Patriots vs Vikings

Patriots vs Vikings : The New England Patriots offense got back on track last week against the New York Jets: the unit scored 27 points and gained almost 500 yards of offense while starters Rob Gronkowski and Shaq Mason finally returned off injury. It was no perfect performance but certainly an encouraging one that showed the Patriots’ enormous offensive potential when having all hands on deck — something that basically is the case today as well.

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And having all players available will be big against a Minnesota Vikings defense that is one of the most productive in the NFL: the unit surrenders just 19.8 points a game — the sixth best number in the NFL — and is especially productive on third downs and in the red zone. Safe to say that New England will need to play its best offensive football to find success against a 6-4-1 Vikings team that is currently the fifth playoff seed in the NFC.

Ahead of today’s matchup, we spoke about Minnesota’s defense with Christopher Gates who covers the Vikings for our sister site Daily Norseman. According to him, there is a simple explanation why the unit is as productive as it is: experience. “The starters on this defense, for the most part, know this scheme like the back of their hands,” Christopher said about the unit coordinated by George Edwards and also closely coached by Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.

“It’s a combination of having talented players at pretty much every level of the defense and that the majority of those players have been in the same defensive scheme for so long that nearly everything is second nature,” Christopher continued when asked what makes the unit as productive as it is. “This is Mike Zimmer’s fifth season as head coach, and he’s had great players at all three levels of his defense for his entire tenure.”

Despite some inconsistency — Minnesota surrendered 38 points against an excellent Los Angeles Rams team in week four and gave up 480 yards and 29 points versus the Green Bay Packers in week two — the 2018 Vikings are no exception: the team has stars from the front seven to the secondary, and will challenge a New England offense that also is among the deepest and most talented units in all of football.

“Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes, Anthony Barr, Everson Griffen, and Linval Joseph have been with Zimmer all five seasons, and they’ve added pieces like Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter, and Trae Waynes (among others) since he took over,” Christopher said about Minnesota’s offensive depth. “After the early part of this season when teams found a few holes, Zimmer has apparently figured out a way to patch those holes, as the defense has taken things to another level over the past six or seven weeks.”

The results speak for themselves. The Vikings have created turnovers in seven straight games, have held four of their last six opponents to under 20 points, and did not allow a 300-yard passer since week four — and that includes a game against MVP-candidate Drew Brees. The quality atop the roster is a big reason for that, as is the depth behind the team’s defensive stars.

“They’ve also put together some quality depth all along the defense as well, and that helps when players have to head to the sidelines for whatever reason,” said Christopher about the unit. “The Vikings brought Mike Zimmer to coach this team after the 2013 season because the defense was a disaster, and Zimmer’s defensive acumen and some great personnel moves have turned things completely around in that department.”

But while Minnesota has a high quality defense there are still areas that the Patriots can take advantage of today. “I think if the Vikings have a really exploitable weakness on defense, it would have to come from a team that can utilize a lot of different motions and things of that nature to attempt to confuse the Vikings’ defense and set up potential mismatches,” Christopher answered when asked about the group’s weaknesses.

“We saw that in a big way when the Vikings played the Los Angeles Rams back in Week 4, as Sean McVay and company managed to get wide receiver Cooper Kupp one-on-one with Anthony Barr in numerous situations,” he continued. “Barr is a great linebacker and a talented athlete, to be sure, but he’s got no chance covering wide receivers 40-50 yards down the field. Unfortunately, that was the matchup that the Rams got and Cooper Kupp and Jared Goff took advantage of it.”

Personnel mismatches were just one of the unit’s early-season issues, the communication — despite all the experience on defense — was apparently also a problem at times. “The Vikings were, reportedly, having some communication issues in the early portion of this season,” Christopher said about the group’s early-season flaws. “It appears that they have managed to make those a thing of the past.”

That being said, New England still could find a way to challenge the group today. “If the Patriots can use players like Julian Edelman or even Cordarrelle Patterson to create matchup problems — I won’t include Rob Gronkowski, because that guy is a matchup problem regardless — then they might be able to exploit the Minnesota defense in that regard,” Christopher pointed out.

As noted above, the Patriots will have all of their top offensive players available today so they should have the flexibility to force the Vikings defense in unfavorable situations.

Steelers vs Chargers

Steelers vs Chargers : The Pittsburgh Steelers will play their twelfth game of the 2018 regular season Sunday night against the Los Angeles Chargers in what figures to be another interesting contest between the two teams seemingly headed for the playoffs. Below are five key things that I believe the Steelers will need to do in the game to come away with their fourth home win of the 2018 season Sunday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

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Run, James, run – The Chargers defense can be run on and especially to their right side. The Steelers had some success running to their left last Sunday with running back James Conner but they failed to stay committed to it as much as they probably should have been. Conner is coming off a few very unproductive games and it would be nice to see him start Sunday night’s game against the Chargers with some successful runs to the left and and up the middle and then build on those. The Chargers are now without defensive tackles Corey Liuget and Brandon Membane so there’s no reason why the Steelers offense shouldn’t have success running the football Sunday night. 4 yards and a cloud of dust on every play isn’t a bad thing.

Focus on the little backup bolt – The Steelers defense should have a lot experience by now against smallish shifty running backs having recently faced Christian McCaffrey and Phillip Lindsay. They’ll face another one on Sunday in Chargers running back Austin Ekeler, who will start in place of the injure Melvin Gordon. While Ekeler is a step down from Gordon, he’s still a good running back and has even caught 32 passes for 354 yards and 3 touchdowns so far this season. Look for Ekeler to be targeted early and often out of the backfield by Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. We might even see a wheel route or three as the Steelers defense has had some issues covering that kind of play so far this season. It would be nice to see Ekeler have to pass protect quite a bit Sunday night so the Steelers defense should force him to display that portion of his game with nicely designed blitzes. Hint, he’s not great at doing such.

First and win – The Chargers offense has been phenomenal so far this season on first downs as they are averaging over 7 yards per play. That success on first downs has led to them facing a very low amount of third downs so far this season. That said, the Chargers offense is less than average this season on third downs and 3 of Rivers’ 6 interceptions this season have come on 3rd and long plays. It all starts on first down Sunday night for the Steelers defense.

Play in their yard some – The Steelers offense has moved the football effectively most of the season. However, they’ve been forced to do so on very long fields and especially since their bye week. Sunday night against the Chargers the Steelers need to start at least a few drives on the positive side of their own 45-yard-line. That field position can only come via a turnover or long return. While Steelers returner Ryan Switzer has been exciting to watch this season, he’s yet to break off a big one. Sunday night against the Chargers would be the perfect time for him to do that a few times.

No Bosaconstictor – Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa is now back healthy again after missing most of the season with a foot injury. The Ohio State product registered his first two sacks of the season last Sunday and he’ll present a huge challenge for Steelers tackle Matt Feiler, who did not play last week. The Steelers offense smartly protected rookie tackle Chukwuma Okafor from Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller last Sunday via slides to his side and tight end chips. They’ll likely need to have a repeat performance of that Sunday night against Bosa and hope that left tackle Alejandro Villanueva can handle the Chargers other great pass rusher, defensive end Melvin Ingram, one-on-one most of the game.

Spare the feet – The Steelers didn’t pack nearly enough feet for their trip to Denver last weekend. Not only did the offense turn the football over four times last Sunday, there were a few drops mixed in with a few untimely penalties. The defense also gave up a few big plays that turned out to be huge. The Chargers are a much better team than the Denver Broncos are and even without having Gordon Sunday night. Merely losing the turnover battle Sunday night to the Chargers could be enough for the Steelers to suffer a home loss. quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has 5 interceptions in the last two games, needs to have a clean turnover sheet Sunday night and the defense needs to do their part by showing more ball-awareness and registering a few turnovers of their own.

Panthers vs Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will try to make it two wins in a row as they host the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. The Panthers have lost three straight games and are looking to snap that streak and sweep the Bucs this year.

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The Buccaneers defense is a completely different animal at home than it is on the road. At Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay’s defense is a fierce creature, allowing no more than 23 points in any home game this year, while allowing an average of 18.3 points per game to be scored – 16 points per game under new defensive coordinator Mark Duffner. Yet those defensive performances have come against Pittsburgh and four average offenses in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Washington and San Francisco.

On the road, the Bucs defense has been a cowardly beast, allowing an embarrassing 38.3 points per game, including surrendering 42 points at Carolina the last time Tampa Bay played the Panthers. The Bucs defense got embarrassed the Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey and the Panthers razzle-dazzled Tampa Bay with plenty of misdirection on screen passes, end-arounds and reverses. The good news for the Bucs is that this game is at home, and the Color Rush-clad pirates will hope that the trend of good defense continues at home where the defense has allowed 20 fewer points per game.

Unfortunately for the Bucs, they are a bit banged up on defense with cornerback Brent Grimes questionable for the game with a knee injury, and rookie cornerback Carlton Davis out with a knee injury. Linebacker Lavonte David (knee) and free safety Justin Evans (toe) have missed the last two games due to injury and are questionable to play. The 6-5 Panthers come in as the healthier – and better – team, and need to snap a three-game losing streak to stay in the hunt for an NFC Wild Card spot, or perhaps the NFC South title.

Wide receiver Mike Evans and left tackle Donovan Smith need to amend for awful games at Carolina in this rematch, and quarterback Jameis Winston will have to play another turnover-free game for the Bucs to come away with a victory in back-to-back home games and improve to 5-7. More importantly, the Bucs defense needs to have another big-sack showing from bookend defensive ends Carl Nassib and Jason Pierre-Paul, create some more takeaways and not let McCaffrey eclipse 100 yards of total offense, which will be a challenge.

If the Bucs were healthier, I’d like them in the upset, but the Panthers will prevail and send Tampa Bay to 4-8 on the season with a close road win.

I mean the Panthers are too good and the Bucs are essentially playing for a draft pick, right?

Well, the more I think about this game the more I am not chalking it up as a sure-fire loss for Tampa Bay. I do think ultimately the Panthers end up winning, but I won’t be shocked if the Bucs somehow surprise us all. For whatever the reason, and I am sure there are some good ones, this team does seem to fight for head coach Dirk Koetter. We saw it last year, and despite a 5-11 record, the Bucs never folded up their tent. They played hard, came up short a bunch, but didn’t mail it in.

I think that trend continues this year. Will it be enough to save Koetter’s job? Impossible to say at this point, but in order to do so, they have to win some games and not just lose them closely.

I can’t bring myself to pick the Bucs this week, however. I just don’t trust them. I want to be able to, but until they get a signature win – and the Week 1 victory in New Orleans seems like a lifetime ago, I just can’t. At least not against a team of Carolina’s caliber.

The Bucs should be able to keep the game close, and like the homes games this season (not counting the Pittsburgh game), I don’t think it will be this huge, high-scoring shootout affair. The Bucs defense plays much better at home, particularly under defensive coordinator Mark Duffner. While the Panthers put up 42 points on Tampa Bay last month in Charlotte, I think the defense was embarrassed and wants to make amends. That will mean slowing down Christian McCaffrey and not allowing Cam Newton to beat them with his feet. Playing sound, fundamental football with good eye discipline is essential if they are going to have a chance.

Offensively it all starts and ends with protection. Give Jameis Winston time and he can pick apart this Carolina secondary. I see a back-and-forth affair for most of the afternoon with the Panthers making a couple more plays in the fourth quarter than the Bucs.
If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and head coach Dirk Koetter specifically, have any hope of making this 2018 season a success and savaging some coaching jobs, it has to start with Carolina – they realistically have to run the table, but that still starts with Carolina, so it still counts.

A win against the struggling Panthers would not only be one win closer to the playoffs, it would not only be one win picked up in the division, it would also be a double win with a team they’re chasing in the wild card also picking up a loss.

In order to beat the Panthers, the Buccaneers’ offense will have to start much better than they did against Carolina when they visited them earlier this season. With Winston as the quarterback now, it’s going to be up to him and Mike Evans to get this thing going early. Winston has to be able to build off the turnover-free game he had last week.

The Bucs need to be able to get up on the scoreboard early for two reasons. One: They need to score more points than the Panthers by the time the game is over — thanks, genius. Two: They need to be able to let their defensive line go after Cam Newton and rough him up a bit. That only happens if you’re forcing the Panthers to pass. That’s the way you beat Carolina. You have to make Newton uncomfortable.

The Panthers are coming into Tampa Bay on a three-game losing streak, and have been terrible on the road this season, so this all bodes well for the Buccaneers. However, I have seen too much bad Bucs football to say that they are the favorites in this one.

If they win this week, maybe I’ll believe in them again. But for now, I’ve been burned too many times, and I still think the Panthers are a good team. It’ll be close, the Bucs will have a chance and a drive at the end, but I think it comes up short.
All the fun and games are over now. It was nice to see the Bucs defense come alive against the 49ers, but that’s a two-win football team, and Carolina dropped 42 on them the last time these teams played. Carolina has lost their last three, but that may hurt the Bucs even more, as the Panthers are fighting for their playoff lives.

The Bucs have some momentum going on their defensive line at the moment. Jason Pierre-Paul and Carl Nassib have become a nice bookend when disrupting the quarterback, and Vita Vea just played the best game of his career. As good as the line was, the linebackers are struggling, starting players that are third-string and practice squad guys. This bunch has a horrendous time stopping the simplest of misdirection plays, which the Panthers seem to excel at. The Bucs better pray that Lavonte David is healthy enough to go, because they are going to have tough time stopping Christian McCaffrey in any sort of capacity. The defense does play better at home, but they won’t against a guy like this.

Each week is the “most important” game to players, but this week and next truly are for Jameis Winston. He had his first game of the year where he didn’t turn the ball over, again though, that was the 49ers. Winston will have to prove this week against an aggressive defense that last week wasn’t an anomaly, and this is a new Winston that can protect the ball.

Keep a lookout for Mike Evans as well to have a better game than the last time he faced corner James Bradberry. Evans is as competitive as they come, and his last game against Carolina brought only one catch for 16 yards. While I expect Evans to have a big game, the Bucs will revert to playing behind for most of the game and cost themselves a chance to win in one way or another.
Last week was a welcome respite for fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

For one week – if only for a week – all of the problems this team has had on defense seemed minimal and the offense executed largely without a hitch. Unfortunately week 12 is over and the Carolina Panthers aren’t the San Francisco 49ers.

Looking ahead to this game you can bet that the Bucs’ defense probably won’t hold the Panthers to just nine points, they probably won’t come out of the game with two more interceptions and Jameis Winston probably won’t play a complete game of mistake-free football.

The Panthers gashed the Bucs earlier in the year, setting a franchise record with 35 points on the board by halftime. I can’t see the score ever being quite as lopsided this time around, but I don’t predict the result to be any different. The Panthers are coming off of a tough three-game skid but they still bring a top-10 scoring offense into Tampa, led by a run game that’s producing 138.4 yards per game on a league-best 5.3 yards per carry.

Carolina is going to run the ball often and run it well, this is known, but it’s how the Bucs respond that will determine how bad this game gets. Will the offense start fast, play a consistent sixty minutes of football and limit turnovers? Will the Bucs be able to cover electric weapons like D.J. Moore and Christian McCaffrey – who have over 2000 combined yards from scrimmage – while stopping the run? Will the Bucs be able to contain Cam Newton while dropping into coverage? Having Lavonte David back in the lineup this week will help, but only time will tell and history says no.

On offense, it’ll all be about execution, per usual. The Panthers surrender the sixth-lowest rushing yards per game and Winston will be without key weapons in O.J. Howard and Desean Jackson, in addition to a questionable designation for starting RT Demar Dotson. Should Dotson be forced to miss time, third-year OT Leonard Wester will likely be his replacement.

The Bucs tend to play better at home, but their performance this week will not look nearly as good as the Color Rush uniforms they’ll be wearing. Like I said before, it probably won’t ever be 35-7 bad, but barring a perfect football game Tampa will likely fall to 4-8 on the season and 0-4 in their all-reds on Sunday.

Dolphins vs Bills

Dolphins vs Bills : Two AFC East teams collide at Hard Rock Stadium when the Miami Dolphins (5-6) host the Buffalo Bills (4-7) as Week 13 action continues on Sunday afternoon.

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The game is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on CBS in select areas (coverage map here). If the game is on in your market and you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can still watch a live stream of the game (or DVR it) on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:

Amazon Prime

If you have Amazon Prime or start a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, you can watch all CBS content (both live and on-demand) via the CBS Amazon Channel, which also comes with a 7-day free trial.

Once you’re signed up for both Amazon Prime and the CBS channel, you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Amazon website, or you can watch on your tablet or streaming device via the Amazon Video app.

This service is available live in all 32 NFL markets.

FuboTV

CBS (live in 28 NFL markets) is included in FuboTV’s main package, which includes 85 total channels and is largely tailored towards sports fans. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app.

If you can’t watch live, FuboTV comes with 30 hours of Cloud DVR (with the ability to upgrade to 500 hours), as well as a handy “72-Hour Lookback” feature, which will allow you to watch the game on-demand up to three days after it airs even if you forgot to record it.

Hulu With Live TV:

In addition to their extensive Netflix-like streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of 50-plus live TV channels, including CBS (live in 29 NFL markets). You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.

If you can’t watch live, “Hulu with Live TV” also comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).

Watch on Your Phone: NFL Mobile

Streaming of in-market and prime-time games can be watched on phones via the NFL Mobile app.

If the Game is Out of Your Market

SundayTicket.TV allows you to watch a live stream of games that are out of your market and aren’t nationally televised. The service is available for people who live in residences that can’t get satellite (apartments, condos, etc.), as well as residents of San Francisco, Philadelphia and New York City. You can check here to see if you’re eligible.

Additionally, most college students may watch out-of-market games via SundayTicket U.

Once signed up, you can watch games on your computer via the NFL Sunday Ticket website, or you can watch on your phone, tablet or other streaming device via the NFL Sunday Ticket app, which is free to download on many different devices.

Watch On-Demand: NFL Game Pass

If you’re fine watching games on-demand, another option is NFL Game Pass Domestic, which allows you to watch replays of every NFL game for a fee of $99.99 for the season. No live games are available under this service, but you’ll be able to watch them following the conclusion of games for the day.

Once signed up, you can watch games on-demand on your computer via the NFL Game Pass website, or on your tablet or streaming device via the NFL Mobile app, which can be downloaded for free on a handful of different devices.

If You’re Outside the United States & Mexico

If you’re not in the United States, surrounding territories, or Mexico, you can watch NFL games live via NFL Game Pass International. The cost of the package depends on which country you’re in.

Once signed up, you can watch games on your computer via the NFL Game Pass website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the NFL Mobile app, which can be downloaded for free on a handful of different devices.

Miami is looking to keep its fading playoff hopes alive. It starts at the top with head coach Adam Gase and the rest of the offense.

Despite getting back Ryan Tanehill (shoulder) last week, the Dolphins blew a 14-point lead in the second half against the Indianapolis Colts on the road. Gase feels responsible and told reporters he thinks his team could be even better.

“You’re disappointed because you’ve got two games where you’re sitting there going, ‘Well, 5-6, or 7-4. So, it’s a (crappy) feeling. We’re getting turnovers. It’s a shame. We’re in the plus, we block a punt, do all those type of things and then don’t come out with a win (against the Colts). We’ll … correct what we need to correct, and try and figure out a way to win a game.”

The Dolphins have lost consecutive games, and four of their past five. The Bills have actually done the opposite, winning their last two to move their record to 4-7.

This is all thanks to a defense that continues to be stingy and outlast lower-scoring opponents, as well as finding some key plays from 2018 first-round pick Josh Allen. Allen hasn’t looked great, but he has made enough big plays this season to have fans excited about what is come to come.

Giants vs Bears

Giants vs Bears : The Chicago Bears (8-3) are on a mission to win the NFC North in head coach Matt Nagy’s first season. They made some bold moves to get themselves in position to do so, most notably trading for All-World linebacker Khalil Mack.

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This Sunday, they will try to extend their division lead with a victory over the New York Giants (3-8), who have had cohesion problems on both sides of the ball this season.

Here are some top storylines before kickoff.

The Bears quarterback isn’t exactly setting the league on fire since Chicago traded up for him in the 2017 NFL Draft, but he’s been a catalyst to one of the most potent offenses in the league. The Giants should feel fortunate that Trubisky, one of the top scrambling quarterbacks in the league this season, will be watching from the sidelines.

But Trubisky’s backup, Chase Daniel, is no slouch. He is from the Andy Reid/Doug Pederson school of quarterbacking and once learned at the heels of Drew Brees.

Daniel will be starting for the second consecutive week for Trubisky (sprained AC joint). On Thanksgiving, Daniel completed 27 of 37 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns in the Bears’ 23-16 win over the Detroit Lions.

Engram’s season from hell continues. What was supposed to be his breakout year — or at least a jump year — has been largely a disappointment due to injuries. He missed nearly four games due to a sprained MCL and then tweaked his hamstring before the game in Philadelphia Sunday and hasn’t take the field since.

Goodson has played in all 11 games this season, starting 10, and has recorded 38 tackles (25 solo) with two interceptions. He sustained a neck injury in the fourth quarter last week and was replaced by Tae Davis.

Rookie linebacker Lorenzo Carter has been limited with a hip ailment and is listed as questionable. Defensive end Kerry Wynn is no longer in the concussion protocol and is expected to suit up versus the Bears.

The Giants are well aware of the destruction Khalil Mack can do to an offense. He has been slowed by an ankle injury this season but he still has eight sacks and five forced fumbles to his credit. He’s a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2016) and is angling for the honor again.

Giants tackles Chad Wheeler and Nate Solder are bracing for the wrath of Mack on Sunday.

“Just a very professional mindset,” said Wheeler regarding his preparation. “It’s my job, so whatever I can do to get an edge, I’m going to do it. … He’s just relentless. A great player. He has an internal drive that sometimes I match, so you’ve got to bring it.”

“He’s got all the talent and qualities that you would ever ask for in a defensive end, but he plays with a really good team too,” said Solder, looking at the bigger picture. “They’re good across the board on their D-Line, they’re good across the board on their linebackers and defensive backs so it’s not just him, it’s the combination of everything that makes it that much more difficult.”

Colts vs Jaguars

Colts vs. Jaguars week 13: Game predictions. The Colts play the Jaguars on Sunday, and this game could be tricky. Can the Colts avoid the trap of falling to Jacksonville?

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The Colts have won five straight games and the Jags have lost seven straight. Based on that fact, you would think the Colts would have no problem winning this game on Sunday. But it is a game that they could falter in if they are not careful.

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Next week, they play Houston. They could be looking ahead to that game because of how bad this Jaguars team is. But if they do that, they won’t win this game. They have to keep all of their focus on Sunday because this game matters as much as the Houston one does.

Just looking at the Jags, I don’t see any way that they can move the ball with any sort of consistency. They don’t have their best player available and they are starting a backup quarterback. Also the Colts defense has played well in spots.

Expect the Colts offense to move the ball very well though. They haven’t been stopped in the last couple of months. With Andrew Luck playing the way he is right now, the offense should be able to put but big numbers and quite a few points.

The offense shouldn’t be a problem for the Colts. They should put up points without too much issue. Even though the Jags don’t have much offensive firepower, they still always seem to play the Colts tough even when they aren’t supposed to.

The game won’t be that close, but ten points is still pretty good for Jacksonville if they can keep it to that margin. As long as the Colts can keep their focus, they should walk out of Jacksonville with a win.

Texans vs Browns

Texans vs Browns : Breaking down the matchups in the Texans’ game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at NRG Stadium:

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An improved offensive line and a terrific performance by rookie Nick Chubb have given the Browns a formidable running game. Chubb has 663 yards, a 5.4-yard average per carry and six touchdowns. The Browns are ninth in rushing (128.7 yards). Guards Joel Bitonio and Kevin Zeitler are strong run blockers who help clear paths up the middle. The Texans are seventh against the run (96.8 yards). The front seven has been outstanding against the run. The Texans are fifth (3.75) in yards allowed per rush.

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The Browns are 12th in average rush per play (4.55). The outside players in the front seven have to be careful because they’ve been burned by quarterbacks running around the corner and end-around runs that take advantage of their overpursuit. They have to be more disciplined. The return of inside linebackers Zach Cunningham and Dylan Cole from injuries to play with leading tackler Benardrick McKinney improves a suffocating run defense.

Rookie Baker Mayfield has been on fire with seven touchdown passes and no interceptions in the past two games, both double-digit victories. The Austin native is the first rookie quarterback to post back-to-back games with a rating of at least 140.0. He has 17 touchdowns, 7 interceptions and a 93.2 rating. He’s a fierce competitor who’ll stand in under pressure to find receivers. He’s also got good mobility and can throw well on the run. Veteran Jarvis Landry (60 catches, 630 yards, two touchdowns) and tight end David Njoku (41, 431 and three) are his leading receivers

In their past five games, the Texans average 34 carries and 169 yards — boosted by the team-record 281 yards against Tennessee. That performance, highlighted by Lamar Miller’s 97-yard touchdown, made the Texans fourth in rushing (136.5 yards). The Browns are 28th (131.8) against the run, including 25th in rushing yards per play (4.77). It’s no secret how coach Bill O’Brien will try to attack the Browns.

In the past five games, Deshaun Watson hasn’t thrown more than 24 passes. His high for yards was 239. But he has 11 touchdowns and two interceptions during that stretch. He’s coming off a victory over Tennessee when he accounted for three touchdowns, including two passing.

John McClain, a Waco native who graduated from Baylor in 1975, is in his 43rd year at the Houston Chronicle and his 40th covering the National Football League, including the Oilers and Texans. He worked for the Waco Tribune Herald from 1973-76, when he accepted a job with the Chronicle. to cover the original Houston Aeros of the World Hockey Association.

McClain has a plaque in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio as the 2006 winner of the Dick McCann Memorial Award presented annually by the Pro Football Writers of America to a writer for his long and distinguished coverage of the NFL. He is past president of the Pro Football Writers of America.

He’s a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Seniors Committee and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

In 2015, he was named as a Gridiron Legend in Texas, becoming the third member of the media behind Dave Campbell and Mickey Herskowitz.

McClain can be heard six times a week on the Texans’ flagship station Sports Radio 610 in Houston. He also does weekly sports talk shows in Nashville, Knoxville, Waco, Austin and San Antonio.

McClain also has appeared in eight movies: The Rookie, The Longest Yard, Spring Breakers, Secretariat, Invincible, Cook County, The Game Plan and Make It Rain.

Packers vs Cardinals

Packers vs Cardinals : The Arizona Cardinals take on the Green Bay Packers in Week 13 on the road in the cold. The Cardinals sit at 2-9 while the Packers are 4-6-1 and are in a desperate situation, as they must likely win out to maybe get into the playoffs.

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It will be a cold one, too. Temperatures are expected in the 30s with a chance for snow.

So for those of you who want to see the game on television, you will get to watch it in much better conditions than those at the game.

Here is the info you need to watch the game.

Game info

Arizona Cardinals at Green Bay Packers, 1:00 p.m. Eastern/11:00 a.m. Arizona time, Lambeau Field, Green Bay

TV info

The game will air on FOX (check for coverage map) with, for the second week in a row, Chris Myers calling the game with Daryl Johnston as an analyst sand Laura Okmin on the sidelines.

If you are looking for an online stream, it is available on fuboTV (try it free).

Radio

The Cardinals radio broadcast will be on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. Dave Pasch will call the game with Ron Wolfley and Paul Calvisi will work the sideline.

The Spanish broadcast can be found on Univision KHOV 105.1 FM. Gabriel Trujillo will make the call with Rolando Cantu in the booth.

Listen to the latest from Cards Wire’s Jess Root on his podcast, Rise Up, See Red. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Stitcher Radio.

Bengals vs Broncos

Bengals vs Broncos : The Bengals and Broncos are both 5-6 and competing to stay in the Wild Card race. You may be in a similar position with your fantasy teams as most fantasy playoffs will start Week 14 or 15. Hopefully, some players from this game can help you work your way into the playoffs yourself.

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A.J. Green (Bengals WR): The Broncos’ secondary has some very talented players, but they aren’t stout against the pass by any means. With Jeff Driskel as the quarterback, you’d have to imagine that he will take a few extra shots towards the most talented guy on the field. Plus, a healthy Green should pretty much always be in your lineup.

Bengals vs Broncos Live

Phillip Lindsay (Broncos RB): No team allows more points to opposing running backs than the Bengals, according to Fantasy Pros. Lindsay has been one of the most efficient runners this season despite being an undrafted rookie. He is averaging 5.8 yards per carry behind a very effective offensive line.

The only way Lindsay doesn’t have a big game is if he doesn’t get enough touches. He rarely has been given the opportunity to touch the ball more than 15 times a game, despite being the best running back in the roster.

Joe Mixon (Bengals RB): Mixon got more involved in the offense with Driskel at quarterback last week. The backup quarterback threw several dump off passes to Mixon to give the young running back a chance to create in open space. That coupled with the fact Cincinnati finally had Mixon play more in the two-minute drill helps him be a more attractive option in fantasy.

Emmanuel Sanders (Broncos WR): Without Demaryius Thomas around, Sanders has been getting plenty of targets. It hasn’t always resulted in a big fantasy outing, but the Bengals have struggled with slowing down receivers lately, so Sanders could be the next receiver to get in the end zone through sheer target share.

Tyler Boyd (Bengals WR): Some may view Green returning as a negative for Boyd, but the fact is it really opens up more space for Boyd to work. He had his biggest games early in the season when he, Green and John Ross were all healthy. Driskel also tossed a couple throws Boyd’s way that Andy Dalton usually wouldn’t have, which gives Boyd a slightly higher ceiling.

Broncos defense: Von Miller has to be licking his chops at the thought of going against Bobby Hart at right tackle. Plus, it is Driskel’s first start in the NFL, and he is a little more willing to remain in the pocket more than Dalton. That could lead to a few more chances for defenses to create turnovers for the Broncos.

Courtland Sutton (Broncos WR): Sutton hasn’t had that signature game since he essentially took over Thomas’ role after being traded. He hasn’t even had a game where he recorded more than 100 yards receiving. Sutton has a tough matchup this week, but he has a decent chance of scoring his third touchdown of his rookie season.

Jeff Driskel (Bengals QB): I don’t know why you’d need to play Driskel, but if you are need of a waiver wire quarterback, it is hard to think of a better one than Driskel. He gets to throw to a full arsenal of weapons, and he has the added threat of running the ball.

Case Keenum (Broncos QB): If I had to choose which quarterback has the higher ceiling in this game, it would be Driskel. However, Keenum clearly has the easier matchup as he should have all day to throw the ball.

Matt LaCosse (Broncos TE): He scored a touchdown last week, and he has become the starting tight end due to the injuries in front of him. He is completely touchdown dependent, but he has a great matchup against the Bengals’ linebackers that can’t cover anyone.

Bengals defense: Aside from Lindsay, nothing about the Broncos offense seems spectacular. There is a chance the Bengals secondary could take advantage of a few errant throws from Keenum and make it a worthwhile fantasy outing… Or they could be as bad as they’ve been for the past few weeks.

John Ross (Bengals WR): The Bengals No. 2 receiver has a touchdown in three-straight games and four of his last five. Outside of that though, he hasn’t had much fantasy value. Is he worth roughly six points in fantasy every week? That’s up to you.

C.J. Uzomah (Bengals TE): Uzomah ended up with six catches for 39 yards last week. He hasn’t scored since the Chiefs game, and he just doesn’t have value unless he is a threat to score

Falcons vs Ravens

Falcons vs Ravens : The Falcons have not been good of late, dropping their last three games. It may be too late for the playoffs, but it’s never too late to show that you’re still a capable, tough football team. Beating the Ravens would do wonders for this team’s self-esteem and perception, even if the win doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things and would damage Atlanta’s draft stock.

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Of course, Baltimore won’t just roll over. They’re hot with Lamar Jackson under center and have the talent to be one of the best NFL defenses every week, which means they’re likely to give the Falcons fits even at home. My hope is that the offensive line somehow solidifies with the addition of Zane Beadles—I know, I know—and the Falcons return to their triumphant form

ATLANTA — All signs point to Lamar Jackson making his third straight start for the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday and his first on the road. Here are the basic details for Baltimore’s game in Atlanta…

Falcons vs Ravens Live

What: Baltimore Ravens (6-5) at Atlanta Falcons (4-7) in Week 13 NFL action

Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

TV: CBS

Announcers: Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Tony Romo (commentary), Tracy Wolfson (sideline)

Local radio: WBAL (1090 AM) & 98 Rock (97.9 FM)

Stream: fuboTV (free trial)

Injury reports: Click here

Live stats/updates: PennLive Minutes

Betting line: Atlanta (-2.5)

Over/under: 48.5 (via Oddsshark)

With Jackson behind center the past two weeks, the Ravens followed a renewed running game to two victories. The formula has logic to it: Let the first-round rookie quarterback use his dual-threat skills, commit to the ground game to control the clock and lean on the NFL’s top-ranked defense down the stretch. Everything’s run smoothly so far — but how might that change when Jackson makes his first start on the road in favorite of win-hungry opposing fans? We’ll find out soon.

While Jackson will garner the most attention, the quarterback on the other sideline Sunday owns more accolades and experience. Matt Ryan, the 2016 NFL MVP, remains one of the best passers in the league, and if Baltimore’s standout secondary cannot contain Atlanta’s receivers, the Ravens could face a long afternoon — no matter how Jackson fares.

The Ravens have an inside track to the final playoff spot in the AFC, but they face the first-place Chiefs in Kansas City next week and also have a trip to play the Chargers (8-3) in Los Angeles on the schedule. So if Baltimore loses to Atlanta on Sunday, its climb to the postseason will grow much steeper. This is a big game for a franchise that’s missed the playoffs in three straight seasons.