QB MITCH TRUBISKY completed 22 of 35 atts. (62.9 pct.) for 190 yards & TD vs. INT & rushed for 30 yards & TD last week in 1st start of season. Has rush TD in 3 of his past 4 starts. • RB JAYLEN WARREN has 55+ scrimmage yards in 5 of his past 6. Leads team with career-high 884 scrimmage yards in 2023. • RB NAJEE HARRIS has 75+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3. Has rush TD in 2 of past 3 on road. Had rush TD in last meeting. Warren (884) & Harris (839) are only pair of AFC RB teammates each with 750+ scrimmage yards this season. • WR DIONTAE JOHNSON led team with 57 rec. yards & had 3rd rec. TD of season last week. Aims for 3rd in row with TD catch. Has 50+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Ind. with 5+ catches. Needs 25 rec. yards for 5th-straight 500-yard season. • WR GEORGE PICKENS led team with 5 catches in Week 14. Has 55+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Had 57 rec. yards in last meeting. Needs 4 catches & 35 rec. yards for new career highs. • WR ALLEN ROBINSON had 7 catches for 101 yards & TD in his last game vs. Ind. (10/4/20 w/ Chi.) & has rec. TD in 3 of his past 4 vs. Ind. • LB T.J. WATT aims for 7th in row with TFL & has 0.5+ sacks in 6 of past 7. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Ind. with FF. Has 3.5 sacks in his past 3 vs. Ind. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 14 sacks, 4th-career season with 14+ sacks. • LB ELANDON ROBERTS 6 tackles, sack & PD in Week 14. Has 5+ tackles & TFL in 6 of past 7. • DT CAMERON HEYWARD had 6 tackles & 2nd sack of season last week. Has sack in 2 of past 3. • S MINKAH FITZPATRICK had 5 tackles & TFL in Week 14. Has 5+ tackles in 7 of past 8. Has PD in 2 of his past 3 vs. Ind. • CB PATRICK PETERSON has PD in 4 of 5 road games this season.

QB GARDNER MINSHEW completed 26 of 39 atts. (66.7 pct.) for 240 yards & TD vs. INT last week, 3rd-straight game with 240+ pass yards. Has 2+ TD passes in 2 of 3 home starts this season. • RB JONATHAN TAYLOR has 517 scrimmage yards (86.2 per game) in his past 6. Aims for his 4th in row at home with 90+ scrimmage yards. Has 3 rush TDs in 2 career games vs. Pit. • RB ZACK MOSS aims for 4th in row with 55+ scrimmage yards. Has 471 scrimmage yards (94.2 per game) in 5 home games in 2023. Needs 77 scrimmage yards for 1st-career 1,000-yard season. • WR MICHAEL PITTMAN led team with 8 catches for 95 yards last week, 6th-straight game with 8+ catches, longest active streak in NFL. Can become 5th player all-time with 8+ catches in 7 straight games within single season. Aims for 4th in row with 95+ rec. yards. Has rec. TD in 2 of past 3 at home. Had 7 catches for 61 yards & TD in last meeting.Ranks 4th in NFL with 95 catches & can become 1st Ind. player with 100 catches since 2012 (Reggie Wayne). • WR JOSH DOWNS (rookie) aims for his 5th in row at home with 5+ catches. Has 70+ rec. yards in 3 of past 4 at home. • TE MO ALIE-COX had 2nd TD catch of season in Week 14. • TE WILL MALLORY (rookie) had career-high 5 catches last week. • LB ZAIRE FRANKLIN led team with 14 tackles & had TFL in Week 14, 8th game this season with 12+ tackles, most in NFL. Has 11+ tackles in 5 of 6 home games this season. • DT DEFOREST BUCKNER had 8 tackles & PD last week. Aims for 5th in row with 6+ tackles & 4th in row with PD. • DE KWITY PAYE had TFL in Week 14. Has sack in 3 of past 4. Has career-best 7.5 sacks this season. • S RONNIE HARRISON had INT last week & has INT in 2 of his 3 games this season. Has 6+ tackles in 2 of his past 3 vs. Pit.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle DeForest Buckner is a playoff veteran, so he understands the ramifications of Saturday’s showdown with Pittsburgh.

“It’s a playoff game, you know what I mean?” Buckner said. “That’s how you’ve got to approach this week. Each and every week from here on out is critical if we are going to make the playoffs.”

The two-time Pro Bowler hopes that message resonates with his younger teammates who may not have experienced this kind of high-stakes December game.

The Colts and Steelers have plenty of similarities.

Both are 7-6 and they started Week 15 sitting in the AFC’s final two playoff spots. Injuries have forced both teams to turn to backup quarterbacks, and both hope to rebound from last week’s embarrassing losses.

The Steelers didn’t just lose their last two. They became the first NFL team with a winning record to lose back-to-back home games to teams at least eight games under .500. And they’ve only topped the 20-point mark once in their last seven games.

“I share their frustration,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said. “Our business is winning. In the last couple of weeks, we have not handled business and we understand that, and so we’re working and working with an edge.”

Indy, meanwhile, had a four-game winning streak snapped by Cincinnati but has struggled to run the ball lately. Its last three wins came by a total of 14 points, thanks largely to turnovers and non-offensive touchdowns. The Colts also have lost eight straight to the Steelers, most recently on Nov. 28, 2022.

Saturday’s outcome could go a long way in determining whether either team makes the playoffs, where neither has had much recent success. Indy hasn’t won a postseason game since the 2018 season, and Pittsburgh’s last playoff win was two years earlier.

At the very least, this game could have a playoff feel.

“I think that’s the beauty of being in the playoff race, at this point in the season we have to treat every game like it’s a playoff game,” Colts safety Julian Blackmon said. “If we control our own destiny, I think we’ll like the results.”


Steelers outside linebackers T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith spent the week in the concussion protocol and while Watt has been cleared to play, Highsmith remains questionable after doing limited work at Wednesday’s practice.

When both are healthy, the Steelers have one of the league’s best pass-rushing tandems. Watt and Highsmith have combined for 20 sacks, 43 quarterback hits, five forced fumbles, two interceptions and two TDs. Their production is a big reason Pittsburgh has stayed in the playoff hunt despite its struggling offense.


Indy hasn’t had much of a home-field advantage over the past two seasons – or in this series. The Colts are 2-9 in their last 11 at Lucas Oil Stadium, going 2-4 this season while losing their only two one-possession games at home.

Pittsburgh is 4-0 at Lucas Oil Stadium. The most painful loss for Indy came in the divisional round of the playoffs after the 2005 season, when the Steelers knocked off the top-seeded Colts.

First-year coach Shane Steichen believes this time may be different.

“I think our fans are going to be ready to roll,” he said. “I think our fans are going to show up and be loud. Our fans will be ready.”


Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky took responsibility after last week’s loss to New England, saying he needs to play better to give the offense a chance to win.

Maybe avoiding turnovers like his ill-advised pass into triple coverage that was picked off and led directly to a Patriots touchdown might be enough. Pittsburgh is 4-1 when it doesn’t give the ball away and 2-5 when it does. Putting Trubisky in position to make quick decisions rather than hold onto the ball is part of the solution.

“How do we skinny down the game plan where he can play fast and get the ball out of his hands (and) get it to our playmakers?” interim offensive coordinator Eddie Faulkner said. “Our thoughts are always wrapped around better ways to do that.”


Indy will don throwback uniforms in the style of the 1956 Baltimore Colts team, which had Pittsburgh native Johnny Unitas at quarterback.

Saturday’s uniforms will have three stripes around the shoulder panel and on the socks, a single blue stripe on the pants and two horseshoes on the lower back of the helmet. Player numbers will have a slightly different font and will appear higher on the shoulder. The Colts’ cheerleaders will also wear replica outfits from the 1950s.

  • The Steelers are 26-6 (.813) all-time against the Colts (including the postseason)—the best record by any active team against any active opponent with at least 30 matchups all-time.
  • With one more win in their final four games of 2023, the Steelers would reach at least eight wins for the 20th consecutive season. If they hit the mark, it would be the longest such streak in NFL history.
  • T.J. Watt has now played in 100 career games and has 91.5 sacks. The only player to debut since sacks were officially tracked in 1982 to have more sacks through 100 career games is Reggie White (105).
  • The Colts are tied for the third most sacks (42) and have the third most stuffs (43), the only team with 40 of each so far this season. The last time a team finished in the top three in both categories over a full season was 2020 when both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia did so.
  • Michael Pittman Jr. has 95 catches through 13 games for the Colts this season. He is behind 2002 Marvin Harrison (118) for the most catches by any Colts player through 13 games in any season in team history.
  • The game between the 7-6 Steelers (-40) and 7-6 Colts (-16) will be tied for the second-latest matchup in any season in NFL history between two teams that are over .500 with a negative point differential. The only later such matchup happened in Week 17 of 2016 when the 8-7 Titans (-4) defeated the 9-6 Texans (-42).


QB NICK MULLENS completed 9 of 13 atts. (69.2 pct.) for 83 yards in Week 14. Has 4,552 pass yards (267.8 per game) & 24 TD passes in 17 career starts. Can make 1st start of 2023. • RB ALEXANDER MATTISON rushed for 66 yards last week & aims for his 4th in row with 50+ rush yards. Has career highs in scrimmage yards (834) & rush yards (660) in 2023. • WR JUSTIN JEFFERSON has 5,423 rec. yards & can surpass Michael Thomas (5,512) for most rec. yards by player in 1st 4 seasons in NFL history. Had 5 catches for 71 yards in last meeting. • TE T.J. HOCKENSON has 50+ rec. yards in 9 straight games, tied 2nd-longest active streak in NFL. Leads TEs in receptions (85) & ranks 2nd in rec. yards (839) this season & can surpass career highs set in 2022 (86 receptions & 839 rec. yards). Had 8 catches for 74 yards in his only career game vs. Cin. (10/17/21 w/ Det.). • WR JORDAN ADDISON ranks tied-1st among rookies with 7 rec. TDs & 2nd among rookies with 713 rec. yards. • LB DANIELLE HUNTER ranks tied-1st in TFL (18) & tied-3rd in sacks (13.5) this season. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Cin. with sack. • LB IVAN PACE in Week 14 became 2nd rookie since 2000 (DeMeco Ryans – Week 13, 2006) with 13 tackles, sack & INT in game. Aims for his 3rd in row with sack & 4th in row with 9+ tackles. • LB D.J. WONNUM had 7th sack of season last week. Has sack in 5 of his past 6 on road & aims for his 3rd in row on road with sack. • S CAMRYN BYNUM leads all DBs with career-high 103 tackles in 2023. Has PD in 3 of his past 4 on road. • S HARRISON SMITH is only DB with 75+ tackles in each of past 8 seasons. Had sack in last meeting. • S JOSH METELLUS had 4th FF of season last week. Has 13 games with 5+ tackles this season, most among DBs.

QB JAKE BROWNING completed 18 of 24 atts. (75 pct.) for 275 yards & career-high 2 pass TDs with 122.7 rating & rushed for TD last week. Has highest comp. pct. (79.3 pct.) by QB in 1st 3 career starts since 1950 & is 1 of 2 QBs since 1950 (Chad Pennington) with 70+ comp. pct. & 95+ rating in each of 1st 3 starts. Aims for 3rd in row with 275+ pass yards, 115+ rating & rush TD. • RB JOE MIXON led team with season-high 125 scrimmage yards (79 rush, 46 rec.) & rush TD last week, 14th-career game with 125+ scrimmage yards & TD. Aims for 3rd in row with 115+ scrimmage yards & rush TD. Has rush TD in 3 of past 4 at home. Had 150 scrimmage yards (127 rush, 23 rec.) & rush TD in last meeting. Is 1 of 2 (Derrick Henry) with 1,000+ scrimmage yards & 7+ rush TDs in each of past 3 seasons. • RB CHASE BROWN (rookie) had career-high 105 scrimmage yards (80 rec., 25 rush) & 1st-career TD catch last week. • WR JA’MARR CHASE has 80+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Had 5 catches for 101 yards & TD in last meeting. Is 4th player ever with 80+ catches & 1,000+ rec. yards in each of 1st 3 seasons. • WR TEE HIGGINS had 72 rec. yards last week & has 65+ rec. yards in 3 of past 4. Had 58 rec. yards & TD catch in last meeting. • TE TANNER HUDSON had 1st-career TD catch in Week 14. • DE TREY HENDRICKSON had 2 sacks & PD last week, 3rd game this season with 2+ sacks & 5th-straight game with 0.5+ sacks. Has 13.5 sacks in 2023 & needs sack for new career high (14 in 2021). • DT B.J. HILL had 1st-career INT in Week 14. Aims for 3rd in row with PD. Had 2 sacks in last meeting. • LB LOGAN WILSON had 10 tackles & PD last week, 5th game this season with 10+ tackles. Had 7 tackles in last meeting. • LB GERMAINE PRATT had 10 tackles & half sack in Week 14.

CINCINNATI (AP) The winner of Saturday’s game between the Vikings and Bengals will stay in the crowded playoff picture – at least for now. The loser could be in trouble.

The matchup of the 7-6 teams – both relying on backup quarterbacks to get them to the playoffs – is as close to a must-win as either has played this season.

The Bengals are in the middle of a crowd of six AFC teams with 7-6 records. A loss to Minnesota would leave their postseason aspirations in tough shape.

“Yeah, this is a big one that we really need,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “I’m sure that (the Vikings) feel the exact same way. It’s just really the way the league is set up this year. It’s interesting for the fans, it keeps everybody involved, and everyone’s got a lot to play for. And I think ultimately, we’re in a position – I think Minnesota is in a position – to where you keep controlling what you can control, and good things will happen.”

The Vikings have a one-game lead over a pack of NFC teams that are 6-7 going into the weekend. They play the AFC North-leading Lions (9-2) in the two of their last three games.

“You don’t really know who’s going to be the last man standing in our division, so that keeps the juices flowing, especially with these games that we have left,” Minnesota receiver Justin Jefferson said. “It’s exciting. Definitely ready to get out there and perform.”

Cincinnati was all but written off when franchise quarterback Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending wrist injury Nov. 16.

But backup Jake Browning – a former practice squad QB – has been exceptional in leading the Bengals to wins over the AFC South-leading Jaguars and the Colts in the past two weeks.

“He’s continued just to show confidence and allowed us to have confidence and the team to have confidence with just how he’s prepared and carried himself,” Taylor said.

Minnesota is a little less settled at quarterback.

Journeyman Nick Mullens is set to start Saturday after relieving an ineffective Joshua Dobbs last week and helping lead the Vikings to a 3-0 victory at Las Vegas, snapping a two-game skid.

Mullens is the fourth different starter for the Vikings, who lost Kirk Cousins to an injury Oct. 29. Rookie Jaren Hall and Dobbs, who arrived in an emergency trade with Arizona after Cousins was hurt, also have started games.


The Vikings welcomed Jefferson back last week from a hamstring injury that cost him seven games, only to see him sidelined in the second quarter from a hard hit to the chest that was concerning enough to send him to the hospital for further evaluation. He checked out fine and plans to play without restriction against the Bengals.

“I felt like a kid again, just being out there on that field,” Jefferson said. “I wasn’t going to be on that field without being 100%, so my hamstring was definitely 100 and feeling very, very good.”


In a season that has seen backup quarterbacks pressed into service because of a rash of injuries to starters, Browning has stood out.

He didn’t take his first regular-season snaps until this season, but the 27-year-old has looked just as cool on the field as Burrow.

If Browning is uncomfortable with anything, it’s the increased media attention that comes with being QB1.

“I guess that was part of the job that I really never experienced, and I think that’s been an adjustment,” Browning said.

“I think if you have all these different opinions about a bunch of different stuff, you can create a lot of clutter. I like focusing on like one or two things very in-depth, and kind of the rest of stuff – right or wrong – I just I don’t really care a ton.”


The Cincinnati defense, statistically still among the worst in the league, has been much improved in the past few weeks, especially in stopping the run. The Jaguars had 71 rushing yards against Cincinnati, and the Colts were held to just 46 last week. Both averaged fewer than 3 yards per carry.

The Colts had just one offensive touchdown, and the Bengals had three sacks, including two by defensive end Trey Hendrickson. The Bengals’ plus-10 turnover differential is tied for second best in the league.


The Vikings lost right tackle Brian O’Neill to a sprained ankle during the game last week against the Raiders, who had five sacks – including two by star edge rusher Maxx Crosby. O’Neill is out for Saturday.

“We’re banged up that room. We’re banged up in a lot of areas,” said left guard Dalton Risner, who is dealing with an ankle injury that briefly sidelined him against the Raiders. “It’s also the middle of December, man. That’s what happens. We’ve got to be able to play our best ball when it counts, which is now. So we’ve got to find a way.”

  • These teams have split their 14 all-time meetings evenly. The only time one team has won consecutive games against the other was when the Vikings won in 1989 and 1992. The Bengals won the most recent meeting, 27-24 in overtime, to open the 2021 season.
  • The Vikings beat the Raiders, 3-0, in Las Vegas last week. It was the second 3-0 win in Vikings history — they beat the Packers at home in Week 9, 1971. Minnesota has never lost a game when allowing fewer than nine points (101-0).
  • Nick Mullens is 5-12 in his career as a starter, with his last start coming against the Raiders in Week 15, 2021. His last win was in Week 12, 2020. He is 4-0 when he averages nine yards per attempt or higher and 1-12 when that number is below nine.
  • The Bengals beat the Colts, 34-14, at home last week, their largest win since a 42-21 win over Carolina in Week 9 of last season. Cincinnati is 0-4 against AFC North opponents but is 7-2 in all other games. The Bengals have also won eight straight against NFC teams, tied with Baltimore for the longest active interconference winning streak in the NFL.
  • Jake Browning is the only quarterback in the last 60 years to complete at least 70 percent of his passes for at least 200 yards and a touchdown in each of the first three starts of his NFL career.
  • Cincinnati has committed 11 turnovers this season, tied with Dallas, Houston and Pittsburgh for the fewest in the league. Minnesota has 24 giveaways — only the Browns (27) have more.


QB RUSSELL WILSON completed 21 of 33 atts. (63.6 pct.) for 224 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT with 91 rating last week, 10th game this season with 90+ rating, tied-most in NFL. Has 90+ rating in 6 of past 7. Is 3-1 with 10 TDs vs. INT & 130.1 rating in 4 career starts vs. Det., highest passer rating vs. any opponent (min. 4 starts). Aims for his 3rd in row in primetime with 0 INTs & 105+ rating. • RB JAVONTE WILLIAMS led team with 91 scrimmage yards (66 rush, 25 rec.) & had 1st rush TD of season last week. Has 70+ scrimmage yards in 6 of past 7. Has TD in 2 of past 3 on road. • WR COURTLAND SUTTON had 62 rec. yards & TD catch in Week 14. Aims for 6th in row with 50+ rec. yards & has TD catch in 7 of past 8. Has rec. TD in each of 6 road games this season. Ranks tied-2nd in NFL with 10 rec. TDs in 2023, most by Den. player since 2014. • WR JERRY JEUDY had 5 catches in last meeting. Has 500+ rec. yards (507) for 3rd-career season. • WR ADAM TRAUTMAN had career-high 3rd rec. TD of season in Week 14. Has TD catch in 2 of past 3. • LB ALEX SINGLETON aims for 6th in row with 10+ tackles & 3rd in row with sack. Has PD in 2 of past 3. Ranks 4th in NFL with 134 tackles in 2023. • LB JOSEY JEWELL had 9 tackles, sack, FR & PD last week. Has sack in 2 of past 3. • LB JONATHON COOPER had 1st-career INT last week. • CB JA’QUAN MCMILLIAN had 5 tackles, 2 TFL, sack & PD in Week 14. Aims for 3rd in row with sack. Has FF in 2 of past 3 on road. • S JUSTIN SIMMONS had 1st sack & 2nd FF of season last week. Has 5+ tackles & PD in 3 of his 4 road games this season. • S P.J. LOCKE has sack in 3 straight games, longest active streak among DBs. Has FF & PD in 2 of past 3.

QB JARED GOFF has 3,449 pass yards in 2023 & is only player with 3,000+ pass yards in each of past 7 seasons. Has 14 TDs (12 pass, 2 rush) in 6 home starts this season. Has 35 career games with 300+ pass yards & can surpass Matt Ryan & HOFer Kurt Warner for 3rd-most by QB in 1st 8 seasons all-time. • RB JAHMYR GIBBS had 6th rush TD of season last week, 2ndmost among rookies. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in each of his 1st 11 career games. Ranks 2nd among rookies in rush yards (692) & 3rd among rookies in scrimmage yards (980). • RB DAVID MONTGOMERY aims for his 5th in row at home with rush TD & ranks tied-4th in NFL with career-high 10 rush TDs this season. Had rush TD in his only career game vs. Den. (9/15/19 w/ Chi.). Needs 124 scrimmage yards for 5th-straight 1,000-yard season. • WR AMON-RA ST. BROWN has 87 catches for 1,063 rec. yards in 2023 & can become 3rd player ever (Odell Beckham Jr. & Michael Thomas) with 90+ catches & 900+ rec. yards in each of 1st 3 career seasons. Has 5 rec. TDs in 7 road games this season. • TE SAM LAPORTA (rookie) ranks 4th among TEs with 66 receptions in 2023. Has 4th-most catches by rookie TE in NFL history & can join Keith Jackson (81 in 1988) & Jeremy Shockey (74 in 2002) as only rookie TEs ever with 70+ catches. • DL AIDAN HUTCHINSON had sack last week. Aims for his 4th in row with TFL. • LB ALEX ANZALONE has 5+ tackles in 29 straight games, tied 2nd-longest active streak in NFL. Needs 4 tackles for 2nd-straight 100+ tackle season. • DB BRIAN BRANCH (rookie) is 1 of 2 DBs (Kyle Hamilton) with 7+ TFL (7) & 7+ PD (7) in 2023. • S KERBY JOSEPH aims for 3rd in row with PD.

DETROIT (AP) Denver and Detroit are desperately hoping to end playoff droughts that trail only the New York Jets’ run of futility.

The Broncos haven’t reached the playoffs since the 2015 season, when they went on to win their third Super Bowl in an 18-year span. The Lions’ streak without a postseason appearance has lingered for six seasons.

Both teams will have a lot to play for when Detroit (9-4) hosts Denver (7-6) on Saturday night.

The NFC North-leading Lions have lost two of three games, leaving them with a two-game lead over Minnesota in the division and facing a challenging closing stretch. After facing the surging Broncos, they play the Vikings twice along with a road game against Dallas.

“It’s not the Super Bowl, but the urgency is there,” Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone said. “It’s coming down to the wire and we have an opportunity to win the North and get into the playoffs.”

The Broncos have won six of seven since starting 1-5 to pull within a game of AFC West-leading Kansas City, which has won seven straight division titles.

“Knowing this last quarter pole, there’s a lot at stake,” Denver coach Sean Payton said.

Safety Justin Simmons, who hasn’t had a winning season since joining the Broncos in 2016, can’t wait to play in the finale of the NFL’s Saturday tripleheader in prime time.

“You want to play the big-time games,” he said. “Pressure is privilege.”


In each NFL game, there are coaches and players who have been on the same team in the league or college.

Payton and Lions coach Dan Campbell, though, have extremely deep ties to each other.

Payton was a New York Giants assistant when the team drafted Campbell as a tight end out of Texas A&M with the No. 79 pick overall in 1999. Payton also coached Campbell in Dallas and New Orleans before hiring him to be a Saints assistant during a stay that put him in a position to be hired by Detroit in 2021.

Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn played for Payton in Dallas and New Orleans, and coached with him with the Saints. Detroit quarterbacks coach Mark Brunell and Anzalone also played for Payton in New Orleans.

“As a former head coach of theirs, you’re proud of them,” Payton said.


Detroit closed last season and opened this year with a lot of success, winning 16 of 20 games, in part because Jared Goff made more productive plays than mistakes.

Lately, his miscues have been costly.

Goff has thrown five interceptions and lost three fumbles over the last four games, leading to two losses and a 12-point deficit in a comeback win over Chicago a month ago.

But the Lions don’t intend to play it safe with Goff. Offensive coordinator Ben Johnson said the plan moving forward will include Goff passing into tight windows to pick up first downs and score touchdowns.

“We don’t want him to lose his aggressiveness when it comes to throwing the football,” Johnson said.


Broncos receiver Courtland Sutton had 14 career touchdown catches coming into this season and has 10 this year, including an NFL-leading eight in the red zone.

He also has a vast collection of improbable catches like his toe-dragging touchdown grab against Buffalo that Next Gen Stats called the most improbable catch it’s ever tracked. He also had a one-handed snare of Russell Wilson’s 46-yard touchdown pass against the Los Angeles Chargers in last week’s win.

Sutton said he’s starting to sense his nearly weekly unfathomable catches are starting to wear on opponents who defend him well, but keep watching him spike the ball after yet another incredible play.

“I love that,” he said. “It’s a fun part of the game. You never know what’s going to happen next.”

  • The Broncos have won their last three meetings with the Lions, all by at least 10 points. Denver’s only longer active winning streak is against Dallas (seven games).
  • The Broncos’ 6-1 (.857) record since Week 7 is tied for the best in the NFL (with the Cowboys and Ravens). The only time the Broncos have ever finished a season with a higher winning percentage from Week 7 onward was 2012 (10-0).
  • Courtland Sutton has caught a touchdown in 10 of his 13 games this season, tied with Tyreek Hill for most in the NFL. It is also tied for the most games with a receiving TD in Broncos history with Anthony Miller in 1995 and Julius Thomas in 2013.
  • The Lions lost on the road in Chicago last week, 28-13. Detroit is 3-0 in its games following a loss this season, one of four NFL teams without back-to-back losses this season (Cowboys, Dolphins, Ravens).
  • The Lions and Dolphins are the only teams this season that have two players with at least six rushing touchdowns. Jahmyr Gibbs is the eighth Lions rookie with at least six rushing TD in a season but just the third this century (D’Andre Swift in 2012 and Kevin Smith in 2008).
  • The Lions have averaged 5.5 yards per carry on first down this season, which is second best in the NFL (Dolphins, 5.8). On defense, the Lions have held opponents to 3.5 yards per carry on first down, best in the NFL.


FALCONS are 1st team in NFL history to have rookie with 1,000+ scrimmage yards in 3 straight seasons (Kyle Pitts – 2021; Tyler Allgeier – 2022; Bijan Robinson – 2023). • QB DESMOND RIDDER passed for career-high 347 yards & had 2 TDs (1 pass, 1 rush) last week, his 3rd-career 300-yard game. Ranks tied-4th among QBs with 5 rush TDs in 2023. Aims for his 4th in row with TD pass. Completed 15 of 18 atts. (career-high 83.3 pct.) with TD pass & career-high 111.8 rating in Week 1 meeting. • RB BIJAN ROBINSON (rookie) had 5 receptions, 88 scrimmage yards (career-high 54 rec., 34 rush) & 4th rush TD of season in Week 14. Leads all rookies in rush yards (790), ranks 2nd in scrimmage yards (1,110) & ranks tied-2nd in scrimmage TDs (7). Had career-high 6 catches, 83 scrimmage yards (56 rush, 27 rec.) & rec. TD in Week 1 meeting. • RB TYLER ALLGEIER had 2 rush TDs in Week 1 meeting. • WR DRAKE LONDON set career highs in receptions (10) & rec. yards (172) in Week 14, his 3rd-career game with 100+ rec. yards. Had rec. TD in last road meeting. • TE KYLE PITTS had 57 rec. yards & 2nd rec. TD of season in Week 14, his 5th-career TD catch. Aims for his 3rd in row with 50+ rec. yards. • DL CALAIS CAMPBELL had 1st PD of season last week. • DL DAVID ONYEMATA has TFL in 4 of his past 5 vs. Car. • LB KADEN ELLISS led team with 10 tackles in Week 14, his 5thcareer game with 10+ tackles. Had 9 tackles in Week 1 meeting. • S JESSIE BATES had 9 tackles, TFL & PD in Week 14. Ranks 2nd among DBs with 101 tackles in 2023, his 4th-career 100-tackle season. Aims for his 4th in row with PD. Had 10 tackles, 2 INTs & FF in Week 1 meeting.

QB BRYCE YOUNG (rookie) had 177 yards (137 pass, 40 rush) in Week 14, his 2nd-career game with 40+ rush yards. Has TD pass in 4 of 5 career home starts. • RB CHUBA HUBBARD had 96 scrimmage yards (87 rush, 9 rec.) in Week 14 & aims for his 4th in row with 90+ scrimmage yards. Has career-high 818 scrimmage yards (644 rush, 174 rec.) in 2023. Rushed for 60 yards in Week 1 meeting. • RB MILES SANDERS rushed for season-high 74 yards in Week 14. Had 98 scrimmage yards (72 rush, 26 rec.) in Week 1 meeting & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Atl. with 95+ scrimmage yards. • WR ADAM THIELEN led team with 5 receptions & 74 rec. yards in Week 14. Ranks tied-4th in NFC with 85 receptions this season, 3rd-highest single-season total of his career (91 catches in 2017 & 113 catches in 2018). Aims for his 6th in row at home with 5+ receptions. Has TD catch in 2 of his past 3 vs. Atl. • LB BRIAN BURNS had 2 sacks & FF in Week 1 meeting & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Atl. with sack. Has TFL in 7 of his past 8. Is 1 of 4 (Maxx Crosby, Myles Garrett & Micah Parsons) with 13+ TFL in each of past 3 seasons. • LB FRANKIE LUVU had 5th sack of season in Week 14, his 2ndstraight 5-sack season. Aims for his 3rd in row with TFL. Has 4.5 sacks & 5 TFL in 4 career games vs. Atl. & aims for his 5th in row vs. Atl. with 0.5+ sacks. • DT DERRICK BROWN led team with 10 tackles & had 2ndcareer INT last week. Is only DL with 2 games of 10+ tackles in 2023. Has 7 TFL in his past 4 vs. Atl. & aims for his 5th in row vs. Atl. with TFL. • CB JAYCEE HORN aims for his 3rd in row with PD. • S XAVIER WOODS aims for his 4th in row with PD.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Desmond Ridder isn’t going to spend much time contemplating playoff scenarios for the Atlanta Falcons, who are part of a three-way tie for first place in the NFC South with four games remaining.

“Obviously for everyone to kind of be right there in that bunch, we know that we have everything in front of us,” the Falcons quarterback said. ”(But) it doesn’t matter about next week, it doesn’t matter about two weeks or what another team does. (It’s about) what we do and what we can do out there on Sunday.”

Atlanta is tied with Tampa Bay and New Orleans atop the division. Of the three teams, the Falcons have the easiest remaining schedule – starting Sunday when they visit the division’s also-ran, the NFL-worst Carolina Panthers (1-12).

The Falcons’ other remaining opponents are Indianapolis (7-6), Chicago (5-8) and the Saints.

The Falcons held a one-game edge in the standings before losing 29-25 to Tampa Bay despite 347 yards passing from Ridder. The Saints climbed back into a tie by pounding the Panthers 28-6. Nonetheless, Atlanta is in good position to win its first division title since 2016.

The same can’t be said for the offensively challenged Panthers.

Despite the addition of No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young, Carolina ranks near the bottom of nearly every offensive statistical category and has failed to score 20 points in each of its last seven games.

Young has struggled when facing pressure, and has yet to throw for 250 yards in a game.

“Having a growth mindset is something that we all talk about and that we all embody,” Young said. “There is obviously a lot of room for improvement so we are eager to go out there and be better.”


Ridder’s future as the starter could be determined by the team’s finish.

Ridder started eight games, then was benched for two before being reinstated. For the season, he has nine touchdown passes with nine interceptions – the same numbers as Young. He completed 63.5% of his passes in a four-game audition as the starter to close the 2022 season and again has completed 63.5% this season – 212 of 334 for 2,376 yards.

“I’ve had my ups and downs,” Ridder said. “You know, I’ve been able to go out there and play your game. And then obviously, throughout the games, you know, there’s one or two plays in each game where, you know, something goes wrong or there’s a mistake. But then it’s how do you respond? And I feel like, you know, every time that a mistake has happened, I responded the right way.”


The Falcons are facing significant injuries on their offensive and defensive lines.

Defensive tackle Kentavius Street has been ruled out with a pectoral injury suffered last week. The defensive line already has lost two-time Pro Bowler Grady Jarrett for the season with a knee injury. Another defensive tackle, David Onyemata, missed last week’s game with an ankle injury.

Left tackle Jake Matthews suffered a knee injury against Tampa Bay and did not practice Wednesday. Matthews’ team-record streak of 156 consecutive starts will be in jeopardy. Center Drew Dalman (ankle) and right tackle Kaleb McGary (knee) did not play against Tampa Bay and Chris Lindstrom (ankle) missed part of the game.

Atlanta’s injury list also includes cornerback Jeff Okudah (ankle) and linebacker Nate Landman (knee).

Matthews, Lindstrom and McGary were held out of Wednesday’s practice. Coach Arthur Smith said most of the injured players have a chance to play Sunday.


Falcons rookie running back Bijan Robinson’s modest usage was an issue earlier in the season, but his carries have increased lately. He has 66 rushes the last four games, an average of more than 16 per game. He’s run for touchdowns in three of the last four games and four of the last six.

Smith said he was looking at the 17-game season when making a plan for Robinson.

“I mean, you set your season to get with a long game at stake, too,” Smith said. “We’ve been cognizant of that. … Didn’t want any of the runners having 300 carries going into Thanksgiving. Because we have a lot of talented players on the roster and guys that want to play for the long game. Want to play for more than 17. Here we are in crunch time. And you do feel like a lot of young guys have got better every week.”


Young missed a couple of open receivers on deep balls against New Orleans, including overthrowing an open Jonathan Mingo for a would-be touchdown when he didn’t set his feet in the pocket.

Young said that has been a point of emphasis this week in practice.

“They did a great job on the perimeter of creating that separation and obviously I have to do a better job of executing and just getting the ball there,” Young said. “You just look back it from a mechanical standpoint and figuring out little stuff from rep to rep. … So I was able to learn from that.”


The Panthers have gotten an uptick in production from Chuba Hubbard, who has 191 rushing yards and two touchdowns over the last two weeks. He figures to be a focal point of the offense.

Carolina ran for more than 200 yards against New Orleans, but managed just six points. The last team to rush for 200-plus yards and not score a touchdown on offense was the Rams in a 14-9 loss to Seattle on Oct. 28, 2013.

  • These teams opened the season against each other, with Atlanta winning, 24-10. The Falcons are 11-4 against the Panthers since 2016, including a 5-2 mark in road games in that span. However, Carolina beat the Falcons at home last season, 25-15.
  • The Falcons lost to the Buccaneers, 29-25, at home last week. Atlanta has not played a game decided by double-digits since a 23-7 loss to Jacksonville in London in Week 4
  • Drake London had 10 receptions for 172 yards last week. He is the first Falcon to reach both of those numbers in a game since Julio Jones had 12 catches for 253 yards against the Bucs in Week 12, 2017. London is the sixth different Falcon to have such a game, joining Jones (five times), Andre Rison (twice), Alfred Jackson, Terance Mathis, and Roddy White.
  • The Panthers lost to the Saints, 28-6, in New Orleans last week, their lowest point total of the season. Through 13 games, the Panthers have scored 197 points (15.2 per game), their second fewest all-time (164 in 2010; 12.6 per game).
  • Adam Thielen had 72 receiving yards last week, his seventh game with 70 yards this season. The only seasons in his career in which he’s had more games are 2017 (7) and 2018 (11).
  • Atlanta has run the ball on first down 58.8 percent of the time, the highest mark in the NFL. Carolina has run the ball on 48.0 percent of its first downs, sixth lowest in the league.


QB JUSTIN FIELDS had 281 yards (223 pass, 58 rush) & 2 TDs (1 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs for 88.3 rating in Week 14. Became 3rd QB ever (Kyler Murray & Cam Newton) with 2,000+ rush yards (2,021) in 1st 3 career seasons. Has 50+ rush yards in 4 of his past 5 & aims for his 4th in row on road with 50+ rush yards. Made 1st career start vs. Cle. in last meeting. • RB D’ONTA FOREMAN had 72 scrimmage yards (50 rush, 22 rec.) in Week 14. Has 3rd-straight season with 500+ scrimmage yards. Has rush TD in 2 of his past 3. • WR DJ MOORE had 6 catches, 88 scrimmage yards (68 rec., 20 rush) & 2 TDs (1 rec., 1 rush) in Week 14, his 1st-career rush TD. Has career-high 8 scrimmage TDs & 4th-career 1,000-yard season (1,071 rec. yards) in 2023. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with 7+ catches & 95+ rec. yards. • TE COLE KMET had 5 catches for 66 yards last week. Is 1 of 4 TEs (T.J. Hockenson, Travis Kelce & George Kittle) with 50+ receptions & 500+ rec. yards in each of past 3 seasons. • LB T.J. EDWARDS had career-high 2 FR of season last week. Has 129 tackles in 2023, his 3rd-straight season with 125+ tackles. Aims for his 3rd in row with TFL & 4th in row with PD. • LB TREMAINE EDMUNDS had career-high 3rd INT of season last week, tied 2nd-most among LBs in 2023. Aims for his 3rd in row with TFL. • LB YANNICK NGAKOUE had 4th sack of season last week. • DE MONTEZ SWEAT had career-high 10th sack of season last week. Aims for his 4th in row with sack. • CB JAYLON JOHNSON aims for his 3rd in row with INT. • DB JAQUAN BRISKER had career-high 17 tackles, 2 PD & 3rdcareer FF in Week 14, most tackles by DB in single game in 2023.

BROWNS lead NFL in total defense (263.0 yards allowed per game) & pass defense (159.7 pass yards allowed per game). • QB JOE FLACCO passed for 311 yards & 3 TDs with 92 rating last week, 11th-career game with 300+ pass yards & 3+ TD passes. Has 250+ pass yards & 2+ TD passes in each of 2 starts this season. • RB JEROME FORD had 82 scrimmage yards (51 rush, 31 rec.) & 5 catches last week. Aims for 4th in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. Need 75 scrimmage yards for 1st-career 1,000-yard season. • RB KAREEM HUNT rushed for 7th TD of season in Week 14, 3rdcareer season with 7+ rush TDs. Has rush TD in 3 of past 4 at home. Had 155 scrimmage yards (81 rush, 74 rec.) & rush TD in last meeting. • WR AMARI COOPER had 7 catches for 77 yards last week. Has 75+ rec. yards in 3 of past 4 at home. Has TD catch in each of 2 career games vs. Chi. Has 6 straight seasons with 850+ rec. yards (876). • WR ELIJAH MOORE aims for 6th in row with 40+ rec. yards. Had TD catch in only career game vs. Chi. (11/27/22 w/ NYJ). • WR DAVID BELL had 1st-career TD catch in in Week 14. • TE DAVID NJOKU had 6 catches for season-high 91 yards & career high 2 TDs last week. Has 6+ catches & 55+ rec. yards in 4 of past 5. • DE MYLES GARRETT has TFL in 7 of past 8. Has sack in 2 of past 3 at home. Has 5.5 sacks in 2 career games vs. Chi., incl. career high 4.5 sacks in last meeting. • DE ZA’DARIUS SMITH had sack & PD last week. Aims for 4th in row at home with TFL. Has 0.5+ sacks in 2 of his past 3 vs. Chi. • DE OGBO OKORONKWO had sack in Week 14. Aims for 3rd in row at home with sack. • LB JEREMIAH OWUSU-KORAMOAH led team with 8 tackles & had 2 TFL last week. Has 2+ TFL in 2 of past 3. • CB MARTIN EMERSON had 3 PD & career-high 2 INTs last week.

CLEVELAND (AP) Two years ago, Justin Fields made his NFL start on the road. It was far more miserable than memorable.

Blame Myles Garrett.

Chicago’s quarterback remembers nearly everything about his first game with the Bears in 2021 – the excitement, playing again in Ohio, the bruises.

“And then of course getting sacked, too,” said Fields, who was sacked nine times – 4 1/2 by Garrett – and hit 15 times as the Bears were roughed up by the Browns 26-6. “Hopefully we can change that going back this weekend.”

On Sunday, Fields and the improving Bears (5-8) will visit Cleveland for a matchup against the Browns (8-5), who have been hammered by injuries and are leaning on veteran QB Joe Flacco to get them to the playoffs for just the second time since 2002.

Fields intends to stay upright more than he did in his first game against the Browns, and that will require his linemen, probably a tight end and maybe a running back or two keeping him safe from Garrett, a chore that’s easier said than done.

“He’s the best defensive player on the field, so you’ve got to know where he is at all times,” Fields said. “Every play.”

Garrett, who has been dealing with a shoulder injury, has been stuck on 13 sacks for three games. He left the field fuming last week after being blanked by the Jacksonville Jaguars, whom he felt got some favorable calls from the officials.

Afterward, Garrett called the officiating “a travesty,” and said the excessive grabbing and whatever else the Jags were doing left his shoulder looking like he’d been “scratched by a couple of wild feral cats.”

Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said he understood Garrett’s irritation at the lack of penalties and that he’s not worried about the All-Pro’s comments backfiring on him.

“He has respect for this game,” Stefanski said. “He’s frustrated. It’s something I talk to the officials about every week leading up to the game – is keeping an eye on the guys that are blocking him. It really comes with being a great player.

“We want the other teams to play within the rules, obviously, but it hasn’t slowed him down. He continues to play at a very high level.”

The Bears have witnessed Garrett at his pass-rushing best, and know they’ve got to do everything possible to protect Fields.

They don’t feel the officials are helping them in that department, either.

Chicago has been incensed that Fields, who often leaves the pocket on runs, has taken head-high hits that haven’t been penalized. On his first run last week, Fields took a shot while sliding from Detroit’s Jack Campbell, who was not flagged.

Nothing new there, according to the Bears.

“If it was us, they’d be throwing it,” Chicago safety Jaquan Brisker said. “There wouldn’t even be a reaction. They would just throw it. They should just treat him fair. He’s a quarterback. Now I know he’s 230 (pounds) and he’s running a 4.3 (second 40-yard dash) or so, but it doesn’t really matter.

“He’s still a quarterback and we have to protect him.”


The Browns keep limping along.

They lost five more key players to significant injuries this week. Offensive tackles Jedrick Wills Jr. and Dawand Jones were ruled out with knee injuries, safety Grant Delpit went on injured reserve with a groin injury and defensive linemen Maurice Hurst and Ogbo Okoronkwo suffered pectoral injuries.

As of Thursday, only Okoronkwo, who has 4 1/2 sacks, had a possibility of returning in the last four games.

The team hasn’t used excuses and won’t start.

“The game doesn’t care,” defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz said. “Obviously, the opponents don’t care, but the game is Sunday for 60 minutes and it doesn’t care if you’re playing rookies. It doesn’t care if you have injuries. It doesn’t care if you’re at full strength. And that’s our focus.”


Chicago comes in with back-to-back victories for the first time since 2021, when the Bears beat Seattle and the New York Giants in Weeks 16 and 17.

With a win over Cleveland, they would match their longest streak since a three-game run late in 2020.

“You’ve got to stay steady and you’ve got to have a foundation for what you believe,” coach Matt Eberflus said. “That’s just what we brought here to Chicago. It’s about staying right there in the moment, and stay present where your feet are. We’ve got to continue to do that.”


Though the Bears have the second-lowest sack total in the NFL with 21, they’ve been getting to the quarterback in recent weeks.

Credit the change to edge rusher Montez Sweat, who has 3 1/2 sacks in five games since being acquired from Washington in a trade. Chicago has 11 sacks since his arrival.

“A lot of guys are looking at him when he gets to the field,” said defensive tackle Justin Jones, who had 1 1/2 sacks last week. “The whole offense is looking to see where he’s at so it opens up a lot of opportunity for everybody else to go out there and make a lot of plays.

“Outside of his play, he’s a real leader, a vocal leader and he’s pulling the young guys along.”

Chicago’s defensive front took a major blow this week as defensive end Yannick Ngakoue – the team’s sack leader with four – was lost for the rest of the season with a broken ankle suffered in last week’s game.

  • The Browns hold a 10-7 overall record against the Bears dating back to 1951. The teams have met only twice over the last ten years, with each team recording a three-score win. In their most recent meeting (Week 3, 2021), Cleveland tallied nine sacks, tied for third-most in a single game in team history.
  • Justin Fields (223 passing yards and 58 rushing yards in Week 14) now has 2021 career rushing yards, joining Lamar Jackson (2906 yards) and Cam Newton (2032 yards) as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to run for 2000 yards in their first three seasons.
  • D.J. Moore has 1071 total receiving yards this season on 76 receptions. He is the third Bears’ wide receiver to produce 1000 receiving yards in the first season with the team, joining Harlon Hill (1954) and Brandon Marshall (2012).
  • Joe Flacco has recorded 25 career games with 300 passing yards and multiple touchdown passes, tied for sixth-most among active quarterbacks since entering the NFL in 2008 (185 games played). As a team, the Browns have had 23 such games over that span (255 regular season games played), the third fewest in the NFL.
  • David Njoku produced his first career two-touchdown game in Week 14 on six catches for 91 yards. He is the fourth tight end in Browns’ history, and first since 2008, with at least five receptions, 75 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a game, joining Ozzie Newsome (1982), Steve Heiden (2004 and 2005), and Kellen Winslow (2008).
  • Montez Sweat has accounted for ten hits on the quarterback over the last four weeks, tied for fourth-most in the NFL. As a team, the Bears have totaled the second-most quarterback hits in the NFC since Week 10 with 32 (49ers, 38).


QB BAKER MAYFIELD had 3 TDs (2 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs & 86 rating in Week 14, his 1st rush TD of season. Has 6 road games with 2+ TD passes in 2023, most in NFL. Has 2,934 pass yards & can reach 3,000-yard mark for 4th time in his career (2018-20). • RB RACHAAD WHITE had career-high 135 scrimmage yards (career-best 102 rush, 33 rec.) & 2nd rec. TD of season last week. Has 6 TDs (4 rush, 2 rec.) in his past 6. Aims for his 4th in row with 100+ scrimmage yards. Ranks 3rd among RBs in rec. yards (419), 4th in scrimmage yards (1,164) & 5th in receptions (48) this season. • WR MIKE EVANS has 1,020 rec. yards in 2023 & is 1st player ever with 1,000+ rec. yards in each of 1st 10 seasons. Has 62 catches this season & is 1st player all-time with 60+ receptions in each of his 1st 10 seasons. Has 91 career rec. TDs, tied 5thmost by player in 1st 10 seasons all-time. Had TD catch in his last game at GB (2020 NFC-C). • WR CHRIS GODWIN had 5 catches for 53 yards last week. Had 110 rec. yards in 2020 NFC-C at GB. • LB LAVONTE DAVID has TFL in 7 of his past 8. Needs 4 tackles for 10th-career 100-tackle season. • NT VITA VEA has TFL in 4 of his 5 road games this season. Had FF in last reg.-season meeting. • DL CALIJAH KANCEY (rookie) had 4th sack of season last week. • S ANTOINE WINFIELD JR. had 4th sack & 4th FF of season in Week 14. Has 13 career sacks, 2nd-most by DB in 1st 4 seasons since 1982. Ranks tied-3rd among DBs with 97 tackles in 2023. Is 3rd DB since 2000 (Logan Ryan – 2019 & Adrian Wilson – 2006) with 4+ sacks, 4+ FFs & 10+ PD (11) in season.

QB JORDAN LOVE has 3,084 pass yards in 2023, his 1st-career 3,000-yard season. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with 2+ TD passes & 4th in row at home with 100+ rating. Ranks tied-5th in NFL with 23 TD passes this season. • RB AARON JONES has rush TD in 2 of his 3 career reg.-season games vs. TB. • RB AJ DILLON had 78 scrimmage yards (53 rush, 25 rec.) in Week 14 & aims for his 4th in row with 75+ scrimmage yards. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 3 of his past 4 home games. • WR CHRISTIAN WATSON aims for his 3rd in row at home & 4th in row overall with TD catch. • WR ROMEO DOUBS aims for his 3rd in row at home with 50+ rec. yards. Had 8 catches for 73 yards & 1st-career rec. TD in last meeting. • WR JAYDEN REED (rookie) had career-high 8 receptions & 2ndcareer rush TD last week. Has TD in 4 of his past 5. • WR MALIK HEATH (rookie) had 1st-career rec. TD in Week 14. • DL KENNY CLARK had 2 TFL in Week 14 & aims for his 3rd in row with TFL. Has 4.5 sacks in 4 career games vs. TB, incl. post season. • LB RASHAN GARY has 4.5 sacks, 2 FFs & 2 FRs in his past 4. Had sack in last meeting. • LB QUAY WALKER has 92 tackles in 10 games this season & needs 8 tackles for his 2nd-straight 100-tackle season. Had FF in last meeting. • LB ISAIAH MCDUFFIE had 4th TFL of season last week. • CB CARRINGTON VALENTINE had 1st-career FR last week. Has 7 PD in his past 3 at home. • CB JAIRE ALEXANDER had 3 PD & 2 INTs in 2020 NFC-C vs. TB. • S DARNELL SAVAGE had 7 tackles last week. Had FR in last meeting.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield is visiting Lambeau Field in December for a third straight year, each time with a different team.

This season’s version of Mayfield could give the Green Bay Packers the most problems.

Mayfield threw four interceptions in Cleveland’s 24-22 loss to Green Bay on Christmas Day 2021 that marked his second-to-last appearance with the Browns, who took him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft. He went 12 of 21 for 111 yards with a touchdown and an interception on Dec. 19 of last year as the Los Angeles Rams lost 24-12.

He has played at Lambeau enough to know what to expect when his Bucs (6-7) visit the Packers (6-7) on Sunday.

“I’ve only played there in December, so yeah, it’s kind of hit or miss with the weather and what you’re going to get,” Mayfield said. “Guys just have to be prepared for the grass. That’s something I learned pretty quickly – it’s slick. This late in the year, obviously it’s not in the best condition. It’s a little bit longer, so you’ve got to be ready for that.”

Mayfield threw a go-ahead touchdown pass in the final minute of a 29-25 victory at Atlanta that enabled the Bucs to grab a share of the NFC South lead. The Packers are clinging to the NFC’s third and final wild-card spot after losing 24-22 to the New York Giants on Monday, a defeat that snapped a three-game winning streak.

Tampa Bay and Green Bay are among six NFC teams with 6-7 records, making the postseason implications of Sunday’s game apparent.

“We’ve just got to be ready to play playoff football,” Packers defensive lineman TJ Slaton said. “That’s how I look at it.”

Boosting the Bucs’ playoff hopes with a third straight win would help Mayfield erase his unpleasant Lambeau Field memories.

“It’s a historical place,” Mayfield said. “I grew up a huge Brett Favre fan, so the first time I got to go up there, I just kind of took it all in pregame. When it comes down to it, it’s still a football field when the game comes. It’s a special place to play and a great opportunity for us in this end-of-season push that we have coming on. They’re in a similar situation as us, so it’s going to be a good matchup.”


Tampa Bay finished last in the NFL in rushing a year ago and is ranked 29th in that category this year with 90 yards per game, but the Bucs have improved in that regard lately.

The Bucs ran for a season-best 148 yards at Atlanta for their third straight game with 125 or more, the team’s longest such stretch since 2015.

Green Bay’s defense has allowed at least 140 yards rushing in five straight games. The Packers will be trying to rebound after giving up 209 yards rushing to the Giants, the fourth game in which they’ve yielded at least 200.

“We’ve just got to do our job every single play,” Packers linebacker De’Vondre Campbell said. “It’s not rocket science. It’s not hard. You’ve just got to do your job. That’s it.”


Tampa Bay’s Rachaad White rushed for a season-high 102 yards against the Falcons. He also scored on a 31-yard reception and finished with a career-best 135 yards from scrimmage.

The second-year pro ranks fourth among running backs in scrimmage yards with 1,164, behind San Francisco’s Christian McCaffrey (1,614), Jacksonville’s Travis Etienne (1,189) and Buffalo’s James Cook (1,180).

“He knows when to run it in there and when to bounce it out,” Bucs coach Todd Bowles said. “The maturation process for him has been really good.”


Both teams recovered from slow starts to work their way into playoff contention.

The Bucs lost four straight games to fall to 3-5 but have gone 3-2 since, including wins over Carolina and Atlanta the last two weeks. Green Bay had its own four-game skid to drop to 2-5 before winning four of its last six games.


Green Bay’s Jordan Love has been throwing primarily to rookies and second-year pros in his first season as a starter. Many of those newcomers have stepped up.

In the loss to the Giants, Malik Heath became the sixth Packers rookie with a touchdown reception this season. That’s the most by any team in the Super Bowl era, excluding the 1987 strike season.


Green Bay’s loss to the Giants dropped coach Matt LaFleur to 16-1 in December. The Packers haven’t lost a December home game since falling 31-0 to the Detroit Lions on Dec. 30, 2018.

  • Since 1990, the Packers are 14-1 in home regular-season games against the Buccaneers. The only team with a better home record against a single opponent in that span with more than 10 games played is the Steelers with a 29-2 home record against the Browns.
  • Just 5.9 percent (16/270) of the points allowed by Tampa Bay this season have been after turnovers. That would be the lowest such percentage by an NFL team since the 2017 Kansas City Chiefs (6.5%).
  • Rachaad White needs two more catches to become the third Buccaneer to have 200+ rushes and 50+ receptions in the same season. He would join Michael Pittman (2002) and James Wilder (1984 and 1985).
  • Green Bay has played in seven games decided by four points or less this season (2-5 in those games), tied with the Browns for the most such games in 2023. It is the most such games in a single season by the Packers since they played in eight in the Super Bowl-winning season of 2010 (2-6 in those games).
  • Jordan Love has had at least 20 completions and one touchdown pass in all six home games. That ties him with Brett Favre in 1994 for most consecutive home starts with 20+ completions and 1+ TD passes to begin a season in team history.
  • Jayden Reed scored his second rushing touchdown of the season on Monday, tying him for the team lead this season. Reed would be the first rookie wide receiver in the Super Bowl era to lead his team in rushing touchdowns (including ties).


QB ZACH WILSON completed 27 of 36 atts. (career-high 75 pct.) for season-high 301 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs with careerhigh 117.9 rating last week, 3rd-career 300-yard game. Has rush TD & 0 INTs in each of 2 career starts vs. Mia. • RB BREECE HALL led team with 126 scrimmage yards (86 rec., 40 rush) with career-high 8 catches & rec. TD last week, 4thcareer game with 125+ scrimmage yards. Aims for his 5th in row on road with 70+ scrimmage yards. Has TD in 3 of his past 4 on road. Has 246 scrimmage yards (123 per game) in 2 career games vs. Mia. Leads team with 1,060 scrimmage yards (625 rush, 435 rec.) in 2023, 1st-career 1,000-yard season. • RB DALVIN COOK has rush TD in 2 of 3 career games vs. Mia. • WR GARRETT WILSON led team with 9 catches for season-high 108 yards in Week 14. Aims for 3rd in row with 50+ rec. yards. Has 7+ catches in 2 of past 3 overall & 90+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3 on road. Had 7 catches & rec. TD in Week 12 meeting. • WR RANDALL COBB had 1st TD catch of season last week. • WR XAVIER GIPSON (rookie) had 1st-career rush TD last week. • TE TYLER CONKLIN had 57 rec. yards in Week 14. • DL QUINNEN WILLIAMS had 3rd sack of season last week. Aims for 4th in row on road with TFL. • LB QUINCY WILLIAMS has TFL in 10 of past 11. Aims for 6th in row with 5+ tackles. Had career-high 3 TFL & sack in last road meeting. • LB BRYCE HUFF had career-high 7th sack of season last week. Has sack in 2 of past 3. Had sack in Week 12 meeting. • CB SAUCE GARDNER had 2 PD & TFL in Week 14. Has PD in 3 of past 4. Has PD in 2 of 3 career games vs. Mia. Has 30 career PD, 3rd-most in NFL since 2022. • CB D.J. REED had 3 PD last week. Aims for 4th in row with PD.

DOLPHINS lead NFL in total offense (423.6 yards per game) & rank 2nd in scoring offense (31.6 points per game). • QB TUA TAGOVAILOA completed 23 of 33 atts. (69.7 pct.) for 240 yards with 0 INTs & 90.5 rating last week, 10th game this season with 90+ rating, tied-most in NFL. Has 90+ rating in all 6 home games this season, with 250+ pass yards & 2+ TD passes in 5 of 6 home games. Passed for 243 yards in Week 12 meeting & is 3-0 in 3 career starts vs. NYJ. Leads NFL with career-high 3,697 pass yards this season & ranks 2nd with 70 comp. pct. • RB RAHEEM MOSTERT rushed for 96 yards & 2 TDs last week, 5th game this season with 2+ rush TDs, most in NFL. Aims for 4th in row with rush TD & has 90+ scrimmage yards in 3 of past 4. Had 2 rush TDs in Week 12 meeting & has 4 rush TDs in 4 career games vs. NYJ. Leads NFL with 16 rush TDs, tied-most in franchise history. • RB DE’VON ACHANE (rookie) had 71 scrimmage yards (47 rush, 24 rec.) last week. Has 70+ scrimmage yards in 5 of his past 6. Leads rookies with 9 TDs (7 rush, 2 rec.). • WR TYREEK HILL has 60+ rec. yards in 9 straight games, longest active streak in NFL. Has 100+ rec. yards & rec. TD in 3 of past 4 overall & in 5 of 6 home games this season. Had 9 catches for 102 yards & TD in Week 12 meeting. Leads NFL with 1,542 rec. yards, 3rd-most ever in team’s 1st 13 games of a season. • WR JAYLEN WADDLE led team with 79 rec. yards last week & aims for 5th in row with 50+ rec. yards. Had 114 rec. yards in Week 12 meeting. • CB XAVIEN HOWARD had season-high 3 PD last week. Aims for 6th in row with PD. Has 19 PD in 11 career games vs. NYJ. • DT CHRISTIAN WILKINS had sack last week. Has sack in 2 of past 3 & TFL in 5 of past 6. Had 2 sacks in Week 12 meeting. • DT ZACH SIELER had INT-TD last week, 1st-career INT & TD.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins have done almost everything they’ve needed to since playing the New York Jets three weeks ago – except stay healthy.

Injuries to standout linebacker Jaelan Phillips (Achilles tendon tear) and starting safety Jevon Holland (knees) overshadowed Miami’s blowout win over the Jets in Week 12, when Holland also returned an intercepted first-half Hail Mary attempt 99 yards for a score.

Injuries showed up again in the Dolphins’ win over the Commanders the following week when linebacker Jerome Baker suffered a knee injury that landed him on injured reserve.

And they played a major role in last week’s 28-27 loss to the Tennessee Titans, with Miami losing starting center Connor Williams for the season because of an ACL tear, and with star receiver Tyreek Hill largely limited by an ankle injury.

“This is how the league works,” Tagovailoa said. “You pray that you can have healthy seasons and stay healthy as long as possible, but it’s a physical sport, and things like that happen. When those things do happen, how do we as a team come out and not let our foot off the gas?”

He challenged the Dolphins to not be too “emotional” entering Sunday’s matchup against the Jets despite blowing a 14-point lead against Tennessee with less than five minutes remaining. The Dolphins (9-4) still sit atop the AFC East, and they’re the No. 2 seed in the conference.

“We don’t want to come into the game thinking we need to do this, we need to do that,” Tagovailoa said. “We just need to play within the rules and principles of what that play entails for us to do.”

The Jets (5-8) are coming off one of the best wins of their season – a 30-6 blowout of the Houston Texans that can serve as an energy-boosting victory to build on.

“Getting that win under our belt and getting that feeling again about who we are was huge for us,” said defensive lineman Solomon Thomas.

“It’s another divisional game. You normally don’t like the opponents in your division for a reason. You’re rivals, you play them twice a year, you guys know each other too well, so it’s definitely a game you want to win.”

Coach Robert Saleh this week characterized their Week 12 meeting as a mix of “unfortunate situations” and “missed opportunities.”

He also doesn’t think the familiarity of playing the Dolphins just three weeks ago helps or hurts the Jets, who are not technically out of the playoff race despite struggling for most of the season.

“We are both who we are,” Saleh said. “There’s going to be some nuance, there’s going to be some changes. I’m sure coach (Mike) McDaniel is going to have 65 new plays, but at the meat of it is philosophy and a style of play that those guys have and same thing with us, both offensively and defensively and special teams.”


Hill’s ankle injury that he suffered during the first quarter against Tennessee puts his availability Sunday in question.

Coach Mike McDaniel said earlier this week that he will wait for Hill to tell him whether he feels as if he can play on the ankle, which the star receiver said caused him a lot of pain in the second half.

“He’s going to take care of what’s in his hands,” McDaniel said, “but he’s such an important part of our team that we’re gonna make sure that when he’s on the field he’s not at risk of further injuring himself.”


Dolphins defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said he doesn’t regret not sending more blitzes at Will Levis during Tennessee’s two late touchdown drives.

Despite just one sack in the game, the Dolphins largely limited big plays until the final five minutes. Levis completed four passes of at least 20 yards during that span.

“A lot of it happened very quickly,” Fangio said. “I needed to call it better, and we needed to play it better.”


Wilson had perhaps the best game of his career last week against Houston, throwing for 301 yards with two touchdowns and leading New York into the end zone three times overall.

“Whatever he ate Saturday night, just go do it again,” Saleh joked. “He’s been working, he’s been getting better and give him credit: He played free on Sunday.”

Wilson rebounded from a two-game benching to be selected AFC offensive player of the week for his performance. Wilson got the Jets’ previously sluggish offense moving consistently in the second half, when they scored all of their points in a 30-6 win.

“The thing is that’s the standard, right?” Wilson said. “I wouldn’t say, ‘Hey, you know, in that game, you were doing anything differently.’ I mean, we were in the flow, momentum was on our side.”


Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson will extend a few records with every catch he makes the rest of this season.

The reigning AP Offensive Rookie of the Year has set the franchise marks for receptions (159) and yards receiving (1,956) by a player through his first two seasons.

Despite the Jets’ overall struggles and shaky play at the quarterback spot, Wilson has a team-leading 76 catches for 853 yards and three touchdowns this season.

“He’s becoming more and more un-guardable every day,” teammate and cornerback Sauce Gardner said.

  • Miami and New York are matching up for the second time this season after the Dolphins won, 34-13, in Week 12. The Jets ran the ball 10 times in the loss, their fewest in any game since Week 16 of 2005 (also 10).
  • The Jets have held opponents to a 41.8% (23/55) completion rate in their last two games. This is the lowest completion percentage allowed by New York in any two-game span since 2010: allowed 41.2% between Weeks 5 and 6.
  • Zach Wilson completed 85.7% (18/21) of his passes in the second half of the Jets’ recent win. There have been 230 instances of a Jets quarterback attempting at least 20 passes in either half of a game in the last 30 seasons and Wilson’s rate in Week 14 is the highest.
  • The Dolphins lost to the Titans in regulation last week despite leading, 27-13, with 2:40 remaining in the game. Miami is the only team in the last 40 years to lose in regulation after leading by 14 or more points with three or fewer minutes remaining in the fourth quarter (regular season or postseason).
  • Tyreek Hill had four catches for 61 yards and a total of negative-two yards after catch in the Dolphins Week 14 loss to the Titans. This was Hill’s 114th career regular season game with multiple catches and the first time and he had negative yards after the catch.
  • The Dolphins are averaging 8.5 scrimmage yards per touch on offense, the highest average in the NFL so far in 2023. The Jets’ defense is holding opponents to 6.2 scrimmage yards per touch, the lowest average by any team this season.


QB PATRICK MAHOMES passed for 271 yards & TD vs. INT last week. Has 10 TDs vs. 3 INTs with 104.6 rating in 4 career starts vs. NE, incl. playoffs. Has 215 TD passes in 93 career games & can surpass HOFer Dan Marino (217) for most TD passes ever by player in 1st 100 games. • RB ISIAH PACHECO aims for his 4th in row with 85+ scrimmage yards & 3rd in row with rush TD. Has rush TD in 4 of his past 5 on road. Needs 12 yards for 1st-career 1,000-yard season. • RB CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE had season-high 68 scrimmage yards (39 rush, 29 rec.) last week. Had 91 scrimmage yards (64 rush, 27 rec.) in last meeting. • RB JERICK MCKINNON had 1st rush TD of season in Week 14. • TE TRAVIS KELCE had 6 catches for 83 yards last week. Aims for 4th in row with 80+ rec. yards. Has 60+ rec. yards in 4 of 5 career reg. season games vs. NE. Ranks 3rd among TEs with 80 catches in 2023, 8th-career season with 75+ catches, tied 2nd-most ever by TE. Needs 104 rec. yards for 8th-straight 1,000-yard season. • WR RASHEE RICE (rookie) had 7 catches for 72 yards & TD last week. Aims for 4th in row with 7+ catches & 60+ rec. yards. Has rec. TD in 2 of past 3. Ranks tied-3rd among rookies with 6 rec. TDs. • WR MARQUEZ VALDES-SCANTLING had 101 rec. yards in only career game vs. NE (11/4/18 w/ GB). • DT CHRIS JONES aims for his 3rd in row vs. NE with sack. Is 1 of 2 (Myles Garrett) with 7+ sacks in each of past 6 seasons. • DE GEORGE KARLAFTIS has sack in 3 of past 4. Needs sack for 1st-career 10-sack season. • CB L’JARIUS SNEED had 7 tackles & season-high 3 PD in Week 14. Has 7+ tackles in 2 of past 3. • CB TRENT MCDUFFIE had 3rd sack of season & PD last week.

QB BAILEY ZAPPE set season highs in completions (19), comp. pct. (67.9), pass yards (240) & rating (115.2) & had career-high 3 TD passes last week. Has 6 TDs vs. 2 INTs & 103.1 rating in 4 career starts, with 100+ rating in 3 of 4 starts. • RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT led team with season-high 140 scrimmage yards (72 rec., 68 rush) & had 1st rec. TD of season last week, 18th-career game with 125+ scrimmage yards & TD, tied 4thmost in NFL since 2016. Has 372 scrimmage yards (93 per game) over past 4 games, with 85+ scrimmage yards in 3 of 4. Has 161 scrimmage yards (80.5 per game) in 2 career games vs. KC. • WR JUJU SMITH SCHUSTER led team with season-high 90 rec. yards in Week 14. Had 13 catches for 121 yards & TD in his last game vs. KC (9/16/18 w/ Pit.). Had 78 catches for 933 yards & 3 TDs & won SB LVII in 2022 with KC. • WR DEMARIO DOUGLAS (rookie) aims for his 5th in row with 5+ catches. Has 55+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. • TE HUNTER HENRY had 40 rec. yards & season-high 2 rec. TDs last week, 4th-career game with 2 rec. TDs. Aims for his 4th in row vs. KC with 5+ catches. Ranks tied-4th among TEs with 5 rec. TDs in 2023, 4th-career season with 5+ rec. TDs. • DT CHRISTIAN BARMORE had half sack in Week 14. Has TFL in 3 of past 4. Leads team with career-high 4.5 sacks in 2023. • LB JAHLANI TAVAI led team with career-high 14 tackles last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 7+ tackles. Has TFL in 2 of past 3. • LB JA’WHAUN BENTLEY has 7+ tackles in 3 of past 4. • CB KYLE DUGGER had 7 tackles & PD last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 5+ tackles. • CB J.C. JACKSON has PD in 2 of 3 career reg. season games vs. KC. • S JABRILL PEPPERS had 2nd INT of season in Week 14.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Travis Kelce could be spending some more time on the road in 2024 – and not just to see Taylor Swift in concert.

The diva-dating tight end and the rest of the Kansas City Chiefs (8-5) are in an unexpected fight for the division title and might have to play their first AFC playoff road game of the Patrick Mahomes era. The Chiefs are the No. 3 seed in the conference heading into Sunday’s game against New England (3-10), which could force them to play twice on the road to defend their Super Bowl title.

“The division is tight. The AFC is tight,” Mahomes said this week as he prepared to try and snap a two-game losing streak. “We have to go out there and play our best football and try to get better this week and try to find a way to get a win.”

With the Denver Broncos winning six of their last seven games, Kansas City is down to a one-game lead in the division – closer than it’s been in more than two months. Even if the Chiefs hold on to win the AFC West for the eighth straight year, the NFL’s 14-team playoff bracket could force them onto the road for the first time since 2015.

The good news: Their remaining schedule pits them against New England, Las Vegas (5-8), Cincinnati (7-6) and the Chargers (5-8).

“It’s week-to-week in the league. I think our players understand that,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “They know what they need to do. We just have to get it done.”


There’s been no word on whether Swift, who has been watching Kelce’s games when she isn’t on tour, will attend. Swift is familiar with Gillette Stadium, having played three nights there on her current Eras Tour and in other concerts as far back as 2010.

The pop icon and Time magazine Person of the Year does not head back on tour until February.


The Patriots have already been eliminated from the playoffs with four games remaining – the first time that’s happened for New England since 2000. In the ensuing 22 seasons – combined – they only took the field twice with no hope of reaching the postseason.

The poor showing led to Sunday’s game being flexed out of “Monday Night Football” – an NFL first. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the season is meaningless.

With the worst record in the AFC – and tied with Arizona for the second-worst in the league – New England is on track for the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 draft. The Patriots are two games better than Carolina (1-12), which has traded its first-rounder to the Bears.

Many Patriots fans have turned their attention to the draft, where the six-time Super Bowl champions could begin with a top pick like Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams, North Carolina QB Drake Maye or Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

But that’s not the mood in the locker room.

“We ain’t here to give games up,” defensive lineman Christian Barmore said. “We’re here to play football.”


One thing the Chiefs have lacked this season is the killer instinct they displayed during Mahomes’ first six seasons as the starting quarterback. They have had eight games decided by one possession, including four of the past five – and three of those were losses. In fact, four of the Chiefs’ five losses this season have been by a touchdown or less.

“We all want to win. We all believe in each other,” Chiefs safety Justin Reid said. “We just have to pull a little bit harder and find one or two plays to go out and get the win.”


With so much anxiety surrounding the Kansas City offense these days, it is easy to overlook just how well its defense has played, especially in the secondary.

Defensive back L’Jarius Sneed held Buffalo star Stefon Diggs to four catches on 11 targets for 24 yards last week. Trent McDuffie has been one of the best cornerbacks in the league when he hasn’t been a terror on the blitz – he has three sacks – and as a whole, the secondary held the Bills’ Josh Allen to 233 yards on 42 attempts.

“We have everything we need to go be great out there,” McDuffie said. “I think it’s just a little details thing.”

  • The Chiefs have won each of their last two meetings with the Patriots, 23-16, in New England in 2019 and, 26-10, at home in 2020. The last time Kansas City won multiple games in a row against the Patriots was a three-game run between 1990 and 1995.
  • The Chiefs fell to the Bills, 20-17, at home last week and have now lost back-to-back games for the first time since Weeks 2 and 3, 2021. They have not lost more than two games in a row since a four-game losing streak in 2017 (Weeks 9-13).
  • Patrick Mahomes has thrown just one touchdown pass and one interception in each of his last two games. The only other times he has had two such games in a row are Weeks 7 & 8 and Weeks 11 & 13 of the 2021 season. He has never had three such games in a row.
  • The Patriots beat the Steelers, 21-18, in Pittsburgh last week. It was their second-most points in a game this season and most on the road (beat Buffalo 29-25 at home in Week 7). The Patriots had scored a combined 13 points in their previous three games.
  • Hunter Henry had two touchdown catches last week, the fourth multi-touchdown game of his career and first since Week 15, 2021. Henry had just three touchdowns all season prior to last week, and two of those came in the first two weeks of the season.
  • The Chiefs have converted 56.8 percent (21-for-37) of their third downs while in the red zone this season, the best mark in the league. The Patriots have converted just 16.7 percent (2-for-12) of their red-zone third downs, worst in the NFL.


QB TOMMY DEVITO (rookie) completed 17 of 21 atts. (81 pct.) for 158 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 113.9 rating & had 71 rush yards in Week 14, 2nd undrafted rookie in common-draft era with 80+ comp. pct. (min 15 atts.) in game. Is 1st undrafted rookie since 1967 with 100+ rating in 3 straight starts. Is 3rd undrafted rookie since 1970 to win 3+ starts. • RB SAQUON BARKLEY had 101 scrimmage yards (86 rush, 15 rec.) & 2 rush TDs in Week 14, his 3rd-career game with 2 rush TDs. Has 966 scrimmage yards in 2023 & needs 34 scrimmage yards for 4th-career 1,000-yard season. Has 90+ scrimmage yards in 6 of his past 7 road games. Had 126 scrimmage yards (74 rec., 52 rush) & 2 TDs (1 rush, 1 rec.) in last meeting & aims for his 3rd in row vs. NO with 100+ scrimmage yards & TD. • WR WAN’DALE ROBINSON had 6 catches & career-high 115 scrimmage yards (79 rec., 36 rush) in Week 14, his 2nd-career game with 100+ scrimmage yards. • WR ISAIAH HODGINS had 3rd rec. TD of season in Week 14 & aims for his 3rd in row with TD catch. • LB KAYVON THIBODEAUX aims for his 3rd in row with FF & 4th in row with 0.5+ sacks. Has career highs in TFL (12), sacks (11.5) & FFs (3) in 2023. • LB BOBBY OKEREKE is only player this season with 100+ tackles (119), 9+ TFL (9) & 8+ PD (8). Has 10+ tackles in 4 of his past 5 on road. • LB MICAH MCFADDEN aims for his 4th in row on road with TFL. • S XAVIER MCKINNEY had 2nd-career FR last week. • CB DEONTE BANKS became 4th rookie DB since 2000 with 12 tackles, TFL & PD in single game last week. Has PD in 6 of his past 7 & aims for his 3rd in row with PD.

QB DEREK CARR passed for 2 TDs vs. INT for 88.5 rating in Week 14. Has 2,880 pass yards in 2023 & can join HOFer Peyton Manning & Russell Wilson as only QBs ever with 3,000+ pass yards in each of 1st 10 career seasons. Has 3,480 career completions & can join Matt Ryan (3,630) as only players all-time with 3,500+ completions in 1st 10 career seasons. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NYG with 285+ pass yards & TD pass. • RB ALVIN KAMARA had 5th rush TD of season last week. Has 966 scrimmage yards in 2023 & needs 34 scrimmage yards for 7th-straight 1,000-yard season. Leads all RBs with 63 catches this season, his 5th-career 60+ catch season. Has 301 scrimmage yards (150.5 per game) & 3 rush TDs in 2 career games vs. NYG & aims for his 3rd in row vs. NYG with 120+ scrimmage yards. • WR CHRIS OLAVE had 4th rec. TD of season last week. Needs 82 rec. yards for 2nd-straight 1,000-yard season. • TE JIMMY GRAHAM had 88th-career reg.-season rec. TD, 4thmost among TEs all-time. Aims for his 3rd in row with TD catch. • DE CAMERON JORDAN has TFL in 3 of his past 4 vs. NYG. • DE CARL GRANDERSON had sack last week & has career-high 6.5 sacks in 2023. Has TFL in 3 of his past 4 home games. • LB DEMARIO DAVIS had 1.5 sacks in Week 14 & has 5.5 sacks in 2023, his 4th-career 5-sack season. Needs 9 tackles for 7thstraight & 9th-career 100-tackle season. • CB PAULSON ADEBO (14 PD), CB ALONTAE TAYLOR (12) & CB ISAAC YIADOM (10 PD) are 1 of 2 DB trios (PHI DBs Reed Blankenship, James Bradberry & Darius Slay) with 10+ PD each in 2023. • DB JORDAN HOWDEN (rookie) led team with career-high 10 tackles & had 1st-career sack & 1st-career FF in Week 14.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) The dichotomy between the quarterback situations of the New York Giants and New Orleans Saints is as stark as it is unusual.

New York is going gaga over undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito, whose opportunistic play and inclination to lean in to his Italian heritage have transformed him from a relative unknown into a charismatic and galvanizing force on a Giants squad that has surprisingly won three straight.

“I appreciate the support from everybody,” DeVito said. “I’m just trying to continue to be me. I’m going to let my personality show. That’s it.”

The Superdome, meanwhile, has sounded like boo-bird central when $150 million free-agent acquisition Derek Carr has taken the field with the Saints’ oft-sputtering offense recently.

“That’s the way they can show their frustration,” Carr said, adding that he understood the fans’ sentiments. “All of our expectations were so high, and our expectations still should be high.”

When New Orleans (6-7) hosts the Giants (5-8) on Sunday, the young QB affectionately known as “Tommy Cutlets” will try to add another chapter to his storybook rise in the Big Apple. Carr, by contrast, will look to change the narrative surrounding his frustrating first season in the Big Easy.

“Everything is still in front of us,” said Carr, who was part of a 2021 Raiders team that rallied to make the playoffs at 10-7 after starting 6-7. “I keep staying this: This is the time to do it. This is the time to get hot, right now.”

Neither team has had a good season. Yet either could realistically wind up in the postseason.

The Saints are in a three-way tie for first place in the anemic NFC South. And the fact that 6-7 Green Bay entered Week 15 tenuously holding the final NFC wild-card spot means both New York and New Orleans remain in contention for that as well.

But neither team has much margin for error, giving their matchup a high-stakes vibe.

“Every game is amplified just because we are on that fringe and we have the potential to be in the hunt,” Giants linebacker Micah McFadden said.

“From here on out, because we have earned this situation, every week is a playoff game,” Carr said. “I know both sides are feeling that.”


As much as the Saints would rather not see DeVito maintain his mojo this week, they appreciate the stir the New Jersey native’s early success has caused in New York.

“He’s done a really good job operating their offense and creating a spark,” Saints coach Dennis Allen said. “They’re obviously rallying around him. It’s a good story for them in terms of a hometown kid who’s come in as an undrafted free agent. … He’s stepped up and taken advantage of his opportunity and is playing well.”

Saints defensive tackle Khalin Saunders has enjoyed the way DeVito has played up his Italian roots.

“I’m happy he’s kind of taken it and run with it instead of making it a sensitive subject,” Saunders said. “He seems like a cool dude to me. … I’m genuinely happy for the kid.”


In the last four games, the Giants defense has forced 12 turnovers. Special teams also has recovered two fumbles on punt returns.

New York is now plus-6 in turnover differential, somewhat unusual for a team three games under .500. The Giants and Saints both have 22 takeaways this season, meaning both offenses will need to prioritize ball security.

“It’s guys taking advantage of the situations,” Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale said. “They’re becoming better finishers at the football.”


Carr was off the injury report this week after being limited a week earlier, when he was recovering from a concussion, sore throwing shoulder and rib injury.

“There was no re-aggravation, so that was nice,” Carr said. “I feel better this week than I did this time last week. But sore, like everybody else.”

Carr has been knocked out of three games this season and concussed twice since Nov. 12, but has not missed a start.

“I was taught a long time ago by a coach that, if you can be out there for your team – especially at quarterback – it says a lot for your teammates and for the coaches,” Carr said. “Maybe I wasn’t at my best, but that kind of respect goes a long way in building unity.”


After injuries caused the Giants to seemingly change their offensive line on a weekly basis, New York has played the same unit the past four weeks.

Andrew Thomas is at left tackle, Justin Pugh at left guard, rookie John Michael Schmitz at center, Ben Bredeson at right guard and Tyre Phillips at right tackle. The unit did not allow a sack against Green Bay on Monday night and the offense rushed for 209 yards.

Offensive tackle Evan Neal, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2022 draft, has returned to practice this week after missing the last four games with a sprained ankle. It will be interesting to see if the Giants elect to return him to the starting lineup if he is ready.

  • These teams have alternated wins and losses over their last six meetings, with the Giants winning their most recent matchup, 27-21, in overtime in New Orleans in Week 4, 2021. Prior to that, the Saints had won three straight home games against New York, scoring at least 48 points in all three wins.
  • The Giants beat the Packers, 24-22, at home last week and have now won three straight games for the first time since a four-game streak from Weeks 4-7 last season. They had a season-high 209 rushing yards last week — since 2016, the Giants are 8-1 when rushing for at least 200 yards (loss came this season against the Jets).
  • Last week, Tommy DeVito became the first starting quarterback to complete at least 80 percent of his passes, rush for 70 yards, commit no turnovers and take no sacks in a game since quarterback starts have been tracked (1950).
  • The Saints beat the Panthers, 28-6, at home last week, despite possessing the ball for a season-low 25:10. It was the largest win in franchise history in a game in which the Saints had fewer than 26 minutes of possession.
  • Derek Carr has thrown at least one interception and taken at least one sack in each of his last three games. It is tied for the second-longest streak of his career within a single season. His only longer streak was a four-game streak in Weeks 14-17, 2021.
  • The Giants’ defense has forced a three-and-out on 24.8 percent of drives this season, best in the NFC and third best in the NFL. The Giants offense has gone three-and-out on 32.3 percent of its drives, the highest mark in the league.


QB C.J. STROUD has 0 INTs in each of past 3 & 105+ rating in 2 of past 3. Has 0 INTs in 5 of 6 road games this season. Has 968 pass yards (322.7 per game) & 7 TDs (6 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs with 111.5 rating in 3 starts vs. division this season. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 3,631 passing yards this season. • QB DAVIS MILLS can make 1st start of season. Has 5 TDs vs. 2 INTs with 93.3 rating in 3 career starts vs. Ten. • RB DEVIN SINGLETARY rushed for 65 yards & 3rd TD of season last week. Has 65+ scrimmage yards in 4 of past 5. Aims for 3rd in row on road with rush TD. • RB DAMEON PIERCE had TD catch in only career game vs. Ten. (10/30/22). Has rush TD in each of 2 career road division games. • WR NICO COLLINS has 100+ rec. yards & rec. TD in 2 of past 3 overall & in 2 of 3 division games this season. Has 1st-career season with 1,000+ (1,004) rec. yards. • WR NOAH BROWN has 55+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 on road. • WR ROBERT WOODS had 7 catches for 98 yards in his last game vs. Ten. (11/7/21 w/ LAR). Had 527 rec. yards in 2022 w/ Ten. • TE DALTON SCHULTZ has 65+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 on road. Had 2 rec. TDs in his last game vs. Ten. (12/29/22 w/ Dal.). • DE WILL ANDERSON (rookie) has 5 TFL in his past 4. • DE JONATHAN GREENARD had 6 tackles, 2 sacks & PD last week. Aims for 3rd in row with sack. Has 5.5 sacks in his past 3 on road. Had TFL & FR in last meeting. Has career-high 10 sacks in 2023, 1st Hou. player with 10+ sacks since 2018 (J.J. Watt). • LB CHRISTIAN HARRIS led team with 10 tackles & had 1st FF of season last week. Has 10+ tackles in 2 of past 3. Had 2 PD & only career INT in last meeting. • CB DEREK STINGLEY has 8 PD in his past 4.

QB WILL LEVIS completed 23 of 38 atts. (60.5 pct.) for career high 327 yards & TD vs. INT last week, becoming 5th rookie in franchise history with 300+ pass yards in a game. Has 0 INTs in 3 of past 4. Has 5 TDs vs. 0 INTs with 99.6 rating in 3 home starts this season. Ranks 3rd among rookies with 1,593 pass yards. • RB DERRICK HENRY has 2 rush TDs in 3 straight games, longest active streak in NFL & tied-longest streak of career. Has 23 career games with 2+ rush TDs, tied with HOFer Jim Brown for 5th-most ever by player in 1st 8 seasons. Aims for his 6th in row vs. Hou. with 125+ rush yards & rush TD. Has rush TD in 5 of 6 home games this season. Has 10 rush TDs in 2023 & is 3rd player ever with 10+ rush TDs in 6 straight seasons. • RB TYJAE SPEARS (rookie) had career-high 118 scrimmage yards (89 rec., 29 rush) & 6 catches last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 85+ scrimmage yards. • WR DEANDRE HOPKINS led team with 7 catches for 124 yards & TD last week, 3rd 100-yard game this season. Aims for 3rd in row with 5+ catches, 75+ rec. yards & rec. TD. Had 7 catches for 53 yards & TD in only career game vs. Hou. (10/24/21 w/ Ari.). Ranks 2nd in Hou. franchise history in catches (632), rec. yards (8,602) & rec. TDs (54). • TE CHIGOZIEM OKONKWO had 5 catches for 46 yards last week. • DE DENICO AUTRY has sack in 2 of past 3. Aims for 4th in row at home with sack. Had 2 TFL, 2 PD, sack & FF in last meeting, • LB HAROLD LANDRY had career-high 3 sacks in Week 14, 5thcareer game with 2+ sacks. Has TFL in 3 of his past 4 vs. Hou. • LB AZEEZ AL-SHAAIR aims for 3rd in row with 10+ tackles. • LB ARDEN KEY had sack last week, 3rd-straight game with 0.5+ sacks. Has sack in 2 of 4 career games vs. Hou. • CB SEAN MURPHY-BUNTING had 7 tackles, 2 TFL & PD last week.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Tennessee Titans love rookie quarterback Will Levis’ energy, enthusiasm and competitiveness.

Just not when he takes off running.

The 6-foot-4, 229-pound Levis crashed into Miami cornerback Jalen Ramsey after escaping a sack, making the 6-1 three-time All-Pro look like an economy car hit by an SUV. The Titans (5-8) have shown Levis videos of quarterbacks sliding in an effort to show how NFL rules can protect him.

“I guess we’ll have to show him examples of quarterbacks not sliding and getting the (crap) knocked out of them,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said.

If Levis needs a reminder that being available matters most in the NFL, Sunday offers just that. Fellow rookie C.J. Stroud is in the concussion protocol for Houston (7-6) after his head bounced off the turf while being sacked in last week’s 30-6 road loss to the New York Jets.

First-year Houston coach DeMeco Ryans said not many players return a week later from a concussion. That likely applies to Stroud, who’s currently second in the NFL with 3,631 yards passing and is the biggest reason Houston is a game back of defending AFC South champ Jacksonville in the division.

“It’s more about their long-term health, as opposed to, just everybody gets excited about the next game and the next opportunity,” Ryans said.

That means Davis Mills likely makes his first start this season, and he has played well in three career starts against Tennessee, posting a 93.3 passer rating.

Levis just had the first 300-yard passing game of his career and is 3-4 as a starter. He led the Titans to 15 points Monday night in the span of 51 seconds to stun Miami 28-27. His first road win snapped the Titans’ nine-game road skid and gives them a chance at consecutive wins for the first time this season.

The rookie celebrated by chest-bumping a teammate followed by hugging offensive coordinator Tim Kelly.

“He’s got those crazy eyes, you know, when he starts hulking out,” Kelly said of Levis. “But I was proud of him, and it was a cool moment for him.”

Levis knows being calm, cool and collected is important at his position, but he has to be himself.

“Show those emotions and wear your heart on your sleeve sometimes,” Levis said.


Two-time NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry has run for at least 126 yards in his past five games against Houston, topping 211 in the other four. He is averaging 115 yards in his 12 games against the Texans. This season, he’s third in the NFL with 875 yards and has run for two TDs in three straight games.

Henry also joined LaDainian Tomlinson (eight) and Adrian Peterson (seven) as the only NFL players to post at least six consecutive seasons with at least 1,000 yards from scrimmage and 10 rushing TDs.


Houston kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn is expected to return Sunday after missing five games with a quadriceps injury. Matt Ammendola, who has filled in since Fairbairn was injured, was released Wednesday.

The kicker in his seventh season with the Texans has made 18 of 19 field goals this year and all 14 extra points. He isn’t worried about rust in his return.

“Just doing mental reps is the biggest thing,” Fairbairn said. “Feeling that pressure of a game kick, you can really only replicate that on game day.”


This is the second time the Texans have faced their former star receiver DeAndre Hopkins since trading him away after the 2019 season. He had seven receptions for 53 yards for Arizona in a win over Houston in 2021. Drafted 27th overall in 2013, he is Houston’s second-leading receiver with 8,602 yards and 54 TDs.

Hopkins leads Tennessee with 57 catches for 898 yards and six TDs.

“A friendly target for a young quarterback to throw to,” Ryans said. “Hopkins has made a ton of plays for them. You see the speed down the field, you see the catch radius. He’s having a great year.”

Houston’s receiving corps is banged-up. Rookie Tank Dell is on injured reserve. Nico Collins, who has a team-high 1,004 yards receiving, has an injured calf. Robert Woods, who led Tennessee with 527 yards receiving last season, is Houston’s third-leading receiver.


The Titans, who started as the Houston Oilers in 1960 in the AFL, will be wearing their throwback uniforms with the oil derrick logo for the second time this season. They wore them Oct. 29 in a win over Atlanta.

Now the Titans will wear them again against the franchise that got the new stadium the late Bud Adams couldn’t get built in Houston. That’s what prompted him to move his Oilers to Tennessee in 1997.

  • The Titans lost to the Texans last year despite a fifth straight 100-yard rushing performance against them by Derrick Henry (125 yards). The next closest streak of 100+ rushing-yard games against the Texans is three games (Jonathan Taylor and Edgerrin James).
  • On Sunday, Houston lost to the Jets after having 135 total net yards in the game, the Texans’ fourth game with fewer than 150 net yards in the last five seasons. That is tied with the Jets for the most games in that time with fewer than 150 net yards.
  • Against the Jets, Jonathan Greenard had his third game this season with at least two sacks. Only T.J. Watt (four), Josh Allen (four) and Khalil Mack (five) have more games with at least two sacks this season.
  • Last week against the Dolphins, the Titans became the first team in NFL history to win a game in regulation despite trailing by at least 14 points with 2:55 remaining in the fourth quarter.
  • In Miami on Monday, Will Levis threw for 327 passing yards on 23 completions. Only two other rookies in franchise history have had road games with 300+ passing yards and 20+ completions: Marcus Mariota (vs. New Orleans in 2015) and Jacky Lee (vs. Boston in 1960).
  • The Titans’ defense is allowing opponents to score touchdowns on just 41.7 percent of goal-to-go drives this season (10-for-24). That leads the NFL, with the next-closest team allowing a goal-to-go touchdown efficiency of 56.0 percent (Buccaneers).


49ERS clinched playoff berth for 3rd-straight season. • QB BROCK PURDY completed 19 of 27 atts. (70.4 pct.) for career-high 368 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT for 122.1 rating in Week 14 & became 4th QB ever with 70+ comp. pct. in 7 straight games within single season. Has 12 games with 110+ rating, tied 3rd-most by QB in 1st 2 seasons all-time. Has 5 TDs (4 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs for 146 rating in 2 career starts vs. Ari. Leads NFL in rating (116.9) & comp. pct. (70.2), ranks tied2nd in TD passes (25) & 3rd in pass yards (3,553) this season. • RB CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY had 153 scrimmage yards (145 rush, 8 rec.) in Week 14. Leads NFL in scrimmage yards (1,614) & rush yards (1,177) & ranks 2nd in scrimmage TDs (17) in 2023. Aims for his 7th in row overall with 100+ scrimmage yards. Has 100+ scrimmage yards in 5 of his 6 career games vs. Ari., incl. 177 scrimmage yards & career-high 4 TDs (3 rush, 1 rec.) in Week 4 meeting. • WR DEEBO SAMUEL last week became 2nd player ever (Timmy Brown) with 100+ rec. yards (149), rec. TD & rush TD in consecuive games. Aims for his 4th in row with 90+ scrimmage yards & TD. • WR BRANDON AIYUK had 126 rec. yards in Week 14, his 9thcareer game with 100+ rec. yards. Has 1,053 rec. yards in 2023 & is 4th 49ers WR ever with consecutive 1,000 rec. yard seasons. • TE GEORGE KITTLE had 76 rec. yards & 6th rec. TD of season last week. Became 5th TE ever with 6,000+ rec. yards (6,065) in 1st 7 career seasons. Has 5 rec. TDs in his past 4 vs. Ari. • DL NICK BOSA had 1.5 sacks last week & has 1.5+ sacks in 4 of his past 5. Aims for his 6th in row vs. Ari. with TFL. • LB FRED WARNER had 4th INT of season last week, most among LBs in 2023. Has 107 tackles in 2023, his 6th-straight 100+ tackle season. • DB CHARVARIUS WARD leads NFL with career-high 20 PD in 2023.

QB KYLER MURRAY had TD pass vs. 0 INTs for 89.9 rating in Week 13. Has rush TD in 3 of 4 starts in 2023 & aims for his 3rd in row at home with rush TD. Has 70+ comp. pct. & 100+ rating in 2 of his 3 career home starts vs. SF. • RB JAMES CONNER rushed for 105 yards & 2 TDs in Week 13, his 2nd game with 100+ rush yards this season. Has 12 games with 2+ rush TDs since 2018, tied 2nd-most among RBs. Has 5 TDs (4 rush, 1 rec.) in 5 career games vs. SF & aims for his 3rd in row at home vs. SF with rush TD. • TE TREY MCBRIDE had 8 receptions for 89 rec. yards & 2nd rec. TD of season last week. Since Week 8, ranks 2nd among TEs in receptions (41) & 3rd in rec. yards (440). Aims for his 4th in row at home with 7+ receptions & 60+ rec. yards. • WR MARQUISE BROWN has 4+ receptions in 5 of 6 home games this season. Had season highs in catches (7) & rec. yards (96) in Week 4 meeting. • S BUDDA BAKER had 8 tackles & 6th-career game with 2 TFL in Week 13. Aims for his 13th in row at home with 5+ tackles. Has INT in 2 of his past 3 vs. SF. Aims for his 4th in row vs. SF with PD & 10th in row vs. SF with 5+ tackles. • S JALEN THOMPSON has INT in 2 of his past 3. Aims for his 4th in row with 7+ tackles. • LB DENNIS GARDECK had career-high 2 PD in Week 13. Had sack in Week 4 meeting. • LB JOSH WOODS led team with 12 tackles in Week 13, his 2ndcareer 10+ tackle game. • LB BJ OJULARI (rookie) had 1st-career PD in Week 13. Has sack in 2 of his past 3 at home. • DT DANTE STILLS (rookie) had 1st-career FR in Week 13.

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Cardinals have been reasonably competent since quarterback Kyler Murray returned last month.

They’ll need a lot more than competence when they host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

The NFC West-leading Niners have looked like the league’s best team during their current five-game winning streak. San Francisco clinched its third straight playoff berth last week and can clinch its first division title since 2019 with a win this weekend.

“When you watch the tape, all three phases jump out to you,” first-year Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon said. “They’ve got good players, they’re well coached and they win games so that’s what everybody in the NFL is trying to do.”

Aside from a midseason three-week swoon when some key players were hurt, San Francisco has delivered. Its current streak includes victories over Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, Seattle, Philadelphia and Seattle again. All of those teams are still in the playoff hunt.

The Cardinals have no such aspirations – at least for this season.

But since Murray’s return, Arizona has gone 2-2 with wins over the Falcons and Steelers. The Cardinals are coming off their bye week, enjoying some rest after playing 13 straight weeks.

Niners defensive end Nick Bosa said Murray has been impressive on video. The fifth-year quarterback has thrown for 864 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions while also running for 106 yards and three TDs.

“I think he looks great moving around and I think he’s actually playing this scheme better than the previous regime there,” Bosa said. “He’s kind of sitting in the pocket and playing quarterback more. Then obviously the run game and the scrambles, he’s an added element there.”

For his part, Murray said the 49ers have unparalleled defensive depth.

“They’ve got a ton of guys over there, more than probably anybody in the league,” Murray said. “And we know, since I got into the league it’s been like that. I’m not going to say I’m used to it, but we’ve got to be ready for a war.”


Niners receiver Deebo Samuel is back to the All-Pro form he showed in 2021. The versatile playmaker has 288 yards from scrimmage and five TDs the last two weeks, becoming the second player ever to have back-to-back games with at least 100 yards receiving, a TD run and a TD catch. Samuel has 900 yards from scrimmage and nine TDs this season despite missing two full games and part of a third with injuries in October.

“Since coming back from injury, I can see the level of play just getting better and better, week in and week out,” he said.

1,000 IN SIGHT

Cardinals running back James Conner has a chance to top 1,000 yards rushing in a season for the first time in his career despite having missed four games with a knee injury.

The 28-year-old has 631 yards rushing and four touchdowns. He’ll need to average more than 90 yards on the ground over the final four weeks, which is plausible considering he ran for 105 yards and two touchdowns in a win against the Steelers on Dec. 3.

San Francisco, however, ranks No. 1 in the league in rushing defense.


The trade-deadline acquisition of Chase Young has provided a big boost to San Francisco’s pass rush. The Niners have a league-high 22 sacks in the five games since Young arrived from Washington. Young’s presence has opened things up for his former college teammate Bosa, who has 6 1/2 sacks in the past five games after having just three in the first eight.

Murray and Bosa were taken No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the 2019 draft.

“I respect Nick a lot,” Murray said. “I love to go against great players. Us coming in together, I think that’s pretty cool. I think we both take pride in that. It’s a special deal to be in the NFL so to be able to go against these guys – we’ve both been in the same organization for a long time.

“Hopefully, we’ll continue to be here even longer and go against each other for the rest of our time here.”


Trey McBride has already tied the Arizona franchise record for catches by a tight end in a season with 56. He has 440 yards receiving and two touchdowns over his past six games.

Murray said he’s appreciated McBride’s success but has just one criticism.

“His celebrations are a little awkward,” Murray said, grinning. “I think his swag will get better as he keeps having success. Tight ends, you never know what you’re getting with them, but I love it though. Love it. Want him to play with that edge, want him to play with that chip. A little bit of craziness, you’ve got to have it and he’s got a good mix of all of it.”

  • San Francisco is 6-3 against Arizona over the last five seasons, including a 35-16 victory in Week 4 this season. The 49ers have won three consecutive games in the series by 3+ scores dating back to Week 11 last season, with their +72 point differential being the highest all-time over a three-game span between the two teams.
  • Brock Purdy has posted a 70.0 completion percentage in seven consecutive games since Week 6. He joins Joe Montana (1989), Drew Brees (2016), and Sam Bradford (2016) as the only quarterbacks to have a seven-game streak in a season.
  • In Week 14, Christian McCaffrey recorded his 23rd career game with 150 scrimmage yards, the most among active players. Among active players, he’s the fastest to reach 10,000+ scrimmage yards in his career (88 games, tied for ninth fastest all-time with Walter Payton).
  • In Week 13, James Conner recorded his second career game with 25+ rushing attempts, 100+ rushing yards, and two rushing touchdowns, but first as a Cardinal. Only two running backs have produced 25+ carries, 100+ rushing yards, and 2+ rushing touchdowns in multiple games as a member of the Cardinals (Ottis Anderson and David Johnson).
  • Since Week 7, Trey McBride ranks second in receptions (41) and third in receiving yards (440) among tight ends. His 41 catches and 440 receiving yards at the tight end position each rank as the most by a Cardinal over a six-game span in the Super Bowl era.
  • Deebo Samuel (149 receiving yards, one receiving touchdown, and one rushing touchdown in Week 14) is the first player in NFL history with 115+ receiving yards, 1+ touchdown reception, and 1+ rushing touchdown in consecutive games.


QB SAM HOWELL had career-high 2 rush TD in Week 13 & aims for his 4th in row with rush TD. Leads NFL with 335 completions & ranks 3rd in NFC with 3,466 pass yards in 2023. Aims for his 4th in row on road with 300+ pass yards. • RB BRIAN ROBINSON aims for his 7th in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. Has career highs in scrimmage yards (990) & scrimmage TDs (8) in 2023. • RB ANTONIO GIBSON had 72 scrimmage yards (37 rec., 35 rush) in Week 13. Is 1 of 4 RBs (Austin Ekeler, Alvin Kamara & D’Andre Swift) with 35+ catches in each of past 4 seasons. • WR TERRY MCLAURIN has 359 receptions & 4,975 rec. yards since entering NFL in 2019, incl. 55+ catches & 600+ rec. yards in each season. Has 50+ rec. yards in 11 of his past 12 road games. • WR CURTIS SAMUEL aims for his 3rd in row with 65+ rec. yards. Has 4th-career season with 50+ receptions (51) & 500+ rec. yards (508) in 2023. • WR JAHAN DOTSON has 50+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 on road. • DT JONATHAN ALLEN needs 1 TFL for 3rd-straight season with 10+ TFL. Had 8 tackles in last meeting. • DT DARON PAYNE aims for his 4th in row with TFL & has 10 TFL for 2nd-straight season (career-high 18 TFL in 2022). • LB CODY BARTON had 11 tackles in Week 14, his 4th game with 10+ tackles in 2023. Has TFL in 2 of his past 3 on road. Had INT in his last game at LAR (12/4/22 w/ Sea.) & aims for his 3rd in row vs. LAR with PD. • S KAMREN CURL ranks tied-3rd among DBs with 97 tackles in 2023 & is 1 of 3 DBs (Kevin Byard & Antoine Winfield Jr.) with 80+ tackles in each of past 4 seasons. • CB BENJAMIN ST-JUSTE has 2+ PD in 4 of his past 5 on road.

QB MATTHEW STAFFORD passed for 294 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 103.1 rating in Week 14. Has 352 career TD passes & became 6th player with 350+ TD passes before age 36. Has 3,062 pass yards in 2023, his 11th-career 3,000-yard season, tied 2nd-most among active QBs. Aims for his 4th in row with 3+ TD passes & 100+ rating. Has 1,380 pass yards (276 per game) & 11 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 99.8 rating in 5 career starts vs. Was. • RB KYREN WILLIAMS rushed for 114 yards in Week 14. Has career-high 990 scrimmage yards in 9 games & is 1 of 3 (Tyreek Hill & Christian McCaffrey) with 110+ scrimmage yards per game in 2023. Aims for his 5th in row with 110+ scrimmage yards. • WR COOPER KUPP had 8 catches for 115 yards & 3rd rec. TD of season last week, his 30th career game with 5+ catches & 100+ rec. yards. Aims for his 3rd in row with TD catch. • WR PUKA NACUA leads rookies with 82 receptions, 3rd-most by player in 1st 13 games in NFL history. Became 4th rookie in SB era with 1,100+ rec. yards (1,113) in 1st 13 career games. • TE DAVIS ALLEN (rookie) had 50 rec. yards & 1st-career TD catch in Week 14. • DT AARON DONALD has 13 TFL in 2023 & is only player with 10+ TFL in each of past 10 seasons. Tied his career high with 4 sacks & had FF in last meeting & aims for his 5th in row vs. Was. with TFL. • LB ERNEST JONES led team with 10 tackles & had sack in Week 14. Has career highs in tackles (118) & TFL (9) in 2023. Has 10+ tackles in 5 of 6 home games this season. • LB BYRON YOUNG had 6th sack of season last week, most among rookies. Aims for his 4th in row with TFL. • CB AHKELLO WITHERSPOON had 3rd INT of season last week. Has career-high 11 PD in 2023.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) Matthew Stafford has played some of the best football of his 15-year career over the past month, and now he’s about to lead Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua and the Los Angeles Rams against the worst pass defense in the NFL.

Yet the Rams (6-7) and their offense-minded head coach are not excessively confident about their chances against the Washington Commanders (4-9), whose four-game skid and brutal defensive efforts appear to pave Los Angeles’ path to a prolific game Sunday at SoFi Stadium.

“You don’t get into that,” said Sean McVay, an assistant for seven years in Washington before getting the top job in LA in 2017. “The film is what talks to me. I think sometimes stats can be really inflated and very misleading based on how some games unfold. … I don’t see those types of things when I flip the tape onto this defense.”

McVay identified talent throughout the Commanders’ defensive lineup, and he praised Washington coach Ron Rivera for keeping his team together during a challenging stretch. He also noted that the Commanders are coming off their bye, allowing them to get refreshed and refocused on the four games ahead.

Yet the final stretch means much more to the Rams, who are in the thick of the NFC playoff race despite a heartbreaking overtime loss to AFC-leading Baltimore that stopped their three-game winning streak last weekend.

Los Angeles’ next three games are against teams with losing records, creating a reasonable route to the postseason just one year after an injury-plagued team went 5-12 in its Super Bowl title defense.

“They’ve got nothing to lose,” Rams safety John Johnson said of the Commanders. “They can come out here, visit LA, have fun. They’re not really stressed out about a loss. We’re fighting for our postseason. Definitely a must-win for us. They’re basically playing with house money. They can go out there, have fun and just try to put up a lot of points and ruin our party. It’s definitely a challenge, and we can’t let them do it.”


McVay and Johnson both expressed respect for Sam Howell, the mobile Washington quarterback who hasn’t allowed a whopping 58 sacks to deter him from his swashbuckling style of play.

“He’s definitely a guy that can torture you, and he’s been doing it week in and week out,” Johnson said.

Howell has topped 300 yards passing four times in his past six games despite getting sacked 18 times in that stretch. He relaxed at home in North Carolina during the bye, but he’s determined to keep growing despite the bleakness of Washington’s circumstances.

“I want to make better decisions, take better care of the football,” Howell said. “I just want to be really, really consistent. I think I’ve done some really good things this year. I just need to do it at a more consistent rate. I think that’s my goal to go into these last four games: To be really consistent and make plays and just play winning football. We still have a lot to play for.”


Howell has been sacked 58 times and is on pace to tie David Carr’s NFL record of being sacked 76 times in a season. Enter Aaron Donald, who logged four sacks against Washington in 2020.

“Four sacks, period, is crazy, but as an interior guy it’s even crazier,” Commanders receiver Terry McLaurin said. “It’s a testament to his work ethic, the kind of player he is, and obviously you’ve got to account for where he is. I know we’re going to have a good plan for that, and I know our linemen are going to be up for that challenge.”

Commanders tight end Logan Thomas goes way back with Donald: Thomas was sacked by Donald when the pass rusher played for Pitt and Thomas was Virginia Tech’s quarterback.

“Best defensive player in our generation, most likely,” Thomas said, then added with a laugh: “He’s not hard to miss. That mouth runs a decent amount. He ain’t afraid to say it, either.”


The Rams can also pressure Howell with edge rusher Byron Young, who leads all NFL rookies with six sacks this season – a half-sack ahead of his teammate, nose tackle Kobie Turner. Both rookies realize they’re getting the famous benefits of playing next to the double- and triple-teams habitually drawn by Donald.


Brian Robinson Jr. and Antonio Gibson have shared carries for the Commanders so far this season, but Robinson missed practice this week with a hamstring injury, setting Gibson up to carry the load ahead of his impending free agency.

Gibson struggled in an offense that provided limited touches earlier this season, but said he’s adjusted.

“I feel like I did that early in the season, trying to press it, because I wasn’t getting it as much,” he said. “I just had to calm down. So whenever I get the ball, just make the best of the opportunity, and be myself, and not try to do anything extra.”

Washington will also likely use the final four games to see what sixth-round pick Chris Rodriguez Jr. can do after the rookie got just 31 carries so far this season.

  • The Commanders hold a 24-12-1 (.667) lead over the Rams in the regular-season series, their best record against any current NFC team. The teams have split their two meetings since the Rams moved back to Los Angeles with the road team winning each game.
  • Washington is coming off its bye having lost four straight games with the last two coming by 35 and 30 points, respectively. It’s only the fourth time Washington has lost consecutive games by at least 30 points, most recently in 2001. The Commanders have lost three straight by 30+ points just once, in the 1954 season.
  • Over his last three games, Sam Howell has one passing touchdown and four rushing touchdowns. He is the first Washington QB all-time with at least four rush TD and no more than one pass TD over a three-start span. The only active QBs to have such a span are Jalen Hurts (2021) and Lamar Jackson (2019).
  • The Rams fell to the Ravens in overtime last week, 37-31, despite having 410 yards of total offense and no turnovers. It was only their second loss with 400+ total yards and zero turnovers in the Super Bowl era (also 2008 Week 17 at Atlanta).
  • Kyren Williams piled up 114 rushing yards against Baltimore, his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season, one behind Christian McCaffrey for the NFL lead. Since returning from injury in Week 12, Williams has averaged 143.0 scrimmage yards per game, best in the NFL.
  • Puka Nacua has 1113 receiving yards on the season, 360 away from tying the NFL rookie record set by Bill Groman in 1960 (1473). He needs 22 receptions to tie Jaylen Waddle for the all-time rookie record in catches (104).


DALLAS reached 10 wins for 3rd-straight season. Became 4th team in SB era (1996 Green Bay, 1999 St. Louis Rams & 2007 New England) with 8+ wins (8) by 20+ points in single season. • QB DAK PRESCOTT passed for 271 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 99.4 rating in Week 14. Aims for his 8th in row with 2+ TD passes. Leads NFL with 28 TD passes in 2023 & can reach 30 TD passes for 3rd time in his career (37 in 2021 & 30 in 2019). Passed for 355 yards & 2 TDs in last meeting. • RB TONY POLLARD tied his career high with 7 receptions & had 96 scrimmage yards (59 rush, 37 rec.) in Week 14. Has 1,081 scrimmage yards in 2023, his 3rd-straight 1,000-yard season. Is 1 of 2 (Christian McCaffrey) with 13 games of 50+ scrimmage yards in 2023. Has rush TD in 3 of his past 4. • WR CEEDEE LAMB had 8th rec. TD of season last week & aims for his 6th in row with TD catch. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 96 receptions & 3rd with 1,253 rec. yards in 2023. Needs 107 rec. yards for new career high (1,359 in 2022). • TE JAKE FERGUSON aims for his 3rd in row with 5+ receptions & 70+ rec. yards. • LB MICAH PARSONS has 12.5 sacks & joined HOFer Reggie White as only players since 1982 with 12+ sacks in each of 1st 3 seasons. Has 39 sacks & can become 5th player since 1982 with 40+ sacks in 1st 3 seasons. Has sack in 5 of 6 road games in 2023. • CB DARON BLAND had career-high 2 TFL last week. Leads NFL with 8 INTs & 5 INT-TDs in 2023, most INT-TDs in single season all-time. Has INT in 4 of his past 5 & PD in 9 of his past 10. • CB STEPHON GILMORE had career-high 9 tackles & 8th-career FF last week. Was selected No. 10 overall by Buf. in 2012 NFL Draft & had 62 PD & 14 INTs in 5 seasons (2012-16) with Bills.

QB JOSH ALLEN totaled 265 yards (233 pass, 32 rush) & 2 TDs (1 pass, 1 rush) last week, 9th game this season with both pass TD & rush TD, tied with Kyler Murray (2020) for most games ever in a season. Has rush TD in 6 of past 7. Has 2+ TD passes in 5 of 6 games in Buf. this season. Completed 19 of 24 atts. (79.2 pct.) for 231 yards & TD with 120.7 rating in last meeting. Is 3rd QB alltime with 25+ TD passes (25) & 10+ rush TDs (10) in a season. • RB JAMES COOK had 141 scrimmage yards (career-high 83 rec., 58 rush) & rec. TD last week, 4th-straight 100-yard game, longest streak of career. Has rec. TD in 2 of past 3. Ranks 3rd among RBs with career-high 1,180 scrimmage yards in 2023. • WR STEFON DIGGS has 70+ rec. yards in each of 4 games vs. NFC in 2023. Is only player in NFL with 8+ rec. TDs in each of last 4 seasons. Needs 7 rec. yards for 6th-straight 1,000-yard season. • WR GABE DAVIS has 55+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 at home. • TE DALTON KINCAID has 5+ catches in 7 straight games, longest active streak among TEs & longest streak ever by rookie TE. • S JORDAN POYER has 5+ tackles in 3 of past 4 in Buf. Had TFL in last meeting. Aims for 3rd in row vs. NFC with PD. • CB TARON JOHNSON led team with 9 tackles & had PD & 1st FR of season last week. Has 5+ tackles in 5 of past 6. Had 9 tackles & PD in last meeting. • CB CHRISTIAN BENFORD had 1st-career FF in Week 14. • LB TERREL BERNARD aims for 5th in row with 5+ tackles. Aims for 3rd in row at home with 0.5+ sacks. • DE GREG ROUSSEAU had PD & half sack in Week 14. Has TFL in 7 of his past 8 vs. NFC. • DT ED OLIVER had PD & half sack last week. Has sack in 2 of his past 3 at home. Had 2 sacks, FF & PD in last meeting.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Count out the Bills as much as you’d like, wide receiver Stefon Diggs is defiant and confident in believing Buffalo is in an ideal spot to make a late-season playoff push.

“We battled a lot, been battle-tested. And it’s a big thing being battled-tested,” Diggs said of a team that has spent much of the season lurching from one crisis to another – be it injuries, blown leads or coach Sean McDermott most recently having to publicly apologize for a clumsy remark he made four years ago in crediting the 9/11 hijackers for their communication skills.

Now it’s a matter for the Bills (7-6) proving they’re better than the team that has dropped five of eight and is left with little margin for error in opening a final four-week stretch by hosting the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys (10-3) on Sunday.

“Is the record a reflection of our team? I don’t think so. But it is the record,” Diggs said. “The only thing we can do is win the next game, win the next play.

“Because down this stretch, we get to see what we’re made of. And as a true competitor, if you’re a real competitor, that’s what you want. And I like being an underdog more than anything.”

The Cowboys might be riding high following a 33-13 rout of Philadelphia to nudge ahead of their division rivals, and a win or a tie away from clinching a third consecutive playoff berth. The challenge for the Cowboys is carrying over the momentum they’ve generated in winning five straight while spending much of the past month at home, and taking their high-octane offensive show on the road.

“Outdoors, northern climate, all those things. I think this is what you need as part of that opportunity,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said. “If things go right, and we’re able to get the momentum, grab those chunks of confidence that come with a good division win as we had (against the Eagles), this is an opportunity to go win and grow as a football team.”

The Cowboys have been superb at home, where they’re 7-0 and outscored their opponents by a combined margin of 279-108. They’re so-so, however, on the road in going 3-3 with a 142-125 edge in points.

“Right now it’s not about home or away. These are all playoff-type games,” quarterback Dak Prescott said. “It’s important for us to use this momentum and confidence that we gathered from the last month-and-a-half and make sure we take another step on the road.”

Fortunately for Dallas, the forecast Sunday has temperatures in the 40s with chances of rain in the late afternoon, which led to the Cowboys practicing with wet balls Thursday.

The Bills are hoping their playoffs chances don’t slip away entering a week in which they’re 11th in the AFC standings, but one of six teams at 7-6. Buffalo maintains an outside shot of winning its fourth consecutive division title after the Bills defeated the Chiefs last weekend and Miami fell to 9-4 following a loss to Tennessee.

The Bills have already defeated the Dolphins once, and the teams close the season with a matchup in Miami.

First things first, McDermott said.

“That obviously helped a little bit,” McDermott said, referring to the Dolphins’ loss. “Having said that, we’re focused obviously on what’s right in front of us with Dallas this week.”


Diggs lamented not having a chance to line up against his younger brother, Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs, who sustained a season-ending left knee injury in September.

“I really looked forward to a big fight out there,” said Stefon Diggs, noting he and his brother spent much of the offseason trading trash talk. The two will have to do it off the field, with Diggs saying his younger brother is scheduled to travel to Buffalo on Friday.


Star Dallas pass rusher Micah Parsons played through the flu to get the only sack of Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts last week. The 2021 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year was feeling much better Thursday when asked about the challenge of tackling Buffalo’s Josh Allen, and noting the QB doesn’t believe in sliding.

“You know, Josh reminds me a lot of that one crazy guy at the frat,” Parsons said. “I probably would have hated Josh in college, the one that makes his friends get all the way drunk and you just be, ‘Ah, man, I hate going out with this guy.’ He just does anything.”


Dallas’ CeeDee Lamb is third in the NFL in yards receiving, coming off a matchup with the No. 2 guy in Philadelphia’s A.J. Brown, and a week away from seeing the league leader in Miami’s Tyreek Hill.

Lamb puts Diggs in that elite category, even though he’s likely to finish ahead of him in yards for the first time in his four-year career. Lamb has a 1,253-993 edge in yards receiving on Diggs.

“Obviously you love to see it just because it shows how elite the other guys are on the opposite sideline,” Lamb said. “Not really a comparison situation, just ultimately coming out of the game with dub.”

  • The Bills have only hosted the Cowboys three times since their back-to-back Super Bowl matchups in 1993 and 1994, tied for their second-fewest home games versus any opponent since then. Buffalo is 2-1 in those games, holding Dallas under 10 points in each win.
  • Dak Prescott (271 passing yards, two touchdowns in Week 14) has recorded ten games with a passer rating above 95.0 this season. He’s the only quarterback in team history to have 10+ games with a 95.0+ passer rating in at least four seasons (2016, 2018, 2021, 2023).
  • Micah Parsons (one sack in Week 14) has now produced 12+ sacks in each of his first three seasons in the NFL, joining Reggie White as the only players to accomplish this feat.
  • Josh Allen has 25 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing scores this season. He’s the third quarterback in NFL history with 25+ passing touchdowns and 10+ rushing touchdowns in a season, joining Cam Newton (2015) and Kyler Murray (2020).
  • James Cook has produced 100+ scrimmage yards in four consecutive games for Buffalo. He’s the first Bills running back with 4+ straight games with 100 or more scrimmage yards since 2016 (LeSean McCoy). Only five running backs in Bills history have generated 100+ scrimmage yards in 5+ straight games.
  • A.J. Epenesa notched his second interception of the season for the Bills. He’s the third Bills defensive lineman with multiple interceptions in a single season and the first since 1997, joining Sean Moran (1997) and Ron McDole (1968).


RAVENS lead NFL in rushing offense (157.1 rush yards per game). • QB LAMAR JACKSON totaled 386 yards (316 pass, 70 rush) & had 3 TD passes with 92.8 rating last week, 3rd-career game with 300+ pass yards & 50+ rush yards & 1st this season. Has 5 TDs (4 pass, 1 rush) vs. INT & 108.3 rating in 2 career starts vs. Jax. Is 5-1 in 6 career starts on SNF & have won each of past 4. Leads QBs with 644 rush yards in 2023 & is 1st QB ever with 600+ rush yards in each of 1st 6 seasons. • RB GUS EDWARDS rushed for 52 yards & TD in last meeting. Has 9 rush TDs since Week 7, most in NFL. • RB KEATON MITCHELL (rookie) has 60+ scrimmage yards in 4 of past 5. • WR ZAY FLOWERS (rookie) had 6 catches for 60 yards & 3rd TD of season last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 5+ catches & rec. TD. Ranks 3rd among rookies with 64 catches, most-ever by rookie in franchise history. • WR ODELL BECKHAM JR. led team with 97 rec. yards & had 3rd TD catch of season in Week 14. Has 95+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Has 90+ rec. yards in 2 of 3 career games vs. Jax. • TE ISAIAH LIKELY (rookie) had career highs in catches (5) & rec. yards (83) & had 1st-career TD catch last week. • DT JUSTIN MADUBUIKE had season-high 7 tackles & sack last week & is 3rd player in past 10 seasons with 0.5+ sacks in 10 straight games. Has career-high 11 sacks in 2023. • DT TRAVIS JONES aims for 3rd in row with 0.5+ sacks. • LB ROQUAN SMITH led team with 10 tackles & had 2 TFL in Week 14. Has 2 INTs & FR in 2 career games vs. Jax. Ranks 3rd in NFL with 136 tackles this season. • S MARCUS WILLIAMS aims for 4th in row with 5+ tackles & PD.

QB TREVOR LAWRENCE completed season-high 28 of 50 atts. (56 pct.) for 257 yards & season-high 3 TDs last week, 6th-career game with 3+ TD passes. Aims for 5th in row with 250+ pass yards & has 2+ TD passes in 3 of past 4. Has 7 TDs (4 pass, 3 rush) vs. 0 INTs & 122.3 rating in his past 2 at home. Passed for 321 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs with 129.8 rating in last meeting. Has 7 TDs (4 pass, 3 rush) vs. 0 INTs with 100 rating in 5 career starts in primetime. • RB TRAVIS ETIENNE aims for 4th in row with 70+ scrimmage yards & 3rd in row with rush TD. Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 3 of 4 career games in primetime, with rush TD in each of past 2. Needs rush TD to become 4th Jax. player ever with 10+ rush TDs in a season. • WR CALVIN RIDLEY had 53 rec. yards last week & has 50+ rec. yards in 3 of past 4. Had 8 catches for 105 yards & TD in only career game on SNF (9/15/19 vs. Phi., w/ Atl.). • WR ZAY JONES aims for 3rd in row with 5+ catches. Had career highs in catches (11) & rec. yards (145) in last meeting. • WR PARKER WASHINGTON (rookie) aims for 3rd in row with rec. TD. • TE EVAN ENGRAM tied career high with 11 catches for season high 95 yards & 2 TDs, 2nd-career 2-TD game. Aims for 4th in row with 5+ catches & 3rd in row with 80+ rec. yards & rec. TD. Ranks 2nd among TEs with career-high 84 catches in 2023. • LB JOSH ALLEN had 5 tackles & 2 TFL last week, 3rd-straight game with TFL. Has 1.5+ sacks in 2 of past 3. Ranks tied-3rd in NFL with career-high 13.5 sacks, 2nd-most in single season in Jax. history. • LB FOYESADE OLUOKUN had TFL last week. Had 18 tackles & 3 TFL in last meeting. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 138 tackles in 2023. • LB DEVIN LLOYD had 11 tackles & 2nd FR of season last week. • CB DARIOUS WILLIAMS had 3 PD & 4th INT of season in Week 14. Ranks 2nd in NFL with career-high 19 PD in 2023.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) The Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t fared very well against the NFL’s elite defenses this season.

They’re 0-3 against Cleveland (ranked first), San Francisco (seventh) and Kansas City (sixth), and they’ve failed to top 300 yards against any of them. It’s a hurdle the Jaguars (8-5) need to overcome against Baltimore on Sunday night if they’re going to avoid a three-game skid and stay in the hunt for the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs.

The Ravens (10-3) rank second in yards allowed, second in points and lead the league with 49 sacks. They are 3 1/2-point favorites, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

“If you want to get to the end of the season where we’re all trying to get, you’re going to play teams with great defenses,” Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence said. “That’s what gets you there. That’s a big part of why teams are good. … Baltimore is a top team in the AFC right now. Defensively, they’re playing lights out.”

The Ravens have won seven of their last eight to move atop the conference. They have nine scenarios in which they would clinch a playoff spot with a victory in Jacksonville. More importantly, they want the home-field advantage that comes with being the top seed.

“We want it bad,” linebacker Patrick Queen said. “If we don’t get it, we make the playoffs, we’re still in there. We still can dance, and I think that’s the biggest thing. As long as we have our spot in there, then everything else will take care of itself.”

Jacksonville is trying to avoid a third consecutive loss to the AFC North. Coach Doug Pederson’s team struggled to stop the run against Cincinnati and then gave up way too many big plays against Cleveland.

Fixing those defensive lapses is high on the team’s to-do list, right up there with finding ways to generate more offense against another top-10 defense.

The Jaguars turned the ball over four times and finished with 293 yards in a 31-27 loss at Cleveland last week. They trailed 28-14 before scoring two touchdowns in the final 4 minutes.

In Week 10 against San Francisco, Jacksonville managed a season-low 221 yards in a 34-3 debacle against San Francisco. In Week 2 against Kansas City, the Jags also failed to score a touchdown and totaled 271 yards.

The common thread in all three losses: The Jaguars were outmatched with their offense on the field.

“It’s adversity. It’s what life is about; it’s what this league is about,” tight end Evan Engram said. “We’ve got the guys in here to figure it out and respond and turn this thing around. We’re sitting here at 8-5 and we know we can be better. We’re definitely going to go out and try to respond and get back in the win column.”


The Jaguars are playing on “Sunday Night Football” for the first time in 14 years. They have played in the prime-time slot 11 times previously, having alternated wins and losses. If the pattern holds, the Jaguars will beat Baltimore.

Jacksonville’s last Sunday night game came against Pittsburgh in 2008, a 26-21 loss.


Ravens defensive tackle Justin Madubuike has at least a half-sack in 10 consecutive games. If he extends the streak this weekend, he’ll tie the NFL record held by Jared Allen, Chris Jones, Trey Hendrickson and Shaun Ellis. His streak has drawn attention from opposing teams.

“I’m starting to notice it,” Madubuike said. “A lot of double teams the last game. … It’s coming, but that’s just what comes with it.”


The Jaguars are 2-4 at EverBank Stadium this season, hardly the kind of success they had hoped to find at home. Defensive communication was an issue in their last home game, a 34-31 loss to Cincinnati in overtime in another prime-time matchup, and something they hope to clean up against the Ravens.

“We need to play with our hairs on fire,” pass rusher Josh Allen said. “We need to come out fighting and swinging. Our back’s against the wall right now, and we’ve got to respond like it.”


Baltimore star Lamar Jackson is closing in on career highs in both completions and yards passing. He completed 265 passes for 3,127 yards in his MVP season of 2019. This year, he’s up to 252 and 2,934.

Last weekend against the Rams, Jackson connected on a couple deep touchdown passes – 54 yards to Isaiah Likely and 46 yards to Odell Beckham Jr.

“Getting the ball down the field is a point of emphasis really every week, but there are different ways to do it,” coach John Harbaugh said. “For Lamar to see those two guys downfield was pretty awesome. We’ll keep working on that. That’s a big part of it. The better we can get throwing the ball down the field, we’re going to be a lot tougher to deal with.”

  • Jacksonville overcame a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Ravens last year. The Jaguars have overcome a two-score deficit in the fourth quarter six times in franchise history and four of them have been against the Ravens (two in 1996, 1999 & 2022).
  • The Ravens own the best record in the AFC. The only time Baltimore finished a season with the best record in the conference was 2019, when the team ended up losing to the Titans in the divisional round of the playoffs.
  • The Ravens trailed for 30:31 last week, and Lamar Jackson threw for 298 of his 316 yards while the Ravens were losing in the game. Jackson leads the NFL with a 114.0 passer rating when his team is trailing in a game this season (minimum 50 attempts).
  • The Jaguars’ next win will clinch a winning record for the second straight season (9-8 last season). It would be the first time with back-to-back winning seasons since 2004-2005. Their longest streak is four straight winning seasons from 1996 to 1999.
  • Travis Etienne Jr. has scored 10 touchdowns this year, the 11th player in Jaguars history to reach double-digit touchdowns in a season. Etienne is one of 12 players this season with at least 10 TD and the second youngest of that group (only Kyren Williams is younger).
  • The Jaguars have scored a touchdown on each of their last eight drives into the red zone. It is tied for the third-longest streak in franchise history (longest were 11 in 2015 and 10 in 2017) and tied for the fourth longest by any NFL team this season.


QB JALEN HURTS has 8 games with both pass TD & rush TD in 2023 & can become 3rd QB ever (Josh Allen – 2023 & Kyler Murray – 2020) with 9 such games in single season. Aims for his 5th in row on MNF with rush TD. Has 3,192 pass yards in 2023, his 3rd-straight 3,000-yard season. • RB D’ANDRE SWIFT has 1,030 scrimmage yards in 2023, his 2nd-career 1,000-yard season & ranks 4th in NFL with career-high 822 rush yards this season. Has TD in 3 of his past 4 road games. Aims for his 3rd in row on MNF with 100+ scrimmage yards. • WR A.J. BROWN had 9 catches for 94 yards last week. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 1,258 rec. yards & 5th with career-high 90 receptions in 2023. Has 6+ catches & 75+ rec. yards in 8 of his past 9 road games. • WR DEVONTA SMITH aims for his 5th in row with 5+ catches & 7th in row with 50+ rec. yards. Has 907 rec. yards in 2023, his 3rd-straight 900-yard season. • LB HAASON REDDICK had 2 sacks in Week 14 & has 11 sacks in 2023, his 4th-straight 11+ sack season. Has 7 games with 2+ sacks since 2022, 2nd-most in NFL. Aims for his 6th in row on road with sack. Has 7 TFL in 8 career games vs. Sea. • DT FLETCHER COX had 4th sack of season & 16th-career FF last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with sack. • DT JALEN CARTER (rookie) had 1st-career FR-TD last week. • CB JAMES BRADBERRY has PD in 3 of his 4 career games vs. Sea. • LB SHAQUILLE LEONARD had FF in his only career game vs. Sea. (9/12/21 w/ Ind.) • CB DARIUS SLAY had 3 PD in Week 14 & has 15 PD this season. Aims for his 4th in row in primetime with 2+ PD. • S KEVIN BYARD ranks 5th among DBs with 94 tackles in 2023 & ranks 2nd among DBs with 651 tackles since 2017.

QB GENO SMITH needs 82 pass yards for 3rd-career 3,000- yard season. Aims for his 4th in row on MNF with TD pass & 90+ rating. Has 2+ TD passes in 3 of his past 4 home starts. • QB DREW LOCK passed for 269 yards & 2 TDs in 1st start with Sea. last week. Can make home debut for Sea. in Week 15. • RB KENNETH WALKER had 54 scrimmage yards (33 rec., 21 rush) in Week 14. Has 531 scrimmage yards (106.2 per game) & 3 TDs (2 rush, 1 rec.) in 5 home games this season. Aims for his 3rd in row in primetime with 75+ scrimmage yards. • RB ZACH CHARBONNET (rookie) has 50+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5. Aims for his 4th in row at home with 50+ scrimmage yards. • WR DK METCALF has 864 rec. yards & 7 rec. TDs in 2023 & can become 3rd player ever (A.J. Green & HOFer Randy Moss) with 900+ rec. yards & 5+ rec. TDs in each of 1st 5 career seasons. Aims for his 3rd in row with TD catch. Had 10 catches for career high 177 yards in last meeting. • WR TYLER LOCKETT had 6 catches for 89 yards last week & has 5+ catches in 4 of his past 5. • LB BOBBY WAGNER leads NFC with 132 tackles in 2023. Aims for his 3rd in row with TFL. Has 10+ tackles in 3 of his past 4 Monday games. • LB JORDYN BROOKS has 102 tackles this season, his 3rdstraight 100+ tackle season. • DE LEONARD WILLIAMS aims for his 3rd in row with sack & 4th in row with TFL. • CB DEVON WITHERSPOON leads all rookies with 16 PD & has PD in 11 of his 12 career games. • CB RIQ WOOLEN had 5th-career FR last week. • S JULIAN LOVE had 7th-career INT & 2nd-career FF last week.

SEATTLE (AP) Nick Sirianni isn’t yet feeling a growing anxiety or concern about what’s happened the past two weeks with Philadelphia.

Pete Carroll seems to be feeling every bit of the worry about what’s happened with Seattle.

The two slumping teams will meet on Monday night, each trying to snap losing streaks and where a win could dramatically alter how the final three weeks of the regular season are viewed.

“We’re not hitting a panic button as far as, ‘we’ve got to do everything.’ We didn’t play well and we didn’t coach good the last two weeks,” Sirianni said with the Eagles having lost two straight. “We didn’t play good enough and we didn’t coach good enough the last two weeks to win the games. It wasn’t up to our standard, so we’re pissed and we’re looking for ways to fix that.”

The Eagles (10-3) are no longer alone atop the NFC East after last week’s loss to Dallas. They no longer have the inside track at the No. 1 seed in the NFC after losing to San Francisco two weeks ago and thus the 49ers holding the tiebreaker. Since Sirianni took charge in Philadelphia before the 2021 season, the Eagles’ only three-game losing streak came in his first month as a head coach.

But the Eagles can wrap up a postseason spot with a victory.

Seattle would love for its playoff hopes to be that simple.

The current freefall facing the Seahawks (6-7) is even more significant. They’ve lost four straight for the first time in Carroll’s tenure. They’ve got from being firmly entrenched in the NFC playoff conversation to now on the outside in a muddled pack trying to find their way back into contention.

A win over the Eagles would dramatically change Seattle’s fortunes – and playoff odds – especially with a final three games that appear far more manageable than the past few weeks have been.

“There is so much at stake from this point forward. There’s so much, with five other teams that are vying for this spot,” Carroll said. “It’s a run to the finish and see who wins the race. It’s exciting, and we got to make the most of it and be tuned into it.”


The Eagles and Seahawks had the honor of becoming the first game the league has flexed from a Sunday to Monday as part of the league’s agreements with its broadcast partners. Games being moved around on Sundays has become commonplace on the calendar, but this was the first time a game was moved from Sunday to Monday.

Originally, the Chiefs were scheduled to face the Patriots as the last game of Week 15. And despite asking the Eagles to travel cross country for a Monday night game, they won’t face a short week. Philadelphia was already scheduled to be one of the three games played on Christmas this season.


Seattle wide receiver DK Metcalf was in the spotlight again last week for reacting to a hit from behind by San Francisco’s Fred Warner during an interception return that led to a minor scuffle between both teams. Metcalf was one of two players ejected for the small melee.

He’d like the conversation to turn back to his production on the field and replicate what he’s done in the past against the Eagles. Two of the biggest games of his career have come the past two times Seattle and Philadelphia have played.

In the 2019 playoff meeting, Metcalf had seven catches for 160 yards and a touchdown. When the teams met the following season, he had an even bigger game with 10 receptions for 177 yards, which is still his career high in yards receiving.


Seattle is hopeful that not playing last week and an extra day of rest with the Monday game will allow starting quarterback Geno Smith to return from a groin injury. Smith was a spectator while Drew Lock made his first start with Seattle and his first start since the final week of the 2021 season.

There was good and bad that came with Lock’s performance. He threw for 269 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but one of his two interceptions was a poor decision and a poorly thrown ball. Lock was able to extend plays with his feet, but also missed a couple of opportunities to run for potential big gains.

Seattle would like to have its starter back, but feels confident if Lock needs to go again.


The matchup could feature two of the leading contenders for defensive rookie of the year and two players who were highly rumored to be of interest to the other team going into the draft.

Seattle defensive back Devon Witherspoon and Philadelphia defensive lineman Jalen Carter are two of the leaders in the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year conversation.

Carter was rumored to be a target of the Seahawks to help with their defensive line, while the Eagles were thought to be interested in Witherspoon to bolster their secondary.

Both teams seem pretty happy with how things played out. Witherspoon has 16 passes defensed, three sacks and one interception. Carter has four sacks, two forced fumbles and last week returned a fumble for a touchdown.

Whether both are on the field on Monday is still unknown after Witherspoon left last week’s game in the first half with a hip pointer.

  • Including the playoffs, the Eagles have lost seven straight games against the Seahawks, their longest losing streak against any opponent since dropping nine in a row against the Giants between the 1997 and 2000 seasons.
  • Philadelphia has dropped two straight games by at least 20 points for the first time since Weeks 11-12 of 2015. Only two teams have reached the Super Bowl after suffering consecutive 20-point losses — the 2008 Cardinals and the 1979 Rams (both lost in SB).
  • Hassan Reddick now has 27.0 sacks since arriving in Philly last season, the most in any two-year span by an Eagle since Clyde Simmons (32.0) and Reggie White (29.0) in 1991-1992. The only players with more sacks since 2022 are Myles Garrett (29) and Nick Bosa (28).
  • The Seahawks have dropped four straight following their loss to the 49ers, the team’s longest losing streak under Pete Carroll. During that time (since 2010), every other NFL team has endured multiple losing streaks or four or more games.
  • Including the postseason, DK Metcalf is one of two players all-time to record 150 receiving yards in consecutive games against the Eagles, along with Woodley Lewis in the late 1950s (Chicago Cardinals). The only NFL player to do this in three straight games against a single opponent was Steve Smith Sr. against the Bears (2005 — 2011).
  • Heading into the team’s Week 10 bye, Jalen Hurts had a 121.0 passer rating when targeting A.J. Brown (72.8 comp%, 1005 yards, 6 TDs, 2 INTs). Since then, that rating has dropped to 76.1 (59.0 comp%, 253 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT).