Week 14 of the NFL season sees all 32 teams return to action as the season coasts towards the grand finale of Week 17.
The Chiefs ousted the Raiders 21-13 to kick-off the action in Week 14. Breakout Chiefs star Tyreek Hill scored touchdowns receiving and on a punt return whilst the Kansas City defence hounded Raiders quarterback Derek Carr into completing only 17 0f his 41 pass attempts for only 117 yards. The victory puts the Chiefs into first-place in the AFC East, with both them and the Raiders at 10-6.
With the playoffs but four weeks away, those teams still in with a shout will be looking to strengthen their postseason hopes.
The BIG Three
(8-3-1) Seahawks @ (6-6) Packers
These two teams met in 2014’s epic NFC Championship game as the Seahawks came from behind to beat the Packers 28-22 in overtime, with Russell Wilson’s touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse sealing Seattle’s return to the Super Bowl.
The Seahawks chances of returning to the big game took a massive blow as vital free safety Earl Thomas suffered a broken tibia leg against the Panthers. Thus, more impetus will be put on the Russell Wilson led offence who put up 40-points against a lacklustre Carolina team.
The Packers will prove to be a tougher out, with Green Bay building momentum after wins over the Eagles and Texans in recent weeks. Aaron Rodgers hasn’t thrown an interception in three games whilst passing for seven touchdowns in that period. Will he be able to exploit Seattle’s big defensive loss? Kick-off 21.25
(11-1) Cowboys @ (8-4) Giants
This will be the 110th meeting in one of the NFL’s great rivalries. The Giants took the win earlier in the season with a 20-19 victory in Texas, but since that opening game defeat the Cowboys have been on a franchise best 12-game winning streak that was extended after last Thursday’s tense 17-15 win over the Vikings.
The Giants had a streak of their own come to an end last week as their six-game winning-run was halted by the Steelers. The Giants only had 234-total-yards of offence against Pittsburgh and will need more if they are to keep up with Dallas’ high-powered rushing attack – especially with star defender Jason Pierre-Paul injured with a sports hernia. K.O 01.30 Mon, 12 Dec
(7-5) Ravens @ (10-2) Patriots
The perennial playoff contenders are two of the most consistent franchises in the league and whenever they meet it is always memorable – their most recent encounter a thrilling 35-31 Patriots win in the Divisional Round of the 2015 playoffs.
Dating back to 2012, the Ravens have a 1-2 record in Foxborough and Joe Flacco will be vital to their chances of evening that tally. Flacco’s 4-touchdown outing against the Dolphins couldn’t have been better timed as Baltimore prepare for AFC East opposition for the second week running.
The Ravens have been stout in defending the run so expect Tom Brady to take to the air often; despite Rob Gronkowski’s absence, Brady threw 46 passes in the Pats victory over the Rams last week, finding his receivers 33 times. K.O 01.30 Tue, 13 Dec
Things to look out for in Week 14
Three early kick-offs that will have an impact on the playoff picture beyond Week 14.
(6-6) Texans @ (6-6) Colts
The Colts battered the woeful Jets on Monday night, but a much tougher contest is in store against Houston. With the Colts, Texans and Titans all tied atop the mediocre AFC South, which team will separate themselves from the pack and secure the lead in the division? K.O 18.00
(8-4) Broncos @ (6-6) Titans
Denver will hope that Trevor Siemian can return against Tennessee after backup Paxton Lynch’s uninspiring outing last week. Expect the Titans to run the ball often and the game to be much closer than Denver’s 51-28 win in 2013. K.0 18.00
(7-5) Steelers @ (6-6) Bills
If the playoffs started today, this pair would be on the outside looking in but the Steelers have a much easier task of qualifying, being tied with the Ravens for the AFC North lead. Can they make it four-in-a-row? K.O 18.00
Thursday 8 December
(10-3) Raiders 21- 13 (10-3) Chiefs
Sunday 11 December
(6-5-1) Washington @ (5-7) Eagles
(4-7-1) Bengals @ (0-12) Browns
(5-6-1) Cardinals @ (7-5) Dolphins
(3-9) Bears @ (8-4) Lions
(5-7) Chargers @ (4-8) Panthers
(6-6) Vikings @ (2-10) Jaguars
(3-9) Jets @ (1-11) 49ers
(7-5) Falcons @ (4-8) Rams
(5-7) Saints @ (7-5) Buccaneers