Playo≠ races getting clearer
Three football games are left this season for the 20 teams that will fall short of making it to the Super Bowl tournament. Only 12 teams go to the playoffs, and performances in December will help identify that dozen. Indianapolis, Minnesota and Green Bay are facing de facto elimination games. New England and Dallas are trying to take another step toward having home-field advantage. Detroit is trying to lock up its division. And there are a host of other teams just trying to qualify for the playoffs.
Green Bay at Chicago, 11 a.m., KDVR-31.
If the Packers get to the playoffs, they could be the NFL’s most dangerous team. They have fixed a lot of their problems and seem to be peaking at the perfect time.
Jacksonville at Houston, 11 a.m.
Somebody has to win the AFC South, and the Texans have the best path down the stretch. But they need Brock Osweiler to play better.
Cleveland at Buffalo, 11 a.m. The Browns are close to becoming the second team in NFL history to go 0-16.
Philadelphia at Baltimore, 11 a.m.
The Ravens are in “must-win mode” for their last three games. Their inconsistent offense will have to pick it up down the stretch.
Tennessee at Kansas City, 11 a.m., KCNC-4.
The Chiefs are in the driver’s seat for the AFC West title and a first-round bye. They could get home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs if New England stumbles.
Detroit at New York Giants, 11 a.m.
The jury is still out on whether either team is a championship contender, but Sunday’s winner will all but punch its ticket to the playoffs.
Indianapolis at Minnesota, 11 a.m.
These teams are on the outside of the playoff race because of flawed rosters. Sunday’s loser will almost certainly secure a spot on the couch in January.
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, 11 a.m.
Even with the Bengals struggling this season, look for scuffles, personal fouls and a close game in chilly Cincinnati because of the bad blood in this rivalry.
New Orleans at Arizona, 2 p.m.
It’s been a disappointing season for these offensive juggernauts. Still, look for a shootout.
San Francisco at Atlanta, 2 p.m.
Remember when the 49ers were 1-0? If it weren’t for the Browns, the 49ers would be the laughingstock of the NFL.
Oakland at San Diego, 2:25 p.m.
Raiders vs. Chargers is another game that screams shootout, with Derek Carr and Philip Rivers racing to see who gets to 50 passes first. Unfortunately for Rivers, he has less help.
Carolina at Washington, 6:30 p.m. Monday, ESPN.
The Redskins will be rooting for archrival Dallas on Sunday night to help their wild-card chances.