REGULAR SEASON ENTERS FINAL QUARTER
There are only four games remaining in the regular season to decide who advances to the playoffs for a shot at a trip to Super Bowl LII in Minnesota. As the NFL enters the final quarter of the regular season, there are 22 teams either in or within two games of a playoff spot.
Week 14, no teams have clinched a playoff berth. Four teams – Minnesota, New
England, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh– can clinch a division title this week.
Three others – Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans – can secure a
playoff berth. Pittsburgh can also clinch a playoff berth with a Buffalo loss.
In the AFC, the Patriots (10-2) can lock
up the AFC East with a win or a Buffalo loss. The Steelers (10-2) can
secure the AFC North title with a victory over Baltimore. Pittsburgh can also clinch
a playoff berth before the team plays on Sunday night with a Buffalo loss. The
Jaguars (8-4) have a chance to secure a playoff berth with a win combined with
In the NFC, the Eagles (10-2) can secure
the NFC East with a win or a Dallas loss. It would complete a
“worst-to-first” turnaround for Philadelphia, which finished last in the
division in 2016, and this would be the 14th season in the past 15 years in
which at least one team won its division the season after finishing in or tied
for last place. The Vikings (10-2) can lock up the NFC North with a victory
or losses by both Detroit and Green Bay. The Rams (9-3) and Saints (9-3)
each have an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth with a win combined with
Week 14 begins
on Thursday night (8:25 PM ET, NBC/NFLN/Amazon Prime) with an important NFC
South contest as the Atlanta Falcons (7-5) host the first-place New Orleans
Saints (9-3). With four games to go, the Saints lead the division by one game
over Carolina and two games over Atlanta. However, the Falcons finish with four
consecutive division games – including two against the Saints – and both New
Orleans and Atlanta are in control for the NFC South title.
concludes with a pair of primetime contests with AFC playoff implications. On
Sunday night (8:30 PM ET, NBC), the Steelers (10-2) will host Baltimore (7-5)
with a chance to clinch the AFC North with a victory. On Monday night (8:30 PM
ET, ESPN), the Patriots (10-2) will visit Miami (5-7) and can lock up the AFC
East this week with either a Buffalo loss on Sunday or a win against the
Dolphins on Monday night. Some of the key contests in Week 14:
ORLEANS SAINTS (9-3) at ATLANTA FALCONS (7-5) (Thursday, NBC/NFLN/Amazon Prime,
8:25 PM ET)
Saints have won nine of their past 10 games, including last week’s 31-21
victory over Carolina. New Orleans leads the NFC South and is in control for
the division title. The Saints can clinch a playoff berth this week with a win on
Thursday night combined with other scenarios in Sunday’s games.
Orleans running backs ALVIN KAMARA
and MARK INGRAM have combined for at
least 200 scrimmage yards in five consecutive games. During that span, the duo
has combined for 1,243 scrimmage yards and 13 touchdowns. Kamara and Ingram are
the first pair of running back teammates to each gain at least 100 scrimmage
yards in the same game four times in a season since the 1985 San Francisco
49ers (ROGER CRAIG and WENDELL TYLER).
Falcons have won three of their past four games and finish the season with four
division contests. Atlanta is in control for the NFC South and can seize the
division title by winning the team’s final four regular-season games.
quarterback MATT RYAN has reached
3,000 passing yards (3,057) for the eighth consecutive season. In his past six
games against New Orleans, Ryan has completed 162 of 229 passes (70.7 percent)
for 1,970 yards with 14 touchdowns and one interception for a 115.4 passer
VIKINGS (10-2) at CAROLINA PANTHERS (8-4) (Sunday, CBS, 1:00 PM ET)
Vikings have won eight consecutive games, including last week’s 14-9 win at
Atlanta. Minnesota can clinch the NFC North with a win or losses by both
Detroit and Green Bay.
quarterback CASE KEENUM, who was
named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month for November, has recorded a passer
rating of at least 100 in four consecutive games, tying Pro Football Hall of
Famer BRETT FAVRE (2009) and DAUNTE CULPEPPER (2000 and 2004) for
the longest streak in franchise history.
Panthers, who have won four of their past five games, are 8-4 and right in the
mix for a postseason berth.
linebacker LUKE KUECHLY leads the
team with 89 tackles this season. Since entering the league in 2012, Kuechly
leads the NFL with 782 tackles.
EAGLES (10-2) at LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-3) (Sunday, FOX, 4:25 PM ET)
Eagles and Rams are both averaging 30.1 points per game, the best mark in the
which has won nine of its past 10 games, can clinch the NFC East with a win or
a Dallas loss. It would complete a “worst-to-first” turnaround for the Eagles,
who finished last in the division in 2016. This would be the 14th season in the
past 15 years in which at least one team won its division the season after
finishing in or tied for last place.
quarterback CARSON WENTZ leads the
NFL with 29 touchdown passes and ranks second in the NFC with a 102 passer
rating (minimum 200 attempts). Wentz’s 29 touchdown passes are the most by an
Eagles quarterback through the team’s first 12 games and he needs three
touchdown passes to tie Pro Football Hall of Famer SONNY JURGENSEN (32 in 1961) for the franchise single-season
Rams, who have won six of their past seven games, lead the NFC West and can
clinch a playoff berth this weekend with a win combined with other scenarios.
Angeles running back TODD GURLEY
leads the NFC with 1,502 scrimmage yards and is tied for the NFL lead with 11
touchdowns. Gurley and Pro Football Hall of Famer ERIC DICKERSON (1983) are the only players in franchise history to
have at least 1,500 scrimmage yards and 10 touchdowns in the team’s first 12
games of a season.
SEAHAWKS (8-4) at JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (8-4) (Sunday, FOX, 4:25 PM ET)
Seahawks have won seven of their past nine games, including last week’s 24-10
win over Philadelphia.
2012, quarterback RUSSELL WILSON’s
first season, the Seahawks are an NFL-best 20-5 (.800) in regular-season games
played in December/January. In those games, Wilson has 50 touchdown passes and
a 104.1 passer rating, the highest mark among active quarterbacks over that
Jaguars, who defeated Indianapolis 30-10 last week, are 8-4 and enter Week 14
tied with Tennessee for first place in the AFC South. Jacksonville
can clinch a playoff berth this week with a win combined with other scenarios.
defensive end CALAIS CAMPBELL leads
the AFC with a career-high 12.5 sacks, the most in a single season in franchise
history. The Jaguars lead the NFL with 45 sacks and Campbell has recorded at
least a half-sack in nine of the team’s 12 games.
RAVENS (7-5) at PITTSBURGH STEELERS (10-2) (Sunday, NBC, 8:30 PM ET)
Ravens have won three consecutive games, including last week’s 44-20 victory
over Detroit, and are right in the middle of the playoff race in the AFC with a
leads the NFL with 29 takeaways and a +14 turnover differential. Safety ERIC WEDDLE had a sack, forced fumble
and 45-yard interception-return touchdown in last week’s win against the Lions.
Steelers have won seven consecutive games, including last week’s 23-20 comeback
win at Cincinnati, and can clinch the AFC North division title with a victory
over Baltimore. Pittsburgh can also lock up a playoff berth before the team
plays on Sunday night with a Buffalo loss.
running back LE’VEON BELL leads the
NFL in rushing yards (1,057) and scrimmage yards (1,559) while wide receiver ANTONIO BROWN ranks first in receptions
(88) and receiving yards (1,296). Brown, who has 569 catches and 7,611
receiving yards since 2013, surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer MARVIN HARRISON (1999-2003) for the
most receptions and receiving yards by a player in any five-year span in NFL
ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-2) at MIAMI DOLPHINS (5-7) (Monday, ESPN, 8:30 PM ET)
Patriots, who defeated Buffalo 23-3 last week, have won eight consecutive games
and can clinch the AFC East with either a Buffalo loss on Sunday or a
win on Monday night. New England has won at least 10 games in 15 consecutive
seasons, the second-longest streak in NFL history (16, San Francisco,
England quarterback TOM BRADY has
won 55 games in December in his career, the most by a starting quarterback in
any calendar month in NFL history. Last week, Brady became the fourth player in
NFL history to reach 65,000 career passing yards (65,214).
Dolphins defeated Denver 35-9 last week and remain alive in the race for a
cornerback XAVIEN HOWARD had two
interceptions – including a 30-yard touchdown – in the victory over the
Broncos. The Dolphins added two safeties in the game and are the third team in
NFL history to have an interception-return touchdown and two safeties in a
single game, joining the 1927 and 1961 New York Giants.
NFL WEEK 14
THURSDAY, SUNDAY & MONDAY, DECEMBER
Thursday, December 7
Sunday, December 10 (cont’d)
at Atlanta, 8:25 PM (NBC/NFLN/Amazon)
Tampa Bay, 1:00 PM
Sunday, December 10
at Buffalo, 1:00 PM
Arizona, 2:05 PM
New York Jets
at Denver, 2:05 PM
Los Angeles Chargers, 1:05 PM
Carolina, 1:00 PM
Cincinnati, 1:00 PM
Jacksonville, 4:25 PM
at Los Angeles Rams, 1:25 PM
Green Bay at
Cleveland, 1:00 PM
Pittsburgh, 8:30 PM (NBC)
at Houston, 12:00 PM
Kansas City, 12:00 PM
Monday, December 11
Dallas at New
York Giants, 1:00 PM
at Miami, 8:30 PM (ESPN)