Archives for posts with tag: CBS Sports

You’ve waited almost all Winter for this.

You found out who your team was going to play and you even knew where.

It was the when that kept you up at night.

Wonder no more. Your patience has been rewarded (even if it was a couple of weeks late).

The 2020 National Football League regular season schedule was released by the league last May. “The release of the NFL schedule is something our fans eagerly anticipate every year, as they look forward with hope and optimism to the season ahead,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told NFL Network and USA Today. “In preparing to play the season as scheduled, we will continue to make our decisions based on the latest medical and public health advice, in compliance with government regulations, and with appropriate safety protocols to protect the health of our fans, players, club and league personnel and our communities. We will be prepared to make adjustments as necessary, as we have during this off-season in safely and efficiently conducting key activities such as free agency, the virtual off-season program, and the 2020 NFL Draft.”

The NFL’s 101st season begins with the league’s annual prime-time kickoff game, as the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs hosts Houston at Arrowhead Stadium on September 10 at 8:20 p.m. on NBC in a rematch of the AFC Divisional playoffs.

Week 1 is a FOX national weekend with key divisional games on Sunday, September 13, featuring Tampa Bay traveling to the Big Easy to face off against New Orleans at 4:25 p.m. and Arizona visiting San Francisco at 4:25 p.m. CBS kicks off its coverage in Week 1 with a host of rivalry games, including Baltimore welcoming Cleveland at 1 p.m. and Miami traveling to Foxboro to face AFC East rival New England at 1 p.m.

The 2020 NFL schedule, Powered by AWS, features the debut of two world-class venues – SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The Los Angeles Rams will meet Dallas on NBC’s Sunday Night Football at 8:20 p.m. on September 13 in their new home while the Los Angeles Chargers welcome the Chiefs to SoFi Stadium in Week 2 on September 20 at 4:25 p.m. on CBS. Also in Week 2, the Raiders host the first-ever regular-season NFL game in Las Vegas at Allegiant Stadium when they face New Orleans on ESPN’s Monday Night Football at 8:15 p.m., with a simulcast on ABC, on the 50th anniversary of the first Monday Night Football game in 1970.

The ESPN slate begins with a Kickoff Weekend doubleheader. The New York Giants will host Pittsburgh on September 14 at 7:15 p.m. in the first game, followed by Tennessee visiting Denver in the nightcap at 10:10 p.m. ESPN will televise one game each Monday night in Weeks 2-16. There will be no Monday night game on the final regular-season weekend (Week 17) to provide more flexibility for the scheduling of the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs.

All 32 clubs are again scheduled for at least one nationally televised Thursday, Sunday or Monday game. Thursday Night Football will air exclusively on NFL Network in Weeks 2-4, while FOX kicks off its Thursday night slate in Week 5. FOX will broadcast 10 Thursday Night Football games between Weeks 5-15 (excluding Thanksgiving night) as well as the Friday, December 25, game between Minnesota and New Orleans at 4:30 p.m. Those FOX games are slated to be simulcast via NFL Network, distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes and streamed on Amazon Prime Video, beginning with Tampa Bay at Chicago on October 8.

NFL Network will exclusively televise seven games – with FOX producing the full slate of 18 games – including a very special Thursday night contest on September 17. On that day, the 100th birthday of the National Football League, Cleveland hosts Cincinnati at 8:20 p.m., with the NFL Network broadcast paying tribute to the birthplace of the NFL in nearby Canton, Ohio.

A select number of games will be “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences. Some of those contests were announced today and other “cross-flexed” games will be decided during the season.

Thanksgiving will feature a triple-header on Thursday, November 26. The first game will send Houston to the Motor City for an early afternoon showdown with Detroit at 12:30 p.m. on CBS. The late afternoon game will feature Washington visiting Dallas at 4:30 p.m. on FOX in a battle of NFC East rivals and the Thanksgiving Day festivities conclude with an AFC North showdown as Baltimore travels to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers on NBC at 8:20 p.m.

The regular season will conclude with Week 17 on Sunday, January 3. For the 12th consecutive year, all 16 games scheduled for Week 17 are division contests, enhancing the potential for more games with playoff ramifications. The NFL’s 32 teams will each play 16 games over 17 weeks. Byes will begin in Week 5 and end in Week 13. “Flexible scheduling” will be used in Weeks 11-17. Additionally, in Weeks 5-10, flexible scheduling may be used in no more than two weeks. In Weeks 5-16, the schedule lists the games tentatively set for Sunday Night Football on NBC. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to an afternoon start time.
For Week 17, the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to January 3. The schedule does not list a Sunday night game in Week 17 but an afternoon game with playoff implications will be moved to that time slot. Flexible scheduling ensures quality match-ups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and gives “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into prime-time.

Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday or Monday nights. In each of Weeks 15 and 16, up to three of five designated matchups will be played on Saturday with the remainder to be played on Sunday. Specific dates and start times for such designated Week 15 and Week 16 matchups will be determined and announced no later than four weeks prior to game day.

Beginning this year, two additional Wild Card teams – one each in the American and National Football Conferences – will qualify for the playoffs. The number 1 seed in each conference will receive a bye in the Wild Card round. The remaining division champions in each conference with the best records will be seeded 2, 3 and 4, followed by the next three teams per conference with the best records seeded 5, 6 and 7. AFC and NFC Wild Card games will feature the 2 seed hosting the 7 seed, the 3 seed hosting the 6 seed and the 4 seed hosting the 5 seed.

Wild Card Weekend for the 2020 season will consist of three games on Saturday, January 9 and three games on Sunday, January 10, 2021.

The NFL last expanded the playoffs for the 1990 season, increasing from 10 to 12 the number of teams to qualify for the postseason. Since 1990, at least four new teams have qualified for the playoffs that missed the postseason the year before – a streak of 30 consecutive seasons. Wild Card Weekend winners join the top division champions in each conference in the Divisional Playoffs on Saturday and Sunday, January 16-17. The AFC and NFC Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 24. The winners meet two weeks later on Sunday, February 7, in Super Bowl LV at Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium (CBS).

The NFL is the only sports league that presents all regular-season and postseason games on free, over-the-air television in local markets. All postseason games are televised nationally. Westwood One will broadcast on radio all NFL prime-time games, the three Thanksgiving Day games and the entire NFL playoffs.

Fans can experience exciting NFL match-ups in person by visiting their favorite team’s website, http://www.nfl.com/tickets or on any NFL licensed ticketing channel. When purchasing tickets, be sure to look for the authenticated NFL ticket logo or the NFL shield.

2020 NFL SCHEDULE (Times are Eastern and subject to change)

WEEK 1
Thursday, September 10
Houston at Kansas City Chiefs, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Sunday, September 13
Seattle at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cleveland at Baltimore, 1 p.m. on CBS
New York Jets at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS
Las Vegas at Carolina, 1 p.m. on CBS
Chicago at Detroit, 1 p.m. on FOX
Indianapolis at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on CBS
Green Bay at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on FOX
Miami at New England, 1 p.n. on CBS
Philadelphia at Washington, 1 p.m. on FOX
Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Tampa Bay at New Orleans, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Arizona at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Dallas at Los Angeles Rams, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, September 14
Pittsburgh at New York Giants, 7:15 p.m. on ESPN
Tennessee at Denver, 10:10 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 2
Thursday, September 17
Cincinnati at Cleveland, 8:20 p.m. on NFL Network

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

Monday, September 21
New Orleans at Las Vegas, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 3
Thursday, September 24
Miami at Jacksonville, 8:20 p.m. on NFL Network

Sunday, September 27
Chicago at Atlanta, 1 p.m. on FOX
Los Angeles Rams at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on FOX
Washington at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tennessee at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on CBS
Las Vegas at New England, 1 p.m. on CBS
San Francisco at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cincinnati at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on CBS
Houston at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. on CBS
New York Jets at Indianapolis, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Carolina at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Detroit at Arizona, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Tampa Bay at Denver, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Dallas at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Green Bay at New Orleans, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, September 28, 2020
Kansas City at Baltimore, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 4
Thursday, October 1
Denver at New York Jets, 8:20 p.m. NFL Network

Sunday, October 4
Arizona at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX
Indianapolis at Chicago, 1 p.m. on CBS
Jacksonville at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on CBS
Cleveland at Dallas, 1 p.m. on FOX
New Orleans at Detroit, 1 p.m. on FOX
Minnesota at Houston, 1 p.m. on FOX
Seattle at Miami, 1 p.m. on FOX
Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on CBS
Pittsburgh at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on CBS
Baltimore at Washington, 1 p.m. on CBS
New York Giants at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
New England at Kansas City, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Buffalo at Las Vegas, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Philadelphia at San Francisco, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, October 5
ATLANTA at Green Bay, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 5
Thursday, October 8
Tampa Bay at Chicago, 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFLNetwork and Amazon*

Sunday, October 11
Carolina at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cincinnati at Baltimore, 1 p.m. on CBS
Jacksonville at Houston, 1 p.m. on CBS
Las Vegas at Kansas City, 1 p.m. on CBS
Denver at New England, 1 p.m. on CBS
Arizona at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on FOX
Philadelphia at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. on FOX
Buffalo at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Rams at Washington, 1 p.m. onp FOX
Miami Dolphins at San Francisco 49ers 1:05p (PT) 4:05p FOX
Indianapolis at Cleveland, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
New York Giants at Dallas, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Minnesota at Seattle, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, October 12
Los Angeles Chargers at New Orleans, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 6
Thursday, October 15
Kansas City at Buffalo, 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon*

Sunday, October 18
ATLANTA at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on FOX
Chicago at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cincinnati at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on FOX
Detroit at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on FOX
Washington at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on FOX
Baltimore at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on CBS
Cleveland at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. on CBS
Houston at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on CBS
Miami at Denver, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
New York Jets at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Green Bay at Tampa Bay, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco, 8:20 p.m. NBC

Monday, October 19
Arizona at Dallas, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 7
Thursday, October 22
New York Giants at Philadelphia, 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon*

Sunday, October 25
Detroit at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on FOX
Pittsburgh at Baltimore, 1 p.m. on CBS
Cleveland at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on CBS
Green Bay at Houston, 1 p.m. on FOX
Los Angeles Chargers at Miami, 1 p.m. on CBS
Carolina at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX
Buffalo at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS
Dallas at Washington, 1 p.m. on FOX
Seattle at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Kansas City at Denver, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
San Francisco at New England, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Tampa Bay at Las Vegas, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, October 26
Chicago at Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 8
Thursday, October 29
ATLANTA at Carolina, 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon*

Sunday, November 1
New England at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS
Tennessee at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on CBS
Las Vegas at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on FOX
Indianapolis at Detroit, 1 p.m. on CBS
Minnesota at Green Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
New York Jets at Kansas City, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Rams at Miami, 1 p.m. on FOX
Jacksonville at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
New Orleans at Chicago, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
San Francisco at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Dallas at Philadelphia, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, November 2
Tampa Bay at New York Giants, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 9
Thursday, November 5
Green Bay at San Francisco, 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon*

Sunday, November 8
Denver at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on CBS
Seattle at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on FOX
Baltimore at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on CBS
Houston at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on CBS
Carolina at Kansas City, 1 p.m. on FOX
Detroit at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on CBS
Chicago at Tennessee, 1 o.m. on FOX
New York Giants at Washington, 1 p.m. on FOX
Las Vegas at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Miami at Arizona, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Pittsburgh at Dallas, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
New Orleans at Tampa Bay, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, November 9
New England at New York Jets, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 10
Thursday, November 12
Indianapolis at Tennessee, 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon*

Sunday, November 15
Tampa Bay at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX
Houston at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on FOX
Washington at Detroit, 1 p.m. on FOX
Jacksonville at Green Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
Philadelphia at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. on FOX
Buffalo at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Denver at Las Vegas, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
New York Jets at Miami, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Seattle at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
San Francisco at New Orleans, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Baltimore at New England, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, November 16
Minnesota at Chicago, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 11
Thursday, November 19
Arizona at Seattle, 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon*

Sunday, November 22
ATLANTA at New Orleans, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tennessee at Baltimore, 1 p.m. on CBS
Detroit at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX
Philadelphia at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on FOX
New England at Houston, 1 p.m. on CBS
Green Bay at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on FOX
Pittsburgh at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on CBS
Cincinnati at Washington, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
Dallas at Minnesota, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Kansas City at Las Vegas, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, November 23
Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 12
Thursday, November 26 (THANKSGIVING IN UNITED STATES)
Houston at Detroit, 12:30 p.m. on CBS
Washington at Dallas, 4:30 p.m. on FOX
Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Sunday, November 29
Las Vegas at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS
New York Giants at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tennessee at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on CBS
Cleveland at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on CBS
Carolina at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on FOX
Arizona at New England, 1 p.m. on FOX
Miami at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS
New Orleans at Denver, 1 p.m. on FOX
San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Kansas City at Tampa Bay, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Chicago Bears at Green Bay, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, November 30
Seattle at Philadelphia, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 13
Thursday, December 3
Dallas at Baltimore, 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon*

Sunday, December 6
New Orleans at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on FOX
Detroit at Chicago, 1 p.m. on FOX
Indianapolis at Houston, 1 p.m. on CBS
Cincinnati at Miami, 1 p.m. on CBS
Jacksonville at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on CBS
Las Vegas at New York Jets, 1 p.m. on CBS
Washington at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cleveland at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
New York Giants at Seattle, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Philadelphia at Green Bay, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
New England at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Denver at Kansas City, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, December 7
Buffalo at San Francisco, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 14
Thursday, December 10
New England at Los Angeles Rams, 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon*

Sunday, December 13
ATLANTA at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Denver at Carolina, 1 p.m. on CBS
Houston at Chicago, 1 p.m. on CBS
Dallas at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on FOX
Green Bay at Detroit, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tennessee at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on CBS
Kansas City at Miami, 1 p.m. on CBS
Arizona at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on FOX
Minnesota at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
Indianapolis at Las Vegas, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
New York Jets at Seattle, 4:05 p.m. on CBS
New Orleans at Philadelphia, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Washington at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, December 14
Baltimore at Cleveland, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 15
Thursday, December 17
Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas, 8:20 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon*

Saturday, December 19
TBD vs. TBD, 4:30 p.m. on NFL Network
TBD vs. TBD, 8:15 p.m. on NFL Network

Saturday, December 19 or Sunday, December 20 – Date/Time/Network TBD
Buffalo at Denver – Date, Time and Network TBD
Carolina at Green Bay – Date, Time and Network TBD
Houston at Indianapolis – Date, Time and Network TBD
New York Jets at Los Angeles Rams – Date, Time and Network TBD
Detroit at Tennessee – Date, Time and Network TBD

Sunday, December 20
Tampa Bay at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on FOX
Jacksonville at Baltimore, 1 p.m. on CBS
New England at Miami, 1 p.m. on CBS
Chicago at Minnesota, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cleveland at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on CBS
Seattle at Washington, 1 p.m. on FOX
Philadelphia at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. on FOX
Kansas City at New Orleans, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
San Francisco at Dallas, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, December 21
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 16
Friday, December 25
Minnesota at New Orleans, 4:30 p.m. on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon*

Saturday, December 26
TBD vs. TBD, 4:30 p.m. on NFL Network
TBD vs. TBD, 8:15 p.m. on NFL Network

Saturday, December 26 or Sunday, December 27 – Date/Time/Network TBD
San Francisco at Arizona – Date/Time/Network TBD
Tampa Bay at Detroit – Date/Time/Network TBD
Denver at Los Angeles Chargers – Date/Time/Network TBD
Miami at Las Vegas – Date/Time/Network TBD
Cleveland at New York Jets – Date/Time/Network TBD

Sunday, December 27
ATLANTA at Kansas City, 1 p.m. on FOX
New York Giants at Baltimore, 1 p.m. on FOX
Cincinnati at Houston, 1 p.m. on CBS
Chicago at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. on FOX
Indianapolis at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. on CBS
Carolina at Washington, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Philadelphia at Dallas, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Tennessee at Green Bay, 8:20 p.m. on NBC

Monday, December 28
Buffalo at New England, 8:15 p.m. on ESPN

WEEK 17
Sunday, January 3
ATLANTA at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. on FOX
Miami at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS
New Orleans at Carolina, 1 p.m. on FOX
Green Bay at Chicago, 1 p.m. on FOX
Baltimore at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on CBS
Pittsburgh at Cleveland, 1 p.m. on CBS
Minnesota at Detroit, 1 p.m. on FOX
Tennessee at Houston, 1 p.m. on CBS
Jacksonville at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City, 1 p.m. on CBS
New York Jets at New England, 1 p.m. on CBS
Dallas at New York Giants, 1 p.m. on FOX
Washington at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. on FOX
Las Vegas at Denver, 4:25 p.m. on CBS
Arizona at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. on FOX
Seattle at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m. on FOX

* NFL Network and Amazon simulcast subject to change

NFL clubs voted to expand the postseason by two teams beginning with the 2020 season. Expanding the NFL postseason was addressed in the new NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. Players and clubs both recognized that nothing energizes fans like the chance to see their team qualify for the playoffs and compete for the Super Bowl.

The vote took place during a league meeting held remotely follows the recommendation of the Competition Committee, Management Council Executive Committee and Media Committee on increasing the number of playoff teams from 12 to 14.

Two additional Wild Card teams – one each in the American and National Football Conferences – will qualify for the playoffs. The No. 1 seed in each conference will receive a bye in the Wild Card round. The remaining division champions in each conference with the best records will be seeded 2, 3 and 4, followed by the next three teams per conference with the best records seeded 5, 6 and 7.

AFC and NFC Wild Card games will feature the 2 seed hosting the 7 seed, the 3 seed hosting the 6 seed and the 4 seed hosting the 5 seed.

Wild Card Weekend for the 2020 season will consist of three games on Saturday, January 9 and three games on Sunday, January 10, 2021.

CBS will broadcast one additional Wild Card game on January 10 with kickoff at approximately 4:40 p.m. Eastern. The game will also be available via a livestream on CBS All Access. Additionally, as part of CBS’ coverage, a separately produced telecast of the game will air on Nickelodeon, tailored for a younger audience.

NBC, its new streaming service Peacock, as well as Telemundo will all broadcast an additional Wild Card game on January 10 with kickoff at approximately 8:15 p.m. Eastern.

​The NFL last expanded the playoffs for the 1990 season, increasing from 10 to 12 the number of teams to qualify for the postseason. Since 1990, at least four new teams have qualified for the playoffs that missed the postseason the year before – a streak of 30 consecutive seasons.

Championship Broadcast Information (All times Eastern)

AFC Championship: Tennessee at Kansas City, 3:05 p.m. on CBS: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (field reporter), Jay Feely (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Tony Boselli, Laura Okmin (field reporter); SIRIUS: 82 (Tennessee), 83 (Kansas City); XM: 226 (Tennessee), 225 (Kansas City)

NFC Championship: Green Bay at San Francisco, 6:40 p.m. on FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (field reporter), Chris Myers (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, Kurt Warner, Ross Tucker (field reporter); SIRIUS: 82 (Green Bay), 83 (San Francisco); XM: 226 (Green Bay), 225 (San Francisco)

Officials
Tennessee at Kansas City, 3:05 p.m.: Tony Corrente
Green Bay at San Francisco, 6:40 p.m.: John Hussey

Odds (Home teams in Caps)
KANSAS CITY – 7 1/2 vs. Tennessee (52)
SAN FRANCISCO – 7 vs. Green Bay (45)

Injury Report

Tennessee at Kansas City, 3:05 p.m.

Tennessee
QUESTIONABLE: LB Jayon Brown (shoulder), T Jack Conklin (shoulder), LB Rashaan Evans (foot), WR Cody Hollister (ankle), WR Adam Humphries (ankle), CB Adoree’ Jackson (foot), LB David Long (knee)

Kansas City
QUESTIONABLE: DT Chris Jones (calf), RB LeSean McCoy (illness), QB Matt Moore (illness)

Green Bay at San Francisco, 6:40 p.m.

Green Bay
QUESTIONABLE: RB Dan Vitale (knee)

San Francisco: San Francisco reports no injuries

Sunday Weather
Tennessee at Kansas City, 3:05 p.m.: Sunny and 18 degrees
Green Bay at San Francisco: 6:40 p.m.: Cloudy and 53 degrees

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

And there were four.

The NFL’s answer to the NCAA’s Final Four is here. When the 2019 playoffs got underway, there were 12 teams in the group.

The group has now been narrowed to four and when play concludes Sunday night, two teams will be fighting for the right to win a Lombardi Trophy.

As we’ve said before, we’ll say again.

You win, you move on.

You lose, your next game is next September.

The two winners? They’ll get a week off to prepare and have microphones in their faces, answering the same questions over and over and over again. It’s the nature of the beast and for the other teams that aren’t in the post-season party, they will look at their seasons and wonder what they could have done to be in that spot.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND

NEW FACES ON CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND: The NFL will have a new Super Bowl Champion for a 15th consecutive season as four teams vie to secure their place in Super Bowl LIV. In the AFC Championship Game, presented by Intuit TurboTax, Tennessee (11-7) takes on Kansas City (13-4), while Green Bay (14-3) travels west to Levi’s Stadium to take on San Francisco (14-3) in the NFC Championship Game, presented by Intuit TurboTax.

Of the teams appearing on Championship Sunday, three teams – Green Bay, San Francisco and Tennessee – missed the postseason in 2018, marking the sixth time that at least three teams have advanced to the Championship games after failing to make the postseason the previous year since the NFL instituted the 12-team playoff format in 1990 and the second time in the past three seasons.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: With a 28-12 victory over the number 1 seed Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Playoffs, Tennessee (11-7) became the sixth number 6 seed to advance to a Conference Championship since the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format in 1990 and first since the Green Bay Packers and New York Jets in 2010.

With a win over Kansas City on Sunday, Tennessee would join the 2010 GREEN BAY PACKERS and the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers as the only number 6 seeds to appear in the Super Bowl since 1990 when the NFL instituted the current 12-team playoff format. Both the Packers and Steelers would go on to win the Super Bowl in those seasons.

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

SEASON – TEAM (CONFERENCE; ADVANCED TO)
2010 – Green Bay (NFC; Won Super Bowl XLV)
2005 – Pittsburgh (AFC; Won Super Bowl XL)
2019 – Tennessee (AFC; ??)

Additionally, Tennessee could also join the 2010 Green Bay Packers and 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers as the only teams to defeat each of the top three seeds in their conference in a single postseason since 1990.

KING HENRY CONTINUES HIS REIGN: Tennessee running back Derrick Henry rushed for a postseason franchise-record 195 yards in the Titans’ Divisional Playoff win last week. After rushing for 182 yards and a touchdown on Wild Card Weekend against New England, Henry became the first player with at least 180 rushing yards in consecutive postseason games in NFL history.

With at least 150 rushing yards on Sunday, Henry would join Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Davis (1998-99) as the only players with at least 150 rushing yards in three consecutive postseason games in NFL history.

With at least 123 rushing yards on Sunday against Kansas City, Henry would join Pro Football Hall of Famers John Riggins (610 rushing yards in 1982) and Terrell Davis (581 in 1997) as the only players with at least 500 rushing yards in a single postseason in NFL history.

The players with the most rushing yards in a single postseason in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RUSHING YARDS)
John Riggins, Washington (1982 – 610)(HOF)
Terrell Davis, Denver (1997 – 581)(HOF)
Terrell Davis, Denver (1998 – 468)(HOF)
Marcus Allen, Los Angeles Raiders (1983 – 466)(HOF)
Eddie George, Tennessee (1999 – 449)
Derrick Henry, Tennessee (2019 – 377)*
*Entering Sunday

Henry has 561 rushing yards in four career postseason games. With at least 112 rushing yards on Sunday, he would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Davis (672 yards) for the most rushing yards through a player’s first five career postseason games in NFL history.

Henry led the NFL with 1,540 rushing yards in the regular season in 2019. With a win on Sunday, Henry would join Pro Football Hall of Famers Terrell Davis (1998) and Emmitt Smith (1992-93, 1995), as well as Shaun Alexander (2005) as the only single-season rushing leaders to reach the Super Bowl in the same season.

The single-season rushing leaders to reach the Super Bowl in the same season:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RUSHING YARDS; SUPER BOWL)
Shaun Alexander, Seattle (2005 – 1,880; XL)
Terrell Davis, Denver (1998 – 2,008; XXXIII)(HOF)
Emmitt Smith, Dallas (1995 – 1,773; XXX)(HOF)
Emmitt Smith, Dallas (1993 – 1,486; XXVIII)(HOF)
Emmitt Smith, Dallas (1992 – 1,713; XXVII)(HOF)

AFC GOES THROUGH CHIEFS KINGDOM: Kansas City advanced to their second consecutive AFC Championship Game for the first time in franchise history with a 51-31 win over Houston in the Divisional Playoffs. In the victory, Kansas City became the first team to win a game by at least 20 points after trailing by at least 20 points in the same game in NFL history.

Kansas City’s comeback in the Divisional Playoffs marked the second comeback of at least 16 points in the postseason this year after Houston erased a 16-point deficit in an overtime win over Buffalo on Wild Card Weekend. This marks the second time in which there have been two comebacks of at least 16 points in a single postseason in NFL history (2002).

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the comeback with 321 passing yards and five touchdowns without an interception for a 134.6 passer rating and added 53 yards on the ground, becoming the first player with at least 300 passing yards, five touchdown passes, and 50 rushing yards in a single postseason game in NFL history.

If Mahomes, who has eight touchdown passes in three career postseason games, has at least three touchdown passes on Sunday against Tennessee, he would tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (11) for the most touchdown passes through a player’s first four career postseason games in NFL history.

The quarterbacks with the most touchdown passes in their first four postseason games in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAMS (TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (11)(HOF)
Dan Marino, Miami (10)(HOF)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (10)
Alex Smith, San Francisco and Kansas City (10)
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (8)*
*In three games

Additionally, with at least four touchdown passes, Mahomes would become the first player with at least four touchdown passes in consecutive postseason games in NFL history.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce recorded postseason career-highs in receptions (10), receiving yards (134) and receiving touchdowns (three) last week, becoming the third tight end with at least three touchdown receptions in a single postseason game in the Super Bowl era.

If Kelce, who has three career postseason games with at least 100 receiving yards, has at least 100 receiving yards against Tennessee, he would tie for the most such career postseason games by a tight end in NFL history.

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

PLAYER, TEAMS (GAMES WITH 100+ RECEIVING YARDS)
Vernon Davis, San Francisco (4)
Rob Gronkowski, New England (4)
Keith Jackson, Philadelphia, Miami and Green Bay (4)
Dallas Clark, Indianapolis (3)
Travis Kelce, Kansas City (3)*
Greg Olsen, Chicago and Carolina (3)

HUNTING MORE TITLES IN TITLETOWN: Green Bay advanced to their first Conference Championship since 2016 with a 28-23 victory over Seattle in the Divisional Playoffs. With the victory, Green Bay tied Dallas (35 wins) for the third-most postseason victories in NFL history.

With a win against the 49ers, who rank fifth on the all-time list with 31 postseason wins, on Sunday (6:40 PM ET, FOX), the Packers would tie Pittsburgh (36 wins) for the second-most postseason victories in NFL history.

The teams with the most postseason wins in NFL history:

TEAM (WINS, SUPER BOWL WINS
New England (37, 6)
Pittsburgh (36, 6)
Dallas (35, 5)
Green Bay (35, 4)
San Francisco (31, 5)

Green Bay head coach Matt LaFleur became the first head coach to reach a Conference Championship in his first season since JIM HARBAUGH led San Francisco to the NFC Championship Game in 2011.

With a win on Sunday, LaFleur would become the sixth rookie head coach to appear in the Super Bowl.

The rookie head coaches to appear in the Super Bowl:

HEAD COACH, TEAM (SEASON – RESULT)
Don McCafferty, Baltimore Colts (1970 – W 16-13, Super Bowl V)
Red Miller, Denver (1977 – L 27-10, Super Bowl XII)
George Seifert, San Francisco (1989 – W 55-10, Super Bowl XXIV)
Bill Callahan, Oakland (2002 – L 48-21, Super Bowl XXXVII)
Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis (2009 – L 31-17, Super Bowl XLIV)
Matt LaFleur, Green Bay (2019 – ??)

With LaFleur (40 years, 66 days old) and San Francisco head coach KYLE SHANAHAN (40 years, 36 days old), Sunday’s NFC Championship Game will be the first Conference Championship Game featuring two head coaches under the age of 41 since 1970.

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns without an interception for a 113.7 passer rating last week, marking Rodgers’ sixth consecutive postseason game with at least two touchdown passes.

With at least two touchdown passes on Sunday, Rodgers would tie Pro Football Hall of Famers Terry Bradshaw (seven games) and Joe Montana (seven), as well as Drew Brees (seven), for the second-longest streak of postseason games with at least two touchdown passes in NFL history. Only Joe Flacco (eight games) had a longer such streak in league history. Additionally, with two touchdown passes, Rodgers would tie Peyton Manning (40) for the fourth-most career postseason touchdown passes in NFL history.

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

PLAYER – TEAMS (TOUCHDOWN PASSES)
Tom Brady, New England (73)
Joe Montana, San Francisco and Kansas City (45)(HOF)
Brett Favre, Green Bay and Minnesota (44)(HOF)
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis and Denver (40)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (38)*
*Entering Sunday

(HOF) Hall of Fame

Rodgers, who has 4,700 passing yards in 17 career postseason starts, needs at least 300 passing yards on Sunday to become the sixth player with at least 5,000 career postseason passing yards in NFL history, joining Tom Brady (11,388), Peyton Manning (7,339), Pro Football Hall of Famers Brett Favre (5,855) and Joe Montana (5,772) and Ben Roethlisberger (5,256).

NEW GOLDEN ERA: With a 27-10 win over Minnesota in the Divisional Playoffs, San Francisco became the fifth team since 1990 to advance to a Championship Game after winning four-or-fewer games the previous season, and the second team in three years, joining Jacksonville in 2017.

With a victory on Sunday against Green Bay, San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan, whose father – Mike Shanahan – won Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII as head coach of the Denver Broncos, would become the first father-son duo to each appear in a Super Bowl as a head coach in NFL history. In their Divisional Playoff victory, the 49ers defense tallied six team sacks, tied for the second-most in a single postseason game in franchise history.

With at least six sacks on Sunday against Green Bay, the 2019 San Francisco 49ers would join the 1984 San Francisco 49ers as the only teams with at least six sacks in two consecutive postseason games in the Super Bowl era. 49ers rookie defensive lineman Nick Bosa recorded two sacks in his postseason debut last week. With at least two sacks on Sunday, Bosa would join Lamarr Woodley as the only players with at least two sacks in each of their first two postseason games since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic. Bosa would also become the first rookie to accomplish the feat since 1982.

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

Championship Sunday begins with the AFC Championship Game, presented by Intuit TurboTax, between Tennessee (11-7) and Kansas City (13-4), followed by the NFC Championship Game, presented by Intuit TurboTax, featuring Green Bay (14-3) and San Francisco (14-3). For the 15th consecutive season, there will be a new Super Bowl champion.

Three of the four remaining teams – Green Bay, San Francisco and Tennessee – are making a Championship game appearance after missing the playoffs last season. This marks the sixth time that at least three teams have advanced to the Championship games after failing to make the postseason the previous year since the NFL instituted the 12-team playoff format in 1990 and the second time in the past three seasons. Additionally, San Francisco is the fifth team since 1990 to advance to a Championship Game after winning four-or-fewer games the previous season and the second in three years, joining Jacksonville in 2017.

In the NFC, this marks the third consecutive year in which the Championship Game features the conference’s top-two seeds. The AFC, meanwhile, sees the number six seed Titans traveling to the two-seeded Chiefs. The Titans are the first six seed to reach the Conference Championship since the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers in 2010. The Chiefs join New England (2011-12, 2016-17) as the only teams to host the AFC Championship in consecutive seasons since 2000.

Each game features a quarterback making his first career appearance in a Conference Championship, as both Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill and San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo take center stage for the first time on Sunday. Tannehill led the NFL with a 117.5 passer rating in 2019, the fourth-highest single-season mark in NFL history among qualified passers. Garoppolo has compiled a 22-5 record, including postseason, as a starting quarterback in his career.

Both Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers are making a return to Championship Sunday as starting quarterbacks. After leading the Chiefs to the AFC Championship Game last season, Mahomes will become the eighth quarterback to start two Championship games in his first three seasons since 1970. Rodgers, meanwhile, makes his fourth Championship Game appearance, the third-most among active quarterbacks.

Each contest is a rematch of a memorable 2019 regular-season game. In Week 10, Tennessee defeated Kansas City in Nashville, 35-32, as the two teams combined for over 900 yards of total offense. The game featured five lead changes and the Titans overcame a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Chiefs, thanks to Tannehill’s touchdown pass in the final minute and a blocked potential game-tying Kansas City field goal as time expired. In their Week 12 meeting at Levi’s Stadium, San Francisco defeated Green Bay, 37-8, on Sunday Night Football, as the 49ers’ defense held the Packers to their lowest point total of the season. For the winners in the first meeting, it’s a chance to prove that it was not a fluke or luck; for the losers, it’s revenge.

Last week was a pretty good week, going 3-1 and for the season 146-118. With that, here are this weekend’s championship picks.

AFC Championship: Tennessee (9-7, 2nd Wild Card, 6th seed) at Kansas City (12-4, AFC West champion, 2nd seed), 3:05 p.m. on CBS. They met in week 10 in the Music City. They meet again in the Show-Me State and this time, a trip to Miami’s on the line. Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes hosts Tennesee and Ryan Tannehill for the AFC Championship.

Tennessee first shocked the football world by beat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Foxboro in the AFC Wild Card round, then proceeded to shock the football world again by taking Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens to task last Saturday evening in Charm City, taking a 28-12 AFC Divisional Round win at M&T Bank Stadium.

Holding the number-one seeded Ravens to a pair of Jeff Tucker field goals in the first half, Tennessee took a 14-6 lead with them to the break, proceeding to score 14 third-quarter points unchallenged to seal the Ravens’ fate before Jackson would finally get his team into the end zone, connecting with TE Hayden Hurst on a 15-yard TD toss early in the fourth quarter.

In the contest that featured five Heisman winners, Tennessee’s Derrek Henry and Jackson were in Heisman form, as Henry rushed for 195 yards and had a TD pass, while Jackson tallied 143 in the Saturday night contest; Tennesee would out-rush Baltmore 217-185 and Jackson threw for 365 yards with the fourth quarter TD (Jackson was sacked four time and picked off twice), while Tannehill threw for 88 and a pair of TDs. The Titans were 7 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 27:54, while the Ravens actually ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 32:06, going 11 of 18 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down.

In a comeback that would have made Lazarus jealous, Kansas City rallied from 24 points down in the first half, then proceeded to score 41 points unchallenged to take the 51-31 win over Houston in the AFC Divisional Round game at Arrowhead. The Chiefs trailed 24-0 with 9:55 left before the half before the Chiefs went to work, denting the scoreboard when Mahomes and RB Damien Willams hooked up on a 17-yard TD toss. Mahomes and TE Travis Kelce would then connect on three TD passes in the half (a pair of 5-yard tosses and one from 6 yards) to take the lead for keeps. Williams would then add a pair of rushing TDs in the third quarter to all but ice the contest away, with a Mahomes to TE Blake Bell and a Harrison Butker field goal to close the scoring out.

Kansas City out-rushed Houston (the fourth seed in the AFC playoffs) 118-95 and Mahomes threw for 321 yards with the five TDs without a sack, while Houston’s DeSean Watson threw for 388 yards with four TDs (connecting with TE Darren Fells on one of the tosses) and was sacked four times (neither Mahomes or Watson threw an interception). Kansas City was 2 of 8 on third down tries at Arrowhead, keeping the ball for 25:25, while the Texans were rulers of the clock, keeping the pigskin for 34:35, while going 5 of 15 on third down, 1 for 5 on fourth down.

The two clubs meet in Nashville in week 10 and the Titans held off a late Chiefs rally in that contest to come away 35-32 winners at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee and Kansas City went into the intermission tied at 13-13 before the Chiefs took a 32-27 lead when Butker connected on a 39-yard field goal with 3:14 left in the contest.

Tennessee did not waste a lot of time on their drive to reclaim the lead, getting the ball back with 81 seconds after a Chiefs’ field goal try failed, using 4 plays, 61 yards and 58 seconds to reclaim the lead when WR Adam Humphries and Tannehill connected on a 23-yard TD toss. Tannehill then took matters into his own feet when he scored on the two-point conversion.

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

Kansas City fans would get their hearts broken as Kalu broke through the line, blocked the kick and ended the Chiefs threat. Henry led all rushers with 188 yards and a pair of TDs as the Titans out-rushed Kansas City 225-97 and Mahomes threw for 446 and three TDs (connecting with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce on two of the passes), while Tannehill threw for 181 yards and a pair of TDs (including the game-winner) to go with his two-point try (neither threw an interception; Mahomes was sacked twice, while Tannehill was sacked four times). Kansas City was 7 of 14 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 37:51, including the final 23 seconds of the game, while the Titans, keeping the ball for 22:09, went 2 of 8 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

In the week 10 contest in the Music City, the Chiefs were favored by 3 1/2 and the Titans would win by 2. The two clubs did manage to cover the 48 1/2 over/under by tallying 67 points. This time, the Chiefs are favored again, this time by 7 1/2 with a 52 over/under. They’ve met only three times in the post-season and the Chiefs have prevailed in two of the contests, winning 28-20 in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers in the AFC Wild Card Round. Tennessee’s lone win in the series came in 2017 at Arrowhead by a final of 22-21 in the AFC wild Card round.

The winner will be going to Miami in two weeks. The loser will be second-guessed from the end of the game until the start of the 2020 season. Titans fans, it was fun while it lasted. The carriage is about to turn back into a pumpkin and the horsemen go back to being white mice. Tennessee makes it closer than 7 1/2 but the Chiefs prevail and return to the Super Bowl as AFC champs.

NFC Championship: Green Bay (13-3, NFC North champion, 2nd seed) at San Francisco (13-3, NFC West champion, 1st seed), 6:40 p.m. on FOX. Championshsip weekend concludes in wine country as Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers make their way to Santa Clara to square off against Jimmy Garroppolo and the San Francisco 49ers at Levis Stadium Sunday afternoon. Both teams were winners at home to advance to the championship round.

Green Bay held off a late Seattle rally at Lambeau Field last Sunday afternoon as the Packers prevailed 28-23. The Packers led 21-3 at the intermission in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst before Seattle rallied in the second half, outscoring Green Bay 20-7 in the final 30 minutes of play, pulling to within 5 with 9:33 left in the contest when Marshawn Lynch scored from a yard out.

Seattle out-rushed Green Bay 110-109 and Seahawks QB Russell Wilson leading all rushers with 64 yards, while Packers RB Aaron Jones tallied 62 yards with a pair of rushing TDs (Lynch had a pair of rushing TDs for Seattle). Rodgers threw for 243 yards, connecting with WR DeVonte Adams (eight catches for 160 yards) twice, while Wilson threw for 277 yards and a TD to WR Tyler Lockett (Rodgers was sacked twice, Wilson was sacked five times and neither threw an interception). Green Bay was 9 of 14 on third down tries and held on to the ball for 29:29, while Seattle ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 30:31, going 3 of 9 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

San Francisco erased a 7-7 tie at the end of the first quarter against Minnesota last Saturday afternoon at Levis Stadium, coming away 27-10 Divisional Round winners. 49ers RB Tevin Coleman gave his team the lead for keeps with 7:10 left before the intermission before Vikings K Dan Bailey pulled Minnesota to within 4 with 39 seconds left, booting a 39-yard field goal. Coleman would add a second rushing TD in the third quarter and 49ers K Robbie Gould would add to the home team’s scoring as they tallied their final 13 points of the game unchallenged to take control of the contest.

Coleman rushed for 105 yards on 22 carries as San Francisco out-rushed Minnesota 186-21 and Garoppolo threw for 131 yards and a TD to WR Kendrick Bourne, while Kirk Cousins threw for 172 yards and a TD toss to Stefon Diggs (Cousins was sacked six times, Garoppolo was sacked twice and neither threw an interception). San Francisco went 5 of 12 on third down (0 of 1 on fourth down) and the 49ers ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 38:27, while the Vikings, who kept the ball for 21:33, went 2 of 12 on third down, 0 of 2 on fourth down.

They met in Santa Clara in week 12 and the 49ers prevailed 38-7 at Levis’ Stadium. San Francisco scored 23 first-half points unchallenged to lead 23-0 at the break. The Packers would score their only points in the contest when Rodgers and DeVante Adams connected on a 2-yard TD pass and a two-point conversion late in the third quarter before San Francisco floored the gas in the half, using a 61-yard TD pass from Garoppolo to TE George Kittle and a 15-yard run by Mostert to seal the win.

While Green Bay out-rushed San Francisco 117-112, Garoppolo threw for 253 yards with a pair of TDs, with Rodgers throwing for 104 yards and a TD (Rodgers was sacked five times, Garoppolo sacked three times, neither threw an interception). Green Bay was a dismal 1 of 15 on third down (they were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and actually ruled the clock, as kept the ball for 35:16, while the 49ers held on to the pigskin for 24:44, going 3 of 9 on third down tries.

In the week 12 contest in Santa Clara, the 49ers easily covered the 3-point spread, winning by 31 but Green Bay and San Francisco barely missed the 46 over/under, tallying 45 points. They’ve met seven times in post-season play and Green Bay has won four of the meetings, outscoring San Francisco 188-154. San Francisco has won the last two meetings in the post-season, including a 23-20 win in 2013 at Lambeau in the NFC Wild Card Round; Green Bay’s last playoff win also came at Lambeau in 2001 in the NFC Championship by a final of 25-15. In this meeting in wine country, the 49ers are favored by 7 with the over/under at 45. Both numbers make sense. San Francisco is looking to go back to the Super Bowl, while the Packers are hoping for a return to the big game and perhaps a meeting with Kansas City in a rematch of the very first Super Bowl. GO PACK GO! San Francisco keeps it close but Green Bay prevails in wine country and takes the win.

Divisional Playoff Broadcast Information (All times Eastern)

NFC: Minnesota at San Francisco, 4:35 p.m. Saturday on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Ryan Radtke, Tony Boselli, Scott Kaplan (field reporter); SIRIUS: 82 (Minnesota), 83 (San Francisco); XM: 226 (Minnesota), 225 (San Francisco)

AFC: Tennessee at Baltimore, 8:15 p.m. Saturday on CBS: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Brandon Gaudin, Ross Tucker, Laura Okmin (field reporter); SIRIUS: 82 (Tennessee), 83 (Baltimore); XM: 226 (Tennessee), 225 (Baltimore)

AFC: Houston at Kansas City, 3:05 p.m. Sunday on CBS: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (field reporter), Jay Feely (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, Trent Green, James Laurinaitis (field reporter); SIRIUS: 82 (Houston), 83 (Kansas City); XM: 226 (Houston), 225 (Kansas City)

NFC: Seattle at Green Bay, 6:40 p.m. Sunday on FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (field reporter), Chris Myers (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, James Lofton, Hub Arkush (field reporter); SIRIUS: 82 (Seattle), 83 (Green Bay); XM: 226 (Seattle), 225 (Green Bay)

Divisional Officials
NFC: Minnesota at San Francisco, 4:35 p.m. Saturday: Walt Anderson
AFC: Tennessee at Baltimore, 8:15 p.m. Saturday: Bill Vinovich
AFC: Houston at Kansas City, 3:05 p.m. Sunday: Shawn Hochuli
NFC: Seattle at Green Bay, 6:40 p.m. Sunday: Clete Blakeman

Divisional Odds (Home team in CAPS)

Saturday’s Games
NFC: SAN FRANCISCO – 6 1/2 vs. Minnesota (45 1/2)
AFC: BALTIMORE – 9 vs. Tennessee (47)

Sunday’s Games
AFC: KANSAS CITY – 9 1/2 vs. Houston (50)
NFC: GREEN BAY – 4 vs. Seattle (46)

Saturday and Sunday Injury Report

NFC: Minnesota at San Francisco, 4:35 p.m. Saturday

Minnesota
OUT: CB Mackensie Alexander (knee), S Jayron Kearse (toe, knee)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Adam Thielen (ankle)

San Francisco
QUESTIONABLE: DE Dee Ford (quadricep, hamstring), DE Kentavius Street (knee)

AFC: Tennessee at Baltimore, 8:15 p.m. Saturday

Tennessee
OUT: LB Jayon Brown (shoulder), WR Adam Humphries (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Cody Hollister (ankle)

Baltimore
QUESTIONABLE: TE Mark Andrews (ankle), RB Mark Ingram (calf)

AFC: Houston at Kansas City, 3:05 p.m. Sunday

Houston
QUESTIONABLE: S Jahleel Addae (knee), TE Jordan Akins (hamstring), CB Keion Crossen (hamstring), TE Darren Fells (hip), WR Will Fuller (groin), CB Johnathan Joseph (hamstring), WR Kenny Stills (knee)

Kansas City
OUT: CB Morris Claiborne (not injury related, shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Chris Jones (calf), TE Travis Kelce (knee)

NFC: Seattle at Green Bay, 6:40 p.m. Sunday

Seattle
DOUBTFUL: G Mike Iupati (neck)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Ezekiel Ansah (neck), S Marquise Blair (ankle), T Duane Brown (knee), T George Fant (groin), DT Quinton Jefferson (ankle)

Green Bay
QUESTIONABLE: DT Kenny Clark (back), DT Tyler Lancaster (illness), RB Dan Vitale (knee, illness), RB Dexter Williams (illness)

Saturday and Sunday Divisonal Weather
NFC: Minnesota at San Francisco, 4:35 p.m. Saturday: Partly cloudy and 54 degrees
AFC: Tennessee at Baltimore, 8:15 p.m. Saturday: Cloudy and 64 degrees
AFC: Houston at Kansas City, 3:05 p.m. Sunday: Partly cloudy and 37 degrees
NFC: Seattle at Green Bay, 6:40 p.m. Sunday: Overcast and 22 degrees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN DIVISIONAL WEEKEND

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The teams with the most postseason wins in NFL history:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PLAYER, TEAM (RUSHING YARDS)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wild Card Broadcast Information (All times listed Eastern)

Buffalo (10-6, 1st Wild Card) at Houston (10-6, AFC South champion), 4:35 p.m. Saturday on ESPN, with simulcast on ABC: Joe Tessitore, Booger McFarland, Lisa Salters (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Tom McCarthy, Rod Woodson, Hub Arkush (field reporter); SIRIUS: 82 (Buffalo), 83 (Houston); XM: 226 (Buffalo), 225 (Houston)

Tennessee (9-7, 2nd Wild Card) at New England (12-4, AFC East champion), 8:15 p.m. Saturday on CBS: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Mike Tirico, Tony Boselli, Laura Okmin (field reporter); SIRIUS: 82 (Tennessee), 83 (New England); XM: 226 (Tennessee), 225 (New England)

Minnesota (10-6, 2nd Wild Card) at New Orleans (13-3, NFC South champion), 1:05 p.m. Sunday on FOX: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (field reporter), Chris Myers (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, Jason Taylor, Scott Kaplan (field reporter); SIRIUS: 226 (Min), 225 (New Orleans); XM: 226 (Min), 225 (New Orleans)

Seattle (11-5, 1st Wild Card) at Philadelphia (9-7, NFC East champion), 4:40 p.m. Sunday on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Ross Tucker; SIRIUS: 82 (Seattle), 83 (Philadelphia); XM: 226 (Seattle), 225 (Philadelphia)

Wild Card Officials
Buffalo at Houston, 4:35 p.m. Saturday: Tony Corrente
Tennessee at New England, 8:15 p.m. Saturday: John Hussey
Minnesota at New Orleans, 1:05 p.m. Sunday: Carl Cheffers
Seattle at Philadelphia, 4:40 p.m. Sunday: Shawn Smith

Wild Card Odds (Home teams in CAPS)

Saturday
HOUSTON – 3 vs. Buffalo (42 1/2)
NEW ENGLAND – 4 1/2 vs. Tennessee (43 1/2)

Sunday
NEW ORLEANS – 8 vs. Minnesota (48)
Seattle – 1 1/2 at PHILADELPHIA (46)

Wild Card Saturday and Sunday Injury Report

Buffalo at Houston, 4:35 p.m. Saturday

Buffalo
QUESTIONABLE: DE Shaq Lawson (Hamstring), T Attauyo Nsekhe (Ankle), WR Andre Roberts (Foot), CB Levi Wallace (Ankle)

Houston
QUESTIONABLE: S Jahleel Addae (Achilles), TE Jordan Akins (Hamstring), WR William Fuller (Groin), CB Jonathan Joseph (Hamstring), CB Bradley Roby (Hamstring)

Tennessee at New England, 8:15 p.m. Saturday

Tennessee
Out: WR Adam Humphries (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: S Dane Cruikshank (Illness), WR Cody Hollister (Ankle), WR Kalif Raymond (Concussion)

New England
QUESTIONABLE: LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (Knee), S Terrence Brooks (Groin), LB Jamie Collins (Shoulder), WR Julian Edelman (Knee), CB Jonathan Jones (Groin), CB Jason McCourty (Groin)

Minnesota at New Orleans, 1:05 p.m. Sunday

Minnesota

OUT: CB Mackensie Alexander (Knee), CB Michael Hughes (Neck)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Ifeadikachakwu Odenigbo (Hamstring)

New Orleans
OUT: CB Eli Apple (Ankle), RB Zach Line (Knee)

Seattle
OUT: LB Marvin Kendricks (Knee), WR Malik Turner (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Jaron Brown (Knee), G Mike Iupati (Neck)

Philadelphia
OUT: WR Nelson Agholor (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Zach Ertz (Ribs), T Lane Johnson (Ankle)

Wild Card Saturday and Sunday Weather
Buffalo at Houston, 4:35 p.m. Saturday: Game indoors
Tennessee at New England, 8:15 p.m. Saturday: Overcast with a 40 percent chance of showers and 42 degrees
Minnesota at New Orleans, 1:05 p.m. Sunday: Game indoors
Seattle at Philadelphia, 4:40 p.m. Sunday: Mostly sunny and 42 degrees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MOST TOUCHDOWNS, NFL HISTORY

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

MOST TOTAL POINTS, NFL HISTORY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WILD CARD WEEKEND

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Active in 2019 playoffs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday Broadcast Information (all times Eastern)

ATLANTA (6-9) at Tampa Bay (7-8), 1 p.m. on FOX and 712: Tim Brando, Matt Millen, Sara Walsh (field reporter); SIRIUS: 98 (ATLANTA), 119 (Tampa Bay); XM: 387 (ATLANTA), 232 (Tampa Bay)

New York Jets (6-9) at Buffalo (10-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705: Tom McCarthy, Jay Feely; SIRIUS: 113 (New York Jets), 134 (Buffalo); XM: 383 (New York Jets), 228 (Buffalo)

Cleveland (6-9) at Cincinnati (1-14), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 708: Brandon Gaudin, Robert Smith, Megan Olivi (field reporter); SIRIUS: 211 (Cleveland), 136 (Cincinnati); XM: 385 (Cleveland), 230 (Cincinnati)

Chicago (7-8) at Minnesota (10-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711: Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth, Jennifer Hale (field reporter); SIRIUS: 133 (Chicago), 82 (Minnesota); XM: 382 (Chicago), 227 (Minnesota)

Miami (4-11) at New England (12-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Melanie Collins (field reporter); SIRIUS: 137 (Miami), 81 (New England); XM: 380 (Miami), 225 (New England)

New Orleans (12-3) at Carolina (5-10), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709: Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber, Lindsay Czarniak (field reporter); SIRIUS: 108 (New Orleans), 135 (Carolina); XM: 384 (New Orleans), 229 (Carolina)

Green Bay (12-3) at Detroit (3-11-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710: Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Pam Oliver (field reporter); SIRIUS: 138 (Green Bay), 83 (Detroit); XM: 381 (Green Bay), 226 (Detroit)

Los Angeles Chargers (5-10) at Kansas City (11-4), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon; SIRIUS: 111 (Los Angeles Chargers), 121 (Kansas City); XM: 386 (Los Angeles Chargers), 231 (Kansas City)

Philadelphia (8-7) at New York Giants (4-11), 4:25 p.m. on FOX on FOX and DirecTV 718: Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman, Shannon Spake (field reporter); SIRIUS: 138 (Philadelphia), 83 (New York Giant); XM: 381 (Philadelphia), 226 (New York Giant)

Tennessee (8-7) at Houston (10-5), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (field reporter); SIRIUS: 133 (Tennessee), 82 (Houston); XM: 382 (Tennessee), 227 (Houston)

Pittsburgh (8-7) at Baltimore (13-2), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn (field reporter); SIRIUS: 137 (Pittsburgh), 81 (Baltimore); XM: 380 (Pittsburgh), 225 (Baltimore)

Indianapolis (7-8) at Jacksonville (5-10), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta; SIRIUS: 108 (Indianapolis), 135 (Jacksonville); XM: 384 (Indianapolis), 229 (Jacksonville)

Oakland (7-8) at Denver (6-9), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton; SIRIUS: 211 (Oakland), 136 (Denver); XM: 385 (Oakland), 230 (Denver)

Washington (3-12) at Dallas (7-8), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 717: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (field reporter), Kristina Pink (field reporter); SIRIUS: 113 (Washington), 134 (Dallas); XM: 383 (Washington), 228 (Dallas)

Arizona (5-9-1) at Los Angeles Rams (8-7), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 719: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin (field reporter); SIRIUS: 111 (Arizona), 121 (Los Angeles Rams); XM: 386 (Arizona), 231 (Los Angeles Rams)

San Francisco (11-3) at Seattle (11-4), 8:20 p.m. on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, Jason Taylor; SIRIUS: 81 (San Francisco), 83 (Seattle); XM: 225 (San Francisco), 226 (Seattle)

Sunday Officials
ATLANTA at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.: Carl Cheffers
New York Jets at Buffalo, 1 p.m.: Brad Rogers
Cleveland at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.: Adrian Hill
Chicago at Minnesota, 1 p.m.: John Hussey
Miami at New England, 1 p.m.: Clay Martin
New Orleans at Carolina, 1 p.m.: Ronald Tobert
Green Bay at Detroit, 1 p.m.: Shawn Hochuli
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City, 4:25 p.m.: Walt Anderson
Philadelphia at New York Giants, 4:25 p.m.: Alex Kemp
Tennessee at Houston, 4:25 p.m.: Clete Blakeman
Pittsburgh at Baltimore, 4:25 p.m.: Bill Vinovich
Indianapolis at Jacksonville, 4:25 p.m.: Brad Allen
Oakland at Denver, 4:25 p.m.: Shawn Smith
Washington at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.: Craig Wrolstad
Arizona at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m.: Jerome Boger
San Francisco at Seattle, 8:20 p.m.: Tony Corrente

Sunday Odds (Home Teams in CAPS)
TAMPA BAY – 1 1/2 vs. Atlanta (47 1/2)
BUFFALO – 1 1/2 vs. New York Jets (36)
Cleveland – 3 at CINCINNATI (44 1/2)
NEW ENGLAND – 15 1/2 vs. Miami (44 1/2)
New Orleans – 13 at CAROLINA (46)
Green Bay – 12 1/2 at DETROIT (43)
KANSAS CITY – 9 vs. Los Angeles Chargers (44 1/2)
Philadelphia – 4 1/2 at NEW YORK GIANTS (45)
HOUSTON – 3 1/2 vs. Tennessee (45 1/2)
Pittsburgh – 1 1/2 at BALTIMORE (37 1/2)
INDIANAPOLIS – 4 vs. Jacksonville (43)
DENVER – 3 1/2 vs. Oakland (41)
DALLAS – 11 vs. Washington (44 1/2)
LOS ANGELES RAMS – 7 vs. Arizona (45)
San Francisco – 3 at SEATTLE (47)

Sunday Injury Report

ATLANTA at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

ATLANTA
OUT: G Jamon Brown (illness), DE Adrian Clayborn (knee), WR Brandon Powell (wrist)

Tampa Bay
OUT: DT Beau Allen (ankle), WR Chris Godwin (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: T Donovan Smith (ankle, knee), QB Jameis Winston (thumb, knee)

New York Jets at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

New York Jets
OUT: G Tom Compton (calf), G Alex Lewis (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: S Jamal Adams (ankle), DE Henry Anderson (knee, shoulder), WR Robby Anderson (calf), T Kelvin Beachum (back, ankles), RB Kenneth Dixon (illness), DT Steve McLendon (knee, hip), CB Brian Poole (ankle), WR Demaryius Thomas (hamstring, knee)

Buffalo
OUT: DE Shaq Lawson (hamstring), WR Andre Roberts (foot)
QUESTIONABLE: T Ty Nsekhe (ankle)

Cleveland at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

Cleveland
QUESTIONABLE: WR Odell Beckham (groin, illness), TE Pharaoh Brown (illness), T Kendall Lamm (knee), DT Sheldon Richardson (back), TE Ricky Seals-Jones (illness), C JC Tretter (knee), DE Olivier Vernon (knee)

Cincinnati
OUT: CB William Jackson (shoulder)
DOUBTFUL: WR Stanley Morgan (concussion)

Chicago at Minnesota, 1 p.m.

Chicago
OUT: WR Taylor Gabriel (concussion), DT Eddie Goldman (concussion), DT Akiem Hicks (elbow)
DOUBTFUL: T Rashaad Coward (knee), T Bobby Massie (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Prince Amukamara (hamstring)

Minnesota
OUT: RB Dalvin Cook (shoulder), LB Eric Kendricks (quad)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Mackensie Alexander (knee), S Jayron Kearse (foot), RB Alexander Mattison (ankle)

Miami at New England, 1 p.m.
Miami
OUT: CB Jomal Wiltz (shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Vince Biegel (elbow), DE Taco Charlton (ankle), WR Allen Hurns (ankle, neck), DT Zach Sieler (ankle, thumb), DE Christian Wilkins (ankle)

New England
QUESTIONABLE: LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (knee), S Terrence Brooks (groin), LB Shilique Calhoun (illness), T Marcus Cannon (ankle), LB Jamie Collins (shoulder), WR Julian Edelman (knee, shoulder), CB Jonathan Jones (groin), CB Jason McCourty (groin)

New Orleans at Carolina, 1 p.m.

New Orleans
OUT: CB Eli Apple (ankle), S Vonn Bell (knee), S Marcus Williams (groin)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Zach Line (knee)

Carolina
OUT: WR D.J. Moore (concussion), LB Shaq Thompson (foot, shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Corn Elder (illness), LB Marquis Haynes (knee)

Green Bay at Detroit, 1 p.m.

Green Bay
DOUBTFUL: S Will Redmond (hamstring), RB Danny Vitale (knee), RB Jamaal Williams (shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Jake Kumerow (illness)

Detroit
OUT: DT A’Shawn Robinson (shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Devon Kennard (shoulder), LB Steve Longa (quad), K Matt Prater (illness), T Rick Wagner (knee), S Tavon Wilson (hamstring)

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City, 1 p.m.

Los Angeles Chargers
OUT: T Russell Okung (groin)

Kansas City
OUT: CB Morris Claiborne (should, not injury related)
QUESTIONABLE: T Cameron Erving (illness), DT Xavier Williams (ankle), G Andrew Wylie (ankle)

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

Philadelphia
OUT: WR Nelson Agholor (knee), TE Zach Ertz (ribs, back)
QUESTIONABLE: T Lane Johnson (ankle), CB Jalen Mills (ankle)

New York Giants
OUT: TE Rhett Ellison (concussion), T Mike Remmers (concussion), TE Scott Simonson (concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Corey Ballentine (back), CB Sam Beal (shoulder), LB Alec Ogletree (back)

Tennessee at Houston, 4:25 p.m.

Tennessee
OUT: WR Adam Humphries (ankle), CB Adoree’ Jackson (foot), WR Kalif Raymond (concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Cody Hollister (ankle)

Houston
OUT: WR Will Fuller (groin)
QUESTIONABLE: S Jahleel Addae (achilles), WR DeAndre Hopkins (illness), LB Jake Martin (knee), CB Bradley Roby (hamstring), WR Kenny Stills (knee), T Laremy Tunsil (ankle), QB Deshaun Watson (back)

Pittsburgh at Baltimore, 4:25 p.m.

Pittsburgh
OUT: RB James Conner (quad), C Maurkice Pouncey (knee)

Baltimore
OUT: RB Mark Ingram (calf)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Mark Andrews (ankle), WR Marquise Brown (illness), CB Marcus Peters (chest), CB Jimmy Smith (groin), S Earl Thomas (knee, hand)

Indianapolis at Jacksonville, 4:25 p.m.

Indianapolis
OUT: RB Jordan Wilkins (ankle), CB Quincy Wilson (shoulder); DOUBTFUL: DT Denico Autry (concussion), S Khari Willis (shoulder)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Kenny Moore (ankle), DE Al-Quadin Muhammad (groin), G Quenton Nelson (concussion)

Jacksonville
OUT: WR Michael Walker (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Dakota Allen (hamstring), CB A.J. Bouye (wrist), RB Leonard Fournette (neck), QB Gardner Minshew (right shoulder), TE Nick O’Leary (shoulder), WR Dede Westbrook (neck, shoulder)

Oakland at Denver, 4:25 p.m.

Oakland
DOUBTFUL: G Richie Incognito (ankle), RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder, illness)

Denver
OUT: T Ja’Wuan James (knee), G Ronald Leary (concussion), T Elijah Wilkinson (ankle)

Washington at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.

Washington
OUT: S Landon Collins (shoulder), QB Dwayne Haskins (ankle), WR Terry McLaurin (concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: S Troy Apke (knee), T Morgan Moses (knee), CB Josh Norman (illness)

Dallas
OUT: LB Joe Thomas (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Byron Jones (ankle), T Tyron Smith (back), DT Antwaun Woods (hip, ankle)

Arizona at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m.

Arizona
OUT: TE Darrell Daniels (biceps)
QUESTIONABLE: TE Charles Clay (calf), QB Kyler Murray (hamstring)

Los Angeles Rams
OUT: RB Darrell Henderson (ankle), CB Jalen Ramsey (knee)
DOUBTFUL: CB Troy Hill (thumb)

San Francisco at Seattle, 8:20 p.m.

San Francisco
OUT: DE Dee Ford (quadricep, hamstring), DT Jullian Taylor (elbow, knee)
DOUBTFUL: S Jaquiski Tartt (ribs)
QUESTIONABLE: G Mike Person (neck)

Seattle
OUT: T Duane Brown (knee, biceps), WR Malik Turner (concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: S Quandre Diggs (ankle), C Ethan Pocic (core)

Sunday Weather

ATLANTA at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.: Mostly cloudy and 79 degrees
New York Jets at Buffalo, 1 p.m.: Cloudy with a 100 percent chance of rain and 44 degrees
Cleveland at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.: Cloudy with an 80 percent chance of rain and 62 degrees
Chicago at Minnesota, 1 p.m.: Game indoors
Miami at New England, 1 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 42 degrees
New Orleans at Carolina, 1 p.m.: Overcast with a 50 percent chance of rain and 67 degrees
Green Bay at Detroit, 1 p.m.: Game indoors
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City, 1 p.m.: Mostly cloudy and 40 degrees
Philadelphia at New York Giants, 4:25 p.m.: Overcast with a 50 percent chance of rain and 42 degrees
Tennessee at Houston, 4:25 p.m.: Game indoors
Pittsburgh at Baltimore, 4:25 p.m.: Overcast with an 80 percent chance of rain and 46 degrees
Indianapolis at Jacksonville, 4:25 p.m.: Overcast and 77 degrees
Oakland at Denver, 4:25 p.m.: Sunny and 34 degrees
Washington at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.: Game indoors
Arizona at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m.: Mostly sunny and 61 degrees
San Francisco at Seattle, 8:20 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 45 degrees

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

The end is near.

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

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

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

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

Win. Advance to the next round.

Lose. Your next game is in September of 2020.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AFC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles Chargers OR New England

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

Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth with:

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

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

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

Tennessee clinches a playoff berth with:

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

NFC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seattle clinches NFC West division with:
Seattle win

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

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

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – COMPLETION PERCENTAGE)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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