BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL-NCC/AREA

NCC

Guerin Catholic 55, Logansport 47

Harrison 66, Rossville 63

Tech 79, Richmond 51

Kokomo 79, Marion 76

McCutcheon at Harrison , 7:30 pm, ppd.

Saturday, Dec. 19

Connersville at Richmond, 7:30 pm

Delta at Central, 7:30 pm

Bishop Dwenger at Marion, 7:30 pm

Tech at Cathedral, 7:30 pm

Lebanon at Harrison, 7:30 pm

Logansport at Maconaquah, 7:30 pm

Mississinewa at Kokomo, 6 pm

TEC

Cowan 63, Tri 53

Eastern Hancock 60, Knightstown 34

Shenandoah 67, Northeastern 64…Kolden Vanlandingham 36

Winchester 78, Union County 45

Saturday, Dec. 19

Lincoln at Eastern Hancock, 7:30 pm

Centerville at Rushville, 7:30 pm, ppd.

Hagerstown at Monroe Central, 7:30 pm

Tri at Union City , 6 pm, ppd.

Union County at Knightstown, 7:30 pm

MEC

Christel House 72, Union (Modoc) 48

Cowan 63, Tri 53

Daleville 68, Blue River 60

Eastern Hancock 60, Knightstown 34

Monroe Central 57, Lapel 49

Shenandoah 67, Northeastern 64

Tri-Central 75, Randolph Southern 62

Wapahani 73, Wes-Del 47

Randolph Southern at Seton Catholic, 7:30 pm, ppd.

Saturday, Dec. 19

Alexandria at Wapahani, 7:30 pm, ppd.

Lincoln at Eastern Hancock, 7:30 pm

Daleville at Wes-Del , 7:30 pm

Hagerstown at Monroe Central, 7:30 pm

Shenandoah vs. Leo, 3:30 pm, Grace College

Wabash at Wapahani, 7:30 pm

Connersville Christian at Union (Modoc), 11 am, Union

Fishers Christian at Union (Modoc), 3 pm, Union

EASTERN INDIANA

Connersville 69, South Dearborn 38

Greensburg 73, Jennings County 63

Madison 97, Lawrenceburg 47

Rushville at Lawrenceburg , 7:30 pm, ppd.

Saturday, Dec. 19

Centerville at Rushville, 7:30 pm, ppd.

Connersville at Richmond, 7:30 pm

East Central at Batesville, 2:30 pm

Franklin County at Greensburg , 7:30 pm

HOOSIER HERITAGE

Friday, Dec. 18

Greenfield 54, Yorktown 50

New Palestine 82, New Castle 75, OT

University 64, Pendleton Heights 45

Jay County at Delta, 7:30 pm, ppd.

Saturday, Dec. 19

Delta at Central, 7:30 pm

Franklin Central at New Palestine, 7:30 pm

Mount Vernon at Southport, 7:30 pm, ppd.

Burris at New Castle, 7:30 pm

Pendleton Heights at Guerin Catholic, 7:30 pm

COMPLETE BOYS SCOREBOARD

Andrean 70, Kankakee Valley 46

Argos 79, S. Bend Career Academy 63

Avon 57, Brownsburg 50

Beech Grove 68, Indpls Washington 56

Bluffton 75, Garrett 50

Carmel 56, Indpls N. Central 49

Carroll (Ft. Wayne) 55, Ft. Wayne Wayne 35

Cass 56, Tipton 43

Central Christian 60, Bethesda Christian 47

Central Noble 56, W. Noble 47

Connersville 37, S. Dearborn 34

Corydon 68, Scottsburg 66, OT

Covenant Christian 77, Indpls Chatard 65

Cowan 63, Tri 53

Crown Point 76, Munster 61

Daleville 68, Blue River 60

DeKalb 63, Norwell 56

Eastern Hancock 60, Knightstown 34

Edinburgh 59, Hauser 54

Eminence 40, Traders Point Christian 35, 2OT

Ev. Mater Dei 77, N. Posey 53

Evansville Christian 79, Cannelton 28

Fairfield 59, Hamilton 16

Faith Christian 50, N. Vermillion 25

Floyd Central 62, Providence 40

Fountain Central 51, Attica 45

Ft. Wayne Blackhawk 82, Ft. Wayne Canterbury 42

Ft. Wayne Dwenger 68, Ft. Wayne Concordia 63

Ft. Wayne Snider 100, Ft. Wayne North 78

Ft. Wayne South 63, Ft. Wayne Northrop 51

Glenn 53, Columbia City 47

Greencastle 57, Edgewood 48

Greenfield 54, Yorktown 50

Greensburg 73, Jennings Co. 63

Guerin Catholic 55, Logansport 47

Hamilton Southeastern 65, Fishers 51

Heritage 69, S. Adams 61

Heritage Hills 61, Crawford Co. 34

Homestead 94, Ft. Wayne Luers 56

Illiana Christian 59, Boone Grove 47

Indpls Attucks 63, Merrillville 51

Indpls Lutheran 57, Southwestern (Shelby) 44

Indpls Scecina 61, Speedway 58

Indpls Tech 79, Richmond 51

Indpls Tindley 62, Indpls Brebeuf 57

Jac-Cen-Del 72, Southwestern (Hanover) 67

Knox 42, Caston 34

Kokomo 79, Marion 76

LaVille 51, Pioneer 35

Lafayette Harrison 66, Rossville 63

Lanesville 44, Henryville 40

Lawrence Central 69, Indpls Pike 64

Lebanon 57, Western 54, 3OT

Maconaquah 73, Eastern (Greentown) 60

Madison 97, Lawrenceburg 47

Madison-Grant 64, Mississinewa 51

Mishawaka Marian 53, Elkhart 50

Monroe Central 57, Lapel 49

Morgan Twp. 63, Hebron 47

Muncie Burris 66, Eastbrook 65

N. Central (Farmersburg) 64, Ev. Day 60

N. Harrison 45, Brownstown 43

N. Miami 53, Rochester 44

N. Putnam 79, S. Putnam 43

New Haven 96, Adams Central 47

New Palestine 82, New Castle 75, OT

New Prairie 70, Jimtown 45

NorthWood 42, Plymouth 32

Northfield 54, Wabash 52

Northridge 37, Valparaiso 30

Oak Hill 52, Frankton 43

Orleans 48, Monrovia 43

Plainfield 50, Indpls Perry Meridian 37

Princeton 53, Vincennes 42

S. Bend Adams 69, LaPorte 52

S. Bend St. Joseph’s 81, S. Bend Riley 73

S. Decatur 67, Morristown 66

S. Knox 96, Washington Catholic 16

S. Spencer 59, Gibson Southern 42

Shenandoah 67, Northeastern 64

Silver Creek 77, Jeffersonville 67

Southmont 62, Western Boone 56

Taylor 67, Indpls Manual 48

Tell City 45, Tecumseh 34

Terre Haute North 33, Bloomington South 22

Terre Haute South 57, S. Vermillion 51

Tri-Central 75, Randolph Southern 62

Trinity Lutheran 56, Switzerland Co. 52

Triton Central 56, Cascade 55

Twin Lakes 72, Frankfort 63

University 64, Pendleton Hts. 45

Victory Christian Academy 91, Clinton Christian 27

Warren Central 61, Indpls Ben Davis 51

Warsaw 63, Wawasee 48

Westfield 97, Bowman Academy 66

Winchester 78, Union Co. 45

Zionsville 57, Franklin Central 50

GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL-NCC/AREA

NCC

Anderson 61, Central 46

Richmond 61, Tech 19

Lafayette Jeff at Logansport , 6 pm, ppd.

Saturday, Dec. 19

Kokomo at Eastbrook, 7:30 pm, ppd.

Logansport at Winamac, 1:30 pm, ppd.

Randolph Southern at Central, 1 pm

TEC

Eastern Hancock 65, Knightstown 14

Hagerstown 56, Centerville 11

Tri 48, Union County 35

Union City 82, Lincoln 23

Cowan at Tri, 6 pm, ppd.

Saturday, Dec. 19

Centerville at Blue River, 7:30 pm

Morristown at Tri, 7:30 pm

Northeastern at Hagerstown , 1:30 pm

Waldron at Knightstown, 1:30 pm

MEC

Eastern Hancock 65, Knightstown 14

Christel House at Union, 6 pm, ppd.

Cowan at Tri, 6 pm, ppd.

Saturday, Dec. 19

Centerville at Blue River, 7:30 pm

Daleville at Wes-Del , 6 pm

Randolph Southern at Central, 1 pm

EASTERN INDIANA

Friday, Dec. 18

Connersville 37, South Dearborn 34

Greensburg 56, Batesville 41

Franklin County at Oldenburg, 6 pm, ppd.

Saturday, Dec. 19

Greensburg at South Ripley, 3:30 pm

Rushville at Lawrenceburg © , 1:30 pm

South Decatur at Batesville, 6 pm

HOOSIER HERITAGE

Saturday, Dec. 19

Delta at Greenfield , 1:30 pm

Franklin at Shelbyville, 2:30 pm

Mt. Vernon at North Central, 1:30 pm, ppd.

New Palestine at Mt. Vernon, noon

COMPLETE GIRLS SCOREBOARD

Alexandria 66, Eastbrook 54

Anderson 61, Muncie Central 46

Brown Co. 56, Cloverdale 33

Brownsburg 44, Avon 31

Carroll (Flora) 70, Rossville 24

Chesterton 50, Valparaiso 36

Connersville 37, S. Dearborn 34

Danville 50, Lebanon 45

Eastern Hancock 65, Knightstown 14

Edgewood 54, Indian Creek 33

Fountain Central 50, Attica 43

Franklin 77, Greenwood 29

Ft. Wayne Blackhawk 83, Ft. Wayne Canterbury 19

Ft. Wayne South 61, Ft. Wayne Northrop 39

Goshen 57, Northridge 54

Greensburg 56, Batesville 41

Griffith 61, Calumet 43

Hammond Morton 64, Gary 21st Century 20

Hammond Noll 60, Lake Station 48

Hanover Central 44, Wheeler 25

Homestead 50, Ft. Wayne Luers 39

Indpls Chatard 53, Covenant Christian 21

Indpls Lutheran 47, Indiana Deaf 43

Indpls N. Central 48, Carmel 36

Indpls Roncalli 52, Indpls Brebeuf 15

Lawrence North 48, Warren Central 40

Martinsville 73, Plainfield 67

Mishawaka Marian 84, Elkhart 38

Mooresville 66, Decatur Central 33

New Albany 50, Ev. North 47

Prairie Hts. 46, Churubusco 42

Richmond 61, Indpls Tech 19

S. Central (Elizabeth) 68, Christian Academy 18

S. Central (Union Mills) 64, Oregon-Davis 40

Sullivan 47, Greencastle 30

Tri 48, Union Co. 35

Trinity Lutheran 64, Southwestern (Hanover) 48

Union City 82, Cambridge City 23

W. Noble 49, Central Noble 32

Waldron 57, N. Decatur 34

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Oregon 31 #13 USC 24

Ball State 38 Buffalo 28

Alabama Birmingham 22 Marshall 13

Nebraska 28 Rutgers 21

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#8 West Virginia 70 Iowa State 65

#10 Tennessee 103 Tennessee Tech 49

BYU 72 #18 San Diego State 62

Gardner Webb 88 VMI 77

North Carolina A&T 91 Greensboro 45

Western Michigan 76 Central Michigan 61

Niagara 68 Fairfield 51

North Carolina Wilmington 80 Norfolk State 72

Southern Illinois 62 North Dakota 50

Howard 81 Hampton 76

Monmouth 78 St. Peter’s 76

Richmond 75 Loyola Chicago 73

Southern Illinois Edwardsville 69 Morehead State 65

Montana 78 Dickinson State 51

Presbyterian 62 South Carolina State 56

Bowling Green 85 Robert Morris 65

Drake 75 South Dakota 57

Georgia Tech 74 Florida A&M 64

Western Carolina 76 Charleston 70 OT

Northern Illinois 64 Chicago State 54

Iona 70 Rider 56

Davidson 67 Rhode Island 58

Tulsa 82 Northwestern State 55

Belmont 88 Tennessee State 63

Wichita State 73 Emporia State 57

Tennessee Martin 69 SE. Missouri State 67

Idaho State 113 AIC 46

Utah State 63 Northern Colorado 50

Washington State 82 Montana State 54

Nevada 74 Air Force 57

Weber State 94 Portland State 66

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#6 Arizona 62 Colorado 59

#7 Baylor 136 Northwestern State 43

#13 Mississippi State 79 Southern 55

#22 Texas 101 Drake 80

Michigan State 79 Central Michigan 70

Toledo 77 Duquesne 74

NBA PRE-SEASON

Philadelphia 113 Indiana 107

Miami 117 Toronto 105

New York 119 Cleveland 83

Brooklyn 113 Boston 89

New Orleans 127 Milwaukee 113

Chicago 105 Oklahoma City 103

Denver 129 Portland 96

LA Lakers 114 Phoenix 113

BALL STATE WINS MAC TITLE

Ball State coach Mike Neu had plenty of motivational material at his disposal for the Mid-American Conference title game.

There was no question which team was favored – and which player was supposed to be the star.

“I made sure our guys knew that we were underdogs,” Neu said. “Our mindset was, it’s Ball State against the world. That’s fine. We wouldn’t want to have it any other way.”

Drew Plitt threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score in the first half, and Ball State kept Buffalo running back Jaret Patterson under control in a 38-28 victory over the 23rd-ranked Bulls on Friday night.

The Cardinals (6-1) won their first MAC championship since 1996, the year before the title game originated. They held Patterson to 47 yards on 18 carries after he’d been averaging over 200 a game. Patterson left with an apparent right leg injury in the third quarter, although he was able to return in the fourth.

By then, Buffalo (5-1) was playing catch-up. The game turned when Ball State scored three touchdowns in the final 5:55 of the first half to take a 35-21 lead.

The Bulls trailed by 10 and had the ball in the red zone when running back Kevin Marks dropped a fourth-down pass in the final quarter.

Buffalo, which hadn’t played a game closer than 19 points in this short season, was trying for its first MAC title since 2008. That year, the Bulls knocked off an undefeated and nationally ranked Ball State team for the championship. The Cardinals returned the favor this time.

Patterson came into the game with 1,025 yards rushing in five games, but he didn’t make much of an impact on this night, and his team was down 38-21 when he left in the third. Marks ran for a 67-yard touchdown in that quarter, passing a clapping Patterson on the sideline, but there was no more scoring after that.

Patterson had only one carry after coming back in the game.

Even with Patterson unexpectedly bottled up, Buffalo led 21-14 in the second quarter. Then the Cardinals scored three touchdowns in succession.

Plitt’s 9-yard scoring pass to Justin Hall tied it at 21. Then the Bulls left Jalen McGaughy open downfield on third-and-12, and Plitt found him for a 56-yard scoring strike with 1:30 remaining.

That left Buffalo trailing for the first time all season, and Ball State wasn’t done. Jimmy Daw – who also blocked a field goal in the game – knocked the ball away from quarterback Kyle Vantrease, and Christian Albright returned the fumble 34 yards for a touchdown with 48 seconds to play in the half. That was the first sack Buffalo had allowed all season, and it was a costly one.

“I thought we really couldn’t get Jaret on track,” Buffalo coach Lance Leipold said. “We never really got the momentum to keep kind of hammering away at the running game there, from the second quarter on.”

The start of the game felt routine for Buffalo, which took a 7-0 lead on a 3-yard run by Patterson just 3:01 into the first quarter. But Patterson didn’t have a carry longer than 8 yards all game. He averaged 8.3 per carry through the first five games.

“They’re a super experienced group, especially those front seven guys,” Vantrease said. “Big, fast, physical, came down hard.”

Plitt found Yo’Heinz Tyler for a 10-yard touchdown to tie it at 7. Then Vantrease answered with a 24-yard scoring pass to Trevor Wilson.

Plitt scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak on fourth down, but Vantrease connected with Wilson for a 57-yard pass that set up a 1-yard touchdown run by the Buffalo quarterback. At that point, Vantrease was 10 of 11 for 196 yards, but the Bulls weren’t doing enough defensively to build a comfortable lead.

THE TAKEAWAY

Ball State: The Cardinals made Patterson look ordinary even before his injury, and they moved the ball almost at will in the first half. Ball State’s offense and defense both deserve credit for this win. Buffalo hadn’t scored fewer than 42 points in a game all season.

“Our defense does not get enough credit. They rose to the challenge,” Neu said. “All that was talked about was this team that we were facing was leading the country in scoring, leading the country in rushing. They’ve got a running back that’s up for the Heisman. … It was preached in our building that you can’t beat 11 hats to the football.”

Buffalo: The swing at the end of the first half was decisive, but the Bulls never really had control. Their running game wasn’t consistently explosive, and it took too long for their defense to slow down Ball State.

LONG TIME COMING

Plitt is a fifth-year senior, and this is the first time Ball State has had a winning record since he arrived.

“I’m speechless, really. It’s crazy,” he said. “Way back in 2016, there was a group message that we had with all the incoming freshmen, and we were talking about, we’re going to be the ones to change the program. And now we’re here. We’re the ones that did it.”

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES

In its first five games, Buffalo had 20 touchdowns in 21 red zone trips, but against Ball State, the Bulls came up empty on a couple big ones. A 27-yard field goal was blocked early in the second quarter with Buffalo up 14-7. In the fourth, the Bulls reached the 14 before Marks dropped the pass on fourth down.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Buffalo’s stay in the Top 25 is presumably over now.

UP NEXT

Both teams have bowl-worthy resumes, although there’s no telling how the postseason will go in this pandemic-affected season.

ALABAMA BIRMINGHAM WINS CONFERENCE USA TITLE

Trea Shropshire had five receptions for 180 yards – including a 71-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter – and Spencer Brown had 30 carries for 149 yards rushing to help UAB beat Marshall 22-13 on Friday night for the Blazers’ second Conference USA championship in the last three years.

Tyler Johnston III was 12-of-22 passing for 252 yards and two touchdowns for UAB (6-3).

UAB became the first school to reach the championship game for the third straight season, all on the road. The Blazers, who resumed their football program in 2017 after it was cut following the 2014 season, won the title at Middle Tennessee in 2018 and lost at Florida Atlantic last year.

Grant Wells was 8-of-23 passing for 138 yards and two touchdowns for the Thundering Herd (7-2).

UAB was clinging to a two-point lead and facing a third-and-6 from its own 29 when Johnston lofted a ball to Shropshire, who caught it near midfield and raced to the end zone to cap the scoring with 4:02 left.

Marshall entered the game with the nation’s top scoring defense (11.4 points per game) and the second-best rushing defense (73 yards per game). The Thundering Herd gave up more than 20 points for the first time this season and allowed a season-high 216 yards rushing.

Marshall, which won its first seven games and rose as high as No. 15 in the AP poll, went three-and-out five times, and didn’t have a drive of longer than 24 yards, in its first eight possessions. Eli Neal recovered a fumble by UAB’s Tyler Johnson III near midfield to set up a six-play, 49-yard drive capped by a 7-yard touchdown pass from Wells to Artie Henry with 6:17 left in the third quarter to trim the Thundering Herd’s deficit to 9-7.

Wells hit Xavier Gaines in stride for a 70-yard touchdown catch-and-run but the 2-point conversion attempt failed and Marshall trailed 15-13 with 5:38 remaining. Three plays from scrimmage later, Shropshire’s TD sealed it.

WILL NOTRE DAME OR CLEMSON SKIP COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF?

Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney both expressed concerns about playing a College Football Playoff semifinal game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on New Year’s Day if players’ families aren’t allowed to attend.

Kelly even went as far as to say “I’m not sure we’ll play in the playoffs if the parents can’t be there.”

The Rose Bowl announced earlier this month that due to COVID-19-related restrictions put in place by the state of California no fans will be allowed at the game.

The coaches’ comments came during a videoconference call Friday on the eve of the ACC Championship game in Charlotte, North Carolina between the second-ranked Fighting Irish and the No. 4 Tigers.

“Why would we play if you can’t have families at the game?” Kelly said. “If you can’t have families at bowl games, why would you go to a game where your families can’t be part of it? What’s the sense of playing a game in an area of the country where nobody can be part of it?”

Swinney suggested the game should be moved to another location if families aren’t allowed to attend.

“Whether we’re in (the game) or whoever is in it, I don’t care, it makes no sense to me to put a put a bunch of kids on a plane and fly them all the way to California to play in an empty stadium,” Swinney said. “That makes zero sense when you have plenty of stadiums where you can have fans, and most importantly, you can have families.”

Swinney pointed out that each family receives a $2,500 stipend to attend games and that the families of all four playoff teams should have the same opportunity to watch the game in person. The other CFP semifinal game will be played Jan. 1 at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The College Football Playoff national championship will be Jan. 11 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

“This is a year a year where everyone has had to make adjustments and (move to the game) to me would be a pretty simple one to make,” Swinney said.

Kelly agreed.

“Why can’t it be the Rose Bowl in Las Vegas or can it be the Rose Bowl in another town?” Kelly said. “Where’s the flexibility for the student-athlete is all I’m saying. The one thing these kids have been is incredibly flexible, and then on the other side we can’t be flexible? It’s hard to imagine.

Kelly said he’s only echoing the concerns of his players.

“I’m not the guy out there making this up because it’s not about my family,” Kelly said. “It’s about their family, so I’m a voice for our team, and they’re concerned. They’re focused on the ACC championship. That’s where their focus is. They’re not going to be speaking about these things. But, if in fact we’re selected to be a part of it, this will then be No. 1 on their radar, so then I’ll have to address it with our leaders as to how they feel about this.”

Kelly said his players have been on campus since June and haven’t seen their families much at all.

“They’ve had to fight through COVID, some of them have had COVID,” Kelly said. “They can’t be around their families for Christmas, and you’re going to tell me we’re going to have a playoff and maybe one site can have families and the other can’t? Please.

“Somebody’s got to wake up in that room and figure this out or you might as well call this the professional league. I am so sick and tired of this playoff committee talking about having sites where you can’t have parents at and their families. It’s ridiculous.”

The CFP selection committee does not control where the game will be played. That’s up to the management committee, which is made up of the 10 FBS conference commissioners and Notre Dame’s athletic director.

UTAH WON’T PLAY IN BOWL GAME

Utah’s game Saturday against Washington State will wrap up the Utes’ season.

The school said Friday the players have decided to opt out of any potential bowl game. The Utes would become bowl eligible with a victory over the Cougars.

Coach Kyle Whittingham says he supports the players’ decision.

Utah (2-2) has won its last two games, including a 38-21 victory at Colorado last Saturday.

ALABAMA OC TO INTERVIEW FOR AUBURN JOB

Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is expected to interview for Auburn’s head coaching vacancy following Saturday’s SEC championship game, sources told AL.com’s John Talty and Matt Zenitz.

The meeting is likely to take place Sunday, as the 46-year-old made it clear that he didn’t want to be in communication about the job until after the game, per Talty and Zenitz.

Sarkisian joined the Crimson Tide in 2019 after two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and quickly emerged as one of the most sought-after assistants in college football. He was viewed as a top candidate for Mississippi State’s and Colorado State’s head coaching vacancy last year.

The offensive guru is currently tied with Auburn interim coach Kevin Steele as the nation’s highest-paid assistant coach at $2.5 million per season.

Sarkisian has been the driving force of one of the nation’s top scoring attacks since joining Alabama. He even stepped in to coach the Iron Bowl when Nick Saban was forced out due to COVID-19. The Crimson Tide are 10-0 and rank third in the FBS with 49.5 points per game.

The Tigers fired Gus Malzahn on Sunday after posting a 68-35 record over eight campaigns.

Sarkisian has previous head coaching experience at the collegiate level. He led Washington from 2009-2013 and USC from 2014-2015, earning a 46-35 record overall.

NOTRE DAME VS. CLEMSON GAME NOTES

(NOTRE DAME NOTES)

BY THE NUMBERS: .909 The winningest quarterback in Notre Dame history, QB Ian Book is 30-3 (.909) as a starter, making him one of only two FBS quarterbacks to boast a .900 or above win rate (min. 20 wins), even as Book ranks 11th overall in total QB career starts (33). His 30 wins rank third among all FBS quarterbacks. 2 The Irish were ranked No. 2 in the AP Poll beginning November 8, their highest ranking since 2012. Through the Brian Kelly era (11 seasons), the Irish have been ranked in the AP Top 10 at least one week in each of the last seven seasons, and eight of the last nine. 3 Of the five longest regular-season winning streaks in college football history, Notre Dame has single-handedly ended three of those streaks: Oklahoma’s 45 (1953-57), Miami’s 36 (1985-88) and Clemson’s 36 (2017-20). 4 Javon McKinley has totaled four 100-receiving yard performances in 2020, tied for the most among any ACC player. 4 Since the start of 2018, Notre Dame is 32-3 (.917). That rate ranks fourth among all teams who have made an appearance in the College Football Playoff since its inception in 2014. Among those teams, Notre Dame is one of just four teams that have totaled three or fewer losses (Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State) since the start of 2018. 9 Notre Dame’s victory over No. 1 Clemson was Notre Dame’s ninth win over an AP No. 1 opponent, which ties for second-most all-time (Miami). Only Alabama has more (10). 16 The Irish boast a current win streak of 16 games, the longest among all FBS teams. 17.1 The defense has yielded just 17.1 points/game through the regular season. That figure ranks fifth among all Power 5 teams. 33 Notre Dame has held 33-of-36 opponents during Clark Lea’s tenure as defensive coordinator to 30 points or less. That includes ranked opponents LSU, Michigan, Stanford, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Clemson, Georgia, Virginia, Navy and North Carolina. 52.8 Of the Top 10 rushers in the ACC, which includes RB Kyren Williams, the Irish have faced six: North Carolina’s Javonte Williams and Michael Carter, Clemson’s Travis Etienne, Duke’s Mataeo Durant, Florida State’s Jordan Travis and Syracuse’s Sean Tucker. Notre Dame’s defense has limited those six Top-10 running backs to an average of 52.8 yards (317 yards total on 84 carries) and just three total touchdowns among the six. Carter, who leads the ACC with 113.2 rushing yards per game, was held to just 57 vs. Notre Dame. By comparison, against those five teams, Williams posted at least 100 rushing yards in all five matchups, averaging 134.2 yards (671 yards total on 104 carries), with a total of 10 touchdowns. 44:47 The Irish have only trailed for 44:47 minutes out of a total 600:00 minutes of regulation. 41 Notre Dame has totaled 41 regular season wins in four years, the most in a four year period in program history. 102 Dick Corbett Head Football Coach Brian Kelly notched 102 ˆ wins in his Notre Dame career with the victory over Syracuse. Ranking second all-time in program history in career wins, and with 10 wins this season, he has totaled the most double-digit win seasons in school history (six). 141 Notre Dame has outscored opponents 141-35 in the second quarter this season. 120 Notre Dame is 120-38-7 in neutral site games since 1887. In the Brian Kelly era, the Irish are 17-6.

TAKING ON THE BEST • Notre Dame’s victory over No. 1 Clemson was Notre Dame’s ninth win over an AP No. 1 opponent, which ties for second-most all-time (Miami). Only Alabama has more (10). • The matchup with Clemson was the first game for the Irish against the No. 1 team in the Brian Kelly era. Notre Dame has played one other Top 10 team at home in that span: No. 8 ND winning 38-17 over No. 7 Stanford (2018). • Notre Dame has won six of the last seven games when playing No. 1 as a top-five team. • Notre Dame’s 47 points vs. Clemson are the most an Irish team has ever scored against a No. 1 opponent. • Of the five longest regular-season winning streaks in college football history, Notre Dame has single-handedly ended three of those streaks: Oklahoma’s 45 (1953-57), Miami’s 36 (1985-88) and Clemson’s 36 (2017-20). • Since the start of 2018, Notre Dame is 33-3 (.917). That rate ranks fourth among all teams who have made an appearance in the College Football Playoff since its inception in 2014. • Among those teams, Notre Dame is one of just four teams that have totaled three or fewer losses since the beginning of 2018.

WELCOME TO THE CLUB • Notre Dame will compete for a football conference championship for the first time in the program’s one-year history of being a conference member. • For the first time in the 132-year history of the Notre Dame Football Program, the Fighting Irish played the 2020 football season as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference (131 years were spent as an independent. The 132nd season is the first in the ACC). • In the ACC Preseason Order of Finish, the Irish were ranked second behind Clemson, who entered the season as the top-ranked team in the nation. On Nov. 7, Notre Dame beat Clemson at Notre Dame Stadium (47-40, 2OT). • In a partnership that began in 2014, Notre Dame and the ACC agreed to schedule the Irish to play, on average, five ACC opponents each season. Originally scheduled through the 2025 season, the games have now been scheduled through the 2037 campaign.

CLEMSON NOTES:

CLEMSON SEEKS SIXTH STRAIGHT ACC TITLE IN REMATCH VS. NOTRE DAME SATURDAY Clemson will attempt to earn a record sixth consecutive outright conference title on Saturday, Dec. 19, when the Tigers face Notre Dame in the ACC Championship Game. Kickoff at Bank of America Stadium is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET. Even in the most unusual year of college football in the modern era, the ACC Championship Game matchup played true to recent form, matching a traditional Atlantic Division power against a new challenger. While Clemson and Florida State have represented the Atlantic Division every year since 2013, eight different challengers have served as ACC Championship Game opponents in that span. All seven Coastal Division teams earned one appearance between 2013-19, and this season, Notre Dame earned a berth in its first year in the league. Between Clemson and Florida State, Atlantic Division representatives have won nine straight ACC titles, including each of the last five by Clemson. This week, Clemson will attempt to become the first team in any active conference to win six consecutive titles outright (Note: Oklahoma can also accomplish the feat with a win in the Big 12 Championship Game). Florida State earned at least a share of nine consecutive ACC titles from 1992-2000 but never earned more than three consecutive titles outright. The last team presently in the Power Five to win at least six straight outright titles was Oklahoma (12 from 1948-59) as part of the now-dissolved Big 8 Conference. The history Clemson seeks this week is not limited only to ACC annals. At 9-1 this year, Clemson is one win shy of reaching the 10-win threshold for the 10th consecutive season. With a win this week, Clemson would become only the third program in FBS history to produce a “double-double” — double-digit wins in a double-digit number of consecutive seasons. Clemson would join Florida State (14 from 1987-2000) and Alabama (13 from 2008-20) as the only programs ever to produce 10 straight 10-win seasons. Both teams will be led Saturday by their programs’ respective winningest starting quarterbacks: Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence (33-1) and Notre Dame’s Ian Book (30- 3). Lawrence is 5-1 in his career in postseason play, including a 2-0 mark in ACC Championship Games. Though Book also helped Notre Dame to a 2017 bowl win in reserve, he is 1-1 as a starter in the postseason, with his lone loss coming against a freshman Lawrence in the 2018 Cotton Bowl.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK – Clemson, which is already the first team in ACC history to win five consecutive outright titles, attempting to become the first team in ACC history to win six consecutive ACC titles outright. (Note: Florida State earned at least a share of nine consecutive ACC titles from 1992-2000 but never earned more than three consecutive titles outright.) – Clemson attempting to become the first team in any active conference to win six consecutive outright conference titles. Clemson’s five consecutive outright titles from 2015-19 are tied with the 1971-75 Alabama Crimson Tide and 2015-19 Oklahoma Sooners for the longest streak of outright conference championships of any current conference. The last team presently in the Power Five to win at least six straight outright titles was Oklahoma (12 from 1948-59) as part of the nowdissolved Big 8 Conference. – Clemson attempting to become the first program to win 20 ACC titles. Since helping form the conference in 1953, Clemson leads the ACC with 19 titles all-time, including 18 outright. – Clemson attempting to earn its 26th conference championship all-time, including four SIAA championships and two Southern Conference championships prior to the formation of the ACC. Clemson’s 25 conference titles across all conferences are the most of any current or former ACC member. – Clemson attempting to improve to 7-1 all-time in ACC Championship Games. – Clemson facing its seventh different opponent in its eight ACC Championship Game appearances all-time, a list that includes Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech (twice), North Carolina, Miami (Fla.), Pitt, Virginia, and, now, Notre Dame. The only non-Atlantic Division foe Clemson has not faced in an ACC title game is Duke. – Clemson attempting to win 10 games for a school record 10th consecutive season. Clemson would become only the third program in history ever to post 10 consecutive 10-win seasons, joining Florida State (14 from 1987-2000) and Alabama (13 from 2008- 20). Clemson would be the first school to win 10 games in 10 straight seasons as a member of the ACC, as only the final nine of Florida State’s 14-straight 10-win seasons came during the Seminoles’ tenure in the ACC. – Clemson playing a team twice in a single season for the third time in school history. Clemson dropped two meetings with Georgia Tech in 2009 and swept two meetings with Virginia Tech in 2011. Clemson will attempt to split a two-game single-season series with an opponent for the first time. – Clemson attempting to improve to 18-8 under Dabo Swinney in rematches of losses. Clemson has suffered only 32 losses under Swinney and has had 25 previous opportunities to avenge its most recent loss against an opponent, going 17-8 in those contests. (There are six programs Clemson has not faced again since a loss in the teams’ most recent meeting.)

Clemson playing a third AP Top 10 opponent in a single season for the seventh time in school history (four each in 2013 and 2015; three each in 1966, 1977, 1981 and 2016). It is only the third time in school history Clemson will have played three Top 10 opponents prior to bowl season (three in 1966 and 2013). – Clemson playing a third matchup of two AP Top 10 teams in a single season for the fourth time in school history (three Top-10 matchups each in 2013, 2015 and 2016). It will join the 2013 season as the only seasons in school history that Clemson will play in three games between Top 10 teams prior to bowl season. – Clemson attempting to improve to 14-10 all-time in games between AP Top 10 teams. A win would push Clemson to 9-3 in games between AP Top 10 teams since the start of the 2016 season. For more on Clemson’s history in games between Top 10 opponents, see the “Top 10 History” section later in the notes. – Clemson attempting to earn a 13th all-time victory against an AP Top 5 opponent. Nine of Clemson’s 12 all-time wins against AP Top 5 teams have come under Head Coach Dabo Swinney. – Clemson attempting to improve to 9-5 all-time in games between two AP Top 5 teams. Clemson is 6-3 since 2016 when both teams enter a game in the AP Top 5. – Clemson entering the game with seven wins against AP Top 5 opponents since 2015, the second-most in the country. – Clemson attempting to defeat an AP Top 2 team for the fifth time in school history. Clemson has two wins against No. 1 (vs. Alabama to end 2016 and 2018) and two wins against No. 2 (vs. Ohio State in 2016 and 2019). Of note: Ohio State was ranked No. 2 by the AP for the 2016 Fiesta Bowl despite being the No. 3 seed in the College Football Playoff. – Clemson attempting to improve to 4-2 all-time against Notre Dame. Presently, Clemson (3-2), Florida State (6- 4), Michigan (25-17-1), Nebraska (8-7-1) and Ohio State (4-2) are the only schools to have played Notre Dame at least four times and hold a winning record in the series. – Clemson attempting to earn a 10th win through the first 11 games of a season for the 11th time in school history. Clemson won at least 10 games in its first 11 contests in the 1948, 1978, 1981, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons. – The 2020 Clemson seniors (50-4 since 2017) attempting to win a 51st game in four years to tie the 2016 and 2019 Alabama seniors for the fifth-most by a class in FBS history. – Clemson attempting to improve to 52-3 against conference opponents since the start of the 2015 season, the first year of Clemson’s active run of five consecutive ACC titles. – Clemson attempting to win its 14th consecutive December game, dating to Clemson’s 2011 ACC Championship Game victory against Virginia Tech. Clemson (13-0) is one of three schools to be undefeated in December since 2011 with a minimum of five games played, a list that also includes Alabama (10-0) and Penn State (6-0).

Clemson attempting to improve to 25-13 all-time in December games, including postseason play. – Clemson entering the game as one of only two teams ranked in the top 15 in the nation in both total offense (11th, 504.3 yards per game) and total defense (seventh, 302.0), alongside BYU. – Clemson entering this week as one of only five teams in the country with at least 25 rushing touchdowns (29) and at least 25 passing touchdowns (27) this season. – Clemson attempting to score 40 points in a fourth straight game. It would give Clemson nine 40-point games in a 10-game span for the first time in school history. – Clemson, which has scored at least 34 points in each of its first 10 games, attempting to join 2013 Florida State as the only ACC teams ever to score 34 or more points in each of the first 11 games of a season. – Clemson attempting to open a season with 400 yards of offense in each of the first 11 games of a season for the second time in school history (2018). – Clemson entering the game averaging 346.0 passing yards per game, the top average in the ACC and the seventh-best in the nation. The average is 12 yards better than the school-record mark of 333.9 passing yards per game, set by Clemson’s 2016 national title team WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK – Clemson, which is already the first team in ACC history to win five consecutive outright titles, attempting to become the first team in ACC history to win six consecutive ACC titles outright. (Note: Florida State earned at least a share of nine consecutive ACC titles from 1992-2000 but never earned more than three consecutive titles outright.) – Clemson attempting to become the first team in any active conference to win six consecutive outright conference titles. Clemson’s five consecutive outright titles from 2015-19 are tied with the 1971-75 Alabama Crimson Tide and 2015-19 Oklahoma Sooners for the longest streak of outright conference championships of any current conference. The last team presently in the Power Five to win at least six straight outright titles was Oklahoma (12 from 1948-59) as part of the now dissolved Big 8 Conference. – Clemson attempting to become the first program to win 20 ACC titles. Since helping form the conference in 1953, Clemson leads the ACC with 19 titles all-time, including 18 outright. – Clemson attempting to earn its 26th conference championship all-time, including four SIAA championships and two Southern Conference championships prior to the formation of the ACC. Clemson’s 25 conference titles across all conferences are the most of any current or former ACC member. – Clemson attempting to improve to 7-1 all-time in ACC Championship Games. – Clemson facing its seventh different opponent in its eight ACC Championship Game appearances all-time, a list that includes Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech (twice), North Carolina, Miami (Fla.), Pitt, Virginia, and, now, Notre Dame. The only non-Atlantic Division foe Clemson has not faced in an ACC title game is Duke. – Clemson attempting to win 10 games for a school record 10th consecutive season. Clemson would become only the third program in history ever to post 10 consecutive 10-win seasons, joining Florida State (14 from 1987-2000) and Alabama (13 from 2008- 20). Clemson would be the first school to win 10 games in 10 straight seasons as a member of the ACC, as only the final nine of Florida State’s 14-straight 10-win seasons came during the Seminoles’ tenure in the ACC. – Clemson playing a team twice in a single season for the third time in school history. Clemson dropped two meetings with Georgia Tech in 2009 and swept two meetings with Virginia Tech in 2011. Clemson will attempt to split a two-game single-season series with an opponent for the first time. – Clemson attempting to improve to 18-8 under Dabo Swinney in rematches of losses. Clemson has suffered only 32 losses under Swinney and has had 25 previous opportunities to avenge its most recent loss against an opponent, going 17-8 in those contests. (There are six programs Clemson has not faced again since a loss in the teams’ most recent meeting.) – Clemson playing a third AP Top 10 opponent in a single season for the seventh time in school history (four each in 2013 and 2015; three each in 1966, 1977, 1981 and 2016). It is only the third time in school history Clemson will have played three Top 10 opponents prior to bowl season (three in 1966 and 2013). – Clemson playing a third matchup of two AP Top 10 teams in a single season for the fourth time in school history (three Top-10 matchups each in 2013, 2015 and 2016). It will join the 2013 season as the only seasons in school history that Clemson will play in three games between Top 10 teams prior to bowl season. – Clemson attempting to improve to 14-10 all-time in games between AP Top 10 teams. A win would push quarterbacked by Deshaun Watson. – Clemson attempting to rush for 200 yards in consecutive games for the first time since last year’s regular season finale and ACC Championship Game against South Carolina and Virginia, respectively. – Clemson attempting to record multiple rushing touchdowns in a 27th consecutive game. The last time Clemson was held to a single rushing touchdown was in a 27-point win in the 2018 Cotton Bowl against Notre Dame. – Clemson, which allowed no sacks to Virginia Tech in its most recent game, attempting to go consecutive games without allowing a sack for the first time since the College Football Playoff National Championship Game to end 2018 and the 2019 season opener. It would be the first time doing so in a single season since the Duke and South Carolina games in 2018. – Clemson entering the game having recorded multiple sacks in 32 of its last 33 games, including each of its last 16.

OHIO STATE VS. NORTHWESTERN GAME NOTES

(BUCKEYES NOTES)

THE BASICS: No. 4 (CFP) Ohio State makes its fourth consecutive Big Ten championship game appearance, and sixth overall, Saturday with a 12 noon game against the No. 14 Northwestern Wildcats at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.  The game will be nationally broadcast on FOX and it will be played in front of no more than 2,000 family members of players, coaches and program staffers as each team was allotted 1,000 tickets for such distribution.  Ohio State’s 5-0 record includes a 42-35 victory over No. 12 (CFP) Indiana, the second-place team in the Big Ten East with a 6-1 record. Ohio State led 28-7 at halftime and then 35-7 before a talented IU quarterback/receiver combo elevated onto an uncommonly good wavelength for three second-half scores.  Three Ohio State games were cancelled this year because of COVID-19 concerns/protocols: by Maryland (Week 4), by Ohio State (Week six prior to Illinois game) and by Michigan (Week 8). Northwestern lost a game at Minnesota in Week 7 (Dec. 5).  Ohio State is 4-1 in Big Ten title games, including four consecutive wins.

SEEKING TITLE NO. 39 Ohio State ranks second in Big Ten Conference history with 38 Big Ten championships. The team has won 10 championships in the 2000s, with only Oklahoma’s 13 in front of Ohio State. That total includes titles four times in the last six years (2014, 2017, 2018 and 2019). Ohio State has not finished worse than first for nine consecutive years in the Big Ten’s divisional alignment standings. The 2011 season was the only season when Ohio State did not win or share its division title. The Buckeyes are making their sixth Big Ten Championship Game appearance, which ties Wisconsin for the most on any school.

SCOUTING NORTHWESTERN: Champions of the Big Ten West, Northwestern is No. 14 in the latest College Football Playoff Top 25 and finished with a 6-1 regular season record.  The Wildcats won their rivalry game last week, topping Illinois 28-10 behind a rushing attack that totaled 411 yards.  Quarterback Peyton Ramsey, a transfer from Indiana, has started all seven games and is completing nearly 60 percent of his passes (124 of 210) for 1,218 yards and nine touchdowns.  Drake Anderson is the team’s leading rusher with 256 yards and two touchdowns on 62 carries this season. Isaiah Bowser has carried the ball 77 times for 229 yards while Cam Porter is coming off a 145-yard effort last week vs. Illinois.  Northwestern is second in the country in scoring defense, allowing an average of just 14.6 points per game. The Wildcats have not given up more than 29 points in any game this season.  Northwestern also ranks in the top 25 nationally in rushing defense (21st, 121.9 yards allowed/game) and passing defense (21st, 192.0 yards allowed/game). It also leads the country in team pass efficiency defense (93.26).  Freshman cornerback Brandon Joseph leads the team and the Big Ten with five interceptions.  Senior linebacker Paddy Fisher is the team’s leading tackler with 65 total stops and 3.5 tackles for loss. Fellow linebacker Blake Gallagher, also a senior, has 9.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks.

STRENGTH VS. STRENGTH: Something has to give on Saturday when one of the nation’s top offenses meets one of the nation’s top defenses. Ohio State possesses the No. 4 scoring offense in the country and is averaging 46.6 points per game. The Buckeyes have scored no less than 38 points in each of it games this year.  Meanwhile, Northwestern has the nation’s No. 2 scoring defense, allowing an average of just 14.6 points per game. They’ve given up no more than 29 points in each game this season.  A reason for the Wildcats’ success on defense has been its play against the pass. Northwestern ranks No. 1 nationally in pass efficiency defense (93.26) and 12th in total interceptions (12).  Ohio State, led by the stellar play of QB Justin Fields, is second nationally in team passing efficiency (196.1) and has just three interceptions in 137 attempts.

(NORTHWESTERN NOTES)

QUICK HITTERS:

• Crowned Big Ten West Champions for second time in three seasons • NU is one of four Big Ten programs to make multiple appearances in the Big Ten title game • The Wildcats have won six straight games over West Division opponents, longest active streak in the division • Finished B1G play with a .750 winning % or better four times since 2015. Tied for second most in Big Ten. • Swept the West for second time in three seasons; Won 17 B1G West games since 2017 – most in the Conference • First undefeated season at home since going 5-0 during the 1996 season • Northwestern has been ranked in the AP Top-25 six straight weeks, longest streak since 2013 season.

LAST TIME OUT Northwestern won the Land of Lincoln Trophy for the sixth consecutive year … NU’s six-game win streak over Illinois is tied for its second longest win streak over a Big Ten opponent (six straight vs. Wisconsin 1929-37; seven straight vs. Indiana 1959-65) … NU has rushed for 300 or more yards in four straight games against the Illini … The Wildcats have outscored Illinois, 189-78, in the last six meetings … Pat Fitzgerald is 11-4 against NU’s in-state rival. BEST IN THE WEST Northwestern won its second Big Ten West Division championship for the second time in three seasons … Northwestern is one of only four Big Ten programs to make multiple appearances in the Big Ten Football Championship Game … Since 2017, Northwestern has won 17 games against west division foes – the most in the division. PRETTY, PRETTY, PRETTTTTTY GOOD In the last 50 seasons, Northwestern has completed a Big Ten campaign undefeated or with one loss five times (2020, 2018, 1996, 1995, 1970). Pat Fitzgerald has been involved in four of those five seasons as either a player or a coach. LOOKING BACK AT 2018 Northwestern is meeting Ohio State in the title game for the second time in three seasons … Seven NU players who started in the 2018 game are still on NU’s roster (OFF: Isaiah Bowser, Kyric McGowan; DEF: Blake Gallagher, Paddy Fisher, Chris Bergin, JR Pace, Cam Ruiz) … NU scored 14 unanswered in the 3rd quarter to pull within three, 24-21 … NU tallied 418 yards of offense. TROPHY TOUR Northwestern has an opportunity to fill the trophy case: West Division Trophy (Dec. 5), Land of Lincoln Trophy (Dec. 12), Amos Alonzo Stagg Championship Trophy (Dec. 19), Bowl Game (TBD). A win on Saturday would give Northwestern its ninth Big Ten championship and its first since 2000. DEFENSE IS THE IDENTITY • NU has allowed 102 points through the first seven games (14.6 points per game), lowest total through first seven games since the 1995 season. Opposing offenses…4.1 points in second half (all season) … 8.2 points at Ryan Field in 2020. • Only one team has scored more than 20 points against Northwestern in the last eight games. • Top-25 nationally in total defense (13th; 313.9), scoring defense (2nd; 14.6) rushing defense (21st; 121.9), team passing efficiency defense (1st; 93.26), redzone defense (9th; .722), 3rd down conversion pct. defense (11th; .309). • NU has recorded 16 takeaways (12 interceptions, four fumble recoveries) this season, the most through seven games since 2013. The Wildcats defense has forced a turnover in 10 of its last 11 games. • Of the 492 total offensive plays NU’s defense has faced only 21 have gone for 20-or-more yards.. • Held three teams to fewer than 100 rushing yards … Surrendered two rushing TD all season, fewest in FBS (min. 5+ games played) HOW ‘BOUT HANK DC Mike Hankwitz is in his 51st season of coaching college football (13 at NU) … Since his days as a GA in 1970 for Bo Schembecher, Hankwitz has compiled a record of 399-205-7 … Broyles Award nominee … DC for Colorado’s 1990 national championship run.

SECOND HALF SHUT DOWN Northwestern has held its opponent scoreless in the second half in four of seven games this season … The Wildcats have outscored their opponents 75-29 in the second half this year … NU has outscored opponents 49-3 in the third quarter of games … The ‘Cats defense has allowed two TDs and three FG in the final 30 minutes of games this season, while also forcing 20 punts, nine turnovers, six turnover on downs (Note: MSU’s 4th QTR TD was scored by its defense on the final play of game). CLASSIC ‘CATS Northwestern has won three of seven games by one score this season … Dating back to the beginning of the Pat Fitzgerald era in 2006, the Wildcats have 48 one possession game wins, tied with Navy for the most in the FBS during that span.

BRONCOS CANCEL PRACTICE

The Denver Broncos canceled their walkthrough Friday after strength and conditioning coach Loren Landow tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I was surprised this morning to learn that I tested positive for COVID-19,” Landow tweeted. “I feel great w no symptoms following all the guidelines of our medical staff. Gonna hurt not being out there tomorrow, and I can’t wait to get back to work!!”

It’s believed Landow is the second head strength and conditioning coach in the NFL to be infected with the coronavirus. Last month, Steve Saunders was reportedly the potential link in the COVID-19 outbreak that threw the Baltimore Ravens’ season into upheaval.

Patrick Smyth, the Broncos’ chief communications officer, tweeted “the team is continuing its normal preparations virtually for Saturday’s game against Buffalo.”

The Broncos have canceled four practices or walkthroughs this year because of the coronavirus. They’ve had eight players go on the COVID-19 reserve list for infections and four more for close contact, including kicker Brandon McManus t his week.

They were forced to play a game against New Orleans last month with a practice squad receiver at quarterback after all four of their QBs were disqualified when Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were deemed high-risk close contacts of QB Jeff Driskel, who tested positive for the virus on Thanksgiving.

The three other QBs had failed to wear masks around Driskel earlier that week when they voluntarily went in on their off day for film study.

After that incident, the Broncos signed kicker/punter Taylor Russolino, a 31-year-old rookie, to their practice squad and kept him isolated as their “COVID kicker” should the coronavirus sideline either McManus or punter Sam Martin.

That contingency plan came into play this week when McManus went on the COVID-19 reserve list as a close contact. Because the game against Buffalo is on Saturday, he won’t be back in time to rejoin his teammates for kickoff. So, Russolino will fill in.

In addition to the players who have tested positive for the coronavirus since training camp started, veterans Von Miller and Kareem Jackson were infected in the offseason. In addition to Landow, the Broncos also have had three other assistant coaches and two executives, including GM John Elway, test positive this season.

Defensive coordinator Ed Donatell missed six weeks and spent five days in the hospital during his illness. He is one of two people in the NFL known to have been hospitalized with a severe case of COVID-19.

The Broncos (5-8) are scheduled to host the Bills (10-3) at 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday. The Bills are seeking their first AFC East title in 25 years and the Broncos are hoping to avoid a fourth consecutive losing season, something that hasn’t happened since the late 1960s and early ’70s.

STAFFORD IS QUESTIONABLE

Matthew Stafford is questionable for Detroit’s game Sunday at Tennessee.

Stafford is dealing with thumb and rib injuries, and he was limited in practice Friday. The Lions also listed center Frank Ragnow (throat) as questionable. Wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hip) is out, along with offensive lineman Tyrell Crosby (ankle), defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand (ankle) and cornerback Darryl Roberts (hip).

Stafford was knocked out of Detroit’s loss to Green Bay last weekend because of the rib problem. Chase Daniel replaced him.

JONES WON’T PLAY FOR FALCONS

Julio Jones’ lingering hamstring injury will keep him from playing in the Atlanta Falcons’ home finale.

The team ruled Jones out for Sunday’s game against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5).

The Falcons (4-9) also ruled out safety Riccardo Allen (concussion), cornerback Darqueze Dennard (quad) and defensive tackle Marlon Davidson (knee).

This will be the fifth game that Jones has missed with the hamstring issue, which first cropped up in Week 3.

Jones is assured of playing the second-fewest games of his 10-year career. He was limited to five games in 2013 by a season-ending foot injury.

Jones ranks third on the Falcons this season behind Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage with 51 receptions for 771 yards and three touchdowns.

SMITH RULED OUT FOR REDSKINS

Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith won’t play Sunday versus the Seattle Seahawks due to a calf injury, leaving Dwayne Haskins to start Week 15, the team announced.

Smith was injured in a Week 14 win over the San Francisco 49ers, which marked Washington’s fourth consecutive victory. Washington has won four of five games with Smith starting this year.

Smith stepped into the starting lineup in Week 10 after replacing Kyle Allen, who suffered a dislocated ankle in the previous game. The 36-year-old missed the 2019 season while recovering from numerous leg surgeries that threatened to end his career.

Haskins will make his first start since Week 4. The former first-round pick was benched following a slew of inefficient outings resulting in a 1-3 start for Washington.

Washington controls the NFC East entering the final three weeks of the season, but is only one game ahead of the New York Giants. Washington dropped both meetings with the Giants this year and would lose the tiebreaker if the two sides finish with identical records.

BRESS TO START VS. KC

Drew Brees will return to the lineup and start Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton announced Friday.

Doctors cleared Brees to play and the Saints believe the veteran is fully healthy, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The 41-year-old suffered 11 fractured ribs and a collapsed lung in Week 10. He was designated to return from injured reserve Wednesday and had no setbacks this week after taking first-team reps in practice, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Payton recently said Brees has “a ways to go” in his recovery, but the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards will re-enter the lineup after four games on the sideline.

Taysom Hill started in Brees’ absence, winning three of four contests. Hill completed 71.9% of his passes and threw for four touchdowns against two interceptions across those games while also rushing for 209 yards and four scores.

New Orleans had its nine-game winning streak snapped with last week’s upset loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Payton’s 10-3 squad is currently in a battle for the NFC’s No. 1 seed with the Green Bay Packers.

Brees is completing 73.5% of his pass attempts for 18 touchdowns and three interceptions over nine starts this season, averaging 7.4 yards per attempt.

NFL PREVIEWS WEEK 15

NFL PREVIEW: BUFFALO BILLS (10-3) AT DENVER BRONCOS (5-8)

WEEK 15 // SATURDAY, DEC. 19, 2020 // 4:30 PM ET // EMPOWER FIELD AT MILE HIGH // REFEREE: CLETE BLAKEMAN

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:
LEADER: Bills lead all-time series, 21-16-1

STREAKS: Bills have won 4 of past 5

LAST GAME: 11/24/19: Broncos 3 at Bills 20

LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/7/14: Broncos 24, Bills 17

BUFFALO NOTES:

QB JOSH ALLEN completed 24 of 43 passes (55.8 pct.) for 238 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 225+ pass yards & 2+ TD passes. Passed for 185 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT for 92.9 rating & rushed for 56 yards in last meeting. Ranks 6th in NFL with career-high 3,641 pass yards & can become 2nd QB in Buf. history with 4,000+ pass yards in single season. • RB DEVIN SINGLETARY has 80+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3. Rushed for 106 yards in last meeting. Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 3 of 4 career games vs. AFC West. • WR STEFON DIGGS had 10 catches for 130 yards & TD in Week 14, his 4th game with 10+ catches this season, tied-most in NFL. Aims for 3rd in row with 10+ catches & 90+ rec. yards. Had 5 catches for 121 yards & TD in his last game vs. Den. (11/17/19 with Min.). Leads NFL with 100 catches, 2nd-career season with 100+ receptions (102 in 2018). WR COLE BEASLEY aims for 3rd in row with 5+ catches. Had 6 catches for 76 yards & TD in last meeting. Has rec. TD in 2 of 3 career games vs. Den. Aims for 4th in row with 100+ rec. yards. Rookie WR GABRIEL DAVIS aims for 4th in row with TD catch. Has rec. TD in 2 of 3 career games vs. AFC West. Ranks 3rd among rookies with 6 rec. TDs. • CB TRE’DAVIOUS WHITE aims for 4th in row with PD. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Den. with INT. CB LEVI WALLACE had INT & career-high 3 PD last week. Had TFL in last meeting. CB TARON JOHNSON had 1st INT of season last week. S JORDAN POYER had 8 tackles, PD & FF last week. Has PD in 2 of past 3 on road. Leads safeties with 104 tackles. LB MATT MILANO had sack & PD in Week 14. Had career-high 3 PD & TFL in last meeting.

DENVER NOTES:

QB DREW LOCK completed 21 of 27 passes (season-high 77.8 pct.) for 280 yards & career-high 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs for career high 149.5 rating last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 2+ TD passes. Aims for his 4th in row at home with 245+ pass yards. • RB MELVIN GORDON had 91 scrimmage yards (68 rush, 23 rec.) last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 90+ scrimmage yards. Had 3 TDs (2 rec., 1 rush) in his last game vs. Buf. (9/16/19 with LAC). Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Buf. & 8th in row vs. AFC East with rush TD. Has 7 TDs (5 rush, 2 rec.) in his past 3 vs. AFC East. Has 874 scrimmage yards & is only RB with 800+ scrimmage yards in each of past 6 seasons. RB PHILLIP LINDSAY had 68 scrimmage yards (57 rush, 11 rec.) in last meeting. Has 80+ scrimmage yards in 3 of 4 career games vs. AFC East. • WR TIM PATRICK aims for 3rd in row with TD catch. Has 333 rec. yards (111 per game) & rec. TD in 3 games vs. AFC East this season. WR JERRY JEUDY ranks 3rd among AFC rookies with 636 rec. yards & 5th with 40 catches. Rookie WR KJ HAMLER had career-high 86 rec. yards & 2 TDs last week. TE TROY FUMAGALLI set career highs in catches (4) & rec. yards (53) in Week 14. TE NICK VANNETT had 1st TD catch of season last week. Had 5 catches in his last game vs. Buf. (12/15/19 with Pit.). • LB BRADLEY CHUBB aims for his 5th in row at home & 4th in row vs. AFC East with sack. LB JEREMIAH ATTAOCHU aims for 3rd in row with sack. Had 2 TFL in last meeting. DE DEMARCUS WALKER had sack last week & has sack in 2 of past 3. DE DRE’MONT JONES had sack & PD in Week 14. S WILL PARKS had 1st sack of season last week.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: NFLN (4:30 PM ET): Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Lindsay Czarniak (field reporter) NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Ryan Radtke, Rod Woodson SIRIUS: 81 (Buf), 83 (Den) | XM: 226 (Buf), 225 (Den), 88 (National)

NFL PREVIEW: CAROLINA PANTHERS (4-9) AT GREEN BAY PACKERS (10-3)

WEEK 15 // SATURDAY, DEC. 19, 2020 // 8:15 PM ET // LAMBEAU FIELD // REFEREE: ALEX KEMP

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:
LEADER: Packers lead all-time series, 9-6

STREAKS: Panthers have won 2 of past 3

LAST GAME: 11/10/19: Panthers 16 at Packers 24

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/10/19

CAROLINA NOTES:

QB TEDDY BRIDGEWATER passed for 283 yards & rushed for TD in Week 14. Has 1,746 pass yards (291 per game) & 9 TDs (8 pass, 1 rush) vs. 3 INTs for 102.7 rating in 6 road games this season. Has 100+ rating in 4 of his past 5 on road. • RB CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY has 12 receptions & 277 scrimmage yards (138.5 per game) & 2 TDs (1 rush, 1 rec.) in 2 career games vs. GB. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. GB with 135+ scrimmage yards & TD. RB MIKE DAVIS had 93 scrimmage yards (51 rush, 42 rec.) & 2 rush TDs last week. Has 5+ receptions in 5 of his 6 road games this season. Ranks 3rd among RBs with career-high 57 receptions. Needs 74 scrimmage yards for 1st-career 1,000+ scrimmage yard season. • WR D.J. MOORE has 3 rec. TDs in his past 4 on road. Had 9 receptions for 120 yards in last meeting. WR ROBBY ANDERSON had 8 catches for 84 yards last week. Is 1 of 3 NFC WRs (DAVANTE ADAMS & DEANDRE HOPKINS) with 5+ games (5) of 8+ catches in 2020. Had 9 receptions for 140 yards & TD catch in only career game vs. GB (12/23/18 w/ NYJ). Has career highs in receptions (83) & rec. yards (996) this season. WR CURTIS SAMUEL had 7 receptions & 90 scrimmage yards (68 rec., 22 rush) last week. Has TD in 2 of his past 3 on road. Aims for his 6th in row on road with 50+ scrimmage yards. Had rec. TD in last meeting. • S JEREMY CHINN (rookie) led team with 8 tackles & had sack & FF last week. Leads all rookies & ranks 4th among DBs with 94 tackles. DE BRIAN BURNS has 4 sacks & 3 FFs in his past 5 on road. DE EFE OBADA had 2nd FR of season last week. CB DONTE JACKSON had 2 PD & TFL last week. Had 3 PD in last meeting.

GREEN BAY NOTES:

GREEN BAY clinched 2nd-consecutive NFC North division title. • QB AARON RODGERS passed for 290 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 133.6 rating last week. Leads NFL with 39 TD passes & can become 1st QB with 3 career seasons of 40+ TD passes. Has 19 TDs (18 pass, 1 rush) vs. INT for 123.7 rating in 6 home games this season. Aims for his 5th in row with 3+ TD passes & 9th in row with 100+ rating. Has 3+ TD passes in 3 of his past 4 vs. Car. • RB AARON JONES rushed for 69 yards last week. Has 680 scrimmage yards (136 per game) & 5 TDs (3 rush, 2 rec.) in 5 home games this season. Aims for his 6th in row at home with 90+ scrimmage yards. Rushed for 93 yards & 3 TDs in last meeting. • WR DAVANTE ADAMS had 7 catches for 115 yards & rec. TD last week. Has TD catch in 8 consecutive games, tied-3rd longest streak within single season in Super Bowl era. Has 7 rec. TDs in his past 4 at home & aims for his 5th in row at home with TD catch. Had 7 receptions for 118 yards in last meeting. WR MARQUEZ VALDES-SCANTLING had 6 receptions for 85 yards & career-high 5th rec. TD of season last week. Leads NFL with 19.5 yards per catch in 2020 (min. 30 receptions). TE ROBERT TONYAN had career-high 9th TD catch of season last week, tied-most among TEs. • LB ZA’DARIUS SMITH has 7.5 sacks & 8 TFL in 6 home games this season & aims for his 4th in row at home with sack. LB PRESTON SMITH had 2 sacks in last meeting. LB RASHAN GARY aims for his 3rd in row with sack. S DARNELL SAVAGE led team with 8 tackles & had 1st-career sack in Week 14. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with INT.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: NFLN (8:15 PM ET): Mike Tirico, Kurt Warner, Melissa Stark (field reporter) NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: John Sadak, Shaun O’Hara SIRIUS: 81 (Car), 83 (GB) | XM: 226 (Car), 225 (GB), 88 (National)

NFL PREVIEW: TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (8-5) AT ATLANTA FALCONS (4-9)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUM // REFEREE: BRAD ROGERS

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Falcons lead all-time series, 28-25

STREAKS: Falcons have won 6 of past 7

LAST GAME: 12/29/19: Falcons 28 at Buccaneers 22 (OT)

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/24/19: Buccaneers 35, Falcons 22

TAMPA BAY NOTES:

QB TOM BRADY had 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 120.9 rating last week. Has 8 seasons with 30+ TD passes, 4th-most in NFL history. Has 1,908 pass yards (318.4 per game) & 13 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 110.7 rating in 6 career starts vs. Atl, incl. postseason. Passed for 466 yards vs. Atl. in SB LI (with NE), 2nd-most pass yards in single Super Bowl. • RB RONALD JONES rushed for 80 yards & TD last week. Rushed for 106 yards in last meeting. Has rush TD in 2 of his past 3 on road. Ranks 4th in NFL with 900 rush yards & can become 1st TB RB with 1,000 rush yards since DOUG MARTIN (2015). • WR MIKE EVANS ranks 4th in NFL with 11 rec. TDs. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with TD catch. Has 60 receptions for 906 yards (82.4 per game) & 8 rec. TDs in 11 career games vs. Atl. WR CHRIS GODWIN has 19 receptions for 354 yards (118 per game) & 5 TDs in his past 3 vs. Atl. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Atl. with 100+ rec. yards & 2+ TD catches. WR ANTONIO BROWN led team with 5 receptions last week. Had 101 rec. yards & 2 TDs in his last game vs. Atl. (10/7/18 w/ Pit.). Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Atl. with 100+ rec. yards. TE ROB GRONKOWSKI had 5th rec. TD of season last week. Aims for his 4th in row on road with TD catch. • LB LAVONTE DAVID had 9 tackles & PD last week. Has 12 TFL in 8 career games at Atl. & aims for his 9th in row at Atl. with TFL. LB DEVIN WHITE has 2 sacks & FR-TD in 2 career games vs. Atl. Is only player with 115+ tackles (118) & 5+ sacks (5) this season. LB JASON PIERRE-PAUL aims for his 3rd in row on road & 3rd in row overall with sack. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Atl. with FF & 5th in row vs. Atl. with sack.

ATLANTA NOTES:

QB MATT RYAN has 54,846 passing yards in his 13-year career & surpassed PEYTON MANNING (54,828) for most yards by player in his 1st 13 seasons in NFL history. Has 18 TDs vs. 4 INTs for 106.2 rating in 12 career home starts vs. TB. Needs 340 pass yards to become 2nd QB in NFL history (DREW BREES) with 10 straight seasons with 4,000+ pass yards. • RB TODD GURLEY has 5 rush TDs in 3 career games vs. TB. Aims for his 4th in row vs. TB with rush TD. Has 6 rush TDs in 6 home games this season. Since 2015, leads NFL in scrimmage TDs (79) & ranks 2nd in scrimmage yards (8,237). RB ITO SMITH had rush TD in only career game vs. TB (10/14/18). • WR JULIO JONES has 114 receptions for 1,841 yards (115.1 per game) & 11 TDs in 16 career games vs. TB. Has 90+ rec. yards in 4 of his past 5 at home. Aims for his 10th in row at home with 5+ receptions. WR CALVIN RIDLEY had 8 receptions for 124 yards & TD last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. TB with TD catch. Has career-high 1,029 rec. yards in 2020, his 1st-career 1,000-yard season. WR RUSSELL GAGE had 5 receptions for 82 yards & threw 39-yard TD pass last week, his 1st-career pass TD. Has career highs in receptions (54) & rec. yards (604) this season. • LB DEION JONES had 3rd-career FF last week. Had INT-TD in OT in last meeting. Since 2016, leads LBs in defensive TDs (5) & ranks 2nd in PD (38). LB FOYESADE OLUOKUN is 1 of 2 LBs (JASON PIERRE-PAUL) with 4+ FFs (4) & 3+ sacks (3) in 2020. Rookie CB A.J. TERRELL led team with career-high 13 tackles & had FF last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with FF.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: FOX (1:00 PM ET): TBD SIRIUS: 82 (TB), 137 (Atl) | XM: 380 (TB), 227 (Atl)

NFL PREVIEW: JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (1-12) AT BALTIMORE RAVENS (8-5)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // M&T BANK STADIUM // REFEREE: CARL CHEFFERS

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Jaguars lead all-time series, 12-9

STREAKS: Jaguars have won 2 of past 3

LAST GAME: 9/24/17: Ravens 7 at Jaguars 44

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/15/15: Jaguars 22, Ravens 20

JACKSONVILLE NOTES:

QB GARDNER MINSHEW completed 18 of 31 passes (58.1 pct.) for 178 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs last week. Has 2+ TD passes & 90+ rating in 3 of his past 4 starts. Has passed for 606 yards (303 per game) & 3 TDs vs. INT for 93.9 rating in 2 career starts vs. AFC North. Aims for his 5th in row on road with 2+ TD passes & 90+ rating. • RB JAMES ROBINSON (rookie) had 83 scrimmage yards (67 rush, 16 rec.) last week. Has 100+ scrimmage yards & rush TD in 2 of past 3. Has 360 scrimmage yards (120 per game) in 3 career games vs. AFC North. Has 100+ scrimmage yards in 5 of 6 road games this season. Leads rookies with 1,361 scrimmage yards & 1,035 rush yards, most scrimmage yards by undrafted rookie in common-draft era. • WR KEELAN COLE had 67 rec. yards on season-high 7 catches with rec. TD last week. Has 40+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. WR DJ CHARK has 50+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 vs. AFC North. Rookie WR LAVISKA SHENAULT had 6 catches for 49 yards last week. Ranks 4th among AFC rookies with 42 catches & tied4th with 441 rec. yards. TE TYLER EIFERT had TD catch in his last game vs. Bal. (11/10/19 with Cin.). • LB MYLES JACK led team with 10 tackles & had TFL last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 10+ tackles. Aims for 3rd in row on road with FR. LB JOE SCHOBERT had 8 tackles & TFL in Week 14. Aims for 3rd in row with TFL. Had 2 TFL & sack in his last game at Bal. (9/29/19 with Cle.). LB JOE GILES-HARRIS had 1stcareer sack last week. DE DAWUANE SMOOT had 1st-career FF in Week 14. Has sack in 2 of past 3.

BALTIMORE NOTES:

QB LAMAR JACKSON completed 11 of 17 passes (64.7 pct.) for 163 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 115.6 rating & rushed for season-high 124 yards & 2 TDs, his 5th-career game with 100+ rush yards & rush TD, surpassing MICHAEL VICK (4) for most all-time by QB. Aims for 3rd in row with 100+ rating. Aims for 8th in row with 50+ rush yards. Has 7 TDs (6 pass, 1 rush) vs. INT for 109.7 rating in 4 career starts vs. AFC South. • RB J.K. DOBBINS (rookie) aims for 4th in row with 50+ rush yards & rush TD & 4th in row at home with 70+ rush yards. Is 1 of 4 rookies with 500+ rush yards (504) & 5+ rush TDs (5). RB GUS EDWARDS rushed for 49 yards & 2 TDs last week. Has rush TD in 2 of past 3. Has 85+ rush yards in 2 of past 3 at home. RB MARK INGRAM has TD in 2 of his past 3 vs. AFC South. • TE MARK ANDREWS aims for his 3rd in row with 5+ catches & 75+ rec. yards. Has TD catch in 2 of his past 3 at home. Has 16 rec. TDs since 2019, most among TEs. WR MARQUISE BROWN had 50 rec. yards & TD catch last week. Aims for 4th in row with rec. TD. WR WILLIE SNEAD had 75 rec. yards in only career game vs. Jax. (12/27/15 with NO). • CB MARCUS PETERS had 4th FF of season last week, tied 2ndmost in NFL. Aims for 4th in row with 5+ tackles. Had 7 tackles & FR in only career game vs. Jax. (11/6/16 with KC). Has INT in 2 of his past 3 vs. AFC South. CB MARLON HUMPHREY had 2 FFs & PD last week. Leads NFL with 8 FFs, most by DB since CHARLES TILLMAN (10 in 2012). Had 2 PD in last meeting. LB TYUS BOWSER had INT in Week 14 & has INT in 3 of past 4. DE CALAIS CAMPBELL had 31.5 sacks in 3 seasons with Jax. (2017-19).

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: CBS (1:00 PM ET): Andrew Catalon, James Lofton, Sherree Burruss (field reporter) SIRIUS: 106 (Jax), 135 (Bal) | XM: 385 (Jax), 229 (Bal)

NFL PREVIEW: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (5-8) AT DALLAS COWBOYS (4-9)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // AT&T STADIUM // REFEREE: LAND CLARK

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: 49ers lead all-time series, 15-13-1

STREAKS: Cowboys have won 5 of past 6

LAST GAME: 10/22/17: 49ers 10 at Cowboys 40

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/7/14: 49ers 28, Cowboys 17

SAN FRANCISCO NOTES:

QB NICK MULLENS passed for 260 yards & TD vs. INT last week. Has 4,186 pass yards in 15 career starts, 3rd-most by QB in 1st 15 starts in NFL history. Has 250+ pass yards in 4 of his past 5 starts on road. • RB RAHEEM MOSTERT rushed for 65 yards last week. Has 70+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5 on road. Has 7 TDs (6 rush, 1 rec.) in his past 5 on road & aims for his 6th in row on road with TD. RB JEFF WILSON had 5th rush TD of season last week. Has 5 TDs (4 rush, 1 rec.) in his past 3 on road. FB KYLE JUSZCZYK had 10th-career rec. TD in Week 14 & aims for his 3rd in row with TD catch. • WR BRANDON AIYUK (rookie) led team with career-high 10 receptions & career-high 119 yards last week, his 2nd-career 100+ rec. yard game. Aims for his 6th in row with 5+ receptions & 75+ rec. yards. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with TD catch. TE JORDAN REED aims for his 3rd in row at Dal. with 6+ receptions & 75+ rec. yards. • LB FRED WARNER aims for his 6th in row with 5+ tackles. Needs 4 tackles for 3rd-consecutive 100+ tackle season. DL KERRY HYDER has 4 sacks in his past 3 on road & aims for his 4th in row on road with sack. DL DION JORDAN had sack in Week 14 & aims for his 3rd in row with sack. DB JIMMIE WARD aims for his 4th in row with 5+ tackles. Aims for his 3rd in row on road with PD. CB RICHARD SHERMAN had 4 PD in his last game vs. Dal. (11/1/15 w/ Sea.). Has PD in 2 of his past 3 on road. CB JASON VERRETT had 2nd INT of season last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with PD.

DALLAS NOTES:

QB ANDY DALTON passed for 185 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 122.6 rating last week. Has 2+ TD passes in 3 of his past 4 starts. Passed for 311 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT for 90.5 rating in his last game vs. SF (9/15/19 w/ Cin.). • RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT had 219 scrimmage yards (147 rush, 72 rec.) & 3 TDs (2 rush, 1 rec.) in last meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. SF with 150+ scrimmage yards & rush TD. Has 1,290 scrimmage yards (129 per game) & 12 TDs (9 rush, 3 rec.) in 10 career games vs. NFC West. Is 1st player with 1,100+ scrimmage yards & 7+ scrimmage TDs in each of 1st 5 seasons since ADRIAN PETERSON (2007-11). • WR AMARI COOPER had 4 catches for 51 yards & rec. TD last week. Is only player with 5+ TD catches in each of past 6 seasons. Aims for his 4th in row with rec. TD. Needs 58 rec. yards for 5th-career season with 1,000+ rec. yards. Aims for his 4th in row at home with 5+ receptions. Rookie WR CEEDEE LAMB had 46 rec. yards last week. Has 8 games with 5+ receptions, tiedmost (TEE HIGGINS) among rookies in 2020. Ranks 2nd among rookies in receptions (61) & 3rd in rec. yards (742). TE DALTON SCHULTZ is 1 of 3 NFC TEs (EVAN ENGRAM & T.J. HOCKENSON) with 50+ receptions (career-high 51) this season. • LB JAYLON SMITH led team with 11 tackles & had 4th-career FR last week. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 123 tackles in 2020. DE ALDON SMITH had 78-yard FR-TD last week, his 1st-career TD. Had 44 sacks & 46 TFL in 50 games (2011-14) with SF. DE TYRONE CRAWFORD had 2nd-career 2-sack game last week. CB JOURDAN LEWIS had 4th-career FR in Week 13.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: CBS (1:00 PM ET): Kevin Harlan, Trent Green.

NFL PREVIEW: HOUSTON TEXANS (4-9) AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (9-4)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // LUCAS OIL STADIUM // REFEREE: BILL VINOVICH

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Colts lead all-time series, 28-9

STREAKS: Colts have won 3 of past 4

LAST GAME: 12/6/20: Colts 26 at Texans 20

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/20/19: Colts 30, Texans 23

HOUSTON NOTES:

QB DESHAUN WATSON completed 21 of 30 passes (70 pct.) for 219 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 101.9 rating last week. Has 100+ rating & 0 INTs in 3 of past 4. Passed for 341 yards & rushed for TD in Week 13 meeting. Aims for 3rd in row at Ind. with 300+ pass yards. Has 2+ TD passes & 90+ rating in 6 of past 7 vs. division. Has 12 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 120.5 rating in past 5 on road. • RB DAVID JOHNSON rushed for 44 yards & TD in Week 13 meeting. Has TD in 3 of his past 4. RB DUKE JOHNSON had 79 scrimmage yards (53 rec., 26 rush) last week. Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3. RB BUDDY HOWELL rushed for career-high 42 yards last week. • WR BRANDIN COOKS had 5 catches for 65 yards in Week 13 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Ind. with 5+ catches & 65+ rec. yards. Has TD catch in 5 of his past 6 vs. AFC South. Has 5+ catches in 3 of his past 4 on road. WR KEKE COUTEE had TD catch last week. Had 8 catches for career-high 141 yards in Week 13 meeting. Has 100+ rec. yards in 2 of 3 career games vs. Ind. WR CHAD HANSEN had career-high 7 catches last week. Had 5 catches for career-high 101 rec. yards in Week 13 meeting. • DE J.J. WATT had sack in Week 13 meeting. Has sack in 3 of his past 4 vs. Ind. Aims for his 4th in row vs. division with sack. LB ZACH CUNNINGHAM had 8 tackles, TFL & PD last week. Aims for 6th in row with 8+ tackles. Had 9 tackles in Week 13 meeting. Leads NFL with 126 tackles. LB TYRELL ADAMS had sack in Week 14. Had 12 tackles in Week 13 meeting. Has 12+ tackles in 3 of his past 4 vs. division. S ERIC MURRAY set career highs in tackles (11) & sacks (2) last week.

INDIANAPOLIS NOTES:

QB PHILIP RIVERS completed 19 of 28 passes (67.9 pct.) for 244 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 118.8 rating last week. Aims for 5th in row with 2+ TD passes. Has 105+ rating in 4 of past 5. Completed 27 of 35 passes (77.1 pct.) for 285 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 119.3 rating in Week 13 meeting. Has 18 TDs vs. 3 INTs for 121 rating in 6 career games vs. Hou. • RB JONATHAN TAYLOR (rookie) rushed for career-high 150 yards & 2 TDs last week. Aims for 4th in row with 100+ scrimmage yards & 3rd in row with TD. Had 135 scrimmage yards (91 rush, 44 rec.) & TD catch in Week 13 meeting. Ranks 2nd among rookies with 759 rush yards & 3rd with 6 rush TDs. RB NYHEIM HINES had 75 scrimmage yards (58 rush, 17 rec.) last week. Has 95+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 vs division. Rushed for TD in Week 13 meeting. • WR T.Y. HILTON had 5 catches for 86 yards & season-high 2 TDs last week. Aims for 4th in row with 80+ rec. yards & rec. TD. Set season highs in catches (8) & rec. yards (110) & had TD catch in Week 13 meeting. WR ZACH PASCAL had 6 catches for 106 yards & TD in last home meeting. • LB DARIUS LEONARD led team with 11 tackles & had TFL last week. Has PD in 3 of past 4. Has FR in 2 of his past 3 at home. DE JUSTIN HOUSTON had season-high 3 sacks & FF in Week 13 meeting. Has sack in 4 of his past 5 vs. Hou. DT DEFOREST BUCKNER had season-high 2 sacks in Week 13 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Hou. with sack. CB KENNY MOORE had INT & FF last week. Aims for 3rd in row overall & 3rd in row vs. Hou. with INT. S KHARI WILLIS had 50-yard INT-TD in Week 14.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: CBS (1:00 PM ET): Greg Gumbel, Rich Gannon, Jay Feely (field reporter) SIRIUS: 108 (Hou), 134 (Ind) | XM: 384 (Hou), 228 (Ind)

NFL PREVIEW: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (6-7) AT MIAMI DOLPHINS (8-5)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // HARD ROCK STADIUM // REFEREE: BRAD ALLEN

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Dolphins lead all-time series, 55-52

STREAKS: Patriots have won 2 of past 3

LAST GAME: 9/13/20: Dolphins 11 at Patriots 21

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/15/19: Patriots 43, Dolphins 0

NEW ENGLAND NOTES:

QB CAM NEWTON passed for 119 yards last week. Has 45+ rush yards in 2 of past 3. Completed 15 of 19 passes (78.9 pct.) for 155 yards & 100.7 rating & rushed for season-high 75 yards & 2 TDs in Week 1 meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Mia. with 50+ rush yards. Has 6 TDs (4 pass, 2 rush) vs. 0 INTs for 113.9 rating in his past 2 vs. Mia. Leads QBs with 11 rush TDs this season. • RB DAMIEN HARRIS aims for 3rd in row with 50+ rush yards. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. division with 70+ rush yards. RB SONY MICHEL had rush TD in Week 1 meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Mia. with rush TD. RB JAMES WHITE had 52 scrimmage yards (30 rec., 22 rush) in Week 1 meeting. Has TD catch in 2 of his past 3 vs. Mia. Since 2015, leads RBs in catches (353), rec. yards (3,055) & rec. TDs (24). • WR DAMIERE BYRD had 5 catches for 48 yards in Week 14. Has 5+ catches in 3 of his past 4 on road. WR JAKOBI MEYERS had 4 catches for 47 yards last week. Has 45+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. WR N’KEAL HARRY led team with 49 rec. yards in Week 14. Had 5 catches in Week 1 meeting. • DB J.C. JACKSON had 2 PD & INT in Week 1 meeting. Has PD in 2 of past 3 vs. Mia. Aims for his 4th in row vs. division with INT. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 7 INTs. CB STEPHON GILMORE had INT in Week 1 meeting. Aims for his 5th in row vs. Mia. with PD. Rookie DB MYLES BRYANT had 1st-career INT last week. DB ADRIAN PHILLIPS led team with 10 tackles & had TFL last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 10+ tackles. Had 9 tackles & INT in Week 1 meeting. Has PD in 2 of past 3 on road. DL ADAM BUTLER has sack & PD in 2 of past 3. Has TFL in 5 of past 6 vs. Mia.

MIAMI NOTES:

QB TUA TAGOVAILOA (rookie) completed 28 of 48 passes (58.3 pct.) for career-high 316 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT & rushed for 1st-career TD last week. Has 0 INTs in 5 of 6 career starts. Has 95+ rating in 2 of his past 3 starts at home. Leads rookies with 95.2 rating (min. 100 attempts). • RB MYLES GASKIN has 125+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3. Had 66 scrimmage yards (40 rush, 26 rec.) in Week 1 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. division with 65+ scrimmage yards. RB DEANDRE WASHINGTON aims for his 3rd in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. • WR DEVANTE PARKER had 4 catches for 47 yards in Week 1 meeting. Has 50+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 vs. division. Rookie WR LYNN BOWDEN set career highs in catches (7) & rec. yards (82) last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. WR MACK HOLLINS had season-high 5 catches for career-high 66 yards last week. TE ADAM SHAHEEN aims for his 3rd in row vs. division with TD catch. • CB XAVIEN HOWARD has INT in 5 straight games & is 5th player since 2015 with INT in 5 straight. Has 9 PD in his past 5. Aims for 3rd in row vs. division with 2+ PD. Leads NFL with career-high 9 INTs. CB BYRON JONES had 1st INT & FF of season last week. Has PD in 2 of his past 3 at home. S ERIC ROWE had 7 tackles, 2 PD & INT in Week 14. Has PD in 2 of his past 3 vs. NE. LB JEROME BAKER had 8 tackles & career-high 2.5 sacks last week. Had career-high 16 tackles, sack & FF in Week 1 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NE with FF. DE EMMANUEL OGBAH had FR last week. DT CHRISTIAN WILKINS had .5 sacks last week.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: CBS (1:00 PM ET): Ian Eagle, Charles Davis, Evan Washburn (field reporter) SIRIUS: 119 (NE), 136 (Mia) | XM: 386 (NE), 230 (Mia)

NFL PREVIEW: CHICAGO BEARS (6-7) AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS (6-7)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // U.S. BANK STADIUM // REFEREE: SHAWN SMITH

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Vikings lead all-time series, 61-55-2

STREAKS: Bears have won 4 of past 5

LAST GAME: 11/16/20: Vikings 19 at Bears 13

LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/29/19: Bears 21, Vikings 19

CHICAGO NOTES:

QB MITCHELL TRUBISKY completed 24 of 33 attempts (72.7 pct.) for 267 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 126.7 rating last week, his 10th-career game with 3+ TD passes. Has 3+ TD passes in 2 of his 3 road starts this season. Is 4-0 in his past 4 vs. Min. • RB DAVID MONTGOMERY had career-high 155 scrimmage yards (113 rush, 42 rec.), incl. 80-yard TD run, in Week 14. Has 100+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5. Aims for his 4th in row with 110+ scrimmage yards & TD. Rushed for 113 yards & TD in last meeting. Is 1 of 3 NFC RBs (DALVIN COOK & ALVIN KAMARA) with 700+ rush yards (760) & 300+ rec. yards (333) this season. • WR ALLEN ROBINSON led team with 9 receptions for 123 yards & TD catch last week, his 15th-career 100-yard game. Has 86 receptions & 1,027 rec. yards this season, his 3rd-career season with 80+ catches & 1,000+ rec. yards. Has 9 games with 6+ receptions in 2020, tied-4th most in NFL. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Min. & 7th in row overall with 6+ receptions. TE JIMMY GRAHAM had rec. TD last week. Is 1 of 4 TEs (ANTONIO GATES, HOFer TONY GONZALEZ & ROB GRONKOWSKI) with 80+ rec. TDs (80) in NFL history. Rookie WR DARNELL MOONEY had 3rd TD catch of season in Week 14. • LB KHALIL MACK had sack, FF & FR in Week 14. Had INT in last meeting. Is 1 of 2 (AARON DONALD) with 7+ sacks in each of past 6 seasons. Since 2014, is 1 of 2 (CHANDLER JONES) with 65+ sacks (69) & 20+ FFs (23). LB ROQUAN SMITH led team with 12 tackles & had 2 sacks last week. Had sack in Week 10 meeting. Has career highs in tackles (122) & TFL (17) this season. DT AKIEM HICKS has 6.5 sacks & 12 TFL in his past 7 vs. Min.

MINNESOTA NOTES:

QB KIRK COUSINS had TD vs. 0 INTs & career-high 41 rush yards last week. Has 1,999 pass yards (285.6 per game) & 20 TDs vs. 7 INTs for 113.1 rating in 7 home games this season. Aims for his 4th in row at home with 300+ pass yards & 7th in row at home with 3+ TD passes. Passed for 292 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT for 100.7 rating in Week 10 meeting. Is only QB with 3,000+ pass yards & 25+ TD passes in each of past 6 seasons. • RB DALVIN COOK had 110 scrimmage yards (102 rush, 8 rec.) & rush TD last week. Has 8 games with 100+ scrimmage yards, tied with DERRICK HENRY for most in NFL in 2020. Leads NFL in scrimmage yards (career-high 1,674) & ranks 2nd in scrimmage TDs (career-high 15). • WR ADAM THIELEN has career-high 12 rec. TDs in 2020, 3rdmost in NFL. Had 2 rec. TDs in Week 10 meeting. Has 11 TDs (10 rec., 1 rush) in his past 10 at home & aims for his 3rd in row at home with TD catch. Rookie WR JUSTIN JEFFERSON had 8 receptions for 135 yards in last meeting. Is 1 of 5 WRs in 2020 with 1,000+ rec. yards (1,078) & 7+ rec. TDs (7). Can become 1st rookie WR since MICHAEL THOMAS (2016) with 70+ receptions & 1,000+ rec. yards. Aims for his 4th in row at home with TD catch. TE IRV SMITH had team-high 63 rec. yards & career-high 3rd rec. TD of season last week. • LB ERIC KENDRICKS has 10+ tackles in 2 of his past 3 vs. Chi. Aims for his 4th in row at home with INT. LB ERIC WILSON is only player with 3+ sacks (3) & 3+ INTs (3) this season. S HARRISON SMITH had INT & 2 PD in Week 10 meeting. Rookie DE D.J. WONNUM had sack in last meeting.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: FOX (1:00 PM ET): TBD SIRIUS: 132 (Chi), 83 (Min) | XM: 382 (Chi), 225 (Min)

NFL PREVIEW: DETROIT LIONS (5-8) AT TENNESSEE TITANS (9-4)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // NISSAN STADIUM // REFEREE: JEROME BOGER

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Titans lead all-time series, 9-3

STREAKS: Titans have won past 5

LAST GAME: 9/18/16: Titans 16 at Lions 15

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/23/12: Titans 44, Lions 41 (OT)

DETROIT NOTES:

QB MATTHEW STAFFORD passed for 244 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 100.6 rating last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with 100+ rating. Passed for 278 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 102.2 rating in last road meeting. Ranks 4th in NFC with 3,522 pass yards in 2020 & has 9 seasons with 3,500+ pass yards since 2011, tied3rd most in NFL. • RB ADRIAN PETERSON rushed for 119 yards in his last game vs. Ten. (12/22/18 w/ Was.). Has 100+ scrimmage yards in 3 of his 4 career games vs. Ten. Ranks 4th in NFL history with 117 rush TDs & 5th with 14,724 rush yards. Rookie RB D’ANDRE SWIFT had 5th rush TD of season last week. Is 1 of 2 rookie RBs (JAMES ROBINSON) with 5+ rush TDs (5) & 2+ rec. TDs (2) this season. Has 3 rush TDs in his past 3 on road. • WR MARVIN JONES had 8 receptions for 118 yards in last meeting. Has rec. TD in 2 of his past 3 on road. WR KENNY GOLLADAY aims for his 3rd in row on road with 100+ rec. yards. WR DANNY AMENDOLA had 6 catches for team-high 66 yards last week. Has 50+ rec. yards in 5 of his past 6. TE T.J. HOCKENSON had 6 receptions for 43 yards & rec. TD last week. Ranks 3rd among TEs with 58 receptions & 657 rec. yards. Has 5+ receptions in 3 of his past 4 on road. • LB JAMIE COLLINS had 6 tackles & PD last week. Has PD in 3 of his past 4. Aims for his 4th in row on road with 8+ tackles. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Ten. with sack & PD. Needs 3 tackles for 4th-career 100+ tackle season. DE ROMEO OKWARA has 3 sacks & 2 FFs in his past 4 on road. CB DARRYL ROBERTS led team with 7 tackles & had PD last week.

TENNESSEE NOTES:

QB RYAN TANNEHILL completed 19 of 24 passes (season-high 79.2 pct.) for 212 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 131.3 rating last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 2+ TD passes & 100+ rating. Passed for 207 yards & TD vs. INT in only career game vs. Det. (11/9/14 with Mia.). Has 20 TDs (19 pass, 1 rush) vs. 2 INTs for 115 rating in 7 home games in 2020. Has career-high 28 TD passes. • RB DERRICK HENRY rushed for season-high 215 yards with 2 TDs last week, becoming 1st player in NFL history with 4 career games with 200+ rush yards & 2+ rush TDs. Is 5th player in NFL history with 175+ rush yards & 2+ rush TDs in 3 games within single season. Has 100+ rush yards in 4 of past 5. Has 2+ rush TDs in 2 of past 3. Leads NFL with 1,532 rush yards & ties for lead with 14 rush TDs. • WR A.J. BROWN led team with 7 catches for 112 yards & had rec. TD last week, his 8th-career game with 100+ rec. yards. Aims for 4th in row with 85+ rec. yards. Has TD catch in 3 of past 4. WR COREY DAVIS has 70+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 4. Aims for 3rd in row at home with 5+ catches. TE GEOFF SWAIM had 1st TD catch of season in Week 14. Had rec. TD in only career game vs. Det. (9/30/18 with Dal.). • S KEVIN BYARD led team with season-high 11 tackles last week. Aims for his 10th in row with 6+ tackles. Has PD in 2 of his past 3 vs. NFC North. S KENNY VACCARO had 3 PD, INT, FR & TFL in his last game vs. Det. (10/15/17 with NO). Aims for his 4th in row vs. Det. with TFL. CB MALCOLM BUTLER had 2 PD & INT in Week 14. Aims for his 4th in row vs. NFC North with 2+ PD. LB RASHAAN EVANS had 8 tackles & 2 PD last week.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: CBS (1:00 PM ET): Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta SIRIUS: 138 (Det), 81 (Ten) | XM: 381 (Det), 226 (Ten)

NFL PREVIEW: SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (9-4) AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (6-7)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 1:00 PM ET // FEDEXFIELD // REFEREE: ADRIAN HILL

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Washington leads all-time series, 12-5

STREAKS: Washington has won 7 of past 8

LAST GAME: 11/5/19: Washington 17 at Seattle 14

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/6/14: Seattle 27, Washington 17

SEATTLE NOTES:

QB RUSSELL WILSON passed for 4 TDs vs. INT for 122.6 rating last week. Has 5 games with 4+ TD passes in 2020, tied-most (AARON RODGERS) in NFL. Has 15 games with 4+ TD passes, tied with PEYTON MANNING (15) for 2nd-most by QB in 1st 9 seasons in NFL history. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Was. with 2+ TD passes. • RB CHRIS CARSON had 98 scrimmage yards (76 rush, 22 rec.) & rush TD last week. Has 9 TDs (5 rush, 4 rec.) in 9 games this season & is 1 of 4 RBs (TODD GURLEY, DERRICK HENRY & AARON JONES) with 9+ TDs in each of past 3 seasons. Aims for his 4th in row with TD. RB CARLOS HYDE has 3 rush TDs in 2 career games vs. Was. & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Was. with rush TD. • WR DK METCALF led team with 6 receptions for 61 yards & had rec. TD last week. Has 100+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 on road. Ranks 2nd in rec. yards (1,180) & 5th in rec. TDs (10) this season & is 1st Sea. WR with 1,000+ rec. yards & 10+ rec. TDs in single season since DOUG BALDWIN (2015). WR TYLER LOCKETT is 1 of 2 WRs (MIKE EVANS) with 8+ rec. TDs in each of past 3 seasons. Has 5+ receptions in 4 of his past 5. WR DAVID MOORE has rec. TD in 2 of his past 3. • S JAMAL ADAMS has career-high 8.5 sacks in 2020, most by DB in single season since 1982. Aims for his 4th in row overall & 5th in row on road with sack. Had career-high 3 sacks in only career game vs. Was. (11/17/19 w/ NYJ). LB BOBBY WAGNER had 9th-career FR last week. Has 20 tackles (10 per game), 2 sacks, 6 TFL & 3 PD in 2 career games vs. Was. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Was. with sack & 3+ TFL. Has 113 tackles in 2020, his 9thconsecutive 100+ tackle season.

WASHINGTON NOTES:

QB ALEX SMITH has 12 TDs (9 pass, 3 rush) vs. 4 INTs for 81 rating in 12 career starts vs. Sea. QB DWAYNE HASKINS has 8 TDs (7 pass, 1 rush) vs. 2 INTs for 89.9 rating in 6 career home starts. Has 90+ rating in 3 of his past 4 at home. • RB ANTONIO GIBSON leads all rookies & ranks tied-3rd in NFL with 11 rush TDs this season. Aims for his 4th in row at home with rush TD & 6th in row at home with 50+ scrimmage yards. RB J.D. MCKISSIC had season-high 86 scrimmage yards (68 rush, 18 rec.) last week. Ranks 2nd among RBs with 58 receptions this season. Aims for his 3rd in row with 75+ scrimmage yards. • WR TERRY MCLAURIN leads team with 73 receptions & 1,001 rec. yards, his 1st-career 1,000-yard season & is 1st Was. WR with 70+ catches & 1,000+ rec. yards in single season since PIERRE GARCON (2016). Has 90+ rec. yards & rec. TD in 2 of his past 3 at home. Aims for his 4th in row at home with 5+ receptions. TE LOGAN THOMAS led team with 6 receptions last week. Is 1 of 3 NFC TEs (T.J. HOCKENSON & ROBERT TONYAN) with 45+ receptions (49) & 5+ rec. TDs (5) in 2020. • DE CHASE YOUNG (rookie) had sack, FF & 47-yard FR-TD last week, his 1st-career TD. Leads all rookies with 5.5 sacks. Rookie S KAMREN CURL had 76-yard INT-TD in Week 14 & aims for his 7th in row with 7+ tackles. Was. became 5th team since 1970 & 1st since Week 8, 2006 (BALTIMORE RAVENS) with 2 different rookies recording a defensive TD in the same game. DE MONTEZ SWEAT had sack last week. Has 4 sacks in his past 4 at home. Leads NFC DL with 5 PD in 2020. DT DARON PAYNE had sack, FF & FR last week, his 1st-career game with both FF & FR.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: FOX (1:00 PM ET): TBD SIRIUS: 113 (Sea), 146 (Was) | XM: 387 (Sea), 231 (Was)

NFL PREVIEW: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (4-8-1) AT ARIZONA CARDINALS (7-6)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 4:05 PM ET // STATE FARM STADIUM // REFEREE: CRAIG WROLSTAD

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Cardinals lead all-time series, 57-55-5

STREAKS: Cardinals have won 2 of past 3

LAST GAME: 10/8/17: Cardinals 7 at Eagles 34

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/26/14: Cardinals 24, Eagles 20

PHILADELPHIA NOTES:

QB JALEN HURTS (rookie) passed for 167 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 83.6 rating & had 106 rush yards in 1st career start last week. Joined LAMAR JACKSON (2018) as only QBs with 100+ rush yards in 1st career start in NFL history. • RB MILES SANDERS had season-high 136 scrimmage yards (115 rush, 21 rec.) & 2 rush TDs, incl. 82-yard TD run, in Week 13. Is only player in NFL with 3 rushes of 60+ yards this season. Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5 on road. Is 1 of 3 RBs (NICK CHUBB & DERRICK HENRY) with 5+ yards per carry (5.0) since 2019 (min. 300 attempts). RB BOSTON SCOTT has 50+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 on road. • TE ZACH ERTZ ranks 2nd among TEs in receptions (553) & rec. yards (5,960) since 2013. Has 4 rec. TDs in 4 career games vs. Az. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Az. with TD catch & 5th in row vs. Az. with 5+ receptions. TE DALLAS GOEDERT has 5+ receptions & 60+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 4. WR ALSHON JEFFERY had 1st rec. TD of season last week. • DT FLETCHER COX had sack last week. Has sack in 2 of his past 3 on road & sack in 5 of his past 6 overall. Had sack in last meeting. Has 6.5 sacks in 2020, his 6th-career season with 5+ sacks. DE BRANDON GRAHAM leads team with 7 sacks, his 3rd-career season with 7+ sacks. Has 3.5 sacks & 9 TFL in his past 5 vs. Az. DE JOSH SWEAT had 2 sacks & FF last week, his 1st-career 2 sack game. DT JAVON HARGRAVE had 2 sacks & 2nd-career FR last week. LB ALEX SINGLETON led team with 11 tackles last week. Has 10+ tackles in 4 of his past 5 & aims for his 4th in row on road with 10+ tackles.

ARIZONA NOTES:

QB KYLER MURRAY passed for 244 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 97.8 rating & had 47 rush yards last week. Has 20 TDs (13 pass, 7 rush) & 7 INTs for 95.7 rating in 6 home starts this season. Has 3,231 pass yards & career-high 712 rush yards in 2020 & is 2nd QB (CAM NEWTON) with 3,000+ pass yards & 500+ rush yards in each of 1st 2 seasons in NFL history. • RB KENYAN DRAKE had 90 scrimmage yards (80 rush, 10 rec.) & rush TD last week. Has rush TD in 4 consecutive games, tiedactive longest streak in NFL. Has 17 rush TDs in 20 games with Az. Needs 49 scrimmage yards for 3rd-consecutive season with 1,000+ scrimmage yards. RB CHASE EDMONDS has 75+ scrimmage yards in 3 of his past 4 at home. • WR DEANDRE HOPKINS had 9 receptions for 136 yards last week. Has 6 games with 100+ rec. yards in 2020, tied-most in NFL. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Phi. with 100+ rec. yards. Aims for 3rd in row at home with TD catch. Ranks 3rd in receptions (94) & 5th in rec. yards (1,155) this season. Is 7th player in NFL history with 4 consecutive seasons with 90+ catches & 1,100+ rec. yards. WR LARRY FITZGERALD has 45 receptions in 2020 & can tie HOFer JERRY RICE (17) for most seasons with 50+ catches in NFL history. Has 8 rec. TDs in 8 career games vs. Phi. TE DAN ARNOLD has 4 rec. TDs in his past 4 & aims for his 3rd in row with TD catch. • LB HAASON REDDICK had career highs in sacks (5) & FFs (3) last week, 1st player since 2002 (VONNIE HOLLIDAY) with 5+ sacks & 3+ FFs in single game. S BUDDA BAKER ranks 2nd among DBs with 100 tackles, his 3rd-consecutive 100+ tackle season.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: FOX (4:05 PM ET): TBD SIRIUS: 138 (Phi), 81 (AZ) | XM: 381 (Phi), 226 (AZ)

NFL PREVIEW: NEW YORK JETS (0-13) AT LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-4)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 4:05 PM ET // SOFI STADIUM // REFEREE: TONY CORRENTE

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Rams lead all-time series, 10-4

STREAKS: Jets have won 2 of past 3

LAST GAME: 11/13/16: Rams 9 at Jets 6

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/27/92: Rams 18, Jets 10

NEW YORK NOTES:

QB SAM DARNOLD passed for 132 yards with 0 INTs last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NFC West with 0 INTs. Has 90+ rating in 5 of his past 6 vs. NFC. Has 12 TDs (11 pass, 1 rush) vs. 2 INTs for 105.5 rating in his past 6 vs. NFC. • RB FRANK GORE aims for his 3rd in row vs. Rams with 50+ scrimmage yards. In 18 career games vs. Rams, has 15 rush TDs, most vs. any opponent. Has 546 rush yards this season, his 16th season with 500+ rush yards, most in NFL history. Ranks 3rd in NFL history with 15,893 rush yards & 4th with 19,867 scrimmage yards. • WR JAMISON CROWDER had 4 catches for 47 yards in his last game vs. LAR (9/17/17 with Was.). Has 5+ catches, 75+ rec. yards & TD catch in 3 of his past 4 vs. NFC. Has 510 rec. yards, his 5th season with 500+ rec. yards. WR BRESHAD PERRIMAN has 50+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 on road. WR BRAXTON BERRIOS led team with 49 rec. yards last week. Has 45+ rec. yards in 2 of 3 career games vs. NFC West. Rookie WR DENZEL MIMS has 40+ rec. yards in each of 1st 6 career games. • S MARCUS MAYE had 2nd INT of season last week. Aims for 5th in row with PD. CB ARTHUR MAULET has PD in 2 of his past 3. LB NEVILLE HEWITT had 9 tackles & season-high 2 TFL last week. Aims for 5th in row with TFL & 3rd in row with 9+ tackles. Is 1 of 4 in NFL with 5+ tackles in 13 games this season. LB HARVEY LANGI had 9 tackles last week & aims for his 6th in row with 8+ tackles. DL QUINNEN WILLIAMS has sack in 2 of past 3. DL FOLORUNSO FATUKASI had 2 TFL & sack in Week 14. Has sack in 2 of past 3. Aims for 3rd in row on road with TFL.

LOS ANGELES NOTES:

QB JARED GOFF had 2 TDs (1 pass, 1 rush) vs. INT last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with rush TD. Has 3,509 pass yards in 2020 & is 1 of 3 QBs (PHILIP RIVERS & MATT RYAN) with 3,500+ pass yards in each of past 4 seasons. • RB CAM AKERS (rookie) had career-high 194 scrimmage yards (career-high 171 rush, 23 rec.) last week, most scrimmage yards by rookie in 2020 & most rush yards by Rams rookie since HOFer JEROME BETTIS (212 rush yards on 12/12/93). Has TD in 3 of his past 4. Aims for his 4th in row with 80+ scrimmage yards. • WR COOPER KUPP had 5 receptions & TD catch last week, his 24th-career rec. TD. Has 5+ catches in 4 of his past 5 at home. WR ROBERT WOODS had 5 catches last week. Aims for his 4th in row at home & 7th in row overall with 5+ receptions. Kupp (79) & Woods (76) are only pair of WR teammates each with 75+ receptions this season. • DL AARON DONALD had 1.5 sacks in Week 14 & leads NFL with 12.5 sacks in 2020. Has 22 games with 1.5+ sacks since 2014, most in NFL. Has 84.5 career sacks & can surpass HOFer DERRICK THOMAS (85) for 3rd-most sacks by player in 1st 7 seasons since 1982. Aims for his 4th in row with sack. DL MICHAEL BROCKERS had 3rd-career game with 2 sacks last week. LB KENNY YOUNG lead team with 8 tackles, had 1st sack of season & 79-yard INTTD last week, his 1st-career INT & TD. Aims for his 4th in row with TFL. LB LEONARD FLOYD has 6.5 sacks in 6 home games this season. LB TROY REEDER aims for his 4th in row with 7+ tackles. CB JALEN RAMSEY aims for his 3rd in row vs. NYJ with PD. CB TROY HILL aims for his 3rd in row with PD.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: FOX (4:05 PM ET): TBD SIRIUS: 108 (NYJ), 134 (LAR) | XM: 384 (NYJ), 228 (LAR)

NFL PREVIEW: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (12-1) AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (10-3)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 4:25 PM ET // MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOME // REFEREE: SCOTT NOVAK

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Chiefs lead all-time series, 6-5

STREAKS: Chiefs have won past 2

LAST GAME: 10/23/16: Saints 21 at Chiefs 27

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/23/12: Chiefs 27, Saints 24 (OT)

KANSAS CITY NOTES:

CHIEFS clinched AFC West division title for 5th-consecutive season, longest streak in franchise history. • QB PATRICK MAHOMES completed 24 of 34 passes (70.6 pct.) for 393 yards & 2 TDs vs. 3 INTs for 91.9 rating last week. Has 315+ pass yards in 6 straight, tied-longest streak in NFL history. Aims for 9th in row with 90+ rating. Has 7 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 123.3 rating in 2 career games vs. NFC South. Leads NFL with 4,208 pass yards & is 3rd QB in NFL history with 4,000+ pass yards in 3 of 1st 4 seasons. • RB CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE (rookie) had 91 scrimmage yards (59 rec., 32 rush) last week. Has 75+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3. RB LE’VEON BELL had 254 scrimmage yards (careerhigh 159 rec., 95 rush) & rush TD in only career game vs. NO (11/30/14 with Pit.). • WR TYREEK HILL had 79 rec. yards & TD catch & rushed for 32-yard TD last week, his 14th-career game with 2+ TDs, tied for 2nd-most by WR in 1st 5 seasons in NFL history. Had TD catch in last meeting. Aims for 3rd in row vs. NFC South with 100+ rec. yards & 2+ rec. TDs. Ties for NFL lead with 14 rec. TDs. TE TRAVIS KELCE aims for 3rd in row with 8+ catches, 125+ rec. yards & TD catch. Has 100+ rec. yards in 5 of past 6. Leads TEs with 90 catches, 1,250 rec. yards & ties for lead with 9 rec. TDs. • S TYRANN MATHIEU had 2 PD & INT last week & aims for 4th in row with INT. Has 4 PD in 3 career games vs. NO. CB BASHAUD BREELAND had 3 PD last week. DE FRANK CLARK had sack last week. Had sack in only career game vs. NO (10/30/16 with Sea.). DT CHRIS JONES had sack, PD & 1st-career safety in Week 14.

NEW ORLEANS NOTES:

QB DREW BREES passed for 367 yards & 3 TDs vs. INT for 110.3 rating in last meeting. Has 11 TDs (9 pass, 2 rush) vs. INT for 107.4 rating in 5 home starts this season. QB TAYSOM HILL passed for career-high 291 yards & had 2 TDs vs. INT for 102 rating last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with 2+ TD passes & 100+ rating. • RB ALVIN KAMARA had 7 receptions & 94 scrimmage yards (50 rush, 44 rec.) with rush TD last week. Has 7 TDs (6 rush, 1 rec.) in his past 6 & aims for his 3rd in row with rush TD. Ranks 3rd in NFL in scrimmage yards (1,422) & tied-3rd in scrimmage TDs (14). Leads all RBs with 77 receptions & can become 3rd RB in NFL history with 4 seasons of 80+ catches. • WR MICHAEL THOMAS led team with 8 receptions & 84 yards last week. Had 10 receptions for 130 yards in last meeting. Has 9+ catches & 100+ rec. yards in 7 of his past 9 at home. Since 2016, leads NFL with 510 receptions, most by player in 1st 5 seasons in NFL history. WR EMMANUEL SANDERS had 4th TD catch of season last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. KC with 50+ rec. yards. TE JARED COOK had 6th rec. TD of season last week & aims for his 3rd in row with TD catch. Has TD catch in 2 of his past 3 vs. KC. • DE CAMERON JORDAN aims for his 3rd in row vs. KC with TFL. Is only player with 6+ sacks in each of past 9 seasons. LB DEMARIO DAVIS needs 9 tackles for 4th-consecutive 100+ tackle season. Since 2017, is 1 of 2 (LAVONTE DAVID) with 400+ tackles (447) & 40+ TFL (45). DE TREY HENDRICKSON ranks tied-3rd in NFL with career-high 10.5 sacks this season. S MALCOLM JENKINS had 11th-career FR last week.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: CBS (4:25 PM ET): Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson (field reporter) SIRIUS: 82 (KC), 137 (NO) | XM: 380 (KC), 227 (NO)

NFL PREVIEW: CLEVELAND BROWNS (9-4) AT NEW YORK GIANTS (5-8)

WEEK 15 // SUNDAY, DEC. 20, 2020 // 8:20 PM ET // METLIFE STADIUM // REFEREE: SHAWN HOCHULI

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Browns lead all-time series, 26-21-2

STREAKS: Giants have won 6 of past 7

LAST GAME: 11/27/16: Giants 27 at Browns 13

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/7/12: Giants 41, Browns 27

CLEVELAND NOTES:

QB BAKER MAYFIELD passed for season-high 343 yards & 2 TDs vs. INT & rushed for TD last week. Aims for 4th in row with 2+ TD passes. Has 115+ rating in 2 of past 3. Has 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 101.2 rating in 3 career games vs. NFC East. Has 11 TDs vs. INT for 139.3 rating in his past 3 on road. • RB NICK CHUBB had 103 scrimmage yards (82 rush, 21 rec.) & 2 rush TDs last week, his 6th game with 100+ scrimmage yards & rush TD this season, tied-most in NFL. Aims for 6th in row with 100+ scrimmage yards & 4th in row with rush TD. Has 100+ rush yards in 2 of 3 career games vs. NFC East. RB KAREEM HUNT had 110 scrimmage yards (season-high 77 rec., 33 rush) & 2 TDs (1 rush, 1 rec.) last week. Rushed for 73 yards in only career game vs. NYG (11/19/17 with KC). Aims for his 4th in row vs. NFC East with TD. Has 442 scrimmage yards (147.3 per game) & 4 TDs (3 rec. 1 rush) in 3 career games on SNF. • WR JARVIS LANDRY aims for 4th in row with 6+ catches & 50+ rec. yards. Aims for 3rd in row on road with TD catch. Had 11 catches for 99 yards in only career game vs. NYG (12/14/15 with Mia.). WR RASHARD HIGGINS aims for 3rd in row with 6+ catches, 65+ rec. yards & rec. TD. Rookie WR DONOVAN PEOPLES-JONES aims for 3rd in row with 70+ rec. yards. • DE MYLES GARRETT aims for 4th in row with TFL. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NFC East with 2+ sacks & FF. Has 6 sacks & 2 FFs in his past 4 on road. DE OLIVIER VERNON had 2 sacks & PD last week. Has 1.5+ sacks in 3 of his past 4 vs. NFC East. Had 131 tackles, 22 sacks & 4 FFs in 3 seasons with NYG (2016-18). DT SHELDON RICHARDSON had sack in Week 14.

NEW YORK NOTES:

QB DANIEL JONES has 270+ pass yards & 2+ TD passes in 2 of his past 3 vs. AFC. Leads all QBs with 7.3 yards per carry in 2020 (min. 50 attempts). • RB WAYNE GALLMAN had 73 scrimmage yards (57 rush, 16 rec.) in Week 14. Has career highs in rush yards (561) & rush TDs (6) this season. Has 3 rush TDs in his past 3 at home & 6 rush TDs in his past 7 overall. Aims for his 8th in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. RB DION LEWIS had 2nd rush TD of season last week. • WR STERLING SHEPARD needs 5 receptions for 5th-consecutive 50-catch season. WR GOLDEN TATE had 6 receptions for 97 yards & rec. TD in his last game vs. Cle. (11/12/17 w/ Det.). WR DARIUS SLAYTON has 5+ receptions & 50+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 at home. TE EVAN ENGRAM is 1 of 3 NFC TEs (T.J. HOCKENSON & DALTON SCHULTZ) with 50+ receptions (50) this season. Ranks 3rd among NFC TEs with 526 rec. yards. • LB BLAKE MARTINEZ has 7+ tackles in 5 of his 6 home games this season. Ranks tied-4th in NFL with 118 tackles, his 4thconsecutive 100-tackle season. DL LEONARD WILLIAMS has 4 sacks & 6 TFL in 6 home games in 2020. S JABRILL PEPPERS had career-high 13 tackles, 2 TFL & 4th-career FF last week. Had 134 tackles, 8 PD & 2 FR in 29 games (2017-18) with Cle. CB JAMES BRADBERRY has career-high 17 PD in 2020, tied most in NFL. Is only DB with 10+ PD in each of past 5 seasons. Aims for 7th in row at home in 2020 with PD. DB LOGAN RYAN had 8 tackles, 1.5 sacks & INT in his last game vs. Cle. (9/8/19 w/ Ten.). Has 4 PD, 2 FFs, INT & FR in his past 5. DL DALVIN TOMLINSON had 7th-career sack in Week 14.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: NBC (8:20 PM ET): Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (field reporter) NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Tom McCarthy, Ross Tucker SIRIUS: 81 (Cle), 83 (NYG) | XM: 226 (Cle), 225 (NYG), 88 (National)

NFL PREVIEW: PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-2) AT CINCINNATI BENGALS (2-10-1)

WEEK 15 // MONDAY, DEC. 21, 2020 // 8:15 PM ET // PAUL BROWN STADIUM // REFEREE: CLAY MARTIN

REGULAR SEASON HISTORY:

LEADER: Steelers lead all-time series, 65-35

STREAKS: Steelers have won past 10

LAST GAME: 11/15/20: Bengals 10 at Steelers 36

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/24/19: Steelers 16, Bengals 10

PITTSBURGH NOTES:

STEELERS clinched postseason berth for 1st time since 2017. • QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER passed for 187 yards & 2 TDs vs. 2 INTs last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 2+ TD passes. Set season highs in pass yards (333) & TD passes (4) with 0 INTs & 110.1 rating in Week 10 meeting. • RB JAMES CONNER has 90+ scrimmage yards in 3 of his past 4 vs. Cin. Has rush TD in 2 of his past 3 vs. division. RB BENNY SNELL rushed for 98 yards in last road meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row on road vs. division with 90+ rush yards. • WR JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER had 6 catches for 55 yards & TD last week. Aims for 4th in row with 6+ catches. Had 9 catches for 77 yards & TD in Week 10 meeting. Has TD catch in 2 of his past 3 vs. Cin. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. division with rec. TD. WR DIONTAE JOHNSON has 8+ catches in 3 of past 4. Had 6 catches for career-high 116 yards & TD in Week 10 meeting. Has 75+ rec. yards & TD catch in 2 of 3 career games vs. Cin. Rookie WR CHASE CLAYPOOL had 2 rec. TDs in Week 10 meeting. Has TD catch in 2 of past 3 vs. division. Leads rookies with 8 rec. TDs. WR JAMES WASHINGTON aims for 3rd in row with rec. TD. Had 98 rec. yards & TD catch in last road meeting. • LB T.J. WATT had PD last week. Has sack in 2 of past 3. Had 2 sacks in Week 10 meeting. Aims for his 5th in row vs. Cin. with sack & 3rd in row vs. division with 2+ sacks. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 12 sacks. CB MIKE HILTON had 5 tackles, INT & 1st FF of season last week. Aims for 3rd in row with PD & TFL. S MINKAH FITZPATRICK has PD in 3 of past 4. Has INT in 2 of past 3 on road. DE TYSON ALUALU had sack & FF in Week 14.

CINCINNATI NOTES:

QB BRANDON ALLEN completed 27 of 36 passes (career-high 75 pct.) for season-high 217 yards with TD vs. 0 INTs for season high 99 rating last week. Aims for 4th in row with TD pass. QB RYAN FINLEY passed for 192 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs in last home meeting. Aims for his 3rd start in row vs. division with TD pass. • RB GIOVANI BERNARD has 65+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 at home vs. Pit. Has 536 scrimmage yards this season (275 rec., 261 rush) & is 1 of 2 RBs (FRANK GORE) with 400+ scrimmage yards in each of past 8 seasons. RB TRAYVEON WILLIAMS had career-high 63 scrimmage yards (49 rush, 14 rec.) last week. RB SAMAJE PERINE had season-high 55 scrimmage yards (48 rush, 7 rec.) in Week 10 meeting. • WR TYLER BOYD had 5 catches for 43 yards last week. Had 6 catches for 41 yards in Week 10 meeting. Had 5 catches for 101 yards & TD in last home meeting. Has 5+ catches in 4 of his past 5 at home. WR A.J. GREEN had 6 catches for 62 yards & TD in Week 14. Has 7+ catches & 75+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 vs. Pit. Rookie WR TEE HIGGINS aims for 4th in row with 5+ catches. Had 7 catches for 115 yards & TD in Week 10 meeting. Aims for 3rd in row vs. division with 70+ rec. yards & TD catch. Ranks 2nd among rookies with 778 rec. yards. • S JESSIE BATES had PD last week. Had 7 tackles, 2 PD & TFL in Week 10 meeting. Has 2 PD in 2 of his past 3 vs. division. S VONN BELL aims for 5th in row with 5+ tackles. Has FR in 2 of past 3. Had 2 PD in Week 10 meeting. LB JOSH BYNES led team with 7 tackles & had TFL last week. DT MARGUS HUNT had season-high 2 TFL & 1st sack of season in Week 14.

ON THE AIRWAVES TV: ESPN (8:15 PM ET): Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, Lisa Salters (field reporter) NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner SIRIUS: 81 (Pit), 83 (Cin) | XM: 226 (Pit), 225 (Cin), 88 (National)

INDIANA MBB: NOTES: Indiana Set to Face Butler in Crossroads Classic

(INDIANA RELEASE)

OPENING TIP
Indiana University is in its 121st season of competition in men’s basketball and opens the doors of Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall for the 50th season. The Hoosiers will play their 5th high major opponent away from home this season when it takes on Butler in the 10th Crossroads Classic. IU, Stanford and North Carolina will be the only Power 5 teams to play at least 5 of their 7 non-conference home games on an away or neutral court. IU and Butler share the best record in the Crossroads Classic at 6-3 and IU has won 5 of 6 and three in a row in the 4-team event.  IU is coming off an 87-52 win over North Alabama. IU is rated 10th by KenPom in adjusted defense, 16th overall and 54th in strength of schedule, which is the highest rated in the Big Ten.   

GAME INFORMATION
Crossroads Classic
Saturday, Dec. 19 • 11:30 a.m.
Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis)
TV: FS1 (Vince Welch and Stephen Bardo)
Radio: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, Joe Smith) | TuneIn
Series History: Indiana leads, 39-15
Last Meeting: IU 71, BU 68; 12/15/18

THE COACHES
Indiana Coach Archie Miller is in his fourth season of guiding the Cream and Crimson and is 59-45 with the Hoosiers.  He is 198-108 in nine+ years as a head coach, which includes six years at the University of Dayton.  His Flyer teams made NCAA Tournament appearances in each of his last four seasons, including a trip to the Elite Eight in 2014.  He is 4-0 as the IU coach at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.  LaVall Jordan is 60-41 in 4 seasons at Butler.

JACKSON-DAVIS STARTS SEASON STRONG
Sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis was named All-Tournament at the Maui Invitational and Big Ten Player of the Week (Dec. 7) and is averaging 21.0 points and 8.7 rebounds while shooting 51.2% from the field.  His most dominant performance was a 25-point, 17-rebound effort at Florida State. He had a career-high 31 points in the win over Stanford in the 3rd place game at Maui. He is a Preseason All-Big Ten pick and has been named to several Preseason All-American teams and is on the watch lists for the Wooden, Naismith and Malone Awards.  Last year, he was named third team All-Big Ten and was selected to the All-Freshman team. He had 12 double-doubles, the most since D.J. White had 20 in 2007-08.  Davis, a Greenwood native and a graduate of Center Grove, was just one of four freshman nationally a year ago to lead his team in scoring, rebounds, FG percentage, FT made and FT attempted and blocked shots.  The Hoosiers are 12-2 when he records a double-double.  He is averaging 23.7 points and 10.0 rebounds in his last 3 games. He is the only Hoosier in the last 25 years to have 3 games of 25 points and 15 rebounds (at Minnesota, Nebraska). He leads the B1G in FTs made (42) and attempts (59).

ARMAAN’S HOME
Sophomore Armaan Franklin is coming off a career-high 19-point game, hitting a career-high 5 treys, and his performances at Bankers Life last season were his two best games of the year.  Against Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic he scored 17 points, made 4 of 5 triples and knocked in the go ahead basket with 14 seconds left.  Against Nebraska in the Big Ten Tournament, he had 13 points, 8 rebounds and made 3 long distance shots.  

QUICK HITS
IU returns seven of its top nine scorers, including four starters.  Last year, IU was on the brink of earning its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2016 before the COVID-19 pandemic halted post season play after one game. The Hoosiers finished the season with a 20-12 record. IU leads the Big Ten allowing opponents to shoot just 24.6% from long distance.  

PURDUE MBB: Purdue Ready for Irish in Saturday’s Crossroads Classic

(PURDUE RELEASE)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – After a big win over No. 20-ranked Ohio State on Wednesday, Purdue looks to keep the momentum going in its final non-conference game of the season, coming against Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis. 

Purdue is looking to sustain its success in its final Big Ten tuneup entering a difficult stretch. Purdue’s next five opponents are Notre Dame (2-3), Iowa (6-0), Maryland (4-2), Rutgers (5-0) and Illinois (5-2) with four of the games coming away from Mackey Arena. The Boilermakers have won two straight and are looking to avenge two previous losses this year (Clemson, Miami) to ACC foes. 

THE KEY TALKING POINTS
1) Purdue is 2-7 in the Crossroads Classic and looking for its second win against Notre Dame (1-3) in the event. 
2) Head coach Matt Painter won his 50th game against a nationally-ranked team on Wednesday against Ohio State. He is 50-83 against ranked teams, including a 20-19 record since the start of the 2016-17 season. Of his 50 wins against ranked teams, 20 have come in the last 4+ seasons. 
3) According to KenPom.com, Purdue ranks 299th in experience (1.11 years). Indiana is the next least-experienced team in the Big Ten (1.26). 
4) In its five wins, Purdue is shooting 50.4 percent from the field and has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.36 (98 / 72). In its two losses, Purdue is shooting just 39.8 percent from the field, has attempted 21 free throws and has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 0.61 (22 / 36).
5) Purdue’s junior class is averaging 55.5 points per game over the last two games, accounting for 75.5 percent of Purdue’s scoring. 
6) Trevion Williams is averaging 23.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game over the last two games, shooting 19-of-30 (.633) from the field.
7) Purdue is 32-7 (.821) in the month of December since the 2015-16 season. 
8) Purdue has outscored every team in the paint except one (Miami) this season. Purdue is averaging 32.3 points in the paint. 
9) Purdue has held its opponents to just 48 offensive rebounds (6.9 per game), resulting in 32 second-chance points (4.6 per game). 
10) Over the last five games, opponents are shooting just 25-of-110 (.227) from long distance. No opponent has made more than eight triples.
11) Purdue is 44-1 since the start of the 2017-18 season when shooting at least 48 percent from the field (Virginia; 2019 Elite Eight).
12) Purdue has won 102 straight games when scoring at least 90 points, spanning over 33 years (last loss: Nov. 24, 1987, to Iowa State). 
13) Sasha Stefanovic has made at least four 3-pointers nine times during his career. Purdue is 7-2 when he reaches that mark. 
14) When Eric Hunter Jr. leads the team in assists during his career, Purdue is 11-3; when Aaron Wheeler scores 10+ points, Purdue is 9-1. 

HARDEN AND ROCKETS CONTINUE TO WORK OUT A TRADE

The Houston Rockets have expanded trade discussions regarding James Harden to various teams beyond his preferred destinations, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne.

Previous reports have stated Harden is primarily interested in a trade to the Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, or Philadelphia 76ers.

The 76ers have shown a willingness to include Ben Simmons in a package for Harden, according to Wojnarowski and Shelburne, but Houston and Philadelphia have reportedly not come close to a deal.

However, 76ers president Daryl Morey denied Simmons was on the block Thursday. “We are not trading Ben Simmons – he is an important part of our future,” Morey told The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Multiple playoff-caliber clubs told ESPN they are “finding increased comfort in committing high-level trade assets” in talks to acquire the former NBA MVP. The Rockets are in communication with Harden about those talks.

While Houston has said it plans to begin the regular season with the three-time scoring champion, the franchise is exhibiting a desire to complete a trade as soon as possible, sources told Wojnarowski and Shelburne.

Some organizations have said they are less reluctant about trading for Harden without an assurance he would re-sign with them when his current contract expires. The 31-year-old has a $47.3-million player option for 2022-23.

LEONARD DENIES ALLEGATIONS

Kawhi Leonard denied the allegations against the Los Angeles Clippers and team consultant Jerry West on Thursday regarding his free-agent recruitment last year.

Johnny Wilkes, who claims to share a close relationship with Leonard and his uncle Dennis Robertson, is seeking $2.5 million plus damages in a lawsuit against the Clippers and West. He says the Hall of Famer agreed to pay him that amount in exchange for helping lure the two-time Finals MVP to Los Angeles.

“Not at all. That has nothing to do with me. Nobody swayed my mind to go (to the Clippers),” Leonard told reporters following the Clippers’ 125-105 preseason loss to the Utah Jazz on Thursday, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk.

Leonard added: “I’m from L.A. and I grew up here my whole life. And out here, people try to find any way to get some money. It probably won’t be the last. I know a lot of people out here.”

The Clippers and West have also refuted Wilkes’ allegations. The NBA is currently looking into the matter.

Leonard ultimately left the Toronto Raptors during the 2019 offseason, signing a three-year, $103-million deal with the Clippers. He averaged career highs in points (27.1 per game) and assists (4.9) as he earned All-NBA second-team honors during his first season in Los Angeles.

RAYS SIGN WACHA

The American League champion Tampa Bay Rays signed right-hander Michael Wacha to a $3 million, one-year contract on Friday to fill a void in the rotation with the departure of Charlie Morton.

The 29-year old Wacha has a 60-43 record with a 4.01 ERA over eight seasons. After seven years with the St. Louis Cardinals, he went went 1-4 with a 6.62 ERA with the New York Mets in 2020.

Wacha is 4-2 with a 3.34 ERA in six career postseason starts, five coming as a rookie in 2013 when the Cardinals won the National League pennant. He was a National League All-Star in 2015.

Morton signed a a $15 million, one-year contract with the Atlanta Braves last month after Tampa Bay declined his $15 million option. The 37-year-old joined the Rays in 2019 and helped Tampa Bay reach the playoffs the past two seasons. The right-hander was 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA during this year’s postseason.

The signing also comes one day after the Rays announced that right-hander Brent Honeywell had arthroscopic elbow surgery that is not expected to affect his 2021 season.

Wacha was drafted 19th overall by St. Louis out of Texas A&M with one of two compensatory picks the Cardinals received from losing Albert Pujols as a free agent to the Los Angeles Angels.

NOTES: The Rays have agreed to terms with RHP Chris Ellis on a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training.

NHL REACHES AGREEMENT

The National Hockey League and players reached a tentative deal Friday to hold a 56-game season in 2021, pending the approval of each side’s executive board and Canadian health officials.

The season would start Jan. 13. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the sides have an agreement, pending the approval of various executive boards.

The NHL Players’ Association’s board is meeting Friday night to discuss, while the league’s Board of Governors could vote on the plan soon. Approval from health officials in the five Canadian provinces that have teams is still needed before the NHL can go ahead with the season.

Training camps for the seven non-playoff games would open Dec. 31 and then Jan. 3 for the other 24 teams. It’s unclear whether teams would play in their home arenas or in “hub” cities, though an all-divisional schedule is expected.

OHIO STATE MEN’S HOCKEY

MHKY: No. 18 Buckeyes Fall to Sun Devils, 3-2

Ahac and Cassidy both score first career goals

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 18 Ohio State men’s hockey team closed out the 2020 portion of its schedule with a 3-2 loss to Arizona State Friday in Value City Arena. Ohio State falls to 3-6-1 (3-5-0-0-1-0 B1G) and the Sun Devils improve to 4-6-2. 

The Big Ten released the 2021 men’s hockey slate today and the Buckeyes will return to action Jan. 8-9, 2021 when they host Penn State in Value City Arena. 

Arizona State 3, Ohio State 2 – The Short Story

The Buckeyes led 1-0 after the first period on a Layton Ahac power play goal. The Sun Devils tied the game at 11:33 of the second with a power play score but Ohio State’s Matt Cassidy answered just 50 seconds later to put the Buckeyes back ahead. Arizona State scored twice in the final five minutes of the period, with an even strength goal at 15:46 and power play tally on a major at 19:48 to tie the game and take the lead. Ohio State had the shot advantage, 39-31, in the game. The Sun Devils converted 2-of-3 power play chances and Ohio State was 1-for-3. 

Quoting Buckeye head coach Steve Rohlik

“We got into penalty trouble tonight. I thought we played a much better hockey game tonight overall. When you have a young group that doesn’t have a lot of experience this is what you have to learn from.” 

Quoting Buckeye senior defenseman Grant Gabriele

“This was just a learning experience for us. We showed what we were capable of, but this break will be great to regroup and come back stronger.” 

Ohio State vs. Arizona State

In the First … Ohio State held a 1-0 lead after the first period on Layton Ahac’s first career goal. On the power play, his shot from the point got through at 3:43, assisted by Evan McIntyre and Kamil Sadlocha. Ohio State had the edge in shots, 17-9, in the period. 

In the Second … The teams traded goals in 50 seconds at 11:33 and 12:23 but Arizona State scored twice in the final 4:14 of the period for a 3-2 lead. ASU’s Matthew Kopperud tied the game with a power play score. Just 50 seconds later Buckeye Matt Cassidy notched his first career goal, putting in the rebound of a Quinn Preston shot, with Travis Treloar also assisting. The Sun Devils tied the game again at 15:46 when Jacob Wilson scored and with just 12 seconds left in the stanza Jack Judson converted on a major power play to put the Sun Devils ahead. The teams combined for 29 shots on goal in the period, with Ohio State ahead, 15-14. 

In the Third … No goals were scored in the third period, with Arizona State putting eight shots on net and Ohio State getting seven on. Ohio State had the only power play of the period and skated with the net empty for the final 1:42 but was unable to tie the game. 

Shots … Tommy Nappier had 28 saves for the Buckeyes in 58:18, as Ohio State had the advantage in shots, 39-31. 

The Buckeyes blocked 17 Sun Devil shot attempts, with Evan McIntyre blocking four and Ahac and Patrick Guzzo each blocking three. 

Special Teams … The Buckeyes allowed two power play goals on three chances, ending a streak of three straight games with zero power play goals allowed. Ohio State was 1-for-3 on the power play and is 5-for-13 (.385) in the last three games combined. 

Noting the Buckeyes … Treloar leads the Buckeyes with nine points this season and shares the assist lead with Mark Cheremeta with six; Quinn Preston has a team-best four goals … Cheremeta is second with eight points, followed by Preston with seven … Ohio State is 8-for-32 (.250) on the power play this year … the Buckeyes are now 3-1-2 all-time vs. Arizona State; the teams will meet in Columbus to close the regular season March 4-5.

LONGTIME IHSAA OFFICIAL PASSES AWAY

Former IHSAA official & observer Bill Wullner passed away. He is a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and also a MHOA Honorary member. 

Bill J Wullner, 85, of Lawrenceburg passed away Sunday, December 13, 2020. He was born to Ivan and Edith (Schwab) Wullner in Manchester Township, Indiana on June 11, 1935. He was married to Shirley Wullner (Cummins) for 65 years. Bill was employed at I&M Electric Company for 40 years. He was a member of the IHSAA and inductee of the Basketball Hall of Fame. Bill loved all sports, as a participant and a coach. He was quite competitive – his motto was “it’s all about winning.”

Bill is survived by his wife Shirley Wullner of Lawrenceburg, IN; daughters Terri Conklin of Kemah, TX and Tracey Schnebelt (Joe) of Greendale, IN; three granddaughters Courtney Conklin, Kelsey Conklin Miller (Aaron), and Taylor Schnebelt; and three great-grandchildren Campbell Conklin, Madden Miller, and Memphis Miller. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Ivan and Edith, and his sister Bonnie Elliott.

 There are no services planned at this time. Memorials may be given in honor of Bill to the Alzheimer’s Association. Laws-Carr-Moore Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements, Box 243, Milan, IN 47031, (812) 654-2141.

NFL STANDINGS

American Football Conference
East Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Buffalo Bills1030.7690.03593216-1-04-2-07-2-04-0-03 W
Miami Dolphins850.6152.03302454-3-04-2-05-4-02-2-01 L
New England Patriots670.4624.02772794-2-02-5-05-4-02-1-01 L
New York Jets0130.00010.01833930-7-00-6-00-10-00-5-013 L
 
West Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
xy-Kansas City Chiefs1210.9230.04032815-1-07-0-010-1-04-1-08 W
Las Vegas Raiders760.5385.03503912-4-05-2-05-4-03-1-01 L
Denver Broncos580.3857.02573472-4-03-4-04-5-01-3-01 W
Los Angeles Chargers490.3088.02973623-4-01-5-03-6-00-3-01 W
 
North Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
x-Pittsburgh Steelers1120.8460.03492376-1-05-1-08-1-04-0-02 L
Cleveland Browns940.6922.03483685-2-04-2-06-4-02-3-01 L
Baltimore Ravens850.6153.03632733-3-05-2-05-5-03-2-02 W
Cincinnati Bengals2101.1928.52443382-4-00-6-12-7-00-4-05 L
 
South Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Tennessee Titans940.6920.03903364-3-05-1-07-4-04-1-01 W
Indianapolis Colts940.6920.03723004-2-05-2-05-4-02-2-02 W
Houston Texans490.3085.02953592-4-02-5-03-6-02-2-02 L
Jacksonville Jaguars1120.0778.02613831-6-00-6-01-9-01-4-012 L
 
National Football Conference
East Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Washington Football Team670.4620.02872753-3-03-4-04-5-03-2-04 W
New York Giants580.3851.02382912-4-03-4-04-7-03-2-01 L
Philadelphia Eagles481.3461.52773283-3-11-5-04-5-02-2-01 W
Dallas Cowboys490.3082.02984002-4-02-5-03-6-01-3-01 W
 
West Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
Los Angeles Rams940.6920.03252465-1-04-3-08-2-02-2-02 W
Seattle Seahawks940.6920.03933246-1-03-3-06-3-02-2-01 W
Arizona Cardinals760.5382.03583033-3-04-3-05-4-02-2-01 W
San Francisco 49ers580.3854.03003111-6-04-2-03-6-02-2-02 L
 
North Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
xy-Green Bay Packers1030.7690.04103235-1-05-2-08-2-04-1-03 W
Minnesota Vikings670.4624.03333553-4-03-3-04-5-03-1-01 L
Chicago Bears670.4624.02822913-4-03-3-05-5-01-3-01 W
Detroit Lions580.3855.03103891-5-04-3-04-6-01-4-01 L
 
South Division
 WLTPctGBPFPAHomeRoadvs. Confvs. DivStreak
x-New Orleans Saints1030.7690.03682655-1-05-2-08-2-05-0-01 L
Tampa Bay Buccaneers850.6152.03702944-3-04-2-05-4-02-2-01 W
Atlanta Falcons490.3086.03283222-5-02-4-02-8-01-3-02 L
Carolina Panthers490.3086.03073322-5-02-4-03-6-01-4-02 L
 

X – Clinched Playoff Spot,  Y – Clinched Division,  Z – Clinched Home Field Advantage