The National Football League will once again dominate my television viewing. Due to the fact it is the holiday season, there may be a couple of games I will PVR. In order for me to keep my family connections I may not ask for Denver and Kansas City to be on while I have my Christmas dinner. I will also be less intense watching the NFL this weekend as I was already eliminated from my football pool last week. So, it will be easier to keep the turkey down. Nonetheless, here are the NFL games I will keep an eye on this weekend.
Saturday—NFL—Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers—FOX—10 a.m. PT—In a battle of two teams moving in completely opposite directions the 8-6 Packers host the 7-7 Vikings. The Packers have won four straight, while the Vikings have lost seven of their last nine after winning their first five games. Green Bay still has a chance to win the NFC North, while Minnesota still has a chance of making the playoffs. Last week, the return of Adrian Peterson did not give the Vikings much offensive spark. Peterson only rushed six times for 22 yards with a fumble! Yikes!
Saturday—NFL—Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills—CTV—10 a.m. PT—In this AFC East Division battle, the 9-5 Dolphins host the 7-7 Bills. Like the Packers, the Dolphins are red hot and have won eight of their last nine after starting the year 1-4. For the second straight week, Ryan Tannehill will not be the Dolphins quarterback as he is still recuperating from his knee injury two weeks ago. The Dolphins did not miss a beat however a week ago as Matt Moore had a career high four touchdown passes in a 34-13 win over the New York Jets. A Dolphins win will officially eliminate the Bills from the playoffs. When was the last Buffalo playoff game? The famous 1999 Music City Miracle.
Saturday—NFL—Indianapolis Colts @ Oakland Raiders—TSN—1 p.m. PT—Even though the Colts are 7-7, they can still win the AFC South. In order for that to happen, they need to win their last two games, hope Houston loses their last two games and need Jacksonville to beat Tennessee. The scenarios looked promising for Andrew Luck and the Colts up until that last part of the previous sentence. The Titans won’t lose to Jacksonville. If Doug Marrone’s new team pulls off a miracle, the Colts/Raiders matchup may have significant meaning. However, don’t count on it. Indianapolis may also miss the playoffs by the time their game starts if Miami and Tennessee both win their earlier games. The Raiders at 11-3, have clinched a playoff spot, but have not yet won the AFC West.
Saturday—NFL—Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints—FOX—1 p.m. PT—In this NFC South Division matchup, the Saints are still mathematically in the playoff hunt at 6-8 but will be eliminated if Green Bay beats Minnesota or Washington beats Chicago. The Buccaneers at 8-6, still have a chance to win the NFC South.
Saturday—NFL—Cincinnati Bengals @ Houston Texans—Sportsnet—5:30 p.m. PT—The Texans are a perfect 5-0 inside the AFC South but are 3-6 outside the AFC South. This will also be the starting debut for quarterback Tom Savage, who was instrumental in leading the Texans to a come from behind 21-20 win over the Jaguars last week. The Texans lead the AFC South even though they are a -44 in points for and against.
Sunday—NFL—Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers—Sportsnet—1:30 p.m. PT—In this battle for first place in the AFC North, the 9-5 Steelers host the 8-6 Ravens. The Ravens will try to sweep the season series after beating the Steelers 21-14 on November 6. A Pittsburgh win clinches them the AFC North Division Title. A Baltimore loss will also eliminate them from the postseason if Miami beats Buffalo.
Sunday—NFL—Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs—NBC—5:30 p.m. PT—In this AFC West Division matchup, the Chiefs are on the brink of the postseason at 10-4 and Denver is also in the mix at 8-6. The Chiefs can clinch a playoff spot with a win, while the Broncos could be eliminated if they lose to Kansas City and Miami beats Buffalo.