Week 16 Cheat Sheet

Everything you need to know as kickoff approaches...

Key game-time decisions


All players questionable unless noted

Harrison: Week 16 Game Picks
With playoff implications in games across the NFL, Elliot Harrison provides his forecast for the entire Week 16 slate. READ

Julio Jones -- ACTIVE -- (hip) WR, Atlanta Falcons

The wideout missed all week and his availability will likely come down to a pregame workout. UPDATE: The team announced he was active.

DeAndre Hopkins -- ACTIVE -- (ankle) WR, Houston Texans

The wideout missed practice all week, but he will be active Sunday against the Ravens.

DeAngelo Williams -- INACTIVE -- (hand) RB Carolina Panthers

He's listed as questionable, but the running back won't play Sunday.

Vontae Davis -- ACTIVE -- (groin) CB; T.Y. Hilton -- INACTIVE -- (hamstring) WR, Indianapolis Colts

Davis was limited in practice the past two days but will play. Hilton, however, missed all week and sits with the Colts already having locked up the division.

DeMarco Murray -- ACTOVE -- (hand) RB; Zack Martin (ankle) G, Dallas Cowboys

Murray will play through the hand injury, per Rapoport. It's unknown how the Cowboys will adjust his workload. Rookie guard Martin should also play.

Dwayne Bowe -- ACTIVE -- (illness) WR, Kansas City Chiefs

Bowe missed practice all week but he will play.

Brandon LaFell -- ACTIVE -- (shoulder) WR New England Patriots

The Pats' wideout was limited all week but is active.

Weather Tracking*

Mother Nature continues to give us mostly worry free weather as we dip into the penultimate week of the 2014 season.

Browns at Panthers -- 46 degrees / Slight chance of rain (19 percent)
Packers at Buccaneers -- 72 degrees / Chance of rain (30 percent)
Broncos at Bengals -- 44 degrees / Chance of rain (22 percent)
*Forecasts courtesy of Weather Underground

Three matchups to watch

Brooks: Primed to perform
Which players are in position to go off during Week 16's game action? Bucky Brooks provides his scouting eye.  READ

Larry Fitzgerald vs. Richard Sherman

Sherman has been successful when shutting down Larry Fitzgerald when he's matched up. In five games they've both played, Fitzgerald has been targeted 17 times with Sherman in coverage and has just five receptions for 87 yards, zero touchdowns to two interceptions and quarterbacks have a passer rating of 8.8. With Ryan Lindley under center Sunday night, Fitzgerald will be leaned on heavily in the intermediate and over-the-middle routes. If Sherman shuts him down when Fitzgerald is lined up on his side, it could take away the inexperienced first read and discombobulate the offense.

Dez Bryant vs. Vontae Davis

Assuming that Davis (questionable, groin) plays, this matchup will pit two of the most physical players at their respective positions. Bryant leads the NFL with 13 touchdown receptions to go with 1,148 yards. Davis has allowed a 36.7 passer rating in coverage, which is the second best such rating in the NFL this season. Davis has also limited DeAndre Hopkins, Pierre Garcon, Julian Edelman, Odell Beckham Jr. and Demaryius Thomas to zero receptions during the 12 plays he has been targeted in coverage. Quarterbacks have almost success against the physical cornerback who gives wideouts no room to breathe. Bryant, however, is a different beast, especially in the red zone. This should be a fantastic battle.

Falcons secondary vs. Drew Brees

With the winner of this matchup earning the upper hand for a playoff spot in the NFC South (sad), the Falcons will attempt to slow down Brees, who showed last week he can still get on a roll and carve up defenses. Atlanta's terrible defense is giving up an NFL-high 292.5 yards per game and has allowed eight quarterbacks to pass for 300-plus yards this season. With the Saints' running game regressing, expect Brees to whip it around the Superdome Sunday. Jimmy Graham led the way against the Falcons in Week 1 with eight receptions for 82 yards. Expect Brees to again look Graham's way often, as the Falcons have no linebackers or safeties that can stick with the tight end.

Did You Know?


Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers


Your Factory of (December) Sadness stat of the week: The Browns have lost three straight games while being outscored 81-34. They have dropped 10 straight and 17 of last 19 December games overall with five straight losses and 10 of the last 11 December road games. Cleveland has not won a December road game versus the NFC since 1994 (at Dallas; 0-5 since).

The Browns have compiled 16 rushing touchdowns this season (tied for third most in the NFL).

Cleveland has allowed 24-plus points in four straight games.

Jonathan Stewart had 22 rushing attempts last week versus the Buccaneers (most in last 44 games dating back to Week 16 2010). His rush attempts have increased in three straight games-- 75-plus scrimmage yards in three straight games, while Averaging 5.8 yards per rush (54 rushes, 313 yards).

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears

After sweeping the Bears in 2013, the Lions are looking to sweep the season-series in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1972-73. A win this Sunday would mark just the third time the Lions have won two or more consecutive games in Chicago: In 1968-73 they won six straight games and in 1938-39 they won two straight games.

Jim Caldwell is the first head coach in Lions franchise history with 10-plus wins in his first season since Potsy Clark went 11-3 with the Portsmouth Spartans in 1931. Caldwell's 10 wins equal the number of wins that the last three Lions head coaches had in their first season with the team: Jim Schwartz (2-14 in 2009), Rod Marinelli (3-13 in 2006) and Steve Mariucci (5- 11 in 2003).

Matthew Stafford: 114.0 passer rating in last three games. Chicago ranks 31st in opponent passer rating this season.

Detroit is averaging 28.0 points per game during three-game streak. Chicago has allowed 30-plus points in three straight games.

The Lions have forced 12 turnovers in the last six games.

Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans


Andre Johnson needs four receptions on Sunday to become the 10th player in history with 1,000 receptions. Johnson would be the second-fastest player to do so (168 games). Marvin Harrison caught 1,000 in 167 games.

Baltimore had one or fewer giveaway in five straight games. Houston leads NFL in takeaways.

The Ravens have 25 sacks in last five weeks. The Texans have allowed one or fewer sacks in 10 straight games.

Baltimore has six red-zone takeaways this season (T-most in the NFL). Houston has just two red-zone giveaways this season.

The Texans haven't allowed a passer rating of 100-plus in seven straight games. Joe Flacco has earned a 100-plus passer rating in three of the last four games.

The Ravens' D has allowed the most receptions (214) in the NFL to wide receivers this season and the second-most yards (2,822) to WRs this season.

Minnesota Vikings at Miami Dolphins

Teddy Bridgewater has passed for 300-plus yards in two straight games and completed 70-plus percent of passes in three straight games. Last week he completed a career-high 31 passed versus the Lions. The rookie also has one passing touchdown in each of his four career road starts and one or more touchdowns passes in eight straight games (none in first three games this season).

Vikings receiver Charles Johnson over the last four games: 14 receptions, 67 yards per game, 19.1 average and two touchdowns.

The Dolphins' offense has scored 16 points or fewer in three straight games with fewer than 100 rushing yards in four straight. Miami is 6-0 when rushing 24-plus times.

The Dolphins gain 4-plus yards on first down runs on 54.2 percent of plays (most in the NFL).

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints


These are the two worst total defenses in the NFL. The Saints are 31st in total defense (390.1 YPG), while the Falcons are last in the league (409.9 YPG).

Week 1: Falcons 37, Saints 34 (OT) -- Falcons had 568 yards of offense, which are the most yards in team history. Atlanta's 445 yards passing that week are also the most in team history.

The Falcons' D is last in yards per game (409.9) yards per play (6.3), passing yards per game (292.5) and sacks (16). Atlanta has allowed eight quarterbacks to pass for 300-plus yards this season.

Drew Brees would need to average 321.0 yards per game to get to 5,000 passing yards. Brees already has four of the eight 5,000-yard seasons in the NFL history and is the only player with multiple 5,000-yard passing seasons.

The Saints' defense is forcing three-and-outs on only 12.6 percent of opponent drives -- lowest percentage in the NFL.

New England Patriots at New York Jets

In Weeks 1-9, New England had 23 passing touchdowns and three rushing touchdowns. In Weeks 11-15, the Patriots have 10 passing and nine rushing touchdowns.

The Pats have scored 40-plus points five times this season (four at home) and are 10-0 when scoring 23-plus points this season (1-3 when scoring fewer than 23 points) Tom Brady's squad has only 12 giveaways this season -- T-second fewest in the NFL (GB, 10). And the Patriots are scoring on 47.5 percent of offensive drives -- second in the NFL (GB, 48.3 percent).

New England has allowed only 18 sacks this season -- third fewest in the NFL.

The Jets' offense has just 38 plays of 20-plus yards this season (second fewest in the NFL behind OAK: 31) and is going three-and-out 27.6 percent of the time (second most in the NFL, OAK: 34.5 percent).

However, New York boasts the No. 2 rushing offense in the NFL (147.1 YPG) -- most since 2010 (148.4 rushing YPG).

Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers


The Packers have not lost consecutive games in the same season with Aaron Rodgers starting since 2010 (Weeks 5-6).

Aaron Rodgers is 22-9 after a loss in his career, which is the sixth-highest winning percentage after a loss since 1950. Who has a higher winning percent after a loss (minimum of 30 starts)? Tom Brady (.822, 37-8), Joe Montana (.750, 36-12), Jeff Hostetler (.750, 24-8), Terry Bradshaw (.739, 34- 12) and Joe Flacco (.730, 27-10).

After both contests in which they scored less than 20 points this season, the Packers rebounded to score 30-plus points in their next game.

The Packers' defense is allowing opponents to rush for 4 or more yards on 50.2 percent of rushing attempts (highest in the NFL).

The Bucs' offense has scored over 17 points in only three games this season. Tampa has the NFL's 30th-ranked total offense (305.9 YPG ) and has gained less than 300 yards in six of 14 games this season. Their 31 giveaways this season is the second most in the NFL (PHI, 34).

Lovie Smith's defense has allowed 21 points or fewer in four of last its last five games, but opposing QBs are completing 68.3 percent of passes (highest in the NFL) this season. A 68.3 completion percentage would be highest allowed in franchise history.

Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers

The entire Chiefs WR group has been slightly less productive than Antonio Brown this season. With 110 receptions, KC's WRs (Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Avery, Junior Hemingway, A.J. Jenkins, Albert Wilson, Frankie Hammond Jr. and Jason Avant) have five fewer catches than Brown, whose 1,498 receiving yards are 128 yards more than KC's WRs. Brown's 11 scores are 11 more than the KC WRs.

Tight end Travis Kelce leads KC with 56 receptions for 747 yards, most receiving yards by a Chiefs TE since Tony Gonzalez (1058 in 2008).

Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston is tied for NFL lead with 17.0 sacks (Elvis Dumervil). Seventeen sacks is his career high (had 11.0 sacks last season).

Antonio Brown has 115 receptions, which is 19 more than any other player in the NFL.

Ben Roethlisberger's offense is averaging 6.20 yards per play (most in the NFL), 424.9 yards per game (most in the NFL) and 306.7 passing yards per game this season (second most in the NFL). Pittsburgh has also scored 27-plus points scored in four straight and seven of its last eight games. Their 222 plays of 10-plus yards are second most in the NFL. The Steelers average 24.4 first downs per game (second in the NFL) and 33:11 time of possession per contest (most in the NFL).

New York Giants at St. Louis Rams


The Giants have 22 sacks since Week 13 (most in the NFL). The Rams have 14 sacks since Week 13 (third most in the NFL).

Eli Manning's 2014 stats: 63.2 comp percent, 3,590 yards (256.4 YPG), 26 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 90.0 rating. His 63.2 completion percentage would be a career-high (62.3 in 2009).

The Giants' defense has allowed 400-plus yards of total offense in six of 14 games this season (T-second most in the NFL). Their 41 sacks this season is fourth most in the NFL, and they have accumulated at least seven sacks in three consecutive games (first time in team history and first time in the NFL since 1989 -- Minnesota).

However, New York has also allowed 69 plays of 20-plus yards (second most in the NFL).

The Rams' offense is 0-7 with 30 or more pass attempts (6-1 with 29 or fewer). They've compiled 100-plus rushing yards in four of the last five games.

St. Louis' defense has allowed 10 or fewer points in four of its last seven games.

The Rams have given up just 31 red-zone drives this season (fewest in the NFL).

Gregg Williams' defense blitzes on 45.7 percent of opponent's pass plays (highest percent in the NFL). Eli Manning has a passer rating of 89.4 versus blitz (17th best in the NFL).

Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys

Andrew Luck has not fared particularly well against other big-name QBs. Including the postseason, Luck is 3-6 against Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson, but 30-10 in games against all other starting QBs.

The last two Colts games for Luck: 48.3 completion percentage (last in the NFL), 240.5 yards per game, four-to-three touchdown-to-interception ratio, 66.3 passer rating, four turnovers.

Indy has scored 40-plus points in their last two games against NFC East opponents -- Colts 40, Giants 24; Colts 49, Redskins 27.

DeMarco Murray (who underwent hand surgery) needs 87 yards to pass Emmitt Smith (1995) for the most rushing yards in a single season in Cowboys history. He leads the NFL with 405 offensive touches and is on pace for 463 touches this season, which would be the second most in the NFL history.

Murray has 30-plus carries in each of his last two games (don't expect that to continue with the hand injury). In his first 49 career games (before Week 14), Murray had one game with 30-plus carries.

Buffalo Bills at Oakland Raiders


Buffalo has 49 sacks, most in the NFL. Oakland has allowed 24 sacks, eighth in the NFL.

The Bills' defense has allowed opponents to score on 27.0 percent of drives, best in the NFL. The Raiders have scored on 22.2 percent of drives, fewest in the NFL.

Oakland has 49 stuffs this season, tied for second in the NFL. Buffalo has been stuffed 33 times this season, tied for 12th fewest in the NFL.

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals

Ryan Lindley has a career passer rating as a starter of 44.7. Seattle's defense has held opposing teams to a passer rating below 44.7 once this season.

The Cardinals are 18-5 in their last 23 games. The Seahawks are 17-6 in their last 23 games.

Seattle's defense is allowing 12.6 PPG in the last eight games (best in the NFL). Arizona's offense is averaging 12.8 PPG in the last five games (30th in the NFL).

The Cardinals' offense averages 3.3 yards per carry this season (worst in the NFL). The Seahawks' defense allows 3.6 yards per carry this season (fourth best in the NFL).

Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals' offense had 244 rushing yards in Week 15 (most in the NFL). The Broncos' defense allowed 268 rushing yards in the last four games combined.

Manning has 37 touchdown passes this season (second most in the NFL). Cincy's defense has allowed 14 touchdown passes this season (T-fewest in the NFL).

Cincinnati's defense last week held Cleveland to 107 total yards in Week 15 (fewest in a game in the NFL this season). In 254 games, a Manning-led offense has never had fewer than 157 total yards.

C.J. Anderson since becoming a starter in Week 11: 23.6 carries per game, 101.4 rushing yards per game, four rushing touchdowns, 3.2 receptions per game, 28.4 receiving yards per game, one touchdown reception.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews every Week 16 game and recaps the Jaguars' win over the Titans. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.