Sep 25, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Wild-card Weekend Betting: Preview, Prediction and Picks

The NFL playoffs kick off Saturday and run through Monday night as the league spreads the wealth for its fans.

Speaking of spreads, that Buffalo line feels a little high. And that Rams-Lions matchup just might have the wrong team favored.

See how this primary wager developed, along with a bonus play and a player prop below.


Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills (-10), 1 p.m. ET on CBS
Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions (-3), 8 p.m. ET on NBC

We will use adjusted lines to produce a two-leg parlay on this pair of playoff games.

First up: The case for a closer-than-expected, bad-weather matchup between flawed teams.

By now, sports-betting fans are not fooled by the Buffalo Bills. This is a flashy-looking team with middling results that needed a punt return TD to help win its Week 18 game in Miami.

Josh Allen is an elite quarterback who will throw into small windows and risk interceptions. His legs provide the extra element in his array of tools; there’s no doubt he’s entertaining to watch.

The issue is whether his Bills can maintain an adequate ground attack, which should be an easier task against the Steelers’ addled defense (all-world linebacker TJ Watt is injured and will miss Sunday’s game).

But Pittsburgh has prospered by using a cold-weather offense with running back Najee Harris’ physical presence leading the ground attack. This not only will provide some scoring opportunities, but also will help shorten the game — and lessen the chances for a blowout.

It’s been snowing all week in Buffalo and flurries are expected Sunday, but the wind gusts of 20-30 miles per hour would conspire to keep Allen somewhat grounded.

Buffalo is good enough to pound out a victory; the Steelers gained only 289 yards last week against a Baltimore Ravens team resting its top defensive players.

Against all odds, though, Mason Rudolph has quarterbacked Pittsburgh to some success the past few weeks and isn’t likely to be rattled by playoff pressure.

Pressure is something the Lions will say has no effect on their Sunday matchup with the Rams, but LA knows about Detroit QB Jared Goff.

Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris has plenty of research and options to exploit Goff’s shortcomings.

The LA offense, though, has been a shining reason for the Rams’ 7-1 record to close the regular season.

Matthew Stafford is the better QB in this matchup, Kyren Williams is the top running back and although Detroit’s Amon-Ra St. Brown is arguably the top talent at wide receiver, the Rams’ receiver room is the better of the two teams.

Cooper Kupp has seen his health and production improve, and LA has benefited from a shocking rookie season from Puka Nacua. There are just too many options for the Lions to handle.

Want trends? According to Action Network, home teams winning their last game in the regular season by 10 points or fewer — as Detroit did — stand 17-30-3 (36 percent) against the spread (ATS) in their first playoff game (trend covers the past 20 years).

The Rams have to feel as if they are playing with house money. The Lions have to feel excited just to be back in the playoffs, along with a mix of anxious desperation to please a very hungry city without a home playoff win in 30 years.

On that note, home playoff teams that failed to make the prior season’s playoffs are only 13-29 (31 percent) ATS in the first playoff game.

The bet: Two-leg parlay featuring adjusted line, the Steelers +17.5 with the Rams +7.5 (-118 at DraftKings.)


“I so badly want to win a playoff game for this city, that hasn’t had one in so long. That’s so much more important than anything personally for me.”

–Lions quarterback Jared Goff


Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:15 p.m. ET Monday.
Eagles -3, total 44

The Eagles are grasping for an explanation; the Bucs have a banged-up quarterback.

Baker Mayfield is preparing to play through ankle and rib injuries for Tampa Bay against Philadelphia, which went 1-5 to finish the season.

This Monday game provides dessert after a five-course NFL weekend meal, but it’s not terribly tasty. In fact, the play here is to fade the excitement.

A trend to spotlight comes from the laboratory at Vegas Insider, which found this game’s total to have encouraged enough “under” betting action to qualify.

The past season and a half, when 56 percent or more of the money is showing up on the “under,” the bet has a mark of 45-29 ATS (60.8 percent) to the “under.”

It’s not just sharp money, either. The number of bets (at 56 percent or better), too, brought a record of 35-22 (61.4 percent) to the under.

Both “under” stats were qualifying as of Thursday.

The bet: Eagles-Buccaneers UNDER 44.


Steelers coach Mike Tomlin will gladly try to shove Harris down the Bills’ throats.

If the wind kicks up in Buffalo, this will be an even better option. Grab the “over” 15.5 carries as soon as you can.

Prop play: Steelers running back Najee Harris “over” 15.5 carries. (-114 at FanDuel.)

–Field Level Media

Nov 5, 2023; Frankfurt, Germany; A general overall view as Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws the ball against the Miami Dolphins in the second half during an NFL International Series game at Deutsche Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Playoff capsules: Saturday wild-card games

NFL Wild Card Saturday capsules

Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans: Rookie head coach DeMeco Ryans and No. 2 pick C.J. Stroud led the Texans to the AFC South title as Houston returns to the postseason for the first time since 2019. They are on home turf for a rematch of their 36-22 Christmas Eve loss to the Browns, who rode a December surge on the arm of revived QB Joe Flacco to an 11-win season and wild-card berth. Stroud didn’t play in the first meeting and makes his postseason debut against Flacco. Flacco isn’t just seasoned. He’s tied with Tom Brady as the most successful quarterback in playoff road games with seven wins, a mark he can break Saturday. Flacco is starting in the playoffs for the 17th time and will be the same age as Ryans when he turns 39 next week. Cleveland gets significant juice from its defense under first-year coordinator Jim Schwartz. A crucial matchup on the edge pits Browns DE Myles Garrett against Texans LT Laremy Tunsil, one of three players remaining on the roster from the 2019 postseason. A matchup Ryans is fretting is Browns WR Amari Cooper against Houston’s hyperaggressive secondary. Cooper caught 11 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns and was subbed out midway through the fourth quarter in the teams’ December meeting.

Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs: Frigid temps await the Dolphins in Kansas City with the possibility of a dangerous a real-feel mercury reading near 30-below, according to the Weather Channel. That’s a stark contrast to the 75-degree temperatures the Dolphins experienced for their outdoor practice to start the week. But Chiefs head coach Andy Reid warns not to assume weather is an advantage for anyone, quipping “we aren’t having a snowball fight.” The Chiefs beat the Dolphins 21-14 in their International Series game in Germany on Nov. 5 and feature the No. 2 defense in the NFL. Miami is No. 1 in total offense, but throwing the ball in gusting winds and wintry conditions might require modification from head coach Mike McDaniel. Including the Miami win, the Chiefs surrendered 20 points or fewer in 13 of 17 games this season. The Dolphins aren’t certain what they’ll get from RB Raheem Mostert, who shared the NFL lead with Christian McCaffrey with 21 total touchdowns this season. Mostert has an ankle injury, and WR Tyreek Hill is also hobbled in his first game in Kansas City since he was traded to the Dolphins prior to the 2022 season. Miami beat Kansas City in three previous playoff matchups in 1994, 1991 and 1971. The win in ’71 has held up as the longest game in NFL history, a double-overtime game in the divisional round.

–Field Level Media

Jan 7, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions tight end Sam LaPorta (87) catches a pass in front of Minnesota Vikings safety Josh Metellus (44) in the second quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

‘Optimistic’ Lions TE Sam LaPorta takes live practice reps Thursday

Detroit’s second-leading receiver this season sparked optimism he can play through a knee injury in Sunday’s playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Sam LaPorta said he took live reps Thursday after participating in the Lions’ walkthrough practice on Wednesday, a signal the record-setting rookie tight end continues to improve and progress toward taking the field in the wild-card matchup.

Head coach Dan Campbell said Wednesday a decision on LaPorta’s status for the wild-card game Sunday night would be made Friday at the earliest.

“I don’t foresee us knowing anything or feeling like we have a real good picture until Friday afternoon,” Campbell said. “But he’s improving.”

Wide receiver Jameson Williams (ankle) continues to participate and could have his injury designation removed before the game.

On Monday, Campbell gave LaPorta an “outside shot” to play this week. He avoided a season-ending knee injury, but his availability for the first round of the playoffs appeared to be in peril when he left the field in the second quarter of last Sunday’s win over the Minnesota Vikings.

LaPorta broke the NFL rookie tight end record for receptions Sunday with his 82nd catch, also his 10th touchdown of the season, a 2-yard score with 8:06 left in the first quarter.

LaPorta ended the regular season with 86 receptions for 889 yards and 10 TD catches. He was second on the team in catches and yards to Amon-Ra St. Brown, who also caught 10 touchdowns and tallied 119 receptions for 1,515 yards in the regular season.

–Field Level Media

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff waves during pregame warmups before the start of the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field in Detroit on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024.

Lions ready to roar in reunion with Matthew Stafford, Rams

Matthew Stafford returns to Detroit in a Los Angeles Rams uniform. Jared Goff faces the team that gave up on him. The Lions are hosting a playoff game for the first time in 30 years.

The preamble to Sunday night’s first-round playoff matchup has all the fixings of a script, but neither team wants to discuss much more than the primetime wild-card meeting and the spot in the conference semifinals at stake.

The Rams are two seasons removed from winning a Super Bowl with Stafford after the Lions traded him for Goff and several high draft picks.

Lions fans were generally thrilled to see Stafford reach the mountaintop. Now, they’ll be rooting hard for his season to end.

“I understand what the people of Detroit, what the city of Detroit, meant to me in my time and my career. What they meant to my family. I hope they feel that back,” Stafford said. “But at the same time I’m not a stranger to the situation and understanding I’m the bad guy coming to town.”

The “bad guys” have been rolling along since their bye week.

The Rams (10-7) have won seven of their last eight games, with the lone loss coming in overtime to AFC top seed Baltimore.

With a playoff berth secured, coach Sean McVay rested Stafford and numerous regulars in the regular season finale. Stafford still finished with 3,965 passing yards and 24 touchdowns.

Rookie Puca Nucua (105 receptions, 1,486 yards and six touchdowns) and Cooper Kupp (59 receptions, 737 yards, 5 TDs in 12 games) provide formidable targets for Stafford.

“He’s put our team in a position to go play a meaningful game,” McVay said.

Running back Kyren Williams gives the offense balance. He racked up 1,350 combined rushing and receiving yards and scored 15 touchdowns despite missing five games.

Goff piled up 4,575 passing yards and 30 touchdowns while leading the Lions (12-5) to the NFC North title. He’s got a star wideout in Amon-Ra St. Brown (119 receptions, 1,515 yards, 10 TDs) supported by the running back duo of David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs.

Goff admits he had his differences with McVay in his final season with the Rams but is focused on taking the Lions franchise to new heights. That includes earning a playoff win that Stafford never recorded with the Lions.

“I so badly want to win a playoff game for this city, that hasn’t had one in so long,” Goff said. “That’s so much more important than anything personally for me.”

The Lions have played well in primetime games this season, so coach Dan Campbell isn’t concerned about the team feeling the pressure.

“I’m not worried about that — the stage, all of those things, because we’ve dealt with that for a while now. I feel like we’re prepared for that,” he said.

Campbell also expects Goff to remain calm and poised.

“He’s wired the right way,” he said. “He’s been through this. He’s been to the Big One. He’s dealt with this a number of times.”

Campbell is concerned that his players might try to do too much, instead of focusing on their assignments.

“You want to make a play so bad, you jump out of your gap,” he said. “All of a sudden, they hit you on a run.”

The big injury concern is Lions tight end Sam LaPorta, who suffered a hyperextended knee in the regular season finale against Minnesota.

Campbell said LaPorta, who set an NFL rookie tight end record with 86 receptions, was “improving” but isn’t sure whether he’ll suit up. Wide receiver and kick returner Kalif Raymond is also dealing with a knee injury.

–Field Level Media

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) participates in warmups prior to the game against the Washington Commanders at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Perfect at home, Cowboys cite comfort of playoff spot against Packers

Quarterback Dak Prescott and the NFL’s highest-scoring offense enter the playoffs with a confidence that can only be found at home.

The Cowboys host the Green Bay Packers in a wild-card matchup Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium, where Dallas had a perfect 8-0 record during the regular season.

Dallas averaged a league-high 29.9 points per game, posted a 12-5 record and won the NFC East for the second time in three years.

Prescott threw 36 touchdown passes, which led the NFL. CeeDee Lamb caught a league-high 135 passes for 1,749 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns.

The statistics are impressive, but the Cowboys want something bigger: playoff success.

“Obviously, there’s going to be a sense of urgency because there’s no tomorrow, because it’s win-or-go-home every single week,” Cowboys wideout Brandin Cooks said. “At the end of the day, we’re looking at a great team (in the Packers) that has been playing at a high level to finish this season.

“As far as pressure (goes), no, because we know what’s in front of us. It’s playoff ball. That’s the best of everyone’s ball. We’ve just got to show up and continue to be who we are without putting more on ourselves than we need to. … We’ve just got to take care of business.”

Green Bay travels to Texas in an underdog role, but not without an air of confidence. The Packers, who have one of the NFL’s youngest rosters, won their last three games and six of their final eight with multiple strong showings from quarterback Jordan Love as running back Aaron Jones finally looked healthy.

Love threw 32 touchdown passes, which trailed only Prescott. He took control in his final eight starts as he threw for 18 touchdowns with only one interception.

“Everybody looks to him as a leader,” said guard Jon Runyan of Love’s development. “He’s got complete control of this offense, and what he does. We trust him, and you’re able to see it on the field.

Rookie wideout Jayden Reed led the team with 912 yards from scrimmage (793 receiving, 119 rushing) and 10 touchdowns (eight receiving, two rushing). Jones added 889 yards from scrimmage (656 rushing, 233 receiving) and three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving).

Packers coach Matt LaFleur said his team is playing as if it has nothing to lose.

“I think for us it’s just the opportunity to be in the dance and have a great week of preparation and put our best foot forward,” LaFleur said. “I think we’ve been going through this the last few weeks. We knew what was at stake. I mean, the last three weeks basically have been playoff games for us. So, really, it’s the next opportunity.”

On the opposite sideline, Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy will have a chance to make history against his former team. McCarthy won a Super Bowl as the Packers coach during the 2010 season, and he can become the first person to win a playoff game against a team with which he won the Super Bowl as head coach.

McCarthy deflected questions about his tenure in Green Bay and what the game meant to him.

“This game’s about our commitment,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing.”

Both teams had one injured player sit out the first practice of the week. Packers running back A.J. Dillon was sidelined by thumb and neck injuries, and Cowboys cornerback Stephon Gilmore sat out because of a shoulder injury. Gilmore said he’s confident he’ll be on the field Sunday.

The teams’ most recent matchup was Nov. 13, 2022, when Green Bay held on for a 31-28 win. This is their first playoff meeting since Jan. 15, 2017, when Green Bay won 34-31 in Dallas.

–Field Level Media

Jan 7, 2024; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins running back De'Von Achane (28) runs with the football against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Bills clinch AFC East with comeback win over Dolphins

Josh Allen passed for 359 yards and two touchdowns as the Buffalo Bills notched a 21-14 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday night at Miami Gardens, Fla., to win the AFC East for the fourth straight season.

Allen tossed the go-ahead touchdown to Dawson Knox midway through the final quarter as Buffalo (11-6) won its fifth straight contest. Taylor Rapp sealed the victory with an interception with 1:13 remaining.

Trent Sherfield also caught a touchdown pass and Khalil Shakir had 105 receiving yards for the second-seeded Bills, who will host the seventh-seeded Pittsburgh Steelers in next Sunday’s playoff contest.

Allen rushed for 67 yards and also completed 30 of 38 passes with two interceptions. He improved to 11-2 as a starter against Miami (including last season’s playoff victory) and has thrown 36 touchdown passes in those 13 games.

Tua Tagovailoa completed 17 of 27 passes for 173 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for the Dolphins (11-6). Tyreek Hill caught seven passes for 82 yards and a touchdown and De’Von Achane added a rushing score.

Miami lost for the third time in five games while playing without running back Raheem Mostert (knee, ankle) and receiver Jaylen Waddle (ankle) for the second consecutive game. The sixth-seeded Dolphins will visit the third-seeded Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday night.

The Bills outgained Miami 473-275.

Buffalo’s only offensive touchdown in the second half was the decisive score to cap an eight-play, 74-yard drive. Allen connected with Knox on a 5-yard throw to give the Bills a 21-14 lead with 7:16 remaining.

The Dolphins went three-and-out on their next possession and didn’t see the ball again until 1:53 remained. But Rapp’s pick 40 seconds later ended any suspense.

Buffalo tied the score at 14 on Deonte Hardy’s franchise-record-setting 96-yard punt return with 13:42 left in the contest. Hardy’s return broke the old team mark of 91 yards by Keith Moody against the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 23, 1977.

Hardy caught the ball at his own 4-yard line and exploded up the middle and moved into the clear as Miami players Cameron Goode and Alec Engold got tangled up. Hardy navigated to his left and raced down the sideline without any Dolphins in his vicinity.

The Dolphins struck first when Achane broke a 25-yard TD run with 8:51 left in the first half.

Buffalo tied the game when Sherfield caught a 6-yard scoring pass with 4:31 remaining in the half. Allen’s throw hit the helmet of Miami’s Andrew Van Ginkel and ricocheted high in the air and Sherfield was able to grab it in the back of the end zone while getting both feet down.

Miami took a 14-7 lead when Tagovailoa threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Hill with 1:43 to go before halftime.

–Field Level Media

New York, NY, US; New York Jets running back Dalvin Cook (33) runs the ball against the Los Angeles Chargers defense, at MetLife Stadium, Monday, November 6, 2023.

Report: Jets to release RB Dalvin Cook

The New York Jets and running back Dalvin Cook mutually decided to part ways, NFL Network reported on Tuesday.

Cook, 28, is trying to catch on with a Super Bowl contender before the playoffs begin, according to the report.

The four-time Pro Bowler was linked to the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys during his free agency last summer, but he signed with the Jets to serve as a complementary back to Breece Hall with Aaron Rodgers helming the offense.

After Rodgers’ Achilles injury on the Jets’ first drive of the season, the team has stumbled to a 6-10 record with one week left in the regular season.

The Jets barely used Cook after giving him a one-year, $5.8 million guaranteed contract. After playing 27 offensive snaps (50 percent) in Week 1, Cook never played more than 19 snaps in a game again. He did not see the field in the Jets’ Week 17 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Cook had 67 rushing attempts for 214 yards this season and added 15 receptions for 78 yards over 15 games (one start). He did not score a touchdown.

In 88 career games (73 starts) for the Minnesota Vikings (2017-22) and Jets, Cook has rushed for 6,207 yards and 47 touchdowns and caught 236 passes for 1,872 yards and five TDs.

–Field Level Media

Dec 17, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) celebrates after the game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Week 16 playoff scenarios: 49ers can clinch top seed, bye

The San Francisco 49ers’ Christmas gift could be the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

The 49ers, the only 11-3 team in the NFC, have a straightforward path to clinching the top seed and a first-round bye in Week 16, according to the NFL’s official playoff scenarios.

If the Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles all lose, the 49ers would lock up the No. 1 seed on Christmas night by beating the visiting Baltimore Ravens — who happen to be the only other 11-3 team in the league.

Detroit visits the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas takes on the host Miami Dolphins on Sunday, Christmas Eve. Then, the Eagles play the middle game of a Christmas Day tripleheader against the visiting New York Giants before the Ravens visit San Francisco in the nightcap.

The Lions (10-4) would clinch the NFC North title with a win or tie against Minnesota. If that doesn’t happen, they can still lock up a playoff bid if either the Los Angeles Rams or the Seattle Seahawks lose or tie. The Rams host the New Orleans Saints on Thursday and the Seahawks visit the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

Over in the AFC, the Ravens — who have already punched their postseason ticket — can win the AFC North by beating the 49ers and having the Browns lose or tie against the Houston Texans, or if the Ravens tie and the Browns lose.

The Browns (9-5), for their part, have eight scenarios to clinch a playoff berth this week, all of which start with a win at Houston. The Browns are on the verge of their second playoff berth in 21 seasons.

If the Dolphins (10-4) beat the Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills lose or tie at the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday, Miami would clinch the AFC East title. That would also be the result if Miami ties Dallas and Buffalo loses.

The Christmas Day tripleheader begins with the struggling Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Las Vegas Raiders. The Chiefs (9-5) can lock up their eighth straight AFC West title if they beat Las Vegas, or if they tie with the Raiders and the Denver Broncos lose to New England.

–Field Level Media

Longtime voice of primetime NFL games Al Michaels is not part of NBC's postseason plans.

NBC passes on Al Michaels, 26-year-old Noah Eagle gets playoff play-by-play gig

NBC plans to use 26-year-old Noah Eagle as the play-by-play voice for its No. 2 NFL playoff broadcast crew in January, passing on venerable voice Al Michaels.

NBC “Sunday Night Football” tandem Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth have the call of the network’s primary playoff broadcast next month, but NBC declined to bring back Michaels for the second game. Instead, the college football broadcast team of Eagle and Todd Blackledge with sideline reporter Kathryn Tappen was assigned the No. 2 game.

Michaels, 79, reportedly earns $1 million per game in an agreement with Amazon that affords him the opportunity to accept assignments from NBC in his “emeritus” label granted when he left at the end of his last contract in 2022.

Michaels and Tony Dungy called the AFC wild-card game in Jacksonville last year, when the Jaguars rallied from a 27-point deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers.

Eagle is the son of Ian Eagle, an established play-by-play announcer for CBS, TBS and TNT, working college basketball, NBA and NFL games. Noah Eagle replaced Ian Eagle on YES Network NBA broadcasts this season.

Noah Eagle, Blackledge and Tappen are also assigned to the NBC regular-season broadcast of Steelers-Bengals on Dec. 23 and the Nickelodeon kid-focused broadcast of Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11.

Michaels has been the voice of primetime NFL coverage since 1986, first on “Monday Night Football” until he took the “Sunday Night Football” job alongside John Madden in 2006. He worked in the SNF role until the end of the 2021 season.

He currently calls Thursday night games streamed on Amazon Prime Video with analyst Kirk Herbstreit.

–Field Level Media

The 49ers jumped to the No. 1 seed in the NFC this month and officially clinched a playoff spot when the Packers lost to the Giants on Monday. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

49ers first team in playoffs; Bears, Giants close on wild-card teams

Welcome to the 2023 playoffs, San Francisco 49ers.

And don’t look now, but howdy to New York Giants and Chicago Bears, both just one game out in an overflowing NFC wild-card chase.

San Francisco (10-3) stands as the No. 1 seed in the NFC entering Week 15. The 49ers received the initial entry into the NFL postseason by virtue of the Giants’ win over the Green Bay Packers on Monday night.

The 49ers have the same record as the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. San Francisco beat both teams in head-to-head matchups and can secure the NFC West division title this weekend.

Green Bay is one of five 6-7 teams in the NFC and holds the seventh and final playoff spot in the conference through 13 games.

Right behind the Packers are the Giants and Bears — 5-8 entering Week 15 — and still very much alive while also currently looking at top 10 draft picks based on their 2023 record. Chicago and Green Bay play in the regular-season finale Week 18 at Soldier Field.

The Baltimore Ravens (10-3) are alone in first place in the AFC following the loss by the Miami Dolphins (9-4) on Monday night to the Tennessee Titans.

Kansas City (8-5) and Jacksonville (8-5) lead their respective divisions by narrow margins to currently sit No. 3 (Chiefs) and No. 4 (Jaguars) in the conference.

At No. 5 are the Cleveland Browns (8-5), a game up on the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6) and Indianapolis Colts (7-6).

The Colts play the Steelers on Saturday and Cleveland hosts the Bears.

Three teams with 6-7 records are angling for position in the NFC South. Tampa Bay, outscored 270-262 this season, is 5-4 in the NFC and own head-to-head victories of the Minnesota Vikings (7-6) and Bears with a trip to Lambeau Field to play the Packers this week.

–Field Level Media