Week 16 brings with it a great deal of playoff implications. Several teams can lock up postseason berths, while others can secure first-round byes and home-field advantage. The slate is spread out from Saturday to Monday due to Christmas landing on Sunday, so it’s a weekend full of NFL action.
To get you geared up for the penultimate week of the season, follow our watch guide below.
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m. CBS (Sunday Ticket channel 705)
Key matchup: Jay Ajayi vs. Buffalo’s run defense
The Dolphins will need to rely on Jay Ajayi in the final two weeks of the season with Ryan Tannehill out. Matt Moore is a capable backup, but if Ajayi can’t run the ball against the Bills’ solid front seven, the Dolphins may struggle.
Fun fact: Ajayi rushed for 214 yards in his last game against the Bills.
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. FOX (709)
Key matchup: Julio Jones vs. James Bradberry
Jones absolutely torched the Panthers last time he played them, recording 300 yards receiving. Bradberry was injured for part of the game, so it wasn’t completely on him, but he’ll be faced with trying to limit Jones, who’s expected to return after missing two games.
Fun fact: Falcons QB Matt Ryan leads the NFL with a passer rating of 114.8 on the road.
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Washington Redskins at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m. FOX (710)
Key matchup: Josh Norman vs. Alshon Jeffery
Jeffery had a big impact against the Packers in his first game back, catching six passes for 89 yards and a touchdown. He’ll need to follow up that performance with another good outing against Norman. It won’t be easy, though. Norman has been one of the best corners in the league this season.
Fun fact: The Redskins have won six straight against the Bears dating back to 2004.
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San Diego Chargers at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m. CBS (706)
Key matchup: Joey Bosa vs. Joe Thomas
Bosa has been an absolute monster this season, recording 7.5 sacks as a rookie. He’ll be moved across the defensive line, but he’ll see plenty of Thomas, who’s arguably the best left tackle in football.
Fun fact: The Chargers have won five of their last six against the Browns.
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Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m. FOX (711)
Key matchup: Jordy Nelson vs. Xavier Rhodes
The Packers have had a great deal of success throwing the ball in recent weeks, and that’s thanks to their resurgent wide receiving corps. Nelson leads the group, but Davante Adams and Randall Cobb are also key contributors.
Fun fact: Adrian Pterson is averaging 104.6 rushing yards per game against the Vikings in his career.
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. CBS (707)
Key matchup: DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry vs. Jacksonville’s defense
The Titans’ offense is built upon having success on the ground. The Jaguars are strong against the pass, but they’re vulnerable vs. the running game, which should get Tennessee’s offense going early.
Fun fact: Since the start of 2014, Murray leads the NFL with 3,771 rushing yards.
New York Jets at New England Patriots, 1 p.m. CBS (708)
Key matchup: Jets defensive line vs. Patriots offensive line
The Patriots’ pass protection has been much better this season, but it’ll have its hands full with Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson. If they can pressure Tom Brady, the Jets could rattle him and disrupt New England's timing.
Fun fact Brady has 23 touchdown passes and just four interceptions in his last 12 games against the Jets.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m. FOX (713)
Key matchup: Mike Evans vs. Saints secondary
Evans has been one of the best receivers in the game this season, and he’ll have a very favorable matchup on Saturday if Delvin Breaux can’t play for the second straight week. Sterling Moore and B.W. Webb will need to step up if that’s the case.
Fun fact: Evans is third in the NFC with 84 catches and second with 10 touchdowns.
Indianapolis Colts at Oakland Raiders, 4:05 p.m. CBS (712)
Key matchup: Anthony Costanzo vs. Khalil Mack
Mack likes to move from the left side to the right side of the line, and vice versa, but the Raiders could opt to give Bruce Irvin a more favorable matchup by using Mack against Costanzo. He’s their best offensive lineman, and limiting Mack will be key.
Fun fact: Colts QB Andrew Luck has the third-most touchdowns in a player’s first five NFL seasons in league history.
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. FOX (714)
Key matchup: Carlos Hyde vs. Aaron Donald
Hyde has been the 49ers’ best player, and the same goes for Donald with the Rams. The two figure to meet often on Saturday, particularly when the 49ers try to run between the tackles.
Fun fact: The 49ers’ lone win of the year was a blowout victory over the Rams, 28-0, in the season opener.
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Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m. FOX (715)
Key matchup: David Johnson vs. Bobby Wagner
Johnson is a worthy Offensive Player of the Year candidate, impacting the game in multiple facets. Seattle's Wagner will be tasked with tracking him down on Saturday, which is never an easy ask.
Fun fact: Johnson has at least 100 yards from scrimmage in all 14 games this season, which is the longest streak in NFL history.
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans, 8:25 p.m. NFLN
Key matchup: Tom Savage vs. Bengals defense
Savage is making his first career start on Saturday in primetime on Christmas Eve, so all eyes will be on the Texans' new QB. He’ll need to have a good outing to retain the starting job, and while the Bengals haven’t met expectations, their defense is still aggressive.
Fun fact: Texans LB Benardrick McKinney is the NFL’s only player with 100 tackles and five sacks.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday 4:30 p.m. NFLN
Key matchup: Steve Smith vs. Steelers secondary
Artie Burns and Sean Davis have played extremely well in recent weeks, improving the play of Pittsburgh's defense as a whole. Steve Smith is Baltimore’s most consistent weapon, so stopping him should be priority No. 1
Fun fact: The Ravens have won four in a row against the Steelers and six of the last seven in the series.
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday 8:30 p.m. NBC
Key matchup: Broncos receivers vs. Chiefs secondary
Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders make up one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL, but they’ll be blanketed by a great secondary. Marcus Peters and Terrance Mitchell are playing very well right now, and Denver's wideouts could be put on an island against those two.
Fun fact: Thomas is the only player in the NFL with 1,000 yards in each of the last five seasons.
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Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys, Monday, 8:30 p.m. ESPN
Key matchup: Dez Bryant vs. Lions secondary
Darius Slay is the latest casualty in a reeling Lions secondary, and his potential absence on Monday night could make for a big game for Bryant. He and Cole Beasley should be able to find plenty of openings in Detroit’s defense, giving Dak Prescott easy windows to throw into.
Fun fact: Prescott’s completion rate of 88.9 percent last week was the second-highest in NFL history for a quarterback with 30 attempts.