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Archive for December 24th, 2017

Expectations for Week 16 in the NFL

​WHAT TO LOOK FOR – WEEK 16

TERRIFIC TURNAROUNDS: The PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (NFC East, first-round bye), MINNESOTA VIKINGS (NFC North) and JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (playoff berth) have clinched at least a playoff berth. All three teams finished in either third or fourth place in their divisions last year and missed the postseason.

Entering Week 16, five of the eight divisions have a team either in or tied for first place that finished in third or fourth place in the division last season.

This weekend, four clubs – the CAROLINA PANTHERSLOS ANGELES RAMSNEW ORLEANS SAINTS and TENNESSEE TITANS – have a chance to join Philadelphia, Minnesota and Jacksonville as teams who clinched a playoff spot after not qualifying for the postseason in 2016.

Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.

Jacksonville can secure the AFC South division this weekend with a win or a Tennessee loss and join Philadelphia as teams to go from “worst-to-first” this season.

The teams to go from “worst-to-first” in their division since 2003:

SEASON TEAM RECORD PRIOR SEASON RECORD
2003 Carolina 11-5 7-9
2003 Kansas City 13-3 8-8**
2004 Atlanta 11-5 5-11
2004 San Diego 12-4 4-12**
2005 Chicago 11-5 5-11
2005 New York Giants 11-5 6-10**
2005 Tampa Bay 11-5 5-11
2006 Baltimore 13-3 6-10**
2006 New Orleans 10-6 3-13
2006 Philadelphia 10-6 6-10
2007 Tampa Bay 9-7 4-12
2008 Miami 11-5 1-15
2009 New Orleans*** 13-3 8-8
2010 Kansas City 10-6 4-12
2011 Denver 8-8 4-12
2011 Houston 10-6 6-10**
2012 Washington 10-6 5-11
2013 Carolina 12-4 7-9**
2013 Philadelphia 10-6 4-12
2015 Washington 9-7 4-12
2016 Dallas 13-3 4-12
2017 Philadelphia 12-2* 7-9
       
2017 Jacksonville 10-4* 3-13
* Through Week 15
** Tied for last place

*** Won Super Bowl

– NFL –

THE BELL TOLLS: Pittsburgh Pro Bowl running back LE’VEON BELL, who leads the NFL with 1,849 scrimmage yards this season, has 7,899 scrimmage yards in 61 career games.

Bell, who plays at Houston on Monday, can surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer ERIC DICKERSON (64 games) for the fewest games to reach 8,000 scrimmage yards in NFL history.

The players to reach 8,000 career scrimmage yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM FEWEST GAMES TO 8,000 SCRIMMAGE YARDS  
Eric Dickerson^ LA Rams 64  
Edgerrin James Indianapolis 65  
LaDainian Tomlinson^ San Diego 65  
Jim Brown^ Cleveland 67  
Marcus Allen^ LA Raiders 68  
 
Le’Veon Bell Pittsburgh 61*  
*Has 7,899 career scrimmage yards
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

– NFL –

JONES-ING FOR MORE: Atlanta Pro Bowl wide receiver JULIO JONES ranks third in the NFL with 1,215 receiving yards this season.

With 85 yards on Sunday at New Orleans, Jones will record his fourth consecutive season with at least 1,300 receiving yards, tying Pro Football Hall of Famer MARVIN HARRISON and DEMARYIUS THOMAS for the second-longest streak in NFL history. Only TORRY HOLT (six) from 2000-05 has a longer streak in league annals.

The players with the most consecutive seasons with at least 1,300 receiving yards in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM SEASONS MOST CONSECUTIVE 1,300 REC. YARD SEASONS  
Torry Holt St. Louis 2000-2005 6  
Marvin Harrison^ Indianapolis 1999-2002 4  
Demaryius Thomas Denver 2012-2015 4  
         
Julio Jones Atlanta 2014-2016 3*  
*Has 1,215 rec. yards through Week 15
^Pro Football Hall of Famer  

– NFL –

KEEP IT 100: Arizona Pro Bowl wide receiver LARRY FITZGERALD ranks second in the NFC with 92 receptions this season.

With eight receptions against the New York Giants on Sunday, Fitzgerald will record his fifth career season with at least 100 receptions, tying ANTONIO BROWN, ANDRE JOHNSON and WES WELKER for the second-most 100-catch seasons in NFL history.

Brown, who leads the NFL with 101 receptions this season, reached the 100-catch mark for the fifth time and trails only BRANDON MARSHALL (six) for the most such seasons all-time.

The players with the most 100-catch seasons in NFL history:

 

PLAYER TEAM(S) SEASONS WITH 100+ RECEPTIONS
Brandon Marshall Denver, Chicago, New York Jets 6
Antonio Brown Pittsburgh 5
Andre Johnson Houston 5
Wes Welker New England 5
Larry Fitzgerald Arizona 4*
Marvin Harrison^ Indianapolis 4
Jerry Rice^ San Francisco 4
Reggie Wayne Indianapolis 4
*Has 92 receptions through Week 15
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

– NFL –

CLIMBING THE CHARTS: New York Giants quarterback ELI MANNING ranks seventh in NFL history with 51,287 career passing yards.

With 189 passing yards at Arizona on Sunday, Manning would pass Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHN ELWAY (51,475) for the sixth-most passing yards in NFL history.

The players with the most passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM(S) CAREER PASSING YARDS
Peyton Manning Indianapolis, Denver 71,940
Brett Favre^ Green Bay, New York Jets, Minnesota 71,838
Drew Brees San Diego, New Orleans 69,961*
Tom Brady New England 65,745*
Dan Marino^ Miami 61,361
John Elway^ Denver 51,475
Eli Manning New York Giants 51,287*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Fame

New Orleans Pro Bowl quarterback DREW BREES, who plays against Atlanta on Sunday, has 69,961 career passing yards and needs 39 yards to join Pro Football Hall of Famer BRETT FAVRE (71,838) and PEYTON MANNING (71,940) as the only players in NFL history with at least 70,000 career passing yards.

PLAYER TEAM(S) CAREER PASSING YARDS
Peyton Manning Indianapolis, Denver 71,940
Brett Favre^ Green Bay, New York Jets, Minnesota 71,838
Drew Brees San Diego, New Orleans 69,961*
*Active
^Pro Football Hall of Fame

– NFL –

ACE OF THE STAFF: Detroit quarterback MATTHEW STAFFORD, who plays at Cincinnati on Sunday, has thrown at least 25 pass attempts and completed 75 percent or better of his passes in each of his past three games. He can join TOM BRADY (2007) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history with four consecutive games with at least 25 pass attempts and a 75 or better completion percentage.

The players with the most consecutive games with at least 25 pass attempts and a 75 or better completion percentage in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM SEASON WEEKS CONSEC. GAMES WITH 25+ PASSES

& 75% COMP. PCT.

 
Tom Brady New England 2007 1-4 4  
           
Matthew Stafford Detroit 2017 13-15 3*  
*Active streak    

– NFL –

PROLIFIC PASSERS: Detroit quarterback MATTHEW STAFFORD ranks third in the NFL with 3,920 passing yards and New Orleans Pro Bowl quarterback DREW BREES ranks fourth in the league with 3,850 passing yards.

With 80 passing yards this weekend, Stafford will reach 4,000 passing yards for the seventh consecutive season and surpass PEYTON MANNING (six seasons, 1999-2004) and MATT RYAN (six, 2011-16) for the second-longest streak in NFL history.

Ryan, who has 3,490 passing yards this season, has recorded at least 4,000 passing yards in each of the past six seasons and can extend his streak to seven consecutive seasons with 510 passing yards over the next two weeks.

Brees needs 150 passing yards to extend his NFL-record streak to 12 consecutive seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards.

The quarterbacks with the most consecutive seasons of at least 4,000 passing yards in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM(S) SEASONS SEASONS WITH 4,000+ PASS YARDS
Drew Brees New Orleans 2006-16 11*
Peyton Manning Indianapolis 1999-2004 6
Matt Ryan Atlanta 2011-16 6*
Matthew Stafford Detroit 2011-16 6*
*Active streak

– NFL –

LIGHTS, KAMARA, ACTION: New Orleans Pro Bowl running back ALVIN KAMARA leads all NFL rookies and ties for second in the league with 12 total touchdowns this season.

With a touchdown reception on Sunday, Kamara, who has seven rushing touchdowns and five receiving touchdowns, can join Pro Football Hall of Famer GALE SAYERS (1965) as the only rookies in NFL history with at least six rushing and six receiving touchdowns.

PLAYER TEAM SEASON RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS RECEIVING TOUCHDOWNS  
Gale Sayers^ Chicago 1965 14 6  
 
Alvin Kamara New Orleans 2017 7* 5*  
*Through Week 15
^Pro Football Hall of Famer

– NFL –

GO THE DISTANCE: Kansas City wide receiver TYREEK HILL had a 64-yard touchdown catch in the Chiefs’ Week 15 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. Since entering the league in 2016, Hill has 11 career touchdowns of at least 50 yards.

With a 50+ yard touchdown on Sunday against Miami, Hill would surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer GALE SAYERS (11) for the second-most touchdowns of at least 50 yards in a player’s first two seasons in NFL history. Only DEVIN HESTER (13) had more such touchdowns in his first two seasons.

The players with the most touchdowns of at least 50 yards in their first two seasons in NFL history:

PLAYER TEAM(S) 50+ YARD TOUCHDOWNS IN 1ST 2 SEASONS
Devin Hester Chicago 13
Tyreek Hill Kansas City 11*
Gale Sayers^ Chicago 11
*In second season
^Pro Football Hall of Famer ​

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

Top 7 statistical highlights from Week 15 in the NFL

SEVEN FROM SUNDAY – WEEK 15

A look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 1:00 p.m. ET and 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 17, the 15th week of the 2017 season.

  • The PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, who have already clinched the NFC East, defeated the New York Giants 34-29 to secure a first-round bye. The Eagles have started 12-2 or better for the second time in franchise history (13-1 in 2004).

The MINNESOTA VIKINGS, who knocked off Cincinnati 34-7, locked up the NFC North division title. It marks the second division title for the Vikings in the past three seasons.

The NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, who defeated Pittsburgh 27-24, secured the AFC East division title. It marks the ninth consecutive division title for the Patriots (2009-17), the longest streak in NFL history.

The JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS defeated Houston 45-7 and clinched a playoff berth. It marks the Jaguars’ first playoff berth since 2007.

  • New England quarterback TOM BRADY passed for 298 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots’ win at Pittsburgh. Brady (five Super Bowl wins) and the Steelers’ BEN ROETHLISBERGER (two) have combined for seven Super Bowl victories, the most by opposing starting quarterbacks in a game in NFL history.
  • Philadelphia quarterback NICK FOLES, making his first start of the season, threw four touchdown passes in the Eagles’ win over the Giants. Last week, Philadelphia quarterback CARSON WENTZ threw four touchdown passes against the Los Angeles Rams.

The Eagles are the first team since the 2011 Green Bay Packers (AARON RODGERS and MATT FLYNN, Weeks 16-17) to have different starting quarterbacks throw at least four touchdown passes in back-to-back weeks.

It is also the first time in franchise history that different Eagles starting quarterbacks have accomplished the feat in consecutive weeks.

Philadelphia’s ALSHON JEFFERY, NELSON AGHOLOR and ZACH ERTZ each had a touchdown catch in the victory. Jeffery (nine touchdown catches), Agholor (eight) and Ertz (eight) each have at least eight touchdown catches this season.

The Eagles are the fourth team in NFL history to have at least three players with eight or more receiving touchdowns through their team’s first 14 games of a season, joining the 1961 Houston Oilers, 2004 Indianapolis Colts and 2013 Denver Broncos.

  • Buffalo running back LE SEAN MC COY rushed for 50 yards and scored two touchdowns in the Bills’ 24-16 win over Miami. McCoy reached 10,000 career rushing yards on his 2,145th carry and became the fifth-fastest player in NFL history to achieve the milestone. The only players to reach 10,000 career rushing yards in fewer attempts are JIM BROWN (1,936), ADRIAN PETERSON (2,004), BARRY SANDERS (2,020) and O.J. SIMPSON (2,085). Brown, Sanders and Simpson are all enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • Los Angeles Rams running back TODD GURLEY rushed for 152 yards with three touchdowns and added three catches for 28 yards with a touchdown in the team’s 42-7 win at Seattle. Gurley joins Pro Football Hall of Famer MARSHALL FAULK (October 20, 2002) as the only Rams in franchise history to have at least 150 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown in a single game.
  • New Orleans wide receiver MICHAEL THOMAS had nine catches for 93 yards and a touchdown in the Saints’ 31-19 win over the New York Jets. Thomas, who had 92 catches as a rookie last season, has a career-high 94 receptions this year. He joins ODELL BECKHAM, JR. as the only players in NFL history to record at least 90 receptions in each of their first two seasons. Beckham accomplished the feat in each of his first three seasons (2014-16).
  • Carolina quarterback CAM NEWTON threw four touchdown passes and rushed for 58 yards in the Panthers’ 31-24 victory against Green Bay.

Newton, who leads all quarterbacks with 643 rushing yards this year, has four career seasons with at least 600 rushing yards, tied with MICHAEL VICK (four) for the most such seasons by a quarterback in NFL history

Panthers running back CHRISTIAN MC CAFFREY had six catches for 73 yards and a touchdown in the win. McCaffrey, who has 73 catches and five receiving touchdowns this season, is the only rookie running back in NFL history with at least 70 receptions and five touchdown catches.

Carolina defensive end JULIUS PEPPERS recorded a half-sack on fourth-and-14 with 5:46 remaining in the fourth quarter in today’s victory. Peppers, who has 10 sacks this season, is the fourth player in NFL history to have at least 10 seasons with 10+ sacks, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers BRUCE SMITH (13 seasons), REGGIE WHITE (12) and KEVIN GREENE (10).

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

NFL 2017 Playoff Scenarios for Week 16

(photo by Christiana Santiago)

 

 

AFC

CLINCHED: New England – AFC East division title

Pittsburgh – AFC North division title

Jacksonville – Playoff berth

 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (11-3) (vs. Buffalo (8-6), Sunday)

New England clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

1)  NE win + PIT loss + JAX loss or tie

 

New England clinches a first-round bye with:

1)  NE win + PIT loss   OR

2)  NE win + JAX loss or tie   OR

3)  NE tie + JAX loss

 

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-3) (at Houston (4-10), Monday)

Pittsburgh clinches a first-round bye with:

1) PIT win + JAX loss or tie  OR

2) PIT tie + JAX loss



JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (10-4) (at San Francisco (4-10), Sunday)

Jacksonville clinches AFC South division title with:

1)    JAX win or tie  OR


2)    TEN loss or tie

 

 

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (8-6) (vs. Miami (6-8), Sunday)

Kansas City clinches AFC West division title with:

1)  KC win  OR

2)  LAC loss  OR

3)    KC tie + LAC tie


TENNESSEE TITANS (8-6) (vs. Los Angeles Rams (10-4), Sunday)

Tennessee clinches a playoff berth with:

1)  TEN win + BAL loss + BUF loss


NFC

CLINCHED: Philadelphia – NFC East division title and first-round bye

Minnesota – NFC North division title

 

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (12-2) (vs. Oakland (6-8), Monday night)

Philadelphia clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1) PHI win  OR

2) MIN loss  OR

3) PHI tie + MIN tie


MINNESOTA VIKINGS (11-3) (at Green Bay (7-7), Saturday night)

 

Minnesota clinches a first-round bye with:

 

1)  MIN win + CAR loss or tie  OR

2)  MIN tie + CAR loss + NO loss or tie + LAR loss or tie

 

LOS ANGELES RAMS (10-4) (at Tennessee (8-6), Sunday)

Los Angeles Rams clinch NFC West division title with:

1) LAR win or tie  OR

2) SEA loss or tie

 

Los Angeles Rams clinch a playoff berth with:

1)  DET loss or tie + CAR loss + ATL loss

 

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (10-4) (vs. Atlanta (9-5), Sunday)

New Orleans clinches NFC South division title with:

1)  NO win + CAR loss

 

New Orleans clinches a playoff berth with:

1)  NO win or tie  OR

2)  DAL-SEA tie

 

CAROLINA PANTHERS (10-4) (vs. Tampa Bay (4-10), Sunday)

Carolina clinches a playoff berth with:

1)  CAR win or tie  OR

2)  DAL-SEA tie

 

ATLANTA FALCONS (9-5) (at New Orleans (10-4), Sunday)

Atlanta clinches a playoff berth with:

1)  ATL win  OR

2)  ATL tie + DAL-SEA tie + DET loss or tie

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

Week 16 in the NFL offers close games as teams jockey for playoff position

NFL TEAMS PREPARE FOR FINAL STRETCH

Week 16 also features doubleheaders (4:30 PM & 8:30 PM ET) on both Saturday & Christmas Day

Time is running out. With two weeks to go in the NFL regular season, it’s time for teams to make their final playoff push.

Through the first 15 weeks, five postseason berths have been clinched. Philadelphia (NFC East, first-round bye), Minnesota (NFC North), New England (AFC East) and Pittsburgh (AFC North) have each won its division. Jacksonville has secured a playoff berth. And with two weeks left in the regular season, there are still 19 teams in contention for a trip to Super Bowl LII.

There are seven playoff spots up for grabs, including four division titles.

In the AFC, New England (11-3, clinched AFC East) can secure a first-round bye and home-field advantage. Pittsburgh (11-3, clinched AFC North) can lock up a first-round bye. Jacksonville (10-4, clinched playoff berth) can win the AFC South. Kansas City (8-6) can clinch the AFC West. And Tennessee (8-6) can secure a playoff berth.

In the NFC, Philadelphia (12-2, clinched NFC East and first-round bye) can lock up home-field advantage. Minnesota (11-3, clinched NFC North) can secure a first-round bye. The Los Angeles Rams (10-4) can clinch the NFC West or a playoff berth. New Orleans (10-4) can lock up the NFC South or a playoff berth. And Carolina (10-4) and Atlanta (9-5) can each clinch a playoff berth.

By winning the NFC East, the Eagles have completed a “worst-to-first” turnaround and at least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 14 of the past 15 seasons. Both the Jaguars (lead AFC South by two games) and Panthers (tied for NFC South lead) are either in or tied for first place entering Week 16 and can join the Eagles as teams making a “worst-to-first” turnaround. If both Jacksonville and Carolina match Philadelphia as teams accomplishing the feat, 2017 would tie the 2005 and 2006 seasons for the most such “worst-to-first” clubs in NFL history.

Week 16 kicks off on Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 4:30 PM ET on NFL Network as Baltimore hosts Indianapolis. The Ravens, who defeated Cleveland 27-10 last week, are 8-6 and in control for a playoff berth. Baltimore can lock up a spot in the postseason with wins in the team’s final two games. That night in primetime (8:30 PM ET, NBC), Sunday Night Football moves to Saturday night and will feature NFC North rivals Green Bay and Minnesota at Lambeau Field. The Vikings have already locked up the division title and can secure a first-round bye this weekend with a win over the Packers combined with a Carolina loss.

The action continues on Sunday afternoon with 12 games. There will be nine contests played in the early afternoon window (1:00 PM ET) and three games in the late afternoon slot (4:05 and 4:25 PM ET).

The week concludes on Christmas Day with a doubleheader. In the first game, Pittsburgh will visit Houston (4:30 PM ET, NBC/NFLN/Amazon Prime). The Steelers have already won the AFC North and can clinch a first-round bye with a win combined with a Jacksonville loss on Sunday afternoon. The nightcap on Christmas night will showcase Oakland at Philadelphia (8:30 PM ET, ESPN). The Raiders enter Week 16 still alive in the playoff chase while the Eagles, who have already secured the NFC East division title and a first-round bye, can lock up home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win or a Minnesota loss on Saturday. Some of the key games in Week 16 with potential playoff implications:

 

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (11-3) at GREEN BAY PACKERS (7-7) (Saturday, NBC, 8:30 PM ET)

 

  • The Vikings clinched the NFC North with a 34-7 win over Cincinnati last week. Minnesota can secure a first-round bye with a win on Saturday night combined with a Carolina loss on Sunday afternoon. Quarterback CASE KEENUM had a 138.4 passer rating and completed 87 percent of his passes (20 of 23) in last week’s win. Keenum has five games with a 115+ passer rating and 70+ completion percentage and tied Pro Football Hall of Famer BRETT FAVRE (2009) and DAUNTE CULPEPPER (2004) for the most such games in a season in franchise history.

 

BUFFALO BILLS (8-6) at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (11-3) (Sunday, CBS, 1:00 PM ET)

 

  • Buffalo defeated Miami 24-16 last week to remain in the thick of the AFC playoff race. Running back LE SEAN MC COY, who rushed for 50 yards and scored two touchdowns, reached 10,000 career rushing yards. He achieved the milestone on his 2,145th career carry, becoming the fifth-fastest player in NFL history to reach 10,000 rushing yards.

 

  • The Patriots defeated Pittsburgh 27-24 last week to clinch the AFC East for the ninth consecutive season, extending the longest streak in NFL history. New England, which has won the division title in 14 of the past 15 seasons, can lock up a first-round bye with a win combined with either a Pittsburgh or Jacksonville loss. If the Patriots win and both of those teams lose this week, New England will secure home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

 

ATLANTA FALCONS (9-5) at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (10-4) (Sunday, FOX, 1:00 PM ET)

 

  • The Falcons, who finish the season with games against New Orleans and Carolina, are in control for the NFC South and will claim the division title by winning their final two games. Atlanta, which knocked off Tampa Bay last week 24-21, can clinch a playoff berth with a win over the Saints. Running back DEVONTA FREEMAN had 194 scrimmage yards and a touchdown in the victory at Tampa Bay. In Week 14, linebacker DEION JONES had a key fourth-quarter interception in the end zone to help preserve Atlanta’s 20-17 victory over New Orleans.

 

  • The Saints improved to 10-4 with a 31-19 win over the New York Jets last week. New Orleans can clinch the NFC South division title with a win over Atlanta combined with a Carolina loss. The Saints can also secure a playoff berth with a win. In last week’s victory over the Jets, running back MARK INGRAM had 151 scrimmage yards and two rushing touchdowns. Ingram (1,420), rookie running back ALVIN KAMARA (1,336) and wide receiver MICHAEL THOMAS (1,085) are the only trio of teammates in the NFL this season to each have at least 1,000 scrimmage yards.

 

LOS ANGELES RAMS (10-4) at TENNESSEE TITANS (8-6) (Sunday, FOX, 1:00 PM ET)

 

  • The Rams, who defeated Seattle 42-7 last week, can clinch the NFC West this week with a win or a Seahawks loss. The Rams can also lock up a playoff berth without a win if Atlanta, Carolina and Detroit all lose. In last week’s win at Seattle, running back TODD GURLEY became the second player in franchise history – joining Pro Football Hall of Famer MARSHALL FAULK (October 20, 2002) – to have at least 150 rushing yards (152), three rushing touchdowns (three) and a receiving touchdown (one) in a single game.
  • The Titans, who lost 25-23 at San Francisco last week, are still in the mix for both a postseason berth and the AFC South title. Tennessee can clinch a playoff berth this week with a win combined with losses by both Baltimore and Buffalo. The Titans, who play Jacksonville in Week 17, can force a winner-take-all showdown for the AFC South division title if they win this weekend and the Jaguars lose.

 

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (10-4) at SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (4-10) (Sunday, CBS, 4:05 PM ET)

 

  • The Jaguars clinched the team’s first playoff berth since 2007 with a 45-7 victory over Houston last week. Jacksonville can secure the AFC South division this weekend with a win or a Tennessee loss. Quarterback BLAKE BORTLES passed for 326 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 143.8 passer rating last week and is the first player in franchise history to have three consecutive games with a 100+ passer rating, multiple touchdown passes and no interceptions.

 

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (8-6) at DALLAS COWBOYS (8-6) (Sunday, FOX, 4:25 PM ET)

 

  • The Cowboys and Seahawks are both still in the mix for a postseason berth. The winner of this game will remain alive for another week while the loser will be eliminated from playoff contention. Dallas has won three consecutive games while the Seahawks, who have won seven of their past 11, are looking to end a two-game losing streak.

 

OAKLAND RAIDERS (6-8) at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (12-2) (Monday, ESPN, 8:30 PM ET)

 

  • The Raiders enter Week 16 still in the mix for a playoff berth. Defensive end KHALIL MACK aims for his sixth consecutive game with a sack and has reached 10+ sacks (10.5) for the third season in a row. Mack’s 36.5 sacks since the start of the 2015 season are the second-most in the NFL (CHANDLER JONES, 38.5).
  • The Eagles have an NFL-best 12-2 record and have already clinched the NFC East and a first-round bye. With a win over the Raiders or a Minnesota loss on Saturday night, Philadelphia will secure home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs for the first time since 2004. Quarterback NICK FOLES, making his first start of the season, threw four touchdown passes in last week’s 34-29 victory at the New York Giants. The Eagles (CARSON WENTZ and Foles, Weeks 14 and 15) are the first team since the 2011 Green Bay Packers (AARON RODGERS and MATT FLYNN, Weeks 16 and 17) to have different starting quarterbacks throw at least four touchdown passes in back-to-back weeks.

NFL WEEK 16 SCHEDULE

SATURDAY, SUNDAY & MONDAY, DECEMBER 23-25

(All times local)

 

Saturday, December 23 Sunday, December 24 (cont’d)
Indianapolis at Baltimore, 4:30 PM (NFLN) Los Angeles Chargers at New York Jets, 1:00 PM
Minnesota at Green Bay, 7:30 PM (NBC) Los Angeles Rams at Tennessee, 12:00 PM
Denver at Washington, 1:00 PM
Sunday, December 24

Tampa Bay at Carolina, 1:00 PM

Cleveland at Chicago, 12:00 PM

Jacksonville at San Francisco, 1:05 PM

New York Giants at Arizona, 2:25 PM

Seattle at Dallas, 3:25 PM

Detroit at Cincinnati, 1:00 PM

Miami at Kansas City, 12:00 PM

 

Monday, December 25

Buffalo at New England, 1:00 PM Pittsburgh at Houston, 3:30 PM (NBC/NFLN/Amazon)
Atlanta at New Orleans, 12:00 PM Oakland at Philadelphia, 8:30 PM (ESPN)

 

GAME PREVIEWS WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell overtakes Eagles Carson Wentz in final week of Fans NFL Pro Bowl voting

 

Le'veon Bell catching ball over shoulder, 2013 photo By Commonist,I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under the following license Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

Pittsburgh Steelers running back LE’VEON BELL received 855,539 total fan votes to lead all NFL players in balloting for the 2018 Pro Bowl, as announced on NFL Network. Fan voting ended on Thursday, December 14.

New England quarterback TOM BRADY (833,481 votes) ranked second overall, while Pittsburgh wide receiver ANTONIO BROWN (832,446 votes), Philadelphia quarterback CARSON WENTZ (829,174 votes) and New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES (743,355 votes) rounded out the top five.
The 2018 Pro Bowl rosters will be revealed exclusively on Tuesday, December 19 live on NFL Network’s Pro Bowl special “NFL Total Access: Pro Bowl Players Revealed” at 8:00 PM ET. Players for the game are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group’s vote counts one-third toward determining the 88 All-Star players who will be selected to the Pro Bowl. NFL players and coaches cast their votes on Friday, December 15.
The NFL is the only sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players to determine its All-Star teams. It was also the first professional sports league to offer online all-star voting in 1995.
The 2018 Pro Bowl, which kicks off at a new start time of 3:00 PM ET on Sunday, January 28, will be televised live from Camping World Stadium on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and simulcast on ABC.
Tickets to the game start at $45 and are on sale now at ProBowl.com. Last year’s sold-out event – the Pro Bowl’s first time in Orlando – featured a capacity crowd of more than 60,000. Fans may visit ProBowl.com for additional information on Pro Bowl Week, which features a variety of free, family-friendly events in Orlando.
The Pro Bowl is an all-inclusive event for fans on gameday. Working with KultureCity, Camping World Stadium’s sensory-inclusive partner, the NFL will offer families who attend the 2018 Pro Bowl support, including sensory accessibility resources and two dedicated sensory rooms located in the stadium on gameday to enable them to enjoy the game with more confidence and comfort.

NFL PRO BOWL TOP-10 VOTE-GETTERS

POS.

NAME

TEAM

VOTES

RB

Le’Veon Bell Pittsburgh 855,539

QB

Tom Brady New England 833,481

WR

Antonio Brown Pittsburgh 832,446

QB

Carson Wentz Philadelphia 829,174

QB

Drew Brees New Orleans 743,355

RB

Todd Gurley Los Angeles Rams 693,697

QB

Russell Wilson Seattle 651,592

QB

Jared Goff Los Angeles Rams 571,656

TE

Rob Gronkowski New England 551,058

RB

Leonard Fournette Jacksonville 544,068

 

AFC & NFC LEADING VOTE-GETTERS BY POSITION

AFC

NFC

POS.

NAME

TEAM

VOTES

POS.

NAME

TEAM

VOTES

QB

Tom Brady New England 833,481

QB

Carson Wentz Philadelphia 829,174

RB

Le’Veon Bell Pittsburgh 855,539

RB

Todd Gurley LA Rams 693,697

FB

Tommy Bohanon Jacksonville 139,297

FB

Kyle Juszczyk San Francisco 361,196

WR

Antonio Brown Pittsburgh 832,446

WR

Julio Jones Atlanta 541,571

TE

Rob Gronkowski New England 551,058

TE

Zach Ertz Philadelphia 486,011

T

Alejandro Villanueva Pittsburgh 208,033

T

Tyron Smith Dallas 211,690

G

David DeCastro Pittsburgh 253,504

G

Zack Martin Dallas 220,566

C

Maurkice Pouncey Pittsburgh 242,409

C

Travis Frederick Dallas 246,225

DE

Joey Bosa LA Chargers 406,873

DE

Everson Griffen Minnesota 305,291

DT

Geno Atkins Cincinnati 289,919

DT

Aaron Donald LA Rams 314,522

OLB

Von Miller Denver 248,278

OLB

Chandler Jones Arizona 171,825

ILB

Ryan Shazier Pittsburgh 223,092

ILB

Luke Kuechly Carolina 288,830

CB

A.J. Bouye Jacksonville 319,638

CB

Xavier Rhodes Minnesota 222,137

SS

Micah Hyde Buffalo 128,993

SS

Kam Chancellor Seattle 149,793

FS

Kevin Byard Tennessee 157,036

FS

Earl Thomas Seattle 139,203

K

Stephen Gostkowski New England 153,573

K

Greg Zuerlein LA Rams 170,738

P

Marquette King Oakland 156,548

P

Johnny Hekker LA Rams 90,152

RS

Tyreek Hill Kansas City 149,530

RS

Pharoh Cooper LA Rams 116,091

ST

Tyler Matakevich Pittsburgh 91,497

ST

Budda Baker Arizona 96,595

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

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