Archives for category: Thursday Night Football

The NFL announced scheduling changes for Week 15 on Sunday, December 15. The Buffalo/Pittsburgh contest has moved from 1 p.m. on CBS to 8:20 p.m. on NBC, while the Minnesota/Los Angeles Chargers game has moved from 8:20 p.m. on NBC to 4:05 p.m. on CBS. The league also announced start times for the three Saturday games on the schedule for week 16.

The following are the updated Week 15 and 16 schedules (all times Eastern):

Week 15

Thursday, December 12
New York Jets at Baltimore, 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon

Sunday, December 15
ATLANTA at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Seattle at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX
New England at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on CBS
Tampa Bay at Detroit, 1 p.m. on FOX
Chicago at Green Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
Denver at Kansas City, 1 p.m. on CBS
Miami at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on CBS
Houston at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on CBS
Philadelphia at Washington, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cleveland at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Minnesota at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Jacksonville Jaguars at Oakland, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Rams at Dallas, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, December 16
Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

Week 16

Saturday, December 21
Houston at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on NFL Network
Buffalo at New England, 4:30 p.m. on NFL Network
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco, 8:15 p.m. on NFL Network

Sunday, December 22
Jacksonville at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on FOX
Baltimore at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on CBS
Carolina at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cincinnati at Miami, 1 p.m. on CBS
Pittsburgh at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS
New Orleans at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on FOX
New York Giants at Washington, 1 p.m. on FOX
Detroit at Denver, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Oakland at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Dallas at Philadelphia, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Arizona at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Kansas Cityat Chicago, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, December 23
Green Bay at Minnesota, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

Parades, Black Friday Sales, in-laws grousing about the food and picky eaters.

There’s always football on Thanksgiving.

This year, NFL fans will get a chance to shove food in their faces and watch football. The schedule makers have once again given football fans a pigskin buffet with not one, not two but three games on the tube.

How did all of this get started, you ask?

Glad you asked.

We’re about to explain it to you.

Pass the rolls, please.

In 1920, there were a total of six games that were played on Turkey Day. While we will never know who liked dark meat or light, we can tell you that the home teams that day did quite well, going four for six. The idea of professional football on Thanksgiving Day? It came as a way to make money and for the new league we know now as the National Football League a chance to get some recognition.

The NFL Historians and the good folks at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio tell us that the Chicago Bears introduced their newest star, Illinois RB Red Grange – “the Galloping Ghost” to a standing room-only crowd at Wrigley Field of 36,000 fans in a contest against their cross-town rivals the Chicago Cardinals. Even though the two teams fought to a 0-0 tie, they had their star, the league got its much-needed recognition and the rest, they say is history. Even though he got a black eye for his effort (probably from either being tackled or reaching for the mashed potatoes before the prayer was said), Grange tallied 92 yards rushing, 56 yards on punt returns, throwing six passes and had an interception to stop a Cardinals drive. Newspapers reported that he took home a whopping $12,000 for his day of work, most of which went to his manager C.C. “Cash and Carry” Pyle.

Grange would travel the nation over the next several months on a barn-storming tour. More than 400,000 spectators – from coast to coast – saw the fabled All-America from the University of Illinois display his athletic talents on the football field. With Grange as his star attraction, Pyle organized a rival league called the American Football League in 1926. Grange starred for the New York Yankees. While the Yankees had moderate success, the league failed. Grange rejoined the Bears in 1927 but suffered a serious knee injury that sidelined him through the entire 1928 season. He came back in 1929 and played with Chicago through 1934. While known as a runner, Grange was better as a defensive back. More importantly for the NFL, the name recognition of Red Grange was instrumental in attracting large crowds for the professional game. His signing with the Bears helped the league succeed and grow to a new level in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

As for the two major teams that play at home on Thanksgiving Day… Detroit and Dallas?

The Lions began playing on Turkey Day in 1934 when they played the Chicago Bears and lost to Da Bears by a final of 19-16. We’re still not sure who got the drumstick or if the Lions liked dark or white meat and we’re not even sure if the Bears liked gravy on their dressing. Detroit did find the win column the next year, as they would beat Chicago and gain some revenge, taking a 14-2 win.

The Lions and Bears (sorry, no tigers… oh my!) would play Chicago three more times from 1936 to 1938, when some guy named Hitler ruined the party and would eventually force America and the rest of the world into the Second World War. While America was out saving the world from a madman that was bent on killing 6 million people because of their religion, Thanksgiving Day football went into hibernation, plus it was kind of hard to throw a football when you’re trying to throw a grenade.

The war ended, Hilter’s dead (probably from overeating, if the Russians didn’t get him first), the Germans and Japanese are in the process of being punished for starting the Second World War and things did get back to normal in 1945 when the Lions once again took the stage, losing to the Cleveland Rams (yes, kids… the Rams were in Cleveland before they loaded up the truck and moved to Los Angeles and then to St. Louis before coming back to Tinseltown) by a 28-21 final. Things didn’t go well for Detroit for four more seasons (probably due to over-eating before, during and after the game) before beating up on the New York Yanks 49-14 in 1950.

Detroit will have played a grand total of 76 games on Thanksgiving Day and even when the team was bad, fans still come to the game. Why? Probably because their fathers brought their kids to the games and they in turn brought their kids. Even when the team was bad, fans still came out and to watch their team. Some came before they sat down to eat and some leaving early to get home to eat. While the Lions have been the home team on Thanksgiving, their opponents have changed from year to year and Detroit’s most common opponent is Green Bay. The second most common opponent? Da Bears.

There have been blowouts and there have been some really good games in the series. Have there been shutouts, you ask? Yes, just as sure as your aunt Grace is going to serve that orange and rum cheesecake for dessert. (Pack the Pepto, it’s gonna be a long day). Seven contests have been shutouts but the Lions only have won one contest where they did the deed, a 24-0 win over Chicago in 1979 and three games have gone into overtime (think of it as going for seconds of your sister’s mashed potatoes). The first overtime contest took place in 1980, when Chicago beat Detroit 23-17 on a 95-yard kickoff return by David Williams. The last overtime game in the series was in 2017 against Houston, as the Texans would win it on a 32-yard field goal by kicker Shanyne Graham.

As for the Cowboys… America’s Team didn’t make it onto the Thanksgiving Day Stage until 1966, when their first contest took place in the Cotton Bowl against the St. Louis Cardinals. They won that contest 46-21 in the Lone Star State that day. The Cowboys have always played their games later in the afternoon. Think of it as dessert after you’ve cleaned your plate while being forced to sit at the kids’ table with your ugly cousin Terri (although she’s gotten a lot better looking lately and is about to go off to college next year). They started out winning their first six contests before finally losing to San Francisco in 1972. The only year America’s Team did not grace the nation’s TV screens was in 1975 but they came back the following year before skipping the 1977 season but returned the following year and they’ve been with us ever since… think of that really bad gravy your cousin Marge made three years ago. It’s that bad (we’re speaking of the gravy, not the football). The Cowboys have played 45 games on Thanksgiving, winning 30 of them with 15 losses.

Is this the end of football on Turkey Day? Far from it. In 2006, the NFL decided that if two games on Thanksgiving Day were good, then three must be great and that was the case when they when prime time for football fans. It’s like going back and making a turkey and ham sandwich with cranberry sauce as a snack.

2019 will give football fans three chances to watch as much football and shove as much food in their faces as they can do so (use your common sense when eating, no elbows on the table and watch out for your cousin Connie. She’s the one that turned 57, dates a 42-year old football coach and once wiped out your Super Bowl party last year by eating an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?” The girl’s a bottomless pit!).

Food and football. The NFL and Thanksgiving. The only other holiday that joins food and football is Super Bowl Sunday (which technically is not a holiday but some think it should be). It seems that the powers that run the National Football League knows what they’re doing. Mind your manners, no belching at the table and try not to cheer with your mouth full, k?

Here’s a history of football on Thanksgiving (source: the National Football League; home teams in CAPS)

November 25, 1920
AKRON PROS 7, Canton Bulldogs 0
Decatur Staleys 6, CHICAGO TIGERS 0
ELYRIA (Ohio) ATHLETICS* 0, Columbus Panhandles 0
DAYTON TRIANGLES 28, Detroit Heralds 0
CHICAGO BOOSTERS* 27, Hammond Pros 0
All-Tonawanda (New York) 14, ROCHESTER JEFFERSONS 3
* Non league team. Games between league teams and non league teams counted in standings in 1920.

November 24, 1921
Canton Bulldogs 14, AKRON PROS 0
Buffalo All-Americans 7, CHICAGO STALEYS 6

November 30, 1922
Buffalo All-Americans 21, ROCHESTER JEFFERSONS 0
CHICAGO CARDINALS 6, Chicago Bears 0
RACINE LEGION 3, Milwaukee Badgers 0
Oorang Indians 18, COLUMBUS PANHANDLES 6
CANTON BULLDOGS 14, Akron Pros 0

November 29, 1923
CANTON BULLDOGS 28, Toledo Maroons 0
CHICAGO BEARS 3, Chicago Cardinals 0
GREEN BAY PACKERS 19, Hammond Pros 0
Milwaukee Badgers 16, RACINE LEGION 0
AKRON PROS 2, Buffalo All-Americans 0

November 27, 1924
AKRON PROS 22, Buffalo Bisons 0
Chicago Bears 21, CHICAGO CARDINALS 0
FRANKFORD YELLOWJACKETS 32, Dayton Triangles 7
CLEVELAND BULLDOGS 53, Milwaukee Badgers 10 (at Canton, Ohio)
Green Bay Packers 17, KANSAS CITY BLUES 6

November 26, 1925
CHICAGO BEARS 0, Chicago Cardinals 0
Kansas City Cowboys 17, CLEVELAND BULLDOGS 0 (at Hartford, Connecticut)
Rock Island Independents 6, DETROIT PANTHERS 3
POTTSVILLE MAROONS 31, Green Bay Packers 0

November 25, 1926
New York Giants 17, BROOKLYN LIONS 0
Los Angeles Buccaneers 9, DETROIT PANTHERS 6
CHICAGO BEARS 0, Chicago Cardinals 0
FRANKFORD YELLOWJACKETS 20, Green Bay Packers 14
POTTSVILLE MAROONS 8, Providence Steam Roller 0
CANTON BULLDOGS 0, Akron Pros 0

November 24, 1927
Chicago Cardinals 3, CHICAGO BEARS 0
POTTSVILLE MAROONS 6, Providence Steam Roller 0
Green Bay Packers 17, FRANKFORD YELLOWJACKETS 9
Cleveland Bulldogs 30, NEW YORK YANKEES 19

November 29, 1928
Providence Steam Roller 7, POTTSVILLE MAROONS 0
DETROIT WOLVERINES 33, Dayton Triangles 0
FRANKFORD YELLOWJACKETS 2, Green Bay Packers 0
CHICAGO BEARS 34, Chicago Cardinals 0

November 28, 1929
New York Giants 21, STATEN ISLAND STAPLETONS 7
FRANKFORD YELLOWJACKETS 0, Green Bay Packers 0
Chicago Cardinals 40, CHICAGO BEARS 6

November 27, 1930
STATEN ISLAND STAPLETONS 7, New York Giants 6
BROOKLYN DODGERS 33, Providence Steam Roller 12
Green Bay Packers 25, FRANKFORD YELLOWJACKETS 7
CHICAGO BEARS 6, Chicago Cardinals 0

November 26, 1931
Green Bay Packers 38, PROVIDENCE STEAM ROLLER 7
STATEN ISLAND STAPLETONS 9, New York Giants 6
CHICAGO BEARS 18, Chicago Cardinals 7

November 24, 1932
CHICAGO BEARS 34, Chicago Cardinals 0
Green Bay Packers 7, BROOKLYN DODGERS 0
STATEN ISLAND STAPLETONS 13, New York Giants 13

November 30, 1933 Chicago Bears 22, CHICAGO CARDINALS 6
New York Giants 10, BROOKLYN DODGERS 0

November 29, 1934
CHICAGO CARDINALS 6, Green Bay Packers 0
Chicago Bears 19, DETROIT LIONS 16
New York Giants 27, BROOKLYN DODGERS 0

November 28, 1935
New York Giants 21, BROOKLYN DODGERS 0
CHICAGO CARDINALS 9, Green Bay Packers 7
DETROIT LIONS 14, Chicago Bears 2

November 26, 1936
DETROIT LIONS 13, Chicago Bears 7
New York Giants 14, BROOKLYN DODGERS 0

November 25, 1937
Chicago Bears 13, DETROIT LIONS 0
BROOKLYN DODGERS 13, New York Giants 13

November 24, 1938 DETROIT LIONS 14, Chicago Bears 7
BROOKLYN DODGERS 7, New York Giants 7

November 23, 1939#
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 17, Pittsburgh Steelers 14

November 28, 1940#
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 7, Pittsburgh Steelers 0

# In 1939 and 1940, President Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving one week earlier. Various states celebrated on the date declared by the President, while other states recognized the traditional fourth Thursday of the month. In 1941, Thanksgiving was sanctioned by Congress to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, which it has been ever since.

November 22, 1945
Cleveland Rams 28, DETROIT LIONS 21

November 28, 1946
Boston Yanks 34, DETROIT LIONS 10

November 27, 1947
Chicago Bears 34, DETROIT LIONS 14

November 25, 1948
Chicago Cardinals 28, DETROIT LIONS 14

November 24, 1949
Chicago Bears 28, DETROIT LIONS 7

November 23, 1950
DETROIT LIONS 49, New York Yanks 14
Pittsburgh Steelers 28, CHICAGO CARDINALS 17

November 22, 1951
DETROIT LIONS 52, Green Bay Packers 35

November 27, 1952
DETROIT LIONS 48, Green Bay Packers 24
DALLAS TEXANS 27, Chicago Bears 23 (at Akron, Ohio)

November 26, 1953
DETROIT LIONS 34, Green Bay Packers 15

November 25, 1954
DETROIT LIONS 28, Green Bay Packers 24

November 24, 1955
DETROIT LIONS 24, Green Bay Packers 10

November 22, 1956
Green Bay Packers 24, DETROIT LIONS 20

November 28, 1957
DETROIT LIONS 18, Green Bay Packers 6

November 27, 1958
DETROIT LIONS 24, Green Bay Packers 14

November 26, 1959
Green Bay Packers 24, DETROIT LIONS 17

November 24, 1960
DETROIT LIONS 23, Green Bay Packers 10
(AFL) – NEW YORK TITANS 41, Dallas Texans 35

November 23, 1961
Green Bay Packers 17, DETROIT LIONS 9
(AFL) – NEW YORK TITANS 21, Buffalo Bills 14

November 22, 1962
DETROIT LIONS 26, Green Bay Packers 14
(AFL) – New York Titans 46, DENVER BRONCOS 45

November 28, 1963
DETROIT LIONS 13, Green Bay Packers 13
(AFL) – Oakland Raiders 26, DENVER BRONCOS 10

November 26, 1964
Chicago Bears 27, DETROIT LIONS 24
(AFL) – Buffalo Bills 27, SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 24

November 25, 1965
DETROIT LIONS 24, Baltimore Colts 24
(AFL) – SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 20, Buffalo Bills 20

November 24, 1966
San Francisco 49ers 41, DETROIT LIONS 14
DALLAS COWBOYS 26, Cleveland Browns 14
(AFL) – Buffalo Bills 31, OAKLAND RAIDERS 10

November 23, 1967
Los Angeles Rams 31, DETROIT LIONS 7
DALLAS COWBOYS 46, St. Louis Cardinals 21
(AFL) – Oakland Raiders 44, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 22
(AFL) – SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 24, Denver Broncos 20

November 28, 1968
Philadelphia Eagles 12, DETROIT LIONS 0
DALLAS COWBOYS 29, Washington Redskins 20
(AFL) – OAKLAND RAIDERS 13, Buffalo Bills 10
(AFL) – KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 24, Houston Oilers 10

November 27, 1969
Minnesota Vikings 27, DETROIT LIONS 0
DALLAS COWBOYS 24, San Francisco 49ers 24
(AFL) – KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 31, Denver Broncos 17
(AFL) – San Diego Chargers 21, HOUSTON OILERS 17

November 26, 1970
DETROIT LIONS 28, Oakland Raiders 14
DALLAS COWBOYS 16, Green Bay Packers 3

November 23, 1972
DETROIT LIONS 37, New York Jets 20
San Francisco 49ers 31, DALLAS COWBOYS 10

November 22, 1973
Washington Redskins 20, DETROIT LIONS 0
Miami Dolphins 14, DALLAS COWBOYS 7

November 28, 1974
Denver Broncos 31, DETROIT LIONS 27
DALLAS COWBOYS 24, Washington Redskins 23

November 27, 1975
Los Angeles Rams 20, DETROIT LIONS 0
Buffalo Bills 32, ST. LOUIS CARDINALS 14

November 25, 1976
DETROIT LIONS 27, Buffalo Bills 14
DALLAS COWBOYS 19, St. Louis Cardinals 14

November 24, 1977
Chicago Bears 31, DETROIT LIONS 14
Miami Dolphins 55, ST. LOUIS CARDINALS 14

November 23, 1978
DETROIT LIONS 17, Denver Broncos 14
DALLAS COWBOYS 37, Washington Redskins 10

November 22, 1979
DETROIT LIONS 20, Chicago Bears 0
Houston Oilers 30, DALLAS COWBOYS 24

November 27, 1980
Chicago Bears 23, DETROIT LIONS 17 (OT)
DALLAS COWBOYS 51, Seattle Seahawks 7

November 26, 1981
DETROIT LIONS 27, Kansas City Chiefs 10
DALLAS COWBOYS 10, Chicago Bears 9

November 25, 1982
New York Giants 13, DETROIT LIONS 6
DALLAS COWBOYS 31, Cleveland Browns 14

November 24, 1983
DETROIT LIONS 45, Pittsburgh Steelers 3
DALLAS COWBOYS 35, St. Louis Cardinals 17

November 22, 1984
DETROIT LIONS 31, Green Bay Packers 28
DALLAS COWBOYS 20, New England Patriots 17

November 28, 1985
DETROIT LIONS 31, New York Jets 20
DALLAS COWBOYS 35, St. Louis Cardinals 17

November 27, 1986
Green Bay Packers 44, DETROIT LIONS 40
Seattle Seahawks 31, DALLAS COWBOYS 14

November 26, 1987
Kansas City Chiefs 27, DETROIT LIONS 20
Minnesota Vikings 44, DALLAS COWBOYS 38 (OT)

November 24, 1988
Minnesota Vikings 23, DETROIT LIONS 0
Houston Oilers 25, DALLAS COWBOYS 17

November 23, 1989
DETROIT LIONS 13, Cleveland Browns 10
Philadelphia Eagles 27, DALLAS COWBOYS 0

November 22, 1990
DETROIT LIONS 40, Denver Broncos 27
DALLAS COWBOYS 27, Washington Redskins 17

November 28, 1991
DETROIT LIONS 16, Chicago Bears 6
DALLAS COWBOYS 20, Pittsburgh Steelers 10

November 26, 1992
Houston Oilers 24, DETROIT LIONS 21
DALLAS COWBOYS 30, New York Giants 3

November 25, 1993
Chicago Bears 10, DETROIT LIONS 6
Miami Dolphins 16, DALLAS COWBOYS 14

November 24, 1994
DETROIT LIONS 35, Buffalo Bills 21
DALLAS COWBOYS 42, Green Bay Packers 31

November 23, 1995
DETROIT LIONS 44, Minnesota Vikings 38
DALLAS COWBOYS 24, Kansas City Chiefs 12

November 28, 1996
Kansas City Chiefs 28, DETROIT LIONS 24
DALLAS COWBOYS 21, Washington Redskins 10

November 27, 1997
DETROIT LIONS 55, Chicago Bears 20
Tennessee Titans 27, DALLAS COWBOYS 14

November 26, 1998
DETROIT LIONS 19, Pittsburgh Steelers 16 (OT)
Minnesota Vikings 46, DALLAS COWBOYS 36

November 25, 1999
DETROIT LIONS 21, Chicago Bears 17
DALLAS COWBOYS 20, Miami Dolphins 0

November 23, 2000
DETROIT LIONS 34, New England Patriots 9
Minnesota Vikings 27, DALLAS COWBOYS 15

November 22, 2001
Green Bay Packers 29, DETROIT LIONS 27
Denver Broncos 26, DALLAS COWBOYS 24

November 28, 2002
New England Patriots 20, DETROIT LIONS 12
DALLAS COWBOYS 27, Washington Redskins 20

November 27, 2003
DETROIT LIONS 22, Green Bay Packers 14
Miami Dolphins 40, DALLAS COWBOYS 21

November 25, 2004
Indianapolis Colts 41, DETROIT LIONS 9
DALLAS COWBOYS 21, Chicago Bears 7

November 24, 2005
Atlanta Falcons 27, DETROIT LIONS 7
Denver Broncos 24, DALLAS COWBOYS 21 (OT)

November 23, 2006
Miami Dolphins 27, DETROIT LIONS 10
DALLAS COWBOYS 38, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 19, Denver Broncos 10

November 22, 2007
Green Bay Packers 37, DETROIT LIONS 26
DALLAS COWBOYS 34, New York Jets 3
Indianapolis Colts 31, ATLANTA FALCONS 13

November 27, 2008
Tennessee Titans 47, DETROIT LIONS 10
DALLAS COWBOYS 34, Seattle Seahawks 9
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 48, Arizona Cardinals 20

November 26, 2009
Green Bay Packers 34, DETROIT LIONS 12
DALLAS COWBOYS 24, Oakland Raiders 7
DENVER BRONCOS 26, New York Giants 6

November 25, 2010
New England Patriots 45, DETROIT LIONS 24
New Orleans Saints 30, DALLAS COWBOYS 27
NEW YORK JETS 26, Cincinnati Bengals 10

November 24, 2011
Green Bay Packers 27, DETROIT LIONS 15
DALLAS COWBOYS 20, Miami Dolphins 19
BALTIMORE RAVENS 16, San Francisco 49ers 6

November 22, 2012
Houston Texans 34, DETROIT LIONS 31 (OT)
Washington Redskins 38, DALLAS COWBOYS 31
New England Patriots 49, NEW YORK JETS 19

November 28, 2013
DETROIT LIONS 40, Green Bay Packers 10
DALLAS COWBOYS 31, Oakland Raiders 24
BALTIMORE RAVENS 22, Pittsburgh Steelers 20

November 27, 2014
DETROIT LIONS 34, Chicago Bears 17
Philadelphia Eagles 33, DALLAS COWBOYS 10
Seattle Seahawks 19, SAN FRANCISCO 49ers 3

November 26, 2015
DETROIT LIONS 45, Philadelphia Eagles 14
Carolina Panthers 33, DALLAS COWBOYS 14
Chicago Bears 17, GREEN BAY PACKERS 13

November 24, 2016
DETROIT LIONS 16, Minnesota Vikings 13
DALLAS COWBOYS 31, Washington Redskins 26
Pittsburgh Steelers 28, INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 7

November 23, 2017
Minnesota Vikings 30, DETROIT LIONS 23
Los Angeles Chargers 28, DALLAS COWBOYS 6
WASHINGTON REDSKINS 20, New York Giants 10

November 22, 2018
Chicago Bears 23, DETROIT LIONS 16
DALLAS COWBOYS 31, Washington Redskins 23
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 31, Atlanta Falcons 17

Thanksgiving Day standings Of current NFL franchises. While this includes American Football League (AFL) games, it does not include All-America Football Conference (AAFC) games.

Team (Last Game; W-L-T, Pct.)
Arizona (2008; 6-15-2, .304) (a)
ATLANTA (2018; 1-2-0, .333)
Baltimore (2013; 2-0-0, 1.000)
Buffalo (1994; 3-4-1, .438) (b)
Carolina (2015; 1-0-0, 1.000)
Chicago (2018; 18-15-2, .543) (c)
Cincinnati (2010; 0-1-0, .000)
Cleveland (1989; 0-3-0, .000) (d)
Dallas (2018; 31-19-1, .618)
Denver (2009; 4-7-0, .364)
Detroit (2018; 37-40-2, .481)
Green Bay (2015; 14-20-2, .417)
Houston (2012; 1-0-0, 1.000)
Indianapolis (2016; 2-1-1, .625) (e)
Jacksonville (Never; 0-0-0, .000) (f)
Kansas City (2006; 5-5-0, .500) (g)
Los Angeles Chargers (2017; 3-1-1; .700) (h)
Los Angeles Rams (1975; 3-1-0, .750) (i)
Miami (2011; 5-2-0, .714)
Minnesota (2017; 6-2-0, .750)
New England (2012; 3-2-0, .600)
New Orleans (2018; 2-0-0, 1.000)
New York Giants (2017; 7-5-3, .567)
New York Jets (2012; 4-4-0, .500)(j)
Oakland (2013; 3-4-0, .429)
Philadelphia (2015; 6-1-0, .857)
Pittsburgh 2016 2 6 0 .250
San Francisco 2014 2 2 1 .500 (k)
Seattle (2014; 2-2-0, .500)
Tampa Bay (2006; 0-1-0, .000)
Tennessee (2008; 5-2-0, .714) (l)
Washington (2018; 3-8-0, .273)

Key
(a) Chicago Cardinals (1920–1959), St. Louis Cardinals (1960–1987), Phoenix Cardinals (1988–1993)
(b) Does not include 1–0 record of unrelated AAFC team of same name
(c) Decatur Staleys (1920), Chicago Staleys (1921)
(d) Does not include 3–0 record when team was a member of the AAFC
(e) Baltimore Colts (1953–1983)
(f) Only active franchise to have never played on Thanksgiving
(g) Dallas Texans (1960–1962), does not include 1–0 record of unrelated NFL Dallas Texans
(h) San Diego Chargers (1961–2016)
(i) Cleveland Rams (1937–1945), does not include 1936 AFL’s Cleveland Rams
(j) New York Titans (1960–1962)
(k) Does not include 1–0 record when team was a member of the AAFC
(l) Houston Oilers (1960–1996), Tennessee Oilers (1997–1998)

Thanksgiving Day records of defunct teams (League teams only, since 1920.)
Team (W-L-T, Pct.)
Frankford Yellow Jackets (2-0, 1.000) (Defunct in 1931)
New York Yankees* (2-0, 1.000) (Defunct in 1949)
Pottsville Maroons (2-0, 1.000 (Defunct in 1928)
Boston Yanks (1-0, 1.000) (Defunct in 1948)
Buffalo Bills* (1-0, 1.000) (Defunct in 1949) (a)
Dallas Texans (1-0, 1.000) (Defunct – 1952) (b)
Los Angeles Buccaneers (1-0, 1.000) (Defunct in 1926)
Oorang Indians (1-0, 1.000) (Defunct – 1923)
Rock Island Independents (1-0, 1.000) (Defunct in 1925)
All-Tonawanda Lumberjacks (1-0, 1.000) (Defunct in 1921)
Akron Pros (3-1-1, .700) (Defunct in 1926)
Buffalo Bisons (1-1-1, .500; Buffalo All-Americans (1920–1923) (Defunct in 1929)
Canton Bulldogs (1-1-1, .500) (Defunct in 1926)
Cleveland Bulldogs (1-1, .500)(Defunct in 1927)
Dayton Triangles (1-1, .500) (Defunct in 1929)
Kansas City Cowboys (1-1, .500; Kansas City Blues (1924)(Defunct in 1926)
Milwaukee Badgers (1-1, .500 (Defunct in 1926)
Brooklyn Lions (0-1, .000) (Defunct in 1926)
Chicago Tigers (0-1, .000) (Defunct in 1920)
Detroit Heralds (0-1, .000) (Defunct in 1920)
New York Yanks (0-1, .000) (Defunct in 1950)
Providence Steam Roller (0-1, .000) (Defunct in 1931)
Racine Legion (0-1, .000) (Defunct in 1926)
Toledo Maroons (0-1, .000) (Defunct in 1923)
Brooklyn Dodgers* (0-2, .000) (Defunct in 1949)
Chicago Hornets* (0-2, .000; Chicago Rockets (1946–1948) (Defunct in 1949)
Columbus Panhandles (0-2, .000) (Defunct in 1926)
Detroit Panthers (0-2, .000) (Defunct in 1926)
Hammond Pros (0-2, .000) (Defunct in 1926)
Rochester Jeffersons (0-2, .000) (Defunct in 1925)
Los Angeles Dons* (0-3, .000) (Defunct in 1949)
*All-America Football Conference team.

(a) unrelated to current NFL team with this name
(b) does not count AFL’s Dallas Texans, which are now the Kansas City Chiefs

The last currently active franchise to have never played on Thanksgiving through 2018 is the Jacksonville Jaguars, who joined the league in 1995.

An idiosyncrasy in the NFL’s current scheduling formula, which has been in effect in its basic form since 2002, effectively prevented teams from the AFC North from playing the Lions or Cowboys on Thanksgiving, as the formula had the AFC North playing in Dallas or Detroit in years when the other team was slated to play the AFC game on Thanksgiving. These teams, under the television contracts in place at the time, could only play in the third (night) game. With the changes in the scheduling practices in 2014, the division is no longer barred from participating in the game (since both CBS and Fox can choose teams from either conference; because of the idiosyncrasy, the AFC North team would, if chosen, always play on Fox). In practice, the changes have led to fewer AFC games, as the league has regularly scheduled the Lions and Cowboys’ division rivals for the contests so that ratings are maximized; eight out of the twelve Thanksgiving games involving the Lions or Cowboys since 2014 have involved a team in the same division, while only two (a 2017 contest between the Cowboys and Los Angeles Chargers and a 2019 contest between the Cowboys and Buffalo Bills) have involved the AFC.

The Los Angeles Rams have the longest active appearance drought of any team, with their last appearance coming in 1975. Among current NFL markets, Cleveland has had the longest wait to have a team from its city play on Thanksgiving; the Browns last appeared in 1989, several years before suspending operations in 1995 and have not appeared in the game since rejoining the league as an expansion team in 1999.

Since 2010, several appearance droughts have ended. New Orleans, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Houston, and Carolina all played their first Thanksgiving games during this time frame. San Francisco likewise played their first Thanksgiving game since 1972 in 2011 and the Los Angeles Chargers, who last played on the holiday in 1969 (while the team was still an AFL franchise in San Diego) before actually joining the league, appeared for the first time as an NFL member in 2017.

Indianapolis (6-4) at Houston (6-4), 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon. A pair of AFC South rivals, tied for first in the division, open play in week 12 as Houston hosts the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium.

Indianapolis comes into the Thursday night contest with a 33-13 win at home against Jacksonville under their belts. After Jacksonville’s D.J. Chark gave them a 7-0 lead in the first, the Colts evened things up with 35 seconds left in the quarter on a 13-yard run by RB Marlon Mack. Indianapolis then broke the tie on a 34-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri to take a 10-3 lead with them to the intermission, then scored 14 third quarter points unchallenged and added a 7-yard TD run by Nyheim Hines to widen the deficit. Jacksonville would score again late in the contest when Chark scored on a 20-yard TD toss from Nick Foles but the Colts then proceeded to add insult to injury when rookie LB Bobby Okereke scored on a defensive 2-point conversion to close things out.

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

The Texans were taken to task by Lamar Jackson and Baltimore Sunday afternoon in Charm City, as the Ravens manhandled Houston 41-7. After a scoreless first quarter at M&T Bank Stadium, the Ravens took a 14-0 lead with them to the break and scored 13 more points in the third quarter unchallenged as they would lead 27-0 after three quarters of play. Houston ended Baltimore’s bid for a shutout when RB Carlos Hyde scored from a yard away early in the fourth quarter. Baltimore outrushed the Texans 263-122 and Hyde led the Texans with 65 yards while Baltimore’s Gus Edwards led all rushers with 112 yards and a TD. Jackson burned Houston for 222 yards with four TDs and a sack and no interceptions, while DeShaun Watson threw for 169 yards with an interception and six sacks. Houston went 2 of 10 on third down tries (they were 1 of 4 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:41, while the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 36:19, going 5 for 9 on thrid down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The Thursday contest in the Lone Star State is a rematch of their week seven meeting in the Hoosier State, where the Colts came away 30-23 winners. The Colts led 14-9 at the half at Lucas Oil Stadium, then increased that lead to 21-9 early in the third quarter before the Texans would eventually make the contest a 5-point contest before Indianapolis restored order when WR Zach Pascal got himself a sack in the end zone for a safety.

Houston outrushed the Colts 100-62 with Brissett throwing for 326 yards and four TDS without an interception (he was sacked once; Pascal had six catches for 106 and a pair of TDs), while Watson threw for 308 yards and a TD, with three sacks and a pair of interceptions. The Colts were 8 of 16 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down conversions) and were the rulers of time, keeping the ball for 32:52, while the Texans held on to the pigskin for 27:08 and went 4 of 12 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

In the week seven contest, the Colts were favored by 1 and covered the spread, winning by 7 and both teams took care of the 47 1/2 over/under with 53 total points. This time, Houston’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 45. Houston and Indianapolis, both tied for first in the AFC South, are in survival mode with the winner having an upper hand on the divison, while the loser can look forward to at best being a Wild Card team. Houston gets their revenge Thursday night in the Lone Star State, taking the win and covering the 3 1/2.

Broadcast Information – Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (field reporter), Kristina Pink (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Tom McCarthy, Tony Boselli; SIRIUS: 81 (Indianapolis), 83 (Houston); XM: 225 (Indianapolis), 226 (Houston)

Referee: Ronald Torbert

Injury Report

Indianapolis
OUT: RB Marlon Mack (Hand), CB Shakial Taylor (Ankle), S Khari Willis (Concussion), WR Parris Campbell (Hand)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Eric Ebron (Ankle), WR T.Y. Hilton (Calf) CB Abdurrahman Ya-Sin (Ankle), TE Mo Alie-Cox (Thumb)

Houston
OUT: CB Lonnie Johnson (Ankle), S Justin Reid (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: S Tashaun Gipson (Back), RB Bradley Roby (Hamstring)

Weather: Game indoors; if roof is open, cloudy and 72 degrees

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

And then there were none.

If you were hearing champange corks from south Florida Monday night, it’s because the last undefeated team lost Monday night in Santa Clara. There are no more unbeaten teams in the National Football League, so that means that the 1973 Miami Dolphins are safe for another year. Seattle took care of their NFC West rivals in overtime Monday night in Santa Clara, edging the 49ers 24-21. Yes, the Seahawks were Jimmy Stewart and the 49ers? They were Liberty Valance.

As for the rest of the season? To quote Sonny and Cher, “the beat goes on.” Week 10 is in the books. The weather’s turning a little colder, the leaves are turning color a little faster and football continues. Nothing’s been decided and everyone still has a chance to make the post-season, even the Bengals. 18 of the 32 NFL teams are at .500 or better going into play and at the end of the season, 12 of 32 will be fighting to either get another Lombardi Trophy or get one of their own. Winning puts you one step closer, while losing doesn’t knock you out but makes your task a little harder.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK 10: Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson completed 15 of 17 pass attempts (88.2 percent) for three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 158.3 rating, the highest attainable mark and added a career-long 47-yard touchdown run in the Ravens’ 49-13 win over Cincinnati.

Jackson, who also had a 158.3 rating in Week 1, became the second quarterback to record a passer rating of 158.3 (minimum 10 attempts) in multiple games within a single season in NFL history, joining Ben Roethlisberger (two games in 2007).

Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters had an 89-yard interception return for a touchdown in the win. Along with Peters’ 67-yard interception return for a touchdown in Week 7 and Marlon Humphrey’s 70-yard fumble recovery touchdown in Week 9, Baltimore is the first team since 1970 to record a defensive touchdown of at least 65 yards in three consecutive games.

Peters has returned six interceptions for touchdowns in his five-year career, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer LEM BARNEY (six) for the second-most by a player in his first five seasons in league annals. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Ken Houston (nine) had more.

New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones had 308 yards and four touchdowns while Arizona rookie quarterback KYLER MURRAY passed for 324 yards and three touchdowns with one interception in Week 10.

With Jones and Murray, Week 10 of the 2019 season is the first week in which two rookie quarterbacks each recorded at least 300 passing yards and three touchdown passes in NFL history.

Jones, who also had four touchdown passes in Week 8, is the fifth rookie quarterback with at least two games of four touchdown passes in NFL history, joining Robert Griffin III (two games in 2012), Marcus Mariota (two in 2015), Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton (three in 1961) and DeShaun Watson (three in 2017).

Making his 10th career start, Arizona rookie quarterback Kyler Murray threw three touchdown passes to wide receiver ChristianKirk in the Cardinals’ Week 10 loss.

From Week 4 to Week 10, Murray attempted 211 consecutive passes without an interception, surpassing Derek Carr (176 attempts in 2014) and Dak Prescott (176 in 2016) for the longest streak of consecutive pass attempts without an interception by a rookie quarterback in NFL history.

Murray, who has 2,553 passing yards and 351 rushing yards in his first 10 starts, joined Daunte Culpepper (2000), Cam Newton (2011) and DeShaun Watson (2017-18) as the only quarterbacks to record at least 2,500 passing yards and 250 rushing yards in their first 10 career starts in NFL history.

With Murray (22 years and 95 days old) and Kirk (22 years and 357 days old) connecting on three touchdowns, it marked the first time since November 11, 1962 (Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton and Charley Ferguson) that two players under the age of 23 connected on three touchdowns in a single game.

Making his 25th career start, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 446 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 119.2 rating in the Chiefs’ Week 10 loss. Mahomes has 8,007 career passing yards, the most by a quarterback in his first 25 starts in NFL history.

Mahomes, who has 68 career touchdown passes, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (65 touchdown passes) for the most touchdown passes by a player in his first 25 career starts in NFL history.

With his 16th career game of at least 300 passing yards, Mahomes tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (16 games) for the most games with at least 300 passing yards in a quarterback’s first 25 career starts in league annals.

Tennessee running back Derrick Henry recorded 188 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in the Titans’ 35-32 win against Kansas City.

Henry has three career games with at least 170 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in his four-year NFL career, tied for the fifth-most such games in a player’s first four seasons in league annals. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown (six), Eric Dickerson (six) and Earl Campbell (five), as well as Jamal Lewis (four) had more.

New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas had 13 receptions for 152 yards in the Saints’ Week 10 loss against Atlanta.

Thomas has 407 receptions in 56 career games and surpassed Odell Beckham Jr. (61 games) as the fastest player to reach 400 career receptions in NFL history. Currently in his fourth season, Thomas surpassed Jarvis Landry (400 receptions) for the most receptions by a player in his first four seasons in league annals.

Thomas, who has 1,027 receiving yards this season, joins Mike Evans (2014-17), A.J. Green (2011-14) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (1998-2001) as the only players to have at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first four seasons in NFL history.

New York Jets safety Jamal Adams recorded two sacks, two forced fumbles and a 25-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in the Jets’ 34-27 win over the New York Giants.

Since 2000, Adams is the sixth player to record two sacks, two forced fumbles and a touchdown in a single game, joining Cliff Avril (Week 8, 2011), Jason Gildon (Week 13, 2000), Orlando Scandrick (Week 5, 2019), Jyles Tucker (Week 17, 2007) and Mike Vrabel (Week 8, 2007).

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated Sunday’s New England-Philadelphia matchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest pairs the teams from two previous Super Bowls. In Super Bowl LII on February 4, 2018, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota, the Eagles and quarterback Nick Foles orchestrated a critical touchdown drive that drained 7:01 off the fourth-quarter clock. On that 14-play, 75-yard march, Foles completed 8 of 10 passes, including an 11-yard scoring strike to Zach Ertz as Philadelphia retook a lead it would not relinquish in a 41-33 triumph over New England, the Eagles’ first NFL title since 1960 and first-ever Super Bowl championship. Just before half, Foles caught a 1-yard TD pass from Trey Burton, branding the phrase “Philly Special” into Super Bowl lore. The Patriots (613) and Eagles (538) combined for a Super Bowl record 1,151 net yards. Thirteen years earlier, on February 6, 2005, at Super Bowl XXXIX in Jacksonville, the Patriots captured their third Lombardi Trophy over a four-year stretch, a 24-21 win over the Eagles. New England linebacker and current Titans head coach Mike Vrabel caught a 2-yard touchdown from Tom Brady to break a 7-7 tie in the third quarter. Game MVP Deion Branch, who had 11 receptions for 133 yards, set up that touchdown with three key grabs. Tedy Bruschi and Rodney Harrison had fourth-quarter interceptions in the first Super Bowl ever to enter the final stanza in a tie game.

WATSON-JACKSON SHOWDOWN MARQUEES WEEK 11: Two of the NFL’s most exciting young quarterbacks square off Sunday when Houston meets Baltimore. Last week, Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson recorded his second 2019 game with a 158.3 passer rating, the highest attainable mark, and became the second player in NFL history (Ben Roethlisberger, 2007) to post two 158.3 passer ratings in the same season. He also added a career-long 47-yard touchdown run in Baltimore’s win at Cincinnati. The Texans’ DeShaun Watson earlier this season posted his own 158.3 rating, in Week 5, and became the first player ever to pass for at least 400 yards and five touchdowns with five-or-fewer incompletions in a single game.

Watson enters Week 11 ranked fourth in the NFL with a 107.1 passer rating, while Jackson is ninth with a 101.7 mark. Sunday’s matchup is the second time in NFL history that two starting quarterbacks under the age of 25 with a passer rating of 100-or-better will square off in Week 11 or later. The first was a year ago this week, November 19, 2018, when Jared Goff (113.0 rating, 24 years, 36 days old) and the Rams defeated Patrick Mahomes (117.4 rating, 23 years, 63 days old) and the Chiefs 54-51.

AFC WEST CLUBS CLASH SOUTH OF BORDER: The NFL returns to Mexico when the Los Angeles Chargers host Kansas City on Monday Night Football. Estadio Azteca, which is 7,201 feet above sea level, will host a regular-season NFL game for the fourth time (also 2005, 2016 and 2017).

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who makes his 26th career start this week, has 8,007 career passing yards, the most by a quarterback in his first 25 starts in NFL history. Mahomes, who has 68 career touchdown passes, also surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (65 touchdown passes) for the most touchdown passes by a player in his first 25 career starts in NFL history.

DEFENSES TURNING OFFENSIVE: Since the beginning of 2018, Chicago and the Los Angeles Rams are tied for second in the NFL with seven defensive touchdowns. Those clubs clash in Los Angeles on Sunday Night Football on the West Coast. Baltimore leads the NFL with eight defensive touchdowns since the beginning of 2018, while the New York Jets also have seven, tied with the Bears and Rams.

Overall in Week 10, despite only 13 games on the schedule, NFL teams combined to score nine defensive touchdowns, the most since Week 6 of 2017 (10 defensive touchdowns).

DOLPHINS ON WINNING STREAK: There’s always hope in the NFL. Miami hosts Buffalo on Sunday with an opportunity to win a third consecutive game. San Francisco was the most recent team to open a season with seven-or-more consecutive losses and then win three-or-more games in the same season. The 49ers in 2017 began 0-7 but won their final five games. Now, just two years later, San Francisco owns a share of the NFL’s best record at 8-1.

PATRIOTS BID FOR 19 STRAIGHT: With a win on Sunday at Philadelphia New England can move to 9-1 and clinch a 19th consecutive winning season. In NFL history, the only team to string together at least 19 winning seasons was Dallas, who assembled a streak of 20 winning campaigns from 1966-85.

Among the other three major professional league sports, a franchise has authored 19-or-more consecutive winning seasons on only seven occasions: New York Yankees (39, 1926-64), Montreal Canadiens (32, 1951-52 to 1982-83), Boston Bruins (29, 1967-68 to 1995-96), New York Yankees (27, 1993-2019), Detroit Red Wings (24, 1991-92 to 2015-16), San Antonio Spurs (22, 1997-98 to 2018-19) and Utah Jazz (19, 1985-86 to 2003-04).

MARGIN OF VICTORY IS SHRINKING: With a season-high six teams on their byes this past week, the NFL played just 13 games. Eleven of those 13 games were separated by one possession (eight points or fewer). In 36 games this season, a team has won or tied after trailing in the fourth quarter.

The most games decided by eight- and seven-or-fewer points through 10 weeks in NFL history:

MOST GAMES DECIDED BY EIGHT-OR-FEWER POINTS THROUGH WEEK 10
2016 – 87
2019 – 81
2015 – 81
1999 – 79
2010 – 79

MOST GAMES DECIDED BY SEVEN-OR-FEWER POINTS THROUGH WEEK 10
2016 – 81
2019 – 77
2015 – 76
1999 – 73
Many with 72

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 11

YOUNG STARS BATTLE IN BALTIMORE: A matchup between two young quarterbacks highlights Week 11 in the NFL as Houston travels to Baltimore on Sunday. Houston quarterback Deshaun Watsonand Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson are the first two players with at least 15 passing touchdowns, five rushing touchdowns and a passer rating of 100 or higher through their team’s first nine games of a season in NFL history.

With two passing touchdowns on Sunday against Baltimore, Watson would become the fifth player in NFL history to have at least 20 passing touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns through his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history. Two of the past three players to accomplish the feat earned the Associated Press Most Valuable Player award that season.

The players with at least 20 passing touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns through their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, PASS TDS/RUSH TDS)
Cam Newton, Carolina (2015, 20/6)#
Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota (2000, 20/5)
Roman Gabriel, Los Angeles Rams (1969, 20/5)#
Don Meredith, Dallas (1966, 22/5)
Deshaun Watson, Houston (2019, 18/5)*
*Through nine games
#Named Associated Press Most Valuable Player

Baltimore leads the NFL with an average of 197.2 rushing yards per game in 2019. Jackson leads all quarterbacks with 702 rushing yards this season and surpassed Michael Vick (650 yards in 2006) for the most rushing yards by a quarterback through his team’s first nine games of a season in NFL history last week.

If Baltimore running back Mark Ingram, who has 619 rushing yards and ties for the AFC-lead with eight rushing touchdowns, rushes for 81 yards against Houston, Jackson and Ingram would become the fourth pair of teammates to each rush for at least 700 yards in their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history.

The teammates each with at least 700 rushing yards through their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history:

SEASON – TEAM (PLAYER, RUSH YARDS; PLAYER, RUSH YARDS)
2006 – ATLANTA (Warrick Dunn, 813; Michael Vick, 704)
1973 – Cincinnati (Essex Johnson, 755; Boobie Clark, 735)
1973 – Miami (Mercury Morris, 840; Larry Csonka, 748) HOF
2019 – Baltimore (Lamar Jackson, 702; Mark Ingram, 619)*
HOF – Hall of Fame

ZEKE GOES FOR 5,000 IN 50: Since entering the league in 2016, Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott leads the NFL with 4,836 rushing yards.

Appearing in his 50th career game on Sunday against Detroit, Elliott needs 164 rushing yards to become the fifth player with at least 5,000 rushing yards through their first 50 career games in NFL history. The other four players to accomplish the feat are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The players with the most rushing yards in their first 50 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RUSHING YARDS)
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (5,597) HOF
Earl Campbell, Houston Oilers (5,411) HOF
Jim Brown, Cleveland (5,248) HOF
Terrell Davis, Denver (5,062) HOF
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas (4,836)*
*Through 49 career games
HOF – Hall of Fame

RACKING UP YARDS: Last season, Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey had 107 receptions and surpassed Matt Forte (102 in 2014) for the most receptions by a running back in a single season in NFL history. Since entering the NFL in 2017, McCaffrey leads all running backs with 235 receptions.

With four catches on Sunday against Atlanta, McCaffrey would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson (238 receptions) for the most receptions by a running back in their first three seasons in NFL history.

The running backs with the most receptions in their first three seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RECEPTIONS)
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (238) HOF
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (235)*
*In third season

In nine games, McCaffrey, who leads the NFL with 153.9 scrimmage yards per game, ranks second with 989 rushing yards and ranks fourth among running backs with 396 receiving yards in 2019. Last week, he became the fifth player with at least 125 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in seven of his team’s first nine games of a season in NFL history.

On Sunday, McCaffrey needs 104 receiving yards and 11 rushing yards to become the first player with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history.

Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook leads the NFL with 1,415 scrimmage yards, while McCaffrey ranks second with 1,385 scrimmage yards. With at least 85 scrimmage yards from Cook against Denver and at least 115 scrimmage yards from McCaffrey on Sunday, 2019 would mark the first season in which two players have at least 1,500 scrimmage yards through Week 11 in the Super Bowl era.

MAKING IT LOOK BIG EASY: New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas leads the NFL with 86 receptions and 1,027 receiving yards this season. Last week, Thomas, who has 407 receptions since 2016, surpassed Jarvis Landry (400 receptions) for the most receptions through a player’s first four seasons in NFL history and reached 400 receptions in the fewest games (56) in league annals.

With four receptions on Sunday against Tampa Bay, Thomas would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (89 receptions in 2002) and Julio Jones (89 in 2015) for the most receptions by a player through his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions through their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RECEPTIONS)
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis 2002 (89) HOF
Julio Jones, ATLANTA (2015 – 89)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (2019 – 86)*
Adam Thielen, Minnesota (2018 – 85)

*Through nine games
HOF – Hall of Fame

Additionally, with four receptions, Thomas would become the first player in NFL history to have at least 90 receptions in each of his first four seasons.

TERRIFIC TANDEM IN TAMPA: Tampa Bay wide receivers Mike Evans (924 receiving yards) and Chris Godwin (840) rank second and fourth in receiving yards, respectively, in the NFL this season.

If Godwin has at least 60 receiving yards on Sunday against New Orleans, Evans and Godwin would become the fourth pair of teammates each with at least 900 receiving yards through their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history.

The teammates each with at least 900 receiving yards through their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history:

TEAM – SEASON (PLAYER – REC. YARDS; PLAYER – REC. YARDS)
Denver – 2014 (Demaryius Thomas – 1,105; Emmanuel Sanders – 954)
St. Louis Rams – 2000 (Isaac Bruce – 1,094; Torry Holt – 945)
Houston Oilers – 1961 (Charley Hennigan – 1,245; Bill Groman – 980)
Tampa Bay – 2019 (Mike Evans – 924; Chris Godwin – 840)*
*Through nine games

Additionally, if Evans has at least 76 receiving yards on Sunday, he would join Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS (1999-2003) as the only players to have at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first six seasons in NFL history.

Byes in week 11: Green Bay, New York Giants, Seattle and Tennessee. Washington, New England, Jacksonville, Houston, Denver and Philadelphia return to action from their break. Week 11 began in the AFC as Cleveland held off Pittsburgh in a brawl-filled contest Thursday night and heads south of the border on Monday night as AFC West/AFC foes Kansas City and the Los Angeles Chargers meet in Mexico City.

Last week was not as good… we wound up going 5-8 but we’re still ahead of the curve for the season at 64-59. With that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 11.

ATLANTA (2-7) at Carolina (5-4), 1 p.m on FOX and DirecTV 710. They’re separated by 245 miles and four hours of driving along I-85. They’re two of the major cities in the Southeast and the nation. While their rivalry isn’t anything like the Atlanta-New Orleans rivalry, it’s still important. Atlanta and Matt Ryan makes their way northward to face off against NFC South rival Carolina at Bank of America Stadium.

The Falcons broke their seven-game losing streak last Sunday in the Big Easy as they manhandled Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints last Sunday, holding the NFC South leaders to three Will Lutz field goals to take a 26-9 win out of the Mercerdes Benz Superdome. Atlanta broke a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter, took a 13-6 lead with them to the break and floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of action. New Orleans pulled themselves to within four with 6:05 left in the third before the Falcons scored their final 13 points of the contest unchallenged.

Holding New Orleans to 52 yards on the ground, Atlanta took care of business against their NFC South foes, tallying 143 yards with Brian Hill leading all rushers with 61 yards. Ryan, returning from the ankle injury he suffered against Seattle two Sundays ago, showed no ill effects, throwing for 182 yards with a pair of TDs (one to Hill, the other to Austin Hooper), while the Falcons defense sacked Brees (287 yards) six times, while Ryan was sacked once and threw an interception. Atlanta went 6 of 15 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:46, while the Saints kept the ball for 26:14, going 3 of 12 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

A late rally at snowy Lambeau Field fell short for Carolina as they fell to Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay 24-16. Green Bay used a pair of Aaron Jones TDs in the first 30 minutes of play to take a 14-10 lead, then the Panthers stopped a late Green Bay rally in the closing seconds of the first half, as Greg McCoy stopped Packers RB Jaamal Williams short of the goal line to close things out.

The Packers would score 10 more points in the third quarter unchallenged on Jones’ third TD of the day and a Mason Crosby field goal before the Panthers would pull themselves to within eight with 11:58 left in the contest when Christan McCaffrey scored on a 3-yard run. Carolina then went for two in hopes of making their defict six but Kyle Allen’s try was incomplete. Green Bay would later punt the ball back to Carolina, who took the ball at their 11-yard line. They would make their way down the field and using a pair of Green Bay penalties, had four tries inside the 5-yard line.

Three incomplete passes later, the Panthers decided that the best course of action would be to use McCaffery, who got as close as the goal line but did not break the plane. The play was reviewed by replay and the ruling on the field became the law of the land. Green Bay outrushed Carolina 163-120 and McCaffrey led all rushers with 108 yards (Jones led Green Bay with 93 yards) and Allen threw for 307 yards and three sacks and an interception to go with the TD toss, while Rodgers threw for 233 yards and a pair of sacks but no interceptions. Carolina was 4 of 10 on third down (they were 1 of 1) and kept the ball for 28:38, including the final 2:25 of the contest, while the Packers ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:22, going 4 of 9 on third down conversions.

The Falcons lead the series 30-18, they’ve outscored Carolina 1,028-943 and have won the last three meetings in the series, including sweeping last year’s contests (Carolina’s last win in the series came in 2017, when they came away from Bank of America Stadium 20-17 winners).

Meeting number one… week two in the Big Peach at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Atlanta came away 31-24 winners. Atlanta led 17-10 at the break and took a 24-10 lead with them to the end of the third quarter before the Panthers stormed back in the final 15 minutes to make the contest a seven-point affair. Atlanta outrushed Carolina 170-121 and Falcons RB Tevin Coleman led all rushers with 107, with Newton leading Carolina with 42 yards on the ground. Newton threw for 335 yards and three TDs, while Ryan threw for 272 yards and a pair of TDs to Austin Hooper and Calvin Ridley (Newton was sacked twice in the contest, both Ryan and Newton threw an interception). Atlanta went 6 of 11 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 29:42, while Carolina ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 30:18, going 5 for 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Falcons completed the sweep of the series in the Tar Heel State in their week 16 affair at Bank of America Stadium, manhandling the Newton-less Panthers 24-10 on the Sunday before Christmas Eve. The Falcons broke a 10-10 tie at the half and became Scrooges in the third quarter, scoring 14 points in the period unchallenged. Atlanta outrushed the Panthers 194-141 and Brian Hill led all rushers with 115 yards (Christian McCaffrey led Carolina with 101 yards) and Ryan threw for 239 yards and three TDs (Julio Jones, Mohammed Sanu and Ridley), while Todd Heinicke threw for 274 yards with a TD (Heinicke was sacked twice and threw three interceptions, while Ryan was sacked once). Atlanta went 4 of 10 on third down conversions and held the ball for 22:31, while the Panthers ruled the clock, holding the ball for 37:29, going 7 of 14 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

The Falcons were favored by 5 1/2 in the Big Peach and covered, winning by 7 and both teams took care of the 44 over/under, tallying 55 points. In the week 16 contest in the Tar Heel State, the Panthers were favored by 3 and the Falcons’ 14-point win allowed them to cover but neither team covered the 48 over/under, as the two teams merged for 34 points. The oddsmakers like the Panthers at home and the boys and girls in Vegas favored them by 5 1/2 with a 51 over/under. Panthers may be finer in Carolina but Atlanta proves that the win in New Orleans was not a fluke and takes the win in the Tar Heel State and could very well cover the 5 1/2.

Dallas (5-4) at Detroit (3-5-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of teams in the playoff hunt meet in the Motor City as Dallas travels to Detroit to face off against the Lions at Ford Field. Both clubs took close losses in last week’s action.

Dallas’ rally in the fourth quarter against Minnesota fell short as the Cowboys fell 28-28 at AT&T Stadium Sunday night. Dallas trailed 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, tying the contest up with 1:54 when Randall Cobb caught a 22-yard TD pass from Dak Prescott before the Vikings took things into the intermission when Dan Bailey connected on a 26-yard field as the first half came to an end. Bailey would add a second field goal against his former club halfway through the third quarter before the Cowboys reclaimed the lead when WR Amari Cooper and Prescott connected on a 12-yard TD strike. Minnesota would reclaim the lead for keeps with 2 seconds left in the third when Delvin Cook ran in from 2 yards, then Vikings QB Kirk Cousins and TE Kyle Rudolph connected on the 2-point try. Dallas would make the contest a 4-point affair with 10 minutes left in the contest when Brett Maher connected on a 23-yard boot.

With no time outs and 17 seconds left in the contest, Dallas got the ball back after a Vikings punt and Prescott used two short passes to TE Blake Jarwin, getting them on the Vikings’ side of the 50-yard line but Cowboys fans would see their hopes dashed when Prescott was picked off by Javon Kearse in the end zone to end the contest. Minnesota outrushed Dallas 153-50, with Cook leading all rushers with 97 yards and the third quarter TD, Prescott threw for 397 yards and three TDs with a sack and the interception, while Cousins threw for 220 yards with two TDs, both to Rudolph. Dallas was 9 of 16 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:33 (including the final 17 seconds of the contest), while the Vikings ruled the clock, holding the ball for 33:27, going 8 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Detroit watched a 6-0 lead against NFC North rival Chicago get away from them as the Bears stormed back to take a 20-13 win at Soldier Field last Sunday. The Lions took that 6-0 lead with a pair of Matt Prahter field goals before the Bears would erase that lead with 25 seconds left before the break when Mitch Trubisky and TE Ben Braunecker connected on a 18-yard toss. Trubisky would add 3rd quarter TD passes to Tarik Cohen and Taylor Gabriel to take the lead to 20-6 before Kenny Golladay and Jeff Driskell (taking over for Matthew Stafford – back) would put the Lions to within 7 with 5:53 left in the contest. After Detroit and Chicago exchanged punts, the Lions got the ball back with 1:41 and would get themselves as close as Chicago’s 25-yard line, where the drive and game ended.

Neither club breached the 100 yard barrier in the contest in the Windy City but Detroit did manage to outrush Chicago 98-81 and Driskell threw for 269 yards with the TD, while he was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Trubisky accounted for the three TDs with 173 yards of passing and five sacks. Detroit was 7 for 18 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and including the final 1:41 of the contest, kept the ball for 31:54, while the Bears kept the ball for 28:06, going 2 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including contests that took place at the Cotton Bowl, Tiger Stadium, the Silverdome and Cowboys Stadium, the Cowboys hold a 14-11 lead in the series, have outscored the Lions 676-482 and won the last two contests in the series, including 26-24 win in Jerry World last year (Detroit’s last win in the series came in 2013 in the Motor City by a final of 31-30 at Ford Field.)

Dallas led 13-10 at the intermission at AT&T Stadium in week four, then watched the Lions storm their way back to 24-23 lead with 2:17 left in the contest when Stafford and WR Golden Tate connected on a 38-yard TD toss. Dallas would use all of the 2:17 left in the contest and made their way down the field, using nine plays and 55 yards and sent Cowboys fans home happy as Brad Maher connected on a 38-yard field goal as time expired. Dallas outrushed the Lions 183-96, with Elliott leading everyone with 152 yards; Prescott threw for 255 yards, Stafford threw for 307 yards, both were sacked twice and neither threw an intercption. Dallas went 5 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 30:05 (including the final 2:17 of the contest), while the Lions were 6 of 11 on third down, keeping the ball for 29:55.

In the week four contest at AT&T, Dallas was favored by three but won by only 2 but both clubs covered the 43 1/2 over/under with 50 points. Dallas is favored by 3 1/2 in the Motor City and the over/under’s 51. Dallas has lost two contests to the NFC North already this year. They’re not going to lose again this time around. Dallas covers in the Motor City and wins this one.

New Orleans (2-7) at Tampa Bay (3-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Drew Brees vs. Jameis Winston. A pair of NFC South foes square off in the Sunshine State as the Saints make their way to Raymond James Stadium to face off against the Buccaneers.

Brees and the Saints were held to three Will Lutz field goals against NFC South rival Atlanta, as the divison leaders were taken to task 26-9 at the Mercerdes Benz Superdome. Atlanta broke a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter, then led for good as they took a 13-6 lead with them to the break and floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of action. New Orleans pulled themselves to within four with 6:05 left in the third before the Falcons scored their final 13 points of the contest unchallenged.

New Orleans was held to 52 yards on the ground, while Atlanta took care of business against their NFC South foes, tallying 143 yards with Brian Hill leading all rushers with 61 yards. Ryan, returning from the ankle injury he suffered against Seattle two Sundays ago, showed no ill effects, throwing for 182 yards with a pair of TDs (one to Hill, the other to Austin Hooper), while the Falcons defense sacked Brees (287 yards) six times, while Ryan was sacked once and threw an interception. Atlanta went 6 of 15 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:46, while the Saints kept the ball for 26:14, going 3 of 12 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

Tampa Bay rallied against Arizona last Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, taking a 30-27 win over the Desert Angry Birds last Sunday in the Sunshine State. The Buccaneers led 17-13 at the intermission in the battle of Heisman winners, then watched Arizona erase that deficit to take a 27-23 lead with 7:22 when WR Christian Kirk caught a 15-yard TD pass from Kyler Murray. Tampa Bay would reclaim the lead for good with 1:43 left in regulation, using a 6-play, 92-yard drive that used 1:57 of clock and ended with a 1-yard TD run by Peyton Barber. The Buccaneers would then stop a late Arizona rally in its tracks to take the win in the Sunshine State.

Tampa Bay outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 118-75 and Murray threw for 324 yards and a pair of TDs (he was sacked twice and threw an interception), while Winston threw for 358 yards with four sacks and a pair of interceptions to go with a TD toss. Tampa Bay went 7 of 15 on third down in the Sunshine State and kept the ball for 36:03, while the Desert Angry Birds went a somewhat dismal 1 of 10 on third down (they were 2 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:57, including the final 1:43 of the contest.

New Orleans leads the series 33-21 and have outscored Tampa Bay 1,216-1,027. The two NFC South foes split last year’s contests, each winning in the other team’s building.

Round one… the season opener in the Big Easy and the Buccaneers survived a slugfest, leaving the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with the 48-40 win. Tampa Bay led 31-24 at the half, then asserted its will on the Saints in the final 30 minutes of play, outscoring New Orleans 17-16 and held off a late Saints rally. Tampa Bay outrushed New Orleans 112-43 and Ryan Fitzpatrick (taking over for Winston) threw for 417 yards and four TDs, while Brees threw for 439 yards with three TDs (Brees was sacked once and neither man threw an interception). Tampa Bay was 8 of 13 on third down conversions in the Big Easy and kept the ball for 32:09, while New Orleans, holding the pigskin for 27:51, went 4 of 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

New Orleans got their revenge in week 14 at Raymond James Stadium, erasing a 14-3 deficit at the break and scored 25 second half points unchallenged to take a 28-14 win out of the Sunshine State. Zach Line (1-yard TD pass from Brees), Brees (1-yard TD run), Mark Ingram (17-yard TD run) and Lutz accounted for the scoring in the second half to take the lead for good. Tampa Bay outrushed New Orleans 105-100 and Winston threw for 213 yards with a pair of TDs to Cameron Brate, while Brees threw for 201 yards and the Line TD toss. New Orleans went 6 of 12 on third down conversions (1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 31:53, while the Buccaneers kept the ball for 28:07, going 6 of 14 on third down.

In the season opener in the Big Easy, the Saints were favored by 9 1/2 and Tampa Bay would win by 8 but both teams easily covered the 49 1/2 over/under, tallying 88 points. In the week 14 contest in the Sunshine State, New Orleans covered the 8 1/2-point spread, winning by 14 but both teams missed the 57 1/2 over/under, combining to scored 42 points. New Orleans is favored by 5 1/2 and the over/under’s 51. The Saints are still stinging from the loss to Atlanta at home last Sunday, while the Buccaneers would love nothing more than to take a win in the NFC South and take down their rivals in the process. Saints may march into Raymond James on Sunday but Tampa Bay marches out with the win, although expect the Saints to make things closer than 5 1/2.

Houston (6-3) at Baltimore (7-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of contending teams meet in Charm City as the Baltimore Ravens welcome the Houston Texans to M&T Bank Stadium. Both teams were winners in their last contests, which took place away from their home fields.

Houston, returning from their bye, held Jacksonville to a Josh Lambo field goal in the second quarter and took care of the Jaguars 26-3 at Wembley Stadium in London two Sundays agao. The Texans led throughout the contest, taking a 9-3 at the intermission, then floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of play, scoring the last 17 points of the contest unchallenged. Houston held Jacksonville to 74 yards of rushing, while the Texans’ Curtis Hyde led all rushers with 160 yards (the Texans rushed for 216 yards on the other side of the Atlantic. Houston passing-wise was paced by DeShaun Watson, who threw for 201 yards and a pair of TDs, while Gardner Minshew led Jacksonville with 309 yards (Minshew was sacked three times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Watson was sacked once) Both clubs were 4 of 11 on third down on the other side of the pond (the Texans were 1 of 1 on fourth down, Jacksonville was 0 of 2) and Houston kept the ball for 32:33 to Jacksonville’s 27:27.

Baltimore completed their sweep of AFC North rival Cincinnati, taking the Bengals to task 49-13 at Paul Brown Stadium. The Ravens led from start to finish in the contest that gave the Bengals their eighth loss in a row and took a 28-10 lead with them to the intermission. Baltimore then proceeded to score 21 third quarter points unchallenged to seal the Bengals’ fate. While Cincinnati outrushed Baltimore 157-136 with Bengals RB Joe Mixon leading the way with 114 yards, Lamar Jackson burned the Bengals for 223 yards and three TDs and had a rushing TD of his own, while backup QB Ryan Finley, who took over after Andy Dalton was benched, threw for 167 yards and a TD (Jackson was not sacked or threw an interception, Finley threw a pick and was sacked twice). Baltimore on third down tries went 4 of 6 (the Ravens were perfect in their only fourth down attempt) and kept the ball for 23:49, while the Bengals actually ruled the clock and held the ball for 36:11, going 7 of 15 on third down, 1 of 4 on fourth down.

Baltimore leads the series 7-2 and the Ravens have outscored Houston 222-182. Their last meeting took place in Charm City in 2017 and the Ravens came away 23-16 winners, while Houston’s last win came in the Lone Star State in 2014 by a final of 25-13. Baltimore’s favored by 4 and the over/under’s 49 1/2. There’s a chance that these two could meet in the post-season and both are playing decent football of late. Houston pulls the upset on the road in this one, taking the win on the road and could very well cover the 4.

Jacksonville (4-5) at Indianapolis (5-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of AFC South rivals meet in the Hoosier State as Indianapolis hosts Jacksonville at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Jaguars are coming off their bye week with a loss, while the Colts lost to another Florida team at home last week.

Jacksonville returns from their break after they fall to Houston 26-3 in London at Wembley Stadium. The Jaguars, held to 30-yard field goal by Josh Lambo with 1:48 to go before halftime, trailed 9-3 at the intermission before the Texans floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of play, scoring the last 17 points of the contest unchallenged. Houston held Jacksonville to 74 yards of rushing, while the Texans’ Curtis Hyde led all rushers with 160 yards (the Texans rushed for 216 yards on the other side of the Atlantic. Houston passing-wise was paced by DeShaun Watson, who threw for 201 yards and a pair of TDs, while Gardner Minshew led Jacksonville with 309 yards (Minshew was sacked three times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Watson was sacked once) Both clubs were 4 of 11 on third down on the other side of the pond (the Texans were 1 of 1 on fourth down, Jacksonville was 0 of 2) and Houston kept the ball for 32:33 to Jacksonville’s 27:27.

Miami held off Indianapolis 16-12 at Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday. The Dolphins, picking up their second win in a row, led 10-0 at the intermission, then held off a late Colts rally in the closing seconds by using a pair of Jason Sanders field goals to come away with the win and stopping a Colts drive that would have given the home team the win. Indianapolis, who actually led 12-10 with 11:30 left in the contest on a 1-yard pass from Blaine Hoyer to TE Jack Doyle, outrushed Miami 109-70 with Hoyer throwing for 204 yards and three interceptions, while Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 169 yard with an interception (Fitzpatrick was sacked three times, Hoyer was sacked once). Miami went 6 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 31:28, while the Colts, holding the ball for 28:32, went 5 of 13 on third down and 0 of 2 on fourth down.

The Colts lead the series 23-13 and have outscored the Jaguars 836-728. The two AFC South foes split last year’s series, each taking wins in their home facilties.

The first meeting? Week 10 in Indianapolis and the Colts led Jacksonville 29-16 at the intermission, then held off the Jagaurs to win 29-26 at Lucas Oil. Jacksonville would score their final ten points of the contest in the second half unchallenged, making the contest a bit too close for Colts fans in the Hoosier State, with the Colts ending Jacksonville’s comeback bid on a lost fumble with 1:30 remaining in the fourth quarter. Jacksonville outrushed Indianapolis 91-81 and both Fournette (Jacksonville) and Jordan Wilkins (Indianapolis) each rushed for 53 yards in the contest (Fournette had a rushing TD), while Andrew Luck threw for 285 yards and three TDs and Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles threw for 320 yards and a pair of TDs (neither threw an interception, Luck was sacked once). Jacksonville was 9 of 17 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:10, while the Colts, holding the pigskin for 24:50, went 6 of 11 on third down.

Jacksonville was looking for revenge in their week 13 contest at TIAA Bank Field and they got it, using a pair of Josh Lambo field goals to take a 6-0 win in the Sunshine State. Lambo’s first field goal from 30 yards with 2:02 left before the half was the first scoring of the contest, with Jacksonville taking the 3-0 lead at the break. After a scoreless third quarter, Lambo would close out the scoring for the Jaguars, connecting on a 37-yarder early in the fourth. Neither club breached the 100-yard barrier in the Sunshine State but Jacksonville did manage to outrush the Colts 79-41 and Luck threw for 248 yards and an interception, while Cody Keesler, taking over for Bortles, threw for 150 yards (both were sacked three times, neither had a TD toss, Luck had an interception). Both teams struggled on third down tries in the Sunshine State; the Colts were 5 of 18 on third down (they were 0 of 3 on fourth down), the Jaguars were 6 of 15 on third down and the Colts kept the ball for 30:27 to Jacksonville’s 29:33.

In the week 10 Hoosier State showdown, the Colts were favored by 3 and covered, winning by 3 and both teams covered the 46 1/2 over/under with 55 points. The Colts were favored in the week 13 rematch in Jacksonville by 4 and while the Jaguars covered, winning by 6, the 47 over/under stayed safe as Jacksonville’s two field goals were all of the scoring in the contest. Indianapolis is favored by 3 and the over/under’s 44. Both teams are chasing the Texans for first place in the AFC South and the winner is a bit closer, while the loser isn’t out but will have a little more work to do. Colts cover the 3 and win back home again in Indiana.

Denver (3-6) at Minnesota (7-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. One team returns from their bye week, the other came away with a close win on the road last Sunday night. Minnesota returns to the Land of 10,000 Lakes to take on the Denver Broncos at US Bank Stadium.

Denver returns to action after their bye week, shutting down Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns 24-19 at Empower Field at Mile High two Sundays ago. Denver led 17-12 at the break and took a 24-12 lead with them to the fourth quarter before the Browns made things a bit closer than Broncos fans would like when Josh Landry and Mayfield connected on a 9-yard TD toss with 10:47 left in regulation. Denver would then hold off a late Browns rally late in the contest as Cleveland would get the ball back with 7:21 left in the contest and would get as close as Denver’s 28 yard line before being stopped. The Broncos then restored some order and ran out the clock to take the win in the Rocky Mountains.

Denver outrushed Cleveland 127-90 (Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay would lead all rushers with 92 yards and a TD) and Brock Allen threw for 193 yards and three TDs, while Mayfield led the Browns with 273 yards and the Landry TD (neither man threw an interception; Mayfield was sacked twice and Allen was sacked three times). Denver was 3 of 9 on third down and kept the ball for 24:30, while the Browns actually ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 35:30, going 6 of 15 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

The Vikings held off a late Dallas rally in the fourth quarter, edging the Cowboys 28-28 at AT&T Stadium Sunday night. Minnesota led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, before Dallas would wind up tying the contest up with 1:54 when Randall Cobb caught a 22-yard TD pass from Dak Prescott before the Vikings took things into the intermission when Dan Bailey connected on a 26-yard field as the first half came to an end. Bailey would add a second field goal against his former club halfway through the third quarter before the Cowboys reclaimed the lead when WR Amari Cooper and Prescott connected on a 12-yard TD strike. Minnesota would reclaim the lead for keeps with 2 seconds left in the third when Delvin Cook ran in from 2 yards, then Vikings QB Kirk Cousins and TE Kyle Rudolph connected on the 2-point try. Dallas would make the contest a 4-point affair with 10 minutes left in the contest when Brett Maher connected on a 23-yard boot.

Dallas got the ball back after a Vikings punt with 17 seconds in the contest and no time outs. Prescott used two short passes to TE Blake Jarwin, getting them on the Vikings’ side of the 50-yard line but Cowboys fans would see their hopes dashed when Prescott was picked off by Javon Kearse in the end zone to end the contest. Minnesota outrushed Dallas 153-50, with Cook leading all rushers with 97 yards and the third quarter TD, Prescott threw for 397 yards and three TDs with a sack and the interception, while Cousins threw for 220 yards with two TDs, both to Rudolph. Dallas was 9 of 16 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:33 (including the final 17 seconds of the contest), while the Vikings ruled the clock, holding the ball for 33:27, going 8 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The series? All tied at 7-7. Denver has outscored the Vikings 316-305 and have won the last three meetings in the series, including a 23-20 win in the Mile High City in 2015; Minnesota’s last win in the series came in the Twin Cities in 2003 by a final of 28-20. Minnesota’s favored by 10 and the over/under’s 39. This one may not meet the criteria to be “Drill Worthy” but it could be somewhat entertaining. Minnesota wins in the Land of 10,000 Lakes but expect the Broncos to make things closer than 10 points.

New York Jets (2-7) at Washington (1-8), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. They have a combined record of 3-15 and sit in last place in their respective divisions. A pair of struggling teams meet in Landover as Washington hosts the New York Jets at Fed Ed Field.

GangGreen led their fellow Met Life Stadium tenant the New York Giants 14-13 at the half last Sunday, then floored the gas in the second half, taking a 34-27 win over Big Blue. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! would outscore the Giants 20-14 in the final 30 minutes of play, erasing a 27-24 deficit in the process. Jets RB LeVeon Bell would give GangGreen the lead back and for good early in the fourth quarter, scoring from a yard away to reclaim the lead. The contest was not much of a rushing affair and neither club breached the 100-yard barrier but GangGreen did outrush Big Blue 76-23, with Jets QB Sam Darnold throwing for 230 yards with a TD, while the Giants’ Daniel Jones threw for 308 yards with four TDs (Jones would be sacked six times, Darnold was sacked twice; neither threw an interception). The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 4 of 13 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and played keep-away with the ball, holding the clock for 30:44, while Big Blue, keeping the ball for 29:16, went 8 of 18 on third down and 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Washington comes back from their bye after they were held to three Dustin Hopkins field goals in Buffalo, with the Bills coming away 24-9 winners in upstate New York. The Bills took a 13-6 lead with them to the locker room at the half, then took control of things in the final 30 minutes of play, holding Washington to a third quarter field goal. The lone bright spot for Washington was that they did outrush Buffalo 127-122 with Redskins RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 108 yards and Denvin Singletary leading Buffalo with 95 yards and a TD. Dwayne Haskins, making his first NFL start, threw for 144 yards, while Josh Allen threw for 160 yards and a TD to Cole Beasley (Allen also had a rushing TD). Washington was 2 of 11 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:13

Washington leads the series 8-3 and have outscored the Jets 248-192. GangGreen has won the last two meetings, including a 34-20 win in the Meadowlands in 2015, while Washington’s last win in the series came in 2007 (also in the Meadowlands), as they would need overtime to take a 23-20 win. Washington’s favored by a point and the over/under’s 38. Take a pass on this one (unless you’re a fan of one of these teams). Washington fans have been saying “Hell, it’s the Redskins” of late. They won’t this Sunday. “Hail to the Redskins!” Washington covers at Landover and takes the win.

Buffalo (6-3) at Miami (2-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. They meet again and this time, it’s in Miami. AFC East foes Buffalo and Miami meet in the Sunshine State in a rematch from week seven in upstate New York.

A late Buffalo rally fell short as Cleveland edged the Bills 19-16 last Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium. Cleveland led 9-7 at the break, then trailed 16-12 with 1:44 left when WR Rashard Higgins and QB Baker Mayfield connected on a 7-yard TD toss. The Bills would get the ball back with the 1:44 left and made their way down the field to set up what they hoped would be the game-tying field goal that would send the contest into overtime but Stephen Hauschka’s 53-yard field goal try sailed wide left. Cleveland then got the ball back and ran out the clock to take the win.

Cleveland outrushed Buffalo 147-84, with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading everyone with 116 yards; Mayfield threw for 238 yards and a pair of TDs (including the game winner), while Bills QB Josh Allen threw for 266 yards with a pair of rushing TDS (neither man threw an interception, Allen was sacked once, Mayfield was sacked twice). The Browns were 4 of 11 on third down (they went 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:46, while the Bills, keeping the ball for 28:14, went 5 of 13 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down.

Miami held off Indianapolis 16-12 at Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday. The Dolphins, picking up their second win in a row, led 10-0 at the intermission, then held off a late Colts rally in the closing seconds by using a pair of Jason Sanders field goals to come away with the win and stopping a Colts drive that would have given the home team the win. Indianapolis, who actually led 12-10 with 11:30 left in the contest on a 1-yard pass from Blaine Hoyer to TE Jack Doyle, outrushed Miami 109-70 with Hoyer throwing for 204 yards and three interceptions, while Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 169 yard with an interception (Fitzpatrick was sacked three times, Hoyer was sacked once). Miami went 6 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 31:28, while the Colts, holding the ball for 28:32, went 5 of 13 on third down and 0 of 2 on fourth down.

They met in upstate New York in week seven and the Bills came away 31-21 winners at New Era Field. Miami led 14-9 at the half, then Buffalo took control of things in the fourth quarter (they played a scoreless third quarter) and outscored the ‘Fins 22-7 in the final 15 minutes of action. Josh Brown gave Buffalo the lead for keeps with 13:50 left in the contest when he and Allen connected on a 20-yard toss. Fitzpatrick would make it a 3-point contest with 1:45 left, then Dolphins fans would have their hopes and hearts shattered when S Micah Hyde returned the onside kick attempt 42 yards for Buffalo’s final TD. Buffalo outrushed Miami 117-109 and Allen threw for 202 yards and a pair of TDs, while Fitzpatrick threw for 282 with a passing TD to go with his rushing score (Fitzpatrick threw an interception, while Allen was sacked twice). Miami was 7 of 13 on third down tries (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:31; as for Buffalo? They kept the pigskin for 26:29 and went 3 for 10 on third down tries.

The Bills were favored by 17 in upstate New York and Buffalo wound up winning by 10. As for the 52 combined points? It was more than enough to cover the 40 1/2 over/under. The Bills are favored again in the rematch in the Sunshine State, by 5 1/2 and the over/under’s 39 1/2. The Bills are looking to sweep the Dolphins for the first time since 2013, while the Dolphins are looking for revenge. Revenge wins out in the Sunshine State. Miami may not cover the 5 1/2 but they do take the win at home.

Arizona (3-6-1) at San Francisco (8-1), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. They meet again. A pair of NFC West rivals renew accquaintaces, this time in wine country as San Francisco hosts Arizona in Santa Clara at Levis’ Stadium. Both took losses in last week’s action.

A last-second rally by the Cardinals fell short as Tampa Bay held them off last Sunday at Raymond James Stadium, taking a 30-27 win over the Desert Angry Birds last Sunday in the Sunshine State. Arizona trailed 17-13 at the intermission in the battle of Heisman winners, then erased that deficit to take a 27-23 lead with 7:22 when WR Christian Kirk caught a 15-yard TD pass from Kyler Murray. Tampa Bay would reclaim the lead for good with 1:43 left in regulation, using a 6-play, 92-yard drive that used 1:57 of clock and ended with a 1-yard TD run by Peyton Barber. The Buccaneers would then stop a late Arizona rally in its tracks to take the win in the Sunshine State.

Tampa Bay outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 118-75 and Murray threw for 324 yards and a pair of TDs (he was sacked twice and threw an interception), while Winston threw for 358 yards with four sacks and a pair of interceptions to go with a TD toss. Tampa Bay went 7 of 15 on third down in the Sunshine State and kept the ball for 36:03, while the Desert Angry Birds went a somewhat dismal 1 of 10 on third down (they were 2 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:57, including the final 1:43 of the contest.

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

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

The Seahawks got the ball back and San Francisco held them in check, forcing a Seattle punt. San Francisco could not do anything after three Jimmy Garapollo passes went incomplete. The 49ers punted the ball back to Seattle with 85 seconds left in the extra period and Seattle made sure the 49ers would never see the pigskin again, using a 7-play, 40-yard drive that took 85 seconds of clock and ended when Jason Myers connected on a 42-yard field goal to end the 49ers’ bid for a perfect season. Seattle outrushed San Francisco 147-87, with Carson leading all rushers with 89 yards and the TD. Wilson threw for 232 yards in the overtime contest, while Garapollo threw for 248 yards (both threw a TD, both were sacked five times and both threw an interception) in the Monday night affair. San Francisco went 6 for 15 on third down tries in Santa Clara (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:41, while Seattle kept the ball for 35:19, while going 7 for 15 on third down tries.

They met in week nine in the desert and the 49ers hung on to take the 28-25 win at State Farm Stadium. San Francisco led 21-7at the intermission, then held off a late Arizona rally in the final quarter to take the Thursday night win. Arizona outrushed San Francisco 153-101, with Cardinals RB Kenyon Drake leading the way with 110 yards and a rushing TD, while San Francisco was led by Matt Breida with 78. Garoppolo threw for 317 yards and four TDs (connecting with Emanuel Sanders and George Kittle on two of the tosses, he was sacked once), while Murray threw for 241 yards with a pair of TDs and three sacks (neither threw an interception). San Francisco was 11 of 17 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:31, while the Desert Angry Birds kept the ball for 25:29, going 2 of 8 on fourth down.

In the week nine contest in the desert, the 49ers were favored by 10 but won by only 3. The two teams did manage to cover the 43 over/under with 53 points. San Francisco’s favored by 11 in the rematch in wine country and the over/under’s 45. History has a strange way of repeating itself, the 49ers are not in a good mood after Monday and they’re looking to take it out on the Desert Angry Birds. The 49ers may not cover the 11 but they’ll complete the sweep of the series at home by taking the win over Arizona.

New England (8-1) at Philadelphia (5-4), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. They last met in Super Bowl 52 and the Eagles swooped away with the Lombardi. This time, both teams are coming off bye weeks and both are still in the hunt. The Eagles and Carson Wentz host Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in a late afternoon contest at Lincoln Financial Field.

Brady and the Patriots were taken to task by Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in Charm City 37-20 two Sundays ago. New England trailed 17-13 at the intermission, then watched the wheels come off as the Ravens would give the defending Super Bowl champs their first loss by outscoring New England 20-7 in the second half of action. Baltimore outrushed New England 210-74 with Ravens RB Mark Ingram leading everyone with 115 yards and QB Lamar Jackson threw for 163 yards with a passing TD and had a rushing TD, while Brady threw for 285 yards and a TD toss to Mohammed Sanu (Brady was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Jackson was sacked once). New England was 5 of 13 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 22:59, while the Ravens ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 37:01, while going 5 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Wentz and Philadelphia took care of Chicago 22-14 at Lincoln Financial Field two Sundays ago in the City of Brotherly Love. A pair of Jake Elliott field goals and a Wentz TD pass to TE Zack Ertz gave the Eagles a 12-0 lead at the intermission. Eagles RB Jordan Howard would give the Eagles a 19-0 lead with 10:37 left in the third before Chicago’s David Montgomery would score a pair of TDs on 1-yard runs to pull them to within five before Elliot would push the lead back to eight and sealed the contest with 25 seconds left, booting a 38-yard field for the contest’s final points. Howard led all rushers with 82 yards as the Eagles outrushed Chicago 146-62 and Wentz threw for 239 yards with the TD toss to Ertz, while Mitch Trubisky threw for 125 yards (neither Wentz or Trubisky threw an interception; Wentz was sacked four times, Trubisky was sacked three times). Philadelphia went 8 of 18 on third down (the Eagles were perfect in their only fourth down try) and the Eagles were stingy with the clock, as they kept the ball for 40:18, while Chicago kept the ball for 19:42, going 2 for 10 on third down.

The Eagles lead the series 7-5 and have outscored the Pats 283-269. Their last regular season meeting came in 2015 in Foxboro and the Eagles left Gillette Stadium 35-28 winners, while New England’s last win came in the City of Brotherly Love in 2011 by a final of 38-20.

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

The odds makers like the Patriots as 3 1/2-point favorites in the City of Brotherly Love and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Both numbers make this one well worth your time to watch Sunday afternoon. New England’s looking to avoid losing two in a row; as for the Eagles, they want to let the Patriots know that the Super Bowl win was not a fluke. Philadelphia probably won’t cover the 3 1/2 but they do take the win in the City of Brotherly Love.

Cincinnati (0-8) at Oakland (5-4), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders host the winless Cincinnati Bengals on the West Coast in a late afternoon AFC contest.

The Bengals were taken to task 49-13 by Baltimore at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati trailed from start to finish in the their eighth loss in a row and trailed 28-10 at the intermission. Baltimore then proceeded to score 21 third quarter points unchallenged to seal the Bengals’ fate. While Cincinnati outrushed Baltimore 157-136 with Bengals RB Joe Mixon leading the way with 114 yards, Lamar Jackson burned the Bengals for 223 yards and three TDs and had a rushing TD of his own, while backup QB Ryan Finley, who took over after Andy Dalton was benched, threw for 167 yards and a TD (Jackson was not sacked or threw an interception, Finley threw a pick and was sacked twice). Baltimore on third down tries went 4 of 6 (the Ravens were perfect in their only fourth down attempt) and kept the ball for 23:49, while the Bengals actually ruled the clock and held the ball for 36:11, going 7 of 15 on third down, 1 of 4 on fourth down.

The Silver and Black held off a late Philip Rivers rally in Oakland and came away 26-24 winners at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum over the Los Angeles Chargers. Oakland held a 17-14 lead at the break before the Chargers took over after a 27-yard field goal by Michael Badgley with 25 seconds left in the third and a 6-yard TD toss from Rivers to RB Austin Ekeler to lead 24-20 with 4:02 left in the contest. Oakland reclaimed the lead for keeps, using a 3-minute drive that used 10 plays and 75 yards when RB Josh Jacobs scored on an 18-yard run. Los Angeles would get the ball back on the ensuing kickoff with 62 seconds left and made their way down the field and got themselves as close as Oakland’s 30-yard line, when Rivers was picked off by Karl Joseph to end the threat.

The Chargers outrushed Oakland 146-78 in the Thursday night affair in northern California, with Chargers RB Melvin Gordon leading the way with 108 yards and a TD (Jacobs led Oakland 71). Carr threw for 218 yards with a TD, while Rivers threw for 207 yards and a pair of TDs (Rivers was sacked five times and threw three interceptions, including the one that ended Los Angeles’ hopes, while Carr was sacked three times without an interception). Oakland was 4 of 12 on third down tries (they had one fourth down try and had success) and kept the ball for 25:50, while the Chargers were the rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 34:10, going 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Including games played in Los Angeles and at old Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field, the Raiders lead the series 18-11 and have outscored the Bengals 659-577. However…. the Bengals have come away winners in the last three meetings, including taking down the Silver and Black 30-16 last year at Paul Brown Stadium (Oakland’s last win in the sereis came in 2009v in Oakland by a final of 20-17).

The week 15 contest along the shores of the Ohio River saw the Bengals take a 20-7 at the intermission, then hold off a late Oakland rally to take the win at home. Mixon led all rushers with 129 yards and a pair of TDs as the Bengals outrushed Oakland 171-68 and Jeff Driskell, taking over for Dalton, threw for 130 yards with a sack and an interception, while Carr threw for 263 yards with five sacks (each threw a TD pass, Driskell threw an interception). Although the Bengals were 8 of 19 on third down tries at Paul Brown Stadium, they were 2 of 2 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 33:19, while the Raiders, holding on to the pigskin for 26:41, went 3 of 14 on third down.

Cincinnati was favored by 3 1/2 in the week 15 contest and the Bengals covered, winning by 14 and both clubs BARELY covered the 45 1/2 over/under, tallying 46. Oakland’s favored by 10 1/2 on the West Coast and the over/under’s 48 1/2. The over/under is reasonable, the 10 1/2? It leaves one scratching their heads. Cincinnati’s bad but not 10 1/2 bad. Oakland takes this one at home but we can expect the Bengals to make things a lot closer than the 10 1/2.

Chicago (4-5) at Los Angeles Rams (5-4), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. The Windy City meets sunnny California as Chicago travels to Los Angeles for a Sunday night prime time contest with the Rams at the Coliseum.

A late Los Angeles rally in Pittsburgh fell short as the Steelers hung on to give the Rams a 17-12 loss at Heinz Field. Although the Steelers led 14-7 at the intermission in the Steel City, the Rams managed to outscore Pittsburgh 5-3 in the last 30 minutes of action and trailed by only 2 with 12:40 left in the contest when Steelers QB Mason Rudolph was sacked by Aaron Donald in the end zone for a safety before Chris Boswell connected on a 32-yard field goal with 2:46 left in regulation to give the home team a little more breathing room. After the teams exchanged the ball on punts, the Rams would get it back with 61 seconds left in an attempt to take a win on the road. Los Angeles would get as close as their 42-yard line, thanks to two penalties and their hopes of winning would come to an end when Mike Fitzpatrick intercepted Jarod Goff to seal the win.

Los Angeles did manage to outrush the Steelers 88-42 with Rams RB Todd Gurley leading the way with 73 yards, while Rudolph threw for 242 yards and a TD; Goff threw for 243 yards with a pair of interceptions (Goff was sacked four times, Rudolph was sacked three times, including the sack for the Rams’ safety). The Steelers were 5 of 13 on third down conversions (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:40, while the Rams were a dismal 1 of 14 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 28:20.

Da Bears erased a 6-0 deficit against NFC North rival Detroit as they stormed back to take a 20-13 win at Soldier Field last Sunday. The Lions took that 6-0 lead with a pair of Matt Prahter field goals before the Monsters of the Midway would erase that lead with 25 seconds left before the break when Mitch Trubisky and TE Ben Braunecker connected on a 18-yard toss, taking the lead for keeps at that point. Trubisky would add 3rd quarter TD passes to Tarik Cohen and Taylor Gabriel to take the lead to 20-6 before Kenny Golladay and Jeff Driskell (taking over for Matthew Stafford – back) would put the Lions to within 7 with 5:53 left in the contest. After Detroit and Chicago exchanged punts, the Lions got the ball back with 1:41 and would get themselves as close as Chicago’s 25-yard line, where the drive and game ended.

Neither club breached the 100 yard barrier in the contest in the Windy City but Detroit did manage to outrush Chicago 98-81 and Driskell threw for 269 yards with the TD, while he was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Trubisky accounted for the three TDs with 173 yards of passing and five sacks. Detroit was 7 for 18 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and including the final 1:41 of the contest, kept the ball for 31:54, while the Bears kept the ball for 28:06, going 2 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including contests that were played in Cleveland, St. Louis, Anahiem, Champaign-Urbana and Wrigley Field, Da Bears lead the series 53-35-3, have outscored the Rams 2,116-1,829 and have won the last contests, including a 15-6 win last year in the Windy City (the Rams’ last win in the series came in 2013 in St. Louis by a final of 42-21).

They met at Soldier Field in week 14 on a Sunday night (game time temperature, for those that are interested? A balmy 29 degrees with a 25-degree wind chill) and the first half was a field goal contest as Chris Parkey and Greg Zuerlein each kicked a pair of field goals to send their teams into the locker room tied at 6-6. Chicago then went to work in the second half, getting a safety courtesy of nose tackle Eddie Goldman and a 2-yard TD toss from Trubisky to OL Bradley Sowell on a tackle-eligible play. Chicago outrushed the Rams 194-52 and RB Jordan Howard led all rushers with 101 yards; Trubisky, despite being picked off three times, threw for 110 yards with the third-quarter TD, while Goff threw for 180 yards with four picks (Trubisky was sacked once, Goof was sacked three times). Chicago was 7 of 16 on third down conversions and the Monsters of the Midway kept the pigskin for 36:49, while the Rams, who held on to the ball for 23:11, went 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

In the week 14 Sunday night affair, the Rams were favored by 3 and the Monsters of the Midway covered, winning by 9 but the 52 1/2 over/under stayed intact, as both teams merged for only 21 points. The odds makers in Vegas like the Rams and they are favored by 7 with a 41 1/2 over/under. Both numbers make a ton of sense and both clubs are in the playoff hunt, trying to catch Green Bay and San Francisco respectively. This will be closer than the 7 but the Rams prevail in Hollywood, taking the win.

Kansas City (6-4) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (4-6) at Stadio Azteca in Mexico City, 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Forget the records. A pair of AFC West/AFL rivals meet south of the border as Patrick Mahomes and first-place Kansas City takes on the Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers in Mexico City to close out play in week 11. Both teams are looking for wins after close losses on the road last week.

Kansas City had a chance to send their contest with Tennessee into overtime last Sunday in Nashville but Harrison Butker’s 52-yard attempt as time expired was blocked by Titans DB Joshua Kalu and came up on the short end of a 35-32 loss in Nashville. Tennessee and Kansas City went into the intermission tied at 13-13 before the Chiefs took a 32-27 lead when Butker connected on a 39-yard field goal with 3:14 left in the contest. Tennessee did not waste a lot of time on their drive to reclaim the lead, getting the ball back with 81 seconds after a Chiefs’ field goal try failed, using 4 plays, 61 yards and 58 seconds to reclaim the lead when WR Adam Humphries and Ryan Tannehill connected on a 23-yard TD toss. Tannehill then took matters into his own feet when he scored on the two-point conversion.

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

Tennessee’s Derrek Henry led all rushers with 188 yards and a pair of TDs as the Titans outrushed Kansas City 225-97 and Mahomes threw for 446 and three TDs (connecting with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce on two of the passes), while Tannehill threw for 181 yards and a pair of TDs (including the game-winner) to go with his two-point try (neither threw an interception; Mahomes was sacked twice, while Tannehill was sacked four times). Kansas City was 7 of 14 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:51, including the final 23 seconds of the game, while the Titans, keeping the ball for 22:09, went 2 of 8 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

A late rally by Rivers and the Chargers fell short in Oakland two Thursdays ago as Oakland came away 26-24 winners at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Oakland held a 17-14 lead at the break before the Chargers took over after a 27-yard field goal by Michael Badgley with 25 seconds left in the third and a 6-yard TD toss from Rivers to RB Austin Ekeler to lead 24-20 with 4:02 left in the contest. Oakland reclaimed the lead for keeps, using a 3-minute drive that used 10 plays and 75 yards when RB Josh Jacobs scored on an 18-yard run. Los Angeles would get the ball back on the ensuing kickoff with 62 seconds left and made their way down the field and got themselves as close as Oakland’s 30-yard line, when Rivers was picked off by Karl Joseph to end the threat.

The Chargers outrushed Oakland 146-78 in the Thursday night affair in northern California, with Chargers RB Melvin Gordon leading the way with 108 yards and a TD (Jacobs led Oakland 71). Carr threw for 218 yards with a TD, while Rivers threw for 207 yards and a pair of TDs (Rivers was sacked five times and threw three interceptions, including the one that ended Los Angeles’ hopes, while Carr was sacked three times without an interception). Oakland was 4 of 12 on third down tries (they had one fourth down try and had success) and kept the ball for 25:50, while the Chargers were the rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 34:10, going 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Including games played in Dallas (when the Chiefs were known as the Texans), at Swope Field and Qualcomm Stadium, Kansas City leads the series 61-55-1 and have outscored the Bolts 2,586-2,363. Each team won contests in the other’s facility, spliting the series last year.

The two AFC West/AFL rivals didn’t wait long as they opened the 2018 campaign in Los Angeles in week one, with Kansas City coming away 38-28 winners. Tyreek Hill caught a pair of TD passes from Mahomes and opened the scoring in the contest with a 91-yard punt return. Mahomes threw for 256 yards and four TD tosses in the contest, even though the Chiefs were outrushed by the Chargers 123-106 and Rivers threw for 424 yards and three TDs (both Rivers and Mahomes were sacked once, with Rivers throwing an interception). Kansas City was 4 of 10 on third down and held on to the ball for 25:34, while the Chargers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:26, while going 3 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Chargers got their revenge in the rematch at Arrowhead in week 15, rallying late in the contest to come away 29-28 winners. Los Angeles trailed 14-7 at the intermission and found themselves trailing 21-14 at the end of three quarters before outscoring Kansas City 15-7 in the final quarter. Justin Jackson put the Chargers to within seven with 3:49 left when he scored from 3 yards out. After the Chargers got the ball back on a Chiefs’ punt, they would use an 8-play, 60-yard drive that took 2:33 of clock, capping it when WR Mike Williams and Rivers connected on a 1-yard TD toss with 4 seconds left in the contest.

Los Angeles outrushed Kansas City 119-60 and Rivers threw for 313 yards, while Mahomes threw for 243 yards (both threw a pair of TDs; Mahomes was sacked twice, Rivers was sacked five times and threw an interception) for the Chiefs. Both clubs were 6 of 10 on third down (the Chargers were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and the Chargers kept the ball for 33:16 to Kansas City’s 26:44.

In the season opener on the West Coast, the Chargers were favored by 3 1/2 and the Chiefs covered, winning by 10 and both teams took care of the 42 1/2 over/under by tallying 66 points. As for the week 15 contest on a Thursday night in Arrowhead? The Chiefs were favored by 3 1/2 but the Chargers won by 1 and both clubs tallied 57 points, covering the 53 over/under. The boys and girls in Vegas think highly of the Chiefs and they’re favored by 3 1/2 with a 52 1/2 over/under. Both come into the Monday night contest south of the border with losses under their belts from last week and both want to keep their place in the AFC West. You might want to tape “All Rise” and “Bull” this week. Chiefs recover from their loss in Nashville and wins in Mexico City, covering the 3 1/2.

Los Angeles Chargers (4-5) at Oakland (4-4), 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon. They’ve been AFC/AFL West rivals since the 60s. They share the same state and are separated by 373 miles along I-5. Thursday night, Philip Rivers and the the Los Angeles Chargers make that trip northward to square off against Derek Carr and their AFC West foes in a key Thursday night battle to open play in week 10. Both teams were in their home facilities last Sunday and both teams defeated NFC North opponents in the process.

Los Angeles led Green Bay from start to finish last Sunday at Dignity Health Sports Park, taking down Aaron Rodgers and the Packers 26-11 in Carson. The Chargers scored the first nine points of the contest unchallenged thanks to three Michael Badgley field goals, taking a 9-0 lead with them to the intermission. Badgley would add another field goal at the halfway point of the third quarter and the Chargers would score the first TD of the game when Melvin Gordon II tallied his first of two TDs from a yard out.

Green Bay would then end any bid for a Charger shutout when K Mason Crosby connected on a 54-yard field goal with 46 seconds left in the third. Gordon would add a second TD early in the fourth quarter to all but ice the contest away from the Packers on the West Coast. Gordon led all rushers with 80 yards and the two TDs as the Chargers outrushed Green Bay 159-45 and Rivers threw for 294 yards without a sack, while Rodgers threw for 161 yards and a TD to Jamaal Williams with three sacks (neither QB threw an interception).

The Bolts were 5 of 11 on third down on the West Coast (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and were stingy with the football, keeping it away from the Packers for 35:51, while Green Bay went 2 of 10 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down), holding on to the pigskin for 24:09.

Oakland held off a late Detroit rally last Sunday on the other side of San Francisco Bay, coming away 31-24 winners at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Oakland took a 17-10 lead with them to the break on the West Coast, only to see that lead get away from them as the Lions would tie things up at 17-17 on a Matt Prater field goal from 23 yards out with 4:45 left in the third. Oakland then reclaimed the lead in the fourth quarter, as Carr and rookie TE Foster Moreau connected on a 3-yard TD toss to lead by 7, then clung to that lead until the Lions and Matthew Stafford and WR Josh McKissic connected on a 26-yard TD pass to re-tie the contest. Oakland would then get the final word in the contest, first with Carr and WR Hunter Renfrow connecting on a 9-yard TD pass with 2:04 left in the contest, then held off a late Detroit rally as the Lions would get to the Raiders’ 1-yard line before Stafford’s pass attempt to TE Logan Thomas fell short.

oakland outrushed Detroit 171-90 and rookie RB Josh Jacobs led all rushers with 120 yards and a pair of TDs in the win, Carr threw for 289 yards and a pair of TDS (including the game-winner), while Stafford threw for 406 yards and three TDs (Stafford was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Carr was sacked once). Oakland was 7 of 13 on third down tries and the Raiders held the ball for 32:50, while the Lions kept the ball for 27:10, going 5 of 11 on third down (both clubs were 1 of 2 on fourth down conversions).

The Silver and Black lead the series 62-54-2 (which includes contests that were played in Los Angeles and San Diego) and have outscored the Chargers 2,563-2,555. However, the Chargers have won the last four meetings, including sweeping the last two series and taking last year’s contests (Oakland’s last win in the series came in 2016, when the Raiders left Qualcomm Stadium with a 19-16 win.)

The first meeting…. week 5 in Carson at StubHub Center. The Chargers led Oakland 17-3 at the half and came away with the 26-10 win. Rivers (339 yards, no interceptions) threw a pair of TD passes in the contest with one sack, while Carr threw for 268 yards with a TD (Carr was sacked three times and threw an interception). Neither club breached the 100-yard barrier in the contest but the Chargers, who forced a pair of Oakland turnovers, outrushed the Raiders 79-41. Los Angeles went 7 of 13 on third down tries at StubHub Center and would rule the clock, keeping the ball for 34:40, while the Silver and Black, keeping the pigskin for 25:20, went 4 of 11 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Chargers completed the series sweep in northern California at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, leaving that facility 20-6 winners in week 10. Los Angeles erased a 3-0 lead, took a 10-3 with them to the intermission and took control from there, holding Oakland to a Daniel Carlson field goal in the fourth quarter. Rivers in the rematch threw for 223 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with Gordon and Keenan Allen on both tosses (Rivers was sacked once and threw an interception), while Carr threw for 243 yards with four sacks. Gordon led all rushers with 93 yards but the Silver and Black barely outrushed the Chargers 114-113 in the contest. Third down tries in the rematch? Oakland was 5 of 15 (the Silver and Black was 1 of 3 on fourth down), while the Chargers were 2 of 10 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down). As far as the clock was concerned, the Raiders ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:10, while the Chargers held the ball for 28:50.

In the week five contest in Carson, the Chargers were 5 1/2-point favorites and covered, winning by 16. As for the 53 1/2 over/under? It was untouched, as both team combined for 36 points. In the week 10 rematch in northern California, the Chargers covered the 9 1/2-point spread that they were favored by, winning by 13 but the 50 1/2 over/under stayed in tact as both clubs merged for only 26 points.

Vegas likes the Chargers as a 1-point favorite in Wine country Thursday night and the over/under’s 48. Both numbers are reasonable. Both teams are trying to catch Kansas City and take the top spot away from the Chiefs in the AFC West. The winner is a little closer to that goal. Chargers cover the 1 and takes the win on the road.

Broadcast Information – 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (field reporter), Kristina Pink (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Ryan Radtke, Rod Woodson; SIRIUS: 81 (Los Angeles Chargers), 83 (Oakland); XM: 225 (Los Angeles Chargers), 226 (Oakland)

Referee: Walt Anderson

Injury Report

Los Angeles Chargers
DOUBTFUL: WR Geremy Davis (Hamstring), RB Justin Jackson (Calf), CB Roderic Teamer (Groin)
OUT: DT Cortez Broughton (Illness), DT Justin Jones (Shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Denzel Perryman (Knee), T Samiuela Tevi (Knee), DT Brandon Mebane (Knee)

Oakland
OUT: DE Arden Key (Foot), DE Josh Mauro (Groin)
QUESTIONABLE: T Trenton Brown (Knee), WR Dwayne Harris (Foot), C Rodney Hudson (Ankle)

Weather: Sunny and 61 degrees

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

San Francisco (7-0) at Arizona (3-4-1), 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon. The only unbeaten team in the NFC travels to the desert for a week nine NFC West Thursday night contest in Glendale as San Francisco and Arizona meet at State Farm Stadium.

The 49ers took their seventh win in as many tries last Sunday afternoon at Levis Stadium, taking Carolina to task 51-13 in Wine Country. San Francisco, holding on to first place in the NFC West, led 27-3 at the half and never looked back, holding the Panthers in check for the rest of the contest. Tevin Coleman ran for 105 yards and three TDS in the contest, as the 49ers outrushed Carolina 232-130 (Christian McCaffrey led Carolina with 117 yards and a TD). Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 175 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Coleman, the other to newly accquired WR Emanuel Sanders), despite being sacked three times (one for a safety) and throwing an interception, while Carolina’s Kyle Allen threw for 158 yards, was sacked seven times (three times by rookie LB Nick Bosa) and picked off three times (once by Bosa). San Francisco went 5 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 33:01, while the Panthers, holding the ball for 26:59, went 2 of 13 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down.

New Orleans welcomed the return of Drew Brees, then held Arizona to three Zane Gonzalez field goals as they dropped a 31-9 decision in the Big Easy Sunday afternoon. The Desert Angry Birds led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, then watched as New Orleans erased that lead and Arizona trailed 10-6 at the intermission and would be outscored 21-3 in the final 30 minutes of play at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Arizona found themselves held to 40 yards of rushing, while the Saints tallied 137 (Saints RB Latavius Murray led all rushers with 102 yards and a TD), Brees threw for 373 yards and three TDs without a sack (he was picked off once), while Kyler Murray threw for 220 yards with three sacks. New Orleans went 7 of 12 on third down and kept the ball to themselves, ruling the clock for 37:59, while the Desert Angry Birds were 2 of 12 on third down (they went 0 of 2 on fourth down) and held the ball for 22:01.

While the 49ers lead the series 29-26 and have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 1,237-1,123 (including contests that took place in Chicago, St. Louis, Keezar Stadium and Candlestick Park), Arizona has won the last eight meetings in the series, including sweeping last year’s contests (San Francisco’s last win in the series came in 2014, when they left Candlestick Park 20-17 winners).

Their first meeting took place in Santa Clara in week five and it would be Arizona coming away 28-18 winners at Levis Stadium. The Desert Angry Birds led 13-6 at the intermission, then after a scoreless third quarter, outscored San Francisco 14-12 in the final frame. San Francisco did outrush their NFC West foe 147-56 and C.J. Bethard threw for 349 yards and a pair of TDs but threw a pair of interceptions and was sacked four times, while Cardinals QB Josh Rosen threw for 170 yards with a TD and a sack. San Francisco went 10 of 17 on third down tries (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 40:12, while the Desert Angry Birds, keeping the ball for 19:48, went 2 of 12 on third down tries.

Arizona completed the sweep in the desert in the week eight rematch at State Farm Stadium, rallying in the final seconds to come away 18-15 winners. San Francisco led by a baseball-like score of 5-3 at the half, then watched as Arizona would outscore the 49ers 15-10, with WR Christian Kirk scoring the game-winner with 34 seconds left when he and Rosen connected on a 9-yard TD toss. Rosen, who threw a TD pass to all-pro WR Larry Fitzgerald (8 catches for 102 yards) earlier in the contest, threw for 252 yards, despite being sacked three times with an interception. Bethard threw for 190 yards with a TD for the 49ers in the loss (Bethard was sacked four times). As was the case in the first meeting, the 49ers outrushed Arizona 107-88 and went 5 of 14 on third down tries and once again, they would rule the clock, keeping the ball for 32:19, while the Desert Angry Birds, keeping the ball for 27:41, while going 6 of 14 on third down tries.

In the week five contest in wine country, San Francisco was favored by 4 and the Desert Angry Birds covered with the win by 10 points and both teams covered the 41 over/under with 46 points. In the week eight contest in the desert, the Desert Angry Birds were favored by 1 and covered the spread, winning by 3; however, the 43 1/2 was intract as both teams combined for only 25 points. San Francisco’s favored by 7 1/2 in the desert and the over/under’s 44. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Arizona would love nothing more than to end the 49ers’ win streak, while the 49ers want to keep the streak alive. The streak lives on. San Francisco prevails in the desert and covers the 7 1/2.

Broadcast Information – 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (field reporter), Kristina Pink (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, Matt Millen; SIRIUS: 81 (San Francisco), 83 (Arizona); XM: 225 (San Francisco), 226 (Arizona)

Referee: Brad Rogers

Injury Report

San Francisco
DOUBTFUL: T Joe Staley (Fibula)
OUT: RB Kyle Juszczyk (Knee), T Mike McGlinchey (Knee), CB James Witherspoon (Foot)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Matt Breida (Ankle), RB Dominique Mostert (Knee), TE Levine Toilolo (Groin)

Arizona
OUT: DE Zach Allen (Neck), RB Chase Edmonds (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: T Justin Murray (Knee), RB David Johnson (Ankle)

Weather Forecast: Game Indoors; if roof is open, sunny and 73 degrees

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

They’re still standing.

New England (7-0) and San Francisco (6-0) remain as the only two unbeaten teams in the NFL. Both teams took road wins last week and both teams pitched shutouts in last week’s play. Fall is in the air. Leaves are changing color, air’s getting cooler, hot Cider and Pumpkin pie are being served and in a weeks, Halloween will be upon us.

While those two teams are enjoying the fruits of their labors, Miami and Cincinnati, both winless, search for their first win and hope that they don’t get a rock in their sacks, like Charlie Brown. It’s week eight in the 2019 NFL season and while most teams are struggling, there’s still hope for either a divisional title, a Wild Card spot or another off-season second-guessing themselves. We’re near the halfway point and as a reminder, a football season is a marathon, not a sprint.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK 7: Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers passed for 429 yards with five touchdowns, including the 350th of his career and no interceptions for a 158.3 rating, the highest attainable mark and added a rushing touchdown in the Packers’ 42-24 win over Oakland. Appearing in his 172nd career game, Rodgers surpassed Drew Brees (180 games) as the fastest quarterback to reach 350 career touchdown passes in NFL history.

Rodgers is the third player with at least 400 passing yards, five touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown in a single game in NFL history, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Norm Van Brocklin (Week 1, 1951) and Mark Rypien (Week 11, 1991). He is also the third player in the Super Bowl era with five passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in a single game, joining Rypien and Mark Malone (Week 1, 1985). Rodgers now has 22 career games with at least four touchdown passes, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (21 games) for the fifth-most such games in NFL history.

Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins passed for 337 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 141.1 rating in the Vikings’ 42-30 win at Detroit. Cousins, who passed for 306 yards with a 138.6 passer rating in Week 5 and had 333 passing yards and a 138.4 rating in Week 6, is the first quarterback to record at least 300 passing yards and a passer rating of 135 or higher in three consecutive games in NFL history.

Detroit quarterback Matthew Staffird passed for 364 yards and four touchdowns with one interception in the loss. Stafford, who has 40,277 career passing yards in 147 career games, is the first player in NFL history to reach 40,000 career passing yards in 150 games or fewer.

Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones, Jr. had four touchdown receptions in Week 7. Jones, who also had four touchdown catches in Week 8 of the 2013 season with Cincinnati, is the fourth player to have at least four touchdown receptions in two career games in NFL history, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (two games) as well as Sterling Sharpe (two) and Bob Shaw (two).

Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson passed for 143 yards and rushed for 116 yards with a touchdown in the Ravens’ 30-16 win at Seattle. Jackson, who has 576 rushing yards in 2019 and had 695 yards as a rookie in 2018, is the second quarterback in NFL history with at least 500 rushing yards in each of his first two seasons, joining Cam Newton (2011-12).

In his Ravens debut, cornerback Marcus Peters registered a 67-yard interception return for a touchdown. It marked the fifth interception-return touchdown of his career, tied for the third-most by a player in his first five seasons in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers Ken Houston (nine) and Lem Barney (six) had more. Peters, who had a 32-yard interception return for a touchdown with the Los Angeles Rams in Week 4, is the first player in NFL history to record an interception return for a touchdown for two different teams in a single season.

Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook had 149 scrimmage yards (142 rushing, seven receiving) and two rushing touchdowns in the Vikings’ 42-30 win at Detroit, while Jacksonville running back Leonard Fournette totaled 145 scrimmage yards (131 rushing, 14 receiving) in the Jaguars’ 27-17 win at Cincinnati.

Three players – Cook (945 scrimmage yards), Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey (923) and Fournette (918) – each have at least 900 scrimmage yards through Week 7. It marks the fourth time that at least three players have had at least 900 scrimmage yards through the first seven weeks of a season in NFL history.

The other three seasons with at least three players totaling 900 or more scrimmage yards through the first seven weeks: 1983 (four players – Pro Football Hall of Famers Eric Dickerson and Walter Payton as well as William Andrews and Joe Cribbs), 2002 (four – Pro Football Hall of Famers Marshall Faulk and LaDainian Tomlinson as well as Priest Holmes and Ricky Williams) and 2003 (three – Ahman Green, Holmes and Jamal Lewis).

San Francisco earned a 9-0 win at Washington in Week 7 and advanced to 6-0 for the first time since 1990, when they began the season 10-0. The 49ers held the Redskins to 154 net yards of offense in the win. San Francisco is the sixth team since 1990 and the first since the 2005 New England Patriots (Weeks 13-15) to allow seven or fewer points and 200 or fewer net yards of offense in three consecutive games.

Arizona linebacker Chandler Jones had a career-high four sacks along with a forced fumble and fumble recovery in the Cardinals’ 27-21 win at the New York Giants. Jones is the fifth player with four sacks, a forced fumble and fumble recovery in a single game since 2000, joining Adrian Clayborn (2017), Aaron Donald (2018), Justin Houston (2013) and Simeon Rice (2003).

Chicago wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson had a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the Bears’ Week 7 loss against New Orleans. It marked the seventh career kick return touchdown for Patterson, tied for the third-most in NFL history. Only Josh Cribs (eight) and Leon Washington (eight) had more.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 8

DOMINANT DEFENSE: Entering Week 8, undefeated New England (7-0) lead the league in both points for per game (31.9) and points against per game (6.9).

Against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, the Patriots can become the first team to average more than 30 points per game and allow fewer than 10 points per game through eight games of a season since the 1962 Green Bay Packers.

Additionally, New England’s point differential (+175) is the second-highest at this point of a season in NFL history, trailing only the 1920 Buffalo All-Americans (+218). With a win on Sunday, New England can continue its historic point differential pace and jump into the top five in NFL history through their first eight games.

The teams with the highest point differential through their first eight games of a season in NFL history:

TEAM – SEASON (POINT DIFFERENTIAL)
Buffalo All-Americans – 1920 (+215)
New England – 2007 (+204)
Chicago Bears – 1942 (+189)
Chicago Bears – 1941 (+187)
Green Bay – 1962 (+182)
New England – 2019 (+175)*
*Through seven games

New England also tops the NFL in turnover differential (+14), led by safety Devin McCourty’s league-high five interceptions. With a positive turnover differential on Sunday, New England can move into the top five for the highest turnover margin through eight games since 1970.

The teams with the largest turnover margin through eight games since 1970:

TEAM – SEASON (TURNOVER MARGIN)
Baltimore Colts – 1977 (+22)
Cincinnati – 2005 (+20)
Denver – 1984 (+18)
Kansas City – 2003 (+18)
Minnesota – 1983 (+17)
New England – 2019 (+14)*
*Through seven games

MINING THEIR BUSINESS: San Francsico enters Week 8 as the lone undefeated team (6-0) in the NFC. San Francisco’s defense has allowed 223.5 total net yards per game – more than 100 fewer yards per game than any other team in the NFC (Dallas, 324.9) – and has limited their opponents to fewer than 200 total net yards of offense in each of the past three games.

With fewer than 200 total net yards allowed on Sunday against Carolina, San Francisco would become the sixth team to allow fewer than 200 total net yards of offense in at least four consecutive games since 1970. Three of the previous five teams to do so went on to win the Super Bowl.

The teams with the most consecutive games limiting opponents to 200 or fewer total net yards of offense since 1970:

TEAM (SEASON(S), GAMES)
Pittsburgh (1974-75, 5)#
Dallas (1977, 4)#
Dallas (1973-74; 4)
Miami (1972, 4)#
New England (2005, 4)
San Francisco (2019, 3)*
*Active streak
#Won Super Bowl

To continue its streak of games allowing fewer than 200 total net yards of offense on Sunday, San Francisco will need to limit Carolina running back Christian McCaffery, who has scored both a rushing and a receiving touchdown in each of his past two games. With both a rushing and receiving touchdown on Sunday, McCaffrey would tie Pete Johnson (three consecutive games in 1981 with Cincinnati) for the longest streak of games with at least one rushing and one receiving touchdown in NFL history.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Dating back to Week 8 of the 2018 season, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has 16 touchdown passes and zero interceptions in his past seven starts on the road and his streak of eight consecutive road games with a passer rating of 110 or higher is the longest such streak in NFL history.

With at least one touchdown pass and zero interceptions on Sunday at Atlanta, Wilson would surpass Tom Brady (seven games in 2010) and Nick Foles (seven in 2012-13) for the most consecutive road games with at least one touchdown pass and zero interceptions in NFL history.

The players with the most consecutive road games with at least one touchdown pass and zero interceptions in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON(S), GAMES)
Tom Brady, New England (2010, 7)
Nick Foles, Philadelphia (2012-13, 7)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2018-19, 7)*
*Active streak

CAN’T STOP HOP: Since entering the league in 2013, Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins ranks second in the NFL in touchdown receptions (50), and third in catches (577) and receiving yards (7,945).

Hopkins, who will be 27 years and 143 days old on Sunday, needs 55 receiving yards against Oakland to become the third-youngest player to reach 8,000 career receiving yards in NFL history.

The youngest players to reach 8,000 career receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (AGE)
Randy Moss, Minnesota (26 years, 297 days) HOF
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona (27 years, 110 days)
Calvin Johnson, Detroit (27 years, 358 days)
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston (27 years, 143 days)*
*On Sunday
HOF – Hall of Fame

SACKED IN A FLASH: Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett is tied for the league lead with nine sacks this season and has had at least two sacks in three games in 2019.

With two sacks on Sunday against New England, Garrett would become the first player since Robert Mathis (2013) and the eighth player since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, to have four games with at least two sacks through his team’s first seven games of a season.

The players with the most games with at least two sacks through their team’s first seven games of a season since 1982:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, GAMES WITH 2+ SACKS)
Jared Allen, Minnesota (2011 – 4)
Elvis Dumervil, Denver (2009 – 4)
Mark Gastineau, New York Jets (1984 – 4)
Kevin Greene, Carolina (1998 – 4) HOF
Robert Mathis, Indianapolis (2013 – 4)
Michael Strahan, New York Giants (2001 – 4) HOF
DeMarcus Ware, Dallas (2011 – 4)
Myles Garrett, Cleveland (2019 – 3)*
*In six games
HOF – Hall of Fame

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated Sunday night’s Green Bay-Kansas City matchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest commemorates the teams that played in the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game, later called the Super Bowl thanks to a suggestion made by the late Lamar Hunt, owner of the Chiefs and co-founder of the AFL. On January 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Packers clung to a 14-10 halftime lead before breaking open the contest in the second half. Max McGee caught seven passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns en route to a 35-10 win over the AFL champion Chiefs. Two networks, CBS and NBC, televised the game, which was not sold out.

YOUNG QUARTERBACKS ILLUMINATING NFL’S PATH: One of the more remarkable storylines of the NFL’s 100th season is the league’s sterling crop of young quarterbacks, and the amount of wins that group has generated. All told, 87 of 106 games (82.1 percent) have featured at least one starting quarterback age 26 or younger, more than any season ever through Week 7. Quarterbacks age 26 or younger have won 63 of their 116 starts (54.3 percent), 14 more wins than any prior season in league annals through seven weeks.

A look at some of the starting quarterbacks age 26 or younger this season:

Carolina quarterback Kyle Allen, 23, is 4-0 as a starter in 2019. He also is the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to begin his career 5-0 without throwing an interception in his first five career starts.

New Orleans quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, 26, is 5-0 as a starter in 2019 with 1,370 pass yards and nine touchdowns for a 98.9 rating.

Indianapolis quarterback Jacoby Brissett, 26, has led the Colts to a 4-2 record and has thrown at least two touchdowns in five of his six starts.

Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson, 23, is the third quarterback in NFL history with at least three games of 100 rushing yards in a single season. He is also one of three quarterbacks with five touchdown passes in a single game in 2019.

Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott, 26, has paced the NFL’s top-ranked offense (437.9 yards per game) with 12 touchdown passes and three rushing touchdowns. He is one of four quarterbacks to average at least 300 passing yards per game in 2019.

Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson, 24, has 1,952 passing yards, 15 touchdown passes and three rushing touchdowns in 2019.

ROOKIES COMPETING AT HIGHEST LEVELS: Jacksonville, who hosts the New York Jets on Sunday is the first team in NFL history to have a rookie (Gardner Minshew) with a passer rating of 95 or higher (minimum 100 attempts) and a rookie (Josh Allen) with five-or-more sacks through their first seven games.

Minshew leads NFL rookies in both passer rating (95.7) and touchdown passes (10). It’s only the second time in NFL history in which a rookie quarterback has compiled a 95-or-better passer rating and 10-or-more touchdown passes through seven weeks (Houston’s DeShaun Watson had a 103 rating and 19 TDs through seven games in 2017).

In fact, rookies are prevalent all over the NFL landscape as the season approaches its midway point. The 100th season is the only campaign in NFL history in which a rookie through seven weeks of play:

Has a 95-or-better passer rating (Gardner Minshew Jacksonville, 95.7),
Has 10-or-more touchdown passes (Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville, 10),
Has at least 550 rushing yards (Josh Jacobs, Oakland, 554),
Has at least 400 receiving yards (Terry McLaurin, Washington, 419),
Has five-or-more overall touchdowns (Terry McLaurin, Washington, five),
Has at least two interceptions (Devin Bush, Pittsburgh and Ryan Connelly, New York Giants, each with two)
Has at least five sacks (Josh Allen, Jacksonville, five).

A POINT ABOUT ONE-POINT GAMES: This past week, eight games were within one score (eight points or fewer) at some point in the fourth quarter. Through seven weeks, 69 of 106 games (65.1 percent) have seen a team come within one possession of tying or taking the lead in the fourth quarter. Only three previous seasons have had more one-point games through Week 7 since the 1970 merger. And only three other seasons have seen more games decided by seven-or-fewer points in NFL history.

The seasons with the most games decided by one- and seven-or-fewer points through seven weeks:

GAMES DECIDED BY ONE-OR-FEWER POINTS, THROUGH WEEK 7, SINCE 1970
2016 – 10
1999 – 10
1997 – 10
2019 – 9
1972 – 9

GAMES DECIDED BY SEVEN-OR-FEWER POINTS, THROUGH WEEK 7, ALL-TIME
2012 – 57
2016 – 56
1999 – 55
2019 – 54
2018 – 54
2011 – 54
2010 – 54

BELICHICK HAS 300 IN SIGHT: New England head coach Bill Belichick can become just the third coach in NFL history to win 300 games, including the postseason. On Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, Belichick (299) can join Pro Football Hall of Famers Don Shula (347) and George Halas (324) as one of three coaches in NFL history to reach the milestone.

The head coaches with 200-or-more wins in NFL history, including the postseason:

COACH (W-L-T, PCT)
Don Shula (347-173-6, .666) HOF
George Halas (324-131-31, .682) HOF
Bill Belichick (299-134-0, .691)
Tom Landry (270-178-6, .603) HOF
Earl (Curly) Lambeau (229-134-22, .631) HOF
Andy Reid (212-140-1, .601)
Chuck Noll (209-156-1) HOF
Marty Schottenheimer (205-139-1, .596)
Dan Reeves (201-174-2, .536)
HOF – Hall of Fame
From 1920-71, tie games were not included in winning percentage.

Belichick meets the Cleveland Browns, where he served as head coach from 1991-95. Ironically, his best season in Cleveland was 1994, when he guided the 11-5 Browns to a Wild Card win over Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Parcells and the Patriots. During his Cleveland tenure, Belichick’s Browns coaching staff and front office contained some of the NFL’s most talented minds.

A closer look at notable Cleveland Browns executives and assistant coaches during the Bill Belichick era:

INDIVIDUAL, WITH 1991-95 BROWNS (CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENTS)
Bill Belichick, Head coach (Won six Super Bowls with Patriots)
Thomas Dimitroff, Grounds crew assistant (Atlanta Falcons general manager, drafted MVP Matt Ryan, advanced to SB LI)
Kirk Ferentz, Offensive line coach (College Coach of Year and two Big Ten titles as head coach at Iowa)
Pat Hill, Tight ends coach (as Fresno State head coach, 17 wins over teams from power conferences)
George Kokinis, Scout (Cleveland Browns general manager)
Michael Lombardi, Director of player personnel; Senior executive, Raiders; Browns general manager
Eric Mangini, Public relations intern (New York Jets, Browns head coach; won three Super Bowls as New England assistant)
Ozzie Newsome, Director of pro personnel (Pro Football Hall of Fame, Baltimore Ravens general manager)
Scott Pioli, Pro personnel assistant (New England personnel executive; Chiefs general manager)
Nick Saban, Defensive coordinator (Won six national titles as college head coach – Louisiana State, Alabama)
Phil Savage, Scout (Cleveland Browns general manager)
Jim Schwartz, Scout (Detroit Lions head coach, won Super Bowl LII as Eagles defensive coordinator)
Mike Tannenbaum, Player personnel assistant (New York Jets, Dolphins general manager)

BOOKEND NFL POINT-DIFFERENTIALS: New England owns a plus-175 point-differential (223 points scored, 48 points allowed), the second-highest mark in NFL history through seven games. Only one other club through seven games, the 1920 Buffalo All-Americans – in the first season of league competition, 1920 – had a higher point-differential, plus-218. The only other clubs with a point-differential of at least 163 through seven games were the 1941 Chicago Bears (plus-173) and the 1921 Buffalo All-Americans (plus-163).

DOMINATING IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT FOR NEW ENGLAND DEFENSE: With road shutouts in Week 2 and Week 7, the Patriots have two road shutout wins of at least 30 points in 2019. New England is the second team in NFL history to blank an opponent on the road by at least 30 points on multiple occasions in a single season. Only the 1942 Chicago Bears (two) can claim that distinction over a full year.

The Patriots also lead the NFL with 18 interceptions this season. Through seven games, only three clubs in NFL history have had more.

The most interceptions through seven games in NFL history:

INTERCEPTIONS (TEAM, YEAR – SEASON RESULT)
20 (Green Bay, 1996 – Won Super Bowl XXXI)
19 (San Francisco, 1986 – Advanced to NFC Divisional)
19 (Pittsburgh, 1973 – Advanced to AFC Divisional)
18 (New England, 2019 – ???)
18 (Dallas, 1985 – Advanced to NFC Divisional)
18 (Los Angeles Rams, 1985 – Advanced to NFC Championship)
18 (Pittsburgh, 1983 – Advanced to AFC Divisional)
18 (Oakland, 1974 – Advanced to AFC Championship)
18 Pittsburgh, 1972 – Advanced to AFC Championship)

WELCOME BACK AT WEMBLEY, OTHER REUNIONS ON THE SCHEDULE: In addition to Belichick playing his former team, London’s Wembley Stadium hosts its first 2019 NFL game. In a reunion, Cincinnati head coach Zac Taylor meets his former club, the Los Angeles Rams. Taylor served as the Rams’ assistant wide receivers coach in 2017 and quarterbacks coach in 2018, when the team advanced to Super Bowl LIII. In Week 9, Houston meets Jacksonville at Wembley Stadium and in Week 11 Kansas City meets the Los Angeles Chargers in Mexico City to close the NFL’s 2019 International Series.

Buffalo’s Sean McDermott hosts his former team, Philadelphia Sunday at Orchard Park. McDermott worked for the Eagles from 1999-2010. Meanwhile in Atlanta, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn hosts his former club Seattle. Quinn served as Seattle’s defensive coordinator from 2013-14.

Baltimore and Dallas have byes this week. Carolina, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay return to gridiron action in week eight. Week eight got underway in the Twin Cities as Minnesota and Washington squared off and conculudes in the Steel City as Pittsburgh hosts the winless Miami Dolphins at Heinz Field. As for last week? Much better, going 8-6 for the week and 48-47 for the season. There’s still football left on the docket. Having said that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 8.
Seattle (5-2) at ATLANTA (1-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. Salmon meets peach pie as Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks make their way to the Peach State for an early afternoon contest with the Atlanta Falcons. Both teams come into Saturday’s contest with home losses under their belts.

Wilson and the Seahawks could never get on track against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday afternoon in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks as the Seahawks dropped a 30-16 decision at CenturyLink Field. Seatlle and the Ravens went to the intermission tied at 13-13 after the Ravens’ Jeff Tucker gave them a 3-0 lead after one quarter, then were outscored by the Ravens 17-3 in the final 30 minutes of action in the Pacific Northwest. Jackson burned Seattle for 116 yards and had a rushing TD of his own as the Ravens outrushed Seattle 199-106 and Jackson threw for 143 yards, while Wilson threw for 241 yards with a TD to Tyler Lockett and an interception (both were sacked once). Seattle was 10 of 17 on third down conversions in the Pacific Northwest and actually ruled the clock, as they would keep the ball for 30:06 to Baltimore’s 29:54 (the Ravens were 5 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down).

Atlanta, who will have Matt Schwab under center, while Matt Ryan is out with an ankle injury, watched Los Angeles snap a 3-3 tie in the first quarter as the Rams would score 24 unanswered points (10 in the second quarter, 14 in the third) to take a 37-10 loss in the Big Peach last Sunday, dropping their sixth contest in a row in their loss to the defending NFC champions. The Falcons trailed 13-3 at the half and could never get themselves on track in the contest, as they were held to 38 yards rushing (the Rams tallied 90) and Ryan (159 yards) was sacked five times with an interception, while Jarred Goff threw for 268 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Todd Gurley, the other to TE Gerald Everett). Atlanta was a somewhat dismal 3 of 12 on third down conversions in the Big Peach and kept the ball for 22:51, while the Rams ruled the clock, holding the pigskin for 37:09, while going 8 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Seahawks lead the series 10-6 and have outscored Atlanta 438-391. Their last meeting took place in 2017 in the Pacific Northwest and the Falcons came away 34-31 winners in a Monday night contest (Seattle’s last win over the Falcons came in 2016 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Startbuck by a final of 26-24. Seattle’s favored by 3 1/2 in the Big Peach and the over/under is 53 1/2. Falcons end their losing streak as they go into their bye week and covers the 3 1/2.

Philadelphia (3-4) at Buffalo (6-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Cheesesteak meets wings in upstate New York as the Buffalo Bills circle their wagons and host the Philadelphia Eagles at New Era Field.

The Eagles make their way to the shores of Lake Erie with a 37-10 loss at Dallas under their belts Sunday night. Philadelphia trailed 27-7 at the half at AT&T Stadium and could never get themselves on track in the prime time contest in the Lone Star State. Philadelphia found themselves being outrushed by Dallas 189-115 and Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott led all rushers with 111 yards and a TD, while Dak Prescott threw for 239 yards and had a rushing TD of his own. Carson Wentz led Philadelphia with 191 yards in the air (both Wentz and Prescott threw a TD, was sacked three times and threw an interception). The Eagles, who turned the ball over four times, went 3 of 9 on third down tries (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:38, while the Cowboys, who took over first place in the NFC East, was stingy with the clock, keeping the ball hostage for 32:22 and went 8 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Buffalo held off AFC East rival Miami 31-21 Sunday afternoon in upstate New York. The Bills erased a 14-9 deficit at the break and after a scoreless third quarter, floored the gas, outscoring Miami 22-7 in the final period and put a nail in Miami’s coffin with 98 seconds left when S Micah Hyde returned a Miami onside kick 45 yards for a TD after the Dolphins pulled themselves to within three when Ryan Fitzpatrick scored from 11 yards away. Buffalo outrushed Miami 117-109 and Josh Allen threw for 202 yards and a pair of TDs without an interception (Allen was sacked twice), while Fitzpatrick threw for 282 yards with a TD pass in addition to his rushing TD with an interception. Buffalo went 3 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:29, while the Dolphins actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:31, going 7 of 13 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

While the Eagles hold a 7-6 lead in the series, both clubs have scored 245 points in the series. Philadelphia’s last win in the series came in the City of Brotherly Love, coming away 23-20 winners in 2015, while Buffalo’s last win came along the shores of Lake Erie in 2011 by a final of 31-24. Buffalo’s favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under is 43 1/2. The Eagles would love nothing more than to break their losing string in upstate New York. As for the Bills? They’re having nothing of it. Buffalo circles the wagons in upstate New York by winning in Orchard Park and covers the 1 1/2.

Los Angeles Chargers (2-5) at Chicago (3-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers make their way to the Windy City for an early afternoon (early morning on the West Coast) showdown with the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Both teams look to right their ships after losses in last Sunday’s action.

The Bolts come into Soldier Field 23-20 losers at Tenneseee last Sunday. Los Angeles and Tennessee played to a 10-10 first half tie, then the Titans would pull away in the final 30 minutes of play at Nissan Stadium, trailing by as much as 10 with 5:09 left in the contest when Rivers and RB Austin Eiker connected on a 41 yard TD toss to pull themselves to within 3. That would be as close as they would get as Tennessee would take control of things and take the 3-point win in the Music City. Tennessee outrushed the Bolts 97-39 and Titans RB Derek Henry would lead all rushers with 90 of those yards and a TD. Ryan Tannehill, who took over for the benched Marcus Mariota, threw for 312 yards and an interception, while Rivers threw for 329 yards with a sack (Tannehill threw an interception, both he and Rivers threw a pair of TDs). Both teams were 6 of 11 on third down (the Titans were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and the Titans ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:15 to the Chargers’ 27:45.

Da Bears let a 10-9 lead against Teddy Bridgewater and the New Orleans Saints get away from them late Sunday afternoon as the Saints would leave the Windy City 36-25 winners at Soldier Field. The special teams for both clubs took the spot light in the first half as New Orleans blocked a Pat O’Donnell punt in the first quarter for a safety, then the Bears’ Cordarrelle Patterson returned a kickoff 102 yards for a TD. After an Eddie Pinero field goal gave Da Bears the lead, New Orleans would take the lead back and for keeps late in the first half and Chicago would trail 12-10 and the half. New Orleans would go on to score 24 second half points without a challenge before Chicago scored twice in the fourth quarter to make the contest closer. Chicago would find themselves held to a season-low 17 yards rushing, while the Saints ran roughshod at Soldier Field, tallying 151 yards of rushing for their own. Mitchell Trubisky threw for 251 yards but was sacked twice, whil Bridgewater threw for 281 yards (both men threw a pair of TDs without an interception, Bridgewater was sacked once). The Saints were 7 of 15 on third down tries and kept the ball for 37:26, while Chicago, keeping the ball for 22:34, went 2 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

While Da Bears lead the series 7-5 (including contests that were played in San Diego), the Chargers have outscored Chicago 232-204. Chicago has won the last two meetings, including a 22-19 win at Qualcomm in 2015, while the Chargers’ last win over Da Bears also came at Qualcomm, as the Bolts came away 14-3 winnners in 2007. Da Bears are favored by 4 in the Windy City and the over/under’s 41. Da Bears forget what happened to them last week at Soldier Field and takes the win in the Windy City, covering the 4.

New York Giants (2-5) at Detroit (2-3-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of struggling NFC teams meet in the Motor City as the New York Giants square off against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Both teams lost home games in last Sunday’s action.

Arizona and Murray held off a late New York Giants rally in the Meadowlands last Sunday afternoon, leaving upstate New Jersey 27-21 winners at Met Life Stadium. Big Blue trailed 17-14 at the half, then watched Arizona hold serve as they outscored Big Blue 10-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. Arizona outrushed the Giants 156-107 with Cardinals RB Chase Edmons leading all rushers with 126 yards and three TDs (Sequan Barkley led the Giants with 72 yards and a TD). Murray threw for 104 yards for the Cardinals, while Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones threw for 223 yards with a TD but threw an interception and was sacked eight times. Arizona was 7 of 15 on third down tries in upstate New Jersey (they went 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:59, while the Giants were 30:01 in time of possession, going 4 of 12 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

Minnesota erased a 21-21 tie against NFC North rival Detroit at Ford Field and the Vikings came away 42-30 winners Sunday afternoon. Lions fans watched with horror as Minnesota outscored them 21-9 in the final 30 minutes of action. Stafford threw for 364 yards but was sacked four times with an interception for the Lions, while Kirk Cousins threw for 337 yards with no interceptions or sacks (both men threw four TDs) in the contest in the Motor City. Minnesota outrushed Detroit 166-81, with Vikings RB Dalvin Cook leading all rushers with 142 yards and a pair of TDs. Minnesota ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:10 and went 6 of 10 on third down tries, while the Lions were 6 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 27:50.

Including games that were played in Portsmouth when the Lions were known as the Spartans, games played at Tiger Stadium, Yankee Stadium and Giants Stadium, Detroit leads the series 22-21-1 and have outscored the Lions 757-652. Detroit won the last meeting with Big Blue in the Meadowlands, taking a 24-10 win in 2017, while the Giants’ last win came in 2016 (also in the Meadowlands) by a final of 17-6. Detroit’s favored by 7 and the over/under is 48. Take a pass on this one (unless you’re a fan of one or both of these teams).

Denver (2-5) at Indianapolis (4-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. Horsepower takes center stage at Lucas Oil Sunday afternoon as the Colts host the Denver Broncos. While the Colts are coming into the contest with a close win over AFC South rival Houston, the Broncos limp into the contest with an AFC West loss to Kansas City last Thursday night.

Denver scored the first six points of the contest against AFC West rival Kansas City last Thursday night at Empower Field at Mile High, then watch Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs score all 30 of their points in the game unchallenged, coming on the short end of a 30-6 primetime loss. Denver trailed 20-6 at the half, then watched the Chiefs score 10 more times in the final 30 minutes of play. Royce Freeman opened the scoring in the contest for Denver, giving them their only score with 9:06 left in the first quarter when he scored from a yard away. Denver then went for two and failed, which opened the door for the Chiefs, who took over from that point. Kansas City outrushed Denver 80-71 with Chiefs RB LeSean McCoy leading the way with 64 yards, while Patrick Mahomes threw for 117 yards and a TD toss to Tyreek Hill before leaving the contest with a dislocated knee cap. Denver’s Joe Flacco threw for 213 yards in the lopsided contest and was sacked eight times. Denver went 1 of 13 on third down (the Broncos were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:47, while the Chiefs, breaking their two-game losing streak, ruled the clock and kept the ball for 32:13, going 5 of 16 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

The Colts hung a 30-23 loss on Houston last Sunday in the Hoosier State. Indianapolis led 14-9 at the half at Lucas Oil Stadium, before the Texans would pull themselves to withing five with 6:38 left in the contest when DeAndre Hopkins scored on a 4-yard TD toss from Deshaun Watson. The Texans then saw their hopes dashed with 2:41 left to play when Zach Pascal got a safety when he picked up a sack in the end zone to seal the deal. Houston outrushed the Colts 100-62 and Watson threw for 308 yards and the TD to Hopkins but was sacked three times and picked off twice, while Colts QB Jacoby Brissett threw for 326 yard and four TDs (two to Pascal and one to T.Y. Hilton) with one sack and no interceptions. Houston was 4 of 12 on third down (they were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:08, while the Colts ruled time and kept the ball for 32:52, going 8 of 16 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

The Broncos lead the series 14-10 (including games that were played in Baltimore when the Colts were in that city), Denver has outscored Indianapolis 551-496 and the Broncos have come away winners in the last two contests, including taking a 25-13 win in 2017 at Lucas Oil Stadium, while the Colts’ last win also came in the Hoosier State by a 27-24 final in 2015. The odds makers like the Colts as 5 1/2 point favorites in the Hoosier State and the over/under’s 43 1/2. In the battle for the corral, Indy prevails and wins at home, even though Denver could make it closer than 5 1/2.

New York Jets (1-5) at Jacksonville (3-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A struggling New York Jets team makes their way down I-95 to face off against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Sunshine State. The two clubs enter Sunday’s contest with opposite results from last week’s play.

Six turnovers (two fumbles, four interceptions) doomed New York last Monday night in the Meadowlands as Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champs manhandled the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 33-0 at Met Life Stadium. Brady and the Patriots scored all of their points in the contest unchallenged and GangGreen could never get themselves on track, trailing 24-0 at the break. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! came close to scoring twice but Sam Darnold (86 yards, sack) threw two of his four interceptions. GangGreen did outrush New England 81-74 and Brady threw for 249 yards and a TD (Brady threw an interception) in the lopsided loss. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were a dismal 2 of 13 on third down tries in upstate New Jersey (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 21:33, while the Patriots ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 38:27, went 7 of 16 on third down tries, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Jacksonville erased a 10-9 deficit against Cincinnati at the end of the third quarter to drop their seventh contest in a row, falling to the Jaguars 27-17 at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati led 7-6 at the intermission after Dalton (276 yards, three interceptions) and Joe Mixon connected on a 2-yard TD toss with 85 seconds left. Jacksonville then proceeded to rule the fourth quarter, outscoring the Bengals 18-7 and scoring those 18 points unchallenged. The Jaguars would take the lead for good in the final quarter when WE Keelan Cole and rookie QB Gardner Minshew connected on a 2-yard TD toss. Jacksonville then went for two and found sucess when Minshew (255 yards) and Chris Conley connected on the conversion. Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue would live a lineman’s dream as he picked off Dalton and returned the ball 23 yards for a score and after Jaguars K Josh Lambo connected on a 26-yard field goal to close out the scoring, Dalton would score on a 1-yard run with 23 seconds left in the contest. Jacksonville outrushed the Bengals 216-33 and Leonard Fournette returned to his old form, leading all rushers with 131 yards in the contest (Dalton led Cincinnati with 33 yards, both Minshew and Dalton were sacked twice). Cincinnati was 5 of 12 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 21:43, while Jacksonville ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 38:17, going 4 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Jacksonville holds a 7-6 lead in the series and have outscored GangGreen 263-220. They met last year in the Sunshine State and the Jaguars were 31-12 victors (New York’s last win in the series came in 2017 in the Meadowlands as the Jets needed overtime to take a 23-20 win).

They met in week four at TIAA Bank Field in the Sunshine State and Jacksonville led 16-0 at the intermission, then took an 18-0 lead with 12:22 left in the third quarter before the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! got on the board with the first of four Jeff Myers field goals, ending Jacksonville’s shutout bid. Jacksonville held New York to 34 yards of rushing, tallying 126 yards on the ground of their own, while Blake Bortles threw for 388 yards and a pair of TDs (Darnold threw for 167 yards and a TD; Bortles was sacked twice, Darnold was sacked three times).

Jacksonville was 6 of 15 on third down conversions but hit pay-dirt on fourth down (1 of 1) and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 37:35 to the Jets’ 22:25 (New York was 3 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down). In the week four contest in the Sunshine State, the Jaguars were favored by 7 1/2 and covered, winning by 19. The two teams covered the 38 over/under, tallying 43 points in the AFC contest. Jacksonville’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 41. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! are looking to exorcise themselves from last week, while the Jaguars are looking to even their record at the .500 mark. Jaguars prevail in the Sunshine State and covers the 6.

Cincinnati (0-7) at Los Angeles Rams (4-2), 1 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. in London) on CBS and DirecTV 707. Tea and Crumpets! The struggling Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams make their way across the Big Pond in the third game of the London series at Wembley Stadium. Cincinnati looks to end their seven-game losing streak, while the defending NFC champs look to keep pace in the NFC West with San Francisco.

The Bengals watched Jacksonville erase a 10-9 lead at the end of the third quarter to drop their seventh contest in a row, falling to the Jaguars 27-17 at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati led 7-6 at the intermission after Dalton (276 yards, three interceptions) and Joe Mixon connected on a 2-yard TD toss with 85 seconds left. Jacksonville then proceeded to rule the fourth quarter, outscoring the Bengals 18-7 and scoring those 18 points unchallenged. The Jaguars would take the lead for good in the final quarter when WE Keelan Cole and rookie QB Gardner Minshew connected on a 2-yard TD toss. Jacksonville then went for two and found sucess when Minshew (255 yards) and Chris Conley connected on the conversion. Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue would live a lineman’s dream as he picked off Dalton and returned the ball 23 yards for a score and after Jaguars K Josh Lambo connected on a 26-yard field goal to close out the scoring, Dalton would score on a 1-yard run with 23 seconds left in the contest. Jacksonville outrushed the Bengals 216-33 and Leonard Fournette returned to his old form, leading all rushers with 131 yards in the contest (Dalton led Cincinnati with 33 yards, both Minshew and Dalton were sacked twice). Cincinnati was 5 of 12 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 21:43, while Jacksonville ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 38:17, going 4 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Atlanta watched Los Angeles snap a 3-3 tie in the first quarter as the Rams would score 24 unanswered points (10 in the second quarter, 14 in the third) to take a 37-10 win in the Big Peach last Sunday, dropping the Falcons to their sixth contest in a row in their loss to the defending NFC champions, who ended their three-game losing streak in the process. Leading 13-3 at the half, the Rams held Atlanta in check in the second half, holding the Falcons to 38 yards rushing, while the Rams tallied 90. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan (159 yards) was sacked five times with an interception, while Jarred Goff threw for 268 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Todd Gurley, the other to TE Gerald Everett). Atlanta was a somewhat dismal 3 of 12 on third down conversions in the Big Peach and kept the ball for 22:51, while the Rams ruled the clock, holding the pigskin for 37:09, while going 8 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including those contests that were played in St. Louis when the Rams were there the Bengals lead the series 8-5, Cincinnati has outscored the Rams 245-235 and have won the last three meetings, including taking a 31-7 win in Cincinnati in 2015, while the Rams’ last win came in St. Louis by a final of 27-10 in 2003. The Rams are favpred by 13 on the other side of the Atlantic and the over/under’s 48. The 48 makes a lot of sense, it’s the 13 that has us wondering. The Bengals may be a bad football team now but they’re not 13 points bad. Cincinnati will make it closer than the 13 but the Rams prevail in London and take the win.

Arizona (3-2-1) at New Orleans (6-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. Kyler Murray vs. Teddy Bridgewater. They meet in the Big Easy as New Orleans plays host to the Arizona Cardinals Sunday afternoon. Both teams were road winners in last Sunday’s action.

Arizona and Murray held off a late New York Giants rally in the Meadowlands last Sunday afternoon, leaving upstate New Jersey 27-21 winners at Met Life Stadium. The Desert Angry Birds took a 17-14 lead at the half, then held serve as they outscored Big Blue 10-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. Arizona outrushed the Giants 156-107 with Cardinals RB Chase Edmons leading all rushers with 126 yards and three TDs (Sequan Barkley led the Giants with 72 yards and a TD). Murray threw for 104 yards for the Cardinals, while Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones threw for 223 yards with a TD but threw an interception and was sacked eight times. Arizona was 7 of 15 on third down tries in upstate New Jersey (they went 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:59, while the Giants were 30:01 in time of possession, going 4 of 12 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

New Orleans and Bridgewater erased a 10-9 deficit against Chicago late Sunday afternoon as the Saints would leave the Windy City 36-25 winners at Soldier Field. The special teams for both clubs took the spot light in the first half as New Orleans blocked a Pat O’Donnell punt in the first quarter for a safety, then the Bears’ Cordarrelle Patterson returned a kickoff 102 yards for a TD. After an Eddie Pinero field goal gave Da Bears the lead, New Orleans would take the lead back and for keeps late in the first half and Chicago would trail 12-10 and the half. New Orleans would go on to score 24 second half points without a challenge before Chicago scored twice in the fourth quarter to make the contest closer. Chicago would find themselves held to a season-low 17 yards rushing, while the Saints ran roughshod at Soldier Field, tallying 151 yards of rushing for their own. Mitchell Trubisky threw for 251 yards but was sacked twice, whil Bridgewater threw for 281 yards (both men threw a pair of TDs without an interception, Bridgewater was sacked once). The Saints were 7 of 15 on third down tries and kept the ball for 37:26, while Chicago, keeping the ball for 22:34, went 2 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Including contests played in St. Louis when the Cardinals played their home games at Busch Stadium and games played at Tulane Stadium, the Desert Angry Birds lead the series 15-14 and have outscored the Saints 671-643. New Orleans won the last meeting between the two teams, coming away 48-41 winners in the desert in 2016, while the Desert Angry Birds took a 31-19 win in the desert in 2015. The Saints are favored by 10 1/2 in the Big Easy and the over/under’s 49. Both teams have played some decent football of late and there’s a chance the Saints could get Drew Brees back after their bye week (the Saints host Atlanta in the week 10 contest). New Orleans wins this one but expect the Desert Angry Birds to make things closer than 10 1/2.

Tampa Bay (2-4) at Tennessee (3-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of struggling teams meet in the Music City as Tampa Bay takes on Tennessee at Nissan Stadium. The Bucs return to play from their bye week, while Tennessee held off the Chargers at home.

Tampa Bay returns from their bye week after Carolina completed their sweep of NFC South rival Tampa Bay, coming away on the short end of a 37-26 loss at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Carolina scored the first 10 points of the game in the first quarter unchallenged and led Jameis Winston and the Bucaneers 17-7 at the break. The Panthers would hold off Tampa Bay in the second half, outscoring the Buccaneers 20-19 in the final 30 minutes of action. Neither club breached the 100 yard-barrier on the other side of the Atlantic but Carolina did outrush Tampa Bay 59-42 and Kyle Allen (taking over for Cam Newton) threw for 227 yards and a pair of TDs (Allen was sacked twice), while Winston threw for 400 yards with a TD pass and a 2-point conversion but was sacked seven times and picked off five times. Tampa Bay was 3 of 15 on third down (the Panther were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:10 to Tampa Bay’s 28:50; the Buccaneers were 5 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Tennessee held off a late Los Angeles rally last Sunday and came away 23-20 winners in the Music City. Los Angeles and Tennessee played to a 10-10 first half tie, then the Titans would pull away in the final 30 minutes of play at Nissan Stadium, trailing by as much as 10 with 5:09 left in the contest when Rivers and RB Austin Eiker connected on a 41 yard TD toss to pull themselves to within 3. That would be as close as they would get as Tennessee would take control of things and take the 3-point win in the Music City. Tennessee outrushed the Bolts 97-39 and Titans RB Derek Henry would lead all rushers with 90 of those yards and a TD. Ryan Tannehill, who took over for the benched Marcus Mariota, threw for 312 yards and an interception, while Rivers threw for 329 yards with a sack (Tannehill threw an interception, both he and Rivers threw a pair of TDs). Both teams were 6 of 11 on third down (the Titans were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and the Titans ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:15 to the Chargers’ 27:45.

Including games played in Houston when the Texans were known as the Oilers, Tennessee leads the series 9-2, have outscored the Buccaneers 273-178 and won the last two contests in the series, including a 42-24 victory in the Sunshine State in 2015, while Tampa Bay’s last win against the Titans came in 2007 at Raymond James Stadium by a final of 13-10. The over/under for this one? 45 1/2 and the Titans are favored by 2 1/2. If you took a pass on this one, we wouldn’t blame you. Titans cover the 2 1/2 in the Music City and takes the win.

Carolina (4-2) at San Francisco (6-0), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. San Francisco, sitting atop the NFC West mountain, host the Carolina Panthers, in the chase in the NFC South as they chase New Orleans. Both teams had wins in their last contest, San Francisco winning on the road last Sunday, while the Panthers were winners on the other side of the Atlantic two weekends ago.

Carolina comes back from their bye after they completed their sweep of NFC South rival Tampa Bay, coming away 37-26 winners at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Carolina scored the first 10 points of the game in the first quarter unchallenged and led Jameis Winston and the Bucaneers 17-7 at the break. The Panthers would hold off Tampa Bay in the second half, outscoring the Buccaneers 20-19 in the final 30 minutes of action. Neither club breached the 100 yard-barrier on the other side of the Atlantic but Carolina did outrush Tampa Bay 59-42 and Kyle Allen (taking over for Cam Newton) threw for 227 yards and a pair of TDs (Allen was sacked twice), while Winston threw for 400 yards with a TD pass and a 2-point conversion but was sacked seven times and picked off five times. Tampa Bay was 3 of 15 on third down (the Panther were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:10 to Tampa Bay’s 28:50; the Buccaneers were 5 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.
The 49ers come back home unbeaten, using three Robbie Gould field goals at rainy FedEx Field to take a 9-0 win over the Washington Redskins last Sunday afternoon. After a scoreless first half, the 49ers kept themselves in the ranks of the unbeatens, using three Robbie Gould field goals in the second half to seal the win. San Francisco outrushed Washington 137-104, with Redskins RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 81 yards. Case Keenum threw for 77 yards with no TDs or interceptions (he was sacked three times), while Jimmy Garoppolo (sacked twice) threw for 151 yards with an interception. The Redskins were 3 of 9 on third down conversions in Landover (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:36, while the 49ers held the ball hostage for 33:24, going 7 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The Panthers lead the series 13-7, have outscored the 49ers 517-426 and have come away winners in their last six meetings, including a 23-3 win on the West Coast in 2017, while San Francisco’s last win came in 2001 in Charlotte (when both teams were in the Western Division) by a final of 25-22 in overtime.

The 49ers are off to their best start since 1990, when they finished 14-2 and won the West and have won three straight games, holding their opponents to 7 points or less. San Francisco’s favored by 5 1/2 and the over/under’s 42. Both numbers make sense. Carolina’s hoping to keep pace in the NFC South, while the 49ers look to stay unbeaten. San Francisco prevails on the West Coast and covers the 5 1/2.

Oakland (3-3) at Houston (4-3), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of AFC teams that lost on the road last week meet in the Lone Star State as the Texans host Oakland at NRG Stadium.

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers took care of business at Lambeau last Sunday afternoon, taking care of Derek Carr and the Raiders 42-24 in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst. Oakland trailed 21-10 at the half and then watched as Green Bay held serve, outscoring the Raiders 21-14 in the final 30 minutes of action. While Oakland outrushed Green Bay 155-60 and Raiders rookie RB Josh Jacobs led all rushers with 124 yards, the Raiders were in Mr. Rodgers’ neighborhood, as he burned Oakland for 429 yards, five TD passes and had a rushing TD of his own without an interception (he was sacked once). AS for Carr, he threw for 293 yards and a pair of TDs to TE Darren Waller (Carr threw an interception). Green Bay was 6 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 30:24, while the Raiders were 7 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the pigskin for 29:36.

Houston returns home with a 30-23 loss to Indianapolis in tow last Sunday in the Hoosier State. Houston trailed 14-9 at the half at Lucas Oil Stadium and trailed by five with 6:38 left in the contest when DeAndre Hopkins scored on a 4-yard TD toss from Deshaun Watson. The Texans then saw their hopes dashed with 2:41 left to play when Zach Pascal got a safety when he picked up a sack in the end zone to seal the deal. Houston outrushed the Colts 100-62 and Watson threw for 308 yards and the TD to Hopkins but was sacked three times and picked off twice, while Colts QB Jacoby Brissett threw for 326 yard and four TDs (two to Pascal and one to T.Y. Hilton) with one sack and no interceptions. Houston was 4 of 12 on third down (they were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:08, while the Colts ruled time and kept the ball for 32:52, going 8 of 16 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Houston leads the series 6-4 and the Texans have outscored the Silver and Black 246-199. Their last meeting took place south of the border in Mexico City in 2016 and the Raiders would wind up winning that contest 27-20 on the Monday before Thanksgiving, while Houston’s last win in the series came on the West Coast in 2014 by a final of 30-14. Houston’s favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 51 1/2. Both teams look to keep pace in their respective divisions but in the end, the Texans come out on top. Houston may not cover the 6 1/2 but they take the win in the Lone Star State.

Cleveland (2-3) at New England (7-0), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 716. Baker Mayfield vs. Tom Brady. One has Super Bowl rings, the other wants one. The unbeaten Patriots return to Foxboro for a late-afternoon meeting with the Cleveland Browns.

Cleveland and Mayfield come back to play in week eight after their 32-28 loss to Seattle at FirstEnergy Stadium two Sundays ago. The Seahawks trailed 20-18 at the half along the shores of Lake Erie, then went to work in the second half, outscoring Cleveland 14-8 in the final 30 minutes of action, with RB Chris Carson scoring the game-winner with 3:30 left in the contest on a one-yard run. The Seahawks would go on to hold off a late Browns rally in the final minutes of the contest when K.J. Wright picked off Mayfield, giving them the ball and allowing them to run out the clock. Carson led all rushers with 124 yards and the game-winning TD, while Nick Chubb led Cleveland with 122 yards and a pair of touchdowns (WR Odell Beckham, Jr. led all recievers with 101 yards on six catches), while Wilson threw for 295 yards with a pair of TD passes and Mayfield throwing for 249 yards with a TD and three interceptions (Wilson was sacked three times and both Wilson and Mayfield had a rushing TD). Seattle went 6 of 13 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 33:41, while the Browns, who held on to the ball for 26:19, went 3 of 8 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Brady and the Patriots took advantange of six New York Jets turnovers (two fumbles, four interceptions), dooming their AFC East rivals as the defending Super Bowl champs manhandled the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 33-0 at Met Life Stadium. Brady and the Patriots scored all of their points in the contest unchallenged and GangGreen could never get themselves on track, as New England led 24-0 at the break. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! came close to scoring twice but Sam Darnold (86 yards, sack) threw two of his four interceptions. While GangGreen did outrush New England 81-74, Brady threw for 249 yards and a TD (Brady threw an interception) in the lopsided loss. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were a dismal 2 of 13 on third down tries in upstate New Jersey (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 21:33, while the Patriots ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 38:27, went 7 of 16 on third down tries, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Browns lead the series 12-11 and have outscored New England 428-412. New England’s last win came in Cleveland in 2016, with the Patriots coming away with the 33-13 win, while Cleveland’s last win came along the shores of Lake Erie in 2010 by a final of 34-14. New England’s favored by 13 and the over/under’s 45 1/2. The Browns have been somewhat entertaining of late and they’re not 13 points bad. Still, the defending Super Bowl champs prevail at home in Foxboro and could very well cover the 13.

Green Bay (6-1) at Kansas City (5-2), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of classic rivals meet at Arrowhead as Green Bay travels to the Show Me State for a Sunday night meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs. Both clubs took wins in last week’s action, as the Chiefs opened week seven play on the road, while the Packers were big winners at home at Lambeau.

Rodgers and the Packers took care of business at Lambeau last Sunday afternoon, taking care of Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders 42-24 in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst. Green Bay led 21-10 at the half and then held serve, outscoring the Raiders 21-14 in the final 30 minutes of action. While Oakland outrushed Green Bay 155-60 and Raiders rookie RB Josh Jacobs led all rushers with 124 yards, the Raiders were in Mr. Rodgers’ neighborhood, as he burned Oakland for 429 yards, five TD passes and had a rushing TD of his own without an interception (he was sacked once). AS for Carr, he threw for 293 yards and a pair of TDs to TE Darren Waller (Carr threw an interception). Green Bay was 6 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 30:24, while the Raiders were 7 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the pigskin for 29:36.

Denver scored the first six points of the contest against AFC West rival Kansas City last Thursday night at Empower Field at Mile High, then watch Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs score all 30 of their points in the game unchallenged, coming on the short end of a 30-6 primetime loss. Denver trailed 20-6 at the half, then watched the Chiefs score 10 more times in the final 30 minutes of play. Royce Freeman opened the scoring in the contest for Denver, giving them their only score with 9:06 left in the first quarter when he scored from a yard away. Denver then went for two and failed, which opened the door for the Chiefs, who took over from that point. Kansas City outrushed Denver 80-71 with Chiefs RB LeSean McCoy leading the way with 64 yards, while Patrick Mahomes threw for 117 yards and a TD toss to Tyreek Hill before leaving the contest with a dislocated knee cap. Denver’s Joe Flacco threw for 213 yards in the lopsided contest and was sacked eight times. Denver went 1 of 13 on third down (the Broncos were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:47, while the Chiefs, breaking their two-game losing streak, ruled the clock and kept the ball for 32:13, going 5 of 16 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.
The Chiefs lead the series 7-3-1 (including contests that took place at Milwaukee and at Swope Field in Kansas City) and have outscored the Packers 230-204. Green Bay won the last meeting, which took place in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst, as the Packers were 38-28 winners at Lambeau in 2015, while the Chiefs’ last win came at Arrowhead in 2011 by a final of 19-14.

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

Green Bay’s favored by 4 at Arrowhead and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Both numbers make a ton of sense. Both teams are in first place in their respective divisions and both clubs could very well meet in Miami for the Lombardi Trophy. Everything may be up to date in Kansas City but the Packers take the win at Arrowhead and covers the 4.

Miami (0-6) at Pittsburgh (2-4), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. A pair of struggling AFC teams close out play in week eight as the Dolphins travel to the Steel City for a prime time showdown with the Steelers at Heinz Field.

Buffalo snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as they held off AFC East rival Miami 31-21 Sunday afternoon in upstate New York. Miami led 14-9 at the break and after a scoreless third quarter, watched as Buffalo floored the gas, outscoring Miami 22-7 in the final period and put a nail in Miami’s coffin with 98 seconds left when S Micah Hyde returned a Miami onside kick 45 yards for a TD after the Dolphins pulled themselves to within three when Ryan Fitzpatrick scored from 11 yards away. Buffalo outrushed Miami 117-109 and Josh Allen threw for 202 yards and a pair of TDs without an interception (Allen was sacked twice), while Fitzpatrick threw for 282 yards with a TD pass in addition to his rushing TD with an interception. Buffalo went 3 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:29, while the Dolphins actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:31, going 7 of 13 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

The Steelers return from their bye week, getting revenge on the Los Angeles Chargers as they held off a late rally in the fourth quarter at Dignity Health Sports Park and took care of the Bolts 24-17 on the West Coast. The Steelers scored all 24 of their points unchalleged, leading 17-0 at the intermission before the Chargers would score their points in the fourth quarter, using a pair of TD passes from Rivers to TE Hunter Henry to pull themselves to within 7 with 79 seconds left in the contest. Pittsburgh outrushed Los Angeles 124-32 and Rivers threw for 320 yards with the two Henry TDs (Rivers was sacked once and picked off twice), while rookie QB Devlin Hodges (taking over for Mason Rudolph – concussion) threw for 132 yards and a TD to James Conner. Both clubs did quite well on third down conversions in the Sunday night contest; Pittsburgh was 8 of 13, Los Angeles was 7 of 12 and the Steelers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:05 to the Chargers’ 25:55.

While Pittsburgh leads the series 12-11 (including games played at the old Orange Bowl and Three Rivers Stadium), the Dolphins have outscored Pittsburgh 477-436. Miami won the last two meetings in the series, taking a 30-15 win in the Sunshine State in 2016 in their last contest, while Pittsburgh’s last win came in Miami in 2010 by a final of 23-22. Both clubs have done reasonably well on Monday night; Miami is 19-9, while the Steelers are 28-21. Since both clubs are somewhat struggling, you might want to take a pass on this one and watch “Bull” this week. The Steelers are favored by 14 1/2 in the Steel City and the over/under is 43 1/2. If anything, if you’re a fan of either team, by all means watch; otherwise, you’d be better off watching something else. While Miami’s bad, they’re not 14 1/2 bad. Pittsburgh wins this one but expect Miami to make things closer than 14 1/2.