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NFL Week 16 Sunday live thread

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The NFL nearly sets up the final week of the regular season today with a major NFC North battle looming tomorrow.

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott runs away Philadelphia Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins in Week 7, Oct. 20, 2019.
Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott runs away Philadelphia Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins in Week 7, Oct. 20, 2019.
Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Jacksonville Jaguars (5-9) at Atlanta Falcons (5-9)

1pm ET/10am PT, FOX

This feels like two completely different 5-9 teams.

The Jaguars have melted down into a confusing hull of drama just two years removed from reaching the AFC Championship. Tom Coughlin has been fired (for being a weird old weirdo), CB Jalen Ramsey forced his way out (onto the Los Angeles Rams), and the front office is forced to think through how to build around QB Nick Foles on a mammoth deal with rookie QB Gardner Minshew having captured Jags’ fans’ hearts this year.

The Falcons on the other hand waffled through early dysfunction and scheduling constraints en route to a 1-7 start. Since then, they’ve gone 4-2 with wins over the 11-3 New Orleans Saints and 12-3 San Francisco. That early start wasn’t a fair reflection of the quality of the team overall...which is the problem. Whatever the source of it (looking at you, Falcons HC Dan Quinn...), they have to get it figured out before the offseason turns into 2020 season preparations.

Baltimore Ravens (12-2) at Cleveland Browns (6-8)

1pm ET/10am PT, CBS

The Ravens are a powerhouse. I hope we’re all along for the ride, because they’re very fun.

The Browns are a mess. I hope we’re all along for the ride, because they’re very fun.

New Orleans Saints (11-3) at Tennessee Titans (8-6)

1pm ET/10am PT, FOX

Fantastic game here.

The real crux? The Titans’ passing defense. It has really hampered the team overall this year, but the offense has picked up since QB Ryan Tannehill found his footing in mid-October. They’re 6-2 in their last eight and looking the part of a competitive playoff team.

The Saints are rolling dropping just one in their last five: a rollicking 46-48 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Carolina Panthers (5-9) at Indianapolis Colts (6-8)

1pm ET/10am PT, FOX

These are two teams looking to rebound in 2020, and I could see it for both of them.

Carolina has struggled for years whether to support QB Cam Newton with surrounding talents or ask him to elevate the offense on his own while pouring investments in elsewhere. With his latest injury and the firing of Head Coach Ron Rivera, they can start moving on. They’ll obviously need to straighten things out at QB (with rookie QB Will Grier finally getting his shot today), but they’ll also have to work on the run defense which might be the worst in the NFL.

The Colts on the other hand had their entire season (and medium-term future) thrown for a loop when QB Andrew Luck abruptly announced his retirement right on the verge of the regular season. Like the Panthers, they can now build around a new centerpiece (QB Jacoby Brissett aint it, yall) with more sincerity.

Cincinnati Bengals (1-13) at Miami Dolphins (3-13)

1pm ET/10am PT, CBS

The 2020 NFL Draft begins on April 23.

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6) at New York Jets (5-9)

1pm ET/10am PT, CBS

These offenses are simply offensive.

While Steelers fans will lean into the absence of QB Ben Roethlisberger, the problems run much deeper especially on the offensive line where things have taken a sharp decline.

The Jets are still trying to put together a competitive roster out of the Todd Bowles era, but they’re still not there. QB Sam Darnold has settled in after missing the early quarter of the season, but he’s going to be under much more pressure next year to put the team on his back.

New York Giants (3-11) at Washington Three-game Winners (3-11)

1pm ET/10am PT, FOX

No.

Detroit Lions (3-10-1) at Denver Broncos (5-9)

4:05pm ET/1:05pm PT, CBS

I could honestly see either of these teams earning the #1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Oakland Raiders (6-8) at Los Angeles Chargers (5-9)

4:05pm ET/1:05pm PT, CBS

How confusing. The Raiders have collapsed down the stretch calling into question the way forward since they’re not getting it done on either side of the ball.

Are the Chargers even more confusing? QB Philip Rivers is in his contract year. The team is getting worse under Head Coach Anthony Lynn. And for the first time in many years, injuries are no excuse.

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

4:25pm ET/1:25pm PT, FOX

INDIGNANT SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS STACKED ON TOP OF DESPERATE EGO VALIDATION?!!?!?!?!?!?!?! GIVE ME THIS NOW!

Arizona Cardinals (4-9-1) at Seattle Seahawks (11-3)

4:25pm ET/1:25pm PT, FOX

QB Kyler Murray has quietly put in a fantastic rookie season. That roster overall is still far too weak to compete (and maybe even too weak to entertain an improvement for 2020 to compete), but he’s really looking like a threat to be reckoned with.

Still, this should be an easy win for the Seahawks who need to stay in the mix with the NFC playoff picture likely coming down to the wire.

Kansas City Chiefs (10-4) at Chicago Bears (7-7)

8:20pm ET/5:20pm PT, NBC

We’re deprived of what could have been a top tier matchup thanks to a win or two for Chicago that never happened. Still, this could be fun.

The Chiefs are fantastic on offense while the Bears’ defense is one of the better units in the NFL. The problem is that the opposite sides of the ball are, in the Chiefs’ defense’s case, not great and, in the Bears’ offense’s case, quite bad.

KC has won three out of the bye and have the Bolts at home to wrap things up. The Bears have to deal with this and then hit the road to play Minnesota.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood...