Archives for category: Tom Brady

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN DIVISIONAL WEEKEND

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The teams with the most postseason wins in NFL history:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PLAYER, TEAM (RUSHING YARDS)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Black Monday has come and gone. Teams not in the post-season have made changes in the front office and coaching staffs and are preparing for the 2020 NFL Draft. 20 teams are at home, clearing out lockers, getting ready for next season, their dreams of holding the Lombardi Trophy shattered because of injuries, bad decisions on and sometime off the field damaging those hopes. 256 games in the regular season have been played. The regular season is over and in the books and the second season begins this Saturday.

For the 12 teams that are left standing, either as champions of their divisions or winners of that coveted Wild Card spot, it’s their second season. It’s a chance to hit the reset button and extend their season, even if it means by one game. There’s a SMALL plot twist in all of this.

You win this week, you’re playing next week.

You lose…. you’re clearing out your locker and your next game is September of 2020.

The NFL’s 100th season has reached the playoffs and the playoff field is as strong as it’s ever been. Six playoff teams – Baltimore (14-2), Kansas City (12-4) and New England (12-4) from the AFC and San Francisco (13-3), Green Bay (13-3) and New Orleans (13-3) from the NFC – won at least 12 regular-season games, tied for the most such teams in a single postseason in NFL history.

The seasons with the most playoff teams that won 12-or-more regular-season games:

SEASON – TEAMS
2019 – 6
2011 – 6
2003 – 6
Many – 5

The combined winning percentage (.708, 136-56) of this season’s field is the highest in 14 years, since it was .719 (138-54) in 2005.

The playoffs continue with the Divisional round on January 11-12, the Conference Championship Games on January 19 and Super Bowl LIV on February 2 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on FOX at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.

It’s football’s version of the children’s game of “Musicial Chairs.” As long as there’s a chair and the music is playing, everyone has a chance. It’s when the music stops and everyone scrambles for a chair that there’s chaos. One by one you take a chair out and start over until there’s a winner. It’s finality but it makes the NFL worth watching, even if your team is not in the mix.

New teams making the playoffs, terrific turnarounds, consistent teams excelling again, records falling and young players making their mark. The 2019 season had it all.

Youth and success at the quarterback position highlighted the 2019 regular season as 208 games featured at least one starting quarterback under the age of 27, the most in a single season in NFL history. In total, quarterbacks under the age of 27 started 287 games and recorded 144 wins in those starts this season, both the highest single-season totals since 1970. Three quarterbacks under the age of 25 – Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson (2018 NFL Draft), Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes (2017 NFL Draft) and Houston’s DeShaun Watson (2017 NFL Draft) – have led their respective teams to division titles in each of the past two seasons.

Competitiveness was a constant theme throughout the regular season as 68 percent of games (174 of 256) were within one score (eight points) in the fourth quarter, tied for the fifth-most such games in a single season in NFL history, while 52.3 percent of games (134 of 256) were decided by eight-or-fewer points, also tied for the fifth-most such games in single season in league annals. Additionally, 57 games saw a team come back to win or tie after trailing in the fourth quarter.

Week 17 came down to the wire, as two playoff spots and two divisions titles – the NFC East and NFC West – 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.

Five of the 12 playoff teams are new to the postseason in 2019: Buffalo, Green Bay, Minnesota, San Francisco and Tennessee and since 1990 – a streak of 30 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before. Both Green Bay (NFC North) and San Francisco (NFC West) won their division after missing the postseason in 2018 and at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 16 of the past 17 years.

Teams to win their division a season after missing the postseason since 2003:

SEASON – NEW DIVISION WINNERS AFTER MISSING POSTSEASON THE PREVIOUS SEASON
2019 – Green Bay, San Francisco
2018 – Baltimore, Chicago*, Dallas, Houston*
2017 – Jacksonville*, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans, Minnesota, Philadelphia*
2016 – ATLANTA, Dallas*
2015 – Houston, Minnesota, Washington*
2014 – Dallas, Pittsburgh
2013 – Carolina*, Philadelphia*
2012 – Washington*
2011 – Denver*, Houston*, New York Giants, San Francisco
2010 – ATLANTA, Chicago, Kansas City*, Pittsburgh, Seattle
2009 – Cincinnati, Dallas, New England, New Orleans*
2008 – Arizona, Carolina, Miami*, Minnesota
2007 – Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay*
2006 – Baltimore*, New Orleans*, Philadelphia*, San Diego
2005 – Chicago*, Cincinnati, New York Giants, Tampa Bay*
2004 – ATLANTA*, Pittsburgh, San Diego*
2003 – Baltimore, Carolina*, Kansas City*, New England, St. Louis Rams
*Worst to first

OFFENSIVE TRENDS: The 2019 season will go down as one of the most prolific offensive seasons in league history.

Teams combined to score 1,332 total touchdowns, the third-most in a single season in NFL history, while the 11,680 total points were tied for the third-most in league annals.

MOST TOUCHDOWNS, NFL HISTORY

SEASON – TOUCHDOWNS
2018 – 1,371
2013 – 1,338
2019 – 1,332
2015 – 1,318

MOST TOTAL POINTS, NFL HISTORY

SEASON – TOTAL POINTS
2013 – 11,985
2018 – 11,952
2019 – 11,680
2015 – 11,680

With five teams – Baltimore (33.2 points per game), San Francisco (29.9), New Orleans (28.6), Tampa Bay (28.6) and Kansas City (28.2) – averaging at least 28 points per game, the 2019 season joined 2014 (six teams) as the only seasons with at least five teams averaging at least 28 points per game since 1970.

The Ravens, who scored at least 40 points in five different games this season, led the NFL with 3,296 rushing yards and surpassed the 1978 New England Patriots (3,165) for the most rushing yards by a team in a single season in NFL history.

PROLIFIC PASSERS: In 2019, league-wide passing numbers continued to trend at a historic pace, as the marks for passer rating (90.4 – second), completion percentage (63.5 percent – second), total completions (11,331 – fourth) and touchdown passes (797 – fifth) were all ranked in the top five for highest in a single season in NFL history.

SEASON – RATING
2018 – 92.9
2019 – 90.4
2015 – 90.2
2016 – 89.3
2014 – 88.9

SEASON – COMPLETION PCT.
2018 – 64.9
2019 – 63.5
2016 – 63.0
2015 – 63.0
2014 – 62.6

SEASON – COMPLETIONS
2015 – 11,527
2016 – 11,526
2018 – 11,462
2019 – 11,331
2014 – 11,200

SEASON – TD PASSES
2018 – 847
2015 – 842
2014 – 807
2013 – 804
2019 – 797

Eleven quarterbacks passed for at least 4,000 yards in 2019, including four with at least 4,500 passing yards: Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston (5,109), Dallas’ Dak Prescott (4,902), the Los Angeles Rams’ Jared Goff (4,638) and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Philip Rivers (4,615).

Twelve quarterbacks threw at least 25 touchdown passes this season, including four with at least 30 touchdown passes: Baltimore’s LAMAR JACKSON (36), Winston (33), Seattle’s Russell Wilson (31) and Prescott (30).

Three rookie quarterbacks – New York Giants’ Daniel Jones, Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew and Arizona’s Kyler Murray – each passed for at least 20 touchdowns this season, marking the second season in league annals in which at least three rookie quarterbacks each passed for at least 20 touchdowns (2012 – Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson).

Nine quarterbacks had a passer rating of 100 or higher in 2019, including three with a passer rating of at least 110: Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill (117.5), New Orleans’ Drew Brees (116.3) and Jackson (113.3). The nine quarterbacks with a passer rating of 100 or higher were tied with the 2018 season for the most in a single season in NFL history.

The seasons with the most quarterbacks having a passer rating of 100 or higher in NFL history:

SEASON – QUARTERBACKS WITH 100+ PASSER RATING
2019 – 9
2018 – 9
2013 – 7

ALL-PURPOSE BACKS: Sixteen players rushed for at least 1,000 yards, including four players with at least 1,300 rushing yards, this season: Tennessee’s Derrick Henry (1,540), Cleveland’s Nick Chubb (1,494), Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey (1,387) and Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott (1,357).

Seven players recorded at least 10 rushing touchdowns in 2019: Henry (16), Green Bay’s Aaron Jones (16), McCaffrey (15), Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook (13), Elliott (12), the Los Angeles Rams’ Todd Gurley (12) and Baltimore’s Mark Ingram (10).

Twenty-six running backs totaled at least 1,000 scrimmage yards, including eight with at least 1,500 scrimmage yards, this season: McCaffrey (2,392), Elliott (1,777), Chubb (1,772), Henry (1,746), Jacksonville’s Leonard Fournette (1,674), Cook (1,654), Jones (1,558) and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Austin Ekeler (1,550).

Three running backs – Jones (19 scrimmage touchdowns), McCaffrey (19) and Henry (18) – each recorded at least 18 scrimmage touchdowns this season.

2019 was the third season in NFL history with three players totaling at least 18 scrimmage touchdowns each, joining 2005 (Shaun Alexander, Larry Johnson and Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson) and 1962 (Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown and Jim Taylor and Abner Haynes).

RIDICULOUS RECEIVERS: Twenty-nine players had at least 1,000 receiving yards, including five with at least 1,200 receiving yards this season: New Orleans’ Michael Thomas (1,725), Atlanta’s Julio Jones (1,394), Tampa Bay’s Chris Godwin (1,333), Kansas City’s Travis Kelce (1,229) and Miami’s Devante Parker (1,202).

Five players had at least 100 receptions in 2019: Thomas (single-season NFL record 149), Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey (116), the Los Angeles Chargers’ Keenan Allen (104), Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins (104) and New England’s Julian Edleman (100).

Three players had at least 10 touchdown catches this season: Detroit’s Kenny Golladay (11), Baltimore’s Mark Andrews (10) and the Los Angeles Rams’ Cooper Kupp (10).

Five rookies recorded at least seven touchdown receptions in 2019: Tennessee’s A.J. Brown (eight), the New York Giants’ Darius Slayton (eight), Baltimore’s Marquise Brown (seven), Washington’s Terry McLaurin (seven) and Seattle’s D.K. Metcalf (seven). In total, rookies combined for 110 touchdown receptions in 2019 and surpassed 2014 (109 touchdown catches) for the most combined touchdown receptions by rookies in a single season since 1970.

DOMINANT DEFENDERS: Eighteen players recorded at least 10 sacks, including five with at least 14 sacks, in 2019: Tampa Bay’s Shaquil Barrett (19.5), Arizona’s Chandler Jones (19), New Orleans’ Cameron Jordan (15.5), Minnesota’s Danielle Hunter (14.5) and Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt (14.5).

Five players registered at least five forced fumbles this season: Jones (eight), Watt (eight), Barrett (six), Washington’s Ryan Anderson (five) and Chicago’s Khalil Mack (five). 2019 was the first season since 2002 (Dwight Freeeney and Leonard Little) that two players had at least eight forced fumbles in the same season.

Ten players recorded at least five interceptions, including three with six interceptions, this season: New England’s Stephon Gilmore (six), Minnesota’s Anthony Harris (six) and Buffalo’s Tre’Davious White (six).

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK 17: Five of the 12 teams to qualify for the playoffs are new to the postseason in 2019, having missed the playoffs a year ago: Buffalo, Green Bay, Minnesota, San Francisco and Tennessee.

Since 1990 – a streak of 30 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

Baltimore won the AFC North and finished as the AFC’s number 1 seed and the Ravens will have home-field advantage through the AFC playoffs. Kansas City won the AFC West, are the number 2 seed and the Chiefs clinched a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs. New England won the AFC East. The Patriots are the number 3 seed and will host number 6 seed Tennessee in the Wild Card round. The Titans clinched a playoff berth for the second time in the past three seasons. Houston won the AFC South, are the number 4 seed and the Texans will host number 5 seed Buffalo in the Wild Card round. The Bills clinched a playoff berth for the second time in the past three seasons.

San Francisco defeated Seattle and became the number 1 seed and have home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Green Bay won the NFC North and clinched the numbere 2 seed and a bye in the first round of the NFC playoffs. New Orleans won the NFC South and became the number 3 seed in the post-season tournament. They will face number 6 seed Minnesota in New Orleans. Philadelphia won the NFC East for the second time in the past three seasons, are the number 4 seed and the Eagles will host either Seattle in the NFC Wild Card round.

Three rookie quarterbacks – New York Giants’ Daniel Jones, Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew and Arizona’s Kyler Murray – each passed for at least 20 touchdowns this season, marking the second season in league annals in which at least three rookie quarterbacks each passed for at least 20 touchdowns (2012 – Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson).

Jones led all rookie quarterbacks with 24 touchdown passes in 2019, the fourth-most by a rookie quarterback in a single season in NFL history. Only Baker Mayfield (27 in 2018), Peyton Manning (26 in 1998) and Russell Wilson (26 in 2012) had more.

Murray passed for 3,722 yards and rushed for 544 yards this season and joined Cam Newton (2011) as the only rookies with at least 3,500 passing yards and 500 rushing yards in NFL history.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for 253 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 123.3 rating in the Saints’ 42-10 win at Carolina. Brees has 93 career games with at least three touchdown passes, tied with Peyton Manning (93) for the most in NFL history. Brees recorded his fourth consecutive game with at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions and joined Russell Wilson (five games in 2015), Tom Brady (four in 2007) and Aaron Rodgers (four in 2014) as the only players with at least four consecutive games of at least three touchdown passes and zero interceptions in a single season in league annals.

In 2019, Brees recorded a 74.3 completion percentage (281 of 378), the second-highest single-season completion percentage in NFL history, trailing only the mark he set in 2018 (74.4 percent).

Carolina running back Christian McCAaffery recorded seven receptions and 98 scrimmage yards (72 receiving, 26 rushing) with a rushing touchdown on Sunday. McCaffrey led the NFL with 2,392 scrimmage yards this season, the third-most scrimmage yards in a single season in NFL history, trailing only Chris Johnson (2,509 in 2009) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk (2,429 in 1999).

McCaffrey totaled 1,387 rushing yards and 1,005 receiving yards in 2019 and joined Roger Craig (1985) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk (1999) as the only players with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in a single season in league annals. McCaffrey has 303 receptions since entering the NFL in 2017 and joined Michael Thomas (321 receptions) as the only players with at least 300 receptions in their first three seasons in NFL history.

Tennessee rookie wide receiver A.J. Brown had a 51-yard touchdown reception in the Titans’ Week 17 win. Brown has four touchdown catches of at least 50 yards in 2019 and joined Isaac Curtis (five in 1973), Willie Gault (four in 1983) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (five in 1998) as rookies with at least four touchdown receptions of 50-or-more yards since 1970.

Kansas City rookie wide receiver Mecole Hardman recorded a 104-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the Chiefs’ Week 17 win. Hardman, who also had an 83-yard touchdown reception in 2019, is the fourth player and first rookie in NFL history with a kick return touchdown of at least 100 yards and touchdown reception of at least 80 yards in the same season in NFL history.

Detroit rookie quarterback David Blough, New England linebacker Elandon Roberts and Atlanta tackle Ty Sambrailo each recorded touchdown receptions in Week 17. Blough, who caught a 19-yard touchdown pass against Green Bay, joined Marcus Mariota (December 13, 2015) as the only rookie quarterbacks to register a touchdown reception since 1970.

Roberts caught a 38-yard touchdown pass against Miami, the longest touchdown reception by a linebacker since 1970.

Sambrailo recorded a 35-yard touchdown reception against Tampa Bay, the longest touchdown reception by an offensive lineman since 1970.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

Batlimore led the NFL with 3,296 rushing yards in 2019 and surpassed the 1978 New England Patriots (3,165) for the most rushing yards by a team in a single season in NFL history.

New England quarterback Tom Brady passed for two touchdowns with one interception in Week 17 against Miami. Brady has 541 career touchdown passes and surpassed Peyton Manning (539) for the second-most touchdown passes in NFL history. Only Drew Brees (547) has more.

Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston led the NFL with 5,109 passing yards in 2019 and became the eighth different quarterback to throw for at least 5,000 yards in a single season in league annals.

Denver running back Phillip Lindsay had 1,011 rushing yards in 2019 and became the first undrafted player to rush for at least 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons since 1967.

Atlanta linebacker Deion Jones registered a game-winning 27-yard interception return for a touchdown on the first play of overtime in the Falcons’ 28-22 win at Tampa Bay. Jones is the seventh player with a game-winning interception return for a touchdown in overtime since 2002 and the first since Robert Alford (October 11, 2015).

Buccaneers rookie linebacker Devin White recorded a 91-yard fumble return for a touchdown in Week 17. White, who also had a 14-yard fumble return for a touchdown in Week 13, is the first rookie to return two opponent fumble recoveries for a touchdown in a single season since 1970.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WILD CARD WEEKEND

NEW YEAR, NEW TEAMS: This season, five teams qualified for the playoffs after missing the postseason in 2018 – Buffalo, Green Bay, Minnesota, San Francisco and Tennessee – three of which will be active on Wild Card Weekend (Buffalo at Houston, Saturday at 4:35 p.m. on ESPN/ABC; Tennessee at New England, Saturday at 8:15 p.m. on CBS and Minnesota at New Orleans, Sunday at 1:05 p.m. on FOX).

Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990 – a streak of 30 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

POSTSEASON DEBUTS: Three quarterbacks – Buffalo’s JOSH ALLEN, Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz and Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill – are expected to make their first-career postseason starts on Wild Card Weekend.

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) (HOF)
Neil Lomax, St. Louis Cardinals (1982 – NFC Wild Card – 385)

YOUNG QUARTERBACKS KICK OFF WILD CARD WEEKEND: Saturday afternoon’s game featuring Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen (23 years, 228 days old) and Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson (24 years, 112 days old) marks the sixth postseason matchup between two quarterbacks under the age of 25 in the Super Bowl era.

In four of the five such matchups in the Super Bowl era, the quarterback of the home team has won.

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

SEASON – ROUND (HOME TEAM, QUARTERBACK; VISITOR, QUARTERBACK)(RESULT)
1985 – AFC Divisional (Miami, Dan Marino; Cleveland, Bernie Kozar)(Miami 24, Cleveland 21)(HOF)
2000 – NFC Wild Card (Philadelphia, Donovan McNabb; Tampa Bay, Shaun King)(Philadelphia 21, Tampa Bay 3)
2000 – NFC Divisional (Minnesota, Daunte Culpepper; New Orleans, Aaron Brooks)(Minnesota 34, New Orleans 16)
2011 – AFC Wild Card (Houston, T.J. Yates; Cincinnati, Andy Dalton)(Houston 31, Cincinnati 10)
2012 – NFC Wild Card (Washington, Robert Griffin III; Seattle, Russell Wilson)(Seattle 24, Washington 14)

CLASH OF THE TITANS: Saturday night’s matchup between Tennessee (9-7) and AFC East Champion New England (12-4) pairs the league’s top-rated quarterback Ryan Tannehill (117.5 passer rating) and the league’s leading rusher Derrick Henry (1,540 rushing yards), against a Patriots defense that led the NFL in total defense (275.9 yards per game) and scoring defense (14.1 points against per game) in 2019.

Tennessee is the fourth team since 1970 to have the league’s top-rated quarterback and league-leading rusher in the same season.

New England is the first team to allow an average of 15 or fewer points per game since the 2013 Seattle Seahawks (14.4). Seattle would go on to win Super Bowl XLVIII. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who has led New England to 11 consecutive division titles and six overall Super Bowl championships, is the postseason’s all-time leader in games played (40), passing yards (11,179) and touchdown passes (73).

New England running back Sony Michel led the NFL with six rushing touchdowns in the 2018 postseason – tied for the second-most in a single postseason in league history. If Michel, who had at least one rushing touchdown in each of his first three career postseason games, has a rushing touchdown against Tennessee, he would join Pro Football Hall of Famers Terrell Davis and Curtis Martin, as well as Arian Foster, as the only players with a rushing touchdown in each of their first four career postseason games in NFL history.

New England wide receiver Julian Edelman has 115 receptions for 1,412 receiving yards in 18 career postseason games – both the second-most in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (151 receptions, 2,245 receiving yards) has more.
In Super Bowl LIII, Edelman had 10 receptions for 141 receiving yards and was named the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player, marking his sixth-career postseason game with at least 100 receiving yards.

With at least 100 receiving yards against Tennessee, Edelman would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin (six games) for the second-most career postseason games with at least 100 receiving yards in NFL history.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES)
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (8) (HOF)
Julian Edelman, New England (6)
Michael Irvin, Dallas (6) (HOF)

EASY BREESY: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees will make his 16th career postseason start on Sunday against Minnesota. Brees currently ranks in the top five in both postseason completion percentage and passer rating (minimum of 150 attempts) in league history.

The quarterbacks with the highest career postseason passer rating (min. 150 attempts):

QUARTERBACK (COMPLETIONS/ATTEMPTS – YARDS; TD/INTERCEPTIONS, RATING)
Bart Starr (130/213 – 1,753; 15/3, 104.8)(HOF)
Kurt Warner (307/462 – 3,952; 31/14, 102.8)(HOF)
Matt Ryan (237/351 – 2,672; 20/7, 100.8)
Drew Brees (408/615 – 4,759; 33/11, 100.0)*
Aaron Rodgers (378/595 – 4,457; 36/10, 99.4)*
*Active in 2019 playoffs

The quarterbacks with the highest career postseason completion percentage (min. 150 attempts):

QUARTERBACK (COMPLETIONS/ATTEMPTS, PCT.)
Nick Foles (143/210, 68.1)
Matt Ryan (237/351, 67.5)
Kurt Warner (307/462, 66.5)(HOF)
Drew Brees (408/615, 66.3)*
Ken Anderson (110/166, 66.3)

*Active in 2019 playoffs

Additionally, Brees has 4,759 career postseason passing yards. With at least 241 passing yards on Sunday, he would become the sixth player in NFL history with at least 5,000 career postseason passing yards, joining Tom Brady (11,179), Peyton Manning (7,339), Pro Football Hall of Famers Brett Farve (5,855) and Joe Montana (5,772), as well as Ben Roethlisberger (5,256).

BATTLE OF THE BIRDS: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 4,110 passing yards this season and joined Peyton Manning and Cam Newton as the only players with at least 3,000 passing yards in each of their first eight seasons in NFL history. Wilson also became the first quarterback in league history to finish with a winning record in each of his first eight seasons.

Wilson has 94 career wins (including postseason) since entering the NFL in 2012, the second-most in a player’s first eight seasons in NFL history.

The quarterbacks with the most career wins, including postseason, in their first eight seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS; WINS)
Tom Brady, New England (2000-07; 100)
Russell Wilson, Seattle (2012-19; 94)*
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (2004-11; 90)
*In eighth season

Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch has recorded at least 100 rushing yards in six of his 11 career postseason appearances. With at least 100 rushing yards against Philadelphia, Lynch would tie Pro Football Hall of Famers Terrell Davis (seven games) and Emmitt Smith (seven games) for the most career postseason games with at least 100 rushing yards in NFL history.

The players with the most career postseason games with at least 100 rushing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER – GAMES WITH 100+ RUSHING YARDS
Terrell Davis – 7 (HOF)
Emmitt Smith – 7 (HOF)
Marshawn Lynch – 6*
John Riggins – 6 (HOF)
Thurman Thomas – 6 (HOF)
(HOF)- Hall of Fame
*Entering postseason

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

As good as things were in week 16 (12-4), we kinda slipped in week 17, going 7-9 and for the season, 141-115. Wild Card weekend gets underway in the Lone Star State as Houston welcomes the return of DL J.J. Watt as they host the Buffalo Bills and concludes in the City of Brotherly Love as Philadelphia and Seattle meet in a week 12 rematch at Lincoln Financial Field. Here are the Saturday and Sunday picks for Wild Card Weekend.

Buffalo (10-6, 1st Wild Card) at Houston (10-6, AFC South champion), 4:35 p.m. Saturday on ESPN, with simulcast on ABC. The AFC gets center stage all to themselves as a pair of 10-6 teams meet in the Lone Star State Saturday afternoon. Houston, winners of the AFC South, host the Buffalo Bills, who circled their wagons and won the 1st AFC Wild Card spot, meet at NRG Stadium. Both clubs enter the contest with home losses under their belts last Sunday.

The Bills, seeking their first playoff win since 1995, watched Sam Darnold and the New York Jets erase a 3-3 tie at the end of the third quarter in Orchard Park, taking a 13-6 loss to their AFC East rival in upstate New York. Buffalo trailed 3-0 at the intermission as Jets K Steve Ficken opened the scoring in the contest with a 30-yard field goal (the two clubs played a scoreless first quarter). The Bills’ Stephen Hauschka would even things up in the third quarter, connecting on a 28-yard field goal with 89 seconds left in the third. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! would reclaim the lead for keeps early in the fourth quarter as Darnold and WR Jamison Crowder connected on a 1-yard TD toss. Ficken would boost GangGreen’s lead to 10 with 2:05 left before Hauscka connected on a 29-yard field goal with 47 seconds left in the contest. Buffalo then went for the onside kick, which the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! would recover and the vistors would run the clock out to take the win.

Neither club would breach the 100-yard barrier in upstate New York but the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! would out-rush Buffalo 86-73 with LeVeon Bell leading the way with 41 yards in the contest. Darnold threw for 199 yards with the TD in the third quarter (he was sacked twice and threw an interception), while Josh Allen threw for 5 yards before backup QB Matt Barkley took over, throwing for 232 yards with a sack and a pair of interceptions. Buffalo went 4 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 28:39, while GangGreen ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:21, while going 5 of 14 on third down.

Houston found themselves on the short end of a 35-14 loss against Tennessee in the Lone Star State. The Titans, needing to win to get into the post-season party, broke a 7-7 after the first quarter and proceeded take a 14-7 lead into the intermission on a 1-yard TD toss from Ryan Tannehill to TE MyCole Pruitt with 9:42 left in the half. Titans RB Derrick Henry would give Tennesee a 2-TD lead early in the third on the first of his three TDs in the contest before Texans backup QB A.J. McCarron (taking over over DeShaun Watson) scored from a yard out with 69 seconds left in the quarter to narrow the gap to seven. Henry was not finished, as he would score on a 1-yard run early in the final 15 minutes of play, then put a dagger in the hearts of Texans fans, as he would run 53 yards untouched for his final TD of the afternoon.

Henry led all rushers with 211 yards and the three TDs as Tennessee out-rushed Houston 245-109 with Tannehill throwing for 198 yards with a pair of TDs, no sacks or interceptions, while McCarron threw for 225 yards with four sacks and an interception. Tennessee went 5 of 10 on third down tries and they held the ball for 28:21, while the Texans actually were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 31:39, while going 3 of 12 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

This is the first playoff meeting between the two teams in the history of the franchises and for the Bills, it’s their second trip in the last three seasons, while the Texans will be making their fourth consecutive trip to the post-season party. Houston is favored by 3 with a 42 1/2 over/under. For the Bills, they would like to at least move on to the next round; for the Texans, they have the same goal. The winner advances… the loser is done. Texans cover the 3 at home in the Lone Star State and advance to the Divisional Round.

Tennessee (9-7, 2nd Wild Card) at New England (12-4, AFC East champion), 8:15 p.m. Saturday on CBS. Saturday Wild Card action concludes in Foxboro as Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champions host the Tenneseee Titans at Gillette Stadium. The Titans look to knock off the champs in their building, while the Patriots look to right their ship from last week against Miami.

Breaking a 7-7 tie at the end of the first quarter, Tennesse floored the gas in Houston and came away 35-14 winners in the Lone Star State. The Titans, needing to win to get into the post-season party, broke a 7-7 after the first quarter and proceeded take a 14-7 lead into the intermission on a 1-yard TD toss from Ryan Tannehill to TE MyCole Pruitt with 9:42 left in the half. Titans RB Derrick Henry would give Tennesee a 2-TD lead early in the third on the first of his three TDs in the contest before Texans backup QB A.J. McCarron (taking over over DeShaun Watson) scored from a yard out with 69 seconds left in the quarter to narrow the gap to seven. Henry was not finished, as he would score on a 1-yard run early in the final 15 minutes of play, then put a dagger in the hearts of Texans fans, as he would run 53 yards untouched for his final TD of the afternoon.

Henry led all rushers with 211 yards and the three TDs as Tennessee out-rushed Houston 245-109 with Tannehill throwing for 198 yards with a pair of TDs, no sacks or interceptions, while McCarron threw for 225 yards with four sacks and an interception. Tennessee went 5 of 10 on third down tries and they held the ball for 28:21, while the Texans actually were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 31:39, while going 3 of 12 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

New England lost their chance to have a first-round bye as AFC East rival left Foxboro and Gillette Stadium 27-24 winners in the season finale. The Patriots trailed 17-10 at the intermission before tying things up with 4:26 left in the third when Brady and LB Elandon Roberts connected on a 38-yard TD pass. Miami reclaimed the lead with 8:29 left in the contest on a 32-yard field goal by Jason Sanders to lead by 3 before New England took the lead back, as Brady and RB James White connected on a 13-yard TD pass with 3:53 left in regulation. Miami would respond and reclaim the lead on a 5-yard TD pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to WR Mike Gesicki with 24 seconds left. New England got the ball on their 25-yard line with the 24 seconds left and got as close as their 37-yard line with 2 seconds left when they tried several lateral passes in hope of either scoring a TD or getting a defensive penalty. Neither of those two things came to pass as Miami would hold off their efforts.

New England did manage to out-rush Miami 135-63 with Patriots RB Sony Michel leading the way with 74 yards and a TD; Brady threw for 221 yards and the two TDs (Brady was picked off once and sacked once), while Fitzpatrick threw for 320 yards with a rushing TD of his own in addition to the Gesicki TD (he was sacked twice but did not throw an interception). New England was 3 of 9 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:09, while Miami was 5 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:51.

The Titans/Patriots game is the sixth playoff meeting in the history of the NFL where an opposing coach has played for another coach (Titans coach Mike Vrabel played for Bellicheck from 2001 to 2008). They’ve met in the post-season three times and the Patriots lead the series 2-1 and including games that were played in Houston and at Fenway Park, the Patriots have outscored Tennessee 66-59. Their last post-season meeting took place in 2017 in Foxboro and the Patriots came away with the 35-14 win in the Divisonal round, while Tennessee’s lone win in post-season came in 1978, when the team was known as the Oilers and they left Foxboro 31-14 (also in the Divisional round) winners. New England’s favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Tennessee would like nothing more than to knock off New England in their back yard. The Patriots? They have other plans and look to right their ship from the loss in the season finale at home. New England may not cover the 4 1/2 but the Pats get their ducks in a row and move on to the next round.

Minnesota (10-6, 2nd Wild Card) at New Orleans (13-3, NFC South champion), 1:05 p.m. Sunday on FOX. It’s the NFC’s turn to have the stage as Minnesota and New Orleans meet in the NFC’s Wild Card round in the Big Easy. The Saints, the number 3 seed in the post-season, take on the 6th-seeded Vikings, with Minnesota coming off a loss at home to Chicago, while the Saints manhandled Carolina in the Tar Heel State in their regular-season finales.

The Vikings dropped a 21-1 decision to NFC North rival Chicago at US Bank Stadium last Sunday. Minnesota trailed 11-6 at the intermission, then took a 19-18 lead with 4:53 left in the contest on a 34-yard field goal by Dan Bailey before Chicago reclaimed the lead for good with 10 seconds left on a 22-yard field goal by Eddie Pinerio.

Minnesota out-rushed Da Bears 174-158 with Viking RB Mike Boone leading all rushers with 148 yards, while Chicago was led by David Montgomery with 113 yards (both men had a rushing TD in the contest). Sean Mannion, taking over for Kirk Cousins (rest) threw for 126 yards with a pair of interceptions, while Mitchell Trubisky threw for 207 yards and was sacked four times (neither threw a TD pass). Minnesota went 4 of 9 on third down tries in the Twin Cities and held on to the ball for 22:20, while Da Bears kept the pigskin in hibernation for 37:40, going 7 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The Saints gave Carolina their eighth loss in a row in Charlotte, coming out of the Tar Heel State 42-10 winners at Bank of America Stadium. Saints running back Alvin Kamara (39 rushing yards) opened the scoring with a pair of first-quarter TDs as the Saints would go on to lead 35-3 at the break. New Orleans out-rushed Carolina 115-41 as Drew Brees threw for 253 yards and three TDs without a sack or interception (he would be replaced by Teddy Bridgewater), while Kyle Allen threw for 295 yards with a sack and an interception. The Saints were 4 of 11 on third down and held on to the pigskin for 35:40, while the Panthers, keeping the pigskin for 24:20, went 5 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

In post-season play, the Vikings lead the series 3-1 and Minnesota has outscored the Saints 135-81. New Orleans’ lone win in the post-season series came in the Big Easy in 2009 as the Saints needed overtime to win 31-28 in the Superdome. It was their last meeting in the Twin Cities in 2017 that was a classic as the Vikings rallied to win 29-24 in the NFC Divisional playoff.

In that meeting, Minnesota and New Orleans played in a manner that not even Hollywood could have expected, with the plot line turning Minnesota’s way as the Vikings rallied to take the win over Drew Brees and the Saints at US Bank Stadium. The Vikings led 17-0 at the intermission against New Orleans before the Saints’ Michael Thomas ended Minnesota’s bid for a shutout when he and Drew Brees connected on a 14-yard TD pass with 1:18 left in the third quarter. Brees and Thomas would connect again with 13:09 left in the contest when they connected on a 3-yard toss.

After Kyle Horbath gave the Vikings a 20-14 lead with 10:12 left to play, New Orleans took the lead for the first time in the game when rookie RB Alvin Kamara caught a 14 yard TD pass from Brees with 3:01 left to. That lead would not last long, as once again it was Horbath putting the Vikings back on top with a 52-yard field goal with 89 seconds left.

New Orleans was not about to be outdone as they would use an 11-play, 50-yard drive that used 64 seconds of clock and took the lead back when K Wil Lutz connected on a 43-yard field goal with 25 seconds left. Minnesota, without time outs, engineered a drive that almost didn’t see the light of day as Case Keenum and Stefon Diggs opened with a 19-yard pass to their 39-yard line. After two Keenum passes were incomplete, the Vikings needed and got a miracle when Diggs caught Keenum’s desparation pass and took it into the end zone for a 61-yard TD pass as time expired for a walk-off TD to send Minnesota fans home happy and the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game.

Minnesota out-rushed New Orleans 95-80 and Keenum threw for 318 yards, while Brees threw for 294 (both men were sacked twice, Keenum threw an interception, while Brees threw two) and Diggs led all recievers with 137 yards on six catches, including the game-winner. Minnesota on third down was 10 of 17 and held the ball for 33:17, including the game-winning drive, while the Saints held the pigskin for 26:43, going 2 of 9 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Minnesota in the 2017 Divisional was favored by 3 1/2 and the Vikings covered with their 5-point last-second win and the 44 1/2 over/under was taken care of, as the two clubs combined for 53 points. The Saints are favored by 8 in the Big Easy and the over/under’s 48. The winner gets to go to Green Bay next week and the Saints would like to make travel plans for next week, while the Vikings could get another shot at their NFC North rival with a win. Minnesota pulls off the upset in the Big Easy and could cover the 8.

Seattle (11-5, 1st Wild Card) at Philadelphia (9-7, NFC East champion), 4:40 p.m. Sunday on NBC. They met in the regular season. They meet again. Starbucks vs. Cheesesteak. Carson Wentz and the Eagles host Russell Wilson and Seattle in the late afternoon Wild Card game in the City of Brotherly Love.

A Seattle rally in the final seconds in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks fell short as San Francisco held off the Seahawks 26-21 at Century Link Field last Sunday night, in a contest that gave the 49ers the NFC West title and revenge for their week 10 overtime loss in Santa Clara.

Seattle, 5-0 against Philadelphia since 2010 when Pete Carroll took over, trailed 13-0 at the break as the 49ers scored their first half points unchallenged before the home team would break San Francsico’s bid for a shutout when Wilson and WR Tyler Lockett connected on a 14-yard TD toss late in the third quarter.
San Francisco made it a 19-7 contest when RB Raheem Mostert scored from 2 yards away but the 49ers would miss the two-point conversion with 3:25 left in the quarter. Newly re-accquired RB Marshawn Lynch then pulled his team to within five with 9:55 left in the contest when he scored on a 1-yard run. Mostert pushed the 49ers lead back up to 12 with 5:51 left when he scored on a 13-yard run before Seattle stormed back again, trailing by only 5 with 3:36 left when Wilson and WR DK Metcalf connected on a 14-yard scoring pass.

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

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

The Eagles, in a need-to-win situation in the Meadowlands last Sunday, erased a 17-17 tie at the end of the third quarter, scoring 14 fourth-quarter points unchallenged to win the East against the New York Giants by a final of 34-17 at Met Life Stadium. Philadelphia led 10-3 at the half after taking that lead when Wentz and TE Josh Perkins connected on a 24-yard TD toss with 1:52 left in the half. New York would tie the contest halfway through the third quarter when WR Golden Tate and QB Daniel Jones connected on a 20-yard TD toss. Philadelphia then took the lead back on a 7-yard run with 2:21 left in the quarter but the Giants re-tied the contest on a 68-yard run by RB Sequan Barkley with 2:05 left in the quarter. Perkins would then chip in with a 50-yard run and Scott would add a pair of 2-yard runs to seal New York’s fate and take the NFC East title.

Big Blue BARELY out-rushed the Eagles 122-121 with Barkley leading all rushers with 92 yards and Scott tallying 54 for the Eagles with the three TDs. Wentz threw for 289 yards and the Perkins TD (Wentz was sacked once but did not throw an interception), while Jones tallied 301 yards with the Tate TD pass (Jones was sacked four times and threw an interception). The Eagles were 4 of 15 on third down conversions at Met Life Stadium and ruled the clock, as they held the ball for 31:25, while the Giants kept the pigskin for 28:35 (both clubs were at the 50 percent mark on fourth down; Philadelphia was 1 of 2, the Giants were 2 of 4).

While this is their first meeting in post-season play, they did meet in the City of Brotherly Love in week 12 and the Seahawks would prevail, leaving Lincoln Financial Field 17-9 winners. Seattle erased a 3-0 lead with a Wilson TD pass to WR Malik Turner, then took a 10-3 at the half on a Justin Myers field goal late in the second quarter. Seattle RB Rashaad Penny then gave his team a 10-point lead with 11:56 left in the contest on a 58-yard run before the Eagles would rally, pulling themselves to within 8 with 20 seconds left when Wentz and TE Zach Ertz connected on a TD toss. The Eagles then went for two in hopes of knocking the deficit down to six but the try failed. Philadelphia then tried an onside kick, which Seattle promptly recovered. Seattle then ran out the clock and took the win on the East Coast in the late afternoon affair.

Penny led all rushers with 129 yards and the TD as Seattle out-rushed the Eagles 174-106 (Miles Sanders led the Eagles with 63 yards) and Wilson threw for 200 yards with the Turner TD toss (he was sacked six times and threw an interception), while Wentz was good for 256 yards with the Ertz TD toss (Wentz was sacked three times and threw a pair of interceptions). Seattle was 5 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 28:07, while the Eagles actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:53, while going 4 of 12 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 12 contest, Philadelphia was favored by 2 1/2 in the late afternoon contest in the Keystone State and Seattle would cover, winning by 8. The 49 over/under? It went untouched, as the two clubs combined for only 26 points. In the rematch, the Seahawks are a 1 1/2-point favorite in the City of Brotherly Love and the over/under’s 46. Both numbers make a lot of sense and both teams can score points if need to and this one could be a repeat of their last meeting. The only difference will be the result. The winner gets to play next weekend, while the loser gets to go home. Fly, Eagles, Fly! Like a cheesesteak with peppers, Philadelphia covers the 1 1/2 and wins in the City of Brotherly Love.

The end is near.

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

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

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

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

Win. Advance to the next round.

Lose. Your next game is in September of 2020.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AFC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles Chargers OR New England

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

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth with:

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

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

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

Tennessee clinches a playoff berth with:

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

NFC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seattle clinches NFC West division with:
Seattle win

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

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

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – COMPLETION PERCENTAGE)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You win, you move on.

Lose. Your next game is next year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2019 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 16

AFC

CLINCHED:

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

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

Baltimore clinches a first-round bye with:

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

Baltimore clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

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

NFC

CLINCHED:

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

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

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

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

Dallas clinches NFC East division with:
Dallas win

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

Minnesota clinches a playoff berth with:

Minnesota win or tie OR
Los Angeles Rams loss or tie

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

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

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

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

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 16

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

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

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

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

The players with the most consecutive completions in NFL history:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dallas’ 27-point win in Jerry World allowed them to easily cover the 3-point spread but both clubs barely missed the 48 over/under by 1. Dallas is favored by 2 1/2 in the City of Brotherly Love and the over/under’s 48. Both numbers make a ton of sense. This one, being for all the marbles, makes this one “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winless no more!

The Cincinnati Bengals became the last team in the NFL to go without a win and they did it at home last Sunday against the New York Jets, coming away 22-6 winners at Paul Brown Stadium. Bengals fans, you can finally exhale.

It’s week 14, which means that there’s not a lot of time left for those teams that want that playoff spot to get it. When the 2019 season comes to an end the Sunday before New Year’s Day, there will be 12 teams that will fight for the Lombardi Trophy, while the other 20 will be either hiring new coaches and/or getting ready for the draft.

Speaking of the playoffs (PLAYOFFS? PLAYOFFS!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!… apologies to coach Jim Mora), there are more possible scenarios this weekend. That means that there’s going to be more confusion than a mouse in a burlesque show (sorry, Foghorn Leghorn!), so take notes. There will be a quiz afterward.

2019 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 14

AFC

CLINCHED: None

Baltimore (10-2) at Buffalo (9-3), Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS

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

Baltimore clinches playoff berth with:
Baltimore win OR
Baltimore tie + Houston loss or tie OR
Baltimore tie + Tennessee loss or tie OR
Houston loss + Indianapolis loss or tie + Oakland-Tennessee tie

Buffalo (9-3) vs. Baltimore (10-2), Sunday at 1 p.m. on CBS

Buffalo clinches playoff berth with:
Buffalo win + OAK loss or tie + Houston loss + Indianapolis loss or tie

Kansas City (8-4) at New England (10-2), Sunday at 4:25 p.m. on CBS

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title with:
Kansas City win + Oakland loss

New England (10-2) vs. Kansas City (8-4), Sunday at 4:25 p.m. on CBS

New England clinches playoff berth with:
New England win OR
New England tie + Pittsburgh loss OR
New England tie + Houston loss or tie OR
New England tie + Tennessee loss or tie OR
Houston loss + Indianapolis loss or tie + Oakland-Tennessee tie

NFC

CLINCHED: New Orleans Saints – NFC South Division

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

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

Seattle (10-2) at Los Angeles Rams (7-5), Sunday at 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Seattle clinches playoff berth with:
Seattle win or tie

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK 13: Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown in the Ravens’ 20-17 victory over San Francisco. Jackson has four games with at least 100 rushing yards in 2019, surpassing Michael Vick (three games in both 2004 and 2006) and Russell Wilson (three in 2014) for the most by a quarterback in a single season in NFL history. Baltimore has rushed for 2,494 yards this season, the third-most rushing yards by a team in its first 12 games of a season since 1970. Only the 1972 Miami Dolphins (2,586 rushing yards) and the 1975 Buffalo Bills (2,505) had more.

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers passed for four touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 125.4 passer rating in the Packers’ 31-13 win at the New York Giants. Rodgers has 23 career games with at least four touchdown passes, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (23 games) for the fourth-most such games in NFL history. Only Peyton Manning (35 games), Drew Brees (34) and Tom Brady (29, entering Sunday night) have more.

Giants running back Saquon Barkley, who appeared in his 25th career game, registered 115 scrimmage yards (83 rushing, 32 receiving) on Sunday. It marked his 17th career game with at least 100 scrimmage yards, tied with Billy Sims (17 games) for the fourth-most such games by a player in his first 25 career games. Only Edgerrin James (21 games), Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (19) and Ezekiel Elliott (18) had more.

Pittsburgh rookie quarterback Delvin Hodges, making his second career start, threw a touchdown pass and recorded a 95.7 passer rating in the Steelers’ 20-13 win against Cleveland. Hodges, who won his first career start in Week 6, joins Ed Rubbert (1987) as the only undrafted rookie quarterbacks to win each of their first two career starts since 1970.

Tennessee running back Derrick Henry rushed for 149 yards and a touchdown in the Titans’ 31-17 win at Indianapolis. Henry, who rushed for 188 yards and two touchdowns in Week 10 and had 159 rushing yards with two rushing touchdowns in Week 12, is the fifth player in NFL history to record at least 145 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in three consecutive games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown (1958), Eric Dickerson (1984) and O.J. Simpson (1976), as well as Adrian Peterson (2012).

Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey registered seven receptions and 102 scrimmage yards (58 receiving, 44 rushing) in the Panthers’ Week 13 loss against Washington. He has 75 receptions through 12 games in the 2019 season. McCaffrey has recorded at least 75 catches in each of his first three NFL seasons and is the fifth running back in NFL history with at least three career seasons of at least 75 receptions, joining Le’Veon Bell (three seasons), Larry Centers (five), Roger Craig (three) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk (five). McCaffrey has 2,162 career receiving yards and surpassed Roger Craig (2,118 receiving yards) for the most receiving yards by a running back in his first three seasons since 1966.

Three rookies – Los Angeles Rams safety Taylor Rapp (31-yard interception return), Kansas City safety Juan Thornhill (46-yard interception return) and Tampa Bay linebacker Devin White (14-yard fumble recovery) – each recorded a defensive touchdown on Sunday. With three defensive touchdowns, Week 13 marks the third week since 1990 in which three rookies each recorded a defensive touchdown, joining Week 17 of the 2004 season (Robert Geathers, DeAngelo Hall and Jonathan Vilma) and Week 6 of the 1999 season (Pro Football Hall of Famer Champ Bailey, Andy Katzenmoyer and Donald Mitchell).

Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders caught a one-yard touchdown pass from punter Matt Haack in the Dolphins’ 37-31 win over Philadelphia. Sanders, with his first career touchdown catch, is the first kicker with a receiving touchdown since Jim Turner (October 16, 1977).

Eagles tight end Zach Ertz registered three receptions on Sunday. He has 70 receptions in 2019, his fifth career season with at least 70 catches, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe (five) for the fourth-most such seasons by a tight end in NFL history.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff passed for 424 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 118.0 passer rating in the team’s 34-7 win at Arizona. Goff, in his fourth NFL season, has passed for at least 400 yards and two touchdowns in four career games, tied with Dak Prescott (four) for the second-most such games in a player’s first four seasons in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (seven) had more.

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw his 70th career touchdown pass in the Chiefs’ 40-9 win over Oakland. Mahomes reached 70 career touchdown passes in his 27th career game, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (29 games) as the fastest player to reach 70 career touchdown passes in NFL history.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made . The NFL has designated Sunday’s Cincinnati-Cleveland matchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest includes the teams closest to the birthplace of the NFL. In 1920, the NFL formed in Northeast Ohio, where Canton Bulldogs owner Ralph Hay organized the first meeting of fellow owners. Four years later, at nearby Massillon Washington High School, quarterback and future Pro Football Hall of Famer Paul Brown discovered the sport that would shape his life. By 1946, as the first coach of the Cleveland franchise when it launched as part of the All-American Football Conference, Brown was so synonymous with success that by popular demand he became the team’s namesake, despite his humble objections. After entering the NFL in 1950, Brown’s team won three league championships (1950, 1954-55). When the AFL placed an expansion franchise in Cincinnati during the mid-1960s, Brown joined the team as general manager and head coach, then named his new team the Bengals in time for the club’s inaugural 1968 season. One of Brown’s first Cincinnati assistant coaches was Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Walsh.

BRADY, BREES IN RACE FOR HALLOWED MARK: As NFL teams jockey for position in the 2019 playoff race, New England quarterback Tom Brady and New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees have one of the league’s most significant all-time records in their sights: Most career touchdown passes, currently held by Peyton Manning (539). Entering Week 14, Brady (535) and Brees (532) have Manning on their radar screens.

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

PLAYER: TEAMS (YEARS; TD PASSES)
Peyton Manning: Indianapolis and Denver (1998-2015; 539)
Tom Brady: New England (2000-present; 535)
Drew Brees: San Diego Chargers and New Orleans (2001-present; 532)
Brett Favre: ATLANTA, Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota (1991-2010; 508)(HOF)
Dan Marino: Miami (1983-99; 420)(HOF)
Philip Rivers: San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (2004-present; 391)
Ben Roethlisberger: Pittsburgh (2004-present; 363)
Eli Manning: New York Giants (2004-present; 362)
Aaron Rodgers: Green Bay (2005-present; 360)
Fran Tarkenton, Minnesota and New York Giants (1961-1978; 342)(HOF)
(HOF) Hall of Fame

Brady, whose Patriots hosts Kansas City Sunday in Foxboro, is 47-12 (.797) during his career in starts following a regular-season loss.

EASTERN ILLINOIS CONNECTIONS IN THE BIG EASY: When San Francisco travels to the Big Easy to meet New Orleans Sunday in a matchup of 10-win teams, one former Eastern Illinois quarterback, the 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo, will square off against another former Eastern Illinois field general, Saints head coach Sean Payton. Also, the father of 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, former Raiders, Broncos and Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, also played at Eastern Illinois, where a serious injury ended his playing career but helped him discover his passion for coaching. The school also produced former Dallas quarterback Tony Romo.

If San Francisco this week clinches a playoff berth, the 49ers would become the first NFL club that didn’t qualify for the playoffs last season to earn a postseason invitation. In every season since the 12-team playoff format began in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs that were not in the postseason the year before.

DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR’S NIGHTMARE: In one of Week 14’s premier games, Baltimore puts the league’s longest winning streak, eight games, on the line when they face Buffalo Sunday. The contest not only matches two of the AFC’s best teams, it also matches two of the NFL’s best dual-threat quarterbacks. Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson, whose 977 net rushing yards are more than five NFL teams this year, also ranks fourth in the NFL with a 109.6 passer rating. Buffalo’s Josh Allen, who ranks third among NFL quarterbacks with 430 rushing yards, has a fourth-quarter passer rating of 114.0.

Sunday’s game will have more combined rushing yards (1,407) by starting quarterbacks than any contest in NFL history.
Additionally, Jackson needs 23 rushing yards to become the second quarterback in NFL history with a 1,000-yard rushing season, and 63 to post the most rushing yards in a single season by an NFL quarterback, surpassing Michael Vick, who had 1,039 in 2006.

As a team, the Ravens are on pace for one of the most prolific rushing campaigns in the NFL’s 100 seasons. Since the league moved to a 16-game schedule in 1978, Baltimore’s 207.8 net rushing yards per game are on pace to finish 10 yards better than any other team in that span.

The teams with the most net rushing yards per game since 1978:

TEAM – SEASON (GM; ATT-YARDS; YDS/GM)
Baltimore – 2019 (12; 445-2,494; 207.8)
New England – 1978 (16; 671-3,165; 197.8)
Kansas City – 1978 (16; 663-2,986; 186.6)
Chicago – 1984 (16; 674-2,974; 185.9)
ATLANTA – 2006 (16; 537-2,939; 183.7)

THE FOURTH QUARTER: As the NFL makes its final turn toward the regular-season finish line, each club has just four games remaining, and 26 teams remain in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LIV. Two of those teams, Tennessee and oakland battle in a key AFC contest Sunday on the West Coast.

The game features several of the NFL’s top rookies. Oakland’s Josh Jacobs leads all NFL rookies in rushing yards (1,061), rushing touchdowns (seven) and scrimmage yards (1,207). Tennessee wide receiver A.J. Brown leads AFC rookies with 626 receiving yards. On defense, Oakland’s Maxx Crosby (7.5) and Clelin Ferrell (3.5) are the NFL’s only pair of rookie teammates with three-or-more sacks each.

ROOKIE QUARTERBACKS CONTINUE TO WIN GAMES: Arizona’s Kyler Murray, the number 1 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, leads Arizona at home against Pittsburgh Sunday. Murray and the Steelers’ Delvin Hodges, an undrafted rookie, are two of the six rookie quarterbacks to win a game this season. Last week, Denver’s Drew Lock joined a group that includes Washington’s Dwayne Haskins, the Giants’ Daniel Jones and Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew. That group of six represents the second-highest number of rookie quarterbacks to win an NFL start in league history, trailing only the 1987 season (seven). Detroit’s David Blough, who plays at Minnesota Sunday, gives the 2019 rookies an opportunity to tie the single-season league record.

BATTLE OF OHIO: When Cincinnati makes the cross-state trip to play in Cleveland Sunday, the teams will meet for the 92nd time. Sunday marks the first Bengals-Browns game in 35 years in which each club has a first-year head coach. Cincinnati’s Zac Taylor and Cleveland’s Freddie Kitchens are the first rookie head-coaching pair in the series since December 2, 1984, when the Bengals’ Sam Wyche beat the Browns’ Marty Schottenheimer on an overtime field goal, 20-17.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 14

RUSHING INTO HISTORY: Baltimore enters Week 14 with the league’s top rushing attack, having rushed for the third-most yards (2,494) by a team in its first 12 games of a season since 1970. Only the 1972 Miami Dolphins (2,586 rushing yards) and the 1975 Buffalo Bills (2,505) had more.

Last week, Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown, surpassing Michael Vick (three games in both 2004 and 2006) and Russell Wilson (three in 2014) for the most games with at least 100 rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season in NFL history. Jackson has now rushed for 977 yards in 2019.

With 63 rushing yards on Sunday at Buffalo, Jackson would surpass Vick (1,039 rushing yards in 2006) for the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season in NFL history.

50,000 IN SIGHT: Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan ranks sixth in the NFL with 3,246 passing yards this season and has 49,966 passing yards in 185 games during his 12-year NFL career.

With 34 passing yards on Sunday against Carolina, Ryan would become the second-fastest player to reach 50,000 career passing yards in NFL history.

The players to reach 50,000 passing yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAMS (GAMES TO 50,000 PASS YARDS)
Drew Brees, San Diego and New Orleans (183)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis (191)
Dan Marino, Miami (193) (HOF)
Philip Rivers, San Diego (196)
Matt Ryan, ATLANTA (186)*
*On Sunday

TAKING THE NEXT STEP IN TENNESSEE: Tennessee enters Week 14 on a three-game winning streak, averaging 36 points per game since Week 10 – the second-most in the NFL over that span.

Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill leads the NFL with a 113.9 passer rating entering Week 14, having completed more than 75 percent of his pass attempts with a passer rating of 130 or higher in each of his past two games.

On Sunday against Oakland, Tannehill can join Aaron Rodgers (three games in 2011) as the only players to complete at least 75 percent of their passes with a passer rating of 130 or higher (min. 10 attempts) in three consecutive games in a single season in NFL history.

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

Since Week 10, Tennessee running back Derrick Henry leads the NFL in rushing yards (496) and rushing touchdowns (five).
With at least 150 scrimmage yards and a rushing touchdown against Oakland on Sunday, Henry can become the fifth player with at least 150 scrimmage yards and a rushing touchdown in four consecutive games in NFL history.

The players with at least 150 scrimmage yards and a rushing touchdown in four consecutive games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – CONSECUTIVE GAMES)
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (2006 – 4) (HOF)
Larry Johnson, Kansas City (2005 – 4)
Priest Holmes, Kansas City (2002 – 4)
Terrell Davis, Denver (1998 – 4) (HOF)
Derrick Henry, Tennessee (2019 – 3)*
*Active streak

FIRST TO 2,000: Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey leads the NFL with 1,811 scrimmage yards through 12 games in 2019.

With at least 189 scrimmage yards on Sunday at Atlanta, McCaffrey would tie for the fewest games to reach 2,000 scrimmage yards in a season in NFL history.

The players to reach 2,000 scrimmage yards in a season in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES TO REACH 2,000)
Jim Brown, Cleveland (1963 – 13)(HOF)
Priest Holmes, Kansas City (2002 – 13)
Chris Johnson, Tennessee (2009 – 13)
Walter Payton, Chicago (1977 – 13) (HOF)
O.J. Simpson, Buffalo (1975 – 13) (HOF)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (2019 – 12)*
*Has 1,811 scrimmage yards entering Sunday

NFC SHOWDOWN IN BIG EASY: New Orleans (10-2), who clinched the NFC South last week, hosts San Francsico on Sunday in a matchup of two of the league’s most talented backfields.

Since entering the NFL in 2017, New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara ranks second among running backs with 1,979 receiving yards and ranks fourth across all players with 4,177 scrimmage yards.

Kamara – who has 587 rushing yards and 444 receiving yards this season – needs 56 receiving yards on Sunday against San Francisco, to become the third player with at least 500 rushing and 500 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons in NFL history.

The players with at least 500 rushing and 500 receiving yards in each of their first three seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS)
Abner Haynes, Dallas Texans (1960-62)
Herschel Walker, Dallas Cowboys (1986-88)
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans (2017-18)*
*Has 587 rushing yards and 444 receiving yards in 2019

Meanwhile, San Francisco features one of the most balanced rushing attacks in the NFL this season. Led by running backs Matt Breida (542 rushing yards), Raheem Mostert (539) and Tevin Coleman (454), the 49ers boast the NFC’s top rushing offense (148 yards per game) in 2019.

With 46 rushing yards from Coleman, San Francisco would become the first team with three running backs to each have at least 500 rushing yards in a season since the 2004 Kansas City Chiefs, when Priest Holmes (892 rushing yards), Larry Johnson (581) and Derrick BlaylockK (539) accomplished the feat.

Additionally, if Coleman reaches 500 rushing yards for the season on Sunday, San Francisco would become the first team to have three running backs with at least 500 rushing yards each in its first 13 games of a season since the 1978 New England Patriots.

AMONG THE GREATS: Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce leads the AFC with 923 receiving yards this season. With at least 77 receiving yards on Sunday at New England, Kelce would become the fourth tight end with at least four seasons of at least 1,000 receiving yards in NFL history.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS WITH 1,000+ RECIEVING YARDS)
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City (4)(HOF)
Rob Gronkowski, New England (4)
Jason Witten, Dallas (4)
Travis Kelce, Kansas City (3)*
*Has 923 receiving yards in 2019

If Kelce reaches 1,000 receiving yards in 2019, he would become the first tight end with at least 1,000 receiving yards in four consecutive seasons in NFL history, surpassing Greg Olsen (three seasons from 2014-16).

MAN OF STEEL: The Pittsburgh Steeler defense leads the NFL with 30 takeaways and has an AFC-leading 43 sacks this season, led by linebacker T.J. Watt’s AFC-high 12.5 sacks.

If Watt – who has at least a half sack in nine consecutive games – records at least half a sack against Arizona on Sunday, he would become the fifth player to have at least half a sack in 10 consecutive games since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic.

The players with at least half a sack in 10 consecutive games in a single season since 1982:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – CONSECUTIVE GAMES)
Chris Jones, Kansas City (2018 – 11)
Michael Strahan, New York Giants (2002 – 10) (HOF)
Jevon Kearse, Tennessee (1999 – 10)
Simon Fletcher, Denver (1991 – 10)
T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh (2019 – 9)*

*Active streak

Week 14 got underway in the Windy City as Chicago held off Dallas at Soldier Field Thursday night and ends in the City of Brotherly Love as Philadelphia hosts the New York Giants in a game that Philadelphia needs for any chance in the post-season. As for last week? 8-8 for the week (while not great, isn’t bad because that keeps us at or above .500 for another week), 88-59 for the season. With all of that being said, here are the picks for Sunday and Monday in week 14.

Carolina (5-7) at ATLANTA (3-9), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of NFC South rivals who met a few weeks ago in Charlotte meet again, as it’s Carolina’s turn to make the 249-mile, 4-hour trip south to face off against Atlanta in the Big Peach. Both teams took losses at home in last week’s action and both look to gain a little ground on New Orleans in the division and Carolina will have new leadership on their sideline after the Panthers relieved Ron Rivera of his coaching duties, with secondary coach Perry Fewell in as the team’s interim coach.

Carolina let a 14-12 lead against Washington get away from them at Bank of America Stadium and saw their hopes of a last-second comeback fall short as the Panthers fell to the Redskins 29-21. Carolina took that 1-point into the intermission, thanks to a pair of Kyle Allen TDs in the first 30 minutes of action. Washington would use a pair of Daniel Hopkins field goals and a 1-yard TD run by Derek Guice to narrow the deficit, then went on to score 17 unchallenged points (Hopkins field goal and TDs from Guice and Adrian Peterson) in the second half before the Panthers would make the contest an 8-point affair with 1:51 when Allen scored on a 17-yard run. Carolina would get the ball back with 1:51 left in the contest and got themselves as close as Washington’s 3-yard line when Allen was sacked and fumbled the ball, with Washington recovering to end the threat.

Washington outrushed Carolina 248-65 with Guice leading the way with 129 yards and a pair of TDs, while Peterson tallied 99 yards on the ground. Allen threw for 278 yards with a pair of TDs but found himself being sacked seven times with an interception, while Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins threw for 147 yards and despite being sacked five times, did not have an interception. Carolina was 5 of 16 on third down (the Panthers were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:23, while the Redskins were rulers of the clock, keeping the pigskin for 30:37 and went 3 for 11 on third down.

Atlanta dropped their second NFC South game and their second home game, falling to divisional rival New Orleans 26-18 in the Big Peach Thanksgiving night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. New Orleans, who clinched the NFC South, would lead 17-9 at the intermission, then got three field goals from Will Lutz before Atlanta stormed back in the final period, using a 13-yard TD toss from Ryan to WR Russell Gage, then a successful onside kick and a 43-yard field goal by Youngho Koo with 1:56 left in the contest.

Atlanta would get the jump on New Orleans again with another successful onside kick after Koo’s field goal, getting the ball on their 47-yard line. The Falcons’ final rally fell short as Ryan would be sacked by Cameron Jordan to seal the win. New Orleans outrushed Atlanta 95-89 and Ryan threw for 312 yards with a pair of TDs, while Drew Brees threw for 184 yards (Ryan was sacked nine times and threw a pair of interceptions). Atlanta was 6 of 16 on third down tries in the Big Peach (they were 2 of 4 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 35:37, while the Saints kept the pigskin for 24:23, going 2 of 10 on third down tried.

They met in the Tar Heel State in week 11 and the Falcons manhandled Carolina 29-3. Atlanta scored the first 26 points of the contest uncontested (they led 20-0 at the intermission) at Bank of America Stadium and never looked back, holding the Panthers to a 31-yard field goal by Jeff Slye early in the final quarter to take the win.

Atlanta, getting three field goals from Youngho Koo, a 78-yard punt return from Kenjon Barner and a 6-yard TD pass from Ryan to Calvin Ridley, held the Panthers to 77 yards of rushing (McCaffery would lead Carolina with 70 of those yards), while tallying 54 yards of their own. Ryan threw for 311 yards with the TD toss to Ridley with three sacks but no interceptions, while Allen threw for 325 yards with five sacks and four interceptions. Atlanta on third down? 6 of 14 but they were perfect on fourth down, going 1 of 1 and ruled the clock, keeping the ball from the Panthers for 31:26, while Carolina, going 2 of 14 on third down (3 of 5 on fourth down) and held the ball for 28:34.

In the week 11 contest at Bank of America Stadium, Carolina was favored by 6 1/2 and Atlanta pulled the upset, winning by 26. The 49 1/2 over/under stayed safe, as both clubs combined for only 32 points. The odds makers like the Falcons at home, favoring them by 2 with a 48 over/under. The Panthers are looking for revenge from their week 11 loss in Charlotte, while the Falcons would love nothing more than to let Carolina know that the first time was not a fluke. Atlanta completes the sweep at home in the Big Peach and covers the 2.

Baltimore (10-2) at Buffalo (9-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of AFC contenders meet along the shore of Lake Erie as the Baltimore Ravens (first place in the AFC North) travel to Orchard Park to face off against the Buffalo Bills (second place in the AFC East). Both teams took huge wins in last week’s action.

Ravens K Jeff Tucker sent Baltimore fans home happy last Sunday in Charm City as Baltimore left M&T Bank Stadium 20-17 winners over San Francisco in a contest that some considered a possible Super Bowl matchup. The Ravens led the 49ers 17-14 at the break before the 49ers tied the contest with 3:37 left in the third on a 32-yard field goal. San Francisco and Baltimore exchanged the ball four times from the time the 49ers tied the contest until the 6:28 of the fourth quarter, when the Ravens went on a long drive that used 12 plays, 34 yards of field and all of the 6:28 left in the contest to give Tucker a chance to end the contest in regulation. Tucker did not disappoint Ravens fans that stayed in the rain and wind, booting a 49-yard field goal as the clock struck :00.

Baltimore outrushed the 49ers 178-174 with Ravens QB Lamar Jackson leading the way with 101 yards and a rushing TD (Jackson also threw for 105 yards and a TD toss to TE Mark Andrews; San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 165 yards and a TD. Garoppolo was sacked twice, Jackson was sacked once and neither threw an interception), while San Francisco was led by Robert Mostert with 146 yards on the ground. Baltimore was 3 of 10 on third down tries (the Ravens were 2 for 3 on fourth down) and including the final 6:28 of the contest, ruled the clock and kept the ball for 32:26, while the 49ers held on to the pigskin for 27:34, while going 4 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Buffalo erased a 7-0 deficit at the end of the first quarter against Dallas as the Bills came away with the 26-15 win last Thursday at AT&T Stadium. The Bills scored their 26 points from the second quarter to the midway point of the fourth quarter unchallenged to take the win in the Lone Star State. Although they trailed 13-7 at the intermission, Dallas could never really get themselves on track at home, as they would lose their second contest in three games.

Buffalo outrushed Dallas 124-103 with Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott leading all rushers with 71 yards, while Dak Prescott threw for 355 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Jason Witten) with Bills QB Josh Allen throwing for 231 yards and a TD pass to former Cowboys WR Cole Beasley (Beasley burned his former team for 110 yards on six catches). Allen, who had a rushing TD in the third quarter, did not have an interception, while Prescott threw a pick (both were sacked four times). Dallas was 7 of 13 on third down (the Cowboys were 1 for 3 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 26:42, while the Bills ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:18, while going 6 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Baltimore leads the series 5-3, the Ravens have outscored the Bills 180-112 and Baltimore has won the last two meetings in the series, including a 47-3 win in Charm City last year (Buffalo’s last win in the series came in 2013 in upstate New York by a final of 23-20).

Their 2018 meeting was in Charm City at M&T Bank Stadium and the Ravens scored 26 first-half points in the season opener unchallenged to lead 26-0. Buffalo’s only points in the contest came in the third quarter on a 35-yard field goal by Stepehn Hauschka late in the period. Baltimore would then go in the contest to slam the door shut on the Bills.

While rushing for 117 yards in the win at home, the Ravens held Buffalo to 83 yards and Ravens QB Joe Flacco threw for 236 yards with three TDs and a sack but did not throw an interception, while Bills signal caller Nathan Peterman threw for 24 yards with a pair of interceptions and three sacks before being replaced by Josh Allen (74 yards), who was sacked three times himself. Baltimore was 6 of 14 on third down and kept the ball for 35:14, while the Bills kept the pigskin for 24:46, going 2 of 15 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Baltimore’s win by 44 points easily allowed the Ravens to cover the 7 1/2 point spread in Charm City and both clubs covered the 39 1/2 over/under with 50 points. The odds makers in Vegas like the Ravens as 5 1/2 point favorites along the shores of Lake Erie and the over/under’s 43. Both clubs are looking to be part of the playoff party and both teams could get their invite and both clubs have played some pretty good football of late. Ravens make this one closer than the 5 1/2 but Buffalo circles the wagons in upstate New York and takes the win.

Cincinnati (1-11) at Cleveland (5-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. They share the same state and the same divison. They’re separtated by 249 miles and a 3 1/2 drive up Interstate 71. A pair of AFC North rivals meet along the shores of Lake Erie as Cleveland and Baker Mayfield host the Cincinnati Bengals at First Energy Stadium.

Cincinati fans were in a very good mood last Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium as they held the New York Jets to a pair of first half field goals, breaking their 13-game losing streak (they lost the last two games of the 2018 campaign) to take a 22-6 win along the shores of the Ohio River. Cincinnati led 17-6 at the intermission, then floored the gas as they would score five third quarter points (safety, Randy Bulloch field goal) unchallenged to seal New York’s fate.

GangGreen did outrush Cincinnati 62-44 and Sam Darnold threw for 239 yards, while Bengals signal caller Andy Dalton returned to action and threw for 243 yards with a TD to TE Travis Boyd (Dalton was sacked once, Darnold was sacked four times and neither man threw an interception). The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 7 of 17 on third down tries, 0 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 28:19, while Cincinnati ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:41 and went 5 of 14 on third down.

Cleveland saw an early 10-0 lead at Pittsburgh get away from them last Sunday as the Steelers got a measure of revenge from their loss along the shores of Lake Erie two weeks ago to take a 20-17 win at Heinz Field. The Browns used a 31-yard field goal by Austin Siebert and a 15-yard TD toss from Mayfield to Kareem Hunt to score the first points of the contest unchallenged before the Steelers got themselves back on track, tying the contest with Chris Boswell’s 39-yard field goal and a 30-yard TD pass from Delvin Hodges to WR James Washigton with a minute left in the first half to send the teams into the intermission tied at 10-10.

Pittsburgh would then add a 1-yard run by Benny Snell, Jr. and a 29-yard field goal by Boswell to lead 20-10 early in the final period. Siebert then pulled the Browns to within seven with 7:30 left in regulation on a 34-yard field goal. The Browns and Steelers would each get the ball, only to punt to the other team after Siebert’s field goal and Cleveland would get the ball back with 1:45 left. After Pittsburgh’s Bud Dupree was flagged for roughing the passer, the Browns got the ball at their 35 and would get as close as their own 40, when the drive and Cleveland’s hopes ended when Mayfield was picked off by Joe Haden, ending the threat.

Pittsburgh outrushed Cleveland 124-106 with Snell leading the way with 63 yards (Cleveland was led by Nick Chubb, who ran for 58 yards on 16 carries). Hodges threw for 212 yards in the win, while Mayfield threw for 196 (both threw an interception as well as a TD; Mayfield was sacked five times, while Hodges was sacked once. Cleveland was 4 of 12 on third down (the Browns were 1 for 2 on fourth down) and they actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:06 to Pittsburgh’s 27:54; the Steelers were 4 for 10 on third down conversions.

The Bengals lead the series 50-41 and have outscored the Browns 1,986-1,806. Cleveland did sweep the series last year, taking both wins in the Buckeye State (Cincinnati’s last win in the series came in 2017, when the Bengals were 30-16 winners in Cincinnati).

The first meeting… week 12 along the banks of the Ohio River. Cleveland left Paul Brown Stadium in that first meeting 35-20. The Browns led 28-7 at the break and pretty much held their instate/AFC North rivals in check. While Cincinnati outrushed Cleveland 129-84 (Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon led all rushers with 89 yards, Nick Chubb led Cleveland with 88 yards), Mayfield threw for 258 yards with a pair of TDs (one to Chubb, who also had a rushing TD) without a sack or interception, while Jeff Driskel threw for 155 yards with a TD to Tyler Boyd before being replaced by Andy Dalton (100 yards, TD, interception). The Browns were 5 of 10 on third down (1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:04, while the Bengals kept the pigskin for 27:56, going 4 of 12 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

Cleveland completed the sweep of the Buckeye State series in week 16 at First Energy Field, coming away 26-18 winners in the rematch. After a scoreless first quarter, the Browns took a 16-0 lead with them to the intermission, then led 23-0 at the end of 45 minutes of play before the Bengals would storm their way back to within eight with 2:56 left in the contest but got no closer. Chubb led all rushers with 112 yards as the Browns outrushed Cincinnati 146-102 (Mixon led the Bengals with 68 yards) and Mayfield threw for 284 yards and three TDs without a sack or interception, while Driskel (who took over for Dalton), threw for 133 yards with three TDs (Driskel was sacked three times but did not throw an interception). The Bengals were a somewhat dismal 1 of 8 on third down and held on to the ball for 24:29, while the Browns ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 35:31 and was 5 of 12 on third down tries (both teams were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

In the week 12 contest in Cincinnati, the Bengals were favored by 3 and the Browns covered, winning by 15 and both clubs combined for 55 points, allowing the 47 1/2 over/under to be covered. In the week 16 affair at First Energy Field, the Browns barely covered the 7-point spread, winning by 8 but both clubs barely missed the 45 over/under by a single point. Cleveland’s favored by 8 1/2 along the shores of Lake Erie and the over/under’s 42 1/2. The Browns look to keep their playoff hopes in tact, while the Bengals look to take their second win in a row. Cincinnati wins on the road but expect Cleveland to make the contest closer than the 8 1/2.

Washington (3-9) at Green Bay (9-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Green Bay returns to the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst to face off against the Washington Redskins at Lambeau Field. Both teams were winners on the road, chipping away at early deficits in the process.

Washington chipped away at a 14-12 deficit lead against Carolina at Bank of America Stadium, then held off a late Carolina rally to give the Redskins a 29-21 win in the Tar Heel State. Carolina took that 1-point into the intermission, thanks to a pair of Kyle Allen TDs in the first 30 minutes of action. Washington would use a pair of Daniel Hopkins field goals and a 1-yard TD run by Derek Guice to narrow the deficit, then went on to score 17 unchallenged points (Hopkins field goal and TDs from Guice and Adrian Peterson) in the second half before the Panthers would make the contest an 8-point affair with 1:51 when Allen scored on a 17-yard run. Carolina would get the ball back with 1:51 left in the contest and got themselves as close as Washington’s 3-yard line when Allen was sacked and fumbled the ball, with Washington recovering to end the threat.

Washington outrushed Carolina 248-65 with Guice leading the way with 129 yards and a pair of TDs, while Peterson tallied 99 yards on the ground. Allen threw for 278 yards with a pair of TDs but found himself being sacked seven times with an interception, while Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins threw for 147 yards and despite being sacked five times, did not have an interception. Carolina was 5 of 16 on third down (the Panthers were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:23, while the Redskins were rulers of the clock, keeping the pigskin for 30:37 and went 3 for 11 on third down. It would be head coach Ron Rivera’s final game with the Panthers, as they relieved him of his duties Tuesday afternoon.

Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers went into Met Life Stadium last Sunday and left the Meadowlands 31-13 winners. The Packers erased a 7-7 after Russell Shepherd and Doug Jones connected on an 18 yard TD toss with 3:16 left in the first when Rodgers and rookie WR Allan Lazard connected on a 37-yard TD pass to lead 14-7 at the end of the first quarter. Big Blue trailed 17-10 at the half and would rally to make it a 4-point contest at the end of the third quarter before Green Bay would get TD passes from Rodgers to Davante Adams and Marcedes Lewis to seal New York’s fate.

New York did manage to outrush the Packers 95-79 with Giants RB Sequan Barkley leading all rushers with 83 yards, while Rodgers threw for 243 yards with four TDs and no sacks or interceptions (Jones threw for 240 yards with the lone TD toss but was picked off three times). The Giants were 5 of 14 on third down tries in the snowy Meadowlands (they were 3 of 4 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 31:17, while the Packers, who held the pigskin for 28:43, went 7 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including contests played in Boston, when the Redskins were known as the Braves, contests played in Milwaukee at County Stadium and RFK Stadium, the Packers lead the series 18-15-1 and have outscored Washington 663-580. Washington has won the last two meetings in the series, both in Landover, with the last win coming in 2018 by a final of 31-17 (Green Bay’s last win in the series came in 2013 in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst, with the Packers leaving Lambeau Field 38-20 winners).

They met in week three in Landover and Washington led 28-10 at the break as Peterson rushed for a pair of TDs (both 2-yard runs) in the first half, while Alex Smith threw a pair of TD passes (his longest going to Paul Richardson in the first quarter) in the first 30 minutes of play. Washington outrushed Green Bay 166-100 with Peterson leading all rushers with 120 yards to go with the two TDs; Smith threw for 220 yards with an interception to go with his two TDs, while Rodgers threw for 265 yards with a pair of TDs and four sacks but no picks. Green Bay was 6 of 14 on third down (they were 0 for 2 on fourth down) and the Packers would keep the ball for 30:55, while Washington, who kept the ball for 29:05, went 5 of 11 on third down.

In the week three contest in Landover, Green Bay was favored by 3 and the Redskins would cover, winning by 14 and both clubs covered the 45 1/2 over/under, tallying 48 points. Green Bay’s favored by 13 1/2 at Lambeau and the over/under’s 43. The 43 is reasonable, it’s the 13 1/2 that comes into question. Washington’s not that bad a team and while Green Bay takes this one, expect the Redskins to make it closer than the 13 1/2.

Denver (4-8) at Houston (8-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. The first-place Houston Texans welcome the Denver Broncos to the Lone Star State in a early afternoon Sunday matchup at NRG Stadium. Both teams were home winners in last week’s contests.
Denver fought their way to the end against AFC West foe the Los Angeles Chargers last Sunday and it would be K Brian McManus sending Broncos fans home with smiles on their faces as they came away 23-20 last-second winners at Empower Field at Mile High. The Broncos led 17-10 at the break in the Mile High City and took that lead with them to start the final 15 minutes of football (the two clubs played a scoreless third quarter) before the Chargers would tie the contest up early in the fourth when Keenan Allen and QB Philip Rivers connected on a 36-yard TD pass.

McManus would give his team the lead back with 4:26 left in regulation, booting a 52-yard field goal through the uprights. That lead would not last long as the Chargers would tie the contest again with 14 seconds left on a 46-yard field goal by Michael Badgley. Denver would get the ball back with 14 seconds left after Los Angeles’ kickoff went into the endzone for a touchback. Broncos QB Drew Lock’s pass to Courtland Sutton was incomplete but Chargers CB Casey Heyward Jr. was flagged for interference at his team’s 35-yard line. The Chargers, hoping for overtime, then burned a timeout with three seconds left in an effort to ice McManus, who was going to try a 53-yard field goal for the win. McManus’ try went through the uprights as the clock stuck :00, giving Denver the win.

Houston led Tom Brady and the New England Patriots from start to finish, holding off a late rally by the defending Super Bowl champs to take a 28-22 win Sunday night at NRG Stadium. Houston led 14-3 at the intermission and New England found themselves playing catchup the entire contest. The Patriots did pull themselves to within six with 50 seconds left when Brady and WR Josh Edelman connected on a 20-yard TD toss. New England then went for the onside kick, which the Texans recovered and the home team would run out the clock and take the win.

New England outrushed Houston 145-52 and Brady threw for 326 yards with an interception, while Watson threw for 234 yards with a TD reception (both men threw three TDs and both were sacked three times). New England did reasonably well on third down conversions, going 9 for 17 (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:35, while the Texans held on to the pigskin for 25:25, going 6 for 11 on third down.

The Chargers outrushed Denver 115-84 (Los Angeles’ Melvin Gordon led all rushers with 99 yards, while Patrick Lindsay led Denver with 58) and Lock threw for 134 yards, while Rivers threw for 265 (Rivers was sacked three times, both men threw a pair of TDs and both threw an interception). The Chargers on third down went 5 of 15 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:09, while the Broncos kept the pigskin for 27:51 (including the final 14 seconds of regulation) and went 7 of 15 on third down.

Denver leads the series 4-3 and the Broncos have outscored Houston 174-139. Houston won the last meeting, which took place in Denver in 2018, by a final of 19-17, while the Broncos took a 27-9 win in Denver in 2016 for their last victory in the series. Houston’s favored by 9 1/2 and the over/under’s 41 1/2. The Chargers are looking to derail Houston’s playoff drive, while the Texans want no part of that plan. Houston may not cover the 9 1/2 but they do take the win at home.

Detroit (3-8-1) at Minnesota (8-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of NFC North rivals meet in the Twin Cities as the Lions and Vikings meet in a week seven rematch at US Bank Stadium. Both teams, chasing Green Bay for the division lead, lost last week’s contests.

Detroit would watch Chicago leave the Motor City 24-20 winners Thanksgiving afternoon, thanks to a 3-yard TD pass from Mitchell Trubisky to RB David Montgomery, rallying in the final minutes at Ford Field to take the win. Detroit led 17-10 at the intermission in the Motor City before Chicago tied the contest up at 17-17 when Trubisky and TE Jesper Horsted connected on an 18-yard TD toss late in the third quarter. Detroit’s Matt Prater would give the Lions the lead back with 10:47 in the contest, connecting on a 24-yard field goal to lead by three. The two clubs would exchange punts and Da Bears would get the ball back with 6:40 left in regulation, using a 9-play, 90-yard drive that took 4:23 of clock to reclaim the lead in the contest.

Detroit would get the ball back with 2:12 left in the contest and got themselves from their 17-yard line to Chicago’s 26, burning a timeout and the two-minute warning, only to see their hopes dashed when back QB David Blough (who took over for Matthew Stafford) was picked off by Eddie Jackson to seal Detroit’s fate. Detroit somehow managed to outrush Da Bears 105-88, with Lions RB Bobby Scarborough leading the way with 83 yards, while Montgomery led Chicago with 75. Trubisky threw for 338 yards and three TDs (including the game-winner), while Blough led Detroit with 280 yards and a pair of TDs, including his first NFL TD pass to Kenny Golladay early in the first quarter (Trubisky was sacked twice, Blough was sacked once and both men threw an interception; Golladay led all recievers with 158 yards on four catches, while Chicago’s Anthony Miller had 140 yards on nine catches). Chicago was 5 of 10 on third down tries Thanksgiving afternoon in the Motor City and kept the ball for 30:50, while Detroit held on to the pigskin for 29:10, going 8 of 16 on third down (both clubs were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

Minnesota let a 17-10 lead at Seattle get away from them in the Pacific Northwest Monday night as the Seahawks rallied to take a 37-30 win at Century Link Field. Safety Anthony Harris would give the Vikings a 14-7 lead when he picked off Seattle QB Russell Wilson, running the interception back 20 yards for a TD. Jason Myers would put Seattle to within four with a 29-yard field goal with 59 seconds left before Vikings K Dan Bailey responded with a 47-yard boot as time expired in the first half. Seattle would then take control of things in the second half, scoring 17 points in the third quarter unchallenged, using a 1-yard run by RB Rashaad Penny, a 29-yard field goal by Myers and a 60-yard pass from Wilson to David Moore in that quarter to lead 27-17. Penny would open the scoring in the final 15 minutes of play, catching a 13-yard toss from Wilson to lead by 17 before Minnesota responded with a pair of Cousins TD tosses (the first going to WR Laquon Treadwell and the second to TE Kyle Rudolph) to put themselves to within 4 with 7:14 left in the contest before Myers added his third field goal of the contest to all but ice the contest away.

Seattle outrushed Minnesota 218-78, with Seahawks RB Chris Carson leading all rushers with 102 yards and a TD (the Seahawks held Delvin Cook to 29 yards on 9 carries with a TD) and Cousins threw for 276 yards, while Wilson tallied 240 yards (both threw a pair of TDs, both threw interceptions and Wilson was sacked once). Minnesota was 5 of 10 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 20:15, while Seattle ruled time in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, keeping the pigskin for 39:45, while going 7 of 15 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

They met in the Motor City in week seven and the Vikings took Detroit to task at Ford Field, taking a 42-30 win. Minnesota and Detroit were tied 21-21 at the intermission before the Vikings would pull away in the second half, taking the lead for keeps with 9:02 left in the third when Chris Ham caught a 5-yard TD toss from Cousins. Detroit’s Marvin Jones would later catch a 2-yard pass from Matthew Stafford to pull themselves to within five before Delvin Cook’s 4-yard run (his second of the contest) with 1:55 left in the contest sealed Detroit’s fate.

Minnesota outrushed their NFC North rivals 166-81 with Cook leading the way with 142 yards; Cousins threw for 337 yards without a sack or interception, while Stafford threw for 364 yards with an interception and two sacks (both threw four TD passes in the contest). Minnesota was 6 of 10 on third down at Ford Field and kept the ball for 32:10, while the Lions held the ball for 27:50 and went 6 for 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Minnesota covered the 1-point spread in the week seven contest at Ford Field and both clubs covered the 45 1/2 over/under with 72 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Vikings again, this time favoring them by 14 and the over/under’s 42 1/2. We’re not sure about the 14; on the other hand, the 42 1/2 makes sense. Detroit’s not as bad as their record states but then again, we’re dealing with the Lions here. Detroit makes it closer than the 14 but the Vikings complete the sweep in the Land of 10,000 Lakes and takes the win in the Twin Cities.

San Francisco (10-2) at New Orleans (10-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of contending NFC teams that could very well meet in the post-season meet in the Big Easy as New Orleans and San Francsico square off at the Mercedes Benz Superdome.

The 49ers got their hearts broken in Baltimore as Ravens K Jeff Tucker sent Baltimore fans home happy last Sunday in Charm City as Baltimore left M&T Bank Stadium 20-17 winners over San Francisco in a contest that some considered a possible Super Bowl matchup. The Ravens led the 49ers 17-14 at the break before the 49ers tied the contest with 3:37 left in the third on a 32-yard field goal. San Francisco and Baltimore exchanged the ball four times from the time the 49ers tied the contest until the 6:28 of the fourth quarter, when the Ravens went on a long drive that used 12 plays, 34 yards of field and all of the 6:28 left in the contest to give Tucker a chance to end the contest in regulation. Tucker did not disappoint Ravens fans that stayed in the rain and wind, booting a 49-yard field goal as the clock struck :00.

It was a ground game fan’s dream as Baltimore outrushed the 49ers 178-174 with Ravens QB Lamar Jackson leading the way with 101 yards and a rushing TD (Jackson also threw for 105 yards and a TD toss to TE Mark Andrews; San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 165 yards and a TD. Garoppolo was sacked twice, Jackson was sacked once and neither threw an interception), while San Francisco was led by Robert Mostert with 146 yards on the ground. Baltimore was 3 of 10 on third down tries (the Ravens were 2 for 3 on fourth down) and including the final 6:28 of the contest, ruled the clock and kept the ball for 32:26, while the 49ers held on to the pigskin for 27:34, while going 4 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

New Orleans held off a late Atlanta rally as the Falcons dropped their second NFC South game and their second home game, coming away 26-18 winners in the Big Peach Thanksgiving night at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. New Orleans, who clinched the NFC South, would lead 17-9 at the intermission, then got three field goals from Will Lutz before Atlanta stormed back in the final period, using a 13-yard TD toss from Ryan to WR Russell Gage, then a successful onside kick and a 43-yard field goal by Youngho Koo with 1:56 left in the contest.

Atlanta would get the jump on New Orleans again with another successful onside kick after Koo’s field goal, getting the ball on their 47-yard line. The Falcons’ final rally fell short as Ryan would be sacked by Cameron Jordan to seal the win. New Orleans outrushed Atlanta 95-89 and Ryan threw for 312 yards with a pair of TDs, while Drew Brees threw for 184 yards (Ryan was sacked nine times and threw a pair of interceptions). Atlanta was 6 of 16 on third down tries in the Big Peach (they were 2 of 4 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 35:37, while the Saints kept the pigskin for 24:23, going 2 of 10 on third down tried.

Including contests played at Keezar Stadium, old Tulane Stadium and Candlestick Park, San Francisco leads the series 47-26-2 and have outscored the Saints 1,814-1,395. The Saints came away 41-23 winners in San Francsico in 2016, while the 49ers’ last win came in the Big Easy by a final of 27-24 in 2014. New Orleans’ favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 45. Both numbers make a ton of sense. The Saints have already punched their playoff ticket, while the 49ers are looking to get their ducks back in a row in hopes of either winning the NFC West or being a Wild Card team. San Francisco rights its ship from last week in the Big Easy and covers the 3 1/2 with the win.

Miami (3-9) at New York Jets (4-8), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of struggling AFC East rivals meet in upstate New Jersey in a week nine rematch as the New York J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! host the Miami Dolphins at Met Life Stadium.

The Dolphins used trickery in their 37-31 win over Philadelphia Sunday afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami took a 14-13 lead with 4:40 left before the intermission when K Jason Sanders and punter Matt Haack connected on a 1-yard TD pass as the Dolphins lined up for what some thought would be a field goal try. Philadelphia then took the lead back with 6 seconds left before half time on a 15-yard TD toss from Carson Wentz to WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and added to their lead in the third quarter when Wentz and WR Alshon Jeffery connected on a 10-yard toss.

Miami then used a pair of TD passes from Ryan Fitzpatrick (connecting with DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki), a two-point conversion pass from Fitzpatrick to RB Patrick Patrick and a Sanders field goal in the second half, tallying 23 points unchallenged to lead 37-28 before Eagles K Josh Elliott connected on a 37-yard field goal with 1:51 left in the contest. Miami would get the ball back but could not make a first down that would have ended the contest and the Dolphins punted the ball back to Philadelphia, who had the pigskin for only two plays, when Wentz was picked off by S Chris Lammons, ending the threat.

Philadelphia outrushed Miami 92-52 and Fitzpatrick threw for 365 yards, while Wentz threw for 310 yards (both threw an interception with three TDs; Wentz was sacked twice, Fitzpatrick was sacked three times) in the Sunshine State. Miami went 5 of 12 on third down but had success on fourth down, going 3 of 3 and kept the ball for 31:18, while Philadelphia held on to the ball for 28:42, while going 7 for 14 on third down.

GangGreen found themselves being held by Cincinnati to a pair of first half field goals at Paul Brown Stadium as the Bengals broke their 13-game losing streak (they lost the last two games of the 2018 campaign) to take a 22-6 win along the shores of the Ohio River. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! trailed 17-6 at the intermission, then watched the Bengals score five third quarter points (safety, Randy Bulloch field goal) unchallenged to seal their fate.

GangGreen did outrush Cincinnati 62-44 and Sam Darnold threw for 239 yards, while Bengals signal caller Andy Dalton returned to action and threw for 243 yards with a TD to TE Travis Boyd (Dalton was sacked once, Darnold was sacked four times and neither man threw an interception). The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 7 of 17 on third down tries, 0 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 28:19, while Cincinnati ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:41 and went 5 of 14 on third down.

Miami picked up their first win in their week nine meeting in the Sunshine State at Hard Rock Stadium 26-18. The Dolphins led 21-12 at the break, then things went sideways for GangGreen as they would give up a Jason Sanders field goal with 60 seconds left in the third quarter, then Jets RB Jonathan Harrison fumbled the ball out of the end zone, giving Miami two more points in the fourth quarter.

Neither club touched the 100-yard barrier in the contest but while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! outrushed Miami 83-50, Miami’s Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 288 yards with four TDs with no interceptions, despite being sacked four times (Darnold threw for 260 yards with a TD, three sacks and an interception for GangGreen). Miami was 6 of 12 on third down and ruled the clock as they held the ball for 31:14, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! held the pigskin for 28:46, going 5 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week nine contest at Hard Rock Stadium, GangGreen was favored by 3 and the Dolphins would cover, winning by 8 and both clubs covered the 40 1/2 over/under with 44 points. This time, the Jets are favored in the Meadowlands by 6 with a 44 over/under. We don’t blame you if you decide not to watch this one and watch the “Grumpy Cat Christmas” movie (unless you’re a fan of one of these teams). Miami proves that the first time was not a fluke and wins in the Meadowlands, covering the 6.

Indianapolis (6-6) at Tampa Bay (5-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. Jacoby Brissett and Indianapolis make their way to the Sunshine State to face off against Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Colts’ playoff hopes took a hit Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil as Tennessee swept a 10-7 halftime deficit at Indianapolis away, outscoring the Colts 24-7 in the final 30 minutes of play to take a 31-17 win over their AFC South rivals at Lucas Oil Stadium. Colts RB Nyheim Hines would give Indianpolis a 17-7 lead with 10:23 left in the third before Tennessee would go on a tear, scoring their 24 second-half points unthreatened and got help from their special teams as S Tye Smith blocked a 46-yard field goal try by Adam Vinatieri, picked up the ball and ran 63 yards untouched. Tennesee outrushed Indianapolis 154-82, with Titans RB Derrick Henry leading the way with 149 yards and a TD, while Ryan Tannehill threw for 182 yards and a pair of TDs (Brissett threw for 319 yards with a TD but was sacked three times; Tannehill was sacked six times but had no interceptions to his credit). Tennessee was 5 of 13 on third down (the Titans were successful in their only fourth down try) and kept the ball for 27:29, while the Colts held on to the pigskin for 32:31, going 5 for 12 on third down.

Tampa Bay restored order in the Sunshine State last week in Jacksonville, as the Bucs manhandled the Jaguars 28-11 at TIAA Stadium. The Bucs led 25-0 at the intermission on the road, scoring all of their points in the first 30 minutes of play unchallenged to set the tone before Jacksonville would use a Josh Lambo field goal and a TD pass from Gardner Minshew II (who took over after Nick Foles was benched) to Dede Westbrook (the two combined for the two-point conversion).

Neither team breached the 100-yard barrier in the Sunshine State contest but Tampa Bay did manage to outrush Jacksonville 74-49 and Winston threw for 268 yards and while he did not throw a TD and was sacked four times, did not throw an interception, while Minshew threw for 147 yards with a pair of sacks and was picked off once (Foles threw for 93 yards with three sacks and an interception before he was taken out of the contest). Tampa Bay was 7 of 17 on third down tries (the Buccaneers went 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball hostage for 33:32, while the Jaguars kept the pigskin for 26:28, going 4 of 14 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

Including games that took place in Baltimore, the Colts lead the series 8-5 and have outscored Tampa Bay 336-277. Their last meeting took place in the Hoosier State in 2015 and the Colts came away 25-12 winners, while Tampa Bay’s last win in the series came in the Sunshine State in 2011 by a final of 24-17. Tampa Bay’s favored by 3 on Florida’s West Coast and the over/under’s 49. Tampa Bay would love nothing more than to dent or damage to Indianapolis’ playoff hopes, while the Colts are looking to bounce back from their loss at home. Colts pull off the upset on the road and cover the 3 in the Sunshine State.

Los Angeles Chargers (4-8) at Jacksonville (4-8), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. A pair of struggling AFC teams meet on the East Coast as Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers take on Gordon Minshew II and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Chargers fans had their hearts broken last Sunday in Denver as the Broncos fought their way to the end against their AFC West foe and it would be K Brian McManus sending Broncos fans home with smiles on their faces as they came away 23-20 last-second winners at Empower Field at Mile High. The Broncos led 17-10 at the break in the Mile High City and took that lead with them to start the final 15 minutes of football (the two clubs played a scoreless third quarter) before the Chargers would tie the contest up early in the fourth when Keenan Allen and QB Philip Rivers connected on a 36-yard TD pass.

McManus would give his team the lead back with 4:26 left in regulation, booting a 52-yard field goal through the uprights. That lead would not last long as the Chargers would tie the contest again with 14 seconds left on a 46-yard field goal by Michael Badgley. Denver would get the ball back with 14 seconds left after Los Angeles’ kickoff went into the endzone for a touchback. Broncos QB Drew Lock’s pass to Courtland Sutton was incomplete but Chargers CB Casey Heyward Jr. was flagged for interference at his team’s 35-yard line. The Chargers, hoping for overtime, then burned a timeout with three seconds left in an effort to ice McManus, who was going to try a 53-yard field goal for the win. McManus’ try went through the uprights as the clock stuck :00, giving Denver the win.

The Chargers outrushed Denver 115-84 (Los Angeles’ Melvin Gordon led all rushers with 99 yards, while Patrick Lindsay led Denver with 58) and Lock threw for 134 yards, while Rivers threw for 265 (Rivers was sacked three times, both men threw a pair of TDs and both threw an interception). The Chargers on third down went 5 of 15 (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:09, while the Broncos kept the pigskin for 27:51 (including the final 14 seconds of regulation) and went 7 of 15 on third down.

Jacksonville could never get themselves on track against in-state rival Tampa Bay as the Buccaneers took the Jaguars to task 28-11 at TIAA Stadium. Jacksonville trailed from start to finish and found themselve behind 25-0 at the intermission as the Buccaneers would score those points in the first 30 minutes of play unchallenged to set the tone before Jacksonville would use a Josh Lambo field goal and a TD pass from Gardner Minshew II (who took over after Nick Foles was benched) to Dede Westbrook (the two combined for the two-point conversion).

Neither team breached the 100-yard barrier in the Sunshine State contest but Tampa Bay did manage to outrush Jacksonville 74-49 and Winston threw for 268 yards and while he did not throw a TD and was sacked four times, did not throw an interception, while Minshew threw for 147 yards with a pair of sacks and was picked off once (Foles threw for 93 yards with three sacks and an interception before he was taken out of the contest). Tampa Bay was 7 of 17 on third down tries (the Buccaneers went 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball hostage for 33:32, while the Jaguars kept the pigskin for 26:28, going 4 of 14 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

The Chargers hold a 7-3 lead in the series and have outscored the Jaguars 291-178. Jacksonville won the last meeting, which took place in the Sunshine State in 2017, needing overtime to take a 20-17 win, while the Chargers won on the West Coast the season before, coming away 38-14 winners in San Diego. The Chargers are favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under 42 1/2. The winner keeps their playoff hopes alive, while the loser is all but done for the 2019 season. Chargers take the win in the Sunshine State and covers the 2 1/2.

Pittsburgh (7-5) at Arizona (3-8-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. A pair of rookie QBs meet in the desert as Pittsburgh and Delvin Hodges makes their west westward to face off against Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium.
Pittsburgh erased an early 10-0 deficit against Cleveland last Sunday, getting a measure of revenge from their loss along the shores of Lake Erie two weeks ago to take a 20-17 win at Heinz Field. Cleveland used a 31-yard field goal by Austin Siebert and a 15-yard TD toss from Mayfield to Kareem Hunt to score the first points of the contest unchallenged before the Steelers got themselves back on track, tying the contest with Chris Boswell’s 39-yard field goal and a 30-yard TD pass from Hodges to WR James Washigton with a minute left in the first half to send the teams into the intermission tied at 10-10.

Pittsburgh would then add a 1-yard run by Benny Snell, Jr. and a 29-yard field goal by Boswell to lead 20-10 early in the final period. Siebert then pulled the Browns to within seven with 7:30 left in regulation on a 34-yard field goal. The Browns and Steelers would each get the ball, only to punt to the other team after Siebert’s field goal and Cleveland would get the ball back with 1:45 left. After Pittsburgh’s Bud Dupree was flagged for roughing the passer, the Browns got the ball at their 35 and would get as close as their own 40, when the drive and Cleveland’s hopes ended when Mayfield was picked off by Joe Haden, ending the threat.

Pittsburgh outrushed Cleveland 124-106 with Snell leading the way with 63 yards (Cleveland was led by Nick Chubb, who ran for 58 yards on 16 carries). Hodges threw for 212 yards in the win, while Mayfield threw for 196 (both threw an interception as well as a TD; Mayfield was sacked five times, while Hodges was sacked once. Cleveland was 4 of 12 on third down (the Browns were 1 for 2 on fourth down) and they actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:06 to Pittsburgh’s 27:54; the Steelers were 4 for 10 on third down conversions.

Arizona was held to a fourth-quarter TD by Murray as the Los Angeles Rams came into Glendale last Sunday and left 34-7 winners over the Desert Angry Birds. Arizona had trouble getting themselves on track as the Rams scored their 34 points in the contest unchallenged, leading 20-0 at the half. Arizona’s lone score of the contest came with 8:35 left in the game on Murray’s 15-yard run. Arizona would be held by the Rams to 74 yards rushing, while the defending NFC champs tallied 132 yards on the ground, with Rams RB Todd Gurley leading everyone with 95 yards and a TD. Rams QB Jarred Goff threw for 424 yards with a pair of TDs (one to Cooper Kupp, the other to Tyler Higbee; Higbee had seven catches for 107, while teammate Robert Woods led all recievers with 172 yards), while Murray threw for 163 yards with six sacks and an interception (Goff was sacked twice but did not throw an interception). The Rams were 8 of 15 on third down but 0 for 1 on fourth down and they would rule the clock and keep the ball for 34:37, while the Desert Angry Birds kept the pigskin for 25:23, going 2 of 13 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

Including games that were played when the Cardinals were in Chicago and St. Louis, the Steelers were known as the Pirates and games were played at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh leads the series 33-23-3, have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 1,163-1,092 and have won the last two meetings, including a 25-13 win in 2015 at Heinz Field, while Arizona’s last win came in the desert in 2007, coming out on top 25-13. Pittsburgh’s a 1 1/2-point favorite in the desert and the over/under’s 43. The Steelers are looking to make it to the post-season party, while the Desert Angry Birds would love nothing more than to be the spoilers. Pittsburgh covers the 1 1/2 in the desert and wins this one in Glendale over the Desert Angry Birds.

Kansas City (8-4) at New England (10-2), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 716. They meet again for the third time in two seasons. Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes. The Kansas City Chiefs head to Foxboro for an AFC Championship rematch with the NeW England Patriots.

Kansas City all but manhandled AFC West rival Oakland last Sunday at Arrowhead, coming away 40-9 winners. The Chiefs scored their first 31 points of the contest unchallenged, leading 21-0 at the half and took control of things from that point, holding the Silver and Black to a 4-yard TD toss from Derek Carr to TE Derek Carrier with 39 seconds left in the contest. Kansas City then proceeded to add insult to injury as CB Charvarius Ward picked off the two-point try and returned it for a defensive conversion.

Oakland did outrush Kansas City 122-96 with Raiders RB Josh Jacobs leading the way with 104 yards, while Mahomes threw for 175 yards with a rushing TD and a TD pass to RB Darrel Williams, with a sack but no interceptions (Carr threw for 222 yards with the TD but was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions). Kansas City was 7 of 11 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 28:19, while the Raiders clung to the pigskin for 31:41, going 3 of 9 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

New England came out on the short end of a 28-22 loss to DeShaun Watson and the Houston Texans Sunday night at NRG Stadium. The defending Super Bowl champions trailed 14-3 at the intermission and found themselves playing catchup the entire contest. New England did pull themselves to within six with 50 seconds left when Brady and WR Josh Edelman connected on a 20-yard TD toss. New England then went for the onside kick, which the Texans recovered and the home team would run out the clock and take the win.

New England outrushed Houston 145-52 and Brady threw for 326 yards with an interception, while Watson threw for 234 yards with a TD reception (both men threw three TDs and both were sacked three times). New England did reasonably well on third down conversions, going 9 for 17 (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:35, while the Texans held on to the pigskin for 25:25, going 6 for 11 on third down.

The Chiefs lead the series 18-14-3 (which includes contests that took place in Houston when the Chiefs were known as the Texans and the Patriots played their home games at Fenway Park) and have outscored New England 878-737. The two clubs met twice last year, once in the regular season (Foxboro) and once in post-season play (Kansas City) and New England won both contests (Kansas City’s last win in the series? Foxboro in 2017 by a final of 42-27.

The first meeting? Foxboro in week six on a Sunday night. Brady and New England survived a slugfest with Mahomes and the Chiefs, coming away 43-40 winners at Gillette Stadium. New England led the Chiefs 24-9 after 30 minutes of play before the Chiefs stormed back in the second half, outscoring the Pats 31-19. The Chiefs would eventually take a 33-30 lead with 8:38 left in regulation when Tyreek Hill and Mahomes connected on a 1-yard TD toss. Brady would then take matters into his own feet, scoring on a 4-yard run with 5:25 left in the contest. Pats K Stephen Gostkowski would later connect on a 50-yard field goal to make it a seven-point contest before Mahomes and Hill hooked up again to tie the contest with 3:03 left in regulation. New England would get the ball back with the 3:03 left and used a 7-play, 65-yard drive to send their fans home from Gillette happy as Gostkowski connected on a 28 yard field goal as time expired.

New England outrushed Kansas City 173-94 and Pats RB Sony Michel led all rushers with 106 yards and a pair of TDs, while Kareem Hunt led Kansas City with 80 yards. Brady threw for 340 yards and a TD to WR Josh Edleman to go with his rushing TD, while Mahomes threw for 352 yards (Brady was sacked twice, Mahomes threw a pair of interceptions) with four TDs, three of them going to Hill. New England was 7 of 13 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 36:09 (including the final 3:03 of the contest), while the Chiefs, keeping the ball for 23:51, went 4 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

That was round one.

Round two?

The AFC championship at Arrowhead and like the regular season meeting in Foxboro, this contest was a slugfest but the Patriots earned their trip to Atlanta, needing overtime to win 37-31. New England led 14-0 at halftime before the Chiefs would push their way back into the contest and took a 28-24 lead with 2:03 left in the contest. Rex Burkhead would give New England the lead back with 39 seconds left, scoring on a 4-yard run. That lead would not last very long at Arrowhead Stadium, as Chiefs K Harrison Butker connected on a 39-yard field goal with eight seconds left to tie things back up.

New England would win the toss in overtime and the Chiefs would never see the pigskin again, as the Patriots would go on a 13-play, 75-yard drive that used 4:52 of clock and ended as Burkhead would score his second TD of the contest to give the Pats the overtime win. New England held Kansas City to 41 yards rushing, while they accounted for 176 yards and Michel would lead all rushers with 113 yards and a pair of rushing TDs. Brady threw for 348 yards with a TD but threw a pair of interceptions, while Mahomes threw for 295 yards with three TDs (two of them to Darnell Williams) with four sacks but no interceptions. New England in the AFC Championship game went 13 of 19 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 43:59 (including the 4:52 in overtime), while the Chiefs held the ball for 20:53 and went 4 of 9 on third down.

In the week six contest in Foxboro, the Pats were favored by 3 1/2 but won by only 3. The two clubs did manage to cover the 60 over/under, tallying 83 points. In the AFC championship contest at Arrowhead, Kansas City was favored by 3 and the Patriots covered, winning by 6 and as was the case, both teams covered the over/under (this time, it was 56) with 68 points.

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

Tennessee (7-5) at Oakland (6-6), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 717. Tennesee, chasing Houston for the top spot in the AFC South, makes their way to the West Coast to face the struggling Oakland Raiders at the Coliseum.

The Titans swept a 10-7 halftime deficit at Indianapolis away as Tennessee would outscore the Colts 24-7 in the final 30 minutes of play to take a 31-17 win over their AFC South rivals at Lucas Oil Stadium. Colts RB Nyheim Hines would give Indianpolis a 17-7 lead with 10:23 left in the third before Tennessee would go on a tear, scoring their 24 second-half points unthreatened and got help from their special teams as S Tye Smith blocked a 46-yard field goal try by Adam Vinatieri, picked up the ball and ran 63 yards untouched. Tennesee outrushed Indianapolis 154-82, with Titans RB Derrick Henry leading the way with 149 yards and a TD, while Ryan Tannehill threw for 182 yards and a pair of TDs (Colts QB Jacoby Brissett threw for 319 yards with a TD but was sacked three times; Tannehill was sacked six times but had no interceptions to his credit). Tennessee was 5 of 13 on third down (the Titans were successful in their only fourth down try) and kept the ball for 27:29, while the Colts held on to the pigskin for 32:31, going 5 for 12 on third down.

Oakland found themselves overmatched by Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs as their AFC West rivals all but manhandled the Silver and Black last Sunday at Arrowhead, coming away 40-9 winners. Raiders fans watched with horror as the Chiefs scored their first 31 points of the contest unchallenged, leading 21-0 at the half and took control of things from that point, holding the Silver and Black to a 4-yard TD toss from Derek Carr to TE Derek Carrier with 39 seconds left in the contest but Kansas City then proceeded to add insult to injury as CB Charvarius Ward picked off the two-point try and returned it for a defensive conversion.

Oakland did outrush Kansas City 122-96 with Raiders RB Josh Jacobs leading the way with 104 yards, while Mahomes threw for 175 yards with a rushing TD and a TD pass to RB Darrel Williams, with a sack but no interceptions (Carr threw for 222 yards with the TD but was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions). Kansas City was 7 of 11 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 28:19, while the Raiders clung to the pigskin for 31:41, going 3 of 9 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Including contests that were played in Houston when the Texans were known as the Oilers and the Raiders played their home contests in Los Angeles, Oakland leads the series 26-20 but the Titans have outscored the Silver and Black 1,066-1,036. Oakland has won the last three contests (all in Nashville) with the last win coming in the Music City by a final of 26-17 in 2017, while the Titans’ last win came on the West Coast in 2013 by a final of 23-19. Tennessee’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 46 1/2. Both teams are looking for a playoff spot and hope to catch the teams in their respective divisions (Tennessee chasing Houston in the AFC South, Oakland chasing Kansas City in the AFC West). Raiders cover the 3 and just win baby in Oakland.

Seattle (10-2) at Los Angeles Rams (7-5), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of contending NFC West rivals meet in Los Angeles as Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks make the 1,138-mile trip down I-5 to face off against Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams under the lights. Both teams took huge wins last week.

Seattle erased a 17-10 against Minnesota in the Pacific Northwest Monday night, rallying to take a 37-30 win at Century Link Field. Safety Anthony Harris would give the Vikings a 14-7 lead when he picked off Seattle QB Russell Wilson, running the interception back 20 yards for a TD. Jason Myers would put Seattle to within four with a 29-yard field goal with 59 seconds left before Vikings K Dan Bailey responded with a 47-yard boot as time expired in the first half. Seattle would then take control of things in the second half in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, scoring 17 points in the third quarter unchallenged, using a 1-yard run by RB Rashaad Penny, a 29-yard field goal by Myers and a 60-yard pass from Wilson to David Moore in that quarter to lead 27-17. Penny would open the scoring in the final 15 minutes of play, catching a 13-yard toss from Wilson to lead by 17 before Minnesota responded with a pair of Cousins TD tosses (the first going to WR Laquon Treadwell and the second to TE Kyle Rudolph) to put themselves to within 4 with 7:14 left in the contest before Myers added his third field goal of the contest to all but ice the contest away.

Seattle outrushed Minnesota 218-78, with Seahawks RB Chris Carson leading all rushers with 102 yards and a TD (the Seahawks held Delvin Cook to 29 yards on 9 carries with a TD) and Cousins threw for 276 yards, while Wilson tallied 240 yards (both threw a pair of TDs, both threw interceptions and Wilson was sacked once). Minnesota was 5 of 10 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 20:15, while Seattle ruled time in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks, keeping the pigskin for 39:45, while going 7 of 15 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The defending NFC champs held Arizona to a fourth-quarter TD by Kyler Murray as they left 34-7 winners over the Desert Angry Birds. The Rams scored their 34 points in the contest unchallenged, leading 20-0 at the half, while Arizona’s lone score of the contest came with 8:35 left in the game on Murray’s 15-yard run. The Rams held Arizona to 74 yards rushing, while the defending NFC champs tallied 132 yards on the ground, with Rams RB Todd Gurley leading everyone with 95 yards and a TD. Rams QB Jarred Goff threw for 424 yards with a pair of TDs (one to Cooper Kupp, the other to Tyler Higbee; Higbee had seven catches for 107, while teammate Robert Woods led all recievers with 172 yards), while Murray threw for 163 yards with six sacks and an interception (Goff was sacked twice but did not throw an interception). The Rams were 8 of 15 on third down but 0 for 1 on fourth down and they would rule the clock and keep the ball for 34:37, while the Desert Angry Birds kept the pigskin for 25:23, going 2 of 13 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

The two NFC West rivals met in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks in week five and Seattle came away 30-29 winners at Century Link Field. Seattle led 14-13 at the break in the Thursday night contest before Los Angeles would storm their way back to lead 29-24 with 9:19 left as Rams K Greg Zeurlein would kick his third field goal of the evening. Seattle would reclaim the lead and take the win with 2:28 left when RB Chirs Carson and Wilson connnected on a 5-yard TD toss. The Seahawks would hold the Rams off in the closing minutes of the contest and take the win in front of the home folks.

The Rams were outrushed by Seattle 167-82 with Carson leading all rushers with 118 yards, while Todd Gurley II led the Rams with 52 yards and a pair of TDs. Wilson threw for 268 yards with four TDs (including the game-winner) and was sacked once, while Goff threw for 395 yards with a TD to Cooper Kupp and was picked off once. Seattle went 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 35:18, while the Rams, who held on to the pigskin for 24:42, went 3 for 11 on third down.

In the week five contest in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle was favored by 1 point and the Seahawks covered, winning by that margin and both teams took care of covering the 49 1/2 over/under by tallying 59 points. Seattle’s favored by 2 in Tinseltown and the over/under’s 47. Seattle’s sitting on top of the NFC West mountain, while the Rams look to restore some order. Seattle wins in Los Angeles and covers the 2.

New York Giants (2-10) at Philadelphia (5-7), 8:20 p,m. Monday on ESPN. Week 14 closes out in the City of Brotherly Love with an NFC East matchup as the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles, separated by 96 miles and a 90-minute drive down I-95 square off. Both teams took losses in last week’s action.

Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers went into Met Life Stadium last Sunday and left the Meadowlands 31-13 winners. The Packers erased a 7-7 after Russell Shepherd and Doug Jones connected on an 18 yard TD toss with 3:16 left in the first when Rodgers and rookie WR Allan Lazard connected on a 37-yard TD pass to lead 14-7 at the end of the first quarter. Big Blue trailed 17-10 at the half and would rally to make it a 4-point contest at the end of the third quarter before Green Bay would get TD passes from Rodgers to Davante Adams and Marcedes Lewis to seal New York’s fate.

New York did manage to outrush the Packers 95-79 with Giants RB Sequan Barkley leading all rushers with 83 yards, while Rodgers threw for 243 yards with four TDs and no sacks or interceptions (Jones threw for 240 yards with the lone TD toss but was picked off three times). The Giants were 5 of 14 on third down tries in the snowy Meadowlands (they were 3 of 4 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 31:17, while the Packers, who held the pigskin for 28:43, went 7 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Miami used trickery in their 37-31 win over Philadelphia Sunday afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami took a 14-13 lead with 4:40 left before the intermission (the Eagles led 10-7 at the end of the first quarter) when K Jason Sanders and punter Matt Haack connected on a 1-yard TD pass as the Dolphins lined up for what some thought would be a field goal try. Philadelphia then took the lead back with 6 seconds left before half time on a 15-yard TD toss from Carson Wentz to WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and added to their lead in the third quarter when Wentz and WR Alshon Jeffery connected on a 10-yard toss.

Miami then used a pair of TD passes from Ryan Fitzpatrick (connecting with DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki), a two-point conversion pass from Fitzpatrick to RB Patrick Patrick and a Sanders field goal in the second half, tallying 23 points unchallenged to lead 37-28 before Eagles K Josh Elliott connected on a 37-yard field goal with 1:51 left in the contest. Miami would get the ball back but could not make a first down that would have ended the contest and the Dolphins punted the ball back to Philadelphia, who had the pigskin for only two plays, when Wentz was picked off by S Chris Lammons, ending the threat.

Philadelphia outrushed Miami 92-52 and Fitzpatrick threw for 365 yards, while Wentz threw for 310 yards (both threw an interception with three TDs; Wentz was sacked twice, Fitzpatrick was sacked three times) in the Sunshine State. Miami went 5 of 12 on third down but had success on fourth down, going 3 of 3 and kept the ball for 31:18, while Philadelphia held on to the ball for 28:42, while going 7 for 14 on third down.

The series? Tied at 83-83-2 and the Giants have outscored Philadelphia 3,241-3,209. History has been kind to the Eagles, however, as they have won the last five meetings, sweeping the last two series (including last year’s contests; The Giants’ last win in the series came in 2016 in the Meadowlands by a final of 28-23 at Met Life Stadium).

The first meeting took place in week six in upstate New Jersey at Met Life Stadium and the Eagles held Big Blue to seven points in the second half to take the 34-13 win. Philadelphia led from start to finish, taking a 24-6 lead with them to the intermission, then took control of the second half to take the road win.

New York did outrush Philadelphia 147-108 (Giants RB Sequan Barkley led all rushers with 130 yards and a rushing TD, Barkley also had nine catches for 99 yards) and Eli Manning threw for 281 yards with an interception and four sacks, while Wentz threw for 278 yards and three TDs passes (two to Alshon Jeffery, the other to Ertz). The Giants went 4 of 14 on third down (Big Blue was 0 of 1 on fourth down) and they would keep the ball for 27:30, while the Eagles ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin to themselves for 32:30 and went 9 of 16 on third down conversions.

The Eagles made it a clean sweep, taking down Big Blue 25-22 in their week 12 rematach at Lincoln Financial Field. The Giants took a 19-11 lead with them to the intermission in the City of Brotherly Love, only to see that lead get away from them in the final 30 minutes of play. Philadelphia would take a 22-19 lead with 10:11 left in the contest on a 1-yard run by RB Josh Adams (Adams, who led Philadelphia with 84 rushing yards, also scored on the two-point conversion) before the Giants tied the contest with 5:49 left on an 29-yard field goal by Aldrick Rosas. Philadelphia would get the ball back on the kickoff and used a 10-play, 50-yard drive, using 5:27 of clock and ending with a 43-yard game-winning field goal by Jake Elliot with 22 seconds left, then stopping a last-second Giants rally to take the win.

This time, Philadelphia outrushed the Giants 127-126 and once again, Barkley led all rushers with 101 yards and a TD. Manning threw for 297 yards with an interception and a pair of sacks, while Wentz threw for 236 yards with three sacks (each threw a TD pass). The Eagles were 3 of 11 on third down in the rematch (they were perfect on fourth down, going 1 of 1) and kept the ball for 32:38, while the Giants kept the pigskin for 27:22, going 5 of 12 on third down.

The Giants on Monday night? 25-39-1 (they played two games in 2018 and split them). Philadelphia? 35-27; the Eagles played once on Monday night last year but found success in their only contest.

Philadelphia in the week six contest, played on a Thursday night, was favored by 3 and covered the spread, winning by 21. Both teams did take care of the 44 over/under, tallying 47 points. In the rematch in the City of Brotherly Love in week 12, the Eagles were favored by 6 but won by only three; they did take care of the 46 over/under, passing it by 1 point. Philadelphia’s favored by 8 with a 46 1/2 over/under. The Giants would love nothing more than to ruin Philadelphia’s playoff hopes, while the Eagles are looking to climb their way back into the post-season. Philadelphia may not cover the 8 but they take the Monday night win in the City of Brotherly Love.

Thanksgiving has come and gone.

Black Friday? Made its guest appearance and head out.

It’s getting colder and somewhat windier.

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

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

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

2019 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 13

AFC

CLINCHED: None

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

New England clinches playoff berth with:

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

NFC

CLINCHED: None

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

San Francisco clinches playoff berth with:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even though Green Bay barely outrushed San Francsico 117-112, Garoppolo threw for 253 yards and a pair of TDs (including the one to Kittle), while Rodgers threw for 104 yards and the third-quarter TD (Rodgers was sacked five times, Garoppolo was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). San Francisco went 3 of 9 on third down tries and kept the ball for 24:44, while the Packers ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 35:16, going a dismal 1 of 15 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

Baltimore held the Los Angeles Rams to a pair of Greg Zuerlein field goals in the first half and sheared the Rams 45-6 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Monday night. Baltimore led 28-6 at the intermission in the Monday night contest, then floored the gas in the second half, scoring 17 second half points unchallenged. Ravens RB Mark Ingram II was in Heisman form, leading all rushers with 111 yards and a TD as the Ravens held the Rams to 22 yards on the ground (Todd Gurley accounted for all of the Rams’ ground yardage), while Baltimore rushed for 285 yards. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (a Heisman winner himself) threw for 169 yards with five TDs and no interceptions, despite being sacked twice (Jackson rushed for 95 yards), while Jared Goff struggled, throwing for 212 yards with a pair of sacks and a pair of interceptions. The Ravens were 9 of 15 on third down but struck gold on fourth down, going 3 of 3 and held the ball for 39:56, while the Rams, who kept the ball for 20:04, went 2 of 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Baltimore leads the series 3-2 and the Ravens have outscored San Francisco 109-82. San Francisco won the last meeting in the series, coming away with the 25-20 win in 2015 in Santa Clara, while Baltimore’s last win came in Charm City in 2011 by a 16-6 final. Baltimore’s favored by 4 in Charm City and the over/under’s 46. There’s a chance that these two could meet in Miami in February. If this is a preview, the two teams should make the most of it. Baltimore takes care of business in Charm City and takes the win at home, nevermore.

Washington (2-9) at Carolina (5-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of struggling East Coast teams meet in Charlotte as the Carolina Panthers host Washington at Bank of America Stadium.

The Saints ended Carolina’s hopes of leaving the Big Easy with a win as New Orleans’ Wil Lutz booted a 33-yard field goal as the clock struck :00 to survive 34-31, dropping the Panthers to below the .500 mark. New Orleans led their NFC South rivals 17-15 at the intermission as Carolina’s Kyle Allen and RB Christian McCaffrey would connect on a 1-yard pass as time expired in the half. Carolina then went for two in hopes of going to the locker room tied but the try failed.

Washington picked up its first home win since week eight last year, breaking the hearts of Lions fans by eraseing a 16-13 deficit, using a pair of Dustin Hopkins field goals to come away 19-16 winnners at Fed Ex Field in Landover. Trailing 13-6 at the break, Detroit manged to tie things up in the third quarter on a 12-yard TD toss to WR Lance Thomas from Jeff Driskel. Detroit then took a 16-13 lead early in the final quarter of play on a 21-yard field goal by Matt Prater before Washington would storm their way back, as Hopkins kicked the first of his two field goals in the quarter from 42 yards, then connecting on a 39-yarder after the Redskins picked off Driskell, the second coming with 16 seconds left in the contest. Detroit would get the ball back with the time that was left on the clock and got themselves no further than their 24-yard line, where Driskel was picked off by Fabian Moreau, ending the threat and the drive.

Detroit somehow managed to outrush Washington 175-86 and Driskel threw for 207 yards and the TD to Thomas but sacked six times and threw three interceptions, including the one that ended the Lions’ hopes of tying or taking the lead, while Washington’s Dwayne Haskins threw for 156 yards with an interception and three sacks. Detroit went 6 of 15 on third down conversions and actually ruled the clock as they held on to the ball for 33:30, while the Redskins kept the ball for 26:30 and went 4 for 14 on third down tries.

Carolina, trailing by as much as 14 in the contest, would even things up at 31-31 with 9:23 left in regulation when Allen and WR D.J. Moore connected on a 2-yard TD toss. The two clubs exchanged punts and Carolina had a chance to take the lead with 1:56 left in the contest but fell short as Joey Slye’s 28-yard field goal sailed wide right. That gave New Orleans the ball and the Saints used all of the 1:56 left on the clock, making their way down the field to Carolina’s 15-yard line to set up Lutz’ game-winner. Carolina used a time out with three seconds left in an attempt to ice Lutz. The plan failed as Lutz’ try sailed through the uprights to send Saints fans home happy.

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

While the Redskins lead the series 8-6, Carolina has outscored them 313-285. They last met last year in Landover and the Redskins prevailed 23-17 (Carolina’s last win in the series also came in Landover in 2016 by a final of 26-15).

The 2018 contest took place in week six and the Redskins led 17-6 at the intermission. Washington would later hold off a late
Carolina rally in the final 30 minutes of the contest to take the win at Fed Ex Field. Washington outrushed Carolina 132-81, with Peterson leading all rushers in the contest with 97 yards and Alex Smith threw for 163 yards with three sacks and no interceptions, while Newton threw for 275 yards with a sack and an interception (both men threw a pair of TDs). Washington was 7 of 16 on third down (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 35:24, while Carolina held on to the ball for 24:36, while going 3 of 9 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Washington was favored by 1 1/2 in the week six contest at Landover and they covered, winning by 6 but both teams missed the 44 1/2 over/under by 4 points (the two clubs combined for 40). Carolina’s favored by 10 and the over/under’s 40. For the Redskins, last week it was “Hail to the Redskins.” This week? “Hell, it’s the Redskins!” Carolina may not cover the 10 but the Panthers win in the Tar Heel State.

New York Jets (4-7) at Cincinnati (0-11), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of struggling teams meet along the shores of the Ohio River as the New York Jets make their way to Paul Brown Stadim to face off against the winless Cincinnati Bengals.

GangGreen floored the gas against Oakland last Sunday in the Meadowlands, coming away 34-3 winners at Met Life Stadium. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! erased a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter, scoring their last 31 points of the contest unchallenged, taking a 13-3 lead with them to the intermission.

Neither club breached the 100-yard rushing barrier but the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! did outrush Oakland 88-68 with Jets RB LeVeon Bell leading the way with 49 yards in upstate New Jersey. Jets QB Sam Darnold threw for 315 yards with a pair of passing TDs and had a rushing TD of his own (Darnold was sacked once but did not throw an interception), while Derek Carr threw for 127 yards with a sack and an interception. GangGreen went 5 of 12 on third down tries and had time on their side, keeping the ball for 31:30, while the Raiders, who hung on to the pigskin for 28:30, was 5 of 15 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Bengals fans got their hearts broken (AGAIN!) as Cincinnati dropped their 11th contest in a row, falling to AFC North rival Pittsburgh at Paul Brown Stadium 16-10. The Bengals led 7-3 at the intermission after WR Tyler Boyd caught a 15-yard TD toss from backup QB Ryan Finley (they played a scoreless first quarter; Pittsburgh took the lead with 3:21 left in the half on a 26-yard field goal by Chris Boswell), then watched as the Steelers took a 10-7 lead early in the third when Devlin Hodges (Who took over for Mason Rudolph) and WR James Washington connected on a 79-yard TD toss. Bengals K Randy Bulloch would connect on a 27-yard field goal to re-tie the contest before Boswell would connect on the first of two fourth quarter TDs to take the lead back for good.

Pittsburgh outrushed Cincinnati 160-86, with Steelers RB Benny Snell Jr. leading all rushers with 98 yards, while the Bengals were led by Joe Mixon with 79 yards. Rudolph threw for 85 yards with an interception before Hodges took over, throwing for 118 yards and the TD, while Finley threw for 192 yards (Finley was sacked four times, Rudolph was sacked once with a sack and an interception, while Hodges was sacked twice) for the Bengals. The Bengals were 2 of 12 on third down and held the ball for 25:20, while the Steelers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:40 and went 5 for 16 on third down.

GangGreen leads the series 15-9 (including games that were played at Shea Stadium and Riverfront Stadium/Cynergy Field) and GangGreen has outscored the Bengals 591-530. Cincinnati has won the last two meetings in the series, including a 23-22 win in the Meadowlands in 2016, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 26-10 winners in 2010 at Giants Stadium.

GangGreen’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 41 in this post-Thanksgiving contest. We won’t blame you if you took a pass on this one (unless you’re a fan of one of these teams) and watched that Bugs Bunny Christmas Marathon (granted, the idea of Wile Coyote falling off that cliff is still funny!) GangGreen covers the 3 1/2 and wins, sending the Bengals to their 12th loss in a row.

Tennessee (6-5) at Indianapolis (6-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of AFC South rivals square off in the Hoosier State as Tennessee and Indianapolis, tied for second in the division, meet at Lucas Oil Stadium. Tennesse enters the contest with a huge home win under their belts, while the Colts look to restore order after a road loss in the Lone Star State.

Tennessee manhandled Jacksonville 42-20 last Sunday afternoon at Nissan Stadium in the Music City. After a scoreless first quarter, Tennessee led 7-3 at the half, then the Titans would score four third quarter TDs (two of them from Derrek Henry) unchallenged to lead 35-3 before the Jaguars would respond as Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette scored the first of his two TDs (both one yard runs) and a two-point try by Nick Foles to WR D.J Chark to narrow the gap. The Titans would then ice the contest away with Ryan Tannehill scoring his second rushing TD of the day from a yard out to seal Jacksonville’s fate.

Tennessee outrushed Jacksonville 219-117 and Henry led all rushers with 159 yards and his two rushing TDs, while Fournette led Jacksonville with 97 yards (also with two TDs) in the AFC South contest. Tannehill would throw for 259 yards with a pair of passing TDs to go with his two rushing scores, while Foles threw for 272 yards (neither threw an interception, Tannehill was sacked once, while Foles was sacked three times). Tennessee was 4 for 8 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 23:04, while the Jaguars ruled time, keeping the ball for 36:56, while going 7 of 18 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Houston and DeShaun Watson took over first place in the AFC South as the Texans erased a 17-13 deficit early in the final quarter of play against Indianapolis last Thursday in Houston to take a 20-17 win over the Colts. Tied at 10-10 after a scoreless first quarter, the Colts would lead 17-10 with 5:36 left in the third on a 13-yard TD run by Jonathan Williams. Houston would make the contest a 4-point affair on a 36-yard field goal by Kai Fairbairn late in the third before taking the lead for keeps early in the fourth on a 30-yard TD toss from Watkins to DeAndre Hopkins. Williams would lead all rushers with 104 yards and the TD as the Colts did manage to outrush Houston 175-99 but Winston threw for 298 yards and a pair of TDs to Hopkins (including the game winner), while Jacoby Brissett threw for 129 yards (both were sacked once and Watson threw the contest’s only interception). Houston went 6 of 12 on third down (they were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 26:43, while the Colts actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:17, while going of 15 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Their last meeting was in Nashville in week two and the Colts left Nissan Stadium 19-17 winners. Leading 13-7 at the half, the Colts watched Tennessee score 10 points in the third quarted unfettered before Brissett and T.Y. Hilton would reclaim the lead for keeps with 4:38 left in the contest. Tennessee would threaten late in the contest, getting the ball back with 67 seconds left in hopes of winning but those hopes were dashed when Marcus Mariota’s fourth-down passed sailed incomplete.

Indianapolis outrushed Tennessee 167-123, with Colts RB Jordan Wilkins leading the way with 82, while Derek Henry for Tennessee tallied 81. Brissett threw for 146 yards with three TDs, three sacks and an interception, while Mariota threw for 154 yards with four sacks to go with a TD toss. The Colts were 7 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 31:54, while the Titans went 1 of 10 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs, keeping the ball for 28:06.

Tennessee was favored by 3 in the week two contest in the Music City and while the Colts left the Volunteer State with the win, they would do so only by two and the 44 1/2 over/under was safe, as the two clubs merged for 36 points. This time, the oddsmakers like the Colts as 3 point favorites in the Hoosier State and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Both numbers make a lot of sense. The Titans want revenge from their earlier loss, while the Colts want to show Tennessee that the first meeting was not a fluke. Colts cover the 3 and win back home again in Indiana.

Tampa Bay (4-7) at Jacksonville (4-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. They’re separated by 201 miles and a 3 1/2 hour drive down the Sunshine State. Jacksonville and Tampa Bay meet in north Florida for only the seventh time in the history of the series. While the visiting Bucs are coming off a win on the road, the Jaguars limp back to TIAA Stadium with a road loss under their belts.

Tampa Bay ended Atlanta’s brief 2-game win streak in the Big Peach as the Buccaneers stopped Matt Ryan and the Falcons 35-22. Atlanta saw a 10-7 lead at the end of the first quarter get away from them at Mercedes-Benz Stadium as Tampa Bay would take control of things in the final 45 minutes of action, outscoring their NFC South rivals 28-12 in that frame. Atlanta would find themselves held to 57 yards on the ground (the Bucs rushed for 133 yards) and Tampa Bay, who pushed themselves back into third place in the NFC South all by themselves, would sack Ryan (271 yards) six times with an interception, while Jameis Winston threw for 313 yards with a three TDs and a pair of interceptions (one TD toss went to DL Vita Vea on a tackle-eligible play late in the first half. Vea would later live out a lineman’s dream as he would sack Ryan, forcing a fumble, which teammate Ndamukong Suh picked up and ran in for a TD. Atlanta was 4 of 16 on third down but had succcess on fourth down (2 of 3) and actually ruled the clock, as they kept the ball for 31:38, while Tampa Bay, keeping the pigskin for 28:22, were 6 of 13 on third down tries.

Jacksonville found themselves being taken to task by Tennessee 42-20 last Sunday afternoon at Nissan Stadium in the Music City. After a scoreless first quarter, Tennessee led 7-3 at the half, then went on to score four third quarter TDs (two of them from Derrek Henry) unchallenged to lead 35-3 before the Jaguars would respond as Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette scored the first of his two TDs (both one yard runs) and a two-point try by Nick Foles to WR D.J Chark to narrow the gap. The Titans would then ice the contest away with Ryan Tannehill scoring his second rushing TD of the day from a yard out to seal Jacksonville’s fate.

Tennessee outrushed Jacksonville 219-117 and Henry led all rushers with 159 yards and his two rushing TDs, while Fournette led Jacksonville with 97 yards (also with two TDs) in the AFC South contest. Tannehill would throw for 259 yards with a pair of passing TDs to go with his two rushing scores, while Foles threw for 272 yards (neither threw an interception, Tannehill was sacked once, while Foles was sacked three times). Tennessee was 4 for 8 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 23:04, while the Jaguars ruled time, keeping the ball for 36:56, while going 7 of 18 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The Jaguars lead the series 4-2 and have outscored Tampa Bay 158-126. Tampa Bay won the last contest in the series, taking a 38-31 win in Tampa Bay in 2015, while Jacksonville’s last win in the series came in north Florida by a final of 41-14 in 2011. Jacksonville’s favored by 1 and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Both clubs are trying to keep pace in their respective divisons. While this one’s not “DRILL WORTHY,” it’ll be interesting to watch. The Bucs stop here. Jacksonville covers in north Florida and takes the win at home.

Cleveland (5-6) at Pittsburgh (6-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. Don’t expect these two to play nice and given all the bad blood between them in the last couple of weeks, expect things to be watched CLOSELY. It’s a rematch of the week 11 love/hate fest in Cleveland as the blood feud moves over to the Steel City at Heinz Field. Both teams took wins in last week’s contests.

Cleveland cruised their way to a 41-24 win over Miami at First Energy Stadium last Sunday. The Browns scored 28 first half points unchallenged, taking a 28-3 lead with them to the intermission. Miami would then score 14 third quarter points unchallenged, using an 11-yard TD pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to TE Mike Gesicki and an 8-yard run by Fitzpatrick to trail by 11 going into the final quarter of play.

Cleveland would then get a pair of Austin Siebert field goals and a 5-yard run by Nick Chubb to seal the game away for Cleveland. Chubb rushed for 106 yards with the fourth-quarter TD to lead all rushers, as the Browns outrushed Miami 147-92 (Fitzpatrick led Miami with 45 yards and the rushing TD). Baker Mayfield threw for 327 yards and three TDs (two of them to WR Josh Landry, who had 148 yards on 10 catches), while Fitzpatrick threw for 214 yards with a pair of TDs (Fitzpatrick was sacked four times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Mayfield was sacked once with an interception). Cleveland went 4 of 8 on third down and played keep-away with the ball from the Dolphins, holding on to it for 36:06, while Miami kept the ball for 23:54, while going 6 of 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Cincinnati dropped their 11th contest in a row, falling to AFC North rival Pittsburgh at Paul Brown Stadium 16-10. The Bengals led 7-3 at the intermission after WR Tyler Boyd caught a 15-yard TD toss from backup QB Ryan Finley (they played a scoreless first quarter; Pittsburgh took the lead with 3:21 left in the half on a 26-yard field goal by Chris Boswell), then watched as the Steelers took a 10-7 lead early in the third when Devlin Hodges (Who took over for Mason Rudolph) and WR James Washington connected on a 79-yard TD toss. Bengals K Randy Bulloch would connect on a 27-yard field goal to re-tie the contest before Boswell would connect on the first of two fourth quarter TDs to take the lead back for good.

Pittsburgh outrushed Cincinnati 160-86, with Steelers RB Benny Snell Jr. leading all rushers with 98 yards, while the Bengals were led by Joe Mixon with 79 yards. Rudolph threw for 85 yards with an interception before Hodges took over, throwing for 118 yards and the TD, while Finley threw for 192 yards (Finley was sacked four times, Rudolph was sacked once with a sack and an interception, while Hodges was sacked twice) for the Bengals. The Bengals were 2 of 12 on third down and held the ball for 25:20, while the Steelers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:40 and went 5 for 16 on third down.

They met two weeks ago along the shores of Lake Erie and things were somewhat chippy but the Browns managed to prevail over AFC North rival Pittsburgh 21-7 at First Energy Stadium Thursday night. The Browns took a 14-0 lead at the intermission as Baker Mayfield ran for a TD to open the scoring and Josh Landry catching a 1-yard toss from Mayfield, closing out the scoring in the half. Pittsburgh would break the shutout bid up as Mason Rudolph and WR RB Jaylen Samuels connected on a 3-yard TD pass in the third before the Browns restored order in the fourth, with Mayfield and rookie TE Stephen Carlson connected on an 8-yard TD toss to close out the scoring.

Later in the contest, with Cleveland having victory secured, Pittsburgh had the ball at their 11-yard with 1:40 left in the contest. The Steelers would get themselves as close as their 36-yard before Rudolph was sacked twice before completing an 11-yard pass to Trey Edmonnds. While that play was going on, Rudolph and Myles Garrett were involved in a scuffle, with Garrett pushing Rudolph to the ground. Rudolph then tried to take off Garrett’s helmet at which that time, things really got heated as Garrett took Rudolph’s helmet and swung it at him, hitting him in the head. Rudolph’s teammates then came to his aid and there would be more pushing and shoving. When the dust finally settled, Garrett was ejected from the contest, along with Larry Ogunjobi and Pittsburgh’s Maurkice Pouncey.

Garrett would be suspended without pay indefinitely by the league – at a minimum for the remainder of the regular season and postseason – and must meet with the commissioner’s office prior to a decision on his reinstatement. He was also fined an additional amount. As for Pouncey and Ogunjobi? Pouncey has been suspended without pay for three games and fined an additional amount for fighting, including punching and kicking an opponent. Ogunjobi has been suspended without pay for one game and fined an additional amount for unnecessary roughness, specifically for shoving an opposing player to the ground during an altercation and the two clubs were both fined $250,000. (Cleveland’s Damarious Randall was already disqualified from the contest for a hit on Dioante Johnson in the third quarter)

Cleveland outrushed the Steelers 104-58, with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading the way with 92 yards on the ground. Mayfield threw for 193 yards and a pair of TDs to go with his rushing TD (Mayfield was sacked once), while Rudolph threw for 221 yards and a TD but was sacked four times and picked off four times. Cleveland, flagged eight times for 121 yards, went 6 of 16 on third down conversions, keeping the ball for 33:56, while the Steelers were 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 3 on fourth down and held the ball for 26:04.

Cleveland was favored by 3 in their week 11 meeting along the shores of Lake Erie and the Browns covered winning by 14 but the 40 1/2 over/under was intact as both clubs combined to score 28 points. Cleveland’s favored again, this time by 2 1/2 in the Steel City and the over/under’s 39 1/2. The Steelers want revenge. The Browns want to prove that the first meeting was not a fluke. Revenge wins out. The bigger question…. will cooler heads prevail? Time will tell. Pittsburgh gets the revenge and covers the 2 1/2, winning at Heinz Field.

Philadelphia (5-6) at Miami (2-9), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of struggling teams meet in the Sunshine State Sunday afternoon as Miami hosts the Philadelphia Eagles at Hard Rock Stadium. Both teams are coming off losses in last week’s action.

Philadelphia lost their second home game in a row, falling to Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks 17-9 at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles trailed 10-3 at the intermission and could never really get themselves on track, eventually scoring on a 2-yard pass from Carson Wentz to TE Zack Ertz with 20 seconds left in the contest. Philadelphia took a 3-0 lead with 7:29 left in the first on a 28-yard field goal by Josh Elliott, only to see that lead get away from them as Wilson and Malik Turner connected on a 33-yard TD toss. The Seahawks would add a Jason Myers field goal from 24 yards late in the second quarter to lead by 7 at the intermission. Seattle’s Rashaad Penny would then add to his team’s lead, running 53 yards untouched to give the Seahawks a 17-3 lead early into the fourth quarter before Wentz and Ertz would hook up on Philadelphia’s TD late in the game (the Eagles would try for two but failed).

Penny rushed for 129 yards, leading all rushers in the contest as the Seahawks outrushed Philadelphia 174-106; Wentz threw for 256 yards with the Ertz TD (he was sacked three times and picked off twice), while Wilson threw for 200 yards with the Turner TD (Wilson threw an interception and was sacked six times) for Seattle. Philadelphia went 4 of 12 on third down tries (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:53, while the Seahawks, who clung to the ball for 28:07, went 5 for 14 on third down tries.

Miami found themselves being taken to task by Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns last Sunday, falling to the Browns as Cleveland cruised their way to a 41-24 win over Miami at First Energy Stadium last Sunday. Cleveland scored 28 first half points unchallenged, taking a 28-3 lead with them to the intermission. Miami would then score 14 third quarter points unchallenged, using an 11-yard TD pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to TE Mike Gesicki and an 8-yard run by Fitzpatrick to trail by 11 going into the final quarter of play.

Cleveland would then get a pair of Austin Siebert field goals and a 5-yard run by Nick Chubb to seal the game away for Cleveland. Chubb rushed for 106 yards with the fourth-quarter TD to lead all rushers, as the Browns outrushed Miami 147-92 (Fitzpatrick led Miami with 45 yards and the rushing TD). Baker Mayfield threw for 327 yards and three TDs (two of them to WR Josh Landry, who had 148 yards on 10 catches), while Fitzpatrick threw for 214 yards with a pair of TDs (Fitzpatrick was sacked four times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Mayfield was sacked once with an interception). Cleveland went 4 of 8 on third down and played keep-away with the ball from the Dolphins, holding on to it for 36:06, while Miami kept the ball for 23:54, while going 6 of 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

While Miami leads the series 8-6, the Eagles have outscored Miami 278-259. Miami sent Eagles fans home sad in their last meeting, which took place at Lincoln Financial Field in 2015, leaving the City of Brotherly Love 20-19 winners, while the Eagles’ last win came in Miami in 2011 by a final of 26-10. Philadelphia’s favored by 9 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 46. The loser of this one? All but done for the year. The winner? Their hopes stay alive for another week. Eagles may not cover the 7 1/2 but they’ll take the win in the Sunshine State.

Green Bay (8-3) at New York Giants (2-9), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Green Bay, tied for first in the NFC North, makes their way to upstate New Jersey to face off against the New York Giants at Met Life Stadium. Both teams were handed road losses in last week’s action.

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

Even though Green Bay barely outrushed San Francsico 117-112, Garoppolo threw for 253 yards and a pair of TDs (including the one to Kittle), while Rodgers threw for 104 yards and the third-quarter TD (Rodgers was sacked five times, Garoppolo was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). San Francisco went 3 of 9 on third down tries and kept the ball for 24:44, while the Packers ruled the clock and held the pigskin for 35:16, going a dismal 1 of 15 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

A late New York Giants rally in the fourth quarter in Chicago fell short as the Monsters of the Midway took a 19-14 win at Soldier Field Sunday afternoon. Big Blue led 7-3 at the half in the Windy City, then watched as Chicago proceeded to score 16 third-quarter points unchallenged to take a 19-7 lead at the end of the period. Giants QB Daniel Jones and WR Golden Tate pulled themselves to within 5 with 4:10 left on a 23-yard TD toss but Chicago prevailed, holding off the Giants to take the win.

The Giants outrushed Chicago 109-65 but Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky threw for 278 yards with a TD toss to Allen Robinson and had a rushing TD of his own (Trubisky was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions), while Jones threw for 150 yards with a pair of TDs (Jones was sacked once). Da Bears were 4 for 15 on third down conversions in the Windy City and kept the ball in hibernation for 33:11, while the Giants kept the pigskin for 26:49, going 1 of 12 on third down and 2 for 4 on fourth down.

Including games played at Milwaukee County Stadium, Yankee Stadium, the Yale Bowl and Giants Stadium, the Packers lead the series 28-23-2 and the Packers have outscored Big Blue 946-940. Green Bay’s last win in the series came at Lambeau Field, where they came away 23-16 winners in 2016, while the Giants’ last win in the series came in the Meadowlands in 2013 by a final of 27-13. Green Bay’s favored by 6 1/2 in upstate New Jersey and the over/under’s 46. In all honesty, the Giants have been playing some decent but not great football of late. As for the Packers, they’re looking to restore some order in the NFC North. Giants will make things interesting in the Meadowlands but Green Bay restores order and takes the win in upstate New Jersey.

Los Angeles Rams (6-5) at Arizona (3-7-1), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of NFC West teams meet in the desert as the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals, both trying to catch San Francisco in the division. Both teams are coming off losses, with Arizona coming off a bye.

The Rams were held to a pair of Greg Zuerlein field goals in the first half as Baltimore took them apart 45-6 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Monday night. Los Angeles trailed 28-6 at the intermission in the Monday night contest, then watched as the Ravens floored the gas in the second half, scoring 17 second half points unchallenged. Ravens RB Mark Ingram II was in Heisman form, leading all rushers with 111 yards and a TD as the Ravens held the Rams to 22 yards on the ground (Todd Gurley accounted for all of the Rams’ ground yardage), while Baltimore rushed for 285 yards. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (a Heisman winner himself) threw for 169 yards with five TDs and no interceptions, despite being sacked twice (Jackson rushed for 95 yards), while Jared Goff struggled, throwing for 212 yards with a pair of sacks and a pair of interceptions. The Ravens were 9 of 15 on third down but struck gold on fourth down, going 3 of 3 and held the ball for 39:56, while the Rams, who kept the ball for 20:04, went 2 of 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

San Francisco rallied in the second half against Arizona two Sundays ago to come away 36-26 winners at Levis’ Stadium. The Desert Angry Birds led 16-10 at the intermission before San Francisco got themselves off the deck in the second half, outscoring Arizona 26-10 in the final 30 minutes of action. San Francisco got a pair of TDs late in the fourth quarter, first Jimmy Garappolo connecting with RB Jeff Wilson on a 25-yard TD with 31 seconds left in the contest and DB D.J. Reed Jr. closing out the contest on a 4-yard scoop and score as time expired. While Arizona outrushed the 49ers 135-34, Garappolo burned Arizona for 424 yards and four TDs, including the game-winner (Garappolo was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions), while Arizona QB Kyler Murray threw for 150 yards with a pair of TD tosses and had a rushing TD of his own (Murray was sacked four times). San Francisco was 6 of 13 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 28:37, while the Desert Angry Birds actually ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:23, going 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games in Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles and St. Louis (both teams called St. Louis home), the Series finds itself tied 40-38-2 and the Rams have not only outscored the Desert Angry Birds 1,587-1,529, they’ve swept the last two series between the two teams (Arizona’s last win over the Rams came in Los Angeles in 2016 by a final of 44-6).

Their first meeting… Los Angeles in week two. After a scoreless first quarter at the Coliseum, the Rams went on to score the next 34 points of the contest unchecked, shutting out the Desert Angry Birds 34-0 (the Rams led 19-0 at the half). Gurley ran for three TDs in the contest as Los Angeles outrushed Arizona 90-54 and Goff threw for 354 yards and a TD to TE Tyler Higbee, while Sam Bradford threw for 90 yards with a sack (Goff was sacked twice, both men threw an interception). The Rams were 8 of 15 on third down (they were 1 for 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:08, while Arizona held the ball for 25:52, going 3 of 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Los Angeles made it a sweep of the series in the desert in week 16, leaving Glendale 31-9 winners. The Rams led 21-9 at the intermission and shutout Arizona in the second half. Rams RB Charles Anderson led all rushers with 167 yards and a TD as Los Angeles outrushed Arizona 269-104 and Goff threw for 216 yards and a TD toss to WR Robert Woods, while Josh Rosen threw for 87 yards and was sacked four times. Los Angeles was 6 of 9 on third down tries in the desert and kept the ball 37:04, while the Desert Angry Birds kept the ball for 22:56, going a dismal 2 of 11 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down).

In the week two contest on the West Coast, the Rams’ 34-point win allowed them to easily covered the 12 1/2-point spread but both clubs tallied 34 points, missing the 46 over/under. In the week 16 meeting in the desert, Los Angeles was favored by 14 and again they would cover, winning by 21. As was the case in the first meeting, both clubs failed to cover the over/under of 47 1/2 with 40 points. In the meeting in the desert, the Rams are favored by 4 and the over/under’s 46 1/2. The winner stays in the race for a chance to either catch San Francisco or take a Wild Card spot, while the loser will have a lot of work to do and perhaps find themselves out of the race. Rams cover the 4 in the desert and takes the win in Glendale.

Los Angeles Chargers (4-7) at Denver (3-8), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. Forget the records. Despite fighting to see who stays in the AFC West cellar, A pair of AFC West/AFL rivals meet in a rematch in the Mile High City as Denver hosts the Los Angeles Chargers. Both teams enter the late afternoon contest with losses under their belts.

A late Los Angeles Chargers rally two weeks ago against Kansas City in Mexico City fell short, as the first-place Chiefs left Estadio Asteca (Azteca Stadium) 24-17 winners. The Chiefs and Mahomes trailed Philip Rivers and the Chargers 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, then took a 10-9 lead with them to the intermission south of the border. Kansas City would lead by 15 with 1:44 left in the third when Rivers and WR Keenan Allen connected on a 7-yard TD toss. The Bolts then went for two to make the contest a 7-point affair and the try for two was successful, as Rivers and Hunter Henry connected on the conversion. After a Chiefs punt later in the final quarter, Los Angeles would get the ball back with 1:53 left in the contest and they would make their way down the field, getting as close as Kansas City’s 14-yard line when Rivers was picked off by Daniel Sorensen in the end zone to end the threat and the Chiefs would kneel down to seal the win.

Kansas City outrushed the Chargers 130-93, with Mahomes leading Chiefs rushers with 59 yards, while Chargers RB Melvin Gordon led all rushers with 69 yards in the Monday night contest. Mahohmes threw for 182 yards and a TD toss to TE Travis Kelce (Mahomes was sacked once and threw an interception), while Rivers threw for 353 yards with the TD to Allen but was sacked twice and threw four interceptions. The Chiefs, leaders in the AFC West, were 6 of 13 on third down tries and held the ball for 28:58, while the Chargers were actual rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 31:02, going 5 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Buffalo held Denver to a Brad McManus field goal in the third quarter in upstate New York as the Bills circled their wagons last Sunday to take a 20-3 win over the Broncos last Sunday. The Bills used a pair of Stephen Hauschka field goals in the first half to lead 6-0 at the intermission. Josh Allen and WR Cole Beasley gave Buffalo a 13-0 lead early in the third quarter before McManus ended Buffalo’s shutout bid with a 45-yard field goal halfway in the third. Allen would connect with WR John Brown early in the final quarter to close out the scoring in the contest.

Buffalo’s Devin Singletary led all rushers with 106 yards as the Bills outrushed Denver 244-75 and Josh Allen (Buffalo) threw for 185 yards with a sack to go with the two TD passes, while Brad Allen (Denver) threw for 82 yards with four sacks (both threw an interception in the contest). Buffalo went 8 of 16 on third down conversions in upstate New York and ruled the clock as they would keep the ball for 35:04, while the Broncos kept the pigskin for 24:56, going 2 of 11 on third down.

They met in week five in Los Angeles and Denver scored 17 first half points without being challenged by the Chargers, then rallied to take a 20-13 win at Dignity Health Sports Park. Chargers CB Desmond King ended Denver’s bid for a shutout with 31 seconds left in the third on a 61-yard punt return, then K Chris McLaughlin would score the first of his two field goals (45 yards) to make it a 7-point game with 6:47 left in regulation. McLaughlin would add a second field goal with 10 seconds left in the contest after McManus booted a 46-yarder with 1:55 in the period.

Denver’s Patrick Lindsay led all rushers with 114 yards and a TD in the first quarter to open the scoring in the contest, as the Broncos outrushed their AFL/AFC West rivals 191-35 and Joe Flacco threw for 182 yards and a TD (Flacco was sacked three times and picked off once), while Rivers threw for 211 yards with a pair of interceptions. The Chargers were 4 of 13 on third down (0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:24, while Denver, in keeping the ball for 29:36, went 3 for 11 on third down.

In the week five contest on the West Coast, Denver’s 7-point win allowed them to cover the 6 1/2-point spread but the 33 combined points did not come anywhere near the 44 1/2 over/under. This time around, the Chargers are favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 38 1/2. If nothing else, this one could be “very interesting” as Arte Johnson once said. Bolts get revenge in the Rocky Mountains and cover the 2 1/2 with the road win.

Oakland (6-5) at Kansas City (7-4), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. It’s round two. Chiefs vs. Raiders. Hatfields vs. McCoys. Capulets vs. Montagues. Dogs vs. cats. The two AFL/AFC West rivals meet again, this time in the Show-Me State.

Oakland struggled in East Rutherford against the New York Jets as GangGreen floored the gas last Sunday in the Meadowlands, coming away 34-3 winners at Met Life Stadium. Oakland watched the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! erase a 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter, scoring their last 31 points of the contest unchallenged, taking a 13-3 lead with them to the intermission.

Neither club breached the 100-yard rushing barrier but the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! did outrush Oakland 88-68 with Jets RB LeVeon Bell leading the way with 49 yards in upstate New Jersey. Jets QB Sam Darnold threw for 315 yards with a pair of passing TDs and had a rushing TD of his own (Darnold was sacked once but did not throw an interception), while Derek Carr threw for 127 yards with a sack and an interception. GangGreen went 5 of 12 on third down tries and had time on their side, keeping the ball for 31:30, while the Raiders, who hung on to the pigskin for 28:30, was 5 of 15 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Kansas City held off a late Los Angeles Chargers rally two weeks ago in Mexico City, as the first-place Chiefs left Estadio Asteca (Azteca Stadium) 24-17 winners. The Chiefs and Mahomes trailed Philip Rivers and the Chargers 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, then took a 10-9 lead with them to the intermission south of the border. Kansas City would lead by 15 with 1:44 left in the third when Rivers and WR Keenan Allen connected on a 7-yard TD toss. The Chargers then went for two to make the contest a 7-point affair and the try for two was successful, as Rivers and Hunter Henry connected on the conversion. After a Chiefs punt later in the final quarter, Los Angeles would get the ball back with 1:53 left in the contest and they would make their way down the field, getting as close as Kansas City’s 14-yard line when Rivers was picked off by Daniel Sorensen in the end zone to end the threat and the Chiefs would kneel down to seal the win.

Kansas City outrushed the Chargers 130-93, with Mahomes leading Chiefs rushers with 59 yards, while Chargers RB Melvin Gordon led all rushers with 69 yards in the Monday night contest. Mahohmes threw for 182 yards and a TD toss to TE Travis Kelce (Mahomes was sacked once and threw an interception), while Rivers threw for 353 yards with the TD to Allen but was sacked twice and threw four interceptions. The Chiefs, leaders in the AFC West, were 6 of 13 on third down tries and held the ball for 28:58, while the Chargers were actual rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 31:02, going 5 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The two AFC/AFL rivals met in Oakland in week two and the Chiefs were 28-10 winners at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Chiefs erased a 10-0 deficit at the end of the first quarter and scored their 28 points in the second quarter unchallenged to take the win (the two clubs played a scoreless second half). Mahomes threw four TDs in the quarter, two of them to WR Demarcus Robinson, one to TE Travis Kelce and one to rookie WR Mecole Hardman to seal Okland’s fate.

Oakland did outrush Kansas City 129-31 but Mahomes burned the Raiders for 443 yards and despite being sacked twice, did not throw an interception, while Carr threw for 198 yards with a TD, was picked off twice and sacked three times. Kansas City was 8 of 14 on third down conversions and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:35, while the Raiders, who held the ball for 27:25 and went 6 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week two contest on the West Coast, the Chiefs were favored by 7 1/2 and they coverved, winning by 18. As for the 53 1/2 over/under? It was safe and sound, as both teams merged for only 38 points. The Chiefs are favored again by Vegas, this time by 10 with the over/under at 51. The 51 is nice, the 10 is a bit on the naughty side. Oakland’s not that bad a team under Jon Gruden’s leadership and they’ll actually make this one interesting. Chiefs complete the sweep of the series in the Show-Me State but expect the Raiders to make things closer than the 10.

New England (10-1) at Houston (7-4), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of potential playoff teams meet in the Lone Star State as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots take on DeShaun Watson and the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Both teams took wins at home in last week’s action.

The defending Super Bowl champs held Dallas to three field goals from Brett Maher as New England took Prescott and the Cowboys 13-9 at Gillette Stadium in rainy Foxboro Sunday afternoon. After the defending Super Bowl champs blocked a Dallas punt, New England went to work, using only two plays and 12 yards for the contest’s only TD as Brady and rookie N’Keal Harry connected on a 10-yard TD toss. After that, it would be all field goals as New England’s Nick Folk and Maher would kick field goals to round out the scoring.

Dallas did outrush New England 109-101 with Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 86 yards, while Sony Michel would lead New England with 85. Brady threw for 190 yards with the first quarter TD toss (he was sacked twice but threw no interceptions), while Prescott threw for 212 yards with a pick but was not sacked. Dallas, going 2 of 13 on third down, actually ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 30:22, while New England, keeping the ball for 29:38, went 3 for 14 on third down (both clubs were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

Watson and Houston took over first place in the AFC South as the Texans erased a 17-13 deficit early in the final quarter of play against Indianapolis last Thursday in Houston to take a 20-17 win over the Colts. The Texans and Colts went into the intermission tied at 10-10 after a scoreless first quarter, then the Colts would lead 17-10 with 5:36 left in the third on a 13-yard TD run by Jonathan Williams. Houston would make the contest a 4-point affair on a 36-yard field goal by Kai Fairbairn late in the third before taking the lead for keeps early in the fourth on a 30-yard TD toss from Watkins to DeAndre Hopkins. Williams would lead all rushers with 104 yards and the TD as the Colts did manage to outrush Houston 175-99 but Winston threw for 298 yards and a pair of TDs to Hopkins (including the game winner), while Jacoby Brissett threw for 129 yards (both were sacked once and Watson threw the contest’s only interception). Houston went 6 of 12 on third down (they were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 26:43, while the Colts actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:17, while going of 15 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

New England leads the series 8-1 and the defending Super Bowl champions have outscored Houston 283-165. New England took wins in their last two meetings, both in Foxboro with the Patriots taking a 27-20 win last year, while Houston’s lone win in the series came in 2009 in the Lone Star State by a final of 34-27.

New England and Houston wasted very little time meeting on the 2018 schedule, meeting in Foxboro in the season opener. New England led 21-6 at the intermission, then held off a late Texans rally as Houston would pull to within 7 with 2:08 left when Watson and WR Bruce Ellington connected on a 5-yard TD. Houston outrushed New England 167-122 but Brady torched Houston for 277 yards and three TDs (connecting with TE Rob Gronkowski on one of the tosses), while Watson threw for 176 yards and the fourth-quarter TD (Watson was sacked three times, Brady was sacked twice and both threw an interception). New England was 4 of 14 on third down tries at Gillette Stadium but struck pay dirt in their only fourth down try and the Pats kept the ball for 31:10, while Houston held the pigskin for 28:50, while going 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week one showdown in Foxboro, New England BARELY covered the 6 1/2-point spread, winning by 7 but both teams missed the 51 over/under, tallying only 47 points. New England’s favored again, this time by 3 in the Lone Star State and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Both numbers make a ton of sense and since both are in first place in their respective divisions, it’s only fair that this one’s “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

There’s a strong chance these two could meet in the post-season party and they want to keep things that way. Meanwhile, the Patriots are kings of the NFL mountain and look to stay there. Houston makes it closer than the 3 1/2 but New England prevails, taking the win on the road in the Lone Star State.

Minnesota (8-3) at Seattle (9-2), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 13 closes out in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks as a pair of teams chasing their respective division leaders meet in the Pacific Northwest. Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson square off in prime time at Century Link Field, with both teams winning in their last contests.

Minneosta, tied for first in the NFC North, held off a late Denver rally two Sundays ago against Denver as the Vikings prevailed in the Land of 10,000 Lakes Sunday afternoon 27-23 at US Bank Stadium. Denver led 20-0 at the intermission, scoring those points unchecked before the Vikings went to work in the second half and scored 20 fourth quarter points of their own unchallenged, taking the lead for keeps with 6:01 left in the contest when WR Kyle Rudolph caught a 32-yard TD pass from Cousins to lead 27-23. After the teams exchanged the ball, Denver got it back with 5:55 left in the contest and from their 40-yard line, drove themselves all the way to Minnesota’s 4-yard line where three Brock Allen passes fell incomplete, including the final try that came with 2 seconds left to play that would have given Denver the win.

Denver did outrush Minnesota 124-37 with Patrick Lindsay leading the way with 67 yards, while Allen threw for 240 yards and TD with a pair of sacks and an interception. As for Minnesota? Cousins, despite being sacked five times, threw for 319 yards with three TDs, including the game-winner to Rudolph with no interceptions). Denver went 5 for 18 on third down and kept the ball for 36:43 (including the final 5:55 of the contest), while the Vikings held on to the ball for 23:17, going 5 of 121 on third down (the Broncos were 4 of 4 on fourth down, while Minnesota was 2 of 2).

The Seahawks went East and gave Philadelphia their second loss in a row and their second home loss as Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks took down the Eagles 17-9 at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles trailed 10-3 at the intermission and could never really get themselves on track, eventually scoring on a 2-yard pass from Carson Wentz to TE Zack Ertz with 20 seconds left in the contest. Philadelphia took a 3-0 lead with 7:29 left in the first on a 28-yard field goal by Josh Elliott, only to see that lead get away from them as Wilson and Malik Turner connected on a 33-yard TD toss. The Seahawks would add a Jason Myers field goal from 24 yards late in the second quarter to lead by 7 at the intermission. Seattle’s Rashaad Penny would then add to his team’s lead, running 53 yards untouched to give the Seahawks a 17-3 lead early into the fourth quarter before Wentz and Ertz would hook up on Philadelphia’s TD late in the game (the Eagles would try for two but failed).

Penny rushed for 129 yards, leading all rushers in the contest as the Seahawks outrushed Philadelphia 174-106; Wentz threw for 256 yards with the Ertz TD (he was sacked three times and picked off twice), while Wilson threw for 200 yards with the Turner TD (Wilson threw an interception and was sacked six times) for Seattle. Philadelphia went 4 of 12 on third down tries (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:53, while the Seahawks, who clung to the ball for 28:07, went 5 for 14 on third down tries.

Seattle leads the series 10-5 and the Seahawks have outscored Minnesota 395-331. Seattle has won the last four regular season meetings, including a 21-7 win last year in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks (Minnesota’s last win in the series came in 2009 in the Twin Cities by a final of 35-9.

They met in the Pacific Northwest in week 14 at CenturyLink Field and after a scoreless first quarter, Seahawks K Sebastian Janikowski gave Seattle their first points with a 37-yard field goal early in the second quarter. That would be all the scoring in the first half, as the Seahawks took that 3-0 lead with them to the intermission. After a scoreless third quarter, Seattle would tally their next 18 points of the contest unchallenged, using a second Janikowski field goal (from 35 yards), adding a Chris Carson 2-yard run (the Seahawks went for two and had success as Wilson and WR Tyler Lockett connected on the try) and a 29-yard fumble recovery by CB Justin Coleman all but sealed Minnesota’s fate before the Vikings would score with 70 seconds left in the contest when RB Dalvin Cook and Cousins connected on a 6-yard TD toss.

Seattle outrushed Minnesota 214-77, with Carson accounting for 90 of Seattle’s yards (Cook led Minnesota with 50) and Cousins threw for 208 yards, while Wilson had 72 yards in the air (Wilson was picked off once and both men were sacked twice). Seattle was 3 of 11 on third down but was successful in their only fourth down try in the contest, keeping the ball for 31:49, while the Vikings held the pigskin for 28:11 and 2 of 10 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week 14 Monday night contest, the Seahawks were favored by 3 1/2 and covered, winning by 14. As for the 45 over/under? It was untouched, as the two teams merged for only 28 points.

Minnesota on Monday night? 29-32. The Vikings played once in prime time last year in the Pacific Northwest and lost. Seattle on Monday night? 24-10. Seattle played two MNF contests and split the two contests. Seattle’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 49. Both numbers are reasonable and make a ton of sense. Both teams could very well make the post-season, either as division winners or Wild Card team and this one could very well decide their futures. You might want to tape “All Rise” and “Bull” this Monday night. Minnesota will make this one closer than than the 3 but Seattle prevails in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. NFL

11 weeks down.

6 weeks to go.

Nothing’s been decided as far as division winners or Wild Card spots.

There’s still a lot of football left on the docket and these games don’t play themselves. It’s still the time of year where you lose, your next game’s next week, unlike the post-season, where you lose, your next game’s next year.

17 of the 32 teams (53 percent) are at .500 or better and there are a few teams that are near that mark as well. As for the Bengals? They’re still winless and have a slim chance of making the post-season. When the dust does settle at the end of week 17, 12 teams will have their magic tickets punched and get to go to the playoff party. For the other 20 teams, they’ll get lovely parting gifts, as they say on those game shows.

For those on top, it’s another chance to stay on top; for those that are contending, it’s a chance to put themselves one step closer to their intended goal.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK 11: The Baltimore Ravens rushed for 263 yards in their 41-7 win over Houston in Week 11. Baltimore, with 2,038 rushing yards through its first 10 games of the season, is the seventh team since 1970 and first since the 1978 New England Patriots (2,029 rushing yards) with at least 2,000 rushing yards in its first 10 games of a season. The Ravens’ 2,038 rushing yards are the fifth-most through a team’s first 10 games of a season since 1970. Quarterback Lamar Jackson, who had 86 rushing yards, has recorded at least 60 rushing yards in seven consecutive games, surpassing Michael Vick (six games in 2004) for the longest such streak by a quarterback in league annals. Jackson has 1,483 career rushing yards, surpassing Cam Newton (1,447) for the most by a quarterback in his first two seasons in NFL history.

Houston wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had seven receptions, including the 600th of his career, in Week 11. At 27 years and 164 days old, Hopkins is the second-youngest player in league annals to reach 600 career receptions, trailing only Larry Fitzgerald (27 years and 110 days old).

Minnesota overcame a 20-0 halftime deficit to defeat Denver, 27-23, in Week 11. The Vikings are the first team in the regular season since the San Diego Chargers (vs. San Francisco on December 20, 2014), who trailed 35-7 at halftime and won 38-35 in overtime, to overcome a halftime deficit of at least 20 points and win.

Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott passed for 444 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 116.6 rating in the Cowboys’ 35-27 win at Detroit. Prescott has four games with at least 375 passing yards and two touchdown passes in 2019, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Montana (four games in 1990) for the most such games through their team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history. Only Peyton Manning, who had six games with at least 375 passing yards and two touchdown passes in 2013, had more in a full season.

Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan passed for 311 yards with one touchdown and zero interceptions for a 111.1 rating in the Falcons’ 29-3 win at Carolina. Ryan, currently in his 12th season, has 60 career games with at least 300 passing yards and joins Drew Brees (67 games) as the only quarterbacks with at least 60 such games in their first 12 seasons in NFL history. Ryan has 49,383 career passing yards and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon (49,325 passing yards) for the 10th-most passing yards in NFL history.

Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey recorded 191 scrimmage yards (121 receiving, 70 rushing) along with 11 receptions in Week 11. McCaffrey has seven career games with at least 10 catches, surpassing Larry Centers (six) and Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson (six) for the most by a running back in NFL history. Since entering the NFL in 2017, McCaffrey has 12 career games with at least 50 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards, tied with Herschel Walker (12 games) for the most such games by a player in his first three seasons in NFL history. McCaffrey, who has 1,576 scrimmage yards and 14 scrimmage touchdowns in 2019, is the fifth player in NFL history with at least 1,500 scrimmage yards and 14 scrimmage touchdowns in his team’s first 10 games of a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Eric Dickerson (1983), O.J. Simpson (1975) and Emmitt Smith (1995) as well as Ahman Green (2003).

Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen passed for 256 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 117.7 rating and added 56 rushing yards with a touchdown in the Bills’ 37-20 win over Miami.

Allen, who has 13 passing touchdowns and seven rushing touchdowns in 2019, joined Cam Newton (2011-12) as the only players with at least 10 passing touchdowns and seven rushing touchdowns in consecutive seasons in NFL history.

Allen recorded his 15th career rushing touchdown in his 22nd career game, the second-fewest games to reach 15 career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in NFL history. Only Cam Newton (18 games) reached 15 career rushing touchdowns in fewer games among quarterbacks.

Miami kick returner Jakee Grant, in his fourth NFL season, had a 101-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in Week 11, his second career kick-return touchdown of at least 100 yards. Grant, who also has two career punt-return touchdowns of at least 70 yards, is the fourth player in NFL history with at least two kick-return touchdowns of 100 yards and two punt-return touchdowns of 70 yards in his first four seasons, joining Ted Ginn (2007-10), Trindon Holliday (2011-14) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Ollie Matson (1952, 1954-56).

New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas had eight receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown in the Saints’ 34-17 win at Tampa Bay. Thomas has 94 receptions in 2019 and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (89 receptions in 2002) and Julio Jones (89 in 2015) for the most by a player in his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history. Thomas, who has the most receptions (415) by a player in his first four seasons in league annals, is the first player in NFL history with at least 90 receptions in each of his first four seasons.

New York Jets safety Jamal Adams had three sacks in the team’s 34-17 win at Washington. Adams, who had two sacks in Week 10, is the third defensive back to record at least two sacks in consecutive weeks since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, joining Aaron Beasley (Weeks 5-6 in 2000) and Carnell Lake (Weeks 14-15 in 1997). Adams’ five sacks over a two-week span are tied with Carnell Lake (five sacks in Weeks 14-15 in 1997) for the most by a defensive back over a two-game span since 1982.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a match-up of original teams and/or a game in which history was made . The NFL has designated Sunday’s Oakland-New York Jets match-up as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest is a nod to an earlier meeting that forever changed the way football is consumed. On November 17, 1968, Heidi unexpectedly became part of sports vernacular when East Coast viewers suddenly lost the NBC broadcast of Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Namath’s Jets trying to hold off a Raiders fourth-quarter comeback. While a large portion of the national audience saw the opening scenes of a made-for-TV movie featuring an orphan girl living with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps, Raiders quarterback Daryle Lamonica was throwing a 43-yard, go-ahead touchdown to Charlie Smith with 42 seconds left. On the ensuing kickoff, with the Jets down 36-32 and Heidi’s melodious tones airing in most American living rooms, Oakland’s Bill Budness forced a fumble and teammate Preston Ridelhuber returned it for a touchdown to seal the game. While NBC made a valiant last-second effort to avoid cutting away from the AFL game, several affiliates aired the musical during the Raiders’ comeback. Six weeks later, the Jets got revenge, turning away Oakland at New York’s Shea Stadium in the AFL Championship Game, giving Namath an opportunity to guarantee victory at Super Bowl III.

FLURRY OF TIEBREAKER GAMES ON WEEK 12 SLATE: Week 12 will go down as pivotal in determining the 12 teams that comprise the NFL’s 2019 playoff field in five weeks. That’s because 12 games this week match up teams from the same conference, carrying head-to-head, division- or conference-tiebreaker implications.

PACKERS CLASH WITH NINERS ON SNF: Another intriguing intra-conference game is on Sunday Night Football in San Francisco, where the 49ers (9-1) puts the NFC’s best record on the line against Green Bay (8-2), who leads the NFC North. Over the last 13 seasons, on only five occasions have teams with two-or-fewer losses met this late in a season. The winners of the last two games have won the Super Bowl.

The NFL games featuring teams with two-or-fewer losses in Week 12 or later since 2007:

DATE – VISITOR (RECORD) at HOME (RECORD); RESULT
11/29/2015 – New England (10-0) at Denver (8-2); Denver 30-24 (OT)*
12/2/2013 – New Orleans (9-2) at Seattle (10-1); Seattle 34-7*
12/1/2013 – Denver (9-2) at Kansas City (9-2); Denver 35-28*
12/6/2010 – New York Jets (9-2) at New England (9-2); New England 45-3
11/29/2007 – Green Bay (10-1) at Dallas (10-1); Dallas 37-27
*Played in Super Bowl

Other games with playoff implications are Denver at Buffalo, where the Bills look to improve their record in AFC games, a key Wild Card tiebreaker, to 6-2; Carolina at New Orleans, where the Saints can gain important ground in both the NFC South and the race for the NFC’s top seed by improving their conference record to 7-2; and Seattle and Philadelphia, where the Seahawks can improve their conference record to 6-1 and the Eagles can remain well in contention.

ANOTHER YOUNG QUARTERBACK IN PRIMETIME: Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson leads the Ravens into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to close Week 12 on Monday Night Football. The Ravens rushed for 263 yards in their 41-7 win over Houston in Week 11. Baltimore, with 2,038 rushing yards through its first 10 games of the season, is the seventh team since 1970 and first since the 1978 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (2,029 rushing yards) with at least 2,000 rushing yards in its first 10 games of a season. The Ravens’ 2,038 rushing yards are the fifth-most through a team’s first 10 games of a season since 1970.

Jackson, who had 86 rushing yards last week, has recorded at least 60 rushing yards in seven consecutive games, surpassing Michael Vick (six games in 2004) for the longest such streak by a quarterback in league annals. Jackson has 1,483 career rushing yards and surpassed Cam Newton (1,447) for the most by a quarterback in his first two seasons in NFL history.

WINNING FRANCHISES MEET IN FOXBORO: With a win last week, New England secured a 19th consecutive winning season. In NFL history, the only team to string together at least 19 winning seasons was Dallas, who assembled a streak of 20 winning campaigns from 1966-85. Those teams meet on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

Additionally, the Patriots (9-1) have the opportunity to win a 10th game and reach 17 consecutive seasons with 10-or-more victories. New England would break a tie with San Francisco, which won 10 games in 16 straight years (1983-98). The Patriots have won at least 10 games every year since going 9-7 in 2002.

Sunday’s battle also features the NFL’s top offense, Dallas, vs. the league’s top defense, New England. The Cowboys are averaging an NFL-leading 444.6 yards per game while New England is holding the NFL to a league-low 249.9 yards per contest.

CROSBY, RAIDERS RETURN EAST TO MEET JETS: 6-4 Oakland meets the New York Jets Sunday in a contest that features a pair of unique sack artists.

Raiders rookie defensive end Maxx Crosby had four sacks in Oakland’s 17-10 win over Cincinnati in Week 11. Since the sack became an official individual statistic in 1982, Crosby became the fourth rookie with at least four sacks in a game, joining Leslie O’Neal (five on November 16, 1986), Cornelius Bennett (four on December 27, 1987) and Brian Orakpo (four on December 13, 2009).

Jets safety Jamal Adams had three sacks in the team’s 34-17 win at Washington last week. Adams, who had two sacks in Week 10, is the third defensive back to record at least two sacks in consecutive weeks since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, joining Aaron Beasley (Weeks 5-6 in 2000) and Carnell Lake (Weeks 14-15 in 1997). Adams’ five sacks over a two-week span are tied with Lake (five sacks in Weeks 14-15 in 1997) for the most by a defensive back over a two-game span since 1982. Adams, who leads the Jets with a career-high six sacks, could become the first NFL defensive back to lead his team in sacks since Roman Harper led the Saints with 7.5 in 2011.

JACKSONVILLE’S ALLEN SEES KEARSE RECORD ON HORIZON: Another rookie pass-rusher, Jacksonville DE/LB Josh Allen, has eight sacks through 10 games and is on pace for 13 sacks. Allen and the Jaguars this week travel to play Tennessee, who 20 years ago saw Jevon Kearse establish the NFL’s rookie record with 14.5 sacks in 1999. Allen, San Francisco defensive lineman Nick Bosa (seven) and Oakland defensive end Maxx Crosby (6.5) lead NFL rookies in sacks this season. The 76 sacks by NFL rookies this year are tied with 2018 for the second-most through 11 weeks in NFL history, trailing only the 1987 season.

The seasons with the most sacks by rookies through the first 11 weeks in NFL history:

SEASON – SACKS BY ROOKIES THROUGH 11 WEEKS
1987 – 84
2019 – 76
2018 – 76

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 12

HISTORY IN FOXBORO: New England enters Week 12 with the best record in the AFC at 9-1. Since 2003, the Patriots have had at least 10 wins in 16 consecutive seasons – tied with San Francisco (1983-98) for the most consecutive 10-win seasons in NFL history. With a win over NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, New England would surpass San Francisco (16 seasons) for the most consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins in NFL history.

The teams with the most consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins in NFL history:

TEAM, YEARS (CONSECUTIVE 10+ WIN SEASONS)
New England, 2003-18 (16)*
San Francisco, 1983-98 (16)
*Active streak

New England quarterback Tom Brady enters Week 12 with 2,752 passing yards, the third-most in the AFC in 2019. With 248 passing yards on Sunday, Brady would surpass Drew Brees (16 seasons) and Peyton Manning (16) for the second-most seasons with at least 3,000 passing yards in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre (18) has more.

The players with the most seasons with at least 3,000 passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER (TEAMS – SEASONS WITH 3,000 PASSING YARDS)
Brett Favre (Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota – 18)
Tom Brady (New England – 16)*
Drew Brees (San Diego and New Orleans – 16)*
Peyton Manning (Indianapolis and Denver – 16)

*Active

NFC SHOWDOWN BY THE BAY: In every season since the NFL expanded to 32 teams and realigned into eight divisions in 2002, at least one team has won its division the season after missing the playoffs. After both missed the playoffs in 2018, San Francisco (9-1) and Green Bay (8-2) currently stand as the top two seeds in the NFC, lead their respective divisions through 10 games and are positioned to continue that trend.

With a win over Green Bay on Sunday Night Football, San Francisco – who finished 4-12 last season – would join the 2016 Dallas Cowboys as the only teams to win 10 of their first 11 games in a season after winning four or fewer games the previous year in NFL history.

DEFENSIVE NIGHTMARE: Through 10 games this season, Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson has 2,258 passing yards and 781 rushing yards – the most rushing yards by a quarterback through 10 games of a season in NFL history. Since entering the NFL in 2018, Jackson has 3,459 passing yards and 1,476 rushing yards in 26 career games.

With 24 rushing yards on Monday Night Football against the Los Angeles Rams, Jackson would become the first player with at least 3,000 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards over his first two seasons in NFL history.

CATCH HIM IF YOU CAN: Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey leads the NFL with 1,576 scrimmage yards this season and became the first player with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history.

McCaffrey, who has 20 rushing touchdowns and 14 receiving touchdowns since entering the NFL in 2017, needs one receiving touchdown against New Orleans (1:00 PM ET, CBS) to join Chuck Foreman (1973-75) as the only players with at least 20 rushing touchdowns and 15 receiving touchdowns through their first three seasons in NFL history.

BALLING IN BIG EASY: New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas leads the NFL with 94 receptions – the most receptions by a player in his team’s first 10 games of a season in NFL history – and 1,141 receiving yards in 2019. Last week, Thomas had eight receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown, his fourth-consecutive game with at least eight receptions and 100 receiving yards.

With at least eight receptions and 100 receiving yards on Sunday against Carolina, Thomas would become the fourth player with at least eight receptions and 100 receiving yards in five consecutive games in a single season in NFL history.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – CONSECUTIVE GAMES)

Isaac Bruce, St. Louis Rams (1995 – 6)
Anquan Boldin, Arizona (2005 – 5)
Calvin Johnson, Detroit (2012 – 5)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (2019 – 4)*
*Active streak

Additionally, with six receptions and 59 receiving yards, Thomas would become the fifth player to have at least 100 receptions and 1,200 receiving yards in three consecutive seasons in NFL history.

The players with the most consecutive seasons with at least 100 receptions and 1,200 receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (YEARS; CONSECUTIVE SEASONS)

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2013-18; 6)
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis (1999-2002; 4) HOF
Herman Moore, Detroit (1995-97; 3)
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (1994-96; 3) HOF
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (2017-18; 2)*
*Active streak
HOF – Hall of Fame

ERTZ GOES FOR 500: Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz has 492 receptions for 5,448 yards and 31 touchdowns in 101 career games. With eight receptions against Seattle on Sunday, Ertz would become the second-fastest tight end to reach 500 career receptions in NFL history.

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

PLAYER (TEAMS, GAMES TO 500 RECEPTIONS)

Kellen Winslow, Sr. (San Diego, 101) HOF
Jimmy Graham (New Orleans and Seattle, 106)
Jason Witten (Dallas, 107)
Rob Gronkowski (New England, 108)
Zach Ertz (Philadelphia, 102)*
*On Sunday
HOF – Hall of Fame

Week 12 got underway as Houston edged Indianapolis in the Lone Star State and concludes on Monday night in Hollywood as the Rams and Ravens meet at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The final byes for the 2019 season go to Arizona, Kansas City, the Los Angeles Chargers and Minnesota. Green Bay, the New York Giants, Seattle and Tennessee come back to action from their week long vacation. As for last week? 8-6 was pretty good and for the season, 72-65. There’s a lot of football left. With that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 12.

Tampa Bay (3-7) at ATLANTA (3-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of NFC South rivals, separated by 450 miles and 7 hours of driving, meet in Atlanta as Matt Ryan and the Falcons host Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay struggled against New Orleans last Sunday in the Sunshine State as the Saints bounced back from their loss to Atlanta at home and left Tampa Bay with a 34-17 win in hand. The Saints led 20-7 at the intermission, then watched the Buccaneers pull themselves to within 10 with 82 seconds left in the third before restoring order in the fourth when Marcus Williams picked off Winston for a 55-yard interception return for a TD. New Orleans outrushed Tampa Bay 109-36 and Brees threw for 228 yards and a TD, while Winston threw for 313 yards and a pair of TDs (Winston was sacked four times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Brees was not sacked and did not throw an interception). New Orleans was 7 of 13 on third down at Raymond James Stadium (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 37 minutes, while Tampa Bay, keeping the pigskin for 23 minutes, went 5 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Atlanta scored the first 26 points of their contest at Carolina unchallenged, holding the Panthers to a fourth-quarter field to leave Charlotte with a 29-3 win. After Youngho Koo opened the scoring for the Falcons with a 38-yard field goal, the Falcons’ special teams went to work as KR Kenjon Barner returned a punt 78 yards for a TD with 59 seconds left in the first. From there, Atlanta, picking up their second win in a row and second win in the NFC South, floored the gas in the contest, leading 20-0 at the half and took a 26-0 lead into the third quarter before Carolina broke Atlanta’s chance for a shutout on a 31-yard field goal by Jeff Slye early in the quarter. Carolina did manage to outrush Atlanta 77-54 with Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey leading everyone with 70 of those yards. Ryan threw for 311 yards and a TD toss to Calvin Ridley with no interceptions (he was sacked three times), while Kyle Allen threw for 325 yards with five sacks and four interceptions. Atlanta was 6 of 14 on third down at Bank of America Stadium but had success in their only fourth down try in the contest and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:26, while Carolina held on to the pigskin for 28:34 and went 2 of 14 on third down, 3 of 5 on fourth down.

While the Falcons lead the series 27-24, Tampa Bay has outscored Atlanta 1,113-1,095. The Falcons have won the last five meetings, including sweeping the last two series and swept last year’s contests (Tampa Bay’s last win in the series came in 2016 in the Big Peach by a final of 31-24.

The first meeting? Week six in the Big Peach. The Falcons would take a 21-13 lead over the Buccaneers and never looked back, coming away 34-29 winners at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Ryan (354 yards, three TDs) and Winston (395 yards, four TDs, two interceptions) combined for seven TD passes in the NFC South contest as Tampa Bay outrushed Atlanta 123-70 (Winston was sacked twice, Ryan once). Both clubs did quite well on third down tries; the Falcons were 8 of 13, while the Buccaneers were 5 of 8 and the Falcons ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:39 to Tampa Bay’s 28:21.

The two clubs closed out the 2018 season at Raymond James Stadium and for Atlanta, second verse, same as the first. The Falcons completed the sweep, rallying from behind in the closing seconds of the contest to take a 34-32 win in the Sunshine State. Atlanta trailed 17-7 at the intermission, then rallied to take the lead for the first time with 10:51 left in regulation when Ryan and Ridley connected on a 7-yard TD pass to lead 31-20. Winston then responded with a pair of TD passes in the final quarter, one to Mike Evans, the other to Chris Godwin to lead by one with 5:10 left in the contest (Tampa Bay missed on a pair of two-point conversions in the fourth). The Falcons would use all of the 5:10 that was left in the contest, using a 13-play, 56-yard drive, eating all of the clock and ending as Matt Bryant kicked a 37-yard field goals as the clock struck :00. This time, Atlanta outrushed Tampa Bay 109-92 and Ryan threw for 378 yards and a pair of TDs (including one to Julio Jones), while Winston threw for 345 yards with four TDs (two to Goodwin, two to Evans; each was sacked once and threw an interception). Atlanta was 6 for 13 on third down tries and ruled the clock, as they held on to the ball for 34:46 (including the final 5:10 of the contest), while Tampa Bay in keeping the ball for 25:14, went 4 for 10 on third down tries.

In the week six contest in Atlanta, the Falcons covered the 3-point spread, winning by 5 and both clubs covered the 58 over/under with 63 points. Tampa Bay was the favorite by 2 points in the season finale in the Sunshine State and Atlanta covered, winning the contest by 3 and both teams easily covered the 51 1/2 over/under with 66 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like Atlanta as 4 1/2-point favorites with a 52 over/under. History does have a way of repeating itself and that will favor Atlanta. Falcons prevail at home and cover the 4 1/2.

Denver (3-7) at Buffalo (7-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. Old AFL foes Denver and Buffalo meet in upstate New York as the Bills, in the playoff hunt, host the struggling Denver Broncos.

The Broncos’ last second rally against Minnesota fell short as the Vikings prevailed in the Land of 10,000 Lakes last Sunday afternoon 27-23 at US Bank Stadium. Denver led 20-0 at the intermission, scoring those points unchecked before the Vikings went to work in the second half and scored 20 fourth quarter points of their own unchallenged, taking the lead for keeps with 6:01 left in the contest when WR Kyle Rudolph caught a 32-yard TD pass from Kirk Cousins to lead 27-23. After the teams exchanged the ball, Denver got it back with 5:55 left in the contest and from their 40-yard line, drove themselves all the way to Minnesota’s 4-yard line where three Brock Allen passes fell incomplete, including the final try that came with 2 seconds left to play that would have given Denver the win.

Denver did outrush Minnesota 124-37 with Patrick Lindsay leading the way with 67 yards, while Allen threw for 240 yards and TD with a pair of sacks and an interception (Cousins, despite being sacked five times, threw for 319 yards with three TDs, including the game-winner to Rudolph with no interceptions). Denver went 5 for 18 on third down and kept the ball for 36:43 (including the final 5:55 of the contest), while the Vikings held on to the ball for 23:17, going 5 of 121 on third down (the Broncos were 4 of 4 on fourth down, while Minnesota was 2 of 2).

Buffalo completed the sweep of AFC East rival Miami, taking the Dolphins to task 37-20 at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday. Buffalo led 23-14 at the half, despite a 101-yard kickoff return by Jakee Grant. Josh Allen would give the Bills a 16-point lead at 30-14 as he would score on an 8-yard run with 6:55 left in the third before Miami’s Jakeem Grant scored on a 7-yard run early in the fourth before the Bills iced the game away with 10:38 left in the contest on a 9-yard TD pass from Allen to WR John Brown.

Buffalo rushed for 168 yards in the contest, holding Miami to a dismal season-low 23 yards, sacking Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (323 yards, no interceptions), while Allen threw for 256 yards with no sacks or interceptions. Buffalo went 5 of 14 on third down conversions (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:09, while the Dolphins were 4 of 14 on third down, 1 of 4 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 29:51.

Including contests that were played at War Memorial Stadium and Mile High Stadium, the Bills lead the series 20-16-1 and Buffalo has outscored Denver 881-811. They last met in upstate New York in 2017 and the Bills came away 26-16 victors, while Denver’s last win came in the Mile High City by a final of 24-17 in 2014. Buffalo’s favored by 4 in upstate New York and the over/under’s 37. Denver’s been struggling of late, while Buffalo has played some decent football. Bills circle the wagons in Orchard Park by taking the win and covering the 4.

New York Giants (2-8) at Chicago (4-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Struggling teams meet in the Windy City as the New York Giants make their way to Soldier Field for a contest with the Chicago Bears.

Da Bears could never get themselves on track in Los Angeles as the Monsters of the Midway fell to Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams 17-7 last SUnday night on the West Coast. After a scoreless first quarter on the West Coast, Greg Zuerlen (38-yard field goal) and Todd Gurley (1-yard TD run) would send the Rams to a 10-0 lead at the break. Chicago would pull themselves to within 3 with 7:10 left in the third when RB Tank Cohen and Trubisky connected on a 14-yard toss. Los Angeles would then restore order in the fourth quarter, with RB Malcom Brown scoring from 5 yards out to push the lead back to 10, then stopped a late Bears rally to seal the win at home.

The Rams outrushed Chicago 110-74, with Gurley leading all rushers with 97 yards and Jared Goff threw for 173 yards, while Trubisky (who left the game with an injury) threw for 190 yards and a sack (both threw interceptions). The defending NFC champs were 3 for 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 27:16, while Chicago ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:44 and went 6 of 17 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

Da Bears lead the series 28-21-2 (which includes games that took place at Yankee Stadium, Giants Stadium and Wrigley Field and have outscored the Giants 896-722. The Giants have come out on top in their last two contests, including last year’s meeting in the Meadowlands, where the Giants needed overtime to take a 30-27 win (Chicago’s last win in the series came in 2013 in the Windy City by a final of 27-21.

They met in week 13 at Met Life Stadium and Da Bears took a 14-10 lead with them into the half before the Giants rallied in the third quarter, scoring 14 points in the period unchallenged, using a TD pass from Odell Beckham Jr. to Sterling Shepherd, then Beckham and Eli Manning connecting on a 1-yard toss to lead 24-14 at the end of the third quarter. Chicago would eventually tie the contest as time expired in regulation when RB Tank Cohen and Anthony Miller connected on a 1-yard TD toss, evening things at 27-27.

The Giants got the ball to start the overtime and Manning engineered an 8-play, 49-yard drive that used 4:03 of clock and took the lead back on a 44-yard field goal by Aldrick Rosas with 5:57 left in the extra period. Chicago got the ball back after a kickoff and made their way downfield, getting themselves in position to either tie the contest up with a field goal or win with a TD but Chase Daniel, who took over for Trubisky, was sacked for a 6-yard loss. Chicago then burned a time out and had one last chance to either extend the contest or end it. Chicago got neither, as Daniel’s pass to Taylor Gabriel was incomplete.

New York outrushed Da Bears 141-118, with Saquan Barkley leading all rushers with 125 (Jaquan Howard led Chicago with 76) and Manning threw for 170 yards with the TD toss to Beckham (Manning was sacked three times and threw an interception), while Daniel threw for 285 yards with five sacks and two interceptions. The Giants were 6 of 17 on third down (they perfect in their two fourth down tries) and including the overtime, kept the ball for 33:13, while Chicago held on to the ball for 33:58, going 2 of 15 on third down, 4 of 5 on fourth down.

Chicago was favored by 4 in the week 13 contest in the Meadowlands and while New York came away with the win, they did not cover, winning by only 3. The two clubs did take care of the 44 1/2 over/under, as they combined for 57 points. Chicago’s favored by 6 in the Windy City and the over/under’s 40 1/2. If you’re a fan of one of these teams, watch; otherwise, may we suggest the “Bar Rescue” marathon on Paramount Network. The Giants will actually keep this one close but Da Bears win at Soldier Field Sunday afternoon.

Pittsburgh (5-5) at Cincinnati (0-10), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. They meet again. A pair of AFC North rivals face off against each other, this time meeting along the shores of the Ohio River as Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, both taking losses on the road, meet in a week four rematch at Paul Brown Stadium.

Cleveland managed to prevail over AFC North rival Pittsburgh 21-7 at First Energy Stadium Thursday night in a contest that was marred by a bench-clearing brawl late in the contest. The Browns took a 14-0 lead at the intermission as Baker Mayfield ran for a TD to open the scoring and Josh Landry catching a 1-yard toss from Mayfield, closing out the scoring in the half. Pittsburgh would break the shutout bid up as Mason Rudolph and WR RB Jaylen Samuels connected on a 3-yard TD pass in the third before the Browns restored order in the fourth, with Mayfield and rookie TE Stephen Carlson connected on an 8-yard TD toss to close out the scoring.

Later in the contest, with Cleveland having victory secured, Pittsburgh had the ball at their 11-yard with 1:40 left in the contest. The Steelers would get themselves as close as their 36-yard before Rudolph was sacked twice before completing an 11-yard pass to Trey Edmonnds. While that play was going on, Rudolph and Myles Garrett were involved in a scuffle, with Garrett pushing Rudolph to the ground. Rudolph then tried to take off Garrett’s helmet at which that time, things really got heated as Garrett took Rudolph’s helmet and swung it at him, hitting him in the head. Rudolph’s teammates then came to his aid and there would be more pushing and shoving. When the dust finally settled, Garrett was ejected from the contest, along with Larry Ogunjobi and Pittsburgh’s Maurkice Pouncey.

Garrett would be suspended without pay indefinitely by the league – at a minimum for the remainder of the regular season and postseason – and must meet with the commissioner’s office prior to a decision on his reinstatement. He was also fined an additional amount. As for Pouncey and Ogunjobi? Pouncey has been suspended without pay for three games and fined an additional amount for fighting, including punching and kicking an opponent. Ogunjobi has been suspended without pay for one game and fined an additional amount for unnecessary roughness, specifically for shoving an opposing player to the ground during an altercation and the two clubs were both fined $250,000. (Cleveland’s Damarious Randall was already disqualified from the contest for a hit on Dioante Johnson in the third quarter)

Cleveland outrushed the Steelers 104-58, with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading the way with 92 yards on the ground. Mayfield threw for 193 yards and a pair of TDs to go with his rushing TD (Mayfield was sacked once), while Rudolph threw for 221 yards and a TD but was sacked four times and picked off four times. Cleveland, flagged eight times for 121 yards, went 6 of 16 on third down conversions, keeping the ball for 33:56, while the Steelers were 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 3 on fourth down and held the ball for 26:04.

Oakland handed Cincinnati their 10th loss in a row, erasing a 7-0 first quarter deficit and coming away 17-10 winners at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum last Sunday. Cincinnati scored first on a 3-yard run by RB Joe Mixon late in the first quarter before the Raiders responded in the second, as QB Derek Carr and TE Foster Moreau connected on a 2-yard run to even things up at 7-7. Carr then took matters into his own feet, scoring on a 3-yard romp with 97 seconds left before intermission to take the lead for good. Bengals K Randy Bulloch would put the Bengals to within 4 with a 40-yard field goal before Raiders K Daniel Carlson responded with a 20-yard field to push the lead back to seven. After a Raider punt with 1:54 left in the contest, Cincinnati had the ball for only two plays and their hopes of tying the contest ended when backup QB Ryan Finley was picked off by Trayvon Mullen.

Cincinnati outrushed Oakland 173-113 (Mixon led the Bengals with 86 yards, while Raiders RB Josh Jacobs led all rushers with 112 yards) and Carr threw for 292 yards and the TD to Moreau to go with his rushing TD (Carr was sacked three times and picked off once), while Finley threw for 115 with five sacks and the interception that ended the Bengals’ hopes. Oakland was 7 for 15 on third down tries (the Silver and Black was 1 for 1 on fourth down) and they would hold on to the ball for 35:22, while the winless Bengals kept the pigskin for 24:38, going 3 of 13 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

They met in the Steel City in week four at Heinz Field and Cincinnati led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Bengals then watched as Pittsburgh scored the next 27 points of the contest unchallenged, taking a 27-3 win at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh led 10-3 at the intermission, then floored the gas in the second, taking control of the contest from that point onward. While Cincinnati did outrush the Steelers 73-33, Rudolph threw for 229 yards with a pair of TDs without a sack or interception, while Dalton threw for 171 yards and was sacked eight times and threw an interception. Pittsburgh was 3 of 9 on third down (the Steelers were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:46, while the Bengals actually ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 30:14, going 4 of 14 on third down, 1 of 3 on third down.

In the week four Monday night contest in the Steel City, the Steelers were favored by 4 and covered, winning by 24 at Heinz Field. The 44 over/under stayed safe, as the two teams merged for only 30 points. Pittsburgh’s favored by 7 in the rematch and the over/under’s 39. The Bengals are free-falling, as the Tom Petty song says and it’s not going to get any better. Pittsburgh wins on the road and covers the 7.

Miami (2-8) at Cleveland (4-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. A pair of struggling AFC teams meet along the shores of Lake Erie as Miami makes its way to Cleveland to square off against the Browns.

The struggling Dolphins watched Buffalo complete the sweep of AFC East rival Miami, taking the Dolphins to task 37-20 at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday. While they trailed 23-14 at the half, Miami’s one bright spot came on a 101-yard kickoff return by Jakee Grant. Buffalo’s Josh Allen would give the Bills a 16-point lead at 30-14 as he would score on an 8-yard run with 6:55 left in the third before Miami’s Jakeem Grant scored on a 7-yard run early in the fourth before the Bills iced the game away with 10:38 left in the contest on a 9-yard TD pass from Allen to WR John Brown.

Buffalo rushed for 168 yards in the contest, holding Miami to a dismal season-low 23 yards, sacking Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (323 yards, no interceptions), while Allen threw for 256 yards with no sacks or interceptions. Buffalo went 5 of 14 on third down conversions (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:09, while the Dolphins were 4 of 14 on third down, 1 of 4 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 29:51.

In a contest marred by three Cleveland ejections, the Browns managed to prevail over AFC North rival Pittsburgh 21-7 at First Energy Stadium Thursday night. The Browns took a 14-0 lead at the intermission as Baker Mayfield ran for a TD to open the scoring and Josh Landry catching a 1-yard toss from Mayfield, closing out the scoring in the half. Pittsburgh would break the shutout bid up as Mason Rudolph and WR RB Jaylen Samuels connected on a 3-yard TD pass in the third before the Browns restored order in the fourth, with Mayfield and rookie TE Stephen Carlson connected on an 8-yard TD toss to close out the scoring.

Later in the contest, with Cleveland having victory secured, Pittsburgh had the ball at their 11-yard with 1:40 left in the contest. The Steelers would get themselves as close as their 36-yard before Rudolph was sacked twice before completing an 11-yard pass to Trey Edmonnds. While that play was going on, Rudolph and Myles Garrett were involved in a scuffle, with Garrett pushing Rudolph to the ground. Rudolph then tried to take off Garrett’s helmet at which that time, things really got heated as Garrett took Rudolph’s helmet and swung it at him, hitting him in the head. Rudolph’s teammates then came to his aid and there would be more pushing and shoving. When the dust finally settled, Garrett was ejected from the contest, along with Larry Ogunjobi and Pittsburgh’s Maurkice Pouncey.

Garrett would be suspended without pay indefinitely by the league – at a minimum for the remainder of the regular season and postseason – and must meet with the commissioner’s office prior to a decision on his reinstatement. He was also fined an additional amount. As for Pouncey and Ogunjobi? Pouncey has been suspended without pay for three games and fined an additional amount for fighting, including punching and kicking an opponent. Ogunjobi has been suspended without pay for one game and fined an additional amount for unnecessary roughness, specifically for shoving an opposing player to the ground during an altercation and the two clubs were both fined $250,000. (Cleveland’s Damarious Randall was already disqualified from the contest for a hit on Dioante Johnson in the third quarter)

Cleveland outrushed the Steelers 104-58, with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading the way with 92 yards on the ground. Mayfield threw for 193 yards and a pair of TDs to go with his rushing TD (Mayfield was sacked once), while Rudolph threw for 221 yards and a TD but was sacked four times and picked off four times. Cleveland, flagged eight times for 121 yards, went 6 of 16 on third down conversions, keeping the ball for 33:56, while the Steelers were 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 3 on fourth down and held the ball for 26:04.

While Miami leads the series 9-8, the Browns have actually outscored the Dolphins 335-322. Miami has won the last two meetings with Cleveland, with the last win coming in 2016 in the Sunshine State as the Dolphins needed overtime to come away with the 30-24 win, while Cleveland’s last win in the series came along the shores of Lake Erie in 2011 by a final of 17-16. Cleveland’s favored by 10 and the over/under’s 44. Take a pass on this one and shop for that Christmas tree. Miami will make it closer than 10 but Cleveland prevails along the shores of Lake Erie.

Carolina (5-5) at New Orleans (8-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. BBQ meets Gumbo. A pair of NFC South rivals square off in the Big Easy as the struggling Carolina Panthers make their way to New Orleans to face off against the Saints and Drew Brees.

The Panthers had trouble with NFC South rival Atlanta last Sunday in the Tar Heel State, as they were held to a fourth-quarter field to leave Charlotte with a 29-3 loss. After Atlanta’s Youngho Koo opened the scoring for the Falcons with a 38-yard field goal, the Falcons’ special teams went to work as KR Kenjon Barner returned a punt 78 yards for a TD with 59 seconds left in the first. In the process of picking up their second win in a row and second win in the NFC South, floored the gas in the contest, leading 20-0 at the half and took a 26-0 lead into the third quarter before Carolina broke Atlanta’s chance for a shutout on a 31-yard field goal by Jeff Slye early in the quarter.

Carolina did manage to outrush Atlanta 77-54 with Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey leading everyone with 70 of those yards. Matt Ryan threw for 311 yards and a TD toss to Calvin Ridley with no interceptions (he was sacked three times), while Kyle Allen threw for 325 yards with five sacks and four interceptions. Atlanta was 6 of 14 on third down at Bank of America Stadium but had success in their only fourth down try in the contest and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:26, while Carolina held on to the pigskin for 28:34 and went 2 of 14 on third down, 3 of 5 on fourth down.

New Orleans bounced back from their loss to Atlanta at home and left Tampa Bay with a 34-17 win in hand. The Saints led 20-7 at the intermission, then watched the Buccaneers pull themselves to within 10 with 82 seconds left in the third before restoring order in the fourth when Marcus Williams picked off Jameis Winston for a 55-yard interception return for a TD. New Orleans outrushed Tampa Bay 109-36 and Brees threw for 228 yards and a TD, while Winston threw for 313 yards and a pair of TDs (Winston was sacked four times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Brees was not sacked and did not throw an interception). New Orleans was 7 of 13 on third down at Raymond James Stadium (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 37 minutes, while Tampa Bay, keeping the pigskin for 23 minutes, went 5 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Carolina holds a slim 25-23 lead in the series and the Panthers have outscored New Orleans 1,056-1,039. The two NFC North rivals met last year and split the two contests, each winning in the other team’s facility.

Meeting number one… week 15 in the Tar Heel State on a Monday night and the Saints came away 12-9 winners. Carolina led 7-6 at the intermission and took that lead with them to the fourth quarter before Brees and the Saints would take the lead for good with 12:12 left in the contest on a 16-yard run by Kamara. The Saints then went for two but the try for two failed as Carolina’s Dante Jackson returned the ball for 2 points for the Panthers. Caroline and New Orleans would trade punts after that and the Panthers would get the ball back with 1:44 left in hopes of taking the prime-time win but the drive stalled at their 39-yard line, where Newton’s 4th-down try went incomplete. New Orleans would then get the ball back and seal the win on the road.

New Orleans outrushed Carolina in the Monday night match-up 155-98 and Kamara led all rushers with 67 yards, while teammate Mark Ingram tallied 63 yards (Carolina was led by McCaffery with 53 yards) and Brees threw for 203 yards, while Newton threw for 131 yards (Brees was sacked twice, while Newton was sacked four times, with each throwing an interception). New Orleans went 4 of 13 on third down conversions (the Saints were perfect in their only fourth down try) and held on to the ball for 35:09, while the Panthers went 7 of 15 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down, keeping the ball for 24:51.

The Panthers got their revenge in the Big Easy in the season finale, as the Saints rested most of their starters and Carolina would leave the Mercedes-Benz Superdome 33-14 winners. Carolina scored the first 23 points of the contest unchallenged and took a 23-0 lead with them to the half. Carolina took a 30-0 with them at the end of three quarters before the Saints broke Carolina’s bid for a shutout in the fourth quarter on a 9-yard TD toss from Teddy Bridgewater to WR Tre’Quan Smith with 13:28 left in the contest. Carolina’s Chris Catanzaro would then add a 51-yard field goal to pretty much sealed New Orleans’ fate.

New Orleans outrushed Carolina 184-111, with Saints RB Dwayne Washington leading the way with 108 yards in the contest. Bridgwater, taking over for Brees, threw for 118 yards and the TD toss (Bridgewater was sacked twice and threw an interception), while Allen, taking over for Newton, threw for 228 yards with a pair of TDs without a sack or interception. Carolina was 6 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 33:26 (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down), while the Saints kept the ball for 26:34, going 4 of 10 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

In the week 15 match-up in the Tar Heel State on a Monday night, while the Saints were favored by 6 1/2, they would wind up winning by only 3 and the over/under of 52 was intact, as the two teams combined for only 21 points. New Orleans was favored in the match-up in the Big Easy two weeks later as a 9-point favorite and Carolina would win by 19, easily covering the spread and the 47 combined points by the two teams covered the 45 over/under. The Saints are favored by 9 1/2 in the Big Easy and the over/under’s 46 1/2. Both teams are smarting from losses to Atlanta in consecutive weeks and both would love to get themselves back on track in the NFC South. Carolina may not cover the 9 1/2 but they take the win in the Big Easy.

Seattle (8-2) at Philadelphia (5-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Grunge and Salmon meets cheesesteak as Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks travel to the City of Brotherly Love for a meeting with Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

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

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

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

Philadelphia watched the defending Super Bowl champions erase a 10-9 lead at the half and came out of Lincoln Financial Field 17-10 winners last Sunday in Philadelphia. This time, it was not Tom Brady that threw a TD pass for the Patriots in the contest; instead, it was Julian Edelman throwing a 15-yard TD toss to WR Philip Dorsett with 10:49 left in the third quarter. The Pats then went for two and were successful, as RB James White carried the ball in for the two. That would be the only score in the second half and the Patriots would hold off a late Philadelphia rally in the closing seconds of the contest, as the Eagles got as close as their 42-yard line before Wentz’ last ditch pass fell incomplete.

The Eagles outrushed New England 81-74 and Brady threw for 216 yards with a sack, while Wentz threw for 214 yards and a TD to TD Dallas Goedert early in the second quarter (neither threw an interception). New England was 5 for 16 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:25, while Philadelphia went 3 of 13 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:35.

Seattle leads the series 9-7, the Seahawks have outscored the Eagles 347-296 and have won the last four contests, including a 24-10 win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks in 2017, while Philadelphia’s last win in the series also came in the Pacific Northwest, with the Eagles coming away 26-7 winners. Philly’s favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 49. While this one’s not “DRILL WORTHY,” this one is going to be entertaining. Eagles cover the 2 1/2 in the City of Brotherly Love and takes the win.

Oakland (6-4) at New York Jets (3-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of AFC/AFL teams meet in upstate New Jersey as the Oakland Raiders make their way east to face off against the New York Jets at Met Life Stadium. Both clubs were winners in their Sunday games last week.

Oakland handed Cincinnati their 10th loss in a row, erasing a 7-0 first quarter deficit and coming away 17-10 winners at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum last Sunday. Cincinnati scored first on a 3-yard run by RB Joe Mixon late in the first quarter before the Raiders responded in the second, as QB Derek Carr and TE Foster Moreau connected on a 2-yard run to even things up at 7-7. Carr then took matters into his own feet, scoring on a 3-yard romp with 97 seconds left before intermission to take the lead for good. Bengals K Randy Bulloch would put the Bengals to within 4 with a 40-yard field goal before Raiders K Daniel Carlson responded with a 20-yard field to push the lead back to seven. After a Raider punt with 1:54 left in the contest, Cincinnati had the ball for only two plays and their hopes of tying the contest ended when backup QB Ryan Finley was picked off by Trayvon Mullen.

Suprisingly, Cincinnati outrushed Oakland 173-113 (Mixon led the Bengals with 86 yards, while Raiders RB Josh Jacobs led all rushers with 112 yards) and Carr threw for 292 yards and the TD to Moreau to go with his rushing TD (Carr was sacked three times and picked off once), while Finley threw for 115 with five sacks and the interception that ended the Bengals’ hopes.
Oakland was 7 for 15 on third down tries (the Silver and Black was 1 for 1 on fourth down) and they would hold on to the ball for 35:22, while the winless Bengals kept the pigskin for 24:38, going 3 of 13 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

GangGreen made life somewhat miserable for Washington last Sunday in Landover, taking the Redskins 34-17 at Fed Ex Field. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! led 20-3 at the intermission and never looked back, taking their second win in a two-week span. Jets QB Sam Darnold threw four TD passes in the first half as GangGreen led from start to finish. GangGreen outrushed Washington 115-54 and Darnold threw for 293 yards with the four TDs (Darnold was sacked twice and threw an interception), while Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins threw for 214 yards with a pair of TDs (one to TE Jeremy Sprinkle) but was sacked six times and threw a pick. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 5 of 12 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:19, while the struggling Redskins were 6 of 16 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 27:41.

Including games that were played when the Jets were known as the Titans, games played at Shea Stadium, Giants Stadium and in Los Angeles, the Silver and Black lead the series 23-17-2, have outscored GangGreen 1,005-918 and have won the last two contests, including a 45-20 win on the West Coast in 2017, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!’ last win over the Raiders came in 2014 in the Meadowlands by a final of 19-14.

Sunday’s Raiders/Jets contest marks the 51st anniversary of “The Heidi Game or Heidi Bowl.” Played on November 17th, 1969, the game was notable for its exciting finish, in which Oakland scored two touchdowns in the final minute to win the game 43–32 but got its name for a decision by the game’s television broadcaster, NBC, to break away from its coverage of the game on the East Coast to broadcast the television film Heidi, causing many viewers to miss the Raiders’ comeback.

A high-scoring contest, together with a number of injuries and penalties for the two bitter AFL rivals, caused the game to run long. NBC executives had originally ordered that Heidi begin at 7 p.m. Eastern but then decided to allow the game to air to its conclusion. However, communicating this revised plan to the technicians running NBC’s master control proved impossible — as 7 p.m. approached, NBC’s switchboards were jammed by viewers phoning to inquire about the night’s schedule, preventing the planned change from being communicated. Heidi began as scheduled, preempting the final moments of the game and the two Oakland touchdowns in the eastern half of the country, to the outrage of viewers.

Response to the pre-emption by viewers and other critics was negative; the family members of several Jets players were unaware of the game’s actual conclusion, while NBC received further criticism for its poor timing in displaying the final score of the game during the Heidi movie. NBC’s president Julian Goodman formally apologized for the incident. The Jets and Raiders met again in the AFL Championship Game, with the Jets winning 27–23. They later defeated the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.

In the aftermath of the incident, NBC installed special “Heidi phones”, with a connection to a different telephone exchange from other network phones, to ensure that network personnel could communicate under similar circumstances. The game also had an influence on sports broadcasting practices; the future National Football League would contractually stipulate that all game telecasts be shown to their conclusion in the markets of the visiting team, while other major leagues and events adopted similar mandates. In 1997, the Heidi Game was voted the most memorable regular season game in pro football history. The Raiders would go on to win that contest 43-32 at Shea Stadium that afternoon.

In the modern-day “Heidi,” game, the Raiders are favored by 3 and the over/under’s 46. For GangGreen, it’s been a somewhat dismal season and they would love nothing more than taking care of the Raiders in their building. They’ll get that chance this Sunday. GangGreen covers the 3 and wins in upstate New Jersey.

Detroit (3-6-1) at Washington (1-9), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. It’s a pair of NFC teams struggling to get out of the cellars of their respective divisions as Detroit makes its way to Landover to face off against the struggling Washington Redskins at Fed Ex Field. Both teams took losses at home in last week’s action.

Washington last Sunday in Landover against the New York Jets last Sunday, as the Jets would wind up taking the Redskins 34-17 at Fed Ex Field. Washington trailed 20-3 at the intermission and could never get themselves on track in the contest. Jets QB Sam Darnold threw four TD passes in the first half as GangGreen led from start to finish. GangGreen outrushed Washington 115-54 and Darnold threw for 293 yards with the four TDs (Darnold was sacked twice and threw an interception), while Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins threw for 214 yards with a pair of TDs (one to TE Jeremy Sprinkle) but was sacked six times and threw a pick. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were 5 of 12 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 32:19, while the struggling Redskins were 6 of 16 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 27:41.

A late Detroit Dallasrally at Ford Field last fell short last Sunday against Dallas, as it would be the Cowboys taming the Lions 35-27 last Sunday. Detroit led 7-3 at the end of the first quarter before Dallas would wind up taking control and a 24-14 lead with them to the intermission. Detroit would make it a three-point game with 9:15 left in the third when Lions backup QB Josh Driskel (who took over for Matthew Stafford) and WR Marvin Jones connected on an 11-yard TD toss. A Brett Maher field late in the third and a Prescott TD toss to RB Ezekiel Elliott in the fourth all but sealed Detroit’s fate. Jones and Driskell would connect again with 5:49 left in the contest to make it an 8-point contest (the Lions went for a 2-point conversion and failed).

Detroit outrushed Dallas 121-75 and Prescott threw for 444 yards with three TDs with one sack, while Driskel threw for 209 yards with a pair of TDs and three sacks (neither threw an interception). Dallas went 8 for 14 on third down and held on to the ball for 30:54, while the Lions kept the pigskin for 29:06, going 6 of 13 on third down.

The Redskins lead the series 27-14 (which includes contests that were played when the Lions were in Portsmouth and known as the Spartans) and have outscored Detroit 871-675. However…. the Lions have come away with wins in their last four meetings, including a 20-17 win in 2016 in the Motor City, while the Redskins’ last win also came in Detroit by a final of 25-17 in 2008. Detroit’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 42. Washington fans have been singing “Hell, it’s the Redskins” a lot this year. They’ll be singing it again this week. If for some reason you choose to take a pass on this one, we’ll understand. Detroit wins in Landover, although Washington could make this one closer than the 3 1/2.

Jacksonville (4-6) at Tennessee (5-5), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. They’re both trying to catch Houston in the AFC South. Jacksonville and Tennessee meet in Nashville in a late-afternoon week three rematch. The Jaguars are looking to right their ship after a loss last week, while the Titans are coming back from their bye week.

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

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

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

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

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

They met in the Sunshine State in week three and Jacksonville took care of business at TIAA Stadium, coming away 20-7 winners. Jacksonville took a 14-0 lead with them to the intermission and led 17-0 at the end of three quarters before Tennessee dented the scoreboard in the fourth on a 1-yard run by Henry early in the fourth. Tennessee did outrush Jacksonville 91-88 (Fournette led all rushers with 66 yards) and Gardner Mihshew threw for 204 yards with a pair of TDs, while Marcus Mariota threw for 304 yards without a TD or interception but was sacked nine times. Jacksonville was 2 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 24:44, while the Titans actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 35:16, while going 8 of 17 on third down (both teams were 0 for 1 on fourth down).

Tennessee was favored by 1 1/2 in the week three contest in the Sunshine State on a Thursday night and the Jaguars handled things, covering the spread with their 13-point win. The 39 over/under stayed safe, as both clubs merged for only 27 points. Tennessee’s favored again, this time by 3 with a 41 1/2 over/under. The Titans are looking to even the series and get some revenge, while the Jaguars are looking for the sweep and let Tennessee know that the first meeting was not a fluke. Jacksonville completes the sweep, taking the win on the road and covering the 3.

Dallas (6-4) at New England (9-1), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. A pair of first place teams meet in a late afternoon contest in Foxboro as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots host Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys at Gillette Stadium. Both teams were winners on the road in last week’s action.

Dallas held off a late Detroit rally at Ford Field last Sunday, taming the Lions 35-27 last Sunday. The Cowboys trailed 7-3 at the end of the first quarter before taking a 24-14 lead with them to the intermission. Detroit would make it a three-point game with 9:15 left in the third when Lions backup QB Josh Driskel (who took over for Matthew Stafford) and WR Marvin Jones connected on an 11-yard TD toss. A Brett Maher field late in the third and a Prescott TD toss to RB Ezekiel Elliott in the fourth all but sealed Detroit’s fate. Jones and Driskell would connect again with 5:49 left in the contest to make it an 8-point contest (the Lions went for a 2-point conversion and failed).

Detroit outrushed Dallas 121-75 and Prescott threw for 444 yards with three TDs with one sack, while Driskel threw for 209 yards with a pair of TDs and three sacks (neither threw an interception). Dallas went 8 for 14 on third down and held on to the ball for 30:54, while the Lions kept the pigskin for 29:06, going 6 of 13 on third down.

The defending Super Bowl champions erased a 10-9 lead at the half and came out of Lincoln Financial Field 17-10 winners last Sunday in Philadelphia. This time, it was not Brady that threw a TD pass for the Patriots in the contest; instead, it was Julian Edelman throwing a 15-yard TD toss to WR Philip Dorsett with 10:49 left in the third quarter. The Pats then went for two and were successful, as RB James White carried the ball in for the two. That would be the only score in the second half and the Patriots would hold off a late Philadelphia rally in the closing seconds of the contest, as the Eagles got as close as their 42-yard line before Wentz’ last ditch pass fell incomplete.

The Eagles outrushed New England 81-74 and Brady threw for 216 yards with a sack, while Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz threw for 214 yards and a TD to TD Dallas Goedert early in the second quarter (neither threw an interception). New England was 5 for 16 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:25, while Philadelphia went 3 of 13 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:35.

While Dallas holds a 7-5 lead in the series, the Patriots have outscored Dallas 246-240 and have won the last five meetings, including leaving the Lone Star State 30-6 winners in 2015, while Dallas’ last win in the series came all the way back in 1996 in Irving by a final of 12-6. New England’s favored by 6 1/2 in Foxboro and the over/under’s 45. New England prevails in this one, even though you can expect Dallas to make it closer than the 6 1/2.

Green Bay (8-2) at San Francisco (9-1), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. First place teams with Super Bowl trophies to their credit. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers travel to wine country for a prime-time show down with San Francsico at Levis Stadium. Green Bay is coming off a bye from their last contest at home, while the 49ers rallied to sweep NFC West rival Arizona last Sunday.

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

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

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

After their loss to Seattle on Monday night that knocked them out of the ranks of the unbeatens, the 49ers rallied in the second half against Arizona last Sunday to come away 36-26 winners at Levis’ Stadium. The Desert Angry Birds led 16-10 at the intermission before San Francisco got themselves off the deck in the second half, outscoring Arizona 26-10 in the final 30 minutes of action. San Francisco got a pair of TDs late in the fourth quarter, first Jimmy Garappolo connecting with RB Jeff Wilson on a 25-yard TD with 31 seconds left in the contest and DB D.J. Reed Jr. closing out the contest on a 4-yard scoop and score as time expired. While Arizona outrushed the 49ers 135-34, Garappolo burned Arizona for 424 yards and four TDs, including the game-winner (Garappolo was sacked twice and threw a pair of interceptions), while Arizona QB Kyler Murray threw for 150 yards with a pair of TD tosses and had a rushing TD of his own (Murray was sacked four times). San Francisco was 6 of 13 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down and held the ball for 28:37, while the Desert Angry Birds actually ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:23, going 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Green Bay leads the series 32-27-1 (including games played in Milwaukee, Keezar Stadium and Candlestick Park), have outscored the 49ers 1,243-1,233 and have won the last two contests, including taking a 33-30 win last year at Lambeau Field (San Francisco’s last win in the series came in 2013 at Candlestick by a final of 34-28).

They met at Lambeau Field on a Monday night in week six and Green Bay trailed 24-20 at the intermission before taking control of things, tying the contest up at 30-30 with 1:55 left in regulation when Rodgers and WR Davante Adams connected on a 16-yard TD toss. San Francisco would get the ball back but C.J. Beathard’s pass late in the quarter was picked off by Kevin King with 65 seconds left. The Packers would use all 65 seconds left in the contest, using 10 plays and 81 yards, ending the drive and game on a 27-yard field goal by Mason Crosby to give the Packers the come-from-behind win. San Francisco outrushed Green Bay 174-116 and Rodgers threw for 425 yards and a pair of TDs to Adams (including the one that tied the contest) with three sacks and no interceptions, while Beathard threw for 245 yards wtih a pair of TDs to Marquise Goodwin with a pair of sacks and an interception. Green Bay went 4 of 13 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 31:08 (including the final 65 seconds of the game), while the 49ers held the ball for 28:52, going 2 of 9 on third down.

In the week six Monday night contest in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst, Green Bay was favored by 8 1/2 but won by only 3 but both clubs managed to cover the 46 1/2 over/under, tallying 63 points. This time, the 49ers are favored by 3 and the over/under’s 46. Because both teams are in first and both could very well meet in the post-season, this one’s going to be “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

There’s a really good chance these clubs could make the post-season and meet. The winner has a clear shot of being the number one seed in the post-season; as for the loser, they’re not out of the post-season picture but will have to work a little harder to get that one seed. Green Bay pulls the upset in Santa Clara and could cover the 3.

Baltimore (8-2) at Los Angeles Rams (6-4), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 12 concludes in Los Angeles as Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens make their way westward to face off against Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams. Both teams were winners at home in last Sunday’s contests.

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

The Rams shined in prime time Sunday night in Los Angeles, taking Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears to task 17-7 at the Coliseum. After a scoreless first quarter on the West Coast, Greg Zuerlen (38-yard field goal) and Todd Gurley (1-yard TD run) would send the Rams to a 10-0 lead at the break. Chicago would pull themselves to within 3 with 7:10 left in the third when RB Tank Cohen and Trubisky connected on a 14-yard toss. Los Angeles would then restore order in the fourth quarter, with RB Malcom Brown scoring from 5 yards out to push the lead back to 10, then stopped a late Bears rally to seal the win at home.

The Rams outrushed Chicago 110-74, with Gurley leading all rushers with 97 yards and Jared Goff threw for 173 yards, while Trubisky (who left the game with an injury) threw for 190 yards and a sack (both threw interceptions). The defending NFC champs were 3 for 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 27:16, while Chicago ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:44 and went 6 of 17 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

The Ravens lead the series 4-2, have outscored the Rams 144-114 and have won the last three contests, including coming away 16-13 winners in Charm City in 2015, while the Rams’ last win came in 2003 in St. Louis by a final of 33-22.

The Ravens on Monday night? 14-12 and they won their lone meeting last year. The Rams? 10-14, with Los Angeles playing twice on Monday night last year and taking losses in both contests. Baltimore’s favored by 3 on the West Coast and the over/under’s 46 1/2. You might want to tape “All Rise,” “Dancing With The Stars” and “Bull” this week. Los Angeles closes out week 12 with the win on the West Coast and covers the 3.

And then there were none.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Through nine games
HOF – Hall of Fame

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The San Francisco 49ers and the cheese in the nursery rhyme “The Farmer In The Dell” have one thing in common.

They both stand alone.

The 49ers, atop the NFC West mountain at 8-0, stand alone as the only remaining unbeaten team in the NFL. San Francisco picked up that honor Sunday night after New England found themselves being taken to task by the Baltimore Ravens in Charm City.

On the other side of the NFL spectrum, the Cincinnati Bengals remain the lone winless team after Miami took care of AFC East foe Miami in the Sunshine State Sunday afternoon to pick up their first win.

The 2019 NFL season is at the halfway point and for teams that are contending, it’s their time to make more noise and distance themselves from everyone else; for those that are chasing, it’s time to step things up.

To help celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, each week will feature an NFL 100 Game of the Week. Each game is a nod to a momentous game played, a fierce rivalry that spans decades, a matchup of original teams and/or a game in which history was made. The NFL has designated Sunday’s Atlanta-New Orleans matchup as the NFL100 Game of the Week because the contest is a nod to the momentous 2006 Saints home-opener, when the team sparked the resurgence of a community devastated by Hurricane Katrina. In an electrifying moment at the Superdome on September 25, 2006, Steve Gleason blocked a first-quarter punt and Curtin DeLoatch recovered the ball in the end zone, an uplifting initial score in the city’s first regular-season game since December 26, 2004. Buoyed by the win, the 3-0 Saints advanced to the NFC Championship game and three years later won the Super Bowl. The game also marked the first home contest in the New Orleans career of the NFL’s all-time passing-yards leader, Drew Brees

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL: Through the first nine weeks of the 2019 season, four teams – Buffalo (6-2), Green Bay (7-2), Minnesota (6-3) and San Francisco (8-0) – are in playoff position after missing the postseason a year ago. From 1990-2018 – a streak of 29 consecutive years – at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before. In 2018, seven of the 12 playoff teams missed the postseason the year before.

DIVISION-WINNING REBOUNDS: The NFL in 2002 expanded to 32 teams and realigned into eight divisions. Since that time, at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 15 of the past 16 years. Heading into Week 10, two teams – Green Bay in the NFC North and San Francisco in the NFC West – lead their respective divisions after missing the postseason in 2018.

Teams to win their divisions a season after missing the playoffs over the last 16 seasons:

SEASON – NEW DIVISION WINNERS AFTER MISSING POSTSEASON THE PRIOR SEASON
2018 – Baltimore, Chicago*, Dallas, Houston*
2017 – Jacksonville*, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans, Minnesota, Philadelphia*
2016 – ATLANTA, Dallas*
2015 – Houston, Minnesota, Washington*
2014 – Dallas, Pittsburgh
2013 – Carolina*, Philadelphia*
2012 – Washington*
2011 – Denver*, Houston*, New York Giants, San Francisco
2010 – ATLANTA, Chicago, Kansas City*, Pittsburgh, Seattle
2009 – Cincinnati, Dallas, New England, New Orleans*
2008 – Arizona, Carolina, Miami*, Minnesota
2007 – Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay*
2006 – Baltimore*, New Orleans*, Philadelphia*, San Diego Chargers
2005 – Chicago*, Cincinnati, New York Giants, Tampa Bay*
2004 – ATLANTA*, Pittsburgh, San Diego*
2003 – Baltimore, Carolina*, Kansas City*, New England, St. Louis Rams
*Worst to first

SEVEN-WIN SUPERLATIVES: Entering Week 10, five teams – Green Bay (7-2), New England (8-1), New Orleans (7-1), San Francisco (8-0) and Seattle (7-2) – have at least seven wins, the most through the first nine weeks since the 1990 season (five teams). In total, 10 teams have at least six victories, the most through the first nine weeks of a season since 1986 (11 teams).

NINERS REMAIN UNBLEMISHED, SEAHAWKS UP NEXT: For the first time in NFL history, San Francsico (8-0) is the league’s last remaining undefeated team at least eight games into a season. San Francisco, which finished last season 4-12 and selected DL Nick Bosa with the second-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, is off to its best start since opening 10-0 in 1990. This week, the 49ers host a divisional contest with key playoff implications against NFC West rival Seattle (7-2) Monday night in Santa Clara.

The Seahawks-49ers matchup is the first meeting between divisional opponents that have combined for two or fewer losses in Week 10 or later since November 17, 2013, when Denver (8-1) hosted Kansas City (9-0) in an AFC West showdown. San Francisco is the second team in NFL history to finish with a winning percentage of .250 or below and rebound to win its first eight games of the following season. In 2013, Kansas City opened 9-0 after going 2-14 (.125) in the 2012 season.

Last week in the Seahawks’ 40-34 overtime victory against Tampa Bay, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson notched his 90th win as a starter, including the postseason. On Monday night, he can surpass Ben Roethlisberger (90) for second-most quarterback wins over his first eight seasons in the Super Bowl era. Only Tom Brady (100) had more.

Including the 49ers’ berth in Super Bowl XLVII after the 2012 season, the NFC West has produced four of the last seven NFC Super Bowl representatives. Seattle and San Francisco accounted for three of those appearances, while the LOS ANGELES RAMS were the latest division entry in Super Bowl LIII last season. Since the beginning of that 2012 season, no other division has a better overall winning percentage.

The divisions with the best overall winning percentages since 2012:

DIVISION: W-L-T, PCT.
NFC West: 258-219-5, .540
NFC North: 247-230-5, .518
AFC West: 249-234-0, .516
AFC East: 247-234-0, .514

AFTER THE BYE: A season-high six NFL teams are on byes during Week 10 and every club will have taken its week off by the end of Week 12. On Sunday, two teams coming off their byes meet in an NFC South clash when Atlanta travels to play New Orleans. Since the beginning of the 2011 season, only Baltimore, fresh off a post-bye win over the Patriots in Week 9, have a better record after the bye.

The NFL teams with the best winning percentages in the game following the bye since 2011:

TEAM (W-L-T, PCT.)
Baltimore (7-2-0, .778)
ATLANTA (6-2-0, .750)
Denver (6-2-0, .750)
Houston (6-2-0, .750)
New Orleans (6-2-0, .750)
Buffalo (6-3-0, .667)
Detroit (6-3-0, .667)
Indianapolis (6-3-0, .667)
Pittsburgh (6-3-0, .667)

ANOTHER ROOKIE QUARTERBACK MAKES STARTING DEBUT: On Sunday when Baltimores meets Cincinnati, the Ravens (6-2) have an opportunity to match their best start in franchise history (7-2 in both 2006 and 2012). On the other sideline, quarterback Ryan Finley will make his first NFL start. Finley will become the sixth rookie to make his starting debut this season, joining Arizona’s Kyler Murray, Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew, Pittsburgh’s Delvin Hodges, the New York Giants’ Daniel Jones and Washington’s Dwyane Haskins.

Through the first nine weeks, 110 of 135 overall games (81.5 percent) have featured at least one quarterback under the age of 27, the most at this point in a season in league history. In total, quarterbacks under age 27 have started 146 games and recorded 76 wins (52.1 percent), both the most starts and wins by quarterbacks under the age of 27 through the first nine weeks of a season since at least 1970.

MOST GAMES STARTED BY QBS UNDER AGE 27, THROUGH WEEK 9

SEASON – GAMES
2019 – 146
1987 – 126
2013 – 126

MOST WINS BY STARTING QBS UNDER AGE 27, THROUGH WEEK 9

SEASON – WINS
2019 – 76
1984 – 64
2013 – 63

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY IN WEEK NINE: Houston quarterback DeShaun Watson completed 22 of 28 pass attempts (78.6 percent) for 201 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 120.4 rating in the Texans’ 26-3 win over the Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London. Watson is the third quarterback to throw at least two touchdowns and complete at least 75 percent of his passes in an international NFL game, joining Tom Brady (November 19, 2017) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (October 30, 2011).

Texans running back Carlos Hyde totaled 160 rushing yards in the win and joined Chris Ivory (166 rushing yards on October 4, 2015) as the only players with at least 150 rushing yards in an international NFL game.

Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen recorded a 110.4 passer rating and had both a passing and rushing touchdown in the Bills’ 24-9 victory over Washington. Allen, who is in his second NFL season, is the fourth quarterback to record at least 20 passing touchdowns and 12 rushing touchdowns in his first two seasons in league annals, joining Steve Grogan (29 passing, 15 rushing), Cam Newton (40 passing, 22 rushing) and Dak Prescott (45 passing, 12 rushing).

Carolina running back Christian McCaffery recorded 166 scrimmage yards (146 rushing, 20 receiving) and three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in the Panthers’ 30-20 win over Tennessee. McCaffrey, who has 1,244 scrimmage yards and 13 touchdowns this season, is the sixth player in NFL history and first since Priest Holmes (2002) with at least 1,200 scrimmage yards and 13 touchdowns in their team’s first eight games of a season.

Sunday marked McCaffrey’s sixth game of the season with at least 150 scrimmage yards and a touchdown, joining Jim Brown(1963) as the only players with six such performances in their team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history.
McCaffrey has seven games with both a rushing and receiving touchdown in his first three seasons, tied with Abner Haynes (1960-62) for the second-most such games in a player’s first three seasons in league annals. Only Chuck Foreman (eight games from 1974-75) had more.

Oakland rooking running back Josh Jacobs totaled 120 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the Raiders’ 31-24 win over Detroit. Jacobs is the first rookie since Cincinnati’s Ickey Woods (1988) to have at least two rushing touchdowns in three of his first eight career games. Rookie tight end Foster Moreau and rookie wide receiver Hunter Renfrow each recorded a touchdown reception on Sunday. Along with Jacobs’ two touchdowns, the Raiders are the first team since Seattle (November 22, 2015) to have rookies score all four touchdowns in a victory.

Pittsburgh wide receiver JuJU Smith-Schuster had three receptions, including his 200th career catch, in the Steelers’ 26-24 win over the Colts. At 22 years and 346 days old, Smith-Schuster is the first player to record 200 career receptions before his 23rd birthday in NFL history. The previous youngest player to reach 200 career receptions was Brandin Cooks (23 years and 77 days old).

Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill recorded six catches for 140 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown catch, in the Chiefs’ 26-23 win over Minnesota. Hill, who is in his fourth season, became the sixth player in NFL history to record at least 20 touchdowns of at least 40 yards in his first four seasons. The other five players are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Bob Hayes (24 touchdowns of at least 40 yards), Randy Moss (23), Jerry Rice (21), Lance Alworth (20) and Gale Sayers (20).

Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker made a game-tying 54-yard field goal with 2:30 remaining and converted a game-winning 44-yard attempt as time expired in the victory, becoming the first kicker since Martin Gramatica (October 27, 2002) to make a game-tying field goal of at least 50 yards and a field goal of at least 40 yards to put his team ahead for good with both coming in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter.

Philadelphia tight end Zach Ertz, appearing in his 100th career game, had nine receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown in the Eagles’ 22-14 win over Chicago. Ertz has 483 career receptions, the third-most by a tight end through his first 100 games in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow, Sr. (497 receptions) and Jimmy Graham (485) had more.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 378 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 133.7 rating in the Seahawks’ 40-34 overtime victory against Tampa Bay. Wilson has 90 wins, including the postseason, since entering the NFL in 2012, tied with Ben Roethilsberger (90) for the second-most wins by a quarterback, including the postseason, in his first eight seasons in the Super Bowl era. Only Tom Brady (100) had more.

Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike EvansS had 12 receptions for 180 yards and a touchdown in Week 9. He joins A.J. Green (2016) and Wes Welker (2011) as the only players with at least eight receptions, 150 receiving yards and a touchdown in three of his team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history.

Denver quarterback Brandon Allen, making his first career start, threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end Noah Fant in the Broncos’ 24-19 win against Cleveland. Allen is the first quarterback with a touchdown pass of at least 75 yards in his first career start since Robert Griffin III (88-yard touchdown pass on September 9, 2012). Fant is the first rookie tight end with a touchdown reception of at least 75 yards since Tyji Armstrong on December 6, 1992 (81-yard touchdown catch).

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 10

RUNNING IT UP: Baltimore (6-2) enters Week 10 leading the NFL with an average of 204.9 rushing yards per game in 2019. Last week in their win over New England, quarterback Lamar Jackson, whose 637 rushing yards are the most by a quarterback through his team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history, rushed for 61 yards and two touchdowns, while running back Mark Ingram rushed for a season-high 115 yards. The team totaled 210 rushing yards in the victory – their seventh game with at least 150 rushing yards this season.

If Baltimore rushes for at least 150 yards on Sunday against Cincinnati, they would become the first team since the 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers to rush for at least 150 yards in eight of a team’s first nine games of a season since 1970.

The teams with the most games with at least 150 rushing yards in the first nine games of a season since 1970:

TEAM (SEASON, GAMES WITH 150+ RUSHING YARDS)
Pittsburgh (1976, 8)
New England (1974, 8)
Miami (1973, 8)#
Miami (1972, 8)#
Detroit (1971, 8)
Baltimore (2019, 7)*
*Through eight games
#Won Super Bowl

Overall, Baltimore has rushed for 1,639 yards – the most rushing yards through a team’s first eight games since the 2006 Atlanta Falcons (1,641) and the sixth-most through a team’s first eight games of a season since 1970.

In Week 6, Baltimore rushed for a season-high 269 yards against Cincinnati. If the Ravens rush for their season average (204.9) on Sunday in Cincinnati, they would move into the top five for most rushing yards in a team’s first nine games of a season since 1970.

The teams with the most rushing yards through their first nine games of a season since 1970:

TEAM (SEASON – RUSHING YARDS)
Buffalo (1975 – 1,958)
Pittsburgh (1976 – 1,886)
Miami (1972 – 1,868)#
Miami (1973 – 1,829)#
Chicago (1977 – 1,809)
Baltimore (2019 – 1,639)*
*Through eight games
#Won Super Bowl

TEN STARTS IN: Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray leads all NFC rookies in passing yards (2,229) and passer rating (89.2), while ranking second among all quarterbacks with 313 rushing yards in 2019. Earlier in the season, Murray – who was selected with the first-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft – became just the second quarterback to pass for at least 300 yards in each of his first two career games in NFL history.

On Sunday at Tampa Bay, Murray needs 271 passing yards to join Deshaun Watson (2017-18), Cam Newton (2011) and Daunte Culpepper (2000) as the only quarterbacks with at least 2,500 passing yards and 250 rushing yards in their first 10 career starts in NFL history.

The quarterbacks with at least 2,500 passing yards and 250 rushing yards in first 10 career starts in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASONS, PASSING YARDS/RUSHING YARDS)
Deshaun Watson, Houston (2017-18; 2,843/414)
Cam Newton, Carolina (2011; 2,885/411)
Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota (2000; 2,562/358)
Kyler Murray, Arizona (2019; 2,229/313)*
*Through nine starts

SLING IT LIKE STAFFORD: Earlier this season, Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford became the first quarterback in NFL history to reach 40,000 career passing yards in fewer than 150 games. Over the past three weeks, Stafford leads the NFL in passing yards (1,112) and passing touchdowns (10) and has passed for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in each of his past three games.

Appearing in his 150th career game on Sunday at Chicago, Stafford needs at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns to tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warne (23 games) for the fourth-most games with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns in a player’s first 150 career games in NFL history.

The players with the most games with at least of 300 passing yards and three touchdowns in their first 150 career games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (GAMES WITH 300 YARDS & 3+ TD PASSES)
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay (31)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (27)
Dan Marino – Miami (26) HOF
Kurt Warner – St. Louis Rams and Arizona (23) HOF
Matthew Stafford – Detroit (22)*
*Through 149 games
HOF – Hall of Fame

UNSTOPPABLE FORCE: Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey leads the NFL with 1,244 scrimmage yards through eight games this season and joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown (1963) as the only players to have at least 150 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in six of their team’s first eight games of a season in NFL history.

With 156 scrimmage yards on Sunday against Green Bay, McCaffrey would become the fourth player in NFL history with at least 1,400 scrimmage yards in their team’s first nine games of a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown (1,529 in 1963) and O.J. SIMPSON (1,518 in 1975), as well as Larry Brown (1,405 in 1972).

The players with the most scrimmage yards through their team’s first nine games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – SCRIMMAGE YARDS)
Jim Brown, Cleveland (1963 – 1,529) HOF
O.J. Simpson, Buffalo (1975 – 1,518) HOF
Larry Brown, Washington (1972 – 1,405)
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams (1983 – 1,396) HOF
Tiki Barber, New York Giants (2004 – 1,391)
Christian McCaffrey, Carolina (2019 – 1,244)*
*Through eight games
HOF – Hall of Fame

CAN’T GUARD MIKE: Since entering the NFL in 2016, New Orleans wide receiver Michael Thomas leads the NFL with 394 receptions and ranks third with 4,662 receiving yards. This season, Thomas leads the league in receptions (73) and receiving yards (875) through the first nine weeks.

Appearing in his 56th career game on Sunday against Atlanta, Thomas needs six receptions to become the fastest player to reach 400 receptions in NFL history.

The players to reach 400 receptions in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES TO 400)
Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants (61)
Julio Jones, ATLANTA (64)
Jarvis Landry, Miami (64)
Keenan Allen, San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (66)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (55)*
*Has 394 career receptions

Thomas, who is currently in his fourth NFL season, needs seven receptions on Sunday to surpass JARVIS LANDRY (400) for the most receptions through a player’s first four seasons in NFL history.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (RECEPTIONS)
Jarvis Landry, Miami (400)
Michael Thomas, New Orleans (394)*
Anquan Boldin, Arizona (342)
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona (330)
A.J. Green, Cincinnati (329)
*In fourth season

Additionally, if Thomas has 125 receiving yards on Sunday, he would join Mike Evans (2014-17), A.J. Green (2011-14) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (1998-2001) as the only players to have at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first four seasons in NFL history.

PARTY IN THE BACKFIELD: Green Bay’s defense features the only pair of teammates in the NFL to each record at least eight sacks this season – linebackers Za’Darius Smith (8.5 sacks) and Preston Smith (8). On Sunday against Carolina, they can become the sixth pair of teammates to each record at least 10 sacks in their team’s first 10 games of a season since 1990.

The teammates to each record at least 10 sacks through their team’s first 10 games of a season since 1990:

SEASON – TEAM (PLAYER – SACKS; PLAYER – SACKS)
2014 – Buffalo (Marcell Dareus – 10; Mario Williams – 10)
2000 – Miami (Trace Armstrong – 12.5; Jason Taylor – 10) ^
2000 – Tampa Bay (Warren Sapp – 11.5; Marcus Jones – 10) ^
1998 – San Francisco (Chris Doleman – 11.5; Roy Barker – 11)
1992 – Kansas City (Derrick Thomas – 10.5; Neil Smith – 10.5) ^
2019 – Green Bay (Za’Darius Smith – 8.5; Preston Smith – 8)*
*Through nine games
^ Taylor, Sapp and Thomas are members of the Hall of Fame)

It was another week above the .500 mark pick wise, going 10-4 in week 9. For the season… 69-55. Byes this week? Washington, Philadelphia, New England, Houston, Jacksonville and Denver. Atlanta, New Orleans, Cincinnati and the Los Angeles Rams return to action this week. Week 10 began in northern California as Oakland held off a late Los Angeles Chargers rally Thursday night and ends in northern California in Santa Clara as the undefeated 49ers host NFC West rival Seattle on Monday night in wine country. Here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 10.

ATLANTA (1-7) at New Orleans (7-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. Southern rivals. The two cities don’t like each other. Same can be said for the teams and their fan bases. Chicken and waffles meets gumbo Sunday afternoon as the Atlanta Falcons look to restore some order as they face off against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Both teams return from their bye week.

Seattle survived a late rally by Atlanta and left Mercedes Benz Stadium 27-20 winners. The Seahawks led 24-0 at the half, then were outscored by Atlanta 20-3 in the final 30 minutes of action. Seattle outrushed the Falcons 151-69 and Seahawks RB Chris Carson led all rushers with 90 yards and a rushing TD and Wilson threw for 182 yards and a pair of TD passes to DK Metcalf (six catches for 100 yards), while Matt Schaub, filling in for Matt Ryan (ankle) threw for 460 yards and a TD pass to TE Austin Hooper and Atlanta’s Julio Jones led all recievers with 152 yards on 10 catches (both Wilson and Schaub were sacked twice and Schaub had an interception). Both clubs were 3 of 9 on third down and Atlanta was 1 of 1 on fourth down, as the Falcons, who lost their seventh game in a row, ruled the clock and held the ball for 30:47, while Seattle held on to the pigskin for 29:13.

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

Atlanta leads the series 51-48 and the Falcons have outscored New Orleans 2,200-2,099. The Saints did sweep last year’s series (Atlanta’s last win came in 2017, when they won a Thursday night contest in the Big Peach by a final of 20-17; Atlanta’s last win in the Big Easy came in 2016, when they left the Superdome 45-32 winners).

Meeting number one… week three in the Big Peach. Calvin Ridley scored three TDs in their first meeting at Mercedes Benz Stadium but it was not enough as the Saints rallied in regulation and came away 43-37 overtime winners. New Orleans led 16- 14 at the half before Atlanta would take control of things in the final 30 minutes of regulation, leading 30-37 with 6:58 left when Ryan and Mohamed Sanu connected on a 5-yard TD toss.

That lead would evaporate as the Saints went on an 11-play, 81-yard drive that used 5:43 of clock and tied the contest when Brees scored from seven yards away. New Orleans would win the toss in overtime and the Falcons would never see the ball again, as the Saints went on another long drive, this time using a 15-play driver, using 80 yards of field and 7:05 of clock as Brees would score the game-winner with 2:55 left in the extra period. The Saints thought they has scored earlier when Brees threw a pass to Alvin Kamara and thought they had scored a TD. The original call that said Kamara broke the plane was reversed and Brees would take matters into his own hands and feet, scoring the game winner.

New Orleans outrushed Atlanta 143-48 and Brees threw for 396 yards and three TD tosses, while Ryan threw for 374 yards and five TDs (Ryan connected with Ridley on three of those tosses; Ryan was sacked three times, Brees was sacked once and neither threw an interception). Atlanta went 4 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 29:20, while the Saints were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 37:45 (including the overtime), going 7 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Meeting number two… the Big Easy on Thanksgiving night in week 12 and the Saints completed the sweep, leaving the Mercedes Benz Superdome 31-17 winners. New Orleans led 17-3 at the intermission and never looked back, even though both clubs played even football in the second half. Atlanta was held to 26 yards rushing, while the Saints ran for 150 yards with Alvin Kamara leading the way for all rushers with 89 yards. Ryan threw for 377 yards, throwing TDs to Tevin Coleman and Clarence Ridley (Ryan was sacked six times), while Brees threw for yards and four TDs with a sack (each threw an interception). Atlanta on third down was 5 of 15 but they were successful on fourth down, going 4 of 6 and actually hoarded time, as they kept the ball for 30:59, while the Saints kept the ball for 29:01, going 5 of 11 on third down.

Atlanta was favored by 3 in the week three contest in the Big Peach and the Saints covered the spread, winning by 6 and the 80 combined points was more than enough to cover the 53 over/under. In the week 12 Thanksgiving night contest in the Big Easy, the Saints covered the 13-point spread, winning by 14. As for the 59 1/2 over/under? Intact, as both clubs combinied for 48 total points. The Saints are favored by 12 1/2 in the Big Easy and the over/under’s 51. Sorry, Saints fans… your hearts are about to be broken. Atlanta may not cover the 12 1/2 but they march out of the Big Easy with the road win.

Detroit (3-4-1) at Chicago (3-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of NFC North rivals meet in the Windy City as Chicago and Detroit both meet at Solider Field with losses on the road under their belts.

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

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

Chicago comes back to the Windy City after their 22-14 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday afternoon. Eagles K Jake Elliot and TE Zach Ertz gave their team a 12-0 lead at the break and pushed that lead to 19-0 halfway through the third quarter before Da Bears broke Philadelphia’s shutout bid with a pair of rushing TDs by David Montgomery, the second score putting Chicago to within five before Elliot booted a 38-yard field goal with 25 seconds left to ice the contest. Philadelphia outrushed Chicago 146-62 and Carson Wentz threw for 239 yards, while Mitch Trubisky threw for 125 yards (Trubisky was sacked three times, Wentz was sacked four times and neither threw an interception). Chicago went 2 of 10 on third down conversions in the City of Brotherly Love and kept the ball for 19:42, while the Eagles took care of the ball for 40:18 and went 8 of 18 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games that were played when the Lions were in Portsmouth and known as the Spartans, games that were played at Wrigley Field, Tiger Stadium, the Pontiac Silverdome and in Champaign-Urbana, Da Bears Bears lead the series 99-74-5 and have outscored Detroit 3,466-3,190. They met last year and Da Bears swept the series, winning in the Windy and Motor Cities (Detroit’s last win in the series came in 2017, when they swept the series that season).

Meeting number one… week 10 in the Windy City (Gametime temperature? A balmy 37 degrees with a 29 degree wind chill) and the Monsters of the Midway scored 26 first half points unchallenged to come away from Soldier Field 34-22 winners. Da Bears led 26-7 at the half, even though Detroit outscored them in the second half, sealing the win nonetheless. Detroit did outrush Chicago 76-54 and Trubisky threw for 355 yards and three TDs, with Stafford throwing for 274 yards and a pair of TDs (Stafford threw a pair of interceptions and was sacked six times, while Trubisky was sacked once). Chicago went 4 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28 minutes, while the Lions, who kept the ball for 32 minutes, were 4 of 16 on third down, 4 of 5 on fourth down.

Chicago didn’t have to wait long to complete the sweep and Da Bears did the deed in the Motor City in week 12 on Thanksgving afternoon, coming away 23-16 winners at Ford Field. After a scoreless first quarter, Chicago erased a 7-0 deficit in the second after Lions RB LeGarrett Blount opened the scoring with a 4-yard TD, responding with a 40-yard field by Chris Parkey and a 10-yard TD pass from Trubisky to Tequan Mizell with 40 seconds left to lead 9-7 at the half. Blount would then give Detroit the lead back with 95 seconds left in the third before Chicago took it back early in the fourth quarter thanks to a 14-yard pass from Chase Daniel (who took over for Trubisky) to RB Tarik Cohen. Detroit then re-tied the contest with 7:44 left in the contest on a 20-yard field goal by Matt Prater. The Lions would get the ball back but DB Eddie Jackson would break Lions fans hearts as he would pick off Stafford and scamper down the field 41 yards unchallenged for the game-winning score.

Once again, it would be the Lions that would outrush Chicago, this time by a 111-38 margin (Blount led all rushers with 88 yards and the two TDS). Daniel threw for 230 yards and the two TD tosses, while Stafford threw for 236 yards with a pair of interceptions (Daniel was sacked four times, Stafford was sacked twice). Chicago went 3 of 10 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 27:14, while the Lions once again ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:46, went 5 of 14 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Chicago covered the 6 1/2-point spread with their 12-point win in the Windy City and both clubs covered the 45 over/under, tallying 56 points. In the Thanksgiving Day contest in the Motor City, Da Bears were favored by 4 and covered, as they would win by 6 but the two teams missed the 45 over/under, tallying 40 points. Vegas likes Da Bears as 2 1/2-point favorites in the Windy City and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Both teams would like nothing more than to catch up to Green Bay and overtake the Packers for the top spot in the NFC North. The Monsters of the Midway cover the 2 1/2 in the Windy City and takes the win along the shores of Lake Erie.

Baltimore (6-2) at Cincinnati (0-8), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. They meet again. A pair of AFC North rivals meet along the shores of the Ohio River as the winless Bengals host the first-place Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium.

Baltimore played the role of Jimmy Stewart and took down the NFL’s answer to Liberty Valance as they knocked Tom Brady and the New England Patriots out of the ranks of the unbeatens in Charm City Sunday night, taking down the defending Super Bowl champions 37-20 at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens led 17-13 at the intermission Sunday evening, then floored the gas and outpaced New England 20-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. Baltimore tallied 210 yards of rushing, outpacing the Patriots, who tallied 74 yards on the ground (Mark Ingram led all rushers with 115 yards and a TD), while Ravens QB Lamar Jackson threw for 163 yards with a passing TD and had two rushing TDs, while Brady threw for 285 yards and a TD pass to newly acquired WR Mohamed Sanu (Brady was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Jackson was sacked once). The Ravens were 5 of 10 on third down conversions (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:01, while the Patriots, who clung to the pigskin for 22:59, went 5 of 13 on third down.

The Bengals return home from their bye week with Ryan Finley under center in place of Andy Dalton after they were taken to task by Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams 24-10 at Wembley Stadium in London. Cincinnati kept things close on the other side of the Atlantic, trailing 17-10 at the half, then watched the wheels come off their bus as Rams RB Todd Gurley scored on a 3-yard run early in the third quarter to seal their fate. Cincinnati outrushed the defending NFC champions 104-98, with Bengals RB Joe Mixon leading everyone with 66 yards on the ground, while Dalton threw for 329 yards and a TD to Mixon but was sacked five times (Goff threw for 372 yards with a pair of TDs, one to WR Cooper Kupp and had no sacks or interceptions). Cincinnati was 6 of 18 on third down (they were 4 for 6 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 32:43, while the Rams were 27:17 in time of possession, going 7 for 13 on third down.

The Sunday afternoon contest along the shores of the Ohio River is a rematch from week six in Charm City in a contest that the Ravens were 23-17 winners over Dalton and the Bengals. In that meeting, Baltimore led 17-10 at the half at M&T Bank Stadium, then held off a late Bengals rally to come away with the win. Jackson threw for 236 yards and led all rushers with 152 yards and a rushung TD, as the Ravens outrushed Cincinnati 269-33. For the Bengals, Dalton threw for 235 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception (Jackson was sacked once). Cincinnati was 5 of 11 on third down and kept the ball for 235, while the Ravens ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 39:42, going 9 of 15 on third down tries.

In the week six contest in Charm City, Baltimore was an 11-point favorite but only came away winning by 6 and both clubs missed the 48 over/under, scoring 40 points. In the rematch this Sunday, the Ravens are favored by 10 and the over/under is 46 1/2. The Bengals aren’t that bad. They’re not 10 points bad and gave Baltimore problems in the first meeting. History repeats itself in Cincinnati, as Baltimore takes the win but expect the Bengals to make things closer than 10.

Buffalo (6-2) at Cleveland (2-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. Both cities sit on Lake Erie and both look to improve their playoff chances. The Bills, sitting in second in the AFC East, travel down I-90 to face off against Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns.

Buffalo held Washington to three Dustin Hopkins field goals as they manhandled the Redskins 24-9 at New Era Stadium. The Bills led 17-6 at the break and never looked back in the contest in upstate New York, ruining the start for Washington’s Dwayne Haskins Jr. (144 yards, four sacks) While Washington outrushed Bufffalo 127-122 with Redskins RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 108, Buffalo’s Josh Allen threw for 160 yards with a TD pass to WR Cole Beasley (Allen was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Buffalo was 6 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 31:47, while the Redskins, keeping the ball for 28:13, was 2 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

Cleveland’s dismal season continued in Denver as the Broncos edged the Browns 24-19 at Empower Field at Mile High Sunday afternoon. The Browns trailed 17-12 at the break and managed to keep the contest close with 10:47 left in the contest when Mayfield and WR Josh Landry connected on a 9-yard TD strike. Cleveland would get the ball back after a Denver punt with 7:21 left to play and got themselves as close as Denver’s 28-yard before the drive stalled as Mayfield’s pass attempt to Landry fell incomplete. Denver outrushed Cleveland 127-90 with Broncos RB Patrick Lindsay leading the way with 92 of those yards and a TD, while Cleveland was paced by Nick Chubb, who tallied 65 yards. Denver QB Brandon Allen threw for 193 yards and a pair of TDs, while Mayfield threw for 273 yards with the Landry TD toss (Mayfield was sacked twice, Allen was sacked three times, neither threw an interception). Cleveland went 6 of 15 on third down (the Browns were 0 of 2 on fourth down) and the Browns kept the ball for 35:30, while the Broncos went 3 of 9 on third down, holding on to the ball for 24:30.

While Cleveland holds an 11-9 lead in the series, the Bills have outscored Cleveland 389-345. The Bills circled the wagons and won the last two meetings, including a 33-13 win in Orchard Park in 2016, while Cleveland’s last win in the series came in 2013 along the shores of Lake Erie by a final of 37-24. Cleveland in the Battle of Lake Erie is favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 41 1/2. Buffalo circled the wagons last week at home against Washington and who’s to say they won’t do it again? Bills circle the wagons AGAIN in the Buckeye State and covers the 2 1/2.

New York Giants (2-7) at New York Jets (1-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. They share a stadium. They have 3 wins between them. GangGreen and Big Blue meet for the 14th time in the Meadowlands as the Giants and Jets square off at Met Life Stadium.

For the Giants, it was a cat-astrophe Monday night as Big Blue fell to Dallas 37-18 Monday night in the Meadowlands. New York kept things close and trailed 13-12 at the intermission before the Cowboys would outscore Big Blue 24-6 in the final 30 minutes of play. The Giants were outrushed 172-100 with Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 139 yards in the prime time affair. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott threw for 257 yards and three TDs, while Giants signal caller Daniel Jones threw for 210 yards with a TD (Jones was sacked five times, threw an interception and gave up a fumble late in the contest that led to Dallas’ final TD of the contest; Prescott threw an interception but was not sacked). Big Blue went 5 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:56, while the Cowboys only needed to keep the pigskin for 28:04 and went 4 for 11 on third down tries.

GangGreen watched Miami erase a 7-0 deficit against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday afternoon and picked up their first win of the 2019 campaign, grounding the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 26-18 in the Sunshine State. Miami took a 21-12 lead with them to the break, then took control of things in the second half, sealing GangGreen’s fate and breaking their 10-game losing streak (they lost their last three contests in 2018 and the first seven this season) in the process. GangGreen, who gave up a pair of safties in the contest, did outrush the ‘Fins 83-50 (Jets RB LeVeon Bell led all rushers with 66 yards) but Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 288 yards with four TDs and no interceptions, while Sam Darnold threw for 260 yards with a TD and an interception (Darnold was sacked three times, Fitzpatrick was sacked four times). Miami was 6 of 12 on third down and kept the ball away from GangGreen for 31:14, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 28:46, going 5 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

The Giants lead the series 8-5 and have outscored GangGreen 285-239. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! won the last meeting, coming away 23-20 overtime winners in 2015, while Big Blue’s last win in the series came in 2011 by a final of 29-14. The Giants are favored by 2 1/2 in the Meadowlands and the over/under’s 43 1/2. You stand a better chance of finding Jimmy Hoffa than you will a winner in this one. The Giants are the lesser evil here and they take the win at Met Life, covering the 2 1/2.

Arizona (3-4-1) at Tampa Bay (2-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of struggling teams square off in the Sunshine State as Heisman winners Kyler Murray and Jameis Winston meet at Raymond James Stadium when Tampa Bay hosts Arizona. Both clubs are coming off losses in last week’s contests.

The Desert Angry Birds took San Francisco to the edge two weeks ago in Glendale at State Farm Stadium but fell to the 49ers 28-25. Arizona trailed 21-7 at the half in the desert, then put on a rally in the second half to make things a bit too close for their NFC West rivals, making the contest a 3-point contest with 4:53 left in regulation when WR Andy Isabella and Murray connected on a 88-yard TD toss. San Francsico would get the ball back after the ensuing kickoff and the Cardinals would never see it again. Arizona outrushed San Francisco 153-101 with Cardinals RB Kyle Drake leading the way with 110 yards and a TD (San Francisco was led by Matt Breida 78 yards). Murray threw for 241 yards with a pair of TDs, while San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo burned Arizona for 317 yards and four TDs, connecting with Tevin Coleman, Emanuel Sanders, George Kittle and Dante Pettis (Murray was sacked three times and Garoppolo was sacked once, neither threw an interception). The Desert Angry Birds were 2 of 8 on third down tries and kept the ball for 25:29, while the 49ers were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 34:31, while going 11 of 17 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Tampa Bay watched Seattle erase a 21-13 deficit at Century Link Field last Sunday afternoon, then rally in the final 30 minutes of regulation and overtime to fall 40-34 win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Tampa Bay trailed 34-27 with 46 seconds left in regulation, then tied the contest up with a 1-yard run by rookie RB Dare Ogunbowale. It would be the last time that the Buccaneers would see the ball as Seattle won the toss in overtime. The Seahawks made sure that Tampa Bay would never see the ball again, as they used 10 plays, 75 yards of real estate and 3:38 of clock to send their fan base home happy when WR James Hollister and Russell Wilson connected on a 10-yard TD toss with 6:22 left in the extra period.

Seattle outrushed Tampa Bay 145-99, with Seahawks RB Chris Carson leading the way with 105 yards on the ground. Wilson threw for 378 yards and five TDs (including the game-winner), while Jameis Winston threw for 335 yards and a pair of TDs (one to RB Mike Evans; Wilson was sacked three times, Winston was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). Seattle was 2 for 8 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 28:13 (including the overtime), while Tampa Bay ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 35:25, going 6 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including contests played in St. Louis the Desert Angry Birds carry an 11-9 lead into the series, have outscored Tampa Bay 396-366 and have won the last three meetings, including coming away 38-23 winners in the desert in 2017, while Tampa Bay’s last win also came in the desert, as the Bucs would leave Glendale 38-35 winners in 2010. Tampa Bay’s favored by 4 1/2 in the Sunshine State and the over/under’s 51 1/2. We won’t blame you one bit if you took a pass on this one and started that early Thanksgiving shopping. Tampa Bay covers the 4 1/2 in the Sunshine State and takes the win.

Kansas City (6-3) at Tennessee (4-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of AFC/AFL rivals meet in the Volunteer State as the Kansas City Chiefs travel to Nashville to face off against the Tennessee Titans.

Kansas City escaped Arrowhead last Sunday 26-23 winners over Minnesota thanks to a 44-yard field by Harrison Butker as time expired. Minnesota and Kansas City entered intermission tied at 10-10, then trailed 16-10 with 11:51 left in the third quarter when RB Darrell Williams went 91 yards untouched to take the lead back. Butker then added a 45-yard field goal late in the third before Minnesota took the lead again in the fourth, with TE Kyle Rudolph scoring on a 3-yard TD toss from Kirk Cousins with 10:59 left in the contest. Butker would put his right foot to good use later in the period, tying the contest with 2:30 left to play on a 54-yarder. Kansas City would get the ball back after a Minnesota punt with 1:47 left and Matt Moore (taking over for Patrick Mahomes – knee) engineered a 5-play, 19-yard drive that used all of the 1:47 as Butker sent Chiefs fans home happy campers with the game-winning boot, breaking their three-game home losing streak in the process.

Kansas City outrushed Minnesota 147-96 with Williams leading the way with 125 yards, while Delvin Cook led the Vikings with 71 yards. Cousins threw for 220 yards with three TDs, while Moore threw for 275 yards and a TD toss to Tyreek Hill (Cousins was sacked once, Moore was sacked five times; neither threw an interception). The Chiefs went 4 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 31:48 (including the final 1:47 of the contest), while the Vikings held on to the pigskin for 28:12 and went 5 of 15 on third down (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

Tennessee watched Carolina score 17 second quarter points unchallenged last Sunday in Charlotte as the Panthers took a 30-20 victory at Bank of America Stadium. After a scoreless first quarter in the Tar Heel State, the Panthers went on their scoring spree in the second quarter, using a 35-yard field goal by Josh Slye and a pair of TDs from Kyle Allen (one to RB Christian McCaffrey, the other to WR Curtis Samuel) to take that 17-point lead at the break. After Tennessee’s Derrick Henry ended Carolina’s shutout bid in the third quarter, McCaffery went back to work on the ground, scoring a pair of TDs to all but seal Tennessee’s fate.

Carolina outrushed Tennessee 156-121 with McCaffery leading the way with 146 yards to go with the two TDs, while Henry led the Titans with 63 yards and a TD. Allen threw for 232 yards with the two TD tosses, while Ryan Tannehill threw for 331 yards with a TD pass to Henry and had a rushing TD of his own late in the contest. While Carolina went 5 of 14 on third down, they were successful on fourth down (2 of 2) and kept the ball for 33:17, while the Titans, keeping the pigskin for 26:43, went 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including games played in Houston when the Titans were known as the Texans and in Dallas when the Chiefs were known as the Texans, Kansas City leads the series 27-22 and the Chiefs have outscored the Titans 1,049-884. Tennesssee has won the last two contests, both at Arrowhead, with their last win coming in 2016 by a final of 19-17, while the Chiefs’ last win in the series came in the Music City in 2013, as Kansas City would leave Nissan Stadium 26-17 winners. The Chiefs are favored by 3 1/2 in the Music City and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Kansas City covers the 3 on the road and takes the win in Nashville.

Miami (1-7) at Indianapolis (5-3), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 712. Erasing their long losing streak, the Miami Dolphins make their way to the Hoosier State to face off against the Indianapolis Colts in a late afternoon AFC contest.

Miami erased a 7-0 deficit against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium last Sunday afternoon and picked up their first win of the 2019 campaign, grounding the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 26-18 in the Sunshine State. Miami took a 21-12 lead with them to the break, then took control of things in the second half, sealing GangGreen’s fate and breaking their 10-game losing streak (they lost their last three contests in 2018 and the first seven this season) in the process. GangGreen, who gave up a pair of safties in the contest, did outrush the ‘Fins 83-50 (Jets RB LeVeon Bell led all rushers with 66 yards) but Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 288 yards with four TDs and no interceptions, while Sam Darnold threw for 260 yards with a TD and an interception (Darnold was sacked three times, Fitzpatrick was sacked four times). Miami was 6 of 12 on third down and kept the ball away from GangGreen for 31:14, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! kept the ball for 28:46, going 5 of 14 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Indianapolis watch Pittsburgh snatch victory from the jaws of defeat last Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field, taking a 26-24 win from the Colts. The Colts led 16-13 at the half, then watch the Steelers pull away from the Colts in the second half, taking the lead for keeps with 6:36 left in regulation on a 26-yard field goal by Chris Boswell, then outscored Indianapolis 13-9 in the final 30 minutes of play and dodged a bullet when Colts K Adam Vinatieri’s 43-yard field goal try sailed wide to the left. Indianapolis outrushed Pittsburgh 139-90 with Mason Rudolph throwing for 191 yards and a TD, while Blake Hoyer (who replaced Jacoby Brissett after he left the contest with a knee sprain) threw for 168 yards and three TDS (Hoyer threw an interception that Pittsburgh’s Michael Fitzpatrick ran back 96 yards for a TD; Rudolph also had an interception, while he was sacked once and Hoyer was sacked four times). Pittsburgh went 5 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 29:28, while the Colts, holding on to the pigskin for 30:32, went 4 for 12 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Miami leads the series 45-27 (which includes contests that were played in Baltimore and at the old Orange Bowl site) and the Dolphins have outscored the Colts 1,619-1,258. The Colts were victors in their last two contests, with their last win coming in the Hoosier State last season by a final of 27-24, while the Dolphins’ last win in the series came in 2013 in the Hoosier State, coming away 24-20 winners.

They met at Lucas Oil Stadium in week 12 and the Colts would rally in the closing seconds to take the win in front of the home folks thanks to a Vinatieri field goal from 32 yards out as the clock struck :00. Tied 14-14 at the half, Miami would take a 17-14 lead on a Jason Sanders field goal halfway through the third quarter, then pushed the lead to 10 with 13:36 left in regulation when Kenyan Drake scored on a 14-yard run. The Colts would then respond, scoring the last 13 points of the game unchallenged when Vinatieri connected on a 46-yard field goal with 8:26 left and tied the contest with 4:25 left when Andrew Luck and TE Eric Ebron connected on a 12-yard TD toss. Vinatieri would then be the hero as the Colts used a 7-play, 44-yard drive that took all of the 2:38 left in the contest, booting the game winner to send Colts fans home happy.

Indy outrushed Miami 118-113 and Luck threw for 343 yards and three TDs (two to Ebron, including the toss that evened the score), while Tannehill threw for 204 yards abd a pair of TDs (Luck and Tannehill were sacked once and Luck threw a pair of interceptions). Frank Gore led Miami with 67 yards, while Colts RB Marlon Mack led all rushers with 85 yards. Miami went 4 of 11 on third down tries and kept the ball for 28:06, while the Colts ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 31:54 (including the final 2:38 of the contest), going 4 of 12 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

The Colts were favored by 9 1/2 in the week 12 contest in the Hoosier State but came away with only a three-point win but both clubs managed to cover the 50 1/2 over/under with 51 points. Indy’s favored by 10 and the over/under’s 44. The 44 makes sense. The 10? Sounds a bit on the high side. Miami’s a somewhat bad team but they’re not 10 points bad. They’ll make it closer than the 10 but the Colts prevail in the Hoosier State.

Carolina (5-3) at Green Bay (7-2), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. Carolina BBQ meets cheese, beer and Bratwurst as the Carolina Panthers travel to Lambeau to face off against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The two contending clubs come into Sunday contests with opposite results from last Sunday’s action.

Carolina scored 17 second quarter points unchallenged against Tennessee last Sunday in Charlotte and took the Titans to the woodshed 30-20 at Bank of America Stadium. After a scoreless first quarter in the Tar Heel State, the Panthers went on their scoring spree in the second quarter, using a 35-yard field goal by Josh Slye and a pair of TDs from Kyle Allen (one to RB Christian McCaffrey, the other to WR Curtis Samuel) to take that 17-point lead at the break. After Tennessee’s Derrick Henry ended Carolina’s shutout bid in the third quarter, McCaffery went back to work on the ground, scoring a pair of TDs to all but seal Tennessee’s fate.

Carolina outrushed Tennessee 156-121 with McCaffery leading the way with 146 yards to go with the two TDs, while Henry led the Titans with 63 yards and a TD. Allen threw for 232 yards with the two TD tosses, while Ryan Tannehill threw for 331 yards with a TD pass to Henry and had a rushing TD of his own late in the contest. While Carolina went 5 of 14 on third down, they were successful on fourth down (2 of 2) and kept the ball for 33:17, while the Titans, keeping the pigskin for 26:43, went 3 of 10 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

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

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

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

Green Bay leads the series 8-6 and the Packers have outscored Carolina 394-331. The Panthers have won the last two meetings, both in the Tar Heel State, with the last win coming in 2017 by a final of 31-24, while Green Bay’s last win came at Lambeau in 2014, a 38-17 win in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst. Green Bay’s favored by 5 at Lambeau and the over/under’s 48. Carolina would love to knock Green Bay off in their building. The Packers aren’t seeing that way and after the loss on the West Coast, they’re not going to be in a good mood. Carolina will make it closer than the 5 but Green Bay prevails at Lambeau.

Los Angeles Rams (5-3) at Pittsburgh (4-4), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. A pair of contenders meet in the Steel City as Pittsburgh hosts the Los Angeles Rams at Heinz Field. While the Rams are coming off their bye week, the Steelers survived a scare from Indianapolis last Sunday afternoon.

The defending NFC champs return to action after they took Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals 24-10 at Wembley Stadium in London. Cincinnati kept things close on the other side of the Atlantic, trailing 17-10 at the half, then watched the wheels come off the bus as Rams RB Todd Gurley scored on a 3-yard run early in the third quarter to seal their fate. Cincinnati outrushed the defending NFC champions 104-98, with Bengals RB Joe Mixon leading everyone with 66 yards on the ground, while Dalton threw for 329 yards and a TD to Mixon but was sacked five times (Goff threw for 372 yards with a pair of TDs, one to WR Cooper Kupp and had no sacks or interceptions). Cincinnati was 6 of 18 on third down (they were 4 for 6 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 32:43, while the Rams were 27:17 in time of possession, going 7 for 13 on third down.

Pittsburgh survived a last-minute scare from Indianapolis last Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field, taking a 26-24 win from the Colts. Pittsburgh trailed 16-13 at the half, then pulled away from the Colts in the second half, taking the lead for keeps with 6:36 left in regulation on a 26-yard field goal by Chris Boswell, then outscored Indianapolis 13-9 in the final 30 minutes of play and dodged a bullet when Colts K Adam Vinatieri’s 43-yard field goal try sailed wide to the left. Indianapolis outrushed Pittsburgh 139-90 with Mason Rudolph throwing for 191 yards and a TD, while Blake Hoyer (who replaced Jacoby Brissett after he left the contest with a knee sprain) threw for 168 yards and three TDS (Hoyer threw an interception that Pittsburgh’s Michael Fitzpatrick ran back 96 yards for a TD; Rudolph also had an interception, while he was sacked once and Hoyer was sacked four times). Pittsburgh went 5 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 29:28, while the Colts, holding on to the pigskin for 30:32, went 4 for 12 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Including games played in Cleveland, Anaheim and St. Louis and contests when the Steelers were known as the Pirates prior to 1940, the Rams lead the series 15-8-2 and have outscored the Steelers 487-448. Pittsburgh won the last meeting, coming away 12-6 winners in St. Lous in 2015, while the Rams’ last win came in the Steel City in 2003 by a final of 33-21. The Rams are 3 1/2-point favorites in the Steel City and the over/under’s 45. Both numbers sound like they make a ton of sense. In the end, while this one’s not “DRILL WORTHY,” it’s worth your time. Rams may not cover the 3 1/2 but they take the win on the road in the Steel City.

Minnesota (6-3) at Dallas (5-3), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of contenders meet in the Lone Star State in a Sunday night prime time contest at Jerry World (AT&T Stadium). Minnesota, chasing Green Bay in the NFC North, makes their way to Arlington for a meeting with Dallas, leaders in the NFC East.

Minnesota watched Kansas City escape Arrowhead last Sunday 26-23 winners thanks to a 44-yard field by Harrison Butker as time expired. Tied at 10-10 at the intermission, Minnesota led 16-10 with 11:51 left in the third quarter when Chiefs RB Darrell Williams went 91 yards untouched to take the lead back. Butker then added a 45-yard field goal late in the third before Minnesota took the lead again in the fourth, with TE Kyle Rudolph scoring on a 3-yard TD toss from Kirk Cousins with 10:59 left in the contest. Butker would put his right foot to good use later in the period, tying the contest with 2:30 left to play on a 54-yarder. Kansas City would get the ball back after a Minnesota punt with 1:47 left and Matt Moore (taking over for Patrick Mahomes – knee) engineered a 5-play, 19-yard drive that used all of the 1:47 as Butker sent Chiefs fans home happy campers with the game-winning boot.

Dallas let the “cat” out of the bag Monday night against the New York Giants in the Meadowlands, as they completed the sweep of their NFC East rivals at Met Life Stadium. For the Giants, it was a cat-astrophe Monday night as Big Blue fell to Dallas 37-18 Monday night in the Meadowlands. New York kept things close and trailed 13-12 at the intermission before the Cowboys would outscore Big Blue 24-6 in the final 30 minutes of play. The Giants were outrushed 172-100 with Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott leading the way with 139 yards in the prime time affair. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott threw for 257 yards and three TDs, while Giants signal caller Daniel Jones threw for 210 yards with a TD (Jones was sacked five times, threw an interception and gave up a fumble late in the contest that led to Dallas’ final TD of the contest; Prescott threw an interception but was not sacked). Big Blue went 5 of 11 on third down (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:56, while the Cowboys only needed to keep the pigskin for 28:04 and went 4 for 11 on third down tries.

Kansas City outrushed Minnesota 147-96 with Williams leading the way with 125 yards, while Delvin Cook led the Vikings with 71 yards. Cousins threw for 220 yards with three TDs, while Moore threw for 275 yards and a TD toss to Tyreek Hill (Cousins was sacked once, Moore was sacked five times; neither threw an interception). The Chiefs went 4 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 31:48 (including the final 1:47 of the contest), while the Vikings held on to the pigskin for 28:12 and went 5 of 15 on third down (both clubs were 1 of 1 on fourth down).

While Dallas leads the series by a slim 12-11 margin, the Vikings have outscored Dallas 549-532. The Cowboys came away winners in the last two meetings, inclduing a 17-15 win in the Twin Cities in 2016, while the Vikings’ last win came in the Land of 10,000 Lakes by a final of 24-21 in 2010. We’re going to go ahead and declare this one “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

The boys and girls in Vegas like the Cowboys and they’re favored by 3 and the over/under’s 47 1/2. There’s a chance that these two could meet in the post-season. Dallas controls its destiny in the NFC East and can advance their cause with a win. Minnesota makes this one close but Dallas prevails in the Lone Star State and could very well cover the 3.

Seattle (7-3) at San Francisco (8-0), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week 10 began in northern California and ends in the same spot as a pair of NFC West rivals meet in Wine Country. Seattle makes the 839-mile trip down I-5 in hopes of knocking San Francisco out of the ranks of the unbeatens at Levis’ Stadium. Both teams took close wins in last week’s contests.

Seattle erased a 21-13 deficit against Tampa Bay at Century Link Field last Sunday afternoon, then rallied in the final 30 minutes of regulation and overtime to take a 40-34 win in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Leading 34-27 with 46 seconds left in regulation, Tampa Bay tied the contest up with a 1-yard run by rookie RB Dare Ogunbowale. Seattle won the toss in overtime, making sure that the Buccaneers would never see the ball, as they used 10 plays, 75 yards of real estate and 3:38 of clock to send their fan base home happy when WR James Hollister and Russell Wilson connected on a 10-yard TD toss with 6:22 left in the extra period.

Seattle outrushed Tampa Bay 145-99, with Seahawks RB Chris Carson leading the way with 105 yards on the ground. Wilson threw for 378 yards and five TDs (including the game-winner), while Jameis Winston threw for 335 yards and a pair of TDs (one to RB Mike Evans; Wilson was sacked three times, Winston was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). Seattle was 2 for 8 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 28:13 (including the overtime), while Tampa Bay ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 35:25, going 6 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

San Francisco found themselves being taken to the edge by Arizona two weeks ago in Glendale at State Farm Stadium but managed to prevail 28-25. The 49ers led 21-7 at the half in the desert, then watched Arizona put on a rally in the second half to make things a bit too close for their NFC West rivals, making the contest a 3-point contest with 4:53 left in regulation when WR Andy Isabella and Murray connected on a 88-yard TD toss. San Francsico would get the ball back after the ensuing kickoff and the Cardinals would never see it again. Arizona outrushed San Francisco 153-101 with Cardinals RB Kyle Drake leading the way with 110 yards and a TD (San Francisco was led by Matt Breida 78 yards). Murray threw for 241 yards with a pair of TDs, while San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo burned Arizona for 317 yards and four TDs, connecting with Tevin Coleman, Emanuel Sanders, George Kittle and Dante Pettis (Murray was sacked three times and Garoppolo was sacked once, neither threw an interception). The Desert Angry Birds were 2 of 8 on third down tries and kept the ball for 25:29, while the 49ers were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 34:31, while going 11 of 17 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Seahawks lead the series 24-16 (which includes contests played at the Kingdome and Candlestick Park) and Seattle has outscored San Francisco 960-711. The two NFC West foes split last year’s contests, each taking wins in their home parks.

Round one… week 13 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks. Seattle took a 20-3 lead with them to the break at Centurky Link Field and the Seahawks would come out on top 43-16. Seattle got three first-half TD tosses from Wilson, while holding the 49ers to a Robbie Gould field goal in the first 30 minutes of play and would outscore the 49ers 23-13 in the second half to seal the win. Seattle outrushed San Francsico 168-66 and Wilson threw for 185 yards and four TDs (connecting with WR Jaron Brown on two) and Nick Mullen threw for 414 yards and a pair of TDs to Dante Pettis in the contest (both were sacked three times and Mullen threw an interception). Seattle went 4 of 9 on third down tries and kept the ball for 27:30, while the 49ers were 7 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and would be stingy with the ball, keeping it for 32:30.

The 49ers didn’t need to wait long for revenge and they would get that revenge at Santa Clara two weeks later in week 15, needing overtime to come away 26-23 winners at Levis’ Stadium. The 49ers led 17-13 at the half and took a 20-13 lead with them into the final 15 minutes of play in wine country before Seattle’s Chris Carson scored on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter. Gould would give the 49ers the lead back with a 45 yard field goal before the Seahawks’ Sebastian re-tied the contest with a 48-yard field goal, sending the contest into overtime. Seattle would get the ball to start the overtime and would never cross their own 20-yard line, punting the ball to San Francisco. The 49ers would then march their way down the field, using a 7-play, 44-yards drive, aided by a Seattle penalty and buring 4:19 of clock and sent their fans home happy as Gould connected on a 36-yard field to win the contest.

As was the case in the first meeting, Seattle outrushed San Francisco, this time by a 168-94 margin and Carson led all rushers with a 119-yard day. Wilson threw for 237 yards and a pair of TDs to Doug Baldwin, while Mullens threw for 275 yards and a TD (both were sacked three times and neither threw an interception). Seattle was 9 of 19 on third down (the Seahawks were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:14, while the 49ers were 3 for 10 on third down, keeping the ball for 29:40.

In the week 13 contest in the Paciifc Northwest, Seattle covered the 9 1/2-point spread, winning by 27 and both teams took care of the 46 over/under with 59 points. In the week 15 contest in wine country, Seattle was favored by 6 1/2. While San Francisco prevailed in overtime at home, they only won by 3, missing the spread and while both clubs played overtime, they did manage to cover the 44 1/2 over/under with 49 points.

Both teams have done quite well on Monday night and the 49ers have played and won a contest with Cleveland at home in week five, while Seattle is 24-10 in prime time, going 1-1 in their two meetings last year. San Francisco’s favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 46 1/2. This one could very well be part one as to who wins the NFC West. You might want to tape “All Rise” and “Bull” this week. Seattle may make it closer than 6 1/2 but the 49ers continue their winning ways in Santa Clara, remaining unbeaten in the process.

They’re still standing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 8

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Belichick meets the Cleveland Browns, where he served as head coach from 1991-95. Ironically, his best season in Cleveland was 1994, when he guided the 11-5 Browns to a Wild Card win over Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill Parcells and the Patriots. During his Cleveland tenure, Belichick’s Browns coaching staff and front office contained some of the NFL’s most talented minds.

A closer look at notable Cleveland Browns executives and assistant coaches during the Bill Belichick era:

INDIVIDUAL, WITH 1991-95 BROWNS (CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENTS)
Bill Belichick, Head coach (Won six Super Bowls with Patriots)
Thomas Dimitroff, Grounds crew assistant (Atlanta Falcons general manager, drafted MVP Matt Ryan, advanced to SB LI)
Kirk Ferentz, Offensive line coach (College Coach of Year and two Big Ten titles as head coach at Iowa)
Pat Hill, Tight ends coach (as Fresno State head coach, 17 wins over teams from power conferences)
George Kokinis, Scout (Cleveland Browns general manager)
Michael Lombardi, Director of player personnel; Senior executive, Raiders; Browns general manager
Eric Mangini, Public relations intern (New York Jets, Browns head coach; won three Super Bowls as New England assistant)
Ozzie Newsome, Director of pro personnel (Pro Football Hall of Fame, Baltimore Ravens general manager)
Scott Pioli, Pro personnel assistant (New England personnel executive; Chiefs general manager)
Nick Saban, Defensive coordinator (Won six national titles as college head coach – Louisiana State, Alabama)
Phil Savage, Scout (Cleveland Browns general manager)
Jim Schwartz, Scout (Detroit Lions head coach, won Super Bowl LII as Eagles defensive coordinator)
Mike Tannenbaum, Player personnel assistant (New York Jets, Dolphins general manager)

BOOKEND NFL POINT-DIFFERENTIALS: New England owns a plus-175 point-differential (223 points scored, 48 points allowed), the second-highest mark in NFL history through seven games. Only one other club through seven games, the 1920 Buffalo All-Americans – in the first season of league competition, 1920 – had a higher point-differential, plus-218. The only other clubs with a point-differential of at least 163 through seven games were the 1941 Chicago Bears (plus-173) and the 1921 Buffalo All-Americans (plus-163).

DOMINATING IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT FOR NEW ENGLAND DEFENSE: With road shutouts in Week 2 and Week 7, the Patriots have two road shutout wins of at least 30 points in 2019. New England is the second team in NFL history to blank an opponent on the road by at least 30 points on multiple occasions in a single season. Only the 1942 Chicago Bears (two) can claim that distinction over a full year.

The Patriots also lead the NFL with 18 interceptions this season. Through seven games, only three clubs in NFL history have had more.

The most interceptions through seven games in NFL history:

INTERCEPTIONS (TEAM, YEAR – SEASON RESULT)
20 (Green Bay, 1996 – Won Super Bowl XXXI)
19 (San Francisco, 1986 – Advanced to NFC Divisional)
19 (Pittsburgh, 1973 – Advanced to AFC Divisional)
18 (New England, 2019 – ???)
18 (Dallas, 1985 – Advanced to NFC Divisional)
18 (Los Angeles Rams, 1985 – Advanced to NFC Championship)
18 (Pittsburgh, 1983 – Advanced to AFC Divisional)
18 (Oakland, 1974 – Advanced to AFC Championship)
18 Pittsburgh, 1972 – Advanced to AFC Championship)

WELCOME BACK AT WEMBLEY, OTHER REUNIONS ON THE SCHEDULE: In addition to Belichick playing his former team, London’s Wembley Stadium hosts its first 2019 NFL game. In a reunion, Cincinnati head coach Zac Taylor meets his former club, the Los Angeles Rams. Taylor served as the Rams’ assistant wide receivers coach in 2017 and quarterbacks coach in 2018, when the team advanced to Super Bowl LIII. In Week 9, Houston meets Jacksonville at Wembley Stadium and in Week 11 Kansas City meets the Los Angeles Chargers in Mexico City to close the NFL’s 2019 International Series.

Buffalo’s Sean McDermott hosts his former team, Philadelphia Sunday at Orchard Park. McDermott worked for the Eagles from 1999-2010. Meanwhile in Atlanta, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn hosts his former club Seattle. Quinn served as Seattle’s defensive coordinator from 2013-14.

Baltimore and Dallas have byes this week. Carolina, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay return to gridiron action in week eight. Week eight got underway in the Twin Cities as Minnesota and Washington squared off and conculudes in the Steel City as Pittsburgh hosts the winless Miami Dolphins at Heinz Field. As for last week? Much better, going 8-6 for the week and 48-47 for the season. There’s still football left on the docket. Having said that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week 8.
Seattle (5-2) at ATLANTA (1-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. Salmon meets peach pie as Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks make their way to the Peach State for an early afternoon contest with the Atlanta Falcons. Both teams come into Saturday’s contest with home losses under their belts.

Wilson and the Seahawks could never get on track against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday afternoon in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks as the Seahawks dropped a 30-16 decision at CenturyLink Field. Seatlle and the Ravens went to the intermission tied at 13-13 after the Ravens’ Jeff Tucker gave them a 3-0 lead after one quarter, then were outscored by the Ravens 17-3 in the final 30 minutes of action in the Pacific Northwest. Jackson burned Seattle for 116 yards and had a rushing TD of his own as the Ravens outrushed Seattle 199-106 and Jackson threw for 143 yards, while Wilson threw for 241 yards with a TD to Tyler Lockett and an interception (both were sacked once). Seattle was 10 of 17 on third down conversions in the Pacific Northwest and actually ruled the clock, as they would keep the ball for 30:06 to Baltimore’s 29:54 (the Ravens were 5 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down).

Atlanta, who will have Matt Schwab under center, while Matt Ryan is out with an ankle injury, watched Los Angeles snap a 3-3 tie in the first quarter as the Rams would score 24 unanswered points (10 in the second quarter, 14 in the third) to take a 37-10 loss in the Big Peach last Sunday, dropping their sixth contest in a row in their loss to the defending NFC champions. The Falcons trailed 13-3 at the half and could never get themselves on track in the contest, as they were held to 38 yards rushing (the Rams tallied 90) and Ryan (159 yards) was sacked five times with an interception, while Jarred Goff threw for 268 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Todd Gurley, the other to TE Gerald Everett). Atlanta was a somewhat dismal 3 of 12 on third down conversions in the Big Peach and kept the ball for 22:51, while the Rams ruled the clock, holding the pigskin for 37:09, while going 8 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Seahawks lead the series 10-6 and have outscored Atlanta 438-391. Their last meeting took place in 2017 in the Pacific Northwest and the Falcons came away 34-31 winners in a Monday night contest (Seattle’s last win over the Falcons came in 2016 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Startbuck by a final of 26-24. Seattle’s favored by 3 1/2 in the Big Peach and the over/under is 53 1/2. Falcons end their losing streak as they go into their bye week and covers the 3 1/2.

Philadelphia (3-4) at Buffalo (6-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. Cheesesteak meets wings in upstate New York as the Buffalo Bills circle their wagons and host the Philadelphia Eagles at New Era Field.

The Eagles make their way to the shores of Lake Erie with a 37-10 loss at Dallas under their belts Sunday night. Philadelphia trailed 27-7 at the half at AT&T Stadium and could never get themselves on track in the prime time contest in the Lone Star State. Philadelphia found themselves being outrushed by Dallas 189-115 and Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott led all rushers with 111 yards and a TD, while Dak Prescott threw for 239 yards and had a rushing TD of his own. Carson Wentz led Philadelphia with 191 yards in the air (both Wentz and Prescott threw a TD, was sacked three times and threw an interception). The Eagles, who turned the ball over four times, went 3 of 9 on third down tries (they were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:38, while the Cowboys, who took over first place in the NFC East, was stingy with the clock, keeping the ball hostage for 32:22 and went 8 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Buffalo held off AFC East rival Miami 31-21 Sunday afternoon in upstate New York. The Bills erased a 14-9 deficit at the break and after a scoreless third quarter, floored the gas, outscoring Miami 22-7 in the final period and put a nail in Miami’s coffin with 98 seconds left when S Micah Hyde returned a Miami onside kick 45 yards for a TD after the Dolphins pulled themselves to within three when Ryan Fitzpatrick scored from 11 yards away. Buffalo outrushed Miami 117-109 and Josh Allen threw for 202 yards and a pair of TDs without an interception (Allen was sacked twice), while Fitzpatrick threw for 282 yards with a TD pass in addition to his rushing TD with an interception. Buffalo went 3 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:29, while the Dolphins actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:31, going 7 of 13 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

While the Eagles hold a 7-6 lead in the series, both clubs have scored 245 points in the series. Philadelphia’s last win in the series came in the City of Brotherly Love, coming away 23-20 winners in 2015, while Buffalo’s last win came along the shores of Lake Erie in 2011 by a final of 31-24. Buffalo’s favored by 1 1/2 and the over/under is 43 1/2. The Eagles would love nothing more than to break their losing string in upstate New York. As for the Bills? They’re having nothing of it. Buffalo circles the wagons in upstate New York by winning in Orchard Park and covers the 1 1/2.

Los Angeles Chargers (2-5) at Chicago (3-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers make their way to the Windy City for an early afternoon (early morning on the West Coast) showdown with the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Both teams look to right their ships after losses in last Sunday’s action.

The Bolts come into Soldier Field 23-20 losers at Tenneseee last Sunday. Los Angeles and Tennessee played to a 10-10 first half tie, then the Titans would pull away in the final 30 minutes of play at Nissan Stadium, trailing by as much as 10 with 5:09 left in the contest when Rivers and RB Austin Eiker connected on a 41 yard TD toss to pull themselves to within 3. That would be as close as they would get as Tennessee would take control of things and take the 3-point win in the Music City. Tennessee outrushed the Bolts 97-39 and Titans RB Derek Henry would lead all rushers with 90 of those yards and a TD. Ryan Tannehill, who took over for the benched Marcus Mariota, threw for 312 yards and an interception, while Rivers threw for 329 yards with a sack (Tannehill threw an interception, both he and Rivers threw a pair of TDs). Both teams were 6 of 11 on third down (the Titans were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and the Titans ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:15 to the Chargers’ 27:45.

Da Bears let a 10-9 lead against Teddy Bridgewater and the New Orleans Saints get away from them late Sunday afternoon as the Saints would leave the Windy City 36-25 winners at Soldier Field. The special teams for both clubs took the spot light in the first half as New Orleans blocked a Pat O’Donnell punt in the first quarter for a safety, then the Bears’ Cordarrelle Patterson returned a kickoff 102 yards for a TD. After an Eddie Pinero field goal gave Da Bears the lead, New Orleans would take the lead back and for keeps late in the first half and Chicago would trail 12-10 and the half. New Orleans would go on to score 24 second half points without a challenge before Chicago scored twice in the fourth quarter to make the contest closer. Chicago would find themselves held to a season-low 17 yards rushing, while the Saints ran roughshod at Soldier Field, tallying 151 yards of rushing for their own. Mitchell Trubisky threw for 251 yards but was sacked twice, whil Bridgewater threw for 281 yards (both men threw a pair of TDs without an interception, Bridgewater was sacked once). The Saints were 7 of 15 on third down tries and kept the ball for 37:26, while Chicago, keeping the ball for 22:34, went 2 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

While Da Bears lead the series 7-5 (including contests that were played in San Diego), the Chargers have outscored Chicago 232-204. Chicago has won the last two meetings, including a 22-19 win at Qualcomm in 2015, while the Chargers’ last win over Da Bears also came at Qualcomm, as the Bolts came away 14-3 winnners in 2007. Da Bears are favored by 4 in the Windy City and the over/under’s 41. Da Bears forget what happened to them last week at Soldier Field and takes the win in the Windy City, covering the 4.

New York Giants (2-5) at Detroit (2-3-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of struggling NFC teams meet in the Motor City as the New York Giants square off against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Both teams lost home games in last Sunday’s action.

Arizona and Murray held off a late New York Giants rally in the Meadowlands last Sunday afternoon, leaving upstate New Jersey 27-21 winners at Met Life Stadium. Big Blue trailed 17-14 at the half, then watched Arizona hold serve as they outscored Big Blue 10-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. Arizona outrushed the Giants 156-107 with Cardinals RB Chase Edmons leading all rushers with 126 yards and three TDs (Sequan Barkley led the Giants with 72 yards and a TD). Murray threw for 104 yards for the Cardinals, while Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones threw for 223 yards with a TD but threw an interception and was sacked eight times. Arizona was 7 of 15 on third down tries in upstate New Jersey (they went 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:59, while the Giants were 30:01 in time of possession, going 4 of 12 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

Minnesota erased a 21-21 tie against NFC North rival Detroit at Ford Field and the Vikings came away 42-30 winners Sunday afternoon. Lions fans watched with horror as Minnesota outscored them 21-9 in the final 30 minutes of action. Stafford threw for 364 yards but was sacked four times with an interception for the Lions, while Kirk Cousins threw for 337 yards with no interceptions or sacks (both men threw four TDs) in the contest in the Motor City. Minnesota outrushed Detroit 166-81, with Vikings RB Dalvin Cook leading all rushers with 142 yards and a pair of TDs. Minnesota ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:10 and went 6 of 10 on third down tries, while the Lions were 6 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 27:50.

Including games that were played in Portsmouth when the Lions were known as the Spartans, games played at Tiger Stadium, Yankee Stadium and Giants Stadium, Detroit leads the series 22-21-1 and have outscored the Lions 757-652. Detroit won the last meeting with Big Blue in the Meadowlands, taking a 24-10 win in 2017, while the Giants’ last win came in 2016 (also in the Meadowlands) by a final of 17-6. Detroit’s favored by 7 and the over/under is 48. Take a pass on this one (unless you’re a fan of one or both of these teams).

Denver (2-5) at Indianapolis (4-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. Horsepower takes center stage at Lucas Oil Sunday afternoon as the Colts host the Denver Broncos. While the Colts are coming into the contest with a close win over AFC South rival Houston, the Broncos limp into the contest with an AFC West loss to Kansas City last Thursday night.

Denver scored the first six points of the contest against AFC West rival Kansas City last Thursday night at Empower Field at Mile High, then watch Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs score all 30 of their points in the game unchallenged, coming on the short end of a 30-6 primetime loss. Denver trailed 20-6 at the half, then watched the Chiefs score 10 more times in the final 30 minutes of play. Royce Freeman opened the scoring in the contest for Denver, giving them their only score with 9:06 left in the first quarter when he scored from a yard away. Denver then went for two and failed, which opened the door for the Chiefs, who took over from that point. Kansas City outrushed Denver 80-71 with Chiefs RB LeSean McCoy leading the way with 64 yards, while Patrick Mahomes threw for 117 yards and a TD toss to Tyreek Hill before leaving the contest with a dislocated knee cap. Denver’s Joe Flacco threw for 213 yards in the lopsided contest and was sacked eight times. Denver went 1 of 13 on third down (the Broncos were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:47, while the Chiefs, breaking their two-game losing streak, ruled the clock and kept the ball for 32:13, going 5 of 16 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

The Colts hung a 30-23 loss on Houston last Sunday in the Hoosier State. Indianapolis led 14-9 at the half at Lucas Oil Stadium, before the Texans would pull themselves to withing five with 6:38 left in the contest when DeAndre Hopkins scored on a 4-yard TD toss from Deshaun Watson. The Texans then saw their hopes dashed with 2:41 left to play when Zach Pascal got a safety when he picked up a sack in the end zone to seal the deal. Houston outrushed the Colts 100-62 and Watson threw for 308 yards and the TD to Hopkins but was sacked three times and picked off twice, while Colts QB Jacoby Brissett threw for 326 yard and four TDs (two to Pascal and one to T.Y. Hilton) with one sack and no interceptions. Houston was 4 of 12 on third down (they were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:08, while the Colts ruled time and kept the ball for 32:52, going 8 of 16 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

The Broncos lead the series 14-10 (including games that were played in Baltimore when the Colts were in that city), Denver has outscored Indianapolis 551-496 and the Broncos have come away winners in the last two contests, including taking a 25-13 win in 2017 at Lucas Oil Stadium, while the Colts’ last win also came in the Hoosier State by a 27-24 final in 2015. The odds makers like the Colts as 5 1/2 point favorites in the Hoosier State and the over/under’s 43 1/2. In the battle for the corral, Indy prevails and wins at home, even though Denver could make it closer than 5 1/2.

New York Jets (1-5) at Jacksonville (3-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A struggling New York Jets team makes their way down I-95 to face off against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Sunshine State. The two clubs enter Sunday’s contest with opposite results from last week’s play.

Six turnovers (two fumbles, four interceptions) doomed New York last Monday night in the Meadowlands as Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champs manhandled the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 33-0 at Met Life Stadium. Brady and the Patriots scored all of their points in the contest unchallenged and GangGreen could never get themselves on track, trailing 24-0 at the break. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! came close to scoring twice but Sam Darnold (86 yards, sack) threw two of his four interceptions. GangGreen did outrush New England 81-74 and Brady threw for 249 yards and a TD (Brady threw an interception) in the lopsided loss. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were a dismal 2 of 13 on third down tries in upstate New Jersey (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 21:33, while the Patriots ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 38:27, went 7 of 16 on third down tries, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Jacksonville erased a 10-9 deficit against Cincinnati at the end of the third quarter to drop their seventh contest in a row, falling to the Jaguars 27-17 at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati led 7-6 at the intermission after Dalton (276 yards, three interceptions) and Joe Mixon connected on a 2-yard TD toss with 85 seconds left. Jacksonville then proceeded to rule the fourth quarter, outscoring the Bengals 18-7 and scoring those 18 points unchallenged. The Jaguars would take the lead for good in the final quarter when WE Keelan Cole and rookie QB Gardner Minshew connected on a 2-yard TD toss. Jacksonville then went for two and found sucess when Minshew (255 yards) and Chris Conley connected on the conversion. Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue would live a lineman’s dream as he picked off Dalton and returned the ball 23 yards for a score and after Jaguars K Josh Lambo connected on a 26-yard field goal to close out the scoring, Dalton would score on a 1-yard run with 23 seconds left in the contest. Jacksonville outrushed the Bengals 216-33 and Leonard Fournette returned to his old form, leading all rushers with 131 yards in the contest (Dalton led Cincinnati with 33 yards, both Minshew and Dalton were sacked twice). Cincinnati was 5 of 12 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 21:43, while Jacksonville ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 38:17, going 4 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Jacksonville holds a 7-6 lead in the series and have outscored GangGreen 263-220. They met last year in the Sunshine State and the Jaguars were 31-12 victors (New York’s last win in the series came in 2017 in the Meadowlands as the Jets needed overtime to take a 23-20 win).

They met in week four at TIAA Bank Field in the Sunshine State and Jacksonville led 16-0 at the intermission, then took an 18-0 lead with 12:22 left in the third quarter before the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! got on the board with the first of four Jeff Myers field goals, ending Jacksonville’s shutout bid. Jacksonville held New York to 34 yards of rushing, tallying 126 yards on the ground of their own, while Blake Bortles threw for 388 yards and a pair of TDs (Darnold threw for 167 yards and a TD; Bortles was sacked twice, Darnold was sacked three times).

Jacksonville was 6 of 15 on third down conversions but hit pay-dirt on fourth down (1 of 1) and ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 37:35 to the Jets’ 22:25 (New York was 3 of 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down). In the week four contest in the Sunshine State, the Jaguars were favored by 7 1/2 and covered, winning by 19. The two teams covered the 38 over/under, tallying 43 points in the AFC contest. Jacksonville’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 41. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! are looking to exorcise themselves from last week, while the Jaguars are looking to even their record at the .500 mark. Jaguars prevail in the Sunshine State and covers the 6.

Cincinnati (0-7) at Los Angeles Rams (4-2), 1 p.m. Eastern (6 p.m. in London) on CBS and DirecTV 707. Tea and Crumpets! The struggling Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams make their way across the Big Pond in the third game of the London series at Wembley Stadium. Cincinnati looks to end their seven-game losing streak, while the defending NFC champs look to keep pace in the NFC West with San Francisco.

The Bengals watched Jacksonville erase a 10-9 lead at the end of the third quarter to drop their seventh contest in a row, falling to the Jaguars 27-17 at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati led 7-6 at the intermission after Dalton (276 yards, three interceptions) and Joe Mixon connected on a 2-yard TD toss with 85 seconds left. Jacksonville then proceeded to rule the fourth quarter, outscoring the Bengals 18-7 and scoring those 18 points unchallenged. The Jaguars would take the lead for good in the final quarter when WE Keelan Cole and rookie QB Gardner Minshew connected on a 2-yard TD toss. Jacksonville then went for two and found sucess when Minshew (255 yards) and Chris Conley connected on the conversion. Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue would live a lineman’s dream as he picked off Dalton and returned the ball 23 yards for a score and after Jaguars K Josh Lambo connected on a 26-yard field goal to close out the scoring, Dalton would score on a 1-yard run with 23 seconds left in the contest. Jacksonville outrushed the Bengals 216-33 and Leonard Fournette returned to his old form, leading all rushers with 131 yards in the contest (Dalton led Cincinnati with 33 yards, both Minshew and Dalton were sacked twice). Cincinnati was 5 of 12 on third down conversions and kept the ball for 21:43, while Jacksonville ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 38:17, going 4 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Atlanta watched Los Angeles snap a 3-3 tie in the first quarter as the Rams would score 24 unanswered points (10 in the second quarter, 14 in the third) to take a 37-10 win in the Big Peach last Sunday, dropping the Falcons to their sixth contest in a row in their loss to the defending NFC champions, who ended their three-game losing streak in the process. Leading 13-3 at the half, the Rams held Atlanta in check in the second half, holding the Falcons to 38 yards rushing, while the Rams tallied 90. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan (159 yards) was sacked five times with an interception, while Jarred Goff threw for 268 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Todd Gurley, the other to TE Gerald Everett). Atlanta was a somewhat dismal 3 of 12 on third down conversions in the Big Peach and kept the ball for 22:51, while the Rams ruled the clock, holding the pigskin for 37:09, while going 8 of 16 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including those contests that were played in St. Louis when the Rams were there the Bengals lead the series 8-5, Cincinnati has outscored the Rams 245-235 and have won the last three meetings, including taking a 31-7 win in Cincinnati in 2015, while the Rams’ last win came in St. Louis by a final of 27-10 in 2003. The Rams are favpred by 13 on the other side of the Atlantic and the over/under’s 48. The 48 makes a lot of sense, it’s the 13 that has us wondering. The Bengals may be a bad football team now but they’re not 13 points bad. Cincinnati will make it closer than the 13 but the Rams prevail in London and take the win.

Arizona (3-2-1) at New Orleans (6-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. Kyler Murray vs. Teddy Bridgewater. They meet in the Big Easy as New Orleans plays host to the Arizona Cardinals Sunday afternoon. Both teams were road winners in last Sunday’s action.

Arizona and Murray held off a late New York Giants rally in the Meadowlands last Sunday afternoon, leaving upstate New Jersey 27-21 winners at Met Life Stadium. The Desert Angry Birds took a 17-14 lead at the half, then held serve as they outscored Big Blue 10-7 in the final 30 minutes of play. Arizona outrushed the Giants 156-107 with Cardinals RB Chase Edmons leading all rushers with 126 yards and three TDs (Sequan Barkley led the Giants with 72 yards and a TD). Murray threw for 104 yards for the Cardinals, while Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones threw for 223 yards with a TD but threw an interception and was sacked eight times. Arizona was 7 of 15 on third down tries in upstate New Jersey (they went 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:59, while the Giants were 30:01 in time of possession, going 4 of 12 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

New Orleans and Bridgewater erased a 10-9 deficit against Chicago late Sunday afternoon as the Saints would leave the Windy City 36-25 winners at Soldier Field. The special teams for both clubs took the spot light in the first half as New Orleans blocked a Pat O’Donnell punt in the first quarter for a safety, then the Bears’ Cordarrelle Patterson returned a kickoff 102 yards for a TD. After an Eddie Pinero field goal gave Da Bears the lead, New Orleans would take the lead back and for keeps late in the first half and Chicago would trail 12-10 and the half. New Orleans would go on to score 24 second half points without a challenge before Chicago scored twice in the fourth quarter to make the contest closer. Chicago would find themselves held to a season-low 17 yards rushing, while the Saints ran roughshod at Soldier Field, tallying 151 yards of rushing for their own. Mitchell Trubisky threw for 251 yards but was sacked twice, whil Bridgewater threw for 281 yards (both men threw a pair of TDs without an interception, Bridgewater was sacked once). The Saints were 7 of 15 on third down tries and kept the ball for 37:26, while Chicago, keeping the ball for 22:34, went 2 of 12 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Including contests played in St. Louis when the Cardinals played their home games at Busch Stadium and games played at Tulane Stadium, the Desert Angry Birds lead the series 15-14 and have outscored the Saints 671-643. New Orleans won the last meeting between the two teams, coming away 48-41 winners in the desert in 2016, while the Desert Angry Birds took a 31-19 win in the desert in 2015. The Saints are favored by 10 1/2 in the Big Easy and the over/under’s 49. Both teams have played some decent football of late and there’s a chance the Saints could get Drew Brees back after their bye week (the Saints host Atlanta in the week 10 contest). New Orleans wins this one but expect the Desert Angry Birds to make things closer than 10 1/2.

Tampa Bay (2-4) at Tennessee (3-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of struggling teams meet in the Music City as Tampa Bay takes on Tennessee at Nissan Stadium. The Bucs return to play from their bye week, while Tennessee held off the Chargers at home.

Tampa Bay returns from their bye week after Carolina completed their sweep of NFC South rival Tampa Bay, coming away on the short end of a 37-26 loss at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Carolina scored the first 10 points of the game in the first quarter unchallenged and led Jameis Winston and the Bucaneers 17-7 at the break. The Panthers would hold off Tampa Bay in the second half, outscoring the Buccaneers 20-19 in the final 30 minutes of action. Neither club breached the 100 yard-barrier on the other side of the Atlantic but Carolina did outrush Tampa Bay 59-42 and Kyle Allen (taking over for Cam Newton) threw for 227 yards and a pair of TDs (Allen was sacked twice), while Winston threw for 400 yards with a TD pass and a 2-point conversion but was sacked seven times and picked off five times. Tampa Bay was 3 of 15 on third down (the Panther were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:10 to Tampa Bay’s 28:50; the Buccaneers were 5 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

Tennessee held off a late Los Angeles rally last Sunday and came away 23-20 winners in the Music City. Los Angeles and Tennessee played to a 10-10 first half tie, then the Titans would pull away in the final 30 minutes of play at Nissan Stadium, trailing by as much as 10 with 5:09 left in the contest when Rivers and RB Austin Eiker connected on a 41 yard TD toss to pull themselves to within 3. That would be as close as they would get as Tennessee would take control of things and take the 3-point win in the Music City. Tennessee outrushed the Bolts 97-39 and Titans RB Derek Henry would lead all rushers with 90 of those yards and a TD. Ryan Tannehill, who took over for the benched Marcus Mariota, threw for 312 yards and an interception, while Rivers threw for 329 yards with a sack (Tannehill threw an interception, both he and Rivers threw a pair of TDs). Both teams were 6 of 11 on third down (the Titans were 1 of 2 on fourth down) and the Titans ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 32:15 to the Chargers’ 27:45.

Including games played in Houston when the Texans were known as the Oilers, Tennessee leads the series 9-2, have outscored the Buccaneers 273-178 and won the last two contests in the series, including a 42-24 victory in the Sunshine State in 2015, while Tampa Bay’s last win against the Titans came in 2007 at Raymond James Stadium by a final of 13-10. The over/under for this one? 45 1/2 and the Titans are favored by 2 1/2. If you took a pass on this one, we wouldn’t blame you. Titans cover the 2 1/2 in the Music City and takes the win.

Carolina (4-2) at San Francisco (6-0), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. San Francisco, sitting atop the NFC West mountain, host the Carolina Panthers, in the chase in the NFC South as they chase New Orleans. Both teams had wins in their last contest, San Francisco winning on the road last Sunday, while the Panthers were winners on the other side of the Atlantic two weekends ago.

Carolina comes back from their bye after they completed their sweep of NFC South rival Tampa Bay, coming away 37-26 winners at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Carolina scored the first 10 points of the game in the first quarter unchallenged and led Jameis Winston and the Bucaneers 17-7 at the break. The Panthers would hold off Tampa Bay in the second half, outscoring the Buccaneers 20-19 in the final 30 minutes of action. Neither club breached the 100 yard-barrier on the other side of the Atlantic but Carolina did outrush Tampa Bay 59-42 and Kyle Allen (taking over for Cam Newton) threw for 227 yards and a pair of TDs (Allen was sacked twice), while Winston threw for 400 yards with a TD pass and a 2-point conversion but was sacked seven times and picked off five times. Tampa Bay was 3 of 15 on third down (the Panther were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:10 to Tampa Bay’s 28:50; the Buccaneers were 5 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.
The 49ers come back home unbeaten, using three Robbie Gould field goals at rainy FedEx Field to take a 9-0 win over the Washington Redskins last Sunday afternoon. After a scoreless first half, the 49ers kept themselves in the ranks of the unbeatens, using three Robbie Gould field goals in the second half to seal the win. San Francisco outrushed Washington 137-104, with Redskins RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 81 yards. Case Keenum threw for 77 yards with no TDs or interceptions (he was sacked three times), while Jimmy Garoppolo (sacked twice) threw for 151 yards with an interception. The Redskins were 3 of 9 on third down conversions in Landover (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:36, while the 49ers held the ball hostage for 33:24, going 7 of 16 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

The Panthers lead the series 13-7, have outscored the 49ers 517-426 and have come away winners in their last six meetings, including a 23-3 win on the West Coast in 2017, while San Francisco’s last win came in 2001 in Charlotte (when both teams were in the Western Division) by a final of 25-22 in overtime.

The 49ers are off to their best start since 1990, when they finished 14-2 and won the West and have won three straight games, holding their opponents to 7 points or less. San Francisco’s favored by 5 1/2 and the over/under’s 42. Both numbers make sense. Carolina’s hoping to keep pace in the NFC South, while the 49ers look to stay unbeaten. San Francisco prevails on the West Coast and covers the 5 1/2.

Oakland (3-3) at Houston (4-3), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of AFC teams that lost on the road last week meet in the Lone Star State as the Texans host Oakland at NRG Stadium.

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers took care of business at Lambeau last Sunday afternoon, taking care of Derek Carr and the Raiders 42-24 in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst. Oakland trailed 21-10 at the half and then watched as Green Bay held serve, outscoring the Raiders 21-14 in the final 30 minutes of action. While Oakland outrushed Green Bay 155-60 and Raiders rookie RB Josh Jacobs led all rushers with 124 yards, the Raiders were in Mr. Rodgers’ neighborhood, as he burned Oakland for 429 yards, five TD passes and had a rushing TD of his own without an interception (he was sacked once). AS for Carr, he threw for 293 yards and a pair of TDs to TE Darren Waller (Carr threw an interception). Green Bay was 6 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 30:24, while the Raiders were 7 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the pigskin for 29:36.

Houston returns home with a 30-23 loss to Indianapolis in tow last Sunday in the Hoosier State. Houston trailed 14-9 at the half at Lucas Oil Stadium and trailed by five with 6:38 left in the contest when DeAndre Hopkins scored on a 4-yard TD toss from Deshaun Watson. The Texans then saw their hopes dashed with 2:41 left to play when Zach Pascal got a safety when he picked up a sack in the end zone to seal the deal. Houston outrushed the Colts 100-62 and Watson threw for 308 yards and the TD to Hopkins but was sacked three times and picked off twice, while Colts QB Jacoby Brissett threw for 326 yard and four TDs (two to Pascal and one to T.Y. Hilton) with one sack and no interceptions. Houston was 4 of 12 on third down (they were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:08, while the Colts ruled time and kept the ball for 32:52, going 8 of 16 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Houston leads the series 6-4 and the Texans have outscored the Silver and Black 246-199. Their last meeting took place south of the border in Mexico City in 2016 and the Raiders would wind up winning that contest 27-20 on the Monday before Thanksgiving, while Houston’s last win in the series came on the West Coast in 2014 by a final of 30-14. Houston’s favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 51 1/2. Both teams look to keep pace in their respective divisions but in the end, the Texans come out on top. Houston may not cover the 6 1/2 but they take the win in the Lone Star State.

Cleveland (2-3) at New England (7-0), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 716. Baker Mayfield vs. Tom Brady. One has Super Bowl rings, the other wants one. The unbeaten Patriots return to Foxboro for a late-afternoon meeting with the Cleveland Browns.

Cleveland and Mayfield come back to play in week eight after their 32-28 loss to Seattle at FirstEnergy Stadium two Sundays ago. The Seahawks trailed 20-18 at the half along the shores of Lake Erie, then went to work in the second half, outscoring Cleveland 14-8 in the final 30 minutes of action, with RB Chris Carson scoring the game-winner with 3:30 left in the contest on a one-yard run. The Seahawks would go on to hold off a late Browns rally in the final minutes of the contest when K.J. Wright picked off Mayfield, giving them the ball and allowing them to run out the clock. Carson led all rushers with 124 yards and the game-winning TD, while Nick Chubb led Cleveland with 122 yards and a pair of touchdowns (WR Odell Beckham, Jr. led all recievers with 101 yards on six catches), while Wilson threw for 295 yards with a pair of TD passes and Mayfield throwing for 249 yards with a TD and three interceptions (Wilson was sacked three times and both Wilson and Mayfield had a rushing TD). Seattle went 6 of 13 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 33:41, while the Browns, who held on to the ball for 26:19, went 3 of 8 on third down, 2 of 3 on fourth down.

Brady and the Patriots took advantange of six New York Jets turnovers (two fumbles, four interceptions), dooming their AFC East rivals as the defending Super Bowl champs manhandled the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! 33-0 at Met Life Stadium. Brady and the Patriots scored all of their points in the contest unchallenged and GangGreen could never get themselves on track, as New England led 24-0 at the break. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! came close to scoring twice but Sam Darnold (86 yards, sack) threw two of his four interceptions. While GangGreen did outrush New England 81-74, Brady threw for 249 yards and a TD (Brady threw an interception) in the lopsided loss. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were a dismal 2 of 13 on third down tries in upstate New Jersey (they were 0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 21:33, while the Patriots ruled the clock and kept the pigskin for 38:27, went 7 of 16 on third down tries, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Browns lead the series 12-11 and have outscored New England 428-412. New England’s last win came in Cleveland in 2016, with the Patriots coming away with the 33-13 win, while Cleveland’s last win came along the shores of Lake Erie in 2010 by a final of 34-14. New England’s favored by 13 and the over/under’s 45 1/2. The Browns have been somewhat entertaining of late and they’re not 13 points bad. Still, the defending Super Bowl champs prevail at home in Foxboro and could very well cover the 13.

Green Bay (6-1) at Kansas City (5-2), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of classic rivals meet at Arrowhead as Green Bay travels to the Show Me State for a Sunday night meeting with the Kansas City Chiefs. Both clubs took wins in last week’s action, as the Chiefs opened week seven play on the road, while the Packers were big winners at home at Lambeau.

Rodgers and the Packers took care of business at Lambeau last Sunday afternoon, taking care of Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders 42-24 in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst. Green Bay led 21-10 at the half and then held serve, outscoring the Raiders 21-14 in the final 30 minutes of action. While Oakland outrushed Green Bay 155-60 and Raiders rookie RB Josh Jacobs led all rushers with 124 yards, the Raiders were in Mr. Rodgers’ neighborhood, as he burned Oakland for 429 yards, five TD passes and had a rushing TD of his own without an interception (he was sacked once). AS for Carr, he threw for 293 yards and a pair of TDs to TE Darren Waller (Carr threw an interception). Green Bay was 6 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 30:24, while the Raiders were 7 of 11 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and kept the pigskin for 29:36.

Denver scored the first six points of the contest against AFC West rival Kansas City last Thursday night at Empower Field at Mile High, then watch Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs score all 30 of their points in the game unchallenged, coming on the short end of a 30-6 primetime loss. Denver trailed 20-6 at the half, then watched the Chiefs score 10 more times in the final 30 minutes of play. Royce Freeman opened the scoring in the contest for Denver, giving them their only score with 9:06 left in the first quarter when he scored from a yard away. Denver then went for two and failed, which opened the door for the Chiefs, who took over from that point. Kansas City outrushed Denver 80-71 with Chiefs RB LeSean McCoy leading the way with 64 yards, while Patrick Mahomes threw for 117 yards and a TD toss to Tyreek Hill before leaving the contest with a dislocated knee cap. Denver’s Joe Flacco threw for 213 yards in the lopsided contest and was sacked eight times. Denver went 1 of 13 on third down (the Broncos were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:47, while the Chiefs, breaking their two-game losing streak, ruled the clock and kept the ball for 32:13, going 5 of 16 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.
The Chiefs lead the series 7-3-1 (including contests that took place at Milwaukee and at Swope Field in Kansas City) and have outscored the Packers 230-204. Green Bay won the last meeting, which took place in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst, as the Packers were 38-28 winners at Lambeau in 2015, while the Chiefs’ last win came at Arrowhead in 2011 by a final of 19-14.

Given that these two teams played in the very first Super Bowl and that they could very well meet in Miami, it’s only fitting that this one becomes “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 59 last June and dates a 43-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the vice principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

Green Bay’s favored by 4 at Arrowhead and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Both numbers make a ton of sense. Both teams are in first place in their respective divisions and both clubs could very well meet in Miami for the Lombardi Trophy. Everything may be up to date in Kansas City but the Packers take the win at Arrowhead and covers the 4.

Miami (0-6) at Pittsburgh (2-4), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. A pair of struggling AFC teams close out play in week eight as the Dolphins travel to the Steel City for a prime time showdown with the Steelers at Heinz Field.

Buffalo snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as they held off AFC East rival Miami 31-21 Sunday afternoon in upstate New York. Miami led 14-9 at the break and after a scoreless third quarter, watched as Buffalo floored the gas, outscoring Miami 22-7 in the final period and put a nail in Miami’s coffin with 98 seconds left when S Micah Hyde returned a Miami onside kick 45 yards for a TD after the Dolphins pulled themselves to within three when Ryan Fitzpatrick scored from 11 yards away. Buffalo outrushed Miami 117-109 and Josh Allen threw for 202 yards and a pair of TDs without an interception (Allen was sacked twice), while Fitzpatrick threw for 282 yards with a TD pass in addition to his rushing TD with an interception. Buffalo went 3 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:29, while the Dolphins actually ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 33:31, going 7 of 13 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

The Steelers return from their bye week, getting revenge on the Los Angeles Chargers as they held off a late rally in the fourth quarter at Dignity Health Sports Park and took care of the Bolts 24-17 on the West Coast. The Steelers scored all 24 of their points unchalleged, leading 17-0 at the intermission before the Chargers would score their points in the fourth quarter, using a pair of TD passes from Rivers to TE Hunter Henry to pull themselves to within 7 with 79 seconds left in the contest. Pittsburgh outrushed Los Angeles 124-32 and Rivers threw for 320 yards with the two Henry TDs (Rivers was sacked once and picked off twice), while rookie QB Devlin Hodges (taking over for Mason Rudolph – concussion) threw for 132 yards and a TD to James Conner. Both clubs did quite well on third down conversions in the Sunday night contest; Pittsburgh was 8 of 13, Los Angeles was 7 of 12 and the Steelers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:05 to the Chargers’ 25:55.

While Pittsburgh leads the series 12-11 (including games played at the old Orange Bowl and Three Rivers Stadium), the Dolphins have outscored Pittsburgh 477-436. Miami won the last two meetings in the series, taking a 30-15 win in the Sunshine State in 2016 in their last contest, while Pittsburgh’s last win came in Miami in 2010 by a final of 23-22. Both clubs have done reasonably well on Monday night; Miami is 19-9, while the Steelers are 28-21. Since both clubs are somewhat struggling, you might want to take a pass on this one and watch “Bull” this week. The Steelers are favored by 14 1/2 in the Steel City and the over/under is 43 1/2. If anything, if you’re a fan of either team, by all means watch; otherwise, you’d be better off watching something else. While Miami’s bad, they’re not 14 1/2 bad. Pittsburgh wins this one but expect Miami to make things closer than 14 1/2.