Archives for posts with tag: Dallas Cowboys

Sunday and Monday Broadcast Information (Times listed are Eastern)

Miami (1-4) vs. Jacksonville (0-5) in London, 9:30 a.m. (2:30 p.m. London) on NFL Network: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green, Melanie Collins (field reporter); SIRIUS: 121 (Miami), 85 (Jacksonville); XM: 386 (Miami), 228 (Jacksonville); SXM App: 819 (Miami), 814 (Jacksonville)

Los Angeles Chargers (4-2) at Baltimore (4-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706: Greg Gumbel, Adam Archuleta, AJ Ross (field reporter); SIRIUS: 108 (Los Angeles Chargers), 211 (Baltimore); XM: 387 (Los Angeles Chargers), 229 (Baltimore); SXM App: 817 (Los Angeles Chargers), 802 (Baltimore)

Houston (1-4) at Indianapolis (1-4), 1 p.m on CBS and DirecTV 707: Spero Dedes, Jay Feely (field reporter); SIRIUS: 98 (Houston), 111 (Indianapolis); XM: 389 (Houston), 231 (Indianapolis); SXM App: 812 (Houston), 813 (Indianapolis)

Kansas City (2-3) at Washington (2-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis, Evan Washburn (field reporter); SIRIUS: 99 (Kansas City), 132 (Washington); XM: 390 (Kansas City), 232 (Washington); SXM App: 815 (Kansas City), 831 (Washington)

Minnesota (2-3) at Carolina (3-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Sara Walsh (field reporter); SIRIUS: 133 (Minnesota), 83 (Carolina); XM: 383 (Minnesota), 225 (Carolina); SXM App: 820 (Minnesota), 804 (Carolina)

Green Bay (4-1) at Chicago (3-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710: Joe Davis, Greg Olsen, Pam Oliver (field reporter); SIRIUS: 134 (Green Bay), 82 (Chicago); XM: 384 (Green Bay), 227 (Chicago); SXM App: 811 (Green Bay), 805 (Chicago)

Cincinnati (3-2) at Detroit (0-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Jennifer Hale (field reporter); SIRIUS: 119 (Cincinnati), 113 (Detroit); XM: 388 (Cincinnati), 230 (Detroit); SXM App: 806 (Cincinnati), 810 (Detroit)

Los Angeles Rams (4-1) at New York Giants (1-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Shannon Spake (field reporter); SIRIUS: 135 (Los Angeles Rams), 81 (New York Giants); XM: 385 (Los Angeles Rams), 226 (New York Giants); SXM App: 818 (Los Angeles Rams), 823 (New York Giants)

Arizona (5-0) at Cleveland (3-2), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin (field reporter); SIRIUS: 135 (Arizona), 81 (Cleveland); XM: 385 (Arizona), 226 (Cleveland); SXM App: 800 (Arizona), 807 (Cleveland)

Las Vegas (3-2) at Denver (3-2), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton, Amanda Balionis (field reporter); SIRIUS: 133 (Las Vegas), 83 (Denver); XM: 383 (Las Vegas), 225 (Denver); SXM App: 816 (Las Vegas), 809 (Denver)

Dallas (4-1) at New England (2-3), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (field reporter); SIRIUS: 134 (Dallas), 82 (New England); XM: 384 (Dallas), 227 (New England); SXM App: 808 (Dallas), 821 (New England)

Seattle (2-3) at Pittsubrgh (2-3), 8:20 p.m. on NBC: Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Ryan Radtke, Ryan Harris; SIRIUS: 81 (Seattle), 211 (Pittsburgh), National (88); XM: 226 (Seattle), 225 (Pittsburgh), National (88); SXM App: 828 (Seattle), 826 (Pittsburgh), National (88)

Buffalo (4-1) at Tennessee (3-2), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN: Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, Lisa Salters (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Kugler, Ron Jaworski; SIRIUS: 81 (Buffalo), 83 (Tennessee), National (88); XM: 226 (Buffalo), 225 (Tennessee), National (88); SXM App: 803 (Buffalo), 830 (Tennessee), National (88)

Sunday and Monday Officials
Miami (1-4) vs. Jacksonville (0-5) in London, 9:30 a.m. Eastern (2:30 p.m. London): John Hussey
Los Angeles Chargers (4-2) at Baltimore (4-1), 1 p.m.: Bill Vinovich
Houston (1-4) at Indianapolis (1-4), 1 p.m.: Jerome Boger
Kansas City (3-2 or 2-3) at Washington (2-3), 1 p.m.: Adrian Hill
Minnesota (2-3) at Carolina (3-2), 1 p.m.: Craig Wrolstad
Green Bay (4-1) at Chicago (3-2), 1 p.m.: Brad Rogers
Cincinnati (3-2) at Detroit (0-5), 1 p.m.: Shawn Hochuli
Los Angeles Rams (4-1) at New York Giants (1-4), 1 p.m.: Alex Kemp
Arizona (5-0) at Cleveland (3-2), 4:05 p.m.: Carl Cheffers
Las Vegas (3-2) at Denver (3-2), 4:25 p.m.: Ronald Tolbert
Dallas (4-1) at New England (2-3), 4:25 p.m.: Brad Allen
Seattle (2-3) at Pittsubrgh (2-3), 8:20 p.m.: Shawn Smith
Buffalo (4-1 or 3-2) at Tennessee (3-2), 8:15 p.m. Monday: Clete Blakeman

Sunday and Monday Odds (Home Teams listed in caps)(BYES: ATLANTA, New York Jets, New Orleans and San Francisco)

Sunday
Favorite Spread Underdog O/U
Miami – 3 JACKSONVILLE 47 +
INDIANAPOLIS – 9 1/2 Houston 43
Green Bay – 4 1/2 CHICAGO 44 1/2
Kansas City – 7 WASHINGTON 55 1/2
Minnesota – 1 CAROLINA 46
BALTIMORE – 3 Los Angeles Chargers 52
Cincinnati – 3 DETROIT 47
Los Angeles Rams – 9 1/2 NEW YORK GIANTS 48 1/2
CLEVELAND – 3 Arizona 49 1/2
DENVER – 4 Las Vegas 44
Dallas – 3 1/2 NEW ENGLAND 51
PITTSBURGH – 5 Seattle 42 1/2

Monday
Favorite Spread Underdog O/U
Buffalo – 5 1/2 TENNESSEE 54

Sunday and Monday Injury Report
Miami (1-4) vs. Jacksonville (0-5) in London, 9:30 a.m. Eastern (2:30 p.m. London)

Miami
OUT: CB Xavien Howard (shoulder, groin), WR DeVante Parker (shoulder, hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: QB Jacoby Brissett (hamstring), CB Byron Jones (Achilles, groin), TE Adam Shaheen (knee), WR Preston Williams (groin)

Jacksonville
OUT: T Rashaad Coward (ankle), LB Myles Jack (back)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Tyson Campbell (toe), DT Roy Robertson-Harris (ankle)

Los Angeles Chargers (4-2) at Baltimore (4-1), 1 p.m.

Los Angeles Chargers
OUT: LB Drue Tranquill (chest)
QUESTIONABLE: S Nasir Adderley (hip), WR Mike Williams (knee)

Baltimore
OUT: T Ronnie Stanley (ankle), WR Sammy Watkins (thigh)
QUESTIONABLE: S DeShon Elliott (quadricep), S Geno Stone (thigh), T Alejandro Villanueva (knee)

Houston (1-4) at Indianapolis (1-4), 1 p.m.

Houston
OUT: T Laremy Tunsil (thumb), QB Deshaun Watson (not injury related – personal matter)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Danny Amendola (thigh), C Justin Britt (knee), RB Rex Burkhead (hip, knee), CB Desmond King (hip, illness)

Indianapolis
OUT: K Rodrigo Blankenship (right hip), S Andrew Sendejo (concussion), T Braden Smith (foot, thumb), DE Kemoko Turay (groin), RB Jordan Wilkins (non-football illness)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Xavier Rhodes (concussion)

Kansas City (2-3) at Washington (2-3), 1 p.m.

Kansas City
OUT: TE Blake Bell (back), DE Chris Jones (wrist), CB Charvarius Ward (quadricep)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Tyreek Hill (quadricep), LB Anthony Hitchens (knee), G Joe Thuney (hand)

Washington
OUT: T Samuel Cosmi (ankle), LB Jared Norris (shoulder), WR Curtis Samuel (groin), G Brandon Scherff (knee), WR Cam Sims (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Dyami Brown (knee), RB Antonio Gibson (shin), WR Terry McLaurin (hamstring), TE Sammis Reyes (back)

Minnesota (2-3) at Carolina (3-2), 1 p.m.

Minnesota
OUT: TE Ben Ellefson (knee), DT Michael Pierce (elbow)

Carolina
OUT: LB Kamal Martin (concussion), RB Christian McCaffrey (hamstring), LB Shaq Thompson (foot)
QUESTIONABLE: G Deonte Brown (knee), CB C.J. Henderson (shoulder)

Green Bay (4-1) at Chicago (3-2), 1 p.m.

Green Bay
OUT: CB Kevin King (shoulder)
DOUBTFUL: T Dennis Kelly (back)
QUESTIONABLE: G Elgton Jenkins (ankle), WR Malik Taylor (illness)

Chicago
OUT: TE J.P. Holtz (quadricep), DT Caleb Johnson (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Artie Burns (foot), CB Xavier Crawford (back), WR Jakeem Grant (groin), DT Akiem Hicks (groin), LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe (hamstring), S Eddie Jackson (knee), LB Khalil Mack (foot), RB Ryan Nall (ankle), WR Allen Robinson (ankle), CB Duke Shelley (ankle)

Cincinnati (3-2) at Detroit (0-5), 1 p.m.

Cincinnati
OUT: G D’Ante Smith (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: G Jackson Carman (not injury related), RB Joe Mixon (ankle), WR Mike Thomas (ankle)

Detroit
QUESTIONABLE: LB Trey Flowers (knee), TE T.J. Hockenson (knee), RB D’Andre Swift (groin), RB Jamaal Williams (hip, illness)

Los Angeles Rams (4-1) at New York Giants (1-4), 1 p.m.

Los Angeles Rams – Los Angeles Rams report no injuries

New York Giants
OUT: RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), WR Kenny Golladay (knee), LB Justin Hilliard (Achilles)
QUESTIONABLE: G Ben Bredeson (hand), WR Darius Slayton (hamstring), T Andrew Thomas (foot), WR Kadarius Toney (ankle)

Arizona (5-0) at Cleveland (3-2), 4:05 p.m.

Arizona

OUT: TE Zach Ertz (not injury related), C Rodney Hudson (ribs, shoulder), LB Tanner Vallejo (hand)
QUESTIONABLE: T Kelvin Beachum (ribs), RB Chase Edmonds (shoulder), LB Jordan Hicks (toe), CB Byron Murphy (ribs), CB Marco Wilson (ribs)

Cleveland
OUT: RB Nick Chubb (calf), LB Malcolm Smith (abdomen)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Jadeveon Clowney (elbow, knee), T Jack Conklin (knee), DE Myles Garrett (knee, ankle), CB A.J. Green (shoulder, groin), RB Kareem Hunt (wrist, knee), DE Takkarist McKinley (ankle, knee), CB Greg Newsome (calf), C J.C. Tretter (knee), CB Denzel Ward (neck), T Jedrick Wills (ankle)

Las Vegas (3-2) at Denver (3-2), 4:25 p.m.

Las Vegas
DOUBTFUL: DT Johnathan Hankins (hip)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Quinton Jefferson (back)

Denver
OUT: CB Mike Ford (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Melvin Gordon (hip), S Kareem Jackson (back), LB Aaron Patrick (ankle)

Dallas (4-1) at New England (2-3), 4:25 p.m.

Dallas
OUT: DE Dorance Armstrong (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Trevon Diggs (ankle), RB Ezekiel Elliott (ribs), DE Randy Gregory (knee), S Damontae Kazee (hip), T Tyron Smith (neck), S Donovan Wilson (groin)

New England
OUT: G Shaquille Mason (abdomen), CB Shaun Wade (concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: K Nick Folk (left knee), RB Damien Harris (ribs), T Justin Herron (back), CB Jonathan Jones (ankle), CB Jalen Mills (hamstring), DE Ronnie Perkins (ankle), LB Kyle Van Noy (groin)

Seattle (2-3) at Pittsubrgh (2-3), 8:20 p.m.

Seattle
OUT: RB Chris Carson (neck), T Cedric Ogbuehi (biceps, chest), QB Russell Wilson (right finger)

Pittsburgh
OUT: DT Carlos Davis (knee), WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (shoulder)

Buffalo (4-1) at Tennessee (3-2), 8:15 p.m. Monday

Buffalo – Buffalo reports no injuries

Tennessee
OUT: CB Kristian Fulton (hamstring), LB Monty Rice (groin)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Khari Blasingame (shoulder), RB Jeremy McNichols (ankle), WR Chester Rogers (groin)

Sunday and Monday Weather
Miami (1-4) vs. Jacksonville (0-5) in London, 9:30 a.m. Eastern (2:30 p.m. London): Mostly cloudy and 61 degrees
Los Angeles Chargers (4-2) at Baltimore (4-1), 1 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 62 degrees
Houston (1-4) at Indianapolis (1-4), 1 p.m.: Game indoors
Kansas City (2-3) at Washington (2-3), 1 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 60 degrees
Minnesota (2-3) at Carolina (3-2), 1 p.m.: Sunny and 63 degrees
Green Bay (4-1) at Chicago (3-2), 1 p.m.: Sunny and 60 degrees
Cincinnati (3-2) at Detroit (0-5), 1 p.m.: Game indoors
Los Angeles Rams (4-1) at New York Giants (1-4), 1 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 61 degrees
Arizona (5-0) at Cleveland (3-2), 4:05 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 60 degrees
Las Vegas (3-2) at Denver (3-2), 4:25 p.m.: Sunny and 71 degrees
Dallas (4-1) at New England (2-3), 4:25 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 64 degrees
Seattle (2-3) at Pittsubrgh (2-3), 8:20 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 54 degrees
Buffalo (4-1) at Tennessee (3-2), 8:15 p.m. Monday: Clear and 62 degrees

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

They’re still standing.

The Arizona Cardinals, the most unlikely team to be left undefeated, is just that… undefeated.

Think the ’72 Dolphins are getting nervous? Too early to say. It’s week six of the National Football League and anything can happen. Jacksonville and Detroit at 0-5 are the only teams that don’t have a win yet but there’s still time and it’s too early to crown division winners yet.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: A look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 9:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, October 10, the fifth week of the 2021 season.

There have been 18 games with a game-winning score in the final minute of regulation or in overtime this season, the most such games through the first five weeks all-time.

There have been 21 games decided by three points or less this season, including four such games in Week 5, tied with 2007 (21 games) and 1988 (21) for the third-most such games through the first five weeks of a season in NFL history.

Green Bay defeated Cincinnati, 25-22, in overtime in Week 5. At least one game has gone to overtime in each of the first five weeks of the 2021 season, marking the second time ever (2018) that a season has featured at least one overtime game in each of its first five weeks.

With two games remaining in Week 5, 12 of 14 games (85.7 percent) have been within one score in the fourth quarter while three teams overcame deficits of at least 10 points to win in Week 5: the Los Angeles Chargers overcame a 14-point deficit to defeat Cleveland 47-42; New England overcame a 13-point deficit to defeat Houston 25-22, while Philadelphia overcame a 12-point deficit to defeat Carolina, 21-18.

Arizona, the last remaining undefeated team, improved to 5-0 for the first time since 1974 with their 17-10 win over San Francisco in Week 5.

Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady passed for 411 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 144.4 rating while wide receiver Antonio Brown had seven catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns in the Buccaneers’ 45-17 win over Miami.

Brady has nine career games with at least five touchdown passes, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Peyton Manning (nine games) for the second-most such games in NFL history. Only Drew Brees (11 games) has more. Brady has 36 career games with at least four touchdown passes and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Peyton Manning (35 games) for the second-most such games in NFL history. Only Drew Brees (37 games) has more.

Brady has 12 career games with at least 400 passing yards, tied with Ben Roethlisberger (12 games) for the fourth-most such games all-time. Only Drew Brees (16 games) and Pro Football Hall of Famers Peyton Manning (14) and Dan Marino (13) have more. Brady, who threw a 62-yard touchdown pass in Week 5, has 45 career touchdown passes of 50-or-more yards, tied with Drew Brees (45) and John Hadl (45) for the third-most such touchdown passes in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers Johnny Unitas (51) and Peyton Manning (46) have more.

Brown has 906 career receptions in 143 career games and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (149 games) as the fastest player (143 games) to reach 900 career receptions in NFL history. Brown, who has 12,071 receiving yards in 143 career games, became the fifth player in league annals to reach 12,000 career receiving yards in fewer than 150 games, joining Julio Jones (125 games), Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (142), Torry Holt (146) and Andre Johnson (146).

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers passed for 344 yards and two touchdowns in the Packers’ 25-22 overtime win at Cincinnati. Rodgers has 422 career touchdown passes and surpassed Philip Rivers (421 touchdown passes) for the fifth-most in NFL history.

Cincinnati rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase had six receptions for 159 yards and one touchdown last Sunday against Green Bay. Chase is the fifth rookie in NFL history with at least 50 receiving yards in each of his first five career games, joining Earl McCulouch (first seven games in 1968), Ceedee Lamb (first six games in 2020), Terry Glenn (first five games in 1996) and Terry McLaurin (first five games in 2019).

Chase, who has five touchdown receptions this season, is the third rookie since 1990 with at least five touchdown receptions in his team’s first five games of a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (1998) and Calvin Ridley (2018).

Making his 20th career start, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Hebert passed for 398 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 122.0 rating in the Chargers’ 47-42 win over Cleveland.

Herbert has 44 career touchdown passes, surpassing Tony Romo (43 touchdown passes) for the fourth-most by a quarterback in his first 20 career starts in NFL history. Only Patrick Mahomes (60 touchdown passes) and Pro Football Hall of Famers KURT WARNER (51) and Dan Marino (47) had more.

Herbert has 11 career games with at least 300 passing yards and surpassed Patrick Mahomes (10 games) and Pro Football of Famer Dan Marino (10) for the most such games by a player in his first two seasons in NFL history.

Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray completed 22 of 31 pass attempts (71 percent) for 239 yards with one touchdown pass while wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins totaled six receptions for 87 yards and one touchdown in the Cardinals’ Week 5 victory. Murray has completed 124 of 165 pass attempts (75.2 percent) and has 1,512 passing yards this season and joined Drew Brees (2018) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Peyton Manning (2013) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with at least 1,500 passing yards and a completion percentage of 75-or-higher through his team’s first five games of a season.

Hopkins, who is 29 years and 126 days old, has 770 career receptions and surpassed Larry Fitzgerald (764) for the most receptions ever by a player prior to his 30th birthday.

The NFL returned to London in Week 5 for the first of two international games on the 2021 schedule, as Atlanta defeated the New York Jets 27-20, at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

With touchdowns by Atlanta rookie tight end Kyle Pitts and New York Jets rookie running back Michael Carter, it marked the third international NFL game in which a rookie from each team scored a touchdown, joining Houston vs. Oakland at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City on November 11, 2016 (Braxton Miller and Jalen Richard) and Chicago vs. Oakland at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 6, 2019 (Josh Jacobs and David Montgomery).

Pitts recorded nine receptions for 119 yards and his first-career touchdown reception in the victory, the most receiving yards by a rookie in an international NFL game, surpassing Davone Bess (74 receiving yards at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada on December 7, 2008).

Six rookie quarterbacks started in Week 5, including five who are under the age of 23: Chicago’s Justin Fields (age 22), New England’s Mac Jones (age 23), San Francisco’s Trey Lance (age 21), Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence (age 22) and the New York Jets’ Zach Wilson (age 22). It marks the first time since Week 16 of the 2019 season that five quarterbacks under the age of 23 started in the same week.

New England rookie quarterback Mac Jones completed 23 of 30 pass attempts (76.7 percent) with one touchdown and one interception for a 95.3 rating in the Patriots’ 25-22 win over Houston. Jones has 135 completions in his first five starts, tied with Joe Burrow (135 completions in 2020) for the most completions by a rookie quarterback in his first five career starts in NFL history.

Houston rookie quarterback Davis Mills passed for 312 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 141.7 rating on Sunday against New England. Mills is the first rookie quarterback to record at least 300 passing yards, three touchdown passes and a passer rating of 140-or-higher in a single game in NFL history.

San Francisco rookie quarterback Trey Lance made his first-career start at 21 years and 154 days old on Sunday and became the fourth-youngest quarterback to start a game in the Super Bowl era.

Other notable performances from Sunday include:

Tennessee running back Derrick Henry rushed for 130 yards and three touchdowns in the Titans’ 37-19 win at Jacksonville. Henry has five career games with at least 100 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns, tied with Joe Morris (five games) and Adrian Peterson (five) for the third-most by a player in his first six seasons in the Super Bowl era. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson (nine games) and Shaun Alexander (six) have more.

New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara totaled 122 scrimmage yards (71 rushing, 51 receiving) and two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) in the Saints’ 33-22 win over Washington.

Kamara has 19 career games with at least two touchdowns, tied with four players for the third-most such games by a player in his first five career seasons in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers LaDainian Tomlinson (21 games) and Emmitt Smith (20) have more. Kamara has nine career games with both a rushing touchdown and receiving touchdown, tied with Chuck Foreman (nine games) and Christian McCaffery (nine) for the most by such games by a player in his first five career seasons all-time.

Dallas cornerback Trevon Diggs recorded his league-leading sixth interception of the season in the Cowboys’ Week 5 win over the New York Giants. Diggs is the third player in the Super Bowl era to record at least one interception in each of his team’s first five games of a season, joining Brian Russell (first six games in 2003) and Lemar Parrish (first five games in 1979).

There are times when numbers can say so much more than words. This is one of those times.

Through five weeks and 80 games, the 2021 NFL season has produced…

19 contests with a game-winning score in the final minute of regulation or in overtime, the most such games through the first five weeks all-time. Eight overtime games, tying the NFL record for most through five weeks (also 2018, 2002 and 1983). At least one game has gone to overtime in each of the first five weeks of the 2021 season, marking the second time ever (also 2018) that a season has featured at least one overtime game in each of its first five weeks. 21 games decided by three points or less, including four such games in Week 5. Those 21 are tied with 2007 (21) and 1988 (21) for the third-most such games through the first five weeks of a season in NFL history.

COMEBACKS EN VOGUE: In Week 5, 13 of 16 games (81.3 percent) were within one score in the fourth quarter while four teams overcame deficits of at least 12 points to win: the Los Angeles Chargers overcame a 14-point deficit to defeat Cleveland, 47-42, New England overcame a 13-point deficit to defeat Houston, 25-22, Philadelphia overcame a 12-point deficit to defeat Carolina, 21-18, and Baltimore capped another thrilling weekend by overcoming a 19-point deficit to defeat Indianapolis in overtime, 31-25. The last time four teams won after trailing by at least 12 points in the same week was Week 5 of last season.

A REGULAR-SEASON TOURNAMENT: Every week matters in the NFL. In the AFC this week, two games feature battles of division-leading clubs: the Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore on Sunday and Buffalo at Tennessee Monday night.

The last time in Week 6 or later that the schedule produced two games in the same conference matching division leaders was Week 7 of the 2016 season. That week, New England won at Pittsburgh, 27-16, and Denver defeated Houston, 27-9.

Foreshadowing what should be a thrilling ending to the regular season, NFL teams continue to play significant games that will determine each of the key playoff tiebreakers – head-to-head record, best winning percentage in common games, and top conference record.

MONDAY NIGHT WINNERS ON SUNDAYS: The games with likely playoff implications continue in Week 6 with the AFC West-leading Los Angeles Chargers (4-1) making the long trek to play AFC North-leading Baltimore (4-1) Sunday afternoon.

In 2021, NFL teams that have won on Monday are 4-0 in their next games, playing on short rest. Over a longer stretch, dating to Week 14 of last season, clubs that won a Monday game are 9-0 in their next games. The Chargers are off to their best start in seven years, since opening 5-1 in 2014.

Making his 20th career start last week, Chargers quarterback Justin HerbertT passed for 398 yards with four touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 122.0 rating, and also ran for a touchdown, in a 47-42 win. Down by 14 points in the third quarter, Herbert orchestrated five second-half touchdown drives, including the game-winning march that gave Los Angeles its winning points.

Herbert now has 44 career touchdown passes, surpassing Tony Romo (43) for the fourth-most by a quarterback in his first 20 career starts in NFL history. Only Patrick Mahomes (60) and Pro Football Hall of Famers Kurt Warner (51) and Dan Marino (47) had more over their first 20 starts. Plus, Herbert now has 11 career games with at least 300 passing yards and surpassed Patrick Mahomes (10) and Pro Football of Famer Dan Marino (10) for the most such games by a player in his first two seasons in NFL history.

Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson last week completed 37 of 43 passes (86 percent) for a franchise-record 442 yards with four touchdown passes, no interceptions and a 140.5 passer rating. He also led his team with 62 rushing yards. With Baltimore trailing by 19 points, 22-3, late in the third quarter, Jackson engineered three consecutive touchdown drives to send the game to overtime, then led Baltimore on a 10-play, 68-yard march on the first series of the extra period to defeat the Colts, 31-25, on a 5-yard scoring pass to Marquise Brown. Jackson’s 86.0 completion percentage established a single-game NFL record among quarterbacks who have attempted at least 40 passes. Previously, the highest completion percentage for a player that attempted 40-or-more passes was 83.3 (35 of 42 attempts) by Philip Rivers on September 29, 2013. Through this point in NFL history, a quarterback has attempted at least 40 passes on 4,017 occasions.

Jackson also became the first player ever with a completion percentage of 85-or-better and at least 400 passing yards in a single NFL game. In the win, Ravens tight end Mark Andrews set career highs in both receptions (11) and receiving yards (147), while catching a pair of touchdown passes. Since the beginning of 2018, Andrews now has five games of multiple touchdown receptions, tied with Travis Kelce for most in the NFL among tight ends. Meanwhile, Baltimore wide receiver Marquise Brown posted a career-best nine receptions for 125 yards (the second-highest total of his career) and also caught two touchdowns. On offense, the Ravens lead the NFL with 440.6 total yards per game.

YOUNG QUARTERBACKS PROVING CONSISTENT WINNERS: Winning eight times over a nine-game stretch is extremely difficult in the NFL. The league enters Week 6 with five quarterbacks who have done just that.

Three of those quarterbacks, Buffalo’s Josh Allen (25 years old), the Chargers’ Justin Hebert (23) and the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson (24) are under the age of 26. The other two are Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Including postseason, Brady has won 12 of his last 13 starts.

FORMER NO. 1 OVERALL SELECTIONS ON DOCKET IN CLEVELAND: Cleveland (3-2) hosts the league’s only undefeated team, Arizona (5-0), on Sunday at FirstEngergy Stadium. The starting quarterbacks – the Browns’ Baker Mayfield and the Cardinals’ Kyler Murray – were the respective number one overall selections in the 2018 and 2019 drafts.

The Browns haven’t lost consecutive games under head coach Kevin Stefanski and overall haven’t lost two straight since the end of the 2019 season. Cleveland’s two losses this season have been by a combined nine points.

On the other sideline, Arizona has improved to 5-0 for the first time since 1974, when the St. Louis Cardinals began 7-0 under head coach Don Coryell. In Week 5, Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray completed 22 of 31 pass attempts (71 percent) for 239 yards and one touchdown, while wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins totaled six receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown in the Cardinals’ victory. Murray has completed 124 of 165 pass attempts (75.2 percent) and has 1,512 passing yards this season and joined Drew Brees (2018) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Peyton Manning (2013) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with at least 1,500 passing yards and a completion percentage of 75-or-higher through their teams’ first five games. Murray’s completion percentage leads the league entering Week 6. Hopkins, who will be 29 years and 133 days old on Sunday, has 770 career receptions and last week surpassed Larry Fitzgerald (764) for the most receptions ever by a player prior to his 30th birthday.

Cleveland’s offense, led by running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, leads the NFL with 187.6 rushing yards per game. Chubb ranks second in the league with 523 rushing yards. Hunt ranks tied for second in the NFL with five rushing touchdowns.

SEVEN THREE-WIN TEAMS WEREN’T IN PLAYOFFS LAST YEAR: With byes beginning this week and four teams – ATLANTA, New Orleans, the New York Jets and San Francisco – getting a weekend off, 16 teams have at least three wins. And of those 16, seven were not in the playoffs last year: Arizona (5-0), Carolina (3-2), Cincinnati (3-2), Dallas (4-1), Denver (3-2), Las Vegas (3-2) and the Los Angeles Chargers (4-1).

Two of those seven teams meet this week at Empower Field at Mile High, where Denver hosts Las Vegas on Sunday. Denver ranks second in the NFL by allowing only 15.2 points per game on defense.
Since 1990, 5.8 teams per year have qualified for the playoffs after missing the postseason the previous season. Over that stretch – a streak of 31 consecutive years – at least four teams every season have qualified for the playoffs after failing to make the postseason the year before.
HENRY, ALLEN MAKING EYE-OPENING HISTORY: Monday Night Football this week features a pair of AFC division leaders, Buffalo (4-1) and Tennessee (3-2) at Nissan Stadium.

Tennessee running back Derrick Henry leads the league in rushing yards (640), rushing touchdowns (seven) and scrimmage yards (765). Last week, Henry rushed for 130 yards and three touchdowns in the Titans’ win. He now has five career games with at least 100 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns, tied with Joe Morris (five games) and Adrian Peterson (five) for the third-most by a player in his first six seasons in the Super Bowl era. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDanaian Tomlinson (nine) and Shaun Alexander (six) have more such games in that span. Also, over his last 40 regular-season games, since Week 14 of 2018, Henry has 40 rushing touchdowns and 4,792 rushing yards, the most rushing yards by any player ever over a stretch of 40 games.

Buffalo leads the NFL in both points scored per game (34.4) and fewest points allowed per game (12.8). Buffalo also ranks first in takeaways (15) and turnover margin (plus-11). Buffalo can become first team since the 2012-13 Denver Broncos with 35-plus points in five consecutive games. The Bills enter the game with an NFL-record 14 consecutive wins when leading at halftime. The previous record was 12, established by four teams. Last week, Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen completed 15 of 26 passes for 315 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 139.1 rating and ran 11 times for 59 yards with another touchdown. Over his career (2018-21), the Bills are 18-0 in games when Allen registers both a rushing and passing touchdown. Including the win at Kansas City, Allen has won eight road starts since the beginning of 2020, tied for second in the NFL. Only Patrick Mahomes (nine) has won more in that period.

PRIMETIME HAS PRODUCED PRIME DRAMA IN 2021: The NFL has played 15 games in primetime (Thursday, Sunday and Monday nights in each weekend) and the majority of those games have been must-see TV. Of those 15…

11 primetime games have been within eight points (one score) in the fourth quarter, six have been decided by three points or fewer, six have been decided in the final minute or overtime, including five decided on the last play. Two games have gone to overtime and four have featured a comeback win of at least 10 points.

In primetime this week, quarterback Geno Smith is expected to make his first Seahawks start when Seattle (2-3) travels to play Pittsburgh (2-3) Sunday night. Smith played college football 75 miles south of Heinz Field, just down the Monongahela River at West Virginia University. It’s the first start by a Seattle quarterback other than Russell Wilson since January 1, 2012, when Tarvaris Jackson started the final game of the 2011 season, a 23-20 overtime loss at Arizona.

INTERNATIONAL SERIES CONTINUES: This week, the NFL will play its 99th international game, including preseason and regular-season games, when Miami (1-4) meets Jacksonville (0-5) at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. It’s the 40th time the league has played a regular-season game outside of the United States. The Jaguars will be playing their eighth game in London. Jacksonville made the trip to Wembley Stadium for one game in seven consecutive seasons from 2013-19. Miami will be making its fifth appearance in London and first since 2017. This week, the league announced that it is in discussions with three cities in Germany to host future regular-season NFL games: Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich.

COWBOYS BRING FOUR-GAME WINNING STREAK TO NEW ENGLAND: Dallas (4-1) heads back on the road this week to face New England (2-3) late Sunday afternoon.

The Cowboys’ offense ranks second in the NFL in both total yards (439.6) and rushing yards (172.8) per game. Last week, Dallas cornerback Trevon Diggs recorded his league-leading sixth interception of the season in the Cowboys’ win. Diggs is the third player in the Super Bowl era to record at least one interception in each of his team’s first five games of a season, joining Brian Russell (first six games in 2003) and Lemar Parrish (first five games in 1979).

Also last week, New England rookie quarterback Mac Jones led his team back from a 22-9 second-half deficit with four scoring drives in the final 23 minutes, including a 15-play, 84-yard game-winning march, as the Patriots registered a 25-22 victory.

PACKERS, BEARS RENEW LEAGUE’S RICHEST RIVALRY: Green Bay (4-1) and Chicago (3-2) are each riding winning streaks heading into the latest installment of their historic rivalry, which renews Sunday at Soldier Field. The Packers lead the all-time regular-season series, 100-94-6, while the teams have split their two postseason meetings.

Last week, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur registered his 30th career regular-season win in just his 37th game. Only three other coaches in NFL history have reached that milestone in 37-or-fewer games: Pro Football Hall of Famer Guy Chamberlain (35 games), George Seifert (36) and Pro Football Hall of Famer Paul Brown (37).
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers passed for 344 yards and two touchdowns in the Packers’ 25-22 overtime win at Cincinnati. Rodgers has 422 career touchdown passes and surpassed Philip Rivers (421 touchdown passes) for the fifth-most in NFL history. Packers wide receiver Davante Adams leads the NFL with 42 receptions and 579 receiving yards. Since the beginning of 2020, Adams has seven games in which he posted 10-or-more catches and 100-or-more receiving yards, the most such games among NFL players in that span.

Chicago’s defense ranks third among NFL teams in red-zone efficiency, allowing touchdowns on just 37.5 percent of opponent possessions inside the 20. The Bears’ defense also leads the league with 18 sacks. Chicago rookie quarterback Justin Fields has won his last two starts and threw his first career touchdown pass in leading the Bears to a win last week in Las Vegas.

BENGALS, LIONS NO STRANGER TO CLOSE GAMES: Cincinnati (3-2) heads north this week to meet Detroit (0-5) at Ford Field on Sunday in the Motor City. The Bengals’ two losses have been by just six combined points. Detroit, meanwhile, has an average margin of defeat of only 8.0 points.

Last week, Cincinnati rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase had six receptions for 159 yards and one touchdown. He became the fifth rookie in NFL history with at least 50 receiving yards in each of his first five career games, joining Earl McCullouch (first seven games in 1968), Ceedee Lamb (first six games in 2020), Terry Glenn (first five games in 1996) and Terry McLaurin (first five games in 2019).

Chase, who has five touchdown receptions this season, is the third rookie since 1990 with at least five touchdown receptions in his team’s first five games of a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy Moss (1998) and Calvin Ridley (2018). Detroit’s defense ranks second among NFL teams in third-down defense, allowing first-down conversions on just 30.6 percent of third-down plays.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 6

TOP BILLING: Buffalo (4-1) enters Monday Night Football in Week 6 with the league’s top scoring offense (34.4 points per game) and top scoring defense (12.8 points per game against) and have scored at least 35 points in each of their past four games.

With 35 points against Tennessee on Monday night, the Bills would become the fourth team to register at least 35 points in five consecutive games within a single season in NFL history.

The teams with the most consecutive games with at least 35 points within a single season in NFL history:

TEAM (SEASON)(GAMES WITH 35+ POINTS)
Denver (2013)(6; 9/5/13-10/13/13)
St. Louis Rams (2000)(6; 9/4/00-10/15/00)
Philadelphia (1949)(5; 10/23/49-11/20/49)
Buffalo (2021)(4; 9/19/21-10/10/21)*
*Active streak

Buffalo leads the NFL with a plus-108 point differential (172 points scored, 64 points against) through the first five weeks and can become the fifth team in the Super Bowl era to score at least 200 points and allow 100-or-fewer points through their first six games of a season. Three of the four previous teams to accomplish the feat advanced to the Super Bowl.

The teams with at least 200 points scored and 100-or-fewer points against through their first six games of a season in the Super Bowl era:

TEAM – SEASON (POINTS SCORED, POINTS ALLOWED)

New England – 2007 (230, 92)#
St. Louis Rams – 1999 (217, 63)#
Green Bay – 1996 (204, 72)#
Dallas – 1968 (213, 64)
Buffalo – 2021 (172, 64)*

Advanced to Super Bowl

*In first five games

ELECTRIC PURPLE: The Los Angeles Chargers (4-1) visits Baltimore (4-1) on Sunday afternoon) in a matchup of two teams that overcame second-half deficits of at least 14 points to win in Week 5.

The Chargers, down 27-13 in the third quarter, scored 26 fourth-quarter points to defeat Cleveland, 47-42. Baltimore trailed by 16 points early in the fourth quarter last week and scored three consecutive touchdowns to defeat Indianapolis, 31-25, in overtime. This marks the first meeting between two teams that are both coming off wins in which they overcame a 14-point deficit since Week 5 of the 2018 season (Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers).

Chargers quarterback Justin Hebert (315.2 passing yards per game) and Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (303.8) rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in passing yards per game this season. Their matchup on Sunday will be the first game to feature opposing starting quarterbacks who each average at least 300 passing yards per game that season (entering the game) in Week 6 or later since Week 11, 2018 (Jared Goff and Patrick Mahomes).

Jackson, who turns 25 years old in January, earned his 34th-career win as a starting quarterback last week and can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (34 wins) for the most wins by a quarterback prior to his 25th birthday in NFL history.

The quarterbacks with the most wins prior to their 25th birthday in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (WINS)
Dan Marino, Miami (34)(HOF)
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (34)*
Drew Bledsoe, New England (32)
*turns 25 on January 7, 2022

Jackson leads all players with 1,860 total yards (passing and rushing combined) through the first five weeks and can become the third player with at least 2,200 total yards in his team’s first six games of a season in NFL history.

The players with the most total yards (passing and rushing combined) in their team’s first six games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON)(PASSING YARDS/RUSHING YARDS/TOTAL YARDS)
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (2000)(2,260/15/2,275)(HOF)
Steve Young, San Francisco (1998)(2,022/200/2,222)(HOF)
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (2021)(1,519/341/1,860)*
*In first five games

STAR GAZING: Dallas (4-1), led offensively by quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott, rank second in the NFL in both scoring offense (34.0 points per game) and total offense (439.6 yards per game).

Prescott ranks second in the league in passer rating among qualified passers (116.9) and is one of four quarterbacks with a passer rating of 100-or-higher in four of his first five games this season. Scheduled to make his 75th career start against New England in Foxboro, Prescott has 38 career games with a passer rating of 100-or-higher and can surpass PHILIP RIVERS (38 games) for the third-most such games by a player in his first 75 career starts in NFL history.

The players with the most games with a passer rating of 100-or-higher in their first 75 career starts in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (GAMES WITH 100+ RATING)
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (43)
Tony Romo, Dallas (41)
Dak Prescott, Dallas (38)*
Philip Rivers, San Diego (38)
*In 74 starts

Elliott, who ranks fifth among running backs in scrimmage yards (507) this season, has 8,848 scrimmage yards in 76 career games. With 152 scrimmage yards on Sunday, he can become the fifth-fastest player to reach 9,000 scrimmage yards in the Super Bowl era, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famers Thurman Thomas (79 games), Barry Sanders (79) and Emmitt Smith (79).

The players to reach 9,000 scrimmage yards in the fewest games in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER – TEAMS (GAMES)
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis (72)(HOF)
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego (72)(HOF)
Eric Dickerson, Los Angeles Rams and Indianapolis (73)(HOF)
Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh and New York Jets (75)
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas (76)*
*Has 8,848 scrimmage yards in 76 games

New England rookie quarterback Mac Jones ranks fifth in the NFL this season with a 71.1 completion percentage and has a completion percentage of 70-or-higher in four of his first five career starts. On Sunday, he can become the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to record five games with a completion percentage of 70-or-higher (minimum 30 attempts). The only other rookies with four such games were Justin Herbert (2020) and Dak Prescott (2016), who both were named Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year.

BACK IN LONDON: Miami (1-4) and Jacksonville (0-5) square off in the second of two 2021 international games at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (9:30 a.m. Eastern, 2:30 p.m. in London).

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the number one overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, leads all rookies in touchdown passes (six) and ranks second in passing yards (1,146). This week, he looks to become the first rookie quarterback to ever win a game in London and can become the first rookie quarterback to register multiple touchdown passes in an international game.

The rookie quarterbacks to start an international game since 2005:

DATE – PLAYER, TEAM (SITE, STADIUM)(TD PASSES – RESULT)
October 10, 2021 – Zach Wilson, New York Jets (London – Tottenham Hotspur)(0 – ATLANTA 27, New York Jets 20)
November 3, 2019 – Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville (London – Wembley)(0 – Houston 26, Jacksonville 3)
October 29, 2017 – Deshone Kizer, Cleveland (London – Twickenham)(0 – Minnesota 33, Cleveland 16)
November 9, 2014 – Blake Bortles, Jacksonville (London – Wembley)(0 – Dallas 31, Jacksonville 17)
September 28, 2014 – Derek Carr, Oakland (London – Wembley)(1 – Miami 38, Oakland 14)
December 1, 2013 – E.J. Manuel, Buffalo (Toronto – Rogers Centre)(1 – ATLANTA 34, Buffalo 31)
December 16, 2012 – Russell Wilson, Seattle (Toronto – Rogers Centre)(1 – Seattle 50, Buffalo 17)
December 3, 2009 – Mark Sanchez, New York Jets (Toronto – Rogers Centre)(1 – New York Jets 19, Buffalo 13)

Jacksonville running back James Robinson registered a career-high 149 rushing yards last week. Undrafted in 2020, Robinson has 1,889 scrimmage yards in 19 career games and can join Arian Foster (2,245 scrimmage yards) as the only undrafted players in the common-draft era with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards in their first 20 career games.

This is also the first weekend that teams have byes and the first byes go to Atlanta, New Orleans, New York Jets and San Francisco. As for last week? 12-4 for the week and 44-36 for the year. Week six got underway in the City of Brotherly Love as Tampa Bay squeeked by Philadelphia Thursday night and ends in the Music City as Buffalo and Tennessee square off in prime time Monday night. Here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week six.

Miami (1-4) vs. Jacksonville (0-5) in London, 9:30 a.m. on NFL Network. The first game of Sunday in week six is on the other side of the Atlantic as a pair of Florida teams with one win between team square off at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Jacksonville hosts Miami in a game that have both teams looking to right their ships.

Brady and Tampa Bay made quick work of the Miami Dolphins at Raymond James Stadium last Sunday afternoon, with the Buccaneers taking a 45-17 win on Florida’s west coast. Erasing a 10-7 deficit at the end of the first quarter, Tampa Bay took a 24-10 lead with them to the intermission, scoring those 17 points in the quarter unchallenged. After the Dolphins scored a third quarter TD when Jacoby Brissett and RB Miles Gaskin to make it a 7-point contest, Tampa Bay would go on to score 21 fourth quarter points unchallenged to take the win, using TDs from Leonard Fournette and a pair of TD passes from Brady to Mike Evans to seal the win.

Fournette led all rushers with 67 yards on the ground as Tampa Bay outrushed Miami 121-39 and Brady threw for 411 yards and five TDs (two to Evans, who had 113 receiving yards, while Antonio Brown led all receivers with 124 yards and a pair of TDs), while Brissett threw for 275 yards and the two TDs to Gaskin (Brissett was sacked three times and picked off once, while Brady was sacked twice). Neither club had a fourth down attempt Sunday; on third down, Miami 2 for 7, while the Bucs were 8 for 11 and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 37:07 to Miami’s 22:53.

Jacksonville was manhandled by Tennessee at TIAA Bank Stadium last Sunday, with the Titans taking a 37-19 win out of the Sunshine State. Jacksonville trailed 24-13 at the intermission, then watched Tennessee outscore them 13-6 in the last 30 minutes of play. The ground game in the contest was active as Jacksonville actually outrushed Tennessee 198-184 and Jaguars RB James Robinson led all rushers with 149 yards and a TD, while Tennessee was led by Derrick Henry with 130 yards and three TDs. Titans QB Ryan Tannehill threw for 197 yards and a TD to MyCole Pruitt, while Jacksonville QB Trevor Lawerence threw for 273 yards and a TD to Jeff Hollister (Lawrence threw the game’s only interception and was sacked twice, while Tannehill was sacked three times). Jacksonville was 3 for 10 on third down, 1 for 3 on fourth down and kept the ball for 28:30, while Tennessee would be rulers of the clock and hold to the pigskin for 31:30, going 5 of 11 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down.

Miami leads the series 5-4 and have outscored the Jaguars 178-141. They met last year in Jacksonville and Miami left north Florifda 31-13 winners, while Jacksonville’s last win in the series came in 2018 in south Florida by a final of 17-7.

They met in week three in Jacksonville and the Jaguars could never get themselves on track against in-state rival Miami in the Thursday night contest despite a pair of Robinson TDs, as the Jaguars were taken to task 31-13 at TIAA Bank Stadium. Miami led from start to finish in the Sunshine State affair in north Florida, as the Jaguars trailed 21-7 at the intermision, then found themselves outscored 10-6 in the final 30 minutes of play. Miami out-rushed Jacksonville 138-72 and Garder Minshew threw for 275 yards with four sacks and an interception, while Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 160 yards and a pair of TDs (Fitzpatrick was sacked once but did not throw an interception). Jacksonville went 3 of 10 on third down tries (they were 0 for 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 25:38, while the Dolphins were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 34:22, while going 7 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week three Thursday night contest in north Florida, Jacksonville was favored by 3 and the Dolphins would win by 18, covering the spread with ease. As for the 47 1/2 over/under? Both clubs missed that, tallying only 44 points. Vegas likes Miami as a 3-point favorite on the other side of the Atlantic with a 47 over/under. Jaguars coach Urban Meyer did not have a good week last week and this week’s not going to be any better. Dolphins cover the 3 on the other side of the Big Pond and takes the win in Jolly Olde England.

Los Angeles Chargers (4-2) at Baltimore (3-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of contending teams meet in Charm City Sunday afternoon when the Los Angeles Chargers make their way to the East coast to face off against the Baltimore Ravens. Both teams were winners at home by close margins.

The Chargers put an end to Cleveland’s three-game win streak at SoFi Stadium last Sunday, coming away 47-42 winners. Trailing 20-17 at the intermission, the Bolts proceeded to outscore the Browns 34-22 in the second half, holding off a Browns’ rally in the process, taking the lead for keeps with 3:15 when Austin Ekeler scored the first of his two rushing TDs in the fourth quarter to take control of the contest.

Cleveland did manage to outrush the Bolts 230-112, with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading the way with 161 yards and a TD, while Elker ran for 66 yards and the two TDs in the fourth quarter. Justin Hebert threw for 398 yards and four TDs and was sacked twice, while Baker Mayfield threw foer 305 yards with a sack (neither threw an interception). The Bolts were 6 for 13 on third down (3 for 3 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 23:32, while the Browns were rulers of time, keeping the pigskin for 36:28 and went 4 for 12 on third down, 1 for 3 on fourth down.

Indianapolis allowed a 22-9 lead at the end of three quarters get away from them in Baltimore as the Ravens rallied in the final 15 minutes of regulation to tie things up, then sent their fan base home happy last Monday night in overtime to take a 31-25 win at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore, who won the toss to start the overtime, got themselves off the deck in the fourth quarter, using a pair of TD passes from Lamar Jackson to TE Mark Andrews in the fourth, then a TD pass from Jackson to WR Marquise Brown in overtime to take the win. Indianapolis outrushed the Ravens 123-86 and Jackson threw for 442 yards and four TDs (including the two in the fourth quarter and the game winner in overtime), while Carson Wentz threw for 402 yards with two TDs (both men were sacked twice but neither threw an interception).

The Colts were 5 of 10 on third down (1 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:45, while the Ravens were rulers of the clock, holding on to the ball for 33:51 (including the 4:31 in overtime) and went 3 of 8 on third down.

Including contests played in San Diego, the Ravens lead the series 7-5, have outscored the Bolts 253-236 and won the last two meetings, including a 22-10 win in 2018 on the West coast, while the Chargers’ last win in the series came in 2014 in Charm City by a final of 34-33. The Ravens are favored by 3 with a 52 over/under. While this one is not quite “DRILL WORTHY,” it’ll be worth your time. Ravens cover the 3 in Charm City and take the win at home.

Houston (1-4) at Indianapolis (1-4), 1 p.m on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of 1-4 teams looking to get themselves out of the AFC South as Houston and Indianapolis meet at Lucas Oil Stadium in the Hoosier State.

Matt Jones and New England erased a 15-9 deficit at the intermission against the Texans and left NRG Stadium 25-22 winners. The Patriots would take the lead for keeps in the second half, scoring 16 second half points unchallenged, using three Nick Folk field goals to take the win. New England outrushed the Texans 126-67 with Jones throwing for 231 yards and TD, while Davis Mills threw for 312 yards and three TDs (Mills was sacked three times, Jones was sacked once and threw the contest’s only interception). New England on third down was 6 for 11 and ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 30:44, while the Texans kept the pigskin for 29:16, going 6 for 14 and 3 for 3 on third and fourth downs.

The Colts let a 22-9 lead at the end of three quarters get away from them in Baltimore as the Ravens rallied in the final 15 minutes of regulation to tie things up, then sent their fan base home happy last Monday night in overtime to take a 31-25 win at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore, who won the toss to start the overtime, got themselves off the deck in the fourth quarter, using a pair of TD passes from Lamar Jackson to TE Mark Andrews in the fourth, then a TD pass from Jackson to WR Marquise Brown in overtime to take the win. Indianapolis outrushed the Ravens 123-86 and Jackson threw for 442 yards and four TDs (including the two in the fourth quarter and the game winner in overtime), while Carson Wentz threw for 402 yards with two TDs (both men were sacked twice but neither threw an interception).

The Colts were 5 of 10 on third down (1 for 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 30:45, while the Ravens were rulers of the clock, holding on to the ball for 33:51 (including the 4:31 in overtime) and went 3 of 8 on third down.

The Colts lead the series 29-9 and have outscored the Texans 991-760. They met twice last year and the Colts took both contests in the 2020 campaign (Houston’s last win over Indy came in 2019 when they were 20-19 winners at NRG Stadium).

Meeting number one… week 13 in the Lone Star State and Philip Rivers and the Colts erased a 10-7 deficit at Houston and came away 26-20 winners at NRG Stadium. Indianapolis led by four at the intermission, then got a safety in the fourth quarter when DeShaun Watson was sacked in the end zone. Houston led 10-7 late in the first quarter of play before the Colts would take control of things, taking the lead for good when Nyheim Hines scored on a 9-yard run. The two teams traded TDs and FGs in the second quarter and the Texans entered the intermission trailing by four. After a scoreless third quarter, the Texans would see the wheels come off the bus with 6:02 left in the contest when Watson was sacked by Justin Houston in the end zone for the safety. Houston would get the ball back with 2:43, needing to go 80 yards to take the lead back and they would get as close as the Colts’ 2-yard line, when Watson fumbled and LB Anthony Walker recovered the ball to stop the drive.

Indianapolis out-rushed Houston 109-90 and rookie RB Jonathan Taylor would lead all rushers with 91 yards; Watson threw for 341 yards and was sacked five times, including the safety and threw the game’s only interception, while Rivers was sacked twice and threw for 285 yards and a pair of TDs (one to T.Y. Hilton, the other to Taylor; Hilton led the Colts with 110 yards on eight catches; Houston’s Keke Coutee led all recievers with eight catches for 141, while teammate Chad Hansen chipped in with 101 yards on five catches). Houston went 5 for 13 on third down conversions in the Lone Star State and kept the ball for 26:29, while the Colts were rulers of time, holding on the ball for 33:31, while going 3 of 11 on third down, 1 for 2 on fourth down.

Meeting number two… the Hoosier State in week 15 and for the Colts, second verse, same as the first, as a late rally by Watson and the Texans fell short as Philip Rivers and the Indianapolis Colts came away 27-20 winners at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis scored 14 first quarter points unchallenged before Houston would respond, tallying 10 second quarter points unfettered to trail by 4 at the intermission. The two AFC South rivals stayed close in the final 30 minutes of play, with the Texans tying things up with 7:25 left in the contest when Watson and WR Keke Coutee connected on a 9-yard TD toss, evening things at 20-20. The Colts would regain the lead, taking it back for keeps with 1:47 left in the contest when Rivers and WR Zach Pascal connected on a 5-yard TD pass, then held off a late Texans’ rally when Coutee fumbled a Watson pass out of the endzone, which the Colts recovered.

The Colts outrushed Houston 127-83 and Colts RB Jonathan Taylor led all rushers with 83 yards and a TD; Rivers threw for 228 yards and a pair of TDs to Pascal and was sacked once, while Watson threw for 373 yards, throwing TDs to Coutee and WR Chan Hansen and was sacked five times (neither threw an interception). The two teams did well on third down conversions; the Colts were 6 for 11, Houston was 8 of 15 (on fourth down tries, the Colts were 1 of 1, while the Texans were 1 of 2) and time was on the side of the Texans, as they would keep the ball for 30:50 to the Colts’ 29:10.

Indianapolis was favored by 3 1/2 in the week 13 meeting in the Lone Star State and the Colts covered with the 6-point win but the two clubs missed the 51 1/2 over/under, tallying 46 points. In the week 15 rematch in the Hoosier State, Vegas liked Indy as 7 1/2-point favorites but the Colts would win by only 7 and the two teams missed the 51 over/under, scoring a combined 47 points. This time, the Colts are favored again, this time by 9 1/2 with a 43 over/under. We won’t blame you if you took a pass on this one and watch the NCIS marathon on USA (Ziva kicking Tony’s butt works for us). Colts win in the Hoosier State but expect Houston to make it closer than 9 1/2.

Kansas City (2-3) at Washington (2-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. The defending AFC champions make their way to Landover to face off against the defending NFC East champions Sunday afternoon. Both teams took losses at home last week.

The defending AFC champions struggled with the Buffalo Bills and the weather last Sunday night at Arrowhead, with the Bills coming away 38-20 winners. Mahomes and the Chiefs let a 10-7 lead get away from them halfway through the second quarter as Buffalo were rude guests, taking a 24-13 lead with them to the intermission, then dealt with a lightning delay just before the second half got underway as the Bills outscored Kansas City 14-7 in the final 30 minutes of play.

Buffalo barely outrushed Kansas City 121-120 and both starting qbs were the leading rushers (Buffalo’s Josh Allen led his team with 59 yards and a rushing TD, while Mahomes led all rushers with 61 yards); Allen threw for 315 yards and three TDs (two to Emmanuel Sanders), while Mahomes threw for 272 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Travis Kelce). The Chiefs were 5 for 12 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and actually ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 32:25, while the Bills were 5 for 11 on third down and held the ball for 27:35.

The Football Team could never get themselves on track against Jameis Winston and the New Orleans Saints, as Washington fell 33-22 at Fed Ex Field. The defending NFC East champions trailed 20-13 at the intermission, then pulled themselves to within four with 1:53 left in the third quarter before New Orleans would outscore Washington 13-6 in the final 15 minutes of play. Washington outrushed the Saints 131-98 with Saints RB Alvin Kamara leading the way with 71 yards and a TD, while Washington was led by Antonio Gibson, who ran for 60 yards and a pair of TDs. Winston threw for 279 yards and four TDs (two to WR Marquez Callaway), while Washington’s Taylor Heinicke threw for 248 yards (both Heinicke and Winston were sacked twice and threw an interception; Heinicke threw a pair of interceptions, while Winston was picked off once). Washington ruled the clock and held on to the ball for 36:26, while going 5 for 16 on third down and 1 of 3 on fourth down; New Orleans kept the ball for 23:34 and went 4 of 11 and 1 of 1 on third and fourth downs.

Kansas City leads the series 9-1, has outscored Washington 292-166 and has won the last seven contests in the series, including a 29-20 win at Arrowhead in 2017, while Washington’s lone win came in 1983 at RFK Stadium, when the Football Team, known as the Washington Redskins, won 27-12. Kansas City’s favored by 7 with a 55 1/2 over/under. Both numbers make sense and both teams are struggling. Chiefs win in Landover and cover the 7.

Minnesota (2-3) at Carolina (3-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709. Minnesota and Kirk Cousins makes their way to the Tar Heel State to face off against Sam Darnold and the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Carolina looks to end their two-game losing streak at home, while the Vikings want to continue their two-game win streak.

Minnesota got a last-second win thanks to a 54-yard field goal by Greg Joseph as time expired as the Vikings edged NFC North rival Detroit 19-17 at US Bank Stadium. Minnesota led 13-6 at the half and kept that lead going into the final 15 minutes of play before the Lions would score 11 points in the fourth, thanks to a 40-yard field goal by Alex Siebert and a 7-yard TD run by RB DeAndre Swift (the Lions would get a two-point conversion by Jared Goff to Keith Hodge after the TD) to lead by one with 37 seconds left.

Minnesota would use all 37 seconds left, as the Vikings got the ball back and used a 5-play, 46-yard drive to send Viking fans home happy as Joseph’s field goal try sailed through the uprights as time expired. Minnesota outrushed Detroit 120-108 with Vikings RB Alexander Mattison leading the way with 113 yards. Cousins threw for 275 yards and the Mattison TD and was sacked twice, while Goff threw for 203 yards with four sacks (both threw an interception). Detroit went 3 for 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 27:54, while the Vikings were ball hogs, holding on to the pigskin for 32:06 (including the final 37 seconds of the contest) and was 5 of 13 on third down.

Philadelphia erased a 15-6 deficit at the intermission at Carolina and went on to outscore Sam Darnold and the Panthers 15-3 in the final 30 minutes at Bank of America Stadium to take a 21-18 win in the Tar Heel State. The Eagles, giving Carolina their second loss in a row, took the lead for keeps with 2:38 left in the contest when Hurts scored his second TD of the day on a 6-yard TD run, then held off a late Carolina rally to seal the win.

Carolina actually outrushed the Eagles 109-91 with Panthers RB Chubba Hubbard leading the way with 101 yards, while Miles Sanders led the Eagles with 45 yards. Hurts threw for 198 yards with a pair of sacks but no interceptions, while Darnonld threw for 177 yards and a TD to TE Tommy Tremble but was sacked three times and picked off three times. Philadelphia went 4 for 13 on third down, 0 of 1 on fourth down and the Eagles held on to the ball for 24:57, while Carolina ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 35:03, going 5 for 15 on third down tries.

Minnesota leads the series 9-6 and has outscored Carolina 312-288. Their last meeting was last year in the Twin Cities and prevailed 28-27, while Carolina’s last win in the series came in Charlotte in 2017 by a final of 31-24.

They met in the Twin Cities in week 12 and Minnesota rallied in the closing seconds of their contest with Carolina, coming away with the one-point at US Bank Stadium. The Vikings led 10-3 at the intermission, then watched the Panthers’ Jeremy Chinn score a pair of third quarter TDs unchallenged, before WR Chad Beebe and Kirk Cousins connnected on a 10-yard TD pass with 46 seconds left. Carolina then tried to reclaim the lead and win the contest on the road, getting the ball back after Minnesota’s kick went into the endzone and the Panthers would get as close as Minnesota’s 36-yard line, when Jeff Slye’s 54-yard field goal try sailed wide left.

Carolina out-rushed Minnesota 107-96 (Dalvin Cook led Minnesota with 61 yards) but Cousins would burn the Panthers for 307 yards and three TDs (two of them to Justin Jefferson, the other to Beebe for the game-winner) with a pair of sacks but no interceptions, while Teddy Bridgewater threw for 267 yards with a TD and an interception. Minnesota was 6 of 13 on third down tries and kept the ball for 31:13, while the Panthers held on to the ball for 28:47, while going 6 of 14 on third down (both teams were 1 for 1 on fourth down.

Minnesota was favored by 4 in the week 12 contest in the Twin Cities but would win by only one but the two clubs covered the 51 over/under with 55 points. Minnesota’s favored by 1 with a 46 over/under. Both numbers make a lot of sense and the winner could put themselves in the playoff hunt. Minnesota repeats history and covers the 1 in the Tar Heel State.

Green Bay (4-1) at Chicago (3-2), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A pair of NFC North (or NFC Norris, as ESPN’s Chris Berman calls it) rivals meet in the Windy City as Aaron Rodgers and first-place Green Bay travels to the Windy City to take on Da Bears. Both clubs were winners on the road last week.

Green Bay’s Mason Crosby missed two key field goals, one in regulation and one in overtime but made up for the miss as he connected on a 49-yard try in overtime to give the Packers a 25-22 win over Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium. Green Bay led 16-7 at the half after trailing 7-0 at the end of the first quarter. Crosby would give Green Bay a 22-14 lead with 11:20 left in the final quarter on a 22-yard field goal before Bengals RB Joe Mixon ran in from eight yards out to tie the contest up. Mason would then try a 51-yard field goal later in the quarter as time expired but that attempt sailed wide to the right. Cincinnati kicker Evan McPherson then tried a 57-yarder that was short in regulation, then tried a 49-yarder that sailed wide right. The second McPherson try gave Green Bay the ball back in overtime and the Packers would use a 6-play, 29-yard time that used 2:19 of clock and Crosby redeemed himself with the game-winner.

Green Bay outrushed Cincinnati 133-103 with Packers RB Aaron Jones leading the way with 103 yards; Rodgers threw for 344 yards with TD tosses to Davante Adams and A.J. Dillon, while Joe Burrow threw for 281 yards and connected with Samaje Perine and Ja’Marr Chase for his two TDs tosses (Burrow was sacked three times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Rodgers was sacked twice with one pick). Green Bay was 4 for 11 on third down and including the overtime, the Packers kept the ball for 33:59, while the Bengals, keepers of the football for 34:06, went 5 for 14 on third down, 2 for 2 on fourth down.

Chicago erased a 3-0 deficit at Las Vegas and Da Bears left Sin City 20-9 winners in what would be John Gruden’s last game as Raiders head coach. Da Bears would score 14 second quarter points unchecked and took an 11-point lead with them to the intermission. After a scoreless third quarter at Alligent Stadium, the Raiders would put themselves closer on a 1-yard TD run by Josh Jacobs before Bears K Chris Santos connected on a pair of 46-yard field goals to put the game away.

Chicago outrushed the Silver and Black 143-71 with Justin Fields throwing for 111 yards and a TD to TE Jesper Horsted, while Derek Carr threw for 206 yards (Carr was sacked three times and threw the game’s only interception, while Fields was sacked twice). Chicago was 6 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 32:02, while the Raiders held the pigskin for 27:58, going 5 for 14 on third down, 1 for 3 on fourth down.

Including contests played at Wrigley Field, Milwaukee County Stadium and the University of Illinois-Champaign, the Packers lead the series 100-94-6, have outscored Da Bears (who were known as the Staleys) 3,506-3,418 and have won five of the last six meetings, including sweeping last year’s contests (Chicago’s last win in the series came in 2018 in the Windy City by a final of 24-17).

Meeting number one… week 12 at Lambeau Field and Da Bears watched Aaron Rodgers and the Packers manhandle them 41-25 on a Sunday night. Chicago trailed 27-10 at the break, then watched the Packers score a pair of TDs in the third unchallenged, before out-scoring Green Bay 15-14 in the second half, pulling themselves to within 16 with 3:21 left when David Montgomery and Mitchell Trubisky connected on a 3-yard TD pass and then Trubisky and Darnell Mooney connected on the two-point conversion try.

Green Bay out-rushed Chicago 182-122, with Montgomery leading all rushers with 103 yards, while Aaron Jones would lead the Packers with 90 yards; Rodgers threw for 211 yards with four TDs, no sacks or interceptions, while Trubisky threw for 242 yards and three TDs (connecting with Allen Robinson on the other two passes), while he was sacked three times and picked off twice. Green Bay went 6 of 11 on third down, 3 for 3 on fourth down and kept the ball for 37:44, while Da Bears kept the pigskin for 22:16, going 4 for 10 on third down 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Round two… Soldier Field in week 17 and Green Bay prevailed in the season finale 35-16 in the Windy City. Rodgers and the Pack erased a 7-0 deficit at Chicago as Green Bay took a 21-6 lead with them to the intermission and left Soldier Field 35-16 winners in the Windy City. Green Bay would use TD passes from Rodgers to TE Robert Tonyan and WRs Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Darryl Dafney to lead by 11 before Bears K Carlos Santos kicked a 27-yard field goal with three seconds left before the intermission to make it an 8-point contest. Santos would then pull Chicago to within 5 with 5:30 left in the third on a 20-yard field goal before a TD run by Aaron Jones and a TD pass from Rodgers to DeVonta Adams would ice the game away for the Packers.

Da Bears did out-rush Green Bay 108-49 and Chicago RB David Montgomery led all rushers with 69 yards and a TD (Jones led Green Bay with 42 yards with the rushing TD); Rodgers threw for 240 yards with the four TDs, while Trubisky would throw for 252 yards and threw the contest’s only interception (both men would be sacked once). Green Bay went 4 for 7 on third down tries in the Windy City and the Packers held the ball for 24:31, while Da Bears were rulers of time, holding on to the ball for 35:29 and went 6 of 15 on third down, 5 for 6 on fourth down.

In the week 12 Sunday night contest in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst, Green Bay was favored by 8 1/2 and the Packers covered, winning by 16. The two teams took care of the 45 over/under, tallying 66 points. Vegas liked Green Bay in the season finale in the Windy City as 5 1/2-points favorite and the Packers did not disappoint, covering with the 19-point win but the two teams barely missed the 52 over/under by a point. Green Bay’s favored b 4 1/2 with a 44 1/2 over/under. Green Bay’s had the hot hand in the series and they want to keep things that way. Packers cover the 4 1/2 in the Windy City and takes the win.

Cincinnati (3-2) at Detroit (0-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. It’s a litter box battle in the Motor City as Cincinnati travels to Detroti to face off against the Winless Lions. Both clubs lost close contests last week.

Green Bay’s Mason Crosby missed two key field goals, one in regulation and one in overtime but made up for the miss as he connected on a 49-yard try in overtime to give the Packers a 25-22 win over Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium. Green Bay led 16-7 at the half after trailing 7-0 at the end of the first quarter. Crosby would give Green Bay a 22-14 lead with 11:20 left in the final quarter on a 22-yard field goal before Bengals RB Joe Mixon ran in from eight yards out to tie the contest up. Mason would then try a 51-yard field goal later in the quarter as time expired but that attempt sailed wide to the right. Cincinnati kicker Evan McPherson then tried a 57-yarder that was short in regulation, then tried a 49-yarder that sailed wide right. The second McPherson try gave Green Bay the ball back in overtime and the Packers would use a 6-play, 29-yard time that used 2:19 of clock and Crosby redeemed himself with the game-winner.

Green Bay outrushed Cincinnati 133-103 with Packers RB Aaron Jones leading the way with 103 yards; Rodgers threw for 344 yards with TD tosses to Davante Adams and A.J. Dillon, while Joe Burrow threw for 281 yards and connected with Samaje Perine and Ja’Marr Chase for his two TDs tosses (Burrow was sacked three times and threw a pair of interceptions, while Rodgers was sacked twice with one pick). Green Bay was 4 for 11 on third down and including the overtime, the Packers kept the ball for 33:59, while the Bengals, keepers of the football for 34:06, went 5 for 14 on third down, 2 for 2 on fourth down.

Minnesota got a last-second win thanks to a 54-yard field goal by Greg Joseph as time expired as the Vikings edged NFC North rival Detroit 19-17 at US Bank Stadium. Minnesota led 13-6 at the half and kept that lead going into the final 15 minutes of play before the Lions would score 11 points in the fourth, thanks to a 40-yard field goal by Alex Siebert and a 7-yard TD run by RB DeAndre Swift (the Lions would get a two-point conversion by Jared Goff to Keith Hodge after the TD) to lead by one with 37 seconds left.

Minnesota would use all 37 seconds left, as the Vikings got the ball back and used a 5-play, 46-yard drive to send Viking fans home happy as Joseph’s field goal try sailed through the uprights as time expired. Minnesota outrushed Detroit 120-108 with Vikings RB Alexander Mattison leading the way with 113 yards. Cousins threw for 275 yards and the Mattison TD and was sacked twice, while Goff threw for 203 yards with four sacks (both threw an interception). Detroit went 3 for 11 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and held on to the ball for 27:54, while the Vikings were ball hogs, holding on to the pigskin for 32:06 (including the final 37 seconds of the contest) and was 5 of 13 on third down.

Including games played at Riverfront and Tiger Stadium and the Pontiac Silverdome, the Bengals lead the series 9-3, Cincinnati has outscored the Lions 300-239 and has won the last six meetings in the series, including a 26-17 win in 2017 at Paul Brown Stadium, while Detroit’s last win came in 1992 in Cincinnati at Riverfront Stadium by a fianl of 19-13. The Bengals are favored by 3 with a 47 1/2 over/under. Detroit would love nothing more than to end their losing streak, while the Bengals have other plans for Detroit. Bengals cover in the Motor City and take the win in the process.

Los Angeles Rams (4-1) at New York Giants (1-4), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712. The Los Angeles Rams and Matthew Stafford make their way to the East coast to face off against Daniel Jones and the New York Football Giants in upstate New Jersey at Met Life Stadium.

Los Angeles erased a 7-3 deficit against Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks last Thursday night in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks in their 26-17 win at Lumen Field. The Rams erased the four-point deficit at the intermission by scoring 13 points in the third quarter unchallenged to take the lead, Seattle would make it a six-point contest with 2:45 on a 32-yard field goal by Josh Myers before Rams K Matt Gay iced the game for the visitors with 24 seconds left on a 47-yard field goal.

The Rams outrushed Seattle 118-92, with Rams RB Darrell Henderson leading the way with 82 yards and a TD; Stafford threw for 365 and a TD to TE Tyler Higbee, while Wilson (finger) threw for 152 yards a TD to D.K. Metcalf before leaving the contest with the injury (Wilson was sacked twice and threw an interception) and would be replaced by Gino Smith (131 yards, TD to Metcalf, interception; Stafford was sacked once and threw an interception). The Rams went 2 for 10 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down and ruled the clock, holding the ball for 33:03, while Seattle kept the ball for 26:57, going 4 for 10 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Dallas manhandled Jones and the Giants last Sunday in Arlington as the Cowboys remained kings of the NFC East mountain, taking a 44-20 win at AT&T Stadium. Trailing 17-10 at the intermission, the Giants watched Dallas floor the gas in the final 30 minutes of play in the Lone Star State, outpacing them 27-10, using a pair of Ezekiel Elliott TDs (one rush, the other a TD pass from Dak Prescott) and an interception by CB Anthony Brown off backup Matt Glennon late in the contest to seal their fate.

Elliott led all rushers with 110 yards as Dallas outrushed Big Blue 201-73 and Prescott threw for 302 yards and three TDs (Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Elliot) with a pair of sacks and an interception, while Jones, who would leave the contest with a shoulder injury, threw for 98 (Glennon threw for 169 yards and a TD to DeVonte Booker and the interception to Brown). The Giants wer 4 for 13 on third down (2 for 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:48, while Dallas would be rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 32:12 and went 8 for 14 on third down, 1 for 2 on fourth down.

Including contests played in Cleveland, Yankee Stadium, Anaheim, St. Louis and the Yale Bowl in New Haven, the Rams lead the series 27-16, have outscored Big Blue 1,005-807 and have won the last two meetings in the series, including a 17-9 win last year on the West coast, while the Giants’ last win came in 2016 in London by a final of 17-10.

They met in week four at SoFi Stadium and the Rams bounced back from their loss at Buffalo as they took the New York Giants to task 19-7 at SoFi Stadium. Los Angeles took a 10-6 lead with them to the break and never looked back to take the win on the West Coast. While the Giants did out-rush the Rams 136-58, Goff burned Big Blue for 200 yards with a TD toss to Cooper Kupp; for the Giants, Daniel Jones threw for 190 yards with five sacks and an interception (Goff was sacked twice but did not throw an interception). The Rams were 5 of 13 on third down tries in southern California (they were 1 of 1 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 26:43, while Big Blue actually ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 33:17, going 4 of 13 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down.

In the week four contest on the Left coast, the Rams were favored by 13 but would win by only 8 and neither club touched the 47 over/under, tallying 26 points. Vegas likes the Rams again, this time as 9 1/2 point favorites with a 48 1/2 over/under. The Giants are not 9 1/2 points bad and they’ll make this one interesting but the Rams prevail in the Meadowlands, taking the win.

Arizona (5-0) at Cleveland (3-2), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. A pair of former Oklahoma qbs (Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield) meet along the shores of Lake Erie as Arizona, the last unbeaten team in the NFL, makes their way to Cleveland to face off against the Browns at First Energy Field in a late-afternoon contest.

Arizona kept themselves in the ranks of the unbeaten last Sunday in the desert as the Desert Angry Birds held off a late 49ers rally to take a 17-10 win at State Farm Stadium. Scoring 10 first half points without a challenge, the 49ers made it a 3-point game on a 13-yard TD run by Devonta Samuel late in the third before Murray and DeAndre Hopkins connected on a 9-yard TD toss late in the final quarter. 49ers K Jeff Syke then put his team back to within three with a 47-yard field with 4:12 left in regulation. Arizona would then run out the clock, forcing San Francisco to burn their remaining time outs and take the win in the desert.

While San Francisco outrushed the Desert Angry Birds 152-94 (49ers’ QB Trey Lance led all rushers with 89 yards), Murray threw for 239 yards with the Hopkins TD (both Murray and Lance were sacked twice and Lance threw the contest’s only interception). Arizona went 3 for 10 on third down and kept the ball for 28:06, while the 49ers held on to the pigskin for 31:54, going 3 for 11, 1 for 5 on third and fourth downs.

The Los Angeles Chargers put an end to Cleveland’s three-game win streak at SoFi Stadium last Sunday, coming away 47-42 winners. Trailing 20-17 at the intermission, the Bolts proceeded to outscore the Browns 34-22 in the second half, holding off a Browns’ rally in the process, taking the lead for keeps with 3:15 when Austin Ekeler scored the first of his two rushing TDs in the fourth quarter to take control of the contest.

Cleveland did manage to outrush the Bolts 230-112, with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading the way with 161 yards and a TD, while Elker ran for 66 yards and the two TDs in the fourth quarter. Justin Hebert threw for 398 yards and four TDs and was sacked twice, while Baker Mayfield threw foer 305 yards with a sack (neither threw an interception). The Bolts were 6 for 13 on third down (3 for 3 on fourth down) and held on to the ball for 23:32, while the Browns were rulers of time, keeping the pigskin for 36:28 and went 4 for 12 on third down, 1 for 3 on fourth down.

Including games played in St. Louis, Chicago and at old Municipal Stadium, the Browns have outscored the Cardinals 1,288-951 and Cleveland carries a 33-15-3 in the series. Arizona has won the last four meetings in the series, including a 38-24 win in the desert in 2019, while Cleveland’s last win came in 2003 in Cleveland by a final of 44-6.

Since Arizona’s the last team standing without a blemish and since we have two former Sooner QBs under center, those two things alone make this one “DRILL WORTHY!” (For those of you that know what The Drill is, you are excused. Everyone else, pay attention. We don’t want any rookie mistakes here, k?) After you go to the 9:30 mass on Sunday (the 4:30 vigil mass on Saturday counts as a Sunday 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 62 last June and dates a 46-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the principal at the high school in your town. She’s also the one that ate an entire Oreo cheesecake, two bags of Cool Ranch Doritos, two bacon cheeseburgers with blue cheese and chugged two 2-liter Cokes at your Super Bowl party last year and didn’t gain a pound. You look at her and say to yourself, “what the hell?”)

The Browns are favored by 3 and the over/under’s 49 1/2. Both numbers are reasonable. The Desert Angry Birds would love nothing more than to leave Cleveland unbeaten. As for the Browns? They have other ideas. The ’72 Dolphins can relax. Arizona covers the 3 along the shores of Lake Erie and takes the win.

Las Vegas (3-2) at Denver (3-2), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. A pair of AFC West/AFL rivals meet in the Mile High City as the Las Vegas Raiders, under new leadership, makes their way to Empower Field at Mile High to face off against the Denver Broncos. Both teams look to bounce back from losses last week.

Rich Bisaccia took over as interim head coach for John Gruden after Gruden’s resignation for comments that were derogatory toward African Americans and gays and the Raiders enter with a 20-9 loss to Chicago at Alligent Stadium after Chicago erased a 3-0 deficit in the first quarter in what would be Gruden’s last game as Raiders head coach. Da Bears would score 14 second quarter points unchecked and took an 11-point lead with them to the intermission. After a scoreless third quarter at Alligent Stadium, the Raiders would put themselves closer on a 1-yard TD run by Josh Jacobs before Bears K Chris Santos connected on a pair of 46-yard field goals to put the game away.

Chicago outrushed the Silver and Black 143-71 with Justin Fields throwing for 111 yards and a TD to TE Jesper Horsted, while Derek Carr threw for 206 yards (Carr was sacked three times and threw the game’s only interception, while Fields was sacked twice). Chicago was 6 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 32:02, while the Raiders held the pigskin for 27:58, going 5 for 14 on third down, 1 for 3 on fourth down.

A Denver rally against Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers fell short as the Steelers came away from Heinz Field 27-19 winners last Sunday. Pittsburgh led 17-6 at the intermission in the Steel City, then held off Denver in the final 30 minutes of play to take the win. Pittsburgh’s Najee Harris led all rushers with 122 yards and a TD as the Steelers outrushed Denver 147-106. Roethlisberger, despite losing WR Juju Smith-Schuster to a shoulder injury early in the contest, threw for 253 yards, while Teddy Bridgewater threw for 288 yards (both men threw a pair of TDs, Roethlisberger was sacked once, Bridgewater was sacked twice and threw the game’s only interception). Denver was 2 for 12 on third down, 3 for 4 on fourth down and kept the ball for 26:58, while the Steelers were rulers of the clock and kept the ball for 33:02

Including games played at Mile High Stadium and in Los Angeles and Oakland, the Raiders lead the series 66-53-2, have outscored Denver 2,597-2,469 and swept last year’s contests (Denver’s last win in the series came in the Mile High City in 2019 by a final of 16-15).

Meeting number one… Allegiant Stadium in week 10 and the Raiders came away 37-12 winners. Las Vegas led 10-6 at the intermission, then floored the gas as they would outscore Denver 27-6 in the final 30 minutes of play. Jacobs led all rushers with 112 yards and a pair of TDs as Las Vegas outrushed Denver 203-66 and Carr threw for 154 yards without a sack or interception, while Drew Lock threw for 257 yards and a TD but was sacked twice and threw four interceptions. Denver was 7 of 15 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down and they would hold on to the ball for 23:22, while the Raiders were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 36:38 and went 6 for 13 on third down.

They would close out the season at Empower Field at Mile High and the Raiders made it a sweep, taking a 32-31 win out of the Mile High City. After leading 10-3 at the end of the first quarter, the Broncos would see that lead get away from them as Las Vegas took a 17-10 lead into the intermission. After Broncos K Brandon McManus kicked a pair of field goals to make it a one-point game going into the final 15 minutes of play, Denver would take the lead again with 14:54 left in the contest when Melvin Gordon scored on a 10-yard TD run before Jacobs would score again on a 28-yard run before the Broncos took the lead back when WR Jerry Jeudy and Lock connected on a 92-yard TD toss. Las Vegas would then take the lead back for keeps with 24 seconds left when Jacobs scored for the second time on the day on a 1-yard run.

Denver outrushed Las Vegas 122-106 and Gordon led all rushers with 93 yards, while Jacobs led the Raiders with 89 yards. Lock threw for 339 yards, while Carr threw for 371 yards (both men threw a pair of TDs, Lock was sacked twice and Carr was sacked three times and threw a pair of interceptions). Denver was 7 of 16 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and the Broncos were ball hogs as they held on to the ball for 33:20, while the Raiders, who kept the ball for 26:40, went 5 of 13 on third down, 2 of 2 on fourth down.

Las Vegas covered the 5-point spread, winning by 25 in the week 10 contest in the desert but the two clubs missed the 58 1/2 over/under, tallying 49 points. In the season finale in the Mile High City, Las Vegas was favored by 3 1/2 but won by only one and the two clubs covered the 51 over/under with 63 points. Denver’s favored by 4 in the late afternoon contest in the Mile High City and the over/under’s 44. Both numbers are reasonable. Denver’s trying to get back on track from their loss in western Pennsylvania, while the Raiders are looking to regroup under new leadership on the sideline. Denver wins at home but expect the Raiders to make things closer than the 4 in the Mile High City.

Dallas (4-1) at New England (2-3), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. The first-place Dallas Cowboys make their way to Foxboro to face off against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Both teams were winners in their contests last week.

Dallas manhandled Jones and the Giants last Sunday in Arlington as the Cowboys remained kings of the NFC East mountain, taking a 44-20 win at AT&T Stadium. Trailing 17-10 at the intermission, the Giants watched Dallas floor the gas in the final 30 minutes of play in the Lone Star State, outpacing them 27-10, using a pair of Ezekiel Elliott TDs (one rush, the other a TD pass from Dak Prescott) and an interception by CB Anthony Brown off backup Matt Glennon late in the contest to seal their fate.

Elliott led all rushers with 110 yards as Dallas outrushed Big Blue 201-73 and Prescott threw for 302 yards and three TDs (Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Elliot) with a pair of sacks and an interception, while Jones, who would leave the contest with a shoulder injury, threw for 98 (Glennon threw for 169 yards and a TD to DeVonte Booker and the interception to Brown). The Giants wer 4 for 13 on third down (2 for 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 27:48, while Dallas would be rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 32:12 and went 8 for 14 on third down, 1 for 2 on fourth down.

Matt Jones and New England erased a 15-9 deficit at the intermission against the Texans and left NRG Stadium 25-22 winners. The Patriots would take the lead for keeps in the second half, scoring 16 second half points unchallenged, using three Nick Folk field goals to take the win. New England outrushed the Texans 126-67 with Jones throwing for 231 yards and TD, while Davis Mills threw for 312 yards and three TDs (Mills was sacked three times, Jones was sacked once and threw the contest’s only interception). New England on third down was 6 for 11 and ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 30:44, while the Texans kept the pigskin for 29:16, going 6 for 14 and 3 for 3 on third and fourth downs.

While the Cowboys lead the series 7-6, New England has outscored Dallas 259-249. The Patroits have come away winners in the last six meetings, including a 13-9 win in Foxboro in 2019, while Dallas’ last win came at Texas Stadium in 1996 by a final of 12-6. Vegas likes the Cowboys are 3 1/2 point favorites in Foxboro with a 51 over/under. Dallas has had trouble in western Massachusetts in the past and that history continues. Pats pull off the upset and takes the win, covering the 3 1/2.

Seattle (2-3) at Pittsubrgh (2-3), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of 2-3 teams meet in the Steel City in prime time as Seattle, without Russell Wilson, travels to western Pennsylvania to take on Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.

The Los Angeles Rams erased a 7-3 deficit against Wilson and the Seahawks last Thursday night in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks in their 26-17 win at Lumen Field. The Rams erased the four-point deficit at the intermission by scoring 13 points in the third quarter unchallenged to take the lead, Seattle would make it a six-point contest with 2:45 on a 32-yard field goal by Josh Myers before Rams K Matt Gay iced the game for the visitors with 24 seconds left on a 47-yard field goal.

The Rams outrushed Seattle 118-92, with Rams RB Darrell Henderson leading the way with 82 yards and a TD; Stafford threw for 365 and a TD to TE Tyler Higbee, while Wilson (finger) threw for 152 yards a TD to D.K. Metcalf before leaving the contest with the injury (Wilson was sacked twice and threw an interception) and would be replaced by Gino Smith (131 yards, TD to Metcalf, interception; Stafford was sacked once and threw an interception). The Rams went 2 for 10 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down and ruled the clock, holding the ball for 33:03, while Seattle kept the ball for 26:57, going 4 for 10 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Pittsburgh held off a late Denver rally as Roethlisberger and the Steelers came away from Heinz Field 27-19 winners last Sunday. Pittsburgh led 17-6 at the intermission in the Steel City, then held off Denver in the final 30 minutes of play to take the win. Pittsburgh’s Najee Harris led all rushers with 122 yards and a TD as the Steelers outrushed Denver 147-106. Roethlisberger, despite losing WR Juju Smith-Schuster to a shoulder injury early in the contest, threw for 253 yards, while Teddy Bridgewater threw for 288 yards (both men threw a pair of TDs, Roethlisberger was sacked once, Bridgewater was sacked twice and threw the game’s only interception). Denver was 2 for 12 on third down, 3 for 4 on fourth down and kept the ball for 26:58, while the Steelers were rulers of the clock and kept the ball for 33:02.

Including games played in the Kingdome and at Three Rivers Stadium, the Seahawks lead the series 10-8, have outscored the Steelers 346-298 and have won the last two contests, including a 28-26 win at Heinz Field in 2019 (Pittsburgh’s last win in the series came in 2011, when the Black and Gold pitched a 24-0 shutout at Heinz Field). Pittsburgh’s favored by 5 in western Pennsylvania and the over/under’s 42 1/2. Steelers win at home on Sunday night but expect Seattle to make it closer than 5.

Buffalo (4-1) at Tennessee (3-2), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Week six ends in the Music City as Buffalo and Tennessee, two playoff teams from last year, meet at Nissan Stadium with road wins under their belts last week.

Kansas City, the defending AFC champions, struggled with the Buffalo Bills and the weather last Sunday night at Arrowhead, with the Bills coming away 38-20 winners. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs let a 10-7 lead get away from them halfway through the second quarter as Buffalo were rude guests, taking a 24-13 lead with them to the intermission, then dealt with a lightning delay just before the second half got underway as the Bills outscored Kansas City 14-7 in the final 30 minutes of play.

Buffalo barely outrushed Kansas City 121-120 and both starting qbs were the leading rushers (Buffalo’s Josh Allen led his team with 59 yards and a rushing TD, while Mahomes led all rushers with 61 yards); Allen threw for 315 yards and three TDs (two to Emmanuel Sanders), while Mahomes threw for 272 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Travis Kelce). The Chiefs were 5 for 12 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and actually ruled the clock, holding on to the ball for 32:25, while the Bills were 5 for 11 on third down and held the ball for 27:35.

Jacksonville was manhandled by Tennessee at TIAA Bank Stadium last Sunday, with the Titans taking a 37-19 win out of the Sunshine State. Jacksonville trailed 24-13 at the intermission, then watched Tennessee outscore them 13-6 in the last 30 minutes of play. The ground game in the contest was active as Jacksonville actually outrushed Tennessee 198-184 and Jaguars RB James Robinson led all rushers with 149 yards and a TD, while Tennessee was led by Derrick Henry with 130 yards and three TDs. Titans QB Ryan Tannehill threw for 197 yards and a TD to MyCole Pruitt, while Jacksonville QB Trevor Lawerence threw for 273 yards and a TD to Jeff Hollister (Lawrence threw the game’s only interception and was sacked twice, while Tannehill was sacked three times). Jacksonville was 3 for 10 on third down, 1 for 3 on fourth down and kept the ball for 28:30, while Tennessee would be rulers of the clock and hold to the pigskin for 31:30, going 5 of 11 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down.

Tennessee leads the series 28-17 (which includes contests that were played when the Titans were in Houston and known as the Oilers) and have outscored the Bills Titans 985-858. Their last meeting was last year in the Music City and the Titans came away 42-16 winners at Nissan Stadium, while the Bills’ last win in the series came in 2019 by a final of 14-7 in Nashville.

They met in week five on a Tuesday night and Tennessee knocked Buffalo out of the ranks of the unbeatens at Nissan Stadium, taking care of the Bills by the 42-16 final. The Titans led throughout the contest, taking a 21-10 lead with them to the intermission, then taking control of the second half, outscoring the Bills 21-6 in the final 30 minutes of play.

Tennessee out-rushed the Bills 139-95, with Titans RB Derick Henry leading the way with 57 yards and a pair of TDs in the contest; Ryan Tannehill threw for 195 yards and three TDs without a sack or interception, while Buffalo’s Josh Allen threw for 263 yards and a pair of TDs but was sacked once and threw a pair of interceptions. Both teams did quite well on third down tries in the Tuesday night contest; the Bills were 13 of 17 and kept the ball for 32:24, while the Titans, keeping the ball for 27:36, went 6 of 10 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

On Monday nights, the Bills are 19-27 overall but went 2-1 last year, while the Titans are 24-18 with a win under their belts from last year. Buffalo was favored by 3 1/2 in the Music City and Tennessee covered, winning by 26 and both teams took care of the 41 over/under with 58 points. Buffalo’s favored by 5 1/2 and the over/under’s 54. Both numbers make sense and both team could meet in the post-season. Bill circle the wagons on Monday and takes the win on the road, covering the 5 1/2.

New York Giants (1-3) at Dallas (3-1), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. A pair of NFC East rivals meet in the Lone Star State as Daniel Jones and the New York Giants travel to Jerry World (AT&T Stadium) to face off agianst Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys in a late afternoon contest. Both teams were winners in last week’s action.

Using a Grant Gano field goal from 48 yards with 48 seconds in regulation, then a 6-yard run by RB Sequan Barkley, the Giants used a 9-play, 75-yard drive that used 5:06 of clock in overtime to beat Jameis Winston and New Orleans 27-21 in the Big Easy. Tied 7-7 at the intermission, New Orleans would lead 14-10 at the end of three quarters of play before the Giants responed in the final 15 minutes of regulation, scoring on a 54-yard TD toss from Jones to Barkley, then Jones scoring on a two-point try and Gano’s field goal to even things up before winning in the extra period as the Giants won the toss to start overtime and New Orleans would never see the ball.

Saints’ RB Alvin Kamara led all rushers with 120 yards as New Orleans outrushed Big Blue 170-83. Jones threw for 402 yards with the TD to Barkley (who had 52 yards of rushing to lead the Giants), while Winston threw for 226 yards and a TD to Juwan Johnson (neither was sacked and Jones threw the contest’s only interception). The Giants were 4 for 11 on third down and held on to the ball for 27:35 (including the 5:06 in overtime), while the Saints, keeping the ball for 37:31, went 8 of 13 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Dallas ended Carolina’s hopes for an unbeaten season in Arlington last Sunday, as Prescott and the Cowboys came away 36-28 winners at AT&T Stadium. Dallas trailed 14-13 at the intermission before they would score 20 third quarter points unchallenged to take the lead for keeps. Ezekiel Elliot led all rushers with 143 yards and a TD as the Cowboys would outrush Carolina 245-143 and Prescott threw for 188 yards and four TDs without a sack or interception, while Sam Darnold threw for 301 yards with a pair of TD passes to D.J. Moore but was sacked five times and picked off twice. Carolina was 4 for 13 on third down (3 for 3 on fourth down) and the Panthers would rule the clock and keep the ball for 33:36, while Dallas, holding on to the pigskin for 26:24, went 3 for 9 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Dallas lead series, 69-46-2 and they have outscored Big Blue 2,682-2,272. They split last season’s contests, each winning in their home facilties.

They met in the Lone Star State in week five and Giants fans got their hearts shattered again, this time at the hands of divisional rival Dallas, as Zeurlein booted a 34-yard field goal as time expired to take a 37-34 win. The contest had six lead changes with the Giants leading by as much as 17-3 before Dallas stormed back to lead at the intermission 24-20. Dallas would hold on to that lead until Devonta Freeman put the Giants back on top with 8:46 left to play on a 4-yard run. Dallas would then tie things up with 1:56 on a 40-yard field goal. The Giants got the ball back, only to punt it back to Dallas with 52 seconds left and the Cowboys would use all of the time left to move themselves down the field, using a 5-play, 72-yard drive, ending with Zeurlein connecting on a 34-yard field goal as the clock struck :00.

Dallas out-rushed the Giants 126-89, with Elliot leading the way with 91 yards and a pair of TDs (Freeman led the Giants with 60 yards). Jones led the Giants with 222 yards without a TD or interception, while Prescott threw for 166 yards and an interception before leaving the contest with a broken ankle in the third quarter (backup Andy Dalton would take over, throwing for 111 yards in relief). Neither club had a fourth down try in the late-afternoon contest; the Giants were 7 of 13 on third down and kept the ball for 32:22, while Dallas clung to the pigskin for 27:38, while going 5 of 9 on third down.

They met again in the season finale in the Meadowland and it was the Giants that knocked Dallas out of the playoffs, taking a 23-19 win at Met Life Stadium. New York led throughout the contest, taking a 20-6 lead with them to the intermission. Big Blue outrushed Dallas 125-108 and Jones threw for 229 yards with a pair of sacks, while Andy Dalton (taking over for Prescott) threw for 243 yards and was sacked six times (each threw an interception, Jones threw a pair of TDs). Neither club did well on thrid down tries in the Meadowlands (the Giants were a dismal 0 for 7, Dallas was not much better, going 6 of 17 but went one for one on fourth down) and time was the ally of Dalllas, who kept the ball for 32:33 to New York’s 27:27.

In the week five contest in the Lone Star State, Dallas was favored by 8 1/2 but won by only 3. The two clubs did manage to take care of the 54 over/under with 71 points. In the season finale in upstate New Jersey, Vegas liked the Cowboys as 3-point favorites and the Giants would win, covering with their 4-point win. As for the 44 1/2 over/under? It went untouched as the two clubs, both out of playoff contention, combined for only 42 points. The boys and girls in Vegas like Dallas again, this time as 7-point favorites with a 51 1/2 over/under. Dallas wins in JerryWorld but expect the Giants to make this one closer than 7.

Sunday and Monday Broadcast Information (times listed are Eastern)

New York Jets (1-3) vs. ATLANTA (1-3) in London, 9:30 a.m. Eastern (2:30 p.m. in London): Greg Gumbel, Adam Archuleta, AJ Ross, Melissa Stark (field reporters); SIRIUS: 133 (New York Jets), 85 (ATLANTA); XM: 384 (New York Jets), 228 (ATLANTA); SXM App: 824 (New York Jets), 801 (ATLANTA)

New England (1-3) at Houston (1-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton, Amanda Balionis (field reporter); SIRIUS: 134 (New England), 81 (Houston); XM: 385 (New England), 226 (Houston); SXM App: 821 (New England), 812 (Houston)

Tennessee (2-2) at Jacksonville (0-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706: : Tom McCarthy, Tiki Barber; SIRIUS: 132 (Tennessee), 99 (Jacksonville); XM: 389 (Tennessee), 230 (Jacksonville); SXM App: 830 (Tennessee), 814 (Jacksonville)

Miami (1-3) at Tampa Bay (3-1), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (field reporter); SIRIUS: 111 (Miami), 82 (Tampa Bay); XM: 387 (Miami), 227 (Tampa Bay); SXM App: 819 (Miami), 829 (Tampa Bay)

New Orleans (2-2) at Washington (2-2), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708: Spero Dedes, Jay Feely; SIRIUS: 119 (New Orleans), 156 (Washington); XM: 392 (New Orleans), 233 (Washington); SXM App: 822 (New Orleans), 831 (Washington)

Philadelphia (1-3) at Carolina (3-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 709: Joe Davis, Greg Olsen, Pam Oliver (field reporter); SIRIUS: 211 (Philadelphia), 98 (Carolina); XM: 388 (Philadelphia), 229 (Carolina); SXM App: 825 (Philadelphia), 804 (Carolina)

Green Bay (3-1) at Cincinnati (3-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710: : Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Lindsay Czarniak (field reporter); SIRIUS: 113 (Green Bay), 83 (Cincinnati); XM: 386 (Green Bay), 225 (Cincinnati); SXM App: 811 (Green Bay), 806 (Cincinnati)

Detroit (0-4) at Minnesota (1-3), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Jennifer Hale (field reporter); SIRIUS: 121 (Detroit), 146 (Minnesota); XM: 390 (Detroit), 231 (Minnesota); SXM App: 810 (Detroit), 820 (Minnesota)

Denver (3-1) at Pittsburgh (1-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 712: Brandon Gaudin, Mark Schlereth, Sarah Kustok (field reporter); SIRIUS: 108 (Denver), 103 (Pittsburgh); XM: 391 (Denver), 232 (Pittsburgh); SXM App: 809 (Denver), 826 (Pittsburgh)

Cleveland (3-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (3-1), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 713: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green, Melanie Collins (field reporter); SIRIUS: 133 (Cleveland), 85 (Los Angeles Chargers); XM: 384 (Cleveland), 228 (Los Angeles Chargers); SXM App: 807 (Cleveland), 817 (Los Angeles Chargers)

Chicago (2-2) at Las Vegas (3-1), 4:05 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis, Evan Washburn (field reporter); SIRIUS: 134 (Chicago), 81 (Las Vegas); XM: 385 (Chicago), 226 (Las Vegas); SXM App: 805 (Chicago), 816 (Las Vegas)

San Francisco (2-2) at Arizona (4-0), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin (field reporter); SIRIUS: 111 (San Francisco), 82 (Arizona); XM: 387 (San Francisco), 227 (Arizona); SXM App: 827 (San Francisco), 800 (Arizona)

New York Giants (1-3) at Dallas (3-1), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Tom Rinaldi (field reporters); SIRIUS: 113 (New York Giants), 83 (Dallas); XM: 386 (New York Giants), 225 (Dallas); SXM App: 823 (New York Giants), 808 (Dallas)

Buffalo (3-1) at Kansas City (2-2), 8:20 p.m. on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Ryan Radtke, Anthony Becht; SIRIUS: 81 (Buffalo), 211 (Kansas City), National (88); XM: 226 (Buffalo), 225 (Kansas City), National (88); SXM App: 803 (Buffalo), 815 (Kansas City), National (88)

Indianapolis (1-3) at Baltimore (3-1), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN: : Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, Lisa Salters (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Ron Jaworski; SIRIUS: 81 (Indianapolis), 83 (Baltimore), National (88) | XM: 226 (Indianapolis), 225 (Baltimore), National (88) | SXM App: 226 (Indianapolis), 225 (Baltimore), National (88)

Sunday and Monday Officials
New York Jets (1-3) vs. ATLANTA (1-3) in London, 9:30 a.m. Eastern (2:30 p.m. London): Tony Corrente
New England (1-3) at Houston (1-3), 1 p.m.: Scott Novak
Tennessee (2-2) at Jacksonville (0-4), 1 p.m.: Alex Kemp
Miami (1-3) at Tampa Bay (3-1), 1 p.m.: Jerome Boger
New Orleans (2-2) at Washington (2-2), 1 p.m.: Shawn Smith
Philadelphia (1-3) at Carolina (3-1), 1 p.m.: Shawn Hochuli
Green Bay (3-1) at Cincinnati (3-1), 1 p.m.: Bill Vinovich
Detroit (0-4) at Minnesota (1-3), 1 p.m.: Clete Blakeman
Denver (3-1) at Pittsburgh (1-3), 1 p.m.: Brad Rogers
Cleveland (3-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (3-1), 4:05 p.m.: Brad Allen
Chicago (2-2) at Las Vegas (3-1), 4:05 p.m.: Craig Wrolstad
San Francisco (2-2) at Arizona (4-0), 4:25 p.m.: Clay Martin
New York Giants (1-3) at Dallas (3-1), 4:25 p.m.: John Hussey
Buffalo (3-1) at Kansas City (2-2), 8:20 p.m.: Carl Cheffers
Indianapolis (1-3) at Baltimore (3-1), 8:15 p.m. Monday: Land Clark

Sunday and Monday Odds (Home team listed in CAPS)

Sunday
Favorite Spread Underdog O/U
ATLANTA – 3 1/2 NY Jets 45 +
TAMPA BAY – 10 1/2 Miami 48
CAROLINA – 4 Philadelphia 44 1/2
New Orleans – 1 1/2 WASHINGTON 43 1/2
Tennessee – 4 JACKSONVILLE 48 1/2
MINNESOTA – 7 1/2 Detroit 48 1/2
PITTSBURGH – 1 1/2 Denver 40 1/2
Green Bay – 3 1/2 CINCINNATI 49 1/2
New England – 9 1/2 HOUSTON 39 1/2
LAS VEGAS – 5 1/2 Chicago 45 1/2
Cleveland – 1 LA CHARGERS 49 1/2
DALLAS – 7 NY Giants 51 1/2
ARIZONA – 5 1/2 San Francisco 50
KANSAS CITY – 2 1/2 Buffalo 56

Monday
Favorite Spread Underdog O/U
BALTIMORE – 7 Indinapolis 47 1/2
+Game in London

Sunday and Monday Injury Report
New York Jets (1-3) vs. ATLANTA (1-3) in London, 9:30 a.m. Eastern (2:30 p.m. London)

New York Jets
OUT: S Adrian Colbert (concussion), TE Tyler Kroft (back), S Marcus Maye (ankle), WR Jeff Smith (concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Brandin Echols (concussion), DT Nathan Shepherd (knee)

ATLANTA
OUT: DT Marlon Davidson (ankle), WR Russell Gage (ankle), WR Calvin Ridley (not injury related – personal matter)
DOUBTFUL: S Erik Harris (calf), CB Avery Williams (hamstring)

Philadelphia (1-3) at Carolina (3-1), 1 p.m.

Philadelphia
OUT: T Lane Johnson (not injury related – personal matter)

Carolina
OUT: T Cameron Erving (neck), LB Shaq Thompson (foot)
DOUBTFUL: RB Christian McCaffrey (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Yetur Gross-Matos (ankle)

Green Bay at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

Green Bay
OUT: CB Jaire Alexander (shoulder), C Josh Myers (finger)
QUESTIONABLE: G Elgton Jenkins (ankle), T Dennis Kelly (illness, back)

Cincinnati
OUT: G Xavier Su’a-Filo (knee)
DOUBTFUL: WR Mike Thomas (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: C Trey Hopkins (knee), RB Joe Mixon (ankle), DT Larry Ogunjobi (knee, illness), G D’Ante Smith (illness), CB Trae Waynes (hamstring)

New England at Houston, 1 p.m.

New England
OUT: T Trenton Brown (calf), G Shaquille Mason (abdomen), CB Shaun Wade (concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (shoulder), S Cody Davis (knee), S Kyle Dugger (hamstring), K Nick Folk (left knee), CB Jonathan Jones (ankle), CB Jalen Mills (hamstring), DE Ronnie Perkins (ankle), LB Kyle Van Noy (groin)

Houston
OUT: RB Rex Burkhead (hip), QB Deshaun Watson (not injury related – personal matter)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Danny Amendola (thigh), T Marcus Cannon (back), TE Brevin Jordan (illness)

Tennessee at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.

Tennessee
OUT: C Aaron Brewer (knee), LB Jayon Brown (knee), TE Tommy Hudson (ankle), WR Julio Jones (hamstring), P Brett Kern (right groin), WR Racey McMath (quadricep)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Denico Autry (hip), LB Bud Dupree (knee), T Taylor Lewan (toe), T Ty Sambrailo (foot), WR Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (hamstring)

Jacksonville
OUT: DT Roy Robertson-Harris (ankle, illness)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Tyson Campbell (toe), DE Lerentee McCray (hamstring)

Detroit at Minnesota, 1 p.m.

Detroit
QUESTIONABLE: LB Trey Flowers (knee), TE T.J. Hockenson (knee), T Penei Sewell (ankle), RB D’Andre Swift (groin), RB Jamaal Williams (hip)

Minnesota
OUT: DT Michael Pierce (elbow), WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette (toe)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Dalvin Cook (ankle)

Denver at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.

Denver
OUT: TE Albert Okwuegbunam (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: QB Teddy Bridgewater (concussion), RB Melvin Gordon (lower leg), WR Diontae Spencer (chest), CB Patrick Surtain (chest), WR Courtland Sutton (ankle)

Pittsburgh
OUT: T Rashaad Coward (ankle), DT Carlos Davis (knee), CB Cameron Sutton (groin), WR James Washington (groin)

Miami at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.

Miami
QUESTIONABLE: WR DeVante Parker (shoulder, hamstring)

Tampa Bay
OUT: TE Rob Gronkowski (ribs), DE Pat O’Connor (calf), S Antoine Winfield (concussion)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Giovani Bernard (knee), CB Jamel Dean (knee), LB Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder, hand)

New Orleans at Washington, 1 p.m.

New Orleans
OUT: T Terron Armstead (elbow), C Erik McCoy (calf)

Washington
OUT: WR Dyami Brown (knee), G Brandon Scherff (knee), WR Cam Sims (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Antonio Gibson (shin), LB Cole Holcomb (shoulder), DT Daron Payne (toe), WR Curtis Samuel (groin)

Cleveland at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m.

Cleveland
OUT: T Christopher Hubbard (triceps), CB Greg Newsome (calf)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Jadeveon Clowney (elbow), LB Tony Fields (shoulder), DE Myles Garrett (knee, ankle), CB Troy Hill (toe), DE Takkarist McKinley (ankle, knee), TE David Njoku (knee), LB Malcolm Smith (abdomen), C J.C. Tretter (knee, back), CB Denzel Ward (neck), T Jedrick Wills (ankle)

Los Angeles Chargers
DOUBTFUL: RB Justin Jackson (groin)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Chris Harris (shoulder)

Chicago at Las Vegas, 4:05 p.m.

Chicago
OUT: TE J.P. Holtz (quadricep), LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe (hamstring), TE Jesse James (not injury related – personal matter), RB David Montgomery (knee)
DOUBTFUL: DT Akiem Hicks (groin)
QUESTIONABLE: S Tashaun Gipson (hamstring), TE Jesper Horsted (knee), LB Christian Jones (back), LB Khalil Mack (ribs, foot)

Las Vegas
OUT: CB Damon Arnette (groin), TE Derek Carrier (pectoral), CB Trayvon Mullen (toe)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Peyton Barber (toe)

San Francisco at Arizona, 4:25 p.m.

San Francisco
OUT: QB Jimmy Garoppolo (calf), CB K’Waun Williams (calf)
DOUBTFUL: TE George Kittle (calf)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Samson Ebukam (hamstring), DT Javon Kinlaw (knee)

Arizona
OUT: CB Byron Murphy (ribs), T Justin Murray (back)
QUESTIONABLE: T Kelvin Beachum (ribs), RB Eno Benjamin (hamstring), RB Chase Edmonds (shoulder), CB Antonio Hamilton (ankle), TE Maxx Williams (shoulder), CB Marco Wilson (ribs)

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

New York Giants
OUT: G Ben Bredeson (hand), S Jabrill Peppers (hamstring), WR Sterling Shepard (hamstring), WR Darius Slayton (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: T Andrew Thomas (foot)

Dallas
OUT: DE Dorance Armstrong (ankle), S Donovan Wilson (groin)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Amari Cooper (hamstring), RB Ezekiel Elliott (knee), DE Randy Gregory (knee), T Ty Nsekhe (illness), DE Carlos Watkins (knee)

Buffalo at Kansas City, 8:20 p.m.

Buffalo
QUESTIONABLE: DE A.J. Epenesa (foot), RB Taiwan Jones (hamstring), LB Matt Milano (hamstring)

Kansas City
QUESTIONABLE: DE Chris Jones (wrist), CB Charvarius Ward (quadricep)

Indianapolis (1-3) at Baltimore (3-1), 8:15 p.m. Monday

Indianapolis
OUT: DE Kwity Paye (hamstring), T Braden Smith (foot, thumb), RB Jordan Wilkins (non-football illness), CB Rock Ya-Sin (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: S Khari Willis (ankle, groin)

Baltimore
OUT: T Ronnie Stanley (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: S DeShon Elliott (quadricep), S Geno Stone (thigh), T Alejandro Villanueva (knee)

Sunday and Monday Weather
New York Jets (1-3) vs. ATLANTA (1-3) in London, 9:30 a.m. Eastern (2:30 p.m. London): Mostly cloudy and 63 degrees
Philadelphia (1-3) at Carolina (3-1), 1 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 76 degrees
Green Bay (3-1) at Cincinnati (3-1), 1 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 80 degrees
New England (1-3) at Houston (1-3), 1 p.m.: Game indoors
Tennessee (2-2) at Jacksonville (0-4), 1 p.m.: Mostly cloudy and 79 degrees
Detroit (0-4) at Minnesota (1-3), 1 p.m.: Game indoors
Denver (3-1) at Pittsburgh (1-3), 1 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 74 degrees
Miami (1-3) at Tampa Bay (3-1), 1 p.m.: Sunny and 84 degrees
New Orleans (2-2) at Washington (2-2), 1 p.m.: Mostly cloudy and 73 degrees
Cleveland (3-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (3-1), 4:05 p.m.: Game indoors
Chicago (2-2) at Las Vegas (3-1), 4:05 p.m.: Game indoors
San Francisco (2-2) at Arizona (4-0), 4:25 p.m.: Game indoors
New York Giants (1-3) at Dallas (3-1), 4:25 p.m.: Game indoors
Buffalo (3-1) at Kansas City (2-2), 8:20 p.m.: Overcast with a 60 percent chance of showers and 74 degrees
Indianapolis (1-3) at Baltimore (3-1), 8:15 p.m. Monday: Mostly cloudy and 71 degrees

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

It’s finally here.

32 teams fighting for their Lombardi. One team trying to keep theirs and perhaps add another. For the other 31 teams, they’re the hunters, which makes Tampa Bay prey.

This time, it’s not win and you advance; lose and your next game is next year. This IS next year. Win or lose, your next game is next week.

Welcome to the first Sunday of the 2021 NFL regular season.

Tampa Bay began their defense of the Lombardi Trophy with a win in their contest Thursdsay night against Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys in the Sunshine State. The 2021 season is underway and fans will actually be allowed to enter stadiums. That means that places that didn’t have fans in the seats will be able to do so. Granted, America is still in the grip of COVID but with the vaccine and those that have already gotten their shots, the grip is loosening somewhat and includes all 32 teams, who have COVID protocols in place.

The 2021 National Football League regular season got to see daylight in Tampa to open things up and concludes January 9. 276 games on the schedule and all 32 teams are involved. There are games in London for the first time since 2019 but no games in Mexico and this time, there’s a 18th week to the season, which means that everyone plays 17 games instead of 16 (there’s still the BYE week, so don’t panic!)

“Life starts all over again,” wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald, “when it gets crisp in the fall.”

And this fall in the National Football League, that initial autumn breeze means an enhanced 18-week, 272-game regular-season schedule. Each team is playing 17 regular-season games for the first time, providing fans an extra week of action. It marks the first change to the season structure since the 1978 campaign ushered in an era of 16 regular-season and four preseason games.

Life starting all over again also means 32 clubs are tied for first place and that means every NFL coach, player and fan has insatiable hope. Why so much hopeful optimism entering 2021?

Currently, the average team has waited just 1.8 years since its last playoff berth. Three quarters of the league’s teams, 24 of 32, have been to the playoffs at least once in the past four seasons.

Over the past 18 seasons (2003-20), the average number of division winners that missed the postseason the year prior is 3.3 – including 26 division champions that finished last the year before. Both Pittsburgh (AFC North) and Washington (NFC East) won their divisions in 2020 after missing the postseason in 2019, and at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 17 of the past 18 years.

Since 1990, 5.8 teams per year have qualified for the playoffs after missing the postseason the previous year. Over that stretch – a streak of 31 consecutive seasons – at least four teams every season have qualified for the playoffs after failing to make the postseason the year before. Seven teams that missed the postseason in 2019 – Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, the Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Washington – accomplished the feat in 2020 and no team has won consecutive Super Bowls since the 2003-04 New England Patriots, the longest stretch in NFL history without a repeat Super Bowl champion.

ROOKIE RESPECT: In 13 consecutive seasons, at least one rookie quarterback has started a Week 1 game, the longest streak in the NFL since at least 1950.

The top two overall selections in the 2021 draft – Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence (Number 1 – Jacksonville) and Brigham Young’s Zach Wilson (Number 2 – New York Jets) – are expected to extend the streak early in the afternoon on Sunday. Both signal-callers will be on the road; the Jaguars meet the Texans and the Jets travel to Carolina to play their former quarterback Sam Darnold, acquired by the Panthers in an offseason trade. Darnold’s new teammates include rookie cornerback Jaycee Horn (selected Number 8 overall), expected to make his NFL debut for Carolina.

The last two starting quarterbacks at the University of Alabama will square off in New England Sunday when Patriots rookie Mac Jones (Number 15 overall) opens his NFL career against the Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa, the fifth overall selection in the 2020 draft. Both players joined the Alabama program in 2017 and combined to lead the Crimson Tide to a berth in three of the past four national championship games. The AFC East showdown is also expected to feature the debut of former Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, the sixth-overall selection in the 2021 draft.

Elsewhere this weekend:

Steelers rookie running back Najee Harris (24th overall) is expected to make his NFL debut when Pittsburgh makes the short trip to open the season Sunday at reigning AFC East champion Buffalo.

Two potential offensive stars – Atlanta tight end Kyle Pitts (Number 4 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft – the highest selected tight end in the common-draft era) and Philadelphia wide receiver DeVonta Smith (Number 10, the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner) – will be on opposite sidelines at Mercedes-Benz Stadium when Pitts’ Falcons host the Eagles on Sunday.

In Cincinnati on Sunday, Bengals rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase (Number 5 overall) will line up for the first time with his college quarterback, Joe Burrow (Number 1 overall in 2020), when the Bengals host former LSU teammate Justin Jeffersno and the Vikings. The last time the trio was on the same field, the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship, Burrow threw for 463 yards and five touchdowns while Chase had nine catches for 221 yards with two touchdowns and Jefferson nine receptions for 106 yards.

Several rookie offensive linemen, including Lions tackle Penei Sewell (Number 7 overall), Chargers tackle Rashawn Slater (Number 13), Jets guard Alijan Vera-Tucker (Number 14) and Las Vegas tackle Alex Leatherwood (Number 17), are expected to make their NFL debuts on Sunday.

On the defensive side, rookie linebackers Micah Parsons (Number 12, Dallas), Zaven Collins (Number 16, Arizona) and Jamin Davis (Number 19, Washington) are expected to anchor the middle of their respective defenses this weekend, while cornerback Pat Surtain (Number 9, Denver) and defensive end Kwity Paye (Number 21, Indianapolis) will also make their first NFL appearances.

YOUTH MOVEMENT IN AFC EAST: All four quarterbacks expected to start for their AFC East teams this weekend, including Tua Tagovailoa (23 years old) and Mac Jones (23) in New England on Sunday, are under the age of 26 to open the season. If Josh Allen (25) starts for Buffalo and Zach Wilson (22) opens for the Jets, it will mark the first time in 36 years that four starting quarterbacks in the same NFL division were under the age of 26 at the start of a season. In 1985, Tony Eason (25) of New England, Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (23) of Miami, Ken O’Brien (24) of the Jets and Art Schlichter (25) of Indianapolis began the year under center in the AFC East. The Dolphins, Jets and Patriots reached the playoffs that season and New England earned a berth in Super Bowl XX.

CONSISTENTLY PRODUCTIVE: When Green Bay meets New Orleans for a Sunday showdown between 2020 NFC division winner, two of the NFL’s most consistently productive players will be in action. Only six individuals have rushed for at least 700 yards in each of the past three seasons (2018-20), including the Packers’ Aaron Jones and the Saints’ Alvin Kamara.

The players with at least 700 rushing yards in each of the past three seasons:

PLAYER-TEAM; RUSHING YARDS (2018-20)/SCRIMMAGE YARDS (2018-20)
Nick Chubb – Cleveland; 3,557/4,134
Gus Edwards – Baltimore; 2,152/2,346
Ezekiel Elliott – Dallas; 3,770/5,095
Derrick Henry – Tennessee; 4,626/5,045
Aaron Jones – Green Bay; 2,916/3,951
Alvin Kamara – New Orleans; 2,612/4,610

PLAYOFF TEAMS FACE OFF: That Packers-Saints contest is one of five games on the Week 1 docket featuring two teams that qualified for the 2020 playoffs.

Included in that group is a rematch of an AFC Divisional game between Cleveland and Kansas City on Sunday at Arrowhead. Including the postseason, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is 8-0 against the Browns, 4-0 with Philadelphia and 4-0 with Kansas City. Kansas City defeated Cleveland, 22-17, last postseason and became the first team since Reid’s 2002-04 Philadelphia Eagles to host three consecutive championship games. Both the Packers and Chiefs will be looking to extend the league’s longest active winning streak on Kickoff Weekend. Each club has won its first game in six consecutive seasons.

Another tilt on the Kickoff Weekend card features Seattle traveling to the Hoosier State to take on Indianapolis on Sunday. Including the playoffs, Seattle in the Eastern Time Zone has won 12 of its past 13 games. Quarterback Russell Wilson in those 13 games is 12-1 with a 117.9 passer rating, 3,598 passing yards, 26 touchdown passes and five interceptions.

In a marquee early game Sunday, Pittsburgh – who ranked third in the NFL last year in total defense (305.8 yards per game) and finished second in scoring defense (19.5 points per game) – faces Buffalo, whose offense was second in the league in both yards per game (396.4) and points per game (31.3).

The Los Angeles Rams will welcome fans to SoFi Stadium for the first time when Chicago pays a visit on Sunday Night Football. Chicago has 55 wins on Kickoff Weekend, the second-most in NFL history, while the Rams have won four consecutive Week 1 games.

REIGNING ROOKIES OF THE YEAR: For the second straight season and fourth time in NFL history, the defending Associated Press rookies of the year will clash on Kickoff Weekend. At FedExField on Sunday, 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert will lead the Chargers against 2020 Defensive Rookie of the Year Chase Young and Washington. Last season, Herbert recorded the most touchdown passes (31) and most completions (396), and second-most passing yards (4,336) by a rookie quarterback in NFL history. Young, meanwhile, led all rookies with 7.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss and tied for the lead among rookies with four forced fumbles.

Last season, 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year Kyler Murray guided the Cardinals to a season-opening win at San Francisco against defending Defensive Rookie of the Year Nick Bosa.

Prior to 2020, the last time defending rookies of the year met in Week 1 was September 10, 1989, when the Patriots and running back John Stephens defeated the Jets and defensive back Erik McMillan 27-24, at Giants Stadium. The first time it happened was September 21, 1975, when San Diego Chargers running back Don Woods and Pittsburgh Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Lambert met at Jack Murphy Stadium, where the Steelers won 37-0, en route to a Super Bowl X championship.

RAVING ABOUT THE RAVENS: Las Vegas also welcomes fans to their home, Allegiant Stadium, for the first time, hosting Baltimore on Monday Night Football. Since 2016 in Week 1 games, Baltimore is 5-0 and has outscored its opponents 177-26. The Ravens haven’t allowed more than 10 points in any of those five Kickoff Weekend games.

OPTIMISTIC STATE OF MIND: New leaders and new outlooks will dot the NFL’s landscape this weekend.

Seven new head coaches enter the 2021 season – Dan Campbell in Detroit, David Culley in Houston, Urban Meyer in Jacksonville, Robert Saleh with the New York Jets, Nick Sirianni with Philadelphia, Arthur Smith with Atlanta and Brandon Staley with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Over the last four seasons, seven head coaches in their first year with a new club have led their teams to the playoffs: Ron Rivera (Washington) and Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland) in 2020, Matt LaFleur (Green Bay) in 2019, Matt Nagy (Chicago) and Frank Reich (Indianapolis) in 2018 and Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams) and Sean McDermott (Buffalo) in 2017.

Two games this weekend will feature first-year head coaches on opposite sidelines: Meyer and Culley will meet in Houston on Sunday while Sirianni and Smith will battle in Atlanta. Coaches in their first year at the reins of an NFL team have played a Week 1 game only five times over the past 38 seasons and never twice in the same opening weekend.

The last five meetings of rookie NFL head coaches on Kickoff Weekend:

DATE: WINNING COACH – TEAM/LOSING COACH – TEAM (FINAL)
September 7, 2014: Bill O’Brien – Houston Texans/Jay Gruden – Washington (17-6)
September 3, 2000: Al Groh – New York Jets/Mike Sherman – Green Bay (20-16)
September 12, 1999: Dick Jauron – Chicago/Gunther Cunningham – Kansas City (20-17)
September 6, 1992: Dennis Green – Minnesota/Mike Holmgren – Green Bay (23-20 in OT)
September 4, 1983: John Robinson – Los Angeles Rams/Bill Parcells – New York Giants (16-6) (Parcells is a member of the HOF)

SAME FACES, NEW PLACES: Several notable players were on the move since the end of the 2020 season, including quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater (Denver), Andy Dalton (Chicago), Ryan Fitzpatrick (Washington), Jared Goff (Detroit), Matthew Stafford (Los Angeles Rams), Tyrod Taylor (Houston) and Carson Wentz (Indianapolis); running backs James Conner (Arizona), Mike Davis (Atlanta), Kenyan Drake (Las Vegas), Phillip Lindsay (Houston) and Sony Michel (Los Angeles Rams); wide receivers Corey Davis (New York Jets), A.J. Green (Arizona), Julio Jones (Tennessee) and Kenny Golladay (New York Giants); tight ends Hunter Henry (New England) and Jonnu Smith (New England); offensive linemen Orlando Brown (Kansas City), Trent Brown (New England), Corey Linsley (Los Angeles Chargers), Alex Mack (San Francisco) and Joe Thuney (Kansas City); defensive linemen Trey Hendrickson (Cincinnati), Yannick Ngakoue (Las Vegas) and J.J. Watt (Arizona); linebackers Bud Dupree (Tennessee), Justin Houston (Baltimore) and Haason Reddick (Carolina) and defensive backs Kyle Fuller (Denver), Mike Hilton (Cincinnati), John Johnson (Cleveland) and Patrick Peterson (Minnesota).

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN 2021 (PLAYERS, TEAMS AND COACHES)

DaVante Adams (Green Bay), Green Bay, can become the fourth player since 1970 to lead the league or tie for the lead in touchdown receptions in consecutive seasons, joining Jerry Rice (1986-87; 1989-91), Terrell Owens (2001-02) and Larry Fitzgerald (2008-09). Adams led the NFL with 18 touchdown receptions in 2020. Adams also needs at least 12 TD receptions to become the fifth player with 12 in four of his first eight seasons, joining Jerry Rice (five seasons), Calvin Johnson (four), Randy Moss (four) and Terrell Owens (four). Adams needs at least 110 receptions and 1,300 receiving yards to become the fourth in NFL history with 110 and 1,300 in three seasons, joining Antonio Brown (three seasons), DeAndre Hopkins (three) and Wes Welker (three).

Josh Allen (Buffalo) needs nine rushing touchdowns to surpass Cam Newton (33) for the most by a quarterback in his first four seasons. Allen has 25 career rushing touchdowns and also needs eight rushing TDs to become the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for at least eight in four consecutive seasons. Allen needs four games with both a passing and rushing touchdown to join Cam Newton (24 games) as the only quarterbacks with at least 20 such games through their first four seasons. Allen has 16 such games

Keenan Allen (Los Angeles Chargers) needs 95 receptions to join Antonio Brown (six seasons, 2013-18) as the only players with at least 95 in fiveor-more consecutive seasons in NFL history.

Bill Belichick (New England) ranks third all-time with 311 total victories and needs 14 to surpass George Halas (324) for the secondmost by a head coach in NFL history. Belichick can Can tie Don Shula (19) for the most postseason berths as a head and is currently tied with Tom Landry (18) for second.

Tom Brady (Tampa Bay) needs 1,155 passing yards to surpass Drew Brees (80,358) for the most career passing yards in NFL history. Brady ranks second all-time with 79,204 and also needs 4,000 passing yards to join Peyton Manning (14 seasons) as the only players with at least 4,000 passing yards in 13 seasons.

Brady needs 25 TD passes to tie Peyton Manning (16 seasons) for the most seasons with at least 25. Brady ranks second with 15 such seasons, needs 40 TD passes to join Aaron Rodgers (three seasons) as the only players with at least 40 in three seasons and can also join Brees (2011-12) as the only players in NFL history to record 40 touchdown passes in consecutive seasons.

Brady needs 365 completions to surpass Drew Brees (7,142) for the most in NFL history. Brady ranks second all-time with 6,778 career and one game with at least 300 passing yards to join Brees (123 games) as the only players with at least 100 career games of 300-or-more passing yards in NFL history, needs five games with at least three touchdown passes to surpass Drew Brees (97 games) for the most such games in NFL history and five games with at least four touchdown passes to surpass Drew Brees (37 games) for the most such games in NFL history.

Antonio Brown (Tampa Bay) needs 22 receptions in his first 11 games to surpass Marvin Harrison (907) for the most by a player through his first 150 career games. Brown has 886 in 139 career games.

Joe Burrow (Cincinnati) needs five games with at least 300 passing yards to become the third quarterback in NFL history with 300 in 10 games during his first two seasons, joining Patrick Mahomes (10) and Dan Marino (10). Burrow had five as a rookie in 2020.

Derek Carr (Las Vegas) needs 3,104 passing yards to become the fifth player with at least 30,000 through his first eight seasons in NFL history. Carr has 26,896 career passing yards and also needs 3,000 passing yards to become the fourth player with at least 3,000 in each of his first eight seasons.

Nick Chubb (Cleveland) needs at least 950 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns to become the sixth player to do so in each of his first four seasons.

Dalvin Cook (Minnesota) needs at least 1,500 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns to become the fifth player to accomplish the feat in consecutive seasons. Cook also needs at least 13 rushing touchdowns to become the seventh player to accomplish the feat in three consecutive seasons.

Amari Cooper (Dallas) needs at least five receiving touchdowns to become the eighth player with five in each of his first seven seasons.

Kirk Cousins (Minnesota) needs at least 25 touchdown passes to become the fifth player to accomplish the feat in seven consecutive seasons, joining Peyton Manning (13 seasons), Drew Brees (11), Philip Rivers (11) and Tom Brady (10). Cousins also needs 10 touchdown passes in his first four games to become the fifth-fastest player (113 games) to reach 200 career TD passes. Cousins has 190 touchdown passes in 109 career games.

Stefon Diggs (Buffalo) needs at least 125 receptions and 1,500 receiving yards to join Antonio Brown (2014-15) as the only players to accomplish the feat in consecutive seasons in NFL history.

Aaron Donald (Los Angeles Rams) needs 14.5 sacks to become the fourth player since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, with 100 sacks in his first eight seasons, joining Reggie White (124 sacks), DeMarcus Ware (111) and Jared Allen (105). Donald has 85.5 sacks in his first seven seasons and needs eight sacks to become the fourth player since 1982 with at least eight sacks in each of his first eight seasons, joining Derrick Thomas (10 seasons), DeMarcus Ware (eight) and Reggie White (14).

Austin Ekeler (Los Angeles Chargers) needs two TD receptions to surpass Danny Woodhead (17) for the most by an undrafted running back in the common-draft era. Ekeler has 16 career touchdown receptions and needs six touchdown receptions to surpass Chuck Foreman (21) for the most by a running back in his first five seasons and needs 884 receiving yards to surpass Priest Holmes (2,962) for the most by an undrafted running back in the common-draft era. Ekeler has 2,079 career receiving yards.

Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas) needs at least 1,250 scrimmage yards and eight touchdowns to join LaDainian Tomlinson as the only players to accomplish the feat in each of their first six seasons.

Zach Ertz (Philadelphia) needs 39 receptions to become the ninth tight end with at least 600 career receptions in NFL history.

Mike Evans (Tampa Bay) needs 1,000 receiving yards to become the first player with at least 1,000 in each of his first eight seasons.

Minkah Fitzpatrick (Pittsburgh) needs one interception-return touchdown to become the fourth player since 2000 to return an interception for a TD in four consecutive seasons, joining Charles Woodson (six seasons), Nate Clements (four) and Aqib Talib (four).

Melvin Gordon (Denver) needs eight rushing TDs to become the fifth running back in NFL history with at least eight in six consecutive seasons, joining LaDainian Tomlinson (nine seasons), Jim Brown (seven), Adrian Peterson (seven) and Emmitt Smith (seven).

Jimmy Graham (Chicago) has 8,339 career receiving yards and needs 661 to become the fifth tight end in NFL history with at least 9,000. Graham also has 699 career receptions and needs 44 to surpass Greg Olsen (742) for the fifth-most by a tight end in NFL history.

Rob Gronkowski (Tampa Bay) needs 516 receiving yards to become the fifth tight end with at least 9,000. Gronkowski has 8,484 career receiving yards. Gronkowski also needs 1,000 receiving yards to join Travis Kelce (five) as the only tight ends in NFL history with five career 1,000-yard seasons. Gronkowski needs three games with at least 100 receiving yards to surpass Tony Gonzalez (31 games) for the most such games by a tight end in NFL history. Gronkowski (29) ranks second all-time among tight ends.

Derrick Henry (Tennessee) needs 1,500 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns to become the first player to accomplish the feat in three consecutive seasons. Henry also needs 15 rushing TDs to join LaDainian Tomlinson (four, 2004-07) as the only players to accomplish the feat in three consecutive seasons. Needs 2,000 rushing yards to become the first player to accomplish the feat in consecutive seasons. Henry needs two games with at least 200 rushing yards to surpass Adrian Peterson (six) and O.J. Simpson (six) for the most in NFL history and can join Steve Van Buren (1947-49), Jim Brown (1957-61, 1963-65), Earl Campbell (1978-80) and Emmitt Smith (1991-93) as the only players to lead the league in rushing yards in three consecutive seasons. Henry can also join Steve Van Buren (1947-49) as the only players in NFL history to lead the NFL in rushing yards, rushing attempts and rushing touchdowns for three consecutive seasons.

Justin Hebert (Los Angeles Chargers) needs 38 touchdown passes to surpass Dan Marino (68) for the most by a player through his first two seasons. Herbert had an NFL-rookie record 31 in 2020. Herbert also needs 30 touchdown passes to become the first in league history to accomplish the feat in each of his first two seasons and needs 3,861 passing yards to surpass Andrew Luck (8,196) for the most by a player through his first two seasons.

Hebert needs 4,000 passing yards to join Jameis Winston as the only players to reach 4,000 in each of their first two seasons in NFL history, needs three games with at least 300 passing yards to surpass Patrick Mahomes (10 games) and Dan Marino (10) for the most by a player in his first two seasons and needs 10 games with at least two touchdown passes to join Dan Marino (22 games) as the only players with 20 in their first two seasons.

Tyreek Hill (Kansas City) needs three games with at least two touchdowns to surpass Bob Hayes (16) for the third most by a wide receiver in his first six seasons. Hill has 14 games with at least two touchdowns in his first five seasons.

T.Y. Hilton (Indianapolis) needs 640 receiving yards to reach 10,000 career and become the third player in franchise history to reach the mark, joining Marvin Harrison (14,580) and Reggie Wayne (14,345). The Colts would become the first team to have three players reach 10,000 career receiving yards.

DeAndre Hopkins (Arizona) needs 99 receptions to surpass Marvin Harrison (845) for the most receptions by a player through his first nine seasons in NFL history. Hopkins has 747 career and needs 100 receptions to become the third player in NFL history with at least 100 in four consecutive seasons and needs 991 receiving yards to become the seventh in NFL history with at least 11,000 receiving yards through his first nine seasons. Hopkins has 10,009 through his first eight seasons.

Hopkins needs 800 receiving yards to become the third in NFL history with at least 800 in each of his first nine seasons, joining Jerry Rice (12 seasons) and Gary Clark (nine).

Xavien Howard (Miami) can become the third since 1970 to lead the NFL or tie for the lead in interceptions in three seasons, joining Ed Reed (2004, 2008, 2010) and Everson Walls (1981-82, 1985). Howard is tied for the lead with seven in 2018 and led with 10 in 2020 and also needs seven interceptions to join Ed Reed (three seasons) as the only players with at least seven interceptions in three of their first six seasons since 1990.

Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia) needs one game with at least 100 rushing yards to join Lamar Jackson (2018-19) as the only quarterbacks to record a 100-yard rushing game in each of their first two seasons.

Lamar Jackson (Baltimore) needs 25 passing touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns to become the first quarterback in NFL history to reach those marks in three consecutive seasons. Jackson also needs three games with at least 100 rushing yards to surpass Michael Vick (10) for the most by a quarterback in NFL history. Jackson ranks second all-time among QBs with eight 100-yard rushing games and needs 2,915 passing yards and 594 rushing yards to become the first quarterback to throw for 10,000 and rush for 3,500 in his first four seasons. No QB has reached those marks in his first five seasons.

Justin Jefferson (Minnesota) needs 1,356 receiving yards to surpass Odell Beckham Jr. (2,755) for the most by a player through his first two seasons. Jefferson also needs 1,250 receiving yards to join Beckham and Randy Moss as the only players to reach 1,250 in each of their first two seasons.

Chandler Jones (Arizona) needs 17 sacks to become the third player since 1982 with three career seasons of at least 17. Jones had 17 in 2017 and 19 in 2019.

Deion Jones (ATLANTA) needs one interception-return touchdown to become the fourth since 2000 to return an interception for a touchdown in four consecutive seasons, joining Charles Woodson (six seasons), Nate Clements (four) and Aqib Talib (four).

Julio Jones (Tennessee) needs 802 receiving yards to surpass Marvin Harrison (13,697) for the second-most through a player’s first 11 seasons in NFL history. Jones has 12,896 career. Jones also needs 95 receptions to surpass Jerry Rice (942) for the second most through a player’s first 11 seasons in NFL history. Jones has 848 career and needs two games with at least 100 receiving yards to become the third player in NFL history with 60 career 100-yard receiving games, joining Jerry Rice (76) and Randy Moss (64).

Alvin Kamara (New Orleans) needs 33 receptions to surpass Roger Craig (358) for the most by a running back in his first five seasons. Kamara has 326 career. Kamara also needs 80 receptions to join Marshall Faulk (five seasons) as the only running backs with at least 80 in five consecutive seasons.

Kamara needs 500 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards to become the third player to accomplish the feat in five consecutive seasons, joining Marshall Faulk (five seasons) and Lydell Mitchell (five). Kamara needs 176 receiving yards to become the third running back with at least 3,000 in his first five seasons, joining Lenny Moore (3,509) and Roger Craig (3,234). Kamara has 2,824 career and needs 18 touchdowns to become the fifth player with three career seasons of at least 18.

Travis Kelce (Kansas City) needs 85 receptions and 29 receiving yards to surpass Jason Witten (696 receptions, 7,909 receiving yards) for the most receptions and most receiving yards by a tight end in his first nine seasons. Kelce has 612 receptions for 7,881 receiving yards in his first eight seasons and also needs seven touchdown receptions to become the sixth tight end with at least 55 in his first nine seasons. Kelce has 48 career and he needs 1,000 receiving yards to become the first tight end in NFL history with six career seasons of at least 1,000. Kelce has at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of the past five seasons.

Kelce needs 80 receptions to become the first tight end in NFL history to record at least 80 in six consecutive seasons. He has at least 80 in each of the past five seasons and also needs six games with at least 100 receiving yards to tie Tony Gonzalez (31) for the most by a tight end. Kelce ranks third all-time among tight ends with 25 career 100-yard games.

George Kittle (San Francisco) needs 85 receptions to surpass Jason Witten (348) for the second most by a tight end in his first five seasons. Kittle has 264 career. Kittle also needs 921 receiving yards to become the third tight end with at least 4,500 in his first five seasons, joining Jimmy Graham (4,752) and Kellen Winslow Sr. (4,513). Kittle has 3,579 career.

Jarvis Landry (Cleveland) needs 70 receptions to become the first player in NFL history to record at least 70 receptions in each of his first eight seasons. Landry also needs 64 receptions to become the sixth with at least 700 receptions through his first eight seasons. Landry has 636 career.

Darius Leonard (Indianapolis) needs three interceptions to become the fourth linebacker since 2000 with at least 10 in his first four seasons, joining Luke Kuechly (11), Sean Lee (11) and Cato June (10). Leonard has seven interceptions in his first three seasons.

Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City) needs 4,000 passing yards to join Peyton Manning (four seasons) as the only quarterbacks with at least 4,000 in four of their first five seasons. Mahomes has at least 4,000 in each of the past three seasons. Mahomes also can become the first quarterback in NFL history to reach 15,000 career passing yards in 50-or-fewer games. Mahomes enters 2021 with 14,152 in 46 career games.

Mahomes needs four games with at least 300 passing yards to surpass Kurt Warner (29) for the most by a quarterback in his first five seasons. Mahomes has 26 career games with at least 300 passing yards. Mahomes needs 35 TD passes to become the first with at least 35 in three of his first five seasons. Mahomes had 50 in 2018 and 38 in 2020 and needs 25 touchdown passes to surpass Peyton Manning (138) for the second-most touchdown passes by a quarterback in his first five seasons. Mahomes has 114 career.

Mahomes needs one game with at least three touchdown passes to surpass Kurt Warner (21 games) for the second most such games by a quarterback in his first five career seasons. Mahomes has 21 career games with at least three touchdown passes and needs 10 games with a passer rating of 100-or-higher to surpass Russell Wilson (38) for the most by a quarterback in his first five career seasons. Mahomes has 29 such career games.

Baker Mayfield (Cleveland) needs 3,500 passing yards to join Peyton Manning (1998-2001) as the only players with at least 3,500 in each of their first four seasons. With 3,885 passing yards and 25 touchdown passes, Mayfield can join Dan Marino and Peyton Manning as the only players with at least 15,000 and 100 through their first four seasons. Mayfield has 11,115 career passing yards and 75 career touchdown passes.

Christian McCaffrey (Carolina) needs 39 receptions to surpass Roger Craig (358) for the most by a running back in his first five seasons. McCaffrey has 320 career. McCaffrey also needs 80 receptions to become the fourth running back with at least 80 in four different seasons, joining Marshall Faulk (five), Larry Centers (four) and Alvin Kamara (four). McCaffery needs 328 receiving yards to become the third running back with at least 3,000 in his first five seasons, joining Lenny Moore (3,509) and Roger Craig (3,234) and also needs one game with both a rushing and receiving touchdown to surpass Chuck Foreman (nine) for the most such games through a player’s first five seasons.

D.K. Metcalf (Seattle) needs 1,250 receiving yards and 10 receiving touchdowns to become the fourth player to accomplish the feat in at least two of his first three seasons in NFL history, joining Odell Beckham Jr. (three), Randy Moss (three) and A.J. Green (two).

Von Miller (Denver) can become the fifth player since 1982 with at least 120 sacks in his first 150 career games, joining Reggie White (145), DeMarcus Ware (125), Jared Allen (122) and Bruce Smith (121). Miller has 106 sacks in 135 career games.

Kyler Murray (Arizona) can become the fourth quarterback in NFL history with at least 3,500 passing yards and 20 touchdown passes in each of his first three seasons. Murray also needs 500 rushing yards to become the third quarterback since 1970 with 500 in each of his first three seasons.

Murray needs 637 rushing yards to become the third quarterback since 1970 with 2,000 through his first three seasons. Murray has 1,363 career and needs five rushing touchdowns to become the third quarterback since 1970 to rush for at least 20 through his first three seasons. Murray has 15 career and needs 10 rushing touchdowns to become the first quarterback since 1970 to rush for at least 10 in consecutive seasons.

Cordarrelle Patterson (ATLANTA) needs one kickoff-return touchdown to surpass Josh Cribbs (eight) and Leon Washington (eight) for the most in NFL history.

Dak Prescott (Dallas) needs three rushing touchdowns to join Cam Newton as the only quarterbacks with at least three in each of their first six seasons. Prescott also needs six rushing touchdowns to join Cam Newton (48) as the only quarterbacks with at least 30 through their first six seasons in the Super Bowl era. Prescott has 24 career.

Calvin Ridley (ATLANTA) needs seven receiving touchdowns to become the fourth in NFL history with at least seven in each of his first four seasons.

James Robinson (Jacksonville) needs 1,000 scrimmage yards to become the fourth undrafted player with at least 1,000 in each of his first two seasons in the common-draft era. Robinson had 1,414 as a rookie in 2020. Robinson also needs 1,000 rushing yards to join Phillip Lindsay (2018-19) as the only undrafted players with at least 1,000 in each of their first two seasons in the common-draft era. Robinson had 1,070 in 2020 and needs 10 touchdowns to become the first undrafted player with at least 10 touchdowns in each of his first two seasons in the common-draft era. Robinson had 10 (seven rushing, three receiving) in 2020.

Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay) needs nine touchdown passes to surpass Dan Marino (420) for sixth in NFL history, and 10 to surpass Philip Rivers (421) for fifth. Rodgers ranks seventh all-time with 412. Rodgers also needs 40 touchdown passes to join Drew Brees (2011-12) as the only players with at least 40 in consecutive seasons. Rodgers led the NFL with 48 in 2020 and his three seasons with at least 40 (2011, 2016, 2020) are the most in NFL history.

Rodgers needs 30 touchdown passes to become the fifth in league annals with at least 30 in eight seasons. He needs 4,000 passing yards to become the sixth in NFL history to reach 4,000 in 10 seasons, needs 755 passing yards over his first three games to become the fourth with at least 52,000 in his first 200 career contests. Rodgers has 51,245 passing yards in 197 games and needs seven games with a passer rating of 100-or-higher to surpass Peyton Manning (112) for the third-most such games in NFL history. Rodgers ranks sixth all-time with 106.

Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh) needs 3,093 passing yards to surpass Philip Rivers (63,440) for fifth most in NFL history. Roethlisberger ranks seventh all-time with 60,348. Roethlisberger also needs four games with at least 300 passing yards to become the fifth in NFL history with 70 career 300-yard games. Roethlisberger ranks sixth all-time with 66. Roethlisberger needs four touchdown passes to become the eighth with 400 career. Roethlisberger ranks eighth all-time with 396.

Matt Rtyan (ATLANTA) needs 4,000 passing yards to join Drew Brees (12 seasons from 2006-17) as the only players with at least 4,000 passing yards in 11 consecutive seasons. Ryan also needs 4,500 passing yards to tie Drew Brees (eight) for the most seasons with at least 4,500. Ryan ranks second all-time with seven, needs 4,233 passing yards to become the eighth with 60,000. Ryan ranks ninth all-time with 55,767 career and needs 3,721 passing yards to surpass Peyton Manning (59,487) for the most through a player’s first 14 seasons.

Matthew Stafford (Los Angeles Rams) can become the eighth in NFL history to reach 300 career touchdown passes in 175-or-fewer games. Stafford has 282 touchdown passes in 165 career games. Stafford needs 3,733 passing yards to surpass Dan Marino (48,841) for the fourth most by a quarterback in his first 13 career seasons. Stafford has 45,109 career.

Michael Thomas (New Orleans) needs 55 receptions to surpass Jarvis Landry (564) for the most by a player in his first six seasons. Thomas has 510 receptions in 70 career games. Thomas also can become the fastest to reach 600 career receptions, surpassing Keenan Allen (96 games) and Antonio Brown (96). Thomas needs two games with at least 10 receptions to become the third with 20 such games, joining Antonio Brown (22) and Andre Johnson (22). Thomas has 18 career games with at least 10 receptions.

Justin Tucker (Baltimore) needs 108 points to surpass Stephen Gostkowski (1,330) for the most through a player’s first 10 seasons. Tucker also needs six games with multiple field goals made to surpass Stephen Gostkowski (95 games) for the most such performances through a player’s first 10 seasons.

Darren Waller (Las Vegas) needs 90 receptions to join Travis Kelce as the only tight ends with at least 90 in three consecutive seasons. Waller also needs 100 receptions to become the first tight end to accomplish the feat in consecutive seasons. Waller had 107 receptions in 2020. Needs 1,100 receiving yards to join Travis Kelce as the only tight ends with at least 1,100 in three consecutive seasons.

DeShaun Watson (Houston) needs 4,461 passing yards to become the fifth player with at least 19,000 through his first five seasons. Watson has 14,539 career. Watson also needs 35 touchdown passes to surpass Peyton Manning (138) for the second most by a player through his first five seasons in NFL history. Watson has 104 career and needs 3,500 passing yards and 25 touchdown passes to join Peyton Manning (five seasons) as the only players to accomplish the feat in at least four of their first five seasons in NFL history.

J.J. Watt (Arizona) needs nine sacks to become the eighth player since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, to reach 110 in 145-or-fewer games. Watt has 101 sacks in 128 career games.

T.J. Watt (Pittsburgh) needs 13 sacks to become the second player since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, to record at least 13 in four consecutive seasons, joining Reggie White, who did it twice (1985-88 and 1990-93). Watt led the NFL with 15 sacksbin 2020. Watt also needs 15.5 sacks to become the fourth player since 1982 to record at least 65 sacks over his first five seasons, joining Reggie White (81), J.J. Watt (74.5) and Derrick Thomas (66). Watt has 49.5 sacks in 62 career games.

Russell Wilson (Seattle) needs eight wins to surpass Peyton Manning (105) for the most by a starting quarterback in his first 10 seasons. Wilson has won 98 starts in his first nine seasons. Wilson also needs six wins to surpass Peyton Manning (112) for the most victories, including postseason, by a starting quarterback over his first 10 seasons. Wilson has won 107 starts, including postseason, since entering the NFL in 2012.

Wilson needs 3,000 passing yards and 20 passing touchdowns to join Peyton Manning as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to reach those marks in each of their first 10 seasons and needs 40 touchdown passes to surpass Peyton Manning (306) for the most by a player through his first 10 seasons. Wilson has 267 career, needs 30 touchdown passes to become the third in NFL history with at least 30 in five-or-more consecutive seasons, joining Drew Brees (nine) and Brett Favre (five).

Wilson also needs 1,835 passing yards to surpass Joe Flacco (35,780) for the fifth most by a player through his first 10 seasons. Wilson has 33,946 career. Needs a season passer rating of at least 105 to become the first to accomplish the feat in four consecutive seasons (min. 250 attempts), needs 11 games with at least three touchdown passes to surpass Dan Marino (48) and Peyton Manning (48) for the most such games by a player through his first 10 seasons and needs three games with at least four touchdown passes to surpass Dan Marino (17) and Peyton Manning (17) for the most such games by a player through his first 10 seasons.

PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES: Below is a list of the estimated round-trip distance for every regular-season road game, including International Games, for each team in 2021. (Please return your trays to the upright position and follow the flight attendant’s instructions.)

TEAM – MILES TO TRAVEL

  1. San Francisco – 28,260
  2. Seattle – 28,050
  3. Jacksonville – 26,707
  4. Los Angeles Rams – 25,760
  5. Los Angeles Chargers – 25,467
  6. Miami – 23,459
  7. Arizona – 22,186
  8. Las Vegas – 21,224
  9. ATLANTA – 20,306
  10. Dallas – 18,779
  11. New York Jets – 18,428
  12. New York Giants – 18,350
  13. New Orleans – 17,367
  14. Houston – 16,749
  15. New England – 16,746
  16. Denver – 16,538
  17. Minnesota – 16,032
  18. Tampa Bay – 16,010
  19. Chicago – 14,999
  20. Tennessee – 14,651
  21. Indianapolis – 14,416
  22. Detroit – 14,073
  23. Kansas City – 14,012
  24. Washington – 13,934
  25. Philadelphia – 13,810
  26. Carolina – 13,509
  27. Green Bay -13,333
  28. Baltimore – 12,963
  29. Buffalo – 12,631
  30. Cleveland – 9,880
  31. Pittsburgh – 9,776
  32. Cincinnati – 9,462

• The total distance traveled by all teams during the regular season will be 558,287 miles.

• The teams of the NFC West (104,676) have the highest combined mileage total of all divisions.

• The remaining division totals ranking from highest to lowest are the AFC West (83,648), AFC South (72,523), AFC East (71,264), NFC South (67,192), NFC East (64,873), NFC North (58,437) and AFC North (42,081).

• Five teams – San Francisco (28,680), Seattle (28,050), Jacksonville (26,707), the Los Angeles Rams (25,760) and the Los Angeles Chargers (25,467) – will “travel around the world” at least once. A trip around the globe is 25,000 miles.

IT’S HARD TO GET ON TOP, IT’S EVEN HARDER TO STAY THERE: Not all Super Bowl winners fared well the following season, as eight teams that won the Lombardi repeated, while six teams that won the Super Bowl the year before lost. Seven teams (Green Bay, Miami, San Francisco, Dallas, New England, Denver, Pittsburgh) were repeat winners, while six teams were losers the following season. 16 teams that won the Lombardi the year before won their season openers the following season.

KICKOFF WEEKEND NOTES: Kickoff Weekend began on Thursday, as the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers welcomed Dallas to Raymond James Stadium. Below is a sampling of notable active NFL Kickoff streaks:

Kansas City hosts Cleveland on Kickoff Weekend. The defending AFC champions have won their past six Kickoff Weekend games, the longest active streak in the AFC and tied for the longest active streak in the NFL.

Baltimore visits the Las Vegas Raiders in the desert on Monday Night Football in Week 1. The Ravens have won their last five Kickoff Weekend games, the AFC’s secondlongest active streak. Since 2016, Baltimore has outscored their opponents 177-26 on Kickoff Weekend and haven’t allowed more than 10 points in any of their previous five Week 1 games.

Reigning NFC Division champs meet in Jacksonville, not New Orleans as Green Bay (NFC North) takes on New Orleans (NFC South) at EverBank Stadium. Green Bay has won 58 games on Kickoff Weekend, Weekend, the most in the NFL. The Packers have won their past six Kickoff Weekend games, tying them with Kansas City for the longest active streak in the NFL.

Chicago heads west to visit the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football in Week 1. Chicago has 55 wins on Kickoff Weekend, the second-most in the NFL, while the Rams have won four consecutive Week 1 games, the second-longest active streak in the NFC.

HEAD COACHES: New England’s Bill Belichick is 18-8 (.692) on Kickoff Weekend and his 18 wins are the most among active head coaches. Belichick, Baltimore’s John Harbaugh (10-3; .769) and Kansas City’s Andy Reid (14-8; .636) are the only active head coaches who have won at least 10 Kickoff Weekend games. Reid has won six consecutive games on Kickoff Weekend, the longest current streak among active head coaches. Los Angeles Rams’ Sean McVay (4-0 and Green Bay’s Matt LaFleur (2-0) are the only active head coaches with perfect records on Kickoff Weekend.

Seven head coaches – Detroit’s
DAN CAMPBELL, Houston’s David Culley,
Jacksonville’s URBAN MEYER, New York
Jets’ ROBERT SALEH, Philadelphia’s NICK
SIRIANNI, Atlanta’s ARTHUR SMITH and the
Los Angeles Chargers’ BRANDON STALEY –
make their Kickoff Weekend debuts

PUT ANOTHER LOG ON THE FIRE: The 2021 NFL season was expanded by one game as each team will now play 17 games instead of 16. Fear not, fans. The bye week is still in effect, so don’t worry.

Here’s how things work out or how the 2021 regular season schedule came into being (pay attention, there’s going to be a quiz afterward).

Under the scheduling formula, every team plays 17 regular-season games with one bye week.
Clubs will host 10 games overall – either nine regular-season games and one preseason game or eight regular-season games and two preseason games.
• Home and away against its three division opponents (six games).
• The four teams from another division within its conference on a rotating three-year cycle (four games).
• The four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle (four games).
• Two intraconference games based on the prior year’s standings (two games). These games match a first-place team against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place and fourth-place teams in a conference are matched in the same way each year.
• One interconference game based on the prior year’s standings on a rotating four-year cycle (one game). These games match a first-place team from one division against a first-place team from one division against a first-place team in an opposite coference division that the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place and fourth-place teams in each division are matched in the same way each year. The home conference for this game will rotate each season.

NFL Kickoff Weekend began Thursday night with the regular season coming to an end Sunday, January 9, 2022. The 2022 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, February 6 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas and the season will conclude with Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 13, 2022.

The enhanced season will ensure that beginning in 2022, all 32 clubs will play internationally at least once every eight years. The scheduling of up to four neutral-site games per year in a country outside the United States will focus initially on Canada, Europe, Mexico, South America and the United Kingdom. In addition, interested clubs can continue to volunteer to play home games internationally, as is currently the case.

AS LONG AS YOU HAVE HOPE, YOU HAVE A CHANCE: New teams making the playoffs and winning divisions, consistent teams excelling once again, records falling and young players making their mark all combined to help shape the story of the 2020 season. Week 17 once again came right down to the wire as seven playoff spots and two division titles – the AFC South and NFC East – were decided on the last day of the season. The excitement of Week 17 was due in part to having 16 divisional games played on the season’s final day, a tradition instituted in 2010.

Every team enters the 2021 season with a trip to Los Angeles and Super Bowl LVI in mind and below are a few reasons why.

• Both Pittsburgh (AFC North) and Washington (NFC East) won their division after missing the postseason in 2019 and at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 17 of the past 18 years.

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

SEASON AND NEW DIVISION WINNERS AFTER MISSING POSTSEASON THE PREVIOUS SEASON
2020 – Pittsburgh, Washington*
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

Since 1990 – a streak of 31 consecutive seasons – at least four teams every season have qualified for the playoffs after failing to make the postseason the year before. Seven teams that missed the postseason in 2019 – Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, the Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Washington – accomplished the feat in 2020.

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

SEASON AND PLAYOFF TEAMS NOT IN PREVIOUS SEASON’S PLAYOFFS
1990 – 7 (Cincinnati, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles Raiders, Miami, New Orleans, Washington)
1991 – 5 (ATLANTA, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, New York Jets)
1992 – 6 (Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco)
1993 – 5 (Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Los Angeles Raiders, New York Giants)
1994 – 5 (Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, New England, San Diego)
1995 – 4 (ATLANTA, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Philadelphia)
1996 – 5 (Carolina, Denver, Jacksonville, Minnesota, New England)
1997 – 5 (Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, New York Giants, Tampa Bay)
1998 – 5 (Arizona, ATLANTA, Buffalo, Dallas, New York Jets)
1999 – 7 (Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
2000 – 6 (Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, New York Giants, Oakland, Philadelphia)
2001 – 6 (Chicago, Green Bay, New England, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Francisco)
2002 – 5 (ATLANTA, Cleveland, Indianapolis, New York Giants, Tennessee)
2003 – 8 (Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, New England, St. Louis, Seattle)
2004 – 5 (ATLANTA, Minnesota, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, San Diego)
2005 – 7 (Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, New York Giants, Tampa Bay, Washington)
2006 – 7 (Baltimore, Dallas, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York Jets, Philadelphia, San Diego)
2007 – 6 (Green Bay, Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Washington)
2008 – 7 (Arizona, ATLANTA, Baltimore, Carolina, Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia)
2009 – 6 (Cincinnati, Dallas, Green Bay, New England, New Orleans, New York Jets)
2010 – 5 (ATLANTA, Chicago, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Seattle)
2011 – 6 (Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Houston, New York Giants, San Francisco)
2012 – 4 (Indianapolis, Minnesota, Seattle, Washington)
2013 – 5 (Carolina, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Diego)
2014 – 5 (Arizona, Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Pittsburgh)
2015 – 4 (Houston, Kansas City, Minnesota, Washington)
2016 – 6 (ATLANTA, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, New York Giants, Oakland)
2017 – 8 (Buffalo, Carolina, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Tennessee)
2018 – 7 (Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle)
2019 – 5 (Buffalo, Green Bay, Minnesota, San Francisco, Tennessee)
2020 – 7 (Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Washington)

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! The NFL will be celebrating historic milestones in 2021.

125th – The Allegheny Athletic Association fields the first completely professional team (1896).
115th – The first authenticated forward pass completion is recorded as George (Peggy) Parratt of Massillon throws a completion to Dan (Bullet) Riley (10/25/1906).
100th – A.E. Staley turns the Decatur Staleys over to player-coach George Halas, who moves the team to Cubs Park in Chicago (1921).
100th – Fritz Pollard of the Akron Pros becomes the first black head coach (1921).
85th – The Eagles make University of Chicago HB and Heisman Trophy winner Jay Berwanger the first player ever selected in the NFL Draft (2/8/1936).
80th – The official NFL Record Manual is published for the first time by the league (1941).
75th – The Cleveland Rams move to Los Angeles (1946).
75th – Kenny Washington (March 21) and Woody Strode (May 7) sign with the Los Angeles Rams to become the first African-Americans to play in the NFL in the modern era (1946).
75th – Bill Willis (August 6) and Marion Motley (August 9) join the Cleveland Browns, becoming the first African-Americans to play in the All-America Football Conference (1946).
75th – The Cleveland Browns, coached by Paul Brown, win the All-America Football Conference’s first championship (1946).
70th – The NFL Championship Game is televised coast-to-coast for the first time on the DuMont Network. The Los Angeles Rams defeat the Cleveland Browns 24-17 (12/23/1951).
65th – CBS becomes the first network to broadcast NFL regular-season games to selected television markets across the nation (1956).
55th – A series of meetings regarding a possible AFL-NFL merger takes place in the spring between Lamar Hunt of Kansas City and Tex Schramm of Dallas. On June 8, Commissioner Pete Rozelle announces the merger of the AFL and NFL (1966).
55th – Atlanta and New Orleans are awarded an NFL franchises to begin play in 1967 (11/1/1966).
50th – The Miami Dolphins defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in sudden-death overtime in an AFC Divisional Playoff Game. The contest lasts 82 minutes, 40 seconds, making it the longest game in NFL history (12/25/1971).
45th – The first NFL game outside of North America is played before 38,000 fans at Korakuen Stadium in Tokyo, Japan as St. Louis defeats San Diego 20-10 in a preseason contest (8/16/1976).
30th – The NFL launches the World League of American Football, the first sports league to operate on a weekly basis on two separate continents (3/23/1991).
20th – NFL owners unanimously approve a realignment plan and new scheduling format for the league starting in 2002. Seven clubs change divisions and the Seattle Seahawks switch conferences (5/22/2001).
15th – Roger Goodell becomes the eighth chief executive of the NFL when he is chosen to succeed Paul Tagliabue as commissioner by a unanimous vote of the clubs at a three-day meeting in Chicago (8/8/2006).
15th – The NFL Network broadcasts its first-ever regular-season game as the Kansas City Chiefs defeat the Denver Broncos 19-10 at Arrowhead Stadium on Thanksgiving night (11/23/2006).
10th – The NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee announced a new standardized sideline concussion assessment protocol for team medical personnel. The new protocol includes a symptom checklist, limited neurologic examination and balance assessment (2/25/2011)

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK ONE:

SUPER STARTERS: History indicates that the best way for a team to start its drive toward a Super Bowl championship is to win in Week 1.

The 55 Super Bowl winners have a 44-10-1 record in the Kickoff Weekend games of their title seasons. The Super Bowl LV champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who hosted Dallas in the league’s annual primetime Kickoff Game Thursday night, became the first eventual Super Bowl winners to lose the opening game of their championship season since New England in 2014.

Kansas City, appearing in each of the past two Super Bowls, hosts Cleveland in an AFC Divisional playoff rematch on Sunday. Kansas City has won its past six Kickoff Weekend games, the longest active streak in the AFC and tied for the longest active streak in the NFL (Green Bay).

Since 1978 when the NFL went to the 16-game schedule, and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982, teams that are victorious in their season-openers are more than twice as likely to reach the playoffs than those that lose an opening game. This season will feature a 17-game schedule for each team for the first time ever.

Of the 633 teams that won openers, 333 went to the playoffs (204 won division titles).
Of the 632 teams that lost openers, 151 went to the playoffs (86 won division titles).
Note: There are a different number of winning and losing teams in season-opening games due to the fact the NFL had 31 teams in each season from 1999-2001, which creates an odd number for the total number of results.

In 2020, the 14 playoff teams compiled an 11-3 record on Kickoff Weekend, with the eight division winners going a perfect 8-0.

STARTING STREAKS: The Chiefs aren’t the only team to have excelled in openers. Below is a sampling of other notable active NFL Kickoff Weekend milestones and streaks:

Baltimore, who visits Las Vegas on Monday Night Football in Week 1, has won their last five Kickoff Weekend games, the AFC’s second-longest active streak. Since 2016, Baltimore has outscored its opponents 177-26 on Kickoff Weekend and hasn’t allowed more than 10 points in any of its previous five Week 1 games.

Reigning NFC North division champion Green Bay opens their season on the road on Sunday against reigning NFC South division champion New Orleans at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. The Packers have won 58 games on Kickoff Weekend, the most in the NFL. Green Bay has won its past six Kickoff Weekend games, tied with Kansas City for the longest active streak in the NFL.

Chicago visits the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football in Week 1. Chicago has 55 wins on Kickoff Weekend, the second-most in the NFL, while the Rams have won four consecutive Week 1 games, the second-longest active streak in the NFC.

START ’EM EARLY: Jacksonville rookie quarterback TREVOR LAWRENCE, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, New York Jets rookie quarterback ZACH WILSON (No. 2), and New England rookie quarterback MAC JONES (No. 15), are each expected to make their first career starts on Sunday, when Jacksonville travels to Houston, the Jets visit Carolina and New England hosts Miami.

With a start by any of the three players, at least one rookie quarterback will have started in Week 1 in 14 consecutive seasons, extending the longest streak in the NFL since at least 1950.

This season is expected to join 2012 (five rookie quarterbacks) as the only seasons since 1970 in which at least three rookie quarterbacks started in Week 1. It can also become the first time that multiple rookie quarterbacks each start in Week 1 since 2016 (DAK PRESCOTT and CARSON WENTZ).

The rookie quarterbacks to start in Week 1 since 2008:

SEASON – QUARTERBACK, TEAM (STARTING RECORD AS ROOKIE)
2008 – Joe Flacco, Baltimore (11-5)
2008 – Matt Ryan, ATLANTA (11-5)
2009 – Mark Sanchez, New York Jets (8-7)
2009 – Matthew Stafford, Detroit (2-8)*
2010 – Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams (7-9)*
2011 – Andy Dalton, Cincinnati (9-7)
2011 – Cam Newton, Carolina (6-10)*
2012 – Robert Griffin III, Washington (9-6)
2012 – Andrew Luck – Indianapolis (11-5)*
2012 – Ryan Tannehill, Miami (7-9)
2012 – Brandon Weeden, Cleveland (5-10)
2012 – Russell Wilson, Seattle (11-5)
2013 – E.J. Manuel – Buffalo (4-6)
2013 – Geno Smith, New York Jets (8-8)
2014 – Derek Carr, Oakland (3-13)
2015 – Marcus Mariota, Tennessee (3-9)
2015 – Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay (6-10)*
2016 – Dak Prescott, Dallas (13-3)
2016 – Carson Wentz, Philadelphia (7-9)
2017 – DeShone Kizer, Cleveland (0-15)
2018 – Sam Darnold, New York Jets (4-9)
2019 – Kyler Murray, Arizona (5-10-1)*
2020 – Joe Burrow, Cincinnati (2-7-1)*
2021 – Mac Jones, New England^
2021 – Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville*^
2021 – Zach Wilson, New York Jets^
*No. 1 overall pick
^Expected to start Week 1

TITANS DEBUT: Tennessee wide receiver Julio Jones enters his first year as a Titan with 848 receptions for 12,896 receiving yards and 60 receiving touchdowns in 135 career games.

Jones needs two receptions on Sunday against Arizona to become the second-fastest player (136 games) to reach 850 receptions in NFL history, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (140 games).

The players to reach 850 career receptions in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (GAMES TO REACH 850 RECEPTIONS)
Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh, New England and Tampa Bay (133)
Marvin Harrison – Indianapolis (140)(HOF)
Andre Johnson – Houston Texans (142)
Julio Jones – ATLANTA (135)*
*Has 848 receptions entering Sunday

With at least 104 receiving yards, Jones can also become the fastest player ever to reach 13,000 career receiving yards, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice (154 games).

Additionally, Jones enters this season with at least 100 receiving yards in 58 career games. With at least 100 receiving yards on Sunday, he will tie Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison (59 games) for the third-most such games in NFL history.

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

PLAYER – TEAMS (GAMES WITH 100+ REC. YARDS)
Jerry Rice – San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle (76)(HOF)
Randy Moss – Minnesota, Oakland and New England (64)(HOF)
Marvin Harrison – Indianapolis (59)(HOF)
Julio Jones – ATLANTA (58)*
*Active

DUAL-THREAT BACKS: Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey has totaled 5,817 scrimmage yards (3,145 rushing, 2,672 receiving) and 45 touchdowns (29 rushing, 16 receiving) in his first four seasons, while also recording nine games with both a rushing and receiving touchdown, the most ever by a player through his first four seasons.

With both a rushing and receiving touchdown against the Jets on Sunday, McCaffrey will surpass Chuck Foreman (nine games) for the most such games by a player through his first five seasons in NFL history. New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara, who is also entering his fifth season, has eight such career games and can tie Foreman when New Orleans takes on Green Bay Sunday in Jacksonville.

The players with the most games with both a rushing and receiving touchdown in their first five seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAM (GAMES)
Chuck Foreman – Minnesota (9)
Christian McCaffrey – Carolina (9)*
Abner Haynes – Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs (8)
Alvin Kamara – New Orleans (8)*
*Entering fifth season

ROOKIES NO MORE: The 2020 Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert and the 2020 Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year, Washington defensive end Chase Young, will meet in Week 1, when the Chargers travel to Landover to visit Washington.

It will mark the fourth time in NFL history and second-consecutive season, that the two reigning Rookies of the Year will meet on Kickoff Weekend. In 2020, Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray and San Francisco defensive lineman Nick Bosa met in Week 1.

The Kickoff Weekend matchups featuring the reigning Associated Press Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year in NFL history:

SEASON – REIGNING OROY (TEAM)/REIGNING DROY (TEAM)(WEEK 1 RESULT)
2021 – QB Justin Herbert (Los Angeles Chargers)/DE Chase Young (Washington)(???)
2020 – QB Kyler Murray (Arizona)/DL Nick Bosa (San Francisco)(Arizona 24, San Francisco 20)
1989 – RB John Stephens (New England)/DB Erik McMillan (New York Jets)(New England 27, New York Jets 24)
1975 – RB Don Woods (San Diego Chargers)/LB Jack Lambert (Pittsburgh)(Pittsburgh 37, San Diego 0)$

$Lambert is a member of the Hall of Fame

Since this is week one, we’re going to make all the games this Sunday and Monday “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 Sunday 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 62 last June and dates a 46-year old ex-Marine, who’s now the 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 season, we went 167-83, which wasn’t bad, given that we had to deal with games being moved because of COVID-19. Having said all of that, here are the Sunday and Monday picks for week one.

Philadelphia (4-11-1) at ATLANTA (4-12), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV xxx. The first Sunday game of the 2021 season gets underway in the Big Peach with cheesesteak meeting chicken and waffles as Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons host the Philadelphia Eagles in the Big Peach. The Sunday opener features the debut of two new coaches (Philadelphia – Nick Sirianni and Atlanta – Arthur Smith). Both clubs look to improve from their 2020 seasons.

Philadelphia leads the series 17-14-1 and have outscored the Falcons 690-598. Their last meeting? 2019 in the Big Peach and Ryan and the Falcons prevailed 24-18, while Philadelphia’s last win in the series came in 2018 in the City of Brotherly Love by a final of 18-12. Atlanta’s favored by 3 1/2 in the Big Peach with the over/under at 48. Both numbers make a lot sense as the two clubs have new coaches roaming the sidelines. Falcons win in the Big Peach but expect the Eagles to make it closer than 3 1/2.

Pittsburgh (12-4) at Buffalo (13-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 712. Two playoff teams meet in upstate New York as Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills host Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pittsburgh holds a 14-10 lead in the series and have outscored the Bills 535-434. Their last meeting was last year in week 14. Pittsburgh’s last win in the series came along the shores of Lake Erie by a final of 27-20 in 2016, while the Bills have won the last two meetings, including a win last year in upstate New York. They met in the Steel City in week 14 and after winning their first 11 contests, Buffalo gave Pittsburgh and Ben Roethlisberger their second loss in as many weeks, taking down the Steelers 26-15 Sunday night in upstate New York. Buffalo trailed 7-0 early in the second quarter (the two clubs played a scoreless first quarter), then took a 9-7 lead at the intermission, using a Tyler Bass field goal and a Taron Johnson 51 yard interception return with 52 seconds left before the break. The Bills then pulled away from the Steelers in the last 30 minutes of action, outscoring Pittsburgh 17-8 in the final two periods at Bills’ Stadium.

Buffalo out-rushed the struggling Steelers 104-47 with Bills RB Zack Moss leading the way with 43 yards. Allen threw for 238 yards with a pair of TDs, connecting with Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis on both tosses, with a sack and an interception, while Roethlisberger threw for 187 yards, throwing TDs to JuJu Smith-Schuester and James Washington (both men were sacked once, Allen threw an interception, while Roethlisberger threw two). The Bills were 7 for 14 on third down and they ruled the clock, holding the ball for 35:15, while the Steelers were a dismal 1 of 10 on third down, keeping the ball for 24:45. The Steelers were favored by 1 1/2 and the Bills covered in upstate New York, leaving 11-point winners but the two clubs missed the 47 1/2, tallying 41 points. The Bills are favored by 6 1/2 with the over/under 49. Pittsburgh’s looking for revenge, while the Bills want to prove that the first time was not a fluke. Bills win this one in upstate New York but expect the Steelers to make it closer than 6 1/2.

New York Jets (2-14) at Carolina (5-11), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A pair of struggling teams meet in the Tar Heel State as the New York Jets make their way down I-95 to take on the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium.

Carolina leads the series 4-3, have outscored GangGreen 160-143 and have taken wins in the last two meetings, including a 35-27 win in the Meadowlands in 2017, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! last win came in the Meadowlands in 2009 by a final of 17-6. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Panthers as 5-point favorites in the Tar Heel State and the over/under’s 45. Normally, we would tell you to take a pass on games like this one but since this is week one, every game this week is “Drill Worthy.” Panthers are finer in Carolina and take the win at home, covering the 5.

Minnesota (7-9) at Cincinnati (4-11-1), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. A healthy Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals play host to the Minnesota Vikings along the shores of the Ohio River at Paul Brown Stadium. Both teams are hoping to make the post-season after somewhat disasterous campaigns in 2020, with Burrow leaving after tearing his ACL and MCL in his left knee against Washington in week 11.

The Vikings lead the series 7-6 and have outscored the Bengals 287-243. They last met in the Twin Cities in 2017 and the Vikings would prevail 34-7 (Cincinnati’s last win came in 2013 along the shores of the Ohio River by a 42-14 final. Minnesota’s favored by 3 with a 48 over/under. This might be one of the more entertaining games this week. Vikings win in Cincy and cover the 3.

San Francisco (6-10) at Detroit (5-11), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. Dan Campbell makes his regular-season head coaching debut as the Detroit Lions welcome the San Francisco 49ers to Ford Field. Lions fans are hopeful that he can get the team into the post-season and challenge Green Bay for the NFC North crown.

Including contests at Tiger Stadium, Keezar Stadium, the Silverdome and Candlestick Park, the 49ers lead the series 37-27-1 and have outscored the Lions 1,425-1,361. They last met on the West Coast in wine country in 2018 and San Francsico came away with a 30-27 win, while Detroit’s last win in the series came in the Motor City in 2015 by a final of 32-17. San Francisco’s favored by 7 1/2 and the over/under’s 46. While the 49ers won’t cover the 7 1/2, they’ll take the win in the Motor City.

Jacksonville (1-15) at Houston (4-12), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 711. A pair of new head coaches, Urban Meyer (Jacksonville) and David Culley meet in the Lone Star State as AFC South bottom-dwellers meet at NRG Stadium. Both teams are looking for better seasons than they had in 2020. Jacksonville went on a 15-game losing streak after winning their season opener, while the Texans are looking to end a five-game losing streak to close their season out.

Houston carries a 25-13 lead in the series, have outscored Jacksonville 843-732 and have won the last six meetings in a row, including sweeping last year’s series (Jacksonville’s last win over Houston? 2017 by a final of 45-7 in the Sunshine State and the Jaguars swept the series that year).

Jacksonville and Houston met twice in the 2020 season and the Texans prevailed in both meetings. Their first meeting was in week five in the Lone Star State and Houston picked up their first win of the 2020 season under interim head coach Romeo Crennel, taking down their AFC South rivals 30-14 at NRG Stadium. Jacksonville actually led 10-7 at the intermission after the two teams played a scoreless first quarter before Houston took charge of things in the second half, outscoring the Jaguars 20-7. Houston out-rushed Jacksonville 129-75 in the win and Texans RB David Johnson led all rushers with 96 yards on the ground. Passing-wise, DeShaun Watson threw for 359 yards in the win with three TDs, while Jacksonville’s Gardner Minshew threw for 301 yards and a pair of TDs (Minshew was sacked three times, Watson was sacked once and threw a pair of interceptions). Houston was 5 of 10 on third down tries (the Texans were 1 of 3 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:01, while Jacksonville actually ruled the clock, holding the pigskin for 31:59, going 8 for 16 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down.

Houston swept the series, this time traveling down I-10 to Jacksonville and left the Sunshine State 27-25 winners at TIAA Bank Field in week nine. Houston led 20-16 at the intermission in north Florida, then took a 27-19 lead into the final 15 minutes of play as Jacksonville scored twice in the half, once on a Josh Lambo field goal late in the third quarter and then again when backup QB Jake Luton scored on a 13-yard run with 90 seconds left in the contest. Jacksonville missed the try for two to even things up and hopefully send the contest into overtime and tried an onside kick, which Houston recovered and the Texans would run out the clock to take the win. Jacksonville out-rushed Houston 115-107, with Jaguars RB James Robinson leading all rushers with 99 yards and a rushing TD, while Watson led the Texans with 50 yards. Watson threw for 281 yards with TD passes to Willie Fuller and Brandon Cooks, while Luton threw for 304 yards with a TD pass to D.J. Chark Jr. (Luton threw the game’s only interception, while both men were sacked twice). Houston was 6 for 15 on third down and held the ball for 27:53, while the Jaguars would actually rule the clock and keep the pigskin for 32:07, going 6 for 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Housotn covered the 5-point spread in the week five contest in the Lone Star State with the 16-point win but both teams missed the 54 over/under by 10 points. As for the week nine contest in the Sunshine State? While Houston won, they did not cover the 7-point spread, winning by 2 but the two clubs covered 50 1/2 over/under, tallying 52 points. Jacksonville’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 45. Both clubs are looking to right their ships in 2021. As Yogi Berra once said, “when you’re down, the only place you can go is up.” Jacksonville keeps it interesting but Houston prevails at home with the win and could cover the 3.

Seattle (12-4) at Indianapolis (11-5), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. They were both in the post-season last year and both were bounced out in the first round. Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks make their way to the Hoosier State for a 10 a.m. Seattle time kickoff against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Colts lead the series 7-5 and have outscored Seattle and have outscored Indy 294-259. Their last meeting was in 2017 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and the Seahawks came away 46-18, while the Colts’ last win in the series came in the Hoosier States in 2013 by a final of 34-28. Seattle’s favored by 3 in the Hoosier State and the over/under’s 48. Seattle takes care of business in the Hoosier State and covers the 3.

Arizona (8-8) at Tennessee (11-5), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A couple of contending teams meet in the Music City as Tennessee hosts Arizona at Nissan Stadium in the Music City. Arizona barely missed the playoffs last year, while the Titans look to erase their post-season loss at home to Baltimore last year.

Including contests played in Houston (when the Titans were known as the Oilers) and in St. Louis, the Desert Angry Birds lead the series 7-4 and have outscored the Titans 259-226. The teams last met in 2017 in the desert and the Desert Angry Birds were 12-7 winners, while Tennessee’s last win in the series came in the Music City in 2009 by a final of 20-17. The Titans are 3-point favorites in the Music City and the over/under’s 51 1/2. Tennessee covers the 3 in the Volunteer State and takes the win at home.

Los Angeles Chargers (7-9) at Washington (7-9), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. They were both 7-9 last year but one made the playoffs and won their division while the other made a change in the head coaching position. Washington and Ron Rivera, winners of the NFC East, host the Los Angeles Chargers and new head coach Brandon Staley to FedEx Field in Landover.

Including contests that were played in San Diego and at RFK Stadium, Washington leads the series 7-4 and have outscored the Bolts 268-239. The Chargers would win the last meeting in the series, which took place on the West Coast in 2017 by a final of 30-13, while Washington’s last win came in Landover in 2013, when they needed overtime to take a 30-24 win. The Chargers are favored by a point and the over/under’s 44 1/2. Both numbers sound reasonable. Hail To The Football Team! Washington covers the 1 in Landover and takes the win.

Cleveland (11-5) at Kansas City (14-2), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714. It’s an AFC Divisional rematch as Patrick Mahomes and the defending AFC champions welcome Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns to Arrowhead in a late Sunday afternoon contest in the Show-Me State.

The defending AFC champions lead the series 13-11-2, have outscored Cleveland 537-518 and have won the last three regular season meetings, including a 17-13 win at Arrowhead in 2015, while Cleveland’s last win in the series came in 2012 along the shores of Lake Erie by a final of 30-7. They met last year in the post-season and it was a contest for the ages, as the Chiefs would advance to the AFC Championship Game, dashing Cleveland’s playoff hopes in the process.

Mahomes and Mayfield met in the AFC Divisional Round and the Chiefs survived a late charge by Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns, coming away 22-17 winners. Kansas City led 6-3 at the end of the first quarter, then proceeded to scored 13 second-quarter points unchallenged, thanks to a 20-yard TD pass from Patrick Mahomes to TE Travis Kelce and a pair of Harrison Butker field goals to lead 19-3 at the half. After Mayfield and WR Josh Landry connected on a 4-yard TD toss to pull Cleveland to within nine, Butker would push the Chiefs back to a 12-point lead with 4:24 left in the third. Cleveland was not about to go away quietly and the Browns would cause some angst for Chiefs fans, as they would use an 18-play, 75-yard drive that used 8:17 of clock with Kareem Hunt getting some measure of revenge on his old team, scoring from three yards out early in the final quarter.

The Chiefs would find themselves in a bind as Mahomes would be knocked out of the contest with a concussion, putting backup QB Chad Henne into the contest. After holding off the Browns and forcing a Cleveland punt, Kansas City would get the ball back with 4:09 left in the contest and it would be the last time the Cleveland would see the ball, as Henne would run out the clock, throwing a 5-yard pass to WR Tyree Hill to basically end the contest. Kansas City out-rushed Cleveland 123-112 with Darrell Williams leading the way with 78 yards, while Cleveland was led by Nick Chubb with 69 yards on the ground; Mahomes threw for 255 yards with the TD pass to Kelce and had a rushing TD of his own to open the scoring in the contest before leaving, while Mayfield threw for 204 yards with the game’s only sack and had an interception (Henne threw for 66 yards with a sack and an interception). Kansas City went 5 for 10 on third down but had success on fourth down, going 2 for 2 (including the fourth down try that sealed the contest) and were rulers of the clock, holding on to the ball for 30:37, while the Browns, who kept the pigskin for 29:23, went 6 of 13 on third down, 3 for 3 on fourth down.

The Chiefs were favored by 10 in the AFC Divisional contest but would win only by 5 and both teams missed the 56 over/under, tallying just 39 points. Vegas likes the Chiefs as 6-point favorites at Arrowhead and the over/under 53. Cleveland and Mayfield are seeking revenge, while Mahomes and the Chiefs want to remind the Browns who runs the Show-Me State. Will it be close? Yes… but the Chiefs prevail at Arrowhead and cover the 5.

Miami (10-6) at New England (7-9), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. AFC East rivals meet in Foxboro as former Alabama QBs Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones meet in a late-afternoon contest in western Massachusetts. Both teams look to knock Buffalo out of the top spot in the division. Miami came close to making the post-season, while New England struggled to stay out of the AFC East basement.

While Miami holds a 56-52 lead in the series (which includes contests that took place at Fenway Park, the Orange Bowl and in Tampa), New England has outscored Miami 2,368-2,299. Miami and New England met twice last year, each winning in their home facilities and spliting the series in the process.

In the week one meeting in Foxboro, Miami found themselves being taken to task by Cam Newton and the New England Patriots in Foxboro, as the Pats took care of the ‘Fins 21-11 at Gillette Stadium. New England led 7-3 at intermission, then took control of things in the second half, outscoring Miami 14-8 in the final 30 minutes of play. New England out-rushed Miami 217-87 and Newton (155 yards, two sacks) ran for a pair of TDs and led all rushers with 75 yards, while Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 191 yards with three interceptions and a sack. Miami went 4 of 11 on third down conversion and held the ball for 25:11, while the Patriots were kings of the clock, holding on to the pigskn for 34:49 and went 5 of 10 on third down and 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Miami ended New England’s string of playoff appearances in the Sunshine State in their week 15 rematch, as Newton and the Pats found themselves staying home for the post-season after their 22-12 loss at Miami at Hard Rock Stadium. Using a pair of Nick Folk field goals, New England led 6-0 at the intermission before Miami took the lead for the first time on a 1-yard run by Saheed Ahmed with 10:32 left in the third, before Folk added another field goal to reclaim the lead at 9-7. That lead would not last long as Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa took matters into his own feet, scoring on a 3-yard TD run, then hooking up with Ahmed on the two-point conversion. Folk would then add his fourth field goal of the day, putting New England to within three with 9:03 left in the contest before Tagovailoa scored his second rushing TD of the day from a yard out.

Ahmed led all rushers with 122 yards and the TD as Miami out-rushed New England 250-117 (Sony Michel led New England with 74 yards) and Tagovailoa threw for 145 yards, throwing the contest’s only interception, while Newton threw for 209 yards (Newton was sacked three times, Tagovailoa was sacked twice). Miami was 7 for 12 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down and were rulers of the clock, holding the ball for 37:26, while the Patriots were 22:34 in time of possession, going 2 for 9 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

New England, who waived Newton before the season started, covered the 6-point spread in their week one contest in Foxboro winning by 10 but the two clubs missed the 43 over/under with 32 points. As for the week 15 rematch in the Sunshine State? The ‘Fins covered the 2-point spread, winning by 10 but the teams missed the over/under (41 1/2), tallying 32 points at Hard Rock. New England’s favored by 3 in Foxboro and the over/under’s 43. Given how good both QBs are, the over/under could be reached by halftime. The winner may or may not have a clear shot at the AFC East but the loser will have to make up ground. (In case you’re wondering, Miami’s last win in Foxboro came in 2019 when they beat Brady and the Pats 34-33 in week 17.) Miami gets revenge in Foxboro and leaves with the win on the road.

Green Bay (13-3) at New Orleans (12-4) in Jacksonville, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716. Drew Brees is retired and the Jameis Winston era begins as the New Orleans Saints take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Cheese, meet gumbo. The site for this contest was going to be New Orleans but after Ida hit the Big Easy, the NFL moved the contest to Jacksonville’s EverBank Stadium.

The Packers lead the series 17-9 (includings contests played in Milwaukee and at Tulane Stadium) and have outscored the Saints 734-618. New Orleans’ last win in the series came at Lambeau by a final of 26-17 in 2017, while Rodgers and the Packers prevailed against Brees and the Saints last year in the Big Easy.

Brees and the Saints watched Green Bay wipe away a 17-13 halftime lead at New Orleans Sunday night in week three, holidng off the Saints and leaving the Big Easy 37-30 winners. Using a 49-yard field goal by Mason Crosby and a 1-yard TD toss from Rodgers to TE Robert Tonyan, the Packers would take the lead back for keeps before Saints K Will Lutz made it a 7-point affair with 32 seconds left. The Saints would try an onside kick, which Green Bay recovered. The Packers then ran out the clock and left the Big Easy with the win. While New Orleans did out-rushed Green Bay 122-98, Rodgers threw for 283 yards, while Drew Brees threw for 288 yards (both men threw three TDs without an interception and Brees was sacked twice, while Rodgers was sacked once). Both teams wer4e 5 of 11 on third down tries (the Packers were 1 of 2 on fourth down, while the Saints went 1 of 1) and Green Bay ruled the clock and kept the ball for 31:40 to New Orleans’ 28:20.

New Orleans was favored in the week three meeting in the Big Easy by 3 but the Packers covered, winning by 7 and the two clubs covered the 51 1/2 over/under with 67 points. Vegas likes the Packers by 4 in the Big Easy with a 50 over/under. The Saints are seeking revenge, while Rodgers and the Packers look to take two wins in a row. GO PACK GO! Green Bay covers the 4 and takes the road win.

Denver (5-11) at New York Giants (6-10), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 717. A pair of teams that played better than their records would indicate meet in upstate New Jersey as the New York Giants welcome the Denver Broncos into MetLife Stadium for a late Sunday afternoon affair along the Jersey shore.

The two teams have met 12 teams and each team has six wins to their credit, with Denver outscoring Big Blue 242-213. Their last meeting was in 2017 in the Mile High City and the Giants left Denver 23-10 winners, while Denver’s last win in the series came in 2013 in upstate New Jersey by a final of 41-23. Denver’s favored by 2 1/2 and the over/under’s 42 1/2. Both numbers make a ton of sense. The Giants were one of those teams that could have won the NFC East last year, while Denver’s looking to get back into the AFC West spotlight and take it from Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes in the process. Giants pull off the upset in the Meadowlands and take the win in upstate New Jersey, covering the 2 1/2.

Chicago (8-8) at Los Angeles Rams (10-6), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. They meet again on the West Coast again. Da Bears make their way west to take on Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams in Inglewood in prime time.

Including games played in Cleveland, at Wrigley Field and in St. Louis, Da Bears lead da series 53-37-3 and have outscored Los Angeles 2,133-1,870. Chicago’s last win in the series came in 2018 in the Windy City by a final of 15-6, while the Rams have won the last two meetings, including their meeting last year at SoFi Stadium.

They met in week seven on the West Coast and the Rams prevailed 24-10 on the West Coast. Los Angeles led 10-3 at the break, then pulled away from Chicago in the second half to take the win in prime time. Los Angeles out-rushed Chicago 161-49 and Nick Foles threw for 261 yards but was sacked four times and picked off twice, while Rams signal caller Jarred Goff threw for 219 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Gerald Everett). Da Bears were 4 of 14 on third down, 1 of 4 on fourth down and kept the ball for 27:25, while the Rams were clock hogs, keeping the ball for 32:35, going 4 of 13 on third down tries. The Rams were favored by 6 in the Monday night week seven contest and covered, winning by 14 but both clubs failed to cover the 45 over/under, tallying a mere 34 points. The Rams are favored again, this time by 7 1/2 and the over/under’s 44 1/2. History has a way of repeating itself and this will be the case. While the Rams win this one, expect Da Bears to make it closer than the 7 1/2.

Baltimore (11-5) at Las Vegas (8-8), 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN/ABC. Week one closes out in the desert as the Baltimore Ravens make their way to Sin City for a Monday night contest with the Las Vegas Raiders at Alligent Stadium. The Ravens were in the post-season in 2020, while the Raiders look to return to prominence in the 2021 campaign.

Baltimore leads the series 8-3 and have outscored the Silver and Black 301-192. The Ravens have won the last two meetings in the series, including a 34-17 win in 2018 in Charm City, while Las Vegas’ last win came in 2015 when they were on the Eastern side of San Francisco by by a final of 37-33. On Monday nights, the Ravens are 14-12 and split their two meetings last year. As for the Silver and Black? Including games in Los Angeles and Oakland, they’re 22-25 and the Raiders lost their only MNF contest last year. Baltimore’s favored by 4 1/2 with a 51 1/2 over/under. It may not be the best Monday night game of the year but it’s better than nothing. Ravens prevail in the desert by taking the win and covering the 4 1/2.

Week 1 Sunday and Monday Broadcast Information (All times Eastern)

Philadelphia at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 712: Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Pam Oliver (field reporter); SIRIUS: 138 (Philadelphia), 83 (ATLANTA) | XM: 380 (Philadelphia), 225 (ATLANTA) | SXM App: 825 (Philadelphia), 801 (ATLANTA)

Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis, Evan Washburn (field reporter); SIRIUS: 104 (Pittsburgh), 82 (Buffalo); XM: 382 (Pittsburgh), 227 (Buffalo); SXM App: 826 (Pittsburgh), 803 (Buffalo)

New York Jets at Carolina, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton, Sherree Burruss (field reporter); SIRIUS: 134 (New York Jets), 81 (Carolina); XM: 381 (New York Jets), 226 (Carolina); SXM App: 824 (New York Jets), 804 (Carolina)

Minnesota at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston, Jennifer Hale (field reporter); SIRIUS: 133 (Minnesota), 137 (Cincinnati); XM: 383 (Minnesota), 228 (Cincinnati); SXM App: 820 (Minnesota), 806 (Cincinnati)

San Francisco at Detroit, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin (field reporter); SIRIUS: 106 (San Francisco), 119 (Detroit); XM: 384 (San Francisco), 229 (Detroit); SXM App: 827 (San Francisco), 810 (Detroit)

Jacksonville at Houston, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707: Greg Gumbel, Adam Archuleta, AJ Ross (field reporter); SIRIUS: 94 (Jacksonville), 98 (Houston); XM: 385 (Jacksonville), 230 (Houston); SXM App: 814 (Jacksonville), 812 (Houston)

Seattle at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Sara Walsh (field reporter); SIRIUS: 121 (Seattle), 99 (Indianapolis); XM: 386 (Seattle), 231 (Indianapolis); SXM App: 828 (Seattle), 813 (Indianapolis)

Arizona at Tennessee, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708: Tom McCarthy, Tiki Barber; SIRIUS: 211 (Arizona), 146 (Tennessee); XM: 387 (Arizona), 232 (Tennessee); SXM App: 800 (Arizona), 830 (Tennessee)

Los Angeles Chargers at Washington, 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709: Spero Dedes, Jay Feely; SIRIUS: 108 (Los Angeles Chargers), 103 (Washington); XM: 388 (Los Angeles Chargers), 233 (Washington); SXM App: 817 (Los Angeles Chargers), 831 (Washington)

Cleveland at Kansas City, 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 714: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (field reporter); SIRIUS: 104 (Cleveland), 82 (Kansas City); XM: 382 (Cleveland), 227 (Kansas City);| SXM App: 807 (Cle.), 815 (Kansas City)

Miami at New England, 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green, Melanie Collins (field reporter); SIRIUS: 134 (Miami), 81 (New England); XM: 381 (Miami), 226 (New England); SXM App: 819 (Miami), 821 (New England)

Green Bay vs. New Orleans in Jacksonville, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 716: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews/Tom Rinaldi (field reporters); SIRIUS: 138 (Green Bay), 83 (New Orleans); XM: 380 (Green Bay), 225 (New Orleans); SXM App: 811 (Green Bay), 822 (New Orleans)

Denver at New York Giants, 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 717: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Shannon Spake (field reporter); SIRIUS: 133 (Denver), 137 (New York Giants);| XM: 383 (Denver), 228 (New York Giants); SXM App: 809 (Denver), 823 (New York Giants)

Chicago at Los Angeles Rams, 8:20 p.m. on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Ryan Radtke, Rod Woodson; SIRIUS: 81 (Chicago), 211 (Los Angeles Rams); XM: 226 (Chicago), 225 (Los Angeles Rams); SXM App: 805 (Chicago), 818 (Los Angeles Rams)

Baltimore at Las Vegas, 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN/ABC: Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, Lisa Salters (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner; SIRIUS: 81 (Baltimore), 83 (Las Vegas); XM: 226 (Baltimore), 225 (Las Vegas); SXM App: 802 (Baltimore), 816 (Las Vegas)

Sunday and Monday Officials
Philadelphia at ATLANTA, 1 p.m.: Scott Novak
Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 1 p.m.: John Hussey
New York Jets at Carolina, 1 p.m.: Clay Martin
Minnesota at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.: Adrian Hill
San Francisco at Detroit, 1 p.m.: Brad Rogers
Jacksonville at Houston, 1 p.m.: Land Clark
Seattle at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.: Tony Corrente
Arizona at Tennessee, 1 p.m.: Jerome Boger
Los Angeles Chargers at Washington, 1 p.m.: Alex Kemp
Cleveland at Kansas City, 4:25 p.m.: Bill Vinovich
Miami at New England, 4:25 p.m.: Clete Blakeman
Green Bay vs. New Orleans in Jacksonville, 4:25 p.m.: Carl Cheffers
Denver at New York Giants, 4:25 p.m.: Ronald Torbert
Chicago at Los Angeles Rams, 8:20 p.m.: Brad Allen
Baltimore at Las Vegas, 8:15 p.m. Monday: Shawn Smith

Sunday and Monday Odds (Home team in Caps)

Sunday
ATLANTA – 3 1/2 vs. Philadelphia (48 1/2)
BUFFALO – 6 1/2 vs. Pittsburgh (48)
CAROLINA – 3 vs. New York Jets (45)
Jacksonville – 3 at HOUSTON (45 1/2)
TENNESSEE – 3 vs. Arizona (53 1/2)
WASHINGTON – 1 vs. Los Angeles Chargers (44 1/2)
Seattle – 3 at INDIANAPOLIS (48)
San Francisco – 8 1/2 at DETROIT (46)
Minnesota – 3 at CINCINNATI (47 1/2)
KANSAS CITY – 5 1/2 vs. Cleveland (54 1/2)
NEW ENGLAND – 3 vs. Miami (43 1/2)
Denver – 3 at NEW YORK GIANTS (41 1/2)
Green Bay – 3 1/2 at NEW ORLEANS (50)(Game in Jacksonville, FL)
LOS ANGELES RAMS – 7 1/2 vs. Chicago (46 1/2)

Monday
Buffalo – 4 at LAS VEGAS (50)

Sunday and Monday Injury Report
Philadelphia at ATLANTA, 1 p.m.

Philadelphia
OUT: G Landon Dickerson (knee), S Rodney McLeod (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: LB Davion Taylor (calf)

ATLANTA – Atlanta reports no injuries

Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

Pittsburgh
QUESTIONABLE: LB Alex Highsmith (groin)

Buffalo
OUT: DT Star Lotulelei (calf)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Emmanuel Sanders (foot)

New York Jets at Carolina, 1 p.m.

New York Jets
OUT: S Sharrod Neasman (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Keelan Cole (knee), RB La’Mical Perine (foot)

Carolina
OUT: WR Shi Smith (shoulder)

Minnesota at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.

Minnesota
OUT: LB Anthony Barr (knee), T Christian Darrisaw (groin)

Cincinnati
OUT: CB Trae Waynes (hamstring)

San Francisco at Detroit, 1 p.m.

San Francisco
OUT: WR Jalen Hurd (knee)
DOUBTFUL: DT Javon Kinlaw (knee), CB Emmanuel Moseley (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Kevin Givens (hip)

Detroit
OUT: T Taylor Decker (finger)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Michael Brockers (shoulder), DT Levi Onwuzurike (hip), CB A.J. Parker (shoulder), DE Nicholas Williams (elbow)

Jacksonville at Houston, 1 p.m.

Jacksonville
OUT: CB Tre Herndon (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Tyson Campbell (calf), DE Jordan Smith (knee)

Houston
OUT: CB Lonnie Johnson (thigh), QB Deshaun Watson (not injury related – personal matter)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Jonathan Greenard (illness), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (thigh)

Seattle at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.

Seattle – Seattle reports no injuries

Indianapolis
OUT: T Eric Fisher (Achilles), CB Xavier Rhodes (calf), DE Kemoko Turay (groin)
QUESTIONABLE: G Quenton Nelson (foot, back), G Danny Pinter (foot)

Arizona at Tennessee, 1 p.m.

Arizona
OUT: LB Dennis Gardeck (knee, hand), WR Antoine Wesley (illness)

Tennessee
OUT: LB David Long (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: K Sam Ficken (right groin), TE Tommy Hudson (toe), CB Chris Jackson (hamstring), WR Josh Reynolds (foot)

Los Angeles Chargers at Washington, 1 p.m.

Los Angeles Chargers
OUT: S Trey Marshall (ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Austin Ekeler (hamstring)

Washington – Washington reports no injuries

Cleveland at Kansas City, 4:25 p.m.

Cleveland
OUT: T Michael Dunn (back), LB Tony Fields (illness)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Odell Beckham (knee), DE Jadeveon Clowney (illness), S Grant Delpit (hamstring), S Ronnie Harrison (ankle), K Chase McLaughlin (right hamstring), C J.C. Tretter (knee)

Kansas City
OUT: C Austin Blythe (abdomen)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Frank Clark (hamstring), DT Derrick Nnadi (hip)

Miami at New England, 4:25 p.m.

Miami
QUESTIONABLE: WR Preston Williams (foot)

New England
OUT: WR Malcolm Perry (foot)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Nelson Agholor (ankle), T Yodny Cajuste (hamstring), S Jalen Mills (ankle), LB Ronnie Perkins (shoulder)

Green Bay vs. New Orleans in Jacksonville, 4:25 p.m.

Green Bay
OUT: S Vernon Scott (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: DT Tyler Lancaster (back), LB Za’Darius Smith (back)

New Orleans
OUT: CB Ken Crawley (hamstring), WR Tre’Quan Smith (hamstring)

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

Denver
QUESTIONABLE: LB Bradley Chubb (ankle)

New York Giants
OUT: TE Evan Engram (calf)
QUESTIONABLE: RB Saquon Barkley (knee), CB Adoree’ Jackson (ankle)

Chicago at Los Angeles Rams, 8:20 p.m.

Chicago
DOUBTFUL: DT Eddie Goldman (knee, ankle)
QUESTIONABLE: S Deon Bush (shoulder), S Tashaun Gipson (back), LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe (shoulder), S Eddie Jackson (wrist), LB Khalil Mack (groin), WR Darnell Mooney (back), LB Robert Quinn (back), LS Patrick Scales (ankle)

Los Angeles Rams
DOUBTFUL: WR Ben Skowronek (forearm)

Baltimore at Las Vegas, 8:15 p.m. Monday

Baltimore – Baltimore reports no injuries

Las Vegas – Las Vegas reports no injuries

Sunday and Monday Weather
Philadelphia at ATLANTA, 1 p.m.: Game indoors; if roof is open, sunny and 83 degrees
Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 1 p.m.: Overcast with a 50 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms and 71 degrees
New York Jets at Carolina, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 84 degrees
Minnesota at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 84 degrees
San Francisco at Detroit, 1 p.m.: Game indoors
Jacksonville at Houston, 1 p.m.: Game indoors; if roof is open, overcast with a 40 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms and 87 degrees
Seattle at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.: Game indoors; if roof is open, sunny and 83 degrees
Arizona at Tennessee, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 85 degrees
Los Angeles Chargers at Washington, 1 p.m.: Sunny and 84 degrees
Cleveland at Kansas City, 4:25 p.m.: Sunny and 92 degrees
Miami at New England, 4:25 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 81 degrees
Green Bay vs. New Orleans in Jacksonville, 4:25 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 85 degrees
Denver at New York Giants, 4:25 p.m.: Partly cloudy and 86 degrees
Chicago at Los Angeles Rams, 8:20 p.m.: Sunny and 75 degrees
Baltimore at Las Vegas, 8:15 p.m. Monday: Game indoors.

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

Dallas (6-10) at Tampa Bay (11-5), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. It’s finally here.

No more pre-season games.

No more camps.

Goodbye, two-a-days.

This time, the games are for keeps.

The Lombardi Trophy has a new address in the Sunshine State. Hope it has sunscreen and likes Orange juice.

Banners will be raised, trophies will be hoisted and then there’s the game.

The 2021 National Football League season starts in Tampa at Raymond James Stadium Thursday evening in a full house and in front of a national audience as Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and the rest of the Buccaneers welcome Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys. For Dallas, they are the hunters, which makes Brady and Tampa Bay the hunted.

It’s the first of several Thursday night contests that will be played this season and the season opener, in which all 32 teams will be playing a 17-game schedule this year.

While the Bucs are relatively healthy, the same cannot be said for Dallas. The Cowboys will be without a significant part of their offense when they open the 2021 season Thursday night. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Sunday that Zack Martin, the team’s former Pro Bowl right guard has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been placed on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list.

With Martin out, Connor McGovern is slated to fill his spot on the Cowboys’ offensive line. A fifth-round pick in the 2019 draft, McGovern made eight starts in 14 games last season while filling in for Martin, who dealt with a concussion and a calf injury during the season. The Cowboys started the day with just three guard on their roster. The other guard, Matt Farniok, is a 2021 seventh-round pick who has never appeared in a regular season game.

Dallas leads the series 13-4, have outscored Tampa Bay 327-248 and have won the last two meetings, which took place in the Lone Star State (Dallas’ last win in the series came in 2018 by a final of 27-20 at AT&T Stadium). Tampa Bay’s last win over Dallas? 2015 in the Sunshine State by a final of 16-10. Vegas likes Tampa Bay as a 7 1/2-point favorite with a 52 over/under. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Tampa Bay’s trying to stay on top, while Dallas is trying to get back to the top. The Bucs take the opener but expect Dallas to make this one closer than the 7 1/2.

Broadcast Information: 8:20 p.m. Eastern on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner; SIRIUS: 81 (Dallas), 211 (Tampa Bay); XM: 226 (Dallas), 225 (Tampa Bay); SXM App: 808 (Dallas), 829 (Tampa Bay)

Referee: Shawn Hochuli

Injury Report

Dallas – Dallas reported no injuries

Tampa Bay
OUT: S Jordan Whitehead (Hamstring)

Weather: Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of an isolated thunderstorm and 77.

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

It’s that time again.

Sweating through two-a-days, sleeping in dorms, learning terminology different from what you learned in colleges and reading playbooks that make “War & Peace” look like a comic book and praying that some ballboy or coach doesn’t tell you those deadly words that could end a football career.

“Coach wants to see you and bring your playbook.” That’s code for “you’re being cut.”

You’ll fight bugs, sweat, heat and sometimes your teammates. Rookies looking to impress and veterans hoping to be one of the 53 on an NFL roster getting a weekly paycheck when the regular season rolls around.

Welcome to camp.

NFL clubs this week begin on-field preparations for the 2021 season. The Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers, who meet in the NFL/Hall of Fame Game on August 5 in Canton, Ohio, have rookies and veterans reporting Wednesday and will be the first clubs to have their entire teams on-site.

The defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who host Dallas in the league’s annual primetime kickoff game on September 9, have rookies reporting on Tuesday, with veterans reporting on Saturday.

Also on Tuesday, rookies will report for the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots and New York Jets. For every club except Dallas, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay, veterans will report Tuesday, July 27.

On Saturday, July 31, for the first time ever, all 32 clubs will hold practice with club-led fan events. July 31 will be branded as Training Camp: Back Together Saturday Fueled By Gatorade, with NFL Network providing 13 hours of live coverage, beginning at 9 a.m. Eastern. NFL Network’s “Inside Training Camp” kicks off July 26, providing extensive coverage of training camps throughout the summer.

In a growing trend, 21 clubs have scheduled joint practices with other teams. The Cowboys and Los Angeles Rams (August 7 at the Marriott Residence Inn at River Ridge in Oxnard, California) are the first teams scheduled to see another club’s jersey during camp. The Rams are among seven teams that will practice against multiple opponents. Carolina, Miami, New England, the New York Giants, New York Jets and Philadelphia also will see two foes in camp.

This summer will also feature the return of several clubs holding camp away from their facilities, after the COVID-19 pandemic forced every team to “stay home” for camp last year.

Five clubs will be spending the entirety of camp away from their facilities – Carolina (Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina), Dallas (Marriott Residence Inn at River Ridge in Oxnard, California), Indianapolis (Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana), Kansas City (Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri) and the Los Angeles Rams (University of California, Irvine). Washington will spend its first five days of camp at the Bon Secours Training Center in Richmond, Virginia, before returning home to its facility in Ashburn, Virginia, for the remainder of camp.

Not including last year, the 26 clubs (81 percent) that are opting to “stay home” this summer are the most since 2000. Teams considered to be “staying home” hold camp at their respective practice facility, home stadium or at a site within 10 miles of their team headquarters. In 2000, only 10 of 31 (32 percent) teams stayed close to home.

The number of NFL teams that stayed home for the entirety of training camp since 2000:

YEAR – NFL TEAMS WITH HOME TRAINING CAMPS (PCT.)
2000 – 10 of 31 (32%)
2001 – 9 of 31 (29%)
2002 – 10 of 32 (31%)
2003 – 14 of 32 (44%)
2004 – 15 of 32 (47%)
2005 – 17 of 32 (53%)
2006 – 15 of 32 (47%)
2007 – 16 of 32 (50%)
2008 – 15 of 32 (47%)
2009 – 17 of 32 (53%)
2010 – 17 of 32 (53%)
2011 – 19 of 32 (59%)
2012 – 19 of 32 (59%)
2013 – 20 of 32 (63%)
2014 – 20 of 32 (63%)
2015 – 21 of 32 (66%)
2016 – 20 of 32 (63%)
2017 – 21 of 32 (66%)
2018 – 21 of 32 (66%)
2019 – 22 of 32 (69%)
2020 – 32 of 32 (100%)
2021 – 26 of 32 (81%)

In addition to practicing with your team, you’ll be with other teams in camp as well, winding up with a pre-season game. The following is a list of joint-practice sessions scheduled for 2021:

Date: Traveling Team – Host Team (Location)
8/07: Los Angeles Rams – Dallas (Oxnard, California)
8/11: Denver – Minnesota (Eagan, Minnesota)
8/11: Miami – Chicago (Lake Forest, Illinois)
8/12: Carolina – Indianapolis (Westfield, Indiana)
8/16: New England – Philadelphia (Philadelphia)
8/18: ATLANTA – Miami (Miami Gardens)
8/18: Baltimore – Carolina (Spartanburg, South Carolina)
8/18: Las Vegas – Los Angeles Rams (Irvine, California)
8/18: New York Jets – Green Bay (Green Bay)
8/18: Tennessee – Tampa Bay (Tampa)
8/19: New York Giants – Cleveland (Berea, Ohio)
8/19: San Francisco – Los Angeles Chargers (Costa Mesa, California)
8/24: Philadelphia – New York Jets (Florham Park, New Jersey)
8/25: New York Giants – New England (Foxboro, Massachusetts)

Want to know when your team reports and where? No problem. You might want to bring patience and check if the practices are going to be open to fans and if players will be available for autographs. Mind your manners; after all, these guys are trying to get ready for the season. The following is a list of training-camp sites and rookie and veteran reporting dates. If you see one date, it means that both rookies and veterans report.

TEAM – SITE (ROOKIES, VETERANS)
Arizona – State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (7/22,7/27)
ATLANTA – IMB Performance Field in Flowery Branch, Georgia (7/27)
Baltimore – Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, Maryland (7/20, 7/27)
Buffalo – ADPRO Training Center in Orchard Park, New York (7/20, 7/27)
Carolina – Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina (7/27)
Chicago – Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Illinois (7/24, 7/27)
Cincinnati – Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati (7/24, 7/27)
Cleveland – Cleveland Browns Training Facility in Berea, Ohio (7/24, 7/27)
Dallas – Marriott Residence Inn at River Ridge in Oxnard, California (7/21)
Denver – University of Colorado Health Training Center in Englewood (7/24, 7/27)
Detroit – Detroit Lions Training Facility in Allen Park, Michigan (7/24, 7/27)
Green Bay – Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin (7/23, 7/27)
Houston – Houston Texans Training Facility in Houston (7/25, 7/27)
Indianapolis – Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana (7/24, 7/27)
Jacksonville – TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida (7/20, 7/27)
Kansas City – Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri (7/23, 7/27)
Las Vegas – Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center in Henderson, Nevada (7/24, 7/27)
Los Angeles Chargers Hoag Performance Center and Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa, California (7/27)
Los Angeles Rams – University of California, Irvine (7/25, 7/27)
Miami – Baptist Health Training Complex in Miami Gardens (7/27)
Minnesota – TCO Performance Center in Eagan (7/25, 7/27)
New England – Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts (7/20, 7/27)
New Orleans – Ochsner Sports Performance Center in Metairie, Louisiana (7/25, 7/27)
New York Giants – Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey (7/21, 7/27)
New York Jets – Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, New Jersey (7/20, 7/27)
Philadelphia – NovaCare Complex in Philadelphia (7/27)
Pittsburgh – Heinz Field in Pittsburgh (7/21)
San Francisco – SAP Performance Facility in Santa Clara, Californa (7/27)
Seattle – Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Washington (7/27)
Tampa Bay – AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa (7/20, 7/24)
Tennessee – St. Thomas Sports Park in Nashville (7/24, 7/27)
Washington – Bon Secours Training Center in Richmond, Virginia (7/27-7/31) and INOVA Sports Performance Center in Ashburn, Virginia (8/1 to 9/3) (7/27)

Last year, there was NO pre-season because of the COVID-19 outbreak. That made it hard for coaches to evaluate talent.

This year, there’s going to be a pre-season. There’s going to be a chance for coaches and fans to evaluate talent and see where their team will be. It’ll also give fans a chance to work on those tail-gaiting skills for the regular season.

The National Football League released the 2021 pre-season schedule two weeks ago with some changes.

For openers, everyone will play three pre-season games, instead of four or five. That means that the pre-season’s going to be a little shorter but there will be a pre-season. Granted, while three games is short, it’s better than nothing.

With that, here’s the 2021 NFL Pre-Season Schedule

2021 NFL PRE-SEASON SCHEDULE (All times Eastern)

Thursday, August 5
Pittsburgh vs. Dallas, 8 p.m. (NFL Hall of Fame Game)(FOX)

WEEK 1

Thursday, August 12
Washington at New England, 7:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, August 13
Tennessee at ATLANTA, 7 p.m.
Buffalo at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Dallas at Arizona, 10 p.m.

Saturday, August 14
Miami at Chicago, 1 p.m.
Denver at Minnesota, 4 p.m.
New Orleans at Baltimore, 7 p.m.
Cleveland at Jacksonville, 7 p.m.
New York Jets at New York Giants, 7:30 p.m.
Cincinnati at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Houston at Green Bay, 8 p.m.
Kansas City at San Francisco, 8:30 p.m.
Seattle at Las Vegas, 9 p.m.
Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams, 10 p.m.

Sunday, August 15
Carolina at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.

WEEK 2

Thursday, August 19
New England at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, August 20
Kansas City at Arizona, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Cincinnati at Washington, 8 p.m.

Saturday, August 21
ATLANTA at Miami, 7 p.m.
Buffalo at Chicago, 1 p.m.
New York Jets at Green Bay, 4:25 p.m.
Baltimore at Carolina, 7 p.m.
Detroit at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.
Tennessee at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Houston at Dallas, 8 p.m.
Indianapolis at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Las Vegas at Los Angeles Rams, 10 p.m.
Denver at Seattle, 10 p.m.

Sunday, August 22
New York Giants at Cleveland, 1 p.m.
San Francisco at Los Angeles Chargers, 7:30 p.m.

Monday, August 23
Jacksonville at New Orleans, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 3

Friday, August 27
Indianapolis at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Carolina, 7:30 p.m.
Philadelphia at New York Jets, 7:30 p.m.
Minnesota at Kansas City, 8 p.m.

Saturday, August 28
Green Bay at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Baltimore at Washington, 6 p.m.
Chicago at Tennessee, 7 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Houston, 8 p.m.
Arizona at New Orleans, 8 p.m.
Los Angeles Rams at Denver, 9:05 p.m.
Los Angeles Chargers at Seattle, 10 p.m.

Sunday, August 29
Cleveland at ATLANTA, 8 p.m. (NBC)
Jacksonville at Dallas, 1 p.m.
Miami at Cincinnati, 4 p.m. (CBS)
Las Vegas at San Francisco, 4 p.m.
New England at New York Giants, 6 p.m.

You know who your team is playing.

You know where your team is playing.

As for the when? It’s been keeping you up at night, wondering if we have to go to Orchard Park in December or September. Will I have to wear warm weather clothing or cold weather wear in Green Bay when the Packers and Aaron Rogers host Da Bears?

And more importantly… if I’m in Jacksonville, when will I get to see Trevor Lawrence for the first time?

You’ve been patient.

You’ve been good.

You’ve guessed your team’s schedule, using the formula that was put out after the 2020 season came to an end.

Your patience is about to be rewarded.

The National Football League announced the 2021 regular season schedule. All 32 teams, including the defending Super Bowl champions in Tampa Bay, will take the field, playing 17 games instead of 16 in an 18-week schedule with each team getting a bye week.

Just make sure the cable or dish bill is paid, you make that trip to the grocery store and get the provisions and watch out for your cousin Connie…

The NFL announced its first-ever 18-week, 272-game regular-season schedule for 2021, which kicks off on Thursday night, September 9, in Tampa Bay and concludes with 16 division games in Week 18 – two on Saturday, January 8 and 14 on Sunday, January 9.

The 2021 NFL schedule, Powered by AWS, will feature each team playing 17 regular-season games and three preseason games for the first time, providing fans an extra week of regular-season action. It marks the first change to the season structure since the 1978 campaign ushered in an era of 16 regular-season and four preseason games.

The 17th game will feature teams from opposing conferences that finished in the same standing within their respective divisions the previous season. The AFC was determined to be the home conference for the 17th game in 2021.

The NFL’s 102nd season begins with the league’s annual primetime kickoff game, as the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosts Dallas Raymond James Stadium on Thursday, September 9 at 8:20 p.m. on NBC.

Week 1 continues Sunday, September 12, with a double-doubleheader featuring four Sunday afternoon games in every market and intriguing matchups in both conferences. On CBS, Patrick Mahomes and the defending AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs host Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns at 4:25 p.m. in a rematch of their memorable 2020 Divisional Playoff game. On FOX, the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers travel to face the New Orleans Saints at 4:25 p.m. in a meeting of the NFC’s top two seeds from last year’s postseason. Later that day, NBC’s Sunday Night Football begins with the Los Angeles Rams hosting Chicago at 8:20 p.m. at SoFi Stadium.

Kickoff Weekend concludes on Monday, September 13, with ESPN/ABC’s Monday Night Football, featuring the Las Vegas Raiders hosting Baltimore at 8:15 p.m. at Allegiant Stadium. A year after opening, both SoFi Stadium and Allegiant Stadium are expected to welcome fans for the first time in their Week 1 primetime slates, as well as the Los Angeles Chargers’ home opener against Dallas at 4:25 p.m. on CBS in Week 2. Additionally, each stadium will take center stage in February, as Allegiant Stadium will host the 2022 Pro Bowl on Sunday, February 6 and SoFi Stadium will host Super Bowl LVI on Sunday, February 13.

ESPN will televise one game each Monday night in Weeks 1-17. There will be no Monday night game on the final regular-season weekend (Week 18) to provide more flexibility for the scheduling of the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs.

Additionally, ESPN/ABC will air two games with playoff implications on the Saturday of Week 18, January 8. These games will be selected following the conclusion of Week 17. Thursday Night Football will air exclusively on NFL Network in Weeks 2-4 and in Week 16, 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 Saturday, December 25, game between Cleveland and Green Bay 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 the Los Angeles Rams at Seattle game on October 7.

In total, NFL Network will exclusively televise eight games (four on Thursday night, one game in London, both games in Week 15 on Saturday, December 18 and one of the December 25 games, the Indianapolis Colts travel to the desert to face off aginast Arizona at 8:15 p.m.

Kickoff times for primetime games will remain unchanged this season. Monday and Saturday night games will kick off at 8:15 ET. Sunday and Thursday night games will kick at 8:20 ET. Once again this season, all 32 clubs will have at least one nationally televised game.

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.

The NFL’s International Series will return in 2021, as the schedule features two games from London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Atlanta plays host to the New York Jets in Week 5, airing exclusively on NFL Network at 9:30 a.m., while Jacksonville hosts Miami in week 6 at 9:30 a.m. on CBS as a pair of Sunshine State teams meet across the pond.

Thanksgiving will feature a tripleheader on Thursday, November 25. The first game will match two NFC North division rivals, as Chicago travels to Detroit to face the Lions in the Motor City at 12:30 p.m. on FOX. The late afternoon game features Las Vegas Raiders visiting Dak Prescott and Dallas at 4:30 p.m. and the Thanksgiving Day festivities conclude with an interconference matchup between two 2020 playoff teams, as Buffalo travels to the Big Easy to face the Saints on NBC at 8:20 p.m.

The regular season will conclude with Week 18 on Saturday, January 8 and Sunday, January 9. For the 12th consecutive year, all 16 games scheduled for the final week of the season are division contests, enhancing the potential for more games with playoff ramifications.

For the first time ever, the NFL’s 32 teams will each play 17 games over 18 weeks. Byes will begin in Week 6 and end in Week 14.

Eleven 2021 games are rematches of the 2020 playoffs, including Kansas City hosting Buffalo at Arrowhead on Sunday Night Football in Week 5 at 8:20 p.m. on NBC, a rematch of the AFC Championship Game.

Other 2021 schedule notes:

• Fifteen games will be Super Bowl rematches.

• Aaron Rodgers, the 2020 NFL MVP and Lamar Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, are scheduled to meet for the first time in their careers when Green Bay travels to Charm City to face Baltimore Ravens in Week 15 at 1 p.m. on FOX.

• On Sunday Night Football in Week 4, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will travel to New England 8:20 p.m. on NBC, where Brady won six Super Bowls with the Patriots. He can become the fourth quarterback in league history to defeat all 32 teams.

• The top two picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson, are scheduled to meet in Week 16 when Jacksonville travels to the Meadowlands to play the New York Jets at 1 p.m. on CBS. If both players start, it will mark the fourth game in NFL history between rookie starting quarterbacks selected first and second overall.

• Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham Jr., Christian McCaffrey and Dak Prescott are among the exciting group of stars expected to return to the field in 2021. “Flexible scheduling” will be used in Weeks 11-18.

Additionally, in Weeks 5-10, flexible scheduling may be used in no more than two weeks. In Weeks 5-17, 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.

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

For Week 18, two Saturday games and the Sunday night game will be announced no later than six days prior to January 9. The schedule does not list Saturday games or a Sunday night game in Week 18 but games with playoff implications will be moved to those time slots. Flexible scheduling ensures quality matchups in all Sunday time slots in those weeks and give “surprise” teams a chance to play their way into primetime. In Week 18, two games will be played on Saturday, one at 4:30 p.m. and one at 8:15 p.m. with the remainder to be played on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. and 4:25 p.m. and one matchup to be played on Sunday night at 8:20 p.m. Specific dates and start times for Week 18 matchups will be determined and announced following the conclusion of Week 17.

Introduced last year and continuing in 2021, a total of 14 teams – seven each in the American and National Football Conferences – will make the postseason. The top 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. Since 1990 – a streak of 31 consecutive seasons – at least four new teams have qualified for the playoffs that missed the postseason the year before, including seven of the 14 playoff teams in 2020. 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 2021 season will feature six games, starting on Saturday, January 15. Wild Card Weekend winners join the top seeds in each conference in the Divisional Playoffs on Saturday and Sunday, January 22-23. The AFC and NFC Championship Games, presented by Intuit TurboTax Live, will be played on Sunday, January 30. The winners meet two weeks later on Sunday, February 13, in Super Bowl LVI at Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium (NBC), marking the first time the league’s final game is played in the Los Angeles area since Super Bowl XXVII in 1993.

The NFL is the only sports league that presents all regular-season and postseason games on free, over-the-air television in local markets and all postseason games are televised nationally. Westwood One will broadcast on radio all NFL primetime games, the three Thanksgiving Day games and the entire NFL playoffs. SiriusXM subscribers will have access to every live NFL game, as well as exclusive 24/7 talk channel coverage on SXM NFL Radio.

Fans can experience exciting NFL matchups 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.

2021 NFL SCHEDULE (Times listed are Eastern)

2021 NFL Regular Season Schedule (All times listed are Eastern)

WEEK 1
Thursday, September 9
Dallas at Tampa Bay, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Sunday, September 12
Philadelphia at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New York Jets at Carolina, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Minnesota at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (FOX)
San Francisco at Detroit, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Jacksonville at Houston, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Seattle at Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Arizona at Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Los Angeles Chargers at Washington, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Cleveland at Kansas City, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Miami at New England, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Green Bay at New Orleans, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Denver at New York Giants, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Chicago at Los Angeles Rams, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, September 13
Baltimore at Las Vegas, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN/ABC)

WEEK 2
Thursday, September 16
New York Giants at Washington, 8:20 p.m. (NFLN)

Sunday, September 19
ATLANTA at Tampa Bay, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
New Orleans at Carolina, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Cincinnati at Chicago, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Houston at Cleveland, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Los Angeles Rams at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Denver at Jacksonvile, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Buffalo at Miami, 1 p.m. (FOX)
New England at New York Jets, 1 p.m. (CBS)
San Francisco at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Las Vegas at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Minnesota at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Dallasat Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Tennessee at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Kansas City at Baltimore, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, September 20
Detroit at Green Bay, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 3
Thursday, September 23
Carolina at Houston, 8:20 p.m. (NFLN)

Sunday, September 26
ATLANTA at New York Giants, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Washington at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Chicago at Cleveland, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Baltimore at Detroit, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Arizona at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New Orleans at New England, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New York Jets at Denver, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Miami at Las Vegas, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Tampa Bay at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Seattle at Minnesota, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Green Bay at San Francisco, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, September 27
Philadelphia at Dallas, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 4
Thursday, September 30
Jacksonville at Cincinnati, 8:20 p.m. (NFLN)

Sunday, October 3
Washington at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Houston at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Detroit at Chicago, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Carolina at Dallas, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Indianapolis at Miami, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Cleveland at Minnesota, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New York Giants at New Orleans, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Tennessee at New York Jets, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Kansas City at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Arizona at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Seattle at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Baltimore at Denver, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Pittsburgh at Green Bay, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Tampa Bay at New England, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, October 4
Las Vegas at Los Angeles Chargers, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 5
Thursday, October 7
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle, 8:20 p.m. (FOX, NFLN and AMAZON)

Sunday, Oct. 10
New York Jets at ATLANTA (London), 9:30 a.m. (NFLN)
Philadelphia at Carolina, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Green Bay at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (FOX)
New England at Houston, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Tennessee at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Detroit at Minnesota, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Denver at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Miami at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New Orleans at Washington, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Cleveland at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Chicago at Las Vegas, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
San Francisco at Arizona, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
New York Giants at Dallas, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Buffalo at Kansas City, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, October 11
Indianapolis at Baltimore, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 6
Thursday, October 14
Tampa Bay at Philadelphia, 8:20 p.m. (FOX, NFLN and AMAZON)

Sunday, October 17
Miami at Jacksonville (London), 9:30 a.m. (CBS)
Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Minnesota at Carolina 1 p.m. (FOX)
Green Bay at Chicago, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Cincinnati at Detroit, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Houston at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Kansas City at Washington, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Arizona at Cleveland, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Las Vegas at Denver, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Dallas at New England, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Seattle at Pittsburgh, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, October 18
Buffalo at Tennessee, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 7
Thursday, October 21
Denver at Cleveland, 8:20 p.m. (FOX, NFLN and AMAZON)

Sunday, October 24
ATLANTA at Miami, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Cincinnati at Baltimore, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Washington at Green Bay, 1 p.m. (FOX)
New York Jets at New England, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Carolina at New York Giants, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Kansas City at Tennessee, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Detroit at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Philadelphia at Las Vegas, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Houston at Arizona, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Chicago at Tampa Bay, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Indianapolis at San Francisco, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, October 25
New Orleans at Seattle, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 8
Thursday, October 28
Green Bay at Arizona, 8:20 p.m. (FOX, NFLN and AMAZON)

Sunday, October 31
Carolina at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Miamiat Buffalo, 1 p.m. (CBS)
San Francisco at Chicago, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Pittsburgh at Cleveland, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Philadelphia at Detroit, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Los Angeles Rams at Houston, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Tennessee at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Cincinnati at New York Jets, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New England at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Jacksonville at Seattle, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Washington at Denver, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Tampa Bay at New Orleans, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Dallas at Minnesota, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, November 1
New York Giants at Kansas City, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 9
Thursday, November 4
New York Jets at Indianapolis, 8:20 p.m. (FOX, NFLN and AMAZON)

Sunday, November 7
ATLANTA at New Orleans, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Minnesota at Baltimore, 1 p.m. (FOX)
New England at Carolina, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Cleveland at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Denver at Dallas, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Buffalo at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Houston at Miami, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Las Vegas at New York Giants, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Los Angeles Chargers at Philadelphia, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Green Bay at Kansas City, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Arizona at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Tennessee at Los Angeles Rams, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, November 8
Chicago at Pittsburgh, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 10
Thursday, November 11
Baltimore at Miami, 8:20 p.m. (FOX, NFLN and AMAZON)

Sunday, November 14
ATLANTA at Dallas, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Jacksonville at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Cleveland at New England, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Buffalo at New York Jets, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Detroit Lions at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. (FOX)
New Orleans at Tennessee, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Tampa Bay at Washington, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Carolina at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Minnesota at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Philadelphia at Denver, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Seattle at Green Bay, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Kansas City at Las Vegas, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, November 15
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 11
Thursday, November 18
New England at ATLANTA, 8:20 p.m. (FOX, NFLN and AMAZON)

Sunday, November 21
Indianapolis at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Washington at Carolina, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Baltimore at Chicago, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Detroit at Cleveland, 1 p.m. (FOX)
San Francisco at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Green Bay at Minnesota, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Miami at New York Jets, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New Orleans at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Houston at Tennessee, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Cincinnati at Las Vegas, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Dallas at Kansas City, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Arizona at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Pittsburgh at Los Angeles Chargers, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, November 22
New York Giants at Tampa Bay, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 12
Thursday, November 25
Chicago at Detroit, 12:30 p.m. (FOX)
Las Vegas at Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m. (CBS)
Buffalo at New Orleans, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Sunday, November 28
ATLANTA at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New York Jets at Houston, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Tampa Bay at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Carolina at Miami, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Tennessee at New England, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Philadelphia at New York Giants, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Minnesota at San Francisco, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Cleveland at Baltimore, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, November 29
Seattle at Washington, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 13
Thursday, December 2
Dallas at New Orleans, 8:20 p.m. (FOX, NFLN and AMAZON)

Sunday, December 5
Tampa Bay at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Arizonaat Chicago, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Minnesota at Detroit, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Indianapolis at Houston, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Denver Broncos at Kansas City, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New York Giants at Miami, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Philadelphia at New York Jets, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Washington at Las Vegas, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Jacksonville at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
San Francisco at Seattle, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, December 6
New England at Buffalo, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 14
Thursday, December 9
Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota, 8:20 p.m. (FOX, NFLN and AMAZON)

Sunday, December 12
ATLANTA at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. (FOX)
San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. CBS)
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New Orleans Saints at New York Jets, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
New York Giants at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, December 13, 2021
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 15
Thursday, December 16
Kansas City at Los Angeles Chargers, 8:20 p.m. (FOX, NFLN and AMAZON)

Saturday, Dec. 18
TBD, 4:30 p.m. (NFLN)
TBD, 8:15 p.m. (NFLN)

Saturday/Sunday TBD
Carolina at Buffalo, TBD
Las Vegas at Cleveland, TBD
New England at Indianapolis, TBD
New York Jets at Miami, TBD
Washington at Philadelphia, TBD

Sunday, December 19
ATLANTA at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Green Bay at Baltimore, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Arizona at Detroit, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Houston at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Dallas at New York Giants, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Tennessee at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Cincinnati Bengals at Denver, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
New Orleans at Tampa Bay, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, December 20
Minnesota at Chicago, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 16
Thursday, December 23
San Francisco at Tennessee, 8:20 p.m. (NFLN)

Saturday, December 25
Cleveland at Green Bay, 4:30 p.m., (FOX, NFLN and AMAZON)
Indianapolis at Arizona, 8:15 p.m. (NFLN)

Sunday, December 26
Detroit at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Tampa Bay at Carolina, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Baltimore at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Los Angeles Chargers at Houston, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Buffalo at New England, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Jacksonville at New York Jets, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New York Giants at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Chicago at Seattle, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)
Pittsburgh at Kansas City, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Denverat Las Vegas, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Washington at Dallas, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, December 27
Miami at New Orleans, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 17
Sunday, January 2
ATLANTA at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (FOX)
New York Giants at Chicago, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Kansas City at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Arizona at Dallas, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Las Vegas at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Jacksonville at New England, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Carolina at New Orleans, 1 p.m (FOX)
Tampa Bay at New York Jets, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Miami at Tennessee, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Philadelphia at Washington, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Denver at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Houston at San Francisco, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Los Angeles Rams at Baltimore, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Detroit at Seattle, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Minnesota at Green Bay, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, January 3
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

WEEK 18
Saturday, January 8
TBD, 4:30 p.m (ESPN/ABC)
TBD, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN/ABC)

Sunday, January 9
New Orleans at ATLANTA, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Pittsburgh at Baltimore, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New York Jets at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Cincinnati at Cleveland, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Green Bay at Detroi, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Tennessee at Houston, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Indianapolis at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. (CBS)
New England at Miami, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Chicago at Minnesota, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Washington at New York Giants, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Dallas at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Carolina at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. (FOX)
Seattle at Arizona, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Kansas City at Denver, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)
Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
TBD, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)