Los Angeles Chargers @ Las Vegas Raiders Thursday December 17, 8:20 PM ET
The Thursday night matchup features two NFL coaches that might not see a 2021 season with their current teams. Anthony Lynn and Jon Gruden both have struggled in their roles. Lynn is becoming one of the worst game managers in the NFL, and Gruden is still living in 2002 when he won a Super Bowl with the Buccaneers. This game could be pretty sloppy, with how both teams are coached on a short week. The Raiders need this more than anything as they are one loss away from being eliminated from postseason contention. However, this could be the week Herbert and the offense come through as Vegas has one of the worst defenses in the NFL.
Buffalo Bills @ Denver Broncos Saturday December 19, 4:30 PM ET
Buffalo and Denver square off in the first Saturday matchup at Mile High Stadium. The Bills are coming off a huge Sunday night win over the Steelers while the Broncos took care of business in Carolina. Buffalo should win this matchup, but it will be tough traveling to Denver this time of year. With the Bills coming off a huge Sunday night win over a one-loss Steelers team, this line could be a bit inflated. Also, the Denver offense played its best football all season. Buffalo has a better defense than Carolina, but the Broncos could see similar success this Saturday and keep this game closer than expected.
Carolina Panthers @ Green Bay Packers Saturday December 19, 8:15 PM ET
The Panthers and Packers are the second NFL game this Saturday in Lambeau Field. Green Bay clinched the NFC North on Sunday after beating the Lions in Detroit. They currently hold the top seed in the NFC standings thanks to beating New Orleans earlier this season. Despite sitting at 4-9 and being tied for the NFC's worst record, the Panthers are still alive for a playoff spot. They need to win out, and many situations go their way, but anything can happen if they beat the Packers on the road.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons Sunday December 20, 1:00 PM ET
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took care of business at home this Sunday in a must-win game over the Vikings. They will head to Atlanta to take on the Falcons, eliminated from playoff contention after falling to the Chargers in L.A. The Buccs should have no problem taking care of business on the road this week, now that Atlanta is getting their vacation plans ready for the offseason. Tampa Bay sits one game behind the Seahawks for the top wild-card spot in the NFC. It seems unlikely that they will be able to catch the Saints for the division, so getting a chance to play the NFC East division winner sounds better than facing the three seed at this point. Every win matters this time of year.
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings Sunday December 20, 1:00 PM ET
The Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings will be playing for a chance to stay within contention in the playoff race. Both teams currently sit at 6-7, with the Vikings holding the tiebreaker over Chicago, thanks to beating them in Week 10. However, a win will get either team back to .500 and keep them within striking distance of the Cardinals, who currently hold the seventh seed in the NFC. If Arizona loses on Sunday, then the winning team could end up as the last wild card spot with two weeks left. Mitch Trubisky is currently playing the best football of his career, so he needs to continue this Sunday if the Bears want to keep the 2020 season alive.
Detroit Lions @ Tennessee Titans Sunday December 20, 1:00 PM ET
The Detroit Lions are coming off a tough loss at home to the Packers this Sunday. Matthew Stafford left the game in the fourth quarter after landing awkwardly on the run, and Chase Daniel had to take over. If Stafford cannot play on Sunday, then the Lions can kiss the playoffs goodbye as the team currently sits at 5-8 on the year. The Titans secured another win on Sunday over the Jaguars and should get another one against Detroit at home. This could be a high scoring matchup if Stafford is available to go. Both teams have great offenses, and the defenses need some work, so expect points in Nashville on Sunday.
San Francisco 49ers @ Dallas Cowboys Sunday December 20, 1:00 PM ET
The San Francisco 49ers head to Dallas to take on the Cowboys. The 49ers have now lost two straight games after the team was told they would not play in San Francisco the rest of the year due to Santa Clara County's COVID rules. It seems like the team has now checked out for the remainder of the season as it is tough to play away from home continuously. The Cowboys are coming off a win in the Andy Dalton revenge game against the Bengals. Dallas has played decent football down the stretch and could come away with a victory at home against the Niners. The Cowboys are still technically alive for a playoff spot, thanks to how bad the NFC East has been this season. A win on Sunday keeps them in the hunt.
Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts Sunday December 20, 1:00 PM ET
After losing to the Chicago Bears on Sunday, Houston has been officially eliminated from the playoffs. With the team having nothing to play for down the stretch, this could end up being an easy win for the Colts, who are coming off a road win against the Raiders. Indianapolis knocked off Houston two games ago, 26-20, at Reliant Stadium, so it will be interesting to see how this matchup plays out with how recently both teams played on another. Deshaun Watson has the 'never going to quit' mindset, so he could show up and have a big game Sunday despite the Texans being out of the playoff race.
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins Sunday December 20, 1:00 PM ET
New England heads to Miami to take on the Dolphins this Sunday. The Patriots are going to be coming off the mini-bye after losing to the Rams last Thursday. New England is practically eliminated from the playoffs, which will be weird to see since they have only missed the postseason twice since 2001. The Dolphins have a shot at making it, and a win over the Patriots will help. Tua Tagovailoa struggles at quarterback, but this team plays tough football in recent weeks and takes the Chiefs down to the wire on Sunday. The Patriots have one of the worst defenses in the NFL, so maybe it could give Tagovailoa some confidence in the last few weeks of the season. Cam Newton continues to struggle at quarterback and will most likely do so again against this Dolphins defense. Sunday December 20, 1:00 PM ET
Seattle heads east to face the Washington Football Team on Sunday. The Seahawks took care of business at home against the winless Jets and will look to do the same thing against Washington. The Football Team picked up a win against San Francisco this week and is now in the NFC East standings at 6-7. Another win will get Washington to .500, and most get them one step closer to clinching a playoff berth. The Seahawks are still looking to get back into first place in the NFC West standings, however. On Sunday, the win against New York might have given them the jump start they needed in the final few weeks of the season.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Baltimore Ravens Sunday December 20, 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville will head to Baltimore this week in hopes of snapping its 12 game losing streak. The team fell to Tennessee this past week and hasn't won since Week 1 of the season. They now get a Ravens team at home that is coming off the Mondy night game against the Browns. The Jaguars are also going back to Gardner Minshew this Sunday, who could give the offense a jump start against a very good Ravens defense. Baltimore is still competing for a playoff spot, so it will not hold anything back against Jacksonville on Sunday. They need every win they can get right now.
New York Jets @ Los Angeles Rams Sunday December 20, 4:05 PM ET
The Jets are three losses away from becoming the third team in NFL history to go 0-16. This week they have the Rams before taking on the Browns and the Patriots to end the season. In the first place in the NFC West, Los Angeles is looking to take care of business at home against a winless New York team. This is the second week in a row that New York will be heading to the west coast for a matchup. There is very little chance that New York will be able to keep this game close. The team checked out last week in Seattle and will most likely do the same thing against the Rams on Sunday. New York needs to get to the offseason.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Arizona Cardinals Sunday December 20, 4:05 PM ET
Jalen Hurts picked up a win in his first career start this past Sunday. The Eagles knocked off the Saints at home to get to 4-8-1 on the season. They now travel to Arizona and have an outside chance to make the playoffs to get back into first place in the NFC East. However, the Cardinals are also fighting for a playoff spot and are the seventh seed in the NFC. Arizona also picked up a much-needed win on Sunday in New York and will make it two in a row remain in the playoff picture. The Cardinals have lost four of their last six and hope to pick up another win to finish the end of the season strong.
Kansas City Chiefs @ New Orleans Saints Sunday December 20, 4:25 PM ET
Kansas City and New Orleans could give us the best game of the weekend with two teams competing for the top seeds in their respective conferences. It will be unfortunate that Drew Brees will most likely not be participating on Sunday. However, the interest will be with how the Saints contain Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense. Mahomes threw three interceptions on Sunday, and New Orleans will be looking to create that same success defensively this week. If the Saints can get Taysom Hill some short-yardage situations, then there is a chance that the Saints can pull off the upset at home. Or New Orleans can start Jameis Winston to give them a better chance to win.
Cleveland Browns @ New York Giants Sunday December 20, 8:20 PM ET
Cleveland and New York will headline the Sunday night matchup this weekend. Both teams are competing for playoff spots, so expect a competitive matchup between the two. The Browns will be coming off a short week since they played on Monday night against the Ravens. The Giants fell to the Cardinals at home in convincing fashion. New York might be going into free fall as the Browns are the better team in this matchup. Cleveland has been playing well against teams below .500 this year, so they should be able to take care of business on the road.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals Monday December 21, 8:15 PM ET
An AFC North showdown between the Steelers and Bengals is taking place on Monday night. Unfortunately, the matchup doesn't make for great entertainment this week, with the Steelers being a much better football team than Cincinnati. However, it would be funny if the Bengals pulled off the huge upset without Joe Burrow giving the Steelers three losses in a row. It doesn't seem likely, and Pittsburgh should roll in this one. Cincinnati is the perfect team to bounce back with and finish the season on a high note. They will need it before finishing the year with the Colts and Browns.