Archives for category: Peyton Manning

And there were four.

The NFL’s answer to the NCAA’s Final Four is here. When the 2019 playoffs got underway, there were 12 teams in the group.

The group has now been narrowed to four and when play concludes Sunday night, two teams will be fighting for the right to win a Lombardi Trophy.

As we’ve said before, we’ll say again.

You win, you move on.

You lose, your next game is next September.

The two winners? They’ll get a week off to prepare and have microphones in their faces, answering the same questions over and over and over again. It’s the nature of the beast and for the other teams that aren’t in the post-season party, they will look at their seasons and wonder what they could have done to be in that spot.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND

NEW FACES ON CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND: The NFL will have a new Super Bowl Champion for a 15th consecutive season as four teams vie to secure their place in Super Bowl LIV. In the AFC Championship Game, presented by Intuit TurboTax, Tennessee (11-7) takes on Kansas City (13-4), while Green Bay (14-3) travels west to Levi’s Stadium to take on San Francisco (14-3) in the NFC Championship Game, presented by Intuit TurboTax.

Of the teams appearing on Championship Sunday, three teams – Green Bay, San Francisco and Tennessee – missed the postseason in 2018, marking the sixth time that at least three teams have advanced to the Championship games after failing to make the postseason the previous year since the NFL instituted the 12-team playoff format in 1990 and the second time in the past three seasons.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: With a 28-12 victory over the number 1 seed Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Playoffs, Tennessee (11-7) became the sixth number 6 seed to advance to a Conference Championship since the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format in 1990 and first since the Green Bay Packers and New York Jets in 2010.

With a win over Kansas City on Sunday, Tennessee would join the 2010 GREEN BAY PACKERS and the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers as the only number 6 seeds to appear in the Super Bowl since 1990 when the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format. Both the Packers and Steelers would go on to win the Super Bowl in those seasons.

The No. 6 seeds to reach the Super Bowl since the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format in 1990:

SEASON – TEAM (CONFERENCE; ADVANCED TO)
2010 – Green Bay (NFC; Won Super Bowl XLV)
2005 – Pittsburgh (AFC; Won Super Bowl XL)
2019 – Tennessee (AFC; ??)

Additionally, Tennessee could also join the 2010 Green Bay Packers and 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers as the only teams to defeat each of the top three seeds in their conference in a single postseason since 1990.

KING HENRY CONTINUES HIS REIGN: Tennessee running back Derrick Henry rushed for a postseason franchise-record 195 yards in the Titans’ Divisional Playoff win last week. After rushing for 182 yards and a touchdown on Wild Card Weekend against New England, Henry became the first player with at least 180 rushing yards in consecutive postseason games in NFL history.

With at least 150 rushing yards on Sunday, Henry would join Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Davis (1998-99) as the only players with at least 150 rushing yards in three consecutive postseason games in NFL history.

With at least 123 rushing yards on Sunday against Kansas City, Henry would join Pro Football Hall of Famers John Riggins (610 rushing yards in 1982) and Terrell Davis (581 in 1997) as the only players with at least 500 rushing yards in a single postseason in NFL history.

The players with the most rushing yards in a single postseason in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RUSHING YARDS)
John Riggins, Washington (1982 – 610)(HOF)
Terrell Davis, Denver (1997 – 581)(HOF)
Terrell Davis, Denver (1998 – 468)(HOF)
Marcus Allen, Los Angeles Raiders (1983 – 466)(HOF)
Eddie George, Tennessee (1999 – 449)
Derrick Henry, Tennessee (2019 – 377)*
*Entering Sunday

Henry has 561 rushing yards in four career postseason games. With at least 112 rushing yards on Sunday, he would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Davis (672 yards) for the most rushing yards through a player’s first five career postseason games in NFL history.

Henry led the NFL with 1,540 rushing yards in the regular season in 2019. With a win on Sunday, Henry would join Pro Football Hall of Famers Terrell Davis (1998) and Emmitt Smith (1992-93, 1995), as well as Shaun Alexander (2005) as the only single-season rushing leaders to reach the Super Bowl in the same season.

The single-season rushing leaders to reach the Super Bowl in the same season:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RUSHING YARDS; SUPER BOWL)
Shaun Alexander, Seattle (2005 – 1,880; XL)
Terrell Davis, Denver (1998 – 2,008; XXXIII)(HOF)
Emmitt Smith, Dallas (1995 – 1,773; XXX)(HOF)
Emmitt Smith, Dallas (1993 – 1,486; XXVIII)(HOF)
Emmitt Smith, Dallas (1992 – 1,713; XXVII)(HOF)

AFC GOES THROUGH CHIEFS KINGDOM: Kansas City advanced to their second consecutive AFC Championship Game for the first time in franchise history with a 51-31 win over Houston in the Divisional Playoffs. In the victory, Kansas City became the first team to win a game by at least 20 points after trailing by at least 20 points in the same game in NFL history.

Kansas City’s comeback in the Divisional Playoffs marked the second comeback of at least 16 points in the postseason this year after Houston erased a 16-point deficit in an overtime win over Buffalo on Wild Card Weekend. This marks the second time in which there have been two comebacks of at least 16 points in a single postseason in NFL history (2002).

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the comeback with 321 passing yards and five touchdowns without an interception for a 134.6 passer rating and added 53 yards on the ground, becoming the first player with at least 300 passing yards, five touchdown passes, and 50 rushing yards in a single postseason game in NFL history.

If Mahomes, who has eight touchdown passes in three career postseason games, has at least three touchdown passes on Sunday against Tennessee, he would tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (11) for the most touchdown passes through a player’s first four career postseason games in NFL history.

The quarterbacks with the most touchdown passes in their first four postseason games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAMS (TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (11)(HOF)
Dan Marino, Miami (10)(HOF)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (10)
Alex Smith, San Francisco and Kansas City (10)
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (8)*
*In three games

Additionally, with at least four touchdown passes, Mahomes would become the first player with at least four touchdown passes in consecutive postseason games in NFL history.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce recorded postseason career-highs in receptions (10), receiving yards (134) and receiving touchdowns (three) last week, becoming the third tight end with at least three touchdown receptions in a single postseason game in the Super Bowl era.

If Kelce, who has three career postseason games with at least 100 receiving yards, has at least 100 receiving yards against Tennessee, he would tie for the most such career postseason games by a tight end in NFL history.

The tight ends with the most career postseason games with at least 100 receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAMS (GAMES WITH 100+ RECEIVING YARDS)
Vernon Davis, San Francisco (4)
Rob Gronkowski, New England (4)
Keith Jackson, Philadelphia, Miami and Green Bay (4)
Dallas Clark, Indianapolis (3)
Travis Kelce, Kansas City (3)*
Greg Olsen, Chicago and Carolina (3)

HUNTING MORE TITLES IN TITLETOWN: Green Bay advanced to their first Conference Championship since 2016 with a 28-23 victory over Seattle in the Divisional Playoffs. With the victory, Green Bay tied Dallas (35 wins) for the third-most postseason victories in NFL history.

With a win against the 49ers, who rank fifth on the all-time list with 31 postseason wins, on Sunday (6:40 PM ET, FOX), the Packers would tie Pittsburgh (36 wins) for the second-most postseason victories in NFL history.

The teams with the most postseason wins in NFL history:

TEAM (WINS, SUPER BOWL WINS
New England (37, 6)
Pittsburgh (36, 6)
Dallas (35, 5)
Green Bay (35, 4)
San Francisco (31, 5)

Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur became the first head coach to reach a Conference Championship in his first season since JIM HARBAUGH led San Francisco to the NFC Championship Game in 2011.

With a win on Sunday, LaFleur would become the sixth rookie head coach to appear in the Super Bowl.

The rookie head coaches to appear in the Super Bowl:

HEAD COACH, TEAM (SEASON – RESULT)
Don McCafferty, Baltimore Colts (1970 – W 16-13, Super Bowl V)
Red Miller, Denver (1977 – L 27-10, Super Bowl XII)
George Seifert, San Francisco (1989 – W 55-10, Super Bowl XXIV)
Bill Callahan, Oakland (2002 – L 48-21, Super Bowl XXXVII)
Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis (2009 – L 31-17, Super Bowl XLIV)
Matt LaFleur, Green Bay (2019 – ??)

With LaFleur (40 years, 66 days old) and San Francisco head coach KYLE SHANAHAN (40 years, 36 days old), Sunday’s NFC Championship Game will be the first Conference Championship Game featuring two head coaches under the age of 41 since 1970.

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns without an interception for a 113.7 passer rating last week, marking Rodgers’ sixth consecutive postseason game with at least two touchdown passes.

With at least two touchdown passes on Sunday, Rodgers would tie Pro Football Hall of Famers Terry Bradshaw (seven games) and Joe Montana (seven), as well as Drew Brees (seven), for the second-longest streak of postseason games with at least two touchdown passes in NFL history. Only Joe Flacco (eight games) had a longer such streak in league history. Additionally, with two touchdown passes, Rodgers would tie Peyton Manning (40) for the fourth-most career postseason touchdown passes in NFL history.

The players with the most career postseason touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Tom Brady, New England (73)
Joe Montana, San Francisco and Kansas City (45)(HOF)
Brett Favre, Green Bay and Minnesota (44)(HOF)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis and Denver (40)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (38)*
*Entering Sunday

(HOF) Hall of Fame

Rodgers, who has 4,700 passing yards in 17 career postseason starts, needs at least 300 passing yards on Sunday to become the sixth player with at least 5,000 career postseason passing yards in NFL history, joining Tom Brady (11,388), Peyton Manning (7,339), Pro Football Hall of Famers Brett Favre (5,855) and Joe Montana (5,772) and Ben Roethlisberger (5,256).

NEW GOLDEN ERA: With a 27-10 win over Minnesota in the Divisional Playoffs, San Francisco became the fifth team since 1990 to advance to a Championship Game after winning four-or-fewer games the previous season, and the second team in three years, joining Jacksonville in 2017.

With a victory on Sunday against Green Bay, San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan, whose father – Mike Shanahan – won Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII as head coach of the Denver Broncos, would become the first father-son duo to each appear in a Super Bowl as a head coach in NFL history. In their Divisional Playoff victory, the 49ers defense tallied six team sacks, tied for the second-most in a single postseason game in franchise history.

With at least six sacks on Sunday against Green Bay, the 2019 San Francisco 49ers would join the 1984 San Francisco 49ers as the only teams with at least six sacks in two consecutive postseason games in the Super Bowl era. 49ers rookie defensive lineman Nick Bosa recorded two sacks in his postseason debut last week. With at least two sacks on Sunday, Bosa would join Lamarr Woodley as the only players with at least two sacks in each of their first two postseason games since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic. Bosa would also become the first rookie to accomplish the feat since 1982.

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

Championship Sunday begins with the AFC Championship Game, presented by Intuit TurboTax, between Tennessee (11-7) and Kansas City (13-4), followed by the NFC Championship Game, presented by Intuit TurboTax, featuring Green Bay (14-3) and San Francisco (14-3). For the 15th consecutive season, there will be a new Super Bowl champion.

Three of the four remaining teams – Green Bay, San Francisco and Tennessee – are making a Championship game appearance after missing the playoffs last season. This marks the sixth time that at least three teams have advanced to the Championship games after failing to make the postseason the previous year since the NFL instituted the 12-team playoff format in 1990 and the second time in the past three seasons. Additionally, San Francisco is the fifth team since 1990 to advance to a Championship Game after winning four-or-fewer games the previous season and the second in three years, joining Jacksonville in 2017.

In the NFC, this marks the third consecutive year in which the Championship Game features the conference’s top-two seeds. The AFC, meanwhile, sees the number six seed Titans traveling to the two-seeded Chiefs. The Titans are the first six seed to reach the Conference Championship since the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers in 2010. The Chiefs join New England (2011-12, 2016-17) as the only teams to host the AFC Championship in consecutive seasons since 2000.

Each game features a quarterback making his first career appearance in a Conference Championship, as both Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill and San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo take center stage for the first time on Sunday. Tannehill led the NFL with a 117.5 passer rating in 2019, the fourth-highest single-season mark in NFL history among qualified passers. Garoppolo has compiled a 22-5 record, including postseason, as a starting quarterback in his career.

Both Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers are making a return to Championship Sunday as starting quarterbacks. After leading the Chiefs to the AFC Championship Game last season, Mahomes will become the eighth quarterback to start two Championship games in his first three seasons since 1970. Rodgers, meanwhile, makes his fourth Championship Game appearance, the third-most among active quarterbacks.

Each contest is a rematch of a memorable 2019 regular-season game. In Week 10, Tennessee defeated Kansas City in Nashville, 35-32, as the two teams combined for over 900 yards of total offense. The game featured five lead changes and the Titans overcame a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Chiefs, thanks to Tannehill’s touchdown pass in the final minute and a blocked potential game-tying Kansas City field goal as time expired. In their Week 12 meeting at Levi’s Stadium, San Francisco defeated Green Bay, 37-8, on Sunday Night Football, as the 49ers’ defense held the Packers to their lowest point total of the season. For the winners in the first meeting, it’s a chance to prove that it was not a fluke or luck; for the losers, it’s revenge.

Last week was a pretty good week, going 3-1 and for the season 146-118. With that, here are this weekend’s championship picks.

AFC Championship: Tennessee (9-7, 2nd Wild Card, 6th seed) at Kansas City (12-4, AFC West champion, 2nd seed), 3:05 p.m. on CBS. They met in week 10 in the Music City. They meet again in the Show-Me State and this time, a trip to Miami’s on the line. Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes hosts Tennesee and Ryan Tannehill for the AFC Championship.

Tennessee first shocked the football world by beat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Foxboro in the AFC Wild Card round, then proceeded to shock the football world again by taking Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens to task last Saturday evening in Charm City, taking a 28-12 AFC Divisional Round win at M&T Bank Stadium.

Holding the number-one seeded Ravens to a pair of Jeff Tucker field goals in the first half, Tennessee took a 14-6 lead with them to the break, proceeding to score 14 third-quarter points unchallenged to seal the Ravens’ fate before Jackson would finally get his team into the end zone, connecting with TE Hayden Hurst on a 15-yard TD toss early in the fourth quarter.

In the contest that featured five Heisman winners, Tennessee’s Derrek Henry and Jackson were in Heisman form, as Henry rushed for 195 yards and had a TD pass, while Jackson tallied 143 in the Saturday night contest; Tennesee would out-rush Baltmore 217-185 and Jackson threw for 365 yards with the fourth quarter TD (Jackson was sacked four time and picked off twice), while Tannehill threw for 88 and a pair of TDs. The Titans were 7 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 27:54, while the Ravens actually ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 32:06, going 11 of 18 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In a comeback that would have made Lazarus jealous, Kansas City rallied from 24 points down in the first half, then proceeded to score 41 points unchallenged to take the 51-31 win over Houston in the AFC Divisional Round game at Arrowhead. The Chiefs trailed 24-0 with 9:55 left before the half before the Chiefs went to work, denting the scoreboard when Mahomes and RB Damien Willams hooked up on a 17-yard TD toss. Mahomes and TE Travis Kelce would then connect on three TD passes in the half (a pair of 5-yard tosses and one from 6 yards) to take the lead for keeps. Williams would then add a pair of rushing TDs in the third quarter to all but ice the contest away, with a Mahomes to TE Blake Bell and a Harrison Butker field goal to close the scoring out.

Kansas City out-rushed Houston (the fourth seed in the AFC playoffs) 118-95 and Mahomes threw for 321 yards with the five TDs without a sack, while Houston’s DeSean Watson threw for 388 yards with four TDs (connecting with TE Darren Fells on one of the tosses) and was sacked four times (neither Mahomes or Watson threw an interception). Kansas City was 2 of 8 on third down tries at Arrowhead, keeping the ball for 25:25, while the Texans were rulers of the clock, keeping the pigskin for 34:35, while going 5 of 15 on third down, 1 for 5 on fourth down.

The two clubs meet in Nashville in week 10 and the Titans held off a late Chiefs rally in that contest to come away 35-32 winners at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee and Kansas City went into the intermission tied at 13-13 before the Chiefs took a 32-27 lead when Butker connected on a 39-yard field goal with 3:14 left in the contest.

Tennessee did not waste a lot of time on their drive to reclaim the lead, getting the ball back with 81 seconds after a Chiefs’ field goal try failed, using 4 plays, 61 yards and 58 seconds to reclaim the lead when WR Adam Humphries and Tannehill connected on a 23-yard TD toss. Tannehill then took matters into his own feet when he scored on the two-point conversion.

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

Kansas City fans would get their hearts broken as Kalu broke through the line, blocked the kick and ended the Chiefs threat. Henry led all rushers with 188 yards and a pair of TDs as the Titans out-rushed Kansas City 225-97 and Mahomes threw for 446 and three TDs (connecting with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce on two of the passes), while Tannehill threw for 181 yards and a pair of TDs (including the game-winner) to go with his two-point try (neither threw an interception; Mahomes was sacked twice, while Tannehill was sacked four times). Kansas City was 7 of 14 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:51, including the final 23 seconds of the game, while the Titans, keeping the ball for 22:09, went 2 of 8 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

In the week 10 contest in the Music City, the Chiefs were favored by 3 1/2 and the Titans would win by 2. The two clubs did manage to cover the 48 1/2 over/under by tallying 67 points. This time, the Chiefs are favored again, this time by 7 1/2 with a 52 over/under. They’ve met only three times in the post-season and the Chiefs have prevailed in two of the contests, winning 28-20 in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers in the AFC Wild Card Round. Tennessee’s lone win in the series came in 2017 at Arrowhead by a final of 22-21 in the AFC wild Card round.

The winner will be going to Miami in two weeks. The loser will be second-guessed from the end of the game until the start of the 2020 season. Titans fans, it was fun while it lasted. The carriage is about to turn back into a pumpkin and the horsemen go back to being white mice. Tennessee makes it closer than 7 1/2 but the Chiefs prevail and return to the Super Bowl as AFC champs.

NFC Championship: Green Bay (13-3, NFC North champion, 2nd seed) at San Francisco (13-3, NFC West champion, 1st seed), 6:40 p.m. on FOX. Championshsip weekend concludes in wine country as Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers make their way to Santa Clara to square off against Jimmy Garroppolo and the San Francisco 49ers at Levis Stadium Sunday afternoon. Both teams were winners at home to advance to the championship round.

Green Bay held off a late Seattle rally at Lambeau Field last Sunday afternoon as the Packers prevailed 28-23. The Packers led 21-3 at the intermission in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst before Seattle rallied in the second half, outscoring Green Bay 20-7 in the final 30 minutes of play, pulling to within 5 with 9:33 left in the contest when Marshawn Lynch scored from a yard out.

Seattle out-rushed Green Bay 110-109 and Seahawks QB Russell Wilson leading all rushers with 64 yards, while Packers RB Aaron Jones tallied 62 yards with a pair of rushing TDs (Lynch had a pair of rushing TDs for Seattle). Rodgers threw for 243 yards, connecting with WR DeVonte Adams (eight catches for 160 yards) twice, while Wilson threw for 277 yards and a TD to WR Tyler Lockett (Rodgers was sacked twice, Wilson was sacked five times and neither threw an interception). Green Bay was 9 of 14 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 29:29, while Seattle ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:31, going 3 of 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

San Francisco erased a 7-7 tie at the end of the first quarter against Minnesota last Saturday afternoon at Levis Stadium, coming away 27-10 Divisional Round winners. 49ers RB Tevin Coleman gave his team the lead for keeps with 7:10 left before the intermission before Vikings K Dan Bailey pulled Minnesota to within 4 with 39 seconds left, booting a 39-yard field goal. Coleman would add a second rushing TD in the third quarter and 49ers K Robbie Gould would add to the home team’s scoring as they tallied their final 13 points of the game unchallenged to take control of the contest.

Coleman rushed for 105 yards on 22 carries as San Francisco out-rushed Minnesota 186-21 and Garoppolo threw for 131 yards and a TD to WR Kendrick Bourne, while Kirk Cousins threw for 172 yards and a TD toss to Stefon Diggs (Cousins was sacked six times, Garoppolo was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). San Francisco went 5 of 12 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and the 49ers ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 38:27, while the Vikings, who kept the ball for 21:33, went 2 of 12 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

They met in Santa Clara in week 12 and the 49ers prevailed 38-7 at Levis’ Stadium. San Francisco scored 23 first-half points unchallenged to lead 23-0 at the break. The Packers would score their only points in the contest when Rodgers and DeVante Adams connected on a 2-yard TD pass and a two-point conversion late in the third quarter before San Francisco floored the gas in the half, using a 61-yard TD pass from Garoppolo to TE George Kittle and a 15-yard run by Mostert to seal the win.

While Green Bay out-rushed San Francisco 117-112, Garoppolo threw for 253 yards with a pair of TDs, with Rodgers throwing for 104 yards and a TD (Rodgers was sacked five times, Garoppolo sacked three times, neither threw an interception). Green Bay was a dismal 1 of 15 on third down (they were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, as kept the ball for 35:16, while the 49ers held on to the pigskin for 24:44, going 3 of 9 on third down tries.

In the week 12 contest in Santa Clara, the 49ers easily covered the 3-point spread, winning by 31 but Green Bay and San Francisco barely missed the 46 over/under, tallying 45 points. They’ve met seven times in post-season play and Green Bay has won four of the meetings, outscoring San Francisco 188-154. San Francisco has won the last two meetings in the post-season, including a 23-20 win in 2013 at Lambeau in the NFC Wild Card Round; Green Bay’s last playoff win also came at Lambeau in 2001 in the NFC Championship by a final of 25-15. In this meeting in wine country, the 49ers are favored by 7 with the over/under at 45. Both numbers make sense. San Francisco is looking to go back to the Super Bowl, while the Packers are hoping for a return to the big game and perhaps a meeting with Kansas City in a rematch of the very first Super Bowl. GO PACK GO! San Francisco keeps it close but Green Bay prevails in wine country and takes the win.

Round two. The NFL playoffs march on as eight teams fight for the coveted Lombardi Trophy and now the teams that had byes will get to take the field. Baltimore, Kansas City, San Francisco and Green Bay were waiting to see who they play this weekend and now they know.

Playoff football is a lot different than a regular season game. It’s not lose and you play next week. It’s you lose and your next game is next year. Win and you advance. It’s not that hard to process. At the end of play Sunday, four teams will be left standing and the four losers will be clearing out their lockers and preparing for the 2020 NFL Draft.

The NFL’s 100th season has reached the Divisional playoffs and new teams abound. Seven of the remaining eight clubs in contention for the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl LIV in Miami were not in the Divisional playoffs last year. That’s the largest year-to-year turnover in the Divisional round since 1990, when the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format. In other words, 15 teams have been one game from advancing to the AFC or NFC Championship Game since the beginning of the 2018 playoffs.

All four clubs in the NFC – Green Bay, Minnesota, San Francisco and Seattle – are new to the NFL’s final eight. In the AFC, Baltimore, Houston and Tennessee join the group, while Kansas City represents the only club to make a second straight appearance in the Divisional playoffs.

The sixth-seeded Titans, whose 20-13 win at New England last week ensured that the NFL will have two new Super Bowl teams for the first time in four years, earned a trip to face the AFC’s top seed, Baltimore, Saturday in primetime.

Meanwhile, the NFC’s number 6 seed, Minnesota, earned a 26-20 overtime victory at New Orleans last week to advance to the Divisional round, where top-seeded San Francisco awaits in the first game on Saturday. The Number 6 seeds are now 4-0 over the past two seasons. For the first time in NFL history, all four number 6 seeds have advanced to the Divisional playoffs in consecutive years, including Indianapolis and Philadelphia in 2018.

YOUTH UNDER CENTER: The average age of the eight quarterbacks scheduled to start this weekend is 28 years, 271 days old, the youngest average age of starting quarterbacks in the Divisional playoffs since the 2010 season (28 years, 197 days).

CULTURE OF COMPETITION: Since Super Bowl LI, when New England topped Atlanta, 34-28, in the first overtime in Super Bowl history, postseason games have been fiercely competitive. Beginning with that Super Bowl, the last 27 postseason contests have been decided by just 8.1 points on average. Four of the NFL’s last seven postseason games have gone to overtime and road teams are a combined 8-6 over the last 14 NFL playoff games (excluding the neutral-field Super Bowl LIII).

GIVEAWAY-TAKEAWAY INDICATOR: Seven of the league’s eight remaining teams finished among the NFL’s top 10 in turnover margin this season. Green Bay (+12) and Seattle (+12), which tied for third in the NFL during the regular season and meet Sunday at Lambeau Field, have the best turnover margins among the remaining teams. Minnesota (+11, fifth), Baltimore (+10, sixth), Kansas City (+8, tied-seventh), Tennessee (+6, ninth) and San Francisco (+4, tied-10th) also ranked in the top 10 this season.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN DIVISIONAL WEEKEND

SURVIVE AND ADVANCE: Minnesota (11-6) and Tennessee (10-7) both earned victories on Wild Card Weekend as the number 6 seed in their respective conferences. Last season, both Indianapolis and Philadelphia advanced to the Divisional Round of the playoffs as number 6 seeds in their conferences. This marks the first time in which two number 6 seeds advanced past Wild Card Weekend in consecutive seasons since the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format in 1990.

Minnesota, who travels to San Francisco on Saturday and Tennessee, who travels to Baltimore on Saturday night, can become the first number 6 seeds to reach the Conference Championship since 2010.

The No. 6 seeds to reach the Conference Championship since the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format in 1990:

SEASON – TEAM (CONFERENCE), ADVANCED TO
2010 – Green Bay (NFC), Won Super Bowl XLV
2010 – New York Jets (AFC), AFC Championship
2008 – Baltimore (AFC), AFC Championship
2008 – Philadelphia (NFC), NFC Championship
2005 – Pittsburgh (AFC), Won Super Bowl XL
2019 – Minnesota (NFC), ??
2019 – Tennessee (AFC), ??

In the NFC, Seattle (12-5, number 5 seed), who faces Green Bay on Sunday night and the sixth-seeded Vikings are both still alive. With victories by both teams in the Divisional Playoffs, it would mark the first Conference Championship game featuring a number 5 and number 6 seed since the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format in 1990.

STACKING POSTSEASON VICTORIES: Green Bay (34 wins) and San Francisco (30 wins) both rank among the top five in postseason victories in league history and can add to their totals this weekend.

With a win over Seattle on Sunday, Green Bay would tie Dallas (35 wins) for the third-most postseason victories in NFL history.

The teams with the most postseason wins in NFL history:

TEAM – WINS/SUPER BOWL WINS
New England – 37/6
Pittsburgh – 36/6
Dallas – 35/5
Green Bay – 34/4
San Francisco – 30/5

GETTING IT STARTED: To kick off the Divisional Round of the NFL’s 100th season, the NFC’s top seed, San Francisco (13-3), host number 6 seed Minnesota (11-6) on Saturday. Minnesota advanced to the Divisional Round with a 26-20 overtime victory in New Orleans on Wild Card Weekend.

In his postseason debut last week, Minnesota running back DALVIN COOK finished with 130 scrimmage yards (94 rushing, 36 receiving) and two rushing touchdowns in the victory. If Cook records at least 125 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns on Saturday, he would become the first player with at least 125 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns in each of his first two career postseason games in NFL history.

RUNNING THROUGH THE POSTSEASON: The AFC’s number 1 seed, Baltimore (14-2), led the NFL with 3,296 rushing yards in the regular season, the most by a team in a single season in NFL history. Tennessee (10-7) ranked third in the league with 2,223 rushing yards in 2019, led by the NFL’s leading rusher Derrick Henry, who rushed for 1,540 yards this season.

This marks the fourth time the team with the top rushing offense met the team with the league’s leading rusher in the postseason in the Super Bowl era. In each of the matchups, the team with the league’s leading rusher has won.

Postseason matchups between the league’s top rushing offense and leading rusher in the Super Bowl era:

ROUND – TOP RUSHING OFFENSE (RUSHING YARDS); NFL LEADING RUSHER – TEAM (RUSHING YARDS)
2018 NFC Wild Card – Seattle (73); Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas (137)
Super Bowl XXVII – Buffalo (108); Emmitt Smith – Dallas (108)(HOF)
1978 AFC Divisional – New England (83); Earl Campbell – Houston Oilers (118)(HOF)
2019 AFC Divisional – Baltimore (??); Derrick Henry – Tennessee (??)

On Wild Card Weekend, Henry rushed for 182 yards and a touchdown in Tennessee’s 20-13 victory over New England. With at least 150 rushing yards on Saturday, Henry would join Pro Football Hall of Famers Marcus Allen (three games), Terrell Davis(two) and Franco Harris (two), as well as Le’Veon Bell (two) as the only players to rush for at least 150 yards in consecutive postseason games in NFL history.

Henry has rushed for 366 yards in his first three career postseason games. With at least 134 rushing yards on Saturday, Henry would become the third player to rush for at least 500 yards in their first four career postseason games in NFL history.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (RUSHING YARDS)

Terrell Davis, Denver (515)(HOF)
Arian Foster, Houston (515)
Fred Taylor, Jacksonville (493)
John Riggins, Washington (474)(HOF)
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (470)(HOF)
Derrick Henry, Tennessee (366)*
*In 3 games

NEW ERA OF QBs: Sunday afternoon’s game featuring Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson (24 years, 120 days old) and Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes (24 years, 117 days old) marks the third matchup in the Divisional Round between two quarterbacks under the age of 25 in the Super Bowl era.

Divisional Round matchups between starting quarterbacks under the age of 25 in the Super Bowl era:

SEASON – HOME TEAM/QUARTERBACK; VISITOR/QUARTERBACK (RESULT)
1985 – Miami/Dan Marino; Cleveland/ Bernie Kozar (Miami 24, Cleveland 21)(HOF)
2000 – Minnesota/Daunte Culpepper; New Orleans/Aaron Brooks (Minnesota 34, New Orleans 16)
2019 – Kansas City/Patrick Mahomes; Houston/Deshaun Watson (??)

In a 22-19 overtime victory over Buffalo on Wild Card Weekend, Watson completed 20 of 25 pass attempts (80 percent) for 247 yards and a touchdown and added 55 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

If Watson, who rushed for 76 yards on Wild Card Weekend in 2018, rushes for at least 50 yards on Sunday against Kansas City, he would become the first quarterback with at least 50 rushing yards in three consecutive postseason games in NFL history.

NIGHT CAP: In the final game of the Divisional Round, Green Bay (13-3) hosts Seattle (12-5), who defeated Philadelphia, 17-9, on Wild Card Weekend.

Seahawks rookie wide receiver D.K. Metcalf led Seattle with 160 receiving yards and a touchdown in the win, the most receiving yards by a rookie in a single postseason game in the Super Bowl era.

With at least 83 receiving yards against Green Bay on Sunday (6:40 PM ET, FOX), Metcalf would surpass TORRY HOLT (242 yards in 1999) for the most postseason receiving yards by a rookie in NFL history.

The rookies with the most postseason receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON) – REC. YARDS
Torry Holt, St. Louis Rams (1999) – 242
Austin Collie, Indianapolis (2009) – 241
DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia (2008) – 207
Steve Junker, Detroit (1957) – 201
Ricky Nattiel, Denver (1987) – 171
D.K. Metcalf, Seattle (2019) – 160*
*Entering Sunday

Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch recorded his 10th career postseason rushing touchdown in the win on Wild Card Weekend.

With at least two rushing touchdowns on Sunday, Lynch would tie Pro Football Hall of Famers Terrell Davis (12) and John Riggins (12) for the fourth-most career postseason rushing touchdowns in NFL history.

The players with the most career postseason rushing touchdowns in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS)
Emmitt Smith, Dallas (19)(HOF)
Franco Harris, Pittsburgh (16)(HOF)
Thurman Thomas, Buffalo (16)(HOF)
Terrell Davis, Denver (12)(HOF)
John Riggins, Washington (12)(HOF)
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle (10)*
*Entering Sunday

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers enters Sunday’s contest having thrown at least two touchdown passes in each of his past five postseason games.

With four touchdown passes against Seattle, Rodgers would tie Peyton Manning (40) for the fourth-most career postseason touchdown passes in NFL history.

The players with the most career postseason touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Tom Brady – New England (73)
Joe Montana – San Francisco and Kansas City (45)(HOF)
Brett Favre – Green Bay and Minnesota (44)(HOF)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (40)
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay (36)*
*Entering Sunday
(HOF) – Hall of Fame

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

It was not good to be a home team in the first round as Houston was the only home team to prevail in the first round. New England, New Orleans and Philadelphia were all bounced out of the first round by their guests. As for last week, we went 2-2 and for the season, 143-117.

Having said that… here are this weekend’s Divisional Picks.

Minnesota (10-6, 2nd Wild Card) at San Francisco (13-3, NFC West champion), 4:35 p.m. Saturday on NBC. Divisional Weekend gets underway in Wine Country as the top-seeded San Francisco 49ers host Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings at Levis’ Stadium.

Once again, Minnesota broke the hearts of New Orleans Saints fans Sunday afternoon in the Big Easy, leaving the Mercedes-Benz Superdome 26-20 overtime winners in the first NFC Wild Card game of the day. Minnesota erased a 10-3 deficit in the second quarter, using a 21-yard field goal by Dan Bailey and a 5-yard run by Delvin Cook with 23 seconds left before intermission to lead 13-10. Cook would add a second rushing TD, this one from a yard out to lead 20-10 with 3:23 left in the third before the Saints’ Tysom Hill connected on a 20-yard TD pass from Drew Brees to pull to within seven with 10:31. The teams then exchanged punts and turnovers and New Orleans would get the ball back with 1:55 left in the contest and got themselves inside Minnesota’s 30-yard line at the 26. The drive there would stall after New Orleans was flagged for a false start with 21 seconds left in the contest. The penalty also had a 10-second runoff, putting the game clock at 11 seconds. Brees’ pass to Alvin Kamara went incomplete and New Orleans would settle for the tie, with K Wil Lutz making up for an earlier miss, connecting on a 49-yard field goal with seven seconds left.

That would be the last time that the Saints would see the ball, as they kicked off to Minnesota, who knelt the ball down to send the contest into overtime. Minnesota, who picked up their first playoff road win since 2005, would then win the toss to start the overtime and the Vikings made sure that Brees and the Saints did not take the field, going on a 9-play, 75-yard drive that used 4:20 of time off the game clock, ending with Cousins and TE Kyle Rudolph connecting on a 4-yard TD toss to end the contest. Cook led all rushers with 96 yards and the two TDs (Hill led New Orleans with 50 yards) as the Vikings out-rushed the Saints 136-97 and Cousins threw for 242 yards and the game-winning TD without an interception (he was sacked twice), while Brees threw for 208 yards with the Hill TD (Brees was sacked three times, sacked once and had a fumble). Minnesota was 10 of 18 on third down in the Big Easy and the Vikings ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 36:56, including the 4:20 of overtime, while New Orleans, losing their second playoff game at home in a row, went 4 of 11 on third down (neither club had a fourth down try) and kept the ball for 27:24.

The number one-seeded 4ers held off a late Seattle rally in the final seconds in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, coming away 26-21 winners at Century Link Field two weeks ago, in a contest that gave the 49ers the NFC West title, a first-round bye and revenge for their week 10 overtime loss in Santa Clara.

Seattle trailed 13-0 at the break as the 49ers scored their first half points unchallenged before the home team would break San Francsico’s bid for a shutout when Wilson and WR Tyler Lockett connected on a 14-yard TD toss late in the third quarter. San Francisco made it a 19-7 contest when RB Raheem Mostert scored from 2 yards away but the 49ers would miss the two-point conversion with 3:25 left in the quarter. Newly re-accquired RB Marshawn Lynch then pulled his team to within five with 9:55 left in the contest when he scored on a 1-yard run. Mostert pushed the 49ers lead back up to 12 with 5:51 left when he scored on a 13-yard run before Seattle stormed back again, trailing by only 5 with 3:36 left when Wilson and WR DK Metcalf connected on a 14-yard scoring pass.

Seattle would get the ball back with 2:27 left after a 49ers punt and made their way downfield, getting as close as San Francsico’s 1-yard line when Wilson tried to spike the ball to stop the clock. The Seahawks, out of time outs, were then flaggled for a delay of game penalty and passes to Lockett and Josh Hollister fell incomplete. With 12 seconds left, Wilson and Hollister would connect on a 4-yard pass but Hollister did not cross the goal line, as 49ers LB Dre Greenlaw tackled Hollister at the one-foot line. Replay would confirm that Hollister did not break the plane, which meant that Seattle did not score. San Francisco would then run out the clock and take the win in the Pacific Northwest.

San Francisco out-rushed Seattle 128-125 and Mostert led all rushers with 57 yards and the two TDs, while Seattle was led by RB Travis Homer with 62 yards (Lynch had 34 yards on 12 carries with the TD). Wilson threw for 233 yards with a pair of TDs and a sack, while Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 285 yards with a pair of sacks (neither qb threw an interception). Seattle was 8 of 14 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 32:56, while the 49ers held on to the pigskin for 27:04, going 4 of 8 on third down.

The 49ers and Vikings have met five times in post-season play and San Francisco has won four of them, with San Francisco’s last win coming in the 1997 Divisonal Playoff at Candlestick Park by a final of 38-22, while Minnesota’s lone win came in 1987 (also at Candlestick and also in the Divisional Playoff) by a final of 36-24.

The oddsmakers like the 49ers as 6 1/2-point favorites in wine country and the over/under is 45 1/2. For the 49ers, a win Saturday night means that they’ll play one more game in wine country; for the Vikings, a win would mean they would either travel to Green Bay or Seattle. The wine is really good and so are the 49ers. San Francisco’s rested and they take this one in Santa Clara, covering the 6 1/2.

Tennessee (9-7, 2nd Wild Card) at Baltimore (14-2, AFC North champion), 8:15 p.m. Saturday on CBS. Number six seed Tenneesse travels to Charm City to face off against top-seed Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium. The Titans are coming off a huge road win against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. As for the Ravens, they had the week off to rest and prepare.

Five Heisman Trophy winners will be at M&T Bank Stadium for Saturday night’s game in Baltimore, the most ever for a game in the Super Bowl era.

Some will play a bigger part than others in the divisional-round game. The visiting Titans have Heisman winners in backup quarterback Marcus Mariota (Oregon, 2014) and star running back Derrick Henry (Alabama, 2015). The Ravens have soon-to-be-named league MVP Lamar Jackson (Louisville, 2016), running back Mark Ingram (Alabama, 2009) and backup quarterback Robert Griffin III (Baylor, 2011).

The Titans suprised the football world last Saturday night in Foxboro as they went into Gillette Stadium and came away 20-13 winners over Brady and the Patriots. Tennessee erased a 13-7 Patriot lead late in the first half on a 1-yard run by Derreck Henry with 35 seconds left in the half and would take that lead into the third quarter (the two teams were scoreless in that period) and sealed New England’s fate late in the contest when Logan Ryan picked off Brady with nine seconds left in the contest and ran the ball back nine yard for a TD.

Henry ran for 182 yards on 34 carries with the TD as the Titans out-rushed New England 201-98 (New England was led by Sony Michel with 61 yards) and Ryan Tannehill threw for 72 yards and a TD toss to TE Anthony Firkser, while Brady threw for 209 yards with the late-game interception (Tannehill was sacked once, Brady was not sacked). Tennessee was 6 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 31:09, while the Patriots, who led only once in the contest on a 5-yard run by WR Julian Edleman and a Nick Folk field goal in the second quarter, was 5 of 13 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:51.

The Ravens come off their bye week after they took care of Pittsburgh 28-10 at M&T Bank Stadium to close out the 2019 regular season. Baltimore, leading from start to finish in a contest that saw the Ravens leave some of their starters on the bench, led 16-7 at the intermission. Pittsburgh’s Chris Boswell would connect on a 26-yard field goal to make it a 6-point contest before the Ravens would score 12 fourth-quarter points to seal the Steelers’ fate.

Ravens RB Gus Edwards led all rushers with 130 yards as the Ravens out-rushed Pittsburgh 223-91 and Robert Griffin III threw for 96 yards and an interception, taking over for Lamar Jackson, while Steelers’ QB Delvin Hodges threw for 95 yards with no TDs or interceptions and a pair of sacks, including one for a safety late in the contest. Baltimore was 7 of 16 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 39:27, while the Steelers kept the pigskin for 20:33, while going 5 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In three post-season meetings, the Ravens lead the series 2-1 and have outscored Tennessee 54-40. Baltimore’s last playoff win came in 2008, when they left Nissan Stadium 13-10 winners in the AFC Divisional Playoff, while the Titans’ lone win came in 2003 in Charm City by a final of 20-17 in the AFC Wild Card Game. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Ravens as 9 1/2-point favorites in Charm City and the over/under’s 48. We think they got it right. For the Titans, it was fun while it lasted. For the Ravens, they’re moving on. It’ll be closer than the 9 1/2 but Baltimore prevails in Charm City.

Houston (10-6, AFC South champion) at Kansas City (12-4, AFC West champion), 3:05 p.m. Sunday on CBS. Sunday afternoon Divisonal action gets underway in the Show-Me State as Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs host DeShaun Watson and the Houston Texans at Arrowhead Stadium in a late-afternoon affair. While the Chiefs enjoyed their bye week, Houston needed overtime at home to take the win to advance to the next round.

Houston rallied from being down 13-0, scoring 16 second-half points unchallenged before coming away 22-19 overtime winners over Buffalo at NRG Stadium last Saturday afternoon. The Bills got a 16-yard TD from WR John Brown to QB Josh Allen and three Stephen Hauschka field goals before Watson dented the scoreboard, scoring on a 20-yard TD run and a 2-point conversion with 93 seconds left in the third quarter. Kai Fairbairn would then pull the Texans to within five on a 41-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter and Houston would take the lead on a 5-yard TD pass from Watson to Carlos Hyde for a 3-point lead with 4:37 left in regulation.

Buffalo would not go away quietly as they would an 11-play, 41-yard drive, using 71 seconds of clock and proceeded to tie the contest with 5 seconds left in regulation as Hauschka connected on a 47-yard field to send the contest into overtime. Houston would get the ball to start the overtime but went three and out, punting the ball to Buffalo. The Bills got the ball at their 30-yard line and would eventually cross the 50-yard line before Bills OT Cody Ford was flagged for a blindside block. That moved the ball back to their 43-yard line, where Buffalo’s drive stalled and the Bills punted the ball back to the Texans.

Houston, knowing that a score on the next possession would win the game, took advantange and used a 9-play, 73-yard drive that took 5:42 of clock and ended as Fairbairn sent Texans fans home happy with a 28-yard field goal with 3:20 left in the extra period. Buffalo out-rushed Houston 172-141 and Allen led all rushers with 92 yards, while Watson led Houston with 55 yards and the rushing TD. Allen would throw for 264 yards and was sacked three times, while Watson threw for 247 yards with the TD to Hyde but was sacked seven times (neither QB threw an interception). Houston was 6 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 36:25, while the Bills, holding the ball for 35:15, went 11 of 21 on third down (both teams were 0 of 1 on fourth down).

The Chiefs secured the number two-seed at home as they took care of the Los Angeles Chargers 31-21 at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City led 10-7 at the break, then watched as the Chargers took the lead from them with 13:14 left in the third when RB Melvin Gordon scored on a 5-yard run. That lead would last all of 16 seconds as Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman ran the ensuing kickoff back 104 yards untouched for a TD to give Kansas City the lead back and for good. After Chargers TE Hunter Henry caught an 8-yard TD pass from Philip Rivers, Damien Williams would score the second of his two TDs in the second half (the first good for 84 yards), icing the game away with a 7-yard run to seal the win and the first-round bye.

Williams led all rushers with 124 yards as Kansas City out-rushed Los Angeles 162-108 and Mahomes threw for 174 yards and a TD to DeMarcus Robinson (Mahomes threw an interception but was not sacked), while Rivers threw for 281 with a pair of TDs and a pair of interceptions (Rivers was sacked three times). Both clubs did well on third down tries (the Chief were 7 of 10, Los Angeles was 8 of 13) and the Chargers actually were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 36:04 (they went 2 of 4 on fourth down), while the Chiefs held on to the pigskin for 23:56.

They met in week six in the regular season in week six at Arrowhead and the Texans would score 20 second-quarter points unchallenged, then held off a late Chiefs rally to come away 31-24 winners. The Chiefs trailed 23-17 at the intermission before they would rally to take the lead back with 6:30 left in the third when Mahomes and WR Tyreek Hill would connect on a 6-yard TD pass to lead 24-23. Kansas City carried that 1-point lead into the fourth when Watson would take matters into his own feet, scoring his second TD of the day on a 1-yard run and then connecting with Derick Hopkins for the two-point conversion. The Chiefs would get the ball back but would go three and out and after a Chiefs’ punt, the Texans would run out the clock and take the win in the Show-Me State.

Hyde led all rushers with 116 yards and a TD as the Texans out-rushed Kansas City 192-53 with Watson (two interceptions) throwing for 280 yards and a TD to Derek Johnson, while Mahomes (sack, interception) threw for 273 yards and three TDs (two to Hill). Houston was 5 of 12 on third down (the Texans were 2 of 3 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:48, while the Chiefs held on to the pigskin for 20:12, while going 4 of 8 on third down.

They’ve met once in post-season play and Kansas City would come away 30-0 winners at NRG Stadium in the AFC Playoff game. In that contest, the Chiefs would score all of their points unchallenged, taking a 13-0 lead with them to the intermission and never looking back. Kansas City’s Knile Davis would open the scoring on a 106-yard kickoff return and from there, the floodgates opened for Houston and they could never get themselves on track. Kansas City out-rushed Houston 141-114 (Houston’s Alfred Blue led all rushers with 99 yards) and Alex Smith threw for 190 yards and a TD, while Brian Hoyer threw for 136 yards (both Smith and Hoyer were sacked three times, Hoyer was picked off four times, while Smith was picked off once). The Chiefs were 4 of 11 on third down and Kansas City ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 34:25, while the Texans, keeping the ball for 25:35, went 6 of 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Kansas City in the week six contest was favored by 4 1/2 and the Texans covered, winning by 7 and both teams matched the 55 over/under. In the divisional round, the Chiefs are favored by 9 1/2 at Arrowhead and the over/under’s 50. The winner plays for the Hunt Trophy next week, while the loser will be second-guessing themselves for the entire offseason. While things will be closer than 9 1/2, Houston’s hopes of a Lombardi Trophy will have to wait at least another year. Everything’s up to date in Kansas City as the Chiefs prevail at Arrowhead but expect this one to be closer than 9 1/2.

Seattle (11-5, 1st Wild Card) at Green Bay (13-3, NFC North champion), 6:40 p.m. Sunday on FOX. A pair of Super Bowl QBs (Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers) meet in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst as Green Bay hosts Seattle at Lambeau Field in the final game of Divisional Weekend. The Packers enter the contest with a bye under their belts, while Seattle made a cross-country trip to take on the Eagles in the City of Brotherly Love last Sunday evening.

Seattle held Philadelphia to three Josh Elliott field goals, then held off two late Eagle scoring attempts and left Lincoln Financial Field 17-9 winners last Sunday afternoon. The Seahawks broke a 3-3 tie with 66 seconds left before intermission when RB Marshawn Lynch scored on a 5-yard run, taking the lead back for good. Seattle would add a 53-yard TD pass from Wilson to D.K. Metcalf with 8:46 left in the third to all but seal the game away, holding Philadelphia to an Elliott field goal with 2:49 left in the quarter. Seattle would hold off two late Eagles rallies in the fourth, the first ending on an incomplete pass from backup QB Josh McCown with 6:24 left to play and the second when McCown was sacked at Seattle’s 11-yard line with 2 minutes left to play.

Seattle was out-rushed by Philadelphia 120-64 with Eagles RB Miles Sanders leading all rushers with 69 yards on 14 carries (Wilson led Seattle with 45 yards) and Wilson threw for 325 yards with the TD to Metcalf (Wilson was sacked once), while McCown, who took over for Carson Wentz (head injury) threw for 174 yards with six sacks (neither Wilson, Wentz or McCown had an interception). Seattle went 8 of 15 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:45, while the Eagles actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:15, while going 3 of 11 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

The Packers, the number two-seed in the playoffs, erased a 17-3 haltimore deficit at Detroit and stormed their way back to a 23-20 last-second win against the Lions at Ford Field two weeks ago. Green Bay trailed their NFC North rivals at the intermisson, then proceeded to outscore the Lions 20-3 in the final 30 minutes play and sent Lions fans home with their seventh loss in a row when Packers K Mason Crosby booted a 33-yard field goal as time expired.

The Packers tied the contest up with 5:19 left in regulation when Rodgers and WR Allen Lazard hooked up on a 28-yard TD toss. Then after the teams exchanged the ball on punts, Green Bay would get the ball back with 80 seconds left in the contest and used all of that time left to go on an 8-play, 68-yard drive that would end with Crosby’s game-winning kick. While Detroit actually out-rushed Green Bay 171-120, Jones led all rushers with Aaron Jones leading all rushers with 100 yards on the ground. Rodgers threw for 323 yards with the TD to Lazard, while Detroit’s David Blough threw for 122 yards and caught a TD pass from WR Danny Amendola (both men were sacked once and threw an interception). Green Bay was 8 of 20 on third down in the Motor City (they were perfect on fourth down, going 2 of 2) and including the final 80 seconds of the contest, ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 34:56, while the Lions were 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Seattle and Green Bay have met three times in the post-season and the Packers lead the series 2-1. Green Bay has outscored the Seahawks 97-75 in the three meetings and Green Bay’s last win in the post-season came in 2007 at Lambeau in the Divsional playoff by a final of 42-20, while Seattle’s last win came in 2014 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, coming away 28-22 overtime winners. Green Bay’s favored by 4 at Lambeau and the over/under’s 46. For the Packers… a win means that they could be going to Santa Clara for a rematch should San Francisco win or a home game against the Vikings if somehow Minnesota were to prevail. For Seattle… a win would mean a rematch with either the 49ers or Vikings. It’ll be a rematch one way or the other but in the end, Green Bay prevails. Packers cover the 4 and win in Lambeau.

The end is near.

The season began in Foxboro with the New England Patriots raising another banner and getting their rings and ends in Seattle as the Seahawks and 49ers decide who will be NFC West champs.

When the final game of the 2019 NFL regular season comes to an end in the Pacific Northwest, there will be 12 teams that will continue their season and make their way to the post-season.

As for the other 20 teams? They’ll be making changes in their rosters and coaching staffs. Monday will NOT be a good day to be a head coach in the NFL if your team doesn’t make the playoffs. For teams that won’t be playing in the post-season, lockers will be cleaned out and those teams will be second-guessed and picked over like the bones of a Christmas Turkey.

For those 12 that are still standing, it’s their second season with one twist.

Win. Advance to the next round.

Lose. Your next game is in September of 2020.

when the Super Bowl comes to an end in Miami in February, one team will be holding a Lombardi Trophy.

There’s still football left for this Sunday, though. All the games this week are rematches, which makes some of them for all the marbles. It’s a chance for the teams that won the first time to prove that the first time was not a fluke, while the losers are looking for revenge and a chance to knock a team out of the post-season party. Think of it as football’s answer to Dirty Santa without the spiked egg nog.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: Baltimore defeated Cleveland, 31-15, to clinch a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. The Ravens are the number one seed in the AFC for first time in franchise history.

With their 23-20 win at Tampa Bay on Saturday, Houston clinched their second-consecutive AFC South division title.

Minnesota clinched a playoff berth for the second time in the past three seasons with the Los Angeles Rams’ loss at San Francisco on Saturday night. Green Bay can clinch the NFC North division title with a victory on Monday.

On Saturday, New England defeated Buffalo 24-17, to clinch their 11th-consecutive AFC East division title, the most consecutive division titles won by one team in NFL history.

Buffalo, Green Bay, Minnesota and San Francisco have each qualified for the postseason after missing the playoffs last season. From 1990-2019 – a streak of 30 consecutive years – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas had 12 receptions for 136 yards and a touchdown in the Saints’ 38-28 victory at Tennessee.

Thomas has 145 receptions in 2019 and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (143 in 2002) for the most receptions in a single season in NFL history. Thomas, who leads the NFL with 1,688 receiving yards this season, has 5,475 receiving yards in his first four seasons and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (5,396) for the most receiving yards in a player’s first four seasons in league annals.

Baltimore rushed for 243 yards in their Week 16 win at Cleveland. The Ravens are the seventh team since 1970 and first since the 1978 Kansas City Chiefs (eight) and 1978 New England Patriots (11) with at least eight games of 200-or-more rushing yards in a single season. Baltimore has 3,073 rushing yards in 2019 and joined the 1978 New England Patriots (3,165 rushing yards) and 1973 Buffalo Bills (3,088) as the only teams with at least 3,000 rushing yards in a single season in league annals.

With quarterback Lamar Jackson (1,206 rushing yards) and running back Mark Ingram (1,018), the Ravens are the seventh team in NFL history and first since the 2009 Carolina Panthers (Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams) to have two players with at least 1,000 rushing yards in a single season.

Indianapolis running back Nyheim Hines recorded punt return touchdowns of 84 and 71 yards in the Colts’ 38-6 win against Carolina. Hines is the fifth player with at least two punt return touchdowns of 70-or-more yards in a single game in NFL history, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Jack Christiansen (November 22, 1951) as well as Darrien Gordon (November 9, 1997), Leroy Irvin (October 11, 1981) and Eric Metcalf (October 24, 1993).

Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey had 15 receptions and 173 scrimmage yards (119 receiving, 54 rushing) on Sunday.

McCaffrey has 109 receptions in 2019, surpassing his total in 2018 (107) for the most catches in a single season by a running back in NFL history and became the first running back in league annals with multiple career seasons of at least 100 receptions. McCaffrey has nine games with at least 150 scrimmage yards this season and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk (1999 and 2001) and Chris Johnson (2009) as the only players with at least nine such games in a single season in NFL history.

New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones passed for 352 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 132.1 rating in the teams’ 41-35 overtime victory at Washington. Jones is the first rookie with at least 300 passing yards, five touchdown passes and zero interceptions in a single game in NFL history. Jones, who also had four touchdowns passes in both Week 8 and Week 10, is the third rookie quarterback with at least three games of four-or-more touchdown passes in league annals, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton (1961) and DeShaun Watson (2017).

Giants running back Saquon Barkley totaled a career-high 279 scrimmage yards (189 rushing, 90 receiving) and two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) in the Week 16 victory. Barkley is the fifth player with at least 275 scrimmage yards and both a rushing and receiving touchdown in a single game since 1970, joining Priest Holmes (Week 13, 2001 and Week 12, 2002), Chris Johnson (Week 2, 2009), Herschel Walker(Week 15, 1986) and Delvin Williams (Week 9, 1976).

Barkley also joined Billy Cannon (December 10, 1961), Delvin Williams (November 7, 1976) and Priest Holmes (November 24, 2002) as the only players in NFL history with at least 175 rushing yards, 90 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a single game.

Washington running back Adrian Peterson rushed for a touchdown on Sunday. Peterson has 111 career rushing touchdowns and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Walter Payton (110) for the fourth-most rushing touchdowns in NFL history.

Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones had 10 receptions for 166 yards in the Falcons’ 24-12 win over Jacksonville. Jones, appearing in his 125th career game, has 12,047 receiving yards and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (142 games) as the fastest player to reach 12,000 career receiving yards in NFL history. Jones registered his 15th career game with at least 150 receiving yards and joined Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (30 games), Lance Alworth (17), Terrell Owens (17) and Don Maynard (15), as well as Calvin Johnson (15) as the only players with at least 15 such games in league annals.

Arizona linebacker Chandler Jones recorded four sacks and two forced fumbles in the Cardinals’ 27-13 win at Seattle. Jones, who had 17 sacks in 2017, has a career-high 19 sacks this season and joined J.J. Watt (2012, 2014-15), Elvis Dumervil (2009 and 2014), Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan (2001 and 2003) and DeMarcus Ware (2008 and 2010) as the only players with at least 17 sacks in multiple seasons since 2000.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz had four receptions in the Eagles’ 17-9 win against Dallas and has 525 receptions during his seven-year NFL career, surpassing Jason Witten (523) for the most catches by a tight end in his first seven seasons in league annals.

Miami rookie defensive tackle Christian Wilkins had his first-career touchdown reception in the Dolphins’ 38-35 overtime win against Cincinnati. Wilkins joins William “The Refrigerator” Perry (November 3, 1985) as the only rookie defensive linemen to record a receiving touchdown in the Super Bowl era.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week has featured an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a match-up of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated the San Francisco-Seattle game as the NFL 100 Game of the Week because the division rivals engaged in an epic NFC Championship Game on January 19, 2014. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 23-17, to advance to Super Bowl XLVIII after overcoming an early 10-0 deficit. In the third quarter, Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch scored on a 40-yard run to knot the game at 10-10. After Anquan Boldin caught a 26-yard touchdown from Colin Kaepernick to vault San Francisco back on top, 17-10, Doug Baldwin returned the ensuing kickoff 69 yards to set up a Stephen Hauschka field goal. In the fourth quarter, QB Russell Wilson and WR Jermaine Kearse connected on 4th-and-7 for a 35-yard touchdown pass to give Seattle its first lead at 20-17. The Seahawks used three fourth-quarter takeaways – a Michael Bennett fumble recovery (forced by a Cliff Avril sack) and interceptions by Kam Chancellor and Malcom Smith, with an athletic assist from Richard Sherman – to seal the victory.

Five teams remain in contention for two remaining playoff berths. Six clubs will fight for three remaining first-round byes. Home-field advantage and two division titles are up for grabs in the NFC. All 16 games are division contests and, with one week to go, there are still 15 teams in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIV.

Including 2019 with the Buffalo, Green Bay, Minnesota and San Francisco, since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990 – a streak of 30 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

It’s all on the line in Week 17. Ten of the 12 playoff teams have been determined. Six of the eight divisions have been clinched and there’s still plenty to play for in Week 17.

In the AFC, five teams have already punched their tickets to the postseason: Baltimore (13-2, AFC North and home-field advantage), Buffalo (10-5, playoff berth), Houston (10-5, AFC South), Kansas City (11-4, AFC West) and New England (12-3, AFC East). The Bills are locked in as the number five seed in the post-season.

Oakland (7-8), Pittsburgh (8-7) and Tennessee (8-7) are vying for the final AFC Wild Card berth, while the Chiefs and Patriots are fighting for the AFC’s lone remaining first-round bye.

In the NFC, five teams have locked up playoff spots: Green Bay (12-3, NFC North), Minnesota (10-5, playoff berth), New Orleans (12-3, NFC South), San Francisco (12-3, playoff berth) and Seattle (11-4, playoff berth). Minnesota is locked in as the six seed in the post-season.

San Francisco and Seattle play on Sunday Night Football. The winner captures the NFC West and possibly home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, while the loser enters the playoffs with an NFC Wild Card berth.

In the NFC, the road to Super Bowl LIV in Miami will go through one of four cities, as Green Bay, New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle all have an opportunity to earn the conference’s top seed on Sunday.

Philadelphia needs a win at the New York Giants to lock up the NFC East. A Giants win opens the door for Dallas, which would then get into the postseason with a home win over the Redskins.

2019 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 17: Playoff scenarios abound in the final week of the regular season. While all four AFC divisional spots are taken, there is one more wild card spot left. As for the NFC? Two division titles (East and West) are up for grabs. Pay close attention… this is going to cause more confusion than a mouse in a Burlesque show (apologies to Foghorn Leghorn!)

AFC

CLINCHED:
Baltimore – AFC North and home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs
Houston – AFC South
Kansas City – AFC West
New England – AFC East
Buffalo – playoff berth

Kansas City (11-4) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (5-10), 1 p.m. on CBS

Kansas City clinches a first-round bye with:
Kansas City win + New England loss

New England (12-3) vs. Miami (4-11), 1 p.m. on CBS

New England clinches a first-round bye with:
New England win or tie OR
Kansas City loss or tie

Oakland (7-8) at Denver (6-9), 4:25 p.m. on CBS

Oakland clinches a playoff berth with:
Oakland win + Pittsburgh loss + TEN loss + IND win + OAK clinches strength-of-victory tiebreaker over Pittsburgh*
*Oakland clinches strength-of-victory tiebreaker over Pittsburgh if ONE of the following teams win or tie:

Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles Chargers OR New England

Pittsburgh (8-7) at Baltimore (13-2), 4:25 p.m. on CBS

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth with:

Pittsburgh win + Tennessee loss or tie OR
Pittsburgh tie + Tennessee loss OR
Tennessee loss + Indianapolis win + Oakland loss or tie OR
Tennessee loss + Indianapolis win + Pittsburgh ties Oakland in strength-of-victory tiebreaker*

*Pittsburgh ties Oakland in strength-of-victory tiebreaker if ALL of the following teams win:
Minnesota, Green Bay, Kansas City and Miami

Tennessee (8-7) at Houston (10-5), 4:25 p.m. on CBS

Tennessee clinches a playoff berth with:

Tennessee win OR
Tennessee tie + Pittsburgh loss or tie OR
Pittsburgh loss + IND loss or tie

NFC

CLINCHED:
Green Bay – NFC North
New Orleans – NFC South
Minnesota – playoff berth
San Francisco – playoff berth
Seattle – playoff berth

Dallas (7-8) vs. Washington (3-12), 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Dallas clinches NFC East division with:
Dallas win + Philadelphia loss

Green Bay (12-3) (at Detroit (3-11-1), 1 p.m. on FOX

Green Bay clinches a first-round bye with:
Green Bay win OR
New Orleans loss OR
Green Bay tie + SF loss OR
Green Bay tie + New Orleans tie

Green Bay clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
Green Bay win + San Francisco loss or tie OR
Green Bay tie + San Francisco loss + New Orleans loss or tie

New Orleans (12-3) at Carolina (5-10), 1 p.m. on FOX

New Orleans clinches a first-round bye with:
New Orleans win + Green Bay loss or tie OR
New Orleans win + San Francisco loss or tie OR
New Orleans tie + Green Bay loss OR
New Orleans tie + San Francisco loss OR
San Francisco loss + Green Bay win or tie

New Orleans clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
New Orleans win + Green Bay loss or tie + San Francisco loss or tie OR
New Orleans tie + Green Bay loss + San Francisco loss

Philadelphia (8-7) at New York Giants (4-11), 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Philadelphia clinches NFC East division with:
PHI win or tie OR
Dallas loss or tie

San Francisco (12-3) at Seattle (11-4), 8:20 p.m. on NBC

San Francisco clinches NFC West division title with:
San Francisco win or tie

San Francisco clinches a first-round bye with:
San Francisco win OR
San Francisco tie + Green Bay loss or tie OR
San Francisco tie + New Orleans loss or tie

San Francisco clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
San Francisco win OR
San Francisco tie + Green Bay loss or tie + New Orleans loss or tie

Seattle (11-4) vs. San Francisco (12-3), 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Seattle clinches NFC West division with:
Seattle win

Seattle clinches a first-round bye with:
Seattle win + Green Bay loss

Seattle clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:
Seattle win + Green Bay loss + New Orleans loss

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 17

PLAYOFF PUSH: All 16 games are division contests in Week 17 and there are still 15 teams in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIV.

In 15 of the past 16 years, at least two teams have won their division the season after missing the playoffs. With a win over Minnesota on Monday Night Football in Week 16, Green Bay (12-3) clinched the NFC North.

If San Francisco (12-3) defeats Seattle (11-4) on Sunday Night Football, the 49ers would clinch the NFC West, marking the 16th time in the last 17 seasons at least two teams have won their division the season after missing the playoffs.

In the AFC, five teams have already punched their tickets to the postseason, including all four division winners: Baltimore (13-2, AFC North and home-field advantage), Houston (10-5, AFC South), Kansas City (11-4, AFC West), New England (12-3, AFC East) and Buffalo (10-5, playoff berth).

Five teams have also locked up playoff berths in the NFC: Green Bay (12-3, NFC North), New Orleans (12-3, NFC South), Minnesota (10-5, playoff berth), San Francisco (12-3, playoff berth) and Seattle (11-4, playoff berth).

WILSON WINNER: Seattle’s Russell Wilson has led the Seahawks to the postseason for the seventh time in eight seasons as the team’s starting quarterback and is the first quarterback to lead his team to a winning record in each of his first eight seasons in NFL history.

With a win over San Francisco on Sunday Night Football, Seattle will capture the NFC West division title and Wilson will earn his 87th regular-season win, surpassing Tom Brady (86 wins) for the most regular-season wins by a quarterback through his first eight seasons in NFL history.

SAINTS GO MARCHING INTO RECORD BOOKS: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for 279 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions in a Week 16 victory, as the Saints earned at least 12 wins in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history.

With another performance of at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions on Sunday at Carolina (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Brees will become the fourth player with at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions in at least four consecutive games in a single season in NFL history.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2015 – 5)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (2014 – 4)
Tom Brady, New England (2007 – 4)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2019 – 3)*
*Active streak

​​Brees also leads the league with a 75.3 completion percentage in 2019 (among qualified passers) and is on pace to break his own single-season completion percentage record for the second-consecutive season. The 19-year veteran entered 2019 with four of the top five single-season completion percentages in league annals. Oakland quarterback Derek Carr (71.1 percent) and Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill (70.7) also each own completion percentages over of at least 70 percent entering Week 17.

The players with the highest single-season completion percentages in NFL history among qualified passers:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – COMPLETION PERCENTAGE)

Drew Brees, New Orleans (2019 – 75.3)*
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2018 – 74.4)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2017 – 72.0)
Sam Bradford, Minnesota (2016 – 71.6)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2011 – 71.2)
Derek Carr, Oakland (2019 – 71.1)*
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee (2019 – 70.7)*
*Entering Week 17

New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas leads the NFL with 145 receptions in 2019 and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (143 in 2002) for the most receptions in a single season in NFL history. Both Thomas and Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins have recorded at least five receptions in all 15 games this season.

If Thomas has at least five receptions at Carolina and Hopkins has at least five receptions on Sunday against Tennessee, they would become the fifth and sixth different receivers with at least five receptions in all 16 games of a regular season since 1978, when the 16-game schedule was implemented.

The players with at least five receptions in all 16 games of a regular season since 1978:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)
Jarvis Landry, Miami (2017)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2014)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2013)
Pierre Garcon, Washington (2013)
Jimmy Smith, Jacksonville (2001)
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston (2019)*
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (2019)*
*In 15 games

Additionally, with at least 12 receptions on Sunday, Thomas would become the first player with at least 12 receptions in three consecutive games in NFL history.

DUAL-THREAT BACKS: Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey registered 173 scrimmage yards (119 receiving, 54 rushing) last week, his ninth game with at least 150 scrimmage yards this season.

With at least 150 scrimmage yards on Sunday against New Orleans, McCaffrey, who leads the league with 2,294 scrimmage yards in 2019, would tie Chris Johnson (10 games in 2009) for the most games with at least 150 scrimmage yards in a single season in NFL history.

The players with the most games with at least 150 scrimmage yards in a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES)
Chris Johnson, Tennessee (2009 – 10)
Marshall Faulk, St. Louis Rams (2001 – 9)(HOF)
Marshall Faulk, St. Louis Rams (1999 – 9)(HOF)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (2019 – 9)*
*Through 15 games
(HOF) – Hall of Fame

With at least 216 scrimmage yards on Sunday, McCaffrey would surpass Johnson (2,509 scrimmage yards in 2009) for the most scrimmage yards in a single season in league annals.

Additionally, McCaffrey ranks second among all running backs this season with 933 receiving yards, trailing only the Los Angeles Chargers’ Austin Ekeler (950). If McCaffrey has at least 67 receiving yards against New Orleans and Ekeler has at least 50 receiving yards at Kansas City, they would become the fourth and fifth running backs with at least 1,000 receiving yards in a single season since 1970.

The running backs with at least 1,000 receiving yards in a season since 1970:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RECEIVING YARDS)
Marshall Faulk, St. Louis Rams (1999 – 1,048)(HOF)
Lionel James, San Diego (1985 – 1,027)
Roger Craig, San Francisco (1985 – 1,016)
Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers (2019 – 950)*
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (2019 – 933)*
*Through 15 games

McCaffrey, who ranks second in the NFL with a career-high 1,361 rushing yards this season, can join Roger Craig (1985) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk (1999) as the only players with at least 1,000 rushing and 1,000 receiving yards in a single season in NFL history.

HISTORY DOWN SOUTH: In his 125th career game, Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones, who has 12,047 career receiving yards, had 10 catches for 166 yards in the Falcons’ Week 16 victory and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (142 games) as the fastest player to reach 12,000 career receiving yards in NFL history.

Jones, who ranks third in the league with 1,316 receiving yards in 2019, needs at least 84 receiving yards on Sunday at Tampa Bay, to tie Rice (six seasons) for the most seasons with at least 1,400 receiving yards in NFL history.

Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston leads the league with a career-high 4,908 passing yards entering the season’s final week and has thrown for at least 375 yards in five different games in 2019.

With at least 375 passing yards on Sunday against Atlanta, Winston would tie Peyton Manning (six games in 2013) for the most games with at least 375 passing yards in a single season in NFL history.

The players with the most games with at least 375 passing yards in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES WITH 375+ PASSING YARDS)
Peyton Manning, Denver (2013 – 6)
Drew Brees, New Orleans (2013 – 5)
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay (2019 – 5)*
*Through 15 games

REMARKABLE ROOKIE RECEIVERS: Tennessee’s A.J. Brown (927 receiving yards) and Washington’s Terry McLaurin (919) lead all rookies in receiving yards this season and each have a chance to reach 1,000 receiving yards in their first NFL seasons.

If Brown has at least 73 receiving yards at Houston and McLaurin has at least 81 receiving yards at Dallas, the 2019 season would join 2014 and 1986 as the only seasons featuring multiple rookies with at least 1,000 receiving yards in NFL history.

The seasons featuring multiple rookies with at least 1,000 receiving yards in NFL history:

SEASON: ROOKIES (TEAM – RECEIVING YARDS)
2014: Odell Beckham Jr. (New York Giants – 1,305), Mike Evans (Tampa Bay – 1,051), Kelvin Benjamin (Carolina – 1,008)
1986: Bill Brooks (Indianapolis – 1,131), Ernest Givins (Houston Oilers – 1,062)
2019: A.J. Brown (Tennessee – 927), Terry McLaurin (Washington – 919)*
*Entering Week 17

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

Last week? Best. Week. EVER. 12-4 for the week, 134-106 for the season. That being said, here are the Sunday picks for week 17.

ATLANTA (6-9) at Tampa Bay (7-8), 1 p.m. on FOX and 712. They meet again. Matt Ryan vs. Jameis Winston. Atlanta and Tampa Bay meet in the Sunshine State at Raymond James Stadium in an NFC South rematch. The Falcons closed out their home season with a huge win against Jacksonville, while the Buccaneers saw their playoff hopes come to an end at the hands of the Houston Texans last Saturday afternoon.

Atlanta picked up a win against the AFC South as they took down Jacksonville 24-12 in the Big Peach Sunday afternoon. The Falcons led from start to finish in the home finale, using a pair of first-quarter TDs from DeVonta Freeman (one rushing, one passing), taking a 17-3 lead with them to the break.

Atlanta out-rushed Jacksonville 135-115 with Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette leading all rushers with 71 yards (Brian Hill led Atlanta with 66 yards), while Ryan threw for 384 yards and a TD to Freeman (Ryan’s favorite target, Julio Jones, led all recievers with 10 catches, good for 166 yards) with Gardner Minshew II throwing for 181 yards and a TD to Chris Conley (Ryan was sacked once and threw a pair of interceptions, while Minshew was sacked three times). Atlanta was 7 of 13 on third down in the Big Peach and was somewhat “Grinch-like” with the ball, keeping it for 33:07, while the Jaguars kept the pigskin for 26:53, going 3 of 14 on third down, 3 of 4 on fourth down.

Tampa Bay watched Houston erase a 17-17 tie at the intermission last Saturday afternoon, then had a final-minute drive stall as the Texans left Tampa Bay with the AFC South title and a 23-20 win. Houston opened the first half scoring when Winston was picked off by CB Bradley Roby, who returned the ball 27 yards for a TD before the fans were settled in their seats. Winston would eventually atone for that error, as Tampa Bay would tie things up with 13 second left when he and WR Justin Watson scored on an 8-yard TD toss. Kai Fairbairn and Matt Gay would trade field goals in the third quarter, tying the contest at 20-20 before Fairbairn gave Houston the lead for good with 7:11 left in the contest on a 37-yard field goal.

Tampa Bay would get the ball back with 21 seconds left in the contest after the teams traded punts after the Fairburn field goal and the hopes of a win for the Buccaneers came to an end when Winston was picked off by Issac Hyman to end the threat. Tampa Bay out-rushed Houston 106-68 with Ronald Jones leading the way for all rushers with 77 yards and a TD (Houston was led by DeShaun Watson with 37 yards, Carlos Hyde had Houston’s lone rushing TD). Winston threw for 335 yards and the Justin Watson TD but was sacked three times with four interceptions (including the one that ended the contest), while DeShaun Watson threw for 184 with five interceptions and a sack. Tampa Bay went 9 of 17 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and including the final 21 seconds of the contest, kept the ball for 30:28, while the Texans kept the pigskin for 29:32, going 4 of 14 on third down but had success in their only fourth down try.

They met in the Big Peach in week 12 and Tampa Bay came away with the 35-22 win over their NFC South rivals. Atlanta led 10-7 at the end of the first quarter, then watched the Buccaneers score 12 second-quarter points unchallenged to lead 19-10 at the intermission. Tampa Bay, who would get TDs from DL Veta Vea and DT Ndamukong Suh, outscored Atlanta 16-12 in the final 30 minutes of action to seal Atlanta’s fate. Tampa Bay out-rushed Atlanta 133-57 and Winston threw for 313 yards with a pair of TDs (Winston was picked off twice), while Ryan threw for 271 yards, was sacked six times and picked off once before being replaced by Matt Schaub (55 yards, TD to Calvin Ridley). Tampa Bay went 6 of 13 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 28:22, while the Falcons actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for for 31:38, while going 4 of 16 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

In the week 12 contest in the Big Peach, Atlanta was favored by 4 1/2 and Tampa Bay covered, winning by 13 and both teams covered the 52 over/under, tallying 57 points. This time, the odds-makers in Vegas like Tampa Bay as 1 1/2-point favorites and the over/under comes in at 47 1/2. A Tampa Bay win gives the Bucs second place to themselves behind New Orleans in the NFC South, while the Falcons are looking for revenge from their loss in the Big Peach from their week 12 contest and a win for them would tie them with Tampa Bay. The tie binds here. Atlanta covers the 1 1/2 in the Sunshine State and wins in Tampa Bay for the second straight year.

New York Jets (6-9) at Buffalo (10-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. They met in the Meadowlands to start the season and now they meet in upstate New York to close things out. Buffalo hosts the New York Jets in Orchard Park to close out the 20199 regular season.

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! damaged Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes last Sunday at Met Life Stadium, holding off the Steelers 16-10 in upstate New Jersey. The Steelers and Jets went into the locker room tied at 10-10 after Robbie Anderson and Steven Ficken opened New York’s scoring (Anderson scoring on a 23-yard pass from Sam Darnold and a 54-yard field goal by Ficken for the Jets) before Chris Boswell (49-yard field goal) and WR Dioante Johnson (29-yard TD pass from Mason Rudolph) evened things up. Ficken would give the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! the lead back for keeps with a pair of field goals to make it a 16-10 contest, then held off a late Pittsburgh rally to seal the win in the Meadowlands.

Neither club breached the 100-yard barrier in the contest but the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! did manage to out-rush Pittsburgh 85-75 and Darnonld threw for 183 yards and a TD without an interception (he was sacked twice), while Rudolph (taking over for Delvin Hodges) threw for 129 yards and a TD with a sack. GangGreen went 4 of 15 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 28:28, while the Steelers actually ruled the clock, holding on to the pigskin for 31:32, going 3 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The Bills watched Tom Brady and the New England Patriots take the AFC East title in Foxboro last Saturday, falling to the Patriots 24-17 at Gillette Stadium. The two AFC East rivals went to the intermission tied at 10-10 before the Bills would take the lead with 7:25 left in the third when Josh Allen and John Brown connected on a 53-yard TD toss. New England then proceeded to chip away at the lead with 10:45 left in regulation when Nick Folk connected on a 20-yard field goal, then took the lead for keeps with 5:06 left in the contest when Patriots RB Rex Burkhead scored from a yard out. New England then went for two and Brady and WR Josh Edleman connected on the try. Buffalo would get the ball back and made their way down the field, getting as close as the Patroits’ 15-yard line before the drive stalled as Allen’s pass to Cole Beasley sailed in complete.

New England out-rushed Buffalo 143-92 with Patriots RB Sony Michel leading the way with 96 yards; Allen threw for 208 yards with a pair of TDs, while Brady threw for 271 yards and a TD to Matt LaCosse (Allen was sacked four times and neither man threw an interception). The Bills were a dismal 2 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 21:08, while New England ruled the clock, holding on to the pigskin for 38:52, while going 7 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

They got things started right away, meeting in week one in the Meadowlands and the Bills circled their wagons, coming away 17-16 winners at Met Life Stadium. GangGreen led 6-0 at the break and took a 16-3 lead with them to the start of the fourth quarter before the Bills responded with 14 fourth-quarter points unchallenged, using a 3-yard run by Allen and a 38-yard pass from Allen to WR John Brown to take the lead for keeps. The Bills would then go on to stop a GangGreen rally that could have given the home team the win in the closing seconds of the contest.

Buffalo out-rushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 128-68 with Bills RB Devin Singletary leading the way with 70 yards, while LeVeon Bell led New York with 60. Allen threw for 254 yards with the TD pass to Brown (in addition to his rushing TD) and was sacked once and threw a pair of interceptions, while Darnold threw for 175 yards with a TD to Bell and was sacked four times. Buffalo was 5 of 10 on third down tries in the Meadowlands (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:59, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were rulers of time, keeping the ball for 32:01, going 7 of 17 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

GangGreen was favored by 3 in the week one opener in the Meadowlands and while Buffalo won, they did not cover the spread, winning by 1 and the 40 1/2 over/under? It would stay intact, as both teams combined for 33 points. This time, the Bills are favored in upstate New York by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 36. In GangGreen’s defense, they have been playing some decent football of late but they’re not going to the post-season. Bills prove that the first meeting was not a fluke, circles the wagons and covers the 1 1/2 in upstate New York.

Cleveland (6-9) at Cincinnati (1-14), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of struggling Buckeye State teams meet along the shores of the Ohio River as Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals host Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium. Both teams took losses in last week’s contests.

The Browns struggled against Baltimore and Lamar Jackson as the Ravens left First Energy Field 31-15 winners. After a scoreless first quarter, Cleveland took the lead with 11:53 left before the half when Mayfield and TE Demetrius Harris connected on a 1-yard TD pass. Baltimore would later respond with a pair of TD passes from Jackson to TE Mark Andrews to lead by seven at the break. Cleveland would eventually pull themselves to within nine with 8:01 left in the contest when Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. connected on a 3-yard TD toss (Cleveland would miss the two-point try). It would be as close as the Browns would get, as the Ravens’ Justice Hill put the nail in Cleveland’s coffin, scoring on an 18-yard run.

Jackson led all rushers with 103 yards, while throwing three TD passes (he threw for 238 yards and was not sacked or intercepted) as the Ravens out-rushed Cleveland 243-49, with Mayfield throwing for 192 yards with the pair of TD passes and an interception. The Ravens were 7 of 11 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:19 to Cleveland’s 25:41 (the Brown were 3 of 12 on third down tries).

A Cincinnati rally that sent their contest with Miami into overtime went for nothing as the Dolphins stormed back in overtime and came away 38-35 winners at Hard Rock Stadium. The Dolphins led 21-6 at the intermission and took a 28-12 lead into the final quarter of regulation before the Bengals went on their tear in that period, scoring their last 22 points in that frame unchallenged, tying the contest up as time expired in regulation when TE Tyler Eifert and Andy Dalton connected on a 25-yard TD toss to put them to within 2. Dalton then took matters into his own feet, scoring on the two-point try to send the contest into the extra period. Each team would get the ball twice and each punted to the other team. With 3:19 left in the extra period, Miami would get the ball back and make the most of it, using all of the 3:19 left on the clock on a 10-play, 51-yard drive, sending Dolphins fans home happy with Jason Sanders booting a 37-yard field goal as time expired.

Neither the Bengals or Dolphins breached the 100-yard barrier but Miami did come close and out-rushed Cincinnati 96-59. Fitzpatrick, who has now thrown four TD passes in a game for five different teams, threw for 419 yards, was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Dalton threw for 396 yards with four TDs (two to Tyler Boyd) and was sacked four times. The Bengals were 4 of 18 on third down but perfect in their three fourth down tries, holding on to the ball for 33:36, while the Dolphins ruled the clock and including the final 3:19 of overtime, kept the ball for 36:24, while going 6 of 16 on third down.

They met in week 14 along the shores of Lake Erie and the Browns came away 27-19 winners at First Energy Field. Cleveland led their in-state rivals 14-13 at the intermission, then proceeded to outscore the Bengals 13-6 in the second half, using a pair of Austin Siebert field goals to ice the contest away. Cincinnati out-rushed Cleveland 179-146 with Bengals RB Joe Mixon leading all rushers with 146 yards and a rushing TD, while the Browns were led by Nick Chubb, who tallied 106 yards on 15 carries. Mayfield threw for 192 yards and had a rushing TD, while Dalton threw for 262 yards (Mayfield was sacked once and picked off twice, while Dalton was picked off once and sacked twice). The Browns went 7 of 12 on third down tries and held the ball for 25:29, while the Bengals ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 34:31 and 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Cleveland was favored by 8 1/2 in the week 14 contest along the shores of Lake Erie and barely missed the spread, winning by 8. The two clubs did manage to cover the 42 1/2 over/under, tallying 46 points in the contest. Cleveland’s favored again, this time by 3 and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Neither team is going anywhere this year and the Browns are looking to finish strong, while the Bengals are preparing to pick first in the 2020 NFL Draft. Cleveland covers the 3 and closes out the season with the win on the road in the Buckeye State.

Miami (4-11) at New England (12-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of AFC East rivals close out the 2019 campaign in Foxboro as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots host the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Both teams were winners at home in their contests last week.

Miami overcame a Cincinnati rally that sent their contest with the Bengals into overtime and came away 38-35 winners at Hard Rock Stadium. The Dolphins led 21-6 at the intermission and took a 28-12 lead into the final quarter of regulation before the Bengals went on their tear in that period, scoring their last 22 points in that frame unchallenged, tying the contest up as time expired in regulation when TE Tyler Eifert and Andy Dalton connected on a 25-yard TD toss to put them to within 2. Dalton then took matters into his own feet, scoring on the two-point try to send the contest into the extra period. Each team would get the ball twice and each punted to the other team. With 3:19 left in the extra period, Miami would get the ball back and make the most of it, using all of the 3:19 left on the clock on a 10-play, 51-yard drive, sending Dolphins fans home happy with Jason Sanders booting a 37-yard field goal as time expired.

Neither the Bengals or Dolphins breached the 100-yard barrier but Miami did come close and out-rushed Cincinnati 96-59. Fitzpatrick, who has now thrown four TD passes in a game for five different teams, threw for 419 yards, was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Dalton threw for 396 yards with four TDs (two to Tyler Boyd) and was sacked four times. The Bengals were 4 of 18 on third down but perfect in their three fourth down tries, holding on to the ball for 33:36, while the Dolphins ruled the clock and including the final 3:19 of overtime, kept the ball for 36:24, while going 6 of 16 on third down.

Brady and the New England Patriots took the AFC East title in Foxboro last Saturday, beating AFC East rival Buffalo 24-17 at Gillette Stadium. The two AFC East rivals went to the intermission tied at 10-10 before the Bills would take the lead with 7:25 left in the third when Josh Allen and John Brown connected on a 53-yard TD toss. New England then proceeded to chip away at the lead with 10:45 left in regulation when Nick Folk connected on a 20-yard field goal, then took the lead for keeps with 5:06 left in the contest when Patriots RB Rex Burkhead scored from a yard out. New England then went for two and Brady and WR Josh Edleman connected on the try. Buffalo would get the ball back and made their way down the field, getting as close as the Patroits’ 15-yard line before the drive stalled as Allen’s pass to Cole Beasley sailed in complete.

New England out-rushed Buffalo 143-92 with Patriots RB Sony Michel leading the way with 96 yards; Allen threw for 208 yards with a pair of TDs, while Brady threw for 271 yards and a TD to Matt LaCosse (Allen was sacked four times and neither man threw an interception). The Bills were a dismal 2 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 21:08, while New England ruled the clock, holding on to the pigskin for 38:52, while going 7 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

New England’s win gives them their 11th consecutive division title, extends record for most consecutive division titles since 1970 (Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams 7). The Patriots 16th consecutive win over Buffalo ties them for the 3rd longest NFL win streak vs. single opponent and New England’s 13th 12-win season since merger, ties them for the most all-time (San Francisco). As for Brady, his 32nd career win vs. Bills extends the NFL record for wins vs. single opponent.

They met in week two in the Sunshine State and Brady and the Pats pitched a 43-0 shutout at Hard Rock Stadium. New England led 13-0 at the intermission, then proceeded to floor the gas in the second half, scoring their last 30 points of the contest unchallenged. New England out-rushed Miami 126-42 with Michel leading all rushers with 85 yards and a TD, while Brady threw for 264 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions (he was sacked twice) and Fitzpatrick throwing for 89 yards with three interceptions before being benched in favor of Josh Rosen (who threw an interception with 97 yards in the air). New England went 6 of 11 on third down and were misers with the ball, holding on it for 36:30, while the Dolphins, who kept the pigskin for 23:30, while going 2 of 15 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

In the week two contest in Miami, the Patriots easily covered the 19-point spread, winning by 43 but missed the 47 over/under by 4 points. New England’s favored again, this time by 15 and the over/under’s 44 1/2. The Dolphins have actually gotten better over the last few weeks but their dream comes to an end in Foxboro. While Miami makes it closer than 15, Brady and the Pats win in Foxboro.

New Orleans (12-3) at Carolina (5-10), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. New Orleans and Carolina meet in the Tar Heel State to close out the 2019 season at Bank of America Stadium. while the Saints rallied on the road to win in Nashville, the Panthers took another loss, this time losing in the Hoosier State.

New Orleans trailed Tennessee 14-10 at the half, then went on a 28-14 run in the second half to come away 38-28 winners at Nissan Stadium. Saints RB Alvin Kamara’s 40-yard run early in the third quarter gave the Saints the lead for good at 17-14. Kamara would then score again in the quarter, scoring from a yard out to give New Orleans a 24-14 lead late in the quarter before Titans WR Tajaé Sharpe would score the first of his two TDs, connecting with Ryan Tannehill from 36 yards to pull them to within 3. New Orleans then pushed the lead back to 10 with 73 seconds left in the third when Drew Brees and TE Jared Cook connected on a 16-yard TD pass. Tennessee would not go away quietly as Sharpe and Tannehill connected on a second TD pass, this one from seven yards with 7:27 left in regulation.

The Titans would get the ball back with 4:25 left but turned the ball over when WR Kalif Raymond fumbled at the Saints’ 38-yard line and New Orleans’ Chauncey Gardner-Johnson would recover in decent field position. The Saints, with a short field, would then go on a 6-play, 25-yard drive that used 1:56 of clock to put a nail in Tennessee’s coffin as WR Michael Thomas, who surpassed Marvin Harrison for the all-time passes caught record, caught a 2-yard TD toss from Brees with 2:10 left. New Orleans then held off a late Tennessee rally, ran out the clock and took the win in the Music City.

Tennessee actually out-rushed New Orleans 149-102 but Kamara led all rushers with 80 yards and the two rushing TDs, while Brees threw for 279 yards and three TDs (two of them to Cook, one to Thomas; Thomas had 12 catches for 136 yards), while Tannehill threw for 272 yards with three TDs (Brees was sacked three times, Tannehill was sacked five times and neither man threw an interception). Both teams were 0 for 1 on fourth down; the Saints were 4 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 31:04, while the Titans held the pigskin for 28:56, going 5 of 13 on third down.

Carolina watched Indianapolis use a pair of punt returns from running back Nyheim Hines (84 and 71 yards) in their 38-6 win last Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Carolina was held to a pair of Jeff Slye field goals, trailed 21-3 at the half, then watched the Colts floor the gas in the final 30 minutes of play in the Hoosier State, outpacing the Panthers 17-3.

The Colts out-rushed Carolina 218-87 and Colts RB Marlon Mack led all rushers with 95 yards and a TD, while Collin McCaffrey led Carolina (who lost their seventh contest in a row, with interm head coach Perry Fewell looking for his first win) with 54 yards. Brissett threw for 119 yards and while he did not have a passing TD or interception, he did have a rushing TD in the win, while Will Grier (taking over for Kyle Allen) threw for 224 yards (Grier was sacked five times and threw three interceptions, while Brissett was sacked three times). The Panthers were 4 of 14 on third down (they went 2 of 4 on fourth down) and would actually rule the clock, keeping the ball for 32:21, while the Colts, holding the pigskin for 27:39, went 4 of 11 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The contest in week 12 in the Big Easy was a nail-biter to the end and the Saints’ Wil Lutz kicked a 33-yard field goal as time expired in regulation to take the 34-31 win. New Orleans led 17-15 at the intermission before Carolina chipped away at the lead, first pulling to within seven with 88 seconds left in the third when Christian McCaffrey scored on a 4-yard run, then tying things up with 9:23 when WR D.J. Moore and Allen connected on a 2-yard TD pass. Carolina had a chance to take the lead in regulation with two minutes left but Jeff Slye’s 28-yard field goal try sailed wide right. That miss gave the Saints the ball with 1:56 left in regulation and they would use all of that 1:56 on an 11-play, 65-yard drive with Lutz’s try sailing through the uprights.

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

In the week 12 contest in the Big Easy, the Saints were favored by 9 1/2 but won by only three but New Orleans and Carolina cleared the 46 1/2 over/under with 65 combined points. The Saints are favored this time by 13 and the over/under’s 44 1/2. The 44 1/2 is reasonable…. the 13 sounds a bit steep. Carolina took them to the edge in their last meeting in the Big Easy and under Fewell, the Panthers have actually played some decent football. New Orleans wants to be home for the playoffs, while the Panthers look for revenge in the Tar Heel State. Carolina’s finer in Charlotte as the Panthers give Perry Fewell his first win as interim head coach, pulling off the upset at Bank of America Stadium.

Green Bay (12-3) at Detroit (3-11-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. The top team in the NFC North (or Norris, as ESPN’s Chris Berman calls it) meets the bottom team in the divison as Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers travel to the Motor City to face off against the Detroit Lions.

Green Bay won the NFC North title in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, overcoming three turnovers (Rodgers interception, two fumbles) to take a 23-10 win over Kirk Cousins and Minnesota Monday night. The Packers trailed 10-9 at the intermission at US Bank Stadium, then proceeded to score their final 14 points of the contest in the second half unchallenged, with Green Bay’s Aaron Jones scoring a pair of TDs in the half, including a 56-yard run that sealed the fate of the Vikings.

Jones led all rushers with 154 yards as the Packers out-rushed Minnesota 184-57, with Rodgers throwing for 216 yards and three sacks, while Cousins threw for 122 yards and a TD to WR Stefon Diggs with five sacks (both QBs threw an interception). Green Bay went 5 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 37:32, while the Vikings kept the pigskin for 22:28, going 4 of 15 on third down and 0 for 2 on fourth down.

Detroit lost their eighth contest in a row as Denver erased a 10-10 tie at the intermission and came away with the 27-17 win Sunday afternoon at Empower Field at Mile High. Broncos kicker Brian McManus gave the home team the lead for good, connecting on a 26-yard field goal early in the third quarter. Detroit’s Kenny Golladay would then catch a 3-yard TD pass from Daniel Blough to pull them to within four with 3:51 in the third before Denver scored 14 fourth-quarter points unchallenged, using TDs from WR DaeSean Hamilton and RB Phillip Lindsay to seal the win.

Lindsay led all rushers with 109 yards with the TD as the Broncos out-rushed Detroit 150-96 and Drew Lock threw for 192 yards with the Hamilton TD with no sacks or interceptions, while Blough threw for 117 yards with the Golladay TD with 4 sacks but no interceptions. Detroit went 4 of 11 on third down (the Lions were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:52, while the Broncos kept the pigskin for 36:08, going 5 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Green Bay and Detroit met at Lambeau in week six on a Monday night and the Packers prevailed 23-22 in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst. The Lions led 13-10 at the intermission before the Packers went to work to erase the lead, tying things at 13-13 with 12:35 left in the third on Mason Crosby’s 48-yard field goal. Detroit’s Matt Prather would give Detroit the lead back with three field goals, with the last score coming with 12:17 left in regulation from 54 yards out. That would be the last that the Lions would see the lead as Green Bay would pull themselves to within two with 9:03 left in the contest when Rodgers and WR Allen Lazard connected on a 35-yard TD pass. After a Detroit punt, Green Bay got the ball back with 6:46 left in the contest and they would use all of that 6:46 to go on a 14-play, 77-yard drive, sending Packers fans home happy campers as Crosby would connect on a 23-yard field goal as the clock struck :00.

Green Bay out-rushed the Lions 170-56 with Packers RB Jamaal Williams leading all rushers with 104 yards; Rodgers threw for 283 yards with the two TDs, a sack and an interception, while Matthew Stafford threw for 265 yards with three sacks and no TDs but no interceptions. Green Bay was 4 of 12 on third down and including the final 6:46 of the contest, kept the ball for 33:04, while the Lions held the pigskin for 26:56, going 3 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In their Monday night week six contest at Lambeau, the Packers were favored by 4 1/2 but won by 1 and the two teams tallied for 45 points, missing the over/under by 2. Green Bay’s favored by 12 1/2 in the Motor City and the over/under’s 43. Granted, the Lions are bad but they’re not 12 1/2 bad and they would love nothing more than to spoil Green Bay’s playoff plans. Sorry, kitties… not gonna happen. Detroit may make it closer than the 12 1/2 but Rodgers and the Packers prevail in the Motor City with the win.

Chicago (7-8) at Minnesota (10-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Chicago and Minnesota, NFC North rivals, meet in the season finale in the 2019 campaign in the Twin Cities. Both teams look to rebound after losing at home last week.

The Monsters of the Midway were held to a 46-yard field goal by Eddie Pinerio as time expired in the third quarter as Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes would take a 26-3 win over Da Bears at Soldier Field. Kansas City led 17-0 at the intermission as Mahomes used a rushing TD in the first and a TD pass to TE Travis Kelce as part of that scoring binge, tallying all of those first half points unchallenged. Kansas City out-rushed Chicago 106-101 with Chiefs RB Damien Williams leading all rushers with 65 and Mahomes threw for 251 yards with a pair of TDs to go with his rushing TD, while Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky threw for 157 yards (neither threw an interception, Trubisky was sacked three times, Mahomes was sacked once). Kansas City was 6 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 33:24, while Chicago, keeping the ball for 26:36, went 5 of 12 on third down, 0 of 3 on fourth down.

Vikings fans watched Green Bay win the NFC North title in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, as the Packers overcame three turnovers (Rodgers interception, two fumbles) to take a 23-10 win over Kirk Cousins and Minnesota Monday night. The Packers trailed 10-9 at the intermission at US Bank Stadium, then proceeded to score their final 14 points of the contest in the second half unchallenged, with Green Bay’s Aaron Jones scoring a pair of TDs in the half, including a 56-yard run that sealed the fate of the Vikings.

Jones led all rushers with 154 yards as the Packers out-rushed Minnesota 184-57, with Rodgers throwing for 216 yards and three sacks, while Cousins threw for 122 yards and a TD to WR Stefon Diggs with five sacks (both QBs threw an interception). Green Bay went 5 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 37:32, while the Vikings kept the pigskin for 22:28, going 4 of 15 on third down and 0 for 2 on fourth down.

They met in week four in the Windy City and Minnesota left Chicago on the short end of a 16-6 loss to Da Bears. The Vikings trailed 10-0 at the half at Soldier Field and trailed 16-0 at the end of three quarters before they would put a dent in the scoreboard with 2:58 left in the contest when Devin Cook scored from a yard out. The Vikings missed the extra point, which forced them to try the onside kick. Chicago recovered the kick and ran the clock out to take the win. Chicago, who opened the scoring with a Tank Cohen TD pass from backup QB Chase Daniel late in the first quarter, used three Eddie Pineiro field goals to give Da Bears their points. Chicago out-rushed Minnesota 72-40 and Daniel, who took over for Mitchell Trubisky, threw for 195 yards and the TD, while Kirk Cousins threw for 233 yards (Cousins was sacked six times, Daniel was sacked once and neither threw an interception). Minnesota went 5 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 24:33, while Chicago ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 35:27, going 5 of 16 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Da Bears covered the 2-point spread in the Windy City, winning by 10 at Soldier Field but the 22 total points that the Monsters of the Midway and Minnesota tallied came nowhere near the 38 over/under that was given. Minnesota’s favored by 1 in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and the over/under’s 36 1/2. Both numbers make a ton of sense. For Da Bears, it’s a chance to make their way to the .500 mark, while for the Vikings (locked in as the 5th seed), they’re preparing for a Wild Card game next week. Minnesota covers the 1 in the Twin Cities and win in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Los Angeles Chargers (5-10) at Kansas City (11-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. They met South of the Border in their first meeting. This time, a pair of AFC West/AFC rivals meet in the Show-Me State as Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs host Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers at Arrowhead.

The Chargers closed out their home half of the 2019 campaign falling short against Oakland last Sunday in Carson at Dignity Health Sports Park, falling to the Raiders 24-17 last Sunday. The Bolts trailed 14-7 at the intermission, then pulled themselves to within seven with 89 seconds left in the contest on a 27-yard field goal by Mark Badgley. Los Angeles then tried an onside kick, which Oakland recovered. The Raiders then proceeded to run out the clock and take the win in their final contest in the state of California.

Neither club breached the 100-yard barrier but Oakland out-rushed the Chargers 99-19 with Raiders RB DeAndre Washington leading the way with 85 yards and a TD. Rivers threw for 279 yards and was sacked once, while Derek Carr threw for 291 yards and a TD toss to WR Hunter Renfrow (Renfrow had seven catches for 107 yards; Carr was sacked three times, Rivers was sacked once and neither threw an interception). Oakland was 7 of 14 on third down and kept the ball to themselves for 33:24, while the Chargers kept the pigskin for 26:36, while going 3 of 11 on third down (both teams were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

The Chiefs, winners of the AFC West, held Chicago to a 46-yard field goal by Eddie Pinerio as time expired in the third quarter to take a 26-3 win over Da Bears at Soldier Field. Kansas City led 17-0 at the intermission as Mahomes used a rushing TD in the first and a TD pass to TE Travis Kelce as part of that scoring binge, tallying all of those first half points unchallenged. Kansas City out-rushed Chicago 106-101 with Chiefs RB Damien Williams leading all rushers with 65 and Mahomes threw for 251 yards with a pair of TDs to go with his rushing TD, while Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky threw for 157 yards (neither threw an interception, Trubisky was sacked three times, Mahomes was sacked once). Kansas City was 6 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 33:24, while Chicago, keeping the ball for 26:36, went 5 of 12 on third down, 0 of 3 on fourth down.

Their week 11 meeting was south of the border in Mexico City and the Chiefs would hold off the Chargers 24-17 at Azteca Stadium. Kansas City led 10-9 at the intermission in the Monday night contest and pushed their lead to 15 with 4:56 left in the third when the Mahomes-Kelce combo connected on a 23-yard TD toss before the Chargers made the contest a 7-point affair with 1:44 left in regulation when Rivers and WR Keenan Allen connected on a 7-yard TD toss. Kansas City then stopped a Chargers’ rally in the final second of the contest when Rivers was picked off by Daniel Sorensen in the end zone to end the threat.

Kansas City out-rushed the Chargers 130-93 with Chargers RB Melvin Gordon leading all rushers with 69 yards, while Mahomes, who threw for 182 yards (TD to Kelce, sack, interception), had a rushing TD. Rivers threw for 353 yards with the Allen TD and was sacked twice, throwing four interceptions, including the one that ended Los Angeles’ hopes of tying the contest in regulation (Chargers RB Austin Ekeler led all receivers with 108 yards on eight catches, Kelce had 92 yards on seven catches). The Chiefs were 6 of 13 on third downs and held on to the ball for 28:58, while the Chargers kept the ball for 31:02, going 5 of 15 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 11 contest in Mexico City, the Chiefs covered the 3-point spread, winning by 7 but the two teams missed the 52 1/2 over/under, tallying 41 points. The Chiefs are the darlings of the boys and girls in Vegas and the powers in the desert have made them 9-point favorites in the Show-Me State and the over/under’s 44 1/2. The Chargers are playing with house money, while the Chiefs would love nothing more than to win and have a bye next week. Everything’s up to date in Kansas City, including the Chiefs. KC covers the 9 and wins at Arrowhead.

Philadelphia (8-7) at New York Giants (4-11), 4:25 p.m. on FOX on FOX and DirecTV 718. The first-place Philadelphia Eagles make the 90-minute, 95-mile trip down I-95 to face off against the New York Giants in a rematch of NFL East rivals. Both teams were huge winners in last week’s action.

The Eagles kept their playoff hopes alive in the City of Brotherly Love as they held off Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys 17-9 at Century Link Field. The Eagles, in first place in the East, held the Cowboys to three Kai Forbath field goals in the late-afternoon contest, took a 10-6 lead with them to the break, while leading from start to finish, holding off a last-ditch Dallas rally in the closing minutes of the contest. Philadelphia held Dallas to 54 yards, while rushing for 118 yards, with Eagles RB Miles Sanders leading the way with 79 yards, including a 38-yard run that sealed the win for the home team. Carson Wentz threw for 319 yards and a TD to TE Dallas Goedert, while Dallas’ Dak Precott threw for 265 yards (Prescott was sacked twice, Wentz was sacked once and neither threw an interception). Philadelphia was 6 of 14 on third down (the Eagles were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball to themselves for 36:12, while Dallas held the pigskin for 23:48, going 3 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Daniel Jones and the New York Giants need overtime against Washington last Sunday before Big Blue prevailed in Landover, coming away 41-35 winners at Fed Ex Field. New York led 28-14 at the intermission before Washington rallied in the second half of the contest, tying things up with 29 seconds left in regulation when Case Keenum (who took over for DeWayne Haskins) scored on a 1-yard run. It would be the last time that Washington would see the football as the Giants won the toss in overtime and Redskins fans watched with horror as the Giants used an 11-play, 66-yard drive that used 5:45 of the extra period and ending with Jones and Kenny Smith scoring on a 3-yard TD toss with 4:15 left to take the win.

Big Blue out-rushed Washington 206-80 with Sequan Barkley leading the way with 189 yards and a TD; Keenum threw for 158 yards and a passing TD to WR Cam Sims after taking over for Haskins (133 yards, 2 TD, 2 sacks, no interceptions), while Jones threw for 352 yards and five TDs (including the game-winner in overtime) with a sack but no interceptions. Both clubs were 8 of 14 on third down (neither had a fourth down attempt at Fed Ex Field) and Washington actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:48, while the Giants held the pigskin for 31:57.

They met in week 14 in the City of Brotherly Love on a Monday night and the Giants welcomed the return of Eli Manning under center, only to watch Philadelphia and Carson Wentz rally late in that contest, falling to the Eagles 23-17 in overtime at Lincoln Financial Field. After a scoreless first quarter in the City of Brotherly Love, the Giants took a 17-3 lead with them to the break in the Monday night contest, using a pair of Manning TD passes to WR Darius Slayton, only to see the Eagles chip away at the lead as they would rally to pull themselves to within seven with 1:28 left in the third when RB Boston Scott scored on a 2-yard run, then tie things up with 1:53 left in regulation when Wentz and TE Zach Ertz would connect on the first of their two TD passes, the first coming from 2 yards out. Philadelphia would win the toss in overtime and kept Manning (who took over for Daniel Jones, who had an ankle injury) on the bench, as the Eagles marched their way down the field, using an 8-play, 75-yard drive that used 4:50 of clock, ending with Wentz and Ertz connecting on their second TD pass of the night.

Philadelphia out-rushed their NFC East rivals 118-73 (Giants RB Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 66 yards) and Manning threw for 203 yards, while Wentz threw for 325 yards in the overtime affair (Manning was sacked twice, Wentz was sacked three times but neither threw an interception). The Giants on third down were a somewhat dismal 2 of 12 and kept the ball for 21:59, while the Eagles ruled the clock and including the overtime would keep the ball for 42:51, going 9 of 21 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week 14 contest, the Eagles were favored by 8 in the Monday night contest at Lincoln Financial Field but wound up winning by only 6 and both teams missed the 46 1/2 over/under, tallying 40 points. In the rematch in the Meadowlands, the Eagles are again favored, this time by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 45. For the Giants, they want nothing more than to slow down the Eagles’ march to the post-season, if not stop it all together. As for the Eagles? Win and you’re in. Eagles cover the 4 1/2 in upstate New Jersey and win in the Meadowlands.

Tennessee (8-7) at Houston (10-5), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of AFC South rivals meet in the Lone Star State as Tennessee, hoping for a playoff spot, travels to Houston to take on division champion Houston at NRG Stadium.

Tennessee let a 14-10 lead at the half against New Orleans get away from them, then watched as the Saints went on a 28-14 run in the second half to come away 38-28 winners at Nissan Stadium. Saints RB Alvin Kamara’s 40-yard run early in the third quarter gave the Saints the lead for good at 17-14. Kamara would then score again in the quarter, scoring from a yard out to give New Orleans a 24-14 lead late in the quarter before Titans WR Tajaé Sharpe would score the first of his two TDs, connecting with Ryan Tannehill from 36 yards to pull them to within 3. New Orleans then pushed the lead back to 10 with 73 seconds left in the third when Drew Brees and TE Jared Cook connected on a 16-yard TD pass. Tennessee would not go away quietly as Sharpe and Tannehill connected on a second TD pass, this one from seven yards with 7:27 left in regulation.

The Titans would get the ball back with 4:25 left but turned the ball over when WR Kalif Raymond fumbled at the Saints’ 38-yard line and New Orleans’ Chauncey Gardner-Johnson would recover in decent field position. The Saints, with a short field, would then go on a 6-play, 25-yard drive that used 1:56 of clock to put a nail in Tennessee’s coffin as WR Michael Thomas, who surpassed Marvin Harrison for the all-time passes caught record, caught a 2-yard TD toss from Brees with 2:10 left. New Orleans then held off a late Tennessee rally, ran out the clock and took the win in the Music City.

Tennessee actually out-rushed New Orleans 149-102 but Kamara led all rushers with 80 yards and the two rushing TDs, while Brees threw for 279 yards and three TDs (two of them to Cook, one to Thomas; Thomas had 12 catches for 136 yards), while Tannehill threw for 272 yards with three TDs (Brees was sacked three times, Tannehill was sacked five times and neither man threw an interception). Both teams were 0 for 1 on fourth down; the Saints were 4 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 31:04, while the Titans held the pigskin for 28:56, going 5 of 13 on third down.

Houston erased a 17-17 tie against Jameis Winston and Tampa Bay at the intermission last Saturday afternoon, then shut down a final-minute drive as the Texans left Tampa Bay with the AFC South title and a 23-20 win. Houston opened the first half scoring when Winston was picked off by CB Bradley Roby, who returned the ball 27 yards for a TD before the fans were settled in their seats. Winston would eventually atone for that error, as Tampa Bay would tie things up with 13 second left when he and WR Justin Watson scored on an 8-yard TD toss. Kai Fairbairn and Matt Gay would trade field goals in the third quarter, tying the contest at 20-20 before Fairbairn gave Houston the lead for good with 7:11 left in the contest on a 37-yard field goal.

Tampa Bay would get the ball back with 21 seconds left in the contest after the teams traded punts after the Fairburn field goal and the hopes of a win for the Buccaneers came to an end when Winston was picked off by Issac Hyman to end the threat. Tampa Bay out-rushed Houston 106-68 with Ronald Jones leading the way for all rushers with 77 yards and a TD (Houston was led by Watson with 37 yards, Carlos Hyde had Houston’s lone rushing TD). Winston threw for 335 yards and the Justin Watson TD but was sacked three times with four interceptions (including the one that ended the contest), while DeShaun Watson threw for 184 with five interceptions and a sack. Tampa Bay went 9 of 17 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and including the final 21 seconds of the contest, kept the ball for 30:28, while the Texans kept the pigskin for 29:32, going 4 of 14 on third down but had success in their only fourth down try.

They met in week 15 in the Music City and Tennessee wound up on the short end of a 24-21 loss to AFC South rival Houston in Nashville. After a scoreless first quarter at Nissan Stadium, Houston scored a pair of second-quarter TD passes from Watson to Kevin Stills to lead 14-0 at the break. Tennessee would even things up in the second half as Titans QB Ryan Tannehill would score on a 3-yard run in the third and a Tannehill TD pass to A.J. Brown early in the fourth quarter before the Texans would take the lead back for good when RB Carlos Hyde scored on a 10-yard run and added to that lead with a 29-yard field goal by Kai Forbath with 3:26 left in regulation. Tennessee would not go away quietly, narrowing the lead to 3 with 2:04 left when Tannehill and RB Dion Lewis connected on an 11-yard pass. Houston later sealed the win in the final seconds of the contest when they sacked Tannehill for an eight-yard loss at their 4-yard line. With no time outs, Tannehill spiked the ball in an effort to stop the clock. There was one problem… there was one second left in the contest and when he spiked the ball, that ended the contest.

Tennessee out-rushed Houston 163-140 and Hyde led all rushers with 104 yards along with the TD, while Derrek Henry led Tennessee with 86; Watson threw for 243 yards and the two first-half TDs to Stills, while Tannehill threw for 279 yards and a pair of TDs (Watson was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions, Tannehill was sacked twice and threw an interception). Houston was 5 of 10 on third down conversions and held the ball for 31:20, while the Titans kept the pigskin for 28:40 (including the final 2:04 of the contest) and were 4 of 10 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week 15 contest in the Music City, Tennessee was favored by 3 and the Texans covered, winning by 3 but both teams missed the 48 over/under, tallying 45 points. Houston’s favored this time, as the boys and girls in Vegas like them as 3 1/2-point favorites in the Lone Star State with a 45 1/2 over/under. For the Titans, it’s win and wait, while the Texans have their hay in the barn. Houston covers the 3 1/2 in the Lone Star State and takes the win at home.

Pittsburgh (8-7) at Baltimore (13-2), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. They again, this time they will meet in Charm City. One’s already in the post-season party, the other’s hoping to get an invite. Pittsburgh, with slim playoff hopes, travels to Baltimore to face off against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.

Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes took a hit last Sunday at Met Life Stadium against the New York Jets, as they would hold off the Steelers 16-10 in upstate New Jersey. The Steelers and Jets went into the locker room tied at 10-10 after Robbie Anderson and Steven Ficken opened New York’s scoring (Anderson scoring on a 23-yard pass from Sam Darnold and a 54-yard field goal by Ficken for the Jets) before Chris Boswell (49-yard field goal) and WR Dioante Johnson (29-yard TD pass from Mason Rudolph) evened things up. Ficken would give the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! the lead back for keeps with a pair of field goals to make it a 16-10 contest, then held off a late Pittsburgh rally to seal the win in the Meadowlands.

Neither club breached the 100-yard barrier in the contest but the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! did manage to out-rush Pittsburgh 85-75 and Darnonld threw for 183 yards and a TD without an interception (he was sacked twice), while Rudolph (taking over for Delvin Hodges) threw for 129 yards and a TD with a sack. GangGreen went 4 of 15 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 28:28, while the Steelers actually ruled the clock, holding on to the pigskin for 31:32, going 3 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Baltimore and Lamar Jackson took home field advantage for the 2019 AFC playoffs as the Ravens left First Energy Field 31-15 winners last Sunday. After a scoreless first quarter, Cleveland took the lead with 11:53 left before the half when Mayfield and TE Demetrius Harris connected on a 1-yard TD pass. Baltimore would later respond with a pair of TD passes from Jackson to TE Mark Andrews to lead by seven at the break. Cleveland would eventually pull themselves to within nine with 8:01 left in the contest when Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. connected on a 3-yard TD toss (Cleveland would miss the two-point try). It would be as close as the Browns would get, as the Ravens’ Justice Hill put the nail in Cleveland’s coffin, scoring on an 18-yard run.

Jackson led all rushers with 103 yards, while throwing three TD passes (he threw for 238 yards and was not sacked or intercepted) as the Ravens out-rushed Cleveland 243-49, with Mayfield throwing for 192 yards with the pair of TD passes and an interception. The Ravens were 7 of 11 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:19 to Cleveland’s 25:41 (the Brown were 3 of 12 on third down tries).

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

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

Batlimore was favored by 3 1/2 in the Steel City in the week 5 meeting and won the overtime contest by 3 points. The two clubs did cover the 44 1/2 over/under with 49 points. Pittsburgh’s favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 37 1/2. The Steelers’ playoff hopes are on the line, while the Ravens hold on to the top spot in the AFC playoff party. For the Steelers, it was fun while it lasted. Ravens cover the 1 1/2 and win in Charm City.

Indianapolis (7-8) at Jacksonville (5-10), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. A pair of AFC South rivals close things out in the Sunshine State as Jacoby Brissett and the Indianapolis Colts travel to TIAA Stadium for a late afternoon contest with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Colts used a pair of punt returns from running back Nyheim Hines (84 and 71 yards) in their 38-6 win over struggling Carolina last Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis, holding Carolina to a pair of Jeff Slye field goals, led 21-3 at the half, then floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of play in the Hoosier State, outpacing the Panthers 17-3.

The Colts out-rushed Carolina 218-87 and Colts RB Marlon Mack led all rushers with 95 yards and a TD, while Collin McCaffrey led Carolina (who lost their seventh contest in a row, with interim head coach Perry Fewell looking for his first win) with 54 yards. Brissett threw for 119 yards and while he did not have a passing TD or interception, he did have a rushing TD in the win, while Will Grier (taking over for Kyle Allen) threw for 224 yards (Grier was sacked five times and threw three interceptions, while Brissett was sacked three times). The Panthers were 4 of 14 on third down (they went 2 of 4 on fourth down) and would actually rule the clock, keeping the ball for 32:21, while the Colts, holding the pigskin for 27:39, went 4 of 11 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Jacksonville continued their struggle of a 2019 season, taking a 24-12 loss in Atlanta Sunday afternoon. Jacksonville trailed from start to finish, as the Falcons used a pair of first-quarter TDs from DeVonta Freeman (one rushing, one passing), taking a 17-3 lead with them to the break.

Atlanta out-rushed Jacksonville 135-115 with Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette leading all rushers with 71 yards (Brian Hill led Atlanta with 66 yards), while Ryan threw for 384 yards and a TD to Freeman (Ryan’s favorite target, Julio Jones, led all receievers with 10 catches, good for 166 yards) with Gardner Minshew II throwing for 181 yards and a TD to Chris Conley (Ryan was sacked once and threw a pair of interceptions, while Minshew was sacked three times). Atlanta was 7 of 13 on third down in the Big Peach and was somewhat “Grinch-like” with the ball, keeping it for 33:07, while the Jaguars kept the pigskin for 26:53, going 3 of 14 on third down, 3 of 4 on fourth down.

They met in week 11 in the Hoosier State and Jacksonville could never get themselves on track in Indianapolis as they fell to Jacoby Brissett and the Colts 33-13 at Lucas Oil Stadium. After Jacksonville’s D.J. Chark gave them a 7-0 lead in the first, the Colts evened things up with 35 seconds left in the quarter on a 13-yard run by RB Marlon Mack. Indianapolis then broke the tie on a 34-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri to take a 10-3 lead with them to the intermission, then scored 14 third quarter points unchallenged and added a 7-yard TD run by Nyheim Hines to widen the deficit. Jacksonville would score again late in the contest when Chark scored on a 20-yard TD toss from Nick Foles but the Colts then proceeded to add insult to injury when rookie LB Bobby Okereke scored on a defensive 2-point conversion to close things out.

The Colts rushed for 264 yards in the win, with Jonathan Williams (116 yards) and Mack (109 yards) leading the way, while Indianapolis held Jacksonville to a dismal season-low 29 yards. Brissett returned to the lineup, throwing for 148 yards with a TD toss to Marcus Johnson and had a rushing TD of his own, while Foles threw for 296 yards and the two TDs to Chark but was sacked twice and Brissett was sacked three times (both men threw an interception). The Colts went 4 of 11 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 33:52, while Jacksonville, keeping the ball for 26:08, went 6 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The Colts were favored by 5 in the week 11 contest in the Hoosier State and easily covered, winning by 20 and both teams combined for 46 points, covering the 43 1/2 over/under. In round two in the Sunshine State, the Colts are favored by 4 and the over/under’s 43. Neither team will be going to the post-season and both teams will make their draft preparations on Monday. Colts cover the 4 in the Sunshine State and takes the win in north Florida.

Oakland (7-8) at Denver (6-9), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. A pair of AFC West/AFL foes meet in the Mile High City as Oakland travels to Denver to face off against the Broncos.

The Silver and Black played their final game in the state of California and came away with a 24-17 last Sunday over AFC West/AFL rival Los Angeles Chargers. Oakland led 14-7 at the intermission, then watch the Chargers pull themselves to within seven with 89 seconds left in the contest on a 27-yard field goal by Mark Badgley. Los Angeles then tried an onside kick, which Oakland recovered. The Raiders then proceeded to run out the clock and take the win in their final contest in the state of California.

Neither club breached the 100-yard barrier but Oakland out-rushed the Chargers 99-19 with Raiders RB DeAndre Washington leading the way with 85 yards and a TD. Rivers threw for 279 yards and was sacked once, while Derek Carr threw for 291 yards and a TD toss to WR Hunter Renfrow (Renfrow had seven catches for 107 yards; Carr was sacked three times, Rivers was sacked once and neither threw an interception). Oakland was 7 of 14 on third down and kept the ball to themselves for 33:24, while the Chargers kept the pigskin for 26:36, while going 3 of 11 on third down (both teams were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

Denver gave Detroit their eighth contest in a row as the Broncos erased a 10-10 tie at the intermission and came away with 27-17 winners Sunday afternoon at Empower Field at Mile High. Broncos kicker Brian McManus gave the home team the lead for good, connecting on a 26-yard field goal early in the third quarter. Detroit’s Kenny Golladay would then catch a 3-yard TD pass from Daniel Blough to pull them to within four with 3:51 in the third before Denver scored 14 fourth-quarter points unchallenged, using TDs from WR DaeSean Hamilton and RB Phillip Lindsay to seal the win.

Lindsay led all rushers with 109 yards with the TD as the Broncos out-rushed Detroit 150-96 and Drew Lock threw for 192 yards with the Hamilton TD with no sacks or interceptions, while Blough threw for 117 yards with the Golladay TD with 4 sacks but no interceptions. Detroit went 4 of 11 on third down (the Lions were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:52, while the Broncos kept the pigskin for 36:08, going 5 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

They met in the season opener in Oakland and the Raiders held off a late Denver rally last Monday night at home to take a 24-16 decision. The Silver and Black led 14-0 at the half before Denver made their first dent on the scoreboard in the third when K Brian McManus kicked a pair of 26-yard field goals in the frame. Denver would pull themselves to within eight with 2:15 when Broncos QB Joe Flacco (269 yards, three sacks) and WR Emmanuel Sanders connected on a 1-yard toss. The Broncos then tried and failed on the onside kick attempt, giving Oakland the ball back and allowing them to run out the clock. Oakland outrushed Denver 98-95 and Flacco threw for 268 yards with three sacks, while Derek Carr threw for 259 yards with a TD and no sacks (both Flacco and Carr did not throw an interception). Denver on third down tries went 6 of 13 and the Broncos kept the ball for 27:15, while the Silver and Black held on to the pigskin for 32:45, going 10 of 14 on third down tries. (neither club had a fourth down attempt)

Oakland was favored by 7 in the season opener in northern California and they covered, winning by 8 but the two teams missed the 42 over/under, tallying 40 points. Denver’s favored by 3 1/2 in the Mile High City and the over/under’s 41. Oakland’s playoff hopes are pretty much on life support and the Raiders need a lot of things to happen if they want to be the six seed in the AFC Championship round. As for the Broncos, they would love nothing more than to put Oakland out of their misery. Denver covers the 3 1/2 in the Mile High City and knocks the Raiders out of the post-season.

Washington (3-12) at Dallas (7-8), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. The records? Forget them. They STILL don’t like each other and don’t expect the exchange of Christmas greetings this week. Dallas and Dak Prescott, fighting for its playoff lives, host Washington in a MUST win game for the Cowboys in Jerry World. Both teams took losses on the East Coast last week.

The Redskins, with nothing really to play for, took Daniel Jones and the New York Giants to overtime before Big Blue prevailed in Landover, falling to the Giants 41-35 at Fed Ex Field. Washington trailed 28-14 at the intermission before they rallied in the second half of the contest, tying things up with 29 seconds left in regulation when Case Keenum (who took over for DeWayne Haskins) scored on a 1-yard run. It would be the last time that Washington would see the football as the Giants won the toss in overtime and Redskins fans watched with horror as the Giants used an 11-play, 66-yard drive that used 5:45 of the extra period and ending with Jones and Kenny Smith scoring on a 3-yard TD toss with 4:15 left to take the win.

Washington was out-rushed by Big Blue 206-80 with Sequan Barkley leading the way with 189 yards and a TD; Keenum threw for 158 yards and a passing TD to WR Cam Sims after taking over for Haskins (133 yards, 2 TD, 2 sacks, no interceptions), while Jones threw for 352 yards and five TDs (including the game-winner in overtime) with a sack but no interceptions. Both clubs were 8 of 14 on third down (neither had a fourth down attempt at Fed Ex Field) and Washington actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:48, while the Giants held the pigskin for 31:57.

Dallas watched the Philadelphia Eagles keep their playoff hopes alive in the City of Brotherly Love, holding off Dak Prescott and the Cowboys 17-9 at Century Link Field. Dallas found themselves being held by the Eagles (in first place in the East), to three Kai Forbath field goals in the late-afternoon contest, trailing 10-6 at the break, as the Eagles, who led from start to finish, held off a last-ditch Dallas rally in the closing minutes of the contest. Philadelphia held Dallas to 54 yards, while rushing for 118 yards, with Eagles RB Miles Sanders leading the way with 79 yards, including a 38-yard run that sealed the win for the home team. Carson Wentz threw for 319 yards and a TD to TE Dallas Goedert, while Dallas’ Dak Precott threw for 265 yards (Prescott was sacked twice, Wentz was sacked once and neither threw an interception). Philadelphia was 6 of 14 on third down (the Eagles were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball to themselves for 36:12, while Dallas held the pigskin for 23:48, going 3 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

They met in week two in Landover and after a scoreless first quarter at Washington, the Cowboys erased a 7-0 deficit in the second quarter and came away 31-21 winners at Fed Ex Field, thanks in part to TDs from Prescott to Devin Smith and Jason Witten to take the 14-7 lead with them to the break. Dallas would lead 21-7 with 4:30 left in the third period before Case Keenum (221 yards, TD, sack) and WR Paul Richardson Jr. connected on a 9-yard TD toss to pull themselves to within seven. Dallas would eventually restore order and come out of Landover with the win.

Dallas out-rushed Washington 213-47, with Ezekiel Elliott rushing for 111 yards and a TD, while Prescott threw for 269 yards and three TDs (Prescott was sacked once and threw an interception). Dallas went 7 of 11 on third down tries at Landover and kept the ball for 33:22, while the Redskins kept the ball for 26:38, going 2 of 9 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

In the week two contest in Landover, the Cowboys were favored and their 10-point win allowed them to cover the 5-point spread and the 52 combined points was more than enough to cover the 46 1/2 over/under. Dallas at home? Favored by 11. The over/under? 44 1/2. There will be scoreboard watching in East Rutherford and Arlington to see what the other team is doing and for the Cowboys, it has been a somewhat strange season where they’ve had chance after chance after chance to win the East. For the Redskins, it was a season that fell well short of expectations and cost Jay Gruden his job midway through the season. Fans in Landover have been singing “Hell, it’s the Redskins” a lot this season. Not this time. “Hail” is the word of the day. Washington shocks the world and takes the win in Arlington, knocking Dallas out of the post-season party.

Arizona (5-9-1) at Los Angeles Rams (8-7), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 719. The Rams play their final home game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as they host Arizona in an NFC West contest on the West Coast. Both teams were on the road last week, with Arizona taking a win out of Seattle, while the Rams let a lead against San Francisco get away from in Santa Clara.

The Desert Angry Birds damaged Seattle’s hopes of winning the NFC West Sunday afternoon in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks last Sunday, leaving Century Link Field 27-13 winners. Arizona broke a 7-7 first quarter tie, scoring 10 second-quarter points unchallenged, holding the Seahawks to a pair of Josh Myers field goals in the fourth to take the win. Arizona out-rushed Seattle 253-91 with Cardinals RB Kyle Drake leading all rushers with 166 yards and a pair of TDs, with Kyler Murray throwing for 118 yards and a TD (he was sacked once but did not throw an interception) before leaving the contest with an ankle injury, while Russell Wilson threw for 169 yards and TD (Wilson was sacked five times). Arizona went 5 of 15 on third down (the Desert Angry Birds were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and Arizona ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:53, while the Seahawks were a dismal 1 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 25:07.

The Rams let a 28-24 lead at the end of three quarters get away from them as San Francisco K Robbie Gould sent 49ers fans home happy with the 34-31 win at Levis’ Stadium in Santa Clara last Saturday evening. The Rams trailed 24-21 at the break, then took the lead with 5:06 left in the third when Jared Goff and WR Cooper Kupp connnected on a 21-yard TD toss. The 49ers would proceed to reclaim the lead with 6:06 left in the contest when QB Jimmy Garoppolo and TE George Kittle connected on a 7-yard TD toss. Los Angeles then re-tied the contest on a 52-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein with 2:30 left in regulation. That would be all the time that the 49ers need, as they would use that entire 2:30, using 9 plays and 60 yards and ending with Gould booting a 33-yard field goal as time expired.

San Francisco out-rushed the Rams (who led 7-3 at the end of the first quarter) 119-72, with 49ers RB Raheem Mostert leading the way with 53 yards and a TD, while Todd Gurley led the Rams with 48 yards and a pair of TDs. Goff threw for 323 yards with a pair of TDs (including the toss to Kupp) and an interception (Rams TE Tyler Higbee led all recievers with 104 yards on nine catches, while teammate Robert Woods had eight catches for 117 yards), while Garoppolo threw for 248 yards with a TD and a pair of interceptions (Garoppolo was sacked six times, while his favorite target, TE George Kittle, had five catches for 79 yards). The Rams were 5 of 13 on third down tries and actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:21, while the 49ers kept the pigskin for 27:39 (including the final 2:30 of the contest), going 4 for 10 on third down tries.

They would meet in week 13 in the desert and the Desert Angry Birds were held to a fourth-quarter TD by Murray as the Los Angeles Rams came into Glendale last Sunday and left 34-7 winners over the Desert Angry Birds. Arizona had trouble getting themselves on track as the Rams scored their 34 points in the contest unchallenged, leading 20-0 at the half. Arizona’s lone score of the contest came with 8:35 left in the game on Murray’s 15-yard run.

Arizona would be held by the Rams to 74 yards rushing, while the defending NFC champs tallied 132 yards on the ground, with Rams RB Todd Gurley leading everyone with 95 yards and a TD. Rams QB Jarred Goff threw for 424 yards with a pair of TDs (one to Cooper Kupp, the other to Tyler Higbee; Higbee had seven catches for 107, while teammate Robert Woods led all recievers with 172 yards), while Murray threw for 163 yards with six sacks and an interception (Goff was sacked twice but did not throw an interception). The Rams were 8 of 15 on third down but 0 for 1 on fourth down and they would rule the clock and keep the ball for 34:37, while the Desert Angry Birds kept the pigskin for 25:23, going 2 of 13 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

In the week 13 contest, the Rams were favored by 4 in Glendale and they would cover, winning by 27 but both teams missed the 46 1/2 over/under, as they would tally 41 points. The Rams are favored again, this time by 7 with the over/under 45. The Rams are trying to end their season above the .500 mark and move into their new stadium with a winning record, while the Desert Angry Birds are looking for revenge from their week 13 drubbing in Glendale. Arizona will have to keep looking. Rams cover the 7 and win on the Left Coast.

San Francisco (11-3) at Seattle (11-4), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. First place on the line in the NFC West as San Francisco makes their way up I-5 to face off against the Seattle Seahawks in prime time in the Pacific Northwest.

San Francisco K Robbie Gould sent 49ers fans home happy with the 34-31 win at Levis’ Stadium in Santa Clara last Saturday evening. The Rams trailed 24-21 at the break, then took a 28-24 lead with 5:06 left in the third when Jared Goff and WR Cooper Kupp would connect on a 21-yard TD toss. The 49ers reclaimed the lead with 6:06 left in the contest when QB Jimmy Garoppolo and TE George Kittle connected on a 7-yard TD toss. Los Angeles then re-tied the contest on a 52-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein with 2:30 left in regulation. That would be all the time that the 49ers need, as they would use that entire 2:30, using 9 plays and 60 yards and ending with Gould booting a 33-yard field goal as time expired.

San Francisco out-rushed the Rams (who led 7-3 at the end of the first quarter) 119-72, with 49ers RB Raheem Mostert leading the way with 53 yards and a TD, while Todd Gurley led the Rams with 48 yards and a pair of TDs. Goff threw for 323 yards with a pair of TDs (including the toss to Kupp) and an interception (Rams TE Tyler Higbee led all recievers with 104 yards on nine catches, while teammate Robert Woods had eight catches for 117 yards), while Garoppolo threw for 248 yards with a TD and a pair of interceptions (Garoppolo was sacked six times, while his favorite target, TE George Kittle, had five catches for 79 yards). The Rams were 5 of 13 on third down tries and actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:21, while the 49ers kept the pigskin for 27:39 (including the final 2:30 of the contest), going 4 for 10 on third down tries.

Seattle’s hopes of winning the NFC West Sunday afternoon in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks last Sunday were damaged by Arizona, with the Desert Angry Birds leaving Century Link Field 27-13 winners. Arizona broke a 7-7 first quarter tie, scoring 10 second-quarter points unchallenged, holding the Seahawks to a pair of Josh Myers field goals in the fourth to take the win.

Arizona out-rushed Seattle 253-91 with Cardinals RB Kyle Drake leading all rushers with 166 yards and a pair of TDs, with Kyler Murray throwing for 118 yards and a TD (he was sacked once but did not throw an interception) before leaving the contest with an ankle injury, while Russell Wilson threw for 169 yards and TD (Wilson was sacked five times). Arizona went 5 of 15 on third down (the Desert Angry Birds were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and Arizona ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:53, while the Seahawks were a dismal 1 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 25:07.

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

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

The Seahawks got the ball back and San Francisco held them in check, forcing a Seattle punt. San Francisco could not do anything after three Jimmy Garapollo passes went incomplete. The 49ers punted the ball back to Seattle with 85 seconds left in the extra period and Seattle made sure the 49ers would never see the pigskin again, using a 7-play, 40-yard drive that took 85 seconds of clock and ended when Jason Myers connected on a 42-yard field goal to end the 49ers’ bid for a perfect season.

Seattle out-rushed San Francisco 147-87, with Carson leading all rushers with 89 yards and the TD. Wilson threw for 232 yards in the overtime contest, while Garapollo threw for 248 yards (both threw a TD, both were sacked five times and both threw an interception) in the Monday night affair. San Francisco went 6 for 15 on third down tries in Santa Clara (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:41, while Seattle kept the ball for 35:19, while going 7 for 15 on third down tries.

In the week 10 contest in Santa Clara, the 49ers were favored by 6 1/2 but Seattle would wind up winning by 3. The two teams did manage to cover the 46 1/2 over/under, tallying 51 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like the 49ers again, this time making them 3-point favorites with a 47 over/under. A lot is at stake here. The winner? They are NFC West champs; the loser? they get to be the Wild Card team and play next Saturday or Sunday. The 49ers want revenge from their loss in Santa Clara in week 10, while the Seahawks, who reached into their history bag and resigned RB Marshawn Lynch, wants to win the West and perhaps have that first-round bye and possibly host. It’ll be closer than the 3 but Seattle prevails in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, crowning themselves kings of the West.

It’s the next to last Sunday in the NFL and eight spots are now filled for the post-season party. San Francisco, Seattle, Green Bay, New England and Buffalo have all joined Kansas City, Baltimore and New Orleans to further their seasons. With two weeks left, there are still eight spots that need to be filled and that will complete the playoff bracket.

For those that won’t be going to the playoffs, these two weeks are a chance to improve their draft chances and perhaps ruin the chances of a rival. It’s also a chance for those teams to take stock not just on their rosters but their coaching staffs as well.

When play comes to an end in week 17, 12 teams will have earned a spot in the postseason and for those teams, it is their second season with one exception.

You win, you move on.

Lose. Your next game is next year.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK 15: New England defeated Cincinnati, 34-13, to clinch a postseason berth for the 11th-consecutive season, the longest such streak in NFL history.

Green Bay defeated Chicago at Lambeau Field 21-13 and combined with the Rams’ Week 15 loss, clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2016.

With the Rams’ loss in Week 15 at Dallas, San Francisco clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2013.

Seattle won 30-24 at Carolina in Week 15 and combined with the Rams’ loss, clinched a playoff berth for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

On Thursday night, Baltimore defeated the New York Jets, 42-21, to clinch their second AFC North division title.

Green Bay, Buffalo and San Francisco each qualified for the postseason after missing the playoffs last season. From 1990-2018 – a streak of 29 consecutive years – five teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

This week, with Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football remaining, 19 players recorded at least two offensive touchdowns (rushing and receiving), including a four-touchdown game from Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake. With two games remaining in Week 15, the 19 such performances of at least two offensive touchdowns are the second-most in a single week in NFL history, trailing only Week 13 of the 1983 season (20 players with at least two touchdowns).

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 286 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 137.7 passer rating in the Seahawks’ 30-24 win at Carolina.

Wilson, currently in his eighth NFL season, has 86 career regular-season wins, tied with TOM BRADY (86) for the most regular-season wins by a quarterback in his first eight seasons in league annals.

Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey had eight receptions and recorded 175 scrimmage yards (88 receiving, 87 rushing) with two rushing touchdowns on Sunday. McCaffrey has six career games with at least 75 rushing yards and 75 receiving yards, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Walter Payton (six games) for the third-most such games since 1970. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk (11 games) and Priest Holmes (nine) had more.

McCaffrey, who had 107 receptions – the most by a running back in a single-season in NFL history – in 2018, has 94 catches in 2019 and joined Larry Centers (1995 & 1996) as the only running backs with at least 90 receptions in multiple seasons in NFL history.

New England quarterback Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes in the team’s Week 15 victory at Cincinnati. Brady, who has 21 touchdown passes in 2019, has 17 career seasons with at least 20 touchdown passes and surpassed Peyton Manninn (16 seasons) for the most such seasons in NFL history.

Patriots running back James White recorded his fourth receiving touchdown of the season on Sunday. White, currently in his sixth NFL season, has 23 career touchdown receptions, tied with Chuck Foreman (23) and Brian Westbrook (23) for the most receiving touchdowns by a running back in his first six seasons since 1970.

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 340 yards and two touchdowns in the Chiefs’ 23-3 victory over Denver. Mahomes, currently in his third NFL season, has 17 career games with at least 300 passing yards, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (17) for the second-most such games in a player’s first three seasons in league annals. Only Andrew Luck (19) had more.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce had 11 receptions for 142 yards on Sunday. Kelce, who has 1,131 receiving yards in 2019, is the first tight end in NFL history to record at least 1,000 receiving yards in four consecutive seasons. He also joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez (four seasons), as well as Rob Gronkowski (four) and Jason Witten (four) as the only tight ends with four career seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards in league annals.

Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill had two touchdown receptions against Denver, including a 41-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter. Hill, currently in his fourth NFL season, has 21 career touchdowns of at least 40 yards, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (21) for the third-most such touchdowns in a player’s first four seasons in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers Bob Hayes (24) and Randy Moss (23) had more.

Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson had two touchdown passes in the Texans’ 24-21 win at Tennessee in Week 15. Watson has 26 touchdown passes along with seven rushing touchdowns this season. Watson, who had 26 touchdown passes and five rushing touchdowns in 2018, joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young (1994 and 1998) as the only quarterbacks with at least 25 touchdown passes and five rushing touchdowns in multiple seasons in NFL history.

Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston passed for a career-high 458 yards with four touchdowns and one interception for a 124.9 passer rating in the Buccaneers’ 38-17 win at Detroit. Winston, who passed for 456 yards with four touchdowns in Week 14, is the first player in NFL history with at least 450 passing yards in consecutive games in league annals.

Winston has five games with at least 375 passing yards in 2019 and joined Peyton Manning (six games in 2013) and Drew Brees (five games in 2013) as the only quarterbacks with at least five such games in a single-season in NFL history.

An undrafted rookie, Detroit running back Wes Hills had two rushing touchdowns in his NFL debut in Week 15 and joined Isaiah Crowell (September 7, 2014) as the only undrafted rookies with at least two rushing touchdowns in their first career game in the common draft era.

Other notable performances from Sunday include: Washington running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 66 yards and a touchdown in Week 15 against Philadelphia. Peterson has 110 career rushing touchdowns, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Walter Payton (110) for the fourth-most rushing touchdowns in NFL history. Peterson has 14,102 career rushing yards and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Curtis Martin (14,101) for the fifth-most rushing yards in league annals.

Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones had 13 receptions for 134 yards and two touchdowns in the Falcons’ 29-22 win over San Francisco. Jones has 11,881 receiving yards since entering the NFL in 2011 and surpassed Torry Holt (11,864) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (11,776) for the most receiving yards by a player in his first nine seasons in NFL history.

Jones also has 780 receptions in his first nine seasons and surpassed Brandon Marshall (773) and Wes Welker (768) for the fourth-most receptions in a player’s first nine seasons in league annals. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (845) as well as Antonio Brown (837) and Torry Holt (805) had more.

San Francisco tight end George Kittle had a career-high 13 receptions and 134 receiving yards on Sunday against Atlanta. Kittle, who has 2,780 receiving yards since entering the NFL in 2017, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Ditka (2,774) for the most receiving yards by a tight end in their first three seasons in league annals.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated the Oakland-Los Angeles Chargers matchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest recognizes two original AFL teams, each with ties to late Pro Football Hall of Famer Al Davis. From 1957-60, Davis served as the line coach at the University of Southern California before Sid Gillman tabbed him as the Los Angeles Chargers’ offensive ends coach. After helping the Chargers to two division titles in three seasons, Davis had the opportunity to lead his own team in 1963. That’s when he took over the Oakland Raiders and changed the team colors to silver and black, then personified the rival league’s exciting new image by developing the vertical passing game. The upstart AFL finalized a formal merger with the NFL later in the decade and began playing as one league in 1970.

AND DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME: Seventeen teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIV. Two playoff berths in each conference are up for grabs. Welcome to late December in the NFL.

Buffalo, Green Bay and San Francisco have each qualified for the postseason after missing the playoffs last season. From 1990-2018 – a streak of 29 consecutive years – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

Minnesota can join that group with a win on Monday Night Football at home against the Packers. Something significant will happen on Monday night. Either the Packers will clinch the division for the first time since 2016, or the Vikings will clinch a playoff berth. It’s also a division clash featuring teams with 10-or-more wins. That has happened just three times since the beginning of the 2015 season and for the second time the game is featuring the Packers and Vikings.

Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur has an opportunity to become the 10th rookie head coach in NFL history to win at least 12 games in a season.

The rookie head coaches who have won at least 12 games in NFL history, by wins:

COACH, TEAM; W-L-T, PCT (SEASON)
Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis; – 14-2-0, .875 (2009)
George Seifert, San Francisco; – 14-2-0, .875 (1989)
Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco; 13-3-0, .813 (2011)
Steve Mariucci, San Francisco; 13-3-0, .813 (1997)
John Madden, Oakland; 12-1-1, .893 (1969)(HOF)
Matt Nagy, Chicago; 12-4-0, .750 (2018)
Barry Switzer, Dallas; 12-4-0, .750 (1994)
Red Miller, Denver; 12-2-0, .857 (1977)
Chuck Knox, Los Angeles Rams; 12-2-0, .857 (1973)

There are playoff scenarios in week 16 (PLAYOFFS? PLAYOFFS?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?). You might want to take notes, there’ll probably be a quiz afterward (this could cause more confusion than a mouse in a Burlesque show!)

2019 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 16

AFC

CLINCHED:

Baltimore – AFC North
Kansas City – AFC West
Buffalo – playoff berth
New England – playoff berth
Houston – AFC South

Baltimore (12-2) at Cleveland (6-8), Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS

Baltimore clinches a first-round bye with:

Baltimore win or tie OR
Kansas City loss or tie OR
Kansas City loss

Baltimore clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

Baltimore win OR
Baltimore tie + Kansas City loss or tie OR
Kansas City loss or tie + New England loss

NFC

CLINCHED:

New Orleans – NFC South
Green Bay – playoff berth
San Francisco – playoff berth
Seattle – playoff berth

Green Bay (11-3) at Minnesota (10-4), Monday at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

Green Bay clinches NFC North division with:
Green Bay win or tie

Dallas (7-7) at Philadelphia (7-7), Sunday, 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Dallas clinches NFC East division with:
Dallas win

Minnesota (10-4) vs. Green Bay (11-3), Monday at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

Minnesota clinches a playoff berth with:

Minnesota win or tie OR
Los Angeles Rams loss or tie

IN THE NFC EAST: Dallas can clinch the NFC East division title with a road win over Philadelphia Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. Winning a division has proven significant this decade as the last team to advance to the Super Bowl without winning a division title was the 2010 Green Bay Packers, who won Super Bowl XLV. Since, all 16 teams to appear in the Super Bowl have won their divisions. The Cowboys also have 12 seasons of at least 12 victories since 1970.

IN THE NFC SOUTH: New Orleans (11-3), who clinched the division on Thanksgiving night, travel to play in Nashville against Tennessee on Sunday. Including New Orleans, four NFC teams share the best record in the conference. This year marks just the second time since the NFL adopted the 16-game schedule in 1978 that four NFC clubs are tied for the conference’s best record with two-or-fewer weeks to play. It also happened in 2014, when five NFC teams were 11-4 heading into the final week.

Overall, six NFL teams have won at least 11 games, making the 2019 season just the second since 1978 in which six-or-more NFL clubs have won 11-plus through 14 games. It also happened in 2004, when six teams had at least 11 wins heading into the final two weeks.

Drew Brees, who surpassed Peyton Manning’s career passing touchdowns record to close Week 15 on Monday night, also recorded his 36th career game of four-or-more touchdown passes, breaking Manning’s NFL record of 35. Brees (10,093) also needs 77 pass attempts to become the all-time leader in that category; the record is held by Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (10,169).

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 16

PLAYOFF PUSH: Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season after failing to make the postseason the year before. In 2019, Buffalo (10-4), Green Bay (11-3) and San Francsico (11-3) have each clinched playoff berths after missing the postseason last year.

If Minnesota (10-4) defeats Green Bay on Monday Night Football to clinch a playoff berth, 2019 would mark the 30th consecutive season in which at least four teams qualify for the playoffs after missing the postseason the previous year.

MAKING IT LOOK EASY IN BIG BREESY: Last Monday night, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees made history as he threw four touchdown passes to reach 541 in his career and surpass Peyton Manning (539) for the most career touchdown passes in NFL history. In addition to passing Manning, Brees completed 29 of 30 pass attempts to set a single-game NFL record (min. 20 attempts) with a 96.7 completion percentage and completed his final 22 pass attempts of the game.

If Brees completes his first four pass attempts on Sunday at Tennessee, he would set an NFL record for the most consecutive completions in league history.

The players with the most consecutive completions in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM: DATES (COMPLETIONS)
Nick Foles, Philadelphia: 12/30/18 (25)
Marcus Mariota, Tennessee: 11/18/18-11/26/18 (25)
Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers: 11/25/18 (25)
Ryan Tannehill, Miami: 10/18/15-10/25/15 (25)
Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia: 11/28/04-12/5/04 (24)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis: 12/14/08-12/18/08 (23)
Drew Brees, New Orleans: 12/16/19 (22)*
*Active streak

In Week 15, Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas recorded his eighth game this season with at least 10 receptions, the most such performances in a single season in NFL history. Thomas leads the NFL with 133 receptions and 1,552 receiving yards in 2019. With at least 11 receptions on Sunday, Thomas would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (143 receptions in 2002) for the most receptions in a single season in NFL history.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RECEPTIONS)
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (2002 – 143)(HOF)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2015 – 136)
Julio Jones, ATLANTA (2015 – 136)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (2019 – 133)*
*Entering Sunday

Additionally, Thomas – who owns the league record for the most receptions through a player’s first four seasons with 454 – needs 58 receiving yards on Sunday to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (5,396 receiving yards) for the most receiving yards through a player’s first four seasons in NFL history.

The players with the most receiving yards in their first four seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RECIEVING YARDS)
Randy Moss, Minnesota (5,396)(HOF)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (5,339)*
Torry Holt, St. Louis Rams (5,088)
Jerry Rice, San Francsico (4,881)(HOF)
(HOF) – Hall of Fame

WINNING IN CHIEFS KINGDOM: Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 340 yards and two touchdowns in Week 15 to lead the Chiefs to their fourth-consecutive win. With his two touchdown passes, the 24-year-old quarterback now has 73 touchdown passes in 29 career games.

With two touchdown passes on Sunday Night Football against Chicago, Mahomes would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (31 games) as the fastest player to reach 75 career touchdown passes in NFL history.

The players to reach 75 career touchdown passes in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES TO 75 TD PASSES)
Dan Marino, Miami (31) (HOF)
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (35) (HOF)
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (29)*
*Has 73 touchdown passes
(HOF) – Hall of Fame

Last week, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce – had 11 receptions for 142 yards in the win and became the first tight end in NFL history to record at least 1,000 receiving yards in four consecutive seasons. This season, Kelce leads all tight ends with 86 receptions and has 496 receptions in 94 career games.

With four receptions on Sunday Night Football, Kelce would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow Sr. as the fastest tight end to reach 500 career receptions in NFL history.

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

PLAYER, TEAMS (GAMES TO 500 RECEPTIONS)
Kellen Winslow Sr., San Diego (101) (HOF)
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia (102)
Jimmy Graham, New Orleans and Seattle (106)
Travis Kelce, Kansas City (94)*
*Has 496 receptions
(HOF) – Hall of Fame

Additionally, with four receptions, Kelce would join Jason Witten (523) and Zach Ertz (521) – who reached 500 career receptions in Week 12 – as the only tight ends with at least 500 receptions in their first seven seasons in NFL history.

BY AIR AND C-MC: After recording the most receptions by a running back in a single season with 107 in 2018, Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey – who leads all running backs and ranks third overall in the league with 94 receptions in 2019 – joined Larry Centers (1995 and 1996) as the only running backs with at least 90 receptions in multiple seasons in NFL history.

With at least six receptions on Sunday at Indianapolis, McCaffrey would become the fourth player to record at least 100 receptions in two of his first three seasons in NFL history. He would also become the first running back to accomplish the feat.

The players with at least 100 receptions in two of their first three seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)
Anquan Boldin, Arizona (2003, 2005)
Brandon Marshall, Denver (2007-08)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (2017-18)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (2018)*
*Has 94 receptions in 2019

In Week 15, McCaffrey recorded 175 scrimmage yards (88 receiving, 87 rushing) and two rushing touchdowns, marking his sixth career game with at least 75 rushing yards and 75 receiving yards, tying Pro Football Hall of Famer WALTER PAYTON (six games) for the third-most such games since 1970.

McCaffrey – who leads the NFL with 2,121 scrimmage yards and 18 total touchdowns in 2019 – now has 14 rushing and four receiving touchdowns on the season. With both a rushing and receiving touchdown on Sunday, he would become the fourth player with at least 15 rushing and five receiving touchdowns in a single season in NFL history.

The players with at least 15 rushing touchdowns and five receiving touchdowns in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, RUSHING TDs/RECIEVING TDs)
Ahman Green, Green Bay (2003, 15/5)
Marshall Faulk, St. Louis Rams (2000, 18/8)(HOF)
O.J. Simpson, Buffalo (1975, 16/7)(HOF)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (2019, 14/4)*
*Entering Sunday
(HOF) – Hall of Fame

FIRST TO 12,000: Last week, Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones had 13 receptions for 134 yards and two touchdowns in the Falcons’ 29-22 win over San Francisco. In the win, Jones – who has 11,881 receiving yards since entering the NFL in 2011 – surpassed Torry Holt (11,864) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (11,776) for the most receiving yards by a player in his first nine seasons in NFL history.

Appearing in his 125th career game on Sunday against Jacksonville, Jones needs at least 119 receiving yards to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (142 games) as the fastest player to reach 12,000 career receiving yards in NFL history.

The players to reach 12,000 receiving yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES TO 12,000 REC. YARDS)
Jerry Rice, San Francsico (142) (HOF)
Torry Holt, St. Louis Rams (146)
Andre Johnson, Houston (146)
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (151) (HOF)
Julio Jones, ATLANTA (125)*

*Has 11,881 receiving yards in 124 games
(HOF) – Hall of Fame

Week 16 got underway in Tampa Saturday afternoon as Houston clinched the AFC South title and ends in the Twin Cities Monday night as a pair of NFC North heavyweights (Green Bay-Minnesota) do battle. New England also joined the Texans as clinching the AFC East and San Francisco rallied to beat NFC West rival Los Angeles. Six of the contests this Sunday and Monday are rematches, which means that the team that won the first time wants to prove that win was not luck or a fluke; for the losing team, they’re playing their verision of “Dirty Santa” and wants revenge. Last week was pretty good, as we went 10-6 for the week, 121-101 for the season. Get the milk and cookies ready for Santa (we hear the old boy likes Chocolate Chip with pecans) and the reindeer feed ready. Here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 16.

Jacksonville (5-9) at ATLANTA (5-9), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 708. They’re separated by 346 miles and a 6-hour drive. They both won in the Bay Area last week. A pair of Southern teams meet in the Big Peach as Atlanta hosts Jacksonville at Mercedes Benz Stadium.

Jacksonville ruined Oakland’s farewell party last Sunday afternoon on the West Coast last Sunday as the Jaguars escaped the Oakland Coliseum with a 20-16 win over the Silver and Black. Oakland led 16-3 at the intermisson, then Jacksonville proceeded to score their final 17 points of the second half unchecked, taking the lead for good with 31 seconds left in the contest when WR Chris Conley and QB Gordon Minshew connected on their second TD pass of the quarter. Jacksonville then survived a last-second Oakland rally as the Raiders would get themselves as close as Jacksonville’s 40-yard line before Derek Carr’s pass attempt sailed incomplete.

In their final game at home, the Raiders outrushed Jacksonville 128-87 with Oakland RB Josh Jacobs leading the way with 89 yards. Carr threw for 267 yards with a TD and Jacksonville sacked him four times, while Minshew threw for 201 yards and the two TD passes (he was sacked twice, neither Minshew or Carr threw an interception). Jacksonville was 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 25:48, while the Raiders ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:12 (including the final 31 seconds of the contest) and went 4 for 11 on third down.

Atlanta stormed back in the final seconds of their contest against San Francisco in Santa Clara, taking a 29-22 win at Levis’ Stadium. Both clubs entered the half tied at 10-10 as 49ers RB Raheem Mostert opened the scoring in the second quarter on a 2-yard TD run in the second quarter. Atlanta would respond as Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones connected on the first of their two TDs in the contest to tie things up with 7:01 left before the half. Falcons K Youngho Koo, the NFC’s Special Teams Player of the Week, would give Atlanta the lead with 2:36 left before the half before Robbie Gould would tie things up with 24 seconds left. Gould would give the 49ers the lead late in the third quarter and FB Kyle Juszczyk and Jimmy Garoppolo would extend the lead to 19-10 with 10:07 left in the contest on a 2-yard TD toss (Gould would miss the extra point).

Atlanta would narrow the gap to two with 5:15 left in the contest when RB Qadree Ollison scored on a 1-yard run. Gould redeemed himself temporarily by booting a 43-yard field goal with 1:48 left on the clock. The Falcons were not going quietly and Ryan would engineer a 10-play, 70-yard drive that used 1:46 of clock and after an appearant TD pass to TE Austin Hooper was ruled incomplete, it would be Jones that would be his target as he would score from five yards out with 2 seconds left on the clock. Because it was a scoring play and it was inside 2 minutes, the play was reviewed and it was ruled that Jones broke the plane of the goal line to score. Atlanta then chose to kneel down instead of going for the two-point conversion.

San Francisco got the ball back on the kickoff with the last 2 seconds on the clock and used several lateral passes in an attempt to win the contest. Mostert caught one of the laterals but fumbled it, allowing backup WR Olamide Zaccheaus (who caught a Ryan TD pass last week) to scoop up the ball and return it to the endzone untouched. Mostert led all rushers with 54 yards on the ground as the 49ers outrushed Atlanta 120-89 (Atlanta was led by Davonta Freeman with 39); Ryan threw for 210 yards and the two TDs to Jones with a pair of sacks, while Garoppolo threw for 200 yards and the TD to Juszczyk (Garoppolo was sacked once; neither he or Ryan threw an interception). Atlanta was 7 of 13 on third down and and kept the ball for 29:12, while the 49ers actually ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 30:48, going 4 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The series is tied 3-3, Atlanta has outscored Jacksonville 116-107 and the Falcons have won the last two meetings in the series, with their last win coming in the Sunshine State in 2015 by a final of 23-17, while Jacksonville’s last win came in 2007 at home by a final of 13-7. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Falcons as 6 1/2 point favorites in the Big Peach and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Both numbers make a lot of sense. The winner of this contest improves their draft chances, while the loser may have a longer road to travel. Atlanta covers the 6 1/2 in their final home game of the 2019 season and takes the win in the Big Peach.

Baltimore (12-2) at Cleveland (6-8), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. They meet again, this time along the shores of Lake Erie and once again, Heisman winners meet as Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns host Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in an AFC North rematch.

Baltimore won the AFC North title as Jackson and the Ravens manhandled the New York Jets 42-21 at M&T Bank Stadium last Thursday night. The Ravens led 21-7 at the break in Charm City, then proceeded to outpace GangGreen 21-14 to take the win at home. Baltimore outrushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 218-103 with New York’s LeVeon Bell leading all rushers with 87 yards, while Jackson led Baltimore with 86. Jackson burned GangGreen for 212 yards with five TDs (Jackson did not throw an interception and was not sacked), while Sam Darnold threw for 218 yards and a pair of TDs to WR Jamison Crowder, while throwing an interception with a sack. While the Ravens were 2 of 8 on third down in the Thursday night contest, they struck pay dirt on fourth down, going 1 of 1 and held on to the pigskin for 31:38, while GangGreen kept the pigskin for 28:22, going 6 of 14 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

The Browns’ march toward the .500 mark took a hit at Arizona as the Cardinals took care of Cleveland 38-24 at State Farm Stadium. Arizona led 21-10 at the intermission, then proceeded to floor the gas in the final 30 minutes of action, allowing the Cardinals to take the win.

Arizona outrushed Cleveland 226-152 with Cardinals RB Kyle Drake leading all rushers with 137 yards and four rushing TDs, while the Browns were paced by Nick Chubb, who tallied 127 yards on the ground with a TD. Mayfield threw for 247 yards and a pair of TD tosses (Mayfield was sacked once and threw an interception), while Kyler Murray threw for 219 yards with a TD (Murray threw an interception but was not sacked). Both clubs did well on third down conversions in the desert; Arizona was 4 of 8 on third down and kept the ball for 29:11, while the Browns actually were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 30:49. while going 9 of 14 on third down (both teams were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

They met in week four in Charm City and the Browns shocked Baltimore, leaving M&T Bank Stadium 40-25 winners. Cleveland led 10-3 at the intermission, then floored the gas in the second half, outpacing the Ravens 30-18 in the frame. Cleveland would outrush Baltimore 193-173 with Chubb leading all rushers with 165 yards and three TDs; Mayfield threw for 342 yards and a TD, while Jackson threw for 247 yards and four TDs (Jackson was sacked four times and picked off twice, Mayfield was sacked once and threw an interception) in the battle of former Heisman winners. The Ravens were 4 of 10 on third down conversions (Baltimore on fourth down was 1 of 2) and they would keep the ball for 29:43, while Cleveland ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 30:17, going 6 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Baltimore was favored by 6 1/2 in the week four contest and the Browns covered, winning by 15 in Charm City and the two clubs combined for 65 points, easily covering the 45 over/under. This time, the Ravens are favored again, this time by 9 1/2 points and the over/under’s 49 1/2. For Baltimore, their hay’s in the barn. They have the division and look to be the top seed in the AFC. As for Cleveland? They’re playing with house money and the house always wins. Cleveland makes this one closer than the 9 1/2 but Baltimore gets revenge along the shores of Lake Erie and takes the win on the road.

Carolina (5-9) at Indianapolis (6-8), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. Both teams eliminated from the post-season party, the Carolina Panthers travel to the Hoosier State to face off against the Indianpolis Colts. Both teams lost to NFC South teams last week.

Seattle denied Panthers interim head coach Perry Fewell his first win of the season as the Panthers dropped their sixth contest in a row, with the Seahawks and Russell Wilson leaving Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium 30-24 winners Sunday afternoon. Seattle led 20-7 at the half in the Tar Heel State, then watched as the Panthers clawed their way back, coming to within seven with 3:14 left in the contest when Curtis Samuel and Kyle Allen connected on a 5-yard TD toss but could not get any closer as the Seahawks would run the clock out to take the win.

Seattle outrushed Carolina (who will send Will Greer in at QB Sunday) 154-145 with Seahawks RB Chris Carson leading the way with 133 yards, while Carolina was led by Christian McCaffrey with 87 yards (both had a pair of TDs); Wilson threw for 286 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions, while Allen threw for 277 yards and the Samuel TD pass (he would be sacked once and threw three interceptions). Carolina was 5 of 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:42, while the Seahawks would rule the clock, keeping the ball for 31:18, going 4 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Colts saw their slim playoff hopes come to an end in the Big Easy as Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints took care of Indianapolis 34-7 Monday night. Indianapolis watched Brees and the Saints score all of their points in the contest unchallenged, trailing 20-0 at the break. Indianapolis was held to a dismal 46 yards on the ground, while the Saints ran roughshod over Indianapolis, tallying 117 yards with Alvin Kamara leading all rushers with 66 yards. Jacoby Brissett threw for 165 yards with a sack, while Brees surpassed Brady for the all-time passing yardage lead, tallying 307 yards with four TDs (neither QB threw an interception). Indianapolis was 3 of 12 on third down (the Colts on fourth down went 1 of 2) and kept the ball for 23:38, while the Saints ruled the clock and kept the ball for 36:22, going 5 for 9 on third down tries.

Carolina leads the series 5-1, the Panthers have outscored the Colts by a slim 126-125 margin and have won the last two meetings, including a 29-26 overtime win in Charlotte in 2015, while Indy’s last win came in the Tar Heel State in 2007 by a final of 31-7. Indianapolis is favored by 6 1/2 in the Hoosier State and the over/under’s 46 1/2. Will Greer is no Cam Newton and Brissett is no Andrew Luck. This one’s is nowhere near “DRILL WORTHY” status but it’s worth your time to watch. Colts bounce back and cover the 6 1/2 back home again in Indiana.

Cincinnati (1-13) at Miami (3-11), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV xxx. A pair of last place teams with a combined 4-24 record meet in the Sunshine State as Miami hosts the Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams took losses in last week’s contest.

Cincinnati lost their 13th game in 14 tries as Tom Brady and the Patriots took down the Bengals 34-13 at Paul Brown Stadium. The defending Super Bowl champs erased a 10-7 first quarter deficit and used a pair of Nick Folk field goals in the second quarter to take a 13-10 lead with them to the intermission. New England then used a pair of third quarter TDs (a Brady TD pass to N’Keal Harry and a Stephon Gilmore interception) and a 33-yard TD run by RB Rex Burkhead to seal the deal.

New England outrushed the Bengals 175-164 but Bengals RB Joe Mixon led all rushers with 136 yards, while Sony Michel led the Patriots with 89 yards. Brady threw for 128 yards and the two TD tosses, while Bengals QB Andy Dalton threw for 151 yards with a TD toss to HB Cethan Carter and was sacked four times (Dalton did not have an interception). New England was 6 for 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 27:12, while the Bengals ruled the clock and kept the ball for 32:48 and went 4 of 13 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Miami watched a 10-7 halftime lead lead against Eli Manning and the New York Giants get away from them as Big Blue outscored the Dolphins 29-10 in the second half to take a 36-20 win last Sunday at Met Life. New York took the lead for good with 11:53 left in the third when Manning and WR Darius Slayton would connect on a 5-yard TD pass to lead 14-10. After Dolphins K Jason Sanders booted a 47-yard field goal to pull to within one, the Giants would go on a scoring rampage, scoring 23 points uncontested, using a pair of Sequan Barkley rushing TDs to put the contest out of reach.

Barkley rushed for 112 yards and the two TDs as the Giants outrushed Miami 138-122 and Manning, playing in what some could consider his final home game, threw for 283 yards and two TDs with a sack and three interceptions, while Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 279 yards with a pair of TDs to DeVante Parker, while being sacked three times. Miami was 3 of 13 on third down (they went 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:53, while the Giants ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 31:07, going 5 of 11 on third down.

Including games played at the old Orange Bowl and Riverfront Stadium, the Dolphins lead the series 15-7 and have outscored the Bengals 486-392. The Bengals have come away with wins in their last two meetings with Miami, including a 27-17 win last year along the shores of the Ohio River (Miami’s last win in the series came in the Sunshine State in 2013, as the Dolphins would need overtime to come out on top 22-20).

The two clubs met at Paul Brown Stadium in week five and Cincinnati erased a 17-0 deficit at the end of the third quarter (Miami led 14-0 at the half) and proceeded to score 24 fourth quarter points unchallenged. Although they were outrushed by the Dolphins 128-103, Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon led all rushers with 93 yards in the win. Dalton threw for 248 yards and a TD pass to Mixon (he was sacked twice and picked off once), while Ryan Tannehill threw for 185 yards with a TD (Tannehill was sacked three times and threw a pair of interceptions). Cincinnati was 2 of 11 on third down tries and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:35, while the Dolphins kept the pigskin for 29:25, going 4 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Cincinnati was favored by 6 in the week five contest and the Bengals covered, winning by 10 but the 50 over/under stayed safe, as both clubs combined for 44 points. Miami’s favored by 2 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 46 1/2. We don’t blame you if you decide to take a pass on this one and watch that “Grumpy Cat Christmas Movie” this Sunday. Neither team’s going to the post-season and they’re fighting for the top spot in the 2020 NFL Draft. Miami covers the 2 in the Sunshine State and wins at home.

Pittsburgh (8-6) at New York Jets (5-9) , 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV xxx. Struggling to keep their playoff hopes alive, Pittsburgh makes it way to the Meadowlands for an early afternoon contest with the New York Jets. Both teams took losses in their contests last week.

Buffalo held off a late Pittsburgh rally at Heinz Field Sunday night to claim their second post-season invitation in three years, taking a 17-10 win over the Steelers. Buffalo led 7-3 at the break before the Steelers took the lead with 11:18 left in the third quarter when RB James Conner and QB Derek Hodges connected on an 11-yard TD toss. The Bills proceeded to erase that lead, scoring 10 fourth quarter points unchallenged (a 36-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka and a TD pass from Josh Allen to TE Tyler Kroft) to reclaim the lead. Pittsburgh would get the ball back with 91 seconds left in regulation at their 43-yard line, hoping to tie things up and send the contest into overtime. They got some help when Buffalo’s Matt Milano was flagged for facemasking. The Steelers would get themselves as close as Buffalo’s 34-yard line when Hodge was picked off by Levi Wallace to end the threat.

Buffalo outrushed Pittsburgh 130-51 (Bills RB Devin Singletary led all rushers with 87 yards) and Allen threw for 139 yards and the Kroft TD, while Hodges threw for 202 yards and the TD toss to Conner (Allen was sacked once and threw an interception, while Hodges was sacked four times and threw four interceptions, including the one that ended the Steelers’ late drive). Buffalo was 6 of 14 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:20 to Pittsburgh’s 27:40 (the Steelers 5 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down).

GangGreen found themselves being taken to task by Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens as they watched the Ravens win the AFC North title 42-21 at M&T Bank Stadium last Thursday night. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! trailed throughout the contest as the Ravens led 21-7 at the break in Charm City, then proceeded to outpace GangGreen 21-14 to take the win at home. Baltimore outrushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 218-103 with New York’s LeVeon Bell leading all rushers with 87 yards, while Jackson led Baltimore with 86. Jackson burned GangGreen for 212 yards with five TDs (Jackson did not throw an interception and was not sacked), while Sam Darnold threw for 218 yards and a pair of TDs to WR Jamison Crowder, while throwing an interception with a sack. While the Ravens were 2 of 8 on third down in the Thursday night contest, they struck pay dirt on fourth down, going 1 of 1 and held on to the pigskin for 31:38, while GangGreen kept the pigskin for 28:22, going 6 of 14 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

Pittsburgh leads the series (which includes games played at Shea Stadium and Three Rivers Stadium) 18-5 and they have outscored GangGreen 520-286. The two clubs last met in 2016 at Heinz Field and the Steelers would come away with the 31-13 victory, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were winners in 2014 in the Meadowlands by a final of 20-13. Pittsburgh is favored by 3 in upstate New Jersey and the over/under’s 43. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! are playing with house money and would love nothing more than to ruin Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes, while Pittsburgh wants to stay alive for at least one more week. Steelers get their wish and win in the Meadowlands, covering the 3.

New Orleans (11-3) at Tennessee (8-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Drew Brees, looking to add to his passing yardage record, takes his New Orleans Saints team to Music City for an early afternoon meeting with the Tennessee Titans, who are looking to make their way into the post-season party.

The Saints dashed Indianapolis’ slim playoff hopes come as the Colts watched them to an end in the Big Easy as Brees and the Saints took care of Indianapolis 34-7 Monday night. Indianapolis watched Brees and the Saints score all of their points in the contest unchallenged, trailing 20-0 at the break. Indianapolis was held to a dismal 46 yards on the ground, while the Saints ran roughshod over Indianapolis, tallying 117 yards with Alvin Kamara leading all rushers with 66 yards. Jacoby Brissett threw for 165 yards with a sack, while Brees surpassed Brady for the all-time passing yardage lead, tallying 307 yards with four TDs (neither QB threw an interception). Indianapolis was 3 of 12 on third down (the Colts on fourth down went 1 of 2) and kept the ball for 23:38, while the Saints ruled the clock and kept the ball for 36:22, going 5 for 9 on third down tries.

Tennessee wound up on the short end of a 24-21 loss to AFC South rival Houston in Nashville. After a scoreless first quarter at Nissan Stadium, Houston scored a pair of second-quarter TD passes from Watson to Kevin Stills to lead 14-0 at the break. Tennessee would even things up in the second half as Titans QB Ryan Tannehill would score on a 3-yard run in the third and a Tannehill TD pass to A.J. Brown early in the fourth quarter before the Texans would take the lead back for good when RB Carlos Hyde scored on a 10-yard run and added to that lead with a 29-yard field goal by Kai Forbath with 3:26 left in regulation. Tennessee would not go away quietly, narrowing the lead to 3 with 2:04 left when Tannehill and RB Dion Lewis connected on an 11-yard pass. Houston later sealed the win in the final seconds of the contest when they sacked Tannehill for an eight-yard loss at their 4-yard line. With no time outs, Tannehill spiked the ball in an effort to stop the clock. There was one problem… there was one second left in the contest and when he spiked the ball, that ended the contest.

Tennessee outrushed Houston 163-140 and Hyde led all rushers with 104 yards along with the TD, while Derrek Henry led Tennessee with 86; Watson threw for 243 yards and the two first-half TDs to Stills, while Tannehill threw for 279 yards and a pair of TDs (Watson was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions, Tannehill was sacked twice and threw an interception). Houston was 5 of 10 on third down conversions and held the ball for 31:20, while the Titans kept the pigskin for 28:40 (including the final 2:04 of the contest) and were 4 of 10 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Tennessee leads the series (which includes contests that took place in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers) 8-5-1 and have outscored the Saints 313-283. Each team’s last win in the series took place in the other’s building; Tennessee’s last win came in the Big Easy as the Titans would need overtime in 2015 to take a 34-28 win, while New Orleans’ last win came in the Music City by a final of 22-17 in 2011. New Orleans is favored by 2 and the over/under’s 51. One team’s in the playoffs already, the other is trying to get in. Tennessee pulls off the upset in Nashville and covers the 2, taking the win and upsetting the Saints in the process.

New York Giants (3-11) at Washington (3-11), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV xxx. A pair of struggling NFC East rivals, separated by a 3-hour, 23 minutes drive down 220 miles along I-95 meet in Landover as the Giants and Redskins meet in a week four rematch at Fed Ex Field.

Miami watched a 10-7 halftime lead lead against Eli Manning and the New York Giants get away from them as Big Blue outscored the Dolphins 29-10 in the second half to take a 36-20 win last Sunday at Met Life. New York took the lead for good with 11:53 left in the third when Manning and WR Darius Slayton would connect on a 5-yard TD pass to lead 14-10. After Dolphins K Jason Sanders booted a 47-yard field goal to pull to within one, the Giants would go on a scoring rampage, scoring 23 points uncontested, using a pair of Sequan Barkley rushing TDs to put the contest out of reach.

Barkley rushed for 112 yards and the two TDs as the Giants outrushed Miami 138-122 and Manning, playing in what some could consider his final home game, threw for 283 yards and two TDs with a sack and three interceptions, while Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 279 yards with a pair of TDs to DeVante Parker, while being sacked three times. Miami was 3 of 13 on third down (they went 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:53, while the Giants ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 31:07, going 5 of 11 on third down.

Washington watched their hopes of beating NFC East rival Philadelphia come crashing down as the Eagles kept their playoff hopes alive with a 31-27 win at Fed Ex Field in Landover. Washington led 14-10 at the intermission against their NFC East rival before the Eagles went to work in the second half, taking the lead late in the third quarter when Wentz and RB Miles Sanders connected on a 15-yard TD toss. That lead with not last very long as Redskins RB Adrian Peterson would help Washington reclaim the lead on a 10-yard TD run with 14:53 left in the contest. Philadelphia took the lead back with 9:59 left in regulation when Wentz and TE Zach Ertz hooked up on a 2-yard TD pass to lead 24-21. Washington’s Dustin Hopkins would kick a pair of field goals late in the quarter to give the Redskins a 3-point lead with 4:52 left in the contest.

Philadelphia then went on an 11-play, 75-yard drive that used 4:26 of clock, ending with Wentz and WR Greg Ward giving the Eagles the lead back and for good on a 4-yard TD toss. Washington would get the ball back with 26 seconds left and the Redskins would get as close as Philadelphia’s 42-yard line before Redskins QB Dwyane Haskins fumble and LB Nigel Bradham would live out a lineman’s fantasy, scooping the ball up and running it back 47 yards for a TD as time expired. Philadelphia outrushed Washington 157-101 with Eagles RB Miles Sanders leading all rushers with 122 yards and a rushing TD (Peterson led Washington with 66 yards). Wentz threw for 266 yards and three TDs (including the game-winner), while Haskins threw for 261 yards and a pair of TDs (Wentz was sacked twice, neither QB threw an interception). Neither club had a fourth down conversion in Landover and Washington was 4 of 10 on third down tries, keeping the ball for 23:03, while the Eagles were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 36:57, going 11 of 16 on third down.

In the week four contest in the Meadowlands, the Giants held Washington to a 21-yard field goal by Daniel Hopkins to take the 24-3 win at Met Life Stadium. Big Blue led 17-3 at the intermission, then added a 32-yard interception return by Jabril Peppers late in the thrid quarter to seal Washington’s fate. The Giants easily outrushed Washington 164-55 and Jones, despite throwing a pair of interceptions, threw for 225 yards and a TD to RB Dwayne Gallman Jr. (Gallman led all rushers with 63 yards and had a rushing TD), while Haskins (taking over for Case Keenum) threw for 107 yards and was sacked twice, throwing three interceptions (Keenum threw for 37 yards with a sack and an interception). The Giants were 8 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 36:09, while Washington, keeping the ball for 23:51, went 2 of 11 on third down.

Big Blue was favored by 3 in the Meadowlands in the week four contest and the Giants would easily cover the spread, winning by 21 but the 49 over/under stayed safe, as the two teams merged for 27 points. Washington’s favored by 2 1/2 in the Meadowlands and the over/under’s 43. It’s a safe bet that neither club will be post-season bound and the Giants are looking to avoid the NFC East cellar. For most of the season, fans in DC were singing “Hail to the Redskins,” while others were singing “Hell, it’s the Redskins.” Washington fans will be singing “Hell” this week. Big Blue covers the 2 1/2 in the Meadowlands and takes the win at Met Life.

Detroit (3-10-1) at Denver (5-9), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 712. A pair of slumping teams meet in the Rocky Mountains as Detroit and Denver meet in a late afternoon contest at Empower Field at Mile High. Both teams lost last Sunday and both hope to somehow restore some sembilance of order in their season.

Lions fans had their hearts shattered again as Tampa Bay gave Detroit their seventh loss in a row as the Buccaneers took a 38-17 win at Ford Field last Sunday in the Motor City. The Buccaneers, pushing themselves to the .500 mark, scored 21 first half points unchallenged, using TD passes from Winston to WRs Breshad Perriman and Scotty Miller to lead 21-3 at the intermission. A pair of Wayne Hills TD runs for the Lions would narrow the gap to seven early in the final quarter of play before Sean Bunting’s 70-yard interception return and a second Winston to Perriman TD pass would seal Detroit’s fate.

Neither club breached the 50-yard barrier, let alone the 100-yard barrier in the contest but Tampa Bay did outrush Detroit 49-45 and Winston threw for 458 yards and four TDs (he was sacked twice and picked off once), while David Blough threw for 260 yards with a pair of sacks and a pair of interceptions. Tampa Bay was 7 of 14 on third down (the Bucs were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, playing keep away with the ball for 33:19, while the Lions went 26:41 in time of possession, going 6 of 15 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Kansas City held Denver to a late first half field goal by Brian McManus at Arrowhead last Sunday as the Chiefs took care of Denver 23-3. Denver trailed 12-0 with 1:56 left when McManus would connect on a 32-yard field goal before Chiefs K Harrison Butker booted a 44-yard field goal as time exipred in the first half. Patrick Mahomes would later throw his second TD pass of the contest, connecting with WR Tyreek Hill on a 5-yard TD toss.

Neither club reached the 100-yard rushing barrier in the snowy contest in the Show-Me State but the Chiefs did manage to outrush Denver 92-52 with Drew Lock throwing for 208 yards, while Mahomes threw for 340 yards and a pair of TDs (Lock was sacked twice, Mahomes was sacked three times and each threw an intercetpion). Denver was 5 of 14 on third down (the Broncos were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:27, while the Chiefs were rulers of the clock, holding the pigskin for 33:33, while going 6 for 11 on third down tries.

While Denver leads the series 7-5, Detroit has outscored the Broncos 260-259. Each team won their last game in the series in the other’s facility; Denver’s last win came in the Motor City in 2015 by a final of 24-12, while Detroit’s last win came in the Mile High City in 2011, with the Lions leaving Denver 45-10 winners. Denver’s favored by 6 1/2 in the Mile High City and the over/under’s 38. If you took a pass on this one and watched that “A Grumpy Cat Christmas,” we wouldn’t blame you one bit. Detroit makes this one closer than the 6 1/2 but Denver prevails in the Mile High City.

Oakland (6-8) at Los Angeles Chargers (5-9), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. Setting the records aside, the Raiders and Chargers meet in hopes of ruining the other’s season in Carson in Los Angeles’ home finale. Both teams took home losses in last week’s action.

Jacksonville not only ruined Oakland’s playoff hopes, they would ruin the Raiders’ farewell party last Sunday afternoon on the West Coast last Sunday as the Jaguars escaped the Oakland Coliseum with a 20-16 win over the Silver and Black. Oakland led 16-3 at the intermisson, then Jacksonville proceeded to score their final 17 points of the second half unchecked, taking the lead for good with 31 seconds left in the contest when WR Chris Conley and QB Gordon Minshew connected on their second TD pass of the quarter. Jacksonville then survived a last-second Oakland rally as the Raiders would get themselves as close as Jacksonville’s 40-yard line before Derek Carr’s pass attempt sailed incomplete.

In their final game at home, the Raiders outrushed Jacksonville 128-87 with Oakland RB Josh Jacobs leading the way with 89 yards. Carr threw for 267 yards with a TD and Jacksonville sacked him four times, while Minshew threw for 201 yards and the two TD passes (he was sacked twice, neither Minshew or Carr threw an interception). Jacksonville was 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 25:48, while the Raiders ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:12 (including the final 31 seconds of the contest) and went 4 for 11 on third down.

The Bolts found themselves eliminated from the playoff race completely after their 39-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings Sunday afternoon at Dignity Health Sports Park. Los Angeles trailed 19-10 at the break, then watched as the Vikings would score their last 20 points of the contest unchallenged, using a pair of Mike Boone rushing TDs late in the contest to seal the Chargers’ fate. Minnesota outrushed Los Angeles 137-62, with Chargers QB Philip Rivers throwing for 307 yards and a TD pass to Mike Williams, while Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins threw for 207 yards and a TD (Rivers was sacked three times and threw three interceptions, while Cousins threw an interception without a sack). Minnesota went 7 of 15 on third down tries and held the ball for 32:19, while the Chargers kept the pigskin for 27:41, going 6 of 11 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The Silver and Black and the Bolts met in Oakland in week 10 on a Thursday night and Oakland came away 26-24 winners at the Coliseum. Oakland led 17-14 at the break and took a 20-17 lead with them to the start of the final quarter of play before Rivers and RB Austin Ekeler connected on a 6-yard TD pass with 4:02 left in the contest. Oakland would reclaim the lead exactly 3 minutes later, using a 10-play, 75-yard drive as Josh Jacobs would counter with an 18-yard run. The Chargers would get the ball back in an effort to reclaim the lead and leave northern California with the win, getting themselves as close as Oakland’s 30-yard line before Rivers would be picked off by Karl Joseph to end the threat.

The Chargers outrushed Oakland 146-78 and Los Angeles RB Melvin Gordon led all rushers with 108 yards and a TD (Jacobs led Oakland with 71 yards). Carr threw for 218 yards and a TD (Carr was sacked three times but did not throw an interception), while Rivers threw for 207 yards with a pair of TDs (Rivers was sacked five times and threw a pair of interceptions, including the one that ended the drive for the Chargers). The Chargers on third down went 3 of 10, 1 of 2 on fourth down and actually ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 34:10, while the Raiders, who held on to the ball for 25:50, were 4 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 10 contest in northern California, the Raiders were 1 1/2-point favorites and they would BARELY cover the spread, winning by 2; however, both clubs covered the 48 1/2 over/under, tallying 50 points. The Silver and Black find themselves favored again, this time by 5 and the over/under’s 47. Both teams are looking to bounce back from their losses last week and the Raiders would like to leave the Golden State with a win under their belts before they head to Vegas next year. They’ll head to Vegas without the win this time. Chargers cover the 5 and takes the win in Carson.

Dallas (7-7) at Philadelphia (7-7), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. Dak Prescott vs. Carson Wentz. They meet again, this time in the City of Brotherly Love. Brisket meets Cheesesteak as NFC East rivals Dallas and Philadelphia meet at Lincoln Financial Field in a late afternoon contest for first place in the division with a possible playoff spot on the line. Both clubs were winners in their last contests Sunday.

Ending their two-game losing streak, Dallas put a dent the playoff hopes of the Los Angeles Rams, taking a 44-21 win over the defending NFC champs at AT&T Stadium Sunday afternoon. Leading from start to finish, Dallas led 28-7 at the half and then floored the gas to keep pace with Philadelphia in the NFC East. Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott ran for a pair of TDs late in the first half and Dallas would never look back afterward.

Dallas held the Rams to a somewhat dismal 22 yards on the ground, while they would rush for 263 yards (Elliott ran for 117 yards with the two TDs, while teammate Tony Pollard led all rushers with 131 yards and a TD. Jared Goff threw for 284 yards with TD passes to Todd Gurley and Cooper Kupp (he was picked off once and sacked twice), while Prescott threw for 212 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Jason Whitten) and did not record a sack or interception. The Rams were 4 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 23:54, while the Cowboys ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 36:06, going 7 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Eagles kept their playoff hopes alive as they edged Washington 31-27 at Fed Ex Field in Landover. Washington led 14-10 at the intermission against their NFC East rival before the Eagles went to work in the second half, taking the lead late in the third quarter when Wentz and RB Miles Sanders connected on a 15-yard TD toss. That lead with not last very long as Redskins RB Adrian Peterson would help Washington reclaim the lead on a 10-yard TD run with 14:53 left in the contest. Philadelphia took the lead back with 9:59 left in regulation when Wentz and TE Zach Ertz hooked up on a 2-yard TD pass to lead 24-21. Washington’s Dustin Hopkins would kick a pair of field goals late in the quarter to give the Redskins a 3-point lead with 4:52 left in the contest.

With their playoff hopes in limbo, Philadelphia went on an 11-play, 75-yard drive that used 4:26 of clock, ending with Wentz and WR Greg Ward giving the Eagles the lead back and for good on a 4-yard TD toss. Washington would get the ball back with 26 seconds left and the Redskins would get as close as Philadelphia’s 42-yard line before Redskins QB Dwyane Haskins fumble and LB Nigel Bradham would live out a lineman’s fantasy, scooping the ball up and running it back 47 yards for a TD as time expired. Philadelphia outrushed Washington 157-101 with Eagles RB Miles Sanders leading all rushers with 122 yards and a rushing TD (Peterson led Washington with 66 yards). Wentz threw for 266 yards and three TDs (including the game-winner), while Haskins threw for 261 yards and a pair of TDs (Wentz was sacked twice, neither QB threw an interception). The Eagles ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 36:57, while going 11 of 16 on third down, while the Redskins, who held the ball for 23:03, going 4 of 10 on third down.

They met in the Lone Star State in week seven and the Cowboys would prevail 37-10 at AT&T Stadium. Taking a 27-7 lead with them to the intermission, Prescott and the Cowboys would outscore Wentz and the Eagles 10-3 in the final 30 minutes to take the win in Arlington. Dallas outrushed Philadelphia 189-115 and Ezekiel Elliott led all rushers with 111 yards and a TD. Prescott threw for 239 yards and had a rushing TD, while Wentz threw for 191 yards (both men were sacked three times, both threw a TD pass and both threw an interception). Dallas was 8 for 14 on third down and struck gold on their only fourth down try, ruling the clock by keeping the ball for 32:22, while the Eagles went 3 of 9 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 27:38.

Dallas’ 27-point win in Jerry World allowed them to easily cover the 3-point spread but both clubs barely missed the 48 over/under by 1. Dallas is favored by 2 1/2 in the City of Brotherly Love and the over/under’s 48. Both numbers make a ton of sense. This one, being for all the marbles, 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 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

A Dallas win… they win the NFC East. A Philadelphia win… the Eagles stay alive for another week. There’s a lot on the line here and the Eagles are looking for revenge from their week seven loss at Jerry World. For Eagles fans, revenge is like a really good cheesesteak sandwich from Pat’s (or Gino’s). It’s really tasty and this time around, the Eagles will be the ones feasting. Washington covers the 2 1/2 in the City of Brotherly Love and delays Dallas’ hopes of winning the NFC East for another week.

Arizona (4-9-1) at Seattle (11-3), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV xxx. A pair of NFC West rivals meet in the Land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks as Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals make their way to the Pacific Northwest for a rematch with Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. Both teams were winners in last week’s action.

The Desert Angry Birds put a dent in Cleveland’s hopes of finishing .500 as the Cardinals took care of Cleveland 38-24 at State Farm Stadium. Arizona led 21-10 at the intermission, then proceeded to floor the gas in the final 30 minutes of action, allowing the Cardinals to take the win.

Arizona outrushed Cleveland 226-152 with Cardinals RB Kyle Drake leading all rushers with 137 yards and four rushing TDs, while the Browns were paced by Nick Chubb, who tallied 127 yards on the ground with a TD. Mayfield threw for 247 yards and a pair of TD tosses (Mayfield was sacked once and threw an interception), while Kyler Murray threw for 219 yards with a TD (Murray threw an interception but was not sacked). Both clubs did well on third down conversions in the desert; Arizona was 4 of 8 on third down and kept the ball for 29:11, while the Browns actually were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 30:49. while going 9 of 14 on third down (both teams were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

Seattle put themselves back in first place in the NFC West with San Francisco’s loss to Atlanta, denying Panthers interim head coach Perry Fewell his first win of the season as the Panthers dropped their sixth contest in a row, with the Seahawks and Wilson leaving Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium 30-24 winners Sunday afternoon. Seattle led 20-7 at the half in the Tar Heel State, then watched as the Panthers clawed their way back, coming to within seven with 3:14 left in the contest when Curtis Samuel and Kyle Allen connected on a 5-yard TD toss but could not get any closer as the Seahawks would run the clock out to take the win.

Seattle outrushed Carolina 154-145 with Seahawks RB Chris Carson leading the way with 133 yards, while Carolina was led by Christian McCaffrey with 87 yards (both had a pair of TDs); Wilson threw for 286 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions, while Allen threw for 277 yards and the Samuel TD pass (he would be sacked once and threw three interceptions). Carolina was 5 of 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:42, while the Seahawks would rule the clock, keeping the ball for 31:18, going 4 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Arizona and Seattle met in the desert in week four and the Seahawks prevailed 27-10. Seattle led 20-3 at the break and took control of things from that point onward. Both clubs tallied 115 yards of rushing, with Seattle’s Chris Carson leading the way with 104 yards; Wilson threw for 240 yards and despite being sacked four times, he did not throw an interception and had a TD pass to TE Will Dissly, while Murray threw for 241 yards with four sacks and an interception. Neither team attempted a fourth down try in the meeting at State Farm Stadium; Seattle on third down was 4 of 10 and kept the ball for 33:24, while the Desert Angry Birds held the pigskin for 26:36, going 3 of 9 on third down.

Seattle covered the 5-point spread, winnings by 17 but the 48 over/under stayed safe, as the two teams merged for only 37 points. Seattle’s favored again, this time by 9 1/2 and the over/under’s 4 1/2. For Arizona, they’re playing with nothing to lose, while the Seahawks want the top spot not only in the NFC West but the top seed in the NFC. We’re not sure about the top seed but Seattle takes the sweep in the series but expect Arizona to make things closer than the 9 1/2.

Kansas City (10-4) at Chicago (7-7), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs travel to the Windy City to meet Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears at Solider Field in primetime action.

Kansas City turned Arrowhed Stadium to a winter wonderland of sorts as they held Denver to a late first half field goal by Brian McManus at Arrowhead last Sunday as the Chiefs took care of Denver 23-3. Denver trailed 12-0 with 1:56 left when McManus would connect on a 32-yard field goal before Chiefs K Harrison Butker booted a 44-yard field goal as time exipred in the first half. Mahomes would later throw his second TD pass of the contest, connecting with WR Tyreek Hill on a 5-yard TD toss.

Neither club reached the 100-yard rushing barrier in the snowy contest in the Show-Me State but the Chiefs did manage to outrush Denver 92-52 with Drew Lock throwing for 208 yards, while Mahomes threw for 340 yards and a pair of TDs (Lock was sacked twice, Mahomes was sacked three times and each threw an intercetpion). Denver was 5 of 14 on third down (the Broncos were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:27, while the Chiefs were rulers of the clock, holding the pigskin for 33:33, while going 6 for 11 on third down tries.

Green Bay held off a late Chicago rally at Lambeau Field last Sunday afternoon as the Packers clinched a playoff spot with a 21-13 NFC North win. Da Bears trailed 7-3 at the intermission before Green Bay used a pair of Aaron Jones rushing TDs in the third quarter before Chicago would pull themselves to within three on a 27-yard field goal by Eddie Pineiro and a 2-yard TD pass from Trubisky to WR Anthony Miller. Chicago would get the ball back with 36 seconds left in the contest at their 22-yard line and they would get as close as Green Bay’s 34-yard line, where the drive that would give Chicago either the win or at the least tie the contest stalled when they fumbled the ball, allowing Green Bay to recover and take the win.

Green Bay outrushed Chicago 100-96 and Aaron Rodgers threw for 203 yards with a TD to Devante Adams (Jones led all rushers with 51 yards and a pair of TDs), while Trubisky threw for 334 yards and the Miller TD (Trubisky was sacked three times and threw an interception, while Rodgers was sacked once). While Chicago was 9 of 20 on third down, they were unsuccessful on fourth down, going a dismal 0 of 3 and Da Bears actually ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 34:22, while the Packers, going 5 of 15 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down, kept the pigskin for 25:38.

While Da Bears lead the series 7-5, Kansas City has outscored Chicago 224-185. Their last meeting was in Arrowhead in 2015 and Da Bears would leave the Show-Me State 18-17 winners, while Kansas City’s last win came at Soldier Field in 2011, as the Chiefs would leave the Windy City with the 10-3 win. The Chiefs are favored by 5 in the Windy City and the over/under’s 45. As far as the Chiefs are concerned, their hay’s in the barn as they won the AFC West, while Chicago would like to at the very least slow Kansas City down. Chiefs prevail against the Monsters of the Midway and covers the 5 in the Windy City.

Green Bay (11-3) at Minnesota (10-4), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. The final Monday night game of the 2019 season takes place in the Twin Cities as Green Bay and Minnesota, fighting for the top spot in the NFC North, meet at US Bank Stadium.

Green Bay held off a late Chicago rally at Lambeau Field last Sunday afternoon as the Packers clinched a playoff spot with a 21-13 NFC North win in their final home game of the 2019 season. Green Bay led Da Bears 7-3 at the intermission, then used a pair of Aaron Jones rushing TDs in the third quarter before Chicago would pull themselves to within three on a 27-yard field goal by Eddie Pineiro and a 2-yard TD pass from Trubisky to WR Anthony Miller. Chicago would get the ball back with 36 seconds left in the contest at their 22-yard line and they would get as close as Green Bay’s 34-yard line, where the drive that would give Chicago either the win or at the least tie the contest stalled when they fumbled the ball, allowing Green Bay to recover and take the win.

Green Bay outrushed Chicago 100-96 and Aaron Rodgers threw for 203 yards with a TD to Devante Adams (Jones led all rushers with 51 yards and a pair of TDs), while Trubisky threw for 334 yards and the Miller TD (Trubisky was sacked three times and threw an interception, while Rodgers was sacked once). While Chicago was 9 of 20 on third down, they were unsuccessful on fourth down, going a dismal 0 of 3 and Da Bears actually ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 34:22, while the Packers, going 5 of 15 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down, kept the pigskin for 25:38.

Minnesota kept their playoff hopes alive in Carson as the Vikings took care of Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers 39-10 Sunday afternoon at Dignity Health Sports Park. Minnesota led 19-10 at the break, then floored the gas as they would score their last 20 points of the contest unchallenged, using a pair of Mike Boone rushing TDs late in the contest to seal the Chargers’ fate. Minnesota outrushed Los Angeles 137-62, with Chargers QB Philip Rivers throwing for 307 yards and a TD pass to Mike Williams, while Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins threw for 207 yards and a TD (Rivers was sacked three times and threw three interceptions, while Cousins threw an interception without a sack). Minnesota went 7 of 15 on third down tries and held the ball for 32:19, while the Chargers kept the pigskin for 27:41, going 6 of 11 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

They met in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst in week two and the Packers held off Minnesota 21-16 at Lambeau Field. Green Bay led 17-10 at the break as Rodgers threw a pair of TD passes in the first 30 minutes of play, then held off the Vikings in the third as WR Stefon Diggs and Cousins would connect on a 45-yard TD toss with 9:12 left in the third quarter but then had the extra point try blocked.

Minnesota outrushed Green Bay 198-144 and Minnesota’s Delvin Cook led all rushers with 154 yards, while Jones led Gree Bay with 116 yards (each had a rushing TD). Rodgers threw for 209 yards with a pair of TDs (he was sacked twice but went without an interception), while Cousins threw for 230 yards with the TD toss to Diggs (Diggs was sacked once and threw a pair of interceptions). Green Bay was 5 of 15 on third down (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and held on to the pigskin for 34:06, while the Vikings, keeping the ball for 25:54, went 4 of 13 on third down.

Green Bay covered the 3-point spread in the week two contest at Lambeau (they would win by 5) but both teams missed the 43 1/2 over/under, tallying 37 points. Both teams have already played on Monday night; the Packers defeated Detroit 23-22 at Lambeau in week six, while the Vikings lost at Seattle in week 13 by a 37-30 final. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Vikings, favoring them by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 46. A lot is on the line; if the Packers win this one, they win the NFC North; if the Vikings win, they hold off Green Bay for at least another week. You might want to tape “All Rise” and “Bull” this week. Packers prevail in the Twin Cities Monday night but expect Minnesota to make it closer than the 4 1/2.

Three spots in the post-season have been filled. Baltimore, Kansas City and the New Orleans Saints have all punched their dance cards for the post-season party. The Ravens, Chiefs and Saints have all won their respective divisions. Nine spots remain and some, if not all could be filled soon.

For those that are not going to be in the post-season, it’s a chance to evaluate talent for next season and perhaps upset the playoff plans of other teams. In the bigger picture, 12 teams will have a second season, with one small twist.

You win, you advance.

You lose, your next game’s next year. It’s not rocket science. At the end of the day when week 17 concludes, there will be 12 more teams extending their season. 12 teams fighting to either get another Lombardi Trophy or get a Lombardi of their own.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK 14: With a 23-16 victory at New England, combined with Oakland’s Week 14 loss against Tennessee, Kansas City clinched the AFC West for the fourth-consecutive season.

With a 24-17 win at Buffalo, Baltimore clinched a playoff berth for the second-consecutive year.

Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson threw three touchdowns and one interception for a 102.5 passer rating and added 40 rushing yards in the Ravens’ Week 14 win at Buffalo. Jackson has 1,017 rushing yards this season and joins Michael Vick (1,039 rushing yards in 2006) as the only quarterbacks with at least 1,000 rushing yards in a single season in NFL history.

Denver rookie quarterback Drew Lock, making his first-career road start, passed for 309 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for a 136.0 passer rating in the Broncos’ 38-24 win at Houston. Lock is the first rookie in the Super Bowl era to pass for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in his first-career road start.

Denver running back Philip Lindsay had 55 scrimmage yards (51 rushing, four receiving) and a rushing touchdown on Sunday. Lindsay, who had 1,278 scrimmage yards as a rookie in 2018, has 1,004 scrimmage yards this season and is the third undrafted player with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards in each of his first two seasons in the common draft era.

San Francisco wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders had seven receptions for 157 yards and a touchdown and threw a 35-yard touchdown pass, in the 49ers’ 48-46 win at New Orleans. Sanders, who recorded both a passing and receiving touchdown with Denver in Week 7 of the 2018 season, joins Pro Football Hall of Famers Walter Payton and LaDainian Tomlinson, along with Odell Beckham, Jr. as the only non-quarterbacks to record both a passing and receiving touchdown in multiple games since 1970.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees threw five touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown on Sunday. Brees has 11 career games with at least five touchdown passes, the most such games in NFL history. Brees became the fourth player in the Super Bowl era with five passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in a single game, joining Mark Malone (Week 1, 1985), Aaron Rodgers (Week 7, 2019) and Mark Rypien (Week 11, 1991).

Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed 21 of 27 passes (77.8 percent) for 391 yards and three touchdowns with one interception for a 140.4 passer rating in the Titans’ 42-21 win at Oakland. Tannehill joined Aaron Rodgers (three games in 2011) as the only players to complete at least 75 percent of their passes with a passer rating of 130 or higher (minimum 10 attempts) in three consecutive games in a single season in NFL history.

Tannehill also joined Russell Wilson (five games in 2015) as the only players with four consecutive games with at least two passing touchdowns and a passer rating of 125 or higher in NFL history.

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler registered 101 rushing yards and 112 receiving yards, including an 84-yard touchdown reception, in the Chargers’ 45-10 win over Jacksonville. Ekeler joins Arian Foster (Week 7, 2011), Priest Holmes (Week 13, 2001 and Week 12, 2002) and Pierre Thomas (Week 17, 2007) as the only undrafted running back to have at least 100 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards in a single game in the common draft era.

Ekeler has eight touchdown receptions in 2019, the most by an undrafted running back in a single season in the common draft era.

Tennessee rookie wide receiver A.J. Brown registered a 91-yard touchdown reception against Oakland while Atlanta rookie wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus recorded a 93-yard touchdown reception against Carolina, marking the first time that two rookies each recorded a touchdown reception of at least 90 yards in the same week in the common draft era. Zaccheaus’ 93-yard touchdown was his first career catch, marking the longest first-career reception in NFL history.

Additionally, Pittsburgh rookie wide receiver Diontate Johnson had an 85-yard punt return for a touchdown on Sunday against Arizona. Week 14 marks the first time since Week 11 of the 2010 season (David Gettis, Marc Mariani and Bryan McCann) that three rookies each recorded a touchdown of at least 85 yards.

Other notable performances from Sunday include: Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan passed for 313 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 109.1 passer rating in the Falcons’ 40-20 win over Carolina. Ryan, who has 50,279 career passing yards, reached 50,000 passing yards in his 186th career game and became the second-fastest quarterback to reach 50,000 career passing yards in NFL history, trailing only Drew Brees (183 games).

Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston passed for 456 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions for a 107.3 passer rating, and added a rushing touchdown, in the Buccaneers’ 38-35 victory over Indianapolis.

Winston is the third quarterback in NFL history to record at least 450 passing yards, four passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in a single game, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Norm Van Brocklin (Week 1, 1951) and Billy Volek (Week 15, 2004). In his fifth NFL season, Winston has a career-high 4,115 passing yards in 2019 and has three career seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards. Winston joins Peyton Manning (four seasons), Andrew Luck (three), Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (three) and Matthew Stafford (three) as the only quarterbacks with at least 4,000 passing yards in three of their first five NFL seasons in league annals.

Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey had 135 scrimmage yards (82 receiving, 53 rushing) on Sunday. McCaffrey, who had 1,965 scrimmage yards in 2018, leads the NFL with 1,946 scrimmage yards this season and joins Pro Football Hall of Famers Eric Dickerson and LaDainian Tomlinson along with Ezekiel Elliott and Edgerrin James as the only players in league annals with at least 1,900 scrimmage yards in two of their first three career seasons.

Washington running back Adrain Peterson rushed for 76 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against Green Bay. He has 14,036 rushing yards and 109 rushing touchdowns in his 13-year NFL career. Peterson became the sixth player in NFL history with at least 14,000 rushing yards and joined Pro Football Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton as the only players in NFL history with at least 14,000 rushing yards and 100 rushing touchdowns.

Minnesota defensive end Danielle Hunter registered three sacks, including his 50th career sack, in the Vikings’ 20-7 win over Detroit. Hunter, who is 25 years and 40 days old, has 52.5 career sacks and is the youngest player to reach 50 career sacks since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic.

Indianapolis linebacker Darius Leonard, appearing in his 25th career game, recorded two interceptions, including an 80-yard interception return for a touchdown, on Sunday against Tampa Bay. Leonard, who has 12 sacks and six interceptions since entering the NFL in 2018, is the first player to register at least 10 sacks and five interceptions in his first 25 career games since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a match-up of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated the Indianapolis-New Orleans matchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest features the teams from Super Bowl XLIV. On February 7, 2010, in Miami Gardens, Florida, the Saints dedicated their 31-17 victory to the New Orleans community, ravaged four years earlier by Hurricane Katrina. Trailing 10-6, Saints head coach Sean Payton surprised everyone by calling for an onside kick to open the second half and the Saints recovered to set up a go-ahead, 16-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees to Pierre Thomas. Indianapolis went back on top 17-13 with a 4-yard touchdown run by Joseph Addai but the Saints shut out Indy’s high-powered offense over the game’s final 21 minutes. Brees guided New Orleans on a nine-play touchdown drive to take a fourth-quarter lead, hitting Jeremy Shockey from 2 yards out and Tracy Porter returned an interception 74 yards for a touchdown, the final points in the Saints’ first world championship.

AFC SOUTH FIGURES TO GO DOWN TO WIRE: Tennessee (8-5), climbing into the heart of the AFC playoff race with four straight wins, hosts Houston (8-5) on Sunday. The two organizations that sit knotted atop the AFC South not only share roots in the city of Houston, they also meet twice in the season’s final three weeks, including a Week 17 rematch at NRG Stadium. And don’t count out Indianapolis (6-7), who are still in the hunt thanks to a 3-2 division record.

Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill last week completed 21 of 27 passes (77.8 percent) for 391 yards and three touchdowns with one interception for a 140.4 passer rating in the Titans’ 42-21 win at Oakland. Tannehill joined Aaron Rodgers (three games in 2011) as the only players to complete at least 75 percent of their passes with a passer rating of 130 or higher (minimum 10 attempts) in three consecutive games in a single season in NFL history. Tannehill also joined Russell Wilson (five games in 2015) as the only players with four consecutive games with at least two passing touchdowns and a passer rating of 125 or higher in NFL history.

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL: Through the first 14 weeks of the 2019 season, five teams – Buffalo (9-4), Green Bay (10-3), Minnesota (9-4), Pittsburgh (8-5) and San Francisco (11-2) – are in playoff position after missing the postseason a year ago. From 1990-2018 – a streak of 29 consecutive years – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before. In 2018, seven of the 12 playoff teams missed the postseason the year before.

DIVISION-WINNING REBOUNDS: The NFL in 2002 expanded to 32 teams and realigned into eight divisions. Since that time, in 15 of the past 16 years, at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs. Heading into Week 15, two teams – Green Bay (NFC North) and San Francisco (NFC West) – lead their respective divisions after missing the postseason in 2018.

BREES, BRADY IN RACE FOR MANNING’S RECORD: In Week 15, New England quarterback Tom Brady (536) will get the first shot at the NFL’s career passing touchdowns record, held by Peyton Manning (539), when the Patriots travel to Cincinnati Sunday. Saints quarterback Drew Brees (537) will follow on Monday Night Football when New Orleans hosts Indianapolis. Since 1950, eight players have held the career mark, one of the game’s most hallowed records.

The players that have held the NFL’s career passing touchdowns record, since 1950:

PLAYER (TOUCHDOWN PASSES; SEASONS HELD)
Sammy Baugh: 187; 1950-61 (HOF)
Bobby Layne: 196; 1962-63 (HOF)
Y.A. Tittle: 212; 1963-66 (HOF)
Johnny Unitas: 290; 1966-75 (HOF)
Fran Tarkenton: 342; 1975-95 (HOF)
Dan Marino: 420; 1995-2007 (HOF)
Brett Favre: 508; 2007-14 (HOF)
Peyton Manning: 539; 2014-

NOTE – With 187 touchdown passes, Baugh and Layne were tied at the end of the 1961 season

Brees last week threw five touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown against San Francisco. Brees has 11 career games with at least five touchdown passes, the most such games in NFL history. He also became the fourth player in the Super Bowl era with five passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in a single game, joining Mark Malone (Week 1, 1985), Aaron Rodgers (Week 7, 2019) and Mark Rypien (Week 11, 1991).

FOOTBALL IS FAMILY: Buffalo (9-4) and Pittsburgh (8-5) meet on Sunday Night Football in a game with significant AFC playoff implications. The game is also significant to the Edmunds family and in NFL history. Pittsburgh running back Trey Edmunds, 24 and safety Terrell Edmunds, 22, will square off against their brother, Bills linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, 21.

Sunday’s contest is expected to be the first known NFL game in 92 years with three brothers on the same field. The last time it is believed to have occurred was the end of the 1927 season when Joe, Cobb and Bill Rooney played for the Duluth Eskimos.

In the 2018 NFL Draft, Tremaine (Number 16, Buffalo) and Terrell (Number 28, Pittsburgh) became the first pair of brothers to be selected in the first round of the same draft. The Edmunds’ father, Ferrell Edmunds, was a two-time Pro Bowl selection at tight end during his seven-year NFL career with the Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks.

BEARS-PACKERS REACHES 200: Chicago and Green Bay renew one of the richest rivalries in sports history on Sunday at Lambeau Field. Sunday’s contest is the 200th meeting in the series, including postseason.

Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has thrown three touchdown passes in each of his past two games, wins over the Lions and Cowboys, respectively. Meanwhile, in his past eight games at Lambeau Field against Chicago, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers has 23 passing touchdowns and two interceptions for a passer rating of 116.0.

LAST-SECOND WIN IN STARTING DEBUT: Denver and rookie quarterback Drew Lock, who has won his first two starts, head to Kansas City to meet Kansas City Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. On December 1, Lock led the Broncos to a dramatic walk-off win over the Chargers, 23-20, in his first NFL start. The last quarterback to do that prior to Lock was his opponent Sunday, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who made his first NFL start at the end of his 2017 rookie season on the same field in Denver. Mahomes and the Chiefs beat the Broncos, 27-24, as time expired on December 31, 2017,

Lock, making his first-career road start last week, passed for 309 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for a 136.0 passer rating in the Broncos’ 38-24 win at Houston. He became the first rookie in the Super Bowl era to pass for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in his first career road start.

Denver running back Phillip Lindsay had 55 scrimmage yards (51 rushing, 4 receiving) and a rushing touchdown on Sunday. Lindsay, who had 1,278 scrimmage yards as a rookie in 2018, has 1,004 scrimmage yards this season and is the third undrafted player with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards in each of his first two seasons in the common-draft era.

Playoff scenarios abound in week 15 (PLAYOFFS? PLAYOFFS!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?) and while three teams (Baltimore, Kansas City and New Orleans) have accepted their RSVP’s to the post-season party, there are still nine spots left and three of those spots could be filled this weekend. Here are the scenarios for week 15 (you may want to take notes, there’ll be a quiz afterward…. this may cause more confusion than a mouse in a burlesque show).

Playoff Scenarios for week 15

AFC

CLINCHED:

Baltimore – AFC North
Kansas City – AFC West

Baltimore clinches a first-round bye with:

Baltimore win + New England loss OR
Baltimore win + Kansas City loss or tie OR
Baltimore tie + Kansas City loss

Baltimore clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

1) Baltimore win + NE loss + Kansas City loss or tie

Buffalo (9-4) at Pittsburgh (8-5), Sunday at 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Buffalo clinches playoff berth with:
Buffalo win

New England (10-3) at Cincinnati (1-12), Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS

New England clinches playoff berth with:
New England win or tie

NFC

CLINCHED:

New Orleans – NFC South Division

Green Bay (10-3) vs. Chicago (7-6), Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX

Green Bay clinches playoff berth with:
Green Bay win + Los Angeles Rams loss or tie OR
Green Bay tie + Los Angeles Rams loss

San Francisco (11-2) vs. ATLANTA (4-9), Sunday at 4:25 p.m. on FOX

San Francisco clinches playoff berth with:
San Francisco win or tie OR
Los Angeles Rams loss or tie OR
Minnesota loss + Green Bay loss

Seattle (10-3) at Carolina (5-8), Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX

Seattle clinches playoff berth with:
Seattle win + Los Angeles Rams loss or tie OR
Seattle win + Minnesota loss OR
Seattle win + Green Bay loss + Minnesota tie OR
Seattle tie + Los Angeles Rams loss

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 15

PASSING HISTORIC MILESTONES: Both New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and New England quarterback Tom Brady – who rank first and second in career passing yards in NFL history, respectively – can reach another historic milestone in Week 15.

If Brady has four touchdown passes on Sunday against Cincinnati or Brees has three touchdown passes against Indianapolis on Monday Night Football, they would surpass Peyton Manning (539 touchdowns) for the most career touchdown passes in NFL history.

The players with the most career touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (539)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (537)
Tom Brady – New England (536)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (508) (HOF)
Dan Marino – Miami (420) (HOF)

Additionally, if Brady – who has 19 touchdown passes in 2019 – has at least one touchdown pass on Sunday, he would surpass Manning (16 seasons) for the most seasons with at least 20 touchdown passes in NFL history. With three touchdown passes on Monday, Brees will also reach 20 for the season, tying Manning with 16 such seasons in his career.

The players with the most seasons with at least 20 touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (SEASONS WITH 20+ TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Tom Brady – New England (16)*
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (16)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (15)#
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (15) (HOF)
*Has 19 touchdown passes in 2019
#Has 17 touchdown passes in 2019

PETERSON CONTINUES TO CLIMB: Last week, Washington running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 76 yards and a touchdown, becoming the sixth player in NFL history with at least 14,000 career rushing yards (14,036) and joined Pro Football Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton as the only players with at least 14,000 rushing yards and 100 rushing touchdowns (109) in NFL history.

If Peterson has at least 66 rushing yards on Sunday against Philadelphia, he would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Curtis Martin (14,101) for the fifth-most career rushing yards in NFL history.

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

PLAYER – TEAMS (RUSHING YARDS)
Emmitt Smith – Dallas and Arizona (18,355) (HOF)
Walter Payton – Chicago (16,726) (HOF)
Frank Gore – San Francisco, Indianapolis, Miami and Buffalo (15,306)*
Barry Sanders – Detroit (15,269) (HOF)
Curtis Martin – New England and New York Jets (14,101) (HOF)
Adrian Peterson – Minnesota, New Orleans, Arizona and Washington (14,036)*
*Active

Additionally, Peterson needs one rushing touchdown on Sunday to tie Payton (110) for the fourth-most rushing touchdowns in NFL history.

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

PLAYER – TEAMS (RUSHING TDS)
Emmitt Smith – Dallas and Arizona (164) (HOF)
LaDainian Tomlinson – San Diego and New York Jets (145) (HOF)
Marcus Allen – Los Angeles Raiders and Kansas City (123) (HOF)
Walter Payton – Chicago (110) (HOF)
Adrian Peterson – Minnesota, New Orleans, Arizona and Washington (109)*
*Entering Sunday

STACKING WINS IN SEATTLE: Since entering the NFL in 2012, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has led the Seahawks to at least nine wins in each of his eight seasons under center, becoming the first quarterback to accomplish the feat in NFL history.

With a win at Carolina on Sunday, Wilson would tie Tom Brady (86 wins) for the most regular-season wins through a quarterback’s first eight seasons in NFL history.

The quarterbacks with the most regular-season wins through their first eight seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (WINS)
Tom Brady, New England (86)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (85)*
*In eighth season

GOLDEN GAROPPOLO: San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completed 26 of 35 attempts (74.3 percent) for 349 passing yards and four touchdowns with one interception for a 131.7 passer rating in a 48-46 win over New Orleans in Week 14. That marked Garoppolo’s fourth consecutive game completing at least 70 percent of his pass attempts with a passer rating of 110 or higher.

By completing at least 70 percent of his pass attempts and having a passer rating of 110 or higher on Sunday against Atlanta, Garoppolo would tie for the longest such streak of games in a single season in NFL history (minimum 10 attempts).

The quarterbacks with the most consecutive games completing at least 70 percent of their passes and a passer rating of 110 or higher in a single season in NFL history (minimum 10 attempts):

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – CONSECUTIVE GAMES)
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (2018 – 5)#
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2015 – 5)
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco (2019 – 4)*
*Active streak
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player

DUCK HUNTING FOR WINS: In Week 14, Pittsburgh rookie quarterback Devlin Hodges led the Steelers to a 23-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals, marking his third-career win in his third-career start.

With a win against Buffalo on Sunday Night Football, Hodges would tie Virgil Carter (four wins in 1968) and Phil Simms (four in 1979) for the third-longest streak of wins by a rookie quarterback to begin a career in the Super Bowl era (1966-present).

The rookie quarterbacks with the most consecutive wins to begin their careers in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – CONSECUTIVE WINS)
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (2004 – 13)
Mike Kruczek, Pittsburgh (1976 – 6)
Virgil Carter, Chicago (1968 – 4)
Phil Simms, New York Giants (1979 – 4)
Devlin Hodges, Pittsburgh (2019 – 3)*
*Active streak

Additionally, with a win, Hodges would become the first undrafted rookie quarterback to win each of his first four starts in the common draft era (1967-present).

TEN AGAIN: New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas – who leads the NFL with 121 receptions and 1,424 receiving yards this season – had 11 receptions for 134 yards and a touchdown in Week 14, marking his seventh game with at least 10 receptions in 2019.

With at least 10 receptions against Indianapolis on Monday Night Football, Thomas would surpass Andre Johnson (seven games in 2008) and Wes Welker (seven in 2009) for the most games with at least 10 receptions in a season in NFL history.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES)
Andre Johnson, Houston (2008 – 7)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (2019 – 7)*
Wes Welker, New England (2009 – 7)
*Entering Sunday

GURLEY AMONG GREATS: Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley has 10 total touchdowns this season (nine rushing, one receiving), having rushed for a touchdown in each of his past two games. Gurley, who is in his fifth NFL season, leads the NFL with 66 touchdowns since entering the league in 2015.

With a touchdown on Sunday at Dallas, Gurley would tie Adrian Peterson (67 touchdowns) for the fifth-most touchdowns through a player’s first five seasons in NFL history.

The players with the most total touchdowns in their first five seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASONS; TOUCHDOWNS)
LaDainian Tomlinson – San Diego (2001-05; 80) (HOF)
Emmitt Smith – Dallas (1990-94; 75) (HOF)
Shaun Alexander – Seattle (2000-04; 72)
Jerry Rice – San Francisco (1985-98; 70) (HOF)
Adrian Peterson – Minnesota (2007-11; 67)
Todd Gurley – St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams (2015-19; 66)*
*In fifth season

Week 15 got underway in Baltimore as the Ravens clinched the AFC North in the season’s final Thursday night contest in Charm City and concludes in the Big Easy as New Orleans hosts the Indianapolis Colts. As for week 14, going 8-8 was a lot better than we hoped and for the season. we’re 111-5. With that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 15.

ATLANTA (4-9) at San Francisco (11-2), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 717. Atlanta makes its final trip outside of the Eastern Time Zone as they travel to Santa Clara to face off against the San Francisco 49ers. Both teams took wins in last week’s play.

Atlanta ruined the debut of Carolina interim head coach Perry Fewell as the Falcons broke their two-game losing streak, taking the Panthers to task, coming away 40-20 winners in the Big Peach last Sunday. Atlanta led 13-10 at the intermission thanks to a 35-yard field goal by K Youngho Koo as time expired, then proceeded to score 20 points (a pair of Koo field goals, a 13-yard run by Davonte Freeman and a 93-yard pass from Ryan to Olamide Zaccheaus) in the third and fourth quarters unchallenged.

Freeman led all rushers with 84 yards and the TD as the Falcons outrushed their NFC South rivals 159-100 in the win to complete the sweep. Ryan threw for 313 yards and two TDs, (one to Calvin Ridley, the other to Zaccheaus, the longest of his career), while Kyle Allen threw for 293 with a passing TD as well as a rushing TD (Allen was sacked five times and picked off twice, while Ryan was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Atlanta was 5 of 12 on third down and was the ruler of the clock, keeping the ball for 31:45, while the Panthers went 3 of 10 on third down, keeping the pigskin for 28:15.

The 49ers had a tougher time than the Falcons did in getting their win in New Orleans but Robbie Gould sent San Francisco fans that were in attendance in the Big Easy home happy as they took a 48-46 win as the clock struck :00. The 49ers, in first place in the NFC West, took a 28-27 lead with them to the locker room before New Orleans K Will Lutz gave the Saints the lead back with a 55-yard field goal early in the third quarter. San Francisco took the lead back with 9:40 left in the quarter when TE George Kittle and QB Jimmy Garoppolo connected on a 5-yard TD toss. New Orleans would eventually take a 1-point lead at 46-45 with 53 seconds left when Drew Brees and WR Tre’Quan Smith would connect on an 18-yard TD pass. San Francisco would get the ball back with the 53 seconds left on the clock and used the available time to have a 7-play, 63-yard drive aided by a 28-yard pass from Garoppolo to Kittle (which was aided by a facemask penalty by the Saints) and got themselves in position to help Gould kick the field goal. After a 49ers time out, Gould connected on the try that sailed through the uprights as time expired.

In the contest that had seven lead changes and 10 TD passes, San Francisco outrushed New Orleans 162-116 and both Brees and Garoppolo threw for 349 yards (Garoppolo threw four TDs, Brees, threw 5, WR Emmanuel Sanders threw a TD and caught a TD pass; Garoppolo was sacked three times and threw an interception) in the Big Easy. San Francsico was 6 of 12 on third down and went 1 of 1 on fourth down and would keep the ball (including the final 53 seconds of the contest) for 28:37, while the Saints actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:23, while going 5 of 11 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

San Francisco leads the series 46-30-1 and the 49ers have outscored Atlanta 1,834-1,358. Their last meeting took place in the Big Peach in 2016 at the old Georgia Dome and the Falcons came away 41-13 winners, while San Francisco’s last win came at Candlestick Park in 2015 by a final of 17-16.

San Francisco’s favored by 11 on the West Coast and the over/under’s 46 1/2. The 46 1/2 is nice… the 11-point spread is a bit on the naughty side. The 49ers are looking to take back control in the NFC West, while the Falcons want to ruin San Francsico’s party. While Atlanta won’t cover the 11 on the West Coast, they will take care of business in Santa Clara and take the win.

Seattle (10-3) at Carolina (5-8), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. Hoping for a playoff spot, the Seattle Seahawks make their way to the Tar Heel State for an early afternoon (early morning kickoff in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks) to face off against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte. Both teams would wind up taking road losses in last week’s play.

Seattle fell back to second in the NFC West as Russell Wilson and the Seahawks were taken to task by the Los Angeles Rams 28-12 at the Coliseum last Sunday night. The Seahawks watched the defending NFC champions erase a 3-0 lead, scoring 21 points in the first half unchallenged to lead by 18 at the intermission, using a rushing TD from RB Malcom Brown and passes from Goff to WRs Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. After Seahawks LB Quintin Diggs picked off Kupp and returned the ball 55 yards for a TD in the third, RB Todd Gurley II restored order for the home team, scoring on a 7-yard romp to keep Seattle in check.

Los Angeles outrushed Seattle 162-106 and Gurley led all rushers with 79 yards, while Chris Carson led Seattle with 76 and the Rams defense sacked Wilson (245 yards) five times and picked him off once, while Goff threw for 293 yards with a pair of inteceptions to go with the two TD tosses. The Rams were 7 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 31:04, while Seattle, who held on to the pigskin for 28:56, went 5 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Carolina’s woes continued in the Big Peach last Sunday as the Falcons ruined the debut of interim head coach Perry Fewell as the Panthers dropped their fifth in a row, falling 40-20 last Sunday. Atlanta led 13-10 at the intermission thanks to a 35-yard field goal by K Youngho Koo as time expired, then proceeded to score 20 points (a pair of Koo field goals, a 13-yard run by Davonte Freeman and a 93-yard pass from Ryan to Olamide Zaccheaus) in the third and fourth quarters unchallenged.

Freeman led all rushers with 84 yards and the TD as the Falcons outrushed their NFC South rivals 159-100 in the win to complete the sweep. Ryan threw for 313 yards and two TDs, (one to Calvin Ridley, the other to Zaccheaus, the longest of his career), while Kyle Allen threw for 293 with a passing TD as well as a rushing TD (Allen was sacked five times and picked off twice, while Ryan was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Atlanta was 5 of 12 on third down and was the ruler of the clock, keeping the ball for 31:45, while the Panthers went 3 of 10 on third down, keeping the pigskin for 28:15.

The Seahawks lead the series 7-3 and have outscored Carolina 201-159. Their last meeting? Last year in the Tar Heel State and the Seahawks walked out of Bank of America Stadium 30-27 winners (Carolina’s last win came in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks in 2015 by a final of 27-23).

Their week 12 contest at Bank of America Stadium was a slugfest to the end as Carolina led 13-10 at the break, only to see Seattle chip away at the lead and the Seahawks would tie the contest up with 3:26 left to play on a 35-yard TD pass from Wilson to WR David Moore. After Carolina and Seattle exchanged punts, Seattle would get the ball back with 1:40 left in regulation. The Seahawks would use all of that 1:40, using a 7-play, 45-yard drive, ending the contest with a 31-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski as time expired.

Carolina outrushed Seattle 220-75 with Panthers RB Christian McCaffery leading all rushers with 125 yards and a rushing TD, along with a TD pass from Newton (McCaffery also had 11 catches for 112 yards). Newton threw for 256 yards with no sacks but was picked off once, while Wilson threw for 339 yards with a pair of sacks (each threw a pair of TD passes). Seattle was 6 of 14 on third down (2 of 2 on fourth down) and including the final 1:40 of the contest, ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 30:26, while Carolina kept the pigskin for 29:34, going 3 of 8 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 12 contest in the Tar Heel State, Carolina was favored by 3 1/2 but the Seahawks would win only by 3. The two clubs did manage to cover the 47 1/2 over/under, merging for 57 points. Seattle’s favored by 6 in the Tar Heel State and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Seattle’s looking to make their way into the post-season, while the Panthers are looking to give interim head coach Fewell his first win with Carolina. That win will have to wait a week. Seattle may not cover the 6 but they take the win in the Tar Heel State.

New England (10-3) at Cincinnati (1-12), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. Tom Brady vs. Andy Dalton. Two of the best QBs in the NFL meet along the shores of the Ohio River as New England takes on the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Both teams look to right their ships after coming off losses in last week’s action.

New England’s 21-game win streak at Gillette Stadium came to an end Sunday against Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City as the Chiefs would survive a last-second scare from Brady and the defending champs and leaving Foxboro 23-16 winners. New England took an early 7-0 lead in the AFC Championship rematch when Brady and Julian Edleman connected on a 37-yard TD pass. Kansas City, who clinched the AFC West, would proceed to score all 23 of their points in the contest unchallenged, leading 20-7 at the break. New England’s Brandon Bolden would make the contest a 10-point affair with 4:23 left in the third (New England went for 2 and failed) and Nick Folk’s 29-yard field goal halfway through the fourth would make it a six-point contest. Kansas City would then hold off a last-ditch effort by Brady and the Pats, shutting them down in Kansas City’s territory as Brady’s pass to Edleman was incomplete.

Kansas City and New England failed to breach the 100-yard barrier in the contest but New England outrushed Kansas City 94-75 and Mahomes threw for 283 yards, while Brady tallied 169 yards (Brady was sacked three times; both Brady and Mahomes threw a TD pass and both were picked off once; Eldeman had eight catches for 95 yards) in the air. New England on third down? 2 of 12 (they were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 25:39, while the Chiefs ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:21, going 5 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

After taking their first win of the season two weeks ago against the New York Jets, Cincinnati found themselves being brought back to to Earth by Cleveland as the Browns would wind up taking down their AFC North/Buckeye State rivals 27-19 at First Energy Field. The Browns took a 14-13 lead at the break, then floored the gas in the second half, outscoring the Bengals 13-6 in the final 30 minutes of action along the shores of Lake Erie. The Bengals outrushed Cleveland 179-146 and fantasy players got their wishes granted as Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon (146 yards, TD) and Cleveland’s Nick Chubb (106 yards) each led their teams on the ground, while Mayfield threw for 192 yards and a pair of interceptions, while Andy Dalton, in his second contest since being benched, threw for 262 yards with an interception (Dalton was sacked twice, Mayfield sacked once).

Cleveland was 7 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 25:29, while the Bengals actually ruled the clock and held the ball hostage for 34:31, while going 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The Patriots lead the series 16-9, have outscored the Bengals 524-518 and have won the last two contests (both in Foxboro), with New England’s last win coming in 2016 by a final of 35-17, while Cincinnati’s last win came in the Queen City in 2013, with the Bengals leaving Paul Brown Stadium 13-6 winners. New England’s favored by 10 and the over/under’s 40 1/2. While the Bengals are bad, they’re not 10 points bad. New England may not cover the 10 but they right their ship on the way to the playoffs, taking the win on the road.

Tampa Bay (6-7) at Detroit (3-9-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of struggling teams meet in the Motor City as Tampa Bay makes its way to Detroit to face the Lions at Ford Field.

Tampa Bay held off a late Indianapolis rally in the Sunshine State and came away 38-35 winners at Raymond James Stadium. The Buccaneers trailed 27-21 at the intermission along Florida’s West Coast and trailed 35-21 late in the third before they would go to work, scoring their final points unchallenged, taking the lead for good when Winston and WR Breshad Perriman would connect on a 12-yard TD toss late in the final quarter. Indianapolis would get as close as midfield with 1:56 left in regulation but got no further as Jacoby Brissett’s pass attempt on fourth down sailed incomplete.

The two clubs did not breach the 100-yard rushing barrier but Tampa Bay did outrushed the Colts 75-66 and Winston threw for 456 yards with four TDs (including the game-winner; Winston was picked off three times and sacked once), while Brissett threw for 252 yards with a pair of TD passes (Brissett was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Tampa Bay was 8 of 15 on third down but struck gold on fourth down, hitting pay dirt in their only attempt and kept the ball for 34:15, while the Colts were 6 of 16 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 25:45.

The woes for Lions fans continued in the Twin Cities as Minnesota gave Detroit their sixth loss in a row, coming away on the short end of a 20-7 loss at US Bank Stadium. Detroit trailed 17-0 at the intermission and could never get themselves on rack, scoring their lone TD with 2:09 when WR Kenny Golladay caught a 10-yard TD pass from Derrick Blough. Minnesota outrushed the Lions 120-70 and Blough threw for 205 yards but was sacked five times and picked off twice to go with the lone TD toss, while Kirk Cousins threw for 242 yards and a TD (Cousins was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Detroit was 7 of 16 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:18, while the Vikings ruled the clock and held on to the pigskin for 33:42, going 5 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games played at Tiger Stadium, the Silverdome and old Tampa Stadium, Detroit leads the series 31-26 and have outscored the Buccaneers 1,223-998. Each team’s last wins came in the other team’s facilty; Detroit’s last win was in Tampa Bay in 2017, with the Lions leaving the Sunshine State 24-21 winners, while Tampa Bay’s last win was in the Motor City in 2013 by a final of 24-21. Tampa Bay’s favored by 4 in the Motor City and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Sorry, Lions fans. Your losing streak will move to seven. Tampa Bay covers the 4 and wins in the Motor City.

Chicago (7-6) at Green Bay (10-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. They meet again, this time in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst. Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers hosts Mitchell Trubisky and Chicago in an NFC North rematch from opening night. Both teams took wins at home last week.

Chicago held off Dallas 31-24 at Soldier Field last Thursday night. Dallas used a 17-play, 75 yard drive that used 8:57 of clock to take an early 7-0 lead when RB Ezekiel Elliott scored from a yard out. Da Bears would erase that deficit in the second quarter as Trubisky and WR Allan Robinson would connect on the first of their two TDs, scoring on a 5-yard toss early in the second quarter to tie things up. K Eddie Pineiro would give Chicago the lead for keeps, connecting on a 36-yard field goal to take a 10-7 lead. Robinson and Trubisky would hook up again with 10 seconds to go before the intermission on a 8-yard toss to lead 17-7 at the break. Elliott would pick up his second TD of the contest, scoring from 2 yards out in the thrid before Trubisky would take matters into his own feet, scoring on a 23-yard run to give Chicago a 17-point lead with 13:22 left in the contest. Dallas would add a 19-yard TD pass from Dak Prescott to Amari Cooper and a 31-yard field goal by Brett Maher with eight seconds left to narrow the gap.

Chicago outrushed Dallas 151-82 with Bears RB David Montgomery leading the way with 86 yards (Elliott had 81 for Dallas with the two TDs) and Trubisky threw for 244 yards and three TDs (two of them to Robinson), while Prescott threw for 334 yards and the Cooper TD (both were sacked twice and Trubisky threw an interception). Da Bears were 7 of 12 on third down in the Windy City and the Monsters of the Midway kept the pigskin for 32:18, while Dallas, keeping the ball for 27:42, went 6 of 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Green Bay held off Washington 20-15 at Lambeau Field last Sunday. The Packers, kings of the NFC North mountain, led 14-6 at the half and held off the Redskins, breaking their brief 2-game win streak to seal the win. Green Bay outrushed Washington 174-121 with Packers RB Aaron Jones leading everyone with 134 yards and a TD, while Adrian Peterson led Washington with 76 and a TD of his own. Rodgers threw for 195 yards and a TD pass to TE Robert Tonyan, while Dwayne Haskins threw for 170 yards with a TD (both men were sacked four times and Haskins threw an interception). Green Bay was 5 of 13 on third down at Lambeau and the Packers were Mick Jagger-like and had time on their side, keeping the ball for 30:24, while Washington kept the ball for 29:36, going 4 for 11 on third down conversions.

They met in the season opener on a Thursday night in week one in the Windy City and the Packers held off Da Bears 10-3 at Soldier Field. Green Bay erased a 3-0 first quarter deficit, took a 7-3 lead into the intermission, then stopped Chicago in the closing seconds to take the win. Neither club breached the 100-yard barrier and Green Bay outrushed Chicago 48-47, with Rodgers throwing for 203 yards with a TD pass to Jimmy Graham, while Trubisky threw for 228 yards and an interception (both men were sacked five times and Rodgers did not throw an interception. Green Bay went 2 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 31:03, while Da Bears kept the pigskin for 28:57, going 3 of 15 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

In the season opener in the Windy City, Chicago was favored by 3 and the Packers covered, winning by 3. The 46 1/2 over/under stayed untouched, as both teams combined for only 13 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Packers this time around, making them 5-point favorites in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst and the over/under’s 41. Chicago’s looking for revenge from the season opening loss at Soldier Field, while the Packers would love to sweep the series and put Da Bears in their rear-view mirror. Green Bay covers the 5 at Lambeau, sweeps the series for the first time since the 2012 season and takes the win in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst.

Denver (5-8) at Kansas City (9-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. Fresh off their upset win in Foxboro and taking the AFC West title, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs return to Arrowhead Stadium to face off against the Denver Broncos in a matchup that had both teams winning on the road in last week’s play.

Denver broke Houston’s 2-game win streak in the Lone Star State as Drew Lock and the Broncos took the Texans 38-24 at NRG Stadium. The Broncos took a 31-3 lead at the intermission, then held off the Texans in the second half as Houston outscored Denver 21-7 in the final 30 minutes of play, making the contest closer than the score indicated. Houston outrushed Denver 134-90, with Texans RB Carlos Hyde leading all rushers with 73 yards (Broncos RB Patrick Lindsay led Denver with 51 yards and a TD) and Lock throwing for 309 yards and three TDs, while DeShaun Watson threw for 292 yards and a TD to DeAndre Hopkins (Lock was sacked once and threw an interception, while Watson was sacked three times and threw a pair of picks). Denver was 5 of 8 on third down tries and kept the ball hostage for 31:25, while the Texans, who kept the pigskin for 28:35, went 6 of 13 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

Kansas City ended New England’s 21-game win streak at Gillette Stadium, surviving a last-second scare from Tom Brady and the defending champs and leaving Foxboro 23-16 winners. New England took an early 7-0 lead in the AFC Championship rematch when Brady and Julian Edleman connected on a 37-yard TD pass. Kansas City, who clinched the AFC West, would proceed to score all 23 of their points in the contest unchallenged, leading 20-7 at the break. New England’s Brandon Bolden would make the contest a 10-point affair with 4:23 left in the third (New England went for 2 and failed) and Nick Folk’s 29-yard field goal halfway through the fourth would make it a six-point contest. Kansas City would then hold off a last-ditch effort by Brady and the Pats, shutting them down in Kansas City’s territory as Brady’s pass to Edleman was incomplete.

Kansas City and New England failed to breach the 100-yard barrier in the contest but New England outrushed Kansas City 94-75 and Mahomes threw for 283 yards, while Brady tallied 169 yards (Brady was sacked three times; both Brady and Mahomes threw a TD pass and both were picked off once; Eldeman had eight catches for 95 yards) in the air. New England on third down? 2 of 12 (they were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 25:39, while the Chiefs ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:21, going 5 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Sunday contest in the Show-Me State is a rematch of their week seven Thursday night contest in the Mile High City and the Chiefs held Denver to a 1-yard TD run by Royce Freeman (the Broncos missed the extra point) in the early stages of the first quarter, then proceeded to score all 30 of their points (they led 20-6 at the half) unchallenged to come away 30-7 winners. Neither club came close to the 100-yard rushing barrier at Empower Field at Mile High as the Chiefs outrushed Denver 80-71 (Chiefs RB LeSean McCoy led all rushers with 64 yards). Mahomes threw for 76 yards in the win before he left the contest with a knee injury (Mahomes threw a TD pass to Tyreek Hill and did not have an interception), with Matt Moore taking over, throwing a TD pass and 117 yards, while Joe Flacco threw for 213 yards and was sacked eight times. Kansas City went 5 of 15 on third down (the Chiefs were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:13, while the Broncos were 1 of 13 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down and held the ball for 27:47.

In the week seven contest in the Mile High City, the Chiefs were favored by 2 and covered, winning by 23 but the 37 combined points did not come close to the 48 1/2 over/under. In the rematch at Arrowhead, the Chiefs are favored by 11 and the over/under’s 47. The 47? Makes a ton of sense. The 11? Not too sure about that. Denver’s a lot better than most of us think and while they’ll give the Chiefs problems at Arrowhead, Kansas City pulls off the sweep, taking their ninth win in 10 tries in the series.

Miami (3-9) at New York Giants (2-11), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of struggling teams meet in upstate New Jersey as the Miami Dolphins make their second trip to Met Life Stadium in a week for a meeting with the New York Giants. Both clubs took road losses in last week’s play.

Miami watched a 2-point lead late in their contest with the New York Jets get away from them as GangGreen would rally from behind, taking a 22-21 last second win at Met Life Stadium. GangGreen led 16-9 at the break before Miami stormed their way back in the second half to lead 21-19 with 93 seconds left. That would be all the time the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! would need, as they engineered a 7-play, 49-yard drive that used all of the available time left on the clock as K Steven Ficken connected on a 44-yard field goal as time expired.

Miami outrushed GangGreen 122-112 with Jets RB Bilal Powell leading all rushers with 74 yards, while Miami QB Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Dolphins with 65 yards rushing. Fitzpatrick would throw for 245 yards with a pair of sacks, while Jets signal called Sam Darnold threw for 270 yards with a pair of TDs (one to WR Robby Anderson) and was sacked once (both threw an interception in the contest). GangGreen was 5 of 13 on third down (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball (including the final 93 seconds of the contest) for 29:54, while the Dolphins ruled the clock, holding the ball for 30:06 and went 4 of 13 on third down.

The Giants welcomed the return of Eli Manning under center, only to watch Philadelphia and Carson Wentz rally late in their Monday night contest, falling to the Eagles 23-17 in overtime at Lincoln Financial Field. After a scoreless first quarter in the City of Brotherly Love, the Giants took a 17-3 lead with them to the break in the Monday night contest, using a pair of Manning TD passes to WR Darius Slayton, only to see the Eagles chip away at the lead as they would rally to pull themselves to within seven with 1:28 left in the third when RB Boston Scott scored on a 2-yard run, then tie things up with 1:53 left in regulation when Wentz and TE Zach Ertz would connect on the first of their two TD passes, the first coming from 2 yards out. Philadelphia would win the toss in overtime and kept Manning (who took over for Daniel Jones, who had an ankle injury) on the bench, as the Eagles marched their way down the field, using an 8-play, 75-yard drive that used 4:50 of ending with Wentz and Ertz connecting on their second TD pass of the night.

Philadrlphia outrushed their NFC East rivals 118-73 (Giants RB Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 66 yards) and Manning threw for 203 yards, while Wentz threw for 325 yards in the overtime affair (Manning was sacked twice, Wentz was sacked three times but neither threw an interception). The Giants on third down were a somewhat dismal 2 of 12 and kept the ball for 21:59, while the Eagles ruled the clock and including the overtime would keep the ball for 42:51, going 9 of 21 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The Giants lead the series 6-2, have outscored the Dolphins 143-121 and have come away winners in the last three meetings, including a 31-24 win in Miami in 2015, while Miami’s last win came in the Meadowlands in 2003 by a final of 23-10. The Giants are favored by 3 1/2 in upstate New Jersey and the over/under’s 48. Both teams are bad and we wouldn’t blame you one bit if you were to skip this one, get that milk and cookies ready for Santa and watch the “Grumpy Cat Chirstmas” movie this week. Miami would love nothing more than to leave the Meadowlands with a win and they’ll do it, covering the 3 1/2.

Houston (8-5) at Tennessee (8-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. Two AFC South teams connected to the same city by history and tied for the top spot in the divsion meet in the Music City as Tennessee hosts the Houston Texans. The Titans were formerly the Houston Oilers, while the Texans became their replacement after the Oilers left for Nashville.

Denver broke Houston’s 2-game win streak in the Lone Star State as Drew Lock and the Broncos took the Texans 38-24 at NRG Stadium. The Broncos took a 31-3 lead at the intermission, then held off the Texans in the second half as Houston outscored Denver 21-7 in the final 30 minutes of play, making the contest closer than the score indicated. Houston outrushed Denver 134-90, with Texans RB Carlos Hyde leading all rushers with 73 yards (Broncos RB Patrick Lindsay led Denver with 51 yards and a TD) and Lock throwing for 309 yards and three TDs, while DeShaun Watson threw for 292 yards and a TD to DeAndre Hopkins (Lock was sacked once and threw an interception, while Watson was sacked three times and threw a pair of picks). Denver was 5 of 8 on third down tries and kept the ball hostage for 31:25, while the Texans, who kept the pigskin for 28:35, went 6 of 13 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

Tennessee broke a 21-21 halftime tie with Oakland, scoring 21 second half points unchallenged to come out on top on the West Coast 42-21 last Sunday. The Titans used touchdowns from RB Derek Henry (10-yard run), TE Jonnu Smith (17 yard TD pass from Ryan Tannehill) and LB Jayon Brown (46-yard fumble return) to take the win on the road against Oakland in the second half. Tennessee outrushed Oakland 161-97 and Henry accounted for 103 of those yards with a pair of TDs, with Tannehill throwing for 391 yards and three TDs (two to Brown), while Oakland’s Derek Carr threw for 263 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Foster Moreau; Carr was sacked twice and Tannehill threw an interception). Tennessee went 8 of 11 on third down and held the ball for 29:12, while the Raiders ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:48, while going 4 of 10 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Tennessee leads the series by a slim 17-16 margin and the Texans have outscored Tennessee 805-680. Tennessee and Houston split the two meetings in the series last year, each winning in their home facilties.

Their first meeting was in the Music City in week two and the Titans pulled off a 20-17 win at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee led 14-7 at the intermission, took a 14-10 lead with them at the end of the third quarter before Houston would take their only lead of the contest with 13:25 left in regulation when Watson and RB Will Fuller connected on a 39-yard TD pass. Houston’s lead would be short-lived as Titans K Ryan Succop tied the contest with a 42-yard field goal halfway through the quarter. Succop would give Tennessee the lead back with 60 seconds left in the contest, nailing a 31-yarder through the uprights. Tennessee then went on to hold off a late Houston rally, stopping the Texans’ hopes of either tying the contest or winning it outright.

Houston outrushed Tennessee 148-100 with Texans RB Lamar Miller leading all rushers with 68 yards, while Henry led Tennessee with 56. Watson threw for 310 yards with a pair of TDs but threw an interception and was sacked four times, while Blaine Gabbert threw for 117 yards with a TD to Taywan Taylor with a sack. Tennessee was 5 of 15 on third down (the Titans were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:22, while the Texans held on to the ball for 29:38 and went 5 for 11 on third down.

They would meet in the Lone Star State in week 12 and the Texans would get their revenge at home, erasing a 10-7 first quarter deficit and taking a 34-17 win at NRG Stadium. Houston scored 17 points in the second quarter unchallenged, taking a 24-10 lead with them to the intermission. Houston again outrushed the Titans, tallying 281 to Tennessee’s 105 and Miller led all rushers with 162 yards and a TD. Watson threw for 210 yards and a pair of TDs to Derek Thomas (Watson also had a rushing TD), while Marcus Mariota threw for 303 yards with a pair of TDs (Mariota was sacked six times, neither man threw an interception). Houston was 4 of 11 on third down conversions (the Texans were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and they would keep the ball for 29:58, while the Titans ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:02, while going 4 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Houston was favored by 1 1/2 in the week two contest in the Music City and Tennessee’s 3-point win allowed them to cover the spread but the two clubs missed the 44 over/under by seven in that meeting. In the week 12 contest in the Lone Star State on a Monday night, Houston was favored again, this time by 6 1/2 and the Texans covered, winning by 17 and both covered the 41 1/2 over/under with 51 points. Tennessee’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 48. The winner of this game? They will have first place in the AFC South to themselves. The loser? They’re not out of the playoff picture but will have to work to stay in it. Houston pulls the upset in the Music City and takes the win but expect Tennessee to make things closer than 3.

Philadelphia (6-7) at Washington (3-10), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of NFC East rivals meet in Landover as Philadelphia and Carson Wentz makes the 131-mile, 2-hour trip down I-95 to face the Washington Redskins at Fed Ex Field.

The Eagles ruined the return of Eli Manning to the lineup as Wentz and Philadelphia would rally late in their Monday night contest, edging the New York Giants 23-17 in overtime at Lincoln Financial Field. After a scoreless first quarter in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia found themselves trailing 17-3 at the half, as the Giants used a pair of Manning TD passes to WR Darius Slayton, only to see the Eagles chip away at the lead as they would rally to pull themselves to within seven with 1:28 left in the third when RB Boston Scott scored on a 2-yard run, then tie things up with 1:53 left in regulation when Wentz and TE Zach Ertz would connect on the first of their two TD passes, the first coming from 2 yards out. Philadelphia would win the toss in overtime and kept Manning (who took over for Daniel Jones, who had an ankle injury) on the bench, as the Eagles marched their way down the field, using an 8-play, 75-yard drive that used 4:50 of ending with Wentz and Ertz connecting on their second TD pass of the night.

Philadrlphia outrushed their NFC East rivals 118-73 (Giants RB Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 66 yards) and Manning threw for 203 yards, while Wentz threw for 325 yards in the overtime affair (Manning was sacked twice, Wentz was sacked three times but neither threw an interception). The Giants on third down were a somewhat dismal 2 of 12 and kept the ball for 21:59, while the Eagles ruled the clock and including the overtime would keep the ball for 42:51, going 9 of 21 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Washington saw their brief win streak come to a end in Green Bay, as the Packers held off Washington 20-15 at Lambeau Field last Sunday. Green Bay led 14-6 at the half and held off the Redskins, breaking their brief 2-game win streak to seal the win. Green Bay outrushed Washington 174-121 with Packers RB Aaron Jones leading everyone with 134 yards and a TD, while Adrian Peterson led Washington with 76 and a TD of his own. Rodgers threw for 195 yards and a TD pass to TE Robert Tonyan, while Dwayne Haskins threw for 170 yards with a TD (both men were sacked four times and Haskins threw an interception). Green Bay was 5 of 13 on third down at Lambeau and the Packers were Mick Jagger-like and had time on their side, keeping the ball for 30:24, while Washington kept the ball for 29:36, going 4 for 11 on third down conversions.

They met in the City of Brotherly Love in week one in the season opener and the Eagles held off Washington 32-27 at Century Like Field. Philadelphia erased a 20-7 deficit at the intermission in the City of Brotherly Love and outscored Washington 25-7 to take the win. Wentz and DeSean Jackson hooked up on a 53-yard TD pass with 5:07 left in the third to take the lead for good. Alshon Jeffery (2-yard TD run in the third) and Jake Elliott (22-yard field goal in the fourth), sealed Washington’s fate (the Redkins would score in the closing seconds on a 4-yard TD pass from Case Keenum to Trey Quinn with six seconds left).

Philadelphia outrushed Washington 123-28 and Wentz threw for 313 yards and three TDs (two of them to Jackson, the other to Jeffery), while Keenum threw for 313 yards with three TDs (each was sacked once but neither threw an interception). Philadelphia went 11 of 17 on third down (the Eagles were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and they would rule the clock, keeping the ball for 34:27, while the Redskins, who kept the ball for 25:33, went 5 of 13 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

In the season opener in the City of Brotherly Love, while the Eagles were favored by 10, they would win by only five at Lincoln Financial Field but both clubs easily covered the 44 over/under, tallying 59 points. Philadelphia’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 40 1/2. The Eagles are fighting for their playoff lives, while the Redskins would like nothing more than to derail Philadelphia’s chances. Redskins fans will be singing “Hell, it’s the Redskins” this week instead of “Hail to the Redskins.” Philadelphia covers the 6 and wins in Landover.

Cleveland (6-7) at Arizona (3-9-1), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. A pair of former Heisman Trophy QBs meet in the desert as Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns travel to Glendale to face off against the Arizona Cardinals and Kyler Murray at State Farm Stadium. The Browns are looking to get themselves to the .500 mark, while the Desert Angry Birds look to stop the Browns in their tracks.

Cleveland brought Cincinnati back to Earth after the Bengals won their first game two weeks ago, taking down their AFC North/Buckeye State rivals 27-19 at First Energy Field. The Browns took a 14-13 lead at the break, then floored the gas in the second half, outscoring the Bengals 13-6 in the final 30 minutes of action along the shores of Lake Erie. The Bengals outrushed Cleveland 179-146 and fantasy players got their wishes granted as Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon (146 yards, TD) and Cleveland’s Nick Chubb (106 yards) each led their teams on the ground, while Mayfield threw for 192 yards and a pair of interceptions, while Andy Dalton, in his second contest since being benched, threw for 262 yards with an interception (Dalton was sacked twice, Mayfield sacked once).

Cleveland was 7 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 25:29, while the Bengals actually ruled the clock and held the ball hostage for 34:31, while going 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

A last-second rally by the Desert Angry Birds fell short in Glendale as the Steelers came away 23-17 winners last Sunday. Arizona trailed 13-10 at the intermission, then rallied in the final 30 minutes of their contest at State Farm Stadium to make it a 3-point contest with 6:44 when Murray and RB David Johnson connected on a 24-yard TD pass before Steelers K Chris Boswell connected on a 25-yard field goal with 1:42 left in the contest.

Pittsburgh outrushed Arizona 140-71 and Murray threw for 194 yards with a pair of TDs, while Pittburgh’s Delvin Hodges threw for 152 yards and a TD to WR Diontae Johnson (Murray was sacked five times, Hodges was sacked three times; Murray threw three interceptions, while Hodges threw an interception). Both teams were 4 of 11 on third down (on fourth down, the Steelers were 0 of 1, while the Desert Angry Birds were 1 of 3) and the Steelers ruled the clock, holding the ball for 31:54 to Arizona’s 28:06.

Including games that took place in Chicago and St. Louis, Cleveland leads the series 33-14-3 and they have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 1,264-913. The Cardinals have won the last three meetings in the series, coming away 34-20 winners in Cleveland in 2015, while Cleveland’s last win in the series came in 2003 in Cleveland by a final of 44-6. Cleveland’s favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 47. Cleveland would like to be at the .500 mark and perhaps make the post-season; as for the Cardinals? They want to put an end to that dream. Browns cover the 2 1/2 in the desert and wins in Glendale.

Jacksonville (4-9) at Oakland (5-8), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. A pair of struggling teams meet on the West Coast as Oakland hosts Jacksonville in the Raiders’ final home game at the Coliseum. Both teams took losses at home in last week’s play.

Jacksonville saw a 3-0 lead thanks to a Josh Lambo field goal late in the first slip away from them as the Los Angeles Chargers scored 24 first half points unchallenged to fall to Philip Rivers and the Chargers 45-10 at TIAA Stadium. Trailing 31-3 at the half, the Jaguars could not get themselves on track in the Sunshine State, dropping their fifth contest in a row. Jacksonville was outrushed by the Chargers 195-88 (Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette led his team with 50, while Chargers RB Austin Elker led all rushers with 101 yards), with Gordon Minshew II throwing for 162 yards and a TD to Nick O’Leary, while Rivers threw for 314 yards and three TDs, one of them to Elker (Rivers was sacked once, Minshew was sacked twice). Jacksonville was 4 of 15 on third down conversions (they went 2 of 4 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:37, while the Chargers only needed to keep the pigskin for 29:23, going 6 of 8 on third down tries.

Raiders fans watched as Tennessee broke a 21-21 halftime tie with Oakland, scoring 21 second half points unchallenged to come out on top on the West Coast 42-21 last Sunday at the Oakland Coliseum. Tennessee, tied for first in the AFC South, used touchdowns from RB Derek Henry (10-yard run), TE Jonnu Smith (17 yard TD pass from Ryan Tannehill) and LB Jayon Brown (46-yard fumble return) to take the win on the road against Oakland in the second half. Tennessee outrushed Oakland 161-97 and Henry accounted for 103 of those yards with a pair of TDs, with Tannehill throwing for 391 yards and three TDs (two to Brown), while Oakland’s Derek Carr threw for 263 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Foster Moreau; Carr was sacked twice and Tannehill threw an interception). Tennessee went 8 of 11 on third down and held the ball for 29:12, while the Raiders ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:48, while going 4 of 10 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The series? Even at 4-4 and the Jaguars have outscored the Silver and Black 171-152. Oakland has won the last three meetings, including a 33-16 win in Jacksonville in 2016, while the Jaguars’ last win in the series came in the Sunshine State in 2010 by a final of 38-31. Oakland’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Given the problems that both clubs have had this season, those numbers make a great deal of sense. Raiders close out their years in Oakland and takes the win at the Coliseum, covering the 6.

Los Angeles Rams (8-5) at Dallas (6-7), 4:25 p.m. on on FOX and DirecTV 716. A pair of teams fighting for a playoff spot meet in Arlington as Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams make their way to the Lone Star State for an afternoon showdown with Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys.

The Rams knocked Seattle back to second in the NFC West as they took Russell Wilson and the Seahawks to task 28-12 at the Coliseum last Sunday night. The defending NFC champions erased a 3-0 lead, scoring 21 points in the first half unchallenged to lead by 18 at the intermission, using a rushing TD from RB Malcom Brown and passes from Goff to WRs Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. After Seahawks LB Quintin Diggs picked off Kupp and returned the ball 55 yards for a TD in the third, RB Todd Gurley II restored order for the home team, scoring on a 7-yard romp to keep Seattle in check.

Los Angeles outrushed Seattle 162-106 and Gurley led all rushers with 79 yards, while Chris Carson led Seattle with 76 and the Rams defense sacked Wilson (245 yards) five times and picked him off once, while Goff threw for 293 yards with a pair of inteceptions to go with the two TD tosses. The Rams were 7 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 31:04, while Seattle, who held on to the pigskin for 28:56, went 5 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

A late Dallas rally at Chicago fell short as Da Bears came away 31-24 winners at Soldier Field last Thursday night. Dallas used a 17-play, 75 yard drive that used 8:57 of clock to take an early 7-0 lead when RB Ezekiel Elliott scored from a yard out. Da Bears would erase that deficit in the second quarter as Trubisky and WR Allan Robinson would connect on the first of their two TDs, scoring on a 5-yard toss early in the second quarter to tie things up. K Eddie Pineiro would give Chicago the lead for keeps, connecting on a 36-yard field goal to take a 10-7 lead. Robinson and Trubisky would hook up again with 10 seconds to go before the intermission on a 8-yard toss to lead 17-7 at the break. Elliott would pick up his second TD of the contest, scoring from 2 yards out in the thrid before Trubisky would take matters into his own feet, scoring on a 23-yard run to give Chicago a 17-point lead with 13:22 left in the contest. Dallas would add a 19-yard TD pass from Dak Prescott to Amari Cooper and a 31-yard field goal by Brett Maher with eight seconds left to narrow the gap.

Chicago outrushed Dallas 151-82 with Bears RB David Montgomery leading the way with 86 yards (Elliott had 81 for Dallas with the two TDs) and Trubisky threw for 244 yards and three TDs (two of them to Robinson), while Prescott threw for 334 yards and the Cooper TD (both were sacked twice and Trubisky threw an interception). Da Bears were 7 of 12 on third down in the Windy City and the Monsters of the Midway kept the pigskin for 32:18, while Dallas, keeping the ball for 27:42, went 6 of 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Including games played in Anaheim, St. Louis, the Cotton Bowl and Texas Stadium, the Cowboys lead the series 13-12 and have outscored the Rams 578-564. Their last regular season meeting was in 2017 in Arlington and the Rams would leave Jerry World (aka AT&T Stadium) 35-30 winners, while Dallas’ last win came in St. Louis by a final of 34-31 in 2014. Dallas is favored by 3 in the Lone Star State and the over/under’s 47. Given that there’s a lot at stake for both clubs, it’ll be worth your time to watch, 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 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

For one team, they’ll put themselves a little closer to the playoff party; for the other, their jobs will be a little harder. The Rams shock the world and pull off the upset with the win in Jerry World, even though Dallas will make it closer than 3.

Minnesota (9-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (5-8), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers host Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings in a late-afternoon (Eastern) contest.

Minnesota extended Detroit’s losing streak to six in a row, coming away 20-7 winners at US Bank Stadium. The Vikings led 17-0 at the intermission, scoring those point in the first half unchallenged and held the Lions to a fourth quarter TD with 2:09 left when WR Kenny Golladay caught a 10-yard TD pass from Derrick Blough. Minnesota outrushed the Lions 120-70 and Blough threw for 205 yards but was sacked five times and picked off twice to go with the lone TD toss, while Cousins threw for 242 yards and a TD (Cousins was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Detroit was 7 of 16 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:18, while the Vikings ruled the clock and held on to the pigskin for 33:42, going 5 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The Bolts erased a 3-0 deficit at Jacksonville, as the Jaguars would take that lead thanks to a Josh Lambo field goal late in the first slip by scoring 24 first half points unchallenged to take a 45-10 win at TIAA Stadium. The Chargers led 31-3 at the half, while the Jaguars could not get themselves on track in the Sunshine State, dropping their fifth contest in a row. Jacksonville was outrushed by the Chargers 195-88 (Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette led his team with 50, while Chargers RB Austin Elker led all rushers with 101 yards), with Gordon Minshew II throwing for 162 yards and a TD to Nick O’Leary, while Rivers threw for 314 yards and three TDs, one of them to Elker (Rivers was sacked once, Minshew was sacked twice). Jacksonville was 4 of 15 on third down conversions (they went 2 of 4 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:37, while the Chargers only needed to keep the pigskin for 29:23, going 6 of 8 on third down tries.

The series is even at 6-6 and the Chargers have outscored the Purple Gane 300-279 (which includes contests that were played in Bloomington and San Diego). Their last meeting was in the Twin Cities in 2015 and the Vikings prevailed 31-14, while the Chargers’ last win in the series came in San Diego in 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium by a final of 24-17. Minnesota’s favored by 3 on the West Coast and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Minnesota’s trying to keep pace with the Packers in the NFC North, while the Chargers want to ruin the Vikings’ party. That’s not going to happen. Minnesota covers the 3 and takes the win.

Buffalo (9-4) at Pittsburgh (8-5), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A couple of AFC teams, looking for a post-season invite, meet in the Steel City as Buffalo and Pittsburgh meet at Heinz Field Sunday night.

The Bills watched Baltimore pick up their ninth win in a row, holding off a late Buffalo rally to come away 24-17 winners at New Era Field in Orchard Park, clinching a spot in the playoffs in the process. Baltimore led 10-6 at the intermission in upstate New York and led 24-9 with 9:49 left in the contest before the Bills rallied to make it a 7-point contest with 7 minutes left when Cole Beasley and Jeff Allen connected on a 3-yard TD toss and a two-point conversion. The Ravens then put an end to a Bills rally that would have tied the contest up when Allen’s pass to WR John Brown sailed incomplete.

Baltimore outrushed Buffalo 118-104 with Bills RB Devin Singletary leading all rushers with 89 yards on the ground. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson threw for 145 yards with three TDs, a sack and an interception, while Allen threw for 146 yards with the TD toss to Beasley (Allen was sacked six times but did not throw an interception). Baltimore went 3 of 11 on third down tries in upstate New York and ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 32:49, while the Bills, who kept the pigskin for 27:11, went 4 of 17 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Pittsburgh held off a late Arizona rally in the desert last Sunday, as the Steelers stopped the Desert Angry Birds 23-17 winners last Sunday in Glendale. Pittsburgh led 13-10 at the intermission before Arizona rallied in the final 30 minutes of their contest at State Farm Stadium to make it a 3-point contest with 6:44 when Murray and RB David Johnson connected on a 24-yard TD pass before Steelers K Chris Boswell connected on a 25-yard field goal with 1:42 left in the contest.

Pittsburgh outrushed Arizona 140-71 and Murray threw for 194 yards with a pair of TDs, while Pittburgh’s Delvin Hodges threw for 152 yards and a TD to WR Diontae Johnson (Murray was sacked five times, Hodges was sacked three times; Murray threw three interceptions, while Hodges threw an interception). Both teams were 4 of 11 on third down (on fourth down, the Steelers were 0 of 1, while the Desert Angry Birds were 1 of 3) and the Steelers ruled the clock, holding the ball for 31:54 to Arizona’s 28:06.

The Steelers lead the series Steelers 14-8, they’ve outscored Buffalo 510-391 and have won the last six meetings, including a 27-20 win in upstate New York in 2016, while Buffalo’s last win came in 1999 in Orchard Park by a final of 24-21. The Steelers are favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 37. For the winner, their hopes for the post-season are safe; for the loser, their hopes are cracked but not completely shattered. Pittsburgh keeps hope alive at Heinz Field and covers the 1 1/2 with the win.

Indianapolis (6-7) at New Orleans (10-3), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 15 closes in the Big Easy as New Orleans and Indianapolis meet at the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Both teams are looking to recover from close losses in last week’s play.
A late rally by the Colts fell short as Tampa Bay held off Indianapolis and came away 38-35 winners at Raymond James Stadium. Indianapolis led 27-21 at the intermission along Florida’s West Coast and took a 35-21 lead late in the third before Tampa Bay would go to work, scoring their final points of the contest unchallenged, taking the lead for good when Winston and WR Breshad Perriman would connect on a 12-yard TD toss late in the final quarter. Indianapolis would get as close as midfield with 1:56 left in regulation but got no further as Jacoby Brissett’s pass attempt on fourth down sailed incomplete.

The two clubs did not breach the 100-yard rushing barrier but Tampa Bay did outrushed the Colts 75-66 and Winston threw for 456 yards with four TDs (including the game-winner; Winston was picked off three times and sacked once), while Brissett threw for 252 yards with a pair of TD passes (Brissett was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Tampa Bay was 8 of 15 on third down but struck gold on fourth down, hitting pay dirt in their only attempt and kept the ball for 34:15, while the Colts were 6 of 16 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 25:45.

Saints fans had their hearts broken in the Big Easy last Sunday as San Francisco left town 48-46 winners thanks to a 30-yard field goal by Robbie Gould as the clock struck :00. San Francisco took a 28-27 lead with them to the locker room before New Orleans K Will Lutz gave the Saints the lead back with a 55-yard field goal early in the third quarter. San Francisco took the lead back with 9:40 left in the quarter when TE George Kittle and QB Jimmy Garoppolo connected on a 5-yard TD toss. New Orleans would eventually take a 1-point lead at 46-45 with 53 seconds left when Drew Brees and WR Tre’Quan Smith would connect on an 18-yard TD pass. San Francisco would get the ball back with the 53 seconds left on the clock and used the available time to have a 7-play, 63-yard drive aided by a 28-yard pass from Garoppolo to Kittle (which was aided by a facemask penalty by the Saints) and got themselves in position to help Gould kick the field goal. After a 49ers time out, Gould connected on the try that sailed through the uprights as time expired.

In the contest, a potential NFC playoff game that had seven lead changes and 10 TD passes, San Francisco outrushed New Orleans 162-116 and both Brees and Garoppolo threw for 349 yards (Garoppolo threw four TDs, Brees, threw 5, WR Emmanuel Sanders threw a TD and caught a TD pass; Garoppolo was sacked three times and threw an interception) in the Big Easy. San Francsico was 6 of 12 on third down and went 1 of 1 on fourth down and would keep the ball (including the final 53 seconds of the contest) for 28:37, while the Saints actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:23, while going 5 of 11 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

New Orleans leads the series 7-5 (including contests played at old Tulane Stadium and in Baltimore) and the Saints have outscored the Colts 278-265. New Orleans’ last win in the series came in the Hoosier State, where they left 27-21 winners, while the Colts’ last win in the series came in Indianapolis in 2007 by a final of 41-10.

The Colts are 23-17 on Monday night but have not played an MNF game since 2017, where they went 0-1. New Orleans is 20-22 but won both their contests last year. New Orleans finds themselves being favored by 8 points in the Big Easy with a 45 over/under. Both numbers make a lot of sense and both teams have the capacity to put up points. The Saints have already claimed the NFC South and want to be home for the playoffs, while the Colts find themselves in the conversation to be in the AFC playoff race. You might want to consider taping “All Rise” and “Bull” this week. Colts pull off the upset in the Big Easy and take the win on the road, although New Orleans could make things closer than the 8.

Thanksgiving has come and gone.

Black Friday? Made its guest appearance and head out.

It’s getting colder and somewhat windier.

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

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

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

2019 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 13

AFC

CLINCHED: None

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

New England clinches playoff berth with:

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

NFC

CLINCHED: None

San Francisco (10-1) at Baltimore (9-2), Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX

San Francisco clinches playoff berth with:

San Francisco win + Los Angeles Rams loss or tie OR
San Francisco tie + Los Angeles Rams loss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated Sunday’s San Francsico-Baltimore matchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest pairs the teams from one of the best Super Bowls in recent memory, Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The Ravens and head coach John Harbaugh built a 28-6 lead on his younger brother, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, when Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones returned the second-half-opening kickoff 108 yards, the longest play in Super Bowl annals. Soon after Jones’ return, the stadium lost power, causing a 34-minute delay. San Francisco responded with Michael Crabtree’s touchdown catch, and TD runs by Frank Gore and Colin Kaepernick to pull within 31-29 with just less than 10 minutes remaining. After a Justin Tucker field goal gave Baltimore a 34-29 advantage, the Ravens’ last-minute goal-line stand preserved their second Super Bowl victory. After using a safety to run out the clock, Baltimore won, 34-31.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the week one showdown in Foxboro, New England BARELY covered the 6 1/2-point spread, winning by 7 but both teams missed the 51 over/under, tallying only 47 points. New England’s favored again, this time by 3 in the Lone Star State and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Both numbers make a ton of sense and since both are in first place in their respective divisions, it’s only fair that this one’s “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11 weeks down.

6 weeks to go.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 12

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Active

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – CONSECUTIVE GAMES)

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

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

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

PLAYER, TEAM (YEARS; CONSECUTIVE SEASONS)

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

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

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

PLAYER (TEAMS, GAMES TO 500 RECEPTIONS)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jacksonville could never get themselves on track in Indianapolis as they fell to Jacoby Brissett and the Colts 33-13 at Lucas Oil Stadium. After Jacksonville’s D.J. Chark gave them a 7-0 lead in the first, the Colts evened things up with 35 seconds left in the quarter on a 13-yard run by RB Marlon Mack. Indianapolis then broke the tie on a 34-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri to take a 10-3 lead with them to the intermission, then scored 14 third quarter points unchallenged and added a 7-yard TD run by Nyheim Hines to widen the deficit. Jacksonville would score again late in the contest when Chark scored on a 20-yard TD toss from Nick Foles but the Colts then proceeded to add insult to injury when rookie LB Bobby Okereke scored on a defensive 2-point conversion to close things out.

The Colts rushed for 264 yards in the win, with Jonathan Williams (116 yards) and Mack (109 yards) leading the way, while Indianapolis held Jacksonville to a dismal season-low 29 yards. Brissett returned to the lineup, throwing for 148 yards with a TD toss to Marcus Johnson and had a rushing TD of his own, while Foles threw for 296 yards and the two TDs to Chark but was sacked twice and Brissett was sacked three times (both men threw an interception). The Colts went 4 of 11 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 33:52, while Jacksonville, keeping the ball for 26:08, went 6 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the week six Monday night contest in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst, Green Bay was favored by 8 1/2 but won by only 3 but both clubs managed to cover the 46 1/2 over/under, tallying 63 points. This time, the 49ers are favored by 3 and the over/under’s 46. Because both teams are in first and both could very well meet in the post-season, this one’s going to be “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The San Francisco 49ers and the cheese in the nursery rhyme “The Farmer In The Dell” have one thing in common.

They both stand alone.

The 49ers, atop the NFC West mountain at 8-0, stand alone as the only remaining unbeaten team in the NFL. San Francisco picked up that honor Sunday night after New England found themselves being taken to task by the Baltimore Ravens in Charm City.

On the other side of the NFL spectrum, the Cincinnati Bengals remain the lone winless team after Miami took care of AFC East foe Miami in the Sunshine State Sunday afternoon to pick up their first win.

The 2019 NFL season is at the halfway point and for teams that are contending, it’s their time to make more noise and distance themselves from everyone else; for those that are chasing, it’s time to step things up.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated Sunday’s Atlanta-New Orleans matchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest is a nod to the momentous 2006 Saints home-opener, when the team sparked the resurgence of a community devastated by Hurricane Katrina. In an electrifying moment at the Superdome on September 25, 2006, Steve Gleason blocked a first-quarter punt and Curtin DeLoatch recovered the ball in the end zone, an uplifting initial score in the city’s first regular-season game since December 26, 2004. Buoyed by the win, the 3-0 Saints advanced to the NFC Championship game and three years later won the Super Bowl. The game also marked the first home contest in the New Orleans career of the NFL’s all-time passing-yards leader, Drew Brees

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL: Through the first nine weeks of the 2019 season, four teams – Buffalo (6-2), Green Bay (7-2), Minnesota (6-3) and San Francisco (8-0) – are in playoff position after missing the postseason a year ago. From 1990-2018 – a streak of 29 consecutive years – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before. In 2018, seven of the 12 playoff teams missed the postseason the year before.

DIVISION-WINNING REBOUNDS: The NFL in 2002 expanded to 32 teams and realigned into eight divisions. Since that time, at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 15 of the past 16 years. Heading into Week 10, two teams – Green Bay in the NFC North and San Francisco in the NFC West – lead their respective divisions after missing the postseason in 2018.

Teams to win their divisions a season after missing the playoffs over the last 16 seasons:

SEASON – NEW DIVISION WINNERS AFTER MISSING POSTSEASON THE PRIOR SEASON
2018 – Baltimore, Chicago*, Dallas, Houston*
2017 – Jacksonville*, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans, Minnesota, Philadelphia*
2016 – ATLANTA, Dallas*
2015 – Houston, Minnesota, Washington*
2014 – Dallas, Pittsburgh
2013 – Carolina*, Philadelphia*
2012 – Washington*
2011 – Denver*, Houston*, New York Giants, San Francisco
2010 – ATLANTA, Chicago, Kansas City*, Pittsburgh, Seattle
2009 – Cincinnati, Dallas, New England, New Orleans*
2008 – Arizona, Carolina, Miami*, Minnesota
2007 – Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay*
2006 – Baltimore*, New Orleans*, Philadelphia*, San Diego Chargers
2005 – Chicago*, Cincinnati, New York Giants, Tampa Bay*
2004 – ATLANTA*, Pittsburgh, San Diego*
2003 – Baltimore, Carolina*, Kansas City*, New England, St. Louis Rams
*Worst to first

SEVEN-WIN SUPERLATIVES: Entering Week 10, five teams – Green Bay (7-2), New England (8-1), New Orleans (7-1), San Francisco (8-0) and Seattle (7-2) – have at least seven wins, the most through the first nine weeks since the 1990 season (five teams). In total, 10 teams have at least six victories, the most through the first nine weeks of a season since 1986 (11 teams).

NINERS REMAIN UNBLEMISHED, SEAHAWKS UP NEXT: For the first time in NFL history, San Francsico (8-0) is the league’s last remaining undefeated team at least eight games into a season. San Francisco, which finished last season 4-12 and selected DL Nick Bosa with the second-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, is off to its best start since opening 10-0 in 1990. This week, the 49ers host a divisional contest with key playoff implications against NFC West rival Seattle (7-2) Monday night in Santa Clara.

The Seahawks-49ers matchup is the first meeting between divisional opponents that have combined for two or fewer losses in Week 10 or later since November 17, 2013, when Denver (8-1) hosted Kansas City (9-0) in an AFC West showdown. San Francisco is the second team in NFL history to finish with a winning percentage of .250 or below and rebound to win its first eight games of the following season. In 2013, Kansas City opened 9-0 after going 2-14 (.125) in the 2012 season.

Last week in the Seahawks’ 40-34 overtime victory against Tampa Bay, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson notched his 90th win as a starter, including the postseason. On Monday night, he can surpass Ben Roethlisberger (90) for second-most quarterback wins over his first eight seasons in the Super Bowl era. Only Tom Brady (100) had more.

Including the 49ers’ berth in Super Bowl XLVII after the 2012 season, the NFC West has produced four of the last seven NFC Super Bowl representatives. Seattle and San Francisco accounted for three of those appearances, while the LOS ANGELES RAMS were the latest division entry in Super Bowl LIII last season. Since the beginning of that 2012 season, no other division has a better overall winning percentage.

The divisions with the best overall winning percentages since 2012:

DIVISION: W-L-T, PCT.
NFC West: 258-219-5, .540
NFC North: 247-230-5, .518
AFC West: 249-234-0, .516
AFC East: 247-234-0, .514

AFTER THE BYE: A season-high six NFL teams are on byes during Week 10 and every club will have taken its week off by the end of Week 12. On Sunday, two teams coming off their byes meet in an NFC South clash when Atlanta travels to play New Orleans. Since the beginning of the 2011 season, only Baltimore, fresh off a post-bye win over the Patriots in Week 9, have a better record after the bye.

The NFL teams with the best winning percentages in the game following the bye since 2011:

TEAM (W-L-T, PCT.)
Baltimore (7-2-0, .778)
ATLANTA (6-2-0, .750)
Denver (6-2-0, .750)
Houston (6-2-0, .750)
New Orleans (6-2-0, .750)
Buffalo (6-3-0, .667)
Detroit (6-3-0, .667)
Indianapolis (6-3-0, .667)
Pittsburgh (6-3-0, .667)

ANOTHER ROOKIE QUARTERBACK MAKES STARTING DEBUT: On Sunday when Baltimores meets Cincinnati, the Ravens (6-2) have an opportunity to match their best start in franchise history (7-2 in both 2006 and 2012). On the other sideline, quarterback Ryan Finley will make his first NFL start. Finley will become the sixth rookie to make his starting debut this season, joining Arizona’s Kyler Murray, Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew, Pittsburgh’s Delvin Hodges, the New York Giants’ Daniel Jones and Washington’s Dwyane Haskins.

Through the first nine weeks, 110 of 135 overall games (81.5 percent) have featured at least one quarterback under the age of 27, the most at this point in a season in league history. In total, quarterbacks under age 27 have started 146 games and recorded 76 wins (52.1 percent), both the most starts and wins by quarterbacks under the age of 27 through the first nine weeks of a season since at least 1970.

MOST GAMES STARTED BY QBS UNDER AGE 27, THROUGH WEEK 9

SEASON – GAMES
2019 – 146
1987 – 126
2013 – 126

MOST WINS BY STARTING QBS UNDER AGE 27, THROUGH WEEK 9

SEASON – WINS
2019 – 76
1984 – 64
2013 – 63

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK NINE: Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson completed 22 of 28 pass attempts (78.6 percent) for 201 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 120.4 rating in the Texans’ 26-3 win over the Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London. Watson is the third quarterback to throw at least two touchdowns and complete at least 75 percent of his passes in an international NFL game, joining Tom Brady (November 19, 2017) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (October 30, 2011).

Texans running back Carlos Hyde totaled 160 rushing yards in the win and joined Chris Ivory (166 rushing yards on October 4, 2015) as the only players with at least 150 rushing yards in an international NFL game.

Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen recorded a 110.4 passer rating and had both a passing and rushing touchdown in the Bills’ 24-9 victory over Washington. Allen, who is in his second NFL season, is the fourth quarterback to record at least 20 passing touchdowns and 12 rushing touchdowns in his first two seasons in league annals, joining Steve Grogan (29 passing, 15 rushing), Cam Newton (40 passing, 22 rushing) and Dak Prescott (45 passing, 12 rushing).

Carolina running back Christian McCaffery recorded 166 scrimmage yards (146 rushing, 20 receiving) and three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in the Panthers’ 30-20 win over Tennessee. McCaffrey, who has 1,244 scrimmage yards and 13 touchdowns this season, is the sixth player in NFL history and first since Priest Holmes (2002) with at least 1,200 scrimmage yards and 13 touchdowns in their team’s first eight games of a season.

Sunday marked McCaffrey’s sixth game of the season with at least 150 scrimmage yards and a touchdown, joining Jim Brown(1963) as the only players with six such performances in their team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history.
McCaffrey has seven games with both a rushing and receiving touchdown in his first three seasons, tied with Abner Haynes (1960-62) for the second-most such games in a player’s first three seasons in league annals. Only Chuck Foreman (eight games from 1974-75) had more.

Oakland rooking running back Josh Jacobs totaled 120 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the Raiders’ 31-24 win over Detroit. Jacobs is the first rookie since Cincinnati’s Ickey Woods (1988) to have at least two rushing touchdowns in three of his first eight career games. Rookie tight end Foster Moreau and rookie wide receiver Hunter Renfrow each recorded a touchdown reception on Sunday. Along with Jacobs’ two touchdowns, the Raiders are the first team since Seattle (November 22, 2015) to have rookies score all four touchdowns in a victory.

Pittsburgh wide receiver JuJU Smith-Schuster had three receptions, including his 200th career catch, in the Steelers’ 26-24 win over the Colts. At 22 years and 346 days old, Smith-Schuster is the first player to record 200 career receptions before his 23rd birthday in NFL history. The previous youngest player to reach 200 career receptions was Brandin Cooks (23 years and 77 days old).

Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill recorded six catches for 140 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown catch, in the Chiefs’ 26-23 win over Minnesota. Hill, who is in his fourth season, became the sixth player in NFL history to record at least 20 touchdowns of at least 40 yards in his first four seasons. The other five players are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Bob Hayes (24 touchdowns of at least 40 yards), Randy Moss (23), Jerry Rice (21), Lance Alworth (20) and Gale Sayers (20).

Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker made a game-tying 54-yard field goal with 2:30 remaining and converted a game-winning 44-yard attempt as time expired in the victory, becoming the first kicker since Martin Gramatica (October 27, 2002) to make a game-tying field goal of at least 50 yards and a field goal of at least 40 yards to put his team ahead for good with both coming in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter.

Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz, appearing in his 100th career game, had nine receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown in the Eagles’ 22-14 win over Chicago. Ertz has 483 career receptions, the third-most by a tight end through his first 100 games in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow, Sr. (497 receptions) and Jimmy Graham (485) had more.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 378 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 133.7 rating in the Seahawks’ 40-34 overtime victory against Tampa Bay. Wilson has 90 wins, including the postseason, since entering the NFL in 2012, tied with Ben Roethilsberger (90) for the second-most wins by a quarterback, including the postseason, in his first eight seasons in the Super Bowl era. Only Tom Brady (100) had more.

Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike EvansS had 12 receptions for 180 yards and a touchdown in Week 9. He joins A.J. Green (2016) and Wes Welker (2011) as the only players with at least eight receptions, 150 receiving yards and a touchdown in three of his team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history.

Denver quarterback Brandon Allen, making his first career start, threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end Noah Fant in the Broncos’ 24-19 win against Cleveland. Allen is the first quarterback with a touchdown pass of at least 75 yards in his first career start since Robert Griffin III (88-yard touchdown pass on September 9, 2012). Fant is the first rookie tight end with a touchdown reception of at least 75 yards since Tyji Armstrong on December 6, 1992 (81-yard touchdown catch).

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 10

RUNNING IT UP: Baltimore (6-2) enters Week 10 leading the NFL with an average of 204.9 rushing yards per game in 2019. Last week in their win over New England, quarterback Lamar Jackson, whose 637 rushing yards are the most by a quarterback through his team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history, rushed for 61 yards and two touchdowns, while running back Mark Ingram rushed for a season-high 115 yards. The team totaled 210 rushing yards in the victory – their seventh game with at least 150 rushing yards this season.

If Baltimore rushes for at least 150 yards on Sunday against Cincinnati, they would become the first team since the 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers to rush for at least 150 yards in eight of a team’s first nine games of a season since 1970.

The teams with the most games with at least 150 rushing yards in the first nine games of a season since 1970:

TEAM (SEASON, GAMES WITH 150+ RUSHING YARDS)
Pittsburgh (1976, 8)
New England (1974, 8)
Miami (1973, 8)#
Miami (1972, 8)#
Detroit (1971, 8)
Baltimore (2019, 7)*
*Through eight games
#Won Super Bowl

Overall, Baltimore has rushed for 1,639 yards – the most rushing yards through a team’s first eight games since the 2006 Atlanta Falcons (1,641) and the sixth-most through a team’s first eight games of a season since 1970.

In Week 6, Baltimore rushed for a season-high 269 yards against Cincinnati. If the Ravens rush for their season average (204.9) on Sunday in Cincinnati, they would move into the top five for most rushing yards in a team’s first nine games of a season since 1970.

The teams with the most rushing yards through their first nine games of a season since 1970:

TEAM (SEASON – RUSHING YARDS)
Buffalo (1975 – 1,958)
Pittsburgh (1976 – 1,886)
Miami (1972 – 1,868)#
Miami (1973 – 1,829)#
Chicago (1977 – 1,809)
Baltimore (2019 – 1,639)*
*Through eight games
#Won Super Bowl

TEN STARTS IN: Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray leads all NFC rookies in passing yards (2,229) and passer rating (89.2), while ranking second among all quarterbacks with 313 rushing yards in 2019. Earlier in the season, Murray – who was selected with the first-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft – became just the second quarterback to pass for at least 300 yards in each of his first two career games in NFL history.

On Sunday at Tampa Bay, Murray needs 271 passing yards to join Deshaun Watson (2017-18), Cam Newton (2011) and Daunte Culpepper (2000) as the only quarterbacks with at least 2,500 passing yards and 250 rushing yards in their first 10 career starts in NFL history.

The quarterbacks with at least 2,500 passing yards and 250 rushing yards in first 10 career starts in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, PASSING YARDS/RUSHING YARDS)
Deshaun Watson, Houston (2017-18; 2,843/414)
Cam Newton, Carolina (2011; 2,885/411)
Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota (2000; 2,562/358)
Kyler Murray, Arizona (2019; 2,229/313)*
*Through nine starts

SLING IT LIKE STAFFORD: Earlier this season, Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford became the first quarterback in NFL history to reach 40,000 career passing yards in fewer than 150 games. Over the past three weeks, Stafford leads the NFL in passing yards (1,112) and passing touchdowns (10) and has passed for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in each of his past three games.

Appearing in his 150th career game on Sunday at Chicago, Stafford needs at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns to tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warne (23 games) for the fourth-most games with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns in a player’s first 150 career games in NFL history.

The players with the most games with at least of 300 passing yards and three touchdowns in their first 150 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (GAMES WITH 300 YARDS & 3+ TD PASSES)
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay (31)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (27)
Dan Marino – Miami (26) HOF
Kurt Warner – St. Louis Rams and Arizona (23) HOF
Matthew Stafford – Detroit (22)*
*Through 149 games
HOF – Hall of Fame

UNSTOPPABLE FORCE: Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey leads the NFL with 1,244 scrimmage yards through eight games this season and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown (1963) as the only players to have at least 150 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in six of their team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history.

With 156 scrimmage yards on Sunday against Green Bay, McCaffrey would become the fourth player in NFL history with at least 1,400 scrimmage yards in their team’s first nine games of a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown (1,529 in 1963) and O.J. SIMPSON (1,518 in 1975), as well as Larry Brown (1,405 in 1972).

The players with the most scrimmage yards through their team’s first nine games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Jim Brown, Cleveland (1963 – 1,529) HOF
O.J. Simpson, Buffalo (1975 – 1,518) HOF
Larry Brown, Washington (1972 – 1,405)
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (1983 – 1,396) HOF
Tiki Barber, New York Giants (2004 – 1,391)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (2019 – 1,244)*
*Through eight games
HOF – Hall of Fame

CAN’T GUARD MIKE: Since entering the NFL in 2016, New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas leads the NFL with 394 receptions and ranks third with 4,662 receiving yards. This season, Thomas leads the league in receptions (73) and receiving yards (875) through the first nine weeks.

Appearing in his 56th career game on Sunday against Atlanta, Thomas needs six receptions to become the fastest player to reach 400 receptions in NFL history.

The players to reach 400 receptions in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES TO 400)
Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants (61)
Julio Jones, ATLANTA (64)
Jarvis Landry, Miami (64)
Keenan Allen, San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (66)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (55)*
*Has 394 career receptions

Thomas, who is currently in his fourth NFL season, needs seven receptions on Sunday to surpass JARVIS LANDRY (400) for the most receptions through a player’s first four seasons in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions in their first four seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RECEPTIONS)
Jarvis Landry, Miami (400)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (394)*
Anquan Boldin, Arizona (342)
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona (330)
A.J. Green, Cincinnati (329)
*In fourth season

Additionally, if Thomas has 125 receiving yards on Sunday, he would join Mike Evans (2014-17), A.J. Green (2011-14) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (1998-2001) as the only players to have at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first four seasons in NFL history.

PARTY IN THE BACKFIELD: Green Bay’s defense features the only pair of teammates in the NFL to each record at least eight sacks this season – linebackers Za’Darius Smith (8.5 sacks) and Preston Smith (8). On Sunday against Carolina, they can become the sixth pair of teammates to each record at least 10 sacks in their team’s first 10 games of a season since 1990.

The teammates to each record at least 10 sacks through their team’s first 10 games of a season since 1990:

SEASON – TEAM (PLAYER – SACKS; PLAYER – SACKS)
2014 – Buffalo (Marcell Dareus – 10; Mario Williams – 10)
2000 – Miami (Trace Armstrong – 12.5; Jason Taylor – 10) ^
2000 – Tampa Bay (Warren Sapp – 11.5; Marcus Jones – 10) ^
1998 – San Francisco (Chris Doleman – 11.5; Roy Barker – 11)
1992 – Kansas City (Derrick Thomas – 10.5; Neil Smith – 10.5) ^
2019 – Green Bay (Za’Darius Smith – 8.5; Preston Smith – 8)*
*Through nine games
^ Taylor, Sapp and Thomas are members of the Hall of Fame)

It was another week above the .500 mark pick wise, going 10-4 in week 9. For the season… 69-55. Byes this week? Washington, Philadelphia, New England, Houston, Jacksonville and Denver. Atlanta, New Orleans, Cincinnati and the Los Angeles Rams return to action this week. Week 10 began in northern California as Oakland held off a late Los Angeles Chargers rally Thursday night and ends in northern California in Santa Clara as the undefeated 49ers host NFC West rival Seattle on Monday night in wine country. Here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 10.

ATLANTA (1-7) at New Orleans (7-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. Southern rivals. The two cities don’t like each other. Same can be said for the teams and their fan bases. Chicken and waffles meets gumbo Sunday afternoon as the Atlanta Falcons look to restore some order as they face off against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Both teams return from their bye week.

Seattle survived a late rally by Atlanta and left Mercedes Benz Stadium 27-20 winners. The Seahawks led 24-0 at the half, then were outscored by Atlanta 20-3 in the final 30 minutes of action. Seattle outrushed the Falcons 151-69 and Seahawks RB Chris Carson led all rushers with 90 yards and a rushing TD and Wilson threw for 182 yards and a pair of TD passes to DK Metcalf (six catches for 100 yards), while Matt Schaub, filling in for Matt Ryan (ankle) threw for 460 yards and a TD pass to TE Austin Hooper and Atlanta’s Julio Jones led all recievers with 152 yards on 10 catches (both Wilson and Schaub were sacked twice and Schaub had an interception). Both clubs were 3 of 9 on third down and Atlanta was 1 of 1 on fourth down, as the Falcons, who lost their seventh game in a row, ruled the clock and held the ball for 30:47, while Seattle held on to the pigskin for 29:13.

New Orleans welcomed the return of Brees, then held Arizona to three Zane Gonzalez field goals as they came away 31-9 winners in the Big Easy two weeks ago. New Orleans trailed 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, then took over, leading 10-6 at the intermission and would outscored Arizona 21-3 in the final 30 minutes of play at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Arizona found themselves held to 40 yards of rushing, while the Saints tallied 137 (Saints RB Latavius Murray led all rushers with 102 yards and a TD), Brees threw for 373 yards and three TDs without a sack (he was picked off once), while Kyler Murray threw for 220 yards with three sacks. New Orleans went 7 of 12 on third down and kept the ball to themselves, ruling the clock for 37:59, while the Desert Angry Birds were 2 of 12 on third down (they went 0 of 2 on fourth down) and held the ball for 22:01.

Atlanta leads the series 51-48 and the Falcons have outscored New Orleans 2,200-2,099. The Saints did sweep last year’s series (Atlanta’s last win came in 2017, when they won a Thursday night contest in the Big Peach by a final of 20-17; Atlanta’s last win in the Big Easy came in 2016, when they left the Superdome 45-32 winners).

Meeting number one… week three in the Big Peach. Calvin Ridley scored three TDs in their first meeting at Mercedes Benz Stadium but it was not enough as the Saints rallied in regulation and came away 43-37 overtime winners. New Orleans led 16- 14 at the half before Atlanta would take control of things in the final 30 minutes of regulation, leading 30-37 with 6:58 left when Ryan and Mohamed Sanu connected on a 5-yard TD toss.

That lead would evaporate as the Saints went on an 11-play, 81-yard drive that used 5:43 of clock and tied the contest when Brees scored from seven yards away. New Orleans would win the toss in overtime and the Falcons would never see the ball again, as the Saints went on another long drive, this time using a 15-play driver, using 80 yards of field and 7:05 of clock as Brees would score the game-winner with 2:55 left in the extra period. The Saints thought they has scored earlier when Brees threw a pass to Alvin Kamara and thought they had scored a TD. The original call that said Kamara broke the plane was reversed and Brees would take matters into his own hands and feet, scoring the game winner.

New Orleans outrushed Atlanta 143-48 and Brees threw for 396 yards and three TD tosses, while Ryan threw for 374 yards and five TDs (Ryan connected with Ridley on three of those tosses; Ryan was sacked three times, Brees was sacked once and neither threw an interception). Atlanta went 4 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 29:20, while the Saints were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 37:45 (including the overtime), going 7 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Meeting number two… the Big Easy on Thanksgiving night in week 12 and the Saints completed the sweep, leaving the Mercedes Benz Superdome 31-17 winners. New Orleans led 17-3 at the intermission and never looked back, even though both clubs played even football in the second half. Atlanta was held to 26 yards rushing, while the Saints ran for 150 yards with Alvin Kamara leading the way for all rushers with 89 yards. Ryan threw for 377 yards, throwing TDs to Tevin Coleman and Clarence Ridley (Ryan was sacked six times), while Brees threw for yards and four TDs with a sack (each threw an interception). Atlanta on third down was 5 of 15 but they were successful on fourth down, going 4 of 6 and actually hoarded time, as they kept the ball for 30:59, while the Saints kept the ball for 29:01, going 5 of 11 on third down.

Atlanta was favored by 3 in the week three contest in the Big Peach and the Saints covered the spread, winning by 6 and the 80 combined points was more than enough to cover the 53 over/under. In the week 12 Thanksgiving night contest in the Big Easy, the Saints covered the 13-point spread, winning by 14. As for the 59 1/2 over/under? Intact, as both clubs combinied for 48 total points. The Saints are favored by 12 1/2 in the Big Easy and the over/under’s 51. Sorry, Saints fans… your hearts are about to be broken. Atlanta may not cover the 12 1/2 but they march out of the Big Easy with the road win.

Detroit (3-4-1) at Chicago (3-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of NFC North rivals meet in the Windy City as Chicago and Detroit both meet at Solider Field with losses on the road under their belts.

Oakland held off a late Detroit rally last Sunday on the other side of San Francisco Bay, as the Lions fell short 31-24 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Lions watched Oakland take a 17-10 lead with them to the break on the West Coast, then chip away at that lead as the Lions would tie things up at 17-17 on a Matt Prater field goal from 23 yards out with 4:45 left in the third. Oakland then reclaimed the lead in the fourth quarter, as Carr and rookie TE Foster Moreau connected on a 3-yard TD toss to lead by 7, then clung to that lead until the Lions and Matthew Stafford and WR Josh McKissic connected on a 26-yard TD pass to re-tie the contest. Oakland would then get the final word in the contest, first with Carr and WR Hunter Renfrow connecting on a 9-yard TD pass with 2:04 left in the contest, then held off a late Detroit rally as the Lions would get to the Raiders’ 1-yard line before Stafford’s pass attempt to TE Logan Thomas fell short.

oakland outrushed Detroit 171-90 and rookie RB Josh Jacobs led all rushers with 120 yards and a pair of TDs in the win, Carr threw for 289 yards and a pair of TDS (including the game-winner), while Stafford threw for 406 yards and three TDs (Stafford was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Carr was sacked once). Oakland was 7 of 13 on third down tries and the Raiders held the ball for 32:50, while the Lions kept the ball for 27:10, going 5 of 11 on third down (both clubs were 1 of 2 on fourth down conversions).

Chicago comes back to the Windy City after their 22-14 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday afternoon. Eagles K Jake Elliot and TE Zach Ertz gave their team a 12-0 lead at the break and pushed that lead to 19-0 halfway through the third quarter before Da Bears broke Philadelphia’s shutout bid with a pair of rushing TDs by David Montgomery, the second score putting Chicago to within five before Elliot booted a 38-yard field goal with 25 seconds left to ice the contest. Philadelphia outrushed Chicago 146-62 and Carson Wentz threw for 239 yards, while Mitch Trubisky threw for 125 yards (Trubisky was sacked three times, Wentz was sacked four times and neither threw an interception). Chicago went 2 of 10 on third down conversions in the City of Brotherly Love and kept the ball for 19:42, while the Eagles took care of the ball for 40:18 and went 8 of 18 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games that were played when the Lions were in Portsmouth and known as the Spartans, games that were played at Wrigley Field, Tiger Stadium, the Pontiac Silverdome and in Champaign-Urbana, Da Bears Bears lead the series 99-74-5 and have outscored Detroit 3,466-3,190. They met last year and Da Bears swept the series, winning in the Windy and Motor Cities (Detroit’s last win in the series came in 2017, when they swept the series that season).

Meeting number one… week 10 in the Windy City (Gametime temperature? A balmy 37 degrees with a 29 degree wind chill) and the Monsters of the Midway scored 26 first half points unchallenged to come away from Soldier Field 34-22 winners. Da Bears led 26-7 at the half, even though Detroit outscored them in the second half, sealing the win nonetheless. Detroit did outrush Chicago 76-54 and Trubisky threw for 355 yards and three TDs, with Stafford throwing for 274 yards and a pair of TDs (Stafford threw a pair of interceptions and was sacked six times, while Trubisky was sacked once). Chicago went 4 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28 minutes, while the Lions, who kept the ball for 32 minutes, were 4 of 16 on third down, 4 of 5 on fourth down.

Chicago didn’t have to wait long to complete the sweep and Da Bears did the deed in the Motor City in week 12 on Thanksgving afternoon, coming away 23-16 winners at Ford Field. After a scoreless first quarter, Chicago erased a 7-0 deficit in the second after Lions RB LeGarrett Blount opened the scoring with a 4-yard TD, responding with a 40-yard field by Chris Parkey and a 10-yard TD pass from Trubisky to Tequan Mizell with 40 seconds left to lead 9-7 at the half. Blount would then give Detroit the lead back with 95 seconds left in the third before Chicago took it back early in the fourth quarter thanks to a 14-yard pass from Chase Daniel (who took over for Trubisky) to RB Tarik Cohen. Detroit then re-tied the contest with 7:44 left in the contest on a 20-yard field goal by Matt Prater. The Lions would get the ball back but DB Eddie Jackson would break Lions fans hearts as he would pick off Stafford and scamper down the field 41 yards unchallenged for the game-winning score.

Once again, it would be the Lions that would outrush Chicago, this time by a 111-38 margin (Blount led all rushers with 88 yards and the two TDS). Daniel threw for 230 yards and the two TD tosses, while Stafford threw for 236 yards with a pair of interceptions (Daniel was sacked four times, Stafford was sacked twice). Chicago went 3 of 10 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 27:14, while the Lions once again ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:46, went 5 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Chicago covered the 6 1/2-point spread with their 12-point win in the Windy City and both clubs covered the 45 over/under, tallying 56 points. In the Thanksgiving Day contest in the Motor City, Da Bears were favored by 4 and covered, as they would win by 6 but the two teams missed the 45 over/under, tallying 40 points. Vegas likes Da Bears as 2 1/2-point favorites in the Windy City and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Both teams would like nothing more than to catch up to Green Bay and overtake the Packers for the top spot in the NFC North. The Monsters of the Midway cover the 2 1/2 in the Windy City and takes the win along the shores of Lake Erie.

Baltimore (6-2) at Cincinnati (0-8), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. They meet again. A pair of AFC North rivals meet along the shores of the Ohio River as the winless Bengals host the first-place Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium.

Baltimore played the role of Jimmy Stewart and took down the NFL’s answer to Liberty Valance as they knocked Tom Brady and the New England Patriots out of the ranks of the unbeatens in Charm City Sunday night, taking down the defending Super Bowl champions 37-20 at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens led 17-13 at the intermission Sunday evening, then floored the gas and outpaced New England 20-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. Baltimore tallied 210 yards of rushing, outpacing the Patriots, who tallied 74 yards on the ground (Mark Ingram led all rushers with 115 yards and a TD), while Ravens QB Lamar Jackson threw for 163 yards with a passing TD and had two rushing TDs, while Brady threw for 285 yards and a TD pass to newly acquired WR Mohamed Sanu (Brady was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Jackson was sacked once). The Ravens were 5 of 10 on third down conversions (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:01, while the Patriots, who clung to the pigskin for 22:59, went 5 of 13 on third down.

The Bengals return home from their bye week with Ryan Finley under center in place of Andy Dalton after they were taken to task by Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams 24-10 at Wembley Stadium in London. Cincinnati kept things close on the other side of the Atlantic, trailing 17-10 at the half, then watched the wheels come off their bus as Rams RB Todd Gurley scored on a 3-yard run early in the third quarter to seal their fate. Cincinnati outrushed the defending NFC champions 104-98, with Bengals RB Joe Mixon leading everyone with 66 yards on the ground, while Dalton threw for 329 yards and a TD to Mixon but was sacked five times (Goff threw for 372 yards with a pair of TDs, one to WR Cooper Kupp and had no sacks or interceptions). Cincinnati was 6 of 18 on third down (they were 4 for 6 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 32:43, while the Rams were 27:17 in time of possession, going 7 for 13 on third down.

The Sunday afternoon contest along the shores of the Ohio River is a rematch from week six in Charm City in a contest that the Ravens were 23-17 winners over Dalton and the Bengals. In that meeting, Baltimore led 17-10 at the half at M&T Bank Stadium, then held off a late Bengals rally to come away with the win. Jackson threw for 236 yards and led all rushers with 152 yards and a rushung TD, as the Ravens outrushed Cincinnati 269-33. For the Bengals, Dalton threw for 235 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception (Jackson was sacked once). Cincinnati was 5 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 235, while the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:42, going 9 of 15 on third down tries.

In the week six contest in Charm City, Baltimore was an 11-point favorite but only came away winning by 6 and both clubs missed the 48 over/under, scoring 40 points. In the rematch this Sunday, the Ravens are favored by 10 and the over/under is 46 1/2. The Bengals aren’t that bad. They’re not 10 points bad and gave Baltimore problems in the first meeting. History repeats itself in Cincinnati, as Baltimore takes the win but expect the Bengals to make things closer than 10.

Buffalo (6-2) at Cleveland (2-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. Both cities sit on Lake Erie and both look to improve their playoff chances. The Bills, sitting in second in the AFC East, travel down I-90 to face off against Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns.

Buffalo held Washington to three Dustin Hopkins field goals as they manhandled the Redskins 24-9 at New Era Stadium. The Bills led 17-6 at the break and never looked back in the contest in upstate New York, ruining the start for Washington’s Dwayne Haskins Jr. (144 yards, four sacks) While Washington outrushed Bufffalo 127-122 with Redskins RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 108, Buffalo’s Josh Allen threw for 160 yards with a TD pass to WR Cole Beasley (Allen was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Buffalo was 6 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 31:47, while the Redskins, keeping the ball for 28:13, was 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Cleveland’s dismal season continued in Denver as the Broncos edged the Browns 24-19 at Empower Field at Mile High Sunday afternoon. The Browns trailed 17-12 at the break and managed to keep the contest close with 10:47 left in the contest when Mayfield and WR Josh Landry connected on a 9-yard TD strike. Cleveland would get the ball back after a Denver punt with 7:21 left to play and got themselves as close as Denver’s 28-yard before the drive stalled as Mayfield’s pass attempt to Landry fell incomplete. Denver outrushed Cleveland 127-90 with Broncos RB Patrick Lindsay leading the way with 92 of those yards and a TD, while Cleveland was paced by Nick Chubb, who tallied 65 yards. Denver QB Brandon Allen threw for 193 yards and a pair of TDs, while Mayfield threw for 273 yards with the Landry TD toss (Mayfield was sacked twice, Allen was sacked three times, neither threw an interception). Cleveland went 6 of 15 on third down (the Browns were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and the Browns kept the ball for 35:30, while the Broncos went 3 of 9 on third down, holding on to the ball for 24:30.

While Cleveland holds an 11-9 lead in the series, the Bills have outscored Cleveland 389-345. The Bills circled the wagons and won the last two meetings, including a 33-13 win in Orchard Park in 2016, while Cleveland’s last win in the series came in 2013 along the shores of Lake Erie by a final of 37-24. Cleveland in the Battle of Lake Erie is favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Buffalo circled the wagons last week at home against Washington and who’s to say they won’t do it again? Bills circle the wagons AGAIN in the Buckeye State and covers the 2 1/2.

New York Giants (2-7) at New York Jets (1-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. They share a stadium. They have 3 wins between them. GangGreen and Big Blue meet for the 14th time in the Meadowlands as the Giants and Jets square off at Met Life Stadium.

For the Giants, it was a cat-astrophe Monday night as Big Blue fell to Dallas 37-18 Monday night in the Meadowlands. New York kept things close and trailed 13-12 at the intermission before the Cowboys would outscore Big Blue 24-6 in the final 30 minutes of play. The Giants were outrushed 172-100 with Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 139 yards in the prime time affair. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott threw for 257 yards and three TDs, while Giants signal caller Daniel Jones threw for 210 yards with a TD (Jones was sacked five times, threw an interception and gave up a fumble late in the contest that led to Dallas’ final TD of the contest; Prescott threw an interception but was not sacked). Big Blue went 5 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:56, while the Cowboys only needed to keep the pigskin for 28:04 and went 4 for 11 on third down tries.

GangGreen watched Miami erase a 7-0 deficit against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday afternoon and picked up their first win of the 2019 campaign, grounding the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 26-18 in the Sunshine State. Miami took a 21-12 lead with them to the break, then took control of things in the second half, sealing GangGreen’s fate and breaking their 10-game losing streak (they lost their last three contests in 2018 and the first seven this season) in the process. GangGreen, who gave up a pair of safties in the contest, did outrush the ‘Fins 83-50 (Jets RB LeVeon Bell led all rushers with 66 yards) but Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 288 yards with four TDs and no interceptions, while Sam Darnold threw for 260 yards with a TD and an interception (Darnold was sacked three times, Fitzpatrick was sacked four times). Miami was 6 of 12 on third down and kept the ball away from GangGreen for 31:14, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 28:46, going 5 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

The Giants lead the series 8-5 and have outscored GangGreen 285-239. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! won the last meeting, coming away 23-20 overtime winners in 2015, while Big Blue’s last win in the series came in 2011 by a final of 29-14. The Giants are favored by 2 1/2 in the Meadowlands and the over/under’s 43 1/2. You stand a better chance of finding Jimmy Hoffa than you will a winner in this one. The Giants are the lesser evil here and they take the win at Met Life, covering the 2 1/2.

Arizona (3-4-1) at Tampa Bay (2-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of struggling teams square off in the Sunshine State as Heisman winners Kyler Murray and Jameis Winston meet at Raymond James Stadium when Tampa Bay hosts Arizona. Both clubs are coming off losses in last week’s contests.

The Desert Angry Birds took San Francisco to the edge two weeks ago in Glendale at State Farm Stadium but fell to the 49ers 28-25. Arizona trailed 21-7 at the half in the desert, then put on a rally in the second half to make things a bit too close for their NFC West rivals, making the contest a 3-point contest with 4:53 left in regulation when WR Andy Isabella and Murray connected on a 88-yard TD toss. San Francsico would get the ball back after the ensuing kickoff and the Cardinals would never see it again. Arizona outrushed San Francisco 153-101 with Cardinals RB Kyle Drake leading the way with 110 yards and a TD (San Francisco was led by Matt Breida 78 yards). Murray threw for 241 yards with a pair of TDs, while San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo burned Arizona for 317 yards and four TDs, connecting with Tevin Coleman, Emanuel Sanders, George Kittle and Dante Pettis (Murray was sacked three times and Garoppolo was sacked once, neither threw an interception). The Desert Angry Birds were 2 of 8 on third down tries and kept the ball for 25:29, while the 49ers were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 34:31, while going 11 of 17 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Tampa Bay watched Seattle erase a 21-13 deficit at Century Link Field last Sunday afternoon, then rally in the final 30 minutes of regulation and overtime to fall 40-34 win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Tampa Bay trailed 34-27 with 46 seconds left in regulation, then tied the contest up with a 1-yard run by rookie RB Dare Ogunbowale. It would be the last time that the Buccaneers would see the ball as Seattle won the toss in overtime. The Seahawks made sure that Tampa Bay would never see the ball again, as they used 10 plays, 75 yards of real estate and 3:38 of clock to send their fan base home happy when WR James Hollister and Russell Wilson connected on a 10-yard TD toss with 6:22 left in the extra period.

Seattle outrushed Tampa Bay 145-99, with Seahawks RB Chris Carson leading the way with 105 yards on the ground. Wilson threw for 378 yards and five TDs (including the game-winner), while Jameis Winston threw for 335 yards and a pair of TDs (one to RB Mike Evans; Wilson was sacked three times, Winston was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). Seattle was 2 for 8 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 28:13 (including the overtime), while Tampa Bay ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 35:25, going 6 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including contests played in St. Louis the Desert Angry Birds carry an 11-9 lead into the series, have outscored Tampa Bay 396-366 and have won the last three meetings, including coming away 38-23 winners in the desert in 2017, while Tampa Bay’s last win also came in the desert, as the Bucs would leave Glendale 38-35 winners in 2010. Tampa Bay’s favored by 4 1/2 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 51 1/2. We won’t blame you one bit if you took a pass on this one and started that early Thanksgiving shopping. Tampa Bay covers the 4 1/2 in the Sunshine State and takes the win.

Kansas City (6-3) at Tennessee (4-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of AFC/AFL rivals meet in the Volunteer State as the Kansas City Chiefs travel to Nashville to face off against the Tennessee Titans.

Kansas City escaped Arrowhead last Sunday 26-23 winners over Minnesota thanks to a 44-yard field by Harrison Butker as time expired. Minnesota and Kansas City entered intermission tied at 10-10, then trailed 16-10 with 11:51 left in the third quarter when RB Darrell Williams went 91 yards untouched to take the lead back. Butker then added a 45-yard field goal late in the third before Minnesota took the lead again in the fourth, with TE Kyle Rudolph scoring on a 3-yard TD toss from Kirk Cousins with 10:59 left in the contest. Butker would put his right foot to good use later in the period, tying the contest with 2:30 left to play on a 54-yarder. Kansas City would get the ball back after a Minnesota punt with 1:47 left and Matt Moore (taking over for Patrick Mahomes – knee) engineered a 5-play, 19-yard drive that used all of the 1:47 as Butker sent Chiefs fans home happy campers with the game-winning boot, breaking their three-game home losing streak in the process.

Kansas City outrushed Minnesota 147-96 with Williams leading the way with 125 yards, while Delvin Cook led the Vikings with 71 yards. Cousins threw for 220 yards with three TDs, while Moore threw for 275 yards and a TD toss to Tyreek Hill (Cousins was sacked once, Moore was sacked five times; neither threw an interception). The Chiefs went 4 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 31:48 (including the final 1:47 of the contest), while the Vikings held on to the pigskin for 28:12 and went 5 of 15 on third down (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

Tennessee watched Carolina score 17 second quarter points unchallenged last Sunday in Charlotte as the Panthers took a 30-20 victory at Bank of America Stadium. After a scoreless first quarter in the Tar Heel State, the Panthers went on their scoring spree in the second quarter, using a 35-yard field goal by Josh Slye and a pair of TDs from Kyle Allen (one to RB Christian McCaffrey, the other to WR Curtis Samuel) to take that 17-point lead at the break. After Tennessee’s Derrick Henry ended Carolina’s shutout bid in the third quarter, McCaffery went back to work on the ground, scoring a pair of TDs to all but seal Tennessee’s fate.

Carolina outrushed Tennessee 156-121 with McCaffery leading the way with 146 yards to go with the two TDs, while Henry led the Titans with 63 yards and a TD. Allen threw for 232 yards with the two TD tosses, while Ryan Tannehill threw for 331 yards with a TD pass to Henry and had a rushing TD of his own late in the contest. While Carolina went 5 of 14 on third down, they were successful on fourth down (2 of 2) and kept the ball for 33:17, while the Titans, keeping the pigskin for 26:43, went 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games played in Houston when the Titans were known as the Texans and in Dallas when the Chiefs were known as the Texans, Kansas City leads the series 27-22 and the Chiefs have outscored the Titans 1,049-884. Tennesssee has won the last two contests, both at Arrowhead, with their last win coming in 2016 by a final of 19-17, while the Chiefs’ last win in the series came in the Music City in 2013, as Kansas City would leave Nissan Stadium 26-17 winners. The Chiefs are favored by 3 1/2 in the Music City and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Kansas City covers the 3 on the road and takes the win in Nashville.

Miami (1-7) at Indianapolis (5-3), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 712. Erasing their long losing streak, the Miami Dolphins make their way to the Hoosier State to face off against the Indianapolis Colts in a late afternoon AFC contest.

Miami erased a 7-0 deficit against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday afternoon and picked up their first win of the 2019 campaign, grounding the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 26-18 in the Sunshine State. Miami took a 21-12 lead with them to the break, then took control of things in the second half, sealing GangGreen’s fate and breaking their 10-game losing streak (they lost their last three contests in 2018 and the first seven this season) in the process. GangGreen, who gave up a pair of safties in the contest, did outrush the ‘Fins 83-50 (Jets RB LeVeon Bell led all rushers with 66 yards) but Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 288 yards with four TDs and no interceptions, while Sam Darnold threw for 260 yards with a TD and an interception (Darnold was sacked three times, Fitzpatrick was sacked four times). Miami was 6 of 12 on third down and kept the ball away from GangGreen for 31:14, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 28:46, going 5 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Indianapolis watch Pittsburgh snatch victory from the jaws of defeat last Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field, taking a 26-24 win from the Colts. The Colts led 16-13 at the half, then watch the Steelers pull away from the Colts in the second half, taking the lead for keeps with 6:36 left in regulation on a 26-yard field goal by Chris Boswell, then outscored Indianapolis 13-9 in the final 30 minutes of play and dodged a bullet when Colts K Adam Vinatieri’s 43-yard field goal try sailed wide to the left. Indianapolis outrushed Pittsburgh 139-90 with Mason Rudolph throwing for 191 yards and a TD, while Blake Hoyer (who replaced Jacoby Brissett after he left the contest with a knee sprain) threw for 168 yards and three TDS (Hoyer threw an interception that Pittsburgh’s Michael Fitzpatrick ran back 96 yards for a TD; Rudolph also had an interception, while he was sacked once and Hoyer was sacked four times). Pittsburgh went 5 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 29:28, while the Colts, holding on to the pigskin for 30:32, went 4 for 12 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Miami leads the series 45-27 (which includes contests that were played in Baltimore and at the old Orange Bowl site) and the Dolphins have outscored the Colts 1,619-1,258. The Colts were victors in their last two contests, with their last win coming in the Hoosier State last season by a final of 27-24, while the Dolphins’ last win in the series came in 2013 in the Hoosier State, coming away 24-20 winners.

They met at Lucas Oil Stadium in week 12 and the Colts would rally in the closing seconds to take the win in front of the home folks thanks to a Vinatieri field goal from 32 yards out as the clock struck :00. Tied 14-14 at the half, Miami would take a 17-14 lead on a Jason Sanders field goal halfway through the third quarter, then pushed the lead to 10 with 13:36 left in regulation when Kenyan Drake scored on a 14-yard run. The Colts would then respond, scoring the last 13 points of the game unchallenged when Vinatieri connected on a 46-yard field goal with 8:26 left and tied the contest with 4:25 left when Andrew Luck and TE Eric Ebron connected on a 12-yard TD toss. Vinatieri would then be the hero as the Colts used a 7-play, 44-yard drive that took all of the 2:38 left in the contest, booting the game winner to send Colts fans home happy.

Indy outrushed Miami 118-113 and Luck threw for 343 yards and three TDs (two to Ebron, including the toss that evened the score), while Tannehill threw for 204 yards abd a pair of TDs (Luck and Tannehill were sacked once and Luck threw a pair of interceptions). Frank Gore led Miami with 67 yards, while Colts RB Marlon Mack led all rushers with 85 yards. Miami went 4 of 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:06, while the Colts ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 31:54 (including the final 2:38 of the contest), going 4 of 12 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

The Colts were favored by 9 1/2 in the week 12 contest in the Hoosier State but came away with only a three-point win but both clubs managed to cover the 50 1/2 over/under with 51 points. Indy’s favored by 10 and the over/under’s 44. The 44 makes sense. The 10? Sounds a bit on the high side. Miami’s a somewhat bad team but they’re not 10 points bad. They’ll make it closer than the 10 but the Colts prevail in the Hoosier State.

Carolina (5-3) at Green Bay (7-2), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. Carolina BBQ meets cheese, beer and Bratwurst as the Carolina Panthers travel to Lambeau to face off against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The two contending clubs come into Sunday contests with opposite results from last Sunday’s action.

Carolina scored 17 second quarter points unchallenged against Tennessee last Sunday in Charlotte and took the Titans to the woodshed 30-20 at Bank of America Stadium. After a scoreless first quarter in the Tar Heel State, the Panthers went on their scoring spree in the second quarter, using a 35-yard field goal by Josh Slye and a pair of TDs from Kyle Allen (one to RB Christian McCaffrey, the other to WR Curtis Samuel) to take that 17-point lead at the break. After Tennessee’s Derrick Henry ended Carolina’s shutout bid in the third quarter, McCaffery went back to work on the ground, scoring a pair of TDs to all but seal Tennessee’s fate.

Carolina outrushed Tennessee 156-121 with McCaffery leading the way with 146 yards to go with the two TDs, while Henry led the Titans with 63 yards and a TD. Allen threw for 232 yards with the two TD tosses, while Ryan Tannehill threw for 331 yards with a TD pass to Henry and had a rushing TD of his own late in the contest. While Carolina went 5 of 14 on third down, they were successful on fourth down (2 of 2) and kept the ball for 33:17, while the Titans, keeping the pigskin for 26:43, went 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Green Bay trailed the Los Angeles Chargers from start to finish last Sunday at Dignity Health Sports Park, as Rodgers and the Packers dropped a 26-11 decision to the Bolts in Carson. The Chargers scored the first nine points of the contest unchalleged thanks to three Michael Badgley field goals, taking a 9-0 lead with them to the intermission. Badgley would add another field goal at the halfway point of the third quarter and the Chargers would score the first TD of the game when Melvin Gordon II tallied his first of two TDs from a yard out.

Green Bay would then end any bid for a Charger shutout when K Mason Crosby connected on a 54-yard field goal with 46 seconds left in the third. Gordon would add a second TD early in the fourth quarter for the Chargers to all but ice the contest away from the Packers on the West Coast. Gordon led all rushers with 80 yards and the two TDs as the Chargers outrushed Green Bay 159-45 and Philip Rivers threw for 294 yards without a sack, while Rodgers threw for 161 yards and a TD to Jamaal Williams with three sacks (neither QB threw an interception).

The Bolts were 5 of 11 on third down on the West Coast (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and were stingy with the football, keeping it away from the Packers for 35:51, while Green Bay went 2 of 10 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down), holding on to the pigskin for 24:09.

Green Bay leads the series 8-6 and the Packers have outscored Carolina 394-331. The Panthers have won the last two meetings, both in the Tar Heel State, with the last win coming in 2017 by a final of 31-24, while Green Bay’s last win came at Lambeau in 2014, a 38-17 win in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst. Green Bay’s favored by 5 at Lambeau and the over/under’s 48. Carolina would love to knock Green Bay off in their building. The Packers aren’t seeing that way and after the loss on the West Coast, they’re not going to be in a good mood. Carolina will make it closer than the 5 but Green Bay prevails at Lambeau.

Los Angeles Rams (5-3) at Pittsburgh (4-4), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. A pair of contenders meet in the Steel City as Pittsburgh hosts the Los Angeles Rams at Heinz Field. While the Rams are coming off their bye week, the Steelers survived a scare from Indianapolis last Sunday afternoon.

The defending NFC champs return to action after they took Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals 24-10 at Wembley Stadium in London. Cincinnati kept things close on the other side of the Atlantic, trailing 17-10 at the half, then watched the wheels come off the bus as Rams RB Todd Gurley scored on a 3-yard run early in the third quarter to seal their fate. Cincinnati outrushed the defending NFC champions 104-98, with Bengals RB Joe Mixon leading everyone with 66 yards on the ground, while Dalton threw for 329 yards and a TD to Mixon but was sacked five times (Goff threw for 372 yards with a pair of TDs, one to WR Cooper Kupp and had no sacks or interceptions). Cincinnati was 6 of 18 on third down (they were 4 for 6 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 32:43, while the Rams were 27:17 in time of possession, going 7 for 13 on third down.

Pittsburgh survived a last-minute scare from Indianapolis last Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field, taking a 26-24 win from the Colts. Pittsburgh trailed 16-13 at the half, then pulled away from the Colts in the second half, taking the lead for keeps with 6:36 left in regulation on a 26-yard field goal by Chris Boswell, then outscored Indianapolis 13-9 in the final 30 minutes of play and dodged a bullet when Colts K Adam Vinatieri’s 43-yard field goal try sailed wide to the left. Indianapolis outrushed Pittsburgh 139-90 with Mason Rudolph throwing for 191 yards and a TD, while Blake Hoyer (who replaced Jacoby Brissett after he left the contest with a knee sprain) threw for 168 yards and three TDS (Hoyer threw an interception that Pittsburgh’s Michael Fitzpatrick ran back 96 yards for a TD; Rudolph also had an interception, while he was sacked once and Hoyer was sacked four times). Pittsburgh went 5 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 29:28, while the Colts, holding on to the pigskin for 30:32, went 4 for 12 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Including games played in Cleveland, Anaheim and St. Louis and contests when the Steelers were known as the Pirates prior to 1940, the Rams lead the series 15-8-2 and have outscored the Steelers 487-448. Pittsburgh won the last meeting, coming away 12-6 winners in St. Lous in 2015, while the Rams’ last win came in the Steel City in 2003 by a final of 33-21. The Rams are 3 1/2-point favorites in the Steel City and the over/under’s 45. Both numbers sound like they make a ton of sense. In the end, while this one’s not “DRILL WORTHY,” it’s worth your time. Rams may not cover the 3 1/2 but they take the win on the road in the Steel City.

Minnesota (6-3) at Dallas (5-3), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of contenders meet in the Lone Star State in a Sunday night prime time contest at Jerry World (AT&T Stadium). Minnesota, chasing Green Bay in the NFC North, makes their way to Arlington for a meeting with Dallas, leaders in the NFC East.

Minnesota watched Kansas City escape Arrowhead last Sunday 26-23 winners thanks to a 44-yard field by Harrison Butker as time expired. Tied at 10-10 at the intermission, Minnesota led 16-10 with 11:51 left in the third quarter when Chiefs RB Darrell Williams went 91 yards untouched to take the lead back. Butker then added a 45-yard field goal late in the third before Minnesota took the lead again in the fourth, with TE Kyle Rudolph scoring on a 3-yard TD toss from Kirk Cousins with 10:59 left in the contest. Butker would put his right foot to good use later in the period, tying the contest with 2:30 left to play on a 54-yarder. Kansas City would get the ball back after a Minnesota punt with 1:47 left and Matt Moore (taking over for Patrick Mahomes – knee) engineered a 5-play, 19-yard drive that used all of the 1:47 as Butker sent Chiefs fans home happy campers with the game-winning boot.

Dallas let the “cat” out of the bag Monday night against the New York Giants in the Meadowlands, as they completed the sweep of their NFC East rivals at Met Life Stadium. For the Giants, it was a cat-astrophe Monday night as Big Blue fell to Dallas 37-18 Monday night in the Meadowlands. New York kept things close and trailed 13-12 at the intermission before the Cowboys would outscore Big Blue 24-6 in the final 30 minutes of play. The Giants were outrushed 172-100 with Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 139 yards in the prime time affair. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott threw for 257 yards and three TDs, while Giants signal caller Daniel Jones threw for 210 yards with a TD (Jones was sacked five times, threw an interception and gave up a fumble late in the contest that led to Dallas’ final TD of the contest; Prescott threw an interception but was not sacked). Big Blue went 5 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:56, while the Cowboys only needed to keep the pigskin for 28:04 and went 4 for 11 on third down tries.

Kansas City outrushed Minnesota 147-96 with Williams leading the way with 125 yards, while Delvin Cook led the Vikings with 71 yards. Cousins threw for 220 yards with three TDs, while Moore threw for 275 yards and a TD toss to Tyreek Hill (Cousins was sacked once, Moore was sacked five times; neither threw an interception). The Chiefs went 4 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 31:48 (including the final 1:47 of the contest), while the Vikings held on to the pigskin for 28:12 and went 5 of 15 on third down (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

While Dallas leads the series by a slim 12-11 margin, the Vikings have outscored Dallas 549-532. The Cowboys came away winners in the last two meetings, inclduing a 17-15 win in the Twin Cities in 2016, while the Vikings’ last win came in the Land of 10,000 Lakes by a final of 24-21 in 2010. We’re going to go ahead and declare 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 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

The boys and girls in Vegas like the Cowboys and they’re favored by 3 and the over/under’s 47 1/2. There’s a chance that these two could meet in the post-season. Dallas controls its destiny in the NFC East and can advance their cause with a win. Minnesota makes this one close but Dallas prevails in the Lone Star State and could very well cover the 3.

Seattle (7-3) at San Francisco (8-0), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 10 began in northern California and ends in the same spot as a pair of NFC West rivals meet in Wine Country. Seattle makes the 839-mile trip down I-5 in hopes of knocking San Francisco out of the ranks of the unbeatens at Levis’ Stadium. Both teams took close wins in last week’s contests.

Seattle erased a 21-13 deficit against Tampa Bay at Century Link Field last Sunday afternoon, then rallied in the final 30 minutes of regulation and overtime to take a 40-34 win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Leading 34-27 with 46 seconds left in regulation, Tampa Bay tied the contest up with a 1-yard run by rookie RB Dare Ogunbowale. Seattle won the toss in overtime, making sure that the Buccaneers would never see the ball, as they used 10 plays, 75 yards of real estate and 3:38 of clock to send their fan base home happy when WR James Hollister and Russell Wilson connected on a 10-yard TD toss with 6:22 left in the extra period.

Seattle outrushed Tampa Bay 145-99, with Seahawks RB Chris Carson leading the way with 105 yards on the ground. Wilson threw for 378 yards and five TDs (including the game-winner), while Jameis Winston threw for 335 yards and a pair of TDs (one to RB Mike Evans; Wilson was sacked three times, Winston was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). Seattle was 2 for 8 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 28:13 (including the overtime), while Tampa Bay ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 35:25, going 6 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

San Francisco found themselves being taken to the edge by Arizona two weeks ago in Glendale at State Farm Stadium but managed to prevail 28-25. The 49ers led 21-7 at the half in the desert, then watched Arizona put on a rally in the second half to make things a bit too close for their NFC West rivals, making the contest a 3-point contest with 4:53 left in regulation when WR Andy Isabella and Murray connected on a 88-yard TD toss. San Francsico would get the ball back after the ensuing kickoff and the Cardinals would never see it again. Arizona outrushed San Francisco 153-101 with Cardinals RB Kyle Drake leading the way with 110 yards and a TD (San Francisco was led by Matt Breida 78 yards). Murray threw for 241 yards with a pair of TDs, while San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo burned Arizona for 317 yards and four TDs, connecting with Tevin Coleman, Emanuel Sanders, George Kittle and Dante Pettis (Murray was sacked three times and Garoppolo was sacked once, neither threw an interception). The Desert Angry Birds were 2 of 8 on third down tries and kept the ball for 25:29, while the 49ers were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 34:31, while going 11 of 17 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Seahawks lead the series 24-16 (which includes contests played at the Kingdome and Candlestick Park) and Seattle has outscored San Francisco 960-711. The two NFC West foes split last year’s contests, each taking wins in their home parks.

Round one… week 13 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Seattle took a 20-3 lead with them to the break at Centurky Link Field and the Seahawks would come out on top 43-16. Seattle got three first-half TD tosses from Wilson, while holding the 49ers to a Robbie Gould field goal in the first 30 minutes of play and would outscore the 49ers 23-13 in the second half to seal the win. Seattle outrushed San Francsico 168-66 and Wilson threw for 185 yards and four TDs (connecting with WR Jaron Brown on two) and Nick Mullen threw for 414 yards and a pair of TDs to Dante Pettis in the contest (both were sacked three times and Mullen threw an interception). Seattle went 4 of 9 on third down tries and kept the ball for 27:30, while the 49ers were 7 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and would be stingy with the ball, keeping it for 32:30.

The 49ers didn’t need to wait long for revenge and they would get that revenge at Santa Clara two weeks later in week 15, needing overtime to come away 26-23 winners at Levis’ Stadium. The 49ers led 17-13 at the half and took a 20-13 lead with them into the final 15 minutes of play in wine country before Seattle’s Chris Carson scored on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter. Gould would give the 49ers the lead back with a 45 yard field goal before the Seahawks’ Sebastian re-tied the contest with a 48-yard field goal, sending the contest into overtime. Seattle would get the ball to start the overtime and would never cross their own 20-yard line, punting the ball to San Francisco. The 49ers would then march their way down the field, using a 7-play, 44-yards drive, aided by a Seattle penalty and buring 4:19 of clock and sent their fans home happy as Gould connected on a 36-yard field to win the contest.

As was the case in the first meeting, Seattle outrushed San Francisco, this time by a 168-94 margin and Carson led all rushers with a 119-yard day. Wilson threw for 237 yards and a pair of TDs to Doug Baldwin, while Mullens threw for 275 yards and a TD (both were sacked three times and neither threw an interception). Seattle was 9 of 19 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:14, while the 49ers were 3 for 10 on third down, keeping the ball for 29:40.

In the week 13 contest in the Paciifc Northwest, Seattle covered the 9 1/2-point spread, winning by 27 and both teams took care of the 46 over/under with 59 points. In the week 15 contest in wine country, Seattle was favored by 6 1/2. While San Francisco prevailed in overtime at home, they only won by 3, missing the spread and while both clubs played overtime, they did manage to cover the 44 1/2 over/under with 49 points.

Both teams have done quite well on Monday night and the 49ers have played and won a contest with Cleveland at home in week five, while Seattle is 24-10 in prime time, going 1-1 in their two meetings last year. San Francisco’s favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 46 1/2. This one could very well be part one as to who wins the NFC West. You might want to tape “All Rise” and “Bull” this week. Seattle may make it closer than 6 1/2 but the 49ers continue their winning ways in Santa Clara, remaining unbeaten in the process.

They’re still standing. New England (8-0) and San Francisco (8-0) are the two remaining teams in the NFL without a loss to their credit. The Patriots, the defending Super Bowl champions and the leaders in the AFC East, along with the 49ers, leaders in the NFC West, could very well meet in Miami in Super Bowl LIV in February.

In an NFL season, anything can happen and we mean anything. On any given day, as the saying goes, any team can beat any team. So if you’re a team that’s on top, you might want to be aware; if you’re the pursuer, there’s still time and there’s hope. An NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati (0-8) and Miami (0-7) search for their first wins of the season. Week nine also features the final game from the other side of the pond as Houston and Jacksonville square off in London. For those teams that are struggling, this is their chance to pull themselves even and perhaps get themselves either a Wild Card spot or win their division. The Bengals have a bye this week after their trip to London last week.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK EIGHT: New England defeated Cleveland 27-13 in Week 8. New England advances to 8-0 for the third time in franchise history (2007 and 2015). Patriots head coach Bill Belichick became the third coach in NFL history to register 300 career wins, including the postseason, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Don Shula (347 wins) and George Halas (324). Ironically, Belichick’s first win was against…. New England.

Through their first eight games, the Patriots have a +189 point differential, tied with the 1942 Chicago Bears (+189) for the third-highest point different through a team’s first eight games in NFL history. New England also has a turnover differential of +17, tied with the 1983 Minnesota Vikings (+17) for the fifth-highest turnover margin by a team through its first eight games since 1970.

San Francisco rookie defensive lineman Nick Bosa had three sacks and an interception in the 49ers’ 51-13 win over Carolina. The 49ers advanced to 7-0 for the first time since 1990, when they began the season 10-0. Bosa is the third rookie since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, to record at least three sacks and an interception in a single game, joining Julius Peppers (October 13, 2002) and Kevin Williams (December 28, 2003). At 22 years and four days old, Bosa is the second-youngest player to record at least three sacks in a single game since 1982, trailing only Vernon Maxwell (21 years, 321 days old).

Bosa has seven sacks in his first seven games, tied for the second most by a player in his first seven games since 1982. Only Mark Anderson (7.5 sacks in 2006) had more. Along with his brother, Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa (two sacks), Week 8 marks the second time since 1982 that a pair of brothers each recorded at least two sacks in the same week, joining Jimmy Williams (two) and Toby Williams (two) in Week 2 of the 1985 season.

Jacksonville rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew passed for 279 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 119.6 rating in the Jaguars’ 29-15 win over the New York Jets. New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones passed for 322 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 124.2 rating in the Giants’ Week 8 loss at Detroit. With Minshew and Jones, Week 8 is the second week in NFL history in which two rookie quarterbacks each passed for at least three touchdowns and zero interceptions in the same week, joining Week 16 of the 2018 season (Jets quarterback Sam Darnold and Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield).

Jones, who passed for 336 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions in Week 3, joined Dak Prescott (two games in 2016) as the only rookie quarterbacks to have two games of at least 300 passing yards, two touchdown passes and zero interceptions in NFL history.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for 373 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for a 116.4 rating in the Saints’ 31-9 victory against Arizona. Brees has 159 career games with at least two touchdown passes, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (159) for the third-most such games in NFL history. Only Tom Brady (170) and Peyton Manning (165) have more.

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp had seven receptions for a career-high 220 yards and one touchdown in the Rams’ 24-10 victory over Cincinnati at Wembley Stadium in London. Kupp’s 220 receiving yards are the most receiving yards in a single international game in league annals, surpassing Brandon Lloyd, who had 169 receiving yards with Denver on October 31, 2010 at Wembley Stadium. Rams running back Todd Gurley had a rushing touchdown in the victory. Gurley has 63 total touchdowns in 65 career games, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famers Marcus Allen (63), Terrell Davis (63) and LaDainian Tomlinson (63) for the second-most total touchdowns by a player in his first 65 games since 1970. Only Chuck Foreman (64 touchdowns) had more in his first 65 career games.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 182 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 131.7 passer rating in the Seahawks’ 27-20 win at Atlanta. Wilson is the first player in NFL history to record at least one touchdown pass and zero interceptions in eight consecutive road games.Wilson, playing in his eighth season, has 213 career touchdown passes, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (213) for the third-most by a player in his first eight seasons in league annals. Only Peyton Manning (244) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (241) had more touchdown passes in their first eight seasons.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Schaub had 460 passing yards in Week 8. At 38 years and 124 days old, Schaub is the third quarterback age 38 or older to pass for at least 450 yards in a single game in NFL history, joining Peyton Manning (479 passing yards at 38 years, 195 days old) and Tom Brady (466 passing yards at 38 years, 48 days old). Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones recorded 10 receptions for 152 yards against Seattle. Jones is the sixth player in league annals to have 30 career games with at least 125 receiving yards, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (49 games), Randy Moss (35), Marvin Harrison (32), Lance Alworth (30) as well as Isaac Bruce (30).

Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri converted field goals of 55, 45 and 51 yards in the Colts’ 15-13 over Denver in Week 8. His 51-yard game-winning field goal came with 22 seconds remaining in regulation. At 46 years and 303 days old, Vinatieri is the oldest player to make a game-winning field goal of at least 50 yards in the final minute of regulation or overtime in NFL history. He is also the oldest player to convert at least two field goals of 50-or-more yards in a single game in league annals.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had 11 catches for 109 receiving yards in the Texans’ 27-24 win against Oakland.

At 27 years and 143 days old, Hopkins, who has 8,054 career receiving yards, surpassed Calvin Johnson (27 years, 358 days old) as the third-youngest player to reach 8,000 career receiving yards in NFL history.

Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans had 11 receptions for 198 yards and two touchdowns in the Buccaneers’ Week 8 loss at Tennessee. Evans has 433 career catches with Tampa Bay and surpassed James Wilder (430) for the most receptions in franchise history. Evans, who had eight catches for 190 yards and three touchdowns in Week 3, joined Charley Hennigan (1961) as the only players with two games of at least eight receptions, 190 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a single season in league annals.

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley had 143 scrimmage yards (79 receiving, 64 rushing) and a touchdown catch in the Giants’ Week 8 loss at Detroit. Barkley, who has 2,562 scrimmage yards in 21 career games, tied Otis Anderson (21 games) and Billy Sims (21) for the fourth-fewest games to reach 2,500 career scrimmage yards in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (19 games), Edgerrin James (19) and Ezekiel Elliott (20) reached the mark in fewer games.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK NINE

LEADING THE PACK: With the season reaching its midpoint, a pair of Jacksonville Jaguars lead the AFC in both rushing and receiving. Running back Leonard Fournette leads the AFC with 791 rushing yards, while Jaguars wide receiver D.J. CHARK leads the conference with 660 receiving yards.

On Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London against Houston, Fournette and Chark could become the first pair of teammates to lead either conference in both rushing and receiving through the first nine weeks of a season since Philadelphia Eagles teammates LeSean McCoyY (777 yards) and DeSean Jackson (823 yards) led the NFC in rushing and receiving through Week 9 in 2013.

DUAL-THREAT: In Weeks 6 and 7, Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson became the first quarterback to rush for at least 100 yards and a touchdown in back-to-back games in NFL history, and joined Michael Vick (2004, 2006) and Russell Wilson (2014) as the only quarterbacks to have three games with at least 100 rushing yards in a single season in NFL history.

With one rushing yard on Sunday Night Football against New England, Jackson, who leads the NFL in rushing average (6.94, min. 50 attempts) and leads all quarterbacks with 576 rushing yards, would surpass Vick (576 yards in 2006) for the most rushing yards by a quarterback through his team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history.

The quarterbacks with the most rushing yards through their team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RUSHING YARDS)
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (2019 – 576)*
Michael Vick, ATLANTA (2006 – 576)
Bobby Douglass, Chicago (1972 – 556)
*In seven games

AIR & GROUND ATTACK: Since entering the NFL in 2016, Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott has recorded 15 games with both a passing touchdown and rushing touchdown, the most in the league over that span.

With both a passing and rushing touchdown on Monday Night Football against the New York Giants in the Meadowlands, Prescott would tie Daunte Culpepper (16 games) for the second-most games with both a passing and rushing touchdown in a player’s first four seasons in NFL history.

The players with the most games with both a passing and rushing touchdown in their first four seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES WITH PASS & RUSH TD)
Cam Newton, Carolina (24)
Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota (16)
Dak Prescott, Dallas (15)*
*In fourth season

WILL GORE MOVE UP FROM FOUR?: Buffalo running back Frank Gore ranks fifth in NFL history in scrimmage yards (19,014) and fourth in rushing yards (15,170).

With 100 rushing yards on Sunday vs. Washington, Gore would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders (15,269) for the third-most rushing yards in NFL history.

The players with the most rushing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER (TEAMS; RUSHING YARDS)
Emmitt Smith (Dallas and Arizona; 18,355) HOF
Walter Payton (Chicago; 16,726) HOF
Barry Sanders (Detroit; 15,269) HOF
Frank Gore (San Francisco, Indianapolis, Miami and Buffalo; 15,170)
HOF – Hall of Fame

RACKING UP YARDS: Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey had 155 scrimmage yards (117 rushing, 38 receiving) against San Francisco in Week 8, his fifth game with at least 150 scrimmage yards in 2019.

With at least 150 scrimmage yards on Sunday against Tennessee, McCaffrey would become the third player to have at least 150 scrimmage yards in six of his team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history.

The players with the most games with at least 150 scrimmage yards in their teams’ first eight games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES WITH 150+ SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Jim Brown, Cleveland (1963 – 6) HOF
Matt Forte, Chicago (2011 – 6)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (2019 – 5)*
*Through seven games
HOF – Hall of Fame

Additionally, McCaffrey, who has 2,268 rushing yards and 1,861 receiving yards in 39 career games, needs 139 receiving yards to become the first player with at least 2,000 rushing yards and 2,000 receiving yards in his first 40 career games in NFL history.

HUNTING NUMBER 50: Minnesota defensive end Danielle Hunter has recorded at least one sack in four consecutive games and ties for fourth in the NFL with eight sacks in 2019.

Hunter, who will be 25 years and five days old on Sunday, needs two sacks against Kansas City to become the youngest player to reach 50 career sacks since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic.

The youngest players to reach 50 career sacks since 1982:

PLAYER, TEAM (AGE)
Robert Quinn, St. Louis Rams (25 years, 167 days)
J.J. Watt, Houston (25 years, 260 days)
Derrick Thomas, Kansas City (25 years, 291 days) HOF
Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis (25 years, 302 days)
Danielle Hunter, Minnesota (25 years, 5 days)*
*On Sunday
HOF – Hall of Fame

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated Sunday’s matchup between Minnesota and Kansas City as the NFL100 Game of the Week in a rematch of Super Bowl IV. On January 11, 1970, Kansas City defeated Minnesota 23-7 in front of 80,562 fans at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans for their first Super Bowl win. The Chiefs built a 16-0 halftime lead, as Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson completed 12 of 17 passes, including a 46-yard touchdown pass to Otis Taylor for the Chiefs final touchdown and was named the game’s most valuable player. Kansas City’s defense held Minnesota to 67 rushing yards and forced five turnovers (three interceptions, two fumble recoveries) in the victory.

The NFL’s 100th season enters the second half as the calendar turns to November. At the season’s midpoint, there are nine teams with a .700 or better winning percentage and four teams with a record of 7-1 or better, including undefeated New England (8-0) and San Francisco (7-0). Since 1990, when the current 12-team playoff format was adopted, 97 percent (64 of 66) of teams to start 7-1 or better advanced to the postseason.

Since 2000, 50 teams have advanced to the postseason with a .500 or below winning percentage through their first eight games. Last season, five such teams qualified for the playoffs: Baltimore (4-4), Dallas (3-5), Indianapolis (3-5), Philadelphia (4-4) and Seattle (4-4).

Young quarterbacks and close games have highlighted the first two months of the 2019 season. Through the first eight weeks, 99 of 121 games (81.8 percent) have featured at least one quarterback under the age of 27, the most at this point in a season in league history. In total, quarterbacks under the age of 27 have started 130 games and recorded 69 wins (53.1 percent), both the most starts and wins by quarterbacks under the age of 27 through the first eight weeks of a season since at least 1970.

MOST GAMES STARTED BY QBS UNDER AGE 27, THROUGH WEEK 8

SEASON – GAMES
2019 – 130
1987 – 114
2013 – 112

MOST WINS BY STARTING QBS UNDER AGE 27, THROUGH WEEK 8

SEASON – WINS
2019 – 69
1984 – 57
2013 – 55?

In the first eight weeks, 10 games have been decided by one point or fewer, tied for the third-most through the first eight weeks of season since 1970, while 61 games have been decided by seven points or fewer, the fourth-most through the first eight weeks of a season in NFL history. In total, 66.1 percent of games (80 of 121) have been within one score in the fourth quarter.

Below are highlights of the Week 9 schedule:

=Houston (5-3) meets Jacksonville (4-4) close out the London part of the 2019 schedule at Wembley Stadium in an AFC South showdown. The two teams, who are making the trip across the pond, met in Week 2, as Houston withstood a fourth quarter rally from Jaguars rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew in his first career start to earn a 13-12 victory. In 2019, Minshew leads all rookie quarterbacks with 13 passing touchdowns and a 98.8 passer rating. Since their Week 2 meeting, Texans quarterback DeShaun Watson ties for the NFL lead with 13 touchdown passes and ranks third in passing yards (1,804). In Week 11, AFC West rivals Kansas City and the Los Angeles Chargers meet on Monday Night Football in Mexico City in the final international game of 2019.

In the NFL100 Game of the Week, the AFC West-leading Chiefs (5-3) welcome Minnesota (6-2) to Arrowhead Stadium in an interconference battle. Kansas City enters Week 9 with the fourth ranked scoring offense (28.3 points per game), while Minnesota allows the third-fewest points per game (16.5) in the league. Vikings running back DALVIN COOK leads the NFL in scrimmage yards (1,116) and rushing touchdowns (nine), and has recorded at least 145 scrimmage yards in three of his four road games in 2019.

On Sunday Night Football, undefeated New England (8-0) heads to M&T Bank Stadium to face Baltimore (5-2), in a matchup of the two highest scoring offenses. The Patriots rank first in the NFL in points per game (31.3) while the Ravens rank second with 30.6 points per game. It marks the first time since Week 14 of the 2017 season that the top two scoring offenses in the NFL were both averaging at least 30 points per game and met in Week 8 or later. New England also allows the fewest points per game (7.6) this season and joined the 2006 CHICAGO BEARS as the only teams since 1990 to rank first in both points per game and points allowed per game through the first eight weeks of a season.

Under head coach John Harbaugh, Baltimore has a 6-2 record after the bye since 2011, tied for the best mark in the NFL over the past eight seasons. The Ravens lead the NFL with 204.1 rushing yards per game and joined the 2006 Atlanta Falcons as the only teams since 1990 to average at least 200 rushing yards per game through the first eight weeks of a season. Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson has three games with at least 100 rushing yards in 2019, tied with Michael Vick (2004 and 2006) and Russell Wilson (2014) for the most by a quarterback in a single season in NFL history.

To conclude Week 9, Dallas (4-3) visits the New York Giants (2-6) Monday night in the Meadowlands. Cowboys quarterback Dak Presscott passed for 405 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 158.3 passer rating, the highest attainable mark, in the Cowboys’ 35-17 win over the Giants in Week 1. Since entering the NFL in 2018, New York Giants running back
Saquan Barkley aleads the league with 16 games of at least 100 scrimmage yards, while Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott (15 games) ties for the second-most over that span.

Byes this week? Atlanta, Cincinnati, the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans, while Baltimore and Dallas return from their vacation. Week nine got underway in the desert as San Francsico kept themselves unbeaten by scraping by the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale Thursday night and comes to an end in upstate New Jersey as Dallas and the New York Giants meet in a week one rematch. As for last week? A lot better and going 11-4 helps a lot; for the season, 59-51. Here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week nine.

Houston (5-3) at Jacksonville (4-4), 9:30 a.m. Eastern (2:30 p.m. in London) on NFL Network. Set the VCR before you head to church! Sunday’s action in week nine gets underway on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean as a pair of AFC South rivals meet at Wembley Stadium when Jacksonville hosts Houston. Both teams were winners at home in last week’s action.

Houston rallied from a 14-10 deficit at the half at home against Oakland last Sunday at NRG Stadium and came away 27-24 winners over the Raiders in the Lone Star State. Watson and the Texans rallied late in the final quarter and took the lead for good with 6:26 left in regulation when he and TE Darren Fells connected on a 9-yard TD toss (it was the second time they connected in the contest). It was a somewhat costly win for the Texans, who lost the services of all-pro DE J.J. Watt to a torn pectoral muscle in the contest (Watt is lost to the Texans for the rest of the season). Houston outrushed Oakland 130-93 with Texans RB Carlos Hyde leading all rushers with 83 yards and Watson threw for 279 yards, while Derek Carr threw for 285 yards (Watson was sacked three times; both he and Carr threw three TD passes without an interception) for the Raiders. Houston went 6 of 14 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:53, while the Raiders, in keeping the pigskin for 24:07, went 5 of 12 on third down in the Lone Star State.

Jacksonville took care of Sam Darnold and the New York Jets last Sunday afternoon at TIAA Stadium, taking a 29-15 victory in the Sunshine State. Jacksonville took a 19-7 lead with them to the intermission as Garner Minshew threw a pair of TD passes in the half, then Jacksonville would go on to outscore the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 10-8 in the final half of the contest.

The Jaguars outrushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 111-46 and Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette led all rushers with 76 yards and Minshew threw for 279 yards with three TDS, while Darnold threw for 218 yards and a pair of TD tosses but was sacked eight times and threw three interceptions. Jacksonville was 8 of 17 on third down in the Sunshine State (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:21, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 26:39, going 2 of 9 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The meeting in London is a rematch from week two in the Lone Star State and the Texans survived a late Jacksonville scare, leaving NRG Stadium 13-12 winners. Houston used a pair of Kai Fairbairn field goals to take a 6-3 lead at the break (Jacksonville’s Josh Lambo would tie things up at 3-3 with 3:17 left in the half; Fairbairn’s field goal in the first half came as time expired) and the only TD of the contest came when Watson scored from two yards out with 11:35 left in the contest.

Houston’s Carlos Hyde led all rushers with 90 yards on the ground as the Texans outrushed Jacksonville 126-106 and Watson threw for 159 yards with the rushing TD, while Gardner Minshew II led Jacksonville with 213 yards and had 56 rushing yards (both men were sacked four times and neither threw an interception). Houston went 6 of 15 on third down conversions (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down tries) and the Texans kept the ball for 29:59, while Jacksonville ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 30:01, going 3 of 13 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week two contest at NRG Stadium, the Texans were favored by 7 but win by only one and the 43 over/under was safe and sound as both teams combined for only 25 points. Houston in the rematch is favored by 1 1/2 on the other side of the Atlantic and the over/under’s 47. Houston’s looking to sweep the series for the first time since they did it last year, while the Jaguars are looking for revenge from their week two loss in the Lone Star State. Revenge wins out here. Jacksonville wins on the other side of the Atlantic and covers the 1 1/2.

Washington (1-7) at Buffalo (5-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 708. The struggling Washington Redskins make their way to upstate New York to face off against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park. Both teams took losses in their contests last week.

Washington was held to three Dustin Hopkins field goals as they were manhandled by Minnesota 19-9 last Thursday night in the Twin Cities. Washington could never get themselves on track, trailing 13-6 at the half as Vikings RB Delvin Cook scored the game’s only TD with seven seconds left before the break. Washington was outrushed by the Vikings 161-83 and Redskins RB Adrian Peterson paced his team with 76 yards, while Cook led all rushers with 96 yards and the lone TD.

Keenum threw for 130 yards with a pair of sacks and no interceptions before being knocked out of the contest with a concussion (rookie QB Dwayne Haskins, Jr. took over for Keenum, throwing for 33 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception), while Kirk Cousins burned his former team for 285 yards without a TD or an interception. Washington went 2 of 7 on third down tries and held the ball for 23:24, while the Vikings were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 36:36, while going 8 of 15 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

The Bills were taken to task last Sunday in windy upstate New York as Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles left Orchard Park with a 31-13 win out of New Era Field. Buffalo trailed 11-7 at the half and could never get themselves on track at home, as the Eagles would go on in the second half to outscore them 20-6. Buffalo was held to 98 yards of rushing, while the Eagles ran for 218 yards with Philadelphia RB Jordan Howard leading the way with 96 yards and a TD. Bills signal caller Josh Allen threw for 169 yards and a pair of TDs but was sacked four times, while Wentz threw for 172 yards and TD with three sacks (neither threw an interception). The Eagles were 8 of 15 on third down and kept the ball for 35:57, while the Bills kept the pigskin for 24:03, while going 6 of 15 on third down in upstate New York (both teams were 0 of 2 on fourth down).

Buffalo holds an 8-5 lead in the series and the Bills have outscored Washington 265-236 in those 13 meetings. Their last meeting took place in Landover and Washington prevailed 35-25 in 2015, while Buffalo’s last win came not in Orchard Park but on the other side of the border in Toronto in 2011, as the Bills shutout Washington 23-0 at Rodgers Centre. Buffalo’s favored by 10 1/2 in upstate New York and the over/under’s 36 1/2. Granted, the Redskins are bad but not 10 1/2 bad. Washington will keep it close but the Bills circle the wagons in Orchard Park and take the win.

Tennessee (4-4) at Carolina (4-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. Tennessee makes their way eastward to the Tar Heel State as the Titans and the Carolina Panthers meet in a Sunday afternoon affair in Charlotte.

Tennessee held off a late Tampa Bay rally in Nashville last Sunday to come away 27-23 winners at Nissan Stadium. The Titans led 17-15 at the half, using a pair of Ryan Tannehill TD passes to take that lead. Tampa Bay briefly took a 23-17 with 11:11 left in the third when Winston and RB Mike Evans connected on a 2-yard TD toss, then went for and made the 2-point conversion when Winston and WR Chris Goodwin connected on the try. Tennessee chipped away at the lead with a 42-yard field goal by Chris Parkey with 37 seconds left in the third, then took the lead back for good when Tannehill and WR A.J. Brown connected on an 8-yard TD pass with 6:55 left in the contest. The Titans then ended a Tampa Bay threat late in the contest when CB Logan Ryan picked off Winston to end the threat.

Tampa Bay managed to outrush Tennessee 106-72 (Titans RB Derrick Henry led all rushers with 75 yards, Winston led Tampa Bay with 53) and Winston threw for 301 yards with the two TDs to Evans and two interceptions (including the pick that ended the Tampa Bay rally), while Tannehill threw for 193 yards with three TDs (both Winston and Tannehill were sacked three times). Tennessee went 5 of 13 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:27, while Tampa Bay, who ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 31:33, went 7 of 15 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Carolina watched the San Francisco 49ers take their seventh win in as many tries last Sunday afternoon at Levis Stadium, taking Carolina to task 51-13 in Wine Country. The Panthers trailed 27-3 at the half and could never get themselves on track for the rest of the contest. San Francisco’s Tevin Coleman ran for 105 yards and three TDS in the contest, as the 49ers outrushed Carolina 232-130 (Christian McCaffrey led Carolina with 117 yards and a TD). Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 175 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Coleman, the other to newly accquired WR Emanuel Sanders), despite being sacked three times (one for a safety) and throwing an interception, while Carolina’s Kyle Allen threw for 158 yards, was sacked seven times (three times by rookie LB Nick Bosa) and picked off three times (once by Bosa). San Francisco went 5 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 33:01, while the Panthers, holding the ball for 26:59, went 2 of 13 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down.

Tennessee leads the series 3-2 (which includes contestst that were played in Houston when the team were known as the Oilers) and the Titans have outscored Carolina 103-85. Carolina’s last win in the series came in 2015 in Nashville by a final of 27-10, while Tennessee’s last win came in Charlotte in 2011, with the Titans coming out out of Bank of America Stadium 30-3 winners. Carolina’s favored by 3 1/2 at Bank of America Stadium and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Both teams are pretty decent and while this one’s not quite “Drill Worthy,” it’s worth your time to watch. Carolina’s finer in Charlotte and the Panthers take the win and cover the 3 1/2.

Minnesota (6-2) at Kansas City (5-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. A pair of contending teams meet in the Show-Me State as Minnesota makes their way to Arrowhead for a Sunday showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Minnesota took care of business last Thursday night in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, coming away 19-9 winners over the Washington Redskins at US Bank Stadium in the Twin Cities. Minnesota led 13-6 at the intermission, then held Washington in check in the second half, holding the Redskins to three Dustin Hopkins field goals in the contest. Minnesota, who got four field goals from Dan Bailey, scored the only TD in the contest when Delvin Cook scored from four yards away with seven seconds left before the break.

Cook led all rushers with 96 yards and the lone TD as the Vikings outrushed Washington 161-85 (Adrian Peterson led Washington with 76 yards) and Cousins threw for 285 yards without an interception (he was sacked twice), while Case Keenum threw for 130 yards with a pair of sacks before leaving the contest with a concussion (Dwayne Haskins, Jr. took over for Keenum, throwing for 33 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception). Washington went 2 of 7 on third down tries and held the ball for 23:24, while the Vikings were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 36:36, while going 8 of 15 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

The Chiefs lost their third game in a row at home, falling to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers 31-24 at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City led 17-14 at the half before Green Bay tied the contest with 91 seconds left in the third on a 35-yard field goal by Mason Crosby and took the lead early in the final quarter when Rodgers and Jamal Williams connected on a 3-yard TD toss to lead 24-17. That lead would not last long as Chiefs RB Darrell Williams would re-tie the contest on a 3-yard run with 9:01 left in regulation. After Green Bay and Kansas City traded punts, the Packers would get the ball back and used a 2-play, 75-yard drive that took only 59 seconds to take the lead back when Rodgers and RB Aaron Jones connected on a 67-yard toss with 8:02 left. The Chiefs then got the ball back and got as far as their 40-yard line, when the Packers forced them to punt. Green Bay got the ball back, ran out the clock and took the win on the road at Arrowhead.

Green Bay outrushed the Chiefs 118-88 (Jones led all rushers with 67 yards) and Rodgers threw for 305 yards and three TDs (two of them to Jones), while Nate Moore, who took over for Patrick Mahomes (ankle) threw for 267 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Travis Kelce)(Rodgers was sacked five times, Moore was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). Both clubs did quite well on third down tries in the prime time affair in the Show-Me State; Green Bay was 8 of 13, Kansas City went 6 of 11 and the Packers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:13 to Kansas City’s 26:47.

Including games that were played at Metropolitan Stadium, Swope Field and the Metrodome, the Chiefs lead the series 6-5 but the Vikings have outscored the Chiefs 241-186. Minnesota won the last meeting, which took place in the Twin Cities in 2015, coming away 16-10 winners, while Kansas City’s last win in the series came at Arrowhead in 2011 by a final of 22-17. Minnesota’s favored by 2 and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Kansas City does not want to lose four games in a row at home and that will be the case Sunday at Arrowhead. Everything’s up to date in Kansas City and the Chiefs prevail in the Show Me State, covering the 2.

New York Jets (1-6) at Miami (0-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of AFC East cellar-dwellers meet in the Sunshine State at Miami, looking for their first win of the 2019 campaign, host the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium. Both teams took road losses in last week’s action.

Sam Darnold and the Jets were manhandled last Sunday afternoon at TIAA Stadium by Jacksonville, as they would lose their second contest in a row, allowing Jacksonville to take 29-15 victory in the Sunshine State. GangGreen trailed 19-7 at the intermission as Garner Minshew threw a pair of TD passes in the half, then Jacksonville would go on to outscore the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 10-8 in the final half of the contest.

The Jaguars outrushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 111-46 and Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette led all rushers with 76 yards and Minshew threw for 279 yards with three TDS, while Darnold threw for 218 yards and a pair of TD tosses but was sacked eight times and threw three interceptions. Jacksonville was 8 of 17 on third down in the Sunshine State (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:21, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 26:39, going 2 of 9 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Miami let another victory get away from them Monday night in Pittsburgh as they would score the first 14 points of the contest, then watched as the Steelers steamrolled them at Heinz Field Monday night, as Pittsburgh scored their 27 points unchallenged to fall 27-14 in the Keystone State. Miami led 14-10 at the break, then Dolphin fans watched with horror as the Steelers would score 17 half points without a challenge to lose their seventh contest in a row.

Miami, outrushed by Pittsburgh 158-60 (Steelers RB James Conner led all rushers with 145 yards and TD) was led by QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who threw for 190 yards and a pair of TDs but threw a pair of interceptions and was sacked four times, while Mason Rudolph threw for 251 yards with a pair of TDs (one to WR JuJu Smith-Schuster) with a pair of sacks and an interception. Miami was 3 of 8 on third down tries, 0 of 2 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 24:42, while the Steelers would rule the clock, keeping the ball for 35:18, while going 6 of 13 on third down at Heinz Field (they were 0 0f 1 on fourth down).

While GangGreen leads the series 54-51-1 (including contests that were played at the Orange Bowl and Shea Stadium), the Dolphins have outscored the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 2,307-2,265 and have won the last three meetings, including sweeping the series last year (New York’s last win over Miami came in 2017 in the Meadowlands by a final of 20-6).

Round 1… the Meadowlands in week two. Miami 20 first half points unchallenged and came away from Met Life Stadium 20-12 winners. The Dolphins used two Tannehill TDs in the half to score their points unchallenged, leading 20-0 at the break. New York responed in the second half, scoring all 12 of their points unchallenged in the final 30 minutes of play, using a 28-yard TD toss from Darnold to Bilal Powell (they would miss the extra point) and a pair of Josh Myers field goals to pull themselves to within eight with 5:56 left in regulation.

Miami outrushed GangGreen 135-42 and Tannehill threw for 168 yards, while Darnold threw for 334 yards (Tannehill, with a pair of TDs, was sacked four times, while Darnold was sacked three times with a pair of interceptions). Neither team had a fourth down conversion in the contest; Miami on third down was 6 of 13 and held the ball for 28:25, while GangGreen actually ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 31:35, going 3 of 10 on third down.

Round 2… week nine at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. The Dolphins completed the sweep of their AFC East/AFL rivals, taking a 13-6 win in the Sunshine State. Miami led 6-3 at the break after a scoreless first quarter and this time, relied on the defense to get the lone TD in the contest when LB Jerome Baker fulfilled a linebacker’s dream and picked off Darnold, returning the ball 25 yards for the TD with 10:48 left in regulation (the two teams played a scoreless third quarter). Myers again put GangGreen close, this time to within seven with 5:57 left in the contest, connecting on a 56-yard field goal.

The second contest was nothing to write home about rushing-wise as neither club breached the 100-yard barrier but the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! outrushed Miami 80-64 (Miami’s Frank Gore led all rushers with 53 yards) and Brock Osweiler (taking over for Tannehill) threw for 139 yards, while Darnold threw for 229 (both men were sacked four times and Darnold threw four interceptions). Miami was 3 of 16 on third down at Hard Rock but was succesful on fourth down, going 2 of 2 and held on to the ball for 28:26, while GangGreen ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:34 and went 2 of 13 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week two contest in the Meadowlands, GangGreen was favored by 3 and Miami covered, winning by 8. The bad news? The 44 over/under stayed safe as both teams combined for only 32 points. In the week nine contest in the Sunshine State, the Dolphins won by 7 (they were favored by 3) but the 19 combined points came nowhere near the 45 over/under. The Jets are favored by 4 1/2 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 41 1/2. If these two teams weren’t a combined 1-13, this might be worth your time. If you are a fan of either team, by all means watch; otherwise, may we suggest that “Law & Order/SVU” marathon on Ion TV (Just watching Benson deal with a criminal is downright sexy!). They say that every now and then, a blind pig finds an acorn. Miami is the blind pig and they’ll find that acorn this weekend. Miami wins in the Sunshine State and covers the 4 1/2.

Chicago (3-4) at Philadelphia (4-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Deep dish pizza squares off against cheesesteak in the City of Brotherly Love as the Chicago Bears travel to Philadephia to face off against Carson Wentz and the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

Da Bears lost their second contest in a row and their second in the Windy City after their 17-16 loss to Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers at Soldier Field. After a scoreless first quarter, Da Bears took a 9-7 lead with them to the locker room, then led 16-10 at the end of three quarters before Rivers and RB Austin Ekeler connected on an 11-yard TD toss with 8:04 left in the contest. Each team punted twice after the Chargers’ TD and Chicago would get the ball back with 93 seconds left in regulation, making their way from their 35 and got as close as the Los Angeles 22-yard line to set up what Bears fans would hope would be a game-winning field goal by Eddie Pineiro with four seconds left. After Chicago burned their final timeout of the half, Pineiro would attempt a 41 yard field goal and Chicago’s hopes were dashed as Pineiro’s try sailed wide to the left.

Chicago outrushed the Chargers 162-36 with Bears RB David Montgomery leading the way with 135 yards and a TD; Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky threw for 253 yards with four sacks and an interception, while Rivers threw for 201 yards with a sack an an interception to go with the game-winning TD toss in the contest. Chicago went 5 of 14 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 38 minutes, while the Chargers, keeping the pigskin for 22 minutes, went 2 for 10 on third down.

Wentz and the Eagles took Buffalo to task last Sunday in Orchard Park, leaving with a 31-13 win out of New Era Field. Philadelphia led 11-7 at the half and held the Bills in chack at home, as the Eagles would go on in the second half to outscore them 20-6. Buffalo was held to 98 yards of rushing, while the Eagles ran for 218 yards with Philadelphia RB Jordan Howard leading the way with 96 yards and a TD. Bills signal caller Josh Allen threw for 169 yards and a pair of TDs but was sacked four times, while Wentz threw for 172 yards and TD with three sacks (neither threw an interception). The Eagles were 8 of 15 on third down and kept the ball for 35:57, while the Bills kept the pigskin for 24:03, while going 6 of 15 on third down in upstate New York (both teams were 0 of 2 on fourth down).

Including games played on the corners of Waveland, Clark, Sheffield and Addison (Wrigley Field), Penn Stadium and Veterans’ Stadium, da Bears lead the series 28-12-1 and have outscored the Eagles 873-617. The Eagles have won the last three regular season meetings, coming away 31-3 winners in the City of Brotherly Love in 2017, while Chicago’s last win came in Philly in 2011 by a final of 30-24.

Their last meeting was in Chicago in the NFC Wild Card game at Solider Field in 2018. Chicago led the Eagles 6-3 at the half, only to see the Eagles come away with a 16-15 win to advance to the Divisional Round. Trubisky and WR Allen Robinson II gave Chicago a 15-10 lead with 9:04 left in the contest but missed the extra point. Philadelphia would storm back with 56 seconds left when Golden Tate and Foles connected on a 2-yard TD toss to take a 1-point lead. After a failed 2-point try by the Eagles, Da Bears would get the ball back and got themselves as close as Philadelphia’s 25-yard line. With both clubs out of time outs, Chicago set themselves up for what Bears fans hoped would be the game-winning field goal, sending Chris Parkey out for a 43-yard try with 10 seconds left. Parkey’s try was partially blocked, then hit the cross bars and was no good, giving the Eagles the ball back and the win.

Neither club breached the 100-yard rushing barrier in the contest but the Monsters of the Midway outrushed Philadelphia 65-42 and Trubisky threw for 303 yards and a TD, while Foles threw for 266 yards and two TDs, including the TD toss to Tate (Foles was sacked once and threw a pair of interceptions, while Trubisky was sacked twice). The Eagles were 6 of 13 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:48, while Da Bears held the pigskin for 29:12 and 5 for 16 on third down.

In the Wild Card game in the Windy City, Chicago was a 5 1/2-point favorite and while the Eagles did take the win, they only were 1-point winners and the 41 1/2 over/under was intact as both teams combined for 31 points. Philadelphia’s favored by 5 at home and the over/under’s 44. Philadelphia’s looking to keep pace with Dallas in the NFC East, while Da Bears are trying to keep pace with the Packers in the NFC North and end their two-game losing streak. Chicago pulls the upset in the City of Brotherly Love, coming away with with the win and covering the 5.

Indianapolis (5-2) at Pittsburgh (3-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of contending teams face off in the Keystone State as Indianapolis travels to Heinz Field for an early afternoon showdown with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both teams were winners at home in last week’s contests.

The Colts held off a late Denver rally in the closing seconds, coing away 15-13 winners at Lucas Oil Stadium. Denver limps Denver led 6-3 at the break at Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday in the Hoosier State and had a 13-12 lead with 22 seconds left when Colts K Adam Vinatieri was the man of the moment, as he connected on a 51yard field goal to take the 2-point lead. Denver would get the ball back in the closing moments of the contest but could not get anything going to reclaim the lead and take the road win, as their final drive stalled.

Indianpolis outrushed Denver 127-113 with Colts RB Marlon Mack leading the way with 76 yards and a rushing TD, Jacoby Brissett would lead the Colts with 202 yards of passing while Joe Flacco (who will miss the Sunday afternoon contest with a neck injury) threw for 174 yards (Flacco was three times, Brissett was sacked four times and neither threw an interception). Denver was 2 of 12 on third down and actually ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 30:44 (including the final seconds of the contest), while the Colts kept the pigskin for 29:16, going 4 for 12 on third down.

Pittsburgh trailed Miami Miami 14-10 at the half last Monday night at Heinz Field, then took matters into their own hands as they scored 17 second half points unchallenged to come away with the 27-14 prime time win in the Keystone State. The win dropped Miami to their seventh loss in a row as Pittsburgh would score their 27 points in the contest unchallenged.

Pittsburgh outrushed Miami 158-60 with Steelers RB James Conner leading all rushers with 145 yards and TD, while Mason Rudolph threw for 251 yards with a pair of TD tosses (including one to WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, who had five catches for 103 yards), while Miami’s Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 190 yards and a pair of TDs but threw a pair of interceptions and was sacked four times (Rudolph was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions), Miami was 3 of 8 on third down tries, 0 of 2 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 24:42, while the Steelers would rule the clock, keeping the ball for 35:18, while going 6 of 13 on third down at Heinz Field (they were 0 0f 1 on fourth down).

Pittsburgh leads the series 18-6 (including contests that were played in Baltimore and at Three Rivers Stadium) and the Steelers have outscored the Colts 604-410. The Steelers have won the last five meetings in the series, including a 20-17 win in the Hoosier State in 2017, while the Colts picked up their last win in the series, coming away 24-20 winners at Heinz Field in 2008. The Colts are favored by 1 in the Steel City and the over/under’s 43. The winner of this game puts themselves a little closer in their respective divisons; as for the losers, their seasons are not done but they will have a lot of ground to cover. Pittsburgh pulls off the upset at home by taking the win and covering the 1.

Detroit (3-3-1) at Oakland (3-4), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of 3-win teams meet on the West Coast as Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders hots Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions at the Coliseum.

The Lions and Stafford took Daniel Jones and the New York Giants 31-26 at Ford Field last Sunday afternoon in the Motor City. Detroit led 17-13 at the half, then held off a late Giants rally in the contest when RB Sequan Barkley and Jones connected on a 4-yard TD toss with 79 seconds left. Barkley led all rushers with 64 yards as the Giants outrushed Detroit 80-59 but Stafford burned the Giants for 342 yards and three TDs (two of them to WR Kenny Golladay, who had six catches for 123 yards), while Jones threw for 322 yards and four TDs (Jones was sacked three times, Stafford was sacked four times and Stafford had an interception). Both teams did exceptionally well on third down tries at Ford Field (the Giants were 7 of 12, Detroit 8 of 14) and the Giants, who were 0 of 2 on fourth down, kept the ball for 30:47, while the Lions held on to the ball for 29:13.

Oakland let a 24-20 lead in Houston get away from them as the Texans would rally late in the contest to come away 27-24 winners in the Lone Star State last Sunday. The Silver and Black held a 14-10 lead at the intermission before the Texans would score when DeShaun Watson rallied his team late in the final quarter and took the lead for good with 6:26 left in regulation when he and TE Darren Fells connected on a 9-yard TD toss (it was the second time they connected in the contest).

Houston outrushed Oakland 130-93 wtih Texans RB Carlos Hyde leading all rushers with 83 yards and Watson threw for 279 yards, while Derek Carr threw for 285 yards (Watson was sacked three times; both he and Carr threw three TD passes without an interception) for the Raiders. Houston went 6 of 14 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:53, while the Raiders, in keeping the pigskin for 24:07, went 5 of 12 on third down in the Lone Star State.

Including contests played at Tiger Stadium, the Pontiac Silverdome and in Los Angeles, the Series is even 6-6 and the Silver and Black has outscored Detroit 278-241. The Lions have roared to victory in the last four meetings (all of them in the Motor City), with their last win coming in 2015 at Ford Field by a final of 18-13, while Oakland’s last win came on the West Coast in 1996, as the Raiders would prevail 37-21. Oakland’s favored by 2 and the over/under’s 51 1/2. Both clubs look to restore some sembilance of order in their respective divisons. Raiders don’t just win, baby. They take down Detroit on the coast and cover the 2.

Tampa Bay (2-5) at Seattle (6-3), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Jameis Winston vs. Russell Wilson. A pair of future Hall of Fame quarterbacks meet in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks as Seattle hosts Tampa Bay at Century Link Field.

A late Tampa Bay rally in Nashville last Sunday fell short as Tennessee survived a Buccaneer scare to come away 27-23 winners at Nissan Stadium. Tampa Bay trailed 17-15 at the half, using a pair of Ryan Tannehill TD passes to take that lead before they briefly took a 23-17 with 11:11 left in the third when Winston and RB Mike Evans connected on a 2-yard TD toss, then went for and made the 2-point conversion when Winston and WR Chris Goodwin connected on the try. Tennessee chipped away at the lead with a 42-yard field goal by Chris Parkey with 37 seconds left in the third, then took the lead back for good when Tannehill and WR A.J. Brown connected on an 8-yard TD pass with 6:55 left in the contest. The Titans then ended a Tampa Bay threat late in the contest when CB Logan Ryan picked off Winston to end the threat.

Tampa Bay managed to outrush Tennessee 106-72 (Titans RB Derrick Henry led all rushers with 75 yards, Winston led Tampa Bay with 53) and Winston threw for 301 yards with the two TDs to Evans and two interceptions (including the pick that ended the Tampa Bay rally), while Tannehill threw for 193 yards with three TDs (both Winston and Tannehill were sacked three times). Tennessee went 5 of 13 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:27, while Tampa Bay, who ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 31:33, went 7 of 15 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Seattle survived a late rally by Atlanta and left Mercedes Benz Stadium 27-20 winners. The Seahawks led 24-0 at the half, then were outscored by Atlanta 20-3 in the final 30 minutes of action. Seattle outrushed the Falcons 151-69 and Seahawks RB Chris Carson led all rushers with 90 yards and a rushing TD and Wilson threw for 182 yards and a pair of TD passes to DK Metcalf (six catches for 100 yards), while Matt Schaub, filling in for Matt Ryan (ankle) threw for 460 yards and a TD pass to TE Austin Hooper and Atlanta’s Julio Jones led all recievers with 152 yards on 10 catches (both Wilson and Schaub were sacked twice and Schaub had an interception). Both clubs were 3 of 9 on third down and Atlanta was 1 of 1 on fourth down, as the Falcons, who lost their seventh game in a row, ruled the clock and held the ball for 30:47, while Seattle held on to the pigskin for 29:13.

While Seattle leads the series 8-5, the Buccaneers have outscored Seattle 222-202. Tampa Bay won the last meeting in 2016 in the Sunshine State by a final of 14-5, while the Seahawks’ last win came in the Pacific Northwest in 2013 as Seattle needed overtime to take a 27-24 win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Seattle’s a 6 1/2 point favorite in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and the over/under’s 53. Both numbers make sense and both teams are capable of putting up points. Seattle takes this one in the Pacific Northwest but expect Tampa Bay to make things closer than 6 1/2.

Cleveland (2-4) at Denver (2-6), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. A pair of struggling AFC teams meet in the Rocky Mountains as Cleveland travels to Denver to face off against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Both teams took road losses in their games in last week’s action.

Cleveland watched Tom Brady and the Patriots score 17 first quarter points unchallenged against Baker Mayfield and the Browns at Gillette Stadium, with the defending Super Bowl champions taking a 27-13 win in conditions that would have made Noah happy. The Browns could never get themselves on track, trailing 17-7 at the half. The Browns outrushed New England 159-79 with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading the way with 131 yards (Sony Michele led the Patriots with 74), New England managed to force three Cleveland turnovers in the contest. Brady threw for 259 yards and a pair of TD tosses to WR Julian Edelman, while Mayfield threw for 194 yards and a TD (Mayfield was sacked five times and picked off once, while Brady was sacked twice). New England was 5 of 16 on third down tries in the contest that gave Bill Belichick his 300th win (they went 2 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 32:15, while the Browns, keeping the ball for 27:45, went 3 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Denver limps their way back home to the Mile High City coming off a 15-13 loss in Indianapolis. The Broncos led 6-3 at the break at Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday in the Hoosier State and had a 13-12 lead with 22 seconds left when Colts K Adam Vinatieri connected on a 51yard field goal to take the 2-point lead. Denver would get the ball back in the closing moments of the contest but could not get anything going to reclaim the lead and take the road win, as their final drive stalled.

Indianpolis outrushed Denver 127-113 with Colts RB Marlon Mack leading the way with 76 yards and a rushing TD, Jacoby Brissett would lead the Colts with 202 yards of passing while Joe Flacco (who will miss the Sunday afternoon contest with a neck injury) threw for 174 yards (Flacco was three times, Brissett was sacked four times and neither threw an interception). Denver was 2 of 12 on third down and actually ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 30:44 (including the final seconds of the contest), while the Colts kept the pigskin for 29:16, going 4 for 12 on third down.

The Broncos lead the series 20-6 (which includes contests that were played at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland and at Mile High Stadium in Denver) and have outscored the Browns 630-381. They met in the Mile High City last year and the Browns left Broncos Stadium at Mile High 17-16 winners (Denver’s last win came in Cleveland in 2015 and they would need overtime to take a 26-23 win).

They met in week 15 in the Rocky Mountains and in that contest, the two clubs went to the locker room tied at 10-10. Denver would take the lead with 1:41 left in the third when Brian McManus connected on a 42-yard field goal, leading 13-10 at that point, before Cleveland would take the lead for keeps early in the fourth quarter when Mayfield and WR Antonio Calloway connected on a 2-yard TD. McManus would connect on a 29-yard field goal to put the Broncos to within one with 4:35 left in the contest but would come no closer.

Cleveland outrushed Denver 134-32 and RB Nick Chubb led all rushers with 100 yards in the contest. Mayfield threw for 188 yards, while Denver QB Case Keenum threw for 257 yards (both Mayfield and Keenum were sacked twice; Keenum threw a pair of interceptions, while Mayfield threw two TDs with an interception). Denver went 5 of 14 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 32:39, while the Browns were 5 of 12 (both teams were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and Cleveland held on to the ball for 27:21.

In the week 15 contest Saturday night at chilly Broncos Stadium at Mile High, Denver was a 3-point favorite and Cleveland would win by only 1 and both teams accounted for 33 total points, meaning that the 45 1/2 over/under was untouched. In this meeting, the Broncos are favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 43. Cleveland has struggled of late, while the Broncos have been prone to losing at home. Denver rights its ship in the Mile High City and takes care of business at home, taking the win and covering the 1 1/2.

Green Bay (7-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (3-5), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. Aaron Rodgers vs. Philip Rivers. They meet in a late afternoon contest on the West Coast as the Packers travel to Los Angeles to face off against the Chargers.

The Packers won their second contest in a row against an AFC West team, as they would rally in Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium, erasing a 17-14 deficit at the half to come away 31-24 winners. Green Bay trailed by 3 at the break, then tied the contest with 91 seconds left in the third on a 35-yard field goal by Mason Crosby and took the lead early in the final quarter when Rodgers and Jamal Williams connected on a 3-yard TD toss to lead 24-17. That lead would not last long as Chiefs RB Darrell Williams would re-tie the contest on a 3-yard run with 9:01 left in regulation. After Green Bay and Kansas City traded punts, the Packers would get the ball back and used a 2-play, 75-yard drive that took only 59 seconds to take the lead back when Rodgers and RB Aaron Jones connected on a 67-yard toss with 8:02 left. The Chiefs then got the ball back and got as far as their 40-yard line, when the Packers forced them to punt. Green Bay got the ball back, ran out the clock and took the win on the road at Arrowhead.

Green Bay outrushed the Chiefs 118-88 (Jones led all rushers with 67 yards) and Rodgers threw for 305 yards and three TDs (two of them to Jones), while Nate Moore, who took over for Patrick Mahomes (ankle) threw for 267 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Travis Kelce)(Rodgers was sacked five times, Moore was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). Both clubs did quite well on third down tries in the prime time affair in the Show-Me State; Green Bay was 8 of 13, Kansas City went 6 of 11 and the Packers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:13 to Kansas City’s 26:47.

The Chargers survived a last-second scare at Chicago last Sunday, coming away from Soldier Field 17-16 winners in the Windy City. After a scoreless first quarter, Chicago took a 9-7 lead with them to the locker room, then led 16-10 at the end of three quarters before Rivers and RB Austin Ekeler connected on an 11-yard TD toss with 8:04 left in the contest. Each team punted twice after the Chargers’ TD and Chicago would get the ball back with 93 seconds left in regulation, making their way from their 35 and got as close as the Los Angeles 22-yard line to set up what Bears fans would hope would be a game-winning field goal by Eddie Pineiro with four seconds left. After Chicago burned their final timeout of the half, Pineiro would attempt a 41 yard field goal and Chicago’s hopes were dashed as Pineiro’s try sailed wide to the left.

Chicago outrushed the Chargers 162-36 with Bears RB David Montgomery leading the way with 135 yards and a TD; Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky threw for 253 yards with four sacks and an interception, while Rivers threw for 201 yards with a sack an an interception to go with the game-winning TD toss in the contest. Chicago went 5 of 14 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 38 minutes, while the Chargers, keeping the pigskin for 22 minutes, went 2 for 10 on third down.

Including games that were played in Milwaukee at County Stadium and at Qualcomm Stadium, Green Bay leads the series 10-1, the Packers have outscored the Bolts 342-186 and have won the last seven meetings, including a 27-20 win at Lambeau in 2015, while the Chargers’ lone win in the series also came at Lambeau, coming away 34-28 winners in 1984. Green Bay’s favored by 3 on the West Coast and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Both numbers make a ton of sense and both teams could very well make the post-season. The Chargers are looking to stop Green Bay in their tracks, while the Packers want to continue their reign over the AFC West and sweep the division in the process. Packers cover the 3 in Cali and takes the win.

New England (8-0) at Baltimore (5-2), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champs make their way to Charm City for a prime time showdown with Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.

Brady and the Patriots scored 17 first quarter points unchallenged against Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium and took care of business in Foxboro, taking a 27-13 win in conditions that would have made Noah happy. New England led 17-7 at the half, then went on to outscore the Bronws 10-6 in the second half. Despite being outrushed by the Browns 159-79 with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading the way with 131 yards (Sony Michele led the Patriots with 74), New England managed to force three Cleveland turnovers in the contest. Brady threw for 259 yards and a pair of TD tosses to WR Julian Edelman, while Mayfield threw for 194 yards and a TD (Mayfield was sacked five times and picked off once, while Brady was sacked twice). New England was 5 of 16 on third down tries in the contest that gave Bill Belichick his 300th win (they went 2 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 32:15, while the Browns, keeping the ball for 27:45, went 3 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The Ravens return from their bye week after they edged Seattle 30-16 two Sundays ago in the Pacific Northwest. Baltimore and Seattle entered the intermission tied 13-13 at Century Link Field, then the Ravens went on to score 17 unanswered points i the final 30 minutes of play to take the win. Baltimore outrushed Seattle 199-109 and Jackson threw for 143 yards and had a rushing TD in the contest, while Russell Wilson threw for 241 yards and a TD to Tyler Lockett (both men were sacked once and Wilson threw an interception). Baltimore was 5 of 13 on third down tries in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks (the Ravens were 1 of 1 on fourth down tries) and kept the ball for 29:54, while the Seahawks ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:06, going 10 of 17 on third down.

New England leads the series 8-1, have outscored the Ravens 268-170 and have won the last two regular season meetings, including a 30-23 win in Foxboro in 2016, while Baltimore’s lone win in their regular season meetings came in 2012 in Charm City by a final of 31-30. New England’s favored by 4 in Charm City and the over/under’s 45. Both numbers make a lot of sense and both look to make the post-season party. It’s only fitting that this one becomes “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

The defending Super Bowl champs want to keep their unbeaten streak going; as for the Ravens, they want to be football’s answer to Jimmy Stewart and knock off their version of Liberty Valance. Sorry, Ravens fans. Valance lives this week. Pats take the prime time win on the road and covers the 4.

Dallas (4-3) at New York Giants (2-6), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week nine closes out in the Meadowlands as a pair of NFC East foes meet at Met Life Stadium in a week one primetime rematch.

Dallas comes back from their bye week, taking care of Philadelphia 37-10 two Sundays ago at AT&T Stadium. Prescott and the Cowboys led 27-7 at the intermission and never looked back, holding the Eagles to a Jake Elliot field goal in the third quarter as they would score 10 fourth quarter points unchallenged. Ezekiel Elliot led all rushers with 111 yards and a TD as the Cowboys outrushed Philadelphia 189-115 and Prescott threw for 239 yards with a TD toss to TE Blake Jarvin and had a rushing TD of his own, while Carson Wentz threw for 191 yards and a TD (both men were sacked three times and both threw an interception).

Dallas on third down tries was efficient, going 8 of 14 (they were 1 of on fourth down conversions) and the Cowboys kept the ball for 32:22, while the Eagles, who held on to the pigskin for 27:38, went 3 of 9 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The Lions and Matthew Stafford took Daniel Jones and the New York Giants 31-26 at Ford Field last Sunday afternoon in the Motor City. Detroit led 17-13 at the half, then held off a late Giants rally in the contest when RB Sequan Barkley and Jones connected on a 4-yard TD toss with 79 seconds left. Barkley led all rushers with 64 yards as the Giants outrushed Detroit 80-59 but Stafford burned the Giants for 342 yards and three TDs (two of them to WR Kenny Golladay, who had six catches for 123 yards), while Jones threw for 322 yards and four TDs (Jones was sacked three times, Stafford was sacked four times and Stafford had an interception). Both teams did exceptionally well on third down tries at Ford Field (the Giants were 7 of 12, Detroit 8 of 14) and the Giants, who were 0 of 2 on fourth down, kept the ball for 30:47, while the Lions held on to the ball for 29:13.

They met in Jerry World in week one and Dallas came away 35-17 winners at AT&T Stadium. Dallas led 21-7 at the half and floored the gas in the second half, outpacing Eli Manning and the Giants 14-10 in the final 30 minutes of play. Barkley ran for 120 yards as the Giants outrushed Dallas 151-89 (Elliott led Dallas with 58 yards and a TD), while Manning threw for 306 yards and a TD toss. Dallas, led by Prescott (405 yards, four TDs, no sacks or interceptions), went 6 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 32:18, while the Giants held on to the ball for 27:42, going 2 of 11 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

In the first meeting in the Lone Star State, Dallas was favored by 7 in the Sunday night contest and covered, winning by 18 and both teams took care of the 45 1/2 over/under with 52 combined points. In the Monday night contest in upstate New Jersey, the Cowboys are favored by 7 1/2 and the over/under’s 48. The Giants on Monday Night Football? 22-30-1 (they played one MNF game last year in Atlanta and lost). Dallas? 34-32 and the Cowboys played three games in the 2018 season in prime time and won two of them. The Giants are looking to restore some order in the NFC East, while the Cowboys are trying to prove that the first win was not a fluke. You might want to tape “Bull” this week. Dallas may not cover the 7 1/2 but they win in the Meadowlands.

They’re still standing.

New England (6-0) and San Francisco (5-0) are still standing as the only two unbeaten teams in the National Football League.

While the Patriots and 49ers revel in the spotlight, Cincinnati (0-6) and Miami (0-6) remain winless and search for their first wins this week. Washington and the New York Jets picked up their first wins last week in close contests… but as they say, a win is a win. As for Bengals and Dolphins fans, hold your heads up and remember, an NFL season is a marathon, not a sprint.

MOST COMPETITIVE CONTESTS EVER: No other season through six weeks has produced more games decided by seven-or-fewer points than 2019. This year, 51 of 92 games (55.4 percent) have been decided by seven-or-fewer points, including nine of 14 games in Week 6. This season also is tied for the most one-point games through Week 6 since the 1970 merger.

The seasons with the most games decided by one- and seven-or-fewer points through six weeks:

GAMES DECIDED BY ONE-OR-FEWER POINTS, THROUGH WEEK 6, SINCE 1970

2019 – 9
2016 – 9
1997 – 9
1972 – 9
1999 – 8

GAMES DECIDED BY SEVEN-OR-FEWER POINTS, THROUGH WEEK 6, ALL-TIME

2019 – 51
2016 – 50
1999 – 50
2018 – 47
2015 – 47
2011 – 47

100TH OF THE 100TH: One of the early contests Sunday will mark the 100th game of the NFL’s 100th season. The league has completed 92 games entering this week. As the 100th kickoff approaches, several NFL players and teams are on pace to challenge some of the game’s most esteemed records.

On Sunday afternoon, Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens travel to the Pacific Northwest to meet Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. Wilson has a passer rating over 100 in each of Seattle’s first six games and is on pace to break two single-season NFL records held by Aaron Rodgers, his 122.5 passer rating in 2011 and his 0.34 interception percentage in 2018. Meanwhile, Jackson last week had 236 passing yards and a career-high 152 rushing yards with a touchdown in a 23-17 win over Cincinnati. His 152 rushing yards were the fourth-most by a quarterback in a single game in NFL history, including the postseason. Jackson, who registered his third career game with at least 115 rushing yards, is the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to register at least 115 rushing yards in at least three games in his first two seasons.

PLENTY OF HEARTBEATS REMAINING: Hope is in plentiful supply across the NFL. That’s because in 2018 after Week 7, five of the 12 teams that qualified for the playoffs were either .500 or below in the NFL standings. After this week concludes on Monday night at MetLife Stadium, it’s very likely that at least one team sitting at .500 or below will still make the playoffs. Since 2011, at least one team has qualified for the playoffs after beginning the year at-or-below .500 through Week 7.

The playoff teams that were at-or-below .500 through seven weeks, since 2011:

YEAR – PLAYOFF TEAMS AT OR BELOW .500 THROUGH SEVEN WEEKS
2018 – *Chicago, *Dallas, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Seattle*
2017 – ATLANTA
2016 – Miami
2015 – *Houston, Kansas City, Seattle, *Washington
2014 – *Carolina, *Seattle
2013 – *Carolina, *Philadelphia
2012 – Cincinnati, *Denver, Indianapolis, *Washington
2011 – *Denver
*won division

BARRETT & GARRETT, LLC: Tampa Bay linebacker Shaquil Barrett and Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett have earned their byes this week. Both players are off in Week 7 after beginning the season on a torrid pace. Barrett and Garrett are tied for the NFL lead with nine sacks. The last time multiple players had nine-or-more sacks through six weeks was in 2013 (Robert Mathis and Justin Houston each had 9.5).

RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS ON UPWARD SLOPE: NFL clubs have combined for 167 rushing touchdowns through six weeks of play. Only the 1979 and 1976 seasons had more in NFL history entering Week 7.

At the quarterback position alone, NFL signal-callers have rushed for 31 touchdowns during the 2019 season, surpassing 2002 (28) for the most rushing touchdowns by quarterbacks through the first six weeks of a season since the 1970 merger. In Week 6, quarterbacks totaled 10 rushing touchdowns, surpassing Week 13 of the 2015 season (nine) for the most in a single week since 1970.

The most overall rushing touchdowns by NFL players through six weeks in NFL history:

YEAR – RUSH TD
1979 – 187
1976 – 175
2019 – 167
1984 – 167
Many – 158

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: Minnesota wide receiver Stefon Diggs had seven receptions for 167 yards and three touchdowns in the Vikings’ 38-20 win over Philadelphia.

Carolina running back Christian McCaffery and wide receiver Curtis Samuel each had a rushing and receiving touchdown in the Panthers’ 37-26 win over Tampa Bay at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. The London series continues in Week 8 when the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams face off at Wembley Stadium. McCaffrey and Samuel are the third pair of teammates to each record a rushing and receiving touchdown in the same game since 1980 and first since November 10, 2013, when New Orleans Saints running backs Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas each had a rushing and receiving touchdown.

Carolina recorded seven sacks and five interceptions in the win, becoming the first team with at least seven sacks and five interceptions in a single game since Miami (eight sacks, six interceptions) on December 6, 1998.

Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson had 236 passing yards and a career-high 152 rushing yards with a touchdown in the Ravens’ 23-17 win over Cincinnati. His 152 rushing yards are the fourth-most by a quarterback in a single game in NFL history, including the postseason.

Jackson is the second quarterback to record at least 200 passing yards and 150 rushing yards in a single game in NFL history, including the postseason, joining Colin Kaepernick on January 12, 2013 (263 passing yards, 181 rushing yards in NFC Divisional playoffs). Jackson, who registered his third career game with at least 115 rushing yards, is the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to register at least 115 rushing yards in at least three games in his first two seasons.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 295 yards and two touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 117.6 passer rating and added a rushing touchdown in the Seahawks’ 32-28 win at Cleveland. Wilson, who has recorded a passer rating of 100 or higher in each of Seattle’s first six games of the season, joined Aaron Rodgers (12 games in 2011), Tom Brady (eight in 2007) and Carson Palmer (six in 2005) as the only quarterbacks with a passer rating of 100 or higher in each of their team’s first six games of a season in NFL history.

Wilson, who is playing in his eighth NFL season, recorded his 67th career game with at least two touchdown passes and tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (67 games) for the third-most such games in a player’s first eight seasons in league annals. Only Peyton Manning (74 games) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (72) had more such games in their first eight seasons.

Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson passed for 280 yards and had three total touchdowns (two rushing, one passing) in the Texans’ 31-24 win at Kansas City.

Watson has 7,508 passing yards in 29 career games and tied Marc Bulger (29 games), Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (29) and Matthew Stafford (29) as quarterbacks to reach 7,500 career passing yards in the second-fewest games in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (27 games) reached 7,500 passing yards in fewer games.

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold passed for 338 yards and two touchdowns, including a 92-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Robby Anderson, in the Jets’ 24-22 win against Dallas. Darnold, at 22 years and 130 days old, is the youngest player in the Super Bowl era with a touchdown pass of at least 90 yards. As the first half expired, Dallas kicker Brett Maher converted a 62-yard field goal, his second career field goal of at least 60 yards, and joined Sebastian Janikowski (two) and Greg Zuerlein (two) as the only kickers with at least two career field goals of 60-or-more yards in NFL history.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo passed for 243 yards in the 49ers’ 20-7 win at the Los Angeles Rams. San Francisco advanced to 5-0 for the first time since 1990. Garoppolo, making his 15th career start, improved to 13-2 as a starting quarterback and became the eighth quarterback in the Super Bowl era to win 13 of his first 15 career starts.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan passed for 356 yards and four touchdowns in the Falcons’ Week 6 loss at Arizona. Ryan, who has recorded at least 300 passing yards in each of Atlanta’s first six games, joined Pro Football Hall of Famers Kurt Warner (six) and Steve Young (six) as quarterbacks with at least 300 passing yards in each of their team’s first six games of a season in NFL history.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK SEVEN

KNOCKING ON THE 150 CLUB: New England enters Week 7 as the lone undefeated team (6-0) in the AFC and lead the NFL in both points per game (31.7) and points allowed per game (8.0). Through six games, New England’s point differential (+142) is the third-highest at this point of a season in the Super Bowl era, trailing only the 1999 St. Louis Rams (+154) and the 1968 Dallas Cowboys (+149).

Against the New York Jets on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN), the Patriots can become the fifth team with a +150 point differential through a team’s first seven games in the Super Bowl era.

The teams with the highest point differential through their first seven games of a season in the Super Bowl era:

TEAM – SEASON (POINT DIFFERENTIAL, SEASON RESULT)
Dallas Cowboys – 1966 (+160, Advanced to NFL Championship)
New England – 2007 (+159, Advanced to Super Bowl XLII)
Chicago – 2006 (+152, Advanced to Super Bowl XLI)
St. Louis Rams – 1999 (+151, Won Super Bowl XXXIV)
Washington – 1991 (+149, Won Super Bowl XXVI)
New England – 2019 (+142, ???)*
*Through six games

DANGERUSS: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 295 yards and two touchdowns in the Seahawks’ Week 6 victory. Wilson has passed for at least two touchdowns in five of his first six games in 2019 and now has 67 games with at least two touchdown passes in his eight-year career.

With at least two touchdown passes on Sunday against Baltimore, Wilson would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (67) for the third-most games with at least two touchdown passes through a player’s first eight seasons in NFL history.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES WITH 2+ TD PASSES)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (74)
Dan Marino, Miami (72) HOF
Brett Favre, Green Bay (67) HOF
Russell Wilson, Seattle (67)*
*In eighth season
HOF – Hall of Fame

Wilson has 14 touchdown passes and zero interceptions for a league-leading 124.7 passer rating this season. With two touchdown passes and no interceptions on Sunday, Wilson would tie Milt Plum (16 in 1960) for the fourth-most touchdown passes without an interception to begin a season in NFL history.

The players with the most touchdown passes without an interception to begin a season in NFL history:?

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, TD PASSES WITHOUT INT TO START SEASON)
Peyton Manning, Denver (2013, 20) #
Nick Foles, Philadelphia (2013, 19)
Alex Smith, Kansas City (2017, 18)
Milt Plum, Cleveland (1960, 16)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2019, 14)*
*Active Streak
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player

MATTY ICE’S HOT START: Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan leads the NFL with 15 touchdown passes this season and ranks second in the league with 2,011 passing yards entering Week 7.

Ryan, who has passed for at least 300 yards in each of his first six games, needs 300 passing yards on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams to become the first player with at least 300 passing yards in each of his team’s first seven games of a season in NFL history.

The players to pass for at least 300 yards in the most consecutive team games to begin a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES WITH 300+ PASSING YARDS TO BEGIN SEASON)

Matt Ryan, ATLANTA (2019 – 6)*
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (2000 – 6) HOF
Steve Young, San Francisco (1998 – 6) HOF
*Active streak
HOF – Hall of Fame

Additionally, Ryan has passed for at least three touchdowns on four occasions in 2019. By throwing for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday, Ryan would join Peyton Manning (2013) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young (1998) as the only players with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns in five of their team’s first seven games of a season in NFL history.

The players with the most performances of 300 passing yards and three touchdowns in their team’s first seven games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER

TEAM

SEASON

GAMES WITH 300+ YARDS & 3 TDs

Peyton Manning, Denver (2013 – 5)#
Steve Young, San Francisco (1998 – 5) HOF
Matt Ryan, ATLANTA (2019 – 4)*
*Through six games
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player
HOF – Hall of Fame

TOP 10 SHOWDOWN: Arizona rookie quarterback KYyler Murray, the number 1 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, and New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, the number 6 overall selection, will face off Sunday, for the first time in their careers.

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, the No. 2 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, has 15 games with at least 100 scrimmage yards, the most in the NFL since entering the league.

Appearing in his 20th career game on Sunday, Barkley needs at least 100 scrimmage yards to tie Edgerrin James (16) for the most games with at least 100 scrimmage yards through a player’s first 20 career games in NFL history.

The players with the most games of at least 100 scrimmage yards in their first 20 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES WITH 100+ SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (16)
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (15)*
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (15) HOF
*19 games
HOF – Hall of Fame

DYNAMIC DUO IN DALLAS: Over his last four games against NFC East opponents, Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott is 4-0 with 1,516 passing yards (379 yards per game) and 14 touchdowns for a 125.4 passer rating.

With three passing touchdowns against Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football, Prescott would become the fifth quarterback to pass for at least three touchdowns in five consecutive games against divisional opponents since 1970.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least three touchdown passes against divisional opponents since 1970:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, GAMES WITH 3+ PASS TDs)

Dan Marino, Miami (1986-87, 6) HOF
Brett Favre, Green Bay (1994-95, 5) HOF
Steve Beuerlein, Carolina (1999-2000, 5)
Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia (2003-04, 5)
Dak Prescott, Dallas (2018-19, 4)*
*Active streak

Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott leads the NFL with 5,877 scrimmage yards since entering the league in 2016.

Appearing in his 47th career game, Elliott needs 123 scrimmage yards against Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football to tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (47 games) and Le’Veon Bell (47) as the second-fastest player to reach 6,000 scrimmage yards in NFL history.

The players to reach 6,000 scrimmage yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES TO REACH 6,000 SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (44)
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (47) HOF
Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh (47)
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (48) HOF
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas (46)*
*Has 5,877 scrimmage yards
HOF – Hall of Fame

SCARY TERRY: Washington wide receiver Terry McLaurin leads all rookies in receptions (23), receiving yards (408) and receiving touchdowns (five) in 2019, and has recorded at least 50 receiving yards in each of his first five career games.

With at least 50 receiving yards on Sunday against San Francisco, McLaurin would join Earl McCullouch (seven games in 1968) as the only players to with 50 receiving yards in each of their first six career games in NFL history.

Byes in week seven? Carolina, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. Buffalo, Chicago, Indianapolis and Oakland return to action this week.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated Sunday’s Raiders-Packers matchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest involves teams that made indelible memories in three previous meetings. Most memorable was Super Bowl II, January 14, 1968, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida, the final game of Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay coaching career. The Packers, fresh off their Ice Bowl win over the Cowboys, held off the AFL champion Raiders, 33-14. Nearly 25 years later, late in a frigid game against the Los Angeles Raiders on December 26, 1993, LeRoy Butler forced a Raiders fumble recovered by Pro Football Hall of Famer Reggie White.

After rumbling 10 yards, White lateraled to Butler, who covered the remaining 25 yards into the end zone and invented the Lambeau Leap as Green Bay clinched a playoff berth. Then, on December 22, 2003, in Oakland, Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve, only a day after his father’s death, threw for 399 yards and four touchdowns before a Monday Night Football television audience, leading Green Bay to a pivotal win that catapulted the Packers to the playoffs. Incidentally, following the Raiders’ loss to Lombardi’s Packers in Super Bowl II, the Raiders won the next five meetings with Green Bay and wouldn’t lose to the Packers again for 23 years, capturing three Super Bowls in that span.

As for last week, 7-7 for the week, 47-48 for the season. The leaves are falling, the weather’s getting a little chillier but there’s still lots of football left. Week seven got underway in Denver as Kansas City shutdown Denver in an AFC/AFL matchup and concludes in the Jersey Meadowlands as the defending Super Bowl champs travel to Met Life Stadium for a Monday night showdown with the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! Here are week seven’s Sunday and Monday picks.

Los Angeles Rams (3-3) at ATLANTA (1-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. A pair of teams with losing streaks under their belts meet in the Big Peach as Atlanta and Matt Ryan host the Los Angeles Rams at Mercedes Benz Stadium. Both teams found themselves on the losing side of the ledger in last week’s action.

The Rams opened the scoring against NFC West foe San Francisco last Sunday as WR Robert Wood scored on a 9-yard run in the first quarter, then watched the 49ers scored their 20 points of the contest unchallenged as they were 20-7 losers at the Coliseum. Los Angeles and San Francisco went into the break tied at 7-7 after Tevin Coleman answered the Rams’ TD with a TD of his own in the first quarter, then their last 13 points of the game to take the road win, using a 1-yard run by Jimmy Garoppolo and a pair of Robbie Gould field goals to close out the scoring. The Rams outrushed San Francisco 109-99 and Jared Goff threw for 78 yards but was sacked four times, while Garoppolo threw for 243 yards wtih a pair of sacks and an interception. The defending NFC champs were a dismal 0 of 9 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 21:08, while the 49ers, going 8 of 17 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down), ruled the clock and kept the ball for 38:52.

Atlanta dropped their fourth contest in a row, dropping a 34-33 heartbreaker at Arizona last Sunday. Atlanta led 7-3 at the end of the first quarter before the Cardinals scored 17 second-quarter points unchallenged, giving them a 20-10 lead at the half. Atlanta later trailed by 17 with 11:25 left in the third, then proceeded to chip away at the lead and would tie the contest up at 27-27, using a Matt Bryant field goal and two TD passes from Matt Ryan to RB Devonta Freeman and TE Austin Hooper to pull themselves even. Arizona reclaimed the lead with 5:12 left in the contest when RB David Johnson and rookie QB Kyler Murray connected on their second TD toss of the afternoon. The Falcons then used a 7-play, 75-yard drive take took 3:19 of clock and put themselves in a position to tie the contest or take the lead when Freeman and Ryan connected on their second TD pass (a 12-yard toss) with 1:53 left in regulation. Atlanta then chose to go for the tie and send Bryant out to kick the PAT. Bryant’s PAT try sailed wide right of the intended mark, giving the Cardinals the win as Arizona ran out the clock.

Atlanta outrushed Arizona 103-102 and Freeman led all rushers with 88 yards, while Ryan threw for 356 yards and four TDs (connecting with Calvin Ridley on one toss) and Murray threw for 340 yards and three TDs (Ryan was sacked four times, neither Ryan or Murray threw an interception). Atlanta was 6 of 11 on third down conversions in the desert and kept the ball for 32:47, while the Cardinals kept the ball for 27:13, going 7 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games that were played in Anaheim, Fulton County Stadium and St. Louis, the Rams lead the series 47-28-2 and have outscored the Falcons 1,810-1,321. However… the Falcons have won the last four meetings in the series, with their last win coming in Los Angeles in 2016 by a final of 42-14 in what would be Jeff Fisher’s last game as the Rams’ head coach. The Rams’ last win? 2007 in St. Louis, taking down the Falcons 28-16. The Rams are a 3-point road favorite in the Big Peach and the over/under’s 54 1/2. For one team, their losing streak ends; for the other, the streak continues. Falcons RISE UP to the occasion in the Big Peach, covering the 3 and winning at home.

Miami (0-6) at Buffalo (3-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of AFC rivals meet in upstate New York as Buffalo welcomes the winless Miami Dolphins to Orchard Park. Miami searches for their first win of the 2019 campaign, while the Bills come back to action from their bye week.

Miami dropped their sixth contest in a row as Washington held them off 17-16 last Sunday, giving interim head coach Bill Callahan at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday afternoon in the Sunshine State. After a scoreless first quarter, Washington took a 7-0 lead thanks to the first of two TD passes from Case Keenum to WR Terry McLaurin, took that lead with them to the break and then led 17-3 at the end of the third quarter before Miami would pull themselves to within one thanks to TDs by RB Kalen Ballage and WR DeVante Parker (Parker’s TD came with six seconds left in the contest; Miami would go for the onside kick, which Washington recovered and ran out the clock to take the win). Washington’s Adrian Peterson led all rushers 118 yards, as Washington outrushed the Dolphins 145-84 and Keenum threw for 166 yards and the two TD tosses to McLaurin, while Ryan Fitzpatrick (who took over for Josh Rosen) threw for 132 yards and the TD to Parker (Rosen threw for 85 yards with five sacks and a pair of interceptions). Washington was 2 of 11 on third down tries in the Sunshine State and kept the ball for 27:21, while Miami actually ruled the clock and kept the ball for 32:39, going 3 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

The Bills return from their bye week 14-7 winners at Tennessee two Sundays ago. After a scoreless first quarter in Nashville at Nissan Stadium, the Bills took a 7-0 lead with them to the intermission as WR Lane Smith and QB Josh Allen connected on an 8-yard TD toss. Tennessee would then proceed to tie the contest up with 7:02 left in the third when RB Derrick Henry scored from a yard out before the Bills reclaimed the lead for good in the fourth quarter when DUke Williams caught Allen’s second TD toss, this one from seven yards out with 9:46 left in the contest. The Bills then dodged a bullet with 6:35 left in the game when K Chris Santos’ 53-yard field goal try sailed wide left. After the teams traded punts, Buffalo got the ball back and after Tennessee burned all their time outs, the Bills ran out the clock and took the win on the road.

Bills RB Frank Gore led all rushers with 60 yards as Buffalo outrushed Tennessee 109-102 and Allen threw for 219 yards with the two TDs and an interception, while Marcus Mariota threw for 183 yards but was sacked five times in the contest (Mariota did not throw an interception). Buffalo went 4 of 13 on third down, 1 for 2 on fourth down conversions and ruled the clock as they held the ball for 31:12, while Tennessee, who kept the pigskin for 28:48, went 4 of 14 on third down tries in Music City.

Miami leads the series 60-45-1 (which includes contests that took place at the Orange Bowl and War Memorial Stadium) and the ‘Fins have outscored Buffalo 2,259-2,058. The two AFC East rivals split last season’s meetings and both were winners in front of their home fans.

Meeting number one… week 13 in Miami Gardens and Miami held off a late Buffalo rally in the second half to come away with the 21-17 win at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami led 14-6 at the break before the Bills outscored them in the second half to make the contest closer than Dolphin fans would like. Buffalo outrushed Miami 198-60 and Allen led all rushers with 135 yards in the contest. Allen threw for 231 yards and a pair of TDs, while Tannehill threw for 137 yards and three TDs (Tannehill was sacked three times and threw an interception, while Allen was sacked twice with two intereceptions). Miami went 2 of 9 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 27:03, while the Bills ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 32:57, going 5 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

They met again, this time in upstate New York and the weather was a bit chillier in that season final contest (Temperature in their first meeting? 86 degrees; the second meeting? A balmy 33 degrees with a 40 percent chance of snow showers and a wind chill of 25 degrees… to say it was cold is an understatement). Buffalo broke a 14-14 tie at the intermission at New Era Field in Orchard Park, sending their fan base home happy with a 42-17 win. Allen and WR Robert Foster connected on a 5-yard TD toss in the third to take the lead for keeps and the Bills would score 14 points in the fourth quarter unchallenged to seal Miami’s fate. As was the case in the meeting in the Sunshine State, Buffalo outrushed Miami, tallying 166 yards to Miami’s 95 and once again, Allen led all rushers with 95 yards and a pair of rushing TDs of his own, throwing for 224 yards and three TDs (Allen was sacked once and picked off once), while Tannehill threw for 147 yards with a pair of interceptions and four sacks. The Bills were 5 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and once again ruled the clock, holding the ball hostage for 30:18, while Miami kept it for 29:42, going 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 13 contest in the Sunshine State, Miami was favored by 4 1/2 but only won by 4. The two clubs tallied 38 points in that first meeting, missing the 40 over/under. Buffalo covered the 3 1/2 point spread in upstate New York in the season finale, winning by 25 and both teams shattered the 38 1/2 over/under with 59 points. The Bills are a 17-point favorite in upstate New York and the over/under’s 40 1/2. The 40 1/2 makes a ton of sense. The 17? That’s a bit on the steep side. Granted, the Dolphins are bad but not 17 points bad and they’ll make things hard for Buffalo but the Bills circle the wagons in upstate New York and comes away with the win.

Jacksonville (2-4) at Cincinnati (0-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirectV 706. A pair of struggling teams meet along the shores of the Ohio River as Jacksonville takes on Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

Jaguar fans left TIAA Bank Field heartbroken after Jacksonville lost to Teddy Bridgewater and the New Orleans Saints 13-6 in the Sunshine State. For three quarters of football, Jaguars K Josh Lambo and Saints K Will Lutz exchanged field goals, as the teams entered the intermission tied at 3-3 and were tied at 6-6 at the end of the third quarter. TE Jared Cook would score the only TD of the contest when he and Bridgewater (240 yards, three sacks) connected on a 4-yard TD toss with 11:49 left in the contest. New Orleans then held off a Jacksonville rally and took the win after the Jaguars punted the ball away on a second possession in the contest, running out the clock and taking the win. Jacksonville was outrushed by New Orleans 104-75 and Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette led all rushers with 72, while Gardner Minshew threw for 163 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception. Jacksonville was 4 of 14 on third down in the Sunshine State, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 26:51, while the Saints ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:09, while going 5 for 13 on third down.

The winless Bengals return home after their 23-17 loss at Baltimore last Sunday. Cincinnati trailed 17-10 at the half at M&T Stadium, pulling themselves to within three with two seconds left on a Jeff Tucker field goal. The Bengals would then make things closer than Ravens fans wanted when Dalton scored on a 2-yard run with 88 seconds left in the contest. Dalton threw for 235 yards with the rushing TD, with a pair of sacks and an interception, while Lamar Jackson threw for 236 yards (Jackson was sacked once but did not throw an interception) in the AFC North win in Charm City. Cincinnati was 5 of 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 20:18, while the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:42, while going 9 for 15 on third down.

Jacksonville holds a 12-9 lead in the series and the Jaguars have outscored Cincinnati 469-378. Jacksonville won the last meeting, taking a 23-7 win in 2017 in the Sunshine State, while the Bengals’ last win took place along the shores of the Ohio River by a final of 33-23 in 2014. Jacksonville’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 44. Both numbers make a lot of sense. We wouldn’t blame you one bit if you were to do your Halloween costume shopping and take a pass on this game. Jaguars cover the 3 1/2 on the road and keeps Cincinnati winless in the process.

Minnesota (4-2) at Detroit (2-2-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. They meet in the great indoors. A pair of NFC North rivals square off in the Motor City Sunday afternoon as Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions host the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field.

Minnesota held Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles in check last Sunday in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, coming away 38-20 winners at US Bank Field. The Vikings and Kirk Cousins took a 24-10 lead with them to the break, then floored the gas, outscoring the Eagles 14-10 in the second half. Cousins threw for 333 yards with four TDs (three to Stefan Diggs) and a sack as Minnesota outrushed the Eagles 122-108, while Wentz threw for 306 yards with a pair of TDs and two sacks (both threw an interception). Minnesota was 2 of 10 on third down (the Vikings were 1 of 1 on fourth down conversions in the Twin Cities) and held on to the ball for 32:04, while the Eagles kept the pigskin for 27:56, going 4 of 12 and 1 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

The Lions saw victory taken away from them last Monday night at Lambeau Field as Green Bay K Mason Crosby connected on a 23-yard field goal as time expired to give the Packers a 23-22 NFC North win. Detroit led 13-10 at the intermission before Crosby tied the contest up with 12:35 left when he booted a 48-yard field goal. Detroit reclaimed the lead witi three Matt Prather field goals and led 22-13 with 9:03 in the contest when Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and WR Alan Lazard connected on a 35-yard TD pass to make it a 2-point contest. Green Bay then got the ball back after the Lions punted with 6:06 left and used all of that time to use a 14-play, 77-yard drjve, assisted by Detroit burning all three of their time outs and an illegal use of hands penalty on DE Trey Flowers to set up the game-winner.

Green Bay outrushed Detroit 170-56 and Packers RB Jamal Williams led all rushers with 104 yards; Rodgers threw for 283 yards and a pair of TDs, while Stafford threw for 265 yards (Stafford was sacked three times but did not throw an interception, while Rodgers was picked off once). Detroit was 3 of 13 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:56, while the Packers ruled the clock, holding the ball for 33:04 (including the final 6:06 of the contest), going 4 of 12 on third down tries.

Including games that were played at Metropolitan Stadium, Tiger Stadium, the Silverdome and the Metrodome, the Vikings lead the series 74-39-2, the Viking have outscored Detroit 2,483-2,117. Minnesota has won the last three meetings and swept the series last year, while Detroit’s last win came in 2017 in the Twin Cities by a final of 14-7.

Meeting number one… US Bank Stadium in week nine. Minnesota held the Lions to three Matt Prater field goals, taking a 24-9 win in the Twin Cities. The Vikings led 17-6 at halftime and were never really threatened afterward. Minnesota outrushed Detroit 128-66 and Cook led all rushers with 89 yards on the ground. Cousins threw for 164 yards with a TD to Thielen (he was sacked once and threw an interception), while Stafford threw for 199 yards and was sacked 10 times but threw no interceptions. The Vikings were 3 of 8 on third down (they were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and 23:15, while the Lions ruled the clock and kept the ball for 36:45, going 4 of 15 on third down, 3 of 3 on fourth down.

Minnesota made it a clean sweep over their NFC North rival in week 16 as they once again held the Lions to three field goals in the first half and took a 27-9 win at Ford Field. The Vikings erased an early Lions lead (Detroit led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter), took a 14-9 lead with them to the locker room at the half, then scored their last 13 points of the contest unchallenged. Minnesota outrushed the Lions 100-86 (Cook led all rushers with 73 yards) and Cousins threw for 253 yards and three TD passes (two to Kyle Rudolph, the other to Stefon Diggs), while Stafford threw for 116 yards with a pair of sacks. Minnesota went 4 of 13, 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs at Ford Field and kept the ball for 28:32, while the Lions actually ruled the clock and held the ball for 31:28, going 4 of 16 on third down, 1 for 3 on fourth down.

The Vikings, favored by 5 1/2, covered the spread, winning by 15 but the 33 combined points came nowhere near the 50 1/2 over/under in the week nine contest in the Twin Cities. Minnesota was favored again in the week 16 contest in the Motor City, covering the 5 1/2 point spread, winning by 18. As for the 43 1/2 over/under? It was untouched, as both teams combined for 36 points. Minnesota’s favored by 1 in the Motor City and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Detroit’s played some decent if not great football of late, while the Vikings are trying to catch Green Bay in the NFC North. Minnesota covers the 1 and wins in the

Oakland (3-2) at Green Bay (5-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. The Silver and Black, coming off their bye week, makes their way to the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst as they face off against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

The Silver and Black return from their bye week after they left London 24-21 winners over Chicago at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium two weeks ago. After a scoreless first quarter, the Raiders took a 17-0 lead with them to the locker room at the half, then saw that lead get away from them as Chicago scored 21 third quarter points unchallenged before restoring order on the other side of the Atlantic when rookie RB Josh Jacobs scored on a 2-yard run with 1:57 left in the contest. Jacobs ran for 123 yards with two TDs (including the game-winner) as Oakland outrushed Chicago 169-42 and Derek Carr threw for 229 yards without a sack or interception, while Bears backup QB Chase Daniel (Who took over for Mitchell Trubisky) threw for 231 yards with a pair of TDs (Daniel was sacked four times and picked off twice). While the Raiders were 6 of 12 on third down tries on the other side of the pond, they struck gold on fourth down in their only try in that catagory and kept the ball for 34:43, while Chicago, keeping the ball for 25:17, went 4 of 11 on third down tries.

Packers K Mason Crosby was the man of the moment Monday night as he connected on a 23-yard field goal as time expired to give the Packers a 23-22 NFC North win. Detroit led 13-10 at the intermission in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst before Crosby tied the contest up with 12:35 left when he booted a 48-yard field goal. Detroit reclaimed the lead witi three Matt Prather field goals and led 22-13 with 9:03 in the contest when Rodgers and WR Alan Lazard connected on a 35-yard TD pass to make it a 2-point contest. Green Bay then got the ball back after the Lions punted with 6:06 left and used all of that time to use a 14-play, 77-yard drjve, assisted by Detroit burning all three of their time outs and an illegal use of hands penalty on DE Trey Flowers to set up the game-winner.

Green Bay outrushed Detroit 170-56 and Packers RB Jamal Williams led all rushers with 104 yards; Rodgers threw for 283 yards and a pair of TDs, while Stafford threw for 265 yards (Stafford was sacked three times but did not throw an interception, while Rodgers was picked off once). Detroit was 3 of 13 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:56, while the Packers ruled the clock, holding the ball for 33:04 (including the final 6:06 of the contest), going 4 of 12 on third down tries.

Green Bay leads the series 7-5 (including contests that were played in Los Angeles), the Packers have outrscored Oakland 278-204 and have won the last seven meetings in the series, inclduing a 30-20 win on the West Coast in 2015, while Oakland’s last win in the series came at Lambeau in 1987, as the Raiders shutout Green Bay 20-0. Green Bay’s favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 47. Green Bay takes this one in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst but expect the Silver and Black to make things closer than 4 1/2.

Houston (4-2) at Indianapolis (3-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. The top two teams in the AFC South meet in the Hoosier State Sunday afternoon as the Houston Texans (first place) meet the Indianapolis Colts (second place) in a key divisional showdown at Lucas Oil Stadium. Both teams beat Kansas City at Arrowhead in consecutive weeks, with the Colts coming off their bye week taking the win to send the Chiefs on their two-game losing streak.

Houston picked up their second win in a row, coming out of Arrowhead Stadium 31-24 last Sunday afternoon against the Kansas City Chiefs Houston erased a 17-3 Chiefs lead at the end of the first quarter get away from them as the Texans would score 20 second quarter points unchallenged, leading 23-17 at the intermission. Kansas City would reclaim the lead with 6:30 left in the third when Tyreek Hill and Patrick Mahomes connected on a 6-yard TD toss. That lead would be erased by the Texans in the final quarter of play when DeShaun Watson scored on a 1-yard run with 6:17 left in the contest. The Chiefs would get the ball back after the kick off but would get as their 22-yard line, where they punted the ball back to Houston, who ran the clock out, making sure that Kansas City would never see the football again.

Houston’s Carlos Hyde led all rushers with 116 yards on the ground, as the Texans outrushed Kansas City 192-53 and Watson threw for 280 yards with a passing TD to go with his rushing TD, while Mahomes threw for 273 yards with three TDs (two of them to Hill; Mahomes was sacked once and threw an interception, while Watson threw two interceptions). The Chiefs were 4 of 8 on third down tries at Arrowhead and kept the ball for 20:12, while the Texans ruled the clock and kept the ball for 39:48, going 5 of 12 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

The Colts were 19-13 winners at Arrowhead Stadium two Sundays ago. Indianapolis led Mahomes and the Chiefs 13-10 at the half and after a scoreless third quarter in the Sunday night contest, Adam Vinatieri would kick a pair of fourth-quarter field goals to lead by 9 with 2:27 left in the contest before Chiefs K Harrison Butker connected on a 36-yarder to pull themselves to within 6 with 76 seconds left in the contest. The Chiefs then tried an onside kick in hopes of keeping the ball but the Colts recovered and ran out the clock to take the win. The Chiefs outrushed Kansas City 180-36 and Jacoby Brissett threw for 151 yards with a rushing TD (Brissett threw an interception but was not sacked), while Mahomes threw for 321 yards and a TD with four sacks. The Colts went 5 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 37:15, while the Chiefs kept the ball for 22:45, going 4 for 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Indianapolis leads the series 26-8 and have outscored the Texans 897-677. They split last year’s contests, winning in the other team’s stadium.

They met in Indianapolis in week four and the Texans needed overtime to take a 37-34 win out of Lucas Oil Stadium. Houston led 21-10 at the break before the Colts and Andrew Luck stormed back to take a 34-31 lead with 6 minutes left in regulation. Houston would even things up at 34-34 with 1:50 left when Kai Fairburn connected on a 29-yard field. The two teams went into the overtime and Vinatieri and Fairburn exchanged field goals in the extra period. Indianapolis then got the ball back but could get only as close as their own 43 yard, where the Colts’ fourth down try failed. The Texans got the ball back with 24 seconds left and used all of that 24 seconds to set up Fairburn for a 37-yard try, which he connected as the clock struck :00.

Houston outrushed the Colts 119-41 and Watson threw for 375 yards and a pair of TDs, while Luck threw for 464 yards and four TDs (Watson was sacked seven times and threw an interception, Luck was sacked four times). While Houston was 8 of 16 on third down tries, they were perfect on fourth down in their only attempt and kept the ball for 40:04 (including the last 24 seconds of overtime), while the Colts kept the ball for 29:56 and went 10 of 17 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The Colts would get revenge in the Lone Star State in week 14, holding off the Texans and came away from NRG Stadium 24-21 winners. After Houston’s Alfred Blue opened the scoring with a 3-yard TD run late in the first quarter, Indianapolis would erase that lead, scoring 17 second quarter points unchallenged to lead 17-7 at the break as Vinatieri booted a 54-yard field goal to end the first half. Indy then led by as much as ten before the Texans would pull themselves to within seven late in the third quarter. The Texans made the contest closer with 2:37 left in the contest when Watson and WR DeAndre Hopkins connected on a 7-yard TD pass but got no closer.

Houston outrushed the Colts 89-50 and Watson threw for 267 yards with five sacks and no interceptions, while Luck threw for 399 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Eric Ebron) with a pair of sacks and an interception. Houston was 5 of 15 on third down (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:57, while the Colts held on to the ball for 28:03, going 4 of 12 on third down on the road.

Indianapolis was favored by 2 in the week four contest at Lucas Oil and the Texans covered, winning by 3. The two teams combined for 71 points, allowing them to cover the 47 1/2 over/under. In the week 14 contest in Houston, the Texans were favored by 4 1/2 but the Colts won by 3 and the 45 points they combined to score missed the 48 1/2 over/under by 3 1/2. The Colts are favored by 1 in the Hoosier State and the over/under’s 47 1/2. These two could decide who wins the AFC South and who may get the wild card spot.

Arizona (2-2-1) at New York Giants (2-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Rookie QB will be on display Sunday afternoon in the Meadowlands as the New York Giants and Daniel Jones host the Arizona Cardinals and Kyler Murray.

The Desert Angry Birds held off a late Atlanta rally at State Farm Stadium last Sunday, coming away 34-33 winners last Sunday. Trailing 7-3 at the end of the first quarter, the Cardinals scored 17 second-quarter points unchallenged, giving them a 20-10 lead at the half. Arizona would lead by as much as 17 with 11:25 left in the third, before the Falcons would chip away at the lead, tying the contest up at 27-27, using a Matt Bryant field goal and two TD passes from Matt Ryan to RB Devonta Freeman and TE Austin Hooper to pull themselves even. Arizona reclaimed the lead with 5:12 left in the contest when RB David Johnson and Murray connected on their second TD toss of the afternoon. The Falcons then used a 7-play, 75-yard drive take took 3:19 of clock and put themselves in a position to tie the contest or take the lead when Freeman and Ryan connected on their second TD pass (a 12-yard toss) with 1:53 left in regulation. Atlanta then chose to go for the tie and send Bryant out to kick the PAT. Bryant’s PAT try sailed wide right of the intended mark, giving the Cardinals the win as Arizona ran out the clock.

Atlanta outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 103-102 and Freeman led all rushers with 88 yards, while Ryan threw for 356 yards and four TDs (connecting with Calvin Ridley on one toss) and Murray threw for 340 yards and three TDs (Ryan was sacked four times, neither Ryan or Murray threw an interception). Atlanta was 6 of 11 on third down conversions in the desert and kept the ball for 32:47, while the Cardinals kept the ball for 27:13, going 7 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Big Blue trailed New England 21-14 at Gillette Stadium last Thursday night at the half, then watched the defending Super Bowl champs pull away to take a 35-14 win in Foxboro. New England got the scoring started in the Thursday night affair with a special teams TD when DL Chase Winovich blocked a Giants punt and ran it back six yards for a score. While Tom Brady did not throw a TD pass, he did contribute with his feet, scoring on a pair of rushing TDs in the win. New England outrushed the Giants 114-52 (Pats RB Sony Michel led all rushers with 86 yards) and Brady threw for 334 yards with an interception, while rookie QB Daniel Jones threw for 161 yards with a TD toss to Golden Tate (Jones threw three interceptions and had a sack). New England was 6 of 13 on third down tries (they were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:36, while the Giants, who held on to the pigskin for 20:24, went 2 of 10 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down conversions.

Including games played in Chicago, St. Louis, Tempe and contests that took place at Yankee Stadium, the Giants lead the series 80-44-2 and Big Blue has outscored the Desert Angry Birds 2,760-2,174. Arizona’s won the last two meetings, including coming away 23-0 winners in 2017, while the Giants’ last win also came in the desert, as New York prevailed 31-27 in 2011. The Giants are a 2-point favorite in the Meadowlands and the over/under’s 49. Both numbers are pretty reasonable and both have played decent football but not great football. Giants cover the 2 in the Meadowlands and takes the win at home.

San Francisco (5-0) at Washington (1-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Jimmy Garoppolo and the resurging (and undefeated) San Francisco 49ers, passing their win total from last year, makes their way to Landover to face off against the washington Redskins, who look for their second win of the campaign. Both clubs were winners on the road in last week’s contest.

Although the Los Angeles Rams opened the scoring against their NFC West foes as WR Robert Wood scored on a 9-yard run in the first quarter, the 49ers took control of things in southern California as they scored their 20 points of the contest unchallenged, coming away 20-7 winners at the Coliseum to pick up their fifth win in a row. The two teams went into the break tied at 7-7 after Tevin Coleman answered the Rams’ TD with a TD of his own in the first quarter, then their last 13 points of the game to take the road win, using a 1-yard run by Garoppolo and a pair of Robbie Gould field goals to close out the scoring. The Rams outrushed San Francisco 109-99 and Jared Goff threw for 78 yards but was sacked four times, while Garoppolo threw for 243 yards wtih a pair of sacks and an interception. The defending NFC champs were a dismal 0 of 9 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 21:08, while the 49ers, going 8 of 17 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down), ruled the clock and kept the ball for 38:52.

The Redskins return to Landover, giving interim head coach Bill Callahan his first win with the team and the team’s first win of the season, breaking a five-game losing streak, taking a 17-16 win over Miami at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday afternoon in the Sunshine State. After a scoreless first quarter, Washington took a 7-0 lead thanks to the first of two TD passes from Case Keenum to WR Terry McLaurin, took that lead with them to the break and then led 17-3 at the end of the third quarter before Miami would pull themselves to within one thanks to TDs by RB Kalen Ballage and WR DeVante Parker (Parker’s TD came with six seconds left in the contest; Miami would go for the onside kick, which Washington recovered and ran out the clock to take the win). Adrian Peterson was back to his old running form, rushing for 118 yards, as Washington outrushed the Dolphins 145-84 and Keenum threw for 166 yards and the two TD tosses to McLaurin, while Ryan Fitzpatrick (who took over for Josh Rosen) threw for 132 yards and the TD to Parker (Rosen threw for 85 yards with five sacks and a pair of interceptions). Washington was 2 of 11 on third down tries in the Sunshine State and kept the ball for 27:21, while Miami actually ruled the clock and kept the ball for 32:39, going 3 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Including contests played at Keezar Stadium, Candlestick Park and RFK Stadium, the 49ers lead the series 17-10-1 and they have outscored Washington 679-540. The Redskins won the last meeting, coming away 26-24 winners at FedEx Field in 2017, while the 49ers’ last win came on the West Coast with San Francisco prevailing 17-13 in 2014. San Francisco’s favored by 9 1/2 in Landover and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Last week, Washington fans were singing “Hail to the Redskins.” This week? “Hell, it’s the Redskins.” Washington makes this one close but San Francsico remains unbeaten.

Los Angeles Chargers (2-4) at Tennessee (2-4), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. A pair of 2-4 teams meet in the Music City as Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers travel to Nashville for a meeting with the Tennessee Titans. Both teams took losses in last week’s contests.

A Charger rally in the fourth quarter fell short against Pittsburgh at Dignity Health Sports Park fell short last Sunday night as the Steelers took care of the Bolts 24-17 on the West Coast. The Steelers scored all 24 of their points unchalleged, leading 17-0 at the intermission before the Chargers would score their points in the fourth quarter, using a pair of TD passes from Rivers to TE Hunter Henry to pull themselves to within 7 with 79 seconds left in the contest. Pittsburgh outrushed Los Angeles 124-32 and Rivers threw for 320 yards with the two Henry TDs (Rivers was sacked once and picked off twice), while rookie QB Devlin Hodges (taking over for Mason Rudolph – concussion) threw for 132 yards and a TD to James Conner. Both clubs did quite well on third down conversions in the Sunday night contest; Pittsburgh was 8 of 13, Los Angeles was 7 of 12 and the Steelers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:05 to the Chargers’ 25:55.

The Titans were shut out by Denver 16-0 at Empower Field at Mile High. Denver, holding Tennessee to 39 yards rushing, got three Brian McManus field goals in the contest, taking a 6-0 lead with them to the break, then flooring the gas in the second half, scoring the last 10 points of the game unchallenged, with Patrick Lindsey scoring the game’s only TD, scoring from 2 yards out with 4:56 left in the third quarter. Lindsay led all rushers with 70 yards, while Denver had 103 of their own yards on the ground. Joe Flacco threw for 177 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception, while Mariota threw for 63 yards with a pair of pair of interceptions and three sacks before being taken out of the contest in favor of Ryan Tannehill (144 yards, interception). Both clubs went 2 of 14 on third down (the Titans were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and the Titans actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:14 to Denver’s 29:46.

The Chargers lead the series 27-14-1 (which includes games that took place when the Titans were in Houston and known as the Oilers and the Chargers played their home games at Qualcomm Stadium) and the Bolts have outscored Tennessee 1,088-921. Their last meeting took place last year in London and the Chargers hung on to win 20-19 (Tennessee’s last win in the series came in 2013 in Music City by a final of 20-17).

The two clubs met in week seven on the other side of the Big Pond. Rivers and the Chargers led 10-6 at the intermission at Wembley Stadium and led 20-13 with 31 seconds left when Mariota and Lance Stocker connected on a 1-yard TD toss. The Titans then went for the two-point conversion to take the lead (that failed) and tried the onside kick, which also failed, giving the Chargers the ball and the win.

Tennessee actually outrushed the Chargers 164-47, with Titans RB Dion Lewis leading everyone with 91 yards and Mariota threw for 237 yards and the fourth-quarter TD (he threw an interception), while Rivers threw for 306 yards and a pair of TDs (both men were twice and Mariota threw an interception). The Chargers went 4 of 9 on third down and kept the ball for 24:37, while the Titans ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 35:23, going 9 of 15 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Although the Chargers were favored by 6 1/2 on the other side of the Atlantic in week seven, they would come away winning by 1. As for the 45 over/under? It was untouched, as both teams tallied 39 points. The Titans are favored by 2 1/2 in the Music City and the over/under’s 39 1/2. Could either one or both teams make the post-season? Right now, it’s plausible, as they say on “Mythbusters.” Chargers get themselves back on track and takes the win on the road, covering the 2 1/2.

New Orleans (5-1) at Chicago (3-2), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. It’s gumbo vs. deep dish pizza as the New Orleans Saints make their way to the Windy City for a late-afternoon contest with the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

Teddy Bridgewater and the New Orleans Saints held off Jacksonville 13-6 in the Sunshine State last Sunday. For three quarters of football, it was an all field goal affair as Jaguars K Josh Lambo and Saints K Will Lutz exchanged field goals and the teams entered the intermission tied at 3-3 and were tied at 6-6 at the end of the third quarter. TE Jared Cook would score the only TD of the contest when he and Bridgewater (240 yards, three sacks) connected on a 4-yard TD toss with 11:49 left in the contest. New Orleans then held off a Jacksonville rally and took the win after the Jaguars punted the ball away on a second possession in the contest, running out the clock and taking the win. Jacksonville was outrushed by New Orleans 104-75 and Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette led all rushers with 72, while Gardner Minshew threw for 163 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception. Jacksonville was 4 of 14 on third down in the Sunshine State, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 26:51, while the Saints ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:09, while going 5 for 13 on third down.

Da Bears return to the Windy City from their bye week after they left London on the short end of a 24-21 loss to Oakland at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium two weeks ago. After a scoreless first quarter, the Raiders took a 17-0 lead with them to the locker room at the half, then saw that lead get away from them as Chicago scored 21 third quarter points unchallenged before restoring order on the other side of the Atlantic when rookie RB Josh Jacobs scored on a 2-yard run with 1:57 left in the contest. Jacobs ran for 123 yards with two TDs (including the game-winner) as Oakland outrushed Chicago 169-42 and Derek Carr threw for 229 yards without a sack or interception, while Bears backup QB Chase Daniel (Who took over for Mitchell Trubisky) threw for 231 yards with a pair of TDs (Daniel was sacked four times and picked off twice). While the Raiders were 6 of 12 on third down tries on the other side of the pond, they struck gold on fourth down in their only try in that catagory and kept the ball for 34:43, while Da Bears, keeping the ball for 25:17, went 4 of 11 on third down tries.

While New Orleans holds a 15-13 lead in the series, Da Bears have outscored New Orleans 560-559. New Orleans has won the last four meetings, including a 20-12 victory in the Big Easy in 2017, while Chicago’s last win came in 2008 as Da Bears needed overtime to come away 27-24 winners at Soldier Field. Da Bears are favored by 3 1/2 with a 48 over/under. Deep dish wins this one. Da Bears win in the Windy City and covers the 3 1/2.

Baltimore (4-2) at Seattle (5-1), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens make their way to the Pacific Northwest for a late afternoon showdown with Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Both teams were winners in last week’s contests, Baltimore winning at home, while Seattle took a road win at Cleveland.

The Ravens held off a late Cincinnati rally in the final quarter, coming away with the 23-17 win in Charm City to give the Bengals their sixth loss in a row. Baltimore led 17-10 at the half at M&T Stadium, then saw the Bengals pull themselves to within three with two seconds left on a Jeff Tucker field goal (Tucker would kick two more field goals to round out Baltimore’s scoring). The Bengals would then make things closer than Ravens fans wanted when Dalton scored on a 2-yard run with 88 seconds left in the contest. Dalton threw for 235 yards with the rushing TD, with a pair of sacks and an interception, while Jackson threw for 236 yards (Jackson was sacked once but did not throw an interception) in the AFC North win in Charm City. Cincinnati was 5 of 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 20:18, while the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:42, while going 9 for 15 on third down.

Seattle returns home to Century Link Field after their 32-28 over Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Seahawks trailed 20-18 at the half along the shores of Lake Erie, then went to work in the second half, outscoring Cleveland 14-8 in the final 30 minutes of action, with RB Chris Carson scoring the game-winner with 3:30 left in the contest on a one-yard run. The Seahawks would go on to hold off a late Browns rally in the final minutes of the contest when K.J. Wright picked off Mayfield, giving them the ball and allowing them to run out the clock. Carson led all rushers with 124 yards and the game-winning TD, while Nick Chubb led Cleveland with 122 yards and a pair of touchdowns (WR Odell Beckham, Jr. led all recievers with 101 yards on six catches), while Wilson threw for 295 yards with a pair of TD passes and Mayfield throwing for 249 yards with a TD and three interceptions (Wilson was sacked three times and both Wilson and Mayfield had a rushing TD). Seattle went 6 of 13 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 33:41, while the Browns, who held on to the ball for 26:19, went 3 of 8 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

The Seahawks lead the series 3-2, Seattle’s outscored Baltimore 149-104 and they’ve won the last three meetings, including a 35-6 win in Charm City in 2015 (Baltimore’s last win over the Seahawks came in 2003 in Charm City by a final of 44-41 in overtime). Seattle’s favored by 3 1/2 in the Pacific Northwest and the over/under’s 49 1/2. This could be a somewhat entertaining contest. Seattle prevails but expect Baltimore to make it closer than 3 1/2.

Philadelphia (3-3) at Dallas (3-3), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Eagles. Cowboys. NFC East rivals meet in the Lone Star State Sunday night as the two clubs, tied for first in the division, square off at AT&T Stadium. Both teams took losses on the road in last week’s action.

Minnesota held Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles in check last Sunday in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, coming away 38-20 winners at US Bank Field. The Vikings and Kirk Cousins took a 24-10 lead with them to the break, then floored the gas, outscoring the Eagles 14-10 in the second half. Cousins threw for 333 yards with four TDs (three to Stefan Diggs) and a sack as Minnesota outrushed the Eagles 122-108, while Wentz threw for 306 yards with a pair of TDs and two sacks (both threw an interception). Minnesota was 2 of 10 on third down (the Vikings were 1 of 1 on fourth down conversions in the Twin Cities) and held on to the ball for 32:04, while the Eagles kept the pigskin for 27:56, going 4 of 12 and 1 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

A Cowboys rally in the fourth quarter fell short as the New York Jets ended their four-game losing streak last Sunday afternoon against Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys, holding them off 24-22 at Met Life Stadium. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! led 21-6 at the break, then held off a late Cowboys rally late in the contest, as Dallas came within two when Prescott scored on a 2-yard run with 43 seconds left. Dallas then went for two in hope of tying the contest but Prescott’s try to TE Jason Whiten went incomplete. Dallas outrushed GangGreen 129-56 and Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott led all rushers with 105 yards and a TD, while Jets RB LeVeon Bell led his club with 50 yards and a rushing TD. Prescott threw for 277 yards, while Sam Darnold threw for 338 yards with a pair of TDs (Darnold was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Prescott was sacked once but did not throw a pick).

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! went 2 of 10 on third down in the late afternoon contest in the Meadowlands and kept the ball for 27:57, while the Cowboys ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:03, going 10 for 17 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down

Dallas holds a 65-51 in the series (which includes contests that were played at the Cotton Bowl, Texas Stadium, JFK Stadium and Veterans Stadium), they’ve outscored the Eagles 2,499-2,317 and the Cowboys have won the last three meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Philadelphia’s last win came in 2017 in Dallas by a final of 37-9).

They met in the City of Brotherly Love on a Sunday night in week 10 and the Cowboys took a 13-3 lead with them to the break before the Eagles would storm back in the second half and tie things up with 7:27 left in the contest when Wentz and Ertz connected on a 1-yard TD pass. That tie would not last very long as the Cowboys would reclaim the lead for keeps, using an 8-play, 75-yard drive that took 4:08 and ended when Ezekiel Elliott scored from a yard away to lead 27-20. Philadelphia would get the ball back with 3:19 left in the contest and made their way down the field. They would get as close as the Cowboys’ 32-yard line with no time outs left, trying several lateral passes to get to the end zone but could not get any closer.

Elliott rushed for 151 yards and a TD in the contest to lead all rushers as Dallas outrushed the Eagles 171-71 at Lincoln Financial Field and Prescott threw for 270 yards and a TD to Elliott, while Wentz threw for 360 yards and a pair of TDs to Ertz (Prescott was sacked four times, Wentz was sacked twice and threw an interception). Dallas was 8 pf 16 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:22, while the Eagles, keeping the ball for 26:38, went 4 of 10 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down.

Dallas made it a clean sweep in week 14 at AT&T Stadium, taking a 29-23 win over the Eagles in the Lone Star State. Dallas used a pair of Bill Maher field goals to lead 6-0 going into the intermission and led 9-0 late in the third quarter before Wentz and Alshon Jeffery broke Dallas’ shutout bid with a 2-yard TD pass (they would miss the extra point). Eagles K Jake Elliott would tie the contest up at 9-9 with a 26-yard field goal early in the fourth and Dallas would take the lead again when Cooper and Prescott connected on a 28-yard TD toss with 7:46. The two teams would tie things up again and Philadelphia would create the third tie of the contest with 99 seconds left when Wentz connected with Darrell Sproles from 6 yards out, pulling the contest even at 23-23. The teams then went into overtime and Dallas won the toss in the overtime and took the ball. The Cowboys would waste very little time if any, using a 13-play, 75-yard drive, taking 8:05 of clock and ending with Prescott and Cooper connecting on a 15-yard TD toss to take the win.

Dallas outrushed Philadelphia 142-34 (Elliott led all rushers with 113 yards) and Prescott threw for 455 yards, while Wentz threw for 228 yards (Prescott was sacked three times, Wentz sacked twice; both men threw three TD passes, Prescott connecting with Cooper on all three, including the game-winner). The Eagles were a somewhat dismal 1 of 9 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 22:32, while the Cowboys kept the ball for 45:33 (including the overtime), going 10 of 19 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 10 contest, the Eagles were favored by 6 and Dallas covered by 7. The 43 1/2 over/under was covered, as both teams combined for 47 points. In the week 14 contest in Arlington, Dallas won by 6, allowing them to cover the 4-point spread and the teams covered the 43 over/under with 52 points.

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

Dallas is favored by 3 and the over/under’s 49. The winner of this one? They’ll have the inside track to the NFC East. The loser? They may make the playoffs but it’ll be hard for them to come back from the loss. Dallas wins this one in Arlington but expect Philadelphia to make the contest closer than 3.

New England (6-0) at New York Jets (1-4), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week seven closes out in the Meadowlands as the defending champions take on the New York Jets in a key AFC showdown. Both teams were winners at home in last week’s action.

New England led the New York Giants 21-14 at Gillette Stadium last Thursday night at the half, then pulled away from Big Blue to take a 35-14 win in Foxboro. New England got the scoring started in the Thursday night affair with a special teams TD when DL Chase Winovich blocked a Giants punt and ran it back six yards for a score. While Tom Brady did not throw a TD pass, he did contribute with his feet, scoring on a pair of rushing TDs in the win. New England outrushed the Giants 114-52 (Pats RB Sony Michel led all rushers with 86 yards) and Brady threw for 334 yards with an interception, while rookie QB Daniel Jones threw for 161 yards with a TD toss to Golden Tate (Jones threw three interceptions and had a sack). New England was 6 of 13 on third down tries (they were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:36, while the Giants, who held on to the pigskin for 20:24, went 2 of 10 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down conversions.

GangGreen ended their four-game losing streak last Sunday afternoon against Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys, holding them off 24-22 at Met Life Stadium. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! led 21-6 at the break, then held off a late Cowboys rally late in the contest, as the Cowboys came within two when Prescott scored on a 2-yard run with 43 seconds left. Dallas then went for two in hope of tying the contest but Prescott’s try to TE Jason Whiten went incomplete. Dallas outrushed GangGreen 129-56 and Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott led all rushers with 105 yards and a TD, while Jets RB LeVeon Bell led his club with 50 yards and a rushing TD. Prescott threw for 277 yards, while Sam Darnold threw for 338 yards with a pair of TDs (Darnold was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Prescott was sacked once but did not throw a pick).

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! went 2 of 10 on third down in the late afternoon contest in the Meadowlands and kept the ball for 27:57, while the Cowboys ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:03, going 10 for 17 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games played at Fenway Park, Schafer Stadium, Shea Stadium and Giants Stadium, the Patriots lead the series 63-53-1 (there was a contest between the teams that took place in Birmingham, Alabama in 1968; the Jets with Joe Namath under center won that contest 47-31 at Legion Field), they’ve outscored GangGreen 2,694-2,409 and have won the last games in the series (they swept the last three series, including last year), while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! last won in 2015 in the Meadowlands in overtime by a final of 26-20.

Week 12… Met Life Stadium in the Meadowlands and the Patriots took care of the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 27-13. Tied 10-10 at the intermission, the Patroits would lead 13-10 with 8:34 when Stephen Gostkowski booted a 32-yard field goal. Jets K Josh Myers would re-tie things with 4 minutes left in the third, booting 38-yard field goal to even things up. New England would use a TD pass from Brady to Josh Edelman and a TD run by Sony Michel to take the lead back for good.

Michel ran for 133 yards as New England outrushed GangGreen 215-74 and Brady threw for 283 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Edelman, the other to Rob Gronkowski) without a sack or interception, while Josh McCown threw for 276 yards and a TD to Javon Kearse (McCown was sacked twice and picked off once). New England was 5 of 12 on third down (they were perfect on fourth down in their only attempt) and kept the ball for 34:26, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 25:34, going 6 of 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Holding the Jets to a Myers field goal in the first quarter in their week 17 matchup in Foxboro, the Patriots would go on to score all 38 of their points unchallenged to win by 35 points. Taking the 38-3 win, the Pats led 21-3 at the break and floored the gas in the second half against their AFC East rivals at Gillette Stadium and never looked back. New England outrushed GangGreen 131-104 and Brady threw for 250 yards with four TDs and a sack but no interceptions, while Darnold (taking over for McCown) threw for 167 yards and four sacks (Darnold did not have an interception). New England was 5 of 11 on third down in Foxboro (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:13, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! went 4 of 13 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 27:47.

In the week 12 contest in the Meadowlands, New ENgland was favored by 9 1/2 and the Patriots covered, winning by 14. Both teams scored 40 points, which meant that the 46 over/under was intact. As for the week 17 contest in Foxboro? New England won by 41, allowing them to cover the 13 1/2-point spread (they were favored) but the two clubs combined for 41 points, missing the 45 over/under.

On Monday nights, the Jets are 22-31, while the Patriots are 25-25 (both teams played a MNF contest and both teams were winners). New England’s favored by 9 1/2 and the over/under’s 42 1/2. You might want to tape “All Rise” and “Bull” this week. While Brady and the Patriots take this one, expect GangGreen to make it closer than 9 1/2.