Archives for category: NFC North

Sunday Broadcast Information (All Times Listed are Eastern)

Jacksonville at New England, 3:05 p.m. on CBS: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter), Jay Feely (Field reporter); WESTWOOD ONE: Kevin Kugler, Dan Fouts, Ed Werder; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWwood1), 83 (Jacksonville), 82 (New England); XM: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Jacksonville), 82 (New England)

Minnesota at Philadelphia, 6:40 p.m. on FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field reporter), Chris Myers (Field reporter); WESTWOOD ONE: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green, Ross Tucker; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Minnesota), 82 (Philadelphia);| XM: 88 (WestWwood1), 83 (Minnesota), 82 (Philadelphia)

Sunday’s Officials
Jacksonville at New England, 3:05 p.m.: Clete Blakeman
Minnesota at Philadelphia, 6:40 p.m.: Ed Hochuli

Sunday Odds (Home teams listed in CAPS)
Favorite           Spread      Underdog         O/U
NEW ENGLAND        –  9        Jacksonville     46
Minnesota          –  3        PHILADELPHIA     39

Sunday Injury Report

Jacksonville at New England, 3:05 p.m.

Jacksonville

QUESTIONABLE: S Tashaun Gipson (Foot)

New England

QUESTIONABLE: QB Tom Brady (Right Hand), T LaAdrian Waddle (Knee), DT Alan Branch (Knee), RB Michael Burkhead (Knee), RB Mike Gillslee (Knee)

Minnesota at Philadelphia, 6:40 p.m.

Minnesota

OUT: DT Shamar Stephen (Knee)

QUESTIONABLE: CB Mackensie Alexander (Rib), S Andrew Sendejo (Concussion), WR Adam Thielen (Back)

Philadelphia

QUESTIONABLE: LB Dannell Ellerbe (Hamstring)

Sunday Weather

Jacksonville at New England, 3:05 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 46 degrees
Minnesota at Philadelphia, 6:40 p.m.: Overcast and 46 degrees

Broadcast Information, Officials and Injury report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel

 

Advertisements

And now there are four.

Professional football’s answer to the Final Four takes place Sunday afternoon as the AFC and NFC champions will be crowned.

For the four teams that are in the championship game, it’s their chance to make history and either win another Lombardi Trophy or take one for themseleves.

32 teams went through watching the Senior Bowl, the draft, OTAs, training camp, sleeping in dorms for the first time since college, pre-season games, the regular season and now it comes down to this.

Win? You get to go to the Super Bowl in two weeks time.

Lose? Your next game is in September.

It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

For those teams that are in, it’s their chance to impress a national audience. For those teams that didn’t make the playoffs, it’s a chance to regroup, to circle their wagons and see what they could do to get better.

when the post-season started, there were 12 teams that were in the party. Now we’re down to four. The two winners will get to go to Minneapolis and be part of something bigger than themselves. It’s their chance to make some history.

Both Philadelphia and Jacksonville completed “worst-to-first” turnarounds. At least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons. The Eagles and Jaguars are the first “worst-to-first” teams since the 2009 New Orleans Saints to advance to the Championship Game.

Three of the remaining four clubs – Philadelphia, Minnesota and Jacksonville – missed the postseason in 2016. This is the first time since 2008 in which three of the four teams in the Championship Games missed the playoffs in the previous season.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: FROM “WORST TO FIRST”: The Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars both advanced to the Conference Championship Games after completing “worst-to-first” turnarounds this season. At least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons.

The last two teams that went from “worst-to-first” in their divisions to earn a Super Bowl berth were the 2003 Carolina Panthers (Super Bowl XXXVIII) and the 2009 New Orleans Saints, who won Super Bowl XLIV.

The teams to go from “worst-to-first” in their divisions and advance to the Super Bowl since 2003:

SEASON – TEAM (RECORD, PRIOR SEASON RECORD; ADVANCED TO)
2003 – Carolina (11-5, 7-9; Super Bowl XXXVIII)
2009 – New Orleans (13-3, 8-8; Won Super Bowl XLIV)
2017 – Jacksonville (10-6; 3-13; ???)
2017 – Philadelphia (13-3; 7-9; ???)

Three of the remaining four clubs – the Eagles and Minnesota in the NFC and the Jaguars in the AFC – missed the postseason in 2016, marking the fifth time since 1990 – and the first since 2008 – that three teams advanced to the Championship Game after missing the postseason in the previous year.​

The seasons which had three teams advance to the Conference Championship Game after missing the postseason in the previous season since 1990:

SEASON – TEAMS TO ADVANCE TO CONFERENCE CHAMPIOHSHIP GAME WHO MISSED PLAYOFFS IN PREVIOUS SEASON
1996 – 3 (Carolina, Jacksonville, New England)
1999 – 3 (St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Tennessee)
2000 – 3 (Baltimore, New York Giants, Oakland)
2008 – 3 (Arizona, Baltimore, Philadelphia)
2017 – 3 (Jacksonville, Minnesota, Philadelphia)

OVER 100: Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles completed 23 of 30 passes (76.7 percent) for 246 yards and a 100.1 passer rating in the Eagles’ 15-10 win over Atlanta in the Divisional Playoffs.

Foles, who faces Minnesota on Sunday night, can become the fifth quarterback in NFL history to record a passer rating of at least 100 in each of his first three postseason starts.

The quarterbacks with the most starts with a passer rating of at least 100 to begin postseason career:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)(GAMES WITH 100+ PASSER RATING)
Troy Aikman, Dallas (1992-93)(5)^
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (2009-10)(3)
Tony Eason, New England (1985)(3)
Joe Theismann, Washington (1982)(3)
Nick Foles, Philadelphia (2013, 2017)(2)*
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

DANGEROUS JAGUARS: Jacksonville defeated Pittsburgh, the Number 2 seed in the AFC, 45-42 in the Divisional Playoffs to advance to their third AFC Championship game in franchise history.

Jacksonville, who plays at Number 1 seed New England on Sunday, can become the 11th team to defeat the top two seeds from their own conference in the same postseason since 1990 when the current playoff format was adopted.

The teams to defeat the top two seeds from their own conference in the same postseason since 1990:

YEAR – TEAM (CONFERENCE)
1992 – Buffalo (AFC)
1997 – Denver (AFC)
1999 – Tennessee (AFC)
2000 – Baltimore (AFC)
2003 – Carolina (NFC)
2005 – Pittsburgh (AFC)
2007 – New York Giants (NFC)
2010 – Green Bay (NFC)
2011 – New York Giants (NFC)
2012 – Baltimore (AFC)
2017 – Jacksonville (AFC)*
*Play at Number 1 seed New England on Sunday

RUMBLING ROOKIE: Jacksonville rookie running back Leonard Fournette rushed for 109 yards and three touchdowns in the Jaguars’ 45-42 victory over Pittsburgh in the Divisional Playoffs.

With one rushing touchdown on Sunday against New England, Fournette can tie the postseason record for the most rushing touchdowns by a rookie.

The rookies with the most rushing touchdowns in a single postseason:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(RUSHING TDS)
Jamal Lewis, Baltimore (2000)(4)
William Floyd, San Francisco (1994)(4)
Tony Dorsett, Dallas (1997)(4)^
Norm Standlee, Chicago (1941)(4)
Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville (2017)(3)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

PROLIFIC PASSER: New England quarterback Tom Brady completed 35 of 53 passes (66 percent) for 337 yards and three touchdowns for a 102.5 passer rating in the Patriots’ 35-14 win against Tennessee in the Divisional Playoffs.

Brady, who faces Jacksonville on Sunday, can become the first quarterback in postseason history to record four consecutive games with at least 300 yards and multiple touchdown passes.

The quarterbacks with the most consecutive postseason games with 300+ yards and 2+ touchdown passes:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)(CONSECUTIVE PLAYOFF GAMES WITH 300+ YARDS & 2+ TDs)

Tom Brady, New England (2016-17)(3)*
Matt Ryan, Atlanta (2013, 2016)(3)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2010-11)(3)
Jim Kelly, Buffalo (1989-90)(3)^
Dan Fouts, San Diego (1980-81)(3)^
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

TOUCHDOWN MACHINE: New England running back James White recorded two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) in the Patriots’ win against Tennessee in the Divisional Playoffs.

White, who had three touchdowns in SB LI, needs two touchdowns to tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith (seven) and Larry Fitzgerald (seven) for the most combined rushing and receiving touchdowns over a three-game span in postseason history.

The players with the most combined rushing and receiving touchdowns in a three-game span in postseason history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (SEASONS)(MOST RUSH AND RECIEVEING TDS IN 3-GAME SPAN IN PLAYOFF HISTORY)
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (2008-09)(7)
Emmitt Smith – Dallas (1995-96)(7)^
Many tied with 6
James White – New England (2016-17)(5)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

BRING IT HOME: Minnesota defeated New Orleans 29-24 to advance to their 10th NFL/NFC Championship game in franchise history.

With a win against Philadelphia on Sunday, the Vikings will become the first team to play in a Super Bowl in the team’s home stadium and the fifth team to play in a Super Bowl that was hosted in their home state.

The teams to play in a Super Bowl hosted in their home state:

SUPER BOWL – DATE (WINNER)(LOSER)(SITE)
XXXVII – January 26, 2003 (Tampa Bay)(Oakland)(San Diego, California)
XIX – January 20, 1985 (San Francisco)(Miami)(Stanford, Calfornia)
XIV – January 20, 1980 (Pittsburgh)(Los Angeles Rams)(Pasdena, California)
XI – January 9, 1977 (Oakland)(Minnesota)(Pasadena, California)

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

The winners get a lot of cash for their effort. Each player will get $51,000 for winning the AFC and NFC title, which comes out to $2,730.000 for each team. The winners advance to Super Bowl LII where the share is $112,000 for each winner ($59,360,000.00 for that team, $56,000 for each loser ($2,968,000 for the team).

In addition to the cash, they get some lovely parting gifts.

The AFC Champion receive the Lamar Hunt Trophy, named in honor of Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Lamar Hunt, the founder of the American Football League and longtime majority owner of the Kansas City Chiefs. First presented following the 1984 season, the 2010 season marked the debut of its redesign by Tiffany and Company.

For the NFC? That winner receive the George S. Halas Trophy, named in honor of the former owner, coach and player of the Chicago Bears and one of the founders of the National Football League. First presented following the 1984 season, the 2010 season marked the debut of its redesign by Tiffany and Company.

Both the AFC and NFC trophies reflect the sterling silver material of the Vince Lombardi Trophy, awarded each year to the Super Bowl champions and also designed by Tiffany and Company and the trophy designs are based on a football and features an etched conference logo and the NFL Shield. By the way, each team gets to keep the trophies.

Jacksonville (10-6) at New England (13-3), 3:05 p.m. on CBS. The AFC champion will be crowned in Foxboro as Jacksonville makes their way to Gillette Stadium for a meeting with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

Jacksonville will make their first venture into the AFC Championship Game since 1999, when they lost to Tennessee 33-14 in Jacksonville at what was then the Gator Bowl before the stadium changed its name to EverBank Field. The Jaguars went into Pittsburgh last Sunday and came away 45-42 winners over the Steelers at Heinz Field in their second meeting of the 2017 season.

The Jaguars took a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, thanks to a pair of Leonard Fournette TDs to open the scoring. Fournette had runs of 1 and 18 yards in the period to take the early lead before Steeler fans could get settled in the chilly 18-degree weather in the Steel City. After T.J. Yeldon added another score with a 4-yard run, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers ended Jacksonville’s bid for a shutout with 8:20 left before the intermission when he and WR Antonio Brown connected on an 23-yard TD pass. The Jaguars would then respond when Jacksonville’s Tevin Smith fullfilled the dream of every NFL lineman ever, picked up a Roethlisberger fumble and returned it 50 yards for a TD with 2:20 left before half. Pittsburgh ended the scoring in the first half when Roethlisberger and WR Martavis Bryant made it a 2-score game with 25 seconds left before the intermission.

Pittsburgh came out of the gates to start the third quarter and made the contest a 7-point affair with 9:09 left in the quarter when LeVeon Bell and Roethlisberger connected on a 19-yard TD pass as part of a 10-play, 77-yard drive that used 5:51 of clock to make the score 28-21. Fournette then put the lead back to 14 with a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter. If the Steelers were going down, they were going down fighting, as Brown and Roethlisberger connected on a 43-yard TD strike with 9:05 left in regulation. Jacksonville then pulled away again as Tommy Bohannon caught a 14-yard pass from Blake Bortles for a 42-28 contest with 4:19 left.

Bell was not finished as he scored on an 8-yard run with 2:18 left. Jacksonville needed one more score to put the game away and got it from Josh Lambo, who kicked a 45-yard field goal with 1:45 left. Pittsburgh would have the last word as they would put the final tally on the scoreboard when WR JuJu Smith-Schuster caught a 4-yard pass from Roethlisberger with 1 second left in the contest. Fournette ran for 109 yards and three TDs (Bell led Pittsburgh with 67 yards) as the Jaguars outrushed Pittsburgh 164-83 and Bortles threw for 214 yards and a TD, while Roethilsbeger threw for 469 yards and five TDs with a pair of sacks and an interception.

Jacksonville on third down conversions was 8 of 14 and held the ball for 28:50 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down), while the Steelers ruled the clock and held the ball for 31:10, going 7 of 16 on third down, 4 of 6 on fourth down.

New England took care of Tennessee 35-14 last Saturday night in Foxboro at Gillette Stadium. After trailing 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, the Pats scored 21 second quarter points unchallenged, taking a 21-7 lead with them to the break. New England outrushed the Titans 101-65 with Dion Lewis leading the way with 62 yards, while Brady threw for 337 yards and three TDs, connecting with TE Rob Gronkowski on one of those tosses, while Marcus Mariota threw for 254 with a pair of TDs, with eight sacks (neither QB threw an interception). New England on third down tries went 11 of 17 and kept the ball for 32:56, while the Titans held the pigskin for 27:04, going 5 of 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

The Jaguars had four players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: cornerbacks A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey, defensive end Campbell and defensive tackle Malik Jackson.

The Patriots had four players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: quarterback Brady, fullback James Develin, tight end Gronkowski and special teamer Matthew Slater.

The Pats lead the series with Jacksonville 7-0 and have outscored the Jaguars 214-119. New England’s last win in the series came in 2015 in Foxboro by a final of 51-17.

New England in post-season leads Jacksonville 3-1 in the series and has outscored the Jaguars 89-54. New England’s last playoff win over Jacksonville came in Foxboro in 2007 in the AFC Divsional Playoffs by a final of 31-20, while Jacksonville’s lone victory in the sereis came in the Sunshine State in 1998 in the AFC Wild Card Game by a final of 25-10.

New England’s favored by 9 and the over/under’s 46. For the Pats, it’s a chance to go back and get another Lombardi trophy. For Jacksonville, it’s their chance to knock off Goliath. It’ll be closer than 9 but New England prevails and moves on to the Twin Cities.

Minnesota (13-3) at Philadelphia (13-3), 6:40 p.m. on FOX. A pair of teams that have yet to win a Super Bowl meet in the NFC Championship Game in the City of Brotherly Love as the Eagles host the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field.

Minnesota earned their way into the NFC Championship in a manner that not even Hollywood could have expected, coming away from US Bank Stadium 29-24 winners over Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints last Sunday afternoon. The Vikings led 17-0 at the intermission against New Orleans before the Saints’ Michael Thomas ended Minnesota’s bid for a shutout when he and Drew Brees connected on a 14-yard TD pass with 1:18 left in the third quarter. Brees and Thomas would connect again with 13:09 left in the contest when they connected on a 3-yard toss. After Kyle Horbath gave the Vikings a 20-14 lead with 10:12 left to play, New Orleans took the lead for the first time in the game when rookie RB Alvin Kamara caught a 14 yard TD pass from Brees with 3:01 left to. That lead would not last long, as once again it was Horbath putting the Vikings back on top with a 52-yard field goal with 89 seconds left.

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

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

The Eagles erased a 10-9 deficit against Atlanta in the NFC Divisional Game at Lincoln Financial Field, taking a 15-10 win ove the Falcons Saturday afternoon in the City of Brotherly Love to advance to the NFC Championship Game for the first time since the 2008 NFC Championship Game in Glendale, where they lost to Arizona 32-25. The Eagles used a pair of Josh Elliott field goals in the second half to take the lead, then held off a late Atlanta rally in the final seconds of the contest. The Falcons opened the scoring in the contest with a 33-yard field goal by Matt Bryant in the first quarter before the Eagles took the lead for the first time when RB LeGarrette Blount scored with 10:28 left before halftime from a yard out but Elliott missed the extra point. Atlanta then went to work and took the lead back with a 6-yard TD pass from Matt Ryan for a 10-6 lead. Elliott would make it a one-point game at the intermission with a 53-yard try and the Eagles would go on to score their final six points of the contest uncontested.

Philadelphia outrushed Atlanta 96-86 and Nick Foles threw for 246 yards, while Ryan threw for 210 yards (Ryan was sacked three times, Foles sacked once and neither man threw an interception). Philadelphia was 6 of 13 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth downO) conversions and held the ball for 32:06, while Atlanta kept the pigskin for 27:54, going 4 of 13 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down tries.

Minnesota in regular 23 regular season meetings with Philadelphia leads the series 13-10 and have outscored the Eagles 543-528. The Eagles won the last meeting with the Purple Gang, taking a 21-10 win in the City of Brotherly Love in the 2016 season, while Minnesota’s last win in the series came in 2013 in the Twin Cities by a final of 48-30.

The week seven contest saw the Eagles take an 11-3 lead with them to the break at Lincoln Financial Field, thanks to a 98-yard kickoff return by Josh Huff, a Carson Wentz two-point conversion and a 35-yard field goal by Chris Strugis. Philly would hold Minnesota in check in the second half and take the win as Dorial Green-Beckham would catch a 5-yard toss from Wentz and Sturgis would add a 21-yard field goal to seal the win. Philly outrushed Minnesota 101-93 and Wentz threw for 138 yards and a pair of TDs, while Bradford threw for 224 yards and a TD but was sacked six times and picked off once. Third down tries in the week seven contest was nothing to cheer about (Philadelphia was 4 of 11, Minnesota was 9 of 19) but the Eagles found success in their only fourth down try, while the Viking were 1 of 3 on fourth down. In the week seven contest in the City of Brotherly Love, while the Eagles were 2 1/2 point underdogs in the contest, their 11 point allowed them to cover the spread; however, the 40 over/under was untouched as both clubs could only muster 31 points.

The Vikings had four players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: linebacker Anthony Barr, defensive end Everson Griffen, cornerback Xavier Rhodes and wide receiver Adam Thielen, while Philadelphia had six players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: guard Brandon Brooks, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, tight end Zach Ertz, safety Malcom Jenkins, tackle Lane Johnson and quarterback Carson Wentz.

In the post-season, the Eagles and Vikings have played three times and Philadelphia has taken wins in all three contests, with the last win coming in 2008 in the Twin Cities by a final of 26-14 in the NFC Wild Card Game. The odds makers like the Vikings on the road as 3 point favorites with the over/under at 39. Both numbers make sense. Both teams want to go back to the Super Bowl; for the Vikings, it will be their first trip to the big game since 1977, when they lost to Oakland 31-19 in Super Bowl XI in Pasadena, while the Eagles’ last trip to the Super Bowl was Super Bowl XXXIX, when they lost to New England 24-21 in Jacksonville. It’s also added incentive for the Vikings, who would be the first team to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium. The football gods have been kind to the Vikings of late and they’ll be kind again. Minnesota covers the 3 and wins in the City of Brotherly Love.

Saturday and Sunday Broadcast Information (All times listed are Eastern, Records are regular season)

ATLANTA (10-6) at Philadelphia (13-3), 4:35 p.m. Saturday on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter); WESTWOOD ONE: John Sadak, Tony Boselli, Ross Tucker; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Atlanta), 82 (Philadelphia); XM: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Atlanta), 82 (Philadelphia)

Tennessee (9-7) at New England (13-3), 8:15 p.m. Saturday on CBS: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter), Jay Feely (Field reporter); WESTWOOD ONE: Kevin Kugler, Jason Taylor, Hub Arkush; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Tennessee), 82 (New England); XM: 88 (Westwood1), 83 (Tenneessee), 82 (New England)

Jacksonville (10-6) at Pittsburgh (13-3), 1:05 p.m. Sunday on CBS: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn (Field reporter); WESTWOOD ONE: Tom McCarthy, Ross Tucker, Steve Tasker; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Jacksonville), 82 (Pittsburgh); XM: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Jacksonville), 82 (Pittsburgh)

New Orleans (11-5) at Minnesota (13-3), 4:35 p.m. Sunday on FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field reporter), Chris Myers (Field reporter); WESTWOOD ONE: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green, Laura Okmin; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (New Orleans), 82 (Minnesota); XM: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (New Orleans), 82 (Minnesota)

Saturday and Sunday Officials
ATLANTA at Philadelphia, 4:35 p.m. Saturday: Bill Vinovich
Tennessee at New England, 8:15 p.m. Saturday: Ronald Torbert
Jacksonville at Pittsburgh, 1:05 p.m. Sunday: Brad Allen
New Orleans at Minnesota, 4:35 Sunday: Gene Steratore

Saturday and Sunday Odds (Home teams listed in CAPS)

Saturday’s Games
Favorite          Spread     Underdog               O/U
Atlanta           –  3       PHILADELPHIA           41 1/2
NEW ENGLAND       – 13 1/2   Tennessee              48

Sunday’s Games
Favorite          Spread     Underdog               O/U
PITTSBURGH        –  7       Jacksonville           41
MINNESOTA         –  5       New Orleans            44 1/2

Saturday and Sunday Injury Report

ATLANTA at Philadelphia, 4:35 p.m. Saturday

ATLANTA – Atlanta reports no injuries

Philadelphia
QUESTIONABLE: LB Dannell Ellerbe (Hamstring), CB Sidney Jones (Hamstring)

Tennessee at New England, 8:15 p.m. Saturday

Tennessee
OUT: RB DeMarco Murray (Knee)

New England
QUESTIONABLE: DT Alan Branch (Knee), RB Michael Burkhead (Knee), LB Marquis Flowers (Illness), RB Mike Gillslee (Knee), DE Eric Lee (Ankle), RB James White (Ankle)

Jacksonville at Pittsburgh, 1:05 p.m. Sunday

Jacksonville
QUESTIONABLE: LB Blair Brown (Ankle), WR Jaydon Mickens (Hamstring)

Pittsburgh
QUESTIONABLE: WR Antonio Brown (Calf)

New Orleans at Minnesota, 4:40 p.m. Sunday

New Orleans
OUT: WR Brandon Coleman (Neck)
QUESTIONABLE: QB Taysom Hill (Illness), LB Michael Mauti (Illness)

Minnesota
QUESTIONABLE: CB Terrance Newman (Foot)

Saturday and Sunday Weather
ATLANTA at Philadelphia, 4:35 p.m. Saturday: Sunny and 31 degrees
Tennessee at New England, 8:15 p.m. Saturday: Mostly clear and 24 degrees
Jacksonville at Pittsburgh, 1:05 p.m. Sunday: Sunny and 15 degrees
New Orleans at Minnesota, 4:35 p.m. Sunday: Game Indoors

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

 

And then there were eight. The NFL heads into the Divisional Playoffs with a slate of four key games on tap.

Among the final eight are the Eagles and Jaguars, who both completed “worst-to-first” turnarounds. At least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons. Half of the remaining eight clubs – Eagles, Vikings, Saints and Jaguars – finished in either third or fourth place in their divisions last year. And with the addition of the Titans, five of the final eight clubs are new teams in this year’s playoff field.

It’s round 2.

The second season of the 2017 NFL season (also known as the playoffs) gets underway in earnest as the four teams that got byes in the first round will be at home. New England, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Minnesota return to play after a week off and now they know who they will play and when.

It’s Divisional Playoff time!

Like we said before, it’s not like the regular season where you lose this week you play next week.

Win this week, you’re in the championship round.

Lose and your next game is next year.

When the 2017 season got underway, 32 teams had hopes and dreams of winning the Lombardi Trophy. Now we’re down to eight teams and when the dust settles Sunday in Minneapolis, we’ll be down to the Final Four.

There are NO do-overs. Mistakes kill.

Bringing your A game is important to the teams that are still in the hunt is a good idea. In fact, it’s a GREAT idea.

For Kansas City, the Los Angeles Rams, Buffalo and Carolina, they’ll have an entire off season to second-guess themselves as will their fan base. Let’s not forget the 20 teams that didn’t make the playoff party at all. They’ll be playing the “what if” game as well.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: FROM “WORST TO FIRST”: Philadelphia and Jacksonville both advanced to the Divisional Playoffs after completing “worst-to-first” turnarounds this season. At least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons.

In the previous 14 seasons, four teams that went from “worst-to-first” in their divisions have advanced to the conference championship game and two earned Super Bowl berths – the 2003 Carolina Panthers (Super Bowl XXXVIII) and the 2009 New Orleans Saints, who won Super Bowl XLIV.

The teams to go from “worst-to-first” in their divisions and advance to at least the conference championship game since 2003:

SEASON – TEAM (RECORD/PRIOR SEASON RECORD, ADVANCED TO)
2003 – Carolina (11-5/7-9, Super Bowl XXXVIII)
2004 – ATLANTA (11-5/5-11, NFC Championship)
2006 – New Orleans (10-6/3-13, NFC Championship)
2009 – New Orleans (13-3/8-8, Won Super Bowl XLIV)
2017 – Jacksonville (10-6/3-13, ???)
2017 – Philadelphia (13-3/7-9, ???)

Five of the remaining eight clubs – the Eagles, Saints and Vikings in the NFC and the Jaguars and Titans in the AFC – missed the postseason in 2016, marking the fifth time since 1990 – and the first since 2000 – that five teams advanced to the Divisional Playoffs after missing the postseason in the previous year.

The seasons which had five teams advance to the Divisional Playoffs after missing the postseason in the previous season since 1990:

SEASON – TEAMS TO ADVANCE TO DIVISIONAL ROUND WHO MISSED PLAYOFFS IN PREVIOUS SEASON
1990 – 5 (Cincinnati, Chicago, Los Angeles Raiders, Miami, Washington)
1992 – 5 (Miami, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco)
1999 – 5 (Indianapolis, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
2000 – 5 (Baltimore, New Orleans, New York Giants, Oakland, Philadelphia)
2017 – 5 (Jacksonville, Minnesota, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Tennessee)

TOP BILLING: New England’s Bill Belichick has appeared in 36 postseason games as a head coach and has 26 career playoff wins, the most wins all-time by a head coach.

Belichick, who coaches against Tennessee on Saturday night, will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famers Tom Landry (36) and Don Shula (36) for the most postseason games as a head coach in league history.

The most postseason games as a head coach in NFL history:

HEAD COACH – TEAMS (PLAYOFF GAMES)
Bill Belichick – Cleveland and New England (36)
Tom Landry – Dallas (36)^
Don Shula – Baltimore Colts and Mimai (36)^
Joe Gibbs – Washington (24)^
Mike Holmgren – Green Bay and Seattle (24)
Chuck Noll – Pittsburgh (24)^
Andy Reid – Philadelphia and Kansas City (24)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

WHEN IT COUNTS: New England quarterback Tom Brady has 25 career postseason victories, the most playoff wins all-time by a starting quarterback, while Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is tied for sixth with 13 career postseason wins.

Roethlisberger, who plays against Jacksonville on Sunday, can tie Pro Football Hall of Famers Terry Bradshaw and John Elway and Peyton Manning for the third-most playoff victories by a starting quarterback in NFL history. Brady can also extend his NFL record on Saturday.

The starting quarterbacks with the most career playoff wins in NFL history:

QUARTERBACK – TEAMS (PLAYOFF WINS)
Tom Brady – New England (25)
Joe Montana – San Francisco and Kansas City (16)^
Terry Bradshaw – Pittsburgh (14)^
John Elway – Denver (14)^
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (14)
Brett Favre – Green Bay and Minnesota (13)^
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh (13)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

AGE IS JUST A NUMBER: New England’s Tom Brady (40 years, 163 days old on Saturday) and Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota (24 years, 75 days old) will face off in the Divisional Playoffs on Saturday.

Brady and Mariota have an age difference of 16 years and 88 days, the largest age difference between opposing starting quarterbacks in a playoff game in NFL history. ​

The largest age differences between opposing starting quarterbacks in a postseason game:

DATE – OLDEST (TEAM)/YOUNGEST (TEAM)(AGE DIFFERENCE; RESULT)
January 13, 2018 – Tom Brady (New England)/Marcus Mariota (Tennessee)(16 years, 88 days; ???)
December 28, 1991 – Steve DeBerg (Kansas City)/Todd Marinovich (Los Angeles Raiders)(15 years, 166 days; Kansas City, 10-6)
December 31, 1972 – Earl Morrall (Miami)/Terry Bradshaw (Pittsburgh)(14 years, 108 days; Miami, 21-17)^
January 3, 2009 – Kurt Warner (Arizona)/Matt Ryan (Atlanta)(13 years, 329 days; Arizona, 30-24)^
December 24, 1972 – Earl Morrall (Miami)/Mike Phipps (Cleveland)(13 years, 186 days; Miami, 20-14)
^Morrall, Bradshaw and Warners are Pro Football Hall of Famers

MATTY ICE IN THE POSTSEASON: Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan completed 21 of 30 passes (70 percent) for 218 yards and a touchdown for a 101.8 passer rating in the Falcons’ 26-13 win at the Los Angeles Rams on Wild Card Weekend.

Ryan, who plays at Philadelphia on Saturday, has recorded a passer rating of at least 100 in five consecutive postseason games, tied for the second-longest streak in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Montana (eight) has a longer such streak.

The most consecutive postseason games with a 100+ passer rating:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASONS; CONSECUTIVE PLAYOFF GAMES WITH 100+ RATING)
Joe Montana – San Francisco (1988-1990; 8)^
Matt Ryan – ATLANTA (2012, 2016-17; 5)*
Joe Flacco – Baltimore (2012, 2014; 5)
Troy Aikman – Dallas (1992-93; 5)^
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Ryan has completed at least 70 percent of his passes in five consecutive postseason games and can tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman (six) for the longest streak in postseason annals.

The most consecutive postseason games with a 70+ completion percentage:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASONS; CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 70+ COMPLETION PERCENTAGE)
Troy Aikman – Dallas (1992-94; 6)^
Matt Ryan – Atlanta (2012, 2016-17; 5)*
Warren Moon – Houston Oilers (1991-93; 4)^
Joe Montana – San Francisco (1989-1990; 4)^
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

BIG-GAME BREES: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for 376 yards and two touchdowns for a 115.2 passer rating in the Saints’ 31-26 Wild Card Weekend win over Carolina.

Brees, who plays at Minnesota on Sunday, has thrown for at least 375 yards in four career postseason games and can tie Peyton Manning (five) for the most such games in NFL history.

The players with the most career postseason games with at least 375 passing yards:

PLAYER – TEAMS (PLAYOFF GAMES WITH 375+ PASS YARDS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (5)
Drew Brees – New Orleans (4)
Kurt Warner – St. Louis, Arizona (4)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

HUSTLING HENRY: Tennessee running back DERRICK HENRY rushed for 156 yards and a touchdown in the Titans’ 22-21 win at Kansas City on Wild Card Weekend. Henry, who will appear in his second career postseason game on Saturday, can join some elite company with another strong performance.

The players with the most rushing yards in their first two postseason games:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS; RUSHING YARDS)
Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh (2016; 337)
Arian Foster, Houston (2011; 285)
Duane Thomas, Dallas (1970; 278)
Terrell Davis, Denver (1996-97; 275)^
Eddie George, Tennessee (1999; 268)
Derrick Henry, Tennessee (2017; 156)*
*Entering second game
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

As was the case last week, every game this week and throughout the playoffs and the Super Bowl are automatically “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?”

Of the four matchups this weekend, two are rematches from the 2017 regular season (New Orleans at Minnesota – Week 1; Jacksonville at Pittsburgh – Week 5).

As for last week… 2-2 wasn’t great but it was better than nothing and for the season, we’re 156-105. Four games are in the books, four more are on the docket for this weekend. Here are the Saturday and Sunday picks for Divisional Playoff weekend.

ATLANTA (10-6) at Philadelphia (13-3), 4:35 p.m. Saturday on NBC. The 6th-seeded Falcons travel to the City of Brotherly Love to open the second round of the playoffs as they take on the top-seeded Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

Atlanta enters the contest with a 26-13 first round win over the Los Angeles Rams last Saturday night on the West Coast. The defending NFC champs used a pair of Matt Bryant field goals and a 3-yard run by DaVonta Freeman to take an early lead before the Rams stormed back in the second quarter as WR Cooper Kupp and QB Jarred Goff connected on a 14-yard strike and K Scott Ficken connected on a 35-yard field goal with 3 seconds left before intermission.

Leading 13-10 at the half, the Falcons proceeded to keep Los Angeles in check, holding the Rams to a fourth-quarter field goal by Ficken, using two more Bryant field goals and an 8-yard TD strike from Matt Ryan to WR Julio Jones to seal Los Angeles’ fate. Atlanta outrushed the Rams 124-115, with Rams RB Todd Gurley leading all rushers with 101 yards on 14 carries. Ryan threw for 218 for Atlanta, while Goff threw for 259 for Los Angeles (each man was sacked three times but did not throw an interception). Atlanta was 5 of 15 on third down but found success on fourth down, going 1 of 1 and kept the ball for 37:35, while the Rams were 5 of 14 and 1 of 3 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 22:25.

The Eagles limp into the post-season after their 6-0 loss to Dallas to close out the regular season. The two teams went scoreless for the first 45 minutes of action before Dallas’ Brice Butler and QB Dak Prescott connected on a 20-yard TD pass with 12:19 left in regulation. Philadelphia had one last chance to either tie things up or take the win at home but could do nothing to make that a possibilty. Dallas, who went 5 of 16 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs, outrushed the Eagles, who had already won the NFC East title, 129-70, as Ezekiel Elliott led all rushers with 103 yards. As for the Eagles, they were 2 of 11 on third down and 0 of 1 on fourth down tries in the loss in the city of Brotherly Love. Dallas ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:05, while the Eagles kept the pigskin for 29:55.

Atlanta had two players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: wide receiver Julio Jones and center Alex Mack, while the Eagles tied a franchise record with 13 wins (2004) and earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the fourth time since 2002  and had six players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: guard Brandon Brooks, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, tight end Zach Ertz, safety Malcom Jenkins, tackle Lane Johnson and quarterback Carson Wentz.

As far as regular season games go, the Eagles lead the series 16-13-1 and have outscored Atlanta 652-562. In the post-season, the Eagles lead that series 2-1, outscoring Atlanta 60-50. Philly’s last regular season win over Atlanta came in 2016 in the City of Brotherly Love by a final of 24-16, while Atlanta’s last win in regular season action came in 2015 in the Big Peach by a 26-24 final.

Philly’s last win in the post-season against Atlanta came in 2004, as they were 27-10 winners in the NFC Championship Game in the City of Brotherly Love, while Atlanta’s last post-season win against Philly came in the Big Peach in 1978 at Fulton County Stadium by a 14-13 final in the Wild Card Round.

In that week 10 contest, the Eagles led 7-6 at the intermission before they pulled away from Atlanta in the second half. Atlanta led briefly at 15-13 with 13:15 left in the contest when Ryan and Taylor Gabriel connected on a 76-yard TD pass before the Eagles took the lead back for keeps when RB Ryan Matthews picked up his second TD and scored on a 5-yard run with 6:49 left. The Eagles were then successful on their two-point try and added a Caleb Sturgis field goal to take the win. Philadelphia outrushed Atlanta 208-48 and Matthews led all rushers with 109 yards in the contest. Ryan threw for 267 yards for Atlanta, while Eagles signal caller Carson Wentz threw for 231 yards (both were sacked twice and Ryan threw an interception). Atlanta on third down went 2 of 11 and held the ball for 21:50, while the Eagles ruled the clock and kept the ball for 38:10, going 5 of 14 on third down (both clubs were 0 of 1 on fourth down).

Philadelphia covered the 1-point spread in the week 10 matchup, winning by 8 but both clubs missed the 50 over/under, scoring only 40 points. This time around, the oddsmakers like the Falcons and they are favored by 3, with the over/under at 41 1/2. There’s a lot at stake here. The Falcons would like to play their next game in a dome, even if it’s not theirs, while the Eagles would like to stay in the great outdoors. Atlanta takes this one but expect the Eagles to make it closer than the 2 1/2.

Tennessee (9-7) at New England (13-3), 8:15 p.m. Saturday on CBS. Tennessee makes their way to Foxboro for a AFC Divisonal contest with the defending Super Bowl champions at Gillette Stadium.

The Titans scored 19 second half points unchallenged, erasing a 21-3 deficit at Arrowhead to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 22-21 in the AFC Wild Card game in the Show-Me State. Kansas City opened the scoring in the contest in the first quarter when rookie RB Kareem Hunt scored on a 1-yard run with 7:25 left in the first, then added a second TD in the quarter when TE Travis Kelce and QB Alex Smith connected on a 13-yard TD strike.

Tennessee ended Kansas City’s bid for a shutout when K Ryan Succop connected on a 49-yard field goal with 1:55 left before halftime. Trailing 17-3 at the intermission, things started to go the Titans’ way in the final 30 minutes when Marcus Mariota attempted a pass on third down deep in Chiefs’ territory that was blocked by Derrell Revis. The ball then fell into Mariota’s hands and he would run it back to the end zone for a 6-yard TD pass to himself. Tennessee would strike again with 14:08 left to play when Derrick Henry scored on a 35-yard TD run but the Titans missed the two-point conversion and then take the lead for good with 6:06 left when Mariota threw a TD pass to someone other than himself when he and WR Eric Decker connected on a 22-yard toss. Tennessee then proceeded to hold off the Chiefs and stopped a late Kansas City rally that would have given the home team the win. Mariota is the only player in NFL history to throw a touchdown pass to himself in a postseason game.

Henry ran for 156 yards to lead all rushers as the Titans outrushed Kansas City 202-69, sacking Smith (264 yards) four times, while Mariota threw for 205 yards for the road win. Tennessee went 8 of 13 on third down tries at Arrowhead Stadium, keeping the ball for 32:28, while the Chiefs, who held the ball for 27:32, went 4 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The defending champions held the New York Jets to a pair of field goals in Foxboro as they came away 26-6 winners at Gillette Stadium to close out the regular season. New England led 21-3 at the break and held GangGreen in check in the final 30 minutes of play. New England outrushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 147-40 and sacked Bryce Petty (232 yards) four times, including a sack for a safety, while Tom Brady threw for 190 yards with a pair of TDs. New England was 4 of 15 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 34:49, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were a dismal 0 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and held on to the pigskin for 25:11.

The Pats in regular season play lead the series 23-15-1, outscoring Tennessee 993-778, which includes contests that were played when the Titans were in Houston and known as the Oilers and the Patriots played their home games at Fenway Park. Their last regular season meeting took place in 2015 in Foxboro and the Patriots were 33-16 winners, while Tennessee’s last regular season win came in the Music City in 2002 by a final of 24-7 at Nissan Stadium.

In the post-season, the series is even at 1-1 and the Titans have outscored New England 45-31. Both meetings took place in Foxboro and both were AFC Divisional Playoff contests. The Pats took a 17-14 win in 2003, while the Titans were 31-14 winners in 1978, when they were known as the Houston Oilers.

Tennessee had three players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, punter Brett Kern and tackle Taylor Lewan. The Patriots had four players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: Brady, fullback James Develin, tight end Rob Gronkowski and special teamer Matthew Slater.

Vegas likes the Patriots in this one, making them 13 1/2 point favorites with a 48 over/under. The 47 makes sense. The 13 1/2 is a little steep, even though this is a playoff game. Tennessee’s a lot better than people think they are but the Pats right now are kings of the NFL mountain. The Titans could make it closer than 13 1/2 but New England comes through in Foxboro to take the win.

Jacksonville (10-6) at Pittsburgh (13-3), 1:05 p.m. Sunday on CBS. They meet again in the Steel City. Jacksonville and Pittsburgh square off at Heinz Field in a week five rematch in Sunday’s AFC Divisonal Playoff action.

The Jaguars survived a scare from Buffalo last Sunday at EverBank Field, taking a 10-3 win over the Bills in the Sunshine State in the AFC Wild Card round. After a scoreless first quarter, the second quarter was a battle of field goals as Buffalo opened the scoring with a 31-yard field goal from Stephen Hauschka with 1:49 left before the half. Jacksonville then mounted their own drive, using a 6-play, 27-yard drive that used only 38 second of clock and the legs of starting QB Blake Bortles, who had two runs of 10 yards or more in that drive, to tie things up on a 44 yard field goal by Josh Lambo with two seconds left.

Taking the 3-3 tie into the locker room, the Jaguars took the lead for keeps with 42 seconds left in the third when Bortles and TE Ben Koyack connected on a 1-yard TD pass for the 10-3 lead. Things would stay that way into the fourth quarter and Buffalo threatened twice in the period to tie things up but could do nothing to change things and the Jaguars held off a final Bills’ rally when first they knocked QB Tyrod Taylor out of the contest with a head injury, which forced them to use backup QB Nathan Peterman for the final drive. Jacksonville then sealed Buffalo’s fate with 26 seconds left when CB Jalen Ramsey picked Peterman off. Jacksonville then ran out the clock and took the win at home.

Jacksonville outrushed Buffalo 155-130 and Bortles accounted for 88 of those yards to lead all rushers, while throwing for 87 yards passing. Taylor threw for 134 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception, while LeSean McCoy led Buffalo with 75 yards on the ground. Jacksonville was 2 of 12 on third down and held the ball for 27:23, while the Bills ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 32:37, going 7 of 18 on third down tries (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

Pittsburgh comes back to action after they survived a 28-24 scare from Cleveland in the regular season finale for both clubs. The Steelers led 21-14 at the intermission at Heinz Field before Cleveland stormed back in the third quarter to make the contest closer than Steeler fans wanted, outscoring Pittsburgh 10-7 in the quarter (the teams played a scoreless fourth quarter). Pittsburgh outrushed Cleveland 124-102, with Steelers RB Sean Ridley leading everyone with 80 yards and a TD, while Landry Jones, who took over for Ben Roethlisberger, threw for 239 yards and a TD to rookie WR JuJu Smith-Schuster and the Steeler defense sacked DeShone Kizer (314 yards, 2 TDs) six times and picked him off once. Pittsburgh went 3 of 10 on third down tries, 0 of 2 on fourth down in snowy Pittsburgh (game time temp? 11 degrees with a wind chill of 5) and kept the ball for 29:05, while the Browns, who went 0 for the 2017 campaign, went 7 of 15 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 30:55.

The Jaguars had four players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: cornerbacks A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey, defensive end Calais Campbell and defensive tackle Malik Jackson. The Steelers had an NFL-best eight players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: running back Le’Veon Bell, kicker Chris Boswell, wide receiver Brown, guard David de Castro, center Maurice Pouncey, Roethlisberger, linebacker Ryan Shazier and tackle Alejandro Villanueva.

In the post-season, they’ve met only once and the Jaguars won that contest, coming away 31-29 winners in the 2007 AFC Wild Card Game at Heinz Field.

Jacksonville and Pittsburgh met in week five in Pittsburgh and the Jaguars won 30-9. Jacksonville led 7-6 at halftime, then outscored the Steelers 23-3 in the final 30 minutes of play. Fournette ran for 181 yards and a pair of TDs, Jaguars outrushed Pittsburgh 231-70, picked off Roethlisberger (312 yards, 2 sacks) five times. Jacksonville was 6 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 28:52, while the Steelers held the pigskin for 31:08, going 7 of 15 on third down conversions.

Although Jacksonville was an 8 1/2 point underdog in the week five contest in the Steel City, they covered the spread, winning by 21. Both clubs combined for 39 points, missing the 44 over/under by 5. In the revenge match, the Steelrs are once again favored, this time by 7 and the over/under’s 41. For Pittsburgh, it’s revenge; for Jacksonville, it’s a chance to prove that the first time was not a fluke. Revenge wins out. Steelers advance in the Steel City and covers the 7.

New Orleans (11-5) at Minnesota (13-3), 4:35 p.m. Sunday on FOX. Divisional weekend closes out in the Land of 10,000 Lakes as the Minnesota Vikings welcome the New Orleans Saints to US Bank Stadium.

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

Carolina actually outrushed New Orleans 107-51 and went 8 of 17 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down, while ruling the clock and keeping the ball for 33:49. The Saints on third down? 2 of 8. Fourth down? They were 0 of 1 and kept the ball for 26:11.

Minnesota returns from their bye week, shutting down Chicago 23-10 in the NFC North season finale. Minnesota led Da Bears 16-3 at the break and never looked back, sacking Mitch Trubisky (178 yards) in the end zone for a safety late in the second quarter. Vikings RB Latavius Murray set the tone in the contest, scoring a pair of TDs in the first half and WR Stefon Diggs chipped in with a catch from Case Keenum to send Vikings fans home happy. Minnesota outrushed Chicago 147-30 and Murray led all rushers with 111 yards and the two TDs on the ground, while Keenum threw for 189 yards in the win. The Vikings were 5 of 13 on third down and held on to the ball for 35:55, while Da Bears were a dismal 1 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 24:05.

New Orleans had six players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: Brees, running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, defensive end Cameron Jordan, cornerback Marshon Lattimore and wide receiver Thomas. The Vikings had four players selected to the 2018 Pro Bowl: linebacker Anthony Barr, defensive end Everson Griffen, cornerback Xavier Rhodes and wide receiver Adam Thielen.

They met in week one in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and the Vikings were 29-19 winners at US Bank Stadium. Minnesota led 16-6 at the half and were never threatened, using four Kai Horbath field goals for the win. Minnesota outrushed New Orleans 129-60 in the contest that saw Adrian Peterson return to face his old team (Peterson was held to 18 yards rushing and traded to Arizona the following week), while rookie RB Dalvin Cook led all rushers with 127 yards, while Sam Bradford threw for 346 yards and three TDs, two to Diggs (Brees threw for 291 yards and a TD; both men were sacked once and neither threw an interception). The Vikings were 9 of 14 on third down tries in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and kept the ball for 31:16, while New Orleans kept the ball for 28:44, going 4 of 11 on third down (neither club had a fourth down try).

As far as the post season goes… they’ve met three times and the Vikings hold a 2-1 lead there, outscoring the Saints 106-57. The last time they met in post-season was in 2009 in the Big Easy in the NFC Championship Game, which was later known as “Bountygate” and the Saints were 31-28 overtime winners; as for Minnesota, their last playoff win over New Orleans came in the Twin Cities in 2000 in the NFC Divisional Playoffs by a final of 34-16.

Minnesota covered the 3-point spread in the Monday night opener with the 10-point win and the two teams covered the 48 over/under exactly (the Vikings were favored in that contest). In the last game of Divisional Weekend, the oddsmakers like the Vikings again, this time as 5 point favorites at US Bank Stadium and the over/under this time around is 46 1/2. Whoever wins this game will have the upper hand toward Super Bowl LII; as for the loser, they will have an entire year to think about what happened and what they could have done to prevent it. Vikings cover the 3 1/2 at home and wins in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

The National Football League on Monday announced the opponents for all of the 2018 regular season contests. The opponents were determined by a scheduling formula that was created in 2002 when the NFL realigned the divisions and guarantees that all teams play each other on a regular, rotating basis.

Under the formula, every team plays 16 games as follows:

•Home and away against its three division opponents (6 games).

•The four teams from another division within its conference on a rotating three-year cycle (4 games).

•The four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle (4 games).

•Two intraconference games based on the prior year’s standings (2 games). These games match a first-place team against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place, and fourth-place teams in a conference are matched in the same way each year.

Beginning in 2010, a change was made to how teams are paired in the schedule rotation with the AFC and NFC West divisions.

The official 2018 regular season schedule, with playing dates and times, will be announced in the spring (PATIENCE, GRASSHOPPER!). NFL Kickoff 2018 Weekend will begin on Thursday night, September 6, and the regular season will conclude on Sunday, December 30. Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia will be played on Sunday, February 3, 2019.

2018 OPPONENENTS

AFC EAST

1. New England   (13-3)
Home: Buffalo, Miami, New York Jets, Green Bay, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Minnesota
Away: Buffalo, Miami, New York Jets, Chicago, Detroit, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Tennessee

2. Buffalo  (9-7)
Home: Miami, New England, New York Jets, Chicago, Detroit, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee
Away: Miami, New England, New York Jets, Baltimore, Green Bay, Houston, Indianapolis, Minnesota

3. Miami (6-10)
Home: Buffalo, New England, New York Jets, Chicago, Detroit, Jacksonville, Oakland, Tennessee
Away: Buffalo, New England, New York Jets, Cincinnati, Green Bay, Houston, Indianapolis, Minnesota

4.New York Jets (5-11)
Home: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England, Denver, Green Bay, Houston, Indianapolis, Minnesota
Away: Buffalo, Miami, New England Patriots, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Jacksonville, Tennessee

AFC NORTH

1. Pittsburgh  (13-3)
Home: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Atlanta, Carolina, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, New England
Away: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Oakland, Tampa Bay

2. Baltimore (9-7)
Home: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Denver, New Orleans, Oakland, Tampa Bay
Away: Cincinnati, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta, Carolina, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee

3. Cincinnati  (7-9)
Home: Baltimore, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Denver, Miami, New Orleans, Oakland, Tampa Bay
Away: Baltimore, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Carolina, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers

4. Cleveland (0-16)
Home: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Carolina, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, New York Jets
Away: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Denver, Houston, New Orleans, Oakland, Tampa Bay

AFC SOUTH

1.Jacksonville  (10-6)
Home: Houston, Indianapolis, Tennessee, New England, New York Jets, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington
Away: Houston, Indianapolis, Tennessee, Buffalo, Dallas, Kansas City, Miami, New York Giants

2. Tennessee (9-7)
Home: Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Baltimore, New England, New York Jets, Philadelphia, Washington
Away: Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Buffalo, Dallas, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami, New York Giants

3. Indianapolis  (4-12)
Home: Houston, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas, Miami, New York Giants
Away: Houston, Jacksonville, Tennessee, New England, New York Jets, Oakland, Philadelphia, Washington

4. Houston (4-12)
Home: Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Buffalo, Cleveland, Dallas, Miami, New York Giants
Away: Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Denver, New England, New York Jets, Philadelphia, Washington

AFC WEST

1. Kansas City (10-6)
Home: Denver, Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland, Arizona, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, San Francisco
Away: Denver, Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland, Cleveland, Los Angeles Rams, New England, Pittsburgh, Seattle

2.Los Angeles Chargers (9-7)
Home: Denver, Kansas City, Oakland, Arizona, Baltimore, Cincinnati, San Francisco 49ers, Tennessee
Away: Denver, Kansas City, Oakland, Buffalo, Cleveland, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh, Seattle

3. Oakland (6-10)
Home: Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh, Seattle
Away: Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Miami, San Francisco

4. Denver (5-11)
Home: Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland, Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh, Seattle
Away: Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Oakland, Arizona, Baltimore, Cincinnati, New York Jets, San Francisco

NFC EAST

1. Philadelphia (13-3)
Home: Dallas, New York Giants, Washington, Atlanta, Carolina, Houston, Indianapolis, Minnesota
Away: Dallas, New York Giants, Washington, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Tennessee

2. Dallas  (9-7)
Home: New York Giants, Philadelphia, Washington, Detroit, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Tennessee
Away: New York Giants, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta, Carolina, Houston, Indianapolis, Seattle

3. Washington (7-9)
Home: Dallas, New York Giants, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Carolina, Green Bay, Houston, Indianapolis
Away: Dallas, New York Giants, Philadelphia, Arizona, Jacksonville, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay, Tennessee

4. New York Giants (3-13)
Home: Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Tennessee
Away: Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta, Carolina, Houston, Indianapolis, San Francisco

NFC NORTH

1.Minnesota (13-3)
Home: Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Arizona, Buffalo, Miami, New Orleans, San Francisco
Away: Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Los Angeles Rams, New England, New York Jets, Philadelphia, Seattle

2. Detroit  (9-7)
Home: Chicago, Green Bay, Minnesota, Carolina, Los Angeles Rams, New England, New York Jets, Seattle
Away: Chicago, Green Bay, Minnesota, Arizona, Buffalo, Dallas, Miami, San Francisco

3. Green Bay  (7-9)
Home: Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, Arizona, Atlanta, Buffalo, Miami, San Francisco
Away: Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, Los Angeles Rams, New England, New York Jets, Seattle, Washington

4. Chicago (5-11)
Home: Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota, Los Angeles Rams, New England, New York Jets, Seattle, Tampa Bay
Away: Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota, Arizona, Buffalo, Miami, New York Giants, San Francisco

NFC SOUTH

1.New Orleans (11-5)
Home: Atlanta, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington
Away: Atlanta, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas, Minnesota, New York Giants

2. Carolina (11-5)
Home: Atlanta, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, New York Giants, Seattle
Away: Atlanta, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington

3. Atlanta (10-6)
Home: Carolina, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Arizona, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, New York Giants
Away: Carolina, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Green Bay, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington

4. Tampa Bay  (5-11)
Home:  Atlanta, Carolina, New Orleans, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Washington
Away:  Atlanta, Carolina, New Orleans, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, New York Giants

NFC WEST

1. Los Angeles Rams  (11-5)
Home: Arizona, San Francisco, Seattle, Green Bay, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota, Philadelphia
Away: Arizona , San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, New Orleans, Oakland

2. Seattle  (9-7)
Home: Arizona, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco, Dallas, Green Bay, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota
Away:  Arizona, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco, Carolina, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Oakland

3. Arizona (8-8)
Home: Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco , Seattle, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Oakland Raiders, Washington
Away: Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, Green Bay, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota

4. San Francisco  (6-10)
Home: Arizona, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, New York Giants, Oakland
Away: Arizona, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle, Green Bay, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota, Tampa Bay

 

 

 

To no one’s suprise, the Cleveland Browns own the Number 1 pick of the 2018 National Football League Draft, which will be held April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Yes, for the second straight year, the Browns are on the clock.

The tentative order of the first round was announced Monday by the NFL, subject to the results of the playoffs.

The draft order is determined by the following procedures:

(A) The winner of the Super Bowl game shall select last and the loser of such game shall select next-to-last in all rounds, regardless of the record of such participating clubs in the regular season.

(B) The losers of the Conference Championship games shall select 29th and 30th in all rounds, according to the reverse order of their standing.

(C) The losers of the Divisional playoff games shall select in the 25th through 28th positions in all rounds, according to the reverse order of their standing.

(D) The losers of the Wild Card games shall select in the 21st through 24th positions in all rounds, according to the reverse order of their standing.

(E) Clubs not participating in the playoffs shall select in the first through 20th positions in all rounds, according to the reverse order of their standing.

If, after all the foregoing procedures have been applied, ties still exist in any grouping except (A) above, such ties shall be broken by figuring the aggregate won-lost-tied percentage of each involved club’s regular season opponents and awarding preferential selection order to the club which faced the schedule of teams with the lowest aggregate won-lost-tied percentage.

If ties still exist, the divisional or conference tie-breaking method, if applicable, shall be applied. If neither the divisional nor the conference tie-breaking methods are applicable, ties shall be broken by a coin flip.

Since Oakland and San Francisco have the same strength-of-schedule and neither the divisional nor the conference tie-breaker applies, the tie for the ninth and 10th positions will be determined by a coin flip.

The tie between Green Bay and Washington for the 13th and 14th position was broken by conference tie-breakers. Since both clubs had the same conference record (5-7), their win-loss-tie percentages in common games is applied. Since Washington (1-4) had a lower win-loss-tie percentage in common games than Green Bay (2-3), the Redskins are given priority in the Draft order.

The tie between Dallas and Detroit for the 19th and 20th position was broken by conference tie-breakers. Since Dallas (7-5) has a lower win-loss-tie percentage in conference games than Detroit (8-4), the Cowboys are given priority in the Draft order.

2018 FIRST ROUND DRAFT ORDER

#  Team (W-L, PCT.; OPPONENT W-L-T, Strength of Schedule)
1. Cleveland (0-16, .000; 133-123-0, .520)
2. New York Giants (3-13, .188; 136-120-0, .531)
3. Indianapolis (4-12, .250; 123-133, .480)
4. Houston (traded to Cleveland) (4-12, .250; 132-124, .516)
5. Denver (5-11, .313; 126-130, .492)
6. New York Jets (5-11, .313; 133-123, .520)
7. Tampa Bay (5-11, .313; 142-114, .555)
8. Chicago (5-11, .313; 143-113, .559)
9. Oakland (6-10, .375; 131-125, .512)^
9. San Francisco (6-10, .375; 131-125, .512)^
11. Miami (6-10, .375; 139-117, .543)
12. Cincinnati (7-9, .438; 119-137, .465)
13. Washington (7-9, .438; 138-111, .539)
14. Green Bay (7-9, .438; 138-111, .539)
15. Arizona (8-8, .500; 125-131, .488)
16. Baltimore (9-7, .563; 113-143, .441)
17. Los Angeles Chargers (9-7, .563; 117-139, .457)
18. Seattle (9-7, .563; 126-130, .493)
19. Dallas (9-7, .563; 127-129, .496)
20. Detroit (9-7, .563; 127-129, .496)
21. Tennessee (9-7, .563; 111-145, .434)*
22. Buffalo (9-7, .563; 126-130, .492)*
23. Jacksonville (10-6, .625; 111-145, .434)*
24. Kansas City (traded to Buffalo) (10-6, .625; 122-134, .477)*
25. ATLANTA (10-6, .625; 139-117, .543)*
26. Los Angeles Rams (11-5, .688; 129-127, .504)*
27. New Orleans (11-5, .688; 137-119, .535)*
28. Carolina (11-5, .688; 138-118, .539)*
29. Pittsburgh (13-3, .813; 116-140, .453)*
30. Philadelphia (13-3, .813; 118-138, .461)*
31. New England (13-3, .813; 124-132, .484)*
32. Minnesota (13-3, .813; 126-130, .492)*

*- Subject to Playoffs
^- The ninth and 10th selections will be decided by coin flip

Sunday Broadcast Information (All times listed are Eastern)

Carolina at ATLANTA, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 113 (Carolina), 82 (Atlanta); XM: 389 (Carolina), 82 (Atlanta)

Houston at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706: Tom McCarthy, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 132 (Houston, 157 (Indianpolis); XM: 382 (Houston), 226 (Indianpois)

New York Jets at New England, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 133 (New York Jets), 82 (New England); XM: 380 (New York Jets), 82 (New England)

Cleveland at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta; SIRIUS: 119 (Cleveland), 93 (Pittsburgh); XM: 384 (Cleveland), 225 (Pittsburgh)

Green Bay at Detroit, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712: Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth, Shannon Spake (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 112 (Green Bay), 137 (Detroit); XM: 381 (Green Bay), 227 (Detroit)

Chicago at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Pam Oliver (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 121 (Chicago), 83 (Minnesota); XM: 386 (Chicago), 83 (Minnesota)

Washington at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714: Sam Rosen, Matt Millen, Jennifer Hale (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 134 (Washington), 146 (New York Giants); XM: 383 (Washington), 228 (New York Giants)

Dallas at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715: Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber, Kristina Pink (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 135 (Dallas), 81 (Philadelphia); XM: 385 (Dallas), 81 (Philadelphia)

Cincinnati at Baltimore, 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 134 (Cincinnati), 108 (Baltimore); XM: 383 (Cincinnati), 229 (Baltimore)

Buffalo at Miami, 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton; SIRIUS: 133 (Buffalo), 137 (Miami); XM: 380 (Buffalo), 227 (Miami)

Jacksonville at Tennessee, 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 710: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Jamie Erdahl (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 135 (Jacksonville), 81 (Tennessee); XM: 385 (Jacksonville), 81 (Tennessee)

New Orleans at Tampa Bay, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716: Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman, Peter Schrager (Field reporter)
SIRIUS: 119 (New Orleans), 93 (Tampa Bay); XM: 384 (New Orleans), 225 (Tampa Bay)

Kansas City at Denver, 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 717: Beth Mowins, Jay Feely; SIRIUS: 112 (Kansas City), 157 (Denver); XM: 381 (Kansas City), 226 (Denver)

Oakland at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 718: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon; SIRIUS: 132 (Oakland), 136 (Los Angeles Chargers); XM: 382 (Oakland), 231 (Los Angeles Chargers)

San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 719: Joe Davis, Brady Quinn, Jenny Taft (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 138 (San Francisco), 83 (Los Angeles Rams); XM: 387 (San Francsico), 83 (Los Angeles Rams)

Arizona at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 720: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 145 (Arizona), 98 (Seattle); XM: 388 (Arizona), 230 (Seattle)

Sunday Officials
Carolina at ATLANTA, 4:25 p.m.: Bill Vinovich
Houston at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.: Gene Steratore
New York Jets at New England, 1 p.m.: Brad Allen
Cleveland at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.: Jerome Boger
Green Bay at Detroit, 1 p.m.: Pete Morelli
Chicago at Minnesota, 1 p.m.: Craig Wrolstad
Washington at New York Giants, 1 p.m.: John Hussey
Dallas at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.: John Parry
Cincinnati at Baltimore, 4:25 p.m.: Ronald Torbert
Buffalo at Miami, 4:25 p.m.: Jeff Triplette
Jacksonville at Tennessee, 4:25 p.m.: Tony Corrente
New Orleans at Tampa Bay, 4:25 p.m.: Walt Anderson
Kansas City at Denver, 4:25 p.m.: Clete Blakeman
Oakland at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m.: Ed Hochuli
San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m.: Terry McAulay
Arizona at Seattle, 4:25 p.m.: Walt Coleman

Sunday Odds (Home teams in CAPS)

Sunday’s Games
Favorite               Spread     Underdog          O/U
ATLANTA                –  3 1/2   Carolina          46
INDIANAPOLIS           –  3 1/2   Houston           41
NEW ENGLAND            – 15       New York Jets     45
PITTSBURGH             – 13       Cleveland         39 1/2
DETROIT                –  7       Green Bay         43
MINNESOTA              – 11       Chicago           39 1/2
Washington             –  3 1/2   NEW YORK GIANTS   38
TENNESSEE              –  5 1/2   Jacksonville      41
Buffalo                –  3       MIAMI             42 1/2
BALTIMORE              –  9 1/2   Cincinnati        40 1/2
Dallas                 –  2 1/2   PHILADELPHIA      41
New Orleans            –  7       TAMPA BAY         50 1/2
DENVER                 –  3 1/2   Kansas City       38
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS   –  7 1/2   Oakland           43 1/2
LOS ANGELES RAMS       –  4 1/2   San Francsico     45 1/2
SEATTLE                –  8       Arizona           38 1/2

Sunday Injury Report

Carolina at ATLANTA, 4:25 p.m.

Carolina
QUESTIONABLE: S Kurtis Coleman (Ankle), G Trai Turner (Concussion)

ATLANTA
OUT: Levine Toilolo (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: C Alex Mack (Calf)

Green Bay at Detroit, 1 p.m.

Green Bay
OUT: WR Davante Adams (Concussion), G Jahri Evans (Knee), RB Aaron Jones (Knee), WR Jordy Nelson (Shoulder), LB Nicholas Perry (Ankle), TE Richard Rodgers (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Geronimo Allison (Illness), LB William Matthews (Hamstring) CB Damarious Randall (Knee)

Detroit
OUT: CB Nevin Lawson (Concussion)

Chicago at Minnesota, 1 p.m.

Chicago
DOUBTFUL: T Bobby Massie (Knee), G Josh Sitton (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: S DeAndre Houston-Carson (Back), TE Adam Shaheen (Chest)

Minnesota
OUT: CB Tramaine Brock (Foot), C Patrick Elflein (Shoulder), LS Kevin McDermott (Shoulder), DT Shamar Stephen (Ankle)

New York Jets at New England, 1 p.m.

New York Jets
OUT: T Brandon Shell (Concussion)
DOUBTFUL: TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Ribs)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Matt Forte (Knee)

New England
OUT: DT Alan Branch (Knee), RB Michael Burkhead (Knee), RB Mike Gillislee (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Chris Hogan (Shoulder), DE Eric Lee (Ankle), S Devin McCourty (Shoulder), WR Matt Slater (Hamstring), LB Kyle Van Noy (Calf), T LaAdrian Waddle (Ankle), RB James White (Ankle)

Washington at New York Giants, 1 p.m.

Washington
OUT: LB Orlando Anderson (Knee), LB Zach Brown (Illness), DT Evander Hood (Elbow)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Patrick Kerrigan (Calf), LB Martrell Spaight (Illness), WR Robert Davis (Concussion), WR Maurice Harris (Back), G Kyle Kalis (Ankle), TE Terrell McClain (Toe)

New York Giants
OUT: TE Evan Engram (Rib), WR Tavarres King (Concussion), WR Sterling Shepard (Neck)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Jason Pierre-Paul (Finger), T Ereck Flowers (Groin), T Bobby Hart (Ankle)

Dallas at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.

Dallas
OUT: DE David Irving (Concussion), DE Benson Mayowa (Back)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Cole Beasley (Illness), RB Rob Smith (Back), DT Richard Ash (Shoulder), T La’el Collins (Back)

Philadelphia
OUT: DE Brandon Graham (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Jalen Mills (Ankle)

Cleveland at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.

Cleveland
OUT: RB Dan Vitale (Groin)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun (Knee), S Derron Smith (Hip), CB Jamar Taylor (Foot)

Pittsburgh
OUT: WR Antonio Brown (Calf)
QUESTIONABLE: C LaShawn Pouncey (Hip)

Houston at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.

Houston
OUT: G Jeffery Allen (Concussion), WR DeAndre Hopkins (Calf), RB Jordan Todman (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: T Kendall Lamm (Concussion), LB LaTroy Lewis (Shoulder)

Indianapolis
OUT: T Denzelle Good (Knee), DT Johnathan Hankins (Ankle), TE Jason Vander Lann (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Donte Moncrief (Ankle)

Cincinnati at Baltimore, 4:25 p.m.

Cincinnati
OUT: T Cedric Ogbuehi (Shoulder)
DOUBTFUL: LB Vontaze Burfict (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: CB William Jackson (Knee), RB Joe Mixon (Ankle)

Baltimore
DOUBTFUL: WR Jeremy Maclin (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Mike Wallace (Knee), G Jermaine Eluemunor (Shoulder), T Austin Howard (Knee), DT Patrick Ricard (Neck), DT Brandon Williams (Back)

Buffalo at Miami, 4:25 p.m.

Buffalo
OUT: CB Shareece Wright (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: G Ryan Groy (Illness), WR Deonte Thompson (Back)

Miami
DOUBTFUL: T Laremy Tunsil (Ankle), QB Matt Moore (Foot), RB Damien Williams (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: S Michael Thomas (Not Injury Related), LB Neville Hewitt (Hamstring), WR DeVante Parker (Ankle), CB Alterraun Verner (Hamstring), DE Derek Wake (Illness), TE MarQueis Gray (Hip), DE Charles Harris (Thigh), S Tim McDonald (Shoulder)

New Orleans at Tampa Bay, 4:25 p.m.

New Orleans
OUT: T Terron Armstead (Thigh), DE Collins Hendrickson (Ankle), TE Michael Hoomanawanui (Concussion)

Tampa Bay
DOUBTFUL: LB Devante Bond (Ankle), DE Robert Ayers (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Rod Godwin (Ankle), DE Ryan Russell (Shoulder), TE Cameron Brate (Hip), WR DeSean Jackson (Ankle)

Jacksonville at Tennessee, 4:25 p.m.

Jacksonville
OUT: WR Marqise Lee (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Abry Jones (Back), LB Blair Brown (Concussion), T Cameron Robinson (Abdomen)

Tennessee
OUT: RB DeMarco Murray (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Logan Ryan (Ankle)

Kansas City at Denver, 4:25 p.m.

Kansas City
DOUBTFUL: DT Bennie Logan (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Kenneth Acker (Illness), LB Tamba Hali (Knee), DE Rakeem Nunez-Roches (Illness), RB Charcandrick West (Illness), RB Akeem Hunt (Shoulder), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (Shoulder)

Denver
OUT: DE Zachariah Kerr (Ankle), WR Cody Latimer (Thigh), WR Emmanuel Sanders (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: T Donald Stephenson (Hand)

Oakland at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m.

Oakland
OUT: DT Treyvon Hester (Ankle)
DOUBTFUL: T Vadal Alexander (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: CB David Amerson (Foot), CB Dexter McDonald (Knee)

Los Angeles Chargers
QUESTIONABLE: RB Melvin Gordon (Ankle), DT Corey Liuget (Knee), T Russell Okung (Groin), LB Denzel Perryman (Hamstring)

San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m.

San Francisco – San Francisco reported no injuries

Los Angeles Rams
DOUBTFUL: LB Mark Barron (Achilles)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Cooper Kupp (Knee)

Arizona at Seattle, 4:25 p.m.

Arizona
QUESTIONABLE: LB Joshua Bynes (Ankle), TE Troy Niklas (Ankle), RB Elijhaa Penny (Hand), G Earl Watford (Ankle), RB Kerwynn Williams (Quadricep)

Seattle
OUT: LB Donell Alexander (Concussion), DT Nazar Jones (Foot)
QUESTIONABLE: G Luke Joeckel (Foot), LB Bobby Wagner (Hamstring), TE Luke Wilson (Ankle)

Sunday Weather
Carolina at ATLANTA, 4:25 p.m.: Game indoors
Houston at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.: Game indoors
New York Jets at New England, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 14 degrees
Cleveland at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.: Cloudy and 15 degrees
Green Bay at Detroit, 1 p.m.: Game indoors
Chicago at Minnesota, 1 p.m.: Game indoors
Washington at New York Giants, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 18 degrees
Dallas at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 20 degrees
Cincinnati at Baltimore, 4:25 p.m.: Mostly sunny and 23 degrees
Buffalo at Miami, 4:25 p.m.: Sunny and 72 degrees
Jacksonville at Tennessee, 4:25 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 25 degrees
New Orleans at Tampa Bay, 4:25 p.m.: Sunny and 69 degrees
Kansas City at Denver, 4:25 p.m.: Sunny and 24 degrees
Oakland at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m.: Sunny and 67 degrees
San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m.: Sunny and 67 degrees
Arizona at Seattle, 4:25 p.m.: Sunny and 41 degrees

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