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Saturday, December 29, 2018

Wild and crazy season ends with lots of playoff uncertainty

Wild and crazy season ends with lots of playoff uncertainty

In a wild and crazy season, the most important remaining tumult is within the AFC South.

Houston leads and takes the division title by beating troubled point of entry. A Texans loss, however, provides the winner of the prime-time game between the Colts and Titans in state capital the crown, dropping Houston into a wild card.

“When you begin off 0-3 and you’re sitting here at 10-5 with an opportunity to win the division on Sunday you’ve done tons of fine things over the course of these games since we tend to were 0-3,” star defensive finish J.J. Watt says. “But we've to create positive that we tend to do what we want to try to to to create positive that doesn’t all visit waste.”

There ar 2 different AFC division crowns to settle, within the North and West, however a minimum of the Chiefs and Chargers already ar into the postseason. therefore whereas avoiding having to suit up next weekend — and therefore the chance of getting the conference’s best record — becomes preponderating, Kansas town and la each have a temperature.

Baltimore and Pittsburgh don't. If the Ravens win reception over Cleveland, they take the North. If they lose and therefore the Steelers defeat whorled urban center, Pittsburgh advances.

The winner of the outdoor game in Music town can, well, be creating sweet music as a competition qualifier.

“We’re simply blessed to be during this position to be enjoying for a game, therefore that’s all the motivation that guys would like,” Titans safety Kevin Byard says. “They’ll be actuated, we’ll be actuated. It’ll be a fun game.”

Jacksonville (5-10) at Houston (10-5)

Watt desires simple fraction sack to affix Reggie White because the solely players since 1982 with four or additional seasons with fifteen or additional sacks. Watt has 4½ sacks and has forced 3 fumbles within the past four division games.

On offense, Deshaun Watson had 2 touchdown passes and ran for 2 additional scores last week in an exceedingly loss at urban center. He has 9 touchdown passes and no interceptions in his past four home games.

Jaguars quarterback poet Bortles, United Nations agency was benched when a loss to Buffalo on Nov. 25, will start, maybe for the last time for point of entry. Bortles has thirteen TD passes and ten interceptions this season.

Indianapolis (9-6) at Tennessee (9-6)

Advantage St. Andrew Luck during this rivalry: he's 10-0 in his career starts vs. the Titans. He may become the sole player since 1970 with associate degree 11-0 mark against one team.

Colts K Adam Vinatieri will break a tie with Jeff Feagles (352) for third-most games compete united history and may be a part of patron saint Blanda, Morten Hans Christian Andersen and John Carney because the solely players to look in an exceedingly game at age forty six.

Titans QB Marcus Mariota is sick from a stinger that knocked him out of the last game against Washington. Backup Blaine Gabbert has started doubly and are available off the bench in 3 different games this season for Mariota and fared comparatively well.

But Tennessee’s route to the playoffs probably is Derrick Henry toting the ball. no one has additional yards dashing or TDs in December than Henry, United Nations agency has 532 yards dashing and eight TD runs.

Cincinnati (6-9) at Pittsburgh (8-6-1)

Pittsburgh has won ten of the past eleven conferences with Bengals, whereas the Bengals ar 8-25 vs. the Steelers beneath coach Marvin Lewis. however last year, the Bengals won at urban center 31-27 within the final game, sound the Ravens out of competition and giving a competition berth to Buffalo. Of course, those Bengals were tons healthier than this injury-wrecked cluster.

Pittsburgh is hopeful professional Bowl back James Conner returns when a three-game absence (sprained left ankle).

“It’s out of our management,” says guard David DeCastro. “You’re progressing to feel tons worse than you are doing currently if you were to travel out there and see urban center lose and North American nation lose, too. It’s positively deflating, it’s been a protracted season. We’ve place forth tons of effort.”

Cleveland (7-7-1) at urban center (9-6)

Cleveland actually has scores of incentive, as well as a winning record when going 0-16 in 2017, associate degreed creating an emphatic statement regarding the work of interim coach Gregg Williams.

That doesn’t probably trump the motivation of creating the playoffs, particularly in an exceedingly season with no overwhelming favorites. The Ravens ar 9-1 against Cleveland reception beneath John Harbaugh, United Nations agency took over in 2008. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is 5-1 in his initial six career starts, tied for third-best begin in NFL history. metal Gus Edwards leads urban center with 642 yards dashing, with Jackson second at 605. each ar rookies.

Philadelphia (8-7) at Washington (7-8)

With last year’s hero, Nick Foles, usurping yet again for associate degree slashed Carson Wentz, the Eagles have created a late playoffs push. They win here and Minnesota fails and therefore the Eagles get an opportunity to defend their crown.

Foles threw for a franchise-record 471 yards last week vs. Houston. He’s the sole QB in franchise history with multiple 400-yard passing games and has averaged 279.5 yards passing in his past four starts vs. the Redskins.

In a robust comeback season, Adrian Peterson rush for one9 yards last week to surpass 1,000 for the season. Peterson’s thirteen,259 yards dashing ar eighth on the career list.

Chicago (11-4) at Minnesota (8-6-1)

A huge challenge for the Vikings, as a result of a loss may ruin their season one year when creating the NFC title game. however the Bears have lost six straight games in Minnesota and doing therefore once more probably sends the Vikings to Soldier Field the subsequent week.

Matt Nagy is that the initial Bears coach with a winning record in an exceedingly debut season since Paddy Driscoll went 9-2-1 in 1956, once patron saint Halas took a biennial hiatus.

The Vikings lead the league with fifty sacks and have allowed the fewest TD drives (25) within the league for a second straight season when forgoing twenty three in 2017.

Oakland (4-11) at Kansas town (11-4)

The Chiefs will clinch the AFC West and No. one seed within the playoffs with a win and that they have handled port in seven of the past eight conferences. however a loss and Chargers win drops Kansas town to fifth seed.

KC’s top-ranked offense might be challenged a small amount by a Raiders D that has not allowed associate degree opposing QB to throw for three hundred yards in 9 straight weeks. Raiders QB Derek Carr has associate degree NFL-best streak of 325 passes while not associate degree interception.

Los Angeles Chargers (11-4) at state capital (6-9)

LA has in massive half created its rush to the playoffs removed from its temporary Golden State home: The Chargers have won 5 straight on the road, tied for the franchise’s longest since the merger. though QB prince Rivers is 12-15 vs. Denver, as well as the playoffs, he’s having a special season.

The Broncos ar assured consecutive losing seasons for the primary time since 1971-72. They lost professional Bowl choice prince Lindsay, associate degree undrafted free agent United Nations agency has one,037 yards dashing and 9 TDs, to a articulatio radiocarpea injury.

San Francisco (4-11) at la Rams (12-3)

A win or tie provides LA a wild-card spherical bye. however the Rams haven’t been as dynamic with the ball recently, and star back Todd Gurley is battling knee problems, though C.J. Anderson crammed in well last week against Arizona. DT Aaron Donald leads the NFL with 19½ sacks, and is in placing distance of archangel Strahan’s record of 22½. Donald had four sacks within the Rams’ initial meeting with the Niners.

San Francisco has had seven takeaways; the record for the fewest in an exceedingly season is eleven, antecedently done by Chicago in 2016.

Carolina (6-9) at port of entry (13-2)

With nothing to accomplish as a warranted prime NFC seed, the Saints may rest folks. Drew Brees leads the NFL in completion rate at seventy four.4 p.c (364 of four89), putt him in position to interrupt his own single-season record of seventy two p.c, set in 2017. port of entry ne'er has won fourteen games in an exceedingly season, tho' such associate degree action may not be high priority.

Carolina goes with novice quarterback Kyle Allen for his initial career begin. He completed all four pass {attempts|makes associate degree attempt|tries} last week when starter Taylor Heinicke left with an injury. No. one QB Cam Newton was clean up when fourteen games.

New York Jets (4-11) at geographic area (10-5)

A finish would clinch New England’s thirteenth first-round bye within the AFC playoffs since 2001. The Patriots would conjointly earn a first-round bye with losses by urban center, Houston and Tennessee. geographic area can also clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win and losses by Kansas town and therefore the la Chargers. geographic area has won 5 in an exceedingly row over Jets, United Nations agency are feisty the past few weeks as novice quarterback surface-to-air missile Darnold improves.

New England is that the solely team while not a loss reception (7-0) associate degreed is trying to finish an successful home regular season for the seventh time since 2002. A win would be the Patriots’ five hundredth within the regular season and extend the team’s NFL record to 9 straight years with a minimum of eleven victories.

Arizona (3-12) at port of entry (9-6)

The Seahawks’ excellent retooling has landed it associate degree NFC wild card. Coach Pete Carroll signed a contract extension through 2021 season on.

Russell Wilson is that the initial QB with a winning record in every of his initial seven seasons within the NFL, however this year abundant of it's been designed on the league’s prime dashing game, protective the ball — a plus-14 turnover differential — and solid defense.

A Cardinals loss would lock within the No. one decide in next April’s draft.

Dallas (9-6) at the big apple Giants (5-10)

Good likelihood for the Cowboys to induce of us healthy as they're barred into the fourth seed and can host a wild-card game next week. Dallas won six of its past seven overall and has won 3 straight against the Giants. Ezekiel Elliott leads the NFL with one,434 yards dashing and has two,001 yards from scrimmage. He’s searching for a ninth straight game with a hundred yards from scrimmage, however what quantity action can he see?

Giants metal Saquon politico ranks third in dashing (1,198 yards) and yards from scrimmage (1,886). He desires 114 yards from scrimmage to affix Eric Dickerson (2,212 yards in 1983) and Edgerrin James (2,139 in 1999) because the solely rookies with a minimum of two,000 scrimmage yards in NFL history.

Miami (7-8) at Buffalo (5-10)

A December game in plantation Park ne'er is desirable and therefore the Dolphins have lost 5 of the past six games there. this might be QB Ryan Tannehill’s final game as Miami’s quarterback given his inconsistency and frequent injuries.

Bills metal LeSean McCoy’s 488 yards dashing ar 149 back of his career low set in his novice season with the 2009 Eagles.

Atlanta (6-9) at bay (5-10)

The Falcons have won four straight during this NFC South group action that has very little which means Sunday. Falcons WR Julio Jones leads the NFL with one,539 receiving yards and has 104 catches.

Bucs WR microphone Evans averages a league-leading seventeen.7 yards per catch (minimum fifty receptions) and ranks third within the NFL with one,418 receiving yards.

Detroit (5-10) at urban center (6-8-1)

Two of the NFL’s most unsatisfying groups play out the string. Motown is attempting to win consecutive games at Lambeau Field for the primary time since 1990-91.

Packers WR Davante Adams has 111 catches, 2 back of breaking Sterling Sharpe’s single-season franchise record (112 in 1993). Adams desires one34 yards to interrupt former associate Jordy Nelson’s single-season distance record of 1,519 in 2014.

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