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#413482 - 12/06/18 01:52 AM NFL Week 14
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Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans were 15 minutes away from a third consecutive loss that would have all but snuffed out their postseason hopes, but a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback on Sunday has the team back in contention. The Titans will look to sweep the Jacksonville Jaguars for the second straight season when the AFC South Division rivals square off on Thursday in Nashville, Tenn.

Tennessee erased an early 16-point deficit in Sunday's 26-22 victory over the New York Jets but is among four teams trailing the Baltimore Ravens by one game for the sixth and final playoff slot in the AFC. "When you're playing on Monday night and Thursday night, you're playing good football and getting more TV games," Titans safety Kevin Byard said. "We have to take advantage of those and worry about us, not any of those other teams in the hunt." The Jaguars showed they haven't given up on the season, halting a seven-game losing streak by pitching a shutout in a 6-0 win over the red-hot Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. "The best we can do is play a bunch of spoilers to a bunch of teams who are in the hunt," Jacksonville safety Tashaun Gipson said. "We want to end the season in the right way. Who says we can't win five out?"

TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, FOX, NFL Network. LINE: Titans -4. O/U: 37.5

ABOUT THE JAGUARS (4-8): Jacksonville's only loss in September was a 9-6 setback to the visiting Titans in Week 3 but that was without star running back Leonard Fournette, who also sat out Sunday's victory while serving a one-game suspension. Quarterback Cody Kessler, taking over for a benched Blake Bortles, posted his first win in nine NFL starts by throwing for 150 yards and completing 18 of 24 against Indianapolis. The running game managed only 79 yards in the absence of Fournette, who rushed for 190 yards and three touchdowns in his previous two games. The Jaguars, who held Tennessee to 233 yards of total offense in the first matchup, blanked an Indy offense that averaged more then 34 points in its previous five games.

ABOUT THE TITANS (6-6): An ailing Marcus Mariota came off the bench to lift Tennessee over Jacksonville in Week 3 and produced another comeback last week by leading the Titans to 13 points in the fourth quarter, including a winning touchdown pass with 36 seconds left. "I'd rather him not have to do it, but if we have to, that has really been fun to watch," coach Mike Vrabel said. "It is exciting to have him be able to do that and keep his composure, find the guys, make plays." Wide receiver Taywan Taylor provided a spark to the offense Sunday, returning from a three-game absence with three receptions for 104 yards -- all in the fourth quarter. The Titans rank in the top 10 in total and passing yards allowed but give up 119.8 on the ground.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Tennessee has limited Jacksonville to 32 points while winning the past three meetings.

2. Fournette has 197 yards from scimmage and a TD in two matchups against the Titans.

3. Mariota has eight TD passes and two interceptions in seven games versus the Jaguars.

PREDICTION: Jaguars 19, Titans 17
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#413696 - 12/07/18 11:16 AM Re: NFL Week 14 [Re: FREAK]
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Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs

The league's highest-scoring offense and its stingiest defense square off Sunday, when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Baltimore Ravens in a matchup of AFC playoff contenders. The high-scoring Chiefs hope to maintain their one-game lead in the AFC West, while the hard-nosed Ravens are trying to hang on to the last wild-card spot.


The Chiefs average an NFL-best 37 points per game - a total the Ravens have reached only once this season. Baltimore's defense has been especially dominant during the team's three-game winning streak - it held Atlanta to 131 total yards in last week's 26-16 victory - but it will face its toughest test yet against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. "In reality, holding this team to what we did last (week) is probably not going to happen," Baltimore safety Eric Weddle told reporters. "But we can make things tough on them. We can create turnovers. We can hold them in the red zone." Baltimore has held its last three opponents to 255 total yards or fewer, while Kansas City's season low for total offense is 330 against Arizona.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Chiefs -6.5. O/U: 51.5


ABOUT THE RAVENS (7-5): While Joe Flacco (hip) returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday, rookie Lamar Jackson is expected to make his fourth straight start, which limits the Ravens in the passing game but gives them a dynamic rushing attack. Baltimore has rolled up more than 200 rushing yards in the three games Jackson has started, as fellow rookie Gus Edwards has gained 315 in the last three contests. The defense, which ranks second against the pass, has allowed over 300 such yards only once all season, while the Chiefs average 345.3.

ABOUT THE CHIEFS (10-2): Kansas City's passing game has been nothing short of prolific, as Mahomes leads the NFL with 41 touchdown passes - including 11 to speedster Tyreek Hill and nine to tight end Travis Kelce. The ground game certainly took a hit with Kareem Hunt's release, but Spencer Ware has averaged 4.8 yards per carry this season and is a reliable target out of the backfield. The biggest question for the Chiefs is whether or not the defense can stop playoff-caliber opponents, and the secondary is especially suspect as the team ranks last against the pass.


EXTRA POINTS

1. Mahomes has passed for four or more touchdowns seven times this season - second-most in NFL history.

2. The Ravens are the first team with three straight games of 200 or more rushing yards since Jacksonville in 2010.

3. Kansas City DT Chris Jones has recorded a sack in eight straight contests.


PREDICTION: Chiefs 27, Ravens 24
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#413698 - 12/07/18 11:17 AM Re: NFL Week 14 [Re: FREAK]
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Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans

The Houston Texans can take another big step toward clinching the AFC South when they host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. A 10th straight win for the Texans would eliminate the Colts from contention in the division and leave only the Tennessee Titans, who won Thursday against Jacksonville to get within 2 1/2 games, as a contender for the top spot.

Despite its dominant winning streak, which includes last Sunday's 29-13 win over the Cleveland Browns, Houston is not punching any postseason tickets just yet. "I just wanna win on Sunday," defensive end J.J. Watt told reporters. "It's the one-day-at-a-time mentality. I think when you start to look ahead, or you start to get overly excited about accomplishments ... you take things one day at a time." The Colts averaged 34.6 points during a five-game winning streak before being blanked 6-0 at Jacksonville last Sunday. Houston used a field goal with no time on the clock in overtime to top Indianapolis 34-31 earlier in the year.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Texans -4.5. O/U: 50

ABOUT THE COLTS (6-6): Andrew Luck threw for at least three touchdowns in eight straight games before the shutout loss to the Jaguars, despite 52 pass attempts. "I didn't feel very sharp," Luck told reporters. "I didn't feel like I was putting the ball in the places to really give guys a chance to catch them." That effort could be even more difficult this Sunday if T.Y. Hilton (shoulder) and tight end Eric Ebron (back) -- the team's top two receiving threats -- are unable to go.

ABOUT THE TEXANS (9-3): Houston was 0-3 before its visit to Indianapolis and turned around its season with the see-saw victory that week, with Deshaun Watson accounting for 375 passing yards, 41 rushing yards and three total touchdowns. "That was one game where we went through all types of phases and situations that kind of put us through this nine-game win-streak," Watson told the media. "Yeah, it was the start of everything." Opponents are averaging 15.9 points over the past eight games, with Watt recording 6.5 sacks in that span.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins had 10 catches for 169 yards and a TD in the first meeting.

2. Luck has eight of his 12 interceptions on the road.

3. Indianapolis has won four of the last five meetings in Houston.

PREDICTION: Texans 30, Colts 23
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#413699 - 12/07/18 11:18 AM Re: NFL Week 14 [Re: FREAK]
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Carolina Panthers vs. Cleveland Browns

The Carolina Panthers need a road win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday to buoy their fading playoff hopes. The Panthers have lost four straight contests to slide from division title contender to the fringe of the playoff picture.


With two matchups against NFC South-leading New Orleans in the final three weeks of the regular season, the Panthers can't afford a fifth consecutive loss. "I think we're in a spot where we need to win out," Carolina safety Eric Reid told reporters. "If we are going to make the playoffs, that's the only way to do it. If I had to guess, we need to win out and then cheer on a couple teams to help us get in." The Browns aren't quite postseason-ready, but they've made huge strides since last year's winless campaign. Cleveland had a two-game winning streak snapped in a 29-13 loss at Houston last week, but winning out would give the team its first winning season since 2007.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Panthers -2. O/U: 47


ABOUT THE PANTHERS (6-6): Carolina has watched its season start to slip away one excruciating loss at a time, as its last three defeats have come by a total of 11 points. Cam Newton quietly is putting together an excellent season, as he has passed for 2,999 yards with 24 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while combining with Christian McCaffrey to lead the league's No. 2 rushing offense. Turnovers have been the killer during the losing streak, as the Panthers have eight giveaways in their last four game after committing only seven during a 6-2 start.

ABOUT THE BROWNS (4-7-1): Rookies Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb have made Cleveland's offense respectable, and the former passed for a career-high 397 yards in last week's loss to Houston. The Browns were done in by four turnovers against the Texans, and the defense failed to record a takeaway for the first time all season. Second-year defensive end Myles Garrett (11.5 sacks) has been the brightest spot on a defense that ranks 29th against the pass and 28th versus the run.


EXTRA POINTS

1. McCaffrey is the first player in NFL history with at least 50 yards both rushing and receiving in five consecutive games.

2. Mayfield's 263.9 passing yards per game is the second-highest average among rookies since 1970 behind only Andrew Luck's 273.4.

3. Newton has thrown at least two touchdown passes in 11 consecutive games, the second-longest active streak in the league behind Philip Rivers' 13-game run.


PREDICTION: Panthers 26, Browns 23
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#413700 - 12/07/18 11:20 AM Re: NFL Week 14 [Re: FREAK]
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Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers are cleaning house on the coaching staff with four weeks left in a disappointing season and will be under the direction of a new head coach when they host the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin will serve as interim coach after Mike McCarthy was fired following last week's loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

The Packers are losers of three straight and five of their last six games to fall out of the race in the NFC North, and McCarthy's tenuous relationship with quarterback Aaron Rodgers mixed with the disappointing results led to his ouster after 12-plus seasons in Green Bay. "We've had certain expectations and standards here for a long time," Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst told reporters. "To come out at home against a team we felt we should beat, it wasn't up to our standard. I don't think we played well most of the season. Things weren't changing as they needed to change." The Falcons are in a rut as well and dropped their last four games while failing to score 20 points in each. "We've got to get back to work," Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan told reporters. "We've got to find a good way to win. As far as stay together, I think we have a good group of men in our locker room, coaching staff and front office that are willing to work."

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Packers -5. O/U: 50.5

ABOUT THE FALCONS (4-8): Ryan threw for a season-low 131 yards on 16-of-26 passing in a 26-16 home loss to the Baltimore Ravens last week while getting sacked three times and knocked to the ground on several more occasions. "I'm concerned about it because if we're not protecting (Ryan) in the way that we can, then that gets hard," Atlanta coach Dan Quinn told reporters. "There are some games that the score is out of whack and it turns into a dropback game, there are going to be more chances for a defense to go after them, you know that. But at the end of it, yeah, I'm concerned, but I'm as concerned about us playing as well as we can." Ryan was sacked a total of 14 times in the last four games.

ABOUT THE PACKERS (4-7-1): Rodgers isn't playing quite up to his MVP-level standards this season but remains the face of the franchise, though he won't have a say in who the next coach of the team is going to be. "Obviously, he's free to provide input and talk to us," team president Mark Murphy told reporters of Rodgers. "But he's not going to be a part of the process. ... The other thing I would say, Aaron was no part at all in the decision to move on from Mike." Philbin's first move as interim coach was to fire associate head coach/linebackers coach Winston Moss, who had been with the team since 2006.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Packers TE Jimmy Graham (knee) and WR Randall Cobb (hamstring) are questionable.

2. Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) sat out practice on Wednesday after recording season lows of two catches and 18 yards last week.

3. Atlanta took the last three meetings, including a 34-23 home triumph last season.

PREDICTION: Packers 28, Falcons 17
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#413701 - 12/07/18 11:20 AM Re: NFL Week 14 [Re: FREAK]
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New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The New Orleans Saints will have nine full days off to diagnose what went wrong in a rare loss last Thursday before continuing their march toward a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs. The Saints will try to avenge a Week 1 loss when they visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

New Orleans, which dropped a 48-40 decision to Tampa Bay in the opener before ripping off 10 consecutive wins, put up its worst offensive performance last week in a 13-10 loss at the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 22. "We would love to be perfect. But that wasn't the plan. And that's OK," Saints offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod told reporters. "Our goals are still in front of us. We've got four more weeks to do what we need to do. It's not gonna be easy. Nobody's gonna sit back and wait for us to punch 'em in the mouth. They're gonna punch us, and we gotta punch back. That's just what it is." The Buccaneers are in third place in the NFC South but are starting to play well with wins in the last two contests and are getting solid performances from the defense, which held the last two opponents to a total of 26 points. Veteran defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul recorded at least one sack in each of the last three contests and leads the team with 11.5.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Saints -8. O/U: 55.5.

ABOUT THE SAINTS (10-2): New Orleans can clinch the NFC South with a win on Sunday and did some self-scouting after the loss to the Cowboys, which quarterback Drew Brees believes will get the team going in the right direction again. "Sometimes you have to lose a battle to win the war," Brees told reporters. "You learn a lot from something like that. I do not think we were getting ahead of ourselves or anything like that. I just think we honestly just had a bad day and you turn on the film and it's glaringly obvious where we failed and (we need to) make sure that that doesn't happen again." Brees is up to 30 TD passes and three interceptions on the season but posted a season-low 71.6 rating last week.

ABOUT THE BUCCANEERS (5-7): Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns in the Week 1 win over the Saints, but Tampa Bay is back to Jameis Winston under center. Winston guided the team to wins in each of the last two games by playing turnover-free football with a total of four TDs and zero INTs. "Jameis' production -- when we don't turn the ball over, when he doesn't turn the ball over -- his production is always going to be there," Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter told reporters. "(He's) a fantastic player, and sometimes that gets negated by turnovers. But you could see the last two weeks, when we don't turn the ball over, we're a lot harder to beat."

EXTRA POINTS

1. Saints veteran WR Brandon Marshall could make his team debut on Sunday.

2. Buccaneers S Andrew Adams recorded three INTs last week.

3. New Orleans LT Terron Armstead (pectoral) returned to practice this week after missing the last three games and is questionable.

PREDICTION: Saints 35, Buccaneers 27
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#413703 - 12/07/18 11:21 AM Re: NFL Week 14 [Re: FREAK]
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New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills

With little else for which to play in the standings, the New York Jets are seeking a measure of revenge when they travel to Buffalo on Sunday to meet the Bills. The Jets were 3-6 after suffering three straight losses but still hoping to turn things around heading into a Week 10 matchup with the struggling Bills at home, only to lay an egg in an embarrassing 41-10 loss to their AFC East foes.

"Cut to the chase, man: It's personal," New York safety Jamal Adams told reporters. "They came in and they whupped us. They don't like us, we don't like them, so it's going to be a tough battle." The Jets' slide has reached six in a row and last week's 26-22 setback at Tennessee was just about as painful, as they blew an early 16-0 lead and lost on a touchdown in the final minute. Buffalo followed up its 31-point win at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 11 with a victory over Jacksonville and a narrow loss at Miami as Sean McDermott's team displays a more competitive streak. Josh Allen threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 135 more in the 21-17 loss to the Dolphins, and he figures to face off with New York's Sam Darnold -- who expects to return from a foot injury -- in a matchup of rookie quarterbacks.

TV: 1 p.m. CBS. LINE: Bills -3.5. O/U: 38.5

ABOUT THE JETS (3-9): Darnold, who still has a few hurdles to clear before being given Sunday's start, has stood by for three straight weeks while backup Josh McCown completed 55 percent of his passes with one touchdown and four interceptions. "He has to stay healthy, he has to get the rust off and he has to get the game plan down," coach Todd Bowles told reporters when asked what Darnold needs to do before being named the starter. A bright spot in last Sunday's loss was a 156-yard team effort on the ground led by Isaiah Crowell, who had his best total in roughly two months with 98 yards but is hampered by a toe injury heading into this one.

ABOUT THE BILLS (4-8): Allen's completion percentage stands at an unattractive 52.9 but he's making a name for himself with his legs, piling up 234 yards and a score on the ground over the last two weeks all while doing his best to avoid much physical abuse. "I've done a really good job on protecting myself, whether it's getting down, sliding, or getting out of bounds," Allen told reporters. "Obviously, sometimes hits are going to happen. That's football, whether it's in the pocket or outside the pocket. But I definitely don't want to be the leading rusher. We've got to get (running back LeSean McCoy) going and guys in the backfield going, and we're going to be looking forward to do doing that in the next four weeks." McCoy had a season-high 113 yards and two TDs in the win at New York but has a total of 98 in the two games since.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Bills waived WR Kelvin Benjamin, the team's second-leading receiver, on Tuesday.

2. The Jets enter the week ranked 30th in the NFL in total offense (301 yards per game), while the Bills were 31st (285.7).

3. Buffalo has taken five of the last six meetings at home.

PREDICTION: Bills 21, Jets 17
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#413704 - 12/07/18 11:22 AM Re: NFL Week 14 [Re: FREAK]
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New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins

The New England Patriots are in the midst of an unprecedented run of success within the AFC East and can clinch their 10th consecutive division title with a victory at the Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon. The Patriots trail Kansas City by one game for the best record in the AFC but they have struggled in Miami with four losses in their last five visits.

New England quarterback Tom Brady has won 12 of his last 13 against AFC East opponents, but he has a losing record (7-9) against the Dolphins in Miami, including a 27-20 setback a year ago. "I think the climate plays some role and they always seem to play well when they play us down there," Brady said. "We're going up against a good opponent that plays us very well at home. We play them very well at home. It is just one of those series where it is kind of like that." The Dolphins have dropped six of nine since opening the season with three wins in a row, a swoon that started with a 38-7 mauling at New England in Week 4. Still, Miami is among a cluster of four teams with 6-6 records that trail Baltimore by one game for the final playoff berth in the conference.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Patriots -7.5. O/U: 47

ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (9-3): Brady threw for 311 yards with a touchdown and an interception in last week's 24-10 win over Minnesota, but he has had some clunkers on the road this season and failed to throw a scoring pass in two of his last three away from home. Running back James White has been an integral part of the passing game with team highs in catches (74), yards (659) and receiving touchdowns (6). Running back Sony Michel has rushed for more than 100 yards three times during his rookie season, including 112 on a season-high 25 carries in the drubbing of the Dolphins in Week 4. The Patriots have only 19.0 sacks and have struggled against the pass but they are tied for ninth with 21.6 points allowed.

ABOUT THE DOLPHINS (6-6): Ryan Tannehill made his second start since missing five games with a shoulder injury and threw for three touchdowns in last week's 21-17 win over Buffalo despite mustering only 137 yards passing. Miami is one of five teams averaging fewer than 200 yards passing but leading receiver Danny Amendola, who played the previous five seasons with the Patriots, is on track to return to the lineup after sitting out last week's matchup. Frank Gore leads the ground game with 616 yards rushed but he failed to get 10 carries for the first time in nine games and was limited to 21 yards against Buffalo. The Dolphins will be without star cornerback Xavien Howard, the NFL leader with seven interceptions.

EXTRA POINTS

1. New England can become the first team to make 10 consecutive playoff appearances.

2. Tannehill has won his last eight starts at home.

3. Brady is tied with Peyton Manning for the most career touchdowns (playoffs included) with 579.

PREDICTION: Patriots 23, Dolphins 20
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#413707 - 12/07/18 11:22 AM Re: NFL Week 14 [Re: FREAK]
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Los Angeles Rams vs. Chicago Bears

The Los Angeles Rams are back in the driver's seat for the No. 1 overall seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, but they face a major road test when they visit the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears on Sunday night. The Rams have won three in a row since their lone loss and will face a Chicago squad that had its five-game winning streak snapped last week.

Los Angeles (11-1) became the first team to clinch a division, wrapping up its second straight NFC West title with a 30-16 victory at the Detroit Lions a week ago. "It's a great feeling," Rams quarterback Jared Goff said. "I think it was kind of definitely different than last year. It was a bit more expected this year. It happened earlier on in the year and this is something that we put as a check mark early on in the year, and are able to mark that off now and it feels good." While the Bears' stingy defense will be tasked with slowing down Los Angeles' potent offense, Chicago also will receive a boost with the expected return of starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky from a right shoulder injury that sidelined him for two games. The marquee matchup also will feature the NFL's two highest-paid defensive players -- Bears linebacker Khalil Mack and Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Rams -3. O/U: 51.5

ABOUT THE RAMS (11-1): Running back Todd Gurley had one of his worst games of the season before the Week 12 bye but he showed fresh legs against Detroit by rushing for 132 yards and putting the game away with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns. Goff is 246 yards shy of reaching 4,000 for the first time and needs one touchdown pass to match last season's total of 28 for Los Angeles, which is tied for second in the league with an average of 34.9 points. Wideouts Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks are Goff's top two targets with 64 and 63 receptions, respectively. The Rams rank in the middle of the pack defensively, but reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Donald is having another monster season with a league-best 16.5 sacks.

ABOUT THE BEARS (8-4): Backup Chase Daniel was intercepted twice and sacked five times in last weekend's 30-27 loss at the New York Giants, but Trubisky is much more mobile and was not sacked more than twice in his last seven games. Trubisky, who has thrown for more than 300 yards four times but also has failed to surpass 200 in the same number of games, has rushed for at least 43 yards in five of his last seven contests. Jordan Howard heads an inconsistent running game while backfield mate Tarik Cohen leads Chicago in both catches (59) and receiving yards (659). Mack had 9.0 sacks for a defense that faltered against the Giants but ranks second against the run (85.8) and tops the league in interceptions (21) and touchdowns (5).

EXTRA POINTS

1. Donald can become the fourth player since 1982 to record at least two sacks in four consecutive games in one season.

2. Trubisky has 1,427 yards with 14 TDs and four interceptions in his last five at home.

3. Gurley has scored 18 touchdowns in his last eight games on the road.

PREDICTION: Rams 27, Bears 26
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#413711 - 12/07/18 11:23 AM Re: NFL Week 14 [Re: FREAK]
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New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins

Mark Sanchez has become the butt of jokes for his role in an infamous play over six years ago, but the 32-year-old is serious about changing the narrative on both his career as well as the Washington Redskins' season. Sanchez will make his first start since the 2015 campaign and become the third Redskins' quarterback to play in the last month when the team hosts the New York Giants on Sunday.

"You work for something, you pray for something and then it finally happens," Sanchez said. "You don't care what the circumstances are, you're just happy to get a shot." The unfortunate circumstances have altered the course of the season for Washington, which has seen quarterbacks Alex Smith and Colt McCoy each sustain a broken leg in the midst of a three-game losing skid. The Giants regrouped after dropping a 20-13 setback to the Redskins on Oct. 28 and returned from their bye to win three of their last four contests to give the team confidence even if their postseason outlook isn't as bright. "At this point, we can only focus on Washington. There is no 'what if.' We're going out there to win," star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. said. "If our season is over, I'm making sure somebody else is coming home with us."

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Giants -3.5. O/U: 41

ABOUT THE GIANTS (4-8): Rookie Saquon Barkley posted his 11th game with at least 100 scrimmage yards on Sunday after totaling 146 (125 rushing, 21 receiving) in New York's 30-27 overtime win over Chicago on Sunday. The 21-year-old reached triple digits against the Redskins (38 rushing, 73 receiving) in October and would match Edgerrin James (1999) and move within one of Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson (1983) should he repeat the feat on Sunday. "Not really," Barkley said when asked about individual records. "You're just so stuck in the moment, stuck in the season, trying to get better every single day." Eli Manning, who threw for season lows in yards (170) and completion percentage (54.3) versus the Bears, was sacked seven times in the first meeting with Washington and intercepted twice by D.J. Swearinger.

ABOUT THE REDSKINS (6-6): With Sanchez relatively new to coach Jay Gruden's system, Washington may need to rely on the ageless Adrian Peterson to carry the load on Sunday in much the same manner as he did in the first encounter versus New York. The 33-year-old Peterson rushed for a season-high 149 yards and a touchdown and added a 7-yard receiving score against the Giants. Peterson bolted out of the blocks on Monday with a franchise-record 90-yard touchdown before finishing with just eight more yards in a 28-13 setback to Philadelphia. Tight end Jordan Reed, who matched a season low in receiving yards (21) versus the Eagles, leads the team in receptions (54) and receiving yards (558) and is tied for top honors in receiving touchdowns with two.

EXTRA POINTS

1. New York K Aldrick Rosas, who is 26 of 27 on field-goal attempts this season, captured NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors after making all three tries -- including a 44-yarder in overtime -- versus Chicago.

2. Washington LB Ryan Kerrigan (team-leading eight sacks) has 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble in his last three encounters with the Giants.

3. Two-time Pro Bowl S Landon Collins (shoulder) was placed on injured reserve this week for New York.

PREDICTION: Giants 24, Redskins 17
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#413715 - 12/07/18 11:23 AM Re: NFL Week 14 [Re: FREAK]
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Denver Broncos vs. San Francisco 49ers

The Denver Broncos have reeled off three straight victories to remain in the AFC wild-card race and look to add another triumph when they visit the San Francisco 49es on Sunday. But the Broncos were dealt a couple of blows to overcome in the forms of a season-ending injury to receiver Emmanuel Sanders and a probable season-ender for cornerback Chris Harris Jr.

Harris fractured a bone in his lower right leg in last Sunday's 24-10 victory over Cincinnati while Sanders tore his left Achilles during practice on Wednesday. "It's tough," Broncos quarterback Case Keenum told reporters. "You don't really replace guys. Emmanuel is one of the best guys I've ever worked with. ... It surpassed all my expectations, far and away." San Francisco is far removed from the NFC playoff race and has allowed an average of 32.3 points during its three-game slide. The 49ers have lost five games by double digits, including last Sunday's 43-16 setback against Seattle.

TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Broncos -4. O/U: 45.5.

ABOUT THE BRONCOS (6-6): Keenum has passed for 2,953 yards with 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, but it won't be a surprise if Denver opts for a run-heavy attack due to its inexperienced receiving group minus Sanders. Red-hot rookie running back Phillip Lindsay has topped 100 rushing yards in back-to-back games, and his season-best 157 against the Bengals has elevated him to fourth in the NFL with 937. The loss of three-time Pro Bowler Harris will hurt a defensive unit that is receiving standout seasons from pass rushers Von Miller (second in the NFL with 12.5 sacks) and Bradley Chubb (rookie-high 10 sacks).

ABOUT THE 49ERS (2-10): Quarterback Nick Mullens passed for a career-best 414 yards in the loss to the Seahawks and has a stellar target in tight end George Kittle (62 receptions, 893 yards), who is 73 yards away from surpassing the franchise record for a tight end (Vernon Davis with 965 in 2009). "Obviously, it hasn't mattered what quarterback is in there," Mullens told reporters of Kittle. "He's been making plays since Day One. You can credit him to that chemistry because it doesn't matter who is in there. He's going to catch it and step up and make plays." Defensive end DeForest Buckner leads the club with nine sacks, but the defensive unit has allowed more than 30 points on four occasions.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Lindsay is averaging an NFL-best 6.1 yards per carry.

2. Denver claimed WR Andre Holmes off waivers from Buffalo shortly after Sanders was injured.

3. San Francisco LS Kyle Nelson was suspended 10 games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

PREDICTION: Broncos 26, 49ers 13
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#413719 - 12/07/18 11:24 AM Re: NFL Week 14 [Re: FREAK]
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Cincinnati Bengals vs. Los Angeles Chargers

The Los Angeles Chargers attempt to move closer to securing an AFC playoff berth when they host the struggling Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The Chargers have registered eight wins in their last nine games while Cincinnati has dropped four straight contests.

Los Angeles is one game behind first-place Kansas City in the AFC West and has a showdown with the Chiefs waiting four days after the matchup against the Bengals. "We can't look forward because that is how you lose games," Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward told reporters. "We have to make sure we are disciplined because those guys are pros, and if we sleep on them, they will beat us. We will focus on K.C. next week." Cincinnati is alive in the playoff race but has been fading in the wrong direction as it has lost by an average of 17.3 points during its skid. "We've got to play harder. From offense to defense, special teams, we've got to play harder," Bengals running back Joe Mixon told reporters. "We can't just let people come in and try to do whatever they want."

TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Chargers -14. O/U: 47.5

ABOUT THE BENGALS (5-7): Cincinnati already was without Andy Dalton (thumb) for the season but now has lost standout receiver A.J. Green (toe) for the rest of the campaign, and that rates as a huge blow for fill-in quarterback Jeff Driskel. "Losing A.J. is a big deal," Driskel told reporters. "At the end of the day, we have other good players out there, and the coaches are going to do a good job of getting those guys in position to make plays. ... We're going to have to overcome and make some plays out there in his absence." A shaky defense has been a major problem as the Bengals rank last in the NFL in scoring defense (30.9 points) and total defense (433.1 yards).

ABOUT THE CHARGERS (9-3): Philip Rivers has passed for two or more touchdowns every game this season and is clicking well with wideout Keenan Allen (83 catches, 996 yards), who had 14 receptions for 148 yards in last Sunday's 33-30 win over Pittsburgh to fall one catch shy of matching the franchise mark he shares with Hall-of-Famer Kellen Winslow (1984). Running back Melvin Gordon (knee) likely will miss his second straight game and rookie Justin Jackson (eight carries, 63 yards versus Pittsburgh) is expected to receive more of the workload after Austin Ekeler struggled with just 21 yards on 13 carries. Safety Derwin James (three interceptions, 3.5 sacks) has been one of the top defensive rookies in the league while standout defensive end Joey Bosa has recorded three sacks in as many games since returning from a foot injury.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Bengals have won the last four meetings.

2. Los Angeles NT Brandon Mebane is back with the team after a two-game absence due to complications stemming from the premature birth of his daughter.

3. Cincinnati WR Tyler Boyd needs 62 yards for his first career 1,000-yard receiving season.

PREDICTION: Chargers 45, Bengals 23
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#413720 - 12/07/18 11:24 AM Re: NFL Week 14 [Re: FREAK]
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Detroit Lions vs. Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals attempt to post back-to-back victories for the first time this season when they host the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Arizona recorded its first win of 2018 against a team other than San Francisco last week as it recorded a 20-17 triumph at Green Bay that led to the firing of Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

The Cardinals registered a season-high 182 yards on the ground against Green Bay behind an offensive line that saw two more members land on injured reserve this week, bringing the current total to six. Arizona's chances at a second straight win appear good, as the team has won seven of its last eight meetings with Detroit. The Lions hopes to avoid its second three-game losing streak of the season after dropping home decisions against Chicago and the league-leading Los Angeles Rams. Detroit halted its seven-game slide in the all-time series in the last meeting as it posted a 35-23 home victory on Sept. 10, 2017.

TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Lions -3. O/U: 40.5

ABOUT THE LIONS (4-8): Matthew Stafford, who threw four touchdown passes in last season's win over Arizona, has been limited in practice this week due to a back ailment but figures to be under center on Sunday. The 30-year-old has been impressive on the road this season, passing for 1,344 yards with nine touchdowns and only two interceptions in five contests. LeGarrette Blount has rushed for 43 scores since 2013, the second-most among active players.

ABOUT THE CARDINALS (3-9): Tackle D.J. Humphries and guard Mike Iupati both landed on injured reserve with knee injuries, joining center A.Q. Shipley (knee), tackle John Wetzel (neck) and guards Jeremy Vujnovich (hamstring) and Justin Pugh (knee) on the shelf. Arizona also placed wide receiver Christian Kirk (foot), who leads the team with 590 receiving yards, and defensive tackle Olsen Pierre (knee) on IR. Veteran wideout Larry Fitzgerald is one reception away from passing Jerry Rice (1,281) for most by a player with one team in NFL history.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Lions RB Kerryon Johnson (knee) has not practiced this week and is expected to miss his third straight game.

2. Arizona signed Rees Odhiambo from Indianapolis' practice squad and inked fellow OL Joe Barksdale (released by the Chargers) while promoting DE Vontarrius Dora and WR Jalen Tolliver from its practice squad.

3. Detroit placed LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin on injured reserve with a neck injury.

PREDICTION: Cardinals 24, Lions 20
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#413721 - 12/07/18 11:24 AM Re: NFL Week 14 [Re: FREAK]
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Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys began the turnaround to their season by watching Ezekiel Elliott score twice in a 27-20 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 11. The Cowboys bid to strengthen their grip atop the NFC East and push their winning streak to five games at AT&T Stadium on Sunday when they vie for their first season sweep of the Eagles since 2012.

Elliott rushed for 151 yards and added six catches for 36 yards in Philadelphia on that night, beginning a stretch of four games in which he totaled 666 scrimmage yards (469 rushing, 197 receiving) and five touchdowns. The 2016 NFL rushing leader hasn't spared the Eagles since entering the league, erupting for 476 scrimmage yards in three encounters. Philadelphia answered its setback to Dallas by getting shellacked by New Orleans, but has since regained its swagger with consecutive victories over NFC East rivals New York and Washington to remain one game behind the first-place Cowboys with four to play. "I mean, you look at Dallas' history, they always choke. So we'll go down there and make them choke." Eagles linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill said, via NBC Philadelphia.

TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Cowboys -3.5. O/U: 44

ABOUT THE EAGLES (6-6): Carson Wentz, who reached the 300-yard plateau for the fifth time this season in Monday's 28-13 win over the Redskins, threw for a season-high 360 yards to go along with a pair of touchdown passes to tight end Zach Ertz in the first meeting with Dallas. Ertz posted campaign bests in receptions (14) and receiving yards (145) in that contest and could become the fourth tight end in NFL history to record at least 100 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards in a single season with seven catches and 22 receiving yards on Sunday. In-season trade acquisition Golden Tate made his presence felt with seven receptions for 85 yards and a score against Washington and aims to light up the Cowboys for the second time this season, having done so with eight catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns in Detroit's 26-24 setback on Sept. 30. "I don't think about the individual too much. I just wanted to be available when my time came and wanted to help this team win and win a lot," the 30-year-old Tate said.

ABOUT THE COWBOYS (7-5): Dak Prescott was efficient in Thursday's 13-10 upset of New Orleans, completing a season-best 85.7 percent of his passes (24 of 28) for 249 yards. The 25-year-old has developed chemistry with in-season trade acquisition Amari Cooper, connecting eight times in back-to-back weeks and on six occasions in the first meeting with Philadelphia. Cole Beasley (team-leading 48 receptions) is dealing with an injured foot that had him limited in practice this week, but the 29-year-old feels he can contribute despite making just three catches for 14 yards over his last two outings. "I'm feeling good," Beasley told The Dallas Morning News. "If it was game time, I'd be able to go right now."

EXTRA POINTS

1. Philadelphia DE Michael Bennett recorded two of his team-leading 6.5 sacks in the first meeting with Dallas.

2. Cowboys rookie LB Leighton Vander Esch registered a season-high 13 tackles and an interception in the initial encounter with the Eagles.

3. Philadelphia DE Brandon Graham has four sacks and two forced fumbles in his past four outings versus Dallas.

PREDICTION: Eagles 23, Cowboys 21
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#413722 - 12/07/18 11:25 AM Re: NFL Week 14 [Re: FREAK]
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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Oakland Raiders

The Pittsburgh Steelers' biggest fear has become reality, and they hope to overcome the obstacle and avoid a third straight loss when they visit the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. James Conner, who has filled in admirably as Pittsburgh's top running back this season, will miss the contest due to a sprained ankle - forcing the team to use a two-man approach.

Conner, who is fifth in the league with 909 rushing yards and is tied for fourth with 13 overall touchdowns, became the Steelers' feature back after Le'Veon Bell sat out the first half of the season before electing to remain home for the entire year. With the 23-year-old Conner sidelined, Pittsburgh figures to make both Stevan Ridley and rookie Jaylen Samuels part of the rushing attack this week. While the Steelers look to maintain their slim lead in the AFC North, the Raiders enter the contest even with San Francisco in the race for the first overall pick in next year's draft. Oakland came up empty at home last week as it came out on the wrong side of a 40-33 decision against conference-leading Kansas City.

TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Steelers -10. O/U: 51.5

ABOUT THE STEELERS (7-4-1): Antonio Brown can make NFL history on Sunday with a repeat performance from last week's loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. The 30-year-old receiver made 10 catches in the setback and can pass Wes Welker (672 receptions from 2007-12) for the most by a player over a six-year span with another double-digit total. Ben Roethlisberger hopes to pad his numbers against Oakland as he leads the NFL with 3,945 passing yards and ranks second with 341 completions.

ABOUT THE RAIDERS (2-10): Oakland has continued to make multiple changes to its roster this week in order to find the right fit, signing running back C.J. Anderson, cornerback Bene Benwikere and defensive ends Damontre' Moore and Kony Ealy. Fellow end Fadol Brown was waived while receiver Martavis Bryant (knee), linebacker Shilique Calhoun (neck) and safety Reggie Nelson (shoulder) were placed on injured reserve. Jared Cook is one of three tight ends in the league with at least three games with 100 receiving yards while Derek Carr has gone seven straight contests without an interception.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Steelers promoted RB Trey Edmunds from the practice squad, placed WR Justin Hunter (shoulder) on injured reserve and released LB Farrington Huguenin.

2. Oakland clamed Denzelle Good off waivers from Indianapolis and waived fellow OL Ian Silberman.

3. Pittsburgh has been better on the road than at home this season, going 4-1-1 in enemy territory.

PREDICTION: Steelers 41, Raiders 17
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#413899 - 12/08/18 04:34 PM Re: NFL Week 14 [Re: FREAK]
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Minnesota Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks saw any hopes of winning the NFC West evaporate when the division-rival Los Angeles Rams opened the season 8-0. The Seahawks' playoff chances also appeared to take a major hit after back-to-back losses to both Los Angeles teams, but they have bounced back and carry a three-game winning streak into Monday night's contest against the visiting Minnesota Vikings.

Seattle posted three-point victories over Green Bay and Carolina before routing San Francisco last week to vault into the fifth playoff spot in the NFC - one-half game ahead of Minnesota. "We need tough matchups with teams that really challenge us in many ways, and this is one of them, for sure," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters of facing the Vikings. "So we've got to get it cranked up, have a good week and get ready to go for a big opportunity on Monday night." Minnesota owns a one-half game lead over three teams for the last postseason berth after losing at New England 24-10 last weekend and now must fly to the opposite coast to face resurgent Seattle. "It comes down to other teams are in the hunt, other teams are fighting for their division title and whoever has the best four-game stretch," Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins told reporters. "It doesn't really matter what happened before."

TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Seahawks -3. O/U: 45.5

ABOUT THE VIKINGS (6-5-1): Minnesota has alternated losses and wins over its last five games, a stretch during which Cousins has thrown nine touchdown passes against six interceptions. Running back Dalvin Cook was effective against the Patriots, picking up 84 yards on nine carries, but he has not had more than 10 rushing attempts since the season opener as the Vikings continue to struggle to find balance in their offense. Wide receiver Adam Thielen has registered nine 100-yard performances and just as many touchdowns, but he was held under 30 yards for the second time in the last four games by New England. Defensive pressure is critical for Minnesota, which is 6-1-1 when it notches at least three sacks and 0-4 when it fails to record three.

ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (7-5): Unlike Minnesota, the running game is a point of emphasis for Seattle, which features the top-ranked attack with an average of 148.8 yards and at least 32 rushes in eight of its last 10 games. "Because it's the best way to not screw it up," Carroll said. "That's why the turnover issue is of paramount importance to us. It's the most important thing that we taught." Quarterback Russell Wilson is averaging only 226.4 yards passing but usually dials it up late in the season, and this year is no exception - he has 11 touchdown passes and zero interceptions over his last four contests. Linemen Frank Clark and Jarran Reed have combined for 16.5 sacks to lead a unit ranked ninth in scoring defense (21.6 points).

EXTRA POINTS

1. Seattle has won each of the last four matchups, including a 10-9 playoff victory in January 2016.

2. Thielen, who has made a league-high 98 catches, has recorded 48 receptions and five TDs in six road games.

3. Wilson has a 142.0 passer rating with eight TDs and zero interceptions in three career matchups versus Minnesota.

PREDICTION: Seahawks 26, Vikings 23
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