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Week 17 Cheat Sheet: Vikings vying for NFC North

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Everything you need to know as kickoff approaches...

Key game-time decisions


All players questionable unless noted

QB Andy Dalton (right thumb), TE Ryan Hewitt (knee, illness) -- OUT; TE Tyler Eifert (concussion), QB AJ McCarron, S George Iloka (groin) -- PROBABLE, Cincinnati Bengals

Dalton won't be ready to return until the Divisional Round of the playoffs, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported this week. UPDATE: Eifert is active.

LB Jadeveon Clowney (foot), Houston Texans

WR Julian Edelman (foot), LB Dont'a Hightower (knee), DE Chandler Jones (abdomen, toe) OT Sebastian Vollmer (ankle) -- OUT; WR Brandon LaFell, S Devin McCourty (ankle), New England Patriots

Edelman did not make trip to Miami. UPDATE: LaFell and McCourty are both active.

TE Kellen Davis (foot); RB Bilal Powell (ankle) -- INACTIVE, New York Jets

LB Tamba Hali (thumb, knee), LB Justin Houston (knee), OT Jah Reid (knee), Kansas City Chiefs

Justin Houston returned to practice Friday after a hyperextended knee sidelined him for four games.

WR Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers

Manziel was ruled out Thursday. Austin Davis will start against Steelers.

LB Brandon Marshall (ankle), S T.J. Ward (ankle); QB Peyton Manning (foot), TE Owen Daniels (both knees, shoulder), WR Emmanuel Sanders (ankle), WR Demaryius Thomas (hamstring) -- PROBABLE, Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning will serve as Brock Osweiler's backup Sunday if he is active. Coach Gary Kubiak said Friday that Manning has looked good this week.

RB Marshawn Lynch (abdomen), G J.R. Sweezy (concussion), TE Luke Willson (concussion)-- OUT; T Russell Okung (calf) -- DOUBTFUL; S Kam Chancellor (pelvis), DT Jordan Hill (toe); DE Cliff Avril (back), DE Michael Bennett (toe) -- PROBABLE, Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Friday that Marshawn Lynch should be ready for playoffs.

LB Markus Golden (knee) -- OUT; WR Michael Floyd (knee), LB Dwight Freeney (knee), S Rashad Johnson (ankle, illness), DT Frostee Rucker (ankle); RB Andre Ellington (toe), WR Larry Fitzgerald (ankle), QB Carson Palmer (right finger), CB Patrick Peterson (ankle), CB Jerraud Powers (hamstring) -- PROBABLE, Arizona Cardinals

RB Jonathan Stewart (foot), RB Fozzy Whittaker (ankle) -- OUT; S Kurt Coleman (foot), WR Ted Ginn (knee) -- DOUBTFUL; LB Thomas Davis (illness), C Ryan Kalil (illness) -- PROBABLE, Carolina Panthers

QB Matt Hasselbeck (shoulder, rib), QB Andrew Luck (abdomen, kidney) -- OUT; LB Sio Moore (knee), Indianapolis Colts

Coach Chuck Pagano told reporters Friday he hadn't decided who will start at QB on Sunday. UPDATE: Josh Freeman will start Sunday at quarterback versus Tennessee.

TE Phillip Supernaw (groin), Tennessee Titans

CB Quinton Dunbar (quadricep), S Dashon Goldson (shoulder, rib) -- OUT; RB Matt Jones (hip), LB Perry Riley (foot) -- DOUBTFUL; CB DeAngelo Hall (calf), WR DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins

DT Linval Joseph (foot) -- DOUBTFUL; RB Adrian Peterson -- PROBABLE, Minnesota Vikings

TE Justin Perillo (hamstring) -- OUT; T David Bakhtiari (ankle), DT Mike Daniels (groin), LB Mike Neal (hip), DT B.J. Raji (concussion) -- both are PROBABLE; CB Sam Shields (concussion)-- DOUBTFUL, Green Bay Packers

Weather Tracking*


We will update as prognostications drift closer to game times.

Jets at Bills -- 31 degrees / Chance of Snow (35 percent)
Steelers at Browns -- 32 degrees / Chance of Snow (15 percent)
Patriots at Dolphins -- 75 degrees / Chance of Rain (49 percent)
Rams at 49ers -- 51 degrees / Chance of Rain (22 percent)
Vikings at Packers (SNF) -- 20 degrees
*Forecasts courtesy of Weather Underground

Three matchups that intrigue


Bills' run game vs. Jets' run D

With Tyrod Taylor under center the Bills have the NFL's No. 1 rushing offense, averaging 154.6 rushing yards per game. Buffalo has galloped for 200 yards on the ground the past two weeks -- with LeSean McCoy out last week and injured after just 29 yards in Week 15. Taylor's elusiveness helps create running lanes for his backs and keeps defenses off-kilter. Taylor has the third most rushing yards by a quarterback this season (517 yards). Karlos Williams is explosive between the tackles, averaging 5.7 yards per carry. In recent weeks, Mike Gillislee has burst out, displaying speed to the edge and breakaway burst on the second level -- 10.4 yards per tote on 23 carries. The trio will face its stiffest test of the season with McCoy out -- he had 112 yards in the first meeting with the Jets. Gang Green ranks No. 1 overall against the run in 2015, giving up just 81.5 yards per game. We've seen the Jets be susceptible to poor tackling, especially in the defensive backfield. If the Jets' front seven stymies the Bills' run game, New York could scoot to a playoff berth.

David Johnson vs. Seahawks' front seven

Since he took over the starting reins in Week 13, David Johnson is averaging more scrimmage yards per game (149.3) than any other player in the NFL. Johnson has been a devastating combination of power up the middle, speed around the edge and a passing threat out of the backfield. The Cardinals have been a more complete offense with the rookie taking the bulk of the snaps. In the first meeting with the Seahawks, Chris Johnson carried 25 times for just 58 yards. C.J. wasn't built to bash with the bruising Seattle front. David Johnson is better equipped. The Seahawks front, led by Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Bobby Wagner, ranks third in rush defense this season, allowing just 85.3 yards per game. Seattle has not allowed a 100-yard rusher this season. Slowing down David Johnson won't be such an easy task.

Adrian Peterson vs. Packers' run defense

More running back matchups! In the first tilt with the Packers, Peterson rushed for just 45 yards on 13 carries, a touchdown and a fumble lost. Green Bay comprehensively surrounded All Day in Week 11, frustrating the back. The Packers give up an average of 116.9 rushing yards per game. Clay Matthews, like always, is key. If he's hitting Peterson in the backfield (leads Green Bay with 11 tackles for loss), it will allow other defenders to help corral the powerful back. Peterson is the soul of the Vikings' offense. When he's picking up chunk yardage, it allows Teddy Bridgewater easier throws and opens up the play action. The Vikings have been vocal about knocking off the Packers from their NFC North throne after Green Bay has swiped the past four division crowns. Whoever wins this matchup is likely to win the bout and the home playoff game.

Did You Know?


General knowledge


WEEK 17 PLAYOFF CLINCHING SCENARIOS

NFC

CAROLINA PANTHERS (clinched NFC South & 1st-round bye): Clinch home-field advantage with a win vs. Tampa OR with ARI loss vs. SEA

ARIZONA CARDINALS (clinched NFC West & 1st-round bye): Clinch home-field advantage with a win vs. SEA + CAR loss vs. TB

GREEN BAY PACKERS (clinched playoff berth): Clinch NFC North with a win vs. MIN

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (clinched playoff berth): Clinch NFC North with a win at GB

AFC

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (clinched AFC East & 1st-round bye): Clinch home-field advantage with a win at Miami OR with a DEN loss vs. SD

DENVER BRONCOS (clinched playoff berth): Clinch AFC West with a win vs. SD OR with a KC loss vs. OAK.
Clinch 1st-round bye with a win vs. SD OR with a KC loss vs. OAK + CIN loss vs. BAL
Clinch home-field advantage w/ win vs. SD + NE loss at MIA

CINCINNATI BENGALS (clinched AFC North): Clinch 1st-round bye with a win vs. BAL + DEN loss vs. SD OR with a DEN loss vs. SD + KC win vs. OAK

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (clinched playoff berth): Clinch AFC West with a win vs. OAK + DEN loss vs. SD

Every game, all season

NEW YORK JETS: Clinch playoff berth with win at BUF OR with a PIT loss at CLE

PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Clinch playoff berth with a win at CLE + NYJ loss at BUF

HOUSTON TEXANS: Clinch AFC South with a win vs. JAX OR with a IND loss vs. TEN. Clinch strength of victory or strength of schedule tiebreaker over IND if one of the following teams win: CIN, NE, NO, NYJ, SD, KC, CLE

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Clinch AFC South with win vs. TEN + HOU loss vs. JAX + each of the following teams win: ATL, BAL, BUF, DEN, MIA, OAK, PIT.

The Washington Redskins clinched the NFC East division title in Week 16. It marks the 12th time in the past 13 seasons that one or more teams went from last or tied for last place to a division championship the following year.

There have been 795 touchdown passes this season, the most through the first 16 weeks in NFL history (previous record through 16 weeks was 768 TD passes in 2014). The record for most TD passes in a single season is 807 in 2014 -- 13 TD passes in Week 17 would set new record for single season (808).

Nine different QBs have thrown for 30-plus TD passes this season (T-most QBs with 30-plus TD passes in a season in NFL history -- there were also nine in 2014). Both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Matthew Stafford have 29 TDs entering Week 17.

Divisions by Winning Percentage

NFC South: 34-26, .567
AFC East: 34-26, .567
NFC West: 33-27, .550
AFC West: 32-28, .533
NFC North: 32-28, .533
AFC North: 28-32, .467
NFC East: 24-36, .400
AFC South: 23-37, .383

The NFC finishes 35-29 versus the AFC head-to-head this season.

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons


The Saints will miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season. This marks the first time missing back-to-back seasons since 2007-08 -- won Super Bowl in 2009.

Sean Payton has the best winning percentage of any Saints coach (86-57; .601).

The Saints' offense has ranked among the top six in every season since 2006, while the defense has struggled:

Saints Total Offense and Total Defense Since 2006, NFL Ranks

2015: 2nd offense; 31st defense
2014 1st offense; 31st defense
2013 4th; 4th
2012 2nd; 32nd
2011 1st; 24th
2010 6th; 4th
2009 1st; 25th
2008 1st; 23rd
2007 4th; 26th
2006 1st; 11th

Drew Brees: 67.7 comp pct, 324.8 YPG, 31 TD, 11 INT, 100.7 passer rating. 4,000-plus pass yards for the 10th consecutive season. Extends his own NFL record (no one else has a streak longer than six seasons -- Peyton Manning: 1999-2004). His 31 TD passes this season extends his record of most consecutive seasons with at least 30 TD passes (8). Brees has 13 career 400-yard passing games (T-2nd all-time with HOF QB Dan Marino, one behind Peyton Manning).

The Falcons will miss the playoffs for the third straight season after reaching the postseason in each of the previous three seasons (2010-12). Since 1970 merger, 66 of 73 teams to start 5-0 went on to make the playoffs.

The Falcons' 21.5 PPG this season is the lowest of Matt Ryan era (since 2008) -- 2013: 22.1 PPG, finished 4-12. The Falcons have not scored 25-plus points in a game since Week 5 vs. Redskins. Ten straight games without scoring 25 points (3-7 in those games) -- longest streak of the Matt Ryan-era.

Matt Ryan: 66.3 comp pct, 283.8 YPG, 19 TD, 15 INT, 88.1 passer rating -- five straight 4,000-yard seasons (4,257). Fewest pass TD since 2009 (22).

Julio Jones: 192 targets, 127 receptions, 1,722 yards, 8 TD. Leads NFL in targets, receptions and rec yards. More receiving yards (1,722) than Falcons have rush yards (1,519). Joined Marvin Harrison from 2002 as only the second player in NFL history with at least 125-plus catches and 1,700-plus receiving yards in a single season.

Jones needs 17 targets, 17 receptions and 243 receiving yards to set new single-season NFL records:
Rob Moore: 208 targets in 1997
Marvin Harrison: 143 receptions in 2002
Calvin Johnson: 1,964 receiving yards in 2012

The Falcons' defense has earned 19 sacks this season (fewest in NFL) -- finished 28th or worse in each season since 2012.

Matchup to watch: Julio Jones vs. Brandon Browner

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills


Playoff implications: If the Jets lose, they could miss the playoffs with a Steelers win at CLE.

Todd Bowles is aiming to become the fourth straight Jets head coach to reach the playoffs in his first year with team. Rex Ryan (2009), Eric Mangini (2006), and Herm Edwards (2001) all made the postseason in their inaugural Jets season.

The Jets are on their first five-game winning streak within a season since 2010 -- Weeks 2-6, 2010: Won five straight games with Mark Sanchez at QB. Haven't won six straight within a season since Weeks 12-17, 1998.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is hoping to make his first career playoff appearance. Since the 1970 merger, only Archie Manning has started more regular season games at quarterback (139 starts) than Fitzpatrick (104 starts) without ever making the postseason. Fitzpatrick has played in 112 games without a playoff appearance. Brandon Marshall has gone 151 games without one.

The Jets are the only team this season to have two-plus offensive TDs in every game this season.

Fitzpatrick: 60.8 comp pct, 248.3 pass YPG, 29 TD, 12 INT, 91.2 passer rating. Needs 276 passing yards to become the second 4,000-yard passer in Jets history. Joe Namath was the only other Jets player to do so, passing for 4,007 yards in 1967. Fitzpatrick needs just one passing touchdown to set the Jets' single-season record (currently tied with Vinny Testaverde, who had 29 TDs in 1998).

Both Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall have caught TD passes in the same game eight times this season, a new NFL record. The previous record was seven such games, held by Cris Carter and Randy Moss of the 1998 Vikings.

Brandon Marshall: 101 receptions, 1,376 receiving yards, 13 receiving TDs. Nine games with 100-plus receiving yards this season (most in NFL this season). Marshall needs two receiving TDs to set the Jets' single-season franchise record. Record currently shared by Don Maynard (14 TD in 1965) and Art Powell (14 TD in 1960). Marshall needs 59 receiving yards to set the Jets single-season record -- currently held by Maynard (1,434 yards in 1967).

Chris Ivory: 241 carries, 989 rush yards, 7 rush TDs. Needs 11 rushing yards to become the first Jets player to rush for 1,000 yards in a season since Shonn Greene in 2012.

Jets' notable defensive ranks: 1st in rush YPG allowed (81.5); 2nd in third down percent (29.7); 3rd in takeaways (29); 6th in PPG (19.3) and total YPG (320.2); 16th in pass YPG (238.7).

The Jets' defense blitzes more frequently than any team except for the Cardinals -- blitz on 41.6 percent of pass plays.

The 2015 Bills have produced the best total offense (365.3 YPG) and best scoring offense (23.8 PPG) of any team with Rex Ryan as its head coach, but the worst total defense (360.1 YPG) with Ryan at the helm. From 2009-14 when Ryan was head coach of the Jets, his teams had the NFL's second-best total defense.

The Bills have the No. 1 rush offense in the NFL (154.6 rushing YPG) and the No. 27 passing offense (210.7 pass YPG). Bills have rushed for 200 yards in two straight games.

Tyrod Taylor: 63.6 comp pct, 219.5 pass YPG, 20 TD, 6 INTs, 100.7 passer rating; 94 carries, 517 rush yards, 3 rush TD. One of six QBs with a passer rating above 100.0 this season (Russell Wilson, Carson Palmer, Andy Dalton, Tom Brady, Drew Brees). Highest passer rating in the NFL on play action passes this year (128.3).

Sammy Watkins: 49 receptions, 911 receiving yards, 9 receiving TDs. Needs 89 receiving yards to become Bills' first 1,000-yard receiver since Stevie Johnson in 2012 -- Watkins averages 75.9 receiving YPG. Watkins ranks second in the NFL in yards per reception (18.6).

Matchup to watch: Marshall/Decker vs. Bills DBs

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears


The Lions will miss the playoffs for the 14th time in 16 seasons -- have not won playoff game since the 1991 season, lost eight straight playoff games.

The Lions' offense has run the ball with more success since Jim Bob Cooter replaced Joe Lombardi as offensive coordinator -- rushed for 100-plus yards in five of last six games. Averaging 99.0 rush YPG in last eight games after 68.0 in first seven.

Matthew Stafford: 66.9 comp pct, 264.3 YPG, 29 TD, 13 INT, 95.4 passer rating

Stafford BJBC (before Jim Bob Cooter): 65.0 completion percentage; 266.6 pass YPG; 12-9 TD-INT ratio; 86.8 passer rating. 

Stafford AJBC (after Jim Bob Cooter): 68.6 comp pct.; 262.3 pass YPG; 17-4 TD-INT ratio; 103.2 passer rating.

Calvin Johnson: 78 receptions, 1,077 yards, 8 TD. Six consecutive 1,000 yard seasons, longest active streak in NFL. Seventh total 1,000-yard season. One 100-yard receiving game this season. Keeping him on roster would be $24 million cap hit in 2016.

Detroit's notable defensive ranks: 25th in PPG; 19th in rush YPG and yards per play; 17th in total YPG (were in top four in each category in 2014).

This is the Bears' fifth straight non-playoff season -- longest Bears postseason drought since 1995-2000.

Jay Cutler: 63.9 comp pct, 243.9 YPG, 19 TD, 8 INT, 92.8 passer rating. Cutler has gone 15 consecutive games without throwing more than one interception (longest active streak among QBs in NFL) -- T-longest streak by a Bears QB since 1960 (Jim Miller had 15 such games from 2001-02). Cutler has thrown eight INTs and lost five fumbles in 14 games this season -- threw 18 INTs and lost six fumbles in 15 games last season.

Matt Forte: 201 carries, 822 yards, 4 TD; 41 receptions, 355 yards, 2 TD. 1,100 yards from scrimmage this season. Needs 23 scrimmage yards to become 10th RB to have 1,200-plus scrimmage yards in eight straight seasons -- would be fifth RB to do so in each of his first eight seasons. Fewer than 100 rush yards in 11 straight games.

Jeremy Langford: 143 carries, 523 yards, 6 TD; 22 receptions, 279 yards, 1 TD.

Bears' notable defensive ranks: 29th in third down percentage (44.5); 27th in rush YPG (124.5); 20th in PPG (24.9); 16th in total YPG (345.2); 4th in pass YPG (220.7).

Matchup to watch: Calvin Johnson vs. Kyle Fuller

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals


The Ravens will miss the playoffs for the second time in eight seasons under John Harbaugh. Only the fifth double-digit losing season in Ravens franchise history.

Harbaugh: 77-50 (.606) as BAL head coach. Assured first losing season as Baltimore head coach. (His brother Jim was fired as San Francisco head coach after his first non-winning season.)

Ryan Mallett: 3-4 as NFL starter, 1-0 as Ravens starter. Week 16 vs. PIT: 28/41, 274 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 95.0 passer rating.

The Baltimore defense is allowing 3.9 yards per carry this season -- the Ravens are the only active team in the NFL to never allow more than 4.0 yards per carry for an entire season. Baltimore is allowing the most PPG (25.1) since Harbaugh became head coach in 2008.

After starting the season 8-0, the Bengals have lost four of their last seven games. Their four losses in that span were to playoff locks Arizona and Denver, as well as playoff hopefuls Houston and Pittsburgh. Their three wins: St. Louis, Cleveland and San Francisco.

For the Bengals, the magic number seems to be 21. When scoring 21-plus points this season, Cincinnati is 10-1. Their record is just 1-3 when they score 20 or fewer points.

AJ McCarron: 67.4 comp pct, 196.0 pass YPG as starter, 4 TD, 2 INT, 95.1 passer rating.

Since AJ McCarron took over as the starting QB, the Bengals rank 28th in total offense (268.0 YPG) and 25th in pass YPG (180.0 YPG). With Andy Dalton as the starting QB, Cincinnati ranked sixth in total offense (376.9) and ninth in pass YPG (262.8).

Keith Wenning bio (could play if McCarron exacerbates his wrist injury): Signed from practice squad on December 16th. Currently listed third on team's depth chart behind Dalton and McCarron. 24 years old. Zero career regular season games played. Sixth-round pick in 2014 by Ravens (12th QB selected). Played college football at Ball State (27-20 career record as starter) -- set virtually every passing record at the school, including pass TD (91), passing yards (11,187), pass completions (1,012) and pass attempts (1,598). Last start: 2014 GoDaddy.com Bowl (1/5/14) vs. Arkansas State; last win: 11/29/13 vs. Miami (Ohio) (6 TD passes in the game). NFL Media Draft Analyst Gil Brandt described Wenning as "very well coached, and he's got good size," in October 2013 while Wenning was a senior at Ball State. Wenning measured 6-foot-2 and 218 pounds at the 2014 Scouting Combine. Wenning has seen limited preseason action during his NFL career. Spent 2014 preseason w/ BAL (10-of-17 passing for 140 yards, 84.4 passer rating), 2015 preseason w/ CIN (6-of-13 passing for 44 yards, 1 INT, 22.6 rating).

Jeremy Hill: 207 carries, 698 rush yards, 10 TD. T-3rd most rush TD in NFL (Devonta Freeman, Todd Gurley: 11).

Giovani Bernard: 148 carries, 694 rush yards, 2 TD; 48 receptions, 460 receiving yards -- 1,000-plus scrimmage yards for the third straight season.

A.J. Green: 82 receptions, 1,263 receiving yards, 9 TDs. One of five players since 1960 to amass 6,000 receiving yards in his first five seasons. (Holt, Moss, Rice, Julio Jones).

The Bengals have the NFL's top scoring defense (17.5 PPG) despite being ranked just 11th in total defense (340.8 YPG). The last team to have the No. 1 scoring defense and rank 11th or worse in total defense was the 2001 Bears, who ranked 15th in total defense on their way to a 13-3 season.

The Bengals have allowed one 100-yard rusher in 2015 (Thomas Rawls 169 in Wk 5). In last 12 games, only Carson Palmer (4) has multiple TD passes vs. CIN.

Matchup to watch: A.J. Green vs. Ravens DBs

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns


Even with a win and 10-6 record, the Steelers are not assured a playoff spot. It would be the fourth straight season and 12th time since the playoffs expanded in 1990 that a 10-plus win team missed the playoffs.

The Steelers have struggled on the road this season, as seen in their loss last week at BAL. The Steelers are 3-4 away from Pittsburgh, averaging 21.4 PPG with a -7 turnover differential. They are 6-2 at home, scoring 30.6 PPG with a +9 turnover differential.

Ben Roethlisberger is 18-2 in his career against the Browns. The only QB since 1950 with a higher win percentage against a single opponent is Len Dawson, who went 20-2 against the Broncos (minimum 20 starts).

Roethlisberger: 68.1 comp pct, 3,584 pass yards, 18 TD, 14 INT, 93.7 passer rating -- two-plus INT in consecutive games for the first time since Weeks 8-9, 2013. Big Ben's 325.8 passing yards per game this season would be the fourth most passing yards per game in any season in NFL history.

The Steelers lead the NFL in completions of 25-plus yards this season (39) -- Steelers tied DEN, IND, for the most in the NFL in 2014 with 43.

Antonio Brown: 123 receptions, 1,647 yards, 9 TD. Brown has the fifth season in NFL history with 120-plus receptions, 1,600-plus yards and 9-plus TD. He also did it last season. The other three players to have such a season were Marvin Harrison in 2002, and Herman Moore and Jerry Rice in 1995. Brown is 52 yards shy of breaking his own Steelers record for the most receiving yards in a single season, set last season (1,698).

DeAngelo Williams: 195 rush, 899 yards, 11 TD -- 101 yards shy of third career 1,000-yard season (first since 2009).

Steelers' defensive ranks: 30th in pass YPG (278.2); 23rd in total YPG (369.7) T-11th in PPG (20.5); 6th in rush YPG (91.5). Pittsburgh is allowing the most total YPG and pass YPG in franchise history -- giving up 25 more pass yards per game than any other Steelers defense in franchise history.

The Steelers have already set the single-season record for the most successful 2-point conversions (7 in 10 attempts). The next closest team in 2-point attempts in 2015 are the Packers (4).

The Cleveland Browns started 7-4 under Mike Pettine last season, scoring 22.0 PPG. However, in their last 20 games, the Browns are 3-17 and averaging just 16.2 PPG.

Austin Davis: 66.7 completion percentage, 307 total passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT. 0-1 as a starter for Browns in 2015.

Travis Benjamin: 87 receiving yards shy of first career 1,000-yard season. Would be first Brown with 1,000 yards since Josh Gordon in 2013.

Gary Barnidge: 71 receptions, 977 yards, 9 TD -- 23 receiving yards shy of first career 1,000-yard season.

The Browns' defense is on pace for one of the franchise's worst in history: second-worst total yards allowed (379.2), third-worst points per game (26.9) and pass yards per game allowed (244.2) since 1950.

Matchup to watch: Antonio Brown vs. Tramon Williams

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys


Over the last eight seasons, the Redskins have won the NFC East twice (2012 and 2015) and finished last in the other six seasons (2008-11 and 2013-14).

Redskins have won three straight games for the first time since 2012.

All eight Washington wins this season have come versus teams that currently have losing record. Redskins are 0-3 versus teams that currently hold a playoff spot -- Jets (Wk 6), Patriots (Wk 9), Panthers (Wk 11).

Kirk Cousins: 69.5 comp pct, 266.0 pass YPG, 26 TD, 11 INT, 99.2 passer rating -- Leads NFL in completion percentage. Cousins has consecutive games with 300-plus passing yards and four passing touchdowns. The only two players in NFL history to post those marks in three straight games are Drew Brees (2011) and Dan Marino (1984). Cousins has five-straight games with a 100-plus passer rating (longest active streak in NFL).

Cousins has been one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the NFL since Week 7. Since then, he leads the NFL in completion percentage (72.0) and TD-INT ratio (6.7 to 1), thanks to 20 TD and 3 INT. His passer rating of 115.8 is second only to Russell Wilson (116.2) in that span.

Alfred Morris: 183 carries, 651 yards, TD; 10 rec, 55 yards -- leads team in carries and rush yards. Morris has rushing average of 2.0 or less in five games this season.

DeSean Jackson: 30 rec, 528 yards, 4 TD (9 games). Will likely finish with fewest games, receptions and rec yards of career -- Jackson missed six games due to hamstring injury. Cousins has been more efficient with Jackson on the field this season: Passer rating is 22.7 points higher with Jackson on field.

Jordan Reed: 83 rec, 907 yards, 11 TDs. Reed has most rec yards in a season by any TE in Redskins history. Reed is tied for most games with multiple receiving TD this season (4).

Redskins' notable defensive ranks: 17th in PPG (23.7); T-21st in pass YPG (247.7); 24th in total YPG (371.9); 26th in rush YPG (124.1).

The Cowboys are already experiencing their first season under .500 since 2010, when Tony Romo broke his clavicle. If they lose on Sunday, then the 4- 12 record will be Dallas' worst since 1989, when the team went 1-15 in Jerry Jones' first season as owner.

Cowboys' notable offensive ranks: 31st in PPG (16.8); 29th in pass YPG (203.9); 28th in total YPG (323.3); 9th in rush YPG (119.3).

Kellen Moore: 50.0 comp pct, 344 yards, 1 TD, 4 INT, 45.5 passer rating. 39th player in team history to start at quarterback for Cowboys. Fourth different quarterback the Cowboys have used this season - Tony Romo, Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel, Kellen Moore.

Darren McFadden: 227 carries, 997 yards, 3 TD; 35 rec, 275 yards. McFadden is three rush yards shy of second career 1,000-yard season -- 1,157 yards in 2010 with Raiders. McFadden has five 100-yard rush games this season. One shy of career-high 6 set in 2010.

The Cowboys only have 11 takeaways this season, fewest in the NFL. The franchise record for fewest takeaways in a season is 16 set in 2012. The NFL record for the fewest takeaways in a 16-game season is 11 by the 2013 Texans.

Matchup to watch: DeSean Jackson vs. Cowboys CBs

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans


Jags have not made playoffs since 2007 -- 2007 was also last time JAX finished above .500 (11-5).

Gus Bradley has the worst career win percent of any current head coach (.255).

The Jaguars are tied for the NFL's 10th-best scoring offense this season (24.7 PPG). The last time Jaguars had a Top 10 scoring offense was 2007 -- Jack Del Rio was HC, David Garrard was QB, Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew were RBs.

Blake Bortles: 58.9 comp pct, 279.3 pass YPG, 35 TD, 16 INT, 90.3 passer rating -- Ranks 2nd in NFL in pass TD (Tom Brady, 36). Youngest QB in NFL history (age 23) with 4,000-plus pass yards, 35-plus pass TD and 300-plus rush yards in a single season. Only other QBs to achieve this: Steve Young (age 37), Daunte Culpepper (age 27). One of four QBs to throw a pass TD in every game this season (Tom Brady, Kirk Cousins, Russell Wilson)

Allen Robinson (1,292) and Allen Hurns (1,013) are the first Jaguars receiving duo to eclipse 1,000 yards since Keenan McCardell (1,110) and Jimmy Smith (1,373) in 2001. Robinson and Hurns are tied for first in receiving TD by a duo this season (24, tied with Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall), and rank third in the NFL in receiving yards by a duo (2,305).

Jags notable defensive ranks: 32nd in third down percent (46.2); 31st in PPG (27.9) 29th in pass YPG (269.9); 25th in total YPG (373.2); 13th in rush YPG (119.2).

If they clinch the AFC South, the Texans would be the seventh team since 1950 to start four-plus different QBs and make the playoffs. Houston has started Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, T.J. Yates and Brandon Weeden this season. The last team to accomplish the feat was the 2013 Packers. The only team of the group to win a playoff game was the 1984 Bears, featuring starters Jim McMahon, Steve Fuller, Rusty Lisch, Bob Avellini, and Greg Landry.

Texans are looking to become the fifth of 10 teams to appear on Hard Knocks and make the playoffs that same season -- three of the previous five teams to appear on Hard Knocks made the playoffs.

The Texans are 24th in the NFL, scoring 20.6 PPG this season, the lowest total among any of the eight division leaders. Houston is also averaging the fewest yards per play (4.9) and yards per rush (3.6) among division leaders.

Brian Hoyer: 60.5 comp pct, 18 TD, 6 INT, 93.0 passer rating -- 4-4 as starter: 59.0 comp pct, 226.6 pass YPG, 14 TD, 5 INT, 89.0 rtg.

DeAndre Hopkins: 104 receptions, 1,432 receiving yards, 11 receiving TDs. Career high in each category. Hopkins is the third player in NFL history age 23-or-younger with 1,400-plus receiving yards and 11-plus TDs. He joins the exclusive company of Isaac Bruce and Randy Moss.

Alfred Blue: 162 carries, 596 rush yards, 2 rush TD. Leads team in each category -- Texans are 7-0 this season when Blue has double-digit carries.

Since Week 8, the Texans have the best total defense (269.0 YPG) and passing defense (186.1 YPG) in the NFL. The Texans are 6-2 over that span, after a 2- 5 start.

J.J. Watt has very similar numbers this season to last season, when he won the Defensive Player of the Year Award. In 2014, Watt had 17.5 sacks through 15 games, while he currently sits at 14.5 this season. If he were to win the Defensive Player of the Year, he would join Pro Football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor as the only players to win the award three times.

Matchup to watch: DeAndre Hopkins vs. JAX secondary

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts


The Titans have lost 22 of last 25 games. Lost three straight games by a total of 67 points.

The Titans have 32 giveaways this season (most in NFL). At least one giveaway in every game this season (only team in NFL).

Despite ranking 30th, the Tennessee offense has improved nearly 14 YPG from 2014. Titans offensive rankings: 31st in sacks allowed (50); 30th in total YPG (317.1); 28th PPG (18.3) and rush YPG (89.9); 24th in pass YPG (227.3).

Zach Mettenberger: 0-3 this season as a starter (2 TD, 4 INT, 65.2 passer rating). 0-9 as a starter in his career (10 TD, 10 INT, 78.1 passer rating).

Titans' notable defensive ranks: T-7th in pass YPG (231.9); 13th in total YPG (343.2); 17th in rush YPG (111.3); 27th in PPG (26.2).

Since 2012, the Colts are 19-4 versus AFC South and 21-19 versus all other opponents. Lost two straight versus AFC South after NFL record 16-game divisional win streak.

Colts offensive ranks: 31st in yards per play (4.9); 30th in rush YPG (37.4); 29th in total YPG (321.0); 25th in PPG (20.2); 21st in pass YPG (233.6).

Stephen Morris: Signed by Colts on December 24 off Eagles practice squad. Has never appeared in NFL game since being signed as undrafted free agent out of Miami by Jaguars in 2014.

Josh Freeman: Signed by Colts on Tuesday. Has not appeared in an NFL game since a Week 7, 2013 start for MIN versus NYG -- 24-36 as NFL starting QB for Buccaneer and Vikings.

Ryan Lindley: Signed by Colts on Tuesday. Started three games for Cardinals last season, including a Wild Card loss at Carolina. Went 0-3 with a 51.4 completion percentage, 204.7 pass yards per game, 3 TDs, 6 INTs and a 54.4 passer rating in those contests.

Frank Gore: 241 carries, 891 yards, 6 TD; 34 receptions, 267 yards, TD. Needs 109 rush yards for fifth straight and ninth career 1,000 yard season. Does not have a 100-yard game this season (15 games). Gore has 1,000-plus yards from scrimmage for the 10th consecutive season . Longest active streak in NFL; T-3rd-longest streak of all time (Emmitt Smith; Faulk; Rice).

T.Y. Hilton: 65 receptions, 1,080 rec yards, 5 rec TD. Ranks 10th in NFL with 16.6 yards per reception.

Colts notable defensive ranks: 28th in pass YPG allowed (268.0); T-28th in total YPG (389.0); 26th in PPG (25.6); 24th in rush YPG (121.0).

Matchup to watch: Colts' offensive line vs. Titans' front 7

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins


The Patriots can clinch home-field advantage in the AFC with a win Sunday. The Patriots have made it to the Super Bowl four of the five times they have been the No. 1 seed in the AFC (2003, 2007, 2011 and 2014) under Bill Belichick. The Patriots have not made the Super Bowl in the Belichick era without having a bye week.

The Patriots are just 2-3 in their last five games after a 10-0 start to the season. They are scoring nearly six fewer PPG (26.4 vs 32.3), while also allowing four more PPG (22.6 vs. 18.2) in their last 5 games. The Patriots are 42-9 after a loss since Tom Brady became the team's starter in Week 3, 2001.

The Patriots have started 12 different offensive line combinations in their 15 games this season (most in NFL). The next-closest teams are the Chargers and Texans, who have started eight different combinations this season.

Tom Brady: 64.7 comp pct, 4,636 yards, 36 TD, 7 INT, 103.1 passer rating -- 364 yards shy of 2nd career 5,000-yard season (5,235 in 2011) and 4 TD shy of 2nd career 40 TD season (50 in 2007). Passer rating in last six games (coinciding with loss of Julian Edelman) is 20.8 points lower than first nine games.

Brady is 6-7 in his career at Miami with 26 TD and 13 INT. He has his 4th-lowest win percent at any one opponent in his career when traveling to South Florida. Brady is only worse at DEN (2-6), at CAR (1-2) and at KC (1-2) in his career (including playoffs).

Rob Gronkowski: 70 receptions, 1,158 yards, 11 TD. Leads team in receptions, yards and TD. 169 yards shy of tying career high (1,327 in 2011). Leads all tight ends in receiving yards this season (1,158). Gronk has the sixth highest passer rating when targeted this season -- third highest among tight ends (Tyler Eifert; Jordan Reed).

Pats notable defensive ranks: 7th in total YPG allowed (332.9); 8th in PPG (19.7) and rush YPG (98.9); 11th in pass YPG (233.9). Patriots have at least one takeaway in 10 straight games this season.

No team in the NFL blitzes less frequently than the Patriots -- Blitz on 16.0 percent of pass plays (last in NFL).

Chandler Jones (12.5) and Jabaal Sheard (8.0) have the third most sacks among teammates this season with 20.5.

Stephen Gostkowski has led the NFL in scoring in each of the last three seasons (2012-14). Can become just the third NFL player to lead the league in scoring in at least four consecutive seasons, joining Don Hutson (1940-44) and Gino Cappelletti (1963-66). Gostkowski has 147 points on the season. Panthers' kicker Graham Gano is second with 138.

The Dolphins have not reached playoffs since 2008 -- missed playoffs in 13 of last 14 seasons.

Dan Campbell started 2-0 as the Dolphins interim head coach. He then traveled to New England and lost 36-7. The Dolphins are 2-7 since.

Ryan Tannehill: 61.7 comp pct, 3,858 yards, 22 TD, 12 INT, 87.1 passer rating.

Jarvis Landry is the first player in Dolphins history with 100-plus receptions in a season (104). He also has the most receptions in a player's first two NFL seasons in NFL history (188), six more than his LSU teammate Odell Beckham Jr. (182).

Dolphins notable defensive ranks: 30th in rush YPG allowed; T-27th in sacks; 27th in total YPG; 24th in pass YPG; T-23rd in PPG.

Matchup to watch: Dolphins O-line vs. Chandler Jones and Jabaal Sheard

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants


The Eagles have lost five of their last seven games. Chip Kelly fired as Eagles head coach Tuesday -- 26-21 (.553) in tenure. One playoff appearance in three seasons with Eagles. Winning record in two of three seasons, one division championship.

Pat Shurmur will take over as the interim head coach for Week 17 at NYG. Has been Philly's offensive coordinator since 2013. Shurmur was 9-23 as Browns head coach (2011-12).

Eagles notable offensive ranks: 14th in pass YPG (251.5); 15th in total YPG (359.7) and rush YPG (108.2); T-16th in PPG (22.8).

Sam Bradford: 64.0 com pct, 3,405 pass yards, 17 TD, 13 INT, 84.6 passer rating. 300-plus passing yards in each of his last two games.

DeMarco Murray: 181 rush, 633 yards, 5 TDs. Murray has struggled in his first season in Philadelphia. Murray is averaging just 45.2 yards per game and 3.5 yards per rush with 5 TD this season, after averaging 115.3 yards per game and 4.7 yards per rush last season in Dallas, with 13 TD.

Eagles' notable defensive ranks: 30th in total YPG allowed (394.9); 29th in rush YPG (129.7); 28th in PPG (26.7); 26th in pass YPG (265.3).

Eagles have given up 35-plus points in four of last six games. Allowed 400-plus yards of offense in six straight games -- tied for second-longest streak by any team since 1950 (2012 Saints, 10 straight).

Is this Tom Coughlin's final game coaching the New York Giants? Coughlin has spent 12 seasons in New York with a 102-89 record, winning two Super Bowls and making five playoff appearances. However, the Giants have missed the playoffs in each of the last four seasons with a 28-35 record in that span -- longest streak without a NYG playoff appearance under Coughlin.

Giants have lost five of their last six games after starting the season 5-4.

Eli Manning: 63.1 comp pct, 4,134 yards, 33 TD, 14 INT, 93.6 passer rating. Manning needs 3 TD passes to tie Y.A. Tittle for the most in a season in Giants history. Tittle threw 36 in 1963. Manning has thrown 33 this season, and could tie Tittle's 52-year old record against the Eagles, who have allowed 34 TD passes this season (2nd-most in NFL).

Odell Beckham Jr. is returning from a one-game suspension this week. OBJ needs just 26 yards to pass Randy Moss (2,726) for the most receiving yards in a player's first two NFL seasons in NFL history. Season: 91 receptions, 1,396 yards, 13 TDs.

The Giants are looking to avoid becoming the first team in NFL history to allow 300 passing yards per game. Notable defensive ranks: 32nd in pass YPG (297.9) and total YPG (419.3 -- worst in franchise history, 4th worst in NFL history); 30th in PPG (27.1); 25th in rush YPG (132.3).

Matchup to watch: Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Eagles' DBs

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs


Charles Woodson will play his final NFL game at Arrowhead Stadium, the same location as his first NFL game in Week 1, 1998. Current Raider Amari Cooper was 4 years old at the time, and Chiefs rookie Marcus Peters was 5 years old.

The Raiders will finish third in AFC West, will miss playoffs for 13th straight season.

Oakland won three of their last five games. Raiders will have a chance to get back to .500 in Week 17. Last finished .500 in 2011 (8-8). Last winning season was 2002 (11-5, lost Super Bowl XXXVII). Last made playoffs in 2002.

Derek Carr: 60.9 comp pct, 252.9 pass YPG, 31 TD, 12 INT, 92.0 passer rating. Carr needs one pass TD to move into sole possession of second-most TD passes of any player in his first two seasons (52) and needs 4 TDs to set Raiders single-season pass TD record.

Latavius Murray: 255 carries, 1,035 rush yards, 6 rush TD.

Amari Cooper: 70 receptions, 1,050 receiving yards, 6 receiving TD -- 10 drops is T-most in the league this season.

This is the first time the Raiders have had a 3,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard receiver and 1,000-yard rusher in a single season since 2005 (QB Kerry Collins, WR Randy Moss and RB LaMont Jordan) -- 4th time in franchise history.

Raiders notable defensive ranks: 27th in pass YPG allowed (266.0); 22nd in total YPG (365.3); 21st in PPG (25.1); 9th in rush YPG (99.3).

Khalil Mack: 67 tackles, 15 sacks, 2 forced fumbles. Leads NFL in sacks -- last Raiders player to lead NFL in sacks: Derrick Burgess had 16.0 in 2005.

The Chiefs are the second team in NFL history to start 1-5 and then make the playoffs. The 1970 Bengals started 1-6, but rallied to make the postseason. First team in NFL history to win at least nine straight games immediately following a losing streak of at least five games.

The Chiefs have won nine consecutive games by outscoring opponents 255-111 -- +17 turnover differential in that span.

Alex Smith: 65.7 comp pct, 222.0 YPG, 18 TD, 5 INT, 96.7 passer rating. Passer rating would be second-highest of career (104.1 in 2012). Career-high for passing yards in a season (3,330).

Charcandrick West: 147 carries, 600 yards, 4 TD. 61.6 scrimmage yards per game in last five games -- 137.3 scrimmage yards per game in previous three games.

Jeremy Maclin: 84 rec, 1,034 yards, 7 TDs. First Chiefs receiver to gain 1,000 yards since Dwayne Bowe in 2011.

Travis Kelce: 101 targets, 71 rec, 865 yards, 5 TD. Alex Smith has 108.7 passer rating when targeting Kelce this season -- fifth best among TEs.

Chiefs' notable defensive ranks: 2nd in PPG allowed (18.0); 8th in total YPG (337.6); 12th in rush YPG (101.5) and pass YPG (236.1).

Marcus Peters has more interceptions this season (8) than the entire Chiefs team had in 2014 (6). Since 1940, Peters is just the second rookie to accomplish the feat (joining Lionel Washington of the St. Louis Cardinals, who had the benefit of playing after a strike-shortened 1982 season). Peters is the most targeted defender in the NFL (131) -- next closest is Steelers CB Antwon Blake (106).

The World Series Champion Kansas City Royals have lost a game more recently (Oct. 30) than the Chiefs (Oct. 18).

For the first time ever, the Chiefs and Royals will make the playoffs in the same season. The Royals debuted in 1969. The Chiefs debuted in 1960.

Matchup to watch: Chiefs offensive line vs. Khalil Mack

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals


The Seahawks and Cardinals are the only teams this season ranked Top 5 in both total offense and total defense. The Seahawks rank fifth in offense and second in defense, while the Cardinals rank first in offense and fifth in defense.

Russell Wilson and Carson Palmer are the two highest-rated passers in the NFL this season. Wilson leads the league with a mark of 109.3, while Palmer ranks second at 106.8.

Russell Wilson: 68.1 comp pct, 255.1 YPG, 31 TD, 8 INT, 109.3 passer rating. Wilson has been sacked 44 times this season -- tied for most in the NFL; taken 105 QB hits this season (most in NFL).

Wilson has thrown 11 touchdowns to Doug Baldwin in the last five games, tied for the most scores by any QB-receiver combination in a five-game span in NFL history (Brett Favre and Sterling Sharpe in 1994). Wilson and Baldwin would need to connect twice more in Week 17 to match Favre and Sharpe's record for most in a six-game span (13).

Doug Baldwin: 73 receptions, 1,023 receiving yards, 14 receiving TD -- career highs in each category. First SEA player with 1,000 receiving yards and 10-plus receiving TD since 1998 (Joey Galloway, 1,047 receiving yards and 10 TDs).

Seahawks receivers are responsible for three of the top nine passer ratings in the NFL when targeted this season. Passes intended for Doug Baldwin have produced a passer rating of 140.8, best in the NFL. Teammates Tyler Lockett (129.5) and Jermaine Kearse (116.9) rank third and ninth, respectively.

Wilson needs two passing TDs and 140 passing yards to set Seahawks single-season records. The marks he is chasing belong to Dave Krieg (32 TD in 1984) and Matt Hasselbeck (3,966 yards in 2007). With 173 yards, he will become the first Seahawk with 4,000 yards in a season.

The last pass Russell Wilson threw in University of Phoenix Stadium was the interception to Malcolm Butler to lose Super Bowl XLIX (NE 28, SEA 24). By the time Wilson takes the field Sunday, it will have been 336 days since that play in Arizona.

Seahawks notable defensive ranks: 2nd in pass YPG allowed (210.6) and total YPG (295.9); 3rd in PPG (18.1) and rush YPG (85.3); 4th in third down percent (33.9).

The Cardinals are 4-0 against 2015 playoff teams, and have scored 33.5 points per game in those contests. The Seahawks are 1-4 against playoffs teams, and have allowed 25.4 points per game in those contests. The Cardinals are 4-0 against Super Bowl winning quarterbacks this season, outscoring those opponents 134-77. None of those Super Bowl winning QBs had more touchdowns than interceptions in the game against Arizona. Drew Brees (Week 1), Joe Flacco (Week 7), Russell Wilson (Week 10), and Aaron Rodgers (Week 16) all had exactly 1 TD and 1 INT, and registered a passer rating below 85.

Cardinals have won 13-plus games in a season for 1st time in franchise history. The Cardinals have been in existence since 1920.

The Cardinals have outscored their opponents by 206 points this season, the best differential in the NFL. Since 1990, only 10 teams finished the season with a better point margin. Seven of those 10 teams made the Super Bowl, with four of them winning.

Carson Palmer: 64.5 comp pct, 302.8 YPG, 34 TD, 10 INT, 106.8 passer rating. Palmer needs 73 passing yards to set the Cardinals single-season record, currently held by Neil Lomax (4,614 yards in 1984).

Since becoming the starter in Week 13, David Johnson is averaging more scrimmage yards per game (149.3) than any other player in the NFL. Johnson leads all rookies in touchdowns (13), and ranks T-3rd among all NFL players.

Larry Fitzgerald: 103 receptions, 1,160 receiving yards, 8 TD -- fifth in NFL in receptions, ninth in NFL in receiving yards. 103 receptions this season ties his career-high (2005 season) -- 3rd season with 100-plus receptions (first since 2007). Fitzgerald's 126 receptions against the Seahawks are the most by any player in NFL history against Seattle.

Michael Floyd: 51 receptions, 833 receiving yards, 6 TD this season. Five 100-yard receiving games in last 7 games (5 in previous 55 games).

Cardinals notable defensive ranks: 2nd in takeaways (33); 4th in rush YPG allowed (87.7); 5th in PPG (18.5) and total YPG (319.5); 6th in third down percent (34.4); T-7th in pass YPG (231.9).

Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman have headed in opposite directions this season. Peterson has allowed a 38.5 passer rating in coverage, best in the NFL among all cornerbacks targeted at least 30 times. Sherman has allowed a passer rating of 90.7 in coverage, 67th-best.

Dwight Freeney: Leads team with 7.0 sacks this season. Signed Oct. 13, did not play for ARI until Week 6.

The Cardinals are the only team this season with more touchdowns than punts (57 touchdowns, 55 punts). This feat is not as rare as it seems, however. At least one team has had more TDs than punts in each of the last 12 seasons.

The Cardinals defense blitzes on 45.5 percent of passing plays this season, the highest rate in the NFL. Russell Wilson has a passer rating of 115.6 against the blitz this season, 2nd-best in the NFL (behind only Tom Brady, 116.5).

Matchup to watch: Cardinals' pass rush vs. Russell Wilson

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos


With a loss Sunday, Head Coach Mike McCoy and the Chargers would finish winless in the AFC West for the first time since going 0-8 back in 1984 when it was a five-team division. Don Coryell was the head coach and Dan Fouts the QB of that team.

This will be the Chargers' first 11-plus-loss season since going 4-12 in 2003. Eight of San Diego's 11 losses this season have been by eight points or fewer.

S.D. is sixth in total YPG (375.5), but 26th in PPG (20.0) -- Fewest PPG by the Chargers since 2003 (19.6).

Philip Rivers: 66.5 comp pct, 304.3 YPG, 27 TD, 12 INT, 94.2 passer rating. Rivers has 4,564 pass yards this season -- 72 pass yards behind Tom Brady for most in NFL this season. Eight games this season with 300-plus pass yards -- T-most in season by a Charger (1980, HOF Dan Fouts).

Antonio Gates: 53 receptions, 596 yards, 4 TD. 50-plus receptions in 11 of last 12 seasons. Zero TDs in eight of last nine games.

The Chargers are 4-1 when allowing fewer than 105 rushing yards this season, 0-10 when allowing 105-plus rushing yards.

In last four games, the Chargers' defense has allowed 16.0 points per game and 283.5 total yards per game with nine takeaways. (27.9 PPG and 377.6 total YPG with 10 total takeaways in first 11 games).

Broncos can clinch a first round bye for the fourth straight season with a win.

Brock Osweiler's season as starter: 62.0 comp pct, 264.8 YPG, 8 TD, 3 INT, 88.9 rating. Osweiler has led DEN to two 14-point comebacks versus playoff teams (CIN, NE) -- three other QBs in NFL history have led one team to two 14-point comebacks versus playoff teams in a single season.

Peyton Manning still leads the NFL in interceptions with 17 this season, despite the fact that he has not played since Week 10. Manning could tie Joe Ferguson from 1982 for the fewest games played by any player to lead the NFL in interceptions (9 games). Blake Bortles has 16 INTs and Matt Ryan has 15.

The Broncos are T-25th in the NFL with 26 giveaways this season. Only two teams since 1985 have finished 25th or worse in takeaways and made the Super Bowl. Both the 2001 Rams and 2006 Bears lost in the Super Bowl.

Peyton Manning is 7-2 in nine starts this season. When Manning does not start Sunday, it will be the first time since 1982 that the Broncos have not had a QB start 10-plus games in a season. The Broncos traded for the draft rights to John Elway prior to the 1983 season. The 32-year streak for the Broncos of having a QB start 10-plus games in a season is the longest in NFL history.

C.J. Anderson: 137 carries, 625 rushing yards (4.6 avg), 4 TD. Averaging 6.4 yards/carry since Week 8 -- averaged 2.7 yards/carry in Weeks 1-7.

Ronnie Hillman: 192 carries, 756 rushing yards (3.9 avg), 6 TDs. Three 100-yard rushing games this season. Less than 60 rushing yards in each of last five games.

Demaryius Thomas: 100 receptions, 1,187 receiving yards, 5 TD. Eight straight games without 100-plus receiving yards. Needs 13 receiving yards to become eighth player in NFL history with four straight 1,200 receiving yard seasons -- last such player: Chad Johnson (5 straight, 2003-07 with CIN).

Broncos' notable defensive ranks: 1st in total YPG allowed (280.9), pass YPG (199.1) and sacks (49); 2nd in rush YPG (81.8); 4th in PPG (18.4). Broncos have never led NFL in total defense.

Matchup to watch: Von Miller/DeMarcus Ware vs. Chargers OTs

St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers


The Rams have not reached the playoffs since 2004.

Jeff Fisher has not had a winning season since going 13-3 in 2008 with TEN -- won AFC South. Only two coaches who began their NFL head-coaching careers in the last 40 years had longer streaks than Fisher with a .500-or-worse record (Dan Henning and Dick Jauron). Fisher: .500-or-worse in last six seasons (Including 2015). Henning: Losing seasons in all seven seasons as head coach (1983-1986 Falcons, 1989-1991 Chargers). Jauron: Losing record in last seven seasons as head coach (2002-2003 Bears, 2005 Lions [interim], 2006-2009 Bills).

Rams have worst offense in NFL this season (293.1 YPG). Offensive ranks: 8th in rush YPG (122.9); 30th in PPG (17.2); 32nd in total YPG (293.1), pass YPG (176.5) and third down percent (25.0). 18 sacks allowed this season (fewest in NFL). STL is only team in NFL this season to not have 400-plus total yards in a game.

Case Keenum: 61.4 comp pct, 119.4 YPG, 4 TD, INT, 91.9 passer rating -- 3-1 as starting QB this season.

Todd Gurley: 229 carries, 1,108 yards, 10 TD. 85.2 rush YPG this season ranks 3rd in NFL. 85-plus rush yards in seven of 12 starts this season, 1-plus rush TD in eight of 12 starts this season.

Gurley (10 TDs) and Tavon Austin (9 TDs) have combined to score 19 of the Rams 26 offensive TD this season (73.1 pct) -- highest percentage by any duo in NFL this season.

Rams notable defensive ranks: 3rd in third down percent (33.8); T-7th in sacks (40); 13th in PPG (20.7); 20th in rush YPG (114.2); 21st in total YPG (361.9) and pass YPG (247.7).

The 49ers will miss the playoffs for second straight season.

Jim Tomsula: 4-11 in first season as 49ers coach. Worst of any head coach in his first year with his current team. Eleven head coaches have been fired after only one full season since 1990 -- last was Rob Chudzinski after 4-12 season with 2013 Browns. Pete McCulley (1978) was the last 49ers head coach to not coach at least two seasons (McCulley was fired after starting the season 1-8).

The Niners' offense is averaging 14.6 PPG this season (last in NFL). Would be lowest in NFL since 2012 Chiefs averaged 13.2 PPG. Notable offensive ranks: 30th in yards per play (4.9) and pass YPG (197.7); 31st in total YPG (293.5) and third down percent (29.2).

Blaine Gabbert: 63.0 comp pct, 239.6 YPG, 9 TD, 6 INT, 86.1 passer rating.

49ers have allowed 19 rush TDs this season (T-most in NFL; Falcons). Notable defensive ranks: T-18th in PPG allowed; 20th in third down percent; 25th in pass YPG; T-28th in total YPG; 28th in rush YPG.

Matchup to watch: Todd Gurley vs. 49ers run D

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers


Buccaneers will miss playoffs for eighth straight season and have not finished .500 or better since 2010 (10-6). Have not made the playoffs since 2007 and have not won a playoff game since 2002 (Super Bowl XXXVII champs).

Jameis Winston: 58.0 comp pct, 247.8 YPG, 22 TDs, 13 INTs, 86.1 passer rating;199 rush yards, 5 TDs. Winston's 22 pass TDs is most by rookie in TB history (Mike Glennon 19 in 2013). His 27 combined rush and pass TDs is T-4th most in NFL history by a rookie. Winston's 3,717 pass yards are the fourth most by any rookie in NFL history.

Doug Martin: 273 carries, 1,354 rush yards, 6 TDs. Second in NFL in rush yards (Adrian Peterson: 1,418). 100 yards shy of career high (set in 2012, rookie season).

Mike Evans: 70 receptions, 1,107 yards, 3 TDs -- eighth player in NFL history to start career with consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

The Buccaneers have struggled in several situation defensive metrics: 30th in third down percent (44.8) and scoring efficiency (40.8); T-26th in red zone scoring (61.5).

With a win in Week 17, Carolina will finish the season 8-0 at home and be guaranteed home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Since 1975, 23 teams have finished unbeaten at home and had home field advantage in the same season. Twelve (52.2 percent) of them advanced to the Super Bowl and seven of them (30.4 percent) took home the Lombardi Trophy.

The Panthers scored 20-points points in each of their first 14 games, all of which were wins. In Week 16, the Falcons held Carolina to 13 points and served them their first loss of the season.

Cam Newton: 58.6 comp pct, 236.3 YPG, 33 TD, 10 INT, 97.0 passer rating; 126 carries, 626 rush yards (5.0 avg.), 8 TDs. Newton has the most combined pass and rush TD in the NFL this season (41). Three passing TDs shy of the Panthers single-season record.

Jonathan Stewart: 242 carries, 989 yds, 4.1 avg, 6 TD; 16 receptions, 99 yds, 1 TD -- 11 rush yards shy of first 1,000-yard season since 2009. Missed last 2 games with foot injury.

After averaging 141.9 rush YPG with Jonathan Stewart in the lineup for 13 games, the Panthers are averaging 163.0 rush YPG in two games without Stewart. Cam Newton has 146 yards and a rush TD on 15 carries in Stewart's absence.

Ted Ginn Jr.: 44 receptions, 739 yards, 10 TDs. Five of Cam Newton's 10 INT this season have come when targeting Ginn. Ginn has 10 drops on the season.

Greg Olsen: 75 receptions, 1,088 yards, 7 TDs. Greg Olsen has the highest percent of his team's pass targets (26.1), receptions (26.9) and receiving yards (30.4) among all tight ends this season.

The Panthers defense allowed 11 pass TD to the Super Bowl trio of Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning, and Drew Brees this season. In their other 12 games (in which they faced just one Super Bowl winning QB (Russell Wilson) the Panthers allowed a total of 10 TD passes.

Josh Norman allowed 95 receiving yards versus Julio Jones in Week 16. That's more than the 89 combined yards Norman surrendered to DeAndre Hopkins, Mike Evans, T.Y. Hilton, Dez Bryant, and Jones (Week 14) this season.

Luke Kuechly: 109 tackles, 1 sack, 4 INT, 9 passes defensed (12 games) -- 100-plus tackles for fourth straight season (since entering league in 2012). Most tackles in NFL since 2012 (582).

Matchup to watch: Panthers run D vs. Doug Martin

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers


If Seattle (at ARI) and Green Bay both win in Week 17, Minnesota will play at Green Bay in the Wild Card Round. There have been four instances since 1994 in which the same teams squared off in Week 17 and then again in the Wild Card Round in the same stadium, with the home team winning the playoff game in each instance. Most recently (2009), there were two instances of this situation: the Cardinals hosted the Packers and the Cowboys hosted the Eagles in both the Week 17 and the Wild Card game. The last two teams to face each other in both Week 17 and the Wild Card Round (regardless of stadium) were the 2012 Packers and Vikings.

The Vikings are 1-4 against teams currently in line to make the 2015 playoffs, with a turnover differential of -4. They are 9-1 against non-playoff teams this season, with a turnover differential of +9.

Vikings have scored 35-plus points in two straight games.

Teddy Bridgewater: 65.9 comp pct, 208.8 pass YPG, 14 TD, 8 INT, 90.6 passer rating. Bridgewater is the NFL's second-highest rated passer (123.2) since Week 14. Six TD passes in the last three games combined -- 8 TD passes the first 12 games combined. Over his last three games, Bridgewater has a passer rating of 154.4 when throwing 15-plus air yard passes (best in NFL).

In their last 3 games, Teddy Bridgewater has thrown 6 TDs and 0 INTs, while Aaron Rodgers has 4 TDs and 2 INTs.

Among 36 QBs with at least 125 pass attempts under 10 air yards, Bridgewater is the only one without an INT this season -- 9 TD, 0 INT, 99.1 passer rating on passes under 10 air yards.

Adrian Peterson leads the NFL in rushing yards this season (1,418), 64 yards ahead of second place, Doug Martin. It would be Peterson's third rushing title of his career (2008, 2012). Every player with three-plus rushing titles is currently in the Hall of Fame (7 players). Peterson is also trying to become just the second player in the Super Bowl era to lead the NFL in rushing yards at age 30 or older (Curtis Martin, 2004).

All Day has seven games with 100-plus rushing yards this season (most in NFL).

Stefon Diggs: 51 receptions, 712 receiving yards, 4 TDs. Leads Vikings in receptions and receiving yards this season -- last Vikings rookie to lead team in receiving yards was Randy Moss in 1998.

The Vikings defense is allowing their fewest PPG since 1998 (18.5 in 1998). Notable ranks: 6th in PPG allowed (19.3); 8th in third down percent (36.1); 9th in pass YPG (232.3); 14th in total YPG (343.8); 18th in rush YPG (111.5).

Packers are playing a Week 17 game with the division title on the line for the third straight season (Packers won the previous two Week 17 games).

Green Bay is 3-3 this season against teams that are currently in line to make the playoffs.

Aaron Rodgers: 60.4 comp pct, 235.3 YPG, 30 TD, 7 INT, 93.7 passer rating. On pace for first sub-100 passer rating in a season since 2008 (Rodgers' first season as starter). Rodgers has posted a passer rating below 100.0 in nine straight games -- longest such streak of career.

Aaron Rodgers is having the worst season of his career. Over the prior seven seasons, Rodgers led the league in yards per attempt and passer rating. This season he is 31st in yards per attempt and 13th in passer rating.

Since Week 4, Rodgers has been sacked 38 times (most in NFL). The Vikings' defense has 32 sacks since Week 4 (T-7th most in NFL). Rodgers has been hit 91 times this season (most in season in his career); has been hit 62 times since Week 9 (most in NFL).

Over his last three games, Rodgers has a passer rating of 44.9 when throwing 15-plus air yard passes (4th-lowest in NFL since Week 14).

Eddie Lacy: 174 carries, 724 rush yards, 3 TD (4.2 yards/carry) -- 100-plus rushing yards in three of last six games.

Since Week 4, the Packers have had only one wide receiver gain 100-plus yards in a game (James Jones, Week 11 at MIN).

Richard Rodgers has three receptions, 12 receiving yards, 1 TD in the last three games combined since catching the 61-yard Hail Mary to win the game at DET.

Packers notable defensive ranks: 10th in PPG allowed (20.2); 12th in rush YPG (116.9); 19th in total YPG (353.7); 20th in pass YPG (236.7).

Julius Peppers: Leads team with 9.5 sacks -- 15 QB hits.

Clay Matthews: 63 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 18 QB hits (leads team), 11 tackles for loss (leads team) -- 1.0 sack in last 10 games combined.

Matchup to watch: Vikings DBs vs. Packers WRs

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