By Jason Bryden
Assistant Sports Info. Director
Oakland (6-6) at Jacksonville (7-5)
Two teams with playoff hopes collide in Jacksonville on Sunday, but both teams will most likely have to win their division to make the playoffs.
Oakland kept its hopes to win the AFC West alive with a dominating 28-13 win at San Diego to give the Raiders their first sweep of the Chargers since 2001. Oakland had jumped out to a 21-3 lead by halftime, its first 14 points off of two San Diego turnovers. They now trail Kansas City by two games in the division, but own the tiebreaker. Jacksonville had its way with Tennessee in a 17-6 road win on Sunday and now own sole possession of first place in the AFC South. The Jaguars lead Indianapolis by one game in the AFC South and own the tiebreaker. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 186 yards in the win.
The Jaguars have won three of four meetings all-time.
St. Louis (6-6) at New Orleans (9-3)
Two teams with playoff hopes square off on Sunday in New Orleans. The Rams are looking to win the NFC West to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2004, while the Saints are looking to get in and defend their Super Bowl crown.
St. Louis continued its quest to win the NFC West with a 19-6 win at Arizona on Sunday. The Rams trailed 6-0 early, but scored 19 unanswered points, including a touchdown run by running back Steven Jackson, to win their second straight road game after losing the last 17 away from St. Louis. The Saints pulled out a dramatic 34-30 win at Cincinnati on Sunday. Quarterback Drew Brees drew a neutral zone infraction penalty on a 4th and 2 down, 30-27, and on the next play hit wide receiver Marques Colston for the winning score.
The former division rivals are meeting for the 70th time with the Rams leading 38-31.
Kansas City (8-4) at San Diego (6-6)
The Chargers have won the last four AFC West Division crowns, but a loss on Sunday to the Chiefs would end that string as it would give Kansas City a three-game edge on San Diego and the season series sweep. Kansas City won 21-14 in Week 1 at home.
The Chiefs edged out Denver 10-6 on Sunday at home. Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was held to zero catches and did not score a touchdown for the first time since Week 5. The Chiefs defense held the Broncos to just 247 yards in the win. San Diego’s four-game winning streak came to a crashing halt in a 28-13 home loss to Oakland. It was the Chargers’ first loss in December since 2005.
The Chiefs lead the all-time series 51-49-1.
Miami (6-6) at New York Jets (9-3)
Two teams who are trying to bounce back from losses will meet on Sunday in an AFC East meeting in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Miami hurt its playoff chances with a 13-10 loss to Cleveland on Sunday at home, throwing a late interception which led to a winning field goal by the Browns as time expired. The loss dropped Miami to 6-6 and they will most likely need to run the table in order to have a shot to make the playoffs. The Jets come off of a humiliating 45-3 loss at New England on Monday, falling behind 17-0 in the first half. Any hopes of a comeback were dashed by three interceptions in the second half which directly led to all 21 of the Patriots’ points after halftime.
New York leads the all-time series 47-42-1 and won 31-23 in Week 3 down in South Florida.
New England (10-2) at Chicago (9-3)
Two teams with dreams of winning The Vince Lombardi Trophy collide on Sunday in Chicago as the Patriots square off against the Bears. Currently, both teams lead their divisions, with the Patriots atop the AFC East and the Bears heading the NFC North.
The Patriots sent a message to the entire NFL with a 45-3 thumping of the New York Jets on Monday night, avenging a 28-14 loss in September to the Jets in a showdown of 9-2 teams in Foxboro. The Patriots picked off three passes and turned it into 21 points, all three interceptions coming in the second half. The Bears extended their winning streak to five games with a 24-20 win at Detroit on Sunday. Chicago scored the final 10 points of the game to secure the win.
New England leads the all-time series 7-4 and has won five of the past six. Chicago, however, won the most famous meeting between the two teams in a 46-10 lopsided victory in Super Bowl XX to cap the 1985 season.