Archives for posts with tag: Cam Newton

Tampa Bay (0-1) at Carolina (0-1), 8:20 p.m. on NFL Network. A pair of former Heisman winners meet in the Tar Heel State as Tampa Bay and Carolina, both coming off home losses in week one, open play in week two in Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium. Thursday’s contest marks the first of seven games exclusively televised on NFL Network this season and will be produced by FOX. The game will feature Joe Buck, Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews and Kristina Pink on the call.

Jameis Winston and Tampa Bay led San Francisco 7-6 at the intermission at Raymond James Stadium, only to see the 49ers outscore them 25-10 in the final 30 minutes of play to fall 31-17 in their home opener. Tampa Bay did out-rush San Francisco 121-98 but turned the ball over four times in the loss. Winston threw for 121 yards and a TD but was picked off three times and sacked once, while San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 166 yards with a TD and an interception. Tampa Bay was 5 of 11 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 29:56, while the 49ers ruled the clock and kept the ball for 30:04, while going 5 for 13 on third down conversions.

In dropping a 30-27 decision to the Los Angeles Rams, Cam Newton and the Panthers trailed 13-3 at the intermission after a scoreless first quarter, then pulled themselves to within a field goal with 1:58 left in the contest when Alex Armah scored on a one-yard run. The defending NFC champions out-rushed Carolina 166-127, with Christian McCafferey leading the way with 128 yards and a pair of TDs, while the Rams were led by Todd Gurley with 97 yards. Newton threw for 239 yards with three sacks and an interception, while Jarred Goff threw for 186 yards with a TD, sack and interception. Carolina was 5 for 11 on third down tries at Bank of America Stadium and kept the ball for 26:44, while the Rams went 9 of 17 on third down (neither club had a fourth down attempt) and kept the ball for 33:16.

Carolina leads the Panthers series 23-14 and have outscored Tampa Bay 823-646. The two clubs split last season’s meetings, each taking wins at home. Their first meeting took place in Charlotte in week nine and the Panthers took a 35-14 lead with them to the break, then came away 42-28 winners in the Tar Heel State. Newton threw for 247 yards and a pair of TDs, while the home team out-rushed Tampa Bay 179-82 (Ryan Fitzpatrick, who took over for Winston, threw for 243 yards and four TDs but was sacked three times and picked off twice). Carolina went 4 of 10 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31 minutes, while Tampa Bay held the ball for 29 minutes, going 5 of 12, 1 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

Winston would be under center in the rematch in the Sunshine State in week 13 and Tampa Bay would get revenge on their NFC South rivals, taking a 24-17 win at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay led 17-7 at the intermission, then held off the Panthers to take the win. Carolina again out-rushed Tampa Bay, this time tallying 168 yards to Tampa Bay’s 95 and McCafferey led all rushers with 106 yards, while Winston threw for 249 yards in the win and Newton threw for 300 yards with four interceptions (each man threw a pair of TDs and each was sacked twice). Carolina was 3 for 8 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 30:06, while the Buccaneers needed only 29:54 to take the win, going 6 of 13 on third down.

In the week nine contest, Carolina covered the 6 1/2-point spread, winning by 14 and both teams covered the 54 over/under with 70 points. Carolina was again favored in the week 13 rematch by 3 1/2 and Tampa Bay’s 7-point win in the Sunshine State allowed them to cover the spread but the 41 combined points fell short of the 55 1/2 over/under. Vegas likes Carolina in this and the boys and girls in the desert designated them as 6 1/2-point favorites at home and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Both numbers are reasonable and make sense.

Both clubs are looking to pull themselves even in this contest but in the end, there will be only one winner. Tampa Bay will give Carolina a battle but Newton and the Panthers prevail at home in the Tar Heel State, taking the win and covering the 6 1/2.

Broadcast Information: 8:15 p.m. on NFL Network: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (field reporter), Kristina Pink (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Tony Boselli; SIRIUS: 81 (Tampa Bay), 83 (Carolina); XM: 225 (Tampa Bay), 226 (Carolina)

Referee: Jerome Boger

Injury Report

Tampa Bay
OUT: QB Blaine Gabbert (left shoulder)

Carolina
OUT: DE Bruce Irvin (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: S Rashaan Gaulden (Groin), TE Greg Olsen (Back)

Weather: Partly Cloudy and 87 degrees

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

New Orleans (4-5) at Carolina (3-6), 8:25 p.m. on NBC, NFL Network and Twitter. They’re both coming off losses at home last Sunday and both are trying to catch Atlanta in the NFC South. Carolina and Cam Newton host Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in an NFC South rematch, with the setting this time in the Tar Heel State.

The Thursday night week 11 opener at Bank of America Stadium features a pair of teams that want to be in the playoff hunt with a chance to gain a half game on Atlanta, who has a bye this week. The game features NBC’s debut in the “Tri-Cast” distribution model of broadcast, cable (NFL Network) and digital (Twitter).

Last week, New Orleans rallied to tie the defending Super Bowl champs at 23 all with 1:22 left when Brees and wR Brandin Cook connected on a 32 yard pass play. The Saints attempting the extra point, which would have made it a 1-point game at that point before Justin Simmons blocked the try and the ball was scooped up by Wil Sparks, who ran the ball back for a defensive two point conversion to give Denver the 25-23 win. Denver outrushed New Orleans 103-80, while Brees threw for 303 yards and three TDs but was picked off twice. Trevor Simeian of Denver threw for 258 yards and a pair of TDs in the win in the Big Easy but was sacked six times and picked off twice.

Carolina also lost at home and lost in the final minutes of play, coming up on the short end of a 20-17 loss to Kansas City at Bank of America Stadium last Sunday. The defending NFC champions led 17-3 at the half before the Chiefs roared back in the fourth quarter to come away 20-17 winners. Carolina was threatening in the final 30 seconds of play when Newton and WR Kelvin Benjamin connected on a 14-yard pass. Benjamin had the ball stripped from his hands by CB Marcus Peters, who returned the ball to Carolina’s 24. From there, the Chiefs’ Chris Santos connnected on a 37-yard field goal as time ran out, sending Panther fans home in a somewhat foul mood. While Alex Smith threw for 178 yards with three sacks and an interception, Newton threw for 261 yards and a TD and had a rushing TD himself in the contest, which didn’t have a lot of firepower in the run game, as neither team breched the 100-yard barrier (Carolina did manage to outrush Kansas City 99-91).

They met in week six in the Big Easy and Carolina rallied from a 24-10 deficit at the half and tied things up when Newton scored on a 1-yard run with 2:58 left, only to see New Orleans take the lead back for the second time and for keeps when Saints K Will Lutz connected on a 52-yard try with 11 seconds left to play for the 3-point win buy a 41-38 final. Carolina won the rushing battle in the first meeting in the Big Easy, tallying 103 yards on the ground to New Orleans’ 63. Brees did win the passing battle, throwing for 465 yards and four TDs, while Newton threw for 322 yards and two TDs (each man threw an interception in the NFC South contest). Carolina’s Jonathan Stewart led all rushers with 85 yards (19 carries) and a pair of TDs for Carolina, while the Saints were led by Mark Ingram with 51 yards on 16 carries.

Carolina was favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under was 55 1/2. The Saints covered the spread with their 3-point win and both teams covered the over/under with 79 combined points. The oddsmakers in Vegas are going out on a limb and picking Carolina as the favorite again, this time by 3 1/2 with a 52 1/2 over/under. One team will be a 1/2 game behind Atlanta in the NFC South, the other will gain a 1/2 game. Carolina gains the 1/2 game and wins in the Tar Heel State but they won’t cover the 3 1/2.

The 2016 Thursday Night Football Presented by Bud Light season continues with the Carolina Panthers hosting the New Orleans Saints in a NFC South divisional matchup Thursday, November 17 at 8:25 p.m. from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte on NBC, NFL Network, Twitter and NFL Mobile from Verizon.

Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth along with reporter Heather Cox call the action. Saints-Panthers is the first of five Thursday Night Football games which will be broadcast on NBC, simulcast on NFL Network and streamed on Twitter.

At 6 p.m. on NFL Network, TNF GameDay Presented by KFC previews the Saints-Panthers matchup from outside Bank of America Stadium. Host Rich Eisen is joined by analysts Steve Mariucci, Marshall Faulk and Michael Irvin to provide news and analysis two hours before kickoff, along with reporters Heather Cox and Stacey Dales.

At 7:30 p.m., Football Night in Carolina Presented by Mercedes-Benz airs from inside Bank of America Stadium with Bob Costas, Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison. Coverage continues at 8 p.m. with Tostitos Football Night in Carolina providing the final say leading up to kick-off between Saints-Panthers.

Among the NFL Network pregame topics are:
•Feature on former NFL running back Warrick Dunn and the Saints bringing two families together that have been impacted by violence
•Why has Panthers quarterback Cam Newton struggled this season, and what should be expected from him vs. the Saints?
•How Saints quarterback Drew Brees and head coach Sean Payton have kept their offense elite despite changing skill players
•Which NFC team will make a playoff run?

At halftime, the Lexus Halftime show breaks down the first half of Saints-Panthers from Charlotte.

Immediately following the Volkswagon Postgame Show on NBC/NFL Network, the Mazda Postgame show airs live on NFL Network from Bank of America Stadium with Eisen, Mariucci, Faulk and Irvin providing highlights, analysis and live interviews.

Twitter will stream NBC’s broadcast of Saints-Panthers, providing free, live streaming video on the Twitter platform on mobile phones, tablets, PCs and connected TVs. Fans can visit Twitter Moments or TNF.Twitter.com to view the live stream.

The entire 18-game Thursday Night Football schedule, including the live games and pre- and postgame shows, will also be streamed live on the NFL Mobile from Verizon app (NFL.com/mobile), the NFL app on XBOX, including interactive features from Microsoft, and through Watch NFL Network on tablets, PCs and various connected TV devices (NFL.com/watch), with participating television providers. Learn all of the ways to watch at NFL.com/TNF. An audio broadcast of the game is available on SiriusXM, TuneIn & Westwood One Radio Sports.

Watch TNF GameDay on NFL Network for a chance to win a trip to Super Bowl LI. Every Thursday, the TNF Big Heads will compete in weekly challenges. Tweet who won this week’s challenge using #BigHeadBlitz #Promotion for a chance to win a trip to Super Bowl LI. Visit bigheadblitz.com for details.

Thursday Night Football is available in Spanish via SAP (Secondary Audio Program) with Roberto Abramowitz calling the action on NBC and NFL Network.

Injury Report

New Orleans
OUT: T Terron Armstead (Knee), RB Daniel Lasco (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Delvin Breaux (Fibula), RB Travaris Cadet (Toe)

Carolina
OUT: LB Aaron Klein (Concussion), T Michael Oher (Concussion), S Colin Jones (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: C Gino Gradkowski (Knee), C Ryan Kalil (Shoulder)

Referee: Pete Morelli

Broadcast Information: 8:25 p.m. on NBC, NFL Network and Twitter: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Heather Cox (Field reporter). Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Tony Boselli. SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (New Orleans), 81 (Carolina). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (New Orleans), 225 (Carolina).

Weather Outlook: Clear and 55 degrees.

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

And then there was one.

The Vikings, like the cheese in the children’s fairy tale, stands alone.

As the NFL enters Week 6, there are 10 teams with one loss or fewer, including the league’s only unbeaten club, the 5-0 Minnesota Vikings. Since 1990, when the current 12-team playoff format was adopted, 44 of the previous 49 teams (89.8 percent) to start 5-0 made the playoffs.

“We have good players and they do things right,” says Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer about his team’s 5-0 start. “I don’t think it’s a big secret. They go out and they perform.”

The Vikings are only the second team since 1933 to start 5-0 and have no interceptions, joining the 1969 Los Angeles Rams. Minnesota has started two quarterbacks this season – Shaun Hill (1-0) and Sam Bradford (4-0). Bradford, who was acquired via trade by the Vikings before the start of the regular season, is the first quarterback since 1973 (John Hadl) to win each of his first four career starts with a new team while throwing at least six touchdown passes with no interceptions.

Minnesota is one of three teams – Atlanta (four) and Dallas (four) – which has currently won at least four consecutive games.

The Falcons, who lead the NFC South, handed the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos their first loss of the season last week by posting a 23-16 win at Denver. Atlanta, which defeated the defending NFC champion Carolina Panthers 48-33 in Week 4, are the third team to defeat the previous season’s Super Bowl clubs in back-to-back games (1982 San Diego Chargers and 1985 Detroit Lions).

“That was a very good team win for us,” Falcons head coach Dan Quinn told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the victory in Denver. “We knew it was going to be an all-day fight and it certainly was. I think our toughness and resiliency was certainly on hand and our guys battled. And now we reset and go through our process to get ready to play ball again.”

Dallas, led by rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott, sits in first place in the NFC East. The Cowboys are the first team in NFL history to have a rookie quarterback with at least 1,000 passing yards (Prescott, 1,239 yards) and a rookie running back with at least 500 rushing yards (Elliott, NFL-best 546 yards) in the team’s first five games of a season.

“We just have to take it one game at a time, one week at a time, one day at a time,” Prescott told the Dallas Morning News. “We’ve done a great job of putting the past behind us – win or lose – and just focusing on what’s in front of us. Right now, that’s the next team.”

There are still plenty of games remaining in the season for teams to turn it around. Since 1990, 54 teams have advanced to the postseason after starting the season 2-3 or worse. There were four such teams last season – Houston (1-4), Kansas City (1-4), Seattle (2-3) and Washington (2-3) – including two teams which rebounded from 1-4 starts.

So don’t count anyone out. The only thing predictable about the NFL is the unpredictability.

UNDEFEATED ONE: Minnesota improved to 5-0 with a 31-13 victory over Houston in Week 5. Since 1990, when the 12-team playoff format was adopted, 44 of the 49 (89.8 percent) previous teams to start 5-0 made the playoffs.

Quarterback Sam Bradford completed 22 of 30 passes (73.3 percent) for 271 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 123.1 passer rating in the Vikings’ win. Minnesota is only the second team since 1933 to start 5-0 without throwing an interception, joining the 1969 Los Angeles Rams.

CLOSE GAMES: There have been 58 games within one score in the fourth quarter through Week 5, the most such games in the first five weeks of a season in NFL history.

Most games within one score in the fourth quarter through Week 5:

SEASON – GAMES WITHIN ONE SCORE IN THE 4TH QUARTER THROUGH WEEK 5
2016 – 58
2013 – 57
2004 – 56
2011 – 55
1999 – 53
2007 – 53
2015 – 53

STARTING ROOKIES: Denver rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch made his first career start in Week 5, joining Dallas’ Dak Prescott (five starts), Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz (four), Cleveland’s Cody Kessler (three) and New England’s Jacoby Brissett (two) as the fifth rookie quarterback to start a game this season.

The five rookie quarterbacks to start a game in 2016 is tied with the 2012 season for the most rookie quarterbacks to start a game in the first five weeks of a season in the past 25 years.

RARE ROOKIES: Dallas rookie quarterback Dak Prescott passed for 227 yards and rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 134 yards in the Cowboys’ 28-14 win over Cincinnati.

This season, Prescott has 1,239 passing yards and Elliott has 546 rushing yards. The Cowboys are the first team in NFL history to have a rookie quarterback with at least 1,000 passing yards and a rookie running back with at least 500 rushing yards in the first five games of a season.

Elliott’s 546 rushing yards this season are the fifth-most in NFL history over a player’s first five games.

The players with the most rushing yards through their first five career games:

PLAYER, YEAR – TEAM (RUSHING YARDS IN FIRST FIVE CAREER GAMES)
Eric Dickerson, 1983 – Los Angeles Rams (645)
Adrian Peterson, 2007 – Minnesota (607)
Todd Gurley, 2015 – St. Louis Rams (575)
Billy Sims, 1980 – Detroit (560)
Ezekiel Elliott, 2016 – Dallas (546)

PROLIFIC IN PITTSBURGH: Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger passed for 380 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 124.4 passer rating in the Steelers’ 31-13 win over the New York Jets.

Roethlisberger has now thrown a touchdown pass in 41 consecutive home games, the third-longest streak in NFL history.

The quarterbacks with the most consecutive home games with a touchdown pass:
PLAYER, YEARS (TEAM, CONSECUTIVE HOME GAMES WITH TD PASS)
Drew Brees, 2009-present (New Orleans, 56)*
Tom Brady, 2009-2014 (New England, 47)
Ben Roethlisberger, 2010-present (Pittsburgh, 41)*
Dan Marino, 1983-1988 (Miami, 39)

Aaron Rodgers, 2008-2012 (Green Bay, 35)

*Active streak

RISING RIDDICK: Detroit running back Theo Riddick had two touchdown catches, both in the first quarter, in the Lions’ 24-23 victory against Philadelphia in Week 5.

Riddick joins Jamaal Charles (2010 and 2013) as the only running backs in the past 25 years to record two touchdown catches in the first quarter of a game.

PRODUCTIVE PATS: New England quarterback Tom Brady completed 28 of 40 passes (70 percent) for 406 yards with three touchdowns for a 127.7 passer rating in the Patriots’ 33-13 win at Cleveland. Brady now has 38 career games with at least 350 passing yards, trailing only Drew Brees (51) for the second-most such games in NFL history.

The Patriots’ win marked head coach Bill Belichick’s 250th career victory (including the postseason). Belichick joins Pro Football Hall of Famers Don Shula (347), Georgie Halas (324) and Tom Landry (270) as the only coaches in NFL history to reach 250 career victories.

The coaches with the most career victories in NFL history:

COACH – TEAM(S) (TOTAL CAREER VICTORIES)
Don Shula – Baltimore Colts, Miami (347)
George Halas – Chicago (324)
Tom Landry – Dallas (270)
Bill Belichick – Cleveland, New England (250)*
*Active

CLIMBING BACK: Since the current 12-team playoff format was instituted in 1990, 17 teams have rebounded from being at least three games under .500 after the season’s first five weeks or later to qualify for the postseason. That includes seven 1-4 teams that won their division.

Last year, the Houston Texans bounced back from a 2-5 record after 7 games to win the AFC South, while the Kansas City Chiefs rebounded from a 1-5 start and advanced to the AFC Divisional Playoffs.

Since 1990, the teams that were three or more games below .500 after Week 5 or later and made the playoffs:

YEAR – TEAM (RECORD; FINAL RECORD, ADVANCED TO)
1990 – New Orleans (2-5; 8-8, NFC Wild Card)
1992 – San Diego (1-4; 11-5, AFC Divisional)
1993 – Houston Oilers (1-4; 12-4, AFC Divisional)
1994 – New England (3-6; 10-6, AFC Wild Card)
1995 – Detroit (2-5, 3-6; 10-6, NFC Wild Card)
1995 – San Diego (4-7; 9-7, AFC Wild Card)
1996 – Jacksonville (3-6, 4-7; 9-7, AFC Championship Game)
2002 – Tennessee (1-4; 11-5, AFC Championship Game)
2002 – New York Jets (1-4, 2-5; 9-7, AFC Divisional)
2004 – Green Bay (1-4; 10-6, NFC Wild Card
2008 – San Diego (4-7, 4-8, 5-8; 8-8, AFC Divisional)
2010 – Seattle (6-9; 7-9, NFC Divisional)
2011 – Denver (1-4, 2-5; 8-8, AFC Divisional)
2012 – Washington (3-6; 10-6, NFC Wild Card)
2014 – Carolina Panthers (3-6-1, 3-7-1, 4-8-1, 5-8-1; 7-8-1, NFC Divisional)
2015 – Houston Texans (1-4, 2-5; 9-7, AFC Wild Card)
2015 – Kansas City Chiefs (1-4, 1-5, 2-5; 11-5, AFC Divisional)

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: Baltimore wide receiver Steve Smith, Sr. has 27 catches this season, bringing his career total to 988.

With 12 catches on Sunday against the New York Giants, Smith would become the 14th player in NFL history to record 1,000 career receptions.

The players with 1,000 or more career receptions in NFL history:

PLAYER – CAREER RECEPTIONS
Jerry Rice – 1,549
Tony Gonzalez – 1,325
Marvin Harrison – 1,102
Cris Carter – 1,101
Tim Brown – 1,094
Terrell Owens – 1,078
Reggie Wayne – 1,070
Andre Johnson – 1,062
Larry Fitzgerald – 1,049
Jason Witten – 1,044
Anquan Boldin – 1,030
Isaac Bruce – 1,024
Hines Ward – 1,000
Steve Smith, Sr. – 988

AIR SHOW: Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger leads the NFL with 15 passing touchdowns this season, followed by Atlanta’s Matt Ryan (12), Oakland’s Derek Carr (11) and San Diego’s Philip Rivers (11).

If Ryan, Carr and Rivers reach 15 touchdown passes this week, it will be the second time in NFL history four different quarterbacks have thrown for at least 15 touchdowns in the first six weeks of a season.

SACKING THE COMPETITION: Buffalo’s Lorenzo Alexander tallied three sacks last week to bring his season total to seven. With another three-sack performance on Sunday against San Francisco, Alexander would be tied for the most sacks through the first six weeks of a season in the past 15 years.

The players with the most sacks through the first six weeks of a season since 2001:

PLAYER, TEAM; SACKS THROUGH WEEK 6, SEASON
Elvis Dumervil, Denver; 10 in 2009
Jared Allen, Minnesota; 9.5 in 2011
J.J. Watt, Houston Texans; 9.5 in 2012
Robert Mathis, Indianapolis; 9.5 in 2013
Lorenzo Alexander, Buffalo; 7 in 2016*
*Through Week 5

MAGNIFICENT MARCUS: Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota accounted for four touchdowns last week (three passing, one rushing). This marked the fourth time in his career Mariota had four touchdowns in a single game, making him the second quarterback to have four four-touchdown games in the first 17 games of his career (Charlie Coneryl, 1948-49).

With another four-touchdown performance on Sunday against Cleveland, Mariota would become the first quarterback to have five four-touchdown games in his first 18 games in NFL history.

ROLLING ROETHLISBERGER: Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger threw four touchdown passes last week to bring his league-leading total to 15. With another four-touchdown performance on Sunday against Miami, Roethlisberger would be tied for the fourth-most passing touchdowns through the first six games of a season in the Super Bowl era.

The players with the most passing touchdowns through the first six games of a season in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER – TEAM (TOUCHDOWNS – SEASON)
Peyton Manning – Denver (22 – 2013)
Tom Brady – New England (21 – 2007)
Brett Favre – Green Bay (20 – 1996)
Peyton Manning – Denver (19 – 2014)
Daunte Culpepper – Minnesota (19 – 2004)
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh (15 – 2016)*
*Through five games

Week 6 began on Thursday night with a divisional contest as the Chargers broke their four-game losing streak, beating Denver 21-13 in San Diego and the week concludes with a pair of primetime matches as the Houston Texans host the Indianapolis Colts in an AFC South showdown on Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. on NBC and the New York Jets visit the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night at 8:30 pm ESPN.

Teams with byes this week? Minnesota and Tampa Bay. As for week five, not the greatest weeks… but not the worst. We were still above the .500 mark last week at 8-5 (50-27 for the year) and that’s always a good sign. Here are the games and picks for week 6.

ATLANTA (4-1) at Seattle (3-1), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. Atlanta won on the road in Denver, while Seattle had a bye week and returns to action in the Pacific Northwest. The Seahawks leads the series 9-5 and have outscored Atlanta 381-333. Both team’s last wins in the series came in the other team’s stadium. Seattle’s last win over Atlanta came in 2013 in the Big Peach by a final of 33-10, while Atlanta’s last win came in the land of grunge, Salmon and Starbucks in 2011 by a 30-28 count.

Seattle’s favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under’s 46. Both teams right now are playoff contenders and there is the off chance they could meet in the post-season. But… let’s worry about the regular season. Although they won’t cover the 6 1/2, Atlanta leaves the land of grunge, Salmon and Starbucks with the win.

Jacksonville (1-3) at Chicago (1-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of divisional cellar-dwellers meet in the Windy City as Jacksonville travels to Chicago for a date with the Chicago Bears.

The Jaguars come off their bye week after their 30-27 win over Indianapolis in London two weeks ago, while Da Bears were 29-23 losers at Indianapolis.

Da Bears lead the series with Jacksonville 4-2, have outscored the Jaguars 153-99 and came away winners in their last two meetings, including a 41-3 win on the First Coast in 2012, while Jacksonville’s last win in the series also came in the Sunshine State by a final of 22-3 in 2004. Chicago’s favored by 2 in the Windy City and the over/under’s 47. It would seem that the Cubs are not the only game in town this weekend. Chicago wins at home and covers the 2.

Pittsburgh (4-1) at Miami (1-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. Two teams going in opposing directions meet in the Sunshine State as Miami hosts Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Steelers took a 31-13 win over the New York Jets last Sunday at Heinz Field, while the struggling Dolphins fell to Tennessee at Hard Rock Stadium by a final of 30-17.

Pittsburgh leads the series 12-10 but the Dolphins have outscored the Steelers 447-421. Miami won the last meeting between the two clubs, taking a 34-28 win in the Steel City in 2013, while Pittsburgh’s last win over the ‘Fins came in 2010 in the Sunshine State by a final of 23-22. The oddsmakers like the Steelers as a 7-point favorite and the over/under’s 48. Miami’s bad of late, while the Steelers have been taking care of business. Steelers may not cover the 7 but they do take the win in the Sunshine State.

Cincinnati (2-3) at New England (4-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. Brady is back and Pats fans couldn’t be happier! Tom Brady and New England hosts the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium in western Massachusetts.

The Pats took Cleveland to the woodshed last Sunday along the shores of Lake Erie, coming away 33-13 winners over the winless Browns, while the Bengals were manhandled in Dallas by the Cowboys 28-14.

While the Patriots lead the series 15-9, the Bengals have outscored Brady and the Pats 501-489. New England’s last win in the series came in Foxboro in 2014, when the Patriots took a 43-17 win, while the Bengals’ last win over New England came in 2013 in Cincy by a final of 13-6. New England’s favored by 8 and the over/under’s 47. The over/under makes sense. The 8 can leave a person wondering about that. The Bengals are not 8 points bad and while New England will win this one at home, Cincy will make it a lot closer than the 8.

Baltimore (3-2) at New York Giants (2-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. The Ravens make their first trip to the Meadowlands this week (they have another trip next week against the Jets) as they travel to the Jersey shore for a meeting with Eli Manning and the New York Giants.

Both teams took losses last Sunday and both are looking to bounce back. The Ravens fell to Washington 16-10 in Charm City, while the Giants dropped a 23-16 decision at Lambeau to the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers.

The Ravens and Giants have met only four times and Baltimore has a 3-1 lead in the series, outscoring Big Blue 104-81 in those meetings. New York’s lone win in the series came in the Meadowlands in 2008 as the G-Men were 30-10 victors, while Baltimore’s last win came in Charm City in 2012 by a 33-14 final. New York’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 44 and 1/2. We hope the Ravens packed extra clothes this week, because they’ll have to swing right back around and make another trip to the Jersey shores. Start spreading the news! Giants reach the .500 mark with the win at home and covers the 3.

Cleveland (0-5) at Tennessee (2-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. It’s a little bit country vs. a little bit rock and roll as the Titans host the Cleveland Browns in the Music City.

Including contests that took place when the Titans were in Houston and known as the Oilers and the Browns were in Cleveland before they moved to Baltimore, Cleveland leads the series 35-28, have outscored Tennessee 1,252-1,226 and were winners in their last two contests, including taking a 28-14 win along the shores of Lake Erie last year, while Tennessee’s last win in the series came in 2011, also in Cleveland by a final of 31-13.

They met in week two at FirstEnergy Stadium and Cleveland led 21-0 at the half before they would be outscored by the Titans in the second half. Johnny Manziel threw a pair of TD passes in the win, connecting twice with TE Travis Benjamin in the contest. Tennessee did manage to outrush the Browns 166-116 and Marriota did outpace Manziel 257-172 in the battle of former Heisman QBs (each had a pair of TDs). Cleveland was 4 of 11 on third down tries (0 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 24:49, while the Titans, who turned the ball over three times, was 7 of 16 and 2 of 2 on third and fourth down, keeping the ball for 35:11. Tennessee’s favored by 7 and the over/under’s 46 1/2. It’s country music (Grand Ole Opry) vs. rock and roll (the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) in Nashville this week. Cleveland’s bad but not 7 points bad and while they’ll clash with the Titans, Tenneseee comes away with the win.

San Francisco (1-4) at Buffalo (3-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. San Francisco makes their way to the East for an afternoon affair with the Bills in upstate New York.

The 49ers, who will have Colin Kaepernick under center this week, were taken to task by NFC West rival Arizona 33-21 last Thursday night, while the Bills circled their wagons last Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles and ended the Rams’ three-game win streak with a 30-19 win at the Coliseum.

San Francisco leads the series 6-5, have outscored Buffalo 253-189 and have won the last two meetings, including a 45-3 win in Candlestick in 2012, while Bufflao’s last win also came in Candlestick in 2004 by a final of 41-7. Buffalo’s a 7 1/2 point favorite in upstate New York and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Kaepernick will probably too much of a distraction, while the Bills are looking to win three in a row. Bills circle the wagons in upstate New York and take the win, even though San Francisco could make this a closer contest.

Los Angeles (3-2) at Detroit (2-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Los Angeles travels to the Motor City for an early morning (Pacific Time) contest against Detroit at Ford Field.

The Rams saw their 3-game win streak come to an end at home against Buffalo, falling to the Bills 33-21, while the Lions ended Philadelphia’s hopes of a perfect season with a 24-23 win over the Eagles at Ford Field.

Including games that took place in Portsmouth when the Lions played there and were called the Spartans, the Rams played in Cleveland before moving to Los Angeles, then St. Louis and games played in the Los Angeles Coliseum, Tiger Stadium and the Silverdome, the Rams lead the series 43-39-1. Los Angeles has also outscored Detroit 1,626-1,530 in those meetings. Los Angeles won the last meeting with the Lions, which took place last year in St. Louis (the Lions’ last win in the series came in 2012 in the Motor City by a final of 27-23). After the two clubs played a scoreless first quarter, the Rams led 7-0 at the intermisson. Rams RB Todd Gurley ran for a pair of TDs in the contest and St. Louis managed to overcome a pair of Matthew Stafford to Golden Tate TD passes in the win. Gurley accounted for 140 of St. Louis’ 203 yards on the ground, while the Lions tallied 111 yards. The Rams were 4 of 11 on third down conversions in the contest that took place in the Edward Jones Dome, keeping the ball for 26:10, while Detroit ruled the clock and kept the ball for 33:50, going 5 of 13 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down tries.

The Lions are 3 1/2 points favorites and the over/under’s 48 1/2. Both teams are pretty decent but not great. Los Angeles is trying to stay close to Seattle in the NFC West, while the Lions are trying to claw their way to the top of the NFC North. Lions cover the 3 1/2 in the Motor City and wins at home.

Carolina (1-4) at New Orleans (1-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. A pair of struggling NFC South foes meet in the Big Easy as Carolina and Cam Newton travel to New Orleans for a meeting with Drew Brees and the Saints.

Carolina, without Newton under center last Monday night against Tampa Bay (concussion) lost a heartbreaker to Tampa Bay 17-14 in the final seconds. New Orleans returns to action after their bye week, beating San Diego 35-34 on the West Coast the weekend before.

Carolina leads the series 23-19, have outscored the Saints 919-887 and won three of the last four contests with their NFC South rivals, including taking wins in the Tar Heel State and the Big Easy (New Orleans’ last win in the series came in 2014, a 28-10 win in Charlotte).

Meeting one… week 3 in Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium. Carolina held off a late New Orleans rally and took a 27-22 win over Lance McCown (who took over for Brees) and the Saints. Tied 10-10 at the half, Carolina took a 27-16 lead with them late in the contest before New Orleans rallied to make things a little closer than Panther fans wanted when Kevin Robinson scored on a 2 yard TD run with 4:50. The Saints’ try for two failed and they then tried an onside kick, which also failed and with that, New Orleans’ chances of winning faded away. Carolina outrushed New Orleans 119-70 and Newton threw for 315 yards and a pair of TD passes to TE Greg Olsen, while McCown threw for 310 yard. Carolina, forcing a pair of Saints turnovers, went 5 of 11 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth down, while the Saints were 7 of 12 and 1 of 1 in the same catagories. Despite the loss, time was on the sise of the Saints, who kept the ball for 32:44 to Carolina’s 27:16.

Meeting two… week 13 in the Big Easy at the Superdome. In the second meeting, Carolina trailed 16-13 at the intermission before bouncing back in the last 30 minutes of action to come away 41-38 winners. Carolina tallied the winning score, using an 11-play, 75-yard drive that used 4:16 of clock when Newton and WR Jerricho Cotchery connected on a 15-yard TD pass with 65 seconds left to play. Saints RB Mark Ingram had given New Orleans the lead before when he scored on a 9-yard TD run with 5:21 before Carolina took matters into their own hands (or paws) and took the lead back and took it for keeps. Carolina outrushed New Orleans 175-70 and Newton outpaced Brees in passing yardage 331-282 and each combined for eight TDs passes (Newton with 5, Brees with 3). While Carolina was 3 of 8 on third down conversions, they did find success on fourth down, going 2 of 2 and held the ball for 36:34, while the Saints were 3 of 10 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 23:26.

Carolina’s favored by 2 1/2 in the Big Easy and the over/under’s 53 1/2. Given that there are two pretty good QBs in the contest, the 53 1/2 could be reached by halftime. Both teams are trying to catch Atlanta in the NFC South (Atlanta beat both teams in consecutive weeks). Carolina’s finer in the Big Easy and they come away with the win, covering the 2 1/2.

Philadelphia (3-1) at Washington (3-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of NFC East rivals, both in the hunt and chasing Dallas in the process, meet in Landover Sunday afternoon at FedEx Field as the Eagles make the drive down I-95 to face the defending NFC East champs.

While Philadelphia fell from the ranks of the unbeaten, losing 24-23 to Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions, Washington rallied in Baltimore and came away 16-10 winners in Charm City.

Washington leads the series 83-73-5, while the Eagles have outscored the ‘Skins 3,360-3,200. However… Washington has won three of the last four meetings in the series, including sweeping the two contests in 2015 (Philly’s last win over Washington came in 2014 when they came away 37-34 winners in the City of Brotherly Love).

The first contest in Landover took place in week four and Washington squeeked by Philadelphia 23-20. Washington trailed 20-16 with 26 seconds left when Cousins and WR Pierre Garcon hooked up on a 4-yard TD pass at Fed Ex Field. Washington led 13-0 at the intermission before the Eagles roared back to take the lead late in the contest. While holding the Eagles to 87 yards on the ground, Washington managed to tally 127 of their own and Cousins threw for 290 yards, while Sam Bradford accounted for 270 with three TDs. Washington was 9 of 17 on third down tries in Landover and kept the ball for 41:08, while the Eagles held the ball for 18:52, going 4 of 12 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

That was game one.

Game two… Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field in week 16, the Saturday after Christmas. The Eagles had just fired Chip Kelly and their playoff hopes at best were on the line. The Redskins clinched the NFC East title, putting Eagles fans out of their misery and Washington would come away with the 38-24 win. Washington led 16-10 at the half and then proceeded to pull away from the Eagles in the road win. Neither club came close to rushing for 100 yards in the second meeting and that was the bad news. The good news? Washington outrushed Philadelphia 67-45 and Cousins burned the Eagles for 365 yards and four TDs, while Bradford was sacked five times, throwing for 380. Washington went 5 of 14 on third down tries and kept the ball for 34:15, while the Eagles were 7 of 19 on third down (2 of 3 on fourth) and held the ball for a mere 25:45.

The Eagles are favored by 2 and the over/under’s 45. These two are trying to catch Dallas in the NFC East. Washington fans will have a chance to sing “Hail to the Redskins” this week instead of “Hell! It’s the Redskins.” Washington pulls off the upset and covers the 2 at home in Landover.

Kansas City (2-2) at Oakland (4-1), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. Cats and Dogs. Capulets vs. Montagues. Hatfields vs. McCoys. These two teams DON’T like each other. They meet again and there’s a lot a on the line here. Kansas City travels to Oakland for a meeting with their most hated AFC West rival.

Did we mention they DON’T like each other? Just seeing if you were paying attention.

Kansas City returns to play after their bye week, losing to Pittsburgh two weeks ago in the Steel City by a final of 43-14. Meanwhile, Oakland held off two San Diego attempts for a comeback and came away 34-31 winners over AFC West rivals San Diego last Sunday in northern California.

Kansas City has a 58-51-2 lead in the series, which includes contests that were played when the Chiefs were in Dallas and known as the Texans and the Silver and Black played in Los Angeles. Kansas City has also outsored Oakland 2,318-2,148 and the Chiefs have come away winners in three of their last four meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Oakland’s last win over the Chiefs came in 2014, when they won on the West Coast by a final of 24-20).

Meeting number one… week 13 in Oakland. The Chiefs scored 20 fourth quarter points unchallenged and came away 34-20 winnners at O.co Coliseum. Trailing 14-7 at the intermission, Kansas City rallied as WR Jeremy Maclin and Smith (162 yards) connected on a pair of fourth quarter TDs and S Todd Branch picked off Carr (four sacks, three interceptions 283 yards) to seal the Raiders’ fate. The Chiefs on third down were 3 of 8 and kept the ball for 25:32, while the Raiders clung to the ball for 34:28, going 6 of 14 and 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

Meeting two… week 17 in Kansas City at Arrowhead. While the second conest was closer than the first meeting on the West Coast, the outcome stayed the same, as Kansas City would march into the post-season with a 23-17 win to close out the regular season. The Chiefs led 14-10 at the break and held off the Raiders in the second half and outscored Oakland 9-7 in the final 30 minutes of action. Maclin and Smith connected on a 25-yard TD pass to open the scoring in the game and the Chiefs’ special teams would get into the act as D.J. Alexander blocked an Oakland punt for a safety. This time, the Chiefs breached the 100-yard barrier, tallying 189 on the ground (in the first meeting, Kansas City had 89, while Oakland had 99) to Oakland’s 48 and Kansas City sacked Carr six times in the contest. Third down tries in the second contest were not a thing to write home about at Arrowhead, with Kansas City going 6 of 13 and Oakland going 3 of 14 (on fourth down, the Chiefs were 1 of 2, while the Raiders were 1 of 1) and the clock was on the side of the Chiefs at 34:55 to Oakland’s 25:05. Kansas City’s favored by 2 and the over/under’s 47. Given that both clubs DON’T like each other, there’s a lot at stake. Oakland makes this one interesting but the Chiefs cover the 2 and win on the road.

Dallas (4-1) at Green Bay (3-1), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. It’s not Ice Bowl but they do meet again in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwust. Green Bay hosts the Tony Romo-less Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau in a late afternoon affair.

Both teams won at home last week. Dallas took Cinncinnati and Andy Dalton to the woodshed, coming away 28-14 winners in Arlington, while the Packers held off Eli Manning and the New York Giants at Lambeau, taking a 23-13 win Sunday night.

Green Bay leads the series with Dallas 14-12 (which includes contests that took place at County Stadium in Milwaukee, the Cotton Bowl in Dallas and Cowboys Stadium in Irving), have outscored Dallas 604-545 and won last year’s meeting at Lambeau by a final of 28-7 (Dallas’ last win in the series? 2008, when they took a 27-16 win in Green Bay.

In the week 14 meeting at Lambeau, the Rodgers-led Panthers led 14-0 at the half after a scoreless first quarter and pulled away after Dallas’ Robbie Turbin scored on a 7-yard TD run for their first points in the third quarter. Green Bay would respond with a pair of fourth quarter TDs to seal the deal for the Packers. Green Bay’s Eddie Lacy (124) and Dallas’ Darren McFadden (111) each tallied 100 yards of their own as their teams breached the 100-yard mark on the ground (Green Bay outrushed Dallas 230-171) and Rodgers threw for 218 yards and a pair of TDs, while Matt Cassell, taking over for Romo (back) threw for 114 yards (each man was sacked twice and Cassell threw an interception). While Green Bay was 7 of 14 on third down at Lambeau, they struggled on fourth down tries, going 0 of 1 and kept the ball for 37:48; Dallas was a dismal 1 of 11 on third down conversions and went 0 of 2 on fourth down, while holding the ball for 22:12.

Green Bay’s favored by 3 1/2 and the over/under’s 47 1/2. Two contending teams in an historic ballpark. That alone makes this one “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 57 last June and dates a 42-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”

Dallas has had some luck on their side of late, winning four in a row after getting taken to task by the Giants in week one. The Packers are playing their third home game in the state of Wisconsin and won three of four. Be it ever so humble. Packers cover the 3 1/2 at home like onions on Bratwurst and takes the win.

Indianapolis (2-3) at Houston (3-2), 8:30 p.m. on NBC. The first place Texans, without the services of J.J. Watt, host Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in a Sunday night contest in the Lone Star State.

Houston failed in their attempt to pin Minnesota with their first loss, falling to the Vikings 31-13 in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, while the Colts took care of Chicago 29-23 at Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday.

Indy leads the series 23-5 and have outscored the Texans 751-544. They spilt the two meetings last year and each took wins in the other team’s facility.

First meeting… Houston, week five on a Sunday night. Indy held off a late Texans rally and came away 27-20 winners at NRG Stadium. Matt Hasselbeck (who took over for Luck) and WR Andre Johnson connected on a pair of TD passes in the 7-point win, while Frank Gore ran for a TD for the Colts. Indy led 13-10 at the half, then tried to pull away from Houston, who came to within a TD when Texans K Nick Novak connected on a 49-yard try with 6:07 left in regulation. The Colts outrushed Houston 110-82, while Houston’s Blake Hoyer outpaced Hasslebeck 312-213 in passing yardage. Houston was 8 of 16 on third down tries, 1 of 1 on fourth downs and ruled the clock as they held the ball for 32:27. As for the Colts? They kept the pigskin for 27:33, going 3 of 11 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Round two… Indy in week 15 and the Texans got their revenge, erasing a 10-6 deficit at the half to take a 16-10 win in the Hoosier State. Houston shut out Indy in the second half, scoring their final 13 points of the game unchallenged and took the lead for keeps when QB Brandon Weeden and WR Jaelen Strong connected on an 8-yard pass and Novak sealed the deal with a 32-yard field with 1:56 left to play. Texans RB Alfred Blue ran for 107 of his team’s 150 yards in the second contest, while the Texans held Indy to 50 yards rushing. In the second contest, both teams struggled on third down tries (Houston was 5 of 15, Indy was 4 of 13) but the Texans struck paydirt on fourth down tries, going 2 of 2. Houston ruled the clock in the second contest, as they did in the first, holding the ball for 33:56 to Indy’s 26:04.

The boys and girls in Vegas like the Texans as 3 point favorites in the Lone Star State and the over/under’s 48. This one will be an interesting contest to watch on Sunday night. Houston covers the 3 and wins at home.

New York Jets (1-4) at Arizona (2-3), 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week six closes out in the desert as the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! take on Arizona at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! crashed and burned in Pittsburgh last SUnday, losing to the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger 31-13 at Heinz Field, while the Cardinals broke their game with San Francisco open last Thursday night, beating the 49ers 33-21 on the West Coast.

GangGreen leads the series 6-2, have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 158-136 and took wins in the last six meetings, including a 7-6 win in the Meadowlands in 2012, while Arizona won the first two meetings in the series, with their last win coming in 1975, when the Cards were in St. Louis, by a final of 37-6 in New York at old Yankee Stadium.

Records on Monday night… GangGreen’s 21-29 but won their only MNF meeting last year, while the Cardinals are 8-15-1 and like their opponents, they took a win in their only meeting last year.

The Cardinals are 7 1/2 points favorites on Monday night and the over/under’s 46 1/2. These teams aren’t bad but they’re not great. We will gladly understand if you decide to watch “Scorpion” Monday night. Arizona does come away with this one but they’re not going to cover the 7 1/2.

One week down, 16 to go.

If week one was good, week two hopes to be better.

SO CLOSE: If you like close contests, then week one was for you.

Kickoff Weekend featured exciting finishes and close games:

•Eleven of the 16 games in Week 1 were decided by seven points or fewer. Fourteen of the 16 games (87.5 percent) were within one score in the fourth quarter.

•Six games in Week 1 were decided by two points or fewer, the most of any week in NFL history.

•Four games were decided by one point – Denver 21, Carolina 20; Cincinnati 23, New York Jets 22; Oakland 35, New Orleans 34; New York Giants 20, Dallas 19 – marking the first time in NFL history that four games have been decided by exactly one point on Kickoff Weekend.

•Nine teams – Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, New England, New York Giants, Oakland and Seattle –  won when trailing in the fourth quarter this week, the most in a single week since Week 3, 2011 (10 wins).

Kickoff Weekend continued the 2015 trend of close games, as 75 percent were within one score in the fourth quarter of Kickoff Weekend last season. In 2015, 140 of 256 games (54.7 percent) were decided by eight points or fewer, the most of any season in NFL history.

NO NEED TO PANIC: At the end of Week 2, no more than 13 teams will be able to claim a perfect 2-0 record, leaving at least 19 clubs at 1-1 or 0-2.

Since realignment in 2002, 100 of the 168 playoff teams (59.5 percent) began the year at either 1-1 or 0-2, including six teams last season and three division champions – Houston (AFC South), Minnesota (NFC North) and Washington (NFC East).

DOMINANT DREW: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees has 61,326 career passing yards, the fourth-most in NFL history. With 36 passing yards on Sunday at the New York Giants, Brees will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (61,361) for the third-most passing yards all-time.

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

PLAYER, YEARS (CAREER PASSING YARDS)
Peyton Manning, 1998-2015 (71,940)
Brett Favre, 1991-2010 (71,838)
Dan Marino, 1983-1999 (61,361)
Drew Brees, 2001-present (61,326)
Tom Brady, 2000-present (58,028)

Brees, who passed for 423 yards on Kickoff Weekend, has 14 career games with at least 400 passing yards, tied with PEYTON MANNING for the most 400-yard passing performances in NFL history.

The players with the most 400-yard passing games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM(S) (MOST 400-YARD PASSING GAMES)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (14)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (14)
Dan Marino – Miami (13)
Carson Palmer – Cincinnati, Oakland and Arizona (8)
Philip Rivers – San Diego (8)
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh (8)

ELITE ELI: New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has 297 touchdown passes in his 13-year career. With three touchdown passes on Sunday against New Orleans, Manning would become the eighth quarterback in NFL history to reach 300 career touchdown passes.

The quarterbacks with at least 300 career touchdown passes:

PLAYER (YEARS, TEAM(S); CAREER TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Peyton Manning (1998-2015, Indianapolis and Denver; 539)
Brett Favre (1991-2010, Atlanta, Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota; 508)
Drew Brees (2001-present, San Diego and New Orleans; 432)
Tom Brady (2000-present (New England; 428)
Dan Marino (1983-1999, Miami; 420)
Fran Tarkenton (1961-1978, Minnesota and New York Giants; 342)
John Elway (1983-1998, Denver; 300)
Eli Manning (2004-present, New York Giants 297)

WENTZ’S WONDERFUL START: Philadelphia rookie quarterback Carson Wentz passed for 278 yards and two touchdowns in the Eagles’ 29-10 victory against Cleveland on Kickoff Weekend.

Only four rookie quarterbacks since 1970 have won their first two starts to begin a season. Three of those four players helped their teams qualify for the playoffs, including Joe Flacco of Baltimore (2008) and Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets (2009), who led their respective clubs to the AFC Championship Game as rookies.

The rookie quarterbacks to start and win their team’s first two games in a season since 1970:

YEAR – PLAYER, TEAM (OVERALL RECORD AS ROOKIE STARTER, PLAYOFF RESULT
1983 – John Elway, Denver (4-6, Advanced to Wild Card)
1998 – Ryan Leaf, San Diego (3-6, Missed playoffs)
2008 – Joe Flacco, Baltimore (11-5, Advanced to AFC Championship)
2009 – Mark Sanchez, New York Jets (8-7, Advanced to AFC Championship)
2016 – Carson Wentz, Philadelphia (1-0, ???)*

* 1-0 as starter

BOOMING BECKHAM: New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. has 191 receptions in 28 career games.

With nine receptions on Sunday against New Orleans, Beckham would surpass Miami wide receiver Jarvis LandryY (33 games) as the fastest player in NFL history to reach 200 career receptions.

Landry accomplished the feat last week against Seattle.

The players to reach 200 career receptions in the fewest games:

PLAYER – GAMES TO REACH 200 CAREER RECEPTIONS
Tom Fears – 36
Lionel Taylor – 36
Keenan Allen – 35
Jarvis Landry – 33
Anquan Boldin – 34
Reggie Bush – 34
Odell Beckham, Jr. – 28*
*191 career receptions

KICKOFF NOTES: A look at some team notes from across the league on Kickoff Weekend 2016:

•Denver defeated the Carolina Panthers 21-20 on Thursday night. The defending Super Bowl champs improved their record to 43-13-1 (.768) in home openers, the top mark in the NFL. Denver has won 23 of its past 26 home openers.

The teams with the best winning percentage in home openers:

TEAM (RECORD IN HOME OPENERS, WIN PCT.)
Denver (43-13-1, .768)
Chicago (65-27-4, .707)
Miami (34-15-1, .694)
Dallas (38-18-1, .679)
Oakland (37-18-1, .670)
Note: Ties prior to 1972 did not count in winning percentage.

•Green Bay defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-23 on Kickoff Weekend at EverBank Field. The Packers have 55 wins in road openers, the most in NFL history. The Packers’ .585 winning percentage in openers on the road is the second-best mark in NFL history.

•New England, who defeated the Arizona Cardinals 23-21 on Sunday Night Football, now has 32 wins on Kickoff Weekend, tied with San Diego for the fourth-most among AFC teams.

•Denver’s Gary Kubiak (7-3) has a six-game winning streak on Kickoff Weekend, the longest current streak among active head coaches.

•Tampa Bay’s Dirk Koetter (31-24 vs. Atlanta), the New York Giants’ Ben McAdoo (20-19 vs. Dallas) and Philadelphia’s Doug Pederson (29-10 vs. Cleveland) all won in their Kickoff Weekend debuts.

START ‘EM EARLY: Philadelphia rookie quarterback Carson, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, led the Eagles to a 29-10 victory over Cleveland on Kickoff Weekend. Dallas rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, who was chosen in the fourth round (No. 135 overall), also started in Week 1.

The NFL has now had at least one rookie quarterback start in Week 1 in nine consecutive seasons, the longest streak since at least 1950.

The rookie quarterbacks to start in Week 1 since 2008:

SEASON – QUARTERBACK, TEAM (STARTING RECORD AS ROOKIE)

2008 – Joe Flacco, Baltimore (11-5)
2008 – Matt Ryan, Atlanta (11-5)
2009 – Mark Sanchez, New York Jets (8-7)
2009 – Matthew Stafford, Detroit (2-8)*
2010 – Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams (7-9)*
2011 – Andy Dalton, Cincinnati (9-7)
2011 – Cam Newton, Carolina (6-10)*
2012 – Robert Griffin III, Washington (9-6)
2012 – Andrew Luck, Indianapolis (11-5)*
2012 – Ryan Tannehill, Miami (7-9)
2012 – Brandon Weeden, Cleveland (5-10)
2012 – Russell Wilson, Seattle (11-5)
2013 – EJ Manuel, Buffalo (4-6)
2013 – Geno Smith, New York Jets (8-8)
2014 – Derek Carr, Oakland (3-13)
2015 – Marcus Mariota, Tennessee (3-13)
2015 – Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay (6-10)*
2016 – Dak Prescott, Dallas (0-1)
2016 – Carson Wentz, Philadelphia (1-0)

*No. 1 Overall Pick

COOL BREES: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees passed for 423 yards and four touchdowns against Oakland on Kickoff Weekend. The performance marked Brees’ 14th career 400-yard passing game, tying Peyton Manning for the most in NFL history.

Brees also increased his Week 1 career passing yards total to 4,306, becoming the second QB with at least 4,000 passing yards in Week 1 games (Manning, 4,736).

Brees threw a 98-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brandin Cooks, the fifth touchdown pass of at least 98 yards on Kickoff Weekend in NFL history. The other four quarterbacks to throw a 98+ yard touchdown pass on Kickoff Weekend? You might know some of these names. They’re either in the Hall of Fame or will be. They are: George Izo (99 yards, September 15, 1963), Sonny Jurgensen (99 yards, September 15, 1968), Tom Brady (99 yards, September 12, 2011) and Earl Morrall (98 yards, September 11, 1966).

FAST LUCK: Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck passed for 385 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a 119.5 passer rating in the Colts’ Kickoff Weekend game against Detroit.

Luck has 15,223 career passing yards and reached 15,000 passing yards in his 56th career game, tied for the second-fastest in NFL history. Matthew Stafford accomplished the feat in his 53rd game while Marc Bulger, Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino and Kurt Warner reached 15,000 passing yards in their 56th game.

FANTASTIC FITZ: Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had eight receptions for 81 yards and two touchdowns in the Cardinals’ Kickoff Weekend matchup against New England.

Fitzgerald, who now has 100 career touchdown receptions, became the 10th player in NFL history to reach the milestone.

AMAZING ANDRE: Tennessee wide receiver Andre Johnson had three receptions in the Titans’ opener against Minnesota. Johnson now has 83 catches in 14 career Week 1 games, surpassing Marvin Harrison (81), Reggie Wayne (81) and Andre Reed (82) to move into second place all-time.

Jerry Rice has the most career Week 1 catches with 92. Rice, Reed and Harrison are all members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

FIRST-ROUND FULLER: Houston wide receiver Will Fuller had five catches for 107 yards in the Texans’ 23-14 victory against Chicago. Fuller, who was selected 21st overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, became the first rookie first-round draft pick to gain 100 yards receiving in his team’s first game since Pittsburgh’s Louis Lipp in 1984.

The NFL got “Back to Football” with a thrilling Kickoff Weekend, highlighted by close games and comeback victories.

In Week 1, six games were decided by two points or fewer, the most such games in any week in NFL history. There were four games decided by exactly one point, the most ever on Kickoff Weekend.

Oakland notched a one-point victory (35-34) at New Orleans when the Raiders converted a go-ahead two-point conversion with 47 seconds remaining. They became the fourth team to score the game-winning points on a two-point conversion in the final minute of the fourth quarter and the first to do so in a season opener.

“I was thinking that we’re here to win, so let’s win it right now,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio explained to KNBR after the game.

GAMES DECIDED BY ONE POINT (Home teams in CAPS)
DENVER 21, Carolina 20
Cincinnati 23, NEW YORK JETS 22
Oakland 35, NEW ORLEANS 34
New York Giants 20, DALLAS 10

GAMES DECIDED BY TWO POINTS (Home teams in CAPS)
SEATTLE 12, Miami 10
New England 23, ARIZONA 21

There were nine fourth-quarter comeback wins in the opening week, the most Week 1 fourth-quarter comeback victories in NFL history. And, for the first time ever on Kickoff Weekend, eight teams trailed at the end of the first quarter and went on to win the game.

The Kansas City Chiefs overcame a 21-point deficit to defeat San Diego 33-27 in overtime, the largest comeback victory in franchise history. The Chiefs have won 11 consecutive regular-season games and are the first team in NFL history to extend a winning streak of at least 10 games with a comeback victory of 21 or more points.

“It’s pretty sweet,” says Kansas City head coach Andy Reid about the comeback victory. “When you come back in the National Football League from three scores down and win, that’s pretty nice.”

Everybody wants to get off to a good start as history has shown that teams that are victorious in their season openers are more than twice as likely to reach the playoffs than losers of an opening game. But that doesn’t mean an 0-1 start is impossible to overcome as nearly 25 percent of teams that lost the opener went to the playoffs.

Since 1978 when the NFL went to the 16-game schedule (and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982):

Of the 554 teams which won openers… 288 went to the playoffs (173 won division titles)

Of the 555 teams which lost openers… 134 went to the playoffs (77 won division titles)

(Note: There are a different number of winning and losing teams in season opening games due to the fact that the NFL had 31 teams in each season from 1999 to 2001, which creates an odd number for the total number of results.)

Week 2 kicked off with Thursday Night Football presented by Bud Light as the New York Jets visited and beat the Buffalo Bills in an AFC East showdown. The game marked the debut of the “Tri-Cast” distribution model of broadcast, cable (NFL Network) and digital (Twitter) which will be used for 10 Thursday Night Football games this season. CBS and NBC will each broadcast five Thursday Night Football games which will be simulcast on NFL Network and streamed to a global audience across devices for free on Twitter.

On Sunday afternoon, NFL football returns to Los Angeles for the first time since 1994 as the Rams host the Seattle Seahawks in their regular-season home opener at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum at 4:05 p.m. on FOX. And that night in primetime at 8:30 p.m. on NBC, the Minnesota Vikings will open their new home – U.S. Bank Stadium – when they host the NFC North rival Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football.

In case you’re wondering, we went 11-5 on picks in week one. Not a bad start but it could have been better.

Here’s a look at Sunday and Monday’s games in week 2…

ATLANTA (0-1) at Oakland (1-0), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 716. Atlanta makes their way to the West Coast for a late afternoon (Eastern) meeting with the Raiders.

The Falcons limp into Oakland on the short end of a 31-24 loss to Tampa Bay last Sunday in the Big Peach. Atlanta trailed 17-13 at the half and rallied to make the contest closer but could come no further. Matt Ryan did throw for 334 yards and a pair of TDs, including one to WR Julio Jones (WR Mohamed Sanu had the other one). Ryan recorded franchise-leading 36th 300+ yard game in Week 1 and is aiming for his third win in a row against the Raiders with 200+ pass yards and a TD. Tampa Bay did manage to outrush the Falcons 90-52 and sacked Ryan three times, holding the Falcons off in a final drive that could have either tied the contest or given Atlanta the win. The Falcons were 3 of 13 on third down tries (1 of 2 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 32:23, while the Bucs, led by Jameis Winston’s 281 passing yards (4 TDs), went 3 of 10 on third down, keeping the ball for 27:37.

Oakland, on the other hand, is coming off a hard-earned 35-34 win over New Orleans in the Big Easy. QB Derek Carr passed for 319 yards and TD last week, while throwing the game-winning 2-point conversion to WR Michael Crabtree with 47 seconds left in regulation. The Raiders are 4th team to score GW points on 2-point conversion in the final minute. Oakland trailed 17-10 at the half before they rallied in the final 30 minutes of play, outscoring the Saints 25-17 in the second half. Although Drew Brees threw for four TDs in the contest, Oakland did manage to outrush the Saints 167-88. Both teams were 4 of 11 on third down conversions (New Orleans was 1 of 1 on fourth down) and Oakland ruled the clock, holding the ball for 30:25 to New Orleans’ 29:35.

The Silver and Black may lead the series 7-6, they may have outscored Atlanta 332-292 (which includes games that took place in Los Angeles and at old Fulton County Stadium) but the Falcons have won the last three contests, including a 23-20 win in the Big Peach in 2012. Oakland’s last win in the series came in 2000 on the Left Coast by a 41-14 final.

Oakland’s favored by 4 1/2 and the over/under is 48 1/2. Oakland’s looking to go 2-0, while the Falcons want to keep as close to Tampa Bay in the NFC South. Something’s got to give here. Falcons rise up and take this one on the road and could cover the 4 1/2.

Baltimore (1-0) at Cleveland (0-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens travel to upstate Ohio for a AFC North contest in Cleveland.

Baltimore held Buffalo to a 1 yard TD run from McCoy as they defeated the Bills. 13-7 in Charm City last Sunday. Mike Wallace and Joe Flacco connected for the Ravens’ lone TD in the contest that made it 10-0 early in the first half. Neither club breached the 100-yard plateau and that was the bad news. The good news? Baltimore did outrush Buffalo 83-65 and Flacco did outpace Tyrod Taylor 258-11, although the Bills did manage to sack him four times at M&T Bank Stadium.l Buffalo was 3 of 13 on third down tries in Charm City (they were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 27:07, while the Ravens went 6 of 15 on third down and kept the pigskin for 32:53, going 0 for 1 on their only fourth down attempt.

For the Browns, QB Josh McCown takes over for Robert Griffin III (shoulder). McCown has won 2 of 3 career starts vs. Baltimore and has 4 pass TDs vs. 0 interceptions. Cleveland comes back home after they were taken to the woodshed by the Eagles 29-10 in Philly. Philadelphia outrushed the Browns in the season opener 133-120 and Griffin threw for 190 yards before his injury (he was sacked three times in the contest). Philadelphia held on to the ball for 39:20, while the Browns kept it for 20:40.

The Ravens lead the series 25-9 and have outscored the Browns 788-515 in the 34 meetings. The two teams met twice, split the series, with each winning in the other team’s stadium.

M&T Bank Stadium, week five… Baltimore. The Ravens led 21-16 after 45 minutes of play before the Browns rallied in the final period, scoring their final ten points of the contest when McCown and WR Isaiah Crowell connected on a 22-yard TD pass with 3:03 left in regulation and winning in overtime when Travis Coons connected on a 32-yard field goal to take the road win. Baltimore’s Josh Forsett ran for 121 of his team’s 181 yards, holding Cleveland to 83 and the Ravens defense sacked McCown four times in Charm City. Cleveland went 12 of 19 on third down conversions in the first meeting, holding the ball for 39:16, while the Ravens were 5 of 14 and kept the ball for 29:01.

Round 2… week 12 in Cleveland on a Monday night and it was another close contest. This time, the Ravens prevailed 33-27. Baltimore led 17-13 at the half and outscored the Browns 16-14 in the final 30 minutes of play. The end of the contest was one of the strangest endings in the history of Monday Night Football as Cleveland’s Jeff Tucker tried a 51-yard field goal that would have given them the win. The kick was blocked and Ravens S Will Hill III picked up the ball and ran it back 64 yards for the winning score as time expired. Baltimore outrushed Cleveland again in the second meeting, tallying 104 yards on the ground to the Browns’ 63, although Cleveland did manage to pick off Matt Schaub (who was in for Flacco) twice. Both teams did well on fourth down tries, going 2 of 2. It was third down tries that both clubs struggled with, as the Ravens were 2 of 11 and the Browns were 4 of 15. In a twist of irony, the Browns ruled the clock, holding the ball for 30:30, while Baltimore kept it for 29:30.

The Ravens may be the road team but the boys and girls in Vegas like them as 6 1/2 point favorites with a 42 1/2 over/under. Both numbers make sense. Cleveland makes this one interesting but Baltimore comes away with the win, even though they may not cover the 6 1/2.

Tennessee (0-1) at Detroit (1-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. The Detroit Lions return to the Motor City to face a Tennessee Titans team that looks to even their record at Ford Field.

Tennessee let a 10-0 lead against Minnesota get away from them as the Vikings, without Teddy Bridgewater, outscored the Titans 25-6 in the last 30 minutes of action to fall 25-16 in Nashville. The contest was not exactly a ground game battle as neither club came close to the 100-yard barrier (Minnesota could only tally 65 yards on the ground, while Tennessee could muster only 64). Marcus Mariota did manage to outpass Bridgewater’s replacement, Sean Hill, with 271 yards and a pair of TDs (Hill had 236 in the air for the Vikings) in the season opener for both clubs.

Detroit trailed Indy 35-34 with 37 seconds left in regulation when Colt QB Andrew Luck and TE Jack Doyle had connected on a 6 yard TD pass that gave them the lead briefly as Detroit got the ball back and Matt Prater connected on a 43 yard field goal with four seconds left. Indy would later see insult added to injury on the kickoff when they got the ball back and tried several lateral passes to move the ball and keep the contest going. T.Y. Hilton threw what he thought was a forward pass from the end zone but the officials saw it differntly, calling it an illegal pass, which meant a safety for the Lions, who took the 39-35 win in the Hoosier State. Detroit outrushed Indy 116-82 but Luck (4 TDs) did manage to outpass Matthew Stafford (3 TDs) 385 to 340.  Both teams did well on third down tries (Indianapolis was 9 of 16, Detroit was 5 of 9) and the Lions ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:36 to Indy’s 29:24.

Including contests that were played in Houston when the team was known as the Oilers, Tenneseee leads the series 8-3, have outscored Detroit 289-250 and have taken wins in the last four contests, including a 44-41 overtime win in the Music City. Detroit’s last win over Tennessee? 1995, when they won in Houston by a final of 24-17.

Detroit’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 47 1/2. If you’re a fan of either team, by all means watch. Otherwise, you might want to watch that “NCIS: LA” marathon on USA. Detroit does their best Katy Perry impression and “ROARS” their way to the win at home, covering the 6.

Kansas City (1-0) at Houston (1-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. It’s an AFC Wild Card rematch in the Lone Star State as Kansas City takes on the Houston Texans.

The Chiefs are on an 11-game regular season win streak and they are the 1st team to extend 10+ game win streak w/ 21+ point comeback victory. Kansas City trailed 21-3 at the half at home against San Diego and rallied to take a 33-27 overtime win over the Chargers. The Chiefs took care of business in the second half and overtime, outscoring the Philip Rivers-led Chargers 30-6 in the last three periods for the win over their AFC West rivals. Although they were outrushed by San Diego 155-83, Alex Smith did manage to outpass Rivers 363-243, while throwing a pair of TD passes and scoring the game-winner in overtime from two yards out. Kansas City was 5 of 14 on third down tries at Arrowhead (2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:06 (including the overtime), while the Bolts went 7 of 15, keeping the ball for 34:01.

Houston had a little problem with Chicago last Sunday but managed to come away 23-14 winners last Sunday in the Lone Star State. Houston trailed 14-10 at the half before the Texans went on to shut Chicago, who was held to 73 yards rushing, out in the second half. J.J. Watt and the Texans’ defense made life for Jay Cutler miserable, sacking him five times in the 9-point win and Houston’s Lamar Miller led all rushers with 106 of the Texans’ 129 yards, while Brock Osweiler (231 yards) threw a pair of TDs, although he was sacked twice. Chicago was 4 of 13 and 0 of 2 on third and fourth down tries and kept the ball for 23:41, while the Texans kept the pigskin for 36:19, going 12 of 20 on third downs.

Kansas City holds a 4-3 lead in the series and have outscored 186-146. They met twice in the 2015 campaign, once in the regular season and once in the postseason and both contests took place in Houston.

Week one… the Chiefs held off a late Houston rally in the season opener for both clubs, with Kansas City coming out on top 27-20. Although they led 27-9 at the half, the Texans would go on to shutout Kansas City 11-0 in the last 30 minutes of action to make things close. The first contest was not much of a rushing contest, with neither club breaking the 100-yard barrier (Houston did outrush Kansas City 98-97) and the Kansas City defense made things miserable for Houston QB Blaine Hoyer, who was sacked four times. Neither club did much on third down tries in that first meeting; Kansas City was 3 of 13, Houston was 3 of 14 (0 of 1 on fourth down) and the Chiefs owned the clock, keeping the ball for 35:19 to Houston’s 24:41.

The second meeting… in the Lone Star State. The AFC Wild Card game at NRG Stadium. Kansas City took a 13-0 halftime lead in the Lone Star State and came away 30-0 winners over the Texans. Although Smith and Blaine Hoyer (four interceptions) were each sacked three times, Kansas City did outrush the Texans 141-114 in the lopside win.

As was the case in the first meeting, neither club reached the 50 percent mark on third down tries but the Chiefs were a little better, going 4 of 11 and kept the ball for 34:25; the Texans on the short end of the shutout loss were 6 of 14 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and held on to the pigskin for 25:35.

The Texans are 2 1/2 point favorites and the over/under’s 43 1/2. Someone’s going to be 2-0 at the end of the day. Chiefs pull off the upset in the Lone Star State and cover the 2 1/2.

Miami (0-1) at New England (1-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. It’s a weekend in New England as a pair of AFC East rivals meet in Foxboro. Miami travels north for a meeting with the Tom Brady-less Patriots.

The ‘Fins led briefly in Seattle 10-6 with 4:08 left to play when Ryan Tannehill scored on a 2-yard run before WR Doug Baldwin and QB Russell Wilson connected on a 2-yard TD pass with 31 seconds left to lose 12-10 in the land of grunge, salmon and Starbucks. Seattle outrushed Miami 112-64 and Wilson (258 yards) outpaced Tannehill (186 yards, five sacks) in the contest at CenturyLink Field. Seattle on third down tries? 5 of 16 (2 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:32, while the Dolphins were 3 of 14 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down tries, holding on to the ball for 25:28.

New England, without Brady or TE Ron Gronkowski, went to Arizona last Sunday night and survived in the desert, coming away 23-21 winners. With Jimmy Garoppolo under center, New England led 10-7 at the intermission and never looked back. The Pats outrushed Arizona 106-92 and sacked Carson Palmer (271 yards, 2 TDs – both to WR Larry Fitzgerald) three times, even though they turned the ball over twice. The Brady-less and Gronkowski-less Pats were 10 of 16 on third down conversions in Glendale and held the ball for 33:59, while Arizona was 6 of 12 and held on to the ball for 26:01.

The Dolphins lead the series 52-46 (which includes contests played at Fenway Park, the old Orange Bowl and Joe Robbie Stadium) and have outscored the Pats 2,116-2,076. The two clubs managed to split the regular season meetings, each taking win in their home parks.

First meeting… week eight on a Thursday night and it was all New England in that matchup, with the Pats coming away 36-7 winners. In that meeting, Brady threw for three TDs, including one to Gronkowski to seal Miami’s fate. New England easily outrushed Miami 95-15 and sacked Tannehill five times, picking him off twice in the blowout. Neither club did anything to write home about on third down tries in Foxboro (New England was 3 of 12, Miami was 2 of 11) but both clubs did reasonably well on fourth down conversions, with the Pats going 1 of 1 and Miami going 1 of 2. Time was on the side of the Pats, who held the ball for 32:37, while the Dolphins kept it for 27:23.

Meeting number two… week 17 in the Sunshine State and the Pats had already clinched the AFC East and this time, it was a much closer contest as the teams went into the final 15 minutes of play tied at 10-10 before Miami rallied in the fourth to come away 20-10 winners. This time, it was Miami that outrushed New England 96-70 and Tannehill threw for 350 yards and a pair of TDs to gain some measure of revenge. Again, both teams struggled on third down tries (New England was 4 of 14, Miami was 8 of 17) and both teams failed in their only fourth down try in the regular season finale and it was Miami ruling the clock, holding the ball for 31:05 to New England’s 28:55.

The Brady-less Pats are favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under? 41 1/2. Both numbers make a lot of sense. The Dolphins gave Seattle a scare last week in the Pacific Northwest, while the Pats held off Arizona in their back yard. New England may not cover the 6 1/2 but they take the win in Foxboro.

Cincinnati (1-0) at Pittsburgh (1-0), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. They don’t like each other. They’re both in the rust belt and they’re divisional rivals.

Did we mention they don’t like each other? You might want to send the kids out of the room for this one.

Pittsburgh and Cincinnati meet in the Steel City in a key AFC North contest. Both teams took wins in their season openers and both did the deed on the road.

The Bengals won their season opener against New York last week, defeating the Jets 23-22. Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton passed for 366 yards with a touchdown in Week 1 and wide receiver A.J. Green had 12 catches for 180 yards with a touchdown (54 yards).

Pittsburgh defeated Washington 38-16 on Monday Night Football to open the 2016 season. In Week 1, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 300 yards with three touchdowns, wide receiver Antonio Brown had eight catches for 126 yards with two touchdowns and running back De Angelo Williams rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns. The Steelers trailed 6-0 after the first 15 minutes of play in Landover before outscoring Washington 38-10 in the final three quarters. Pittsburgh held Washington to 55 yards rushing (Pittsburgh had 147) and picked off Kirk Cousins twice in the Monday night affair. Pittsburgh was 9 of 14 on third down tries (2 of 2 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 33:18, while the Redskins were 3 of 10 and 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs, holding the ball for 26:42.

The Bengals rallied from a 16-13 deficit to come away with a slim 23-22 win in the Meadowlands over the New York Jets at Met Life against Cincinnati would hold them to a pair of Nick Folk field goals in the second half. HB Jeremy Hill would give the Bengals the lead in the second with a 12-yard TD run late in the third and took the lead for keeps when Mike Nugent connected on a 47 yard field goal with 54 seconds left in regulation. Although New York would outrush Cincy 152-57, Bengals QB Andy Dalton did manage to outpass Ryan Fitzpatrick in the air 366-189 in passing yardage. Third down tries? One word. DISMAL. Cincinanti was 3 of 11 and kept the ball for all of 25:07, while the Jets weren’t much better on third down, going 4 of 12, keeping the ball for 34:53.

Pittsburgh leads the series 56-35 and the Steelers have outscored Cincinnati 2,000-1,603. They met three times in the 2015 season, twice in the regular season and once in the post season.

Meeting one… Pittsburgh in week eight at Heinz Field. The Bengals rallied from a 7-6 deficit at the intermission to come away 16-10 winners in the Steel City. Cincy would outscore Pittsburgh 10-3 in the final 30 minutes of play for the road win. Although they were outrushed by Pittsburgh 116-78, Cincinnati did manage to sack Roethlisberger three times, while picking him off three times. Both Dalton and Roethlisberger did manage to throw a TD pass, while Roethlisberger outpaced Dalton in passing yardage 262-231. Both clubs struggled on third down tries in the first meeting (Cincinnati 4 of 15, Pittsburgh 3 of 11) but Pittsburgh did rule the clock, holding the ball for 30:09 to the Bengals’ 29:51.

Round 2… Cincinnati… week 14, along the shores of the Ohio River. As was the case in the first meeting, the Steelers led at the break by a 16-7 score but this time, they held on for the 33-20 win at Paul Brown Stadium. The rushing game in the second meeting? It went Christmas shopping, as neither club breached the 100-yard barrier. That was the bad news. The good news? Pittsburgh did manage to outrush the Bengals 84-64, while forcing three turnovers in the second meeting. Pittsburgh did a lot better on third down conversions, going 8 of 14 and kept the ball for 35:47, while the Bengals were 3 of 8 on third down, keeping the pigskin for 24:13.

They spilt the two regular season contests. It was the post season that things got a bit on the chippy side.

Wild Card Weekend in Cincy and the Steelers took a 15-0 lead into the final quarter of play before the Bengals took their only lead of the contest when Andrew McCarron (subbing for Dalton) and Green connected on a 25 yard pass with 1:50 left to play. The lead would not last very long as the Steelers as Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (Unnecessary Roughness) and CB Adam Jones (Unsportsmanlike Conduct) were flagged for 30 yards in penalties, allowing Pittsburgh to move the ball close enough for K Chris Boswell to connect on a 35 yard field goal with 14 seconds left. As in the first two meetings, the Steelers outrushed Cincinnati (167-91) and forced four Bengals turnovers. Although both clubs were successful in their only fourth down tries, neither club did anything to talk about on third down (Pittsburgh 2 of 13, Cincinnati 5 of 15) and the Steelers ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 30:37, while the Bengals found themselves on the short end, keeping it for 29:23.

The oddsmakers like the Steelers at home as 3 1/2 point favorites and the over/under’s 48 1/2. The over/under makes a lot of sense. The 3 1/2? Given that these two offenses can do some damage, that number’s a bit on the light side. This one might be closer but in the end, it might wind up being a pretty good game to watch. Steelers might not cover the 3 1/2 but they win in the Steel City.

San Francisco (1-0) at Carolina (0-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Fresh off their shutout win over the Los Angeles Rams, the San Francisco 49ers head eastward for a Sunday afternoon meeting with Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers.

San Francisco went full throtle on Los Angeles last Monday night in Santa Clara and shut out the Rams 28-0. The 49ers led 14-0 at the half and then proceeded to score two more TDs in the fourth quarter unchallenged. Carlos Hyde ran for a pair of TDs in the blowout win, as his team outrushed Los Angeles 150-65 and picked off Case Keenum twice. San Francisco was 8 of 17 on third down attempts in the late Monday night game and kept the ball for 32:10, while the Rams were 3 of 15 on third down, keeping the pigskin for 27:50 (both teams were 1 for 2 on fourth down tries).

The defending NFC champs return home to the Tar Heel State after their 21-20 loss to Denver last week in the Mile High City. The Panthers let a 17-7 halftime lead against the defending Super Bowl champs get away from them as Denver rallied to take the lead back. Carolina had a chance to win the game and pull off the upset, pulling to within one when Greg Gano connected on a 36 yard field late in the fourth quarter. Gano could have been the hero for Carolina but his 53-yard field goal try sailed wide left, giving Denver the win. Carolina outrushed Denver 157-148 and Newton (194 yards passing) threw a TD and ran for a TD in the contest. Both clubs did quite well on third down conversions in the season opener (Denver was 5 of 10, Carolina was 9 of 15) and the Broncos were successful in their only fourth down try in the contest. Carolina, despite losing to Denver for the second time in a calendar year, did manage to rule the clock, keeping the ball for 32:19 to Denver’s 27:41.

Carolina leads the series 11-7 and the Panthers have outscored San Francisco 448-396. San Francisco’s last win over the Panthers in regular season play came in 2001, when both teams were in the same division by a final of 25-22 in overtime in Charlotte; Carolina has won the last four meetings, including a 10-9 win on the West Coast in 2013.

Carolina’s favored by 13 1/2, the largest spread this season (Seattle was a 10 1/2 point favorite last week against Miami) and the over/under is 45 1/2. This one could be closer than 13 1/2. Carolina’s got a chip on their shoulders, they’re at home and that could be a dangerous combination. Panthers may not cover the 13 1/2 but there’s nothing finer in Carolina as they win at home.

New Orleans (0-1) at New York Giants (1-0), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Brees. Eli. They meet in the Meadowlands as the Giants hope to make it 2-0, while the Giants are looking to stay unbeaten in the NFC East.

New Orleans fell to Oakland 35-34 in the Big Easy last SUnday. Brees had 423 pass yards, 4 TDs and 131.3 rating last week, marking his 14th career 400-yard pass game, tying Peyton Manning for most in NFL history. Brees had a 98-yard TD pass to WR Brandin Cooks, 5th TD of 98+ yards on Kickoff Weekend in NFL history.QB Derek Carr passed for 319 yards and TD last week, while throwing the game-winning 2-point conversion to WR Michael Crabtree with 47 seconds left in regulation. The Raiders are 4th team to score GW points on 2-point conversion in the final minute. Oakland trailed 17-10 at the half before they rallied in the final 30 minutes of play, outscoring the Saints 25-17 in the second half. Although Drew Brees threw for four TDs in the contest, Oakland did manage to outrush the Saints 167-88. Both teams were 4 of 11 on third down conversions (New Orleans was 1 of 1 on fourth down) and Oakland ruled the clock, holding the ball for 30:25 to New Orleans’ 29:35.

The Giants chipped away a 16-13 deficit against a Tony Romo-less Dallas as Manning and Victor Cruz connected on a 3-yard TD pass with 6:13 left to play to come away 20-19 winnter in Arlington. For Dallas, it was Dax Prescott under center instead of Romo and he managed to outpass Manning 227-207, while Manning threw for three TDs in the NFC East contest. They lead 13-9 at the intermission, before Dallas rallied to take the lead before surrendering it and had a chance to take the win in front of the home folks and had an eight-play drive going before stalling when WR Terrence Williams failed to get out of bounds to stop the clock. Both teams did quite well on third down conversions (Dallas was 10 of 17, New York was 5 of 10) and Dallas ruled the clock, holding the ball for 36:43, while Eli and the G-Men held on to the pigskin for 23:17.

Including contests that were played at old Tulane Stadium, Yankee Stadium and the Yale Bowl, the Giants lead the series 15-13, outscoring the Saints 647-623. The Saints took a 52-49 win in the Big Easy last year (New York’s last win in the series came in 2012 in the Meadowlands by a final of 52-27.

In the week eight affair in the Big Easy, New Orleans led 28-21 at the half before being outscored by the Giants 28-24 in the second half. New Orleans outrushed Big Blue 103-87, with Brees (7) and Manning (6) combing for 13 TD passes in the contest. Bress also managed to outpass Manning 505-350, although he was picked off twice. In the Sunday night affair, New Orleans found success on third down tries, going 7 of 11 (they went 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:55, while the Giants were 1 of 8 on third down (2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 25:05.

The Saints are favored by 6 and the over/under’s 55 1/2. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Both men have Super Bowl rings to their credit. Giants make it 2-0 to start the season, although the Saints could make it closer than the 6.

Dallas (0-1) at Washington (0-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. Hatfields vs. McCoys. Dogs vs. Cats. Capulets vs. Montagues. Spy vs. Spy. Washington vs. Dallas. They STILL don’t like each other.

Both are coming off losses at home and both look to correct that problem.

A Tony Romo-less Dallas let a 16-13 lead after three quarters get away from them as Eli Manning and Victor Cruz connected on a 3-yard TD pass with 6:13 left to play to fall 20-19 in Arlington. For the season opener in the Lone Star State, it was Dax Prescott under center instead of Romo and he managed to outpass Manning 227-207, while Manning threw for three TDs in the NFC East contest. Trailing 13-9 at the intermission, Dallas rallied to take the lead before surrendering it and had a chance to take the win in front of the home folks and had an eight-play drive going before stalling when WR Terrence Williams failed to get out of bounds to stop the clock. Both teams did quite well on third down conversions (Dallas was 10 of 17, New York was 5 of 10) and Dallas ruled the clock, holding the ball for 36:43, while Eli and the G-Men held on to the pigskin for 23:17.

Washington let a 6-0 first quarter lead get away from them as Pittsburgh defeated the defending NFC East champs 38-16 in Landover last Monday night to open the 2016 season. Washington would go on to be outscored by Ben Roethlisberger 38-10 in the final three quarters for the loss and was held to 55 yards rushing (Pittsburgh had 147) and picked off Kirk Cousins twice in the Monday night affair. Pittsburgh was 9 of 14 on third down tries (2 of 2 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 33:18, while the Redskins were 3 of 10 and 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs, holding the ball for 26:42.

Dallas leads the series 66-42-2 and have outscored the defending NFC East champions 2,532-2,113. In the last four games in the series, the two teams have spilt the contests and last year, taking wins on the other team’s field.

First meeting… week 13 in Landover on a Monday night without Romo. Dallas and Washington went into the final 15 minutes of play even at 6-6. Dallas took the lead for the first time when Darren McFadden ran in from 6 yards out with 1:14 left to play. Washington would tie things back up when Kirk Cousins and WR De Sean Jackson connected on a 28 yard pass with 44 seconds left. Dallas had one last trick up its sleeve and used it to march down the field and take the lead back for keeps when Dan Bailey connected on a 54-yard field goal with nine seconds left. Neither club did anything to keep their fan bases happy on third down tries (Dallas had 97 yards, while Washington tallied 73) and Dallas turned the ball over three times. Third down tries? DISMAL and that’s being kind… Dallas was 9 of 9, while Washington was 6 of 16 and Washington did manage to rule the clock, keeping the ball for 32:47 to Dallas’ 27:13.

Meeting number two… week 17 in the Lone Star State. The second meeting wasn’t as close as meeting number one, the Cowboys were still without Romo and out of the playoff picture and the Redskins had already clinched the NFC East. Washington led 24-14 at the half and then pulled away to take a 34-23 win in Arlington. Cousins threw for 174 yards and three TDs, although he was easily outpaced by backup QB Kellen Moore, who had 435 yards and three TDs, despite being sacked four times and picked off twice. Washington on third down tries in the second meeting was much better, going 7 of 14, while Dallas on third down was 2 of 10 (Both clubs were 2 of 2 on fourth down) and once again, the Redskins ruled the clock, holding the ball for 33:58, while Dallas kept it for 26:02.

Washington’s favored by 3 and the over/under is 45 1/2. One team is the defending NFC East champ, while the other has been a dumpster fire the last few years. We like the champ in this one. “HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!” Washington covers the 3 and wins at home in Landover.

Tampa Bay (1-0) at Arizona (0-1), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. Jameis Winston vs. Carson Palmer. A pair of top QB meet in the desert in Glendale as Arizona looks to break into the win column against Tampa Bay.

Tampa Bay came out of Atlanta 31-24 winners last Sunday in the Big Peach. The Bucs led 17-13 at the half before Atlanta  rallied to make the contest closer but could come no further. Jameis Winston and Matt Ryan put on a passing clinic in the Georgia Dome last Sunday, combining for 6 TDs (Ryan with 2, Winston with four) Ryan threw for 334 yards and a pair of TDs, including one to WR Julio Jones (WR Mohamed Sanu had the other one). That was a good thing, because neither team’s rushing game was anything to talk about, Tampa Bay did manage to outrush the Falcons 90-52 and sacked Ryan three times, holding the Falcons off in a final drive that could have either tied the contest or given Atlanta the win. The Falcons were 3 of 13 on third down tries (1 of 2 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 32:23, while the Bucs, led by Winston’s 281 passing yards (4 TDs), went 3 of 10 on third down, keeping the ball for 27:37.

Arizona comes back to the nest with in somewhat of a foul mood, losing at home to a Tom Brady-less New England 23-21. QB Carson Palmer passed for 271 yards with 2 TDs and 104.7 rating last week and has 100+ rating in 8 of past 11 games. Palmer’s favorite target, WR Larry Fitzgerald had 8 catches for 81 yards and 2 TDs vs. New England. The Pro-Bowlerc caught 100th career TD in Week 1, making him the 10th player in NFL history to reach mark. Since entering NFL in 2004, Fitzgerald ranks 1st in catches (1,026) and receiving yards (13,447) with 100 TDs.

Including games played when the Desert Angry Birds were in St. Louis, the series is even with each club taking nine wins but Tampa Bay has outscored Arizona 326-318. Both team’s last wins came in the other team’s backyard; Arizona’s last win came in the Sunshine State by a final of 13-10 in 2013, while the Bucs took a 38-35 win in the desert in 2010.

Arizona’s favored by 7 in the desert and the over/under’s 50. It’s plausible that both numbers could be reached. While it might be closer than the 7, Arizona reaches the .500 mark with the win at home.

Seattle (1-0) at Los Angeles (0-1), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD! There’s going to be a pro football in Los Angeles for the first time since 1994 when the Rams welcome the Seattle Seahawks, who take a 1,137-mile trip down I-5 for an NFC West showdown at the Coliseum.

Seattle trailed at home 10-6 with 4:08 left to play when Ryan Tannehill scored on a 2-yard run and took the lead for kees as WR Doug Baldwin and QB Russell Wilson connected on a 2-yard TD pass with 31 seconds left to come away 12-10 winners in the land of grunge, salmon and Starbucks. Seattle outrushed Miami 112-64 and Wilson (258 yards) outpaced Tannehill (186 yards, five sacks) in the contest at CenturyLink Field. Seattle on third down tries? 5 of 16 (2 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 34:32, while the Dolphins were 3 of 14 and 0 of 1 on third and fourth down tries, holding on to the ball for 25:28.

For the Rams, it will be their first game in Los Angeles since the Clinton adminstration (1994) and the homecoming could not come at a better time. Los Angeles found themselves on the short end of a 28-0 shutout loss last Monday night in Santa Clara the 49ers. Los Angeles trailed 14-0 at the half and then saw the 49ers score two more TDs in the fourth quarter unchallenged after both teams played a scoreless third period. Carlos Hyde ran for a pair of TDs in the blowout win, as his team outrushed Los Angeles 150-65 and picked off Case Keenum twice. San Francisco was 8 of 17 on third down attempts in the late Monday night game and kept the ball for 32:10, while the Rams were 3 of 15 on third down, keeping the pigskin for 27:50 (both teams were 1 for 2 on fourth down tries).

Seahawks lead the series 21-14, which includes contests that took place when the Rams were in St. Louis and they have outscored Los Angeles 784-702. That’s the good news. The bad news? The Rams swept the season series last year with Seattle (the Seahawks’ last win in the series came in 2014, when they were 20-6 winners in Seattle).

Meeting number one… week one in St. Louis. Seattle led 31-24 late in the game before St. Louis’ Lance Kendricks and Nick Foles connected on a 37-yard TD pass with 57 seconds left in regulation to tie things up. The Rams would go on to win the contest in overtime when K Greg Zuerlein kicked a 37-yard field goal for the 34-31 win. Seattle did outrush the Rams 124-76 but Foles outpassed Wilson (6 sacks, interception) 297-251 in the opener. The Rams were 6 of 11 on third down tries in the first meeting at Edward Jones Dome and held on to the ball for 28:32. Seattle struggled on third down conversions, going 8 of 19 (1 of 2 on fourth down) but did manage to rule the clock, keeping the ball for 37:28.

Round two… the Pacific Northwest in week 16. It was another close contest in the land of grunge, salmon and Starbucks but once again, the Rams prevailed, taking a 23-17 win on the road. St. Louis led 16-3 at the break before Seattle rallied to outscore St. Louis 14-7 in the second half. This time, St. Louis’ running game was functioning, as they outrushed Seattle 102-59 and sacked Wilson four times in the contest. Both teams did struggle on third down tries in the second contest (St. Louis was 5 of 12; Seattle was 8 of 17, 1 of 1 on fourth down tries) but Seattle did rule the clock, keeping the ball for 32:06 to St. Louis’ 27:54.

Seattle is favored by 6 1/2 and the over/under is 38. Since this is the first game in Los Angeles since ’94, this one could be a good game to watch. In fact, because it’s Los Angeles, we’re going to make this one “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a mass attended, people! Don’t make us send the nuns after you! If we do, it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OVER!), head to your favorite store (a trip to Wal Mart, Target, K-Mart or Costco counts) and get the vittles and the beverages (soda, beer, wine, coffee, et al… if you live in a state that allows the purchase of the items in question) and invite the co-workers, the neighbors (including that really cute kindergarden teacher that knows what to do with a cover-2 defense) and your cousin Connie (remember her? She’s the one that’s been married twice that’s just turned 57
last June and dates a 42-year old ex-Marine, who’s now a football coach at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”

The Rams will at the very least make this one close but Seattle prevails in Tinsletown and gets revenge for being swept last year. Seahawks take this one on the road and covers the 6 1/2.

Indianapolis (0-1) at Denver (1-0), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. Two teams with one name in common… Manning… meet in Denver as the Colts travel to the Mile High City to face the Denver Broncos.

The Colts are looking to take their frustrations out on someone after they had led Detroit 35-34 with 37 seconds left in regulation against the Lions. QB Andrew Luck and TE Jack Doyle had connected on a 6 yard TD pass that gave them the lead briefly and we mean briefly. Detroit got the ball back and Matt Prater connected on a 43 yard field goal with four seconds left. Indy would later see insult added to injury on the kickoff when they got the ball back and tried several lateral passes to move the ball and keep the contest going. T.Y. Hilton threw what he thought was a forward pass from the end zone but the officials saw it differntly, calling it an illegal pass, which meant a safety for the Lions, who took the 39-35 win in the Hoosier State. Detroit outrushed Indy 116-82 but Luck (4 TDs) did manage to outpass Matthew Stafford (3 TDs) 385 to 340.  Both teams did well on third down tries (Indianapolis was 9 of 16, Detroit was 5 of 9) and the Lions ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:36 to Indy’s 29:24.

The defending Super Bowl champs squeaked out a 21-20 win over Carolina in a Super Bowl L (50) rematch in the Mile High City. Denver trailed 17-7 at halftime before pulling themselves up and taking Carolina to task. Carolina had a chance to win the game and pull off the upset, pulling to within one when Greg Gano connected on a 36 yard field late in the fourth quarter. Gano could have been the hero for Carolina but his 53-yard field goal try sailed wide left, giving Denver the win. Carolina outrushed Denver 157-148 and Newton (194 yards passing) threw a TD and ran for a TD in the contest. Both clubs did quite well on third down conversions in the season opener (Denver was 5 of 10, Carolina was 9 of 15) and the Broncos were successful in their only fourth down try in the contest. Carolina, despite losing to Denver for the second time in a calendar year, did manage to rule the clock, keeping the ball for 32:19 to Denver’s 27:41.

The Broncos lead the series 12-10 (which includes games that were played when the Colts were in Baltimore) and they have outscored the Colts 492-463. They met last year in the Hoosier State and it was the Colts holding off Peyton Manning and the Broncos by a final of 27-24. In the week nine contest at Lucas Oil Stadium, Denver managed to pull even with Indy when Manning and TE Owens Daniels connected on a 1 yard TD pass with 8:54 left in regulation. That tie would not last very long as the Colts marched downfield and took the lead for keeps when Adam Vinatieri connected on a 55 yard field goal with 6:13 remaining. Indy outrushed Denver 120-35 but Manning outpassed Luck 281-252, with each QB throwing a pair of TDs and an intercaption. Denver went 6 of 12 on third down tries and kept the ball for 21:21, while the Colts were 12 of 20, keeping the pigskin for 38:39.

Denver’s favored by 6 and the over/under’s 46. No Peyton here. Denver may not cover the 6 but they win in the Mile High City.

Jacksonville (0-1) at San Diego (0-1), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 717. It’s a 2,340 mile trip along I-10 as Jacksonville travels west to Southern California for a meeting on the Left Coast with the San Diego Chargers.

Jacksonville came up short against Green Bay in Florida’s first city, falling to the Packers 27-23 at EverBank Field. Jacksonville trailed 21-17 at the half and the two teams played even football in the final 30 minutes of play. Green Bay, who outrushed Jacksonville 95-48, held off a late Jaguar rally that would have given the home team the win, stopping three Blake Bortles passes late in the game to end the threat. Bortles (TD) did manage to outpace Rodgers (2 TDs) 320-199 but found himself being sacked three times. Green Bay on third and fourth downs went 7 of 14 and 1 of 1, keeping the ball for 28:37, while Jacksonville ruled the clock, hoolding the ball for 31:23, while going 4 of 15 and 3 of 4 on third and fourth downs.

The Bolts let a 21-3 lead at the half at Kansas City get away from them and fell in overtime to the Chiefs 33-27. The Chiefs took care of business in the second half and overtime, outscoring the Philip Rivers-led Chargers 30-6 in the last three periods for the win over their AFC West rivals. Although they were outrushed by San Diego 155-83, Alex Smith did manage to outpass Rivers 363-243, while throwing a pair of TD passes and scoring the game-winner in overtime from two yards out. Kansas City was 5 of 14 on third down tries at Arrowhead (2 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 31:06 (including the overtime), while the Bolts went 7 of 15, keeping the ball for 34:01.

San Diego leads the series with Jacksonville 6-2, they have outscored the Jaguars 236-144 and have won the last five meetings, including a 31-25 win in Jacksonville last year (Jacksonville’s last win in the series came in 2007, when they came away 24-17 winners in the Sunshine State.

In the week 12 contest on Florida’s East Coast, San Diego led 21-9 at the half before Jacksonville pulled close, outscoring the Bolts 16-10 in the final 30 minutes of play. Jacksonville managed to outrush San Diego 102-79 and outpassed the Chargers 329-300 (Bortles threw a pair of TDs, while Rivers threw four, with each getting sacked twice). Jacksonville on third down went 5 of 15 (2 for 3 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 28:36, while the Chargers were 6 of 14, 1 of 1 as far as third and fourth down tries were concerned and held on to the ball for 31:24.

San Diego’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 47. You might want to take a pass on this one (unless you’re a fan of either team) and watch that “NCIS” marathon on Ion Network (there’s nothing funnier than seeing Ziva smack Tony over the head!). Chargers “bolt” their way to the win on the Left Coast and cover the 3.

Green Bay (1-0) at Minnesota (1-0), 8:30 p.m. on NBC. They meet again. A pair of NFC North rivals meet in the Twin Cities as the Packers and Vikings open the newest NFL stadium, US Bank Field in Minneapolis in primetime.

Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers needed some help from their defense late against Jacksonville as they came away 27-23 winners in the Sunshine State. The Packers led Jacksonville 21-17 at the half and the two teams played even football in the final 30 minutes of play. Green Bay, who outrushed Jacksonville 95-48, held off a late Jaguar rally that would have given the home team the win, stopping three Blake Bortles passes late in the game to end the threat. Bortles (TD) did manage to outpace Rodgers (2 TDs) 320-199 but found himself being sacked three times. Green Bay on third and fourth downs went 7 of 14 and 1 of 1, keeping the ball for 28:37, while Jacksonville ruled the clock, hoolding the ball for 31:23, while going 4 of 15 and 3 of 4 on third and fourth downs.

The Vikings trailed 10-0 against Tennessee, who was without Teddy Bridgewater, before they outscored the Titans 25-6 in the last 30 minutes of action to win 25-16 in Nashville. As far as the rushing game was concerned, there was nothing to write home about as neither club came close to the 100-yard barrier (Minnesota could only tally 65 yards on the ground, while Tennessee could muster only 64). Marcus Mariota did manage to outpass Bridgewater’s replacement, Sean Hill, with 271 yards and a pair of TDs (Hill had 236 in the air for the Vikings) in the season opener for both clubs.

Including contests that were played in Milwaukee and at old Metropolitan Stadium, the Packers lead the series 58-49-2 and Green Bay has outscored the Vikings 2,397-2,108. They met twice in the 2015 campaign and both took wins on the other team’s field.

First round… week 11 at TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Green Bay made short work of Minnesota in front of their fans, taking a 30-13 win. Eddie Lacy ran for 100 of the Packers’ 124 yards in the contest, while the Packer defense held Minnesota’s ground game to 94 (Adrian Peterson accounted for 45 of those yards). Even though Rodgers (212 yards) was outpassed by Bridgewater, he did manage to throw a pair of TDs without an interception, while Bridgewater (296 yards) was sacked six times. Both clubs could not breach the 50 percent mark on third down tries (Green Bay went 6 of 16; Minnesota was 5 of 13, 0 of 2 on fourth down) and time was on the side of the Packers, who kept the ball for 30:22 to Minnesota/s 29:38.

Round two… week 17… Lambeau Field. The second meeting was for all the marbles. The winner? NFC North champs. The loser? Wild Card. Green Bay trailed 20-3 after three quarters of play and rallied but fell short, falling to Minnesota in the land of cheese, beer and bratwurst 20-13. In the season finale, Minnesota outran Green Bay 151-76 (Peterson accounted for 67 of their yards) and the Vikings defense sacked Rodgers (291 yards) five times. Third down tries in the second meeting? They went on a milk carton of sorts (Green Bay was 2 of 15; Minnesota was 2 of 11) but both clubs did reasonably well on fourth down (Minnesota was successful in their only try, while the Packers were 3 of 6). Green Bay ruled the clock this time, keeping the ball for 35:42, while the Vikings held it for 24:18.

Green Bay’s favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under is 43 1/2. New stadium. Old rivals in the NFC North (or as Chris Berman calls it the NFC Norris). Both teams are 1-0, which makes this one “DRILL WORTHY!” (for instructions on “The Drill,” see the Seattle-Los Angeles game). Green Bay’s got revenge and would love nothing more than to ruin the party for the Vikings and their fans. Packers cover the 2 1/2 and win in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Philadelphia (1-0) at Chicago (0-1), 8:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week two concludes along the shores of Lake Michigan as the Monsters of the Midway host the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field.

The Carson Wentz era began in the City of Brotherly Love as he passed for 278 yards and 2 TDs with 101 rating in NFL debut in their 29-10 win over Cleveland at Lincoln Financial Field. Wentz became the 1st Eagles rookie to start at QB in season opener since 1939 (Davey O’Brien) and had the highest rating by Eagles rookie QB since John Reaves in 1972 (minimum of 20 pass attempts). Philadelphia outrushed the Browns in the season opener 133-120 and Griffin threw for 190 yards before his injury (he was sacked three times in the contest). Philadelphia held on to the ball for 39:20, while the Browns kept it for 20:40.

Da Bears return to the Windy City after their 23-14 loss to Houston last Sunday in the Lone Star State. Chicago led 14-10 at the half before the Texans went on to shut them out in the second half. Chicago was held to 73 yards rushing and Jay Cutler was sacked five times in the 9-point loss. Houston’s Lamar Miller led all rushers with 106 of the Texans’ 129 yards, while Brock Osweiler (231 yards) threw a pair of TDs, although he was sacked twice. Chicago was 4 of 13 and 0 of 2 on third and fourth down tries and kept the ball for 23:41, while the Texans kept the pigskin for 36:19, going 12 of 20 on third downs.

Da Bears lead da series 28-10-1 (which includes contests that were played when Chicago played at the corners of Clark, Waveland, Sheffield and Addison… Wrigley Field) and Chicago has outscored the Eagles 856-557. Philly won the last meeting between the two, coming away 54-11 in the City of Brotherly Love in 2013, while Da Bears’ last win in the series also came in Philly, a 30-24 win in 2011.

On Monday nights, the Eagles have a better record than Da Bears. Philly is 31-26 and was 1-1 in their Monday night contests last year, while Chicago is 29-36 but picked their only MNF win last year. Chicago’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 42 1/2. This one might be worth watching, so you might want to tape “The Big Bang Theory” this week. Eagles pull off the upset in the Windy City and covers the 3.

Carolina (15-1) at Denver (12-4), 8:30 p.m. on NBC. They meet again. When we last left Carolina and Denver, they were squaring off in Super Bowl 50 (L for those that are lovers of the Roman numbers). For the Panthers, it was not a good day that Sunday afternoon in Santa Clara.

For the Broncos, it was their chance to come back to the top of the NFL mountain.

Cam Newton’s still around. As for Peyton Manning? He’s ridden off into the sunset with the Lombardi Trophy in hand. It’s round 2 and this time, it’s the season opener for both teams.

This time, the hunters become the hunted.

It’s a Super Bowl rematch and this time, there’s NO Peyton involved. Cam’s still around but this time, it’s Trevor Siemian under center.

A new era is taking shape in the Mile High City.

America… are you ready for some football?

The 2016 season begins with the NFL’s annual primetime kickoff game as the opener on NBC will feature the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos hosting the Carolina Panthers in a rematch of Super Bowl 50. The game marks the first Super Bowl rematch played on Kickoff Weekend since 1970 (Kansas City vs. Minnesota). The Broncos enter the game with a .655 winning percentage (36-19-1) in season-opening games, the second-best record in the NFL (Dallas, .673, 37-18-1). Denver aims for its fifth consecutive victory on Kickoff Weekend, while Carolina looks to extend its season-opening winning streak to three.

Carolina and Newton “pounded” their way to Super Bowl 50 winning the NFC South for 6th time (1996, 2003, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015) last year. Newton was named NFL MVP in 2015 and became only player ever with 30+ pass TDs (35) & 10+ rush TDs (10) in season and Newton had another weapon in RB Jonathan Stewart, who had 1,088 scrimmage yards in 2015, 3rd career season with 1,000+ scrimmage yards. Panthers TE Greg Olsen led team in catches (77) & rec. yards (1,104) last season and had 7 TDs. Only NFL TE with 5+ rec. TDs in each of past 8 seasons…LB Luke Kuechly led team with 118 tackles in 2015. Since entering NFL in 2012, Kuechly leads league with 591 tackles.

Denver won their 3rd Lombardi last season with Peyton under center. This time? It’s going to be QB Trevor Siemian, who makes 1st career start. The Broncos are 1st defending SB champ to start QB with 0 career pass attempts in season opener RB C.J. Anderson has 5 rush TDs in past 5 at home (including playoffs), while WR DeMaryius Thomas led team in catches (105) & reception yards (1,304) last season. Is only Bronco with 4 consecutive 1,200-yard seasons. Since 2012, Thomas ranks 2nd in NFL with 5,787 receiving yards and is the only NFL player with 5,500+ receiving yards (5,787) & 40+ rec. TDs (41) since 2012. Teammate WR Emmanuel Sanders had 1,135 rec. yards last year, his 2nd consecutive 1,000-yard season… The defending Super Bowl champs led the NFL in total (283.1 yards per game) & pass defense (199.6 yards per game). On the other side of the ball, it was the defense that got Denver through as LB Von Miller won Super Bowl 50 MVP and had 2.5 sacks with 2 FFs. In the past 2 post season games, (AFC Championship
Game and Super Bowl) Miller has 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and an interceptions and since 2011, ranks 2nd in NFL with 60 sacks. LB De Marcus Ware is 2nd among active players with 134.5 career sacks. Including the Super Bowl, Ware has 7.5
sacks, 3 FFs & FR in 6 games vs. Carolina Ware’s teams are 6-0 in those meetings. Since 2008, CB Aqib Talib leads NFL with 8 INT-TDs.

Denver leads the regular season series 3-1 and have outscored the Panthers 100-61. Carolina’s lone win in the series came in the Tar Heel State in 2008 by a 30-10 final, while Denver’s last win in the regular season came in the Mile High City in 2012 by a 36-14 count. It was the meeting in Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara that drew the attention of the nation, with Denver taking a 13-7 lead with them to the locker room at the intermission and shutting down Newton and the Panthers 24-10. Although they outrushed Denver 118-90 and Newton outpassed the Peytonicus 265-141, Newton was sacked six times in the contest and picked off once, while the Panthers fumbled the pigskin three times in Santa Clara.

As far as third down tries? Neither club did anything to write home about, with Carolina going 3 of 15, while Denver was not much better at 1 of 14. Carolina did win the battle of the clock, keeping the ball out of Denver’s hands for 32:47, while Denver kept the pigskin for a mere 27:13.

The oddmakers like Carolina as a 3 point favorite and the over/under in this one is 41 1/2. Both numbers do make sense. Denver was the hunter last year. This year, they’re the hunted but they start the 2016 campaign in good order and win at home and cover the 3.

Weather: Partly sunny with a high of 86 degrees.

REFEREE: Gene Steratore

Injury Report

Carolina
DOUBTFUL: S Dean Marlowe (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Vernon Butler (Hand), LB Aaron Klein (Back)

Denver
OUT: WR Bennie Fowler (Elbow)
QUESTIONABLE: C James Ferentz (Knee), TE Jeff Heuerman (Ankle), T Tyler Sambrailo (Elbow)

BROADCAST: 8:30 p.m. on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter). Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner, Tony Boselli (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood1), 83 (Carolina), 81 (Denver). XM: 88 (WestWood1), 226 (Carolina), 225 (Denver).

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

Americans bet on a lot of stuff, some important and some stuff that’s really mundane. It was rumored that Ty Cobb once bet his caretaker in his later stages of his life that one raindrop would pass the other on a window sill. We’re not sure who won that bet or what raindrop won.

We can tell you that there will be a lot of betting on Super Bowl 50 (or Super Bowl L for those that like the Roman numerals) and some of it will be on the game itself. In addition to the game action, there will be those things called prop bets, the stuff that is sometimes related to the game or not.

The good people at Bovada have given us some fun — and a few silly — props that you might feel tremendous about and want to wager on.

(Note: Bets with a negative number mean that you have to wager that much to earn $100. With positive numbers, you bet $100 to earn that total. And odds are, well, odds. So 5/1 means you bet $100 to win $500; 1/10 means you bet $100 to win $110.)

Will Peyton Manning announce his retirement in the postgame interview? (Note: Must be on live broadcast.)
Yes +500  (5/1)
No -1000 (1/10)

Will Peyton Manning be seen crying at any point during the entire Broadcast? (Note: Live pictures only, must clearly see a tear.)
Yes+600  (6/1)
No -1200 (1/12)

How many times will “dab” or “dabbing” be said by the announcers during the Broadcast? (Note: From kickoff to final whistle, halftime does not count.)
Over 2 (EVEN, 1/1)
Under 2 (-140, 5/7)

How many times will Cam Newton do the Open Shirt Superman motion during the game? (Note: From kickoff to final whistle, halftime does not count.)

Over 2.5 (EVEN, 1/1)
Under 2.5 (-140, 5/7)

If Steph Curry is shown on TV during the Broadcast what will he be wearing?
Personalized Carolina Steph Curry Jersey 1/1
No Jersey 2/1
Cam Newton Jersey 3/1
Any Other Carolina Jersey 5/1

Will Mike Carey be wrong about a challenge? (Note: He must be consulted on live broadcast and must clearly take a stance on his position. If not consulted wagers will be No Action.)
Yes +110 (11/10)
No -150 (2/3)

Will there be an earthquake during the game? (Note: Announcer must indicate there was during live broadcast from kickoff
until final whistle.)
Yes 10/1

Will the Panthers player who scores their first TD give the football to a Boy or Girl?
Boy -200 (1/2)
Girl +150 (3/2)

How many times will the Golden Gate Bridge be shown during the Broadcast? (Note: From kickoff to final whistle, halftime does not count.)
Over 0.5  -300 (1/3)
Under 0.5 +200 (2/1)

How many times will “John Fox” be said during the Broadcast? (Note: From kickoff to final whistle, halftime does not count.)
Over 1 (-140, 5/7)
Under 1 (EVEN, 1/1)

How many times will Archie Manning be shown on TV during the Broadcast? (Note: From kickoff to final whistle, halftime does not count.)
Over 1.5 EVEN (1/1)
Under 1.5 -140    (5/7)

How many times will John Elway be shown on TV during Broadcast? (Note: From kickoff to final whistle, halftime does not count.)
Over 2.5 EVEN (1/1)
Under 2.5 -140 (5/7)

Will the announcers mention that Kubiak was Elway’s backup during the broadcast? (Note: From kickoff to final whistle, halftime does not count.)
Yes +120 (6/5)
No -160 (5/8)

What color will the liquid be that is poured on the winning coach?
Orange 5/4
Blue 3/1
Clear 4/1
Yellow 4/1
Red 6/1
Green 10/1
Purple 10/1

Who will the Super Bowl MVP mention first?
God 2/1
Team 2/1
City/Fans 6/1
Coach 15/2
Family 15/1
Does not Mention Anyone above 9/4

Which song will Coldplay play first during the Halftime show?
Adventure of a Lifetime 2/1
Fix You 7/2
A Sky Full of Stars 9/2
Viva la Vida 5/1
Clocks 15/2
Speed of Sound 9/1
Head Full of Dreams 10/1
Paradise 10/1

What color will Beyonce’s footwear be when she comes on stage for the Halftime show? (Note: Predominant color will be graded winner.)
Black 3/2

Gold/Brown 5/2
White 11/4
Silver/Grey 19/4
Any Other Color 7/1

Will “Left Shark” Make an appearance on stage during the Super Bowl Halftime Show?
Yes 15/1

How many million viewers will Super Bowl 50 have?
Over/Under 117 million

What will the Nielsen Rating be for Super Bowl 50?
Over/Under 48.5

Which Region will have a higher Nielsen Rating?
Denver -140    (5/7)
Charlotte EVEN (1/1)

How many wings will Buffalo Wild Wings Sell on Super Bowl Day?
Over/Under 12 million

TEAM/GAME PROPS

Coin Toss
Heads -105 (20/21)
Tails -105 (20/21)

Will the referee redo the Coin Toss?
Yes 20/1

Will the team that chooses Heads or Tails in the coin toss be correct?
Yes -105 (20/21)
No -105 (20/21)

Team to win the coin toss
Carolina Panthers -105 (20/21)
Denver Broncos -105 (20/21)

Will the team that wins the coin toss win the game?
Yes -105 (20/21)
No -105 (20/21)

Team to score first in the game
Carolina Panthers -150 (2/3)
Denver Broncos +120 (6/5)

Will the team that scores first win the game?
Yes -160 (5/8)
No +130 (13/10)

Total Team Points – Carolina Panthers
Over/Under 24½

Total Team Points – Carolina Panthers – First Half
Over/Under 11½

Total Team Points – Denver Broncos
Over/Under 20

Total Team Points – Denver Broncos – First Half
Over/Under 9½

Will there be a Score in the First 7m30s of The 1st Quarter?
Yes -160 (5/8)
No +130 (13/10)

Will there be a Score in the First 1m30s of The 1st Quarter?
Yes +1000 (10/1)
No -2500 (1/25)

Our advice: No hedging again. “No” again.

Which will be the Highest Scoring Quarter?
1st Quarter 5/1
2nd Quarter 8/5
3rd Quarter 9/2
4th Quarter 5/2

Will there be a penalty for excessive celebration?
Yes +250     (5/2)
No -400     (1/4)

Will either backup QB take a snap in the game?
Yes +200 (2/1)
No -300 (1/3)

Will a special teams or defensive TD be scored?
Yes +150 (3/2)
No -180 (5/9)

MVP AND FIRST TO SCORE A TOUCHDOWN ODDS

Super Bowl 50 – Odds to Win MVP
Cam Newton 5/7
Peyton Manning 11/4
Luke Kuechly 14/1
C.J. Anderson 20/1
Ted Ginn Jr. 20/1
Von Miller 20/1
Greg Olsen 22/1
Emmanuel Sanders 22/1
Jonathan Stewart 22/1
Demaryius Thomas 22/1
Josh Norman 28/1
Aqib Talib 33/1
DeMarcus Ware 33/1
Corey Brown 66/1
Owen Daniels 66/1
Graham Gano 66/1
Ronnie Hillman 66/1
Brandon McManus 66/1
Darian Stewart 66/1
Danny Trevathan 66/1
Chris Harris Jr. 75/1
Devin Funchess 100/1
Brandon Marshall 100/1
Derek Wolfe 100/1
Kurt Coleman 150/1
Mike Tolbert 150/1
Field 33/1

PLAYER PROPS

Will Peyton Manning throw a Pick 6 in the game?
Yes +300 (3/1)
No -500 (1/5)

Will Cam Newton break the Super Bowl record of most rushing yards by a QB? (Note: The record is 64 by Steve McNair in Super Bowl XXXIV.)
Yes +275 (11/4)
No -450 (2/9)

Will Luke Kuechly record a pick 6 in the game?
Yes +600  (6/1)
No -1200 (1/12)

CROSS-SPORTS PROPS

Cross Sport Props – What will be higher?

Trump % Points in the New Hampshire Primary -200 (1/2)

Total Points scored by the winning Super Bowl team +150 (3/2)

Cross Sport Props – Exact Outcome
Carolina wins Super Bowl – Trump Wins 2016 Presidential Election: 13/4
Carolina wins Super Bowl – Cinton Wins 2016 Presidential Election: 7/4
Carolina wins Super Bowl – Sanders Wins 2016 Presidential Election: 5/1
Denver wins Super Bowl – Trump Wins 2016 Presidential Election: 7/1
Denver wins Super Bowl – Clinton Wins 2016 Presidential Election: 9/2
Denver wins Super Bowl – Sanders Wins 2016 Presidential Election: 10/1

Cross Sport Props

What are the odds the Carolina Panthers win the 2016 Super Bowl and the Golden State Warriors win the 2015-2016 NBA Title?
Yes: 2/1

Cross Sport Props – What will be higher?
Total Goals in the Montreal vs Carolina NHL game on February 7th or Total Receptions by Greg Olsen

Cross Sport Props – What will be higher?
Tiger Woods 1st Round score at 2016 Masters or Emmanuel Sanders Receiving Yards

Cross Sport Props – What will be higher?
Arsenal Total Goals on February 7th or Peyton Manning TD Passes

Football fans will have a chance to go gaga over the national anthem Sunday.

The National Football League announced that Lady Gaga will sing the National Anthem as part of Super Bowl 50 pregame festivities at Levi’s Stadium in the San Francisco Bay Area on Sunday, February 7. The performance will be televised live on CBS prior to kickoff.

More than 118.5 million viewers watched last year’s Super Bowl, the most-watched television program in history. The pregame show, including the National Anthem, and Super Bowl 50 will be broadcast worldwide.

In addition, on behalf of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Academy Award winning actress Marlee Matlin (Children of a Lesser God, The West Wing, Law & Order:SVU) will perform in American Sign Language the National Anthem.

The NFL previously announced global superstars COLDPLAY will be one of several special artists performing in the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show. The pregame and halftime shows are an NFL Network Production and will be executive produced by Ricky Kirshner.

In other NFL/Super Bowl news…

The National Football League introduced its Super Bowl Babies campaign that will feature a :60 TV commercial slated for Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, February 7 on CBS.  The campaign kicks off with a long-form music video  that launched on youtube.com/nfl.

The new commercial called “Super Bowl Babies Choir” is the latest chapter in the NFL’s campaign titled “Football is Family.”  It features the biggest collection of Super Bowl Babies: fans born in Super Bowl winning cities approximately nine months after the game. This group encompasses 49-year-old Green Bay Packer babies all the way to year-old Seattle Seahawks babies.

“For 49 years, our fans have rallied around their favorite teams on Super Bowl Sunday and passed their pride and passion down to the next generation,” said NFL Chief Marketing Officer Dawn Hudson. She told the Associated Press, “We are excited to celebrate our football families by shining the spotlight on Super Bowl Babies, those fans born into a lifelong love of their team and the game.”

In the anthemic commercial, created by Grey New York and directed by Lance Acord and Chris Wilcha of Park Pictures, Super Bowl Babies of all ages recruited from eight champion teams form an NFL choir. In the film, the choir sings a specially written song set to the music of “Kiss from a Rose,” the international hit by the Grammy award-winning superstar Seal. Seal also makes a cameo standing on a hilltop overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge with San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl Babies.

“I was honored to be part of one of the biggest sporting events on the planet and to work with the NFL on such a fun family campaign,” said Seal. “An event like this brings so many people together and to have a song I wrote 25 years ago still be so loved is very special for me. I can’t wait to be at Super Bowl and be a part of Super Bowl 50 with the NFL.'”

The :60 commercial, airing on the heels of the 3rd Quarter, will be supported by :10 teasers introducing the featured Super Bowl Babies.

The NFL worked with the eight clubs to find Babies spanning decades, including the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Some of the featured fans and their families shared their experiences of what it means to be part of this football family and those videos also will be available on youtube.com/nfl.

In addition, on Tuesday Buzzfeed and the NFL launched the “Are You A Super Bowl Baby?” quiz, so fans of all 19 Super Bowl-winning teams have the opportunity to discover whether they are part of this football family.