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Week 16 Early NFL Open Thread

The playoffs continue taking shape with the first set of games today.

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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings (6-8) at Miami Dolphins (7-7)

Miami's still mathematically in the playoff hunt, but only by the thinnest of margins. This is largely a function of two young QBs in Ryan Tannehill and Teddy Bridgewater continuing to develop. Better action elsewhere.

Baltimore Ravens (9-5) at Houston Texans (7-7)

The AFC North has three 9-win teams all battling for a shot. Houston, like Miami, is clinging to the math. The Ravens can't afford to cede much ground, so a road win today would be huge.

Detroit Lions (10-4) at Chicago Bears (5-9)

Detroit's already locked up a berth, but they're angling for the home field as often as possible on their road to the Super Bowl. This may be less about the postseason than about the drama at QB with Jay Cutler starting this one on the bench.

Cleveland Browns (7-7) at Carolina Panthers (5-8-1)

The Johnny Football Shot certainly lost much if not most of its luster after last week's shellacking...the Panthers may be just what he and the Browns need to revive their 2015 hopes heading into the offseason, though Carolina is actually in the hunt in week 16 at 5-8-1. I can't believe I can type that and it be true.

Atlanta Falcons (5-9) at New Orleans Saints (6-8)

Feel the excitement of the NFC South! League leaders New Orleans try to defend the Superdome against the upstart dirty birds whose two-game losing streak has dropped them into third. Can the youthful combo of Matt Ryan, Steven Jackson and Roddy White upend the defense stalwarts of the Crescent City?! Seriously though, the NFC South is amazing.

Green Bay Packers (10-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-12)

Perhaps the best team of the second half of the season playing the team angling for the #1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. The Gods of Parity are strong, but certainly not this strong...

Kansas City Chiefs (8-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5)

Both teams playing for the playoffs in Pittsburgh in December? NFL Films ruins its pants over this stuff.

New England Patriots (11-3) at New York Jets (3-11)

The Jets, man. The Jets.

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