Now is a week that NFL fans can truly celebrate.
First, it looks like the league will complete the 2020 part of the schedule on time and there are no cancellations. Second, there are only two games in Week 16 that you don’t have postseason implications.
Plus, there’s professional football on four consecutive days, starting with a Minnesota trip to New Orleans on Christmas afternoon. The weekend concludes with the AFC East Bills champions – how sweet it is in Western New York – getting a chance to stomp on their tormentors, the Patriots on Monday night.
“This week is about all of that,” said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. “To get to this point, to become a championship opportunity, to continue to present every game we play as a championship opportunity so we work on that mentality so that when we get here, we do it again. So hopefully, all the lessons remain, and we move on. “
Los Angeles Rams (9-5) in Seattle (10-4)
The Seahawks will claim their first NFC West title since 2016 with a win. It will be a fifth division title for Seattle since Carroll’s arrival in 2010.
“We have finished our season well,” he said. “We finished with lots of good wins at the end of the year, and this is another opportunity to show that we got them and we know what we are doing. Philosophically, we are close and connected, and that we can go out and perform like we are capable of against a really great football team. So nothing has changed. ”
The Rams have won five of their last six games against Seattle while averaging nearly 32 points per game, and will grab a third playoff place in four seasons under Sean McVay with a win. But they lost to the Jets.
Indianapolis (10-4) at Pittsburgh (11-3)
A lot of driving here too.
The Steelers, the first team to lose three in a row after an 11-0 start since the 1969 Rams, still won AFC North by beating the Colts or losing to Cleveland to the Jets. Pittsburgh won six consecutive times in this series, but the Steelers were shaken. They do have an NFL record of 71 games in a row and have fired Philip Rivers 15 times over the seven games he played for the Chargers.
Indianapolis has won five out of six and could earn a post-season spot with wins and losses to Baltimore or Miami. Rivers needed one touchdown pass to tie Dan Marino (420) for fifth on the career list. Rivers has two or more TD passes in five consecutive games.
Tennessee (10-4) at Green Bay (11-3)
The Titans needed a win to claim a playoff place for the third time in four seasons. Tennessee could also lose to Baltimore or Miami. The Titans earned their first AFC South title since 2008 with wins and losses to the Colts.
Tennessee 3-0 against NFC North this season. In NFL rush leader Derrick Henry, he has the main weapon. Henry has sprinted 1,679 yards and 15 career goals. He’s the fourth player in NFL history to run 1,500 yards and 15 TDs in consecutive seasons.
The Packers have already taken NFC North and secured the top seed of the conference and are left with a win while the Rams beat or tie Seattle. Aaron Rodgers has thrown 40 TD passes leading the NFL with just four picks, while his main target, Davante Adams, has 14 TD catches.
Atlanta (4-10) in Kansas City (13-1)
Not only were the Chiefs division champions for the fifth consecutive season, they could also match the Packers (2011) for regular season best by the defending Super Bowl champions. The win gave them goodbye to the coveted AFC opening round.
The Chiefs could also tie the record for longest regular season winning streak in franchise history with 10th in a row. Kansas City has never won 14 games in a season.
While Matt Ryan completed passes for the receiver’s 11 against the Bucs, his main target with Julio Jones teetering was Calvin Ridley. He had a career best of 10 catches for 163 yards last week, and Ridley’s seven 100-yard games led the NFL.
Minnesota (6-8) in New Orleans (10-4), Friday
The Saints can celebrate on Christmas Eve with a victory that earns them the title NFC Southern. Losing Tampa Bay Saturday did that too.
Drew Brees returned from missing four games (rib and lung) last week and passed for three TDs. Brees needed 154 yards of passing to become the first quarterback with 80,000 yards.
The Vikings ran back to Dalvin Cook to lead the NFL by 1,833 yards from practice. Justin Jefferson’s wideout led all the rookies with 73 receptions and 1,182 yards received.
Tampa Bay (9-5) in Detroit (5-9), Saturday
Tom Brady is used to this scenario even when his team is in uncharted waters since 2007. The Bucs need either a Chicago win or defeat to claim their first post-season place since. A 13-year playoff drought at Tampa Bay is the NFL’s second-longest string behind Cleveland’s 18-year run coming to an end.
As for Brady, well, he does have six Super Bowl rings from his time in New England. Only once was he healthy and a full-time starter there (2002) The Patriots did not qualify for the playoffs.
The lion’s temporary trainer Darrell Bevell will miss the match due to COVID-19 contact tracing. Wide receiving coach Robert Prince will run the team.
San Francisco (5-9) in Arizona (8-6), Saturday
First NFL: The game will be broadcast nationally exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, Twitch, and other Amazon services. The game will also be broadcast on the Arizona and San Francisco home markets.
Arizona is looking to sweep the fifth season in San Francisco in the last six seasons, as well as retain the last NFC wild card spot.
The Niners play street games at their temporary home in Arizona after being forced out of their home stadium due to coronavirus rules. San Francisco lost its two home games at State Farm Stadium.
Miami (9-5) in Las Vegas (7-7), Saturday
As The Raiders are almost out of a playoff battle, Miami has racked up some impressive numbers. Last year Dolphins allowed 30.9 NFL-worst points per game. This season they allowed 18.4 per game, the league’s lowest average. Dolphins has a record in 20 consecutive games, the NFL’s longest active streak. Cornerback Xavien Howard leads the league with nine interceptions, more than nine teams, and Miami has let 16 TD’s go by after surrendering to a league-high record last year.
The Raiders are 2-5 at home in their first year in Las Vegas and can tie a franchise record for home losses in one season with a sixth. They lost four of five after a 6-3 start and will be knocked out of the playoffs by either defeat or victory for the Ravens.
Cleveland (10-4) in New York Jets (1-13)
Now that the Jets have taken the win, and perhaps wasted their chances of an overall top draft pick, can they make another big mistake? Cleveland, who won at Meadowlands last Sunday against the Giants, has multiple scenarios to go into the postseason on Sunday, but has to win.
The Browns are on the brink of their first playoff appearance since 2002, the NFL’s longest running drought to date. Their 10 wins under first-year coach Kevin Stefanski match the franchise since its return to expansion in 1999.
New York Giants (5-9) in Baltimore (9-5)
The Giants are barely holding on to playoff hopes, and Baltimore looks like it needs to win – and may still be falling behind. Look for the Ravens to run the ball, after running at least 100 yards in 37 consecutive games, tied for the second longest record in NFL history, and become ballhawks: Baltimore leads the league with 25 forced strokes and is second with 12 groped recoveries.
New York hopes Daniel Jones returns to the quarterback.
Carolina (4-10) in Washington (6-8)
A win in his first game of coaching against a team he led to the 2015 NFC title – and which sacked him in 2019 – would earn Ron Rivera the NFC East crown from Washington should the Giants lose to Baltimore. But headlines are rarely good in DC, and this week’s quarterback Dwayne Haskins was fined $ 40,000 and removed from captaincy for violating COVID-19 league protocol.
The Panthers have lost eight of their last nine games. On Monday, they fired the general manager Marty Hurney, who can end up in Washington.
Philadelphia (4-9-1) in Dallas (5-9)
Both NFC East teams hang on to Washington’s hopes of slumping, even though the losers here can’t keep up with the postseason – which, given their record, shouldn’t be in the conversation.
Losing the Cowboys would mean their first record loss in an NFC East game since 2011. Rookie Eagles QB Jalen Hurts has increased the offense in his first two games.
Buffalo (11-3) in New England (6-8), Monday night
The division-winning Bills could become the first AFC East foes to sweep New England in a season since the Jets and Dolphins did so in 2000. 19 consecutive seasons without losing both games to division opponents is an NFL record. The last bill swept through the Patriots in 1999.
“To go against a division opponent and be able to beat them twice, that’s a big deal,” said Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White. “I think this year will break a record or whatever. So I hope so. “
Chicago (7-7) in Jacksonville (1-13)
Jacksonville has lost 13 consecutive times, becoming the longest in team history. Jaguar has allowed at least 24 points in each of those 13 games, an NFL record.
While Jaguar is now in the position for the top overall draft selection (Trevor Lawrence?), The Bears could still make the postseason. They need help, especially the defeat of Arizona.
Denver (5-9) in Los Angeles Chargers (5-9)
Not much to recommend the game except for the chance to watch Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert. LA has won twice in a row and Herbert’s rapid maturity at NFL level is encouraging.
Denver has had one of the most injured rosters of the season, and can now look at the former star defender Chris Harris Jr on the other hand.
Cincinnati (3-10-1) in Houston (4-10)
The Bengals looked like a pro in tackling Pittsburgh on Monday night after losing five in a row. Unfortunately, the development of Joe Burrow’s top overall pick draft has been limited by a mid-season knee injury, but the future looks less striking than in Houston.
While QB Deshaun Watson is having a pretty solid season, Texas is one of the NFL’s biggest disappointments and is looking for a new head coach.
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