Key game-time decisions
All players questionable unless noted
Bernard plans to play, despite being limitied in practice all week, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
White missed three games, but he's said he will be on the field to face the Seattle Seahawks. Rapoport reported on NFL Network's "NFL GameDay First" that White will play.
Richardson was full-go Friday after missing two days with an ankle injury. The Colts expect Richardson to play, Rapoport reported.
Graham was limited Thursday and Friday, but he should play, similar to last week. It's mostly pain tolerance at this point. Colston was limited all week after missing last week's tussle.
Hatcher returned to practice Friday in a limited capacity.
Royal sat out practice all week. He's done the same the past two weeks and still suited up Sunday.
Three players to watch
Coming off a groin injury, Cutler needs to start hot. After the stellar performance by Josh McCownlast week, Bears fans will turn on Cutler quickly if he struggles. It's a difficult Detroit Lions defensive front for Cutler to face if he's not able to move well. He insists he's ready. He'll have to prove it to keep the boo birds at bay.
I'd argue that Aaron Rodgers was the most irreplaceable player on any NFL team. Wallace is in the unenviable position of replacing Rodgers in an offense that relies on the quarterback to make plays. With a full week of practice under his belt, we should expect Wallace to play better than he did in relief in Week 9. Still, Wallace has a career 6-15 record as an NFL starter. He'll need to lean heavily on Eddie Lacy and the Packers' newfound running game.
*It's November. It will be cold in cold-weather states. However, there is nothing noteworthy on the horizon and no precipitation in the forecasts. *
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» Since 2000, 32 teams have reached the halfway point of the season with a winning percentage of .500 or below and rallied to make the playoffs. At least one has done it in each of the past 12 seasons. The only team to rally and actually win the Super Bowl: The 2001 New England Patriots, who were 4-4 at the midway point.
Odds and ends: Andy Dalton has guided the Bengals' offense to a touchdown on nine drives that have begun inside their own 20-yard line, the most such drives for any team in the NFL. The Ravens are the only team this season not to allow a touchdown on a drive that started inside their opponent's own 20-yard line.
The reigning NFC Defensive Player of the Week, Shea McClellin (hamstring), is doubtful for the Bears' defense, which necessitates Julius Peppers to have another strong performance and put pressure on Matthew Stafford. The Bears should move Peppers around the line with Lions rookie right tackle LaAdrian Waddle likely to make just his second start.
Rookie running back Eddie Lacy will have a chance to strengthen his case for Offensive Rookie of the Year. The powerful running back has bowled over opponents, and he should have plenty of opportunities to extend his streak of five straight games with 80-plus yards rushing.
EJ Manuel's return to the lineup will add some juice to the Bills' offense. His offensive line has performed well as of late and should give the rookie quarterback time against a Steelers pass rush that has failed to produce consistent pressure. Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is 17-2 in regular season games against starting rookie quarterbacks. It will be fun to see the game plan the guru dials up for Manuel.
Chris Johnson finally showed up for 2013 in last week's win. He should have another good performance against the NFL's worst rushing defense, which is allowing 161.8 yards per game.
Isn't Case Keenum a joy to watch? He has the highest completion percentage on passes of 20-plus yards in the air this season (minimum of 10 attempts) at 63.6 percent (next on the list is Philip Rivers at 48.4 percent). More importantly, he's feeding Andre Johnson, who'll have a tougher go of it against Patrick Peterson this week.
How the Broncos respond without John Fox is one subplot, but I'm not expecting it to affect Peyton Manning in the least. Manning will carve up the 29th ranked Chargers defense. The Broncos' offense has equaled the NFL record with eight straight games of 30-plus points to begin a season. They should make it nine Sunday.