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NFL Week 14 Sunday live open thread

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For some, the playoffs loom. For others, the offseason. Both get one game closer today...

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets (3-9) at Buffalo Bills (4-8)

1pm ET, CBS

One of the worst games of the day, and yet something worth watching in a battle between two rookie quarterbacks holding the hopes of these two franchises on their shoulders and fighting through injuries: Jets QB Sam Darnold who is likely to play this week after missing the last three games with a foot injury and Bills QB Josh Allen who missed four games earlier this season with an elbow injury.

Carolina Panthers (6-6) at Cleveland Browns (4-7-1)

1pm ET, FOX

A rare Carolina-Cleveland matchup that’s actually pretty interesting on its face. This is only the sixth time these two have faced off, so there’s not much familiarity here.

For the Panthers, they’re trying to stay in the midst of the NFC playoff picture. For the second time in his career and the first since his rookie season, QB Cam Newton threw four interceptions last week; that’s not going to help keep them in the mix.

For Cleveland, they’ve shaken off the ignominy of 2017

Atlanta Falcons (4-8) at Green Bay Packers (4-7-1)

1pm ET, FOX

The Disappointment Bowl.

A year ago, the Falcons were 7-5 and finished on a 3-1 run into the playoffs to end our turnaround 2017 Los Angeles Rams season in the playoffs. Now just two years removed from the Super Bowl, they’re going to miss out on the playoffs and have to figure out how to re-tool.

The Packers on the other hand are all-in on a new era having fired Head Coach Mike McCarthy as QB Aaron Rodgers finished his 14th season...

Baltimore Ravens (7-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (10-2)

1pm ET, CBS

Perhaps the best game of the early slate.

The Ravens have looked inspired behind rookie QB Lamar Jackson who is now 3-0 as a starting quarterback since taking the job for Baltimore out of their Week 10 bye. But the concern over the need to employ his skill set only grew stronger last week when he suffered a concussion against the Atlanta Falcons. It’s a tough balance. You have to use him as a weapon on the ground as the Ravens have in his three starts gaining nearly 90 yards per game and nearly 5 yards per carry. But the injury risk is always looming every time he takes off.

For KC, they got a win over the Oakland Raiders coming out of the bye after the historic Monday Night Football game against the Rams to settle into the playoff push. They’re big favorites, so anything that keeps the Ravens in this from Jackson & Co. would be a huge statement.

New England Patriots (9-3) at Miami Dolphins (6-6)

1pm ET, CBS

This AFC East battle has been lopsided for a long time with the Patriots taking four of the last five. With a win, the Pats would clinch the division for the 10th season in a row.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins are hoping that QB Ryan Tannehill ’s return from a shoulder injury keeps them in the playoff fight. Last week’s win over the Buffalo Bills though was fueled moreso by the Bills’ three turnovers as the Dolphins put together just 175 total yards of offense.

New Orleans Saints (10-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7)

1pm ET, FOX

The Saints clinch the NFC South with a win or a Panthers loss, so they’ll have plenty of motivation here on top of the battle for the top NFC playoff seed.

Rams fans obviously have our team to support today in the Bucs. Maybe the most mercurial team of 2018, the Bucs opened the year with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick as QB Jameis Winston was suspended. Then they handed Winston the job when he came off of suspension. He was benched after a four-interception game in Week 8 but gained it back after Week 10 in which the Buccaneers scored just three points against Washington despite gaining more than 500 yards and punting just once. This is a weird team which means they have a chance at home.

New York Giants (4-8) at Washington .500 Record Havers (6-6)

1pm ET, FOX

Rams fans really need to look at these injury report and give thanks.

This game is really about Washington trying to stop a three-game skid with Mark Sanchez at quarterback. Mark Sanchez.

Best of luck.

Indianapolis Colts (6-6) at Houston Texans (9-3)

1pm ET, CBS

This one could be a memorable contest as the Colts are one of the hotter teams in the NFL. Their five-game winning streak was ended last week in a 0-6 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. If QB Andrew Luck can whip up a performance on the road, the Colts host Dallas Cowboys and the Giants two weeks out that would keep them in the battle.

The Texans, though, are on nine wins running. A win here would put Houston a game away from the division crown and with a 10-win streak send them flying toward season’s end.

Cincinnati Bengals (5-7) at Los Angeles Chargers (9-3)

4:05pm ET, CBS

Ah, the late slate. Best Coast time.

The Bengals have to be closer than ever to actually moving on from long-time Head Coach Marvin Lewis who has them nearing a third losing season in a row in his 16th season as head coach. With one of the NFL’s worst defenses, they’ll have their hands full.

The Rams crosstown rivals/notrivals/tenants are on fire having won eight of their last nine and that loss coming by a single point. There’s a trap game effect here with the Chargers taking on the Chiefs next week. And despite being a game behind the division leading Chiefs, the Chargers could clinch a playoff spot this weekend but would need a handful of results to go their way to do so.

Denver Broncos (6-6) at San Francisco 49ers (2-10)

4:05pm ET, CBS

Weird one, this.

The Broncos are playing pretty good football since playing the Rams in Week 6. Their three losses since then included that three-point loss to us, a seven-point loss to the Chiefs and a two-point loss to the Texans. They’ve won the other four games including wins over the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chargers.

But they’re in the unusual setting of being road favorites going up against the hapless Niners. QB3 Nick Mullens has been an eye-opener taking over for backup QB C.J. Beathard. With starting QB Wispy Garlicpool coming back next season, it’s not a major play out this year. What’s perhaps interesting is that the Niners are in line to earn the #1 overall pick right now without the need for a quarterback. If that holds, how attractive would the sell to QB-needy teams picking early (the Jaguars or Giants, for example) be for a trade?

Philadelphia Eagles (6-6) at Dallas Cowboys (7-5)

4:25pm ET, FOX

Well, hello.

NFC East clash between two powerhouse franchises. One, the reigning Super Bowl Champions who are trying to get back atop the division before next week’s Sunday Night Football game in the Coliseum. The other, a Cowboys team that has won four in a row after starting 3-5 capped by last Thursday’s landscape-changing upset over the Saints.

This one’s practically a national broadcast for obvious reasons. Need an angle as a Rams fan? Our 2019 regular season schedule will include an away game against whoever wins the NFC East this year. This game could ultimately decide who we travel to next year.

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4-1) at Oakland Raiders (2-10)

4:25pm ET, CBS

The Steelers are now two losses removed from their six-game winning streak with missed opportunities against the Broncos and Chargers recently. They need to win this one with the Patriots and Saints coming up the next two weeks.

As for Oakland...Head Coach Jon Gruden’s plan to tank after his roster fire sale is going well, I guess. At least losing this much allows them to focus on deciding where they’re going to play their home games next year.

Detroit Lions (4-8) at Arizona Cardinals (3-9)

4:25pm ET, FOX

Why?