NFL PRE­VIEWS

The Beaufort Gazette (Sunday) - - Sports -

Jack­sonville (5-10) at Hous­ton (10-5): Hous­ton leads and takes the AFC South by beat­ing the strug­gling Jaguars. A Tex­ans loss gives the win­ner of the Colts-Ti­tans prime­time game the crown, drop­ping Hous­ton into a wild card.

In­di­anapo­lis (9-6) at Ten­nessee (9-6): Ad­van­tage An­drew Luck in this ri­valry: he is 10-0 in his ca­reer starts vs. the Ti­tans. He could be­come the only player since 1970 with an 11-0 mark against one team. Ti­tans QB Mar­cus Mar­i­ota is ques­tion­able to start as he re­cov­ers from a stinger that knocked him out of the last game against Wash­ing­ton.

Cincin­nati (6-9) at Pitts­burgh (8-6-1): Pitts­burgh has won 10 of the past 11 meet­ings with Ben­gals, and need a win and a Browns loss to reach the play­offs.

Cleve­land (7-7-1) at Bal­ti­more (9-6): If the Ravens beat Cleve­land, they take the AFC North. Cleve­land is look­ing to fin­ish with a win­ning record af­ter go­ing 0-16 in 2017. Philadel­phia (8-7) at Wash­ing­ton (7-8): If Philadel­phia wins and Min­nesota fails, the Ea­gles get a chance to de­fend their Su­per Bowl crown – with Nick Foles again at quar­ter­back.

Chicago (11-4) at Min­nesota (8-6-1): A Vik­ings a loss ru­ins their sea­son one year af­ter mak­ing the NFC ti­tle game. But the Bears have lost six straight games in Min­nesota and do­ing so again likely sends the Vik­ings to Soldier Field the fol­low­ing week.

Oak­land (4-11) at Kansas City (11-4): The Chiefs can clinch the AFC West and No. 1 seed with a win, and they have han­dled Oak­land in seven of the past eight meet­ings. But a loss and Charg­ers win drops Kansas City to fifth seed.

Los An­ge­les Charg­ers (11-4) at Den­ver (6-9): The play­off-bound Charg­ers have won five straight on the road, tied for the fran­chise’s long­est since the merger. But QB Philip Rivers is 12-15 vs. Den­ver, in­clud­ing the play­offs.

San Fran­cisco (4-11) at Los An­ge­les Rams (12-3): A win or tie gives the Rams a wild-card round bye, but star run­ning back Todd Gur­ley won’t play be­cause of knee is­sues. Carolina (6-9) at New Or­leans (13-2): With noth­ing to ac­com­plish as a guar­an­teed top NFC seed, the Saints could rest peo­ple while seek­ing the fran­chise’s first 14-win sea­son. Carolina goes with rookie quar­ter­back Kyle Allen for his first ca­reer start.

New York Jets (4-11) at New Eng­land (10-5): A vic­tory would clinch New Eng­land’s 13th first-round bye in the AFC play­offs since 2001. The Pa­tri­ots would also earn a firstround bye with losses by Bal­ti­more, Hous­ton and Ten­nessee. New Eng­land also can clinch home-field ad­van­tage with a win and losses by Kansas City and the Charg­ers.

Ari­zona (3-12) at Seat­tle (9-6): The Sea­hawks’ top rush­ing game has landed them an NFC wild card. A Car­di­nals loss would lock in the No. 1 pick in next April’s draft.

Dal­las (9-6) at New York Giants (5-10): The Cow­boys, the NFC’s fourth seed, have won six of their past seven over­all. Ezekiel El­liott leads the NFL with 1,434 yards rush­ing, but how much ac­tion will he see? Giants RB Saquon Barkley ranks third in rush­ing (1,198 yards). Mi­ami (7-8) at Buf­falo (5-10): The Dol­phins have lost five of the past six games at Buf­falo. Bills RB LeSean McCoy’s 488 yards rush­ing are 149 shy of his ca­reer low set in his rookie sea­son with the 2009 Ea­gles.

At­lanta (6-9) at Tampa Bay (5-10): The Fal­cons have won four straight against their NFC South ri­val. WR Julio Jones leads the NFL with 1,539 re­ceiv­ing yards and has 104 catches.

Detroit (5-10) at Green Bay (6-8-1): Detroit will try to win con­sec­u­tive games at Lam­beau Field for the first time since 1990-91.

JOHN CORDES AP Images for Panini

The Charg­ers and quar­ter­back Philip Rivers en­ter the reg­u­lar-sea­son fi­nale as the AFC’s No. 5 seed, with a chance to still win the West.

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