179 yards and a TD, despite getting sacked four times, while Carr threw for 143 yards in the 6-point loss. Denver was 5 of 16 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 32:57, while the Raiders were 2 of 12 on third down (0 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the pigskin for 27:03.

In the week four contest, the Broncos covered the 2 1/2 points spread, winning by 6. As for the 46 1/2 over/under? Untouched. Both teams combined for 26 points. This time, the Raiders are favored by 5 and the over/under’s 43 1/2. whoever wins this one is a little closer to Kansas City in the AFC West, while the loser will sit and wonder what if. Take a pass on this one (unless you’re a fan of either team) and watch that “Grumpy Cat Movie” on Lifetime (he’s a cat but he’s funny as hell!). Broncos pull off the sweep and take the win on the road, covering the 5.

Green Bay (5-5) at Pittsburgh (8-2), 8:30 p.m. on NBC. The Sunday action for week 12 draws to a close in the Steel City as Pittsburgh and Ben Roethlisberger hosts Green Bay in prime time at Heinz Field.

Green Bay struggled against Baltimore and were shutout by the Ravens 23-0 at Lambeau Field last Sunday. The Packers trailed 6-0 at the intermission before Baltimore turned on the jets and scored their final 17 points of the game unchallenged. Green Bay did manage to outrush the Ravens 75-58 and Brett Hundley threw for 239 yards but threw three interceptions and was sacked six times, while Joe Flacco threw for 183 yards in the shutout. Green Bay was 4 of 15 on third down (1 of 4 on fourth down) in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst and kept the ball for 29:57, while the Ravens went 3 of 14 on third down but hit pay dirt in their only fourth down try, keeping the ball for 30:03.

Pittsburgh took Tennessee to task last week, as the Steelers were 40-17 winners last Thursday night at Heinz Field. The Steelers trailed 16-7 at the intermission before the Titans pulled to within 6 after three quarters of play. Pittsburgh then regained control of things, as they would score 17 fourth quarter points unchallenged. Pittsburgh outrushed Tennessee 65-52 and Mariota struggled in the contest, throwing four interceptions and being sacked five times, while throwing for 306 yards. For Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisbeger threw for 299 yards and four TDs in the contest in Western Pennsylvania, connecting with WR Antoino Brown on threw of them. Tennessee was 5 of 13 on third down tries (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:20, while the Steelers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:40, while going 4 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down tries.

The Steelers are favored by 14 and the over/under’s 41 1/2. The 41 1/2 we agree with. The 14 sounds a bit on the steep side. Green Bay has been in most of their contests and want to catch Minnesota to take control of the NFC North, while the Steelers look to stay on top of the AFC North mountain. Green Bay will make this closer than 14 but Pittsburgh prevails in the Steel City on Sunday night.

Houston (4-6) at Baltimore (5-5), 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 12 closes in Charm City as beef brisket meets crabcakes as Houston and Baltimore meet at M&T Bank Stadium in prime time. Both teams enter the Monday night contest with wins under their respective belts.

Houston erased a 14-10 deficit against Arizona last Sunday lead at at NRG Stadium as the Texans pulled away with the 30-20 win in the Lone Star State. Texans rookie RB D’Onta Foreman tallied a pair of fourth quarter TDs to give the home team the lead for keeps to take the win. Houston outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 134-48 and Tom Savage threw for 230 yards for the Texans, while Blaine Gabbard, who took over for Carson Palmer, threw for 257 yards and three TDs but was picked off twice. Houston on third down tries went 8 of 15 and kept the ball for 33:46, while Arizona kept it for 26:14, going 3 of 10 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth.

The Ravens defeated the Packers 23-0 at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field last week, registering the team’s third shutout this season. Baltimore is the fifth team – and first since 2003 (New England) – over the past 30 years to record at least three shutouts in a single season. Three of the previous four teams to accomplish the feat during that span won the Super Bowl in that season – 1991 Washington, 2000 Baltimore and 2003 New England. The Ravens led 6-0 at the intermission before they turned on the jets and scored their final 17 points of the game unchallenged. Green Bay did manage to outrush the Ravens 75-58 and Brett Hundley threw for 239 yards but threw three interceptions and was sacked six times, while Joe Flacco threw for 183 yards in the shutout. Green Bay was 4 of 15 on third down (1 of 4 on fourth down) in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst and kept the ball for 29:57, while the Ravens went 3 of 14 on third down but hit pay dirt in their only fourth down try, keeping the ball for 30:03.

Baltimore leads the series 6-2 and the Ravens have outscored the Texans 199-166. Houston came away 25-13 winners in 2014 in the Lone Star State in their last meeting, while Baltimore’s last win in the series came in 2013 in Charm City by a final of 30-9. On Monday night, the Ravens are at the .500 mark at 11-11, while the Texans are 4-7. While this one is not exactly the best Monday night contest of the year, it’s worth the time to watch, even if it’s for one half. Baltimore’s favored by 7 and the over/under’s 38. Baltimore makes this interesting but Houston pulls the upset on the road and could very well cover the 7.

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

Jacksonville at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton; SIRIUS: 119 (Jacksonville), 112 (Cleveland); XM: 380 (Jacksonville), 228 (Cleveland)

Baltimore at Green Bay, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon; NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Tom McCarthy, Ross Tucker; SIRIUS: 134 (Baltimore), 103 (Green Bay); XM: 384 (Baltimore), 226 (Green Bay)

Kansas City at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 146 (Kansas City), 133 (New York Giants); XM: 386 (Kansas City), 229 (New York Giants)

Detroit at Chicago, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 708: Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman, Peter Schrager (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 135 (Detroit), 81 (Chicago); XM: 381 (Detroit), 81 (Chicago)

Tampa Bay at Miami, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712: Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth, Shannon Spake (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 121 (Tampa Bay), 157 (Miami); XM: 387 (Tampa Bay), 225 (Miami)

Arizona at Houston, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709: Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber, Kristina Pink (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 108 (Arizona), 93 (Houston); XM: 382 (Arizona), 227 (Houston)

Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Pam Oliver (Field reporter);
SIRIUS: 136 (Los Angeles Rams), 82 (Minnesota); XM: 383 (Los Angeles Rams), 82 (Minnesota)

Washington at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 113 (Washington), 83 (New Orleans); XM: 385 (Washington), 83 (New Orleans)

Buffalo at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin (Field reporter);
NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: John Sadak, Derek Rackley; SIRIUS: 119 (Buffalo), 83 (Los Angeles Chargers); XM: 380 (Buffalo), 83 (Los Angeles Chargers)

Cincinnati at Denver, 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Jamie Erdahl (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 135 (Cincinnati), 157 (Denver); XM: 381 (Cincinnati), 225 (Denver)

New England at Oakland, 4:25 p.m. in Mexico City on CBS and DirecTV 714: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter)
SIRIUS: 81 (New England), 82 (Oakland); XM: 81 (New England), 82 (Oakland)

Philadelphia at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, Jason Taylor; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Philadelhia), 83 (Dallas); XM: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Philaelphia), 83 (Dallas)

ATLANTA at Seattle, 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN: Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Atlanta), 83 (Seattle); XM: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Atlanta), 83 (Seattle)

Sunday and Monday Officials
Jacksonville at Cleveland, 1 p.m.: Pete Morelli
Baltimore at Green Bay, 1 p.m.: Jeff Triplette
Kansas City at New York Giants, 1 p.m.: Brad Allen
Detroit at Chicago, 1 p.m.: Gene Steratore
Tampa Bay at Miami, 1 p.m.: Tony Corrente
Arizona at Houston, 1 p.m.: Ed Hochuli
Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota, 1 p.m.: Walt Anderson
Washington at New Orleans, 1 p.m.: Walt Coleman
Buffalo at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m.: John Parry
Cincinnati at Denver, 4:25 p.m.: Craig Wrolstad
New England at Oakland, 4:25 p.m. in Mexico City: John Hussey
Philadelphia at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.: Bill Vinovich
ATLANTA at Seattle, 8:30 p.m. Monday: Carl Cheffers

Sunday and Monday Odds (Home teams in CAPS)

Sunday’s Games
Favorite               Spread      Underdog                 O/U
Detroit                –  3        CHICAGO                  41
Kansas City            – 10 1/2    NEW YORK GIANTS          45
MIAMI                  –  1 1/2    Tampa Bay                43 1/2 ^
Baltimore              –  2 1/2    GREEN BAY                38
MINNESOTA              –  2        Los Angeles Rams         46
Arizona                –  1 1/2    HOUSTON                  38 1/2
Jacksonville           –  7 1/2    CLEVELAND                37 1/2
NEW ORLEANS            –  7 1/2    Washington               51
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS   –  3 1/2    Buffalo                  44
DENVER                 –  2 1/2    Cincinnati               38
New England            –  6 1/2    OAKLAND                  54 ~
Philadelphia           –  4        DALLAS                   48 1/2

Monday’s Game
Favorite               Spread      Underdog                 O/U
SEATTLE                –  2 1/2    Atlanta                  45

^ Makeup from Week 1 postponement due to Hurricane Irma
~ Game in Mexico City, Oakland is designated home team

Sunday and Monday Injury Report

Tampa Bay at Miami, 1 p.m.

Tampa Bay
OUT: DE William Gholston (Neck), CB Vernon Hargreaves (Hamstring), QB Jameis Winston (Right Shoulder)

Miami
QUESTIONABLE: RB Senorise Perry (Knee), DE William Hayes (Knee), WR Kenneth Stills (Back), S Michael Thomas (Knee)

Detroit at Chicago, 1 p.m.

Detroit
OUT: DE Ezekiel Ansah (Back), RB Dwayne Washington (Hip)
QUESTIONABLE: S Don Carey (Knee), LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (Ankle)

Chicago
QUESTIONABLE: CB Bryce Callahan (Knee), TE Dion Sims (Illness), LB Danny Trevathan (Calf), T Thomas Compton (Ankle)

Jacksonville at Cleveland, 1 p.m.

Jacksonville
OUT: WR Arrelious Benn (Knee), WR Allen Hurns (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: G Patrick Omameh (Quadricep), T Jermey Parnell (Knee), LB Blair Brown (Hamstring), RB Leonard Fournette (Ankle)

Cleveland
QUESTIONABLE: T Shon Coleman (Concussion), C Joseph Tretter (Shoulder)

Baltimore at Green Bay, 1 p.m.

Baltimore
DOUBTFUL: T Ronnie Stanley (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: CB James Smith (Achilles), TE Nicholas Boyle (Toe), WR Michael Campanaro (Shoulder), S Charles Clark (Thigh), RB Terrance West (Calf), LB Timothy Williams (Thigh)

Green Bay
OUT: T Bryan Bulaga (Knee), S Morgan Burnett (Groin), RB Aaron Jones (Knee), RB Ty Montgomery (Ribs)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Quinton Dial (Chest), LB Ahmad Brooks (Back), CB Kevin King (Shoulder), G Lucas Patrick (Back)

Arizona at Houston, 1 p.m.

Arizona
OUT: DT Corey Peters (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: WR John Brown (Back), C Allan Shipley (Shoulder), QB Drew Stanton (Knee), T John Wetzel (Back)

Houston
OUT: LB Dylan Cole (Hamstring), T Julien Davenport (Shoulder), WR William Fuller (Ribs)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Chris Thompson (Knee), RB Alfred Blue (Hamstring), DE Joel Heath (Knee), C Greg Mancz (Knee)

Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota, 1 p.m.

Los Angeles Rams
OUT: RB Malcolm Brown (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Derek Carrier (Hamstring), CB Troy Hill (Hamstring)

Minnesota
OUT: S Andrew Sendejo (Groin), T Mike Remmers (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Everson Griffen (Foot)

Washington at New Orleans, 1 p.m.

Washington
OUT: C Spencer Long (Knee), WR Terrelle Pryor (Ankle), TE Jordan Reed (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: T Trent Williams (Knee), LB Zach Brown (Achilles), WR Ryan Grant (Concussion), S DeAngelo Hall (Knee), DE Matthew Ioannidis (Hand), DE Anthony Lanier (Knee), G Shawn Lauvao (Stinger), S Montae Nicholson (Shoulder), T Attauyo Nsekhe (Core Muscle), TE Niles Paul (Concussion), WR Brian Quick (Concussion), G Brandon Scherff (Knee)

New Orleans
QUESITONABLE: LB Aaron Klein (Ankle), S Kenny Vaccaro (Groin)

Kansas City at New York Giants, 1 p.m.

Kansas City
OUT: DE Allen Bailey (Knee), LB Donald Ford (Back), LB Tamba Hali (Knee), WR Albert Wilson (Hamstring)

New York Giants
OUT: LB B.J. Goodson (Ankle), G Justin Pugh (Back)
DOUBTFUL: LB Kelvin Sheppard (Groin)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Damon Harrison (Ankle), LB Devon Kennard (Quadricep)

Buffalo at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m.

Buffalo
OUT: T Cordy Glenn (Foot), RB William Tolbert (Hamstring), G John Miller (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Charles Clay (Knee), DE Jerry Hughes (Shin), WR Jordan Matthews (Knee)

Los Angeles Chargers
OUT: T Joseph Barksdale (Foot)
DOUBTFUL: LB James Onwualu (Quadricep), LB Hayes Pullard (Neck)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Christian McCain (Quadricep), QB Philip Rivers (Concussion)

Cincinnati at Denver, 4:25 p.m.

Cincinnati

Cincinnati
OUT: CB Adam Jones (Concussion), DT Patrick Sims (Calf), LB Kevin Minter (Elbow)
QUESTIONABLE: CB William Jackson (Toe), WR Brandon LaFell (Knee)

Denver
OUT: TE Alexander Derby (Shoulder), TE Jeff Heuerman (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Cody Latimer (Knee), T Donald Stephenson (Calf)

New England vs. Oakland in Mexico City, 4:25 p.m.

New England
OUT: C Jams Andrews (Illness), T Marcus Cannon (Ankle), WR Chris Hogan (Shoulder), WR Matt Slater (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Danny Amendola (Knee), TE Martellus Bennett (Shouler), DT Malcom Brown (Ankle), DE Cassius Marsh (Shoulder), CB Nelson Rowe (Groin)

Oakland
DOUBTFUL: CB David Amerson (Foot)
QUESTIONABLE: T Marshall Newhouse (Hip), G Gabriel Jackson (Ankle), LB Cory James (Knee), RB Jamiaze Olawale (Hamstring)

Philadelphia at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

Philadelphia
QUESTIONABLE: WR Alshon Jeffery (Ankle)

Dallas
OUT: K Dan Bailey (Groin), LB Sean Lee (Hamstring)
Jeffrey Heath S Concussion Did Not Participate In Practice Questionable
Tyron Smith T Back Did Not Participate In Practice Questionable
Maliek Collins DT Foot Limited Participation in Practice Questionable
Geoffrey Swaim TE Knee Limited Participation in Practice Questionable

ATLANTA at Seattle, 8:30 p.m. Monday

Atlanta
OUT: RB Devonta Freeman (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: P Matt Bosher (Ankle), LB Duke Riley (Knee)

Seattle
OUT: S Kameron Chancellor (Neck), G Luke Joeckel (Knee), LB Michael Wilhoite (Calf)
QUESTIONABLE: T Duane Brown (Ankle), DT Jarran Reed (Hamstring)

Sunday and Monday Weather
Jacksonville at Cleveland, 1 p.m.: Windy, overcast with a 40 percent chance of showers and 39 degrees
Baltimore at Green Bay, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 29 degrees
Kansas City at New York Giants, 1 p.m.: Windy, mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of rain and 49 degrees
Detroit at Chicago, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 33 degrees
Tampa Bay at Miami, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 81 degrees
Arizona at Houston, 1 p.m.: Game indoors; if roof is open, sunny and 64 degrees
Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota, 1 p.m.: Game indoors
Washington at New Orleans, 1 p.m.: Game indoors
Buffalo at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m.: Sunny and 76 degrees
Cincinnati at Denver, 4:25 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 60 degrees
New England at Oakland, 4:25 p.m. in Mexico City: Partly cloudy and 64 degrees
Philadelphia at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.: Game indoors; if roof is open, clear and 54 degrees
ATLANTA at Seattle, 8:30 p.m. Monday: Overcast with a 70 percent chance of rain and 46 degrees

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

 

Nueva Inglaterra (7-2) vs. Oakland (4-5) en la Ciudad de México, 4:25 p.m. en CBS y DirecTV 714. Es el último juego de la Serie Internacional de la temporada 2017 mientras Oakland hace su segundo viaje al sur de la frontera mientras Derek Carr y Silver and Black viajan a la Ciudad de México para un enfrentamiento de la AFC con Tom Brady y New England Patriots .

Los Patriots lideran la AFC Este y están empatados en el mejor récord de la AFC (7-2) y han ganado cinco juegos consecutivos, incluida la victoria 41-16 de la semana pasada en Denver. New England lideró 27-9 en el descanso y nunca miró hacia atrás en el concurso de la noche del domingo en el Sports Authority Field en Mile High Stadium. Mientras Denver venció a Nueva Inglaterra por 118-99, Brady quemó a los Broncos por 266 yardas y tres touchdowns. Los campeones defensores del Super Bowl fueron 4 de 11 en tercera oportunidad (fueron 1 de 3 en cuarta oportunidad) y mantuvieron la pelota por 29:43, mientras que los Broncos, que gobernaron el reloj y mantuvieron la pelota por 30:17, pasaron a 8 de 15 en intentos de tercera oportunidad.

Oakland lideró a Miami 13-9 a la mitad en el Sunshine State, y luego detuvo un rally de los Dolphins para ganar 27-20 en el Hard Rock Stadium de Sunshine State hace dos semanas. Miami superó a Oakland 86-84 en frente de la afición local y Jay Cutler lanzó 311 yardas con tres anotaciones y sin intercepciones, mientras que Carr lanzó para 300 yardas. Miami fue 5 de 12 en tercera oportunidad el domingo por la noche (estaban 0 de 1 en cuarta oportunidad) y mantuvo el balón por 29:04, mientras que los Raiders tenían 30:56 en tiempo de posesión, mientras que iban 8 de 15 en terceras oportunidades.

Nueva Inglaterra tiene una ventaja de 16-14-1 en la serie, que incluye juegos que se jugaron en Los Ángeles y en el Fenway Park, mientras que los Silver y Black superaron a New England 760-700. New England ganó las últimas cuatro reuniones y obtuvo una victoria de 16-9 en FOxboro en 2014 en su último encuentro, mientras que el último triunfo de los Raiders llegó en 2002 en Oakland por una final de 27-20.

Esta no es la primera vez que Silver and Black ha estado en México para un juego de temporada regular. Enfrentaron a Houston en el Estadio Azteca en la Ciudad de México el lunes por la noche y ganaron 27-20 el 21 de noviembre. En esa competencia, Carr lanzó tres pases de touchdown, incluyendo el marcador ganador de 35 yardas al receptor abierto Amari Cooper con 4:43 restantes. Houston y Oakland empataron a 10-10 en la mitad antes de que los Raiders se retiraran en los minutos finales del concurso. Carr lanzó para 295 yardas en el concurso, mientras que los Texans vencieron a Oakland 124-30 (el RB Lamar Miller de los Texans lideró a todos los lanzadores con 104 yardas y un touchdown). Oakland fue 4 de 11 en tercera oportunidad en la reunión internacional (fueron 1 de 2 en cuarta oportunidad) y mantuvo el balón por 23:33, mientras que Houston, liderado por Brad Osweiler, quien lanzó para 243, controló el reloj y mantuvo el ritmo. bola por 36:27, mientras que va 8 de 16 en tercera oportunidad, 1 de 2 en cuarta oportunidad. New England es favorecido por 6 1/2 y el over / under es 52. New England se sienta como rey de la montaña AFC East, mientras que los Raiders buscan alcanzar a Kansas City en la AFC Oeste. Las papas toman este al sur de la frontera pero esperan que Oakland lo haga más cerca de 6 1/2.

Información de transmisión: 4:25 p.m. en Ciudad de México en CBS y DirecTV 714: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (reportera de campo)
SIRIUS: 81 (Nueva Inglaterra), 82 (Oakland); XM: 81 (Nueva Inglaterra), 82 (Oakland)

Árbitro: John Hussey

Informe de Lesiones

Nueva Inglaterra
FUERA: C Jams Andrews (Enfermedad), T Marcus Cannon (Tobillo), WR Chris Hogan (Hombro), WR Matt Slater (Hámster)
CUESTIONABLE: WR Danny Amendola (rodilla), TE Martellus Bennett (Shouler), DT Malcom Brown (tobillo), DE Cassius Marsh (hombro), CB Nelson Rowe (ingle)

Oakland
DUDOSO: CB David Amerson (Pie)
CUESTIONABLE: T Marshall Newhouse (Cadera), Gabriel Jackson (Tobillo), LB Cory James (Rodilla), RB Jamiaze Olawale (Cadena de Hamstring)

Clima: parcialmente nublado y 64 grados

La información de transmisión, los oficiales y el informe de lesiones son cortesía de la Liga Nacional de Fútbol, ​​las probabilidades son cortesía de Don Best, la información meteorológica es cortesía de The Weather Channel.

It’s almost Thanksgiving.

Not quite Thanksgiving but almost Thanksgiving.

It’s week 11 in the 2017 NFL season. Six more weeks of football remain. Playoff spots have yet to be claimed.

Leaves are falling, it’s getting colder. It’s almost time for the Fat Man from the North Pole to make an appearance.

It’s time for Sunday and Monday action in week 11.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK 10: Atlanta defensive end Adrian Clayborn recorded a career-high six sacks, forced two fumbles and recovered a fumble in the Falcons’ 27-7 win against Dallas. Clayborn’s six sacks are a single-game franchise record (Chuck Smith, five on October 12, 1997) and are tied for the second-most in a game since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Derrick  Thomas (seven on November 11, 1990) had more sacks in a single game.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan completed 22 of 29 passes (75.9 percent) for 215 yards with two touchdowns for a 104.8 passer rating in the team’s win. Ryan, who has 40,073 passing yards in 151 career games, reached 40,000 career passing yards in the fewest games in NFL history, surpassing the previous record held by Drew Brees (152).

New Orleans defeated Buffalo 47-10 to improve to 7-2. The Saints, who have won seven consecutive games after starting 0-2, are the second team in the Super Bowl era to win its next seven games immediately following an 0-2 start. The other team to accomplish the feat – 1993 Dallas Cowboys – won the Super Bowl in that season.

The Saints rushed for 298 yards and a franchise-record six touchdowns against the Bills. New Orleans is the fifth team in NFL history – including the postseason – to rush for at least 295 yards and six touchdowns in a single game, joining the 1940 Chicago Bears (December 8, 1940, NFL Championship), 1950 New York Giants (November 19, 1950), 1951 Los Angeles Rams (November 18, 1951) and 1957 Cleveland Browns (November 24, 1957). New Orleans running back Mark Ingram rushed for 131 yards and three touchdowns in Sunday’s victory, joining George Rogers (November 8, 1981) and Ricky Williams (October 22, 2000) as the only Saints players to rush for at least 130 yards and three touchdowns in a game.

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff completed 25 of 37 passes (67.6 percent) for 355 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 125.4 passer rating in the Rams’ 33-7 win over Houston. Goff, who passed for 311 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 146.8 passer rating last week, is the first player in franchise history to pass for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in consecutive games. Goff threw a 94-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Robert Woods which is the third-longest offensive play from scrimmage in franchise history and the longest since 1964 (95-yard touchdown pass from Bill Munson to Bucky Pope on December 13, 1964).

Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford threw three touchdown passes – including the game-winning score to tight end Eric Ebron with 10:46 remaining in the fourth quarter – in the Lions’ 38-24 win over Cleveland at Ford Field. The performance marked Stafford’s 30th career game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime. Among players who made their NFL debut since 1970, Stafford has reached 30 such game-winning drives in the fewest number of career games (118).

Pittsburgh rookie wide receiver Ju Ju Smith-Schuster had five catches for 97 yards with a touchdown and Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri scored five points (one field goal and two PATs) in the Steelers’ 20-17 win against the Colts. Sunday’s contest marked the first time in NFL history that a player under the age of 21 (Smith-Schuster, 20 years old) and a player over the age of 40 (Vinatieri, 44 years old) each scored a point in the same game.

Jacksonville running back Corey Grant rushed for a 56-yard touchdown – on a fake punt – on fourth down in the Jaguars’ 20-17 overtime win against the Los Angeles Chargers. Grant, who had a 58-yard fourth-down run on a fake punt in Week 3, has two runs of at least 50 yards on fourth down this season, which is as many as all other active players have combined in their careers. Buffalo’s Le Sean McCoy and Kansas City’s Albert Wilson each have one such run.

Minnesota wide receiver Adam Thielen had eight catches for 166 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings’ 38-30 win at Washington. Thielen, who was not drafted out of Minnesota State in 2013, has three career games with at least 150 receiving yards, the most among active players who went undrafted. Seattle’s Doug Baldwin (two) is the only other active undrafted player with multiple 150+ yard receiving games.

THE WEEK THAT WAS WEEK 10: SPRINTING SAINTS: The New Orleans Saints defeated Buffalo 47-10 last Sunday in Orchard Park in Week 10 to improve to 7-2.

The Saints, who have won seven consecutive games after starting 0-2, are the second team in the Super Bowl era to win its next seven games immediately following an 0-2 start. The other team to accomplish the feat – 1993 Dallas Cowboys – won the Super Bowl in that season.

New Orleans, led by running backs Mark Ingram (131 rushing yards, three touchdowns) and rookie Alvin Kamara (106 rushing yards, one touchdown), rushed for 298 yards and a franchise-record six touchdowns in the victory. New Orleans became the fifth team – and the first since 1957 (Cleveland Browns, November 24, 1957) – in NFL history (including the postseason) to rush for at least 295 yards and six touchdowns in a single game.

The teams with at least 295 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns in a single game in NFL history (including the postseason):

TEAM – DATE (RUSHING YARDS/RUSHING TDS)
New Orleans – November 12, 2017 (298/6)
Cleveland – November 24, 1957 (330/6)
Los Angeles Rams – November 18, 1951 (371/6)
New York Giants – November 19, 1950 (423/6)
Chicago – December 8, 1940 (382/7)*
*NFL Championship

CAREER DAY FOR CLAYBORN: Atlanta defensive end Adrian Clayborn recorded a career-high six sacks, forced two fumbles and recovered a fumble in the Falcons’ 27-7 win against Dallas last week.

Clayborn’s six sacks are a single-game franchise record (Chuck Smith, five on October 12, 1997) and are tied for the second-most in a game since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas (seven on November 11, 1990) had more sacks in a single game.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (DATE/SACKS)
Derrick Thomas, Kansas City (November 11, 1990/7)^
Adrian Clayborn, Atlanta (November 12, 2017/6)
Osi Umenyiora, New York Giants (September 30, 2007/6)
Derrick Thomas, Kansas City (September 6, 1998/6)^
Fred Dean, San Francisco (November 13, 1983/6)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

15,000 FOR FITZ: Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had 10 catches for 113 yards in the Cardinals’ loss to Seattle in Week 10.

Fitzgerald, who has 15,066 career receiving yards, became the sixth player in NFL history with at least 15,000 career receiving yards.

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

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (CAREER RECEIVING YARDS)
Jerry Rice – San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle (22,895)^
Terrell Owens – San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Buffalo and Cincinnati (15,934)
Randy Moss – Minnesota, Oakland, New England, Tennessee and San Francisco (15,292)
Isaac Bruce – Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams and San Francisco (15,208)
Tony Gonzalez – Kansas City and Atlanta (15,127)
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (15,066)

^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Fitzgerald, who was 34 years, 70 days old when he reached 15,000 receiving yards, became the second-youngest player in NFL history to accomplish the milestone, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (33 years, 72 days old).

The youngest players to reach 15,000 career receiving yards:

PLAYER – AGE WHEN REACHING 15,000 RECEIVING YARDS
Jerry Rice – 33 years, 72 days^
Larry Fitzgerald – 34 years, 70 days
Randy Moss – 35 years, 244 days
Terrell Owens – 36 years, 279 days
Isaac Bruce – 36 years, 307 days
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

ROAD WARRIOR: New England quarterback Tom Brady passed for 266 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 125.4 passer rating in the Patriots’ 41-16 win at Denver on Sunday Night Football last week.

Brady, who has won 86 career regular-season road starts, surpassed Peyton Manning (85) for the most regular-season road victories by a starting quarterback in NFL history.

The starting quarterbacks with the most regular-season road victories in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S)(ROAD WINS)
Tom Brady – New England (86)*
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (85)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets, Minnesota (73)^
Dan Marino – Miami (65)^
Drew Brees – San Diego amd New Orleans (64)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

SUPER-CAM: Carolina quarterback Cam Newton threw four touchdown passes and rushed for 95 yards, including a long of 69 yards, in the Panthers’ 45-21 win against Miami on Monday Night Football last week.

Newton, who also threw for five touchdowns and rushed for 100 yards on December 20, 2015, is the only quarterback in NFL history with two career games with at least four touchdown passes and 95 rushing yards.

Philadelphia’s Randall Cunningham, who threw four touchdown passes and had 124 rushing yards on November 4, 1990, is the only other quarterback in NFL history to accomplish the feat in a single game.

The quarterbacks with at least four touchdown passes and 95 rushing yards in a single game in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (DATE)(TD PASSES/RUSHING YARDS)
Cam Newton, Carolina (November 13, 2017)(4/95)
Cam Newton, Carolina (December 20, 2015)(5/100)
Randall Cunningham, Philadelphia (November 4, 1990)(4/124)

Newton, who has 4,002 career rushing yards, became the fourth quarterback in NFL history with at least 4,000 rushing yards, joining Michael Vick (6,109), Cunningham (4,928) and Pro Football Hall of Famer STEVE YOUNG (4,239).​​

The quarterbacks with at least 4,000 career rushing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (CARRER GAMES/RUSHING YARDS)
Michael Vick – Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York Jets and Pittsburgh (143/6,109)
Randall Cunningham – Philadelphia, Minnesota, Dallas and Baltimore (162/4,928)
Steve Young – Tampa Bay and San Francisco (169/4,239)^
Cam Newton – Carolina (103/4,002)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

MATTY ICE: Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan completed 22 of 29 passes (75.9 percent) for 215 yards with two touchdowns for a 104.8 passer rating in the Falcons’ Week 10 win against Dallas.

Ryan, who has 40,073 passing yards in 151 career games, reached 40,000 career passing yards in the fewest games in NFL history, surpassing the previous record held by Drew Bress (152).

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

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (GAMES TO 40,000 CAREER PASSING YARDS)
Matt Ryan – Atlanta (151)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (152)
Dan Marino – Miami (153)^
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis (154)
Philip Rivers – San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (159)
Carson Palmer – Cincinnati, Oakland and Arizona (160)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

DAK ATTACK: Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott rushed for a touchdown in the Cowboys’ loss at Atlanta last week.

Prescott, who has 39 touchdown passes and 11 rushing touchdowns in 25 career games, is one of four quarterbacks since 1970 to account for at least 50 touchdowns in his first 25 career games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Dan Marino (62 touchdowns) and Kurt Warner (60) and Daunte Culpepper (55).

The quarterbacks to account for at least 50 touchdowns in their first 25 career games since 1970:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)(PASSING TOUCHDOWNS/RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS, TOTAL TOUCHDOWNS)

Dan Marino, Miami (1983-84)(60/2, 62)^
Kurt Warner, St. Louis (1998-2000)(59/1, 60)^
Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota (1999-2001)(43/12, 55)
Dak Prescott, Dallas (2016-17)(39/11, 50)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

BIG PLAY BRISSETT: Indianapolis quarterback Jacoby Brissett connected on two touchdown passes – a 61-yarder to wide receiver Chester Rogers and a 60-yarder to wide receiver Donte Moncrief – in the Colts’ Week 10 loss to Pittsburgh.

Brissett, who threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver T.Y. Hilton in Week 9, is one of six quarterbacks in NFL history to throw touchdown passes of at least 60 yards to three different receivers over a two-game span.

The quarterbacks with touchdown passes of at least 60 yards to three different receivers in a two-game span:

QUARTERBACK, TEAM (SEASON)(WEEKS; RECEIVERS (YARDS)
Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis (2017)(9-10; T.Y. Hilton (80), Chester Rogers (61), Donte Moncrief (60)
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis (2014)(12-13; Donte Moncrief (79), Coby Fleener (73), T.Y. Hilton (73)
Eli Manning, New York Giants (2009)(13-14; Brandon Jacobs (74), Hakeem Nicks (68), Domenik Hixon (61)
Trent Dilfer, Cleveland (2005)(1-2; Braylon Edwards (80), Frisman Jackson (68), Steve Heiden (62)
Jim Kelly, Buffalo (1989)(3-4; Andre Reed (78), Thurman Thomas^ (74), Don Beebe (63)^
Dave Ryan, Detroit (1946)(7-8; John Greene (88), Billy deCorrevont (72), Bob Cifers (70)
^Reed and Kelly are Pro Football Hall of Famers

RIVERS RISING: Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers completed 21 passes with two touchdowns in the team’s overtime loss to Jacksonville last week.

Rivers, who has 4,005 career completions, became the eighth quarterback in league annals to record 4,000 career completions.

The players with at least 4,000 career completions in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S); CAREER COMPLETIONS
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota; 6,300^
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis, Denver; 6,125
Drew Brees – San Diego, New Orleans; 6,051*
Tom Brady – New England; 5,475*
Dan Marino – Miami; 4,967^
Eli Manning – New York Giants; 4,287*
John Elway – Denver; 4,123^
Philip Rivers – San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers; 4,005*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 11: PERSISTENT PATRIOTS: New England has won five consecutive games and is tied for the best record in the AFC at 7-2.

With a win on Sunday against Oakland at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca, the Patriots will clinch a .500 or better record for the 17th consecutive season, tying the 1957-73 Cleveland Browns for the second-longest streak in NFL history. The 1965-85 Dallas Cowboys had a .500 or better record in 21 consecutive seasons, the longest such streak all-time.

The teams with the most consecutive seasons with a .500 or better record in NFL history:

TEAM (SEASONS), CONSECUTIVE SEASONS WITH .500 OR BETTER RECORD
Dallas (1965-85), 21
Cleveland (1957-73), 17
New England (2001-Present), 16*
*Active streak

YO, ADRIAN: Atlanta defensive end Adrian Clayborn recorded a franchise-record six sacks, forced two fumbles and a fumble recovered in the Falcons’ 27-7 win against Dallas last week.

Clayborn’s six sacks are tied for the second-most in a game since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas (seven on November 11, 1990) had more sacks in a single game.

With 2.5 sacks at Seattle on Monday Night Football, Clayborn would surpass Thomas (eight) for the most sacks in a two-game span in a single season since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982.

The players with the most sacks in a two-game span in a single season since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(SACKS OVER 2-GAME SPAN)

Derrick Thomas, Kansas City (1990)(8)^
Aldon Smith, San Francisco (2012)(7.5)
Johnie Cooks, Indianapolis (1984)(7.5)
Many tied with 7
Adrian Clayborn, Atlanta (2017)(6)*
*Through one game
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

FOUR SCORES AND TWO YEARS: Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz, who had a bye in Week 10, threw four touchdown passes in the Eagles’ 51-23 win against Denver in Week 9, his third career game with at least four touchdown passes.

This Sunday night at Dallas, Wentz can tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton (four) for the second-most games with at least four touchdown passes in a player’s first two seasons in NFL history.

The players with the most games with at least four touchdown passes in their first two seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)(GAMES WITH 4+ TD PASSES IN 1ST 2 SEASONS)
Dan Marino, Miami (1983-84)(6)^
Fran Tarkenton, Minnesota (1961-62)(4)^
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia (2016-17)(3)*
*In second season
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

BIG GAME GOFF: Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff completed 25 of 37 passes (67.6 percent) for 355 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 125.4 rating in the Rams’ 33-7 win against Houston in Week 10.

Goff has passed for at least 300 yards with three touchdown passes and zero interceptions in consecutive games, becoming the first player in franchise history to accomplish the feat.

With at least 300 passing yards, three touchdown passes and zero interceptions on Sunday at Minnesota, Goff will join Tom Brady (2007) as the only players in NFL history to accomplish the feat in three consecutive games.

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(WEEKS) (CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 300+ YARDS, 3+ TD PASSES AND 0 INTS
Tom Brady, New England (2007)(6-8)(3)
Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (2017)(9-10)(2)*
*Active streak

RISING ROETHLISBERGER: Pittsburgh quarterback BEN ROETHLISBERGER passed for 236 yards and two touchdowns in the Steelers’ 20-17 win at Indianapolis last week.

With 214 passing yards against Tennessee on Thursday Night Football, Roethlisberger, who has 49,112 career passing yards, would pass Pro Football Hall of Famer WARREN MOON (49,325) for the eighth-most passing yards in NFL history.

The players with the most passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S)(CAREER PASSING YARDS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (71,940)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (71,838)^
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (68,509)*
Tom Brady – New England (64,389)*
Dan Marino – Miami (61,361)^
John Elway – Denver (51,475)^
Eli Manning – New York Giants (50,307)*
Warren Moon – Houston Oilers, Minnesota, Seattle and Kansas City (49,325)^
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh (49,112)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Fame

Roethlisberger enters Week 11 ranked ninth in NFL history with 3,991 completions. With nine completions on Sunday, Roethlisberger will become the ninth quarterback in NFL history to reach 4,000 career completions.

Roethlisberger, who was selected 11th overall in the 2004 NFL Draft, would join Eli Manning (Number 1 overall, 4,287 completions) and Philip Rivers (Number 4 overall, 4,005) as the only trio of quarterbacks from the same draft class to each record 4,000 career completions.

The players with at least 4,000 career completions in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S)(CAREER COMPLETIONS)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (6,300)^
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (6,125)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (6,051)*
Tom Brady – New England (5,475)*
Dan Marino – Miami (4,967)^
Eli Manning – New York Giants (4,287)*
John Elway – Denver (4,123)^
Philip Rivers – San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (4,005)*
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh (3,991)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

WELL RECEIVED: New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas ranks fourth in the NFL with 59 catches this season.

Thomas has 151 receptions in 24 career games, and needs four catches on Sunday against Washington to surpass Anquan Boldin (154) for the second-most catches by a player in his first 25 games in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions in their first 25 games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RECEPTIONS IN 1ST 25 CAREER GAMES)

Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants (176)
Anquan Boldin, Arizona (154)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (151)*
Reggie Bush, New Orleans (143)
Jarvis Landry, Miami (143)
*Through 24 games

FIFTH FOR FITZ: Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who has 15,066 career receiving yards with the Cardinals, had 10 catches for 113 yards in Week 10 and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (19,247 receiving yards with San Francisco) as the only players in NFL history to reach 15,000 career receiving yards with a single team.

With 62 receiving yards on Sunday at Houston, Fitzgerald will surpass Tony Gonzalez (15,127) for the fifth-most receiving yards in NFL history.

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

PLAYER – TEAM(S)(CAREER RECEIVING YARDS)
Jerry Rice – San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle (22,895)^
Terrell Owens – San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Buffalo and Cincinnati (15,934)
Randy Moss – Minnesota, Oakland, New England, Tennessee and San Francisco (15,292)
Isaac Bruce – Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams and San Francisco (15,208)
Tony Gonzalez Kansas City and Atlanta (15,127)
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (15,066)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

ROBERT RUNNING RAMPANT: Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods had eight receptions for a career-high 171 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the Rams’ win against Houston in Week 10.

Woods, who had a 52-yard touchdown catch in Week 9 and a 94-yard touchdown reception in Week 10, can become the fifth player since 1970 with a touchdown reception of at least 50 yards in three consecutive games.

The players to record a 50+ yard touchdown catch in three consecutive games since 1970:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(WEEKS)(CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 50+ YARD TD CATCH)
Darnay Scott, Cincinnati (1999)(12-14)(3)
Al Toon, New York Jets (1986)(8-10)(3)
Willie Gault, Chicago (1983)(3-5)(3)
Mel Gray, St. Louis Cardinals (1974)(3-5)(3)
Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams (2017)(9-10)(2)*
*Active streak

The final byes for the 2017 season belong to Carolina, Indianapolis, New York Jets and San Francisco. Baltimore, Kansas City, Oakland and Philadelphia return to the gridiron this week.

As for last week… a huge improvement. 9-5 last week. 87-80 for the season.

The NFL has entered the second half of the season and the excitement is building as playoff races tighten.

Eleven teams have at least six wins, led by the 8-1 Philadelphia Eagles – Philadelphia (8-1), Los Angeles Rams (7-2), Minnesota (7-2), New England (7-2), New Orleans (7-2), Pittsburgh (7-2), Carolina (7-3), Jacksonville (6-3), Kansas City (6-3), Seattle (6-3) and Tennessee (6-3). Seven of those 11 teams – Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Minnesota, New Orleans, Carolina, Jacksonville and Tennessee – did not make the playoffs last season. Since the 12-team playoff format began in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

Seven teams currently have an active winning streak of at least four games, led by the Eagles and Saints who have each won seven in a row. The Patriots and Vikings are both riding five-game winning streaks while the Rams, Steelers and Titans have each won four consecutive contests.

New Orleans, which started the season 0-2, is the second team in the Super Bowl era to win its next seven games immediately following an 0-2 start. The other team to accomplish the feat – 1993 Dallas Cowboys – won the Super Bowl in that season. Last week, the Saints rushed for 298 yards and a franchise-record six touchdowns in the team’s 47-10 win at Buffalo. New Orleans became the fifth team – and first since 1957 (Cleveland Browns, November 24, 1957) – in NFL history (including the postseason) to rush for at least 295 yards and six touchdowns in a single game.

As the season’s second half continues, there’s a lot to be decided, with plenty of football left to play. So don’t count anyone out. Since 1990, 27 teams have qualified for the playoffs with a losing record through nine games. Last year, two teams – Green Bay (4-5) and Pittsburgh (4-5) – accomplished the feat and both clubs advanced to the Conference Championship Game.

Also in Week 11, the NFL returns to Mexico for the second consecutive year as the Oakland Raiders host the Patriots at 4:25 p.m. on CBS. Last year, the Raiders defeated the Houston Texans 27-20 in front of 76,473 fans at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City in the first-ever Monday Night Football game to be played outside the United States.

Four of the NFL’s 10 largest single-game attendance totals have come in Mexico, including the top two: 112,376 fans on August 15, 1994 (American Bowl preseason game between the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers) and 106,424 on August 17, 1998 (American Bowl preseason game between the Cowboys and Patriots). Both of those contests were also played at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. Estadio Azteca underwent vast renovations in advance of the NFL’s game in 2016 which reduced stadium capacity to approximately 77,000.

Week 11 kicked off on Thursday night when the Steelers hosted and defeated the Tennessee Titans 40-17 at Heinz Field and Sunday action concludes in the Lone Star State when the Cowboys return to Arlington to face off against NFC East for Philadelphia at 8:30 p.m. on NBC. The curtain on week 11 comes down on Monday night when the defending NFC champions Atlanta Falcons travel to the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks to face off against Seattle in a NFC Divisional Playoff rematch at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN. Here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 11.

Jacksonville (6-3) at Cleveland (0-9), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. The resurging Jacksonville Jaguars come to the shores of Lake Erie for a Sunday afternoon contest with the Cleveland Browns, who are in search of their first win of the 2017 campaign.

Jacksonville needed overtime against the Los Angeles Chargers and came away 20-17 winners at EverBank Field. The Jaguars trailed 17-14 with 1:48 left in regulation after Blake Bortles threw an interception that would have given the Chargers the win. Los Angeles then failed to run the clock out and punted the ball back to Jacksonville, who used a 6-play, 36-yard drive that took 55 as K Josh Lambo (who played for the Chargers) connected on a 34-yard field goal with 3 seconds left.

There was some craziness in the final minutes of the fourth quarter as the Chargers were originally flagged for pass interference. That would have given Jacksonville field position at that point but Jaguars WR Marqise Lee celebrated a bit too much and drew a flag for taunting. Bortles then threw his second interception of the day and the Chargers got the ball back, with them leading by 3 at that point.

Then, after Jacksonville punted the ball to Los Angeles in overtime, the Jaguars’ A.J. Bouye would pick off Philip Rivers and return the ball to the Charger 1-yard line. Jacksonville got the ball back and that was good news for Jaguar fans. Now for the bad news… during the runback, Jacksonville’s Aaron Colvin was flagged for taunting. That moved the ball back to the Charger 17-yard line. Jacksonville then used a 4-play drive that used only five yards and 1:59 and sent Jaguar fans home happy campers as Lambo would beat his old team with a 30-yard field goal that barely cleared the crossbars.

Jacksonville outrushed the Chargers 135-87 and Bortles threw for 273 yards and a pair of interceptions, while Rivers threw for 235 yards and a pair of TDs to rookie RB Austin Ekeler. Los Angeles on third down went 3 of 15 and kept the ball for 31:47, while the Jaguars, who played as if they had a rabbit’s foot in their pocket, ruled the clock and kept the ball for 35:01 (including the overtime), going 5 of 18 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Although they led 24-17 late in the third quarter, the winless Browns saw that lead get away from them, courtesy of three Matthew Stafford TD passes to come up on the short end of a 38-24 loss at Detroit last Sunday. The Lions led 17-10 at the intermission before Cleveland used TD runs by RB Isiah Crowell and rookie QB DeShone Kizer to take the lead in the third. RB Theo Riddick, TE Eric Ebron and WR Golden Tate would restore order for the Lions as Stafford would connect with them to take the lead back for keeps. Cleveland actually outrushed Detroit 201-104 (Crowell led all rushers with 90) but Stafford threw for 249 yards and the three TDs, while Kizer threw for 232 yards. While Cleveland was 5 of 13 on third down tries, they struck pay-dirt on fourth down, going 4 of 4 and the Browns ruled the clock and kept the ball for 34:34, while the Lions were 25:26 in time of possession, going 5 of 11 on third down.

Jacksonville leads the series 11-5, the Jaguars have outscored the Browns 363-246 and they have won the last two meetings, including coming away with a 24-6 win in the Sunshine State in 2014, while Cleveland’s last win over the Jaguars came in 2011, along the shores of Lake Erie, by a final of 14-10. Jacksonville’s favored by 7 1/2 points and the over/under is 37 1/2. Jacksonville’s in contention in the AFC South, while the Browns are trying to pick up win number one. Jacksonville covers the 7 1/2 and wins along the shores of Lake Erie.

Baltimore (4-5) at Green Bay (5-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of contending teams meet in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst as the Green Bay Packers host Baltimore at Lambeau Field.

Baltimore fell to Tennessee 23-20 at Nissan Stadium two Sundays ago. The Titans led 16-6 at the half before the Ravens made it a closer contest than Titan fans would have wanted when Joe Flacco (261 yards, two sacks, two interceptions) threw a pair of fourth quarter TD passes, one to RB Javarious Allen and the other to WR Mike Wallace with 46 seconds left to play. Baltimore then tried the onside kick and the Titans recovered the ball and ran out the clock. Neither club breached the 100-yard barrier rushing-wise and the Ravens barely outrushed Tennessee 73-71, while Mariota threw for 218 yards with a pair of TDs. Baltimore went 6 of 16 on third down tries but struck pay-dirt on fourth down, as they went 3 of 4 and the Ravens ruled the clock and held the ball for 32:22, while the Titans were 3 of 11 on third down, keeping the ball for 27:38.

Green Bay held off Chicago 23-16 at Soldier Field last Sunday. The Packers led 10-6 at the half and Chicago made it a seven-point game with 3:19 left when Connor Barth connected on a 49-yard field goal. Green Bay outrushed Chicago 160-55 in the contest that was played in rainy conditions in the Windy City, while Chicago QB Mitch Trubisky threw for 297 yards and Packers QB Brett Hundley throwing for 212 yards (each man threw a TD pass in the contest). Chicago went 4 of 14 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:07, while Green Bay was 33:53 in time of possession and went 7 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Green Bay holds a 4-1 lead in the series and the Packers have outscored the Ravens 112-108. Green Bay has won the last two contests with Baltimore, taking a 19-17 win in Charm City in 2013, while Baltimore’s lone win over the Packers also came in Charm City, as the Ravens were 48-3 winners in 2005. Baltimore’s favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 46. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Both teams are in the hunt for a playoff spot if not winning a divisional title. Baltimore makes this one interesting but Green Bay prevails in the Dairy State, covering the 2 1/2.

Tampa Bay (3-6) at Miami (4-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. They’re in the same state, they’re separated by 283 miles down I-75 and 4 hours and 20 minutes away from each other. Tampa Bay and Miami were scheduled to meet in what would have been the season opener for both clubs but Irma ruined their plans. They finally get to meet.

Tampa Bay broke a 3-3 tie with the New York Jets last Sunday at Raymond James Stadium and came away 15-10 winners in the Sunshine State. Tampa Bay outrushed the Jets 90-56, while Ryan Fitzpatrick, who took over for Jameis Winston (shoulder), threw for 187 yards and a TD pass to Charles Sims III. For the Jets, Josh McCown threw for 262 yards and a TD but was sacked six times and picked off once. The Bucs were 7 of 16 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 31:54, while the Jets kept the ball for 28:06, going 3 of 15 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth.

Miami comes back to Hard Rock Stadium after their 45-21 loss to Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers last Monday night in Charlotte. The Dolphins trailed 17-7 and never got on track in the second half, as the Panthers outscored them 28-14. Carolina outrushed Miami 294-100 in the Monday night affair, with Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart leading the way with 110 yards. Newton threw for 254 yards and four TDs, connecting with WR Devin Funchess on two of those tosses, while Jay Cutler threw for 213 yards and a pair of TDs. Carolina on third down tries went 11 of 14 and kept the ball for 35:39, while the Dolphins went 7 of 12 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 24:21.

They’ve met 10 times in the Sunshine State and each team has five wins to their credit, which includes games that were played at old Tampa Stadium and the Orange Bowl. Tampa Bay has outscored Miami 228-222 and the Bucs took the last meeting, which took place in 2013 at Raymond James Stadium, taking a 22-19 win, while Miami’s last win in the series came in 2009 at Hard Rock by a final of 25-23. The oddsmakers like the Dolphins as 1 1/2 point favorites at Hard Rock Stadium and the over/under’s 40 1/2. These two teams are a lot better than their records and while this one’s not “DRILL WORTHY,” it could be somewhat entertaining. They’ve had all this time to wait to play. The wait is over. Miami covers the 1 1/2 and wins at home.

Kansas City (6-3) at New York Giants (1-8), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. The first-place Chiefs make a trip to the Jersey Meadowlands for an inter-conference contest with Eli Manning and the New York Giants at Met Life Stadium.

Kansas City let a 17-14 lead in the third quarter get away from them in Dallas as the Cowboys countered with a pair of TDs to fall 28-17 in Jerry World (AT&T Stadium). Prescott threw for 249 yards and a pair of touchdown passes – both to wide receiver Cole Beasley – and added a rushing TD. Prescott joined Cam Newton as the only players in NFL history to have at least 35 touchdown passes (39) and 10 rushing touchdowns (10) in their first two seasons. Dallas led 14-10 at the intermission before the Chiefs took their only lead of the contest in the third quarter when Alex Smith and TE Travis Kelce connected on a 2-yard TD pass to open the scoring in the third quarter. Dallas then took the lead for keeps when RB Ezekiel Elliott scored from 2 yards out and Beasley caught his second TD pass, good from seven yards, to seal Kansas City’s fate. Dallas outrushed Kansas City 131-68 and went 7 of 12 on third down conversions and ruled the clock, as they held the ball for 31:17, while the Chiefs, who went 4 of 11 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:43.

The Giants’ trip to the West Coast was anything but successful as they fell to San Francisco 31-21 at Levis’ Stadium last Sunday. Although they trailed 17-13 at the half, San Francisco managed to take control of the contest to take the win. San Francisco outrushed the Giants 186-114 and Manning threw for 273 yards, while C.J. Beathard threw for 288 yards in the win (each threw a pair of TDs). The Giants were 5 of 14 on third down but had success on fourth down, going 3 of 3 and kept the ball for 31 minutes, while the 49ers were 8 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held on to the pigskin for 29 minutes.

Big Blue leads the series 10-3 and they have outscored the Chiefs 307-246. Kansas City won the last meeting with the Giants at Arrowhead in 2013 by a final of 31-7, while the Giants took a 27-16 win at Arrowhead in their last meeting. Kansas City’s favored by 10 1/2 and the over/under’s 45. The Giants are bad. They’re not 10 1/2 bad but they’re bad and at times, they’ve played some decent football. The Chiefs are trying to erase the loss to Dallas out of their memory bank. Chiefs win in the Meadowlands but expect the Giants to make things a lot closer than 10 1/2 points.

Detroit (5-4) at Chicago (3-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 708. A pair of NFC North rivals meet in the Windy City as Da Bears host Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions at Solider Field.

Detroit trailed winless Cleveland 24-17 late in the third quarter, then took that lead away from the Browns, courtesy of three Stafford TD passes and came away 38-24 winners at Ford Field last Sunday. The Lions led 17-10 at the intermisson before Cleveland used TD runs by RB Isiah Crowell and rookie QB DeShone Kizer to take the lead in the third. RB Theo Riddick, TE Eric Ebron and WR Golden Tate would restore order for the Lions as Stafford would connect with them to take the lead back for keeps. Cleveland outrushed Detroit 201-104 (Crowell led all rushers with 90) but Stafford threw for 249 yards and the three TDs, while Kizer threw for 232 yards. While Cleveland was 5 of 13 on third down tries, they struck pay dirt on fourth down, going 4 of 4 and the Browns ruled the clock and kept the ball for 34:34, while the Lions were 25:26 in time of possession, going 5 of 11 on third down.

Chicago made things interesting at home at Soldier Field against Green Bay but came up short, losing to the Packers 23-16. Da Bears trailed Green Bay 10-6 at the half and Chicago made it a seven-point game with 3:19 left when Connor Barth connected on a 49-yard field goal. Green Bay outrushed Chicago 160-55 in the contest that was played in rainy conditions in the Windy City, while Chicago QB Mitch Trubisky threw for 297 yards and Packers QB Brett Hundley throwing for 212 yards (each man threw a TD pass in the contest). Chicago went 4 of 14 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:07, while Green Bay was 33:53 in time of possession and went 7 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Da Bears lead the series 97-72-5 (which includes contests that took place in Portsmouth, when the Lions were known as the Spartans, games played at Tiger Stadium, Wrigley Field and the Silverdome) and Chicago has outscored Detroit 3,375-3,105. The two clubs spilt last year’s contests, each taking wins at home.

The first meeting took place in the Windy City at Soldier Field in week four. As the Cubs were getting ready to win the World Series, Da Bears took a 17-14 win over Detroit. Chicago led 7-3 at the intermission and took a 17-6 lead into the final moments of the fourth quarter when WR Andre Roberts returned a punt 85 yards for a TD with 1:52 left to play. Then, instead of kicking the extra point, the Lions chose to go for the 2-point conversion and Stafford (213 yards, two interceptions) and WR Golden Tate found success as they converted to make the contest a 3-point game. Detroit, with no time outs left, attempted a onside kick, which failed and Chicago recovered. The Lions were penalized for illegally touching the ball, Da Bears kept the ball and ran out the clock. Chicago outrushed Detroit 114-66, with Bears RB Jordan Howard leading all rushers with 111 yards, while Blaine Hoyer threw for 302 yards and a pair of TDs. Chicago was 5 of 13 on third down tries at Solider Field (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:14, while Detroit went 4 of 12 on third down and kept the pigskin for 26:46.

That was round one.

Round two. Week 14 at Ford Field and the Lions would get their revenge on their NFC North rivals, taking a 20-17 win in the Motor City. Detroit led 10-3 at the break and had a 13-10 lead with 7:07 left in the final quarter when Da Bears took their only lead of the game, thanks to a Cre’Von LeBlanc interception return of Stafford that went for 24 yards. Lions fans would eventually go home happy as their team would use a 7-play, 76-yard drive that used 3:50 of clock when Stafford (223 yards), who had thrown a 16-yard TD pass to WR Anquan Boldin with 16 seconds left before halftime, would redeem himself with a 7-yard TD run to take the lead back. Detroit outrushed Chicago 114-92 and Chicago QB Matt Barkley threw for 212 yards and a TD in the rematch. Detroit at home went 6 of 12 on third down tries and kept the ball for 34:17, while Da Bears kept the pigskin for 25:43, going 4 of 10 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth.

While the Lions were favored by 2 1/2 in the week four contest at Soldier Field, Chicago did take the win by 3 points. As for the 46 1/2 over/under, that stayed safe as both teams combined for only 31 points. As for the week 14 contest in the Motor City, the Lions were 8-point favorites but won by only 3 and the 43 1/2 over/under was untouched as they combined to score only 37 points. Detroit may be the road team but the oddsmakers like them as 3 point favorites in the Windy City and the over/under’s 41. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Chicago makes this one close but Detroit prevails and covers.

Arizona (4-5) at Houston (3-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. Arizona and Houston meet at NRG Stadium in a contest between two struggling teams. Both clubs enter Sunday’s contests with losses under their belts.

Arizona lost to NFC West rival Seattle 22-16 in Glendale last Thursday night. The Cardinals trailed 15-7 at the intermission and led 22-10 with 20 seconds left in regulation before Arizona’s Andre Ellington scored from a yard out to pull to within seven. Wilson (238 yards, five sacks) and TE Jimmy Graham connected on a pair of TD passes to take the win, as Seattle outrushed Arizona 75-34, while the Cardinals’ Drew Stanton threw for 273 yards and a TD. Seattle went 3 of 13 on third down conversions at University of Phoenix Stadium and kept the ball for 30:53, while the Desert Angry Birds went 6 of 15 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 29:07.

Houston also lost last week, falling to the Los Angeles Rams 33-7 on the West Coast. Although they trailed 9-7 at the intermission, the Texans saw the Rams pull away from them in the second half, as Los Angeles would score the last 24 points of the contest unchallenged. Houston was outrushed by Los Angeles 104-89 (Todd Gurley led all rushers with 68 yards) and turned the ball over four times. Tom Savage threw for 221 yards and a TD but was sacked three times and picked off twice, while the Rams’ Jarred Goff threw for 355 yards and three TDs. Houston was 4 of 12 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:29, while the Rams were 31:31 in time of possession, going 6 of 18 on third down (both clubs were 0 of 1 on fourth down).

Arizona and Houston have met three times and the Desert Angry Birds have won the last two contests, taking a 27-24 victory in 2013 in Glendale, while the Texans won the first meeting with Arizona, winning 30-19 in Houston in 2005. Arizona’s favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 38 1/2. Both numbers make sense. Both teams are looking to bounce back from losses last week. Houston covers the 1 1/2 in the Lone Star State and wins at home.

Los Angeles Rams (7-2) at Minnesota (7-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of contending NFC teams that could meet in the post-season as the Rams and Vikings meet in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Los Angeles Rams took Houston to task last Sunday, coming away 33-7 winners on the West Coast. The Rams led at the intermission, then pulled away from the Texans in the second half, as they scored the last 24 points of the contest unchallenged. Los Angeles outrushed Houston 104-89 (Todd Gurley led all rushers with 68 yards) and forced four Texans turnovers in the win. Houston’s Tom Savage threw for 221 yards and a TD but was sacked three times and picked off twice, while the Rams’ Jarred Goff threw for 355 yards and three TDs. Houston was 4 of 12 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:29, while the Rams were 31:31 in time of possession, going 6 of 18 on third down (both clubs were 0 of 1 on fourth down).

Minnesota held off a late Washington rally in Landover last Sunday, taking a 38-30 win over the Redskins. Minnesota led 28-17 at the half at FedEx Field, then held off Washington in the second half, as the Redskins outscored the Vikings 13-10. Minnesota outrushed Washington 102-81 and Case Keenum threw for 304 yards and four TDs, while Washington’s Kirk Cousins threw for 327 yards in the contest. Minnesota went 8 of 12 on third down conversions in Landover and kept the ball for 28:54, while Washington went 5 of 14 on third down (3 of 5 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, holding the pigskin for 31:06.

Including contests that were played in Bloomington and St. Louis, the Vikings lead the series 21-14-2, they have outscored the Rams 844-813 and Minnesota has won the last four contests, including a 21-18 overtime win in the Twin Cities in 2015, while the Rams’ last win came in Minneapolis, coming away 41-21 winners in 2006. The oddsmakers like the Vikings at home as 2 point favorites and the over/under for the contest at US Bank Stadium is 46. Both teams have been playing some really good football of late and it’s a chance they could meet in the post-season. Vikings make this one interesting but the Rams come away with the win and cover the 2 on the road in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Washington (4-5) at New Orleans (7-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. The first-place New Orleans Saints welcome Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins to the Big Easy for a Sunday afternoon matchup in the Superdome.

A late Washington rally in Landover last Sunday fell short, as the Redskins lost to Minnesota 38-30. Minnesota led 28-17 at the half at FedEx Field, before Washington put on their rally in the second half, outscoring the Vikings 13-10. Minnesota outrushed Washington 102-81 and Case Keenum threw for 304 yards and four TDs, while Cousins threw for 327 yards for Washington in the contest. Minnesota went 8 of 12 on third down conversions in Landover and kept the ball for 28:54, while Washington went 5 of 14 on third down (3 of 5 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, holding the pigskin for 31:06.

New Orleans manhandled Buffalo 47-10 in Orchard Park last Sunday. Leading 17-3 at the intermission at New Era Stadium, the Saints ran roughshod over the Bills in the second half, outscoring Buffalo 30-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. Saints RB Mark Ingram (131 yards, 3 TDs) and rookie RB Alvin Kamara (106 yards, TD) each accounted for part of the Saints rushing game, as New Orleans outrushed the struggling Bills 298-69, while Drew Brees threw for 184 yards. New Orleans went 6 of 12 on third down (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 41:23, while the Bills were 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth and kept the pigskin for a dismal 18:37.

Washington leads the series 17-8 and they have outscored the Saints 609-480. Washington took wins in the last two meetings, including taking a 47-14 win in Landover in 2015, while New Orleans’ last win came in 2009, as the SSaints were 33-30 winners in overtime in Landover. New Orleans is favored by 7 1/2 and the over/under’s 51. The last two weeks, Washington fans have been saying “Hell, it’s the Redskins.” This week, it’s “Hail to the Redskins.” Washington pulls the upset and takes the win in the Big Easy.

Buffalo (5-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (3-6), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of AFC foes meet in Tinsletown as Buffalo makes its way to the West Coast for a late afternoon contest with the Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center.

Buffalo found themselves being taken to task by New Orleans, as they lost to the Saints 47-10 in Orchard Park last Sunday. The Bills trailed 17-3 at the intermission at New Era Stadium, then Saints ran roughshod over the Bills in the second half, outscoring Buffalo 30-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. New Orleans easily outrushed Buffalo 298-69, as Saints RB Mark Ingram (131 yards, 3 TDs) and rookie RB Alvin Kamara (106 yards, TD) each accounted for part of the Saints rushing game, while Drew Brees threw for 184 yards. New Orleans went 6 of 12 on third down (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 41:23, while the Bills were 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth and kept the pigskin for a dismal 18:37.

The Chargers came out on the short end of a 20-17 loss to Jacksonville at EverBank Field last Sunday. Los Angeles led 17-14 with 1:48 left in regulation after Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles threw an interception that would have given the Chargers the win. Los Angeles then failed to run the clock out and punted the ball back to Jacksonville, who used a 6-play, 36-yard drive that took 55 as K Josh Lambo (who played for the Chargers) connected on a 34-yard field goal with 3 seconds left.

There was more confusion than a mouse in a Burlesque show (apologies to Foghorn Leghorn!) in the final minutes of the fourth quarter as the Chargers were originally flagged for pass interference. That would have given Jacksonville field position at that point but Jaguars WR Marqise Lee celebrated a bit too much and drew a flag for taunting. Bortles then threw his second interception of the day and the Chargers got the ball back, with them leading by 3 at that point.

Then, after Jacksonville punted the ball to Los Angeles in overtime, the Jaguars’ A.J. Bouye would pick off Philip Rivers and return the ball to the Charger 1-yard line. Jacksonville got the ball back and that was good news for Jaguar fans. Now for the bad news… during the runback, Jacksonville’s Aaron Colvin was flagged for taunting. That moved the ball back to the Charger 17-yard line. Jacksonville then used a 4-play drive that used only five yards and 1:59 and sent Jaguar fans home happy campers as Lambo would beat his old team with a 30-yard field goal that barely cleared the crossbars.

Jacksonville outrushed the Chargers 135-87 and Bortles threw for 273 yards and a pair of interceptions, while Rivers threw for 235 yards and a pair of TDs to rookie RB Austin Ekeler. Los Angeles on third down went 3 of 15 and kept the ball for 31:47, while the Jaguars, who played as if they had a rabbit’s foot in their pocket, ruled the clock and kept the ball for 35:01 (including the overtime), going 5 of 18 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Jacksonville leads the series 11-5, the Jaguars have outscored the Browns 363-246 and they have won the last two meetings, including coming away with a 24-6 win in the Sunshine State in 2014, while Cleveland’s last win over the Jaguars came in 2011, along the shores of Lake Erie, by a final of 14-10

Including games that were played in Los Angeles at Qualcomm Stadium and old War Memorial Stadium, the Chargers lead the series 22-10-2 and have outscored the Bills 814-565. The Chargers were winners in their last two meetings with the Bills, taking a 22-10 win in upstate New York in 2014, while the Bills’ last win over the Chargers came in 2008 in Orchard Park by a final of 23-14. The Chargers are favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 44. Both teams are looking to get back on track in the AFC and both want to get back to the playoffs. Bills circle the wagons on the West Coast and take the win, covering the 3 1/2.

Cincinnati (3-6) at Denver (3-6), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. A pair of struggling AFC teams look to right their respective ships in Denver as Cincinnati comes to Sports Authority Field at Mile High to face off against the Broncos.

The Bengals enter the Sunday afternoon contest in the Rockies, losing 24-20 against Tennessee last Sunday. Last week, Tennessee’s defense limited Cincinnati to 53 rushing yards in the win at Nissan Stadium, while the Titans, who tallied 180 yards on the ground, led 17-13 at the intermission in a game that saw a Bengals player get ejected for the second week in a row, when LB Vontaze Burfict was tossed for making physical contact with an official. Titans QB Marcus Mariota threw for 264 yards for the Titans, despite being sacked four times, while Andy Dalton threw for 265 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with WR A.J. Green on one. Tennessee went 7 of 15 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 40:09, while the Bengals were 1 of 10 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held the pigskin for 19:51.

The struggling Broncos trailed New England led 27-9 at the break and could never get on track last Sunday night and dropped their fifth straight contest, losing to Tom Brady and the Patriots 41 16 t Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium. While Denver outrushed New England 118-99, Brady burned the Broncos for 266 yards and three TDs. The defending Super Bowl champs went 4 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:43, while the Broncos, who ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:17, went 8 of 15 on third down tries.

Denver leads the series 21-9, which includes contests that took place at Mile High Stadium and Riverfront Stadium, the Broncos have outscored Cincinnati 655-565 and Denver has won the last two meetings, including taking a 29-17 win last year along the shores of the Ohio River, while the Bengals took a 37-28 win at Paul Brown Stadium in 2014.

Denver led 16-14 at the break in the week three meeting at Paul Brown and took further control of things in the second half, outscoring the Bengals 14-3 in the final 30 minutes of action. Cincinnati did outrush Denver 143-52, while Seimian threw for 312 yards and four TDs, connecting with WR Emmanuel Sanders on two of those tosses. For the Bengals, Dalton threw for 206 yards, while being sacked four times with an interception. The Broncos were 6 of 12 on third down in the win, keeping the ball for 27:54, while the Bengals ruled the clock and held the ball for 32:06, going 5 of 12 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth.

In the week three contest, the Bengals were 3 1/2 favorites and Denver covered, winning by 12 and both clubs covered the 41 1/2 over/under, scoring 46 points. Denver’s favored by 2 1/2 in the Rockies and the over/under’s 40. Take a pass on this one and get that Christmas shopping done.. or watch that “Mythbusters” marathon on Science Channel (you can reject this reality and substitute your own). Bengals win this one on the road but expect Denver to make it closer than 2 1/2.

New England (7-2) vs. Oakland (4-5) in Mexico City, 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. It’s the final International Series game of the 2017 season as Oakland makes its second trip south of the border as Derek Carr and the Silver and Black travel to Mexico City for an AFC showdown with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

The Patriots lead the AFC East and are tied for the best record in the AFC (7-2) and have won five consecutive games, including last week’s 41-16 victory at Denver. New England led 27-9 at the break and never looked back in the Sunday night contest at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium. While Denver outrushed New England 118-99, Brady burned the Broncos for 266 yards and three TDs. The defending Super Bowl champs went 4 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:43, while the Broncos, who ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:17, went 8 of 15 on third down tries.

Oakland led Miami 13-9 at the half in the Sunshine State, then held off a late Dolphins rally to take a 27-20 win at Hard Rock Stadium in the Sunshine State two weeks ago. Miami outrushed Oakland 86-84 in front of the home crowd and Jay Cutler threw for 311 yards with three TDs and no interceptions, while Carr threw for 300 yards. Miami went 5 of 12 on third down Sunday night (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 29:04, while the Raiders were 30:56 in time of possession, while going 8 of 15 on third downs.

New England holds a 16-14-1 lead in the series, that includes games that were played in Los Angeles and at Fenway Park, while the Silver and Black have outscored New England 760-700. New England won the last four meetings and took a 16-9 win in Foxboro in 2014 in their last meeting, while the Raiders’ last win came in 2002 in Oakland by a final of 27-20.

This is not the first time the Silver and Black has been in Mexico for a regular season game. They took on Houston at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City on a Monday night at came away 27-20 winners on November 21. In that contest, Carr threw three touchdown passes, including the game-winning 35-yard score to wide receiver Amari Cooper with 4:43 remaining. Houston and Oakland were tied at 10-10 at the half before the Raiders pulled away in the final minutes of the contest. Carr threw for 295 yards in the contest, while the Texans outrushed Oakland 124-30 (Texans’ RB Lamar Miller led all rushers with 104 yards and a TD). Oakland was 4 of 11 on third down in the international meeting (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:33, while Houston, led by Brad Osweiler, who threw for 243, ruled the clock and kept the ball for 36:27, while going 8 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down. New England’s favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under is 52. New England sits as king of the AFC East mountain, while the Raiders are looking to catch up to Kansas City in the AFC West. Pats take this one South of the border but expect Oakland to make it closer than 6 1/2.

Philadelphia (8-1) at Dallas (5-4), 8:30 p.m. on NBC. Wentz vs. Prescott. A pair of future Hall of Fame QBs meet in the Lone Star State on the Sunday night before Thanksgiving as the first-place Eagles travel to Arlington to face off against Dallas at AT&T Stadium.

Philadelphia took Denver to the woodshed two weeks ago in the City of Brotherly Love and came away 51-23 winners. The Eagles never lost focus, leading 31-9 at the half as the Broncos used Brock Osweiler under center for the slumping Trevor Siemian. Eagles QB Carson Wentz threw for 199 yards and four TDS, while Osweiler threw for 208 yards with a TD to WR  Demaryius Thomas, while he was sacked three times and picked off twice. Philly easily outrushed Denver 197-35, with newly accquired RB Jay Ajayi leading all rushers with 77 yards and a TD. Denver went 3 of 13 on third down conversions at Lincoln Financial Field (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:06, while the Eagles, who kept the ball for 29:54, was 5 of 13 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

The Ezekiel Elliott-less Cowboys were no match for the defending NFC champs, as Atlanta took Dallas and Prescott to the woodshed, coming away with a 27-7 win in the Big Peach last Sunday. Prescott (176 yards) scored the game’s first points with an 11-yard run in the first quarter but Atlanta would go on to shut out Dallas the rest of the way, scoring all of their points unchallenged. Atlanta led 10-3 at the break, then dodged a major bullet when K Mike Nugent’s 38-yard field goal try hit the crossbar and bounced harmlessly to the right, which gave Atlanta momentum to take the win. Atlanta outrushed Dallas 132-107, with Falcons RB Tevin Coleman leading all rushers with 83 yards and a TD, while Ryan connected with TE Austin Hooper and WR Justin Hardy for his two TD passes, throwing for 215 yards. It was the Falcon defense that made life miserable for Prescott, as defensive end Adrian Clayborn recorded a career-high six sacks in the contest. Atlanta was 7 of 13 on third down tries and held the ball for 32:06, while Dallas was 5 of 11 third down-wise and kept the ball for 27:54 (both clubs were 0 of 1 on fourth down). Elliott dropped his appeal Wednesday and will sit out the remaining five games, rejoining the club in week 16 when they host Seattle.

Dallas leads the series 62-50 (including contests that were played at the Cotton Bowl, Veterans Stadium and Cowboys Stadium) and the Cowboys have outscored Philadelphia 2,428-2,237. They met twice last year as NFC East rivals and they split the two meetings, taking wins in front of their home crowds.

The first meeting took place in the Lone Star State in week eight on a Sunday night and the Cowboys needed overtime to take a 29-23 win at AT&T Stadium. Dallas trailed Philadelphia 13-10 at the break and would trail 20-10 with 6:20 left in the third quarter before they would chip away and even things up when Prescott and WR Dez Bryant connected on a 22-yard TD strike with 3:04 left in regulation, completing an 11-play, 90-yard drive that consumed 3:22 of clock.

Dallas won the toss to start overtime and got the ball and played keep-away from the Eagles in the extra period, as they would use a 12-play, 75-yard drive that burned 7:12 of clock and sent Cowboys fans home happy when Prescott and TE Jason Witten connected on a 5-yard TD pass to take the win. Dallas outrushed Philadelphia 187-97, with Elliott leading all rushers with 96 yards, while Prescott threw for 287 with the two TDs. For Philadelphia, Wentz threw for 202 yards and a TD, while Darren Sproles ran for 86 yards. Dallas went 4 of 14 on third down (the Cowboys were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and they kept the ball for 33:57, which included the overtime, while the Eagles kept the ball for 33:15, while going 6 of 15 on third down tries.

That was round one.

Round two took place in the City of Brotherly Love in week 17 and if revenge was a dish best served cold, then the Eagles went back for seconds, as they were 27-13 winners at Lincoln Financial Field. Philadelphia erased a 10-10 tie at the half and Wentz and Zach Ertz connected on a pair of TD tosses in the win. Wentz threw for 245 yards in the contest, while Prescott threw for 85 yards and a pair of interceptions. Tony Romo did make what would be his last regular season appearance in a Dallas uniform, going 3 for 4 for 29 yards and a TD. Philadelphia outrushed Dallas 114-69 and Elliott was a non-factor in the contest (he suited up but did not play). Philadelphia went 6 of 14 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth) and the Eagles held on to the ball for 35:42, while Dallas, who had already clinched the NFC East, kept the pigskin for 24:18, going 5 of 12 on third down conversions.

This one’s “DRILL WORTHY” There’s no two ways about it. (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 57 last June and dates a 42-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”

Dallas covered the 4 1/2-point spread in the week eight contest, winning by 6 and both clubs covered the 43 1/2 over/under with 52 points. In the season finale on New Year’s Day, Philadelphia won by 14, allowing the Eagles to cover the 6-point spread but the two teams barely missed the 42 1/2 over/under, tallying 40 points. The Eagles are favored by 4 in Arlington and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Both numbers are making a lot of sense. Philly’s atop the NFC East mountain, while the Cowboys will have to adjust to life without Ezekiel Elliott until Christmas Eve afternoon. Philly covers the 4 and wins on the road.

ATLANTA (5-4) at Seattle (6-3), 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN. They met twice last year. They meet again. It’s peach pie vs. Salmon as Atlanta travels to Seattle for a Monday night contest in the Pacific Northwest.

The defending NFC champs manhandled Dak Prescott and the Ezekiel Elliott-less Cowboys 27-7 in the Big Peach last Sunday. Prescott (176 yards) scored the game’s first points with an 11-yard run in the first quarter but Atlanta would go on to shut out Dallas the rest of the way, scoring all of their points unchallenged. Atlanta led 10-3 at the break, then dodged a major bullet when K Mike Nugent’s 38-yard field goal try hit the crossbar and bounced harmlessly to the right, which gave Atlanta momentum to take the win. Atlanta outrushed Dallas 132-107, with Falcons RB Tevin Coleman leading all rushers with 83 yards and a TD, while Ryan connected with TE Austin Hooper and WR Justin Hardy for his two TD passes, throwing for 215 yards. It was the Falcon defense that made life miserable for Prescott, as defensive end Adrian Clayborn recorded a career-high six sacks in the contest. Atlanta was 7 of 13 on third down tries and held the ball for 32:06, while Dallas was 5 of 11 third down-wise and kept the ball for 27:54 (both clubs were 0 of 1 on fourth down).

Seattle edged Arizona 22-16 in Glendale last Thursday night. The Seahawks led 15-7 at the intermission and led 22-10 with 20 seconds left in regulation before Arizona’s Andre Ellington scored from a yard out to pull to within seven. Wilson (238 yards, five sacks) and TE Jimmy Graham connected on a pair of TD passes to take the win, as Seattle outrushed Arizona 75-34, while the Cardinals’ Drew Stanton threw for 273 yards and a TD. Seattle went 3 of 13 on third down conversions at University of Phoenix Stadium and kept the ball for 30:53, while the Desert Angry Birds went 6 of 15 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 29:07.

Seattle leads the series 10-5 and the Seahawks have outscored Atlanta 407-357. They met twice in the 2016 campaign, once in the regular season and once in the post-season.

Meeting number one… week six in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Atlanta saw a 24-17 lead after three quarters get away from them as Seattle rallied to take a 26-24 win at Century Link Field. Seattle led 17-3 at the break before Atlanta scored 21 third quarter points unchallenged. Ryan (335 yards) connected with WRs Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu and TE Levine Toilolo to take the lead after 45 minutes of play. Christine Michael then made it 24-23 when he scored from a yard out with 4:43 left. Atlanta then blocked Stephen Hauschka’s extra point try to keep the lead but Hauschka would redeem himself by connecting on a 44-yard field goal with 1:57 left in regulation. Atlanta got the ball back and had four chances to take the road win but all four of Ryan’s pass attempts failed and Seattle would run out the clock and take the win. Seattle outrushed Atlanta 72-52 and Michael led all rushers with 64 yards, while Wilson threw for 270 yards. The Falcons on third down tries went 3 of 11 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:51, while Seattle ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 30:09, going 5 of 14 on third down.

Meeting number two… the NFC Divisional Game in the Big Peach. The Falcons got their revenge on Seattle in the next-to-last game in the Georgia Dome. Atlanta erased a 7-0 first quarter deficit, led 19-10 at the break and came away 36-20 winners to advance to a date with Green Bay in the NFC Championship game. While Seattle did outrush Atlanta 101-99, the Falcons defense sacked Wilson (225 yards) twice (once for a safety) and picked him off three times. Ryan threw for 338 yards with three TDs, connecting with Jones, Sanu and Tevin Coleman on the strikes and the Falcons played turnover-free football in the Big Peach. Atlanta was 6 of 12 on third down conversions in the Georgia Dome and kept the ball for 33:19, while the Seahawks were 26:41 in time of possession, going 5 of 11 on third down tries.

In the week six contest in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle was favored by 6 1/2 but won by only 2. However… both teams covered the 46 over/under, tallying 50 points. Atlanta found themselves favored by 4 1/2 in the Divisional playoff game in the Big Peach and won by 16, covering the spread and both teams covered the 51 over/under with 56 points. Seattle’s favored by 3 in the rematch in the Pacific Northwest and the over/under’s 45.

On Monday nights, the Falcons are 12-27, while Seattle is 23-8. This one is worth your time to watch, so you may want to tape “Scorpion” this week (Happy is so sexy when she talks science!). The Falcons are still NFC champs and they’ll send that message to Seattle this week. Atlanta pulls the upset in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and pulls the upset, covering the 3.

 

After a Super Bowl for the ages, the draft, mini-camps and training camps, football season is finally here and kicked off last Thursday night in Foxboro as the New England Patriots got their accolades, Super Bowl rings and the Lombardi Trophy. The hunter is NOW the hunted as the other 30 teams start their trek to perhaps getting their own Lombardi. For teams that were in the post-season last year, it’s a chance to get back to the post-season party. As for those teams that struggled last year, it’s a chance to get some revenge. The beauty of the regular season is that if you lose this week, you have a whole week to think about what went wrong. It’s not the end of the world. Two teams have already started the journey Thursday night in western Massachusetts, while the other 30 teams will get their shot this weekend. Miami and Tampa Bay will have to sit out a week because of Hurricane Irma.

After all those days of OTA’s, preseason games, sleeping in dorms for the first time since college, the 2017 National Football League season got underway last Thursday night in Foxboro as the New England Patriots got their rings and lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in Foxboro. That was the first of a 17-week, 256-game regular-season schedule that comes to an end on Sunday, December 31 with 16 division games that will take place in week 17.

Like we said… The hunter is now the hunted.

New England has the Lombardi Trophy for now. There are 31 other teams that would like nothing more than to knock the Pats off the mountain.

SUPER STARTERS: History indicates that the best way for a team to start its drive toward a Super Bowl championship is to win in Week 1.

The 51 Super Bowl winners have a 41-9-1 record in the Kickoff Weekend games of their title seasons. The Super Bowl LI champion New England Patriots, who hosted Kansas City in the season opener Thursday night, have won their past eight home openers played on Kickoff Weekend and 12 of their past 13 overall in Week 1.

Since 1978 when the NFL went to the 16-game schedule and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, teams that are victorious in their season openers are more than twice as likely to reach the playoffs than losers of an opening game:
•Of the 570 teams which won openers…297 went to the playoffs (179 won division titles).
•Of the 571 teams which lost openers…137 went to the playoffs (79 won division titles).

Note: There are a different number of winning and losing teams in season opening games due to the fact the NFL had 31 teams in each season from 1999 to 2001, which creates an odd number for the total number of results.

In 2016, nine of the 12 playoff teams – Detroit, Green Bay, Houston, Kansas City, New England, the New York Giants, Oakland, Pittsburgh and Seattle – were victorious on Kickoff Weekend.

STRONG OUT OF THE GATE: Over the past 10 years, six teams – New England (.758), Denver (.706), Dallas (.676), Green Bay (.676), Baltimore (.647) and Arizona (.618) – have a winning percentage of at least .600 through the season’s first month. Those six clubs have combined for 37 playoff berths and nine Super Bowl appearances – including five Super Bowl championships – during the span.

On Thursday night, the Patriots, who have an NFL-best 25-8 record in the month of September since 2007, hosted Kansas City and Denver (24-10, .706), who own the second-highest opening-month winning percentage in the NFL over the past 10 seasons, host the Los Angeles Chargers in an AFC West showdown in the second game of a Monday Night Football doubleheader at 10:20 p.m. on ESPN.

Teams with the best opening month records over the past 10 seasons (2007-16): (Thursday’s game not included)

TEAM (W-L, PCT)(PLAYOFF BERTHS)(SUPER BOWL BERTHS)(SUPER BOWL WINS)
New England (25-8, .758)(9)(4)(2)
Denver (24-10, .706) (5)(2)(1)
Dallas (23-11, .673) (4)(0)(0)
Green Bay (23-11, .676) (9)(1)(1)
Baltimore (22-12, .647) (6)(1)(1)
Arizona (21-13, .618)(4)(1)(0)

OUT OF THE BLOCKS: Dallas hosts the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football at 8:30 p.m. on NBC, as the two NFC East rivals meet on Kickoff Weekend for the fourth time in the past five seasons. The contest will feature two of the NFL’s most successful teams in season openers. The Cowboys’ .661 winning percentage (37-19-1) is tied with Denver for the highest of any team in NFL history, while the Giants have the third-most wins on Kickoff Weekend (50).

The teams with the best winning percentage on Kickoff Weekend:

TEAM (KICKOFF WEEKEND RECORDS, WIN PCT.)
Dallas (37-19-1, .661)
Denver (37-19-1, .661)
Houston Texans (9-6-0, .600)
Chicago (54-38-5, .587)
Green Bay (54-39-3, .581)
New York Giants (50-37-5, .575)
Note: Ties prior to 1972 did not count in winning percentage.

The teams with the most wins on Kickoff Weekend:

TEAM (KICKOFF WEEKEND WINS)
Chicago (54)
Green Bay (54)
New York Giants (50)
Detroit (47)
Pittsburgh (42)

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

•Chicago, who hosts Atlanta to open their 2017 campaign, have the most wins (65) all-time in home openers.

•Dallas, who welcomes the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football, have 32 wins in home openers since 1970, the most in the NFC.

•Denver, who hosts the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football, have posted a 43-13-1 (.768) record in home openers, the top mark in the NFL. Denver has won 23 of its past 26 home openers.

•Green Bay, who welcomes Seattle on Kickoff Weekend into Lambeau, have won their past four home openers. The Packers are tied with the Bears for the most wins (54) on Kickoff Weekend.

•Houston, who hosts Jacksonville on Kickoff Weekend, have won six of their past seven home openers.

•San Francisco, who hosts Carolina on Kickoff Weekend, have the NFL’s longest active winning streak (six) on Kickoff Weekend.

START ME UP: Some players have excelled in openers. Below is a sampling of notable individual performances on NFL Kickoff Weekend:

•New Orleans running back Adrian Peterson has 885 rushing yards in 10 career season-opening games and needs 115 yards to become the fifth player with at least 1,000 rushing yards in season-opening games. The four players to accomplish the feat are Emmitt Smith (1,247), Walter Payton (1,067), Edgerrin James (1,062) and Jim Brown (1,043). Smith, Payton and Brown are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

•Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has 918 receiving yards and eight touchdown receptions in 13 career season-opening games and needs 82 yards to become the fifth player with at least 1,000 career receiving yards and eight touchdown catches in season-opening games, joining Jerry Rice (1,385 yards, nine TDs), Andre Reed (1,225, 10), Randy Moss (1,194, 10) and Don Maynard (1,025, nine). Rice, Reed and Maynard are all members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

MR. 300: Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers has 297 touchdown passes with 72 interceptions in 12 career seasons. With three touchdown passes against Seattle on Sunday, Rodgers would become the 11th quarterback in NFL history with 300 career touchdowns passes and the first quarterback in league history to reach 300 career passing touchdowns with fewer than 100 interceptions.

The quarterbacks who reached 300 career touchdown passes with the fewest interceptions:

QUARTERBACK – TEAM(S) (INTERCEPTIONS AT TIME OF 300TH TOUCHDOWN PASS)
Tom Brady – New England (115)
Philip Rivers – San Diego (142)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis (152)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (153)
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh (160)
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay (72)*
*Has 297 career touchdowns passes entering Week 1

START ’EM EARLY: Cleveland rookie quarterback De Shone Kizer, a second-round pick (No. 52 overall) in the 2017 NFL Draft, is expected to make his first career start against Pittsburgh on Sunday. With a start by Kizer on Sunday, at least one rookie quarterback will have started in Week 1 in 10 consecutive seasons, the longest streak in the NFL since at least 1950.

The rookie quarterbacks to start in Week 1 since 2008:

SEASON – QUARTERBACK (TEAM, STARTING RECORD AS ROOKIE)
2008 – Joe Flacco (Baltimore Ravens, 11-5)
2008 – Matt Ryan (Atlanta, 11-5)
2009 – Mark Sanchez (New York Jets, 8-7)
2009 – Matthew Stafford (Detroit, 2-8)*
2010 – Sam Bradford (St. Louis Rams, 7-9)*
2011 – Andy Dalton (Cincinnati, 9-7)
2011 – Cam Newton (Carolina, 6-10)*
2012 – Robert Griffin III (Washington, 9-6)
2012 – Andrew Luck (Indianapolis, 11-5)*
2012 – Ryan Tannehill (Miami, 7-9)
2012 – Brandon Weeden (Cleveland, 5-10)
2012 – Russell Wilson (Seattle, 11-5)
2013 – E.J. Manuel (Buffalo, 4-6)
2013 – Geno Smith (New York Jets, 8-8)
2014 – Derek Carr (Oakland, 3-13)
2015 – Marcus Mariota (Tennessee, 3-13)
2015 – Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay, 6-10)*
2016 – Dak Prescott (Dallas, 13-3)
2016 – Carson Wentz (Philadelphia, 7-9)
2017 – DeShone Kizer (Cleveland, 0-0)^
^Expected to start in Week 1
*No. 1 Overall Pick

RUN FORREST RUN! A tough, reliable running game allows an offense to command a game’s pace and in the majority of contests, it can also control the game’s result.

In 2016, NFL teams with a 100-yard rusher posted a 68-27-1 record for a .714 winning percentage. That rated higher than clubs with a 100-yard receiver (94-73-2, .562) or a 300-yard passer (56-60-2, .483).

Pittsburgh running back LE’VEON BELL ranked fifth in the NFL with 1,268 rushing yards last season, despite playing only 12 games. The Steelers were 6-0 in games in which Bell rushed for at least 100 yards.

“Le’Veon’s one of the greatest players on our team,” Steelers quarterback Ben Roethilsberger told KDKA-TV and the Pittsburgh Gazzette. “He’s one of the best running backs in the world. It’s an honor to play with him.”

Over the past five years, teams have compiled a 359-141-6 record (.715) a player has eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark. By comparison, clubs with a 100-yard receiver have a .558 winning percentage (509-403-4), while offenses with a 300-yard passer have won 51.5 percent of their games (316-298-3).

Here are the winning percentage of teams with a 100-yard rusher, 100-yard receiver or 300-yard passer over the past five seasons:

100-YARD RUSHERS
YEAR: W-L-T, WIN PCT.
2012: 83-35-1, .702
2013: 60-33-2 .642
2014: 75-23-2 .760
2015: 73-23 .760
2016: 68-27-1 .714
Total :359-141-6 .715

100-YARD RECEIVERS
YEAR: W-L-T WIN PCT.
2012: 92-78-1 .541                                      :
2013: 98-82 .544
2014: 105-74-1 .586
2015: 120-96 .556
2016: 94-73-2 .562
Total: 509-403-4 .558

300-YARD PASSERS
YEAR: W-L-T WIN PCT.
2012: 61-65 .484
2013: 60-58 .508
2014: 70-52-1 .573
2015: 69-63 .522
2016: 56-60-2 .483
Total: 316-298-3 .515

EVERY NFL SNAP STARTS UNDER CENTER: It all starts with the guy under center. Nothing begins on an NFL field without the quarterback. NFL QBs put together a historically proficient and prolific year in 2016.

The league-wide completion percentage (63.0) tied the previous record set in 2015, while the league-wide passer rating (89.3) ranked second behind only the 2015 season (90.2). There were touchdown passes thrown in 2016, the fourth-highest total in NFL history.

Games averaged 700.8 total net yards per game, the mark in NFL annals (705.3 in 2015). Explosive offenses fueled that trend, with an average of 483.0 yards per game, the second-highest total all-time in 2015).

The league-wide interception percentage of 2.3 percent lowest of any season in NFL history, surpassing previous mark of 2.4 in 2015. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, despite missing four games for his role in Deflategate, finished the 2016 season with interception percentage (two INTs in 432 passing attempts), the third-lowest interception percentage quarterback since 1960. Brady passed for 28 touchdown passes and two interceptions last season, recording the highest touchdown/interception ratio history.

There were 57 individual performances with three touchdown passes without an interception in 2016, the highest of any season in NFL history (59 in 2015, 2014). Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers led the league with seven games of at least touchdown passes without an interception, tied third-most in a single season in NFL history.

“It’s a passing league,” Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Light told the Tampa Tribune. “It’s a quarterback-driven league, so you want a great quarterback. If you’ve got a great quarterback, you’ve got a chance.”

As professional football has evolved, the sophistication and importance of the passing game have grown consistently. Defenders have grown stronger and faster while defensive coordinators have become more creative. Moving the ball downfield three yards at a time via the run has grown increasingly difficult.

This trend has helped allow the growing number of star NFL quarterbacks – ranging from established veterans like Brady, Rodgers, Drew Brees and Ben Roethilsberger to talented youngsters like Derek Carr, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota and Dak Prescott – to fully showcase their passing talents.

An NFL-record 13 passers reached the 4,000-yard mark in 2016, eclipsing 2015 for the most of any season in NFL history (12). Brees led the NFL with 5,208 passing yards, the fourth-highest passing yardage total in league history. Brees is the first player to lead the league in passing yards seven times, extending his NFL record.

Five quarterbacks recorded a 100+ passer rating in 2016, led by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, whose 117.1 rating was the fifth-highest in NFL history.

4,000+ PASS YARDS
PLAYER – YARDS
Drew Brees – 5,208
Matt Ryan – 4,944
Kirk Cousins – 4,917
Aaron Rodgers – 4,428
Philip Rivers – 4,386
Matthew Stafford – 4,327                –
Joe Flacco – 4,317
Andrew Luck – 4,240
Carson Palmer – 4,233
Russell Wilson – 4,219
Andy Dalton – 4,206
Jameis Winston – 4,090
Eli Manning – 4,027

30+ PASS TDs
PLAYER – TDs
Aaron Rodgers – 40
Matt Ryan – 38
Drew Brees – 37
Philip Rivers – 33
Andrew Luck – 31

100+ PASSER RATING
PLAYER – RATING
Matt Ryan – 117.1
Tom Brady – 112.2
Dak Prescott – 104.9
Aaron Rodgers – 104.2
Drew Brees – 101.7

TIGHT ENDS ON THE RISE: NFL tight ends have been performing at an historic level and the 2016 season was no different.
Last year, tight ends recorded the second-most catches (2,494) and receiving yards (27,340) in a single season for the position.

SINGLE-SEASON TIGHT END RECORDS: Last season, four tight ends – Baltimore’s Dennis Pitta (86), Kansas City’s Travis Kelce (85), Minnesota’s Kyle Rudolph (83) and Carolina’s Greg Olsen (80) – reached the 80-reception mark, tied for the most tight ends with at least 80 receptions in a single season in NFL history.

In 2016, Olsen recorded 1,073 receiving yards and became the first tight end in NFL history to record three consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards

Los Angeles Chargers tight end Antonio Gates had seven receiving touchdowns in 2016 and has 111 career touchdown catches, tying Tony Gonzalez for the most by a tight end in history.

Gates brought his career receiving yardage total to 11,192, becoming the third tight end in NFL history to reach 11,000 career receiving yards, joining Gonzalez (15,127) and Dallas’ Jason Witten (11,888).

The importance of the tight end position was evident in this year’s NFL Draft as well. Three tight ends – O.J. Howard (Tampa Bay, No. 19), Evan Engram (New York Giants, No. 23) and David Njoku (Cleveland, No. 29) and) – were chosen in the first round, tied for the most first round tight ends (1970 and 2002) since the advent of the common draft in 1967.

YEAR – REC. YARDS
2015 – 27,553
2016 – 27,340
2013 – 27,284
2011 – 27,080
2012 – 26,197

YEAR CATCHES
2015 – 2,518
2016 – 2,494
2012 – 2,401
2013 – 2,384

SEASON MOST TEs W/ 80+ RECEPTIONS IN SINGLE SEASON
2016 – 4
2014 – 4
2011 – 4
2004 – 4
Many tied with 3

CONVERSION: Excelling on third down extends drives and keeps your opponent off the field, which can be an important factor in winning games.

Last season, six playoff teams converted at least 40 percent of their third-down attempts – Green Bay (46.7 percent), New England (45.8), Detroit (42.6), Dallas (42.3), Atlanta (42.1) and Pittsburgh (41.1).

Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb understands the importance of converting. “We talk about it continuously,” Cobb told the Milwaukee Sentinel. “Being able to break a tackle and picking up a first down is important. We try and do that consistently throughout games.”

Converting on third down extends drives ultimately leading towards the end zone. Last season, nine of the top 10 offensive scoring teams converted at least 40 percent of third downs. Atlanta and New England, who met in Super Bowl LI, both converted at least 40 percent of third downs last season.

FOURTH-AND-ONE: In fourth-and-one situations, the offense or defense must not only overpower its opponent but also outsmart it in order to retain or gain possession. It is an art that must be studied for mastery.

Three teams were perfect on fourth-and-one conversions in 2016 (minimum five attempts) – Dallas, Cleveland and Carolina. Three teams with perfect fourth-and-one conversion rates (minimum five attempts) are tied for the most in a single season in NFL history (2005).

Just as converting on third and fourth downs are important for the offense, it’s equally important for the defense to stop scoring drives and save games.

A stop on fourth-and-one for a defense is as important as forcing a turnover. While the offense needs to convert to prolong its drive hoping to control the clock and find the end zone, the defense can hand the ball over to its offense with field position by stifling an offense.

Thirteen teams stopped at least half of their opponents’ fourth-and-one attempts, including seven playoff teams – Houston, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Miami, New York Giants and Oakland.

TOTAL MILES TRAVELED AND NOTES ON 2017 TRAVEL (Mileage is based on the estimated round-trip distance for every regular-season road game)

Talk about frequent flyer miles! All 32 teams will board a plane or bus during the season to get from stadium to stadium during any given season.

• The total distance traveled by all teams during the regular season will be 564,820 miles.

• The teams of the NFC West (110,848) have the highest combined mileage total of all divisions.

• The remaining division totals ranking from highest to lowest are the AFC West (90,546), NFC East (80,956), AFC East (75,105), AFC South (67,352), NFC South (56,146), AFC North (48,797) and NFC North (35,070).

• Five teams – the Los Angeles Rams (32,600), Oakland (30,899), Arizona (30,035), Miami (27,520) and the Los Angeles Chargers (26,134) – will “travel around the world” at least once. A trip around the globe is 25,000 miles.

Below are the teams and the distance they will travel in 2017 (please return your trays to the upright position).

TEAM – MILES
1. Los Angeles Rams – 32,600
2. Oakland – 30,899
3. Arizona – 30,035
4. Miami – 27,520
5. Los Angeles Chargers – 26,134
6. Jacksonville – 24,522
7. Seattle – 24,121
8. San Francisco – 24,092
9. New York Giants – 21,883
10. New Orleans – 20,968
11. Washington – 20,762
12. Philadelphia – 20,227
13. Denver – 18,842
14. Houston – 18,546
15. Dallas – 18,084
16. Baltimore – 18,055
17. New England – 17,830
18. New York Jets – 16,483
19. Cleveland – 16,386
20. Kansas City – 14,671
21. Tampa Bay – 13,683
22. Buffalo – 13,272
23. Tennessee – 13,048
24. Atlanta – 11,687
25. Indianapolis – 11,236
26. Minnesota – 10,460
27. Carolina – 9,808
28. Chicago – 8,318
29. Detroit – 8,218
30. Green Bay – 8,074
31. Cincinnati – 7,662
32. Pittsburgh – 6,694

2017 NFL STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
TEAM (OPPONENTS’ 2016 PCT AND RECORD) (GAMES VS. TEAMS, .500 OR BETTER) (GAMES VS. 2016 PLAYOFF TEAMS)
Denver (.578; 147-107-2) (8) (10)
Kansas City (.576; 147-108-1) (8) (11)
Los Angeles Chargers (.568; 145-110-1) (8) (11)
Oakland (.564; 144-111-1) (6) (11)
Buffalo (.561; 143-112-1 (7) (10)
Miami (.547; (140-116-0) (5) (9)
Washington (.543; 138-116-2) (7) (9)
New York Jets (.535; 137-119-0) (7) (9)
New York Giants (.535; 135-117-4) (6) (10)
Dallas (.531; 134-118-4) (7) (10)
Philadelphia (.531; 134-118-4) (7) (10)
New England P(.527; (135-121-0) (7) (9)
Atlanta (.521; 133-122-1) (6) (9)
Tampa Bay (.518; 132-123-1) (7) (8)
New Orleans (.510; 130-125-1) (6) (10)
Carolina (.504; 129-127-0) (6) (9)
Los Angeles Rams (.482; 121-130-5) (5) (9)
Green Bay (.480; 122-132-2) (6) (10)
Chicago (.479; 122-133-1) (6) (10)
San Francisco (.475; 119-132-5) (5) (8)
Cleveland (.469; 119-135-2 (5) (10)
Detroit (.469; 119-135-2) (5) (9)
Arizona (.467; 118-135-3) (6) (10)
Baltimore (.461; 117-137-2) (7) (10)
Houston (.455; 115-138-3) (4) (9)
Seattle (.455; 115-138-3) (5) (8)
Pittsburgh (.453; 115-139-2) (5) (10)
Minnesota (.453; 115-139-2) (6) (9)
Cincinnati (.449; 115-141-0) (5) (11)
Tennessee (.439; 111-142-3) (6) (9)
Jacksonville (.439; 111-142-3) (4) (9)
Indianapolis (.424; 107-146-3) (4) (8)

NFL fans continue to tune in to the sport they love. Here’s a look at what’s in store on TV in 2017. The regular-season schedule – spanning 17 weeks and 256 games – kicked off on Thursday night in New England and concludes on Sunday, December 31 with 16 division games. The season begins with the NFL’s annual primetime kickoff game. The opener on September 7 on NBC at 8:30 p.m. will feature the defending champion New England Patriots hosting Kansas City at Gillette Stadium.

Week 1 is a FOX national weekend with the key doubleheader game on Sunday, September 10 at 4:25 p.m. featuring Seattle traveling to Lambeau to take on Green Bay. week 3 is the first CBS national weekend with the key doubleheader game showcasing Cincinnati taking on Green Bay at Lambeau Field.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football gets underway on September 10 when Dallas hosts the New York Giants at 8:30 p.m. at AT&T Stadium. Kickoff Weekend concludes on Monday, September 11 with an ESPN Monday Night Football doubleheader. Minnesota hosts New Orleans at 7:10 p.m. in the first contest, while Denver hosts the Los Angeles Chargers at 10:20 p.m. in the nightcap.

ESPN will televise one game each Monday night in Weeks 2-16. There will be no Monday night game on the final regular-season weekend (Week 17) to provide more flexibility for the scheduling of the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs. The 2018 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 28 at 3 p.m. at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium and will be simulcast nationally on ABC and ESPN. It marks the first time the Pro Bowl will air on both broadcast and cable networks.

A select number of games will be “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences. Some of those contests have already been announced, including the Seahawks at the Giants (4:25 PM ET, CBS) in Week 7 and Minnesota at Carolina Panthers at 1 p.m. on CBS in Week 14. Other “cross-flexed” games will be decided during the season.

The regular season will conclude with Week 17 on Sunday, December 31. For the eighth consecutive year, all 16 games scheduled for Week 17 are division contests, enhancing the potential for more games with playoff ramifications.

Other highlights of the schedule include:

In Week 2, the Atlanta Falcons will open their new home – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – on Sunday, September 17 in primetime at 8:30 p.m. on NBC when they take on Green Bay in a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game. Earlier that day, the Chargers will make their return to Los Angeles as they host the Miami Dolphins at the StubHub Center at 4:05 p.m. on CBS.

The Patriots will host the Falcons in Week 7 on Sunday night, October 22 at 8:30 p.m. on NBC in a rematch of Super Bowl LI, the first Super Bowl in NFL history to go into overtime.

Thanksgiving will feature a tripleheader on Thursday, November 23. The first game will send the Vikings to Detroit to face the Lions at 12:30 p.m. on FOX for the second consecutive year. The late afternoon game will feature the Los Angeles Chargers visiting Dallas at 4:30 p.m. on CBS and the holiday concludes with Washington Redskins hosting the NeW York Giants in Landover on NBC at 8:30 p.m.

In Week 16, NBC’s Sunday Night Football game (Minnesota at Green Bay) will move to Saturday night, December 23 at 8:30 p.m. on  NBC due to Christmas Eve and is not subject to flexible scheduling. Christmas Day will feature a doubleheader on Monday, December 25 with Houston hosting Pittsburgh at 4:30 p.m. on NBC/NFLN/Amazon Prime) in the first game and Oakland visiting Philadelphia at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN in primetime.

The NFL’s international slate includes four games in London – the fi rst time the league will play four games in the UK – and one in Mexico City. On Sunday, September 24, Jacksonville will host the Baltimore Ravens at London’s Wembley Stadium (9:30 AM ET) in a contest that will be streamed globally by Verizon. The next weekend, on Sunday, October 1, Miami will host New Orleans at Wembley at 9:30 a.m. on FOX. In Week 7, the Los Angeles Rams will host Arizona at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday, October 22 at p.m. on FOX. The following week, Cleveland will host Minnesota at Twickenham on Sunday, October 29 at 9:30 a.m. on NFL Network. The NFL returns to Mexico City on Sunday, November 19 at 4:25 p.m. on CBS when Oakland hosts New England at Estadio Azteca.

The NFL has partnered with Amazon Prime this season and will once again use a “Tri-Cast” distribution model of broadcast (CBS/NBC), cable (NFL Network) and digital (Amazon Prime) for 10 Thursday Night Football games and a Christmas Day contest. CBS and NBC will each broadcast five Thursday Night Football games which will be simulcast on NFL Network and streamed to Amazon Prime members worldwide. NBC will also broadcast the Christmas Day game. CBS will start in Week 4 (Thursday, September 28) when the Packers host Chicago. NBC’s Tri-Cast package begins in Week 10 (Thursday, November 9) when the Seahawks visit the Arizona Cardinals. Additionally, NFL Network will also exclusively televise a seven-game schedule comprised of three Thursday Night Football games, three late-season Saturday contests and a Sunday morning London matchup.

The NFL’s 32 teams will each play 16 games over 17 weeks. Byes will begin in Week 5 and end in Week 11.

“Flexible scheduling” will be used in Weeks 10-15 and 17. Additionally, in Weeks 5-9, flexible scheduling may be used in no more than two weeks. In Weeks 5-15, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights. A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to December 31. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17 but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into prime time.

The playoffs will include four division winners and two wild cards from each conference. The playoffs begin with Wild Card Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, January 6-7. The two division winners with the best records in each conference will earn first-round byes.

Wild Card Weekend winners join the top two division champions in each conference in the Divisional Playoffs on Saturday and Sunday, January 13-14. The AFC and NFC Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 21. The winners meet two weeks later on Sunday, February 4 in Super Bowl LII at Minnesota’s U.S. Bank Stadium on NBC.

The Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 28 at 3 p.m. on ABC/ESPN at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium.

The NFL is the only sports league that presents all regular-season and postseason games on free, over-the-air television in local markets. All postseason games are televised nationally.

FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING: Flexible scheduling will be used in Weeks 10-15 and 17. Additionally, in Weeks 5-9, flexible scheduling may be used in no more than two weeks.

In Weeks 5-15, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights. A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game.

For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to December 31. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17 but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot.

Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into prime time.

Additionally, a select number of games are being “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences.

In the 2017 season, the City of Angels will have two teams for the first time since the 60s as the Chargers make their way up I-5 to relocate in Los Angeles, where they first started. The Atlanta Falcons will move into their new stadium, Mercedes Benz Stadium, located next to their old nest, the Georgia Dome. Speaking of new… this season, six NFL teams – the Buffalo Bills (Sean McDermott), Denver Broncos (Vance Joseph), Jacksonville Jaguars (Doug Marrone), Los Angeles Chargers (Anthony Lynn), Los Angeles Rams (Sean McVay) and San Francisco 49ers (Kyle Shannahan) – welcome new head coaches.

Once again, the NFL will have divisional games in the final week to close things out. Some games will have playoff implications, other games will be revenge matches.

Week 1 is a FOX national weekend with the key doubleheader game on Sunday, September 10 at 4:25 p.m. featuring the Seattle Seahawks at the Green Bay Packers. Week 3 is the first CBS national weekend with the key doubleheader game showcasing the Cincinnati Bengals facing the Packers at Lambeau Field.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football gets underway on September 10 when the Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants at 8:30 p.m. at AT&T Stadium in a key NFC East matchup.

Will there be Monday Night Football? Of course! As an added bonus, Kickoff Weekend concludes on Monday, September 11 with an ESPN Monday Night Football doubleheader. The Minnesota Vikings will host the New Orleans Saints at 7:10 p.m. in the first game followed by the Los Angeles Chargers visiting the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in the nightcap at 10:20 p.m.

ESPN will televise one game each Monday night in Weeks 2-16 and there will be no Monday night game on the final regular-season weekend (Week 17) to provide more flexibility for the scheduling of the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs. A select number of games will be “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences. Some of those contests were announced  when the 2017 schedule was released, including the Seahawks traveling to upstate New Jersey to play at the New York Giants at 4:25 p.m. on CBS in Week 7 and the Vikings at the Carolina Panthers at 1 p.m. on CBS in Week 14. Other “cross-flexed” games will be decided during the season.

The 2017 schedule will also have an international flavor, as the international slate includes four games in London – the first time the league will play four games in the UK – and one in Mexico City. On Sunday, September 24, the Jacksonville Jaguars will host the Baltimore Ravens at London’s Wembley Stadium at 9:30 a.m. with distribution to be announced at a later date). The next weekend, on Sunday, October 1, the Dolphins will host the Saints at Wembley at 9:30 a.m. on FOX. In Week 7, the Los Angeles Rams will host the Arizona Cardinals at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday, October 22 at 1 p.m. in an NFC West matchup on FOX on Sunday, October 29. The following week, the Cleveland Browns will host the Minnesota Vikings at Twickenham on Sunday, October 29 at 9:30 a.m. on NFL Network. The NFL will return to Mexico City on Sunday, November 19 at 4:25 p.m. on CBS when the Oakland Raiders and Derek Carr host the Patriots and Tom Brady at Estadio Azteca.

Other highlights of the schedule include:

In Week 2, the Atlanta Falcons will open their new home – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – on Sunday, September 17 in primetime at 8:30 p.m. on NBC when they host the Packers in a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game. Earlier that day, the Chargers will make their return to Los Angeles as they host the Miami Dolphins at the StubHub Center at 4:05 p.m. on CBS.

As was the case last year, the two teams that met in last year’s Super Bowl will meet this year. New England hosts Atlanta in week 7 on Sunday night, October 22nd at 8:30 p.m. on NBC. It’s a rematch of Super Bowl LI in Houston, the first Super Bowl in NFL history to go into overtime.

Yes, there’s football on Turkey Day. Thanksgiving will feature a tripleheader on Thursday, November 23. The first game will send the Vikings to Detroit to face the Lions at 12:30 p.m. on FOX for the second consecutive year as NFC North foes meet in the Motor City. The late afternoon game will feature the Chargers visiting the Cowboys at 4:30 p.m. on CBS and the holiday concludes with an NFC East matchup in Landover as the Washington Redskins host Eli Manning and the New York Giants on NBC at  8:30 p.m.

The playoffs (PLAYOFFS?! PLAYOFFS! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!) will include four division winners and two wild cards from each conference. The playoffs begin with Wild Card Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, January 6-7. The two division winners with the best records in each conference will earn first-round byes. Wild Card Weekend winners join the top two division champions in each conference in the Divisional Playoffs on Saturday and Sunday, January 13-14. The AFC and NFC Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 21. The winners meet two weeks later on Sunday, February 4 in Super Bowl LII at Minnesota’s U.S. Bank Stadium on NBC.

It’s time to get “Back to Football!”

The preseason is over. Training camp? Done.

Time to get it on for real.

“Being selected to play in the season-opening game and having a league-high six prime-time contests is a tremendous honor and a tribute to our team and organization,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid told the Kansas City Star. “We’ve already started preparation for these teams and we know we have a lot of great challenges ahead of us.”

Home teams have won 13 of the last 14 openers since 2002. That’s not bad at all and it keeps your fan base happy.

The NFL primetime kickoff games since 2002 (Home teams in CAPS):

September 5, 2002 at Giants Stadium – San Francisco 16, NEW YORK GIANTS 13 (San Francisco’s Jose Cortez kicks a 36-yard field goal with six seconds remaining in the NFL’s first Thursday night opener since 1949.)

September 4, 2003 at FedExField – WASHINGTON 16, New York Jets 13 (Washington kicker John Hall converts a game-winning 50-yard field goal with five seconds remaining to lift the Redskins.)

September 9, 2004 at Gillette Stadium – NEW ENGLAND 27, Indianapolis 24 (New England quarterback Tom Brady passes for 335 yards and three TDs as the defending Super Bowl champions defeat the Colts.)

September 8, 2005 at Gillette Stadium – NEW ENGLAND 30, Oakland 20 (New England quarterback Tom Brady throws for 306 yards and two TDs while running back Corey Dillon adds two scores for the defending Super Bowl champions.

September 7, 2006 at Heinz Field – PITTSBURGH 28, Miami 17 (Pittsburgh quarterback Charlie Batch, subbing for Ben Roethlisberger, passes for three TDs and running back Willie Parker adds 115 rushing yards as the defending Super Bowl champions defeat Miami.

September 6, 2007 at RCA Dome – INDIANAPOLIS 41, New Orleans 10 (The Super Bowl champion Colts rack up 452 yards of offense as quarterback Peyton Manning passes for 288 yards and three TDs.)

September 4, 2008 at Giants Stadium – NEW YORK GIANTS 16, Washington 7 (Quarterback Eli Manning scores a TD and the Giants’ defense allows just 209 total yards as the defending Super Bowl champions defeat division-rival Washington.

September 10, 2009 at Heinz Field – PITTSBURGH 13, Tennessee 10 (OT) (Pittsburgh’s Jeff Reed kicks a 33-yard game-winning field goal in overtime as the defending Super Bowl champions defeat Tennessee.)

September 9, 2010 Louisiana Superdome – NEW ORLEANS 14, Minnesota 9 (New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees throws for 237 yards and a TD to lead the Saints past the Vikings in a rematch of the 2009 NFC Championship Game.)

September 8, 2011 at Lambeau Field – GREEN BAY 42, New Orleans 34 (Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers passes for 312 yards and three TDs and the Packers’ defense makes a goal-line stand on the game’s final play as the defending Super Bowl champions defeat the Saints.)

September 5, 2012 at MetLife Stadium Dallas 24, NEW YORK GIANTS 17 (Dallas quarterback Tony Romo throws for 307 yards and three TDs, including two to Kevin Ogletree, as the Cowboys defeat the defending Super Bowl champion Giants.)

September 5, 2013 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High – DENVER 49, Baltimore 27 (Denver quarterback Peyton Manning ties an NFL single-game record with seven TD passes as the Broncos knock off the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens.)

September 4, 2014 CenturyLink Field – SEATTLE 36, Green Bay 16 (Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson throws two TDs while running back Marshawn Lynch rushes for 110 yards and two scores as the defending champion Seahawks win at home.)

September 10, 2015 at Gillette Stadium – NEW ENGLAND 28, Pittsburgh 21 (New England quarterback Tom Brady throws four touchdown passes as the defending champion Patriots defeat the Steelers.)

September 8, 2016 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High – DENVER 21, Carolina 20 (Denver running back C.J. Anderson scores two touchdowns as the Broncos defeat the Panthers in a rematch of Super Bowl 50.)

ANOTHER OPENING, ANOTHER SHOW… Since 1978 when the NFL went to the 16-game schedule and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, teams that are victorious in their season openers are more than twice as likely to reach the playoffs than losers of an opening game:

Of the 570 teams which won openers…298 went to the playoffs (179 won division titles).

Of the 571 teams which lost openers…137 went to the playoffs (79 won division titles).

Note: There are a different number of winning and losing teams in season opening games due to the fact the NFL had 31 teams in each season from 1999 to 2001, which creates an odd number for the total number of results.

In 2016, nine of the 12 playoff teams – Detroit, Green Bay, Houston, Kansas City, New England, the New York Giants, Pittsburgh, Oakland and Seattle – were victorious on Kickoff Weekend.

HOME SWEET HOME: The Seattle Seahawks, who host San Francisco in Week 2, have won eight consecutive home openers, the longest active streak in the league…the Baltimore Ravens (14-7), who host Cleveland in Week 2, have a .667 winning percentage in home openers, the third-best mark in the AFC…the Pittsburgh Steelers, who open at home in Week 2 against Minnesota, have the most wins (49) among AFC teams in home openers…and the Detroit Lions, who begin the year by hosting Arizona, have a 52-35 (.598) record in openers at home, the third-most wins in NFL history.

HEAD COACHES: New England’s Bill Belichick is 15-7 (.682) on Kickoff Weekend and his 15 wins are the most among active head coaches…Belichick and Kansas City’s Andy Reid (10-8; .556) are the only active head coaches who have won at least 10 Kickoff Weekend games and own an opening weekend winning percentage above .500…Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis has won three consecutive games on Kickoff Weekend, the longest current streak among active head coaches… Dirk Koetter (1-0) of the Buccaneers, Ben McAdo (1-0) of the Giants and Doug Pederson (1-0) of the Eagles are the only active head coaches with perfect records on Kickoff Weekend.

YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME! (Apologies to Herm Edwards!)… With only 16 games per team, every game is important. It’s just that, some weeks, some games seem to be even more important!

The following is a 2017 Weeks 1-17 list of “Headline Games” but far from the only ones:

Week  1: Kansas City at New England Thursday-night Kickoff Weekend opener features meeting of 2016 playoff clubs.
Week  2: Miami at Los Angeles Chargers/Green Bay at Atlanta – Chargers return to Los Angeles and Atlanta opens Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Week  3: Baltimore at Jacksonville (London) – 2017 international slate of games kicks off at London’s Wembley Stadium.
Week  4: Chicago at Green Bay – NFL’s oldest rivalry continues on Thursday Night Football in battle of NFC North foes.
Week  5: Kansas City at Houston – Texans host Chiefs in Sunday Night Football meeting of 2016 AFC division winners.
Week  6: Indianapolis at Tennessee – Battle between two contenders from AFC South on Monday Night Football.
Week  7: Atlanta at New England – Super Bowl LI rematch on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
Week  8: Minnesota at Cleveland (London) – Showdown at Twickenham Stadium is last of four games played in UK in 2017.
Week  9: Atlanta at Carolina – Past two NFL MVPs – Matt Ryan and Cam Newton – face off in NFC South battle.
Week 10: Seattle at Arizona – NFC West rivalry will be tri-cast on NBC, NFLN and Amazon Prime.
Week 11: New England at Oakland (Mexico City) – Oakland hosts New England as NFL returns to Mexico for second consecutive year.
Week 12: Minnesota at Detroit/Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas/New York Giants at Washington – Thanksgiving triple-header featuring food, family and football!
Week 13: Denver at Miami – Broncos first-year head coach Vance Joseph squares off against his former team.
Week 14: Dallas at New York Giants – Giants host Cowboys as NFC East foes square off at MetLife Stadium.
Week 15: Chicago at Detroit/Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City – Saturday double-header features two divisional matchups.
Week 16: Pittsburgh at Houston/Oakland at Philadelphia – Christmas Day doubleheader showcases three teams from 2016 playoff field.
Week 17: 16 Division Matchups Final weekend features all division games with playoff berths on the line!

KEEPING HOPE ALIVE… The 2016 season was full of excitement, but that should be no surprise. Unpredictability is the norm in today’s NFL. Close games and great comeback victories, new teams making the playoffs and winning divisions, consistent teams excelling once again, records falling and so much more. The NFL never fails to surprise and 2016 was no different.

The 2016 season featured many exciting games with close finishes, as 57 percent were decided by one score – 146 of 256 games were decided by eight or fewer points, the most of any season since the NFL adopted the two-point conversion in 1994.

Games continued to have a flare for the dramatic, as tight contests frequently came down to the wire. In 2016, there were 72 games in which the winning team trailed at some point in the fourth quarter, the most such games in a season in NFL history, surpassing the previous high of 70 in The Detroit Lions won eight games when trailing in the fourth quarter in 2016, the most in a single season in NFL history.

The teams with the most wins after trailing in the fourth quarter in a single season in NFL history:
2016 – Detroit (8)
2009 – Indianapolis (7)
Many tied with 6

The 2017 season promises more of the same. Every enters the new year with hope.

Six teams that missed the postseason in 2015 – Atlanta (11-5) Dallas (13-3), Detroit (9-7), Miami (10-6), the New York Giants (11-5) and Oakland (12-4) – advanced to playoffs. Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990, at least four teams have qualified the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

MILESTONES: In the 2017 campaign, players and teams will have opportunities to set milestones on the gridiron.

PLAYER MILESTONES

Drew Brees (New Orleans) needs 290 completions to surpass Peyton Manning (6,125) for the second-most all-time. Brees needs 465 completions to surpass Brett Favre (6,300) for the all-time record. In 16 seasons, Brees has 5,836 completions. Brees has led the league in completions five times and can tie Dan Marino (six) for the all-time record.

Brees can extend his NFL record streak of consecutive seasons with at least 30 touchdown passes. Brees has passed for at least 30 touchdowns in each of the past nine seasons and can surpass Favre (nine) and Peyton Manning (nine) to become the only quarterback to throw at least 30 touchdown passes in 10 different seasons.

Brees needs 35 touchdown passes to join Peyton Manning (539) and Favre (508) as the only players with 500 career touchdown passes. In seasons, Brees has touchdown passes.

Brees needs 3,889 passing yards to join P. Manning (71,940) and Favre (71,838) as the third quarterback with 70,000 career passing yards. In 16 seasons, Brees has 66,111 passing yards.

Brees needs f ve games with at least four touchdown passes to surpass P. Manning (35) and move into first place on the NFL’s all-time list for games with at least four touchdown passes.

Brees can become the first player to lead the league in passing yards eight times in his career. Sonny Jurgensen (five) and Dan Marino (five) are tied for the second-most such seasons in NFL history. Brees led the NFL with 5,208 passing yards in 2016.

Brees can extend his NFL-record streak of seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards. Brees has passed for at least 4,000 yards in 11 consecutive seasons.

Brees has four seasons with at least 35 touchdown passes and can become the first player in NFL history to pass for at least 35 touchdown passes in five seasons.

Brees can become the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 40 touchdowns in three seasons. Brees has two seasons with at least 40 touchdown passes.

Tom Brady (New England) has six seasons with at least 30 touchdown passes and can join Favre (nine), Peyton Manning (nine) and Brees (nine) as the only players to pass for at least 30 touchdowns in seven seasons. Brady has four seasons with at least 35 touchdown passes and can become the first player in NFL history to pass for at least 35 touchdowns in five seasons. He has led the league in touchdown passes four times in his career and can tie Brees (five) as the only players to lead the league in touchdown passes five times.

Brady has 183 regular-season wins and needs four wins to pass Peyton Manning (186) and Favre (186) for the most regular-season wins by a starting quarterback in NFL history. Brady has 51 career games with three touchdown passes and no interceptions and needs one to pass P. Manning (51) for the most such games in NFL history. Brady has passed for at least 4,000 yards eight times in his career and can join Peyton Manning (14) and Brees (11) as the only players to pass for 4,000 yards in nine seasons.

Eli Manning (New York Giants) needs 1,786 passing yards to become the seventh player in NFL history with 50,000 career passing yards. In 13 seasons, Manning has 48,214 passing yards, Manning needs 30 touchdown passes to become the sixth player NFL history with 350 career touchdown passes. In 13 seasons and has 320 touchdown passes.

Philip Rivers (Los Angeles Chargers) needs 4,167 passing yards to become the seventh player in NFL history to reach 50,000 career passing yards. In 13 seasons, he has 45,833 passing yards. Rivers has 3,811 career completions and needs 189 to become the eighth player in history with at least 4,000 completions.

Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh) needs 3,186 passing yards to become the seventh player in NFL history with 50,000 career passing yards. In 13 seasons, he has 46,814 passing yards. Roethlisberger can become the eighth player in NFL history with 4,000 career completions. In 13 seasons, Roethlisberger has 3,804 career completions.

Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay) needs three touchdown passes to become the 11th player in NFL history to reach the 300 mark. In 12 seasons, Rodgers has 297 touchdown passes. Rodgers can become the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 40 touchdowns in three seasons.

Rodgers has passed for at least 40 touchdowns in two seasons. Rodgers has four seasons with at least 35 touchdown passes and can become the first player in NFL history to pass for at least 35 touchdown passes in five seasons.

Carson Palmer (Arizona) needs 15 touchdown passes to become the 11th player in NFL history to reach 300 career touchdown passes (see Rodgers note). In 13 seasons, Palmer has 285 touchdown passes.

Matt Ryan (Atlanta) has passed for at least 4,000 yards in six consecutive seasons and can become the second player in NFL history with 4,000 passing yards in seven consecutive seasons, joining Brees (11)

Matthew Stafford (Detroit) has passed for at least 4,000 yards in six consecutive seasons and can become the second player in NFL history with 4,000 passing yards in seven consecutive seasons, joining Brees (11).

Derek Carr (Oakland) needs 3,000 passing yards to become the sixth player in NFL history to start their career with four consecutive 3,000 yard seasons.

Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay) needs 35 touchdown passes to become the fourth player in NFL history to pass for at least 85 touchdowns in his first three seasons. In two seasons, Winston has 50 touchdown passes.

Adrian Peterson (New Orleans) needs 10 rushing touchdowns to join LaDainian Tomlinson (nine) as the only players in NFL history to rush for 10 touchdowns in at least nine different seasons. Peterson is currently tied with Emmitt Smith (eight).

Peterson has six 200-yard rushing games in his career. He needs one 200-yard game to surpass O.J. Simpson (six) for the most all-time.

Peterson needs three rushing touchdowns to become the ninth player in NFL history with 100 rushing touchdowns. In 10 seasons, Peterson has 97 rushing touchdowns.

Peterson needs 566 rushing yards to pass Thurman Thomas (12,074), Franco Harris (12,120), Marcus Allen (12,243), Edgerrin James (12,246), Marshall Faulk (12,279) and Jim Brown (12,312) to move into 10th all-time in rushing yards. In 10 seasons, Peterson has 11,747 rushing yards.

Frank Gore (Indianapolis) needs 1,000 rushing yards to join Curtis Martin (10), Barry Sanders (10), Walter Payton (10) and Emmitt Smith (11) as the only players in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in at least 10 different seasons. In 12 seasons, Gore has rushed for 1,000 yards nine times.

Gore needs 935 rushing yards to become the fifth player in NFL history to reach 14,000 career rushing yards. In 12 seasons, Gore has 13,065 rushing yards.

Darren Sproles (Philadelphia) needs 672 all-purpose yards to move into fifth place in NFL history. In 12 seasons, Sproles has 19,011 all-purpose yards.

Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona) needs 75 receptions to join Jerry Rice (1,549) and Tony Gonzalez (1,325) as the only players in NFL history to record 1,200 receptions. In 13 seasons, Fitzgerald has 1,125 catches.

Fitzgerald needs eight touchdown catches to pass Gonzalez (111) and Antonio Gates (111) and move into sixth place all-time. In 13 seasons, Fitzgerald has 104 touchdown receptions.

Brandon Marshall (New York Giants), needs 59 receptions to become the 15th player in NFL history with 1,000 career catches. In 11 seasons, Marshall has 941 receptions.

Mike Evans (Tampa Bay) has at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons and can become the third player in NFL history to record at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first four seasons, joining A.J. Green and Randy Moss.

Jason Witten (Dallas) needs 112 receiving yards to join Gonzalez (15,127) as the only tight ends in NFL history to reach 12,000 career receiving yards. In 14 seasons, Witten has 11,888 receiving yards.

Witten needs 11 receptions to become the sixth player in NFL history to record at least 1,100 career receptions. In 14 seasons, Witten has 1,089 catches.

Antonio Gates (Los Angeles Chargers) needs one touchdown catch to pass Tony Gonzalez (111) for the most all-time by a tight end.

Rob Gronkowski (New England) has three seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards and can join Gonzalez (four) and Witten four) as the only tight ends with at least four seasons with 1,000 receiving yards.

Julius Peppers (Carolina) needs 6.5 sacks to become the fourth player with 150 sacks since the sack became an official statistic in 1982. In 15 seasons, Peppers has 143.5 sacks.

J.J. Watt (Houston) can increase his NFL record total of 20-sack seasons. In six seasons, Watt has two seasons with 20 sacks, the most since the sack became an official statistic in 1982.

Watt has three seasons with at least 15 sacks and can tie Reggie White (four) for the most seasons with at least 15 sacks since the sack became an official statistic in 1982.

Watt has led the league in sacks twice in his career and can become the first player to lead the league three times since the sack became an official statistic in 1982.

Elvis Dumervil (San Francisco) needs one sack to reach 100 career sacks. In 10 seasons, Dumervil has recorded 99 sacks.

Adam Vinatieri (Indianapolis) needs to convert 36 fi eld goals pass Morten Andersen (565) for the most made fi eld goals in NFL history. In 21 seasons, Vinatieri has converted 530 field goals. Vinatieri needs 22 points to become the third player in NFL history to record 2,400 career points. In 21 seasons, Vinatieri has 2,378 points.

Stephen Gostkowski (New England) has led the league in scoring fi ve times in his career and can surpass Don Hutson (five) and Gino Cappelletti (five) as the only player to lead the league in points scored six times.

Gostkowski has led the league in field goals three times in his career and can join Lou Groza (five), Ward Cuff (four) and Jack Manders (four) as the only player to lead the league in field goals at least four times.

With 30 field goals, Gostkowski will join David Akers (five) and John Carney (five) as the only players in NFL history with five seasons of 30 or more field goals.

Sebastian Janikowski (Oakland) needs 100 points to become the 12th NFL player with 11 career seasons scoring at least 100 points.

Janikowski needs 23 made field goals to move into eighth on the NFL’s all-time made field goals list.

Matt Prater (Detroit) needs four field goals of at least 50 yards to climb into the top five of converted 50-yard field goals in NFL history. In 10 seasons, Prater has 36 field goals of at least 50 yards.

TEAM MILESTONES

New England needs one Super Bowl victory to tie the Pittsburgh Steelers (six) for the most Super Bowl wins in NFL history.

The Patriots have recorded a winning record in 16 consecutive seasons (2001-16) and can surpass San Francisco (1983-98) and Dallas (1970-85) for the most consecutive seasons with a .500 or better record since the 1970 merger.

New England has qualified for the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons (2009-16), tied with Green Bay (2009-16), Pittsburgh (1972-79), the Los Angeles Rams (1973-80), Dallas (1966-73) and San Francisco (1983-90). With a playoff berth, New England would tie Dallas (1975-83) and Indianapolis (2002-10) for the most consecutive playoff appearances (nine) in NFL history.

Dallas needs seven wins to reach 500 regular-season victories. Dallas’ all-time regular-season record is 493-367-6.

Denver needs 12 victories to reach 500 total victories. Denver’s all-time record is 488-412-10.

Baltimore needs four victories to reach 200 total victories. Baltimore’s all-time record is 196-162-1.

Many NFL owners will be celebrating notable milestones in 2017, including Arizona’s William V. Bidwill, whose family has reached the 85th anniversary of when his father, Charles V. Bidwill, purchased the team when the franchise was located in Chicago.

Here are some of the notable owner milestones for 2017:

FRANCHISE – OWNER (RELATIONSHIP; YEAR ACQUIRED – MILESTONE)
Arizona Cardinals – William V. Bidwill (Son of Charles W. Bidwill; 1932 – 85th Anniversary)
Pittsburgh Steelers – Arthur J. Rooney II (Grandson of Art Rooney; 1933 – 85th Season)
Cincinnati Bengals – Mike Brown (Son of Paul Brown; 1967 – 50th Anniversary)
Indianapolis Colts – James Irsay (Son of Robert Irsay; 1972, 45th Anniversary)
San Francisco 49ers – Denise DeBartolo York (Daughter of Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr.; 1977 – 40th Anniversary)
Carolina Panthers – Jerry Richardson (1993 – 25th Season)
Seattle Seahawks – Paul Allen (1997 – 20th Anniversary)
Atlanta Falcons – Arthur M. Blank (2002 – 15th Anniversary)
Miami Dolphins – Stephen M. Ross (2008 – 10th Season)
Cleveland Browns – Jimmy Haslam (2012 – 5th Anniversary)

There are also going to be some celebrations of anniversaries of events that took place on the field over the last half century.

ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS
125th – William “Pudge” Heffelfinger becomes the first professional football player (1892).
120th – The Latrobe Athletic Association football team becomes the first team to play a full season with only professional players (1897).
115th – A precursor to what would eventually become the Super Bowl called the World Series of Pro Football is played for the first time (1902).
95th – The American Professional Football Association changes its name to the National Football League (1922).
85th – The Washington Redskins franchise plays its first season. The team is founded in Boston and is called the Braves (1932).
85th – Official statistics are kept for the first time (1932).
85th – On December 18, 1932, the NFL has its first playoff game and first indoor game. Chicago’s Wrigley Field is scheduled to host the game but a blizzard makes it impossible to play and the game is moved indoors to Chicago Stadium.
85th Season – The Pittsburgh Steelers franchise plays its first season. The team is called the Pirates (1933). The Philadelphia Eagles franchise plays its first season (1933).
65th – The Pittsburgh Steelers are the last pro team to abandon the single-wing in favor of the T-formation (1952).
55th – The NFL reaches a single-network agreement with CBS for telecasting all regular season games for $4.65 million annually (1962).
55th Season – The Pro Football Hall of Fame is established (1963).
55th Season – The Chiefs franchise moves to Kansas City (1963).
50th – The Green Bay Packers defeat the Dallas Cowboys 21-17 in the coldest NFL game on record: the 1967 NFL Championship dubbed forevermore as the “Ice Bowl.”
50th – On August 15, 1967, Denver defeats Detroit in a preseason game, 13-7, to notch the AFL’s fi rst win over an NFL team.
45th – The Miami Dolphins complete the NFL’s only perfect championship season (1972).
45th – The “Immaculate Reception” touchdown was scored in an AFC Divisional playoff game by the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Franco Harris on December 23, 1972.
45th – The inbounds lines are moved closer to the center of the field so that they are 23 yards, 1 foot, 9 inches from the sidelines (1972).
30th – The first two NFL games on ESPN produce the two highest-rated and most-watched sports programs in basic cable history (1987).
15th – The NFL kicks off the season on Thursday night for the first time in history (2002).
15th – The Houston Texans franchise is founded (2002).
10th – The first regular season game is played in London, as the New York Giants defeat the Miami Dolphins 13-10 at Wembley Stadium (2007).
10th – The New England Patriots become the first team to complete a perfect regular season since the league expanded to a 16-game season (2007).

Seven divisional rematches grace the Sunday and Monday part of week one’s schedule. Week one got underway in Foxboro and ends in Denver as the Broncos host the Los Angeles Chargers in the second game of a Monday night twin-bill.

The NFL returns this week and it’s time to get back to football. That means the next five months will be packed with the sizzle and suspense that comes only with the National Football League and will culminate with Super Bowl LII, which will be played on Sunday, February 4, 2018 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota.

America’s favorite sport roared back into action Thursday night in the first game of NFL Kickoff 2017 Weekend. The opener featured Super Bowl champion New England hosting Kansas City.

Everybody is ready for the unique unpredictability of the NFL. And every team enters the new season with hope.

Last year, 146 games (57.0 percent) were decided by one score (eight points or fewer), the most of any season in NFL history. And there were six new playoff teams in 2016: Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, the New York Giants and Oakland. Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

The 2017 season promises more of the same. As the season begins, it comes packed with changes, quests and questions:

•CAN THE SUPER BOWL CHAMPION PATRIOTS REPEAT?: It’s tough, having happened only eight times since the first Super Bowl in 1967. The last team to accomplish the feat was New England in 2004 (Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX).

•MILESTONES ON THE HORIZON: New Orleans QB Drew Brees (66,111) needs 3,889 passing yards to become the third QB in NFL history with 70,000. Brees (465) needs 35 touchdown passes to become the third player ever to reach 500…New England QB Tom Brady (183) needs four wins for the most victories by a starting QB…

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (48,214), Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger (46,814) and Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers (45,833) can each reach 50,000 career passing yards… New Orleans RB Adrian Peterson can become the second player in NFL history to rush for 10+ TDs in nine seasons…

Indianapolis RB FRANK GORE can become the fifth player all-time to rush for 1,000+ yards in 10 seasons…Arizona WR LARRY FITZGERALD (1,125) can become the third player in NFL history to record 1,200 receptions…Carolina DE JULIUS PEPPERS (143.5) needs 6.5 sacks to become the fifth player with 150…and Indianapolis K ADAM VINATIERI (530) needs 36 field goals for the most in NFL history.

•NEW COACHES/PLAYERS IN NEW PLACES: There are six new head coaches hired to lead their teams in 2017 – Vance Joseph in Denver, ANTHONY LYNN with the Los Angeles Chargers, DOUG MARRONE in Jacksonville, Sean McDermott in Buffalo, Sean McVay with the Los Angeles Rams and Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco.

And there are a lot of well-known players with new teams, including RBs Le Garrette Blount (Philadelphia), Jamaal Charles (Denver), Eddie Lacy (Seattle), Marshawn Lynch (Oakland) and Adrian Peterson (New Orleans); WRs Brandin Cooks (New England), DE Sean Jackson (Tampa Bay), Alshon Jeffery (Philadelphia), Brandon Marshall (New York Giants) and Sammy Watkins (Los Angeles Rams); TE Martellus Bennett (Green Bay); and defenders CB A.J. Bouye (Jacksonville), DE Calais Campbell (Jacksonville), CB Stephon Gilmore (New England), CB Joe Haden (Pittsburgh), S Tony Jefferson (Baltimore), DE Julius Peppers (Carolina), DL Sheldon Richardson (Seattle) and S T.J. Ward (Tampa Bay).

•ON-THE-FIELD TRENDS IN 2016: Close games and comeback victories…new teams making the playoffs…consistent teams excelling again…records falling…young players making their mark…and QBs performing at record levels.

In 2016, 135 games (52.7 percent) were decided by seven points or fewer, the most in NFL history…There were 184 games (71.9 percent) within one score in the fourth quarter, the most ever… There were 72 comeback victories by a team trailing in the fourth quarter, the most in NFL history… The margin of victory was 10.23 points per game, the lowest figure since 1935 (10.08)…A total of 11,661 points and 1,306 touchdowns were scored, both the third-most ever in a season… Games averaged 700.8 total net yards, the second-best mark in NFL history… The league-wide completion percentage (63.0) tied the previous record (2015) and the league-wide passer rating (89.3) ranked second in league annals (90.2 in 2015). The league-wide interception percentage of 2.3 percent was the lowest in NFL history.

•NEW RULES: With player health and safety remaining a priority, here are some of the key rules changes for 2017:

Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Makes permanent the rule that automatically disqualifies a player that is penalized twice in the same game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls. These types of fouls include:

Throwing a punch or kick without making contact

Use of abusive or threatening language

Any act that constitutes taunting

Also, it is now an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to commit multiple fouls during the same down designed to manipulate the game clock.

Replay Reviews: All sideline replay monitors will be replaced with a hand-held device and designated members of the NFL Officiating department will be authorized to make the final decision on replay reviews from the NFL league office.

Leaping: Prohibits a player who is off the line of scrimmage from running and jumping over offensive lineman on the line of scrimmage in an attempt to block a FG or PAT attempt.

Touchbacks: For the 2017 season, after a touchback resulting from a kickoff or safety kick, the ball will be placed at the receiving team’s 25-yard line. The rule, which was also used in 2016, was approved on a one-year basis for 2017.

Crackback Blocks: Prohibits crackback blocks by a backfield player in motion, even if he is not more than two yards outside the tackle when the ball is snapped.

Defenseless Receiver Protection: Gives a receiver running a pass route defenseless player protection when the defender approaches him from behind or the side.

Overtime: The length of preseason and regular season overtime periods is reduced from 15 minutes to 10 minutes.

Clock Stoppages: All illegal acts to conserve time are not permitted after the two-minute warning of either half. The previous rule applied inside of one minute of either half.

Additionally, after conversations with more than 80 current and former players, Commissioner Goodell announced in May that the league will relax its rules on touchdown celebrations to allow players more room to express themselves.

The 2017 season will also start with a postponement in Miami as the Dolphins home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, originally scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at Hard Rock Stadium, will not be played in Miami on Sunday, the NFL announced Tuesday. In a statement from the league office, in the interest of public safety in light of the current state of emergency, the NFL, in consultation with state and local officials as well as both clubs, has decided that playing an NFL game in South Florida this week is not appropriate. Both clubs have a BYE week on November 16th (week 11) and will meet in Miami for that contest.

Now normally, we’d select a game and call that contest “DRILL WORTHY.” Since you’ve been so patient with waiting for the draft and the release of the regular season and pre-season schedules, we figure that we would make every game on the Sunday and Monday docket “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 57 last June and dates a 42-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”

Last year, we were 183-83 as far as picks go. That’s not bad. It would have been better if we had all of our picks right… but then again, that would be boring. Having said that, here are Sunday and Monday’s picks for week 1.

ATLANTA (11-5) at Chicago (3-13), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. It’s chicken and waffles vs. deep dish pizza as the defending NFC champs travel to the Windy City for their season opener with Chicago at Soldier Field.

The Falcons made it all the way to Super Bowl LI before letting a 21-point lead against New England get away from them in Houston get away from them, allowing New England to tie things up in regulation, then falling to the Pats 34-28 in overtime. Atlanta ruled the roost in the NFC South, losing just one contest in that division and the Falcons easily outrushed their opponents 1,928-1,672, while MVP QB Matt Ryan threw for 4,944 yards and 38 TDs (6 of them to All Pro WR Julio Jones) with only seven interceptions. Chicago finished last in the NFC North and would like to change that and unseat Green Bay as king of the NFC North mountain. The Monsters of the Midway closed out the 2016 campaign losing their last four in a row.

Da Bears lead the series 14-12, have outscored Atlanta 498-447 and have won the last two meetings in the series, with Chicago coming away 27-13 winners in 2014 in the Big Peach. Atlanta’s last win over Chicago also came in the Peach State, as the Falcons would take Da Bears to task by a final of 21-14 in 2009. Atlanta’s favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under is 48 1/2. Chicago’s better than their 3-13 record but they’re playing the defending NFC champs. Atlanta wins in the Windy City and covers the 6 1/2.

New York Jets (5-11) at Buffalo (7-9), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of AFC East rivals meet in upstate New York as GangGreen travels to the shores of Lake Erie for a contest with the Bills. It’s also the debut of Sean McDermott as he roams the sidelines for the Bills. Both clubs are looking to forget their somewhat dismal seasons in the AFC East, as they look to unseat New England as leaders of that division.

Bill starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor was not a lock to play in the team’s season opener Sunday against the New York Jets. According to head coach Sean McDermott, Taylor is still making his way through the concussion protocol.

“I think he’s getting better, but he’s still in the concussion protocol,” McDermott told USA Today. It should be noted that a player in the concussion protocol can still practice as part of the Return-to-Participation process.

League guidelines state that a player may be considered to return to practice only after the player has returned to baseline status with rest and exertion, has repeat neurophysiological testing, which is interpreted by the team neuropsychology consultant as back to baseline levels of functioning, and has completed the Return to Participation protocol. He also must be cleared by the Team Physician and the Independent Neurological Consultant. With it being so early in the week, McDermott has not set a drop dead date to turn to backup QB Nate Peterman as the starter for this week’s game.

“With any starter it gets to the point in the week where you have to say, ‘Hey we’re going to have to go one way or another,’” McDermott said. “We’ll cross that road when we come to it.” Third-string QB T.J. Yates is also still in the concussion protocol, which is what prompted the signing of QB Joe Webb.

The Bills lead the series 59-53 and have outscored GangGreen 2,330-2,296 (including contests that were played when the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were known as the Titans and played their home games at Shea Stadium) The two AFC East rivals met last year and it was GangGreen taking the series in contests in upstate New York and New Jersey.

Round 1 – Week two in upstate New York on a Thursday night. The Jets, then led by Rex Ryan, led Buffalo 20-10 at the half in Orchard Park and then held off the Bills 37-31. New York outrushed Buffalo 123-86, with Jets RB Matt Forte leading all rushers with 100 yards in the contest. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 374 yards passing (24 of 34) outpaced Tyrod Taylor, who threw for 297 yards and three TDs. The Jets on third down tries in the first meeting went 8 of 13 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 39:12, while the Bills, who were 3 of 10 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth downs, kept the pigskin for 20:48.

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! completed the sweep of the series in the Meadowlands in week 17, taking a 30-10 win in a game that meant nothing for either club, since both were long out of the playoff picture. GangGreen led 10-3 at the half after a scoreless first quarter and proceeded to pull away from the Bills. New York outrushed Buffalo 127-68 and Fitzpatrick threw for 210 yards and a pair of TDs, while Jets RB Bilal Powell ran for 122 yards. Neither club did anything to write home about on third or fourth downs in the season finale (Buffalo was 6 of 16 and 0 of 1, while the Jets were 4 of 13 and 0 of 2) but as was the case in the first meeting, the Jets ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:27, while Buffalo held it for 28:33.

In the week two contest in the Meadowlands, GangGreen was favored by 1 and the over/under was 40. New York won by 6, covering the spread and both clubs combined for 68 points, covering the over/under. Buffalo’s favored by 8 1/2 and the over/under’s 40. While these teams were somewhat bad last year, this one may be worth your time and energy. GangGreen makes this one interesting but the Bills prevail in upstate New York

Baltimore (8-8) at Cincinnati (6-9-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. It’s a pair of AFC North rivals meeting along the shores of the Ohio River as the Ravens travel to the Queen City. The Ravens took Pittsburgh to the edge in a Winner-take-all contest in the Steel City to determine the champion for that division before falling to the Steelers on Christmas night, while the Bengals, who will be without the services of LB Vontaze Burfict (suspension) are looking to get back to the playoffs.

There have been 42 games played between these two teams and the series is even 21-21 and Baltimore has outscored Cincy 895-  783. Both teams split last season’s contests, each taking wins at home.

The first meeting took place in Charm City in week 12 and the Ravens led 16-3 at the half, holding off the Bengals to come away 19-14 winners at M&T Bank Stadium. Neither club ran for 100 yards in that first meeting but the Ravens managed to outrush Cincy 92-64 in the win. Flacco threw for 234, while Dalton threw for 283 (each had a TD pass in the contest and both men combined to be sacked five times; Flacco was sacked twice, Dalton sacked three times). Both clubs were a dismal 5 of 16 on third down tries, while the Bengals, who turned the ball over twice, went 1 of 1 on fourth down tries (Baltimore was 1 of 2). Time was the ally of the victorious Ravens, who held the pigskin for 31:17, while the Bengals held the ball for 28:43.

The second meeting was along the shores of the Ohio River in week 17 to close out the season and with neither team going to the post-season dance, it was a win for the Bengals, who took care of the Ravens 27-10 at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals led 20-3 at the half and never looked back, outrushing Baltimore 153-72 (Cincy’s Rex Burkhead led all rushers with 119 yards and a pair of TDs). In the season finale, Dalton threw for 226 yards for the home team, while Flacco threw for 267 yards and three sacks. The Ravens were much better on third down in the second meeting, going 8 of 16 (1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:18. The Bengals struggled on third down at 1 of 8 but managed to rule the clock and kept the ball for 30:42.

Baltimore covered the 4 1/2 spread in the week 12 contest but neither club covered the 40 1/2 over/under, scoring only 31 ponits. The Bengals covered the 2 1/2 spread in the finale but as was the case in the first meeting, the over/under of 41 1/2 was safe with both clubs combining for a whopping 37 points. Cincy’s a 3-point favoring in this one and the over/under’s 42. Both numbers make sense. Cincinnati may not cover the 3 but they take the win at home.

Pittsburgh (11-5) at Cleveland (1-15), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of teams that went in opposite directions meet along the shores of Lake Erie as Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers take on the Cleveland Browns. Pittsburgh made it all the way to the AFC championship game before falling to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Foxboro, seeing their Super Bowl hopes die at Gillette Stadium. For the Browns, it’s a chance to right their ship, as they struggled in the AFC North, taking their lone win at home on Christmas Eve.

Pittsburgh leads the series 70-58, have outscored Cleveland 2,617-2,459 and the Steelers have won the last four meetings, including taking wins last year, along the shores of Lake Erie in week 11 and in the Steel City in week 17. (Cleveland’s last win over Pittsburgh came in 2014, when they were 31-10 winners along the shores of Lake Erie.)

In the first meeting (week 11) in Cleveland, the Steelers led the Browns 14-0 at the half and never look back, coming away 24-9 winners in the Buckeye State. LeVeon Bell accounted for all 146 of Pittsburgh’s rushing yards, while the Browns were held to 33 in that first meeting. Neither club did much to talk about in the first meeting on third down (Pittsburgh was 5 of 12, Cleveland was 4 of 15) but both clubs did strike paydirt on fourth down (Pittsburgh 1 of 1, Cleveland 5 of 6) and the Steelers ruled the clock in the first contest, holding the ball for 33:58 to Cleveland’s 26:02.

The defending AFC North champs completed the series sweep in front of the home folks at Heinz Field in week 17, taking a 27-24 overtime win in the Keystone State. Pittsburgh led 21-14 with 3:28 left in regulation when the Browns’ Greg Atkinson scored on a 5 yard run. In the overtime, the Browns took the lead when K Chris Parkey connected on a 34-yard field goal with 7:17 left in the extra period. Pittsburgh, needing to either tie the contest or take the win, chose to take the win at home and they did. Landry Jones, taking over for Roethlisberger, engineered a 9-play, 75-yard drive that used 4:20 of clock and ended when Jones (277 yards, three TDs) and WR Chris Hamilton connected on a 26-yard TD strike with 2:57 left in overtime. The Steeler rushing game went missing as if they were on a milk carton, tallying only 69 yards, while the Browns’ Isiah Crowell ran amok, tallying 152 of his team’s 231 yards in the contest. Cleveland on third down? 8 of 15 and the Browns held the ball for 38:54, while Pittsburgh went 3 of 14 on third down (2 of 2 on fourth down) and the Steelers held on to the pigskin for 33:09.

The Steelers covered the 9-point spread in the first meeting, winning by 15 but neither club covered the 49 over/under, tallying only 33 points. The second meeting, Pittsburgh failed to cover the 7-point spread with their 3-point win but Cleveland and Pittsburgh scored 51 points, allowing them to cover the 44 over/under. The Steelers are a 9 1/2-point favorite on the road and the over/under’s 46 1/2. If you’re a Steelers’ fan, watch this one. On the other hand, if you’re a Browns fan, you might want to consider watching that “Bar Rescue” marathon on “Spike” (there’s nothing better than seeing Jon Tapper blow a fuse!). Steelers cover the 9 1/2 and win in Cleveland.

Arizona (7-8-1) at Detroit (9-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Arizona leaves the desert and heads to Detroit for a meeting at Ford Field with Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions. For Arizona, they would love to take Seattle to task and win the NFC West, while the Lions look to go back to the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since they did the feat in the 1994 and 1995 seasons.

The Lions lead the series 31-28-5, which includes contests that took place when the Lions were in Portsmouth and known as the Spartans and the Cardinals called the Windy City home before moving to St. Louis and Arizona. Detroit has outscored Arizona in the series 1,147-1,062. However… the Desert Angry Birds have won the last seven meetings in the series, with Arizona coming away 42-17 winners in the Motor City in 2015, while Detroit’s last win came in 2005 (also in Detroit) by a final of 29-21.  Arizona’s favored by 2 in the Motor City and the over/under is 48. Lions roar over the Desert Angry Birds in the Motor City and covers the 2.

Jacksonville (3-13) at Houston (9-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. They’re separated by 871 miles and they’re both in the same division. The Jaguars, who lost 10 of their last 11 games in 2016, will have a familiar face at the helm as Doug Marrone takes the interim title off and takes over as the team’s fifth head coach in their history. As for the Texans, while they were the defending AFC South champs, they have bigger things to deal with, such as helping their community recover from Hurricane Harvey last August. Houston and J.J. Watt took Oakland to task in the first round of the AFC playoffs at home before traveling to Foxboro and losing to New England in the divisional round.

Houston holds a 19-11 lead in the series along I-10, they’ve outscored Jacksonville 693-594 and have won the last six contests, including sweeping last year’s games. Both contests were close, both were single-digit wins and the Texans were on the good end of those games, taking wins in the Sunshine State and Lone Star State. (Jacksonville’s last win in the series came in the 2013 campaign, when they swept the Texans, with their last win coming in the Sunshine State by a final of 27-20).

Contest number one… week 10 at EverBank Field. Houston led 14-10 at the half and then held off the Jaguars in the second half for a 24-21 win. Houston outrushed Jacksonville 181-80 in the three-point win in the Sunshine State and that was a good thing, because Bortles out-passed Osweiller 265-96 (each threw a pair of TDs).  Jacksonville was 10 of 17 on third down tries in the loss at home and kept the ball for 32:10, while the Texans, who held on to the ball for 27:50, went 7 of 15 on third down tries (both clubs were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

Contest number two… week 15 in Houston at NRG Stadium. Jacksonville actually led 20-11 after 45 minutes of play before the Texans rallied in the final 15 minutes of the contest, coming away 21-20 winners. Trailing 13-5 at the break, Houston outscored Jacksonville 16-7 in the second half to take the 1-point win. Neither club shattered the 100-yard barrier in the first meeting (Jacksonville tallied 67, while the Texans mustered 79) and Houston’s Tom Savage took over for Osweiller, throwing for 260 yards, while Bortles tallied 92. As far as third down tries in the first meeting? Jacksonville was 3 of 13, Houston was 4 of 14 (both were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and the Texans ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 36:42, while Jacksonville kept it for 23:18.

In the week 10 contest in the Lone Star State, the Texans were favored by 1 1/2 and would come away with the 3-point win to cover the spread. Both clubs did well in covering the 42 1/2 over/under, scoring 45. In the week 15 meeting in north Florida, the Texans were favored by 6 but won by a single point. That was the bad news. The good news? Both Jacksonville and Houston covered the 39 over/under with their 41 combined points. Houston’s favored by 5 and the over/under is 39 1/2. Jacksonville gave the Texans a scare in both meetings last year and they could very well do the same. Houston will play inspired football after their city was hit by Harvey two weeks. Texans cover the 5 and win at home.

Oakland (12-4) at Tennessee (9-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. A pair of up and coming quarterbacks meet in the Music City as the Silver and Black come east to square off against the Tennessee Titans. For the Raiders and David Carr, who will call Oakland home for the last time before heading to Las Vegas, while they watched Kansas City win the AFC West, they did managed to get into post-season play as a Wild Card team, losing to J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans 27-14 in the Lone Star State. As for Tennessee and Marcus Marriota, although they failed to make the post-season and finish at the .500 mark after going 2-14 the season before, Tennessee was a much improved ball club, which made Titans fans happy.

Including games played in Houston, when the Titans were known as the Oilers and the Raiders called Los Angeles home, the Silver and Black lead the series 25-20 but the Titans have outscored Oakland 1,050-1,010.

The Silver and Black and the Titans met in week three in the Music City last year and the Raiders were 17-10 winners in that affair. Oakland took a 17-3 lead with them to the half and then held off the Titans in the second half for the 7-point win. Tennessee outrushed Oakland 181-123 with Titans RB DeMarco Murray (TD) accounting for 114 of those yards. Mariota threw for 214 yards and a pair of interceptions, while Carr threw for 249 with a TD and an interception (each man was sacked in the contest). The Titans were 2 of 12 on third down conversions and 0 of 1 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 30:57 at Nissan Stadium, while the Raider were 5 of 13 and held on to the pigskin for 29:03. Tennessee won by 7, covering the 1 1/2 spread and the 47 over/under was safe as the Silver and Black and the Titans could only muster 27 points. Tennessee’s favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 50 1/2. The 50 1/2 is a bit high. The 2 1/2 makes sense. Tennessee covers the 2 1/2 and wins in the Music City.

Philadelphia (7-9) at Washington (8-7-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. They meet again in the nation’s capital. A pair of NFC East rivals with a lot of history under their belts meet in Landover as the Redskins host Philadelphia at Fed Ex Field. Both clubs are looking to rule the NFC East and take out Dallas in the process. Philly lost five in a row in mid-season before beating the playoff-bound New York Giants and Dallas to close out the campaign. After winning the NFC East two seasons ago, Washington came back to Earth last year and missed the post-season party, falling to their 8-7-1 mark.

The Redskins lead the series with their NFC East rival 85-73-5… but the Eagles have outscored Washington 3,402-3,254.  Washington has won five of the last six meetings and swept the series with the Eagles in the 2016 campaign, taking wins at Landover and Philadelphia in weeks 6 and 14. (Philly’s last win in the series came in the City of Brotherly Love in 2014 by a final of 37-34.

Contest number one… Landover in week 6. Washington led 21-14 at the break at FedEx Field, then held off their NFC East rivals to come away 27-20 winners. While they sacked Wentz twice in the contest, the Redskins also outrushed Philly 230-94 and ‘Skins RB Matt Jones led the way with 135 yards and a TD (Cousins threw for 263 yards with a pair of TDs). Washington was 7 of 13 on third down conversions in northern Maryland and held the ball for 34:13, while Philly kept the ball for 25:47, going 4 of 12 on third down.

Game two… the City of Brotherly Love… week 14. The Redskins completed the series sweep, erasing a 13-7 deficit at the break to take a 27-22 win. Washington took the lead for keeps in the final two minutes of play when RB Chris Thompson scored on a 25-yard run with 1:56 left in regulation. As was the case in the first contest, Washington outrushed Philly 107-95 and Cousins threw for 234 yards and a pair of TDs, while Wentz threw for 314 yards and a TD (Wentz was sacked four times, Cousins was sacked twice). The Eagles were 9 of 18 on third down tries at Lincoln Financial Field (2 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:38, while the ‘Skins were 2 of 7 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs, holding on to the ball for 23:22. Philly was favored by 2 in the first contest in Landover and the ‘Skins covered with their 7-point win at home and both teams covered the 45 over/under with 47 points. In the second meeting in the City of Brotherly Love, the Eagles were again the favorite and the spread that day was 1 point, the over/under was 46 1/2 and Washington covered the spread, winning by 5 and the over/under was covered that day with 49 points. Although they’re the road team, the Eagles are favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 48. Philly’s trying to stop a team that’s given them fits. The Redskins? They want to stay the course. Washington fans will be singing “Hail to the Redskins” this week. Washington covers the 1 1/2 and wins in Landover.

Indianapolis (8-8) at Los Angeles Rams (4-12), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. A pair of teams looking for a chance to right their ships meet in Tinseltown as Chuck Pagano’s Colts travel to Los Angeles for a late afternoon (Eastern time) contest with the Rams. Indy finished 8-8 for the second straight season and still will not have the services of Andrew Luck (broken leg) and need to improve if Pagano wants to stay as head coach. As for the Rams, they have a new man on the sidelines as they hired Sean McVay to take over for a Los Angeles team that lost their last seven contests in 2016 and was outscored 221-75 in those games.

Indianapolis general manager Chris Ballard announced Monday that the team’s starting quarterback will not suit up for Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Los Angeles Rams, adding that “no timetable” exists for Luck’s return.

The decision comes as no great surprise to Colts fans. Still on the mend from offseason shoulder surgery, Luck has been a ghost all summer, missing all of training camp and the entire preseason. Colts owner Jim Irsay prefaced the confirmation by saying that “the odds are most likely he (Luck) probably won’t open up against the Rams.”

In his place, backup Scott Tolzien will make the start against Los Angeles, an ominous scenario after the overwhelmed quarterback struggled mightily from wire-to-wire during the preseason. The team also acquired quarterback Jacoby Brissett from New England in exchange for wide-out Phillip Dorsett but Ballard weighed in Monday, saying: “It’s Tolzien’s job [for now], because Brissett has to get up to speed.”

Including contests that were played when the Rams were in Los Angeles and then St. Louis and the Colts were in Baltimore, the Colts lead the series 23-18-2 but the Rams have outscored the Colts 950-936. Their last meeting took place in the Hoosier State in 2013, when the Rams came away 38-8 winners. Indy’s last win over the Rams came in 2009 when they played in St. Louis and Peyton Manning was under center, with the Colts coming away 42-6 winners. The Rams are favored by 4 1/2 on the West Coast and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Even with no Andrew Luck under center, Indy takes this one on the road, although the Rams make this one closer than 4 1/2.

Seattle (10-5-1) at Green Bay (10-6), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. Wilson. Rodgers. Two QBs with Super Bowl rings meet in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst as Seattle travels to Green Bay for a late afternoon meeting at Lambeau. Both teams won their respective divisions, allowing them to advance to the post-season, where they would eventually meet Atlanta and both lost in the Peach State (Seattle losing 36-20 in the NFC divisional playoffs, Green Bay losing in the NFC Championship game 44-21). Although they went 3-3 in their last six games, the Seahawks did manage to take the top spot in the NFC West over Arizona and took Detroit to task in the first round of the playoffs in the Pacific Northwest before losing at Atlanta in the Divisional Round. Green Bay won their last six regular season contests, taking Eli Manning and the New York Giants in the Wild Card round at Lambeau, then won in Dallas in the Divisional round in the final seconds before losing a chance to take on Brady and the Pats as they were manhandled by Atlanta in the Big Peach.

Green Bay leads the series 10-7, have outscored Seattle 445-351 and have won the last two meetings, including last year’s affair at Lambeau Field (Seattle’s last win in the series came in 2014 in the land of grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, coming away 36-16 winners).

The Seahawks and Packers met in week 14 in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst and Green Bay were 38-10 victors at Lambeau. Rodgers and Jordy Nelson connected for a pair of TDs in the win on the Frozen Tundra and the Packers were never really threatened, leading 21-3 at the half. Seattle did outrush Green Bay 136-93 but Rodgers threw for 246 yards and three TDs, outpacing Russell Wilson, who tallied 240 yards, while being sacked three times and picked off five. Green Bay, who took advantage of six Seattle turnovers, was 4 of 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:10, while Seattle held on to the ball for 31:50 (both clubs were 0 for 1 on fourth down). Green Bay took the 28-point win in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst (they were favored by 3) and the 46 over/under was taken care of, as both clubs scored 48 points. Green Bay’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 51. A pair of playoff teams last year meeting in upstate Wisconsin could very well be a preview for the post-season and this one could go into overtime. Seattle will make things tough for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers but Green Bay prevails at home in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst, although they won’t cover the 3.

Carolina (6-10) at San Francisco (2-14), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers travel to northern California for a meeting with the San Francisco 49ers at Levis Stadium in Santa Clara. After making it to Super Bowl 50 on the same field and losing to Denver, the Panthers struggled in the 2016 campaign, finishing last in the NFC South behind Atlanta. Meanwhile, losing 13 in a row and finishing in last in the NFC West, the 49ers hired Kyle Shannahan away from Atlanta to right their ship on the West Coast.

Carolina leads the series 12-7, outscoring San Francisco 494-423 and won the last five regular season meetings, including last year’s contest in Charlotte (San Francisco’s last win in the series came in 2001, when they came away 25-22 overtime winners in Charlotte (they swept the series last year when both team were in the NFC West).

Newton and the Panthers met San Francisco last year in the Tar Heel State and Carolina came away with the 46-27 win at Bank of America Stadium in week two. Leading 17-10 at the half, Carolina proceeded to floor the gas and outscore the 49ers 29-17 in the final =30 minutes of action. Carolina easily outrushed San Francisco 176-65, with Panthers RB Fozzy Whittaker running for 100 yards and Newton throwing for 353 yards and four TDs (San Francisco’s Blaine Gabbert threw for 243 yards with a pair of TDs but was sacked twice and picked off twice). Carolina was 7 of 15 on third down tries in the lopsided win, while the 49ers were 4 of 12 and 0 for 1 on third and fourth down conversions. Carolina also ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 35:54, while the 49ers kept it for 24:06.

New York Giants (11-5) at Dallas (13-3), 8:30 p.m. on NBC. A pair of NFC East foes meet in the Lone Star State in the first Sunday night game of the 2017 season as Eli Manning and the New York Giants travel to Arlington to meet Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliot and the Dallas Cowboys in Jerry World.

Both teams were found themselves in the post-season and both suffered opening losses to Green Bay. The Giants found themselves on the short end of a 38-13 loss to the Packers at Lambeau in the Wild Card round and then Dallas fell to Aaron Rodgers and the Pack at home in the Divisional Round, losing a heart-breaker in Arlington by a 34-31 final.

For the Cowboys, it is off-field distractions that have had the team in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Elliot, who rushed for 1,631 yards and 15 TDs last year, found himself in the ire of commissioner Roger Goodell, who wanted to suspend the star for 10 games for domestic violence. Elliot, along with the NFLPA, appealed the decision and the NFLPA also got the legal system involved as well, petitioning to a federal court to stop any suspension. Meanwhile, the arbitrator that was hearing the case ruled that the six-game suspension would stand. That was the bad news. The good news? Because the ruling came late, Elliot would be allowed to play on Sunday night and he is slated to do so.

Including contests that took place at Yankee Stadium, the Yale Bowl and the Cotton Bowl, Dallas leads the series 62-45-2 and have outscored the Giants 2,449-2,119. Although the Cowboys won the NFC East, the Giants managed to sweep the series, taking wins along the Jersey shore and in the Lone Star State and have won three of the last four meetings in the series (Dallas’ last win in the series came in 2015, when they took a 27-26 win in the Lone Star State).

The first meeting took place in Arlington to open the 2016 campaign and a Dallas rally in the final minutes of action fell short as the Giants came away 20-19 winners. Dallas trailed 13-9 at the half and actually led 19-13 with 13:59 left in regulation before Manning and WR Victor Cruz took the lead back on a 3 yard TD pass with 6:13 left. Big Blue outrushed Dallas 113-101 in the season opener, while Prescott (227) outpaced Manning (207 yards, 3 TDs) as Dallas got as far as their 46-yard line when WR Terrance Williams caught a Prescott pass but failed to get out of bounds and the clock ran out. Both teams did well on third down tries (New York was 5 of 10, Dallas was 10 of 17) and the Cowboys ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 36:43 to New York’s 23:17.

That was game one.

Game two… the Meadowlands in week 14 and as was the case in the first meeting, the second meeting was close. For Cowboy fans, the result was the same as the Giants were 10-7 winners. Dallas led 7-0 at the half at Met Life Stadium before the Giants shut out Dallas in the second half, scoring all their points in the third quarter. This time, Manning and WR Odell Beckham Jr. connected on a 61 yard TD strike (New York’s first points came on a 39-yard field goal by Robbie Gould) to take the lead for keeps. This time, it was Dallas that would outrush New York 108-93 (Ezikel Elliot led all rushers with 107 yards) and Manning threw for 193 yards and the lone TD, while Prescott threw for 165 with a pair of interceptions (both were sacked three times). As well as they did on third down tries in the first meeting, such was not the case in the rematch, with neither team breaking the 50 percent mark (Dallas was 1 of 15, while the Giants were 2 of 14) but both clubs did reasonably well on fourth down (Dallas was 1 of 2, New York was 2 of 2). Time was the ally of New York, as the Giants kept the ball for 30:52 to Dallas’ 29:08.

New York covered the 1-point spread in the first meeting in Arlington and the two teams combined for 39 points, missing the 46 over/under. In the second contest, the Giants won by three in the Meadowlands, Dallas was favored by 3 and the Giants won by that margin, covering the spread. As for the over/under of 47 1/2? Neither club came close, scoring only a somewhat dismal 17 points.

Dallas is favored by 4 1/2 in the Sunday night matchup and the over/under’s 48. This could be one of the better Sunday night games. Dak gets revenge on Eli. Dallas covers the 4 1/2 and wins in the Lone Star State.

New Orleans (7-9) at Minnesota (8-8), 7:10 p.m. Monday on ESPN. The first of two Monday night games take place in the Land of 10,000 Lakes as the Vikings host the Saints at US Bank Stadium. The Vikings will see a familiar face in a different uniform, as Adrian Peterson returns as a Saint. Peterson, who played for Minnesota for 10 seasons, rushed for only 8 yards all last year before sitting out with an injury, moved on to the Big Easy when he was not resigned by his old club. New Orleans in their last seven games actually played decent but not great football, going 3-4 in those that contests and found themselves behind Atlanta in the NFC South. The Vikings managed to stay close to Green Bay and Detroit in the NFC Central as they won their first five contests before stumbling in divisional play the rest of the season.

Minnesota leads the series 18-10 and have outscored the Saints 703-512. New Orleans has won the last three regular season meetings in the series, with their last win coming in 2013 in the Big Easy by a final of 20-9. Minnesota’s last win over the Saints also came on the bayou, with the Purple Gang taking a 30-27 win in 2008. Both teams are below the .500 mark on Monday night (Minnesota is 27-31, while the Saints are 18-21; Minnesota was 1-1 last year, while the Saints lost their only meeting in the 2016 campaign).

Minnesota’s favored by 3 in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and the over/under’s 48. It’s the first Monday night game of the 2017 season and it

Los Angeles Chargers (5-11) at Denver (9-7), 10:20 p.m. Monday on ESPN. A pair of AFC West rivals that aren’t exactly crazy about each other meet in the Mile High City as Denver hosts the Los Angeles Chargers. Yes. You read that correctly. The Chargers have moved on to bigger and better pastures.

The Chargers missed the post-season party again, losing their last five contests and forcing Charger ownership to make two changes. One was on the sidelines. Mike McCoy? Out as head coach and they hire Anthony Lynn as the team’s 16th head coach in the club’s history. The second change? They waved farewell to San Diego after 56 years in southern California, loaded up their trucks and moved to Beverly (Hills, that is… swimming pools, movie stars) and Los Angeles. They’ll call Stub Hub Center home while a new stadium will be built for them and the Rams.

Denver fell from Super Bowl champs to bust last season, winning their first four contests before falling to eventual NFC champ Atlanta at home in week five. The Broncos managed to right their ship but failed to make the post season. Denver also got some much needed help under center when they signed QB Brock Osweiler away from the Cleveland Browns.

Including games that were played in Los Angeles when the Chargers were in Tinseltown and before they moved down the coast and the Broncos played at Mile High Stadium, Denver leads the series 63-50-1, while the Chargers lead in scoring 2,453-2,447. The then-San Diego Chargers and Denver split their two contests in the 2016 campaign, with each taking wins at home.

Week 6, Qualcomm Stadium on a Thursday night. The “Bolts led Denver 10-3 at the break in southern California before holding off a late Bronco rally to come away 21-13 winners. Neither team breached the 100-yard rushing barrier in the AFC West showdown but San Diego did manage to outrush Denver 99-84 in the game and Trevor Siemian did manage to outpace Rivers 230-178 (each had a TD pass and each was sacked twice). Each club turned the ball over twice in San Diego and each struggled on third down tries in the first meeting (Denver 6 of 15, San Diego 3 of 13) and both clubs had only one fourth try (the Broncos was 0-1, while San Diego was 1 of 1). San Diego ruled the clock in the first meeting, keeping the ball for 33:28, while Denver held the pigskin for 26:32.

Denver would get their revenge in the second meeting in the Mile High City two weeks later in week 8 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Taking a 10-3 lead at the half at home and came away 27-19 winners. San Diego did manage to outrush Denver again, this time tallying 123 yards on the ground to Denver’s 57 (the Chargers’ Melvin Gordon led all rushers with 111 of those yards). That was the good news for Charger fans. The bad news? Rivers (267 yards) was sacked four times and picked off three, while Siemian threw for 276 yards with one pick. As was the case in the meeting in San Diego in week 6, both teams had their problems on third down (Denver was 5 of 15, San Diego was 7 of 17) and both clubs stumbled on fourth down (Denver was 0 of 1, San Diego 0 of 2). San Diego once again ruled the clock, holding the ball for 33:08, while Denver kept the ball for 26:52.

On Monday night, the Bolts are break-even at 22-22, while the Broncos are 31-37-1 (Denver was 1-0 last year, while Los Angeles’ last appearance was in 2015, where they went 0-2). In the week six contest in San Diego, the Broncos, who were the defending Super Bowl champs at that time, were favored by 3 and the over/under was 44 1/2. San Diego covered the spread in that first contest, winning by 8 but both clubs missed the over/under of 44 1/2, tallying only 34 points. As for the week 8 contest in the Rockies? Denver won by 8, covering the 6-point spread and both the Broncos and Bolts covered the 44 1/2 over/under with 46 points. Denver’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 43. Week one closes out with an interesting matchup in which one team is in a new city and the other is trying to re-establish itself in the AFC West. Chargers make this one interesting but Denver comes away with the win and covers the 3.

You know who your team was going to play.

You know where your team was going to play.

As far as the when, you had to be patient and wait.

Last Thursday night, your wait was over, thanks to the National Football League. The league announced its 17-week, 256-game regular-season schedule for 2017, which kicks off on Thursday night, September 7 in New England and concludes on Sunday, December 31 with 16 division games.

The season begins with the NFL’s annual primetime kickoff game. The opener on September 7 on NBC at 8:30 p.m. in Foxboro will spotlight the defending champion New England Patriots hosting the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium.

Week 1 is a FOX national weekend with the key doubleheader game on Sunday, September 10 at 4:25 p.m. when salmon and Starbucks travels to the land of beer, cheese and bratwurst as Seattle takes on Green Bay at Lambeau Field. Week 3 is the first CBS national weekend with the key doubleheader game showcasing the Cincinnati Bengals facing the Packers at Lambeau Field.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football gets underway on September 10 when NFC East foes Dallas and the New York Giants square off at 8:30 p.m. in the Lone Star State at AT&T Stadium.

For those of you wondering if there are going to be two games on the first Monday of the season, the answer is yes. Kickoff Weekend concludes on Monday, September 11 with an ESPN Monday Night Football doubleheader. Minnesota hosts the New Orleans Saints at 7:10 p.m. in the first game followed by the Los Angeles Chargers visiting the Denver Broncos in the nightcap at 10:20 p.m.

ESPN will televise one game each Monday night in Weeks 2-16. There will be no Monday night game on the final regular-season weekend (Week 17) to provide more flexibility for the scheduling of the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs.

The league will have a select number of games that will be “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences. Some of those contests were announced as well, including the Seahawks at the Giants in the Meadowlands at 4:25 p.m. on CBS in Week 7 and the Vikings traveling to the Tar Heel State for a meeting with Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers at 1 p.m. on CBS in Week 14. Other “cross-flexed” games will be decided during the season.

The regular season will conclude with Week 17 on Sunday, December 31. For the eighth consecutive year, all 16 games scheduled for Week 17 are division contests, enhancing the potential for more games with playoff ramifications.

Other contests include…

In Week 2, the Atlanta Falcons will open their new home – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – on Sunday, September 17 in primetime  at 8:30 p.m. on NBC when they host the Packers in a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game. Earlier that day, the Chargers will make their return to Los Angeles as they host the Miami Dolphins at the StubHub Center at 4:05 p.m. on CBS.

The Patriots will host the Falcons in Week 7 on Sunday night, October 22 at 8:30 p.m. on NBC in a rematch of Super Bowl LI, the first Super Bowl in NFL history to go into overtime.

Will there be football on Thanksgiving?

Is the Pope Catholic?

Thanksgiving will feature a tripleheader on Thursday, November 23 and yes, the Lions and Cowboys are at home. The first game will be an NFC North contest in the Motor City as Detroit hosts the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field at 12:30 p.m. on FOX. As for Dallas, they are the late afternoon contest in the Lone Star State when they host the Los Angeles Chargers at 4:30 p.m. on CBS and the Turkey Day trifecta concludes in Landover with an NFC East contest as Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr. and the New York Giants make their way to Landover in prime time to face the Washington Redskins at 8:30 p.m. on NBC.

In Week 16, NBC’s Sunday Night Football game as NFC North foe Minnesota and Green Bay meet at Lambeau as that contest will move to Saturday night, December 23 at 8:30 p.m., due to Christmas Eve and is not subject to flexible scheduling. Christmas Day will feature a doubleheader on Monday, December 25 with the Houston Texans hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers at 4:30 p.m. on NBC/NFLN/Amazon Prime in the first game and Oakland traveling to the City of Brotherly Love, visiting the Philadelphia Eagles at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN in primetime.

There are contests with an international flavor, so break out the fish and chips and tequila! The NFL’s international slate includes four games in London – the first time the league will play four games in the United Kingdom and one in Mexico City. On Sunday, September 24, the Jacksonville Jaguars will host the Baltimore Ravens at London’s Wembley Stadium at 9:30 a.m. with distribution to be announced at a later date(set those VCRs NOW!).

The next weekend, on Sunday, October 1, Jacksonville’s neighbor to the South, the Miami Dolphins, will host Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints at Wembley at 9:30 a.m. on FOX, In Week 7, it’s an NFC West matchup in Merry Ole England as the Los Angeles Rams host the Arizona Cardinals at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday, October 22 at 1 p.m. on FOX. The following week, the Cleveland Browns will host the Vikings at Twickenham on Sunday, October 29 at 9:30 a.m. on NFLN and the league heads back South of the Border as the Oakland Raiders take on Tom Brady and the Pats at 4:25 p.m. on CBS on Sunday, November 19 at Estadio Azteca.

The NFL has partnered with Amazon Prime this season and will once again use a “Tri-Cast” distribution model of broadcast (CBS/NBC), cable (NFL Network) and digital (Amazon Prime Video) for 10 Thursday Night Football games and a Christmas Day contest. CBS and NBC will each broadcast five Thursday Night Football games which will be simulcast on NFL Network and streamed to Amazon Prime members worldwide. NBC will also broadcast the Christmas Day game. CBS will start in Week 4 on Thursday, September 28 when the Packers host the Chicago Bears. NBC’s Tri-Cast package begins in Week 10 on Thursday, November 9 when the  Seahawks visit the Arizona Cardinals. Additionally, NFL Network will also  exclusively televise a seven-game schedule comprised of three Thursday Night Football games, three late-season Saturday contests and a Sunday morning London matchup.

The NFL’s 32 teams will each play 16 games over 17 weeks. Byes will begin in Week 5 and end in Week 11.

“Flexible scheduling” will be used in Weeks 10-15 and 17. Additionally, in Weeks 5-9, flexible scheduling may be used in no more than two weeks. In Weeks 5-15, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights. A flexible scheduling move would be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to December 31. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17 but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into prime time.

The playoffs will include four division winners and two wild cards from each conference. The playoffs begin with Wild Card Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, January 6-7. The two division winners with the best records in each conference will earn first-round byes.

Wild Card Weekend winners join the top two division champions in each conference in the Divisional Playoffs on Saturday and Sunday, January 13-14. The AFC and NFC Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 21. The winners meet two weeks later on Sunday, February 4 in Super Bowl LII at Minnesota’s U.S. Bank Stadium  on NBC.

The NFL is the only sports league that presents all regular-season and postseason games on free, over-the-air television in local markets. All postseason games are televised nationally.

Westwood One will broadcast on radio all NFL primetime games, the three Thanksgiving Day games and the entire NFL playoffs.

For ticket information, fans may visit http://www.nfl.com/tickets.

2017 NFL SCHEDULE (All Times Eastern and subject to change)

WEEK 1 (Byes: NONE)

Thursday, September 7
Kansas City at New England, 8:30 p.m. on NBC

Sunday, September 10
ATLANTA at Chicago, 1 p.m. on FOX
New York Jets at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS
Baltimore at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on CBS
Pittsburgh at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on CBS
Arizona at Detroit, 1 p.m. on FOX
Jacksonville at Houston, 1 p.m. on CBS
Tampa Bay at Miami, 1 p.m. on FOX
Oakland at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on CBS
Philadelphia at Washington, 1 p.m. on FOX
Indianapolis at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Seattle at Green Bay, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Carolina at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
New York Giants at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. on NBC

Monday, September 11
New Orleans at Minnesota, 7:10 p.m. on ESPN
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver, 10:20 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 2 (Byes: NONE)

Thursday, September 14, 2017
Houston at Cincinnati, 8:25 p.m. on NFLN

Sunday, September 17, 2017
Green Bay at ATLANTA, 8:30 p.m. on NBC
Cleveland at Baltimore, 1 p.m. on CBS
Buffalo at Carolina, 1 p.m. on CBS
Arizona at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tennessee at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on CBS
Philadelphia at Kansas City, 1 p.m. on FOX
New England at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on CBS
Minnesota at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. on CBS
Chicago at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
Miami at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
New York Jets at Oakland, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Dallas at Denver, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Washington at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
San Francisco at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Monday, September 18, 2017
Detroit at New York Giants, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 3 (Byes: NONE)

Thursday, September 21
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco, 8:25 p.m. on NFLN

Sunday, September 24
ATLANTA at Detroit, 1 p.m. on FOX
Baltimore at Jacksonville, 9:30 a.m. Eastern (2:30 p.m. in London), TBD
Denver at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS
New Orleans at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX
Pittsburgh at Chicago, 1 p.m. on CBS
Cleveland at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on CBS
Tampa Bay at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on FOX
Houston at New England, 1 p.m. on CBS
Miami at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS
New York Giants at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on FOX
Seattle at Tennessee, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Cincinnati at Green Bay, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Kansas City at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Oakland at Washington, 8:30 p.m. on NBC

Monday, September 25
Dallas at Arizona, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 4 (Byes: NONE)

Thursday, September 28
Chicago at Green Bay, 8:25 p.m. on CBS/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, October 1
Buffalo at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on CBS
New Orleans at Miami, 9:30 p.m. Eastern (2:30 p.m. in London) on FOX
Pittsburgh at Baltimore, 1 p.m on CBS
Cincinnati at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Rams at Dallas, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tennessee at Houston, 1 p.m. on CBS
Detroit at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on FOX
Carolina at New England, 1 p.m. on FOX
Jacksonville at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS
San Francisco at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Philadelphia at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
New York Giants at Tampa Bay, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Oakland at Denver, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Indianapolis at Seattle, 8:30 p.m. on NBC

Monday, October 2
Washington at Kansas City, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 5 (Byes: ATLANTA, Denver, New Orleans and Washington)

Thursday, October 5
New England at Tampa Bay, 8:25 p.m. on CBS/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, October 8

Buffalo at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on CBS
New York Jets at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on FOX
Carolina at Detroit, 1 p.m. on FOX
San Francisco at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tennessee at Miami, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on CBS
Arizona at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on FOX
Jacksonville at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. on CBS
Seattle at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Baltimore at Oakland, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Green Bay at Dallas, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Kansas City at Houston, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Monday, October 9
Minnesota at Chicago, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 6 (Byes: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas and Seattle)

Thursday, October 12
Philadelphia at Carolina, 8:25 p.m. on CBS/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, October 15
Miami at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on CBS
Chicago at Baltimore, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cleveland at Houston, 1 p.m. on CBS
Green Bay at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on FOX
Detroit at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX
New England  at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS
San Francisco at Washington, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tampa Bay at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Los Angeles Rams at Jacksonville, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Pittsburgh at Kansas City, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
New York Giants at Denver, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Monday, October 16
Indianapolis at Tennessee, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 7 (Byes: Detroit and Houston)

Thursday, October 19
Kansas City at Oakland, 8:25 p.m. on CBS/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, October 22
ATLANTA at New England, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Tampa Bay at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on FOX
Carolina at Chicago, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tennessee at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on CBS
New Orleans at Green Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
Jacksonville at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on CBS
Arizona at Los Angeles Rams, 1 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. in London) on FOX
New York Jets at Miami, 1 p.m. on CBS
Baltimore at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on CBS
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. on CBS
Dallas at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Denver at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Seattle at New York Giants, 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Monday, October 23
Washington at Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 8 (Byes: Arizona, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants and Tennessee)

Thursday, October 26
Miami at Baltimore, 8:25 p.m. on CBS/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, October 29
ATLANTA at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on FOX
Minnesota at Cleveland, 9:30 a.m. Eastern (1:30 p.m. in London) on NFLN
Oakland at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS
Indianapolis at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at New England, 1 p.m. on CBS
Chicago at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX
San Francisco at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on FOX
Carolina at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
Houston at Seattle, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Dallas at Washington, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Pittsburgh at Detroit, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Monday, October 30
Denver at Kansas City, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 9 (Byes: Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota, New England and Pittsburgh)

Thursday, November 2
Buffalo at New York Jets, 8:25 p.m. on NFLN

Sunday, November 5
ATLANTA at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX
Indianapolis at Houston, 1 p.m. on CBS
Cincinnati at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on CBS
Tampa Bay at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX
Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on FOX
Denver at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on CBS
Baltimore at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on CBS
rizona at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Washington at Seattle, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Kansas City at Dallas, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Oakland at Miami, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Monday, November 6
Detroit at Green Bay, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 10 (Byes: Baltimore, Kansas City, Oakland and Philadelphia)

Thursday, November 9
Seattle at Arizona, 8:25 p.m. on NBC/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, November 12
Dallas at ATLANTA, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
New Orleans at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on FOX
Green Bay at Chicago, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cleveland at Detroit, 1 p.m. on CBS
Pittsburgh at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on cBS
New York Jets at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on CBS
Cincinnati at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on FOX
Minnesota at Washington, 1 p.m. on FOX
Houston at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
New York Giants at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
New England at Denver, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Monday, November 13
Miami at Carolina, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 11 (Byes: Carolina, Indianapolis, Miami, New York Jets, San Francisco and Tampa Bay)

Thursday, November 16
Tennessee at Pittsburgh, 8:25 p.m. on NBC/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, November 19
Detroit at Chicago, 1 p.m. on FOX
Jacksonville at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on CBS
Baltimore at Green Bay, 1 p.m. on CBS
Arizona at Houston, 1 p.m. on FOX
Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on FOX
Washington at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX
Kansas City at New York Giants on CBS
Buffalo at Los Angeles Chargers, 1:05 p.m. on FOX
Cincinnati at Denver, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
New England at Oakland in Mexico City, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Monday, November 20, 2017
ATLANTA at Seattle, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 12 (Byes: NONE)

Thursday, November 23
Minnesota at Detroit, 12:30 p.m. on FOX
Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas, 4:30 p.m. on CBS
New York Giants at Washington, 8:30 p.m. on NBC

Sunday, November 26
Tampa Bay at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cleveland at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on CBS
Tennessee at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on CBS
Buffalo at Kansas City, 1 p.m. on CBs
Miami at New England, 1 p.m. on CBS
Carolina at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on FOX
Chicago at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on FOX
New Orleans at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Seattle at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Jacksonville at Arizona, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Denver at Oakland, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Green Bay at Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Monday, November 27
Houston at Baltimore, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 13 (Byes: NONE)

Thursday, November 30
Washington at Dallas, 8:25 p.m. on NBC/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, December 3
Minnesota at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on FOX
Detroit at Baltimore, 1 p.m. on FOX
New England at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS
San Francisco at Chicago, 1 p.m. on CBS
Tampa Bay at Green Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
Indianapolis at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on CBS
Denver at Miami, 1 p.m. on CBS
Carolina at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX
Kansas City at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS
Houston at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on CBS
Cleveland at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
New York Giants at Oakland, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Philadelphia at Seattle, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Monday, December 4
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 14 (Byes: NONE)

Thursday, December 7
New Orleans Saints at ATLANTA, 8:25 p.m. on NBC/NFLN/Amazon

Sunday, December 10
Indianapolis at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS
Minnesota at Carolina, 1 p.m. on CBS
Chicago at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on FOX
Green Bay at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on FOX
San Francisco at Houston, 1 p.m. on FOX
Seattle at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on FOX
Oakland at Kansas City, 1 p.m. on CBS
Detroit at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tennessee at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
New York Jets at Denver, 4:05 p.m. on CBs
Washington at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Philadelphia at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Dallas at New York Giants, 4:@5 p.m. on FOX
Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Monday, December 11
New England at Miami, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 15 (Byes: NONE)

Thursday, December 14
Denver at Indianapolis, 8:25 p.m. on NBC/NFLN/Amazon

Saturday, December 16
Chicago at Detroit, 4:30 p.m. on NFLN
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City, 8:25 p.m. on NFLN

Sunday, December 17
Miami at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS
Green Bay at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX
Baltimore at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on cBS
Houston at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on CBS
Cincinnati at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on CBS
New York Jets at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on CBS
Philadelphia at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on FOX
Arizona at Washington, 1 p.m. on FOX
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
New England at Pittsburgh, 4:25 p.m. on CBs
Tennessee at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Dallas at Oakland, 8:30 p.m. on NBC (subject to change)

Monday, December 18
ATLANTA at Tampa Bay, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 16 (Byes: NONE)

Saturday, December 23
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore, 4:30 p.m. on NFLN
Minnesota at Green Bay, 8:30 p.m. on NBC

Sunday, December 24
ATLANTA at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tampa Bay at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cleveland at Chicago, 1 p.m. on CBS
Detroit at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on FOx
Miami at Kansas City, 1 p.m. on CBS
Buffalo at New England, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Rams at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on FOX
Denver at Washington, 1 p.m. on CBS
Jacksonville at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
New York Giants at Arizona, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Seattle at Dallas, 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Monday, December 25
Pittsburgh at Houston, 4:30 p.m. on NBC/NFLN/Amazon
Oakland at Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 17 (Byes: NONE)

Sunday, December 31
Carolina at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cincinnati at Baltimore, 1 p.m. on CBS
Green Bay at Detroit, 1 p.m. on FOX
Houston at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on CBS
Buffalo at Miami, 1 p.m. on CBS
Chicago at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on FOX
New York Jets at New England, 1 p.m. on CBS
Washington at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on FOX
Dallas at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cleveland at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. on CBS
New Orleans at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
Jacksonville at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on CBS
Kansas City at Denver, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Oakland at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Arizona at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
GAME TBD, 8:30 p.m. on NBC

 

 

La Liga de Fútbol Nacional se dirige al sur de la frontera … otra vez.

Tomando como base el tremendo éxito del juego 2016 en México, la NFL regresará a la Ciudad de México en 2017, cuando los Raiders de Oakland reciben a los patriotas de Nueva Inglaterra en el Estadio Azteca, comisionado de la NFL Roger Goodell anunció en su conferencia de prensa antes de la Super Bowl en Houston 51.

La fecha y la hora serán determinadas conjuntamente con el lanzamiento del juego del calendario de la NFL esta primavera. México es el quinto juego internacional confirmada para el juego en 2017, sumándose a los cuatro juegos ya anunciados en Londres y un testimonio de un mayor compromiso de la NFL para el crecimiento del juego más allá de las fronteras de Estados Unidos.

“Tenemos una base de fans enorme en México”, Goodell dijo al Houston Chronicle y KHOU-TV. “Su pasión por el fútbol es inspirador, y esperamos a otro juego memorable entre dos grandes equipos la próxima temporada en la Ciudad de México.”

Los Raiders jugar en México por segunda temporada consecutiva después de obtener una victoria 27-20 sobre los Texans de Houston el 21 de noviembre ante un lleno completo de 76.473 en el juego de lunes por la noche por primera vez jugado fuera de los Estados Unidos.

“Los Raiders están contentos de volver una vez más a la Liga de Fútbol Nacional Estadio Azteca y representar en un escenario internacional”, dijo el dueño de los Raiders Mark Davis. “Hemos disfrutado de un gran apoyo de la Nación Raider en México en 2016 y esperamos experimentar la gran pasión de nuevo este año.”

Los Patriots jugarán su primer partido de temporada regular en México.

“Los Patriotas han jugado frente a la mayor multitud estaba en la Ciudad de México en 1998,” dijo el Presidente y CEO Patriotas Robert Kraft. “Fue una gran experiencia y estoy deseando volver a nuestro regreso. 1 sabemos que tenemos un montón de fans de los patriotas apasionados en México. Hemos tenido mucho éxito en los juegos internacionales y 1 atributo que a nuestro enorme apoyo de los aficionados en esos lugares. 1 ganas de conocer a algunos de nuestros fantásticos aficionados y disfrutando de la comida y la cultura allí en el otoño “.

Los aficionados interesados en recibir información sobre los boletos para el juego, que se pondrán a la venta este verano, debe registrar su interés en http://www.nfl.com/mexico/registration. Los miembros Abonados de Oakland y Nueva Inglaterra recibirán información directamente del club una vez que los boletos están listos para la venta.