Archives for category: NFL Christmas Eve

Two weeks left. Five playoff spots have been claimed. Seven more spots are open and come the end of play on Christmas Eve night, those spots could very well be filled. Football’s answer to the kid’s party game Musicial Chairs continues and for those that are still in contention, as long as the music plays and there are chairs, you have a chance. It’s when the music stops and there’s scrambling for a chair that presents a problem. The winner gets to stay, the loser gets the somewhat unfair task of sitting out and watching the others have fun.

When the 2018 NFL regular season comes to an end December 30, 12 teams will be on the NFL nice list, which means that they’ll be in the post-season party. For the other 20 teams that didn’t make the post-season? They’re on the naughty list.

SEVEN FROM LAST SUNDAY: Chicago defeated Green Bay, 24-17 to clinch the NFC North division title for the first time since 2010.

The Bears, who finished in fourth place in the NFC North last season, completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround in 2018. In 15 of the past 16 seasons, at least one team has finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place.

The Los Angeles Chargers, who defeated Kansas City 29-28 on Thursday night, clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2013.

•Tennessee running back Derrick Henry rushed for 170 yards and two touchdowns in the Titans’ 17-0 victory over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Henry rushed for 238 yards and four touchdowns in Week 14, became the fifth player since 2002 to record at least 170 rushing yards and two touchdown runs in consecutive games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer La Dainian Tomlinson (2006), Deuce Mc Allister (2003), Clinton Portis (2003) and Ricky Williams (2002).

Henry’s 408 rushing yards since Week 14 are the most by a player over a two-game span in franchise history, surpassing the previous high of 405 yards set by Pro Football Hall of Famer Earl Campbell in Weeks 7-8 for the 1980 Houston Oilers. His six rushing touchdowns are the most by a player in team history over any two-game span.

•Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky completed 20 of 28 passes (71.4 percent) for 235 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 120.4 passer rating in the Bears’ 24-17 victory over Green Bay.

Trubisky has recorded a passer rating of at least 120 (minimum 15 attempts) in four games this season, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Sid Luckman (three games in 1943), Rudy Bukich (three in 1965) and Erik Kramer (three in 1995) for the most such games by a quarterback in a single season in franchise history.

•Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones had 82 receiving yards and a touchdown in the Falcons’ 40-14 victory over Arizona.

Jones, who leads the NFL with 1,511 receiving yards, is the fifth player in NFL history with at least three career seasons with 1,500+ receiving yards, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (four seasons) and Marvin Harrison (three), Antonio Brown (three) and Andre Johnson (three). Jones also has 100 receptions this season, joining Harrison (three), Brown (three) and Johnson (three) as the only players in NFL history with at least 100 catches and 1,500 receiving yards in three career seasons.

•Baltimore, led by rookie running back Gus Edwards (104 rushing yards) and rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson (95 rushing yards), recorded 242 rushing yards in the Ravens’ 20-12 victory over Tampa Bay. Baltimore has rushed for at least 190 yards in five consecutive games and is the first team to accomplish the feat since the 1976 Pittsburgh Steeler, who had five consecutive games from October 17 to November 14.

•Indianapolis running back Marlon Mack rushed for 139 yards and two touchdowns in the Colts’ 23-0 victory over Dallas.

Mack, who also rushed for 132 yards and two scores in the Colts’ Week 8 victory over Oakland, is the third player in franchise history to record multiple games with at least 125 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in a single season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (two games in 1987) and Edgerrin James (two games in both 1999 and 2005).

•Minnesota recorded nine sacks, including two sacks each from defensive end Dannielle Hunter and linebacker Anthony Barr, in the team’s 41-17 victory over Miami. The Vikings, who recorded 10 sacks in the team’s Week 9 victory over Detroit, are the second team since 1990 to register at least nine sacks in multiple games in a single season, joining the 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars (two games). The Vikings are the seventh team since the 1970 merger to record multiple such games in a single season.

As the NFL enters Week 16, five postseason berths have been clinched and seven remain up for grabs. Nineteen of the league’s 32 teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIII and 14 of the 16 games on this week’s schedule feature at least one team still alive in the race to Atlanta.

Two teams – Chicago (NFC North) and the Los Angeles Chargers (playoff berth) – clinched a berth in the 2018 NFL postseason last week. Da Bears, who finished in fourth place in the NFC North last season, completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround in 2018. In 15 of the past 16 seasons, at least one team has finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. Since the 12-team playoff format began in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

In the AFC, Houston (10-4) can clinch the AFC South division title with a victory, while New England (9-5) can secure their 10th consecutive AFC East division title with a win. The Patriots have advanced to the postseason in nine consecutive seasons (2009-2017), tied with Dallas (nine from 1975-1983) and Indianapolis (nine from 2002-2010) for the most consecutive seasons in NFL history with a playoff berth.

Kansas City (11-3) and the Los Angeles Chargers (11-3) are tied atop with the AFC West and continue to battle for position in the AFC playoff picture. Pittsburgh (8-5-1) can secure the AFC North title with a victory coupled with a Baltimore loss. Additionally, Baltimore (8-6), Cleveland (6-7-1), Indianapolis (8-6), Miami (7-7) and Tennessee (8-6) all look to remain in the hunt.

In the NFC, three divisions have been clinched – the NFC North (Chicago), NFC South (New Orleans) and NFC West (Los Angeles Rams). The battle for the NFC East continues, as Dallas (8-6) can secure the division title with a victory this week but  Philadelphia (7-7) and Washington (7-7) remain in the thick of the race.

With a win in Week 16, New Orleans (12-2) would clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. The race for the two Wild Card positions in the NFC remains competitive, with Carolina (6-8), Minnesota (7-6-1) and Seattle (8-6) fighting for a position in the playoff picture. The scenarios for week 16 can either so clear even a five-year old could understand or cause more confusion than a mouse in a burlesque show (apologies to Foghorn Leghorn!). Below are the scenarios for week 16. Pay attention and take notes… there will be a quiz afterward.

2018 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 16

NFC

CLINCHED: Los Angeles Rams – NFC West division title, New Orleans – NFC South division title, Chicago – NFC North division title

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (12-2) vs. Pittsburgh (8-5-1), Sunday at 4:25 p.m. on CBS

New Orleans clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
New Orleans win OR
New Orleans tie + Los Angeles Rams loss or tie OR
CHI loss or tie + Los Angeles Rams loss

New Orleans clinches a first-round bye with:
New Orleans tie OR
Chicago loss or tie OR
Los Angeles Rams loss

Los Angeles Rams (11-3) at Arizona (3-11), Sunday at 4:05 p.m. on FOX

Los Angeles clinches a first-round bye with:
Los Angeles Rams win + Chicago loss or tie OR
Los Angeles Rams tie + Chicago loss

Dallas (8-6) vs. Tampa Bay (5-9), Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX

Dallas clinches NFC East division title with:
Dallas win OR
Dallas tie + Philadelphia loss or tie + Washington loss or tie OR
Philadelphia loss + Washington loss

Dallas clinches a playoff berth with:
Dallas tie + Minnesota loss

Seattle (8-6) vs. Kansas City (11-3), Sunday night at 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Seattle clinches a playoff berth with:
Seattle win + Washington loss or tie OR
Seattle win or tie + Minnesota loss OR
Seattle win + Seattle clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over Washington OR
Seattle win + Minnesota tie + Seattle clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over Minnesota OR
Seattle tie + Washington loss + Philadelphia loss or tie

Minnesota (7-6-1) at Detroit (5-9), Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX

Minnesota clinches a playoff berth with:
Minnesota win+ Philadelphia loss or tie + Washington loss

AFC

CLINCHED: Kansas City Chiefs – Playoff berth, Los Angeles Chargers – Playoff berth

Kansas City (11-3) at Seattle (8-6), Sunday night at 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title and a first-round bye with:
Kansas City win + Los Angeles Chargers loss

Kansas City clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:
Kansas City win + Los Angeles Chargers loss + Houston loss or tie OR
Kansas City win + Los Angeles Chargers loss + Kansas City clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over Houston

Houston (10-4) at Philadelphia (7-7), Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS

Houston clinches AFC South division title with:
Houston win or tie OR
Indianapolis  loss or tie + TEN loss or tie

Houston clinches a first-round bye with:
Houston win + New England loss or tie OR
Houston tie + New England loss

Houston clinches a playoff berth with:
Baltimore loss or tie OR
Pittsburgh loss OR
Tennessee loss or tie + Houston clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over Baltimore

New England (9-5) vs. Buffalo (5-9), Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS

New England clinches AFC East division title with:
New England win or tie OR
Miami loss or tie

Pittsburgh (8-5-1) at New Orleans (12-2), Sunday at 4:25 p.m. on CBS

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

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth with:
Pittsburgh win + Indianapolis loss + Tennessee loss

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 16:

WORST TO FIRST: As the NFL enters Week 16, five postseason berths have been clinched and seven remain up for grabs. Nineteen of the league’s 32 teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIII and 14 of the 16 games on this week’s schedule feature at least one team still alive in the race to Atlanta.

Two teams – Chicago Bears (NFC North) and the Los Angeles Chargers (playoff berth) – clinched a berth in the 2018 NFL postseason last week. The Bears, who finished in fourth place in the NFC North last season, completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround in 2018. The Houston Texans (10-4), who finished in last in the AFC South in 2017, can clinch the division title at Philadelphia at 1 p.m. on CBS with a win or tie or if both Indianapolis and Tennessee lose or tie.

In 15 of the past 16 seasons, at least one team has finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. 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.

HISTORY IN THE MAKING: Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the NFL with 45 touchdown passes this season.

On Sunday night at Seattle at 8:20 p.m. on NBC, Mahomes can continue his climb up the NFL’s single season touchdown pass leaderboard.

The players with the most touchdown passes in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Peyton Manning, Denver (2013 – 55)#
Tom Brady, New England (2007 – 50)#
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (2004 – 49)#
Dan Marino, Miami (1984 – 48)^#
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2011 – 46)
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (2018 – 45)*
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (2011 – 45)#
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player
*Entering Week 16

SHAKE & BAKER: Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield, selected first overall by the Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft, leads all rookies with 21 touchdown passes this season.

With three touchdown passes on Sunday at home against Cincinnati at 1 p.m. on CBS, Mayfield would surpass Andrew Luck (23 touchdown passes in 2012) for the second-most touchdown passes by a rookie quarterback selected No. 1 overall in the common draft era.

The most touchdown passes by a rookie selected No. 1 overall in the common draft era:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – PASSING TOUCHDOWNS)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (1998 – 26)
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis (2012 – 23)
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay (2015 – 22)
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland (2018 – 21)*
Cam Newton, Carolina (2011 – 21)#
#Named Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year
*Entering Week 16

RUN & CATCH: Carolina running back Chrstian McCaffrey leads all running backs with 94 receptions in 2018.

With nine receptions on Sunday at home against Atlanta at 1 p.m. on FOX, McCaffrey would surpass Matt Forté (102 receptions in 2014) for the most receptions by a running back in a single season in NFL history.

The running backs with the most receptions in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RECEPTIONS)
Matt Forté, Chicago (2014 – 102)
Larry Centers, Arizona (1995 – 101)
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (2003 – 100)^
Larry Centers, Arizona (1996 – 99)
Chrstian McCaffrey, Carolina (2018 – 94)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Entering Week 16

New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley leads all rookies with 82 receptions and needs seven catches at Indianapolis at 1 p.m. on CBS to surpass Reggie Bush (88 in 2006) for the most receptions by a rookie running back in league annals.

The rookie running backs with the most receptions in league annals:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RECEPTIONS)
Reggie Bush, New Orleans (2006 – 88)
Earl Cooper, San Francisco (1980 – 83)
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (2018 – 82)*
*Entering Week 16

RECORD-SETTING TIGHT ENDS: Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce leads all tight ends with a career-high 1,220 receiving yards in 2018.

With 108 receiving yards against Seattle on Sunday night at 8:20 p.m. on NBC, Kelce would surpass Rob Gronkowski (1,327 receiving yards in 2011) for the most receiving yards by a tight end in a single season in NFL history.

The tight ends with the most receiving yards in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RECIEVING YARDS)
Rob Gronkowski, New England (2011 – 1,327)
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans (2011 – 1,310)
Kellen Winslow, San Diego (1980 – 1,290)^
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City (2004 – 1,258)
Todd Christensen, Los Angeles Raiders (1983 – 1,247)
Travis Kelce, Kansas City (2018 – 1,220)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Entering Week 16

Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz, who ranks third in the NFL with 101 receptions, needs 10 catches against Houston on Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS to surpass Jason Witten (110 receptions in 2012) for the most receptions by a tight end in a single season in league annals.

The tight ends with the most receptions in a single season in league annals:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RECEPTIONS)
Jason Witten, Dallas (2012 – 110)
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City (2004 – 102)
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia (2018 – 101)*
*Entering Week 16

KEEP IT 100: Five players – New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas (109 receptions), Minnesota wide receiver Adam Thielen (105), Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz (101), Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones (100) and Green Bay wide receiver Davante Adams (100) – have recorded at least 100 receptions this season.

Entering Week 16, six additional players – Pittsburgh wide receivers Juju Smith-Schuster (95 receptions) and Antonio Brown (90), Houston wide receiver De Andre Hopkins (94), Carolina running back Chrstian McCaffrey (94), Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce (93) and Minnesota wide receiver Stefon Diggs (92) – currently have at least 90 receptions.

With 10 players recording at least 100 catches this season, the 2018 season would surpass the 1995 season (nine) for the most players with at least 100 catches in a single season.

The seasons with the most players with at least 100 receptions in NFL history:

SEASON – PLAYERS WITH 100+ RECEPTIONS

1995 – 9
2015 – 7
Many tied with 6
2018 – 5*
*Entering Week 16

Week 16 got underway with a Saturday doubleheader starting in Nashville as Tennessee held off Washington 26-15 in Nashville in the first contest of the day and Baltimore edged the Los Angeles Chargers 22-10 at Stub Hub Centre in the second Saturday contest. Week 16 concludes in Oakland on Christmas Eve as the Raiders and Broncos meet in an AFC West/AFC contest.

As for last week… a lot better than we had hoped, going 8-8 for the week, 124-96 for the year. We hear that Santa likes Monday night football, so be sure to leave some football-shaped cookies for him and hay for the reindeer Monday night. Having said that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 16.

ATLANTA (5-9) at Carolina (6-8), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons make the 245-mile trip up I-85 for a rematch with NFC South rival Carolina in Charlotte. The Panthers will be without QB Cam Newton because of a lingering shoulder injury, which means that Taylor Heinicke will be under center for the remainder of the season.

The Falcons trailed Arizona 7-0 early in the first quarter, then proceeded to score 40 points unchallenged in their home finale, breaking their five-game losing streak and came away with the 40-14 win in the Big Peach. Atlanta led 26-7 at the intermission, then floored the gas in the second half, using a 43-yard run from RB Tevin Coleman and a 5-yard TD toss from Ryan to WR Justin Hardy to all but seal Arizona’s fate. Atlanta outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 215-60 with Coleman leadng the way on the ground with 145 yards on 11 carries, Ryan threw for 231 yards with a pair of TDs (one to WR Julio Jones) and had a rushing TD of his own, while Arizona’s Josh Rosen threw for 132 yards in the lopsided loss, throwing a pair of interceptions to go with six sacks. Atlanta went 5 of 13 on third down tries in the home finale and ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 30:40, while the Cardinals were 3 for 13 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 29:20.

Carolina dropped their sixth contest in a row, losing in Charlotte to New Orleans 12-9 last Monday night. The Panthers led 7-6 at the intermission at Bank of America Stadium before the Saints would take the lead away from the Panthers when Alvin Kamara scored on a 16-yard run with 12:12 left in the contest. New Orleans then attempted a 2-point conversion to make the contest a five-point affair but Drew Brees’ 2-point attempt to WR Michael Thomas was picked off by Dante Jackson, who ran the ball back for a defensive two point conversion to keep the Panthers close. Carolina would later get the ball back after New Orleans fumbled it out of the endzone, creating a touchback and giving the Panthers the ball on their 20-yard line. Newton and the Panthers would eventually get as close as their 39-yard line but could not get any closer as Newton’s fourth-down pass attempt was incomplete, which gave the Saints the ball back and New Orleans would run the clock out and take the win. New Orleans outrushed Carolina 155-98 and Newton threw for 131 yards with four sacks, while Brees threw for 203 yards (both men threw an interception, Newton was sacked four times, Brees twice). Carolina was 7 of 15 on third down (the Panther were 1 for 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 24:51, while the Saints ruled the clock, holding the ball for 35:09, going 4 of 13 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

They met in the Big Peach in week 2 and the Falcons came away with the 31-24 win. Atlanta took a 17-10 halftime lead against Cam Newton and the Panthers in the Big Peach to take the win, as Ryan threw a pair of TD passes (the first to rookie WR Calvin Ridley, the second to TE Austin Hooper) but Ryan also contributed with a pair of rushing TDs inside the red zone. Atlanta outrushed Carolina 170-121, with Falcons RB Tevin Coleman leading all rushers with 107 yards in the contest. Newton threw for 335 yards and three TDs, while Ryan threw for 272 yards (both Ryan and Newton were picked off once). Atlanta would go on to hold off a late Carolina rally that would have tied things up in the final seconds of the fourth quarter when Newton’s final pass attempt fell short of its mark and went incomplete. Carolina was 5 of 11 on third down (the Panthers were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 30:18, while Atlanta was 6 of 11 on third down tries, keeping the ball for 29:42.

The Falcons covered the 5 1/2-point spread with their 7-point win in the Big Peach in the week two contest and both teams took care of and covered the 44 over/under, combining for 55 points. The rematch in the Tar Heel State has Carolina as a 3-point favorite with a 48 over/under. Carolina’s trying to get themselves into the post-season party. Atlanta would love nothing more than to crash Carolina’s hopes.

Cincinnati (6-8) at Cleveland (6-7-1), 1 p.m. on CBS  and DirecTV 706. It’s round two of the Buckeye State War as the Bengals make the 248-mile trip up I–77 to face off against the Cleveland Browns in an AFC North rematch along the shores of Lake Erie. Both teams were winners in last week’s action.

The Bengals broke a five-game losing streak as they came away with a 30-16 win over Oakland 33:19at Paul Brown Stadium last Sunday. Cincinnati led 20-7 at the intermission, even though they would be outscored 13-10 in the final 30 minutes of play. Bengals HB Joe Mixon led all rushers with 129 yards and a pair of TDs as the Bengals outrushed the Silver and Black 171-68 and the Cincinnati defense sacked Derek Carr (263 yards, TD) five times, while Josh Driskell threw for 130 yards with a TD to TE Travis Boyd, a sack and an interception. The Bengals were 8 for 19 on third down conversions (they were 2 for 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:19, while the Raiders went 3 for 14 on third down, keeping the ball for 26:41.

The suddenly resurging Browns erased a 13-10 deficit at the end of the third quarter at Denver last Saturday night and came away 17-16 winners at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Cleveland and Denver entered halftime tied at 10-10 before the Broncos took the 13-10 lead with 1:41 left in the third on a Brandon McManus field goal to go into the fourth quarter on top. That would not be the case as the Browns would take the lead with 11:44 left in regulation when rookie QB Baker Mayfield and rookie WR Antonio Callaway connected on a 2-yard TD strike to take a four-point lead. McMannus would pull the Broncos to within one with 4:35 left thanks to a 29-yard field goal and Denver would eventually get the ball back after Cleveland punted with 1:49. The Broncos would get as close as midfield as Denver QB Case Keenum would throw three interceptions and was sacked by CB Jabril Peppers to end any hopes of Denver winning the contest. Cleveland outrushed Denver 134-32, with rookie RB Nick Chubb leading the way with 100 yards on the ground, Mayfield threw for 188 yards and a pair of TDs for the Broncos, while Keenum threw for 257 yards with a rushing TD, while throwing a pair of interceptions (both Mayfield and Keenum were sacked twice). Cleveland was 5 of 12 on third down, Denver was 5 of 14 and the Broncos actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:39, while the Browns kept it for 27:21 (both clubs went 1 of 2 on fourth down).

The two Ohio/AFC North rivals met along the shores of the Ohio River in week 12 and it would be the Browns that would prevail that afternoon, taking a 35-20 out of Cincinnati that afternoon. Cincinnati trailed 28-7 at the intermission and could never get things on track at home. While Cincinnati outrushed Cleveland 129-84, Andy Dalton threw for only 100 yards with a TD and an interception before he left the contest with a thumb injury that will have him sidelined for the rest of the season, while Browns rookie QB Baker Mayfield burned their instate rivals for 258 yards and four TDs, including a TD toss to Nick Chubb. The Bengals were 4 for 12 on third down (they were 2 for 4 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:56, while the Browns kept the pigskin for 32:04, going 5 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Cincinnati was favored by 3 and the Browns covered the 3, winning by 15. Both teams took care of the 47 1/2 over/under, merging for 55 points. This time, it’s Cleveland’s turn to be favored and the boys and girls in Vegas like them as 7-point favorites with a 45 over/under. For the Browns, they want to get one step closer to the post-season; for the Bengals, it’s about revenge and bursting Cleveland’s bubble. Browns fans, it was fun while it lasted but the carriage is about to turn back into a football. Bengals get their revenge on their instate rivals and covers the 7.

Tampa Bay (5-9) at Dallas (8-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of future Hall of Fame QBs meet in the Lone Star State as Jameis Winston and Tampa Bay travels to Arlington for a Sunday afternoon contest with Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys. Both teams took road losses in last week’s action.

Winston faced another Heisman winner in as many weeks as Baltimore and Lamar Jackson kept their playoff hopes alive in Charm City after they came away 20-12 winners over Tampa Bay last Sunday. After a scoreless first quarter, the Ravens took a 10-9 lead with them to the intermission thanks to a 24-yard field goal by Jeff Tucker with nine seconds left before the break, then got 10 more points in the second half, courtesy of a 10-yard TD run by RB Gino Edwards and a second Tucker field goal to close out the Baltimore scoring plays. Edwards led all rushers with 104 yards as Baltimore outrushed Tampa Bay 242-85 and Jackson threw for 131 yards and a TD, while Jameis Winston threw for 157 yards with an interception and a sack (Jackson was sacked twice but was interception-free). Baltimore went 9 of 16 on third down (the Ravens were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:10, while the Buccaneers kept the ball for 22:50, going 3 of 10 on third down and 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Dallas’ bid to win the NFC East were put on hold in the Hoosier State as Indianapolis would shut out the Cowboys 23-0 at Lucas Oil Stadium. It was the Adam Vinatieri and Marlon Mack show for the Colts, as Mack would score on touchdown runs of one and six yards, while Vinatieri chipped in with three field goals, the longest coming from 44 yards out as time expired in the first 30 minutes of play. The Colts, scoring all of their points unchallenged, outrushed Dallas 178-112, with Mack leading the way with 139 yards on the ground, while Ezekiel Elliott led Dallas with 87. Luck threw for 192 yards with no sacks or interceptions, while Prescott threw for 206 yards with three sacks and an interception. The Colts were 8 for 12 on third down and ruled the clock, holding the ball for 31:48, while the Cowboys were 28:12 in time of possession, going a somewhat dismal 4 for 12 on third down and 1 of 5 on fourth down.

Dallas leads the series 12-4 and the Cowboys have outscored the Buccaneers 300-228. Dallas’ last win in the series came in 2016 in Arlington as they would come out on top by a final of 26-20, while Tampa Bay’s last win came in the Sunshine State by a final of 10-9 in 2015. Dallas is favored by 7 in Arlington and the over/under’s 46 1/2. Dallas would love nothing more than to get back on track and win the NFC East in front of the home crowd at AT&T Stadium but Tampa Bay’s in their way and in their crosshairs. Dallas is not having any of that. Cowboys will act like Scrooge at home and take the win and the NFC East, covering the 7 in Arlington.

Minnesota (7-6-1) at Detroit (5-9), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of NFC North (NFC Norris, as ESPN’s Chris Berman calls it) meet in the Motor City as Minnesota and Detroit meet at Ford Field. Minnesota looks to claim the sixth and final spot in the NFC playoffs, while the Lions look to derail Minnesota’s hopes.

The Purple Gang manhandled Miami, taking the Dolphins to task 41-17. Minnesota took a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, then watched the Dolphis score 10 second quarter points without a challenge to lead 21-10 at the break. Minnesota then took control of things in the final 30 minutes of play, outscoring Miami 20-7 to seal the win. Minnesota outrushed Miami 220-156 and both clubs had 100-yard rushers (Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook led all rushers with 136 yards and a pair of TDs, while Miami’s Kalen Ballage tallied 123 yards with a TD), Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins threw for 215 yards with a pair of TDs (Cousins was sacked once and threw an interception), while Miami’s Ryan Tannehill threw for 108 yards with a season-high nine sacks.
Minnesota was 5 of 13 on third down tries in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, keeping the ball for 33:16, while the Dolphins, keeping the ball for 26:44, went 2 for 12 on third down and 0 of 2 on fourth down.

Detroit saw Buffalo take a win away from them in Orchard Park as the Bills erased a 13-7 deficit at the half to come away 14-13 winners in upstate New York. The Bills took the lead for keeps with 10:26 left in the contest when WR Robert Foster caught a 42-yard TD pass from Josh Allen to erase the deficit and take the win, holding off the Lions in the final period of play. Detroit was outrushed by Buffalo 117-105, with Matthew Stafford throwing for 208 yards and Allen throwing for 204 yards (each threw a TD pass without an interception and Allen was sacked once) for the Bills. Buffalo was 3 for 12 on third down but had some success on fourth down tries, going 1 for 2 and kept the ball for 31:06, while Detroit kept the ball for 28:54 and went 5 for 13 on third down.

They met in the Twin Cities in week nine and the Lions were held in check that Sunday in Minneapolis, falling to Minnesota 24-9 at US Bank Stadium. The Lions trailed 17-6 at the break and could never get on track in the NFC North contest in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Minnesota outrushed the Lions 128-66 and Matthew Stafford was sacked 10 times by the Purple Gang, despite throwing for 199 yards, while Kirk Cousins threw for 164 yards with a TD to WR Adam Thielen. Minnesota would put the nail in Detroit’s coffin in the fourth quarter when Vikings DE Danielle Hunter fulfilled a defensive lineman’s dream and took a fumble and returned it 32 yards untouched for a TD. Detroit was 4 for 15 on third down tries, 3 of 3 on fourth down and held on to the pigskin for 36:45, while the Vikings needed only 23:15 of clock to keep the ball, while going 3 for 8 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week nine contest in the Twin Cities, the Vikings easily covered the 5 1/2-point spread with the 15-point win in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The 50 1/2 over/under? It went untouched, as the two NFC North teams combined for 33 points. The Vikings are favored by 5 1/2 again in the rematch in the Motor City but the over/under this time’s 43 1/2. For the Vikings, it’s a chance to get themselves into position for a possible post-season spot. For the Lions, it’s another season of hope that has been dashed like a child’s toy at Christmas. Vikings win in the Motor City and covers the 5 1/2.

New York Giants (5-9) at Indianapolis (8-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. Eli Manning vs. Andrew Luck. They will meet in the Hoosier State as the Colts look to improve their playoff hopes, while the Giants look to restore some sembilance of order in the NFC East.

Eli and the Giants were taken to task by Tennessee in the Meadowlands last Sunday, as they were shut out by the Titans and Marcus Mariota 17-0 at Met Life Stadium. The Giants trailed 7-0 at to the intermission, then watched Tennesee score their last 10 points of the contest unchallenged, with Titans RB Derek Henry and Ryan Succop accounting for all of their scoring (Henry with a pair of 1-yard runs, Succop booting a 22-yard field goal in the fourth), The Titans outrushed the Giants 215-47, Mariota threw for 88 yards in the contest, while Manning threw for 229 yards with three sacks and an interception (Mariota was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Tennessee went 5 for 14 on third down (the Titans were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:21, while the Giants, who were eliminated from the post-season with the loss, went 3 of 16 and 2 of 3 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 24:39.

Luck and the Colts stopped Dallas’ bid to win the NFC East as Indianapolis would shut out the Cowboys 23-0 at Lucas Oil Stadium. It was the Adam Vinatieri and Marlon Mack show for the Colts, as Mack would score on touchdown runs of one and six yards, while Vinatieri chipped in with three field goals, the longest coming from 44 yards out as time expired in the first 30 minutes of play. The Colts, scoring all of their points unchallenged, outrushed Dallas 178-112, with Mack leading the way with 139 yards on the ground, while Ezekiel Elliott led Dallas, who was shutout for the first time since 2003, with 87. Luck threw for 192 yards with no sacks or interceptions, while Prescott threw for 206 yards with three sacks and an interception. The Colts were 8 for 12 on third down and ruled the clock, holding the ball for 31:48, while the Cowboys were 28:12 in time of possession, going a somewhat dismal 4 for 12 on third down and 1 of 5 on fourth down.

Including games that were played in Baltimore, as well as the Yale Bowl and Yankee Stadium, the Colts lead  the series 9-6 and they’ve outscored Big Blue 356-272. The Colts have won the last three meetings in the series, with their last win coming in 2014 in the Meadowlands by a final of 40-24, while the Giants’ last win in the series came in the Hoosier State in 2002, as they would come away 44-27 winners. Indy’s favored by 9 1/2 in the Hoosier State and the over/under’s 46 1/2. For the Giants, it’s been a season that their fan base would love to forget like Scrooge forgetting about the three ghosts. For the Colts, a win would mean they keep themselves in the AFC playoff hunt. Colts win in the Hoosier State and covers the 9 1/2.

Jacksonville (4-10) at Miami (7-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of Sunshine State AFC rivals meet in south Florida as Jacksonville makes the 331-mile trip down the coast on I-95 to face off against the Miami Gardens at Hard Rock Stadium. Both teams took losses in last week’s action.

Jacksonville watched Washington use a late-contest rally in the Sunshine State last Sunday afternoon and watched their playoff hopes come to an end as they fell to the Redskins 16-13 at TIAA Stadium. Jacksonville led the Redskins 10-3 at the break and took a 10-6 lead at the end of the third quarter before Washington they stormed back in the final 15 minutes of play at TIAA Stadium. After a Kai Forbath field goal that gave Jacksonville a 13-6 lead with 7:32 left in the third, Washington would storm back in the fourth quarter, tying the contest with 5:47 left in regulation when backup QB Josh Johnson and TE Jeremy Sprinkle connected on a 6-yard TD toss. Washington would later get the ball back when CB Fabian Moreau picked off Jacksonville QB Cody Keesler, giving Washington excelent field position.

The Redskins would then proceed to use all of the 2:31 left in the contest, using an 8-play, 36-yard drive to set up Dustin Hopkins, who gave the Redskins the win with a 36-yard field goal as time expired. Jacksonville outrushed Washington 172-109 and Johnson threw for 151 yards with the lone TD toss (Johnson was sacked three times without throwing an interception), while Keesler threw for 57 yards with six sacks and an interception (Keesler led all rushers with 68 yards). Washington was 7 of 15 on third down tries and kept the ball for 33:06 (including the final 2:31 of the contest), while the Jaguars kept the ball for 26:54 and went 5 for 13 on third down conversions.

Miami saw their AFC playoff hopes somewhat damaged as Minnesota took them to task 41-17 in the Twin Cities. After Minnesota took a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Dolphis would score 10 second quarter points without a challenge to trail 21-10 at the break. Miamm then watched Minnesota control things in the final 30 minutes of play, outscoring them 20-7 to seal the win. Minnesota outrushed Miami 220-156 and both clubs had 100-yard rushers (Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook led all rushers with 136 yards and a pair of TDs, while Miami’s Kalen Ballage tallied 123 yards with a TD), Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins threw for 215 yards with a pair of TDs (Cousins was sacked once and threw an interception), while Miami’s Ryan Tannehill threw for 108 yards with a season-high nine sacks. Minnesota was 5 of 13 on third down tries in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, keeping the ball for 33:16, while the Dolphins, keeping the ball for 26:44, went 2 for 12 on third down and 0 of 2 on fourth down.

Miami leads the Sunshine State series 4-3 and the ‘Fins have outscored Jacksonville 140-111. Jacksonville won the last meeting, which took place in north Florida by a final of 23-20 in 2015, while the Dolphins’ last win also came along the shores of the St. John’s River by a final of 27-13 in 2014. Miami’s favored by 4 and the over/under’s 93. For the Jaguars, it’s about restoring some order in an otherwise dismal season; for Miami, it’s a chance to keep their hopes for a playoff spot alive for another week. Miami keeps hope alive for another Sunday and takes the win at Hard Rock, covering the 4.

Buffalo (5-9) at New England (9-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. New England returns home from a two-game road trip to face off against AFC East rival Buffalo in Foxboro. The Pats limp back to western Massachusetts with losses in Miami and Pittsburgh under their belts, while the Bills look to damage New England’s playoff hopes at Gillette Stadium in the Sunday afternoon rematch.

The Bills erased a 13-7 deficit at the half against Detroit in Orchard Park and would come away 14-13 winners in upstate New York. The Bills took the lead for keeps with 10:26 left in the contest when WR Robert Foster caught a 42-yard TD pass from Josh Allen to erase the deficit and take the win, holding off the Lions in the final period of play. Detroit was outrushed by Buffalo 117-105, with Matthew Stafford throwing for 208 yards and Allen throwing for 204 yards (each threw a TD pass without an interception and Allen was sacked once) for the Bills. Buffalo was 3 for 12 on third down but had some success on fourth down tries, going 1 for 2 and kept the ball for 31:06, while Detroit kept the ball for 28:54 and went 5 for 13 on third down.

New England saw their hopes of a winning rally fall short in Pittsburgh as the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger held off Tom Brady and the Patriots 17-10 at Heinz Field. New England trailed 14-7 at the half, then narrowed the gap to four with 17 seconds left in the third when Stephen Gostkowski connected on a 33-yard field goal before Pittsburgh’s Chris Boswell restored order in the fourth quarter with a 48-yard field goal with 2:30 left in regulation. New England had one last chance to tie the contest up in regulation late and that chance would die when Brady’s pass attempt to Josh Edleman sailed incomplete, giving the Steelers the win in western Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh outrushed New England 158-96, with Steelers RB Jaylen Samuels leading the way with 142 yards on the ground. Brady threw for 279 yards with a TD, an interception and a sack, while Roethlisberger threw for 235 yards with a pair of TDs (one to Antonio Brown), while throwing a pair of interceptions and was sacked twice. New England was 3 for 10 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 29:11, while the Steelers ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 30:49, while going 4 for 9 on third down tries.

Buffalo and New England would meet in upstate New York in week eight and for the first 30 minutes of play against New England, the Bills held Tom Brady and the Patriots in sight, trailing 9-3 at the half in Orchard Park Monday night. Buffalo then saw the wheels fall off their bus and the Pats came away 25-6 winners at New Era Field. The contest was an all-field goal affair in the first half as the two Stephens (Gostkowski for New England, Hauschka for Buffalo) gave their teams their first half points. New England then outscored Buffalo 16-3 in the final 30 minutes of action, using a 1-yard TD run from RB James White and an 84-yard interception return by CB Devin McCourty in the fourth quarter to seal Buffalo’s fate. The Bills thought they had a TD that would have made the contest closer than the final score when Buffalo QB Derek Anderson (290 yards, interception, three sacks) and TE Jason Croom connected on a 25-yard TD pass with 6:14 left in regulation. Buffalo fans then saw their hopes shattered when the play was review and the call on the field was reversed. Buffalo was outrushed by the Pats 76-46 and Brady threw for 324 yards with no interceptions or sacks, as New England went 5 of 14 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 31:50, while the Bills were 4 of 14 and 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 28:10.

In the week eight contest in upstate New York, New England covered the 14-point spread, coming away 19-point winners but the 44 1/2 over/under was untouched, as both teams merged for 31 points. In the rematch in Foxboro, the Pats are favored by 12 1/2 and the over/under’s 44 1/2. That’s a bit steep for a spread… the 44 1/2 makes sense. The Bills are bad but not 12 1/2 bad. They’ll give New England problems but the Pats and Brady prevail in Foxboro with the win.

Green Bay (5-8-1) at New York Jets (4-10), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of teams that will not be in the post-season meet in the Meadowlands as Green Bay travels to Met Life Stadium for an early afternoon contest with the New York Jets.

Chicago knocked Green Bay out of the playoff party and took the NFC North title at Soldier Field, holding off Aaron Rodgers and the Packers 24-17 in the Windy City last Sunday. Da Bears led 14-3 at the intermission before the Packers would rally in the final 30 minutes of play, outscoring the Monsters of the Midway 14-10 and the Packers would pull to within 3 with 11 seconds left when Packers K Mason Crosby connected on a 45-yard field goal. Green Bay would try the onside kick, which Chicago recovered and Da Bears would run the clock out, taking the win at home. Da Bears outrushed Green Bay 97-88 and the Monsters of the Midway sacked Aaron Rodgers five times and picked him off once, while Mitchell Trubisky threw for 235 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions. Chicago was 3 of 10 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 30:23, while the struggling Packers were 5 for 14 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:37.

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were officialy eliminated from the post-season as Houston held off GangGreen 29-22 at Met Life Stadium last Saturday afternoon. Houston broke a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter, took a 16-3 lead with them to the intermission and held off the Jets in the second half after they took a 22-19 lead with five minutes left in the contest as Jets RB Elijah McGuire scored on a 2-yard run. Houston then took the lead back and for good with 2:15 left when WR DeAndre Hopkins scored from 14 yards out, catching a TD pass from QB DeSean Watson. After a 40-yard field goal by Kai Fairbairn with 54 seconds left in regulation, Houston then held off a late Jets rally that would have given New York the win in the Meadowlands. Although they were outrushed by the Jets 90-47, Watson would lead all passers with 294 yards, while Sam Darnold led New York with 253 yards (both men threw a pair of TDs; Watson was sacked six times and Darnold sacked twice and neither threw an interception). The Texans were a dismal 1 of 9 on third down and held on to the ball for 24:56, while the Jets kept the ball for 35:04 and went 9 of 17 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

While GangGreen leads the series 8-4 and the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! have outscored the Packers 254-180, Green Bay has won the last two meetings, including taking a 31-24 win at Lambeau in 2014, while New York’s last win also came in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst, leaving upstate Wisconsin 38-10 winners in 2006. Green Bay’s favored by 2 1/2 with the over/under at 46. Take a pass on this one and watch that “Mythbusters” marathon on Science Chanel. Trust us, you’ll be a lot better and a lot smarter. Packers recover in the Meadowlands and cover the 2 1/2 in upstate New Jersey.

Houston (10-4) at Philadelphia (7-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. It’s brisket vs. Cheesesteak as the Houston Texans travel to the City of Brotherly Love to face off against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Both teams were winners on the road in last week’s contests and both were close contests.

Houston pulled themselves closer to winning the AFC South title after their 29-22 win over the New York Jets at Met Life Stadium last Saturday afternoon. Houston broke a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter, took a 16-3 lead with them to the intermission and held off the Jets in the second half after they took a 22-19 lead with five minutes left in the contest as Jets RB Elijah McGuire scored on a 2-yard run. Houston then took the lead back and for good with 2:15 left when WR DeAndre Hopkins scored from 14 yards out, catching a TD pass from QB DeSean Watson. After a 40-yard field goal by Kai Fairbairn with 54 seconds left in regulation, Houston then held off a late Jets rally that would have given New York the win in the Meadowlands. Although they were outrushed by the Jets 90-47, Watson would lead all passers with 294 yards, while Sam Darnold led New York with 253 yards (both men threw a pair of TDs; Watson was sacked six times and Darnold sacked twice and neither threw an interception). The Texans were a dismal 1 of 9 on third down and held on to the ball for 24:56, while the Jets kept the ball for 35:04 and went 9 of 17 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

The defending Super Bowl champs held off a late Los Angeles Rams rally as the Eagles would break a 13-13 tie at the intermission, outscoring the Rams 17-10 in the last 30 minutes of play to come away 30-23 winners at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum last Sunday night. Eagles fans heaved a sigh of relief as Los Angeles had a final chance in the closing seconds of the prime time contest but Jared Goff’s pass attempt to Josh Reynolds went incomplete. The Eagles, who scored 17 third quarter points unchallenged, outrushed Los Angeles 111-82 (Los Angeles’ Todd Gurley and Philadelphia’s Wendell Smallwood each had 48 yards of rushing with a pair of TDs) and Goff threw for 339 yards with a sack and a pair of interceptions, while Nick Foles (who took over for Carson Wentz) threw for 270 yards (Goff and Foles did not throw a TD pass and Foles threw an interception but was not sacked). The Rams were 4 for 12 on third down and held the ball for 28:24, while the Eagles kept the ball for 31:36, going 4 of 13 on third down conversions (both teams were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

Houston and Philadelphia have met four times and the Eagles have won all four meetings, outscoring the Texans 124-72. Philadelphia’s last win in the series came in 2014 in the Lone Star State by a final of 31-21 at NRG Stadium. The Eagles are favored by 1 and the over/under’s 45 1/2. There’s a lot at stake for both teams; the Eagles are trying to get into the playoffs and possibly repeat as Super Bowl champs, while the Texans want to clinch the AFC South. Houston pulls the upset on the road and covers the 1 in the City of Brotherly Love.

Los Angeles Rams (11-3) at Arizona (3-11), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. A pair of NFC West teams meet in the desert as the struggling Rams travel to Glendale for a late-afternoon contest with the Arizona Cardinals, with both teams coming away with losses in their last contests.

The Rams watched the defending Super Bowl champs break a 13-13 tie at the intermission as the Eagles would outscore Los Angeles 17-10 in the last 30 minutes of play to fall 30-23 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum last Sunday night. Los Angeles had a final chance in the closing seconds of the prime time contest but Jared Goff’s pass attempt to Josh Reynolds went incomplete. The Eagles, who scored 17 third quarter points unchallenged, outrushed Los Angeles 111-82 (Los Angeles’ Todd Gurley and Philadelphia’s Wendell Smallwood each had 48 yards of rushing with a pair of TDs) and Goff threw for 339 yards with a sack and a pair of interceptions, while Nick Foles (who took over for Carson Wentz) threw for 270 yards (Goff and Foles did not throw a TD pass and Foles threw an interception but was not sacked). The Rams were 4 for 12 on third down and held the ball for 28:24, while the Eagles kept the ball for 31:36, going 4 of 13 on third down conversions (both teams were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

Arizona watched an 7-0 lead early in the first quarter against Atlanta, then watched the Falcons proceed to score 40 points unchallenged in heir home finale, breaking their five-game losing streak and came away with the 40-14 win in the Big Peach. Atlanta led 26-7 at the intermission, then floored the gas in the second half, using a 43-yard run from RB Tevin Coleman and a 5-yard TD toss from Ryan to WR Justin Hardy to all but seal Arizona’s fate. Atlanta outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 215-60 with Coleman leadng the way on the ground with 145 yards on 11 carries, Ryan threw for 231 yards with a pair of TDs (one to WR Julio Jones) and had a rushing TD of his own, while Arizona’s Josh Rosen threw for 132 yards in the lopsided loss, throwing a pair of interceptions to go with six sacks. Atlanta went 5 of 13 on third down tries in the home finale and ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 30:40, while the Cardinals were 3 for 13 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 29:20.

The two NFC West clubs met in week two and Arizona was taken to the woodshed by the Rams, watching the defending NFC West champs score 34 points in their contest with the Desert Angry Birds unchalleged and shutting them out 34-0. Todd Gurley was good for three TDs in the contest as the Rams led 19-0 at the break, then floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of play, keeping Arizona in check. The Rams outrushed Arizona 90-54 and held Sam Bradford to 90 yards passing, while Jeff Goff threw for 354 yards and a TD for Los Angeles. The Rams on third down 8 of 15 on third down (they were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:08, while Arizona kept the pigskin for 25:52, going 3 of 12 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs. Los Angeles covered the 12 1/2-point spread, winning easily by 34 points but the 46 over/under stayed intact. This time in the desert, the Rams are 14-point favorites and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Granted, the Desert Angry Birds have struggled of late and while they’re bad, they’re not 14 points bad. Los Angeles will prevail in this one to complete the series sweep but expect Arizona to make things closer than 14 points.

Chicago (10-4) at San Francisco (4-10), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. A pair of teams going in opposite directions face off in northern California as Chicago makes its way to Santa Clara for a late-after contest with the San Francisco 49ers. Both teams took wins at home in their last contests.

Chicago knocked Green Bay out of the playoff party and took the NFC North title at Soldier Field, holding off Aaron Rodgers and the Packers 24-17 in the Windy City last Sunday. Da Bears led 14-3 at the intermission before the Packers would rally in the final 30 minutes of play, outscoring the Monsters of the Midway 14-10 and the Packers would pull to within 3 with 11 seconds left when Packers K Mason Crosby connected on a 45-yard field goal. Green Bay would try the onside kick, which Chicago recovered and Da Bears would run the clock out, taking the win at home. Da Bears outrushed Green Bay 97-88 and the Monsters of the Midway sacked Aaron Rodgers five times and picked him off once, while Mitchell Trubisky threw for 235 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions. Chicago was 3 of 10 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 30:23, while the struggling Packers were 5 for 14 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:37.

San Francsico put a dent in the playoff plans for Seattle as the 49ers needed overtime to come away 26-23 winners at Levis’ Stadium last Sunday afternoon, breaking a 10-game losing streak to the Seahawks in the process. San Francisco led 17-13 at the half, then took a 20-13 lead into the fourth quarter before Seattle rallied in the final 15 minutes of regulation, tying things up when RB Chris Carson scored on a 1-yard TD run with 13:51 left. Robbie Gould would give San Francisco the lead back with 9:51 on a 45-yard field goal but that lead would not last long as Seahawks K Sebastian Janikowski booted a 48-yard field to tie things back up at 23-23 with 5:21 left in regulation. The two clubs would go into the overtime and Seattle would win the toss and get the ball first in the extra period. The Seahawks’ attempt to score first failed as they would only get to their 18-yard line. After a Seattle punt, it would be San Francisco’s turn, knowing if they scored, they would win. The 49ers would go on a 7-play, 44-yard drive that stopped at Seattle’s 18-yard line, where Gould sent 49ers fans home happy with a 36-yard game-winning field goal. Seattle outrushed San Francisco 168-94 and Carson led the way with 119 yards on the ground. Russell Wilson threw for 237 yards for the Seahawks and Nate Mullins threw for 275 for the 49ers (Wilson threw a pair of TD passes to Doug Baldwin, while Mullens threw a TD pass to TE Garrett Celek; both men were sacked three times but neither threw an interception). San Francisco went 3 for 10 on third down and kept the ball for 29:40 (including the overtime), while Seattle, plauged by 14 penalties for 148 yards, went 9 of 19 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Seahawks actually ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 37:14.

Including games played at Wrigley Field, Keezar Stadium, the University of Illinois-Champaign and Soldier Field, the series is tied 31-31-1 and the 49ers have outscored Da Bears 1,386-1,289. Their last meeting was last year in the Windy City and the 49ers would prevail 15-14 (Chicago’s last win came in 2016 in the Windy City by a final of 26-6).

They met at Soldier Field in week 13 and the 49ers erased a 14-9 deficit at the break, scoring the final six points of the contest unchalleged, as Robbie Gould kicked a pair of second-half field goals, with the game-winner coming from 24 yards away with four seconds left. San Francisco outrushed Chicago 110-62 and Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 293 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception, while Trubisky threw for 102 yards and a TD pass with a pair of sacks but no interceptions. San Franciso was 10 of 18 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 38:47, while Da Bears kept the ball for 21:13, going 5 for 10 on third down conversions.

In the week 13 contest at Soldier Field, Chicago was a 3 1/2-point favorite but San Francisco came away winning by 1. The 40 over/under was untouched as both teams scored only 29 points. Chicago’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 42 1/2. Da  Bears have nothing to prove, having won the NFC North title; as for the 49ers, they’re playing with house money and would like to add another feather in their caps if they beat Chicago. 49ers fans are going to be heart-broken. Da Bears win on the road and cover the 3 1/2.

Pittsburgh (8-5-1) at New Orleans (12-2), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 716. A pair of playoff contenders that could meet in Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII meet in the Big Easy as Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees square off. Both teams were close winners in last week’s contests.

Pittsburgh stopped a last second New England rally at Heinz Field as the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger held off Tom Brady and the Patriots 17-10. New England trailed 14-7 at the half, then narrowed the gap to four with 17 seconds left in the third when Stephen Gostkowski connected on a 33-yard field goal before Pittsburgh’s Chris Boswell restored order in the fourth quarter with a 48-yard field goal with 2:30 left in regulation. New England had one last chance to tie the contest up in regulation late and that chance would die when Brady’s pass attempt to Josh Edleman sailed incomplete, giving the Steelers the win in western Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh outrushed New England 158-96, with Steelers RB Jaylen Samuels leading the way with 142 yards on the ground. Brady threw for 279 yards with a TD, an interception and a sack, while Roethlisberger threw for 235 yards with a pair of TDs (one to Antonio Brown), while throwing a pair of interceptions and was sacked twice. New England was 3 for 10 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 29:11, while the Steelers ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 30:49, while going 4 for 9 on third down tries.

New Orleans survived a 12-9 scare from NFC South foe Carolina last Monday night in Charlotte. The Panthers led 7-6 at the intermission at Bank of America Stadium before the Saints would take the lead away from the Panthers when Alvin Kamara scored on a 16-yard run with 12:12 left in the contest. New Orleans then attempted a 2-point conversion to make the contest a five-point affair but Drew Brees’ 2-point attempt to WR Michael Thomas was picked off by Dante Jackson, who ran the ball back for a defensive two point conversion to keep the Panthers close. Carolina would later get the ball back after New Orleans fumbled it out of the endzone, creating a touchback and giving the Panthers the ball on their 20-yard line. Newton and the Panthers would eventually get as close as their 39-yard line but could not get any closer as Newton’s fourth-down pass attempt was incomplete, which gave the Saints the ball back and New Orleans would run the clock out and take the win. New Orleans outrushed Carolina 155-98 and Newton threw for 131 yards with four sacks, while Brees threw for 203 yards (both men threw an interception, Newton was sacked four times, Brees twice). Carolina was 7 of 15 on third down (the Panther were 1 for 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 24:51, while the Saints ruled the clock, holding the ball for 35:09, going 4 of 13 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

The Saints lead the series 8-7, while the Steelers have outscored New Orleans 327-289. New Orleans won the last two contests, taking a 35-32 win in the Steel City, while Pittsburgh’s last win in the series came in 2006 at Heinz Field by a final of 38-31. New Orleans is favored by 5 1/2 in the Big Easy and the over/under’s 54. Because there are two future Hall of Fame QBs involved in this one, we think that this one is “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 58 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

New Orleans is already in the post-season party, taking the NFC South for the second straight year. The Steelers are looking to restore some order in the AFC North. The winner will make lives for themselves a little easier, while the loser will get a lump of coal and switches in their stocking. Steelers take the upset in the Big Easy and covers the 5 1/2.

Kansas City (11-3) at Seattle (8-6), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Patrick Mahomes vs. Russell Wilson. A pair of up and coming QBs meet in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks as Kansas City and Seattle meet in prime time in the Pacific Northwest. Both clubs took heart-breaking losses in last week’s contests.

The Chiefs watched the Los Angeles Chargers erase a 14-7 deficit at the break at Arrowhead last Thursday night as the Chargers took a 29-28 come-from-behind AFC West win, clinching a playoff spot in the process. Los Angeles proceeded to chip away at that deficit, outscoring the Chiefs (who got a pair of rushing TDs from RB Damien Williams) 22-14 in the final 30 minutes of action. Chargers WR Mike Williams had a pair of TDs in the second half, one rushing from 19 yards out with 4:57 left in the third and the second a 1-yard toss from Phililp Rivers that would pull the Chargers to within one with four seconds left. Williams and Rivers would then connect on the two-point try to take the road win and pull themselves even with the Chiefs at 11-3.

Seattle’s plans for a playoff spot took a hit in Santa Clara as the 49ers needed overtime to come away 26-23 winners at Levis’ Stadium last Sunday afternoon. San Francisco led 17-13 at the half, then took a 20-13 lead into the fourth quarter before Seattle rallied in the final 15 minutes of regulation, tying things up when RB Chris Carson scored on a 1-yard TD run with 13:51 left. Robbie Gould would give San Francisco the lead back with 9:51 on a 45-yard field goal but that lead would not last long as Seahawks K Sebastian Janikowski booted a 48-yard field to tie things back up at 23-23 with 5:21 left in regulation. The two clubs would go into the overtime and Seattle would win the toss and get the ball first in the extra period. The Seahawks’ attempt to score first failed as they would only get to their 18-yard line. After a Seattle punt, it would be San Francisco’s turn, knowing if they scored, they would win. The 49ers would go on a 7-play, 44-yard drive that stopped at Seattle’s 18-yard line, where Gould sent 49ers fans home happy with a 36-yard game-winning field goal. Seattle outrushed San Francisco 168-94 and Carson led the way with 119 yards on the ground. Russell Wilson threw for 237 yards for the Seahawks and Nate Mullins threw for 275 for the 49ers (Wilson threw a pair of TD passes to Doug Baldwin, while Mullens threw a TD pass to TE Garrett Celek; both men were sacked three times but neither threw an interception). San Francisco went 3 for 10 on third down and kept the ball for 29:40 (including the overtime), while Seattle, plauged by 14 penalties for 148 yards, went 9 of 19 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Seahawks actually ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 37:14.

Los Angeles outrushed the Chiefs 119-60 and Rivers threw for 313 yards and a pair of TDs, including the game-winner, while Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes threw for 243 with a pair TDs as well (Rivers was sacked five times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Mahomes was sacked twice but did not throw a pick). Both teams went 6 for 10 on third down, the Chargers were 1 of 1 on fourth down and they held the ball for 33:16, while the Chiefs kept the pigskin for 26:44. Kansas City’s favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 53 1/2. The Chiefs look to take the AFC West, while the Seahawks look to right their ship and get themselves into the post-season. Seattle may have to wait a week. Chiefs rebound from their heart-breaking loss at home to the Chargers and cover the 2 1/2, taking the win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks.

Denver (6-8) at Oakland (3-11), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. The final Monday night game of the 2018 season takes place on the East side of San Francsico Bay as a pair of AFC West/AFL foes meet in Oakland. While most of America will be getting ready for Midnight Mass, the Raiders host the Denver Broncos in a contest that really has no bearing on the AFC playoffs.

Denver watched the Cleveland Browns erase a 13-10 deficit at the end of the third quarter at Denver last Saturday night and came away 17-16 winners at Broncos Stadium at Mile High, ending Denver’s slim hopes for a playoff bid. Cleveland and Denver entered halftime tied at 10-10 before the Broncos took the 13-10 lead with 1:41 left in the third on a Brandon McManus field goal to go into the fourth quarter on top. That would not be the case as the Browns would take the lead with 11:44 left in regulation when rookie QB Baker Mayfield and rookie WR Antonio Callaway connected on a 2-yard TD strike to take a four-point lead. McMannus would pull the Broncos to within one with 4:35 left thanks to a 29-yard field goal and Denver would eventually get the ball back after Cleveland punted with 1:49. The Broncos would get as close as midfield as Denver QB Case Keenum would throw three interceptions and was sacked by CB Jabril Peppers to end any hopes of Denver winning the contest. Cleveland outrushed Denver 134-32, with rookie RB Nick Chubb leading the way with 100 yards on the ground, Mayfield threw for 188 yards and a pair of TDs for the Broncos, while Keenum threw for 257 yards with a rushing TD, while throwing a pair of interceptions (both Mayfield and Keenum were sacked twice). Cleveland was 5 of 12 on third down, Denver was 5 of 14 and the Broncos actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:39, while the Browns kept it for 27:21 (both clubs went 1 of 2 on fourth down).

The Silver and Black watched Cincinnati break a five-game losing streak as they fell to the Bengals 30-16 at Paul Brown Stadium last Sunday. Although they would outscore the Bengals 13-10 in the second half, Oakland would find themselves trailing 20-7 at the intermission. Bengals HB Joe Mixon led all rushers with 129 yards and a pair of TDs as the Bengals outrushed the Silver and Black 171-68 and the Cincinnati defense sacked Derek Carr (263 yards, TD) five times, while Josh Driskell threw for 130 yards with a TD to TE Travis Boyd, a sack and an interception. The Bengals were 8 for 19 on third down conversions (they were 2 for 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:19, while the Raiders went 3 for 14 on third down, keeping the ball for 26:41.

Oakland saw AFC West rival Denver go on a scoring binge in the final 15 minutes of play and watched the Broncons come away 20-19 winners at Broncos Stadium at Mile High in their week two matchup. The Silver and Black, dropping their second in a row, led 12-0 at the break and took a 19-7 lead late into the third quarter before Denver took control of things in the final few minutes of the game. Denver’s winning points came with 6 seconds left when K Brian McMannus connected on a 36-yard field goal to give the home team the lead for the first time and for good. Denver outrushed Oakland 168-92 (Denver’s Patrick Lindsey led all rushers with 107 yards, while Oakland was led by Marshawn Lynch wtih 65 yards and a TD) and Case Keenum threw for 222 yards in the contest, while Derek Carr threw for 288 yards and a TD (each was sacked once). Denver was 8 of 16 on third down (the Broncos were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:04, while the Raiders, who had a final rally come to an end in the closing seconds, went 3 of 10 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 32:56.

Both teams have done reasonably well on Monday night; Denver’s record is 32-38-1 (they went 1 of 1 in their two 2017 contests), while the Raiders are 38-28-1 and lost their only MNF contest last year. Denver was a 6-point favorite in the week two contest in the Rocky Mountains and while Denver did win the contest, they did not cover, as they would win by only a point and the 45 over/under was untouched as both teams combined to score 39 points in that first meeting. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Broncos again, this time making them 2 1/2-point favorites with a 44 over/under. Skip this one and go to Midnight Mass (be sure to slip an extra $20 in the collection plate!). Broncos put Oakland fans out of their misery and covers the 2 1/2 with the win.

 

The NFL announced a scheduling change for Week 10, as well as the teams and times for the Saturday games in Weeks 15 and 16.

In Week 10 (November 11), the Miami-Green Bay game will move from 1 p.m. to 4:25 p.m. Additionally, the Arizona-Kansas City game originally scheduled at 1 p.m. on FOX will be cross-flexed to CBS.

In Week 15, the two games played on Saturday, December 15, both televised by NFL Network, will feature Houston at the New York Jets at 4:30 p.m. followed by the Cleveland at Denver at 8:20 p.m.

In Week 16, the two of four possible matchups on Saturday, December 22 on NFL Network have been determined with Washington visiting Tennessee at 4:30 p.m. followed Baltimore at the Los Angeles Chargers at 8:20 p.m. The Jacksonville-Miami and the New York Giants-Indianapolis games will both be played at 1 p.m. on Sunday, December 23.

The following is the final Week 10 NFL schedule (all times Eastern):

Thursday, November 8
Carolina at Pittsburgh, 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon

Sunday, November 11
ATLANTA at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on FOX
Detroit at Chicago, 1 p.m. on FOX
New Orleans at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on FOX
Jacksonville at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on CBS
Arizona at Kansas City, 1 p.m. on CBS
Buffalo at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS
Washington at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
New England at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Miami at Green Bay, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Seattle at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Dallas at Philadelphia, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, November 12
New York Giants at San Francisco, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

The following is the Week 15 NFL schedule (all times Eastern):

Thursday, December 13
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City, 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon

Saturday, December 15
Houston at New York Jets, 4:30 p.m. on NFL Network
Cleveland at Denver, 8:20 p.m. on NFL Network

Sunday, December 16
Arizona at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tampa Bay at Baltimore, 1 p.m. on FOX
Detroit at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on FOX
Green Bay at Chicago, 1 p.m. on FOX
Oakland at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on CBS
Dallas at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on FOX
Washington at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on FOX
Miami at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on CBS
Tennessee at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on CBS
Seattle at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
New England at Pittsburgh, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Philadelphia at Los Angeles Rams, 8:20 p.m. on NBC*

Monday, December 17
New Orleans at Carolina, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

The following is the Week 16 NFL schedule (all times Eastern):

Saturday, December 22
Washington at Tennessee, 4:30 p.m. on NFL Network
Baltimore at Los Angeles Chargers, 8:20 p.m. on NFL Network

Sunday, December 23
ATLANTA at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cincinnati at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on CBS
Tampa Bay at Dallas, 1 p.m. on FOX
Minnesota at Detroit, 1 p.m. on FOX
New York Giants at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on either CBS or FOX
Jacksonville at Miami, 1 p.m. on CBS
Buffalo at New England, 1 p.m. on CBS
Green Bay at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on either CBS or FOX
Houston at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Chicago at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Pittsburgh at New Orleans, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Kansas City at Seattle, 8:20 p.m. on NBC*

Monday, December 24
Denver at Oakland, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

* – Sunday night games in Weeks 5-16 subject to change

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

ATLANTA at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Pam Oliver (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: John Sadak, Al Groh; SIRIUS: 137 (Atlanta), 82 (New Orleans); XM: 380 (Atlanta), 82 (New Orleans)

Cleveland at Chicago, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705: Tom McCarthy, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 119 (Cleveland), 135 (Chicago); XM: 383 (Cleveland), 227 (Chicago)

Miami at Kansas City, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, Jenny Dell (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 134 (Miami), 113 (Kansas City); XM: 388 (Miami), 230 (Kansas City)

Buffalo at New England, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 108 (Buffalo), 83 (New England); XM: 385 (Buffalo), 83 (New England)

Los Angeles Chargers at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn (Field reporter)
SIRIUS: 93 (Los Angeles Chargers), 133 (New York Jets); XM: 382 (Los Angeles Chargers), 225 (New York Jets)

Denver at Washington, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta; SIRIUS: 138 (Denver), 121 (Washington); XM: 381 (Denver), 229 (Washington)

Tampa Bay at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710: Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber, Kristina Pink (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 112 (Tampa Bay), 132 (Carolina); XM: 384 (Tampa Bay), 228 (Carolina)

Detroit at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711: Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman, Jennifer Hale (Field reporter)
SIRIUS: 157 (Detroit), 81 (Cincinnati); XM: 386 (Detroit), 81 (Cincinnati)

Los Angeles Rams at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 136 (Los Angeles Rams), 145 (Tennessee); XM: 387 (Los Angeles Rams), 226 (Tennessee)

Jacksonville at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton; NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Ryan Radtke, Brady Poppinga; SIRIUS: 138 (Jacksonville), 81 (San Francsico); XM: 381 (Jacksonville), 81 (San Francisco)

New York Giants at Arizona, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715: Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth; SIRIUS: 93 (New York Giants), 83 (Arizona); XM: 382 (New York Giants), 83 (Arizona)

Seattle at Dallas, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 137 (Seattle), 82 (Dallas); XM: 380 (Seattle), 82 (Dallas)

Pittsburgh at Houston, 4:30 p.m. Monday on NBC and NFL Network: Mike Tirico, Kurt Warner, Heather Cox (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, Dan Fouts, Laura Okmin (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 82 (Pittsburgh), 83 (Houston); XM: 88 (WestWwood1), 82 (Pittsburgh), 83 (Houston)

Oakland at Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN: Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Boomer Esiason, Scott Kaplan (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 82 (Oakland), 83 (Philadelphia); XM: 88 (WestWood1), 82 (Oakland), 83 (Philadelphia)

Sunday and Monday Oficials
ATLANTA at New Orleans, 1 p.m.: Pete Morelli
Cleveland at Chicago, 1 p.m.:  Terry McAulay
Miami at Kansas City, 1 p.m.: Brad Allen
Buffalo at New England, 1 p.m.: Craig Wrolstad
Los Angeles Chargers at New York Jets, 1 p.m.: Clete Blakeman
Denver at Washington, 1 p.m.: Ed Hochuli
Tampa Bay at Carolina, 1 p.m.: Jerome Boger
Detroit at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.: Gene Steratore
Los Angeles Rams at Tennessee, 1 p.m.: Walt Anderson
Jacksonville at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.: Jeff Triplette
New York Giants at Arizona, 4:25 p.m.: John Parry
Seattle at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.: John Hussey
Pittsburgh at Houston, 4:30 p.m. Monday: Bill Vinovich
Oakland at Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m. Monday: Ronald Torbert

Sunday and Monday Odds (Home Teams in Caps)

Sunday’s Games
Favorite                  Spread      Underdog          O/U
NEW ORLEANS               –  5 1/2    Atlanta           52
Detroit                   –  5        CINCINNATI        43
Los Angeles Rams          –  6 1/2    TENNESSEE         48 1/2
Los Angeles Chargers      –  7        NEW YORK JETS     42 1/2
CHICAGO                   –  6 1/2    Cleveland         38 1/2
CAROLINA                  –  9 1/2    Tampa Bay         46 1/2
WASHINGTON                –  3 1/2    Denver            41
KANSAS CITY               – 10        Miami             43 1/2
NEW ENGLAND               – 11 1/2    Buffalo           47
Jacksonville              –  4 1/2    SAN FRANCSICO     42 1/2
ARIZONA                   –  4 1/2    New York Giants   40
DALLAS                    –  4 1/2    Seattle           47

Monday’s Games
Favorite                  Spread      Underdog          O/U
Pittsburgh                – 10        HOUSTON           44
PHILADELPHIA              –  9        Oakland           47 1/2

Sunday and Monday Injury Report

ATLANTA at New Orleans, 1 p.m.

ATLANTA
QUESTIONABLE: G Andrew Levitre (Triceps)

New Orleans
OUT: TE Garrett Griffin (Foot), DE Collins Hendrickson (Ankle), TE Michael Hoomanawanui (Concussion)

Tampa Bay at Carolina, 1 p.m.

Tampa Bay
OUT: DE Robert Ayers (Shoulder), WR DeSean Jackson (Ankle)
DOUBTFUL: CB Ryan Smith (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Cameron Brate (Hip), LB Lavonte David (Hamstring), DT Gerald McCoy (Biceps), DE Ryan Russell (Shoulder)

Carolina
OUT: G Trai Turner (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Mario Addison (Hip), WR Devin Funchess (Shoulder), WR Russell Shepard (Shoulder), G Tyler Larsen (Foot), LB Sha’Quille Thompson (Foot)

Cleveland at Chicago, 1 p.m.

Cleveland
QUESTIONABLE: CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun (Knee), WR Charles Hazel (Hamstring), CB Jamar Taylor (Foot)

Chicago
DOUBTFUL: G Josh Sitton (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: T Thomas Compton (Concussion), S Christopher Prosinski (Concussion), TE Adam Shaheen (Chest)

Detroit at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

Detroit
OUT: Travis Swanson (Concussion)
DOUBTFUL: G Thomas Lang (Foot)
QUESTIONABLE: T Richard Wagner (Ankle)

Cincinnati
OUT: T Cedric Ogbuehi (Shoulder), T Andre Smith (Knee), LB Nicholas Vigil (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: S George Iloka (Shoulder)

Miami at Kansas City, 1 p.m.

Miami
DOUBTFUL: QB Matt Moore (Foot), RB Damien Williams (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: WR DeVante Parker (Ankle), S Micheal Thomas (Knee), DE Orlandus Branch (Knee), DE Terrence Fede (Knee), S Tim MoDonald (Shoulder), CB Cordrea Tankersley (Ankle)

Kansas City
QUESTIONABLE: LB Justin Houston (Illness)

Buffalo at New England, 1 p.m.

Buffalo
OUT: WR Andre Holmes (Neck)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Kyle Williams (Groin), WR Kelvin Benjamin (Knee), CB Edwin Gaines (Knee), G John Miller (Ankle), TE Nick O’Leary (Back)

New England – New England reports no injuries

Los Angeles Chargers at New York Jets, 1 p.m.

Los Angeles Chargers
OUT: DT Corey Liuget (Knee), LB Denzel Perryman (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: T Joseph Barksdale (Hip), T Russell Okung (Groin), RB Austin Ekeler (Hand)

New York Jets
OUT: G Brian Winters (Abdomen)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Matt Forte (Knee), RB Elijah McGuire (Illness), C Wesley Johnson (Hip)

Los Angeles Rams at Tennessee, 1 p.m.

Los Angeles Rams
OUT: LB Matt Longacre (Back)

Tennessee
QUESTIONABLE: CB Logan Ryan (Ankle)

Denver at Washington, 1 p.m.

Denver
QUESTIONABLE: WR Emmanuel Sanders (Ankle), WR Cody Latimer (Thigh), QB Paxton Lynch (Ankle)

Washington
OUT: LB Orlando Anderson (Knee), LB Zach Brown (Achilles), T Trent Williams (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Maurice Harris (Back), WR Jamison Crowder (Hamstring), CB Kendall Fuller (Foot), DE Terrell McClain (Toe),
T Morgan Moses (Illness), RB Samaje Perine (Groin)

Jacksonville at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.

Jacksonville
OUT: WR Marqise Lee (Ankle), WR Larry Pinkard (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Lerentee McCray (Neck), WR Allen Hurns (Ankle)

San Francisco
DOUBTFUL: CB Gregory Mabin (Calf)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Garrett Celek (Knee)

New York Giants at Arizona, 4:25 p.m.

New York Giants
OUT: LB B.J. Goodson (Ankle), WR Tavarres King (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: S Landon Collins (Ankle), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (Finger), S Natneal Berhe (Hamstring)

Arizona
OUT: LB Joshua Bynes (Ankle), TE Troy Niklas (Ankle), G Earl Watford (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Chad Williams (Illness), S Antoine Bethea (Knee), WR John Brown (Toe), LB Karlos Dansby (Knee), LB Gabriel Martin (Hamstring), DT Olsen Pierre (Illness), RB Kerwynn Williams (Quadricep)

Seattle at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.

Seattle
OUT: LB Donell Alexander (Concussion)
DOUBTFUL: DT Nazar Jones (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: S Bradley McDougald (Knee), TE Nicholas Vannett (Shoulder), DE Frank Clark (Toe)

Dallas
OUT: DE David Irving (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Richard Ash (Shoulder), DE Benson Mayowa (Back), T Tyron Smith (Back), WR Brice Butler (Foot), T La’el Collins (Back), CB Orlando Scandrick (Back)

Pittsburgh at Houston, 4:30 p.m. on Monday

Pittsburgh
OUT: WR Antonio Brown (Calf)
QUESTIONABLE: G Ramon Foster (Concussion), CB Coty Sensabaugh (Shoulder)

Houston
OUT: G Jeffery Allen (Concussion), T Kendall Lamm (Concussion), LB LaTroy Lewis (Shoulder)

Oakland at Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m. on Monday

Oakland
OUT: DT Treyvon Hester (Ankle), DE Mario Edwards (Ankle)
DOUBTFUL: CB David Amerson (Foot)
QUESTIONABLE: C Rodney Hudson (Ankle), DE Denico Autry (Hand), WR Amari Cooper (Ankle), LB Bruce Irvin (Concussion), S Keith McGill (Knee)

Philadelphia
QUESTIONABLE: LB Marvin Kendricks (Foot), CB Jalen Mills (Ankle), G Stefen Wisniewski (Ankle)

Sunday and Monday Weather
ATLANTA at New Orleans, 1 p.m.: Game Indoors
Cleveland at Chicago, 1 p.m.: Overcast with a 20 percent chance of snow and 23 degrees
Miami at Kansas City, 1 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 25 degrees
Buffalo at New England, 1 p.m.: Mostly cloudy and 35 degrees
Los Angeles Chargers at New York Jets, 1 p.m.: Mostly cloudy and 41 degrees
Denver at Washington, 1 p.m.: Cloudy and 43 degrees
Tampa Bay at Carolina, 1 p.m.: Overcast and 55 degrees
Detroit at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.: Cloudy and 37 degrees
Los Angeles Rams at Tennessee, 1 p.m.: Cloudy and 44 degrees
Jacksonville at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.: Cloudy and 57 degrees
New York Giants at Arizona, 4:25 p.m.: Game indoors; if roof is open, partly cloudy and 64 degrees
Seattle at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.: Game indoors; if roof is open, partly cloudy and 45 degrees
Pittsburgh at Houston, 4:30 p.m. Monday: Game indoors; if roof is open, partly cloudy and 47 degrees
Oakland at Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m. Monday: Clear and 33 degrees

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

 

PLAYOFFS! PLAYOFFS? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Three more spots have been filled in the NFL post-season party.

Jacksonville, Minnesota and New England got their dance cards punched last Sunday (Jacksonville won a playoff spot after their win over Houston at EverBank Field, while New England won the AFC East and the Vikings took the NFC North). They join Philadelphia and Pittsburgh as being playoff bound.

There’s still room at the party, there are seven spots left in the post-season. For those teams that were eliminated, there’s still a chance to ruin someone else’s party, spiking their egg-nog, if you will.

Two more weeks of regular season football. When that ends, the outcomes will be different. Unlike the regular season, it’s you lose, your next game is next week. You lose, your next game is next year. You win, you advance. It’s so simple even a first-grader gets it.

For those teams that were eliminated, there’s selecting a new head coach and general manager, if they choose that route, then prepare for the draft and the upcoming 2018 season, which gets underway on Thursday, September 6th. Mark those calendars now.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: The Philadelphia Eagles, already clinching the NFC East, defeated the New York Giants 34-29 to secure a first-round bye. The Eagles have started 12-2 or better for the second time in franchise history (13-1 in 2004).

The Minnesota Vikings, who knocked off Cincinnati 34-7, locked up the NFC North division title. It marks the second division title for the Vikings in the past three seasons.

The New England Patriots, who defeated Pittsburgh 27-24, secured the AFC East division title. It marks the ninth consecutive division title for the Patriots (2009-17), the longest streak in NFL history.

The Jacksonville Jaguars defeated Houston 45-7 at EverBank Field and clinched a playoff berth. It marks the Jaguars’ first playoff berth since 2007.

•New England quarterback Tom Brady passed for 298 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots’ win at Pittsburgh. Brady (five Super Bowl wins) and the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger (two) have combined for seven Super Bowl victories, the most by opposing starting quarterbacks in a game in NFL history.

•Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles, making his first start of the season, threw four touchdown passes in the Eagles’ win over the Giants. Last week, Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz threw four touchdown passes against the Los Angeles Rams before leaving with a knee injury.

The Eagles are the first team since the 2011 Green Bay Packers (Aaron Rodgers and Matt Flynn, Weeks 16-17) to have different starting quarterbacks throw at least four touchdown passes in back-to-back weeks. It is also the first time in franchise history that different Eagles starting quarterbacks have accomplished the feat in consecutive weeks. Philadelphia’s Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz each had a touchdown catch in the victory. Jeffery (nine touchdown catches), Agholor (eight) and Ertz (eight) each have at least eight touchdown catches this season.

The Eagles are the fourth team in NFL history to have at least three players with eight or more receiving touchdowns through their team’s first 14 games of a season, joining the 1961 Houston Oilers, 2004 Indianapolis Colts and 2013 Denver Broncos.

Buffalo running back Le Sean McCoy rushed for 50 yards and scored two touchdowns in the Bills’ 24-16 win over Miami. McCoy reached 10,000 career rushing yards on his 2,145th carry and became the fifth-fastest player in NFL history to achieve the milestone. The only players to reach 10,000 career rushing yards in fewer attempts are Jim Brown (1,936), Adrian Peterson (2,004), Barry Sanders (2,020) and O.J. Simpson (2,085). Brown, Sanders and Simpson are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

•Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley rushed for 152 yards with three touchdowns and added three catches for 28 yards with a touchdown in the team’s 42-7 win at Seattle. Gurley joins Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk (October 20, 2002) as the only Rams in franchise history to have at least 150 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown in a single game.

•New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas had nine catches for 93 yards and a touchdown in the Saints’ 31-19 win over the New York Jets. Thomas, who had 92 catches as a rookie last season, has a career-high 94 receptions this year. He joins Odell Beckham, Jr. as the only players in NFL history to record at least 90 receptions in each of their first two seasons. Beckham accomplished the feat in each of his first three seasons (2014-16).

•Carolina quarterback Cam Newton threw four touchdown passes and rushed for 58 yards in the Panthers’ 31-24 victory against Green Bay. Newton, who leads all quarterbacks with 643 rushing yards this year, has four career seasons with at least 600 rushing yards, tied with Michael Vick (four) for the most such seasons by a quarterback in NFL history.

Panthers running back Christian McCaffery had six catches for 73 yards and a touchdown in the win. McCaffrey, who has 73 catches and five receiving touchdowns this season, is the only rookie running back in NFL history with at least 70 receptions and five touchdown catches.

Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers recorded a half-sack on fourth-and-14 with 5:46 remaining in the fourth quarter in today’s victory. Peppers, who has 10 sacks this season, is the fourth player in NFL history to have at least 10 seasons with 10+ sacks, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Bruce Smith (13 seasons), Reggie White (12) and Kevin Greene (10).

2017 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 16

AFC

CLINCHED: New England – AFC East division title

Pittsburgh – AFC North division title

Jacksonville – Playoff berth

New England (11-3) vs. Buffalo (8-6), Sunday

New England clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

1) New England win + Pittsburgh loss + Jacksonville loss or tie

New England clinches a first-round bye with:

1) New England win + Pittsburgh loss OR

2) New England win + Jacksonville loss or tie OR

3) New England tie + Jacksonville loss

Pittsburgh (11-3) at Houston (4-10), Monday

Pittsburgh clinches a first-round bye with:

1) Pittsburgh win + Jacksonville loss or tie OR

2) Pittsburgh tie + Jacksonville loss

Jacksonville (10-4) at San Francisco (4-10), Sunday

Jacksonville clinches AFC South division title with:

1) Jacksonville win or tie OR

2) Tennseeee loss or tie

Kansas City (8-6) vs. Miami (6-8), Sunday

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title with:

1) Kansas City win OR

2) Los Angeles Chargers loss OR

3) Kansas City tie + LAC tie

Tennessee (8-6) vs. Los Angeles Rams (10-4), Sunday

Tennessee clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Tennessee win + Baltimore loss + Buffalo loss

NFC

CLINCHED: Philadelphia – NFC East division title and first-round bye

Minnesota – NFC North division title

Philadelphia (12-2) vs. Oakland (6-8), Monday night

Philadelphia clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1) Philadelphia win OR

2) Minnesota loss OR

3) Philadelphia tie + Minnesota tie

Los Angeles Rams (10-4) at Tennessee (8-6), Sunday

Los Angeles Rams clinch NFC West division title with:

1) Los Angeles Rams win or tie OR

2) Seattle loss or tie

Los Angeles Rams clinch a playoff berth with:

1) Detroit loss or tie + Carolina loss + Atlanta loss

New Orleans (10-4) vs. Atlanta (9-5), Sunday

New Orleans clinches NFC South division title with:

1) New Orleans win + Carolina loss

New Orleans clinches a playoff berth with:

1) New Orleans win or tie OR

2) Dallas-Seattle tie

Carolina (10-4) vs. Tampa Bay (4-10), Sunday

Carolina clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Carolina win or tie OR

2) Dallas-Seattle tie

Atlanta (9-5) at New Orleans (10-4), Sunday

Atlanta clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Atlanta win OR

2) Atlanta tie + Dallas-Seattle tie + Detroit loss or tie (Atlanta has the tiebreakers head to head with Dallas, Seattle and Detroit)

THE WEEK THAT WAS WEEK 15

TERRIFIC TURNAROUNDS: Philadelphia (NFC East, first-round bye), Minnesota (NFC North) and Jacksonville (playoff berth) have clinched at least a playoff berth. All three teams finished in either third or fourth place in their divisions last year and missed the postseason.

Entering Week 16, five of the eight divisions have a team either in or tied for first place that finished in third or fourth place in the division last season.

This weekend, four clubs – Carolina, the Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans and Tennessee – have a chance to join Philadelphia, Minnesota and Jacksonville as teams who clinched a playoff spot after not qualifying for the postseason in 2016.

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.

KANDID KAMARA: New Orleans rookie running back Alvin Kamara had 89 scrimmage yards (45 receiving, 44 rushing) and a receiving touchdown in the Saints’ 31-19 win over the New York Jets last week.

Kamara, who has seven rushing touchdowns and five receiving touchdowns this year, is the fourth rookie in NFL history with at least five rushing and five receiving touchdowns, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Doak Walker (1950), Charley Taylor (1964) and Gale Sayers (1965).

The rookies with at least five rushing and five receiving touchdowns in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON) (RUSHING TOUCHDOWN)(RECIEVEING TOUCHDOWNS)
Doak Walker, Detroit (1950) (5)(6)^
Charley Taylor, Washington (1964) (5)(5)^
Gale Sayers, Chicago (1965)(14)(6)^
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans (2017)(7)(5)*
*Through Week 15
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

BIG GAME HUNTING: Kansas City rookie running back Kareem Hunt had 206 scrimmage yards (155 rushing, 51 receiving), one rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown in the Chiefs’ 30-13 win against the Los Angeles Chargers last week.

Hunt, who had 246 scrimmage yards (148 rushing, 98 receiving), one rushing touchdown and two receiving touchdowns in Week 1, is the only rookie in NFL history to have two games with at least 200 scrimmage yards, a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown.

RISING ROOKIES: Through the first 15 weeks of the season, rookies have accumulated 22,219 yards from scrimmage, the second-most through Week 15 since 1970, excluding the 1987 season.

The seasons with the most yards from scrimmage by rookies through Week 15 since 1970 (excluding the 1987 season):

SEASON – MOST SCRIMMAGE YARDS BY ROOKIES THROUGH WEEK 15*
2014 – 22,229
2017 – 22,219
2013 – 19,771
2012 – 19,523
2015 – 19,086
*Excludes 1987 season

The rookies with the most scrimmage yards in 2017:

PLAYER, TEAM (SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Kareem Hunt, Kansas City (1,641)
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans (1,336)
Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville (1,136)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (974)
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams (804)

Rookies have also totaled 157 touchdowns through Week 15, the second-most through the first 15 weeks of a season since 1970, excluding the 1987 season.

The seasons with the most touchdowns by rookies through Week 15 since 1970 (excluding 1987 season):

SEASON – MOST TOUCHDOWNS BY ROOKIES THROUGH WEEK 15*
2014 – 160
2017 – 157
2013 – 154
1983 – 142
2010 – 135
*Excludes 1987 season

The rookies with the most touchdowns in 2017:

PLAYER, TEAM (TOTAL TOUCHDOWNS)
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans (12)
Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville (9)
Kareem Hunt, Kansas City (9)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (7)
Many tied with 6

MARVELOUS MC COY: Buffalo running back LeSean McCoy rushed for 50 yards and scored two touchdowns in the Bills’ 24-16 win over Miami in Week 15.

McCoy reached 10,000 career rushing yards on his 2,145th carry, becoming the fifth-fastest player in NFL history to achieve the milestone. The only players to reach 10,000 career rushing yards in fewer attempts are Jim Brown (1,936), Adrian Peterson (2,004), Barry Sanders (2,020) and O.J. Simpson (2,085). Brown, Sanders and Simpson are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The players with the fewest attempts to reach 10,000 rushing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (FEWEST ATTEMPTS TO REACH 10,000 RUSHING YARDS)
Jim Brown – Cleveland (1,936)^
Adrian Peterson – Minnesota (2,004)
Barry Sanders – Detroit (2,020)^
O.J. Simpson – Buffalo (2,085)^
LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia and Buffalo (2,145)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

GRON-K: New England tight end Rob Gronkowski had nine receptions for 168 yards in the Patriots’ 27-24 win at Pittsburgh in Week 15.

Gronkowski, who leads all NFL tight ends with 1,017 receiving yards, reached 1,000 receiving yards for the fourth time in his career. Gronkowski tied Tony Gonzalez (four) and Jason Witten (four) for the most seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards among tight ends in NFL history.

The tight ends with the most 1,000+ receiving yard seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS WITH 1,000+ RECEIVING YARDS)
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City (4)
Rob Gronkowski, New England (4)*
Jason Witten, Dallas (4)*
Todd Christensen, Los Angeles Raiders (3)
Greg Olsen, Carolina (3)*
Shannon Sharpe, Denver (3)^
Kellen Winslow, San Diego (3)^
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

FOOTBALL IS FAMILY: New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning passed for 434 yards and three touchdowns in the team’s Week 15 loss to Philadelphia.

Manning’s first touchdown pass of the day, the 336th of his career, gave the Manning family 1,000 total combined regular-season touchdown passes over their careers. Eli’s brother, Peyton, threw 539 touchdown passes in his 17-year career, the most in NFL history. Their father, Archie, recorded 125 touchdown passes during his 14-year career.

PLAYER – TEAM (CAREER TD PASSES)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (539)
Eli Manning – New York Giants (338)*
Archie Manning – New Orleans, Houston Oilers and Minnesota (125)
Total – 1,002
*Active

TOSS IT TO THOMAS: New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas had nine receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown in the Saints’ win against the Jets.

Thomas, who had 92 catches as a rookie last season, has a career-high 94 receptions in 14 games this year. He joins Odell Beckham, Jr. as the only players in NFL history to have at least 90 catches in each of their first two NFL seasons. Beckham (2014-16) reached 90+ receptions in each of his first three NFL seasons.

The players to record at least 90 catches in each of their first two seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON-RECEPTIONS)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (2016-82)(2017-94)*
Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants (2014-91)(2015-96)(2016-101)
*Through Week 15

BLOCK PARTY: Philadelphia rookie defensive end Derek Barnett blocked a PAT, linebacker KAMU GRUGIER-HILL blocked a punt and safety MALCOLM JENKINS blocked a field goal in the Eagles’ 34-29 win over the Giants in Week 15.

The Eagles are the first team since the 1979 Minnesota Vikings (November 25, 23-22 win at Tampa Bay) to block all three types of kicks in a win.

GOOD AS GOULD: San Francisco kicker Robbie Gould converted all six field-goal attempts, including the game-winning 45-yard field goal as time expired, in the 49ers’ 25-23 win over the Titans last week.

Gould, who made five field goals at Chicago in Week 13 and four at Houston in Week 14, is the first player in NFL history to make at least 15 field goals over a three-game span.

The most made field goals over a three-game span in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)(WEEKS)(FIELD GOALS MADE)
Robbie Gould, San Francisco (2017)(13-15)(15)
Neil Rackers, Arizona (2005)(2-4)(14)
Olindo Mare, Miami (1989)(4-6)(14)
John Carney, San Diego (1992-93)(16-17, 1)(14)
Jim Turner, New York Jets (1968)(9-11)(14)
Gino Cappelletti, Boston Patriots (1964)(2-4)(14)

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 16:

TERRIFIC TURNAROUNDS: Philadelphia (NFC East, first-round bye), Minnesota (NFC North) and Jacksonville (playoff berth) have clinched at least a playoff berth. All three teams finished in either third or fourth place in their divisions last year and missed the postseason.

Entering Week 16, five of the eight divisions have a team either in or tied for first place that finished in third or fourth place in the division last season.

This weekend, four clubs – Carolina, the Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans and Tennessee – have a chance to join Philadelphia, Minnesota and Jacksonville as teams who clinched a playoff spot after not qualifying for the postseason in 2016.

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.

Jacksonville can secure the AFC South division this weekend with a win or a Tennessee loss and join Philadelphia as teams to go from “worst-to-first” this season.

The teams to go from “worst-to-first” in their division since 2003:

SEASON – TEAM (RECORD, PRIOR SEASON RECORD)
2003 – Carolina (11-5, 7-9)
2003 – Kansas City (13-3, 8-8)**
2004 – ATLANTA (11-5, 5-11)
2004 – San Diego (12-4, 4-12)**
2005 – Chicago (11-5, 5-11)
2005 – New York Giants (11-5, 6-10)**
2005 – Tampa Bay (11-5, 5-11)
2006 – Baltimore (13-3, 6-10)**
2006 – New Orleans (10-6, 3-13)
2006 – Philadelphia (10-6, 6-10)
2007 – Tampa Bay (9-7, 4-12)
2008 – Miami (11-5, 1-15)
2009 – New Orleans (13-3, 8-8)***
2010 – Kansas City (10-6, 4-12)
2011 – Denver (8-8, 4-12)
2011 – Houston (10-6, 6-10)**
2012 – Washington (10-6, 5-11)
2013 – Carolina (12-4, 7-9)**
2013 – Philadelphia (10-6, 4-12)
2015 – Washington (9-7, 4-12)
2016 – Dallas (13-3, 4-12)
2017 – Philadelphia (12-2, 7-9)*
2017 – Jacksonville (10-4, 3-13)*
* Through Week 15
** Tied for last place
*** Won Super Bowl

THE BELL TOLLS: Pittsburgh Pro Bowl running back Le’Veon Bell, who leads the NFL with 1,849 scrimmage yards this season, has 7,899 scrimmage yards in 61 career games.

Bell, who plays at Houston on Monday, can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (64 games) for the fewest games to reach 8,000 scrimmage yards in NFL history.

The players to reach 8,000 career scrimmage yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (FEWEST GAMES TO 8,000 SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (64)^
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (65)
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (65)^
Jim Brown, Cleveland (67)^
Marcus Allen, Los Angeles Raiders (68)^
Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh (61)*
*Has 7,899 career scrimmage yards
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

JONES-ING FOR MORE: Atlanta Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones ranks third in the NFL with 1,215 receiving yards this season.

With 85 yards on Sunday at New Orleans, Jones will record his fourth consecutive season with at least 1,300 receiving yards, tying Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison and Demaryius Thomas for the second-longest streak in NFL history. Only TORRY HOLT (six) from 2000-05 has a longer streak in league annals.

The players with the most consecutive seasons with at least 1,300 receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS) (MOST CONSECUTIVE 1,300 RECEIVING YARD SEASONS)
Torry Holt, (St. Louis Rams, 2000-2005) (6)
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (1999-2002) (4)^
Demaryius Thomas, Denver (2012-2015) (4)
Julio Jones, ATLANTA (2014-2016) (3)*
*Has 1,215 rec. yards through Week 15
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

KEEP IT 100: Arizona Pro Bowl wide receiver LARRY FITZGERALD ranks second in the NFC with 92 receptions this season.

With eight receptions against the New York Giants on Sunday, Fitzgerald will record his fifth career season with at least 100 receptions, tying ANTONIO BROWN, ANDRE JOHNSON and WES WELKER for the second-most 100-catch seasons in NFL history.

Brown, who leads the NFL with 101 receptions this season, reached the 100-catch mark for the fifth time and trails only BRANDON MARSHALL (six) for the most such seasons all-time.

The players with the most 100-catch seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (SEASONS WITH 100+ RECEPTIONS)
Brandon Marshall – Denver, Chicago and New York Jets (6)
Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh (5)
Andre Johnson – Houston (5)
Wes Welker – New England (5)
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (4)*
Marvin Harrison – Indianapolis (4)^
Jerry Rice –  San Francisco (4)^
Reggie Wayne – Indianapolis (4)
*Has 92 receptions through Week 15
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

CLIMBING THE CHARTS: New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning ranks seventh in NFL history with 51,287 career passing yards.

With 189 passing yards at Arizona on Sunday, Manning would pass Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway (51,475) for the sixth-most passing yards in NFL history.

The players with the most passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (CAREER PASSING YARDS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (71,940)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (71,838)^
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (69,961)*
Tom Brady – New England (65,745)*
Dan Marino, Miami (61,361)^
John Elway, Denver (51,475)^
Eli Manning – New York Giants (51,287)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Fame

New Orleans Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees, who plays against Atlanta on Sunday, has 69,961 career passing yards and needs 39 yards to join Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre (71,838) and Peyton Manning (71,940) as the only players in NFL history with at least 70,000 career passing yards.

PLAYER – TEAMS (CAREER PASSING YARDS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (71,940)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (71,838)^
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (69,961)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Fame

ACE OF THE STAFF: Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, who plays at Cincinnati on Sunday, has thrown at least 25 pass attempts and completed 75 percent or better of his passes in each of his past three games. He can join Tom Brady (2007) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with four consecutive games with at least 25 pass attempts and a 75 or better completion percentage.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least 25 pass attempts and a 75 or better completion percentage in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON; WEEKS)(CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 25+ PASSES AND 75% COMPLETION PERCENTAGE)
Tom Brady – New England (2007; 1-4)(4)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit (2017; 13-15) (3)*
*Active streak

PROLIFIC PASSERS: Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford ranks third in the NFL with 3,920 passing yards and New Orleans Pro Bowl quarterback DREW BREES ranks fourth in the league with 3,850 passing yards.

With 80 passing yards this weekend, Stafford will reach 4,000 passing yards for the seventh consecutive season and surpass Peyton Manning (six seasons, 1999-2004) and Matt Ryan (six, 2011-16) for the second-longest streak in NFL history.

Ryan, who has 3,490 passing yards this season, has recorded at least 4,000 passing yards in each of the past six seasons and can extend his streak to seven consecutive seasons with 510 passing yards over the next two weeks.

Brees needs 150 passing yards to extend his NFL-record streak to 12 consecutive seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards.

The quarterbacks with the most consecutive seasons of at least 4,000 passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (SEASONS) (SEASONS WITH 4,000+ PASSING YARDS)
Drew Brees – New Orleans (2006-16) (11)*
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis (1999-2004) (6)
Matt Ryan – ATLANTA (2011-16) (6)*
Matthew Stafford – Detroit (2011-16) (6)*
*Active streak

LIGHTS, KAMARA, ACTION: New Orleans Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara leads all NFL rookies and ties for second in the league with 12 total touchdowns this season.

With a touchdown reception on Sunday, Kamara, who has seven rushing touchdowns and five receiving touchdowns, can join Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers (1965) as the only rookies in NFL history with at least six rushing and six receiving touchdowns.

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS/RECEIVING TOUCHDOWNS)
Gale Sayers, Chicago (1965, 14/6)^
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans (2017, 7/5)*
*Through Week 15
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

GO THE DISTANCE: Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill had a 64-yard touchdown catch in the Chiefs’ Week 15 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. Since entering the league in 2016, Hill has 11 career touchdowns of at least 50 yards.

With a 50+ yard touchdown on Sunday against Miami, Hill would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers (11) for the second-most touchdowns of at least 50 yards in a player’s first two seasons in NFL history. Only Devin Hester (13) had more such touchdowns in his first two seasons.

The players with the most touchdowns of at least 50 yards in their first two seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (50+ YARD TOUCHDOWNS IN 1ST 2 SEASONS)
Devin Hester, Chicago (13)
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City (11)*
Gale Sayers, Chicago (11)^
*In second season
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

 

Week 16 got underway in Baltimore as the Ravens edged Indianapolis 23-16 Saturday afternoon and the Saturday action finished in Green Bay as the Packers were shutout by Minnesota 16-0 at chilly Lambeau Field. Action in week 16 continues on Sunday with a near full slate of contests and the Sunday action concludes in Dallas when the Dallas Cowboys welcome the Seattle Seahawks to AT&T Stadium on Christmas Eve afternoon. The next-to-last week of the season concludes with a pair of Christmas games when the Steelers travels to Houston to face the Texans and the Eagles host the Oakland Raiders in the final Monday night contest of the season.

Time is running out. With two weeks to go in the NFL regular season, it’s time for teams to make their final playoff push.

Through the first 15 weeks, five postseason berths have been clinched. Philadelphia (NFC East, first-round bye), Minnesota (NFC North), New England (AFC East) and Pittsburgh (AFC North) have each won its division. Jacksonville has secured a playoff berth. And with two weeks left in the regular season, there are still 19 teams in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LII.

In the AFC, New England (11-3, clinched AFC East) can secure a first-round bye and home-field advantage. Pittsburgh (11-3, clinched AFC North) can lock up a first-round bye. Jacksonville (10-4, clinched playoff berth) can win the AFC South. Kansas City (8-6) can clinch the AFC West. And Tennessee (8-6) can secure a playoff berth.

In the NFC, Philadelphia (12-2, clinched NFC East and first-round bye) can lock up home-field advantage. Minnesota (11-3, clinched NFC North) can secure a first-round bye. The Los Angeles Rams (10-4) can clinch the NFC West or a playoff berth. New Orleans (10-4) can lock up the NFC South or a playoff berth and Carolina (10-4) and Atlanta (9-5) can each clinch a playoff berth.

By winning the NFC East, the Eagles have completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround and 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. Both the Jaguars (lead AFC South by two games) and Panthers (tied for NFC South lead) are either in or tied for first place entering Week 16 and can join the Eagles as teams making a “worst-to-first” turnaround. If both Jacksonville and Carolina match Philadelphia as teams accomplishing the feat, 2017 would tie the 2005 and 2006 seasons for the most such “worst-to-first” clubs in NFL history.

As for last week… 11-5 is pretty good and for the season, 135-90. That’s not bad and there’s still a lot of football left, including the playoffs (PLAYOFFS! PLAYOFFS? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?). Here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 16 (be sure to leave milk and cookies for Santa and hay for the reindeer… we hear he likes Chocolate chip).

ATLANTA (9-5) at New Orleans (10-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Matt Ryan.

Drew Brees.

They meet again and this time, it’s Peach Pie squaring off against Gumbo as the Falcons travel to the Big Easy for an important NFC South matchup for both clubs.

Atlanta erased a 7-7 tie at the end of the first quarter at Tampa Bay and came away 24-21 winners last Monday evening at Raymond James Stadium. The defending NFC champs took a 17-7 lead with them to the locker room and held off two Tampa Bay rallies as the Bucs pulled to within 7 with 4:07 left in regulation when Jameis Winston and WR Adam Humphries connected on a 16-yard TD pass. Tampa Bay then had a chance to tie the contest up with five seconds left but saw their playoff hopes come to an end when Pat Murray’s 54 yard field goal sailed wide right, giving Atlanta the win and sweeping the series in the process. Atlanta outrushed Tampa Bay 201-84 and DeVonta Freeman led the way with 126 yards and a 32-yard TD run that all but sealed the deal for the Falcons, while Ryan threw for 212 yards and a TD, with Winston throwing for 299 yards and three TDs. Both clubs did reasonably well on third down, as the Falcons were 9 of 15, while Tampa Bay was 4 of 8 (neither team went for it on fourth down) and time was on the side of Atlanta, who kept the ball for 33:15 to Tampa Bay’s 26:45.

New Orleans ended the New York Jets’ hopes of a playoff spot as they came away 31-19 winners in the Superdome last Sunday. New Orleans led 17-10 at the half before the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! pulled to within 5 with 1:51 left in the contest when Bryce Petty (who took over for Josh McCown) connected on a 2-yard TD pass but missed the two-point conversion. GangGreen then tried an onside kick, which New Orleans recovered and it would be Mark Ingram that would seal the Jets’ fate with a 50-yard run with 93 seconds left in regulation to take the win when he scored his second TD of the day. New Orleans outrushed the Jets 131-124 and Brees threw for 285 yards and a pair of TDs, one to RB Alvin Kamara, who returned from a concussion he suffered against Atlanta, while Petty threw for 179 yards with a TD and a pair of interceptions. New Orleans was 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:10, while the Jets actually ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:50, going 5 of 15 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down tries in the Big Easy.

The meeting in the Big Easy is a rematch of the week 14 contest in Atlanta that saw the Falcons take a 20-17 win in the Big Peach. New Orleans broke a 10-10 tie at the intermission and took a 17-10 lead into the fourth quarter before Atlanta would score their last 10 points of the contest unchallenged in that quarter. While Ryan did throw three interceptions, he did manage to throw for 221 yards and connect with WR Mohammed Sanu on an 8-yard TD strike with 9:55 left in the contest. Matt Bryant then added a 52-yard field goal with 3:49 left to play to take the lead back for good.

Atlanta then held off a late New Orleans rally in the closing minutes of the game when Brees (271 yards, two TDs) was picked off by LB Deion Jones in the end zone. The Falcons then secured the win after Sean Payton was penalized for being on the field, which moved the ball up and allowed Atlanta to run out the clock. Atlanta outrushed New Orleans 132-50, with Falcons RB DeVonta Freeman leading the way with 91 yards and a TD and the Falcons went 7 of 12 on third down conversions at Mercedes Benz Stadium, keeping the ball for 34:41, while New Orleans held the ball for 25:19, going 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 14 contest on a Thursday night, New Orleans was favored by 1 and the Falcons covered, winning by 3. The 52 1/2 over/under was untouched, as both teams combined for 37 total points. The odds makers this time like the Saints again, this time as 5 1/2 point favorites with a 52 over/under. There is a lot at stake here, which makes this one “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 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?”

History has a way of repeating itself. For the Falcons, all they have to do is run the table and they repeat as NFC South champs. The Saints are trying to be “Grinches” and stop their plans and take the NFC South for themselves. Sorry, Saints fans. you’re about to get a lump of coal in your stocking. Falcons complete the sweep and cover the 5 1/2 in the Big Easy.

Cleveland (0-14) at Chicago (4-10), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. It’s the NFL’s version of the “Pit of Misery” as the winless Cleveland Browns travel to the Windy City for a Christmas Eve afternoon contest with Chicago at Soldier Field. Both teams are coming off losses.

The winless Cleveland Browns’ season continued into a tailspin last Sunday along the shores of Lake Erie as they came out on the short end of a 27-10 loss to Baltimore at at First Energy Field. Baltimore led 17-10 at the half, then pulled away from the Browns and scored their final 10 points of the contest unchallenged. Although the Browns outrushed Baltimore 130-97, Joe Flacco burned the Browns for 288 yards and a TD to TE Benjamin Watson, while Cleveland’s DeShone Kizer threw for 146 yards with a pair of sacks and a pair of interceptions. The Ravens on third down conversions went 7 of 16 and kept the ball for 36:48, while the Browns were 5 of 14, holding the pigskin for 23:12 (both clubs were 0 of 1 on fourth down tries).

Da Bears were outmanned by Detroit last Saturday at Ford Field as the Lions took them to task, coming away on the short end of a 20-10 loss in the Motor City. Chicago trailed 13-3 at the intermission and could never really get on track in the NFC North rematch, as the Lions outrushed them 91-43 and picked off Mitch Trubisky (314 yards, TD) three times. For Detroit, Matt Stafford suffered no ill effects from the hand injury he suffered in Baltimore, throwing for 237 yards and a pair of TDs in the win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Chicago on third down went 5 of 12 (Da Bears were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:55, while the Lions went 6 of 13 on third down, holding the ball for 29:05.

Chicago’s favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 38 1/2. You might want to take a pass on this one and watch that “Grumpy Cat” movie on Lifetime. Chicago covers the 6 1/2 and wins in the Windy City.

Miami (6-8) at Kansas City (8-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of old AFL/AFC rivals meet in the Show-Me State as the Kansas City Chiefs host the struggling Miami Dolphins at Arrowhead.

Miami saw their playoff hopes damaged in Orchard Park as they fell to Buffalo 24-16. Although they trailed 21-6 at the half, Miami managed to outscore the Bills 10-3 in the final 30 minutes of play, pulling to within 8 with 39 seconds left when Chris Parkey connected on a 26-yard field goal. Miami then managed to get the ball back thanks to a successful onside kick but turned the ball over one play later when Jay Cutler’s pass was picked off by Tre’Davious White. The Bills got the ball back, ran out the clock and took the win. Buffalo outrushed Miami 116-100 and LeSean McCoy scored a pair of TDs in the contest (one on a 4-yard run in the first quarter, the other coming from a 16 yard TD pass from Tyrod Taylor). Cutler threw for 274 yards but was sacked three times and picked off three times, while Taylor threw for 224 yards and the lone TD toss. Miami on third down tries went 5 of 16 (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:25, while the Bills were 27:35 in time of possession, going 7 of 15 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Kansas City all but secured their chance of winning the AFC West title after their 30-13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers Saturday night at Arrowhead. The Chiefs led 13-6 at the half, trailed 13-10 with 9:20 left in the third, then took the lead back for keeps with 2:07 left in the quarter when Kareem Hunt and Alex Smtih connected on a 3-yard TD pass. After Heath Butker connected on a pair of field goals for Kansas City, Hunt sealed the Chargers’ fate with a 5-yard run with 3:57 left in regulation. Kansas City outrushed Los Angeles 174-98, with Hunt leading the way with 155 yards. Smith threw for 231 yards and a pair of TDs, while the Kansas City defense picked off Philip Rivers (227 yards) three times (he had a TD pass to TE Antonio Gates in the contest), taking the ball away four times. The Chiefs were 6 of 14 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 33:21, while the Chargers, who held the pigskin for 26:39, went 4 of 11, 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

The series between these two AFC foes is even at 13-13 (which includes games that were played at Swope Field and the Orange Bowl), the Chiefs have outscored Miami 538-501 and Kansas City won the last meeting in the series, taking a 34-15 win in the Sunshine State in 2014, while the Dolphins were 31-3 winners in 2011 at Arrowhead. Kansas City’s favored by 10 at Arrowhead and the over/under’s 43 1/2. The Chiefs are starting to get their groove back, while the Dolphins are looking to cause chaos in the AFC West. Groove wins this one. Miami makes it closer than the 10 but the Chiefs pull themselves closer to the AFC West title with the win at Arrowhead.

Buffalo (8-6) at New England (11-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. The defending Super Bowl champs return to Foxboro for an AFC East matchup with the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium.

Buffalo put a dent in Miami’s playoff hopes as they held off the Dolphins 24-16 at New Era Stadium. Buffalo led 21-6 at the half, before Miami managed to outscore the Bills 10-3 in the final 30 minutes of play, pulling to within 8 with 39 seconds left when Chris Parkey connected on a 26-yard field goal. The Dolphins then found new life and managed to get the ball back thanks to a successful onside kick but Buffalo forced a turn over one play later when Jay Cutler’s pass was picked off by Tre’Davious White. The Bills got the ball back, ran out the clock and took the win. Buffalo outrushed Miami 116-100 and LeSean McCoy scored a pair of TDs in the contest (one on a 4-yard run in the first quarter, the other coming from a 16 yard TD pass from Tyrod Taylor). Cutler threw for 274 yards but was sacked three times and picked off three times, while Taylor threw for 224 yards and the lone TD toss. Miami on third down tries went 5 of 16 (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:25, while the Bills were 27:35 in time of possession, going 7 of 15 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Brady and the Pats erased a 17-10 deficit against Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers and left Heinz Field with a 27-24 win last Sunday to clinch the AFC East title. The Steelers led 24-19 with 56 seconds left in regulation when New England’s Deion Lewis scored on an 8-yard run and took the lead when Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski, coming off his one-game suspension, hooked up on the two-point try to take the 3-point lead. Steelers fans had their hopes dashed twice in the contest. Pittsburgh got the ball back and marched downfield, getting as close as New England’s 10-yard line when Ben Roethlisberger and TE Jesse James connected on what they thought would be the game-winning score. The play was reviewed and the call was changed from catch to no catch. After that, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey caught a short pass to New England’s 7-yard line and the Steelers scrambled to the line without any times and Roethlisberger threw a pass into the endzone that was deflected and picked off by Duron Harmon. New England ran out the clock and took the win.

Pittsburgh outrushed New England 143-77, with LeVeon Bell leading all rushers with 117 yards, while Roethlisbeger threw for 281 yards and a TD. Pittsburgh also lost the services of All-Pro WR Antonio Brown, who had 24 yards on two catches before leaving the contest with a torn calf muscle (Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster had 114 yards on six catches for the Steelers), while Brady threw for 298 yards and a TD (both were sacked twice and both threw an interception). Pittsburgh on third down went 10 of 16 and kept the ball for 35:07, while the Pats were 24:53 in time of possession, going 3 of 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down at Heinz Field.

They met in week 13 along the shores of Lake Erie in upstate New York and the Pats were 23-3 winners in that meeting. New England held Buffalo to a 49-yard field goal by Stephen Hauschka with 3:05 left before the intermssion and got a pair of rushing TDs in the second half by RB Rex Burkhead to seal Buffalo’s fate. While the Pats outrushed Buffalo 191-183, Buffalo’s LeSean McCoy led all rushers with 93 yards, while Brady threw for 258 yards despite getting sacked four times. The Pats on third down conversions went 5 of 12 (the Bills were 5 of 13, 0 of 3 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:01 to Buffalo’s 25:59.

In the week 13 contest in Orchard Park, New England covered the 8 1/2-point spread, winning by 20 but neither club touched the 46 over/under, scoring only 26 points. This time, the Pats are favored by 11 1/2 and the over/under is 47. Buffalo’s wanting to go to the playoffs for the first time since the Clinton adminstration, while the Pats look to stay home for as long as they’re in the playoffs. New England wins this one but expect Buffalo to make things closer than 11 1/2.

Los Angeles Chargers (7-7) at New York Jets (5-9), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of struggling AFC meet in upstate New Jersey as the New York Jets host the Los Angeles Chargers at Met Life Stadium.

The Chargers saw their hopes of winning the AFC West get damaged by Kansas City last Saturday night at Arrowhead Stadium, falling 30-13 to the Chiefs. The Chiefs led 13-6 at the half before the Chargers would take the lead for the first and only time of the contest when Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates connected on a 10-yard TD strike with 9:20 left in the third, then watched the Chiefs take the lead back for keeps with 2:07 left in the quarter when Kareem Hunt and Alex Smtih connected on a 3-yard TD pass. After Heath Butker connected on a pair of field goals for Kansas City, Hunt sealed the Chargers’ fate with a 5-yard run with 3:57 left in regulation. Kansas City outrushed Los Angeles 174-98, with Hunt leading the way with 155 yards. Smith threw for 231 yards and a pair of TDs, while the Kansas City defense picked off Philip Rivers (227 yards) three times (he had a TD pass to TE Antonio Gates in the contest), taking the ball away four times. The Chiefs were 6 of 14 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 33:21, while the Chargers, who held the pigskin for 26:39, went 4 of 11, 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

New York’s hopes of a playoff spot were ground as the Jets were 31-19 losers in New Orleans to the Saints at Superdome last Sunday. GangGreen trailed 17-10 at the half before they would pull themselves to within 5 with 1:51 left in the contest when Bryce Petty (who took over for Josh McCown) connected on a 2-yard TD pass but missed the two-point conversion. GangGreen then tried an onside kick, which New Orleans recovered and it would be Mark Ingram that would seal the Jets’ fate with a 50-yard run with 93 seconds left in regulation to take the win when he scored his second TD of the day. New Orleans outrushed the Jets 131-124 and Brees threw for 285 yards and a pair of TDs, one to RB Alvin Kamara, who returned from a concussion he suffered against Atlanta, while Petty threw for 179 yards with a TD and a pair of interceptions. New Orleans was 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:10, while the Jets actually ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:50, going 5 of 15 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down tries in the Big Easy.

Including games that were played at Shea and Qualcomm Stadiums and when the Jets were known as the Titans, the Chargers lead the series 21-12-1, they have outscored GangGreen 982-698 and won the last two meetings in the series, including a 24-0 win in 2014 at Qualcomm, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!’ last win over the Chargers came in 2011 in the Meadowlands by a final of 27-21.

The Chargers are favored by 7 and the over/under’s 42 1/2. While this one is not exactly “DRILL WORTHY,” it’s worth watching as both teams have had decent seasons if not great seasons. The Chargers may not cover the 7 but they take the win in upstate New Jersey.

Denver (5-9) at Washington (6-8), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. A pair of teams that once met in a Super Bowl meet in Landover as the Redskins and Broncos, both out of the playoff picture, meet at FedEx Field on Christmas Eve afternoon.

Denver erased a 7-3 halftime lead against Indianapolis last Thursday night and took control of things at Lucas Oil Stadium, outscoring the Colts 18-3 in the final 30 minutes of play, taking a 25-13 win out of the Hoosier State in the process. Denver’s C.J. Anderson ran amok, leading all rushers with 158 yards in the contest, as his team outrushed Indy 213-70, while Brock Osweiler, who took over for Trevor Siemian (Siemian left the contest with an injury), threw for 194 yards and a pair of TDs (Indy’s Jacoby Brissett threw for 158 yards with no TDs or interceptions but had a sack). Denver on third down tries went 7 of 15 (they were 1 of 3 on fourth down tries) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 36:51, while the Colts kept the pigskin for 23:09, going 6 of 13, 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

While the Redskins saw their playoff hopes vanish, they made sure that Arizona didn’t leave Landover with a victory as they held off the Cardinals 20-15 at FedEx Field. Washington led 14-9 at the half and held Arizona in check the rest of the way. The Desert Angry Birds would eventually pull themselves to within 2 with 13:37 left in the third on a 34-yard field goal by Pat Dawson before the Redskins took control of things in the contest. While Arizona outrushed Washington 141-31, Kirk Cousins threw for 196 yards and a pair of TDs, while Arizona Blaine Gabbard threw for 189 yards with five sacks and an interception. The Redskins were 1 of 9 on third down and kept the ball for 23:44, while Arizona kept the pigskin for 36:16, going 4 of 19 on third down and 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Denver leads the series 7-5, Washington has outscored the Broncos 271-243 and the Broncos were 45-21 winners in their last meeting at Mile High Stadium in 2013, while Washington’s last win came in 2009 by a final of 27-17. The odds makers like the ‘Skins as 3 1/2 point favorites with a 41 over/under. Redskins fans got to sing “Hail to the Redskins” last week, instead of “Hell, it’s the Redskins.” They’ll get to sing “Hail” again this time. Washington covers the 3 1/2 in Landover and takes the win.

Tampa Bay (4-10) at Carolina (10-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. It’s round two of a pair of former Heisman QBs as Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers host Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay pulled even with Atlanta at Raymond James Stadium last Monday, going into the second quarter tied at 7-7 tie, only to see their slim playoff hopes melt like a sunburned snowman, as the Faclons were 24-21 winners. The defending NFC champs took a 17-7 lead with them to the locker room and held off two Tampa Bay rallies as the Bucs pulled to within 7 with 4:07 left in regulation when Winston and WR Adam Humphries connected on a 16-yard TD pass. Tampa Bay then had a chance to tie the contest up with five seconds left but saw their playoff hopes come to an end when Pat Murray’s 54 yard field goal sailed wide right, giving Atlanta the win and sweeping the series in the process. Atlanta outrushed Tampa Bay 201-84 and DeVonta Freeman led the way with 126 yards and a 32-yard TD run that all but sealed the deal for the Falcons, while Ryan threw for 212 yards and a TD, with Winston throwing for 299 yards and three TDs. Both clubs did reasonably well on third down, as the Falcons were 9 of 15, while Tampa Bay was 4 of 8 (neither team went for it on fourth down) and time was on the side of Atlanta, who kept the ball for 33:15 to Tampa Bay’s 26:45.

Newton and Carolina held off the return of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers 31-24 at Bank of America Stadium last Sunday afternoon. After ewton threw a 7-yard TD pass to Christian McCaffery to open the scoring in the contest. Rodgers threw his first of three TD passes of the afternoon as time expired in the first quarter when he and WR DaVonte Adams connected on a 13-yard TD strike to tie things up. Green Bay would eventually take a 14-10 into the intermission when Rodgers and RB Randall Cobb hooked up on a 33 yard TD strike before Carolina took control of things, outscoring the Packers 21-10 in the final 30 minutes of play. Green Bay would eventually pull to within a touchdown with 2:43 left in the contest when WR Richard Rodgers caught a 24-yard TD pass from Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay then recovered the onside kick and got the ball as far as the Panthers’ 38-yard line when Geronimo Allison caught a 10-yard pass from Rodgers but fumbled the ball, which Carolina promptly recovered. Carolina then ran the clock out and took the win at home.

They met in the Sunshine State in week eight and the Bucs were held ot a 41-yard field goal by Patrick Murray to fall to Carolina 17-3 at Raymond James Stadium. Carolina led 10-0 at the intermission and never looked back, holding the Bucs to 85 yards rushing (the Panthers ran for 100 yards) and sacking Winston (210 yards) three times and picking him off twice, while Newton threw for 154 yards and a TD (Newton threw an interception in the contest). Carolina was 8 of 17 on third down and kept the pigskin for 32:11, while Tampa Bay was 2 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 27:49.

In the week eight affair on Florida’s west coast, the Bucs were favored by 2 1/2 and the Panthers covered, winning by 14 but neither club touched the 44 over/under, as both tallied only 20 points. This time, the Panthers are favored by 9 1/2 and the over/under’s 46 1/2. The Bucs would love nothing more than to ruin Carolina’s playoff party, while Caroline would like nothing more than to put Tampa Bay out of their misery. Tampa Bay makes this one interesting but Carolina’s finer and sweeps the series with the win.

Detroit (8-6) at Cincinnati (5-9), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. It’s a battle for the Litter Box as the Cincinnati Bengals host Detriot with the Lions fighting for a playoff spot in the NFC, while the Bengals look to play the role of spoiler.

Detroit officially knocked Chicago out of the post-season party last Saturday at Ford Field as they took Da Bears to task, winning 20-10 in the Motor City. Detroit led from start to finish and took a 13-3 lead at the intermission in the NFC North rematch, outrushing Chicago 91-43 and picking off Mitch Trubisky (314 yards, TD) three times. For Detroit, Matt Stafford suffered no ill effects from the hand injury he suffered in Baltimore, throwing for 237 yards and a pair of TDs in the win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Chicago on third down went 5 of 12 (Da Bears were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:55, while the Lions went 6 of 13 on third down, holding the ball for 29:05.

Cincinnati found themselves out of the playoffs and saw Minnesota clinch the NFC North title with a 38-7 loss against the Vikings at US Bank Stadium. The Vikings shut out Cincinnati for the first three quarters as they scored their first 27 points unchallenged (they led 20-0 at the half), then held the Bengals to a 6-yard run by HB Giovanni Bernard with 6:22 left in the contest, when the game was all but settled. Minnesota outrushed the Bengals 124-46 and sacked Andy Dalton three times and picked him off twice, while Case Keenum threw for 236 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with WR Sean Diggs and TE Kyle Rudolph on both tosses. Minnesota was 4 of 12 on third down tries in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, while keeping the ball for 35:52. As for the Bengals? They were a somewhat dismal 1 of 13 on third down, went 1 of 3 on fourth down and held the ball for 24:08.

Cincinnati leads the series 8-3, which includes contests that took place at the Silverdome, Riverfront and Tiger Stadiums, they have outscored Detroit 274-222 and have won the last five meetings, including taking a 27-24 win in the Motor City in 2013, while Detroit’s last win came in Cincinnati in 1992 by a final of 19-13. Detroit’s favored by 5 in Cincy and the over/under’s 43. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Cincinnati is not going to the post-season, while the Lions are hoping that they have a spot at the post-season party. If nothing else, things could get a little catty in Cincy. Lions cover the 5 and win along the shores of the Ohio River.

Los Angeles Rams (10-4) at Tennessee (8-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. Hollywood meets Dollywood as the Los Angeles Rams travel to the Music City for a showdown at Nissan Stadium with Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans.

The Rams got revenge on Seattle last Sunday in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, taking down the Seahawks 42-7 at CenturyLink Field. Los Angeles scored the first 40 points of the game unchallenged, leading 34-0 at halftime and 40-0 lat in the third quarter before Seattle ended the Rams’ dreams of a shutout when Russell Wilson and TE Luke Willson hooked up on a 26-yard toss with 87 seconds left in the period. Los Angeles then put Seahawks fans out of their misery when Wilson was sacked in the endzone for a safety. Seattle was outrushed by the Rams 244-78 and Todd Gurley led everyone with 152 rushing yards and three TDs, the longest being 57 yards with 28 seconds left before the half. Wilson threw for 142 yards and the lone TD but was sacked seven times, while Jared Goff threw for 120 yards and a pair of TDs (one toss going to Gurley, the other going to WR Robert Woods). The Rams went 6 of 16 on third down (1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:46, while the Seahawks, who lost three of their last five games, kept the pigskin for 23:14 and went 4 of 14 on third down conversions in the Paciifc Northwest.

The Titans checked themselves into the Heartbreak Hotel after their 25-23 loss to San Francisco last Sunday in Santa Clara with a game-winning field goal as time expired. San Francisco led 16-10 at the intermission before allowing the Titans to storm back in the second half, outscoring the 49ers 10-9. Tennessee led 23-22 with 67 seconds lefr thanks to a 50-yard field goal by Ryan Succop before San Francisco went to work to take the win, using a 7-play, 48-yard drive that took all of the 67 seconds and ended with Gould’s 45-yard effort. Tennessee managed to outrush San Francisco 90-51 but 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 381 yards and a TD, while Marcus Mariota threw for 341 yards and a pair of TDs. Both clubs were 50 percent on third down tries (Tennessee was 6 of 12, San Francisco was 7 of 14) and the Titans were 1 of 1 on fourth down, holding the ball for 27:25, while the 49ers ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 32:35.

Including games in St. Louis and Houston, when the Titans were known as the Oilers, Los Angeles leads the series 6-5, while the Titans have outscored the Rams 247-229, taking wins in the last two meetings, including a 28-21 win in St. Louis in 2013, while the Rams were 31-27 winners in the Gateway City in 2005. The Rams are favored by 6 1/2 in the Music City and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Both numbers make sense. Both clubs are looking for an invite to the playoff party in two weeks. The Titans are trying to catch Jacksonville in the AFC South, while the Rams want to remain as king of the mountain in the NFC  West. Rams take a huge step toward winning the NFC West and wins in Music City, covering the 6 1/2.

Jacksonville (10-4) at San Francisco (4-10), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. A pair of improving teams meet in wine country as Jacksonville travels to Santa Clara for a late-afternoon contest with the San Francisco 49ers.

The Jaguars advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 2007 when they took Houston to the woodshed last Sunday in Jacksonville, taking a 45-7 win over the Texans at EverBank Field. Jacksonville clawed their way to a 31-0 lead at the break and held the Texans to a third quarter TD with 8:12 left in that quarter when Tyler Yates and WR DeAndre Hopkins connected on a 25-yard strike. Jacksonville outrushed Houston 138-87 and sacked Yates (128 yards) four times and picked him off once. Jacksonville, led by Blake Bortles’ 326 yards of passing (three TDs), went 3 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 33:18, while the struggling Texans kept the pigskin for 26:42 and went 4 of 16 on third down tries in the Sunshine State.

Robbie Gould sent 49ers fans home happy after their 25-23 win over Tennessee last Sunday in Santa Clara with a game-winning field goal as time expired. San Francisco, who doubled their win total from 2016 (they were 2-14) led 16-10 at the intermission before allowing the Titans to storm back in the second half, outscoring the 49ers 10-9. Tennessee led 23-22 with 67 seconds lefr thanks to a 50-yard field goal by Ryan Succop before San Francisco went to work to take the win, using a 7-play, 48-yard drive that took all of the 67 seconds and ended with Gould’s 45-yard effort. Tennessee managed to outrush San Francisco 90-51 but 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 381 yards and a TD, while Marcus Mariota threw for 341 yards and a pair of TDs. Both clubs were 50 percent on third down tries (Tennessee was 6 of 12, San Francisco was 7 of 14) and the Titans were 1 of 1 on fourth down, holding the ball for 27:25, while the 49ers ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 32:35.

They’ve only met four times and the series is even at 2-2. San Francisco has outscored the Jaguars 74-64 and the 49ers have won the last two meetings, including a 42-10 win in 2013 in London, while the Jaguars’ last win came in the Sunshine State by a final of 10-9 in 2005. Jacksonville’s favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under is 42 1/2. San Francisco’s played some pretty decent football of late, while the Jaguars want to make history and at least host one playoff game in the Sunshine State. Jacksonville covers the 4 1/2 in wine country and takes the win.

New York Giants (2-12) at Arizona (6-8), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. A pair of teams that will not make the playoff party meet in the desert as Eli Manning and the New York Giants travel to Glendale for a late afternoon contest with the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Both teams enter the contest with losses on the East coast under their belts.

After leading Philadelphia 14-7 at the end of the first quarter, Philly took a 21-20 at the intermisison, outscored the Giants 13-6 in the final 30 minutes of action and then held off a late New York rally that would have given interim head coach Steve Spagnola the win at home and took the win when Eagles K Josh Elliott connected on a 20-yard field goal with 3:56 left in the contest, dropping a 34-29 NFC East decision to the Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Philadelphia outrushed the Giants 108-75 and Nick Foles, who took over for Carson Wentz (knee), threw for 237 yards and three TDs, while Manning, in his second contest after he was benched, threw for 434 yards and four TDs (each man was sacked once and Manning threw an interception). The Eagles were 6 of 13 on third down tries in the Meadowlands and kept the ball for 30:53, while the Giants held the ball for 29:07, going 10 of 18 on third down tries (both clubs were 0 of 1 on fourth down).

Arizona’s playoff hopes were crushed in Landover by the Redskins as Washington came away 20-15 winners at FedEx Field. Washington led 14-9 at the half and held Arizona in check the rest of the way. The Desert Angry Birds would eventually pull themselves to within 2 with 13:37 left in the third on a 34-yard field goal by Pat Dawson before the Redskins took control of things in the contest. While Arizona outrushed Washington 141-31, Kirk Cousins threw for 196 yards and a pair of TDs, while Arizona Blaine Gabbard threw for 189 yards with five sacks and an interception. The Redskins were 1 of 9 on third down and kept the ball for 23:44, while Arizona kept the pigskin for 36:16, going 4 of 19 on third down and 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Including games that were played at Yankee Stadium and New Haven when the Giants played in those stadiums and games played in Chicago and St. Louis when the Cardinals called those cities home, the Giants lead the series 80-43-2 and have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 2,760-2,151. Arizona won the last meeting with Big Blue, taking a 25-14 win in 2014 in the Meadowlands, while New York’s last win came in the desert in 2011 by a final of 31-27. Arizona’s favored by 4 1/2 in the desert and the over/under’s 40. Take a pass on this one and make that last-minute trip to get that ugly sweater for your cousin Larry. Arizona puts Giants fans a little closer out of their misery and wins at home, covering the 4 1/2 in the process.

Seattle (8-6) at Dallas (8-6), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. It’s basically an elimination game in the Lone Star State as the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys meet in a game of football “Survivor,” with the winner still having some playoff hope, while the loser is done for the year.

Seattle found themselves being taken to task by the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, as the Rams took down the Seahawks 42-7 at CenturyLink Field. Los Angeles took control of things early and scored the first 40 points of the game unchallenged, leading 34-0 at halftime and 40-0 lat in the third quarter before Seattle ended the Rams’ dreams of a shutout when Russell Wilson and TE Luke Willson hooked up on a 26-yard toss with 87 seconds left in the period. Los Angeles then put Seahawks fans out of their misery when Wilson was sacked in the endzone for a safety. Seattle was outrushed by the Rams 244-78 and Todd Gurley led everyone with 152 rushing yards and three TDs, the longest being 57 yards with 28 seconds left before the half. Wilson threw for 142 yards and the lone TD but was sacked seven times, while Jared Goff threw for 120 yards and a pair of TDs (one toss going to Gurley, the other going to WR Robert Woods). The Rams went 6 of 16 on third down (1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:46, while the Seahawks, who lost three of their last five games, kept the pigskin for 23:14 and went 4 of 14 on third down conversions in the Paciifc Northwest.

Dallas, who gets RB Ezekiel Elliott back from his 6-game suspension, led Oakland 10-0 at the half last Sunday night on the West Coast, then survived a late Raiders rally and escaped northern California with a 20-17 win. Oakland rallied in the second half and managed to tie things up at 17-17 with 10:35 left in regulation when Derek Carr and Michael Crabtree connected on a 2-yard TD pass. Later in the quarter, the Cowboys used an 11-play, 69-yard drive that took 4:46 to take the lead back when K Dan Bailey connected on a 19-yard field goal with 1:44 left. The Raiders were not about to go away, got the ball back and got as close as the Cowboys’ 8-yard line, when Carr tried to run the ball in to take the lead with 39 seconds left but fumbled the pigskin through the endzone, giving Dallas the ball back on their 20-yard line. Dallas then ran out the clock and took the win. Dallas outrushed Oakland 126-122 and Dak Prescott threw for 212 yards and had a rushing TD in the contest, while Carr threw for 171 yards and the two TDs tosses to Crabtree. Dallas was 2 of 10 on third down tries but was successful on fourth down, going 2 of 2 and kept the ball for 32:20, while the Silver and Black went 8 of 15 on third down, keeping the ball for 27:40.

Dallas leads the series 10-6 and they have outscored Seattle 399-283. Seattle did come away with a win in their last meeting with Dallas in the Lone Star State, coming away 13-12 winners in 2015, while Dallas won in the Pacific Northwest in 2014 by a final of 30-23.

The boys and girls in Vegas like the Cowboys as 4 1/2 point favorites in the Lone Star State and the over/under’s 47. The winner’s hopes are still alive and will get more hope in their stocking. As for the loser? They’ll get knocked out of the playoffs and a lump of coal in their stockings. Both are trying to catch Atlanta for that last playoff spot (Atlanta has the tiebreaker with both teams) and both know they’re on the football naughty list. Seahawks get themselves off the list and pulls the upset in the Lone Star State.

Pittsburgh (11-3) at Houston (4-10), 4:30 p.m. Monday on NBC and NFL Network. It’s the first of two Christmas Day games as the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Houston to face off against the struggling Texans at NRG Stadium.

Pittsburgh comes into the Christmas Day contest in less-than Jolly mood after blowing a 17-10 lead against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots and came up on the short end of a 27-24 loss at Heinz Field last Sunday. The Steelers led 24-19 with 56 seconds left in regulation when New England’s Deion Lewis scored on an 8-yard run and took the lead when Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski, coming off his one-game suspension, hooked up on the two-point try to take the 3-point lead. Steelers fans had their hopes dashed twice in the contest. Pittsburgh got the ball back and marched downfield, getting as close as New England’s 10-yard line when Ben Roethlisberger and TE Jesse James connected on what they thought would be the game-winning score. The play was reviewed and the call was changed from catch to no catch. After that, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey caught a short pass to New England’s 7-yard line and the Steelers scrambled to the line without any times and Roethlisberger threw a pass into the endzone that was deflected and picked off by Duron Harmon. New England ran out the clock and took the win.

Pittsburgh outrushed New England 143-77, with LeVeon Bell leading all rushers with 117 yards, while Roethlisbeger threw for 281 yards and a TD. Pittsburgh also lost the services of All-Pro WR Antonio Brown, who had 24 yards on two catches before leaving the contest with a torn calf muscle (Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster had 114 yards on six catches for the Steelers), while Brady threw for 298 yards and a TD (both were sacked twice and both threw an interception). Pittsburgh on third down went 10 of 16 and kept the ball for 35:07, while the Pats were 24:53 in time of possession, going 3 of 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down at Heinz Field.

The dismal season for the Texans continued in the Sunshine State as Jacksonville took them to task last Sunday at EverBank Field, dropping a 45-7 AFC South decision. Houston had a problem and trailed Jacksonville 31-0 lead at the break, as the Jaguars held the Texans to a third quarter TD with 8:12 left in that quarter when Tyler Yates and WR DeAndre Hopkins connected on a 25-yard strike. Jacksonville outrushed Houston 138-87 and sacked Yates (128 yards) four times and picked him off once. Jacksonville, led by Blake Bortles’ 326 yards of passing (three TDs), went 3 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 33:18, while the struggling Texans kept the pigskin for 26:42 and went 4 of 16 on third down tries in the Sunshine State.

The Steelers lead the series 3-2, Pittsburgh has outscored Houston 111-88 and won their last meeting with the Texans, coming away 30-23 winners in the Steel City in 2014, while the Texans were 17-10 winners in 2011 at then-Reliant Stadium.  Pittsburgh’s favored by 10 and the over/under’s 44. The 44 makes sense. The 10 is a little high. While the Texans have at times played some pretty good football, they’re not the same without Watt or Watson. Pittsburgh takes the win but expect Houston to give the Steelers a hard time in the Lone Star State.

Oakland (6-8) at Philadelphia (12-2), 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN. The final Monday night game of the season takes place on Christmas Night in the City of Brotherly Love as Philadelphia hosts the Oakland Raiders at Lincoln Financial Field.

Oakland trailed Dallas 10-0 at the half last Sunday night on the West Coast, then rallied to even things up, only to see their playoff hopes wither away as the Cowboys survived a late Raiders rally, taking a 20-17 loss. Oakland rallied in the second half and managed to tie things up at 17-17 with 10:35 left in regulation when Derek Carr and Michael Crabtree connected on a 2-yard TD pass. Later in the quarter, the Cowboys used an 11-play, 69-yard drive that took 4:46 to take the lead back when K Dan Bailey connected on a 19-yard field goal with 1:44 left. The Raiders were not about to go away, got the ball back and got as close as the Cowboys’ 8-yard line, when Carr tried to run the ball in to take the lead with 39 seconds left but fumbled the pigskin through the endzone, giving Dallas the ball back on their 20-yard line. Dallas then ran out the clock and took the win. Dallas outrushed Oakland 126-122 and Dak Prescott threw for 212. yards and had a rushing TD in the contest, while Carr threw for 171 yards and the two TDs tosses to Crabtree. Dallas was 2 of 10 on third down tries but was successful on fourth down, going 2 of 2 and kept the ball for 32:20, while the Silver and Black went 8 of 15 on third down, keeping the ball for 27:40.

The Eagles have an NFL-best 12-2 record and have already clinched the NFC East and a first-round bye and got that bye thanks to a 34-29 win over the New York Giants at Met Life Stadium last Sunday. After erasing a 14-7 deficit at the end of the first quarter, Philly took a 21-20 at the intermisison, outscored the Giants 13-6 in the final 30 minutes of action and then held off a late New York rally that would have given interim head coach Steve Spagnola the win at home and took the win when Eagles K Josh Elliott connected on a 20-yard field goal with 3:56 left in the contest. Philadelphia outrushed the Giants 108-75 and Nick Foles, who took over for Carson Wentz (knee), threw for 237 yards and three TDs, while Eli Manning, in his second contest after he was benched, threw for 434 yards and four TDs (each man was sacked once and Manning threw an interception). The Eagles were 6 of 13 on third down tries in the Meadowlands and kept the ball for 30:53, while the Giants held the ball for 29:07, going 10 of 18 on third down tries (both clubs were 0 of 1 on fourth down).

While the Eagles lead the series 6-5 (which includes games that were played in Los Angeles when the Raiders called that city home), the Raiders have outscored the Eagles 232-209. Philly won the last meeting with the Silver and Black in 2013, taking a 49-20 win in Oakland, while the Raiders were 13-9 winners in Oakland in 2009. The Eagles are favored by 9 and the over/under is 47 1/2. Both numbers make sense. While the Eagles have a Monday night win under their belts this year, taking Washington to task in week seven at home, Oakland is 38-27-1 under the primetime lights and won their only meeting last year. The Raiders are all but out of the post-season, while the Eagles want to stay home for the post-season. There’s no place like home for the playoffs and the Eagles can cancel that trip to the airport. Philly covers the 9 like cheese on a cheesesteak sandwich and takes the win at home.

 

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

 

 

Saturday, Sunday and Monday Broadcast Information (all times Eastern)

Atlanta at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709: Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis, Chris Spielman, Peter Schrager (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 132 (Atlanta), 81 (Carolina). XM: 382 (Atlanta), 225 (Carolina).

Miami at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Jamie Erdahl (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 134 (Miami), 113 (Buffalo). XM: 380 (Miami), 230 (Buffalo).

Washington at Chicago, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710: Dick Stockton, David Diehl, Kristina Pink (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 135 (Washington), 93 (Chicago). XM: 384 (Washington), 227 (Chicago).

San Diego at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706: Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots. SIRIUS: 138 (San Diego), 84 (Cleveland). XM: 383 (San Diego), 228 (Cleveland).

Minnesota at Green Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Lee, Al Groh. SIRIUS: 136 (Minnesota), 82 (Green Bay). XM: 381 (Minnesota), 82 (Green Bay).

Tennessee at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707: Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker, Steve Beuerlein (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 145 (Tennessee), 108 (Jacksonville). XM: 386 (Tennessee), 229 (Jacksonville).

New York Jets at New England, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 133 (New York Jets), 83 (New England). XM: 385 (New York Jets), 226 (New England).

Indianapolis at Oakland, 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 145 (Indianapolis), 82 (Oakland). XM: 231 (Indianapolis), 82 (Oakland).

San Francisco at Los Angeles, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714: Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 83 (San Francisco), 81 (Los Angeles). XM: 226 (San Francisco), 225 (Los Angeles).

Tampa Bay at New Orleans, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715: Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 137 (Tampa Bay), 108 (New Orleans). XM: 232 (Tampa Bay), 229 (New Orleans).

Arizona at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716: Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver (Field reporter). Westwood One: John Sadak, Derek Rackley. SIRIUS: 93 (Arizona), 84 (Seattle). XM: 227 (Arizona), 228 (Seattle).

Cincinnati at Houston, 8:25 p.m. on NFL Network: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, Stacey Dales (Field reporter). Westwood One: Dan Miller, James Lofton. SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Cincinnati), 81 (Houston). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 226 (Cincinnati), 225 (Houston).

Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 4:30 p.m. on NFL Network: Mike Tirico, Doug Flutie, Heather Cox (Field reporter). Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Ross Tucker, Hub Arkush (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Baltimore), 82 (Pittsburgh). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 225 (Baltimore), 82 (Pittsburgh)

Denver at Kansas City, 8:30 p.m. on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, James Lofton, Scott Kaplan (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 83 (Denver), 82 (Kansas City). XM: 225 (Denver), 82 (Kansas City).

Detroit at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN: Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters (Field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, Kurt Warner, Laura Okmin (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Detroit), 81 (Dalllas). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 226 (Detroit), 225 (Dallas).

Saturday, Sunday and Monday Officials
ATLANTA at Carolina, 1 p.m. – Bill Vinovich
Miami at Buffalo, 1 p.m. – Craig Wrolstad
Washington at Chicago, 1 p.m. – Brad Allen
San Diego at Cleveland, 1 p.m. – Walt Coleman
Minnesota at Green Bay, 1 p.m. – Jeff Triplette
Tennessee at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. – Pete Morelli
New York Jets at New England, 1 p.m. – Gene Steratore
Indianapolis at Oakland, 4:05 p.m. – Ed Hochuli
San Francisco at Los Angeles, 4:25 p.m. – Walt Anderson
Tampa Bay at New Orleans, 4:25 p.m. – Jerome Boger
Arizona at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. – Ronald Torbert
Cincinnati at Houston, 8:25 p.m. – Carl Cheffers
Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 4:30 p.m. on Sunday – John Parry
Denver at Kansas City, 8:30 p.m. on Sunday – Tony Corrente
Detroit at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. on Monday – John Hussey

Saturday, Sunday and Monday Odds

Saturday’s Games
Favorite                         Spread     Underdog                O/U
Atlanta                          –  3 1/2   CAROLINA                53
Washington                       –  3 1/2   CHICAGO                 47
BUFFALO                          –  3 1/2   Miami                   42
GREEN BAY                        –  6 1/2   Minnesota               43
NEW ENGLAND                      – 16 1/2   New York Jets           44
Tennessee                        –  5       JACKSONVILLE            44
San Diego                        –  6       CLEVELAND               44
OAKLAND                          –  3 1/2   Indianapolis            53
NEW ORLEANS                      –  3       Tampa Bay               53
LOS ANGELES                      –  4       San Francisco           40
SEATTLE                          –  8 1/2   Arizona                 43 1/2
HOUSTON                          –  2       Cincinnati              41

Sunday’s Games
Favorite                         Spread     Underdog                O/U
PITTSBURGH                       –  5       Baltimore               44
KANSAS CITY                      –  4       Denver                  37 1/2

Monday’s Game
Favorite                         Spread     Underdog                O/U
DALLAS                           –  7 1/2   Detroit                 43

Saturday, Sunday and Monday Injury Report

ATLANTA at Carolina, 1 p.m.

Atlanta
OUT: DT De’Vondre Campbell (Concussion), TE Austin Hooper (Knee)

Carolina
OUT: DE Ryan Delaire (Knee)

Miami at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

Miami
OUT: QB Ryan Tannehill (Knee)
DOUBTFUL: LB Jelani Jenkins (Knee), CB Byron Maxwell (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: S Isa Abdul-Quddus (Ankle), LB Kristian Alonso (Hamstring), T Jermon Bushrod (Shoulder), CB Bobby McCain (Knee), DE Mario Williams (Ankle)

Buffalo
OUT: LB Lerentee McCray (Concussion)
DOUBTFUL: T Cordy Glenn (Back)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Preston Brown (Foot), TE Charles Clay (Knee), RB Jerome Felton (Foot), G John Miller (Hip), WR Sammy Watikns (Foot), DT Kyle Williams (Back), DT Jerel Worthy (Shoulder)

Washington at Chicago, 1 p.m.

Washington
OUT: S Su’a Cravens S (Arm), CB Quinton Dunbar (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Jordan Reed (Shoulder), DE Christopher Baker (Ankle), LB William Compton (Knee), LB Terence Garvin (Illness), LB Patrick Kerrigan (Elbow), LB Martrell Spaight (Shoulder)

Chicago
OUT: DT Eddie Goldman (Ankle), G Eric Kush (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Bryce Callahan (Knee), RB Ka’Deem Carey (Shoulder), QB David Fales (Thumb), CB Cre’von LeBlanc (Knee),
DE Cornelius Washington (Back), LB Willie Young (Knee)

San Diego at Cleveland, 1 p.m.

San Diego
OUT: RB Melvin Gordon (Hip)
DOUBTFUL: CB Craig Mager (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: T King Dunlap (Knee), G Orlando Franklin (Illness), WR Jeremy Butler (Ankle)

Cleveland
QUESTIONABLE: LB Dominique Alexander (Abdomen), TE Randall Telfer (Ankle)

Minnesota at Green Bay, 1 p.m.

Minnesota
OUT: G Brandon Fusco (Concussion), RB Adrian Peterson (Knee), WR Laquon Treadwell (Ankle), RB Zachary Line (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Stefon Diggs (Hip), S Harrison Smith (Ankle)

Green Bay
OUT: LB Jayrone Elliott (Hand), RB James Starks (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Randall Cobb (Ankle), LB Nicholas Perry (Hand), CB Damarious Randall (Shoulder), C Joseph Tretter (Knee)

Tennessee at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.

Tennessee
OUT: CB Jason McCourty (Chest)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Sean Spence (Ankle)

Jacksonville
OUT: WR Arrelious Benn (Concussion), DT Jordan Hill (Calf), WR Allen Hurns (Hamstring), LB Sean Porter (Hamstring), RB
Denard Robinson (Ankle), WR Neal Sterling (Concussion)
New York Jets at New England, 1 p.m.

New York Jets
OUT: LB Lorenzo Mauldin (Ankle), DT Stephen McLendon (Hamstring)
DOUBTFUL: RB Matt Forte (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Brandon Marshall (Shoulder), RB Khiry Robinson (Leg), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (Ankle)

New England
OUT: WR Danny Amendola (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Qualin Hightower (Knee), TE Martellus Bennett (Ankle), QB Tom Brady (Thigh), S Jordan Richards (Knee), WR Matt Slater (Foot)

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

Tampa Bay
OUT: T Gosder Cherilus (Groin), T Demar Dotson (Concussion), DE William Gholston (Elbow)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Gerald McCoy (Foot)

New Orleans
OUT: CB Delvin Breaux (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Dannell Ellerbe (Foot), RB John Kuhn (Hip), LB Craig Robertson (Shoulder), C Max Unger (Foot)

Indianapolis at Oakland, 4:05 p.m.

Indianapolis
OUT: LB Chris Carter (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Rashaan Melvin (Knee), T Joseph Reitz (Back)

Oakland
OUT: S Karl Joseph (Toe), DT Stacy McGee (Ankle), LB Shilique Calhoun (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Amari Cooper (Shoulder), WR Michael Crabtree (Finger), G Kelechi Osemele (Ankle), LB Perry Riley (Hamstring), LB Malcom Smith (Hamstring)

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

San Francisco
DOUBTFUL: CB Dontae Johnson (Groin), T Joe Staley (Hamstring)
QUESTIONBLE: C Marcus Martin (Ankle), DT Glenn Dorsey (Knee)

Los Angeles
DOUBTFUL: CB Lamarcus Joyner (Ankle), S Maurice Alexander (Concussion), WR Michael Thomas (Hip)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Bradley Marquez (Knee)

Arizona at Seattle, 4:25 p.m.

Arizona
OUT: CB Marcus Cooper (Back), T DeMarcus Humphries (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Brandon Williams (Back), WR John Brown (Illness)

Seattle
OUT: RB C.J. Prosise (Shoulder)

Cincinnati at Houston, 8:25 p.m.

Cincinnati
OUT: G Clint Boling (Shoulder), LB Vontaze Burfict (Knee), TE Tyler Eifert (Back), TE Tyler Kroft (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Adriel Green (Hamstring), RB Jeremy Hill (Knee), DE Michael Johnson (Shoulder)

Houston
QUESTIONABLE: RB Lamar Miller (Ankle), CB Jonathan Joseph (Ribs)

Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 4:30 p.m. on Sunday

Baltimore

Pittsburgh
OUT: S Shamarko Thomas (Concussion)
DOUBTFUL: TE Ladarius Green (Concussion), WR Sammie Coates (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Stephon Tuitt (Knee), LB Anthony Chickillo (Ankle), WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (Foot), DE Ricardo Mathews (Ankle)

Denver at Kansas City, 8:30 p.m. on Sunday

Denver
OUT: TE Alexander Derby (Concussion), TE Virgil Green (Concussion), LB Brandon Marshall (Hamstring), S Terrell Ward (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Derek Wolfe (Neck)

Kansas City
OUT: CB Phillip Gaines (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Justin Houston (Knee)

Detroit at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. on Monday – Injury report unavailable at press time, will run on Monday.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday Weather

Saturday, December 24
ATLANTA at Carolina, 1 p.m. (Overcast and 56 degrees)
Miami at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (Cloudy and 36 degrees)
San Diego at Cleveland, 1 p.m. (Cloudy and 38 degrees)
Tennessee at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. (Sunny and 76 degrees)
New York Jets at New England, 1 p.m. (Overcast with a 40 percent chance of rain and 42 degrees)
Washington at Chicago, 1 p.m. (Mostly cloudy and 35 degrees)
Minnesota at Green Bay, 1 p.m. (Partly cloudy and 35 degrees)
Tampa Bay at New Orleans, 1 p.m. (Game indoors)
Indianapolis at Oakland, 4:05 p.m. (Sunny and 50 degrees)
San Francisco at Los Angeles, 4:25 p.m. (Partly cloudy and 57 degrees)
Arizona at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. (Overcast with a 30 percent chance of rain and 37 degrees)
Cincinnati at Houston, 8:25 p.m. (Game indoors)
Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 4:30 p.m. Sunday (Sunny and 42 degrees)
Denver at Kansas City, 8:30 p.m. Sunday (Overcast and windy with a 50 percent chance of showers and 52 degrees)
Detroit at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. Monday (Game indoors)

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

It’s Christmas Day for football fans as action shifts to Saturday when 12 games are on the docket for Christmas Eve afternoon and evening. Then after you’ve unwrapped those gifts and fixed that broken toy or gotten batteries, two more games will grace the football docket and the final Monday night game of the season takes place in Jerry World (AT&T Stadium) as Dallas hosts the Detroit Lions.

Four teams have already punched their playoff tickets (Dallas, Seattle, New England and Oakland) and several more spots could be filled by the weekend. For those teams, it’s their Christmas celebration; for those that are out of the playoff race, it’s like a lump of coal and switches in their stockings.

Time is running out. With two weeks to go in the NFL regular season, it’s time for teams to make their final playoff push.

Through the first 15 weeks, four postseason berths have been clinched. New England (AFC East, first-round bye) and Seattle (NFC West) have each won its division. Dallas and Oakland have both secured a playoff spot. And with two weeks left in the regular season, there are still 22 teams in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LI.

There are eight playoff spots up for grabs, including six division titles. Think of it as football’s version of the kid’s party game “musical chairs.” As long as the music plays and everyone’s moving around in a circle, it’s all good. It’s chaos when the music stops.

In the AFC, New England (12-2) can secure home-field advantage. Oakland (11-3) can clinch the AFC West and a first-round bye. Pittsburgh (9-5) can claim the AFC North division title. Houston (8-6) can win the AFC South and Kansas City (10-4) and Miami (9-5) can each lock up a playoff berth.

In the NFC, Dallas (12-2) can clinch the NFC East, a first-round bye and home-field advantage. Seattle (9-4-1) can earn a first-round bye. Atlanta (9-5) can claim the NFC South or a playoff berth. Detroit (9-5) can lock up the NFC North or a playoff berth. The New York Giants (10-4), Green Bay (8-6) and Tampa Bay (8-6) can each clinch a playoff berth.

Week 16 kicked off Thursday night when Philadelphia beat the New York Giants 24-16. The action continues on Saturday as the majority of Week 16 games (12 games) will be played on Saturday, December 24 due to the Christmas holiday. There will be seven games played in the early afternoon window at 1 p.m. Eastern and four contests in the late afternoon slot at 4:05 and 4:25 p.m. Eastern. The day concludes with a Christmas Eve game in primetime as Houston hosts Cincinnati at 8:25 p.m. on NFLN. The Texans can lock up the AFC South with a win and a Tennessee loss.

There will be two games on Christmas starting with Pittsburgh hosting Baltimore in a key AFC North battle at 4:30 p.m. on NFLN. The Steelers can clinch the division with a victory. However, the Ravens can win the division with two wins in their final two games. The second Christmas game features an important AFC West matchup between Denver and Kansas City in primetime at 8:30 p.m. on NBC. The Chiefs will earn a playoff berth with a victory or a Baltimore loss.

The action in week 15 concludes on Monday night at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN with Dallas hosting Detroit. The Cowboys, who have already secured a playoff berth, are closing in on clinching the NFC East, a first-round bye and home-field advantage. The Lions can lock up the NFC North with a win and a Green Bay loss.

Here are the possible scenarios for week 16. Pay attention, please! This is going to cause more confusion than a mouse in a burlesque show (apologies to Foghorn Leghorn!).

AFC Scenarios

New England clinched the AFC East division title and a first-round bye (Week 15).
Oakland clinched a playoff berth (Week 15).

New England – New England can clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with:
1) New England win + Oakland loss or tie OR
2) New England tie + Oakland loss

Oakland – Oakland can clinch the AFC West division title and a first-round bye with:
1) Oakland win + Kansas City loss or tie OR
2) Oakland tie + Kansas City loss

Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh can clinch the AFC North division title with:
1) Pittsburgh win

Kansas City – Kansas City can clinch a playoff berth with:
1) Kanass City win or tie OR
2) Baltimore loss or tie

Houston – Houston can clinch the AFC South division title with:
1) Houston win + Tennessee loss

Miami – Miami can clinch a playoff berth with:
1) Miami win + Denver loss or tie OR
2) Miami tie + Baltimore loss + Denver loss + Houston loss or tie OR
3) Miami tie + Baltimore loss + Denver loss + Tennessee loss or tie

NFC Scenarios

Seattle clinched the NFC West division title (Week 15).
Dallas clinched a playoff berth (Week 13).

Dallas – Dallas can clinch the NFC East division title and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with:
1) Dallas win or tie OR
2) New York Giants loss or tie

Seattle – Seattle can clinch a first-round bye with:
1) Seattle win + Detroit loss + Atlanta loss or tie

New York Giants – The New York Giants can clinch a playoff berth with:
1) New York Giants win or tie OR
2) Detroit loss or tie OR
3) Green Bay loss or tie OR
4) Tampa Bay loss or tie OR
5) Atlanta loss

Detroit – Detroit can clinch the NFC North division title with:
1) Detroit win + Green Bay loss or tie OR
2) Detroit tie + Green Bay loss

Detroit can clinch a playoff berth with:
1) Detroit win + Tampa Bay loss or tie OR
2) Detroit tie + Tampa Bay loss OR
3) Detroit tie + Tampa Bay tie + Atlanta win OR
4) Washington loss or tie + Tampa Bay loss + Atlanta win or tie

Atlanta – Atlanta can clinch the NFC South division title with:
1) Atlanta win + Tamap Bay loss or tie OR
2) Atlanta tie + Tampa Bay loss

Atlanta can clinch a playoff berth with:
1) Atlanta win + Atlanta clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over Detroit OR
2) Atlanta win or tie + Green Bay loss or tie OR
3) Atlanta win + Detroit loss or tie OR
4) Atlanta tie + Detroit tie OR
5) Washington loss or tie + Green Bay loss OR
6) Washington loss or tie + Green Bay tie + Detroit loss

Green Bay – Green Bay can clinch a playoff berth with:
1) Green Bay win + WAS loss or tie + Tampa Bay loss + ATL win or tie + Green Bay clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay – Tampa Bay can clinch a playoff berth with:
1) Tampa Bay win + Green Bay loss + Detroit loss + Washington loss OR
2) Tampa Bay win + Green Bay loss + Detroit loss + Washington tie + Tampa Bay clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over Detroit

RISING ROOKIE: Dallas rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 159 yards and a touchdown in the Cowboys’ 26-20 victory over Tampa Bay in Week 15, tying Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (1983) and Mike Anderson (2000) for the most games (five) with at least 130 rushing yards by a rookie in NFL history.

Elliott leads the NFL with 1,551 rushing yards. With 49 rushing yards on Monday night against Detroit, he would become the fifth rookie in NFL history with 1,600 rushing yards in a season.

Elliott needs 258 rushing yards over his final two contests to surpass Dickerson (1,808) as the NFL’s all-time rookie rushing leader.

The rookies with the most rushing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER, SEASON (TEAM – RUSHING YARDS)
Eric Dickerson, 1983 (Los Angeles Rams – 1,808)^
George Rogers, 1981 (New Orleans – 1,674)
Alfred Morris, 2012 (Washington – 1,613)
Ottis Anderson, 1979 (St. Louis Cardinals – 1,605)
Edgerrin James, 1999 (Indianapolis – 1,553)
Ezekiel Elliott, 2016 (Dallas – 1,551)*
*Through 14 games
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Elliott ranks second in the league with 1,902 yards from scrimmage (1,551 rushing, 351 receiving). With 98 scrimmage yards against Detroit on Monday night, he would become the third rookie in NFL history to reach 2,000 scrimmage yards, joining Dickerson (2,212 in 1983) and Edgerrin James (2,139 in 1999).

The rookies with the most yards from scrimmage in NFL history:
PLAYER – SEASON (TEAM – SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Eric Dickerson – 1983 (Los Angeles Rams – 2,212)^
Edgerrin James – 1999 (Indianapolis – 2,139)
Doug Martin – 2012 (Tampa Bay – 1,926)
Billy Sims – 1980 (Detroit – 1,924)
Ottis Anderson – 1979 (St. Louis Cardinals – 1,913)
Ezekiel Elliott – 2016 (Dallas – 1,902)*
*Through 14 games
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

FLYING FALCONS: Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan passed for 286 yards and two touchdowns for a 144.5 rating and running back Devonta Freeman had 139 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the Falcons’ 41-13 victory over San Francisco in Week 15.

With at least 40 points at Carolina on Saturday, the Falcons, who have scored 40+ points in a league-leading five games this season, would tie the NFL record for the most games in a single season with at least 40 points.

The teams with the most 40+ point games in a single season in NFL history:

TEAM – SEASON, GAMES SCORING 40+ POINTS
Denver – 2013, 6
Green Bay – 2011, 6
New Orleans – 2011, 6
St. Louis Rams – 2000, 6
Houston Oilers – 1961, 6
Los Angeles Rams – 1950, 6
Atlanta Falcons – 2016, 5*
*Through 14 games

CATCHING ON: Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (98) and Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown (96) rank first and second, respectively, in the NFL in receptions this season.

Fitzgerald and Brown can each record their fourth career season with at least 100 receptions and that would put them in some pretty good company, tying Pro Football Hall of Famers Marvin Harrison and Jerry Rice and Reggie Wayne for the fourth-most 100-catch seasons in NFL history.

The players with the most 100-catch seasons in NFL history:
PLAYER – TEAM(S) (SEASONS WITH 100+ RECEPTIONS)
Brandon Marshall – Denver, Chicago and New York Jets (6)
Andre Johnson – Houston (5)
Wes Welker – New England (5)
Marvin Harrison – Indianapolis (4)^
Jerry Rice – San Francisco (4)^
Reggie Wayne – Indianapois (4)
Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh (3)
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (3)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

With four receptions on Sunday, Brown would record his fourth consecutive season with at least 100 receptions, tying Harrison (four from 1999-2002) for the most consecutive 100-catch seasons in NFL history.

The players with the most consecutive 100-catch seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER – (TEAM, SEASONS WITH 100+ RECEPTIONS)
Marvin Harrison (1999-2002, Indianapolis – 4)^
Antonio Brown (2013-2015, Pittsburgh – 3)*
Brandon Marshall (2007-2009, Denver – 3)
Wes Welker (2007-2009m, New England – 3)
Herman Moore (1995-1997, Detroit – 3)
Jerry Rice (1994-1996, San Francisco – 3)^
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

DAVID DOING IT ALL: Arizona running back David Johnson leads the NFL with 1,938 scrimmage yards (1,138 rushing, 800 receiving) this season and has recorded at least 100 yards from scrimmage in each of the Cardinals’ first 14 games, becoming the first player in NFL history to begin a season with 14 consecutive games with at least 100 scrimmage yards.

With 62 rushing yards on Saturday at Seattle, Johnson would become the fourth different player in NFL history with at least 1,200 rushing yards and 800 receiving yards in the same season. Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk accomplished the feat in three consecutive seasons from 1998-2000.

The players with 1,200+ rushing yards and 800+ receiving yards in a single season:

PLAYER – SEASON (TEAM – RUSHING YARDS; RECEIVING YARDS)
Le’Veon Bell – 2014 (Pittsburgh – 1,361; 854)
Steven Jackson – 2006 (St. Louis – 1,528; 806)
Marshall Faulk – 2000 (St. Louis – 1,359; 830)^
Marshall Faulk – 1999 (St. Louis – 1,381; 1,048)^
Marshall Faulk – 1998 (Indianapolis – 1,319; 908)^
David Johnson – 2016 (Arizona – 1,138; 800)*
*Through 14 games
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

GORE SOARS: Indianapolis running back Frank Gore has 1,142 scrimmage yards (891 rushing, 251 receiving) this season and has recorded at least 1,000 yards from scrimmage in 11 consecutive seasons beginning in 2006.

With 58 scrimmage yards on Saturday at Oakland, Gore would become the first player in NFL history with at least 1,200 scrimmage yards in 11 consecutive seasons, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famers Curtis Martin (1995-2004), Emmitt Smith (1991-2000) and Barry Sanders (1989-1998), who each accomplished the feat in 10 consecutive seasons.

The most consecutive seasons with at least 1,200 scrimmage yards:

PLAYER; SEASONS (TEAM; CONSECUTIVE SEASONS WITH 1,200+ SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Frank Gore; 2006-2015 (San Francisco and Indianapolis; 10)*
Curtis Martin; 1995-2004 (New England and New York Jets; 10)^
Emmitt Smith; 1991-2000 (Dallas; 10)^
Barry Sanders; 1989-1998 (Detroit; 10)^
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

THAT’S TIGHT: Carolina’s Greg Olsen leads all NFL tight ends with 992 receiving yards and ranks first among tight ends with 4,763 receiving yards since 2012.

With eight receiving yards against Atlanta on Saturday, Olsen, who has 1,000 receiving yards in each of the past two seasons, would become the first tight end in NFL history to record three consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards.

The most consecutive seasons with 1,000 receiving yards by a tight end in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, CONSECUTIVE SEASONS WITH 1,000 REC. YARDS)
Greg Olsen, Carolina (2014-2015, 2)*
Rob Gronkowski, New England (2014-2015, 2)
Jason Witten, Dallas (2009-2010, 2)
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City (2007-2008, 2)
Shannon Sharpe, Denver (1996-1997, 2)^
Todd Christensen, Los Angeles Raiders (1983-1984, 2)
Kellen Winslow Sr., San Diego (1980-1981, 2)^

*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

CLOSE GAMES: Like close football games? This is the season for you!

There have been 130 games decided by eight points or fewer and 120 games decided by seven points or fewer through Week 15, both the most such games in the first 15 weeks of a season in league annals. In Week 15, eight games were decided by eight points or fewer.

The most games decided by eight points or fewer through Week 15 in NFL history:

SEASON – GAMES DECIDED BY EIGHT POINTS OR FEWER THROUGH WEEK 15
2016 – 130
2002 – 123
2015 – 121
2012 – 119
2013 – 118

The most games decided by seven points or fewer through Week 15 in NFL history:

SEASON – GAMES DECIDED BY SEVEN POINTS OR FEWER THROUGH WEEK 15
2016 – 120
2015 – 113
2002 – 113
2013 – 110
2003 – 109

COMEBACKS GALORE: There have been 66 games won by teams that trailed in the fourth quarter through Week 15, the second-most such games in the first 15 weeks of a season in NFL history.

Five teams – Dallas Houston, Oakland, Pittsburgh and Tennessee – were victorious in Week 15 after trailing in the fourth quarter.

Tennessee overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit, the largest fourth-quarter comeback of the week, to defeat Kansas City 19-17. Titans kicker Ryan Succup, who previously spent five seasons with the Chiefs, converted a game-winning 53-yard field goal as time expired and became the first kicker in NFL history to defeat his former team by converting a game-winning, come-from-behind 50+ yard field goal as time expired.

The most games won after trailing in the fourth quarter through Week 15 in NFL history:

SEASON – GAMES WON AFTER TRAILING IN 4TH QUARTER THROUGH WEEK 14
1989 – 67
2016 – 66
2012 – 65
2015 – 62
2011 – 62

EXCITING FINISHES: There have been 165 games within one score (eight points) in the fourth quarter through Week 15, the most such games in the first 15 weeks of a season in NFL history.

Ten games were within one score in the fourth quarter in Week 15.

The most games within one score in the fourth quarter through Week 15 in NFL history:

SEASON – GAMES WITHIN ONE SCORE IN 4TH QUARTER THROUGH WEEK 15
2016 – 165
2002 – 155
2013 – 154
2007 – 154
2004 – 154

Additionally, there have been 153 games within seven points in the fourth
quarter, including nine last week, through Week 15, the most such games in the
first 15 weeks of a season in NFL history.

The most games within seven points in the fourth quarter through Week 15 in NFL history:

SEASON – GAMES WITHIN SEVEN POINTS IN 4TH QUARTER THROUGH WEEK 15
2016 – 153
2013 – 148
2010 – 147
2004 – 147
2007 – 146

DALLAS DARLINGS: Dallas rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 159 yards & one touchdown in the Cowboys’ 26-20 win over Tampa Bay. The performance marked Elliott’s fifth game with at least 130 rushing yards, tying Mike Andeson (2000) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (1983) for the most such games by a rookie in NFL history.

It was also Elliott’s 11th game this season with at least 90 rushing yards, tying Dickerson and George Rogers (1981) for the most games with 90 or more rushing yards by a rookie in NFL history.

Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott completed 32 of 36 passes (88.9 percent) for 279 yards in the win. Prescott’s 88.9 completion percentage is the second-highest in a single game in NFL history with a minimum of 30 attempts.

The players with the highest single-game completion percentage with a minimum of 30 attempts:

PLAYER (TEAM), DATE – OPPONENT (COMPLETIONS of ATTEMPTS, PERCENTAGE)  (MIN. 30 ATT.)
Rich Gannon (Oakland) 11/11/02 – Denver (34 of 38, 89.5)
Dak Prescott (Dallas) 12/18/16 – Tampa Bay (32 of 36, 88.9)
Drew Brees (New Orleans) 10/23/11 – Indianapolis (31 of 35, 88.6)
Eli Manning (New York Giants) 12/14/15 – Miami (27 of 31, 87.1)
Lynn Dickey (Green Bay) 9/4/83 – Houston Oilers (27 of 31, 87.1)
Ken Anderson (Cincinnati) 1/2/83 – Houston Oilers (27 of 31, 87.1)

WINNING WILSON: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 229 yards and three touchdowns in the Seahawks’ 24-3 win against Los Angeles Thursday night in the Pacific Northwest.

The victory marked Wilson’s 34th career home win as a starter, surpassing Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan for the most home wins by a starting quarterback in his first five NFL seasons.

The quarterbacks with the most home wins in their first five NFL seasons:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, HOME WINS AS STARTER IN 1st 5 SEASONS)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2012-2016, 34)*
Joe Flacco, Baltimore (2008-2012, 33)
Matt Ryan, Atlanta (2008-2012, 33)
*In 5th season

TERRIFIC TUCKER: Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker converted both field-goal attempts, including a 53-yarder, in the Ravens’ 27-26 victory over Philadelphia.

Tucker has made all 10 of his field-goal attempts of at least 50 yards this season, tying Blair Walsh (Minnesota, 2012) for the most 50+ yard field goals made in a single season.

The players with the most field goals of at least 50 yards made in a single season:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, 50+ YARD FIELD GOALS
Justin Tucker, Baltimore (2016, 10)*
Blair Walsh, Minnesota (2012, 10)
Jason Hanson, Detroit (2008, 8)
Morten Anderson, Atlanta (1995, 8)
*Through Week 15

MARVELOUS MANNING: New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning completed 20 of 28 passes (71.4 percent) for 201 yards and two touchdowns in the Giants’ 17-6 win against Detroit.

Manning, who has 4,017 career completions, became the seventh quarterback in NFL history to eclipse 4,000 career completions.

The players with at least 4,000 career completions:

PLAYER – CAREER COMPLETIONS
Brett Favre – 6,300^
Peyton Manning – 6,125
Drew Brees – 5,784*
Tom Brady – 5,202*
Dan Marino – 4,967^
John Elway – 4,123^
Eli Manning – 4,017*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

TOP-10 RISERS: Indianapolis running back Frank Gore gained 115 scrimmage yards (101 rushing, 14 receiving) in the Colts’ 34-6 win at Minnesota.

Gore, who has 16,332 career yards from scrimmage, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett (16,293) for the 10th-most yards from scrimmage in NFL history.

The players with the most yards from scrimmage in NFL history:

PLAYER – CAREER YARDS FROM SCRIMMAGE
Jerry Rice – 23,540^
Emmitt Smith – 21,579^
Walter Payton – 21,264^
Marshall Faulk – 19,154^
LaDainian Tomlinson – 18,456
Barry Sanders – 18.190^
Marcus Allen – 17,654^
Curtis Martin – 17,430^
Thurman Thomas – 16,532^
Frank Gore – 16,332*
Tony Dorsett – 16,293^
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Baltimore wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr. had 40 receiving yards and a touchdown in the Ravens’ 27-26 win over Philadelphia.

Smith now has 14,618 career receiving yards and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (14,580) for the seventh-most receiving yards in NFL history.

The players with the most receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – CAREER RECEIVING YARDS
Jerry Rice – 22,895^
Terrell Owens – 15,934
Randy Moss – 15,292
Isaac Bruce – 15,208
Tony Gonzalez – 15,127
Tim Brown – 14,934^
Steve Smith Sr. – 14,618*
Marvin Harrison – 14,580^
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
Dallas tight end Jason Witten had 10 receptions in the Cowboys’ 26-20 win over Tampa Bay Sunday night in Arlington.

Witten, who has 1,086 career receptions, surpassed Terrell Owens (1,078) for the seventh-most career receptions in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions in NFL history:

PLAYER – CAREER RECEPTIONS
Jerry Rice – 1,549^
Tony Gonzalez – 1,325
Larry Fitzgerald – 1,116*
Marvin Harrison – 1,102^
Cris Carter – 1,101^
Tim Brown – 1,094^
Jason Witten – 1,086*
Terrell Owens – 1,078
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had seven receptions in the Cardinals’ 48-41 loss against New Orleans. Fitzgerald, who was playing in his 200th career game, has 1,116 career receptions and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (1,115) for the most catches in a player’s first 200 games in NFL history.

Detroit wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who also played in his 200th career game in Week 15, had three receptions in the Lions’ 17-6 loss at the New York Giants. Boldin has 1,067 career catches, the fourth-most in a player’s first 200 games.

The players with the most receptions in their first 200 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER – RECEPTIONS IN 1st 200 CAREER GAMES
Larry Fitzgerald – 1,116
Jerry Rice – 1,115^
Marvin Harrison – 1,102^
Anquan Boldin – 1,067
Andre Johnson – 1,062
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

ICYMI: New England defeated Denver 16-3 to clinch the AFC East and earn a first-round bye. It marks the eighth consecutive division title for the Patriots, the longest streak in NFL history, breaking a tie with the 1973-79 Los Angeles Rams (seven). New England is the only team in NFL history to win 13 division titles in a 14-year span.

Just win baby! The Oakland Raiders defeated San Diego 19-16 and secured a playoff berth, their first since 2002.

The Seattle Seahawks clinched the NFC West on Thursday night with a 24-3 win over Los Angeles in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks.

Wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald of Arizona and Anquan Boldin of Detroit each played in his 200th career game today. Fitzgerald, who had seven catches against New Orleans, has 1,116 career receptions and passed Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (1,115) for the most catches in a player’s first 200 games in NFL history.

Boldin, who had three catches against the New York Giants, has 1,067 career receptions, the fourth-most in a player’s first 200 games. The only players with more are Fitzgerald (1,116), Rice (1,115) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (1,102).

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees completed 37 of 48 passes (77.1 percent) for 389 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 127.9 passer rating in the Saints’ 48-41 win at Arizona. Brees has 21 career games with at least four touchdown passes and no interceptions, putting himself in some pretty good company, tying Tom Brady for the most
in NFL history.

Arizona running back David Johnson had 108 scrimmage yards (53 rushing, 55 receiving) and two rushing touchdowns against New Orleans. Johnson is the first player in NFL history to begin a season with 14 consecutive games with at least 100 scrimmage yards, surpassing Edgerrin James (13 in 2005). Johnsonalso tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen (1985) for the second-longest streak with at least 100 scrimmage yards at any point in a single season. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders (15 in 1997) has a longer single-season streak in NFL history.

In his first two seasons, Johnson has 21 rushing touchdowns, eight receivingtouchdowns and a kickoff-return touchdown. He and Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers are the only players in NFL history with at least 20 rushing touchdowns, five receiving touchdowns and a kickoff-return touchdown in a player’s first two seasons.

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. had six catches for 64 yards and a touchdown in the Giants’ 17-6 win over Detroit. Beckham, who has 85 catches for 1,173 yards and 10 touchdowns this season, is the first player in NFL history to record at least 80 catches and 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons.

Beckham is one of three players in NFL history with at least 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdown catches in each of his first three seasons, joining John Jefferson (1978-1980) and Randy Moss (1998-2000).

Green Bay running back Ty Montgomery rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns in the Packers’ 30-27 win at Chicago. Montgomery is the second Packer to rush for at least 150 yards and two touchdowns in a game against the Bears (Ahman Green, September 29, 2003).

The two teams have met 192 times in the regular season, the most-played rivalry in NFL history. With Green Bay’s victory, the all-time series is now tied 93-93-6, marking the first time the series has been tied since 1933 (11-11-4).

Revenge is a dish best served cold: Tennessee kicker Ryan Succop converted a game-winning 53-yard field goal as time expired in the Titans’ 19-17 victory at Kansas City. Succop, who spent five seasons with the Chiefs from 2009-13, became the first kicker in NFL history to defeat his former team by converting a game-winning, come-from-behind 50+ yard field goal as time expired.

Pittsburgh kicker Chris Boswell converted all six field-goal attempts in the Steelers’ 24-20 win at Cincinnati. Boswell’s six made field goals tied a franchise record set by Gary Anderson (10/23/88) and Jeff Reed (12/1/02).

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown had three catches for 58 yards in the win against the Bengals. Brown has 471 receptions since the start of 2013, the most catches by a player in any four-year span in NFL history. Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison had 469 catches from 1999 to 2002.

As for last week, 10-6. For the season, 153-69. Yes, we’ve been on Santa’s nice list (wish we could say the same about the teams that aren’t in the playoff race… they’re on the naughty list).

As an added Christmas gift, we’re making every game on the docket DRILL WORTHY! (even you, Cleveland!) (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?” (Note…. you might want to do that shopping Saturday, since most stores will be closed because Christmas falls on a Sunday this year.)

Having said that, here are the Saturday, Sunday and Monday picks for week 16…

ATLANTA (9-5) at Carolina (6-8), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. They meet again, this time in Charlotte. A pair of NFC South rivals meet on Christmas Eve afternoon in the Tar Heel State as first place Atlanta meets Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium.

Atlanta surpassed their win total from 2015 after they manhandled Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers 41-13 last Sunday at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons led the struggling 49ers 28-13 at the half and proceeded to shut out their guests from the West Coast 13-0 in the second half. DeVonta Freeman ran for 139 yards and three TDs, as Atlanta ran for 248 yards (San Francisco ran for 107) with Matt Ryan (286 yards) threw a pair of TDs (Kaepernick threw for 183 yards and a pair of TDs but was sacked twice).

Carolina kept their hopes of a playoff spot alive after their 26-15 win over Washington Monday night in Landover. The defending NFC champs led 13-9 at the break at FedEx Field, then took control of the Redskins in the second half. Carolina held Washington to 19 yards on the ground, while the Panthers tallied 148 (Jonathan Stewart led all rushers with 132) and Newton threw for 300 yards and a pair of TDs, one to WR Ted Ginn, Jr. (Washington’s Kirk Cousins threw for 315 but was sacked once and picked off once).

They met in week four in the Big Peach and Atlanta manhandled Newton and the Panthers, coming away 48-33 winners in the Georgia Dome. Atlanta led 17-10 at the intermission and never looked back, knocking Newton (165 yards, TD) out of the contest with a concussion, while Ryan burned Carolina for 503 yards and four TDs (Atlanta outrushed Carolina 90-49).

Carolina was favored by 3 1/2 in the week four meeting in the Big Peach and the over/under was 49 1/2. Both clubs covered the over/under with 51 total points and the Falcons covered the spread, winning by 15. Atlanta’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 53. For Atlanta, a win means a playoff spot and a possible division title, dethroning Carolina in the process. For the Panthers, a win means that they stay alive for at least another week. History repeats here. Atlanta covers the 3 1/2 and wins the NFC South in the process.

Miami (9-5) at Buffalo (7-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of AFC East rivals meet in chilly upstate New York as one team, assured of a winning season, takes on their rivals, who look to go back to the post-season for the first time since Super Bowl XXVII. Miami and Buffalo meet in Orchard Park in ah week seven rematch along the shores of Lake Erie.

Miami assured themselves of a winning season last Saturday night in the Meadowlands after they came away 34-13 winners over the New York Jets. The ‘Fins led 13-10 at the half, then proceeded to shutout the Jets in the final 30 minutes of play at Met Life Stadium. Matt Moore, taking over for Ryan Tannehill (knee) threw for 236 yards and four TDs, connecting with TE Dion Sims on a pair of strikes, while Bryce Petty (235 yards, TD) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (31 yards) combined to throw three interceptions (Petty 2, Fitzpatrick 1) in the loss. New York did manage to hold Miami to 67 yards rushing, while tallying 116 but turned the ball over four times.

The Bills saved their playoff chances in upstate New York last Sunday, giving Cleveland their 14th straight loss, taking the Browns to task by a final of 33-13. Buffalo led 17-3 at the break and held Cleveland off in the second half for the win. LeSean McCoy ran for 153 yards for the Bills, tallying a pair of TDs in the win at New Era Field (Buffalo outrushed the Browns 280-107). The Bills sacked Robert Griffin III (196 yards) five times, while Tyrod Taylor threw for 174, with a TD pass to TE Charles Clay in his column.

They met in week seven in Miami Gardens at Hard Rock Stadium and the Dolphins took the 28-25 win over the Bills in the Sunshine State. Buffalo led 10-6 at the half before Miami charged back in the second half to take the win, with Jay Ajayi leading all rushers with 214 yards and a TD (Miami outrushed Buffalo 256-67), while Tannehill threw for 204 yards and a TD (Buffalo’s Tyrod Taylor threw for 224 yards and a TD but was sacked four times).

Buffalo was favored by 3 and the over/under was 45 in the week seven contest in the Sunshine State. Miami covered the spread with their 3-point victory over the Bills and both clubs covered the over/under with 53 points. Buffalo’s favored again, this time by 3 1/2 and the over/under this time around is 42. The Dolphins know that they control their destiny and can knock off the Bills with a win in upstate New York. The Bills don’t want to be voted off the playoff island yet and are looking for immunity from the football gods. Vice is nice and so are the Dolphins this week. Miami covers the 3 1/2 and wins in upstate New York.

San Diego (5-9) at Cleveland (0-14), 1 p.m. on CBS and DireCT 706. A pair of teams with no playoff hopes meet along the shores of Lake Erie as the San Diego Chargers look to be grinch-like and give the Cleveland Browns their 15th loss of the 2016 campaign.

The Bolts saw their playoff hopes vanish faster than a sugar cookie at a Christmas party last Sunday at Qualcomm as they fell to Oakland 19-16. San Diego took a 16-13 lead over the Silver and Black with 6:14 left in the third quarter when Philip Rivers and rookie TE Hunter Henry connected on a 7-yard TD pass. That lead would not last very long as the Raiders’ Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 21-yard field goal to tie the contest up with 8:38 left in regulation and then kicked a 44-yarder with 2:40 left to play. San Diego then had four shots to move the ball and perhaps tie things up at Qualcomm but Rivers was picked off by S Reggie Nelson, who ran the ball back to San Diego’s 13. The Raiders then ran out the clock and picked up a playoff spot, while the Chargers saw their hopes for post-season football go the way of a snowflake. Oakland outrushed San Diego 145-73 and while Rivers threw a pair of TDs, he was sacked twice and threw the interception that doomed San Diego (Derek Carr threw for 213 with a TD).

Cleveland picked up their 14th straight loss, losing to Buffalo 33-13 last Sunday in Orchard Park. Buffalo led 17-3 at the break and held Cleveland off in the second half for the win. LeSean McCoy ran for 153 yards for the Bills, tallying a pair of TDs in the win at New Era Field (Buffalo outrushed the Browns 280-107). The Bills sacked Robert Griffin III (196 yards) five times, while Tyrod Taylor threw for 174, with a TD pass to TE Charles Clay in his column.

San Diego leads the series 15-8-1, have outscored the Browns 576-468 and won the last meeting between the clubs, taking a 30-27 win last year at Qualcomm (Cleveland’s last win in the series came in 2012, when the Browns were 7-6 winners in Cleveland.

In the week four contest on the West Coast, Cleveland and San Diego found themselves tied 13-13 at the half and took the lead with 5:54 left in the third when Browns K Travis Coons connected on a 33 yard field goal for a 16-13. That lead would be short-lived as Rivers and TE Ladarius Green hooked up on a 19-yard TD strike with 4:23 left in the third. Cleveland would eventually re-tie the contest when Josh McCown (who took over for Johnny Manziel) and TE Gary Barnage connected on a 1-yard TD pass with 2:09 left. Thinking they had overtime at the very least in their grasp, San Diego attempted a 39-yard field goal by Josh Lambo. Lambo’s kick sailed wide left but Cleveland was flagged for being offside, giving the Chargers five more yards and new life. This time, Lambo connected on a 34-yard attempt as the clock struck :00 to give the Browns the loss. Cleveland outrushed San Diego 100-91 and Rivers threw for 358 yards and three TDs, while McCown threw for 356 yards with a pair of TDs and was sacked four times.

San Diego’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 44. You might want to get that last minute Christmas shopping in and avoid this one. Chargers may not cover the 6 but they win in the Buckeye State and send the Browns to 0-15 in the process.

Tennessee (8-6) at Jacksonville (2-12), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. They won three games last year and changed coaches in mid-season. They’ve won five more games than they did last year. The improved Tennessee Titans travel to the Sunshine State for a meeting with the struggling Jacksonville Jaguars, who made a change of their own this week.

Tennessee took Kansas City to the wire last Sunday at Arrowhead and came away 19-17 winners over the Chiefs on the road. The Titans trailed 17-7 at the intermission and pulled to within 1 with 3:12 left in regulation when rookie RB Derek Henry scored on a 1-yard run to make it 17-16. Tennesee then went for two to take the lead but Marcus Mariota’s conversion try failed. After a Kansas City punt, the Titans got the ball back and made it all the way to the Chiefs’ 35 yard line, where they set up what would eventually be the game-winning field goal try by Ryan Succup (who kicked for the Chiefs last year). Succup’s first try was short but Kansas City burned a time out to make him think it over. Succop then connected on his second try, a 53-yarder, that sailed through the goal posts as the clock expired. Kansas City outrushed the Titans 158-148 in the chilly air at Arrowhead (gametime temperature? a balmy 1 degree with a wind chill of -9… hey, you asked!) and Mariota threw for 241 yards, while Alex Smith had 163 (both men threw an interception and both were sacked once).

As for Jacksonville… the Jaguars led 20-14 with 7:54 left to play in Houston before the Texans stormed back to come away 21-20 winners over Jacksonville at NRG Stadium. Jacksonville led 13-5 over the Texans, who benched Brock Osweiler (48 yards, two interceptions) in favor of Todd Savage. Houston outrushed Jacksonville 79-67 in the Lone Star State and Savage threw for 260 yards yards in the come from behind win, as RB Lamar Miller scored the game winner with 2:51 left from a yard away.

That was the first bit of bad news for the Jaguars. The team returned to the Sunshine State and fired head coach Gus Bradley (14-48 career record) the next day and put in Doug Marrone, the assistant head coach-offense/offensive line coach, as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Marrone is no stranger to being a head coach. He was at the helm of the Buffalo Bills from 2013 to 2014, before he infamously opted out of contract after the team came under new ownership. In his two seasons in upstate New York, he went 15-17 in two seasons as Bills coach but led the Bills to a 9-7 season in 2014, which was the first winning season for the franchise since 2004.

They met in the Music City in week eight on a Thursday night and the Titans came out 36-22 winners over Jacksonville. Tennessee led 27-0 at the half before Jacksonville managed to charge back and make things closer than Titan fans would have liked at Nissan Stadium. DeMarco Murray ran for 123 of Tennessee’s 214 yards with a TD and Mariota threw for 270 yards and a pair of TDs, while Jacksonville was held to 48 yards on the ground and Bortles threw for 337 yards and three TDs for the Jaguars.

Tennessee was favored by 3 1/2 and won by 14 in the week eight contest in the Music City. As for the 44 1/2 over/under? Both teams took care of that, scoring 58 points. Tennessee’s favored by 5 in the Sunshine State and the over/under this time is 44. Tennessee’s looking to make it to the post-season, while Jacksonville’s trying to spoil the Titans’ party. Jacksonville makes it close but the Titans win in Jacksonville.

New York Jets (4-10) at New England (12-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. This time, it’s in Foxboro. The Pats play host to the New York Jets in a week 13 rematch at Gillette. New England has secured the AFC East while the Jets are looking to spoil the Pats party in Foxboro.

GangGreen saw a 7-0 first quarter lead against Miami get away from them and eventually fell to their AFC East rivals 34-13 at Met Life Stadium last Saturday night. Miami led 13-10 at the half, then proceeded to shutout the Jets in the final 30 minutes of play at Met Life Stadium. Bryce Petty and Ryan Fitzpatrick combined for three interceptions in the loss at home (Petty had two picks, while Ryan had one) Matt Moore, taking over for Ryan Tannehill (knee) threw for 236 yards and four TDs, connecting with TE Dion Sims on a pair of strikes. Petty threw for 235 yards and a TD, while Fitzpatrick threw for 31. If there was a bright side for the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!, it was that New York did manage to hold Miami to 67 yards rushing, while tallying 116 but turned the ball over four times.

New England and Tom Brady ended their curse in Denver at Sports Authority Field at Mile High and defeated the defending Super Bowl champs on the road and in the chill 16-3 (game time temperature? 18 with a wind chill of 7… can you say COLD!?) The Pats broke a 3-3 tie after the first 15 minutes of action and scored their last 13 points without a challenge from Denver. New England led 10-3 at the intermission and never looked back. Denver was outrushed 136-58 by New England and Brady threw for 188 yards with no TD but did not throw an interception. Denver’s Trevor Seiman threw for 282 but was sacked four times in the loss.

They met in week 12 in upstate New Jersey and Brady and the Pats were 22-17 winners. Tied 10-10 at the half, New England would go on to outscore GangGreen 12-7 to take the win on the road. New York led 17-16 with 7:02 left to play after New England’s Stephen Gostkowski connected on a 41-yard field goal and saw the Pats take the lead for keeps when Brady and WR Malcolm Mitchell connected on their second TD pass of the afternoon, good for 8 yards with 1:56 left to play. New England outrushed GangGreen 91-64 and Brady outpaced Fitzpatrick 286-269 (each threw a pair of TDs).

The Pats were 8-point favorites in the Meadowlands but only won by five. The 47 1/2 over/under stayed safe, as both teams combined for only 39 points. New England’s favored by 16 and the over/under’s 44. The Jets are a somewhat bad team but they’re not 16 points bad. New England will win this one at Gillette but expect the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! to give them a battle.

Washington (7-6-1) at Chicago (3-11), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Washington limps into the Windy City for an afternoon contest with Chicago, who is trying to keep their heads above water.

The Redskins saw their playoff hopes take a turn for the worst, as they fell to Carolina and Cam Newton 26-15 Monday night in Landover. The defending NFC East champs trailed 13-9 at the break at FedEx Field, then saw Carolina take control of the Redskins in the second half. While Carolina ran for 148 yards (with RB Jonathan Stewart accounting for 132), Washington was held to 19 yards on the ground. Newton threw for 300 yards and a pair of TDs, one to WR Ted Ginn, Jr., while Washington’s Kirk Cousins threw for 315 but was sacked once and picked off once).

Chicago and Green Bay played in somewhat chilly conditions (temperature of 11, wind chill of -4) at Soldier Field last Sunday before Da Bears fell to their NFC North rivals 30-27. Chicago pulled to within 3 with 7:34 left in the contest when rookie RB Jordan Howard scored from nine yards out and tied the contest on a 22 yard field goal by Connor Barth with 1:19 left. Chicago fans then had their hearts broken as Aaron Rodgers (252 yards) and WR Jordy Nelson connected on a 60-yard pass late in the contest. Green Bay then spiked the ball to kill the clock and Chicago burned a timeout with 3 seconds left, which allowed the Packers to set up Mason Crosby for a 32-yard field goal attempt. Crosby’s kick was true and as time ran out, Chicago suffered their 11th loss of the season. Green Bay outrushed Chicago 226-95, with the Packers’ Ty Montgomery rushing for 162 yards and a pair of TDs. Chicago’s Mark Barkley threw for 362 yards with a pair of TDs but was picked off three times.

Including games that took place in Boston when the Redskins were known as the Braves and Da Bears played their home games at Wrigley Field, Washington holds a 21-20-1 lead in the series, Chicago has outscored Washington 855-763 and the ‘Skins have won the last six contests in the series, including a 24-21 win last year in the Windy City (Chicago’s last win over Washington came in 2003 at Solider Field by a final of 27-24).

They met in the Windy City in week 14 and Washington led 14-7 at the intermission before Chicago tied things up with 1:24 left in the third quarter when RB Matt Forte scored on a 7-yard run. The tie would eventually be broken by Washington, who took the lead for keeps with a 47-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins with 14:07 left to play in regulation. Chicago had a chance to send the contest into overtime with 1:45 left but Robbie Gould’s 50-yard field goal try sailed wide right, turning the ball over to Washington, who ran out the clock and took the win. Washington outrushed Chicago 99-87 and Cousins threw for 300 yards and a TD, while Jay Cutler threw for 315 yards and a pair of TDs (each man was sacked twice, while Cousins threw the game’s only interception).

Washington’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 47. Will it be “Hail to the Redskins!” or “Hell, it’s the Redskins!?” We like hail. Washington may not make the postseason but they cover the 3 1/2 in the Windy City and take the win from Da Bears.

Minnesota (7-7) at Green Bay (8-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of NFC North rivals meet in a week two rematch in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst as the Packers host the Minnesota Vikings on the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field.

Minnesota struggled in their 34-6 loss to Andrew Luck and Indianapolis last Sunday at US Bank Stadium. The Vikings trailed 27-0 at the half and could never really get on track, getting only a pair of Keith Forbath field goals for their only points. The Colts outrushed Minnesota 161-34 in the return of RB Adrian Peterson, who tallied only 22 yards on six carries, while Indy’s Frank Gore led all rushers with 101 yards. Luck threw for 250 yards and a pair of TDs, while Sam Bradford threw for 291 yards but was sacked five times and picked off once.

Green Bay won a thriller in the Windy City as the Packers and Da Bears played in somewhat chilly conditions (temperature of 11, wind chill of -4) at Soldier Field last Sunday before Da Bears fell to their NFC North rivals 30-27. Chicago pulled to within 3 with 7:34 left in the contest when rookie RB Jordan Howard scored from nine yards out and tied the contest on a 22 yard field goal by Connor Barth with 1:19 left. Bears fans then had their hearts broken as Aaron Rodgers (252 yards) and WR Jordy Nelson told their fans to R-E-L-A-X as the two connected on a 60-yard pass late in the contest. After the Packers spiked the ball to kill the clock, Chicago burned a timeout with 3 seconds left, which allowed the Packers to set up Mason Crosby for a 32-yard field goal attempt. Crosby’s kick was true and as time ran out, Chicago suffered their 11th loss of the season. Green Bay outrushed Chicago 226-95, with the Packers’ Ty Montgomery rushing for 162 yards and a pair of TDs. Chicago’s Mark Barkley threw for 362 yards with a pair of TDs but was picked off three times.

The Packers are looking to avenge a 17-14 loss to the Vikings in the Land of 10,000 Lakes in week two. Minnesota led 10-7 at the break in the Sunday night contest at US Bank Stadium, then led 17-7 after three periods before the Packers pulled to within three when Rodgers scored on a 10-yard run with 12:41 left in regulation. Green Bay did outrush Minnesota 83-30 (Peterson was held to 19 yards) and Rodgers threw for 213 yards and a TD to Jordy Nelson (Rodgers was sacked five times), while Bradford tallied 286 yards in the air with a pair of TDs and four sacks.

In the week two Sunday night contest, Green Bay was favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under was 43 1/2. While both teams did not reach the over/under, scoring only 31 points, Minnesota did cover the spread with their 3-point victory in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. This time, the Packers are 6 1/2 points to the good at Lambeau and the over/under is 48. The Packers know that if they run the table and win out, the NFC North is theirs. Minnesota wants to make sure that doesn’t happen. Packers get revenge and Lambeau and win in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst.

Tampa Bay (8-6) at New Orleans (6-8), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Jameis Winston vs. Drew Brees. Round two of the Tampa Bay-New Orleans rivalry gets underway in the Big Easy at both teams are looking for a chance to knock Atlanta off the NFC South mountain.

Tampa Bay fell to Dallas 26-20 in Arlington last Sunday night. The Bucs led 20-17 with 4:12 left in the third when Winston (247 yards, two TDs, two interceptions) and TE Connor Brate connected on a 10-yard TD pass. Dallas, who led 17-6 at the half, roared back to take the lead for keeps with three Dan Bailey field goals in the fourth quarter. Dallas held Tampa Bay to 52 yards on the ground, while the Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott ran for 159 yards (Dallas ran for 185) and a TD that will be talked about for years when he leaped into the Salvation Army kettle behind the endzone (Elliott would not be fined by the league or the team and gave the charity a sizeable donation). Dallas’ Dak Prescott threw for 279 yards as Dallas clinched a playoff spot in the process.

New Orleans held on for dear life in the desert last Sunday against Arizona and came away 48-41 winners in Glendale. The contest, which eliminated Arizona from the post-season, had six lead changes and two ties at University of Phoenix Stadium and had New Orleans leading at the half 24-20. New Orleans outrushed Arizona 130-116 and Brees threw for 389 yards and four TDs, while Carson Palmer threw for 318 yards and a pair of TDs.

They met in the Sunshine State two weeks ago and Tampa Bay held Brees without a TD pass for the second consecutive contest, taking an 16-11 win at Raymond James Stadium. The Bucs’ Doug Martin scored the contest’s only TD on a 1-yard run in the second quarter. Tampa Bay ran for 104 yards in the five-point win, while holding New Orleans to 46 and sealed the win in the final seconds when Keith Tandy picked off Brees to send Bucs fans home happy. Winston threw for 184 yards in the win, while Brees tallied 257 yards in the NFC South contest with three interceptions.

Tampa Bay was favored by 2 1/2 and the contest had a 51 1/2 over/under. While both teams mustered 27 points, the Bucs did cover the spread with the 5-point win in the Sunshine State. New Orleans is favored by 3 with a 53 over/under in the Big Easy. Both teams are trying to catch the Falcons in the NFC South (Tampa Bay split the series with Atlanta, while New Orleans lost to the Falcons in the Big Easy in week three). The loser is pretty much done in the NFC South race, while the winner keeps hope alive for at least another week. Saints march over Tampa Bay in the Big Easy and covers the 3 like gumbo over dirty rice.

Indianapolis (7-7) at Oakland (11-3), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. The Colts travel west to Oakland for a late Saturday afternoon contest with the Oakland Raiders in northern California.

The Colts and Luck manhandled Minnesota 34-6 last Sunday at US Bank Stadium. Indy led from start to finish and never were threatened, leading 27-0 at the half. Minnesota was held to a pair of Keith Forbath field goals for their only points. The Colts outrushed Minnesota 161-34 in the return of RB Adrian Peterson, who tallied only 22 yards on six carries, while Indy’s Frank Gore led all rushers with 101 yards. Luck threw for 250 yards and a pair of TDs, while Sam Bradford threw for 291 yards but was sacked five times and picked off once.

Oakland used a pair of Sebastian Janikowski field goals to take a 19-16 win over San Diego at Qualcomm last Sunday afternoon in southern California. The Chargers were up 16-13 over the Silver and Black with 6:14 left in the third quarter when Philip Rivers and rookie TE Hunter Henry connected on a 7-yard TD pass. That lead would not last very long as Janikowski kicked the first of his two second half field goals, a 21-yard field goal to tie the contest up with 8:38 left in regulation and then kicked a 44-yarder with 2:40 left to play. San Diego then had four shots to move the ball and perhaps tie things up at Qualcomm but Rivers was picked off by S Reggie Nelson, who ran the ball back to San Diego’s 13. The Raiders then ran out the clock and picked up a playoff spot, while the Chargers saw their hopes for post-season football go the way of a snowflake. Oakland outrushed San Diego 145-73 and while Rivers threw a pair of TDs, he was sacked twice and threw the interception that doomed San Diego (Derek Carr threw for 213 with a TD).

Including contests played in Baltimore and Los Angeles, the Raiders lead the series 7-6 and the Silver and Black have outscored the Colts 302-289. However… the Colts have won the last four contests, taking a 21-17 win in the Hoosier State in 2013, while Oakland’s last win came in 2001 by a final of 23-18 in Indianapolis. The Raiders are favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under is 53. Both numbers make sense. Indy makes this one interesting but the Raiders take this one in the Black Hole and covers the 3 1/2.

San Francisco (1-13) at Los Angeles (4-10), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. A pair of NFC West cellar-dwellers meet in Tinseltown as the 49ers make their way down I-5 for a West Coast Christmas Eve affair in LA.

Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers lost their 13th contest in a row, falling to Atlanta 41-13 last Sunday at the Georgia Dome. The struggling 49ers trailed 28-13 at the half in the Big Peach and were then shut out their hosts 13-0 in the second half. DeVonta Freeman ran for 139 yards and three TDs, as Atlanta ran for 248 yards (San Francisco ran for 107) with Matt Ryan (286 yards) threw a pair of TDs (Kaepernick threw for 183 yards and a pair of TDs but was sacked twice).

Los Angeles fell to Seattle 24-3 last Thursday night in the Pacific Northwest. The win by Seattle allowed them to capture the NFC West title, while ruining the coaching debut of interim head coach John Fassel in the process. After a scorless first quarter at Century Link Field, the Seahawks took a 10-3 lead at the intermission and were never really threatened by the Rams. Los Angeles was held to a 36-yard field by Greg Zuerlein with 55 seconds left before the half and held to 47 yards rushing. (Seattle had 72) The Seahawks did manage to hold Los Angeles to 47 yards on the ground, sacking Jeff Goff four times in the process. Russell Wilson, meanwhile, threw for 229 yards and three TDs in the somewhat lopsided win.

They met in northern California in week one at Levis’ Stadium and the 49ers picked up their only win of the 2016 campaign, shutting out the Rams 28-0. San Francisco led 14-0 at the half and then scored their other 14 points in the fourth quarter unchallenged. San Francisco outrushed the Rams 150-65 and Case Keenum threw for 130 yards but threw two interceptions, while Blaine Gabbert threw for 170 yards and a TD.

The Rams were favored by 2 1/2 with a 43 over/under in the week one contest in northern California and San Francisco covered the spread with their 28-point win. The over/under stayed safe as both clubs combined for only 28 points. Los Angeles is favored by 4 this time around and the over/under’s 40. You might want to take a pass on this one and get yourself ready for Midnight Mass. Rams butt their way into the win column this week and covers the 4.

Arizona (5-8-1) at Seattle (9-4-1), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. The Seattle Seahawks, who won the NFC West, host the Arizona Cardinals in the Pacific Northwest in a late afternoon showdown in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks.

Cardinal fans saw their dim playoff hopes come to a crashing end as they fell to New Orleans Arizona 48-41 in Glendale. The contest had six lead changes and two ties at University of Phoenix Stadium and had New Orleans leading at the half 24-20. New Orleans outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 130-116 and Brees threw for 389 yards and four TDs, while Carson Palmer threw for 318 yards and a pair of TDs.

Seattle manhandled a helpless Los Angeles Rams team 24-3 last Thursday night in the Pacific Northwest, ruining the coaching debut of interim head coach John Fassel in the process. After a scorless first quarter at Century Link Field, Seattle took a 10-3 lead at the intermission and were never really threatened by the Rams, who was held to a 36-yard field by Greg Zuerlein with 55 seconds left before the half. While they didn’t breach the 100-yard mark (Seattle had 72), the Seahawks did manage to hold Los Angeles to 47 yards on the ground, sacking Jeff Goff four times in the process. Russell Wilson, meanwhile, threw for 229 yards and three TDs in the somewhat lopsided win.

Meeting on a Sunday night in the desert in week seven, Seattle and Arizona played to a 6-6 tie that saw all the scoring in the contest come by way of the kickers (Stephen Hauschka and Chris Catanzaro). Both kickers kicked field goals in the overtime and both had chances to give their team the win in the extra period but both attempts fell short of their marks. Arizona led 3-0 at the half before Hauschka sent the contest into overtime with a 40-yard effort with 4 minutes left in regulation. Arizona’s David Johnson led all rushers with 113 yards as the Desert Angry Birds outrushed Seattle 132-52, while Russell Wilson threw for 225 yards, with Carson Palmer throwing for 342 yards (both men did not throw an interception, while Palmer threw four interceptions).

In the week seven sister-kisser, the Desert Angry Birds were favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under was 43 1/2. Neither the over/under or the spread were in danger as they played to the tie and both teams scored 12 points. The Seahawks in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks are favored by 8 1/2 and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Seattle takes this one but they won’t cover the 8 1/2.

Cincinnati (5-8-1) at Houston (8-6), 8:25 p.m. on NFL Netowrk and Twitter. Andy Dalton comes back to his home state as the Bengals travel to Houston for a Christmas Eve contest with the Houston Texans in the Lone Star State.

Cincinnati let a 20-9 halftime lead against Pittsburgh get away from them at Paul Brown Stadium and fell to their AFC North rivals 24-20. The Bengals, who were eliminated from the post-season, held the Steelers to three Chris Boswell field gals in the first 30 minutes of action before Pittsburgh proceeded to shut out the Bengals in the second half, scoring their final 15 points unchallenged. After Boswell added another field goal, the Steelers took the lead for the first time and for keeps when Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger (286 yards, TD) and WR Eli Rodgers connected on a 24-yard TD pass with 7:29 left to play. The Bengals were held to 76 yards on the ground, while the Steelers tallied 97 and Andy Dalton threw for 157 yards with an interception for the Bengals.

The Texans trailed lowly Jacksonville 20-14 with 7:54 left to play in Houston before they stormed back to come away 21-20 winners over Jacksonville at NRG Stadium. Jacksonville led 13-5 over the Texans, who benched Brock Osweiler (48 yards, two interceptions) in the contest in favor of Todd Savage. Houston outrushed Jacksonville 79-67 in the Lone Star State and Savage threw for 260 yards yards in the come from behind win, as RB Lamar Miller scored the game winner with 2:51 left from a yard away.

The series is even at 4-4 and the Bengals have outscored Houston 158-146. Houston won the last meeting last year in Cincinnati 10-6 at Paul Brown Stadium (the Bengals’ last win in the series came in 2014 in Houston by a final of 22-13). The Bengals let a 6-3 lead get away from them in the fourth quarter as the Texans took the lead with 14:20 left to play when WR DeAndre Hopkins scored on a 22 yard pass from Tyler Yates. Houston outrushed Cincinnati in the Monday night contest 82-74 and Dalton threw for 197 yards but was sacked four times, while Blaine Hoyer threw for 123 yards (Yates threw for 69).

Houston’s favored by 2 and the over/under’s 41. The Bengals would like nothing more than to spoil the Texans’ playoff party plans. Houston’s dreaming of the playoffs for the second year in a row and they’ll have a lot to say about that. Cincy, you have a problem. Houston covers the 2 and wins in the Lone Star State.

Baltimore (8-6) at Pittsburgh (9-5), 4:30 p.m. Christmas Day on NBC. A pair of AFC North rivals meet in the Steel City on Christmas day as Baltimore travels to Pittsburgh for an afternoon contest with the Steelers at Heinz Field.

The Ravens were 27-26 winners over Philadelphia in Charm City Sunday afternoon. Baltimore trailed 11-10 with 14:38 to play before halftime on a 4-yard TD run by Philadelphia’s Ryan Matthews. Philadelph then took the lead back with 1:39 left in the half when Caleb Sturgis connected on a 34-yard field goal. That lead would not last very long as Ravens WR Steven Smith Sr. and Joe Flacco connected on a 34-yard TD pass with 9 seconds left before the intermission. Sturgis would eventually pull the Eagles to within 7 with a 29-yard field goal with 2:22 left in regulation. After the Ravens punted the ball back to Philly, they used a 9-play, 59-yard drive that used 95 seconds and ended when rookie QB Carson Wentz scrambled into the end zone from 4 yards out to pull to within 6. Philly then went for two in the hopes of taking the lead on the road and saving their playoff hopes but the try for two failed. Matthews led all rushers with 128 yards and the touchdown, while the Eagles outrushed Baltimore 169-151. Wentz threw for 170 yards and had the rushing TD and was picked off once, while Flacco threw for 206 yards and a pair of TDs.

The Steelers trailed Cincinnati 20-9 halftime lead before Pittsburgh chipped away at the lead and came out on top of the Bengals, taking a 24-20. The loss kept the Steelers in the playoff hunt, while elimnating the Bengals. Pittsburgh was held to three Chris Boswell field gals in the first 30 minutes of action before they proceeded to shut out the Bengals in the second half, scoring their final 15 points unchallenged. After Boswell added another field goal, the Steelers took the lead for the first time and for keeps when Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger (286 yards, TD) and WR Eli Rodgers connected on a 24-yard TD pass with 7:29 left to play. The Bengals were held to 76 yards on the ground, while the Steelers tallied 97 and Andy Dalton threw for 157 yards with an interception for the Bengals.

They met in week nine in Charm City and the Steelers lost to the Ravens 21-14. Baltimore led 13-0 after three quarters of play before the Steelers stormed back to make it a 7-point contest when Roethlisberger scored on a 1-yard run with 48 seconds left. Pittsburgh then tried an onside kick which failed somewhat miserably. The first meeting as far a rushing game was concerned was nothing to write home about, as neither team breached the 100 yard mark (Baltimore had 50, Pittsburgh had 36) and Roethlisberger threw for 264 yards and a TD to Antonio Brown, while Flacco threw for 241 yards and a TD (Roethlisberger was sacked twice, Flacco sacked three times).

Baltimore covered the 1 1/2-point spread with their 7-point win and the two teams combined for 35 points, missing the 44 over/under by 9. Pittsburgh’s favored by 5 and the over/under is 44. Someone is eventually going to be naughty and someone’s going to be eventually nice. Steelers make the nice list as they get revenge on the Ravens nevermore with the win at home and covers the 5.

Denver (8-6) at Kansas City (10-4), 8:30 p.m. Christmas Day on NBC. For the first time since 1971, the Kansas City Chiefs are playing a home game on Christmas Day, as they welcome the Denver Broncos to Arrowhead on a Sunday night.

The defending Super Bowl champs fell to New England and Tom Brady 16-3 at Sports Authority Field on a Sunday that was warm by Denver standars (game time temperature? 18 with a wind chill of 7) The Pats broke a 3-3 tie after the first 15 minutes of action and scored their last 13 points without a challenge from Denver. New England led 10-3 at the intermission and never looked back. Denver was outrushed 136-58 by New England and Brady threw for 188 yards with no TD but did not throw an interception. Denver’s Trevor Seiman threw for 282 but was sacked four times in the loss.

Kansas City found being taken to the wire last Sunday at Arrowhead by Tennessee and came away on the short end of a 19-17 loss at home in the Show-Me State. The Titans trailed 17-7 at the intermission and pulled to within 1 with 3:12 left in regulation when rookie RB Derek Henry scored on a 1-yard run to make it 17-16. Tennesee then went for two to take the lead but Marcus Mariota’s conversion try failed. After a Kansas City punt, the Titans got the ball back and made it all the way to the Chiefs’ 35 yard line, where they set up what would eventually be the game-winning field goal try by Ryan Succup (who kicked for the Chiefs last year). Succop’s first try was short but Kansas City burned a time out to make him think it over. Succop then connected on his second try, a 53-yarder, that sailed through the goal posts as the clock expired. Kansas City outrushed the Titans 158-148 in the chilly air at Arrowhead with a gametime temperature a balmy 1 degree with a wind chill of -9. Mariota threw for 241 yards, while Alex Smith had 163 (both men threw an interception and both were sacked once).

Denver and Kansas City met in the Mile High City in week 12 and the Broncos were 30-27 overtime losers on a Sunday night at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The defending champs trailed 9-3 at the half, then rallied to take the lead with 3 minutes left when Trevor Siemian and WR Bennie Fowler connected on a 76 yard TD pass. That lead would not last very long as the Chiefs used a 13-play, 75-yard drive that lasted 2:48 when WR Tyreek Hill caught a 3-yard TD pass from Smtih with 12 seconds left. TE Demetrius Harris then tied the contest up when he caught Smith’s 2-point conversion try and that sent the game into overtime. Denver got the ball first in the overtime and scored their first and only points of the extra period when Brian McMannus kicked a 44 yard field goal with 8:51 left. Kansas City’s Chris Santos then responded with a field goal of his own from 37 yards with 4:19 left. The Broncos got the ball back the second time around but could do nothing with it. After a Denver punt, the Chiefs used a 4-play, 32-yard drive that took 61 seconds and ended when Santos connected on his second field goal, which was the game-winner from 34 yards away with 2 seconds left.

Denver outrushed Kansas City in the first meeting in week 12 124-83, while Siemian threw for 368 yards with three TDs but was sacked five times, while Smith threw for 220 yards with six sacks in addition to the one TD pass.

In the week 12 contest in Denver, the defending Super Bowl champs were favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under was 39 1/2. Kansas City won by 3, barely missing the spread. The two teams did manage to cover the over/under with 57 points in the Sunday night overtime contest. This time, the Chiefs are a 4-point favorite at Arrowhead and the over/under’s 37 1/2. Both nunbers make a lot of season The champs are reeling and need some luck. Kansas City is trying to make it to the post season for the second season in a row. The winner is all but assured of a spot in the post-season party, while the loser is all but done. The last time the Chiefs swept Denver? The 2000 season, when the Chiefs took a 23-22 win in Denver and then came home and beat the Broncos 20-7. Denver at the very least lives to fight another day, taking the win at Arrowhead and covering the 4.

Detroit (9-5) at Dallas (12-2), 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 16 closes out as Detroit and Dallas play in the final Monday night contest of the 2016 season. The Lions are looking for a playoff spot, while the Cowboys look to be the top season in the post-season tournament.

Detroit was held to a pair of Matt Prater field goals as they fell to the New York Giants 16-7 at Met Life Stadium. New York’s Eli Manning (201 yards) and WRs Sterling Sterling and Odell Beckham, Jr. connected on the contest’s only TDs in the game and the Giants’ defense held Matthew Stafford (273 yards, interception) and the Lions out of the end zone, stopping them in their final chance to score. New York outrushed Detroit 114-56 and led 10-3 at the half.

On the strength of a 159-yard effort by Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas came away 26-20 winners over Tampa Bay in Arlington last Sunday night. Dallas, who led 17-6 at the half at AT&T Stadium, trailed 20-17 with 4:12 left in the third when Jameis Winston (247 yards, two TDs, two interceptions) and TE Connor Brate connected on a 10-yard TD pass. Dallas roared back to take the lead for keeps with three Dan Bailey field goals in the fourth quarter. Dallas held Tampa Bay to 52 yards on the ground, while the Cowboys’ Elliott ran for a TD that will be talked about for years when he leaped into the Salvation Army kettle behind the endzone (Elliott would not be fined by the league or the team and gave the charity a sizeable donation, Dallas ran for 185 yards in the win in the Lone Star State). Dallas’ Dak Prescott threw for 279 yards as Dallas clinched a playoff spot in the process.

They’ve met 23 times, which includes games played at old Tiger Stadium and the Cotton Bowl and the Cowboys lead the series 12-11. Dallas has outscored Detroit 608-437. Detroit has won the last two meetings in the regular season, coming away 31-30 winners in the Motor City in 2013. Dallas’ last win over Detroit came in the Lone Star State in 2010 by a final of 35-19.

On Monday night, the Lions are 14-16-1 and went 1-1 last year, while the Cowboys are 44-33 and won their only MNF contest in the 2015 campaign.

Dallas is favored by 7 1/2 and the over/under’s 43. Both numbers make sense. While Detroit was waiting to see what Green Bay was doing Saturday afternoon at Lambeau, the Cowboys know that their hay’s in the barn. Dallas wins this one but don’t expect them to cover the 7 1/2.