Archives for category: Peyton Manning

The end is near.

The 2017 NFL regular season comes to an end and for those teams that will not be in the post-season, it’s a chance to regroup, evaluate where they are as a team, where they need to be and the talent that they have on the field and on their coaching staffs. This coming Sunday could be a chance to ruin playoff chances for those teams that still have a shot.

For those that are moving on, their journey starts Janaury 6th with the AFC and NFC Wild Card games as they march to Minneapolis and Super Bowl LII on February 4th. For those 12 teams, it’s their second season and things are a little different.

Win. Advance.

Lose. Kickoff is next year.

It’s a concept that is so easy even a five-year old could figure it out.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK 16: New England has already won the AFC East and defeated Buffalo 37-16, secured a first-round bye with Sunday’s win combined with Jacksonville’s loss at San Francisco.

The Los Angeles Rams, who defeated Tennessee 27-23 in Nashville, clinched the NFC West division title for the first time since 2003.

Kansas City, who knocked off Miami 29-13 at Arrowhead, secured the AFC West division title for the second consecutive season.

Jacksonvile, who had already clinched a playoff berth, locked up the AFC South division title with Tennessee’s loss to the Rams. It marks Jacksonville’s first division title since 1999 (AFC Central).

New Orleans, who defeated Atlanta 23-13 and the Carolina, who knocked off Tampa Bay 22-19, both clinched a playoff berth.

Philadelphia, who defeated Oakland Monday night, have already won the NFC East and secured a first-round bye and earned themselves home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

Pittsburgh defeated Houston Monday afternoon, clinched a first-round bye with the win. The Steelers have have already won the AFC North division title.

New England improved to 12-3 with today’s win over Buffalo. The Patriots have won at least 12 games in eight consecutive seasons (2010-17), surpassing the 2003-09 Indianapolis Colts for the longest such streak in NFL history.

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley had 118 rushing yards, 158 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions in the Rams’ win at Tennessee. Gurley is the third player in NFL history to have at least 100 rushing yards and 150 receiving yards in a single game, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Ollie Matson (1954) and Herschel Walker (1986).

Gurley, who has 2,093 scrimmage yards, 13 rushing touchdowns and six receiving touchdowns this season, is the third different player in NFL history to have at least 2,000 scrimmage yards, 10 rushing touchdowns and more than five touchdown catches in a single season. The other two players to accomplish the feat are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: O.J. Simpson (1975) and Marshall Faulk (2000 and 2001).

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for 239 yards and a touchdown in the Saints’ win over Atlanta. Brees has 70,200 career passing yards and joined Peyton Manning (71,940) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (71,838) as the only players in NFL history to reach 70,000 passing yards. Brees reached the milestone in his 248th career game and is the fastest in league history to accomplish the feat.

Brees, who has 4,089 passing yards this season, reached 4,000 passing yards for a 12th consecutive season, extending his NFL record.

Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith threw a touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce, wide receiver Tyreek Hill had 109 receiving yards and rookie running back Kareem Hunt rushed for a score in the Chiefs’ win against Miami.

The Chiefs are the second team in NFL history with a 4,000-yard passer (Smith, 4,042), 1,000-yard rusher (Hunt, 1,292) and both a wide receiver (Hill, 1,183) and tight end (Kelce, 1,038) with at least 1,000 receiving yards each in a single season.

The 1981 San Diego Chargers – with Pro Football Hall of Famers Dan Fouts (4,802 passing yards), Charlie Joiner (1,188 receiving yards) and Kellen Winslow (1,075 receiving yards) and Chuck Muncie (1,144 rushing yards) – are the only other team to accomplish the feat.

Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had nine catches for 119 yards and a touchdown in the Cardinals’ 23-0 win against the New York Giants in Glendale. This season, Fitzgerald has 101 catches for 1,101 yards and six touchdowns.

Fitzgerald has five seasons with at least 100 catches, tied for the second-most in NFL history. Only Brandon Marshall (six) has more such seasons.

Fitzgerald has nine seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards, tied for the third-most in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (14) and Randy Moss (10) have more such seasons.

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen had five catches for 63 yards and added an interception in the team’s 14-7 win at the New York Jets. Allen, who has 93 catches for 1,260 yards this season, is the first player in NFL history to record at least 90 catches and an interception in the same season. He is also the third player in NFL history to have at least 1,000 receiving yards and an interception in the same season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Don Hutson (1942) and Randy Moss (2009).

THE WEEK THAT WAS WEEK 16: TERRIFIC TURNAROUNDS: Jacksonville clinched the AFC South division title and joined the Philadelphia (NFC East, home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs) as teams to go from “worst-to-first” this season. At least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons.

If Carolina, who has already clinched a playoff berth, wins the NFC South, 2017 would tie the 2005 and 2006 seasons for the most such “worst-to-first” clubs in NFL history.

Carolina (playoff berth), the Los Angeles Rams (NFC West), Minnesota (NFC North) and New Orleans (playoff berth) have clinched at least a playoff berth. All four teams finished in either third or fourth place in their divisions last year and missed the postseason.

Entering Week 17, 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.

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. This season, six teams – Carolina, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota, New Orleans and Philadelphia – have all qualified for the playoffs after missing the postseason last year.

This weekend, four clubs – Baltimore, Buffalo, the Los Angeles Changers and Tennessee – are vying for the final two playoff spots in the AFC. In total, eight teams will clinch a playoff spot after not qualifying for the postseason in 2016, tied with the 2003 season for the most such teams since 1990.

The teams since 1990 to make the playoffs a season after failing to qualify:

SEASON – PLAYOFF TEAMS NOT IN PREVIOUS SEASON’S PLAYOFFS
1990 – 7 (Cincinnati, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles Raiders, Miami, New Orleans, Washington)
1991 – 5 (ATLANTA, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, New York Jets)
1992 – 6 (Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco)
1993 – 5 (Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Los Angeles Raiders, New York Giants)
1994 – 5 (Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, New England, San Diego)
1995 – 4 (ATLANTA, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Philadelphia)
1996 – 5 (Carolina, Denver, Jacksonville, Minnesota, New England)
1997 – 5 (Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, New York Giants, Tampa Bay)
1998 – 5 (Arizona, ATLANTA, Buffalo, Dallas, New York Jets)
1999 – 7 (Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
2000 – 6 (Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, New York Giants, Oakland, Philadelphia)
2001 – 6 (Chicago, Green Bay, New England, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Francisco)
2002 – 5 (ATLANTA, Cleveland, Indianapolis, New York Giants, Tennessee)
2003 – 8 (Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, New England, St. Louis, Seattle)
2004 – 5 (ATLANTA, Minnesota, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Diego)
2005 – 7 (Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Tampa Bay, Washington)
2006 – 7 (Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York Jets, Philadelphia, San Diego)
2007 – 6 (Green Bay, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
2008 – 7 (Arizona, ATLANTA, Baltimore, Carolina, Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia)
2009 – 6 (Cincinnati, Dallas, Green Bay, New England, New Orleans, New York Jets)
2010 – 5 (ATLANTA, Chicago, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Seattle)
2011 – 6 (Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Houston, New York Giants, San Francisco)
2012 – 4 (Indianapolis, Minnesota, Seattle, Washington)
2013 – 5 (Carolina, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Diego)
2014 – 5 (Arizona, Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Pittsburgh)
2015 – 4 (Houston, Kansas City, Minnesota, Washington)
2016 – 6 (ATLANTA, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, New York Giants, Oakland)
2017 – 8 (Carolina, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota, New Orleans, Philadelphia)*

*Two of Baltimore, Buffalo, Los Angeles Chargers & Tennessee will qualify for the playoffs after missing the postseason in 2016

GURLEY DOES IT ALL: Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley totaled a career-high 276 scrimmage yards (158 receiving yards, 118 rushing yards) and had two touchdown receptions in the team’s 27-23 win over Tennessee in Week 16.

Gurley is the third player in NFL history to have at least 100 rushing yards and 150 receiving yards in a single game, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Ollie Matson (November 28, 1954) and Herschel Walker (December 14, 1986).

The players with at least 100 rushing yards and 150 receiving yards in a single game in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (DATE; RUSHING YARDS/RECEIVING YARDS)
Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams (December 24, 2017; 118/158)
Herschel Walker, Dallas (December 14, 1986; 122/170)
Ollie Matson, Chicago Cardinals (November 28, 1954; 115/161)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Gurley, who has 2,093 scrimmage yards, 13 rushing touchdowns and six receiving touchdowns this season, is the third different player in NFL history to have at least 2,000 scrimmage yards, 10 rushing touchdowns and more than five touchdown catches in a single season. The other two players to accomplish the feat are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: O.J. Simpson (1975) and Marshall Faulk (2000 and 2001).

The players with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards, 10 rushing touchdowns and more than five touchdown catches in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(SCRIMMAGE YARDS/RUSHING TDS/RECIEVEING TDS)
Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams (2017) (2,093/13/6)*
Marshall Faulk, St. Louis Rams (2001) (2,147/12/9)^
Marshall Faulk, St. Louis Rams (2000) (2,189/18/8)^
O.J. Simpson, Buffalo (1975) (2,243/16/7)^
*Through Week 16
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

PROLIFIC PASSERS: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for 239 yards and a touchdown in the Saints’ 23-13 win over Atlanta last week.

Brees, who has 70,200 career passing yards, joined Peyton Manning (71,940) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre (71,838) as the only players in NFL history with at least 70,000 career passing yards.

PLAYER – TEAMS (CCAREER 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 (70,200)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Brees, who ranks fifth in the NFL with 4,089 passing yards, extended his NFL-record streak to 12 consecutive seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards.

Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, who leads the NFC with 4,123 passing yards, surpassed 4,000 passing yards for the seventh consecutive season, the second-longest streak in NFL history.

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

PLAYER – TEAMS (SEASONS)(SEASONS WITH 4,000+ PASS YARDS)
Drew Brees – New Orleans (2006-17)(12)*
Matthew Stafford – Detroit (2011-17)(7)*
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis (1999-2004)(6)
Matt Ryan – ATLANTA (2011-16)(6)*
*Active streak (Ryan has 3,778 yards in 2017)

Ryan, who has 3,778 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 222 passing yards against Carolina in Week 17.

PHENOMENAL FITZ: Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had nine receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown in the Cardinals’ 23-0 win over the New York Giants in Week 16.

Fitzgerald, who ties for second in the league with 101 receptions, has five career seasons with at least 100 catches, tied for the second-most in NFL history. Only Brandon Marshall (six) has more such seasons.

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)
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (5)
Andre Johnson – Houston (5)
Wes Welker – New England (5)

Fitzgerald, who ranks fourth in the NFC with 1,101 receiving yards, registered his ninth season with at least 1,000 receiving yards, tied for the third-most in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (14) and RANDY MOSS (10) have more such seasons.

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

PLAYER – TEAMS (SEASONS WITH 1,000+ REC. YARDS)
Jerry Rice – San Francisco and Oakland (14)^^
Randy Moss – Minnesota, Oakland and New England (10)
Tim Brown – Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders (9)^
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (9)
Terrell Owens – San Francisco, Philadelphia and Dallas (9)
Jimmy Smith – Jacksonville (9)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

LUCKY NUMBER 13: Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith passed for 304 yards and a touchdown in the Chiefs’ 29-13 victory over Miami last week.

Smith, a 13-year NFL veteran, has a career-high 4,024 passing yards and is the third quarterback in NFL history to reach 4,000 passing yards for the first time in his career in his 13th season or later.

The players to record their first season with at least 4,000 passing yards in their 13th career season or later:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(EXPERIENCE – PASSING YARDS)
Alex Smith, Kansas City (2017)(13 – 4,024)*
Rich Gannon, Oakland (2002)(14 – 4,689)
Steve Beuerlein, Carolina (1999)(13 – 4,436)
*Through Week 16

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 17: TERRIFIC TURNAROUNDS: Carolna – who enters the weekend with an 11-4 record and play at Atlanta on Sunday – have clinched a playoff berth and can win the NFC South division title with a win combined with a New Orleans loss at Tampa Bay.

If the Panthers win the NFC South, they would join Philadelphia (NFC East) and Jacksonville (AFC South) as teams to go from “worst-to-first” this season. With three “worst-to-first” teams, 2017 would tie the 2005 and 2006 seasons for the most such clubs in NFL history. At least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons.

The Panthers (playoff berth), Los Angeles Rams (NFC West), Minnesota (NFC North) and New Orleans (playoff berth) have clinched at least a playoff berth. All four teams finished in either third or fourth place in their divisions last year and missed the postseason.

With either Carolina or New Orleans winning the NFC South, five of the eight divisions will be won by a team that finished in third or fourth place in the division last season.

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. This season, six teams – Carolina, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota, New Orleans and Philadelphia – have all qualified for the playoffs after missing the postseason last year.

This weekend, four clubs who missed the postseason in 2016 – Baltimore, Buffalo, the Los Angeles Chargers and Tennessee – are vying for the final two playoff spots in the AFC. In total, eight teams will clinch a playoff spot after not qualifying for the postseason in 2016, tied with the 2003 season for the most such teams since 1990.

The teams since 1990 to make the playoffs a season after failing to qualify:

SEASON – PLAYOFF TEAMS NOT IN PREVIOUS SEASON’S PLAYOFFS
1990 – 7 (Cincinnati, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles Raiders, Miami, New Orleans, Washington)
1991 – 5 (ATLANTA, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, New York Jets)
1992 – 6 (Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco)
1993 – 5 (Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Los Angeles Raiders, New York Giants)
1994 – 5 (Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, New England, San Diego)
1995 – 4 (ATLANTA, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Philadelphia)
1996 – 5 (Carolina, Denver, Jacksonville, Minnesota, New England)
1997 – 5 (Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, New York Giants, Tampa Bay)
1998 – 5 (Arizona, Atlanta, Buffalo, Dallas, New York Jets)
1999 – 7 (Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
2000 – 6 (Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, New York Giants, Oakland, Philadelphia)
2001 – 6 (Chicago, Green Bay, New England, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Francisco)
2002 – 5 (ATLANTA, Cleveland, Indianapolis, New York Giants, Tennessee)
2003 – 8 (Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, New England, St. Louis, Seattle)
2004 – 5 (ATLANTA, Minnesota, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Diego)
2005 – 7 (Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Tampa Bay, Washington)
2006 – 7 (Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York Jets, Philadelphia, San Diego)
2007 – 6 (Green Bay, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
2008 – 7 (Arizona, ATLANTA, Baltimore, Carolina, Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia)
2009 – 6 (Cincinnati, Dallas, Green Bay, New England, New Orleans, New York Jets)
2010 – 5 (ATLANTA, Chicago, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Seattle)
2011 – 6 (Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Houston, New York Giants, San Francisco)
2012 – 4 (Indianapolis, Minnesota, Seattle, Washington)
2013 – 5 (Carolina, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Diego)
2014 – 5 (Arizona, Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Pittsburgh)
2015 – 4 (Houston, Kansas City, Minnesota, Washington)
2016 – 6 (ATLANTA, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, New York Giants, Oakland)
2017 – 8 (Carolina, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota, New Orleans, Philadelphia)*

*Two of Baltimore, Buffalo, Los Angeles Chargers & Tennessee will qualify for the playoffs after missing the postseason in 2016

SHINING STEELERS: Entering Week 17, Pittsburgh Pro Bowl wide receiver Antonio Brown leads the NFL with 1,533 receiving yards and Steelers Pro Bowl running back Le’Veon Bell ranks third in the league with 1,291 rushing yards, only 14 yards behind the league-leader Todd Gurley (1,305).

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

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

TEAM – SEASON (RUSHER – RUSHING YARDS)(RECEIVER – RECIEVING YARDS)
Indianapolis – 1999 (Edgerrin James – 1,553)(Marvin Harrison – 1,663)^
Dallas – 1991 (Emmitt Smith – 1,563)(Michael Irvin – 1,523)^
Pittsburgh – 2017 (Le’Veon Bell – 1,291)(Antonio Brown – 1,533)*
*Through Week 16
^Harrison, Smith and Irvin are Pro Football Hall of Famers

LARRY LEGEND: Arizona Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald ties for second in the NFL with 101 catches and has recorded at least one reception in 210 consecutive games.

Fitzgerald, who plays at Seattle on Sunday, can tie Tony Gonzalez (211) for the second-longest streak of consecutive games with a catch in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (274) has a longer such streak in league annals.

The players to record at least one catch in the most consecutive games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAMS (SEASONS, MOST CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH A CATCH)
Jerry Rice, San Francisco and Oakland (1985-2004, 274)^
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City and Atlanta (2000-2013, 211)
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona (2004-Present, 210)*
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Fitzgerald, who ranks eighth in NFL history with 110 career touchdown catches, can tie Gonzalez (111) for seventh-most touchdown receptions in league annals.

The players with the most touchdown catches in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (TOUCHDOWN CATCHES)
Jerry Rice – San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle (197)^
Randy Moss – Minnesota, Oakland, New England, Tennessee and San Francisco (156)
Terrell Owens – San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Buffalo and Cincinnati (153)
Cris Carter – Philadelphia, Minnesota and Miami (130)^
Marvin Harrison – Indianapolis (128)^
Antonio Gates – San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (114)*
Tony Gonzalez – Kansas City and Atlanta (111)
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (110)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

PRECISION PASSER: New Orleans Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees has completed 364 of 506 passes for a league-leading 71.9 completion percentage this season.

Brees, who plays at Tampa Bay on Sunday, can surpass SAM BRADFORD (71.6 percent in 2016) for the highest single-season completion percentage in NFL history. Entering the season, Brees held two of the top three single-season completion percentages in league annals.

The quarterbacks with the highest single-season completion percentages in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(COMPLETIONS-ATTEMPTS, COMPLETION PERCENTAGE)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2017)(364-506, 71.9)*
Sam Bradford, Minnesota (2016)(395-552, 71.6)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2011)(468-657, 71.2)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2009)(363-514, 70.6)
*Through Week 16

GURLEY DOES IT ALL: Los Angeles Rams Pro Bowl running back TODD GURLEY leads the NFL with 2,093 scrimmage yards (1,305 rushing, 788 receiving) and 19 total touchdowns this season.

Gurley, who plays against San Francisco on Sunday, can become the second player in NFL history with at least 1,300 rushing yards, 800 receiving yards and 20 total touchdowns in a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk (2000). Faulk was named the Associated Press Most Valuable Player that season.

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(RUSHING YARDS)(RECEIVING YARDS)(TOTAL TDS)
Marshall Faulk, St. Louis (2000)(1,359)(830)(26)^
Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams (2017)(1,305)(788)(19)*
*Through Week 16
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

STREAKING STARS: Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith has a career-high 4,042 passing yards and 26 touchdown passes with five interceptions this season.

Smith has thrown for at least 3,000 yards and had fewer than 10 interceptions in each of the past four seasons and can become the first quarterback in NFL history to accomplish the feat in five consecutive seasons.

New England quarterback Tom Brady, who leads the NFL with 4,387 passing yards and has 30 touchdown passes with eight interceptions this season, can record his fourth consecutive season with at least 3,000 passing yards and fewer than 10 interceptions.

The quarterbacks with the most consecutive seasons with at least 3,000 passing yards and fewer than 10 interceptions:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, CONSECUTIVE SEASONS WITH 3,000+ PASS YARDS AND FEWER THAN 10 INTERCEPTIONS)
Alex Smith, Kansas City (2013-16, 4)*
Tom Brady, New England (2014-16, 3)*
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (2014-16, 3)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2013-15, 3)
*Active streak

HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PHENOM: Houston Pro Bowl wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins leads the NFL with 13 touchdown receptions, ranks second with 1,378 receiving yards and is fifth with 96 catches this season.

Hopkins, who plays at Indianapolis on Sunday, can become the fourth player in NFL history to record at least 100 catches, 1,500 receiving yards and 15 touchdown catches in a single season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (1995) and Marvin Harrison (2001) and Randy Moss (2003).

The players in NFL history with at least 100 catches, 1,500 receiving yards and 15 touchdown catches in a single season:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON; RECEPTIONS – RECEIVING YARDS, TD CATCHES)

Jerry Rice, San Francisco (1995; 122 – 1,848, 15)^
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (2001; 109 – 1,524, 15)^
Randy Moss, Minnesota (2003; 111 – 1,632, 17)
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston (2017; 96 – 1,378, 13)*
*Through Week 16
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

SENSATIONAL SOPHOMORE: New Orleans Pro Bowl wide receiver Michael Thomas ranks fourth in the NFL with 98 catches this season and is one of two players in league annals (Odell Beckham, Jr.) with 90+ catches in each of his first two seasons.

With five catches at Tampa Bay on Sunday, Thomas, who has 190 catches since entering the league in 2016, can surpass Jarvis Landry (194) for the most catches by a player in his first two seasons in NFL history.

The players with the most catches in their first two seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, RECEPTIONS IN 1ST 2 SEASONS)
Jarvis Landry, Miami (2014-15, 194)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (2016-17, 190)*
Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants (2014-15, 187)
*In second season

ROOKIES ON A ROLL: New Orleans Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara and Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey are tied for the league-lead among rookies with 75 catches each.

Kamara and McCaffrey can become the second pair of rookies in NFL history to each record 80 catches in the same season, joining Odell Beckham, Jr. (91 catches) and Jarvis Landry (84) in 2014.

With five catches each on Sunday, Kamara and McCaffrey can join Reggie Bush (88 catches in 2006) and Earl Cooper (83 in 1980) as the only rookie running backs in NFL history with at least 80 catches.

The rookie running backs with the most receptions in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RECEPTIONS)
Reggie Bush, New Orleans (2006 – 88)
Earl Cooper, San Francisco (1980 – 83)
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans (2017 – 75)*
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (2017 – 75)*
Terry Kirby, Miami (1993 – 75)
*Through Week 16

ELECTRIC EVANS: Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans leads the Buccaneers with 946 receiving yards this season.

Evans, who plays against New Orleans on Sunday, can join Randy Moss and A.J. Green as the only players in NFL history with at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first four seasons. Moss accomplished the feat in each of his first six seasons in the NFL while Green had five such seasons to begin his career.

The players with the most consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards to start their careers:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, CONSECUTIVE 1,000+ RECEIVING YARD SEASONS TO BEGIN CAREER)

Randy Moss, Minnesota (1998-2003, 6)
A.J. Green, Cincinnati (2011-15, 5)
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay (2014-16, 3)*
*Has 946 receiving yards in fourth season

In case you didn’t look at the schedule when it came out in April, week 17 is all divisional games and all are rematches. There are no secrets hid, as the Book of Common Prayer says in Rite one and there is no Monday night game in week 17.

Week 17 gets underway in Indy as the Colts host the Texans and concludes in the Pacific Northwest as the Seattle Seahawks welcome Arizona to the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Since this is the final week of the regular season, as a combined Christmas/New Year’s gift, we’re going to make every game this Sunday “DRILL WORTHY!” (yes, you read that right. All 16 games, including the Browns) (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?”

That’s it in a nutshell. At the end of the day on Sunday, 12 teams will have playoff spots sealed up and the top two teams in the AFC and NFC will get byes and play in the Divisonal Round. For the other 20 teams that will not be going, they’ll be cleaing out the lockers, assessing what they had for this season and what they need and there may be some coaching changes as well. The playoffs start January 6 and end in Minneapolis with Super Bowl LII on February 3.

Nine of the 12 playoff teams have been determined. Seven of the eight divisions have been clinched. And there’s still plenty to play for in Week 17.

In the AFC, four teams have already punched their ticket to the postseason by winning their division: New England (12-3, AFC East), Pittsburgh (12-3, AFC North), Jacksonville (10-5, AFC South) and Kansas City (9-6, AFC West). The Patriots have clinched a first-round bye and can secure home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win or a Pittsburgh loss. The Steelers, who have locked up a first-round bye, can earn the AFC’s No. 1 seed with a win combined with a New England loss.

Four teams are battling for the AFC’s two Wild Card spots: Baltimore (9-6), Tennessee (8-7), Los Angeles Chargers (8-7) and Buffalo (8-7). The Ravens and Titans are in control for their postseason berths and can each clinch with a win.

In the NFC, five teams have locked up playoff spots, including three division winners: Philadelphia (13-2, NFC East), Minnesota (12-3, NFC North), Los Angeles Rams (11-4, NFC West), New Orleans (11-4) and Carolina (11-4). The Eagles have secured home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. The Vikings can earn the conference’s other first-round bye with a win or a Carolina loss or a win by either New Orleans or the Rams. The Saints are in control in the NFC South and can lock up the division title with a win or a Carolina loss. The Panthers can win the NFC South with a win combined with a New Orleans loss. Carolina can also secure a first-round bye with a win combined with losses by New Orleans, Minnesota and the Rams.

Two teams remain alive for the NFC’s final playoff berth: Atlanta (9-6) and Seattle (9-6). The Falcons, who defeated the Seahawks 34-31 in Week 11, can clinch a playoff spot with a win or Seattle loss. The Seahawks can qualify for the postseason with a win combined with an Atlanta loss.

The Eagles and Jaguars have both completed “worst-to-first” turnarounds 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. If the Panthers win the NFC South, 2017 would tie the 2005 and 2006 seasons for the most such “worst-to-first” clubs in NFL history.

In case you’ve been asleep, here are some playoff scenarios for week 17. Some of these are simple, others could cause more confusion than a mouse in a burlesque show (apologies to Foghorn Leghorn!). Here are the week 17 scenarios.

AFC

CLINCHED: New England – AFC East division title and first-round bye; Pittsburgh – AFC North division title and first-round bye
Jacksonville – AFC South division title; Kansas City – AFC West division title

New England vs. New York Jets (5-10), 1 p.m.

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

1) New England win OR

2) Pittsburgh loss OR

3) New England tie + Pittsburgh tie

Pittsburgh (12-3) vs. Cleveland (0-15), 1 p.m.

Pittsburgh clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

1) Pittsburgh win + New England loss or tie OR

2) Pittsburgh tie + New England loss

Baltimore (9-6) vs. Cincinnati (6-9), 4:25 p.m.

Baltimore clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Baltimore win or tie OR

2) Buffalo loss or tie OR

3) Tennessee loss or tie

Tennessee (8-7) vs. Jacksonville (10-5), 4:25 p.m.

Tennessee clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Tennessee win OR

2) Tennessee tie + Buffalo loss or tie + Los Angeles Chargers loss or tie OR

3) Buffalo loss + Los Angeles Chargers loss

Los Angeles Chargers (8-7) vs. Oakland (6-9), 4:25 p.m.

Los Angeles Chargers clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Los Angeles Chargers win + Tennessee loss or tie + Buffalo loss or tie OR

2) Los Angeles Chargers win + Tennessee loss or tie + Baltimore win or tie OR

3) Los Angeles Chargers tie + Tennessee loss + Buffalo loss or tie

Buffalo (8-7) (at Miami (6-9), Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)

Buffalo clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Buffalo win + Baltimore loss OR

2) Buffalo win + Los Angeles Chargers loss or tie + Tennessee loss or tie OR

3) Buffalo tie + Los Angeles Chargers loss + Tennessee loss

NFC

CLINCHED: Philadelphia – NFC East division title and home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs; Minnesota – NFC North division title
Los Angeles Rams – NFC West division title; New Orleans – playoff berth; Carolina – playoff berth

Minnesota (12-3) vs. Chicago (5-10), 1 p.m.

Minnesota clinches a first-round bye with:

1) Minnesota win or tie OR

2) Carolina loss or tie OR

3) New Orleans win OR

4) Los Angeles Rams win

New Orleans (11-4) at Tampa Bay (4-11), 4:25 p.m.

New Orleans clinches NFC South division title with:

1) New Orleans win OR

2) Carolina loss OR

3) NO tie + Carolina tie

Carolina (11-4) at Atlanta (9-6), 4:25 p.m.

Carolina clinches NFC South division title with:

1) Carolina win + NO loss or tie OR

2) Carolina tie + NO loss

Carolina clinches a first-round bye with:

1) Carolina win + NO loss or tie + Minnesota loss + Los Angeles Rams loss or tie

ATLANTA (9-6) vs. Carolina (11-4), 4:25 p.m.

Atlanta clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Atlanta win OR

2) Seattle loss OR

3) Atlanta tie + Seattle tie

Seattle (9-6) vs. Arizona (7-8), 4:25 p.m.

Seattle clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Seattle win + Atlanta loss or tie OR

2) Seattle tie + Atlanta loss

Next week, it’s a totally diferent mindset and a totally different season.

Win. Move on.

Lose. Your next game’s kickoff is next year.

As for last week, we went 11-5 again (which wasn’t bad) and for the season, we’re 146-95.

Everything this week is on a Sunday and there are no Sunday or Monday night games on the docket, so when the Arizona-Seattle game comes to an end, the 2017 regular season comes to an end and the curtain will fall. The season comes to an end and for 20 teams that don’t make the post-season, they’ll be clearing out their lockers and teams will make changes in their coaching staffs and preparing for the draft. With that in mind, here are the week 17 picks.

Carolina (11-4) at ATLANTA (9-6), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Cam Newton vs. Matt Ryan, Round 2. This time, it’s Carolina that will make the trip down I-85 for an important NFC South meeting that could decide the fates of both clubs. Both clubs won the division the last two seasons and look to make their mark in the post-season.

Carolina comes into the late-afternoon contest after they took care of Tampa Bay 22-19 in Charlotte last Sunday. The Panthers led Tampa Bay and Jameis Winston 12-9 at the half in the battle of former Heisman QBs before the Bucs took a 16-12 lead with 10:27 left in the third when Winston and WR Bobo Wilson relived their FSU days and connected on a 18-yard TD pass in the contest. After Carolina’s Graham Gano pulled his club to within one with a 30-yard field goal at the 4:49 mark of the third quarter, Patrick Murray would put Tampa Bay back to a four-point lead with a 26-yard field with 14:57 left in regulation. That lead would stay that way until Newton engineered a 10-play, 59-yard drive that took 2:25 of clock, staring with three minutes left after Murray missed a 51-yard field goal and ended with Newton scoring on a three-yard TD run with 39 seconds left.

Carolina then had their fans crossing their fingers and holding their breaths as the Bucs got the ball back but took victory away from the Bucs as they would fumble and Julius Peppers would recover the ball at Tampa Bay’s 18-yard line. At than point, Winston was not a happy camper and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, making the penalty a half-the-distance foul and put the ball on the 9-yard line, where Carolina ran out the clock. Carolina outrushed Tampa Bay 115-66 and Newton threw for 160 with an interception, while Winston threw for 367 yards and a TD (Newton was sacked twice, while Winston was sacked six times). Carolina on third down tries went 4 of 13 but went 1 of 1 on fourth down at Bank of America Stadium and kept the ball for 30:30, while the Bucs were 6 of 11 third down wise, keeping the ball for 29:30.

Atlanta could never get on track against New Orleans last Sunday in the Big Easy, falling to the Saints 23-13. NeW Orleans led 13-0 at the intermission before the Falcons finally got on the board with 9:34 left in the third on a 37-yard field goal by Matt Bryant with 9:34. The Falcons later on thought they finally got into the end zone when Ryan and WR Julio Jones conntected on what they thought was a 5-yard TD pass but it would be later reversed after it was determined that Jones did not break the plain. Atlanta then got the ball on New Orleans’ 1-yard line but could not get into the end zone. After a second Bryant field goal, Tevin Coleman and Ryan connected on a 14-yard strike with 2:40 left in the contest to make it a 10-point affair. New Orleans then ran the clock out and took the win, avenging their week 15 loss in the Big Peach. Neither club breached the 100-yard rushing barrier and the Saints outrushed Atlanta 86-67 and Ryan threw for 288 yards and was sacked five times and picked off once, while Drew Brees threw for 239 yards and an interception with a sack (each man threw a TD pass). Atlanta went 2 of 13 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down and held the ball for 26:12, while the Saints ruled the clock and held the ball for 33:48, going 3 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Carolina and Atlanta met in Charlotte in week nine and the Panthers held on for a 20-17 win at Bank of America Stadium. Atlanta led 10-7 going into halftime before Newton gave Carolina the lead for good, scoring on a 5-yard run with 23 seconds left. Leading 14-10 at the half, Carolina added two more Gano field goals in the third quarter before the Falcons made it a 7-point contest with 3:25 left when Coleman and Ryan connected on a 19-yard TD pass but that would as close as Atlanta would get. Carolina outrushed the defending NFC champs 201-53 and Newton threw for 137 yards and a sack, while Ryan threw for 313 yards with the two TDs and an interception, while being sacked twice. Carolina on third down? The Panthers were 4 of 13 (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:52, while the Falcons were 4 of 12 on third down (0 of 3 on fourth down) and held the pigskin for 27:08.

Atlanta was favored by 2 in the week nine contest in the Tar Heel State and Carolina covered, winning by 3. The 42 over/under was untouched, as both clubs accounted for 37 points in the first meeting. The oddsmakers like the Falcons again, this time as 3 1/2 point favorites and the over/under’s 46. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Carolina would like to ruin the Falcons’ party, while the Falcons would like nothing more than to defend their NFC title. The Dirty Birds will get their wish. Falcons cover the 3 1/2 and win in the Big Peach.

Houston (4-11) at Indianapolis (3-12), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of AFC South cellar-dwellers meet in the Hoosier State in the season finale as the Texans take on the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Texans wound up on Pittsburgh’s naughty list Christmas Day afternoon and dropped a 34-6 decision to the Steelers at NRG Stadium. Pittsburgh, leading from start to finish, led 20-0 at the intermission and held the Texans to a 3-yard TD pass from T.J. Yates to DeAndre Hopkins with 12:30 left in the contest. Pittsburgh, who got a first-round bye with the win, got 226 yards of passing from Ben Roethlisberger with a pair of TDs, while the Steeler defense held T.J. Yates in check, holding him to 83 yards with six sacks and an interception. Houston did outrush Pittsburgh 176-104, with Houston’s Alfred Blue leading the way with 108 yards. The struggling Texans were 3 of 12 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs at NRG Stadium and kept the ball for 29:04, while the Steelers, led by LeVeon Bell’s 69 yards rushing (TD), kept the ball for 30:56, going 7 of 12 on third down conversions in the Lone Star State.

Indianapolis almost damaged Baltimore’s playoff hopes but the Ravens prevailed in Charm City, coming away 23-16 winners last Saturday afternoon. Baltimore led 13-7 at the half at M&T Bank Stadium before the Colts managed to keep things close, thanks to three second half field goals by Adam Vinatieri and held off a late Colts rally in the final minutes of the contest. Baltimore outrushed Indy 103-93 and Joe Flacco threw for 237 yards and a pair of TDs, while Jacoby Brissett threw for 215 yards and a TD (Brissett was sacked twice, Flacco was sacked once and neither threw an interception). Baltimore was 6 of 14 on third down tries (the Ravens were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:48, while the Colts were 24:12 in time of possession, going 5 of 13 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

They met in week nine in the Lone Star State and the Colts prevailed 20-14 at NRG Stadium in that contest. WR T.Y. Hilton scored on a pair of Brissett TD passes as the Colts led 10-7 at the half and took control in the contest. Houston did outrush Indy 94-92 but Brissett threw for 308 yards and the two TD passes, while Tom Savage threw for for 219 yards and a TD to Hopkins (Brissett was sacked three times, while Savage was sacked twice). Both clubs were 4 of 14 on third down tries, the Texans were 0 of 1 on fourth down and Houston kept the ball for 29:01, while the Colts ruled the clock and held the ball for 30:59.

Houston was a 7-point favorite in the week nine contest at NRG Stadium and the Colts came away with the win but only by 6 points. As for the 45 1/2 over/under? It was safe, as both teams combined for only 39 points. The Colts are favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 41. You might want to take a pass on this one and watch that “Mythbusters” marathon on Science Channel. This could very well be Chuck Pagano’s last game but the Colts will make it a good one. Indy covers the 3 1/2 back home again in Indiana and takes the win.

New York Jets (5-10) at New England (12-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of AFL/AFC East rivals meet again, this tim in Foxboro as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots welcome the New York Jets to Gillette Stadium in the regular season finale.

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! saw the Los Angeles Chargers improve their slim playoff chances last Sunday at Met Life Stadium, coming out on the short end of a 14-7 loss. After a scoreless first quarter, GangGreen trailed 7-0 at the half when Philip Rivers and TE Antonio Gates connected on a 3-yard TD pass halfway through the second quarter. NeW York would tie things up at 7-7 with 10:00 left in the third when Bilal Powell ran 57 yards yards untouched for his team’s firat and only score of the contest. The Bolts would take the lead back and for good in the third quarter when RB Melvin Gordon scored from one yard out with 4:57 left. GangGreen outrushed Los Angeles 197-89, with Powell leading everyone with 145 yards, while Rivers threw for 290 yards and Bryce Petty threw for 119 yards for the Jets. New York on third down tries at Met Life Stadium went 3 of 14 (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:02, while the Chargers held the ball for 32:58, going 5 of 16 on third down conversions.

The Pats and Brady took care of Buffalo 37-16 at Gillette Stadium last Sunday afternoon. Erasing a 3-0 deficit after the first 15 minutes, New England went to work and took a 13-13 tie with them to the intermision, then proceeded to outscore the Bills 24-3 in the final 30 minutes of action. New England outrushed Buffalo 193-84 and Pats RB Dion Lewis led all rushers with 129 yards on the ground, while Brady threw for 224 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with Lewis and All-Pro TE Rob Gronkowski on the two tosses. As for the Bills, Tyrod Taylor threw for 281 yards but was sacked six times in the loss. New England was 5 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:44, while the Bills, who kept the pigskin for 28:16, went 8 of 17 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down tries in eastern Massachusetts.

New England and GangGreen went into halftime tied at 14-14 before the Pats pulled away and took a 24-17 win at Met Life Stadium in week six. Brady (257 yards) and Gronkowski connected on a pair of TDs in the game as the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! would pull to within seven with 3:40 on a 28-yard field goal by Chris Catanzaro but could come no closer as the Pats ran out the clock and took the win. New England outrushed GangGreen 118-74, while Josh McGown threw for 354 yards with a pair of TDs and a pair of interceptions. Both clubs did reasonably well on third down conversions (the Pats were 7 of 13, the Jets were 9 of 17 and 1 of 3 on fourth down) and the clock was on the side of the Jets, who held the ball for 33:40, while the Pats kept it for 26:20.

In the week six contest in upstate New Jersey, New England came away 7-point winners, missing the 9 1/2-point spread. The 47 1/2 over/under was untouched, as both teams merged for only 41 points. The odds makers New England a 15 point favorite in Foxboro and the over/under’s 45. The 45 makes sense. The 15 is a bit steep. GangGreen’s played some decent football and while they’re not going to the post-season, they’re not 15 points bad. New England wins this one but expect the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! to make life hard for Brady and the Pats in Foxboro.

Cleveland (0-15) at Pittsburgh (12-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. The winless Browns travel to the Steel City for a Sunday afternoon date with the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.

Heartbreak continued for Browns fans last Sunday along the shore of Lake Michigan as they lost to Chicago 20-3 at Solider Field. Cleveland trailed 6-3 at the half, thanks to a 48-yard field goal by Zeke Gonzalez with one second left before the intermission, then saw Da Bears pull away from Cleveland in the second half, getting rushing TDs from Jordan Howard, who already had one TD and Mitch Trubisky in the second half to put the contest away. Chicago outrushed Cleveland 97-75 and DeShon Kizer threw for 182 yards with a pair of interceptions, while Trubisky threw for 193 yards and five sacks. Cleveland was 4 of 13 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs in the Windy City, keeping the ball for 26:46, while Da Bears kept the ball in hibernation for 33:14, going 7 of 16 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Pittsburgh put Houston on their naughty list Christmas Day afternoon as they took care of the Texans 34-6 at NRG Stadium. Pittsburgh, who already won the AFC North, led from start to finish, taking a 20-0 lead at the intermission and held the Texans to a 3-yard TD pass from T.J. Yates to DeAndre Hopkins with 12:30 left in the contest. Pittsburgh, who got a first-round bye with the win, got 226 yards of passing from Ben Roethlisberger with a pair of TDs, while the Steeler defense held T.J. Yates in check, holding him to 83 yards with six sacks and an interception. Houston did outrush Pittsburgh 176-104, with Houston’s Alfred Blue leading the way with 108 yards. The struggling Texans were 3 of 12 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs at NRG Stadium and kept the ball for 29:04, while the Steelers, led by LeVeon Bell’s 69 yards rushing (TD), kept the ball for 30:56, going 7 of 12 on third down conversions in the Lone Star State.

The two clubs opened the 2017 campaign along the shores of Lake Erie and the Steelers were 21-18 winners at FirstEnergy Field. Pittsburgh led 14-7 at the half, then held off the Browns in the final 30 minutes of action as Cleveland would pull to within 3 with 3:36 left in the contest when Kizer and WR Corey Coleman connected on a 3-yard TD strike. Cleveland would come no closer and failed on their onside kick attempt, allowing the Steelers to take the ball and run out the clock. The Browns did manage to outrush Pittsburgh 57-35 but Roethlisberger threw for 263 yards and a pair of TDs to TE Jesse James, while Kizer threw for 222 yards with seven sacks.

Pittsburgh, favored by 9 1/2 in the season opener, won by 3 along the shores of Lake Erie and the 46 1/2 over/under was intact, as both clubs combined for 39 points. Pittsburgh’s favored again, this time by 13 and the over/under’s 39 1/2. The Browns are just bad and Browns coach Hugh Jackson made a promise that if his team goes 0 for the season, he’d jump in Lake Erie. Pittsburgh may not cover the 13 but they take the win in the Steel City and Jackson takes the plunge.

Green Bay (7-8) at Detroit (8-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of NFC North teams that saw their playoff hopes come crashing down meet in the Motor City as Green Bay travels to Detroit to face off against the Detroit Lions.

With their playoff hopes dashed last Monday night by Atlanta in Tampa Bay, Green Bay watched Minnesota score all of their 16 points unchallenged last Saturday night at Lambeau as the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers were shut out 16-0 in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst. WR Stefon Diggs scored the game’s only TD when he caught a 4-yard TD pass from Case Keenum with 56 seconds left in the opening frame, then got a pair of Kai Horbath field goals in the final 30 minutes of action to seal Green Bay’s fate. Green Bay did manage to outrush the Purple Gang 113-112 and Keenum threw for 139 yards, while Brett Hundley threw for 130 yards and a pair of interceptions. Both clubs were 4 of 15 on third down and the Packers were 0 of 4 on fourth down tries and the Vikings ruled the clock, holding the ball for 31:37 to Green Bay’s 28:23.

Detroit saw their playoff hopes die in Cincinnati last Sunday afternoon after their 26-17 loss to Andy Dalton and the Bengals along the shores of the Ohio River. The Lions let a 7-6 halftime lead get away from them as the Bengals pulled away in the final 30 minutes of action, outscoring Detroit 20-10 in that time. Cincy outrushed Detroit 142-87, Giovani Bernard ran for 116 yards and a TD and Dalton threw for 238 yards, while Matthew Stafford threw for 203 yards (both men threw a TD and an interception, Dalton was sacked three times, while Stafford was sacked twice). The Bengals were 7 of 14 on third down and held the ball for 32:29, while Detroit on third down was 6 of 15 (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:31.

Detroit and Green Bay met at Lambeau in week nine and the Lions left the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst 30-17 winners. The Lions led 14-3 at the intermission and took control from that point onward. Green Bay did outrush Detroit 78-64 and Stafford threw for 361 yards and a pair of TDs, while Hundley threw for 245 yards with a pair of sacks (Hundley did have a rushing TD in the contest). Green Bay went 2 of 9 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 23:05, while the Lions were 8 of 13 on third down conversions, keepin the ball for 36:55.

In the week nine contest at Lambeau, the Lions were favored by 2 1/2 and covered the spread, winning by 13 and both clubs covered the 43 1/2 over/under, scoring 47 points. Detroit’s favored again, this time by 7 with a 43 over/under. Green Bay’s looking for revenge and they’ll get it. Packers cover the 7 and win in the Motor City.

Chicago (5-10) at Minnesota (12-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. Chicago travels to the Twin Cities for an NFC North matchup with the Minnesota Vikings in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Da Bears gave Clevland fans even more heartache last Sunday at snowy Soldier Field, coming away 20-3 winners in the Windy City. Chicago led 6-3 at the half, then pulled away from Cleveland in the second half, getting rushing TDs from Jordan Howard, who already had one TD and Mitch Trubisky in the second half to put the contest away. Chicago outrushed Cleveland 97-75 and DeShon Kizer threw for 182 yards with a pair of interceptions, while Trubisky threw for 193 yards and five sacks. Cleveland was 4 of 13 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs in the Windy City, keeping the ball for 26:46, while Da Bears kept the ball in hibernation for 33:14, going 7 of 16 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Minnesota scored all of their 16 points against Green Bay unchallenged last Saturday night at Lambeau as they shut out the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers 16-0 in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst. WR Stefon Diggs scored the game’s only TD when he caught a 4-yard TD pass from Case Keenum with 56 seconds left in the opening frame, then got a pair of Kai Horbath field goals in the final 30 minutes of action to seal Green Bay’s fate. Green Bay did manage to outrush the Purple Gang 113-112 and Keenum threw for 139 yards, while Brett Hundley threw for 130 yards and a pair of interceptions. Both clubs were 4 of 15 on third down and the Packers were 0 of 4 on fourth down tries and the Vikings ruled the clock, holding the ball for 31:37 to Green Bay’s 28:23.

Da Bears and Minnesota met in the Windy City in week five and the Vikings were 20-17 winners. After taking a score of 3-2 that resembled a Twins-White Sox game (Minnesota had the lead), Minnesota and Chicago played a close second half but the Vikings prevailed in the final 30 minutes of action to take the win. Minnesota outrushed Chicago 159-115 and after taking over for Sam Bradford, Keenum threw for 140 yards, while Trubisky threw for 128 yards (each had a TD pass). Chicago was 3 of 12 on third down (Da Bears were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:36, while the Vikings ruled the clock and held on to the pigskin for 31:24, going 6 of 15 on third down.

In the week five contest in the Windy City on a Monday night, the Vikings were 2 1/2-point favorites and won by 3. Both teams barely missed the 40 over/under, as they combined for 37 points. Minnesota’s favored by 11 1/2 in the rematch and the over/under’s 39 1/2. Da Bears at times have played some decent football this year and while they’re going to miss the playoffs again, they’ll give the Vikings all they can handle to help John Fox keep his job but Minnesota prevails at home and takes the win, even though they’re not going to cover the 11 1/2.

Washington (7-8) at New York Giants (2-13), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins travel to upstate New Jersey for an early afternoon meeting with Eli Manning and the New York Giants at Met Life Stadium.

The Redskins moved to within one game of the .500 mark after they defeated Denver 27-11 at FedEx Field in the home finale in Landover. Cousins threw three TDs passes in the contest as Washington erased a 3-0 first quarter deficit, led 10-3 at the intermission and proceeded to corral the Broncos in the second half. While the Broncos outrushed Washington 159-87, Cousins threw for 299 yards and the three TDs, while Brock Osweiler threw for 193 yards and four sacks (each threw an interception). Washington was 5 of 13 on third down tries in northern Maryland and kept the ball for 29:33, while Denver ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 30:27, going 5 of 17 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The dismal and somewhat disappointing season for the Giants continued in the desert last Sunday as New York and Eli were shutout by the Desert Angry Birds 23-0 in Glendale. Held to 43 yards rushing, the Giants saw Arizona score all of their points in the contest unchallenged and trailed 10-0 at the half, while rushing for 74 yards of their own. Manning threw for 263 yards with a pair of sacks and a pair of interceptions, while Arizona’s Drew Stanton threw for 209 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with All-Pro WR Larry Fitzgerald on one of those tosses. The Giants on third down were a somewhat dismal 1 of 14 on third down and 1 of 4 on fourth down in the desert, keeping the ball for 26:47, while the Desert Angry Birds were 5 of 14 on third down, keeping the pigskin for 33:13.

They met in Landover in week 12 and Washington came away 20-10 winners at FedEX Field. Washington broke a 10-10 tie after three quarters of play (the teams were tied 3-3 at the half) and scored their final 10 points in the fourth quarter without a challenge from the Giants. Washington’s Samaje Perine led all rushers with 100 yards, as the Redskins outrushed the Giants 122-84 and Cousins threw for 242 yards and a pair of TDs with six sacks, while Manning threw for 113 yards with four sacks (each man threw an interception). Washington was 4 of 15 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 34:37, while the Giants kept the ball for 25:23, going 2 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Washington covered the 7-point spread in the week 12 contest that was played on Thanksgiving night but the 44 over/under was safe as both teams combined for 30 points. Washington’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 38. Both numbers make sense. The Giants have been football’s answer to Mrs. Fletcher (and we’re not talking the character on “Murder, She Wrote”). Redskins fans have been singing “Hail To The Redskins” the last two weeks after their wins. Better warm up those pipes, kids. “Hail To The Redskins!” Washington covers the 3 1/2 and takes the win in upstate New Jersey.

Dallas (8-7) at Philadelphia (13-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. The Cowboys limp into the City of Brotherly Love, hoping to do some damage to the Eagles’ march to the playoffs.

Dallas saw their playoff hopes come to an end in Arlington last Sunday afternoon as they would fall to Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks 21-12. Dallas took a 9-7 halftime lead with them to the intermission before Seattle woke up and took control of things in the second half to take a win in what some called an elimination game. Seattle got TDs from CB Josh Coleman (interception) and WR Doug Baldwin (TD pass from Russell Wilson) in the second half as they held the Cowboys to four Dan Bailey field goals and Ezekiel Elliot to 97 yards rushing. Dallas would have made the contest a 3-point affair late in the game but Bailey missed a pair of key field goals that could have made things closer. Dallas outrushed Seattle 128-76 and Dak Prescott threw for 182 yards, while Wilson threw for 93 yards with two TDs (Wilson connected with TE Jimmy Graham for the other TD strike). Dallas was 6 of 13 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 32:50, while Seattle kept the ball for 27:10, going 4 of 11 on third down.

The Eagles clinched home field advantage last Monday night as they defeated Oakland 19-10 in the City of Brotherly Love. After going to the half tied at 7-7, Oakland took a 10-7 lead on a 25-yard field goal by Giorgio Tavecchio with 10:50 left in the third. That would be the last time Oaklahd would lead, as the Eagles got a pair of Josh Elliott field goals and closed things out when DE Derek Barnett lived a linesman’s dream and returned a Raiders’ fumble 23 yards for a game-ending TD. While the Eagles were held to 78 yards rushing and Oakland ran for 137 (Marshawn Lynch led all rushers with 95 yards), Philadelphia managed to force Oakland to turn the ball over five times, including the final turnover of the contest and Nick Foles threw for 163 yards, while Derek Carr threw for 140 (each threw a TD pass, Carr was picked off twice, Foles was picked off once). While the Eagles went 1 of 14 on third down tries, there were successful on fourth down tries, going 2 of 2 and kept the ball for 25:39, while the Raiders were 34:21 in time of possession, going 3 of 13 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Dallas and Philadelphia squared off in Arlington in week 11 and the Eagles took control of things AT&T Stadium, after they trailed 9-6 at the break. The Eagles then went on to score 30 second half points unchallenged to take the 37-9 NFC East win in the Lone Star State. Philly outrushed Dallas 215-112 and Carson Wentz threw for 168 yards and a pair of TDs, while Prescott threw for 145 yards with three interceptions and four sacks in the Sunday night contest. Philly was 5 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:29, while the Cowboys were 3 of 14, 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs, with the Cowboys keeping the ball for 30:31.

Philadelphia covered the 4-point spread in the contest that took place the Sunday before Thanksgiving, winning by 28 but both clubs missed the 48 1/2 over/under, scoring 46 points. Dallas is favored by 2 in the City of Brotherly Love and the over/under’s 41. The Eagles rule the NFC East and they’ve got a bye in the first round, while the Cowboys want to make things harder for them. Eagles soar in the City of Brotherly Love and cover the 2 with the win at home.

Jacksonville (10-5) at Tennessee (8-7), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 710. Jacksonville travels to the Music City for a rematch with the Tennesee Titans in a contest that could decide the fate of the host team. Both teams enter Sunday’s contest with losses under their belts.

The Jaguars, who won the AFC South title with Tennessee’s loss to the Rams, went into the half in their contest tied with San Francisco at 16-16, only to see the 49ers break the tie and take a 44-33 win at Levis’ Stadium in Santa Clara last Sunday. Blake Bortles threw for 382 yards and a pair of TDs but was picked off twice, as Jacksonville was outrushed by the resurging 49ers 131-92, while the 49ers Jimmy Garaffalo threw for 242 yards with a pair of passing TDs and had a rushing TD of his own. San Francisco, who led 23-19 after three quarters of play, only needed to keep the ball for 29:11 while going 10 of 15 on third down tries. Jacksonville went 5 of 13 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:49.

Tennessee’s hopes of winning the AFC South title were dashes as the Los Angeles Rams left Nissan Stadium with the NFC West crown and a 27-23 win in Nashville last Sunday. Tennessee was outscored by the Rams 14-13 in the second half, as they broke a 13-13 tie at the intermission to take the win and the divisional title for the first time since 2003 when they were in St. Louis. Los Angeles outrushed Tennessee 116-97 and Todd Gurley led all rushers with 118 yards, catching a pair of Jared Goff TD passes in the win. Goff threw for 301 yards and four TDs in the win, while Tennessee Marcus Mariota threw for 275 yards with a sack and an interception. The Rams were 6 of 14 on third down and 1 of 2 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 30:04, while Tennessee went 29:56 in time of possession, going 3 of 12 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

The Titans flexed some muscle in Jacksonville in their week two meeting at EverBank Field, taking a 37-16 win in the Sunshine State. Tennessee led 6-3 at the break, then broke away from the Jaguars in the final 30 minutes of action, outscoring the Jaguars 31-13 in that frame. Tennessee outrushed Jacksonville 179-99, Mariota threw for 215 yards and Blake Bortles threw for 223 yards (each man threw a TD pass, Mariota was sacked once and threw an interception, while Bortles was sacked twice and threw a pair of picks). Both clubs were 6 of 13 on third down in the home opener for Jacksonville, who kept the ball for 29:14, while the Titans held the pigskin for 30:46.

In the week two contest in the Sunshine State, the Titans covered the 1 1/2-point spread, winning by 21 and both clubs covered the 48 1/2 over/under by tallying 53 points. The Titans are favored by 5 1/2 in the rematch and the over/under’s 41. Jacksonville is set as the 3 seed in the AFC, while Tennessee is trying to crash the party. Jaguars get their revenge on Tennessee in the Music City and cover the 5 1/2 on the road.

Buffalo (8-7) at Miami (6-9), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of AFC East foes meet in the Sunshine State as Miami hopes to ruin Buffalo’s playoff chances as they host the Bills at Hard Rock Stadium. Both teams enter the AFC East finale with road losses under their belts.

Buffalo’s playoff hopes took a hit at New England a the Bills fell to Tom Brady and the Pats 37-16 at Gillette Stadium last Sunday afternoon. Erasing a 3-0 deficit after the first 15 minutes, New England went to work and took a 13-13 tie with them to the intermision, then proceeded to outscore the Bills 24-3 in the final 30 minutes of action. New England outrushed Buffalo 193-84 and Pats RB Dion Lewis led all rushers with 129 yards on the ground, while Brady threw for 224 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with Lewis and All-Pro TE Rob Gronkowski on the two tosses. As for the Bills, Tyrod Taylor threw for 281 yards but was sacked six times in the loss. New England was 5 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:44, while the Bills, who kept the pigskin for 28:16, went 8 of 17 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down tries in eastern Massachusetts.

Miami would watch Kansas City take the AFC West as they lost to the Chiefs 29-13 at Arrowhead. The Dolphins trailed 17-13 at the intermission in the Show-Me State before the Chiefs scored their final nine points of the contest without a challenge, thanks to three Hank Butker in the final 30 minutes of action. Kansas City outrushed Miami 103-59 and Alex Smith threw for 304 yards, while Miami’s 286 (both men threw a TD pass without an interception, while Smith was sacked once). Miami was 0 of 8 and 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs and held on to the ball for 22:07, while Kansas City held on to the ball for 37:53, going 8 of 16 on third down.

They met two weeks ago in upstate New York and the Bills escacped with a 24-16 win in Orchard Park. Trailing 21-6 after the first 30 minutes of action, the Dolphins would eventually pull to within eight with 39 seconds left in regulation when K Chris Parkey connected on a 23-yard field goal to make it 24-16. Miami then tried the onside kick and failed, allowing the Bills to recover the ball and run out the clock. Buffalo outrushed Miami 116-100 and LeSean McCoy scored a pair of TDs in the contest, one rushing and one on a 16-yard TD pass from Tyrod Taylor in the second quarter. Taylor threw for 224 yards and the lone TD pass, while Jay Cutler threw for 274 yards but was picked off three times and sacked three times. Miami went 5 of 16 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:25, while the Bills possessed the pigskin for 27:35, going 7 of 15, 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

The Bills covered the 3 1/2-point spread last week in upstate New York, winning by 8 but both teams barely missed the 42 over/under by 2 points. In the Sunshine State rematch, the Bills are favored by 3 and the over/under’s 42 1/2. The Dolphins figure if they can’t go to the playoffs, Buffalo’s not going either. Misery loves company and the Dolphins take revenge on the Bills and cover the 3 with the win at home.

Cincinnati (6-9) at Baltimore (9-6), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. If nothing else, Cincinnati comes to Charm City to face off against the Ravens for a chance to do some damage to Baltimore’s playoff plans.

Cincinnati put an end to Detroit’s playoff hopes last Sunday afternoon as they came away 26-17 winners along the shores of the Ohio River. The Lions let a 7-6 halftime lead get away from them as the Bengals pulled away in the final 30 minutes of action, outscoring Detroit 20-10 in that time. Cincy outrushed Detroit 142-87, Giovani Bernard ran for 116 yards and a TD and Dalton threw for 238 yards, while Matthew Stafford threw for 203 yards (both men threw a TD and an interception, Andy Dalton was sacked three times, while Stafford was sacked twice). The Bengals were 7 of 14 on third down and held the ball for 32:29, while Detroit on third down was 6 of 15 (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:31.

The Ravens kept their playoff hopes alive in Charm City, coming away 23-16 winners last Saturday afternoon against Indianapolis. Baltimore led 13-7 at the half at M&T Bank Stadium before the Colts managed to keep things close, thanks to three second half field goals by Adam Vinatieri and held off a late Colts rally in the final minutes of the contest. Baltimore outrushed Indy 103-93 and Joe Flacco threw for 237 yards and a pair of TDs, while Jacoby Brissett threw for 215 yards and a TD (Brissett was sacked twice, Flacco was sacked once and neither threw an interception). Baltimore was 6 of 14 on third down tries (the Ravens were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:48, while the Colts were 24:12 in time of possession, going 5 of 13 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Cincinnati and Baltimore opened the 2017 campaign at Paul Brown Stadium and the Ravens scored all 20 of their points unchallenged, shutting out the Bengals 20-0. Baltimore led 17-0 at the break and never looked back to take the season opener. Cincy was outrushed 157-77 and Dalton threw for 170 yards with five sacks and four interceptions, while Flacco threw for 121 yards and a TD. The Ravens on third down went 6 of 14 and kept the ball for 34 minutes, while the Bengals held the pigskin for 26 minutes, going 4 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Although they were the underdogs, the Ravens covered the 3-point spread, winning by 20 but both teams missed the 42 over/under, tallying only 20 points. The odds makers like Baltimore again, this time as 9 1/2 point favorites and the over/under coming in at 40 1/2. History has a way of repeating itself and that will be the case for the Ravens. They may or may not make the post-season but they’ll make life miserable for Marvin Lewis in what could be his last game in Cincy. Ravens may not cover the 9 1/2 but they’ll take the win.

New Orleans (11-4) at Tampa Bay (4-11), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. Drew Brees vs. Jameis Winston. They meet in the Sunshine State in a late afternoon affair as the Saints travel to Tampa Bay for a showdown with the Bucaneers.

Brees and the Saints manhandled Atlanta 23-13 in the Big Easy last Sunday. NeW Orleans led 13-0 at the intermission before the Falcons finally got on the board with 9:34 left in the third on a 37-yard field goal by Matt Bryant with 9:34. The Falcons later on thought they finally got into the end zone when Ryan and WR Julio Jones conntected on what they thought was a 5-yard TD pass but it would be later reversed after it was determined that Jones did not break the plain. Atlanta then got the ball on New Orleans’ 1-yard line but could not get into the end zone. After a second Bryant field goal, Tevin Coleman and Ryan connected on a 14-yard strike with 2:40 left in the contest to make it a 10-point affair. New Orleans then ran the clock out and took the win, avenging their week 15 loss in the Big Peach. Neither club breached the 100-yard rushing barrier and the Saints outrushed Atlanta 86-67 and Ryan threw for 288 yards and was sacked five times and picked off once, while Drew Brees threw for 239 yards and an interception with a sack (each man threw a TD pass). Atlanta went 2 of 13 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down and held the ball for 26:12, while the Saints ruled the clock and held the ball for 33:48, going 3 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Tampa Bay fans had their hearts broken as they lost to Carolina 22-19 in Charlotte last Sunday. The Panthers led Tampa Bay and Jameis Winston 12-9 at the half in the battle of former Heisman QBs before the Bucs took a 16-12 lead with 10:27 left in the third when Winston and WR Bobo Wilson relived their FSU days and connected on a 18-yard TD pass in the contest. After Carolina’s Graham Gano pulled his club to within one with a 30-yard field goal at the 4:49 mark of the third quarter, Patrick Murray would put Tampa Bay back to a four-point lead with a 26-yard field with 14:57 left in regulation. That lead would stay that way until Newton engineered a 10-play, 59-yard drive that took 2:25 of clock, staring with three minutes left after Murray missed a 51-yard field goal and ended with Newton scoring on a three-yard TD run with 39 seconds left.

Tampa Bay fans had their hopes of an upset snatched away from them faster than a kid going after a Christmas cookie as the Bucs got the ball back on the ensuing kick off, only to see Winston fumble and Julius Peppers recover the ball at Tampa Bay’s 18-yard line. At than point, Winston was not a happy camper and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, making the penalty a half-the-distance foul and put the ball on the 9-yard line, where Carolina ran out the clock. Carolina outrushed Tampa Bay 115-66 and Newton threw for 160 with an interception, while Winston threw for 367 yards and a TD (Newton was sacked twice, while Winston was sacked six times). Carolina on third down tries went 4 of 13 but went 1 of 1 on fourth down at Bank of America Stadium and kept the ball for 30:30, while the Bucs were 6 of 11 third down wise, keeping the ball for 29:30.

They met in week nine in the Big Easy and the Saints took a 16-3 lead with them to the intermission and came away 30-10 winners. Brees threw for 263 yards and a pair of TDs, while Winston tallied 67 yards of passing before leaving the contest in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick, who had 68 yards and a TD pass (both Winston and Fitzpatrick were sacked twice)) in a contest that saw things get chippy when there was some pushing and shoving going on on the Tampa Bay sideline. New Orleans went 7 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 32:18, while the Bucs, who held the ball for 27:42, went 4 of 13 on third down.

In the week nine contest in the Big Easy, New Orleans covered the 7-point spread, winning by 20 and both teams missed the 52 over/under, scoring only 40 points. New Orleans is favored by 7 and the over/under’s 50 1/2. This one’s for all the chips in the NFC South and Tampa Bay would like nothing more than to turn the tables on the Saints. Tampa Bay wins this one in an upset and could cover the 7 in the process.

Kansas City (9-6) at Denver (5-10), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 717. Kansas City travels westward to Mile High for an late afternoon contest with the Denver Broncos in an AFC West game that means nothing to either club.

Kansas City took the AFC West as they took down Miami 29-13 at Arrowhead. The Dolphins trailed 17-13 at the intermission in the Show-Me State, then watched the Chiefs score their final nine points of the contest without a challenge, thanks to three Harrison Butker in the final 30 minutes of action. Kansas City outrushed Miami 103-59 and Alex Smith threw for 304 yards, while Miami’s 286 (both men threw a TD pass without an interception, while Smith was sacked once). Miami was 0 of 8 and 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs and held on to the ball for 22:07, while Kansas City held on to the ball for 37:53, going 8 of 16 on third down. Smith will take a break this week and Patrick Mahomes will start under center for Kansas City.

Denver was taken to task by Washington 27-11 at FedEx Field in Landover. Redskins QB Kirk Cousins threw three TDs passes in the contest as Washington erased a 3-0 first quarter deficit, led 10-3 at the intermission and proceeded to corral the Broncos in the second half. While the Broncos outrushed Washington 159-87, Cousins threw for 299 yards and the three TDs, while Brock Osweiler threw for 193 yards and four sacks (each threw an interception). Washington was 5 of 13 on third down tries in northern Maryland and kept the ball for 29:33, while Denver ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 30:27, going 5 of 17 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Meeting in Arrowhead on a Monday night in week eight, the Chiefs were 29-19 winners in the first meeting. Although Denver outscored the Chiefs 16-9 in the final 30 minutes of play, Kansas City led 17-3 at the break and held off the Broncos for the win. While Denver outrushed Kansas City 177-79, Alex Smith burned Denver for 202 yards, while Trevor Siemian threw for 196 for Denver (both men threw a TD pass, Smith connecting with TE Travis Kelce; Siemian threw three intercaptions with three sacks). Denver was 5 of 13 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down tries and held the ball for 31:23, while the Chiefs, who were 2 of 12 on third down, held the ball for 28:37.

In the Monday night contest at Arrowhead, the Chiefs won by 10, allowing them to cover the 7 1/2-point spread and the 43 over/under was also covered, as both clubs tallied 48 points. Denver’s favored by 3 1/2 in the Mile High City and the over/under’s 38. Both numbers make a lot of sense. The Chiefs are repeating as AFC West champs for the first time in history and will play at home in the first round as the four seed, while the Broncos want to derail the KC train. Chiefs pull the upset and takes the win in the Mile High City.

Oakland (6-9) at Los Angeles Chargers (8-7), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 718. Oakland makes their way down I-5 for an AFC West matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers in hope of damaging the Chargers’ playoff hopes at StubHub Center.

Oakland watched Philadelphia clinch home field advantage last Monday night as they defeated Oakland 19-10 in the City of Brotherly Love. After going to the half tied at 7-7, Oakland took a 10-7 lead on a 25-yard field goal by Giorgio Tavecchio with 10:50 left in the third. That would be the last time Oaklahd would lead, as the Eagles got a pair of Josh Elliott field goals and closed things out when DE Derek Barnett lived a linesman’s dream and returned a Raiders’ fumble 23 yards for a game-ending TD. While the Eagles were held to 78 yards rushing and Oakland ran for 137 (Marshawn Lynch led all rushers with 95 yards), Philadelphia managed to force Oakland to turn the ball over five times, including the final turnover of the contest and Nick Foles threw for 163 yards, while Derek Carr threw for 140 (each threw a TD pass, Carr was picked off twice, Foles was picked off once). While the Eagles went 1 of 14 on third down tries, there were successful on fourth down tries, going 2 of 2 and kept the ball for 25:39, while the Raiders were 34:21 in time of possession, going 3 of 13 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

The Chargers improved their slim playoff chances last Sunday at Met Life Stadium, coming away from upstate New Jersey with a 14-7 win at Met Lief Stadium. After both clubs had a scoreless first quarter, GangGreen trailed 7-0 at the half when Philip Rivers and TE Antonio Gates connected on a 3-yard TD pass halfway through the second quarter. NeW York would tie things up at 7-7 with 10:00 left in the third when Bilal Powell ran 57 yards yards untouched for his team’s firat and only score of the contest. The Bolts would take the lead back and for good in the third quarter when RB Melvin Gordon scored from one yard out with 4:57 left. GangGreen outrushed Los Angeles 197-89, with Powell leading everyone with 145 yards, while Rivers threw for 290 yards and Bryce Petty threw for 119 yards for the Jets. New York on third down tries at Met Life Stadium went 3 of 14 (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:02, while the Chargers held the ball for 32:58, going 5 of 16 on third down conversions.

They met in Oakland in week six and the Bolts left Oakland with a 17-16 come-from-behind win as Nick Novak connected on a 32-yard field goal as time expired. The Silver and Black took a 10-3 lead into the final 15 minutes of play (they led by that score at the half and the two teams went scoreless in the third quarter) before Los Angeles came away 1-point winners at the end of the contest. Oakland outrushed Los Angeles 109-90 and Carr threw for 171 yards, while Rivers threw for 268 yards in the AFC West showdown in northern California (each threw a TD pass and was sacked once, with Carr throwing two interceptions). Third down tries? Los Angeles was 6 of 14, Oakland was 6 of 12 (the Chargers were 1 of 2 on fourth down, Oakland went 0 for 1) and the Chargers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:03 to Oakland’s 27:57.

In the week six contest, Oakland was favored by 3 1/2 at home and the Chargers came away 1-point winners and the 53 1/2 over/under stayed untouched as both teams merged for 33 points. The Chargers are favored by 7 1/2 in Tinseltown and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Oakland’s out of the playoff hunt, while the Chargers are holding on for dear life and hope. Chargers may not cover the 7 1/2 or make the post-season but they’ll make their fans happy and take the win over Oakland at home.

San Francisco (5-10) at Los Angeles Rams (11-4), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 719. An improved San Francisco 49ers team makes its way down I-5 to face off against the Los Angeles Rams in Tinseltown. Both teams took huge wins last win in Sunday’s action, the 49ers winning at home in wine country, while the Rams were victors in the Music City.

San Francisco erased a 16-16 tie with Jacksonville and came away with a 44-33 win at Levis’ Stadium in Santa Clara last Sunday. Blake Bortles threw for 382 yards and a pair of TDs but was picked off twice, as Jacksonville was outrushed by the resurging 49ers 131-92, while the 49ers Jimmy Garaffalo threw for 242 yards with a pair of passing TDs and had a rushing TD of his own. San Francisco, who led 23-19 after three quarters of play, only needed to keep the ball for 29:11 while going 10 of 15 on third down tries. Jacksonville went 5 of 13 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:49.

The Rams ended Tennessee’s hope of winning the AFC South title and claimed the NFC West crown with a 27-23 win in Nashville last Sunday. Outscoring the Titans 14-13 in the second half, the Rams broke a 13-13 tie at the intermission to take the win and the divisional title for the first time since 2003 when they were in St. Louis. Los Angeles outrushed Tennessee 116-97 and Todd Gurley led all rushers with 118 yards, catching a pair of Jared Goff TD passes in the win. Goff threw for 301 yards and four TDs in the win, while Tennessee Marcus Mariota threw for 275 yards with a sack and an interception. The Rams were 6 of 14 on third down and 1 of 2 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 30:04, while Tennessee went 29:56 in time of possession, going 3 of 12 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Los Angeles survived a 41-39 nailbiter at Levis Stadium in week three to take the win over their instate and NFC West rivals in the first meeting. The Rams led 24-13 at the intermission in the Thursday night contest but would be outscored by San Francisco 26-17 in the final 30 minutes of action to make things close. Gurley ran for 113 yards and had three TDs in the contest, while the 49ers Carlos Hyde accounted for two rushing TDs in the loss (Hyde ran for 84 yards), as the Rams outrushed San Francisco 126-133 in the win. Goff threw for 292 yards with three TDs, connecting with Gurley on one and WR Sammy Watkins on the other two, while Blaine Hoyer threw for 332 yards with a pair of TDs, four sacks and an interception. Both clubs did reasonably well on third down tries in the Thursday night contest; the Rams were 8 of 12, San Francisco went 9 of 18 (the 49ers were 2 of 3 on fourth down) and time favored the 49ers, who held on to the ball for 30:17, while the Rams kept it for 29:43.

The 49ers were favored by 3 in the week three contest in wine country but the Rams were only able to win by two in that first meeting. Both teams combined for 80 points, allowing them to shatter the 40 1/2 over/under. The Rams are favored this time an the odds makers like them as 4 1/2 point favorites with a 45 1/2 over/under. The 49ers have actually played some decent football of late but that comes to an end. Rams cover the 4 1/2 and takes the win at home.

Arizona (7-8) at Seattle (9-6), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 720. A pair of NFC West rivals meet in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks as Seattle hosts Arizona at Century Link Field in the final game of the week 17 docket.

New York and Eli Manning were shutout by the Desert Angry Birds 23-0 in Glendale. Arizona held the Giants to 43 yards rushing, as the Giants saw Arizona score all of their points in the contest unchallenged and trailed 10-0 at the half, while rushing for 74 yards of their own. Manning threw for 263 yards with a pair of sacks and a pair of interceptions, while Arizona’s Drew Stanton threw for 209 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with All-Pro WR Larry Fitzgerald on one of those tosses. The Giants on third down were a somewhat dismal 1 of 14 on third down and 1 of 4 on fourth down in the desert, keeping the ball for 26:47, while the Desert Angry Birds were 5 of 14 on third down, keeping the pigskin for 33:13.

Seattle kept their slim playoff hopes alive and ended Dallas’ hopes in Arlington, taking a 21-12 win out of Arlington in the process. Dallas took a 9-7 halftime lead with them to the intermission before Seattle woke up and took control of things in the second half to take a win in what some called an elimination game. Seattle got TDs from CB Josh Coleman (interception) and WR Doug Baldwin (TD pass from Russell Wilson) in the second half as they held the Cowboys to four Dan Bailey field goals and Ezekiel Elliot to 97 yards rushing. Dallas would have made the contest a 3-point affair late in the game but Bailey missed a pair of key field goals that could have made things closer. Dallas outrushed Seattle 128-76 and Dak Prescott threw for 182 yards, while Wilson threw for 93 yards with two TDs (Wilson connected with TE Jimmy Graham for the other TD strike). Dallas was 6 of 13 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 32:50, while Seattle kept the ball for 27:10, going 4 of 11 on third down.

They met in the desert in week 10 at University of Phoenix Stadium and the Seahawks were 22-16 winners on a Thursday night. Seattle led 15-7 at the half, then held off a late Arizona rally to take the win. Seattle outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 75-34 and Wilson threw for 238 yards and a pair of TDs to Graham, while Arizona’s Drew Stanton threw for 273 yards and a TD (wilson was sacked five times, while Stanton was sacked twice; neither threw an interception). Seattle was 3 of 13 on third down tries in the desert and held on to the ball for 30:53, while the Desert Angry Birds were 6 of 15 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 29:07.

While Seattle covered the 6-point spread in the desert with the 6-point win, both clubs missed the 41 1/2 over/under with 38 points. The powers that be like Seattle again, this time as 8 point favorites and the over/under’s 38 1/2. Seattle will have one eye on their game and one eye on the Carolina-Atlanta game. Arizona makes it closer than the 8 but Seattle prevails in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks.

Advertisements

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.

 

Two spots have been clinched.

Ten more remain and some could be clinched this weekend.

Sunday action in week 15 gets underway. While Washington (5-8), Tampa Bay (4-9), Chicago (4-9), San Francsico (3-10), New York Giants (2-11), Houston (4-9), Denver (4-9), Indianapolis (3-10) and Cleveland (0-13) will not be invited to the post-seaosn party, other teams are hoping that their invite are in the mail.

With three weeks remaining in the regular season, the suspense continues to build as teams make their final playoff push. Twenty-three teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LII.

So as we approach the final three weeks of the regular season, there are still 10 playoff berths up for grabs.

The Steelers will host the New England Patriots (10-3) at Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon at 4:25 p.m. on CBS in a showdown between the teams with the best records in the AFC. Pittsburgh will clinch a first-round bye with a win and the Steelers will also secure the AFC’s No. 1 seed with a win combined with a Jacksonville loss. The Patriots will lock up the AFC East with a win or a Buffalo loss. New England will clinch a playoff berth with a Baltimore loss. The Jaguars (9-4), who lead the AFC South by one game over Tennessee (8-5), will secure a playoff berth with a win against Houston. There are also various scenarios for Jacksonville to advance to the postseason this week even if the Jaguars lose.

The Eagles will secure a first-round bye with a win and will claim home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win combined with a Minnesota loss. By winning the NFC East, Philadelphia has 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. The Vikings (10-3) will lock up the NFC North with a victory or losses by both Detroit and Green Bay. There are also various scenarios for Minnesota to advance to the postseason this week even if the Vikings lose. The Los Angeles Rams (9-4) can clinch a playoff berth with a win combined with losses by Atlanta, Detroit, Green Bay and New Orleans.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: The Philadelphia Eagles improved to 11-2 and clinched the NFC East division title with a 43-35 victory at the Los Angeles Rams. The Eagles, who finished in last place in the division in 2016, completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround. At least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons.

The Rams and Eagles entered the Sunday game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with each averaging 30.1 points per game, tied for the highest mark in the NFL this season. Today’s contest was the second matchup in December or later between two teams averaging at least 30 points per game since the 1970 merger. The only other instance since 1970 took place on December 11, 1983 between Washington and Dallas.

•Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers passed for 319 yards and two touchdowns in the team’s 30-13 win over Washington. Rivers has 3,611 passing yards this season and reached the 3,500-yard mark for the 10th consecutive season (2008-17).

Rivers is the third quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 3,500 yards in 10 consecutive seasons, joining Peyton Manning (13, 1998-2010) and Drew Brees (13, 2005-17).

•Carolina quarterback Cam Newton had a 62-yard run to the Minnesota eight-yard line to set up the game-winning touchdown in the Panthers’ 31-24 win over the Vikings in Charlotte. Newton, who had a 69-yard run in Week 10, is the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to have multiple 60+ yard rushes in a single season.

Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart, who scored the game-winning touchdown on a one-yard run with 1:47 remaining in the game, rushed for 103 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries. He is the second player in franchise history (Tim Biakabutuka, October 3, 1999) to rush for at least 100 yards and three touchdowns on fewer than 20 carries.

•Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had 44 receiving yards in the Cardinals’ 12-7 win over Tennessee in Glendale. Fitzgerald has 15,311 career receiving yards and surpassed Randy Moss (15,292) to move into third place on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards list. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (22,895) and Terrell Owens (15,934) have more career receiving yards in league history.

•Chicago running back Jordan Howard rushed for 147 yards and two touchdowns in the Bears’ 33-7 win at Cincinnati. Howard, who rushed for 1,313 yards as a rookie last year, has 1,032 rushing yards this season. He is the first player in franchise history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in each of his first two NFL seasons.

Bears rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky passed for 271 yards with a touchdown and added a four-yard touchdown run in today’s win. He is the first rookie quarterback in team history with a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown in a single game since Jim McMahon in 1982 (December 5, 1982).

•Green Bay defeated Cleveland 27-21 in overtime. Green Bay wide receiver Davante Adams had two touchdown catches – a one-yard score with 17 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and the game-winning 25-yarder in overtime – in the win.

The Packers, who won on a 20-yard touchdown run by rookie Aaron Jones in overtime last week against Tampa Bay at Lambeau Field, have scored a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown in overtime in the same season for the first time in franchise history.

Green Bay has won back-to-back games in overtime for the first time in team annals.

•Kansas City rookie running back Kareem Hunt had 138 scrimmage yards (116 rushing, 22 receiving) and a rushing touchdown in the Chiefs’ 26-15 win against Oakland at Arrowhead.

Hunt, who has 1,435 scrimmage yards (1,046 rushing, 389 receiving) this season, is the second rookie in franchise history with at least 1,400 scrimmage yards, joining Abner Haynes (1,451 scrimmage yards in 1960).

The Keystone State will be well-respresented in the post as both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh clinched division titles last Sunday. The Eagles were the first team from Pennyslvania to clinch when they won the NFC East by beating the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday afternoon on the West Coast, while the Steelers followed suit Sunday with their 1-point win over Baltimore at Heinz Field.

While those dance cards have been punched, there are still other teams that could very well make the post-season dance this weekend. Some of these scenarios are easy, others could cause more confusion than a mouse in a burlesque show (apologies to Foghorn Leghorn!). Here are the week 15 scenarios.

2017 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 15

AFC

CLINCHED: Pittsburgh – AFC North division title

New England (10-3) at Pittsburgh (11-2)

Pittsburgh clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:
1. Pittsburgh win + Jacksonville loss or tie​

Pittsburgh clinches a first-round bye with:
1. Pittsburgh win OR
2. Pittsburgh tie + Jacksonville loss

New England (10-3) at Pittsburgh (11-2)

New England clinches AFC East division title with:
1. New England win or tie OR
2. Buffalo loss or tie

New England clinches a playoff berth with:
1. Baltimore loss or tie

Houston (4-9) at Jacksonville (9-4)

Jacksonville clinches a playoff berth with:
1. Jacksonville win OR

2. Jacksonville tie + Buffalo loss or tie OR

3.Jacksonville tie + Baltimore loss or tie OR

4. Buffalo loss + Baltimore loss  OR

5. Baltimore loss + Kansas City-Los Angeles Chargers game does not end in tie

NFC

CLINCHED: Philadelphia – NFC East division title

Philadelphia (11-2) at New York Giants (2-11)

Philadelphia clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
1. Philadelphia win + Minnesota loss

Philadelphia clinches a first-round bye with:

1. Philadelphia win  OR
2. Philadelphia tie + Los Angeles Rams loss or tie + New Orleans loss or tie + Carolina loss or tie

Cincinnati (5-8) at Minnnesota (10-3)

Minnesota clinches NFC North division title with:

1. Minnesota win or tie OR

2. Detroit loss or tie + Green Bay loss or tie

Minnesota clinches a playoff berth with:
1. Seattle loss + Atlanta loss + New Orleans loss OR
2. Seattle loss + Atlanta loss + Carolina loss OR
3. Seattle loss + Atlanta loss + Detroit loss or tie OR
4. Seattle loss + Atlanta tie + New Orleans loss + Detroit loss or tie OR
5. Seattle loss + Atlanta tie + NNew Orleans loss + Carolina loss

Los Angeles Rams (9-4) at Seattle (8-5)

Los Angeles Rams clinch a playoff berth with:

1. Los Angeles Rams win + Detroit loss or tie + Green Bay loss or tie + New Orleans loss + Atlanta loss

THE WEEK THAT WAS – WEEK 14

TERRIFIC TURNAROUND: Philadelphia defeated the Los Angeles Rams 43-35 last week to clinch the NFC East title for the first time since 2013.

The Eagles, who finished in last place in the division in 2016, completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround. 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. Of the 45 teams in league history to go from “worst-to-first,” 22 of them have done so in the past 15 years (2003-17), including an NFL-record three such teams in 2005 and 2006.

Entering Week 15, six of eight divisions have a team in or tied for first place that finished in third place or worse in its division last year. Three other teams who finished in last place in 2016 – Carolina, Jacksonville and the Los Angeles Chargers – are currently in or tied for first place. If all three of those teams join the Eagles as division champions, it would mark the most “worst-to-first” turnaround teams in a single season in NFL history.

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 (11-2; 7-9)*
* Through Week 14
** Tied for last place
*** Won Super Bowl

The Eagles and Rams entered Week 14 with records of 10-2 and 9-3, respectively, and tied for the league lead in points per game (30.1). The two teams combined for 78 points on Sunday, marking the highest scoring game in NFL history between two teams who each entered the game with a record at least six games above .500.

STELLAR STEELERS: Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed 44 of 66 passes (66.7 percent) for 506 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 99.7 passer rating in the Steelers’ 39-38 win over Baltimore in Week 14.

Roethlisberger became the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 500 yards three times in his career, having also accomplished the feat on October 26, 2014 (522 yards vs. Indianapolis) and December 20, 2009 (503 vs. Green Bay). New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees is the only other player with multiple career 500-yard passing games.

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown had 11 receptions for 213 yards and running back Le’Veon Bell had 125 scrimmage yards (77 receiving, 48 rushing) with three touchdowns in Week 14. Bell, who leads the league with 1,684 scrimmage yards, and Brown, who leads the NFL with 1,509 receiving yards, are the first pair of teammates in NFL history with at least 1,500 scrimmage yards each through their team’s first 13 games of a season.

Brown has six games with at least 10 catches and 100 receiving yards this season, tied for the second-most in a single season in NFL history. Only Andre Johnson (seven in 2008) had more such games in a season.

The players with the most games with at least 10 catches and 100 receiving yards in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(GAMES WITH 10+ CATCHES AND 100+ RECEIVING YARDS IN SINGLE SEASON)
Andre Johnson, Houston (2008)(7)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2017)(6)*
Calvin Johnson, Detroit (2012)(6)
Wes Welker, New England (2009)(6)
*Through Week 14

PACKERS PERFORM UNDER PRESSURE: Green Bay wide receiver Davante Adams had two touchdown catches – a one-yard score with 17 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and the game-winning 25-yarder in overtime – in the Packers’ 27-21 win at Cleveland.

Adams became the fourth player in NFL history (including the postseason) to score a touchdown in both the final minute of the fourth quarter and in overtime and the first since New England’s James White accomplished the feat in Super Bowl LI.

The players to score a touchdown in both the final minute of the fourth quarter and in overtime in a single game in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (DATE)
Davante Adams, Green Bay (December 10, 2017)
James White, New England (February 5, 2017)*
Terrell Owens, San Francisco (October 14, 2001)
Wesley Walker, New York Jets (September 21, 1986)
*Super Bowl LI

The Packers, who won on a 20-yard touchdown run by rookie Aaron Jones in overtime in Week 13, have won back-to-back games in overtime for the first time in team history. Green Bay has also joined the 2001 Chicago Bears as the only teams in NFL history to score an overtime touchdown in consecutive games.

TEAM, SEASON (WEEK – OVERTIME TD)(WEEK – OVERTIME TD)
Green Bay, 2017 (13 – Aaron Jones 20-yard run)(14 – Davante Adams 25-yard catch)
Chicago, 2001 (7 – Mike Brown 33-yard INT return)(8 – Mike Brown 16-yard INT return)

RIVERS RUNS THROUGH DEFENSES: Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers passed for 319 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 114.9 passer rating in the team’s 30-13 win over Washington last week.

Rivers, who ranks fourth in the NFL with 3,611 passing yards, has at least 3,500 passing yards in 10 consecutive seasons and joined Peyton Manning (13, 1998-2010) and Drew Brees (13, 2005-17) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to accomplish the feat.

The quarterbacks with at least 3,500 passing yards in 10+ consecutive seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (SEASONS)(CONSECUTIVE SEASONS WITH 3,500 PASS YARDS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis (1998-2010)(13)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (2005-2017)(13)*
Philip Rivers – San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (2008-2017)(10)*
*Active streak

WONDERFUL WILSON: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw fourth-quarter touchdown passes to wide receivers Paul Richardson (61 yards) and Tyler Lockett (74 yards) in the Seahawks’ loss at Jacksonville in Week 14.

Wilson is the first quarterback with two fourth-quarter touchdown passes of at least 60 yards in a single game since Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner connected with Torry Holt (85 yards) and Isaac Bruce (66) on September 24, 2000.

Wilson has 17 fourth-quarter touchdown passes this season and surpassed Eli Manning (15 in 2011) for the most in a single season in NFL history.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(4TH QUARTER TD PASSES)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2017)(17)*
Eli Manning, New York Giants (2011)(15)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2016)(14)
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville (2015)(14)
Peyton Manning, Denver (2013)(14)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (2002)(14)
Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts (1959)(14)^
*Through Week 14
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

MAGNIFICENT MC COY: Buffalo running back Le Sean McCoy rushed for 156 yards, including the game-winning 21-yard touchdown in overtime, in the Bill’s 13-7 win against Indianapolis last week in upstate New York.

McCoy, who has 10 career games with at least 150 rushing yards, joined Arizona’s Adrian Peterson (19) as the only active players with at least 10 such games in their careers.

The active players with the most career games with at least 150 rushing yards:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (CAREER GAMES WITH 150+ RUSH YARDS)
Adrian Peterson – Minnesota, New Orleans and Arizona (19)
LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia and Buffalo (10)
Jamaal Charles – Kansas City and Denver (9)

CLUTCH KICKER: Pittsburgh kicker Chris Boswell converted the game-winning 46-yard field goal with 42 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of the Steelers’ Week 14 win over Baltimore.

Boswell, who made game-winning field goals as time expired in the fourth quarter in both Weeks 12 and 13, is the first kicker since the 1970 merger to make a game-winning field goal with under one minute remaining in the fourth quarter in three consecutive games.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR – WEEK 15

STELLAR STEELER: Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown has 9,886 receiving yards in his eight-year NFL career.

Brown, who will play in his 115th career game on Sunday against New England, can tie Calvin Johnson (115) for the fewest games to reach 10,000 receiving yards in NFL history when the Steelers square off against New England in Pittsburgh.

The players to reach 10,000 career receiving yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (FEWEST GAMES TO 10,000 RECIEVING YARDS)
Calvin Johnson, Detroit (115)
Torry Holt, St. Louis (116)
Lance Alworth, San Diego (120)^
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (121)^
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (122)^
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (114)*
*Has 9,886 career receiving yards
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Brown, who leads the NFL with 1,509 receiving yards and ties for second with nine touchdown receptions, can become the first player in NFL history with at least 1,600 receiving yards and 10 touchdown catches in three different seasons, breaking a tie with Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison. Brown also accomplished the feat in 2014 and 2015.

With a touchdown catch on Sunday, Brown will record his fourth consecutive season with at least 1,200 receiving yards and 10 touchdown catches, tying Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth and Randy Moss for the third-longest streak in NFL history.

The players with the most consecutive seasons with at least 1,200 receiving yards and 10 touchdown catches in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)(MOST CONSECUTIVE 1,200 RECIEVING YARD AND 10 TD SEASONS)
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (1989-1995)(7)^
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (1999-2003)(5)^
Lance Alworth, San Diego (1963-1966)(4)^
Randy Moss, Minnesota (1998-2001)(4)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2014-2016)(3)*
*Has 1,509 rec. yards and nine TD catches through Week 14
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

CATCH ME IF YOU CAM: Carolina’s Cam Newton leads all NFL quarterbacks with 585 rushing yards this season.

Newton, who plays against Green Bay on Sunday, can tie Michael Vick (four) for the most seasons with at least 600 rushing yards by a quarterback in NFL history. Newton also accomplished the feat in 2011, 2012 and 2015.

The quarterbacks with the most seasons of at least 600 rushing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER (TEAMS)(SEASONS WITH 600+ RUSHING YARDS)
Michael Vick (Atlanta and Philadelphia)(4)
Cam Newton (Carolina)(3)*
Randall Cunningham (Philadelphia)(3)
*Has 585 rushing yards through Week 14

PULVERIZING PEPPERS: Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers has 9.5 sacks this season and is closing in on his 10th career season with at least 10 sacks.

Peppers can join Pro Football Hall of Famers Bruce Smith (13), Reggie White (12) and Kevin Greene (10) as the only players in NFL history to have at least 10 seasons with 10+ sacks.

The players with the most seasons with at least 10 sacks in NFL history:

PLAYER (TEAMS)(SEASONS WITH 10+ SACKS)
Bruce Smith Buffalo and Washington (13)^
Reggie White (Philadelphia and Green Bay) (12)^
Kevin Greene (Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh, Carolina and San Francisco) (10)^
Julius Peppers (Carolina, Chicago and Green Bay) (9)*
*Has 9.5 sacks through Week 14
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

WONDERFUL WILSON: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson ranks second in the NFL with 29 touchdown passes and is second among NFL quarterbacks with 482 rushing yards.

Wilson, who plays against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, can become the first quarterback in NFL history with at least 30 touchdown passes and 500 rushing yards in multiple seasons, having also accomplished the feat in 2015. Randall Cunningham and Cam Newton are the only other quarterbacks to reach the marks in a single season.

The players with at least 30 touchdown passes and 500 rushing yards in a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(TD PASSES)(RUSHING YARDS)
Cam Newton, Carolina (2015)(35)(636)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2015)(34)(553)
Randall Cunningham, Philadelphia (1990)(30)(942)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2017)(29)(482)*
*Through Week 14

BURSTING ON THE SCENE: New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas, who had 92 receptions as a rookie last year, ranks second in the NFC with 85 catches this season.

Thomas, who faces the New York Jets this week, needs five receptions to join 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.

BREES FOR 70K: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees ranks third in NFL history with 69,680 career passing yards.

Brees, who plays against the New York Jets on Sunday, needs 320 yards to join Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre (71,838 passing yards) and Peyton Manning (71,940) as the only players in NFL history with at least 70,000 career passing yards.

The players with 70,000 career passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER (TEAMS)(CAREER PASS 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)(69,680)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Brees, who will be playing in his 247th career game, would reach the milestone in the fewest games played.

The players to reach 70,000 career passing yards in the fewest games played:

PLAYER (TEAMS)(GAMES TO 70,000 CAREER PASS YARDS)
Peyton Manning (Indianapolis and Denver)(258)
Brett Favre (Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota)(293)^
Drew Brees (San Diego and New Orleans)(246)*
*Has 69,680 career passing yards
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Week 15 got underway Thursday night as the Broncos defeated the Indianapolis Colts 25-13 in the Hoosier State, while the Lions met Chicago in the Motor City Saturday afternoon and beat Da Bears 20-10 at Ford Field and the Chargers held off the Los Angeles Chargers 30-13 at Arrowhead Saturday night in the Show-Me State. The action continues Sunday as there are six rematches with Sunday play concluding on the West Coast in northern California as the Raiders host Dallas in a Sunday night primetime contest at 8:30 on NBC and week 15 play concludes when Atlanta and Tampa Bay meet in the Sunshine State in a week 12 rematch on Monday night at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.

As for last week? Another 9-7 week. Not bad. For the season? 124-85. Here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 15.

Miami (6-7) at Buffalo (7-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of contending AFC East rivals, chasing New England, meet in upstate New York, as Buffalo hosts the Miami Dolphins at New Era Stadium. Both won their contests last week in their home ballparks.

The Dolphins delayed New England’s plans to clinch the AFC East last Monday night with a 27-20 win over Tom Brady and the Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami led 13-10 at the break, then held off a late New England second half rally to take the win in the Sunshine State. Miami’s Kenyan Drake led all rushers with 114 yards in the Monday night affair, as his team outrushed New England 120-25, while Jay Cutler threw for 263 yards with three TDs (Brady threw for 233 yards with a TD, while he was sacked twice and picked off twice). Miami was 4 of 14 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:09, while the Pats were 0 of 11 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 23:51.

Buffalo’s LeSean McCoy ran for 156 yards and the game winning TD in overtime as the Bills defeated Indianapolis 13-7 at snowy New Era Stadium last Sunday. The Bills led 7-0 at the break, then saw the Colts tie things up with 76 seconds left in regulation when TE Jack Doyle and QB Jacoby Brissett connected on a 3-yard TD strike, sending the contest into overtime. Buffalo won the toss in overtime but failed to score in their first possession and the Colts did likewise when they had the ball in the overtime. The Bills then got the ball back after a Colts punt with 2:25 left in the extra period and they wasted little time to take the win, using a five-play, 65-yard drive that took 52 seconds, sending their fans home happy if not warm when LeSean McCoy dashed through the snow and scored from 21 yards out to take the win. Buffalo rushed for 227 yards, while the Colts tallied 163 in the overtime loss. Brisset threw for 65 yards while Nick Peterman threw for 57. The Colts went 4 of 16 on third down, 3 of 4 on fourth down and held the ball for 36:02, while Buffalo kept the pigskin for 32:25, going 10 of 18 on third down and 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Miami leads the series 59-42-1, have outscored the Bills 2,189-1,953 and swept last year’s AFC East meetings (Buffalo’s last win in the series came in 2015 when they swept the series that season.)

The first meeting? Week seven in the Sunshine State. Miami erased a 10-6 halftime deficit at Hard Rock Stadium and came away with a 28-25 in the process. Miami, who outrushed Buffalo 256-67 with Joseph Ajayi leading the way with 214 yards, held off a late Bills’ rally in the fourth quarter when Reggie Bush scored from a yard out with 14 seconds left. Ryan Tannehill threw for 204 yards for Miami, while Buffalo’s Tyrod Taylor threw for 221 yards (each threw a TD pass, Taylor was sacked four times, while Tannehill was sacked once and each did not throw an interception). Buffalo on third down went 3 of 13 and kept the ball for 22:58, while the Dolphins kept the ball for 37:02, going 5 of 12 on third down.

Round two… week 16 in upstate New York. Miami swept the series with the Bills, taking a 34-31 overtime win on Christmas Eve afternoon. Dolphins K Andrew Franks sent the contest into overtime with a 55-yard field goal with six seconds left in regulation (they led 14-7 at the half), then acted in a Grinch-like manner as Franks connected on a 27-yard field goal with 47 seconds left in the overtime. Buffalo did outrush Miami 272-261 but once again, Ajayi was the star of the show, rushing for 206 yards, while Buffalo’s LeSean McCoy ran for 128 (each had a rushing TD in the game). Taylor threw for 329 yards and three TDs in the effort for Buffalo, while Matt Moore, who took over for Tannehill, threw for 233 yards and a pair of TDs. Miami on third down tries? 5 of 12. Buffalo on third down? 8 of 18 (the Bills were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and the clock was the ally of Miami, who held the pigskin for 33:40 to Buffalo’s 40:33.

Buffalo was favored by 3 in the week seven contest in the Sunshine State and the Dolphins won by three, covering the spread. Both clubs covered the 45 over/under, scoring 53 points. Buffalo was favored by three again in the week 16 contest in upstate New York and once again, Miami covered the spread and won by three. The 42 over/under? As was the case in the first meeting, both clubs covered that, this time combining for 65 points. The oddsmakers in Vegas like the Bills as 3 1/2 point favorites and the over/under is 39. Both teams are fighting for a playoff spot, both are trying to catch New England in the AFC East. The winner puts themselves a little closer to their goal, while the loser will find themselves in a hole. Miami pulls the upset on the road in upstate New York and takes the win, covering the 3 1/2/

Green Bay (7-6) at Carolina (9-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of teams in the chase for a playoff spot meet in Charlotte as Carolina hosts Green Bay at Bank of America Stadium. The contest could very well mark the return of Aaron Rodgers to the Packers’ lineup after he broke his collarbone at Minnesota.

Green Bay trailed 21-7 after three quarters of play at First Energy Field in Cleveland, then rallied to score their final 20 points of the contest unchallenged to win 27-21 in overtime, while giving the Browns their 13th loss of the season. The Browns let a 121-yard rushing day from Isaiah Crowell get away from them as Green Bay rallied in the fourth to tie the contest up on a one-yard run by rookie RB Davante Adams with 17 seconds left. Cleveland would get the ball to start the overtime but rookie QB DeShone Kizer’s pass was picked off by Josh Jones and the Browns’ best chance for a win came to an end at their 42 yard line. That would be all that Green Bay would need in the extra period, using a 6-play, 42-yard drive that took all of 3:23 when Adams and Brett Hundley connected on a 25-yard TD pass to end the contest. Cleveland outrushed Green Bay 136-85 and Kizer threw for 214 yards with three interceptions, while Hundley threw for 265 yards (each man threw three TDs). Cleveland was 7 of 13 on third down tries in the overtime and kept the ball for 28:38, while Green Bay held the pigskin for 36:17, going 8 of 16 on third down and 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Carolina held off a late Minnesota rally and took a 31-24 win over the Vikings last Sunday afternoon. The Cam Newton-led Panthers led 24-13 at the end of three quarters before Minnesota roared back in the fourth, pulling to within three when WR Adam Theilen (6 catches for 105 yards) and QB Case Keenum connected on a 52-yard TD pass with 5:36 left to play after they picked Newton off and then tied the contest when K Kyle Horbath connected on a 27-yard field goal with 3:07 left in regulation. Carolina would not be outdone and used a 5-play, 75-yard drive that used 80 seconds of clock to take the lead back and for good when RB Jonathan Stewart scored from one yard out with 1:47 left. The Panthers then held off the late Viking rally that would have at best sent the contest into overtime. Stewart rushed for 103 yards and the game-winning score, as Carolina outrushed Minnesota 216-100 and Newton threw for 137 yards and a TD, while Keenum threw for 280 yards but was sacked six times and picked off twice. Carolina was 5 of 15 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 31:18, while the Vikings, who held the ball for 28:42, went 7 of 15 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Green Bay leads the series 8-5 and the Pack has outscored Carolina 370-300. Carolina won the last meeting between the teams and that took place in 2015 in Charlotte by a final of 37-29, while Green Bay’s last win came in 2014 at Lambeau, with the Packers taking a 38-17 win in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst. Carolina’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 45. Two pretty decent teams with two pretty good qb’s. While this one’s not “DRILL WORTHY,” it’s worth your time. Carolina makes this one close but Packers prevail on the road and pull the upset.

Baltimore (7-6) at Cleveland (0-13), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. Baltimore limps into Cleveland after their loss to Pittsburgh to take on a winless Cleveland Browns team along the shores of Lake Erie.

Baltimore let a 31-20 lead at the end of the third quarter get away from them in Pittsburgh as the Steelers clinched the AFC North with 39-38 comeback win last Sunday night at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh led 20-14 at the half before the Ravens struck in the third quarter, holing an 11-point lead before the Steelers took the lead back for keeps with 42 second left when Chris Boswell connected on a 46-yard field goal, then held off a late Ravens rally to take the win. Baltimore outrushed Pittsburgh 152-59, with Ravens RB Alex Collins leading all rushers with 120 yards and a TD, while Le’Veon Bell ran for 48 yards and a pair of TDs for the Steelers. However, Roethlisberger ruled the air, as he passed for 506 yards and a pair TDs, while Joe Flacco threw for 269 yards (each threw a pair of TDs). Baltimore was 4 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:10, while the Steelers went 12 of 18 on third down tries last Sunday night, ruling the clock and kept the ball for 33:50.

Cleveland led Green Bay 21-7 after three quarters of play at First Energy Field, only to see the Packers score their final 20 points of the contest unchallenged and dropped a 27-21 overtime decision for their 13th loss of the season. The Browns let a 121-yard rushing day from Isaiah Crowell get away from them as Green Bay rallied in the fourth to tie the contest up on a one-yard run by rookie RB Davante Adams with 17 seconds left. The one bright spot for the Browns was the return of WR Josh Gordon, who came back from his two-year suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy and caught his first touchdown pass since Week 15 of 2013 vs Bears. It had been 1,456 days since his last touchdown. Jason Campbell was the last QB to throw a Pass TD to Gordon.Cleveland would get the ball to start the overtime but rookie QB DeShone Kizer’s pass was picked off by Josh Jones and the Browns’ best chance for a win came to an end at their 42 yard line. That would be all that Green Bay would need in the extra period, using a 6-play, 42-yard drive that took all of 3:23 when Adams and Brett Hundley connected on a 25-yard TD pass to end the contest. Cleveland outrushed Green Bay 136-85 and Kizer threw for 214 yards with three interceptions, while Hundley threw for 265 yards (each man threw three TDs). Cleveland was 7 of 13 on third down tries in the overtime and kept the ball for 28:38, while Green Bay held the pigskin for 36:17, going 8 of 16 on third down and 2 of 3 on fourth down. The Browns have now gone 0-13 for the 13th straight season.

It’s a rematch of a week two affair in Baltimore that saw the Ravens win 24-10 in Charm City. in that contest, the Ravens led 21-7 at the half and held the Browns in check in the second half. Baltimore outrushed Cleveland 136-93, Flacco threw for 217 yards and a pair of TDs, while Kizer struggled in the meeting, throwing for 182 yards with three interceptions (both QBs were sacked twice). Baltimore went 4 of 11 on third down tries and held the ball for 33:24, while the Browns were 26:36 in time of possession, going 2 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Baltimore was favored by 7 1/2 in the week two contest in Charm City and covered the spread, winning by 14 and both clubs combined for 34 points, missing the 43 1/2 over/under. This time, the Ravens are favored by 7 and the over/under is 40. Baltimore wants to get to the playoffs. Browns fans want the season to be over. Ravens will put Cleveland and their fans a little closer out of their misery and take this one on the road and cover the 7 in the process.

Houston (4-9) at Jacksonville (9-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 707. The struggling Houston Texans make their way east along I-10 to square off against AFC South rival Jacksonville in the Sunshine State in north Florida.

The Texans trailed San Francisco 13-9 at the half at NRG Stadium last Sunday, then saw the 49ers pull away from them as they fell to San Francisco 26-16. Houston also lost the services of QB Tom Savage after he was knocked out of the contest with a concussion late in the first half. T.J. Yates then took over for Savage in the contest and gets the start against Jacksonville Sunday. San Francisco outrushed Houston 102-90 and Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 334 yards and a TD, while Yates threw for 175 yards and a pair of TDs (Savage threw for 63 yards with a pair of sacks before leaving the contest with the injury). The Texans were 3 of 13 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 25:11, while the 49ers ruled the clock, holding the ball for 34:49, going 2 of 11 on third down in the win.

Jackonsville held off a late Seattle rally in their contest with the Seahawks and came out on top 30-24 victors at EverBank Field. After taking a 3-0 lead with them to the intermission, the first-place Jaguars proceeded to outscore the Seahawks 27-24 in a second half that turned into a slugfest. Jacksonville, who assured themselves of a winning season for the first time since 2007, outrushed Seattle 156-141, with Jaguar RB Leonard Fournette leading the way with 101 yards of his own, while Blake Bortles (268) and Russell Wilson (271) each threw for over 200 yards in the late Sunday afternoon afffair (Bortles threw a pair of TDs, while Wilson tallied three). Seattle went 2 of 9 on third down tries (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:59, while the Jaguars ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 33:01, going 4 of 12 on third down.

This is a rematch of a meeting that the two clubs had in week one and the Jaguars held Houston to a 4-yard TD pass from DeShaun Watkins to WR Andre Hopkins in the third quarter to take the 29-7 win in the Lone Star State. Jacksonville led 19-0 at the intermission before Houston put an end to Jacksonville’s shutout bid with 3:11 left in the third. The Jaguars outscored Houston 155-93, with Fournette tallying 100 yards of rushing in his NFL debut. Bortles threw for 125 yards without a sack or interception and had a TD pass, while Watson threw for 102 yards with a TD but was sacked four times. Jacksonville was 3 of 12 on third down tries in the season opener (the Jaguars were 1 of 1 on fourth down tries) and kept the ball for 30:05, while the Texans were 5 of 12 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the pigskin for 29:55.

In the season opener in the Lone Star State, Houston was favored by 5 and Jacksonville covered the spread, winning by 22 at NRG Stadium. The two clubs barely missed the 39 1/2 over/under, tallying 36 points. This time, Jacksonville’s favored by 10 1/2 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 39. Granted, the Texans don’t have J.J. Watt, they don’t have Watson or Savage but they’re not 10 1/2 points bad. Jacksonville wins this one but expect the Texans to make things closer than the 10 1/2.

Cincinnati (5-8) at Minnesota (10-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. One struggling to stay in the hunt, the other’s trying to win a division. Minnesota returns home to the Land of 10,000 Lakes for a meeting with the Cincinnati Bengals at US Bank Stadium.

Cincinnati took a first-quarter lead on a 14-yard TD pass from Andy Dalton to Brandon LaFell and came away on the short end of a loss 33-7 to Chicago last Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. Da Bears took a 7-0 lead to open the scoring in the contest when Jordan Howard scored from 21 yards out. After LaFell gave the Bengals a brief 7-6 lead with 2:15 left in the first, Da Bears would go on to score their next 27 points of the game unchallenged, taking a 12-7 lead with them to the intermission. Chicago ran amok on the ground, tallying 232 yards, with Howard accounting for 147 yards and a pair of TDs, while holding the Bengals to 70 yards rushing, while Mitch Trubinsky threw for 271 yards and Andy Dalton throwing for 141 yards and an interception for the Bengals (each QB was sacked twice and threw a TD pass). Chicago was 4 of 11 on third down (Da Bears were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 38:09, while the Bengals were 21:51 as far as time of possession was concerned, going 3 of 12, 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

Minnesota’s bid to win the NFC North stalled as they saw a late rally fall short in Charlotte and fell to the Carolina Panthers 31-24 last Sunday afternoon. Minnesota trailed 24-13 at the end of three quarters before the Purple Gang roared back in the fourth, pulling to within three when WR Adam Theilen (6 catches for 105 yards) and QB Case Keenum connected on a 52-yard TD pass with 5:36 left to play after they picked Newton off and then tied the contest when K Kyle Horbath connected on a 27-yard field goal with 3:07 left in regulation. Carolina would not be outdone, restored order in front of the home crowd and used a 5-play, 75-yard drive that used 80 seconds of clock to take the lead back and for good when RB Jonathan Stewart scored from one yard out with 1:47 left. The Panthers then held off the late Viking rally that would have at best sent the contest into overtime. Stewart rushed for 103 yards and the game-winning score, as Carolina outrushed Minnesota 216-100 and Newton threw for 137 yards and a TD, while Keenum threw for 280 yards but was sacked six times and picked off twice. Carolina was 5 of 15 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 31:18, while the Vikings, who held the ball for 28:42, went 7 of 15 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The series? Even at 6-6. Minnesota has outscored the Bengals 253-236 and the Vikings have outscored Cincinnati 253-236. The Bengals were victorious in their last meeting, which took place in Cincinnati in 2013, taking a 42-14 final, while the Vikings’ last win over Cincinnati came in 2009 in the Twin Cities by a final of 30-10. The Vikings are favored by 10 1/2 and the over/under is 42. The 42? Makes sense. The 10 1/2? That’s a little steep. Granted, the Bengals have not exactly been world beaters and they’re not 10 1/2 points bad. Still, there’s not much at stake for the Bengals, while the Vikings look to take over as kings of the NFC North mountain. While the Vikings will win, expect things to be closer than 10 1/2.

New York Jets (5-8) at New Orleans (9-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. The struggling New York Jets make their way to the Bayou for a meeting with Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Both clubs lost their games last week on the road.

Denver pitched a shutout against the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! last Sunday in the Mile High City as the Broncos blanked them 23-0. Denver led 13-0 at the break and took control of things in the shutout loss, scoring all of their points unchallenged and losing QB Josh McCown to a broken right hand. Denver outrushed GangGreen 84-59 and McCown threw for 46 yards with four sacks and an interception before leaving the contest with the injury. Denver’s Trevor Siemian threw for 200 yards in the contest, connecting with WR Demaryius Thomas for a TD pass and the Broncos were 7 of 17 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:35, while GangGreen went 3 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down, keeping the pigskin for 22:25.

New Orleans saw a last gasp rally fall short in Atlanta as they lost to the Falcons 20-17 last Thursday night in the Big Peach. After the Falcons and Saints took a 10-10 tie with them to the intermission, New Orleans led 17-10 at the end of the third quarter, only to see Atlanta erase that lead, with the Falcons scoring their final 10 points of the contest in the fourth quarter unchallenged. Atlanta’s Mohammed Sanu and Ryan connected on an 8-yard TD strike with 9:55 left in the contest tied things up and Matt Bryant gave the defending NFC champs the lead for keeps with a 52-yard field goal with 3:49 left in regulation. Atlanta then held off a late New Orleans rally when LB Deion Jones picked off Drew Brees in the end zone and gave the ball back to the Falcons. After Saints coach Sean Payton was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct when he entered the field, Atlanta was able to run out the clock and take the win at home. Atlanta outrushed New Orleans 152-50 and Ryan threw for 221 yards, despite throwing three interceptions, while Brees threw a pair of TDs and was good for 271 yards. Atlanta went 7 of 12 on third down conversions at Mercedes Benz Stadium and kept the ball for 34:41, while the Saints, who kept the ball for 25:19, went 3 of 10 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The series? Tied 6-6 and the Saints have outscored GangGreen 237-198. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! won the last meeting with New Orleans, coming away 26-20 winners in the Meadowlands in 2013, while the Saints were 24-10 winners in the Big Easy in 2009. New Orleans is favored by 15 in the Big Easy and the over/under 47. The 47 is reasonable. The 15 is a little steep. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! at times have played some decent football but not great football, while the Saints are trying to knock Atlanta from the top of the NFC South mountain. GangGreen will make this closer than 15 but New Orleans will take the win at home.

Philadelphia (11-2) at New York Giants (2-11), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. They met in Philly the first time and they meet in the Meadowlands this time. Philadelphia makes their way down I-95 for an NFC East meeting with Eli Manning and the New York Giants at Met Life Stadium.

The Eagles return from their West Coast trip with a 43-35 win over the Los Angeles Rams last week. Leading 24-14 at the half, Philadelphia held off the Rams in the second half after the Rams took a 28-24 lead with 10:07 left in the third quarter after Blake Countess blocked a punt and returned it 16 yards for a score. While the win allowed the Eagles to clinch the NFC East title, it was costly as they lost starting QB Carson Wentz to a knee injury. Wentz, who threw for 291 yards and four TDs, will be lost for the season and Nick Foles will take his spot the rest of the way. Philadelphia outrushed Los Angeles 139-109 and sacked Rams QB Jared Goff twice, although he threw for 199 yards and a pair of TDs, while Todd Gurley led all rushers with 96 yards and a pair of TDs. The Eagles were 8 of 20 on third down (they went 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 39:12, while the Rams were 20:48 in time of possession, going 2 of 7 on third down tries.

In the return of Manning to the lineup and the debut of Steve Spagnola as interim head coach after Bob McAdoo’s firing last week, the Giants saw Dallas erase a 10-10 tie at the half and dropped a 30-10 decision at Met Life Stadium last Sunday. Dallas outrushed Big Blue 122-102 and Prescott threw for 332 yards with three TDs (Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and Rod Smith) and no interceptions, while Manning threw for 228 yards with a pair of interceptions, one going to LB Sean Lee to put an end to a late Giants rally. Dallas was 7 of 14 on third down tries in the Meadowlands and kept the ball for 27:07, while the Giants in their 20-point loss at home ruled the clock and held the ball for 32:53, going 6 of 16 on third down tries.

They met in the City of Brotherly Love in week three and the Eagles took care of the Giants, taking Big Blue 27-24 at Lincoln Financial Field. Philly led 14-0 after three quarters (the teams were scoreless after one and the Eagles led 7-0 at the half) before the Giants would outscore the Eagles 24-13 in the final 15 minutes of action. Wentz (176 yards) and TE Zach Ertz connected on a 3-yard TD pass in the third quarter, while Manning (366 yards) connected with Odell Beckham Jr. on two TDs strikes and Sterling Shepard on the other. The Giants would lead 24-21 with 3:08 left in regulation before the home team would rely on the foot of K Josh Elliot, connecting on a 46-yard field goal with 51 seconds left and then sending Eagles fans home happy with a 61-yard try as time expired. Philadelphia outrushed the Giants 193-49 and kept the ball for 37:32, going 5 of 14 on third down (2 of 3 on fourth down), while the Giants were 3 of 10, 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs, keeping the pigskin for 22:28.

In the week three contest, the Eagles were favored by 6 at Lincoln Financial Field but won by only 3 but both clubs covered the 48 1/2 over/under with 51 points. Philadelphia’s favored by 7 1/2 in upstate New Jersey and the over/under this time is 40. Both numbers make sense. The Eagles have already clinched the East and want to be home for the playoffs. The Giants want to see a dismal season come to an end. Giants fans may want to take a pass on this one and watch that “Law and Order SVU” marathon on USA (Stabler getting in the face of a suspect is pretty cool!) Big Blue will make it close but the Eagles prevail in the Meadowlands.

Arizona (6-7) at Washington (5-8), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. The Desert Angry Birds travel to Landover as the Arizona Cardinals take on the struggling Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.

Although they were held to four Pat Dawson field goals, Arizona still managed to take a 12-7 win over Tennessee last Sunday afternoon in the desert. Tennessee’s Derek Henry scored the contest’s only TD, a 6-yard run in the second quarter (the teams were scoreless after the first quarter) when the Titans opened the scoring in the game. After that, Arizona erased that lead at the half and scored all 12 of their points unchallenged in the game, pulling themselves to within a game of the .500 mark. Arizona outrushed Tennessee 136-65 and picked off Marcus Mariota (159 yards) twice and sacked him three times, while Blaine Gabbert threw for 178 yards with eight sacks. Arizona was 3 of 14 on third down tries and kept the ball for 33:49, while the Titans were 26:11 in time of possession, going 4 of 12, 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

Washington was taken to the woodshed last Sunday at Stub Hub Center, falling to the Los Angeles Chargers 30-13, trailing 23-6 at the half. Washington was outrushed by the Chargers 174-65 and saw Philip Rivers throw for 319 yards and a pair of TDs, while ‘Skins QB Kirk Cousins threw for 151 yards with a TD, an interception and two sacks. The Chargers were 6 of 15 on third down conversions and held the ball for 35:20, while Washington was 2 of 12 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 24:40.

Including games that took place in Boston when the Redskins were known as the Braves and the Cardinals were first in Chicago and then St. Louis, Washington leads the series 74-46-2 and they’ve outscored Arizona 2,710-2,285. However… the Desert Angry Birds have won the last two meetings, taking a 31-23 win in the desert last year (Washington’s last win in the series came in 2011 in Landover by a final of 22-21).

They met in week 13 in Glendale and Arizona led 10-6 at the break, then saw Washington take a 20-17 lead with 66 seconds left in the third before the home team roared back in the final 15 minutes of play, using a pair of Carson Palmer TD passes to take the win. Neither club breached the 100-yard rushing barrier and Arizona barely outrushed Washington 88-87 in the contest at University of Phoenix Stadium, with Palmer throwing for 300 yards and three TDs, while Cousins threw for 271 yards with a TD but was sacked twice and picked off once. Arizona went 10 of 16 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:46, while the Redskins were 5 of 11 on third downs, keeping the ball for 26:14.

The Desert Angry Birds were favored by 2 1/2 in Glendale in the week 13 contest and won by 8 to cover the spread. As for the 49 1/2 over/under? Covered, as both clubs tallied 54 points. Washington is favored by 4 1/2 at Landover and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Last week, Redskins fans were saying “Hell, it’s the Redskins!” This week, it’s “HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!” Washington covers the 4 1/2 and takes the win at home in Landover.

Los Angeles Rams (9-4) at Seattle (8-5), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. Separated by 1,137 miles along I-5, they meet again and the stakes could not be higher. Los Angeles makes its way northward to the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks for an NFC West showdown with the Seattle Seahawks. Both teams are coming into the Sunday contest with losses under their belts.

Los Angeles let a 28-24 lead in the third quarter get away from them against Philadelphia last Sunday, losing to the Eagles 43-35 last week at the Coliseum. The Rams trailed 24-14 at the half, then took the four-point lead with 10:07 left when Blake Countess blocked a punt and returned it 16 yards for a score. While the win allowed the Eagles to clinch the NFC East title, it was costly for the visitors as they lost starting QB Carson Wentz to a knee injury. Wentz, who threw for 291 yards and four TDs, will be lost for the season and Nick Foles will take his spot the rest of the way. Philadelphia outrushed Los Angeles 139-109 and sacked Rams QB Jared Goff twice, although he threw for 199 yards and a pair of TDs, while Todd Gurley led all rushers with 96 yards and a pair of TDs. The Eagles were 8 of 20 on third down (they went 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 39:12, while the Rams were 20:48 in time of possession, going 2 of 7 on third down tries.

A late Seattle rally against Jacksonville fell short as the Jaguars held off the Seahawks 30-24 at EverBank Field last Sunday afternoon. After taking a 3-0 lead with them to the intermission, the first-place Jaguars proceeded to outscore the Seahawks 27-24 in a second half that turned into a slugfest. Jacksonville outrushed Seattle 156-141, with Jaguar RB Leonard Fournette leading the way with 101 yards of his own, while Blake Bortles (268) and Russell Wilson (271) each threw for over 200 yards in the late Sunday afternoon afffair (Bortles threw a pair of TDs, while Wilson tallied three). Seattle went 2 of 9 on third down tries (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:59, while the Jaguars ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 33:01, going 4 of 12 on third down.

The Sunday afternoon contest in the Pacific Northwest is a rematch of a week five contest in Los Angeles and the Seahawks came away 16-10 winners. Breaking a 10-10 tie at the half, Seattle used a pair of Blair Walsh field goals to score their last six points of the contest without a challenge. The Rams outrushed Seattle 100-62, with Gurley leading the way with 43 yards, while Wilson threw for 198 yards with a TD pass to Jimmy Graham. Seattle went 8 of 17 on third down conversions, keeping the ball for 31:16, while the Rams were 8 of 15 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 28:44.

In the week five contest in Los Angeles, the Rams were favored by 2 1/2 and Seattle covered the spread with their 6-point win. Both teams combined for 26 points, which missed the 46 1/2 over/under. In the rematch in the Pacific Northwest, the Seahawks are the darlings of Vegas as 1 1/2 point favorites on Sunday afternoon and the over/under’s 48. Both numbers make sense and both would like to be NFC West champs. There can only be one winner. Seattle has had the Rams’ number of late and that trend continues. Seattle covers the 1 and wins in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks.

New England (11-2) at Pittsburgh (10-3), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. Tom Brady. Ben Roethlisberger.

Their teams are separated by a game for the top position in the AFC playoff race.

They meet again.

A pair of AFC teams looking to lock up the top spot in the AFC playoff race meet in the Steel City Pittsburgh hosts New England in a late afternoon contest at Heinz Field.

New England’s plans to clinch the AFC East last Monday night were put on hold as Miami edged them by a 27-20 margin over Tom Brady and the Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami led 13-10 at the break, then held off a late New England second half rally to take the win in the Sunshine State. Miami’s Kenyan Drake led all rushers with 114 yards in the Monday night affair, as his team outrushed New England 120-25, while Jay Cutler threw for 263 yards with three TDs (Brady threw for 233 yards with a TD, while he was sacked twice and picked off twice). Miami was 4 of 14 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:09, while the Pats were 0 of 11 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 23:51.

The Steelers have clinched the AFC North and have won eight consecutive games, including last week’s 39-38 comeback win against Baltimore. Pittsburgh chipped away at a 31-20 deficit at the end of the third quarter (they led 20-14 at the half), took the lead back for keeps with 42 second left when Chris Boswell connected on a 46-yard field goal, then held off a late Ravens rally to take the win. Pittsburgh found themselves outrushed by Baltimore 152-59, with Ravens RB Alex Collins leading all rushers with 120 yards and a TD, while Le’Veon Bell ran for 48 yards and a pair of TDs for the Steelers. However, Roethlisberger ruled the air, as he passed for 506 yards and a pair TDs, while Joe Flacco threw for 269 yards (each threw a pair of TDs). Baltimore was 4 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:10, while the Steelers went 12 of 18 on third down tries last Sunday night, ruling the clock and kept the ball for 33:50.

Pittsburgh leads the series 14-11 and the Steelers have outscored New England 580-547. However… the Pats have won the last three meetings, won their meeting last year in Pittsburgh and won a meeting in the AFC Championship game last year in Foxboro (Pittsburgh’s last win over the Pats came in 2011 in the Steel City by a final of 25-17).

The first meeting took place at Heinz Field in week seven and New England took control of things, coming away 27-16 winners. New England led 14-10 at the half, outrushed Pittsburgh 140-94 (with LeGarett Blount leading the way with 127 yards and a pair of TDS) and Brady threw for 222 yards and a pair of TDs, while Roethlisberger threw for 281 yards and a TD. New England went 7 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 27:31, while the Steelers ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 32:29, going 5 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

They met again, this time in the AFC Championship game in Foxboro and once again, the Pats prevailed and punched their dance card to Super Bowl LI for a meeting with Atlanta, taking down the Steelers 36-17. New England led 17-9 at the half, then pulled away from the Steelers in the final 30 minutes of play, outscoring them 19-8 in that time frame. It was not much of a rushing contest, as neither breached the 100 yard barrier but New England outrushed Pittsburgh 57-54 and Brady threw for 384 yards and three TDs, while Roethlisberger threw for 314 with a TD and an interception. Both clubs did well on third down conversions in Foxboro, as the Pats were 11 of 17 and held the ball for 31:26, while the Steelers were 9 of 15 (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:34.

New England covered the 7-point spread in the week seven contest in Pittsburgh, winning by 11 on the road but both clubs combined for 43 points, barely missing the 45 1/2 over/under. The Pats in the AFC championship game were favored by 6 and covered, winning by 19 and this time, both teams covered the over/under (which was 51) with 53 total points. The oddsmakers like New England, this time as a 2 1/2 point favorite with a 53 1/2 over/under. Since this one’s for the one seed in the AFC, not making this one “DRILL WORTHY” would not do this contest justice. (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 57 last June and dates a 42-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”

The winner? They get the top spot and home field in the AFC playoff race. The loser? They’ll probably be the number two seed, which in of itself isn’t bad. Pittsburgh would like to get revenge on Brady and the Pats for the two losses last year, while the Pats would like to be king of the mountain in the AFC. Both the spread and over/under make sense. The Steelers are on a tear and they’ll stay that way. Pittsburgh covers the 2 1/2 and takes the win at home over Brady and the Pats.

Tennessee (8-5) at San Francisco (3-10), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. One team is in the playoff hunt, the other is trying to get through the season. The Tennessee Titans travel to Santa Clara for a late afternoon contest with the San Francisco 49ers at Levis’ Stadium.

Despite holding Arizona to four Pat Dawson field goals, the Cardinals still managed to take a 12-7 win over Tennessee last Sunday afternoon in the desert. Tennessee’s Derek Henry scored the contest’s only TD, a 6-yard run in the second quarter (the teams were scoreless after the first quarter) when the Titans opened the scoring in the game. After that, Arizona erased that lead at the half and scored all 12 of their points unchallenged in the game, pulling themselves to within a game of the .500 mark. Arizona outrushed Tennessee 136-65 and picked off Mariota (159 yards) twice and sacked him three times, while Blaine Gabbert threw for 178 yards with eight sacks. Arizona was 3 of 14 on third down tries and kept the ball for 33:49, while the Titans were 26:11 in time of possession, going 4 of 12, 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

San Francisco led Houston 13-9 at the half at NRG Stadium last Sunday, then pulled away from the Texans as they took care of Houston 26-16 at NRG Stadium. San Francisco knocked out Houston QB Tom Savage with a concussion late in the first half, forcing the Texans to put T.J. Yates in his place. San Francisco outrushed Houston 102-90 and Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 334 yards and a TD, while Yates threw for 175 yards and a pair of TDs (Savage threw for 63 yards with a pair of sacks before leaving the contest with the injury). The Texans were 3 of 13 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 25:11, while the 49ers ruled the clock, holding the ball for 34:49, going 2 of 11 on third down in the win.

Including contests that were played in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers and the 49ers played their home games at Keezar Stadium and Candlestick Park, San Francisco lead the series 8-5 and have outscored Tennessee 296-260. San Francisco won the last meeting with the Titans, taking a 31-17 win in the Music City in 2013, while Tennessee were 34-27 winners in 2009 in San Francisco. San Francisco’s favored by 2 and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Tennessee’s trying to catch Jacksonville in the AFC South, while the 49ers are trying to keep their heads above water. Tennesse covers the 2 and wins in Santa Clara.

Dallas (7-6) at Oakland (6-7), 8:30 p.m. on NBC. Dak Prescott vs. Derek Carr. A pair of contending teams with young QBs meet in nothern California as Dallas travels to Oakland for a Sunday night meeting with the Silver and Black.

Dallas erased a 10-10 tie against the New York Giants at Met Life Stadium last Sunday as the Cowboys ruined the return of Eli Manning to the lineup and interim head coach Steve Spagnola’s debut by leaving upstate New Jersey with a 30-10 NFC East win. Dallas outrushed Big Blue 122-102 and Prescott threw for 332 yards with three TDs (Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and Rod Smith) and no interceptions, while Manning threw for 228 yards with a pair of interceptions, one going to LB Sean Lee to put an end to a late Giants rally. Dallas was 7 of 14 on third down tries in the Meadowlands and kept the ball for 27:07, while the Giants in their 20-point loss at home ruled the clock and held the ball for 32:53, going 6 of 16 on third down tries.

Oakland saw Kansas City get revenge for their one-point loss in northern California in week seven, seeing the Chiefs come away 26-15 winners at Arrowhead last Sunday. Oakland trailed 16-0 at half, then 26-0 going into the fourth quarter before the Raiders scored their only points in that period unchallenged. Kansas City outrushed their AFC West rivals 165-70, rookie RB Kareem Hunt led all rushers with 116 yards and Alex Smith threw for 268 yards, despite being sacked four times and picked off once, while the Chiefs’ defense forced three turnovers, forcing a Raiders fumble and picking off Derek Carr (211 yards) twice, sacking him three times. Both teams were 5 of 13 on third down tries at Arrowhead (the Raiders were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and time was the BFF of Kansas City, who held the ball for 36:40 to Oakland’s 23:20.

The Raiders lead the series 6-5 (which includes games that were played in Los Angeles), while Dallas has outscored the Silver and Black 256-222 and they have won the last two meetings in the series (both in the Lone Star State), with Dallas’ last win coming in 2013 by a final of 31-24, while Oakland’s last win also came in Dallas, as the Raiders were 19-13 winners in 2005.

Dallas is favored by 3 and the over/under is 45 1/2. Both clubs have playoff hopes and would like to be part of the playoff party. Dallas will take this one on the road but expect the Raiders to make things closer than the 3 points.

ATLANTA (8-5) at Tampa Bay (4-9), 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Peaches vs. Orange Juice, Round 2. The defending NFC champs make their way to the Sunshine State for a Monday night meeting with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to close out action in week 15.

The Falcons held off a late New Orleans rally and took a 20-17 win over the Saints last Thursday night in the Big Peach. After the Falcons and Saints took a 10-10 tie with them to the intermission, Atlanta erased a 17-10 deficit at the end of three quarters, scoring their final 10 points of the contest in the fourth quarter unchallenged. Mohammed Sanu and Ryan connected on an 8-yard TD strike with 9:55 left in the contest and Matt Bryant gave the defending NFC champs the lead for keeps with a 52-yard field goal with 3:49 left in regulation. Atlanta then held off a late New Orleans rally when LB Deion Jones picked off Drew Brees in the end zone and gave the ball back to the Falcons. After Saints coach Sean Payton was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct when he entered the field, Atlanta was able to run out the clock and take the win at home. Atlanta outrushed New Orleans 152-50 and Ryan threw for 221 yards, despite throwing three interceptions, while Brees threw a pair of TDs and was good for 271 yards. Atlanta went 7 of 12 on third down conversions at Mercedes Benz Stadium and kept the ball for 34:41, while the Saints, who kept the ball for 25:19, went 3 of 10 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Tampa Bay let Detroit off the hook last Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, coming out on the short end of a 24-21 loss to the Lions in the Sunshine State. Detroit led 14-7 at the half and took a 21-7 lead with them into the final 15 minutes of action before Tampa Bay managed to storm back and tie the contest with 8:05 left in regulation when QB Jameis Winston allowed OT Leonard Wester to live a linesman’s dream when he caught a 2-yard TD toss. After Tampa Bay punted the ball back to Detroit with 2:54 left in regulation, the Lions made their way down the field from their 23 yard line, using a 9-play drive that used 49 yards of real estate and 2:34 of clock, ending when Detroit K Matt Prater connected on a 46-yard field goal with 26 seconds left to play. The Bucs, without a time out, would get the ball back on the kick off with 15 seconds left but Winston was sacked by DE Ezekiel Ansah, ending the game and ending Tampa’s hopes for the win. In a twist of irony, Tampa Bay outrushed Detroit 133-53 and Winston threw for 285 yards and a pair of TDs, while Matthew Stafford threw for 381 yards and a TD, even though he was picked off twice. The Lions on third down conversions went 5 of 11 and kept the ball for 29:47, while Tampa Bay was 4 of 8 o third down and ruled the clock, holding the ball for 30:13.
They met in week 12 in the Big Peach and the Falcons were 34-20 winners at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Atlanta led 20-6 at the intermission and never lost control of things in the contest that Winston missed because of a shoulder injury. Julio Jones caught a pair of TD passes and Tevin Coleman ran for a pair of TDs (Jones caught one pass from RB Mohammed Sanu, the other from Ryan, as Jones tallied 253 yards in the air, while Ryan tallied 317 yards passing. Atlanta outrushed Tampa Bay 148-94 and Ryan Fitzpatrick, Winston’s replacement, threw for 283 yards in the loss. The Falcons on third down tries went 11 of 14 and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 30:06, while the Buccaneers went 4 of 11 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 29:54.

In the week 12 contest in the Big Peach that took place the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the Falcons were favored by 8 1/2 and covered the spread winning by 14. The two teams combined for 54 points, allowing them to cover the 48 over/under. Atlanta has already played one Monday night game, taking a 34-31 win over Seattle in week 11, while the Bucs are 11-9 on MNF. (this is also Atlanta’s third game in prime time this year; the Falcons won in Seattle) Atlanta’s favored by 6 1/2 in the Monday night rematch and the over/under’s 48. Both numbers make sense. The last time Atlanta swept Tampa Bay was in the 2014 season, when they took wins in both the Peach State and the Sunshine State that year. While the Bucs may not make the post-season, they would like nothing more than to end Atlanta’s hopes of repeating as NFC South champs. You might want to consider taping “Scorpion” this week. Falcon fans can rest easy and take their brooms out. Atlanta wins in the Sunshine State, even though Tampa Bay will make it closer than the 6 1/2.

It’s getting close to the end.

For the teams that are struggling, the end cannot come soon enough. For those that are in contention, they are hoping that their end will be in Minneapolis when Super Bowl 52 is over.

There are only four games remaining in the regular season to decide who advances to the playoffs for a shot at a trip to Super Bowl LII in Minnesota. As the NFL enters the final quarter of the regular season, there are 22 teams either in or within two games of a playoff spot.

Entering Week 14, no teams have clinched a playoff berth, so there’s still some hope. Four teams – Minnesota, New England, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh – can clinch a division title this week. Three others – Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans – can secure a playoff berth. Pittsburgh can also clinch a playoff berth with a Buffalo loss.

In the AFC, New England (10-2) can lock up the AFC East with a win or a Buffalo loss. Pittsburgh (10-2) can secure the AFC North title with a victory over Baltimore. Pittsburgh can also clinch a playoff berth before the team plays on Sunday night with a Buffalo loss. Jacksonville (8-4) has a chance to secure a playoff berth with a win combined with other scenarios.

In the NFC, the Eagles (10-2) can secure the NFC East with a win or a Dallas loss. It would complete a “worst-to-first” turnaround for Philadelphia, which finished last in the division in 2016 and this would be the 14th season in the past 15 years in which at least one team won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place. The Vikings (10-2) can lock up the NFC North with a victory or losses by both Detroit and Green Bay. The Rams (9-3) and Saints (9-3) each have an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth with a win combined with other scenarios.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK 13: New England defeated Buffalo 23-3 and improved to 10-2. The Patriots have won at least 10 games in 15 consecutive seasons, the second-longest streak in NFL history (16, San Francisco, 1983-1998).

New England quarterback Tom Brady passed for 258 yards in today’s win and became the fourth player in NFL history to reach 65,000 career passing yards (65,214), joining Peyton Manning (71,940), Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (71,838) and Drew Brees (69,409).

In his career, Brady has won 55 games in December, the most by a starting quarterback in any calendar month in NFL history.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees completed 25 of 34 passes (73.5 percent) for 269 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions for a 106.1 passer rating in the Saints’ 31-21 win over Carolina. Brees has 6,127 career completions and surpassed Peyton Manning (6,125) for the second-most completions in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (6,300) has more career completions.

Saints rookie running back Alvin Kamara had 126 scrimmage yards – 66 receiving and 60 rushing – in Sunday’s win against the Panthers. This season, Kamara has 614 receiving yards and 606 rushing yards and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Charley Taylor (1964) and Billy Sims (1980) as the only rookies in NFL history to have at least 600 rushing yards and 600 receiving yards.

New Orleans running backs Kamara (126 scrimmage yards with two touchdowns) and Mark Ingram (122 scrimmage yards with a touchdown) combined for 248 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns. It marked the fifth consecutive game in which Kamara and Ingram combined for 200+ scrimmage yards.

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen had 10 catches for 105 yards and a touchdown in the team’s 19-10 win over Cleveland. Allen is the first player in NFL history to have at least 10 catches, 100 receiving yards and a touchdown reception in three consecutive games.

Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had 10 catches for 98 yards and a touchdown in the Cardinals’ loss against the Los Angeles Rams. Fitzgerald has 1,207 career catches and became the third player in NFL history to reach 1,200 receptions, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (1,549) and Tony Gonzalez (1,325). Fitzgerald, who played in his 214th career game, is the fastest player in NFL history to reach the milestone (Rice, 221 games and Gonzalez, 247).

Fitzgerald has 82 receptions this season, his 10th career season with at least 75 catches. Only Rice (13) has more such seasons in NFL history.

Fitzgerald has 15,267 career receiving yards and surpassed Isaac Bruce (15,208) to move into fourth place on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards list.

Indianapolis running back Frank Gore rushed for 61 yards in the Colts’ loss at Jacksonville. Gore, who has 13,697 career rushing yards, moved into fifth place on the NFL’s all-time rushing list and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famers La Dainian Tomlinson (13,684) and Jerome Bettis (13,662). The only players with more career rushing yards are Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith (18,355), Walter Payton (16,726), Barry Sanders (15,269) and Curtis Martin (14,101).

•Minnesota quarterback Case Keenum completed 25 of 30 passes (83.3 percent) for 227 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 120.4 passer rating in the Vikings’ 14-9 win at Atlanta.

Keenum, who had a 114 passer rating in three November games and was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month, has posted a passer rating of at least 100 in four consecutive games, tying Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (2009) and Daunte Culpepper (2000 and 2004) for the longest streak in franchise history.

•New York Jets wide receivers Jermaine Kearse (157 yards) and Robby Anderson (107) each had at least 100 receiving yards in the team’s 38-31 win over Kansas City.

Last week against Carolina, Anderson (146 yards) and Kearse (105) also had 100-yard receiving games. The duo is the first set of Jets teammates to each have at least 100 receiving yards in consecutive games since 1967 (Weeks 16-17) when Pro Football Hall of Famer Don Maynard and George Sauer accomplished the feat for New York.

•Green Bay rookie running back Aaron Jones rushed for the game-winning 20-yard touchdown with 5:59 remaining in overtime of the Packers’ 26-20 win over Tampa Bay. Green Bay has played 41 overtime games in franchise history (including the postseason) and Jones is only the second Packers player all-time to score a rushing touchdown in overtime (Jim Hargrove, October 18, 1987).

Chicago rookie running back Tarik Cohen had a 61-yard punt-return touchdown in the Bears’ loss against San Francisco. Cohen is the first player since Terry Metcalf (1975) and the first rookie since Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers (1965) to have a punt-return touchdown, rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown and passing touchdown in a single season.

There are playoff scenarios this week and resevations to the post-season party could be RSVP’d this weekend. Here are the scenarios for week 14 (this could cause more confusion than a mouse in a burlesque show… apologies to Foghorn Leghorn!)

AFC

New England (10-2) at Miami (5-7), Monday night

New England clinches AFC East division with:
1.New England win or tie OR
2.Buffalo loss or tie

Baltimore (7-5) at Pittsburgh (10-2), Sunday night

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North division with:

1.PIT win or tie

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth with:

1.Buffalo loss or tie

Jacksonville (8-4) vs. Seattle (8-4), Sunday

Jacksonville clinches a playoff berth with:

1.Jacksonville win + Buffalo loss + Miami loss or tie + New York Jets loss or tie + Los Angeles Chargers loss or tie + Oakland-Kansas City game does not end in a tie

 

NFC

Philadelphia at (10-2) at Los Angeles Rams (9-3), Sunday

Philadelphia clinches NFC East division with:

1.Philadelphia win or tie  OR

​2.Dallas loss or tie

Minnesota (10-2) at Carolina (8-4), Sunday

Minnesota clinches NFC North division with:

1.Minnesota win or tie OR

2.Detroit loss or tie + Green Bay loss or tie

Los Angeles Rams (9-3) vs. Philadelphia (10-2), Sunday

Los Angeles Rams clinch a playoff berth with:

1) Los Angeles Rams win + Detroit loss or tie + Green Bay loss or tie + Dallas loss or tie + Carolina loss + Atlanta loss

THE WEEK THAT WAS WEEK 13: LIVING LEGENDS: Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Indianapolis running back Frank Gore continue to etch their names in the NFL record book.

Fitzgerald led the Cardinals with 10 receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown in their Week 13 loss. He has 1,207 career catches and became the third player in NFL history to reach 1,200 receptions, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (1,549) and Tony Gonzalez (1,325).

Fitzgerald, who played in his 214th career game, is the fastest player in NFL history to reach the milestone (Rice, 221 games and Gonzalez, 247).

The players with the most career receptions in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (CAREER RECEPTIONS)(GAMES TO REACH 1,200 CATCHES)

Jerry Rice – San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle (1,549)(221)^
Tony Gonzalez – Kansas City and Atlanta (1,325)(247)
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (1,207(214)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Fitzgerald has 15,267 career receiving yards and surpassed Isaac Bruce (15,208) to move into fourth place on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards list.

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

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (CAREER RECEIVING YARDS)
Jerry Rice – San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle (22,895)^
Terrell Owens – San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Buffalo and Cincinnati (15,934)
Randy Moss – Minnesota, Oakland, New England, Tennessee and San Francisco (15,292)
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (15,267)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Gore rushed for 61 yards in the Colts’ Week 13 loss and has 13,697 career rushing yards. He surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famers La Dainian Tomlinson (13,684) and Jerome Bettis (13,662) to move into fifth place on the NFL’s all-time rushing list.

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

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (CAREER RUSHING YARDS)
Emmitt Smith – Dallas and Arizona (18,355)^
Walter Payton – Chicago (16,726)^
Barry Sanders – Detroit (15,269)^
Curtis Martin – New England and New York Jets (14,101)^
Frank Gore – San Francisco and Indianapolis (13,697)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

RECORD-SETTING RECEIVER: Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown had eight catches for 101 yards and a touchdown in the Steelers’ 23-20 win at Cincinnati on Monday Night Football last week.

Brown, who has 569 receptions since 2013, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (563 from 1999-2003) for the most catches by a player over any five-year span in NFL history.

The most receptions by a player over any five-year span in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)(RECEPTIONS)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2013-17)(569)*
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (1999-2003)(563)^
*In fifth season of span
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Brown, who has 7,611 receiving yards since 2013, also surpassed Harrison (7,594 from 1999-2003) for the most receiving yards by a player over any five-year span in NFL history.

The most receiving yards by a player over any five-year span in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)(RECEIVING YARDS)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2013-17)(7,611)*
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (1999-2003)(7,594)^
*In fifth season of span
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

LEGENDARY LANDRY: Miami wide receiver Jarvis Landry ranks third in the NFL with 80 receptions this season.

Landry, who entered the NFL as a second-round draft pick in 2014, is the only player in NFL history to have at least 80 receptions in each of his first four seasons.

CLUTCH WILSON: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes, including one in the fourth quarter, in the Seahawks’ 24-10 win over Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football last week in the Pacific Northwest.

Wilson has 15 fourth-quarter touchdown passes this season, tied with Eli Manning (15 in 2011) for the most in a single season.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(4TH QUARTER TD PASSES)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2017)(15)*
Eli Manning, New York Giants (2011)(15)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2016)(14)
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville (2015)(14)
Peyton Manning, Denver (2013)(14)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (2002)(14)
Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts (1959)(14)^
*Through Week 13
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

JETS SOARING: New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown completed 26 of 36 passes (72.2 percent) for 331 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions for a 109.8 passer rating and rushed for two touchdowns in the team’s 38-31 win over Kansas City last week.

McCown, who turned 38 years old in July, became the third player in NFL history with at least two rushing touchdowns in a single game at the age of 38 or older.

The players with at least two rushing touchdowns in a single game at the age of 38 or older:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(AGE)(RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS)
Josh McCown, New York Jets (2017)(38)(2)
Doug Flutie, San Diego (2003)(41)(2)
Jim Thorpe, Canton Bulldogs (1926)(38)(2)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

DOMINANT DUMERVIL: San Francisco linebacker Elvis Dumervil recorded a sack in the 49ers’ 15-14 win at Chicago last week. Dumervil ranks fourth among active players with 104.5 career sacks.

Dumervil’s sack of Chicago rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky on Sunday marked the 50th different quarterback he has sacked in his 12-year NFL career. Dumervil is the fourth active player to have at least a half-sack against 50 different quarterbacks in his career.

The active players with at least a half-sack against 50 different quarterbacks:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (NUMBER OF QUARTERBACKS SACKED
Julius Peppers – Carolina, Chicago and Green Bay (74)
Terrell Suggs – Baltimore (69)
Dwight Freeney – Indianapolis, San Diego, Arizona, Atlanta, Seattle and Detroit (63)
Elvis Dumervil – Denver, Baltimore and San Francisco (50)

WHAT TO LOOK FOR – WEEK 14

TERRIFIC TURNAROUND: The Philadelphia Eagles lead the NFC East and are tied for the best record in the NFL at 10-2. The Eagles, who finished in last place in the division with a 7-9 record in 2016, can clinch the NFC East on Sunday with a win at the Los Angeles Rams or a loss by Dallas.

It would mark the 14th season in the past 15 years that at least one team won its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. In fact, of the 44 teams in league history to go from “worst-to-first,” 21 of them have done so in the past 14 years (2003-16), including an NFL-record three such teams in 2005 and 2006.

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 Texans (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 (10-2)*(7-9)
* Through Week 13
** Tied for last place
*** Won Super Bowl

THE CLIMB CONTINUES: Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has 15,267 receiving yards in his 14-year career.

With 26 receiving yards on Sunday against Tennessee, Fitzgerald will surpass Randy Moss (15,292) for the third-most receiving yards in NFL history.

The players with the most receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S)(CAREER RECEIVING YARDS)
Jerry Rice – San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle (22,895)^
Terrell Owens – San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Buffalo and Cincinnati (15,934)
Randy Moss – Minnesota, Oakland, New England, Tennessee and San Francisco (15,292)
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (15,267)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

CENTENNIAL BROWN: Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown leads the NFL with 88 receptions this season.

Brown, who plays against Baltimore on Sunday night, can become the first player in NFL history with at least 100 catches in five consecutive seasons. Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (1999-2002) is the only other player to accomplish the feat in four consecutive seasons.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)(MOST CONSECUTIVE 100-CATCH SEASONS)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2013-16)(4)*
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (1999-2002)(4)^
*Has 88 catches through Week 13
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

SIXTH AND SEVENTH SEASON SUCCESSES: Indianapolis wide receiver T.Y. Hilton has 791 receiving yards and four touchdown catches this season.

Hilton, who plays at Buffalo on Sunday, can join Gary Clark (1985-92) and Randy Moss (1998-2003) as the only players in NFL history to have at least 850 receiving yards and five touchdown catches in each of their first six seasons to start a career.

The players with the most consecutive seasons with at least 850 receiving yards and five touchdown catches to begin their career:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)(CONSECUTIVE SEASONS WITH 850+ REC. YARDS AND 5+ TDS TO BEGIN CAREER)
Gary Clark, Washington (1985-92)(8)
Randy Moss, Minnesota (1998-2003)(6)
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis (2012-16)(5)*
*Has 791 rec. yards and four TDs in sixth season

Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green ties for fifth in the AFC with 886 receiving yards. Green, who plays against Chicago on Sunday, can become the first player in NFL history with at least 950 receiving yards in each of his first seven seasons. Green and Randy Moss are the only players to accomplish the feat in each of their first six NFL seasons.

The players with the most consecutive seasons with at least 950 receiving yards to begin their career:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)(CONSECUTIVE SEASONS WITH 950+ RECIEVEING YARDS TO BEGIN CAREER)
A.J. Green, Cincinnati (2011-16)(6)*
Randy Moss, Minnesota (1998-2003)(6)
*Has 886 recieving yards in seventh season

ALL-PURPOSE ALL-STARS: Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell (1,559 scrimmage yards) and Los Angeles Rams running back TODD GURLEY (1,502) rank first and second in the NFL in scrimmage yards.

Bell (1,057 rushing yards and 502 receiving yards) and Gurley (939 and 563) can become the seventh and eighth players in NFL history with at least 1,100 rushing yards and 600 receiving yards in their team’s first 13 games of a season. They would become the first pair of players to accomplish the feat in the same season.

Bell can put himself in some pretty good company and join Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk (1998 and 1999) as the only players to accomplish the feat twice. In 2014, Bell had 1,231 rushing yards and 693 receiving yards in the Steelers’ first 13 games of the season.

The players with 1,100+ rushing yards and 600+ receiving yards in their team’s first 13 games to start a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(RUSH YARDS/RECIEVEING YARDS)
Marshall Faulk, Indianapolis (1998)(1,113/823)^
Marshall Faulk, St. Louis Rams (1999)(1,180/720)^
Priest Holmes, Kansas City (2002)(1,454/650)
Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams (2006)(1,109/680)
Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia (2007)(1,110/642)
Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh (2014)(1,231/693)
Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh (2017)(1,057/502)*
Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams (2017)(939/563)*
*Through 12 games
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Week 14 began Thursday night when Atlanta defeated New Orleans 20-17 in the Big Peach in a key NFC South matchup and concludes in prime time on Sunday night as the Steelers host Baltimore at 8:30 p.m. on NBC and the action wraps up on Monday night in Miami as the Dolphins host Tom Brady and the New England Patriots Monday night at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.

There are only four games remaining in the regular season to decide who advances to the playoffs for a shot at a trip to Super Bowl LII in Minnesota. As the NFL enters the final quarter of the regular season, there are 22 teams either in or within two games of a playoff spot.

Entering Week 14, no teams have clinched a playoff berth, so there’s still some hope. Four teams – Minnesota, New England, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh – can clinch a division title this week. Three others – Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans – can secure a playoff berth. Pittsburgh can also clinch a playoff berth with a Buffalo loss.

In the AFC, New England (10-2) can lock up the AFC East with a win or a Buffalo loss. Pittsburgh (10-2) can secure the AFC North title with a victory over Baltimore. Pittsburgh can also clinch a playoff berth before the team plays on Sunday night with a Buffalo loss. Jacksonville (8-4) has a chance to secure a playoff berth with a win combined with other scenarios.

In the NFC, the Eagles (10-2) can secure the NFC East with a win or a Dallas loss. It would complete a “worst-to-first” turnaround for Philadelphia, which finished last in the division in 2016 and this would be the 14th season in the past 15 years in which at least one team won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place. The Vikings (10-2) can lock up the NFC North with a victory or losses by both Detroit and Green Bay. The Rams (9-3) and Saints (9-3) each have an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth with a win combined with other scenarios.

Week 14 began Thursday night when Atlanta hosted New Orleans in the Big Peach in a key NFC South matchup and concludes in prime time on Sunday night as the Steelers host Baltimore at 8:30 p.m. on NBC and the action wraps up on Monday night in Miami as the Dolphins host Tom Brady and the New England Patriots Monday night at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.

As for last week, it was a pretty good week as we went 9-7 for the week,

As for last week, it was a pretty good week as we went 9-7 for the week, for the year, we’re 115-78. There’s a lot off football left on the docket. With that, here are the Sunday and Monday games for week 14.

Indianapolis (3-9) at Buffalo (6-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. The struggling Indianapolis Colts travel to upstate New York for a Sunday afternoon AFC contest with the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park. Both teams enter the intra-conference game at New Era Stadium with losses under their belts.

The Colts dropped a 30-10 decision to Jacksonville last Sunday in the Sunshine State at EverBank Field. Indy trailed the Jaguars, tied for first in the AFC South with Tennessee, trailed 16-3 at the half, then saw the Jaguars pull away, outscoring the Colts 14-7 in the second half. While the Colts did outrush Jacksonville 141-96, Jacksonville made life miserable for Jacboy Brissett (174 yards, TD), sacking him four times and picking him off twice, while Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles threw for 309 yards and a pair of TDs. The Colts were 5 of 15 on third down conversions in the Sunshine State but found success on fourth down, going 4 of 4 on fourth down and held the ball for 26:13, while Jacksonville went 9 of 15 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the pigskin for 33:47.

New England held Buffalo to a 49-yard field goal by Stephen Hauschka in the second quarter and took Buffalo to task, taking down the Bills 23-3 at New Era Stadium. The Bills trailed 9-3 at the half in upstate New York before New England pulled away in the final 30 minutes of action. New England outrushed Buffalo 191-183 and Tom Brady burned the Bills for 258 yards, while Tyrod Taylor threw for only 65 yards with three sacks before leaving the contest with a knee injury. Buffalo went 5 of 13, 0 of 3 on third and fourt down tries and kept the ball for 25:59, while New England, who ruled the clock and kept the ball for 34:01, went 5 of 12 on third down conversions.

Buffalo leads the series 36-31-1 (which includes games that were played in Baltimore and at old War Memorial Stadium) and the Bills have outscored the Colts 1,417-1,312. Buffalo came away 27-14 winners in upstate New York in 2015 in their last meeting, while Indy’s last win over the Bills came in 2012 in Indy by a final of 20-13. Buffalo’s favored by 3 and the over/under is 46. The Bills circle the wagon and take this one in upstate New York and cover the 3.

Minnesota (10-2) at Carolina (8-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. Case Keenum vs. Cam Newton. A pair of future Hall of Fame QBs meet in the Tar Heel State as Carolina hosts the Minnesota Vikings at Bank of America Stadium.

Minnesota held Atlanta without a TD for the first time since they were shutout at Carolina in 2015, scoring only three Matt Bryant field goals to come away 14-9 winenrs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium last Sunday. The Vikings led 7-6 at the half, then saw the Falcons take a 9-7 lead with 11:57 left in the third and took that lead into the fourth quarter, when Minnesota took the lead back for keeps when Keenum (227 yards, two sack) and TE Kyle Rudolph connected on a 6-yard TD pass to open play in the fourth quarter. Minnesota outrushed Atlanta 105-102 and held Matt Ryan to 173 yards in the air in the win. Atlanta on third down was a somewhat dismal 1 of 10 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 25:58, while the Vikings went 6 of 12, keeping the pigskin for 34:02.

Carolina and Newton dropped a 31-21 decision to the New Orleans Saints last Sunday afternoon in the Big Easy. Carolina trailed 21-14 at the intermission before the Saints pulled away in the second half to take the win. Carolina made it a 10-point contest with 3:57 left in regulation when Newton (183 yards) and WR Devin Funchess connected on a 24-yard TD pass (it was the second TD pass of the day for Newton; he had connected with WR Christian McCaffrey in the first half to pull the Panthers to within seven). Carolina then tried an onside kick which they thought was successful but Funchess’ effort to keep the ball failed after the Saints challenged the call. New Orleans won the challenge and took control after that. New Orleans outrushed Carolina 148-112 and it was the Mark Ingram/Alvin Kamara show as Ingram ran for 85 yards and TD, while Kamara chipped in with 60 yards and a pair of rushing TDs of his own and Brees threw for 269 yards in the contest in the Big Easy without being intercepted. New Orleans was 6 of 15 on third down conversions in the rematch (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:21, while the Panthers were 3 of 10 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down and held on to the pigskin for 26:39.

Minnesota leads the series 8-5, while Carolina has outscored the Vikings 254-236. The Vikings won the last meeting, which took place last year in the Tar Heel State, taking a 27-10 win in Charlotte. The week three contest at Bank of America Stadium saw Minnesota erase a 10-8 halftime lead and shutout the Panthers in the final 30 minutes of play 14-0. Carolina outrushed Minnesota 105-58 but Newton was sacked eight times and picked off three times while throwing for 262 yards. Minnesota on third down went 3 of 12 and kept the ball for 25:08, while Carolina, despite the loss, ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 34:52, going 6 of 16 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

Carolina was favored by 7 in the week three affair at Bank of America Stadium and the Vikings covered the spread, winning by 17. As for the 43 over/under? It was untouched as both teams merged for 37 points. Minnesota’s favored by 3 on the road and the over/under’s 41. Minnesota’s trying to keep pace with the Eagles for the top spot in the NFC, while the Panthers look to restore some order in the NFC South. Minnesota pulls the upset in the Tar Heel State and covers the 3 with the win in Charlotte.

Chicago (3-9) at Cincinnati (5-7), 1 p.m. on FOX. Chicago travels to Cincinnati for an NFC-AFC showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals along the shores of the Ohio River. Both teams took losses last week at home and both are trying to catch the leaders in theri respective divisions.

Da Bears let a 14-12 lead get away from them against San Francisco at Soldier Field as the 49ers roared back to take a 15-14 win in the final seconds of the contest in the Windy City. Chicago led 14-9 at the break before the 49ers took control in the second half, scring their last six points of the game unchallenged. Robbie Gould, who kicked for Chicago, came back to haunt his old team in the final seconds of the contest when he sent a 24-yard try through the uprights with four seconds left to play. Da Bears were outrushed 110-62 and Matt Trubinsbky threw for 102 yards, while San Francisco’s Jimmy Graffalo threw for 293 (each was sacked twice and Garaffalo threw an interception). Chicago was 5 of 10 on third down tries and held the ball for 21:13, while San Francisco kept the pigskin for 38:47, going 10 of 18 on third downs.

Cincinnati pulled defeat from the jaws of victory as the Steelers completed the sweep of the series, taking a 23-20 win in Cincinnati last Monday night. The Bengals took a 17-3 with them to the intermission before Pittsburgh roared back in the second half, outscoring the Bengals 20-3 in the final 30 minutes of action. The contest had some scary moments as Steelers LB Ryan Shazier suffered a spinal injury that stopped the contest and sent him to the hospital with a neck injury (Shazier did not suffer any further injuries and was able to move his arms and legs) in the second quarter. Then, halfway through the fourth quarter, things got somewhat chippy as Steelers WR JuJu Schuster-Smith was flagged for taunting afte a hit in the contest (he would later be suspended by the league for his action) and also in the contest, Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict, who Steeler fans despise, was knocked out of the contest and taken off the field as well. Pittsburgh would eventually tie the contest up when Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown connected on a 6-yard TD strike to tie things up and then take the win in the closing seconds as Chris Boswell conntected on a 38-yard field goal as time expired. In all that chippiness and confusion, the Bengals outrushed Pittsburgh 130-92 and Andy Dalton threw for 234 yards and a pair of TD tosses to WR A.J. Green, while Roethlisberger threw for 290 yards and a pair of TDs as well (connecting with Brown and LeVeon Bell). Cincinnati on third down went 7 of 14 and the Bengals held the ball for 30:11, while the Steelers were 4 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:49.

Cincinnati holds a 6-4 lead in the series and the Bengals have outscored Chicago 188-181. Da Bears won the last meeting, taking a 24-21 win in the Windy City in 2013, while Cincy’s last win came at home in 2009 by a fnial of 45-10. The Bengals are favored by 7 and the over/under comes in at 39 1/2. Da Bears are actually better than 3-9 and would love nothing more than to ruin someone’s playoff hopes. The Bengals are looking to survive and perhaps take a Wild Card spot. Bengals win this one but expect Da Bears to make it closer than the 7.

Green Bay (6-6) at Cleveland (0-12), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. The contending Green Bay Packers travel to Cleveland for a Sunday afternoon contest with the winless Browns along the shores of Lake Erie.

The Packers needed overtime to take a 26-20 win over Tampa Bay last Sunday at Lambeau. Green Bay led 17-10 at the intermission, before Tampa Bay took the lead back with 6:02 left in regulation when Jameis Winston and TE Cameron Brate connected on an 11-yard TD pass. Green Bay then proceeded to tie things up with 2:01 left when K Mason Crosby kicked a 22-yard field goal, setting the score at 20-20 at the end of regulation. Green Bay won the toss to start overtime and wasted very little if any time, as the Packers used an 8-play, 72-yard drive that used 4:01 of clock to send their fans home happy when RB Aaron Jones scored on a 20-yard romp, giving the Packers the win in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst. The contest between the Bays was a rushing fan’s dream, as the Packers outrushed Tampa Bay 199-165 (Green Bay’s Jamaal Williams led all rushers with 113 yards and a TD, while Tampa Bay was paced by Payton Barber’s 102) and Winston threw for 270 yards and a pair of TDs with seven sacks and Brett Hundley threw for 84 yards for Green Bay. The Bucs on third down tries went 9 of 16 and kept the ball for 37:17, while the Packers were 5 of 12 on third down, keeping the ball for 26:44, including the overtime.

Cleveland reamined winless in the 2017 campaign after their 19-10 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on the West Coast Last Sunday afternoon. The Chargers led 9-7 at the intermission, thanks to three Todd Coons field goals, including a 22-yarder that gave them the lead with :00 left on the clock (Cleveland had led 7-6 with 1:55 left befroe the intermission when Browns QB DeShone Kizer and TE David Njoku connected on a 28-yard TD strike). Los Angeles would go on to outscore Cleveland 10-3 in the second half, as Philip Rivers and WR Keenan Allen would score the Chargers’ only TD with 10:35 left in the third. While neither team breached the 100-yard barrier, the Chargers did outrush Cleveland 94-89 and Rivers threw for 344 yards, while Kizer threw for 215. The Chargers were 8 of 15 on third down tries (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:57, while the Browns kept the pigskin for 34:57, going 5 of 11 on third down and 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Green Bay leads the series 11-7, the Packers have outscored Cleveland 429-334 and Green Bay has won the last two meetings, taking a 31-13 win at Lambeau in 2013, while Cleveland’s last win over Green Bay came in 2005, when the Browns walked out of Lambeau with a 26-24 win. Green Bay’s favored by 3 and the over/under is 40 1/2. Green Bay wins along the shores of Lake Erie and covers the 3.

San Francisco (2-10) at Houston (4-8), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of struggling teams meet in the Lone Star State as San Francisco travels to Houston for a meeting with the Texans in Houston.

The 49ers erased a 14-12 deficit against Chicago last Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field as the 49ers roared back to take a 15-14 win in the final seconds of the contest in the Windy City. San Francisco trailed 14-9 at the break before the 49ers took control in the second half, scring their last six points of the game unchallenged. Robbie Gould, who kicked for Chicago, came back to haunt his old team in the final seconds of the contest when he sent a 24-yard try through the uprights with four seconds left to play. Da Bears were outrushed 110-62 and Matt Trubinsbky threw for 102 yards, while San Francisco’s Jimmy Graffalo threw for 293 (each was sacked twice and Garaffalo threw an interception). Chicago was 5 of 10 on third down tries and held the ball for 21:13, while San Francisco kept the pigskin for 38:47, going 10 of 18 on third downs.

Houston saw Tennessee break a 10-10 tie at the half and came out on the short end of a 24-13 final against the Titans at Nissan Stadium last Sunday. Tennessee outrushed the Texans 198-53, as Titans’ RB Derrick Henry ran for 109 yards and a TD, while Houston’s Tom Savage threw for 365 yards and a TD but was sacked four times (Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota threw for 150 yards and a TD for the Titans). The Texans on third down were 8 of 16 and actually ruled the clock, as theu held the ball for 33:49, while the Titans were 5 of 11 on third down, holding the ball for 26:11 (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

San Francisco leads the series 2-1 and the 49ers have outscored Houston 75-44. Houston’s lone win in the series came in 2009 in the Lone Star State by a final of 24-21, while San Francisco’s last win came on the West Coast, as the 49ers were 34-3 winners in 2013. Houston’s favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 42 1/2. Houston’s looking to at the very least get a Wild Card spot, while the 49ers would like nothing more than to put an end to that plan. Take a pass on this one and watch that “Law and Order:SVU” marathon on USA (Olivia Benson’s really sexy when she’s questioning a suspect!) Houston not only covers the 2 1/2, they take the win at home in the Lone Star State.

Oakland (6-6) at Kansas City (6-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. They meet again.

They still don’t like each other.

Don’t expect Christmas greetings or Facebook friend requests.

It’s round two of an old-fashioned AFL/AFC West matchup as the Raiders and Chiefs, in a three-way tie for first in the AFC West with the Los Angeles Chargers, renew their rivalry as the venue changes from northern California to the Show Me State.

Oakland comes Eastward with a 24-17 win over the New York Giants last Sunday in Oakland. The Silver and Black led the Giants, who had Geno Smith (212 yards, TD, three sacks) under center (they had benched Eli Manning) 10-7 after three quarters of play before they took control of things in the final quarter, shutting out the G-men in that period. Oakland outrushed the Giants 119-65 and Marshawn Lynch ran for 101 yards and a TD, while David Carr threw for 287 and a TD. Oakland on third down went 6 of 15 on third down (1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:19, while the Giants were 28:41 in time of possession, going 5 of 14 on third down.

The Chiefs, in that three-way tie with the Raiders and Chargers, lost their second game in Met Life Stadium, dropping a 38-31 decision against the New York Jets last Sunday. Kansas City trailed 21-17 at the half, then managed to tie the contest at 24-24 when Chiefs QB Alex Smith connected with WR Tyreek Hill on a 29-yard TD pass with 5:13 left in the third. Afte the Jets reclaimed the lead, Smith and Hill would take the lead for their first and only time, connecting on a 40-yard pass with 9:13. The Jets then proceeded to use a 14-play, 75-yard drive that used 6:58 of clock to reclaim the lead for keeps when QB Josh McCown scored on a 1-yard TD run. The Jets then went for two and at first were stopped by the Chiefs. There were two problems. First, Kansas City’s Stephen Nelson was flagged for holding (which was declined). Then, they added insult to injury when CB Marcus Peters threw an official’s flag into the stands, drawing an unsportsmanlike penalty and the ire of head coach Andy Reid (who later suspended Peters for his actions without pay last Wednesday). Peters then left the field and came back but did not re-enter the contest and after the Jets try for two was succesful, the Chiefs got the ball back and got as far as New York’s 19-yard line, where three Smith passes fell short of their mark. New York outrushed Kansas City 157-112 and Smtih threw for 366 yards and four TDs, connecting with TE Travis Kelce on the other two TD tosses, while McCown threw for 331 yards and a TD pass to RB Matt Forte. Kansas City was 3 of 8 on third down tries in the Meadowlans (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for a mere 17:11, while the Jets were ball hogs, keeping the ball for 42:49, going 13 of 20 on third down and 1 of 1 on on fourth down.

It’s a week seven rematch that saw the Silver and Black come from behind to win 31-30. Kansas City led 20-14 at the half and took a 30-24 lead into the final minutes of regulation when Oakland stormed back to win the contest but not without some controversy in the waining seconds. First, Carr threw what Raider fans had thought was a TD to TE Jared Cook. The replay officials reversed the call on the field, saying that Cook did not break the plane of the goal line. Carr then connected with Michael Crabtree for a second TD (or so Raider fans though), only to have their hearts broken when Crabtree was called for pass interference. Then after two Chiefs penalties, the Raiders found the promised land when Carr and Crabtree connected on a 2-yard TD strike as the clock struck :00. As was the case for all scoring plays, it was reviewed and upheld and the Raiders took the win. Kansas City outrushed Oakland 94-88 in a contest that saw RB Marshawn Lynch ejected for making contact with an official during the contest. Carr threw for 417 yards, while Smith threw for 342 (each man threw three TD passes) in the Thursday night affair on the West Coast. Kansas City was 8 of 15 on third down conversions and held the ball for 30:36, while the Raiders were 6 of 13 on third down tries (1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Silver and Black kept the ball for 29:24.

The Chiefs were 3-point favorites in the week seven contest on the West Coast and the Raiders came away with a 1-point win. As for the 47 over/under? That was taken care of, as both clubs combined for 61 points. This time, the Chiefs are favored by 4 and the over/under is 47 1/2. For these two teams, it’s football’s answer to musical chairs and as long as the music plays, they have a chance. When the music stops, it becomes chaos. The Raiders would like to prove that the first meeting was not a fluke, the Chiefs would like nothing more than to erase the memories of losing five of their last six contests. Kansas City restores order, covers the 4 and takes the win at Arrowhead.

Dallas (6-6) at New York Giants (2-10), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. One team still doesn’t have Ezekiel Elliott. The other will have a future Hall of Famer back under center and a interim head coach on the sidelines. Dallas makes their way to the Meadowland for an NFC East showdown with the NeW York Giants.

Dallas made it a sweep of their series with Washington, taking down the Redskins 38-14 in Arlington last Thursday night. After a scoreless first quarter, the Cowboys took a 17-7 lead with them to the locker room at the half and took control from there, breaking their three-game losing streak in the process. Dallas outrushed Washington 182-56 and Albert Morris did his best Ezekiel Elliott impression, leading all rushers with 127 yards and a TD, while Prescott threw for 102 and a pair of TDs, connecting with WR Dez Bryant and TE Jason Whitten on both tosses. Washington’s Kirk Cousins threw for 251 yards and a pair of TDs but Dallas made life for him somewhat miserable, sacking him four times and picking him off twice. Dallas went 7 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 32:28; as for Washington, they held the ball for 27:32, going 6 of 14 on third down tries (both clubs went 0 of 1 on fourth down).

Steve Spagnola takes over for Bob McAdoo after he was fired and Manning returns under center after he was benched in favor of Geno Smith as they fell to the Oakland Raiders 24-17 last Sunday in Oakland. The Silver and Black led the Giants, who had Geno Smith (212 yards, TD, three sacks) under center (they had benched Manning) 10-7 after three quarters of play before they took control of things in the final quarter, shutting out the G-men in that period. Oakland outrushed the Giants 119-65 and Marshawn Lynch ran for 101 yards and a TD, while David Carr threw for 287 and a TD. Oakland on third down went 6 of 15 on third down (1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:19, while the Giants were 28:41 in time of possession, going 5 of 14 on third down.

They met in Arlington in week one and with Elliott in the lineup, the Cowboys took a 13-0 lead at the break and won 19-3. Dallas held the Giants to a 25 yard field goal by Alex Rosas in the third quarter, while Dan Bailey kicked four field goals in the game, with the only TD coming in the second quarter when Prescott (268 yards) and TE Jason Witten connected on a 12-yard toss. Dallas outrushed the Giants 129-35, with Elliott leading the way with 104 yards on the ground. Manning threw for 220 yards in the loss, was sacked twice and picked off once. Dallas on third down went 8 of 15 and held the ball for 34:14, while the Giants, who kept the pigskin for 25:46, went 4 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Dallas was favored by 4 1/2 in the week one contest in the Meadowlands and won by 16. Neither team touched the 48 over/under, as they combined for 22 points. This time, the Cowboys are favored by 5 and the over/under’s 42. Both numbers make sense. Dallas is trying to make the post-season party, while the Giants are trying to get through the season. Dak vs. Eli. Giants make this one close but Cowboys pull off the sweep and take the win in upstate New Jersey.

Detroit (6-6) at Tampa Bay (4-8), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Tampa Bay faces another former NFC North rival as Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions come to the Sunshine State for an afternoon contest at Raymond James Stadium.

The Lions pulled to within seven against Baltimore in Charm City last Sunday, only to see the Ravens pull away and take a 44-20 win last Sunday. Detroit trailed 20-0 at the half and pulled to within 7 at 20-13 after three quarters of play before the Ravens took control of the contest in the fourth quarter. Detroit narrowed the gap with 2:15 left in the third quarter when rookie RB Tion Green scored on a 6-yard run. Baltimore then took control of things from that point, outscoring Detroit 24-7 in the final 15 minutes of action. Detroit was outrushed 101-78 and Stafford threw for 292 yards and a TD while being sacked three times and throwing an interception (Stafford would leave the contest with a bruised throwing hand). Baltimore’s Joe Flacco threw for 269 yards for the Ravens, with a pair of TD and no sacks or interceptions at M&T Bank Stadium. Detroit went 4 of 13 on third down and actually ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 30:09, while the Ravens were 29:51 in time of possession, going 5 of 12 on third down tries.

Tampa Bay dropped a 26-20 overtime decision at Green Bay last Sunday at Lambeau. Green Bay led 17-10 at the intermission, before Tampa Bay took the lead back with 6:02 left in regulation when Winston and TE Cameron Brate connected on an 11-yard TD pass. Green Bay then proceeded to tie things up with 2:01 left when K Mason Crosby kicked a 22-yard field goal, setting the score at 20-20 at the end of regulation. Green Bay won the toss to start overtime and wasted very little if any time, as the Packers used an 8-play, 72-yard drive that used 4:01 of clock to send their fans home happy when RB Aaron Jones scored on a 20-yard romp, giving the Packers the win in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst. The contest between the Bays was a rushing fan’s dream, as the Packers outrushed Tampa Bay 199-165 (Green Bay’s Jamaal Williams led all rushers with 113 yards and a TD, while Tampa Bay was paced by Payton Barber’s 102) and Winston threw for 270 yards and a pair of TDs with seven sacks and Brett Hundley threw for 84 yards for Green Bay. The Bucs on third down tries went 9 of 16 and kept the ball for 37:17, while the Packers were 5 of 12 on third down, keeping the ball for 26:44, including the overtime.

Detroit leads the series 30-26 and the Lions have outscored Tampa Bay 1,199-977. Detroit came away 34-17 winners in the Motor City in the last meeting between the clubs, while Tampa Bay’s last win over Detroit also came in the Motor City, as the Bucs walked away with a 24-21 win in 2013. The Lions are favored by 2 and the over/under’s 38 1/2. Tampa Bay could make this contest interesting but Detroit prevails and covers the 2 in the Sunshine State.

New York Jets (5-7) at Denver (3-9), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. Two old AFL rivals meet in the Mile High City as Denver hosts the New York Jets in the Rocky Mountains.

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! gave Kansas City their second loss in Met Life Stadium, as GangGreen came survived a scare by the Chiefs and came away 38-31 winners last Sunday. Kansas City trailed 21-17 at the half, then managed to tie the contest at 24-24 when Chiefs QB Alex Smith connected with WR Tyreek Hill on a 29-yard TD pass with 5:13 left in the third. Afte the Jets reclaimed the lead, Smith and Hill would take the lead for their first and only time, connecting on a 40-yard pass with 9:13. The Jets then proceeded to use a 14-play, 75-yard drive that used 6:58 of clock to reclaim the lead for keeps when QB Josh McCown scored on a 1-yard TD run. The Jets then went for two and at first were stopped by the Chiefs. There were two problems. First, Kansas City’s Stephen Nelson was flagged for holding (which was declined). Then, they added insult to injury when CB Marcus Peters threw an official’s flag into the stands, drawing an unsportsmanlike penalty and the ire of head coach Andy Reid (who later suspended Peters for his actions without pay last Wednesday). Peters then left the field and came back but did not re-enter the contest and after the Jets try for two was succesful, the Chiefs got the ball back and got as far as New York’s 19-yard line, where three Smith passes fell short of their mark. New York outrushed Kansas City 157-112 and Smtih threw for 366 yards and four TDs, connecting with TE Travis Kelce on the other two TD tosses, while McCown threw for 331 yards and a TD pass to RB Matt Forte. Kansas City was 3 of 8 on third down tries in the Meadowlans (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for a mere 17:11, while the Jets were ball hogs, keeping the ball for 42:49, going 13 of 20 on third down and 1 of 1 on on fourth down.

Denver continues their somewhat dismal season after their 35-9 loss at Miami last Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium. Denver trailed the Dolphins led 16-0 at the half, then saw the Dolphins take control of the contest early. Miami outrushed Denver 145-103, with Dolphins RB Keyon Drake leading the way with 120 yards and a TD, while Jay Cutler threw for 235 yards and three TDs, with Denver’s Trevor Siemian throwing for 300 yards with three sacks and three interceptions. Miami on third down went 4 of 15 and kept the ball for 34:22, while the Broncos went 1 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down ahd held on to the pigskin for 25:238.

Including games that took place when the Jets were known as the Titans and the Broncos played their home games in Mile High Stadium, Denver leads the series 18-15-1 and have outscored GangGreen 831-731. Denver won the last meeting, which took place in 2014 in the Meadowlands by a final of 31-17, while New York’s last win came in 2010 in the Mile High City by a final of 24-20.

The J-E-T-S! JETSJ! JETS! JETS! are favored by 1 and the over/under’s 41. New York’s looking for a wild card spot, the Broncos are just trying to get through the 2017 campaign. GangGreen covers the 1 and takes the win in the Rockies.

Washington (5-7) at Los Angeles Chargers (6-6), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. A pair of contending teams in the playoff hunt meet in Los Angeles as Washington travels to the West Coast to take on Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers.

Washington found themselves trailing Dallas 17-7 at the half last Thursday night in Arlington and came out on the short end of a 38-14 loss in NFC East action in the Lone Star State. After a scoreless first quarter, the Cowboys took that 17-7 lead with them to the locker room at the half and took control from there, breaking their three-game losing streak in the process. Dallas outrushed Washington 182-56 and Albert Morris did his best Ezekiel Elliott impression, leading all rushers with 127 yards and a TD, while Prescott threw for 102 and a pair of TDs, connecting with WR Dez Bryant and TE Jason Whitten on both tosses. Washington’s Kirk Cousins threw for 251 yards and a pair of TDs but Dallas made life for him somewhat miserable, sacking him four times and picking him off twice. Dallas went 7 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 32:28; as for Washington, they held the ball for 27:32, going 6 of 14 on third down tries (both clubs went 0 of 1 on fourth down).

The Chargers put themselves in a 3-way tie for first in the AFC West and kept Cleveland winless in the 2017 campaign after their 19-10 over the Browns on the West Coast Last Sunday afternoon. The Chargers used three Todd Coons field goals to lead 9-7 at the intermission, including a 22-yarder that gave them the lead with :00 left on the clock, this coming after Cleveland had led 7-6 with 1:55 left befroe the intermission when Browns QB DeShone Kizer and TE David Njoku connected on a 28-yard TD strike. Los Angeles would go on to outscore Cleveland 10-3 in the second half, as Rivers and WR Keenan Allen would score the Chargers’ only TD with 10:35 left in the third. While neither team breached the 100-yard barrier, the Chargers did outrush Cleveland 94-89 and Rivers threw for 344 yards, while Kizer threw for 215. The Chargers were 8 of 15 on third down tries (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:57, while the Browns kept the pigskin for 34:57, going 5 of 11 on third down and 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Washington leads the series 7-3 (which includes contests that took place in San Diego) and the Redskins have outscored the Chargers 255-209. Washington needed overtime in Landover to take a 30-24 win in 2013, while the Chargers’ last win came in 2009 at Qualcomm by a final of 23-20. The oddsmakers like the Chargers as 6 point favorites at home and the over/under’s 46. Both numbers make a lot of sense. While this one’s not “DRILL WORTHY!” it’s worth watching. Hail to the Redskins? Not this week. Washington fans will be saying “Hell, it’s the Redskins!” Chargers may not cover the 6 but they take the win on the West Coast.

Tennessee (8-4) at Arizona (5-7), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. Marcus Mariota and the Tennesee Titans make their way to the desert for a late afternoon meeting with the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale.

Tennessee broke a 10-10 tie at the half with Houston and came away 24-13 winners over the Texans last Sunday in the Music City at Nissan Stadium last Sunday. Tennessee outrushed the Texans 198-53, as Titans’ RB Derrick Henry ran for 109 yards and a TD, while Houston’s Tom Savage threw for 365 yards and a TD but was sacked four times (Mariota threw for 150 yards and a TD for the Titans). The Texans on third down were 8 of 16 and actually ruled the clock, as theu held the ball for 33:49, while the Titans were 5 of 11 on third down, holding the ball for 26:11 (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

Arizona struggled against the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday in Glendale and came away on the short end of a 32-16 NFC West loss in Glendale. The Desert Angry Birds trailed led 19-13 at the break and were held in check in the final 30 minutes of action. Arizona did manage to outrush Los Angeles 118-90, while Goff threw for 220 yards and a pair of TDs in the rematch. Arizona’s Blaine Gabbert threw for 221 yards in the desert but was sacked six times and picked off twice in the loss. Los Angeles went 3 of 11 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:58, while the Cardinals were ball hogs, holding the pigskin for 31:02, going 7 of 15 on third down tries.

Including games that took place in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers and the Cardinals were based in St. Louis, Arizona leads the series 6-4 and the Desert Angry Birds have outscored the Titans 247-219. They last meet in the Music City in 2013 and the Cardinals needed overtime to win 37-34 in that matchup, while Tennessee’s last win in the series came in 2009 (also in Nashville), with the Titans 20-17 victors. Tennessee’s favored by 3 and the over/under is 44. Tennesee’s in the hunt for the AFC South title, while the Desert Angry Birds are looking to make their mark in the NFC West. Tennesee takes the win in Glendale but expect the Desert Angry Birds to make things closer than the 3.

Seattle (8-4) at Jacksonville (8-4), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. Contenders Seattle and Jacksonville meet in north Florida for a late Sunday afternoon kickoff at EverBank Field. Both teams took wins last week to improve their positioning in their march for the post-season.

Seattle ended Philadelphia’s nine-game win streak come to an end in Seattle last Sunday night as the Seahawks took Philly to task and came away 24-10 winners in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Seattle led 10-3 at the intermission, then stopped an early Eagles’ drive when Carson Wentz fumbled and the ball went through the end zone for a touchback. Seattle got the ball back and took control thereafter. Seattle outrushed Philadelphia 101-98 and Wentz threw for 348 yards and a TD (Wentz was sacked three times and picked off once), while Russell Wilson threw for 227 yards and three TDs, connecting with TE Jimmy Graham on one of the passes. Both clubs did reasonably well on third down tries; Philadelphia went 8 of 16, Seattle went 6 of 12 (the Eagles were 2 of 4 on fourth down) and time was on the side of the Eagles, who held the ball for 31:54 to Seattle’s 28:06.

Tied for first with Tennessee in the AFC South, Jacksonville manhandled the Indianapolis Colts at Ever Bank Field last Sunday, taking a 30-10 win in the Sunshine State. Jacksonville took a 16-3 lead at the break, then pulled away from the Colts, outscoring them 14-7 in the second half. While the Colts did outrush Jacksonville 141-96, Jacksonville made life miserable for Jacboy Brissett (174 yards, TD), sacking him four times and picking him off twice, while Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles threw for 309 yards and a pair of TDs. The Colts were 5 of 15 on third down conversions in the Sunshine State but found success on fourth down, going 4 of 4 on fourth down and held the ball for 26:13, while Jacksonville went 9 of 15 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the pigskin for 33:47.

The Seahawks lead the series 5-2, they’ve outscored Jacksonville 212-129 and they’ve won the last two meetings, including coming away 45-17 winners in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks in 2013, while the Jaguars’ last win in the series came in 2005 in the Sunshine State by a final of 26-14. Jacksonville’s favored by 3 and the over/under is 39. Both numbers make sense and both teams have played some really great football of late and both could very well make the playoffs. Seattle makes it interesting but Jacksonville covers the 3 at home and takes the win.

Philadelphia (10-2) at Los Angeles Rams (9-3), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV . The future of NFL QB’s comes full circle in Los Angeles as Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles conclude their West Coast trip, making their way down I-5 for a meeting with Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams. It’s also the battle of two first-place teams in the NFC.

Philadelphia, which has won nine of its past 10 games, can clinch the NFC East with a win or a Dallas loss. It would complete a “worst-to-first” turnaround for the Eagles, who finished last in the division in 2016. This would be the 14th season in the past 15 years in which at least one team won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place. The Eagles saw their nine-game win streak come to an end in Seattle last Sunday night as the Seahawks took Philly to task and came away 24-10 winners in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. The Eagles trailed 10-3 at the intermission and marched downfield to start the second half but saw that drive stall when Wentz fumbled and the ball went through the end zone for a touchback. Seattle got the ball back and took control thereafter. Seattle outrushed Philadelphia 101-98 and Wentz threw for 348 yards and a TD (Wentz was sacked three times and picked off once), while Russell Wilson threw for 227 yards and three TDs, connecting with TE Jimmy Graham on one of the passes. Both clubs did reasonably well on third down tries; Philadelphia went 8 of 16, Seattle went 6 of 12 (the Eagles were 2 of 4 on fourth down) and time was on the side of the Eagles, who held the ball for 31:54 to Seattle’s 28:06.

The Rams, who have won six of their past seven games, lead the NFC West and can clinch a playoff berth this weekend with a win combined with other scenarios. Los Angeles put themselves one step closer to the NFC West title as they took care of Arizona 32-16 in Glendale. The Rams led 19-13 and held the Desert Angry Birds in check in the final 30 minutes of action. Arizona did manage to outrush Los Angeles 118-90, while Goff threw for 220 yards and a pair of TDs in the rematch. Arizona’s Blaine Gabbert threw for 221 yards in the desert but was sacked six times and picked off twice in the loss. Los Angeles went 3 of 11 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:58, while the Cardinals were ball hogs, holding the pigskin for 31:02, going 7 of 15 on third down tries.

Including games that were played in Cleveland and St. Louis (when the Rams were located in those cities; there was one game in the series that was played in Colorado Springs, with the Rams winning 35-13 in 1935), the Eagles lead the series 19-17-1 and the Rams have outscored the Eagles 734-725. They last met in 2014 in the City of Brotherly Love and the Eagles were 34-28 winners (Philadelphia has won the last four contests), while the Rams’ last win over the Eagles came in 2014 in St. Louis by a final of 20-7.

The Rams are favored by 2 and the over/under on the West Coast is 50 1/2. These two could meet in the NFC playoffs and this could very well be a preview of those playoffs. Rams cover the 2 on the West Coast and takes the win.

Baltimore (7-5) at Pittsburgh (10-2), 8:30 p.m. on NBC. They meet again, this time in the Steel City.

Flacco.

Roethlisberger.

The AFC North picture could get a little clearer Sunday evening when the Steelers and Ravens meet at Heinz Field. Both teams are coming into Sunday night’s contest with wins under their belts from last week’s action.

Baltimore saw Detroit pull to within seven late in the fourth quarter in Charm City last Sunday, then pull away from the Lions to and take a 44-20 win last Sunday. Baltimore led 20-0 at the half, then saw Detroit score their 13 points in the second quarter unchallenged before taking control of things in the final 15 minutes. Detroit narrowed the gap with 2:15 left in the third quarter when rookie RB Tion Green scored on a 6-yard run. Baltimore then took control of things from that point, outscoring Detroit 24-7 in the final 15 minutes of action. Detroit was outrushed 101-78 and Stafford threw for 292 yards and a TD while being sacked three times and throwing an interception (Stafford would leave the contest with a bruised throwing hand). Baltimore’s Joe Flacco threw for 269 yards for the Ravens, with a pair of TD and no sacks or interceptions at M&T Bank Stadium. Detroit went 4 of 13 on third down and actually ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 30:09, while the Ravens were 29:51 in time of possession, going 5 of 12 on third down tries.

Pittsburgh completed their sweep of AFC North foe Cincinnati, taking a 23-20 win in Cincinnati last Monday night. In a contest that saw seven personal foul penalties and a lot of chippiness, the Steelers trailed 17-3 they roared back in the second half, outscoring the Bengals 20-3 in the final 30 minutes of action. The contest had some scary moments as Steelers LB Ryan Shazier suffered a spinal injury that stopped the contest and sent him to the hospital with a neck injury (Shazier did not suffer any further injuries and was able to move his arms and legs) in the second quarter. Then, halfway through the fourth quarter, things got somewhat chippy as Steelers WR JuJu Schuster-Smith was flagged for taunting afte a hit in the contest (he would later be suspended by the league for his action after his appeal was denied and will miss the Sunday contest in the Steel City) and also in the contest, Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict, who Steeler fans despise, was knocked out of the contest and taken off the field as well. Pittsburgh would eventually tie the contest up when Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown connected on a 6-yard TD strike to tie things up and then take the win in the closing seconds as Chris Boswell conntected on a 38-yard field goal as time expired. In all that chippiness and confusion, the Bengals outrushed Pittsburgh 130-92 and Andy Dalton threw for 234 yards and a pair of TD tosses to WR A.J. Green, while Roethlisberger threw for 290 yards and a pair of TDs as well (connecting with Brown and LeVeon Bell). Cincinnati on third down went 7 of 14 and the Bengals held the ball for 30:11, while the Steelers were 4 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:49.

They met in week four in Charm City and the Steelers took Baltimore to task, taking a 26-9 win at M&T Bank Stadium. Pittsburgh led 16-0 at the break and got TDs from RB LeVeon Bell and WR JuJu Smith-Schuseter to take the win on the road. Pittsburgh outrushed Baltimore 173-82, Bell led all rushers with 144 yards and a pair of TDs and Roethlisberger threw for 216 yards, while Flacco threw for 235 yards (each man threw a TD pass, Roethlisberger was sacked once and threw an interception, while Flacco threw a pair of interceptions while being sacked four times). Pittsburgh was 7 of 15 on third down conversions and held the ball for 35:29, while the Ravens were 5 of 13 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and held the ball for 24:31.

Pittsburgh won by 17 in the week four contest, allowing the Steelers to cover the 3 point spread. However, neither club covered the 44 over/under, as Pittsburgh and Baltimore combined for 35 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Steelers and they’ve made them 7 point favorites and the over/under’s 41. Saying that this one’s not “DRILL WORHTY” is like saying Frosty was not a snowman. (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?”

Both teams are playoff contenders. Pittsburgh’s looking to stay the one seed in the AFC, while the Ravens want to be part of the playoff picture. Baltimore wants revenge, Pittsburgh wants to sweep. Whip out the Terrible Towels. Steelers complete the sweep and win at home, covering the 7.

New England (10-2) at Miami (5-7), 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 14 concludes in the Sunshine State at Tom Brady and the Gronk-less Pats travel to Miami for a Monday night AFC East contest at Hard Rock Stadium.

The defending Super Bowl champs (who will be without TE Rob Gronkowski for this contest after his late hit in Buffalo last Sunday) held Buffalo to a 49-yard field goal by Stephen Hauschka in the second quarter and took down the Bills 23-3 at New Era Stadium. The Bills trailed 9-3 at the half in upstate New York before New England pulled away in the final 30 minutes of action. New England outrushed Buffalo 191-183 and Tom Brady burned the Bills for 258 yards, while Tyrod Taylor threw for only 65 yards with three sacks before leaving the contest with a knee injury. Buffalo went 5 of 13, 0 of 3 on third and fourt down tries and kept the ball for 25:59, while New England, who ruled the clock and kept the ball for 34:01, went 5 of 12 on third down conversions.

Miami manhandled Denver last Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium, coming away 35-9 winners over the Broncos in the Sunshine State. The Dolphins led 16-0 at the half, taking control of the contest early. Miami outrushed Denver 145-103, with Dolphins RB Keyon Drake leading the way with 120 yards and a TD, while Jay Cutler threw for 235 yards and three TDs, with Denver’s Trevor Siemian throwing for 300 yards with three sacks and three interceptions. Miami on third down went 4 of 15 and kept the ball for 34:22, while the Broncos went 1 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down ahd held on to the pigskin for 25:238.

It’s a rematch of their week 12 meeting in Foxboro that saw Brady and the Pats take a 17-10 lead at the break and came away 35-17 winners at Gillette Stadium. New England outrushed Miami 196-67 in the contest and Brady threw four TD passes in the contest, two of them to Gronkowski and RB Dion Lewis led all rushers with 112 yards. Miami was 2 of 11 on third down (2 of 3 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 27:19, while the Pats were 5 of 12 on third down and 1 of 2 on fourth down and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:41.

Miami has already played a Monday night contest, losing at Carolina 45-21 in week 10. As for New England, suprisingly, the Pats are 24-24 on MNF and won their last meeting last year. In the week 12 meeting in Foxboro, New England was favored by 16 and covered, wining by 18. As for the 47 1/2 over/under? Both teams took care of that, combining for 52 points. New England’s favored by 11 and the over/under’s 47. New England can win the East with the victory on Monday night, while the Dolphins would like to delay that party. This one’s worth watching, so you might want to tape “Scorpion” this week. The Pats may not cover the 11 but they take the win in the Sunshine State on Monday night.

12 weeks down, five to go.

The leaves have fallen or are falling, it’s getting colder and the Fat Man from the North Pole is making preparations for his big day.

With that much time left in the regular season, 14 teams have a .500 or better record and have a shot at the post-season. For San Francisco and Cleveland, their seasons are pretty much over (the 49ers are 1-10, while the Browns are 0-11). When the final game is done on January 1st, 12 teams will be given invitations to the post-season party, 6 from the AFC, 6 from the NFC.

SEVEN THINGS FROM SUNDAY: Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones had 12 catches for 253 yards and two touchdowns in the Falcons’ 34-20 win over Tampa Bay. Jones has three career games with at least 250 receiving yards and is the only player in NFL history to have multiple 250+ yard receiving games. Jones, who played in his 90th career game today, has 563 catches for 8,649 yards, the most by a player in his first 90 games in NFL history. He passed Anquan Boldin (558) for the most receptions and Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth (8,502) for the most receiving yards.

Jones caught a 51-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Mohamed Sanu in the second quarter of today’s game. Sanu, who also threw a 73-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green with Cincinnati in 2012 (September 23, 2012), is the first wide receiver since the 1970 merger to throw multiple career 50+ yard touchdown passes. He is also the first non-quarterback to throw two career 50+ yard touchdown passes since Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton (1979, 1983).

Philadelphia defeated Chicago 31-3 to improve to 10-1. It marks the fourth time in franchise history the Eagles have started a season 10-1 or better (1949, 1980 and 2004) and the team advanced to the NFL Championship/Super Bowl in each of the previous three instances. In the Super Bowl era, 38 teams have previously started 10-1 and all 38 made the playoffs, 17 reached the Super Bowl (44.7 percent) and eight won the Super Bowl (21.1 percent). Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz threw three touchdown passes in today’s win and leads the league with 28 touchdown passes. Wentz’s 28 touchdown passes are the most by an Eagles quarterback through the team’s first 11 games of a season, passing the mark set by Pro Football Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen (24) in 1961. Wentz has 28 touchdown passes and five interceptions and is the third quarterback in NFL history to have at least 25 touchdown passes and five or fewer interceptions through his team’s first 11 games, putting himself in some pretty good company, joining Tom Brady (2007, 2015, 2017) and Aaron Rodgers (2011, 2014).

New England defeated Miami 35-17 and improved to 9-2. The Patriots clinched their 17th consecutive season with a winning record, the longest streak since 1970, surpassing the previous record of 16 held by the 1970-1985 Dallas Cowboys and 1983-1998 San Francisco 49ers. New England quarterback Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes with one interception for a 114.1 passer rating in today’s win. Brady, who turned 40 years old in August, has 26 touchdown passes this season, the most by a quarterback in a single season at the age of 40 or older. Brady has 27 career games with at least four touchdown passes and one or fewer interceptions, surpassing Peyton Manning (26) for the second-most in NFL history. Only Drew Brees (28) has more such games.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw two touchdown passes and rushed for a touchdown in the Seahawks’ 24-13 win at San Francisco. Seattle improved to 7-4 on the season and bounced back from last week’s 34-31 loss against Atlanta. With the victory, Wilson improved to 23-4 (.852) in his career in games following an in-season loss, the best record by a starting quarterback since the 1970 merger (minimum 15 such starts).

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley had 128 scrimmage yards in the team’s 26-20 win over New Orleans. Gurley, who has 1,344 scrimmage yards and 11 touchdowns this season, is the fourth player in franchise history to have at least 1,300 scrimmage yards and 10 touchdowns in the team’s first 11 games of a season. He joins Pro Football Hall of Famers Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch (1951), Eric Dickerson (1983) and Marshall Faulk (2000) as the only Rams to accomplish the feat.

New Orleans running backs Alvin Kamara (188 scrimmage yards, two touchdowns) and Mark Ingram (36 scrimmage yards) combined for 224 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns in the Saints’ loss at the Los Angeles Rams. Kamara (1,094 scrimmage yards, nine touchdowns) and Ingram (1,055 scrimmage yards, eight touchdowns) are the first running back teammates to each have at least 1,000 scrimmage yards and eight touchdowns in a team’s first 11 games in the Super Bowl era.

Carolina defeated the New York Jets 35-27. Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly had a 34-yard fumble-return touchdown with 12:05 remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Panthers the lead and Kaelin Clay added a 60-yard punt-return touchdown with 9:54 left to extend Carolina’s lead. It marked the second time in franchise history – and first since the club’s inaugural 1995 season (October 8, 1995 against Chicago) – in which the Panthers scored two return touchdowns in the fourth quarter of a
game.

THE WEEK THAT WAS WEEK 12: ELECTRIC EAGLE: Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz threw three touchdown passes in the Eagles’ 31-3 win against Chicago last week.

Wentz, who leads the NFL with 28 touchdown passes, has the third-most touchdown passes by a first or second-year quarterback through his team’s first 11 games of a season in NFL history.

The first or second-year quarterbacks with the most touchdown passes through his team’s first 11 games of a season:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(PASSING TDS IN TEAM’S 1ST 11 GAMES)
Dan Marino, Miami (1984)(30)^
Kurt Warner, St. Louis (1999)(29)^
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia (2017)(28)
Derek Carr, Oakland (2015)(24)
Jeff Garcia, San Francisco (2000)(24)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Philadelphia owns the best record in the NFL at 10-1 and Wentz is the fourth first or second-year quarterback to start 10-1 or better through his team’s first 11 games of a season in the Super Bowl era.

The first or second-year quarterbacks to start 10-1 or better in his team’s first 11 games of a season in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(RECORD THROUGH TEAM’S FIRST 11 GAMES)
Dan Marino, Miami(1984)(11-0)^
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia (2017)(10-1)
Dak Prescott, Dallas (2016)(10-1)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2013)(10-1)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

FLYING FALCON: Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones had 12 receptions for 253 yards and two touchdowns in the Falcons’ 34-20 win over Tampa Bay in Week 12.

Jones has three career games with at least 250 receiving yards and is the only player in NFL history to have multiple 250+ yard receiving games.

Jones has 563 receptions in 90 career games and passed ANQUAN BOLDIN (558) for the most catches by a player in his first 90 games in NFL history.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (RECEPTIONS IN 1ST 90 CAREER GAMES)
Julio Jones, Atlanta (563)
Anquan Boldin, Arizona (558)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (554)

Jones has 8,649 receiving yards and passed Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth (8,502) for the most receiving yards by a player in his first 90 games in NFL history.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (RECEIVING YARDS IN 1ST 90 CAREER GAMES)
Julio Jones, Atlanta (8,649)
Lance Alworth, San Diego (8,502)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

TOM TERRIFIC: New England quarterback Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes and one interception for a 114.1 passer rating in the Patriots’ 35-17 win against Miami last week.

Brady has 27 career games with at least four touchdown passes and one or fewer interceptions, surpassing Peyton Manning (26) for the second-most in NFL history. Only Drew Brees (28) has more such games.

The players with the most games with at least four touchdown passes and one or fewer interceptions in NFL history:

PLAYER –  TEAM(S) (GAMES WITH AT LEAST 4 TD PASSES & 1 OR FEWER INTS)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (28)*
Tom Brady – New England (27)*
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (26)
*Active

DYNAMIC DUO: New Orleans running backs Alvin Kamara (188 scrimmage yards, two touchdowns) and Mark Ingram (36 scrimmage yards) combined for 224 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns in the Saints’ loss to the Los Angeles Rams last week.

Kamara (1,094 scrimmage yards, nine touchdowns) and Ingram (1,055 scrimmage yards, eight touchdowns) are the seventh pair of teammates – and first running back duo – to each have at least 1,000 scrimmage yards and eight touchdowns in a team’s first 11 games in the Super Bowl era.

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

TEAM – SEASON (PLAYER – SCRIMMAGE YDS/TDS)(PLAYER – SCRIMMAGE YDS/TDS)
New Orleans – 2017 (Alvin Kamara – 1,094/9)(Mark Ingram – 1,055/8)
Green Bay – 2014 (Jordy Nelson – 1,066/9)(Eddie Lacy – 1,007/9)
Indianapolis – 2000 (Edgerrin James – 1,586/14)(Marvin Harrison – 1,066/8)^
St. Louis – 2000 (Marshall Faulk – 1,447/15)(Isaac Bruce – 1,185/9)
Indianapolis – 1999 (Edgerrin James – 1,547/9)(Marvin Harrison – 1,118/12)^
Dallas – 1995 (Emmitt Smith – 1,643/20)Michael Irvin – 1,169/8)^
Dallas – 1966 (Dan Reeves – 1,088/14)(Bob Hayes – 1,002/10)

^Harrison, Faulk, Smith, Irvin and Hayes are Pro Football Hall of Famers

In the month of November, Kamara became the third rookie in NFL history to total at least 500 scrimmage yards, three rushing touchdowns and three receiving touchdowns in a calendar month, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Gale Sayers (October, 1965) and Charley Taylor (November, 1964).

The rookies with at least 500 scrimmage yards, three rushing touchdowns and three receiving touchdowns in a calendar month:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – MONTH; SCRIMMAGE YARDS/RUSHING TDS-RECIEVING TDS)
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans (2017 – November; 593/3-3)
Gale Sayers, Chicago (1965 – October; 520/3-5)^
Charley Taylor, Washington (1964 – November; 596/3-3)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

BIG GAME BROWN: Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown had 10 receptions for 169 yards and two touchdowns in the Steelers’ 31-28 win against Green Bay on Sunday Night Football last week.

Through 11 games this year, Brown has five games with at least 10 receptions and 100 yards, tied for the fourth-most such games in a single season in NFL history. Brown, who also had five such games in 2015, is the first player to accomplish the feat in multiple seasons.

The players with the most games with at least 10 receptions and 100 yards in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON; GAMES WITH 10 CATCHES & 100 REC. YARDS)
Andre Johnson, Houston (2008; 7)
Calvin Johnson, Detroit (2012; 6)
Wes Welker, New England (2009; 6)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2017; 5)*
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh, (2015; 5)
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (2002; 5)^
Jimmy Smith, Jacksonville (1999, 5)
*Through 11 games
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

WONDERFUL WILSON: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw two touchdown passes and rushed for a touchdown in the Seahawks’ 24-13 win at San Francisco last week.

With the victory, Wilson improved to 23-4 (.852) in his career in games following an in-season loss, the best record by a starting quarterback since the 1970 merger (minimum 15 such starts).

The quarterbacks with the best record following an in-season loss since 1970 (minimum 15 such starts):

PLAYER – TEAMS (WINS-LOSSES-TIES, PCT.)
Russell Wilson – Seattle (23-4-0, .852)
Andrew Luck – Indianapolis (23-5-0, 821)
Tom Brady – New England (42-10-0, .808)
Jeff Hostetler – New York Giants, Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders and Washington (24-8-0, .750)
Joe Montana, San Francisco and Kansas City (36-12-0, .750)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Wilson ties for third in the NFL with 3,029 passing yards and became the fourth quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 3,000 yards in each of his first six seasons.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2012-17)
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati (2011-16)
Cam Newton, Carolina (2011-16)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (1998-2003)

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 13: FLYING HIGH IN PHILLY: Philadelphia the NFL’s best record at 10-1 and can clinch the NFC East division title in Week 13. The Eagles have won nine consecutive games, including each of its past four by at least 20 points.

The Eagles, who play at Seattle on Sunday Night Football, can become the sixth team in NFL history to win five consecutive games all by at least 20 points and the first since the 1999 St. Louis Rams.

The teams with five consecutive wins all by 20+ points in NFL history:

TEAM (SEASON – MOST CONSECUTIVE WINS BY 20+ POINTS)
St. Louis (1999 – 5)
Green Bay (1961 – 5)
Houston Oilers (1961 – 5)
Philadelphia (1953 – 5)
Philadelphia (1949 – 5)
Philadelphia (2017 – 4)*
*Active streak

BIG BEN ASCENDS: Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has 49,762 passing yards in his 14-year career with the Steelers.

Roethlisberger, who plays at Cincinnati on Monday Night Football, can become the eighth quarterback in NFL history to reach 50,000 career passing yards.

The quarterbacks with at least 50,000 career passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (CAREER PASSING YARDS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (71,940)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (71,838)^
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (69,140)*
Tom Brady – New England (64,956)*
Dan Marino – Miami (61,361)^
John Elway – Denver (51,475)^
Eli Manning – New York Giants (50,625)*
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh (49,762)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Roethlisberger will play in his 197th career game on Monday and can become the fifth quarterback in NFL history to reach 50,000 career passing yards in fewer than 200 games, joining Drew Brees (183), Peyton Manning (191), Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (193) and Tom Brady (198).

The quarterbacks to reach 50,000 passing yards in the fewest career games:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (GAMES TO 50,000 PASSING YARDS)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (183)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis (191)
Dan Marino – Miami (193)^
Tom Brady – New England (198)
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh (196)*
*Has 49,762 career passing yards
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

PRESCISION PASSERS: Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz leads the NFL with 28 touchdown passes and New England’s Tom Brady ranks second with 26 TD passes. Wentz (five interceptions) and Brady (three) are the only quarterbacks with at least 25 touchdown passes and five or fewer interceptions this season.

On Sunday, Wentz and Brady can join some elite company. Wentz, who plays at Seattle on Sunday night, can become the third different quarterback in NFL history with at least 30 touchdown passes and five or fewer interceptions through his team’s first 12 games of a season, joining Brady (2007) and Aaron Rodgers (2011, 2014).

Brady, who plays at Buffalo on Sunday, can join Rodgers as the only players to accomplish the feat twice. Brady had 41 touchdown passes with five interceptions through his team’s first 12 games of the 2007 season.

The players with at least 30 touchdown passes and five or fewer interceptions through their team’s first 12 games of a season:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON; TD PASSES – INTERCEPTIONS)
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay (2014; 32 – 3)^
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay (2011; 37 – 5)^
Tom Brady – New England (2007; 41 – 5)^
Carson Wentz – Philadelphia (2017; 28 – 5)*
Tom Brady – New England (2017; 26 – 3)*
*Through 11 games
^Won MVP

ALL-PURPOSE BACKS: Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley ranks second in the NFL with 1,344 scrimmage yards (865 rushing, 479 receiving) and leads the league with 11 total touchdowns.

Gurley, who plays at Arizona on Sunday, can become the fifth different player in NFL history with at least 1,000 rushing yards, 500 receiving yards and 10 total touchdowns through his team’s first 12 games of a season.

The players with at least 1,000 rushing yards, 500 receiving yards and 10 total touchdowns in their team’s first 12 games of a season:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON; RUSH YARDS – REC. YARDS, TOUCHDOWNS)
David Johnson – Arizona (2016; 1,005 – 704, 15)
Priest Holmes – Kansas City (2003; 1,177 – 559, 17)
Priest Holmes – Kansas City (2002; 1,322 – 634, 22)
Thurman Thomas – Buffalo (1991; 1,192 – 522, 12)^
Thurman Thomas – Buffalo (1989; 1,045 – 558, 11)^
Chuck Foreman – Minnesota (1976; 1,035 – 551, 12)
Todd Gurley – Los Angeles Rams (2017; 865 – 479, 11)*
*Through 11 games
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Saints rookie running back Alvin Kamara ranks second in the NFC with 1,094 scrimmage yards (548 receiving, 546 rushing) and ties for second in the NFL with nine total touchdowns.

Kamara, who plays against Carolina on Sunday, can become the third rookie with at least 600 rushing yards and 600 receiving yards in a season in NFL history, joining Billy Sims (1980) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Charley Taylor (1964). Both Sims and Taylor were named the Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year in those seasons.

The rookies with at least 600 rushing yards and 600 receiving yards in a season in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON; RUSH YARDS – REC. YARDS)
Billy Sims – Detroit (1980; 1,303 – 621)
Charley Taylor – Washington (1964; 755 – 814)^
Alvin Kamara – New Orleans (2017; 546 – 548)*
*Through 11 games
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

RECORD-SETTING RECEIVER: Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown leads the NFL with 80 catches and 1,195 receiving yards this season.

Brown, who has 561 receptions since 2013, can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (563 from 1999-2003) for the most catches by a player over any five-year span in NFL history when the Steelers play at Cincinnati Monday night.

The most receptions by a player over any five-year span in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASONS; RECEPTIONS)
Marvin Harrison – Indianapolis (1999-2003; 563)^
Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh (2013-17; 561)*
Wes Welker – New England (2008-12; 560)
Wes Welker – New England (2007-11; 554)
Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh (2012-16l 547)
*In fifth season of span
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Brown, who has 7,510 receiving yards since 2013, can also surpass Harrison (7,594 from 1999-2003) for the most receiving yards by a player over any five-year span in NFL history.

The most receiving yards by a player over any five-year span in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASONS; RECEIVING YARDS)
Marvin Harrison – Indianapolis (1999-2003; 7,594)^
Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh (2013-17; 7,510)*
Calvin Johnson – Detroit (2011-15; 7,428)
Torry Holt – St. Louis (2000-04; 7,368)
Calvin Johnson – Detroit (2010-14; 7,334)
*In fifth season of span
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

LARRY LEGEND: Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald leads the NFC with 72 receptions and is closing in on his 10th career season with at least 75 catches.

With three catches against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Fitzgerald would become the fourth player in NFL history with at least 75 catches in 10 seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (13 seasons) and Tim Brown(10) and Tony Gonzalez (10).

The players with the most seasons with at least 75 catches in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (SEASONS WITH 75+ CATCHES)
Jerry Rice – San Francisco and Oakland (13)^
Tim Brown – Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders (10)^
Tony Gonzalez – Kansas City and Atlanta (10)
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (9)*
*Has 72 catches entering Week 13
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

AGELESS WONDER: Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers has 8.5 sacks this season and ranks fourth in NFL history with 152 career sacks.

Peppers, who turned 37 years old in January, can become the third player with at least 10 sacks in a single season at the age of 37 or older since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Bruce Smith (10 sacks in 2000) and Kevin Greene  (12 sacks in 1999). Peppers and the Panthers take on New Orleans Sunday afternoon on the road.

The players with at least 10 sacks in a single season at the age of 37 or older since 1982:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON; AGE/SACKS)
Bruce Smith – Washington (2000; 37/10)^
Kevin Greene – Carolina (1999; 37/12)^
Julius Peppers – Carolina (2017; 37/8.5)*
*Entering Week 13
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

As the calendar turns to December, the NFL playoff picture is starting to take shape. With five weeks remaining in the regular season, there are currently 25 teams either in or within two games of a playoff spot.

Over the past five seasons, the Seattle Seahawks (19-5, .792) own the best record in the final month, which also includes regular-season games played in January. The Pittsburgh Steelers (18-5, .783) have the best mark in the AFC.

TEAM (WINS-LOSSES, PCT)
Seattle (19-5, .792)
Green Bay (18-5, .783)
Pittsburgh (18-5, .783)
Carolina (18-6, .750)
New England (18-6, .750)

“The games in December are the most important regular-season games by far,” says NFL Network analyst and former NFL head coach Steve Mariucci. “It’s extremely important to win in December and to make a run at the playoffs.”

As the NFL season enters the final month, four teams are racing towards the finish line with winning streaks of at least six games – Philadelphia (nine), Minnesota (seven), New England (seven) and Pittsburgh (six).

The Eagles, who own the NFL’s best record, are 10-1 for the fourth time (1949, 1980 and 2004) in franchise history. In the Super Bowl era, 38 teams have previously started 10-1 and all 38 made the playoffs, 17 reached the Super Bowl (44.7 percent) and eight won the Super Bowl (21.1 percent). Philadelphia can clinch the NFC East division title this week with either a Dallas loss on Thursday night or an Eagles win on Sunday night against Seattle.

Week 13 began on Thursday night in the Lone Star State when Dallas broke their three-game losing streak, taking down Washington 38-14 in a key NFC East showdown as both teams are fighting to stay in the mix for a playoff berth. Week 13 Sunday action concludes as the Eagles travel to the Pacific Northwest for a primetime meeting with the Seattle Seahawks at 8:30 p.m. on NBC and the week ends in Cincinnati as the Bengals host Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers in an important AFC North matchup at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.

As for last week? 11-5 is nothing to sneeze at. For the season, we’re at 106-17. There’s a lot of football left on the docket as the season winds down. Here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 13.

Minnesota (9-2) at ATLANTA (7-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons host Minnesota in what could be a playoff preview in the Big Peach.

Minnesota escaped the Motor City last Thursday afternoon, taking a 30-23 win over the Lions at Ford Field. Leading 20-10 at the half, the Vikings would go on to see the Lions outscore them 13-10 in the last 30 minutes of action and would have seen the contest tied when Detroit CB Darius Slay blocked a 45 yard field goal try by Ken Horbath and CB Nevin Lawson returned it  77 yards for a TD. The score was erased when the Lions were called for being offside and Minnesota would run out the clock and take the win. Minnesota outrushed Detroit 136-53 and Case Keenum threw for 282 yards and a pair of TDs to WR Kyle Rudolph, while Detroit’s Matthew Stafford threw for 250 yards and a pair of TDs. Minnesota on third down went 6 of 13 and kept the ball for 34:57, while Detroit was 3 of 11 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 25:03.

The Falcons manhandled Tampa Bay 34-20 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium last Sunday in the Big Peach. Atlanta broke a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter as it was the Julio Jones Show in the second quarter, as the Falcons All-Pro WR caught a pair of TD passes in the period (pass number one came from WR Mohammed Sanu, pass number two came from Ryan). Atlanta led 20-6 at the and never looked back, even though both teams played even football in the final 30 minutes of action. Sanu is the first wide receiver since the 1970 merger to throw multiple career 50+ yard touchdown passes. He is also the first non-quarterback to throw two career 50+ yard touchdown passes since Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton (1979, 1983).

Ryan threw for 317 yards without a sack or interception, while the Falcons outrushed Tampa Bay 148-94 (Atlanta’s Tevin Coleman led all rushers with 97 yards and a pair of TDs). For Tampa Bay, Ryan Fitzpatrick, taking over for Jameis Winston (shoulder) threw for 283 yards with a sack in the loss. Atlanta on third down was 11 of 11 and kept the ball for 30:06, while Tampa Bay held the pigskin for 29:54, going  4 of 11 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Minnesota leads the series 17-10, the Vikings have outscored Atlanta 643-452 and have won the last two meetings, including a 20-10 win in the Big Peach in 2015, while Atlanta’s last win over the Vikings came in 2011 in Atlanta by a final of 24-14. The oddsmakers in Vegas like the Falcons as a 3-point favorite and the over/under is 47 1/2. Both numbers make a lot of sense and both teams have played some decent football of late. Atlanta covers the 3 and takes the win in the Peach State.

Detroit (6-5) at Baltimore (6-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of contending teams meet in Charm City as Baltimore hosts the Detroit Lions.

Detroit saw defeat snatched from the jaws of victory Thursday afternoon in the Motor City as they sent their fans home heartbroken after their 30-23 loss to Minnesota at Ford Field. Detroit trailed 20-10 at the half, then mounted a comeback in the second half as they outscored their NFC North foes 13-10 in the last 30 minutes of play, coming to within seven with 75 seconds left when Lions CB Daris Slay blocked a 45 yard field goal try by Ken Horbath and CB Nevin Lawson returned it  77 yards for a TD. The score was erased when the Lions were called for being offside and the Vikings would run out the clock and take the win. Detroit found themselves outrushed by the Vikings 136-53, while Stafford threw for 250 yards and a pair of TDs in the loss. The Vikings on third down went 6 of 13 and ruled the clock, holding the ball for 34:57, while Detroit was 3 of 11 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 25:03.

Baltimore erased a 7-0 first quarter deficit against Houston last Monday night and came away 23-16 winners in Charm City. The Ravens led 17-10 at the half, then held off a pair of late Texans rallies that would have tied the contest up at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore outrushed Houston 139-66 and Joe Flacco threw for 141 yards, while Houston’s Tom Savage threw for 252 yards with a pair of interceptions (the second pick came late in the fourth quarter as the Texans were driving to tie the contest up). The Ravens on third down were 3 of 14 (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:44. The Texans actually ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:16, while going 6 of 14 on third down tries.

Baltimore leads the series 3-1 and the Ravens have outscored Detroit 102-64. The Ravens picked up an 18-16 win in the Motor City in 2013 in their last meeting, while Detroit’s lone win in the series came in 2005 in the Motor City by a final of 35-17. Baltimore’s favored by 3 and the over/under is 42. Both clubs are chasing division leaders and would love nothing more than to catch them. For the winner, they’re one step closer in the chase; as for the loser, they’re not out but they’ve got a little more work to do. Ravens cover the 3 and wins in Charm City.

New England (9-2) at Buffalo (6-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. It’s a pair of AFC East rivals meeting in upstate New York as Tom Brady and the Pats travel to Orchard Park for a showdown at New Era Stadium.

New England led Miami 21-10 at the half in Foxboro and came away 35-17 winners at Gillette Stadium. Brady (227 yards, four TDs) and TE Rob Gronkowski connected on a pair of TDs in the contest and the Pats never looked back. New England sacked Matt Moore (215 yards, TD) seven times and picked him off twice, holding Miami to 67 yards rushing, while Deon Lewis accounted for 112 of New England’s 196 yards on the ground. New England went 5 of 12 on third down tries, 1 of 2 on fourth down and the Pats kept the ball for 32:41, while Miami went 2 of 11, 2 of 3 on third and fourth downs and held on to the ball for 27:19.

The Bills held off Kansas City, coming away 16-10 winners at Arrowhead last Sunday. Buffalo led 10-3 at halftime, then held off a late Chiefs rally in the second half for the win on the road. Buffalo outrushed Kansas City 104-55 and Tyrod Taylor threw for 183 yards, while the Chiefs’ Alex Smith threw for 199 yards with an interception (each man threw a TD pass). The Bills would wind up going 6 of 17 on third down conversions in the Show-Me State and ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 33:18, while the Chiefs, who held the ball for 26:42, went 2 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

New England leads the series 69-43-1 (which includes games that took place at old War Memorial Stadium, Schaffer Stadium and Fenway Park) and the Pats have outscored Buffalo 2,499-2,100. The two AFC East foes split last year’s contests, with each winning in the other team’s facility.

They met in Foxboro in week four and the Pats did not have the services of Brady, who sat out four games for his part in “Inflategate.” Buffalo shut out the Pats 16-0 in the first meeting, leading 13-0 at the intermission and never looked back. Buffalo outrushed New England 134-90 and Taylor threw for 246 yards and a TD, while Jacoby Brissett, taking over for Brady, threw for 205 yards but was sacked three times. The Bills on third down tries at Gillette Stadium went 7 of 15 and kept the ball for 36:11, while the Pats went 1 of 12 on third down (2 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:49.

Round 2… week eight in upstate New York (Orchard Park, to be specific). Brady would be back and the Pats would get revenge on their AFC East rivals, coming away 41-25 winners at New Era Stadium. New England led 24-10 at the half and outscored the Bills 17-15 in the final 30 minutes of play. Buffalo again outrushed New England 167-72 but Brady threw for 315 yards and four TDs, while Taylor threw for 183 before being relieved by E.J. Manuel. The Pats were 9 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 29:51, while the Bills ruled the clock and held on to the pigskin for 30:09, going 4 of 13 on third down and 2 of 4 on fourth down.

New England was favored by 7 in the week four contest in Foxboro and the Bills covered, winning by 16 but the 45 over/under was intact as the Bills did all the scoring in the contest. New England’s 16-point win in the week eight matchup in upstate New York allowed them to cover the 6 1/2 point spread easily and the 66 combined points was more than enough to take care of the 47 over/under. New England’s favored by 8 1/2 and the over/under’s 49. The 49 is reasonable. The 8 1/2 is a bit on the steep side. The Bills at times have been bad but they’re not 8 1/2 bad. Buffalo will make this one interesting but New England at the Pats prevail. Pats win but expect Buffalo to make it closer than 8 1/2.

San Francisco (1-10) at Chicago (3-8), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. Sourdough meets deep dish as a pair of struggling teams meet in the Windy City for the second year in a row as San Francisco takes on Da Bears at Soldier Field.

San Francisco found themselves all but out of the post-season race as they dropped a 24-13 decision to the Seahawks last Sunday at Levis Stadium in an NFC West matchup. Seattle led 7-3 at the break and 14-6 after three quarters of play before the Seahawks would eventually pull away from the 49ers, who were held to 84 yards rushing, while Seattle tallied 90 yards rushing of their own. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw for 228 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Jimmy Graham), while the 49ers’ C.J. Bethard threw for 201 yards with three sacks and an interception before being knocked out of the contest and replaced by Jimmy Graffalo (who will be under center Sunday for San Francisco), who threw their only TD of the contest as the clock struck :00, connecting with RB Lance Murhphy on a 10-yard toss. San Francisco was 5 of 16 on third down but had success on fourth down, going 1 of 1 and kept the ball for 30:29, while the Seahawks were 29:31 in time of possession, going 5 of 13 on third down.

Chicago was held to a third-quarter field goal by Chris Santos by Philadelphia as they were taken to task by the Eagles 31-3 last Sunday. Da Bears trailed 24-0 at the intermission before breaking Philly’s bid for a shutout when Santos connected on a 38-yard field goal with 8:40 left in the third. Chicago was held to a season-low 6 yards on the ground, while the Eagles ran for 176 in the win. Mitchell Trubisky threw for 147 yards for Chicago but was sacked twice and picked off twice, while Carson Wentz threw for 227 yards and three TDs. Chicago went 3 of 13 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 22:52, while the Eagles ruled time and kept the ball for 37:08, going 7 of 16 on third down, 3 of 4 on fourth down.

Da Bears lead the series 31-30-1 (including games that took place at Wrigley Field, Keezar Stadium and Candlestick Park) and the 49ers have outscored Chicago 1,371-1,275. Chicago won the last meeting with San Francisco, which took place last year in the Windy City by a final of 26-6, while San Francisco needed overtime at Soldier Field in 2015 to come away 26-20 winners.

They met at Soldier Field in chilly week 13 (game time temp? A balmy 33 degrees with a wind chill of 28) and Da Bears led 7-6 at the half before shutting out the 49ers 19-0 in the second half. Chicago got three TD runs from RB Jordan Howard in the win, as they barely outrushed San Francisco 142-141 (Howard led all rushers with 117 yards, while 49ers RB Carlos Hyde led his team with 92 yards). Matt Barkley threw for 192 yards for Chicago, while Colin Kaepernick was sacked five times, throwing for only four yards (Blaine Gabbert would take over for him but struggled as well, throwing for 35 yards). San Francisco went 4 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 28:42, while Da Bears ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 31:18, going 6 of 14 on third down.

In the week 13 contest in the Windy City, Da Bears covered the 2 1/2 point spread with their 20-point win at Soldier Field. As for the 43 1/2 over/under? It stayed warm, as both clubs combined for 32 points. Chicago’s favored by 3 1/2 in the Windy City and the over/under is 40. Unless you’re a fan of one of these teams, may we suggest that you beg the wife, girlfriend, significant other or gal pal to take you Christmas shopping. It’s almost safe to say that neither of these teams will be invited to the playoff party but we have to pick a winner. Deep dish wins over Sourdough. Da Bears cover the 3 1/2 and wins at home.

Tampa Bay (4-7) at Green Bay (5-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. It’s the battle of the Bays, as Tampa Bay makes its way to the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst to face off against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau.

Tampa Bay saw Atlanta break a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter and watched the Falcons take a 34-20 win at Mercedes-Benz Stadium last Sunday in the Big Peach. Tampa Bay was burned by Atlanta All-Pro WR Julio Jones for 253 yards and a pair of TDs in the second quarter (pass number one came from WR Mohammed Sanu, pass number two came from Ryan). Atlanta led 20-6 at the and never looked back, even though both teams played even football in the final 30 minutes of action. Sanu is the first wide receiver since the 1970 merger to throw multiple career 50+ yard touchdown passes. He is also the first non-quarterback to throw two career 50+ yard touchdown passes since Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton (1979, 1983).

Ryan threw for 317 yards without a sack or interception, while the Falcons outrushed Tampa Bay 148-94 (Atlanta’s Tevin Coleman led all rushers with 97 yards and a pair of TDs). For Tampa Bay, Ryan Fitzpatrick, taking over for Jameis Winston (shoulder) threw for 283 yards with a sack in the loss. Atlanta on third down was 11 of 11 and kept the ball for 30:06, while Tampa Bay held the pigskin for 29:54, going  4 of 11 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Green Bay rallied late in their Sunday night contest with Pittsburgh at Heinz Field, only to see the Steelers come away with a 31-28 last second win. The Pack and Steelers were tied at 14-14 at the half and led 21-14 with 12:06 left in the third when Packers QB Brett Hundley and WR Davante Adams connected on a 55-yard TD strike. Pittsburgh would eventually take the lead back as WR Antonio Brown caught a pair of Ben Roethlisberger TD passes and took that lead into the latter parts of the fourth, when the Packers used a 12-play, 77-yard drive that used 6:40 of clock to tie things back up when RB Jamaal Williams scored on a 4-yard run with 2:02 left in regulation.

Pittsburgh got the ball back with 17 seconds left in regulation and made the most of those 17 seconds, needing only 4 plays and 35 yards of real estate and took the contest when Chris Boswell connected on a 52-yard field goal. Pittsburgh outrushed Green Bay 121-80 and Hundley threw for 245 yards and three TDs, while Roethlisberger threw for 351 and four TDs, while throwing a pair of interceptions. Green Bay was 6 of 13 on third down tries and held the ball for 26:24, while the Steelers were 8 of 13 and held the ball for 33:36, including the final 17 seconds of the contest (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

The Packers lead the Battle of the Bays 31-21-1 (including contests that were played in Milwaukee and at old Tampa Stadium), Green Bay has outscored Tampa Bay 1,032-853 and the Packers have won the last two meetings in the series, including taking a 20-3 win in the Sunshine State in 2014. As for the Bucs? Their last win over the Packers came in 2009 in Tampa Bay by a final of 38-28. The Packers are favored by 2 and the over/under is 43. While this one’s not “DRILL WORTHY,” this one is interesting to watch. Packers recover from the loss in the Steel City and cover the 2 at Lambeau.

Indianapolis (3-8) at Jacksonville (7-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. It’s round two of an AFC South matchup as the Colts travel to the Sunshine State to square off against Jacksonville. Both teams enter the Sunday afternoon contest in north Florida with losses under their belts.

The Colts were beaten by Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans 20-16 at Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday. Indy let a 13-6 lead at the half get away from them as the Titans would respond by outscoring the Colts 14-10 in the final 30 minutes of play, with Tennessee taking the lead for good when Titans RB DeMarco Murray scored from one yard out with 5:59 left in the contest. Tennessee outrushed Indianapolis 92-89 and Mariota threw for 184 yards, while Jacoby Brissett threw for 196 yards but was sacked eight times. The Colts on third down tries went 6 of 14 and held the ball for 31:22, while the Titans went 3 of 8 on third down and held on to the ball for 28:38.

Jacksonville struggled to pull even with Arizona at University of Phoenix Stadium last Sunday, only to see the Cardinals pull a rabbit out of their hats to lose 27-24 in the desert. Arizona led 13-3 at the intermission before the Jaguars would eventually tie things up with 7:26 left in regulation when Blake Bortles would scamper in and score on a 17-yard run. After a Jacksonville punt, Arizona got the ball back with 16 seconds left to play and used only 3 plays and 22 yards to set up Phil Dawson to kick a 57-yard field goal with one second left to take the lead back. The Cardinals then kicked off to Jacksonville (with 1 second left), who used several lateral passes in a futile attempt to move the ball down field. Arizona outrushed Jacksonville 108-91, Bortles threw for 160 yards with an interception and three sacks, while Blaine Gabbard threw for 241 yards and a pair of TDs. Jacksonville on third down was 1 of 12 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Jaguars held the pigskin for 25:21, while the Cardinals were 7 of 17 on third down, keeping the ball for 34:39.

They met in the Hoosier State in week seven and Jacksonville shut out Indy 27-0 at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Jaguars led 20-0 at the intermission and held the Colts in check in the second half for the road win. Jacksonville outrushed the Colts 188-96 (the Jaguars’ T.J. Yeldon led all rushers with 122 yards and a TD), while Bortles threw for 330 yards and a TD, while the Jacksonville defense sacked Brissett (200 yards) 10 times in the shutout. Jacksonville went 8 of 14 on third down tries (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and the Jaguars held the ball for 32:47, while the Colts kept the pigskin for 27:13, going 5 of 15 and 0 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

Jacksonville easily covered the 3 1/2-point spread with their 27-point win but their 27 points meant they did not cover the 40 1/2 over/under. Jacksonville’s favored by 9 1/2 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 41. The Colts are not great but they’re not 9 1/2 points bad. However, the Jaguars are making a march toward the playoffs, while the Colts are trying to survive. Expect the Colts to make it a close contest but Jacksonville pulls off the sweep in the Sunshine State and takes the win.

Denver (3-8) at Miami (4-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of struggling AFC teams meet in the Sunshine State when Denver travels to South Beach for a showdown with the Miami Dolphins.

Denver dropped a 21-14 decision at Oakland last Sunday at the Coliseum. The rematch in northern California was anything but civil as Raiders WR Michael Crabtree and Denver CB Aqib Talib would find themselves involved in a brawl on field that made Tyson-Holyfield look calm. Punches were thrown, both players were ejected from the contest and both were suspended two games without pay (after meeting with the ppwers that be, that suspension wound up being reduced to one for both men). Oakland outrushed Denver 104-59 and Derek Carr threw for 253 yards, while Trevor Siemian, who took over for Paxton Lynch (injury) threw for 149 yards (both threw a pair of TDs). Denver on third down went 5 of 14 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Broncos held the ball for 24:06, while the Raiders were 5 of 13 on third down, holding the ball for 35:54.

Miami found themselves trailing New England 21-10 at the half in Foxboro and came away on the short end of a 35-17 loss to Tom Brady and the Pats last Sunday at Gillette Stadium. Brady (227 yards, four TDs) and TE Rob Gronkowski connected on a pair of TDs in the contest and the Pats never looked back. New England sacked Matt Moore (215 yards, TD) seven times and picked him off twice, holding Miami to 67 yards rushing, while Deon Lewis accounted for 112 of New England’s 196 yards on the ground. New England went 5 of 12 on third down tries, 1 of 2 on fourth down and the Pats kept the ball for 32:41, while Miami went 2 of 11, 2 of 3 on third and fourth downs and held on to the ball for 27:19.

Including games that were played at the old Orange Bowl and at Mile High Stadium, the Dolphins lead the series 11-5-1 and the ‘Fins have outscored the Broncos 403-317. Denver has taken wins in the last two contests, coming away 39-36 winners in 2014 in the Mile High City in the last meeting, while Miami’s last win over Denver came in 2008 (also in the Mile High City) by a final of 26-17. Denver’s favored by 1 and the over/under’s 39 1/2. We wouldn’t blame you if you chose not to watch this one and instead binge watch the sixth season of “Gilmore Girls.” (Luke and Loreli are really a cute couple and he’d make a hell of a stepdad for Rory!) Miami pulls the upset at home, taking the win and covering the 1.

Kansas City (6-5) at New York Jets (4-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. The Chiefs make their second trip to the Meadowlands as they face the other Met Life Stadium tenant in upstate New Jersey when they call on the New York Jets.

Kansas City dropped their fifth game in six tries, coming away on the short end of a 16-10 loss to Buffalo at Arrowhead last Sunday. Buffalo led 10-3 at halftime, then held off a late Chiefs rally in the second half for the win on the road. Buffalo outrushed Kansas City 104-55 and Tyrod Taylor threw for 183 yards, while the Chiefs’ Alex Smith threw for 199 yards with an interception (each man threw a TD pass). The Bills would wind up going 6 of 17 on third down conversions in the Show-Me State and ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 33:18, while the Chiefs, who held the ball for 26:42, went 2 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

GangGreen saw Carolina win their fourth in a row as the Panther defeated them 35-27 last week at Met Life Stadium. Carolina used TDs from linebacker Luke Kuechly (34-yard fumble return) and punt returner Kaelin Clay (60-yard punt return) scored touchdowns in the fourth quarter to seal the win, marking the second time in franchise history – and first since the club’s inaugural 1995 season (October 8, 1995 against Chicago) – in which the Panthers scored two return touchdowns in the fourth quarter of a game. The Jets led 20-18 early in the final quarter of play before Kuechly and Clay would score their touchdowns to seal New York’s fate. After Javon Kearse and Josh McCown connected on a 3-yard TD pass to pull to within 5 at 32-27, Graham Gano would push the lead to eight with a 45-yard field goal with 21 seconds left. Carolina outrushed the Jets 145-109 and Newton threw for 168 yards and had a rushing TD of his own, while McCown threw for 307 yards with three TDs (each man was sacked three times). Carolina on third down tries in the Meadowlands went 3 of 14 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 31:50, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 28:10 in time of possession, going 5 of 14 on third down.

Including games that were played at Shea Stadium and old Swope Field, the Chiefs lead the series 18-17-1, have outscored GangGreen 819-698 and Kansas City has won the last two meetings, including winning last year by a final of 24-3 at Arrowhead. (The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! last win over the Chiefs came in 2011 in the Meadowlands by a final of 37-10.

The week three contest at Arrowhead saw Kansas City lead 17-7 at the intermission and outpaced GangGreen in the second half, shutting out the Jets in the process. While GangGreen did outrush the Chiefs 117-72, Smtih burned New York for 237 yards and a TD strike to TE Travis Kelce, while the Chiefs defense picked off Ryan Fitzpatrick (188 yards) six times (the Chiefs forced eight turnovers in the contest). Kansas City was 7 of 15 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:05, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 7 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and held on to the pigskin for 27:55.

Winning by 27 allowed the Chiefs to cover the 3-point spread in the week three contest but both teams combined for 27 points, missing the 43 over/under. This time, the Chiefs are favored by 3 1/2 in the Meadowlands and the over/under’s 44. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! are not a bad team but at times they have played that way. The Chiefs are trying to regain their footing after dropping five of their last six. Chiefs cover the 3 1/2 and take the win in the Meadowlands.

Houston (4-7) at Tennessee (7-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. They meet again. This time, it’s in the Music City. Tennessee hosts Houston in an AFC South contest at Nissan Stadium.

Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans rallied to take a 20-16 against Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday. Indy let a 13-6 lead at the half get away from them as the Titans would respond by outscoring the Colts 14-10 in the final 30 minutes of play, with Tennessee taking the lead for good when Titans RB DeMarco Murray scored from one yard out with 5:59 left in the contest. Tennessee outrushed Indianapolis 92-89 and Mariota threw for 184 yards, while Jacoby Brissett threw for 196 yards but was sacked eight times. The Colts on third down tries went 6 of 14 and held the ball for 31:22, while the Titans went 3 of 8 on third down and held on to the ball for 28:38.

Houston saw Baltimore erase a 7-0 first quarter lead last Monday night and fell to the Ravens 23-16 in Charm City. Houston kept things close, trailing 17-10 at the half, then saw a pair of late rallies fall short that would have either tied things up or given them the lead. Baltimore outrushed Houston 139-66 and Joe Flacco threw for 141 yards, while Houston’s Tom Savage threw for 252 yards with a pair of interceptions (the second pick came late in the fourth quarter as the Texans were driving to tie the contest up). The Ravens on third down were 3 of 14 (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:44. The Texans actually ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:16, while going 6 of 14 on third down tries.

It’s a rematch from week four in the Lone Star State that saw Houston lead 30-14 at the half and walk away 57-14 winners. The Texans outrushed Tennessee 173-86 and picked off Mariota (96 yards) twice, while DeShaun Watson threw for 283 yards and four TDs in the lopsided affair at NRG Stadium. The Texans were 6 of 12 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 39:41, while the Titans kept the pigskin for 20:19, going 2 of 8 on third down.

In the week four contest in Houston, Tennessee was a 1 1/2-point favorite and the Texans covered, winning by 43 and the two clubs combined for 71 points, which covered the 44 over/under.  The boys and girls in Vegas thought they would make the Titans a favorite again and they did, this time by 6 1/2 and the over/under this time around is 43. Both teams are trying to keep pace in an AFC South that for the most part has become a two-team race. Tennessee’s trying to keep Jacksonville at bay, while the Texans are trying to catch both teams. Houston gets revenge and takes the win in the Music City, even though they won’t cover the 6 1/2.

Cleveland (0-11) at Los Angeles Chargers (5-6), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. The winless Cleveland Browns travel westward for a meeting at Stub Hub Center with Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Browns once again found themselves in the Pit of Misery, remaining winless as they completed the sweep with their instate rivals from Cincinnati, as the Bengals wound up taking a 30-16 win last Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals led 16-6 at the break, then held Cleveland in check in the second half for the win at home. Cleveland did manage to outrush the Bengals 169-152 but Cincinnati RB Joe Mixon led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD, while Andy Dalton threw for 214 yards and a pair of TDs. The Bengals were 4 of 10 on third down and held on to the ball for 30:32, while the winless Browns were 29:28 in time of possession and went 6 of 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Los Angeles took a 3-0 lead at the half at AT&T Stadium against Dallas last Thursday before the Chargers and Philip Rivers would outscore them 25-6 in the final 30 minutes of action, coming away 28-6 winners in the Lone Star State. The Chargers outrushed Dallas 81-79 and Rivers burned the Dallas secondary for 434 yards and three TDs, while Cowboys QB Dak Prescott threw for 179 yards but was sacked twice and picked off twice, one returned by Chargers rookie CB Desmond King 90 yards for a TD. Dallas on third down tries actually did well, going 6 of 11 and kept the ball for 23:55, while the Chargers kept the pigskin hostage, keeping it for 36:05, going 9 of 14 on third, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games that were played at Memorial Stadium and Qualcomm Stadium, the Chargers lead the series 15-9-1 and have outscored the Browns 593-488. They met last year in week 16 on Christmas Eve afternoon (game time temp? 38 degrees with a 30 wind chill) and the Browns survived a last second scare from the Chargers, taking a 20-17 win at First Energy Field (the Chargers’ last win over Cleveland came in 2015 when they were based in San Diego and the Bolts took a 30-27 win at Qualcomm).

In the week 16 contest, Cleveland led 17-10 at the half, then held off a late rally in the final quarter when Chargers’ K Josh Lambo’s 45-yard field goal try sailed wide right of the mark. Cleveland outrushed San Diego 124-34, while Rivers threw for 322 yards and a pair of TDs, while Cleveland’s Robert Griffin III threw for 164 yards but was sacked seven times. Each club had 15 third down conversion attempts and the Browns were successful on six of them, while the Chargers found success five times. On fourth down, both teams were perfect, as the Chargers were 2 of 2, while the Browns were 1 of 1. Time was on the side of the Browns, as Cleveland held the ball for 32:29, while San Diego kept it for 27:31.

While San Diego was favored by 6, the Browns would take the win but only by 3. As for the 44 over/under? It was all snug in its bed, as both teams combined for 37 points. The Chargers are favored by 14 and the over/under’s 43. The Browns are bad but not 14 points bad. They’ll at least put up a fight but the Chargers prevail at home.

Los Angeles Rams (8-3) at Arizona (5-6), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. A pair of NFC West rivals meet in the desert as the Rams travel to Glendale for a week seven rematch with the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Los Angeles, leading the AFC West and winners of five of their last six contest, broke New Orleans’ eight-game win streak, taking a 26-20 victory over the Saints at the Coliseum last Sunday. The Rams led 17-10 at the break before the Saints would eventually pull to within seven with 1:45 when rookie RB Alvin Kamara scored his second TD of the afternoon, catching a 15-yard pass from Drew Brees (Kamara had a 74-yard run earlier in the contest to end the Rams’ bid for a shutout). The Rams would then stop a bid by the Saints to get the ball back to either tie or take the lead when they recovered an onside kick. Los Angeles would then kneel down and run out the clock and take the win. New Orleans did manage to outrush the Rams 123-88 and Kamara led all rushers with 87 yards, while Todd Gurley led the Rams with 74 and the Rams’ Jared Goff threw for 354 yards and Brees threw for 246 yards. The Rams were 3 of 14 on third down tries and kept the ball for 35:26, while the Saints on third down tries were 3 of 13 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and New Orleans held on to the ball for 24:34.

Arizona broke a 24-24 tie against Jacksonville at University of Phoenix Stadium last Sunday, coming away 27-24 winners in the desert. The Desert Angry Birds led 13-3 at the intermission before the Jaguars would eventually tie things up with 7:26 left in regulation when Blake Bortles would scamper in and score on a 17-yard run. After a Jacksonville punt, Arizona got the ball back with 16 seconds left to play and used only 3 plays and 22 yards to set up Phil Dawson to kick a 57-yard field goal with one second left to take the lead back. (It marked the longest fourth-quarter game-winning field goal in NFL history by a 40-year old kicker (42 years old). The Cardinals then kicked off to Jacksonville (with 1 second left), who used several lateral passes in a futile attempt to move the ball down field. Arizona outrushed Jacksonville 108-91, Bortles threw for 160 yards with an interception and three sacks, while Blaine Gabbard threw for 241 yards and a pair of TDs. Jacksonville on third down was 1 of 12 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Jaguars held the pigskin for 25:21, while the Cardinals were 7 of 17 on third down, keeping the ball for 34:39.

They met in London in week seven and the Rams were 33-0 winners at Twickenham Stadium. Los Angeles led 23-0 at the half and never took their foot off the gas, scoring 10 more second half points unchallenged. Gurley ran for 106 yards and a TD, while the Rams outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 197-95 and Goff threw for 235 yards and a TD (Arizona’s Carson Palmer threw for 122 yards in the contest before being knocked out with a shoulder injury). Los Angeles on third down went 13 of 19 and kept the ball for 39:01, while Arizona went 3 of 12 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and held the pigskin for 20:59.

The Rams won by 33, which allowed them to cover the 3 1/2-point spread but their 33 points fell well short of the over/under of 47 1/2. Los Angeles is favored this time around by 7 and the over/under’s 45. Los Angeles wants to stay in first place in the NFC West, the Desert Angry Birds want revenge for their contest in London. Los Angeles may not cover the 7 but they complete the sweep with the win in the desert.

Carolina (8-3) at New Orleans (8-3), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. Newton vs. Brees. Round two in the Bayou. This time, it’s Carolina BBQ making their way to the Big Easy against Gumbo as the Panthers and Saints, tied for first in the NFC South, meet in the Big Easy.

The Panthers, who have won four in a row, defeated the New York Jets last week 35-27 as linebacker Luke Kuechly (34-yard fumble return) and punt returner Kaelin Clay (60-yard punt return) scored touchdowns in the fourth quarter. It marked the second time in franchise history – and first since the club’s inaugural 1995 season (October 8, 1995 against Chicago) – in which the Panthers scored two return touchdowns in the fourth quarter of a game. The Jets led 20-18 early in the final quarter of play before Kuechly and Clay would score their touchdowns to seal New York’s fate. After Javon Kearse and Josh McCown connected on a 3-yard TD pass to pull to within 5 at 32-27, Graham Gano would push the lead to eight with a 45-yard field goal with 21 seconds left. Carolina outrushed the Jets 145-109 and Newton threw for 168 yards and had a rushing TD of his own, while McCown threw for 307 yards with three TDs (each man was sacked three times). Carolina on third down tries in the Meadowlands went 3 of 14 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 31:50, while the Jets were 28:10 in time of possession, going 5 of 14 on third down.

New Orleans saw their eight-game win streak snapped by the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday on the West Coast. The Saints trailed 17-10 at the intermission but would pull to within seven with 1:45 left in regulation when rookie RB Alvin Kamara scored his second TD of the afternoon, catching a 15-yard pass from Drew Brees (Kamara had a 74-yard run earlier in the contest to end the Rams’ bid for a shutout). With the Saints out of time outs, K Wil Lutz tried an onside kick that Los Angeles recovered. No time outs meant that the Saints could not stop the Rams from kneeling down three times and took the loss. Kamara led all rushers with 87 yards and Todd Gurley paced the Rams with 74 (the Saints outrushed the Rams 123-88), while Jared Goff threw for 354 yards and Brees threw for 246 yards. The Rams were 3 of 14 on third down tries and kept the ball for 35:26, while the Saints on third down tries were 3 of 13 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and New Orleans held on to the ball for 24:34.

They faced off in Charlotte in week three at Bank of America Stadium and the Saints were 34-13 winners in that contest. New Orleans led 17-6 and got a pair of TD passes from Brees (220 yards) in the 21-point road win. New Orleans outrushed Carolina 149-132 and the Saints defense sacked Newton (167 yards) four times and picked him off three times. The Saints on third down tries? 6 of 12 and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:09, while the Panthers were 7 of 14 on third down, keeping the ball for 31:09.

In the week three contest in the Tar Heel State, the Panthers were favored by 6 and the Saints covered, winning by 21;  however… both clubs BARELY missed the 48 over/under by 1 point. The oddsmakers like the Saints as 4 1/2 point favorites and the over/under’s 48. Both numbers make a lot of sense and both teams can put up points.

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

The winner? They have an almost clear shot to win the NFC South. The loser? While they may be out of the race for the divisional title, they’re not out of the playoff party. Carolina’s got a chip on its shoulder and they would love nothing more than to take the Saints to task. They’ll get that chance. Carolina’s finer and they cover the 4 1/2 on the road and take the win.

New York Giants (2-9) at Oakland (5-6), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 717. After over a decade of being under center for the Giants, someone other than Eli Manning will be calling signals for the Giants as they travel to Oakland to take on the Raiders in Northern California. Manning was benched this week in favor of fifth-year signal caller Geno Smith.

The Giants went into the half in their Thanksgiving evening contest with Washington tied at 3-3, only to come out on the short end of a 20-10 loss to their NFC East rivals. The Redskins would take a 10-3 lead with 6:32 left in the third when Kirk Cousins and WR Jamison Crowder connected on a 15-yard TD strike. Cousins would then be the victim of a turnover when Giants CB Janoris Jenkins picked him off and returned the ball 53 yards to tie the contest up with 2:52 left in the third. Washington then restored order in the fourth, as Cousins would connect with WR Josh Doctson on a 14-yard TD strike to take the lead back for good and K Nick Rose would seal the deal, connecting on a 33-yard field goal with 1:49 left in the contest. Washington outrushed the Giants 122-84, with Redskins RB Samaje Perine leading the way with 100 yards, while Cousins threw for 242 yards and the two TDs, despite being sacked six times, while Eli Manning, who will sit this game out in favor of Geno Smith, who will be under center Sunday, threw for 113 yards with four sacks and an interception. Washington went 4 of 15 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth) and kept the ball for 34:37, while the Giants kept the pigskin for 25:23, going 2 of 14 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth down tries.

The Raiders got revenge on Denver last Sunday in Oakland and came away 21-14 winners at the Coliseum. The rematch in northern California was anything but civil as Raiders WR Michael Crabtree and Denver CB Aqib Talib would find themselves involved in a brawl on field that made Tyson-Holyfield look calm. Punches were thrown, both players were ejected from the contest and both were suspended two games without pay (that suspension would be reduced to one for both men). Oakland outrushed Denver 104-59 and Derek Carr threw for 253 yards, while Trevor Siemian, who took over for Paxton Lynch (injury) threw for 149 yards (both threw a pair of TDs). Denver on third down went 5 of 14 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Broncos held the ball for 24:06, while the Raiders were 5 of 13 on third down, holding the ball for 35:54.

The Raiders lead the series 7-5, which includes games that were played in Los Angeles when the Silver and Black called Tinseltown home and Oakland has outscored Big Blue 254-225. New York has won the last three meetings in the series, with their last win coming in 2013 in the Meadowlands by a final of 24-20, while the Raiders’ last win over the Giants came in 2001 at old Giants Stadium by a 28-10 count. Oakland’s favored by 8 1/2 and the over/under’s 42. Both teams at times have played some decent football. The Giants are struggling to keep their heads above water, while the Raiders are at the very least trying to get a wild card spot in the AFC playoffs. Oakland may not cover the 8 1/2 at home but they win baby.

Philadelphia (10-1) at Seattle (7-4), 8:30 p.m. on NBC. Cheesesteak vs. Salmon. A pair of NFC contenders meet in the Pacific Northwest as the Eagles travel to Seattle for a prime-time meeting with the Seattle Seahawks.

Philadelphia held Chicago to a third-quarter field goal by Chris Santos as they were took the Bears 31-3 last Sunday in the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia led 24-0 at the intermission before Chicago put and end to Philly’s bid for a shutout when Santos connected on a 38-yard field goal with 8:40 left in the third. Chicago was held to a season-low 6 yards on the ground, while the Eagles ran for 176 in the win. Mitchell Trubisky threw for 147 yards for Chicago but was sacked twice and picked off twice, while Carson Wentz threw for 227 yards and three TDs. Chicago went 3 of 13 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 22:52, while the Eagles ruled time and kept the ball for 37:08, going 7 of 16 on third down, 3 of 4 on fourth down.

Seattle all but knocked San Francisco out of the post-season race as they handed the 49ers a 24-13 loss last Sunday at Levis Stadium in an NFC West matchup. Seattle led 7-3 at the break and 14-6 after three quarters of play before the Seahawks would eventually pull away from the 49ers, who were held to 84 yards rushing, while Seattle tallied 90 yards rushing of their own. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw for 228 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Jimmy Graham), while the 49ers’ C.J. Bethard threw for 201 yards with three sacks and an interception before being knocked out of the contest and replaced by Jimmy Graffalo (who will be under center Sunday for San Francisco), who threw their only TD of the contest as the clock struck :00, connecting with RB Lance Murhphy on a 10-yard toss. San Francisco was 5 of 16 on third down but had success on fourth down, going 1 of 1 and kept the ball for 30:29, while the Seahawks were 29:31 in time of possession, going 5 of 13 on third down.

The Seahawks lead the series 8-7, they’ve outscored the Eagles 323-286 and they’ve won the last three contests with the Eagles, taking a 26-15 win last year in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, while the Eagles’ last win over Seattle was on the road, coming away 26-7 winners in 2008. Philly’s favored by 5 and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Given that there are two pretty good QBs on the field Sunday night, it’s safe to say that this one is “DRILL WORTHY!” (what the heck? There’s nothing that says you can’t have two “DRILL WORTHY” games, so we’re going to make this one “DW…” For instructions on what to do, see the Carolina-New Orleans game)

This could very well be a playoff matchup and it’s East Coast vs. West Coast. Seattle will make this one exciting to watch but the Eagles prevail on the road and covers the 5.

Pittsburgh (9-2) at Cincinnati (5-6), 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN. A pair of AFC North rivals close out action in week 13 as the Steelers travel to Cincinnati for a Monday night primetime meeting along the shores of the Ohio River.

Pittsburgh saw Green Bay rally to tie in their Sunday night contest at Heinz Field, only to see the Steelers come away with a 31-28 last second win. Green Bay and Pittsburgh were tied at 14-14 at the half and the Packers led 21-14 with 12:06 left in the third when Packers QB Brett Hundley and WR Davante Adams connected on a 55-yard TD strike. Pittsburgh would eventually take the lead back as WR Antonio Brown caught a pair of Ben Roethlisberger TD passes and took that lead into the latter parts of the fourth, when the Packers used a 12-play, 77-yard drive that used 6:40 of clock to tie things back up when RB Jamaal Williams scored on a 4-yard run with 2:02 left in regulation.

Cincinnati kept Cleveland winless in the AFC North as they completed the sweep with their instate rivals, taking a 30-16 win over the Browns last Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals led 16-6 at the break, then held Cleveland in check in the second half for the win at home. Cleveland did manage to outrush the Bengals 169-152 but Cincinnati RB Joe Mixon led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD, while Andy Dalton threw for 214 yards and a pair of TDs. The Bengals were 4 of 10 on third down and held on to the ball for 30:32, while the winless Browns were 29:28 in time of possession and went 6 of 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Pittsburgh got the ball back with 17 seconds left in regulation and made the most of those 17 seconds, needing only 4 plays and 35 yards of real estate and took the contest when Chris Boswell connected on a 52-yard field goal. Pittsburgh outrushed Green Bay 121-80 and Hundley threw for 245 yards and three TDs, while Roethlisberger threw for 351 and four TDs, while throwing a pair of interceptions. Green Bay was 6 of 13 on third down tries and held the ball for 26:24, while the Steelers were 8 of 13 and held the ball for 33:36, including the final 17 seconds of the contest (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

They met in the Steel City in week seven at Heinz Field and Pittsburgh took the 29-14 win. The Steelers led 20-14 at the half and got three Chris Boswell field goals in the final 30 minutes of action to take the win. Pittsburgh outrushed the Bengals 152-71 and Bell ran for 134 of those yards, while Roethlisberger threw for 224 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with Brown and Ju Ju Smith-Schuester on those tosses. Dalton threw for 140 yards for the Bengals with a pair of TDs but was also picked off twice and sacked four times.  Pittsburgh on third down tries went 2 of 11 (they were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:15, while the Bengals were 3 of 11 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and held on the pigskin for 24:45.

In the week seven affair in the Steel City, Pittsburgh covered the 5 1/2-point spread, winning by 15 and the over/under of 41 was taken care of, as both teams combined for 43 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Steelers again as 5 1/2 point favorites but the over/under’s now 43 1/2.

The Bengals on Monday night are 11-23, while the Steelers are 44-24. This one could very well be worth your time to watch, so you might want to tape “Scorpion” again this week. The Steelers covered in the week seven contest at Heinz and they’ll do it again. Steelers make it a clean sweep in the series and wins on the road.

It’s almost Thanksgiving.

Not quite Thanksgiving but almost Thanksgiving.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

^Pro Football Hall of Famer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The players with the most passing yards in NFL history:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That was round one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That was round one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

9 weeks down.

8 to go.

Week 9 is in the books.

With the season at the halfway point, 19 teams are at the .500 mark or better. For those teams that are struggling, there’s still time. As for San Francisco and Cleveland, who have yet to win a game, they need to run the table to have any chance of a playoff spot.

We’re now into week 10. There’s a lot of football left and no playoff spots have been decided.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff and Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz each threw four touchdown passes in their teams’ victories today. Goff, who was selected No. 1 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, threw four touchdown passes in the Rams’ 51-17 win at the New York Giants. Wentz, who was selected No. 2 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, threw four touchdown passes in the Eagles’ 51-23 win against Denver. Sunday marks the first time in NFL history in which quarterbacks selected No. 1 and 2 overall in the same NFL Draft each threw four touchdown passes on the same day.

•Philadelphia defeated Denver 51-23 to improve to 8-1. It marks the fifth time in franchise history the Eagles have started a season 8-1 or better (1949, 1960, 1980 and 2004) and the team advanced to the NFL Championship/Super Bowl in each of the previous four instances. In the Super Bowl era, 91 teams have previously started 8-1 or better through the first nine games and 88 made the playoffs (96.7 percent). Of those 91 teams, 40 reached the Super Bowl (44 percent) and 22 won the Super Bowl (24.2 percent).

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz threw four touchdown passes in today’s win and leads the league with 23 touchdown passes. Wentz’s 23 touchdown passes are the most by an Eagles quarterback through the team’s first nine games of a season, passing the mark set by Pro Football Hall of Famer Norm Van Brocklin (20) in 1960.

•New Oleans defeated Tampa Bay 30-10 to improve to 6-2. The Saints, who have won six consecutive games after starting 0-2, are the third team in the Super Bowl era to win its next six games immediately following an 0-2 start. The other two teams to accomplish the feat – 1993 Dallas Cowboys and 2007 New York Giants – both won the Super Bowl in that season.

Saints quarterback DREW BREES completed 22 of 27 passes (81.5 percent) for 263 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 131.9 passer rating. Brees has 225 career passing touchdowns at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the most in NFL history by a quarterback at a single stadium.

•The Los Angeles Rams defeated the New York Giants 51-17 in the Meadowland and recorded the team’s third victory of at least 30 points this season. The Rams are the 11th team in the Super Bowl era to post at least three wins with a margin of victory of 30+ points in the team’s first eight games of a season. Of the previous 10 teams in the Super Bowl era to accomplish the feat, seven advanced to the Super Bowl (70 percent).

•Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes and added a rushing touchdown in the Cowboys’ 28-17 win over Kansas City. Prescott has 39 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns in his career and joined Cam Newton as the only players in NFL history to have at least 35 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns in their first two seasons.

Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill had a 56-yard touchdown reception against Dallas, his ninth career touchdown of at least 50 yards. Hill, who was playing in his 25th career game, trails only Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers (10) for the most 50+ yard touchdowns in a player’s first 25 games to begin a career.

•Indianapolis wide receiver T.Y. Hilton had five catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns in the Colts’ 20-14 win at Houston. Hilton has 10 career games with at least 150 receiving yards, tied with Julio Jones for the fourth-most 150-yard receiving games in a player’s first six seasons. The only players with more such games in their first six seasons are Pro Football Hall of Famers Lance Alworth (13) and Jerry Rice (13) and Randy Moss (12).

•Tennessee safety Kevin Byard had two interceptions in the Titans’ 23-20 win over Baltimore in Nashville. Byard, who had three interceptions in the team’s last game (Week 7 at Cleveland), has recorded five interceptions in his past two games, tied for the most by an NFL player in consecutive games since the 1970 merger. The other four players to accomplish the feat since 1970 are Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Haynes (1976), Willie Buchanon (1978), Albert Lewis (1985) and De Angelo Hall (2010).

THE WEEK THAT WAS WEEK NINE: SURGING SAINTS: New Orleans defeated Tampa Bay 30-10 last week to improve to 6-2.

The Saints, who have won six consecutive games after starting 0-2, are the third team in the Super Bowl era to win its next six games immediately following an 0-2 start. The other two teams to accomplish the feat – 1993 Dallas Cowboys and 2007 New York Giants – both won the Super Bowl in that season.

New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES completed 22 of 27 passes (81.5 percent) for 263 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 131.9 passer rating in the Saints’ win. Brees has 225 career passing touchdowns at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the most in NFL history by a quarterback at a single stadium.

The quarterbacks with the most touchdown passes at a single stadium in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (STADIUM – TD PASSES)
Drew Brees – New Orleans (Mercedes Benz Superdome – 225)
Tom Brady – New England (Gillette Stadium – 221)
Brett Favre – Green Bay and Minnesota (Lambeau Field – 214)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

YOUTH MOVEMENT: Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz passed for four touchdowns in the Eagles’ 51-23 win against Denver in Week 9. Wentz, who leads the NFL with 23 touchdown passes, has the most passing touchdowns by an Eagles quarterback through the team’s first nine games of a season, passing the mark set by Pro Football Hall of Famer Norm Van Brocklin (20) in 1960.

Wentz, who is 24 years old, has the fourth-most touchdown passes in his team’s first nine games of a season by a quarterback at the age of 25 or younger.

The quarterbacks with the most touchdown passes in their team’s first nine games of a season at the age of 25 or younger:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON; AGE – TD PASSES IN 1ST 9 GAMES OF SEASON)
Dan Marino – Miami (1984; 23 – 27)^
Andrew Luck – Indianapolis (2014; 25 – 26)
Bobby Layne – Detroit (1951; 24 – 24)^
Carson Wentz – Philadelphia (2017; 24 – 23)
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh (2007; 25 – 22)

^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Wentz is the only quarterback in NFL history at the age of 25 or younger with at least 20 touchdown passes (23) and five or fewer interceptions (five) in his team’s first nine games of a season.

STAFFORD REACHES 200: Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 26 of 33 passes (78.8 percent) for 361 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 132.4 passer rating in the Lions’ 30-17 win at Green Bay on Monday Night Football.

Stafford, who is 29 years old, passed for his 200th and 201st career touchdowns on Monday night and became the fourth quarterback in NFL history to reach 200 career touchdown passes before his 30th birthday.

The quarterbacks in NFL history to reach 200 career passing touchdowns before the age of 30:

PLAYER, TEAM (AGE AT TIME OF 200TH TD PASS)
Dan Marino, Miami (28 years, 2 days)^
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (28 years, 242 days)
Brett Favre, Green Bay (29 years, 36 days)^
Matthew Stafford, Detroit (29 years, 272 days)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

AGELESS WONDER: Arizona running back Adrian Peterson had a career-high 37 carries for 159 yards in the Cardinals’ 20-10 win at San Francisco in Week 9.

Peterson, who has 19 career games with at least 150 rushing yards, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famers Eric ickerson (18) and Emmitt Smith (18) for the fourth-most games with at least 150 rushing yards in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers Barry Sanders (25), Jim Brown (22) and Walter Payton (20) have more such games in their careers.

The players with the most career games with at least 150 rushing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S); GAMES WITH 150+ RUSHING YARDS
Barry Sanders – Detroit; 25^
Jim Brown – Cleveland; 22^
Walter Payton – Chicago; 20^
Adrian Peterson – Minnesota and Arizona; 19
Eric Dickerson – Los Angeles Rams and Indianapolis; 18^
Emmitt Smith – Dallas; 18^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Peterson, who is 32 years old, is the third-oldest player in NFL history with at least 150 rushing yards in a game, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famers John Riggins (35 years old, 165 rushing yards) and JOHN HENRY JOHNSON (34 years old, 200 rushing yards).

The oldest players with at least 150 rushing yards in a game in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (DATE; AGE – RUSHING YARDS)
John Riggins – Washington (October 14, 1984; 35 – 165)^
John Henry Johnson – Pittsburgh (October 10, 1964; 34 – 200)^
Adrian Peterson – Arizona (November 5, 2017; 32 – 159)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

MATTY ICE AT 150: Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan passed for 313 yards with two touchdowns in the Falcons’ Week 9 loss at Carolina.

Ryan, who played his 150th career game on Sunday, has 39,858 career passing yards, the most by a player in NFL history in his first 150 games.

The quarterbacks with the most passing yards in their first 150 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S); PASSING YARDS
Matt Ryan – Atlanta; 39,858
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans; 39,297
Dan Marino – Miami; 39,285^
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis; 39,164
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay; 38,212*
*Through 148 career games
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Ryan’s 3,465 career completions are the second most in NFL history by a player in his first 150 career games, trailing only Drew Brees (3,494).

The quarterbacks with the most completions in their first 150 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S); COMPLETIONS
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans; 3,494
Matt Ryan – Atlanta; 3,465
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis; 3,269
Carson Palmer – Cincinnati, Oakland an, Arizona; 3,196
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay; 3,162*
*Through 148 career games

CLIMBING THE LEADERBOARDS: New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning passed for 220 yards with two touchdowns in the team’s Week 9 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Manning, who has 50,034 career passing yards in 14 seasons with the Giants, became the seventh quarterback in NFL history with at least 50,000 passing yards.

The quarterbacks with at least 50,000 passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S); CAREER PASSING YARDS
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver; 71,940
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets, Minnesota; 71,838^
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans; 68,325
Tom Brady – New England; 64,123
Dan Marino – Miami; 61,361^
John Elway – Denver; 51,475^
Eli Manning – New York Giants; 50,034
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had five catches for 70 yards in the Cardinals’ 20-10 victory at San Francisco last week.

Fitzgerald, who has 14,953 career receiving yards in 14 seasons with the Cardinals, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Tim Brown (14,934) for the sixth-most receiving yards in NFL history.

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

PLAYER – TEAM(S); CAREER RECEIVING YARDS
Jerry Rice – San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle; 22,895^
Terrell Owens – San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Buffalo and Cincinnati; 15,934
Randy Moss – Minnesota, Oakland, New England, Tennessee and San Francisco; 15,292
Isaac Bruce – Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams and San Francisco; 15,208
Tony Gonzalez – Kansas City and Atlanta; 15,127
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona; 14,953
Tim Brown – Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay; 14,934^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri converted both of his field-goal attempts, including a 53-yarder and both extra-point attempts in the Colts’ 20-14 win at Houston in Week 9.

Vinatieri, who has 2,442 career points, surpassed GARY ANDERSON (2,434) for the second-most points scored in NFL history.

The players with the most points scored in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S); CAREER POINTS
Morten Andersen – New Orleans, Atlanta, New York Giants, Kansas City and Minnesota; 2,544^
Adam Vinatieri – New England and Indianapolis; 2,442
Gary Anderson – Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Minnesota and Tennessee; 2,434
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

RISING ROOKIES: Through the first nine weeks of the season, rookies have accumulated 12,146 yards from scrimmage, the second-highest total by rookies through Week 9 since 1970.

The seasons with the most yards from scrimmage by rookies through Week 9 since 1970 (excluding 1987 season):

SEASON – MOST SCRIMMAGE YARDS BY ROOKIES THROUGH WEEK 9*
2014 – 12,504
2017 – 12,146
2013 – 11,105
1983 – 10,829
2012 – 10,321
*Excludes 1987 season

The rookies with the most scrimmage yards in 2017:

PLAYER, TEAM (SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Kareem Hunt, Kansas City (1,131)
Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville (732)
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans (652)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (589)
Joe Mixon, Cincinnati (488)

Rookies have also totaled 91 touchdowns through Week 9, the second-most through the first nine weeks of a season since 1970.

The seasons with the most touchdowns by rookies through Week 9 since 1970 (excluding 1987 season):

SEASON – MOST TOUCHDOWNS BY ROOKIES THROUGH WEEK 9*
2014 – 96
2017 – 91
1983 – 88
2013 – 85
1971 – 75
*Excludes 1987 season

The rookies with the most touchdowns in 2017:

PLAYER, TEAM (TOTAL TOUCHDOWNS)
Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville (7)
Kareem Hunt, Kansas City (6)
Corey Clement, Philadelphia (5)
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans (5)
Evan Engram, New York Giants (4)
JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh (4)

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 10: TOP BILLING: New England head coach Bill Belichick has 269 career wins, including the postseason, in his 23-year head coaching career with the Browns and Patriots.

With a victory on Sunday night at Denver, Belichick would tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Tom Landry (270) for the third-most total wins by a head coach in NFL history.

The head coaches with the most total wins (including the postseason) in NFL history:

COACH – TEAM(S)(WINS-LOSSES-TIES, WIN PCT.)
Don Shula – Baltimore Colts and Miami (347-173-6, .666)^
George Halas – Chicago (324-151-31, .682)^
Tom Landry – Dallas (270-178-6, .603)^
Bill Belichick – Cleveland and New England (269-127-0, .679)
Curly Lambeau – Green Bay, Chicago Cardinals and Washington (229-134-22, .631)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

COMPLETE PLAYERS: Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (3,984) and Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (3,972) enter Week 10 ranked ninth and 10th, respectively, on the NFL’s all-time completions list.

This week, Rivers and Roethlisberger can become the eighth and ninth players in NFL history to record at least 4,000 career completions. Rivers and the Chargers are at Jacksonville, while Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh travels to Indianapolis to face the Colts.

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

PLAYER – TEAM(S); CAREER COMPLETIONS
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota; 6,300^
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver; 6,125
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans; 6,033*
Tom Brady – New England; 5,450*
Dan Marino – Miami; 4,967^
Eli Manning – New York Giants; 4,259*
John Elway, – Denver; 4,123^
Philip Rivers – San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers; 3,984*
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh; 3,972*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Active

STELLAR STREAK: New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who became the seventh player in NFL history with 50,000 career passing yards (50,034) in Week 9, has started 207 consecutive games.

With a start on Sunday at San Francisco, Manning would tie his brother, Peyton (208), for the second-longest streak of consecutive starts in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (297) has started more
consecutive games.

The players with the most consecutive starts in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (SEASONS; CONSECUTIVE GAMES STARTED)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (1992-2010; 297)^
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis (1998-2010; 208)
Eli Manning – New York Giants (2004-present; 207)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Active streak

DAK ATTACK: Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott passed for two touchdowns and rushed for a touchdown in the Cowboys’ 28-17 victory against Kansas City in Week 9. Prescott, who is in his second NFL season, has five career games with multiple touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown.

This Sunday at Atlanta, Prescott can tie Cam Newton (six) for the most games with multiple touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown in a player’s first two career seasons.

The players with the most games with multiple touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown in their first two seasons:

PLAYER, TEAM (YEARS; GAMES WITH 2+ TD PASSES AND RUSH TD)
Cam Newton, Carolina (2011-12; 6)
Dak Prescott, Dallas (2016-17; 5)*
Steve Grogan, New England (1975-76; 5)
*In second season

AWESOME ADRIAN: Arizona running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 159 yards on a career-high 37 carries in the Cardinals’ 20-10 victory at San Francisco in Week 9. The performance marked Peterson’s 19th career game with at least 150 rushing yards.

On Thursday night against Seattle, Peterson can join Pro Football Hall of Famers Barry Sanders (25), Jim Brown (22) and Walter Payton (20) as the only players in NFL history with 20 career games with at least 150 rushing yards.

The players with the most career games with at least 150 rushing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S); GAMES WITH 150+ RUSHING YARDS

Barry Sanders – Detroit; 25^
Jim Brown – Cleveland; 22^
Walter Payton – Chicago; 20^
Adrian Peterson – Minnesota and Arizona; 19
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

DYNAMIC DUO: Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell (979 scrimmage yards) and wide receiver Antonio Brown (835) rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in the NFL in scrimmage yards.

If Bell and Brown each reach 1,000 scrimmage yards on Sunday at Indianapolis, it would mark the seventh time in NFL history that a pair of teammates had at least 1,000 scrimmage yards each in their team’s first nine games of a season.

Bell and Brown, who also accomplished the feat in 2014, would join Indianapolis’ Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison (1999 and 2000) as the only pairs of teammates in NFL history to each record at least 1,000 scrimmage yards in their team’s first nine games of a season multiple times.

The pairs of teammates in NFL history with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards each in the first nine games of a season:

TEAM – SEASON (PLAYER – SCRIMMAGE YARDS; PLAYER – SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Atlanta – 2015 (Devonta Freeman – 1,141; Julio Jones – 1,029)
Pittsburgh – 2014 (Le’Veon Bell – 1,144; Antonio Brown – 1,009)
St. Louis – 2000 (Marshall Faulk – 1,326; Isaac Bruce – 1,019)^
Indianapolis – 2000 (Edgerrin James – 1,294; Marvin Harrison – 1,004)
Indianapolis – 1999 (Edgerrin James – 1,221; Marvin Harrison – 1,000)^
Dallas – 1995 (Emmitt Smith – 1,361; Michael Irvin – 1,023)^
Pittsburgh – 2017 (Le’Veon Bell – 979; Antonio Brown – 835)*
^Irvin, Smtih and Harrison are Pro Football Hall of Famers
*Through eight games

CATCHING CHRISTIAN: Carolina rookie running back Christian McCafferyY ranks third in the NFL and leads all running backs with 54 catches.

With eight catches on Monday against Miami, McCaffrey would surpass Reggie Bush (61 in 2006) for the most receptions by a rookie running back in his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history.

The rookie running backs with the most receptions in their team’s first 10 games
of a season:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON, RECEPTIONS IN TEAM’S 1ST 10 GAMES)
Reggie Bush – New Orleans (2006, 61)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (2017, 54)*
Earl Cooper, San Francisco (1980, 53)
*Through nine games

EVERY DAY EVERSON: Minnesota defensive end Everson Griffen ranks third in the
NFL with 10 sacks and has recorded a sack in all eight of Minnesota’s games this
season.

With a sack on Sunday at Washington, Griffen would become the first player to record a sack in each of his team’s first nine games to start a season since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982. Indianapolis’ Dwight Freeney (2009) and ROBERT MATHIS (2005) are the only other players to each record a sack in their team’s first eight games of a season.

The players to record a sack in each of their team’s first eight games of a season since 1982:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON; SACK IN EACH GAME TO START A SEASON)
Everson Griffen – Minnesota (2017 – 8)*
Dwight Freeney – Indianapolis (2009 – 8)
Robert Mathis – Indianapolis (2005 – 8)
*Active streak

TERRIFIC TITAN: Tennessee safety Kevin Byard, who had three interceptions in Week 7, had two interceptions in the Titans’ 23-20 victory over Baltimore in Week 9.

With an interception on Sunday against Cincinnati, Byard, who has five interceptions in the Titans’ past two games (Tennessee had a bye in Week 8), will join Jarius Byrd (2009), Albert Lewis (1985) and Pro Football Hall of Famers Kenny Easley (1984) and Mike Haynes (1976) as the only players in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) with six interceptions over a three-game span in a single season.

With two interceptions on Sunday, Byard would become the first player in the Super Bowl era with seven interceptions over a three-game span in a single season.

The players with the most interceptions over a three-game span in a single season in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON; WEEKS; INTERCEPTIONS IN 3-GAME SPAN
Jairus Byrd, Buffalo (2009; 6-8; 6)
Albert Lewis, Kansas City (1985; 14-16; 6)
Kenny Easley, Seattle (1984; 9-11; 6)^
Mike Haynes, New England (1976; 9-11; 6)^
Mike Haynes, New England (1976; 10-12; 6)^
Kevin Byard, Tennessee (2017; 7, 9; 5)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*In two games

The second half of the NFL season is here and the race to the playoffs is in full swing.

Thirteen teams have won at least five games, led by the 8-1 Philadelphia Eagles. This is the fifth time in franchise history the Eagles have started a season 8-1 or better (1949, 1960, 1980 and 2004) and the team advanced to the NFL Championship/Super Bowl in each of the previous four instances. In the Super Bowl era, 91 teams have previously started 8-1 or better through the first nine games and 88 advanced to the playoffs (96.7 percent). Of those 91 teams, 40 reached the Super Bowl (44 percent) and 22 won the Super Bowl (24.2 percent).

The Eagles (seven) and New Orleans Saints (six) currently have the longest active winning streaks in the league. New Orleans, which started the season 0-2, is the third team in the Super Bowl era to win its next six games immediately following an 0-2 start. The other two teams to accomplish the feat – 1993 Dallas Cowboys and 2007 New York Giants – both won the Super Bowl in that season.

As the season moves into the second half, it’s all still to be decided, with plenty of football left to play. So don’t count anyone out. Since 2000, 44 teams have reached the halfway point of their season with a .500 or below winning percentage and advanced to the playoffs, including at least one in each season. Last year, there were four such teams: Detroit (4-4), Green Bay (4-4), Miami (4-4) and Pittsburgh (4-4).

Of those 44 clubs, seven have advanced to the Conference Championship Game, including both the Packers and Steelers last season. The 2001 New England Patriots reached the midway point with a 4-4 record and went on to win Super Bowl XXXVI.

Byes this week? Baltimore, Kansas City, Oakland and Philadelphia. Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota, New England and Pittsburgh come back from their week-long vacations and join in the week 10 action.

Last week? UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH! 5-8 for the week (which is a lot better than going 0-13). For the year, 72-55. Still pretty good. There’s still a lot of football left on the docket between now and Super Bowl LII (52 for those that like Roman numerals). Week 10 got underway in the desert as Seattle defeated Arizona 22-16 last Thursday and concludes in the Tar Heel State on Monday evening as Miami travels to Charlotte to face off against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN. Here are Sunday and Monday’s picks for week 10.

Dallas (5-3) at ATLANTA (4-4), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. Dak Prescott vs. Matt Ryan. A pair of young guns take the field in the Big Peach as the defending NFC champs host the Dallas Cowboys in a late afternoon NFC contest. The contest will have drama on the field and off.

How, you ask?

To bring you up to speed (ICYMI)… The Second United States Circuit Court of Appeals dened Ezekiel Elliot’s request for an emergency injuction that would have allowed him to play, which means his six-game suspension is back on. A series of injunctions and restraining orders have allowed the 22-year old Elliott to play to this point but a three-judge panel decided another injunction wasn’t in the cards for the Cowboys running back. The NFL Players’ Association requested an expedited appeal and the court responded later Thursday by scheduling a hearing for December 1, meaning Elliott is guaranteed to miss at least the next four games.

The NFLPA has argued a suspension would irreparably harm Elliott’s career. The NFL, however, said roughly 100 players have been suspended for approximately 500 games over the past season and a half, therefore “Elliott’s claim of irreparable injury is indistinguishable from those that could be made by 100 other players.”

Elliott is second in the NFL with 783 rushing yards and tied for the league lead with seven rushing scores. If his six-game suspension is upheld at the December 1 hearing, he would be eligible to return the field on Christmas Eve afternoon when the Cowboys, currently 5-3, face the Seahawks at home. The games that Elliott would miss are at Atlanta Sunday, home against Philadelphia on the 19th, home against the Los Angeles Chargers on Thanksgiving Day, home against Washington on November 30th, at the Giants on December 10th and at Oakland on December 17.

The six-game suspension stems from a domestic violence allegation by Elliott’s former girlfriend in July of 2016. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell initially decided there was enough “persuasive evidence supporting” Tiffany Thompson’s allegations of domestic abuse. The union immediately appealed Goodell’s decision and Elliott has been able to play while the case works its way through the legal system and led to hard feelings between Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Goodell.

That was the legal stuff.

Now back to the two teams.

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

Atlanta let a 10-0 first quarter lead get away from them as Carolina would take over and take the lead for keeps, taking a 20-17 win over the defending NFC champions in Charlotte last Sunday afternoon. Ryan passed for 313 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s loss in Charlotte and played in his 150th game, has 39,858 career passing yards, the most in NFL history by a player in his first 150 games. Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who caught one of the two Ryan tosses (WR Mohammed Sanu caught the other), leads the NFC with 658 receiving yards. In his career, Jones is averaging 95 receiving yards per game (8,268 yards in 87 games), the highest mark in NFL history (minimum 50 games). Carolina outrushed Atlanta 201-53, while Cam Newton threw for 137 yards and had a rushing TD in the contest. Atlanta was 4 of 12 on third down (0 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:08, while the Panthers kept the ball for 32:52, while going 4 of 13 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

Dallas leads the series 14-10 and the Cowboys have outscored Atlanta 590-469. However…. Atlanta has won the last two meetings, including coming away 39-28 winners in the Lone Star State in 2015, while Dallas’ last win over Atlanta came in 2009 in Irving by a final of 37-21.

The oddsmakers like the Falcons as 3 point favorites in the Big Peach and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Both numbers make sense. Is this one “DRILL WORTHY?” We think so. (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?”

Both clubs were playoff teams last year. Both are looking to go back. Atlanta’s still king of the NFC until they’re knocked off and the king’s not going anywhere. Atlanta “RISES UP” and covers the 3 in the Big Peach.

Cleveland (0-8) at Detroit (4-4), 1 p,m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. One team’s looking to win their first game. The other team’s looking to return to the playoffs. Detroit hosts the winless Cleveland Browns in the Motor City at Ford Field.

Cleveland returns from their bye week after the Browns dropped a 33-16 decision to Minnesota at London’s Twickenham Stadium in Week 8. Although they trailed 13-12 at the break across the pond, Cleveland found themselves outscored 21-3 in the final 30 minutes of play. While Cleveland did outrush Minnesota 115-88, Vikings QB Case Keenum, who took over for Sam Bradford (knee), threw for 288 yards and a pair of TDs, while rookie QB DeShone Kizer threw for 179 yards with three sacks. Minnesota went 6 of 16  on third downs and held on to the ball for 37:52, while the struggling Browns were 4 of 13 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 22:08.

Detroit led from start to finish at Green Bay and came away 30-17 winners at Lambeau Field last Monday night. The Lions led 14-3 at the break and never looked back, although the Packers outrushed Detroit 78-64 in the Monday night contest. Matthew Stafford threw for 361 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with WR Marvin Jones on both tosses, while Brett Hundley, who is under center while Aaron Rodgers recovers from a broken collarbone, threw for 245 yards. Detroit on third down tries went 8 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 36:55, while the Packers were 2 of 9 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:05.

Including games that were played in old Municipal Stadium in Cleveland, Tiger Stadium and the Silverdome, the Lions lead the series 15-4, they have outscored the Browns 479-336 and Detroit has won the last three contests, taking a 31-17 win in Cleveland in 2013, while the Browns’ last win over the Lions came in 2001 along the shores of Lake Erie by a final of 24-14. Detroit’s favored by 10 1/2 and the over/under is 43 1/2. Cleveland will make it interesting and make it close but Detroit takes this one in the Motor City and could very well cover the 9 1/2.

New York Jets (4-5) at Tampa Bay (2-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of struggling teams square off in the Sunshine State as the New York Jets make their way to Raymond James Stadium for a meeting with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

GangGreen returns to action in the Sunshine State after they took Buffalo to task, getting revenge on their AFC East rivals by taking a 34-21 loss to the New York Jets at Met Life Stadium last Thursday night. The Jets led 10-7 at the intermission on the Jersey Shores before pulling away in the final 30 minutes of action. Tyrod Taylor ran for one TD and threw for another, tallying 285 yards in the air but was sacked seven times. The Bills, who were outrushed by the Jets 194-63, went 6 of 16 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:30, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!, led by Josh McCown’s 140 yards (with a TD pass and a rushing TD), went 6 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 33:30.

Tampa Bay lost at New Orleans 30-10 last week in the Big Easy. The Buccaneers trailed 16-3 at the break and the Saints took control of the second half, where things got somewhat chippy when Saints DB Marshon Lattimore and Tampa Bay RB Mike Evans were involved in a scuffle on the Bucs’ sideline in the third quarter. Evans would eventually be suspended for one game for his actions on the field.

New Orleans outrushed Tampa Bay 151-87 and Drew Brees threw for 263 yards and a pair of TDs, while knocking Jameis Winston (67 yards) out of the contest with a shoulder injury. Winston is out for the contest and Ryan Fitzpatrick will be under center for the Buccaneers. New Orleans was 7 of 13 on third down conversions in the Big Easy and kept the ball for 32:18, while Tampa Bay, who was 27:42 in time of possession, went 4 of 13 on third downs.

Including games that were played at Shea Stadium and old Tampa Stadium, GangGreen leads the series 10-1, the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! have outscored Tampa Bay 291-162 and GangGreen has won the last eight meetings, taking an 18-17 win in the Meadowlands in 2013, while Tampa Bay’s lone win in the series came all the way back in 1984, when the Buccaneers wore the creamsicle uniforms and came away 41-21 in the old Sombrero. The Jets are favored by 2 1/2 in the Sunshine State and the over/under is 43 1/2. You might want to take a pass on this game (unless you’re a fan of one of these teams) and watch that “Bar Rescue” marathon on Spike (there’s nothing cooler than seeing Jon Tepper blow his stack!). Jets cover the 2 1/2 and win in the Sunshine State.

Pittsburgh (6-2) at Indianapolis (3-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. Brissett vs. Roethlisberger. A pair of AFC QBs meet in the Hoosier State as the Colts host the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lucas Oil Stadium.

After falling to Jacksonville at home, the Steelers have won three consecutive games and are tied with New England for the best record in the AFC at 6-2. Pittsburgh had a bye last week and defeated Detroit 20-15 in Week 8. The Lions led at the half 12-10 before Pittsburgh went to work and tamed the Lions in the second half. Pittsburgh outrushed Detroit 75-71 and Ben Roethilsberger threw for 317 yards and a TD pass to rookie WR Ju Ju Smith-Schuster. Smith-Schuster leads all NFL rookies with 424 receiving yards, while his teammate, WR Antonio Brown leads the NFL with 57 catches and 835 receiving yards and is on pace to record his fifth consecutive season with at least 100 catches and 1,000 receiving yards. Pittsburgh was 7 of 14 on third down tries in the Sunday night contest in the Motor City and kept the ball for 28:23, while the Lions were 2 of 12 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and held the pigskin for 31:37.

The Steelers lead the series 17-6 (which includes games that were played in Baltimore and at Three Rivers Stadium), they have outscored the Colts 584-393 and have won the last four meetings, including a 28-7 win in the Hoosier State last year (Indy’s last win came in 2008 in the Steel City by a final of 24-20.

The two clubs met in the Hoosier State in week 12 in a Thanksgiving night affair and the Steelers took a 21-7 lead at the half and never looked back, shutting out the Colts (who probably overate their Thanksgiving meal) in the final 30 minutes of play. LeVeon Bell ran for 120 yards and a TD, as the Steelers outrushed 148-91 and Roethlisberger threw for 221 yards and three TD strikes to WR Antonio Brown. The Steelers were 7 of 11 on third down tries at Lucas Oil Stadium and kept the ball for 28:15, while the Colts, who ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:45, went 8 of 15 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

Pittsburgh covered the 3-point spread in the Thanksgiving night contest like gravy on dressing with their 21-point win but neither club covered the 53 1/2 over/under, as they combined for only 35 points. Pittsburgh’s favored again, this time by 10 and the over/under’s 45. The 44 1/2? Makes sense. The 10 point spread? Not so much. The Colts have struggled this year but they’re not 10 point bad. Pittsburgh wins in the Hoosier State but doesn’t cover the 10.

Los Angeles Chargers (3-5) at Jacksonville (5-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. The Los Angeles Chargers make the 2,421-mile trip down I-10 to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Sunshine State.

The Bolts come back to action from their bye after their 21-13 loss to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Foxboro the weekend before. The defending Super Bowl champs led the Bolts 15-7 at the break and the two clubs played even football the rest of the contest. Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski connected for a 2-yard TD pass as the second quarter was getting underway, while Philip Rivers (212 yards) and WR Travis Benjamin connected on a 24-yard TD strike with 8:30 left in regulation. Los Angeles managed to outrush New England 157-97 (Los Angeles’ Melvin Gordon led all rushers with 132 yards and a TD), while Brady threw for 333 yards for the Pats. New England on third down was 9 of 19 on third down tries and kept the ball for 36:59, while the Chargers were 23:01 in time of possession, going 3 of 10 on third down (both teams were successful in their only fourth down tries).

Jacksonville pounced on Cincinnati last Sunday at EverBank Field, coming away 23-7 winners over the Bengals in the Sunshine STate. Jacksonville led 13-7 at the half in the Sunshine State, then shut out the Bengals in the second half. After Cincy”S A.J. Green and Jacksonville’s Jalen Ramsey were tossed out for fighting, the Jaguars put a final nail in the Bengals’ coffin when Jayden Mickens returned a punt 63 yards for a TD. Jacksonville, who went 12 of 18 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth) held the Bengals were held to 29 yards rushing, while the Jaguars tallied 149 and Blake Bortles threw for 259 yards with a TD and had no interceptions or sacks, while Andy Dalton threw for 136. The Bengals on third down were a somewhat dismal 1 of 8 and kept the ball for 19:46, while Jacksonville ruled the clock and kept the ball for 40:14.

Including contests that were played in San Diego, the Chargers lead the series 7-2, the Bolts have outscored Jacksonville 274-158 and the Chargers have won the last six contests in the series, including coming away 38-14 winners last year at Qualcomm, while Jacksonville’s last win came in the Sunshine State by a final of 24-17 in 2007.

The 2016 contest took place on the West Coast in week two and the Chargers led 35-0 after 45 minutes of action (San Diego led 21-0 at the intermission) before the Jaguars would score their only points in the final period. Rivers threw for 220 yards and four TDs, two of them to WR Travis Benjamin, while the Chargers outrushed Jacksonville 150-69 (San Diego’s Melvin Gordon ran for 102 of those yards with a TD), while Blake Bortles (329 yards) was sacked twice and picked off twice. throwing a pair of TDs in the contest. The Chargers were 7 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 34:52, while Jacksonville held the pigskin for 25:08, going 2 of 11 on third down tries, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The Chargers’ 24-point win allowed them to cover the 3-point spread and both teams took care of the 47 over/under, scoring 52 points. The boys and girls in vegas like the Jaguars as 4 1/2 point favorites in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 40 1/2. Both numbers make sense. Jacksonville has already surpassed their win total from last year and the Jaguars are making noise in the AFC South, while the Chargers are coming back to life in the AFC West. Jacksonville covers the 4 1/2 in north Florida and wins at home.

Minnesota (6-2) at Washington (4-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. The first-place Minnesota Vikings travel to Landover for a Sunday afternoon contest with the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.

The Vikings, who had a bye last week, defeated Cleveland 33-16 at London’s Twickenham Stadium in Week 8. Running back Jerick McKinnon had 122 scrimmage yards (72 receiving, 50 rushing) and a touchdown against the Browns. Minnesota led 13-12 at the break across the pond before they outscored the winless Browns 21-3 in the final 30 minutes of play. While Cleveland did outrush Minnesota 115-88, Vikings QB Case Keenum, who took over for Sam Bradford (knee), threw for 288 yards and a pair of TDs. Minnesota went 6 of 16  on third downs and held on to the ball for 37:52, while the struggling Browns were 4 of 13 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 22:08.

Washington held off Seattle to come away 17-14 winners in the Pacific Northwest last week. Washington led 7-2 at the half, thanks to a 1-yard run by RB Rob Kelly after the Seahawks sacked QB Kirk Cousins (247 yards, 6 sacks) for a safety to open the scoring. Washington then held off Seattle in the final 30 minutes of action and stopped a Seattle rally in the final seconds when Wilson’s pass to TE Jimmy Graham fell incomplete. Seattle, who outrushed Washington 148-51, went 5 of 14 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 32:19, while the Redskins kept the ball for 27:41, going 4 of 13 on third down tries.

The series is even at 10-10 (which includes games played at RFK Stadium, Metropolitan Stadium and the Metrodome) and the Vikings have outscored Washington 500-451. Their last meeting took place last year in Landover and the ‘Skins escaped wtih a 26-20 win (Minnesota’s last win over Washington came in 2014 in the Twin Cities, when the Vikings came away 29-26 winners).

They met in week 10 at FedEx Field and the Redskins trailed 20-14 at the half before Washington scored the final 14 points of the contest unchallenged, using four Dustin Hopkins field goals to seal the deal. Washington outrushed Minnesota 128-47, while Cousins threw for 262 yards for Washington, while Bradford threw for 307 yards (both men threw a pair of TDs). The Redskins went 6 of 12 on third down conversions in the home win, keeping the ball for 29:56, while the Vikings ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 30:04, going 5 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Washington was favored by 2 and covered the spread, winning by 6 and both clubs covered the 41 1/2 with 46 points. Minnesota’s favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 41 1/2. While this one’s not “Drill Worthy,” it’s worth your time to watch. Redskins fans were singing “Hail To The Redskins” last week after their win on the West Coast. They’ll be singing “Hail to the Redskins” this week too. Washington covers the 1 1/2 and wins in Landover.

Green Bay (4-4) at Chicago (3-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of NFC North rivals meet in the Windy City as Green Bay makes its way to Soldier Field for a Sunday afternoon contest with Chicago.

Green Bay trailed from start to finish and wound up on the short end of a 30-17 loss to Detroit at Lambeau Field last Monday night. The Packers trailed 14-3 at the break in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst and could never get on track, although the Packers outrushed Detroit 78-64 in the Monday night contest. Matthew Stafford threw for 361 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with WR Marvin Jones on both tosses, while Brett Hundley, who is under center while Aaron Rodgers recovers from a broken collarbone, threw for 245 yards. Detroit on third down tries went 8 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 36:55, while the Packers were 2 of 9 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:05.

Da Bears gave New Orleans a scare, coming up short in the Big Easy as they fell to the Saints 20-12. (Chicago had a bye last week) The Saints led 14-3 at the intermission before Da Bears managed to outscore the Saints 9-6 in the last 30 minutes of play. New Orleans found themselves outrushed by Chicago 157-101 and Chicago’s Jordan Howard ran for 102 yards to lead all rushers. Brees threw for 299 yards, while Mitchell Trubisky threw for 164 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The series? Tied 93-93-6 (which includes contests that were played at Wrigley Field and in Milwaukee) and Da Bears, who were known as the Staleys prior to 1922, have outscored Green Bay 3,300-3,284. Green Bay has taken wins in six of the last eight meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Chicago’s last win over the Packers came in 2015 in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst as Da Bears suprised Green Bay 17-13.)

Meeting number one… week 7 at Lambeau. Rodgers (326 yards, 3 TDS) and WR Devonte Adams connected on a pair of TDs in the 26-10 win in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst. Green Bay led 6-3 at the intermission and never looked back, as they outrushed Chicago 103-69 in the first meeting. The Packers were 9 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 39:36, while Da Bears were 2 of 8 on third down, keeping the pigskin for 20:24.

Round two… the Windy City and Soldier Field… week 15. Temperature at gametime? A balmy 11 degrees with a -4 wind chill (compared to 47 degrees in Green Bay in the first meeting and that contest had a 42 wind chill). Green Bay led 27-10 at the end of three quarters before Chicago roared back in the final period to tie things up. Green Bay took it upon themselves in the frosty Chicago air in the final 79 seconds of the contest after Conner Barth tied things up with a 22-yard field goal, using all the 79 seconds they had left with a 5-play, 59-yard drive that ended with Matt Crosby connecting on a 32-yard field goal as time expired to win 30-27. Green Bay outrushed Chicago 226-95 (Green Bay’s Ty Montgomery led all rushers with 162 yards and a TD), while Rodgers threw for 252 yards, despite being sacked four times (Chicago’s Matt Barkley threw for 362 yards with a pair of TDs but was the victim of three interceptions). The Packers on third down? 3 of 10 (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down), while Da Bears were 3 of 8. As far as the clock was concerned? Green Bay ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:47 (including the game-winning drive), while Chicago kept the ball for 27:13.

In the week 7 contest, played on a Thursday night, while the Packers covered the 8 1/2 point spread winning by 16, neither club covered the 45 1/2 over/under, tallying only 36 points. Green Bay was favored by 6 1/2 in the week 15 contest at Soldier Field but came away 3-point winners but both teams covered the over/under (which was 42) as they combined for 57 points. Chicago’s favored by 5 1/2 and the over/under’s 37 1/2. It’s almost safe to say that both teams are in survival mode to an extent and both are better than their records show. Green Bay wins in the Windy City and covers the 3.

New Orleans (6-2) at Buffalo (5-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. It’s gumbo vs. chicken wings as the New Orleans Saints travel to upstate New York to face off against the Buffalo Bills.

New Orleans, who defeated Tampa Bay 30-10 last week, has won six consecutive games and are the third team in the Super Bowl era to win its next six games immediately following an 0-2 start. Leading 16-3 at the break, the Saints took control of the second half, where things got somewhat chippy when Saints DB Marshon Lattimore and Tampa Bay RB Mike Evans were involved in a scuffle on the Bucs’ sideline in the third quarter. Evans would eventually be suspended for one game for his actions on the field.

New Orleans outrushed Tampa Bay 151-87 and Drew Brees threw for 263 yards and a pair of TDs, while knocking Jameis Winston (67 yards) out of the contest with a shoulder injury. New Orleans was 7 of 13 on third down conversions in the Big Easy and kept the ball for 32:18, while Tampa Bay, who was 27:42 in time of possession, went 4 of 13 on third downs.

Buffalo was taken to task last Thursday night in East Rutherford, as the Jets got their revenge on their AFC East rivals by taking a 34-21 loss to the New York Jets at Met Life Stadium last Thursday night. The Jets led 10-7 at the intermission on the Jersey Shores before pulling away in the final 30 minutes of action. Tyrod Taylor ran for one TD and threw for another, tallying 285 yards in the air but was sacked seven times. The Bills, who were outrushed by the Jets 194-63, went 6 of 16 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:30, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!, led by Josh McCown’s 140 yards (with a TD pass and a rushing TD), went 6 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 33:30.

New Orleans holds a 6-4 lead in the series, the Saints have outscored the Bills 236-183 and have won the last four meetings in the series, including taking a 35-17 win in the Big Easy in 2013 (Buffalo’s last win over the Saints came in 1998 in the Big Easy by a final of 45-33).

New Orleans is favored by 3 on the road and the over/under’s 47 1/2. The Saints are trying to unseat Atlanta as king of the NFC South mountain, while the Bills have been giving the NFC South problems this year. Wings beats gumbo. Bills circle the wagons and cover the 2 1/2 in upstate New York.

Cincinnati (3-5) at Tennessee (5-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Andy Dalton vs. Marcus Mariota. A pair of future Hall of Fame QBs meet in the Music City as the Tennessee Titans host the Cincinnati Bengals at Nissan Stadium.

The Bengals were suprised by Jacksonville last Sunday, losing to the Jaguars 23-7 at EverBank Field. Cincinnati trailed 13-7 at the half in the Sunshine State, then found themselves shut out in the second half but it was non-football action that was the star of the show as Cincy”S A.J. Green and Jacksonville’s Jalen Ramsey were tossed out for fighting. Jacksonville then got its composure back and iced the game away when Jayden Mickens returned a punt 63 yards for a TD. The Bengals were held to 29 yards rushing, while the Jaguars tallied 149 and Blake Bortles threw for 259 yards with a TD and had no interceptions or sacks, while Dalton threw for 136. The Bengals on third down were a somewhat dismal 1 of 8 and kept the ball for 19:46, while Jacksonville ruled the clock and kept the ball for 40:14, going 12 of 18 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

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

Tennessee leads the series 39-33-1, including contests that were played in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers but the Bengals have outscored Tennessee 1,693-1,687 and Cincinnati has won the last two meetings, including coming away 33-7 winners along the shores of the Ohio River in 2014, while Tennessee’s last win in the series came in 2008, with the Titans taking down the Bengals 24-7 in Cincinnati. Tennessee’s favored by 4 1/2 in the Music City and the over/under’s 40 1/2. The Titans are trying to keep Jacksonville at bay in the AFC South, while the Bengals are looking up at Pittsburgh and Baltimore in the AFC North. Cincy bounces back from the drubbing in Jacksonville and makes sour music for the Titans in the Music City, covering the 4 1/2.

Houston (3-5) at Los Angeles Rams (6-2), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. The struggling Texans make their way westward to face off against the Los Angeles Rams, who are in the top spot in the NFC West.

Houston gave Indianapolis a scare before losing to the Colts 20-14 at Houston last week. On the final play of the game, which started at the Indianapolis seven-yard line, Colts linebacker Jabaal Sheard sacked Texans QB Tom Savage and forced a fumble – which was recovered by linebacker Barkevious Mingo – to seal the victory. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton had five catches for 175 yards and two touchdowns in the win at Houston. Indy led 10-7 at the break in the Lone Star State and then held off the late Texans rally to seal the win. Houston did manage to outrush the Colts 94-92 and Jacoby Brissett, who took over for Andrew Luck (shoulder), threw for 308 yards and a pair of TDs, while Savage threw for 219 yards and a TD and was sacked twice, with the second coming at the end of the contest. Both teams were 4 of 19 on third down conversions, the Texans were 0 pf 1 on fourth down and the Colts ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:59 to Houston’s 29:01.

The Rams broke a 7-7 first quarter tie with the New York Giants in the Meadowlands last Sunday afternoon and proceeded to outscore the Giants 44-10 in the last three quarters, taking a 51-17 win in the process. Taking a 27-10 with them to the half, the Rams stepped on the gas in the second half and never looked back. Todd Gurley ran for a couple of TDs at Met Life Stadium, while Rams QB Jared Goff threw for 311 yards, while the Giants’ Eli Manning threw for 220 yards with a pair of TDs and a pair of sacks. The Rams outrushed New York 162-111 and went 6 of 12 on third down conversions (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:30, while the Giants, who held the ball for 29:30, went 8 of 16 on third downs.

The Rams lead the series 2-1 (which includes one contest when the Rams were in St. Louis) and they have outscored the Texans 84-56. Los Angeles won the last meeting, which took place in the Lone Star State, as they came away 38-13 winners in 2013, while Houston’s lone win over the Rams came in 2009 in St. Louis by a final of 16-13. The oddsmakers in Vegas like the Rams as 12 point favorites and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Houston keeps this one closer than 12 but the Rams prevail in Tinsletown and takes the win on the West Coast.

New York Giants (1-7) at San Francisco (0-9), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. It’s a battle of last-place teams in wine country as the New York Giants and San Francisco meet in Santa Clara at Levis’ Stadium.

The Giants and Eli Manning saw the Los Angeles Rams break a 7-7 first quarter tie in the Meadowlands last Sunday afternoon and then proceed to lose 51-17 in the process. New York trailed 27-10 at the half, then watched the Rams step on the gas in the second half and never looked back. Todd Gurley ran for a couple of TDs at Met Life Stadium, while Rams QB Jared Goff threw for 311 yards, while Manning threw for 220 yards with a pair of TDs and a pair of sacks. The Rams outrushed New York 162-111 and went 6 of 12 on third down conversions (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:30, while the Giants, who held the ball for 29:30, went 8 of 16 on third downs.

The winless 49ers trailed Arizona 14-3 at the half against NFC West foe Arizona and dropped a 20-10 decision to the Cardinals in Santa Clara in a contest that got chippy when Arizona’s Frostee Rucker and San Francisco’s Carlos Hyde were both ejected from the contest for fighting in the fourth quarter. Arizona outrushed San Francisco 167-63, with Cardinals RB Adrian Peterson leading all rushers with 159 yards, while Drew Stanton threw for 201 yards and a pair of TDs and San Francisco’s C.J. Bethard threw for 294 yards with a rushing TD but was sacked five times in the 10-point loss. San Francisco went 6 of 17 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:38, while the Cardinals, who ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 36:22, went 7 of 16 on third down tries.

The Giants lead the series 16-15, including contests that took place at Yankee Stadium, Keezar Stadium, the Yale Bowl and Candlestick Park, Big Blue has outscored San Francisco 619-606. New York won the last meeting with San Francisco, coming away 30-27 winners in the Meadowlands in 2015, while the 49ers’ last win also came in the Meadowlands, as they would win 16-10 in 2014. New York’s favored by 2 1/2 in wine country and the over/under’s 42. Take a pass on this one and beg your wife, girlfriend or significant other to take you on that early Christmas shopping. Your heart will thank you, the economy will thank you and so will your sanity. San Francisco breaks their losing streak at home and covers the 1 1/2.

New England (6-2) at Denver (3-5), 8:30 p.m. on NBC. The defending Super Bowl champs return to the Mile High City as Tom Brady and the Pats take on the struggling Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, closing out Sunday action in week 10.

New England and Brady return to action from their bye after they downed the Los Angeles Chargers 21-13 in Foxboro the weekend before. The defending Super Bowl champs led the Bolts 15-7 at the break and the two clubs played even football the rest of the contest. Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski connected for a 2-yard TD pass as the second quarter was getting underway, while Philip Rivers (212 yards) and WR Travis Benjamin connected on a 24-yard TD strike with 8:30 left in regulation. Los Angeles managed to outrush New England 157-97 (Los Angeles’ Melvin Gordon led all rushers with 132 yards and a TD), while Brady threw for 333 yards for the Pats. New England on third down was 9 of 19 on third down tries and kept the ball for 36:59, while the Chargers were 23:01 in time of possession, going 3 of 10 on third down (both teams were successful in their only fourth down tries).

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

Denver leads the series 26-21 (including games played in Boston when the Pats called Fenway Park home) and they have outscored New England 1,077-1,023. New England won the last meeting with the Broncos, taking a 16-3 win in the Mile High City last year (Denver’s last regular season win over the Pats came a year earlier, also in Denver, when the Broncos, led by Peyton Manning, beat Brady and the Pats 30-24 in overtime.

The last meeting was played in week 15 in somewhat chilly conditions at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, with a game-time temperature of 18 (wind chill? 7). New England used three Steven Gostkowski field goals and a 1-yard run by LeGarrett Blount, while holding the Broncos to a Brad McMannus first quarter field goal to take the 13-point road win. New England outrushed Denver 136-58 and Brady threw for 188 yards, while Siemian threw for 282 yards but was sacked four times (Brady was sacked twice). New England went 5 of 17 on third down tries and kept the ball for 33:36, while the Broncos were 2 of 12 and held the ball for 26:24 (both teams were 0 of 1 on fourth down).

In the week 15 contest in the Rockies, the Pats covered the 3-point spread, winning by 13 but neither club covered the 44 over/under, scoring only 19 points. New England is favored by 7 1/2 on the road and the over/under’s 46 1/2. Denver’s trying to restore some order and get themselves back in the playoff hunt, even if it means being a wild card team, while the Pats are trying to stay on top of the NFL mountain. New England won’t cover the 7 1/2 but they take the win on the road.

Miami (4-4) at Carolina (6-3), 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 10 closes out in the Tar Heel State as Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers entertain the Miami Dolphins at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

Miami trailed Oakland 13-9 at the half last Sunday night in Miami, then rallied to keep things close before falling to the Raiders 27-20 at Hard Rock Stadium in the Sunshine State. There were two bright spots for the Dolphins. First, they outrushed Oakland 86-84 in front of the home crowd; second, Jay Cutler threw for 311 yards with three TDs and no interceptions (Oakland’s Derek Carr threw for 300 yards). Miami went 5 of 12 on third down Sunday night (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 29:04, while the Raiders were 30:56 in time of possession, while going 8 of 15 on third downs.

Carolina erased a 10-0 first quarter deficit against Atlanta and took the lead for keeps, taking a 20-17 win over the defending NFC champions in Charlotte last Sunday afternoon. Carolina outrushed Atlanta 201-53, while Cam Newton threw for 137 yards and had a rushing TD in the contest. Atlanta, led by Matt Ryan with 313 yards and a pair of TDs, was 4 of 12 on third down (0 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:08, while the Panthers kept the ball for 32:52, while going 4 of 13 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

Miami leads the series 4-1, the Dolphins have outscored the Panthers 103-76 and Miami won the first four meetings in the series, with their last win coming in 2009 in Charlotte by a final of 24-17, while Carolina’s lone win in the series came in 2013 in Miami by a final of 20-16.

The Dolphins on Monday nights are 41-41, while the Panthers are 9-6 under the prime time lights. Carolina’s favored by 9 and the over/under is 38 1/2. While it’s not one of the better Monday night matchups, it’s worth your time, so you might want to tape “Scorpion” this week. Miami pulls the upset in Charlotte and they’ll be finer in Carolina, taking the road win.