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The Big Story for each NFL team

NFL Nation reporters fact a biggest storylines — and what they meant going brazen — for any organisation entrance out of Week 15.

AFC East | AFC North| AFC South | AFC West
NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West


Buffalo Bills (7-7)

Rex Ryan’s parking mark during 1 Bills Drive appears to be safe, for during slightest one some-more week. Buffalo’s 33-13 win over a Browns avoided an annoying detriment for a Bills opposite a winless team, and even nonetheless Ryan competence not be means to save his pursuit with season-ending wins over a Dolphins and Jets, it would be peculiar for a Bills to glow Ryan this week after a 20-point victory. — Mike Rodak

Week 16: vs. Miami, Saturday, 1 p.m. ET

Miami Dolphins (9-5)

Backup quarterback Matt Moore emerged with a career-high 4 touchdown throws in Saturday night’s win over a Jets. Moore’s opening after scarcely 5 years on a shelf provides himself and a Dolphins a large certainty boost that Moore can fast shake a decay and win infamous Dec games down a stretch. — James Walker

Week 16: during Buffalo, Saturday, 1 p.m. ET

New England Patriots (12-2)

Playing turnover-free football with a form of interrelated football Bill Belichick preaches between offense, invulnerability and special teams, a Patriots kick a Broncos in Denver — that has been their kryptonite — to bind a AFC East pretension for an NFL-record eighth true year while also earning a first-round playoff bye. Now, a Pats glow for home-field advantage, that as they schooled final year was so critical. — Mike Reiss

Week 16: vs. New York Jets, Saturday, 1 p.m. ET

New York Jets (4-10)

Once again, a Jets have a quarterback question: Bryce Petty suffered a chest damage Saturday night and underwent tests on Sunday. The organisation hasn’t disclosed a results. If Petty can’t play this week opposite a Patriots, a Jets will substantially spin behind to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Rookie Christian Hackenberg is a remote option. Petty has struggled, yet he will get another shot to improve, if healthy. — Rich Cimini

Week 16: during New England, Saturday, 1 p.m. ET


Baltimore Ravens (8-6)

The emotions are already using high for Sunday’s diversion in Pittsburgh. The Christmas Day showdown will approaching establish a AFC North champion. Since John Harbaugh became manager in 2008, a Ravens have won 5 times in Pittsburgh, a many of any organisation in that span. “I’m certain it’s what everybody wants,” QB Joe Flacco said. “We’re adult for a challenge.” — Jamison Hensley

Week 16: at Pittsburgh, Sunday, 4:30 p.m. ET

NFL playoff picture: Patriots, Raiders punch their tickets

New England and Oakland are in a playoff field, while a Titans are surging and a Chiefs and Broncos slipped with losses.

  • Players remember how a biggest plays of Week 15 went down

    Jordy Nelson torments a Bears again; Odell Beckham one-hands another TD; Adrian Peterson has a severe return; Ben Roethlisberger beats a Bengals. Listen to a stars mangle down a large moments.

  • How a Texans could pierce on from Brock Osweiler

    The Texans could try to pierce on after a deteriorate from Brock Osweiler, who was benched on Sunday, yet his recover would emanate vital issues.

  • Cincinnati Bengals (5-8-1)

    The Bengals are now personification for honour after being separated from a playoffs with Sunday’s detriment to a Steelers. This is a initial time given 2010 that a Bengals won’t make a postseason. Head manager Marvin Lewis has nonetheless to win a playoff diversion in Cincinnati. — Katherine Terrell

    Week 16: at Houston, Saturday, 8:25 p.m. ET

    Cleveland Browns (0-14)

    What would a week be yet a Browns quarterback decision? Hue Jackson pronounced he’ll contemplate a probability of replacing Robert Griffin III for Saturday’s diversion opposite a Chargers. The manager will examination a fasten of Sunday’s 33-13 detriment in Buffalo before creation a decision, yet his quarrel to win a diversion is so dynamic he could go to rookie Cody Kessler or maestro Josh McCown. — Pat McManamon

    Week 16: vs. San Diego, Saturday, 1 p.m. ET

    Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5)

    After Sunday’s extravagantly earthy win in Cincinnati, a Steelers were prepared to speak about a Ravens, who come to Pittsburgh for a Christmas Day strife with outrageous playoff implications. The Steelers know what’s during interest in their arriving game: a AFC North. “Whoever wins that diversion is many approaching going to a playoffs,” pronounced linebacker Ryan Shazier. Added using behind Le’Veon Bell, who’s prepared for Baltimore’s defensive front: “We know what we have to do.” — Jeremy Fowler

    Week 16: vs. Baltimore, Sunday, 4:30 p.m. ET


    Houston Texans (8-6)

    The large doubt for a Texans this week is who will start during quarterback on Saturday opposite a Bengals. Bill O’Brien benched starting QB Brock Osweiler in Sunday’s quip feat over a Jaguars for backup Tom Savage after Osweiler threw dual first-half interceptions. O’Brien wouldn’t name Saturday’s starter after a game. With a Titans’ feat on Sunday, a Texans stay tied atop a AFC South with Tennessee. — Sarah Barshop

    Week 16: vs. Cincinnati, Saturday, 8:25 p.m. ET

    Indianapolis Colts (7-7)

    The Colts’ best win of a deteriorate fast mislaid a gleam when Tennessee and Houston also won on Sunday, gripping Indianapolis in third place in a AFC South. The Colts need to win their final dual games, and wish both Tennessee and Houston remove subsequent week and that a Titans to kick a Texans in Week 17 in sequence to win a division. — Mike Wells

    Week 16: during Oakland, Saturday, 4:05 p.m. ET

    Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12)

    The Jaguars have strictly begun their coaching hunt now that they dismissed Gus Bradley following Sunday’s 21-20 detriment during Houston. Owner Shad Khan pronounced GM Dave Caldwell will lead a hunt for a new coach, that seems to prove that Caldwell’s position in 2017 is safe. Why would we concede a GM to sinecure a new manager if you’re going to glow him once a deteriorate ends? — Mike DiRocco

    Week 16: vs. Tennessee, Saturday, 1 p.m. ET

    Tennessee Titans (8-6)

    For any of a past 7 seasons, a Titans and Jaguars have separate their series. The Titans won a initial assembly this deteriorate on Oct. 27. If they can mangle a strain and win during Jacksonville on Christmas Eve to brush Jacksonville in 2016, a Titans will play for a AFC South pretension on Jan. 1 during home opposite Houston. Tennessee has left a month yet branch a turn over. Now, a Titans will need to purify adult a 3 turnovers they got divided with in their dissapoint of a Chiefs on Sunday and equivocate losing to an halt manager who will be named Monday to fill Gus Bradley’s headset. — Paul Kuharsky

    Week 16: during Jacksonville, Saturday, 1 p.m. ET


    Denver Broncos (8-6)

    The Broncos reason Tom Brady to 188 yards yet a touchdown pass, a 50 percent execution rate and a high-powered Patriots to 16 points. Still, a Broncos didn’t win and a 16-3 detriment creates their playoff chances roughly a vapor. Two first-half turnovers by Denver incited into 10 New England points, and a Broncos never recovered. After a game, manager Gary Kubiak pronounced he didn’t know all a playoff scenarios, yet that he did know a Broncos have to win their final dual games and get to 10 wins to even consider about it. — Jeff Legwold

    Week 16: during Kansas City, Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET

    Kansas City Chiefs (10-4)

    The Chiefs have counted on Alex Smith not to make a large mistake that costs them a victory. But he did so for a second time this deteriorate on Sunday opposite a Titans when he threw a bad end-zone interception with a Chiefs in easy field-goal range. Those 3 points would have been useful in what was an contingent 19-17 loss. Smith done a identical play in final month’s detriment to Tampa Bay, one that also finished with a Chiefs on a brief finish of a 19-17 score. — Adam Teicher

    Week 16: vs. Denver, Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET

    Oakland Raiders (11-3)

    The Raiders survived a Chargers, 19-16, on Sunday to bind their initial playoff berth given 2002 and, pleasantness of Kansas City’s detriment to a Tennessee progressing that day, reclaimed initial place in a AFC West. Win out and a Raiders would also bind during slightest a top-two seed in a playoffs with a first-round bye and an indirect home playoff diversion — yes, usually dual years after starting out 0-10, and in manager Jack Del Rio’s second deteriorate in Oakland. But when asked what was on his mind as a final seconds ticked off a time of a Raiders’ playoff-clinching victory, a focused Derek Carr smiled. “Indianapolis,” he said. — Paul Gutierrez

    Week 16: vs. Indianapolis, Saturday, 4:05 p.m.

    San Diego Chargers (5-9)

    The Chargers have been mathematically separated from postseason care and are personification for honour for a second true year with dual games left. QB Philip Rivers pronounced he’ll find out a lot about his teammates over this two-game stretch. “You’re personification for honour of your peers in a locker room given if we remove that, it’s tough to regain,” Rivers said. “So we consider that’s what we’ll find.” — Eric D. Williams

    Week 16: at Cleveland, Saturday, 1 p.m. ET


    Dallas Cowboys (12-2)

    Second-year defensive finish Randy Gregory will be authorised to use for a initial time this deteriorate after blank 14 games due to mixed violations of a substance-abuse policy. Given a behind damage to DeMarcus Lawrence, who was dead Sunday in a win over Tampa Bay, and a inability to vigour a passer for many of a season, a Cowboys could need Gregory to be prepared to go from immediately. Gregory did not have a pouch as a rookie and has not been in pads given final season, yet a Cowboys roughly have no choice. — Todd Archer

    Week 16: vs. Detroit, Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET

    New York Giants (10-4)

    The Giants are hot. The Giants are a organisation to be reckoned with. If we didn’t trust it when they rubbed a NFC East-leading Cowboys final week, trust it now. The Giants followed their second win over Dallas this deteriorate with a 17-6 feat over a Lions on Sunday and have won 8 of 9 games. They haven’t clinched a playoff mark yet, yet they can do as most as early as Thursday night in Philadelphia. The Giants are on a hurl and are dangerous with their invulnerability winning once again. They have now left 7 true buliding yet permitting a touchdown. — Jordan Raanan

    Week 16: during Philadelphia, Thursday, 8:25 p.m. ET

    Philadelphia Eagles (5-9)

    Coach Doug Pederson’s preference to go for dual during a finish of law failed, and a Eagles walked divided from MT Bank Stadium with a 27-26 detriment to a Ravens. The preference to be assertive played good in a locker room afterwards, though. The players like a certainty Pederson is display in them, and seem to be personification tough underneath this conduct manager notwithstanding carrying forsaken 9 of their final 11. — Tim McManus

    Week 16: vs. New York Giants, Thursday, 8:25 p.m. ET

    Washington Redskins (7-5-1)

    The Redskins’ playoff hopes will be helped by an offense finally during full strength. That is, if Jordan Reed can play some-more than a 10 snaps he did a week ago given of his shoulder injury. The parsimonious finish pronounced a pain has decreased and that he can hoop a fuller load. Meanwhile, a descent line will have a starting organisation together for a initial time given Week 8, as C Spencer Long and G Shawn Lauvao are approaching to start. All of this will assistance opposite a Carolina defensive front that stays a dangerous one. — John Keim

    Week 16: at Chicago, Saturday, 1 p.m. ET


    Chicago Bears (3-11)

    Matt Barkley deserves to be Chicago’s No. 2 quarterback in 2017, yet he waited too prolonged to chuck a turn to Alshon Jeffery in a Bears’ 30-27 detriment to Green Bay. Jeffery, who usually returned from a four-game PED suspension, was targeted usually one time over a initial 3 quarters. With a Bears trailing 27-10, Jeffery came alive, finishing with 6 receptions for 89 yards and one touchdown. But where was Jeffery progressing in a game? For his part, Barkley played improved than his numbers (four turnovers) competence indicate. He put Chicago in position to win or send a diversion into overtime — a using thesis given he took a starting pursuit over from Jay Cutler. — Jeff Dickerson

    Week 16: vs. Washington, Saturday, 1 p.m. ET

    Detroit Lions (9-5)

    The Lions are entrance off a detriment for a initial time given a final weekend of October. How they conflict to that detriment could conclude either they make a playoffs for a second time in 3 seasons. After losing to a approaching playoff organisation in a Giants, 17-6, a Lions now have to transport to a NFC’s probable No. 1 seed: Dallas. To make matters potentially reduction savoury for Detroit, tip cornerback Darius Slay left Sunday’s diversion with a hamstring damage and didn’t return. For a organisation that needs during slightest one win in a subsequent dual games to make a playoffs, it’s going to be a formidable two-week widen for a Lions. — Michael Rothstein

    Week 16: during Dallas, Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET

    Green Bay Packers (8-6)

    Forget about 4-6; a Packers like their position streamer into a final dual games of a deteriorate — during home opposite Minnesota and during Detroit — after a four-game winning strain stayed alive Sunday opposite a Bears. “Puts us in position to control a possess destiny,” manager Mike McCarthy pronounced after a 30-27 win. “And that’s all we can ask for during this time of year, generally going into dual some-more multiplication games and generally for what we’ve been by earlier.” — Rob Demovsky

    Week 16: vs. Minnesota, Saturday, 1 p.m. ET

    Minnesota Vikings (7-7)

    After a 5-0 start, a Vikings are in a position where they competence not have anything left to play for, solely a possibility to spoil their arch rivals’ playoff fate. Minnesota heads to Lambeau Field on Saturday in third place in a multiplication to face a Packers, who have a clearer trail to a playoffs than a Vikings. Coach Mike Zimmer pronounced on Sunday he wants “to find out who is going to fight. Because that was not a fighting opening there.” Depending on how a rest of a NFC shakes out, a Vikings competence not have most to quarrel for. — Ben Goessling

    Week 16: at Green Bay, Saturday, 1 p.m. ET


    Atlanta Falcons (9-5)

    Devonta Freeman rushing for some-more than 100 yards for a initial time given Week 3 and 3 touchdowns is accurately what a Falcons should have approaching opposite a 49ers, who have a league’s misfortune rushing defense. But removing Freeman into a upsurge to finish a deteriorate will compensate outrageous dividends as Atlanta heads toward a playoffs. The Falcons are that most some-more dangerous when they have that descent balance, that helps set adult QB Matt Ryan and a play-action game. — Vaughn McClure

    Week 16: at Carolina, Saturday, 1 p.m. ET

    Carolina Panthers (5-8)

    The Panthers strictly saw their slim playoff chances finish on Sunday as they ready for Monday night’s diversion during Washington. Now, a doubt is either they’ll tighten down LB Luke Kuechly for a season? Kuechly upheld a final exam of a concussion protocol, clearing him to play opposite a Redskins. But organisation officials are deliberation either it’s value risking long-term health by personification a three-time Pro Bowler this week or in any of a 3 remaining games. That Kuechly was listed as controversial after being privileged and that manager Ron Rivera expel doubt on a conditions after formerly being fatiguing that a linebacker would play when privileged could be a clever hint. — David Newton

    Week 16: vs. Atlanta, Saturday, 1 p.m. ET

    New Orleans Saints (6-8)

    Sunday’s descent outburst was a good sign that a Saints haven’t mislaid what they do best. After dual descent dress that substantially knocked them out of a playoffs, a Saints exploded Sunday with 48 points during Arizona, 488 yards, 4 TD passes from Drew Brees and a career-high 186 receiving yards by Brandin Cooks. It’s improved than a alternative, and it should continue to give a organisation some reason for confidence streamer toward subsequent year. But it’s also too little, too late — and all too informed for a organisation that has been maddeningly unsuitable for 3 true years. — Mike Triplett

    Week 16: vs. Tampa Bay, Saturday, 4:25 p.m. ET

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-6)

    After Sunday’s detriment to a Cowboys, a Bucs are now a diversion behind a Falcons in a NFC South, and they’ll have to wait until Monday’s Carolina-Washington diversion to see where they fit into a wild-card race. With dual winnable games left — during New Orleans and vs. Carolina — a Bucs have a shot during their initial playoff coming given 2007.

    Week 16: during New Orleans, Saturday, 4:25 p.m. ET


    Arizona Cardinals (5-8-1)

    Now that a Cardinals have strictly been separated from a playoffs with Sunday’s 48-41 detriment to a Saints, Arizona usually has honour left to play for. But a doubt now becomes: How will a Cardinals respond to that? QB Carson Palmer talked about how violence a Seahawks subsequent week will turn a team’s focus. But with dual games until their offseason begins, will a Cardinals be means to put together a good adequate diversion to dissapoint their rivals? — Josh Weinfuss

    Week 16: during Seattle, Saturday, 4:25 p.m. ET

    Los Angeles Rams (4-10)

    Rams rookie QB Jared Goff exited Thursday’s diversion opposite a Seahawks in concussion custom after nutritious a infamous fourth-quarter strike from Richard Sherman while perplexing to run for a touchdown. Several players pronounced Goff was excellent after a diversion and halt manager John Fassel checked in with him in a trainer’s room on Friday morning, yet there is nonetheless a covering of doubt about his standing for this week’s diversion opposite a 49ers. “He’ll get 3 some-more days to get treated and turn assessed,” Fassel pronounced Friday, “and we’ll substantially make a preference from there where he’s at, how most he’ll be means to do in practice. By then, we’ll substantially have a improved thought of how tighten he’ll be to personification in a game.” The Rams would adore to see some-more out of Goff before their miserable initial deteriorate in Los Angeles comes to an end. — Alden Gonzalez

    Week 16: vs. San Francisco, Saturday, 4:25 p.m. ET

    San Francisco 49ers (1-13)

    There wasn’t most singular about a 49ers’ 13th uninterrupted loss, a blowout during a hands of a Falcons on Sunday. The invulnerability set a record for rushing yards authorised in a season, a offense struggled in a second half — wash, rinse, repeat. But with dual games left to play, a Niners competence onslaught to have adequate bodies usually to finish out a season. San Francisco mislaid LB Nick Bellore (elbow), CB Jimmie Ward (shoulder), WR Quinton Patton (foot), C Marcus Martin (ankle) and TE Blake Bell (shoulder) in Sunday’s game. Add that list to a pivotal players they’ve already mislaid this season, and it’s tough to see how this organisation is going to lift off a feat opposite Los Angeles or Seattle in a season’s final dual weeks. — Nick Wagoner

    Week 16: during Los Angeles, Saturday, 4:25 p.m. ET

    Seattle Seahawks (9-4-1)

    The Seahawks go into a final dual weeks meaningful that if they win out, they’re guaranteed a bye in a initial turn of a playoffs. Seattle hosts a Cardinals in Week 16, afterwards goes on a highway to face a 49ers in a regular-season finale. Because of a Lions’ detriment to a Giants, if a deteriorate finished today, a Seahawks would be a No. 2 seed in a NFC. Pete Carroll’s organisation has copiousness of issues to work out, yet things are set adult good going down a stretch. The Seahawks are 7-0 during home in a unchanging season, and if they reason on to that No. 2 seed, a intensity trail to a Super Bowl would embody a limit of one diversion on a road. — Sheil Kapadia

    Week 16: vs. Arizona, Saturday, 4:25 p.m. ET

    Article source: http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/page/32for32x161219/nfl-2016-big-story-all-32-teams-week-15