Everything you need to know as kickoff approaches. ...
Key game-time decisions
All players questionable unless noted
Revis sounded optimistic about his chances of playing after practice Friday. Still, he'll have to work out prior to the game before a decision is made.
DRC was limited Thursday and Friday after missing Wednesday. Orange Julius was limited all week in practice.
Hali will play through the ankle injury. DeVito sat out practice Friday.
The rookie tight end was limited all week.
Rex Ryan said he was "concerned" about Holmes' injuries. It would be a surprise if we see him considering he didn't practice all week. Cro returned to practice Friday on a limited basis.
The legend was limited in practice all week.
The rookie injured his knee Thursday in practice. He told The Arizona Republic he was "hopeful" to play Sunday.
The team's leading tackler sprained his ankle during Friday's practice.
Brown was limited all week in practice and expects to play.
Gronk was limited all week in practice. We aren't worried about him missing the game.
Royal added a chest injury to the toe injury that has kept him on this list the past month. He still keeps playing, despite not practicing.
Three QBs To Watch
The playoff picture
How would your team's prospects look if the season ended today? See where each team stands in the playoff picture midway through the season. More ...
Manning has to be bristling with how last week's loss to the Patriots turned out. The Broncos' offense has been slowly declining as the season grows older and the weather becomes colder. Denver's O has dipped by 17.3 points, 77.8 total yards and 117.8 passing yards over the last three weeks, compared to the season's blistering start. Manning is still leading the MVP conversation, and the Broncos could begin to pull away in the AFC West with a win in Kansas City.
Foles has the highest passer rating in a single month since 1960 at 152.8. After naming him the permanent starter, Chip Kelly mentioned Foles wouldn't have to look over his shoulder if he had a bad game. That is a convenient statement for Kelly to make considering the Arizona Cardinals are coming to town, and they will be by far the best defense Foles has faced this season. If the second-year QB dices up the Cards the way he has other defenses, the Eagles should be considered front-runners in the NFC East.
Rivers' game-winning drive last week kept the Chargers' playoff hopes alive. He'll have to put up similar numbers against another playoff-bound team in the Bengals. With his defense giving him next to no help, Rivers has had a marvelous season. He needs another big game to keep pace in the tightly packed AFC playoff hunt.
Great news for Peyton Manning fans: It is not projected to be less than 30 degrees at kickoff at Arrowhead Stadium.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers -- 49 degrees/chance of rain late in the game
Jacksonville Jaguars at Cleveland Browns -- 37 degrees/chance of snow
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets -- 42 degrees/chance of rain
Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles -- 42 degrees
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs -- 46 degrees/partly cloudy
New York Giants at Washington Redskins -- 39 degrees/partly cloudy
Did you know?
»The Houston Texans have the NFL's top-ranked total defense (290.4 YPG) despite their 2-9 record. No top-ranked total defense has ever finished with fewer than five wins in a season.
Cam Newton has orchestrated a game-winning drive in three consecutive weeks. His evolution as a passer has vaulted the Panthers into the Super Bowl contender discussion. He's never thrown the medium-to-short ball better than he has this season, which has allowed him to be much more efficient as a passer. He'll need to show similar moxie against a Buccaneers team that is gaining confidence by the game.
The Brandon Weeden Era Part III: The Dearth of Options airs Sunday afternoon at a Factory of Sadness near you. The maligned quarterback has been downright awful for the majority of his snaps this season. Third time is said to be the charm, but I'm not so optimistic that phrase rings true for Weeden.
The Jaguars have a chance to steal a road victory if they can force the Browns into a few turnovers, and give Chad Henne a short field to work with. Henne isn't the Jags' future quarterback, but he's looked like a decent backup for the last several weeks as the Jags have gone 2-1. He is capable of making a few plays against the Browns' D. Like Weeden, he needs to avoid bad turnovers.
It's shocking that the Texans remain the top defensive team in terms of total defense but have lost nine consecutive games. If their offense can provide consistency against a banged-up Patriots D, which will be without cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, Case Keenum is capable of pulling off the biggest upset of the week.
When the Patriots don't turn the ball over, they are expertly efficient. Anyone who wrote off Tom Brady early this season should be ashamed, as he's starting to wedge his name into the MVP discussion. The key will be avoiding backbreaking turnovers, especially from the running backs (looking at you, Stevan Ridley).
This looks like a nightmare matchup for a Bears defense that has struggled to stop the run. If either (or both) Stephen Paea and Jay Ratliff are able to go, it would be a big boost. Still, on paper it looks like this will be another game in which Josh McCown will be forced to sling it a ton for the Bears to keep pace in the NFC North.
Adrian Peterson should collect his first back-to-back 100-yard rushing games of the season. It would be a huge, huge coaching mistake if A.P. doesn't get the ball 30-plus times Sunday. However, the way things have gone in Minnesota this season, nothing would be a surprise anymore.
The Jets might consider running the ball every play against the Dolphins' 25th-ranked run defense. The GenoCoaster is just stuck on a permanent downhill. Last week, Geno Smith became just the sixth QB since 2000 to record 10 or fewer completions in three straight starts. (The last man to do that was Tim Tebow in Denver.)
Surely, a game pitting Chip Kelly's offense vs. Bruce Arians' offense should be a shootout, no? However, both offenses are going up against defenses that have been very stingy of late. The Eagles' defense is allowing 16.2 PPG in their last five contests, while the Cardinals' D is allowing 15.5 PPG in their last four games.
Rams defensive ends Chris Long and Robert Quinn have been menacing to opposing quarterbacks this season. They should have success against Colin Kaepernick, provided they don't get too deep on their rush and allow him to escape the pocket. A game like the one we saw them have earlier this season against Russell Wilson is not out of the question.
Oh, what happened to the Chiefs' defense? The group surrendered 462.7 yards per game in November, the worst mark in the NFL. The Chiefs won't have Justin Houston, and Tamba Hali is banged up. If they don't get more pressure on Peyton Manning than they got in their previous matchup, it will be another long day.
The Giants will be without Jason Pierre-Paul and several other key defenders. If there was a time for Robert Griffin III to get right, it would be Sunday night. Unfortunately, he's shown no signs that he is confident running Kyle Shanahan's offense. The desperation throws and crushing blows have become all too familiar to Redskins fans.
The Redskins' secondary has been kind to most quarterbacks this season. It shouldn't be any different for Eli Manning, who has thrown just two interceptions in the past five weeks (after throwing 15 in the previous six weeks). Manning is the veteran presence in a game between two teams in evaluation mode.