NFL Week 17 preview

Houston at Indianapolis

Time: 1 p.m., CBS Line: Texans by 7.

Records: Texans 12-3 (9-6 vs. spread), Colts 10-5 (10-5 vs. spread).

Comments: Texans beat Colts, 29-17, Dec. 16 . . . A welcome return for Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who spent the last three months battling leukemia . . . Indianapolis has won five straight at home . . . Since the start of 2010, Texans’ Arian Foster leads NFL in rushing yards (4,168) and rushing TDs (40) . . . Houston’s J.J. Watt needs 2½ sacks to break Michael Strahan’s season record (22½) . . . Player to watch: Colts rookie QB Andrew Luck has seven game-winning drives in fourth quarter or OT.


Key injuries: TEXANS: OUT: CB Alan Ball (foot). QUESTIONABLE: S Shiloh Keo (ankle), LB Brooks Reed (groin). PROBABLE: LB Connor Barwin (back, elbow), RB Tyler Clutts (abdomen), NT Shaun Cody (back), DE Jared Crick (neck), TE Owen Daniels (hamstring, neck), LB Tim Dobbins (shoulder), RB Justin Forsett (knee), RB Arian Foster (arrhythmia), CB Johnathan Joseph (groin, quadriceps), T Derek Newton (knee), S Eddie Pleasant (hamstring), S Glover Quin (hip), LB Darryl Sharpton (toe), DE Antonio Smith (ankle), G Wade Smith (knee, ribs), RB Ben Tate (hamstring), DE J.J. Watt (chest), QB T.J. Yates (right elbow). COLTS: OUT: RB Delone Carter (ankle), NT Antonio Johnson (ankle), DE Cory Redding (quadriceps), C Samson Satele (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: WR Donnie Avery (shoulder), LB Kavell Conner (hamstring), T Winston Justice (shoulder), C A.Q. Shipley (knee), CB Teddy Williams (knee), S Tom Zbikowski (knee).

Green Bay at Minnesota

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Time: 1 p.m. Line: Packers by 3½.

Records: Packers 11-4 (9-6 vs. spread), Vikings 9-6 (7-7-1 vs. spread).

Comments: Packers beat Vikings, 23-14, Dec. 2 . . . Since entering the NFL in 2004 with KC, Minnesota’s Jared Allen has an NFL-high 115 sacks . . . Vikings’ Adrian Peterson is 102 rushing yards shy of 2,000. His six 150-yard games this season trail only Earl Campbell (all hail), who had seven in 1980 . . . Player to watch: Green Bay’s Randall Cobb (964 kick-return yards, 954 receiving yards) aims to become first NFLer with 1,000 in both categories.

Key njuries: PACKERS: OUT: RB James Starks (knee), S Charles Woodson (collarbone). DOUBTFUL: CB Davon House (shoulder, hip). QUESTIONABLE: WR Randall Cobb (ankle, knee). PROBABLE: TE Tom Crabtree (hamstring), K Mason Crosby (illness), C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee), RB Alex Green (concussion), WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring), C Jeff Saturday (neck, shoulder), G Josh Sitton (concussion), DE C.J. Wilson (knee), DE Jerel Worthy (hamstring). VIKINGS: QUESTIONABLE: DE Brian Robison (shoulder), CB Antoine Winfield (knee, hand).

Kansas City at Denver


Time: 4:25 p.m. Line: Broncos by 16.

Records: Chiefs 2-13 (5-10 vs. spread), Broncos 12-3 (9-5-1 vs. spread).

Comments: Broncos beat Chiefs, 17-9, Nov. 25 and have won an NFL-high 10 straight . . . Denver QB Peyton Manning is 346 passing yards shy of setting a career high (4,700 in 2010) . . . Jamaal Charles is 44 rushing yards shy of becoming third Chief with a 1,500-yard season, joining Larry Johnson and Priest Holmes . . . Player to watch: Chiefs RB Peyton Hillis had his first 100-yard rushing game of the season last week.

Key njuries: CHIEFS: OUT: WR Terrance Copper (knee). DOUBTFUL: DE Tyson Jackson (foot). QUESTIONABLE: T Branden Albert (back), WR Josh Bellamy (ankle), S Abram Elam (quadriceps), LB Tamba Hali (illness), S Kendrick Lewis (illness), WR Dexter McCluster (illness), TE Tony Moeaki (head). PROBABLE: G Jon Asamoah (thumb), S Eric Berry (hand), RB Jamaal Charles (illness), LB Cory Greenwood (illness), G Russ Hochstein (back), G Ryan Lilja (back), G Rich Ranglin (knee), T Donald Stephenson (illness). BRONCOS: OUT: CB Tracy Porter (concussion). DOUBTFUL: WR Trindon Holliday (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: G Chris Kuper (ankle, head).

Dallas at Washington

Time: 8:20 p.m., NBC Line: Redskins by 3.


Records: Cowboys 8-7 (6-9 vs. spread), Redskins 9-6 (10-5 vs. spread).

Comments: Redskins beat Cowboys, 38-31, on Thanksgiving . . . Dallas QB Tony Romo needs 315 passing yards to reach 5,000 . . . Washington rookie QB Robert Griffin III threw for 304 yards and 4 TDs in win over Cowboys . . . Redskins veteran LB London Fletcher has an interception in four of last five games . . . Cowboys LB Anthony Spencer has 6½ sacks in his last six games . . . . . . Washington’s Alfred Morris is league’s top rookie rusher with 1,413 yards . . . Player to watch: Dallas WR Dez Bryant (bad thumb and all) has 46 catches for 808 yards and 10 TDs in his last seven games.

Key injuries: COWBOYS: OUT: NT Jay Ratliff (groin). QUESTIONABLE: LB Ernie Sims (concussion). PROBABLE: LB Alex Albright (knee), WR Dez Bryant (finger), LB Victor Butler (groin), DT Jason Hatcher (thigh), RB Felix Jones (knee), RB DeMarco Murray (foot), LB DeMarcus Ware (elbow, shoulder). REDSKINS: QUESTIONABLE: S DeJon Gomes (knee), T Tyler Polumbus (head).

Arizona at San Francisco

Time: 4:25 p.m. Line: 49ers by 16½.

Records: Cardinals 5-10 (6-8-1 vs. spread), 49ers 10-4-1 (9-6 vs. spread).

Comments: 49ers beat Cardinals, 24-3, Oct. 29 . . . Former Patriot QB Brian Hoyer gets his first career start for the Cardinals . . . San Fran’s Aldon Smith needs 3½ sacks to break Michael Strahan’s season record (22½) . . . 49ers are 7-0 coming off a loss or tie during the Jim Harbaugh administration . . . San Fran WR Michael Crabtree is 67 yards shy of his first 1,000-yard receiving season . . . Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald has just 200 receiving yards in his last six games . . . Player to watch: 49ers K David Akers has at least one field goal in 32 straight games.

Key injuries: CARDINALS: OUT: WR Early Doucet (concussion). DOUBTFUL: WR LaRon Byrd (knee). QUESTIONABLE: G Mike Gibson (calf), T Nate Potter (ankle), RB Anthony Sherman (knee), DE Ronald Talley (ankle). PROBABLE: S Rashad Johnson (hamstring), S Kerry Rhodes (illness), S James Sanders (calf), CB Greg Toler (hamstring), DT Dan Williams (hamstring), S Adrian Wilson (illness). 49ERS: DOUBTFUL: DT Justin Smith (elbow, triceps). QUESTIONABLE: TE Vernon Davis (concussion), LB Clark Haggans (shoulder), DT Will Tukuafu (neck). PROBABLE: LB NaVorro Bowman (wrist, shoulder), LB Ahmad Brooks (shoulder), CB Tarell Brown (shoulder, knee), LB Tavares Gooden (illness, rib), C Jonathan Goodwin (illness), RB Frank Gore (knee), G Mike Iupati (shoulder), P Andy Lee (illness), RB Bruce Miller (shoulder), S Trenton Robinson (finger), CB Carlos Rogers (knee, toe), LB Aldon Smith (shoulder), S Donte Whitner (knee).

St. Louis at Seattle

Time: 4:25 p.m. Line: Seahawks by 10½.

Records: Rams 7-7-1 (10-5 vs. spread), Seahawks 10-5 (11-4 vs. spread).

Comments: Rams stunned Seahawks, 19-13, Sept. 30 . . . St. Louis QB Sam Bradford is 4-0-1 in last five division tilts . . . Seattle coach Pete Carroll reportedly is nursing a sore shoulder from sideline celebrations last week . . . Rams seek first winning record since 2003 . . . Seattle’s Russell Wilson is seeking to become first rookie QB to go 8-0 at home . . . Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch has two straight 100-yard efforts vs. St. Louis . . . Player to watch: Rams RB Steven Jackson is 10 rushing yards shy of becoming sixth NFLer with eight straight 1,000-yard campaigns.

Key injuries: RAMS: PROBABLE: RB Steven Jackson (foot). SEAHAWKS: OUT: CB Walter Thurmond (hamstring).

Philadelphia at NY Giants

Time: 1 p.m., Fox Line: Giants by 7.

Records: Eagles 4-11 (3-11-1 vs. spread), Giants 8-7 (6-8-1 vs. spread).

Comments: Eagles beat Giants, 19-17, Sept. 30 . . . Probable Philly swan songs for coach Andy Reid and QB Michael Vick (who will start) . . . Big Blue back Ahmad Bradshaw needs 92 rushing yards for his first 1,000-yard season.

Key injuries: EAGLES: OUT: DT Fletcher Cox (concussion), LB Mychal Kendricks (concussion). DOUBTFUL: TE Evan Moore (back). GIANTS: DOUBTFUL: CB Prince Amukamara (hamstring), DT Chris Canty (knee), CB Jayron Hosley (quadriceps).

Chicago at Detroit

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Bears by 3.

Records: Bears 9-6 (7-8 vs. spread), Lions 4-11 (5-10 vs. spread).

Comments: Bears beat Lions, 13-7, Oct. 22 . . . Chicago is 2-5 since that win over Detroit. . . Lions QB Matthew Stafford is seven attempts shy of breaking Drew Bledsoe’s season mark (691).

Key injuries: BEARS: OUT: S Chris Conte (hamstring), LB Blake Costanzo (calf). DOUBTFUL: LB Brian Urlacher (hamstring). LIONS: OUT: DT Sammie Hill (toe). DOUBTFUL: TE Brandon Pettigrew (ankle).

Baltimore at Cincinnati

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Bengals by 2½.

Records: Ravens 10-5 (6-8-1 vs. spread), Bengals 9-6 (8-6-1 vs. spread).

Comments: Ravens pounded Bengals, 44-13, Sept. 10 . . . Teams would meet for a third time next weekend if Baltimore secures No. 3 seed . . . Bengals have won 6 of last 7 games.

Key injuries: RAVENS: QUESTIONABLE: WR Anquan Boldin (shoulder). BENGALS: QUESTIONABLE: CB Jason Allen (hamstring), CB Terence Newman (groin).

Tampa Bay at Atlanta

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Falcons by 5.

Records: Buccaneers 6-9 (8-5-2 vs. spread), Falcons 13-2 (9-5-1 vs. spread).

Comments: Falcons edged Buccaneers, 24-13, Nov. 25 . . . Atlanta is 20-0 at home when Matt Ryan has a 100-plus passer rating . . . Josh Freeman is 157 passing yards shy of becoming first Bucs QB with a 4,000-yard season.

Key injuries: BUCCANEERS: DOUBTFUL: G Roger Allen (groin). FALCONS: OUT: S William Moore (hamstring), CB Christopher Owens (hamstring).

NY Jets at Buffalo

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Bills by 3½.

Records: Jets 6-9 (7-8 vs. spread), Bills 5-10 (6-9 vs. spread).

Comments: Jets beat Bills, 48-28, Sept. 8 and aim for seventh straight over Buffalo . . . After 11 sacks and 1 concussion, Greg McElroy is out, and Mark Sanchez is back in as Jets starting QB.

Injuries: JETS: DOUBTFUL: TE Dustin Keller (ankle), QB Greg McElroy (abdomen, concussion), WR Chaz Schilens (knee), LB Bryan Thomas (chest). BILLS: OUT: DE Mark Anderson (knee), S Da’Norris Searcy (groin).

Jacksonville at Tennessee

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Titans by 4½.

Records: Jaguars 2-13 (7-8 vs. spread), Titans 5-10 (5-10 vs. spread).

Comments: Jaguars beat Titans, 24-19, Nov. 25 . . . Tennessee’s Chris Johnson is 13 rushing yards shy of fourth 1,200-yard season.

Key injuries: JAGUARS: OUT: G Uche Nwaneri (concussion). TITANS: OUT: C Kevin Matthews (ankle), LB Colin McCarthy (concussion), TE Craig Stevens (concussion).

Carolina at New Orleans

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Saints by 5.

Records: Panthers 6-9 (8-7 vs. spread), Saints 7-8 (8-7 vs. spread).

Comments: Panthers beat Saints, 35-27, Sept. 16 . . . Panthers have won four straight . . . Saints QB Drew Brees needs 219 passing yards to become first NFLer with three 5,000-yard seasons.

Key injuries: SAINTS: OUT: CB Jabari Greer (concussion), DT Akiem Hicks (knee), RB Pierre Thomas (knee).

Cleveland at Pittsburgh

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Steelers by 10.

Records: Browns 5-10 (8-6-1 vs. spread), Steelers 7-8 (5-9-1 vs. spread).

Comments: Browns beat Steelers, 20-14, Nov. 25 . . . Browns have not won in Steel City since 2003.

Key injuries: BROWNS: OUT: QB Colt McCoy (right shoulder), RB Trent Richardson (ankle), QB Brandon Weeden (right shoulder). STEELERS: OUT: T Mike Adams (ankle), WR Mike Wallace (hip).

Oakland at San Diego

Time: 4:25 p.m. Line: Chargers by 9½.

Records: Raiders 4-11 (4-11 vs. spread), Chargers 6-9 (7-8 vs. spread).

Comments: Chargers beat Raiders, 22-14, Sept. 10 . . . QB Philip Rivers needs 45 passing yards to become first Charger with five straight 3,500-yard seasons.

Key injuries: RAIDERS: OUT: CB Phillip Adams (groin), QB Carson Palmer (ribs).