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What to watch for: Viewing tips for Week 16 games

We'd argue that quarterback Thad Lewis actually helps Buffalo's chances for an upset. He showed promise in a Week 5 win over the Dolphins, but Sunday won't be easy: Miami passer Ryan Tannehill is playing his best football right now.

Huge moment for Cam Newton, who's struggled historically against the Saints. The Panthers signal-caller has just five touchdown passes in five games against New Orleans.

Clinging to a thin lead in the AFC North, the Bengals can't afford to overlook a Vikings team that scorched the Eagles last week. Matt Cassel led Minnesota to 48 points, the team's biggest outpouring since Week 16 of 1998.

Despite a trainwreck campaign, the Texans still have the league's second-ranked pass defense. That might not be the case after facing a Peyton Manning-led Broncos attack that's scored touchdowns on an NFL-best 78.3 percent of its trips into the red zone.

Titans coach Mike Munchak is fighting for his job. A loss against the suddenly frisky Jaguars would hand Tennessee back-to-back 10-loss seasons for the first time since 2004 and 2005.

It's the first game of the season between two teams who have clinched playoff berths. We'll be interested to see how Andrew Luck and Indy's offense fare against a Chiefs defense likely to have pass rusher Justin Houston back in the lineup.

Crazy stat: The Browns rank top 10 in passing for the first time since ... 1991. That tells you how rough it's been in Cleveland for decades -- and how much of a difference Josh Gordon makes to this team.

It's not all bad for these two lovable losers. The Bucs have a turnover differential of +11 while the Rams sit at +10, making these two the only teams to rank in the top 10 in that category despite a losing record.

Tony Romo's problem go beyond the final two minutes of games. He's consistently missed Dez Bryant open deep over the last few weeks. Romo used to be a great vertical passer, but he's struggled at that skill of late. He also is missing throws in the red zone, leading to a lot of field goals.

The Lions are their own worst enemies. They have 18 turnovers since Week 11, five more than any other team in the NFL. Their 41 drops on the season lead the league. Matthew Stafford's steady start to the season has eroded over the last seven weeks with 54.3 percent passing, 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

The playoff picture


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The most insane stat of this season: Seattle has given up only 19 punt return yards all year. Their 1.4 yards-per-return allowed would set an NFL record. The Seahawks will clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC with another home win.

For all the talk about Rob Gronkowski's absence crushing the Patriots' offense, Tom Brady's crew racked up 453 yards last week against Miami. The expected return of Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson should help the Patriots hit more big plays and better capitalize in the red zone than a week ago.

For all the deserved love being thrown Matt Flynn's way after his incredible comeback, the Packers quarterback did not have to make many great throws in Green Bay's comeback. He was very lucky a few second-half passes weren't picked off. Look for Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LaBeau to make Flynn throw to the outside more, especially on third-and-long. The Packers can't rely on winning a shootout.

If Dennis Allen's job is hanging in the balance; this matchup doesn't bode well. The Raiders' defensive performance against Kansas City was the most embarrassing effort we've seen all year. Oakland struggled badly with screens last year, and Danny Woodhead is one of the best screen-pass running backs in the league.

Look for a ton of big plays in this game because both safety groups are awful. Both quarterbacks, however, are coming off shaky outings. Jay Cutler did not have to do much in Chicago's win over Cleveland. He is often a beat late on throws. Nick Foles has been more erratic throwing the ball the last two weeks. He continues to make plays, but he's not hitting his deep shots as much and his lack of arm strength has shown up at times.

Candlestick Park has been kind to the 49ers over the years. No home team has won more games since 1950. The 49ers will clinch a playoff spot this week with a win or a loss by Arizona on Sunday.

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