What to watch for: Viewing tips for Week 14 games

  • By Gregg Rosenthal and Marc Sessler
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Minnesota Vikings at Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens (6-6) need a win to keep pace for the AFC's sixth playoff seed. After back-to-back strong performances through the air from Joe Flacco, Baltimore is a good bet to feast on arguably the league's most abysmal passing defense.

Further reading:
Peterson talks about finishing career with Cowboys
Injury roundup: Pitta hopes to play
Further viewing:
Vikings' Greg Jennings on playing with different QBs
Will Ravens make the playoffs?

Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A loss would give Buffalo nine defeats on the season, which would be the ninth straight year with a losing record. The Rams have the second longest streak in the NFL with six straight losing seasons.

Further reading:
Bills sign former Chiefs TE Moeaki
Elliot Harrison picks all Week 14's games
Further viewing:
NFL Films previews Bills-Bucs
Best of Week 13 on 'Sound FX'

Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers

Will he or won't he? If Aaron Rodgers is a go for Sunday, Green Bay's playoff hopes are alive with four games to go. If we get another bland helping of dead-armed Matt Flynn, the Packers -- even in Lambeau -- are not much better than the flailing Falcons.

Further reading:
Rodgers still hopes to play Sunday
ATL's writers pick Week 14's games
Further viewing:
A.J. Hawk on how Rodgers looks in practice
NFL Films previews Falcons' trip to Lambeau

Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals

We debated on Wednesday's podcast about which of these teams deserves our trust down the stretch. Answers were all over the map, not unlike this post-Reggie Wayne Colts offense -- and not unlike Andy Dalton, who's posting a 59.8 passer rating since Week 9.

Further reading:
Where do Colts, Bengals stand in latest Power Rankings?
Elliot Harrison picks all Week 14's games
Further viewing:
Colts' DE Cory Redding on 'Sound FX'
Which team is more likely to win AFC?

Cleveland Browns at New England Patriots

Cleveland is giving up the fewest yards per play in the NFL this season at 4.44, but nobody in the league has allowed more touchdown passes (19) since Week 6 than the Browns. Tom Brady and the Patriots' offense are a good bet to blow the doors off.

Further reading:
Has Gronk's return vaulted Pats' offense past Broncos?
Hanie, Tanney splitting reps at QB for Browns
Further viewing:
'NFL Films Presents: NE's versatile big man'
NFL Films previews Browns-Patriots

Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles

Quietly one of the finest games of the week. Can Nick Foles maintain his white-hot streak of 19 touchdowns to zero interceptions? He set an Eagles record with 233 consecutive passes without a pick, but Detroit linebacker DeAndre Levy -- tied for the league lead with six interceptions -- might have something to say about that.

Further reading:
Where do Eagles, Lions stand in latest Power Rankings?
ATL's writers pick Week 14's games
Further viewing:
Highlights of standout Lions LB DeAndre Levy
Watch Chip Kelly's profane news conference

Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers

With four games to go, Dolphins passer Ryan Tannehill has been sacked more times in a single season (45) than any passer in team history. A whopping 19 of those takedowns have come in the fourth quarter, one reason Miami is 3-6 after starting 3-0.

Further reading:
Martin meeting with investigator Wells for second time
More key injuries for Steelers' O-line
Further viewing:
Players react to Tomlin's $100,000 fine
NFL Films previews Dolphins vs. Steelers

Schein: Shape up or ship out
As we venture into the final quarter of the regular season, Adam Schein identifies nine players with everything to prove. READ

Oakland Raiders at New York Jets

Gang Green's D-line is among the league's best, but we don't love the matchup of New York's O-line against Oakland's frisky pass rush. Meanwhile, Geno Smith has devolved while leading a Jets attack that's scored fewer than 10 points in four of the team's last seven games.

Further reading:
McFadden on the way out for Raiders?
Jets' Winslow predicts Pats vs. Broncos in AFC title game
Further viewing:
Ed Reed says he wants to play two more seasons
NFL Films previews classic AFC rivalry

St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals

Michael Floyd looks like a true No. 1 receiver, but the Cardinals offense is hard to rely on because of Carson Palmer. He missed a ton of open throws last week that could have resulted in a win in Philadelphia. That's the bad news. The good news: Arizona has outgained its opponents nine times this year, including five times in a row.

Further reading:
Peterson, Haden NFL's best cornerbacks
ATL's writers pick Week 14's games
Further viewing:
NFL Films previews NFC West clash
Mathieu making an impact for Cardinals

A Football Life

The career of legendary coach Vince Lombardi -- who directed the Green Bay Packers to five NFL championships in the 1960s -- will be chronicled on NFL Network on Tuesday, Dec. 24 at 9 p.m. ET.

» The magic of Lombardi
» Top 10 motivational coaches
» Video: 'A Football Life'
» NFL Network schedule

Upcoming episodes:
» Dec. 24: Vince Lombardi, Part 1
» Dec. 31: Vince Lombardi, Part 2
» Jan. 7: Tiki and Ronde Barber
» Jan. 14: Bill Parcells
» Jan. 21: Jerry Smith
» Jan. 28: Jerry Rice

Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos

Montee Ball has given the Broncos' offense an added dimension. He's breaking tackles and running with a lot more confidence in recent weeks. Don't be surprised if his workload continues to rise in the next few weeks.

Further reading:
Wilson gaining on Manning in MVP race
Has Patriots' offense surpassed that of Broncos?
Further viewing:
Mariucci hosts roundtable of HOF enshrinees
Manning: I'm not a different player in the cold

Kansas City Chiefs at Washington Redskins

While the Kansas City defense completely collapsed last month, the offense has been remarkably good. Alex Smith has pushed the ball down the field more, helping Kansas City to average more yards per game than any team in the NFL in November.

Further reading:
Louisville's Bridgewater compared to Redskins' RGIII
Chiefs find their offense amid losing streak
Further viewing:
Will Chiefs be one-and-done in playoffs?
London Fletcher: 'I don't sense any tension'

New York Giants at San Diego Chargers

When the Chargers lose, they don't lose by much. Their average margin of defeat is 5.86, the third-lowest in the NFL. Three of their losses have come in the last 15 seconds.

Further reading:
Manning 'can't remember' why he didn't play for Chargers
Check out the latest "Around The League" Podcast
Further viewing:
Bill Parcells honored by Giants at homecoming
NFL Films previews Giants-Chargers

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers

The Seahawks have outscored the 49ers 71-16 in their last two meetings, but both of those games were in Seattle. San Francisco's offense has quietly rounded into form the last two weeks with long, sustained drives. Don't expect many passes in this game; these are the two most run-heavy teams in the league.

Further reading:
Vernon Davis vows 'statement game' vs. Seahawks
Elliot Harrison picks all Week 14's games
Further viewing:
NFL Films previews fevered NFC West rematch
How times have changed in the NFC

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints

Cam Newton has been far more effective throwing to his left this year. His passer rating is 112.2 to the left, 93.4 up the middle and 65.3 to the right. Carolina's station-to-station offense has the longest average scoring drive this season. The big plays are gone.

Further reading:
Panthers' Rivera says Saints are 'beatable'
Battista: Confidence key to Carolina's turnaround
Further viewing:
Ron Rivera mic'd up on 'Sound FX'
NFL Films previews Panthers-Saints

Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears

Expect solid quarterback play late in this game, even if it's cold on Monday night. Only Peyton Manning has a higher passer rating than Josh McCown and Tony Romo in the final frame of games this year.

Further reading:
Cutler, Briggs ruled out for Bears
Cowboys still looking for DeMarco Murray complement
Further viewing:
'A Football Life: The Great Wall of Dallas'
NFL Films sets the scene at Soldier Field

The latest "Around The League Podcast" debates the Seahawks Super Bowl chances and asks "Who do you trust?" as the playoffs approach.