Around the NFL  

 

Week 14 Cheat Sheet

Print

Everything you need to know as kickoff approaches...

Key game-time decisions

Harrison: Week 14 predictions
Who takes the upper hand in the NFC after their clash: the Seahawks or the Eagles? Elliot Harrison picks the winner of each Week 14 game. READ

All players questionable unless noted

Larry Fitzgerald (knee) WR, Arizona Cardinals

The receiver was full-go on Friday after missing the past two weeks. With Andre Ellington out, the Cards' offense desperately needs Fitzgerald back. Fitzgerald will be back in action according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport early on Sunday, though he'll test out his knee pregame just to be sure.

Julius Thomas (ankle) TE; Jacob Tamme (ribs) TE, Denver Broncos

Thomas was limited on Friday after sitting out Thursday. He's missed the past two weeks with the ankle injury. Thomas will attempt to return from his sprained ankle and he's a game-time decision, per Rapoport.

Tamme didn't practice all week.

Rashad Jennings (ankle) RB, New York Giants

Jennings was limited on Friday after two DNPs. Rapoport reported Sunday morning that as of Saturday, Jennings had ankle discomfort but is hoping he will play. Jennings will know if he is good to go after testing it out.

Justin Forsett (knee) RB, Baltimore Ravens

Forsett returned to practice on a limited basis Friday. He could be in for a big day Sunday against a Dolphins defense that has given up 200-plus yards on the ground each of the past two weeks. He is expected to play, according to Rapoport.

DeSean Jackson (shin) WR, Washington Redskins

It's not looking good for the wideout as he sat out the entire week of practice.

Greg Olsen (knee) TE, Carolina Panthers

The veteran go-to target was limited on Thursday and Friday.

Khiry Robinson (forearm) RB -- PROBABLE - New Orleans Saints

The running back was full-go on Thursday and Friday. He should take some snaps away from Mark Ingram.

Charles Clay (hamstring, knee) TE, Miami Dolphins

The tight end was limited all week after missing the past two games.

Isaiah Crowell (hip) RB; Jordan Cameron (concussion) TE, Cleveland Browns

Both players practiced on a limited basis Thursday and Friday. Cameron still has only been cleared for light work. Crowell is a game-time decision according to Rapoport on Sunday.

Zach Mettenberger (right shoulder) QB, Tennessee Titans

The rookie says he plans to play.

Lavonte David (hamstring) LB; Bobby Rainey (ankle) RB; Austin Seferian-Jenkins (back) TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

David was limited all week, while Rainey and ASJ sat out all three practices.

Julian Edelman (thigh) WR; Brandon LaFell (shoulder) WR; Shane Vereen (ankle) RB, New England Patriots

All three offensive players were limited this week.

Reggie Bush (ankle, back) RB -- PROBABLE -- Detroit Lions

Expect Bush to return after missing the past three games.

MNF

Roddy White (ankle) WR, Atlanta Falcons

White returned on a limited basis on Saturday after missing the previous two practices.

Weather Tracking*

Jets at Vikings -- 30 degrees / Wintry mix of sleet and snow (60 percent; 13 mph winds)
49ers at Raiders -- 60 degrees / Chance of rain (17 percent)
Texans at Jaguars -- 66 degrees / Chance of rain (10 percent; 14 mph winds)
Falcons at Packers (Mon.)-- 26 degrees / Chance of snow (40 percent)
*Forecasts courtesy of Weather Underground

Three matchups to watch

Brooks: Primed to perform
Which players are in position to go off during Week 14's game action? Bucky Brooks provides his scouting eye.  READ

Legion of Boom vs. Eagles passing attack

With Byron Maxwell and Kam Chancellor back healthy, the Seahawks' secondary is once again suffocating its opponents. Their skill in pressing and sticking with Philly's outside playmakers, Jeremy Maclin and Jordan Matthews, could wreak havoc on Mark Sanchez's ability to make quick decisions with the ball. Chip Kelly's system has always been run-first, so the matchup of Bobby Wagner and LeSean McCoy will be huge. However, if the Legion of Boom confuses Sanchez and forces the quarterback into multiple turnovers, Seattle will keep on track for a first-round playoff bye.

Le'Veon Bell vs. Bengals front seven

Bell has become the best dual-threat in the NFL. He's gone for more than 200 yards from scrimmage in each of the last two games -- with 204 rushing yards in Week 11 and 159 yards receiving in Week 13. The Bengals are giving up 125.1 yards per game on the ground -- they even made Doug Martin look spry in the first half last week. However, in their past three games they've given up just 71.3 yards per game on the ground while allowing just 12 points per game. If Cincy's linebackers can't stick with Bell out of the backfield, it will jumpstart a potent Steelers' offense and create a shootout the Bengals would rather avoid.

Jarvis Landry vs. Ravens DBs

The Dolphins' rookie receiver has gotten lost among the phenomenal wideout draft class, but he's been Ryan Tannehill's most consistent and dynamic weapon this season. Landry has a great matchup against a Ravens secondary that has gotten torched. Baltimore allows 57.9 percent of 15-plus air-yard passes to be completed (highest in NFL), so we'll see if Tannehill can connect to Landry and Mike Wallace deep at all. Regardless of the deep ball working, the Dolphins' quick-pass attack should be in full force Sunday, and I expect to see Landry do a lot of damage after the catch against a Ravens' secondary that is prone to miss tackles.

Did You Know?

Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns

The Colts boast the NFL's No. 1 scoring offense, total offense and passing offense and also leads NFL in yards per play (6.24). Andrew Luck leads the NFL's best scoring offense on the road with 35 points per game.

Luck has 10 300-yard games this season and needs three more to match the NFL record (Drew Brees, 13 in 2011). The Browns have allowed just two 300-yard passers this season.

Brian Hoyer leads the NFL's No. 22 scoring offense (21.0 PPG). Cleveland is scoring on 32.4 percent of offensive possessions (18th most in NFL), and earning a touchdown on only 17.9 percent of offensive possessions (21st).

Hoyer's crew is going three-and-out on 22.8 percent of possessions and converting only 31.8 percent of third downs (31st in NFL). However, they do create big plays. The Browns have 56 offensive plays of 20-plus yards this season, fourth in NFL (more than Cowboys, Packers, Saint, and Patriots) and 48 pass plays of 20-plus yards this season (T-fourth most in NFL).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions

Tampa is 1-7 in games decided by eight points or fewer. No team has played in more close games (eight) than the Buccaneers.

The Buccaneers have rushed for fewer than 100 yards in nine of their last 10 games. Tampa's two lowest rush-yard totals this season came in their two victories.

Detroit, meanwhile, holds the NFL's No. 1 scoring defense (17.3 PPG) and rushing defense (65.9 yards per game) to go along with the NFL's No. 2 total defense (300.9 yards per game).

Only 34.5 percent of opponents rushing attempts have gone for 4-plus yards against Detroit, fewest in NFL this season.

The Lions have not surrendered more than 23 points in any home game this year.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

Le'Veon Bell gained 200-plus scrimmage yards in each of his last two games, including 254 yards against the Saints last Sunday. That is the most scrimmage yards by any player this season in a game. Since 1960, only one player has recorded 200-plus scrimmage yards in three straight games: Walter Payton in 1977.

The Cincinnati defense is allowing only 12.0 PPG in the last three games. It's also allowing an opponent passer rating of only 75.0 this season (second in NFL). Opposing passers have 11 TDs (league low) and 12 INT. The Bengals have also registered only 15 sacks this season (third fewest in NFL).

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars

Arian Foster has one TD reception in four straight games played and earned 100-plus yards rushing in six of nine games this season. He has 31 career 100-yard rushing game, which is tied with Priest Holmes for most in NFL history by an undrafted player.

For the season, Foster is averaging 100.1 rushing YPG this season, second most in NFL. He has 90-plus rushing yards in four of his last five games versus the Jaguars and a rushing TD in five of the last six.

Denard Robinson continues to struggle behind a faulty offensive line. Last week he had 11 rushes for 44 yards. The running back has less than 100 yards rushing in four straight games after rushing for 100-plus yards in back-to-back games.

New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings

Not so good news for Teddy Bridgewater: Rookie QBs are 3-8 against the Jets with Rex Ryan as head coach.

The Jets' offense is earning 4.70 yards per play this season (only Oakland is worse. 4.61) and have just 31 plays of 20-plus yards this season (second fewest in NFL behind OAK: 24). They are also going three-and-out 28.8 percent of the time (second most in NFL, OAK: 33.8 percent). Are you sensing a theme here?

Bridgewater is completing 61.1 percent of his passes this season for 203.0 yards per game with eight TDs, seven picks and a 79.0 passer rating. He has a touchdown pass in six straight games. However, he's struggled with his deep ball, completing just one of 16 attempts at 30-plus air-yard passes (6.3 percent).

Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins

Baltimore has rushed for 100-plus yards in nine of 12 games this season. Miami has allowed 200-plus rush yards in consecutive games.

Joe Flacco has been sacked one or fewer times in six of his last seven games. The Dolphins have two-plus sacks in 10 of 12 games this season.

Ryan Tannehill has 10 touchdowns to three interceptions at home this season. The Ravens have allowed 13 TD passes in their last four games.

Miami has rushed for 100-plus yards in all five home games this season. Baltimore has the fourth-best rushing defense in the NFL (86.2 yards per game).

The Dolphins have allowed 26 10-plus play drives this season (fourth most in NFL). The Ravens have 24 10-plus play drives this season (seventh most in NFL).

New York Giants at Tennessee Titans

It's not looking like Eli Manning will get to that magical 70 percent completion rate. The quarterback sits at 63.0 percent for 3,080 yards (256.7 YPG), 22 TD, 12 INT, 89.0 rating. His 12 INTs is fourth most in the NFL.

Odell Beckham Jr. has gone five consecutive games with 90-plus receiving yards, which is tied with Lionel Manuel (1985) and Homer Jones (1967-68) for most consecutive games with 90 receiving yards in NYG franchise history. The NFL record for consecutive games with 90-plus rec yards is nine (Michael Irvin in 1995).

Bishop Sankey has 122 carries, 474 rushing yards, two touchdowns on the year. He's been held under 65 yards rushing in every game this season.

The Titans' defense has allowed 300-plus total yards in 11 straight games -- Tennessee's longest such streak since 11 games from 2010-11.

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints

Carolina has two passing touchdowns or fewer in 29 straight meetings versus the Saints. The last Panthers' QB with three-plus pass TDs against New Orleans was Steve Beuerlein with five in Jan. 2000 (Newton threw zero passing touchdowns in the Week 9 meeting).

The Panthers have passed for 260 or fewer yards in 19 straight meetings versus the Saints. Carolina has 19 rush TDs in last 13 meetings (162.9 rush YPG).

Drew Brees: four-plus pass TDs in three straight home meetings versus Carolina (13 TD, two INT), with 310-plus pass yards in each game.

Marques Colston: two receiving TDs in each of his last three home games versus the Panthers.

Jimmy Graham: one or more receiving touchdown in six straight meetings.

St. Louis Rams at Washington Redskins

Tre Mason has earned 110-plus rushing yards in two of his last three games and led the Rams in rushing in four straight games. The Rams are 3-0 when Mason gets 18-plus rush attempts.

St. Louis' defense has 27 sacks in the last seven games, second most in the NFL. Washington's offensive line has allowed 39 sacks this season (second most in NFL), including five-plus sacks allowed in four straight games.

The Redskins have scored 19 or fewer points in four straight home games.

Colt McCoy has completed 79.5 percent of passes under 15 air yards this season (highest percent in NFL among QBs with at least 10 such attempts).

Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals

Alex Smith is averaging just 5.7 air yards per attempt (lowest in NFL). Drew Stanton is averaging 11.5 air yards per attempt (highest in NFL).

Justin Houston leads the NFL with 14.0 sacks.

The Cardinals have one touchdown in their last 29 drives. Arizona has scored 35 points in last three games combined, becoming the first team since Denver in November of 2009 to score 35 or fewer points over a three-game span while entering all of those games in first place.

Arizona has averaged 3.1 yards per rush this season (lowest in NFL) and gone four straight games with fewer than 65 rushing yards.

Buffalo Bills at Denver Broncos

Buffalo leads the NFL in sacks (48). Denver has given up the fewest sacks this season (13).

The Bills have four giveaways on the road (T-second fewest in NFL). The Broncos have eight takeaways in last five games.

Peyton Manning has 36 pass TDs (most in NFL). Buffalo has allowed 14 passing touchdowns this season (second fewest in NFL).

The Broncos have 200-plus rushing yards in each of last two games. The Bills have allowed fewer than 100 rushing yards in eight of 12 games.

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle is 7-0 this season when allowing 20 or fewer points, but the Seahawks are 0-3 when allowing 26 points or more. The Eagles have scored 30-plus points in eight games this season, which is the most in the NFL. Philly has scored 30-plus points in four of its last five games.

The Eagles have the NFL's second-best scoring offense at home (36.7 PPG). The Seahawks have the NFL's best scoring defense on road (18.5 PPG).

Seattle is gaining four-plus yards on 52.2 percent of their rushes (best in NFL), however, their passing offense is ranked 29th (192.4 YPG) this season.

Philadelphia has 300-plus yards of total offense in 11 of 12 games this year. The Eagles are averaging 35.3 points per game in Sanchez's starts this season -- the highest this year by any quarterback with at least three starts.

San Francisco 49ers at Oakland Raiders

The 49ers' offense has scored fewer than 20 points in five of the last six games. Colin Kaepernick's unit is scoring a touchdown on 38.9 percent of red-zone opportunities (last in NFL). Last season they scored on 56.4 percent of such chances, 11th in NFL. Since 1991 (as far back as STATS can check) the 49ers have never finished a season last in red-zone touchdown percent.

Kaepernick has gone six straight games with a passer rating below 100, the longest streak of his career as a starter.

The Raiders' offense has the worst scoring differential in NFL (-161). The next closest team is the Jaguars (-143).

Oakland is averaging 9.3 yards per reception this season. Only two teams have been worse since the merger: 2006 Texans (9.2), quarterbacked by David Carr; 2008 Bengals (8.8), quarterbacked by Ryan Fitzpatrick.

The Raiders are going three-and-out on 33.8 percent of drives (highest since Bengals 34.4 percent in 2008). Their 20 pass completions of 20-plus yards this season is tied fewest in the NFL with the Jets.

New England Patriots at San Diego Chargers

New England is 4-0 when Tom Brady throws for 300-plus yards this season. San Diego is 3-0 when Philip Rivers throws for 300-plus yards.

The Patriots' offense is averaging 37.3 points per game in their last 8 games (7-1 record).

Brady has completed just 22.2 percent of 20-plus air yard passes this season (second lowest among QBs with at least 30 such attempts -- Tannehill, 20.0 percent).

The Chargers' defense has allowed 100-plus rushing yards in six of its last seven games (120.3 rushing YPG in that span).

Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers is 34-3 in his last 37 home games. Atlanta is 3-11 in their last 14 road games.

Rodgers has 32 passing touchdowns this season (third most). The Falcons' defense has allowed 15 pass TDs this season (tied for third fewest in NFL).

Atlanta's defense is allowing 403.2 total yards per game this season (worst in NFL). Green Bay's offense has over 450 total yards in four of the last five games.

The Falcons' offense is averaging 97.2 rush yards per game this season (25th in NFL). The Packers' defense is allowing 132.3 rush yards per game this season (28th in NFL).

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews a busy Week 14 schedule and recaps the Cowboys' win over the Bears. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

Print