Archives for category: Santa Clara

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday and Monday Odds (Home Teams in Caps)

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

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

Sunday and Monday Injury Report

ATLANTA at New Orleans, 1 p.m.

ATLANTA
QUESTIONABLE: G Andrew Levitre (Triceps)

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

Tampa Bay at Carolina, 1 p.m.

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

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

Cleveland at Chicago, 1 p.m.

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

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

Detroit at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

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

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

Miami at Kansas City, 1 p.m.

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

Kansas City
QUESTIONABLE: LB Justin Houston (Illness)

Buffalo at New England, 1 p.m.

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

New England – New England reports no injuries

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

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

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

Los Angeles Rams at Tennessee, 1 p.m.

Los Angeles Rams
OUT: LB Matt Longacre (Back)

Tennessee
QUESTIONABLE: CB Logan Ryan (Ankle)

Denver at Washington, 1 p.m.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seattle at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 16

AFC

CLINCHED: New England – AFC East division title

Pittsburgh – AFC North division title

Jacksonville – Playoff berth

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

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

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

New England clinches a first-round bye with:

1) New England win + Pittsburgh loss OR

2) New England win + Jacksonville loss or tie OR

3) New England tie + Jacksonville loss

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

Pittsburgh clinches a first-round bye with:

1) Pittsburgh win + Jacksonville loss or tie OR

2) Pittsburgh tie + Jacksonville loss

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

Jacksonville clinches AFC South division title with:

1) Jacksonville win or tie OR

2) Tennseeee loss or tie

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

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title with:

1) Kansas City win OR

2) Los Angeles Chargers loss OR

3) Kansas City tie + LAC tie

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

Tennessee clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Tennessee win + Baltimore loss + Buffalo loss

NFC

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

Minnesota – NFC North division title

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

Philadelphia clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1) Philadelphia win OR

2) Minnesota loss OR

3) Philadelphia tie + Minnesota tie

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

Los Angeles Rams clinch NFC West division title with:

1) Los Angeles Rams win or tie OR

2) Seattle loss or tie

Los Angeles Rams clinch a playoff berth with:

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

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

New Orleans clinches NFC South division title with:

1) New Orleans win + Carolina loss

New Orleans clinches a playoff berth with:

1) New Orleans win or tie OR

2) Dallas-Seattle tie

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

Carolina clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Carolina win or tie OR

2) Dallas-Seattle tie

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

Atlanta clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Atlanta win OR

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

THE WEEK THAT WAS WEEK 15

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

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

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

Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The rookies with the most scrimmage yards in 2017:

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

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

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

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

The rookies with the most touchdowns in 2017:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 16:

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

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

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

Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The players with the most passing yards in NFL history:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

By winning the NFC East, the Eagles have completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround and at least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons. Both the Jaguars (lead AFC South by two games) and Panthers (tied for NFC South lead) are either in or tied for first place entering Week 16 and can join the Eagles as teams making a “worst-to-first” turnaround. If both Jacksonville and Carolina match Philadelphia as teams accomplishing the feat, 2017 would tie the 2005 and 2006 seasons for the most such “worst-to-first” clubs in NFL history.

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

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

Drew Brees.

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

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

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

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

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

In the week 14 contest on a Thursday night, New Orleans was favored by 1 and the Falcons covered, winning by 3. The 52 1/2 over/under was untouched, as both teams combined for 37 total points. The odds makers this time like the Saints again, this time as 5 1/2 point favorites with a 52 over/under. There is a lot at stake here, which makes this one “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 57 last June and dates a 42-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Miami at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705: Beth Mowins, Jay Feely; SIRIUS: 113 (Miami), 145 (Buffalo); XM: 385 (Miami), 228 (Buffalo)

Green Bay at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Ryan Radtke, Derek Rackley; SIRIUS: 112 (Green Bay), 82 (Carolina); XM: 384 (Green Bay), 82 (Carolina)

Baltimore at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706: Tom McCarthy, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker (Field reporter), Melanie Collins (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 93 (Baltimore), 132 (Cleveland); XM: 380 (Baltimore), 225 (Cleveland)

Houston at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 138 (Houston), 83 (Jacksonville); XM: 381 (Houston), 83 (Jacksonville)

Cincinnati at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 119 (Cincinnati), 135 (Minnesota); XM: 386 (Cincinnati), 226 (Minnesota)

New York Jets at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, Otis Livingston (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 133 (New York Jets), 137 (New Orleans); XM: 383 (New York Jets), 229 (New Orleans)

Philadelphia at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711: Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman, Peter Schrager (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 134 (Philadelphia), 81 (New York Giants); XM: 382 (Philadelphia), 81 (New York Giants)

Arizona at Washington, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712: Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber, Kristina Pink (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 157 (Arizona), 146 (Washington); XM: 387 (Arizona), 227 (Washington)

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle, 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Pam Oliver (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 136 (Los Angeles Rams), 83 (Seattle); XM: 388 (Los Angeles Rams), 83 (Seattle)

New England at Pittsburgh, 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 93 (New England), 82 (Pittsburgh); XM: 380 (New England), 82 (Pittsburgh)

Tennessee at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton; SIRIUS: 138 (Tennessee), 81 (San Francisco); XM: 381 (Tennessee), 81 (San Francisco)

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

ATLANTA at Tampa Bay, 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN: Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: WestWood1: Kevin Harlan, Dan Fouts, Laura Okmin (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Atlanta), 83 (Tampa Bay); XM: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Atlanta), 83 (Tampa Bay)

Sunday and Monday Officials
Miami at Buffalo, 1 p.m.: Jerome Boger
Green Bay at Carolina, 1 p.m.: Craig Wrolstad
Baltimore at Cleveland, 1 p.m.: Clete Blakeman
Houston at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.: Carl Cheffers
Cincinnati at Minnesota, 1 p.m.: Walt Coleman
New York Jets at New Orleans, 1 p.m.: Ronald Torbert
Philadelphia at New York Giants, 1 p.m.: Brad Allen
Arizona at Washington, 1 p.m.: Pete Morelli
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle, 4:05 p.m.: Ed Hochuli
New England at Pittsburgh, 4:25 p.m.: Tony Corrente
Tennessee at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m.: John Parry
Dallas at Oakland, 8:30 p.m.: Gene Steratore
ATLANTA at Tampa Bay, 8:30 p.m. Monday: John Hussey

Sunday and Monday Odds (Home teams listed in CAPS)

Sunday’s Games

Favorite         Spread     Underdog          O/U
Philadelphia     –  7 1/2   NEW YORK GIANTS   40
CAROLINA         –  3       Green Bay         45
MINNESOTA        – 10 1/2   Cincinnati        42
BUFFALO          –  3 1/2   Miami             42
JACKSONVILLE     – 10 1/2   Houston           39
NEW ORLEANS      – 15       New York Jets     47
WASHINGTON       –  4 1/2   Arizona           43 1/2
Baltimore        –  7       CLEVELAND         40
SEATTLE          –  1 1/2   Los Angeles Rams  48
New England      –  2 1/2   PITTSBURGH        53 1/2
SAN FRANCISCO    –  2       Tennessee         44 1/2
Dallas           –  3       OAKLAND           45 1/2

Monday’s Game

Favorite         Spread     Underdog          O/U
Atlanta          –  6 1/2   TAMPA BAY         48

Sunday and Monday Injury Report

Sunday and Monday Weather
Miami at Buffalo, 1 p.m.: Mostly cloudy and 26 degrees
Green Bay at Carolina, 1 p.m.: Overcast and 51 degrees
Baltimore at Cleveland, 1 p.m.: Mostly cloudy and 36 degrees
Houston at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 72 degrees
Cincinnati at Minnesota, 1 p.m.: Game indoors
New York Jets at New Orleans, 1 p.m.: Game indoors
Philadelphia at New York Giants, 1 p.m.: Cloudy and 35 degrees
Arizona at Washington, 1 p.m.: Overcast and 50 degrees
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle, 4:05 p.m.: Overcast with a 40 percent chance of rain and 46 degrees
New England at Pittsburgh, 4:25 p.m.: Overcast and 40 degrees
Tennessee at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m.: Sunny and 62 degrees
Dallas at Oakland, 8:30 p.m.: Sunny and 62 degrees
ATLANTA at Tampa Bay, 8:30 p.m. Monday: Partly cloudy and 70 degrees

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

Two spots have been clinched.

Ten more remain and some could be clinched this weekend.

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

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

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

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

The Eagles will secure a first-round bye with a win and will claim home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win combined with a Minnesota loss. By winning the NFC East, Philadelphia has completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround and at least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons. The Vikings (10-3) will lock up the NFC North with a victory or losses by both Detroit and Green Bay. There are also various scenarios for Minnesota to advance to the postseason this week even if the Vikings lose. The Los Angeles Rams (9-4) can clinch a playoff berth with a win combined with losses by Atlanta, Detroit, Green Bay and New Orleans.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2017 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 15

AFC

CLINCHED: Pittsburgh – AFC North division title

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Jacksonville tie + Buffalo loss or tie OR

3.Jacksonville tie + Baltimore loss or tie OR

4. Buffalo loss + Baltimore loss  OR

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

NFC

CLINCHED: Philadelphia – NFC East division title

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

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

Philadelphia clinches a first-round bye with:

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

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

Minnesota clinches NFC North division title with:

1. Minnesota win or tie OR

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

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

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

Los Angeles Rams clinch a playoff berth with:

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

THE WEEK THAT WAS – WEEK 14

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

The Eagles, who finished in last place in the division in 2016, completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround. At least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons. Of the 45 teams in league history to go from “worst-to-first,” 22 of them have done so in the past 15 years (2003-17), including an NFL-record three such teams in 2005 and 2006.

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

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

SEASON – TEAM (RECORD; PRIOR SEASON RECORD)
2003 – Carolina (11-5; 7-9)
2003 – Kansas City (13-3; 8-8)**
2004 – Atlanta (11-5; 5-11)
2004 – San Diego (12-4; 4-12)
2005 – Chicago (11-5; 5-11)
2005 – New York Giants (11-5; 6-10)**
2005 – Tampa Bay (11-5; 5-11)
2006 – Baltimore (13-3; 6-10)**
2006 – New Orleans (10-6; 3-13)
2006 – Philadelphia (10-6; 6-10)
2007 – Tampa Bay (9-7; 4-12)
2008 – Miami (11-5; 1-15)
2009 – New Orleans (13-3; 8-8)***
2010 – Kansas City (10-6; 4-12)
2011 – Denver (8-8; 4-12)
2011 – Houston (10-6; 6-10)**
2012 – Washington (10-6; 5-11)
2013 – Carolina (12-4; 7-9)**
2013 – Philadelphia (10-6; 4-12)
2015 – Washington (9-7; 4-12)
2016 – Dallas (13-3; 4-12)
2017 – Philadelphia (11-2; 7-9)*
* Through Week 14
** Tied for last place
*** Won Super Bowl

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT TO LOOK FOR – WEEK 15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thomas, who faces the New York Jets this week, needs five receptions to join Odell Beckham, Jr. as the only players in NFL history to have at least 90 catches in each of their first two NFL seasons. Beckham (2014-16) reached 90+ receptions in each of his first three NFL seasons.

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

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

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

PLAYER (TEAMS)(CAREER PASS YARDS)
Peyton Manning (Indianapolis and Denver)(71,940)
Brett Favre (Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota)(71,838)^
Drew Brees (San Diego and New Orleans)(69,680)*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They meet again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tampa Bay (4-6) at ATLANTA (6-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709: Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth, Shannon Spake (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 134 (Tampa Bay), 137 (Atlanta); XM: 382 (Tampa Bay), 225 (Atlanta)

Cleveland (0-10) at Cincinnati (4-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton; SIRIUS: 108 (Cleveland), 121 (Cincinnati); XM: 384 (Cleveland), 226 (Cincinnati)

Tennessee (6-3) at Indianapolis (3-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 706: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 112 (Tennessee), 146 (Indianapolis); XM: 386 (Tennessee), 229 (Indianapolis)

Buffalo (5-5) at Kansas City (6-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Jamie Erdahl (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 132 (Buffalo), 81 (Kansas City); XM: 380 (Buffalo), 81 (Kansas City)

Miami (4-6) at New England (8-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 113 (Miami), 82 (New England); XM: 383 (Miami), 82 (New England)

Carolina (7-3) at New York Jets (4-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710: Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman, Peter Schrager (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 93 (Carolina), 133 (New York Jets); XM: 381 (Carolina), 227 (New York Jets)

Chicago (3-7) at Philadelphia (9-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Pam Oliver (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 135 (Chicago), 83 (Philadelphia); XM: 385 (Chicago), 83 (Philadelphia)

New Orleans (8-2) at Los Angeles Rams (8-2), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 712: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: WW1: Tom McCarthy, Brady Poppinga; SIRIUS: 134 (New Orleans), 82 (Los Angeles Rams); XM: 382 (New Orleans), 82 (Los Angeles Rams)

Seattle (6-4) at San Francisco (1-9), 4:05 p.m. on FOx and DirecTV 713:  Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber, Kristina Pink (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 113 (Seattle), 83 (San Francisco); XM: 383 (Seattle), 83 (San Francisco)

Jacksonville (7-3) at Arizona (4-6), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta; SIRIUS: 132  (Jacksonville), 81 (Arizona); XM: 380 (Jacksonville), 81 (Arizona)

Denver (3-7) at Oakland (4-6), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon; SIRIUS: 93 (Denver), 137 (Oakland); XM: 381 (Denver), 225 (Oakland)

Green Bay (5-5) at Pittsburgh (8-2), 8:30 p.m. on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: WestWood1: Kevin Kugler, Jason Taylor; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Green Bay), 83 (Pittsburgh); XM: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Green Bay), 83 (Pittsburgh)

Houston (4-6) at Baltimore (5-5), 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN: Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: WestWood1: Kevin Harlan, Boomer Esiason; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Houston), 83 (Baltimore); XM: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Houston), 83 (Baltimore)

Sunday and Monday Officials
Tampa Bay at ATLANTA, 1 p.m.: Jeff Triplette
Cleveland at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.: John Hussey
Tennessee at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.: Craig Wrolstad
Buffalo at Kansas City, 1 p.m.: Bill Vinovich
Miami at New England, 1 p.m.: Ronald Torbert
Carolina at New York Jets, 1 p.m.: Carl Cheffers
Chicago at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.: Walt Coleman
New Orleans at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m.: John Parry
Seattle at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.: Pete Morelli
Jacksonville at Arizona, 4:25 p.m.: Clete Blakeman
Denver at Oakland, 4:25 p.m.: Walt Anderson
Green Bay at Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m.: Ed Hochuli
Houston at Baltimore, 8:30 p.m. Monday: Brad Allen

Sunday and Monday Odds (Home Teams Listed In CAPS)

Sunday’s Games
Favorite               Spread        Underdog          O/U
ATLANTA                –  8 1/2      Tampa Bay         48 1/2
CINCINNATI             –  2 1/2      Cleveland         33
PHILADELPHIA           – 13 1/2      Chicago           44
NEW ENGLAND            – 16          Miami             47 1/2
KANSAS CITY            –  9 1/2      Buffalo           45
Carolina               –  5          NEW YORK JETS     40
Tennessee              –  3 1/2      INDIANAPOLIS      44
Seattle                –  6 1/2      SAN FRANCISCO     42
LOS ANGELES RAMS       –  2 1/2      New Orleans       53 1/2
Jacksonville           –  4 1/2      ARIZONA           38
OAKLAND                –  5          Denver            43 1/2
PITTSBURGH             – 14          Green Bay         41 1/2

Monday’s Game
Favorite               Spread        Underdog          O/U
BALTIMORE              –  7          Houston           38

Sunday and Monday Injury Report

Tampa Bay at ATLANTA, 1 p.m.

Tampa Bay
OUT: DE Robert Ayers (Concussion), CB Vernon Hargreaves (Hamstring), G Evan Smith (Concussion), QB Jameis Winston (Right Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: DE William Gholston (Neck)

Atlanta
OUT: T Tyler Sambrailo (Hamstring), RB Devonta Freeman (Concussion)

Cleveland at Cincinnati, 1 p.m

Cleveland
OUT: WR Sammie Coastes (Knee)
DOUBTFUL: S Derron Smith (Knee)

Cincinnati
OUT: LB Vincent Rey (Hamstring), S Shawn Williams (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Darqueze Dennard (Knee)

Tennessee at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.

Tennessee
QUESTIONABLE: WR Rishard Matthews (Hamstring)

Indianapolis
OUT: TE Darrell Daniels (Hamstring), DT Hassan Ridgeway (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: G Kyle Kalis (Knee)

Buffalo at Kansas City, 1 p.m.

Buffalo
OUT: T Cordy Glenn (Foot), G John Miller (Ankle), RB William Tolbert (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Kelvin Benjamin (Knee), TE Charles Clay (Knee), WR Jordan Matthews (Knee), WR Deonte Thompson (Ankle)

Kansas City
OUT: LB Terrance Smith (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Tamba Hali (Knee)

Miami at New England, 1 p.m.

Miami
OUT: G Jermon Bushrod (Foot), DE William Hayes (Back), QB Jay Cutler (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: S Maurice Smith (Illness), LB Stephone Anthony (Quadricep), T Laremy Tunsil (Illness)

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

Carolina at New York Jets, 1 p.m.

Carolina
QUESTIONABLE: CB Captain Munnerlyn (Illness), C Ryan Kalil (Neck), C Tyler Larsen (Foot)

New York Jets
QUESTIONABLE: RB Matt Forte (Knee), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (Foot), G Brian Winters (Abdomen)

Chicago at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.

Chicago
DOUBTFUL: S DeAndre Houston-Carson (Ankle), DE Roy Robertson-Harris (Hamstring), LB Danny Trevathan (Calf), WR Josh Bellamy (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Akiem Hicks (Knee), CB Bryce Callahan (Knee), T Thomas Compton (Ankle), WR Dontrelle Inman (Groin), G Kyle Long (Ankle), TE Dion Sims (Illness), DE Mitchell Unrein (Knee)

Philadelphia
QUESTIONABLE: DT Beau Allen (Knee), TE Lawrence Burton (Back)

New Orleans at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m.

New Orleans
OUT: CB Kenneth Crawley (Abdomen), CB Marshon Lattimore (Ankle)

Los Angeles Rams
OUT: RB Malcolm Brown (Knee)

Seattle at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m.

Seattle
OUT: G Oday Aboushi (Shoulder), S Kameron Chancellor (Neck), CB Shaquill Griffin (Concussion)
DOUBTFUL: RB Michael Davis (Groin)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Donell Alexander (Shoulder), T Duane Brown (Ankle), DE Dion Jordan (Neck), LB Bobby Wagner (Hamstring), TE Jimmy Graham (Ankle),  Luke Joeckel (Knee), DT Jarran Reed (Hamstring), LB Michael Wilhoite (Calf)

San Francisco
OUT: S Adrian Colbert (Thumb)
QUESTIONABLE: T Trenton Brown (Shoulder), RB Dominique Mostert (Shoulder), WR Trent Taylor (Ribs), DE Solomon Thomas (Knee)

Jacksonville at Arizona, 4:25 p.m.

Jacksonville
OUT: WR Allen Hurns (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: G Patrick Omameh (Quadricep), T Jermey Parnell (Knee), LB Donald Payne (Hamstring)

Arizona
OUT: WR John Brown (Toe), DT Corey Peters (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Brittan Golden (Groin), DT Josh Mauro (Ankle), RB Elijhaa Penny (Knee), S Johnathan Ford (Knee), QB Drew Stanton (Knee)

Denver at Oakland, 4:25 p.m.

Denver
QUESTIONABLE: DE Adam Gotsis (Ankle), DT Domata Peko (Illness), TE Jeff Heurman (Knee), LB Shane Ray (Wrist), WR Emmanuel Sanders (Ankle)

Oakland
OUT: CB David Amerson (Foot)
QUESTIONABLE: G Gabriel Jackson (Ankle), LB Cory James (Knee)

Green Bay at Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m.

Green Bay
QUESTIONABLE: G Lucas Patrick (Hand), CB Kelvin King (Shoulder), RB Devante Mays (Ankle)

Pittsburgh
OUT: CB Joseph Haden (Fibula), TE Vance McDonald (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: S Michael Mitchell (Ankle) Limited Participation in Practice Questionable

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

Houston
OUT: T Julien Davenport (Shoulder), WR William Fuller (Ribs), C Gregory Mancz (Shoulder)

Baltimore
OUT: G Jermaine Eluemunor (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Clinton Mosley (Ankle), CB James Smith (Achilles), T Austin Howard (Knee), T Ronnie Stanley (Concussion), RB Terrance West (Calf), LB Terrell Suggs (Ankle)

Sunday and Monday Weather Report
Tampa Bay at ATLANTA, 1 p.m.: Game Indoors; if roof is open, sunny and 59 degrees
Cleveland at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 45 degrees
Tennessee at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.: Game indoors; if roof is open, sunny and 44 degrees
Buffalo at Kansas City, 1 p.m.: Mostly sunny and 66 degrees
Miami at New England, 1 p.m.:  Partly cloudy and 44 degrees
Carolina at New York Jets, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 45 degrees
Chicago at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 46 degrees
New Orleans at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m.: Mostly sunny and 73 degrees
Seattle at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m.: Overcast with a 70 percent chance of rain and 64 degrees
Jacksonville at Arizona, 4:25 p.m.: Game indoors; if roof is open, sunny and 85 degrees
Denver at Oakland, 4:25 p.m.: Overcast with a 60 percent chance of rain and 61 degrees
Green Bay at Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m.: Clear and 36 degrees
Houston at Baltimore, 8:30 p.m. Monday: Clear and 48 degrees

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The players with the most receiving yards in NFL history:

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

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

The players with the most receptions in NFL history:

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

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

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

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

The players with the most passing yards in NFL history:

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

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

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

The players with the most rushing yards in NFL history:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 12.

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

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

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

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

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

That was round one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday and Monday Broadcast Information (All times Eastern)

Dallas at ATLANTA, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 93 (Dallas), 82 (Atlanta); XM: 382 (Dallas), 82 (Atlanta)

Cleveland at Detroit, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta; SIRIUS: 119 (Cleveland), 135 (Detroit);| XM: 387 (Cleveland), 228 (Detroit)

New York Jets at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon; SIRIUS: 133 (New York Jets), 121 (Tampa Bay); XM: 385 (New York Jets), 229 (Tampa Bay)

Pittsburgh at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Jamie Erdahl (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 132 (Pittsburgh), 81 (Indianapolis); XM: 381 (Pittsburgh), 81 (Indianapolis)

Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton; SIRIUS: 136 (Los Angeles Chargers), 157 (Jacksonville); XM: 383 (Los Angeles Chargers), 227 (Jacksonville)

Minnesota at Washington, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Pam Oliver (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: John Sadak, Mike Mayock; SIRIUS: 103 (Minnesota), 134 (Washington); XM: 386 (Minnesota), 225 (Washington)

Green Bay at Chicago, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710: Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman, Peter Schrager (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 113 (Green Bay), 83 (Chicago); XM: 380 (Green Bay), 83 (Chicago)

New Orleans at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711: Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber, Kristina Pink (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 112 (New Orleans), 82 (Buffalo); XM: 384 (New Orleans), 82 (Buffalo)

Cincinnati at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712: Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth, Shannon Spake (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 93 (Cincinnati), 146 (Tennessee); XM: 382 (Cincinnati), 226 (Tennessee)

Houston at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Lee, Brady Poppinga; SIRIUS: 132 (Houston), 81 (Los Angeles Rams); XM: 381 (Houston), 81 (Los Angeles Rams)

New York Giants at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin (Field reporter); SIRIUS: 133 (New York Giants), 83 (San Francisco); XM: 380 (New York Giants), 83 (San Francisco)

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

Miami at Carolina, 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN: Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters (Field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: WW1: Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner, Max Starks; SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Miami), 83 (Carolina); XM: 88 (WestWood1), 81 (Miami), 83 (Carolina)

Sunday and Monday Referees
Dallas at ATLANTA, 4:25 p.m.: Ed Hochuli
Cleveland at Detroit, 1 p.m.: Carl Cheffers
New York Jets at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.: Brad Allen
Pittsburgh at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.: Clete Blakeman
Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.: Ronald Torbert
Minnesota at Washington, 1 p.m.: Bill Vinovich
Green Bay at Chicago, 1 p.m.: Tony Corrente
New Orleans at Buffalo, 1 p.m.: Terry McAulay
Cincinnati at Tennessee, 1 p.m.: Jeff Triplette
Houston at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m.: Pete Morelli
New York Giants at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m.: Jerome Boger
New England at Denver, 8:30 p.m.: Walt Coleman
Miami at Carolina, 8:30 p.m. Monday: Gene Steratore

Sunday and Monday Odds (Home team in CAPS)

Sunday’s Games
Favorite                Spread       Underdog                 O/U
ATLANTA                 –  3         Dallas                   48 1/2
Minnesota               –  1 1/2     WASHINGTON               41 1/2
CHICAGO                 –  5 1/2     Green Bay                37 1/2
Pittsburgh              – 10         INDIANAPOLIS             45
JACKSONVILLE            –  4 1/2     Los Angeles Chargers     40 1/2
NEW YORK JETS           –  2 1/2     Tampa Bay                43 1/2
TENNESSEE               –  4 1/2     Cincinnati               40 1/2
New Orleans             –  3         BUFFALO                  47 1/2
DETROIT                 –  9 1/2     Cleveland                41
LOS ANGELES RAMS        – 12         Houston                  45 1/2
New York Giants         –  2 1/2     New York Giants          42
New England             –  7 1/2     DENVER                   44 1/2

Monday’s Game
Favorite                Spread       Underdog                 O/U
CAROLINA                –  9         Miami                    38 1/2

Sunday and Monday Injury Report

Dallas at Atlanta, 4:25 p.m.

Dallas

OUT: RB Ezekiel Elliott (Suspension), K Dan Bailey (Groin)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Dez Bryant (Knee), T Tyron Smith (Back), CB Chidobe Awuzie (Hamstring), DT Maliek Collins (Foot)

Atlanta
OUT: LB Duke Riley (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: G Andrew Levitre (Knee)

New Orleans at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

New Orleans
OUT: S Kenny Vaccaro (Groin)
QUESTIONABLE: T Terron Armstead (Chest), G Lawrence Warford (Abdomen)

Buffalo
OUT: T Cordy Glenn (Foot), WR Isaiah Jones (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Charles Clay (Knee), CB Edwin Gaines (Hamstring)

Green Bay at Chicago, 1 p.m.

Green Bay
OUT: T Bryan Bulaga (Knee), S Morgan Burnett (Groin), DT Quinton Dial (Chest)  Did Not Participate In Practice Out
QUESTIONABLE: TE Martellus Bennett (Shoulder), LB Ahmad Brooks (Back), G Justin McCray (Ankle), LB Joe Thomas (Ankle)

Chicago
QUESTIONABLE: CB Bryce Callahan (Knee), T Thomas Compton (Ankle), CB Sherrick McManis (Hamstring), DE Roy Robertson-Harris (Hamstring), TE Dion Sims (Illness), LB Danny Trevathan (Calf), G Kyle Long (Finger)

Cleveland at Detroit, 1 p.m.

Cleveland
QUESTIONABLE: DT Olumide Ogunjobi (Groin)

Detroit
OUT: G Thomas Lang (Concussion), LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (Ankle)
DOUBTFUL: DE Ezekiel Ansah (Back)
QUESTIONABLE: S Don Carey (Knee), WR Kenneth Golladay (Hamstring) Limited Participation in Practice Questionable

Pittsburgh at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.

Pittsburgh
OUT: LB James Harrison (Back)

Indianapolis
OUT: WR Kamar Aiken (Hamstring), LB John Simon (Neck)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Eugene Hilton (Groin), CB Quincy Wilson (Knee)

Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.

Los Angeles Chargers
QUESTIONABLE: T Joseph Barksdale (Foot), LB Hayes Pullard (Neck)

Jacksonville
QUESTIONABLE: G Aaron Cann (Triceps), WR Marqise Lee (Knee), G Patrick Omameh (Knee), T Jermey Parnell (Knee)

New York Jets at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

New York Jets
OUT: RB Matt Forte (Knee), DT Edward Stinson (Neck)
QUESTIONABLE: C Jonathan Harrison (Hand), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (Shoulder), CB Morris Claiborne (Foot), G Brian Winters (Abdomen)

Tampa Bay
OUT: DE William Gholston (Neck), QB Jameis Winston (Right Shoulder)
DOUBTFUL: CB Robert McClain (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Robert Ayers (Ankle), T Demar Dotson (Hamstring), T Donovan Smith (Knee), CB Brent Grimes (Shoulder), DT Gerald McCoy (Shoulder), G Justin Sweezy (Knee)

Cincinnati at Tennessee, 1 p.m.

Cincinnati
OUT: RB Jeremy Hill (Ankle), LB Kevin Minter (Elbow), DT Patrick Sims (Calf)
DOUBTFUL: S Shawn Williams (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: K Randol Bullock (Back)

Tennessee
OUT G Quinton Spain (Toe)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Delanie Walker (Ankle)

Minnesota at Washington, 1 p.m.

Minnesota
OUT: T Mike Remmers (Concussion), G Jeremiah Sirles (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Everson Griffen (Foot), S Anthony Harris (Hamstring), DE Stephen Weatherly (Knee)

Washington
OUT: DE Matthew Ioannidis (Hand), DT Arthur Jones (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Zach Brown (Ankle), TE Miles Paul (Concussion), T Trent Williams (Knee), WR Jamison Crowder (Hamstring), G
Shawn Lauvao (Stinger), C Spencer Long (Knee), T Morgan Moses (Ankle), S Montae Nicholson (Shoulder), T Attauyo Nsekhe (Core Muscle), WR Brian Quick (Concussion), TE Jordan Reed (Hamstring), G Brandon Scherff (Knee)

Houston at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m.

Houston
OUT: LB Dylan Cole (Hamstring), DE Joel Heath (Knee)

Los Angeles Rams
OUT: RB Malcolm Brown (Knee)
DOUBTFUL: TE Derek Carrier (Hamstring), LB Robert Quinn (Illness)

New York Giants at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m.

New York Giants
OUT: LB B.J. Goodson (Ankle), LB Devon Kennard (Quadricep), LB Keenan Robinson (Quadricep)
DOUBTFUL: CB Donte Deayon (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Jonathan Casillas (Neck), LB Calvin Munson (Quadricep), DE Olivier Vernon (Ankle), DE Kerry Wynn (Knee)

San Francisco
OUT: TE George Kittle (Ankle), LB Elijah Lee (Knee), WR Trent Taylor (Ribs), DE Aaron Lynch (Calf)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Solomon Thomas (Knee), CB K’Waun Williams (Quadricep)

New England at Denver, 8:30 p.m.

New England
OUT: DT Malcom Brown (Ankle), T Marcus Cannon (Ankle), WR Chris Hogan (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Danny Amendola (Knee), CB Stephon Gilmore (Concussion), DE Cassius Marsh (Shoulder), CB Nelson Rowe (Groin)

Denver
QUESTIONABLE: WR Emmanuel Sanders (Ankle), LB Todd Davis (Ankle), T Donald Stephenson (Calf)

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

Miami
QUESTIONABLE: S Michael Thomas (Knee), RB Damien Williams (Illness), LB Michael Hull (Shoulder), G Ted Larsen (Biceps), CB Bobby McCain (Hamstring), WR Jakeem Grant (Illness)

Carolina
OUT: C Ryan Kalil (Neck)

Sunday and Monday Weather
Dallas at ATLANTA, 4:25 p.m.: Game indoors; if roof is open, overcast with a 50 percent chance of showers and 48 degrees
Cleveland at Detroit, 1 p.m.:  Game indoors
New York Jets at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.: Mostly cloudy and 80 degrees
Pittsburgh at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.: Game indoors, if roof is open, overcast with a 40 percent chance of rain and 43 degrees
Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.: Mostly cloudy and 75 degrees
Minnesota at Washington, 1 p.m.: Mostly cloudy and 45 degrees
Green Bay at Chicago, 1 p.m.: Overcast and 42 degrees
New Orleans at Buffalo, 1 p.m.: Mostly cloudy and 45 degrees
Cincinnati at Tennessee, 1 p.m.: Overcast and 57 degrees
Houston at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m.: Mostly cloudy and 70 degrees
New York Giants at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m.: Sunny and 64 degrees
New England at Denver, 8:30 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 47 degrees
Miami at Carolina, 8:30 p.m. Monday: Clear and 52 degrees

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