NFL Week 15 preview: Several teams in line for playoff berths as season heads to home stretch

on Dec17
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There are three games left in the 2020 NFL regular season and this week is the most important by far.

Several teams are looking at clinching playoff berths this week, including the Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans. The Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers are already in the postseason.

There are several teams that need wins to even stay in the mix while the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars are fighting for the No. 1 draft pick.

There’s a full slate of NFL games in Week 15, including two Saturday night spectaculars.

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RAIDERS (7-6) VS. CHARGERS (4-9)

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, center right, embraces wide receiver Nelson Agholor (15) after Agholor made a touchdown catch against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, center right, embraces wide receiver Nelson Agholor (15) after Agholor made a touchdown catch against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

The Raiders are still in the hunt for a wildcard spot even if the AFC West division is still out of reach. Derek Carr and his boys cannot afford to slip up against an upstart Justin Herbert-led squad.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 65-54-2 Raiders

DATE: Dec. 17

TIME (ET): 8:20 p.m.

WHERE: Allegiant Stadium

WATCH: FOX/NFL Network/Amazon

PLAY SUPER 6 ON THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

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BRONCOS (5-8) VS. BILLS (10-3)

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) begins to celebrate with Ike Boettger as he looks at the scoreboard at the end of the second half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. The Bills won 26-15. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) begins to celebrate with Ike Boettger as he looks at the scoreboard at the end of the second half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. The Bills won 26-15. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

The Bills have been riding high and are one of the best teams in the NFL let alone the AFC. Josh Allen and the Bills are on a three-game winning streak. This will be a game to show their grit as they take the road to face the Broncos. The two teams meet in a rare Saturday evening matchup.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 21-16-1 Bills

DATE: Dec. 19

TIME (ET): 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Empower Field at Mile High

WATCH: NFL Network

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PACKERS (10-3) VS. PANTHERS (4-9)

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers celebrates a touchdown pass with Tim Boyle (8) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Green Bay, Wis. The pass was Rodgers' 400th career touchdown pass.(AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers celebrates a touchdown pass with Tim Boyle (8) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Green Bay, Wis. The pass was Rodgers’ 400th career touchdown pass.(AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

Aaron Rodgers has put together an MVP-type season and it probably won’t be slowing down against the Panthers. The Packers are the better team and are at home for this Saturday night game.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 9-6 Packers

DATE: Dec. 19

TIME (ET): 8:15 p.m.

WHERE: Lambeau Field

WATCH: NFL Network

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FALCONS (4-9) VS. BUCCANEERS (8-5)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II (27) celebrates his score against the Minnesota Vikings with teammates, including offensive tackle Donovan Smith (76) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II (27) celebrates his score against the Minnesota Vikings with teammates, including offensive tackle Donovan Smith (76) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

Tampa Bay has appeared to bounce back nicely after a bye week and now have a real test against the Falcons, who would like nothing more than to put a damper on Tom Brady’s playoff hopes. It’s the teams’ first matchup of the 2020 season.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 28-25 Falcons

DATE: Dec. 20

TIME (ET): 1 p.m.

WHERE: Mercedes-Benz Stadium

WATCH: FOX

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COWBOYS (4-9) VS. 49ERS (5-8)

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) runs off the field following an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. The Cowboys defeated the Bengals 30-7. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) runs off the field following an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. The Cowboys defeated the Bengals 30-7. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

The rivalry is back. The 49ers and Cowboys will face-off on Sunday in Dallas. While both teams have losing records, Dallas can still make the playoffs if the NFC East continues to be as bad as it has been. The Cowboys got a morale-boosting victory last week against the Bengals.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 15-13-1 49ers

DATE: Dec. 20

TIME (ET): 1 p.m.

WHERE: AT&T Stadium

WATCH: CBS

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TITANS (9-4) VS. LIONS (5-8)

FILE - Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) celebrates with teammates after he connected with tight end Jonnu Smith (81) on a touchdown pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half of an NFL football game in Baltimore, in this Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, file photo. (AP Photo/Gail Burton, File)

FILE – Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) celebrates with teammates after he connected with tight end Jonnu Smith (81) on a touchdown pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half of an NFL football game in Baltimore, in this Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, file photo. (AP Photo/Gail Burton, File)

The Titans and Colts are locked in a very tight AFC South matchup. Neither team can afford to lose. This week, Tennessee has a date with the Lions. It’s unclear whether Matthew Stafford will play as he deals with an injury. The Lions defense will for sure have a hard time trying to stop Derrick Henry.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 9-3 Titans

DATE: Dec. 20

TIME (ET): 1 p.m.

WHERE: Nissan Stadium

WATCH: CBS

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COLTS (9-4) VS. TEXANS (4-9)

Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle (84) celebrates after wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) scored a touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle (84) celebrates after wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) scored a touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

On the other side, the Colts have a date with the Texans. Philip Rivers and the tough Indianapolis defense get Deshaun Watson. Houston will look to spoil Indianapolis’ run to the playoffs.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 28-9 Colts

DATE: Dec. 20

TIME (ET): 1 p.m.

WHERE: Lucas Oil Stadium

WATCH: CBS

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DOLPHINS (8-5) VS. PATRIOTS (6-7)

Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) celebrates after intercepting a pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard (25) celebrates after intercepting a pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Miami’s chances to win the division have dwindled but the Dolphins can’t let that get in the way of a wildcard spot. The Dolphins narrowly lost to the Chiefs last week and now have a rivalry game against the Patriots. New England isn’t completely out of the playoff running and a win would boost their chances.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 55-52 Dolphins

DATE: Dec. 20

TIME (ET): 1 p.m.

WHERE: Hard Rock Stadium

WATCH: CBS

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VIKINGS (6-7) VS. BEARS (6-7)

Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10) looks to throw during the first half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10) looks to throw during the first half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

The Bears and Vikings are in the middle of the NFC North and will need to dig deep if they want to make the playoffs. This game could potentially be the deciding factor in both of their runs.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 61-55-2 Vikings

DATE: Dec. 20

TIME (ET): 1 p.m.

WHERE: U.S. Bank Stadium

WATCH: FOX

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WASHINGTON (6-7) VS. SEAHAWKS (9-4)

Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young (99) and San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Trent Williams battle during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young (99) and San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Trent Williams battle during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Washington and Seattle will meet in only their 18th matchup ever. Washington could go back to .500 and strengthen their NFC East lead with an upset over the Seahawks. Seattle hasn’t played great but picking up a tenth win is going to be key in the fight for home field advantage in the playoffs.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 12-5 Washington

DATE: Dec. 20

TIME (ET): 1 p.m.

WHERE: FedEx Field

WATCH: FOX

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RAVENS (7-5) VS. JAGUARS (1-12)

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) scrambles under pressure from Cleveland Browns cornerback M.J. Stewart Jr. (36) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) scrambles under pressure from Cleveland Browns cornerback M.J. Stewart Jr. (36) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

The Ravens picked up a wild victory over the Browns on Monday night. Baltimore might be hurting, but the Jaguars have mostly been a cakewalk for opponents. Gardner Minshew II is supposed to start for Jacksonville. We’ll see what this matchup brings.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 12-9 Jaguars

DATE: Dec. 20

TIME (ET): 1 p.m.

WHERE: M&T Bank Stadium

WATCH: CBS

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RAMS (9-4) VS. JETS (0-13)

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff, center, celebrates with offensive guard Austin Corbett (63) after Goff scored during the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff, center, celebrates with offensive guard Austin Corbett (63) after Goff scored during the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The Jets are primed to lose every game and hit the road to play the Rams. Los Angeles is lucky to get New York in this case because a tenth win could mean a larger lead in the NFC West. The Rams really need the win more than the Jets in this game.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 10-4 Rams

DATE: Dec. 20

TIME (ET): 4:05 p.m.

WHERE: SoFi Stadium

WATCH: FOX

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CARDINALS (7-6) VS. EAGLES (4-8-1)

Philadelphia Eagles' Jalen Hurts scrambles during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Hurts scrambles during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

The Cardinals vs. Eagles is one of the bigger matchups of the week. Jalen Hurts will get his second career start and Arizona is in the hunt for at the very least a wildcard spot. A win would really be huge for both teams moving forward in this historic matchup.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 57-55-5 Cardinals

DATE: Dec. 20

TIME (ET): 4:05 p.m.

WHERE: State Farm Stadium

WATCH: FOX

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SAINTS (10-3) VS. CHIEFS (12-1)

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

A potential Super Bowl preview will take place Sunday, as the Chiefs take on the Saints. It will likely be one of the most watched games of the season. There’s not much else to say. Kansas City is still hoping to get home field throughout the playoffs as are the Saints.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 6-5 Chiefs

DATE: Dec. 20

TIME (ET): 4:25 p.m.

WHERE: Mercedes-Benz Superdome

WATCH: CBS

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GIANTS (5-8) VS. BROWNS (9-3)

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield reacts after the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Browns 47-42 during an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield reacts after the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Browns 47-42 during an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

The Browns and Giants are coming off brutal losses for this primetime matchup. The game was flexed into the spot about a week ago. There are still playoff hopes for each team. The Giants will likely start former Browns quarterback Colt McCoy in place of Daniel Jones. Cleveland’s defense will have to lock up big time.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 26-21-2 Bowns

DATE: Dec. 20

TIME (ET): 8:20 p.m.

WHERE: MetLife Stadium

WATCH: NBC

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BENGALS (2-10-1) VS. STEELERS (11-2)

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Terrell Edmunds (34) celebrates with teammates after he intercepted a Jacksonville Jaguars pass during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Terrell Edmunds (34) celebrates with teammates after he intercepted a Jacksonville Jaguars pass during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

The Steelers are on a two-game losing streak but get a matchup with the Bengals on Monday night. Barring a huge turnaround from the Bengals at home, it might be a snoozer.

ALL-TIME SERIES: 65-35 Steelers

DATE: Dec. 21

TIME (ET): 8:15 p.m.

WHERE: Paul Brown Stadium

WATCH: ESPN

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