The playoff race is heating up by the day, and teams are quickly proving themselves as postseason contenders or just mere pretenders. The Chiefs solidified their place towards the top of the AFC with a win over the Raiders on Thursday night, but there’s plenty more NFL action to be had this week.
Here’s your guide to catching every Week 14 game, including Cowboys-Giants on Sunday night.
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Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m. CBS (Sunday Ticket channel 705)
Key matchup: Le’Veon Bell vs. Buffalo’s front seven
This game will come down to which team has more success on the ground. Both squads love to run the ball, and while this sets up better for the Bills against the Steelers’ front, Pittsburgh should get the job done. If Bell can get the ball moving against the Bills’ defensive line, the Steelers will be in good shape.
Fun fact: The Steelers have won five straight against the Bills and nine of the past 10.
San Diego Chargers at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. FOX (710)
Key matchup: Melvin Gordon vs. Carolina’s run defense
Gordon is quietly having an outstanding season, ranking among the league’s best in most rushing categories. The Panthers are better against the run than the pass, but Gordon has the tools to move the ball and carry the offense.
Fun fact: The Chargers and Panthers have only met five times, with Carolina winning four of those games.
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m. CBS (706)
Key matchup: Robert Griffin III vs. Bengals’ pass rush
Griffin will make his first start since Week 1, so he’ll be a bit shaky considering he’s had little practice time. The Bengals’ pass rush isn’t what it was last season, but they can still get after the quarterback. Griffin will need to do a good job eluding pressure.
Fun fact: The last time the Browns beat the Bengals (24-3 in 2014), Andy Dalton threw three interceptions and had a 2.0 passer rating.
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Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. FOX (709)
Key matchup: Jordan Howard vs. Detroit’s run defense
Howard is the catalyst that makes the Bears offense go. He had three touchdowns last week and looked like a force on the ground. Detroit’s defense has played better of late, but shutting down Howard should be priority No. 1.
Fun fact: Jordan Howard has more rushing yards (883) than the entire Lions team combined (excluding Matthew Stafford).
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Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m. CBS (707)
Key matchup: Colts’ offensive line vs. Houston’s pass rush
If there’s one thing the Texans do really well, it’s get after the quarterback. Jadeveon Clowney is battling an injury, but if he’s able to go, he’ll cause problems for Indianapolis’ poor offensive line. How well the Colts protect Andrew Luck could decide the outcome of this game.
Fun fact: The Texans have won the past two meetings after losing six straight from 2012 to 2015.
Minnesota Vikings at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. FOX (711)
Key matchup: Blake Bortles vs. Minnesota’s defense
This one seems simple and obvious, but it’s still true. If Bortles continues to play his turnover-prone style of football against the Vikings, which he’s likely to do, the Jaguars will have no shot of winning.
Fun fact: Blake Bortles has thrown more pick-sixes (11) than he has career wins (10).
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Arizona Cardinals at Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m. FOX (712)
Key matchup: DeVante Parker vs. Patrick Peterson
Parker is wildly inconsistent, going from making spectacular catches to completely disappearing from games. Against Peterson and the Cardinals, Parker will need to do the former: make great plays downfield and help out his quarterback, who’s certain to be under a great deal of pressure.
Fun fact: Jay Ajayi is the third-highest-rated running back in the NFL this season behind only Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon, per PFF.
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Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m. FOX (713)
Key matchup: Eagles WRs vs. Washington DBs
The Eagles have one of the worst receiving corps in the NFL this season, consistently battling drops and poor route running. Against the Redskins, they won’t be able to afford those mistakes. Josh Norman loves to get his hands on the ball and play a physical style of defense, so Eagles receivers will need to help their quarterback out and make the easy catches.
Fun fact: Since Week 7, Carson Wentz has completed just 62 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His passer rating is 69.5 in that span.
USA TODAY SportsBill Streicher
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m. FOX (715)
Key matchup: Mike Evans vs. Delvin Breaux
Evans has been surprisingly unstoppable this season, absolutely dominating every cornerback he’s come across. He ranks third in yards, first in targets and second in touchdowns with 10. Breaux will have his hands full Sunday.
Fun fact: In his past three games against the NFC South, Jameis Winston has eight touchdowns and one interception with 761 yards through the air.
Denver Broncos at Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m. CBS (708)
Key matchup: Von Miller vs. Jack Conklin
The Titans might have the best offensive tackle duo in the NFL with Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin. They’ll get their toughest test yet when Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware come to town. Protecting Marcus Mariota will be paramount, and they’ll do so by limiting Denver’s two edge rushers.
Fun fact: Marcus Mariota hasn’t thrown an interception in the red zone in his career (32 touchdowns).
New York Jets at San Francisco 49ers, 4:05 p.m. CBS (714)
Key matchup: Colin Kaepernick vs. Jets’ pass rush
The Jets aren’t good at doing many things, but they do have an outstanding trio of defensive linemen. Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson can all get after the quarterback as they’ve showed this season. Containing Kaepernick will be a big priority, preventing him from escaping the pocket.
Fun fact: The 49ers lead the all-time series 10-2, including seven wins in the last eight.
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Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers, 4:25 p.m. FOX (716)
Key matchup: Jordy Nelson vs. Richard Sherman
Nelson finally looks like he’s 100 percent after showing a lack of explosiveness early in the year. That’s huge for a Packers offense that’s just now getting on track. If Sherman takes away Nelson, Cobb and Adams will need to make plays and help Rodgers out.
Fun fact: Aaron Rodgers has seven touchdowns and zero interceptions in his last three games.
Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. FOX (717)
Key matchup: Julio Jones vs. Trumaine Johnson
Johnson hasn’t been shadowing receivers this season, but he said that’s the plan against Jones this week. Jones is undoubtedly Atlanta’s best playmaker, and if the Rams want any chance of beating the Falcons, they’ll need to take away Jones on offense. Johnson isn’t a shutdown cornerback, but he is fairly close.
Fun fact: The Rams have lost their last three games by a combined score of 89-41.
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Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants, 8:30 p.m. NBC
Key matchup: Olivier Vernon vs. Tyron Smith
Vernon gave Smith fits last year when he was with Miami, and while he didn’t have a sack in their first meeting this season, he’s playing much better of late. He has seven sacks in his past five games. His combination of speed and strength could put Smith in a bind and pressure Prescott, even with JPP out.
Fun fact: The Cowboys can lock up the NFC East with a win, and clinch home-field advantage with a win and losses by the Lions and Seahawks.
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Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots, Monday 8:30 p.m. ESPN
Key matchup: Patriots offensive line vs. Ravens’ front seven
The Ravens are both stout against the run and great at pressuring quarterbacks. The Patriots’ offensive line has played relatively well this season despite being shuffled around a bit, but they’ll have a tough test on Monday night. Establishing the run with Blount will be key.
Fun fact: Tom Brady is 6-0 in home games against the No. 1 defense with 12 touchdowns and three interceptions in his career.