It’s a battle in the bay between two rookie QBs in Trey Lance and Davis Mills, who played college ball down the street from Levi’s Stadium at Stanford. San Francisco remains firmly in the mix for one of the bottom two spots in the NFC playoff picture and could clinch a playoff berth as soon as this week.
Although the 49ers are 7-28 without Jimmy Garoppolo, the team has won five of their last seven games because of more than just quarterback play. Kyle Shanahan should likely stick with the run game and get the ball to Deebo Samuel, who is the first player in NFL history with 1,200+ receiving yards and 300+ rush yards in a season. Houston should put up a formidable fight, but it won’t be enough to pull off the upset.
San Francisco clinches playoff berth with:
SF win + NO loss or tie OR
SF tie + MIN loss or tie + NO loss + ATL loss or tie
After last week’s disappointing outing, the Chargers are on the outside looking in the AFC playoff picture. Los Angeles has lost 6 of their last 10 games, including 15 of their last 20 games against the Broncos. This week though the team knows it is a must-win game as they welcome WR Mike Williams back as well. On top of that, Drew Lock simply doesn’t look great which could give this Charger defense the break they need.
It’s a meaningless NFC tilt and the Seahawks’ home finale. Russell Wilson was on the receiving end of a tough home loss last week but I’d expect the team to come out on top this week.
New Orleans has struggled on offense but the Panthers are 2-10 in their last 12 games and have lost eight of their last 10 games against the Saints. Sean Payton knows playoff hopes are on the line in the final two weeks of the season and he certainly should win this week’s contest against Matt Rhule.
Something is clearly wrong with the Cardinals, who started the season 7-0 and have since lost five of their last eight games. This should come by no surprise as Arizona is 8-18 in their last 9 games of a season under Kliff Kingsbury since 2019. But it’s worth noting this season, Kyler Murray has been a big part of the Cardinals’ struggles off late.
Arizona will have to get things together fast as they take on a Cowboys team that has averaged 38.4 PPG and 426.1 total YPG at home this season. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are 7-1 (.875) on the road this season (highest win pct in NFL) averaging 30.3 PPG and 2.5 takeaways/game on the road. However, the lack of chemistry Murray has with the wideouts without DeAndre Hopkins in the lineup looks like a struggle that may continue heading into this contest.
What could’ve been a nail-biting primetime game, no longer is after Kirk Cousins ended up on the COVID list late this week ruling him out Sunday night. These two NFC North rivals put on quite the show earlier this season as the Vikings topped the Packers in the closing seconds of regulation with a game-winning field goal.
This time around though, Aaron Rodgers finds himself at home in Lambeau Field where the Packers have won 12 straight regular-season home games. Interestingly enough though, their last regular-season home loss was to the Vikings in Week 8 of 2020.
This time around, don’t expect that to happen as Green Bay remains in control of the No. 1 seed and has no plans of letting that slip away to a Shawn Mannion-led Vikings offense. Over the last five games, Rodgers’ offense has averaged 33.4 PPG, 392.4 total YPG, 290.2 pass YPG, 44.1 3rd down pct, 71.4 RZ TD pct. The Packers are peaking at just the right time…
GB win + DAL loss or tie OR
GB tie + DAL loss + LAR loss + TB loss or tie OR
GB tie + DAL loss + LAR tie + TB loss
It looks like Ben Roethlisberger’s final game in Heinz Field is upon us with a primetime matchup to conclude Week 17. The future Hall of Famer has 91 wins at Heinz Field, 82 more wins than the next-closest QB since the stadium opened in 2001 (Kordell Stewart: 9).
This week he seeks to win No. 92 and he will have to complete the season sweep against the Browns to do so. Since their last matchup though, Pittsburgh has looked ugly. The Steelers have been outscored 114-19 in the first half over their last 6 games so it seems inevitable for the Browns to get off to a fast start heading into halftime.
Cleveland should likely rely on their backfield of Nick Chubb and D’Ernest Johnson who looked like bright spots despite last week’s loss to the Packers. Although it would be nice to see Roethlisberger squeeze out one more win at Heinz, the Browns look like the better team for all four quarters.