Archives for posts with tag: NFC West

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.

San Francisco (2-2) at Arizona (4-0), 4:25 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 715. The last unbeaten team in the NFL plays host to divisional rival San Francisco as Arizona welcomes the 49ers to State Farm Stadium in Glendale.

Seattle broke a 7-7 halftime tie at Santa Clara against San Francisco, then held off a late 49ers rally to leave Levis Stadium 28-21 winners. The Seahawks took a 21-13 lead with them into the final 15 minutes of play before the 49ers chipped away with 80 seconds left in regulation when WR Deebo Samuel and QB Trey Lance connected on an 8-yard TD toss and a two-point conversion by Lance. San Francisco then tried an onside kick, which the Seahawks recovered and ran out the clock to take the win.

San Francisco out-rushed Seattle 143-105 with Trey Sermon leading the way with 89 yards on the ground. Lance, taking over for Jimmy Garoppolo (165 yards, TD, sack, interception) threw for 157 yards and the TD to Samuel and was sacked twice, while Russell Wilson threw for 149 yards, with TD to D.J. Metcalf and Chris Carson and three sacks (neither Lance or Wilson threw an interception). Third down conversions were nothing to write home about Sunday (Seattle was 2 of 10, San Francisco was 2 of 14 with the 49ers going 3 of 4 on fourth downs) and the 49ers ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 31:40, while the Seahawks held on to the ball for 28:20.

Arizona remained unbeaten as the Desert Angry Birds and Murray erased a 10-7 first quarter deficit to beat the Los Angeles Rams 37-20 in Inglewood. Los Angeles trailed 24-13 at the break, then watched as Arizona outscored them in the second half to take the win. Arizona outrushed the Rams 216-121 with Cardinals RB Chase Edmonds leading all rushers with 120 yards while Daniel Henderson led the Rams with 89 yards. Stafford threw for 280 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Henderson, the other to Van Jefferson) with an interception, while Murray threw for 268 yards with TD passes to A.J. Green and Maxx Wiliams and was sacked three times but did not throw an interception. Los Angeles was 6 for 11 on third down tries (0 for 1 on fourth down) and the Rams kept the ball for 24:50, while the Desert Angry Birds kept the ball in their nest for 35:10, going 8 of 13 on third down.

San Francisco leads the series 32-27 (including games played in St. Louis, Keezar Stadium and Candlestick Park) and have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 1,341-1,210. They met twice last year and split the contests, each winning on the road.

The first meeting was in Santa Clara in week one and the San Francisco let a 13-10 lead against Arizona get away from them at Levis Stadium as the Desert Angry Birds left Santa Clara 24-20 winners. Arizona would use a pair of rushing TDs in the fourth quarter, including the game winner with 5:03 left in regulation when RB Kenyan Drake scored from a yard out. San Francisco would later have four chances to take the lead back in front of the home crowd last SUnday but Jimmy Garoppolo’s fourth down try fell short. Arizona out-rushed San Francisco 180-123 and Kyler Murray (who threw for a TD and rushed for one) led all rushers with 91. Murray threw for 230 yards, despite being sacked twice and threw an interception, while Garoppolo threw for 259 yards and a pair of TDs (Garoppolo was sacked three times but did not throw an interception). San Francisco was 2 of 11 on third down (0 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 28:34, while the Desert Angry Birds kept the pigskin for 31:26, going 7 of 14 on third down tries.

Their second meeting was in week 16 on a Saturday night at State Farm Stadium and a late Arizona rally in Glendale by the Cardinals fells short as the 49ers prevailed 20-12 at State Farm Stadium. San Francisco took a 7-6 lead at the intermission in the desert, erasing a 3-0 lead by the Desert Angry Birds when C.J. Beathard and Jeff Wilson connected on a 21-yard TD toss. Beathard would connect with FB Kyle Juszczyk on the first of two second half TD tosses to lead by eight with 5:13 left in the third before the Desert Angry Birds’ Kenyan Drake scored on a 1-yard run (Arizona would miss the two-point try) to come to within two before Juszczyk would score his second TD of the day on a 1-yard run. San Francisco would then hold off Arizona in the closing seconds of their contest by forcing Kyler Murray (247 yards, three sacks, interception) to throw an incompletion on their fourth down try to end the threat.

Wilson led all rushers with 183 yards as San Francisco out-rushed Arizona 227-120 (Murray led Arizona with 75 yards) and Beathard threw for 182 yards, three sacks and the three TDs in the desert. San Francisco was 2 of 9 on third down and kept the ball for 27:44, while the Desert Angry Birds were the actual rulers of the clock, keeping the pigskin for 32:16, going 4 for 16 on third down, 4 of 6 on fourth down.

In the week one contest in Santa Clara, the 49ers were favored by 7 but Arizona would win by only 4 and the two clubs combined for 44, missing the 47 1/2 over/under. In the week 16 Saturday night contest in the desert, the Desert Angry Birds were favored by 3 1/2 and the 49ers covered, winning by 8 but the two teams missed the 40 over/under, tallying only 32 points. Vegas likes the Desert Angry Birds as 5 1/2-point favorites with a 50 over/under. San Francisco would like nothing more than knock the Cardinals out of the ranks of the unbeaten, while Arizona wants nothing to do with that plan. The 49ers make it closer than 5 1/2 but Arizona stays unbeaten for at least another week.

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.

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)

It took them a little more than a week and things were moved around. But in the end, they prevailed.

Pittsburgh is still unbeaten and the 1972 Miami Dolphins (the ones that are still living) are getting a little nervous. Week 12 was finally done Wednesday afternoon in Western Pennsylvania. The Steelers once again found success.

Speaking of success… Pro Football Hall of Famer Vince Lombardi once said there is only one way to succeed in anything and that’s to give it everything.

And as the 2020 season enters December, the time to give it everything has arrived.

Week 13 kicks off with a dozen games on Sunday, all 14 playoff berths up for grabs and memories to be made. But first, the Baltimore concluded Week 12 at Pittsburgh with the Steelers prevailing 19-14. It marked the third Wednesday NFL game since 1941. On September 5, 2012, the Dallas Cowboys defeated the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants 24-17, to kick off the season. And on September 22, 1948, the Los Angeles Rams opened their season with a 44-7 home win over the Detroit Lions.

DECEMBER CONTENDERS: Fifteen NFL teams turn the calendar with a record of .500 or better, including Baltimore (6-5), Kansas City (10-1) and New Orleans (9-2). Since 2017, those teams have consistently ranked among the best over the final quarter of the season.

The teams with the best regular-season records in December and January over the past three seasons:

TEAM (W-L-T, PCT)
Kansas City (12-3-0, .800)
Baltimore Ravens (12-4-0, .750)
Philadelphia (11-4-0, .733)
ATLANTA (10-4-0, .714)
New Orleans (9-4-0, .692)

Week 13 also presents playoff scenarios for either clinching divisions or clinching playoff spots. Take notes… this is going to cause more confusion than a mouse in a burlesque show (apologies to Foghorn Leghorn!)

Week 13 Playoff Scenarios

AFC

Kansas City (10-1) vs. Denver (4-7), Sunday, 8:20 p.m.

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title with:

Kansas City win + Las Vegas loss or tie OR
Kansas City tie + Las Vegas loss

Kansas City clinches playoff berth with:

Kansas City win OR
Kansas City tie + Baltimore loss or tie + Indianapolis loss OR
Kansas City tie + Las Vegas tie + Baltimore loss or tie + Indianapolis tie OR
Kansas City tie + Las Vegas tie + Miami loss + Indianapolis loss or tie OR
Kansas City tie + Las Vegas tie + Miami loss + Baltimore loss or tie OR
Kansas City tie + Miami loss + Baltimore loss or tie + Indianapolis tie OR
Las Vegas loss + Baltimore loss + Indianapolis loss

Pittsburgh (11-0) vs. Washington (4-7), Monday, 5 p.m.

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North division title with:

Pittsburgh win + Cleveland loss + Pittsburgh clinches strength of victory tiebreaker over Cleveland

Pittsburgh clinches playoff berth with:

Pittsburgh win or tie OR
Las Vegas loss or tie OR
Miami loss or tie OR
Indianapolis loss or tie

NFC

New Orleans (9-2) at ATLANTA (4-7), Sunday, 1 p.m.

New Orleans clinches playoff berth with:

New Orleans win + Chicago loss or tie OR
New Orleans tie + Chicago loss + Minnesota loss + San Francisco loss or tie OR
New Orleans tie + Chicago loss + Minnesota loss + Arizona loss or tie

STRENGTH VS. STRENGTH: In a battle of 8-3 teams in the AFC, Cleveland travels to meet Tennessee on Sunday. The Browns are off to their best start since they were also 8-3 in 1994, while the Titans have their best record through 11 games since they were 10-1 in 2008.

Cleveland, which boasts the league’s top rushing offense (161.4 yards per game), faces the Titans’ Derrick Henry, who leads the NFL with 1,257 rushing yards.

In fact, the contest will feature three of the NFL’s nine leading rushers, including the Browns’ Nick Chubb (719 rushing yards, tied for sixth) and Kareem Hunt (706, ninth). The Cleveland duo is on pace to become the first pair of Browns players to each top 1,000 rushing yards in the same season since Earnest Byner (1,002) and Kevin Mack (1,104) in 1985. Henry, who paced the NFL with 1,540 rushing yards in 2019, seeks to become the first player to lead the league in rushing yards in consecutive seasons since Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006-07.

Last week, Henry rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns in the Titans’ 45-26 win at Indianapolis. Henry is the fourth player in NFL history with three games of at least 175 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns in his first five seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown (five games) and LaDainian Tomlinson (three), as well as Adrian Peterson (three). The Titans have the league’s fewest giveaways this season with five.

MAHOMES, HILL BACK IN PRIMETIME: Kansas City returns to the Show-Me State to take on the Denver Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs have won 19 of their last 20 games, including the postseason.

Last week in a win at Tampa Bay, Patrick Mahomes became the first player with at least 30 completions and 300 passing yards in four consecutive games in league annals. He completed 37 of 49 attempts (75.5 percent) for 462 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 124.7 rating in the victory.

Mahomes has five career games with at least 400 passing yards and three touchdowns, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (six games) as the only players with at least five such games in their first four seasons in league annals. Mahomes also has 15 career games with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer DanMarino (15 games) for the second-most such games by a player in his first four seasons in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (17 games) has more.

Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill had a career-high 13 receptions for a career-best 269 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday. Hill had 203 receiving yards in the first quarter and became the third player since 1980 with at least 200 receiving yards in a single quarter, joining Qadry Ismail (210 receiving yards in third quarter on December 12, 1999) and Lee Evans (205 in first quarter on November 19, 2006).

Hill, who had 10 receptions for 215 yards and two touchdowns in Week 11 of the 2018 season, is the sixth player with two career games of at least 10 receptions, 200 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns in NFL history, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Don Hutson and Jerry Rice, as well as Amari Cooper, Chad Johnson and Art Powell.

SAINTS, NFL TEAMS WINNING ON ROAD: Two of the league’s hottest teams meet at Mercedes-Benz Stadium when Atlanta hosts New Orleans Sunday afternoon. New Orleans has won eight straight games while the Falcons have won four of their last six under coach Raheem Morris.

On the road, New Orleans is 4-1 this season and, over a longer stretch, is 17-3 over its last 20 road games. In a trend that started last season, road teams are winning more often. Last year, road teams were 123-132-1 (.482), the NFL’s best single-season mark since 1972 (87-90-5, .492). This year with one game remaining in Week 12, road teams are 85-90-1 (.489).
Last week at Denver, New Orleans quarterback Taysom Hill rushed for two touchdowns in the Saints’ win. Hill, who had two rushing touchdowns in his first career start at quarterback in Week 11, is the second player with at least two rushing touchdowns in each of his first two career starts at quarterback in the Super Bowl era, joining Eric Hipple (1981).
New Orleans has the NFL’s No. 1-ranked defense, allowing 284.9 yards per game. The Saints have allowed fewer than 10 points in three of their past four games.

HOPE FOR THE STRETCH RUN: In 15 of the past 17 seasons, at least one team has won its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. Of the 48 teams in league history to go from “worst-to-first,” 25 of them have done so in the past 17 years (2003-19), including an NFL-record three such teams in 2005 and 2006. Two teams during that span, the 2009 New Orleans Saints and the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles, won the Super Bowl after finishing in last place in their divisions the season before.

One of the teams with an opportunity to advance from last to first in its division is Miami (7-4), who hosts Cincinnati Sunday afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium. Miami ranks fifth in the NFL with a plus-six turnover ratio. Cornerback Xavien Howard leads the NFL with seven interceptions, while defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah is tied for seventh with eight sacks.
In 14 of the past 16 seasons, at least one team with a losing record after 11 games has qualified for the playoffs. Last week, three teams – Minnesota, New England and San Francisco – each won close games to improve to 5-6 on the season.

The teams with a losing record after 11 games that advanced to the playoffs, since 2004:

YEAR – TEAM (W-L-T)
2019 – Philadelphia (5-6-0)
2018 – Philadelphia (5-6-0)
2016 – Green Bay (5-6-0)
2015 – Washington (5-6-0)
2014 – Carolina (3-7-1)
2013 – San Diego Chargers (5-6-0)
2012 – Washington (5-6-0)
2010 – Seattle (5-6-0)
2009 – New York Jets (5-6-0)
2008 – San Diego Chargers (4-7-0)
2007 – Washington (5-6-0)
2006 – Philadelphia (5-6-0)
2005 – Washington (5-6-0)
2004 – St. Louis Rams (5-6-0)

EVERY NFC WEST TEAM IN PLAYOFF HUNT: Sunday features a key NFC West matchup at State Farm Stadium when the Los Angeles Rams travel to play Arizona in Glendale.

Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald has recaptured the NFL lead with 10 sacks, having reached double figures in sacks for a fourth consecutive season. In his past four games at Arizona, Donald has eight combined sacks. He also aims for his fifth in a row at State Farm Stadium with 1.5-or-more sacks.

Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has 195 receptions against both the Rams and Seahawks. No other player in NFL history has more catches against a single opponent.

DK TOPS 1K: Second-year wide receiver D.K. Metcalf, who had 10 catches for a career-high 177 yards in Seattle’s Week 12 win, has captured the NFL lead with 1,039 receiving yards. He has five games of at least 100 receiving yards this season, tied for most in the league. Metcalf and Seattle hosts the New York Giants, who’ve won three straight games, on Sunday.

Thanks in part to Metcalf’s nine touchdown receptions, the Seahawks rank third in the NFL with 31.0 points per game.
This year, the highest-scoring season on record through 12 weeks (with one game to play), the NFL already has 1,001 touchdowns, with No. 1,000 coming in Seattle’s Week 12 win at Philadelphia.

The fastest the NFL had reached 1,000 touchdowns in any previous season was Week 13, in both 2015 and 2018. The single-season league record is 1,371 touchdowns, in 2018.

The seasons with the most total points and most touchdowns scored through 12 weeks in NFL history:

YEAR – TOTAL POINTS
2020 – 8,738*
2018 – 8,502
2013 – 8,201
2016 – 8,119
2012 – 8,109

YEAR – TOUCHDOWNS
2020 – 1,001*
2018 – 980
2016 – 913
2014 – 911
2013 – 909
*One game remaining in Week 12

Leaves continue to fall, the weather’s getting a little colder, days are getting a little longer and there’s still football to be played. Nothing’s been decided as of yet, so there’s hope for some teams (unless you’re a Jets’ fan). When the 2020 NFL season ends January 3, 14 of the 32 teams will make post-season plans, while the other 18 will be on the outside looking in, clearing out lockers, hiring new coaches and prepare for the 2021 Combine and Draft. 12 weeks down. 5 weeks to go. In the craziness that is the 2020 National Football League season, there have been some pretty good games played and some that left you thinking “why are they even on the field?”

BILLS, NINERS IN ACTION MONDAY NIGHT: Two playoff hopefuls engage in an intriguing matchup Monday night when the Buffalo travels to Glendale to play San Francisco at Arizona’s State Farm Stadium.

Guided by defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, San Francisco’s defense ranks fourth in the NFL in pass defense (206.5 yards allowed per game) and sixth in total defense (315.2 yards allowed per game).

Last week, Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen recorded his 15th career game with both a passing touchdown and rushing touchdown in the Bills’ win. Allen joined Cam Newton (20 games) as the only players with at least 15 games with both a passing and rushing touchdown in their first three seasons in NFL history.

DOUBLE-DIGIT COMEBACKS EVERY WEEK: Minnesota, who overcame an 11-point deficit to win last week, hosts Jacksonville on Sunday in the Twin Cities.

With one game remaining in Week 12, there have been 35 games in which a team has overcome a deficit of at least 10 points to win this season, the most through Week 12 in NFL history.

Last week, Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins passed for 307 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 115.7 rating. Cousins has 16 career games with at least 300 passing yards, three touchdown passes and a rating of 115-or-higher, surpassing Drew Brees (15 games) and Aaron Rodgers (15) for the most such games by a quarterback in his first nine seasons in NFL history.

Four Minnesota players – Chad Bebee (seven receptions for 63 yards and one touchdown), Justin Jefferson (seven receptions for 70 yards and two touchdowns), Bisi Johnson (seven receptions for 74 yards) and Kyle Rudolph (seven receptions for 68 yards) – each had at least seven receptions and 60 receiving yards in last week’s win. Before last week, only one team in NFL history – the 2012 New Orleans (Week 16) – had four players each register at least seven receptions and 60 receiving yards in the same game.

Jacksonville rookie running back James Robinson totaled a career-high 159 scrimmage yards (128 rushing, 31 receiving) and a rushing touchdown last week. Robinson has six games with at least 100 scrimmage yards this season, tied with Phillip Lindsay (six games in 2018) for the second-most by an undrafted rookie in the common-draft era. Only Clark Gaines (seven games in 1976) has more. Robinson has 1,170 scrimmage yards this season, the third-most by an undrafted rookie in the common-draft era. Only Dominic Rhodes (1,328 scrimmage yards in 2001) and Phillip Lindsay (1,278 in 2018) have more.

HERBERT WITHIN REACH OF HISTORY: When New England travels to the West Coast to meet the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Chargers quarterback Justin Hebert has an opportunity to reach seven 300-yard passing games and establish the NFL’s rookie record. Herbert, who passed for 316 yards and a touchdown last week, is tied with Andrew Luck, who had six such games in 2012, for the most by a rookie in NFL history.

Herbert has 3,015 passing yards this season and joined Patrick Mahomes (3,185 passing yards) as the only players in league annals with at least 3,000 passing yards in their first 10 career games. The Chargers have the league’s third-ranked offense, averaging 397.8 yards per game.

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY: A look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, November 29, the 12th week of the 2020 season.

Minnesota overcame an 11-point deficit to defeat Carolina 28-27 in the Twin Cities, while New England overcame a 10-point deficit to defeat Arizona, 20-17 in Foxboro on Sunday.

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 37 of 49 attempts (75.5 percent) for 462 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 124.7 rating in the Chiefs’ 27-24 win over Tampa Bay. Mahomes is the first player with at least 30 completions and 300 passing yards in four consecutive games in league annals.

Mahomes has five career games with at least 400 passing yards and three touchdowns, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (six games) as the only players with at least five such games in their first four seasons in league annals. Mahomes has 15 career games with at least 300 passing yards and three touchdowns, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (15 games) for the second-most such games by a player in his first four seasons in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (17 games) has more.

Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill had a career-high 13 receptions for a career-best 269 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday. Hill had 203 receiving yards in the first quarter and became the third player since 1980 with at least 200 receiving yards in a single quarter, joining Qadry Ismail (210 receiving yards in third quarter on December 12, 1999) and Lee Evans (205 in first quarter on November 19, 2006).

Hill, who had 10 receptions for 215 yards and two touchdowns in Week 11 of the 2018 season, is the sixth player with two career games of 10 receptions, 200 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns in NFL history, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Don Hutsoon and Jerry Rice, as well as Amari Cooper, Chad Johnson and Art Powell.

Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady passed for 345 yards and three touchdowns in Week 12. Brady, who has 3,300 passing yards this season, has 18 career seasons with at least 3,000 passing yards, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Farve (18 seasons) for the most in NFL history.

Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins passed for 307 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 115.7 rating on Sunday. Cousins has 16 career games with at least 300 passing yards, three touchdown passes and a rating of 115-or-higher, surpassing Drew Brees (15 games) and Aaron Rodgers (15) for the most such games by a quarterback in his first nine seasons in NFL history.

Four Minnesota players – wide receivers Chad Beebe (seven receptions for 63 yards and one touchdown), Justin Jefferson (seven receptions for 70 yards and two touchdowns) and Bisi Johnson (seven receptions for 74 yards) along with tight end Kyle Rudolph (seven receptions for 68 yards) – each had at least seven receptions and 60 receiving yards on Sunday.

It marks the second time in NFL history that one team had four receivers each register at least seven receptions and 60 receiving yards in the same game, joining the 2012 New Orleans Saints (Week 16).

Carolina rookie safety Jeremy Chinn recorded two fumble-return touchdowns on Sunday. He is the third player in NFL history with multiple fumble-return touchdowns in a single game, joining Al Nesser (three on October 3, 1920) and Fred Evans (two on November 28, 1948).

Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen recorded his 15th career game with both a passing touchdown and rushing touchdown in the Bills’ 27-17 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. Allen joins Cam Newton (20 games) as the only players with at least 15 games with both a passing and rushing touchdown in their first three seasons in NFL history.

Appearing in his 10th career game, Los Angeles Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert passed for 316 yards and one touchdown in Week 12. Herbert has six games with at least 300 passing yards this season, tied with Andrew Luck (six games in 2012) for the most such games by a rookie quarterback in NFL history.

Herbert has 3,015 passing yards this season and joins Patrick Mahomes (3,185 passing yards) as the only players in league annals with at least 3,000 passing yards in their first 10 career games.

New Orleans quarterback Taysom Hill rushed for two touchdowns in the Saints’ 31-3 win at Denver. Hill, who had two rushing touchdowns in his first career start at quarterback in Week 11, is the second player with at least two rushing touchdowns in each of his first two career starts at quarterback in the Super Bowl era, joining Eroc Hipple (1981).

Tennessee running back Derrick Henry rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns in the Titans’ 45-26 win at Indianapolis. Henry is the fourth player in NFL history with three games with at least 175 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns in their first five seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Jim Brown (five games) and LaDainian Tomlinson (three), as well as Adrian Peterson (three). Henry has recorded at least 100 rushing yards in eight consecutive road games, tied with Chris Johnson (eight games from 2009-10) for the second-longest such streak in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer Barry Sanders (10 games from 1996-97) has a longer streak.

Jacksonville rookie running back James Robinson totaled a career-high 159 scrimmage yards (128 rushing, 31 receiving) and a rushing touchdown on Sunday against Cleveland. Robinson has six games with at least 100 scrimmage yards this season, tied with Phillip Lindsay (six games in 2018) for the second-most by an undrafted rookie in the common-draft era. Only Clark Gaines (seven games in 1976) has more.

Robinson has 1,170 scrimmage yards this season, the third-most by an undrafted rookie in the common-draft era. Only Dominic Rhodes (1,328 scrimmage yards in 2001) and Phillip Lindsay (1,278 in 2018) have more.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN WEEK 13

AAR RAID: Last week, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers passed for 211 yards and four touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 132.3 passer rating, his fifth game with at least four touchdown passes this season, the most in the NFL. He leads the league with 33 touchdown passes and a 117.6 rating. With two touchdown passes on Sunday against Philadelphia, Rodgers can become the first player in NFL history to record five seasons with at least 35 touchdown passes. He also accomplished the feat in 2016 (40 touchdown passes), 2014 (38), 2012 (39) and 2011 (45).

The players with the most seasons of at least 35 touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS(SEASONS WITH 35+ TD PASSES)
Tom Brady – New England (4)
Drew Brees – New Orleans (4)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (4)
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay (4)*
*Has 33 touchdown passes in 2020

In his 16-year career, Rodgers has totaled 50,046 passing yards and 397 touchdown passes and last week became the 11th player in league history to pass for at least 50,000 yards. With three touchdown passes on Sunday, Rodgers – appearing in his 193rd career game – can become the seventh player in NFL history to reach 400 career touchdown passes and the fastest to reach the mark.

The players to reach 400 career touchdown passes in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER – TEAMS (GAMES TO 400 TD PASSES)
Drew Brees – San Diego and New Orleans (205)
Peyton Manning – Indianapolis and Denver (209)
Tom Brady – New England (212)
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay (192)*
*Has 397 career touchdown passes

Rodgers’ top target, wide receiver Davante Adams, enters Week 13 with 11 touchdown receptions, tied for the second-most in the NFL. He has recorded at least five receptions and a touchdown catch in six consecutive games. With five receptions and a touchdown catch on Sunday against Philadelphia, Adams would become the third player with at least five receptions and a touchdown catch in seven consecutive games within a single season in NFL history, joining Antonio Brown (eight games in 2018) and Pro Football Hall of Famer TERRELL OWENS (seven games in 2007).

The players with the most consecutive games with at least five receptions and a touchdown catch within a single season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES)

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (2018 – 8)
Terrell Owens, Dallas (2007 – 7) HOF
Davante Adams, Green Bay (2020 – 6)*
*Active streak

MAGICAL MAHOMES: Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes leads the league with 3,497 passing yards and ranks third with 30 touchdown passes, while only throwing two interceptions this season. He is the third player in league history to throw his 30th touchdown pass of the season before throwing his third interception, joining Tom Brady (2007) and Drew Brees (2018).

Last week, Mahomes passed for 462 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions for a 124.7 rating, becoming the first player with at least 30 completions and 300 passing yards in four consecutive games in league annals. With at least 325 passing yards against Denver Sunday night, Mahomes can become the fourth quarterback with at least 325 passing yards in five consecutive games in NFL history.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least 325 passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES)
Rich Gannon – Oakland (2002 – 6)
Drew Brees – New Orleans (2011 – 5)
Kurt Warner, Arizona (2008 – 5) HOF
Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams (2000 – 5) HOF
Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (2020 – 4)*
*Active streak

TYREEK’S TOUCHDOWNS: Last week, Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill had a career-high 13 receptions for a career-best 269 yards and three touchdowns. He leads the league with 13 touchdown receptions and has recorded a touchdown in 10 of 11 games this season. With a touchdown against Denver Sunday night, Hill can become the fourth wide receiver in NFL history with a touchdown in 11 of his team’s first 12 games of a season.

The wide receivers with a touchdown in 11 of their team’s first 12 games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – GAMES)
Elroy Hirsch, Los Angeles Rams (1951 – 11) HOF
Carl Pickens, Cincinnati (1995 – 11)
Jerry Rice, San Francisco (1989 – 11) HOF
Tyreek Hill, Kansas City (2020 – 10)*

*Has touchdown in 10 of first 11 games this season​

Hill has recorded at least 10 receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown in each of his past two games and can become the third player to do so in three consecutive games in NFL history, joining Keenan Allen (three games in 2017) and Michael Thomas (three games in 2019).

KELCE’S KINGDOM: Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce leads all tight ends with 74 catches and 978 receiving yards this season, while tying for the lead with seven touchdown receptions. Kelce, who has had at least 80 receptions in each of the past four seasons, needs six catches against Denver Sunday night to join Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez (eight seasons) and Jason Witten (six) as the only tight ends with five career seasons of 80-or-more receptions. Kelce would be the first tight end with at least 80 receptions in five consecutive seasons.

He also had at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of the past four seasons and needs 22 receiving yards to become the first tight end in league annals with five career 1,000-yard seasons.

NOT DRAFTED? NOT A PROBLEM: Jacksonville running back James Robinson leads all rookies and ranks third in the NFL with 890 rushing yards this season. With 110 rushing yards at Minnesota on Sunday, Robinson can become the fourth undrafted rookie to record 1,000 rushing yards in the common-draft era.

The undrafted rookies with the most rushing yards since 1967:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RUSHING YARDS)
Dominic Rhodes, Indianapolis (2001 – 1,104)
Phillip Lindsay, Denver (2018 – 1,037)
LeGarrette Blount, Tampa Bay (2010 – 1,007)
James Robinson, Jacksonville (2020 – 890)*
*Entering Week 13

Robinson also leads all rookies with 1,170 scrimmage yards this season, the third-most by an undrafted rookie in the common-draft era. With at least 100 scrimmage yards on Sunday, Robinson – who has six games with at least 100 scrimmage yards this season – can tie Clark Gaines (seven games in 1976) for the most such games by an undrafted rookie in the common-draft era.

1K IN A HURRY: Minnesota wide receiver Justin Jefferson leads all rookies with 918 receiving yards, while ranking second with both 52 receptions and six touchdown catches. With 82 receiving yards against Jacksonville on Sunday, Jefferson can become the fifth rookie to reach 1,000 receiving yards in his first 12 career games in the Super Bowl era.

The rookies with the most receiving yards in their first 12 career games in the Super Bowl era:

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – RECEIVING YARDS)
Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants (2014 – 1,305)
Anquan Boldin, Arizona (2003 – 1,032)
Randy Moss, Minnesota (1998 – 1,014) HOF
Marques Colston, New Orleans (2006 – 1,001)
Justin Jefferson, Minnesota (2020 – 918)*
*in 11 career games

JAMAL DOES IT ALL: Seattle safety Jamal Adams – who leads all defensive backs with 6.5 sacks this season and had 6.5 sacks in 2019 – is the first defensive back to record at least six sacks in consecutive seasons since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic. With a half sack on Sunday against the New York Giants, Adams can become the fourth defensive back to record at least seven sacks in a single season since 1982.

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

PLAYER, TEAM (SEASON – SACKS)
Adrian Wilson, Arizona (2005 – 8)
Roman Harper, New Orleans (2011 – 7.5)
Dave Duerson, Chicago (1986 – 7)
Jamal Adams, Seattle (2020 – 6.5)*
Jamal Adams, New York Jets (2019 – 6.5)
LeRoy Butler, Green Bay (1996 – 6.5)
*Entering Week 13

Week 13 gets underway in the Big Peach as Atlanta and Matt Ryan host the New Orleans Saints in an NFC South showdown and ends in Charm City Tuesday night as the Ravens host Dallas. There were no byes last week and the final byes of the 2020 season go to Carolina and Tampa Bay. As for last week, 13-3… the best.week.ever. For the year… 111-46. There’s 15 games on the docket this week and the Panthers and Buccaneers return to action next week. Here are the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday picks for week 13.

New Orleans (9-2) at ATLANTA (4-7), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 710. They meet AGAIN, this time in the Peach State. New Orleans, winners of seven in a row, travel to the Big Peach for an early afternoon showdown with Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. Both teams were winners in their Sunday afternoon contests.

The Saints manhandled a short-handed Denver Broncos team that wound up using WR Kendall Hinton as a backup QB after Neil Reily, Jeff Driscoll, Drew Lock and Brett Rypien were all out because of COVID, taking down the shorthanded Broncos 31-3 Empower Field at Mile High. After a scoreless first quarter, New Orleans would take a 17-0 lead with them to the intermission, then outscored the Broncos 14-3 in the final 30 minutes of play, holding Denver to a Brad McManus field goal in the third quarter.

New Orleans out-rushed Denver 229-100 with Latavius Murray leading all rushers with 124 yards and a pair of TDs and Hill (taking over for Drew Brees) threw for 78 yards, while Hinton (1 for 9) threw for 13 yards with a sack and a pair of interceptions.

Atlanta held Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders to a pair of Daniel Carlson field goals as they came away 43-6 winners at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Atlanta, using five Younghoe Koo field goals, led 16-3 at the break, then floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of action, outscoring the Silver and Black 27-3, with a 67-yard interception return from LB Deion Jones and a 4-yard TD toss from Ryan to WR Brandon Powell as part of that scoring frenzy.

Atlanta out-rushed Las Vegas 125-40 with Falcons RB Josh Smith leading the way with 65 yards and a TD; Ryan threw for 185 yards and a pair of TDs (including one to WR Calvin Ridley), while Carr threw for 215 yards (Carr was sacked three times, Ryan was sacked once and both men threw an interception in the contest). Atlanta was 9 for 19 on third down but had success on fourth down in their only try and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:57, while the Raiders would hold on to the pigskin for 25:03 and went 3 for 12 on third down, 1 for 2 on fourth down.

It’s a rematch of their week 11 meeting in the Big Easy that saw the Falcons let a 9-3 lead get away from them with the Saints scoring 21 points in the second half unchallenged to come away with the 24-3 win. Kamara gave the Saints the lead for good with 1:46 left before intermission on a 3-yard run. Hill would add a pair of rushing TDs in the final 30 minutes of play to take the win.

Ryan threw for 232 yards with a pair of interceptions and was ascked eight times as Atlanta was held to 52 yards rushing in the loss, while the Saints would tally 168, with Hill leading the way with 52 yards and the two TDs. Hill threw for 233 yards with no interceptions (he was sacked three times). Atlanta was a dismal 2 of 14 on third down (they were 2 of 3 on fourth down) and the Falcons would keep the ball for 26:19, while the Saints were rulers of the clock, holding on to the pigskin for 33:41, while going 4 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

In the week 11 contest in the Big Easy, the Saints were favored by 5 and covered, winning by 15 but neither club would touch the 51 over/under, as they would combine for 33 points. The boys and girls in Vegas still like the Saints but this time by 3 with a 45 1/2 over/under. The Saints have not swept Atlanta since they did in the 2018 campaign and the Falcons are NOT interested in having that happen in their building. Atlanta RISES UP to the occasion and takes the win, covering the 3.

Indianapolis (7-4) at Houston (4-7), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 705. A pair of AFC South foes meet in the Lone Star State as DeShaun Watson and the Houston Texans host Phillip Rivers and the Indianpolis Colts at NRG Stadium.

The Colts would watch Ryan Tannehill and the Tennessee Titans come into Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday afternoon and left the Hoosier State 45-26 winners, getting some measure of revenge for a loss to the Colts earlier in the season in the Music City. Tennessee led 35-14 at the break, even though the Colts would win the second half, outscorng them 12-10 in the final 30 minutes of play. Tennessee did manage to add insult to injury with 2:29 left when A.J. Brown recovered an onside kick, returning the ball 42 yard for a TD.

Tennessee out-rushed the Colts 229-56 with Derrick Henry leading the way with 178 yards and three TDs; Tannehill threw for 221 yards and a TD to Brown without an interception, while Rivers threw for 295 yards and a pair of TDs with an interception (both men were sacked once). Indy was 5 of 13 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 24:27, while the Titans were rulers of the clock, keeping the pigskin for 35:33, while going 5 for 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Watson and the Texans ruined Thanksgving Day for the Lions last Thursday afternoon in the Motor City, first taking a 41-25 win at Ford Field, then having the Lions name offensive co-ordinator Darrell Bevell interim head coach after they terminated head coach Matt Patrica (Bevell will coach the team the remainder of the season). Housston led 23-14 at the intermission, then proceeded to outscore the Lions 18-11 in the final 30 minutes of play.

Detroit did manage to out-rush Houston 109-77, with Lions RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 55 yards and a pair of TDs ; Stafford threw for 295 yards and a TD to Mohammed Sanu but was sacked four times and picked off by DT J.J. Watt, who returned the interception 19 yards for a TD, while Watson threw for 318 yards and four TDs (connecting with Will Fuller on two of the tosses; Fuller would later be suspened by the NFL for violation of the league’s drug policy) with a pair of sacks but no interceptions. Detroit was 6 of 13 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down and kept the ball for 33:44, while the Texans held on to the pigskin for 26:16, while going 3 for 9 on third down tries.

Indianpolis leads the series 27-9 and have outscored the Texans 938-720. They met twice last year, spliting the series with each team winning at home.

Meeting nunber one took place in week seven in the Hoosier State and the Colts held off a late Texans rally to come away 30-23 winners. Indy led 14-9 at the intermission and outscored Houston 16-14 in the final 30 minutes of play, with Houston coming to within 5 with 6:38 left in the contet when Waston and Hopkins connected on a 4-yard TD toss before the Colts restored some order when they sacked Texans P Bryan Anger for a safety to seasl the deal.

Houston out-rushed the Colts 100-62, with Jacoby Brissett throwing for 326 yards and four TDs (connecting with WR Zach Pascal on two of the tosses and was sacked once but did not throw an interception, while Watson threw for 317 yards and the Hopkins TD but was sacked three times and threw a pair of interceptions. Houston was 4 of 12 on third down, 1 for 3 on fourth down and they would keep the ball for 27:08, while the Colts would keep the pigskin and rule the clock, holding the ball for 32:52, going 8 of 16 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Houston would get their revenge in week 12 in the Lone Star State and it would be the Texans breaking a 10-10 tie at the intermission at NRG Stadium to take the 20-17 win. Once again, it was the Watson-Hopkins connection, as they would hook up on a 30-yard TD toss early in the final 15 minutes, erasing a 17-13 deficit.

The Colts managed to out-rush Houston 175-99, with Indy RB Jonathan Williams leading all rushers with 104 yards and a TD, while Watson threw for 298 yards and a pair of TDs (including the game-winner), while Brissett threw for 129 yards (both men were sacked once and Watson threw the game’s only interception). Both clubs did quite well on third down tries in the Lone Star State (the Colts were 9 of 15, the Texans were 6 of 12) but both teams failed on fourth down (Indy was 0 of 1, Houston was 0 of 2) and time was the ally of the Colts, who held on to the ball for 33:17 to Houston’s 26:43.

Indianapolis was favored by 1 in the week seven contest in the Hoosier State and covered, winning by 3 but their 43 combined points did not cover the 47 1/2 over/under. In the week 12 Thursday night rematch in the Lone Star State, the Texans were favored by 3 1/2 but won by only 3 and the 45 1/2 over/under was untouched, as the two teams combined for 37 points. The Colts are favored by 3 1/2 in the Lone Star State and the over/under’s 51 1/2. The winner puts themsevles a little closer to the playoff race, while the loser will be playing keep-up. Tshe Colts win in the Lone Star State and covers the 3.

Detroit (4-7) at Chicago (5-6), 1 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 711. A pair of struggling NFC North teams meet in the Windy City as Detroit and Matthew Stafford travels to Soldier Field to take on Chicago. Both teams lost in last week’s action and the Lions enter the contest with new leadership under the helm.

First, the Lions lost their Thanksgiving Day contest to DeShaun Watson and the Houston Texans 41-25 at Ford Field, then named offensive co-ordinator Darrell Bevell after they terminated head coach Matt Patrica (Bevell will coach the team the remainder of the season). Detroit could never get themselves on track in their contest, trailing 23-14 at the intermission before the Texans would go on to outscore Detroit 18-11.

Detroit did manage to out-rush Houston 109-77, with Lions RB Adrian Peterson leading the way with 55 yards and a pair of TDs ; Stafford threw for 295 yards and a TD to Mohammed Sanu but was sacked four times and picked off by DT J.J. Watt, who returned the interception 19 yards for a TD, while Watson threw for 318 yards and four TDs (connecting with Will Fuller on two of the tosses; Fuller would later be suspened by the NFL for violation of the league’s drug policy) with a pair of sacks but no interceptions. Detroit was 6 of 13 on third down, 1 of 3 on fourth down and kept the ball for 33:44, while the Texans held on to the pigskin for 26:16, while going 3 for 9 on third down tries.

Da Bears watched Aaron Rodgers and the Packers manhandle them 41-25 Sunday night at Lambeau Field. 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.

The two NFC North clubs met in the Motor City in the season opener for both clubs and Da Bears would score 21 fourth quarter points unchallenged to come away from Ford Field with the 27-23 win. Detroit led 13-6 at the intermission and took a 23-6 into the final 15 minutes of play before Chicago would chip away at the deficit and took the lead for good with 1:54 when Trubisky and WR Anthony Miller connected on a 27-yard TD. Chicago would then hold off a late Detroit rally as a pair of Stafford passes fell incomplete.

Chicago out-rushed Detroit 149-138 in the Motor City and Trubisky threw for 242 yards and three TDs (all in the fourth quarter, including the game-winner), while Stafford threw for 257 yards and a TD to T.J. Hockerson (both Trubisky and Stafford were sacked once and Stafford threw the contest’s only interception). Chicago was 2 for 11 on third down, 1 of 2 on fourth down and kept the ball for 29:05, while the Lions would actually rule the clock, keeping the pigskin for 30:55 and went 6 of 16 on third down.

In the season opener, Detroit was favored by 3 in the Motor City and Da Bears covered, winning by 4 and both teams covered the 44 1/2 over/under, tallying 50 points. This time, the Monsters of the Midway are favored by 3 with a 44 1/2 over/under. If nothing else, this might be entertaining to watch; otherwise, there’s that Christmas shopping you’ve been putting off for a while. Chicago covers the 3 in the Windy City and takes the win.

Jacksonville (1-10) at Minnesota (5-6), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 707. A pair of struggling teams meet in the Land of 10,000 Lakes as Minnesota hosts the Jacksonville Jaguars at US Bank Stadium.

Cleveland held off a late Jacksonville rally last Sunday, taking a 27-25 win over the Jaguars last Sunday in the Sunshine State. Cleveland took a 17-13 lead at the intermission at TIAA Bank Field, then held off a late Jaguar rally after Jacksonville, who would outscore the Browns 12-10 in the final 30 minutes of play, pulled themselves to within two with 2:14 left when Jaguars RB James Robinson scored on a 4-yard run (the Jaguars would miss the two-point attempt that would have tied things up). Cleveland would then get the ball and run out the clock to take the win.

Cleveland outrushed Jacksonville 207-140 with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading the way with 144 yards, while Robinson tallied 128 yards (both men had a rushing TD in the contest); Mayfield threw for 258 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Jarvis Landry), while Mike Glennon threw for 235 yards and a pair of TDs (neither man threw an interception, Mayfield was sacked twice). Cleveland was 5 of 11 on third down tries (the Browns were 1 for 2 on fourth down) and tney would rule the clock, keeping the ball for 32:41, while Jacksonville kept the pigskin for 27:19, while going 5 of 13 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down.

Minnesota rallied in the closing seconds of their contest with Carolina, coming away 28-27 winners 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 leads the series 5-1, have outscored the Jaguars 161-110 and have won the last four meetings, including a 25-16 win in the Sunshine State in 2016. Jacksonville’s lone win in the series came in 2001 in the Twin Cities as the Jaguars held Minnesota to a field goal enroute to a 33-3 win. Minnesota’s favored by 10 in the Twin Cities and the over/under’s 52. Feel free to take a pass on this one and watch that “Grumpy Cat Movie” if you wish. Minnesota wins in the Twin Cities but expect the Jaguars to make this one closer than the 9 1/2.

Cleveland (8-3) at Tennessee (8-3), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 709. A pair of 8-3 teams in the playoff hunt meet in the Music City as Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns travel to Nashville to face off against Ryan Tannehill and the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Both teams were winners on the road in their Sunday contests.

Cleveland held off a late Jacksonville rally last Sunday, taking a 27-25 win over the Jaguars last Sunday. The Browns led 17-13 at the intermission at TIAA Bank Field, then held off a late Jaguar rally after Jacksonville, who would outscore the Browns 12-10 in the final 30 minutes of play, pulled themselves to within two with 2:14 left when Jaguars RB James Robinson scored on a 4-yard run (the Jaguars would miss the two-point attempt that would have tied things up). Cleveland would then get the ball and run out the clock to take the win.

Cleveland outrushed Jacksonville 207-140 with Browns RB Nick Chubb leading the way with 144 yards, while Robinson tallied 128 yards (both men had a rushing TD in the contest); Mayfield threw for 258 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Jarvis Landry), while Mike Glennon threw for 235 yards and a pair of TDs (neither man threw an interception, Mayfield was sacked twice). Cleveland was 5 of 11 on third down tries (the Browns were 1 for 2 on fourth down) and tney would rule the clock, keeping the ball for 32:41, while Jacksonville kept the pigskin for 27:19, while going 5 of 13 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down.

The Colts would watch Tannehill and the Titans come into Lucas Oil Stadium last Sunday afternoon and left the Hoosier State 45-26 winners. Tennessee led 35-14 at the break, even though the Colts would win the second half, outscoing them 12-10 in the final 30 minutes of play but managed to add insult to injury with 2:29 left when A.J. Brown recovered an onside kick, returning the ball 42 yardd for a TD.

Tennessee out-rushed the Colts 229-56 with Derrick Henry leading the way with 178 yards and three TDs; Tannehill threw for 221 yards and a TD to Brown without an interception, while Rivers threw for 295 yards and a pair of TDs with an interception (both men were sacked once). Indy was 5 of 13 on third down (1 of 2 on fourth down) and kept the ball for 24:27, while the Titans were rulers of the clock, keeping the pigskin for 35:33, while going 5 for 12 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including contests that took place in Houston when the Titans were known as the Oilers, the Browns hold a 35-31 lead in the series but the Titans have outscored the Browns 1,309-1,300 and won the last three meetings in the series, including a 43-13 win along the shores of Lake Erie last year (Cleveland’s last win came in 2015 in the Buckeye State by a final of 28-14).

The two clubs meet at First Energy Stadium to open the 2019 campaign and the Titans trailed 6-3 after the end of the first quarter, led 12-3 at the intermission, then floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of play, using a pair of Marcus Mariota TD passes to TE Delanie Walker to seal the deal.

Tennessee out-rushed the Browns 123-102 with Henry leading all rushers with 84 yards and a TD, while Chubb led the Browns with 75 yards. Mariota threw for 248 yards and three TDs (including the two fourth quarter tosses to Walker), while Mayfield threw for 285 yards and a third-quarter TD toss to TE David Njoku. (Mariota was sacked four times, Mayfield was sacked five times and threw three interceptions). Tennessee was 2 of 10 on third down tries and kept the ball for 29:18, while the Browns actually ruled the clock, keeping the pigskin for 30:42, while going 1 of 10 and 0 of 2 on third and fourth downs.

In the week one contest, the boys and girls in Vegas liked the Browns as 5 1/2-point favorites and the Titans would easily cover, winning by 30 and both teams took care of the 44 1/2 over/under, tallying 56 points. The Titans are favored by 5 1/2 an the over/under’s 54. Both teams are trying to stay in the playoff race and for the winner, their playoff chances improve; as for the loser, a loss wouldn’t be all bad but it would make things somewhat harder. Cleveland pulls off the upset in the Music City, taking the win and covers the 5 1/2.

Las Vegas (6-5) at New York Jets (0-11), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 708. A pair of AFL/AFC rivals meet in upstate New Jersey as Las Vegas makes its second trip to the East Coast for an early afternoon (10 a.m. in Las vegas) contest with the New York Jets. Both teams were held in check last week, taking losses in the process.

The Silver and Black struggled in Atlanta last Sunday, held to a pair of Daniel Carlson field goals as they left Atlanta on the short end of a 43-6 final at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Las Vegas trailed 16-3 at the break as the Falcons got the majority of their points thanks to five Younghoe Koo field goals, then watched Atlanta go all gas, no breaks in the final 30 minutes of action, outscoring the Silver and Black 27-3, with a 67-yard interception return from LB Deion Jones and a 4-yard TD toss from Ryan to WR Brandon Powell as part of that scoring frenzy.

Atlanta out-rushed Las Vegas 125-40 with Falcons RB Josh Smith leading the way with 65 yards and a TD; Ryan threw for 185 yards and a pair of TDs (including one to WR Calvin Ridley), while Carr threw for 215 yards (Carr was sacked three times, Ryan was sacked once and both men threw an interception in the contest). Atlanta was 9 for 19 on third down but had success on fourth down in their only try and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:57, while the Raiders would hold on to the pigskin for 25:03 and went 3 for 12 on third down, 1 for 2 on fourth down.

Miami broke a 3-3 tie against the New York Jets last Sunday at Met Life Stadium, coming away 20-3 winners to give the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! their 11th loss in a row. The Dolphins would scored their final 17 points of the contest unchallenged, taking a 13-3 lead with them to the break.

GangGreen was out-rushed by Miami 104-87 with Frank Gore leading all rushers with 74 yards. Ryan Fitzpatrick, taking over for Tua Tagovailoa (thumb), haunted his former team, throwing for 257 yards and a pair of TDs without being picked off, while Sam Darnold thrw for 197 yards and had two interceptions (Fitzpatrick was sacked four time, Darnold would be sacked three times). GangGreen was 3 of 13 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down tries and they would keep the ball for 27:23, while Miami had time on their side, holding on to the pigskin for 32:37, while going 8 for 16 on third down.

Including the “Heidi” game, games played in Los Angeles and at Shea Stadium, the Silver and Black lead the series 23-18-2 and they have outscored GangGreen 1,008-952. Their last meeting? Last year in the Meadowlands and the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! would win 34-3 (the Raiders’ last win in the series came in Oakland in 2017 by a final of 45-20).

They met in usptate New Jersey in week 12 and GangGreen held the Raiders to a first-quarter field goal by Daniel Carlson, then went on to score all 34 of their points unchallenged, taking a 13-3 lead with them to the intermission. Neither club touched the 100-yard rushing barrier at MetLife Stadium but the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! did out-rush the Raiders 88-68 with LeVeon Bell leading the way with 49 yards on the ground. Darnold threw for 315 yards and a pair of TDs without an interception, while Carr threw for 127 yards and was picked off once before being replaced by Mike Glennon, who threw for 20 yards. The Raiders were 5 of 15 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 28:30, while the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were rulers of time, keeping the ball for 31:30 and went 5 of 12 on third down.

In the week 12 contest in the Meadowlands, Oakland was favored by 3 and GangGreen easily covered, winning by 31 but the 46 over/under was untouched, as the two clubs merged for 37 points. This time, Vegas is favored by 8 and the over/under’s 47 1/2. GangGreen would love nothing more than to ruin the Raiders’ hopes for a playoff spot, while the Silver and Black want to erase the memory of their loss in the Deep South out of their minds. GangGreen makes it interesting but the Raiders “just win, baby” in upstate New Jersey and could cover the 8.

Cincinnati (2-8-1) at Miami (7-4), 1 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 706. A struggling Cincinnati Bengals team makes its way to the Sunshine State to face off against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium.

A Bengals rally late in their contest with the New York Giants fell short as Daniel Jones and the Giants left Paul Brown Stadium 19-17 winners last Sunday. Tied 10-10 at the intermission, the Giants would take a 13-10 lead with them into the fourth quarter thanks to a Greg Gano field goal from 40 yards out with 8:06 left in that quarter (Gano would tie things up with 21 seconds before halftime, booting a 49-yarder). Gano would add two more field goals in the fourth before the Bengals made it a 2-point contest with 2:33 left in regulation when WR Tee Higgins and backup QB Brad Allen connected on a 1-yard TD toss. Cincinnati would get the ball back with 57 seconds left at midfield when Allen was sacked and fumbled the ball, which the Giants’ Leonard Williams recovered, ending the threat.

Cincinnati was out-rushed by Big Blue 142-40 and Allen threw for 136 yards with the Higgins TD toss, while Giants QB Daniel Jones threw for 213 yards before leaving the contest with a sprained hamstring (Colt McCoy took over for him; Allen was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Jones did not throw a pick or was sacked). The Giants were 9 of 21 on third down in the Buckeye State but found perfection on fourth down, going 3 of 3 and kept the ball for 37:26, while the Bengals, keeping the pigskin for 22:34, went 3 for 10 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down.

Miami broke a 3-3 tie against the New York Jets last Sunday at Met Life Stadium, coming away 20-3 winners to give the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! their 11th loss in a row. The Dolphins would scored their final 17 points of the contest unchallenged, taking a 13-3 lead with them to the break.

Miami out-rushed New York 104-87 with Jets RB Frank Gore leading all rushers with 74 yards. Ryan Fitzpatrick, taking over for Tua Tagovailoa (thumb), haunted his former team, throwing for 257 yards and a pair of TDs without being picked off, while Sam Darnold thrw for 197 yards and had two interceptions (Fitzpatrick was sacked four time, Darnold would be sacked three times). GangGreen was 3 of 13 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down tries and they would keep the ball for 27:23, while Miami had time on their side, holding on to the pigskin for 32:37, while going 8 for 16 on third down.

The Dolphins lead series 16-7 (which includes contests played at Riverfront Stadium and the Orange Bowl) and have outscored the Bengals 524-427. Their last meeting was last year in the Sunshine State and the Dolphins needed overtime to come away 38-35 winners (Cincinnati’s last win in the series came along the shores of the Ohio River in 2018 by a final of 27-17).

Although both teams were out of the playoff picture in their week 16 meeting at Hard Rock Stadium, the two clubs made things exciting for those in attendance. Miami led 21-3 at the break before the Bengals stormed their way back into the contest, using a pair of Andy Dalton TDs late in the final quarter (one to Tyler Eifert, the other to Tyler Boyd) to tie things up, sending the contest into overtime.

Both teams had the ball twice in the extra period but could do nothing scoring wise. The Bengals then punted the ball back to Miami with 3:19 left in overtime and the Dolphins would use all of the time remaining, using a 10-play, 51-yard drive that ended with K Jason Sanders connecting on a 37-yard field goal as time expired. Miami out-rushed Cincinnati 96-59 and Fitzpatrick threw for 419 yards, while Dalton would throw for 396 yards (both men threw four TDs, Fitzpatrick threw the game’s only interception). The Bengals were 4 of 18 on third down but 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 33:36, whilet the Dolphins kept the pigskin for 36:24 (including the final 3:19 of the overtime), while going 6 of 16 on third down.

In the week 16 contest in the Sunshine State, Miami was favored by 2 and covered, winning by 3. Both teams took care of the 46 1/2 over/under, tallying 73 points in the late-afternoon affair. Miami’s favored by 11 1/2 in this meeting with a 42 1/2 over/under. If for no other reason, this one may be interesting to watch (if you’re a Dolphins’ fan) or hard to watch if you’re a Bengals’ fan (in which case may we suggest the “Grumpy Cat Movie?”). Granted, the Bengals are bad but not 11 1/2 points bad and they’ll make things hard for Miami. Dolphins win but expect Cincinnati to make this one closer than the 11 1/2.

Los Angeles Rams (7-4) at Arizona (6-5), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 713. Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams head to the desert to face off against NFC West rival Arizona. The playoff-contenders lost in last week’s play.

The Rams watched San Francisco erase a 20-17 deficit late in the fourth quarter, using a pair of Robbie Gould field goals, including the game-winner as time expired to take a 23-20 win at SoFi Stadium last Sunday. The 49ers led 7-3 at the break, then saw the Rams chip away at that lead and would take it, leading 20-17 early in the final 30 minutes of play. Gould kicked his first of the two fourth quarter field goals with 3:11 left from 44 yards to tie things up at 20-20, then after the Rams punted the ball back to San Francisco with 2:10 left in regulation, he gave the 49ers the win as time expired. At first, the game-winning try was going to be a 47-yard try but CB Jaylen Ramsey jumped offside, which moved the ball five yards closer. Gould did not miss, connecting on a 42-yard try as time expired.

Los Angeles out-rushed San Francsico 126-115 with Rams RB Cam Akers leading all rushers with 84 yards and a TD. 49ers QB Nick Mullens burned the Rams for 252 yards, while Goff threw for 198 yards (both men were sacked twice, Mullens threw an interception, while Goff had a pair; 49ers WR Deebo Sanders led all recivers with 133 yards on 11 catches). San Francisco went 3 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 34:03 (including the final 2:10 of the contest), while the Rams were 4 of 13 on third down, keeping the ball for 25:57.

Arizona and Murray watched Cam Newton and New England come away from Gillette Stadium 20-17 winners last Sunday. Arizona led 10-7 at the intermission before New England tied the contest late in the third on a 22-yard field goal by Folk, then taking the lead with 3:30 in the third on a 1-yard run by James White before the Desert Angry Birds would tie things up again, using a 1-yard run by Kenyan Drake with 8:02 left in regulation. The two clubs then traded punts and New England would get the ball back with 1:47 left and proceeded to make their way down the field, using a 7-play, 33-yard drive that used all of the 1:47 left on the clock as Folk connected on a 50-yard field goal as time expired.

Arizona out-rushed New England 138-110 and Drake led all rushers with 78 yards and a pair of TDs; Newton threw for 170 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception, while Murray threw for 84 yards with three sacks and a pair of interceptions. New England was 4 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and the Pats kept the ball for 25:52 (including the final 1:47 of the contest), while the Desert Angry Birds would actually rule the clock, keeping the pigskin for 34:08, going 6 of 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

Including games played in Chicago, Cleveland, St. Louis (when both teams called that city home) and Phoenix, the Rams lead the series 42-38-2, have outscored the Desert Angry Birds 1,652-1,560 and have won the last six meetings, including sweeping the series last year (Arizona’s last win over the Rams came in Los Angeles in 2016 by a fnal of 44-6)

Meeting number one… week 13 in the desert in Glendale. The Rams scored all 34 of their points at State Farm Stadium without a challenge to come away 34-7 winners. Los Angeles led 20-0 at the intermission, then floored the gas in the third quarter to take control of things.

Los Angeles out-rushed the Desert Angry Birds 132-74 and Todd Gurley led all rushers with 95 yards and a TD. Goff burned Arizona for 424 yards and a pair of TDs (one to Kupp, the other to TE Tyler Higbee) without being picked off, while Murray threw for 163 yards with an interception (Goff was sacked once, Murray was sacked six times). The Rams were 8 of 15 on third down (0 for 1 on fourth down) and ruled the clock, keeping the ball for 34:37 to Arizona’s 25:23, with the Desert Angry Birds going 2 of 13 on third down, 2 of 4 on fourth down.

The Rams completed the sweep in their week 17 contest in Los Angeles but this time, things were a little closer than Rams fans would have wanted but they would still prevail, taking a 31-24 win at the Coliseum. After leading 17-10 at the intermission, the Cardinals would tie things up in the third quarter when Murray and WR Damiere Byrd connected on a 3-yard TD toss late in the period. Los Angeles would restore order in the fourth, with Goff connecting with Higbee and WR Robert Woods before Arizona would make the contest a 7-point affair with 3:53 left in regulation when RB Kenyan Drake scored on a 1-yard run. Arizona would get the ball back with 60 seconds left and they would get as close as their 46-yard line when Byrd fumbled and the Rams recovered, ending the contest.

Los Angeles out-rushed the Desert Angry Birds 113-71 and once again, Gurley led all rushers, this time with 68 yards, with Drake leading Arizona with 60 yards and a TD; Goff threw for 319 yards and three TDs, while Murray threw for 325 yards and a pair of TDs (both men were sacked once, Murray threw a pair of interceptions). The Rams were 11 of 18 on third down (they went 0 for 1 on fourth down) and played keep-away with the ball, holding it for 36:58, while the Desert Angry Birds kept the pigskin for 23:02, going 5 for 10 on third down tries.

In the week 13 contest, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the Rams were favored by 4 and easily covered, winning by 27. The 46 1/2 over/under stayed intact as the two clubs combined for 41 points. In the week 17 season finale on the West Coast, the Rams were favored by 7 and covered, winning by 7. This time, the two teams covered the over/under (45) with 55 combined points. This time, the boys and girls in Vegas like the Rams again, this time as 2 1/2-point favorites over the Desert Angry Birds with a 48 1/2 over/under. Both teams are chasing Seattle in the West and the winner pulls themselves a bit closer, while the loser is going to have some work to do. Rams cover the 3 and wins in the desert.

New York Giants (4-7) at Seattle (8-3), 4:05 p.m. on FOX and DirecTV 714. A pair of first-place teams meet in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks as the New York Giants, leading the NFC East, travel to Seattle for a late-afternoon showdown with Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks, leading the NFC West. Both teams took wins on the road in last week’s action.

Big Blue held off a late Cincinnati rally as Daniel Jones and the Giants left Paul Brown Stadium 19-17 winners last Sunday. Tied 10-10 at the intermission, the Giants, in first place in the NFC East, would take a 13-10 lead with them into the fourth quarter thanks to a Greg Gano field goal from 40 yards out with 8:06 left in that quarter (Gano would tie things up with 21 seconds before halftime, booting a 49-yarder). Gano would add two more field goals in the fourth before the Bengals made it a 2-point contest with 2:33 left in regulation when WR Tee Higgins and backup QB Brad Allen connected on a 1-yard TD toss. Cincinnati would get the ball back with 57 seconds left at midfield when Allen was sacked and fumbled the ball, which the Giants’ Leonard Williams recovered, ending the threat.

Cincinnati was out-rushed by Big Blue 142-40 and Allen threw for 136 yards with the Higgins TD toss, while Giants QB Daniel Jones threw for 213 yards before leaving the contest with a sprained hamstring (Colt McCoy took over for him; Allen was sacked twice and threw an interception, while Jones did not throw a pick or was sacked). The Giants were 9 of 21 on third down in the Buckeye State but found perfection on fourth down, going 3 of 3 and kept the ball for 37:26, while the Bengals, keeping the pigskin for 22:34, went 3 for 10 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down.

Seattle held off a late Philadelpha rally last Monday night, taking a 23-17 win at Lincoln Financial Field. After a scoreless first quarter, Wilson and the Seahawks would score the first 14 points of the game unchallenged as he and WR David Moore connected on a 1 yard TD toss and RB Chris Carson would score from 16 yards out to lead by two scores before the Eagles ended Seattle’s bid for a shutout when Carson Wentz and TE Dallas Goedert connected on a 3-yard TD pass before the intermission. After Jake Elliot and Josh Myers traded field goals, the Eagles would make it a 6-point game with 12 seconds left in regulation, with Wentz connecting with Reggie Rodgers connected on a 33-yard toss, then added a two-point try thanks to Miles Sanders. Philadelphia then went for the onside kick, which Seattle recovered and the Seahawks ran out the clock to take the win.

If you were looking for a running game in this contest, it didn’t exist, because neither team breached the 100-yard barrier. However, Seattle did manage to out-rush the Eagles 76-70 and Wilson threw for 230 yards with the TD to Moore, while Wentz was sacked six times and threw an interception to go with his two TD tosses (Wilson was sacked twice). Seattle went 2 for 10 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down and the Seahawks kept the ball for 32:57 to Philadelphia’s 27:03 (the Eagles were 8 for 17 on third down, 0 for 3 on fourth down.

The series? Tied 9-9 and Big Blue has outscored Seattle 398-344. However… Seattle has won the last four meetings in the series, including leaving the Meadowlands with a 24-7 win in 2017, while the Giants’ last win in the series came in 2010 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks by a final of 41-7. Seattle’s favored by 10 in the land of Grunge, Salmon and Starbucks and the over/under’s 47. It’s possible that these two could meet in the post-season but anything can happen. Seattle may not cover the 10 but they’ll take the win in the Pacifc Northwest.

New England (5-6) at Los Angeles Chargers (3-8), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 716. It’s clam chowder (or chowda, as they say in Boston) vs. California rolls as Cam Newton and the New England Patriots make their way to Inglewood for an afternoon contest with Josh Hebert and the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium.

Newton and New England came away from Gillette Stadium 20-17 winners over Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday. The Patroits trailed 10-7 at the intermission before tying the contest late in the third on a 22-yard field goal by Folk, then taking the lead with 3:30 in the third on a 1-yard run by James White before the Desert Angry Birds would tie things up again, using a 1-yard run by Kenyan Drake with 8:02 left in regulation. The two clubs then traded punts and New England would get the ball back with 1:47 left and proceeded to make their way down the field, using a 7-play, 33-yard drive that used all of the 1:47 left on the clock as Folk connected on a 50-yard field goal as time expired.

Arizona out-rushed New England 138-110 and Drake led all rushers with 78 yards and a pair of TDs; Newton threw for 170 yards with a pair of sacks and an interception, while Murray threw for 84 yards with three sacks and a pair of interceptions. New England was 4 of 11 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and the Pats kept the ball for 25:52 (including the final 1:47 of the contest), while the Desert Angry Birds would actually rule the clock, keeping the pigskin for 34:08, going 6 of 14 on third down, 0 for 1 on fourth down.

The Chargers could never really get themselves on track against Buffalo last Sunday as Los Angeles would fall to the Bills 27-17 in upstate New York at Bills Stadium. Los Angeles trailed 7-6 at the end of the first 15 minutes of play before Buffalo scored 10 second-quarter points unchallenged to lead 17-6 at the break. Los Angeles would manage to outscore Buffalo 11-10 in the final 30 minutes of action, pulling themselves to within seven before Bills K Tyler Bass connected on a 43-yard field goal to end the threat.

Buffalo out-rushed Los Angeles 172-76 with Bills RB Devin Singletary leading all rushers with 82 yards, while Austin Elker led the Chargers with 44 yards. Hebert threw for 316 yards and a TD, while Bills QB Josh Allen threw for 157 yards with a TD toss to Gabriel Davis (Allen also had a rushing TD in the contest; both threw an interception, Hebert was sacked three times, Allen was sacked twice). Los Angeles was 3 of 16 on third down tries, 4 for 5 on fourth down and they would rule the clock and hold on to the ball for 30:04, while the Bills, who kept the ball for 29:56, went 4 for 9 on third down conversions.

Including games played at Fenway Park and Qualcomm Stadiums, New England leads the series 22-14-2, have outscored the Bolts 904-747 and have won the last four contests in regular season play, including a 21-13 win in Foxboro in 2017, while the Chargers’ last win in the series came in 2008 in San Diego by a final of 30-10. Don’t know the spread yet but the over/under’s 47 1/2. We’re taking the Pats to win on the West Coast.

Philadelphia (3-7-1) at Green Bay (8-3), 4:25 p.m. on CBS and DirecTV 715. It’s Cheesesteak vs. Bratwurst as Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles make their way to Lambeau to face off against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in a late afternoon contest.

A late Philadelpha rally last Monday night against Seattle fell short, as the Seahawks and Russell Wilson left the City of Brotherly Love, taking a 23-17 win at Lincoln Financial Field with them. After a scoreless first quarter, Wilson and the Seahawks would score the first 14 points of the game unchallenged as he and WR David Moore connected on a 1 yard TD toss and RB Chris Carson would score from 16 yards out to lead by two scores before the Eagles ended Seattle’s bid for a shutout when Carson Wentz and TE Dallas Goedert connected on a 3-yard TD pass before the intermission. After Jake Elliot and Josh Myers traded field goals, the Eagles would make it a 6-point game with 12 seconds left in regulation, with Wentz connecting with Reggie Rodgers connected on a 33-yard toss, then added a two-point try thanks to Miles Sanders. Philadelphia then went for the onside kick, which Seattle recovered and the Seahawks ran out the clock to take the win.

The running game in the Monday night contest was non-existant but Seattle did manage to out-rush the Eagles 76-70 and Wilson threw for 230 yards with the TD to Moore, while Wentz was sacked six times and threw an interception to go with his two TD tosses (Wilson was sacked twice). Seattle went 2 for 10 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down and the Seahawks kept the ball for 32:57 to Philadelphia’s 27:03 (the Eagles were 8 for 17 on third down, 0 for 3 on fourth down.

Rodgers and the Packers manhandled NFC NOrth rival Chicago, taking down Da Bears 41-25 Sunday night. Although Green Bay took a 27-10 lead with them to the break and scored a pair of TDs in the third unchallenged, Chicago would manage to out-score 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.

Vegas likes the Packers as 9 1/2-point favorites at Lambeau and the over/under’s 45 1/2. Both numbers make some sense. The Eagles are trying to keep pace with the New York Football Giants in the NFC East, while the Packers want to stay on top in the NFC Central. Packers win at home but expect the Eagles to somehow make this one closer than the 9 1/2.

Green Bay leads the series 26-15, which includes games played in Milwaukee and the Packers have outscored the Eagles 857-693. Their last meeting was last year at Lambeau Field and the Eagles would leave the frozen Tundra 34-27 winners (Green Bay’s last win in the series came in the City of Brotherly Love in 2016 by a final of 27-13. They met at Lambeau in week four and the Eagles erased a 7-0 deficit at the end of the first quarter, as the Eagles would go into the intermission leading 21-20. Philadelphia would then proceed to outscore Green Bay in the final 30 minutes of action by 13-7 margin with Eagles RB Jordan Howard scoring the game-winner early in the fourth, breaking a 27-27 deadlock.

Howard led all rushers with 87 yards as the Eagles out-rushed Green Bay 176-77; Rodgers threw for 422 yards and a pair of TDs (one to TE Jimmy Graham) and was sacked once and threw an interception (Rodgers led Green Bay rushers with 46 yards), while Wentz threw for 160 yards and three TDs (one to Howard) without a sack or interception. The Packers were 6 for 11 on third down tries (they were 0 for 1 on fourth down) and they would actually ruled the clock as they kept the ball for 32:21, while the Eagles were 5 for 9 on third down, keeping the ball for 27:39.

In the week four Thursday night contest in the land of cheese, beer and Bratwurst, Green Bay was favored by 4 and the Eagles covered, winning by 7 and both clubs took care of the 46 over/under, tallying 51 points. This time, in the late Sunday afternoon contest, the Packers are again favored, this time by 9 with a 46 1/2 over/under. Green Bay’s looking to stay on top in the NFC North, while the Eagles are trying to maintain some order in the NFC East. Bratwurst wins out here Sunday. Packers win at Lambeau and could cover the 9 in the land of beer, cheese and Bratwurst.

Denver (4-7) at Kansas City (10-1), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. A pair of AFL/AFC West rivals meet again, this time in the Show-Me State as Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs host a struggling Denver Broncos team at Arrowhead on Sunday night.

With WR Kendall Hinton as a backup QB after Neil Reily, Jeff Driscoll, Drew Lock and Brett Rypien were all out because of COVID, Denver found themselves shorthanded against New Orleans last Sunday as the Saints would wind up taking down the shorthanded Broncos 31-3 Empower Field at Mile High. After a scoreless first quarter, New Orleans took control of things, leading 17-0 at the intermission, then outscored the Broncos 14-3 in the final 30 minutes of play, holding Denver to a Brad McManus field goal in the third quarter.

New Orleans out-rushed Denver 229-100 with Latavius Murray leading all rushers with 124 yards and a pair of TDs and Hill (taking over for Drew Brees) threw for 78 yards, while Hinton (1 for 9) threw for a somewhat dismal (and that’s being kind) 13 yards with a sack and a pair of interceptions.

The defending Super Bowl champs held off a late Tampa Bay rally in the Sunshine State last Sunday at Raymond James Stadium as Mahomes and the Chiefs held off Tom Brady and the Buccaneers 27-24. The Chiefs scored the first 17 points of the contest unchallenged as Mahomes and WR Tyreek Hill connected on a pair of TDs passes and would take a 20-7 lead into the intermission. Tampa Bay then responded in the second half of the late-afternoon contest, outscoring the Chiefs 17-3 in the final 30 minutes of play, using a pair of Brady TD passes to Mike Evans to pull themselves to within seven with 4:10 left in the contest. Kansas City then forced Tampa Bay to burn their time outs and run out the clock to take the win.

Neither team breached the 100-yard rushing barrier in the contest that saw Brady (345 yards) and Mahomes (462 yards) combine for 807 yards in the air. Kansas City did manage to outrush Tampa Bay 87-75 and Mahomes threw three TD passes (all to Hill) with a pair of sacks but no interceptions, while Brady threw three TDs with a pair of picks (Hill caught 13 passes for 269 yards, while TE Rob Gronkowski caught six passes for 106 yards). Kansas City went 6 for 12 on third down conversions in the Sunshine State and were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 36:47, while Tampa Bay, who kept the pigskin for 23:13, went 3 for 9 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down.

The prime-time contest in the Show-Me State is a rematch from week seven in the Mile High City that saw the defending Super Bowl champs manhandle Denver 43-16 at Empower Field at Mile High. With game-time temperature at a balmy 14 degrees (with a 1 degree wind chill!), Kansas City led 24-9 at the intermisson, then floored the gas in the final 30 minutes of play, outscoring Denver 19-7.

Although Denver out-rushed Kansas City 177-101 (Patrick Lindsey led all rushers with 79 yards), Mahomes burned Denver for 200 yards and a TD to Hill, while Lock threw for 254 yards with a pair of interceptions (both men were sacked three times). Although they would win by 27, the Chiefs were a somewhat dismal 0 of 8 on third down tries and kept the ball for 26:36, while the Broncos were actually rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 33:24, while going 5 of 14 on third down, 0 for 2 on fourth down.

Kansas City covered the 9 1/2-point spread with the 27-point win in the Mile High City and both clubs covered the 45 1/2 over/under, tallying 59 points in the week seven contest. This time, the boys and girls in Vegas like the Chiefs as 14-point favorites at Arrowhead with a 51 over/under. The 51 makes sense, it’s the 14 point spread that’s a head-scratcher. The last time Denver swept the series with their somewhat hated AFL/AFC West rivals was the 2014 season and the teams last split the series the following year. Since then, the Chiefs have had Denver’s number, winning the last nine meetings (including the contest in the Mile High City in week seven). Granted, Denver’s bad but not 14 points bad. The Broncos will make this one close if not entertaining but as was the case in the first meeting in the Rockies, the defending champs prevail and takes the win at Arrowhead.

Washington (4-7) at Pittsburgh (11-0), 5 p.m. Monday on FOX. It’s the first of two Monday games as Washington travels to Heinz Field to face off against Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers. While both teams were slated to play on Thanksgiving Day, only Washington got that chance, while the Steelers had to wait until the Wednesday after Thanksgiving to play with the two clubs taking wins last week.

Washington completed their sweep of NFC East rival Dallas as the Football Team went into AT&T Stadium and left the Lone Star State 41-16 winners Thanksgiving afternoon. Washington erased an early 3-0 lead by the Cowboys with a 5-yard TD run by RB Antonio Gibson to take a 7-3 lead after 15 minutes of play. Dallas would take the lead back in the second, using a 54-yard TD pass from Andy Dalton to Amari Cooper for a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter. That lead would not last long, as Dustin Hopkins evened things up with a 43-yard field goal halfway through the second quarter. Washington then took the lead back for good when Alex Smtih and TE Logan Thomas connected on a 5-yard TD toss with 2:26 left before the intermission. Dallas’ Greg Zeurlein would make it a 4-point contest with 19 seconds left, booting a 32-yard field goal but it would be as close as Dallas would get to Washington, who took a 17-13 lead into the intermission.

After Zeurlein and Hopkins traded field goals in the third quarter, Washington would close out the scoring in the contest, tallying 21 fourth-quarter points unchecked, using a pair of Gibson rushing TDs and a Mike Sweat interception return to seal Dallas’ fate. Gibson led all rushers with 115 yards and the three TDs as Washington out-rushed Dallas 182-60 and Smith threw for 149 yards, while Dalton threw for 215 yards (both men threw TDs, both were sacked three times and both threw an interception). Washington went 7 for 13 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down and would rule the clock, keeping the ball for 35:56, while the Cowboys kept the pigskin for 24:04, went 4 of 14 on third down, 1 of 4 on fourth down (including a failed fake punt attempt in the fourth quarter).

Pittsburgh and Baltimore finally got to play Wednesday afternoon at Heinz Field. Scheduled to play Thanksgiving night, their contest was moved to Sunday because of a COVID outbreak involving the Ravens’ camp, then moved to Monday before the NFL decided to move things to Wednesday. In the somewhat chilly air at Heinz Field (gametime temperature, you ask? A balmy 36 degrees with a 27 wind chill), they finally got underway, with the Steelers prevailing 19-14.

Baltimore led 7-6 at the end of the first quarter before the Steelers went to work, using a pair of Chris Boswell field goals to take a 12-7 lead with them to the break. After a scoreless third quarter, the Steelers would expand their lead to 19-7 when Roethlisberger and WR Ju-Ju Smith-Schuester connected on a 1-yard TD toss early in the fourth. Baltimore would make things a bit closer than Steelers fans would like, as backup signal caller Trace McSorley, who took over for Robert Griffin III (who took over for Lamar Jackson – COVID), threw his first NFL TD pass, connecting with WR Marquise Brown on a 70-yard TD toss with 2:58 left in regulation. Baltimore would then try an onside kick, which Pittsburgh recoveed and the Steelers would run out the clock and take their 11th win in 11 tries.

Baltimore out-rushed the Steelers 129-68, with Griffin III leading all rushers with 68 yards before leaving the contest with a leg injury (Pittsburgh was led by Benny Snell, Jr. with 60 yards); Roethlisberger threw for 266 yards and the Smith-Schuester TD, while Griffin III threw for 33 yards with an interception by CB Joe Hayden (who returned it 14 yards for the game’s first score) and was sacked three times (McSorley threw for 77 yards). Pittsburgh went 6 of 14 on third down but struggled on fourth down, going 0 of 2 and the Steelers were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 33:39, while the Ravens held the ball for 26:21, going 3 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

Including contests that were played when Washington was in Boston and known as the Redskins, the Steelers were known as the Pirates and games played at RFK and Three Rivers Stadiums, Washington leads the series 42-33-3 and has outscored the Steelers 1,447-1,259. However… Pittsburgh has come away with wins in their last six meetings, including a 38-16 wim in Landover in 2016, while Washington’s last victory in the series came in 1991 in the Steel City by a final of 41-14. The boys and girls in Vegas like the Steelers as 8-point favorites in western Pennsylvania with a 42 over/under. Both numbers make sense and both teams are in first place in their respective divisons. While the Steelers win this one at home, expect Washington to make this one closer than the 8.

Buffalo (8-3) at San Francisco (5-6) at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, 8:15 p.m. Monday on ESPN. It’s wings vs. Sourdough on the West Coast as first-place Buffalo, leaders of the AFC East, take on San Francisco not in Santa Clara but in Glendale at State Farm Stadium. The change of venue took place after Santa Clara County, the 49ers home base, suspended all football contact practices and games in wake of the COVID virus outbreak in California. Both teams were winners in their contests last Sunday.

The Bills circled the wagons in upstate New York last Sunday, as they held off Joe Hebert and the Los Angeles Chargers 27-17 in upstate New York at Bills Stadium. The Bills led 7-6 at the end of the first 15 minutes of play, then scored 10 second-quarter points unchallenged to lead 17-6 at the break. Los Angeles would manage to outscore Buffalo 11-10 in the final 30 minutes of action, pulling themselves to within seven before Bills K Tyler Bass connected on a 43-yard field goal to end the threat.

Buffalo out-rushed Los Angeles 172-76 with Bills RB Devin Singletary leading all rushers with 82 yards, while Austin Elker led the Chargers with 44 yards. Hebert threw for 316 yards and a TD, while Bills QB Josh Allen threw for 157 yards with a TD toss to Gabriel Davis (Allen also had a rushing TD in the contest; both threw an interception, Hebert was sacked three times, Allen was sacked twice). Los Angeles was 3 of 16 on third down tries, 4 for 5 on fourth down and they would rule the clock and hold on to the ball for 30:04, while the Bills, who kept the ball for 29:56, went 4 for 9 on third down conversions.

San Francisco erased a 20-17 deficit late in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams, using a pair of Robbie Gould field goals, including the game-winner as time expired to take a 23-20 win at SoFi Stadium last Sunday. The 49ers led 7-3 at the break, then saw the Rams chip away at that lead and would take it, leading 20-17 early in the final 30 minutes of play. Gould kicked his first of the two fourth quarter field goals with 3:11 left from 44 yards to tie things up at 20-20, then after the Rams punted the ball back to San Francisco with 2:10 left in regulation, he gave the 49ers the win as time expired. At first, the game-winning try was going to be a 47-yard try but CB Jaylen Ramsey jumped offside, which moved the ball five yards closer. Gould did not miss, connecting on a 42-yard try as time expired.

While the Rams did out-rush San Francsico 126-115 (Los Angeles RB Cam Akers led all rushers with 84 yards and a TD), 49ers QB Nick Mullens burned the Rams for 252 yards; Rams QB Jared Goff threw for 198 yards (both men were sacked twice, Mullens threw an interception, while Goff had a pair; 49ers WR Deebo Sanders led all recivers with 133 yards on 11 catches). San Francisco went 3 of 14 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down and kept the ball for 34:03 (including the final 2:10 of the contest), while the Rams were 4 of 13 on third down, keeping the ball for 25:57.

They’ve met 12 times, each team has picked up six wins and the 49ers have outscored the Bills 269-234. Their last meeting? 2016 in upstate New York and the Bills circled the wagons, taking a 45-16 win in Orchard Park, while San Francisco’s last iwn in the series came on the West Coast in 2012 by a final of 45-3. The Bills on Monday night? 17-26. San Francisco? 49-28 under the lights (the 49ers played two games on MNF and split the two contests). Buffalo’s favored by 3 and the over/under’s 45. For the 49ers, they’re playing with house money and needs to win to keep pace with Seattle. As for the Bills, they want to stay in first place in the AFC East. Bills circle the wagons on the West Coast and takes the win, covering the 3.

Dallas (3-8) at Baltimore (6-5), 8 p.m. Tuesday on FOX, NFL Network and Amazon. It’s brisket vs. crabs as Dallas makes their way to Charm City to face off against Baltimore in a Tuesday evening contest at M&T Bank Stadium. Both teams are coming off losses in their last contests.

Dallas welcomed Washington into AT&T Stadium Thanksgiving afternoon and the Football Team completed their sweep of NFC East rivals, leaving the Lone Star State 41-16 winners Thanksgiving afternoon. Washington erased an early 3-0 lead by the Cowboys with a 5-yard TD run by RB Antonio Gibson to take a 7-3 lead after 15 minutes of play. Dallas would take the lead back in the second, using a 54-yard TD pass from Andy Dalton to Amari Cooper for a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter. That lead would not last long, as Dustin Hopkins evened things up with a 43-yard field goal halfway through the second quarter. Washington then took the lead back for good when Alex Smtih and TE Logan Thomas connected on a 5-yard TD toss with 2:26 left before the intermission. Dallas’ Greg Zeurlein would make it a 4-point contest with 19 seconds left, booting a 32-yard field goal but it would be as close as Dallas would get to Washington, who took a 17-13 lead into the intermission.

After Zeurlein and Hopkins traded field goals in the third quarter, Washington would close out the scoring in the contest, tallying 21 fourth-quarter points unchecked, using a pair of Gibson rushing TDs and a Mike Sweat interception return to seal Dallas’ fate. Gibson led all rushers with 115 yards and the three TDs as Washington out-rushed Dallas 182-60 and Smith threw for 149 yards, while Dalton threw for 215 yards (both men threw TDs, both were sacked three times and both threw an interception). Washington went 7 for 13 on third down, 1 for 1 on fourth down and would rule the clock, keeping the ball for 35:56, while the Cowboys kept the pigskin for 24:04, went 4 of 14 on third down, 1 of 4 on fourth down (including a failed fake punt attempt in the fourth quarter).

Baltimore led 7-6 at the end of the first quarter before the Steelers went to work, using a pair of Chris Boswell field goals to take a 12-7 lead with them to the break to take the 19-14 win at Heinz Field in a contest that was moved three times becuase of COVID issues involving the Ravens. After a scoreless third quarter, the Steelers would expand their lead to 19-7 when Roethlisberger and WR Ju-Ju Smith-Schuester connected on a 1-yard TD toss early in the fourth. Baltimore would give Steelers fans a bit of a scare, as backup signal caller Trace McSorley, who took over for Robert Griffin III (who took over for Lamar Jackson – COVID), threw his first NFL TD pass, connecting with WR Marquise Brown on a 70-yard TD toss with 2:58 left in regulation. Baltimore would then try an onside kick, which Pittsburgh recoveed and the Steelers would run out the clock and take their 11th win in 11 tries.

While Baltimore did out-rush the Steelers 129-68, with Griffin III leading all rushers with 68 yards before leaving the contest with a leg injury (Pittsburgh was led by Benny Snell, Jr. with 60 yards), Roethlisberger burned the Ravens, as he threw for 266 yards and the Smith-Schuester TD, while Griffin III threw for 33 yards with an interception by CB Joe Hayden (who returned it 14 yards for the game’s first score) and was sacked three times (McSorley threw for 77 yards). Pittsburgh went 6 of 14 on third down but struggled on fourth down, going 0 of 2 and the Steelers were rulers of the clock, keeping the ball for 33:39, while the Ravens held the ball for 26:21, going 3 of 13 on third down, 1 of 1 on fourth down.

The Ravens hold a 4-1 series lead over America’s Team and the Ravens have outscored Dallas 138-90. Their last meeting was in 2016 in Arlington, as the Cowboys snapped Baltimore’s four-game win streak, taking a 27-17 win, while Baltimore’s last win the series came in 2012 in Charm City by a final of 31-29. The Ravens are favored by 7 1/2 in Charm City and the over/under’s 45. It seems that the Cowboys are spinning their wheels in the NFC West, while the Ravens are looking for a spot in the post-season party. Ravens win in Charm City and cover the 7 1/2.