Skip to content

PFT’s wild-card picks

Brown Getty Images

The 256-game regular-season picks contest resulted in a five-game win over MDS.  I finished with a 12-4 mark; MDS ended with 11-5.

For the year, I was 170-86 (66.4%).  MDS is 164-92 (64.4%).

The record now re-set to 0-0, with an 11-game postseason chase.  For the wild-card round, we differ on two of the picks.  For our picks on all of this weekend’s game, just keep reading.

Cardinals at Panthers

MDS’s take: A Ryan Lindley-led Cardinals team vs. a sub-.500 Panthers team. This is one of the worst playoff games in NFL history. But someone is going to advance to the divisional round, and I think it will be the Panthers, who are playing their best football at the right time. The Carolina defense has improved over the course of the season, and that defense is going to make life miserable for Lindley, who just isn’t good enough to be leading an NFL offense into the postseason. The Cardinals had a promising season, but it will come to an end on Saturday.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 24, Cardinals 13.

Florio’s take:  Four straight wins to end the season have given the Panthers a boost heading into the postseason.  And even though the Panthers are 7-8-1 on the year, many think they’ll easily handle the quarterback-challenged Cardinals.  That’s exactly what coach Bruce Arians wants.  His team thrives when doubted, and they’re being doubted again.  Look for the Panthers to continue their postseason struggles at home — and for the Cardinals to punch their ticket for a third contest against a team that has outscored them this year with a combined score of 54-9.

Florio’s pick:  Cardinals 20, Panthers 17.

Ravens at Steelers

MDS’s take: Few players mean as much to their teams as Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, who this season became the first player in NFL history to top 2,200 yards from scrimmage without fumbling. If Bell can’t go, or if he’s at less than full speed, that would be devastating for the Steelers. I think the Steelers’ offense will be slowed down without Bell, and the Ravens’ offense will be able to move the ball against a bad Steelers Defense. Baltimore takes this one in a road upset.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 24, Steelers 20.

Florio’s take:  The Ravens have pulled eight playoff upsets since 2000.  But none of those upsets have come against the Steelers.  It’s hard to imagine it happening now; even if Le’Veon Bell can’t go, the Ravens suddenly can’t contain receiver Antonio Brown, who has 18 catches for 234 yards in two games against Baltimore this year.

Florio’s pick:  Steelers 23, Ravens 14.

Bengals at Colts

MDS’s take: The Colts have not played particularly well recently, but I just can’t overlook what happened when these teams met in Week Seven and the Colts won 27-0. Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton had great days in that game, and even Trent Richardson made some plays. I like the Colts to do it again and win convincingly.

MDS’s pick: Colts 24, Bengals 10.

Florio’s take:  The Colts shut out the Bengals during the regular season.  Which means that the Bengals scored as many points as they have playoff wins since the week before they destroyed Bo Jackson’s hip.  While a shutout isn’t likely on Sunday, the Bengals will have a tough time beating a Colts team that remains good enough to get to the divisional round, but not much farther.

Florio’s pick:  Colts 24, Bengals 13.

Lions at Cowboys

MDS’s take: With Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh winning his appeal and Cowboys defensive tackle Henry Melton out with a knee injury, I’m tempted to pick the Lions to win an upset. But what’s holding me back is that I’m just not convinced the Lions can put enough points on the board, even if Melton’s absence means Matthew Stafford will have more time to pass. Stafford completed only 20 of 41 passes last week against the Packers, and the Cowboys will have a big advantage at quarterback with Tony Romo running the offense. That will be the difference.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 28, Lions 20.

Florio’s take:  The Lions and the Cowboys have each changed the narratives about their underachieving teams this year.  The Dallas storyline will revert quickly, if they blow a chance to return to Lambeau in the postseason for the first time since 1967.  Tony Romo and company will keep that from happening.  If they don’t, everyone will say that Tony Romo and company are no different than they were in past years.

Florio’s pick:  Cowboys 31, Lions 27.

Permalink 103 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

2015 NFL reserve/future signings tracker

Austin Pettis AP

The following players have been signed to or have agreed to reserve/future contracts since the end of the regular season:

Arizona Cardinals

CB Roc Carmichael, OG Antoine McClain, OT Cameron Bradford, RB Zach Bauman, TE Ted Bolser, OG John Fullington, WR Travis Harvey, DT Jimmy Legree, OT Kevin Palmer, OT Tavon Rooks, WR Ryan Spadola, DB Ross Weaver, DB Darren Woodard.

Atlanta Falcons

OT Reid Fragel, TE Mickey Shuler, DB Brandan Bishop, NT Ricky Heimuli, DB Jordan Mabin, WR Freddie Martino, TE Kyle Miller, WR Bernard Reedy, OG Adam Replogle, LB Jacques Smith, RB Ronnie Wingo.

Baltimore Ravens

DB Victor Hampton, OT Marcel Jones, DB Quinton Pointer, TE Allen Reisner, TE Konrad Reuland, WR Aldrick Robinson, RB Kiero Small, DE Zach Thompson.

Buffalo Bills

DB Deon Broomfield, OG William Campbell, LB Jimmy Gaines, DB Jonte Green, WR Caleb Holley, DE Bryan Johnson, OG Darryl Johnson, RB Corey Knox, OG Alex Kupper, TE Chris Manhertz, OG D.J. Morrell, WR Tobais Palmer, DB Rod Sweeting, DT Jeremy Towns, QB Jeff Tuel.

Carolina Panthers

WR Mike Brown, OG Derek Dennis, OG Tyronne Green, TE Kevin Greene, WR Stephen Hill, WR Marcus Lucas, DB Kimario McFadden, TE Mike McNeill, LB Horace Miller, RB Darrin Reaves, DT Micanor Regis, OT Martin Walllace, DB Lou Young.

Chicago Bears

OG Conor Boffeli, LB Jonathan Brown, WR John Chiles, WR Rashad Lawrence, TE Jacob Maxwell, DE Jamil Merrell, OT Jason Weaver.

Cincinnati Bengals

LB L.J. Fort, OT Dan France, DT Kwame Geathers, S Shiloh Keo, DB Onterio McCalebb, DE Sam Montgomery, TE Jake Murphy, WR Tevin Reese, WR Eric Ward, RB James Wilder.

Cleveland Browns

K Travis Coons, K Carey Spear, DT Calvin Barnett, OG Karim Barton, WR Kevin Cone, DB Kendall James, DT Jacobbi McDaniel, DB Micah Pellerin, LB Keith Pough, DT Christian Tupou.

Dallas Cowboys

LB Mister Alexander, WR Chris Boyd, LB Troy Davis, OT R.J. Dill, WR Reggie Dunn, DE LaVar Edwards, DB Keelan Johnson, OT Ryan Miller, LB Will Smith, DB Robert Steeples, OT John Wetzel, RB Ryan Williams.

Denver Broncos

RB Kapri Bibbs, DB Tevrin Brandon, WR Isaiah Burse, QB Zac Dysert, WR Bennie Fowler, OG Jon Halapio, WR Jeremy Kelly, DB Ross Madison, CB Curtis Marsh, LB Danny Mason, WR Nathan Palmer, C Matt Paradis, DE Gerald Rivers, WR Kerry Taylor, DE Chase Vaughn, WR Kyle Williams.

Detroit Lions

C Taylor Boggs, DB Crezdon Butler, C Braxston Cave, DT Jermelle Cudjo, WR Skye Dawson, LB Jerrell Harris, DT Kerry Hyder, RB Emil Igwenagu, DB Nate Ness, WR Andrew Peacock, DT Roy Philon, DT Xavier Proctor, TE Jordan Thompson, OT Michael Williams.

Green Bay Packers

DB Jean Fanor, FB Tay Glover-Wright, LB Adrian Hubbard, P Cody Mandell, C Joe Madsen, RB Rajion Neal, LB Joe Thomas, OT Jeremy Vujnovich, OG Josh Walker, WR Myles White.

Houston Texans

DE Tevita Finau, LB Kourtnei Brown, WR Jace Davis, TE Matt Feiler, C James Ferentz, DB Charles James, WR Travis Labhart, RB Ben Malena, WR Uzoma Nwachukwu, DB Terrance Parks.

Indianapolis Colts

WR Kadron Boone, DE Gannon Conway, RB Jeff Demps, LB Carlos Fields, DB Winston Guy, OT Tyler Hoover, WR Ryan Lankford, WR Josh Lenz, DT Kelcy Quarles, TE Erik Swoope.

Jacksonville Jaguars

WR Arrelious Benn, DB Cody Booth, DB Jeremy Derring, PK Derek Dimke, DE Ikponmwosa Igbinosun, RB Marcel Jensen, FB Greg Jones, P Kasey Redfern, WR Peyton Thompson, DB Tony Washington.

Kansas City Chiefs

TE Brandon Barden, WR Armon Binns, LS Brandon Hartson, DB Aaron Hester, LB JoJo Dickson, DT Hebron Fangupo, OT Curtis Feigt, OG Ricky Henry, LS Jorgen Hus, WR Corbin Louks, DB Deji Olatoye, QB Terrelle Pryor, OG Jarrod Pughsley, WR Da’Rick Rogers, TE Adam Schlitz, OT Derek Sherrod, RB Spencer Ware, WR Fred Williams, DL Jerel Worthy.

Miami Dolphins

OT Mark Asper, QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, DE Emmanuel Dieke, DB Shamiel Gary, PK Zach Hocker, LB Jake Knott, WR Tyler McDonald, WR Michael Preston, DB Lowell Rose, TE Jake Stoneburner.

Minnesota Vikings

DT Chigbo Anunoby, DB Jalil Carter, WR Kain Colter, LB Justin Anderson, QB Pat Devlin, DT Isame Faciane, WR Donte Foster, C Zac Kerin, DE Leon Mackey, OG Jordan McCray, TE Ryan Otten, DB Demarcus Van Dyke, RB Dominique Williams.

New England Patriots

DT Antonio Johnson, LB Rufus Johnson, RB Dion Lewis.

New Orleans Saints

RB Edwin Baker, DB Delvin Breaux, OL Michael Brewster, TE Orson Charles, RB Tim Hightower, K Dustin Hopkins, OG Andrew Miller, RB Toben Opurum, S Kenny Phillips, WR Willie Snead.

New York Giants

OT Michael Bamiro, PK Chris Boswell, LB Victor Butler, OT Emmett Cleary, WR Juron Criner, DB Thomas Gordon, WR Chris Harper, DB Bennett Jackson, P Robert Malone, DE Jordan Stanton, QB Ricky Stanzi, WR Julian Talley, LB Uani’ Unga, DB Josh Victorian, DB Trevin Wade, RB Nikita Whitlock.

New York Jets

K Andrew Furney, OT Sean Hooey, RB Daryl Richardson, P Jacob Schum, LB Mario Harvey, DB Keith Lewis, DB Dashaun Phillips, OT Brett Qvale, LB Chris Young.

Oakland Raiders

RB Terrance Cobb, WR Jeremy Gallon, LB Justin Jackson, DB Vernon Kearney, OT Danny Kistler, OG Lamar Mady, WR Seth Roberts, DT Kona Schwenke, DB Jansen Watson.

Philadelphia Eagles

OG Josh Andrews, RB Kenjon Barner, OT Kevin Graf, LB Brandon Hepburn, DT Wade Keliikipi, QB G.J. Kinne, WR Will Murphy, WR Quron Pratt, DB Ed Reynolds, RB Matthew Tucker.

Pittsburgh Steelers

TE Rob Blanchflower, WR Brelan Chancellor, DE Matt Conrath, FB Jordan Dangerfield, DB Alden Darby, TE Michael Egnew, DB Kevin Fogg, WR C.J. Goodwin, DE Ethan Hemer, LB Howard Jones, P Richie Leone, LB Shawn Lemon, DB Isaiah Lewis, DE Joe Kruger, RB Roosevelt Nix, OT Mitchell Van Dyk, OT Alejandro Villanueva, WR L’Damian Washington, DB Ian Wild.

St. Louis Rams

OT Steven Baker, WR Emory Blake, OG Travis Bond, DB Christian Bryant, LB Marshall McFadden, P Michael Palardy, TE Brad Smelley, WR Damian Williams, DT Doug Worthington, WR Devon Wylie.

San Diego Chargers

DT Chas Alecxih, WR Torrence Allen, DB Richard Crawford, WR Javontee Herndon, TE David Paulson, WR Austin Pettis, DB Adrian Phillips, OT Bryce Quigley, QB Brad Sorensen, LB Colton Underwood, OG Craig Watts.

San Francisco 49ers

RB Kendall Gaskins, TE Xavier Grimble, WR Lance Lewis, OT Chris Martin, DL Lawrence Okoye, LB Shayne Skov, DT Garrison Smith.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

DB Shelton Johnson, S M.D. Jennings, WR Chandler Jones, QB Seth Lobato, DT Matthew Masifilo, OT Matt Patchan, DB Jocquel Skinner, TE Taylor Sloat, P Chase Tenpenny, C Jeremiah Warren.

Tennessee Titans

DB Ri’Shard Anderson, LB Nate Askew, TE Dorin Dickerson, WR Jacoby Ford, WR Clyde Gates, OG Justin McCray, OT William Poehls, RB Lache Seastrunk, LB Yawin Smallwood, LB Chaz Sutton, QB Alex Tanney.

Washington

DT Isaako Aaitui, WR Braylon Bell, RB Jordan Campbell, DB Da’Mon Cromartie-Smith, OT Edawn Coughman, TE Chase Dixon, LB James Gayle, TE Je’Ron Hamm, DT Kenneth Horsley, WR Colin Lockett, DT Lakendrick Ross, WR Rashad Ross, LB Ricky Sapp, LB Austin Spitler, NT Robert Thomas, DB Thomas Wolfe.

Permalink 14 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Week 17 power rankings

Seahawks AP

1. Seattle Seahawks (No. 2; 12-4):  The road to the Super Bowl once again goes through a place where road teams don’t often win.

2. New England Patriots (last week No. 1; 12-4):  Only the Ravens could derail another AFC title.

3. Dallas Cowboys (No. 3; 12-4):  Ice Bowl II, Frozen Gloryhole is looming.

4. Green Bay Packers (No. 4; 12-4):  As expected, a one-legged Aaron Rodgers is still a lot better than a two-legged Matt Flynn.

5. Detroit Lions (No. 5; 11-5):  It’s fitting that Ndamukong Suh’s career may end with a suspension.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 8; 11-5):  From Cheech & Chong to the Two-Ben Backfield, it’s been a strange season for the Steelers.

7. Denver Broncos (No. 7; 12-4):  This still doesn’t look like a team that can win a Super Bowl.

8.  Indianapolis Colts (No. 11; 11-5):  This still doesn’t look like a team that can win a division-round playoff game.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (No. 6; 10-5-1):  This still doesn’t look like a team that can win a wild-card game.

10. Arizona Cardinals (No. 10; 11-5):  The Cardinals are hoping for a Jake Delhomme sighting in Charlotte on Saturday night.

11. Baltimore Ravens (No. 13; 10-6):  This team is a lot different than, but also a lot like, the Super Bowl winner from 2012.

12. Houston Texans (No. 12; 9-7):  How much better would this team have been if it had gotten anything out of Jadeveon Clowney?

13. Carolina Panthers (No. 16; 7-8-1):  How much better would this team have been if it had gotten anything out of Greg Hardy?

14. Philadelphia Eagles (No. 14; 10-6):  How much better would this team have been if it had a good quarterback?

15. Kansas City Chiefs (No. 15; 9-7):  How much better would this team have been if it had a used Jamaal Charles more?

16. San Diego Chargers (No. 9; 9-7):  How much better would this team have been if Ryan Mathews finally could have stayed healthy?

17. Miami Dolphins (No. 17; 8-8):  How much better would this team be if Rex Ryan were hired to replace Joe Philbin?

18. Buffalo Bills (No. 19; 9-7):  The silence is deafening from new ownership.

19. Atlanta Falcons (No. 18; 6-10):  A top-10 pick, a franchise quarterback, a great young receiver, and the Dimitroff-Pioli front office make this the best job available.

20. New Orleans Saints (No. 21; 7-9):  If Rob Ryan gets fired, ESPN should hire him to do a TV show with Rex.

21. Minnesota Vikings (No. 23; 7-9):  There’s still a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

22. San Francisco 49ers (No. 22; 8-8):  Good luck finding a good coach for a program that has nowhere to go but down.

23. New York Giants (No. 20; 6-10):  Looks like it will be six out of seven years with no playoff appearances.

24. St. Louis Rams (No. 24; 6-10):  If this team ever realizes its potential, it would never lose a game.

25. Cleveland Browns (No. 25; 7-9):  Johnny Jackass?

26. Washington (No. 26; 4-12):  Kirk Cousins wants to be traded.  And he will be, if the draft is expanded to 20 rounds.

27. New York Jets (No. 29; 4-12):  Does anyone really think the situation is going to improve?

28. Chicago Bears (No. 28; 5-11):  Does anyone really think the situation is going to improve?

29. Oakland Raiders (No. 27; 3-13):  Actually, this situation could improve.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 30; 3-13):  Unfortunately for Jedd Fisch, his boss isn’t as patient as his boss’s boss.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 31; 2-14):  Says every Bucs fan, “Tanks a lot.”

32. Tennessee Titans (No. 32; 2-14):  If they gave out a trophy for being the most boring and irrelevant team in the NFL, the Titans would finally have something in the case.

Permalink 124 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

2015 NFL coach and G.M. changes tracker

New York Jets v Cincinnati Bengals Getty Images

Atlanta Falcons

Fired head coach Mike Smith.

The Falcons asked for permission to interview Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

The Falcons asked for permission to interview Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

The Falcons want to talk to Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

The Falcons asked for permission to talk to Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase.

Interviewed McDaniels on January 2.

Scheduled to interview Bowles on Jan. 10.

Expected to hire Dan Quinn after the Super Bowl.

Buffalo Bills

Doug Marrone opted out of his contract.

Requested permission to interview Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase.

Scheduled interviews with Gase, Chargers offensive coordinator Frank Reich and Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Requested interviews with Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

Requested permission to interview Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson and Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.

Interviewed Mike Shanahan in early January.

Expected to interview Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

Requested permission to interview 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman.

Seeking interview with ex-Jets head coach Rex Ryan.

Interviewed current defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

Announced the hiring of Rex Ryan.

Chicago Bears

Fired head coach Marc Trestman and General Manager Phil Emery.

Ernie Accorsi is working as a consultant, and for now the Bears are retaining the rights to most of the assistants under contract.

The Bears have contacted the Cardinals about interviewing defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

Giants vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross, Ravens pro personnel director Vince Newsome and Titans vice president of player personnel Lake Dawson are on the list of candidates for the general manager job.

Requested permission to interview Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase.

Chiefs director of pro personnel Chris Ballard will interview for the G.M. job.

Expected to interview Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn on Jan. 2 and Gase on Jan. 3.

Interviewed Titans V.P. of player personnel Lake Dawson and Texans exec Brian Gaine on Jan. 6.

Interviewed Ballard and Saints director of pro personnel Ryan Pace on Jan. 7.

Scheduled to interview Bowles on Jan. 8.

Expected to interview Mike Shanahan after they hire a general manager.

John Fox has emerged as a candidate.

Announced the hiring of Ryan Pace as General Manager and John Fox as head coach.

Denver Broncos

Announced John Fox will not return.

Requested permission to interview Gary Kubiak.

Announced the hiring of Gary Kubiak.

New York Jets
Fired head coach Rex Ryan and General Manager John Idzik.

Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Seattle assistant head coach Tom Cable, Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, Chargers offensive coordinator Frank Reich and Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn are among the candidates to be the next head coach.

Seattle pro personnel director Trent Kirchner is among the candidates to be the next general manager.

Requested permission to interview Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta, who declined.

Texans college scouting director Mike Maccagnan, Vikings assistant general manager George Paton and Eagles pro personnel director Rick Mueller will also interview for the General Manager job.  (Paton has declined.)

Will interview in-house candidates Anthony Lynn for the coaching job and Rod Graves for G.M., satisfying the Rooney Rule as well. They’ll also interview Browns exec Bill Kuharich for the G.M. job.

They’ll interview Chargers offensive coordinator Frank Reich, who is viewed as a top candidate for the Bills.

Announced the hiring of Todd Bowles as head coach and Mike Maccagnan as General Manager.

Oakland Raiders

Interim head coach Tony Sparano hopes to be retained.

Eric Mangini is among the candidates to be the next head coach.

Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur will interview for the head coaching job.

Contacted Cardinals about interviewing defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

The Raiders have asked permission to interview Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton.

Interviewed Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.

Interviewed Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

Asked to interview Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton.

Interviewed Mike Shanahan in early January.

Announced the hiring of Jack Del Rio as head coach.

San Francisco 49ers

Team and head coach Jim Harbaugh mutually parted ways.

The 49ers asked for permission to talk to Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase.

The 49ers asked for permission to interview Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

Requested permission to interview Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

Interviewed Quinn and current defensive coordinator Vic Fangio on Tuesday December 30.

Asked to interview Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.

Expected to interview Rex Ryan on Sunday January 4.

Scheduled to interview McDaniels on Saturday January 3.

Asked Browns for permission to interview offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

Announced the hiring of Jim Tomsula as head coach.

Permalink 39 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

2015 team-by-team opponents

San Diego Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs Getty Images

With the NFL regular season at a close, the 2015 opponents for all 32 clubs have been finalized. Via the NFL, the following are the home and away games each club will play next season.

The official NFL schedule will likely be released some time in the spring.

AFC East

New England Patriots

Home: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins

Away: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants

Buffalo Bills

Home: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants

Away: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins.

Miami Dolphins

Home: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants

Away: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins

New York Jets

Home: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins

Away: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers

Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers

Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks

Cincinnati Bengals

Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, Houston Texans, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks

Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers

Baltimore Ravens

Home: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks

Away: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers

Cleveland Browns

Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers

Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, New York Jets, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks

AFC South

Indianapolis Colts

Home: Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Away: Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers

Houston Texans

Home: Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Away: Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Home: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers

Away: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Home: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers

Away: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

AFC West

Denver Broncos

Home: Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings

Away: Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions

Kansas City Chiefs

Home: Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions

Away: Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings

San Diego Chargers

Home: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions

Away: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings

Oakland Raiders

Home: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings

Away: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Home: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, New York Jets

Away: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins

Philadelphia Eagles

Home: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins

Away: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, New York Jets

New York Giants

Home: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, New York Jets

Away: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins

Washington Redskins

Home: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins

Away: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, New York Jets

NFC North

Green Bay Packers

Home: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers

Away: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders

Detroit Lions

Home: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders

Away: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

Home: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers

Away: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders

Chicago Bears

Home: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders

Away: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers

NFC South

Carolina Panthers

Home: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts

Away: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans

New Orleans Saints

Home: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans

Away: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts

Atlanta Falcons

Home: Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts

Away: Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Home: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans

Away: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, St. Louis Rams, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts

NFC West

Seattle Seahawks

Home: Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers

Away: Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals

Arizona Cardinals

Home: St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals

Away: St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Home: Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals

Away: Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers

St. Louis Rams

Home: Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers

Away: Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals

Note: All schedule information was furnished by the NFL.

Permalink 32 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

NFL morning after: Seahawks ready to repeat

russellwilson AP

Seventeen weeks of the NFL season have come and gone, and we’re left with this: The best team at the end of this season is the same as the best team at the end of last season.

The Seattle Seahawks are poised to become the NFL’s first repeat Super Bowl champions since the Patriots a decade ago. The Seahawks are getting the same great play out of their defense they were a year ago and the same great play from quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch, and with home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, they’re going to be a very, very tough team to beat.

This season hasn’t always gone according to plan in Seattle. Through six games they were 3-3, and at times early in the year their defense looked like it had taken a step backward. It was reasonable to question during the middle of the season if Seattle was as good as it was a year ago. It was even reasonable to question whether Seattle would make the playoffs at all.

But that’s all over now. With Sunday’s 20-6 win over the Rams, the Seahawks finished the season on a six-game winning streak, with all six wins by double digits. The Seahawks aren’t just beating teams, they’re beating teams up. They’re winning the way great teams win.

And I think they’ve got three more wins left in them. On February 1, the Seahawks will hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Again.

Here are my other thoughts from Sunday’s game:

Break up the Panthers! I never thought I’d say this about the NFC South champions, but the Panthers might actually be a pretty good team. Yes, they’re lucky that they’re in a bad division, and that’s the only reason they’re in the playoffs at 7-8-1. But they’ve won four in a row to enter the playoffs, including a pair of 31-point road wins at New Orleans and at Atlanta to seal the division title. The Panthers, who host the Cardinals in the first round of the playoffs, might just advance.

Lions coach Jim Caldwell is terrible at challenges. When Caldwell was the head coach of the Colts, Indianapolis hired former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel solely to serve as an advisor on instant replay challenges. The Colts’ brass knew Caldwell wasn’t good at it and wanted to get him some help. Maybe the Lions should do the same, after Caldwell made an absolutely ridiculous decision to challenge an obviously correct call on which Packers running back Eddie Lacy had the ball knocked out of his arms while he was on the ground and was correctly ruled down by contact. Throwing away a timeout in the second half of a close game is inexcusable, but that’s what Caldwell did. Caldwell is good at the slower, more deliberative aspects of coaching — game planning, getting his players prepared during the week, that kind of thing. But Caldwell just isn’t good at split-second decisions, and that’s easy to see when he throws his challenge flag.

Where did that Geno Smith come from? Smith, in what may very well have been his last game as the Jets’ starting quarterback, went 20-for-25 for 358 yards, with three touchdowns, no interceptions and a perfect passer rating of 158.3. Smith was the only quarterback in the NFL all season to have a game with a perfect passer rating. But here’s the amazing thing about Smith: He was also the only quarterback in the NFL all season to have a game with a 0.0 passer rating. Smith is so inconsistent that there’s just no way the Jets can count on him going forward. Even though he had a great game on Sunday.

J.J. Watt’s great season overshadowed Justin Houston’s great season. Watt was such a force of nature for the Texans that not only will he win the Defensive Player of the Year award, but he’s a candidate for the Most Valuable Player award as well. But while we praise Watt, we shouldn’t overlook Houston, who had four sacks on Sunday for the Chiefs and finished the season with 22.0 sacks, just half a sack shy of Michael Strahan’s single-season record. Watt is the first player to record 20 sacks in two different seasons since sacks became an official statistic in 1982, and Watt is the NFL’s best defensive player. But don’t forget Houston when listing the best defensive players in football.

Odell Beckham is the best receiver in the NFL. Beckham, the Giants’ sensational playmaker, isn’t just the best rookie in the NFL. He’s the best receiver, period. Beckham had 12 catches for 185 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, and he finished the year with 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns despite missing the first four games of the year with a hamstring injury. Beckham averaged 108.8 yards a game this season, the best of any receiver in the NFL. There is no receiver in football who made plays as consistently as Beckham did over the last three-fourths of the season, and he was doing it in an otherwise substandard Giants Offense. Beckham is amazing.

DeMarco Murray breaks an Emmitt Smith record. Murray finished this season with 1,845 rushing yards, the most in Cowboys history. When you’re breaking a record set by Smith, that’s pretty good. Murray will have a tough task in the Cowboys’ playoff opener against a good Lions rush defense. But that Lions rush defense will have an even tougher task dealing with Murray.

Russell Wilson is running like no other quarterback. Wilson finished this season with 849 rushing yards, the fifth best total for a quarterback in NFL history, and by far the best total of any quarterback in the NFL this season. Wilson is running better than any other quarterback in the league right now. He looks ready to run Seattle into the Super Bowl.

Permalink 62 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Week 17 early inactives

New England Patriots v Green Bay Packers Getty Images

Every week we’ll bring you all the inactives from the early games in one post, constantly updated with the latest information. So check back often to see the full list as it becomes available.

Browns at Ravens

Browns: QB Brian Hoyer, DB Justin Gilbert, LS Charley Hughlett, OL Ryan Seymour, DL Ahtyba Rubin, OL Andrew McDonald, WR Phil Bates

Ravens: T Eugene Monroe, DE Chris Canty, S Brynden Trawick, CB Chris Greenwood, DE Steven Means, NT Terrance Cody, TE Phillip Supernaw

Jaguars at Texans

Jaguars: DT Roy Miller, QB Stephen Morris, WR Rod Streeter, CB Jeremy Harris, S Matt Daniels, G Tyler Shatley, DE Chris Smith

Texans: TE Garrett Graham, LB Mike Mohamed, WR DeVier Posey, QB Tom Savage, S Josh Aubrey, OT Xavier Su’a-Filo, LB Jason Ankrah

Chargers at Chiefs

Chargers: WR Keenan Allen, C Chris Watt, RB Ryan Mathews, CB Greg Ducre, DL Damion Square, DL Ryan Carrethers, LB Cordarro Law

Chiefs: QB Alex Smith, WR Donnie Avery, CB Phillip Gaines, CB Marucs Cooper, C Eric Kush, OL Duvernay-Tardif, DL Nick Williams

Jets at Dolphins

Jets: C Nick Mangold, WR Percy Harvin, DL T.J. Barnes, DB Jaiquawn Jarrett, OL Wesley Johnson, QB Matt Simms, WR Walter Powell

Dolphins: WR Rishard Matthews, RB LaMichael James, CB Walt Aikens, DT Deandre Coleman, T Dallas Thomas, C Sam Brenner, WR Matt Hazel

Bears at Vikings

Bears: QB Jimmy Clausen, K Robbie Gould, CB Al Louis-Jean, S Chris Conte, OT Charles Leno, DE Austen Lane, DT Brandon Dunn

Vikings: S Ahmad Dixon, CB Shaun Prater, RB Henry Josey, LB Chad Greenway, LB Brandon Watts, T Carter Bykowski, G David Yankey

Bills at Patriots

Bills: DT Marcell Dareus, CB Stephon Gilmore, TE Chris Gragg, RB Bryce Brown, LB Randell Johnson, T Cyrus Kouandjio, WR Marquise Goodson

Patriots: TE Rob Gronkowski, WR Julian Edelman, RB Jonas Gray, T Sebastian Vollmer, G Dan Connolly, CB Brandon Browner, LB Donta’ Hightower

Eagles at Giants

Eagles: QB Nick Foles, S Jerome Couplin, CB Bradley Fletcher, OL Julian Vandervelde, OL Dennis Kelly, WR Jeff Maehl, DE Taylor Hart

Giants: CB Jayron Hosley, LB Devon Kennard, G Eric Herman, OL Adam Gettis, TE Jerome Cunningham, DT Dominique Hamilton, WR Corey Washington

Saints at Buccaneers

Saints: WR Seantavius Jones, WR Brandon Coleman, S Kenny Vaccaro, CB Stanley Jean Baptiste, LB Moise Fokou, LB Jerry Franklin, T Terron Armstead

Buccaneers: WR Robert Herron, WR Solomon Patton, RB Mike James, CB Isaiah Frey, DT George Uko, LB Mason Foster, T Anthony Collins

Colts at Titans

Colts: CB Sheldon Price, LB Jerrell Freeman, OL Joe Reitz, OL Gosder Cherilus, TE Dwayne Allen, LB Bjoern Werner, DL Zach Kerr

Titans: QB Zach Mettenberger, T Taylor Lewan, DL Ropati Pitoitua, LB Dontay Moch, DB Jemea Thomas, T Terren Jones, WR Rico Richardson

Cowboys at Redskins

Cowboys: QB Dustin Vaughan, S Jakar Hamilton, LB Rolando McClain, LB Dekoda Watson, T Doug Free, T Donald Hawkins, DT Josh Brent.

Redskins: RB Chris Thompson, G Josh LeRibeus, OL Rishaw Johnson, DL Travian Robinson, WR Leonard Hankerson, LB Steve Beauharnais

Permalink 5 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Week 17 injury report roundup

Alex Smith, Cameron Heyward, Jason Worilds AP

Over the course of the week, there are a lot of posts about the most prominent injured players but we know that you might not see all of them and that some others may fall through the cracks. As a result, we’ll comb through all the injury reports every Friday afternoon so that there’s one stop for all the news from every team playing on Saturday and Sunday. So, without further delay, the injury report roundup for Week 17 of the 2014 season.

Browns at Ravens

Connor Shaw starts at quarterback for the Browns with Brian Hoyer (shoulder/bicep) doubtful to play. Cornerback Joe Haden (shoulder) and defensive tackle Desmond Bryant (thumb) are questionable and defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin (ankle) won’t play. The Ravens probably won’t have left tackle Eugene Monroe (ankle, questionable). Defensive end Chris Canty (ankle/thigh) and linebacker Terrell Suggs (back/thigh) are both questionable.

Jaguars at Texans

It looks like Jaguars defensive tackle Roy Miller (knee) will miss the season finale after being listed as doubtful. Tight end Garrett Graham (ankle), linebacker Mike Mohamed (concussion), wide receiver DeVier Posey (calf) and quarterback Tom Savage (knee) are all out for the Texans.

Chargers at Chiefs

The Chargers are in the playoffs with a win, but they’ll have to do it without running back Ryan Mathews (ankle, out). Wide receiver Keenan Allen (collarbone) is also likely to miss the game after being listed as doubtful. Center Chris Watt (ankle) is questionable. The Chiefs have their own small chance at a playoff bid, although it won’t be easy to get there without quarterback Alex Smith (lacerated spleen). Running back Jamaal Charles (hamstring/ankle) and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (shoulder) are both questionable, but expected to be in the lineup.

Jets at Dolphins

An illness has made its way through the Jets this week and left defensive tackle Damon Harrison, safety Dawan Landry and defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, who also has a toe injury, questionable to play on Sunday. Center Nick Mangold (ankle) and wide receiver Percy Harvin (ribs, ankle) are also questionable. Defensive end Derrick Shelby (ankle), linebacker Jelani Jenkins (foot) and tackle Dallas Thomas (foot) are questionable for the Dolphins.

Bears at Vikings

Quarterback Jimmy Clausen (concussion) is out, which means Jay Cutler is back in charge of the Bears Offense. Safety Chris Conte (back) and kicker Robbie Gould (quad) are also out while defensive end Jared Allen (ribs) and defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (knee) are questionable. Vikings linebackers Anthony Barr (knee) and Brandon Watts (hamstring) are out and Chad Greenway (knee) is questionable after missing practice all week. Tight end Kyle Rudolph (ankle) is also questionable.

Bills at Patriots

The Bills have been stout on defense all year, but they don’t expect to have defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (knee) or cornerback Stephon Gilmore (concussion) after listing them as doubtful. Running back Jonas Gray (ankle) and cornerback Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring) are out for New England and right tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back) is questionable.

Eagles at Giants

Cornerback Bradley Fletcher (hip) was in danger of losing playing time even before the Eagles listed him as questionable. Giants linebacker Devon Kennard (toe) will miss the final game of a rookie year that saw him come on late and rookie running back Andre Williams (shoulder) is questionable.

Saints at Buccaneers

Saints left tackle Terron Armstead (neck) remains out of the lineup and defensive tackle John Jenkins (abdomen) is questionable. Buccaneers LB Mason Foster (Achilles) is doubtful and safety Dashon Goldson (shoulder) is questionable.

Colts at Titans

The Colts ruled out tight end Dwayne Allen (knee), right tackle Gosder Cherilus (groin) and linebacker Bjoern Werner (hamstring). Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) and linebacker Jerrell Freeman (hamstring) were both listed as questionable and guard Hugh Thornton (knee) is probable to make his return to the lineup. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger (shoulder), left tackle Taylor Lewan (ankle), defensive tackle Sammie Hill (foot) and linebacker Kamerion Wimbley (hamstring) are all questionable for the home side.

Cowboys at Redskins

Running back DeMarco Murray (hand, illness) is probable to play in a game that could see him set the single-season Cowboys rushing record. Right tackle Doug Free (ankle) is doubtful and linebacker Dekoda Watson (hamstring) is out. Redskins defensive end Jason Hatcher (knee) is doubtful for the matchup with his old team. Left tackle Trent Williams (shoulder), defensive end Stephen Bowen (ankle/illness) and linebacker Keenan Robinson (knee) are listed as questionable.

Panthers at Falcons

The Panthers have just two injuries heading into the NFC South title game. Linebacker A.J. Klein (ankle) is questionable and running back DeAngelo Williams (hand) is probable. Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (oblique) and running back Steven Jackson (thigh) are questionable, but Jackson looks unlikely to play. Cornerbacks Robert McClain (illness) and Josh Wilson (hamstring) are also questionable for Atlanta.

Raiders at Broncos

The Raiders listed rookie linebacker Khalil Mack (hamstring), tackle Menelik Watson (foot, ankle) and cornerback T.J. Carrie (ankle) as questionable. Cornerback Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring) and wide receiver Denarius Moore (knee, ankle) are out. Linebacker Brandon Marshall (knee) is out for Denver while safety T.J. Ward (neck) and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (hip) are questionable. Quarterback Peyton Manning (thigh) is probable.

Lions at Packers

Running back Joique Bell (Achilles) and wide receiver Calving Johnson (ankle) are probable for the Lions. Everyone else is available for the Lions except for defensive tackle Nick Fairley (knee). Quarterback Aaron Rodgers (calf) is good to go for the Packers, who have again ruled out cornerback Davon House (shoulder).

Rams at Seahawks

Cornerback E.J. Gaines (concussion) is doubtful for the Rams, who are in good health otherwise. The Seahawks ruled out wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (hamstring), but left tackle Russell Okung (chest) is expected to play after being listed as probable. Tight end Cooper Helfet (ribs), wide receiver Chris Matthews (hamstring), cornerback Tharold Simon (shoulder) and center Max Unger (knee, ankle) are questionable.

Cardinals at 49ers

Quarterback Drew Stanton (knee) won’t play for Arizona, leaving Ryan Lindley to start for the second straight week. Linebacker Larry Foote (knee) is doubtful and safety Deone Bucannon (knee), tight end John Carlson (calf), guard Jonathan Cooper (wrist) and defensive tackle Dan Williams are questionable. Running back Carlos Hyde (ankle), wide receiver Stevie Johnson (knee) and safety Eric Reid (concussion) have been ruled out for the 49ers. Cornerback Tramaine Brock (hamstring), linebacker Ahmad Brooks (thumb), cornerback Perrish Cox (shoulder) and wide receiver Bruce Ellington (hamstring) have been listed as questionable.

Bengals at Steelers

The Bengals listed wide receiver A.J. Green (biceps) as probable for the AFC North title decider. Cornerback Adam Jones (illness), linebacker Emmanuel Lamur (hamstring), cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris (illness), safety Reggie Nelson (illness), cornerback Terence Newman (illness) and wide receiver James Wright (knee) will all be weekend calls after drawing questionable tags. The Steelers hope to get safety Troy Polamalu (knee) and cornerback Ike Taylor (shoulder, forearm) back in the secondary after listing them as questionable.

Permalink 13 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

PFT’s Week 17 picks

Rivers Getty Images

It’s the final week of the PFT regular-season picks showdown, and the mystery is over.  With a four-game lead over MDS, we disagree on only one game, which means I’ll win by five games or by three games.

Last week, neither of us felt much like winners.  I went 8-8, and MDS got nine of 16 right.

For the season, I’m at 158-82 (65.8%).  MDS is 154-86 (64.1%).

Panthers at Falcons

MDS’s take: It all comes down to this for the championship of the worst division in NFL history. I like Matt Ryan to have a big game throwing to Roddy White and Julio Jones and the Falcons to win it, earning the right to host a playoff game next week.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 31, Panthers 24.

Florio’s take:  The last playoff spot is up for grabs in the NFC, and with the Cardinals suddenly unable to score points, maybe the sub-.500 division winner will hold serve in the wild-card round.  Before getting obliterated in Seattle.  Give the edge to the home team coached by the guy who could get fired if he loses.

Florio’s pick:  Falcons 30, Panthers 23.

Browns at Ravens

MDS’s take: The Ravens gagged away a golden opportunity against Texans fourth-string quarterback Case Keenum on Sunday. Now the Ravens may get to face Browns third-string quarterback Connor Shaw this week. Will the Ravens choke again? I don’t think so. Baltimore will come out looking much better this week.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 20, Browns 10.

Florio’s take:  With Johnny Manziel out and Brian Hoyer likely to miss the game and the Ravens still alive, this should be a romp for the Ravens.

Florio’s pick:  Ravens 24, Browns 13.

Cowboys at Washington

MDS’s take: The Cowboys seem to be peaking at the right time. Tony Romo should put up huge numbers against a suspect Washington defense, and Dallas will roll into the playoffs.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 30, Washington 13.

Florio’s take:  Washington would love to finish the season on a high note with a sweep of the Cowboys.  The Cowboys don’t really have much to play for, with improved playoff positioning unlikely.  Which could give the underdog the edge in this kinda-sorta bowl game for Jay Gruden and company.  But then I remembered that the Cowboys obliterated the Colts last weekend.

Florio’s pick:  Cowboys 30, Washington 20.

Colts at Titans

MDS’s take: The Colts are reeling, but playing the Titans is just what the doctor ordered. Indianapolis will finish the regular season with an easy win.

MDS’s pick: Colts 27, Titans 9.

Florio’s take:  The Colts need to restore some confidence after getting blown out in Dallas last Sunday.  The Titans currently have none.  It’s a good match.

Florio’s pick:  Colts 34, Titans 20.

Jaguars at Texans

MDS’s take: The Texans may not get all the help they need to reach the playoffs, but you have to admire how hard they’re playing down the stretch. They’ll make short work of Jacksonville.

MDS’s pick: Texans 20, Jaguars 3.

Florio’s take:  The Texans have a chance, albeit slim, to get to the postseason.  To have a chance at having a chance, they need to take care of business against the Jaguars.  Since it’s the Jaguars, that’s the easy part.

Florio’s pick:  Texans 30, Jaguars 14.

Chargers at Chiefs

MDS’s take: Both teams are still fighting for a wild-card berth, which makes this one of Sunday’s better games. I like how the Chargers gutted out a tough win in San Francisco last week, and I think they’ll do it again in Kansas City.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 28, Chiefs 20.

Florio’s take:  It will be difficult for the Chiefs to make it to the playoffs.  It will be much easier to knock out the Chargers.  At Kansas City, that’s precisely what will happen, especially if a guy like Justin Houston can bang around an already-battered Philip Rivers.

Florio’s pick:  Chiefs 27, Chargers 23.

Jets at Dolphins

MDS’s take: Joe Philbin got his vote of confidence last week. Rex Ryan will get his pink slip after this game. Ryan will go out with a loss and bring his tenure as the Jets’ head coach to a close.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 21, Jets 14.

Florio’s take:  Last year, a Week 17 win at Miami may have saved Rex Ryan’s job.  This year, it won’t matter.  And it won’t happen.

Florio’s pick:  Dolphins 31, Jets 13.

Bears at Vikings

MDS’s take: Neither team has anything to play for, but the Vikings look to me like they’re playing a lot harder than the Bears are right now. Mike Zimmer’s players will give him a win to end his season, while Marc Trestman may be coaching his players for the last time, in defeat.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 21, Bears 17.

Florio’s take:  The Vikings undoubtedly wish Jimmy Clausen were playing.  Even with Jay Cutler back, however, the Vikings should be able to close out a better-than-expected season with a home win.

Florio’s pick:  Vikings 23, Bears 17.

Bills at Patriots

MDS’s take: The Bills’ excellent defense will keep this one close, but the Patriots will prevail and head to the playoffs on a high note.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 17, Bills 13.

Florio’s take:  It’s a meaningless game.  But a win could have a meaningful impact on coach Doug Marrone’s potentially tenuous future in Buffalo.  Unfortunately for Marrone and the Bills, the Patriots aren’t treating it like a meaningless game.

Florio’s pick:  Patriots 27, Bills 10.

Eagles at Giants

MDS’s take: The Giants are on a bit of a roll late in the season, and the Eagles are going in the wrong direction. I like Odell Beckham to torch Philly’s secondary and end his sensational rookie season in style.

MDS’s pick: Giants 27, Eagles 20.

Florio’s take:  The Giants have improved in recent weeks, and it’s their last chance to save Tom Coughlin’s job.  The Eagles with a loss will have a shorter distance to go to get in position to draft Marcus Mariota.  But since no one ever tanks games to improve draft position, that’s irrelevant and entirely coincidental.

Florio’s pick:  Giants 24, Eagles 14.

Saints at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: The Saints have nothing to play for. The Buccaneers have the first overall pick in the draft to play for. They’ll get it.

MDS’s pick: Saints 24, Buccaneers 20.

Florio’s take:  The Saints haven’t looked much like a team that could beat anyone lately, but they’ve won three in a row on the road and they’re hoping to finish on a positive note.  The Bucs are one loss away from the first pick in the draft.  But since no one ever tanks games to improve draft position, that’s irrelevant and entirely coincidental.

Florio’s pick:  Saints 23, Buccaneers 17.

Lions at Packers

MDS’s take: The Lions beat the Packers handily when they met at Ford Field this season, but things will be different at Lambeau, and Green Bay will win the NFC North.

MDS’s pick: Packers 24, Lions 14.

Florio’s take:  The calf injury to quarterback Aaron Rodgers creates some concern, but the Lions haven’t won at Lambeau Field since 1991 for a reason.  Sure, someday the Lions will end the streak.  But not this year.

Florio’s pick:  Packers 28, Lions 20.

Raiders at Broncos

MDS’s take: The Raiders have played some competitive football late this season, and they’ll give Denver a tough time on Sunday. But the Broncos will come out on top at the end of four hard-fought quarters.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 24, Raiders 17.

Florio’s take:  A bye week remains only one win away, even after Monday night’s debacle in Cincinnati.  The Broncos desperately need a bye week.  They’ll get one.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 31, Raiders 16.

Cardinals at 49ers

MDS’s take: If the Cardinals had Carson Palmer I’d definitely pick them to win. If they had Drew Stanton I’d probably pick them to win. But when you’re down to Logan Thomas and Ryan Lindley, you don’t have a quarterback anymore. The 49ers will win, and the Cardinals will limp into the playoffs.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 20, Cardinals 6.

Florio’s take:  An era inevitably is ending in San Francisco.  Coach Jim Harbaugh won’t allow it to happen on a negative note.  It helps that Logan Thomas is playing quarterback for the opposition.  And that the opposition has been demoralized — and pulverized — by the Seahawks.

Florio’s pick:  49ers 27, Cardinals 24.

Rams at Seahawks

MDS’s take: I wouldn’t pick anyone to win at Seattle right now. Which means I’ll be picking Seattle to get to the Super Bowl, because this win over the Rams will give the Seahawks home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 30, Rams 13.

Florio’s take:  A home win to end the season guarantees the Seahawks home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.  While the Rams have already beaten the Seahawks once this year, the Seahawks are simply too much for anyone to handle right now.

Florio’s pick:  Seahawks 23, Rams 10.

Bengals at Steelers

MDS’s take: With the AFC North on the line, Le’Veon Bell will have a good game against a bad Bengals run defense and the Steelers will win the division.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 27, Bengals 16.

Florio’s take:  A pair of consistently inconsistent playoff teams get together, with plenty on the line.  The Bengals have more to gain, but the Steelers are the better team.  If the better version of the Steelers shows up.

Florio’s pick:  Steelers 27, Bengals 20.

Permalink 70 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

2015 Pro Bowlers, by team

Ben Roethlisberger AP

Here’s a team-by-team breakdown of the 86 players selected to the 2015 Pro Bowl. The player’s number of Pro Bowl appearances is in parentheses. The information is as furnished by the NFL and is subject to change:

Arizona Cardinals (3 Pro Bowlers)

ST Justin Bethel (2).

DE Calais Campbell (1)

CB Patrick Peterson (4).

 

Atlanta Falcons (2)

RS Devin Hester (4)

WR Julio Jones (2).

 

Baltimore Ravens (3)

OLB Elvis Dumervil (4)

ILB C.J. Mosley (1).

OG Marshal Yanda (4)

 

Buffalo Bills (3)

DT Marcell Dareus (2).

DT Kyle Williams (4).

DE Mario Williams (4).

 

Carolina Panthers (2)

MLB Luke Kuechly (2).

TE Greg Olsen (1).

 

Chicago Bears (1)

OG Kyle Long (2).

 

Cincinnati Bengals (2)

WR A.J. Green (4).

P Kevin Huber (1).

 

Cleveland Browns (3)

FS Tashaun Gipson (1).

CB Joe Haden (2).

OT Joe Thomas (8).

 

Dallas Cowboys (6)

WR Dez Bryant (2).

C Travis Frederick (1).

OG Zack Martin (1).

RB DeMarco Murray (2).

QB Tony Romo (4).

OT Tyron Smith (2).

 

Denver Broncos (9)

OT Ryan Clady (4)

CB Chris Harris (1).

QB Peyton Manning (14)

OLB Von Miller (3).

CB Aqib Talib (2).

WR Demaryius Thomas (3).

TE Julius Thomas (2).

SS T.J. Ward (2).

DE DeMarcus Ware (8).

 

Detroit Lions (3)

WR Calvin Johnson (5).

FS Glover Quin (1).

DT Ndamukong Suh (4).

 

Green Bay Packers (5)

FB John Kuhn (2).

OLB Clay Matthews (5).

WR Jordy Nelson (1).

QB Aaron Rodgers (4).

OG Josh Sitton (2).

 

Houston Texans (2)

RB Arian Foster (4).

DE J.J. Watt (3).

 

Indianapolis Colts (5)

CB Vontae Davis (1).

WR T.Y. Hilton (1).

QB Andrew Luck (3).

P Pat McAfee (1)

PK Adam Vinatieri (3).

 

Kansas City Chiefs (4)

RB Jamaal Charles (4).

OLB Tamba Hali (4)

OLB Justin Houston (3).

DT Dontari Poe (2).

 

Miami Dolphins (2)

CB Brent Grimes (3).

DE Cameron Wake (4).

 

New England Patriots (5)

QB Tom Brady (10).

PK Stephen Gostkowski (3).

TE Rob Gronkowski (3).

CB Darrelle Revis (6).

ST Matthew Slater (4).

 

New Orleans Saints (2)

OG Jahri Evans (6).

TE Jimmy Graham (3).

 

New York Jets (1)

C Nick Mangold (6).

 

Oakland Raiders (1)

FB Marcel Reece (3).

 

Philadelphia Eagles (5)

OLB Connor Barwin (1).

C Jason Kelce (1).

RB LeSean McCoy (3).

OT Jason Peters (7).

RS Darren Sproles (1).

 

Pittsburgh Steelers (5)

RB Le’Veon Bell (1).

WR Antonio Brown (3).

C Maurkice Pouncey (4).

QB Ben Roethlisberger (3).

ILB Lawrence Timmons (1).

 

St. Louis Rams (2)

DT Aaron Donald (1).

DE Robert Quinn (2).

 

San Diego Chargers (1)

FS Eric Weddle (3

 

San Francisco 49ers (2)

OG Mike Iupati (3).

OT Joe Staley (4).

 

Seattle Seahawks (5)

SS Kam Chancellor (3).

RB Marshawn Lynch (5).

CB Richard Sherman (2).

FS Earl Thomas (4).

MLB Bobby Wagner (1).

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1)

DT Gerald McCoy (3).

 

Washington (1)

OT Trent Williams (3)

Permalink 82 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Ten games on Sunday have playoff implications

Le'Veon Bell, Vincent Rey AP

Sunday’s Week 17 schedule features four games that have playoff implications for both teams, six more that have playoff implications for one team, and six that are completely meaningless.

This Sunday will be the first time ever that every market across the country will have five NFL games, with all CBS affiliates showing two games, all FOX affiliates showing two games, and the regular-season finale on NBC. To help you plan your Sunday TV viewing, at how each game could affect the playoffs:

Meaningful games for both teams
Chargers-Chiefs, 1 p.m. CBS: If the Chargers win they’re in the playoffs. If the Chiefs win they’ll be watching the scoreboard, hoping that the Ravens and Texans both lose.

Panthers-Falcons, 4:25 p.m. CBS: The winner wins the NFC South and hosts a playoff game next weekend. The loser is out of the playoffs.

Lions-Packers, 4:25 p.m. FOX: The winner wins the NFC North and gets a first-round bye. The loser is a wild card and will be on the road next weekend.

Bengals-Steelers, 8:30 p.m. NBC: The winner wins the AFC North and starts the playoffs at home. The loser is a wild card and starts the playoffs on the road.

Meaningful games for one team
Browns at Ravens, 1 p.m. CBS: The Ravens make the playoffs if they win and the Chargers lose.

Cowboys at Washington, 1 p.m. FOX: The Cowboys have won the NFC East but could be either the 1, the 2 or the 3 seed depending on the results of Sunday’s game. (However, the Cowboys don’t have a lot to play for because the most likely scenario is that they will be the 3 seed regardless of whether they win or lose.)

Jaguars at Texans, 1 p.m. CBS: The Texans make the playoffs if they win and the Chargers and Ravens both lose.

Raiders at Broncos, 4:25 p.m. CBS: The Broncos get a first-round bye if they win.

Rams at Seahawks, 4:25 p.m. FOX: The Seahawks get a first-round bye and probably home-field advantage throughout the playoffs if they win.

Cardinals at 49ers, 4:25 p.m. FOX: The Cardinals win the NFC West if they win and the Seahawks lose. The Cardinals will be a wild card if they lose or the Seahawks win.

Meaningless games for both teams
Bills at Patriots, 1 p.m. CBS: The Patriots have clinched home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. The Bills are eliminated.

Colts at Titans, 1 p.m. CBS: The Colts are locked into the No. 4 seed in the AFC. The Titans are eliminated.

Jets at Dolphins, 1 p.m. CBS: Both teams are eliminated.

Bears at Vikings, 1 p.m. FOX: Both teams are eliminated.

Eagles at Giants, 1 p.m. FOX: Both teams are eliminated.

Saints at Buccaneers, 1 p.m. FOX: Both teams are eliminated. The Bucs have nothing to win for, but they do have something to lose for: If Tampa Bay loses, the Bucs get the first overall pick in the draft.

Permalink 65 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Week 17 playoff scenarios

Chargers' Rivers passes under pressure from Chiefs' Houston during their NFL football game in San Diego Reuters

The road to the playoffs in the AFC will go through New England. That’s one thing we know for sure.

But other than the Patriots, who have clinched home-field advantage, and the Colts, who have clinched the No. 4 seed in the AFC, all of the other teams in the playoff race have something to play for on Sunday. Here’s the full playoff scenario announcement put out by the NFL today:

AFC

CLINCHED:
New England – AFC East and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs
Denver – AFC West
Indianapolis – AFC South
Cincinnati – playoff berth
Pittsburgh – playoff berth

DENVER BRONCOS (vs. Oakland)

Denver clinches a first-round bye with:

1) DEN win OR

2) DEN tie + CIN loss or tie OR

3) CIN loss OR

4) CIN tie + IND win

CINCINNATI BENGALS (at Pittsburgh)

Cincinnati clinches AFC North with:

1) CIN win or tie

Cincinnati clinches a first-round bye with:

1) CIN win + DEN loss OR

2) CIN tie + DEN loss + IND loss or tie

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (vs. Cincinnati)

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North with:

1) PIT win

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (at Kansas City)

San Diego clinches a playoff spot with:

1) SD win OR

2) SD tie + BAL loss or tie

BALTIMORE RAVENS (vs. Cleveland)

Baltimore clinches a playoff spot with:

1) BAL win + SD loss or tie OR

2) BAL tie + SD loss

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (vs. San Diego)

Kansas City clinches a playoff spot with:

1) KC win + BAL loss + HOU loss or tie

HOUSTON TEXANS (vs. Jacksonville)

Houston clinches a playoff spot with:

1) HOU win + BAL loss + SD loss

NFC

CLINCHED:
Arizona Cardinals – playoff berth
Seattle Seahawks – playoff berth
Detroit Lions – playoff berth
Green Bay Packers – playoff berth
Dallas Cowboys – NFC East

DALLAS COWBOYS (at Washington)

Dallas clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1) DAL win + ARI loss or tie + DET/GB tie

Dallas clinches a first-round bye with:

1) DAL win + SEA loss or tie + ARI loss or tie OR

2) DAL win + DET/GB tie OR

3) SEA loss + ARI loss OR

4) DAL tie + SEA tie + ARI loss or tie + DET/GB does not end in a tie

DETROIT LIONS (at Green Bay)

Detroit clinches NFC North with:

1) DET win or tie

Detroit clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1) DET win + SEA loss or tie + ARI loss or tie OR

2) DET tie + SEA loss + ARI loss + DAL loss or tie

Detroit clinches a first-round bye with:

1) DET win OR

2) DET tie + DAL loss or tie OR
3) DET tie + SEA loss + ARI loss

GREEN BAY PACKERS (vs. Detroit)

Green Bay clinches NFC North and a first-round bye with:

1) GB win

Green Bay clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1) GB win + SEA loss or tie

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (vs. St. Louis)

Seattle clinches NFC West with:

1) SEA win OR

2) SEA tie + ARI loss or tie OR

3) ARI loss

Seattle clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1) SEA win + DET/GB game does not end in a tie OR

2) SEA win + DAL loss or tie OR

3) SEA tie + ARI loss or tie + DAL loss or tie + GB/DET tie

Seattle clinches a first-round bye with:

1) SEA win OR

2) SEA tie + ARI loss or tie + DAL loss OR

3) SEA tie + ARI loss or tie + GB/DET tie

ARIZONA CARDINALS (at San Francisco)

Arizona clinches NFC West with:

1) ARI win + SEA loss or tie OR

2) ARI tie + SEA loss

Arizona clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1) ARI win + SEA loss or tie + GB loss or tie OR

2) ARI tie + SEA loss + DAL loss or tie + GB/DET tie

Arizona clinches a first-round bye with:

1) ARI win + SEA loss or tie OR

2) ARI tie + SEA loss + DAL loss or tie OR

3) ARI tie + SEA loss + GB/DET tie

CAROLINA PANTHERS (at Atlanta)

Carolina clinches NFC South with:

1) CAR win or tie

ATLANTA FALCONS (vs. Carolina)

Atlanta clinches NFC South with:

1) ATL win

Permalink 47 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Week 17 schedule moves Panthers-Falcons to 4:25 on CBS

Cam Newton, Tyson Jackson AP

Two NFC division title games will air simultaneously on Sunday, one on FOX and one on CBS.

The NFL has released the final Week 17 schedule, and it includes moving Lions-Packers to 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX and moving Panthers-Falcons to 4:25 on CBS. That means fans in most markets will be able to watch both the NFC North title game and the NFC South title game on their local affiliates.

As previously announced, the Bengals-Steelers AFC North championship game will be on to NBC Sunday Night Football. The NFL has also moved the Jaguars-Texans game to FOX at 1 p.m.

Here’s the full Week 17 schedule, all times Eastern:

CLEVELAND AT BALTIMORE: 1 p.m. CBS

SAN DIEGO AT KANSAS CITY: 1 p.m. CBS

N.Y. JETS AT MIAMI: 1 p.m. CBS

CHICAGO AT MINNESOTA: 1 p.m. FOX

PHILADELPHIA AT N.Y. GIANTS: 1 p.m. FOX

NEW ORLEANS AT TAMPA BAY: 1 p.m. FOX

INDIANAPOLIS AT TENNESSEE: 1 p.m. CBS

DALLAS AT WASHINGTON: 1 p.m. FOX

JACKSONVILLE AT HOUSTON: 1 p.m. FOX

BUFFALO AT NEW ENGLAND: 1 p.m. CBS

CAROLINA AT ATLANTA: 4:25 CBS

DETROIT AT GREEN BAY: 4:25 FOX

OAKLAND AT DENVER: 4:25 p.m. CBS

ARIZONA AT SAN FRANCISCO: 4:25 p.m. FOX

ST. LOUIS AT SEATTLE: 4:25 PM FOX

CINCINNATI AT PITTSBURGH: 8:30 PM NBC

Permalink 20 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

AFC playoff picture: Just one January ticket left

Andy Dalton AP

Five down, one to go.

With a 37-28 victory over Denver on Monday night, the Bengals secured their fourth consecutive AFC postseason berth. They are the fifth team to clinch a spot in the AFC playoffs, joining the Patriots, Broncos, Colts and Steelers.

This leaves the Chargers, Ravens, Texans and Chiefs playing for one wild-card spot on Sunday as the regular season draws to a close. The Chargers and Chiefs are each aiming to make the playoffs for the second straight season, while the Ravens and Texans last made the postseason in 2012.

Here’s how the playoff seeding shapes up through Week 16. The NFL’s standings, playoff scenarios and tiebreaking rules were cited:

THE BIG SIX

1. New England Patriots (12-3, .800). AFC East winner. Has clinched No. 1 seed and first-round bye. Will have homefield advantage throughout conference playoffs.

2. Denver Broncos (11-4, .733). AFC West winner. Will clinch No. 2 seed and first-round bye with win vs. Oakland. Will also clinch first-round bye with Cincinnati loss or an Indianapolis win at Tennessee and a Cincinnati tie.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (10-4-1, .700). AFC North leader. Has clinched playoff spot. Will win AFC North with victory/tie at Pittsburgh (8:30 p.m. Eastern, NBC). Can clinch first-round bye with win over Pittsburgh and a Denver loss to Oakland. Would also clinch first-round bye with a tie, a Denver loss and an Indianapolis loss/tie.

4. Indianapolis Colts (10-5, .667). AFC South winner.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5, .667). Wild card No. 1. Has clinched playoff spot. Will win AFC North with victory vs. Cincinnati.

6. San Diego Chargers (9-6, .600). Wild card No. 2. Will clinch playoff spot with win over Kansas City. Can also clinch playoff spot with tie and Baltimore loss/tie.

STILL IN THE MIX

7. Baltimore Ravens (9-6, .600). Will clinch wild-card spot with win vs. Cleveland and San Diego loss. Can also clinch playoff spot with tie and San Diego loss.

8. Houston Texans (8-7, .533). Will clinch wild-card spot with win vs. Jacksonville and losses by San Diego and Baltimore.

9. Kansas City Chiefs (8-7, .533). Will clinch wild-card spot with win vs. San Diego, a loss by Baltimore and a loss/tie by Houston.

Permalink 14 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Week 17 playoff scenarios

Cam Newton, Paul Worrilow AP

The Patriots, Broncos, Colts and Cowboys have all clinched their divisions. The Steelers, Seahawks, Cardinals, Lions and Packers have all clinched playoff berths. That’s what we know now.

What we don’t know is who the other three playoff teams will be. And we don’t know any team’s playoff seed. Here are the NFL’s official playoff scenarios for the remaining 17 games of this season:

AFC

CLINCHED:
New England – AFC East and a first-round bye
Denver – AFC West
Indianapolis – AFC South
Pittsburgh – playoff berth

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (vs. Buffalo)

IF DENVER DEFEATS CINCINNATI

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

1) NE win OR

2) NE tie + DEN loss or tie OR

3) DEN loss

IF CINCINNATI DEFEATS DENVER

New England clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs

DENVER BRONCOS (at Cincinnati; vs. Oakland)

IF DENVER DEFEATS CINCINNATI

Denver clinches a first-round bye

Denver clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with:

1) DEN win + NE loss or tie OR

2) DEN tie + NE loss

IF CINCINNATI DEFEATS DENVER

Denver clinches a first-round bye with:

1) DEN win or tie OR

2) CIN loss OR

3) CIN tie + IND win

CINCINNATI BENGALS (vs. Denver; at Pittsburgh)

IF DENVER DEFEATS CINCINNATI

Cincinnati clinches AFC North with:

1) CIN win

Cincinnati clinches a playoff spot with:

1) CIN tie OR

2) BAL loss or tie OR

3) SD loss

IF CINCINNATI DEFEATS DENVER

Cincinnati clinches a playoff spot

Cincinnati clinches AFC North with:

1) CIN win or tie

Cincinnati clinches a first-round bye with:

1) CIN win + DEN loss or tie OR

2) CIN tie + DEN loss + IND loss or tie

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (vs. Cincinnati)

IF DENVER DEFEATS CINCINNATI

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North with:

1) PIT win or tie

IF CINCINNATI DEFEATS DENVER

Pittsburgh clinches AFC North with:

1) PIT win

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (at Kansas City)

IF DENVER DEFEATS CINCINNATI

San Diego clinches a playoff spot with:

1) SD win OR

2) SD tie + CIN loss OR

3) SD tie + BAL loss or tie

IF CINCINNATI DEFEATS DENVER

San Diego clinches a playoff spot with:

1) SD win OR

2) SD tie + BAL loss or tie

BALTIMORE RAVENS (vs. Cleveland)

IF DENVER DEFEATS CINCINNATI

Baltimore clinches a playoff spot with:

1) BAL win + CIN loss OR

2) BAL win + SD loss or tie OR

3) BAL tie + SD loss

IF CINCINNATI DEFEATS DENVER

Baltimore clinches a playoff spot with:

1) BAL win + SD loss or tie OR

2) BAL tie + SD loss

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (vs. San Diego)

Kansas City clinches a playoff spot with:

1) KC win + BAL loss + HOU loss or tie

HOUSTON TEXANS (vs. Jacksonville)

Houston clinches a playoff spot with:

1) HOU win + BAL loss + SD loss

NFC

CLINCHED:
Arizona Cardinals – playoff berth
Seattle Seahawks – playoff berth
Detroit Lions – playoff berth
Green Bay Packers – playoff berth
Dallas Cowboys – NFC East

DALLAS COWBOYS (at Washington)

Dallas clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1) DAL win + ARI loss or tie + DET/GB tie

Dallas clinches a first-round bye with:

1) DAL win + SEA loss or tie + ARI loss or tie OR

2) DAL win + DET/GB tie OR

3) DAL tie + SEA loss + ARI loss OR

4) DAL tie + SEA tie + ARI loss or tie + DET/GB does not end in a tie

DETROIT LIONS (at Green Bay)

Detroit clinches NFC North with:

1) DET win or tie

Detroit clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1) DET win + SEA loss or tie + ARI loss or tie OR

2) DET tie + SEA loss + ARI loss + DAL loss or tie

Detroit clinches a first-round bye with:

1) DET win OR

2) DET tie + DAL loss or tie OR

3) DET tie + SEA loss + ARI loss

GREEN BAY PACKERS (vs. Detroit)

Green Bay clinches NFC North and a first-round bye with:

1) GB win

Green Bay clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1) GB win + SEA loss or tie

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (vs. St. Louis)

Seattle clinches NFC West with:

1) SEA win OR

2) SEA tie + ARI loss or tie OR

3) ARI loss

Seattle clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1) SEA win + DET/GB game does not end in a tie OR

2) SEA win + DAL loss or tie OR

3) SEA tie + ARI loss or tie + DAL loss or tie + GB/DET tie

Seattle clinches a first-round bye with:

1) SEA win OR

2) SEA tie + ARI loss or tie + DAL loss OR

3) SEA tie + ARI loss or tie + GB/DET tie

ARIZONA CARDINALS (at San Francisco)

Arizona clinches NFC West with:

1) ARI win + SEA loss or tie OR

2) ARI tie + SEA loss

Arizona clinches home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs with:

1) ARI win + SEA loss or tie + GB loss or tie OR

2) ARI tie + SEA loss + DAL loss or tie + GB/DET tie

Arizona clinches a first-round bye with:

1) ARI win + SEA loss or tie OR

2) ARI tie + SEA loss + DAL loss or tie OR

3) ARI tie + SEA loss + GB/DET tie

CAROLINA PANTHERS (at Atlanta)

Carolina clinches NFC South with:

1) CAR win or tie

ATLANTA FALCONS (vs. Carolina)

Atlanta clinches NFC South with:

1) ATL win

Permalink 52 Comments Feed for comments Back to top