Archives for category: Tom Brady

It’s the second half of the 2018 season.

Draft? Done.

OTA’s? Check.

Mini Camps? Done.

Preseason? Done.

Regular Season? In the books.

It’s now time for the post-season.

This time, it’s different. It’s not you lose this week, you have a bye or your next game is the following Sunday. You lose… you’re done. You win… you move on.

12 teams are left standing after a 256-game season that will see eight teams look for new coaches (Cleveland, Green Bay, Denver, Miami, New York Jets, Tampa Bay, Arizona and Cincinnati). 20 teams will be getting ready for the Senior Bowl, the upcoming Draft and hiring new coaches and making roster moves. Those 20 teams cleared out their locker rooms this week and with the exception of those players that are going to the Pro Bowl, their vacation started Sunday.

As for the reamining 12? Their journey gets underway Saturday. The goal for those 12 teams? To be Super Bowl champs. One team wants to repeat (Philadelphia), while the other 11 want a Lombardi of their own. Three of the four contests are rematches from regular seaosn action (Los Angeles Chargers/Batlimore, Seattle/Dallas, Indianapolis/Houston).

Win. Advance.

Lose. Next game is next year.

TURNAROUND TEAMS & CONSISTENT WINNERS HIGHLIGHT PLAYOFF FIELD

There are seven new playoff teams in 2018: Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, the Los Angeles Chargers and Seattle.

Since 1990 – a streak of 29 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

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

SEASON – PLAYOFF TEAMS NOT IN PREVIOUS SEASON’S PLAYOFFS
1990 – 7 (Cincinnati, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles Raiders, Miami, New Orleans, Washington)
1991 – 5 (ATLANTA, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, New York Jets)
1992 – 6 (Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco)
1993 – 5 (Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Los Angeles Raiders, New York Giants)
1994 – 5 (Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, New England, San Diego)
1995 – 4 (Atlanta, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Philadelphia)
1996 – 5 (Carolina, Denver, Jacksonville, Minnesota, New England)
1997 – 5 (Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, New York Giants, Tampa Bay)
1998 – 5 (Arizona, ATLANTA, Buffalo, Dallas, New York Jets)
1999 – 7 (Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
2000 – 6 (Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, New York Giants, Oakland, Philadelphia)
2001 – 6 (Chicago, Green Bay, New England, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Francisco)
2002 – 5 (ATLANTA, Cleveland, Indianapolis, New York Giants, Tennessee)
2003 – 8 (Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, New England, St. Louis, Seattle)
2004 – 5 (ATLANTA, Minnesota, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Diego)
2005 – 7 (Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Tampa Bay, Washington)
2006 – 7 (Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York Jets, Philadelphia, San Diego)
2007 – 6 (Green Bay, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
2008 – 7 (Arizona, ATLANTA, Baltimore, Carolina, Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia)
2009 – 6 (Cincinnati, Dallas, Green Bay, New England, New Orleans, New York Jets)
2010 – 5 (ATLANTA, Chicago, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Seattle)
2011 – 6 (Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Houston, New York Giants, San Francisco)
2012 – 4 (Indianapolis, Minnesota, Seattle, Washington)
2013 – 5 (Carolina, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Diego)
2014 – 5 (Arizona, Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Pittsburgh)
2015 – 4 (Houston, Kansas City, Minnesota, Washington)
2016 – 6 (ATLANTA, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, New York Giants, Oakland)
2017 – 8 (Buffalo, Carolina, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Tennessee)
2018 – 7 (Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle)

Four teams won division titles – Baltimore (AFC North), Chicago (NFC North), Dallas (NFC East) and Houston (AFC South) – after missing the playoffs last season.

The divisions with new champions in 2018:
AFC SOUTH – Houston (2018), Jacksonville (2017)
AFC NORTH – Baltimore (2018), Pittsburgh (2017)
NFC EAST – Dallas (2018), Philadelphia (2017)
NFC NORTH – Chicago (2018), Minnesota (2017)

In the 17 seasons since realignment, 29 of the 32 NFL teams (91 percent) have won a division title at least once.

How the 2018 playoff teams have fared in the 17 seasons since realignment in 2002

TEAM (DIVISION TITLES/PLAYOFF BERTHS)

New England (15/15)
Indianapolis (9/13)
Seattle (8/12)
Philadelphia (7/10)
Baltimore (5/9)
Dallas (5/7)
Houston (5/5)
Kansas City (5/8)
Los Angeles Chargers (5/7)
New Orleans (5/7)
Chicago (4/4)
Los Angeles Rams (3/4)

The 2018 field also showcases teams that have enjoyed recent postseason success. Since realignment in 2002, the New England Patriots have been to the playoffs 15 times, which is the most in the NFL.

The 2018 playoff teams with the most postseason appearances since 2002 (includes 2018):

TEAM – POSTSEASON APPEARANCES
New England – 15
Indianapolis – 13
Seattle – 12
Philadelphia – 10
Baltimore – 9

Seven of this season’s 12 playoff teams have won at least one Super Bowl since 1999, capturing 12 of the past 19 Vince Lombardi Trophies. Those teams are the Patriots (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLIX, LI), Ravens (XXXV, XLVII), Colts (XLI), Eagles (LII), Rams (XXXIV), Saints (XLIV) and Seahawks (XLVIII).

SUPER BOWL (SEASON) – WINNER
XXXIV (1999) – St. Louis Rams*
XXXV (2000) – Baltimore*
XXXVI (2001) – New England*
XXXVII (2002) – Tampa Bays
XXXVIII (2003) – New England*
XXXIX (2004)New England*
XL (2005) – Pittsburgh
XLI (2006) – Indianapolis*
XLII (2007) – New York Giants
XLIII (2008) – Pittsburgh
XLIV (2009) – New Orleans*
XLV (2010) – Green Bay
XLVI (2011) – New York Giants
XLVII (2012) – Baltimore*
XLVIII (2013) – Seattle*
XLIX (2014) – New England*
50 (2015) – Denver
LI (2016) – New England*
LII (2017) – Philadelphia*
*In 2018 postseason

The Baltimore Ravens (.652) and New England Patriots (.630) rank first and second all-time in postseason winning percentage.

The 12 playoff teams and their postseason records:

TEAM (W-L, PCT.)
Baltimore  (15-8, .652)
New England (34-20, .630)
Dallas (34-27, .557)
Seattle (16-15, .516)
Philadelphia (22-21, .512)
Indianapolis (22-23, .489)
Chicago (17-18, .486)
New Orleans (8-10, .444)
Los Angeles Rams (19-25, .432)
Houston (3-4, .429)
Los Angeles Chargers (11-17, .393)
Kansas City (9-18, .333)

YOUTH & CONSISTENCY HIGHLIGHT THE PLAYOFF QUARTERBACKS

The 2018 postseason is filled with young stars on the rise and veterans at the top of their game at the quarterback position.

Three quarterbacks – Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson, Chicago’s Mitchell Trubisky and Houston’s DeShaun Watson – are expected to make their first career postseason starts on Wild Card Weekend while Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, who led the league with 50 touchdown passes, will make his postseason debut in the AFC Divisional round.

New England quarterback Tom Brady, who has led the Patriots to 10 consecutive division titles and five Super Bowl championships, is the postseason’s all-time leader in games played (37), passing yards (10,226) and touchdown passes (71). Brady and Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles, who will make his fifth career postseason start, combined for an NFL-record 874 pass yards in Super Bowl LII last season. Foles had a 115.7 passer rating during the 2017 playoffs to help lead the Eagles to their first Super Bowl title in franchise history.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, a veteran of 18 NFL seasons, will make his 14th postseason start in the NFC Divisional round after leading the league with an NFL-record 74.4 completion percentage and 115.7 passer rating in 2018. Los Angeles Chargers Philip Rivers, in his 15th season, registered his 10th career 4,000-passing yard season and will make his 10th career postseason appearance.

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff and Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott, both selected by their teams in the 2016 NFL Draft, have led their franchises to division titles in two of their first three NFL seasons and each will be making their second career postseason start.

Both members of the 2012 NFL Draft class, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will be making his seventh career postseason start while Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who has led Seattle to the playoffs in six of his seven seasons, will be making his 13th career postseason start on Wild Card Weekend. Wilson led Seattle to a Super Bowl XLVIII championship in 2013 and a Super Bowl XLIX appearance in 2014.

A by-the-numbers look at the 12 quarterbacks in the 2018 postseason:

Rookie or 2nd-year (4): Jackson, BAL; Mahomes, KC; Trubisky, CHI; Watson, HOU
1st-round Draft picks (7): Goff, LAR; Jackson, BAL; Luck, IND; Mahomes, KC; Rivers, LAC; Trubisky, CHI; Watson, HOU
Number 1 overall picks (2): Goff, LAR; Luck, IND (2012)
Drafted No. 75 overall or later or undrafted (4): Brady, NE; Foles, PHI; Prescott, DAL; Wilson, SEA
30 years old or younger (9): Foles, PHI; Goff, LAR; Jackson, BAL; Luck, IND; Mahomes, KC; Prescott, DAL; Trubisky, CHI; Watson, HOU; Wilson, SEA
35 years old or older (3): Brady, NE; Brees, NO; Rivers, LAC

BEST NFL PLAYOFF PERFORMANCES (Single postseason)

PASSING YARDS
PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON; COMPLETIONS/ATTEMPTS – YARDS; TD/INT)
Eli Manning, New York Giants (2011; 106/163 – 1,219; 9/1)
Kurt Warner, Arizona (2008; 92/135 – 1,147; 11/3)
Joe Flacco, Baltimore (2012; 73/126 – 1,140; 11/0)
Tom Brady, New England (2016; 93/142 – 1,137; 7/3)
Tom Brady, New England (2017; 89/139 – 1,132; 8/0)

RUSHING YARDS
PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON; ATTEMPTS – YARDS/TD)
John Riggins, Washington (1982; 136 – 610/4)
Terrell Davis, Denver (1997; 112 – 581/8)
Terrell Davis, Denver (1998; 78 – 468/3)
Marcus Allen, Los Angeles Raiders (1983; 58 – 466/4)
Eddie George, Tennessee (1999; 108 – 449/3)

RECEIVING YARDS
PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON; RECEPTIONS – YARDS/TD)
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona (2008; 30 – 546/7)
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (2011; 28 – 444/4)
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (1988; 21 – 409/6)
Steve Smith, Sr., Carolina (2003; 18 – 404/3)
Charlie Brown, Washington (1983; 14 – 401/1)

RECEPTIONS
PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON; RECEPTIONS – YARDS/TD)
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona (2008; 30 – 546/7)
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (2011; 28 – 444/4)
Demaryius Thomas, Denver (2013; 28 – 306/3)
Steve Smith, Sr., Carolina (2015; 27 – 335/3)
Wes Welker, New England (2007; 27 – 213/2)

SCRIMMAGE TOUCHDOWNS
PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON; TOTAL TD – RUSHING TD/RECIEVING TD)
Terrell Davis, Denver (1997; 8 – 8/0)
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona (2008; 7 – 0/7)
Larry Csonka, Miami (1973; 6 – 6/0)
Franco Harris, Pittsburgh (1974; 6 – 6/0)
John Riggins, Washington (1983; 6 – 6/0)
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (1988; 6 – 0/6)
Gerald Riggs. Washington (1991; 6 – 6/0)
Ricky Watters. San Francisco (1993; 6 – 6/0)
Emmitt Smith, Dallas (1995; 6 – 6/0)

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK 17

•NEW PLAYOFF TEAMS: Seven of the 11 teams to have qualified for the playoffs are new to the postseason in 2018: Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle. and Indianapolis. Since 1990 – a streak of 29 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

WORST-TO-FIRST: Both the Chicago Bears (NFC North) and Houston Texans (AFC South) completed “worst-to-first” turnarounds and at least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 15 of the past 16 seasons.

PLAYOFF SEEDING: New Orleans won the NFC South and finished as the NFC’s 1 seed. The Saints will have home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

The Los Angeles Rams, who defeated San Francisco 48-32 and won the NFC West, are the 2 seed and clinched a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs.

Chicago, who defeated Minnesota 24-10 and won the NFC North, are the 3 seed and will host Philadelphia in the Wild Card round. Philadelphia defeated Washington, 24-0 and combined with Minnesota’s loss to Chicago, clinched a playoff berth for the second consecutive season.

Dallas, who defeated the New York Giants 36-35 and won the NFC East in the Meadowlands, are the 4 seed and will host Seattle in the Wild Card round.

In the AFC, Kansas City defeated Oakland 35-3 and clinched the AFC West division title and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

New England defeated the New York Jets 38-3, are the AFC’s 2 seed and clinched a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs.

Houston defeated Jacksonville 20-3 and are the 3 seed, clinched the AFC South division title and will host a game on Wild Card weekend.

The Texans completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround after finishing tied for last place in the division in 2017. Houston is the sixth team in NFL history to make the postseason after beginning the season 0-3 and joined the 1992 San Diego Chargers as the only teams in league annals to win their division following an 0-3 start to a season.

Baltimore defeated Cleveland, 26-24 and clinched the AFC North division title for the first time since 2012. Baltimore, the AFC’s 4 seed, will host the Los Angeles Chargers in the Wild Card round.

•Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 281 yards and two touchdowns with one interception for a 109.9 rating in the Chiefs’ Week 17 win over Oakland at Arrowhead. Mahomes has 50 touchdown passes this season and joined Peyton Manning (55 touchdown passes in 2013) and Tom Brady (50 in 2007) as the only quarterbacks with at least 50 touchdown passes in a single season in NFL history.

Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill had five receptions for 101 yards and two touchdowns, including a 67-yard touchdown reception, against Oakland and had a 15-yard touchdown run. Hill has 16 career touchdowns of at least 50 yards and tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers (16) for the most touchdowns of at least 50 yards by a player in his first three seasons. Hill has 1,479 receiving yards in 2018 and surpassed Derrick Alexander (1,391 receiving yards in 2000) for the most receiving yards in a single season in franchise history.

•New England quarterback Tom Brady  completed 24 of 33 attempts (72.7 percent) for 250 yards and four touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 133.8 passer rating in the Patriots’ Week 17 win against the New York Jets.

Brady has 6,004 career regular-season completions and is the fourth player in NFL history with at least 6,000 career regular-season completions, joining Drew Brees (6,586), Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (6,300) and Peyton Manning (6,125).

•Cleveland rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield passed for 376 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions in the Browns’ Week 17 loss at Baltimore.

Mayfield has 27 touchdown passes this season, surpassing Peyton Manning (26 touchdown passes in 1998) and Russell Wilson (26 in 2012) for the most touchdown passes by a rookie quarterback in the common draft era.

•San Francisco tight end George Kittle had nine receptions for 149 yards and one touchdown in the 49ers’ Week 17 loss.

Kittle, who has 1,377 receiving yards this season, and Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce (1,336 receiving yards in 2018) both surpassed Rob Gronkowski (1,327 in 2011) for the most receiving yards by a tight end in a single season in NFL history.

•Houston defensive end J.J. Watt had 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble in the Texans’ Week 17 win over Jacksonville. Watt has 16 sacks in 2018 and joins Pro Football Hall of Famer Reggie White (five seasons) as the only players since 1982 with four seasons of at least 15 sacks.

•Three non-quarterbacks – Atlanta wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, Detroit kicker Matt Prater and Miami wide receiver Kenny Stills – threw touchdown passes in Week 17. In total, there have been 13 touchdown passes thrown by non-quarterbacks in 2018, the most in a single-season since 1983 (15 touchdowns). Quarterbacks Ryan Tannehill of the Miami Dolphins and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan both had touchdown catches in Week 17, marking the first week in the Super Bowl era in which multiple quarterbacks recorded a touchdown reception.

•Other notable performances from last Sunday include:

Eagles quarterback NICK FOLES recorded 25 consecutive completions against Washington, tied with Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (Week 12 vs. Arizona) for the most by a quarterback in a single game in NFL history.

◦New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley had 142 scrimmage yards (109 rushing, 33 receiving) and one rushing touchdown in the Giants’ Week 17 loss.

Barkley has 2,028 scrimmage yards and joins Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (2,212 scrimmage yards in 1983) and Edgerrin James (2,139 in 1999) as the only rookies with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards in NFL history.

Barkley, who had four catches against the Cowboys, has 91 receptions this season and surpassed Reggie Bush (88 catches in 2006) for the most receptions by a rookie running back in league annals.

Buffalo rookie quarterback Josh Allen passed for 224 yards with three touchdowns and rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns in the Bills’ 42-17 win against Miami. Allen is the second rookie quarterback in NFL history to record three touchdowns passes and two rushing touchdowns in the same game, joining Miami’s David Woodley, who had three touchdown passes and two rushing touchdowns against the Los Angeles Rams on November 9, 1980.

Allen has eight rushing touchdowns this season and joins Cam Newton, who had 14 rushing touchdowns in 2011, as the only rookie quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era with at least eight rushing touchdowns.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WILD CARD WEEKEND

NEW YEAR, NEW TEAMS: Chicago (12-4, NFC North) and Houston (11-5, AFC South) both completed “worst-to-first” turnarounds and at least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 15 of the past 16 seasons. 2018 marked the second consecutive season that two teams went from worst to first – something that has never happened before in any other major US sport.

The teams to go from “worst-to-first” in their divisions and appear in the Super Bowl since 2003:

SEASON: TEAM – RECORD/PRIOR SEASON RECORD (ADVANCED TO)
2003: Carolina –  11-5/7-9 (Super Bowl XXXVIII)
2009: New Orleans – 13-3/8-8 (Won Super Bowl XLIV)
2017: Philadelphia – 13-3/7-9 (Won Super Bowl LII)
2018: Chicago – 12-4/5-11 (???)
2018: Houston – 11-5/4-12 (???)*

*Tied for last place

This season, seven teams qualified for the playoffs after missing the postseason in 2017 – Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, the Los Angeles Chargers and Seattle – and all seven will be in action on Wild Card Weekend. Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990 – a streak of 29 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

FROM WILD CARD TO SUPER BOWL: Winners in the Wild Card round have won the Super Bowl nine times. At least one Super Bowl participant in six of the past 13 seasons played in a Wild Card game.

The Wild Card round participants to win the Super Bowl:

SEASON: TEAM – SUPER BOWL RESULT
1980: Oakland – Defeated Philadelphia in Super Bowl XV, 27-10
1997: Denver – Defeated Green Bay in Super Bowl XXXII, 31-24
2000: Baltimore – Defeated New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV, 34-7
2005: Pittsburgh – Defeated Seattle in Super Bowl XL, 21-10
2006: Indianapolis – Defeated Chicago in Super Bowl XLI, 29-17
2007: New York Giants – Defeated New England in Super Bowl XLII, 17-14
2010: Green Bay – Defeated Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV, 31-25
2011; New York Giants – Defeated New England in Super Bowl XLVI, 21-17
2012: Baltimore – Defeated San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII, 34-31

WINNING WAYS: Baltimore and Dallas will each be playing on Wild Card Weekend and both will be at home.

The Cowboys (34) are tied with Green Bay (34) and New England (34), the number 2 overall seed in the AFC, for the second-most postseason wins all-time. Only Pittsburgh (36) has more postseason wins in league history.

Wild Card Weekend marks the 62nd playoff game in the history of the Dallas Cowboys and surpasses Pittsburgh (61) for the most postseason games played by a franchise in league annals.

The teams with the most postseason wins in NFL history:

TEAM: W-L, PCT. (SUPER BOWL WINS)
Pittsburgh: 36-25, .590 (6)
Dallas: 34-27, .557 (5)*
Green Bay: 34-22, .607 (4)
New England: 34-20, .630 (5)**
San Francisco: 30-20, .600 (5)
*Plays this weekend
**First-round bye

Baltimore (.652) and New England (.630) own the top two winning percentages in postseason history while Dallas (.557) ranks seventh.

The teams with the highest postseason winning percentage in NFL history:

TEAM: W-L, PCT. (SUPER BOWL WINS)
Baltimore: 15-8, .652 (2)*
New England: 34-20, .630 (5)**
Green Bay: 34-22, .607 (4)
San Francisco: 30-20, .600 (5)
Pittsburgh: 36-25, .590 (6)
Oakland: 25-19, .568 (3)
Dallas: 34-27, .557 (5)*
*Plays this weekend
**First-round bye

POSTSEASON DEBUTS: Several teams will feature a quarterback slated to make his first career postseason start. Among those set to debut on Wild Card Weekend are Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson, Chicago’s Mitchell Trubisky and Houston’s DeShaun Watson.

The players with the most passing yards in their first career postseason start:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, ROUND – PASSING YARDS)
Kelly Holcomb, Cleveland (2002, AFC Wild Card – 429)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (2009, NFC Wild Card – 423)
Randall Cunningham, Philadelphia (1988, NFC Divisional – 407)
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (1999, NFC Divisional – 391)^
Neil Lomax, St. Louis Cardinals (1982, NFC Wild Card – 385)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

TOP DEFENSE: The Chicago Bears defense led the league with the fewest points allowed per game (17.7) this season. In three of the past four seasons, the teams with the top regular-season scoring defense have advanced to the Super Bowl.

The teams with the top scoring defense in the regular season to advance to the Super Bowl since 2002:

SEASON: TEAM, SUPER BOWL RESULT
2002: Tampa Bay, Defeated Oakland in Super Bowl XXXVII, 48-21
2003: New England, Defeated Carolina in Super Bowl XXXVIII, 32-29
2008: Pittsburgh, Defeated Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII, 27-23
2010: Pittsburgh, Lost to Green Bay in Super Bowl XLV, 31-25
2013: Seattle, Defeated Denver in Super Bowl XLVIII, 43-8
2014: Seattle, Lost to New England in Super Bowl XLIX, 28-24
2016: New England, Defeated ATLANTA in Super Bowl LI, 34-28
2018: Chicago, ???

FANTASTIC FOLES: Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles passed for 352 yards and three touchdowns in the 2017 NFC Championship Game against Minnesota and had 373 passing yards with three touchdowns in Super Bowl LII against New England to help lead the Eagles to the first Super Bowl championship in franchise history.

With 300 passing yards and three touchdown passes on Sunday at Chicago at 4:40 p.m. on NBC, Foles would become the second quarterback in NFL history to record at least 300 passing yards and three touchdown passes in three consecutive postseason games.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 300+ PASS YARDS & 3+ TD PASSES
Matt Ryan, ATLANTA (3)
Nick Foles, Philadelphia (2)*
*Active streak

RATING RIVERS: Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers will make his 10th career playoff start on Wild Card Weekend.

Rivers, who has recorded a passer rating of 115 or higher in each of his past two postseason starts and plays at Baltimore on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. on CBS, can become the fourth quarterback to record three consecutive postseason games with a passer rating of 115 or higher.

The players with the most consecutive postseason games with a passer rating of 115 or higher in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 115+ PASSER RATING)
Joe Montana, San Francisco (5)^
Matt Ryan, ATLANTA (3)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (3)
Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers (2)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Active streak
After an exciting finish to the regular season, the NFL’s second season has arrived.

The NFL postseason begins with four games on Wild Card Weekend.

AFC – Indianapolis at Houston, 4:35 p.m. Saturday on ESPN/ABC
NFC – Seattle at Dallas, 8:15 p.m. Saturday on FOX
AFC – Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore, 1:05 p.m. Sunday on CBS
NFC – Philadelphia at Chicago, 4:40 p.m. on NBC

Week 17 came right down to the wire. Sunday’s excitement was due in part to having 16 divisional games played on the season’s final day, a tradition instituted in 2010. Three playoff spots and three divisions titles – the AFC West, AFC North and AFC South – were decided on the final day of the season.

The final 12 teams are set:

AFC

1. Kansas City (12-4), AFC West champion
2. New England (11-5), AFC East champion
3. Houston (11-5), AFC South champion
4. Baltimore (10-6), AFC North champion
5. Los Angeles Chargers (12-4)
6. Indianapolis (10-6)

NFC
1. New Orleans (13-3), NFC South champion
2. Los Angeles Rams (13-3), NFC West champion
3. Chicago (12-4), NFC North champion
4. Dallas (10-6), NFC East champion
5. Seattle (10-6)
6. Philadelphia (9-7)

The NFL playoffs, which conclude on February 3 with Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta at 6:30 p.m. on CBS, begin this Saturday and Sunday with Wild Card Weekend.

Both Chicagos (NFC North) and Houston (AFC South) completed “worst-to-first” turnarounds and at least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 15 of the past 16 seasons.

With Chicago and Houston earning division titles, 2018 marked the second consecutive season that two teams went from worst to first (Jacksonville and Philadelphia in 2017) – something that has never happened in any other major US sport.

Seven of the 12 playoff teams are new to the postseason in 2018: Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, the Los Angeles Chagers and Seattle. Since 1990 – a streak of 29 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

Both the Bears (NFC North) and Texans (AFC South) completed “worst-to-first” turnarounds and at least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 15 of the past 16 seasons. With Chicago and Houston earning division titles, 2018 marked the second consecutive season that two teams went from worst to first (Jacksonville and Philadelphia in 2017) – something that has never happened in any other major US sport.

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

SEASON – TEAM (RECORD/PRIOR SEASON RECORD, ADVANCED TO)
2003 – Carolina (11-5/7-9, Super Bowl XXXVIII)
2003 – Kansas City (13-3/8-8, AFC Divisonal Playoffs)*
2004 – ATLANTA (11-5/5-11, NFC Championship)
2004 – San Diego (12-4/4-12, AFC Wild Card Playoffs)*
2005 – Chicago (11-5/5-11, NFC Divisonal Playoffs)
2005 – Tampa Bay (11-5/5-11, NFC Wild Card Playoffs)
2006 – Baltimore (13-3/6-10, AFC Divisonal Playoffs)*
2006 – New Orleans (10-6/3-13, NFC Championship)
2006 – Philadelphia (10-6/6-10, NFC Divisonal Playoffs)
2007 – Tampa Bay (9-7/4-12, NFC Wild Card Playoffs)
2008 – Miami (11-5/1-15, AFC Wild Card Playoffs)
2009 – New Orleans (13-3/8-8, Won Super Bowl XLIV)
2010 – Kansas City (10-6/4-12, AFC Wild Card Playoffs)
2011 – Denver (8-8/4-12, AFC Divisional Playoffs)
2011 – Houston (10-6/6-10, AFC Divisional Playoffs)*
2012 – Washington (10-6/5-11, NFC Wild Card Playoffs)
2013 – Carolina (12-4/7-9, NFC Divisonal Playoffs)*
2013 – Philadelphia (10-6/4-12, NFC Wild Card Playoffs)
2015 – Washington (9-7/4-12, NFC Wild Card Playoffs)
2016 – Dallas (13-3/4-12, NFC Divisional Playoffs)
2017 – Jacksonville (10-6/3-13, AFC Championship)
2017 – Philadelphia (13-3/7-9, Won Super Bowl LII)
2018 – Chicago (12-4/5-11, ???)
2018 – Houston (11-5/4-12, ???)*
*Tied for last place

A look at the four games on Wild Card Weekend:

Indianapolis (10-6) at Houston (11-5), Saturday at 4:35 p.m. on ESPN/ABC

•This is the first postseason meeting between the AFC South division rivals. The Texans and Colts split the season series in 2018, with Houston winning 37-34 in overtime in Week 4 and Indianapolis taking the finale 24-21 in Week 14.

•The Colts have qualified for the postseason for the first time since 2014. Indianapolis had two players selected to the 2019 Pro Bowl: tight end Eric Ebron and rookie guard Quenton Nelson.

•Houston won the AFC South for the third time in the past four seasons (2015 and 2016). Houston had four players selected to the 2019 Pro Bowl: linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, wide receiver De Andre Hopkins, linebacker Benardrick McKinney and defensive end J.J. Watt.

Seattle (10-6) at Dallas (10-6), Saturday at 8:15 p.m. on FOX

•This is the second postseason meeting between the two teams. The Seahawks defeated Dallas 21-20 in their 2006 NFC Wild Card meeting (January 6, 2007). This season, Seattle won 24-13 in their Week 3 meeting at CenturyLink Field.

•Seattle returns to the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and have advanced to the postseason in seven of head coach Pete Carroll’s nine seasons with the team. Seattle had two players selected to the 2019 Pro Bowl: rookie punter Michael Dickson and linebacker Bobby Wagner.

•Dallas is back in the postseason after capturing the NFC East title for the first time since 2016. Dallas had five players selected to the 2019 Pro Bowl, tied with Chicago and New Orleans for the most in the NFC: running back Ezekiel Elliott, cornerback Byron Jones, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, guard Zack Martin and tackle Tyron Smith.

Los Angeles Chargers (12-4) at Baltimore (10-6) Sunday at 1:05 p.m. on CBS

•This is the first postseason meeting between the two teams.

•Baltimore has qualified for the postseason for the first time since 2014 and won the AFC North for the first time since 2012, when they were victorious in Super Bowl XLVII. The Ravens had three players selected to the 2019 Pro Bowl: linebacker C.J. Mosley, safety Eric Weddle and guard Marshal Yanda.

•The Chargers have advanced to the postseason for the first time since 2013. Los Angeles had a league-best seven players selected to the 2019 Pro Bowl: wide receiver Keenan Allen, running back Melvin Gordon, defensive end Melvin Ingram, rookie safety Derwin James, special teamer Adrian Phillips, center Mike Pouncey and quarterback Philip Rivers.

Philadelphia (9-7) at Chicago (12-4), Sunday at 4:40 p.m. on NBC

•The teams will meet in the postseason for the fourth time, with Philadelphia holding a 2-1 edge. In their most recent postseason matchup, the Eagles won 33-19 in Chicago in the 2001 NFC Divisional Playoffs (January 19, 2002). The Bears lead the all-time series 30-13-1, including the postseason.

•Philadelphia, the defending Super Bowl champions, are in the postseason for consecutive years for the first time since the 2009-10 seasons and are seeking to become the first repeat Super Bowl champions since the 2003-04 New England Patriots. Philadelphia had three players selected to the 2019 Pro Bowl: guard BRANDON BROOKS, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and tight end Zach Ertz.

•Chicago has qualified for the postseason and claimed the NFC North division title for the first time since 2010. Chicago had five players selected to the 2019 Pro Bowl, tied with Dallas and New Orleans for the most in the NFC: return specialist Tarik Cohen, cornerback Kyle Fuller, defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, safety Eddie Jackson and linebacker Khalil Mack.

New teams making the playoffs, terrific turnarounds, consistent teams excelling again, records falling and young players making their mark. The 2018 season had it all.

Competitiveness highlighted the 2018 regular-season as 73 games were decided by three points or fewer, the most in a season in NFL history while 68% of all games played this season (175 of 256) were within one score (eight points) in the fourth quarter, tied for the third-most in a season in NFL history. On 71 occasions, teams came back to win or tie after trailing in the fourth quarter or overtime – an average of 4.2 teams per week – tied for second-most in a season in NFL history.

Week 17 came down to the wire, as three playoff spots and three divisions titles – the AFC West, AFC North and AFC South – were decided on the final day of the season. Sunday’s excitement was due in part to having 16 divisional games played on the season’s final day, a tradition instituted in 2010.

Seven of the 12 playoff teams are new to the postseason in 2018: Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, the Los Angeles Chargers and Seattle. Since 1990 – a streak of 29 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

The seasons with at least seven new playoff teams since 1990:

SEASON – PLAYOFF TEAMS NOT IN PREVIOUS SEASON’S PLAYOFFS
1990 – 7 (Cincinnati, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles Raiders, Miami, New Orleans, Washington)
1999 – 7 (Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
2003 – 8 (Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, New England, St. Louis, Seattle)
2005 – 7 (Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Tampa Bay, Washington)
2006 – 7 (Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York Jets, Philadelphia, San Diego)
2008 – 7 (Arizona, ATLANTA, Baltimore, Carolina, Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia)
2017 – 8 (Buffalo, Carolina, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Tennessee)
2018 – 7 (Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle)

Both Chicago (NFC North) and Houston (AFC South) completed “worst-to-first” turnarounds and at least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 15 of the past 16 seasons.

With Chicago and Houston earning division titles, 2018 marked the second consecutive season that two teams went from worst to first (Jacksonville and Philadelphia in 2017) – something that has never happened in any other major US sport.

OFFENSIVE TRENDS: The 2018 season will go down as one of the most prolific offensive seasons in league history.

Teams combined to score 1,371 total touchdowns, the most in a single season in NFL history, while the 11,952 total points scored are the second-most in league annals (11,985 in 2013).

MOST TOUCHDOWNS, NFL HISTORY
SEASON – TOUCHDOWNS
2018 – 1,371
2013 – 1,338
2015 – 1,318
MOST TOTAL POINTS, NFL HISTORY
SEASON – TOTAL POINTS
2013 – 11,985
2018 – 11,952
2015 – 11,680

With three teams – Kansas City (35.3 points per game), the Los Angeles Rams (32.9) and New Orleans (31.5) – averaging at least 30 points per game, the 2018 season joined 1948, 1949 and 2011 as seasons with at least three teams averaging at least 30 points per game.

The Chiefs, with 565 points scored, finished as the third-highest scoring team in league annals, trailing only the 2013 Denver Broncos (606 points scored) and 2007 New England Patriots (589).

PROLIFIC PASSERS: In 2018, league-wide passing numbers trended at a record pace, as the marks for passer rating (92.9), completion percentage (64.9 percent) and touchdown passes (847) were all the highest for a single season in NFL history, while the total completions (11,462) were the third-highest in a single season in league annals.

SEASON – RATING
2018 – 92.9
2015 – 90.2
2016 – 89.3

SEASON – COMPLETION PCT.
2018 – 64.9
2016 – 63.0
2015 – 63.0

SEASON – TD PASSES
2018 – 847
2015 – 842
2014 – 807

SEASON – COMPLETIONS
2015 – 11,527
2016 – 11,526
2018 – 11,462

Twelve quarterbacks passed for at least 4,000 yards, including five with at least 4,500 passing yards, in 2018: Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger (5,129), Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes (5,097), Atlanta’s Matt Ryan (4,924), Los Angeles Rams’ Jared Goff (4,688) and Indianapolis’ Andrew LuckK (4,593).

With 12 quarterbacks reaching 4,000 passing yards, the 2018 season tied the 2015 season for the second-most quarterbacks with at least 4,000 passing yards.

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

SEASON – PLAYERS WITH 4,000 PASSING YARDS
2016 – 13
2018 – 12
2015 – 12
2014 – 11
2012 – 11

Nine quarterbacks threw at least 30 touchdown passes this season, including four with at least 35 touchdown passes: Mahomes (50), Luck (39), Ryan (35) and Seattle’s Russell Wilson (35).

Eight quarterbacks had a passer rating of 100 or higher, including three with a 110+ passer rating in 2018: New Orleans’ Drew Brees (115.7), Mahomes (113.8) and Wilson (110.9). The eight quarterbacks with a passer rating of 100 or higher were the most in a single season in NFL history, surpassing the previous record of six in the 2015 season.

TOP BACKS: Nine players rushed for at least 1,000 yards, including three players with at least 1,200 rushing yards, this season: Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott (1,434), New York Giants’ rookie Saquon Barkley (1,307) and Los Angeles Rams’ Todd Gurley (1,251).

The 2018 season saw players average 4.42 yards per rush attempt, the highest single-season total in league history.

The seasons with the highest average yards per rush attempt in NFL history:

SEASON – AVERAGE YARDS PER RUSH ATTEMPT
2018 – 4.42
2011 – 4.29
2012 – 4.26

Six players recorded at least 10 rushing touchdowns in 2018: Gurley (17), New Orleans’ Alvin Kamara (14), Pittsburgh’s James Conner (12), Tennessee’s Derrick Henry (12), Saquon Barkley (11) and Los Angeles Chargers’ Melvin Gordon (10).

RIDICULOUS RECEIVERS: Twenty-one players had at least 1,000 receiving yards, including six with at least 1,400 receiving yards, this season: Atlanta’s Julio Jones (1,677), Houston’s De Andre Hopkins (1,572), Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans (1,524), Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill (1,479), Pittsburgh’s JuJu Smith-Schuster (1,426) and New Orleans’ Michael Thomas (1,405).

Eleven players had at least 100 receptions in 2018, including seven with at least 110 catches: Thomas (125), Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz (116), Hopkins (115), Minnesota’s Adam Thielen (113), Jones (113), Green Bay’s Davante Adams (111) and  Smith-Schuster (111).

With 11 players recording at least 100 catches this season, the 2018 season surpassed the 1995 season (nine) for the most players with at least 100 catches in a single season.

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

SEASON – PLAYERS WITH 100+ RECEPTIONS
2018 – 11
1995 – 9
2015 – 7

Nine players had at least 10 touchdown catches this season, including four with at least 12 touchdown receptions: Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown (15), Adams (13), Indianapolis’ Eric Ebron (13) and Hill (12).

DOMINANT DEFENDERS: Twenty-two players recorded at least 10 sacks, including six with at least 14 sacks, in 2018: Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald (20.5), Houston’s J.J. Watt (16), Kansas City’s Chris Jones (15.5), Denver’s Von Miller (14.5), Minnesota’s Danielle Hunter (14.5) and Seattle’s Frank Clark (14).

With 16 players recording at least 12 sacks, the 2018 season tied the 1992 season (16 players) for the third-most players with at least 12 sacks in a single season since 1982 when the individual sack became an official statistic.

The seasons with the most players with at least 12 sacks since 1982:

SEASON – PLAYERS WITH 12+ SACKS
1984 – 19
1983 – 18
2018 – 16
1992 – 16

Six players recorded at least five interceptions in 2018: Chicago’s Kyle Fuller (seven), Miami’s Xavien Howard (seven), Atlanta’s Damontae Kazee (seven), Chicago’s Eddie Jackson (six), Cincinnati’s Shawn Williams (five) and New York Giants’ Alec Ogletree (five).

After two weekends of going 8-8, we got ourselves back on track by going 13-3 and for the season, we’re 145-107. Wild Card weekend gets underway in the Lone Star State as Houston and Dallas host their contests on Saturday and concludes in the Windy City as the defending Super Bowl champs open their defense of their title. As an added bonus, all of the post-season games are going to be “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 58 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

It’s post-season football. It’s win and advance; lose and you’re clearing out your locker. The regular season’s done and it’s time to either defend your title or win one of your own. With that, here are the Saturday and Sunday Wild Card picks.

Indianapolis (10-6) at Houston (11-5), 4:35 p.m. Saturday on ESPN. Luck vs. Watson. They meet again. This time, it’s in Houston as a pair of AFC South rivals open the 2018 wild Card round in the Lone Star State. Both clubs enter the Saturday afternoon contest at NRG Stadium with wins under their belts.

Andrew Luck and the Colts led from start to finish in their 33-17 “winner-take-all” AFC South contest at Tennessee last Sunday. Indianapolis led 17-10 at the break, then pulled away from the Titans in the second half to take the win. Luck threw for 285 yards and three TDs with an interception (he was sacked once), while Blaine Gabbert, who took over for Marcus Mariota, threw for 165 yards with a TD toss to TE Luke Stocker but was picked off twice. Indianapolis outrushed Tennessee 158-93 with Derrick Henry accounting for all of their yardage, while the Colts’ Marlon Mack led all rushers with 119 yards and a TD. The Colts were 5 of 13 on third down (they were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 40:13, while Tennessee kept the ball for 19:47, while going 1 of 9 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Houston held Jacksonville to a Kai Forbath field goal in the first quarter and cruised their way to the AFC South titla, taking a 20-3 win over the Jagaurs at NRG Stadium last Sunday. Houston broke a 3-3 first quarter tie, took a 17-3 lead with them to the intermission and never looked back, shutting out the Jaguars the rest of the way. Houston held Jacksonville to 30 yards rushing, while tallying 134 for themselves, with DeSean Watson leading the way with 66 of those yards. Watson threw for 234 yards and despite being sacked six times, did not throw an interception, while sacking Blake Bortles (107 yards) three times and picked him off once. Houston was 6 of 17 on third down tries but had success on fourth down, going 1 of 1 and the Texans kept the ball for 35:07, while the Jaguars were 24:53 in time of possession, going 3 for 12 on third down.

They met twice in the 2018 campaign and split the two contests, each taking wins in the other team’s building. Their first meeting was in week four in the Hoosier State and Houston used a pair of Ka’imi Fairbairn field goals in overtime to take a 38-34 win over Indianpolis and Andrew Luck in the Hoosier State in week four. Houston took a 21-10 lead with them to the half, before Indianapolis would rally to pull even with 45 seconds left in regulation when Luck and rookie RB Nyheim Hines connected on a 9-yard TD toss. The Colts, who were outrushed by the Texans 119-41, scored first in the overtime on a 44 yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri to take a 3-point lead. That lead would not last very long as Fairbairn connected on a 29-yard field goal with 1:50 left in the period. Houston then got the ball back after a Colts punt and the Texans used all 24 seconds left and took the win when Fairbairn connected on a 37-yard field goal as time expired to pick up their first win of the season. Houston’s DeShaun Watson threw for 375 yards with a pair of TD but was sacked seven times, while Luck was sacked four times. Indy was 10 of 17 on third down (the Colts were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 29:56, while the Texans kept the ball for 40:04, going 8 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Colts evened the score, coming away 24-21 winners in Houston in week 14. In that meeting, Indianapolis broke Houston’s 9-game win streak as Luck and the Colts came away winners Sunday afternoon at NRG Stadium. The Texans took a 7-0 lead after the first quarter and saw that lead vanish as the Colts scored 17 second quarter points unchallenged to take a 17-7 lead with them to the intermission. Houston would eventually make it a 3-point game with 2:37 left in regulation when WR DeAnrde Hopkins and Texans QB DeShaun Watson connected on a 7-yard TD toss to bring them closer. The Colts then proceeded to run out the clock and take the win over their AFC South rivals. While Houston outrushed Indianapolis 89-50, Luck threw for 399 yards with a pair of TDs, while Watson threw for 267 yards with a TD and no interceptions (Watson was sacked five times, Luck was sacked twice and threw an interception). The Texans were 5 of 15 on third down conversions (they were perfect on fourth down, going 2 of 2) and they would keep the ball for 31:57, while the Colts would keep the pigskin for 28:03, going 4 of 12 on third down tries.

Indianapolis was a 2-point favorite in the Hoosier State in week four and the Texans would come away 3-point overtime winners, allowing them to cover the spread and the 71 combined points in the contest allowed both teams to cove the 47 1/2 over/under. In the week 14 contest in Houston, the Texans saw themselves favored by 4 1/2 but the Colts came out with the 3-point road win. As for the 48 1/2 over/under? It was safe and sound, as both teams tallied only 45 points. This time, the boys and girls in Vegas like the Texans as 2 1/2-point favorites with a 47 1/2 over/under. The winner of this game? They get to go to Foxboro; as for the loser? They are done for the year. Houston covers the 2 1/2 in the Lone Star State and advances to the next round.

Seattle (10-6) at Dallas (10-6), 8:15 p.m. Saturday on FOX. Saturday Wild Card action concludes in Arlington as Dallas and Seattle meet at Jerry World (AT&T Stadium). Both teams survived scares to close out regular season play last week.

Seattle broke a 24-24 tie in the final seconds at home in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, coming away 27-24 winners against NFC West rival Arizona at Century Link Field. Leading the Desert Angry Birds 14-13 at the intermission, Arizona would eventually pull themselves even with 1:49 left on a Zendalas Gonzalez field goal to tie the contest up at 24-24. Seattle would use all of the 1:49 that was on the clock, using an 8-play, 60-yard drive and sending their fan base home happy when K Sebastian Janikowski nailed a 33-yard field goal as time ran out. Seattle rushed for 182 yards in the win (Seahawks RB Chris Carson led all rushers with 122 yards and a TD), while holding Arizona to 85 yards on the ground. Seattle QB Russell Wilson threw for 152 yards, while Cardinals’ QB Josh Rosen threw for 149 yards (each threw a TD pass; Wilson connected with Todd Lockett, Rosen connected with Larry Fitzgerald, Wilson had an interception) and each man was sacked six times. Seattle was 4 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 29:09 (including the final 1:49 of the contest), while Arizona ruled the clock and held the ball for 30:51 and went 4 of 17 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Dallas erased a 35-28 deficit in the Meadowlands and came away 36-35 winners at Met Life Stadium last Sunday. The Cowboys, who rested RB Ezekiel Elliott, rallied with 72 seconds left in regulation when Dak Prescott and WR Cole Beasley connected on a 32-yard TD pass to make it a 1-pont contest. Dallas, who used nine plays and 70 yards to score, then took the lead when Prescott and rookie WR Michael Gallup connected on the two-point conversion. Dallas then held off a last-ditch rally by the Giants to take the win in upstate New Jersey, stopping four Eli Manning passes that could have give the Giants the win. While New York did outrush Dallas 143-51 (Saquon Barkley led all rushers with 109 yards), Prescott threw for 387 yards with four TDs (Prescott was sacked four times but did not throew an interception), while Manning threw for 301 yards with a TD toss to TE Evan Engram, while he was sacked once and threw an interception. Dallas was 11 of 17 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down and kept the ball for 30:52, while the Giants kept the pigskin for 29:08 and went 7 of 15 and 2 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

Dallas and Seattle met in the Pacific Northwest in week 3 and the Seahawks prevailed 24-13. In the Seahawks win, Dallas was held in check by Russell Wilson and Seattle in the Pacific Northwest as the Seahawks took the 11-point win at Century Link Field in the late Sunday afternoon contest. Dallass trailed 17-3 at the half and could never really get on track, even though they did outscore Seattle 10-3 in the second half. Dallas did outrush Seattle 166-113, with Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott rushing for 127 yards, while Seattle was paced by Chris Carson, who ran for 102 yards and a rushing TD. wilson threw for 192 yards and a pair of TDs, while Dak Prescott threw for 168 yards with five sacks and picked off twice by CB Earl Thomas. Seattle was 7 of 16 on third down tries and held the ball for 32:44, while the Cowboys kept the ball for 27:16, going 3 of 13 on third down conversions, 1 of 2 on fourth down tries.

In the week three contest in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, Seattle was favored by 1 1/2 points and covered, winning by 11 points. The 41 1/2 over/under was untouched, as the two teams mustered a mere 37 points. The Cowboys are favored by 2 1/2 in the Lone Star State and the over/under’s 43. Seattle’s looking to repeat history, Dallas is looking for revenge and the winner of this one gets to go to the Big Easy and a date with Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. They may not cover the 2 1/2 but Seattle prevails in Jerry World, taking the win on the road.

Los Angeles Chargers (12-4) at Baltimore (10-6), 1 p.m. Sunday on CBS. Sunday Wild Card action gets underway in Charm City as the Ravens host Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Chargers got revenge from a week 11 loss to Denver at Stub Hub and came away 23-9 winners at Broncos Stadium at Mile High last Sunday. After a scoreless first quarter, Los Angeles led 7-3 at the break, took a 14-3 lead with them to the final 15 minutes of action and held the Broncos in check the rest of the way. The Chargers outrushed Denver 116-82 and Rivers threw for 176 yards with a TD and a pair of interceptions, while Denver’s Case Keenum threw for 292 yards with a TD, a sack and was picked off once. The Chargers, who got a defensive two-point conversion from CB Casey Heyward, went 4 for 11 on third down tries in the Mile High City and kept the ball for 28:12, while Denver actually ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 31:48, going 4 of 14 on third down, 1 for 2 on fourth down.

The Ravens held off a late Cleveland rally at home in Charm City and came away 26-24 winners last Sunday, taking the AFC North title at M&T Bank Stadium.

They met in Los Angeles in week 16 at Stub Hub Centre and the Chargers watched Baltimore keep their playoff hopes alive on the West Coast as the Ravens held off the Chargers 22-10 at Stub Hub Centre. The Ravens led 6-3 at the half against Rivers and the Chargers, then floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of play, reclaiming the lead after the Chargers’ Melvin Gordon scored on a 1-yard run with 13:18 left in the third.

Baltimore would then go on to score their final 16 points of the game unchallenged, with the final tally coming when CB Tavon Young scored on a 62-yard fumble return with 2:40 left as the Chargers were driving to tie the contest up. Baltimore outrushed Los Angeles 159-51, with Jackson throwing for 204 yards and a TD, while Rivers threw for 181 yards (Rivers was sacked four times and picked off twice, Jackson was sacked three times but did not throw an interception). Baltimore went 4 of 14 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and the Ravens held on to the ball for 31:25, while the Chargers held on to the ball for 28:35, going 4 for 13 on thir down tries in the Saturday night contest on the West Coast.

In the week 16 Saturday night contest on the West Coast, the Bolts were favored by 5 and the Ravens covered, winning by 12. The 44 1/2 over/under was untouched as they combined for 32 points. This time? The Ravens are favored by 2 in Charm City and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Baltimore’s looking to prove that the first meeting was not a fluke; as for the Chargers, they’re looking for revenge from their loss at home to the Ravens in week 16. The winner of this one? They get to face some guy named Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Foxboro.Revenge wins out here. Bolts cover the 2 in Charm City and takes the win.

Philadelphia (9-7) at Chicago (12-4), 4:40 p.m. Sunday on NBC. Wild Card weekend comes to an end in the Windy City as the Monsters of the Midway, Da Bears, host the defending Super Bowl champs at Soldier Field. Both clubs won their regular season finales on the road last week.

Philadelphia got help from Chicago as Da Bears beat Minnesota 24-10 in the Twin Cities, then shutout Washington 24-0 at FedEx Field. The defending Super Bowl champs scored all of their points in the contest unchallenged and led 10-0 at the half against their NFC East rivals. Philadelphia held Washington to 21 yards rushing, while they tallied 129 yards of their own. Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor each caught TD passes from Nick Foles (221 yards, three sacks, interception; Agholor also caught a TD pass from backup QB Nate Sudfeld), while Washington’s Josh Johnson threw for 91 yards, four sacks and an interception. The Eagles were 8 for 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and were ball hogs, keeping the pigskin away from Washington for 43:19, while the Redskins were a dismal 0 for 9 on third down (2 for 4 on fourth down) and held the ball for 16:41.

Chicago ended Minnesota’s hopes for a playoff spot as Da Bears would leave the Twin Cities 24-10 winners at US Bank Stadium. Chicago led 13-3 at the intermission in the Land of 10,000 Lakes thanks to a pair of rushing TDs by Jordan Howard before the Vikings made it a 7-point game with 1:51 left in the third quarter when WR Stefon Diggs caught a 2-yard TD pass from Kirk Cousins. Chicago would put the contest on ice in the fourth quarter, with Tarik Cohen rushing for a 3-yard TD run with 7:46 left in the contest. Chicago would then go for two and found success when Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Kwiatkoski connected on the conversion. Cody Parkey would then put the nail in Minnesota’s coffin when he connected on a 42-yard field goal to seal the win. Da Bears outrushed Minnesota 169-63, with Howard leading the way with 109 yards and the two TDs. Trubisky threw for 163 yards without a sack or interception, while Cousins threw for 132 yards with four cats and no interceptions. Chicago went 8 for 14 on third down (they were 0 for 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball in hibernation for 37:08, while the Vikings were 1 of 11 and 1 of 4 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 22:52.

While Chicago and Philadelphia did not meet in the 2018 regular season, Da Bears lead da regular season series 28-12-1 and they have outscored the Eagles 873-617. The Eagles have won the last three regular season meetings, including taking a 31-3 win in the City of Brotherly Love in 2017, while Chicago’s last win over the Eagles in regular season action came in 2011 when da Bears left Philadelphia 30-24 winners.

The two teams were know for their last post-season contest in Chicago, which took place in 2001 in the NFC Divisonal Playoffs in Chicago and the Eagles were 33-19 winners but the two teams are best known for the “Fog Bowl” that was played at Solider Field in 1988 (also a Divisonal Playoff game) which da Bears braved the elements and a fog that was coming off Lake Michigan to take a 20-12 win. The contest started with sunny weather in the Windy City and then the fog became the star of the show. According to WGN-TV and the Chicago Tribune, as the fog continued into the start of the second half, the broadcast (CBS televised the contest) was shown from the field cameras instead of the ones overhead due to the conditions. Terry Bradshaw, who was working with Vern Lundquist, even moved from the booth to the field in an effort to provide better commentary.

As for that regular season meeting… it took place in week 12 in the City of Brotherly Love and the Eagles scored 24 first half points unchecked and held Da Bears to a 38-yard field goal by Carlos Santos in the third quarter. LeGarrett Blount ran for 97 of Philadelphia’s 176 yards, while the Bears were held to a somewhat dismal 6 yards on the ground and Carson Wentz threw for 227 yards and three TDs without an interception, while Trubisky threw for 147 yards with a pair of interceptions and a pair of sacks. Philadelphia was 7 of 16 on third down but struck paydirt on fourth down, going 3 for 4 and kept the ball for 37:08, while Chicago went 3 of 13 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 22:52.

The Eagles easily covered the 13 1/2-point spread in the week 12 2017 contest, winning by 28 but the 44 over/under stayed in tact, as both teams scored 34 points. Chicago’s favored by 5 1/2 in the Windy City and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Both numbers make a ton of sense. The winner gets to go to Los Angeles and play the Rams again. The loser… their season is done. Long live the king. Bears take the win at home in the Windy City, even though the Eagles could make it closer than the 5 1/2.

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The end has come.

It’s week 17 in a season that has brought a lot of excitement and hope for teams that have not been to the post-season in a while. For Cleveland, it was a season that saw them pick up their first win in two seasons. It was a season that saw two teams (Cleveland and Green Bay) change coaches in mid-season. It was also a season that was competitive and somewhat entertaining.

When the Indianapolis-Tennessee game comes to an end in Nashville Sunday, 12 teams will be in the post-season party. As for the other 20 teams? They will be clearing out lockers, going home and getting ready for the Senior Bowl and the 2019 draft. The opponents for all 32 teams will be announced this week and the schedule will be annonced in April. In case you’re wondering, the 2019 NFL regular season starts on September 5th, so mark those calendars now.

It’s the final push for NFL teams as the regular season ends on Sunday. All 16 games are division contests and with one week to go, there are still 15 teams in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIII.

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

In the AFC, four teams have already punched their ticket to the postseason: New England (10-5, AFC East), Houston (10-5, playoff berth), Kansas City (11-4, playoff berth) and the Los Angeles Chargers (11-4, playoff berth).

Baltimore (9-6) and Pittsburgh (8-6-1) are vying for the AFC North title. Indianapolis (9-6) and Tennessee (9-6) face off on NBC’s Sunday Night Football at 8:20 p.m. in a win-and-you’re-in battle. Houston can clinch the AFC South title with a win this week, but the winner of the Indianapolis-Tennessee game would take the division crown with a Houston loss.

In the NFC, five teams have locked up playoff spots, including all four division winners: Dallas (9-6, NFC East), Chicago (11-4, NFC North), New Orleans (13-2, NFC South), the Los Angeles Rams (12-3, NFC West) and Seattle (9-6, playoff berth).

Minnesota (8-6-1) and Philadelphia (8-7) are in contention for the final Wild Card spot in the NFC. The Vikings are in position to clinch a playoff berth with a win, while the Eagles need a win and a Minnesota loss to secure their postseason entry.

The Bears, who have clinched the NFC North division title for the first time since 2010, have completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround and at least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 15 of the past 16 seasons. If Houston clinches the AFC South on Sunday, it would mark the second consecutive season that two teams go from worst to first (Jacksonville and Philadelphia in 2017) – something that has never happened before in any other major US sport.

Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990 – a streak of 29 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

With one week remaining, five teams have already qualified for the playoffs after missing the postseason in 2017 – the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Chargers and Seattle Seahawks. That number could swell to as many as seven if both the Baltimore Ravens and Indianapolis Colts qualify for the postseason on Sunday.

A look at some of the key games in Week 17:

Carolina (6-9) at New Orleans (13-2) 1 p.m. on FOX
•The Saints have clinched the NFC South, a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

Dallas (9-6) at New York Giants (5-10), 1 p.m. on FOX
•The Cowboys have clinched the NFC East and will enter the NFC playoffs as the No. 4 seed.

Jacksonville (5-10) at Houston (10-5), 1 p.m. on CBS
•The Texans, who have clinched a playoff berth, can claim the AFC South with a win. Houston can also clinch a first-round bye with a win and a New England loss and can clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win combined with losses by New England, Kansas City and the Los Angeles Chargers.

New York Jets (4-11) at New England (10-5), 1 p.m. on CBS
•The Patriots, who have won the AFC East, can earn a first-round bye with a win or if Baltimore, Houston and Tennessee all lose.

Arizona (3-12) at Seattle (9-6), 4:25 p.m. on FOX
•The Seahawks have clinched a playoff berth and will enter the NFC playoffs as the No. 5 or 6 seed.

Chicago (11-4) at Minnesota (8-6-1), 4:25 p.m. on FOX
•The Bears, who have clinched the NFC North, can secure a first-round bye with a win and a Los Angeles Rams loss.
•The Vikings can clinch a playoff berth with a win or a Philadelphia loss.

Cincinnati (6-9) at Pittsburgh (8-6-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS
•The Steelers can claim the AFC North with a win and a Baltimore loss.

Cleveland (7-7-1) at Baltimore (9-6), 4:25 p.m. on CBS
•The Ravens can win the AFC North with a win or a Pittsburgh loss.

Los Angeles Chargers (11-4) at Denver (7-8), 4:25 p.m. on CBS
•The Chargers, who have clinched a playoff berth, can claim the AFC West division title, a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win combined with a Kansas City loss.

Oakland (4-11) at Kansas City (11-4), 4:25 p.m. on CBS
•The Chiefs, who have clinched a playoff berth, can claim the AFC West division title, a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win. A Los Angeles Chargers loss would also give the Chiefs the AFC West crown.

Philadelphia (8-7) at Washington (7-8), 4:25 p.m. on FOX
•​The Eagles can secure a playoff berth with a win combined with a Minnesota loss.

San Francisco (4-11) at Los Angeles Rams (12-3), 4:25 p.m. on FOX
•The Rams have won the NFC West and can clinch a first-round bye with a win or a Chicago loss.

Indianapolis (9-6) at Tennessee (9-6), 8:20 p.m. on NBC
•​The winner of this game locks up a playoff spot.
•The Colts can clinch the AFC South division title with a win combined with a Houston loss.
•The Titans can clinch the AFC South division title with a win combined with a Houston loss. With a win and losses by Houston, New England and Baltimore, the Titans would secure a first-round bye. ​

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY:

New Orleans defeated Pittsburgh 31-28 to clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. With the Steelers’ loss, Houston clinched a playoff berth.

New England defeated Buffalo 24-12 and clinched the AFC East division title for the 10th consecutive season.

The Patriots have advanced to the postseason in 10 consecutive seasons (2009-18), surpassing Dallas (nine from 1975-1983) and Indianapolis (nine from 2002-2010) for the most consecutive seasons in NFL history with a playoff berth.

With their 10th win of the season, New England (16 seasons from 2003-2018) tied San Francisco (16 from 1983-98) for the most consecutive seasons with at least 10 victories in NFL history.

New England quarterback Tom Brady, who has 4,105 passing yards this season, joins Peyton Manning (14 seasons), Drew Brees  (12) and Philip Rivers (10) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with 10 seasons of at least 4,000 passing yards.

Dallas defeated Tampa Bay 27-20, allowing them to clinch the NFC East division title for the second time in the past three seasons. Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott had 109 scrimmage yards (85 rushing, 24 receiving) in the Cowboys’ Week 16 victory.

Elliott, who has 4,048 rushing yards and 1,199 receiving yards in his three-year NFL career, is the fifth player in NFL history with at least 4,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in his first three NFL seasons, joining Ottis Anderson, Chris Johnson and Pro Football Hall of Famers Barry Sanders and LaDainian Tomlinson.

Elliott, who had 1,994 scrimmage yards in 2016, leads the NFL with 2,001 scrimmage yards this season and joins Pro Football Hall of Famers Eric Dickerson and LaDainian Tomlinson and Edgerrin James as the only players in league annals with at least 1,900 scrimmage yards in two of their first three career seasons.

· Cleveland rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield completed 27 of 37 pass attempts (73.0 percent) for 284 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 121.9 passer rating in the Browns’ 26-18 win against Cincinnati. Mayfield, who has 24 touchdown passes in 2018, surpassed Andrew Luck (23 touchdown passes in 2012) for the second-most touchdown passes by a rookie quarterback selected number 1 overall in the common draft era. Only Peyton Manning (26 in 1998) had more passing touchdowns as a rookie quarterback selected number 1 overall in the common draft era.

· Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 37 of 55 pass attempts (67.3 percent) for 442 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 103.8 passer rating and had two rushing touchdowns in the Packers’ 44-38 overtime win at the New York Jets. Rodgers is the only player in NFL history with at least 400 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns. He also previously accomplished the feat on October 2, 2011 against Denver (408 passing yards, four touchdown passes and two rushing touchdowns).

· Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles passed for 471 yards and four touchdowns while tight end Zach Ertz had 12 receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns in the Eagles’ 32-30 victory against Houston. Foles is the first quarterback in franchise history with multiple career games of at least 400 passing yards and four touchdown passes (406 passing yards and seven touchdown passes on November 3, 2013 at Oakland). His 471 passing yards are the most in a single game in franchise history, surpassing Donovan McNabb, who passed for 464 yards against Green Bay on December 5, 2004.

Ertz, who has a franchise-record 113 catches in 2018, surpassed Jason Witten (110 receptions in 2012) for the most receptions by a tight end in a single season in NFL history.

· Minnesota wide receiver Adam Thielen had five receptions for 80 yards in the Vikings’ 27-9 victory at Detroit.

Thielen, who signed as an undrafted free agent with Minnesota in 2013, has 110 catches and 1,335 receiving yards in 2018 and joins Rod Smith (2000 and 2001) and Wes Welker (2009, 2011 and 2012) as the only undrafted players in the common draft era with at least 100 receptions and 1,300 receiving yards in a single season.

· Carolina running back Christian McCaffery had 178 scrimmage yards (101 rushing, 77 receiving) and 12 receptions in the Panthers’ Week 16 loss against Atlanta. McCaffrey, who leads all running backs with 106 receptions this season, surpassed Matt Forte (102 receptions in 2014) for the most receptions by a running back in a single season in NFL history.

McCaffrey, who has 1,080 rushing yards in 2018, joins Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson (2003) and Matt Forte (2014) as the only players in NFL history with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 100 receptions in a single season.

· Pittsburgh wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster had 11 receptions for 115 yards in the Steelers’ Week 16 loss against New Orleans. Smith-Schuster, who is 22 years and 31 days old, has 106 catches this season and surpassed Larry Fitzgerald (22 years, 123 days) as the youngest player to reach 100 receptions in a single season in NFL history.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 17

PLAYOFFS ON THE LINE: All 16 games are division contests in Week 17 and there are still 15 teams in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIII.

In the AFC, four teams have already punched their ticket to the postseason: New England (10-5, AFC East), Houston (10-5, playoff berth), Kansas City (11-4, playoff berth) and the Los Angeles Chargers (11-4, playoff berth).

In the NFC, five teams have locked up playoff spots, including all four division winners: Dallas (9-6, NFC East), Chicago (11-4, NFC North), New Orleans (13-2, NFC South), the Los Angeles Rams (12-3, NFC West) and Seattle (9-6, playoff berth).

HISTORY IN THE MAKING: Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the NFL with 48 touchdown passes this season.

With two touchdown passes on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium against Oakland at 4:25 p.m. on CBS, Mahomes can join Peyton Manning (55 touchdown passes in 2013) and Tom Brady (50 in 2007) as the only quarterbacks with at least 50 touchdown passes in a single season in NFL history.

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

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON – TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Peyton Manning – Denver (2013 – 55)#
Tom Brady – New England (2007 – 50)#
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis (2004 – 49)#
Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City (2018 – 48)*
Dan Marino – Miami (1984 – 48)^#
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
#Named Associate​d Press Most Valuable Player
*Entering Week 17

RIDICULOUS ROOKIE: New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley ranks third in the NFL with 1,886 scrimmage yards this season.

With 114 scrimmage yards against Dallas at 1 p.m. on FOX, Barkley would join Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (2,212 scrimmage yards in 1983) and Edgerrin James (2,139 in 1999) as the only rookies with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards in NFL history.

The rookies with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards in NFL history:
PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON – SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Eric Dickerson – Los Angeles Rams (1983 – 2,212)^#
Edgerrin James – Indianapolis (1999 – 2,139)#
Saquon Barkley – New York Giants (2018 – 1,886)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
#Named Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year
*Entering Week 17

Barkley has 87 receptions this season and needs two catches against the Cowboys to surpass Reggie Bush (88 receptions in 2006) for the most catches by a rookie running back in league annals.

RUN & CATCH CMC: Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey ranks second in the league with 1,925 scrimmage yards (1,080 rushing, 845 receiving) this season. McCaffrey has 106 catches in 2018 and surpassed Matt Forte (102 receptions in 2014) for the most receptions by a running back in a single season in league annals.

With 55 receiving yards at New Orleans at 1 p.m. on FOX, McCaffrey would join Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk (1998 and 1999) and Roger Craig (1985) as the only players in NFL history with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 900 receiving yards in a single season.

The players with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 900 receiving yards in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON – RUSHING YARDS/RECEIVING YARDS)
Marshall Faulk – St. Louis (1999 – 1,381/1,048)^
Marshall Faulk – Indianapolis (1998 – 1,319/908)^
Roger Craig – San Francisco (1985 – 1,050/1,016)
Christian McCaffrey – Carolina (2018 – 1,080/845)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Entering Week 17

HISTORY FOR AB: Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown has 104 receptions for 1,297 yards and leads the league with a franchise-record 15 touchdown catches this season.

With three receiving yards against Cincinnati at Heinz Field at 4:25 p.m. on CBS, Brown would become the first player in league annals with five seasons of at least 100 receptions and 1,300 receiving yards.

The players with the most seasons of at least 100 receptions and 1,300 receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASONS WITH 100+ CATCHES AND 1,300+ RECIEVING YARDS)
Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh (4)
Marvin Harrison – Indianapolis (4)^
Andre Johnson – Houston (4)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Has 104 receptions & 1,297 receiving yards in 2018

Brown and teammate JuJu Smith-Schuester, who has 106 receptions and became the youngest player in league history with at least 100 receptions in a single season, can become the first pair of teammates in league annals to each record at least 110 receptions in the same season.

DOMINANT DONALD: Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald leads the NFL with a career-high 19.5 sacks this season.

With three sacks against San Francisco at 4:25 p.m. on FOX, Donald would tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Strahan (22.5 sacks in 2001) for the most sacks in a single season since 1982 when the individual sack became an official statistic.

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

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON – SACKS)
Michael Strahan – New York Giants (2001 – 22.5)^
Jared Allen – Minnesota (2011 – 22)
Mark Gastineau – New York Jets (1984 – 22)
Justin Houston – Kansas City (2014 – 22)
Aaron Donald – Los Angeles Rams (2018 – 19.5)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Entering Week 17

Donald, who has recorded at least two sacks in seven games this season, can become the second player since 1982 to record at least eight games with two-or-more sacks in a single season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Reggie White (eight games in 1987).​

The players with the most games with two-or-more sacks in a single season since 1982:​​

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON – GAMES WITH 2+ SACKS)
Reggie White – Philadelphia (1987 – 8)^#
Chris Doleman – Minnesota (1989 – 7)^
Aaron Donald – Los Angeles Rams (2018 – 7)*
Bruce Smith- Buffalo (1990 – 7)^#
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
#Named Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year
*Entering Week 17

There are plenty of scenarios that involve either a divisonal title or a wild card spot, so you might want to pay attention (this is gonna cause more confusion than a mouse in a burlesque show… apologies to Foghorn Leghorn!)

2018 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 17

NFC

CLINCHED: New Orleans – NFC South division title and home-field advantage, Los Angeles Rams – NFC West division title, Chicago – NFC North division title, Dallas – NFC East division title, Seattle – playoff berth

Los Angeles Rams (12-3) (vs. San Francisco (4-11), 4:25 p.m. on FOX

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

Chicago (11-4) (at Minnesota (8-6-1), 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Chicago clinches a first-round bye with:
1.Chicago win + Los Angeles Rams loss

Minnesota (8-6-1) vs. Chicago (11-4), 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Minnesota clinches a playoff berth with:
1.Minnesota win or tie OR
2.Philadelphia loss or tie

Philadelphia (8-7) at Washington (7-8), 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Philadelphia clinches a playoff berth with:
1.Philadelphia win + Minnesota loss

AFC
CLINCHED: Kansas City – Playoff berth, Los Angeles Chargers – Playoff berth, New England – AFC East division title, Houston – Playoff berth​

Kansas City (11-4) vs. Oakland (4-11), 4:25 p.m. on CBS

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title and home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:
1.Kansas City win OR
2.Kansas City tie + Los Angeles Chargers loss or tie OR
3.Los Angeles Chargers loss + New England loss or tie + Houston loss or tie OR
4.Los Angeles Chargers loss + New England loss or tie + Kansas City clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over Houston

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title and a first-round bye with:
1.Los Angeles Chargers loss + New England loss or tie OR
2.Los Angeles Chargers loss + Houston loss or tie
3.Los Angeles Chargers loss + Kansas City clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over Houston

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title with:
1.Los Angeles Chargers loss OR
2.Kansas City tie + Los Angeles Chargers tie

New England (10-5) vs. New York Jets (4-11), 1 p.m. on CBS

New England clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:
1.New England win + Kansas City loss + Los Angeles Chargers loss

New England clinches a first-round bye with:
1.New England win OR
2.New England tie + Houston loss or tie OR
3.Baltimore loss or tie + Houston loss + Tennessee loss or tie

Houston (10-5) vs. Jacksonville (5-10), 1 p.m. on CBS

Houston clinches AFC South division title and home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:
1.Houston win + New England loss or tie + Kansas City loss + Los Angeles Chargers loss + Houston clinches a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over Kansas City

Houston clinches AFC South division title and a first-round bye with:
1.Houston win + New England loss or tie OR
2.Houston win + Kansas City loss + Los Angeles Chargers loss + Houston clinches a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over Kansas City OR
3.Houston tie + New England loss OR
4.Indianapolis-Tennessee tie + New England loss + BAL win + Houston clinches a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over Baltimore

Houston clinches AFC South division title with:
1.Houston win or tie OR
2.Indianapolis-Tennessee tie

Baltimore (9-6) vs. Cleveland (7-7-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS

Baltimore clinches AFC North division title and a first-round bye with:
1.Baltimore win + New England loss + Houston loss + Indianapolis-Tennessee does not end in a tie OR
2.Baltimore win + New England loss + Houston loss + Baltimore clinches at least a tie in strength of victory tiebreaker over Houston

Baltimore clinches AFC North division title with:
1.Baltimore win OR
2.Pittsburgh loss OR
3.Baltimore tie + Pittsburgh tie

Baltimore clinches a playoff berth with:
1.Baltimore tie + Baltimore-Tennessee tie

Los Angeles Chargers (11-4) at Denver (6-9), 4:25 p.m. on CBS

Los Angeles clinches AFC West division title and home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:
1.Los Angeles Chargers win + Kansas City loss or tie OR
2.Los Angeles Chargers tie + Kansas City loss

Indianapolis (9-6) at Tennessee (9-6), 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Indianapolis clinches AFC South division title with:
1.Indianapolis win + Houston loss

Indianapolis clinches a playoff berth with:
1.Indianapolis win OR
2.Indianapolis tie + Pittsburgh loss or tie OR
3.Indianapolis tie + Baltimore loss

Tennessee clinches AFC South division title and first-round bye with:
1.Tenessee win + Houston loss + New England loss + Baltimore loss or tie

Tennessee clinches AFC South division title with:
1.Tennessee win + Houston loss

Tennessee clinches a playoff berth with:
1.Tennessee win

Pittsburgh (8-6-1) vs. Cincinnati (6-9), 4:25 p.m. on CBS

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

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth with:
1.Pittsburgh win + Indianapolis-Tennessee tie

Got all that? There’s going to be a quiz afterward.

Every game in week 17 is a rematch and there are some contests that have playoff implications, while others are just trying to regroup and get ready for the 2019 campaign. Because this is the final week of the regular season, we are going to make every game on the schedule “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 58 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

Last week was another 8-8 week, which means for the year, we’re still well above the .500 mark at 132-104. Week 17 begins in Tampa as the Buccaneers host the Atlanta Falcons and concludes in Nashville as Tennesee and Indianapolis meet for the last playoff spot in the AFC. When things settle down, there will be 12 teams making their way toward the Lombardi Trophy and Atlanta, while the other 20 teams will figure out what went wrong in 2018 and what they can do to not make those mistakes in 2019. With that, here are the Sunday picks for week 17.

ATLANTA (6-9) at Tampa Bay (5-10), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 708. Atlanta and Tampa Bay, a pair of NFC South rivals, close out the 2018 campaign on Florida’s West Coast as both teams, out of playoff contention, conclude their seasons.

Atlanta broke a 10-10 tie at the intermission at Bank of America Stadium last Sunday in Charlotte as they scored 14 third quarter points unchallenged, coming away 24-10 winners over Carolina, who played without Cam Newton (shoulder) and put backup QB Taylor Heinicke under center. Heinicke threw for 274 yards in the contest with a TD but Atlanta sacked him twice and picked him off three times, while Matt Ryan threw for 239 yards with three TDs, connecting with Calvin Ridley, Mohamed Sanu and Julio Jones on those tosses without an interception. Atlanta outrushed Carolina 194-141 with RB Brandon Hill leading all rushers with 115, while Carolina was led by RB Christian McCaffrey with 101 yards in the series sweep. Atlanta was 4 of 10 on third down tries and only needed to hold on to the ball for 22:31, while the Panthers kept the pigskin for 37:29, while going 7 of 14 on third down and 0 for 2 on fourth down.

Tampa Bay watched Dallas celebrate winning the NFC East in Arlington as the Buccaneers fell to the Cowboys 27-20 at AT&T Stadium. Tampa Bay trailed 17-13 at the intermission in the Lone Star State, then rallied to make the contest a 7-point affair with 2:05 left in regulation when WR Mike Evans and QB Jameis Winston connected on a 7-yard TD toss. Tampa Bay would then attempt an onside kick, which Dallas recovered. The Cowboys would then run the clock out and take the win and the NFC East crown. Dallas outrushed Tampa Bay 80-63, with Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 85 yards and Dak Prescott threw for 161 yards, while Winstron threw for 336 yards (each had a TD pass without an interception, Prescott had a rushing TD and a sack, while Winston was sacked three times). Dallas was 3 of 9 on third down and held the ball for 24:41, while Tampa Bay ruled the clock, holding the ball for 35:19, going 4 of 13 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth down.

The Falcons held off a late Tampa Bay rally at home in their week six contest, as they prevailed 34-29 over their NFC South rivals in the Big Peach. Atlanta led 24-13 at the half before Tampa Bay hung on and managed to outscore the Falcons 16-10 in the final 30 minutes of play, pulling to within two with 3:47 left when Jameis Winston (395 yards, four TDs, two sacks, two interceptions) and RB Peyton Barber connected on a 5-yard TD toss before the Falcons’ Matt Bryant connected on a 57-yard field goal with 70 seconds left in the contest. Tampa Bay would then make their way downfield afte the kickoff and got as close as Atlanta’s 21-yard line when they tried several lateral passes with seven seconds left but came up short. Tampa Bay outrushed Atlanta 123-70, while Ryan threw for 354 yards with three TDs (TE Austin Hooper, WR Mohamed Sanu and RB Tevin Coleman caught the TD passes, WR Julio Jones led all recievers with 143 yards) and no interceptions. Both clubs did well on third down tries (Atlanta was 8 of 13, Tampa Bay was 5 of 8) and the Falcons ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:39 to Tampa Bay’s 28:21.

Atlanta covered the 3 1/2-point spread in the first meeting in the Big Peach, winning by 5 and both clubs covered the 58 over/under as they tallied 64 points. The oddsmakers like Tampa Bay as a 1-point favorite with a 51 1/2 over/under. Both clubs would love nothing more than to salvage their seasons. Tampa Bay’s been struggling of late, while the Falcons have played some decent, if not great, football of late. History has a way of repeating itself and history’s on the side of the Falcons. Atlanta prevails in the Sunshine State, covering the 1.

Miami (7-8) at Buffalo (5-10), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of AFC East rivals face off in upstate New York as Miami travels to Orchard Park to take on the Buffalo Bills at New Era Stadium. Both enter the season finale with losses under their respective belts.

Miami was taken to task by instate rival Jacksonville 17-7 at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday afternoon in south Florida. The Dolphins and Jaguars were tied at 7-7 at the intermission, then took that tie into the final quarter of play before the Jaguars would go on to score their final 10 points of the day unchallenged, using a Kai Forbath field goal from 26 yards with 10:56 left to play to take the lead, then getting a 33-yard interception return fro Telvin Smith to seal Miami’s fate. Jacksonville outrushed Miami 126-62, as Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (three sacks) threw for 146 yards with a TD and an interception, while Cody Kessel threw for 106 yards with no TDs or interceptions but was sacked five times. The Dolphins were a somewhat sluggish 2 of 9 on third down tries and kept the ball for 25:15, while the Jaguars were 34:45 in time of possession, going 6 for 13 on third down tries.

Buffalo found themselves losing to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots 26-12 in Foxboro last Sunday. The Pats, who won the AFC East, shutout the Bills in the first half as they trailed 14-0 at the intermission and actually outscored New England 12-10 in the final 30 minutes of action. New England outrushed Buffalo 273-72, with Patriots RB Sony Michele running for 116 yards and a TD. Bills QB Josh Allen threw for 217 yards, while Brady threw for 126 yards with a sack (each threw a TD and had a pair of interceptions) for New England. Buffalo went 2 for 12 on third down (the Bills were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 24:22, while the Pats kept the ball for 35:38 and went 3 for 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

They met in week 13 in the Sunshine State and Miami came away with the 21-17 win at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami led 14-6 at the half before Buffalo would chip away at the lead, then take it, leading 17-14 with 12 minutes left in the contest when WR Zay Jones and Allen connected on a 25-yard TD toss. Miami would regain control of things, taking the lead back for good with 8:42 left when WR Kenny Stills and Tannehill connected on a 13-yard TD pass. Buffalo outrushed Miami 198-60 with Allen doing most of the damage, rushing for 135 yards and throwing for 231 yards and a pair of TDs to Jones, while Tannehill threw for 137 yards and three TDs (Allen threw a pair of interceptions, while Tannehill threw a pick in the contest). Miami was 2 for 9 on third down tries and kept the ball for 27:03, while the Bills actually ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 32:57,l while 5 for 13 on third down and 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 13 contest in the Sunshine State, Miami was favored by 4 1/2 and while Miami did win, they did not cover, winning by 4. The 40 over/under was untouched as both teams merged for 38 points. The odds makers like the Bills as 3 1/2 point favorites along the shores of Lake Erie and the over/under’s 38 1/2. Both of those numbers are reasonable. Miami would like to finish .500 to close things out. As for the Bills? They’re looking to make sure that doesn’t see the light of day. Buffalo may circle the wagons but Miami prevails in upstate New York and covers the 3 1/2 with the road win.

Jacksonville (5-10) at Houston (10-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of AFC South rivals meet in the Lone Star State as Houston returns home to NRG Stadium as the Texans hope to take the division, while Jacksonville has plans to stop them.

Jacksonville ended Miami’s playoff hopes last Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium as they made their trip to south Florida worth their time, coming away 17-7 winners. The Dolphins and Jaguars were tied at 7-7 at the intermission, then took that tie into the final quarter of play before the Jaguars would go on to score their final 10 points of the day unchallenged, using a Kai Forbath field goal from 26 yards with 10:56 left to play to take the lead, then getting a 33-yard interception return fro Telvin Smith to seal Miami’s fate. Jacksonville outrushed Miami 126-62, as Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (three sacks) threw for 146 yards with a TD and an interception, while Cody Kessel threw for 106 yards with no TDs or interceptions but was sacked five times. The Dolphins were a somewhat sluggish 2 of 9 on third down tries and kept the ball for 25:15, while the Jaguars were 34:45 in time of possession, going 6 for 13 on third down tries.

Houston saw a 30-29 late lead at Philadelphia get away from them as the defending Super Bowl champs would rally in the final two minutes of their contest with the Texans to take a 32-30 last-second win at Lincoln Financial Field last Sunday afternoon. Houston led 16-13 at the break in the City of Brotherly Love, then watched Philadelphia take a 23-16 lead into the final quarter of play before storming back to reclaim the lead with 2:04 left when rookie WR Vyncint Smith caught a 35-yard TD pass from DeSean Watson to take a 30-29 lead. Philadelphia would then proceed to march down the field, using 11 plays, 72 yards and all of the 2:04 left on the clock when K Jake Elliott connected on a 35-yard field goal as time expired, denying the Texans a chance to win the AFC South. Houston outrushed Philadephia 62-57 with Watson leading all rushers with 49 yards and a pair of rushing TDs and threw for 339 yards and a pair of passing TDs (Watson was sacked four times but did not throw an interception), while Eagles back up QB Nick Foles threw for 471 yards and four TDs, connecting with TE Zach Ertz on two of those passes. Houston was 3 for 10 on third down (the Texans were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:15, while the defending Super Bowl champs kept their playoff hopes alive, going 9 for 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 33:45 (including the final 2:04 of the contest).

Houston gave Jacksonville their second loss in a row at TIAA Stadium, taking a 20-7 win in north Florida in their week seven affair. The Texans and DeSean Watson took a 13-0 lead at the half, then led 20-0 late in the third before they would give up Jacksonville’s only score of the day when T.J. Yeldon and backup QB Cody Keesler connected on a 6-yard TD toss with 2:18 left in the third. Houston’s Lamar Miller ran for 100 yards with a TD to lead all rushers, as the Texans outrushed Jacksonville 141-70. Watson threw for 139 yards with a TD, while Blake Bortles threw for 61 yards before being replaced by Keesler (Keesler threw for 156 yards with the TD, four sacks and an interception). Houston was 8 of 16 on third down tries and they only needed to keep the ball for 29:35, while Jacksonville ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 30:25, going 9 of 19 on third down tries, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Jacksonville was favored by 4 1/2 in the week seven contest in north Florida and the Texans covered the spread, winning by 13. The 42 1/2 over/under stayed in tact as both teams merged for 27 total points. Houston’s favored by 7 and the over/under’s 40 1/2. For the Texans, a win means that they win the AFC North. They’re already in the post-season but would like to add that to their resume. For the Jaguars? It’s a chance to spoil Houston’s party. Houston pulls off the sweep in the series and takes the win and AFC South title, although expect Jacksonville to make things closer than 7.

New York Jets (4-11) at New England (10-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 710. A pair of AFL/AFC East rivals meet in Foxboro as the New York J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! and New England Patriots meet at Gillette Stadium.

Green Bay stormed back from a 15-point deficit in the Meadowlands against the New York Jets last Sunday, taking a 44-38 overtime win at Met Life Stadium. Green Bay trailed 21-17 at the break, then proceeded to chip away at the lead that the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! had established in the contest, outscoring GangGreen 27-17 in the final 30 minutes of play in regulation and overtime. Josh Myers would tie the contest up in regulation with 17 left when he connected on a 33 yard field goal and Aaron Rodgers would give the Packers the win in overtime as he and WR Davante Adams connected on a 16-yard TD toss with 6:23 left in the extra period. Green Bay, who won the toss and kept the ball in the entire overtime, outrushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 127-47 and Rodgers threw for 442 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions (he was sacked four times), while Sam Darnold threw for 341 yards and three TDs (Darnold had no interceptions and was sacked twice). Green Bay was 5 of 12 on third down try and the Packers kept the ball for 34:19 (including the overtime), while GangGreen was 3 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 29:18 (both clubs went 2 of 2 on fourth down).

Brady and the New England Patriots took the AFC East title in Foxboro, coming away 26-12 winners at Gillette Stadium over AFC East rival Buffalo last Sunday. The Pats shutout the Bills in the first half as they took a 14-0 lead with them at the intermission and watched the Bills actually outscore New England 12-10 in the final 30 minutes of action. New England outrushed Buffalo 273-72, with Patriots RB Sony Michele running for 116 yards and a TD. Bills QB Josh Allen threw for 217 yards, while Brady threw for 126 yards with a sack (each threw a TD and had a pair of interceptions) for New England. Buffalo went 2 for 12 on third down (the Bills were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 24:22, while the Pats kept the ball for 35:38 and went 3 for 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

New England went to the Meadowlands in their week 12 contest against the New York Jets and Brady and the Pats would leave Met Life Stadium with a 27-13 win. Tied 10-10 at the break, Brady and the Pats pulled away from the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! in the second half last Sunday afternoon, outscoring them 17-3 in that frame of time. New England outrushed GangGreen 215-74 and Patriots rookie RB Sony Michel looked like his former self when played at Georgia, rushing for 133 yards and a TD, while Brady was Brady, throwing for 283 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with favorite targets Josh Edelman and Rob Gronkowski on both tosses. New York’s Josh McCown threw for 276 yards with a TD toss to Jevon Kearse but was sacked twice and picked off once. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 6 for 14 on third down tries (GangGreen was 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 25:34, while New England ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 34:26, while going 5 for 12 on third down and 1 for 1 on fourth down.

New England was favored by 9 1/2 in the Meadowlands in the week 12 contest on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and the Patroits covered, winning by 14. However, both teams missed the 46 over/under, tallying 40 points. New England’s favored by 13 1/2 in Foxboro and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Could history repeat itself? GangGreen has played some decent football of late and they’ve given New England problems over the years. While the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! make things close, New England comes away with the win at Gillette.

Detroit (5-10) at Green Bay (6-8-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of NFC North rivals meet at Lambeau Field as Green Bay hosts Detroit in the season finale for both teams.

Minnesota scored 13 second half points unchallenged as they took care of NFC North rival Detroit 27-9 at Ford Field last Sunday. The Vikings trailed 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, led 14-9 at the break and then floored the gas in the second half to keep their playoff hopes alive. Minnesota outrushed the Lions 100-86 and Kirk Cousins threw for 253 yards and three TDs (two to Kyle Rudolph; Rudolph had 122 yards on nine catches), while Detroit’s Matthew Stafford threw for 116 yards (both men were sacked twice and neither threw an interception) before he was replaced by Matt Cassel. Minnesota went 4 of 13 on third down tries (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 28:32, while the struggling Lions ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:28, going 4 of 16, 1 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

Green Bay stormed back from a 15-point deficit in the Meadowlands against the New York Jets last Sunday, taking a 44-38 overtime win at Met Life Stadium. Green Bay trailed 21-17 at the break, then proceeded to chip away at the lead that the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! had established in the contest, outscoring GangGreen 27-17 in the final 30 minutes of play in regulation and overtime. Josh Myers would tie the contest up in regulation with 17 left when he connected on a 33 yard field goal and Aaron Rodgers would give the Packers the win in overtime as he and WR Davante Adams connected on a 16-yard TD toss with 6:23 left in the extra period. Green Bay outrushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 127-47 and Rodgers threw for 442 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions (he was sacked four times), while Sam Darnold threw for 341 yards and three TDs (Darnold had no interceptions and was sacked twice). Green Bay was 5 of 12 on third down try and the Packers kept the ball for 34:19 (including the overtime), while GangGreen was 3 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 29:18 (both clubs went 2 of 2 on fourth down).

Green Bay dropped a 31-23 decision at Detroit in ther week five meeting in the Motor City. The Packers trailed 24-0 at the intermission but would outscore the Lions 23-7 in the second half. Green Bay outrushed Detroit 98-94 and Aaron Rodgers threw for 442 yards and three TDs, while Lions signal caller Matthew Stafford threw for 183 yards and three TDs (neither threw an interception, Rodgers was sacked four times, Stafford was sacked three times). Green Bay, who fumbled the ball three times at Ford Field, went 3 of 10 on third down (2 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 33:20, while the Lions were 5 of 13 on third down conversions, holding the ball for 26:40.

In the week five contest in the Motor City, while Green Bay was favored by a point, the Lions covered the spread with their 8-point win and both Green Bay and Detroit covered the 51 over/under, tallying 54 points. The Packers are once again favored, this time by 7 1/2 with a 45 over/under. Both clubs have had less than perfect seasons and both want to put their fan bases out of their misery. Green Bay covers the 7 1/2 and wins in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst.

Chicago (11-4) at Minnesota (8-6-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 717. A pair of NFC North rivals meet in the Twin Cities as Chicago, winners of the NFC North, travel to the Land of 10,000 Lakes to take on the Minnesota Vikings, who have playoff hopes of their own. Both teams were road winners in their contests last week.

Minnesota scored 13 second half points unchallenged as they took care of NFC North rival Detroit 27-9 at Ford Field last Sunday. The Vikings trailed 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, led 14-9 at the break and then floored the gas in the second half to keep their playoff hopes alive. Minnesota outrushed the Lions 100-86 and Kirk Cousins threw for 253 yards and three TDs (two to Kyle Rudolph; Rudolph had 122 yards on nine catches), while Detroit’s Matthew Stafford threw for 116 yards (both men were sacked twice and neither threw an interception) before he was replaced by Matt Cassel. Minnesota went 4 of 13 on third down tries (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 28:32, while the struggling Lions ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:28, going 4 of 16, 1 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

Chicago erased a 9-7 defict at the half at San Francsico as Da Bears came away 14-9 winners at Levis Stadium last Sunday. Chicago, the NFC North champs, took the lead for keeps with 4:14 left in the third quarter when RB Jordan Howard scored on a 2-yard run to lead by 5. The two clubs would then play a scoreless fourth quarter, with Chicago holding off San Francisco to take the road win. Chicago outrushed the 49ers 90-47 and Mitchell Trubisky threw for 246 yards with a TD and no interceptions (Trubisky was sacked three time), while Nate Mullens threw for 241 yards with a sack and an interception in the home finale for San Francisco. Da Bears were 5 for 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:30, while the 49ers kept the pigskin for 24:30, going 7 of 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Mitch Trubisky and Da Bears survived a scare from Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field, coming away 25-20 winners in the Windy City in their week 12 Sunday night contest. Chicago led 14-3 at the intermission in the NFC North contest before the Vikings would go on in the final 30 minutes to outscore Da Bears 20-11. Trubisky threw for 165 yards with a TD and a pair of interceptions, while Cousins threw for 262 yards with a pair of TDs (Cousins threw a pair of interceptions and was sacked twice, Trubisky was sacked once) in the contest. Chicago outrushed Minnesota 148-22 and went 6 for 12 on third down and kept the ball for 34:29, while the Purple Gang went 5 for 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 25:31.

Da Bears were favored by 3 in the Windy City and Chicago covered, winning by 5 but both teams BARELY missed the 45 1/2 over/under with 45 points. This time, the Vikings are favored by 5 and the over/under’s 41. Da Bears have already punched their ticket to the post-season, while the Vikings are hoping that the Eagles slip up in Washington. Chicago covers the 5 in the Twin Cities and takes the road win.

Carolina (6-9) at New Orleans (13-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. Losing seven in a row, the Carolina Panthers limp their way into the Big Easy as they square off with Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in an NFC South rematch.

The Cam Newton-less Panthers (shoulder) watched Atlanta break a 10-10 tie at the intermission at Bank of America Stadium last Sunday in Charlotte as the Falcons scored 14 third quarter points unchallenged, coming away 24-10 winners over Carolina, who put backup QB Taylor Heinicke under center. Heinicke threw for 274 yards in the contest with a TD but Atlanta sacked him twice and picked him off three times, while Matt Ryan threw for 239 yards with three TDs, connecting with Calvin Ridley, Mohamed Sanu and Julio Jones on those tosses without an interception. Atlanta outrushed Carolina 194-141 with RB Brandon Hill leading all rushers with 115, while Carolina was led by RB Christian McCaffrey with 101 yards in the series sweep. Atlanta was 4 of 10 on third down tries and only needed to hold on to the ball for 22:31, while the Panthers kept the pigskin for 37:29, while going 7 of 14 on third down and 0 for 2 on fourth down.

The Saints clinched home field throughout the playoffs as they held off a late Pittsburgh rally to come away 31-28 winners in the Big Easy last Sunday. New Orleans led 17-14 at the half before the Steelers roared back in the third quarter to take a 28-24 lead at the end of three quarters, thanks to Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown connecting on their second TD toss of the afternoon. New Orleans would reclaim the lead with 85 seconds left in the contest when Brees and WR Michael Thomas connected on a 2-yard TD toss. Pittsburgh would then get the ball back with no time outs and got as close as the Saints’ 42-yard line before fumbling the ball, which New Orleans recovered. The Saints then proceeded to run out the clock and take the win. Pittsburgh outrushed New Orleans 65-57, with Roethlisberger throwing for 364 yards with three TDS and three sacks, while Brees threw for 313 yards with a TD and a pair of sacks. The Steelers were 6 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down, while the Saints were 6 of 12) and the clock was on the side of Pittsburgh, who held the ball for 31:20, while the Saints kept the pigskin for 28:40.

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

In the Monday night week 15 contest in the Tar Heel State, New Orleans, favored by 6 1/2, did not cover the soread, winning by 3. The two clubs came nowhere near the 52 over/under, tallying only 21 points. New Orleans is favored again, this time by 9 with a 45 over/under. The Saints know they are the one seed and would like a win going into their bye week. Carolina would like nothing more than revenge for their loss in week 15 in Charlotte. Panthers get their wish, making it closer than 9 and coming away with the win from the Big Easy.

Dallas (9-6) at New York Giants (5-10), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. Dallas and the New York Giants meet in the Meadowlands in a season-finale for the home team, while the Cowboys advance their way into the post-season.

Dallas celebrate winning the NFC East in Arlington as the Cowboys held off Tampa Bay 27-20 at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys led 17-13 at the intermission in the Lone Star State, then watched Tampa Bay rally to make the contest a 7-point affair with 2:05 left in regulation when WR Mike Evans and QB Jameis Winston connected on a 7-yard TD toss. Tampa Bay would then attempt an onside kick, which Dallas recovered, allowing them to run the clock out and take the win and the NFC East crown. Dallas outrushed Tampa Bay 80-63, with Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 85 yards and Dak Prescott threw for 161 yards, while Winstron threw for 336 yards (each had a TD pass without an interception, Prescott had a rushing TD and a sack, while Winston was sacked three times). Dallas was 3 of 9 on third down and held the ball for 24:41, while Tampa Bay ruled the clock, holding the ball for 35:19, going 4 of 13 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth down.

Manning and the Giants watched their playoff hopes die and saw Indianapolis and Andrew Luck keep their playoff chances alive after they rallied to take a 29-28 win over Eli Manning and the New York Giants at Lucas Oil Stadium. Big Blue led 17-7 at the half, then the Colts would go on to chip away at the lead and trailed 27- 21 with 55 seconds left when Chester Rogers caught a 1-yard TD pass from Luck to take the lead for the first time and for keeps. The Colts then held off a late Giants rally as Malik Hooker picked Manning off to end the threat and take the win. While the Giants did outrush the Colts 83-49, Luck outpaced Manning, throwing for 357 yards and a pair of TDs (including the game-winner) with a sack, while Manning threw for 309 yards and a TD (both men threw an interception) in the loss. The Colts were 7 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 28:19, while the Giants, who went 7 of 12 on third down, actually ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 31:41.

They met in Arlington in week two and the Giants would rally and pull themselves to within three but came up on the short end of a 20-13 loss at Dallas. Big Blue trailed 10-0 at the intermission, then rallied to make the NFC East contest a 3-point affair when K Aldrick Rosas connected on a 38-yard field goal with 11 seconds left. While rushing for 138 yards, Dallas held the Giants to 35 yards on the ground and sacked Manning six times (Mannning threw for 279 yards), while Dak Prescott threw for 160 yards (both Prescott and Manning threw a TD pass) in the win. Dallas was 3 of 10 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:48, while the Giants ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:12, going 8 of 17 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week two contest at Jerry World, Dallas was favored by 3 in the Sunday night contest and they covered, winning by 7. The 42 over/under was left untouched as the two teams would combine for 33 points. In the rematch in the Meadowlands, the Cowboys are favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 42 1/2. The Giants have actually caused problems for Dallas of late and that will be the case this time around. For the Cowboys, it’s second verse, same as the first. Dallas covers the 6 1/2 and wins in the Meadowlands.

Oakland (4-11) at Kansas City (11-4), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. Round two of this old AFL/AFC West rivalry moves to the midwestern section of the United States as Kansas City hosts the Oakland Raiders at Arrowhead.

The Raiders enter the Sunday afternoon contest in the Show-Me State with a 27-14 win over Denver Christmas Eve. The Raiders in their final home game of the 2018 campaign and perhaps their last game in Oakland took a 17-0 lead at the intermission and despite being outscored 14-10 in the last 30 minutes of play, took control of the contest to take the win. Denver was outrushed by the Silver and Black 114-100 with Raiders RB Doug Martin leading the way with 107 yards and a TD in the contest. Derek Carr threw for 167 yards with no TDs and was sacked once but did not throw an interception, while Denver’s Case Keenum threw for 202 yards with a pair of TDs, a pair of interceptions and a sack. The Silver and Black went 5 of 13 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 30:08, while the Broncos, who kept the ball for 29:52, went 6 of 14 on third down, 1 for 2 on fourth down.

Kansas City looks to restore order and take home field advantage after their 38-31 loss at Seattle last Sunday night. The Chiefs trailed 14-10 at the intermission in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, then rallied to make it a 7-point contest with 80 seconds left when Harrison Butker connected on a 32-yard field goal. Kansas City then tried an unsuccessful onside kick, which allowed Seattle to recover the ball, run out the clock and take the win. Seattle outrushed the Chiefs 210-154 and Damien Williams led the Chiefs with 103 yards of rushing, while Seattle’s Chris Carson led all rushers with 116 yards and a pair of TDs. Patrick Mahomes threw for 273 yards for Kansas City, while Russell Wilson threw for 271 yards for Seattle (both men threw three TDs without an interception; Wilson was sacked three times, Mahomes sacked once). Kansas City went 5 of 12 on third down (the Chiefs were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 24:58, while the Seahawks ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 35:02, while going 7 for 14 on third down tries.

They met in week 13 in Oakland and the Chiefs put an end to Oakland’s dwindling playoff hopes in that contest on the West Coast, taking a 40-33 win at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Kansas City led 19-7, then pulled away after the Silver and Black made it a 9-point contest early in the third quarter. Kansas City outrushed their AFC West rival 174-171 and Mahomes threw for 295 yards with four TDs (connecting with TE Travis Kelce on two of them) and no sacks or interceptions, while Oakland’s Derek Carr threw for 285 yards with three TDs and three sacks. Kansas City was 6 of 13 on third down (Andy Reid’s Chiefs were successful on fourth down, going 1 of 1) and kept the ball for 29:14, while the Raiders ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:46, going 9 for 12 on third down conversions.

Kansas City was a 15-point favorite in the week 13 contest but managed to win by only 7 on the West Coast. The two AFL/AFC West rivals did manage to cover the 55 1/2 over/under, as the two clubs merged for 73 points. This time, the Chiefs are favored again by 13 1/2 with a 54 over/under. The 54? Reasonable. The 13 1/2? That’s a bit generous. Given the history between these two teams, the Raiders are playing with house money and the Chargers are hoping that they pull off the upset in the Show-Me State. Oakland makes this one interesting but the Chiefs prevail at Arrowhead, becoming the one seed in the process.

Los Angeles Chargers (11-4) at Denver (6-9), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. The Los Angeles Chargers, fighting to be the one seed in the AFC and having a first-round bye, travels to the Rocky Mountains for a late Sunday afternoon AFL/AFC West meeting with the Denver Broncos.

The Chargers watched Baltimore keep their playoff hopes alive on the West Coast last Saturday evening as the Ravens held off the Chargers 22-10 at Stub Hub Centre. The Ravens led 6-3 at the half against Rivers and the Chargers, then floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of play, reclaiming the lead after the Chargers’ Melvin Gordon scored on a 1-yard run with 13:18 left in the third.

Baltimore would then go on to score their final 16 points of the game unchallenged, with the final tally coming when CB Tavon Young scored on a 62-yard fumble return with 2:40 left as the Chargers were driving to tie the contest up. Baltimore outrushed Los Angeles 159-51, with Jackson throwing for 204 yards and a TD, while Los Angeles’ Philip Rivers threw for 181 yards (Rivers was sacked four times and picked off twice, Jackson was sacked three times but did not throw an interception).
Baltimore went 4 of 14 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and the Ravens held on to the ball for 31:25, while the Chargers held on to the ball for 28:35, going 4 for 13 on thir down tries in the Saturday night contest on the West Coast.

Denver comes back the Mile High City with a 27-14 loss at Oakland on Christmas Eve under their belts. The Broncos could never get themselves on track in the Monday night contest, trailing 17-0 at the intermission, even though they did outscore Oakland 14-10 in the last 30 minutes of play. Denver was outrushed by the Silver and Black 114-100 with Raiders RB Doug Martin leading the way with 107 yards and a TD in the contest. Derek Carr threw for 167 yards with no TDs and was sacked once but did not throw an interception, while Denver’s Case Keenum threw for 202 yards with a pair of TDs, a pair of interceptions and a sack. The Silver and Black went 5 of 13 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 30:08, while the Broncos, who kept the ball for 29:52, went 6 of 14 on third down, 1 for 2 on fourth down.

They met in Los Angeles in week 11 and Denver got a last-second field goal from Brandon McManus to come away 23-22 winners. Los Angeles led 13-7 at the intermission, then led by 2 with 1:51 left when Denver used all of the 1:51 left on the clock, using a 7-play, 76-yard drive that got them into field goal range, with McManus nailing the game-winner from 34 yards away. Denver outrushed the Bolts 108-95 and Keenum threw for 205 yards, while Rivers threw for 401 yards with a pair of TDs (Rivers was sacked three times and threw a pair of interceptions) in the loss at home. The Chargers went 9 for 15 on third down tries at Stub Hub Centre and they would keep the ball for 37:49, while Denver kept the ball for 22:11 (including the final 1:51 of the contest), while going 3 for 10 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The Chargers were favored by 7 in the week 11 contest at Stub Hub Centre and while Denver took the win, they failed to cover the spread, winning by 1 and neither club touched the 47 over/under, as they merged for 45 points. The odds makers love the Chargers again, this time as 6 1/2 point favorites in the Rocky Mountains and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Denver would love nothing more than to play spoiler and ruin the Chargers’ playoff hopes. As for the Bolts? They know they’re in the post-season party, it’s the top seed they want. They may not get the top seed if Kansas City has anything to say about it but the Chargers leave Denver with the win, covering the 6 1/2.

Cincinnati (6-9) at Pittsburgh (8-6-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 712. It’s a win or else situaton for Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers as they return to Heinz Field for a rematch with their AFC North rivals from Cincinnati.

Baker Mayfield and Cleveland made it a sweep against Cincinnati as the Browns ended Cincinnati’s playoff hopes as they beat their instate and AFC North rivals 28-16 along the shores of Lake Erie last Sunday afternoon. After a scoreless first quarter, the Browns took a 16-0 lead with them to the break and would increase that lead to 23-0 as the third quarter came to an end before the Bengals would outscore them in the fourth quarter by a 18-3 margin. Cleveland outrushed Cincinnati 146-102 with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading all rushers with 112 yards, while Mayfield threw for 284 yards with three TDs and no interceptions or sacks (the Bengals’ Josh Driskel threw for 133 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions but was sacked three times). Cleveland went 5 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 35:31, while the Bengals kept the pigskin for 24:29 and went 1 for 8 on third down tries (both clubs were 1 for 1 on fourth down)

Pittsburgh watched the New Orleans Saints clinched home field throughout the playoffs as they held off a late Steeler rally to come away 31-28 winners in the Big Easy last Sunday. New Orleans led 17-14 at the half before the Steelers roared back in the third quarter to take a 28-24 lead at the end of three quarters, thanks to Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown connecting on their second TD toss of the afternoon. New Orleans would reclaim the lead with 85 seconds left in the contest when Brees and WR Michael Thomas connected on a 2-yard TD toss. Pittsburgh would then get the ball back with no time outs and got as close as the Saints’ 42-yard line before fumbling the ball, which New Orleans recovered. The Saints then proceeded to run out the clock and take the win. Pittsburgh outrushed New Orleans 65-57, with Roethlisberger throwing for 364 yards with three TDS and three sacks, while Brees threw for 313 yards with a TD and a pair of sacks. The Steelers were 6 of 13 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down, while the Saints were 6 of 12) and the clock was on the side of Pittsburgh, who held the ball for 31:20, while the Saints kept the pigskin for 28:40.

They met along the shores of the Ohio River in Cincinnati saw a 21-20 lead late in their contest with AFC North rival Pittsburgh evaporate as Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and WR Antonio Brown hooked up on a 31-yard TD pass to take a 28-21 win out of the Queen City in their week six meeting. Tied 14-14 at the intermission, then trailing 17-14 after three quarters of football. the Bengals and Andy Dalton (229 yards, two TDs, no interceptions) would take a 21-20 lead with 78 seconds left when HB Joe Mixon (64 yards) scored from a yard away. That lead and hopes of a win over their hated AFC North rivals would not last long as the Steelers used a 7-play, 77-yard drive that took 68 seconds of clock to reclaim the lead with the Brown catch and run (Roethlisberger and WR JuJu Smith-Schuester would connect on the two point conversion). Cincinnati would have one last chance to reclaim the lead and restore order but Dalton’s pass attempt with five seconds left fell short of its intended mark. Pittsburgh outrushed the Bengals 112-62 and Roethlisberger threw for 369 yards with no sacks or interceptions, while Steelers RB James Conner led the way with 111 yards and a pair of TDs. Cincinnati went 6 of 12 on third down and held on to the ball for 25:04, while the Steelers were 8 of 14 on third down, holding the ball for 34:56.

Cincinnati was favored by 2 1/2 points in their week six contest and the Steelers covered, winning by 7. Both teams missed the 53 over/under as the two clubs combined for 49 points. This time, the Steelers are a 14-point favorite in western Pennsylvania and the over/under’s 45 1/2. The 45 1/2 makes sense. The 14 points? That’s a little steep, considering that this is the regular season finale for both clubs. The Bengals would like to repeat what they did in Baltimore last year and put another team out of the post-season but the Steelers are not going to have any of it at Heinz Field. Steelers win the AFC North, although expect the Bengals to make it closer than 14.

Philadelphia (8-7) at Washington (7-8), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 718. It’s round two as a pair of NFC East rivals meet in Landover, with the Eagles hoping to come away with a playoff spot, while the Redskins look to damage the Eagles’ chances to repeate as Super Bowl champs.

The defending Super Bowl champs needed to rally in the final two minutes of their contest with the Houston Texans to take a 32-30 last-second win at Lincoln Financial Field last Sunday afternoon to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, while putting a dent in Houston’s post-season hopes. Houston led 16-13 at the break in the City of Brotherly Love, then watched Philadelphia take a 23-16 lead into the final quarter of play before storming back to reclaim the lead with 2:04 left when rookie WR Vyncint Smith caught a 35-yard TD pass from DeSean Watson to take a 30-29 lead. Philadelphia would then proceed to march down the field, using 11 plays, 72 yards and all of the 2:04 left on the clock when K Jake Elliott connected on a 35-yard field goal as time expired, denying the Texans a chance to win the AFC South. Houston outrushed Philadephia 62-57 with Watson leading all rushers with 49 yards and a pair of rushing TDs and threw for 339 yards and a pair of passing TDs (Watson was sacked four times but did not throw an interception), while Eagles back up QB Nick Foles threw for 471 yards and four TDs, connecting with TE Zach Ertz on two of those passes. Houston was 3 for 10 on third down (the Texans were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:15, while the defending Super Bowl champs kept their playoff hopes alive, going 9 for 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 33:45 (including the final 2:04 of the contest).

Washington’s playoff hopes were damaged in the Music City last Saturday afternoon as Tennessee came away 25-18 winners at Nissan Stadium. Washington led 10-9 at the half and would later held on to a 16-12 lead halfway through the final quarter of play before Tennessee rallied in the fourth when Matt Pruitt caught a 7-yard TD toss from backup QB Blaine Gabbert (who took over for Marcus Mariota, who left the contest with an arm injury) with 4:30 left, then put the contest away as time expired when CB Malcom Butler scored on a 56-yard interception return as Washington was threatening. Washington outrushed Tennessee 161-99, with Redskins RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 119 yards. Gabbert threw for 101 yards and the winnning score (Mariota threw for 110 yards with a pair of sacks and no interceptions, Gabbert was sacked once), while Washington QB Jeff Johnson threw for 153 yards in the loss with a pair of sacks and a pair of interceptions. Washington went 8 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 33:03, while Tennesse, who held on to the pigskin for 26:57, going 5 for 11 on third down tries.

Philadelphia and Washington met in the City of Brotherly Love in week 13 on a Monday night and the defending Super Bowl champs came away 28-13 winners at Lincoln Financial Field. Philadelphia took a 14-13 lead with them to the break, then scored 14 fourth-quarter points without a challenge (the two teams went scoreless in the third) to take control of things, using a 4-yard TD pass from Carson Wentz to Josh Matthews, a Wentz to Golden Tate two-point conversion and a pair of Elliot field goals to take the win. Philadelphia outrushed Washington 130-104 and Wentz threw for 306 yards and a pair of TDs, while the Eagles’ defense knocked Colt McCoy (50 yards, sack) out of the contest, forcing Washington to replace him with Mark Sanchez, who threw for 100 yards. Philadelphia went 7 of 13 on third down (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 39:19, while the Redskins held on to the pigskin for 20:41, going 2 of 10 on third down.

In the week 13 Monday night contest, Philadelphia covered the 6 1/2 point spread, winning by 16 but both clubs barely missed the 44 over/under by 3 points. The odds makers like the defending Super Bowl champs as 6 1/2 point favorites in Landover with a 42 over/under. The Eagles want a chance to defend their title, Washington wants to crash their party. Fly, Eagles Fly! The defending Super Bowl champs make their way to the playoffs with the road win and covers the 6 1/2.

Cleveland (7-7-1) at Baltimore (9-6), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. The Baltimore Ravens return home to Charm City with their playoff hopes in tact as they take on Baker Mayfield and the resurging Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium in a late Sunday afternoon contest. Both teams were winners in last week’s action.

Mayfield made it a sweep against Cincinnati as they beat their instate and AFC North rivals 28-16 along the shores of Lake Erie last Sunday afternoon. After a scoreless first quarter, the Browns took a 16-0 lead with them to the break and would increase that lead to 23-0 as the third quarter came to an end before the Bengals would outscore them in the fourth quarter by a 18-3 margin. Cleveland outrushed Cincinnati 146-102 with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading all rushers with 112 yards, while Mayfield threw for 284 yards with three TDs and no interceptions or sacks (the Bengals’ Josh Driskel threw for 133 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions but was sacked three times). Cleveland went 5 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 35:31, while the Bengals kept the pigskin for 24:29 and went 1 for 8 on third down tries (both clubs were 1 for 1 on fourth down)

Baltimore kept their playoff hopes alive on the West Coast last Saturday evening as they held off the Los Angeles Chargers 22-10 at Stub Hub Centre. The Ravens led 6-3 at the half against Rivers and the Chargers, then floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of play, reclaiming the lead after the Chargers’ Melvin Gordon scored on a 1-yard run with 13:18 left in the third.

Baltimore would then go on to score their final 16 points of the game unchallenged, with the final tally coming when CB Tavon Young scored on a 62-yard fumble return with 2:40 left as the Chargers were driving to tie the contest up. Baltimore outrushed Los Angeles 159-51, with Jackson throwing for 204 yards and a TD, while Los Angeles’ Philip Rivers threw for 181 yards (Rivers was sacked four times and picked off twice, Jackson was sacked three times but did not throw an interception).
Baltimore went 4 of 14 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and the Ravens held on to the ball for 31:25, while the Chargers held on to the ball for 28:35, going 4 for 13 on thir down tries in the Saturday night contest on the West Coast.

Baltimore and Cleveland met in week 5 along the shores of Lake Erie and the Browns went into an overtime contest at home but this time, Cleveland prevailed as they escaped with a 12-9 win over Baltimore along the shores of Lake Erie in week five. Cleveland led 6-3 at the break before the Ravens would rally in the third and fourth quarters to even things up, thanks to a pair of Jeff Tucker field goals in the second half. Cleveland’s Rashard Higgins would score the game’s only TD when he and rookie QB Baker Mayfield connected on a 19-yard TD pass with 40 seconds left before the intermission. Greg Joseph would miss the extra point but would kick two more field goals, including the game-winner with two seconds left in overtime to take the win. While Baltimore outrushed Cleveland 116-112, Mayfield threw for 342 yards, with Baltimore’s Joe Flacco throwing for 298 yards (Flacco was sacked twice, Mayfield was sacked five times and each man threw an interception) in the overtime contest. The Ravens were 4 of 16 on third down (Baltimore was 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:42, while the Browns, who picked up their first win on a Sunday since December of 2015, kept the ball for 36:16 (including the overtime) and went 6 of 19 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down conversions. Cleveland’s three overtime games in 2018 ties them for most by team in 1st 5 games of season since regular season overtime rule was adopted in 1974.

In the week five contest along the shores of Lake Erie, the Ravens were favored by 3 and the Browns covered, winning by that margin. The 19 combined points, including the overtime, did not touch the 47 over/under. In this meeting that could either give the Browns their first winning season since 2007 or the Ravens the AFC North title, Baltimore’s favored by 6 in Charm City and the over/under’s 41. The Ravens remember the last time they were in this situation and the Buffalo Bills were thankful to Cincinnati as they knocked Baltimore out of the 2017 post-season party. Pittsburgh fans will be pulling for Cleveland to win this one and they’re going to be rewarded. Baltimore will make this one close but Cleveland makes history and Steeler fans happy as they take the win in Charm City.

San Francisco (4-11) at Los Angeles Rams (12-3), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 719. They met in northern California in week seven. This time, it’s San Francisco’s turn to make the 346-mile trip down I-5 to face off against the Los Angeles Rams in a late afternoon West Coast contest.

San Francisco watched a 9-7 lead at the half against Chicago vanish as Da Bears came away 14-9 winners at Levis Stadium last Sunday. The defending NFC North champs took the lead for keeps with 4:14 left in the third quarter when RB Jordan Howard scored on a 2-yard run to lead by 5. The two clubs would then play a scoreless fourth quarter, with Chicago holding off San Francisco to take the road win. Chicago outrushed the 49ers 90-47 and Mitchell Trubisky threw for 246 yards with a TD and no interceptions (Trubisky was sacked three time), while Nate Mullens threw for 241 yards with a sack and an interception in the home finale for San Francisco. Da Bears were 5 for 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:30, while the 49ers kept the pigskin for 24:30, going 7 of 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

The Rams took care of business last Sunday in Glendale, with the defending NFC West Champs taking a 31-9 win at State Farm Stadium over the Arizona Cardinals. Los Angeles led 21-9 at the break, then shut out the Desert Angry Birds, as Los Angeles scored their last 10 points of the contest without a challenge. The Rams easily outrushed Arizona 269-104, with Los Angeles RB Chris Anderson leading the way with 167 yards and a TD. Rams QB Jared Goff threw for 216 yards with a TD and no interceptions, while Josh Rosen threw for 87 yards and was sacked four times (Goff was sacked once). The Rams were 6 for 9 on third down tries and ruled the clock, as they held on to the ball for 37:04, while the Desert Angry Birds kept the ball for 22:56, while going 2 of 11 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

The Rams kept themselves in the ranks of the unbeatens after they took care of San Francisco 39-10 in Santa Clara in their week seven contest in Santa Clara. The defending NFC West champions led 22-7 at the intermission and held San Francisco to a 51-yard field goal by Robbie Gould late in the third quarter. Rams RB Todd Gurley ran for a pair of TDs and caught a TD pass from Jared Goff as Los Angeles outrushed San Francisco 146-107 (Gurley ran for 63 yards, while Goff threw for 202 yards with a pair of TDs and a pair of sacks), while San Francisco’s C.J. Beatherd threw for 170 yards with a pair of TDs and seven sacks. The Rams were 5 for 12 on third down tries and held the ball for 32:51. San Francisco kept the ball for 27:09 in the loss at Santa Clara and went 3 of 11, 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

The Rams easily covered the 10 1/2-oint spread in wine country, winning by 21 but both teams missed the 54 over/under as they merged for 49 points. The powers that be in Vegas like the Rams again, this time as 10-point favorites, with the over/under at 50. While the 49ers have struggled this year, they’ll make this one a bit tougher for the Rams. However… the Rams close out the 2018 season with the win at home and could cover the 10.

Arizona (3-12) at Seattle (9-6), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. They go from the desert to the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Seattle and Arizona meet at Century Link Field in the season finale for both clubs.

The Desert Angry Birds got their feathers ruffled by the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday in Glendale, with the defending NFC West Champs taking a 31-9 win at State Farm Stadium. Arizona trailed 21-9 at the break, then watched the Rams shut them out, as Los Angeles scored their last 10 points of the contest without a challenge. The Rams easily outrushed Arizona 269-104, with Los Angeles RB Chris Anderson leading the way with 167 yards and a TD. Rams QB Jared Goff threw for 216 yards with a TD and no interceptions, while Josh Rosen threw for 87 yards and was sacked four times (Goff was sacked once). The Rams were 6 for 9 on third down tries and ruled the clock, as they held on to the ball for 37:04, while the Desert Angry Birds kept the ball for 22:56, while going 2 of 11 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

Seattle restored order last Sunday night against Pat Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, coming away 38-31 winners at Seattle last Sunday night. Seattle led 14-10 at the intermission in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, then watched the Chiefs rally to make it a 7-point contest with 80 seconds left when Harrison Butker connected on a 32-yard field goal. Kansas City then tried an unsuccessful onside kick, which allowed Seattle to recover the ball, run out the clock and take the win. Seattle outrushed the Chiefs 210-154 and Damien Williams led the Chiefs with 103 yards of rushing, while Seattle’s Chris Carson led all rushers with 116 yards and a pair of TDs. Patrick Mahomes threw for 273 yards for Kansas City, while Russell Wilson threw for 271 yards for Seattle (both men threw three TDs without an interception; Wilson was sacked three times, Mahomes sacked once). Kansas City went 5 of 12 on third down (the Chiefs were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 24:58, while the Seahawks ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 35:02, while going 7 for 14 on third down tries.

Seattle went down to the wire in Glendale against the Desert Angry Birds before leaving the desert 20-17 winners, thanks to a 52-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski as time expired in their week four meeting. Arizona led 10-7 at the break before Seattle would rally to take a 17-10 lead with 60 seconds left in the third quarter. That lead would not last long as Arizona would tie things back up with 8:59 left in regulation when WR Chad Williams and QB Josh Rosen connected on a 22-yard TD strike. That would keep things even until Seattle got the ball back with 1:50 left to play and used all of that 1:50 to go on a 7-play, 31-yard drive which allowed the veteran Janikowski to boot the game winner as time expired. Seattle outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 171-92, with Seahawks RB Mike Davis leading the way with 101 yards and a pair of TDs in the win. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw for 172 yards and no interceptions (two sacks), while Rosen threw for 180 yards and the lone TD. The Seahawks on third down were 0 for 10 on third down but were 1 of 2 on fourth down tries and held the ball for 31:46 (which included the final 1:50 of the game), while the Cardinals were 5 of 12 on third down and kept the ball for 28:14.

Seattle covered the 3-point spread in the desert with their 3-point win in Glendale but both teams failed to cover the 39 over/under, missing by 2 points. Seattle’s a huge favorite in this one. How huge, you ask? 13 1/2 points with a 38 1/2 over/under. The 38 1/2 makes sense. The 13 1/2? Even though the Cardinals are bad, they’re not 13 1/2 bad. They’ll give Seattle some problems but the Seahawks win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks.

Indianapolis (9-6) at Tennessee (9-6), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. It’s ‘Winner Take All” in the final Sunday night game of the 2018 season as Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts make their way to Nashville to face off against Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans. Both teams were close winners at home in their contests last Sunday.

The Colts kept their playoff chances alive after they rallied to take a 29-28 win over Eli Manning and the New York Giants at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis trailed 17-7 at the half, then the Colts would go on to chip away at the lead and trailed 27- 21 with 55 seconds left when Chester Rogers caught a 1-yard TD pass from Luck to take the lead for the first time and for keeps. The Colts then held off a late Giants rally as Malik Hooker picked Manning off to end the threat and take the win. While the Giants did outrush the Colts 83-49, Luck outpaced Manning, throwing for 357 yards and a pair of TDs (including the game-winner) with a sack, while Manning threw for 309 yards and a TD (both men threw an interception) in the loss. The Colts were 7 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 28:19, while the Giants, who went 7 of 12 on third down, actually ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 31:41.

Tennessee damaged Washington’s playoff hopes in the Music City last Saturday afternoon as the Titans came away 25-18 winners at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee trailed 10-9 at the half and would later found themselves trailing 16-12 halfway through the final quarter of play before rallied in the fourth when Matt Pruitt caught a 7-yard TD toss from backup QB Blaine Gabbert (who took over for Mariota, who left the contest with an arm injury) with 4:30 left, then put the contest away as time expired when CB Malcom Butler scored on a 56-yard interception return as Washington was threatening. Washington outrushed Tennessee 161-99, with Redskins RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 119 yards. Gabbert threw for 101 yards and the winnning score (Mariota threw for 110 yards with a pair of sacks and no interceptions, Gabbert was sacked once), while Washington QB Jeff Johnson threw for 153 yards in the loss with a pair of sacks and a pair of interceptions. Washington went 8 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 33:03, while Tennesse, who held on to the pigskin for 26:57, going 5 for 11 on third down tries.

They met in the Hoosier State in week 12 and Tennessee watched Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts win their fourth in a row, as the Colts went on to take down Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans 38-10 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Tennessee trailed 24-3 at the break and were never ble to get themselves on track, as the Titans were outscored by the Colts 14-7 in the final 30 minutes of action. Indy outrushed Tennessee 102-87 and Luck threw for 297 yards with three TDs and no sacks or interceptions, while Mariota threw for 85 yards with four sacks and a pick before being replaced by Blaine Gabbert, who threw for 118 yards and a TD (Gabbert threw an interception and was sacked once). The Colts went 5 of 10 on third down conversions at Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday and kept the ball for 31:16, while Tennessee kept the pigskin for 28:44, going 6 for 14 on third down (neither had a fourth down try).

The Colts’ 28-point win in the Hoosier State allowed them to cover the 2 1/2 point spread and both teams covered the 48 over/under in that week 12 contest. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Colts again, this time as 3 point favorites and the over/under’s 43 1/2. The winner? They get to be the six seed in the AFC playoffs. The loser? They get to clean out their lockers, as their next game is in 2019. For the Colts, six is a great number, Indy covers the 3 on the road and wins in the Music City.

With three weeks remaining in the regular season, the suspense continues to build as teams make their final playoff push. Entering Week 15, 26 teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIII, tied for the fourth-most such teams with three weeks remaining in a season since the league expanded to a 16-game schedule in 1978.

Two teams have clinched division titles – the NFC West champion Los Angeles Rams and the NFC South champion New Orleans Saints – and five additional teams can clinch their respective divisions this week: Chicago (9-4), Dallas (8-5), Houston (9-4), Kansas City (11-2) and New England (9-4).

As the league enters Week 15, there are 20 teams either in or within one game of a playoff spot, including 11 teams that did not advance to the postseason in 2017. Since the 12-team playoff format began in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before (In other words, even Cleveland has hope).

Two teams that finished in or tied for last place in their division in 2017 – Chicago (NFC North) and Houston (AFC South) – are currently in first place in their respective divisions this season. In 14 of the past 15 seasons, at least one team finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. Of the 46 teams in league history to go from “worst-to-first,” 23 of them have done so in the past 15 years (2003-17), including an NFL-record three such teams in 2005 and 2006.

One thing is certain – the closing weeks of the 2018 NFL season will feature competitive contests across the board. Fifty-nine games have been decided by three points or fewer this season, the most in league annals through Week 14. Sixty-eight percent of all games (142 of 208) have been within one score (eight points or fewer) in the fourth quarter this year and 112 games have been decided by eight or fewer points, tied for the fourth-most through the first 14 weeks of a season in league history.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY:

•New Orleans defeated Tampa Bay, 28-14, and clinched the NFC South division title for the second-consecutive season. New Orleans has won back-to-back division titles for the first time in franchise history.

Kansas City clinched a playoff berth with a 27-24 overtime victory over Baltimore. The Chiefs advance to the postseason for the fourth-consecutive season.

•Miami defeated New England, 34-33, on the final play from scrimmage, as running back Kenyan Drake took a lateral from wide receiver De Vante Parker 52 yards for a touchdown as time expired.

The Dolphins’ game-winning 69-yard touchdown was the longest play from scrimmage to win a game with no time remaining in the fourth quarter since the 1970 merger.

Dolphins running back Frank Gore recorded 116 scrimmage yards (92 rushing, 24 receiving) in the team’s victory. Gore, who has 18,530 career scrimmage yards, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer La Dainian Tomlinson (18,456) for the fifth-most scrimmage yards in NFL history. The four players with more scrimmage yards than Gore are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Jerry Rice (23,540), Emmitt Smith (21,579), Walter Payton (21,264) and Marshall Faulk (19,154).

•Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 35 of 53 passes (66.0 percent) for 377 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for a 91.5 passer rating in the Chiefs’ 27-24 overtime victory over Baltimore.

Mahomes, who was selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, leads the NFL with 4,300 passing yards and 43 touchdown passes this season. Mahomes joined Pro Football Hall of Famers Dan Marino (1984) and Kurt Warner (1999) as the only first-or-second year quarterbacks in league annals with at least 4,000 passing yards and 40 touchdown passes in a single season.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce had seven catches for 77 yards and one touchdown in the victory. Kelce has 86 catches and 1,159 receiving yards this season and is the first tight end in league annals with at least 80 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards in three consecutive seasons.

Kansas City defensive lineman Chris Jones recorded a sack in the win and has at least one sack in each of the Chiefs’ past nine games. Jones is the first player to record a sack in at least nine consecutive games in a single season since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982. He is the sixth player since 1982 to record at least one sack in nine consecutive games at any point in time.

•Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 21 of 32 passes (65.6 percent) for 196 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 103.1 passer rating in the Packers’ 34-20 victory over Atlanta. Rodgers, who has not thrown an interception in 368 pass attempts dating back to Week 4, surpassed Tom Brady (358 consecutive attempts from 2010-11) for the most consecutive pass attempts without an interception in NFL history.

•New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning passed for 197 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 132.0 passer rating and rookie running back Saquon Barkley rushed for 170 yards with one touchdown in the team’s 40-16 victory at Washington. Manning has 55,142 career passing yards and became the seventh quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 55,000 passing yards.

Barkley, who scored on a 78-yard touchdown run, has five scrimmage touchdowns of at least 50 yards this season, the most by a rookie in a single season since Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (five touchdowns in 1998). Only Billy Howton of the 1952 Green Bay Packers had more such touchdowns as a rookie in a single season (six).

Barkley has 12 games with at least 100 scrimmage yards in 2018, tying Edgerrin James (12 games in 1999) for the second-most games with 100+ scrimmage yards by a rookie in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (13 games in 1983) has more such games.

•New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas had 11 receptions for 98 yards in the Saints’ 28-14 victory at Tampa Bay.

Thomas, who has 298 receptions since entering the league in 2016, surpassed Odell Beckham, Jr. (288 catches from 2014-16) and Jarvin Landry (288 catches from 2014-16) for the most catches by a player in his first three seasons in NFL history.

•Other notable performances from last Sunday include:

New England quarterback Tom Brady passed for 358 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 112.4 passer rating in the Patriots’ Week 14 loss at Miami.

Brady has 582 career touchdown passes (including the postseason) and surpassed Peyton Manning (579) for the most touchdown passes in NFL history. Brady has 47 career games with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdown passes and surpassed Manning (46 games) for the second-most such games in league annals. Only Drew Brees (63) has more such games in NFL history.

San Francisco tight end George Kittle had seven catches for 210 yards, including an 85-yard touchdown catch, in the 49ers’ 20-14 victory over Denver. Kittle’s 210 receiving yards are the third-most by a tight end in a single game in NFL history, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famers Shannon Sharpe (214 receiving yards on October 20, 2002) and Jackie Smith (212 on October 13, 1963).

Cleveland rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield completed 18 of 22 passes (81.8 percent) for 238 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions for a 126.9 passer rating in the Browns’ 26-20 victory over Carolina.

Mayfield has thrown at least one touchdown pass in each of his first 10 career starts and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (1999) and Brad Johnson (1996-97) as the only quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era with a touchdown pass in each of his first 10 career starts.

Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones had eight catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns in the Falcons’ loss at Green Bay.

Jones leads the NFL with 1,429 receiving yards this season and has recorded at least 1,400 receiving yards in each of the past five seasons, the longest streak in NFL history.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 15:

WORST TO FIRST: Entering Week 15, two teams have clinched division titles – the NFC West champion Los Angeles Rams and NFC South champion New Orleans – and five additional teams can clinch their respective divisions this week: Chicago (9-4), Dallas (8-5), Houston (9-4), Kansas City (11-2) and New England (9-4).

As the league enters Week 15, there are 20 teams either in or within one game of a playoff spot, including 11 teams that did not advance to the postseason in 2017. Since the 12-team playoff format began in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

Two teams that finished in or tied for last place in their division in 2017 – Chicago (NFC North) and Houston (AFC South) – are currently in first place in their respective divisions this season. In 14 of the past 15 seasons, at least one team finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. Of the 46 teams in league history to go from “worst-to-first,” 23 of them have done so in the past 15 years (2003-17), including an NFL-record three such teams in 2005 and 2006.​

HEY, ROOKIE: Denver rookie linebacker Bradley Chubb leads all rookies and is tied for sixth in the NFL with 12 sacks this season.

With a sack against Cleveland on Saturday night at 8:20 p.m. on NFL Network, Chubb would tie Dwight Freeney (13 sacks in 2002) for the third-most sacks by a rookie in a single season since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic.​

The rookies with the most sacks in a single season since 1982:​​

PLAYER – TEAM (YEAR, SACKS)
Jevon Kearse – Tennessee (1999, 14.5)#
Aldon Smith – San Francisco (2011, 14)
Dwight Freeney – Indianapolis (2002, 13)
Bradley Chubb – Denver (2018, 12)*
#Named Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year
*Entering Week 15

JULIO ON THE RISE: Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones leads the NFL with 1,429 receiving yards this season. In Week 13, Jones became the first player in NFL history to record at least 1,400 receiving yards in five consecutive seasons.

Jones, who had 1,593 receiving yards in 2014 and 1,871 receiving yards in 2015, needs 71 receiving yards on Sunday against Arizona at 1 p.m. on FOX, to become the fifth player in NFL history with three career seasons with at least 1,500 receiving yards.

The players with the most career seasons with at least 1,500 receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS WITH 1,500+ RECEIVING YARDS)
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (4)^
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (3)
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (3)^
Andre Johnson, Houston (3)
Julio Jones, ATLANTA (2)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Has 1,429 receiving yards this season

STARS FROM SCRIMMAGE: Dallas running back EZEKIEL ELLIOTT leads the NFL with 1,262 rushing yards this season.

Elliott, who has 3,876 rushing yards and 1,134 receiving yards since entering the league in 2016, needs 124 rushing yards on Sunday at Indianapolis at 1 p.m. on FOX to become the fifth player in NFL history with at least 4,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in his first three seasons. ​

The players with at least 4,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in their first three seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)(RUSHING YARDS)(RECIEVING YARDS)
Chris Johnson, Tennessee (Tennessee)(2008-2010)(4,598)(1,008)
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (2001-2003)(4,564)(1,581)^
Ottis Anderson, St. Louis Cardinals (1979-1981)(4,333)(1,003)
Barry Sanders, Detroit (1989-1991)(4,322)(1,069)
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas (Dallas)(2016-2018)(3,876)(1,134)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*In third season

BRILLIANT BARKLEY: New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley leads all rookies with 1,753 scrimmage yards and has 13 touchdowns (nine rushing, four receiving) this season.

With 147 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns on Sunday against Tennessee at 1 p.m. on CBS, Barkley, can become the fifth rookie with at least 1,900 scrimmage yards and 15 touchdowns in a single season in NFL history. ​

The rookies with at least 1,900 scrimmage yards and 15 touchdowns in a single season in NFL history:​​

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(SCRIMMAGE YARDS-TOUCHDOWNS)
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (1983)(2,212-20)^#
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (1999)(2,139-17)#
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas (2016)(1,994-16)
Billy Sims, Detroit (1980)(1,924-16)*#
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (2018)(1,753-13)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
#Named Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year
*Entering Week 15

LIGHTS, KAMARA, ACTION: New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara ranks sixth in the NFL with 1,384 scrimmage yards this season.

Kamara, who had 1,554 scrimmage yards as a rookie in 2017, needs 83 receiving yards at Carolina on Monday Night Football at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN, to join Herschel Walker (1986-87) as the only players in NFL history with at least 1,500 rushing and 1,500 receiving yards in their first two seasons in league history. ​

The players with at least 1,500 rushing and 1,500 receiving yards in their first two seasons in league history:​
PLAYER, TEAM: SEASONS (RUSHING YARDS; RECEIVING YARDS)
Herschel Walker, Dallas: 1986-87 (1,628; 1,552)
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans; 2017-18 (1,521; 1,417)*
*In second season

SUPERCAM: Carolina quarterback Cam Newton ranks third among NFL quarterbacks with 473 rushing yards this season. Newton has rushed for at least 500 rushing yards in six of his first seven seasons in the league.

With 27 rushing yards against New Orleans on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN), Newton can become the first quarterback in NFL history with at least 500 rushing yards in seven seasons.​

The quarterbacks with the most seasons with at least 500 rushing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (SEASONS WITH 500+ RUSHING YARDS)
Randall Cunningham – Philadelphia (6)
Cam Newton – Carolina (6)*
Michael Vick – Atlanta and Philadelphia (6)
*Has 473 rushing yards this season

Highlights of the Week 15 schedule for Sunday and Monday:

Green Bay and Chicago meet at Soldier Field on Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX for the 198th time in series history, including the postseason. In their Kickoff Weekend meeting, Bears linebacker Khalil Mack recorded a sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery and interception-return touchdown but Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw three fourth-quarter touchdown passes to lead Green Bay to a 24-23 victory at Lambeau Field. Packers wide receiver Davante Adams ties for the league lead with 12 touchdown catches this season and aims for his fourth consecutive game with a score. Chicago’s defense recorded four interceptions and three sacks in holding the Rams to 214 total net yards in the team’s 15-6 victory over Los Angeles in Week 14.

Dallas, winners of five consecutive games, take on Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium at 1 p.m. on FOX. Dallas leads the NFC East and can clinch the division title with a win. Cowboys quarterback DAK PRESCOTT has 993 passing yards (331 per game) with six touchdowns and two interceptions for a 113.6 passer rating in his past three games and wide receiver Amari Cooper has 642 receiving yards and six touchdown catches in six games since being acquired by Dallas this season. Colts rookie linebacker Darius Leonard leads the NFL with 135 tackles this season and is one of only three players since 2000 with at least 130 tackles and seven sacks (seven) in a single season, joining Tampa Bay’s LAVONTE DAVID (2013) and Arizona’s Daryl Washington (2012).

A battle of division leaders in the AFC takes center stage on Sunday afternoon at 4:25 p.m. on CBS as New England faces  Pittsburgh at Heinz Field. Last week, New England quarterback Tom Brady (582 career touchdown passes) surpassed Peyton Manning (579) for the most touchdown passes in league history, including the postseason. Pittsburgh’s Ju Ju Smith-Schuster (91 catches) and Antonio Brown (86) are the only pair of AFC teammates with at least 85 receptions each this season.

2018 NFL SUNDAY PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 15

NFC

CLINCHED: Los Angeles Rams – NFC West; New Orleans – NFC South division title; Kansas City – Playoff Spot; Los Angeles Chagers – Playoff Spot

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (11-2) at Carolina (6-7), 8:15 Monday on ESPN

New Orleans clinches a first-round bye with:

1) New Orleans win + Chicago loss or tie OR

2) New Orleans tie + Chicago loss

Los Angeles Rams (11-2) vs. Philadelphia (6-7), 8:20 Sunday night on NBC

Los Angeles clinches a first-round bye with:

1) Los Angeles Rams win + Chicago loss or tie OR

2) Los Angeles Rams tie + Chicago loss

Chicago (9-4) vs. Green Bay (5-7-1), 1 p.m. Sunday on FOX

Chicago clinches NFC North division title with:

1) Chicago win OR

2) Minnesota loss OR

3) Chicago tie + MIN tie

Chicago clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Chicago tie OR

2) Washington loss or tie

Dallas (8-5) at Indianapolis (7-6), 1 p.m. Sunday on FOX

Dallas clinches NFC East division title with:

1) Dallas win OR

2) Dallas tie + Philadelphia loss or tie + Washington loss or tie OR

3) Philadelphia loss + Washington loss

Seattle (8-5) at San Francisco (3-10), 4:05 p.m. Sunday on FOX

Seattle clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Seattle win OR

2) Seattle tie + Minnesota loss + Carolina loss or tie OR

3) Seattle tie + Minnesota loss + Philadelphia loss or tie + Washington loss or tie OR

4) Seattle tie + Carolina loss or tie + Philadelphia loss or tie + Washington loss or tie

AFC

New England (9-4) at Pittsburgh (7-5-1), 4:25 p.m. Sunday on CBS

New England clinches AFC East division title with:

1) New England win + Miami loss or tie OR

2) New England tie + Miami loss

New England clinches a playoff berth with:

1) New England win + Tennessee loss or tie OR

2) New England tie + Baltimore loss + Tennessee loss + Indianapolis loss or tie

Week 15 began in Kansas City with the Chargers storming back to take a last-second 29-28 win over the Chiefs and closes with a clash of NFC South rivals as New Orleans and Drew Brees visit Cam Newton and  the Carolina Panthers on ESPN’s Monday Night Football at 8:15 p.m. Last week, New Orleans clinched the NFC South for the second-consecutive season, marking the first back-to-back division titles in franchise history. Brees leads the NFL with a 75.7 completion percentage and 120.8 passer rating this season and is the only quarterback with at least 30 touchdown passes (31) and fewer than five interceptions (four) in 2018. Since Week 9, Panthers running back Christian McCaffery leads the NFL with 10 touchdowns and is one of two players (Ezekiel Elliott, 161.7) averaging at least 150 scrimmage yards per game (150.7). The NFL also had Saturday action as Houston held off the New York Jets 29-22 in the Meadowlands and the Cleveland Browns held on to defeat Denver 17-16 in the Mile High City.

We went backwards last week, going 5-11 for the week (at least it’s better than going 0-16) and for the season, we’re 116-38. There are two weeks of football left in the regular season and then it’s time for the post-season. We won’t keep you any longer. Here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 15.

Arizona (3-10) at ATLANTA (4-9), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. Week 15 Sunday action gets underway in the Big Peach as apair of struggling teams meet when the Atlanta Falcons host the Arizona Cardinals at Mercerdes-Benz Stadium. While the Cardinals are all but out of the post-season, the Falcons look to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Both clubs took losses in last week’s action.

The Desert Angry Birds were held to a fourth quarter field goal by Zander Gonzalez by Detroit as the Lions walked their way out of State Farm Stadium with the 17-3 win last Sunday in Glendale. After a scoreless first quarter, the Lions scored their first 3 points of the contest unchallenged and took that 3-0 lead with them to the break. Detroit would make it 10-0 in the third quarter when CB Darius Slay picked off QB Josh Rosen and returned it 67 yards for a TD with 3:03 left in the third. Arizona would end Detroit’s shutout bid with a 22-yard field goal from Gonzalez (who had missed from 54 yards earlier) but Detroit responded when RB Zach Zenner scored from a yard out to close out the scoring in the desert. Detroit outrushed Arizona 122-61 and Rosen threw for 240 yards with an interception and three sacks, while Matthew Stafford threw for 101 yards with a sack but did not throw an interception. The Cardinals were 6 of 16 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 31:44, while the Lions needed to keep the ball for only 28:16, going 4 for 12 on third down tries.

Atlanta looks to end their five-game losing streak after they fell to Green Bay 34-20 at Lambeau Field, giving Packers interim coach Joe Philbin his first win after the Packers fired Mike McCarthy. After taking an early 7-0 lead thanks to a 16- yard toss from Matt Ryan to WR Julio Jones, the Packers would go on to score their 34 points in the contest unchallenged. Atlanta, who trailed 20-7 at the intermission, managed to rule the fourth quarter, scoring on TD passes from Ryan to Jones and Justin Hardy to make the contest closer. Green Bay outrushed Atlanta 138-107, Ryan threw for 262 yards with three TDs and an interception that was returned for a TD, while Aaron Rodgers threw for 196 yards and a pair of TDs (Rodgers was sacked four times, Ryan sacked twice) and Jones led all recievers with 106 yards on eight catches with the two TDs. Atlanta was 3 of 12 on third down conversions in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst (they were 3 for 3 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, as they held on to the ball for 30:49, while the Packers kept the ball for 29:11, going 7 for 13 on third down tries.

While the Desert Angry Birds lead the series 15-14, Atlanta has outscored Arizona 662-621 and has won four of the last five meetings. Atlanta’s last win came in 2016 in the Big Peach by a final of 38-19, while Arizona’s last win came in the desert in 2013 with the Cardinals coming away 27-13 winners. Atlanta’s favored by 8 1/2 in the Big Peach and the over/under’s 44. Granted, the Cardinals are bad but tney’re not 8 1/2 points bad. The Desert Angry Birds will make it hard for the Falcons in their nest in the Big Peach but Atlanta takes the win at home.

Tampa Bay (5-8) at Baltimore (7-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Jameis Winston will face another Heisman Trophy winner as he and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers make their way to Charm City to face off against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Both teams took losses in their contests last week and both teams wathced their opponents clinch playoff spots.

Tampa Bay let a 14-3 lead against NFC South foe New Orleans get away from them as Drew Brees and the Saints would score 25 second half points unchallenged to come away 28-14 winners at Raymond James Stadium last Sunday. The Bucs took that 2-touchdown lead thanks to a pair of Winston TD passes to Chris Brate in the first 30 minutes of play before New Orleans would chip away at the lead and overtake the Bucs in the final 30 minutes of action. The Saints would get a pair of Will Lutz field goals, a TD pass from Brees to Zach Line and TD runs from Brees and RB Mark Ingram to seal Tampa Bay’s fate. Tampa Bay outrushed New Orleans 105-100 and Winston threw for 213 yards and the two TDs with four sacks and an interception, while Brees threw for 201 yards with the TD and a sack (both Brees and Winston threw an interception). The Saints were 6 for 12 on third down but they were 1 of 1 on fourth down in the Sunshine State and kept the ball for 31:53, while Tampa Bay kept the ball for 28:07, going 6 of 14 on third down tries.

The Ravens watched the Kansas City Chiefs clinch a playoff spot in the AFC last Sunday as they fell in overtime 23-20 at Arrowhead. Kansas City led 17-10 at the break before the Ravens would storm back in the second half and took a 24-17 lead with 4:04 left to play when Lamar Jackson (who took over for Joe Flacco) and WR Darnell Brown connected on a 9-yard TD toss. Kansas City would bring things back to even when Mahomes and RB Darrien Williams connected on a 5-yard TD toss with 58 seconds left. The Chiefs then prevented Baltimore from driving in the final seconds of regulation and the two clubs went into overtime. Kansas City won the toss, got the ball first and made the most of their first possession as K Harrison Butker, who missed earlier from 43 yards, connected on a 35-yarder with 4:42 left in the extra period. Baltimore then got the ball back and threatened to either re-tie the contest or take the win, as they would get as close as Kansas City’s 47-yard line before the two-minute warning came. After the two-minute warning, Jackson scrambled to the Chiefs’ 44-yard line but the Ravens were penalized for holding and were pusshed back. Jackson scrambled again for four yards but the Ravens were again flagged for holding again and Jackson was injured on the play. The Ravens then used a timeout and Robert Griffin III came into to replace Jackson and his first attempt to WR John Brown was incomplete. After the Chiefs burned a timeout and the Ravens had one last chance but the Chiefs would seal the win when Griffin’s pass to Willie Snead IV sailed incomplete.

Baltimore outrushed the Chiefs 198-94 but Mahomes threw for 377 yards and a pair of TDs (including one to TE Travis Kelce) with an interception, while Jackson threw for 147 yards and a pair of TDs of his own, with three sacks and no interceptions (Mahomes sacked three times and picked off once). The Chiefs were 6 of 16 on third down but was successful on fourth down tries at Arrownhead, going 3 for 3 and kept the ball for 37 minutes, while the Ravens kept the ball for 31:27 and were 5 for 12 on third down, 1 for 3 on fourth down.

Baltimore leads the series 3-2, have outscored the Buccaneers 102-74 and have taken wins in the last three contests, including taking a 48-17 win in the Sunshine State in 2014, while Tampa Bay’s last win came in Charm City in 2002, pitching a 25-0 shutout. Baltimore’s favored by 8 in Charm City and the over/under’s 46 1/2. The loser of this one? They’re done for the season. The winner? They get to hang around a little longer. Baltimore may not cover the 8 but they do take the win in Charm City.

Detroit (5-8) at Buffalo (4-9), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Detroit travels to Orchard Park for a Sunday afternoon contest with the Buffalo Bills at New Era Stadium.

Detroit held Arizona to a fourth quarter field goal by Zander Gonzalez by Detroit as the Lions walked their way out of State Farm Stadium with the 17-3 win last Sunday in Glendale. After a scoreless first quarter, the Lions scored their first 3 points of the contest unchallenged and took that 3-0 lead with them to the break. Detroit would make it 10-0 in the third quarter when CB Darius Slay picked off QB Josh Rosen and returned it 67 yards for a TD with 3:03 left in the third. Arizona would end Detroit’s shutout bid with a 22-yard field goal from Gonzalez (who had missed from 54 yards earlier) but Detroit responded when RB Zach Zenner scored from a yard out to close out the scoring in the desert. Detroit outrushed Arizona 122-61 and Rosen threw for 240 yards with an interception and three sacks, while Matthew Stafford threw for 101 yards with a sack but did not throw an interception. The Cardinals were 6 of 16 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 31:44, while the Lions needed to keep the ball for only 28:16, going 4 for 12 on third down tries.

Buffalo watched GangGreen get their revenge on the Bills from their week 10 loss in the Meadowlands and took a 27-23 win out of Orchard Park last Sudnay. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! trailed 14-3 at the end of the first quarter before they went to work on their AFC East rivals, trailing 17-13 at the half, then procceded to chip away at Buffalo and took the lead for keeps with 1:17 when RB Elijah McGuire scored on a 1-yard run. New York then held off a late Bills rally, as CB Trumaine Johnson picked off Josh Allen, giving the Jets the ball back and after a couple of kneeldowns, they would take the win. Buffalo outrushed GangGreen 176-78, with Allen, who threw for 206 yards with a pair of interceptions, leading the way with 101 yards and a rushing TD, while Sam Darnold threw for 170 yards and a TD for the Jets (Darnold was unsacked with an interception, while Allen was sacked three times). The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 6 for 13 on third down (they were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:13, while the Bills ruled the clock and kept the ball for 33:47 and went 7 for 14 on third down tries in upstate New York.

The Bills lead the series 5-4-1 and the Lions have outscored the Bills 193-184. Buffalo has won the last two meetings, with the Bills coming away 17-14 winners in the Motor City in 2014, while Detroit’s last win came at home a final of 20-17 in 2008. Buffalo’s favored by 2 1/2 on the shores of Lake Erie and the over/under’s 38 1/2. Both numbers make sense and both teams are not going to the post-season party this year, so feel free to watch that “Mythbusters” marathon this Sunday. We can confirm that both teams will not make the playoffs. It’s plausible the Bills will win this one at home and covers the 2 1/2.

Green Bay (5-7-0) at Chicago (9-4), 1 p.m. on FOX. They meet again, this time in the Windy City. A pair of NFC North rivals meet in the Windy City as the first-place Chicago Bears host Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field.

Green Bay gave interim head coach Joe Philbin his first win, taking down Atlanta 34-20 at Lambeau Field last Sunday. After taking over for Mike McCarthy, the Packers erased an early 7-0 deficit after Atlanta QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones connected on a 16-yard toss to open the scoring in the contest. Green Bay would go on to score their 34 points in the contest unchallenged and take a 20-7 at the intermission. Atlanta did manage to rule the fourth quarter, scoring on TD passes from Ryan to Jones and Justin Hardy to make the contest closer. Green Bay outrushed Atlanta 138-107, with Ryan throwing for 262 yards with three TDs and an interception that was returned for a TD, while Rodgers threw for 196 yards and a pair of TDs (Rodgers was sacked four times, Ryan sacked twice) and Jones led all recievers with 106 yards on eight catches with the two TDs. Atlanta was 3 of 12 on third down conversions in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst (they were 3 for 3 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, as they held on to the ball for 30:49, while the Packers kept the ball for 29:11, going 7 for 13 on third down tries.

Da Bears went into halftime tied at 9-9 with the Los Angeles Rams before Chicago pulled away in the second half with 9 third quarter points unchallenged to take a 15-6 win at Soldier Field last Sunday night. The wheels came off the Rams’ bus in the final 30 minutes of play when DL Eddie Goldman sacked Jared Goff for a safety to open the second half scoring and Da Bears would add a 2-yard TD pass from Mitchell Trubisky to OL Bradley Sowell to all but put the game away. Chicago outrushed the Rams 194-52, with Bears RB Jordan Howard leading the way with 101 yards. Goff would wind up throwing for 180 yards in the loss, while Trubisky threw for 110 yards (Goff was sacked three times and picked off four times, while Trubisky was sacked once with three interceptions). Chicago went 7 of 16 on third down in the Windy City (game time temperature, you ask? A balmy 27 degrees with a 25 degree wind chill) and held on to the ball for 36:49, while the Rams were 3 for 12 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down and kept the pigskin for 23:11.

Chicago and Green Bay met at Lambeau in week one and Packers fans held their breath as Rodgers was knocked out of their Sunday night contest against Chicago at Lambeau, only to see the Packers rally to take a 24-23 NFC North win over Da Bears. Trailing 17-0 at the intermission, Packer fans saw Rodgers come out of the contest with what some thought was a knee injury, only to give Green Bay fans hope, as they outscored Chicago 24-6 in the final 30 minutes of action. While Chicago outrushed Green Bay 139-69, Rodgers burned Da Bears for 286 yards with three TDs, with the game-winner going to Randall Cobb to send Green Bay’s fan base home happy. Chicago’s Mitch Trubisky threw for 171 yards and had a rushing TD in the contest but the Green Bay defense made things less than pleasant for him, sacking him four times on the evening. Green Bay was 5 of 13 on third down tries (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 26:38, while Chicago kept the pigskin for 33:22, going 7 of 17 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

Green Bay in the season opener was favored by 7 and the Packers won by 1 and both teams BARELY missed the 47 1/2 over/under by 1/2. Chicago’s favored by 5 1/2 in the Windy City and the over/under’s 45. Chicago would love to win the NFC North in their building, while the Packers want to stop their party, even if it’s for a week. Da Bears get their revenge and cover the 5 1/2 in the Windy City, taking the win at Soldier Field.

Oakland (3-10) at Cincinnati (5-8), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of struggling teams meet along the shore of the Ohio River as the Oakland Raiders square off against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

Oakland held off a late Pittsburgh rally at the Alameda County Coliseum, coming away 24-21 winners over the Steelers last Sunday. Oakland led 7-0 after the first quarter came to an end, then the Silver and Black watched Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers take a 14-10 lead with them to the intermission. After the two clubs went scoreless in the third quarter, Oakland proceeded to outscore Pittsburgh 14-7 in the final period of play, then blocked a 40-yard field goal try by Chris Boswell that would have tied things up to end the contest. Oakland outrushed Pittsburgh 55-40 and Derek Carr threw for 322 yards, while Roethlisberger threw for 282 yards (both men threw a pair of TD passes, Roethlisberger connected with WR Ju Ju Smith-Schuster on both of his tosses; neither man threw an interception, Roethlisberger was sacked once and Carr was sacked four times). The Raiders were 4 for 12 on third down but were succesful on fourth down, going 2 for 2 and kept the ball for 32:36, while Pittsburgh kept the ball for 27:24, going 6 for 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Los Angeles survived a scare from the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday at Stub Hub Centre, as the Bengals fell to the Chargers 26-21 on the West Coast. The Chargers led 17-12 at the intermission, then held off a late Cincinnati rally in the second half to take the win. Cincinnnati did outrush Los Angeles 144-85, with Bengals running back Joe Mixon leading all rushers with 111 yards and a TD but Rivers threw for 220 yards with no interceptions, as he outpaced Bengals backup QB Jeff Driskel (who took over for Andy Dalton), who threw for 170 yards and no interceptions (both men threw a TD pass, Driskel was sacked three times, Rivers was sacked twice). Both teams were 5 of 13 on third down conversions in the late afternoon contest on the West Coast and the Chargers were 1 of 1 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 27:22, while Cincinnati ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 32:38 but went 0 for 1 on fourth down tries.

The Silver and Black lead the series 18-10 and have outscored the Bengals 643-547 (including games that were played at Riverfront Stadium and in Los Angeles). The Bengals won their last meeting with Oakland, as the Bengals were 33-13 winners along the shores of the Ohio River in 2015, while Oakland’s last win in the series came in Oakland by a final of 20-17 in 2009. Cincinnati’s favored by 3 along the shores of the Ohio River and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Both numbers are reasonable. This contest may wind up being somewhat entertaining and while it’s nowhere near being “DRILL WORTHY!” it’s football. Bengals cover the 3 and takes the win at home.

Dallas (8-5) at Indianapolis (7-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of contending teams meet in the Hoosier State as Dak Prescott and Dallas makes their way to Indianapolis for a Sunday afternoon meeting with Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.

Dallas led Philadelphia 6-0 at the intermission thanks to a pair of Brett Maher field goals (including a 62-yarder as time expired), then saw the defending Super Bowl champs storm back in the second half to tie things up at 23-23 and needed overtime to come away 29-23 winners at AT&T Stadium last Sunday afternoon. Dallas would lead 9-0 going into the final 30 minutes of play before the Eagles would storm back in the fourth quarter, tying things up with 99 seconds left in regulation when Darrell Sporles and Carson Wentz connected on a 6-yard toss. Dallas would get the ball to start the overtime and made the most of it, using a 13-play, 75-yard drive that took 8:05 of the overtime, taking the win when Prescott and WR Amari Cooper connected on a 15-yard TD toss to end the contest. Dallas outrushed the defending Super Bowl champs 142-34 with Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 113 yards for Dallas. Prescott threw for 455 yards with a pair of interceptions, while Wentz threw for 228 yards (both QBs threw three TDs in the overtime contest). Third down tries… the Cowboys were 10 of 19, while the Eagles were 1 of 9 and both clubs went 1 of 1 on fourth down tries. Dallas ruled the clock in the contest, keeping the ball for 45:33 (including the entire overtime), while the Eagles kept the ball for 22:32.

The Colts broke Houston’s 9-game win streak as Luck and the Colts came away from the Lone Start State 24-21 winners Sunday afternoon at NRG Stadium. The Texans took a 7-0 lead after the first quarter and saw that lead vanish as the Colts scored 17 second quarter points unchallenged to take a 17-7 lead with them to the intermission. Houston would eventually make it a 3-point game with 2:37 left in regulation when WR DeAnrde Hopkins and Texans QB DeShaun Watson connected on a 7-yard TD toss to bring them closer. The Colts then proceeded to run out the clock and take the win over their AFC South rivals. While Houston outrushed Indianapolis 89-50, Luck threw for 399 yards with a pair of TDs, while Watson threw for 267 yards with a TD and no interceptions (Watson was sacked five times, Luck was sacked twice and threw an interception). The Texans were 5 of 15 on third down conversions (they were perfect on fourth down, going 2 of 2) and they would keep the ball for 31:57, while the Colts would keep the pigskin for 28:03, going 4 of 12 on third down tries.

Including contests played at the Cotton Bowl and in Baltimore, Dallas leads the series 10-5 and the Cowboys have outscored the Colts 378-259. The Cowboys won the their last meeting, taking a 42-7 win in Arlington in 2014, while the Colts’ last win in the series came in 2002 in the Hoosier State by a final of 20-3. Indy’s favored by 3 in the Hoosier State and the over/under’s 47. Both teams want playoff spots and should Dallas win, they win the NFC East; if the Colts win, they put themselves a little closer to Houston. Colts win in the Hoosier State and covers the 3.

Washington (6-7) at Jacksonville (4-9), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. Washington makes the 711-mile drive down I-95 to face off against the struggling Jacksonville Jaguars in north Florida. Jacksonvile looks to knock the Redskins out of the playoff picture, while Washington looks to bounce back from their four-game losing streak.

The Redskins watched Eli Manning and the New York Giants score 40 points unchallenged (Washington trailed 34-0 at the half) through three quarters of play at FedEx Field before scoring twice in the fourth to fall to the Giants 40-16 in Landover last Sunday. The Giants easily outrushhed Washington 227-84 with New York RB Sequan Barkley leading the way with 170 yards and a TD, while Manning threw for 197 yards and three TDs. Washington was paced by backup QB Josh Johnson (who took over for Mark Sanchez), who threw for 195 yards and a TD with an interception (Manning was sacked twice but did not throw an interception). The Giants went 4 of 13 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 30:09, while Washington kept the ball for 29:51, going 2 for 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Jacksonville found themselves being held in check by Tennessee in Nashville two Thursdays ago, as the Titans completed the sweep of their series, falling 30-9 in Nashville. The Jaguars trailed 16-2 at the break and could never really get themselves on track at Nissan Stadium, as the Titans would outscore them 14-7 in the second half. Jacksonville’s points in the contest came when rookie LB Leon Jacobs sacked Titans rookie KR Cameron Batson in the end zone for a safety in the first quarter and WR Dede Westbrook catching a 7-yard TD pass from Case Kessler late in the third. Jacksonville was easily outrushed by Tennessee 264-60, with Titans RB Derrick Henry leading the way with 238 yards and four TDs. Keesler threw for 240 yards and was sacked four times, while Marcus Mariota threw for 162 yards with a sack and an interception for the Titans. Jacksonville was 2 of 15 on third down, 2 of 5 on fourth down and actually ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 30:40, while the Titans were 29:20 in time of possesion, going 7 for 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Washington leads the series 5-1, have outscored Jacksonville 163-111 and has won the last three meetings, including coming away with the 41-10 win in Landover in 2014, while Jacksonville’s lone win over the Redskins came in 2002 in the Sunshine State by a final of 26-7. The odds makers like the Jaguars as 7 point favorites in north Florida and the over/under’s 36. Both teams are on back up QBs and both would love nothing more than to have some sanity restored. “Hail To The Redskins?” Not this week. Washington fan will be singing “Hell, it’s the Redskins!” this week. Washington will make this one close but Jacksonville prevails in north Florida, taking the win in the Sunshine State.

Miami (7-6) at Minnesota (6-6-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of contenders meet in the Land of 10,000 Lakes as Miami travels to the Twin Cities to face off against the Minnesota Vikings at US Bank Stadium.

Miami snatched victory from the jaws of defeat last Sunday in the Sunshine State, as they took a 34-33 win from Tom Brady and the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium. After leading their AFC East rivals 7-6 at the end of the first quarter, Brady and the Patriots would lead 27-21 at the break, thanks to Brady throwing TD passes to Julian Edelman and TE Rob Gronkowski for the six-point lead. Miami reclaimed the lead in the third quarter but lost it in the fourth when K Stephen Gostkowski added a pair of field goals in the fourth, the second one coming with 16 seconds left in regulation to give New England the 33-28. Miami would make the most of the five-point deficit they faced and used all of the 16 second that were left when RB Kenyan Drake caught a 69-yard pass from QB Ryan Tannehill as part of a couple of laterals and took the ball into the end zone as time expired. Miami outrushed New England 189-87 with Dolphins RB Frank Gore leading the way with 92 yards; Tannehill threw for 265 yards, while Brady threw for 358 yards, 107 of those yards going to Gronkowski (both men threw three TDs, neither threw an interception, Tannehill was sacked four times and Brady twice) in the contest. Miami went 1 of 7 on third down conversions and held the ball for 24:46 (including the final 16 seconds), while New England kept the ball for 35:14 and went 9 for 16 on third down tries.

Seattle held Minnesota to a late TD in the fourth quarter in the Pacific Northwest as the Seahawks were 21-7 winners at Century Link Field last Monday night. Sebastian Janikowski gave Seattle a 3-0 lead in the early part of the second quarter after the two teams were scoreless at the end of the first and would take that lead with them to the intermission. Minnesota and Seattle shut each other out in the thrid quarter but the Seahawks would score 18 fourth quarter points unchallenged to seal the win, using a second Janikowski field goal, a 2-yard run by Chris Carson and a 29-yard fumble return by Justin Coleman before Minnesota would end Seattle’s bid for a shutout with 70 seconds left when RB Delvin Cook caught a 6-yard TD pass from Kirk Cousins. Minnesota was outrushed by Seattle 214-77 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and Russell Wilson threw for only 72 yards in the contest with a pair of sacks and an interception that stopped a Seahawks’ drive, while Cousins threw for 208 yards with a pair of sacks and no interceptions. Seattle was 3 for 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 31:49, while the Vikings held on to the ball for 28:11, while the Purple Gang was 2 of 10 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down.

Miami holds a 7-4 lead in the series (including games played at the Orange Bowl, Metropolitan Stadium and the Metrodome), the Dolphins have outscored the Vikings 230-212 and the ‘Fins have won the last three contests, including taking a 37-35 win in the Sunshine State in 2014, while Minnesota’s last win came in the Twin Cities in 2002 by a final of 20-17. Minnesota’s favored by 7 in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Both teams are looking for a playoff spot and the winner gets a little bit closer to their goal. Miami pulls the upstate in the Twin Cities and covers the 7.

Tennessee (7-6) at New York Giants (5-8), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of future Hall of Fame QBs meet in the Meadowlands as Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans square off against Eli Manning and the New York Giants at Met Life Stadium. Both clubs took care of business last week, taking big wins in last week’s action.

Tennessee and Mariota held Jacksonville in check in Nashville two Thursdays ago, as the Titans completed the sweep of their series, falling 30-9 in Nashville. Tennessee led 16-2 at the break and never really allowed Jacksonville to get themselves on track at Nissan Stadium, as the Titans would outscore them 14-7 in the second half. Jacksonville’s points in the contest came when rookie LB Leon Jacobs sacked Titans rookie KR Cameron Batson in the end zone for a safety in the first quarter and WR Dede Westbrook catching a 7-yard TD pass from Case Kessler late in the third. Jacksonville was easily outrushed by Tennessee 264-60, with Titans RB Derrick Henry leading the way with 238 yards and four TDs. Keesler threw for 240 yards and was sacked four times, while Marcus Mariota threw for 162 yards with a sack and an interception for the Titans. Jacksonville was 2 of 15 on third down, 2 of 5 on fourth down and actually ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 30:40, while the Titans were 29:20 in time of possesion, going 7 for 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Manning and the Giants scored 40 points unchallenged (they led 34-0 at the half) through three quarters of play at FedEx Field before scoring twice in the fourth to take down Washington 40-16 in Landover last Sunday. The Giants easily outrushhed Washington 227-84 with New York RB Sequan Barkley leading the way with 170 yards and a TD, while Manning threw for 197 yards and three TDs. Washington was paced by backup QB Josh Johnson (who took over for Mark Sanchez), who threw for 195 yards and a TD with an interception (Manning was sacked twice but did not throw an interception). The Giants went 4 of 13 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 30:09, while Washington kept the ball for 29:51, going 2 for 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Including contests that took place when the Titans were known as the Houston Oilers, the Giants lead the series 6-5 and Big Blue has outscored the Titans 239-202. The Giants are favored by 2 1/2 in upstate New Jersey and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Tennesse’s looking to have a part in the playoff party, while the Giants look to finish the season at the .500 mark. Big Blue puts themsevles one step closer to that goal, taking the win and covering the 2 1/2.

Seattle (8-5) at San Francisco (3-10), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. It’s an NFC West rematch in Santa Clara as Seattle makes the 839-mile trip down I-5 to face off against the San Francisco 49ers. Both teams took home wins in last week’s action.

Seattle held Minnesota to a late TD in the fourth quarter as the Seahawks were 21-7 winners at Century Link Field last Monday night. Sebastian Janikowski gave Seattle a 3-0 lead in the early part of the second quarter after the two teams were scoreless at the end of the first and would take that lead with them to the intermission. Minnesota and Seattle shut each other out in the thrid quarter but the Seahawks would score 18 fourth quarter points unchallenged to seal the win, using a second Janikowski field goal, a 2-yard run by Chris Carson and a 29-yard fumble return by Justin Coleman before Minnesota would end Seattle’s bid for a shutout with 70 seconds left when RB Delvin Cook caught a 6-yard TD pass from Kirk Cousins. Minnesota was outrushed by Seattle 214-77 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and Russell Wilson threw for only 72 yards in the contest with a pair of sacks and an interception that stopped a Seahawks’ drive, while Cousins threw for 208 yards with a pair of sacks and no interceptions. Seattle was 3 for 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 31:49, while the Vikings held on to the ball for 28:11, while the Purple Gang was 2 of 10 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down.

The 49ers held off a late Denver rally at Levis Stadium, taking a 20-14 win Sunday afternoon at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. San Francisco got a pair of Robbie Gould field goals and a pair of TD passes from Nick Mullens in the first half to allow the 49ers to score their 20 points in the first half unchallenged before the Broncos would get back on track, scoring their 14 points unthreatened. Broncos rookie WR DaeSean Hamilton’s 1-yard TD pass from Case Keenum with 3:53 left would pull the Broncos to within seven but the 49ers would not allow them to come any closer, breaking the Broncos’ three-game win streak in the process. Denver did outrush San Francsico 103-94 but Mullens burned Denver for 332 yards and a pair of TDs, including one to TE George Kittle (Kittle had seven catches for 210 yards), while Keenum threw for 186 yards in the loss (Keenum was sacked twice, while Mullens was sacked three times with an interception). While the Broncos were 2 of 15 on third down conversions in Santa Clara last Sunday, they were 5 for 7 on fourth down tries and held on to the ball for 29:19. As for San Francisco? They ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:41 and were 4 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

They met two weeks ago in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and San Francisco saw their slim playoff hopes die in Seattle as the Seahawks took down the 49ers 43-16 at Century Link Field in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle led 20-6 at the intermission, then proceeded to outscore the 49ers 23-13 in the last 30 minutes of action in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and never looked back. Seattle outrushed San Francisco 168-66 and Nate Mullins threw for 414 yards and a pair of TDs to WR Dante Pettis but was sacked three times and picked off twice, while Russell Wilson threw for 185 yards with four TDs and no interception (Wilson was sacked three times). San Francisco went 7 of 16 on third down (they were 1 for 2 on fourth down) and the 49ers actually ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 32:30, while the Seahawks were 4 for 9 on third down, keeping the ball for 27:30.

In the week 13 meeting in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle was favored by 9 1/2 and the Seahawks covered, winning by 17. Both teams covered the 46 over/under by tallying 59 points. In the rematch, Seattle’s the darling of the boys and girls in Vegas as a 6 1/2 point favorite with a 44 1/2 over/under. San Francisco wants to be the Grinch to Seattle and steal their thunder, while the Seahawks work for a Wild Card spot. The 49ers’ heart is three sizes too small. Seattle covers the 6 1/2 and wins in wine country.

New England (9-4) at Pittsburgh (7-5-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. Tom vs. Ben. Brady vs. Roethlisberger. They meet again. A pair of future Hall of Fame QBs meet in the Steel City in a late-afternoon AFC contest at Heinz Field. Both teams were road losers in last week’s action.

Miami snatched victory from the jaws of defeat last Sunday in the Sunshine State, as they took a 34-33 win from Tom Brady and the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium. After leading their AFC East rivals 7-6 at the end of the first quarter, Brady and the Patriots would lead 27-21 at the break, thanks to Brady throwing TD passes to Julian Edelman and TE Rob Gronkowski for the six-point lead. Miami reclaimed the lead in the third quarter but lost it in the fourth when K Stephen Gostkowski added a pair of field goals in the fourth, the second one coming with 16 seconds left in regulation to give New England the 33-28. Miami would make the most of the five-point deficit they faced and used all of the 16 second that were left when RB Kenyan Drake caught a 69-yard pass from QB Ryan Tannehill as part of a couple of laterals and took the ball into the end zone as time expired. Miami outrushed New England 189-87 with Dolphins RB Frank Gore leading the way with 92 yards; Tannehill threw for 265 yards, while Brady threw for 358 yards, 107 of those yards going to Gronkowski (both men threw three TDs, neither threw an interception, Tannehill was sacked four times and Brady twice) in the contest. Miami went 1 of 7 on third down conversions and held the ball for 24:46 (including the final 16 seconds), while New England kept the ball for 35:14 and went 9 for 16 on third down tries.

Oakland held off a late Pittsburgh rally at the Alameda County Coliseum, as the Steelers fell to the Silver and Black 24-21 last Sunday. Oakland led 7-0 after the first quarter came to an end, then the Silver and Black watched Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers take a 14-10 lead with them to the intermission. After the two clubs went scoreless in the third quarter, Oakland proceeded to outscore Pittsburgh 14-7 in the final period of play, then blocked a 40-yard field goal try by Chris Boswell that would have tied things up to end the contest. Oakland outrushed Pittsburgh 55-40 and Derek Carr threw for 322 yards, while Roethlisberger threw for 282 yards (both men threw a pair of TD passes, Roethlisberger connected with WR Ju Ju Smith-Schuster on both of his tosses; neither man threw an interception, Roethlisberger was sacked once and Carr was sacked four times). The Raiders were 4 for 12 on third down but were succesful on fourth down, going 2 for 2 and kept the ball for 32:36, while Pittsburgh kept the ball for 27:24, going 6 for 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Pittsburgh leads the series 14-12 and the Steelers have outscored New England 604-574. Pittsburgh’s last win over the Pats came in 2011 in the Steel City by a final of 25-17, while New England’s last win came last year at Heinz Field by a final of 27-24.

They met in the Steel City in week 15 and in that late afternoon meeting, Brady and the Pats erased a 17-10 deficit against Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers and left Heinz Field with a 27-24 win to clinch the AFC East title. The Steelers led 24-19 with 56 seconds left in regulation when New England’s Deion Lewis scored on an 8-yard run and took the lead when Brady and TE Rob Gronkowski, coming off his one-game suspension, hooked up on the two-point try to take the 3-point lead. Steelers fans had their hopes dashed twice in the contest. Pittsburgh got the ball back and marched downfield, getting as close as New England’s 10-yard line when Ben Roethlisberger and TE Jesse James connected on what they thought would be the game-winning score. The play was reviewed and the call was changed from catch to no catch. After that, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey caught a short pass to New England’s 7-yard line and the Steelers scrambled to the line without any times and Roethlisberger threw a pass into the endzone that was deflected and picked off by Duron Harmon. New England ran out the clock and took the win.

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

It’s not just Brady vs. Roethilsberger. There’s a revenge plot in this one, which makes it “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 58 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

In the week 15 contest that had drama and controversy, the Pats were favored by 2 1/2 and New England covered, winning by 3. The two clubs missed the 53 1/2 over/under, as both combined for 51 points. New England’s favored by 2 1/2 in western Pennsylvania but this time, the over/under’s 52. Both teams have all but assured themselves of a spot in the post-season party. New England wants to prove that last year’s meeting was not a fluke, while the Steelers want revenge. Revenge wins out this time. Pittsburgh pulls off the upset at Heinz Field and takes the win, covering the 2.

Philadelphia (6-7) at Los Angeles Rams (11-2), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. The defending Super Bowl champs limp their way to the West Coast for a Sunday night contest with the Los Angeles Rams, winners of the NFC West in a rematch from last season. Both teams come into the Sunday night affair taking losses on the road from last Sunday’s action.

Philadelphia, who will have Nick Foles under center Sunday night, trailed Dallas 6-0 at the intermission thanks to a pair of Brett Maher field goals (including a 62-yarder as time expired), then rallied in the second half to tie things up at 23-23, only to come up short, losing to their NFC East rivals 29-23 in overtime AT&T Stadium last Sunday afternoon. Dallas would lead 9-0 going into the final 30 minutes of play before the Eagles would storm back in the fourth quarter, tying things up with 99 seconds left in regulation when Darrell Sporles and Carson Wentz connected on a 6-yard toss. Dallas would get the ball to start the overtime and made the most of it, using a 13-play, 75-yard drive that took 8:05 of the overtime, taking the win when Prescott and WR Amari Cooper connected on a 15-yard TD toss to end the contest. Dallas outrushed the defending Super Bowl champs 142-34 with Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 113 yards for Dallas. Prescott threw for 455 yards with a pair of interceptions, while Wentz threw for 228 yards (both QBs threw three TDs in the overtime contest). Third down tries… the Cowboys were 10 of 19, while the Eagles were 1 of 9 and both clubs went 1 of 1 on fourth down tries. Dallas ruled the clock in the contest, keeping the ball for 45:33 (including the entire overtime), while the Eagles kept the ball for 22:32.

In somewhat chilly Chicago, the Rams and Da Bears went into halftime tied a 9-9 before Chicago pulled away in the second half with 9 third quarter points unchallenged to lose 15-6 at Soldier Field last Sunday night. The wheels came off the Rams’ bus in the final 30 minutes of play when DL Eddie Goldman sacked Jared Goff for a safety to open the second half scoring and Da Bears would add a 2-yard TD pass from Mitchell Trubisky to OL Bradley Sowell to all but put the game away. Chicago outrushed the Rams 194-52, with Bears RB Jordan Howard leading the way with 101 yards. Goff would wind up throwing for 180 yards in the loss, while Trubisky threw for 110 yards (Goff was sacked three times and picked off four times, while Trubisky was sacked once with three interceptions). Chicago went 7 of 16 on third down in the Windy City (game time temperature, you ask? A balmy 27 degrees with a 25 degree wind chill) and held on to the ball for 36:49, while the Rams were 3 for 12 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down and kept the pigskin for 23:11.

Philadelphia leads the series 20-17-1 (which includes games played in Cleveland, Colorado Springs, JFK Stadium, Veterans Stadium and St. Louis), while the Rams have outscored Philadelphia 769-768. The defending Super Bowl champs have won the last five contests in the series, including taking a 43-35 win last year on the West Coast (the Rams’ last win over the Eagles came in St. Louis in 2004 by a final of 20-7.

They met in week 14 at the Coliseum and the Eagles led 24-14 at the intermisison before the Rams would storm their way back to take a 28-24 lead with 10:07 left in the third when DB Blake Countess retuned a blocked punt 16 yards for a TD to give the home team the four-point lead. That lead would not last very long as the Eagles would reclaim it when Alshon Jeffery and Wentz connected on a 2-yard TD toss with 2:20 left in the third. Back came the Rams, who would take the lead back early in the final quarter when RB Todd Gurley scored from a yard away to lead 35-31. Philadelphia stormed back again, using a pair of Josh Elliot field goals and a Brandon Graham TD run at the end of the contest to seasl Los Angeles’ fate. Philadelphia outrushed the Rams 139-109 and Wentz, who left the contest with a knee injury earlier in the game, threw for 291 yards and four TDs (Wentz was sacked once and picked off once) and his replacement Nick Foles threw for 42 yards, while Goff threw for 199 yards with a pair of TDs with a pair of sacks and no interceptions. Philadelphia was 8 for 20 on third down tries on the West Coast (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 39:12, while the Rams kept the ball for 20:48, going 2 for 7 on third down tries.

In the week 14 contest in Los Angeles, the Rams were favored by 2 and the Eagles covered, winning by 8. The two teams covered the 50 1/2 over/under, as they would tally 78 points in the contest.

The Eagles are now 23-20 on Sunday night, losing to Dallas earlier in the season, while the Rams are 10-12, with their last prime time appearance on Sunday coming in 2010 when they were in St. Louis (that contest resulted in a loss). The Rams are favored by 9 1/2 and the over/under’s 54. The Eagles are in survival mode, while the Rams would love nothing more than to be the number one seed when the NFC playoffs get underway. Philadelphia will make this one closer than 9 1/2 but the Rams bounce back and prevails on the West Coast.

New Orleans (11-2) at Carolina (6-7), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 15 closes out in the Tar Heel State as a pair of NFC South foes meet in Charlotte, with New Orleans and Carolina meeting at Bank of America Stadium for a Monday night contest.

New Orleans erased a 14-3 deficit against NFC South foe Tampa Bay and Jameis Winston as Drew Brees and the Saints would score 25 second half points unchallenged to come away 28-14 winners at Raymond James Stadium last Sunday. The Bucs took that 2-touchdown lead thanks to a pair of Winston TD passes to Chris Brate in the first 30 minutes of play before New Orleans would chip away at the lead and overtake the Bucs in the final 30 minutes of action. The Saints, who clinched the NFC South title Sunday afternoon in the Sunshine State, would get a pair of Will Lutz field goals, a TD pass from Brees to Zach Line and TD runs from Brees and RB Mark Ingram to seal Tampa Bay’s fate. Tampa Bay outrushed New Orleans 105-100 and Winston threw for 213 yards and the two TDs with four sacks and an interception, while Brees threw for 201 yards with the TD and a sack (both Brees and Winston threw an interception). The Saints were 6 for 12 on third down but they were 1 of 1 on fourth down in the Sunshine State and kept the ball for 31:53, while Tampa Bay kept the ball for 28:07, going 6 of 14 on third down tries.

For the second week in a row, Newton faced another former Heisman Trophy winner in Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield and Cleveland edged out Carolina 26-20 last Sunday along the shores of Lake Erie at FirstEnergy Stadium. Tied 17-17 at the intermission, the Panthers would take a 3-point lead on a 34-yard field goal by Chris Cantazaro with 7:11 left in the third quarter. It would be the last time that the Panthers would see the lead as Browns rookie RB Nick Chubb would give the home team the lead for keeps, scoring from 4 yards out with 13:05 left, then K Greg Joseph all but sealed Carolina’s fate with a 41-yard field goal to close out the scoring and ended a Carolina threat that would have given the Panthers the lead late in the contest. Cleveland outrushed Carolina 116-96, with Chubb leading all rushers with 66 yards while Collin McCaffery leading Carolina with 63 yards and a pair of TDs for the Panthers. Newton threw for 265 yards with an interception and a sack for Carolina, while Mayfield threw for 238 yards and TD pass to WR Jarvis Landry for Cleveland (Mayfield was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Cleveland was 4 for 9 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:10, while Carolina ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 33:50, going 5 of 14 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down tries.

Carolina leads the series 24-22 and the Panthers have outscored New Orleans 1,014-1,013. They met three times and New Orleans won all three meetings,  winning 34-13 at Carolina in Week 3 (September 24) and 31-21 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Week 13 (December 3) and taking a 31-26 win in the NFC Wild Card game in the Big Easy (Carolina’s last win over the Saints came in 2016, when they would take a 23-20 win in Charlotte).

In the contest in Charlotte in week three, the Saints took a 17-6 lead with them to the intermission at Bank of America Stadium and never looked back, as Brees threw three TDs in the game in the Tar Heel State. New Orleans outrushed Carolina 149-132, Brees threw for 220 yards with no interceptions, while Newton struggled, throwing for 167 yards with four sacks and three interceptions. Both teams were 50 percent on third down tries (New Orleans was 6 of 12, Carolina was 7 of 14) and New Orleans ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:09 to Carolina’s 28:51.

Meeting number two… New Orleans pulled the sweep in front of the home folkes in the Big Easy in week 13, taking the 10-point NFC South win over their rivals. This time, it was the Kamara/Ingram show as the two scored three rushing TDs (Kamara with two) and Brees threw for 269 yards, while Newton had a little better outing, throwing for 183 yards and a pair of TDs (each QB was sacked twice and did not throw an interception), connecting with Christian McCafferty and Darren Funchess on both tosses. The Saints again outrushed Carolina, this time tallying 148 yards (Ingram led all rushers with 85 yards), while Carolina tallied 112, with Newton accounting for 51 of those yards. As well as both teams did on third down in the first meetings, such was not the case in the second contest, as Carolina was 3 of 10 on third down tries (the Panthers were 0 of 2 on fourth down), while the Saints were 6 of 15 but found success on fourth down, going 1 of 1. Time was once again the BFF of the Saints, as they kept the ball for 33:21, while the Panthers held the pigskin for 26:39.

Round three… the NFC Wild Card game in the Big Easy and the Saints survived a last-second scare from Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers at home last Sunday in an NFC South rematch, taking a 31-26 win in the Big Easy. New Orleans took a 21-9 lead with them to the break before the Panthers roared back in the final 30 minutes of action, making it a 6-point contest with 4:09 left in regulation when Newton and TE Collin MCCaffery connected on a 58-yard TD pass. The Saints then got the ball back and got as far as Carolina’s 47 yard line before Drew Brees (349 yards, TD) was picked off by S Matt Adams, who brought the ball back to their 31 yard line. Carolina then proceeded to move the ball and got as close as the Saints’ 21 yard line, when Newton (349 yards, four sacks) was called for intentional ground, much to the anger and chagrin of Panther fans. Newton then threw an interception that was intended for WR Darren Funches and then ended Carolina’s hopes of avenging the two earlier losses when Newton was sacked by Vonn Bell. New Orleans ran out the clock and took the win at home.

In the week three contest in the Tar Heel State, the Panthers were favored by 6 and the Saints covered the spread, winning by 21. The two clubs combined for 47 points, barely missing the 48 over/under. As for the second meeting, which took place in week 13, the oddsmakers in Vegas liked the Saints as 4 1/2-point favorites and they did kept the boys and girls in Vegas happy, winning by 10 in the Big Easy and both teams covered the 48 over/under with 52 points. The Saints were favored again, this time by 6 1/2 (New Orleans won by 5) and the over/under was 48 1/2 (both teams took care of that, scoring 57 points).

On Monday nights, the Panthers have done quite well, going 10-6 (they played one MNF game last season and took the win in that contest), while the Saints are 18-22 (they also played on a Monday night last year and took a loss). New Orleans is favored by 6 1/2 in the Tar Hee State and the over/under’s 52. Both numbers are reasonable and make a lot of sense. The Saints have already clinched the NFC South, while the Panthers are looking to claw their way into the post-season party. This would be a good time to tape “Bull” this week. Carolina’s finer in Charlotte on Monday night, taking the win, even though they may not cover the 6 1/2.

With four weeks left in regular season play, only one playoff spot out of 12 has been filled and that was courtesy of the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams clinched the NFC West for the second straight season and will make another trip to the post-season party. One spot down. 11 to go.

There are only four weeks remaining in the regular season to decide who advances to the playoffs for a chance at a trip to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.

As the league enters the final quarter of the regular season, there are 19 teams either in or within one game of a playoff spot, including 10 teams that did not advance to the postseason in 2017. Since the 12-team playoff format began in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

Entering Week 14, one team – the NFC West champion Los Angeles Rams (11-1) – has clinched a playoff berth as the battle for the remaining spots forges ahead. Three additional teams – Houston (9-3), New England (9-3) and New Orleans (10-2) – can clinch a division title this week.

Two teams that finished in or tied for last place in their division in 2017 – Chicago (NFC North) and Houston (AFC South) – are currently in first place in their respective divisions this season. In 14 of the past 15 seasons, at least one team finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. Of the 46 teams in league history to go from “worst-to-first,” 23 of them have done so in the past 15 years (2003-17), including an NFL-record three such teams in 2005 and 2006.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: The Los Angeles Rams improved to 11-1 and clinched the NFC West division with a 30-16 victory over Detroit at Ford Field. The Rams have won consecutive division titles for the first time since the 1978-79 seasons.

Rams running back Todd Gurley rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns in the Rams’ victory. Gurley has 1,649 scrimmage yards and 19 touchdowns in his team’s first 12 games this season and is the eighth different player in league history to record at least 1,600 scrimmage yards and 18 touchdowns in his team’s first 12 games of a season. Gurley puts himself in some pretty good company, as six of the previous seven players to accomplish the feat are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Those names, you ask? Jim Brown (1958 and 1965), Terrell Davis (1998), Eric Dickerson (1983), O.J. Simpson (1975), Emmitt Smith (1995) and La Dainian Tomlinson (2006)

Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks had four catches for 62 yards in the win and has 1,026 receiving yards this season, his fourth consecutive season with at least 1,000 receiving yards. Cooks, who had 1,173 receiving yards with the Saints in 2016 and 1,082 yards with the Patriots in 2017, is the first player in NFL history to record 1,000+ receiving yards with three different teams in three consecutive seasons. Cooks is the sixth player in league annals to record at least 1,000 receiving yards in a single season for three or more teams at any point in his career.

•New England quarterback Tom Brady completed 24 of 32 passes (75 percent) for 311 yards with one touchdown and one interception for a 102.5 passer rating in the Patriots’ 24-10 victory over Minnesota. With his third-quarter touchdown pass, Brady tied Peyton Manning (579 touchdown passes) for the most touchdown passes in NFL history, including the postseason. Brady also tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (508) for the third-most regular-season touchdown passes in league annals.

•Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahones passed for 295 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 120 passer rating and tight end Travos Kelce recorded 12 catches for 168 yards and two touchdowns in the Chiefs’ 40-33 win at Oakland.

Mahomes leads the NFL with 41 touchdown passes this season and joined Peyton Manning (44 touchdown passes in 2004 and 41 in 2013) and Tom Brady (41 in 2007) as the only quarterbacks in league history with at least 40 touchdown passes in their team’s first 12 games of a season. Manning and Brady each were named Associated Press Most Valuable Players in those campaigns.
Mahomes has seven games with at least four touchdown passes this season, the second-most in a single season in league annals, trailing only Manning (nine games in 2013).

Kelce, who has 1,082 receiving yards this season and has 1,000+ receiving yards in each of the past two seasons, joined Carolina’s Greg Olsen (three consecutive seasons from 2014-16) as the only tight ends in NFL history with at least 1,000 receiving yards in three consecutive seasons.

•New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley rushed for 125 yards and wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. threw a 49-yard touchdown pass and had a touchdown catch in the team’s 30-27 overtime victory over Chicago in the Meadowlands.

Beckham, who also threw a 57-yard touchdown pass and had a 33-yard touchdown catch against Carolina in Week 5, is the first player since 1924 to record multiple games with a touchdown pass and a receiving touchdown in a single season. Eddie Kaw and Benny Boynton of the 1924 Buffalo Bisons are the only players to previously accomplish the feat. Beckham, who leads the Giants with 1,052 receiving yards in 2018, is the only player in league history with at least 1,000 receiving yards and multiple touchdown passes in a single season.

Barkley has 954 rushing yards this season and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Tuffy Leemans (830 rushing yards in 1936) for the most rushing yards by a rookie in franchise history.

•Houston defeated Cleveland, 29-13, and have won nine consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NFL. The Texans are the first team in league history to win nine consecutive games immediately following an 0-3 start to the season.

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson passed for 224 yards and one touchdown in the victory. Watson, who appeared in his 19th career game today, threw a first-quarter touchdown pass to rookie tight end Jordan Thomas, marking the 40th touchdown pass of his career. Watson is the fourth-fastest player in NFL history to reach 40 career touchdown passes, trailing only Pro Football Hall of Famers Kurt Warner (17 games) and Dan Marino (18) and the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahones, who threw his 40th career touchdown pass in his 13th career game last Sunday.

•Denver rookie running back Phillip Lindsay rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns, including a 65-yard touchdown run, in the Broncos’ 24-10 victory at Cincinnati.

Lindsay, who has 1,126 scrimmage yards (937 rushing, 189 receiving) this season, is the fourth undrafted rookie since 1970 to record at least 1,000 scrimmage yards in a single season, joining Dominic Rhodes (1,328 scrimmage yards in 2001), Clark Gaines (1,124 in 1976) and Le Garrette Blount (1,021 in 2010).

•Other notable performances from Week 13 Sunday included:

Tampa Bay safety Andrew Adams tied a franchise record with three interceptions in the Buccaneers’ 24-17 victory over NFC South rival Carolina at Raymond James Stadium.

Adams joined Ronde Barber, who had three interceptions on both December 23, 2001 and December 4, 2005 against New Orleans, and Aqib Talib (three interceptions on October 4, 2009 against Washington) as the only players in franchise history with three interceptions in a single game. Adams is the fifth NFL player since 2010 to record at least three interceptions in a single game and the first since Tennessee’s Kevin Byard on October 22, 2017 against Cleveland.

Chicago defensive tackle Akiem Hicks recorded one sack and rushed for a one-yard score in the Bears’ overtime loss at the New York Giants. Hicks is the second Bears defensive lineman to rush for a touchdown in the regular season, joining William “The Refrigerator” Perry who accomplished the feat twice in 1985 (October 21 vs. Green Bay and November 24 vs. Atlanta).

Buffalo rookie quarterback Josh Allen threw for 231 yards with two touchdowns and rushed for 135 yards in the Bills’ loss at Miami. Allen is the fourth player in league history with at least two touchdown passes and 125+ rushing yards in a single game, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer WALTER PAYTON (September 18, 1983 at New Orleans), Tobin Rote (November 22, 1951 at Detroit) and Michael Vick (December 19, 2010 at the New York Giants).

Carolina running back Christian McCaffery rushed for 106 yards on 10 carries (10.6 average) and had nine catches for 55 yards with a touchdown in the Panthers’ loss at Tampa Bay. McCaffrey, who would later leave the contest with a foot injury, is the first player in NFL history to recor​d at least 50 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards in five consecutive games.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 14

WORST TO FIRST: Entering Week 14, one team – the Los Angeles Rams (11-1) – clinched a playoff berth as the battle for the remaining spots forges ahead. Three ​​additional teams – Houston (9-3), New England (9-3) and New Orleans (10-2) – can clinch a division title this week.

Two teams that finished in or tied for last place in their division in 2017 – Chicago (NFC North) and Houston Texans (AFC South) – are currently in first place in their respective divisions this season. In 14 of the past 15 seasons, at least one team finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. Of the 46 teams in league history to go from “worst-to-first,” 23 of them have done so in the past 15 years (2003-17), including an NFL-record three such teams in 2005 and 2006.

STAT PATTING: Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the NFL with 41 touchdown passes and ranks second in passing yards (3,923).

With 77 passing yards on Sunday against Baltimore at 1 p.m. on CBS, Mahomes would join Pro Football Hall of Famers Dan Marino (1984) and Kurt Warner (1999) as the only first-or-second year quarterbacks in NFL history to pass for at least 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in a single season. Both Marino and Warner were named Associated Press MVP in those seasons.

The first-or-second year quarterbacks to pass for at least 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(PASSING YARDS/TOUCHDOWNS)
Dan Marino, Miami (1984)(5,084/48)^#
Kurt Warner, St. Louis (1999)(4,353.41)^#
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (2018)(3,923/41)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
#Named Associated Press MVP
*Entering Week 14

RAISING ARIZONA: Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has 1,281 receptions for 16,053 yards and 115 touchdowns during his 15-year NFL career, all with the Cardinals.

With one reception on Sunday against Detroit at 4:25 p.m. on FOX, Fitzgerald would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (1,281 receptions with San Francisco) for the most receptions by a player with one team in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions for one team in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (RECEPTIONS)
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona (1,281)
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (1,281)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

FIFTH FOR FRANK: Miami running back Frank Gore has 18,414 scrimmage yards in his 14-year NFL career.

With 43 scrimmage yards on Sunday against New England at 1 p.m. on CBS, Gore would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson (18,456 scrimmage yards) for the fifth-most scrimmage yards in league annals.

The players with the most scrimmage yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Jerry Rice – San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle (23,540)^
Emmitt Smith – Dallas and Arizona (21,579)^
Walter Payton – Chicago (21,264)^
Marshall Faulk – Indianapolis and St. Louis (19,154)^
LaDainian Tomlinson – San Diego and New York Jets (18,456)^
Frank Gore – San Francisco, Indianapolis, Miami (18,414)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

TOUCHDOWN STREAK: Cleveland rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield has thrown at least one touchdown pass in each of his first nine NFL starts.

With a touchdown pass against Carolina (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Mayfield would become the third quarterback in the Super Bowl era to record at least one touchdown pass in each of his first 10 career starts.

The players with a touchdown pass in each of their first 10 career starts since 1966:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)
Kurt Warner, St. Louis (1999)^
Brad Johnson, Minnesota (1996-97)
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland (2018)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Has TD pass in each of first nine starts

SAQUON FROM SCRIMMAGE: New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley had 146 scrimmage yards (125 rushing, 21 receiving) in the Giants’ Week 13 overtime victory against Chicago. Barkley leads the NFL with 11 games of at least 100 scrimmage yards in 2018.

With 100 scrimmage yards on Sunday at Washington at 1 p.m. on FOX, Barkley would tie Edgerrin James (12 games in 1999) for the second-most games with at least 100 scrimmage yards by a rookie in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer ERIC DICKERSON (13 games in 1983) has more such games.

The rookies with the most games with at least 100 scrimmage yards in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, GAMES WITH 100+ SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (1983, 13)^#
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (1999, 12)#
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (2018, 11)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
#Named Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year
*Entering Week 14

RECORD-SETTING RECEIVER: Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown has 81 receptions for 1,028 yards and leads the NFL with 12 touchdown receptions this season.

With 10 receptions on Sunday at Oakland at 4:25 p.m. on FOX, Brown, who has 663 receptions since 2013, can surpass Wes Welker (672 from 2007-12) for the most catches by a player over any six-year span in NFL history.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, RECEPTIONS)
Wes Welker, New England (2007-12, 672)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2013-18, 663)*
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (1999-2004, 649)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*In sixth year of span

Brown, who had 154 receiving yards in Week 13, has 8,876 receiving yards since 2013 and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (8,759 from 1990-1995) for the most receiving yards by a player over any six-year span in NFL history.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, RECIEVEING YARDS)
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2013-18, 8,876)*
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (1990-95, 8,759)^
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (1999-2004, 8,707)^
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*In sixth year of span

ZACH ATTACK: Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz ranks second in the NFL with 93 receptions and second among tight ends with 978 receiving yards this season.

With seven receptions and 22 receiving yards on Sunday at Dallas at 4:25 p.m. on FOX, Ertz can become the fourth tight end in NFL history to record at least 100 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards in a single season.

The tight ends with at least 100 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards in a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(RECEPTIONS-RECEIVING YARDS)

Jason Witten, Dallas (2012)(110-1,039)#
Dallas Clark, Indianapolis (2009)(100-1,106)
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City (2004)(102-1,252)
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia (2018)(93-978)*
*Entering Week 14
#Single-season record by a tight end

DOMINANT DONALD: Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald leads the NFL with 16.5 sacks this season and has recorded at least two sacks in each of his past three games.

With two sacks on Sunday Night Football at Chicago at 8:20 p.m. on NBC, Donald can become the fourth player since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, to record at least two sacks in four consecutive games in a single season, joining Simeon Rice (five games in 2002) and Pro Football Hall of Famers Kevin Greene (four games in 1998) and Reggie White (four games in 1987).

The players with the most consecutive games with at least two sacks in a single season since 1982:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 2+ SACKS)
Simeon Rice, Tampa Bay (2002-5)
Kevin Greene, Carolina (1998-4)^
Reggie White, Philadelphia (1987-4)^
Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams (2018-3)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Active streak

Donald, who has recorded at least two sacks in six games this season, can become the fourth player since 1982 to record at least seven games with two-or-more sacks in a single season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Reggie White (eight games in 1987), Chris Doleman (seven games in 1989) and Bruce Smith (seven games in 1990).

The players with the most games with two-or-more sacks in a single season since 1982:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON-GAMES WITH 2+ SACKS)
Reggie White, Philadelphia (1987-8)^#
Chris Doleman, Minnesota (1989-7)^
Bruce Smith, Buffalo (1990-7)^#
Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams (2018-6)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
#Named Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year
*Entering Week 14

JONES-ING FOR MORE: Kansas City defensive lineman Chris Jones ties for fifth in the AFC with 10 sacks this season and has recorded at least one sack in eight consecutive games.

With a sack on Sunday against Baltimore at 1 p.m. on CBS, Jones would become the sixth player since 1982 to record at least one sack in nine consecutive games and the first player since 1982 to record nine consecutive games with at least one sack within a single season.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least one sack since 1982:

PLAYER – TEAM(S)(SEASONS)(CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH A SACK)

DeMarcus Ware – Dallas (2007-08)(10)
Simon Fletcher – Denver (1992-93)(10)
Dwight Freeney – Indianapolis (2008-09)(9)
Kevin Greene – San Francisco and Carolina (1997-98)(9)^
Bruce Smith – Buffalo (1986-87)(9)^
Chris Jones – Kansas City (2018)(8)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Active streak

With four weeks remaining on the schedule, much is still to be decided. Thirty of the league’s 32 teams remain in contention as the NFL enters Week 14.

Seven divisional matchups highlight an exciting slate of games in Week 14:

On Sunday afternoon, the Houston Texans welcomes Indianapolis to NRG Stadium at 1 p.m. on CBS in an AFC South battle. The Texans (9-3) lead the Colts (6-6) and the Titans (6-6) by three games in the division and look to extend their league-leading nine game winning streak. Since entering the league in 2017, Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson is one of two NFL quarterbacks (Russell Wilson) with a 100+ passer rating (101.8) and at least 500 rushing yards (644). Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has thrown at least three touchdown passes in eight of his past nine games and ranks second in the league with 32 touchdown passes this season.

New England and Miami square off on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. on CBS at Hard Rock Stadium. The Patriots look to clinch their 10th consecutive AFC East title and extend the longest streak of consecutive division titles in NFL history. New England quarterback Tom Brady (579 touchdown passes, including the postseason) needs one touchdown pass to surpass Peyton Manning for the most in NFL history. Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard had two interceptions in Week 13 and has three games with multiple interceptions in 2018, the most in the NFL.

Baltimore rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson leads the Ravens into Arrowhead Stadium to take on Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs at 1 p.m. on CBS. Winners of three consecutive games, the Ravens (7-5) look to maintain their place in the thick of the AFC postseason race, while the Chiefs (10-2) aim to stay atop the AFC West. Jackson, who has won each of his first three starts, is the first rookie quarterback in league history to rush for at least 70 yards in three consecutive games. Mahomes, who leads the NFL with 41 touchdown passes and ranks second with 3,923 passing yards, can become the third first-or-second year quarterback in league annals to throw for at least 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in a single season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Dan Marino (1984) and Kurt Warner (1999). Both Marino and Warner were named Associated Press Most Valuable Player in those seasons.

A battle of first-place teams in the NFC takes center stage as the Los Angeles Rams and Chicago Bears square off at Soldier Field on NBC’s Sunday Night Football at 8:20 p.m. on NBC. Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald leads the NFL with 16.5 sacks this season and has recorded at least two sacks in each of his past three games. Rams running back Todd Gurley leads the NFL with 19 touchdowns this season and quarterback Jared Goff ranks second in the NFL with 3,754 passing yards. The duo can make the Rams just the sixth team in league history to have a quarterback with at least 4,000 passing yards and a player with 20+ scrimmage touchdowns in a single season. Bears safety Eddie Jackson has an interception-return touchdown in two of his past three games and leads the NFL with three defensive touchdowns this season.

2018 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 14

NFC

CLINCHED: Los Angeles Rams – NFC West division title

Los Angeles Rams (11-1) at Chicago (8-4), Sunday night at 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Los Angeles clinches a first round bye with:

1) Los Angeles Rams win

New Orlens (10-2) at Tampa Bay (5-7), Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX

New Orleans clinches NFC South division title with:

1) New Orlens win or tie OR

2) Carolina loss or tie

New Orleans clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Minnesota loss + Philadelphia loss or tie + Washington loss or tie

AFC

Kansas City (10-2) vs. Baltimore (7-5), Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS

Kansas City clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Kansas City win or tie OR

2) Miami loss or tie + Indianapolis loss or tie

New England (9-3) at Miami (6-6), Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS

New England clinches AFC East division title with:

1) New England win or tie

Houston (9-3) vs. Indianapolis (6-6), Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS

Houston clinches AFC South division title with:

1) Houston win + OR

2) Houston tie

Los Angeles Chargers (9-3) vs. Cincinnati (5-7), Sunday at 4:05 p.m. on CBS

Los Angeles clinches a playoff berth with:

1) Los Angeles Chargers win + Miami loss or tie + Denver loss or tie + Indianapolis loss or tie OR

2) Los Angeles Chargers tie + Miami loss + DEN loss + Indianapolis loss or tie as long as Indianapolis doesn’t tie

Week 14 opened in Nashville with Tennessee downing Jacksonville 30-9 in the Music City and closes on Monday night as the Minnesota Vikings travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks in a key NFC matchup at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN. Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins second in the league with a 71.3 completion percentage (minimum 200 attempts) and is one of three quarterbacks (Drew Brees and Matt Ryan) with a 70+ completion percentage and at least 3,000 passing yards (3,490) this season. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson ranks third in the league with a 5.8 touchdown-to-interception ratio (29 touchdowns and five interceptions) and is one of four NFL quarterbacks with a passer rating of at least 115 this season (115.5).

As for last week? Much better, going 9-7 for the week, which puts us at 111-77 for the season. There’s still a lot of football left before we come to the end. With that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 14.

ATLANTA (4-8) at Green Bay (4-7-1), 1 p.m. on FOX. A pair of struggling NFC team meet in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst as Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons make their way to Lambeau Field for an early afternoon meeting with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Both clubs look to end losing streaks with hopes of making a run into the post-season party.

Atlanta, who will play their second interim coach this season (they faced Gregg Williams, who took over in Cleveland when the Browns let Hue Jackson go; Atlanta would lose that contest in Cleveland), watched Baltimore break a 10-10 tie at the intermission and dropped a 26-16 decision to the Ravens last Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Atlanta had led 10-7 with 11:33 thanks to a 74-yard fumble return by LB Vic Beasley before Ravens K Jeff Tucker would kick the first of his four field goals with six seconds left before intermission to tie things up at 10-10. Tucker would later go on to add three more field goals, with one coming as part of a 14-play, 60-yard drive that used 8:08 of game clock (19 minutes of actual time; the Ravens had three drives of 10 plays or more in the contest). Baltimore would then seal the Falcons’ fate when Tavon Young picked up a Matt Ryan fumble and returned it 12 yards fpr the score. Atlanta would make it a 10-point game with 4:18 left when TE Austin Hooper and Ryan connected on a one-yard TD toss. Baltimore outrushed Atlanta 207-34 and Jackson threw for 125 yards and had a rushing TD, while Ryan threw for 131 yards and the fourth quarter toss to Hooper (Ryan was sacked three times, Jackson was sacked twice, neither threw an interception). Atlanta, dropping their fourth contest in a row, was 2 for 9 on third down (the Falcons were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 20:21, while the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 39:39, going 7 of 15 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Green Bay is also looking to break a losing streak, dropping their third in a row, losing at home to Arizona 20-17 at Lambeau Field in a contest that cost Mike McCarthy his job as head coach (he was replaced by offensive co-ordinator Joe Philbin in the interim). Green Bay led 10-7 at the intermission before Arizona stormed back in the second half and took the lead with 1:41 left in regulation when Zavier Gonzalez booted a 44-yard field goal to take the 20-17 lead. Green Bay made its way downfield after they got the ball back on the ensuing kickoff and would get as far as Arizona’s 31-yard line with three seconds left in hopes of tying the contest and sending it to overtime but Mason Crosby’s 49-yard try sailed wide to the right, sending Packer fans home unhappy. The Desert Angry Birds outrushed the Packers 182-98 and Rodgers threw for 233 yards and a TD pass to Davante Adams, while Josh Rosen threw for 149 yards for Arizona (Rosen was sacked twice, Rodgers was sacked once and neither man had an interception). Green Bay was a somewhat dismal 3 of 14 on third down but was perfect on fourth down, going 2 of 2 and kept the ball for 32:26, while Arizona held on to the pigskin for 27:34, while going 5 of 13 on third down.

While Green Bay leads the series 15-14 and the Packers have outscored Atlanta 715-620, Atlanta has won the last two regular season meeting and both of those wins came in the Big Peach, including a 34-23 win last year (Green Bay’s last win over Atlanta came in 2014 at Lambeau by a final of 43-37).

The teams met in week two and Atlanta broke a 7-7 tie at the end of the first quarter and took a 24-7 lead with them to the intermission, despite being outscored by Green Bay in the second half 16-10. Atlanta outrushed Green Bay 141-59, while Rodgers threw for 343 yards and a pair of TDs, with Ryan having a TD toss and no interceptions, tallying 252 (Rodgers and Ryan were each sacked three times with Rodgers throwing an interception). Atlanta was 5 for 11 on third down in the Big Peach, keeping the ball for 28:37, while the Packers, who ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 31:23, went 5 for 12 on third down, 3 of 3 on fourth down.

Atlanta covered the 2 1/2-point spread with their 11-point win and both teams covered the 54 over/under with 57 points. This time, Green Bay’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 49. For one team, their losing streak comes to an end; for the other, their streak continues and their playoff hopes are damaged beyond repair. Packer fans are going to have their hearts broken this week. Atlanta my not cover the 6 on the road but they walk out of Lambeau with the win.

New York Jets (3-9) at Buffalo (4-8), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. They meet again. A pair of AFC East/AFL rivals meet for the second time, this time in upstate New York with slim playoff chances as Buffalo and the New York Jets meet along the shores of Lake Erie.

GangGreen let a 16-6 halftime lead against Marcus Mariota and the Titans get away from them, as Tennessee rallied in the final 30 minutes of action to take a 26-22 win at Nissan Stadium, with the Titans outscoring GangGreen 20-6 and chipping away at the New York lead with a pair of Ryan Succop field goals, then taking the lead for keeps with 36 seconds left when WR Corey Davis caught an 11-yard TD pass from Mariota for their first lead of the day. Tennessee then held off a late J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! rall to take the win in the late afternoon contest. GangGreen outrushed the Titans 156-130 with Jets RB Isaiah Crowell leading the way with 98 yards. Mariota threw for 282 yards and a pair of TDs (including the game-winner), while Josh McCown threw for 128 yards (McCown was sacked twice, Mariota sacked three times; both men threw an interception) for New York. The Titans were a somewhat dismal 1 for 11 on third down and kept the ball for 26:38, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:22, going 3 for 14 on third down conversions.

Buffalo’s rally at Miami fell short as the Dolphins held off the Bills 21-17 at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami took a 14-6 lead with them to the intermission in the Sunshine State last Sunday afternoon before the Bills would rally in the second half, outscoring the Dolphins 11-7 in the final 30 minutes of the contest. The Bills would take a 17-14 lead with 12 minutes left in regulation when WR Zay Jones and QB Josh Allen connected on a 25-yard TD pass and the two-point conversion. Miami would restore order later in the period when WR Kenny Stills and QB Ryan Tannehill connected on a 13-yard TD pass to reclaim the lead. Buffalo would later get the ball back with 2:33 left to play and get as close as the Miami 30-yard line with hopes of taking the lead back but Allen’s pass to TE Charles Clay was incomplete. Buffalo outrushed Miami 198-60 and Allen led all rushers with 135 yards, while throwing for 231 yards and a pair of TDs (Allen was sacked twice and picked off twice), while Tannehill led Miami with 137 yards and three TD, while being picked off once and sacked three times. Buffalo was 5 for 13 on third down conversions (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:57, while the Dolphins kept the ball for 27:03, while going 2 for 9 on third down.

Buffalo led the New York Jets 31-3 at Met Life Stadium in the week 10 contest at the intermission and took their AFC East rivals from upstate New York to the woodshed, coming out on top 41-10 to break their four-game losing streak. Bills backup QB Matt Barkley burned GangGreen for 232 yards and a pair of TDs, while Buffalo RB LeSean McCoy ran for 113 yards and a pair of rushing TDs in the lopsided contest. Buffalo outrushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 212-83, while Josh McCown threw for 135 yards with three sacks and a pair of interceptions (Barkley was sacked once but did not throw an interception). GangGreen was 1 for 12 on third down tries (they were 2 for 3 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 20:38, while the Bills ruled the clock and kept the ball for 39:22, while they went 8 of 16 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 10 contest in the Meadowlands, the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were favored by 7 1/2 and Buffalo covered, winning by 31. Both teams easily took care of the 37 over/under, aSEs the two clubs merged to score 51 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like Buffalo again, this time as 3 1/2-point favorites with a 38 1/2 over/under. The winner? They get to keep their slim playoff hopes alive for at least one more week. As for the loser? Their magic number is next year. Bills complete the sweep in upstate New York and take the win, covering the 3 1/2.

Carolina (6-6) at Cleveland (4-7-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. A pair of former Heisman winners meet along the shores of Lake Erie as Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers travel to Cleveland for a Sunday afternoon meeting with Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns. Both clubs took road losses in last week’s action.

Carolina was taken to task by Tampa Bay 24-17 last Sunday in Tampa in a battle of two former Heisman winners. The Panthers trailed Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers 17-7 at the break, then rallied to pull themselves to within seven with 2:24 left in the third quarter when Newton and WR Darren Funchess connected on a 10-yard TD pass to trail 24-17. The two clubs then played a scoreless fourth quarter and the Panthers then had one last rally as they got the ball at their 26-yard line, getting as close as their 44-yard line when Tampa Bay was penalized for an enproachment penalty with :00 left on the clock. Because a half or game can’t end on a defensive penalty, Carolina was given an untimed down and the Panther hopes were dashed when backup QB Taylor Heinicke’s last-ditch pass to D.J. Moore fell incomplete. Carolina outrushed Tampa Bay 168-95 with RB Christian McCaffery rushing for 106 yards before leaving the contest with a foot injury, while Newton threw for 300 for Carolina and Winston throwing for 249 yards (both men threw a pair of TD passes, both were sacked four times and Newton threw four interceptions). Carolina was 3 of 8 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 30:06. As for Tampa Bay? They kept the pigskin for 29:54 and went 6 for 13 on third down tries at Raymond James Stadium.

Cleveland found themselves taken to the woodshed by Houston last Sunday, falling 29-13 at NRG Stadium to the Texans. The Texans led 23-0 at the half and watched the Browns outscore Houston 13-6 in the second half to make the contest closer. Houston outrushed Cleveland 187-31 (Nick Chubb was Cleveland’s only rusher), with Houston’s Lamar Miller leading the way with 103 in the 16-point defeat. Mayfield threw for 397 yards with a TD to Rashard Higgins but threw three interceptions, while Deshaun Watson threw for 224 yards with a TD, despite being sacked four times. Houston was 8 for 16 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 37:35, while the Browns kept the ball for 22:25 while going 2 for 8 on third down and 0 of 2 on fourth down.

Carolina holds a 4-1 lead in the series and the Panthers have outscored Cleveland 104-72. Their last meeting took place in 2014 in Charlotte with the Panthers taking a 17-13 win, while Cleveland’s lone win in the series came in 2010 along the shores of Lake Erie by a final of 24-23. Carolina’s favored by a point with the over/under 47. The Browns are actually better than their record and have given the NFC South problems this year. Carolina will put an end to that problem as Newton and the Panthers take the win on the shore of Lake Erie and cover the 1.

Indianapolis (6-6) at Houston (9-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of AFC South teams meet in the Lone Star State as Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts come to NRG Stadium to face off against first-place Houston.

The Colts found themselves on the wrong end of a 6-0 shutout at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday in the Sunshine State. Jacksonville, without RB Leonard Fournette, who sat out his one-game suspension for a fight in Buffalo, got a pair of Josh Lambo field goals to pitch the shutout and take the win. After a scoreless first quarter, Lambo’s 30-yard field goal would give the Jaguars a 3-0 lead with 2:03 left before the half to open the scoring in the contest. Jacksonville would then take that lead with them to the break and the contest stayed that way through the third quarter. Lambo would then connect again, this time from 37 yards out for the 6-0 lead. Jacksonville then proceeded to end a Colts threat that would have given Luck the lead late in the contest, as the Jaguars would wind up breaking their seven-game losing streak in the process.

Neither club broke the 100-yard rushing barrier but Jacksonville did win that battle, outrushing the Colts 79-41. Luck did manage to throw for 248 yards but threw an interception, while Cody Kessler threw for 150 yards and no interceptions (both Keesler and Luck were sacked three times).

Houston won their ninth in a row, taking Cleveland and Baker Mayfield to task 29-13 at NRG Stadium to the Texans. The Texans led 23-0 at the half and watched the Browns outscore Houston 13-6 in the second half to make the contest closer. Houston outrushed Cleveland 187-31 (Nick Chubb was Cleveland’s only rusher), with Houston’s Lamar Miller leading the way with 103 in the 16-point defeat. Mayfield threw for 397 yards with a TD to Rashard Higgins but threw three interceptions, while Deshaun Watson threw for 224 yards with a TD, despite being sacked four times. Houston was 8 for 16 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 37:35, while the Browns kept the ball for 22:25 while going 2 for 8 on third down and 0 of 2 on fourth down.

The Colts lead the series 25-7 and have outscored the Texans 833-619. Indy swept last year’s series, taking wins in the Hoosier State and the Lone Star State, while Houston’s last win came in 2016, when they swept the series that year.

Their first meeting took place in Houston in week nine and the Colts would come away 20-14 winners at NRG Stadium. Indy led 10-7 at the half and then held a late Houston rally to seal the win. While Houston did outrush the Colts 94-92, Jacoby Brissett (taking over for Andrew Luck) threw for 308 yards and a pair of TDs to T.Y. Hilton, with Tom Savage (who took over for DeSean Watson) threw for 219 yards and a TD (neither man threw an interception, Brissett was sacked three times, Savage was sacked twice). Both teams were 4 for 14 on third down tries (the Texans were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and the Colts kept the ball for 30:59 to Houston’s 29:01.

The Colts made the sweep of the series official in week 17, taking a 22-13 win to close out the regular season finale for both clubs, since neither was going to be in the post-season. Indy erased a 13-7 deficit at the break and proceeded to shutout Houston the rest of the way, scoring their last 15 points of the game unchallenged. Indianapolis’ RB Frank Gore rand for 100 yards in the contest to lead all rushers, as the Colts outrushed Houston 146-85 and Brissett threw for 114 yards and a TD, while T.J. Yeats threw for 137 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception (Brissett was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Houston went 5 for 11 on third down conversions at Lucas Oil Stadium and kept the ball for 28:47, while the Colts ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:13, going 6 of 13 on third down tries.

In the week nine contest in the Lone Star State, the Texans were favored by 7 and the Colts won by 6. As for the 45 1/2 over/under? It was safe and sound, as both teams merged for 34 points. In the week 17 contest, the Colts covered the 3 1/2-point spread, winning by 9 but as was the case in the earlier meeting, neither team covered the over/under (which was 41), with the two teams combining for 35 points. The Texans in this meeting are favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Both numbers are reasonable and make sense. The Texans are trying to make it 10 in a row and keep hold of first place in the AFC South, while the Colts would love nothing more than to end the streak. Streak on, Texans! Houston covers the 4 1/2 and wins in the Lone Star State.

Baltimore (7-5) at Kansas City (10-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of up and coming QBs meet in the Show-Me State as Baltimore comes to Arrowhead for a meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs. Both clubs were road winners in their last contests.

Baltimore used three drives of 10 plays or more to break a 10-10 tie at the intermission and take a 26-16 in Atlanta last Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Ravens trailed led 10-7 with 11:33 thanks to a 74-yard fumble return by LB Vic Beasley before Ravens K Jeff Tucker would kick the first of his four field goals with six seconds left before intermission to tie things up at 10-10. Tucker then added three more field goals, with one coming as part of a 14-play, 60-yard drive that used 8:08 of game clock (19 minutes of actual time; the Ravens had three drives of 10 plays or more in the contest). Baltimore then sealed Atlantas’ fate in the Big Peach when Tavon Young picked up a Matt Ryan fumble and returned it 12 yards fpr the score. Atlanta would make it a 10-point game with 4:18 left when TE Austin Hooper and Ryan connected on a one-yard TD toss. Baltimore outrushed Atlanta 207-34 and Jackson threw for 125 yards and had a rushing TD, while Ryan threw for 131 yards and the fourth quarter toss to Hooper (Ryan was sacked three times, Jackson was sacked twice, neither threw an interception). Atlanta, dropping their fourth contest in a row, was 2 for 9 on third down (the Falcons were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 20:21, while the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 39:39, going 7 of 15 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

The Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes bounced back from their 4-point loss against the Los Angeles Rams and put an end to Oakland’s dwindling playoff hopes last Sunday as they took the Raiders 40-33 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Kansas City led 19-7, then pulled away after the Silver and Black made it a 9-point contest early in the third quarter. Kansas City outrushed their AFC West rival 174-171 and Mahomes threw for 295 yards with four TDs (connecting with TE Travis Kelce on two of them) and no sacks or interceptions, while Oakland’s Derek Carr threw for 285 yards with three TDs and three sacks. Kansas City was 6 of 13 on third down (Andy Reid’s Chiefs were successful on fourth down, going 1 of 1) and kept the ball for 29:14, while the Raiders ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:46, going 9 for 12 on third down conversions.

Kansas City leads the series 4-3 and the Chiefs have outscored Baltimore 153-123. Each team took their last win in the other team’s facility; Kansas City’s last win came in Charm City by a final of 34-14 in 2015, while Baltimore’s last win came in the Show-Me State in 2012 by a 9-6 final. Kansas City’s favored by 7 at Arrowhead and the over/under’s 53 1/2. For the Chiefs, a win means that they’re one step closer to the AFC West title and a possible number one seed in the post-season; for the Ravens, it’s a chance to pull themselves a little closer to Pittsburgh. We think the Steelers are going to be Chiefs fans today. Everything’s up to date in Kansas City as the Chiefs cover the 7 and win at Arrowhead.

New England (9-3) at Miami (6-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots travel to the Sunshine State for an AFC East matchup with the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium, with both clubs winning last week’s contest in their home ballparks.

Brady and the Pats took care of business in Foxboro last Sunday against Minnesota, coming away 24-10 winners at Gillette Stadium. New England led 10-7 at the half, then held the Vikings to a third quarter field goal from Dan Bailey to take the home win. New England outrushed Minnesota 160-95 (Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook led all rushers with 84 yards), with James Delvin having a pair of rushing TDs, while Brady threw for 311 yards and a TD with an interception, while Kirk Cousins threw for 201 yards with a TD to WR Adam Thielen (Cousins was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions). Brady and New England was 7 of 14 on third down conversions in Foxboro (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 33:21, while the Vikings held on to the ball for 26:39, going 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Miami held off a late Buffalo Bills rally last Sunday, coming away 21-17 winners at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami took a 14-6 lead with them to the intermission in the Sunshine State last Sunday afternoon before Buffalo rallied in the second half, outscoring the Dolphins 11-7 in the final 30 minutes of the contest. The Bills would then take a 17-14 lead with 12 minutes left in regulation when WR Zay Jones and QB Josh Allen connected on a 25-yard TD pass and the two-point conversion. Miami would restore order later in the period when WR Kenny Stills and QB Ryan Tannehill connected on a 13-yard TD pass to reclaim the lead. Buffalo would later get the ball back with 2:33 left to play and get as close as the Miami 30-yard line with hopes of taking the lead back but Allen’s pass to TE Charles Clay was incomplete. Buffalo outrushed Miami 198-60 and Allen led all rushers with 135 yards, while throwing for 231 yards and a pair of TDs (Allen was sacked twice and picked off twice), while Tannehill led Miami with 137 yards and three TD, while being picked off once and sacked three times. Buffalo was 5 for 13 on third down conversions (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:57, while the Dolphins kept the ball for 27:03, while going 2 for 9 on third down.

The Pats knocked Miami out of the ranks of the Miami fell unbeatens after Brady and New England beat their AFC East rival 38-7 at Foxboro in their week four meeting. The Patroits scored the first 38 points of the contest unchallenged and the Dolphins trailed 24-0 at thee intermission before finally tallying their lone score in the contest when Frank Gore and Brock Osweiler connected on a 6-yard TD toss with 2:42 left to play. Miami found themselves held to 56 yards rushing, while the Patroits would tally 175 of their own (with Sony Michel leading all rushers with 112 yards and a TD) and Brady throwing for 274 yards and a pair of TD passes. New England was 10 of 16 on third down and held on the ball for 36:22, while the Dolphins were 23:38 in time of possession, going 3 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

New England’s 31-point win in Foxboro allowed them to cover the 7-point spread in the week four contest but both clubs barely missed the 47 1/2 over/under, as the two teams combined for 45 points. While the Patriots are the road team, they’re also favored by 8 1/2 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 47 1/2. For New England, a win for them means another AFC East title; for the Dolphins, a win for them means that the Pats will have to wait another week. Fins will make Brady and the boys wait another week. New England will make things tough and closer than 8 1/2 for Miami but the Dolphins prevail at home in the Sunshine State.

New Orleans (10-2) at Tampa Bay (5-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. New Orleans and Tampa Bay meet in the Sunshine State in a week one rematch at Raymond James Stadium. While the Saints come in off a road loss two Thursday nights ago, the Buccaneers held off NFC South rival Carolina at home in the Sunshine State.

The Saints were shut out by Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys in the first half, trailing 13-0 at the break before scoring 10 third quarter points of their own unchallenged and still came up short, falling 13-10 to the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. The Saints would make it a 3-point contest when WR Keith Kirkwood and Drew Brees connected on a 38-yard TD toss with 68 seconds left in the third, then saw a fourth quarter rally that would have either tie things up or given New Orleans the lead when Brees was picked off by CB Jourdan Lewis to end the threat. Dallas, who got a pair of field goals from Brett Maher and a rushing TD by Ezekiel Elliot, outrushed New Orleans 100-65 and Brees threw for 127 yards with a TD and a pair of sacks, while Prescott threw for 248 yards with the TD toss to Elliot and was sacked seven times but had no interceptions. Dallas was 7 for 14 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 36:53, while the Saints held on to the ball for 23:07, going 3 for 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

In a meeting of former Heisman winners, Tampa Bay held off NFC South foe Carolina 24-17 last Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers led Cam Newton and the Panthers 17-7 at the break, then watch the Panthers rally to pull themselves to within seven with 2:24 left in the third quarter when Newton and WR Darren Funchess connected on a 10-yard TD pass to trail 24-17. The two clubs then played a scoreless fourth quarter and the Panthers then had one last rally as they got the ball at their 26-yard line, getting as close as their 44-yard line when Tampa Bay was penalized for an enproachment penalty with :00 left on the clock. Because a half or game can’t end on a defensive penalty, Carolina was given an untimed down and the Panther hopes were dashed when backup QB Taylor Heinicke’s last-ditch pass to D.J. Moore fell incomplete. Carolina outrushed Tampa Bay 168-95 with RB Christian McCaffery rushing for 106 yards before leaving the contest with a foot injury, while Newton threw for 300 for Carolina and Winston throwing for 249 yards (both men threw a pair of TD passes, both were sacked four times and Newton threw four interceptions). Carolina was 3 of 8 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 30:06. As for Tampa Bay? They kept the pigskin for 29:54 and went 6 for 13 on third down tries at Raymond James Stadium.

New Orleans hosted Winston and the Bucs in their week one meetings and the Saints came out on the short end of a 48-40 loss to Tampa Bay in the season opener in the Big Easy. Although they trailed 31-24 at the half, the Buccaneers managed to take control of things in the second half, outscoring the Saints 17-16 in the final 30 minutes of action. Tampa Bay outrushed New Orleans 112-43, while Drew Brees threw for 439 yards with three passing TDs and Alvin Kamara chipping in with a pair of rushing TDs. For Tampa Bay, Ryan Fitzpatrick, taking over for the suspended Jameis Winston, threw for 417 yards and four TDs in the win at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Tampa Bay went 8 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 32:09, while the Saints went 4 of 9 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 27:51.

New Orleans was favored by 9 1/2 in the week one meeting in the Big Easy and Tampa Bay came away with the victory but both clubs did cover the 49 1/2 over/under with 88 total points. The odds makers like the Saints as 8 1/2 point favorites in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 57 1/2. New Orleans could very well win the NFC South if they beat Tampa Bay, while the Bucs want to prove that the first win in the Big Easy was not a fluke. While Tampa Bay won’t cover the 8 1/2, they somehow sweep the Saints and take the win at home at Raymond James Stadium.

New York Giants (4-8) at Washington (6-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. It’s an NFC East rematch as Eli Manning and the New York Giants travel to Landover to face off against the Washington Redskins and Mark Sanchez at Fed Ex Field.

The Giants needed overtime in the Meadowlands to take a 30-27 win over the Chicago Bears at Met Life Stadium last Sunday. The Giants trailed 14-10 at the half before rallying in the third quarter to take a 24-14 lead with them to the end of the third quarter. Chicago would storm back in the final 15 minutes of action on the road in upstate New Jersey after the Giants took a 10-point lead late in the fourth when Bears K Chris Parkey kicked a 21-yard field with 73 seconds left. Chicago then got the onside kick and then marched their way downfield, tying the contest as time expired when rookie WR Anthony Miller caught a 1-yard TD pass from RB Tark Cohen to even things at 27-27. New York would win the toss in the overtime and got the ball first, using an 8-play, 49-yard drive that ended when Giants K Aldrick Rosas booted on a 44-yard field goal with 5:57 left in the extra period. Since the Giants kicked a field goal, that did not end the game and allowed Chicago to get the ball back and they did, starting their drive at their 25-yard line and getting as close as their 40-yard before Chris Daniel’s pass attempt to WR Taylor Gabriel was incomplete, ending the game and giving Big Blue the win. The Giants outrushed Da Bears 141-118 and Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 125 yards, while Manning threw for 170 yards and a TD to Odell Beckham Jr., who also threw a TD pass to WR Sterling Shepherd. Daniel threw for 285 yards and a TD in the overtime loss for Da Bears (Daniel was sacked five times and picked off twice, while Manning threw an interception with three sacks). The Giants were 6 of 17 on third down (they were 2 for 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:13, while Da Bears kept the pigskin for 33:58, going 2 for 15 on third down and 4 of 5 on fourth down.

Washington trailed the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles 14-13 at the half at Lincoln Financial Field, then watched the Eagles score 14 fourth-quarter points unchallenged to fall 28-12 in their NFC East meeting last Monday night in the City of Brotherly Love. Washington took a 10-7 lead with 9:23 left before the half when RB Adrian Peterson scored from 90 yards out before the Eagles took the lead back for good when RB Darren Sproles scored from 14 yards away with 1:46 left before the intermission. Washington would make it a one-point contest with 15 seconds left when K Dustin Hopkins booted a 47-yard field goal before the break. That would be the last that the Redskins would see of the scoreboard in the second half as the Eagles would score their 14 second half points, using a 4-yard TD pass from Carson Wentz to Josh Matthews and a pair of Jake Elliot field goals to seal the fate of the Redskins. Philadelphia outrushed their NFC East rivals 130-104, with Peterson leading the way with 98 yards, while Sanchez threw for 100 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception after taking over for Colt McCoy, who broke his leg early in the contest. Wentz threw for 306 yards and two TDs (including one to newly accquired RB Golden Tate) and threw an interception without being sacked. Washington was 2 for 10 on third down conversions and held on to tha ball for 20:41, while the Eagles were 7 of 13 on third down (0 for 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:19.

The Redskins and Giants met in week 8 and Washington held off the New York Giants 20-13 at Met Life Stadium. Washington led 7-3 at the half in upstate New Jersey, then floored the gas as RB Adrian Peterson scored his second TD of the day, scoring from 64 yards away to take a 20-6 lead with 3:06 left in the contest. The Giants would pull themselves to within 7 with 17 seconds left when Manning and TE Evan Engram connected on a 2-yard TD toss. Washington would recover the onside kick and run the clock out to take the win, giving Big Blue their fifth loss in a row. Peterson led all rushers with 149 yards in the NFC East contest as Washington outrushed the Giants 182-37, sacking Manning (316 yards, two interceptions) seven times, while Alex Smtih threw for 178 yards with the TD toss to Peterson without a sack or interception. Washington was 6 of 15 on third down and held the ball for 33:38, while the Giants held the ball for 26:22, going 2 of 14 on third down, 3 of 4 on fourth down tries.

In the week 8 meeting in the Meadowlands, Washington was favored by 1 and they covered, winning by 7 but neither team reached the 42 over/under, scoring 33 points. Vegas likes Washington again, this time as 1 1/2 point favorites in Landover and the over/under this time around is 42 1/2. Both clubs are trying to keep pace with Dallas in the NFC East and for the loser, their season and playoffs are pretty much over. For the winner, they’re alive for at least another week. HAIL TO THE REDSKINS! Washington pulls the sweep in Landover and covers the 1 1/2.

Cincinnati (5-7) at Los Angeles Chargers (9-3), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. A pair of AFC rivals meet in Los Angeles as Cincinnati, looking to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, travel to Stub Hub Centre to face off against Philip Rivers and the Chargers.

Cincinnati watched Denver take a 7-3 lead with them to the intermission and saw the Broncos came away with the 24-10 road win last Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. Denver went on to outscore the struggling Bengals 17-7 in the last 30 minutes of action, outrushing Cincinnati 218-111 in the road win and Denver rookie RB Phillip Lindsay led all rushers with 157 yards and a pair of TDs, while the Bengals were paced by Joe Mixon’s 82 yards on the ground and Denver’s Case Keenum threw for 151 yards and a TD, while Cincinati backup QB Jeff Driskel, who took over for Andy Dalton (thumb) threw for 236 yards with a TD, an interception and four sacks (Keenum was sacked twice but did not throw an interception). Both clubs went 5 for 13 on third down and Cincinnati actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:20 to Denver’s 28:40.

Los Angeles erased a 23-7 halftime defict at Pittsburgh as the Chargers and Philip Rivers would rally in the final seconds to leave Heinz Field with the 33-30 win Sunday night on a 29-yard field goal by K Michael Badgley as time expired. The Steelers let that lead get away from them as the Chargers would chip away at it in the second, when Rivers and WR Keenan Allen connected on a 10-yard TD toss with 1:43 in the third. Rivers and TE Antonio Gates would then connect on the two-point try to narrow the Steeler lead to 23-15. Pittsburgh’s special teams would fail them as CB Desmond King returned a punt 73 yards to open the scoring in the final quarter and the Chargers would even things up when Rivers and Allen connected on a second two-point conversion.

The Bolts then took the lead with 8:09 left in the contest when rookie RB Justin Jackson scored from 18 yards out. Pittsburgh would re-tie the contest, using an 12-play, 78-yard drive that took 3:59 when Ben Roethlisberger and rookie WR Jaylen Samuels hooked up on a 10-yard TD pass with 4:10 left in the contest. Los Angeles got the ball back on the kickoff and would use all of the 4:10 that was left, engineering an 11-play, 64-yard drive, burning all of the clock, aided by a pair of offside penalties on Pittsburgh with Badgley booting the game winner as the clock struck :00. Pittsburgh was outrushed by the Chargers 85-65 with Jackson leading all rushers with 63 yards, while James Conner tallied 60 for the Steelers. Roethlisberger threw for 281 yards for the Steelers, while Rivers tallied 299 yards, with both men throwing a pair of TDs (Rivers was sacked twice, Roethlisberger sacked once and threw an interception). Pittsburgh in the Sunday night affair in the Steel City went 3 of 10 on third down (they were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:48, while the Chargers were 6 for 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 31:12, including the final 4:10 of the contest.

While the Chargers lead the series 19-14 and the Bolts have outscored Cincinnati 788-722 (which includes contests that were played at Riverfront Stadium and Qualcomm Stadium), Cincinnati has won the last four meetings, including a 24-19 win along the shores of the Ohio River in 2015; the Chargers’ last win in the series came in 2009 at Qualcomm by a final of 27-24. The Chargers are favored by 14 and the over/under’s 47 1/2. If nothing else, this one will be somewhat entertaining to watch. The Bengals are hanging on for dear life in the playoff hunt, while the Chargers are knocking at the door. Los Angeles will bang, bang, bang on the door, sugar (apologies to the B52s!) and take this one at Stub Hub but expect the Bengals to make this one closer than 14.

Denver (6-6) at San Francisco (2-10), 4:05 p.m. on CBS. Denver makes their way to northern California for an early afternoon (Pacific time) contest with the struggling San Francisco 49ers at Levis’ Stadium.

Afte a scoreless first quarter in Cincinnati, the Broncos took a 7-3 lead against the Bengals with them to the intermission and came away with the 24-10 road win last Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. The Broncos went on to outscore the struggling Bengals 17-7 in the last 30 minutes of action, outrushing Cincinnati 218-111 in the road win. Denver rookie RB Phillip Lindsay led all rushers with 157 yards and a pair of TDs, while the Bengals were paced by Joe Mixon’s 82 yards on the ground and Denver’s Case Keenum threw for 151 yards and a TD, while Cincinati backup QB Jeff Driskel, who took over for Andy Dalton (thumb) threw for 236 yards with a TD, an interception and four sacks (Keenum was sacked twice but did not throw an interception). Both clubs went 5 for 13 on third down and Cincinnati actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:20 to Denver’s 28:40.

San Francisco saw their slim playoff hopes die in Seattle as the Seahawks took the 49ers 43-16 at Century Link Field in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle led 20-6 at the intermission, then proceeded to outscore the 49ers 23-13 in the last 30 minutes of action in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and never looked back. Seattle outrushed San Francisco 168-66 and Nate Mullins threw for 414 yards and a pair of TDs to WR Dante Pettis but was sacked three times and picked off twice, while Russell Wilson threw for 185 yards with four TDs and no interception (Wilson was sacked three times). San Francisco went 7 of 16 on third down (they were 1 for 2 on fourth down) and the 49ers actually ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 32:30, while the Seahawks were 4 for 9 on third down, keeping the ball for 27:30.

The Broncos hold a slim lead in the series 7-6 and have outscored the 49ers 322-299. Their last meeting took place in 2014 in the Mile High City and the Broncos were 42-17 victors, while San Francisco’s last win came in London by a final of 24-16 in 2010. Denver’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Denver’s looking to keep their playoff hopes alive, while the 49ers look to somehow derail the Broncos’ train. That train’s staying on the tracks. Broncos cover the 6 in Napa Valley and takes the win on the road.

Detroit (4-8) at Arizona (3-9), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. A pair of struggling teams meet in the desert as Arizona hosts the Detroit Lions at State Farm Stadium in Glendale.

Detroit watched the Los Angeles Rams clinch their second NFC West title last Sunday in the Motor City, beating the Lions 30-16 at Ford Field. The Lions trailed throughout the contest, trailing 13-3 at to the intermission, then watched the Rams run away from them in the second half, outcoring them 17-13 in the last 30 minutes of action. Detroit was outrushed by Los Angeles 149-102 and Rams RB Todd Gurley ran for 132 yards and a pair of TDs to seal the win. Jared Goff threw for 207 yards for Los Angeles, while Matthew Stafford threw for 245 for Detroit (Stafford was sacked four times, Goff was sacked once and each threw a TD pass and an interception). The Rams were 5 for 11 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 28:16, while the Lions kept the ball for 31:44, going 2 for 17 on third down tries.

Arizona escaped Green Bay with a 20-17 win at Lambeau Field in a contest that cost Mike McCarthy his job as head coach (he was replaced by offensive co-ordinator Joe Philbin in the interim). The Desert Angry Birds trailed in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst led 10-7 at the intermission before Arizona stormed back in the second half and took the lead with 1:41 left in regulation when Zavier Gonzalez booted a 44-yard field goal to take the 20-17 lead. Green Bay made its way downfield after they got the ball back on the ensuing kickoff and would get as far as Arizona’s 31-yard line with three seconds left in hopes of tying the contest and sending it to overtime but Mason Crosby’s 49-yard try sailed wide to the right, sending Packer fans home unhappy. The Desert Angry Birds outrushed the Packers 182-98 and Rodgers threw for 233 yards and a TD pass to Davante Adams, while Josh Rosen threw for 149 yards for Arizona (Rosen was sacked twice, Rodgers was sacked once and neither man had an interception). Green Bay was a somewhat dismal 3 of 14 on third down but was perfect on fourth down, going 2 of 2 and kept the ball for 32:26, while Arizona held on to the pigskin for 27:34, while going 5 of 13 on third down.

Including those contests that were played in Chicago and St. Louis, when the Desert Angry Birds called those cities home and the Lions were in Portsmouth as the Spartans and played contests in Tiger Stadium and the Silverdome, the Lions lead the series 32-28-5 and have outscored the Cardinals 1,182-1,085. Their last meeting? Last year in the Motor City, coming away 35-23 to break a 7-game losing streak against Arizona, while Arizona’s last win in the series came in 2015 in the Motor City by a final of 42-17.

The two clubs opened the 2017 campaign at Ford Field and the Lions trailed 10-9 at the half before they would roar back in the final 30 minutes of play, outscoring the Desert Angry Birds 26-13, holding off a late Arizona rally in the process. Stafford (292 yards) threw three TD passes in the second half, connecting with WR Kenny Golladay on two of those tosses, winding up with four on the afternoon, while Carson Palmer threw for 269 yards with three interceptions (Stafford threw an interception, Palmer and Stafford were sacked once). Detroit, who outrushed Arizona 82-45, went 8 for 16 on third down (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:20. As for Arizona? They kept the ball for 26:40 and went 6 for 15 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down.

In the season opener, the Lions’ 12-point win allowed them to cover the 2-point spread and the 58 points total allowed both clubs to cover the 48 over/under. Detroit’s favored by 2 1/2 in the desert and the over/under’s 40 1/2. Feel free to take a pass on this one and get that Christmas shopping done or watch that “Grumpy Cat Movie.” Granted, that kitty’s grumpy but he’s really funny! Arizona covers the 2 1/2 and the Desert Angry Birds take the win in Glendale.

Philadelphia (6-6) at Dallas (7-5), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. They meet again. Eagles vs. Cowboys, Round 2. The defending Super Bowl champs travel to the Lone Star State to take on Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington in an NFC East rematch at AT&T Stadium.

The defending Super Bowl champions led Washington 14-13 at the half at Lincoln Financial Field, then scored 14 fourth-quarter points unchallenged to take down the Redskins 28-12 in their NFC East meeting last Monday night in the City of Brotherly Love. Washington took a 10-7 lead with 9:23 left before the half when RB Adrian Peterson scored from 90 yards out before the Eagles took the lead back for good when RB Darren Sproles scored from 14 yards away with 1:46 left before the intermission. Washington would make it a one-point contest with 15 seconds left when K Dustin Hopkins booted a 47-yard field goal before the break. That would be the last that the Redskins would see of the scoreboard in the second half as the Eagles would score their 14 second half points, using a 4-yard TD pass from Carson Wentz to Josh Matthews and a pair of Jake Elliot field goals to seal the fate of the Redskins. Philadelphia outrushed their NFC East rivals 130-104, with Peterson leading the way with 98 yards, while Sanchez threw for 100 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception after taking over for Colt McCoy, who broke his leg early in the contest. Wentz threw for 306 yards and two TDs (including one to newly accquired RB Golden Tate) and threw an interception without being sacked. Washington was 2 for 10 on third down conversions and held on to tha ball for 20:41, while the Eagles were 7 of 13 on third down (0 for 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:19.

Prescott and the Cowboys took a 13-0 lead at the half against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, then held off New Orleans in the second half to come away 13-10 winners at AT&T Stadium. Dallas took the lead thanks to a pair of field goals from Brett Maher and a passing TD by Ezekiel Elliot, then held off the Saints after New Orleands broke the Cowboys’ bid for a shutout as Will Lutz connected on a 33-yard field Goal with 10 minutes left in the third, then got to within 7 with 68 seconds left in the third when WR Keith Kirkwood and Brees connected on a 38-yard TD toss. Dallas would then hold off a Saints’ rally in the final minutes of the fourth quarter that would have given New Orleans the lead when Brees was picked off by CB Jourdan Lewis to end the threat. Dallas outrushed New Orleans 100-65 and Brees threw for 127 yards with a TD and a pair of sacks, while Prescott threw for 248 yards with the TD toss to Elliot and was sacked seven times but had no interceptions. Dallas was 7 for 14 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 36:53, while the Saints held on to the ball for 23:07, going 3 for 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

The Cowboys led the defending Super Bowl champions 13-3 at the half in Philadelphia in the week 10 meeting, then watched the Eagles tie the contest with 7:27 left in regulation when Zach Ertz caught a 2-yard TD pass from Carson Wentz, rallied to reclaim the thanks to a 1-yard run by RB Ezekiel Elliott with 3:19 left, then held off a late Philly rally to come away from Lincoln Financial Field 27-20 winners Sunday night. The Eagles managed to tie the contest at 13-13 late in the third quarter when Ertz and Wentz connected on a 15-yard toss before Dallas took the lead back when Elliott and Dak Prescott connected on a 7-yard TD toss early in the final quarter of play. After the two teams exchanged TDs later in the period and Dallas re-claimed the lead for a second time, Philadelphia marched their way down the field and got as close as Dallas’ 32-yard line when Philadelphia used several laterals to get the ball into the end zone to no avail.

Elliott led all rushers with 151 yards on the ground with the rushing TD as the Cowboys outrushed Philadelphia 171-71 and  Prescott threw for 270 yards and a TD with four sacks, while Wentz threw for 360 yards and the two Ertz catches for scores (Wentz was sacked twice and threw an interception). Dallas was 8 for 16 on third down (they were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 33:22, while the Eagles kept the pigskin for 26:38, going 4 for 10 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down.

In the week 10 contest in the City of Brotherly Love, the Eagles were favored by 6 and Dallas covered, coming away with the 7-point win. Both clubs covered the 43 1/2 over/under, tallying 47 in the Sunday night contest at Lincoln Financial Field. In the rematch in the Lone Star State, the Cowboys are favored by 4 and the over/under’s 43. Dallas is looking to prove that the first win was not a fluke, while the Eagles want revenge and keep their playoff hopes alive. Hope stays alive this SUnday. Eagles get revenge and the win, covering the 4 on the road.

Pittsburgh (7-4-1) at Oakland (2-10), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 717. Pittsburgh, in first place in the AFC North, travels to Oakland to face off against the struggling Raiders in the Black Hole (aka the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum) in a late Sunday afternoon contest on the West Coast. Both teams took losses at home in last week’s action.

The Steelers let a 23-7 lead at the half against the Los Angeles Chargers get away from them as Philip Rivers and the Chargers would rally in the final seconds to leave Heinz Field with the 33-30 win Sunday night on a 29-yard field goal by K Michael Badgley as time expired. The Steelers let that lead get away from them as the Chargers would chip away at it in the second, when Rivers and WR Keenan Allen connected on a 10-yard TD toss with 1:43 in the third. Rivers and TE Antonio Gates would then connect on the two-point try to narrow the Steeler lead to 23-15. Pittsburgh’s special teams would fail them as CB Desmond King returned a punt 73 yards to open the scoring in the final quarter and the Chargers would even things up when Rivers and Allen connected on a second two-point conversion.

Los Angeles then took the lead with 8:09 left in the contest when rookie RB Justin Jackson scored from 18 yards out. Pittsburgh would re-tie the contest, using an 12-play, 78-yard drive that took 3:59 when Ben Roethlisberger and rookie WR Jaylen Samuels hooked up on a 10-yard TD pass with 4:10 left in the contest. Los Angeles would use all of the 4:10 that was left, engineering an 11-play, 64-yard drive, burning all of the clock, aided by a pair of offside penalties on Pittsburgh with Badgley booting the game winner as the clock struck :00. Pittsburgh was outrushed by the Chargers 85-65 with Jackson leading all rushers with 63 yards, while James Conner tallied 60 for the Steelers. Roethlisberger threw for 281 yards for the Steelers, while Rivers tallied 299 yards, with both men throwing a pair of TDs (Rivers was sacked twice, Roethlisberger sacked once and threw an interception). Pittsburgh in the Sunday night affair in the Steel City went 3 of 10 on third down (they were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:48, while the Chargers were 6 for 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 31:12, including the final 4:10 of the contest.

Oakland saw the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes bounce back from their 4-point loss against the Los Angeles Rams as their AFC West/AFL rivals put an end to Oakland’s dwindling playoff hopes last Sunday, taking down the Raiders 40-33 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Kansas City led 19-7, then pulled away after the Silver and Black made it a 9-point contest early in the third quarter. Kansas City outrushed their AFC West rival 174-171 and Mahomes threw for 295 yards with four TDs (connecting with TE Travis Kelce on two of them) and no sacks or interceptions, while Oakland’s Derek Carr threw for 285 yards with three TDs and three sacks. Kansas City was 6 of 13 on third down (Andy Reid’s Chiefs were successful on fourth down, going 1 of 1) and kept the ball for 29:14, while the Raiders ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:46, going 9 for 12 on third down conversions.

Including games played in Los Angeles and at Three Rivers Stadium, the Raiders lead the series 12-10 and the Silver and Black have been outscored by the Steelers 475-465. Pittsburgh won the last meeting in the series in 2015, coming away with the 38-35 win at Heinz Field, while Oakland’s last win in the series came on the West Coast in 2013 by a final of 21-18. Pittsburgh’s favored by 11 and the over/under’s 51 1/2. Granted, the Raiders are bad… they’re not 11 points bad. Oakland may be out of the post-season but they would like nothing more than to ruin Pittsburgh’s chances to play some extra football come January. Pittsburgh may not cover the 11 but they take the win in Oakland.

Los Angeles Rams (11-1) at Chicago (8-4). 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of first-place teams meet in the Windy City as the Los Angeles Rams travel to Soldier Field for a Sunday night contest with the Chicago Bears.

The Rams clinched their second NFC West title last Sunday in the Motor City, taming the Detroit Lions 30-16 at Ford Field. Los Angeles led from start to finish, taking a 13-3 lead with them to the intermission, then running away from the Lions in the second half, outcoring them 17-13 in the last 30 minutes of action. The Rams outrushed Detroit 149-102 and Todd Gurley ran for 132 yards and a pair of TDs to seal the win. Jared Goff threw for 207 yards for Los Angeles, while Matthew Stafford threw for 245 for Detroit (Stafford was sacked four times, Goff was sacked once and each threw a TD pass and an interception). The Rams were 5 for 11 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 28:16, while the Lions kept the ball for 31:44, going 2 for 17 on third down tries.

Da Bears rallied late in the final quarter against Eli Manning and the Giants, only to come away with a 30-27 overtime loss at Met Life Stadium last Sunday. Chicago would storm back in the final 15 minutes of action on the road in upstate New Jersey after the Giants took a 10-point lead late in the fourth when Bears K Chris Parkey kicked a 21-yard field with 73 seconds left. Da Bears then got the onside kick and then marched their way downfield, tying the contest as time expired when rookie WR Anthony Miller caught a 1-yard TD pass from RB Tark Cohen to even things at 27-27. New York would win the toss in the overtime and got the ball first, using an 8-play, 49-yard drive that ended when Giants K Aldrick Rosas booted on a 44-yard field goal with 5:57 left in the extra period. Since the Giants kicked a field goal, that did not end the game and allowed Chicago to get the ball back and they did, starting their drive at their 25-yard line and getting as close as their 40-yard before Chris Daniel’s pass attempt to WR Taylor Gabriel was incomplete, ending the game and giving Big Blue the win. The Giants outrushed Da Bears 141-118 and Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 125 yards, while Manning threw for 170 yards and a TD to Odell Beckham Jr., who also threw a TD pass to WR Sterling Shepherd. Daniel threw for 285 yards and a TD in the overtime loss for Da Bears (Daniel was sacked five times and picked off twice, while Manning threw an interception with three sacks). The Giants were 6 of 17 on third down (they were 2 for 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 33:13, while Da Bears kept the pigskin for 33:58, going 2 for 15 on third down and 4 of 5 on fourth down.

Da Bears lead da series 52-35-3 (which includes games that took place in Cleveland, St. Louis, Anaheim and Wrigley Field) and have outscored Los Angeles 2,101-1,823. Both teams took their last wins in the series in St. Louis; Chicago came away with the 37-13 win in 2015, while the Rams were 42-21 winners in 2013.

Sunday night has not been kind to either club; Da Bears are 16-22, while the Rams are 10-12. However, there’s a lot on the line as far as playoffs and seedings go, so this one’s “DRILL WORHTY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 58 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”) The Rams are favored by 3 in the Windy City and the over/under’s 52 1/2. There’s a good chance these two teams could very well meet again in the post-season. Da Bears pull off the upset and takes the win in the Windy City, covering the 3.

Minnesota (6-5-1) at Seattle (7-5), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 14 concludes in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks as a pair of playoff contenders square off at Century Link Field. Minnesota makes their way to the Pacific Northwest to face off against Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks.

Minnesota came to Foxboro to face off against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots and it was the Pats coming away 24-10 winners at Gillette Stadium. The Purple Gang trailed 10-7 at the half, then were held to a third quarter field goal from Dan Bailey as the home team took the win. New England outrushed Minnesota 160-95 (Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook led all rushers with 84 yards), with James Delvin having a pair of rushing TDs, while Brady threw for 311 yards and a TD with an interception, while Kirk Cousins threw for 201 yards with a TD to WR Adam Thielen (Cousins was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions). Brady and New England was 7 of 14 on third down conversions in Foxboro (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 33:21, while the Vikings held on to the ball for 26:39, going 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Seattle put an end to San Francisco’s playoff hopes die in Seattle as the Seahawks took the 49ers 43-16 at Century Link Field in the Pacific Northwest. The Seahawks led their NFC West foes 20-6 at the intermission, then proceeded to outscore the 49ers 23-13 in the last 30 minutes of action in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and never looked back. Seattle outrushed San Francisco 168-66 and Nate Mullins threw for 414 yards and a pair of TDs to WR Dante Pettis but was sacked three times and picked off twice, while Wilson threw for 185 yards with four TDs and no interception (Wilson was sacked three times). San Francisco went 7 of 16 on third down (they were 1 for 2 on fourth down) and the 49ers actually ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 32:30, while the Seahawks were 4 for 9 on third down, keeping the ball for 27:30.

Seattle lead the series 9-5 (which includes games that were played in Bloomington, the Metrodome and the Kingdome), the Seahawks have outscored Minnesota 374-324 and they have won the last three regular season contests, including taking a 38-7 win in the Twin Cities in 2015, while the Vikings’ last win came in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks in 2009 by a final of 35-9.

Both teams have done reasonably well on Monday night; the Vikings are 29-31 (the Purple Gang won their two contests in last year’s play), while the Seahawks are 23-9, losing to Atlanta in their only MNF contest last year. Seattle’s favored by 3 1/2 in the Pacific Northwest and the over/under’s 45. Both of those numbers make a ton of sense and both teams are playoff contenders. Minnesota wants to put their day in New England behind them, while the Seahawks would love nothing more than to keep things going. You might want to tape “Bull” this week. Seattle covers the 3 1/2 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and takes the win at home.

While most of America are in shopping malls and making those Christmas list, there is still football to be played on Sunday and Monday. While three games are in the books, 12 more will take the stage on Sunday and Monday. There’s still football to be played and nothing’s been decided as far as a playoff spot or divisional title goes, so even teams like Cleveland have a chance to either make the post-season or have a say as to who does.

As the saying goes, “on any given Sunday…” That was the gospel last week as those teams that weren’t expected to win won. The first six games from last Sunday were decided by four points or less, so to say that things were close is a huge undestatement.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY

Baltimore rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson, who was selected with the 32nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, made his first-career start on Sunday and is the fifth rookie quarterback selected in the first round of the 2018 Draft to start a game this season, joining Arizona’s Josh Rosen, Buffalo’s Josh Allen, Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield and the New York Jets’ Sam Darnold.

This is the first season in NFL history in which five rookie quarterbacks selected in the first round of the same NFL Draft have started at least one game.

•New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees completed 22 of 30 passes (73.3 percent) for 363 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 153.2 passer rating in the Saints’ 48-7 victory over Philadelphia. Brees has 23 career games with at least four touchdown passes and zero interceptions, including two this season, surpassing New England’s Tom Brady (22) for the most such games by a quarterback in NFL history.

•Houston, led by rookie safety Justin Reid’s 101-yard interception-return touchdown in the second quarter, defeated Washington, 23-21, at FedExField. The Texans are the first team since 1970 to win seven consecutive games immediately following an 0-3 start to a season.

Reid’s 101-yard interception-return touchdown is tied for the second-longest interception-return touchdown by a rookie in NFL history, trailing only Pete Barnum’s 103-yard return for the Columbus Tigers in the team’s victory over the Canton Bulldogs on September 26, 1926.

Reid is the third player in franchise history with a 100+ yard touchdown, joining Andre Davis (104-yard kickoff-return touchdown vs. Jacksonville on December 30, 2007) and Marcus Coleman (102-yard interception-return touchdown at Kansas City on September 26, 2004).

•New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning completed 17 of 18 passes (94.4 percent) for 231 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 155.8 passer rating and rookie running back Saquon Barkley had 142 rushing yards and three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in the team’s 38-35 victory over Tampa Bay.

Manning’s 94.4 completion percentage ties Pro Football Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton (94.4 percent on November 13, 1977) and Craig Morton (94.4 percent on September 27, 1981) for the third-highest in a single game in NFL history (minimum 15 attempts). Only Alex Smith (94.7 percent on October 29, 2012) and Ryan Tannehill (94.7 percent on October 25, 2015) have recorded higher completion percentages in a single game (minimum 15 attempts).

Barkley has 1,268 scrimmage yards (728 rushing, 540 receiving) and 10 touchdowns (seven rushing, three receiving) in his first 10 career games. Barkley is the sixth player in NFL history to record at least 1,200 scrimmage yards and 10 touchdowns in their first 10 games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Eric Dickerson and Marshall Faulk and Ezekiel Elliott, Adrian Peterson and Billy Sims.

•Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck completed 23 of 29 passes (79.3 percent) for 297 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 143.8 passer rating in the Colts’ 38-10 victory over Tennessee.

Luck has thrown at least three touchdown passes in seven consecutive games, the third-longest streak in a single season in NFL history. Only Tom Brady (10 consecutive games in 2007) and Peyton Manning (eight consecutive games in 2004) have longer such streaks in a single season. Both Brady and Manning were named Associated Press Most Valuable Players in those seasons.

Luck has 161 touchdown passes in 80 career games and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marinno (182 touchdown passes) and Aaron Rodgers (160) as the only players in league history with at least 160 touchdown passes in their first 80 career games.

•Baltimore rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson recorded 267 total yards (150 passing, 117 rushing) in his first-career start and rookie running back Gus Edwards rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown in the Ravens’ 24-21 victory over Cincinnati.

Jackson and Edwards, who each recorded their first-career games with 100+ rushing yards, are the first pair of rookie quarterback and rookie running back teammates to rush for at least 100 yards each in a single game in NFL history.

On the team’s opening drive, Baltimore rushed 11 times without attempting a pass, punctuated by a seven-yard touchdown run by running back Alex Collins. Baltimore became the third team since 1999 to score a touchdown on an opening drive that featured at least 10 rushing plays without a pass attempt, joining the St. Louis Rams (December 27, 2004 vs. Philadelphia) and the Oakland Raiders (November 9, 2003 vs. New York Jets).

•Other notable performances from Sunday include:

◦Washington running back Adrian Peterson rushed for two touchdowns in the Redskins’ loss to Houston.

Peterson has 105 career rushing touchdowns and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer John Riggins (104) for the sixth-most rushing touchdowns in NFL history. The five players with more career rushing touchdowns are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Emmitt Smith (164), La Dainian Tomlinson (145), Marcus Allen (123), Walter Payton (110) and Jim Brown (106).

Peterson has 26 career games with two or more rushing touchdowns, the fourth-most such games in league annals, trailing only Tomlinson (38), Smith (36) and Brown (27).

◦Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott had 201 scrimmage yards (122 rushing, 79 receiving) and a rushing touchdown in the Cowboys’ 22-19 victory at Atlanta.

Elliott, who has 4,540 scrimmage yards and 32 touchdowns in 35 career games, joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (4,731 scrimmage yards, 38 touchdowns) and Edgerrin James (4,842 scrimmage yards, 38 touchdowns) as the only players in NFL history with at least 4,500 scrimmage yards and 30 touchdowns in their first 35 career games in NFL history.

◦Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers passed for 401 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for a 91.3 passer rating in the Chargers’ loss against Denver.

Rivers has thrown at least two touchdown passes in each of the Chargers’ first 10 games of the season and is the sixth quarterback in league history with two or more touchdown passes in each of his team’s first 10 games to start a season, joining Aaron Rodgers (13 consecutive games in 2011), Peyton Manning (13 in 2004), Pro Football Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas (12 in 1959), Tom Brady (10 in 2007) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marinno (10 in 1984). Four of the previous five quarterbacks to accomplish the feat – Brady, Manning, Marino and Rodgers – were named Associated Press Most Valuable Player in those seasons.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 12

TOP PASSER: New England quarterback Tom Brady has 79,133 passing yards and 576 touchdown passes in 300 career games, including the postseason.

Brady, who faces the New York Jets Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS, needs 147 passing yards and four touchdown passes to surpass Peyton Manning (79,279 passing yards and 579 touchdown passes) for the most passing yards and touchdown passes in NFL history, including the postseason.

The players with the most passing yards and touchdown passes, including the postseason, in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (PASSING YARDS; PASSING TOUCHDOWNS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (79,279; 579)
Tom Brady – New England (79,133; 576)

CONSISTENT COLTS: The Indianapolis Colts rank second in the NFL with only 10 sacks allowed this season and have not given up a sack in five consecutive games.

On Sunday against Miami at 4:25 p.m. on CBS, the Colts can become the fourth team to allow zero sacks in six consecutive games within a single season since 1963 when team sacks became an official statistic.

The teams with the most consecutive games without allowing a sack in a season since 1963:

TEAM, SEASON (CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITHOUT ALLOWING A SACK)

Miami, 1988 (12)
Washington , 1991 (8)
Miami, 1989 (7)
Indianapolis, 2018 (5)*
*Active streak

SACK MASTERS: Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers recorded a sack in Week 11 and has 158.5 sacks during his 17-year NFL career.

With two sacks on Sunday against Seattle at 1 p.m. on FOX, Peppers would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Kevin Green (160 sacks) for the third-most sacks since 1982 when the individual sack became an official statistic.

The players with the most sacks since 1982:

PLAYER – TEAMS (CAREER SACKS)
Bruce Smith – Buffalo and Washington (200)^
Reggie White – Philadelphia, Green Bay and Carolina (198)^
Kevin Green – Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh, Carolina and San Francisco (160)^
Julius Peppers – Carolina, Chicago and Green Bay (158.5)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

ROLLING RIVERS: Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers ties for third in the AFC with 23 touchdown passes this season and has thrown for at least 25 touchdowns in 10 consecutive seasons.

Rivers, who faces Arizona on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. on FOX, needs two touchdown passes to tie Drew Brees (11 consecutive seasons) for the second-longest streak of seasons with at least 25 touchdown passes in league annals.

The players with the most consecutive seasons with at least 25 touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (SEASONS, CONSECUTIVE SEASONS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis (1998-2010, 13)
Drew Brees – New Orleans (2006-16, 11)
Philip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers (2008-17, 10)*
*Active streak

NORTH STAR: Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS has thrown 26 touchdowns against zero interceptions for a 115.6 passer rating in his past 10 games against the NFC North.

Rodgers, who plays at Minnesota on Sunday Night Football at 8:20 p.m. on NBC, needs three touchdown passes without an interception to have the most consecutive touchdowns without an interception by a player against any division since 2002.

The players with the most consecutive touchdowns without an interception against any division since 2002:

PLAYER, TEAM VS. DIVISION (SEASONS, TOUCHDOWNS)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay vs. NFC North (2013-15, 28)
Drew Brees, New Orleans vs. NFC North (2009-14, 28)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay vs. NFC North (2016-present, 26)*
*Active streak

TOUCHDOWN BROWN: Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown ties for the league-lead with 11 touchdown receptions in 2018 and has recorded at least one touchdown catch in eight consecutive games.

With a touchdown reception on Sunday at Denver at 4:25 p.m. on CBS, Brown would tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth (nine consecutive games in 1963) and A.J. GREEN (nine consecutive games in 2012) for the third-longest streak of games with a touchdown catch within a single season in NFL history.

The players with the most consecutive games with a touchdown reception within a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON, CONSECUTIVE GAMES)
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (1987, 12)^
Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch, Los Angeles Rams (1951, 10)^
A.J. Green, Cincinnati (2012, 9)
Lance Alworth, San Diego (1963, 9)^
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2018, 8)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Active streak

MAGIC MIKE: Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evansleads the Buccaneers with 957 receiving yards this season.

Evans, who plays against San Francisco on Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX, can join Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (six consecutive seasons) and A.J. Green (five consecutive seasons) as the only players in NFL history with at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first five seasons.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, CONSECUTIVE 1,000+ REC. YARD SEASONS TO BEGIN CAREER)
Randy Moss, Minnesota (1998-2003, 6)^
A.J. Green, Cincinnati (2011-15, 5)
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay (2014-17, 4)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Has 957 receiving yards in fifth season

Byes in week 12? Kansas City and the Los Angeles Rams are the last two teams that will have byes in the 2018 campaign. Buffalo, Cleveland, Miami, New England, the New York Jets and San Francisco return to action this week. Last week was probably our worst. week. ever, going 4-9 for the week. For the year? 96-61. If it was time to have a bad week, it would be last week. As for the Rams? while they have a bye, they can win the NFC West if Carolina and Cam Newton defeats the Seattle Seahawks in Charlotte on Sunday afternoon.

Week 12 got underway on Thanksgiving Day as there were three games on the docket that day with Chicago, Dallas and New Orleans taking wins and ends in the Lone Star State as a pair of AFC South rivals meet in Houston when the Texans host Tennessee at NRG Stadium.

While the rest of America gets their Christmas shopping started, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 12.

Oakland (2-8) at Baltimore (5-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. The Silver and Black travel to the East Coast for an early morning contest (10 a.m. in Oakland) to square off against the Baltimore Ravens in Charm City. Both clubs are coming off big close wins in last week’s contest.

Oakland erased a 21-20 deficit late in their contest at Arizona last Sunday to come away 23-21 last-second winners in Glendale. Tied 14-14 at the intermission, the Raiders would take a 20-14 lead into the fourth quarter before the Desert Angry Birds would reclaim it in the fourth when QB Josh Rosen and All-Pro WR Larry Fitzgerald connected on a 5-yard TD toss with 5:02 left in regulation. After the team traded the ball late in the fourth, Oakland would get it back with 1:53 left after Arizona punted the ball to them. Oakland would then use all of that 1:53 to move their way down the field to set up the game-winning kick by Dan Carlson from 35 yards out as the clock struck :00. Arizona’s David Johnson led all rushers with 137 yards as the Cardinals barely outrushed Oakland 154-152 and Derek Carr threw for 192 yards with four sacks, while Rosen threw for 136 yards for Arizona with a sack and a pair of interceptions (both threw a pair of TDs, with Rosen connecting with Fitzgerald on both tosses). Oakland went 5 for 15 on third down and kept the ball for 36:01 (including the final 1:53 of the contest), while the Desert Angry Birds went 3 for 11 on third down, holding on to the ball for 23:59 (neither team had a fourth down try).

Baltimore gave the Cincinnati Bengals their third loss in their last four games as Ravens’ K Jeff Tucker broke a 21-21 tie with a 24-yard field goal with 8:12 left in the contest to take a 24-21 AFC North win in Charm City last Sunday. Baltimore led 13-6 at the half, then the Bengals took a 14-13 lead with 11:46 left in the third quarter when QB Andy Dalton and TE Matt Lengel connected on a 4-yard toss. Dalton would then connect with WR John Ross to take their lead to 21-13 with 5:45 left in the quarter. Baltimore would then tie the contest with 63 seconds left in the third when rookie RB Gus Edwards scored from 11 yards out and then scored on the two-point conversion to tie the contest. Tucker would then give the Ravens the lead back for keeps with the field goal and Baltimore would hold off the Bengals the rest of the contest to take the win. Edwards ran for 115 yards for the Ravens, while rookie QB Lamar Jackson (who took over for the injured Joe Flacco) led all rushers with 117 yards and threw for 150. Baltimore outrushed Cincinnati 265-48 and Dalton threw for 211 yards with the pair of TDs in the AFC North contest. The Bengals went 6 of 14 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 21:51, while the Ravens would be ball hogs and keep the ball for 38:09, going 8 for 16 on third down (both clubs were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

Baltimore leads the series 7-3 and the Ravens have outscored the Silver and Black 267-175. Baltimore last win came last year in Oakland by a final of 30-17, while Oakland’s last win came in 2016 in Charm City, as the Raiders came away 28-27 winners.

They met in week five on the Eastern side of San Francisco Bay and the Ravens led from start to finish, taking a 24-10 lead at the intermssion. Baltimore outrushed Oakland 143-108 and Flacco threw for 222 yards, while Oakland’s Eric Manuel threw for 159 yards and a TD to Michael Crabtree but was sacked three times (neither man threw an interception). Both clubs were 50 percent on third down (Baltimore at 7 of 14, Oakland 6 of 12) and the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:43 to Oakland’s 26:17.

In the week five West Coast contest, the Raiders were favored by 2 1/2 and the Ravens covered, winning by 13 and both teams took care of the 39 over/under, tallying 47 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Ravens as 10 1/2-point favorites in Charm City with a 42 1/2 Over/under. The 42 1/2? It’s reasonable. The 10 1/2? Sounds likes someone spiked the egg nog. Baltimore wins this one but expect the Raiders to make it somewhat closer than the 10 1/2.

Jacksonville (3-7) at Buffalo (5-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of AFC teams that met in the Sunshine State in last year’s Wild Card game meet again in upstate New York as the Jacksonville Jaguars meet Buffalo in an early afternoon contest along the shores of Lake Erie.

The Jaguars watched Pittsburgh erase a 16-6 lead after three quarters as the Steelers scored 14 fourth quarter points unchalleged to take a 20-16 win out of TIAA Stadium last Sunday. Jacksonville led 9-0 at the break, thanks to three Josh Lambo field goals, then got a 2-yard run from RB Leonard Fournette in the third quarter to round out the scoring. It would be the last time that Jacksonville would see the scoreboard as Pittsburgh would chip away at the lead with 2:28 left as Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and TE Vance McDonald connected on an 11-yard TD strike to make it a 16-13 contest. Roethlisberger would later take matters into his own hands and feet as he would score on a 1-yard run with 5 seconds left. After the play was reviewed and confirmed, Jacksonville would get the ball back and had the ball at their 25-yard line but could not get set up for what would have been the game-winning score when Blake Bortles was sacked by T.J. Watt to end the contest. Jacksonville outrushed Pittsburgh 179-26 and Fournette led all rushers with 95 yards and Bortles throwing for 104 yards with six sacks, while Roethlisberger threw for 314 yards and a pair of TDs (connecting with WR Antonio Brown on the other toss) and was picked off three times and sacked twice. Pittsburgh was 3 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 22:20, while the Jaguars ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 37:40, going 6 for 18 on third down (the Steelers were 0 for 2 on fourth down).

Buffalo led the New York Jets 31-3 at Met Life Stadium two Sundays ago and took their AFC East rivals from upstate New York to the woodshed, coming out on top 41-10 to break their four-game losing streak. Bills backup QB Matt Barkley burned GangGreen for 232 yards and a pair of TDs, while Buffalo RB LeSean McCoy ran for 113 yards and a pair of rushing TDs in the lopsided contest. Buffalo outrushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 212-83, while Josh McCown threw for 135 yards with three sacks and a pair of interceptions (Barkley was sacked once but did not throw an interception). GangGreen was 1 for 12 on third down tries (they were 2 for 3 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 20:38, while the Bills ruled the clock and kept the ball for 39:22, while they went 8 of 16 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Bills lead the series 8-6 and Buffalo has outscored Jacksonville 314-299. The Bills came away 28-21 winners in upstate New York in 2016, while Jacksonville’s last win in regular season play came on the other side of the Atlantic as they would win 34-31 in London.

They did meet in the AFC Wild Card game in Jacksonville’s Everbank Stadium (now TIAA Stadium) and the Jaguars, the defending AFC South champs, came away 10-3 winners. Tied 3-3 at the break, thanks to field goals from Buffalo’s Stephen Hauschka and Jacksonville’s Josh Lambo, Jacksonville’s Ben Koyack would score the only TD in the contest when he and Blake Bortles connected on a 1-yard toss late in the third quarter. Jacksonville would then hold off a late Bills rally that would have given them the win to take back to upstate New York. Jacksonville outrushed Buffalo 155-130 and while Bortles threw for only 87 yards with a sack and no interceptions, he led all rushers with 88 yards (LeSean McCoy led Buffalo with 75). Buffalo was 7 of 18 on third down and actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:37, while the Jagauars kept the pigskin for 27:23, while going 2 for 12 on third down (both teams were 1 for 1 on fourth down).

In the Wild Card contest, while the Jaguars were favored by 8, they would wind up winning by 7. As for the 39 1/2 over/under? It was untouched, like a bad piece of Christmas fruitcake, as both teams merged for 13 ponits. Jacksonville’s favored again in upstate New York, this time by 3 and the over/under’s 37 1/2. Both numbers are reasonsable and both are looking to go back to the post-season party. Buffalo broke their four-game losing streak in the Meadowlands, while the Jaguars look to break their six-game losing streak. Jaguars put their losing streak out of their misery and takes the win in upstate New York, covering the 3.

Seattle (5-5) at Carolina (6-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. Cam Newton and the Panthers welcome Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks as the two NFC foes meet in the Tar Heel State.

Seattle survived a late Green Bay scare last Thursday night in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks to take a 27-24 win over the Packers at Century Link Field. The Seahawks trailed Aaron Rodgers and the Packers 21-17 at the half and after a scoreless third quarter, Seattle would reclaim the lead, scoring 10 fourth quarter points without a challenge. Seattle outrushed Green Bay 173-48, while Wilson threw for 225 yards and Rodgers threw for 332 (Rodgers was sacked five times, Wilson was sacked three; both men threw a pair of TD passes with no interceptions). Seattle went 6 of 15 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 34:18 (including the final 4:11 of the game; Seattle went 2 for 2 on fourth down), while the Packers were 3 for 11 on third down tries, keeping the ball for 25:42.

Detroit survived a scare from Newton and Carolina, as the Panthers dropped a 20-19 decision at Ford Field last Sunday. Leading 10-7 at the half, Detroit survived a late fourth quarter rally by the Panthers, as Carolina outscored Detroit 12-10 in the last 30 minutes of play, holding off a two-point conversion by Newton that would have given the Panthers the lead. Neither club breached the 100-yard mark in the contest but Detroit outrushed Carolina 94-56 and Detroit’s Matthew  Stafford threw for 220 yards and a TD to WR Kenny Golladay, while Newton threw for 357 yards and three TDs, connecting with Greg Olson on one of those tosses (Newton was sacked three times and threw and interception, while Stafford was sacked once). Detroit went 4 for 12 on third down tries in the Motor City and held the ball for 31:40, while the Panthers kept the ball for 28:20, going 5 for 11 on third down.

Seattle leads the series 6-3 and the Seahawks have outscored Carolina 171-132. Seattle won the last meeting, taking a 40-7 win in 2016 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, while Carolina’s last win came in 2015 in the Pacific Northwest by a final of 27-23. Carolina’s favored by 3 1/2 at Bank of America Stadium and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Both clubs are trying to earn playoff spots and catch New Orleans and the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC South and West, respectively. Carolina’s lost their last two contests and would like a win at home to right their ship and the same can be said for Seattle. Carolina’s finer at home and covers the 3 1/2 in the Tar Heel State.

Cleveland (3-6-1) at Cincinnati (5-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 701. A pair of Buckeye State and AFC North rivals meet along the shores of the Ohio River as the Cincinnati Bengals host Cleveland at Paul Brown Stadium. While the Browns are coming off their bye week, the Bengals return home after a road loss in Baltimore.

Cleveland returns from their bye after the Browns gave Gregg Williams take his first win as interim head coach by beating Atlanta 28-16 at FirstEnergy Field. Atlanta led 10-7 with 5:04 left before the intermission after Ryan and WR Julio Jones connected on a 1-yard TD toss, In surpassing their win total from 2017 (0) Cleveland would take the lead back and for keeps when RB Nick Chubb and rookie QB Baker Mayfield connected on a 13-yard toss with 55 seconds left to take a 14-10 lead with them to the intermission. Mayfield, who completed his first 13 pass attempts, was not finished as he would connect with RB Duke Johnson on an 11-yard TD toss late in the third quarter. Chubb would not be outdone, as the Falcons thought they had the Browns pinned deep in their territory after a punt. Such was not the case, as Chubb would dash his way into history with the longest rush by a Browns RB since 1952, scampering 92 yards for the score that would all but put things out of reach for Atlanta.

The Falcons would have two more chances to score and eventually did, when Ryan and TE Austin Hooper connected on a 3-yard pass with 4:24 left in regulation. Atlanta then went for the 2-point conversion but Cleveland was successful in stopping the try. Atlanta found themselves outrushed 211-71 with Chubb doing the majority of the damage, leading all rushers with 176 yards on 20 carries. Ryan outpaced the rookie Mayfield, throwing for 330 yards and the two TD tosses, while Mayfield threw for 216 yards with three TDs (neither man threw an interception and Ryan was sacked twice). Atlanta was 5 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down conversions and actually ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 31:23, while Cleveland kept the pigskin for 28:37, going 4 for 8 on third down.

The Bengals dropped their third game out of four as they watched Baltimore K Jeff Tucker break a 21-21 tie with 8:12 left in the contest to fall 24-21 in Charm City last Sunday. Cincinnati trailed 13-6 at the half, then took a 14-13 lead with 11:46 left in the third quarter when QB Andy Dalton and TE Matt Lengel connected on a 4-yard toss. Dalton would then connect with WR John Ross to take their lead to 21-13 with 5:45 left in the quarter. Baltimore would then tie the contest with 63 seconds left in the third when rookie RB Gus Edwards scored from 11 yards out and then scored on the two-point conversion to tie the contest. Tucker would then give the Ravens the lead back for keeps with the field goal and Baltimore would hold off the Bengals the rest of the contest to take the win. Edwards ran for 115 yards for the Ravens, while rookie QB Lamar Jackson (who took over for the injured Joe Flacco) led all rushers with 117 yards and threw for 150. Baltimore outrushed Cincinnati 265-48 and Dalton threw for 211 yards with the pair of TDs in the AFC North contest. The Bengals went 6 of 14 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 21:51, while the Ravens would be ball hogs and keep the ball for 38:09, going 8 for 16 on third down (both clubs were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

Cincinnati leads the series 50-39 (which includes contests that were played at Riverfront Stadium and Cleveland Munincipal Stadium), the Bengals have outscored Cleveland 1,948-1,745 and the Bengals have won the last seven meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Cleveland’s last win? A 24-3 win in Cincinnati in 2014).

Meeting one… week four in Cleveland at First Energy Field. After a scoreless first quarter, the Bengals went on to score all 31 of their points unchalleged as tney took down Cleveland 31-7. Cincinnati was never threatened in the contest and led 21-0 at the intermission, giving up Cleveland’s only points in the fourth quarter when Browns RB Duke Johnson scored from a yard out with 1:54 left in the contest. Cincinnati outrushed Cleveland 86-45 and Dalton threw for 286 yards with four TDs and no interceptions, while Cleveland’s DeShaun Kizer threw for 118 yards with an interception and a sack (Dalton was sacked three times). The Bengals were 6 for 11 on third down and held on to the ball for 35:02, while the Browns held the pigskin for 24:58, going 5 for 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

That was round one.

Round two… week 12 at Paul Brown Stadium and for the Bengals it was second verse, same as the first. Cincinanti came away 30-16 winners along the shores of the Ohio River on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Cincinnati led 16-3 at the break, then proceeded to floor the gas, outscoring the winless Browns 14-10 in the final 30 minutes of action at home. Cleveland did have a better time of it offensively, outrushed their downstate neighbors 169-152 (Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD) and Kizer threw for 268 yards, while Dalton threw for 214 yards with a pair of TDs (neither man threw an interception, Kizer was sacked three times, Dalton was sacked once). The Bengals went 4 for 10 on third down tries and once again ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:32, while the Browns were 6 of 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down and they would keep the pigskin for 29:28.

In the week four contest along the shore of Lake Erie, Cincinnati, who was favored, easily covered the 3-point spread, winning by 24 but the  40 over/under was barely missed, as both teams merged for 38 points. In the week 12 contest on the shores of the Ohio River, the Bengals were favored by 8 1/2 and they covered with their 14-point win. This time around, the two teams did cover the over/under (which was 38) by scoring 46 points. Cincinnati’s the darlings of the odds makers in Vegas and they’re favored by 3 and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Both numbers make a lot of sense. The Browns are coming off a huge win over Atlanta at home, while Cincinnati’s trying to right their ship in the AFC North. Cleveland’s bubble is about to get popped. Bengals cover the 3 and win at home at Paul Brown.

New England (7-3) at New York Jets (3-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of AFC East rivals coming off byes meet in the Meadowlands as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots make their way to upstate New Jersey for an afternoon contest at Met Life Stadium with the New York Jets.

Titans head coach Mike Vrabel became the second former player/coach under Patriots head coach Bill Belicheck to beat their former mentor (Detroit’s Matt Patrica was the other) to beat their mentor this season, as Tennessee took care of Tom Brady and New England 34-10 at Nissan Stadium last Sunday. The Titans led 24-10 at the half, then shutout New England in the final 30 minutes of action in the Music City to take the win. Tennessee outrushed New England 150-40 and kept Brady out of the TD column (Brady threw for 254 yards with no sacks or interceptions), while Mariota threw for 228 yards with a pair of TDs and a pair of sacks. Tennessee went 5 for 12 on third down and held on to the ball for 32:57, while the Pats were 3 for 15 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down tries, keeping the ball for 27:03.

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! trailed Buffalo 31-3 at Met Life Stadium two Sundays ago and fell to their AFC East rivals from upstate New York 41-10. Bills backup QB Matt Barkley burned GangGreen for 232 yards and a pair of TDs, while Buffalo RB LeSean McCoy ran for 113 yards and a pair of rushing TDs in the lopsided contest. Buffalo outrushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 212-83, while Josh McCown threw for 135 yards with three sacks and a pair of interceptions (Barkley was sacked once but did not throw an interception). GangGreen was 1 for 12 on third down tries (they were 2 for 3 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 20:38, while the Bills ruled the clock and kept the ball for 39:22, while they went 8 of 16 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

New England leads the series 61-53-1, which includes games that were played at Shea Stadium, Fenway Park and Schafer Stadium and the Jets were known as the Titans, the Pats have outscored GangGreen 2,629-2,393 and New England has won the last four contests in the series, including a sweep of last year’s series (New York’s last win came in 2015 in the Meadowlands, when they would need overtime to come away 26-20 winners).

Week six at Met Life… round one. New England broke a 14-14 tie at the intermission and came away 24-17 winners in the Meadowlands. The Pats would hold off a late Jets rally in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Brady threw for 257 yards with a pair of TDs to TE Rob Gronkowski, while Josh McCown also had a pair of TD passes to go with 354 yards of passing (McCown was sacked four times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Brady threw a pack but was not sacked). Both clubs did reasonably well on third down tries in upstate New Jersey (New England went 7 for 13, GangGreen was 9 of 17 and went 1 of 3 on fourth down) and the J-E-T-s! JETS! JETS! JETS! ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:40 to New England’s 26:20.

New England made it a clean sweep in Foxboro in week 17 as both teams closed out the regular season at Gillette Stadium with the Pats coming away 26-6 winners. New England led 21-3 at the intermission and took control of things in the second half, holding GangGreen to a Chris Catanzaro field and sealing New York’s fate when Bryce Petty was sacked in the endzone for a safety in the fourth quarter. New England outrushed the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 147-40 and Brady threw for 190 yards and a pair of TDs (Petty was sacked four times, including the sack for a safety, while Brady was sacked twice; neither man threw an interception). As good as they were in the first meeting on third downs, both clubs struggled in the season finale in Foxboro (GangGreen was a dismal 0 for 12, while New England wasn’t much better, going 4 for 15; both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and this time, New England ruled the clock and kept the ball for 34:49 to New York’s 25:11.

In the week six contest in the Meadowlands, New England was favored by 9 1/2 but won by only 7 and the 47 1/2 over/under stayed in tact, as both teams combined for only 41 points. In the season finale in Foxboro, New England easily covered the W 15-point spread, winning by 20. The 45 over/under? It was untouched, with both teams scoring 32 points. The odds makers like New England as a 9 1/2-point favorite with a 46 over/under. While GangGreen’s struggled of late, they’re not 9 1/2 points bad. They’ll give New England a fight but the Pats prevail in upstate New Jersey.

New York Giants (3-7) at Philadelphia (4-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of NFC East foes meet in the City of Brotherly Love as the New York Giants travel to Lincoln Financial Field for a date with Carson Wentz and the defending Super Bowl champs.

Big Blue gave Tampa Bay their third loss in a row after Eli and the Giants went on to hold off the Buccaneers 38-35 in the Meadowlands last Sunday. The Giants led 24-14 after three quarters of play (they led 14-7 at the half) before the Buccaneers would go on to rule the fourth quarter, outscoring the Giants 21-14 in the period. Tampa Bay would make the contest a 3-point affair with 2:22 left in regulation when Jameis Winston (who will start against San Francisco) and Mike Evans connected on a 41-yard TD toss. The Bucs then went for the onside kick, the Giants recovered and put an end to Tampa Bay’s hopes for a win. Winston, who took over for Ryan Fitzpatrick (167 yards, three interceptions) threw for 199 yards and a pair of TDs. New York outrushed Tampa Bay 163-151, with Sequan Barkley rushing for 142 yards and a pair of TDs, while Tampa Bay’s Peyton Barber tallying 106 yards and a rushing TD. Tampa Bay went 6 for 9 on third down and 1 for 2 on fourth down and actually ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 32:07, while the Giants kept the pigskin for 27:53, going 4 for 9 on third down.

The defending Super Bowl champs were taken to task by New Orleans in the Big Easy 48-7 at the Superdome, suffering the worst loss by a defending Super Bowl champ in the modern era. Philadelphia trailed 24-7 at the half and then Eagles fans watched helplessly as the Saints proceeded to shutout Philadelphia 24-0 in the final 30 minutes of play. New Orleans easily outrushed Philadelphia 173-58 and Saints RB Mark Ingram ran for 103 yards and a pair of TDs, while Brees threw for 363 yards with four TDs, no sacks or interceptions. The Saints defense made life less than enjoyable for Eagles QB Carson Wentz, who threw for 156 yards with three sacks and three interceptions in the lopsided affair. New Orleans went 6 for 11 on third down (the Saints were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:34, while the Eagles were 3 for 10 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 22:26.

They met in the Meadowlands in week six and the Eagles would come away 34-16 winners. The defending Super Bowl champs led 31- 6 at the intermission and never looked back to seal the road win. There were two bright spot for the Giants. Spot number one? They outrushed Philadelphia 147-108 (Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 130 yards and a TD) and Manning threw for 281 yards, while Wentz threw for 278 yards with three TDs (two to Alshon Jeffery, Manning was sacked four times and threw an interception, while Wentz was sacked once without a pick). Philadelphia was 9 for 16 on third down at Met Life Stadium and kept the ball for 32:30, while Big Blue held the ball for 27:30, going 4 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week six contest, Philadelphia’s 21-point Thursday night win in the Meadowlands allowed them to easily cover the 3-point spread and the 47 combined points allowed both clubs to cover the 44 over/under. Philly’s favored by 6 in the City of Brotherly Love and the over/under’s 46. The Giants are trying to keep their heads above water, while the Eagles are trying to erase the bad taste of a 41-point loss to New Orleans out of their mouths. FLY EAGLES FLY! The champs bounce back at home and cover the 6.

San Francisco (2-8) at Tampa Bay (3-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of struggling last-place teams meet in the Sunshine State as Tampa Bay hosts the San Francisco 49ers at Raymond James Stadium.

San Francisco watched the New York Giants end a five-game losing streak as their guests would take a 27-23 come-from-behind win over the 49ers two Monday nights ago at Levis’ Stadium. New York trailed 13-10 at the break, then proceeded to chip away at the deficit and came away with the win when Manning and WR Sterling Shepard connected on a 3-yard TD toss with 53 seconds left in the contest, erasing a 23-20 deficit. San Francisco outrushed Big Blue 124-97 with 49ers RB Matt Breida led all rushers with 101 yards and a TD, while Giants RB Sequan Barkley ran for 67 yards in the contest. Manning threw for 188 yards and three TDs, connecting with WR Odell Beckham, Jr. on two of the passes as well as Shepard’s game-winner, while San Francisco’s Nate Mullens threw for 250 yards with a TD and a pair of interceptions (Manning was sacked once without an interception). The Giants were 5 of 12 on third down tries in the Monday night West Coast contest and kept the ball for 25:46, while the 49ers kept the ball for 34:14, going 8 for 13 on third down tries (neither club had a fourth down attempt).

Tampa Bay lost their third contest in a row after their 38-35 loss to Eli Manning and the New York Giants in the Meadowlands last Sunday. The Giants led 24-14 after three quarters of play (they led 14-7 at the half) before the Buccaneers would go on to rule the fourth quarter, outscoring the Giants 21-14 in the period. Tampa Bay would make the contest a 3-point affair with 2:22 left in regulation when Jameis Winston (who will start against San Francisco) and Mike Evans connected on a 41-yard TD toss. The Bucs then went for the onside kick, the Giants recovered and put an end to Tampa Bay’s hopes for a win. Winston, who took over for Ryan Fitzpatrick (167 yards, three interceptions) threw for 199 yards and a pair of TDs. New York outrushed Tampa Bay 163-151, with Sequan Barkley rushing for 142 yards and a pair of TDs, while Tampa Bay’s Peyton Barber tallying 106 yards and a rushing TD. Tampa Bay went 6 for 9 on third down and 1 for 2 on fourth down and actually ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 32:07, while the Giants kept the pigskin for 27:53, going 4 for 9 on third down.
The 49ers lead the series 17-5 and have outscored Tampa Bay 511-329. Both teams took their last wins in the other team’s facility; Tampa Bay’s last win came in San Francisco in 2016 by a final of 34-17, while San Francisco’s last win came in 2014 in the Sunshine State by a final of 33-14. Tampa Bay’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 55. We wouldn’t blame you if you begged your wife or significant other to take you to Victoria’s Secret and miss this one. San Francisco pulls the upset on the road in the Sunshine State and cover the 3 1/2.

Arizona (4-6) at Los Angeles Chargers (7-3), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A struggling Arizona Cardinal team comes to the West Coast for a late afternoon meeting with the Los Angeles Chargers at Stub Hub Centre. Both enter the contest with home losses under their belts.

Arizona watched Oakland erase a 21-20 deficit late in their contest last Sunday, falling to the Raiders 23-21 in the final seconds in Glendale. Tied 14-14 at the intermission, Oakland took a 20-14 lead into the fourth quarter before the Desert Angry Birds reclaimed it in the fourth when QB Josh Rosen and All-Pro WR Larry Fitzgerald connected on a 5-yard TD toss with 5:02 left in regulation. After the team traded the ball late in the fourth, Oakland would get it back with 1:53 left after Arizona punted the ball to them. Oakland would then use all of that 1:53 to move their way down the field to set up the game-winning kick by Dan Carlson from 35 yards out as the clock struck :00. Arizona’s David Johnson led all rushers with 137 yards as the Cardinals barely outrushed Oakland 154-152 and Derek Carr threw for 192 yards with four sacks, while Rosen threw for 136 yards for Arizona with a sack and a pair of interceptions (both threw a pair of TDs, with Rosen connecting with Fitzgerald on both tosses). Oakland went 5 for 15 on third down and kept the ball for 36:01 (including the final 1:53 of the contest), while the Desert Angry Birds went 3 for 11 on third down, holding on to the ball for 23:59 (neither team had a fourth down try).

The Chargers saw their six-game win streak come to an end last Sunday at Stub Hub Centre as Denver erased a 2-point deficit and lost 23-22 to the Broncos in an AFC West affair on the West Coast. Leading 19-14 at the end of three quarters (the Chargers led 13-7 at the half), Rivers and the Chargers watched Denver chip away at their lead and trailed 20-19 with 12:17 when Denver RB Phillip Lindsay scored from a couple of yards away. Denver missed the extra point, which gave the Chargers a chance to reclaim the lead, which they did when K Mike Badgley booted a 30-yard field goal with 6:47. Denver and Los Angeles would trade possession of the ball after that and the Broncos would get the ball with 1:51 left in regulation. Denver would use all of that 1:51 that was left, taking a 7-play, 76-yard drive to set up the winning score when Brad McManus sent a 34-yard try through the uprights to take the win on the road. Denver outrushed the Chargers 108-95 and Rivers threw for 401 yards and a pair of TDs (Rivers was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions), while Denver’s Case Keenum threw for 205 yards (while Keenum did not have a TD pass, he was not sacked and did not throw an interception). Los Angeles went 9 for 15 on third down tries abd held on to the ball for 37:49, while the Broncos, who kept the pigskin for 22:11 (including the final 1:51), went 3 for 10 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Including contests that took place when the Chargers were in San Diego and the Cardinals were in St. Louis, Los Angeles leads the series 9-4 and the Chargers have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 322-267. Arizona won the last meeting with the Chargers, coming out on top 18-17 in the desert in 2014, while the Chargers’ last win came in 2010 at Qualcomm Stadium by a final of 41-10. The Chargers are favored by 12 and the over/under’s 45. The 45 is reasonable. The 12 is a bit over-generous. While Arizona’s bad, they’re not 12 points bad. The Desert Angry Birds will cause problems for the Bolts but the Chargers prevail on the West Coast and takes the win at home.

Pittsburgh (7-2-1) at Denver (4-6), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. Roethlisberger vs. Keenum. A pair of AFC foes meet in the Mile High City as the Steelers travel to Denver for a late-afternoon contest with the Broncos. Both teams took last-second road wins in last week’s action.

Pittsburgh avenged a pair of losses against Jacksonville from last year’s action (a regular season loss and a Divisional loss, both in Pittsubrgh), as the Steelers erased a 16-6 deficit after three quarters at Jacksonville as the Steelers scored 14 fourth quarter points unchalleged to take a 20-16 win out of TIAA Stadium last Sunday. Thanks to three Josh Lambo field goals, the Steelrs trailed Jacksonville led 9-0 at the break, with the Jaguars adding a 2-yard run from RB Leonard Fournette in the third quarter to round out the scoring. From then on, it would be the Ben Roethlisberger show as he and TE Vance McDonald connected on an 11-yard TD toss to narrow the gap to 16-13 with 2:28 left in regulation. Roethlisberger then took matters into his own hands and feet as he would score on a 1-yard run with 5 seconds left to give the Steelers the lead. After the play was reviewed and confirmed, Jacksonville would get the ball back and had the ball at their 25-yard line but could not get set up for what would have been the game-winning score when Blake Bortles was sacked by T.J. Watt to end the contest. Jacksonville outrushed Pittsburgh 179-26 and Fournette led all rushers with 95 yards and Bortles throwing for 104 yards with six sacks, while Roethlisberger threw for 314 yards and a pair of TDs (connecting with WR Antonio Brown on the other toss) and was picked off three times and sacked twice. Pittsburgh was 3 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 22:20, while the Jaguars ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 37:40, going 6 for 18 on third down (the Steelers were 0 for 2 on fourth down).

Denver broke the six-game win streak of the Los Angeles Chargers at Stub Hub Centre, erasing a 2-point deficit and coming away 23-22 final second winners in an AFC West affair on the West Coast. Denver trailed 19-14 at the end of three quarters (they trailed 13-7 at the half), then chipped away at Philip Rivers and the Chargers lead, trailing 20-19 with 12:17 when Denver RB Phillip Lindsay scored from a couple of yards away. Denver missed the extra point, which gave the Chargers a chance to reclaim the lead, which they did when K Mike Badgley booted a 30-yard field goal with 6:47. Denver and Los Angeles would trade possession of the ball after that and the Broncos would get the ball with 1:51 left in regulation. Denver would use all of that 1:51 that was left, taking a 7-play, 76-yard drive to set up the winning score when Brad McManus sent a 34-yard try through the uprights to take the win on the road. Denver outrushed the Chargers 108-95 and Rivers threw for 401 yards and a pair of TDs (Rivers was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions), while Denver’s Case Keenum threw for 205 yards (while Keenum did not have a TD pass, he was not sacked and did not throw an interception). Los Angeles went 9 for 15 on third down tries abd held on to the ball for 37:49, while the Broncos, who kept the pigskin for 22:11 (including the final 1:51), went 3 for 10 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Including contests at Mile High Stadium and Three Rivers Stadium, the Broncos lead the series 14-8-1 and have outscored the Steelers 516-488. Pittsburgh won their last meeting, taking a 34-27 win at Heinz Field in 2015, while Denver’s last win came in the Mile High City, with the Broncos coming away 31-19 winners in 2012. Pittsburgh’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 47. Both numbers are reasonable and while Denver’s played some decent football, they haven’t been great. Pittsburgh covers the 3 in the Rockies and wins on the road.

Miami (5-5) at Indianapolis (5-5), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. A pair of .500 teams in contention meet in the Hoosier State as Miami makes their way to Indianapolis for a meeting with Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.

The Dolphins return from their bye week after their 31-12 loss to Green Bay at Lambeau Gield. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers led 14-9 at the half, then floored the gas in the second half, outpacing the Dolphins 17-3 in the final 30 minutes of play. Green Bay out-rushed Miami 195-131 with Packers RB Aaron Jones leading all rushers with 145 yards and a pair of TDs (Miami was paced by Frank Gore, who ran for 90 yards), while Rodgers threw for 199 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions, despite being sacked twice (Brock Osweiler led Miami with 213 yards of passing with six sacks and an interception). Green Bay went 4 for 10 on third down tries in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:57, while Miami ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 32:03, while going 4 for 14 on third down, 3 of 4 on fourth down.

After losing four in a row, the Colts won four in a row, taking down Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans 38-10 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Luck and the Colts took a 24-3 lead at the break and never looked back, proceeding to outscore the Titans 14-7 in the final 30 minutes of action. Indy outrushed Tennessee 102-87 and Luck threw for 297 yards with three TDs and no sacks or interceptions, while Mariota threw for 85 yards with four sacks and a pick before being replaced by Blaine Gabbert, who threw for 118 yards and a TD (Gabbert threw an interception and was sacked once). The Colts went 5 of 10 on third down conversions at Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday and kept the ball for 31:16, while Tennessee kept the pigskin for 28:44, going 6 for 14 on third down (neither had a fourth down try).

Including contests that took place in Baltimore and at the old Orange Bowl, the Dolphins lead the series 45-26 and have outscored the Colts 1,595-1,231. Each team took road wins in their last meetings in the series; Miami’s last win came in the Hoosier State by a final of 24-20 in 2013, while Indianapolis’ last win came in the Sunshine State by a final of 18-12 in 2015. The Colts are a 9 1/2-point favorite and the over/under’s 50 1/2. While both teams are looking to make the post-season, one of them will take a stumble and we think it’s the Colts. Miami may not cover the 9 1/2 but they do take the win on the road.

Green Bay (4-5-1) at Minnesota (5-4-1), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of NFC North rivals take to the field in the Land of 10,000 Lakes as Green Bay and Minnesota meet in a week two rematch at US Bank Stadium. Both teams took close losses on the road as they chase Chicago for first place in the divison.

Green Bay lost their third game of their last four last Thursday night in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks as Seattle went on to take a 27-24 win over the Packers at Century Link Field. Green Bay and Rodgers led Seattle 21-17 at the half and after a scoreless third quarter before the Seahawks reclaimed the lead, scoring 10 fourth quarter points without a challenge. Seattle outrushed Green Bay 173-48, while Russell Wilson threw for 225 yards and Rodgers threw for 332 (Rodgers was sacked five times, Wilson was sacked three; both men threw a pair of TD passes with no interceptions). Seattle went 6 of 15 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 34:18 (including the final 4:11 of the game; Seattle went 2 for 2 on fourth down), while the Packers were 3 for 11 on third down tries, keeping the ball for 25:42.

Mitch Trubisky and Da Bears survived a scare from Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday night at Soldier Field, coming away 25-20 winners in the Windy City. Chicago led 14-3 at the intermission in the NFC North contest before the Vikings would go on in the final 30 minutes to outscore Da Bears 20-11. Trubisky threw for 165 yards with a TD and a pair of interceptions, while Cousins threw for 262 yards with a pair of TDs (Cousins threw a pair of interceptions and was sacked twice, Trubisky was sacked once) in the contest. Chicago outrushed Minnesota 148-22 and went 6 for 12 on third down and kept the ball for 34:29, while the Purple Gang went 5 for 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 25:31.

They met at Lambeau in week two and Packers fans watched a 29-21 fourth quarter lead at Lambeau Field get away from them against Minnesota and got some much needed luck in overtime as they left their NFC North contest with the Vikings tied 29-29. The Packers led 17-7 at the intermission before the Vikings rallied in the second half to outscore Green Bay 22-12. Minnesota then trailed 29-21 with 31 seconds left when QB Kirk Cousins and wR Adam Thielen connected on a 22-yard TD strike to pull to within two. The Vikings then hit paydirt when Cousins and WR Stefon Diggs connected on the 2-point conversion. After the two clubs had the ball twice in the overtime, Minnesota got the ball one more time and marched from their 20-yard line to Green Bay’s 17-yard line. After both clubs burned time outs, Minnesota’s Daniel Carlson attempted a 35-yard field goal try with four seconds left to win the game and send Vikings fans home happy. It was not to be, as the kick sailed wide to the right, allowing Packer fans to breathe a sigh of relief. Green Bay outrushed Minnesota 98-68 and Aaron Rodgers threw for 281 yards and a TD, despite being sacked four times, while Cousins threw for 425 yards and four TDs. Minnesota was 7 of 14 on third down tries and kept the ball for 31:52 (including the overtime), while the Packers were 38:08 in time of possession, going 4 of 13 on third down conversions at Lambeau.

In the week two contest in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst, the Packers were favored by 2 and the tie between Green Bay and Minnesota meant that the spread was not covered. As for the 46 over/under? Since both clubs combined for 58 points, that was easily covered. The odds makers in Vegas like the Vikings as 3 1/2 point favorites in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and the over/under’s 48. Both numbers make sense and while both teams are trying to catch Chicago in the NFC North, this one’s DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 58 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

On SNF, the Packers are 25-13, while the Vikings are 18-17. The winner of this one? They’re one step closer to catching Da Bears. The loser? Their task will get a little harder. Packers get their revenge from the week two tie at Lambeau and pulls off the upset in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, covering the 3 1/2.

Tennessee (5-5) at Houston (7-3), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 12 closes out in the Lone Star State as a pair of AFC South rivals meet in a rematch as Tennessee and Houston meet at NRG Stadium.

Tennessee watched Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts win their fourth in a row, as the Colts went on to take down Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans 38-10 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Tennessee trailed 24-3 at the break and were never ble to get themselves on track, as the Titans were outscored by the Colts 14-7 in the final 30 minutes of action. Indy outrushed Tennessee 102-87 and Luck threw for 297 yards with three TDs and no sacks or interceptions, while Mariota threw for 85 yards with four sacks and a pick before being replaced by Blaine Gabbert, who threw for 118 yards and a TD (Gabbert threw an interception and was sacked once). The Colts went 5 of 10 on third down conversions at Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday and kept the ball for 31:16, while Tennessee kept the pigskin for 28:44, going 6 for 14 on third down (neither had a fourth down try).

Houston survived a last second rally against Washington at FedEx Field last Sunday, holding off Alex Smtih and the Redskins  23-21. The Texans led Washington 17-7 at the intermission in Landover, then watched the Redskins take the lead back with 11:57 left to play when Redskins RB Adrian Peterson scored from 7 yards out to lead 21-20. That lead would not last all that long as the Texans would take the lead back with 7:30 left when K Kai Fairbairn nailed a 54-yard field goal for the one-point lead. Washington would eventually get the ball back with 52 seconds left in regulation and got as close as Houston’s 45-yard line and could have won the game with 8 seconds left but Dustin Hopkins’ 65-yard field goal attempt was short of the mark. Washington’s Alex Smith threw for 135 yards with three sacks, leaving the contest after the third sack with a broken leg. Houston outrushed the Redskins 139-124 in the loss at Texans’ QB DeShaun Watson threw for 208 yards and a TD, with three sacks and a pair of interceptions. While Washington was 6 for 15 on third down, they were successful on fourth down, going 1 of 1 and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:57, while the Texans kept the ball for 29:03, going 4 for 11 on third down. Houston will also be playing with somewhat heavy hearts after the passing of Texans owner Robert McNair this weekend. According to KTRK and the Houston Chronicle, funeral services will be held later this week.

They met in week two in Nashville and Tennessee held off a late Houston rally in Nashville and came away 20-17 winners at Nissan Stadium. The Titans led 14-7 at the break before Houston would rally in the second half and outscore Tennessee 10-6 in the final 30 minutes of action. Houston did outrush Tennessee 148-100 with Texans RB Lamar Miller leading the way with 68 yards on the afternoon. Blaine Gabbard, who took over for Mariota, threw for 117 yards and a TD, while Texans QB DeShaun Watson threw for 310 yards and a pair of TDs but was sacked four times and picked off once. Houston on third down tries went 5 of 11 and held the ball for 29:38, while the Titans ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:22, going 5 of 15 on third down and 2 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week two contest, Houston was a 1 1/2-point favorite and the Titans covered with their 3-point win. The 44 over/under was untouched, as both clubs merged for 37 points. The Texans have not done well on Monday Night Football, going 4-9 (they lost both contests they played in last year), while the Titans are 22-17 under the lights, taking a win in their lone contest in 2017. This time, in the Monday night contest in the Lone Star State, the Texans are favored by 6 1/2 with a 41 1/2 over/under. You might want to consider taping those shows you watch on Monday this week. Tennessee wants to prove that the first meeting was not a fluke, while the Texans are at home and playing with somewhat heavy hearts after the death of their owner. As someone once said, “Clear eyes, full hearts can’t lose!” It’s Tennessee, not Houston, that will have a problem. Titans make it closer than 6 1/2 but Houston takes the win at home in the Lone Star State.

The ’72 Dolphins can breathe easy.

The Los Angeles Rams’ hopes for an unbeaten sesaon came to an end in New Orleans as the Saints took down the Rams 45-35 in the Big Easy.

Los Angeles became one of many teams that came close to perfection, only to see that same perfection slip through their fingers. The champange corks you’re hearing? Those are some of the remaining Dolphin players from that team that are celebrating. Their streak of perfection is intact.

The second half of the NFL season is here and the race to the playoffs is in full swing.

Three teams – Kansas City (8-1), the Los Angeles Rams (8-1) and New England (7-2) – have a record of 7-2 or better entering Week 10 and New Orleans (7-1), which had its bye in Week 6, will reach either 8-1 or 7-2 following this week’s action. In the Super Bowl era, 216 teams have begun the season either 8-1 or 7-2 through nine games and 194 of those teams advanced to the postseason (89.8 percent). Sixty-one of the 216 teams reached the Super Bowl in their respective seasons.

As the season moves into the second half, there is plenty of football left to play and nothing has been decided. Since 2000, 45 teams have reached the halfway point of their season with a .500 or below winning percentage and advanced to the playoffs, including at least one in each season. Last year, Atlanta began the season at 4-4 before advancing to the postseason with a 10-6 record.

Four teams are currently riding winning streaks of at least five games – New Orleans (seven consecutive games), Houston (six), New England (six) and the Los Angeles Chargers (five). The Texans, which began the season 0-3, are the second team since 1970 to win six consecutive games immediately following an 0-3 start, joining the 1970 New York Giants.

As the schedule turns to Week 10, history is on the horizon for veteran and young quarterbacks alike. New England quarterback Tom Brady will play in his 300th career game (including the postseason) on Sunday at Tennessee at 1 p.m. on CBS, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (326) as the only quarterbacks to appear in 300 career games across the regular season and playoffs. Brady, who has thrown 576 touchdown passes through 299 career games (including the postseason), can surpass Peyton Manning (579) for the most touchdown passes by a quarterback in NFL history.

Brady (505 regular-season touchdown passes) and New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees (506), who plays at Cincinnati on Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX, enter Week 10 within reach of Favre (508) for second place on the NFL’s all-time passing touchdown leaderboard. Only Manning (539) has more career touchdown passes in the regular season.

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes has 29 touchdown passes and 3,185 passing yards in 10 career games, both the most by a quarterback in his first 10 games in NFL history. Mahomes, who has passed for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in each of the Chiefs’ past four games, can join Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young (1998) as the only players in NFL history with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdown passes in five consecutive games.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for 346 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 137 passer rating and wide receiver Michael Thomas had a franchise-record 211 receiving yards, including a 72-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter, in the Saints’ 45-35 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

Brees has 22 career games with at least four touchdown passes and zero interceptions, tied with New England’s Tom Brady (22) for the most such games by a quarterback in NFL history.

Thomas’ 211 receiving yards are the most in a single game in Saints’ history, surpassing the previous high of 205 set by Wes Chandler on September 2, 1979 against Atlanta. He is the third Saint to record 200+ receiving yards in a single game, joining Chandler and Torrance Small (200 on December 24, 1994 at Denver).

•Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers passed for 228 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 105.9 passer rating in the Chargers’ 25-17 win at Seattle.

Rivers, who has started 200 consecutive games dating back to September 11, 2006, became the fourth quarterback in NFL history to start at least 200 consecutive games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (297 consecutive games), Eli Manning (210) and Peyton Manning (208).

•Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 375 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for a 129 passer rating in the Chiefs’ 37-21 win at Cleveland.

Mahomes, who appeared in his 10th career game Sunday, has 29 touchdown passes and 3,185 passing yards, both the most by a player in his first 10 career games in NFL history. Mahomes is the only quarterback in league annals to pass for at least 3,000 yards in his first 10 career games.

Mahomes has passed for at least 300 yards in eight consecutive games, tied with Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck (2014) for the most consecutive games with 300+ passing yards in a single season in NFL history.

•​Pittsburgh running back James Conner had 107 rushing yards, 56 receiving yards and a touchdown catch in the Steelers’ 23-16 win at Baltimore.

Conner has four games with at least 100 rushing yards, 50 receiving yards and at least one touchdown this season, the most such games by a player in a single season in NFL history.

Conner, who has 1,085 scrimmage yards (706 rushing, 379 receiving) and 10 total touchdowns (nine rushing, one receiving) this season, is the only player in franchise history with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards and 10 touchdowns in the team’s first eight games of a season.

•Kansas City running back Kareem Hunt had 141 scrimmage yards (91 rushing, 50 receiving) with three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in the Chiefs’ Week 9 win and New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara had 116 scrimmage yards (82 rushing, 34 receiving) with three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in the Saints’ win on Sunday.

Kamara, who played in his 24th career game on Sunday, has five games with both a rushing touchdown and receiving touchdown, the second-most in NFL history by a player in his first 25 career games. Only Indianapolis’ Edgerrin James (six) had more such games in his first 25 career contests.

Hunt, who appeared in his 25th career game today, has four such games, tied with Chicago’s Hugh Gallarneau (four games in 1941-42, 1945) for the third-most in league annals by a player in his first 25 career games.

•Minnesota, led by defensive end Danielle Hunter’s career-high 3.5 sacks, recorded a franchise-record 10 sacks in the team’s 24-9 victory over Detroit.

The Vikings’ 10 sacks surpassed the previous franchise-high of nine, which was accomplished four times and most recently on October 25, 1993 at Chicago.

Hunter, who returned a fumble 32 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, became the second player with at least 3.5 sacks and a touchdown in a single game since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982. The Chargers’ Shaun Phillips, who had four sacks and a 31-yard interception-return touchdown against the Cardinals on October 3, 2010, is the only other player to accomplish the feat since 1982.

Chicago safety Eddie Jackson had a 65-yard fumble-return touchdown and linebacker Leonard Floyd scored on a 19-yard interception-return touchdown in the Bears’ 41-9 victory at Buffalo.

Jackson, who had both a 76-yard interception-return touchdown and a 75-yard fumble-return touchdown against Carolina on October 22, 2017, joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders (three touchdowns in 1994) as the only players since 1970 with at least three defensive touchdowns of 65 or more yards over any two-year span. Sanders had interception-return touchdowns of 93, 90 and 74 yards with San Francisco in 1994.

•Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan completed 26 of 38 passes (68.4 percent) for 350 yards with four touchdowns and one interception for a 121.6 passer rating and wide receiver Julio Jones had seven catches for 121 yards and a touchdown in the Falcons’ 38-14 win at Washington.

Ryan, who recorded his 50th career game with at least 300 passing yards on Sunday, joined Drew Brees (57 games) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with at least 50 games of 300+ passing yards in their first 11 seasons.

Jones has 44 career games with at least 100 receiving yards, tied with Calvin Johnson for the second-most in NFL history by a player in his first eight seasons. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (45) had more such games in his first eight career seasons.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 10

MILESTONES ON THE HORIZON: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for 346 yards with four touchdowns and New England quarterback Tom Brady passed 294 yards with a touchdown in Week 9. Brees (506 touchdown passes) and Brady (505) rank third and fourth, respectively, all-time in touchdown passes.

Brees, who faces Cincinnati at 1 p.m. on Sunday, needs three touchdown passes to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre (508) for the second-most regular-season touchdown passes in NFL history. Brady, who plays at Tennessee at 1 p.m. on CBS, needs four touchdown passes to surpass Favre.

The players with the most touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (PASSING TOUCHDOWNS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (539)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (508)^
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (506)
Tom Brady – New England (505)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Brady has an additional 71 touchdown passes in 37 career playoff games, an NFL record, and needs four touchdown passes to surpass Peyton Manning (579 touchdowns) for the most passing touchdowns in league history, including the postseason.

The players with the most touchdown passes (including the postseason) in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (PASSING TOUCHDOWNS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis, Denver (579)
Tom Brady – New England (576)

Brady, who has appeared in 262 regular-season games and 37 playoff games, can become the second quarterback in league annals to appear in 300 games (including the postseason), joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre (326).

Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has 15,902 receiving yards in his 15-year NFL career. With 33 receiving yards on Sunday at Kansas City at 1 p.m. on CBS, Fitzgerald would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Owens (15,934) for the second-most receiving yards in NFL history.

The players with the most receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (RECEIVING YARDS)
Jerry Rice – San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle (22,895)^
Terrell Owens – San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Buffalo and Cincinnati (15,934)^
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona (15,902)

^Pro Football Hall of Famer

PROLIFIC PAT: Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the NFL with 2,901 passing yards and 29 touchdown passes through the first nine weeks of the season. Mahomes has thrown for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in each of his past four games.

With 300 passing yards and three touchdown passes on Sunday against Arizona at Arrowhead at 1 p.m. on CBS, Mahomes would join Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young (five games in 1998) as the only quarterbacks in league history to record at least 300 passing yards and three touchdown passes in five consecutive games.

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

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON, CONSECUTIVE GAMES)
Steve Young – San Francisco (1998, 5)^
Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City (2018, 4)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Active streak

LUCKY NUMBER THREE: Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck ranks second in the NFL with 23 touchdown passes this season and has thrown at least three touchdowns in each of his past five games.

With three touchdown passes on Sunday at home against Jacksonville at 1 p.m. on CBS, Luck would join Tom Brady (10 consecutive games in 2007) and Peyton Manning (eight consecutive games in 2004) as the only quarterbacks to record six consecutive games with at least three touchdown passes in a single season. Brady and Manning were each named Associated Press MVP in those seasons.

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

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON, CONSECUTIVE GAMES)
Tom Brady – New England (2007, 10)#
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis (2004, 8)#
Andrew Luck – Indianapolis (2018, 5)*
#Named Associated Press MVP
*Active streak

RISING RIVERS: Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers passed for 228 yards and two touchdowns for a 105.9 passer rating in the Chargers’ 25-17 win at Seattle in Week 9. Rivers has recorded at least two touchdown passes and a passer rating of 95 or higher in each of the Chargers’ first eight games this season.

Rivers, who plays at Oakland at 4:05 p.m. on FOX, can join Aaron Rodgers (13 games in 2011) and Tom Brady (10 games in 2007) as the only quarterbacks in league history to throw at least two touchdown passes and have a passer rating of 95 or higher in each of his team’s first nine games of a season. Rodgers and Brady were each named Associated Press MVP in those seasons.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least two touchdown passes and a passer rating of 95 or higher to begin a season in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON, CONSECUTIVE GAMES)
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay (2011, 13)#
Tom Brady – New England (2007, 10)#
Philip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers (2018, 8)*
#Named Associated Press MVP
*Active streak

TOUCHDOWN TODD: Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley leads the NFL with 16 touchdowns in 2018 and has scored at least one touchdown in each of the Rams’ first nine games of the season.

With a touchdown against Seattle in Los Angeles at 4:25 p.m. on CBS, Gurley would join Pro Football Hall of Famers O.J. Simpson (1975), Lenny Moore (1964) and Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch (1951) as the only players in league annals to score a touchdown in each of their team’s first 10 games of a season. Simpson and Moore had at least one touchdown in each of their team’s 14 games during their respective seasons.

The players with the most consecutive team games with at least one touchdown to begin a season in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON, CONSECUTVIE GAMES)
O.J. Simpson – Buffalo (1975, 14)^
Lenny Moore – Baltimore Colts (1964, 14)^
Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch – Los Angeles Rams (1951, 10)^
Todd Gurley – Los Angeles Rams (2018, 9)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Active streak

CATCH IT LIKE MIKE: New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas had a franchise-record 211 receiving yards, including a 72-yard touchdown catch, in the Saints’ 45-35 win over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 9.

Thomas, who has 266 receptions in 39 career games, needs one catch on Sunday at Cincinnati at 1 p.m. on FOX to surpass Odell Beckham, Jr. (266) for the most receptions by a player in his first 40 career games in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions in their first 40 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASONS, RECEPTIONS)
Odell Beckham, Jr. – New York Giants (2014-16, 266)
Michael Thomas – New Orleans (2016-18, 266)*
*In 39 career games

NICK AT NIGHT: San Francisco quarterback Nick Mullens passed for 262 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for 151.9 rating in his NFL debut in Week 9 in their win over Oakland last Thursday night.

With three touchdown passes against the New York Giants Monday night at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN, Mullens would become the fifth player in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) to throw at least three touchdown passes in each of his first two career starts at quarterback.

The players with at least three touchdown passes in each of their first two career starts at quarterback in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASONS)
Tyrod Taylor – Buffalo (2015)
Matt Flynn – Green Bay (2010-11)
Kurt Warner – St. Louis Rams (1999)^
Dan Marino – Miami (1983)^
Nick Mullens – San Francisco (2018)*
^Pro Football Hall of Famer
*Threw three TD passes in first-career start last week

With a start on Monday, Mullens will become the first quarterback since Kansas City’s Tyler Palko (2011) to make his first two career starts in primetime (Thursday Night, Sunday Night or Monday Night).

Highlights in week 10? Glad you asked…

New Orleans, winners of seven consecutive games, travel to Paul Brown Stadium to take on Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. on FOX. Saints running back Alvin Kamara, who has 1,218 rushing yards and 1,253 receiving yards in 24 career games, can join Herschel Walker (1,339 rushing, 1,394 receiving) as the only players in NFL history with at least 1,300 rushing and receiving yards in his first 25 career games. Bengals rookie safety Jessie Bates leads Cincinnati with 60 tackles and is one of two players in the NFL (Kiko Alonso) with at least 60 tackles and three interceptions (three) in 2018.

Russell Wilson and the Seahawks visit Todd Gurley and the Rams at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at 4:25 p.m. on CBS. Since Week 5, Wilson ranks second in the NFL with a 126.4 passer rating and third in the league with 11 touchdown passes. Gurley leads the NFL with 16 touchdowns (12 rushing, four receiving) and has scored a touchdown in each of the Rams’ nine games in 2018. With a touchdown on Sunday, Gurley can become the fourth player in league annals to score at least one touchdown in each of his team’s first 10 games of a season.

Byes in week 10? Baltimore, Denver, Houston and Minnesota have the weekend off. As for Arizona, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, the New York Giants and Philadelphia? They’re back from their week-long vacations and return to the gridiron this week. As for last week’s picks? 9 and 4 for the week, which wasn’t bad (it could have been better but it is what it is…). For the year, 84-46. There’s still lots of football left in the regular season and we haven’t even gotten to Thanksgiving yet.

Week 10 got underway in Pittsburgh as the Steelers manhandled Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers 52-21 at Heinz Field Thursday night and concludes on the West Coast as a pair of struggling teams meet in Santa Clara as the 49ers host Eli Manning and the New York Giants at Levis’ Stadium. Here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 10.

ATLANTA (4-4) at Cleveland (2-6-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Week 10 Sunday action gets underway along the shore of Lake Erie as the Atlanta Falcons make their way to Cleveland for an early afternoon contest with the struggling Cleveland Browns.

The Falcons picked up their third win in a row and pulled their record to the .500 mark as they took down Washington 38-14 at Fed Ex Field. Atlanta led from start to finish and took a 21-7 lead with them to the break. Atlanta, outrushing Washington 154-79, then proceeded to outscore the Redskins in the second half by a 17-7 margin to take the win (Atlanta’s Tevin Coleman led all rushers with 88, while the Falcons’ defense held Adrian Peterson to 17 yards on nine carries). Matt Ryan threw for 350 yards and four TDs with a pair of sacks, connecting with Coleman on two of those tosses, while WRs Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones (seven catches for 121 yards) had the others. Washington’s Alex Smtih threw for 306 yards with a TD toss to WR Josh Doctson but was sacked three times (both Ryan and Smith threw an interception). Atlanta went 10 for 13 on third down and held on to the ball for 32:56, while the Redskins (who were flagged 10 times for 147 yards) went 5 for 13 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 27:04.

The Gregg Williams era at Cleveland did not get off to the start they wanted against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday as the Browns were taken to task by the Chiefs 37-21. Cleveland trailed 21-15 at the break, then watched the Chiefs outscore them in the final 30 minutes of action 16-6 at FirstEnergy Stadium. Cleveland was outrushed by Kansas City 139-102, with Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt (91 yards, two TDs) and Browns RB Nick Chubb (85 yards, TD) led their teams. Mahomes burned Cleveland for 375 yards with three TDs (two to TE Travis Kelce, Hunt caught the other one), while Baker Mayfield paced Cleveland with 297 yards and a pair of TDs (both men were sacked twice, both threw an interception). Cleveland was 5 for 13 on third down tries along the shore of Lake Erie (they went 2 for 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:51, while Andy Reid’s Chiefs only needed to use 29:09, going 6 for 10 on third down.

Cleveland leads the series 11-3 and they have outscored Atlanta 330-215. Cleveland won the last meeting with Atlanta, taking a 26-24 win in 2014 in Atlanta, while the Falcons’ last win in the series came in 2010 in Cleveland by a final of 20-10, along the shores of Lake Erie. The oddsmakers like Atlanta as a 4-point road favorite with a 51 over/under. The Falcons have been playing decent football of late, while the Browns are struggling through a mid-season coaching change that could take them more than a season to recover. Atlanta covers the 4 on the shore of Lake Erie and wins on the road.

Jacksonville (3-5) at Indianapolis (3-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of teams coming off bye weeks meet in the Hoosier State as Andrew Luck and the Colts face off against AFC South foe Jacksonville in the first of two meetings.

Jacksonville returns after their 24-18 loss to the defending Super Bowl champs 24-18 on the other side of the Atlantic two weeks ago. In the week eight meeting at Wembley Stadium, the Jaguars trailed 10-6 at the half and would eventually pull themselves to within 6 with 6:57 left to play in the contest on a 24-yard field goal by Josh Lambo but could not come any closer. Philadelphia outrushed Jacksonville 133-70 and Eagles QB Carson Wentz threw for 286 yards with three TD tosses, while Blake Bortles threw for 286 yards with a TD (Wentz threw an interception, both men were sacked four times). Jacksonville, taking their fourth loss in a row, went 6 of 14 on third down (the Jaguars were 1 for 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:22, while the defending Super Bowl Champs went 7 for 12 on third down and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:38.

The Colts trailed Oakland 14-13 at the half on the West Coast two Sundays ago, then proceeded to outscore the Raiders 29-14 in the final 30 minutes of play to take a 42-28 win at the Oakland Coliseum. The Colts got a pair of second half TD passes from Andrew Luck to take the win and giving the Silver and Black their third loss in a row in the process. The Colts easily outrushed Oakland 222-103, with Colts RB Marlon Mack leading the way with 132 yards and a pair of TDs. Luck threw for 239 yards in the contest, while Oakland’s David Carr threw for 244 yards (both Luck and Carr threw threw TDs without a sack or interception). The Colts in the win went 9 for 13 on third down tries and held the ball for 36:30, while the Silver and Black kept the pigskin for 23:30, going 4 of 8 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Indy leads the series 22-12 and have outscored the Jaguars 807-696. However… Jacksonville has won three of the last four meetings, including sweeping the series last year (the Colts’ last win over Jacksonville came in 2016 in the Hooiser State by a final of 24-20.

Their first meeting took place at Lucas Oil Stadium in week seven and Jacksonville left the Hoosier State 27-0 winners. Leading from start to finish, the Jaguars led 20-0 at the intermission and were in complete control of things in that contest. Jacksonville outrushed Indianapolis 188-96, with T.J. Yeldon leading all rushers with 122 yards and a TD. Jacksonville sacked Jacoby Brissett (who took over for the injured Luck) 10 times, while he threw for 200 yards with no interceptions, while Blake Bortles threw for 330 yards and a TD. Jacksonville was 8 for 14 on third down (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball to themselves for 32:47, while the Colts were 5 for 15 on third down and a somewhat dismal 0 for 3 on fourth down, holding the ball for 27:13.

Jacksonville made the sweep of the series a reality in the Sunshine State in week 13, taking the Colts 30-10 at EverBank Field (now TIAA Field). Jacksonville led 16-3 at the half and then went into cruise control in the last 30 minutes of action, outscoring the Colts 14-7 in that frame of time. This time, the Colts outrushed Jacksonville 141-96 but once again, Bortles burned the Colts for 309 yards and a pair of TDs, while Brissett threw for 174 yards with a TD, four sacks and a pair of interceptions. Jacksonville went 9 for 15 on third down (they were 1 for 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 33:47, while the Colts kept the ball for 26:13, going 5 of 15 on third down and 4 of 4 on fourth down tries.

Jacksonville easily covered the 3 1/2 spread, as they won by 27 but the Jaguars’ 27 points was not enough as the 40 1/2 over/under was safe and sound. Jacksonville covered again in the week 13 contest in the Sunshine State, winning by 20 (they were favored by 9 1/2) but both clubs barely missed the 41 over/under. This time, the Colts are favored in the Hoosier State by 3 and the over/under’s 46 1/2. Both teams are in the basement in the AFC South and the winner moves a step closer to the top, while the Jaguars look to keep their heads above water. Jacksonville pulls off the road upset and covers the 3.

Buffalo (2-7) at New York Jets (3-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of AFC/AFL foes meet in upstate New Jersey as the Buffalo Bills travel to the Meadowlands and Met Life Stadium for a Sunday afternoon meeting with the New York Jets. Both teams are coming off losses in last week’s play.

Buffalo watched Chicago score 28 second-quarter points at Orchard Park unchallenged, then saw Da Bears proceede to run away with a 41-9 winlast Sunday. Buffalo was held by Chicago to a pair of Chris Parkey field goals and a Nate Peterman TD run in the second half to take control of the contest from start to finish. Buffalo did outrush Chicago 97-64 Peterman threw for 189 yards (Mitch Trubisky threw for 135 yards) but was sacked four times and picked off three (Trubisky threw a TD pass with a sack and an interception). While forcing four turnovers, Chicago went 3 for 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 25:57, while the Bills ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 34:03, going 6 of 18 on third down and 1 of 3 on fourth down tries.

GangGreen took their third loss in a row, as they dropped a 13-6 decision at Miami last Sunday in the Sunshine State. After a scoreless first quarter, it was an all-field goal second quarter as Miami took a 6-3 lead into the half with a pair of Josh Sanders field goals. After a scoreless third quarter, Miami would score the game’s only TD when rookie LB Jerome Baker picked off J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! QB Sam Darnold and lived out a lineman’s dream, returning it 25 yards for a TD. GangGReen did manage to outrush Miami 80-64 and Darnold threw for 229 yards with four interceptions, while Brock Osweiler threw for 139 yards (each was sacked four times, with Darnold throwing four interceptions) in the win. Third down tries were nothing to write home about, as the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 2 for 13, while Miami was 3 for 16 (GangGreen was 0 for 2 on fourth down, while Miami was perfect, going 2 for 2) but GangGreen did rule the clock, keeping the ball for 31:34 to Miami’s 28:26.

The Bills lead the series 60-54 (which includes contests that took place at Shea Stadium, War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo and Giants Stadium, as well as games played when the Jets were known as the New York Titans) and the Bills have outscored GangGreen 2,372-2,342. They split last season’s contests, with each team taking wins at home.

The two AFC East foes met right away in week one in upstate New York as Buffalo took a 21-12 win at New Era Stadium. Buffalo led 7-6 at the intermission after a scoreless first quarter and then went on to outscore the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 14-6 in the second half. Buffalo outrushed GangGreen 190-38, with RB LeSean McCoy leading the way with 110 yards, while Bills QB Tyrod Taylor threw for 224 yards with a pair of TDs (New York’s Josh McCown threw for 187 yards with a pair of interceptions and a sack, while Taylor had a pair of sacks with an interception). Buffalo went 8 of 17 on third down in upstate New York and kept the ball for 33:04, while GangGreen was 4 of 14 and 1 of 1 on third and fourthd downs, holding the ball for 26:56.

GangGreen would get their revenge for the week one loss in upstate New York as they took a 34-21 win at Met Life Stadium in week nine. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! led Buffalo 10-3 at the intermission and took control of things in the second half, outpacing the Bills 24-14 in the last 30 minutes of action. This time, GangGreen, led by Matt Forte’s 77 rushing yards (with two TDs), outrushed the Bills 194-63 and McCown threw for 140 yards wtih a TD and no sacks, while Taylor threw for 285 yards with a pair of TDs but was sacked seven times. GangGreen went 6 for 14 on third down tries at Met Life Stadium and held the ball for 33:30, while the Bills kept the pigskin for 26:30, while going 6 for 16 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

In the season opener in upstate New York, the Bills BARELY covered the 8 1/2 point spread, winning by 9 but the 40 over/under was untouched as the two teams combined for 33 points. In the week nine rematch in upstate New Jersey, Buffalo was favored by 3 1/2 and GangGreen covered, winning by 13. The two clubs did cover the 42 1/2 over/under in the rematch, combining for 55 points. The Jets are favored by 7 1/2 in the Meadowlands and the over/under’s 37. We wouldn’t hold it against you if you were to watch that “NCIS” marathon on USA (Abby and Ziva slapping Tony is quite funny!). GangGreen wins this one at but expect the Bills to make things closer than the 7 1/2.

New England (7-2) at Tennessee (4-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. Brady vs. Mariota. New England comes to the Music City for a Sunday afternoon showdown with Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Sunday’s contest features a former player (Mike Vrable) vs. his former coach (Bill Belichick) as they square off against each other in the Music City. Both teams took huge wins in last week’s contests.

Tom Brady and New England held off Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in Foxboro last Sunday, with the Patroits coming away 31-17 winners at Gillette Stadium in a possible prime-time Super Bowl preview that featured a pair of future Hall of Fame QBs. Leading the Packers 17-10 at the half, Green Bay would even things up in the third when Rodgers and TE Jimmy Graham would connect on a 15-yard TD pass with 11:18 left in the quarter. New England then proceeded to take the lead back in the final 15 minutes of action, scoring their last 14 points of the contest without a challenge to take the win, ending with Brady and WR Josh Gordon hooking up on a 55-yard strike late in the quarter. New England outrushed Green Bay 123-118, while Brady and Rodgers combined to throw for 553 yards (Brady with 294, Rodgers with 259, Brady was sacked twice and Rodgers sacked once, neither threw an interception). New England was 4 for 11 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 27:26, while the Packers ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 32:34, going 6 for 13 on third down (both teams were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

The Titans gave Dallas their third loss in their last four games, taking down the Cowboys 42-28 at AT&T Stadium Monday night. Dallas watched Mariota and the Titans break a 14-14 tie at the intermision and score 14 second half points unchallenged. Tennessee outrushed Dallas 125-72 and Dak Prescott threw for 243 yards with five sacks, while Mariota threw for 240 yards (each threw a pair of TDs, Mariota was sacked four times, Prescott was sacked five times with an interception) and each team turned the ball over twice in the Monday night contest. Dallas went 5 for 11 on third down (the Cowboys were 0 for 1 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 25:34, while the Titans ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 34:26, going 11 for 14 on third down conversions.

Including games played in Boston and Houston, when the Titans were known as the Houston Oilers, New England leads the series 23-15-1 and the Pats have outscored Tennessee 993-778. New England has come away with wins in their last five regular season meetings, with the last win coming in Foxboro in 2015 by a final of 33-16, while Tennessee’s last win over Brady and the Patriots came in the Music City by a 24-7 final in 2002.

They did meet in the post-season last year in Foxboro in the AFC Divisonal Game and the Pats were 35-14 winners at Gillette Stadium. New England erased a 7-0 first quarter deficit and scored 21 points in the second quarter unchalleged to take a 14-point lead with them to the intermission. New England outrushed Tennessee 101-85 and Brady threw for 337 yards and three TDs (one toss going to TE Rob Gronkowski), while Mariota threw for 254 yards with a pair of TDs and 8 sacks (Brady was not sacked or threw an interception). New England was 11 for 17 on third down conversions at Gillette Stadium and held on to the ball for 32:56, while the Titans were 5 for 15 on third down conversions, 2 for 3 on fourth down and held the ball for 27:04.

New England covered the 13 1/2-point spread with ease, as they won the AFC Divisional Game by 21 and both teams took care of the 47 over/under by scoring 49 points. The boys and girls in Vegas? They like the Pats on the road, making them 7-point favorites in Music City and the over/under’s 48 1/2. These numbers sound somewhat reasonable and since it’s Brady and Mariota, it should be a fun one to watch. Pats cover the 7 and win in Music City.

Detroit (3-5) at Chicago (5-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. A pair of NFC North rivals meet in the Windy City as Detroit travels to Soldier Field for an early afternoon contest with the first-place Chicago Bears.

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

Chicago scored 28 second-quarter points at Buffalo unchallenged and then proceeded to run away with a 41-9 win over the Bills at Orchard Park last Sunday. Da Bears held Buffalo to a pair of Chris Parkey field goals and a Nate Peterman TD run in the second half to take control of the contest from start to finish. Buffalo did outrush Chicago 97-64 Peterman threw for 189 yards (Mitch Trubisky threw for 135 yards) but was sacked four times and picked off three (Trubisky threw a TD pass with a sack and an interception). While forcing four turnovers, Chicago went 3 for 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 25:57, while the Bills ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 34:03, going 6 of 18 on third down and 1 of 3 on fourth down tries.

Da Bears lead da series 97-74-5 (including contests that were played when the Lions were in Portsmouth and known as the Spartans and both teams played at Wrigley Field, Tiger Stadium, the Silverdome and the University of Illinois-Champaign) and Chicago has outscored Detroit 3,409-3,152. However… the Lions have won the last three contests with their NFC North rivals, including sweeping last year’s series (Chicago’s last win over Detroit came in 2016 in the Windy City by a 17-14 final.

Round one… week 11 in the Windy City and the Lions erased a 10-0 first quarter deficit, took a 21-17 lead at the break, only to see Chicago tie things up in the fourth quarter when RB Tarik Cohen scored on a 15-yard run before Matt Prater gave the Lions the lead back for keeps to take the 27-24 win at Solider Field. Detroit used a 9-play, 42-yard drive that used 3:27 of clock to set up the game winning score, then held off a late Chicago rally that would have either the contest into overtime or given Chicago the win. The Monsters of the Midway did outrush Detroit 222-65, with Bears RB Jordan Howard leading the way with 125 yards and a TD, while Trubisky threw for 179 yards and a TD (Stafford threw for 299 yards and a pair of TDs; Stafford was sacked three times, Trubisky sacked once, neither threw an interception). Detroit was 3 for 10 on third down conversions at Soldier Field and the Lions kept the ball for 30:36, while Chicago held the ball for 29:24, going 3 for 9 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Round two… week 15 in the Motor City. Detroit made the sweep of the series complete, taking a 20-10 win over Da Bears at Ford Field. Detroit led 13-3 at the intermission and the two clubs played even football in the final 30 minutes of action. Neither club shattered the 100-yard barrier but Detroit did outrush Chicago 91-43 and Stafford threw for 237 yards with a pair of TDs and four sacks (no interceptions), while Trubisky threw for 314 yards with three interceptions (he was sacked twoce and threw a TD pass). Detroit went 6 for 13 on third down in the Motor City and kept the ball for 29:05, while Chicago ruled the clock and proceeded to hold on to the ball for 30:55, going 5 for 12 on third down.

In the week 11 contest in the Windy City, Detroit matched the 3-point spread, winning by 3 and both teams covered the 41 over/under with 51 points. As for the week 15 rematch in Detroit? The Lions covered the 5-point spread, winning by 10 but both teams missed the 44 over/under, as they would merge for 30 points. In the Sunday afternoon contest in the Windy City, Da Bears are favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 45. Chicago’s in first in the NFC North, while the Lions are trying to get out of the NFC North cellar. Da Bears prevail in the Windy City and covers the 6 1/2 at home.

New Orleans (7-1) at Cincinnati (5-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints make their way to Cincinnati for an afternoon meeting with Andy Dalton and the Bengals along the shores of the Ohio River.

New Orleans broke a 35-35 fourth quarter tie in the Big Easy and took a 45-35 decision against the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday afternoon to end the Rams’ 8-game win streak. New Orleans led 35-14 going into the intermission before the Rams would pull themselves to within 11 as K Greg Zuerlein connected on a 56-yard field goal as time expired. Los Angeles then scored 10 third quarter points without a challenge, then opened the fourth quarter, tying things up at 35-35 thanks to a pair of TD passes from Jared Goff (one to RB Malcon Brown, the other to WR Cooper Kupp) and a Zuerlein field goal before New Orleans took control in the fourth quarter to take the lead back and for keeps. New Orleans outrushed the Rams 141-92 and Goff threw for 391 yards with three TDs an an interception, while Brees threw for 346 yards and four TDs, including a TD that drew the ire of the game officials when WR Michael Thomas pulled out a cell phone from underneath the goal post padding, paying homage to a former Saints player (neither man was sacked, Goff threw the only interception in the contest). The Rams were 3 for 8 on third down conversions (they were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:19, while the Saints ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 33:41, going 7 of 12 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

The Bengals, coming back from their bye week, gave Tampa Bay their fourth loss in five tries as they came away 34-31 last second winners over the Bucs at Paul Brown Stadium two weeks ago. Dalton and the Bengals led Tampa Bay 27-9 at the half and would see the Buccaneers eventually bench Jameis Winston (276 yards, five sacks, TD, four interceptions) and replace him with Fitzpatrick (194 yards, two TDs, sack), who would then proceed to pull his team closer to the Bengals, throwing a pair of TDs to RB Mike Evans and TE O.J. Howard to tie things up but Tampa Bay fans would have their hopes shattered as the Bengals got the ball back with 65 seconds left in regulation and used all of the time that was available to them when Bengals K Randy Bullock kicked a 44-yard FG as time expired. Cincinnati outrushed Tampa Bay 138-126, with Bengals RB Joe Mixon leading all rushers with 123 yards and a pair of TDs, while Dalton threw for 280 yards and a pair of TDs to WRs A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd. Tampa Bay went 10 of 18 on third down (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:59, while Cincinnati went 5 of 13 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 24:01, including the final 65 seconds of regulation.

Including games that were played at old Tulane Stadium and Riverfront Stadium, the Bengals lead the series 7-6 and have outscored New Orleans 278-234. Cincinnati won the last meeting with the Saints, taking a 27-10 win in the Big Easy in 2014, while the Saints’ last win in the series came in Cincinnati by a final of 34-30 in 2010. The Saints are favored by 4 and the over/under’s 54 1/2. There’s a lot at stake here. Both teams are contending for a playoff spot and a win Sunday could push them a step closer to their goal. Cincinnati pulls the home upset and takes the win, covering the 4.

Arizona (2-6) at Kansas City (8-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 710. A struggling Arizona Cardinal team travels to the Show-Me State for an afternoon contest in mid-America as the Kansas City Chiefs welcome them to Arrowhead. Both teams took close wins last week, the Desert Angry Birds winning a close contest at home, while the Chiefs took care of business on the shores of Lake Erie.

Arizona, coming back from their bye week, saw San Francisco take a 12-3 lead at the end of the third quarter before that lead would escape from them as Arizona would score 15 fourth quarter points unchallenged to take an 18-15 win in Glendale. San Francisco led the Desert Angry Birds by a baseball-like score of 5-3 at the break, then scored their lone TD of the contest when WR Marquise Goodwin and QB C.J. Beatherd connected on a 55-yard TD toss late in the third quarter. After the 49ers added a Robbie Gould field goal, Arizona then went to work in the final 15 minutes of action, with Josh Rosen connecting on TD passes to WR Larry Fitzgerald and WR Christian Kirk to give Arizona the lead for keeps. Arizona then held off a late 49er rally to come away with the win, while giving San Francisco their fifth loss in a row. While the 49ers did outrush Arizona 107-88, Rosen outpaced Beatherd, throwing for 252 yards with three sacks and an interception to go with the two TDs (Beatherd threw for 190 yards with four sacks and no interceptions). Third down tries? San Francisco was 5 of 15, Arizona was 6 of 14 at State Farm Stadium Sunday afternoon and the 49ers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:19 to Arizona’s 27:41.

Kansas City stopped the Gregg Williams era from getting off to a good start as Browns interim head coach as the Chiefs and Patrick Mahonmes took care of Cleveland 37-21, taking their eighth win in nine tries. Kansas City led from start to finish and led 21-15 at the break, then outscored Cleveland in the final 30 minutes of action 16-6 at FirstEnergy Stadium. Kansas City outrushed Cleveland a by 139-102 margin, with Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt (91 yards, two TDs) and Browns RB Nick Chubb (85 yards, TD) led their teams. Mahomes burned Cleveland for 375 yards with three TDs (two to TE Travis Kelce, Hunt caught the other one), while Baker Mayfield paced Cleveland with 297 yards and a pair of TDs (both men were sacked twice, both threw an interception). Cleveland was 5 for 13 on third down tries along the shore of Lake Erie (they went 2 for 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:51, while Andy Reid’s Chiefs only needed to use 29:09, going 6 for 10 on third down.

Including games that took place in St. Louis when the Cardinals were there, the Chiefs lead the series 8-3-1 and they have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 287-170. Arizona won the last meeting with Kansas City as the Cardinals came away 17-14 winners in Glendale in 2014, while the Chiefs’ last win in the series came in 2010 at Arrowhead by a final of 31-13. Kansas City’s favored by 16 1/2 (you read that right!) and the over/under’s 50. The 50 makes a lot of sense. The 16 1/2 leaves us scratching our heads. Cleveland’s not exactly the kings of the AFC North mountain but they’re not 16 1/2 points bad. The Chiefs are playing for a playoff spot, while the Browns are playing to keep their heds above water. Chiefs win at Arrowhead but expect Cleveland to make things closer than 16 1/2.

Washington (5-3) at Tampa Bay (3-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. Washington, still atop the NFC East, travels to Tampa Bay for their Sunday afternoon contest in the Sunshine State. Both teams took huge losses

Washington watched Atlanta take their third win in a row and pulled their record to the .500 mark as the Falcons took down the Redskins 38-14 at Fed Ex Field. Washington trailed from start to finish and watched Atlanta lead 21-7 at the break, the saw the Falcons floor the gas in the final 30 minutes of action. Atlanta outrushed Washington 154-79 as Falcons RB Tevin Coleman lead all rushers with 88, while the Falcons’ defense held Adrian Peterson to 17 yards on nine carries. Falcons QB Matt Ryan threw for 350 yards and four TDs with a pair of sacks, connecting with Coleman on two of those tosses, while WRs Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones (seven catches for 121 yards) had the others. Washington’s Alex Smtih threw for 306 yards with a TD toss to WR Josh Doctson but was sacked three times (both Ryan and Smith threw an interception). Atlanta went 10 for 13 on third down and held on to the ball for 32:56, while the Redskins (who were flagged 10 times for 147 yards) went 5 for 13 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 27:04.

Tampa Bay watched Carolina take a 35-14 lead to the intermission last Sunday at Bank of America Stadium and came out on the short end of a 42-28 loss over their NFC South rivals. Tampa Bay would be outrushed by the Panthers outrushed Tampa Bay 179-82 (Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey led all rushers with 79 yards and a pair of rushing TDs), while Newton threw for 247 yards and a pair of TDs. Carolina made life less than pleasant for QB Ryan Fitzpatick, who was sacked Tampa Bay QB Ryan Fitzpatrick four times, while throwing for 243 yards, with four TDs and a pair of interceptions. The Panthers went 4 for 10 on third down (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 31 minutes, while the Buccaneers kept the ball for 29 minutes, going 5 for 12 and 1 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

They’ve met 20 times and have split the series, with each team sitting at 10-10 and Tampa Bay has outscored Washington 401- 365. Both teams won their last meetings in Landover, with Washington coming away 31-30 winners in 2015, while Tampa Bay was victorious in 2014 by a final of 27-7. Tampa Bay’s favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 51. Washington’s plan? Stay on top of the NFC East. Tampa Bay’s plan? Catch Carolina, Atlanta and New Orleans in the NFC South. We love it when a plan comes together and we think Washington’s plan is better. Hail To The Redskins! Washington covers the 2 1/2 and wins in the Sunshine State.

Los Angeles Chargers (6-2) at Oakland (1-7), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. A pair of AFC/AFL West rivals meet on the East side of San Francisco Bay as the Los Angeles Chargers make the 372-mile trip up I-5 to take on the Oakland Raiders.

Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers erased a 7-0 first quarter deficit and came away with a 25-17 win over Seattle in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks last Sunday. While Los Angeles led 19-10 at the intermission, the Seahawks would make the contest close with 1:50 left when Russell Wilson and TE Nick Varnett connected on a 6-yard TD toss, making it an 8-point contest. Seattle then forced the Chargers to punt and got the ball back on their 22-yard line, then proceeded to march down the field and getting as close as Los Angeles’ 20-yard line when they had their hopes extended after the Chargers were flagged for pass interference in the end zone as time expired. Because a game can’t end on a defensive penalty, Seattle got the ball on the 1-yard line but the Seahawks could not dent the end zone with the untimed down play. Los Angeles outrushed Seattle 160-154 with Chargers RB Melvin Gordon leading the way with 113 yards and a TD, while Rivers threw for 228 yards in the road win (Wilson threw for 235 yards, both Wilson and Rivers threw a pair of TDs; Rivers was sacked twice without an interception, while Wilson was sacked four times with a pick). Seattle was 4 of 15 on third down in the Pacific Northwest (the Seahawks were perfect on fourth down, going 4 for 4) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 35:41 to Los Angeles’ 24:19 (the Chargers were 2 for 9 on third down tries).

Oakland took a 3-0 lead early against San Francisco last Thursday night thanks to a 37-yard field goal by Derek Carlson, then watched the 49ers score 34 points without a challenge as they dropped a 34-3 decision to their neighbors from across San Francisco Bay at Levis Stadium, dropping their fourth contest in a row. The Silver and Black watched 49ers QB Nate Mullins make his NFL debut a success, as he threw for 262 yards without a sack or interception, with the 49ers outrushing Oakland 143-102 (Raheem Mostert led all rushers with 86 yards and a TD), while Derek Carr threw for 171 yards with seven sacks. Oakland went 3 of 12 on third down (the Raiders went 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:26, while the 49ers were 28:34 in time of possession, going 5 for 12 on third down tries.

They met is week five in Los Angeles and the Chargers were 26-10 winners at Stub Hub Centre. In the first meeting in Southern California, Oakland saw their AFC West rivals from Los Angeles use a pair of Philip Rivers TD passes to take a 26-10 win at Stub Hub Center. Los Angeles led 17-3 at the intermission in southern California and never looked back, outscoring the Silver and Black 9-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. San Diego outrushed Oakland 79-41 and Rivers threw for 339 yards and the two TDs without an interception, while Derek Carr threw for 268 yards with a TD, three sacks and an interception. The Chargers were 7 of 13 on third down tries and held the ball for 34:40, while the Silver and Black held the ball for 25:20, going 4 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week five contest in Los Angeles, the Chargers covered the 5 1/2-spread, winning by 16 but neither club touched the  53 1/2 over/under, as they would combine for 36 points. The Chargers are favored again, this time by 9 1/2 on the East side of San Francisco Bay and the over/under’s 50 1/2. The 50 1/2 makes sense. The 9 1/2 leaves you wondering. The Raiders are bad but not 9 1/2 bad. Oakland will make it closer than the 9 1/2 but the Chargers pull off the sweep on the road and take the win.

Seattle (4-4) at Los Angeles Rams (8-1), 4:25 pm on CBS and DirecTV 715. Seattle and the Los Angeles Rams renew their series in Los Angeles as the Seahawks take their turn, making the 1,137 mile trip down I-5 in a week five rematch. Both teams enter the Sunday afternoon contest at the Coliseum with close losses under their belts.

Seattle watched a 7-6 first quarter lead against Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers get away from them at Century Link Field, as the Chargers would go on to take a 25-17 win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. While Los Angeles led 19-10 at the intermission, the Seahawks would make the contest close with 1:50 left when Russell Wilson and TE Nick Varnett connected on a 6-yard TD toss, making it an 8-point contest. Seattle then forced the Chargers to punt and got the ball back on their 22-yard line, then proceeded to march down the field and getting as close as Los Angeles’ 20-yard line when they had their hopes extended after the Chargers were flagged for pass interference in the end zone as time expired. Because a game can’t end on a defensive penalty, Seattle got the ball on the 1-yard line but the Seahawks could not dent the end zone with the untimed down play. Los Angeles outrushed Seattle 160-154 with Chargers RB Melvin Gordon leading the way with 113 yards and a TD, while Rivers threw for 228 yards in the road win (Wilson threw for 235 yards, both Wilson and Rivers threw a pair of TDs; Rivers was sacked twice without an interception, while Wilson was sacked four times with a pick). Seattle was 4 of 15 on third down in the Pacific Northwest (the Seahawks were perfect on fourth down, going 4 for 4) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 35:41 to Los Angeles’ 24:19 (the Chargers were 2 for 9 on third down tries).

The Rams saw their hopes for an undefeated season come to an end in NeW Orleans as the Saints would break a 35-35 fourth quarter tie in the Big Easy and drop a 45-35 decision last Sunday afternoon. New Orleans led 35-14 going into the intermission before the Rams would pull themselves to within 11 as K Greg Zuerlein connected on a 56-yard field goal as time expired. Los Angeles then scored 10 third quarter points without a challenge, then opened the fourth quarter, tying things up at 35-35 thanks to a pair of TD passes from Jared Goff (one to RB Malcon Brown, the other to WR Cooper Kupp) and a Zuerlein field goal before New Orleans took control in the fourth quarter to take the lead back and for keeps. New Orleans outrushed the Rams 141-92 and Goff threw for 391 yards with three TDs an an interception, while Drew Brees threw for 346 yards and four TDs, including a TD that drew the ire of the game officials when WR Michael Thomas pulled out a cell phone from underneath the goal post padding, paying homage to a former Saints player (neither man was sacked, Goff threw the only interception in the contest). The Rams were 3 for 8 on third down conversions (they were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:19, while the Saints ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 33:41, going 7 of 12 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

The two NFC West foes met in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks in week five and Los Angeles prevailed 33-31 at Century Link Field. In the first contest, In the first meeting, Los Angeles and Seattle Seahawks had a slugfest in their NFC West meeting at Century Link Field and Los Angeles managed to prevail, coming away 33-31 winners in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, The Rams and Seahawks entered the intermission even at 17-17 and Seattle had the Rams on the ropes, leading 31-30 with 14:54 before Rams RB Todd Gurley pulled them back to within one with 14:54 left in regulation on a 5-yard run. Los Angeles would take the lead back for keeps with 6:05 left when Greg Santos (who had replaced the injured Greg Zuerlein) kicked a 39-yard field goal to take a 33-31 lead. Los Angeles would then go on to hold off the Seahawks to take the two-point road win. Seattle RB Chris Carson picked up his third consecutive 100-yard game, rushing for 116 yards (Gurley hadd 77 yards rushing to lead the Rams) as Seattle outrushed Los Angeles 190-155 in the contest. Rams QB Jared Goff threw for 321 yards with a TD, while Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw for 198 yards with three TDs and no interceptions (Goff was picked off once and threw a pair of interceptions, Wilson was sacked twice). Seattle was 7 of 12 on third down in the Pacific Northwest and kept the ball for 30:30, while the Rams held the ball for 29:30 and went 3 of 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Los Angeles Rams was a 7-point favorite in the week five contest in the Pacific Northwest and while they did win the game, they did not cover the spread, winning by only 2. The two teams did cover the 51 over/under, scoring 64 points. In the rematch in Los Angeles, the Ramgs are favored by 10 and the over/under’s 51 1/2. That spread is a bit on the steep side but the over/under makes sense. Seattle’s lookng for revenge from the week five loss in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, while the Rams look to start a new streak. History does have a way of repeating and history’s on the side of the Rams. Although Seattle will make this closer than 10, the Rams will prevail at home in the Coliseum.

Miami (5-4) at Green Bay (3-4-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTv 714. It’s a late-afternoon contest in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst as Green Bay hosts the Miami Dolphins at Lambeau Field.

Miami gave the New York Jets their third loss in a row, as they would defeat their AFC East rivals 13-6 last Sunday in the Sunshine State. After a scoreless first quarter, it was an all-field goal second quarter as Miami took a 6-3 lead into the half with a pair of Josh Sanders field goals. After a scoreless third quarter, Miami would score the game’s only TD when rookie LB Jerome Baker picked off J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! QB Sam Darnold and lived out a lineman’s dream, returning it 25 yards for a TD. GangGReen did manage to outrush Miami 80-64 and Darnold threw for 229 yards with four interceptions, while Brock Osweiler threw for 139 yards (each was sacked four times, with Darnold throwing four interceptions) in the win. Third down tries were nothing to write home about, as the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 2 for 13, while Miami was 3 for 16 (GangGreen was 0 for 2 on fourth down, while Miami was perfect, going 2 for 2) but GangGreen did rule the clock, keeping the ball for 31:34 to Miami’s 28:26.

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers watched Tom Brady and the New England Patriots break a 17-17 tie in Foxboro last Sunday night, as New England would come away with the 31-17 win at Gillette Stadium in a possible prime-time Super Bowl preview that featured a pair of future Hall of Fame QBs. Green BAy trailed 17-10 at the half, then went on to even things up in the third when Rodgers and TE Jimmy Graham would connect on a 15-yard TD pass with 11:18 left in the quarter. New England then proceeded to take the lead back in the final 15 minutes of action, scoring their last 14 points of the contest without a challenge to take the win, ending with Brady and WR Josh Gordon hooking up on a 55-yard strike late in the quarter. New England outrushed Green Bay 123-118, while Brady and Rodgers combined to throw for 553 yards (Brady with 294, Rodgers with 259, Brady was sacked twice and Rodgers sacked once, neither threw an interception). New England was 4 for 11 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 27:26, while the Packers ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 32:34, going 6 for 13 on third down (both teams were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

Miami leads the series 10-4 and the Dolphins have outscored Green Bay 333-256. Their last wins in the series came in the other’s stadium; Miami’s last win was in Green Bay in 2010, when the Dolphins needed overtime to take a 23-20 win at Lambeau, while Green Bay’s last win came in the Sunshine State in 2014 by a final of 27-24. Green Bay’s favored by 9 on the almost-frozen tundra with the over/under at 47 1/2. While this one’s not quite “Drill Worthy,” it’s worth the time to watch. While Green Bay won’t cover the 9, they do take the win at home.

Dallas (4-4) at Philadelphia (4-4), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of NFC East foes meet in the City of Brotherly Love on Sunday night. Wentz vs. Prescott. Cheesesteak vs. Brisket. The defending Super Bowl champions host Dallas in a prime time Sunday night contest at Lincoln Financial Field.

Dallas comes off their third loss in their last four games, losing to Tennessee 42-28 at AT&T Stadium Monday night. Dallas watched Marcus Mariota and the Titans break a 14-14 tie at the intermision and score 14 second half points unchallenged. Dallas found themselves outrushed by Tennessee 125-72 and Dak Prescott threw for 243 yards with five sacks, while Mariota threw for 240 yards (each threw a pair of TDs, Mariota was sacked four times, Prescott was sacked five times with an interception) and each team turned the ball over twice in the Monday night contest. Dallas went 5 for 11 on third down (the Cowboys were 0 for 1 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 25:34, while the Titans ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 34:26, going 11 for 14 on third down conversions.

The Eagles return to the City of Brotherly Love after their trip across the pond with Jacksonville, as the defending Super Bowl champs came away 24-18 winners over the Jaguars in week eight action on the  other side of the Atlantic two weeks ago. In the week eight meeting at Wembley Stadium, Philadelphia led 10-6 at the half before Jacksonville would eventually pull themselves to within 6 with 6:57 left to play in the contest on a 24-yard field goal by Josh Lambo but could not come any closer. Philadelphia outrushed Jacksonville 133-70 and Eagles QB Carson Wentz threw for 286 yards with three TD tosses, while Blake Bortles threw for 286 yards with a TD (Wentz threw an interception, both men were sacked four times). Jacksonville, taking their fourth loss in a row, went 6 of 14 on third down (the Jaguars were 1 for 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:22, while the defending Super Bowl Champs went 7 for 12 on third down and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:38.

Including games played at the Cotton Bowl, JFK Stadium, Veterans Stadium and Cowboys Stadium, Dallas leads the series 63-51 and the Cowboys have outscored the Eagles 2,443-2,274. They split last year’s contests, each winning in the other team’s building.

Meeting one… Dallas in week 11. The Cowboys were without Elliott, who was serving his six-game suspension by the league for violating the league’s conduct policy and the Eagles erased a 9-7 deficit at the break and came away 37-9 winners. Philadelphia then responded with 30 points in the second half unchallenged to take the win over their NFC East rivals at AT&T Stadium. Philadelphia outrushed Dallas 215-112 and Carson Wentz threw for 168 yards with a pair of TDs and no interceptions or sacks, while Prescott threw for 145 yards with three interceptions and four sacks. Philadelphia went 5 of 14 on third down conversions in the Sunday night contest (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 29:29, while Dallas ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:31, going 3 for 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Round two… the City of Brotherly Love in week 17. Dallas would get their revenge on the Eagles and come away 6-0 winners in the season finale. The two teams played three quarters of scoreless football (Philadelphia had already clinched the NFC East and rested some of their starters) before the Cowboys tallied the only score of the contest, as WR Brice Butler and Prescott connected on a 20-yard TD toss with 12:19 left in regulation. Dallas would miss the extra point, then held off the Eagles to take the road win. Dallas outrushed Philadelphia 129-70 and Elliott ran for 103 yards, with Prescott threw for 179 yards and an interceptions, while Eagles backup QB Nate Sudfeld, who took over for Nick Foles, threw for 134 yards with three sacks and no interceptions (Foles threw for 39 yards with an interception before being relieved by Sudfield). Dallas went 5 of 15 on third down tries (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:05, while the Eagles held the pigskin for 29:55, while going 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down tries in the City of Brotherly Love.

Philadelphia covered the 4-point spread with their 28-point win but both teams missed the 48 1/2 over/under with 46 points. In the week 17 season finale, the Cowboys were 2-point favorites and won by 6, covering the spread but the 6 points that Dallas scored in the contest did not even touch the 41 over/under.

Both teams have done reasonably well on Sunday night. The defending Super Bowl champs are 23-19 all time and went 1-1 in their two Sunday night contests last year, while the Cowboys are 32-31 and went 2-1 in their three SNF contests. Philadephia’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 43 1/2.

Since these two are rivals in the same division and since they don’t exactly like each other, we think that this one’s “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 58 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

As the saying goes, “if you take a swing at the king, you better not miss.” The Eagles are still kings of the NFL mountain, while the Cowboys have been trying to take a swing at the top two teams in the NFC East and have missed. Dallas will make it closer than the 6 but the Eagles take the win in the City of Brotherly Love on Sunday night.

New York Giants (1-7) at San Francisco (2-7), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. A pair of last place teams close out play in week 10 in Santa Clara as the 49ers host Eli Manning and the New York Giants at Levis’ Stadium.

The Redskins held off the New York Giants 20-13 at Met Life Stadium two weeks ago. Washington led 7-3 at the half in upstate New Jersey, then floored the gas as RB Adrian Peterson scored his second TD of the day, scoring from 64 yards away to take a 20-6 lead with 3:06 left in the contest. The Giants would pull themselves to within 7 with 17 seconds left when Manning and TE Evan Engram connected on a 2-yard TD toss. Washington would recover the onside kick and run the clock out to take the win, giving Big Blue their fifth loss in a row. Peterson led all rushers with 149 yards in the NFC East contest as Washington outrushed the Giants 182-37, sacking Manning (316 yards, two interceptions) seven times, while Alex Smtih threw for 178 yards with the TD toss to Peterson without a sack or interception. Washington was 6 of 15 on third down and held the ball for 33:38, while the Giants held the ball for 26:22, going 2 of 14 on third down, 3 of 4 on fourth down tries.

Erasing a 3-0 deficit against Oakland last Thursday night, the 49ers would score 34 points without a challenge as they dropped a 34-3 decision to their neighbors from across San Francisco Bay at Levis Stadium. Leading 17-3 at the intermssion,t the Silver and Black watched 49ers QB Nate Mullins make his NFL debut a success, as he threw for 262 yards without a sack or interception, with the 49ers outrushing Oakland 143-102 (Raheem Mostert led all rushers with 86 yards and a TD), while Derek Carr threw for 171 yards with seven sacks. Oakland went 3 of 12 on third down (the Raiders went 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:26, while the 49ers were 28:34 in time of possession, going 5 for 12 on third down tries.

Including games that were played at old Yankee Stadium, Keezar Stadium, the Yale Bowl, Candlestick Park and Giants Stadium, the series is tied 16-16 and the Giants have outscored the 49ers 640-637. San Francisco did manage to come away with the win in their last meeting, taking a 31-21 win last year at Levis’ Stadiun, while New York’s last win came in 2015 in the Meadowlands, wit the Giants coming away 30-27 winners.

They met in week 10 on the West Coast and San Francisco led 17-13 at the half, then pulled away from the Giants in the final 30 minutes of action, scoring a pair of fourth quarter TDs to seal the win. San Francisco outrushed the Giants 186-114 and Bethard threw for 288 yards and no interceptions, despite being sacked twice, while Manning threw for 273 yards with three sacks and no picks (each QB threw a pair of TD passes. San Francisco went 8 of 12 on third down, while going 0 for 1 on fourth down and held the ball for 29 minutes, while the Giants kept the ball for 31 minutes, going 5 of 14 on third down, 3 of 3 on fourth down.

Big Blue was favored by 2 1/2 on the road and the 49ers covered with their 10-point win and both teams covered the 42 over/under with 52 points. On Monday night, the 49ers are 48-25 and have not been on primetime since 2016, when they won their only contest, while the Giants are 24-38-1 with Big Blue losing their only contest in last year’s action. This time, the 49ers are favored by 3 and the over/under’s 43 1/2. You might be better off watching “Magnum P.I.” and “Bull” Monday night. 49ers do cover the 3 and takes the win over Big Blue at home.

And there was one.

The Los Angeles Rams remain the NFL’s lone unbeaten team after Kansas City fell to the New England Patriots in Foxboro last Sunday night.

Like the cheese in the nursery rhyme, “The Farmer In The Dell,” the Rams stand alone as the last unbeaten team for the 2018 season and look to stay that way when they travel up the coast to face off against their NFC West rivals from San Francisco. Close contests have been the order of the day in 2018 and we can expect more.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK SEVEN

MILESTONE WATCH: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for 363 yards and three touchdowns in the Saints’ Week 5 win. Brees has 72,103 career passing yards and surpassed Peyton Manning (71,940) in Week 5 to become the league’s all-time leading passer.

With a touchdown pass on Sunday at Baltimore, Brees can join Manning (539), Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre (508) and Tom Brady (501) as the only players in NFL history to throw 500 career touchdown passes.

The players with the most touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (PASSING TOUCHDOWNS)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (539)
Brett Favre – Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (508)^
Tom Brady – New England (501)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (499)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri has scored 2,535 total points during his 23-year NFL career. With 10 points on Sunday against Buffalo, Vinatieri would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Morten Andersen (2,544 points) as the league’s all-time leading scorer.

The players with the most points scored in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (TOTAL POINTS SCORED
Morten Andersen – New Orleans, Atlanta, New York Giants, Kansas City and Minnesota (2,544)^
Adam Vinatieri – New England and Indianapolis (2,535)
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

PACE SETTER: Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley leads the NFL with 870 scrimmage yards and nine rushing touchdowns through the first six weeks of the 2018 season.

With 130 scrimmage yards and a touchdown on Sunday at San Francisco, Gurley can become the fifth different player in NFL history with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards and 10 rushing touchdowns in his team’s first seven games of a season.

The players with at least 1,000 scrimmage yards and 10 rushing touchdowns in his team’s first seven games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON – SCIRMMAGE YARDS/RUSHING TDS)
Priest Holmes – Kansas City (2004 – 1,017/13)
Priest Holmes – Kansas City (2002 – 1,113/12)
Terrell Davis – Denver (1998 – 1,099/12)^
Eric Dickerson – Los Angeles Rams (1983 – 1,045/17)^
Jim Brown – Cleveland (1958 – 1,060/14)^
Todd Gurley – Los Angeles Rams (2018 – 870/9)*
*Through first six games of season
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

PROLIFIC PAT: Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the NFL with 18 touchdown passes through the first six weeks of the season.

Mahomes, who has 18 touchdown passes in his first seven career games, needs two touchdown passes against Cincinnati Sunday night to join Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (21) and Deshaun Watson (20) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with at least 20 touchdown passes in their first eight career games.

The players with the most passing touchdowns in their first eight career games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASONS, PASSING TOUCHDOWNS)_
Kurt Warner – St. Louis Rams (1998-99, 21)^
Deshaun Watson – Houston (2017-18, 20)
Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City (2017-18, 18)*
*In seven career games
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

BIG PLAY TYREEK: Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill had seven receptions for 142 yards and three touchdowns, including a 75-yarder, in Week 6 and ties for the league-lead with six touchdown receptions in 2018.

Hill, who turns 25 in March of 2019, has 14 career touchdowns of at least 50 yards. With his next touchdown of at least 50 yards, he would become the third player in NFL history with at least 15 touchdowns of 50+ yards before turning 25 years old.

The players with the most 50+ yard touchdowns before turning 25 years old in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (50+ YARD TOUCHDOWNS)
Gale Sayers – Chicago (16)^
Randy Moss – Minnesota (15)^
Tyreek Hill – Kansas City (14)*
*24 years old
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

AMAZING ADAM: Minnesota wide receiver Adam Thielen had 11 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings’ Week 6 win and leads the league with 58 receptions and 712 receiving yards this season. His 58 catches are the most by a player in his team’s first six games of a season in league annals.

Thielen has recorded at least 100 receiving yards in each of Minnesota’s first six games this season and joined Charley Hennigan (seven consecutive games in 1961) as the only players in NFL history with 100 or more receiving yards in each of his team’s first six games to start a season.

With 100 receiving yards on Sunday at the New York Jets, Thielen would become the fifth player to record seven consecutive games at any point in a season with at least 100 receiving yards in NFL history.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least 100 receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON, CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 100+ RECIEVING YARDS)
Calvin Johnson – Detroit (2012 – 8)
Demaryius Thomas – Denver (2014 – 7)
Michael Irvin – Dallas (1995 – 7)^
Charley Hennigan – Houston Oilers (1961 – 7)
Adam Thielen – Minnesota (2018 – 6)*
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

KEEP IT 100: New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley had a career-high 229 scrimmage yards (130 rushing, 99 receiving) in Week 6. Barkley has totaled at least 100 scrimmage yards in each of his first six career games.

With 100 scrimmage yards on Monday night at Atlanta, Barkley would join Kareem Hunt (2017) as the only players in league annals with at least 100 scrimmage yards in seven consecutive games to begin their career.

Additionally, with 100 scrimmage yards in Week 7, Barkley would become the seventh rookie in NFL history to record seven consecutive games at any point in a season with at least 100 scrimmage yards.

The rookies with the most consecutive games of at least 100 scrimmage yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON, CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 100+ SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Eric Dickerson – Los Angeles Rams (1983, 10)^
Edgerrin James – Indianapolis (1999, 9)
Kareem Hunt – Kansas City (2017, 7)
Kevin Jones – Detroit (2004, 7)
Jamal Lewis – Baltimore (2000, 7)
Clark Gaines – New York Jets (1976, 7)
Saquon Barkley – New York Giants (2018, 6)*
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

CAPTAIN’S ORDERS: Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck threw for 301 yards with four touchdown passes in Week 6.

Luck, who has passed for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in each of his past three games, can become the third quarterback in NFL history with four consecutive games with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns within a single season on Sunday against Buffalo.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns within a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (SEASON, CONSECUTIVE GAMES)
Steve Young – San Francisco (1998, 5)^
Peyton Manning – Denver (2012, 4)
Andrew Luck – Indianapolis (2018, 3)*
*Active streak
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK SIX:

•Miami defeated Chicago, 31-28, in overtime this week. Dolphins rookie kicker Jason Sanders converted the game-winning, 47-yard field goal as time expired in overtime, marking the second-longest game-winning field goal in overtime by a rookie since 1974. The record is held by Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein, who kicked a game-winning 54-yarder as a rookie on December 2, 2012.

At least one game has gone to overtime in each of the first six weeks of the 2018 season, marking the first time that a season has featured at least one overtime game in each of its first six weeks.

•Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley rushed for a career-high 208 yards and had two touchdown runs in the Rams’ 23-20 victory at Denver.

Gurley leads the NFL with 11 scrimmage touchdowns this season and is the fifth different player since 1970 with at least 11 offensive touchdowns in his team’s first six games of a season. Gurley puts himself in some pretty good company as he joins Shaun Alexander (12 in 2005), Pro Football Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith (11 in 1995) and La Dainian Tomlinson (11 in 2005) and Priest Holmes (11 in 2002 and 11 in 2004) as the only players to accomplish the feat.

•Minnesota wide receiver Adam Thielen had 11 receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings’ 27-17 victory over Arizona.

Thielen has recorded at least 100 receiving yards in each of Minnesota’s first six games this season and joined Charley Hennigan (seven consecutive games in 1961) as the only players in NFL history with 100 or more receiving yards in each of his team’s first six games to start a season. Thielen’s 58 catches, which lead the NFL this season, are the most by a player in his team’s first six games of a season in league annals.

•Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown, who had five catches for 105 yards, caught the game-winning, 31-yard touchdown with 10 seconds remaining in regulation in the Steelers’ 28-21 win at Cincinnati. The play marked the longest go-ahead touchdown by a Steeler in the final 10 seconds of the fourth quarter since 1970.

Steelers running back James Conner rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns in the victory, his third game this season with at least 100 rushing yards and two touchdown runs. Conner became the fifth player since 1970 to record 100 or more rushing yards and at least 2 rushing touchdowns in three of his team’s first six games of a season.

•Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson completed 17 of 23 passes (73.9 percent) for 222 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for a 125.4 rating in the Seahawks’ 27-3 victory over Oakland before a crowd of 84,922 at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Wilson joined Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles (September 24, 2017), Dallas’ Tony Romo (November 9, 2014) and New England’s Tom Brady (October 28, 2012) as the only players to throw for at least three touchdowns and record a passer rating of 125 or higher in the 22 NFL games played in London since 2007. By the end of the 2018 season, the NFL will have played 24 regular-season games in London, with 29 of 32 teams (91 percent) having participated.

•Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott passed for 183 yards, rushed for 82 yards and had three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) in the Cowboys’ 40-7 win against Jacksonville at AT&T Stadium.

Prescott, who is in his third NFL season, has nine career games with at least one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown, tied with Jack Kemp for the fourth-most such games by a player in his first three seasons in NFL history. Only Carolina’s Cam Newton (20), New England’s Steve Grogan (11) and the New York Jets’ Mark Sanchez (10) had more games with at least one passing and one rushing touchdown in their first three seasons.

•New York Jets kicker Jason Myers converted all seven of his field goal attempts and made three-of-three extra points in the Jets’ 42-34 win against Indianapolis in the Meadowlands.

Myers’ 24 total points are the second-highest single-game total by a player who did not score a touchdown in NFL history. Only the Titans’ Rob Bironas (26 on October 21, 2007) scored more points in a single game without scoring a touchdown.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK SEVEN:

The NFL heads into Week 7 following another exciting weekend of action. In Week 6, nine of 15 games (60 percent) were decided by one score (eight points or fewer), including three games – Miami’s overtime win against Chicago, New England’s last second win against Kansas City on Sunday Night Football and Green Bay’s victory over San Francisco on Monday Night Football ­­– on game-winning field goals as time expired in the fourth quarter or overtime. Twelve contests this season have been won on the final play of the game, tied for the third-most through the first six weeks of a season since 2003.

Through the first six weeks of the season, 54 games have been decided by one score, tied with the 1999 season for the most in NFL history through Week 6. Twenty-eight of those games have been decided by three or fewer points, the second-most in NFL history through Week 6 (35 games in 1999), including four such games last week.

At least one game has gone to overtime in each of the first six weeks of the 2018 season, marking the first time since the regular-season overtime rule was instituted in 1974 that there has been an overtime game in each of a season’s first six weeks.

As the season approaches the halfway point, there are currently 21 teams with a .500 or better record. The Los Angeles Rams (6-0) top the NFC and are the NFL’s only remaining unbeaten team, while Kansas City (5-1) own the AFC’s best mark. Twenty-one teams are currently in or within one game of first place in their respective divisions.

Scoring continues to trend at a record pace in 2018. Through Week 6, there have been 504 total touchdowns and 4,489 total points scored, both the most in NFL history through the first six weeks of a season.

MOST TOUCHDOWNS IN FIRST SIX WEEKS, NFL HISTORY

SEASON – TOUCHDOWNS
2018 – 504
2015 – 481
2014 – 479
2016 – 470

MOST TOTAL POINTS IN FIRST SIX WEEKS, NFL HISTORY

SEASON – TOTAL POINTS
2018 – 4,489
2014 – 4,250
2015 – 4,243
2012 – 4,233

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley leads the NFL with 11 scrimmage touchdowns this season and is the fifth different player since 1970 with at least 11 offensive touchdowns in his team’s first six games of a season. Gurley joins Shaun Alexander (12 in 2005), Pro Football Hall of Famers Emmitt Smiht (11 in 1995) and La Danian Tomlinson (11 in 2005) and Priest Holmes (11 in 2002 and 11 in 2004) as the only players to accomplish the feat.

Highlights of the Week 7 schedule includes the second of three 2018 London Series games kicks off at 9:30 a.m. at Wembley Stadium on Sunday as the Los Angeles Chargers hosts Tennessee. The Titans are making their first appearance in London, while the Chargers play in the UK for the second time. Los Angeles running back Melvin Gordon leads the AFC with 745 scrimmage yards and ranks second in the NFL with nine touchdowns (six rushing, three receiving). Titans safety Kevin Byard, who had an interception in Week 6, has nine interceptions since 2017, tied with Detroit’s Darius Slay for the most in the league over the span. The 2018 London Series concludes in Week 8 with Philadelphia taking on Jacksonville on the other side of the pond.

New England, who sits at 4-2 and are tied with Miami atop the AFC East, visits Chicago, as Da Bears lead the NFC North with a 3-2 record, at Soldier Field on Sunday afternoon in the Windy City. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady passed for 340 yards with one touchdown and rushed for a touchdown in New England’s 43-40 victory last week, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to record 200 regular-season wins. New England running back Sony Michel ranks second among rookies with 400 rushing yards and aims for his fourth game in a row with a rushing touchdown. Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has nine touchdown passes in his past two games, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Sid Luckman (nine in 1943) for the most by a quarterback in franchise history over any two-game span.

On Sunday afternoon, Baltimore welcomes New Orleans to M&T Bank Stadium in an interconference late-afternoon showdown in Charm city. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who became the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards (72,103) in Week 5, enters the contest needing one touchdown pass to become the fourth player in league history to record 500 career touchdown passes. The Ravens’ defense, led by linebacker Za’Darius Smith’s three sacks, recorded a franchise-record 11 sacks in Week 6, becoming the third team since 2002 to record at least 11 sacks in a single game.

The 117th meeting between Washington and Dallas (including the postseason) takes place at FedExField, as both teams look to win consecutive games for the first time this season. Washington (3-2) enters Week 7 in first place in the NFC East. Redskins running back Adrian Peterson, who leads the team with 339 rushing yards, aims for his fourth consecutive game against Dallas with a rushing score. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes and rushed for a touchdown in Dallas’ win last week and has nine career games with both a passing and rushing touchdown, tied for the fourth-most in league history by a player in his first three seasons.

In Sunday’s nightcap, Cincinnati travels to Arrowhead Stadium to take on Kansas City of AFC contenders. Since entering the league in 2011, Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green ranks third in the NFL with 8,707 receiving yards and fifth with 589 receptions. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who leads the NFL with 18 touchdown passes, has won six of his first seven career starts and is the only quarterback in league history to throw for at least 250 yards in each of his first seven games. Week seven play concludes in Atlanta at Matt Ryan and the Falcons host Eli Manning and the NeW York Giants in the Big Peach.

Byes this week? Green Bay, Oakland, Pittsburgh and Seattle. Lions and Saints fans can rejoice and Detroit and New Orleans return to action this week. As for last week? Much better, as we went 11-4 for the week and 53-35 for the season. There’s still a lot of football left to play in the 2018 season. Week seven began in the desert with the Broncos taking Arizona to task in Glendale and ends with Eli Manning and the New York Giants traveling to the Big Peach for a meeting with Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. With that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week seven.

Tennessee (3-3) at Los Angeles Chargers (4-2), 9:30 a.m. Eastern (1:30 p.m. in London) on CBS. RULE BRITAINIA! Set those DVR’s early! It’s an early Sunday morning start in the United States as the Los Angeles Chargers host Tennessee on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in the second contest in London in the 2018 campaign.

The Titans were taken to task by Baltimore last Sunday in Nashville as they were shut down and shut out by the Ravens 21-0 at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee trailed 14-0 at the intermission in the Music City and could never really get on track in their home loss. Tennessee was held to 55 yards rushing, while the Ravens ran roughshod over the Titans for 123 yards of their own and sacked Marcus Mariota (117 yards) 11 times. Baltimore’s Alex Collins accounted for his team’s last two scoring plays, while Michael Crabtree and Joe Flacco (238 yards) connected on the game’s first score. The Titans were a rather dismal 1 of 10 on third down last Sunday and held on to the ball for 22:26, while the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 37:34, while going 12 of 17 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Los Angeles brought Cleveland back to Earth last Sunday along the shores of Lake Erie, as the Chargers were 38-14 winners at First Energy Field. Leading 21-6 at the intermission, the Chargers pulled away from Cleveland in the second half to take the win on the road. The Chargers outrushed Cleveland 246-103, with Los Angeles RB Melvin Gordon leading the way with 132 yards and three rushing TDs. Philip Rivers threw for 207 yards and a pair of TDs to Tyrell Williams, while Baker Mayfield threw for 238 yards with five sacks, a TD and a pair of interceptions. The Chargers went 1 of 9 on third down conversions at FirstEnergy Stadium and kept the ball for 31:37, while the Browns were 6 of 16 and 1 of 3 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 28:23.

The Chargers lead the series 26-14-1, which includes contests that were played in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers and the Chargers were in San Diego and they have outscored Tennessee 1,068-902. The Chargers were 43-35 winners in San Diego in their last meeting, which took place in 2016, while Tennessee’s last win came in 2013 in the Music City by a final of 20-17. The Chargers are favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 45. Both numbers are reasonable. The Chargers are in the midst of a 41-day stretch where they will not be in Los Angeles unil November 18, when they host Denver at Stub Hub Centre (after their bye next week, they travel to Seattle and Oakland). Tennessee makes things closer than 6 1/2 but the Chargers prevail in Music City.

New England (4-2) at Chicago (3-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. New England makes its way to the Windy City for a showdown with the improved Chicago Bears at Solider Field.

The Patriots knocked Kansas City out of the ranks of the unbeatens Sunday night in Foxboro, coming away 43-40 last second winners over the Chiefs at Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady and New England led 24-13 at the intermission in the Sunday night contest before the Chiefs would rally in the second half, outscoring New England 31-19 in the final 30 minutes of action. Kansas City took a 33-30 lead with 8:38 left when Tyreek Hill and QB Pat Mahomes (352 yards, four TDs, two interceptions) connected on a 1-yard TD pass. That lead would not last long as Brady took matters into his own hands and feet, scoring from 4 yards out and the Pats would add to that lead when Stephen Gostkowski booted a 52-yarder to lead 40-33. The Chiefs were not going away quietly as Hill and Mahomes hooked up again with 3:03 left to re-tie the contest. New England went into a surgeon-like mode in the final 3:03, using a 7-play, 65-yard drive that used all the available time left in regulation when Gostkowski booted a 28-yard field goal as time expired. Brady threw for 340 yards with a TD toss to Josh Edelman as New England outrushed Kansas City 173-94 (New England rookie RB Sony Michel led everyone with 106 yards on the ground with a pair of TDs). New England was 7 of 13 on third down (the Pats were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:09 (including the final drive), while the Chiefs were 4 of 10 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:51.

Chicago fans suffered heartbreak as they watch Da Bears lose in overtime 31-28 last Sunday in Miami. Chicago watched Miami lead 7-0 at the end of the first quarter and take that lead with them to the locker room at the intermission, before roaring back to take a 21-13 lead at the end of three quarters. Miami tied things back up in the fourth, scoring 15 points in the final quarter to tie things up when Brock Osweiler and WR Albert Wilson hooked up on a 28-yard TD toss with 9:08 left in regulation. Chicago would reclaim the lead with 3:17 left when QB Mitchell Trubisky and WR Anthony Miller connected on a 29-yard toss. That lead would last all of 16 seconds as Osweiler and Wilson connected on a 75-yard toss as part of a 1-play drive that used only 16 seconds of clock to re-tie the contest at 28-all. Miami would win the toss in overtime and get as close as Chicago’s 1-yard line when RB Kenyan Drake fumbled on the goal line, giving Chicago the ball back. Da Bears would get as far as the Dolphins’ 35-yard yard line when Cody Parkey’s 53-yard field goal try sailed wide right. Miami got the ball back and made their move, using a 6-play, 28-yard drive that took 1:55 and sent their fans home happy campers when Jason Sanders connected on a 47-yard field goal as time ran out. Chicago outrushed Miami 164-161 (Miami’s Frank Gore led all rushers with 101 yards) and Osweiler threw for 380 yards, while Trubisky threw for 316 yards (each threw three TD passes). Miami was 8 for 17 on third down and held on to the ball for 36:35 (including the final drive in overtime), while Da Bears kept the ball for 33:25, going 8 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

New England leads the series 9-3, they have outscored Da Bears 288-173 and have won the last four meetings, including taking a 51-23 win in Foxboro in 2014, while Chicago’s last win came in 2000 in the Windy City by afinal of 24-17. The oddsmakers like New England as a 3 1/2-point favorite with a 49 1/2 over/under. Both teams can put up points and last week’s contests were proof of that. Da Bears are 2-0 in the Windy City this year and the Pats would love nothing more than to change that. New England covers Da 3 in Da Windy City and beats Da Bears.

Buffalo (2-4) at Indianapolis (1-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of struggling AFC teams meet in the Hoosier State as Buffalo travels to Indianapolis to face off against Andrew Luck and the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Both teams would wind up in the loss column in last week’s action.

The Bills dropped a 20-13 decisions to Houston at NRG Stadium last Sunday. Although the Texans led 10-0 at the half, the Bills would eventually manage to tie things up with 94 seconds left with a a 27-yard field goal from Kai Fairbairn before the Texans would take the lead back for keeps when CB Jonathan Joseph picked off Nate Peterman (who came in for Josh Allen after he was knocked out of the contest with an arm injury) and retured the ball 23 yards for a TD with 82 seconds left in regulation. Buffalo did outrush Houston 100-74 but Peterman threw a pair of interceptions and 61 yards (Allen threw for 84 yards with a pair of sacks before leaving the contest), while DeShaun Watson threw for 177 yards and a TD to WR DeAndre Hopkins (Watson was sacked seven times and picked off twice). Buffalo was 6 of 15 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 33 minutes, while the Texans kept the pigskin for 27 minutes, going 3 for 13 on third down tries.

Luck and the Colts fell to the New York J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 42-34 in the Meadowlands last Sunday afternoon. New York led 23-13 at the intermission at Met Life Stadium before the Colts would outscore GangGreen 21-19 in the final 30 minutes of action. Indy did outrush the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 127-107 and Luck threw for 301 yards with four touchdowns and no sacks, outpacing Jets QB Sam Darnold, who threw for 280 yards with a pair of TDs for the winners. The one thing that did the Colts in was four turnovers (three Luck interceptions, one fumble), while GangGreen turned the ball over twice. The Colts were 5 of 12 on third down (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 22:58, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! went 6 of 15 on third down and had a ground stop on the ball, as they would keep it for 37:02.

The Bills lead the series 37-31-1 (including games that were played in Baltimore), Buffalo has outscored the Colts ,430-1,319 and the Bills have won the last two meetings, including taking a 13-7 overtime win last year in upstate New York (Indy’s last win in the series came in the Hoosier State in 2012 by a final of 20-13).

They met in snowy Orchard Park in week 14 in a contest that was played in a constant blizzard. A wind chill of 16 with blowing snow throughout the contest made this one a good one to watch either in person or on TV. After a scoreless first quarter, the Bills took a 7-0 lead with them to the intermission when Buffalo QB Nathan Peterman and WR Kelvin Benjamin connected on an 8-yard TD pass with 27 seconds left before the break. Buffalo would carry that lead late into the fourth quarter when the Colts’ Jacoby Brissett and TE Jack Doyle connected on a pass play of their own with 76 seconds left in regulation to tie things up.

Each team got the ball in overtime but could not produce a score that would have either given them the lead or won the contest outright. The Bills got the ball back again and this time they made the possession pay off, using a 6-play, 65-yard drive that would last all of 52 seocnds as Buffalo RB LeSean McCoy would send the fans that were in the chilly air of New Era Field home happy, scoring from 21 yards out with 1:33  left to play in the extra period. McCoy ran for 156 yards in the contest as the Bills outrushed the Colts 227-163 (Indy’s Frank Gore ran for 130), while Peterman threw for 57 yards with no interceptions or sacks and Brissett threw for 69 yards with an interception. The Bills were 10 of 18 on third down (they were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 32:25, while the Colts kept the pigskin for 36:02, going 4 of 16 on third down, 3 of 4 on fourth down.

In the week 14 contest in upstate New York, the Bills were favored by 3 and Buffalo covered with the 6-point overtime win. As for the 46 over/under? It was safe and warm, as both clubs combined for only 20 points. Indy’s a 6 1/2 point favorite in the Hoosier State and the over/under is 42 1/2. Buffalo would like to repeat what they did last year in upstate New York, while the Colts would like some revenge. Indy gets the revenge and the win, although the Bills make this closer than the 6 1/2.

Houston (3-30 at Jacksonville (3-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of AFC South rivals, separated by 872 miles along I-10 meet in the Sunshine State as Jacksonville hosts J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans.

Houston held off Buffalo 20-13 at NRG Stadium last Sunday in Houston. Although they led 10-0 at the half, the Bills would eventually manage to tie things up with 94 seconds left with a a 27-yard field goal from Kai Fairbairn before the Texans would take the lead back for keeps when CB Jonathan Joseph picked off Nate Peterman (who came in for Josh Allen after he was knocked out of the contest with an arm injury) and retured the ball 23 yards for a TD with 82 seconds left in regulation. Buffalo did outrush Houston 100-74 but Peterman threw a pair of interceptions and 61 yards (Allen threw for 84 yards with a pair of sacks before leaving the contest), while DeShaun Watson threw for 177 yards and a TD to WR DeAndre Hopkins (Watson was sacked seven times and picked off twice). Buffalo was 6 of 15 on third down conversions and held on to the ball for 33 minutes, while the Texans kept the pigskin for 27 minutes, going 3 for 13 on third down tries.

Jacksonville was held in check last Sunday at AT&T Stadium by Dallas last Sunday as the Cowboys took down the Jaguars 40-7. Jacksonville trailed throughout the contest, trailing 24-0 at the break before the Jaguars ended their bid for a shut out as Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (149 yards, three sacks and an interception) and WR Dede Westbrook connected on a 34-yard TD toss with 7:31 left in the third quarter. Dak Prescott (three sacks) threw for 183 yards and a pair of TD passes to WR Cole Beasley, while rushing for a TD, with RB Ezekiel Elliott running for 106 yards and a TD. Dallas outrushed the Jaguars 206-65, going 7 of 17 on third down (2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 38:50, while Jacksonvile held the pigskin for 21:10, going 4 of 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

While the Texans hold a 19-13 lead in the series and have outscored Jacksonville 707-668, the Jaguars have won the last two meetings in the series, including sweeping last year’s contests (Houston’s last win in the series came in the Lone Star State in 2016 by a final of 21-20).

The two teams opened the 2017 campaign in the Lone Star State and the Jaguars prevailed 29-7 at NRG Stadium. Jacksonville led 19-0 at the half and held the Texans to a 4-yard TD pass from Watson to WR DeAndre Hopkins in the third quarter. The Jaguars outrushed Houston 155-93, with Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette leading the way with 100 and a rushing TD, while Blake Bortles threw for 125 yards with a TD and no interceptions or sacks (Watson threw for 102 yards with four interceptions and a sack). Jacksonville was 3 of 12 on third down tries (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:05, while the Texans kept the pigskin for 29:55, going 5 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Jacksonville made the sweep of the series official as they manhandled the Texans 45-7 at Everbank Field in week 15. Once again, Jacksonville jumped out to a huge lead and was never really challenged in the contest (they led 31-0 at the break). Houston found themselves outrushed by Jacksonville 138-87, with Bortles throwing for 326 yards and three TDs in the lopsided win in the Sunshine State. Jacksonville was 3 of 10 on third down and kept the ball for 33:18, while the Texans were 4 of 16 on third down, holding the ball for 26:42.

Houston was favored by 5 in the season opener and the Jaguars covered with the 19-point win but neither club reached the 39 1/2 over/under, as they scored 36 points. Jacksonville was favored by 10 1/2 in the week 15 rematch in north Florida and they would easily cover, winning by 36. As for the over/under of 39? This time, both clubs covered the over/under with 52 points. Jacksonville’s favored by 4 1/2 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 42 1/2. Both clubs are in the middle of the pack in the AFC South, chasing Tennessee and would like nothing better than to catch up to the Titans. Jacksonville takes this one at home and covers the 4 1/2.

Detroit (2-3) at Miami (4-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. A pair of interconference rivals square off in the Sunshine Stae as Miami hosts the Detroit Lions at Hard Rock Stadium Sunday afternoon.

Detroit is coming off their bye after they took down Green Bay 31-23 at Ford Field two Sundays ago. The Lions shut out the Packers in the first half, taking a 24-0 lead at the intermission in the Motor City before Green Bay would outscore the Lions 23-7 in the second half. The one bright spot for Green Bay was that they outrushed Detroit 98-94 and Aaron Rodgers threw for 442 yards and three TDs, while Lions signal caller Matthew Stafford threw for 183 yards and three TDs (neither threw an interception, Rodgers was sacked four times, Stafford was sacked three times). Green Bay, who fumbled the ball three times at Ford Field, went 3 of 10 on third down (2 of 2 on fourth down) and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 33:20, while the Lions were 5 of 13 on third down conversions, holding the ball for 26:40.

Miami needed overtime to take care of Chicago 31-28 last Sunday. Miami led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, took that lead with them to the locker room at the intermission, then saw Da Bears take a 21-13 lead at the end of three quarters before rallying to tie things up, sending the contest into overtime. Miami would score 15 points in the final quarter to tie things up when Brock Osweiler and WR Albert Wilson hooked up on a 28-yard TD toss with 9:08 left in regulation. Chicago would reclaim the lead with 3:17 left when QB Mitchell Trubisky and WR Anthony Miller connected on a 29-yard toss. That lead would last all of 16 seconds as Osweiler and Wilson connected on a 75-yard toss as part of a 1-play drive that used only 16 seconds of clock to re-tie the contest at 28-all. Miami would win the toss in overtime and get as close as Chicago’s 1-yard line when RB Kenyan Drake fumbled on the goal line, giving Chicago the ball back. Da Bears would get as far as the Dolphins’ 35-yard yard line when Cody Parkey’s 53-yard field goal try sailed wide right. Miami got the ball back and made their move, using a 6-play, 28-yard drive that took 1:55 and sent their fans home happy campers when Jason Sanders connected on a 47-yard field goal as time ran out. Chicago outrushed Miami 164-161 (Miami’s Frank Gore led all rushers with 101 yards) and Osweiler threw for 380 yards, while Trubisky threw for 316 yards (each threw three TD passes). Miami was 8 for 17 on third down and held on to the ball for 36:35 (including the final drive in overtime), while Da Bears kept the ball for 33:25, going 8 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Miami leads the series 7-4 and they have outscored Detroit 298-208. Detroit has won the last two meetings with Miami, including taking a 20-16 win in the Motor City in 2014, while Miami’s last win over the Lions came in the Motor City in 2006 by a final 27-10. Miami is a 3 1/2 point underdog at home and the over/under is 46 1/2. America likes underdogs and we like the Dolphins to take the win at home in the Sunshine State and cover the 3 1/2.

Minnesota (3-2-1) at New York Jets (3-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of teams coming off huge home wins last Sunday meet in upstate New Jersey as the Vikings leave the Land of 10,000 Lakes for a meeting with the New York Jets at Met Life Stadium.

Minnesota took Arizona to task 27-17 at US Bank Stadium last Sunday in the Twin Cities. The Purple Gang led 13-10 at the half, then pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Desert Angry Birds 14-7 in the final 30 minutes. Minnesota outrushed Arizona 195-61, with Vikings RB Latavius runnig for 155 yards and a TD, while Kirk Cousins threw for 233 yards and a TD to wR Adam Thielen. Arizona’s Josh Rosen threw for 240 and four sacks in the loss (both Rosen and Cousins threw an interception in the contest). Arizona, who turned the ball over twice and got a fumble recovery by S Budda Baker, went 0 of 10 and 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 25:45, while the Vikings held the ball for 34:15, gonig 5 of 14 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! came away 42-34 in the Meadowlands last Sunday afternoon against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. New York led 23-13 at the intermission at Met Life Stadium before the Colts would outscore GangGreen 21-19 in the final 30 minutes of action. Indy did outrush the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 127-107 and Luck threw for 301 yards with four touchdowns and no sacks, outpacing Jets QB Sam Darnold, who threw for 280 yards with a pair of TDs for the winners. The one thing that did the Colts in was four turnovers (three Luck interceptions, one fumble), while GangGreen turned the ball over twice. The Colts were 5 of 12 on third down (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 22:58, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! went 6 of 15 on third down and had a ground stop on the ball, as they would keep it for 37:02.

GangGreen leads the series 8-2 and they have outscored the Vikings 250-172. Minnesota’s last win in the series (which includes contests that were played at Shea Stadium, Metropolitan Stadium and the Metrodome) came in 2014 in the Twin Cities by a final 30-24 in overtime, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!’ last win came in the Meadowlands by a final of 29-20 in 2010. Minnesota’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 47. Both numbers are reasonable. GangGreen could make this one close but Minnesota prevails in the Meadowlands.

Carolina (3-2) at Philadelphia (3-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecV 711. Carolina BBQ vs. Philly Cheese Steak. The defending Super Bowl champions host the Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton at Lincoln Financial Field in the City of Brotherly Love.

Washington held off Newton and the Carolina Panthers 23-17 at Fed Ex Field last Sunday. The Redskins led 17-6 at the break before they were out score by Carolina 11-6 in the final 30 minutes of action to make things closer than Washington fans would have liked. Washington got a pair of Alex Smith TD tosses to take the win, while Newton also threw a pair of TDs passes in the 6-point road loss, tallying 275 yards with an interception (Smtih had 163 yards with three sacks). Washington, who outrushed the Panthers 132-81, was 7 of 16 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 35:24, while the Panthers were 24:36 in time of possession, going 3 of 9 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

The defending Super Bowl champs righted their ship last Thursday night in the Meadowlands as they took Eli Manning and the New York Giants to task, taking a 34-13 NFC East road win. Philadelphia and Carson Wentz took a 24-6 lead at the intermission, then proceeded to take control of things in the second half against their NFC East rival. Although the Giants did outrush Philadelphia 147-108 (rookie RB Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 130 yards and a TD), the Giants could never get on track in front of their home crowd. Wentz threw for 278 yards and three TDs in the Thursday night affair, while Manning threw for 281 yards with four sacks and an interception (Wentz had one sack with no interceptions). The Eagles were 9 of 16 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 32:30, while the Giants were 4 of 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 27:30.

Philadelphia leads the series 7-3 and have outscored the Panthers 258-201. The Eagles won the last meeting which took place in Charlotte by a final of 28-23 at Bank of America Stadium (Carolina’s last win over the Eagles came in 2015 in Charlotte by a 27-16 count).

They met in week six in the Tar Heel State and the Eagles broke a 10-10 tie at the intermission by outscoring Carolina 18-13 in the final 30 minuts to take the 5-point win on the road. TE Zach Ertz would give the Eagles the lead for good when he and Carson Wentz connected on a 17-yard TD toss early in the third quarter. Carolina, who would be outrushed 101-80, pulled to within five with 8:04 left in the contest when Newton and WR Collin McCaffery connected on a 1-yard TD toss but could come no closer. Wentz threw for 222 yards with three TDs and three sacks, while Newton threw for 239 yards with a pair of sacks and three interceptions. Philadelphia went 5 of 14 on third down (the Eagles were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:34, while the Panthers ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:26, going 4 of 16 and 1 of 3 on third and fourth downs.

In the week six Thursday night contest in Charlotte, Carolina was a 3 1/2-point favorite and the Eagles covered with the 5-point road win. The 46 over/under was covered as both combined for 53 points. The odds makers in Vegas like the Eagles as 4 1/2 point favorites in the City of Brotherly Love and the over/under is 45 1/2. History has a way of repeating itself and such will be the case Sunday. Eagles cover the 4 1/2 and wins in the City of Brotherly Love.

Cleveland (2-3-1) at Tampa Bay (2-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of sub .500 teams meet in the Sunshine State as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host Cleveland at Raymond James Stadium as a pair of former Heisman winners take each other on.

Cleveland was brought back to Earth last Sunday along the shores of Lake Erie by the Los Angeles Chargers, as they took a 38-14 loss at First Energy Field. The Browns trailed 21-6 at the intermission, then watched the Chargers pull away from them in the second half to take the win on the road. The Chargers outrushed Cleveland 246-103, with Los Angeles RB Melvin Gordon leading the way with 132 yards and three rushing TDs. Philip Rivers threw for 207 yards and a pair of TDs to Tyrell Williams, while Baker Mayfield threw for 238 yards with five sacks, a TD and a pair of interceptions. The Chargers went 1 of 9 on third down conversions at FirstEnergy Stadium and kept the ball for 31:37, while the Browns were 6 of 16 and 1 of 3 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 28:23.

The Buccaneers fell short in their attempt to take down NFC South rival Atlanta, as the Falcons prevailed 34-29 in the Big Peach. Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers trailed 24-13 at the half before managing to outscore the Falcons 16-10 in the final 30 minutes of play. Tampa Bay would pull themselves to within two with 3:47 left when Winston (395 yards, four TDs, two sacks, two interceptions) and RB Peyton Barber connected on a 5-yard TD toss before the Falcons’ Matt Bryant connected on a 57-yard field goal with 70 seconds left in the contest. Tampa Bay would then make their way downfield afte the kickoff and got as close as Atlanta’s 21-yard line when they tried several lateral passes with seven seconds left but came up short. Tampa Bay outrushed Atlanta 123-70, while Falcons QB Matt Ryan threw for 354 yards with three TDs (TE Austin Hooper, WR Mohamed Sanu and RB Tevin Coleman caught the TD passes, WR Julio Jones led all recievers with 143 yards) and no interceptions. Both clubs did well on third down tries (Atlanta was 8 of 13, Tampa Bay was 5 of 8) and the Falcons ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:39 to Tampa Bay’s 28:21.

Cleveland holds a 6-3 lead in the series and the Browns have outscored Tampa Bay 188-144. Cleveland won the last meeting with Tampa Bay, taking a 22-17 win along the shores of Lake Erie in 2014, while Tampa Bay’s last win in the series came in the Sunshine State in 2010 by a final of 17-14. Tampa Bay’s favored by 3 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 49 1/2. Both numbers make sense and both teams are actually better than their records. Tampa Bay will take this one but expect the Browns to make this closer than 3.

New Orleans (4-1) at Baltimore (4-2), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. Gumbo meets crab cakes as New Orleans makes their way to Charm City for a late-afternoon meeting with the Baltimore Ravens.

Washington saw Drew Brees pass Brett Farve and Peyton Manning as the all-time passing leader as the Saints took Washington to task 43-19 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the Big Easy two weeks ago. Washington trailed 26-13 at the half and was outscored by the Saints 17-6 in the final 30 minutes of play. New Orleans held Washington to 39 rushing yards as the Saints would tally 98 yards of their own. Brees threw for 363 yards and three TDs in the lopside Monday night affair, while Washington’s Alex Smith threw for 275 yards with an interception and three sacks (Brees was sacked twice). The Redskins were 4 of 13 on third down (2 0f 4 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:43, while the Saints ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 33:17, going 5 of 9 on third down conversions.

The Ravens pitched a shutout at Tennessee, coming away 21-0 winners in Nashville last Sunday at Nissan Stadium. Baltimore led 14-0 at the intermission in the Music City and made sure that the Titans could never really get on track in their home loss. Baltimore held the Tennessee rushing game in check, holding the Titans to 55 yards rushing, while the Ravens ran roughshod over the Titans for 123 yards of their own, sacking Marcus Mariota (117 yards) 11 times. Baltimore’s Alex Collins accounted for his team’s last two scoring plays, while Michael Crabtree and Joe Flacco (238 yards) connected on the game’s first score. The Titans were a rather dismal 1 of 10 on third down last Sunday and held on to the ball for 22:26, while the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 37:34, while going 12 of 17 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Baltimore leads the series 5-1, the Ravens have outscored the Saints 172-128 and they have won the last two contests, including taking a 34-27 win in the Big Easy in 2014, while New Orleans’ lone win came in Charm City in 2002 by a final of 37-25. Baltimore’s favored by 2 1/2 in Charm City and the over/under’s 49 1/2. This one is worth your time watching with these two QBs on Sunday afternoon. Baltimore wins this one but expect the Saints to make it closer than the 2 1/2.

Dallas at Washington, 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. Forget the records. They’re in the same division. They don’t exactly like each other. In fact… they LOATHE each other.

Capulets vs. Montagues.

Hatfields vs. McCoys.

Dogs vs. Cats.

Get the picture?

A pair of NFC East rivals meet in Landover in a late-afternoon contest at Fed Ex Field. Washington, sitting in first place in the division, hosts Dallas, nipping at their heels in the second spot in the division. Both teams took wins at home in last week’s action.

Dallas held Jacksonville in check last Sunday at AT&T Stadium last Sunday as the Cowboys took down the Jaguars 40-7. The Cowboys led 24-0 at the break before seeing their bid for a shut out come to an end as Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (149 yards, three sacks and an interception) and WR Dede Westbrook connected on a 34-yard TD toss with 7:31 left in the third quarter. Dak Prescott (three sacks) threw for 183 yards and a pair of TD passes to WR Cole Beasley, while rushing for a TD, with RB Ezekiel Elliott running for 106 yards and a TD. Dallas outrushed the Jaguars 206-65, going 7 of 17 on third down (2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 38:50, while Jacksonvile held the pigskin for 21:10, going 4 of 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Washington held off Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers 23-17 at Fed Ex Field last Sunday. Despite being outscored by the Panthers 11-6 in the final 30 minutes of action, the Redskins managed to lead 17-6 at the break, thanks to a pair of Alex Smith TD tosses. Newton also threw a pair of TDs passes in the 6-point road loss, tallying 275 yards with an interception, while Smtih had 163 yards with three sacks. Washington, who outrushed the Panthers 132-81, was 7 of 16 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 35:24, while the Panthers were 24:36 in time of possession, going 3 of 9 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Dallas leads the series 70-42-2, they’ve outscored the Redskins 2,661-2,195 (including games played at the Cotton Bowl, Cowboys Stadium and RFK Stadium and have won the last four meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Washington’s last win over Dallas came in 2015, when they left Jerry World with a 34-23 victory).

Round 1… week eight in Landover. Washington trailed 14-13 at the intermission at Fed Ex Field before Dallas pulled away to leave the DC area 33-19 winners. The Cowboys used four Matt Nugent field goals in the second half along with a 21-yard interception return by S Byron Jones to seal the win and take control of things on the road. Dallas outrushed Washington 169-49 with Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 150 yards and a pair of rushing TDs, while Prescott threw for 143 yards with no interceptions and a pair of sacks, while Kirk Cousins threw for 263 yards with a TD, four sacks and a interception. Dallas was 5 of 14 on third down (the Cowboys were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held the ball for 33:19, while Washington kept the pigskin for 26:41, going 4 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In round 2, Dallas completed the sweep in the Lone Star State in week 13, taking Washington to task at AT&T Stadium with a 38-14 win. After a scoreless first quarter, the Cowboys led 17-7 at the half, then went into cruise control in the final 30 minutes of action, outscoring the Redskins 21-7. Prescott threw for 102 yards with a sack, connecting with TE Jason Witten and WR Dez Bryant, while Alfred Morris (taking over for the suspended Elliott) ran for 127 yards with a TD as Dallas outrushed Washington 182-56. Dallas was 7 of 14 on third down (0 for 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 32:28, while the Redskins were 6 of 14 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down conversions, keeping the ball for 27:32.

In the week eight contest in Landover, Dallas was favored by 2 1/2 and covered thanks to their 14-point win and both teams took care of covering the 50 1/2 over/under with 52 points. Dallas was once agains favored by the oddsmakers in Vegas as 2=point favorites and once again the Cowboys covered, winning by 18 and the two teams covered the over/under of 44 1/2, tallying 52 points in the Thursday night contest. The Redksins are favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Washington’s sitting on top of the NFC East mountain, while the Cowboys are looking to knock them off the top. Hail to the Redskins! Washington covers the 1 1/2 and takes the win in Landover.

Los Angeles Rams (6-0) at San Francisco (1-5), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713. They’re separated by 364 miles up I-5 on the West Coast. One team’s on top the NFL and NFC West mountain, while the other sits in the NFC West cellar. The Rams and 49ers meet in wine country for a divisonal showdown at Levis’ Stadium.

The unbeaten Rams held off a late Denver rally last Sunday in the Mile High City, coming away 23-20 winners at chilly Broncos Stadium at Mile High last Sunday. Los Angeles took a 13-3 lead with them to the intermission, then watched Denver pull themselves to within 7 with 8:54 left in the third when K Brian McManus connected on a 24yard field goal. Los Angeles would then respond with a 21-yard field goal from Chris Santos to pull themselve back to a 10-point cushion. Denver would make it a 3-point contest with 82 seconds left when WR Demaryius Thomas and QB Case Keenum connected on a 1-yard TD toss. The Rams burned Denver for 270 yards on the ground with Los Angeles RB Todd Gurley running for 208 yards and a pair of TDs (Denver rushed for 60 yards, with Keenum throwing for 322 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with WR Emmanuel Sanders on the other toss), while Jarred Goff threw for 201 yards with five sacks and an interception (Keenum was sacked twice and threw an interception). Denver on third down tries in the home loss went 3 of 10 (the Broncos were 0 of 1 on fourth down conversions and held the ball for 24:50, while the Rams ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 35:10, going 8 of 17 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The 49ers let a 30-23 lead at Green Bay get away from them as the Packers would score twice late in the final quarter to take a 33-30 win at Lambeau Field last Monday night. San Francisco led 24-20 at the break in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst thanks to a Robbie Gould field goal (Gould would kick three in the contest) before seeing that lead and the win vanish as Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and WR Davante Adams connected on a 16-yard TD toss with 1:55 left to tie the contest and then Mason Crosby boot a 27-yarder as time expired. San Francisco outrushed the Packers 174-116, as 49ers QB C.J. Beathard threw for 245 yards and a pair of TD tosses to WR Marquise Goodwin (49ers RB Raheem Mostert led all rushers with 87 yards on the ground), while Rodgers threw for 425 yards and a pair of TDs to WR Davante Adams (Rodgers had three sacks, Beathard had two). San Francisco was 2 of 9 on third down tries in the Monday night contest and held the ball for 28:52, while the Packers were 4 of 13 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:08, including the final 67 seconds of regulation.

Including contests that took place at Keezar Stadium, Candlestick Park, Anaheim and St. Louis, the 49ers lead the series 68-65-3, while the Rams have outscored San Francisco 3.046-2,891 in the series. The two teams split last year’s contests, with each winning in the other team’s facility.

First meeting was week three in Santa Clara on a Thursday night and the Rams held off a late San Francisco rally to take a 41-39 win at Levis’ Stadium. Leading 24-13 at the half, Los Angeles would see the 49ers rally in the second half of the contest outscore them 26-17. San Francisco would pull to within 2 with 2:13 left in the contest when Curtis Hyde (84 yards) scored from a yard away for his second TD of the evening. The 49ers missed the try for two that would have evened things, tried the onside kick and failed when the Rams recovered. Los Angeles outrushed the 49ers 126-113 with Rams RB Todd Gurley leading the way with 113 yards and a pair of TDs. Goff threw for 292 yards and three TDs with no interceptions or sacks, while Blaine Hoyer threw for 332 yards, with a pair of TDs, four sacks and a pick. The Rams, victims of three fumbles, went 8 of 12 on third down and held the ball for 29:43, while the 49ers ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:17, going 9  of 18 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

The 49ers would get their revenge in the second meeting in Los Angeles in week 17, as the Rams rested some of their starters after clinching the NFC West, taking a 34-13 win at the Coliseum. San Francisco led throughout the contest, taking a 20-6 lead with the to the intermission and never looked back. San Francisco outrushed the Rams 171-102 and 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 292 yards and a pair of TDs, while Rams signal called Sean Mannion racked up 169 yards with three sacks and no interceptions. San Francisco went 6 of 12 on third down in the season finale and kept the ball for 29:09, while the Rams, resting most of their stars, were 5 of 15 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:51.

In the week three Thursday night contest in Santa Clara, the 49ers were favored by 3 but the Rams won by 2. The good news in that first meeting? Both clubs almost doubled the 40 1/2 over/under with 80 points. As for the week 17 contest in Los Angeles? The Rams were 4 1/2 point favorites and the 49ers did cover the spread, winning by 21 and both teams covered the 45 1/2 over/under with 47 points. The oddsmakers like the Rams as a 10 1/2 point road favorite with the over/under at 53. The 53 is reaasonable. The 10 1/2? That’s a bit steep. The 49ers aren’t that bad and they’ve been competitive in their contests this year. Still, the Rams will take this one on the road but given the rivalry, expect the 49ers to make things closer than 10 1/2.

Cincinnati (4-2) at Kansas City (5-1), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of teams that suffered last-minute losses last Sunday meet in the Show-Me State on Sunday night as the Chiefs host the Cincinnati Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium.

Cincinnati saw a 21-20 lead late in their contest with AFC North rival Pittsburgh evaporate as Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and WR Antonio Brown hooked up on a 31-yard TD pass to take a 28-21 win out of the Queen City last Sunday afternoon. Tied 14-14 at the intermission, then trailing 17-14 after three quarters of football. the Bengals and Andy Dalton (229 yards, two TDs, no interceptions) would take a 21-20 lead with 78 seconds left when HB Joe Mixon (64 yards) scored from a yard away. That lead and hopes of a win over their hated AFC North rivals would not last long as the Steelers used a 7-play, 77-yard drive that took 68 seconds of clock to reclaim the lead with the Brown catch and run (Roethlisberger and WR JuJu Smith-Schuester would connect on the two point conversion). Cincinnati would have one last chance to reclaim the lead and restore order but Dalton’s pass attempt with five seconds left fell short of its intended mark. Pittsburgh outrushed the Bengals 112-62 and Roethlisberger threw for 369 yards with no sacks or interceptions, while Steelers RB James Conner led the way with 111 yards and a pair of TDs. Cincinnati went 6 of 12 on third down and held on to the ball for 25:04, while the Steelers were 8 of 14 on third down, holding the ball for 34:56.

Kansas City fell out of the ranks of the unbeatens Sunday night in Foxboro, as the Chiefs would come away on the short end of a 43-40 loss over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Brady and New England led 24-13 at the intermission in the Sunday night contest before the Chiefs would rally in the second half, outscoring New England 31-19 in the final 30 minutes of action. Kansas City then took a 33-30 lead with 8:38 left when Tyreek Hill and QB Pat Mahomes (352 yards, four TDs, two interceptions) connected on a 1-yard TD pass. That lead would not last long as Brady took matters into his own hands and feet, scoring from 4 yards out and the Pats would add to that lead when Stephen Gostkowski booted a 52-yarder to lead 40-33. The Chiefs were not going away quietly into the good New England night as Hill and Mahomes hooked up again with 3:03 left to re-tie the contest. New England went into a surgeon-like mode in the final 3:03, using a 7-play, 65-yard drive that used all the available time left in regulation when Gostkowski booted a 28-yard field goal as time expired. Brady threw for 340 yards with a TD toss to Josh Edelman as New England outrushed Kansas City 173-94 (New England rookie RB Sony Michel led everyone with 106 yards on the ground with a pair of TDs). New England was 7 of 13 on third down (the Pats were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:09 (including the final drive), while the Chiefs were 4 of 10 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 23:51.

The Bengals hold a 15-13 lead in the series (which includes contests that were played at Riverfront Stadium and Swope Field), have outscored the Chiefs 563-515 and Cincinnati has won the last four meetings, including taking a 36-21 win in Cincinnati in 2015, while Kansas City’s last win in the series came at Arrowhead by a final of 27-20 in 2007. The Chiefs are favored by 6 with a 58 1/2 over/under. Both numbers make a lot of sense.

On Sunday night, the lights have not been kind to the Bengals, who carry a 3-15 record, while the Chiefs are 13-8 (Kansas City won its only Sunday night contest in 2017, while Cincy’s last appearance on SNF was in 2015, taking a loss n that contest). We’re going to go ahead and make this one “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 58 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

Both clubs are hoping to recover from bad losses last Sunday. Kansas City prevails in this one at home on Sunday night, although the Bengals could make this one closer than 6.

New York Giants (1-5) at ATLANTA (2-4), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Eli Manning vs. Matt Ryan. Big Apple vs. Big Peach. Week seven closes out in the Deep South in prime time as the Falcons host the New York Giants at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Manning and the Giants saw the defending Super Bowl champs right their ship last Thursday night in the Meadowlands as they Giants to task, taking a 34-13 NFC East road win at Met Life Stadium. Philadelphia and Carson Wentz took a 24-6 lead at the intermission, then proceeded to take control of things in the second half against their NFC East rival. Although the Giants did outrush Philadelphia 147-108 (rookie RB Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 130 yards and a TD), the Giants could never get on track in front of their home crowd. Wentz threw for 278 yards and three TDs in the Thursday night affair, while Manning threw for 281 yards with four sacks and an interception (Wentz had one sack with no interceptions). The Eagles were 9 of 16 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 32:30, while the Giants were 4 of 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 27:30.

The Falcons held off a late Tampa Bay rally at home last Sunday, as they prevailed 34-29 over their NFC South rivals in the Big Peach. Atlanta led 24-13 at the half before Tampa Bay hung on and managed to outscore the Falcons 16-10 in the final 30 minutes of play, pulling to within two with 3:47 left when Jameis Winston (395 yards, four TDs, two sacks, two interceptions) and RB Peyton Barber connected on a 5-yard TD toss before the Falcons’ Matt Bryant connected on a 57-yard field goal with 70 seconds left in the contest. Tampa Bay would then make their way downfield afte the kickoff and got as close as Atlanta’s 21-yard line when they tried several lateral passes with seven seconds left but came up short. Tampa Bay outrushed Atlanta 123-70, while Ryan threw for 354 yards with three TDs (TE Austin Hooper, WR Mohamed Sanu and RB Tevin Coleman caught the TD passes, WR Julio Jones led all recievers with 143 yards) and no interceptions. Both clubs did well on third down tries (Atlanta was 8 of 13, Tampa Bay was 5 of 8) and the Falcons ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:39 to Tampa Bay’s 28:21.

Atlanta leads the series by a slim 12-11 margin and have outscored the Giants 432-413 (which includes contests that were played at Yankee Stadium, the Yale Bowl, Giants Stadium and the old Georgia Dome). Atlanta won the last meeting, coming away 24-20 winners in the Meadowlands in 2015, while the Giants’ last win over the Falcons also came in upstate New Jersey by a final of 30-20 in 2014.

Atlanta is 14-27 on Monday night but the Falcons picked up wins in their two prime time contests last year (wins at Seattle and Tampa Bay), while the Giants are 24-38-1. with the G-men dropping their one Monday night meeting last year. Atlanta’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 54 1/2. Atlanta closes out week seven with the home win and covers the 6 in the Big Peach.